Pinned and Tried

So many pins, so little time.  Or so I like to tell myself.  In order to combat my excessive pinning, I decided I needed to be a little accountable.  I created a board on Pinterest called Pinned and Tried to record those pins I actually bought, made, cooked, etc.

During the summer holidays, I tried to find fun crafts for the kids to do.  They love the game Tic, Tac, Toe, so when I saw this pin, I had to try it:

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How easy was this going to be?

  • 2 kids – check
  • 6 rocks – check
  • 2 different colours of paint – check

The kids jumped on board and were excited to paint rocks.

Too excited to paint rocks.   Well, for a 6.5 year old and a 4 year old you can’t just have 2 colours of rocks.

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So, maybe we didn’t get to play Tic Tac Toe with our rocks, but we did have fun painting rocks.

Pinned and tried?  Check!

A visit to the library

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I found this on Pinterest and it is so true!  I love books!  I love to hold them, own them, borrow them – you name it.  My sister and I grew up reading every chance we got.  Fast forward to now and both my husband and I love to read.

This afternoon, we went to our local library so that my son could sign up for the Summer Reading Club.  Every day that they read for 15 minutes, they put a sticker on a calendar to chart their progress.  At the end of the summer, there is a wrap up party at the library. Easy peasy.  He was so excited to get his club materials and get home to start reading!

While we were there, we checked out lots of books for the kids.  Here are some favourites of my 4 year old daughter:

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image from Amazon.ca

  • Fairy Stories by Daisy Meadows. These stories pretty much follow the same formula and are not my favourites, but she loves hearing about how the girls out-trick the goblins.
  • The Gruffalo, The Singing Mermaid, Room on the Broom – anything by Julia Donaldson – I love her writing style, the illustrations and just everything about her stories!

At the other end of the book shelf is my son.  He is 6.5 years old and likes chapter books. He loves reading about adventures and some of his favourites are:

  • Geronimo Stilton – the books are written in a fun style and it is always entertaining to read about the mouse and his travels.
  • The Magic Treehouse series with Jack and Annie by Mary Pope Osborne – this one involves time travel and history.
  • Secret Agent, Jack Stalwart by Elizabeth Singer Hunt – a boy travels around the world to find his missing brother.

Going to the library is a great way to spend time out of the sun and it doesn’t cost you a thing (except for my late fees-oops).  I even got a couple books for myself – after I paid my fine, of course.

Last Day!!

It is pouring rain as I type this.  It is June 27th and it is pouring rain!  Today happens to be the last day of school for most of us living in British Columbia!  Where did the past 10 months go?!  Back in September when my son was starting grade one, the summer seemed oh so far away. But here it is!

Although, I am excited at the thought of not making lunch and racing out the door at 9am, I am also a little afraid.

I’m a little afraid of all the time we will be spending together.  I’m afraid, the kids will squabble more, I’m afraid I won’t have enough playdates, or fun things to do.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so ready for the change in routine.  But, I’m just a little afraid.

But there is still one last lunch to make and rain boots to find.  So, I had better get to it!

There is no “I” in team

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My son is 6.5 years old and we have been involved in sports teams for the past few years. This year it is a little more serious in the fact that there are more practices and “real” games.  My husband is lucky enough to be an assistant coach on his teams and I help out with the team manager role and other volunteer jobs. So, based on this I have seen a few things and have formed a fairly strong opinion about some of the kids (and their parents).  This weekend at baseball was no exception.

My biggest beef so far, is the kid with an attitude, and his parents who think it is cute. Or they actually think he is a star. Not sure which is worse. When the kid is complimented on his good hit or long throw, he says, “I know.” The parents just smile. Really ?

Then, there is the parent who is always late to the practice or game, or just doesn’t show up. Really?  Unless, there is a legit reason (eg: parent working, illness), just be there, or let the Coach know.  This is a team sport. It takes a certain amount of kids to play the game and make the practices worthwhile.

Please volunteer. Sports for kids are run by volunteers. There are very few paying jobs at this level. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes lots of parents to make sure the practices and games take place. Offer to help! Do anything! Bring a snack, hand out pucks or balls. Just ask!

Also, give your child some independence. This is a skill that is so important, yet often overlooked in today’s self-entitled world.  Let your child carry his own sports bag or if your child is in hockey, let him figure out how to drink from his water bottle at the break. You don’t need to run down the stands and hand it to him.

I am under no pretenses that my kid will be a professional athlete, and I don’t think I really want him to be. The attitudes and egos demonstrated by some (not all) athletes, don’t really make for a great role model (IMHO). But sports are a great learning vehicle; how to play with others, hand/eye coordination, physical activity, listening, cooperating, the list goes on and on.  It’s also fun for the adults to watch, participate and meet new families.

So parents, please participate and be present at the games and practices.  Teach your child to be humble and a good team player.  The coaches and their families will appreciate it. Think of what a great example you are setting for your child.

All you need are friends.

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Friends can be a funny thing. There are the friends you met in school. The ones from college or university. Those that you met on the job. Or maybe you have new friends from the dog park. Last but not least, there are also new mom friends.

I have some friends in all most of those categories. High school for me was almost 30 years ago (wow!). So, I don’t have a lot of friends still from that time. There are a couple of girls that keep in sporadic touch (read: facebook) and I know we will always be friends, but we just don’t see each other.

I would say I now have 2 groups of friends that I see and spend most of my time with. There is a group of us that met while working for the same company about 18 years ago. None of us work there anymore, we have all married and had children, but we still text, email and get together fairly regularly.  We are like minded and have a good time when we are together.

The last group of friends are those I have met with my children. Or should I say, my children have met friends because I have become friends with the moms at my kids’ schools. Did you catch all of that ?  My kids are just finishing up preschool and grade 1 and some of the first friends they had were a direct result of me.

Yes, me.  I was one of the moms jockeying for position at school drop offs/pick ups to meet other moms, to have playdates and someone to talk to in the park.  And you know what, a few years in and I am still friends with some of those moms.

There is one other group to mention.  The family friends.  People you have known forever.  Since before high school (why does everyone use that as a marker of time?).  Our parents were friends and we, the kids became friends.  These friendships go through ebbs and flows.  Good years and bad.    Staying in touch with this type of friend has not been easy for me.  It might be easier to get an audience with the Pope (should you choose to) than to pin this girl down for a coffee.  It really shouldn’t be that difficult, but sometimes it is.  And. it. bugs. me.  I really don’t think anyone is that busy.  But when you finally get to have that coffee with her, you pick up right where you left off and its nice to have someone that knows you; your background, your story, your life.

But there is a time when you have to let a friendship go.  Or not work so hard at keeping in touch.  Yes, you had fun when you were together, but life has changed.  Maybe you no longer work together.  Maybe the fun neighbour moved away and those few extra blocks make a difference.   Or, it’s the mom whose kids go to a different school now and have different activities.  It is just not so easy to get together and you don’t enjoy her company enough to keep it going.

So, I think it’s ok to let it go.  I believe there are friends for different times of your life and there is nothing wrong with that.   I like the people in my life now.  Well, most of them and they know who they are.

Almost there!

When we were kids and went on road trips with our parents, we always asked, “Are we there yet?”   We got the same answer every time, “Almost there.”

In just over a week, on images , our challenge will be over!   We are almost there!

Stay with us over the next 8 days as we continue to try and wear No Grey for 50 Days!

Hey sister, think you can do it?