Monday, November 2, 2015

Military Mondays at the Georgia Aquarium

Our favorite place to visit in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium. I love looking back at our pictures to see how much has changed in the short time we've lived here.

The Georgia Aquarium is the best we've ever been to and I'm excited to share that in honor of November being Military Family Appreciation Month, the Georgia Aquarium has launched Military Mondays!

As a token of gratitude, each Monday through December 28, plus November 7 and November 11, active and former military members receive free admission and their family members receive 30 percent off admission!

If you haven't been yet, or even if you have, be sure to take advantage of this wonderful offer from the Georgia Aquarium! You can find all of the details here.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Memories

It was our first day of summer vacation with weather that was the best combination of warm, sunny, and breezy so I was determined to take the kids strawberry picking. I texted a few friends to see if they wanted to come and when no one did I hesistated for a second about going. I'd have the stroller, the camera, two kids, a backpack, and maybe it was too sunny??  I'm so happy that I didn't let anything stop me from going.

We had a day that I'll always remember; the perfect way to start our summer vacation and Memorial Day weekend- making memories.

I can imagine what I would've done if we'd stayed home. Grocery shopping or cleaning, maybe a trip to a playground where the kids would've been occupied climbing or playing with the other kids there. We would've had fun but probably not a day to remember over the others.

I wonder about the memories we have of the nearly fifteen years since September 11th and think about how different things were for me as a child. Memorial Day meant bringing flowers to the graves of grandparents, maybe a parade, and always a cookout. It's hard to accept that for so many children of the last decade, it means remembering a parent lost fighting a war and hard to avoid worrying whether my children will grow up with a different experience of Memorial Day than I had.  

Someone posted recently that parents should make childhood magical for their kids and I thought about it for a long time after. Even though so many people seemed to find that idea ridiculous, why shouldn't there be a little magic in each day while we're here to experience it with them?

Many friends are posting reminders that this weekend isn't about parties or a summer kick-off and I agree that sometimes the meaning of the holiday is forgotten by the lucky few not affected by loss but I can't think of a better way to honor those who are no longer here or those who are missing them than by making happy memories with our families.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrating the End of the School Year

Summer vacation is here and we're so ready! It was really hard saying goodbye to the teachers this afternoon, even harder than I thought it would be. As often as we move and have to say goodbye to people, it truly doesn't ever get easier. The flowers were pretty but couldn't come close to showing how grateful we are to the teachers that cared so much for our son this year!

For the school picnic I made the kids' desserts and had fun making these very simple 'sand' buckets.

I used vanilla pudding on the bottom of each bucket, topped with a thick layer of cool whip, and then covered the tops with crushed cookies to look just like sand. The buckets were a perfect size for the preschoolers and two packages of both the pudding and cool whip made 24 buckets. They're so easy to make (at 11:30 at night because that's the only time I can fill tiny toys with whipped cream and cookies in peace.)

The kids were excited to eat the sand and I will definitely make these again this summer for parties.

For a non-dairy option I also made some little blue jello 'pools' with beachball cupcake toppers stuck in them.

Unfortunately for all of the parents, most kids tried both and ate the other desserts at the party as well. I have a headache from all of the sugar. 

In the fall, I made this sign with the idea that I could reuse it on the last day and I'm happy that I actually remembered to do it! Here is the photo from the first day of school in August.

And here is a photo from today with the new year and the word First changed to Last.  He wanted to hold it in front of his head after it made me laugh but I did get a few pictures that show just how much his face has changed from baby to boy.

Now bring on the pool parties, road trips, family visits, backyard barbecues, and sleeping in (just kidding I have a toddler.) 
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