Love Your Library!

When I was a kid, going to the library was a weekly event during the summer. Not only did we check out books and movies, but it was a great escape from the heat. (At that time, we did not have central air conditioning in the house.)

Now, I take my girls to the library. We don’t necessarily need to go there to escape the heat but we do go to check out new books, borrow new puzzles or games, play on the iPad and update the girls’ summer reading challenge books.

We are usually pretty good about reading every day. But, reading can be pushed to the side when you get really busy. That is why I love summer reading programs so much. The program helps to keep us on track to ensure that we are keeping up with our reading even when we get busy with other activities.

This is the final week of the summer reading program and, although we have gone to the library a lot, we haven’t spent as much time in the library as we have during years past. The reason?

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Our library is going through a major renovation! Not all of the books and materials are easy to find because they have had to move due to the construction. Yes, it’s a bit annoying right now to not be able to find some things as easily as we have in the past and there isn’t as much space to play but, it’s mostly exciting because these renovations are going to make our library even better than it was.

 

Our list thus far:

 

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Cookies for Dinner

I was recently sent a copy of Holly Nichole Zarcone’s book, Cookies for Dinner, to read and review. This is such a lovely book for storytime with young children. The story really resonated with me, as well. And, I’m certain, that it will resonate with many other moms, too!

The mom in this story is a mom who is feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff that she has to get done in her life. What mom doesn’t know what that feels like? And when she takes a moment to take a step back, she remembers that sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the most important. The laundry can wait. The dishes will still be in the sink. But, sometimes the little things, like having cookies for dinner, are the things that mean the most to our kids. Those are the things that we need to hold in our hearts because those are the things that are kids will remember.

Not only is the story lovely, there is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies at the end of the book. And after reading the book, my girls and I made cookies…..and we did in fact have cookies for dinner!

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What have you done recently to celebrate the simple joys in life? Although we can’t do it every night…..I’m thinking we might need to add cookies for dinner into our meal rotation. 🙂

New Year, New Goals

I’ve never really like the idea of a New Year’s Resolution. The word resolution just sounds so, well, resolute. Set in stone. And if you slip once or twice….it’s a failure, right? Well, knowing that I won’t stick to resolutions without feeling like a failure…I choose to make goals. Goals that I know will make a better year. Goals that I know I will be able to accomplish. And goals that I know that I won’t always stick to, and that’s ok because it’s the end result that’s most important.

My goals for 2018:

  • Try to stick to my training as much as possible. Yes, Princess Challenge weekend is slowly getting closer and closer. But, I also want to be sure that I keep my training going so that I’m ready for any spring races as well. Maybe this is the year that I finally do the Shamrock Shuffle. …
  • Read more. Finish reading the ever-growing pile of books. Buy more books. Actually read those books. And then….buy more books.
  • Be more organized at dinner time. I want to actually use our crock pot this year so that my go-to meal for the kids isn’t “snack tray”, leftovers, or soup. Although those meals are fine, I need something else.
  • Try not to read the comments. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I think everyone would be happier if they just read the post/article/whatever and then had a real conversation with a real person….face to face.
  • Drink more water. Drink more and more water. I’ve made it a goal to fill up my Camelbak every morning and then I have to drink all of it before I can have anything else. My hope is that this will do a lot to start my day hydrated and might help to control some of my headaches. We shall see…..
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    Drink More Water!

    What are your goals for 2018? How do you keep yourself on track and accountable to yourself?

Keeping the Magic Magical

Our last couple weeks have been non-stop go go go. This weekend, we actually don’t have anywhere that we need to be. Sure, we need to get some Christmas shopping done. And, yes, we’ll probably make at least one trip to Target. But, we don’t have set times for anything.

It’s quite pleasant to think about.

Sometimes, with all of the running around, and must-dos, and places to go, and food to cook, and all of that….it’s easy to forget the more simple joys of the holidays. One of my favorites? Reading some of our favorite Christmas books!

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The girls love reading about the Grinch year round. The Night Before Christmas is always a good idea. And, my personal favorite, The Polar Express. I still get a bit emotional when he says that eventually all of this friends stopped being able to hear the bell…..NOT FOR ME! I STILL HEAR IT!……

When I was growing up, my mom would read The Polar Express every Christmas Eve. Now, she reads it to her grandkids when we go down for family Christmas #1. (The movie weirded me out – anyone else weirded out by it?)

So, this weekend, although we do have things that we need to get done…..I am going to strive to remember to take it easy (or easy-ish), and enjoy just being together by the Christmas tree. Because that’s when some of the most special moments can happen – when we stop and take a breather and just let the magic of the holidays happen.

What are your favorite simple joys of the holidays?

The Library – Not just for books – Summer Checklist Update #9

One of the things that my girls love about going to the library, besides the books of course, is all of the fun other stuff that they can play with at the library. Our library has Legos, puzzles, blocks, other building materials, a light table, and two tablets. Although I do have an iPad at home, it’s nice to use the ones at the library because both girls can be playing games on their own and don’t have to argue about using just one.

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It’s also nice that these tablets only have access to kid-appropriate games. No need to worry about them suddenly downloading something they shouldn’t or getting onto a website because it’s just not an option.

The summer checklist thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

 

Summer Checklist – Update #2

Now these next items that I’m crossing off of the checklist are not actually complete. Big girl wanted to be sure that we did a lot of reading this summer and we will and are. We went to the library to get both girls signed up for the summer reading program and to check out some books and play with the puzzles and toys at the library. So, I am crossing off “Go to the library” and “Read books at home” because we’ve now done both, but we will definitely be doing both of these items several times throughout this summer.

The list thus far:

  • Make lemonade.
  • Eat at Big Bowl.
  • Go to Millennium Park.
  • Go to Adler Planetarium.
  • Get space ice cream.
  • Go to zoo.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium.
  • Go bowling.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Play at Maggie Daley playground.
  • Go to Field Museum.
  • Go to Art Institute and do a JourneyMaker tour.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go to the Children’s Museum.
  • Play at playground.
  • Have a pajama day (with daddy.)
  • See a movie at the movie theater.
  • See a movie outside.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the Family Festival downtown Chicago.
  • Make cookies.
  • Read books at home.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Draw pictures and cut them out.
  • Play with legos.
  • Make muffins.
  • Make pasta salad.
  • Play with toys.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Try to go to a water park.
  • Go to the Disney store downtown Chicago.
  • Eat at Rainforest Cafe.
  • Eat at Labriola Cafe.
  • Bake an apple pie.
  • Play games on the iPad.
  • Play Mario game with daddy.
  • Go to the Morton Arboretum.
  • Go to Mimi and Pa’s house.
  • Go to Granny and Pa’s house.
  • Go on a hike.

 

Summer Reading List

Every summer, I say that I’m going to get some reading done. And most summers, my reading list doesn’t really get any shorter. However, now that grad school is over and I already have the spring play figured out for next school year, I actually have time to get some reading done.

 

My list is a bit varied but I’m excited to work my way through it.

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What’s on your reading list for this summer?