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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tumble Time Gymnastics in Boise, ID

We discovered this wonderful gymnastics gym, Tumble Time Gymnastics, in Boise, Idaho back in 2003 when our oldest was just two years old. They have a fantastic mommy and me program. They make gymnastics so much fun for all ages. The owners are great people and you can tell that they love what they do.

I should also mention that besides gymnastics they also have a learning program. Which includes preschool and before or after school care.

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Urban Grind Coffeehouse and Roasters

Urban Grind NW
Urban Grind NW (Photo credit: caseorganic)
Well, I can't mention Portland coffee shops without mentioning Urban Grind they have two locations one of the east side and one in the Pearl district. Both are kid friendly. The one on the East side has a great playroom for kids! There is For more info click here.

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Sip and Kranz in Portland, OR

Jamison Square Park
A while back I posted some great things to do while in Portland with kids. I specifically mentioned Jamison Park in the Pearl District, but I forgot to mention a great little coffee shop that is right there at the park. It is call Sip and Kranz. What is so great about this coffee shop is that it has a separate play room for kids. They have toys in there and a movie going. Half of the wall is done in chalk board paint so you kids can draw too! The also have a menu just for kids. For more info click here.

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Troutdale Parks and Rec program near Portland, OR

The city of Troutdale, OR has an awesome parks and rec program. They offer classes for kids and parents. The also offer community activities.

My daughter took kinderdance through them and it was wonderful. The teacher is so great with kids.

They have playgroups, dance, gymnastics, soccer, acting, art, crafts, basketball, flag football, base ball, karate and more. Most of their activities are out at Glen Otto Park in the Sam Cox building. To see their current guide of activities click here.

I will be sure and let you know when they post their summer guide.

This was daughter's dance recital.

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Mom Groups

Moms Club International - Most likely there is a club in your area. The clubs are made up of moms with kids of all ages. They have play groups, go on field trips, have moms nights out, meet for coffee, park playdate and more. For more info and to find a group near you click here.

MOPS - Mops stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. These groups are for moms with children ages birth - kindergarten. Moms meet while their children are being watched over. They have breakfast, a speaker and usually a craft. They usually get together once or twice a month in the morning at a local church that sponser them. For more info click here.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Home Depot and Lowes free kids activities

Home Depot offers Kids Workshops at most stores the 1st Saturday of each month from 9AM - noon. These workshops are free and designed for children ages 5 - 12. The next two workshops are:
May 2nd - wheelbarrow and June 6th - hardware sorter

For more info and to find a location near you click here.

Lowes offers Build and Grow free kids' clinics at most stores twice a month at 10AM. These are limited to the first 50 kids. (even with that limit we have never been turned away!)
For more info and to find a location near you click here.

One year for my son's b-day we had a slumber party and in the morning I took all the kids to Home Depot and they got to build race cars! This was a huge hit and it was free!

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Kids Bowl Free

All over America some bowling alleys are offering 2 free games a day for children this summer. They are also offering a family pass so that the parents can bowl all summer with their children for only 23.95. For more info and to find out if a location near you is participating click here.


2 Book websites for kids

In a previous posting I mention how great the Jan Brett website is. Well, here are a few more websites that are great for reading!

Story Online is a website that your kids can go to and listen and watch stories being read out loud. One of the books they can listen to is Polar Express. There are also activities that accompany each story.

Tumble Book Library is also a website that your kids can go to a watch and listen to a book being read. These books can be read in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian!

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Upromise - Helping you Save for your Child's College Education

Upromise 120x60

I participate in Upromise for all three of my kids. It is a great program and it's FREE. I just registered my grocery cards and credit cards; and the money in their accounts just keeps going up. I just found out they now have electronic coupons!

As a Upromise member, you can save for college on everyday purchases such as gas, groceries, dining out—even when you shop online. And you can invite your family and friends to help you save too. When they join, a portion of their eligible spending can be deposited into your Upromise account—automatically.

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Free Preschool material - 1-2-3 Preschool Projects

Fun and Educational Hands-On Preschool Activity Packets for Child Care Providers.
1-2-3 Preschool Projects is a professionally designed preschool curriculum that offers a variety of textual materials that encourages the love of learning for the young child.
The monthly packets are full of theme based activities that encourage learning in the areas of the fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, language, math, drama, science and textures for children ages 2-5 years old.

To get your free sample pack click here.

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OMSI camps in Portland, OR

A while back I mentioned the OMSI as one of the top places to visit in the Portland area while traveling with kids. Well, it is also a great place to send you kids to summer camps. They have all kinds of learning camps, especially science camps. They have half a day, full day and over night camps for children K - 18 years old. They also have camps for the whole family or just adults.
For more info click here.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Michaels - The Knack

Every month Michaels stores offer free crafts for kids. This month your kids can make a little bunny or other creature. Next month you can take you kids down there to make a keepsake to give to their mom for Mother's day. Their website also has lots of creative ideas for projects you can do at home with your kids.

For more info click here.

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How to make your own Bubbles

Bubble recipe
Bubbles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My kids love bubbles as I am sure your kids do to. I think one of the best things I ever bought was a bubble maker/blower. I got one at Target for under 10 bucks. Most of the time I buy bubbles but, on that rare occasion I run out I use this simple recipe to make bubbles.

1/2 cup water
4 Tablespoons detergent
3 Tablespoons corn syrup

I know corn syrup is a strange ingredient and there maybe other ways to make them. But, I am a Texas girl and I love pecan pie. So, corn syrup happens to be a staple in our household!

If you have another recipe for making bubbles I would love to hear. Leave a comment below.

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YMCA day camps in Portland OR area

The YMCA has day camps for children entering grades 1 - 8 ranging in price from $150 - $175

Camps are located in : Beaverton, Canby, Gresham/Troutdale, Gladstone, Hillsboro, Newberg, Oregon City, Portland-North/Northeast, Tigard, Sandy, Sherwood, West Linn/Wilsonville,
Vancouver, WA

For more info click here.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gardening with kids

Garden with Kids

I think for the most part spring has arrived for most people and a great spring activity is planting a garden with your kids. It may also be a great way to get them to eat a vegetables!

Gardening with kids is actually fairly easy and it's nice to have a little help with the work.  Start by developing a plan! Talk to your kids about their favorite food and colors. Have them draw out what they think their garden should look like.

Next find a good space. If you need to, just use containers. Plant seeds or seedlings and let the kids use child sized tools! I let my kids do all of the watering, because this seems to be their favorite part for some reason.

Finally make picking the flowers of veggies a family activity.

Thus far my kids have enjoyed growing some stuff better than others. They love growing strawberries and picking them. I think they like peas/beans and radishes because they seem to grow faster.

This year the kids are the most excited to grow pumpkins and corn!activities with kids

Check out this gal's Food Plots!

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Portland Modeling Agency for kids

I recently found out about a legitimate modeling agency for kids in the Portland, OR called Puddletown Talent. I have not had first hand experience with them, but my friend has her three kids with this agency and highly recommended it. For more info click here.

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney World

     The Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique at Disney World was an Incredible experience. I went into it thinking it may not be worth the money, but when it was all done it was.  I can't wait to take my daughter to do this again someday.
     We got the Crown package, which is the middle package.  It costs $54.95.  This included hair, makeup, and nails.  My daughter choose a hair piece instead of a crown.  At the end she got to keep her makeup pallet, two bottles of nail polish, and a little package of face jewels. Oh, and the hair piece of course!
I planned ahead and ordered an elaborate costume off of disneyshopping.com for $14.00. This is substantially less money then you will pay to buy one at the boutique. It is $60.00+ for an outfit at the boutique.
     Also, book ahead if possible.  I called a week prior so unfortunately the one inside Cinderella's castle was already completely booked.  We went to the one in Downtown Disney instead. Call (407) WDW-STYLE or (407) 939-7895 to make a reservation today.
     The morning we took her we made sure she had clean hair because this is a requirement. We were meet at the door of the Bibbidi Bobbi Boutique in Downtown Disney by one of they fairy godmothers.  The fairy godmother greeted my princess and sprinkled fair dust all over her. She walked us to the check in and then to the dressing room. My princess put on her outfit and then we were introduce to her fairy godmother. My princess was given  the choice of hair styles and hairstyle colors.  She also picked what make up and face jewel she wanted to wear. Then at the end they did the big reveal! She loved it!

I hope that you enjoy pictures of her experience.

Off to meet fairy godmother Estelle.
Her fairy godmother started by doing her nails and then her makeup.
Once done with the makeup they were on to her hair. She selected her hairstyle before they got started.She selected to wear a long hair piece instead of a crown.
This of course took lots of hairspray and more pixie dust so she had a face shield to protect her during the massive spraying!

Next, she was given a sash that said Birthday Princess as well as a button to wear that said Happy Birthday Princess. Because of the button all day long at the Magic Kingdom all of the workers stopped and told her Happy B-day.

Finally after 45 minutes came the big reveal! She was very happy!

Magic Kingdom Tips
All about the Animal Kingdom

Disney Tickets - Buy 3 Days, Get 1 Day FREE to Walt Disney World. Plus, FREE Shipping!Pin It

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Mac N Cheese with Ham and Peas

I did not grow up on Mac and cheese so when my kids wanted it I used a box mix. I didn't really know a good recipe but knew I didn't like using the box mix. Well, about a week ago someone shared this recipe with me. It is very good so I thought I would share!

Mac N Cheese with Ham and Peas
1/2 c butter
1 onion chopped
1/4 c. flour
3 1/2 c. whole milk
1 c. sour cream
2 (8oz) pkg shredded swiss cheese
1 (8oz) pkg shredded mozzerella
3 c. cubed ham
1 c. thawed peas
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grd pepper
2 c. uncooked elbow mac, cooked
1 1/2 panko
2 tbs butter, meltedpreheat oven to 350. melt 1/4 butter over med high heat. add onion and cook for 6 mins. Add flour and cook for 2 mins. Slowly add milk, reduce heat and cook for 10mins. Remove from heat add cheeses, sour cream until melted. Stir in ham, peas, salt, pepper and cooked mac. Spoon into dish. In a small bowl combine panko and 2 tbs melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole, bake for 45 mins.

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