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Friday, October 15, 2010

My Pathetic Garden (at least it's organic)

    My garden here in Las Vegas is quite pathetic. I knew better then to plant veggies in the ground and thought putting them into pots would be best. Even using pots it was still too hot for some things to grow. I also tried these garden bags for the first time.   On the up side using pots and bags for gardening makes it much easier to garden organically!

This pot has a few carrots growing.

One bag has strawberries and the other has assorted peppers. So far neither have done well. I'm hoping as it gets cooler that they will actually produce.

I have basil and one tomato plant. Both were this size when I bought them. They have not grown at all yet.

I planted this squash 3 months ago. I think I might actually have some squash in another few weeks.

I have recently planted some radish just because they grow quick and I am trying to keep the kids engaged.  They were most excited to grow pumpkins, so of course those were the first to be fried by the sun and die.

Gardening with Kids


Thursday, October 14, 2010

My son got a letter from our Senator

I have to take a moment to brag on my nine year old. He did great in school last year including acing Florida's standardized test. Today in the mail he got a really nice letter from our Senator. Hopefully you can read it. I just took a picture of it since I don't have a scanner.

National Museum of play in Rochester, NY

While on our very long road trip adventure this summer we found ourselves at the National Museum of Play, also know as the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY.  This museum was awesome.  We stayed all day until it closed.  It is for children and from the their website I thought it would only be for little kids.  When we got there however I realized what a poor job their website does, because my nine year old had a blast!  This museum had an entire area full of mind bender/hands on puzzle things, even the grandparents had fun in this room!  It was very challenging.  I wish I had gotten a picture.  My kids spent an hour or two in there.  Here are some pictures of the museum that I did get.

The farm area complete with an ellaborate chicken egg harvesting set up.
Strong Museum Rochester New York

Strong Museum Rochester New York

Strong Museum Rochester New York

They have a "sand" area.  It is not actually sand, but instead tiny little pieces of plastic or something like that.  You don't get dirty!
Strong Museum Rochester New York

Strong Museum Rochester New York

They have a dress up area along with a stage.
Strong Museum Rochester New York
This was an area that you had to find up stairs that had a giant chess board.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how much my kids played with this.  I didn't think they would be that into it.
Strong Museum Rochester New York

This is near the Sesame Street zone.  These are pipes that make music.
Strong Museum Rochester New York

This area was good for older kids.  This is a ball contraption and I would be embarrassed to admit here how long it took myself and two other grown ups to figure this thing out and then explain it to my kids.  I'm just going to focus on the fact that we did figure it out!
Strong Museum Rochester New York

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cub Scouts (I actually do recommend it)

Many people have ask what I think of Cub Scouts now that our son has finished his second year. To be honest, I went into it knowing all of the bad things you hear about. Despite that we tried it because, we knew some military kids in Idaho that loved it.

It has exceeded my expectations. One important thing to keep in mind is that to be in Cub Scouts you have to have an adult partner, more specifically one of your parents is expected to be there. Our son has built boats, race cars, rockets, tool boxes and more.
The boy scouts have some really nice camps that you will have access to once your child joins. Also at this age the camping trips are family camping trips. They do a variety of things at these camps including archery, bb guns, hiking, leather crafts, campfires, games, fishing, swimming and much more.

Another option depending on your area is a summer day camp. What I think is so great about these is they are local and very affordable. These day camps for the most part offer all of the activities you can find at the family camping trips.

I highly recommend cub scouts. For more info click here.Cub Scouts

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Off to Washington DC - Just me and my 3 kids!

     Last summer before we relocated to Nevada and still living in Florida I decided to take my kids to DC.  Originally I thought my husband would go to.  Unfortunately, about a month prior to the trip it became apparent he would be unable to go.  I decided to push forward with the kid's trip without him.  My kids did stellar in school last year and this was the reward I had been planning for them.  We drove!  That's right, I drove 20+ hours in the car with all three kids one way just to do this and no I did not take ear plugs.  In case you were wondering the kids do not like to ride in the car.

I had hoped to be at a hotel that was a little closer to all the monuments, but because I did not plan the trip far enough in advance there were not a lot of hotels available.  At least, not any that I could afford.  Luckily the week before we went Travelzoo.com ran a deal for $130 a night at The Melrose Hotel.  When I checked in the kids were very exhausted and somewhat spun up after being in the car for 7/8 hours and the guy took pity on us, by upgrading us to a very lovely and spacious suite.  I do have to mention the hotel advertised themselves as close to several of the monuments, but after a mile walk from our hotel I felt as if they had exaggerated their proximity! 

Here are the kids looking at the Reflecting pool, the Washington Monument and the Abe Lincoln monument.  The kids were all still in good spirits despite making them walk that far.

My son did not realize Abe would be so big.  Underneath Abe is an area where a museum is set up.  It is neat to look at and that is where the elevator is.

The kids are standing in on the back side of the Lincoln memorial with the Arlington bridge in the background. This is the bridge that leads into Arlington cemetery where JFK is buried and many soldiers. It is also home to the tomb of the unknown soldier.

In front of the Lincoln memorial.

Next we walked along the reflecting pool to the WWII memorial.  This is a long walk as well.  It doesn't not look like it would take very long, but looks are deceiving.

We only got this far the first day because it was getting dark. We had a little over a mile long walk back to the hotel. I ended up pushing Eden in the stroller and carry Jonah on my back!  It was a long walk.  We took a different way back to the hotel and much to my delight about 10 minutes before we got to the hotel we passed a subway station.  The next day we rode the subway!  I sure wish the guy at the hotel had mentioned it was such a short way away when I ask where we should go first.  Oh well it was worth the walk.


Monday, October 11, 2010

8 Tips for House Boating with Kids

House boating as a family vacation is something that we love to do. We find it incredibly relaxing. Your family will have no where to be, but with each other.  Here are some tips to make it a great family trip:

1.You are on the water the entire time, even when your are beached; so make sure there is adequate railing all around the boat. The front deck, the back deck and up top. Make sure that the top has railing all the way around including gates that will keep the children from being able to go up and down the stairs.

2.Take your own life jackets.

3.Budget accordingly. House boats do not get good gas mileage. You will spend a lot of money on gas depending on how much you drive it around.

4.Do not forget some essentials for the kids. Floaties, board games, kites, bubbles, water trampoline, ski boat or jet ski (if you have one), and fishing rods.

5.Only rent a house boat that has a hot tub. This one element adds so much to the trip.

6.Take your own camping chairs. Some that are easily moved around, so that you can sit around a fire each night.

7.Bring all the fixings your will need to make smores. Including the roasting sticks and bundles of wood. I would take at least 3 bundles for a 7 night trip.

8.Look at the area you will be house boating all ahead of time. Make sure you have everything you will need if you decide to go hiking. For example a backpack to carry your two year old in.
House Boating on Lake Shuswap, B.C.
House Boating in Canada

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