Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free Holiday workshop at Michaels

Santa's workshop for Kids at Michaels
Saturday, December 5th, 10 am until 1 pm

Each child can make great gifts for family and friends.
Visit Michaels.com for event details

  • American girl crafts
  • Stocking crafts
  • Trinket box crafts

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Fun at Lakeside Village

  • Strolling Carolers will perform every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 19 from 6-9 pm
  • Strolling Scrooge will visit every Saturday and Sunday Nov. 28-Dec. 20 from 1-4 pm
  • Paint an Ornament, Tuesday, December 1st from 10 am-9 pm at PicassoZ Art Cafe-$8 Donations to benefit Florida Baptist Children's Home
  • Live Music, Thursdays from 6-9 pm at the Main Fountain Area
  • Storytelling with Mrs. Claus @ Books-A-Million; December 5,12, & 19 at 2 pm
  • Come See Santa! Visit his workshop next to Fish City Grill.
For more information: www.shoplakesidevillage.net

Christmas is Coming 2009 Booklet Free from Unity

Spark your children's creativity and imagination this holiday season with a free e-book from Unity. Christmas Is Coming! 2009, features

  • Fun holiday games and projects.
  • Easy-to-remember affirmations.
  • Daily reminders to your child that he or she is God's amazing creation.

Print as many copies as you'd like and share with your family and friends. Get ready to have fun, because Christmas Is Coming!
Note: This booklet is only available as an e-book. Print copies are not available.

Download Christmas Is Coming! 2009


Last year, my family and I read each day's entry in this book and did some of the activities. Each day has wonderful topics to get your family talking about the true meaning of Christmas. We read ours each evening at the dinner table.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Santa's Workshop at Family Fundamentals

Santa's Workshop at Family Fundamentals

Saturday, December 5, 2009
9:30 am until 2 pm

  • Pictures with Santa
  • Create your own Holiday snack
  • Hands on Christmas Activites
  • Holiday Storytime
FREE

Family Fundamentals

Family Fundamentals
Daily Activites (FREE)
1021 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33805
863-686-1221 ext. 221

  • Monday: My Play and Learn Time, A School Readiness Activity for 3-5 years @ 9:30-11 am
  • Tuesday: Tuesday Trunk Tales, A School Readiness Activity for 3-5 years @ 9:30-11 am
  • Wednesday: Mommy and Me Two, Heartland for Children for 1-2 years @ 10-11:30 am
  • Thursday: Growing Beyond Books, A School Readiness Activity for 3-5 years @ 9:30-11 am
  • Thursday: Mommy and Me for Birth-1 year @ 10-11:30 am
  • Friday: Creative Movement; Florida Dance Theatre, A School Readiness Activity for 3-5 years @ 9:30-11 am
  • Friday: Creative Movement for 2 years old @ 11:15 am until noon

Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

  • Free Photo with Santa Now thru December 24th
  • Games and Activites; elves, moving trains, and arcades
  • Free Crafts every weekend
Visit basspro.com/santa for more details.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus - Special Complimentary Ticket Opportunity

Special Complimentary
Ticket Opportunity –
Donate Food for the Elderly and Get Free Tickets!


Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey Circus

Friday, January 15th, 7pm
Saturday, January 16th, 2pm & 6pm
Sunday, January 17th, 1pm

$13, $16, $19, $30 (VIP), $40 Front Row
Tickets On Sale Friday, November 20th, 10am
ILLUSCINATION SM is a fantasy-filled world where thrills, wonderment and magic intersect with unparalleled powers of imagination. Young thrillusionist, David DaVinci invites audiences to join him in this awe-mazing, mystifying adventure as he bridges the believable world in which we all live and the seemingly impossible one of the circus.

Help VISTE make Thanksgiving Brighter for Polk's Elderly and Get FREE Ringling Bros. and Barum & Bailey Circus Opening Night Tickets!
Friday, November 20th, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® will be giving away tickets to see The Greatest Show On Earth®, ILLUSCINATION SM, when it comes to The Lakeland Center January 15th-17th, 2010. In exchange, they're asking folks to donate food to Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE), to help feed seniors in the Lakeland area.

Friday, November 20th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., representatives from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will be collecting nonperishable food items in exchange for tickets to Opening Night of the circus. A donation of 10 items entitles each consumer to one show ticket, with a limit of four tickets per family, while supplies last. Tickets will be for the Friday night, Jan. 15th, 7:00 p.m. performance only, at The Lakeland Center. Donations will be collected in front of the Box Office at The Lakeland Center.

VISTE is an organization that enables the frail elderly in Polk County to continue living independently in their own homes, safely, comfortably, and in better health.

Snow Fest at Lake Mirror

December 5, 2009; 10 am until 2 pm

The City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department is proud to host the 29th Annual Snowfest at Lake Mirror on Saturday December 5, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

This year’s event will feature the traditional Snow Mountain and also a Snow Slide! A visit from Santa Claus, children’s entertainment, inflatables and food vendors will complete the day.

Price for admission to the Snow Mountain and Snow Slide will be a donated canned food item or a $1.00 donation. All canned food items will be donated to Polk County Senior Orphans charity. Admission to the inflatables will be $1.00.


Monday, November 16, 2009

ABC Family Countdown to Christmas Schedule

I look forward to watching Christmas shows with my children all year long. I am gearing up the Tivo to tape lots of specials for some great pj days.
Here is the ABC Family Countdown to Christmas schedule.

http://community.abcfamily.go.com/25-days-christmas/schedule

New activities

Just wanted to say sorry for not posting in awhile; sickness hit our house and slowed me down a little.

Here are a few local Holiday activities to look forward to in December:
  • December 3, 7 pm; Lakeland Christmas Parade through downtown Lakeland
  • November 20-December 24th; Santa Claus is coming to town! Come take advantage of this perfect photo opportunity for your family and friends while letting the kids whisper their gift ideas to Santa!

    Children visiting Santa will receive a free coloring and autograph book, The Very Best Gift in the World is You, while supplies last.

    CLICK HERE FOR SANTA PHOTO COUPON AND HOLIDAY DRAWING FOR YOUR CHILD TO COLOR!

    LOCATION: Santa Set

    TIME: 10am-9pm

    Here is the link, to "click here" for the coupon.
    http://www.lakelandsquare.com/Events/Photos-with-Santa
  • December 5, 2009 @ 9:30 am; Santa's Workshop Location: Family Fundamentals Santa Claus is coming to town and he's making his first stop at Family Fundamentals on Saturday, December 5th from 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM, for the annual Family Fundamentals Santa's Workshop. Come enjoy a traditional Christmas experience with Santa & Mrs. Claus, along with the elves of Family Fundamentals!

*Pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus
*Create your own Holiday Snack
*Hands-on Christmas Activities
*Holiday Story time

Santa will be handing out children's books to all good boys & girls!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR PRINT THE FLYER
highlight and copy and paste this into your browser and scroll down to get to the flyer to view or print.
http://uwcf.org/site/newsevents/details.php?EventID=62
  • Friday, December 4 - First Friday Holiday Happenings Downtown Lakeland; Holiday Music and activities. Shops and restaurants will stay open till 9:00pm for your holiday shopping convenience.
    Activities for kids:
    Photos with Santa
    Kiddie Train Ride
    Performances from local schools and churches in Munn Park
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 21st Annual Holiday Walkabout 6-9pm; 21st Annual Holiday Walkabout December 1st from 6-9pm Downtown Lakeland
    Celebrate the season with
    Holiday Shopping
    Holiday Entertainment
    Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus
    Local Schools Performing Holiday Music
    Carriage Ridges, Pony Rides
    Kiddie Train
    Munn Park holiday lights

    for more info:
    www.downtownlakelandFL.com

    513-3669

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Get outside and play with your kids

It is starting to feel like FALL where we live so we have been enjoying the outdoors.
In the evening we have been riding bikes, throwing footballs and having races up and down the driveway. Get outside and play. It is great excercise, good quality time with your kids and it is FREE!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Themed books in a basket

Something I have started recently is whenever there is a holiday, a change in season or something fun coming up for our family like a vacation I find all of our books on that theme and put them in a special basket. When we sit down to read together we can find those themed books quickly. Right now in our basket are books about fall and Thanksgiving.
Today we went to storytime at the library and then checked out books and brought home several books about Thanksgiving that we are looking forward to reading together.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween is over; Bring on Fall!

Halloween is over and now to think of Thanksgiving and soon Christmas. Even though it is not Fall weather here in Florida, I am trying to think of Fall fun things to do with my boys.
Of course, we went to a Pumpkin patch and got our pumpkin for Halloween so that puts me in the mood for our annual visit to a Farm and a hayride. I have been looking for a Corn maze close by to take my boys to, but haven't found one yet (sounds like so much fun.) Also, the pumpkin patch puts me in the mood for pumpkin pie and other treats; I might try pumpkin bread this year.
Luke really wants to make gingerbread men so I thought we could do that soon; rolling the dough out, cutting the shapes and decorating the cookies is always fun.
Another cooking "craft" I want to do this year is build a gingerbread house with the boys.
I will post pics as we do our Fall crafts and make our fall treats.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Water, wings and wild things

This was one of our favorite local FREE events last year.

Water, wings, wild things
Polk Naturefest 2009
Saturday, October 31, 10 am until 2 pm
Circle B Bar Reserve

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby Einsteins Video refund offer

Baby Einstein DVDs, which were promoted as educational for babies but recently determined to be not-quite-educational, are going through a PR mess.

They're offering a $15.99 refund no matter the original purchase price on any Baby Einstein DVD purchased between 2004 and Sept 2009.

You just fill out the form on that page and tell them the date that you purchased it, and send in the DVD... up to 4 per household.

But this is only for people who already purchased these DVDs in the past. If you were to buy it today, it wouldn't be honest to list an earlier date on that form. I guess you may have to use your best estimate, if you can't recall exactly.

Offer is valid until March 2010."

The Baby Einstein™ DVD Guarantee - USA

Participation Guidelines

To participate, you must have purchased a Baby Einstein DVD between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009.
If you are not satisfied with the Baby Einstein DVD you purchased during the period mentioned above, for a limited time beginning on September 4, 2009 and ending on March 4, 2010, you may exchange it for one of the following:
  • One (1) Baby Einstein Book of your choice
  • One (1) Baby Einstein music CD of your choice
- Or -
  • One (1) coupon for 25% off the purchase of one Little Einsteins™ product. Redeemable with promotion code only at DisneyStore.com.
or you may return it, and we will refund the current retail value of the DVD ($15.99). To request your DVD exchange or refund (limited to four (4) per household), you must follow the steps below for each DVD returned (note: you may return more than one DVD in the same mailing envelope, but you MUST include a completed mail-in certificate or completed 8½x11 sheet of paper for each DVD you are returning) :
1. Package the DVD, in its original DVD case (if available), into a suitable mailing envelope or package.
2. Include the completed (hand-printed) request form below or an 8½x11 sheet of paper with your signature, name, address, telephone number and email address.
3. Indicate the DVD title you are returning and date of purchase.
4. Check the appropriate box on the exchange/refund request form found below or write in on your sheet of paper your choice of :
(a) An exchange for one (1) Baby Einstein Book OR one (1) Baby Einstein music CD. Please write in the product name or title in the appropriate space found on the refund request form below OR on your sheet of paper;
(b) A coupon for 25% off one (1) Little Einsteins™ product purchased online at DisneyStore.com; or
(c) A refund.
5. Submissions must be postmarked by March 4, 2010.
6. Mail to:

The Baby Einstein DVD Guarantee/Upgrade Offer
P.O. Box 3200
Neenah, WI 54957-3200
Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of your exchange or refund check. Returns must be sent in a suitable envelope or package with the necessary postage. Limit four (4) exchanges (including upgrades and discounts) or refunds per household or address during the return period ending March 4, 2010. Group submissions are void. Exchanges and refunds will not be mailed to P.O. Boxes. Check with your local post office for a street address. Exchange or refund rights may not be assigned or transferred. Requests not in compliance with all the terms of this offer will not be acknowledged or returned. All submissions are subject to verification. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment reserves the right to review questionable submissions. Any requests sent to the above P.O. Box for anything other than a legitimate product exchange or refund will not be acknowledged. Offer good in U.S. only. Void where prohibited, restricted or taxed by law. Inquiries to this offer received later than 30 days after the expiration date of March 4, 2010 will not be acknowledged. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment assumes no responsibility for lost, late, damaged, misdirected, mutilated, illegible, incomplete or postage-due mail. For inquiries, including if you believe you purchased your Baby Einstein DVD(s) for a different amount, please call our Customer Service Department toll free at 1-800-793-1454 (Prompt #5) or e-mail us at customerservice@babyeinstein.com.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free Local Library events this weekend

  • Auburndale library presents Famiy Fun time at 10 am, Saturday, October 24th. Make and take crafts, a moonwalk, inflatable slides, games and more.
  • Winter Haven library presents, "Monsters vs Aliens" at 2 pm, October 24th. Refreshments available for a nominal fee.

Nanny 911 comes to town and tickets are FREE

Strengthening and Supporting Families Community Speakers Series
Stella Reid aka Nanny Stella, from Nanny 911 will be at the
Lakeland Center, November 7, 2009 2-3:30 pm..

Join Nanny Stella as she shares tips for successful parenting and family harmony! Bring your questions as Nanny Stella will be addressing the audience in a question/answer session!

The presentation is free, but you must have a ticket.
Call 863-519- 8900 ext 261 for more information.

Presented by Heartland for Children.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Local Halloween events

  • Pumpkin Patch at Mulberry United Methodist Church; Mon.-Sat 10 am until 7 pm, Sun. noon until 7 pm. All proceeds benefit local and global missions
  • Fall Craft Bazaar; Presbyterian Church in the Highlands, Oct. 24th 9 am until 2 pm; Handmade crafts, bake sale, food concessions and a fun zone for children.
  • Trunk or Treat, Shepherd's Community United Methodist Church; Oct. 30th from 6-8 pm. Free Food, Bouncy slide, games, pony rides and a visit from Smokey the Bear.
  • Trunk or Treat, First Baptist Church in Frostproof presents face painting, food court, inflatables, decorated vehicles for treats; Oct 31, 6-8 pm.
  • Trunk or Treat, College Heights United Methodist Church in Lakeland; Oct. 31 6-8 pm, Candy, gifts, bounce houses and hot dogs.
  • Family Halloween Party at Polk Museum of Art, Oct. 30, 4-7 pm, Cost is $5 per child, Trick or treat in the galleries, scavenger hunt, Halloween themed games, art projects and more.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Local Weekend Events

Fall fest at Polk State College
Winter Haven
Saturday, Oct 17th @ 9am until 4 pm
FREE
Over 160 craft booths, haunted house, Kid Zone with a magician, pumpkin patch and face painting. Musical groups and drama performances.
Also, PSC Emergency Services will host their Team Day with a mock competition.
Food and drink available.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Birthday Freebies

Since we have 3 birthdays this month (actually all on the same day), we have been getting some birthday freebies so I wanted to share what we have received so far and the information to sign up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Great website for finding pumpkin patches, corn mazes and fall festivals in your area

I wanted to share this website that lists pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall festivals and more. It also has lists for farms for "you pick" fruits and veggies and for Christmas tree farms.



http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/FLpumpkins.php

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lakeland Fire Department Open House for Fire Safety Month

Lakeland Fire Department Hosts Open House on Saturday, October 10, 2009
LAKELAND— On Saturday, October 10, 2009, the Lakeland Fire Department is hosting its 4th Annual Open House at Station 1, located at 701 E. Main Street in downtown Lakeland. The event begins at 10:00 A.M. and runs until 2:00 P.M. The community is invited to this free event. The department will hold live demonstrations to include a vehicle extrication, rappelling, search and rescue using a canine and a simulated medical response. Apparatus and equipment will be on display. Firefighters will provide tours of the station, conduct

blood pressure checks and have fire safety information available. Refreshments will be served. The Open House is Lakeland Fire Department’s way of commemorating Fire Prevention Week which is October 4-10, 2009. This year’s theme is “Stay Fire Smart; Don’t Get Burned.”

The Open House is a wonderful opportunity for the residents of Lakeland, young andold, to interact with the firefighters and to learn about the Lakeland Fire Department and the services it provides to the community.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some free local movies this weekend

Bartow Library

Pix and Popcorn features "Monsters vs Aliens"
Saturday, October 10th at 2:30 pm.


Winter Haven Library

Saturday, Oct 10th at 2 pm

Enter the world of Bionicle at the Saturday afternoon movie, "Bionicle: the Legend Reborn"

Refreshments available at a nominal charge.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cheap Halloween Decorating





I wanted to share some pictures after my boys and I got through decorating our front door for Halloween. I used crafts that they did at school last year as part of the decorations. They thought it was neat that I had saved their creations and they loved seeing them on our door and windows.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bartow Library storytimes

Join us for stories, songs, fingerplays, games, crafts and movies! No preregistration is necessary. The groups meet once a week in the meeting room upstairs during September and October.

3-5 yr. olds
Wed., Sept. 9th – Oct. 28th
10:00 to 10:45 AM

6-8 yr. olds
Tues., Sept. 8th – Oct. 27th
3:30 to 4:30 PM

birth – 2 yrs. (Book Babies)
Thurs., Sept. 10th – Oct. 29th
10:30 to 11:00 AM

New Library Times for the Lakeland Public Library Main Branch

Preschool Storytime for 4-5 year olds
with Miss Connie, Storyteller & Program Director
Preschool Storytime, designed for 4-5 year olds, is an interactive program of stories, songs, finger-plays and more for you and your child to enjoy together!

Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. In the meeting room of the Main Library
October 20, 27
November 3, 10, 17, 24
December 1, 8

Toddler Time - TWO sessions offered
Designed for toddlers aged 2 & 3. Same program at each session.

Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. in the meeting room of the Main Library
October 21, 28
November 4, 12, 19, 25
December 2, 9

Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. in the meeting room of the Main Library
October 1, 22, 29
November 5, 19
December 3, 10

Mother Goose Time for Babies with Miss Connie, Storyteller & Program Director
Mother Goose Time, designed for babies, is a lap-sit program that gives you an opportunity to learn rhymes and songs to share with your baby.

Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. in the meeting room of the Main Library
October 1, 22, 29
November 5, 12, 19
December 3, 10

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Some local October events to mark on your calendar.

October 23-Family Fall Festival from 6-9 pm at the Bartow Civic Center. Activities include a pumpkin decorating contest, costume contest, face painting, balloon artist, candy apple decorating and a haunted hayride. You must be registered to attend. For more info. call (863) 534-0120.

October24-The Polk County Leisure Services Division will host the 13th Annual Haunted Halloween Hayride and Happenings. This family event will be 5- 10 pm at Carter RD. park. Admission is $5 per person. Children 2yo and younger are free with paid adult.
For more info. call (863) 534-6911

October 29-The Crickette Club Halloween Parade and Carnival in Bartow. Parade begins at 4pm.

October 23-Downtown Bartow Art Stroll from 4-8 pm.

Halloween decorations and gardening



Yesterday we had a very busy day. In the morning we went to Jack's flag football game, by the way, his team is now 0-3 and Jack says they are now like the BUCS. (right now being like the BUCS is not a great thing though) After, the game we came home and starting working outside putting up outdoor Halloween decoration. Every year the boys are so excited to put up the light up skulls and ghost lights, of course, it is better when we go outside and see them lit up after dark.
While we were working in the yard, the boys thought that planting some acorns might eventually grow some more trees to give us shade so they got to work planting acorns all over the front yard. I will have to post pics if we get some new trees.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Freebies, Rebates and Sweepstakes

  • Enter today and you could win a complete Best Friends' Club INK! doll line with accessories for your child, plus a library of Scholastic books.Welcome to Best Friends' Club, Ink. | Scholastic.com
  • Get a free book when you mail in 1 Zyrtec UPC.

    Mail in one UPC from any Zyrtec product along with your name, phone #, email address and mailing address to:

    Zyrtec Book Offer
    557 Broadway
    PO BO 711
    New York, NY 10012

    Offer ends; 11/30/09 The book is a Children's book about allergies.
  • Free Book with UPC from Pediasure. Get a free scholastic book when you submit a pediasure UPC.Send one UPC from any Pediasure product with your name, phone #, email address, and mailing address to:Pediasure Book Offer 557 Broadway P O BOX 711 New York, NY 10012

The book is "Gregory, the Terrible Eater" by Mitchell Sharmat

Offer expires: 10/31/09

  • I got this email from Houseparty.com and Lunchables and thought I would share. Let’s Turn a Little Note Into a World of Difference.

    Help kids do their best.

    Remember, we can make a difference! Just promise to drop a note in your kid’s lunch at LunchNotePromise.com. Do that and we’ll give a free meal to a kid in need. Together, we can turn a little note into world of difference.

    Go to LunchNotePromise.com
After signing up, you will then have the chance to download a coupon for Lunchables or to download some notes to pack in your child's lunchbox.

  • Call 1-800-490-9198 (during regular business hours) and request item number EPA420-K-07-001 to get a free copy of The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up! The book is provided by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Limit one per household

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Geoffrey’s Birthday Party at Toys R Us on 9/26

Geoffreys Birthday Party at Toys R Us on 9/26/09

Saturday, September 26th, Noon til 3 pm at your local store.

*Fun birthday parades.
*Great Free activities
*Free Giveaways

Monday, September 21, 2009

Free or Nearly Free Ice Cream

Like ice cream? Then circle Thursday, September 24 on your calendar! On that day, Carvel Ice Cream Stores will give away free Oreo Lil' Rounders between 3-7 p.m. and Cold Stone Creamery will give away free small ice cream sundaes between 5-8 p.m. during the 8th annual World's Largest Ice Cream Social.

Flylady

I wanted to tell you all about www.flylady.net.
It is a great website and email reminder service to help you get organized, get rid of clutter and have a clean and peaceful house.
I signed up for the daily email reminders and she sends out a daily "chore" that usually takes less than 15 minutes and is a good way to get things accomplished that you don't normally think about. For example, a couple of weeks ago the chore was sweeping in front of your front door and cleaning your front door. Today the chore was cleaning off your dresser in your master bedroom.
The other things I like is her "routines" for morning and before bed to help get you organized for your day.
Hope you will check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

America on the move YMCA Activate America Week

America on the move week with the YMCA: September 20-27, 2009

Check your local YMCA for scheduled activities.

Here are a few of the offerings that week at my local YMCA in South Lakeland:
  • Sept. 19, 3:30-4:30 pm Zumbathon
  • Sept. 21, 6-8 pm Family Wii Night
  • Sept. 22, 6-9 pm Volleyball pick up games
  • Sept. 22, 6:30-7:30 pm, Stress Management Presentation
  • Sept. 23, 9 am-noon, Health Fair; Local vendors from our community sharing healthful info. Also, Flu shots available.
  • Sept. 24, 9 am-noon, Food and Fun; A nutrition and physical activity curriculum designed to encourage children and their families to develop healthy eating habits.
  • Sept. 25, 6:30-8:30 pm, Water fun for the Family

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Day at the Polk Museum of Art

Saturday, September 19; 11 am until 3 pm
Family Day at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland
This year's theme is "green" with all sorts of fun related to being creative and environmentally conscious.
FREE

Last year, I took my boys to the Free Family Day and they still talk about all the great arts and crafts we got to do. It really is a great way to check out the museum for free and get to do some extra activities.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some freebies and sweepstakes

  • Sign up for the chance to win a years worth of craft supplies valued at $1500 for your home and your child's classroom.
    Visit The Knack(SM) - Where Kids Discover(SM) - Home and submit your entry today.
  • For free germ-fighting materials such as:
    Activities to promote germ learning at home and school
    Be a germ fighter learning poster
    Customizable back to school supply list www.scholastic.com/wetones
  • Help your child earn 20 free books for their classroom. visit www.scholastic.com/sunnyDWhen your child's teacher submits 20 SunnyD UPC labels Scholastic will select 20 age appropriate books for your child's classroom.
  • Get a free book when you mail in 1 Zyrtec UPC. "The air out there" a storybook created by Scholastic about allergies. Visit www. scholastic.com/zyrtec for more special offers, activities, tips and valuable allergy management tools.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thomas the train

Thomas the tank engine playdate and activities @ ToysRUs Saturday 9/12
http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=2274251


  • Storytime every half hour
  • Railway playtable time
  • Coloring Fun
  • Free Thomas Trading Card Holder and trading cards
  • In store savings

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Community Education Series at Lakeland Regional Medical Center


Community Education Series
The ABCs of Discipline
Effective Tools for ages 2-12
presented by Lucrecia Dore, M.D.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 6pm
Lakeland Regional Medical Center Auditorium
Free and open to public
RSVP 863-687-1400

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Family events this weekend

  • Family Fun Workshop at the Polk Museum of Art; Make a fabric collage, Saturday, September, 5th at 10:30 am FREE
  • Pioneer Florida Days Festival in Dade City at the Pioneer Florida Museum: Civil War Reenactments, Children's activities, authentic craft demonstrations, and more; Price of admission is adults $8 and kids $4 (ages 10-17) $2 (ages 5-9)
  • Highland Park Church of the Nazarene Labor Day Car Show 10 am until 2 pm; No admission charges

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My boys are getting older

Well, I have in my mind that because Alex and Luke have a late fall birthday and will be almost 6 when they start Kindergarten that they need to know more than the average 5 year old child. Since Jack started school last week, I started Alex and Luke's academics at home also. We have started doing sight word cards to get them recognizing words and closer to reading. (Sight words are some of the most frequently used words in the English language. Even though they number only about 200, Sight Words comprise approximately 50 to 70 percent of any given general, non-technical text. Therefore, teaching Sight Words as early as possible is considered a crucial part of elementary education. (taken from www.quiz-tree.com))
I am surprised at how quickly they are learning these words. It is fun to watch them work together and sound the words out and then it is really neat when they see these words other places and recognize them.

Monday, August 31, 2009

School is in session




Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, but last week was a week of transition. My older son started 2nd grade and my little ones went to their preschool open house and will start Pre-K 4 this week. So far, 2nd grade has been great; Jack got in the car on the first day of school and said, "2nd grade is great and it is great to get back to work." Let's hope he has this attitude all year!


With school starting back I have been really trying to be organized and prepared for the day to lessen my and the boys' stress. I have been prepping dinner early in the day so I don't have to do much in the afternoon during homework time. Also, I have been laying out everyone's clothes and anything needed for the next day like backpacks and lunchboxes in the evening.


Hopefully, I can keep up this routine and stay organized this school year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Library Storytimes

We had not been to our local library storytime in a few weeks and since I am really starting to work with Alex and Luke on reading skills I thought it would be a great activity to do today.
We went to Preschool storytime which is for 4 and 5 year olds and it is every Tuesday at 10 am. Today the songs and stories were about spiders and snakes and the boys came home with a rattlesnake coloring sheet which they thought was very cool.
I posted in my links section the link to look up the current library storytime schedule.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Explorations V Birthday

Explorations V Birthday
Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009
10 am until 3 pm

18th Birthday X-travaganza

Come trek the learning trail and party with hands on birthday party activities.

www.explorationsv.com


Also, check out http://www.childrensmuseums.org/visit/us_members.htm for a children's museum in your area.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some of our favorite kid friendly websites

Today after running some errands, we came home and had "computer time." My older son has loved being on the computer since he was around 2 years old, but my younger boys are just getting the "computer bug".'
Some of the boys favorite websites to play on are:

www.playhousedisney.com

www.pbskids.org

www.sproutonline.com

www.literactive.com

www.noggin.com

www.starfall.com

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun Meals for kids

My boys like do it yourself meals and lately they have been eating salad great so tonight I made a salad bar for them. We had romaine lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, onion, bell pepper, cheese, boiled egg, imitation crab, cold pasta, different dressings and crackers and I let them fill their bowls any way they wanted. I think it is a great way to get some healthy food into them.
Another great fix your own meal is pizzas. They love it when I put out different toppings and get individual sized pizza crusts and let them pile them high.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lake Eva Park Aquatics Center





The boys and I went to a new water park today. The Lake Eva Park Aquatics Center in Haines City opened earlier this summer, but this is the first time we have had the opportunity to drive over and check it out. It was about a 40 min. drive but well worth it. Also, the admission price was awesome at only $3 per person.

"The Haines City Aquatic Center, which opened on Memorial Day, includes a 25-meter competition pool, children's activity pool, splash pad area with water toys, a 20-foot water slide, pavilion and concession area. The expansion also includes new tennis and basketball courts, two playgrounds with cushion cork-like base making falls from equipment easier to take, a huge sandbox, a banquet facility for special events (that can be rented by the public) and a band shell."
(above info. from the Lakeland Ledger's website)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Movie Helping Websites

My family loves to watch movies together but sometimes my husband and I are surprised by movies that we haven't viewed previously. We have actually had to turn a movie off and disappointed our boys because we didn't realize it had some "bad" words, scary scenes or just things we don't want our boys to be exposed to at their specific ages.
I found the following movie monitoring websites in a magazine article:

www.kids-in-mind.com

www.parentpreviews.com

www.commonsensemedia.org

These websites give reviews for parents to decide if the content is OK for their child before viewing the movie.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ethnic grocery stores

Today we went to stock up on our sushi supplies at a neighborhood Oriental market. My boys think it is neat to go into "different" grocery stores. It is fun to explore with all your senses in these kind of stores. When we first walk in the boys say it smells funny but then get used to it and find it interesting to pick up different spices and smell them. We looked at all the strange things in the freezer like squid, octupus, eel and more! We also checked out the HUGE bags of sushi rice and the different chopsticks, skewers and other Japanese cooking utensils.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend time

This weekend I actually got some time without my boys. I stayed the weekend at the beach with my Mother in law and 4 sisters in law. It was a very nice time catching up and getting to know each other better. It was fun actually being an outsider and listening to them talk about all their childhood memories. I sure hope my boys have great memories of their childhood and love getting together with their families when they grow up!!

While I was gone, my husband continued with my "thrifty" entertainment for the boys. On Saturday, he took them to Lowes to make "powerboats" at the Build and grow clinic, then played outside in the blowup kiddie pool in the backyard followed by Kids eat free night at Denny's for dinner. I was so proud of him! He did great with the boys while I had some free time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another free weekend event

Free Family Back to school Event at Michaels.
Saturday, August 15, 10 am until 1pm.

Decorate a Pencil Box

www.theknackkids.com

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Motivating our children to read.

Here some fun ways to motivate your school aged child to read:
  1. Read in different places like outside on a picnic blanket, under the dining table, in a makeshift fort built out of pillows and blankets, by the pool, in a treehouse....
  2. Have them read out loud to the family pet, to an elderly relative or neighbor or to a younger sibling
  3. Do a book swap with friends to find new books to read.
  4. Give them challenges to read so many books and then get a reward when they reach the goal.
  5. And of course, visit your local library to find new books!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Local Weekend Happenings

Here are some Free local weekend happenings:
  • Saturday, August 8th Polk Museum of Art will sponsor a free art activity for children and families @ 10:15 am.
  • The Mulberry Library will be celebrating its 60th birthday, Saturday, August 8th at 10am. There will be activities for all ages, including a bounce house, cake and fun.
  • Meet the amazing "Coraline" Saturday at 2 pm @ the Winter Haven library.
  • Lowes Build and Grow workshop is this Saturday at 10 am, Here is the link to register at your local Lowes; www.lowesbuildandgrow.com

Another activity for a nominal charge is "Yoga for Kids" at the Lake Wales library. Saturdays in August at 2 pm, $5 per class, pre-register (863)678-4004, ext. 0.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Vacation Bible School and Zoo Memberships

Today my boys started another Vacation Bible School. This is the 2nd one they have done this summer and they love it. I just wanted to remind you all to check the churches in your community for Vacation Bible school programs. I have noticed that even though the summer is almost over that there are still programs going on. These VBS programs tend to be relatively cheap or free, the one they are doing this week was $5 for each child for the whole week. I have noticed that some churches do morning programs and some do evening programs and even include dinner for the children or the whole family.


This weekend we traveled to visit some friends and while we were there we went to their local zoo. I just wanted to suggest zoos as a great family outing, it isn't cheap, but with the purchase of a family pass it makes it reasonable. Also, most zoos honor passes from other zoos around the country so if you are traveling it might be something to do in a new place.
Here is a link to a listing of zoos in the USA to find your closest zoo;
http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/zoos/ .

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sleepovers and Camping out

The boys came running into our bedroom early this morning so excited because according to Luke, "Today is our first sleep over." (Of course, we are coming with them to visit some friends.) It is even more exciting because we are bringing their sleeping bags and planning to "camp out" on the floor.
I got to thinking that being a Mom of boys that one day I might have to camp with them which I am not to excited about, but maybe we can start with "camping" inside on a hot summer day with sleeping bags and snacks and movies and such.
There is a good article in the August 2009 issue of Parenting about Camping in your own backyard,
http://www.parenting.com/activity-parties-article/Activities-Parties/Games/14-Ideas-for-Camping-Out-In-Your-Backyard .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Target toys and spys"

Yesterday I started a chore chart for all 3 of my boys. Alex has been asking for a new Thomas the train incessantly lately and we don't buy our boys many toys throughout the year in between birthdays and Christmas so I thought I would try to let them earn money by doing age appropriate chores. Today we decided to go to Target to walk through the toy aisles to see how much they needed to earn to get the new toy they wanted. It is nice that we can walk the toy aisles and check out the new latest and greatest toys without having tantrums and fits to take things home.
I did notice that Target is starting their summer toy clearance so I may go back without the boys to start to stock up for Christmas.
It is awesome that our children can use their imaginations and have fun even while shopping with Mom at Target. Jack told me that his "rivals" were watching his every move and we needed to hurry so I convinced him you don't always need to run away but you have to be sneaky. After saying that, the rest of the time in Target all the boys and myself pretended to sneak around corners and watch out for the spys and bad guys!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Paper Bags and Robots


One day last week, Luke was very quiet for a long time in his room and this was what he was doing. He stuffed Publix paper bags with newspapers to make them stand up and then taped them together and drew on a face. He also used Publix produce bags for hair. He called me into his room and announced he had built a Robot!! He was very proud.
My boys love to take bags from Publix for crafts. We have made many puppets with the smaller paper bags and cut out neck and arm holes in the big paper bags and created costumes.
Another idea for the large paper bags is to open them up and have your child lay down on them and trace their body and then have them decorate "themself."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Family Day with a little "Mommy Time" in the morning


Yesterday the day got started with a little alone time for me as I got to go have my hair done while the boys had some "Daddy Time" at the "Lowes Build and Grow Clinic" http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/. Yesterday they built helicopters that turned out great. I included a picture of some of their past projects and one of their Lowe's aprons. They looked forward to this everytime we go and always want to know what we will get to build next time.
After lunch and a some browsing in the bookstore for my husband and I and some playing with the train table at the bookstore for the boys we headed home for a movie. (It was too hot to stay outside any longer.) We piled pillows and blankets up and got ready for our movie with one of our favorite movie snacks, Popcorn with M&Ms added, that get nice and melty. We were lucky to find "Kung Fu Panda" at the library last week so after the movie, the house turned into a "Fight Club" (the joys of boys!!!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Magic Tree House

For those of you who have "Magic Tree House" fans in your house, they have a website with activities and information about the books. Right now they are having a contest to win a trip for a Family of four to the Grand Canyon. Your child has to read certain books and answer questions about each book to get an Official Magic Tree House Passport Stamp and when they have all the stamps they can mail in the entry form. The contest runs until August 28, 2009.
http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/magictreehouse/books.html

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Feeding the Local Wildlife and Drive In Movies


I am sure no matter where you live you have a local lake, river or park that has some wildlife that would love some "lunch". Today my boys and I met some friends at a local lake,
Lake Morton and shared some bread with the local bird population. It is a fun way to get outdoors with your children.


Today I saw an ad in the paper for the Drive In Movies and it caught my attention because they were playing the new kids' movie coming out, G-Force. I haven't thought about doing a drive in movie with my kids before so I checked out the website, http://www.silvermoondrivein.com, and the prices were $1 for kids ages 4-10 and $4 for over 10. Here is the link to find a Drive in Theatre in your area http://www.driveinmovie.com/mainmenu.htm.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fun at the Fruit Stand

Today my boys and I make a stop at a local fruit stand to stock up on fruits and vegtables. We had a great time looking at all the different kinds of fruits and veggies and talking about which ones we liked and which ones we would like to try in the future. One of the many great things about buying at a local fruit stand instead of the grocery store is you can just pick one of something and take it home and try with your children. (Also, since you are buying locally in tends to be cheaper and fresher.)
It also reminded me of when I took the boys blueberry picking and a local farm and how much they enjoyed it. Of course, they ate quite a few more than ever landed in their bucket.
Here is a link to a website to find "you pick" farms in your area http://www.pickyourown.org/.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Boredom Busters

Summer Boredom Busters
My local newspaper has been printing a "boredom buster" everyday to keep your kids busy. For a complete listing check out http://www.theledger.com/boredombusters.

My favorite so far has been to set up an ice cream sundae bar for your kids. My friend Michelle and I did this last week with our kids. We had 2 flavors of ice cream and chocolate chips, M&Ms, sprinkles, nuts and chocolate syrup. I don't know who enjoyed it more the Moms or the kids!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Local Happenings

Ice Skating at the Lakeland Center is almost over for the summer. Prices are not too bad; prices range from $5-$7 depending if you bring your own skates.

http://www.thelakelandcenter.com/x_evt_dtl/18653.aspx

I am not brave enough to do this yet with 3 boys, but maybe in the future when they are older.
Here are some things going on this week in my local area (check your local libraries and/or theatres for their schedules).

Cobb Free Summer Kids Shows
July 21,22,23 at 10 am
Hotel for Dogs and Nim's Island

Bartow Library
July 22 at 10:30 am Suzuki Strings Children's Violin Ensemble

Lakeland Library
July 24 at 10 am at the Polk Museum of Art
"The Really Big Show" by Miss Angel and Miss Connie


Also, don't forget if you haven't participated in the Summer Reading program at the Bartow Library there is still time. It runs until July 31st. Children who read for 10 hours this summer and record it in the provided reading logs will receive a free book.
All my boys have already turned in their logs to get their free books and were so excited to pick out a new book.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Museums on Us"

I wanted to let you all know about a program by Bank of America. It is called, "Museums on Us".
The first full weekend of every month all for free for Bank of America cardholders. See the link for museums participating in your area.

http://museums.bankofamerica.com/

Hope some of you can take advantage of this program.
I saw this in the paper today and want to share; sounds like fun:
Christmas in July at Toys R Us
Saturday, July 25th 12-2 pm at your local Toys R Us
  1. Make your own Christmas Card
  2. Games and Activities
  3. Coloring Fun
  4. Special One-Day Deals

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My First Post

It recently occurred to me that even though I still enjoy being a stay at home Mom, my Brain is getting bored. I thought starting a blog would be a great way to stimulate my brain and share some of my ideas that I have about keeping my family busy and saving money at the same time. I am a Mom to 3 boys; Jack is 7 years old and going into the 2nd grade and Alex and Luke are fraternal twin boys who are 4 years old. I am always trying to find things to keep us busy especially now that it is summer and school is not in session. I find if we stay at home too long, the fighting begins so I try to keep us out and about doing activities which can get expensive so I am always searching for inexpensive; if not, FREE things to do.