I can’t believe that Landry is 7 months old. It feels like yesterday that I had him; yet, it seems like he’s always been a part of our family.
Our little ones grow at an amazing pace. In just half a year, Landry has learned to eat, roll, sit and begin to try to talk. He’s as proud of himself as we are of him. There’s nothing like the expression on a baby’s face when they experience something for the first time. I was looking through my camera roll and came across this picture of Landry pulling himself up into a sitting position. I think it perfectly sums up how priceless these little milestones are.
What priceless moments and milestones have you experienced this month?
*Share them in the comments and on Twitter using #PricelessMOMents
By: Sue Anganes
We recently had a chance to relive history. Every year, the Collings Foundation, in Stow, MA, http://www.collingsfoundation.org/ opens up its doors and welcomes the public to The Battle for the Airfield. This year, there were over 300 reenactors representing several branches of Allied and Axis military participating in the reenactment. They had fully restored military equipment of all kinds including, tanks, cannons, troop carriers, half tracks, aircraft, and support supplies. Allied and Axis camps were set up, and visitors were able to talk with the participants and get a feel for what the soldiers had lived through and what life was like in the 1940’s.
Here’s a short video clip I took of the event: https://youtu.be/quRAGpuUvQ4
In the afternoon, there was a round table discussion which featured four WWII veterans, each who explained their jobs in the service and a bit about their experiences. The first hand knowledge was incredible, and my sons soaked it all in. The WWII vets were all in their late eighties and nineties. It will not be long before their stories will no longer be told in person.
We bought an autographed book, and the boys had a picture taken with the author who had served our country in WWII, and who was also (we found out) childhood friends with one of our extended family members. He recognized our last name when he signed the book!
This is now my twenty-sixth year of homeschooling, and my fifteen year old son is now the only one left that I am teaching. In a couple of years, he will be finished with high school and my job will be done. Until then, when there is an educational opportunity such as this WWII living history event, you can bet we will be there learning as much as we can in such a fantastic way. My oldest son, who has been out of the house and married for six years, also went to the event the day before we attended. When an interest in something is instilled in kids at a young age, it never leaves them; and there is always an enjoyment in attending an event such as this one and learning something new. It’s been important to me to take my kids to museums, National Parks, and monuments. You don’t have to homeschool to encourage kids to have an interest though; you just have to be willing to take the time and opportunities that are out there. New England has a wealth of history everywhere you look.
Actively seeking these opportunities in history has also spurred a great interest in my eighteen-year-old son. He has been working on a project of his own for the past year and a half; compiling as many stories as he can record of first hand interviews he has had with local veterans. Hopefully, he will eventually be able to write a book about these local heroes.
Some other living history opportunities in the New England area are:
The Lowell National Historical Park: https://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm
The Minute Man National Historical Park: https://www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm
Old Sturbridge Village: https://www.osv.org/
Plimoth Plantation: https://www.plimoth.org/
and, The Fort at Number 4: http://www.fortat4.org/ just to name a few.
It’s great to be able to study history from textbooks, but it’s so much more fun to experience history in a hands-on way.
By: Amy Dienta
Back in June, I went on an amazing trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with my husband of 15 years. I ordered clothes online and was determined to look nice. Unfortunately, I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life and the photos proved that.
Since the week I came back from my vacation, I’ve been walking, which turned into running, which turned into this amazing adventure I never dreamed I could do.
Last weekend, I participated in the first Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race. I had the most fun I have had in a long time! I was one of 4 pilots of the borrowed Kraken Upcycle, borrowed from Baltimore.
We spent the day going through a mud obstacle, parading through the city to the boulevard for the water trial, which we climbed out and paddled in the Merrimack. All done while bribing the judges and the public by passing out candy, beads and blowing bubbles.
Our team won a trophy for best water entry and we had a blast! I would like to thank Bianca and and all of the wonderful group who put the race together. I would like to thank my co-pilots as I had no clue what to do or what to expect from this race.
I’m hoping that next year I can persuade my 14-year-old to participate in the race with me in something we have designed.
By: Danielle McFadden
This summer my parents purchased tickets to go see the Little Mermaid at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. It’s such a quaint theatre and we were excited to bring Zoe there for one of her first live plays. Much to our surprise when the curtains opened, the production was entirely comprised of kids! I was amazed at the play, from the set to the costumes to the budding actors and actresses bringing the tale of the Little Mermaid alive – right in front of our eyes!
One of the things that I enjoyed most about the show (besides watching Zoe’s excitement throughout) was the sense of community among the actors and the audience. During intermission and after the show, you could overhear people talking to and about the actors – they were their children, friends, neighbors and, in that moment, stars.
After the show ended, all the characters went outside for a meet and greet. In a two year old’s eyes, she was really meeting Ariel. How exciting is that?
A production like this opens our little ones up to the possibilities available to them. Do you want to star in a play? Transform stages and people into the stories we read and dream about? Make a child’s day by taking a picture with them? These are the opportunities that we can give to our children that help shape them and make them who they will be when they get older.
I highly recommend checking out the Ogunquit Playhouse and their summer series for kids. Whether you are staying up in Maine on vacation or taking a day trip, it’s definitely worth it!
By: Sue Anganes
I’ve never said that I don’t like my kids (we have six of them and I’m a Mommy Blogger, after all); but when I have a chance to have a weekend get-away alone with my husband, I’m going to take it! Bye kids!
Last weekend, we zipped away to Rhode Island to The New England Wireless and Steam Museum‘s annual Yankee Steam Up. Yes, my get-away involved turn-of-the-century steam powered engines, big wood fired boilers, old radio transmitters, outdoor exhibits, and to top it off, a drizzly rain. My husband and I walked around in our raincoats for almost four hours; much of the time, while he was describing in detail all the history and engineering behind the various engines. He was so thrilled to finally be able to see this once-a-year display that it made me happy just to be there with him. I have to admit that I liked the exhibits, too—my college degree was in electrical engineering and I love technology, new and old—but it wouldn’t have been my first choice for my Saturday.
BUT, one thing about having a happy marriage is that we have learned to give and take. On Sunday, my husband spent the whole day with me walking in the drizzling rain at the Tower Hill Botanical Gardens! We also had lunch in the garden’s cafe and even went for a hay ride around the property. I know spending the day wandering through indoor and outdoor gardens would not be my husband’s first choice for his Sunday, but he did it for me. I was thrilled!
When we arrived home on Sunday evening, I told him I didn’t think I’ve ever had a more relaxing weekend away. It was so refreshing to be outside most of both days, away from our phones, the dishes, email, and …our kids. It was wonderful to be able to talk, laugh, relax, eat out at restaurants, and enjoy each other’s company.
We love our kids and family life dearly, but taking time for ourselves really strengthens us as a couple. I would highly recommend it to all parents. It doesn’t even have to be for a whole weekend. A day away works too. If you can’t take a day, at least take time for an evening alone together. Strengthening your relationship can only end up strengthening your whole family.
By: Danielle McFadden
This month, we ventured into new territory… preschool! Zoe has been home with my husband Adam since she was born so this was a BIG deal in our house. The first day I dropped Zoe off, she practically ran away from me to go and play with her friends – I had to ask my (not even) three year old for a hug and a kiss goodbye. Who would have thought?!
Drop off the past couple of weeks have been a little more difficult with some tears as we say goodbye, but the staff at Building Blocks has been incredible. They are working with us to master the art of potty training and always fill us in on Zoe’s day. I can’t say enough about them (a special thanks to Mrs. Gray)!
I love that Zoe is finally getting that socialization piece that stay-at-homes kids don’t get. Hopefully, soon the word “SHARE” won’t be as taboo for my little fire cracker. It’s adorable to hear her talk about her friends and see her excitement when I open her backpack to see the projects she’s been working on. It’s also great that Landry gets some alone time with Adam a couple days a week.
Cheers to a great school year and the beginning of many more first days of school!
By: Sue Anganes
Sometimes, we feel as if we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. There are many pressing issues in life, most of which we have no ability to fix.There are our own personal issues that weigh us down, as well as issues that our friends and family are going through that also feel heavy to us. There are also the issues of this world: poverty and pestilence, war and politics, terrorist attacks both in the past, and ones we fear for the future. Life brings us different issues at various times. Medical, relationship, marriage, job, school, mental health, substance abuse and parenting issues all can weigh upon us and on occasion give us a feeling of hopelessness or despair.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. It is always important to know ahead of time how to cope with feelings of hopelessness or despair before we encounter them. I think everyone at one point in their lives has had these feelings.
Since suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, we, as moms, should know the warning signs and know what to do if a loved one is suffering from depression.
Threats or comments about killing themselves can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
Increased alcohol and drug use
Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
Dramatic mood swings
Talking, writing or thinking about death
Impulsive or reckless behavior
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. – See more at: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx
It’s always important to get the medical help you may need for your loved one. Not taking thoughts of suicide seriously can have a devastating outcome. If you think your friend or family member will hurt herself or someone else, call 911 immediately.
Information has been taken from The National Alliance of Mental Illness. For more information go to:
By: Amy Dienta
My family and I recently came back from our 5th family trip to Disney World. Here are my top 10 favorite Disney World things to do. Be warned, I love Disney World.
10. Take the Magical Express to the Resort. I love not having to bring my luggage and drag it to the room. I take the Magical Express and my luggage arrives on it’s own.
9. I love the smells of Disney. Every resort has it’s own smell; and when I am home, certain smells remind me of my vacation. Animal Kingdom Lodge has this wonderful campfire smell.
8. The transportation options are endless and fun. From Beach club, we could take a boat ride to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can also hop on the monorail to arrive from Grand Floridian, Polynesian or the Contemporary.
7. The different food from all around the world I can try. Margaritas in Mexico and falafel in Morocco and then head over to England for Fish and Chips while watching Illuminations. The dining is endless. I love sitting at a table spending time with my family, talking and laughing. We choose to do one sit down meal a day and slow down and enjoy or time together.
8. The themes of the resorts. We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge last year and it was amazing. Zebras and Giraffes right out the window. This year we stayed at Beach club, which has actual sand in the pool. Want to live in Mardi Gras and southern Charm try Port Orleans French Quarter. Want to see your favorite movie characters up close, Art of Animation has life size Cars from the movie or Little Mermaid Rooms. Everyone has a favorite. I enjoy trying a new one each trip. Make sure you plan actual time to enjoy your resort.
7. The fireworks, parades and shows are amazing. I love each of them and each park has it own nightly shows. The new Star Wars one is amazing.
6. Memory Maker makes it so I hardly have to remember to take photos. Everything goes to my account via my magic band and I can see them from my phone.
5. Magic Kingdom is open longer some nights for guests staying at a Disney Resort. I love this. I usually stay with my older son until 1am or 2am depending on when the park is open until. This year it was raining and we rode splash mountain by ourselves 4 times in a row in the rain. Why not,we were already wet.
4. Fast passes – Long waits can be reduced to nothing. At 60 days out, you can book fast passes. These allow you to basically skip the line at a certain time.
3. Total relaxation – From when I get on the plane, the only decision I need to make is what drink I would like at thebar or what I would like for dinner. Everything is planned and set up already. Need to change it? You can with the app on your phone or by calling.
2. The Disney Cast Members as so wonderful, cheerful and helpful. Have an issue? Let them know and they will try to fix it asap.
1. Spending uninterrupted time with my family!