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Showing posts from August, 2015

Kiwi Crate - August Box

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We purchased a 3-month Kiwi Crate subscription for summer break and we are a little sad that this crate is our last one because it is our favorite so far. The August theme is "Day at the Lake", it came with a fish paper-lantern craft and 2 make your own paddle-boats.




The fish paper-lantern was easy and fun. It involved a lot of gluing but there was a general excitement about the end result. There is something magical about lights when your a kid... or a grown-kid, cause I loved the end result. It is only about 2 inches round, has a little light that will likely die within a few months considering how often my son turns it on. It also opened the conversation of paper lanterns, where they began, and what they are associated with in other counties.

Each box comes with 2 "big" crafts, and then the booklet with side crafts, snack ideas based around the box theme. The second craft was make a paddle-boat. We were so excited it came with 2, so they can race and my 13yo wa…

Parenting - Teach Kids Basic Manners

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It seems that more adults and children lack manners or etiquette than ever before. We can blame it on cell phones, media, video games, etc. But, truly we can only look at ourselves to see where most of the blame belongs. It is up to us as parents to teach our children these basic skills, just as it was our parents responsibility.

In this day and age having a kid with manners seems to surprise the older generation. Teach your kids these basic skills and it will help them when they step into the big-wide-world on their own.

1. "What's the magic word?". Please and Thank You! It starts with your toddler just saying these single words, then you roll that into "Make a sentence. May I have some milk please?"


2. Table manners. This one could be a blog in itself... Chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth(!), don't slurp, use your utensils, use your napkin not your pants. Burping and farting at the table is only funny on occasion let's n…

Canoe the Youghiogheny River - A Beginner in West Newton

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The Youghiogheny River is 134 miles, it flows through West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. We live just outside of Pittsburgh and are lucky enough to close access to it. The river ranges from calm to advanced rapids.


About a 20 minute drive from our house is Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters. They offer canoe and kayak rentals, with four different options in length to be shuttled and dropped off. Including an overnight. Cost is $39-$42 per canoe for a day or however long your float lasts, single kayaks are $22-$25 a day. Other boat options are available on their site.

Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters were helpful, friendly and not overly concerned with when the boat would be returned. It seems like a lot of rental places charge by the hour and things can get pricey fast. The employees also made sure we had on our life vests and my two kids were set-up as needed. We were able to all fit in one canoe, and the staff gave us pads for the kids to sit on in the canoe.


I have had ear prob…

Columbus Ohio Zoo & Aquarium - a family outing

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The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium is located just north of Columbus, Ohio. The zoo opened in 1927 and in September of 1978 Jack Hanna was named Director of the zoo. In 1979 the lowland gorilla's of the zoo had never been outdoors and this was normal, with financial backing the zoo was able to overhaul the habitat to a more liveable state. In 1983 Jack Hanna had his first appearance on network television, long story short, Hanna's passion for animals made the Columbus Zoo what is today and home to many rescued animals.


The Zoo is large, allot a full day to see everything. There is no transportation within the zoo, be prepared and wear comfortable shoes. You can find discounted tickets at a local Kroger grocery store, there is one about 5 miles from the zoo.

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There are Koala's, turtles and reptiles galore, penguins, Red River Hogs, Flying Fox Bats, Markhor, a ton of beautif…