Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 Winter Olympic Craft Ideas

I love when the Olympics come around and the winter Olympics are my favorite! When it comes to homeschool, there are endless things to teach the kids about. The history of the games, the countries participating, the sports, and maybe I can even go over the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding drama!...No? Yeah. I guess It's probably a little too much for my 5 and 8 year olds ;)

So now I'm on the look out for some good crafts that we can do along with the lessons. Here's what we made during the 2012 summer Olympics.

Olympic Ring Cupcakes

Olympic Ring Cupcakes.
Olympic Medals

Look how little they all were!

-Use a round cookie cutter to shape your favorite cookies.

-Wrap the cookies in foil

-Trace your round cookie cutter onto the back of gold and silver card stock. 2 circles for each medal. *I bought my paper from Michaels

- Tape Olympic themed ribbon to one side of the wrapped cookie than tape 1 card stock circle over it. Tape the other circle to the other side of the cookie.

Although, I like to use any excuse to make cupcakes, I don't really want to do the same crafts for this Olympics. I'm thinking something winter themed...and edible ;)

Are you doing anything fun with your kids to celebrate the Olympics?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Disney On Ice Review: Passport To Adventure

It's really hard to find entertainment that's appropriate for our whole family to enjoy, so every time Disney On Ice comes to Rochester we make sure we see it.

Disney On Ice Presents Passport To Adventure is packed with highlights from some of our favorite Disney movies like: The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan. I loved watching the couples like Nala and Simba skate together. The tricks and lifts they were doing had me holding my breath at times!

My favorite part of the show was probably the Little Mermaid section. It was such a magical sight to see all the colors and characters skating around to Under The Sea. And my kids are still talking about the scene at the end with Ursula! The kids also LOVED the entire Peter Pan section! From a flying Peter, lovable Captain Hook, and a giant crocodile they agree it was their favorite part.

The Lilo and Stich section of the show was our least favorite. It did have a couple of cute dance scenes but the parts in the middle just didn't hold the same exciting feel as the rest of the show.

With tickets for children starting at just $15, Disney On Ice Presents Passport To Adventure is a great  idea for a family night out this weekend. Tickets are available at The Blue Cross Arena box office or by visiting

*Tickets for me and my family as well as the pictures I used in this review were provided by Feld Entertainment.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Coat Shopping At The Museum

Last week we took the kids to the gym so they could play while we worked out. We try and go there 3 times a week and the kids always have a great time. There's a huge rock climbing wall and a play center that puts McDonald's to shame!

After we were finished the kids went to the coat rack to grab their coats and Ethan couldn't find his. We looked everywhere but the thing was gone. At first I thought that maybe some kid took Ethan's coat by mistake thinking it was theirs. But then Jonathan pointed out that there weren't any other coats left behind. The kids center was closing and the rack was empty :/

If I believed in karma I'd say I just got a little taste.... Earlier that day I took the kids to the museum and while we were hanging up our coats I spotted this really cute one hanging right next to mine.

Me: I could totally put this cute coat on and walk right out of here.

Logan: How do the keep that from happening? It's not like anyone looking would ever know you just stole that.

Me: I don't know. But I bet that kind of thing happens all time.

Me and my big mouth!!

I should just start labeling everything with our last name like my dad did when we were kids. As soon as we got something new he'd whip out his sharpie and in big letters write SARAH SMITH (not my real maiden name) somewhere on it! I still have luggage that has my maiden name covering the bottom.*I've been married for 14 years. It's probably time for some new luggage.

I used to be soooo embarrassed by my labeled belongings but now I'm thinking my dad may have been on the right track!

I left our name and number at the gym because hopefully if someone's kid comes home with a coat that doesn't belong to them they'll return it.

If not we're going coat shopping at the museum ;)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Disney On Ice Ticket Giveaway

Disney On Ice is coming back to Rochester!!

Disney On Ice is one of our favorites! It's a family friendly show that our whole family enjoys and my kids have been looking forward to it's return to Rochester.

Do you want to win 4 tickets to the opening night of Disney On Ice Passport To Adventure on January 22nd at 7pm? 

I'm going to make it super easy this time :) The giveaway starts today and ends January 20th.

Just leave a comment in one of these 3 places and I'll pick a winner using

1. Here on my blog

2. On my Facebook page

3. On my Instagram

Tell me about your favorite magical destination or adventure. Personally, I'd love to be a mermaid for a day and swim under the sea with Ariel and all of her friends!

*Make sure to leave your name so I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

Embark on the ultimate sightseeing holiday with all your favorite Disney characters in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Daisy on a journey to the magical worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch. You’ll explore the Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage under the sea with Ariel and all her aquatic friends; tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Never Land; and travel to Hawaii to visit Lilo and Stitch. 

Performances for Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 22; 7 p.m. Jan. 23; 7 p.m. Jan. 24; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Jan 25; and 1 and 5 p.m. Jan. 26.

Tickets are available at the Blue Cross Arena box office or through Ticketmaster by visiting

*Tickets were provided to me and the winner of the giveaway courtesy of Feld Entertainment 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Monster Jam Review

Tonight was opening night of the Monster Jam show at the Blue Cross Arena and our first taste of Monster Trucks! Even though the freezing Rochester temperatures were reeking havoc with some of the trucks, the wheelies, donuts, and freestyle action we did get to see was pretty sweet!

There were a TON of prizes and free tickets given away (sadly we weren't winners) and it was a nice date night for me and my boys.

The Monster Jam show will be in Rochester for the next 2 day (January 4/5). Tickets for children are as low as $10. Visit the Blue Cross Arena Box Office or ticketmaster to buy your tickets. #MJRochester

*The costumer service at the Blue Cross Arena Will Call office was amazing tonight! What could have been a bad experience turned out fine because of the employees working tonight and I'm very grateful!

Not A Resolution

Staying at home in your pajamas all day sounds like a great idea until the Governor declares a state of emergency and you're forced to stay at home in your pajamas all day. As soon as I heard the news I came up with a list of things that I had to go out to do tonight. Like get bananas. We're all out and I can't have breakfast tomorrow without them! And what about the books we have on hold at the library? What if they get tired of waiting for us and put them back on the shelf and someone else gets them? But instead of going out and doing these important things I'm stuck in the house with nothing to do nothing. I like surprise lazy days. Like when my husband comes home from work and in that moment I realize that I still haven't gotten the kids (or myself) dressed and I haven't gotten off the couch for more then a bag of chips all day :) Those days are awesome! This being snowed in business is more like being grounded in your room which is less than awesome.

That's Jonathan's car under all that snow!


I've decided not to make any New Year's resolutions this year. I don't usually make a big deal out of it anyway but the few times I have, I've had a hard time following through and then feel depressed about it all. But lately I have felt motivated to shore up an area that I know I'm lacking in. I want to be a giver.

It hit me a few weeks ago on my birthday. The kids always have a sort of a contest every birthday and try to be the first one to wish the birthday girl or boy a Happy Birthday! So around 3AM the morning of my birthday, Logan came into my room and woke me up to wish me a Happy Birthday and ask if he could cuddle me. After awhile I sent him back to his bed and fell back to sleep but was woken up a few hours later by all 4 kids singing to me and serving me breakfast in bed.

Yogurt, granola, banana, and a candle.
For the whole day I could hardly stand up without one of them telling me to sit down so they could get whatever I needed. They treated me like a queen. They gave me their time and attention.

Then Christmas came. Logan made a bracelet of twine with bells for the girl he has a crush on at church. He colored it red and green with markers and added a card with a candy cane. He knows that she doesn't like him back but he just wanted to give her something special for Christmas.

One night I came home after the kids had gone to bed and spotted a Target bag under the tree. My husband had taken the kids shopping, and two of the boys put their money together ($4) and used it to buy gifts -a candle and M&Ms - for me and Jonathan. I knew they had been saving this money for a few weeks and was so touched that they spent it on us instead of themselves.

The gifts didn't end there. On Christmas morning, there were all sorts of homemade gifts to open! The kids spent days working in secret, running up and down the stairs collecting things like tape and scissors because they wanted to make sure we were happy on Christmas too. I opened a shoe box that contained 3 homemade maracas and Jonathan and I both received some toys and trinkets that looked very familiar :)

I'm always consumed by guilt during this season for not being able to buy more gifts and feel greedy for getting more things for myself. My kids helped remind me that it's the love behind the gift that counts. And sometimes most of the time gifts aren't even things that can be opened. Gifts of time and sacrifice mean so much more than gifts you can buy from a store. And the joy they bring grow and last a lifetime!

I'll never forget the time we were a a big conference for our church. The service had just started and we had only sung one song when a man started dancing around the aisles in worship. In my mind I was thinking that it seemed a bit inappropriate. We had maybe been there for 10 minutes! Did he really think this was the right moment for that sort of thing? But after the song ended the preacher stood up and told the man's story and I was quickly put in my place. God had saved him from horrible things that I could never have imagine dealing with. He was giving thanks to God and didn't care if it wasn't a convenient time for the rest of us.

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required"

So my, "Not A New Year's Resolution" is that I want to be a giver. I want to give more of myself and my time to the people I love. I want to put more thought into ways to make them feel special and loved. I have been blessed with so much. I want to be a blessing.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Stomach Bug. The Christmas Gift We Didn't Ask For.

First of all, congratulations to Susan Evans! She is the winner of The Monster Jam tickets!!

I'm happy to say I've finally finished all of my Christmas shopping! It's a good thing too because I'm getting tired of getting dressed and I'm running out of clothes that I can wear outside of the house without embarrassing myself. The past couple of weeks have been insanely busy and I'm ready for a lazy day where I can lay around in my pajamas all day.

The craziness started when Houston caught a stomach bug. This was in the beginning of a week that was packed with important things including 3 Christmas banquets. What!? Christmas banquets are important! I tried my very best to stop it at Houston by washing my hands until they were dry and cracked and cleaning the bathrooms twice a day. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, the darn bug still made it's way through all of us in some form.  :(  Thankfully we didn't miss too many things and best of all were able to attend all 3 banquets.

Adult Christmas banquet.

Ethan's first youth banquet. Poor kid was a little embarrassed to have both of his parents there as chaperones.  

Evelyn, Houston, and my niece at their children's banquet. Logan was there but he was busy helping clean up afterwards.

There have been many sleepless nights taking care of sick kids (why do they have to do all of their vomiting in our room!?) and/or anticipating visits from sick kids. Lack of sleep mixed with the busyness of the season has left me with days where I just felt like a zombie! I love me some coffee but even I get tired of drinking cup after cup.

I recently tried a new product called Avitae, which is a caffeine water (no calories, no sugar, and no artificial ingredients). They have a 45 mg caffeine bottle (equivalent to soda) and a 90 mg bottle (equivalent to coffee).You can get them at Wegmans, Tops, and Walgreens. I was a little nervous at first to try it but the stuff really is just like drinking a glass of water but with the benefit of a little energy boost that helped get me through those zombie days :)

Lastly, I'm a big jerk and didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards this year, but I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy spending some time with your family and friends.