Baseball Game June 2015

by Jessica on June 30, 2015

in Annabelle,Family,Levi,Parenting

We are so lucky.  My friend Shelley recently came into Nationals tickets.  Lots of Nationals tickets.  And she invited us.  So we said yes.  Of course we said yes!  It was such a treat and for this baseball loving mama, it was a night full of fun!  We ate hotdogs and Matt and I drank beer, and we cheered for good plays and booed when the ump called something that didn’t sit right with us.

Matt grew up going to Spring training games with his parents and brother.  In fact, he has quite a collection of foul balls and broken bats that are signed by major league players, managers, and coaches.  We’re hoping to add to our collection, but nowadays it isn’t always so easy to catch a player as they leave the park.  Most of the players zoom out of the park without stopping to say hello to the fans.  But we’ll keep hoping. Annabelle has her heart set on getting a Nationals player to sign a foul ball or home run ball for her.  Looks like we have a few more pro baseball games ahead of us . . .






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Journaling in Summer 2015

by Jessica on June 30, 2015

in Annabelle,Levi,Parenting

Journaling.  As many days as it is possible, I ask the kids to pull out their notebooks and journal for 5-10 minutes.  I have found journal prompts via googling “easy journal prompts kindergarten through third grade.”  So far the most responsive Levi has been was when I asked him to make a list of who he wanted to invite to his upcoming birthday party and what he wants to receive for his birthday.  He forgets that he is practicing writing his letters and he forgets that he is sounding out words.  Annabelle’s most responsive journal entry was also connected to listing what she wants for her birthday.  Regardless of what the content is that interests the kids, I am trying to get them to enjoy pulling out their journals to jot down their thoughts, so it doesn’t bother me too much when they want to write about material stuff that they want.

And to be honest, I enjoy journaling right along with them.  My favorite entry so far was when I asked them to write about what animal they would most want to be.  Levi said he wanted to be a human so he could play with Legos.  Annabelle wanted to be a dolphin so she could swim and relax.  I wanted to be a lion with wings.  I reasoned that I would want wings so I would be able to fly and avoid traffic and I’d be powerful to protect my kiddos and family.

No matter the day, journaling seems to be one of the more worthwhile things we do.  Will keep you posted on how it goes  . . .



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Annabelle loves to cook.  Which is a wonderful thing.  I hate to cook so it’s a win-win for me.  Annabelle knows her way around the kitchen.

Last week, Annabelle decided to make us smoothies.  I was all like, “Let’s look up a recipe on the internet.”  And she was all like, “Step aside Mom, I know what I’m doing.”

She pulled her ingredients from the freezer and fridge and I helped her get down the sugar.

Then she proceeded to make us smoothies.  Here’s her recipe:


And here she is making smoothies.




And Levi forced a smile because I did the bad photographer thing and said, “Hey guys, could you smile a little?”  And Levi did that.  Yes, what you see below is what he did.




Voila.  Smoothies are made.

Thank you God for giving me a child who likes to cook.  Things are looking good for me when I’m an old lady.

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Summer 2015

by Jessica on June 22, 2015

in Annabelle,Family,Humor,Levi,Parenting

We made it!  Summer vacation has arrived!  Woo hoo!

Now what?

On our first day of vacation, I didn’t have too much planned.  So we met our friends at the pool.

At the pool, I did my usual cannonball and splashed Annabelle and her friend.  Which they loved.  I then received a splash in my direction, which I totally deserved.  And we played a variation on tag that pretty much adds up to mom pretending to be a shark and trying to catch them.  They love getting caught because the shark tickles them to gobble them up and then swims away.  Sometimes they hop on the shark’s back and go for a swim around the pool. Ah, pool days.  The best.

And then my friend Sara told me that she’d created a plan for her summer vacation.   She’d sat her kids down earlier that morning to ask them what they wanted to do for the summer.  And then they’d made a plan and something of a schedule.

Which made me start to wonder . . . what the heck am I going to do with my kids when we don’t go to the pool?

At home that night,  I asked the kids to turn off the t.v. so we could talk for a few a minutes.  I asked them exactly what Sara had asked her kids a few hours earlier: “What do you want to do with your summer?”  Not surprising–both Annabelle and Levi had lots of ideas about how they saw summer unfold.  I asked Annabelle to write everything down and she did.  I helped with spelling.  I asked them to tell me about any issues that they had for the summer or anything they felt worried about.  We listed them.  I listed a couple too.  I told them I needed my running time in the morning and that that would mean they’d either have to bike or run with me or that we’d have to go to the gym.  They chose the gym.

Levi rolled his eyes a little bit during our little chat on summer vacation but then I brought up things like how much gaming time and t.v. time they both thought was fair this summer.  That caught his attention.  He loves gaming but I’m not really a big fan of training my 5 year old to be an all day gamer.   They both thought that 2 hours sounded good.  I said okay even though I think that adds up to a lot of time in front of an electronic device.  So I asked them if it seemed fair to limit electronic time to before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.  They said fine.

We talked about fun things we could do together to break out of summer boredom spells.  We made a list (click here to see our ideas).  I also asked them what they thought our day should look like.  And we came up with this:


We’re a few days in on our summer vacation and I plan to keep the blog updated with how things go.   On days when I’m working, our babysitter fills in for me to guide the kids along.   On weeks when neither of the kids have camp, we’re planning a couple of day trips which they selected from a  list I gave them.

And yes, Mommy shark will still be taking her little minnows to the pool, but we’ll be doing a few other things too this summer.

Until next time,

Mommy Shark, aka Jessica

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My baby graduated preschool yesterday.  Let me rephrase.  Levi, my youngest, graduated from junior kindergarten yesterday.  Which means that I am sending my youngest off to kindergarten next year.   Cue tears, tissues, and feeling proud and sad all at the same time.

But for Levi, it was just another day.  He sat quietly and listened to what his teachers said, and even covered his face when his teacher started to cry.  She is the sweetest teacher ever.  I so wish she could follow Levi to kindergarten.  Then he stood up with the other kids and sang the songs they’d rehearsed.  When the time came for the school’s owner to hand out the fly up starts, Levi marched up to cross the bridge and receive his star and I stood by ready with the camera to capture the big moment.  Except only.  My little stinker refused to look over at the camera.




He did agree to look at his camera wielding mother for one photo with his dad.  Thank goodness.



But when it came time to take photos of him with his friends, nope.  No mamarazzi.  No photos.   Okay, well, no photos where he would look into the camera.  I still got a few cute ones.  Ha, ha.

And now he’s off to kindergarten.  Cue tears, tissues and pulling out the baby pictures.

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Annabelle’s End of Year Gymnastics Demonstration

by Jessica 12 June 2015 Annabelle

And then on Wednesday, Annabelle had her end of the year gymnastics demonstration.  For the first time all year, parents were invited to sit on a gymnastics practice to see what their children had been learning at practice.  We got to see our girls work on the bars, the mat, and the balance beams.  And [...]

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Levi’s Last Soccer Game

by Jessica 12 June 2015 Humor

This time of year seems to be full of lots of lasts.  The first of the bunch was Levi’s last soccer game for the season and Matt’s last game as his coach.   Personally I got to see the first game, a game at mid-season, and Levi’s last game since his games were always held [...]

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Interview with Levi (about his mom)

by Jessica 6 June 2015 Family

1. What is something mom always says to you?  Sometimes she says no.2. What makes mom happy?   My laugh.3. What makes mom sad?  When me and Annabelle are sad.4. How does your mom make you laugh?  Saying funny things.5. What was your mom like as a child?  She was like Barbie.6. How old is [...]

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Interview with Annabelle (about her mom)

by Jessica 6 June 2015 Annabelle

1. What is something mom always says to you?  You’re a sweety pie. 2. What makes mom happy?  When the house is not messy. 3. What makes mom sad?  When her children are sad. 4. How does your mom make you laugh?  By making jokes. 5. What was your mom like as a child?  Sweet. [...]

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by Jessica 6 August 2014 Annabelle

  So did I mention we went to England? We started in London.  We visited Westminster Abbey, the Eye of London, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park (and of course the Peter Pan statue for Levi), Buckingham Palace (the tour and the changing of the guards), lots of [...]

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