Top 10 Things to do on Summer Vacation

Kids all over are finishing up their last couple days of school…some have been out for a week or two already and the last thing we want to hear come out of our children’s mouth is, “I’m bored”. I also don’t want my kids playing video games all day long. An hour or so of Minecraft is one thing, but all day…not going to happen. So I put together this list of 10 things you can do over summer vacation to beat the boredom.

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1. Have a water balloon fight! You can pick water balloons up at your local dollar store. I also saw this water balloon Portable Pumping Station. I thought it was pretty genius! I’ll be picking one up for the summer!

2. Go on a road trip! I just picked up a book called Michigan Day Trips by Theme. You can look to see if there is one for your state or just come visit Michigan! We have so many amazing vacation spots for families!

3. Plan a Family Day In! This would be good to do on a rainy day or a super hot day that no one in their right mind goes outside in. Order pizza, watch movies and play games!

4. Make your own Tie-Dye shirts! Get a few shirts, a bunch of rubber bands and dye! You can find directions online on how to make all the different patterns. We did this one summer and the kids LOVED it!!

5. Visit the beach and look for sea shells or sea glass. I’ve always wanted to look for sea glass. Or…you can visit Petoskey, Michigan and look for Petoskey stones!

6. Check out your local movie theaters and see if they offer any dollar shows. Our theater has dollar shows that are repeats of movies that aired that previous year. The kids love going each week!

7. Create a giant slip in slide using a tarp, shaving cream and some water. Not only will they have a little cheap fun, but they will smell really good after!

8. Set up a lemonade stand or bottled water. If you happen to live on a golf course, set on up in your backyard. As the golfers drive by you can sell them a glass of lemonade or a bottle of water! Good way to teach your kids about money.

9. Get a map of the United States and start looking up each state to see what fun things you can do there. Start planning out vacations you’d like to take. Crater of Diamonds State Park is a good one to look up!

10. Keep a journal of all the fun things you do all summer long! This is a good thing for kids to take in to school once they go back in the fall!

What are your tips for beating the summer boredom?

30 Things my Kids Need to Know: My 10 Pet Peeves

This weeks edition of “30 Things my Kids Need to Know” is all about my pet peeves. Now everyone has pet peeves and if you say you don’t, you’re lying. My pet peeves change from time to time. Some may say it’s because I always find something I’m annoyed with…I like to say it’s because I’ve learned to be tolerant of things, so previous pet peeves drop off the list so I can learn to be tolerant of other things (sounds good, right?).

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Leah’s Pet Peeves

  1. Slurping cereal or soup. Can’t stand it. If the soups hot, blow on it. We don’t suck food off a fork, so why do it off a spoon?
  2. Recycling bins without lids. Or better yet, neighbors that know their milk cartons and pizza boxes are blowing all over the neighborhood, yet they do nothing about it.
  3. People who use people. It’s fine to ask your friends/family for help, but when you are always asking for help and never giving help, that’s annoying.
  4. Chewing gum like a cow chews grass. I don’t need to see or hear your gum…chew quieter!
  5. People who don’t pull forward to the second gas pump. It’s one thing if you pull in behind someone, they finish and leave. However, when I see people pull in and stop at the first pump rather than pull forward, I find that rude. Just pull forward. What does it hurt???
  6. Disrespectful behavior. I’m not perfect. You’ll never hear me say that I am, but I try very hard to be respectful of everyone. So…when I see someone treat another person (or me) with disrespect, I get mad. Just ask my kids…I am forever telling them to be respectful!
  7. Customers at my local Costco. I don’t know what it is about this particular Costco store, but a lot of people walk around their like they own it. They walk their carts down the wrong side of the aisle and then stare at you, expecting you to move out of their way when they should be on the other side. Pushing a cart is like driving a car people. Walk on the right side. It keeps order.
  8. Fake people. Be who you are and be proud of it.
  9. Not having nearly enough family dinners. I know this sounds like a weird one, but I like sitting down with my husband and kids for dinner. Not doing that during the week bugs me.
  10. Anime. Sorry hubby…but I can’t stand the Anime shows you watch. There. I said it!

What about you, what are some of your pet peeves?

30 Things my Kids Need to Know: My Most Embarrassing Moment

30 things

I’ve had several embarrassing moments throughout my life. Probably more than I care to remember from middle school and high school. What teen doesn’t have embarrassing moments? But, since I can’t remember specifics, they obviously didn’t scar me too badly!

When my husband and I went on our first date, we went to see the Bone Collector movie. We were early for the movie so we decided to sit at a restaurant called Champps. There was just one problem…at that time (I don’t know if they still do this), but after a certain time, you have to be 21 to get in. I was only 18. It was our first date and my age was already and issue (he was 22)! Rather than go somewhere else, my husband had to talk the bouncer into letting me in if I promised to have water. <–So embarrassing!

But…this was not my most embarrassing moment. My most embarrassing moment happened 7 years ago. Bella was just a baby and in her crib; Zachary was downstairs watching Tom & Jerry on T.V. I had lost some baby weight so I thought I would try on a dress that I wanted to get back into. It fit, but didn’t look perfect so I got the great idea to try it on with Spanx. As I was pulling the Spanx on, I wiggled a little too much and the next thing I know, I’m on the ground in tremendous pain. My kneecap dislocated! It was the most horrific thing I had ever seen or felt. Bella was crying in her crib. I had no choice but to push my kneecap in myself. Talk about painful.

So where’s the embarrassing part? I’m getting to it! I had to scoot on my butt, down the stairs to the phone. I called my mom and my husband and my husband told me to call an ambulance and my mom told me she was on her way to my house. The paramedics get there (who were VERY good looking, by the way) and I had to tell them why my bare butt was hanging out of a pair of Spanx and how I dislocated my kneecap. You could tell one guy was trying not to laugh!

So…what is your MOST embarrassing moment??

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From the moment my daughter could walk, she wanted to do everything her brother did.  But more than that…she wanted to do it better.  I love that quality about her.  I was the same way as a kid.  Like Bella, I always believed that what boys could do, I could do…and sometimes even better!  Bella definitely has that quality about her.

Have you seen the Verizon FIOS Football Girl commercial?  It’s super cute!  It’s about a little girl who wants to play football with her older brother and his friends and he laughs her off and tells her she can’t because she doesn’t even get the game…boy does she show him!  Check it out:

This commercial really hit home with me because that little girl is identical to my daughter.  She would do the same thing…shoot, she DOES do the same thing.  If my son tells her she can’t do something because she’s a girl or treats her like she wouldn’t get it because she’s a girl, she will try her hardest to understand every aspect of whatever it is that is deemed “a boy thing”.  I love it!

Right now Bella plays soccer.  She absolutely loves it.  In the winter she wants to play basketball.  There is no stopping this girl.  When she sets her mind to playing a sport, she does it and she does it well.  I think it is very important for her (and my son too…we don’t want to forget about him!) to play sports. Not only does it give her a chance to make goals and achieve them, but it’s great for her self esteem and physical well being.

PicMonkey Collage

I am very excited to be partnering with Verizon to cheer on our girls!  Verizon wants to hear from parents like you and I who are proud of our daughters athletic achievements!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Verizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

How to Handle Sassy Kids

My kids are six and nine and they are all around good kids, however…lately it seems like they are sassier than normal.  Taking away video games or their Kindle Fire’s does not work.  That used to be their “currency”; the thing that really mattered if I took it away.  Until now.  I don’t know what changed, but all of a sudden, they just don’t care anymore.

Until now.

You see…Sunday was like any other day.  We got up, got ready for Zachary’s football game, and their sassiness started to come out in full force.  I warned them to stop and be respectful.  Well, they didn’t heed my warning.  So guess what…they were told they were doing a chore.  Since we were literally walking out the door, they were told that as soon as we got home from the game, they both had a chore to do.  Zachary actually looked at me and said “a chore?  Why don’t you just take the Xbox away?”.  Exactly.  Taking the Xbox away was not a big deal, but a chore was.

So what chore did that have to do?  They had to clean EVERY baseboard on my first floor.  I walked around, sprayed the cleaner and they cleaned.  This is a chore that I do not like doing at all.



From now on, both kids know that they will be given a warning. If they don’t do what they are asked, they will be told that they will be given a chore. Some of the chores may be:

  • Clean the toilets
  • Clean the bathroom sinks
  • Clean the bathtub or shower
  • Mop the bathroom floor on your hands and knees
  • Mop the kitchen floor on your hands and knees
  • Scoop the litter box

As you can see…they are not fun chores at all.  Zachary hates having to clean the toilet.  He is one that gets grossed out very easily.  Maybe if they have to do things they don’t like to do, they would be more apt to listen to warnings or better yet…learn from their mistakes and act better towards me, each other and our house.

When your kids are sassy, what do you do for discipline?