Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Day Of Swimming Lessons!

Today was the last day of swimming lessons for Jonathan this year. The mommy group I was in for several years led me to a wonderful instructor who does lessons in her backyard pool. She has been doing it since she was a teenager and is wonderful with kids...she is quite known in the "moms" circle. Anyway, I decided to put Jonathan in lessons last year at the age of 5 and he did really well. He can tend to be shy in crowds so I thought that the YMCA would be too intimidating for him. Here the class size is limited to six kids. I was a little surprised that kids as young as 3 were in his class though, I thought 5 was an appropriate age to start swimming lessons. That meant a few kids were younger than him, but he didn't seem to mind.

Last year, he was a little apprehensive to dive off the diving board, but this year, he jumped off with ease.

I am so glad that he is learning to swim! I have spent most of my life afraid of the water and didn't really learn to swim until I was in high school and really only picked up some basics, you know, the basics that Jonathan already knows! Since I don't enjoy swimming all that much, it is important to me to make sure my kids have respect for swimming pools and manage themselves in the water. Jonathan is doing such a good job that I have opted to only do one session of lessons this year. Now, it's time to enjoy a summer full of swimming!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vinyl Lettering On Clearance!

I stopped into Jo Ann Fabrics this week to get a pattern and I stumbled across a great deal! These vinyl letter kits were on clearance!

Do you see that? $4.97....regularly $24.99.  I was so excited! Particularly because I found the phrase I had been wanting to find, but not wanting to pay a huge amount for! I love the quote: 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. "

I am planning to make a mural in the hallway with this, surrounded by photos of my loved ones. I can't wait to tackle it this weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Smurfs and Sherlock Holmes: An Interview with Jason Lethcoe

With summer break now in full swing, you can gurantee that we will be spending lazy days reading and hot days in the comfort of a cool air-conditioned movie theater! I recently talked with Jason Lethcoe, who is an animator and author. Jason has worked with Disney, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Dreamworks!  His work can be seen in films like The Tigger Movie, Pagemaster, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. His latest film, The Smurfs is being released on July 29th and stars Neil Patrick Harris.

Jason says that it was a nice throwback to work on the Smurf's movie, because he grew up with it on TV and now as a dad, will be able to share The Smurfs with his kids.  I know exactly what he means! I was addicted to that cartoon!

Jason has also penned several children's books and we talked about his latest project, "No Place Like Holmes." He says on a trip to London, he visited Sherlock Holmes' famous address, 221B Bakerstreet. It got him wondering where 221"A" was...so he created a character who he thought would live there and a story to go with it. It turns out that another detective lives there, but one who is not as good as Sherlock Holmes. He has a nephew that is a really good detective, however, who comes to live with him and the story picks up from there.

The book is geared toward 9 to 12-year-olds, but Lethcoe thinks the book could really be for anyone. At this point, I am still reading chapter books to Jonathan, because he is just learning to read, so I can appreciate books that I find engaging too. And I love it when they engage my little guy's mind! Jason thinks that mystery books are good for doing just that, because it gives kids something to focus on, sort of like a puzzle, but are also fun.

Lethcoe suggests that parents find a subject matter that kids are interested in to get them to pick up books this summer. He says he knows he "wouldn't have loved reading" if he was forced to "read things that I didn't like already, or subject matters that I wasn't interested in." Jason also points out that some boys get more into "science" books. He says his son likes to read thinks about the weather, so he tries to find as many weather books that he can for him to read. I know that I try really hard to instill a love of reading in my boys and I think Jonathan would really like Lethcoe's current series. You can find "No Place Like Holmes" on his website.

*I did NOT recieve a copy of the book in exchange for this post, nor any free movie tickets.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry Picking!

This Saturday we hit the strawberry patch! Not the same strawberry patch that we usually hit, however, because the place we normally go to decided not to do strawberries this year...bummer. But, I put up my antennae, and many of my moms in the know directed me to several other strawberry patches to try! I still haven't made it to any of those, because I got distracted by finding another one. I was on my way to do a live broadcast when I stumbled upon a strawberry farm. I called the family and told them to meet me there and get ready to pick! It was raining, so we only picked a little over six pounds. We did manage to have a good time, though and even ate a few!

I tried strawberry freezer jam for the first time last year, and it turned out so well, and became such a favorite in the household that I am sure I'll be making it every year now. I also want to try these strawberry muffins that a friend of mine directed me towards. They sound so yummy!

I also really want to try to make my own strawberry vinaigrette for salads. I love to throw some pecans on a spinach salad and a freshly made strawberry vinaigrette sounds to die for! So, I am going to be making some using this recipe from Allrecipes.com: 

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
Mix it all in a blender or food processor, until smooth and voila!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Free Fishing Weekend

This past weekend was a free fishing weekend! In order to encourage more people to fish, the state of Indiana decided to allow people to fish without a license for the weekend. Now, anyone under the age of 17 can fish without a license, but it is $10 for adults to obtain a state fishing license.

So, with no worries of not having the proper state papers, the hubby took Jonathan fishing.  I stayed home with the little one. I'm sure there are fishing days in Tyler's future, but for now, his over developed curiosity makes me a nervous wreck and I'm sure that taking him fishing would not be an enjoyable experience right now. Jonathan was so excited to be doing a "big boy" activity with Daddy anyway. He was about to burst with excitement.

Luckily, we had all the right gear, it just needed to be dusted off a bit...it has been a couple of years since we have gone fishing. In fact, I think it was the first time either one of us had fished since having Jonathan. He has gone with my father a couple of times, but never with one of us. I used to enjoy fishing with my dad too as a kid, but the luster has worn off a bit for me as an adult. Maybe the fact that I never ever caught an actual fish probably has something to do with it.

Not breaking tradition, the boys didn't catch one single fish in the three hours they were out casting their lines. To be honest, I am quite impressed that Jonathan lasted that long! When he gets determined enough, I guess his attention span improves. While no fish were dangling the line, Jonathan did manage to catch a baby snapping turtle. I guess that's better than the sock I once caught!

Many states across the nation are participating in the free fishing weekends, just check with your local Department of Natural Resources. It turned out to be an enjoyable time for both my husband and Jonathan, so I'm pretty sure we'll be purchasing fishing licenses. That of course, was the hope the state had by holding the free fishing weekend.

Trace Adkins has a new song called "Just Fishin." It is a great song about him taking his little girl fishing (he has 5 daughters) and how he feels like they are bonding, but she thinks they are just fishin'. It's a great song and a great theme song to this post.

I’m lost in her there holdin that pink rod and reel
She’s doin almost everything but sittin still
Talkin about her ballet shoes and training wheels
And her kittens,

And she thinks we’re just fishing

I say : Daddy loves you, baby one more time
She says I know. I think I got a bite
And all this laughin, cryin smilin dyin here inside’s
What I call livin

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
Throwin’ back what we could fry
Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
Nothin’ too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin about
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big in
And she thinks we’re just fishing

Verse II
She’s already pretty, like her mama is
Gonna drive the boys all crazy
Give her daddy fits
And I better do this every chance I get
Cause time is tickin yeah it is

And she thinks we’re just fishin on the riverside
Throwin back what we could fry
Drownin worms and killin time
Nothin too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin about
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big in
And she thinks we’re just fishin

She ain’t even thinkin about
What’s really goin on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin
Ooh she thinks we’re just fishin
We ain’t only fishin

This ain’t about fishin

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Bryan White

What ever happened to Bryan White? He was hotter than hot in the mid to late 90s and all of a sudden, he was gone. He was such a bright young star who sang such great material and could play the drums like no body's business!

Bryan is still touring, but unfortunately has become one of those artists that Country Radio likes to ignore. Heck, he was even cut out of "From This Moment On," his duet with Shania Twain. Bryan White was only 20 when he got his first record deal and admits that the music industry started to define who he was as a person, and when his 4th album didn't do well, he went through a terrible depression. Listen up, Taylor Swift! Just sayin'.

Since we are the same age, I really identified with his music, and still love to listen to it!
Bryan married actress Erika Page in 2000 and the couple has two sons. Huh, another identifier, I have two sons too!

Watch his video for "So Much For Pretending" here.

You can follow him on Twitter too!