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Entertaining Daddy

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Entertaining Daddy

My husband is doing much better than what I had expected him to do only a week and a couple of days after surgery. The first day in the hospital they had him up and walking around just eight hours afterwards, though it was very painful for him. He has been getting himself around the house with the aid of a walker and doing better every day. However, he is starting to go stir crazy. He has not left the house since we got home last Sunday. Even though it has only been a week, he is starting to throw words around like ‘cabin fever.’
Last week we took a break from school work so that we could be readily available to help him. The kids were extremely helpful by getting him drinks, ice packs, keeping him company, and helping me move his knee bender on and off the bed when needed. Even though this week they need to get back to hitting the books, we are going to make this #WeeklyKidChallenge a week to really spend time with daddy by playing games, talking to him, and my daughter will continue to read him bed time stories. Last week we were really more concerned with his physical health. This week we are going to concentrate on his mental health by keeping him entertained and engaged. Today, while I had to run a couple of errands, he stepped up (figuratively speaking) and helped the kids with their schoolwork. I’m going to also get him more involved with what we do during the day on top of the games and that we will be playing with him in the evening.
If you have been keeping up with our #WeeklyKidChallenge, this will be a great week to spend time playing games inside or outside as a family.

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Taking care of Daddy

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Taking care of daddy

For this Weekly Kid Challenge, my kids are learning bedside manners. My husband had knee surgery Friday, so he is in need of some extra TLC. My kids have stepped up to help out. We made a chart to keep up with his prescriptions, they have gotten him drinks, taken food to him, my son (the strong boy he is) has been helping me with the knee bender and my daughter has enjoyed staying in our bedroom to keep him company while I do other things around the house. So far, they have been a great help. I’m hoping by the end of this they will have learned more compassion and understanding for others in need and have a better ability to step up when needed. Plus, all this extra time with daddy will be great and hopefully their relationship with him will be even stronger.

Notebook of Love

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Make notebooks for others to leave messages in! #WeeklyKidChallenge
Make notebooks for others to leave messages in! #WeeklyKidChallenge

If you’ve read my other post, As Simple as a Note, then you know my daughter LOVES writing little “I love you,” notes all the time. It’s hard keeping up with the little post it notes, or ones ripped out of a notebook. In the last few days I’ve received several little colorful “I love you,” pictures. Just the other night, while the kids were having quiet time in their rooms before bed and I was winding down in the living room, my daughter brings me one of her lovely notes. After thanking her and giving her a hug, I sat it down on the coffee table intending to take care of it when I got up again, but forgot. The next morning, she discovered it on the floor under the coffee table. I could tell it hurt her feelings even though she did understand it just fell off. So, I’ve decided for this week we are going to make our own notebooks. We are going to take copy paper and cover it with construction paper which we will color and decorate. Click here for ideas. The notebooks are for others to write or color in and the pages are intended to stay in the notebook. This will be a great way for us to still exchange notes, but it will be easier to keep up with.
If you guys also make your own notebooks, I would love to see them! Post your pictures here, on my Facebook page or on Twitter using #WeeklyKidChallenge.

Image Credit: Geneva Vanderzeil via Flickr

Staying Focused

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Staying Focused

Image Credit: ThomasLife via Flickr

We are getting closer and closer to the end of our school year. The kids are getting more restless waiting for their summer break to start. The results? Not staying focused while doing school work. We’ve already made some adjustments since the weather has gotten warmer by doing school work outside and having more frequent breaks, but they are still loosing focus when they are looking at their books and the pencil is in their hand. So, for this Weekly Kid Challenge we are going to be working on staying focused.

We will be incorporating a stop watch to make it a little more competitive for themselves by trying to beat their own time and also a bell they can ring once they are done with a page as an incentive. We will also be doing more writing, mostly just handwriting pages, so they can have more practice of keeping their eyes on their page rather than looking around. I’m hoping these little changes will make a big difference. If you have any tips on keeping kids focused while doing school work, I would love to hear them.

Learn a Life-Long Skill

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Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn a life-long skill. Tying a tie and braiding.
Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn a life-long skill. Tying a tie and braiding.
Image Credit: woodleywonderworks via Flicker

My grandmother, an amazing woman, bought my son his first real tie just the other day. She took him into the store to pick one out, and the very first one he saw he loved. It has black and blue strips, but the blue ones are all slightly different shades and look metallic. I’m impressed with his choice. Plus, he has always looked good in blue. I guess this will be a good week to teach him how to tie one.

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My daughter, my one and only girl, doesn’t like me to do much with her hair. It is long, thick and beautiful. She loves to just wear it down. No braid, no pony tail, or pig tails, no flips, curls, or especially any of the really cool creations I keep seeing on Facebook. Nothing. Just brushed through quickly so she can get on with her life. However, she has taken an interest in braiding. I know she mostly wants to learn so she can make little friendship bracelets, but I’m hoping that by teaching her and letting her style my hair, she will let me do more with hers. Yes, I do have an ulterior motive. Does that make me a bad mommy?

So, for this Weekly Kid Challenge, they will be learning a skill that they will use through out their life, tying a tie and learning to braid. Do your children already know these skills? Is there another skill that will help them in their life that you want to teach them this week?

Tell us what you are doing this week on here, FaceBook or Twitter using #WeeklyKidChallenge.

Storm and Tornado Safety!

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Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn tornado and storm safety, get prepared, and practice our emergency plan.
Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn tornado and storm safety, get prepared, and practice our emergency plan.
Image Credit: Nikos Koutoulas via Flickr

I love spring! Flowers, flowering trees, buzzing of life, warmer weather, grilling out, and storms. Yes, I LOVE storms. My husband’s and my favorite thing to do is to sit outside and watch the sky get darker with clouds, see the lightning, hear the rumbling of the thunder, and feel the temperature change.

However, there is a major risk that comes with these storms. Wind, hail, lightning, and tornadoes. Living in what is called “tornado alley” myself, I get to experience these strong storms, but often they can turn deadly. Since we are in tornado season, this is a good week to talk about storm safety and get prepared.

Be Prepared

Being prepared before a storm hits is very important. It can save you precious time instead of scrambling to gather up food, water, and other things your family would need in case you have to leave your home. It can save you a hassle with the insurance company by having all of your paperwork in order and knowing what is in your home that may need to be replaced.

For You

  • Go through out your home and make a list, room to room, of your belongings that are valuable that may need to be replaced.
  • Have all of your important documents like social security cards, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc., put in a safe place. Obviously, a fire safe is great, but if you don’t have one, the freezer is the best alternative.
  • Know where the tornado shelters are in your area.
  • Know how to turn off utilities to your home.

For your children

  • Talk to your children about the different watches and warnings: thunderstorm, tornado, flood, flash flood, etc. Have them watch the weather with you and discuss it.
  • Make sure they know what county they live in and also the surrounding counties.
  • Have each person in the family make a personal emergency bag. You can go as far as having heat reflective blankets, extra clothes, a few Meals ready-to-eat (MREs), duck tape, lip balm, hand sanitizer, small bottles of shampoo and body wash, paracord, two way radios, etc. Basically a whole 72 hour Bug Out Bag. Click here for ideas. But at the very least, it should include bottles of water and juice, flashlights and extra batteries, energy bars, other easy to carry non-perishable foods, first aid kit, whistle, identity cards with your contact information and medical information, colors and coloring books, other things to keep kids entertained and a little room for them to add their favorite stuffed animal. For the parents, it should include more like pocket knives, cash, bug repellant, lighters, identification, prescription medicines, battery powered radio. I have heard people suggest to make the bags out of pillow cases, however I personally would prefer the bags to have straps on them so both hand are free. An old book bag that is still in good shape with no holes or rips would be great. Make sure these bags are kept in a place easily accessible but up enough that small children can’t get them and play with the contents. Also, make one for the car in case you are caught out in a storm and cannot make it back home.
  • Have your children make a layout of your home, front and back yard, pointing out exits and where they need to go during the storm. Also, put a place to meet up in the front of the house and back in case you guys get separated.
  • Make sure your children know your and your spouse’s full name, address and phone numbers.
  • Have them help you fill out an emergency contact list and put it in a common place in your house.
Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn tornado and storm safety, get prepared, and practice our emergency plan.
Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn tornado and storm safety, get prepared, and practice our emergency plan.
Image Credit: Anthony Quintano via Flickr

Other things to talk about

  • Lightning. One great thing to teach your kids is how to tell how far away the lightning is by counting the seconds between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder. The rule of thumb is how ever many seconds you count, that is how many miles the lightning strike was. As spectacular as lightning is, it can also very dangerous. If they are outdoors, teach them to come in as soon as they see lightning or hear thunder. Stay away from windows, running water, and stay off of phones. If they are outside and cannot get inside, avoid high places, open places, and anything metal. Since lightning will strike the tallest object, getting underneath a tree or canopy may not be the best option. They should crouch down and cover their ears.
  • Down power lines. If there has been a tornado or high winds, chances are there are power lines down. Those should be avoided at all costs. Teach them what to look for by pointing out what power lines look like, if they are not already aware, next time you are out driving.
  • Hail can be very dangerous by shattering windows. During a storm that has hail, stay indoors and away from windows. If you are driving, stop. If it is safe for you to get under cover, do so. But do not continue driving since hail does have to possibility to break your windshield making it difficult to see through.
  • Trees seem like a great place to hide under if there is no where else you can go, but they can also be dangerous since they can be uprooted and even big branches can be ripped off during strong enough winds. Even after the storm, branches that are no longer attached to the tree can get its little branches hung up causing it to dangle from the tree and can come down at any time.
  • Wind. Even if there is no tornado in a storm, strong enough winds can be just as dangerous by ripping at the roof of a home, causing power lines to come down, knocking over trees, and causing flying debris. In our area, we will occasionally have what is called a derecho which is a sever storm with extremely strong winds and lasts for at least 240 miles.
Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn tornado and storm safety, get prepared, and practice our emergency plan.
Join us for this #WeeklyKidChallenge as we learn tornado and storm safety, get prepared, and practice our emergency plan.
Image Credit: BrianKhoury via Flickr

Plan for the worst

  • Have a contact point outside of your neighborhood in case your family gets separated and you can’t call each other. One example is if your spouse is at work and you have to leave your home with the kids and the cell towers are busy. Pick a place, like a specific restaurant or gas station where you guys will meet up.
  • Make sure your babysitter or any family member that might watch your children know all of your contact information and know your contact point as well.
  • Plan places to stay in case you have to leave your home. A family members home or hotel that is in a different city.
  • Talk to your children’s school. Find out their plan, where they take the children to, what their policy is about a parent picking them up.
  • Know your area, especially if you have just moved there, and plan different escape routes in case you need to leave your city but some roads are blocked.
  • Keep up with the weather including purchasing a weather radio.
  • Have a plan for your animals.
  • Teach your children what they should do in case they get separated from you. Using their whistles, staying where they were last with you and using their two way radios or phone to call you.

Make a plan and practice it

Just like in schools, there is an emergency plan in place that is practiced. Setting forth an emergency plan and practicing it in your home can save your family time, keep things from getting chaotic, and teach your kids good habits for when they are older.

    • Put on shoes and make sure to be fully clothed.
    • Put on protective gear like a bicycle helmet.
    • Have everyone do their designated assignments like unplug electronics, grab pillows, blankets, mattress, battery operated radio.
    • Grab emergency bags and other important personal items like wallets.
    • Go to your home’s safe place like your basement or storm shelter. If you do not have one, go to an interior room of your home that does not have windows.
    • Plan what to do if you are driving or outside and cannot make it into a shelter. Lay flat in a ditch or low lying area and cover your head.