Spring has Arrived at Florence Nature Park – Florence, KY

We recently visited Florence Nature Park in Florence, KY. It is a small park without playground equipment. It is just what its name states – A nature park! It is spring and all the flowers were just beginning to bloom. The kids had a blast chasing butterflies or “flutterflies” as Isabella calls them. We watched squirrels, smelled flowers, and even followed a honey bee from a short distance. Isabella kept asking, “Is he eating, Mommy? Do he eat flowers?” Ivy was taken with the daffodils that were in full bloom.

If you happen to be in Florence, KY during spring, summer, or fall, I highly suggest this park as a good place to have a picnic, spend a little time with nature, and perhaps play frisbee or ball in the large grass areas.

The Details:

 Website: http://www.boonecountyky.org/parks/ParkInfo/5

Location: 7200 Nature Park Drive Florence KY 41042

Happy Travels!!

A Few Superstitions

Wear old shoes on Friday the 13th to ward off evil.

It brings good luck to place an old shoe outside your front door before setting out on a journey. – Knew my fellow travelers would love this one!

Throwing shoes at newly weds ensures a happy marriage. – All I can say to that is wtf!? I couldn’t imagine throwing shoes at someone on their wedding day! Maybe that’s why there are so many unhappy marriages, lol.

Walking with one shoe on and one off brings bad luck for a full year. – I have done this with only one heel on while chasing Bella down because she stole the other. I almost broke my neck! That would have been very bad luck!

Placing your shoes on a table or chair attracts misfortune. – My kids can attest to this!

Stepping out of bed on your left foot first is bad luck. – Think I should switch my hubby sides if the bed for a while? Or maybe I should roll out, lol

Making a “What Will We Do in Summer?” Jar

We began with a family sized spaghetti sauce jar that we washed out, removed label from, and dried throughly. I used card stock scraps to make bright-colored squares (about 1×1) and rectangles (about 2×1). All were cut free hand and varied slightly in shape and size. I put the scraps in a small shopping bag.

We all sat at the table and took turns pulling out a paper scrap without looking. The green scraps are for weekend ideas and the rest are for weekdays. After we pulled our scrap of paper, we would write something to do that day. (We used sharpie markers to write because the pen did not show up as well. Except Isabella who scribbled on hers in ink pen.) We could write a place to go, an activity to do, a craft to make, something to learn about (Learn 5 words in Italian or Learn something about Bee Keeping) or a question to answer (“What do they eat in Japan?” or “Where is Belize?” or “Who is Tony Blair?” or “What is the tallest mountain in the United States?” etc, etc, etc). It was then folded and placed in the jar. Ivy was so excited when she would get to pick a weekend option! There were a few rules for picking outings. Weekday outings and activities had to be less than $5 to do. Many of ours were completely free! Weekend outings had to get approval. We agreed to things that were not too expensive and were not more than a couple of hours away. I also made sure that there was educational value in at least 90% of the ideas.

Every morning during summer break, the kids will pull one thing out to do that day. The scrap of paper will then go into a small bag. At the end of summer we will use the scraps of paper and some photographs taken to add to our family scrap-book so the girls will always remember what they did the summer of 2012.

P.S. Toddler Note: We wanted Isabella to feel included in the process so she put hers in too. After we had finished I dumped them in a bag and fished hers out before replacing them. When she had a true idea we included it. She came up with color pictures and see fish. She loved being part of it!

A Year Without Cable

Our last house was pretty far out in the country and did not even offer cable service. We picked up 3 stations-PBS, NBC, and a religious channel. If weather was perfect we would occasionally get ABC and a local channel from the next big town. We moved into our current home in 2010. When we moved in the cable guys were practically beating down our door with their amazing offers. It was unthinkable that we did not have cable! How dare us!

After a few months we gave in and decided to try it. (This was the second time we had cable since Ivy was born. The first time was from mid 2006 to the end of 2008.) It was nice having cable and the DVR box was a cool new addition. We started watching a couple shows religiously. That couple grew and we began adding more new shows to our must see list. I would get busy with school or simply real life and come back to find the DVR full! It began to feel more like part of my “TO DO” list than true enjoyment. It was one night as I was watching old reruns that it hit me – I used to read at night! Now I was watching reruns simply because they were on. Not because I really wanted to! What was up with that? How much time was I losing to the TV each week? Far more important was What else could I be doing with that time? What was I missing out on? Does anyone look back on their lives and think “I wish I would have watched more TV?” No, they think, “I wish I would have spent more time with my kids. I wish I would have stopped to smell the roses. I wish I would have had more sex. I wish I would have traveled more. I wish I would have had more experiences. I wish I had not wasted so much time!”

The cable is now turned off and we have vowed to not think about it for one full year! I will openly admit that this affects my husband and Ivy way more than it does Isabella and me. My husband works weird hours and is often eating dinner alone long after the rest of us are in bed. Ivy is a preteen girl who is more concerned with what is normal. She actually watched much less TV than the rest of us but took it worse…Her response was “Are people going to think it’s weird?” I told her she doesn’t have to tell them. It’s not like they are going to ask. It is assumed in the suburbs that we are all cookie cutter clones so no worries.

I will do an update in a year and let you know how things went! Will we have more time for other things? Will we spend more time together? Will we read more? Will we pick up new hobbies or learn something new?

“Do people ever think I wish I had watched more TV when the end comes?”

Why do we bother?

Children can happily turn anything into a great toy or amazing new game. Last night Isabella used junk paper to make a game resembling hopscotch. Today she is pretending our kitchen table is a playhouse. As parents we are pressed to buy expensive toys that will entertain our children or make them more intelligent. They receive countless toys for birthdays and holiday gifts. Many of these requiring batteries that take a toll on our pocketbooks as well as the environment. Then the toys break and they help to fill our ever expanding landfills. When in reality our children learn more from playing with everyday items and using their imaginations. Makes me wonder, Why do we bother?