Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I have Internet!

I told you I would blog but I am not sure if I told you it would be spotty. I can go to Starbucks, but I prefer the local cafe's, I could sit at home and blog but I prefer to be on the go from morning until night. Please bear with me my friends!
The local café has been a favorite of mine for years and years now, this is where I like to unwind at the end of my day when in this city and alas it has no internet. It forces you to look up from you phone and take it all in, enjoy the atmosphere, talk to your neighbors and best of all just be. So at the moment, my Starbucks gold card sits gathering dust because this is where you will find me from 8 until close at 11. The wall has handmade pieces purchased from other areas of Mexico that make AMAZING décor items but are also for sale, I love to browse and at the end of my trip pick up the trinkets that I just cannot live without! If you are ever in Aguascalientes, head on over to Café Consentido for a cup on their terrace and just watch the town go by.
We are having an absolute blast travelling and exploring, we have been taking tours and all around just getting to know a city that we only scratched the surface of. It's amazing the things that you learn from people that truly have studied the history and culture of an area.
Our regular day to day lessons are going well but I honestly believe that they are picking up so much more just learning in the world around them and noticing the differences in cultures and such. It's amazing to see the wonder on their faces as they take it all in. Have you ever encountered that face that just makes you think...yup I'm doing something right here.
I'm in constant wonder at all the fruits, flowers and sun. There is so much of it all that I think I have a goofy smile on my face most of the time. We are truly in an enchanted wonderland. I almost wish that I had appreciated it so much more when I was a kid and would come every year but then I think that if I had, maybe I would have taken it for granted and not felt it necessary to return. So many things float through my mind as we explore and wander this new world. Our bus has taken us into a new city and that is why the internet is here for a bit. Not sure how long we will have it, but I will take it!
Enjoy every minute my friends! 
https://www.instagram.com/michellescharmworld/I post our daily wandering on Instagram, join me there! Let me know you are from the blog and I will follow you back!
 
 
 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

School Goes On...

Hello all! We plan to be away from home for the entire third quarter and since it is such a long time, we decided that it was just not smart to skip school, I am not a fan of the summer brain drain and never allowed school to be fully out, even when they were enrolled in private schools. I would always put them in some type of education program and we would do summer workbooks, so needless to say school would go on! We have one entire suitcase dedicated to just books and we found out the hard way that it was just TOO MUCH weight for an airplane. We had to open each suitcase and spread the book love. Everyone always has too many clothes or shoes or bags...nope, we're nerds with too many books!
The sun shines bright while we are away and what better way to enjoy it than to do school work outside?! Oh yes, to do it pool side! Big smiles and happy faces say it all! We love waking up and having our breakfast together and then heading outdoors to do our work! Sometimes it's a bit breezy and we need to wear sweaters, but it's always awesome!
One thing I love about when we travel, is getting to know the area and the best way to do it, is to master public transportation. Needless to say, it can be scary, but that is what an adventure starts out as! I purchased a week pass for us so that we could come and go as we please and figure it out as we go! Day one was quite the show, as I was completely clueless but I pretended to know what I was doing and the kids loved it all!
Workbook work is one thing, but we also took our travels into consideration. We studied the states we would be visiting and budgets and also worked on plans for our days along with miles walked and things like that. I love teaching my kids about every day things as well as book things!
There is ALWAYS time for fun on all of our trips! Exploring is never out of the question and learning something new is ALWAYS happening!
Enjoy every minute my friends!!
 
 

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Sun...Sand and WINTER?!?!

Hi there! I am here and doing more than well but I know that we have pretty much disappeared off the face of the earth! Let me explain and share what we have been up to. Last year, we decided to spend the Winter in Mexico and come back in time for the snow to begin melting and the temperatures to be warmer. We plan on coming home in March. Unfortunately it began to snow and get chilly RIGHT before we left and I even worried that our flight would not get out...wait WHAT?! Yes...we flew...we had planned on making it a grand adventure by taking a bus cross country to Dallas, Texas. This was going to be a 48 hour adventure with many stops along the way to do a quick explore and learn. THEN...the weather went sour and my husband began to worry about busses on icy roads and the like...so we bought plane tickets...at the last minute...OUCH! That bit into our vacation budget but oh well, we were not going to get stressed out. Why are they smiling on this snow mound? Ohhh because we are off to the sandy beaches of Mexico and the shining sun of Texas!
Our plane ended up being delayed a bit, but not by much at all...the staff at Southwest was so awesome, even though we were last to board due to not checking in on time...they had saved a row of seats for at least my children to all sit together! That is always my biggest worry about open seating plans on planes but this was fantastic.
Believe it or not, they actually agreed on an order as to who gets to sit by the window seat and I did not have to encounter any arguments!
Dallas became our home for a week before we headed off to the warm weather and delicious food of Mexico. My kids found it quite humorous that at 60 degrees, they still had their heat on in the cars and were bundled up as we were in t-shirts and sometimes even shorts!
I will be updating this blog on a regular basis but the lack of internet and the plethora of exploring have us doing so much more than blogging. The main point of today's post is to share how we will be keeping a travel journal!
One thing we love to do is color and write, so instead of buying a premade journal, I decided to buy a large package of postcard sized thick cardstock. I placed the paper in a box with markers, pens, pencils, scissors, glue sticks, decorative tape, a hole punch and binder rings. This kept everything in one place and made it easy to travel with. This is a NECESSITY as we would be in and out of over 8 hotels and 4 different rental homes as well as staying with family members.
The reason for the tape is so that we can decorate the plain paper and turn them into postcards to send to friends and family about our adventure! Each hotel front desk sells stamps and offers a mailing service, postcards and cheaper than letters and it is a great way to get our art in too! The hole punch and binder rings are for our journal! Each night before bed and before we begin to read, each child takes a card and on one side begins to write about their favorite part of the day and then on the opposite side they can either draw a picture or glue a picture we print out or glue maps, receipts...anything they have as a memento from that day! These make for spectacular mini scrapbooks to remember trips by!
Enjoy every minute my friends! We are off to the pool!

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Mondays Come Too Fast...

I honestly believe that I ask myself 'how is it Monday already' every single week. We like to stay busy constantly and even steal away sometimes and I think that keeping busy 24-7 is what makes time fly by too quickly. My fit bit logged in so many steps each day this weekend, I honestly thought that I was on a Disney vacation! Do you know how many miles you log on those trips?! One thing I ALWAYS do when we steal away is bring a bag of school work and books, the kids moan and groan about it, but late at night when we are in the room, they are often found snuggling up in bed with a book and reading or playing some type of game. TV is a luxury that sometimes gets turned on the minute we get into a room, but they love going back to the books after the initial excitement!
Joann Fabrics has these adorable sleighs made of wood that your children can paint and they are the PERFECT size for your elf pet and Elf on the shelf along with some friends!!
St. Nicholas Day came and as we read all about him, the kids had fun exploring their new goodies! Books and candy and games along with a few other goodies!
Our elf has been having a war with the nut crackers every year since he arrived and this time they caught him coming back!! He is in popcorn jail, but it worked out just right as he brought along a family movie and a bag of popcorn!!!
Our book of the day is Courduroy's Christmas Surprise by Lisa McCue. I have been a Courduroy fan since I was a little girl and am always eager to share a favorite story with my kids. My husband knows of him, but he was never a fan, I think it's great that as an adult he is discovering an old friend and seeing him in a different way!
The silly elf took our coloring book that ST. Nick brought and he started coloring the pages we left blank!!
Enjoy every minute my friends, it goes far too quickly!
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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday School Post #11

*warning: picture heavy post*
Happy Second Sunday of Advent! How is advent treating you? I cannot believe how quickly the week went by. I truly feel as though we are rushing through too much too quickly!! Today my youngest makes his first Reconciliation this morning, please pray for him.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, we get 1 new book a day to countdown to Christmas, READ about it HERE! Fitting for today was our Saint Nicholas coloring book that is also a storybook! It was fun reading through each page as the kids took turns coloring and listening.
These 6 books are our daily advent books this year and we are using them together as a family in different way. We absolutely love hands on things where we are not just reading but living out our holiday season. (click each title for more information on each book)
Our Jesse Tree is doing well, the children alternate things to do with the tree each day. One child will pick the ornament of the day and read the bible verse. Child #2 will color the ornament as we read the context from the bible and then child #3 will hang it on our Jesse tree! I discussed our ornaments in particular HERE for more information.
Our Advent Calendar had different verses on each day and each door we open holds surprises from candy to crosses and rosaries to random other goodies. These just remain on the ring as opposed to try and fold them up into the calendar, that way we can keep them on a yearly basis.
Our Advent Calendar and ring of readings!
As I get my final child through Reconciliation and First Communion nostalgia begins to hit me. I cannot believe how quickly he has grown up and how I feel like I am missing so much and yet I see them all day and every day...how is it possible to feel that way? Well here are the 5 books we used to prepare for Reconciliation, as well as a binder of activities I would print from throughout the internet. We worked on everything together and had so much fun doing it. We used a Brother Frances DVD as well and he is more than ready to go! We have a different round of books for First Communion prep and I will share those as well when the time comes. Even though a couple of these are story books, we would still read them daily to help him retain the information. We also practiced going into the confessional (minus the sins) and then he took turns reciting his prayers to everyone he would encounter from our family, to ensure he was able to speak to not just me but to anyone! What fun we have had preparing for such an important sacrament!
We are working on our Rosary skills once again this month and our Rosary box is quite full of fun stuff! I talked about our color as your pray Rosary Page HERE. We also have a sheet of Prayers of the Rosary and laminated oversized pages with the mysteries of the Rosary on them. Both of those sheets we found online and just printed them out. A book on how kids can pray the rosary as well as a ring with the mysteries on the rosary on it that has the description of each mystery on the back. The pill bottles each contain 2 rosaries and are so cute!! To feel better, pray 1 rosary a day!
A few smaller books and pamphlets round out our rosary box and offer us a variety when we pray our rosary. This way the prayers are not always the same and the kids learn different things as we go along. We also use a fabulous app every now and then called The Rosario. It has the songs as well as the rosary itself all read aloud. This is good to listen to when I am driving and the kids just want to listen and not read.
I only wish our coloring book would fit in the box, because this coloring book has been colored in by all 3 kids at different stages in their life. It is full and worn but I love it and we love to thumb through it for basic information.
How is it that I save the oddest things and yet always have a need for them? This brown bag is full of toilet tubes and paper towel tubes of all sizes.We ended up needing them for our Little Flowers Catholic Girl Club of Rockford this past week. The girls each made a 16 piece nativity set and they came out so beautiful!
This is our completed Nativity out of toilet tubes! I love how it turned out! We thank Catholic Icing for the printable!
 
These are the last pieces we will be doing with the toilet paper tubes. I printed them out from a Google Search and then cut each one out. Each child will paint their tube any color they would like and as they dry the Angels will be colored and then glued onto the tube. Hmm...I wonder which Angel Gabriel will pick?! Each child will then research each Angel and give me 5 facts about each one. I love when they can learn through hands on activities! I will be sure to share the finished project in the future!!
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Tis the Season for Giving!

The end of the week should always be seen with excitement of what is to come, but this week has been full of a lot of testing and boring work and it had started to drag! Instead of hitting the books at home, we packed up and headed to the local Dunkin' Donuts to not only do our work but to spread good cheer! We arrived armed with coupons and cash for each child and after settling into the booth we began our work and say quietly so that we could listen to each person order and as they were just about done 1 child would spring up, grab their cash and head to the register to pay for them! Spreading good cheer was not only fun and teaching the kids that giving feels so much better than getting BUT it kept them silent and focused on their work too! Double Win!
This morning our Elf Pet, hot coffee, was found in the Elf Club House that the kids made. It's still not ready, they were waiting for the glue to dry, but they plan on making it into some kind of scene. I love when kids get crafty!
THERE HE IS!!! It took a bit of searching to find Charlie this morning, but that could be because he was up high in our mistletoe ball! What a silly elf sending out kisses to all!
The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuvler was our read for this day. I only wish a book this magical could be read on a day when there was real snow outdoors and not a 40* day that has us outside with only light sweaters on!
Look what we found!!! The perfect sled for elves and their friends. This will be gifted to the elf once the children have painted it and made it 'elf ready'. Head over to Joann Fabrics for this awesome craft that will be sure to have your children working together and brainstorming!
Enjoy every minute my friends!!

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