Monday, August 31, 2009

Twin Fun Facts

My twins are currently participating into a study being conducted by Florida State University called the "Florida Twin Project on Reading." The goal of the project is to understand the underlying causes of individual differences in reading-related skills. The project compares data collected from sets of identical and fraternal twins. My girls are not aware that they are participating in the project. They simply take the same standardized tests that all Florida public school students take. The Florida State University researches then take their test scores and compare them to those of other fraternal and identical twins.

From time to time we receive a newsletter about the progress of the study. This months newsletter contained a few Twin Fun Facts that I found interesting, and I thought I would pass them on.

1. There are over 125 million twins in the world.

2. The birth rate of twins is about 32 per 1,000 births.

3. Between 1996 and 2006, the percentage of multiple births in Florida grew by more than 19%.

4. About 1/3 of all twins are identical and 2/3 are fraternal. My twins are fraternal, but are often mistaken for identical.

5. Over 20% of twins are left handed, but only 10% of the general population are lefties. My twins are both righties.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Money In My Mailbox

Normally I do not get to excited about the things that show up in my mailbox. It is usually just bills and junk mail. Friday, was a different story. I opened the box and to my happy surprise these TWO coupon books were in there!!! It was like money in my mailbox.

The first book is from Kraft. I signed up for this book earlier in the summer and forgot all about it. The book contains $55.00 worth of coupons and rebates for products from Kraft, Nabisco, Planters, and Capri~Sun. Thank you to Money Saving Mom for the heads-up on this one.

The second book was a complete surprise. It is from Target (my absolute, most favorite store). It contains $15.00 worth of coupons for their new line of products called "up & up." I have already tried many of these products, and have liked all of them. It will be GREAT to have coupons to use and save even more money on all of my h&b and cleaning products. I think I got this book because I have a Target Visa card. I use my Target Visa like a debit card so that I can earn 10% off reward cards, and save even more! Thank you Target!!!

The total savings in both books is $70.00! Not bad for a few minutes online and a walk to the mailbox. I can't wait to see what will show up in my mailbox this week!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Taking it all in!
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Monday, August 24, 2009

A New School Year

As much as they did not want it to come, today is the first day of school for my 3. This year my boy is a 5th grader (yep, this is his last year of elementary school) and the girls are in 1st grade.

We got up early this morning, had a good breakfast, and took our long walk to school. The book bags were pretty full and heavy, with all of those first day supplies, so it was not an easy walk. It will get easier as the week goes on.

We met both teacher's last week and the kids saw their classrooms. It was a relief to arrive at school today and know exactly where to go. All three kids got great teacher's. We are looking forward to a happy and successful school year.

I stayed in the 1st grade classroom for the first 2 hours, to help the teacher organize and store all of the supplies that the kids brought in. The teacher told me that in the past it has taken her the first 2 weeks of the school year to get all of that stuff put away. It was a big relief to her to have it all done today. When I left, the girls were working on language arts. There were no tears this year, I guess that means we are making progress toward them becoming more independent.

I have to say, it is nice to be home in a quiet house. We were all ready to get back into the routine of school. By 3:00 I will miss them, be ready to go pick them up, and find out how the first day went!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to the Pack

Today it began. The 2009 - 2010 scouting year got off to a great start for Cub Scout Pack 220. To get the year going we (and by we, I mostly mean me) organized a field day. The boys and siblings were invited out for 2 hours this morning to play soccer and flag football. There were 17 cub scouts and a bunch of siblings in attendance. The kids had a great day playing and getting to know each other once again.
This was the first event of the year for our new cubmaster. He did a great job of jumping right in and getting the kids excited. It looks like Pack 220 is going to have a fun, adventurous, educational, and exciting year!!!

The kids were happy to see each other after the long summer break. It didn't take them long to become reacquainted and start having fun.

Cubmaster Alberto got the kids organized and ready to play. He quickly got them back in the habit of using "signs-up" to keep everyone on the same page and paying attention.

After playing soccer and flag football everyone had a snack and posed for a group picture. The boys are excited to get a new year of scouting started!

Cub Scout Pack 220

Ready To Go!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Free Chocolate Friday!!!

It's that time of the week again. Time to register for your free chocolate coupon from the M&M/Mars company. Go here to register. But hurry, coupons are limited to the first 250,000 people who register.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Thought

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ What?

I never thought I would see the day that Brett Favre would be wearing a Vikings jersey!
I'm looking forward to an interesting season!!!
For more Wordless Wednesday go here and here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

1. Vacations are great, but it takes a full week of being home to get completely back in the swing of things. I finally feel "at home" in my own home again.

2. Mom's need a little bit of quiet time away from their kids to remain sane. I have spent every waking hour with my kids for the last 5 or 6 weeks. I love them, but I really need some time away from them.

3. I must spend a few minutes ranting about something that really upset me on our visit to Disney this past Saturday. When did it become ok to throw your trash wherever you happen to be? Disney has strategically placed trash cans about every 5 feet. You can hardly walk through the park without tripping over one. I was so frustrated by the end of the day. I actually had to move trash on two rides, just to be able to sit down. And if that was not bad enough, I watched two "ladies" feed a toddler pudding while waiting in line and then just leave the empty packages and spoon on a ledge in the q-line. How rude have people become?

When did we decide it was ok to expect others to pick up after us?

What kind of example are these people setting for their kids and mine?

I think it may be time to bring back the 1970's crying Indian commercials.

This is not an example of the kind of world I want to leave for my kids.

4. Summer vacation is almost over. My kids go back to school next Monday. Where did the summer go? We have had fun. It went by too fast, but at the same time, I think we are all ready to get back into the routine. If only the routine did not involve being so busy and homework! YUCK!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back-to-school ~ The List

I completed my "Back-to-school classroom supply shopping" yesterday. Well, this isn't actually all of the stuff that is on the list. This year I decided to take a little bit of a different approach. I am not sending all of the multiple items that are on the list at the beginning of the school year. Some items such as tissues, hand sanitizer, copy paper, and pencils I am planning to replenish as the year goes on. My bill to send 3 kids back-to-school is big enough. So, I am going to defer the cost just a little this year, and send things in as they are needed.

Here is what we have purchased so far; 2 backpacks, 3 lunch boxes, 3 pencil boxes, 3 packs of copy paper, 6 spiral notebooks, 10 composition notebooks, 10-2 pocket folders with prongs, 10-2 pocket folders without prongs, 2 pairs of scissors, 8 glue sticks, 2 bottles of glue, 4 big pink erasers, 6 boxes of pencils, 6 boxes of crayons, 3 bottles of hand soap, 3 bottles of hand sanitizer, 4 boxes of tissues, 3 boxes of sandwich zipper bags, 3 boxes of gallon zipper bags, 3 binders, and 1 package of dry erase markers.

Oh, did I mention the new clothes and shoes? debit card needs a vacation!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Thought

Just something that I read today that seemed timely.

"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict."
~Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


We're HOME!!! We, and when I say we, I mean my 3 kids, my dog and myself, left northern Minnesota on Friday morning. We traveled 5 hours through Wisconsin, in the rain, and 3 hours through Illinois, in the rain. We spent the first night at a Holiday Inn Express in Le Roy, Illinois. We had hoped to go swimming in the hotel pool, but as luck would have it, the hotel pool was under construction.

Day two we got up, ate our complimentary breakfast, and hit the road. We drove 4 more hours through Illinois, 1 hour through Kentucky, and 3 hours through Tennessee. We made our final destination, Dalton Georgia at 8:30 pm. We had a little bit of time to use the hotel pool, take showers and get to bed. We were all happy to be somewhat close to home, but sad that we had to leave Minnesota.

Day three we got up ate another complimentary breakfast (which was not as good as the first one) and hit the road again. We spent the next 6 hours navigating I-75 through Georgia. At 2:30 on Sunday afternoon we finally made it to the Florida state line. I have never been so happy to see a "Welcome to Florida" sign. All four of us cheered as we passed the sign.

At 6:30 pm on Sunday we pulled in to our drive way to find this sign in the front yard. There was another one taped above the garage door. I guess dad really missed us while we were gone!

Inside the house I found these! Aww...he really did miss me.

He also baked us chocolate chip cookies. From scratch, I might add. And, he made us dinner. It is nice to be home. I am still unpacking and taking care of all of the mail and paperwork. I hope to be done today, and back to normal by tomorrow. Whew...what a busy month we have had!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Will Be Blogging Again Soon!

I am on my way back home from a month long vacation. It was great to get away, but I really missed blogging. I will be blogging again soon. Tonight we are in Illinois, tomorrow night we will be in Georgia, and on Sunday we will be home in Florida. I have a lot of great pictures and some great blog post ideas. Can't wait to get back at it!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Week of Fun

Yep, I am suffering the from withdrawal. It has been a whole week since my last blog post. I really miss my Internet connection. If I had to make a list of the things that I miss the most about being away from home for this long my Internet connection would be #2 (yes, being away from my hubby would be #1).

Since I didn't get much blog time in last week, here is a recap of some of the things that we did.

Sunday we spent the whole day in the Canal Park/Park Point area of Duluth. It was a nice enough day that we could actually go to the beach. My crazy kids swam in Lake Superior. It has been a cold summer up here so the lake is pretty cold. I didn't think they would venture in, but to my surprise, they did and they swam for a long time!

Earlier in the week we went to this nice park in downtown Duluth. The kids love to have picnics at this park and then play on the playground for as long as we will let them.

Here are my silly girls, just hangin' around.

Before we went to the beach on Sunday (yes, the pictures are out of order, but with my Internet challenges, I just wasn't going to stress about it) we rode on this boat that takes you around the Duluth harbor. It was such a nice day, I could have stayed on the boat all day. We got a great seat on the top deck. We stayed up there for the whole ride and soaked up the sun. The kids had a great time playing with their 4 year old cousin while we toured the harbor.

Here are my crazy girls swimming in Lake Superior. We drove out on Park Point to go to this nice beach. Park Point is a peninsula that hangs out in Duluth harbor on Lake Superior. There were about 500 people at the beach when we got there. It has been such a cool summer up here that everyone has to take advantage of any warm days that they get.

On Wednesday we drove up the North Shore of Lake Superior to Split Rock State Park. We had a picnic lunch and spent the afternoon hiking around the park. Most of the hiking trail runs along the shore of Lake Superior. At this particular spot there is a big "beach" that is made of rocks. We love to look through the rocks, bring a few home, and make things out of them while we are at the lake.

Caitlyn and I made this turtle out of rocks. Can you see it in the center of the picture?

This is one of my many favorite spots on the lake. This is the same rock beach. In the distance you can see Split Rock Lighthouse. We almost always make a day trip up to this spot when we are in Minnesota. It was a bit of an overcast day, but it was perfect for hiking and picking wild raspberries along the way. Yummmm!!!