February 1 2018

Fun at COSI

On November 18, 2017, while our family was in Ohio for the weekend to see the Bluejackets and Rangers play around with a puck, we took a few hours to visit COSI (Center of Science and Industry). My family has always gone to science and children’s museums on family vacations. The photos and videos below are some of the things we saw and did while we were there. As a parent, I enjoyed this trip more than any other we took to such places in the past because my kids are now 24 and 26 years old and as such could be trusted to behave and not get hurt, lost or kidnapped. It’s really amazing how that can change the dynamic of the trip.

Son and Hubby trying to figure out the right combination required to light up the whole neighborhood.

Hubby in front of an engine.

The COSI Foucault Pendulum Clock. I actually managed to film it knocking the ball off and playing the wooden blocks!

Daughter pulls her body weight up and down.

Daughter plays music with her feet.

Hubby, Son, and Daughter work together to make the car go.

Pumpkin Patch Science (long video)

Tornado Tube.

Tesla Coil Demonstration.

Water feature (above and below).

Daughter went down first then Son decided to join her in the submarine.

I don’t think Daughter knew what she was getting herself into!

Hubby and Son try to figure out how to make the ball shoot up and hit the ceiling.

We weren’t the only ones who couldn’t quite make it happen, but we did see others who were successful. You can hear my two science nerds discussing it.

When rats play basketball!

We highly recommend this great museum, so if you ever find yourself with a day to spend in Columbus, Ohio, go check it out!

December 15 2017

Different (Five Minute Friday)

If there is one thing I have always been, it is different. I was never thin like the other kids in school. I never really looked like my siblings, at least not in my opinion. We all had differing hair colors and heights. I have never had the same hobbies as most people, especially my siblings with the exception of reading. I have always loved to read, but I used to read very slowly. When I went to high school, rather than take the required speed reading class for a single grading period like most of the kids, I had to take an entire semester. It is probably just as well I did because it did help me to read much faster.

I never liked dressing like all the other kids, not that was really a choice growing up since we were too poor to buy the “in” clothes. I have always enjoyed going to Goodwill or some other second-hand store and choosing the clothes I liked because they were different. I have never liked the idea of being a cookie cutter and going along with the crowd. I wear what I want, what I like, what fits at the time, what I could find cheap that fit my budget.

I even raised my kids differently than most parents at the time. When they got to have candies like Skittles or M&Ms, they couldn’t just eat them like other parents let their kids do. Nope, we sorted them all out by color and made bar graphs out of them. Then we talked about how many would be left if you ate two blue ones. We discussed which color had more and which had less. We did all sorts of fun things with them as we ate them.

We read to our kids, we read with our kids and had them read to us. We let them see us reading and enjoying reading. We let them take books with them when we went out to dinner. The only rule was that they had to close the book while the waiter or waitress was there to take our orders and once the food arrived, but they could read again once they finished eating their dinner. We almost always took them with us when we went out to dinner unless it was our anniversary. We would eat out usually on Friday nights and we took turns choosing where we would eat. The kids knew they couldn’t choose any place that was expensive or fast food, but pretty much anything else was fine. We taught them to read the menu and choose their own food, but they had to eat what they chose and it had to be a balanced meal. We made them try new foods, usually, the rule was that they had to eat the number of bites of something that matched their age. A four-year-old had to try 4 bites before getting off the hook.

We took our kids on vacations with us and we usually went to science museums or children’s museums because that is what they wanted to do.

Being different isn’t always bad, sometimes it is a good way to get to know yourself and an excellent way to raise very smart kids.

Embrace your different-ness! It makes you unique and memorable.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Different
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

March 16 2017

Travel Tips for Parents and Everyone Else

Travel Tips

We have done a fair bit of traveling as a family and I have learned these travel tips along the way.

For Everyone:

Pack basic snacks, preferably healthy ones, for the road trip. I suggest baby carrots, celery sticks, bottled water, cheese sticks, and pretzels. This will help cut down on costs and the number of stops. Eating healthy can also help offset the extra calories we all tend to eat on vacations, just because it IS vacation and we know we deserve to treat ourselves.

When you are planning a trip, unless you already get some sort of member discount for booking hotels, you might want to consider getting a membership to your local AAA Auto Club. This can often save you at least 10% off the cost of hotel rooms or attraction tickets. The savings from one trip could well pay for the cost of the annual membership and you would still have the benefit of the roadside assistance and towing to use the whole year which can again save you to cost of the membership if you ever need to have your car towed. Continue reading

March 2 2017

We Messed Up Our Kids

We are good parents for the most part. Our kids might even agree. However, in the process of raising them to be the wonderful productive members of society that they are today, we may have seriously messed them up.

First we had a rule that they could only cry when they got “hurt” if there was blood involved. Next if they kept whining about some painful thing, we would tell them, “Don’t worry honey. If it still hurts tomorrow, we will just cut it off.” You know what? NOTHING ever hurt tomorrow! Now that seriously cut down on the whining around our house. We also wouldn’t let them use a band-aid unless they were actively bleeding. Don’t judge! Those cute cartoon band-aids were not cheap! I like to think we were teaching them to deal with the things life throws at them in a mature way. Continue reading

February 10 2017

The Importance of Family Dinners

The Importance of Family Dinners

If you have children, you most likely already know how important it is to eat dinner as a family. We did this almost every night when the kids were growing up. The kids were allowed to help get dinner on the table by helping whoever was cooking or by setting the table. We would let them help plan menus for the week and voice what they were “hungry” for. Each child of course had favorite meals. We would talk about how it wasn’t good to eat the same thing more than one day a week. How we should try to plan a variety of different meats or even some meatless meals throughout the week. Eating together as a family affords opportunities to bond and many teachable moments.

Continue reading