Sun Tea

 

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It really is the simple things in life that make me happy.  I was never an Iced Tea drinker until this year and now I can’t get enough.  I remembered sun tea from my childhood and decided to give it a try for myself.  I “googled” how to do it and could not believe it was so simple!  Fill a jug with water and tea bags and sit in the sun for at least 3 hours, no more than 6 hours.  That is it!  My kids are always so amazed that the clear water turns brown and that mommy can brew tea outdoors.

I brew more tea about every 3 days and have only forgotten it once all summer.  It is cheap, environmentally friendly and so much more delicious brewed this way.  I highly suggest you give it a try.

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A Very Special Princess Camp

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Lil’C had the honor of attending a very special princess camp last week.  It was for children ages 5 and up but they made an exception for Lil’C and her buddy J.  This AMAZING camp was the idea and work of two teenage girls.  They created a camp that compared Princesses the girls all knew to Female Saints.  This wonderful camp was a combination of prayer, crafts, games, values and so much FUN.

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On Friday there was a “Crowning” ceremony for the princesses.  They started with a song and dance they had worked on all week and then each had their moment in the spotlight. During the coronation they were given a wand with a virtue.  The camp leaders said a nice bit about each princess when she was crowned and Lil’C was given the wand of “Fortitude”.  After the crowning they showed a movie with photos from the week.  It was just beautiful and I felt so blessed that Lil’C had the chance to participate in such an amazing program!

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These young girls pictured above are INCREDIBLE.  This Princess Camp was their dream and with the help and support of their amazing parents, they made it a reality.  It is so nice in this crazy mixed up world, to give our girls wholesome role models to look up to and be inspired by.  These girls and the other teens that ran this camp are wonderful role models for our girls and I know that Princess Camp will be something that Lil’C will look forward to year after year!

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40 Years…..

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40 Years ago my parents said, “I Do”.  This is so amazing to me, especially for two young crazy kids (well they were in their twenties when they got married) who met and fell in love at the age of 15!

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My mom is not big on parties and since we threw them a party for their 25th, we tried to be more creative for this anniversary.  Instead of a physical party, my sisters and I held a virtual party and asked that all of their friends and family write messages and send pictures for a big 40th Anniversary Memory Book.

wedding11The book was created using Shutterfly and it is AMAZING (if I do say so myself).  It is a collective and creative effort that they will have for the rest of their lives.  This keepsake is filled with photos from the last 50 years, poems, a copy of their wedding invitation, quotes, memories, notes, letters and drawings from their grandkids.  The book was a labor of love and one that I am very proud of.  It was weeks in the making and I couldn’t wait for my sisters and I to give it to them.

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Thanks Mom and Dad for being you and for starting a life together 40 years ago.  We are so grateful for your love, support and the example you have set for all of us.  We love you very much and wish you many more years of happiness!

 

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Science Camp

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Last week was a very special and busy week for our family.  Lil’C attended a Princess Camp with her good buddy and Z joined me as I led a Science Camp.  Science Camp ran Monday-Friday and I had six AMAZING campers and one FABULOUS assistant.  I ran the camp out of my dear friend’s mother’s house and we all had so much fun learning and playing.

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I had so many ideas for topics while planning camp and so I let the boys vote on which four things they wanted to focus on.  Day one we learned about Simple Machines and focused on Levers.  They made catapults, launched marshmallows and then made a big lever to launch stuffed animals.

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Day 2 was all about WATER.  They learned the steps of the water cycle, learned how little fresh water is on this planet and the importance of taking care of it, learned the phases of water, did an oil spill lab and then had some water FUN (it was a wet day).

IMG_2142Day 3 we did science activities around LEGOs.  The boys built structures that could withstand an “earthquake”, made balloon powered LEGO cars, made a Stop Motion LEGO movie and built bridges.

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Day 4 was all about Gooey Science.  We learned about chemical reactions, polymers and alchemy :)  We made snot, bouncy blubber, put Mentos in Diet Coke and played with Oobleck!  I then let them make their own “Elixers of Life” with kitchen ingredients.  It was SOOOO Much Fun!

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The last day we did Science Camp Trivia, awards were handed out and we watched a movie that I made of the week. They then feasted on Waffle Sundaes.  It was a great way to end the week.

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It was a busy week but there is not one thing I would change.  The group of kids were phenomenal and I had so much fun with all of them.  Every boy was polite, appreciative and very enthusiastic about all we did.  On the third day they said that they wished Science Camp was EVERY DAY of the summer.  One of them also pulled me aside, gave me a hug and told me that he understood how much work I was putting in.  You can’t get any sweeter than these kids!

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To thank me they created a song about science camp set to the tune “Everything is Awesome”.  The song they sang was “Science Camp was Awesome” and it brought me to tears.  I couldn’t have asked for a greater thank you.  They also made me this incredible summer gift basket.

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It was a teary last day for me.  I so appreciated the chance to spend the week with a great group of boys and all of the kind words that their parents shared were the icing on the cake.  I am so thankful for this wonderful experience, thanks Claire for making it happen!

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Making Memories….A Trip to the Children’s Museum

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I had the honor of taking two special little ladies to the Children’s Museum in Boston the other day.  Lil’C has been begging to go for since May and I knew this was not an adventure that Z would have any interest in.  I asked my friend Claire if we could her daughter could join us and in return Z go with her family for a “Big Kid” Adventure.  Everyone was happy with this arrangement and so off we went to the “Big City”.

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The girls sang their hearts out to the Frozen soundtrack on the way down.  They were so sweet to one another the entire day, listened so nicely and were such a pleasure to be with.  We had so much fun playing and checking out all of the different exhibits.

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My favorite moment of the day was when they sang “Let it Go” at the kids karaoke exhibit.  This song was not a choice, but they didn’t care.  They belted their hearts out and I was so excited to get some of it on video.

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They are the cutest little friends and it was such an honor to spend the day with them!

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A Great Night at Fenway

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Last week we had our annual Father/Daughter trip to Fenway Park.  Playing the part of my very pregnant sister, was Z!  He did a great job pretending to be Auntie and though me missed her greatly, she was happy to be laying down at home.

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The Sox lost, not unusual for this season, but we had a great time.  In the 9th we moved down to closer seats and Z liked this new vantage.   It was a fun night with family and a tradition that I absolutely LOVE.  Thanks Dad for a great night.

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A Very Special Weekend

954756_557965544262960_1632933656_nI have to be honest, I am still reeling from our weekend last weekend.  It is hard to believe that there is another weekend upon us.  Last weekend was very busy and filled with many different emotions.

My weekend started off with a funeral for my dear friends father.  He has been battling cancer for the last 16 months and his life was celebrated in the most beautiful way and in the most beautiful place.   Over 500 people came out to say “Good-Bye” and the service was filled with both laughter and tears.

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After the funeral I headed to the 4th Annual Kiki’s Garden Sunflower Soiree.  This event is in memory of Scott’s sister Krista and raises money for students who have a passion for the Arts.  It was another beautiful event but they are always filled with a great deal of emotion.  I got to spend most of my day as a participant (a first for me) and spent the day playing with Lil’C.

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We had a wonderful time visiting with princesses, crafting, playing with pirates, going on a hay ride, making fairy gardens and buying raffle tickets so that she could win Fairy Barbie.  I am relieved to say that she did win and that Barbie has not left her side all week.

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Sunday we celebrated Grandma Betsy’s 95th birthday.  It was a surprise party and I think the greatest surprise was having all 9 of her children, 11 of her 14 Grandchildren and 4 out of 5 of her great grand children (with another on the way) all there to celebrate with her.  Grandma’s family is spread out around the country and all were there for the big day.  It was a lovely afternoon and so nice to see such a special lady have such an amazing gift.10505447_10100244877627019_3568266815658590932_nIMG_1858IMG_1848

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So yes we are still tired.  It has not helped that this week has also been busy with more late nights.  We are hoping to find a few moments in the next few days to relax a bit…..we shall see.

 

 

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10 Years…..

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It is hard to believe that a decade has past since that beautiful foggy night under a blue moon.  10 years since Scott and I stood up before our family and friends and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together. These 10 years have flown by in the blink of an eye.

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We are not the same people we were back then, not by a long shot.  I would have to say we are a  little more wiser, a little more confident, a little more “fat in the face” and a little more tired but our hearts are so much fuller.

Happy Anniversary Scott!!!

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Friday Finds…..The Backstory on the Market Basket Craziness

UnknownFor those of you local folks trying to make sense of the drama centering around Market Basket, The Clam wrote two great blog posts that I wanted to share with you (Thanks to my Scott for sharing).  The first article explains both the crazy back story and history of the Demoulas Family (click here to read it).   The second article explains why folks are boycotting the stores this week, employees are walking out and why shelves are bare.  (click here).

I am not a Market Basket shopper but have many friends who are.  Despite not being a Market Basket Shopper, it is hard not to get sucked into this story and all that these employees are doing to stand up for their leader.  I admire them for taking a stand and I am very curious to see how this will all unfold. Market Basket Strong!

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You’re Reading Harry Potter Again?

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Yes. I. am.  I know I have read or listened to the entire series at least 5 times but I am reading it again.  Why am I reading the Harry Potter series again when I have a 700 page book club book to finish by the first week of August?!?!?!  For the same reason I watch the same old sitcoms or movies when I am sick or the reason I cuddle up with my old baby blanket when I am sad….it is a comfort.

This week has been an emotional one.  As I try to support a dear friend from a far as well as keep up with the day to day crazy that has been this summer, I need a little comfort of my own.  In my precious free moments I need to turn to something that I know, something that I love and something that I enjoy.

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Summer reading should be light in my opinion, that is why I often spend summer days rereading series or old favorites.  I have spent summers at Green Gables, out on the Prairie, with Jo and Beth or even Miss Elizabeth Bennet.  I find nothing more comforting than reading a story that I love with characters that I care a great deal about.

Yes, the 700 page book club book will not be finished and it took some time to come to terms with that.  At this time I am enjoying my time at Hogwarts and finding comfort in that.

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