Howdy, Folks. Remember me? It turns out that I am still here, even though it has been over a week since my last post. With our crazy school schedule this year, I have been bouncing between quadratic equations, B is for Butterfly, and dividing the land between Octavian and Mark Antony. If I seem a little bit scrambled, you'll know why. When I'm not solving chemistry lab dilemmas or whipping out school snacks in mere seconds that will still wow my kids (I'll try to give you more on that in a later post), I have been digging out from our beach camping adventure.
We had a lot of storms on the beach this year. In one particular late night storm, we were in the tent trying to keep it from flattening in the wind or blowing away. I don't know why. The idea of being in a tent that's rolling across the beach in a storm doesn't exactly sound like wise planning. Note to self: Next time the beach skies look even slightly stormy, give up before the rain hits. Anyway, back to my story...things were so bad that 3 of us were completely exhausted trying to hold the tent and our arms were starting to give out. We finally gave up on the tent and made a mad dash for the trailer. It was a good thing we ran when we did, because the storm suddenly got worse and the gale-force winds were so strong that it actually snapped several of our tent poles. Needless to say, we were all soaked to the skin. When the rain let up enough for us to see our tent from the trailer (which was only about 8 feet away) this is what we saw:
Actually, it was even flatter. This was after we had propped it up so we could go in and retrieve our things. It took us most of the next day to repair our camp. I tell myself that when my kids have families of their own, this is one of the stories they will tell their kids. Probably while they are all sitting in a nice, safe, dry hotel somewhere.
We drove for 12 hours with four kids to get to this beach side bliss. And then we drove for 12 hours back. Actually, we drove even longer on the way back. We wanted to visit a lovely lady who attends our church and was in the hospital. We decided it would be a great idea to take a detour and pull a trailer into the downtown Houston hospital metro-plex. With a skybox and a kayak on top. Have you ever been to downtown Houston? You can only park in parking garages and they only have a height limit of something like 2 inches. It was something to behold. Finally a security guard had mercy on us and led us to a place to park. I guess he got tired of watching the Beverly Hillbillies driving in circles around the hospitals. He didn't even act like we were the dumbest people he had ever seen. I love Texas.
When you are spending that much time in the car, you need something to keep the kids from killing each other entertain the kiddos. This year I purchased an e-book, printed it up, added a couple items and I was ready for them! It was so much easier than trying to come up with activities on my own.
I've written about Activities in a Bag before, even though I don't get a dime for telling you about them. They don't even know I'm writing a review about their products. By the way, I refuse to promote products that I don't actually use and enjoy myself. Just wanted you to know that.
Basically, you just print out the activity pages, slip them in page protectors and put them in a 3-ring binder. Then you put in a dry erase marker, a piece of felt (to use as an eraser), and a few items needed for some of the games, and your done. Easy. The pages in the page protectors work like a white board. When the kids get in the car, they can write and re-write on the pages.
There are activities for multiple ages. My 3 year-old found things she liked, and so did my 15 year-old. There were activities to do alone, and games the kids could play together. Some activities were familiar ideas, but many were things I had never heard of. They even had the words to all those camp and travel songs you used to sing off-key and annoy your parents with when you were a kid. All and all, it was a great alternative to just plugging the kids into a media device.
If you are interested in checking them out, you can find them here. They also have preschool activities in a bag, crafts in a bag and science in a bag. With a little bit of effort, you can have an organized activity to pull out any time the kids are bored. Awesome!