Monthly Archives: July 2012

Herr’s Snack Factory Tour

This morning a friend and I brought our kids to the Herr’s Snack Factory Tour.  It’s located in Nottingham, PA, so it was only about 30 minutes from Main Street in Newark to get there.  The tour takes about 45 minutes and it was like coming home for LittleM.  She can eat her weight in chips right now!

The tour is free but I recommend scheduling an appointment to make sure that you don’t have to wait too long to get on the Tour.  Even on a Monday in the summer, there were quite a few groups taking advantage of the free tour.

I called this morning and was able to get an early tour time.  They offer tours from 9-11AM and then 1-3PM Monday to Thursday, and 9-11AM on Friday, but they don’t guarantee production on Fridays (to which I say, then why bother having the tour?).

While on the tour, you get to see all the steps of potato to chip production, packaging, and boxing.  You also get to sample chips hot off the line and a bag of chips at the end of the tour.  Their souvenir store has anything and everything you can imagine to purchase with the Herr’s name of it.  I ended up buying a 10 snack bag variety pack to try some new flavors for $3.75. Creamy Dill pickle and Baby Back Ribs are just two of the options.

This is Chipper, or Chip Herr, the official mascot of Herr Foods Inc.

While we didn’t get to meet the actual mascot, he was in the video and LittleM was able to get a ring with him on it.

Overall, it was a really great time.  The girls were good, it was fun and interesting.  And of course, free chips don’t hurt either!

Hope you are having a great start to the week!

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Delaware Park Family Fun Day Today

If you’re looking for a fun adventure today, I highly recommend going to Delaware Park for one of their Family Fun Days. It’s from 12:30-3:30 and there are plenty of free activities for the kids. While it is at the track, there is nothing that screams gambling at the family area. You can bring your own picnic lunch or buy BBQ there.

Delaware Park has a big jungle gym for the kids to climb on, free pony rides, free bounce house and inflatable slides, inexpensive face painting and balloon animals, and you get to watch the race. Everything is under huge trees so you’re always under shade. It’s really fantastic.

Also, if your kid is anything like LittleM, you’re going to have to find a bathroom soon after getting to the park. Delaware Park has already thought of that and has the most amazing portable bathrooms. They are in a trailer, flush toilets, and running water to wash your hands. Not a glamorous subject, but something I always worry about with a little one!

Hope you have a great Saturday!

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Simple Summer Pleasures

Yesterday we went to Rehoboth Beach.  Besides the insane crowds, it was fantastic.  Somehow we ended up with an amazing parking spot and elbowed our way to a sandy spot on the beach.  The sand was scorching (since the thermometer was reading 100 degrees at some point), but the water was amazing.  LittleM was brave and went into the water, as long as I held her.

She also lucked out with having Grandma and Grandaddy with her who bought her an ice cream.

What is better in the summer than being sandy and covered in ice cream drippings on a perfect beach day? Oh yeah, riding the rides at Funland, which she did too!

Happy Adventures.

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Scissors Are Not TOYS!

We had the dreaded finding yesterday.  The one where you find your child with scissors and hair.  Thankfully LittleM didn’t seem to get too much of her hair off but it still was a shock to find her doing that.

The blame is not all LittleM’s.  It was my fault that the scissors were accessible to her.  They were little folding scissors that I had in the library bag (which I use to cut coupons when we go because our library has a basket that they put the coupons in) and forgot because I normally have them in my wallet.  This is what they look like.

Here’s how it all went down.  I had sent LittleM upstairs to find a small tape measure she had taken from me and things seemed a little quiet up there.  My husband and I had both called her and asked what she was doing, both times she had a valid excuse for still being upstairs even though she “couldn’t” find the tape measure.  We both went upstairs to finish getting ready to leave and I could hear my husband in LittleM’s room and he did not sound happy.  I walked into LittleM’s room and saw my husband with the scissors and a chunk of hair.  Then we saw even more hair under her bed, which it looked like she tried to hide.  Not only had she cut her hair, but she had cut a tag and “hair” off her Perry the Platypus doll.  Once she realized she had been caught, the meltdown ensued.

I have never seen my daughter get so upset.  She was so upset that we were upset at her, I thought she was going to start hyperventilating. Not once had we yelled at her.  But, once we got her calmed down we explained how it is not ok to play with scissors and if she wants to cut something to tell Mommy and Daddy so we can get paper for her to cut.  She also had lied to us when we asked her about cutting her hair until we found it on the floor.  So we had the discussion about how it makes Mommy and Daddy more upset if she lies to us than if she just tells us the truth about what happened.

Here is what I have realized from this fun experience:

1. When my kid is quiet, she is definitely getting in trouble.

2. Don’t underestimate what your kid can do when they really want to.  I had no idea that LittleM was able to open those folding scissors, I can’t even easily open them up every time.

3. My daughter is really sensitive.  Anytime that we try to correct her, she has what I call her “defense mechanism”. She immediately starts sniffling, tells us that she loves us, and wants hugs.  Not that it’s a bad thing to want hugs, but getting to the point of almost hyperventilating yesterday is not the way I want her to go.  And I swear we didn’t yell at her at all!

As many people have told me since yesterday afternoon, cutting your own hair with scissors is almost a rite of passage.  But it has been a good reminder to me that LittleM still is little, and I need to be more aware of what I have lying around that she can get into.  No matter how mature I think she is, even though we are beyond the “baby-proofing stage”, she’ still only 4 years old.

The adventures continue to make our life interesting!

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Open the Disney Store

Our local Disney Store has an awesome opening ceremony every morning that they allow kids to get involved with. LittleM was able to be the helper the other day and I would highly recommend anyone with a Disney/Princess obsessed child to head over there.

So here’s the rundown. We got to the mall about 20 minutes before it opened on a Tuesday (knowing it wouldn’t be as crowded and therefore not as much competition as the weekend). Thankfully we were the first ones there and there was a Store employee outside that we could say we were there to help open. The worker started calling LittleM Princess which she totally ate up. She was so excited that she would get nervous everytime someone walked near the store crying, “But I want to open the store!”. I was able to keep her calm until 10 when the store was set to open and the fun began.

Music started to play with an announcer’s voice talking about Disney. An employee walked from the back to the front of the store with an enormous key above her head. One end of the key was Cinderella’s castle while the other end was the Disney D. LittleM got to help the employee put the key in a giant keyhole and turn the key, which then dropped the ropes blocking the front of the store. LittleM was allowed to be the first in the store and got a miniaturized version of the enormous key to bring home for helping.

They do this everyday. Every single day. At least at the Christiana Mall. I would call your local Disney Store to see if they do it. It was so worth going early to see her face and let her have that experience. If you have a little princess or prince, it’s a fun, free experience for them to take part in.

Disney is a marketing machine. I’m just saying. They don’t know how to do anything small.

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Fun Indoors for the Upcoming Weather

Aside from Tuesday and Friday, the weather in Northern Delaware looks rainy this upcoming week.  What is the difference between “Scattered Thunderstorms” and “Isolated Thunderstorms”?  It sounds the same to me.  So, based on that weather report, here are some ideas of indoor activities:

Saturday, July 14:

1. 10:30AM Family Music Time at Kirkwood Library (Free)

2. 11 am is storytime at Barnes and Noble at the Christiana Mall. A really cute story area, great train set to play with, play area in the mall in front of Target if they get bored there. (Free- unless you can’t leave a bookstore without buying anything, which is totally me!)

Tuesday, July 17: Lots of ideas to choose from

1. 10:30AM $1 movies at Regal Theaters with their Summer Movie Express.  People’s Plaza is showing Kung Fu Panda 2 or Rango, Rt 202 is showing Adventures of Tin Tin or Puss in Boots.

2. 10:30AM Newark Library Storytime and Craft. This is usually pretty busy so be prepared for that. (Free)

3. 11AM Barnes and Noble Storytime (Free)

4. 1PM Family Movie at Newark Library (Free)

5. 10AM -3PM Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum (see previous post for costs)

Wednesday, July 18

1. 10:30 Regal Theaters- see #1 for Tuesday above.

2. 2pm “The Disenchanted Dragon” play at Kirkwood Library. (It’s also being done at 10:30 at Newark Library but I think it may be less busy at Kirkwood). (Free)

Thursday, July 19

1. 11AM Storytime at Barnes and Noble (Free)

2. Delaware History Museum– This is located in Center City Wilmington on Market Street.  Tickets are $6/adult, $4 for kids 3-18. They’re open 11AM-4PM.  The museum is great, lots of interactive stuff for the kids while learning about Delaware History.  What’s great though, and why you should get some friends together to go with you is that you also get into “Grandma’s Attic” in the same building.  Tons of Playtime Activities with a school setting, store, kitchen, puppets, dress up, books, etc.  LittleM had a great time there.  It’s open Wed-Fri 11-4, Saturday 10-4 and if you want to wait it’s FREE admission on the first Friday of each month.

Friday, July 20

1.10:15 Learn to make your own Sidewalk Chalk at Hockessin Library but registration is required so make sure to call them and reserve a spot. 239-5160. (Free)

I hope this gives you some fun ideas to keep everyone busy and entertained during this possible rainy week!  Let me know if you find anything else that you want me to add or share your adventures that you have during the rain!

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Kreativ Blogger Award

So apparently people are actually reading my Blog! Who knew?!  Well, I had hoped but it is nice to know.

Anyway, a fellow blogger has passed the Kreativ Blogger Award to me!  Thanks Drama Queen Seams!  I would highly recommend checking out her blog, I am especially excited to try out her rolled flower headbands. Check her out at

Part of this award is to pass the love along to other bloggers and share some information about myself so here we go.

To accept the award I need to do 4 things:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated me.
  2. Answer the 7 questions.
  3. Share 7 random facts/thoughts about myself.
  4. Nominate 7 worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I’ve already completed #1.

#2- 7 Questions

  1. What’s your favorite song? I really like Jill Scott’s Golden.  I always feel very empowered after hearing that song.
  2. What’s your favorite dessert? Chocolate.  Doesn’t matter what it is.  Enough said.
  3. What do you do when your upset? I do two different things.  First, I become a couch potato and wallow for a bit.  Second, I shake the couch potato off and get into super gear and immerse myself in dealing with the problem.
  4. Favorite pet? Definitely a dog
  5. Do you prefer black or white? Black.
  6. Biggest fear? Not being able to take care of my family.
  7. What is your attitude mostly like? I am usually an upbeat person who is a problem solver.
#3- 7 random things about me
  1. I stink at cleaning, therefore I hate to clean.
  2. I’ve decided to change my lifestyle and have lost 30 pounds in 6 months.
  3. I really enjoy being a teacher.
  4. This July I’ve been married 10 years.
  5. I LOVE Disney and Mickey Mouse (so much so I have a tattoo on my back of Mickey).
  6. I really like when friends and coworkers ask me for help or advice.  It makes me feel good that they value my opinion and ideas.
  7. I have a lot of random movie knowledge in my head.  No one will play Scene It with me anymore.

#4Nominate 7 Bloggers for the Kreativ Blogger Award

Here are 7 Blogs that I really enjoy reading and think are very Kreativ!

1. MissJennyBird  She makes me laugh every time I go to her site!

2. Simply Adapting Great Ideas and info as she transitions to a new home far from where she grew up

3. No Time For Flash Cards So MANY ideas on crafts and learning to do with kids

4. The Imagination Tree Another great website for crafts and learning ideas for kids

5. Bucket List Publications The adventures on this blog get my ideas moving!

6. Small Potatoes Great ideas for you and “smalls” to do

7. Brown Paper Packages Super Kreativ and lots of printables and easy tutorials to follow

Well, I hope this was somewhat interesting to you. Thanks for everyone’s support and positive feedback. I hope that this is as interesting for you to read as it is for me to write.

On to many more adventures!

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Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum and Gardens

Last week we had a fantastic time at Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum and Gardens off of Rt 52 in Delaware.

They have lots of hands on activities for the kids.  It runs from 10am to 3pm so there is plenty of time to make it there for the activities and have fun in the Enchanted Woods.

The focus of last week was Art and Color.  LittleM was able to make a pastel crayon, paint with food coloring to learn about the color spectrum, make her own ink and write with a feather pen, and look at minerals through a magnifying glass. It was great.

This week the focus is Teddy Bear Triage.  The description from their website:

-Bring in a toy in need of repair and learn how to document, clean, treat, and store that precious object to best preserve it for the future.

Activities include:

  • Taking pictures of (aka documenting) objects
  • Filling out a condition report. Use magnifying visors like real conservators!
  • Practicing basic cleaning techniques that can be done at home
  • Creating a storage container for objects using old shoe boxes
  • Experimenting with filling in losses on painting or ceramic tiles and mending tears in fabric

When you’re done with that (because it only took us about 20 minutes to complete the activities), don’t forget to check out the Enchanted Woods.  It’s where the fairies live and play at Winterthur.  While we haven’t been lucky enough to see them ourselves, we have had a great time playing in their houses!

A visit to Winterthur can be a little costly if you don’t have a membership. My husband and I agreed to try out a membership this year to see how we liked it because visiting 2 times would pay for itself with just the 3 of us.  Not only do you have to cover the cost of the entrance fee but these Terrific Tuesday’s also add an extra $5 to the cost if you aren’t a member.  General admission to the Museum is $18 for adults, $5 for children 2-11 years old.

Winterthur also has the largest collection of American antiques and a house tour will take at least an hour to learn about the branch of the duPont family that built it. I would recommend skipping that if you don’t think your little one can handle that much time being quite and not touching anything.

What is fantastic at Winterthur is that they allow you to bring in your own food and have a picnic anywhere on the property. That will save you some money and allow some pretty great views for picnicking!

I hope you get a chance to stop by and enjoy the activities. It satisfies the history nerd in me to visit. Happy Adventuring!

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Don’t Let The Knowledge Ooze Out!

I know as a teacher and as a mother to a now 4 year old that it is really hard for parents to keep the knowledge and skills that kids learned over the year in their brains once summer hits.  All I want to do with LittleM is enjoy our time together and catch up from all the time that we miss during the school year when I’m working.  Granted, I take her to endless museums and try to make crafts and activities that are educational, but now that she is starting to write I realize that I have been woefully remiss in keeping those skills going this summer so far.  I don’t think she’s going to be happy through the years that she has a teacher for a mom!

One of the mantras of teachers is to steal the best from the best, meaning activities and ideas to best teach students.  While we are constantly working to get our students engaged, we can’t make everything ourselves all the time, ie the old cliche of not reinventing the wheel.  Once I recognized that LittleM was not working on those writing skills (because we hadn’t done that yet, this is new for us!), I started searching the internet for great things to use.

HELLO School Sparks!  If you have not found their website yet and you have a 2 year old to 1st grader, PLEASE go there now!  They have HUNDREDS of free worksheets to use with your child for writing and math skills.  The major categories are: Alphabet Parade, Math/Number Awareness, Reading Skills, Auditory Processing, Visual Discrimination, Fine Motor, Holiday Themes, and Kindergarten Themes.  It is amazing.  The only issue that I have is that you have to print each page individually, but that also means you can just print a few at a time when you need them.  I went a little overboard and created 2 binders with everything that I wanted, A-Z tabbed for the Alphabet Parade, with reading skills behind and then a separate Math/Motor Skills Binder.  Yeah, I’m like that.

They also have 461 of their worksheets printed and bound in a book that you can purchase through Amazon (another of my loves!).  Click here to go directly to Amazon to purchase the book for $28.

So, I now have gotten everything together for myself to get LittleM back on track so she doesn’t lose all the knowledge and skills that she learned over the school year.  I hope you find some good things to work on with your kiddos!  School Sparks really rocks.


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Summer Jars Finally Completed!

We finally finished making the summer jars!  Now we just have to complete all the fun activities that are in them during the summer! Look back at earlier post for the explanation of activities I put on the popsicle sticks and the inspiration for the craft here.

Here are a few pictures with explanation of how we created ours. We started with jumbo sized popsicle craft sticks that you can find at any craft store.  My husband was able to convince her to paint only the front of the sticks, as you can see here.

I save LittleM’s yogurt and fruit cup containers for paint activities.  We are not allowed recycle those containers here so I keep them to use for paint containers and then throw them out. Once the front of the sticks were dry, we were able to put the activities on them. I have plain white Avery address labels that I was able to type everything in their easy template, print them  out, and then it was the second part of the activity for LittleM.  Avery has a great thing with the labels where you fold the paper so the labels pop up making them easy peel.  I love it!  It made it so easy for LittleM to get the labels off the paper and onto the sticks.

We finished those 2 steps AWHILE ago.  Then the poopy hit the fan with family issues and my husband losing his job so we ended up going on a road trip.  These got put the the side but we finally got to it.

What I finished up by myself was the jars for the sticks.

I used 2 mason jars, paper, scissors, ribbon, a glue gun, permanent marker, and 2 very small metal frames I had for scrapbooking.

I cut a piece of ribbon that fit once around my mason jar.  Using my glue gun I put one piece of glue in the middle to stick to the back of the jar, then glued the two ends at the front of the jar.  I was so tired when I was making this that I totally forgot to take any pictures of any other steps.  Sorry.  The reason that I glued it on the front is because I put the labels for the jars on the front so the seam is easily hidden.

Here is the finished product.  I used the paper to write the 2 labels “To Do” and “Done”, glued those to the frames, then glued the frames to the jars.  Obviously they do not lay flat on the jars but I kinda like it that way.

Here is the finished product from the side. You can easily see our One Side Painted popsicle sticks in the jars! They are are an easy height for LittleM to reach when we get the “I’m Bored!” comment soon to come up. I’m also hoping to use these to help LittleM with her reading, having her help me read each stick and work on letter sounds. Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy crafting!

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