more of the good

appetizer avocado bread breakfast

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Like so many other people on this small planet, I take the beginning of a new year to set out goals that I hope to accomplish over the next year.  I have a lot of them, eat healthier, move my body more, spend more time in nature, save more money, pay down debt, read more books, spend more time with God and go on more dates with my husband.  As I was mulling over what it is I would like to accomplish this year, I realized that I really just need to spend more time doing the good stuff and less time doing the bad stuff.  Yep, that about sums it up!

Wishing all of you a very blessed New Year!  May you reach your goals………

 

things I did to keep my young kids entertained at home while chronically ill

depth of field photography of p l a y wooden letter decors on top of beige wooden surface

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Although I had been “sick” for as long as I can remember, no one could find anything wrong with me.  As a result, I went on with my life the best I could and that included the blessings of children.  It was not until after my last child was born that I became too ill for the doctors to ignore.  Once a diagnoses was finally made, my life was more complicated, stressful, and difficult due to increasing symptoms.  There were many days that I lived minute by minute, not sure how I was going to last until it was their bedtime.  I had to figure out ways to make taking care of the kids a little easier and these are the things that I did.

We hung a bird feeder outside our dining room window.  This was a place we could all sit and watch the birds.  I purchased a few storybooks with birds and a bird guide to help us identify the visiting creatures.

Special boxes.  Every late summer when school supplies went on sale, I would put together a box for each child.  Their boxes would include paper, pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, stickers, glue sticks, craft supplies, a puzzle, journals, a book or two, and a few smaller toys.  These boxes were only brought out with my permission and I used them on days I couldn’t handle much noise or activity.  They were a HUGE hit with my kids as I was adamant that the boxes were only brought out at specified times and when they were done everything went back into the box and it was put away until next time.

Playdough and Model Magic.  I had a bin with plastic silverware and plates and small toys and  plastic animals to use with the playdough.  Kids loved it when I pulled out this bin, but it had to be used on days that I felt decent, as it involved more clean-up.

Special DVDs.  There were several movies that my kids loved to watch and I would hold those back for times when I could not get out of bed.  The kiddos would climb into bed with me and “we” (mostly them) would watch the movie.  This would give me a solid hour and a half to be still.

Books.  I read A LOT to my kids, hundreds and hundreds of books.  I would sit in a comfy chair and the kids would gather around and listen while playing quietly (most of the time).

Legos.  I LOVE Legos.  We had all kinds of legos at our home and as the kids grew the legos got smaller and more dangerous to have scattered all over the floor.  These could keep my kids entertained for hours.

Blocks.  I had a very large plastic bucket full of wooden blocks and my kiddos would sit and play with those for hours creating their own imaginary kingdoms.

Trains.  A train table was given to my oldest child and Thomas and his friends joined shortly afterward.  There was enough room at the table for all of my kiddos to sit and play.

Dress-up bin.  Old clothing, jewelry, hats, halloween costumes, they could dress up and become anything they wanted.

Art supplies.  White paper, scratch paper, construction paper, packing paper, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, finger paints……….I kept all of this contained to one area of the house.

Dolls.  Dolls and doll clothing plus beds made from clementine crates and plastic doll food from the dollar store.

Sandbox in the backyard. My husband built a simple sandbox in our backyard and the kids LOVED playing in it.

Tire swing hanging from a large tree in our backyard.  My husband put this up for the kids and it was an instant hit.

I hope you can find something you are able to use to entertain your kiddos or grandkids while you deal with CI.

 

Until next time, you are a superhero!

list of free (and $1.00) summer activities for kids

assorted underwater animal toys

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It is hard to believe, but summer is just around the corner and with the warmer months brings more time with the kiddos.  It can get very expensive trying to find ways to entertain children/grandchildren/nieces/newphews without losing your mind or physically exhausting yourself.    Below is a list of free activities your kids can participate in and some require minimal outings on your part.

These activities may not be available in all locations.

 

Free summer reading program for kids grades 1-6

https://dispatch.barnesandnoble.com/content/dam/ccr/pdf/2018/summer-reading/bn-summer-reading-journal.pdf?x=y

 

Free summer reading program for kids to 14 years old

https://www.halfpricebooks.com/fyb/pdfs/FYBReadingLog.pdf

 

Kids to 14 years old can bowl 2 games/day free all summer.

https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/

 

Regal movie theaters are offering $1.00 movie tickets through the summer two days/week.  One of the movies is Max and is something that is not a predominately a kids movie so adults may enjoy it too!

https://www.regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express

 

Free movie/game rentals in JUNE for each A on a child’s report card at Family Video

https://www.familyvideo.com/community-involvement/

 

Every 4th grade student and their family gets a free National Parks pass to be used as much as wanted by August 31, 2018

https://www.everykidinapark.gov/game/adventure/start

 

Free family summer camps

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/family-summer-camp

 

Free camp at apple store ages 8-12

https://www.apple.com/retail/camp/notify.html

 

Free workshops for kids ages 5-12

https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#change_store

 

Free month Lego mini-build ages 6-14

https://shop.lego.com/en-US/minibuild-registration

 

While your at it, sign your kiddos up for a free lego magazine

https://www.lego.com/en-us/life/magazine

 

Free fishing – nationwide schedule

https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/free-fishing-days-2018/

 

Free classes for kids

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/events-for-students

 

Free summer audiobook program for kids 13+

http://audiobooksync.com/

 

Another book program for kids

http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx

 

Pottery Barn kids book club

https://www.potterybarnkids.com/customer-service/store-events.html

 

Free tokens from Chuck E Cheese for completely logs such as reading

https://www.chuckecheese.com/deals-offers/rewards-calendars

 

If you live in the Boston area, here is what I found for free

https://bostonlivingonthecheap.com/always-free-cheap/free-museum-days/

 

If you live in the Chicago area here is a link to free days at their museums

http://www.chicagoparent.com/learn/museums/museum-free-days/

 

If you live in the Houston area, here is a link to free dates/time for free museum entry

http://houmuse.org/free-admission-times/

 

If you live in the Indianapolis area, here is a link to free and discounted museums

https://indywithkids.com/free-indiana-museum-days-2017/

 

If you live in the NYC area, here is a link to free or pass as you wish museums

https://www.nyc-arts.org/collections/35/free-museum-days-or-pay-what-you-wish

 

If you live in Oregon, below is a link to free admissions

http://www.oregonlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/12/get_free_admission_to_12_orego.html

 

If you are in southern California, below is a link to free museums

http://www.socalmuseums.org/free/

 

In the St. Louis area, here is a link to free admissions

http://www.familyattractionscard.com/single-post/2015/04/07/15-Free-Things-to-Do-in-St-Louis

 

If you are in the Washington DC area, here is a link to free activities and museums

https://freetoursbyfoot.com/free-things-to-do-in-dc/

 

Don’t forget that many libraries nationwide have free summer reading programs!  This has always been a favorite of my kids.

Free summer lunches, and in some places breakfasts, are available nationwide for kids through 18 years of age.  These are available in select public schools and parks.  Below is a link but you may have better information googling your state and free summer lunch program.

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

 

Until next time…………………..YOU are a superhero!

Book giveaway!

I would like to thank my current followers with a book giveaway!   Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to stop by,  read, comment, or just check out what I have posted, I appreciate it beyond words.

You will be able to choose from one of the two books that was listed in my last post about care packages .

All I need from you is to leave a comment that you are interested in a book  by May 6th, 2018 at midnight EST.  All names will then be put into a bowl on May 7th and a name will be picked by one of my kiddos. I will contact you directly regarding your win.  If I do not hear back from winner within three days, another winner will be chosen using the same process as above.

Your chosen book will be wrapped in brown paper and sent via USPS media mail to your address.  I am so sorry, but this is for US residences only as the shipping becomes way to expensive once it leaves the US.  Once the package leaves my post office I can not guarantee its safe arrival.  Thank you for understanding the guidelines.

May the 4th be with YOU!

 

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
― Mark Twain

FREE reading

books stack old antique

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Those of us who are chronically ill tend to spend our free time participating in less physical activities such as reading.  Since most of us are on a budget due to those endless medical bills, I have done my best to compile a list of websites that offers free reading material.  It is my hope that this list will be beneficial to even the biggest bibliophile.  Happy exploring!

 

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/free-online

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

http://rivetedlit.com/

http://www.readprint.com/

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

https://www.wattpad.com/

https://www.fanfiction.net/

https://www.bookrix.com/books.html

http://www.read.gov/books/

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks

http://manybooks.net/

http://www.online-literature.com/author_index.php

http://freecomputerbooks.com/

https://librivox.org/

http://www.authorama.com/

https://archive.org/details/texts

https://www.questia.com/library/free-books

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.bibliomania.com/

https://openlibrary.org/

http://www.sacred-texts.com/

https://www.free-ebooks.net/

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/0/free/any

https://mises.org/wire/ten-books-read-free

https://fee.org/books

 

Until next time………….YOU are a superhero and knowledge is a super power!

What makes you feel better?

red and white mouth plastic toy and food plastic toys

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When you are having a not-so-good day, or horrible day for that matter, are there things you can do to make yourself feel a bit better?  Do you have a movie, some music, a mediation or book that can instantly make you laugh, give you a sense of well-being, or help you ease your pain and discomfort?

For me, when my day is not-so-good, I can usually talk myself into a better mental state and just plough through.  But on my bad days………..not so much.  Those are the days when all the symptoms converge on my body and no matter how I spin the awfulness, I can’t shake the anxiety and sadness, let alone the physical pain.  This is when it helps me to know that someone else is thinking about me.  Do I always hear from a friend during these times?  No, not usually.  But when I do, it is a blessing beyond words.  So if you know others with a CI, send a text, a physical card through the mail, a phone call, just let them know they are not forgotten.  CIs don’t go away and “feel better soon” doesn’t work,  period.  The words may be meant with the best intentions but CI is a life long struggle and those of us with CIs appreciate every single kind thought, gesture, and prayers from others.  Small tokens of thoughtfulness can change a person’s day.

On my bad days I usually resort to lying in the dark in bed, which is so boring when you don’t want to be there.  I try to find something on Netflix or Amazon Prime but when you have been ill for so long……you have watched A LOT of movies!

If there are no movies that catch my fancy, I resort to YouTube but I have less success there.  If that doesn’t work,  I always have a few extra audio-books on hand that I purchase used at library sales just for those occasions.

 

So, what do YOU do on your bad days?

Until next time…………………YOU are a superhero, whether you feel well or not!