Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dot-to-Dot Philadelphia Product Review

I have a fun Timberdoodle product to share with you today, Dot-to-Dot Philadelphia!  This Dot-to-Dot book, done by award winning dot-to-dot artist David Kalvitis, was created to honor the centennial of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a mile long cultural boulevard in Philadelphia.  This book includes 23 challenging dot-to-dot puzzles of museums, public art, architecture, fountains and various attractions in the Parkway Museums District.  There are one page puzzles and two page puzzles included ranging in size from 156 to almost 1700 connectable dots.  There is a puzzle key located in the back of the book that identifies which Parkway attraction is being featured.  Note however that pictures of solved puzzles are not included in this key.  This book is recommended for ages 8-108!

Prepping for our homeschool year

I have been working on preparing for our upcoming school year and this has been such a fun book to have to relax, destress and take a break.  With all of my medical stuff that crept up this summer I am finding that I need to have more down time than I did previously.  This book was fun and relaxing for me and it was rewarding to see my completed puzzles.

Our Dot-to-Dot Philadelphia book

I used a black, fine tipped pen and ruler on occasion

This is the first puzzle in the book and the first one I completed myself.  I used a ruler for every line in this puzzle.  I like the way it turned out but I didn't like the way that some of my ruler lines smeared (not much but enough to make me prefer freehand).

Here are the directions for the above puzzle.  Every puzzle except one in this book has the above directions with a different end * number.

Can you guess what this dot-to-dot will be?

I still didn't know here.

It was here that I had a pretty good guess.

If you guessed The Thinker you were right.

This was one of my favorite dot-to-dots so far.  Unlike my first, I did not use a ruler at all for this one.  It was so relaxing to sit on my back porch and complete this puzzle.  I had fun guessing what I thought it might be and then I saw The Thinker emerge before my eyes.  The Thinker by Auguste Rodin can be found at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia.

Remember when I said that one puzzle had different directions?  That would be this puzzle for The Thinker.

Completed puzzle of Fairmount Water Works
(Special note: this puzzle said it ended with *797 but I ended with *793)

I don't want to give away all the featured attractions in this book but I did want to show you what a two page completed puzzle looks like.  Even though this puzzle spanned two pages I found that I really enjoy freehand more than using a ruler (no smears).  I used a ruler for one line and then decided to just do my best and have fun.  So please know that you may have a preference to use a ruler but you don't have to have one.  Also I chose to use a fine tipped, black pen but you may prefer pencil (in which you can erase).  Just have fun!

This is such a fun and inexpensive book.  It's a great add on if you are studying the United States, planning a trip to Philadelphia, or just want something to help you relax and destress from the busyness of life.  I am planning on having A and B complete a few of these puzzles throughout the year as a fun component of their homeschool curriculum.  I would highly recommend it.  Dot-to-Dot Philadelphia can be purchased individually from Timberdoodle and is also part of their 11th Grade Curriculum Kit.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family Dot-to-Dot Philadelphia for free in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

G's 2nd Birthday

G with his party balloons

Someone turned 2 last Friday, Baby G!  We had his birthday party on Saturday at Chick-fil-A and it was so much fun.  Chick-fil-A reserved tables for us, put out party hats and decorations and helped G have a fabulous birthday.  If you are looking for an inexpensive, easy way to have a birthday party I would highly recommend them.  Enjoy the photos!

 G eating his dinner

The Thinker - isn't his shirt adorable?  I ordered it online.

Cow cake of course!

A visit with the birthday cow.

 It happened to be National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day so we ordered a yummy cookie tray for all our guests.

We love you G!  I cannot wait to see all the ways that you grow this next year.

Dog Days Movie Release


Do you have a dog?  We adopted our dog, Stevie, 4 years ago.  He is a 50#, Shepherd mix and he loves food!  He is great with kids and people but he is terrible around "people food."  Despite the challenge of keeping our groceries away from him, I love his zeal for life and the happiness he brings our family.  He is an amazing dog and loves being a part of anything and everything we are doing.  I love that Stevie helps teach my kids how to treat animals with kindness and compassion.

A, B, D, E, and F with Stevie

I wanted to share with you a bit about the upcoming movie Dog Days, which releases in theaters in just a few days, August 8th.  Dog Days is a hilarious and heartfelt ensemble comedy that follows the lives of multiple dog owners and their beloved fluffy pals.  When these human and canine's paths start to intertwine, their lives begin changing in ways they never expected.  This is a sweet film about the joy our furry friends bring into our lives and what they can teach us about treating people with kindness and compassion.  I look forward to seeing it!

Check out the trailer for Dog Days below.

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Grace Hill Media for selecting me to participate in this campaign.  By sharing this information with you I will receive a gift card to spoil our Stevie dog!  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Camp David 2018

Camp David Campers 2018

I just wanted to thank everyone who donated for the kids to go to Camp David this year.  A few weeks ago A, B, C and D were able to attend Camp David which is run by the Texas Burn Survivor Society.  They had a blast!!  They went swimming, rode horses, fished, rock climbed, zip lined and had the time of their life.  Just wanted to share a few photos.  And thanks again!

Dropping off the older kiddos at camp.

The theme this year at Camp David was choosing kindness.

The kids had a movie night and watched Wonder.

 Enjoying camp

 D fishing

 I love this photo!

 On their way or headed back from swimming.

These photos were taken by counselors and other people at camp, not me.  I so appreciate all the photos that they took and shared with our family.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Update to My Medical Mystery

I found this explanation of PMS on slideshare.  You can read the full slide show here.

When I last left you I was scheduled to have a venogram 3 weeks ago on my right arm.  The results came back negative for TOS.  This was very confusing for me especially when my physical therapist told me she thought I had positional TOS a few days later.  I have been hard at work with physical therapy and I finally had my follow up yesterday with the cardiothoracic vascular surgeon (although, I'm not sure why it took 3 weeks).  He told me that my MRI and venogram results are consistent with Pectoralis Minor Syndrome (which is oftentimes associated with TOS).  I have compression in my right subclavian which is why my right arm has been so swollen.  I am to continue on with physical therapy, try to lose weight (which is suppose to help a lot), and wear a medical compression sleeve for the swelling in my right arm.  I will follow up in 3 months to discuss surgery if needed but hopefully I won't need it and I will be ~20 lbs lighter.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.  Another thing that popped up during this process is that I had to get a mammogram.  I'm 40 and I haven't had one so it's a good thing to do anyway.  The doctor's office called and my initial scan had some issues to I have to return at the end of the week for additional testing.  Hopefully that will all check out okay.  Thanks so much for all your prayers.  I so appreciate them, every one of them!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Timberdoodle Blog Team 2018-2019

I'm so excited to be part of the Timberdoodle Blog Team for another year.  I'm really looking forward to sharing product reviews with you.  You can check out the whole team here and even sign up to see if you would be a great fit too.  Good luck!

Cow Appreciation Day @ Chick-fil-A

Cow Appreciation Day 2018

One of my favorite days is finally here, Cow Appreciation Day 2018!  When you dress up like a cow and wear it to your nearby Chick-fil-A you will receive a free entree between opening and 7pm.  The kids and I dressed up this morning for breakfast before D went to gymnastics.

 My A cow

My B cow with a G photobomb

My C cow

My D cow

My E cow

My F cow

 And Baby G cow

 Waiting for our food.

 Baby G loves Chick-n-Minis

 One of these cows is not like the others...

 All the kids

 Baby G with Mommy

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Pfun at Pflugerville Library

We recently moved and we have had a great time visiting our new library.  The last two times we have been they have had special events - a unicorn dance party and farm day!  The kids enjoyed petting a variety of animals - bunnies, guinea pigs, and the super cute hedgehog.  They also had a tortoise, chicks, and a bearded dragon.  Hope you had a great weekend.

C with the hedgehog and E waiting for an animal.

E with the white bunny.

 Bunny close up

 C with a guinea pig.

 I tried to get a guinea pig close up!


 D with the hedgehog.

Hedgehog close up!