Posts Tagged ‘Family Stuff’
166 Days of School Lunches
School’s about to start, and I thought I’d share with you some of the tools that will help me get through 166 days of packing lunches.
When Mallory decided last year that she didn’t like peanut butter sandwiches anymore, I came up with some new ideas…boiled eggs, fruit & yogurt, cream cheese on bagels…but quickly realized that the cool packs I was using in her adorable Thirty-One lunch tote definitely did not keep these items cold enough.
So this year I’ve opted for the lunch box all of my mom friends are raving about; The PackIt freezable lunch bag.
I bought this exact one on Amazon for $17 with FREE SHIPPING, and it arrived in two days since I’m an Amazon Prime member. I’ve also heard that the PackIt is available locally at Walmart, and I saw it just yesterday at Magical Child in Encinitas for $20.
Now I haven’t tested the PackIt yet, but I know lots of moms who have and swear that it beats freezing water bottles and adding extra cool packs to help keep lunches safe. Fingers crossed!
And I am super excited about this book I also just ordered.
Not only am I looking forward to trying out The Lunch Box recipes like peanut butter noodles with snow peas and chicken and rice wraps with peanut dip (my daughter still eats peanut butter…just not in a sandwich!), but I’m REALLY looking forward to interviewing the author and including some of her recipes in the 2013 Mom’s Guide to San Diego. Woo Hoo!
I found The Lunch Box available at Pottery Barn Kids for $18.95 with free shipping, but I preferred to order it from Amazon for $12.89 with 2 day free shipping, of course. 🙂
I am not that picky about what my kids eat, and I don’t fear that they will become obese, but I have enjoyed this book’s reviews of popular kids’ foods, ratings of the meals our kids are likely to choose at local restaurants and suggested substitutions that have made me a more informed mom. For example, did you know that vitamin waters can carry nearly the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke? Did you know that some of the “healthier” brands of yogurt like Horizon Organic go heavy on cane sugar making them a poor choice over some common brands like Yoplait?
Eat This Not That is 300 pages of colorful pictures and surprising insights into nutritional values and calorie content. I’m definitely going to reference it when trying to pack the perfect lunch.
We were given a bunch of “crustless sandwich cutters” in a variety of shapes that would have been fun to use. Oh well, Gage still likes sandwiches so he and I will enjoy dolphin-shaped sandwiches together while Mal is in school.
Hope your school year gets off to a great start!
4 Sale by Owner
Adorable “like new” Halloween costumes.
Strollers in all shapes and sizes.
Something special for Christmas…
We’re just a couple of weeks away from the famous Parent Connection Family Swap Meet, and just about a month away from the next fantastic Just Between Friends consignment event. If you have something to sell or if you are in search of gently used costumes, toys, baby gear, clothes, DVDs and books, do not miss these two events.
I rarely miss a Parent Connection Swap Meet, and I’ll be there again on Sunday, September 21st as a volunteer and to hand out copies of the 2014 / 2105 Mom’s Guide. Admission to the swap is just $2 per person over age 12. Not only will you get $50 in Mom’s Guide coupons, you’re likely to find just the right something special for this holiday season. 🙂
If you need to make room for your new treasures, consider taking a vendor space for just $30 for PC members and $45 for non-members. You can even share a space with your friend! Download the Parent Connection seller registration form here.
Just Between Friends is also looking for sellers. The beauty of this event is that you don’t have to be there. Just tag your items, drop them off before the sale begins and collect your share of the profits (60% or 70% for those who volunteer) at the event’s conclusion!
Unsold items can be donated to JBF’s non-profit partners. If you want to donate any unsold items, you will receive a receipt for your taxes and will benefit Birthline of San Diego and CASA (helping families in the LMSV school district).
For more information, visit facebook.jbfsandiego.com and sandiego.jbfsale.com.
Parent Connection Family Swap Meet
Sunday, September 21
8:30am – 1:00pm
Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley, 5951 E Village Center Loop Rd,
San Diego 92130
Just Between Friends Sale
Saturday October 11 2-6pm
Sunday October 12 9am-3pm
Monday October 13 half price day 9am-noon
DOWNLOAD THIS GET-IN-FREE COUPON!
A Cut-out of Your Cutie
I’m so glad that I will actually get to participate in this year’s special silhouette event featuring renowned scissor artist Karl Johnson. Now the likenesses of my little cuties will be turned into a work of art just like the children of Reese Withersoon, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Garner and Drew Barrymore.
Karl’s work is currently featured in Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, was on The O List in Oprah Magazine and has appeared in more than 30 other magazines. Each silhouette is cut out entirely freehand. Karl simply looks at the subject’s profile (whether in person or from a photograph) and starts cutting their exact likeness out of black paper.
Every silhouette is an original, one of a kind work of art, signed by the artist. Don’t miss your chance to meet Karl on Sunday, November 16th at Magical Child in Encinitas. Book your 5-minute appointment between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. by clicking here. Each original silhouette costs $25, and duplicates can be purchased for $15.
If you’d like a chance to WIN a complimentary silhouette, email me at SanDiegoMom@hotmail.com. One winner will be selected this weekend and announced here and by email. Enjoy!
Children & Nature in San Diego
Last weekend’s beautiful weather has me thinking about the bounty of spring events San Diego offers. You don’t need your own garden to inspire a love of nature in your children.
There are many wonderful ways to introduce kids to gardening, farm-to-table cooking, conservationism and the cycle of life in the next couple of months. We’re planning to attend next weekend’s open house at Olivewood Gardens, an indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults that provides science based environmental education lessons, hands-on gardening, and hands-on cooking to students. We’ll be back at Olivewood on March 8th for hands-on cooking demonstrations and children’s garden activities at the the Kids in the Kitchen event, produced with the help of the Junior League of San Diego.
Nothing quite says spring in San Diego like acres of rolling hills covered in orange, yellow, pink and red blooms. The Carlsbad Flower Fields will open on March 1st and will celebrate Kids’ Day on March 30th. The season lasts a quick 6-8 weeks before the flowers die and the park closes so mark your calendar!
The Japanese Friendship Garden cherry blossoms are also blooming, just in time for their 9th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on March 1st.
On March 8th Alta Vista Gardens presents Kids in the Garden, “Farmer Jones” will lead children in a fun-filled day of learning about planting and eating an edible garden.
The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy presents a Spring Egg-ucation at its March 29th Family Day. Kids will get an up-close look at all kinds of critters that hatch from eggs. Families will discover an egg-themed Trivia Hunt around the Nature Center Loop Trail.
The Water Conservation Garden celebrates the opening of its new Butterfly Pavilion with a Butterfly Festival on Saturday, April 5th. Participants can learn how to create a butterfly garden, get up close with larvae, caterpillars and butterflies, march in the pollinator parade and more.
Also on April 5th is one of our favorite annual events, Lady Bug Day at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Kids search for lady bugs, make lady bug crafts and create beautiful lady bug-attracting floral arrangements with the help of garden volunteers. It’s a sweet way to spend the day.
If these events are not enough to satisfy your appetite for earthy-outings, spring is also U-pick strawberry season. Yum!
I have a first grader. She doesn’t know anything about twenty 1st graders being killed in Connecticut.
My husband and I chose to shield our kids from that nightmare and, in doing so, have cut ourselves off from the news and even conversations about the shooting.
But when this poem and picture surfaced on Facebook, I realized that if I ever did decide to share that story with my children, I would also share this poem as the one and only way for our family to find comfort…
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy,,
they didn’t know what to say.
They remembered nothing
of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy.
“we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled,
and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms
and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King.
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her,
“I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”
Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA
Get Your Guide
Let’s have a Mom’s Night Out this Thursday night at Humphry’s! The mom’s guide will be in SD Mom’s Night Out goody bags for the first 50 guests, but I’ll be happy to give one to guests number 51-200 if you just ask 😉
Shop for great-priced, gently used kid and baby gear this weekend and pick up a mom’s guide while you’re there. San Diego Kids’ Consignment is taking place this weekend, March 1st through the 3rd in Oceandside.
O’s American Kitchen will hand out mom’s guides to families on Tuesdays during their kids eat free promotion. If you like O’s, you’ll want to get your mom’s guide 20% off coupon! Visit the Carmel Mountain, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley or El Cajon locations. While supplies last.
Join me at the Just Between Friends consignment sale in East County March 8-9. There will be enough mom’s guides available for everyone. And, like all of the other consignors, I’ll be parting with quality kids toys for CHEAP!
Mon Petit Chateau is the best place in South Bay for moms to pick up a guide. Just ask them at the coffee bar for your copy. No purchase necessary, but it will be hard to resist the cuteness you’ll find inside their boutique!
Art Soup in Encinitas is a great North County location to get your guide. Drop in rates are only $12 and your child will have a seriously good time. Again, no purchase necessary to get your guide.
Jungle Gym & Cafe is also a fabulous East County indoor play space that is giving out the guides. They are behind the reception desk so you’ll need to ask for one when checking in. No purchase necessary. Here’s the calendar of mommy workouts and cool kids classes to reference when planning your visit.
In April I will have a booth at the Hullabaloo Family Arts Festival with enough guides for all who visit. Look for the Creative Travel Mugs/Mom’s Guide booth…Melissa and I are sharing a space and looking forward to the new venue, Del Mar Fairgrounds, which will better hold the ever growing crowd following Hullabaloo Band around town!
If you’re in the market for a new pediatrician, be sure to visit Children’s Physicians Medical Group, which has great docs all over the county. Three of them contributed to this year’s mom’s guide, and they are handing out guides to their new patients and at the various community events they attend each year. I am so pleased to partner with quality health care providers in this issue on articles like “Is My Kid Normal?” “The Scoop on Poop” and “Good Night, Sleep Tight.” Thanks CPMG!
Are you a playgroup captain? I will arrange to ship or deliver enough guides to your members asap. Just send me an email @firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange the details.
MOPS, Mom’s Club, Mothers of Multiples…check with your local chapters to pick up your copy.
Military moms, check with your local Fleet & Family office.
You can also have an individual copy of the guide mailed to you for a small shipping/handling fee of $2. Just email me at email@example.com.
I hope you enjoy this 5th annual guide! -Jennifer
Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Gymboree Day!
Full disclosure: Gymboree is an advertiser in the print edition of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego, and my kids attend free classes at the Solana Beach location. That’s just ONE reason that I enjoy driving them from La Mesa to Gymboree in Solana Beach each week. Now here are some reasons you may like to check out that location or one of the other three San Diego Gymboree centers…
1. QUALITY: If you’re confusing “Gymboree Play & Music” with Gymboree, the children’s clothing store, you’re not alone. Both are owned by the Gymboree Corporation. Gymboree = quality and value in both clothing and classes (oh, and they have the BEST bubbles you’ve ever seen, on sale at both the clothing stores and play & music centers!) Enroll in the play program after your trial class and enjoy these Gymboree store special offers:
* 20% off coupons for Gymboree Clothing, Janie & Jack and Crazy 8
* $25 in GymBucks
* FREE Gymboree Shopping Bag
2. MOMMY & ME: Gymboree is an excellent place for mommy and me classes. We enjoyed it when Mallory was just a crawler. You’ll get music, bubbles, parachute play and as much as activity as babies and toddlers are capable of. Gymboree is bright and cheery with lots of cool (and heavily padded) structures to climb and explore. If you are looking to get out of the house with your little one, want to mingle with other moms or want to find a great playgroup weekly activity, Gymboree is a fabulous place to start. Don’t forget to take your free trial class. OR, on this article to be entered to win one free month of classes!
3. OPEN GYM! No matter their age, I don’t think there is anything a Gymboree kid likes more than “open gym,” meaning they can explore and climb to their heart’s content during the free play hour. Sit back and enjoy mom! Open gym is available several times a week and is included with membership.
4. SPORTS SKILLS: My kids are older now, so I wasn’t sure if they’d love Gymboree as much as they did as toddlers. But the Sports skills class is a real winner for kids 3-5 years. I love that my two are able to take the class together. And during the course of our membership, they’ve been introduced to golf, soccer, track and field and tennis. Not only have they had a blast, they truly picked up some skills. Each class began and ended with open play, and they loved to see the different way the gym equipment was set up every week. Ms. Amanda, their teacher, is a mom herself and most excellent with these kids. Added bonus…sports is a drop off class meaning moms get a 1 hour break. Enough time to get a pedicure next door, hit Starbucks or power shop.
5. ART: If you add the art class for ages 3-5 like I do, you get to drop your kids off for another hour and the kids get to express themselves with paint, glitter, glue and more somewhere other than your kitchen table (no clean up for you!). Every week there’s a new theme, and Ms. Rachel in Solana Beach is as sweet as can be. My kids are so proud of the many mini-masterpieces they’ve brought home.
6. SOCIALIZATION: Moms are often concerned about making sure their children are “socialized” especially if they don’t attend preschool. My kids have had a lot of opportunity to share, partner and play with other kids in their Gymboree classes. And now Gymboree even offers a “School Skills” class where they can build key social, emotional and intellectual skills. There’s art, music, science and play…sounds good. Sign us up!
If you’re looking for any of the above, simply leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into the raffle to offered at the Solana Beach or Clairemont locations. And mark your calendar for their end of summer open house featuring the live music of HULLABALOO! We’ll be there to enjoy parachute time, bubbles, art activities and more!
Gymboree Solana Beach
End of Summer PaRtY
971C Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Sunday, August 28; 3:00-6:00pm
FREE for currently enrolled members.
$5 per family for those not enrolled.
Children under 5 only please.
Little League Love Affair
With closing ceremonies this weekend, our third Little League season has officially ended. I say “our” because Little League really is a family affair.
From the dads (and a few moms) who volunteer to coach, to the other family members who work the snack bar, keep score, plan the celebrations and happily sit together during weekly practices and games cheering their children, siblings, teammates – even opposing team players – for their progress.
We became a baseball family when Gage joined Rolando Little League T-ball at age 4. So, of course we see every baseball movie, including Million Dollar Arm. This PG rated movie, in theaters now, is funny, inspiring and uplifting. My kids liked it better than Frozen. (comment below for a chance to win tickets and see if your kids agree!)
We also make it out to cheer the San Diego Padres each chance we get. Little Leaguers have a special day at the stadium, but any kid under age 14 can become a “Junior Padre.” Registration is free, and every Sunday Junior Padres enjoy events like batting clinics, running the bases, playing catch on the field and special autograph signings.
The Padres’ commitment to kids doesn’t stop there. The team helps refurbish baseball diamonds across the county and, since 2012 they have generously donated more than 14,000 jerseys and caps to local Little League teams, including ours. Families so appreciate the cost savings and love to see which of the twelve different styles their team will get.
The Padres even support The Mom’s Guide, offering a generous 50% discount on select games, especially the ones featuring Junior Padres activities. Woo hoo!!
While this year’s Little League season has come to an end, here are a few ways your baseball-loving children can still enjoy the game…
- Purchase Padres tickets to select games at up to 50% off using the code SDMOM14
- Watch “Angels in the Outfield” for free on June 7th at the Summer Movies in the Park
- Enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see “Million Dollar Arm” at UltraStar by commenting below
- Sign up for Little League “fall ball” or the 2015 season by joining your community team.
In 2014 the boundary rules for Little League were changed allowing families to choose a league that serves either their home or school community. For more information click here. If multiple teams come up in your search, and you are not sure which league is the appropriate one, click on the link for the District Administrator in your area, and he/she can help you identify the correct league that serves your area.
More is Less
This weekend has been crazy with Little League closing ceremonies, Girl Scouts bridging ceremony, a summer kick off party at our school, La Mesa’s Flag Day Parade, a family volunteer stint with the Arthritis Walk, my volunteer obligation to the school rummage sale, church, a mother/daughter Jamberry home party and a dinner in Coronado with friends.
While not every weekend is this jam-packed, the entire school year has felt hectic to me. There were many things I wanted to do with my kids and never got the chance to thanks to our ever-busy weekends. Yesterday, I began to think that our summer family motto needs to be “less is more.” I want less of a schedule and more time to relax, connect, be creative and be together.
Everyone says, “enjoy them while they are young, time flies by so quickly.” My kids and I seem to spend more time apart than together each week thanks to school, work, sports, extra-curriculars, play dates, parties, etc. etc. This summer I want to make a conscious effort to slow things down and not feel so scheduled. Aren’t they supposed to be “lazy” summer days?
So while our friends are planning their week-long summer camps, I am planning to purchase a Aztec Aquaplex membership so we can spend our days at the pool when we’re not at the beach. While I am at work, I plan to have a sitter to the house so that the kids are still able to play with their own toys, with each other and with the neighborhood kids. And instead of sending them here and there to learn wonderful things without me, I plan to do wonderful things with them like taking a sewing class with my daughter at Sew Inspired, learning to make perfume at Tijon, fishing with my son at Santee Lakes and panning for gems at the Julian Mining Company. I want us to spend a day at Old Flieglers Farm and visit Keys Creek Lavender Farm before it closes for the season. I want to take an OC outing where we do things other than Disneyland including our first trips to the American Girl Doll Store, Discovery Science Center and Medieval Times.
By the start of the next school year, when we get back to full school days and weekends full of social and sports activities, I’d like to be able to look back on summer and feel like we truly had a break from crazy schedules. I want to make sure we slept in a lot, learned some new things and, most importantly, that we had less stress, less chaos, less obligation and more togetherness.
Less is going to be more.
Playgroup Buddies are the Best!
If one of the things you felt thankful for this past week is the love, support and friendship that your playgroup buddies give you, then this blog is for you.
Eight years later, I still treasure the meaningful friendships that grew from my original Parent Connection playgroup.
We’ve decided that, in 2014, the mom’s guide is going to be all about honoring, rewarding and supporting San Diego playgroups. If you, the moms and kids you hang with on a regular basis would be interested in winning a playgroup party, listen up!
During the next twelve months, every registered San Diego playgroup will have the chance to win incredible in-home parties, fabulous field trips and memorable moments courtesy of San Diego’s best local businesses (and mom’s guide sponsors!).
Our 2014 prize list includes:
And that’s just what we have planned for the kids. For moms, we’re giving away…
If any of this sounds like the type of fun your group would like to have, then register your playgroup anytime for your chance to win. Here’s how:
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org your:
1. Playgroup name
2. Playgroup organizer’s name
3. Organizer’s phone number and email address
4. Approximate number of members
5. Age-range of children in the group
Each time a playgroup giveaway becomes available, captains will be notified and given the chance to enter to win. Each playgroup member can enter for one chance to win! Enter as many or as few giveaways as you’d like.
Here’s some fine print:
No purchase necessary. Unsubscribe from the group email at any time. Winners will be randomly selected. Prize packages are limited in quantity. Large playgroups may need to raffle tickets to certain attractions and opportunities. More details to follow each giveaway. Good luck!
Saying Good-Bye to Santa
I love, love, love that my kids “still believe.” I fear when they stop believing in Santa and in elves who fly around our house each night my life as a mom will feel profoundly different.
But, the time is coming. This year Gage asked if Santa is real. When I asked if he wanted to believe in Santa he said, “Yes, I want Santa to be real instead of my parents just lying to me.”
Last night Mallory asked, “Mom, what did you name your elf on the shelf when you were little?” Um, they weren’t invented yet. I was totally unprepared for that question.
I realize that it’s time to put together some meaningful answers in time for the questions that may come next Christmas. For me, it seems the only way to say good-bye to Santa, is to say hello to St. Nicholas, the historical figure who inspired the stories of Santa and our Christmas traditions.
If my kids are as skeptical next year as they are this year, I’m going to reveal the true story of Santa by reading Saint Nicholas, The Real Story of the Christmas Legend. I just ordered it and will let you know what I think.
I will also reveal that “playing” Santa and being a part of the magic and wonder of Christmas has been one of the best gifts I have received as a parent. I will tell them that I hope that they will do everything in their power to spread Christmas happiness to their children. The world can always use more of that.
I’m soaking in the joy of this Christmas season more than usual just in case it’s our last in this magical cocoon. I hope you are too.
See it for FREE! The New Children’s Museum
The kids and I had an excellent time at The New Children’s Museum recently and, visiting it for free, made the outing especially wonderful to me.
How did I get the three of us into the museum at no cost? I checked out a Circulating Membership through our La Mesa library, a branch of the County of San Diego library system.
New Children’s Museum circulating memberships are also available through branches of the City of San Diego library system. You check them out just as you would a book. Ask the librarian to locate one for you, and for two weeks your family will enjoy the benefits of regular museum membership including $5 parking.
FEAST is the current museum exhibition, and it’s my favorite one yet. It begins with scratch-and-sniff ripe bananas as you pass over the rainbow bridge into the museum, and continues with incredible displays and hands-on activities…
There are quite a few ways to enjoy The New Children’s Museum on a budget. The current Mom’s Guide has a buy-one-get-one admission coupon, Target sponsors the “free second Sunday” program, and there is currently a $5 happy hour admission promotion running. But, by far, the circulating membership program from county and city libraries is the best deal in town to get a “taste” of FEAST at The New Children’s Museum.
Is there something great going on this weekend that you’ll have to miss because you don’t have a baby sitter?
If you are searching for a sitter save the date for next week’s Urban Sitter “Speed Sitter Meet & Greet” event. I went to one in November, and it was truly a unique and fun way to find help.
All I had to do to be a part of the event was respond to a Facebook invite. Before I knew it I was sent profiles of the Urban Sitter representatives who would be attending. On paper, they all looked great with varying degrees of experience with children and varying degrees of availability. Several were education majors, all of them were in college or had already graduated college. One wanted to be a pediatrician. So far so good.
On the evening of my event, I walked into the beautiful Hapa Yoga studio where the speed sitter event was being held. I enjoyed a glass of wine, some delicious peppermint bark and mingled with several really nice parents before we all moved into the main yoga studio, which was aglow in candlelight.
Each family took a seat on a comfy cushion in front of a prospective sitter, and we just casually chatted for about 5-7 minutes before being directed to move onto the next sitter. There were 12 Urban Sitters in all to meet, and each was better than the next in my experience.
Speed sitting is modeled after speed dating, and really is a great way to start the sitter seeking process. You get to meet face-to-face and tell each prospective sitter about your children and your family’s needs. You get to ask questions, and by the end of the evening you know who you’ve clicked with.
My sitter event was during the holiday season, and I haven’t had a need to hire anyone (yet!). However, I did come home with the profiles and photos of each sitter and showed them to my children, telling them a bit about my favorites. They’re really excited to meet Rachel, or Abby or Heather soon.
When I’m ready to book a sitter, I just log into my FREE Urban Sitter account, search the profile of my sitter and request help. Or, I could post a job and see who responds. But, of course, I’ll be directly contracting with the lovely ladies that I clicked with at my speed sitting event.
Check it out for yourself either in person or online:
When: Tuesday, January 29th from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Nature’s Whisper Yoga
The Adventures of Pug & Doug
Do you remember when I collaborated with Adventures by the Book to bring the illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series to San Diego last spring? That event was incredibly popular and will be repeated this year, but I’m super excited to tell you about another Adventures by the Book event for kiddos; The Pug & Doug Drawing Adventure with author Steve Breen at Mon Petit Chateau.
In addition to being a children’s book author, Steve Breen is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist. So, in addition to a reading of his book to our children, this “adventure” includes multiple drawing demonstrations by the author. If your child has shown any interest at all in art, this is a not-to-miss event.
Adults go free with a child, and the child’s $39 ticket includes the event, an autographed copy of Pug & Doug and a day pass to play at the fabulous Mon Petit Chateau. I hope you’ll join Mallory, Gage and me at this unique event next week.
Here’s the scoop:
PUG & DOUG DRAWING ADVENTURE
When: Saturday, January 26, 2013 starting at 2:00pm
Where: Mon Petit Chateau Mommy Cafe
861 Harold Place, Suite 204
Chula Vista 91914
Cost: $39 per child (includes autographed book and Mon Petit day pass); accompanying adults are free
For more information visit www.adventuresbythebook.com
The Invisible Mom, Building Cathedrals
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’ Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .
I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her
inscription: ‘To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’
In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals we have no record of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.’ And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make everyday, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.’
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don’t want my child to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re gonna love it there.’
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
I love this story by Nicole Johnson, a bestselling author and speaker who has served as the Women of Faith dramatist for over 10 years. She is also the founder of Seasons Weekend, a retreat for thirsty souls everywhere. For more information about Nicole, visit www.FreshBrewedLife.com.
The Reason for the Season
We took our first trip to Bethlehem last weekend, compliments of Faith Chapel‘s “Bethlehem Story” Living Nativity.
We had no idea what to expect, and were awed by what a terrific job the church and their members did to bring alive the times of Jesus.
As far as I know, none of the congregation are professional actors, but they certainly created believable characters who peppered the streets of this “Bethlehem” bazaar selling their wares, making arts and crafts, tending to animals and telling Bible stories.
Gage enjoyed chopping wood and sharpening knives.
Mallory learned how to write Shalom in Hebrew.
Faith Chapel’s Living Nativity took place last weekend, and we enjoyed it so much I’ve started to research other nativities in San Diego. Here are the ones I am aware of, but please comment if you know of some that I have missed.
Bethlehem Walk; First United Methodist Church in Escondido:
Friday, December 13, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 8:55 pm
Saturday, December 14, 2013 – 4:00 pm to 8:25 pm
Sunday, December 15, 2013 – 4:00 pm to 7:55 pm
Living Nativity; St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Clairemont:
Saturday, December 14 at 5:00 pm
Walk-thru or Drive-thru Live Nativity; Pathways Church in Santee:
Friday, December 13, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Saturday, December 14, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Living Nativity; Grace Lutheran Church in Escondido
Friday, Dec 20 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 21 at 6:00 pm
Treat Your Pumpkin to the Fall Harvest Festival
Looking for a sweet way to celebrate the season with your little pumpkin that doesn’t involve huge crowds and spending lots of money?
If yes, join me on Sunday, October 5th for San Diego’s annual Fall Harvest Festival where for just $10 per child (adults are free), your family will enjoy the kid-friendly tunes of Hullabaloo Band, pumpkin decorating, animal encounters, face painting, crafts, obstacle courses, bounce houses, story time activities, professional photos and more.
That’s right…more…and for only $10 per child. No activity tickets or long lines.
We have loved the Fall Harvest Festival for years. I keep waiting for Mal & Gage to outgrow it, but every year the Parent Connection adds something else we want to try. This year it’s laser tag for the older kids. They’re also looking forward to the “spooky” petting zoo and meeting a skunk and lizards up close.
The Fall Harvest Festival will be held in Carmel Mountain Ranch at Manna’s Martial Arts. Activities will be held both indoors and outdoors. Food trucks will serve up lunch and tasty treats like gluten free cupcakes and organic cotton candy. Hope to see you there!
Oct. 5, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Manna’s Martial Arts
12285-B World Trade Drive
San Diego 92128 (in Carmel Mountain Ranch near The Home Depot)
$8/child for Parent Connection members before Oct. 1
$10/child for nonmembers
$10/child on or after Oct. 1
Children under 1 year old and adults will be admitted FREE
Tickets on sale now at www.sandiegoparent.com
Tickets will be sold at the door