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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Love to Laugh

My girl Mary Poppins, we love her.
Today would have otherwise been a do-over-day
if it hand't been for her and the infamous
I Love to Laugh lyrics.

Ever since we did Mary Poppins in the 6th grade,
I can recall the words as well as I rattle off my own address.

The more I laugh
The more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I'm a merrier me.

It's true isn't it, laughter just does it sometimes.

Aiden started laughing today for no good reason,
and Mary popped into my head,
so I joined him. 
We were laughing hysterically over absolutely nothing.

Ethan came in from school and asked what we were laughing about.
I told him we were just laughing to laugh.
So he starts in and well it was contagious.

I could definitely use to laugh more,
and as usual my boys reminded me
how good it is for the soul.

Laugh away!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Brother's Keeper


It may have had something to do with staying up way to late to 
watch The Hunger Games last night,
but the idea of protecting one another
and the lengths we will go to do so has been on my mind today.

If you haven't seen the movie
{I think I was probably the last on the planet},
there is this underlying theme of protection.
Heck, the main character takes the place of her sister
in the ultimate battle for survival.

I have watched my little guys bicker like crazy,
so frustrated at one another, thankfully briefly,
but loudly and madly all the same.

Yet, I have witnessed this consistent way in which they
protect one another, all five, seat, toy, food, the most random
of things, they protect in their brother's name.

I'm not sure if I really noticed it much before today,
and it's not something I ever really explained to them how to do.
It just seemed to happen.

As a mom, I am going to try hard not to come between it.
It's so pure and honest.

Looking out for the one who is the first to read your life's story,
who has many of the same pages in their own,
is right, it is noble, sweet, and it is 
just what you do. 

Grateful my boys got that memo.

Good Night Friends,
:: michelle ::

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Leap Frog Touch Magic Rock n' Learn Party!

When the award winning maker of educational toys, LeapFrog, contacted me via MomSelect to host a Rock n' Learn party for their new Touch Magic line, I was excited!  My boys have all loved LeapFrog toys, and I appreciate when learning + fun are combined.  And if you know me, you know we love parties, so this was a great opportunity to invite our neighborhood friends over for some fun!

{keep reading to find out how you can have a chance at winning $500
toward LeapFrog products!}

In the spirit of LeapFrog toys, especially the new Touch Magic Line, I wanted to keep the party colorful and bright, so I created this tablescape to greet our guests.  

We had star shaped sandwiches, pretty rainbow swirl balloons, monogram rainbow {inside} cupcakes {with the initials of our guests}, a little treat bag with a Leap Frog coupon, ABC cookies, and rainbow fruit salad which all tied in lovely with
 Leap Frog's Rock n' Learn theme.  

Now for the real fun, this Rock n' Learn guitar was quite the hit!!  The boys wanted to play with it when it arrived, but we waited until the party so we could all play together.  

The photos speak for themselves!!  

Once they got this little guitar in their hands, rockstars were made!  

Learning through music is so fun and our boys are always singing songs.  
This guitar has some of their favorites like Itsy Bitsy Spider and If You're Happy and You Know It.  They quickly learned how to strum and add their own sounds too.  Despite how much all of our guests adored the guitars, they all took turns rather {to my surprise} nicely!

{dueling guitars}

When one plays the guitar, another can sing, tap, etc. and they formed their own little band.
Our homemade tambourines kept everyone in on the fun.  

I just had to include this photo, these two fair haired boys are not brothers, but they look so much alike and they are making the exact same face, too cute.  
They are starting their own neighborhood band!  

Even this little cutie pie got in on the action!! 

From my perspective and our parent guests, we really like how the guitars wipe clean.  I am big on being able to clean toys especially with four little boys in our home playing with the same toys.  So far the guitar seems quite durable too, we are hard on things.  The only caution would be to do what we always should and supervise your children with the guitar strap.  Mine had no problem with it, and it really is for preschoolers, 
even though little ones enjoy it too.  

Next up was this same new touch magic technology learning bus.  

The learning bus was also adored.  The boys enjoyed finding their letters and the sounds they made.  I like how the pictures and words are well-known and common.  Some ABC toys use words that aren't as familiar and it makes it more difficult.  One of the songs is Wheels on the Bus, which my boys absolutely love, pretty much their all-time favorite.  The three modes learning, letter exploration, and music keep it interesting and fun.  

I also very much believe that it is never too early to introduce letters to your children, especially when it is done in an exciting, interactive way.  The learning bus is great to play with your kids, and for them to play together.  Early letter recognition, letter sounds, all play into reading skills.  I have really liked the LeapFrog range with letter recognition, and have used their toys with my oldest who is now seven and reading a few grades ahead.  There were a lot of factors that played into reading early of course, and creative tools like these are so helpful!  

Again, the bus is flat, easy to wipe off {as you can see they were playing during our lunch} and easy to use.  

Both the Touch Magic Rockin' Guitar and Learning bus are available at major retailers.  On a recent trip to one of our favorites, Target, we saw the new Touch Magic toys displayed which includes a Counting Train in it's lineup.  Take a peek the next time your out and see what your little learners think!!  

Thank you kindly Leap Frog and Mom Select, we are grateful for the opportunity!!  

{your chance to win a $500 LeapFrog giftcard}

{1} Submit a video of your kid jamming and learning with Touch Magic Rockin' Guitar or your own play guitar that you've made out of your own materials. 
Here's an idea.  
{2} Share video. Promote via Facebook and email to have your family/friends view and vote.
{3} Win!  Each video will be judged by 50% highest number of votes, 30% originality/creativity, 20% relevance to theme.  

Click the Rockin' Guitar Contest link above to be taken to the official page with all of the rules.  Good luck and have fun!!  

We received 2 Touch Magic Rockin' Guitars and a Touch Magic Learning Bus in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored Rock n' Learn Party.  The opinions expressed here are purely our own.  

Keep on rockin' and learning!
:: michelle ::

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mish-Mosh and More

Hello sunshine{s}!  

It was a rough few weeks of stomach flu, 
yes this time it decided to take one down every couple days,
so generous!  A few of us older ones were spared, silver linings, always.

Last week everyone was back to normal again and
well, we wanted to take full advantage of all that is summer.

This is how I am feeling about summer coming to an end via
the start of school in a little over a week...

Every year I get anxious and sad for E to go back to school,
yet so excited for him because his excitement is contagious! 
I was relieved when out with a friend recently she said the same thing,
the anxious part, the changes, a little unsettling at first, the time of year.
I will admit, I am not jumping up and down with joy about
getting back into the schedule, it doesn't leave much time to 
wonder or wander or just be sometimes.  

This year though, I want to amplify the happy,
proud of all the amazing things we did this summer.
A dream-come-true trip to Disney still to come! 
And really just the simple fact we were explorers and adventurers!!!!

First, though I have to share this precious picture of Aiden
when he wasn't feeling well.  

Once everyone was feeling better we made these No Bake Energy Bites.  The recipe actually came from Auntie Kath all the way out in Colorado {grin} but I wanted to source it easily for you.  She sent it on for Liam to have a heart healthy treat.  Seriously, she's the best!  The boys, especially Liam, absolutely love them and we have made 4 or 5 batches since the first one at least...perfect summertime treat!  

And now I am hitting the publish button.  
If you can believe it all of the boys woke up for the majority of the night,
including Beckham who went to the ER around 2am
for what we thought was a possible broken foot from earlier in the day.  

Turns out he is just fine, more bruising than anything, but he would not walk on it.
The entire house was up, it's going to be a long day!!

More stories, fun, and photos to share, be back soon!
Happy Monday!
:: michelle ::
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