Our trip to Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge, NY

watersafari

Summer is rapidly coming to an end, and we asked the kids — where was the #1 place they wanted to go for a Saturday day trip? They all chose Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge, NY. We’ve been there a couple of times before, and it’s always been fun.

Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks opened in 1956, with the first amusement ride added in 1984, and the first water slides constructed in 1988. By 1991, the name changed to Enchanted Forest Water Safari.

Map of Enchanted Forest Water Safari

Map of Enchanted Forest Water Safari

It’s a huge water park that has rides for all ages – teens and little ones – along with a wave pool, and carnival-type rides for people who don’t want to get wet. There are lots of places in the park to buy good eats and drinks, and ice cream and cotton candy. And, best of all, they allow you to bring your own cooler, so you can pack a picnic, and eat at the many different picnic areas.

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Our trip to BronyCon 2013

bronyconlogo

 

If there’s one thing Bronies know how to do, it’s how to have FUN!  The biggest MLP convention in the world, BronyCon 2014 is coming up on August 1 – 3 in Baltimore. While we won’t be going this year, I can give you a clue about what it will be like, and tell you about our adventures attending BronyCon 2013.

A 3 day con about everything MLP. BronyCon invites you to:

“Spend a fun-filled weekend with fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” from across the world. With panels, concerts, special guests and much more, you’re sure to go home with some new friends!”

Wish we could be there!

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Apps for Kids: 2048

2048app

My 6th grader came home from school last week, and asked to use my iPhone – “for homework”, she said. I rolled my eyes, smiling, as I handed her the phone – “Oh, really?”, wondering which game she would start up.

She then went to the App Store and downloaded 2048. “My homework is to get as high of a score as possible, Mom!” After 30 minutes or so, she quit at 128.

As a parent, it’s important to keep an eye on what my kids are doing, so, of course, I had to check it out. I asked her to explain how it worked. 30 minutes later, after many Game Over’s, my high score – 256.

Dang. This is like Flappy Bird – for math!

What is 2048?

2048 is a free single player online sliding block puzzle game, where you slide numbered tiles on a grid to combine them. The goal is to join the numbers so they eventually add up to the 2048 tile.

How to play:

On your smartphone, swipe to move the tiles. On your PC, use your arrow keys to move the tiles.

When two tiles with the same number touch, they merge into one.  Get to the 2048 tile, and you reach a high score.

 2048app2

Simple and fun, 2048 is free to play, and not monetized in any way.

According to Wikipedia:

The game has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “almost like Candy Crush for math geeks”.

I know people who have gotten as high as 8192, and some people play this game for days – weeks even – to try to attain the highest score possible. Crazy. But geek-cool. Highest score so far? One Reddit user got a score of 3,866,384.

And if you like 2048, which is a game of 2′s, you might want to try out Threes.

Links:

PC download - http://gabrielecirulli.github.io/2048/

iOS download - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/2048/id840919914?mt=8

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10 things you can do for Mom on Mother’s Day – for free!

BoywithDandelionsByEricPeacock

Every year for Mother’s Day I think about how much I love my kids, and how lucky and grateful I am to be a mother. And I wonder what they will surprise me with on Mother’s Day.

First thing when I wake up, a little after the crack of dawn, I am instantly alert, dreading the “breakfast in bed” surprise. It’s not that I don’t love someone making me breakfast, it’s the interesting things they serve – one year it was chicken nuggets. Another year it was a banana, and a plate of crusty “scrambled eggs” with only a trace of yellow.

Then there’s the arguing about who’s going to carry the tray, on the dangerous journey up the stairs. While I wait, feigning sleep, holding my breath, with my fingers crossed. Ready to spring out of bed if I hear an “Oops!” followed by a crash-itty thumpathump.

At the top of the stairs, they negotiate in loud whispers – who gets to serve the tray to mom. And who gets to wake me up.

Then it’s me, trying to balance a tray on the covers, and not spill the cold cereal all over my sheets. Oops, there goes the orange juice. And the maple syrup. And the chicken nuggets.

Then, they take photos of mom, with major bedhead. Smile!

To heck with it. Their joy is infectious. Everyone piles on, and I set the tray on the nightstand. Time for hugs and smiles all around.

We are so blessed to be a family. I’ll change the sheets later, smiling inside. They love me.

So what can you do for Mom on Mother’s Day?

Without spending any money?

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Nature Walks: Get outside with your kids

TwinGlensforsythia

Spring is here, with summer just around the corner. It’s a great time to get outside! Taking a nature walk with your kid is a great idea – you get to spend time together, while enjoying the beauty of nature. You get exercise, and a chance to talk and connect with each other.

Getting to explore and exercise outdoors is good for kids, who don’t get much of an opportunity these days to get in touch with nature.

According to a recent Nature Conservancy survey, the amount of time kids spend outside varies widely, and goes down as kids get older: preschoolers spend about 12 hours a week outside, but 16 year old teens spend less than 7 hours a week.

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Teaching the next generation to drive

TAram

I’m teaching my 2 oldest sons to drive. One of them is 18, way past time to get his license, and the other is 16.

I’m teaching them to drive, instead of sending them to Driver’s Ed class at their school for a couple of reason: number 1, it costs $300+ per kid, and also, because I think I can do a better job, with individualized instruction and a healthy respect for the power you are wielding when you drive.

It seems kids these days aren’t really excited about driving, and are delaying getting their driver’s license. Unlike when I was younger, when kids eagerly got their permit at 16, and their license as soon as they turned 17.

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88 fun things to do with your kids when you’re stuck indoors, that don’t require electricity

CouchFort_bywillholmes

It’s that time of year.  Snow, cold, sleet, slush.  Even in Atlanta.  What do you do with your kids when you’re stuck indoors?  Sure, you could let them watch TV, or hand them a tablet.  But, what it you want to do something with your kid?  What if the power is out?  Or maybe you’d like them to unplug for a bit, and have some old fashioned fun.

Here’s a list of 88 fun things to do with your kids when you’re stuck inside. Some are old classics, some are new. Some are high energy, movement ideas, and some are more quiet and calm. Try to switch it up a bit, and go with what feels right for your kid’s energy level.

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