Five Great Ohio Bike Trails to check out with your family!

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This awesome article outlines 5 great Ohio Bike Trails. Depending on your children’s ages, some may be great options to get some exercise and enjoy the summer weather!
If your children and their friends are old enough, this would be a fun and free or cheap birthday party or kid event to hang out together and all get some exercise. Their parents could drop them off (be sure to remind the parents that all need a helmet!), everyone could ride the trails together and you can carry drinks and snacks (maybe bananas, freeze yogurt tubes the night before so they can thaw and soften during the ride, granola or trail mix and some water) then return to the starting point to be picked up and open presents. If you wanted to hand out favors, Target has bike horns or water bottles in their dollar section often during the summer months!
If you have any additional ideas, please feel free to share them!

Refusing to Blink: savoring the season of childhood

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Exactly this.

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If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

“Enjoy every minute.”

“They’ll be grown before you know it.”

“It goes by so fast.”

In my pre-motherhood days, I thought these were just the sentimental musings of people who were either being dramatic or who couldn’t think of anything else to say and so they just made the token grandparent statements they’d heard other people make.

At one time, it even frustrated me. After being encouraged yet again not to get in a tizzy about dishes and housekeeping because I’d have plenty of time for those things when the kids grew up, I thought to myself “Lady, I am cherishing my children, okay, but I can’t just sit and look at them all day long! At some point, I HAVE to do the dishes…”

But that was just my hormones talking; if I was being more honest with…

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23 Genius Ways To Use An Ice Cube Tray

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Check out this cool and useful list of 23 genius ways to use an ice cube tray!

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Thanks to buzzfeed for this great article!

Here are just some of the ideas:

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Freeze cookie dough into portions
fitsugar.com

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Freeze pesto cubes and just add to dishes
planetforward.ca

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Never throw away buttermilk again!
rachelschultz.com

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Make coffee ice cubes for your iced coffee or even milk
foododelmundo.com

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Herbs and oil or butter to quickly add to cooking dishes
thekitchn.com

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Banana frozen yogurt
ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

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Mini chocolate covered cheesecakes!
damyhealth.com

Printable chore cards for little ones

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These chore cards are perfect for little ones to help out! These can be used for a picture schedule, chore chart, or drawing chores from a bowl.
Just print and use how you like!

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Source: unknown
If anyone knows the original source, please let me know so I can credit them. Thanks!

Attention all Secular Homeschooling Bloggers!!

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Keeping this in mind!

N.A.S.H. - National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers

N.A.S.H. is looking for submissions to our blog! As a guest contributor you will have a by-line and a link to your own blog.

Requirements are that you be a secular homeschooler and that your blog is/can be related to secular homeschooling.

You may blog on any topic you’d like as long as it is written for a secular homeschooling audience.

Submissions can be sent to: nationalallianceofsecularhs@gmail.com

Include in your submission your blog link so that if your post is selected, we can attack your link in the guest post.

There is no deadline. This is an on-going offer.

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The Tangled Web We Weave

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I can’t count how many times people question the socialization aspect of home schooling. It always seems to be the first response when I say I homeschool my children. This is an honest post dealing with that.

What About Socialization?

People are always concerned about my homeschooled children not getting enough socialization or not getting the appropriate socialization.  It is assumed they will all grow up to be socially inept adults with no idea how to socialize.  I somehow think the chance of them learning socially awkward skills has more to do with me (an introvert) being their mom than it has a to do with them being homeschooled.  So I suppose the odds are stacked against them since they are homeschooled by me.

However, against all odds, all indications point to them not only knowing how to aptly socialize, but they seem to flourish in social settings.  Some of them have been told on more than one occasion by different adults that those adults can tell they were homeschooled because they socialize so well.  This is totally counter to what I hear from people up until that magical moment that someone…

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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients:

1 16 oz jar alfredo sauce

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (may use either cooked breasts or precooked rotisserie chicken)

2 cups cooked brocolli, chopped (or frozen chopped broccoli)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to directions on package

1 1/2 – 2 cups spaghetti sauce (this is optional, but a great combo)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F

In large bowl, mix alfredo, chicken, broccoli, and cheeses. Spoon mixture into cooked pasta shells.

-Evenly spread spaghetti sauce on bottom of baking dish (If you’d prefer not to use spaghetti sauce, just grease 13 x 9 baking dish with butter, cooking spray, or a light coating of olive oil)
-Arrange filled shells in baking pan
-Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until heated through

For dessert, try out my Famous Peach Cobbler!

Don’t forget to check out my amazing white cream sauce recipe for your enchiladas and my 3-step Easy Cinnamon Roll Donut Bites Recipe!

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Recipe adapted from, and image courtesy of Sweet Dash of Sass. Many thanks for the original recipe!

100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child

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I absolutely love this. 100 ways to be kind to your child… What a great reminder of the little things and how big they actually are!

My favorites (some of them, at least!) were:
-Share how you cuddled them when they were a baby
-Pretend that it’s Party Day!
-Try dancing in the kitchen
-Try keeping the sigh to yourself
-Try using a kind voice, even if you have to fake it
-Read about age appropriate behavior so you can keep your expectations realistic
-Listen for the feelings behind your child’s words
-Ask “What are you thinking about?”
-Take time to just sit with your child while they play
-Trust that your child is capable
-Make sounds effects while you help them do something
-Give a kind touch back when you’re child touches you

and my favorite

-LET GO OF HOW YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE

Fun free things to do in the Akron Ohio area

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Fun free family activities in the Akron area:

Barberton Edgewood Park & Spray Fountain
Some call them spraygrounds, spray fountains… whatever you call them, they’re fun and this one is FREE!
At Barberton Edgewood Park, they have both a playground area and a spray area with fun water features. If you need to cool off (and if we finally have no rain!), this is a fun and free local activity.
1170 Liberty Ave Barberton 44203 11:00am-8:00pm
Contact 330-848-6739 with questions

Flicks on the Falls
In Cuyahoga Falls, at the River Falls amphitheater, they have a free outdoor movie nearly each Thursday dieting the summer. There’s free parking at the decks on 2nd St, which is accessible from both Portage Tail and Broad Blvd.
Cartoons and/or entertainment before the movie begins just after dusk and the movie begins at dark, but keep in mind these times will vary.
Check out the 2015 schedule here!
You can bring your own snacks and drinks! Concessions will be available for purchase and, in previous weeks, there was a man making balloon animals for donations.
Strollers are welcome and you may bring your own chairs or blanket, but stadium style seating is available. It fills up early, so I’d recommend arriving well before the movie and enjoying a look at the fountain/spray area. You can even play in the spray while you wait!
They ask that no pets be brought to the outdoor movie area.
Contact the Development Department at 330.971.8135 or development@cityofcf.com if you have any questions.

Green Children’s Concert Series
Thursdays
11:00 a.m. @ Boettler Park on Massillon Rd in the Freda Hunter-Bates Pavilion

Akron Downtown @ Dusk Concert Series
Thursdays
Akron Art Museum 6:30-8:30pm
One South High Street
Akron 44308
Contact 330-376-9185 with questions

Akron Art Museum
Bring the kids to check out the art museum! Admission is free on Thursdays!
One South High Street
Akron 44308
Contact 330-376-9185 with questions