PUMPKIN CARVING PARTY

I’ve got good news homeschoolers: pumpkin carving is definitely a craft so it counts as art class. Pumpkin carving has become a tradition in our house. It all started when my daughter was little, she loved Spookley the Square Pumpkin!

Giving it a name and a face is her favorite thing to do. I cut open plastic bags and literally placed it right down on the kitchen floor. Pumpkin carving is messy, and this is a way for really easy cleanup. I get down on the floor, open up a garbage bag and just throw everything else in it.  I make sure to give her a wooden spoon and a huge bowl so she can scoop out all the goodness and put it in the bowl. She loves getting her hands dirty and acting silly with the pumpkin’s insides.

Pumpkin Carving Party

We put aside the goodness for another activity I’ll write you about next time. Because my daughter is small, I made sure that I bought her those child friendly carving tools and I have her draw the face that she wants on the pumpkin before we actually cut them out. And then I help her carve out the face that she wants. I make sure that she remembers not to rush, to use small, controlled motions and to keep her hands dry so that doesn’t slip on the little carving tools. I make sure to put the top on the pumpkin so that she doesn’t feel compelled to put her hand on the inside of the pumpkin while she’s cutting, that way I don’t have to worry about her cutting herself. Tea light candles from the Dollar Store are the perfect substitute for a real candle. 

And if you feel that your child is too small to actually carve a pumpkin; it doesn’t mean that they need to be left out of the fun. Give them a sharpie and let them go to work, maybe some glue with some googly eyes, some sequins and rhinestones. Let them just have fun and be creative. One year my daughter painted a pumpkin and she loved it. Don’t get caught up in details, just have fun and make great memories.

PUMPKIN PATCH

It’s that time of the year again! PUMPKIN PATCH TIME! I feel blessed to live in a great place that has many awesome patches nearby. It all started when my daughter was little, she loved Spookley the Square Pumpkin! So, the first year, after we went on a hay barrel ride, drank hot chocolate, rode a pony and visited the little petting zoo they had, she took me on a mission. She had me walking down row, after row looking for a square pumpkin… which of course she did not find. But after a while, she forgot she was looking for a specific shape because she found the perfect one for her. She said it was asking her to please bring it home.

I was relieved we could finally leave LOL. She took pictures and waved bye to the people that helped us, but most of all, she got the perfect pumpkin for her. Allowing her to choose for herself not only makes her feel like a big girl but also brings her so much joy since it will become her friend for the season. She always puts a seatbelt on it and talks to it on the way home.

I know I will miss these sweet moments one day. I hope she enjoys the pumpkin patch for many years to come because I truly enjoy watching her search for the perfect pumpkin. Stay tuned to Fridays post when I will write about carving out this Jack O Lantern.

DO KIDS STILL BOB FOR APPLES?

Get your kids up and out of the house and make sure they live! It’s fall, make sure they enjoy the crisp air and the season change. Bobbing for apples wasn’t something that I got to do often as a child with friends because it’s kind of gross and a great way to be spreading germs with a bunch other people. I did get to bob for apples with Soleil once when I was a kid! My mom put a bunch of apples in a container and led us onto the balcony. I remember thinking those floating apples were so funny and diving my face all the way in and down holding my breath trying my best to get an apple was fun. I remember my mom timing us and cheering for us. Then being all wet with a towel around my neck, eating an apple and giggling with Soleil.

I figured this is something my daughter would love to do after going to the apple orchard herself. After I wash the apples, I made sure I got a plastic container, filled it up with water and grabbed a few towels. I explain the rules to my daughter, grabbed her school timer and let her go in the back yard! 

She giggled with excitement at the thought of putting her face in all that water. As she wrapped her hands together around her back, she giggled some more. Once she settled down, she was ready! It was a great way to keep her entertained for about 5 minutes. After she got 3 apples out, she quit! She ate the apple and giggled about it for the rest of the day. It’s the simple things kids remember most.

Memory Made! Let’s see if she asks to do it next year…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!

Mommy, a mother like you is more priceless than any precious stone! You are fiercer than any historical hero, you are truly my everything. The best grandmother ever put on this earth! If I can be half the woman I’ve witnessed in you, I’d have gone above and beyond anything to be expected.

It’s been 24,018 days since your birth. There have been 813 full moons since you have been on this earth. These are reasons why you are the wisest woman I know. Happy Birthday sweet lady from me and your Grandbaby! I pray this crazy year brings you more peaceful days than you have ever felt and the happiest memories yet!

Did you know you were born on a Saturday and your Life Path number is 9? Your life path #9 represents selflessness, forgiveness and creativity. So, it’s natural that you are the philanthropist, humanitarian, socially conscious, and are deeply concerned about the state of the world. (Makes sense huh?) You spent your life taking care of everyone around you.)

You have always been a Mother to the whole neighborhood. Thank you for being the mother to so many motherless. I feel honored to be your daughter, they aint never made another one like you. It’s Friday and there are only 97 days remaining until the end of the year. I promise to remind you every single day just how wonderful you are! You are truly a fierce beautiful Rockstar! I love you, Happy Birthday, my precious Momma!

HOMESCHOOL BLESSING

Andrea, our homeschool advisor, just reminded me that if my daughter’s education was like everyone else’s, she would just be starting Kindergarten this month. With the Covid pandemic, I have been reassured and have confirmation I made the right choice for my child!

I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with her starting school and expected to be able to obey social distancing rules! Social distancing isn’t natural for adults, much less a room full of 5 to 6 year old children. It’s an unrealistic expectation. Also is a slight punishment. While I understand all parents cannot afford to homeschool, I am thankful I have been blessed enough to make a way.

Not only would she had been bored in Kindergarten but homeschool children now have the most consistent education out of regular school children. Bravo homeschool parents for choosing the path least taken and going against the grain. Living outside the box really feels good right now. I thank God I didn’t listen to the masses who questioned my choice. My daughter started her schooling at 3 years old when she requested and persisted that she was ready for Kindergarten. The fact that she knew all the states in the USA and was speaking, counting and knew her ABC’s in English and Spanish made the choice easy. Her whole education has been self-led.

Some friends and family voiced their opinions on how I was not making the right choice for my child and had conversations behind my back. I laugh at them now that my child is 5 years old and skating into 4th grade like a boss. Still self-driven, still on her own schedule.

She has been a pure joy and we have had no meltdowns through Covid about her being bored or lonely. She actually thinks Covid has been fun. She says she enjoys Taekwondo online and likes not having to go to the Dojang 4 days a week. She was little bummed out about soccer being cancelled but she shortly got over it, knowing it was okay for her to FaceTime her teammates.

She is fully aware of what’s going on and is okay with not risking her health for fun. FaceTime playdates have become a thing and she has adjusted with ease.

We are looking forward to starting 4th grade and incorporating a few new curriculums this school year. Enjoy and good luck, may all of our kiddos be safe and have a successful school year!

A CHILD WHO LOVES TO READ CAN TRAVEL ANYWHERE ANYTIME

I walked in the room and noticed my child sitting on the couch reading. She never looked up or noticed me taking pictures of her. Her Titi Jacelyn bought her a set of Children’s Encyclopedia Britannica books with a Quiz it Pen. She absolutely loves them. She loves to travel (Mixture of her Mom and Dad there). But she’s not letting Covid slow her down. Physically she can’t get on that plane but mentally she’s been to every continent. 

Little one reading

I am blessed to have introduced my child to the love of story very early! I started reading to her when she was still in the womb. Research shows reading to our children and talking to them about what we are reading increases a child’s IQ. 

I know for a lot of parents it’s frustrating when your child stops you while you are reading to them to discuss what’s happening on that page. Actually, stopping and letting them get their thoughts out and talking it through with them will help their reading comprehension later. It also helps develop a deep love for reading later. 

Take the time to cuddle up and enjoy your little one. It’s a great way to treasure those little precious moments of time we will never get back. Reading time has become a special part of our days. Even though she can read to herself now doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading to her. Read alouds are a part of our school routine as well as Big Baby and Momma time. I’m getting every cuddle I can in while she still enjoys it! 

Keep in mind please while they are young you have the chance to shape their whole life. Children with better reading skills achieve higher test scores in every school subject and have a greater knowledge than those who don’t.

LET’S PAINT SEASHELLS


Well this time of the year we would usually be on a beach somewhere spending time together as a family. This year we are taking some extra precautions but that doesn’t mean we have to give up all the fun! 


Arts and Crafts is always a fun time in my house. Through arts and crafts, children get to exercise their fine motor skills, stretch their little imaginations, be creative and work independently. 

Art is great for self-esteem, as it gives children a great sense of achievement when they have completed their task. It’s a great and safe way to make mistakes and learn sometimes your mistakes can lead you to a whole new idea! It gives them a opportunity to work on their communication skills as they explain their creations to others! 


Arts and crafts is a weekly staple in my home that brings so much joy to all whom visit. 

Seashell Kit


The seashell kit was a Christmas purchase from Five Below last year! 

COVID BIRTHDAY!

It’s official: we have a 6-year-old! I swear I blinked my eyes and she’s 6 but I was just pregnant yesterday. I was so sad for my daughter that she wasn’t able to have the birthday party she started planning out loud just after Christmas. Even though she couldn’t have a party, no way was I going to allow the day to go by without making a big deal out of it! 

Months ago, she decided that she wanted a Pac-Man themed party because my mother bought her an arcade size Pac-Man! So, Party City doesn’t exactly sell Pac-Man themed anything and I refuse to go out shopping. This was going to have to be a DYI party made from things I already have! I went running in the garage to make it do what it do! 

I was able to find yellow and red tissue paper for wrapping gifts. Perfect my mother is the queen of making pompoms outa them! I found lanterns from a few years ago, (I think her Doc McStuffins party) some blue napkins I made into a happy birthday banner by punching holes at the top and stringing through ribbon with cut outs of Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man and every color ghost I made out of construction paper. (Sorry I won’t show because her name is on it) but I was pleasantly surprised it came out really cute and didn’t look like napkin on a string, lol. 

Pac-Man Ghost Decoration

Note to self: Always save old party supplies, they came in handy! 

But then the cake…yes, I can bake but I never made a cake that mattered how it looked and I had never used fondant but that’s what YouTube is for right! Thank God she only picked Pac-Man so I was able to make it work and keep her quiet while I was tryna figure out fondant because I had to cut a big piece out of the cake.  Which BTW, my family says it tasted better than the expensive unicorn cake I bought the year prior! I’m having second career thoughts. Just joking, the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house! But I pulled it off and she loved it. DON’T LOOK CLOSE but not too bad for a first attempt and I made a maybe $5 cake that tasted better than the $125 cake I paid for a year prior! (Yes, I feel like a fool.) I made a bunch of pizza and called it a day! 

Thank God for Zoom! Her family all got on the internet at the same time to sing “Happy Birthday” from Thailand, Singapore, Cleveland, Washington DC, Texas, California, Maine, Chicago, NC and more.

My brother Mark called her before she went to bed to ask if she had a good time. She said all excited, “It was the best birthday ever! Everyone got to come to my party and usually you have to work, and everyone can’t be at the same place at one time. It was Amazing!” (I had to exit stage left and go in the other room for a moment and cry while I thanked God.) She’s six but she’s Got it! She was excited and appreciative about having her family close and that’s really what celebrations are about! There was NO NEED to spend a lot of money for 1 day. All she needed was to see her village! Thank you, family, for all being there for her! 

Huge lesson for me by my child, her $5 birthday party was her best yet! Money spent means nothing, but LOVE is everything! 

ROBLOX SUMMER

My daughter has no idea how my cousins and I used to write letters, get spankings over long distance phone calls! It would be months or years even in-between times we got to see one another. Now she gets to see her cousins weekly no matter where they live, including the ones in Singapore. 

Now my daughter and her cousins FaceTime each other while playing Roblox and Minecraft! It’s mind blowing and amazing how times have changed! WiFi has truly changed everything about our lives. It’s simply amazing. I really wish my grandfather was alive to see how far technology has come, he would be super amazed. Unfortunately, he died in 93 so I never got to text message him…

Her big cousin in Boston and her big cousin in North Carolina and her friends in California, all playing with her at the same time during quarantine! It’s absolutely amazing. Before quarantine I was not big on her spending a lot of time on her iPad but at the moment it’s an amazing way to stay in touch with those she loves. Summertime is the time to catch up with family and do vacations! Since we are unable to do any of that, this will always be known as the Roblox summer! 

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FIRST IT WAS TOYS R US, NOW CHUCK E. CHEESE IS CLOSING!

Everyone loves to share nostalgia with their children, things that brought them happiness when they were growing up. It’s amazing how almost every 70s baby’s childhood is being wiped away one by one. Wow, we might all be a little dramatic when it comes to things that we love going away…like when I heard about them taking away the Twinkie. Twinkies are back! But I got anxiety about Twinkies for no reason.

Then, it was the closure of Toys R Us!  It was the first place I took my daughter to pick out her own toys. Yes, we still have Target & Walmart but it’s just not the same as rewarding a child and taking them to the toy store. Buying toys online is not the same as a child walking down the aisle of a toy store and being drawn to a certain item by that exciting magic.

Oh Chuck E. Cheese, I will miss the smell, the sounds of laughter, the salad bar, the look on my daughter’s face when you came from out the back in your costume and the birthday parties with the singing puppets! The skee-ball machine and all the tickets. Oh, those tickets brought more smiles than candy! Getting to pick a toy to take home was everything. I still have our play cards and coins. I promised my baby we would use them when social distancing was over… I don’t have the heart to tell her yet! Ima just let this one play out and not make a big deal about it. The exciting thing is there will be something new. Hopefully, they won’t serve beer!  

Bye bye, Chuck E Cheese…