Week #41 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

Hey, a second week in a row, I’m on a roll for Saturday Top Five Laughs posts. Let’s join The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #41 (for us)!

5. A son, “I think I have high blood pressure because of the dishes.” He happens to be on dish duty this month. :o

4. Hubby through a paper this week and it landed in the bushes. Being a sly wife-y, I took a photo! lol!

FFR Robert in bush

3. Our oldest daughter told our youngest that he is the chosen one so now when you ask him, “What are you?” He says, “The chosen one.” He even told our daughter when she wouldn’t give him some candy that he was “The chosen one!”

2. Jr. was eating pizza and this is what he did with the cheese…

FFR Jr and cheesey pizza

1. Oldest son accidentally upset youngest son and when he went to comfort him, youngest son bit him in the shoulder. Ouch and ugh!

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How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

How To Pick The Perfect Swim Instructor

by Kaitlin Gardner

When we started a family, I wanted my kids to learn how to swim. It was a skill that they would use for a lifetime, and our family would be around the water many times. Just going to the local pool and signing them up for classes didn’t feel right for me. I did homework to find the best instructor I could for my kids.

Ask around. I asked a number of parents with older children about their swim instructors. I heard some good things, and some parents steered me away from programs where they didn’t feel satisfied with the results. I was glad I took that time, because it helped me narrow down the choices before I went any further. I’ve found some great resources with more detail about swim programs for kids:

Boy Swimming

Photo attribution: Yatmandu

Learn To Swim: The Importance of Swimming Lessons

What Every Parent Should Know About Choosing A Swimming Instructor

Swim Lesson Plans

A personal visit. Once I narrowed down my options and had a list of swim schools that sounded the strongest, I made visits. I talked to the manager of the school, to get an impression of how professional the person was, because I felt like his approach would filter down through the school. I wanted someone who took the job of teaching my kids to swim as seriously as I was approaching it. I was really impressed by the commitment of the school managers, and knew I was on the right track.

What’s the plan? I wanted to know how the teaching would be handled – would they just have the kids jump in the shallow end and start showing them the Australian crawl? I wanted classes that would work through a plan where the kids learned basics and moved forward building on that foundation. I found several schools that had similar lesson plans, and I felt really good about the thoroughness and approach of the lessons.

Check instructor credentials. I asked the school managers what certifications were required for a swim instructor. I had looked online and found the required levels of certification, and in every case, the swim schools followed those standards. I was feeling really good about the schools at this point. Some people might think I was going a little overboard, but with the lives of my kids at stake, I was willing to take extra steps.

Watch a class. I asked the managers of the schools if I could watch a class. I had read that if they don’t want you to do that, it’s a warning sign that the school is not a good one. In every case, the schools I was considering encouraged to watch their swim classes. I sat and talked with other Moms who were watching their kids in class. I got a couple of names of great instructors from them, so I made sure to sit in on those classes. I had narrowed my choices to a couple of instructors by this point.

How’s the attitude? I didn’t want my kids to be taught by somebody who was just going through the motions, so watching the class, I was checking for the attitude of the instructor. I was amazed at how calm, caring and thorough the instructors were. They made sure each child demonstrated proficiency with what was being taught before they moved on. I was astonished by how well mannered and orderly the kids were. When I made my final choice, I was confident I had found the perfect instructor for my kids. It made me smile to watch them learning how to swim, and how their confidence in the water grew with each lesson.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

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Introducing Another New Contributing Writer!

In the hustle and bustle of my busy life, Kaitlin Gardner appeared out of no where inquiring about becoming a contributing writer at Faith and Family Reviews. Not one to usually turn down help, I accepted her offer!

AnApplePerDay-Logo1


Meet Kaitlin Gardner

Kaitlin Gardner

Kaitlin Gardner owns AnApplePerDay.com She started her blog to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

Look for Kaitlin’s first post tomorrow and please give her a warm welcome to Faith and Family Reviews!

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Halifax Seaport – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Halifax Seaport

Halifax Harbour

While we were in Nova Scotia, we visited the Halifax Seaport farmers market. We went on a Sunday and I was surprised that is was not very busy. All the boys wanted to do was look out the huge glass bay doors at the Halifax Harbour! The water was quite choppy that day. Not sure this photo does it justice. It was a cloudy, cold day so we did not walk down on the boardwalk near the water or I could have taken better photos. I took this one from inside.

FFR Halifax Harbor at Seaport Farmer's Market


Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

The Halifax Seaport farmers market is a year round indoor farmers market, which I thought was great! I would have loved to have visited every day of the week just to see how much traffic it actually generates. My sister said that when she and her husband went on a Saturday, it was packed, which led me to believe that probably is the busiest day for the market. I was too busy looking around to think to take photos INside the market.

Do you have a year round farmers market near you?

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Padfoot Tries Loving Pets Dog Treats

FFR image for posts

What kind of treats does your dog enjoy? What kind of dog treats do you purchase? If you are a regular reader, you know that we try to feed our animals healthy food, not chemical laden products that will lead to illness in the long run. Loving Pets is a company that makes 100% USA made pet products. Their products are all natural. Our dog Padfoot got to try their dog treats recently.

Padfoot Tries Loving Pets Treats

Two of the girls and I went outside with Padfoot to see what he thought of Loving Pets Natural Value dog treats. Here’s a quick video of him chowing down…he sat so pretty and patiently for our youngest daughter.

I think the video speaks for itself…but let’s see what Padfoot really thinks.


About Loving Pets Dog Treats:

FFR Loving Pets Dog Treats_1

~ Loving Pets Natural Value dog treats come in three flavors: Chicken, Beef and Duck.
~ 100% USA made from 100% all-natural, chicken, beef and duck
~ Wheat, soy and gluten-free
~ Natural Value dog treats are available in Meat Tenders (Chicken or Duck), Meat Sticks (Chicken, Duck or Beef) and Sausages (Chicken, Duck or Beef)
~ Retail $19.99 for a 14 oz. bag

Natural Value Chicken Tenders

FFR Loving Pets Dog Treats_Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders – Our daughter says that Padfoot likes these the best.

Natural Value Beef Sausages

FFR Loving Pets Dog Treats_Beef Sausage

Beef Sausages – He likes these the least, but he still eats them.


Natural Value Duck Sticks

FFR Loving Pets Dog Treats_Duck Sticks

Duck Sticks – He likes these too.

Overall, Padfoot gives these dog treats two paws up!

To learn more, visit…

Loving Pets website: www.lovingpetsproducts.com

Loving Pets Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/lovingpets

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#40 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

I am trying to get back into the groove of writing a Saturday Top Five Laughs post. I am still trying to find my blogging barrings after a month off, plus the holidays and so on. Without further delay let’s join The Mommyhood Chronicles for Saturday Top Five Laughs – week #40 (for us)!

5. When we were at Victoria Park Nova Scotia, our son said the water looked like root beer! ;)

4. Last week would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. I grew up listening to Elvis because my parents were Elvis fans. When I mentioned Elvis to the children, some of the younger ones asked who he was so I told them briefly who he was and then I shared a couple of music videos. As we were watching the first video, Jr., our three year old goes, “He can sing.” Just matter of factly. I forgot to tell my mom this when I was talking to her. She will get a kick out of it!

3. Jr. called a red pom pom a pimple and when I chuckled, he goes, “What’s this called again?” ;)

2. One of our son’s bemoaned, “Ohhh, I think I broke my tailbone.” Not the funny part. The next part is…A younger son responded, “But you don’t have a tail.” He said it seriously. ;)

1. The children were all reading Calvin and Hobbes…need I say more? It was fun listening to their pure-hearted laughter.

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Drop Your Pants for Underwareness Movement

Thank you to Depend for sponsoring today’s discussion.

Underwareness Bladder Leakage

Drop Your Pants for Underwareness Movement

I am not quite ready to drop my pants (and yes, some people are literally dropping their pants for this campaign!!) for Underwareness, but I do want to share the reality that over 65 million Americans experience bladder leakage. That is a pretty high number, isn’t it? And I am one of those 65 million. Maybe I didn’t do enough kegels during pregnancy or after I had my babies? Maybe I inherited weak bladder muscles? Whatever the cause, it affects me each and every day. I can no longer be as physically active as I once was without the aid of bladder leakage protection. I can no longer laugh, sneeze or cough without suffering from the offensive “bl”. Very dear people in my life joke about “needing a panty liner” when we get together, but the truth is, I need something more than a panty liner most days or I may find my pants wet!

So to help support Underwareness and bring the condition and Depend Underwear out of the wall of shame, Depend has created a new social movement and charitable cause called Underwareness. You, too, can share your story. You will be helping Underwareness, supporting the millions of Americans with bladder leakage and helping to break down the stigma of the condition and Depend Underwear. Depend offers discreet products that are thin, not a bulky diaper, which are a much more comfortable option for those suffering from this often viewed “shameful” condition. Thus, helping people regain their freedom and get their lives back. If you are wondering what to wear for bladder leakage, Depend products include:

Depend products

For Women:
- Depend® Silhouette® Briefs for Women
- Depend® for Women Underwear with FIT-FLEX™ Protection

For Men:
- Depend® Real Fit® Briefs for Men
- Depend® for Men Underwear With FIT-FLEX™ Protection

Underwareness Campaign

Depend will donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for: Every pant drop, photo and video shared. Use hashtags #Underwareness and #DropYourPants in your social sharing.

Depend- Full disclosure this article is financially supported by Depend

For more information visit www.Underwareness.com to join the movement and request free samples of Depend. Claim your free samples by visiting the Depend landing page and clicking on the “Get a Sample” button located at the top right-hand side of the screen. Then, select which sample you would like to receive and wait for them to arrive.

Don’t forget to use these hashtags in your social sharing! #Underwareness and #DropYourPants

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Washing Babydoll Sheep Wool – Wordless Wednesday

Our Babydoll ram has been losing some of his fleece. Our oldest son decided to collect it and wash it.

Steps to follow when washing Babydoll sheep wool:

1. Filled the sink with hot, hot water. He said he got it up to 180′ F.

2. Then stir wool around.

3. Put a tiny bit of dish soap or laundry detergent in the water. Keep stirring. Not too hard.

4. Change the water. Repeat the process.

5. Lay out to dry on top of dryer.

Here is what it looked like:

Washing Wool_1_

Washing Wool_2_

Washing Wool_3_

Kind of disgusting, isn’t it?

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January is Organizational Month

FFR January is Organizational MonthYou may or may not recall January is Organizational Month. I have been trying for three plus years to get organized and it never fails something keeps coming up to hinder the process.

I admit I cannot seem to get our home organized the way I would like it. It is like I have a brain film over my organizational skills I used to possess. Perhaps 2015 will be my year…finally.

We are in the throes of de-junking now. We gave away several bags to charity last week and will have more to give away at the end of them month.

What do you need to organize? Do you have any tips to help the organizationally challenged?

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Falls at Victoria Park Nova Scotia – Wordless Wednesday

We traveled to my native province Nova, Scotia, Canada for a month in November/December 2014. It has been nearly ten years since we have been back “home”. We had an awesome visit. It was sooo good to reconnect with my sisters and have them meet our three younger children. It was wonderful to see my family bond with my children and visa versa.

Falls at Victoria Park_2_

Two of my three sisters each took us hiking. C took us to Victoria Park. Victoria Park has walking trails up a mountain, stairs to offer a more challenging hike, falls, picturesque views, a playground and pool (open only in the summer). Our older children had been there on our last visit in 2005, but our younger children had never been. This is a photo of most of the children overlooking the falls at Victoria Park Nova Scotia. Our oldest son stayed home with hubby to take care of the animals.

Nova Scotia received an inordinate amount of rain while we were home, especially my hometown. Farm fields were flooding, the rivers were high, lawns were saturated and as you can see, the falls at Victoria Park were roaring. Can you believe we were without jackets almost in the middle of December?! We have never been hiking in December, let alone hiking twice in the span of a week and a half!

FFR Falls at Victoria Park 121114

More from our trip later…

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