Just Ask My Daughter, There’s Nothing “Wacky” About Learning Facts over Lunch!

My six year asked her dad, “Do you know what the dot over the lower case “i” is called?” With a pensive look on his face, he responded, “No, I don’t.” Quinn smiled, and enthusiastically said, “It’s called a tittle!” I teach English, and if I’m honest, I didn’t know it was called a “tittle.” Last year, when my daughter started kindergarten, I began including little notes in her lunch bag to not only let her know I love her or to offer her motivation but to give her an opportunity to practice reading.

I’m proud to say that she was a solid reader in kindergarten and eager to learn, so even though it’s only one year later, she is quite advanced in her reading. I still write little notes, but when we were doing back-to-school shopping prior to school starting, I stumbled upon something that caught my eye.

It was 101 Lunch Notes containing wacky facts and laughs. Some of the notes do contain big words where sounding them out might not help, but I’m amazed with Quinn’s ability to use the context clues of the other words to figure out what the one new word might mean. I also look forward to reading over the wacky facts myself finding that I’m learning new information too. One fact was about a snail and how many teeth it has. We were all so intrigued by the “wacky fact” of some snails potentially having 20,000 or more teeth that we decided to research it to see if it really was accurate. Even some of the jokes gave me pause, and I had to share them with others to get the punch line. For instance,

Question: What did Delaware?

Answer: A New Jersey.

If you are looking for a way to add a little something special or fun to your child’s lunch and possibly a follow-up conversation at the dinner table about the wacky fact or joke, definitely consider purchasing these note cards.

All the best,

Tanya

 

 

Spending Time with My “Boos” at the Zoo!

At least five Woodys! Plenty of super heroes from Iron Man to Spider Man to Superman, the Incredibles and anyone else you can think of! Plenty of princesses, unicorns and even a family dressed as the characters from Wizard of Oz. No, this wasn’t a costume party but the absolutely fun Halloween event held annually at the Philadelphia Zoo: Boo at the Zoo!

This makes the sixth year that my daughter and I have attended and the second year that we’ve met up with our relatives for some “cousin” fun along with my mother. We arrived at 9am (The zoo opens at 9:30am but allowed members to enter as early a 8:30am), and while the day started off rather chilly, the weather was perfect as the day progressed. The sun was shining the entire time, and we were even able to unbutton our jackets as the light breeze blew. In between seeing the lions, tigers, giraffes and plenty other animals (who were all out and about today), Quinn and her cousins eagerly ran to the different stations to trick or treat for tasty sweets and did different crafts while admiring the costumes of the other children and adults in passing.

Spending time with my extended family, seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces, hearing their laughter and simply feeling their joy truly puts a smile on my face. If you’re looking for a fun and safe event for your child or children and live near Philadelphia, “Boo at the Zoo” is perfect! You get to dress up, get sweet treats, and do fun activities all while seeing animals.

All the best,

Tanya

My Pumpkin is a Beautiful Unicorn!

Taking a family trip to Shady Brook Farm’s pumpkin patch is one of our favorite activities this time the year. Another one of the activities we thoroughly enjoy is deciding on how we will decorate our pumpkins and then sitting down and doing them as a family. Though it can get messy with paint, we love taking the trip to Michael’s to get all of our supplies and then helping each other out as we go through the process of giving our pumpkins character.

This year, my six year old was inspired by my unicorn I created last year and decided to do her own. She painted white all by herself. I helped her a little with cutting the felt pieces and using the hot glue gun to adhere them to her pumpkin. She then drew on the eyes after consulting a few pictures we found on the internet. My pumpkin was inspired by Aladdin, specifically Princess Jasmine. So after painting it a turquoise and fuchsia she wears in the movie, I blinged it out with pearl and gold trimming. My mother even got into the act with her pumpkin and made a cat using felt for the ears and painting on the face.

Now, our pumpkins sit on display on the buffet in our dining room for all visitors to see and admire. My admiration comes not just from the pumpkins but the memorable moments I share with my own mother and my daughter, who will always be my sweet little pumpkin.

All the best,

Tanya

Let the October Fun Begin: It’s Pumpkin Patch Family Time!

“I want one that’s not too small and not too big,” my six year old told me as we made our way through the admissions entrance of Shady Brook Farm. Picking the “perfect” pumpkin has become just as involved as selecting the right Christmas tree for us. It must have a long enough stem with a slight curve, have a nice round shape, be smooth with minimal to no blemishes, lumps or bumps. It all started five years ago when my husband and I brought Quinn to the pumpkin patch for a little family fun.

Now, it is a wonderful family tradition filled with fun activities, smiles and laughter. My mother has even joined us for the past four years, and we all come ready with our gardening gloves for handling the pumpkins, large bags for carrying them and keen eyes for finding the right ones for our pumpkin decorating projects.

While going to the pumpkin patch is the main purpose of our outing, we also enjoy the many activities available from the corn maize, play ground, moon bounces, entertainment and various games. Of course, we could easily get a pumpkin at the local Giant or grocery store, but I look forward to this family tradition and especially the family togetherness that comes from this day long outing at Shadybrook Farm. If you are local to the Bucks County, PA area and looking for a fall activity for your family, give it a try!

All the best,

Tanya H. Franklin

Mother & Daughter Bond: Observing the Beautiful Relationship of Celestial Bodies

 

“You two look super cute!” a little girl said. “Oh my God! I just love it!” a woman exclaimed.” Another lady with her sons remarked, “I just love your matching celestial dresses! I wish I had a little girl so that we could dress alike too!” Yesterday, my six year old and I went to Sesame Place for the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular with my sister-in-law and nieces. Since my daughter and I both love dressing up for Halloween, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to wear something special for the occasion. We saw a few super heroes, princesses and even PJ Masks characters, but no one was wearing our “special” costumes, which we decided on months ago.

Last year, for Christmas, Quinn got her first American Girl doll, Luciana, who was the girl of the year for 2018 and aspires to be an astronaut. So when I asked her what she wanted to wear, she thought it would be cool if we both dressed up like Luciana and wore celestial dresses and red waist bags.

First, I visited the American Girl website to price the dress and then headed to Amazon where I found a dress for Quinn and me with the combined prices cheaper than the price for one child-sized dress. I even found the red waist bags through Amazon too! We received so many compliments on our matching outfits as Quinn proudly held Luciana in her arms for a few pictures.

The smiles and kind words from strangers made me think of Quinn and me as celestial bodies that people observe in awe and intrigued by our mother/daughter bond. While many more milestones and memorable moments may be light-years away, I am grateful in knowing that the stars aligned for Quinn to be my daughter causing a feeling of hope and happiness that’s totally out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya

Baking and Relaxing with My Daughter: What a Treat!

“You know what I love about baking cookies…mixing the ingredients and decorating them.” This isn’t what I said but what my daughter confessed to me. Since she was a toddler, my daughter has loved baking or being my little helper, so a few times a month, if not more, we do make a special treat together.

Yesterday, it was a recipe from her American Girl treats cookbook: flower cookies decorated frosting. My six year old basically did everything from start to finish, and we both were very proud of her finished product. Not only did they look tasty, but they were absolutely delicious.

I really enjoy the moments we share together, especially baking. It reminds me of when I was younger and baked with my mom. We talked, laughed, and I learned and we were rewarded with a tasty treat. I hope that as Quinn gets older she continues to look forward to the fun and relaxing time she gets from baking with me.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s VIP Starting of the School Year on a High Note!

“Guess what, mommy! Mrs. Moore picked me as one of the student VIP’s,” my first grader excitedly told me. To which I responded, “That’s great, honey! Tell me what being VIP means.”  “I get VIP all-access to the special scented markers and other things. I get to sit at a special desk closer to the teacher, and get to have a special lunch where I eat with the teacher and other VIP students!”

We’re just three weeks into the semester, and it makes me so proud to know that my six year old is putting forth her best effort in class and has already been recognized by the teacher.

Last Wednesday was the back to school night, and the teacher’s exact words when I asked about how Quinn was doing was, “I just love Quinn! She’s so pleasant and such a hard worker. She always raises her hand. I’m so happy to have her in class.” While taking a tour of her classroom, I was able to take a few pictures: one of Quinn’s locker and her VIP all-access achievement.

I know she still has many more weeks to go, but I am confident that she will have a wonderful school year and continue to exceed my expectations not only with her love of learning but the respect and pleasant demeanor she consistently displays towards her teacher and classmates. I truly and grateful to have a daughter like her. She’s always been one of my VIP’s, and it is such a rewarding feeling knowing that her teacher feels the same way.

All the best,

Tanya