Inaugural Bingo Board

The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our country and on Friday we get to watch it once again.  I personally am excited and will be watching it with my children and friends.  In order to help my children get the most out of the event and keep their attention, I created a bingo board filled with questions whose answers should appear during the Inaugural coverage.

If you prefer, I also listed the questions in a simple worksheet with lines for the answers.  And I made an answer key if you don’t hear the answers or want to check yourself.

Inauguration Bingo Board

Inauguration Worksheet

Answer Key

 

 

Weather Mapping

Lately we’ve been talking about how different places have different weather (the girls have been very disappointed it’s not snowing here) so I decided to have us map out the weather.

I wanted to keep the map simple, just the general states, so I used this one from nationalatlas.gov (a great site).

us_map_states

Then I used our weather cards to make these stickers.  We have some sticker paper for the printer but we’ve also just used full size labels in the past.

weather stickers

We put out a call on Facebook asking our friends to share photos of what it looked like outside.  With each picture, we added a sticker to our map.  After just a few stickers the girls started noticing patterns with the weather and understanding how the weather was different everywhere.  This is still a work in progress, but thank you so much to all our friends who helped us!

weather map

Scissor Practice Printable

I wanted to share these great printables my husband made when the girls were starting to practice cutting.  If your kiddos are like mine, once they started cutting they didn’t want to stop! (including their hair in one unfortunate incident)Scissor practice

These pages gave them a chance to practice holding the scissors correctly, cutting on a straight line, and getting all the way across the paper.  The girls also loved having actual shapes cut out that they could then glue together.P1050899

Click here for Scissor Practice Printable

I trimmed down construction paper and ran that through the printer.  That way they were using paper that was a little sturdier and didn’t tear or bend while they were working with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Big Move

We recently moved a few states over due to military orders.  I would love to say that things went perfectly and I have a whole list of tips and tricks to share, but the truth is there is a lot that I would do better or completely differently next time.  Sometimes I felt like I was clutching my seat waiting until it was over.  But our most important goal–making the move a positive experience for our daughters and not scarring them for life–was one that we actually got right.  Well, I think so.  I hope so.

The trucks arriving with the crates filled with all of our belongings.

The trucks arriving with the crates filled with all of our belongings.

When one of our girls ended up in the hospital during the move, we were able to see just how well we had prepared them to deal with this difficult time.  For whatever it’s worth, here is what we tried to do and how it worked out.

Stay positive and get excited. 

I had lived in our last city for over 15 years so moving anywhere would have been hard for me.  But we tried to stay upbeat with our girls.  In fact, when our original orders to North Dakota were cancelled they started crying and wailing, “But I want to go to North Dakota!”
We also went online and looked at pictures and places around our new town to have something to look forward to.

Warn them about what is coming.

We looked at a calendar many times throughout the process and talked about each thing that would happen. After the packers had been to the house, my husband warned the girls that it would “look different and maybe scary but it was just our stuff in boxes.”

Surprising their Nanny by hiding in the packing materials.

Surprising their Nanny by hiding in the packing materials.

Keep them involved.

It’s easy to find jobs for even the littlest helper.  They can pack or unpack their stuffed animals or toys.  We had the girls go through their toys and choose items to donate ahead of time.  We also had them set things on the counter while we unpacked and collect the packing paper after we were done.

Focus on the family.

We tried very hard to make this a family adventure.  This was an exciting time for the four of us to stick together.  When things went awry, such as when we were forced to sleep in our car because bad weather had filled every single hotel in town, the girls just considered it one more adventure.  And they learned that we stick together no matter what.

Our brave patient with her best buddy

Our brave patient with her best buddy

This lesson paid off big time when our daughter ended up in the hospital from a blood disorder.  Riding in the ambulance was just another adventure in her mind (she asked if we could take a picture of her) and there was no question that all four of us would be staying at the hospital together.  It was a Thanksgiving we will never forget!

Have fun!

This is a stressful time for any family–well, it was for ours–but you can still have fun.  It’s part of your family history so make some memories.

A proud Zoe poses next to the R2D2 they created while her sister is inside the robot.

A proud Zoe poses next to the R2D2 they created while her sister is inside the robot.

Flag Retirement

Recently it became time for us to get a new flag.  The USA flag we’ve been flying proudly in Flag Retirement Ceremonyfront of our house had become too worn.  Once replaced, we needed to dispose of the old one properly.  So, what to do?  Why have our own flag retirement ceremony of course.  This was a great chance to role model respect and patriotism!

You can make your flag retirement as simple or fancy as you would like.  The most important thing is to show respect.  The US code title 36, section 176 states: “The Flag, when it is in such condition that is is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”  Many people cut the stripes and stars prior to burning.  Then the ashes are buried in a respectful place.  If your flag is made from synthetic material you probably want to bury the flag (like we did) since the burning can produce toxic fumes.

When burying ours we explained to the girls why we were doing it.  We then said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”  After that the girls helped to bury the flag.  It was simple but respectful and the girls were very proud of participate.

Working together to bury our flag

Working together to bury our flag

Our pretty new flag

Our pretty new flag

If you are looking for something more complicated a quick search of “flag retirement ceremony” will give you all kinds of options.  One of the most patriotic events I have ever witnessed was a flag ceremony by the Girl Scout troop I led.  The girls did a flag ceremony with the flag, posting the colors one last time, then that night at the fire they recited patriotic quotes while each laid a piece of the flag upon the fire and then sang patriotic songs.  The pride and consideration the girls showed was very moving and left every adult impressed.
Don’t want to do it yourself?  You can contact your local scout groups, American Legion, or VFW post to dispose of your flag for you.  I know that at one point our local Boy Scout organization was overrun with flags while the Girl Scouts rarely received any.  Just something to consider.
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