Let the Kids Swim with the Fishes–Balmorhea State Park

Minnows dart around your legs. Black catfish slyly seem to circle around your body. If you are a kid it doesn't get much better than this! Welcome to Balmorhea State Park. Only five hours from San Antonio, it was our first (and for the under 10 travelers their favorite) stop on our Spring Break RV tour. You can see my overview post here. Blamorhea hosts the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool. The pool covers almost 1.75 acres and it stays a nice cool 72-76 degrees year round. … [Read more...]

Hit the Road, Jack. . .Renting an RV for Spring Break

We're impulsive people. During the Christmas holidays, facing a 15 hour drive to Denver,  we seriously contemplated buying a used RV from Craigslist. Food. . .Potty Breaks. . .Movement. . .naps in a bed. . . we figured we'd cut that drive time in HALF. Then the adult voice of reason overwhelmed the egg-nogged drunk voice of "Let's DO IT!" and we decided that we first better rent one and see if this was the answer to our travel prayers. So for Spring Break Scott rented us a 31 footer that … [Read more...]

Monday Meals: Chicken Burgers with Panko Bread Crumbs

A friend recently revealed that she will NEVER buy meat that has a discount sticker on it. If it is close to the expiration date, she won't even think about purchasing it. I, on the other hand, tend to scour the meat section for that sweet orange label that says 25% off and stock up my freezer. Lately the ground chicken has been wearing that orange sticker so I've been experimenting with recipes that can use or substitute ground chicken. The beauty pictured above got RAVE REVIEWS from the … [Read more...]

Mostly Multiples Links

Whoa, dear readers, what a week! I'm looking forward to the weekend and hopefully spending time getting my garden ready for planting. (Here in South Texas if you don't get a garden in by mid March--you may as well wait for the September planting season). Do you have big plans? Here is this week's Mostly Multiples links and it is mostly about funny things regarding identical twins. I am a self-professed Public Radio junkie. I blame the two philosophy professors that I nannied for during … [Read more...]

Can Minecraft Teach our Kids the Art of Small Talk?

We have fallen into the video game rabbit hole with our older children. After years of resisting the DS--whatever number--and doling out our phones to one child at a time to play a game while the others hovered around the four inch screen, I opened the flood gates and bought the two nine year olds and the two seven year olds Nooks for Christmas. I reasoned that they would read books on it and then occasionally play video games on it--like during our 15+hour drive to Denver. (Please, don't … [Read more...]

. . .and then the hamster died

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you think: "This can't get much worse?" and then it does. As in the hamster dies. Last week included two parent teacher conferences at two different schools, two fevers, three doctor visits, three evening functions, Girl Scout cookies, piano lessons, two playdates (I feel like Noah in the amount of things that happen by twos!) --really do I need to continue? So by Wednesday I was pretty much shot when, as I was helping someone (can't really … [Read more...]

Denver: A Great Place to Vacation with Young Children

In honor of the Denver Broncos playing in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, I thought I would sing the city's praises and tell you why Denver should be on your list of top places to visit with young children. Actually, there is something for every age, but if you are looking for a place that is friendly, relatively inexpensive (just wait till you see what I've listed!), and memorable, Denver is your destination.  Here are the reasons you should consider Denver this summer. Amazing Summer Weather: … [Read more...]

And the winner is. . .The Pinewood Derby Results

When you are one of four brothers. . .and one of the brothers is your identical twin. . .and two of the brothers are in Cub Scouts with you. . .you tend to embrace things that set you apart from your male siblings. Hence is the case with Luke, who won first place for his pack this weekend in the annual Pinewood Derby Race. This was his second win. Scott texted me video of the various races since I was at home with a napping three year old, but I couldn't tell who won. When I texted, "WHO … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Help People Tell Identical Twins Apart

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins and learned that they were identical boys, I don't think I processed exactly what that term meant: identical. I definitely didn't imagine that I, of all people, wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Then they were born, and I have to be honest, they didn't necessary look alike but I couldn't keep them separated in my sleep deprived brain. We used sharpie markers to put a "L" or a "W" on each of their feet. This worked, except for the middle of … [Read more...]

Encouraging Open-Ended Play

Since tomorrow has the possibility of being a "snow day" here in south Texas (really, it is going to be an "ice morning" that'll probably shut down the schools) I thought I'd post this idea to keep the kids busy. My  friend, Amie, a mother of three year old twins, originally posted this idea on Facebook. Amie is a child development specialist so she has a ton of ideas for encouraging play--which we all know is how children learn. Some of the best play is what is called open-ended: it doesn't … [Read more...]