Photo Challenge: Scale– North Park Hike Pictures


Both of these pictures were taken while hiking in North Park, Allegheny County PA. I like the different scale of these pictures. In the top picture the hill you see in the background looks smaller than the area I was standing on, but it is actually much higher. The narrow space between the trees provides a forced prospective.

The lower picture makes the lake and oak leaves look large and the house on the hillside small. The lake is just on the other side of the road and the house is miles away so it looks tiny.

I love being able to go out and hike in the fall. Mother Nature provides a great canvas for picture taking while enjoying a relaxing hike through the hillside.

via Photo Challenge: Scale


As a teacher, and often times a mom, I went searching for worksheets for my children to do based on skills/interests that needed a bit of extra practice, or a bit of fun work. is a site where you can access these for your child.

Take a deep breath and plunge into this fun printable maze from! Find even more educational games for online and offline play here.


kindergarten_maze_under_the_sea_answers (1)

ws generator theme chart summer

Here are some worksheet types to choose from:

  • Maze
  • Matching list of words with images
  • Word search
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Word scramble
  • Subtraction
  • Division

Check out…. and have fun working on academic skills with your kiddo.

-guest content from


Rainy Monday

Rainy days and Mondays… and when the rainy day is on a Monday… ugh!

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Normally I don’t look forward to Mondays. It means I have to get up and moving. It means getting the boys up and moving and off to school. Today it means that last Monday here in the townhouse. We are moving on Thursday!

As long as it isn’t raining on Thursday, it can rain all week.  This means I don’t have to water the yard and move sprinklers all day!

So this week I will say that a rainy Monday works for me.

Time keeps moving forward

While out driving tonight, Colby made a comment about not being able to live without Wi-Fi. We had not moved out wireless router over to the new house, so there wasn’t a Wi-Fi connection. Which for the boys meant they could not use their Chromebooks or play the games they like on their tablets. Now granted, I’m not sure they would have even asked to use them. We have been very busy and today they had football on the upstairs tv and a Star Wars marathon on the basement tv.

Anyway, back to my story. Colby made the comment about how bad life would be without Wi-Fi. I said “I lived most of my life without Wi-Fi”. To which he replied “Yes, but it didn’t exist, so you weren’t missing out on it, you didn’t even know what it was…” Ok profound statement for a 9 year old. True, very true.

My parents are up visiting and my mom said “I remember a time before tv, then when it came out it was black and white. It had a small screen in a big box.” We then went on to talk about the fact that even when I was a child we didn’t have remote controls. I remember the first remote we had was to the cable and it had a cord that went across the room.

It’s crazy to think about how much technology has changed in the last say 10 years, never mind 50 or 100. My children do not know a time when people didn’t have cell phones they took with them everywhere. They do not know or a time when you couldn’t pause tv or watch movies on demand. They do not know of a time when writing letters was the main form of communication beyond making a phone call. And, they don’t know about making a phone call and having to stand in the kitchen because the phone was on a cord attached to the wall.

They will not know of a time when they couldn’t just go on-line and look something up. They don’t have to go to the library to research information in an encyclopedia or find books on a topic to get simple questions answered.

I marvel at how much life has changed since I was a child. It will be crazy to see what come in the future. What will it be when I have grandchildren. I wonder what things we have today that will be obsolete at that time. But, that will be a LONGGGG time from now. I don’t want to think about the boys driving, never mind past that.

Moving, moving, moving

Typically I can make decisions and I’m done. I make up my mind and just run with it. But, there are times when I can’t settle my brain on one thought. I have lots of thoughts pop into my head and I just can’t seem to figure out what is the right direction.

I’m in that mode right now. We are continuing to move things into the new house. Everything should be totally moved in by Thursday, that is when the moving truck arrives. But, there are so many decisions that I can’t seem to make. Where will I put items? What things do I need to purchase for the house? In what order will I accomplish these tasks?

I know everything will get done. I know not everything needs to be done the day we move in, or even the week … hell month we move in. But, at the same time I just want things settled. I want things to move forward so we can feel like this is home.

As a home owner I know that the projects are never complete. I know that even when I figure things out it doesn’t mean it will get completed quickly. But, that doesn’t mean I have to like being in this stage of limbo.

I’m ready to move in, get things settled and start our lives.  Lets go… I’m ready…. maybe?

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Moving “fun”

Moving is such a crazy and chaotic time. It’s strange to see your whole life packed up in boxes. To see that a whole household worth of stuff can be put onto a truck and moved.

Before we moved, we sold a lot of items. Now we are seeing what we still want and what we will need. We spend time saying I want to do this or that to the house.

It is fun to move into a blank canvas and know that you can put personal touches onto it and make it your own. There is no right or wrong way to move into a new home, it is just your way.

We are getting closer to being totally moved in. The boys’ rooms are almost done being painted. I need to re-paint Blake’s room and paint the stripe. In Colby’s room I’m going to paint a blue rectangle, border it in black and then he can put up his fish stickers in there to look like a fish tank.

We will then move onto painting Richard’s office.

There are somethings that are not going to workout the way we had planned, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work… it just means we have to change the plans. At least for now.

I’m so ready to be moved in and settled.  Ok settled will take a while, for right now I’d just settle for moving in.

Homecoming Week for the boys

Pine Richland is having their homecoming week. The boys school is having different activities each day. I like that they are using a week that is typically hyped up only in the high school as a week to have fun at the other schools. Not sure what the low elementary schools or the middle school is doing, but I’m guessing they are celebrating as well.

So this was a great week to see the differences between my two sons.

Monday they needed to dress in the color of their biome. The school is divided into different sections each labeled with a biome, and each biome has a color that matches it. So for Monday, Colby needed to wear yellow (desert biome) and Blake needed to wear blue (aquatic biome). This day was well easy other than we had to find a shirt with some yellow in it.

Tuesday was wacky socks day. Colby wore one black soccer sock and one black regular sock. So he had one sock that was up to his knee and one that was down at his ankle.  This works!  Blake thought he was being super creative. But, if you know Blake you will already guess that this didn’t work out well for him. Blake wore two sets of socks. Two sets of white socks. The bottom sock was about 2 inches taller than the outer sock.  You could not even tell he had anything but normal socks. He didn’t understand why people didn’t notice that he had stacked his socks one on the other.

Wednesday was mismatched/backwards clothes day. Colby wore his polo shirt inside out and backwards. He wanted to be mismatched as well, but, all his bottoms are khaki, jeans, navy or gray, which makes it harder to be mismatched (Yes I do this do they can’t typically make mismatched outfits). Blake put his shirt on backwards, but before he had even come downstairs, he had turned it the right way. He just could not wear the shirt backwards.

Today was crazy hair/hat day. Colby tried for a long time to get his hair to stick up in crazy directions. When the back of his hair was long we were able to easily do this, he often had Einstein hair. Now that his hair is super short in the back the whole crazy hair thing wouldn’t work. Colby then went upstairs found and old hat. He turned the hat inside out and wore it backwards with his bangs sticking out everywhere. Blake put on his UCF hat and said it would be “crazy” here because they probably don’t know UCF.

This week just shows the difference between my guys. Blake is so straight laced. He lived in a black and white world and struggles when things don’t fit into his molds. Colby on the other hand LOVES to be creative. He loves to think outside the box and sees the fun creative sides of life.

I love my guys and how different they are… keeps life interesting.

Generic Brands

When I was younger and single I was very brand specific in buying food and other items from the grocery store. I didn’t want to buy the store brand of anything. I thought that was not as good of quality.

When I was pregnant with Blake I stopped working and knew I would not go back to work for many years. So, we started getting very frugal with everything including food. I started trying out store brand items. What did it matter what type of milk, butter, or pasta I used? I also switched over in items like tin foil and plastic wrap.

I will try a lot of items in store brand now. I will say there are some things that I just don’t like in the store brand. I know that it means it is made by the main brand that I didn’t like in the first place. It is still hard to go back and try items that I have tried in store brand and didn’t like.

I will also say that I do sale shop. I’m not a hoarder. I only buy what I need. Typically by shopping day my fridge and pantry are pretty bare. I don’t like to have a lot of stuff sitting around that we aren’t using. I really hate throwing away things that didn’t get used to their full potential.

Do you buy store brands? Do you have items that you have to buy in a specific brand? Are you a coupon shopper? Do you buy things just because they are on sale?

New Home Drama

Life feels crazy right now. We purchased the new house one week ago today. But, we are living in the townhouse still.  Why you ask, because we can!  We decided to take our time moving since our lease isn’t up yet.

So far in this week we have moved almost all the boxes we have, there are some for the garage that still need to be moved. We had our appliances delivered, more about that in a minute. I already painted Colby’s room and Richard is almost done making the back stairs.

Originally I was going to just paint borders in the boys rooms, I worked on taping Colby’s room for the border and in the process realized how cheap the paint was the builder used. I went to move one piece of blue painters tape and pulled off a strip of the builder paint. Ok change of plans… full coats of paint for all the rooms. So now we are planning on painting the whole house in the next few months… yep you read that right. I’m going to paint Blake’s room tomorrow. Once I’m done painting the rooms, I’ll go back and personalize the boys paint jobs.

Yesterday they delivered the appliances. That was “fun”, not the sarcastic quotation marks I used! First the delivery guys tried to tell me the fridge would never fit in the opening. I just looked and said, ummm it should by the measurements. Then he tried to tell me that the measurements they give on the appliances are always correct because of they don’t account for the insulation. Whatever dude… it should fit.  Guess what… it did!

We bought a stand up freezer and wanted to have it put into the storage area of the basement. They couldn’t get the freezer down the stairs. The house is designed to typically have a walk out basement. But, the lot we built on did not accommodate a walk in basement. This means that everything has to go down the stairs. The stairs are not a strait shot, they have a curve. I’m not sure if they couldn’t or just didn’t want to get it around the corner. So now the freezer is in the garage. Oh well. But, now I’m concerned because I wanted to put a couch, love seat, bookshelf, and the entertainment center in the basement. I am not sure that any of these items will be able to go down the stairs. This would totally SUCK. We spent a lot of money having the basement finished and now we can’t put furniture in there?  What??? This wasn’t planned out very well now was it?

We will officially move into the house next week… wonder how smoothly that will go?

New blog direction?

If you asked me when I started blogging what direction my blog would take, I would not have had a good answer. But, I can tell you that writing reviews would never have been in the mix.

The first review I did was on the book The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick. I sent the review to her and actually got an e-mail back from her, that I thought was really cool. I then did a few more book reviews.

Then Richard and I were talking and he suggested that I start writing reviews about the restaurants we try out. Since we are new to the area, everything is new to us. Posting about the new things we do was a suggestion from Pine History Blog, Pine is the Township where we now live. I have been following her blog since I found it to learn more about the history of the area.

My first restaurant review was Pig Iron Public House. I got a lot of views off this post which of course prompted me to do more. (Anyone who blogs can relate to searching for the items that get the most comments and page views, admit it you search your stats too!) I have been doing reviews on Google’s Local Guide for a while, so it was natural to just turn these into blog posts.

So I guess I now am seeing my blog go in a direction of doing more reviews. Just in case you are wondering, not this will not become a review only blog. I enjoy blogging about what is on my mind. You will still see my recipes. You will still hear about the adventures of my life. You will still get true Teacher Turned Mommy Posts, just have more reviews mixed into the mix!

So you, my loyal blog followers, do you enjoy reading my reviews? Would you be interested in seeing different types of reviews? Product reviews? More restaurants? More books? Some other item that I haven’t even considered?

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