Friday, July 8, 2016

Road Tripping with Kids

 

You read about road trips with kids all the time and I am simply amazed that kids are always so good and the vacation is such a success. Do you really think this actually happens? 
One way to make life easier on road trips is to have a plan, but remind yourself to not expect perfection. Things do go wrong and kids do get upset and parent's do lose their "coolness", but this is just something we need to get into our heads in the beginning, vacations do not ever go as smoothly as one would like! 
Traveling with kids can be an fun experience or it can be the opposite! It really isn't up to the parents or kids, it's can be what kind of moods we all may be in that week. So put a smile on your face, no one really has a perfectly happy, calm family vacation! Maybe the car games below will have you looking forward to your next family vacation! 
Just a reminder road trips with your kids don't have to be difficult ordeals punctuated with a repeated "Are we there yet?" There are plenty of ways to make time in the car fun for both you and your child. Here are eight fun games to try the next time you're on the road again. 
1. The Alphabet Game - Ages 5 and up: One person chooses the right-hand side of the road, and someone else the left. Each player looks for letters of the alphabet that appear on signs or license plates on their side. The object of the game is to point out all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A to Z. The first person to spot the entire alphabet wins. 
2. The Animal Name Game - Ages 6 and up: One person names an animal. Then each person in order has to name another animal (no repeating!) that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. There are no winners or losers in this game. With older children, try the game with TV shows, or geographical categories such as cities or countries. 
3. Twenty Questions  - Ages 4 and up: One person secretly thinks of either an animal, mineral, or vegetable. The other players then take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as "Can it fly?" or "Does it grow in the ground?" After the players have asked 20 questions, each player gets a chance to make a guess. 
4. Telephone - Ages 4 and up: A child whispers a story to someone else in the car. That person whispers the same story -- as close to a word-for-word recount as possible -- to a third person, and so on. The last person to hear the story repeats it out loud so everyone can hear. Invariably, some of the story will have been lost in the translation, and the resulting garbled message usually inspires a good laugh. 
5. The Theme Song Game - Ages 5 and up: One person hums the tune to a favorite TV show, and everyone else tries to name the show as fast as possible. The first person to guess correctly hums the next song. 
6. Memory Test - Ages 6 and up: The first person says "A is for ---" filling in the blank with any word beginning with the letter A, such as "apple." The second person comes up with a word for the letter B, such as "book," but must also repeat the "A" word: "A is for apple, B is for book." Continue through the alphabet, each person taking several turns and reciting more and more letters and words. By the time you reach the letter Z, that player will recite the whole alphabet and its corresponding words. However, if you're playing with younger kids you may want to choose an earlier letter than "Z" to be the final one. 
7. Secret Place Race - Ages 7 and up: One person looks at a road map and finds a small town, village, river, etc. That person announces the name of the place she has chosen. A second player has 60 seconds to look at the map and try to find the secret place. 
8. Restaurant Race - Ages 5 and up: Each player chooses a restaurant, such as Burger King, Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc. Players earn points by spotting their restaurant off the road, on a billboard, on exit markers, on Food/Fuel signs, or by hearing it mentioned on the radio. Impose a time limit -- say, 20 minutes -- and then add up the points. 

 Enjoy your road trips and remember have fun!

Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!
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Free Download -Album TO BE LOVED-Michael Buble'


To Be Loved 

The Google Play Store is offering a FREE download of the album To Be Loved by Michael BublĂ©. To download this album you must have a Google Play account. When creating an account you will have to add a form of payment (paypal, credit card) but you won’t be charged for FREE items. Once you are signed into your account, click the “FREE” button at the top of the listing. Only the album is FREE. Individual songs are $1.29. This offer will be available for a limited time only.


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Summer Road Trips: Camping

 

Summer has arrived and with it comes family vacations. Vacations don't have to be expensive and stressful. Camping is a fun thing to do with kids. Plus its easy to stay on a low budget and still have fun. 
Before you go camping you may need a few essentials. Tent camping: I feel would be the best way to start and especially if this is your first time to camp with the kids, I would suggest camping close to the house. We have a state park that is like 20 minutes away from our home and this way if the kids get cranky, or the tent falls down or it rains the whole time, all you have to do is pack up and head to the house and maybe make a stop by a fast food joint, since dinner slid down the hill into the creek, with the help from the rain! 
Make sure you take lanterns, it gets very dark out there.  Also be sure to invest in a couple of good blow up mattresses to sleep on and make sure it's the type that comes with rechargeable blowers, this way you can keep it pumped up and not find yourself on a flat mattress in the morning. Take my advice this is not a good way to start your day at a campground by waking up stiff, sore and grumpy! 
Try to prepare meals at home to take with you. Bring pillows, blankets, and some favorite kid books to read under the lantern in the tent at bedtime. Of course take first aid kids, bug spray and plenty of drinking water. The first camping trip may not make it into the books as the best vacation ever, but make sure it's fun, so the kids will want to go back again! Here is a simple list that may help you out on your first camping trip. 
CAMPING ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST 
  • Tent (poles, ground stakes, ground cloth, hammer for ground stakes) 
  • Sleeping bag, blanket, pillow 
  • Sleeping pad or mattress 
  • Personal kit (soap, tooth brush, paste, wash cloth, towel) 
  • Camp stove and fuel 
  • Cook kit (pots, pans, spatula, large spoons, matches, plastic table cloth) 
  • Mess kit (spoon, knife, bowl, cup, plate) OR paper plates and plastic utensils 
  • Cleanup kit (plastic tub, sponge, soap, cleaning pads, paper towels, trash bags) 
  • Cooler with ice and/or "blue ice" 
  • Charcoal and starter fluid 
  • Clothing for the season 
  • Drinking water (in bottles) 
  • First Aid kit 
  • Insect repellent 
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15 at least) 
  • Firewood, fire starting materials, matches, newspapers 
Oak Mountain State Park is a great place to go. It is nestled in a large cul-de-sac which borders Beaver Lake and surrounded by rolling hills topped with the long lived and majestic Longleaf Pines. It is a favorite spot for families to get away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. The campground is open for camping year-round. Add to summer road trip plans an Alabama Adventure...go camping at an Alabama State Park!  
Just remember to have fun, enjoy the outdoors, take plenty of water on the hikes and don't forget to bring the supplies for smores to cook by the fire!  Most importantly, please remind everyone to not pick any green plants on the hike or around the campsite, the last thing you need would be poison oak or ivy!



Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

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SUMMER ROAD TRIP TO GEORGIA

 
An Electronic-Free Family Road Trip in Georgia
It is definitely summer time. We have only been at the pool for 20 minutes.  I sit up, squint my eyes to search for my preteen girls in the pool, I finally spot them. Here they have a local pool to go to, of which I pay a sizeable amount for each month, so they can swim and visit with school friends and my kids are sitting in lounge chairs, perfectly dry I might add, texting the friends that are sitting right by them! Does this make any sense? I could be saving a lot of money each month by simply letting them sit at the house and text! 
It's time to wake up a couple of girls with a road trip with absolutely no electronics, this will include Mom and Dad also. It's time we all got to know each better, before they hit the teens and its too late to pull them back to reality. I called Dad, to tell him the idea of a vacation without any electronics and he is pumped, maybe not as pumped when I tell him "we" would be electronic free also! In the end we decided to take one phone in my purse just in case of any emergency's. I have to remind my husband looking up baseball scores will not be considered an emergency and the girls will not know we have a phone with us. 
The day of the trip was greeted with dread. I was beginning to think maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. The girls, who were going to be 11 and 12 this summer, were already pouting and already saying the dreaded word, "boring" and we were not even pulled out of the drive way yet! Camping for a week with two unhappy girls was not in my big plan, but I looked over to my husband and said its time to start the vacation and hopefully teach two girls you can really have fun without a phone attached to your hand! 
FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT STATE PARK 2970 Ga. Highway 190 Pine Mountain, Georgia   31822 Phone: 706-663-4858 Reservations: 800-864-7275      
Located near Callaway Gardens and the town of Warm Springs, this park is deeply rooted in the historical era of four-time President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Seeking a place for treatment after he was stricken with polio in 1921, Roosevelt traveled to nearby Warm Springs and built his Little White House. Several structures within the park were built by Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Above Kings Gap is Dowdell's Knob, Roosevelt's favorite picnic spot overlooking a magnificent view of the valley below. A life-size sculpture of the beloved president welcomes visitors to the overlook. Hikers will enjoy the scenic trails in Georgia's largest state park, especially the Pine Mountain Trail, which winds through a mix of hardwoods and pines. The trail's highest elevation is 1,395 feet. Pine Mountain is on the southern-most edge of the Appalachian Mountain range. Hikers are sometimes surprised to find this terrain in middle Georgia. 
After a week in the wilderness with no electronics, the first day without was rough, even for Mom and Dad, but as the week progressed, it started to get a bit easier. We found out our girls are excellent card players and they can spot more out state tags then we did and stopping at old gas stations and talking to local folks can be fun, we were mildly surprised our girls are talkers without the phone to lean on. Because of this we were all invited to a local farmer's house who had a watermelon field near by and the girls were able to pick their own watermelon from the vine! To city girls this was big!   
It was a funfilled week and it ended better than I expected. Once home, we were anxious to see if they would go right back to their phones, but it was a wonderful surprise when all was unpacked and we were all sitting down going through vacation pictures, when it occurred to the girls they hadn't checked their phones yet, they were sure they would have ton's of texts to reply back to. We watched them run up to their rooms and they were gone. Feeling a bit defeated we headed to the kitchen to start dinner, but much to our surprise about 5 minutes later the girls were asking to help cook. We exchanged surprised glances and said sure, but it didn't last long, about that time the house was beginning to look like central station, when two or three friends came over. We sighed and thought it was a nice bonding with them for a week, but all the girls sit down and our girls started telling them about the vacation, showing them pictures, teaching them new card games and to our surprise they all talked and not one phone was pulled out!

Author Note: Tammy is the owner and author of the Frugal Southern Mom Blog. Visit her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

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Summer TIme Recipes!

What is a lover of cook books? Some love to try out the recipes, I love reading them, its as if you have your very own "pinterest" you can hold in your hands and browse and exactly touch the page! Once I find an old church cookbook at my favorite thrift store, I feel a bit of a adenerline rush. Suddenly anything and everybody around me are gone and it's just me and the old church cookbook. It's a bit hard to explain, but it's like the cookbook comes to life, each person who contributed has invited me personnaly into their kitchen.  It reminds me of the times when my Grandma would give me a broad smile and hand me a " big apron" to put on, then she would have me turn around so she give me a "apron hug" where she would tie the ties in back into a large bow and as she was doing it she would always manage to pull me tight and ask me, Are you ready to start cooking?


Let's bring back some cooking memoires back into your kitchen. Below are some recipes I not only read, but tried them out! Enjoy!

ALL DAY MACARONI AND CHEESE

8 oz elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

In a large pot, cook macaroni pasta until tender. Drain.  In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups of sharp
cheddar cheese, cooked macaroni, evaporated milk, eggs, salt and pepper.
Transfer to a slow cooker which has been coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges.  Do not remove the cover or stir the mixture until mixture has finished cooking. Serve warm.

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