Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall in My Family

Posted by Andria at 11:48 AM 2 comments

Thought I write a post about what fall entails for my family. This BY FAR is my most favorite time of year and it's also the time of the year when the Briggette household is overwhelmed (in a good way) with activities! First of all, it should go without saying that Floridians very much look forward to fall and winter. What's great about living in Orlando during the fall is that the weather cools down in a way that's just right. Its still warm during the day,but when evening hits, the air is delicious. It FINALLY loses that hot, muggy, sticky feel which by the way, really sucks when you're tyring to get away with silky straight locks! Yeah, you curly/wavy haired girls know what I'm talking about! Speaking of looking cute, does anyone else but me absolutely LOVE fall fashion?! The colors, the boots the accessories! Ive already started my shopping ;) Also decorating the house is so much fun. I've already got the fall/Halloween vibe going on here complete with a "pumpkin pie" scented wax tart from Yankee Candle. Yes, in my home, it must SMELL like fall too!

Anyway, getting back to the activities. One of the first great things that happens is that Oct. 5th is my wedding anniversary! This means a beautiful dinner at one of our favorite restaurants followed by a night on the town. P.S this year marks 7 years married! Next, comes my birthday on Oct. 11th. Because of the fact that we have so much going on in October, we usually just tie that in with another family outing such as the Food and Wine Festival. Which brings me to our next fall tradition. Every year we attend Disney's Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. This is a tradition that was started by my parents. We'd go every year from the time I was a young teen and now I've carried it into my marriage. It's absolutely fabulous! Other than the fact that you're at Disney (hello!) you get to sample exotic foods and wines from places all over the world. It runs into November so we usually go more than once. I can't wait!

Lets see, what else? Ah yes, lets not forget fall treats! Now I had always done fall and even Christmas baking but last year me and my friend Jennifer at "Double Duty Mommy" took it to a new level! What was supposed to be just a fun little baking activity for our girls turned into what I like to call a "Supper Halloween Baking Extravaganza"! We made goblins, ghouls, witches and so much more out of cookies, marshmallows and whatever else you can thing of! It was hard work but so much fun. We're sure to be doing it again sometime soon.

There's also an outing to some local fines arts event, musical or play that we usually attend although I'm undecided about which one this year (#fail). And or course, there's our family tradition of visiting our local pumpkin patch. This is one of Aizlynn's favs. I think there's something about a child seeing a sea of pumpkins everywhere that just makes them go crazy lol! We have never bought a pumpkin from the grocery store. First of all, I would rather support someones business and secondly, I just simply think it's not as fun. Plus there are so many great photo ops. Obviously, that brings us to our next tradition of pumpkin carving! Last year, our pumpkin turned out amazing ,but FYI the bumpy/lumpy pumpkins are not the best for carving. My hand was about to fall off trying to carve it!

The highlight for our family during the month of October is yet another Disney event. We LOVE going to "Mikey's Not so Scary Halloween Party". The ambiance is amazing, the decor, the characters, the parade, the look on my little girls face! Children (and adults) can dress up in costumes and collect candy in a safe and family friendly environment which is important to me. We look forward SO much to going each year. Normally we go sometime in Oct. and do Halloween day at a local festival because its near to impossible to reserve tickets to this event on the 31st. HOWEVER, we are so thrilled that we bought our tickets very early so that this year, we will be going to "Mikey's Not so Scary Halloween Party" on Halloween day!!! Its not cheap ,but it's so worth it! we also do "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas" but that another post :)

So, that almost wraps it up for Oct. and I STILL didn't say too much about Nov. PHEW! Told you we have a lot going on in the fall. So, what are your family traditions during this awesome time of year? Please share! We might even get new ideas from each other :D

BTW my next wordless Wednesday post will be titled "At this time last year," and you'll get to see pictures of some last year's fun so be sure to check back in!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"I Never Thought I'de Do It"

Posted by Andria at 1:13 PM 2 comments

I don't know what is is about 2010, but as I've said in earlier posts, this is to be a year of many changes and that's turned out to be very true. A huge example of this is that we are now homeschooling our daughter. How in the world did that happen?! Well I guess I should go back for a moment. Since Aizlynn was about 3, I had starting having a weird nagging feeling about her inevitably having to start school soon. It wasn't so much that whole "my baby's going to be away from me for HOURS" thing, although like any mother of 1, this did naturally cross my mind. I was also having worries about the main focus of the education, class size, will she have a decent teacher, will she get "lost" or left behind, will her strengths be nurtured, will her weaknesses be ignored, what about the children she'll be around 7 hrs a day and the list went on and on and ON! It had dawned on me that I was not liking the fact that I felt like I had no say or control over her education or even her learning environment. I guess that makes me a control freak ,but ...... I really don't feel bad about wanting some control in that area of my child's life. I REALLY don't. Over protective? Maybe. Anyway, I tried to put away those thoughts (tried), brushed them off and placed her in school. She went through preschool and then kindergarten. Now, I'll try to sum this up the best way I can or this will post will be way to long. Here we have a child who was/is extremely smart and excelling academically. She was already on the honor roll and received awards and all that good stuff yet she was also the child who was in trouble almost every day for talking and being disruptive. This poor child was placed at a desk, by herself, separated from her classmates, in the far corner of the room for the majority of the school year. Why? Because she wasn't being stimulated enough. Plain and simple. Of course I as a parent along with DH would have to talk to her every day about it, discipline, take away privileges and so on. We even got together with the school councilor and her teacher to have her put on a special behavioral chart! Looking back, I (sadly) spent the majority of my daughter's kidergarten year punishing her, grounding her and trying everything I thought was best to get her to stop talking in class! What a sad, sad thing... Such a short and precious time in a childs life being wasted instead of cherished and celebrated. There were too many tears shed that year for the both of us. I think about the confusing messages she received. As a five year old being told you're good because you're smart & have good grades ,but at the same time, you're bad and deserve to sit alone and even placed in the classroom next door sometimes and then when you come home, Mommy and Daddy are going to be ONCE AGAIN upset with you. Do you see where I'm going with this? That could NOT have been good for her self esteem. There are so many other little things that happened with the kids and with some teachers that had really bothered me but I'm not gonna get into that. The conclusion to all this is that during the summer, DH and sat down, had a heart to heart and said "Lets try this", "lets home school". I have to say that I was one of those people that thought homeschooling families were all weird, overly religious families that liked to keep their kids under a rock. I also had concluded that ALL kids that were homeschooled were strange, awkward and no clue about what was "cool". I had based that judgement on the ONE home schooled kid I met at church when I was 14. Now here we were homeschooling our child lol! As I had started to talk to others since I had no idea on how the heck i was gonna go about this, I quickly realized how many people out there were doing the same thing I was! What a felief that was for me! Either that or there were tons of people that would say things like "I don't blame you", "yeah, my sisters homeschooling her kids" or even the shocking "You are? Thats great"! I recieved tons of positive support, had a coworker who had homeschooled all three of his kids so he was great for advice and last but not least, my stepmother is a teacher. It was perfect! We are 1 month into the process and absolutly loving this. I was afraid that we would be in over our heads but it has been easy for us. So yup, I'm officially a homeschooling mom and our family is something I never thought we'de be, a homeschooling family. Don't know how long we'll do it but I know that we'll do it as long as it's working for us as a family and more importantly as long as it is working for Aizlynn.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless but not Wednesday

Posted by Andria at 6:02 PM 1 comments
Here's a few of Aizlynn's birthday pics, I should of posted them sooner.