Spike Island: “Ireland’s Alcatraz”

I’ve been going a bit stir crazy this week. You know, home alone with two rowdy (and sick) little boys while Daddy is away on business and it decides to rain all week so we can’t leave our house to DO anything. Bleh. So when we got a break in the weather this weekend, I seized my opportunity and packed the boys into the car for “an adventure” (this is what I call all of the crazy things I make my children do with me so they’ll think they are fun and worthwhile ventures).

My “Plan A” was to go to this place I’d read about called Mizen Head. It is the southern-most point in Ireland and it’s got this really cool suspension bridge out to a lighthouse. And, it’s in the same county we live in so I thought, Hey–we’ll just hop on over there this morning! But when I punched in my destination to my GPS and it came back at 2 hours 26 minutes, I decided I wasn’t up for a hop quite that long.

Plan B: Spike Island.

I’d also been wanting to go out to this place called Spike Island, also known as “Ireland’s Alcatraz”. As part of it’s colorful past, this island was a sort of prison purgatory for criminals awaiting transport on prison ships to Australia or Tasmania (at times throughout history it was also used as a monastery, a smuggler’s cove and a naval fort) . Plus, it was only 20 minutes from our house. That’s the kind of hop I could do. We drove down to a town called Cobh where boats ferry visitors out to Spike Island. We got there at the crack-o-the-Irish-dawn (10:00) so, naturally, the place was deserted. The kiosk that sells boat tickets out to the island had a handwritten sign stating that the first tour of the day would be at 12:00. Hmmmmm….

As I was contemplating what Plan C might be, I noticed a group of people walking down the pier toward the docked boats. Perhaps, I thought, there is an early bird boat after all! I whipped the boys out of the car and ran down the pier after the other tourists to see if I could catch whatever boat they were taking. When we got to the boat, the captain was standing on the pier helping passengers aboard. At this point, quick observation of the scene told me that I was probably in the wrong place. Every person boarding that boat had silver hair and a Canon SLR the size of an actual cannon. And none of them had tickets. When I asked the captain how I could purchase our tickets, he simply stated that this was a private tour, but I could board “for a bit of charity”. While I smiled knowingly and racked my brain for what “a bit of charity” might mean, I noticed another rogue passenger slip the captain a 20 and climb on board. Ahhhhh…charity. 

“Oh, yes, I have money. Hold on a sec.” (Tell David to NOT MOVE ONE INCH CLOSER TO THAT WATER, take the baby backpack off, rifle around in the backpack for my wallet…keep searching…I know it’s in here somewhere…Ah! Found it! Open the wallet. See that there’s no money. Tell the captain that he can have all of my change. Proceed to empty a bunch of loose coins into the confused captain’s hand. Smile sheepishly. Put baby backpack back on. Get David out of the water. Climb on the boat.)

Once we stowaways were safely aboard the vessel, it was actually a really nice ride out to the island. As we were pulling away from Cobh, we passed the Titanic museum and the pier where the last passengers departed for Titanic over 100 years ago. 126 passengers boarded from this pier in Cobh, but only 44 of them survived. Kind of crazy to think about. IMG_3845 Thankfully, we had a much less eventful boat ride than those poor Titanic passengers. We were able to sit inside the boat (good, because it was windy and COLD out there!) and it was a quick 10-minute trip across the water to Spike Island. IMG_3814 Once on the island, we had a great time exploring. We threw rocks into the ocean (David’s request): IMG_3821 And we spent about 3 hours walking around the island (my request): IMG_3828 We saw the remains of some army barracks and old buildings (built in the 1700’s): IMG_3825 The old Navy fort (built in the 1800’s): IMG_3835 IMG_3842 And some more modern prison cells (built in the 1900’s). I told David that this is where I’d send him if he left his Legos lying around for me to trip on again. IMG_3837 We rounded out the day with some sand castles on the beach before we boarded our boat for the return trip back to our car: IMG_3843 Things didn’t all go as planned, but they rarely do. And sometimes, the best memories are made when our plans go out the window. Here’s to a future of ruined plans and many more great memories to come!

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My 100th Post: 100 Reasons I Love Being A Mom

Jacob week 1 - 0459 Today I am posting my 100th entry to this little blog of mine. Over the course of my last 99 entries I’ve written about many subjects, but the overarching theme has definitely been “mommy life”. I’ve written about hot topics such as what it takes to be a mom, how to prepare yourself for parenthood (Good luck with that one!),  how I attempt to get things done with my kids around (Again, best of luck), how we discipline, how we travel with our kids, what I feed my kids, and the ridiculous things that I do as a mom.  Lots of…mom stuff. So, for my 100th post I thought it would be appropriate to write about my favorite mom-topic: how much I love being a mom. I could probably share with you a million reasons why motherhood is the best “job” in the world, but I’ll practice a bit of self control and stick to 100 (100th post, remember?).  And now, here are the top 100 reasons why I love being a mom:

  1. Snuggles
  2. Hearing my baby say “Mama!” all day long
  3. Getting to see God answer my prayers for my children
  4. Ugga Muggas
  5. Seeing that first ultrasound pictures of the life growing inside me
  6. Parenting with my husband
  7. Having my family be my full-time “job”
  8. Waking up to children’s voices instead of a buzzing alarm (I just wish those sweet little voices would learn how to sleep past 7 AM…)
  9. Going to children’s museums and kiddie playgrounds
  10. Teaching them new things
  11. Seeing the light in their eyes when they learn something new and have that “Aha!” moment
  12. Growing in the virtue of “patience”
  13. Singing lullabies
  14. Tiny naked bottoms running to the bathtub
  15. Bubble baths
  16. The smell of a baby
  17. Kissing boo-boos
  18. Watching my older son teach his little brother (mostly it’s just him teaching the baby how to get into mischief, but I’m sure it will come in handy some day)
  19. My new-found appreciation for all things “balls” (if you know David, you know exactly what I mean)
  20. Hearing a small voice say, “I love you”, and knowing that he really means it
  21. Watching first steps (and first everythings!)
  22. Having an excuse to eat chicken nuggets and Mac ‘n Cheese
  23. Witnessing innocence
  24. Playing!
  25. Watching my children grow and change
  26. Hearing David say the phrase, “So, I was thinking today we could…”. He sounds just like his Mommy.
  27. Splashing in mud puddles
  28. Nursing my baby until he falls asleep in my arms
  29. Re-watching classic movies like “The Lion King” and “Cars”
  30. Exploring new places with my kids
  31. Stroking feathery-soft baby hair
  32. Learning in a whole new way how to trust God each day
  33. Celebrating holidays through the eyes of a child–it’s magical
  34. The hilarious things they say
  35. Wrestling (even though Daddy definitely has me beat in this area!)
  36. Seeing bits of me and my husband in our children
  37. Kissing their sweet, soft, pudgy little cheeks
  38. Teaching my kids God’s Word
  39. Comforting my kids when they are upset
  40. Painting with our fingers
  41. Baby laughs–there’s no problem in this world that a baby laugh can’t cure
  42. Reading with my children
  43. Oggling their teeny-tiny clothes
  44. Being the one they run to when they are scared
  45. Priority boarding on airplanes
  46. Helping them
  47. Praying with them
  48. Sharing in their joys and sorrows
  49. Learning from them
  50. My son’s excitement to see me when I pick him up from school
  51. Trying new things
  52. Wiping away crocodile tears
  53. Listening to David talking to and playing with other children
  54. Seeing how excited they get over the little things in life
  55. Knowing that I helped create something AMAZING
  56. Sharing in my kids’ curiosity
  57. Nourishing and sustaining another life with my own body
  58. Being appreciated
  59. Watching David DEVOUR his broccoli and turn up his nose at a cookie (he may not be my child after all…)
  60. Feeling Acting younger than I am
  61. All the cute baby gear
  62. Planning their birthday parties
  63. Because my kids rock!
  64. Helping to shape a young life that will influence the world long after I’m gone
  65. Doing the mundane…but having it feel purposeful
  66. Watching my kids sleep
  67. Lazing around together in our jammies
  68. Watching David dance and sing
  69. Mimi and Gigi
  70. Taking the boys swimming
  71. Buying bunch after bunch after bunch of bananas
  72. Doling out M&M’s for potty successes (and always sneaking a few for myself…)
  73. Having picnics together
  74. Baby kisses (they feel more like baby licks, but I know that he means them lovingly)
  75. Blowing raspberries on their tummies and watching them squirm
  76. Swinging on the swings and sliding on the slides with them
  77. Watching them spend hours on a “meaningless” task like putting balls in a basket or throwing rocks into water
  78. Playing Peek-a-boo and Pat-a-cake
  79. Encouraging them
  80. Witnessing David’s unique sense of style (which usually includes 3 layers of basketball t-shirts and nothing else)
  81. Brushing their teeth and seeing new teeth appear in their mouths seemingly every day
  82. Being humbled by my children
  83. Tickling my baby during diaper changes
  84. Bedtime. ‘Nuf said.
  85. Counting tiny fingers and tiny toes
  86. Holding their hands
  87. Seeing David’s “cheese face” when we’re taking his photo
  88. Unconditional love
  89. Watching Jacob crawl at lightning speed when he sees something he wants across the room
  90. Challenging them and being challenged by them
  91. Sharing in their dreams
  92. Hearing my baby clap when he’s excited
  93. Helping them see their potential
  94. Cuddling when they don’t feel well
  95. Meeting new friends with my kids
  96. Watching David DOMINATE at Angry Birds
  97. Experiencing old things from a new perspective
  98. Finding toys in random places to remind me that my children have been here
  99. Laughing uncontrollably when David rolls down a hill and then (dizzily) tries to run back up to the top
  100. Loving them. I just love loving them.

So there you have it, 100 reasons I’m one of the luckiest people in the world. Thank you for letting me be your mommy, boys! IMG_3644

Things I Miss (Or How I Am A Junk Food Addicted American)

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This morning we dropped Jon off at the airport for his first international business trip since we’ve moved to Ireland. He’s going to…California! We figured that it’s actually going to take him longer to fly to California from here than it would have taken him to drive there from Seattle. Go figure.

Before he left for his trip he asked if there was anything I needed him to pick up for me while he was back in the states. And, since we’ve been here for all of 3 months now, I already had a list of things that I can’t find here that I miss from “home”. As I looked the list over, however, I came to a disturbing realization: I am a junk food addicted American. I mean, really, why was I eating this crap in the first place and, more importantly, why do I miss it all so much? I swear I didn’t eat these things THAT often, but somehow now that I know I can’t have them I’m just craving them like crazy. The list went something like this:

  • 12 boxes Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (the blue box, not cheap store brand)
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Fruit snacks (10% real fruit juice or less, please)
  • Puffs (for baby)
  • GoGo Squeez pouches
  • Chocolate chips (the 10 lb. bag from Costco should do just fine)
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Root Beer
  • Graham Crackers
  • Grape jelly
  • Pho with extra hoisin sauce
  • Funfetti Frosting
  • Toffee
  • Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s
  • Jif Peanut Butter
  • Peanut Butter Twix
  • JUST ANYTHING WITH PEANUT BUTTER!!!
  • Individually packaged frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup (NOT real maple)
  • Baked beans
  • Black beans
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Chai Tea mix
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Pumpkin puree (I actually did–unknowingly–write it 2 times on the list…I guess it’s really just that important to me)
  • A shop/cafe/restaurant/coffee stand with a drive-thru. Preferably a 24-hour drive-thru. I’d even settle for anything that’s open before 10 AM and/or past 7 PM.
  • Starbucks

So, there you have it, I am a glutton. Have fun shopping, Sweetie, and I hope they let you back through customs. Anything you are not able to procure on this trip will be added to my “binge list” for our trip home at Christmas time. You’ve been warned.

Pinterest V. Reality

About a year ago–when I was spending about 8 hours a day sitting in a chair nursing my newborn–I discovered the addictive internet time-suck called Pinterest. For those of you who have managed to evade the world of Pinterest and pins and pinners and all that is “pinteresting”, let me fill you in.

Pinterest is a website where you basically create virtual bulletin boards of images from the internet. Each “board” is a collection of ideas and inspirations that you create and share with others on the website. You might have one board full of cooking ideas, another with birthday party ideas, another with fashion tips, and so on.

When I last checked, I had over 20 different boards chock-full of amazing ideas. Ideas that, last time I checked, have pretty much all remained at the “I should try that some time” stage. Because, you see, Pinterest is not reality.

I like the idea of beautiful organization and creative DIY projects and over-the-top parties. But I can’t do that stuff. Pinterest is beautiful and clean and well-planned–real life, though, tends to be more chaotic and dirty and thrown-together. Here are a few examples of how my real life compares to the magical world of Pinterest.

Pinterest: Cute little bins for each day of the week to entertain your child during quiet time. Each bin is full of interesting activities that will captivate even the most restless of preschoolers. 6bc6827a1ce63bc452626ccfe913ef39 Reality: About two weeks ago David gave up his naps. Cold turkey. He’d always taken a 2-3 hour snooze in the afternoon and then, out of the blue, he just quit taking naps one day–and he hasn’t looked back. So now we have “quiet time”–time where he is supposed to retreat to his room and rest or play quietly for half an hour so I can prep dinner or watch YouTube videos in peace. I have discovered, however, that the quieter he is during his quiet time, the more trouble he’s getting in to. Case in point: IMG_2862 Moral of the story: the only thing worse than a noisy 3-year old boy is a quiet 3-year old boy.

Pinterest: Cute, hip, trendy, fashionable. This is how I should look. f7e92c834559481edbeb1a1aec3aa0f5 Reality: My baby would smash bananas on the cute shirt, my 3-year old would break the shiny glasses, I’d trip in the ooh-la-la shoes, and the bag would be full of diapers and spit-up rags. My mommy uniform of choice consists of black yoga pants, a technical shirt and my fuzzy Ugg-inspired slippers. If you ever see me looking even remotely cute or hip or fashionable, you know I’m just putting on a show for you. photo

Pinterest: An immaculately organized closet for baby. Everything is sorted by size and color and adorableness.d418b4dee37c29c8dab3b20c4ec6b922

Reality: We recently moved into a smaller space (and, by smaller, I mean that Jacob literally sleeps in a closet now). We have to make the space work for us. And, by work for us, I mean we have stuff crammed into every nook and cranny we can find. Jacob’s closet consists of his jackets, boxes for the too-big/too-small baby clothes, a laundry basket full of diapers and wipes, more diapers piled up the sides of the closet, a Pac-N-Play on the floor, and luggage piled up to the ceiling. Hey, it works.

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Pinterest: Dazzle your child with this rainbow-layered sprinkle cake. 2013-06-20-6341922529_877ef3437e_o Reality: I made a sprinkle cake, too: chocolate cake mix from a box, topped with sprinkles. IMG_3060 …and within about 2 seconds, it looked like this: IMG_3066 I bet mine was just as yummy, though!

Pinterest: Look at this cute way to organize all of your child’s art and craft supplies. Cute, cute, cute. Perfect little jars arranged on a shelf. Notice how each jar contains exactly one type of supply. Notice also how all of the crayons are in one piece with their wrappers on, the markers all have lids, and the chalk is unused. 85a85f7d2bf5d923ae05494459b02fb1 Reality: We have a large Rubbermaid bin that I stash under a bench in our kitchen. Into this bin we stuff all of our crayons, paint, markers, Play-doh and stickers and we pull it out any time we feel like getting crafty. And, just so you know, half of the markers are lid-less and all of the crayons are in tiny, broken shards. photo (3)

Pinterest: A DIY family rules sign. Charming. All you have to do is go out to the woods, chop down a tree, plane the wood until you have a smooth working surface, prime the wood, paint the wood, apply a second coat of paint, create text stencils on your Cricut, adhere the text with a glossy varnish, “weather” the wood with sandpaper, and drink a glass of wine to reward your hard work.24x48_wood_house-rules-2

Reality: I bought this sign on Etsy. It took me less than two minutes to select the product, enter my credit card info, and hit “submit order”. I still drank a glass of wine to celebrate a job well done.

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So, Pinterest: I love you. I hate you. You inspire me, you guilt-ify me. In the end, though, you really just entertain me. I know that I can never live up to your unrealistic expectations, and that’s fine by me. I’m just gonna keep on going the best way I know how–and it’s gonna be messy, and unorganized, and frumpy. It’s gonna be real.

A Visit From Flat Stanley

I love getting mail. Especially mail that doesn’t contain the words “statement”, “due” or “billing”. And I really, really, really love getting mail from home (hint, hint). We were all excited, then, to receive a special package a couple of weeks ago from a friend of mine back in Washington.  Inside there was a letter from her first-grade son and a paper cutout of a little boy: Flat Stanley.

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If you have ever met Flat Stanley yourself, then you know what a special treat it is to welcome him into your home. If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, then let me enlighten you. Flat Stanley is a children’s book (actually, now, a series of books)–it is incredibly entertaining, and I actually used to read it to my class every year. The book is about a little boy named–you guessed it!–Stanley, who gets squashed flat as a postcard when a poster falls on him. Now that Stanley is flat, he can do all sorts of things that he couldn’t do before: slide under locked doors, fly like a kite, and even fold himself up in an envelope to travel the world. And this, of course, is how Stanley came to arrive at our house in Ireland.

We had fun taking Stanley with us around town to show him what life is like here in Ireland. And, although we didn’t have any big adventures planned for the time that he was here visiting, I think we still showed him a pretty good time.

The first place we took Stanley was the harbor town of Kinsale. It is a short drive to Kinsale from our home in Cork, and is one of our favorite places to visit. Kinsale is known for it’s gourmet food scene, art, and history (it is the site where the English defeated Spanish forces in a 1601 battle of the Spanish War).

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While we were in Kinsale, we took Stanley on a walk through town.  We ate lunch at a yummy cafe called Lemon Leaf, toured Desmond Castle, did some shopping, and visited an arcade to drive the bumper cars. I think Stanley was pretty worn out from all of the excitement, so we decided to head back home for some naps in the afternoon.

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Later in the week we took Stanley to our favorite walking path. The path goes along Cork Harbor for miles and miles–I have no idea where it actually starts or ends because we haven’t found them yet. We did, however, spend some time on this beach right off the pathway. David took Stanley down to the shore to throw stones into the water while I tried to convince our dog to get out of the water and rejoin us for our walk (whose idea was it to let her off the leash, anyway?).

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Stanley enjoyed looking at all of the fishing boats that were anchored offshore. I bet he was trying to figure out how he could act as a sail for one of the boats and carry it out to sea.

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Stanley spotted this playground by the path and he wanted to stop for a little play break, so I obliged. Jacob was happy to help Stanley go for a swing.

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We finished our walk in the town of Passage West. Stanley thought that this building, The Shamrock, seemed very Irish. He insisted that I take ONE MORE photo of him here to prove that he was in Ireland (this Stanley is going to make me look like a Japanese tourist. Geesh!).

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The next day Stanley woke up early to help us drive Daddy to work. After we dropped Daddy off we went right up the road from Daddy’s office to a castle called Blackrock Castle. The tower of Blackrock Castle was built in 1604 to help protect the harbor from pirates (!) and Spaniards (?). Now there is a science center, an observatory, and a restaurant inside the castle.

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Stanley enjoyed Blackrock Castle so much that he was practically begging me to take him to another castle. And, since there are over 3,500 castles in Ireland, we had several to choose from. The next morning after we dropped David off at Preschool we drove out to another castle a few miles away (shhh! Don’t tell David that we have fun while he’s away at school!).  This castle is called Barryscourt Castle:

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Barryscourt Castle is a Tower House–a castle that a family built as their personal home (a very well-fortified home). This particular castle was built in the early 1600’s and was home to Lord Barry and his family (this family controlled most of County Cork in those days).  Today the castle has been restored using traditional building methods (only stone, mortar, and wooden pegs hold this place together!). Inside, several rooms have been set up with period furnishings and fittings so you can get a picture of what life would have been like in the castle. Stanley even climbed right up onto Lord Barry’s chair to see what it would be like to eat a feast fit for a king (it was a big chair for a small Stanley–look really closely and you’ll see him!).

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We were all getting hungry by now, so after we picked up David from preschool we stopped by our Farmer’s Market for lunch. Stanley ate some pizza and raspberries, then he helped us buy some milk and yogurt from the dairy stand. He thought that the fresh Irish milk was yummmmmmmmy!

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For our final adventure with Stanley, we decided to go somewhere truly memorable. We took an incredible day-trip out to Killarney, and Stanley got to join in all the action. He rode with us on a horse-drawn carriage called a trap through the Gap of Dunloe:

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He walked with us to beautiful lakes (he really wanted to go swimming, but we told him it was too cold for that right now):

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And, because he loves them SO much, we took Stanley to one more castle. This castle is called Ross Castle, and it was one of Stanley’s favorites. He liked looking out at the big blue lakes from the top of the tower.

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Stanley wanted to stay in the castle longer, but he knew that it was almost time for him to leave our family. Even flat little boys start to miss their homes. He had a fun visit here in Ireland, and he can’t wait to come back again some day!

Killarney Day Trip

We’ve spent the last couple of weekends laying low (really low…we’ve been sick). Now that everyone is back on two feet again (or, in Jacob’s case, two knees) we were itching to get out and do something fun. A few days ago I met some tourists from New Zealand who told me about an amazing place they had just visited–and I knew right away that it would be our next adventure.

Welcome to Killarney. Or, as I will be referring to it from now on, The-Most-Beautiful-Place-On-God’s-Green-Earth. It was fascinating.

It took us a little over an hour to drive out to Killarney–practically on our back doorstep. Killarney is part of The Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile loop through some of the most incredible scenery you will ever witness.

We started our day at the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass that winds though a lake-laden valley. There is one teeny-tiny road that goes through the Gap, so you can’t drive your car through. Instead, many people were hiking (and, if we didn’t have two ticking time bombs called toddlers with us, we probably would have done the same). We decided to go with the other popular option, a horse-drawn trap. The trap was basically a small carriage with bouncy little seats and a friendly driver. It was wonderful. Before we got on our trap, David got to meet some of the live transportation:

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When it was time to board our horse-drawn trap, we all climbed in and held on. Our horse’s name was Kinny (he was 12 years old and very good-natured) and our driver’s name was Dan (he was as old as the hills and called me ma’am).

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The road took us through a grassy valley filled with sheep of every color. Well, the sheep themselves were mostly white, but they all had colorfully-painted backs. Each owner paints his sheep a different color to keep the herds distinguishable, and the end result was a rainbow of baaing onlookers as we rolled past.

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We rode out to five different lakes, each enchanting in it’s own magical way. Everything was so pure and still and beautiful. The photos really don’t do it justice.

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We paused for a walking break at one of the lakes and got to poke around some (400 year old) cottages. What a beautiful place that must have been to live!

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We all agreed that our ride through the Gap was one of the most magnificent tours we’d ever been on. And, oh! Our day was just getting started.

From the Gap we drove back through the town of Killarney to Killarney National Park. The Park is huge–over 25,000 acres. We parked near one of the entrances and went in for some lunch and a little walk. There were beautiful gardens:

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And a marvelous place called Muckross House:

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The boys were starting to get antsy at this point so we decided to cut our time in the park short and head out to one final destination: Ross Castle.

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I really can’t get enough of the castles here in Ireland, and you can see why. They’re incredible! This castle is perched on the edge of a deep blue lake surrounded by mountains.  You can take boat rides out from the castle to explore the lakes and islands (one of which has the ruins of a 6th century monastery on it), but we were running short on time (that is, time before one of our children exploded).

Ross Castle was built in the late 1500’s as a personal residence, and today it has been restored for people like me to come and gawk. The castle is mostly intact, so there were lots of fun places to explore. We had a great time exploring the grounds and touring the interior of the castle. We may have even scaled a few rocky walls.

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Thank you, Killarney, for the beautiful day and the incredible memories.

Angry Birds Learning Activities

The other day I woke up and, like most mornings, the first thing I did was to roll over, rub my eyes, and check my phone for whatever items of crucial importance might have popped up while I was sleeping. Unlike most mornings, however, my phone was flashing a message from my Angry Birds App:

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Seems that someone had the audacity to beat my high score and claim my top spot in the weekly tournament. The only thing is, I’ve never actually played Angry Birds. David is only one who has ever played the game on my phone–which means my 2-year old is somehow an Angry Birds record holder. An Angry Birds prodigy, if you will. I am one proud mother.

And, while I’m sure he’s learning tons about the trajectory and velocity needed to catapult those birds into towers, there is still a part of me that thinks his love of Angry Birds could be redirected into more noble endeavors. I was thrilled, then, to discover that Homeschool Creations has actually created loads of free printable Angry Birds learning activities (yessssss!).

I printed off all 24 pages of the Preschool Angry Birds Activity Pack (there are also a Kindergarten activity pack and vocabulary cards available to print on the site). There were a few activities that required (minimal) prep work like cutting and gluing pieces together, but after only a few minutes I had everything ready for our Angry Birds fun and learning time.

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There are several different age-appropriate activities in the learning packet: line tracing, color words, patterning, sorting, counting, sound-matching, and even puppets for creative play.

David was so excited to see all of the Angry Birds mumbo-jumbo that I don’t think he even realized he was practicing school skills.

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After a good hour of intense concentration, David was ready to put down his “Angry Birds games” for awhile.

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We will definitely be returning to this packet-o-fun again sometime soon. In the meantime, I’d better get busy. It’s only a matter of time before David passes me up in more than just gaming.