Goldfish Swim School: Family Swim

Last year I wrote about my son and I attending family swim together as a special mother - son outing....

This year, the whole family has been attending the Friday night sessions! We even moved our swim class time to Fridays so that we could double up on our pool time. Triple up really considering family swim lasts 90 min! From 6:30-8pm nearly every Friday. (Check the calendar for special events and family swim cancellations)

Why do we enjoy family swim so much? For one, I enjoy it because I cannot stand getting into cold water with the kids. Yes, even in the summer. Hey, I never said I was the perfect parent! I'm a huge baby and even in the hottest of temperatures I bristle against the cold water in most pools. I am pretty sure if it weren't for the warm temperature at Goldfish Swim School, my children wouldn't even know that family swim was an option. 


Secondly, my kids just LOVE water. The 30 min a week at swim class just isn't enough to satiate the fish portion of their brain. (I'm convinced my 1st and 3rd child are part fish)


And third, every week at the end of class, the teacher always talks about the skills that the kids are struggling with or need to improve upon. What better place than family swim to become a part of the process and help your own child overcome whatever swim obstacle they are working through? Or if your child still deals with water confidence, being able to play freely with the security of their parents also being in the water is a great step towards moving past that stage. 

And for those of you with large families, I have successfully taken all three kids to family swim, alone, on many occasions. The oldest, who is level Glider 3, has the appropriate confidence and swim level to navigate the water relatively freely. (Still within my eyesight of course). I keep the younger two in lifejackets to ensure their safety. Originally the very youngest stayed in one of those water saucers for babies before she outgrew it.

Luckily Goldfish has a bin of lifejackets in all sizes, including infant, for us to use. So feel free to bring your own life jackets, arm floaties, water saucers, diving toys, etc. But also keep in mind that you are allowed to use most of Goldfish's stocked items in the water as well! 

I encourage all you readers to use family swim as a way to witness and encourage your childs swim progress, help them improve their skills, and most importantly, bond as a family! 

Family swim is free to members during their weekday afternoon hours, and 5$ with a max of 15$ / family on Friday evenings. Family swim is first come, first serve, so make sure to arrive on time / early to ensure they don't exceed the guest limit in the pool. 

P.S. Construction is nearly complete for the newest Goldfish Swim School location in Lewis Center! Lessons will begin July 9th so if this location is near you, make sure to call and register! 

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Ah yes! My favorite time of year where I get to remind as many people as possible that I get to test bodily fluids all day long and reveal our existence to the world. Medical Laboratory Science involves any and all diagnostic laboratory testing. The types of testing include typing for blood transfusions, predicting a course of antibiotics, cancer testing, cholesterol, diabetes, and the list goes on and on.  

if you thought your doctor was simultaneously seeing patients, running lab tests, and investigating your house for mold, well then you've watched too many episodes of House! ;) (But that would explain those long wait times!)

Doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, pharmacists, etc all contribute their piece to the puzzle and are equally important to the diagnostic process. But since I sometimes feel like we are a hidden profession, I will gladly use the celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week as a platform to remind everyone that we are the ones providing your doctors and pharmacists the necessary results to get the patient their appropriate treatment. I also like to use this week to talk about parasites and bacteria without having to apologize. So there's that. 

But now that you guys have an idea of what I do everyday, what's the best way to get my kids interested in the idea? 


 I love all three of my home grown organisms!

I love all three of my home grown organisms!

It's easy really. Science is all around us and pointing that out to small children is key in raising critical thinkers. Nothing in this world comes together fully assembled, and science explains it all. Start small and as they get older the curiosity will grow and grow. As I was doing some baking for lab week, Sebastian couldn't help but be intrigued by the whole process. His favorite part was watching the cupcakes and cookies expand in the oven. As he got more and more excited, I had to jog my memory with a quick Google search so we could talk about how the baking powder I used released carbon dioxide to help the dough / batter expand. We also discussed how each ingredient we added had a job. Structure, air, moisture, etc. 


 The cutest parasites you ever did see. Cupcake toppers courtesy of etsy shop   LesPopSweets    

The cutest parasites you ever did see. Cupcake toppers courtesy of etsy shop LesPopSweets 

 Red and white blood cells! Gross to you, interesting to me :) 

Red and white blood cells! Gross to you, interesting to me :) 

Ultimately I don't care what profession my children enter into to, but appreciating science and its fundamental role in the world around us just makes for smart, well rounded people. And all I could ever ask is that I raise moral, intelligent human beings that care for their environment and for mankind.  


 Typically we avoid taste testing parasites in the lab, but I'll allow it this once.  

Typically we avoid taste testing parasites in the lab, but I'll allow it this once.  

 Chief Pathologist Charlotte!

Chief Pathologist Charlotte!

 Look how grateful our Doctor is for those quick results!  

Look how grateful our Doctor is for those quick results!  

Happy Lab Week everyone!  

Southpaw Krav Maga (Kids Edition)


Have you heard of Krav Maga? The martial art used by the Israeli special forces? You’re probably thinking to yourself, what do kids and Krav Maga have to do with each other? Turns out a lot! 


All martial arts teach their students to avoid confrontation if possible, but Southpaw Krav Maga teaches practical, real life strategies to get away from or defend against an attacker. If you take this down to a child's level, they’re learning to listen to that feeling in the pit of their stomach that means trouble is near. They learn that their FIRST strategy is to do anything in their power to get away. Run, scream, bite, kick, etc. Anything the child can do to get away and attract attention through noise. 

Now, of course a child can be easily overpowered by an adult so they learn other skills like how to box ears and the "snowcone" (a tactic that involves a swift punch to a criminals private region). 


This may sound extreme, but in this day and age it’s important that kids know some of these techniques in case they ever find themselves in trouble. As the child gets older, the types of self defense tactics they learn become more advanced, but of course the kids are having fun the whole time. Trust me, this is not a scary or intimidating class. It has the same feel and flow of any other martial arts class. 


My five year old son already talks about how he “will bite a stranger’s hand, and scream as loud as he can if anyone ever tries to grab him.” God forbid he’s ever in that situation, but there was a recent news story about a girl in our town who was nearly kidnapped. Her screaming and flailing caused the attacker to flee. 

Worried about your child using their skills for bad? Every class ends with a "mat chat" that reinforces the idea that you only fight when you are threatened with harm. Classes offered are for ages 5-8 and 9-14.


Moms, you might want to check out the adult classes! It never hurts to prepare yourself! Especially when so often a lot of us are out and about with our children alone. They offer a “mommy and me" class teaching parents how to protect their children when confronted with a threat. Consider signing up today! 

Schedule a free class at

8 Yummy Halloween Desserts The Whole Family Can Enjoy


*This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small kickback at no additional cost to you! Thanks for supporting the blog <3 *


Yes, it's that time again, which means that the veil between the living and the dead will thin and witches, vampires, mummies, and other ghoulish figures will come out of the woodworks. So, if you're trying to keep with the tradition and blend in so the monsters won't know you're not one of them, then make sure they see you and your family eating some of these delicious Halloween treats. They're spooktacular!

1. Eyeball Soup

You'll need two 14 ounce cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes, 3 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste and cook it in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Then place the soup in a blender until it's pureed and pour it back into the pan. Feel free to add more salt and pepper if you want and serve in a bowl. Now for the final touch, use a melon baller or sharp paring knife to carve out a hole for an olive on the cherry sized fresh mozzarella balls. Then press the green olives with pimentos in and put it in the bowl. Two or three eyeballs per bowl should do it.

This recipe will have everyone boo-ing, but for a good reason. Just make a cup of hot cocoa, serve it in a mug, and top it with a swirl of whipped cream! Make ghost eyes with mini-dark chocolate chips.


  3. Spider Cookies

I just went to the grocery store and purchased some peanut butter "break and bake" cookies. Once they were cooled from the oven, I simply added the mini peanut butter cup (upside down), and decorated spider legs and eyes with tube icing! Super easy and the kids will love helping. 

4. Jack Skellington Pumpkin Caramel Pie

First off, you'll need 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 large eggs, 1 double pie crust, and 1/2 c. thick caramel sauce. Whisk the pumpkin puree, salt, spices and condensed milk in a saucepan on medium heat. Then let it cool before whisking the eggs in. Then place your store-bought pie crust into an 8' pie plate and pour the pumpkin filling. You can spoon the caramel sauce on top until it looks marbled. Then cover the pie with the crust and use a toothpick and a knife to sketch and carve out Jack Skellington's face and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. Then reduce the temp to 350, cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for another 40 minutes. Then let it cool and serve.

5. Ghost Covered Strawberries


Melt white chocolate chips with a smidge of vegetable oil, or just buy Wilton melting chips from the store or the link below! Simply dip your strawberries in the melted chocolate and add mini chocolate chips for the face and mouth. The messier you get, the more ghoulish they appear! 










6. Goblin Smoothie

Blend 1 1/2 of frozen bananas, 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, 1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt, 1 tsp matcha green tea powder (which will add an extra caffeine punch), 3/4 cup of watermelon, or peaches. You can also add 1/4 avocado, 1 tsp Chia seeds, a handful of spinach, and ice. Also try drizzling some agave syrup to make it taste sweeter. Once it's creamy smooth, you simply pour it into a cup and savor this smooth and creamy treat.





7. Rice Krispie Monsters


 Sure, you can make your own Rice Krispies … BUT you can also just buy a bulk box from the grocery store, use food coloring to dye melted white chocolate, and add Wilton‘s googly eyes for the perfect monster effect. Perfect for a Halloween themed snack day at your child’s preschool or kindergarten.



20 Fall Crafts For Children

When the cooler weather starts to slowly creep in and the leaves start to change colors, it is time to start fall themed crafting with your children. I love fall because you are able to utilize hiking to teach your child about nature and subsequently come home and create a craft based on what you discussed.

Apple Pie Play Dough

Head out to the apple orchard and pick some apples with the family. I take my own baskets and some water for washing an apple for each child to snack on, since they can not wait until home to take a bite. Once we are home we make Apple Pie Play Dough by Emma Owl to continue the fun. This recipe is soft and silky with the combination smell of allspice and cinnamon.

Hanging Bat Craft

This Hanging Bat Craft is a great activity after a hike in the woods and the idea is to collect a bag of small twigs. The twigs provide a way to hang your bats and display them easily. This craft is also good as a Halloween display. The craft is by Buggy and Buddy and it can be displayed with colorful Fall leaves.

Leaf Art

Either go for a hike or collect colorful leaves of different shapes in the back yard. Whichever way you gather the leaves, go through the bag to lay out the different leaves and see if you can identify the type of tree the leaves came off of by shape! It is a true learning experience. Purchase google eyes, small buttons and glue and decorate each leaf with a face and buttons down the front. The items easily adhere with glue. Make your family out of leaves and display for everyone to see. This is a craft I do with my children every fall.

Paper Plate Fall Wreaths

Another good use of the fall leaves is a wreath made out of a paper plate and decorated with colorful leaves. These Paper Plate Fall Wreaths may be displayed on your front door or a bedroom door. This craft is by The Mad House and is easy for little ones to make by simply gluing the leaves on to the paper plate.

Autumn Cork Painting

Are you wishing you had a way to utilize wine corks? This simple project of Autumn Cork Painting by the Picky Apple is easy to set up outside on an easel with paints and corks. Your child can look at the trees and decide how they want to decorate their tree with leaves made from cork printing. It is easy to clean up and a way to enjoy the outdoor weather. It is a great rainy day activity also.

Pine Cone Apple Craft

Another great item to collect in the fall are pine cones. They are usually easy to find and can be used for several different crafts. In this craft by Non Toy Gifts the Pine Cone Apple Craft turns the pine cone into an apple. It is fun to see the transformation take place and the painting provides a good hand eye coordination project. This is a good small gift for the teacher if your child is going back to school.


Fall Leaf Garland

Making a  display of hanging leaves can be a great way to decorate the entrance to a room. It can be made by lacing together real leaves or leaves from your local craft shop. I buy large plastic needles from the local craft store and heavy clear thread so it is safe for my children to utilize. This craft is something I have created myself as a Fall craft by looking at displays in craft shops. An example is Fall Leaf Garland Display by KHallberg Design.This makes a beautiful backdrop for Fall pictures.


Footprint Turkey

Making a craft with a footprint or handprint is always a great keepsake for every family. This turkey is a simple footprint from paint and then add colorful construction paper feathers. Add eyes and feet and you have the perfect Footprint Turkey. This craft is by craftspilot and also utilizes some glue.

Easy Apple Prints for Toddlers

Utilize those apples from the orchard for crafting projects.  These Easy Apple Prints For Toddlers are easily held and manipulated by the younger crowd in your household. Cutting an apple in half and then carving a built in handle makes it so much easier and not as messy. This craft is by Teaching Two and Three Year Olds and is a fun craft idea. My children enjoy projects that utilize food in different manners.

Lego Print Pumpkins

Utilizing legos for painting is one of my favorite craft projects. It is an easy craft that can be utilized over and over again. For this craft a pumpkin shaped construction cut out can be taped to a table to make it stable. Then using orange paint and a lego dipped in paint makes a textured pumpkin. When your child is done the lego may be washed off and returned to the toy bin. Easy clean up and when they are dry display the pumpkins on the refrigerator. This craft is

by Crafty Morning.

Scarecrow Craft

This Scarecrow Craft using large craft sticks is fun to make and easy for your child to use their creative side. It is fun to make a Mr. and a Mrs. to display.I always read a story about  scarecrow

The Kind Scarecrow is on youtube as a read out loud. The scarecrow craft is easily glued sticks to cardboard with a felt hat and flower stickers or another design may be glued on the hat to personalize. My children like to glue their initials on the hat. This craft is by Somewhat Simple

Hot Chocolate Mug

A suggestion to use the remainder of your large craft sticks is this cute Hot Chocolate Mug craft with light blue paint and cotton as marshmallows. This is a craft by Glued to my Craft and will put a smile on all your childrens faces. While making this craft serve up some of your own hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. I like to add little mini chocolate sprinkles to the cotton marshmallows for fun.


Orange Yarn Pumpkins

Making some kind of pumpkin craft after we visit our favorite pumpkin patch is a family favorite. This is a great craft for making a lasting decoration to use year after year. It may be used as a centerpiece for the table by making different size pumpkins. This craft involves wrapping yarn with glue around an inflated balloon, allowing it to dry then pop the balloon. And a pipe cleaner tops it off for the stem.

Homemade Bird Feeder Pine Cones

This has always been a favorite for my children to make as the cooler weather starts to move in. The birds need to eat and having a homemade bird feeder hanging by a window or in the back yard provides everyone with some entertainment. Peanut butter on the pine cone with bird seed added is easy, fast, and fun to do over and over again. Add a ribbon or yarn and hang it outside. This craft is by Freebie Finding Mom and is basically very inexpensive to do when the family gathers their own pine cones.


Spider Web Art

This project can be spooky for Halloween or pretty when done in pastels and it is all up to your own family. Spider Web Art has salt added at the end to make it appear to have more of a texture or 3D style. For younger children a spider web can be printed out and older children may create their own web design. The use of watercolor paints makes this craft a success. This craft is by Lasso the Moon.

Felt Apple Pie

I love this craft because it can be finished as a craft with glue or it can be put together as a pretend pie over and over again. This craft is made of beige felt and red pom poms and is a great idea for hours of fun. I also use it to teach some basic cooking skills. This craft is by the Best Ideas for Kids and is so much fun to create.



Tie Dye Coffee Filter Monsters

My children like to make scary funny projects for Halloween and this craft fits that description. This craft uses coffee filters, marker and water to make the blended colors. Then an added face made with construction paper make it an easy craft. We like to put a hole in the top and put ribbon in the hole with a knot and hang them around the house for a Halloween delight. This craft was created by Raising little Superheros and is a fun way to teach tie dye for future summer tee shirt designs.


Simple Accordion Fold Paper Bat

This bat is another fun filled activity for Halloween and could be hung on a front porch for swinging bats.This craft involves some folding techniques for the wings and then decorating the body and face of the bat.The pieces can be precut to make the project easier for small children. This is an inexpensive craft and your child may want to make a few different bats. This craft was created by I Heart Crafty Things.


Owl Pine Cone Craft

These may be made with colorful feathers and google eyes and are so cute and funny. Again utilize those pine cones your family gathered on their hike through the woods. I found the other items at the dollar store to decorate the pine cones. My children also named their owl creations and put on a show. Using your imagination as you create the owls is a key element.

This Owl craft is by Meaningful Momma.

Halloween Foot and Hand Art

This project is great to use on canvas bags to make homemade trick or treat bags. Glow in the dark paint might be a good idea so your child is easy to see on that fun night. This craft provides many designs made with the use of your childs’ hand or foot. Allow them to come up with their own designs. This craft was created by Millions ideas Club.