Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mangia Mamma's Five Favorites

Welcome to another edition of Five Favorites. This also happens to be [insert drum roll, please]... my 100th post. Of course, I still am pretty much unknown in the blogging world, but I am okay with that (usually). I have resigned myself that I probably won't ever be a famous blogger, but since I'm pretty busy being wife, mom, homemaker, fencing instructor and baker, I am learning to be content with that.

Anyway, here's this week's Five Favorites which, if you are reading this, is probably what you are waiting for:

                                                              1. AirBnB
 I discovered this great travel site a little over a year ago while looking for somewhere to stay on a fencing tournament weekend with Mary. We ended up spending a loss less money than a hotel and staying at a terrific little house in Washington. Since then, we've used AirBnB in San Francisco plus Josh and Cari used it when she visited him in Rome. Josh used it also for a Spring Break trip to Quebec with some of his TMC classmates. The latest booking is at a great place that Mary and I get to stay at when we take David to Christendom then explore Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia next month. We have only had great experiences, and I urge everyone to check it out!

2. Grilling Skills
Oh yeah, she's got skills (and pretty henna from the WorldBeat Festival)

As I wrote in my previous post, Mary and Brian have started helping with dinner. Last week, after we all worked a long day at the WorldBeat Festival, she made some amazing hot dogs along with grilled vegetables. She's started becoming quite good grilling stuff, and this Saturday's dinner of grilled pizza should be fun! So don't just let that old BBQ grill sit on your patio collecting rust, break out the propane or charcoal and get some grilling skills of your own!

3. Hammocks
                                                                       Joshua just swingin' and readin'
A couple of years ago, we bought a hammock for Brian. It was probably a Father's Day/Birthday gift as one comes on the heels of one another. Even though he doesn't use very often, it's gotten lots of wear from the kids, especially with the warm weather we've been having in the Willamette valley this summer. I've only used it once this summer, and I thoroughly enjoyed my restful time reading while gently rocking and looking up at our oaks. Everyone should have a hammock or something "swingy" in their yard!

4. AAA
We've had AAA membership for a very long time, probably since we've been married. It's been helpful when I've run out of gas (a couple of times) as well as when I've locked my keys in the car (too many times to count- not to mention the time I locked them in with the kids when they were all little, in our garage, no less). With the advent of the Internet, I generally don't remember to go to their office in town before taking a trip. Since Mary and I have our big adventure coming up, we decided to go to their office in town to see what they have. Not only were they friendly, they had a map plus tour-books filled with info on our destination-all for FREE since we're members. The best part was the walking tours of Washington D.C. that was included in the tour-book. It was really helpful, and we're planning on using it while we are there.

5. Creative Kids
                                                                         Knotted Rosary made by Joshua 

I love having creative kids. Cari and Mary enjoy quilting, cooking and sewing while David's handy at putting things together-anything from Legos to automotive stuff while Josh uses his creative gifts to do woodworking and writing. It was no surprise yesterday when Josh asked if we could run by the craft store for him to pick up some supplies to make a knotted Rosary. While we were at said craft store, Mary decided to get some supplies to re-bind a book for Josh along with some supplies for more projects. When we got home, they both got to work on their projects. As you can see, Joshua finished his fairly quickly. I think he wanted to make it for his upcoming trip to England, so he did a really nice job on it. My advice for parents or anyone who works with kids of any age-- let them develop their creativity when they are young, and they will foster the joy of making things even when they are adults!

Be sure to check out Hallie at Moxie Wife for hers along with links to a bunch of other terrific bloggers' Five Favorites!