Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sail Boats at the Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg has quickly become one of our favorite places in the city.  We have found a good parking garage not too far from the park and it usually takes about 30-45 minutes to get there depending on traffic.  
The kids love the playground, and we spend quite a bit of time there today, but the real highlight of our trip this time were the sailboats.

The weather was very overcast and the park was not very crowded.  It was a perfect day to try our hand at sailing.  Of course the kids all wanted their own sailboat to push around, but I knew that would probably turn into chaos, so we all picked out one sailboat and they each got to have 10 minutes being in control. 

This was my favorite boat.

This was the one we ended up going with.  Ben's favorite was an all black 'pirate' ship.  

It was only 3 euros for 30 minutes which seemed really reasonable to me.

Ben got to go first.

I just could not get them to look at me.

This boy is just too precious.

The baby ducks were pretty sweet too.

I wonder how many children fall in this fountain every year?  If it had been warmer out I think I would have had to worry more. 

Garrett took his turn.  It was a little hard for him to reach over the side and steer the boat at all.

Aunt Laura trying to take a selfie with Ben, he was not cooperating.

This happy boy wanted to join in the action.

Ben caught the boat for us when our time was up.

And Addison carried it back for us.

All Done!

And on the way out of the park there was this little view.

There are so many things to do at the Jardin du Luxembourg, still on our list the puppet show they have on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and a pony ride.  There are still many nooks and crannies to explore.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meadow Kids Fun

Earlier this year I was contacted by Meadow Kids a toy company based in the UK.  They asked if we would be interested in trying out a few of their products in exchange for a review.  When I looked agh their website I was really excited to see all of the different products they offered.  
It has taken me longer than I thought to try out all of the fun products they sent.  

The first one was the About Town Wooden Stamp Set.  We had a play date with a friend so we decided to open this fun set.  The boys, ages 5, 4.5, and 3 were able to play with this set independently for almost an hour.  The boys used the stamps of bicycles, trees, road signs, and weather to create different scenes.  It was very interesting to hear the boys describe the scenes they had made and why they used what they did. 

The next item was the Girl About Town fashion designer book.  Addison, age 7, had so much fun creating with this book.

She sat down and designed look after look for the different girls.  

The clothes, jewelry, and markers allowed Addison to explore her creativity.
It was great to see what she came up with and how diverse her creations were.

The final item we received was the Fingerprint Friends set.  We used the set to make thank you notes for the kids' teachers.
For the boys I helped them recreate some of the examples shown on the box; a spider, a caterpillar, and a zebra.

Addison decided to make a tree with her finger prints.

Addie was able to work mostly independently, with just a little help from me.

Bennett put a lot of thought into his work.  He got creative with the enclosed colored pencils and added scenery for his creatures.  

Garrett loved getting to work on a project like the older kids.  

He was so proud of his finished work.  

I liked that all of the products were wholesome and encouraged creativity.  There was no violence or immodest clothing, but all of the products were still entertaining enough to get and maintain the attention of my children.  
The quality of the products held up to use by my kids and their friends.  

I would definitely consider purchasing these products for my own family and especially as a gift for friends.

Check them out at

Disclaimer: I received the products as a gift from Meadow Kids in exchange for my thoughts.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

God Bless America

The small town that my parents live in has one of the best 4th of July celebrations around.  The day started off with a pancake breakfast at the local Lions Club.

The food was tasty and we were all decked out in our patriotic best.

The gang after breakfast.

Back at the house we had some yummy snacks made up to share with friends.

Addison has been waiting for 2 years to get to have her own lemonade stand.  With some help from friends and family she was set up with a great stand.  She was ready to sell some lemonade during the parade.

Here are my patriotic boys.

One of our friends, Mr. John, was worried about Addie having to stand in the heat while she worked.

Nannie and GeeGee were happy customers.

Another happy customer.

During the parade there were all of the usual floats, the corvette club, local pageant winners, 

local politicians

cute animals

and then there was this guy. 

Then there was a lull.  Addison was a trooper and didn't want to give up on her work.  She ended up making a pretty good amount of money and she was very excited.  

After the parade it was back to the house to eat yummy food 

And play in the pool.

We finished the night off with fireworks.  A perfect day to celebrate the USA.

Malachi's First Dip in the Pool

More Hilton Family Fun!

Ansley enjoyed having someone smaller than her in the house.  She was such a good big cousin helping to feed Malachi.

Malachi also got to try corn on the cob for the first time.  He loved it, and he held on to that ear of corn for at least an hour.

Garrett checking out the fire pit with Uncle Joe.

Trying to get a photo of all eight grand kids can be challenging to say the least.  I was so excited to get this photo of everyone looking happily at the camera.  I found their shirts at Carter's.  This might be the last year I can find matching shirts for all of them at the same store.

And then we got the whole crew in the picture.  

Playing with cousins is hard work.  We had a great visit and then it was time to head back to north Florida.