Dinosaurs and Snoopy...A Cedar Point Experience

(Following post was in exchange for a complimentary visit to Cedar Point as a Cedar Point Blogger. Otherwise not compensated and content may not reflect the views of Cedar Point.)
In this corner of the world we boast of our treasure; Cedar Point. For many of us vacation doesn't officially begin until the first day Cedar Point opens. From May until Halloweekends, families from all over the United States can spend the day screaming on rollar coasters, eating amazing fries, and winning stuff animals, together. Close or far, you can extend the fun by staying overnight at one of Cedar Point's hotels like Hotel Breakers or Sandcastle Resort. Taking of advantage of living so close, we make a Cedar Point visit a family tradition. It seems almost every year there is something new to see or ride and this year was no exception.
Cedar Point announced two new family friendly rides this year; the Pipe Scream and the Lake Erie Eagles. Not being of the constitution to ride rollar coasters anymore, I appreciated the opportunity to seek a thrill on the level my stomach could handle. The Pipe Scream secures screams on a 302 foot track which sends you 43 feet up in the air racing at over 40 miles an hour. It is like a compact rollar coaster that has all the fun thrills you want without the anxiety you don't need...that is if you are the type of person a wee bit anxious on the big coasters. Lake Erie Eagles suspends you almost 30 feet in the air and swings you out yet unlike any other ride you can control your level of thrill. It really is the coolest ride and one every member of your family can enjoy over and over again. We look forward to riding both next year!
So let's say riding isn't your thing...is there something for you? I admit that riding isn't really my thing anymore. I also have a five year old who cannot go on the bigger rides. Which is fine by me since she is my excuse for still having fun on all the Snoopy rides. My family is a mixed bag on enjoyment level of the rides but we all love our time at Cedar Point. There are some things that make it special for us and I bet you have some memories of your own. If not, get out there and make some.

Snoopy is a Favorite Attraction

Taking a picture with Snoopy is a must! My little girl rides every Snoopy ride and I even get to go on a few of them. We all love the Snoopy shop. This year I was good and only purchased a keychain....and t-shirt...and a stuff animal....and...let's just move on...
Getting a hug from Lucy always brightens the day a little.
 

Games and Prizes

Sporting their new Cedar Point hats, these girls were winners! We must come home with a prize. They get the biggest thrill from winning. Stuffed animals come and go but these prizes were added to the rest when we got home and are here to stay. Good thing they aren't better at those games or we would be overrun
Someone else "forgot" a hat that day and just "had" to buy another one. If you find yourself without a hat or sunglasses...no worries....you can just pick on up when you get there. Now we all know things are more expensive at theaters and amusement parks but will say that hats and sunglasses are a good deal.
A little bumper car action is always fun...even for those looking to find their thrills on the ground. However, this little girl can't seem to find a rollar coaster that goes high enough or fast enough.
 
Who can resist the Merry Go Round? I was quite disappointed when the ride ended. My horse and I made a good team. I don't think he wanted me to go either. When the ride stopped he was as high off the ground as possible which is always a precarious situation for a 5 foot woman trying to gracefully jump off.

Dinosaurs at Cedar Point

Yes, you read that right...there are dinosaurs at Cedar Point. Dinosaurs Alive is a fairly new exhibit at Cedar Point. If you have a budding paleontologist then this is the place! It hosts over 40 life sized dinosaurs that move and roar. You walk through the exhibit never knowing which dinosaur you will see next. My little one loves dinosaurs so each step was thrilling for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She never thought she could get so close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More surprises!

This is just a tiny portion of the adventure you will encounter!

 

And this, my friends, is where you can sit and relax while the kids play and learn. It was my little one's favorite part of the day. A covered excavation play site just for the kids. Kids pick out a bucket with some tools of the trade and get their hands dirty digging for dinosaur bones. They use tools that teach them how to excavate a site. There are plenty for each child to work with. I could tell by the harmony and diligent attitudes of each little paleontologist that this activity was mesmerizing. It isn't just digging in the sand. The kids loved it. A perfect place to break away from the busyness and let the kids free play while you relax a bit. There are benches around the area for adults. Overall, stepping into Dinosaur Alive was like stepping into a time machine and taking a mini trip from your day at the park.

Another successful family day at Cedar Point!

We came. We rode. We hugged Snoopy. We saw dinosaurs. We only had one regret; we made it only a day trip. We learned our lesson...next time it will be a weekend.

Because if you don't make it a weekend...you may miss the beach. This was from last year...and this year we were so busy and had so much fun we missed it. Don't miss the beach. Have it all and make a weekend out of it.

 


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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

Homeschooling isn't About You
























Homeschooling isn't About You

Some dreamed of the day they would homeschool their kids and some, like me, fell into it and never wanted to look back.  Either way, there comes a point when sit down to make our plans for the year.  We spend hours picking out the perfect curriculum and organizing the perfect schedule to fit our perfect homeschool. We would never admit it but while rational thought tells us nothing is perfect out secret dreams are of a perfect homeschool year.  We don't shoot for the moon because missing means landing on the stars;  we shoot for the moon expecting to land smack dab on the moon.  

Then it happens. 

The point when landing on the stars would be preferable over burning through the atmosphere and landing at the bottom of the ocean.  Our day failed.  Our plans failed.  We failed.  

But we didn't fail for the reason we think.  We didn't fail because we had a bad plan.  We didn't fail because we have bad kids.  We didn't fail because we are bad homeschooling moms.  We failed to make our homeschooling an offering.  We failed to give ourselves and our kids grace.  We failed to focus on the purpose we homeschool to begin with.  

Homeschooling can easily become a source of pride for the homeschool teacher.  The perception of a successful homeschool mom is akin to superhero status.  Our kids express themselves intelligently, creatively, and always with proper manners.  We hear, "You amaze me.  I could never do that!" or "Please help me, I need to learn the homeschool ropes."  We want for the perception to somehow morph into truth.  We want the gold medal.  We want to stand back and say, "I raised that child...you know the one that just cured cancer."  

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. ~Proverbs 16:18

Once plummeted to the ground there is no where left to go but up, and since up would be too easy, we stay there awhile.  We nurse our pride and seek out affirmation.  Once our pride is healthy enough we find those that will tell us we are amazing homeschooling moms.  Pride feels better and awaits the next fall.

Are you telling me there are no hard days?  

No, I am not. As with any of life's endeavors trials follow. Managing a homeschool day comes with many challenges. We love our children and desire to provide them the best homeschooling has to offer. The successes and struggles of our children are felt within our bones.  Homeschooling resides in our hearts.  

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?~Jeremiah 17:9

The other day my husband endured 20 minutes of me telling him things like how my son scored not only above average but Olympic gold medal above average on the standardized tests and I didn't even teach to the test nor did I know what was on it. I explained how I managed my homeschool through a perfect balance of independent thought and teacher interaction.  I managed to pry an essay out of a child who hated to write.  I managed to get my dyslexic child to read simple sentences.  I managed to train up a daughter who is now #1 in her high school class and rocking the world of robotics.  Look at what I did!  Who can tell me homeschooling is not more effective than your systems;  moreover systems I refuse to bow down to. While schools keep grades, I keep my kids challenged and hitting goals.  No child of mine gets out of class before mastery.  I expressed my frustration that two of my children seemed to respond to curriculum that hardly required my amazing teaching skills and I wasn't having it.  That is simply cheating, right?

Oh yes, when I get fired up, I get fired up. (And perhaps some of that is riddled with hindsight as I would never say I was amazing...just making sure we are on the same page here...I am not that insane.)

When my speech, pitch, self love, whatever you want to call it, was finally over I expected praise perhaps even an invitation to dinner out.  I looked at him expecting him to build me a bigger soapbox.  After all, I proved that homeschooling can be successful.  Get this woman a speaking engagement!  He looked at me puzzled and simply said, "This isn't about you."

I plummeted and broke my pride.

He asked me my purpose in homeschooling.  He reminded me that my love for teaching the individual did not only apply to those individuals who respond to how I like to teach.  He instructed me to teach for their profit, moreover so they can live for Christ. Homeschooling is not about proving homeschooling works as that is mere distraction from its purpose.  It wasn't just about successes but the struggles.  A child didn't need to amaze crowds of millions with intellect to prove I was doing my duty as his mom and teacher.

I stood and dusted off the pieces of pride.  Vowing to leave them there, I felt immense pressure lift from my shoulders.  The measure of my success as a homeschooling mom was not in direct correlation to how many grades levels ahead my child was in school.  I could dismantle my soapbox.  I had nothing to prove to another homeschooler, anti-homeschooler, or school system on the merits of what I felt convicted to do.

Do you feel pride emerging in your homeschool? 





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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

Monkey See, Monkey Do: PicMonkey Tutorial SALE!






PicMonkey Tutorial:  Monkey See

Color plays an important role in design.  Do you know how to pick the right color or what feelings certain colors evoke?  Image and font selection are crucial in our visual world, especially with thousands of pins begging for attention.  Learn the basics in the Monkey See section!

PicMonkey Tutorial:  Monkey Do

In the Monkey Do section you learn how to use PicMonkey to make your masterpiece.  The section offers step by step instructions for specific projects and tips and tricks to using the tools. Soon you will become PicMonkey confident and apply the skills to any project you can dream of!

Learn more about the Monkey See, Monkey Do (PDF DOWNLOAD). 


$8.00
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Don't take my word for it...

My friend, Richele, has really hit this one out of the ballpark. I've used PicMonkey for more than a year now, last year I invested in the Royale version and I use it every single time I sit down to blog. And now, thanks to Richele, I am learning quite a few more tricks that I can try with this photo editing online site. If you are a blogger and are not using PicMonkey {or even if you are!} this ebook is definitely for you!  
                                                                               ~Candace Crabtree, His Mercy is New

Finally a resource for the graphically challenged!        ~LaToya Edwards, LaToya Edwards.net

Nearly every day bloggers everywhere are asking themselves this question, "How can I make those awesome images I see on Pinterest?" I frequently tell them how user-friendly PicMonkey is for this purpose, but rarely have time to step them through all of the neat tips and tricks it has to offer. In fact, there are some that I didn't even know existed myself, even though I consider myself to be pretty PicMonkey savvy. I'm excited to have learned even more fun ways to make images more appealing with Monkey See, Monkey Do, and now I can simply refer others to Richele's book so they, too, can have stand-out images!  
                                                                                 ~Marcy Crabtree, Ben and Me

This book is a must have for every author. As the author of several books, I know the saying a picture is worth a 1000 words is true. However, I have struggled with finding cost effective ways to add really great pictures to my books. Then I discovered Monkey See, Monkey Do and PicMonkey. Thanks to these resources, I have been able to edit photos for my blog with ease and even designed the cover for my latest book, What is Love.              ~Corine Hyman, Books by Corine







$8.00

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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

New Product: Story Cards




Teaching Story Elements 

The benefits of storytelling include enhanced listening skills, increased vocabulary, and a better understanding of grammar.  When done correctly it is a fun activity for both the student and the teacher.

Here is a new product called Story Cards.  Story Cards, which allows the child to learn the art of storytelling in a fun and stress free way. 

Inside Story Cards

  • The five elements of a story.
  • 12 cards for use in the story your child creates. (characters, objects, etc.)
  • 2 cards for the setting
  • A few fun activities. 
The first edition's theme is Pirates and it is free for you to try out with your children!  




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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

Keeping up Appearances: Beauty Devotions



Add in devotions to your beauty routine or add in a beauty routine to your devotions.  Our appearance should be a blessing to others yet we should not get caught up in vanity.


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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

Keeping up Appearances: Printable cleaning schedule for those who don't like to clean or schedule




I am not a big fan of cleaning and my strong suit has never been to maintain a routine.  I found the only way to solve this dilemma was to accept that my family would live with crumbs on the floor and dirty underwear or find a simple solution to keeping up appearances that I can manage my home.  I chose the latter since...well...I guess I need to make sure the family has clean underwear.  Besides, I love the by product of routine and cleanliness so why not shoot for the moon and provide clean floors and clean underwear?  For me, routine maintenance must be simple and in my face.  It must be unforgiving and willing to taunt me if I dare color outside the lines.  So, I posted a schedule in plain view.  Darn that plain view.  

UPDATE:  It has been brought to my attention that, to my shame, there were typos in the printable.  The typos have been corrected.  I am grateful to the reader who pointed out my errors.  I promise you that I work very hard on my printables.  I know that typos appear to be careless but I care very  much. I try to go over my work but I am not perfect and hence it shows in sometimes the most embarrassing ways. Since it is my intent to give you my best, I am not offended by errors being pointed out.  I am, in fact, grateful for it so I can correct my errors.  I also appreciate the time the reader took to inform me and her willingness to contact me privately as she probably knew I would be embarrassed enough publishing a printable with errors.  


Just click on the image below to download!





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Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.

How Doth the Little Crocodile Copywork {Free Printable}





Click on the images below to print off your free copywork!



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Like My Page Follow Me About Me Moms of Dyslexics
Richele McFarlin, author of Under the Golden Apple Tree, and founder of Moms of Dyslexics, enjoys a good cup of coffee as she demonstrates her ability to wrestle HTML to the ground and write from the heart.