Monday, November 29, 2010

Free day at the zoo this Saturday

I received this email from Amy Stahl over at Boise Parks and Recreation today.  It's an invitation to "Claus N Paws."  We've never been to this event before but I think it would be loads of fun.  I especially like that admission is free for everyone. 

"Join all of your favorite animals on Saturday, Dec. 4, for Claus N Paws, a fun-filled holiday gathering at Zoo Boise. Admission is free.  Enjoy musical entertainment throughout the day and watch some of the zoo's residents receive special holiday treats. Finish your holiday shopping with great discounts at the Zootique gift shop or Zoo Boise passes. Oh, and don't forget to have your picture taken with Santa Claus with a $3donation to the zoo! Santa will be here from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

"The City of Boise offers free admission to Claus N Paws as a thank you for all the support Zoo Boise has received this year from the community," said Liz Littman, Marketing & Development Associate.

Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education and science. Located in Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily year round. For more information, please see www.zooboise.org. Or call (208) 384-4260.

There are many great events going on this weekend.  What are your plans?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Capital Tree Lighting Monday night

I don't know about you, but I'm scratching my head about what to do with my kids this week.  Typically we don't have the entire week of Thanksgiving off of school, so I can't go off of what we've done in the past.  We don't usually do anything this week but go to school and the eat like crazy on Thanksgiving day.  Now I have to figure out something to do for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  

Here's what I have planned for Monday evening,  a night at the Capital building for the Christmas tree lighting.  We've never done that before and it's free so I think we'll give it a try.  Of course, we'll have to bundle up because the weather is supposed to be cold that night.  We might wimp out if the wind is blowing.  We'll see.  What are you doing this week?

Warning:  Rafiki is temporarily closed.  Do not attempt a visit to Rafiki because you'll find everything gone.  Like everything.  We were totally bummed to drive all the way there last Friday and find them closed.  Since the place was completely empty of everything I assumed they had went out of business.  There wasn't a "we are moving" sign on the door or anything to indicate a change of venue.  We nearly shed tears on the way home.  However, when we got home I looked closely at their website and realized that they aren't out of business, they are just moving locations.  They will soon be located just a few miles from my house.  So we're cool with that.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congratulations ReeSe, you are the winner of the Farmstead tickets. Thanks to everyone who participated!

 
This flaming red maple tree in our backyard is usually our first clue that fall is in the air.

 
Soon we make a trip to the corn maze and pumpkin patch and bring home some cool-looking pumpkins for our front porch.  
Before we know it, the wind has taken the leaves from the trees and I find tiny and not-so-tiny feet sticking out from under the leaves. 


And a new fall tradition this year.  Healthy soups for dinner.  Maui Black Bean Soup, Moroccan Pumpkin Soup, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup,  Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, Squash, Bean and Corn Soup,  Lamb Stew with Beans and Pumpkin, Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup (pictured above) and many, many more.  Mmmmm, I love fall.  

And I know you do, too.  Thank you so much for sending in your comments about your fall family traditions.  It was a pleasure to read about the things you love to do during this wonderful time of year.  And a big welcome to the family who just moved here from Florida who will be experiencing their first ever fall in Idaho.  I hope you enjoy it.  Since you are new to town, let me suggest my favorite photographer.  I know a lot of you mentioned taking family pictures in the fall, that's also something we like to do.  In fact, that picture of the toes in the leaves was taken by Sweet Grace, a division of Cazier Photography.  Cazier Photography is the most professional and amazing family photographer in Idaho.  You will love your experience with them.  Without further ado, I would like to announce the winner of my very first giveaway----four tickets to the Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival!  The winner was chosen by random selection.  (I told my husband to pick a number between 1 and 23).
And the winner is......ReeSe! Congratulations ReeSe, you are the winner of four tickets to the Farmstead.  Email me your mailing address and I will mail these tickets to you asap.  


Thanks for playing everyone!  If I ever get another opportunity like this in the future I will be sure to let you know.   Maybe I can hit someone up for some Idaho Stampede tickets or other sporting event.  (I doubt my husband is willing to raffle off his BSU Bronco football tickets).   Go Broncos!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Giveaway

I am so happy to announce my very first free giveaway!  I have four free tickets to the Farmstead Corn Maze Festival and Pumpkin Patch that I will be raffling off on October 15th.  It has been our family tradition to go to the Farmstead every fall.  What is one of your fall-time traditions?  To enter please leave me a comment with your name and one thing you love to do in the fall between now and October 14th at midnight.   Let's see how many comments we can get about not getting bored in Idaho.

Don't forget to check back October 15th to see if you were the lucky winner of 4 free tickets to the Farmstead Corn Maze Festival and Pumpkin Patch.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We have to go every year or it just wouldn't be fall.

The Farmstead is our fall family tradition.  We go every year.  People ask me all the time which I like better, Linder Farms or the Farmstead.  We have been to both Linder Farms and the Farmstead and the Farmstead is our clear favorite.  For the amount of things there is to do, the Farmstead has a lot more to offer.  Not that you won't enjoy yourself at Linder Farms, we did, but we just enjoy the Farmstead more.  

Like I said, the Farmstead has a lot to offer.  There's the corn maze, of course, the straw maze, the jumping pillow, the corn cannon, the pig races, the corn box, the slides,  Bunnyville, the kids' corn maze, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, Straw Palace, the cow train,  the pony rides, and the Field of Screams.  There's also a large courtyard filled with food choices.  If you go on game day you'll see the guy at the corn dog stand with his flatscreen set up and tuned in.  Besides having all these things to do you don't have to worry about paying for anything once you get in.  With the exception of the pony rides, pumpkins, and the food everything else is paid for with your admittance.  There's no hassling with tickets or anything like that.

I love how the Farmstead was the first to come up with the idea of the corn maze 14 years ago.  What, you didn't know they were the original corn maze?  I also love how they try and improve upon what they do year after year.  Corn Cannons?  I mean who would have thought of that?  And the girl just loved them!  I'm impressed with the efforts they make to keep it new and exciting year after year.  They even built a bigger platform for the slides since it often got crowded with all those kiddos at the top.  Also new this year is the Straw Palace .  It's big enough to hide in and small enough not to get lost in.  The new additions helped the boy who has a vivid memory get over the fact that they didn't have the peddle carts or the duck races this year.  

Being the smart adventure seekers that we are, we planned our trip to the Farmstead when we thought it would be the least crowded.  We ventured out on opening weekend and Game Day. Yes, Game Day, with a capital GD, the day all of Boise is at the stadium and the rest of us are out having fun.  Hee, hee.  It was a smart move on our part as we had the whole place to ourselves.  

We arrived around 6:30 and stayed until 9:30 pm.  And we didn't even go through the corn maze which would have kept us there another 45 - 60 minutes.  I'll admit it took us a while to get adjusted to the new location.  (Did I mention they have a new location off Overland and Eagle Rds?)  Once we got our bearings and the boy got over the fact that they didn't have the peddle carts this year or the duck races, we were able to really enjoy ourselves.  We checked out the jumping pillow first and then the corn cannon, then over to the pony rides which only cost a dollar a person.  After the pony rides, the kids played in the corn box.  I don't know if you are familiar with Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, but I couldn't help thinking of the chapter "How Corn Took Over America" as the kids played in a box of corn  kernels.  My goodness, corn has a lot of uses in our society and the Farmstead is no exception.  Let's hear it for King Corn.

After picking the corn kernels out of their ears, we ventured over to the Straw Palace to play hide and seek.  The cow train was next and the kids loved riding over the bumps that are also new this year.  Next up the pumpkin patch and then a relaxing ride on the hayride.  The girl can't understand why I love the hayride so much.  I told her it's because it's the only time I ever just sit.  I know all you moms are sighing right now at the thought of sitting and doing nothing.  Ahhhh.  Doesn't happen enough, does it?

After the hayride we wandered over to the pig race that started at 8 pm.  At the beginning of every pig race they ask for volunteers to cheer on a pig and every year the girl jumps up and down with her hand in the air hoping to be picked.  This year since there were so few people there that night the girl actually got picked to cheer on a pig.  To top it off, her pig, Boarbra Walters won the pig race!  She won a free dessert from Dutch Oven Creations.  We found our way over to Dutch Oven Creations in the courtyard and gorged ourselves on the most delicious scone topped with cinnamon and sugar and icecream.   This was an extra special treat for my kids who aren't given anything unhealthy to eat in our home.  They indulged in every bite.  Lastly, we didn't walk through the corn maze like we usually do because, frankly, I don't trust myself not to get lost in mazes and there wasn't anybody going through that we could  follow.  That's okay though because we'd been there for three hours and it was time for bed.  

Just when we thought the night couldn't get any better, we ran into Hilary, the co-owner of the Farmstead who gave us four free tickets to raffle off on this blog.  Awesome!  

Things to remember:
Wear shoes and socks if you want to be most comfortable.  Bring or wear appropriate clothing such as coats, jackets, hats and gloves because it gets cool at night.  If the weather is warm bring sunscreen and lots of water.  Allow yourself plenty of time to spend there.  The corn maze takes about an hour and all the other activities combined take at least one or two hours.  Don't forget your camera for all those photo ops.  Bring dollars for the pony rides, pumpkins, and money for the food court.  Remember their location has changed to Overland and Eagle Rd.  Enter on Overland just east of Eagle Rd where the carpool place is.  Have fun!

Check out their website for hours of operation and directions.  They open at noon on Thursday and Friday, October 7 and 8 for teacher inservice .  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Farmstead on Groupon today! Save 50% off one admission

A couple of weeks ago my kids started asking when we could go to that "one place."
"What one place?"
"That one place with the corn maze and the slides and the pig races and those peddle carts and those corn kernels etc.  You know....that one place."
"Oh, the Farmstead!"
If you love the Farmstead as much as we do, you will love this sweet deal on Groupons.  It's half off one admission ticket.  So you save $5 by buying one admission ticket now, then print off your coupon, and bring it with you.  It's super easy.
But you only have until midnight tonight (Wednesday) to buy your groupon.  Here's the link.  And if you've never been to the Farmstead you can read our review by clicking on "Farmstead" under the "Labels" column on the left hand side.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Have you ever been to Bounce?  It's so fun.  I took the kids there a couple of weeks ago.  They loved it.  I hope to follow up with pictures and details about our experience at Bounce but I only have two seconds on the computer until one of the kids needs me to put them to bed.  I couldn't let the day end without telling you about the amazing deal for half off Bounce admission on Groupons today.  There's only three hours left.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glowing balloons provide family fun and cool photo op

Who doesn't love hot air balloons?  I remember one year my neighbor's uncle landed his hot air balloon right in our neighborhood park.  It was so spectacular that I ran home and grabbed my camera and by the time I got back the girl and my neighbor's uncle were in the basket and 50 feet in the air.  Now I was really glad I had my camera.

If you love looking at hot air balloons check out Boise's hot air balloon festival this weekend.  A community pancake breakfast will be held on Saturday morning at 7 am at Ann Morrison park so you can eat and watch the balloons lift off at the same time.  And don't be late because there's no point in getting there at 9.  The balloons and the pancakes will be gone.

After the morning lift off on Saturday you can return that evening at 6:30 pm for food vendors, live music, and glowing balloons.  Some say that the glowing balloons are "one of the coolest photo opportunities of all time."

If you can't make it on Saturday they will lift off again at Ann Morrison park on Sunday at 7:10 am.   Here's a link for more info on what's being called the 2010 Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.    

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hee Haw'n at the Western Idaho Fair

The Western Idaho Fair is a great place to see lots of farm animals.  
And if you're used to that sort of thing you might enjoy yourself.   However, for some of us, (especially us who live in the suburbs miles from the smells of nature) we may not fully appreciate the barns full of goats, sheep, pigs, horses, llamas, donkeys, straw, feed, and manure.  We may, however, enjoy looking at the rabbits, chickens, roosters, chicks, doves, and ducklings, as long as they're far enough away from the barns full of smellier animals.  This was our experience last year at the Western Idaho Fair as the boy held onto his nose like this the entire time.   It wouldn't have been a big deal (I personally thought it was cute and couldn't help but smiling every time I looked down at him) had my cowboy-father-in-law not paid for our admittance and anticipated showing his grandkids all the farm animals.  He didn't say anything but I was embarrassed that my kid, his grandson, was not only plugging his nose but asking over and over when he could go home.  We aren't much for fair rides since you have to wait in line in the hot sun and it costs a ridiculous amount of money and it's really not that fun anyway.  I'm not much for fair food since it's loaded with trans fats and laden with chemicals so basically we just look at the animals.  
Aren't they cute?  The girl took all those pictures with her camera.
Carnival.  If you want to take your family to the carnival, I recommend going on KTVB Family Day which is Monday, August 23.  It's the best deal for the money ($25 for a wrist band good for admission and carnival rides all day per person) and it's the only day that no smoking is allowed and no alcohol is served.  But beware----it's very crowded.  
Ground Acts including Lego Experience Tour, Days of the Dinosaur, Aussie Kingdom, Ham Bone Racing Pigs, hypnotists, and more.
New this year--DemoStation.  Activites, classes, contests etc.  Ceramics, baking, photography, bee keeping, floral bingo, you get the idea. 
Concerts--There are five free-with-fair-admission concerts including The Doobie Brothers, Uncle Kracker, Luke Bryan, .38 Special, Clint Black, and Kevin Rudolf.  
August 20 - 29th, 2010 at the Western Idaho Fairgrounds 
Remember to wear close-toed shoes and pack sunscreen, water, stroller, hand sanitizer, camera, and cash.  They will check your bags at the door so leave your rifle at home.  Cowboy hat is okay.   Have fun!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tired of dinner and a movie? Try the Shakespeare Festival

Did you know that Boise Idaho has a fantastic Shakespeare Company?  Yes, we do.  This nationally recognized theater company draws the most outstanding actors in the region and even some as far as Ohio.  Indeed, the folks at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival have been voted the best performing arts group by the Idaho Statesman this year and in many years past.  (They've been doing this since 1977).  Their mission is to "produce great theater, entertain, and educate" (www.idahoshakespeare.org/mission-statement).   I am thrilled that we have such amazing talent right here in Idaho giving of their time and talents to entertain and educate our community.  I know that we are better because of the arts.  And if I had loads of money I would donate to their cause, but alas, I am poor......

In high school I recall going to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival on a field trip.  From what I can remember it was very hot outside and my classmates wouldn't stop talking.  I hardly heard a word.  Although my first outing wasn't ideal,  the Idaho Shakespeare Festival  planted in me a love for the outdoor theater and I vowed to go back.  So why have I not been back?  I was an English major for crying out loud.  I took a class all about Shakespeare and it was one of my favorites.  I guess because seeing a production instead of a movie is a little on the pricey side and we've never had a lot of money.  

Imagine my delight when my friend, Emi, who was visiting from Hawaii, invited me to see A Midsummer's Nights Dream with her on July 10th.    It was a warm Thursday evening and the show started at 8:00 pm.  We had seats on the hillside ($23.00 ea) and arrived a bit early (7:00) to get a good spot on the lawn.  We brought our own lawn chairs (which are acceptable, no higher than 6 inches off the ground is okay) and found a great place in the front of the back. 
  



After we saved our seats we went over to Cafe Shakespeare and ordered gourmet boxed dinners.  Let me tell you we were not disappointed.  The menu was superb (we had a hard time deciding what to get) and the food we ordered was delicious.  Emi drooled over her sandwich and I devoured my chicken-summer-corn-and-cilantro salad with the lime-cilantro vinaigrette.  Yummy.  See a pdf of the menu here.  

The Greenshow started at 7:30 and was put on by the Fools Squad (a couple of guys that told a lot of jokes).  Personally I didn't think it was that funny but my daughter has often told me that I "have no sense of humor" so maybe I'm not the one to judge.  The show began at 8 :00 and it was fabulous.  Being in a landscaped amphitheater is a unique experience.  Especially one in the Barber Park Reserve.  You can hear the sounds of nature, see Eagles fly over head, and even see little creatures make an appearance in front of the stage like we did.  The actors didn't skip a beat when suddenly a skunk scurried over to the stage before hurrying on its way.  Some members of the audience held up blankets to ward off a possible skunk spray.  I personally don't think the blanket would have done much good, but I guess it's instinctive to want to protect yourself.  Not only did we spy birds and creatures, we also saw and felt many mosquitoes.  I think we got at least five bites after the sun went down and the bugs came out.  The temperature also cooled down so we were glad we had brought our jackets.  The show ended around 11 pm to a standing ovation.  The actors were simply superb.  After the show was over it took us about 15 minutes to get our car out of the parking lot.  I would suggest going to the bathroom if you need to before getting in your car.  I also suggest parking as far away from the theater as possible to avoid the traffic jam.  Overall a fantastic experience worth every penny.  Thank you Emi!
****Four out of four stars
Things you should know.  
You can bring your own food!  Lots of people do it.  
Even if it's hot outside make sure and bring a jacket and maybe a blanket for your legs because after the sun goes down it's going to cool way down.  
Bring bug spray.  Those mosquitoes were fierce.
Be an hour early.  
If you are sitting hillside or on the lawn you can bring your own lawn chair.  Or blanket if you prefer.
Park far away from the entrance to avoid the traffic jam afterwards.
Try the food at Cafe Shakespeare.  It's so good.  
Family Nights are on Sunday evenings.  The show begins at 7pm rather than 8 pm and young children are welcome.  
If you have a group of ten or more you can get a discount on admission tickets.
They have other plays besides Shakespeare.  Click here to check out their lineup.  
The season runs through September 26, 2010.
They offer summer acting camps for kids.
Get your tickets from their website box office.  
If you need more information you may call (208) 336-9221 or check out their FAQs.  


How to get there.  Don't get lost like we did.  

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater & Reserve is located at 5657 Warm Springs Avenue. Following I-84, take the Highway 21 exit (same as the Micron/Gowen Field exit) and proceed toward Idaho City. Once you cross the bridge at the Boise River, take an immediate left onto Warm Springs Avenue, heading west. The theater is two miles on the left behind the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation offices. - OR –
Take the Connector into downtown Boise, staying on Myrtle Street and Parkcenter Boulevard. After approximately six miles, you’ll see the Amphitheater on the right, behind the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation office building.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wanna coupon for Monkey Bizness?

Thanks to my newest friend and blog reader, Janna, for passing along this great tip.  Today and tomorrow Groupons Boise is selling a discounted coupon for Monkey Bizness.  They are offering five passes for $20.00.  Each pass is worth 7.50 so I saved $17.00 by buying them today through Groupon.  The coupon is good for one year but all passes must be used at the same time.  Since I have three kids and five passes, it will be a great chance for two of the kids to invite a friend to come with us.  As soon as we go to Monkey Bizness we'll take some pictures and let you know what we think of it.  So far I've heard good things about it.

Check out this link to Groupons if you are interested in this great deal.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Geocaching

I can remember where I was when I first heard the word geocaching.  We were in the middle of selling our house and I was standing in the entry with our realtor who had come by to drop something off.  I asked her what her families' plans were for the weekend and she said they were going geocaching.  What the heck is geocaching? I thought.  If you are thinking the same thing, click here to watch a one minute video explanation.


I thought it sounded really fun so I mentioned it to the husband who didn't get that excited about it. "Oh that's great honey."  He says that to me a lot since I throw random ideas/thoughts/suggestions/rants at him all the time.  He's pretty good at humoring me.

That was three years ago and we finally went geocaching for the first time last month.  We borrowed a handheld GPS from the husband's father and we were on our way.  First we checked out all the caches closest to us.  We registered at  www.geocaching.com   that showed six caches just in and around our neighborhood.  We rode our bikes to them and the kids loves looking for, finding, and opening the cache.  It was like finding buried treasure.  Before we left, they packed a little Ziploc bag full of "treasure" from Wahooz.  They each took one thing out of the cache and put one of their Wahooz pieces in its place for the next person.  I signed and dated the log book with my username and afterwards reported online at www.geocaching.com on what we had found and how it went.  After the neighborhood caches, we went to the Swan Falls area to find one out there where we found one hidden in a small cave.  Tricky but fun!

*Tip:  Only go to geocaches that have current records on them.  We have spent time looking for caches that simply weren't there anymore.  They may have been there at one point in time, but for whatever reason, they were gone.  So make sure you go to the website and only go to caches that have current reports on the caches.  As a courtesy, go online yourself after you are back from geocaching and report how your search went, especially if the cache was no longer there.  You may save the next family a lot of time and disappointment.  

Give geocaching a try this year and let me know what you think.  

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hey Twi-Moms,

Do you have your Eclipse tickets yet?  Look for me if you are going to Regal 21 Cinemas on Overland.  I'll be there with my Team Edward shirt on.  ::drool::

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You may have already figured this out

but in case you hadn't, I am a total flake.  Probably the most irresponsible person you will ever meet.  I am late for everything.  I say things and then never do them.  I intend to follow through and then completely forget or simply do not have time.  It's either that or I am a total jerk.  And if that's the case, I want you to know that even though I may be a jerk, it's not on purpose.  I'm just super forgetful and constantly overwhelmed and perfectionistic/idealistic.  I have all these ideas in my head and all these things I want to do, but maybe 2% of them actually happen.  Why?  I don't know why exactly.  I have some theories.  Mainly I think it's because I am slow.  My pace is slower than a turtles'.  Also, I absolutely cannot multi-task.  Oh, I know what you're thinking, I'm not good at multi-tasking either.  No, seriously, I'm the worse.  I can only do one thing at a time.  It takes me forever just to respond to emails because I have to have time set aside with no distractions to respond to someone.  And that time is at night after my kids are in bed.  Since the youngest child doesn't go to bed until 11 or 11:30 every night all the things I intended to do after she's asleep don't happen if I've accidentally fallen asleep with her, I forget, I'm too tired, I have to plan a menu, or I have to run to Winco for groceries.

As an introvert I often have fantasies about being alone.  I dream about my sister calling me up and asking if she could take my kids for me for a few days.  Yes, days, not hours.  I want several days.  I have things I've been wanting to do that have been on the list for five years.  My sister's wedding video for instance.   I think I've probably sworn to her at least 30 different times that I would get it to her soon.  Just recently I swore to her that I would have it done by August, gosh, I really hope that happens.  Since I haven't even started it yet we will see.

I need time to organize and get to a place where I feel like I'm in control.  Everyday I wake up and it seems like I am just reacting to the day.  The boy needs a drink of water, the girl doesn't have anything to wear, the baby needs a diaper change, someone needs a bandaid, uh, the kids are fighting about something gotta go see what's going on, the cat threw up in the garage.  Needless to say, I don't cope well with things like this when I am trying to get something done.  So instead of stressing about stuff,  I completely go with the flow.  Probably to a fault.  I say yes to just about everything.  "Mom, can you read me a book?"  I say "sure" even if I'm in the middle of making breakfast.  Before I know it, I've burned the eggs again.

I would say I'm fairly good at dealing with the immediate things around me.  I can be patient because my expectations of doing anything else flew out the window ten years ago.  This is my life.  The good thing about going with the flow is it helps me be happy.  I play with the kids, I stay in the moment,  I love my life, but here's the bad news, the laundry piles up, emails don't get returned, we're completely starving because nobody is in the kitchen making dinner, facebook friends get ignored, real life friends are never seen, the weeds don't pull themselves, and blog posts don't write themselves.

My list of blog ideas is two feet long and growing everyday.  I have too many post ideas and not enough time to write them all.   Last summer we did tons of things we never blogged about.  I have pictures on my computer still waiting for me to write about them.  Is it lame to write about something we did last summer?  I don't know.  I don't think so.  It's on the list of things to do.  I have other ideas, too, but I hesitate to share them in case I never get around to writing and posting them.  How lame is that?

P.S.  It took me 1.5 hours to write this and I was interrupted 13 times.

Embracing the fact that I am an INFP

Ya know that post I just wrote about what I loser I am?  Well, I used to beat myself up for being so lame, weird, stupid, irresponsible, all-over-the-place, different (insert criticism here) and then I realized I wasn't alone.   There are thousands of people out there just like me.   According to the Myer-Briggs personality type test I am an INFP.  What does that mean?  That means that there is a label for my disorder, no, just kidding, it means that I'm okay.  It means that I am not insane and that I am not alone.   And I am definitely not the only one who feels this way.

How do I know this?  Because I discovered a group of over 6,000 individuals that hail from all over the world on facebook who think, feel, and do things just like me.  I was happy to know that they were just as relieved as I was about finding out that they are not the only weird ones.  Here's the typical reaction one posts on the wall when they find the INFP group.  This is from Mark from Texas, "I just found out today that I'm an INFP individual. I thought something was wrong with me cause the world looked so different to me. I could fit in everywhere with anyone, but I never quite belonged."


Nicola, "I've only just found out my 'type' and it has explained A LOT! I've read a lot about it and really identify with a lot of it that it's scary. I've felt so lost my whole life, especially the last few years, and I'm actually really relieved and comforted to know that it's a type and that I'm not alone and not a just a total mentalist, which I have thought I was for a long time. I've never been able to accept myself, and as overly cheesy as this is, and maybe I'm reading too much into it, or just want to rationalise stuff somehow, it feels like I'm closer to self acceptance after finding out I'm an INFP!"


Kejsare, "I used to think I was a psychopath of some sort until I was convinced to take a personality test by an online friend that pushed me a lot to do so because he was curious about my kind. I've now come to the realization that I'm not a psychopath, but that we all are, and I'm very relieved."

Malissa, "Used to think was the weirdest creature on earth.....still do actually....it just feels good to know that I'm not weird alone."


Lol.  Aren't those great?  Okay, so you're starting to get the idea.  Does this make you want to know more about INFPs?  Does it make you curious about your own type?   

You can read about it here.  And if you want you can find out what your personality type is by clicking here or here or here.  Out of 100 people, 2 or 3 or 4 of the people are INFPs.  They are not very common.  I personally only know two.  My daughter is one and a friend I made in high school is the other.  She and I don't see each other much since we're both terrible at keeping in touch (it's an INFP thing).  Of course being an INFP is no excuse for lame behavior.  It doesn't excuse any of it.  And there are many other INFPs who have overcome the tendency of perfectionism and procrastination and who are very successful.  Princess Diana and JK Rowling are two INFPs that I look up to.  
Remember how I said I used to beat myself up for being this way, well, it turns out self loathing isn't uncommon for INFPs either.  We're a pretty messed up group actually.  We love things that are sad, we don't fit in, and we're hurt easily.

Friday, June 18, 2010

National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest & Festival

Coming up the third full week of June is the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho.  Our family has never been to this before but I've heard good things about it.  Maybe we'll try and make it this year, I don't know.  It looks really fun.  Check out the Weiser Festival website to see all that is happening in Weiser next week.

Our plans for this summer

Are you wondering what to do this summer with your kids?  Boy, I am.  My kids are ages 10, 5, and two-and-a-half.  It gets a little tricky trying to figure out something to do that would please them all.  Taking them to the movies doesn't work.  There's no way the two-year-old can sit through a movie, and even if she could, I wouldn't want her watching the same movies as her 10 year old sister.

I found that hiking and day trips work best for my kids.  I just have to make sure I've planned well in advance and I've packed plenty of healthy snacks.  Besides hiking and day trips, my kids also love going to different city parks, swimming, and having friends over to play.  Unfortunately for them, I am not the crafty-type, so we don't stay at home making crafts.  I'm also not into chores, so we don't stay home and work either.  (Sorry to disappoint you, Mom).  We play it up in the summer because that's what summer is all about.  Our summer = no schedule.  And we like it that way.

We're not completely unorganized though.  As soon as school gets out, we get out a big piece of poster board and write down all the fun things we want to do and see during the summer.  We tape it to the wall and mark off each thing as we do it.  We've done this every summer for the last three years.  It helps us remember what we want to do and helps us see what we've done.

Here's what's on our list so far for this summer
Roaring Springs
Play with BFFs
Swim @ Grandma's
Washington! (the girl and I and our good friends are going to Lilith Fair at the Gorge)
Race go-carts at Wahooz
Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City, Ore
Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario, Ore
Go on a train ride, Mountain Home
Meridian Dairy Days
Geocaching
Ponderosa State Park, McCall (we're going there for a family reunion in August)
MK Nature Center
Idaho Botanical Gardens
Boise Art Museum
Discovery Center
See a show at Starlight Mountain Theater, Garden Valley
Meridian bookmobile
Boise Farmer's Market
Eagle pop ups and snowshack
Deer Flat Nature Trail
Black Canyon Beach, Emmett
Sandy Point Beach
Boise Zoo
Parma Drive In, Parma
Go to the mall
Monkey Bizness
Greenbelt
hike Table Rock again
Hydrotube
Camel's Back Park
Hyde Park
Boise Depot

Things to do at the house
puppet show
collect rocks
nature walk
collect leaves
scavenger hunt
make an obstacle course
create a skit and video tape it
swim in our pool
play in the sprinklers

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We can't all have backyard swimming pools...

that's why there's city pools.  Going to a city pool is a great way to cool off and have fun with your family and friends this summer.

In Meridian, there is a pool owned and operated by the Western Ada Recreation District.  It is located off Meridian and Franklin Rds behind Storey Park.   I have been swimming there with my kids and it is a great pool.  It is reasonably priced and they have recently added a splash pad and shade umbrellas.  There's a high dive and a low dive, but no slide that I can remember.   See their website for entrance fees, operating hours, and information on swim lessons, private parties, open swim hours, lap hours, and free swim day.

Boise has many city pools.  Borah Pool, Fairmont Pool, Ivywild Pool, Lowell Pool, South Pool, and The Natatorium Pool and Hydrotube.  My sister was on a swim team and we got to spend a lot of time at these pools.  This summer I plan on taking the kids to the Hydrotube.  I've heard great things about it and I think they would love it.  Click on the pools above to find their location and more information about what each pool offers.  The City of Boise also has this fantastic website that tells you all about swim lessons, swim team, parent and child swim time, pool events, pool parties, and it has a map that shows you where all of the pools are located.  If you are new to town you might want to check out the map to see which pool is closest to you.

Also, if you think you'll be doing a lot of swimming at city pools this summer, I recommend buying a season pass which is good for all the outdoor city pools.  There is a resident price and non-resident price.  See the list of admission prices here for all the Boise city pools.  (The Hydrotube is not included in the season pass).

Nampa has a fun waterpark you might want to try.  My sister-in-law has taken her kids here for years and she loves it.  It's Lakeview Waterpark located near Lakeview Park off Garrity Blvd.  I've been to Lakeview Park a few times but never knew that there was a fantastic waterpark right there.  It has a zero-entry beach (great for small kids who want to enter the water), a gigantic water slide, spraying water toys, and a nice pool house with restrooms and showers.  And it's very affordable.  Only $1.00 for kids under five, and $2.00 for kids 6-17, and adults 18 and up are $3.00.  We'll have to check that out this summer too.

Nampa also has a city pool called Lincoln Pool in Lions Park along Davis Ave.  It has a diving board, a splash pad, a toddler area and a slide.  They also have great indoor pools at the Nampa Rec Center.

Caldwell has Caldwell Municipal Pool at 512 Harrison.  It has two slides and two diving boards and goes from 2 ft deep to 12 ft deep.  

The YMCA also has three indoor pools in the area.  One in downtown Boise, one in West Boise off Cloverdale and Chinden, and one in Caldwell off of Indiana Ave.  We've been to all three Y pools and the one in Caldwell is our favorite.  (Although I am still really upset at the lifeguards for making me take waterwings OFF my two-year-old.  They say they are not safe.  I say let me be the judge of that and if you see her drowning with her waterwings on, go ahead and jump in the water and save her.)

If city pools aren't your thing, you can always try and befriend someone with a backyard pool or a neighborhood pool.  Or if you are more of an introvert like me and you don't have any friends, then I suggest doing what we did and buy an Intex pool for $149.00.  We have one that is 12 feet in diameter and 39 inches deep and the kids and I swim, or in my case sit, in it almost everyday in the summer.   Even my husband jumps in with us after he gets home from work.  We absolutely love it!

Meridian Dairy Days Starts Tonight

Did you go to the Meridian Dairy Days Parade last year?  We did.  And we got rained on.  Hopefully, this year, there won't be need for any hoods or umbrellas.  The parade is on Friday night and tonight is the Pancake Feed in Storey Park and the free concert afterwards given by the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.  Bring a lawn chair if you're staying for the concert.  See you there!

"Meridian Dairy Day is held the third full weekend of June each year, and celebrates our community’s heritage when Meridian was the dairy center of Idaho. The event has been celebrated in some fashion since 1929.... The Dairy Days Festival begins on Thursday night in Storey Park with a Pancake Feed followed by a free concert by the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.

On Friday, the Festival Marketplace opens, with 80 vendors selling food, crafts, art, and various other products and services. For the children, the “Kids Corral” provides free fun activities and games.

Friday evening, the “Real Dairy Parade” begins at 7 pm with 100 entries focusing on a dairy theme. 



Saturday morning begins with the annual “Milk Run” fun run at Meridian Speedway. Little tykes can participate in a ¼ mile run around the track, and then the older kids and adults do a 5K race that starts and ends at the Speedway. Vendors open at 10 am. At noon the "Dairy Dash", a kid's bicycle race, takes place at the Meridian Speedway. In the afternoon, area coffee shops and restaurants participate in the “Milk Mocktail” Contest, and the public votes for their favorite dairy-based drink. Join us at 2pm to sample the recipes and vote for your favorite.

Other events for 2010 include: the Annual Dairy Princess Contest a carnival, a farm animal education exhibition and dairy cattle and dairy goat shows." (taken from the Meridian Chamber of Commerce website)

Check out Meridian Dairy Days new website at www.dairydays.org

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged.  I'm working on a post of summer activities.  Look for it on Monday.....or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday, or whenever I get a chance.  :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

So you think you can dance?

A friend of mine attended a "Free Family Dance" event last Saturday night and said it was so much fun. She told me they will be hosting another "Free Family Dance" on Saturday, April 10th from 7 to 11 pm at the Boise Square Dance Hall. Here is the website that explains the details. Looks like a good time if you like that sorta thing.

Almost Easter

Zoo Boise is hosting its 7th annual Easter EGGstravaganza on March 27th from 10 am to 5 pm with last admission at 4:30 pm. "Join the Easter Bunny for fun activities include egg scrambles, photo ops, face painting, Easter egg toss, fun jumps, animal enrichment activities, and, of course, the zoo."--the Zoo Boise website.

*If you know of any upcoming Easter egg hunts, please let me know.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"But do I have to camp?"



Lol, that's what the girl said this morning when I asked her if she'd ever want to be in a gymnastics camp. Camping to her means tents, camp fires, and sleeping over night. Here are a few more spring break camps I found online. It's time to start planning your week. Good luck.

MEGA FUN CHESS CAMP - for ages 4 - 12. Beginners welcome. Check out Vellotti's Chess Kids for more info. 713-2486

LEGO CAMP - for ages 4 - 10. Check out Vellotti's Chess Kids for more info. This looks really fun. 713-2486

HORSE BACK RIDING CAMP - ages 6 - 12. Check out Kaizen Farm's for more details. 888-0363

SKI LESSONS - Bogus Basin will be featuring a "buddy deal" during spring break. Have fun downhill skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, or snow shoeing. Also note the tubing hill will close on March 27th before spring break begins. 322-5100

COOKING CAMP - They didn't list ages, so I'm not sure. Check out Young Chefs Academy for their camp schedule and more info. 939-2550

MUSICAL THEATRE CAMP - for grades 1-5 and 6-12. Students will be performing Disney's High School Musical 2, jr. Sign up early to get 10.00 off camp fee. Their website doesn't have any details so just call Starlight Mountain Theatre at 342-2187 like I did.

ART CAMP - ages 7 - 12 at the Boise Art Museum.

There are so many more camps available that it's hard to post them all. I know NAMPA and CALDWELL also have their camps listed on their respective parks and recreation websites.

The YMCA is also a wonderful resource for kids' camps and adult classes. Pick up one of their schedule books at your local YMCA and you'll be astonished at how much they offer. You do not have to be a member of the Y to participate in their camps. You just pay a little bit more. Also, if you cannot afford a Y camp, you can apply for a membership and financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

If you're looking for a day care -ish place for spring break, CLUB KID- WINGS is an all day camp for kids age 5-14. See their website for more details or call 376-3641. Something similar to Wings would be TUMBLE TIME, located in West Boise, and BRONCO ELITE, located in downtown Boise and Caldwell. Bronco Elite offers gymnastics, indoor swimming, dance, sports instruction, arts & crafts, and field trips. Also, GEM STATE GYMNASTICS ACADEMY offers preschool, cheerleading, gymnastics, and swimming. Check out their website or call 853 -3220.

There are other fun places around town to explore if you are not interested in doing a camp. During the week of spring break, WAHOOZ FAMILY FUN ZONE is offering $5.00 off an adult fun pass and $3.00 off a child fun pass with the donation of a canned food item.

Also, the DISCOVERY CENTER has some fun things going on during spring break like Nano Day on Wednesday and Friday, Story and Activity Time on Wednesday at 10:30 am, and Firefighter Equipment stuff on Saturday.

We love going to the MK Nature Center, the Botanical Gardens, the Greenbelt, different parks when the weather is good. When the weather is not so good we love Rafiki, Monkey Bizness, Overland Park Cinemas, the Reel Theaters, bookstores and the library.

I know on one of the days during spring break we will be making a day trip. Since the girl is learning Idaho history this year, we will be making a trip to the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Oregon to see the Oregon Trail. I hope we survive the 2 hour drive. My kids don't do so well after 40 minutes. What are your plans for spring break?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Break Camps through Boise Parks and Recreation


I did a bunch of research this week trying to find spring break camps for kids. Just as I was preparing my post I got this email from Amy over at the Boise Parks and Recreation. Wow, she's done a fabulous job putting this list together so I'm going to include her list here and add the other things that I found above this post.



ART CAMP – Kids age 6-12 will get hands-on experience with clay, watercolor, drawing, designing, sculpture and more in three-hour sessions! Camps meet from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. March 29-April 2 at Fort Boise Community Center . Cost is $72.12 for Boise City residents; $11.24 for non-residents. To register, see www.cityofboise.org/parks, call (208) 384-4486 or stop by Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road.


CYCLING SAFETY – Cyclists age 9-12 will learn the laws and rules for riding on the road. Classroom instructional and actual riding will provide the proper techniques to be safe, visible and responsible. Camp is based out of Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road and is co-sponsored by the Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association. The class meets from 1-3 p.m. March 29-31. Cost is is $33 for Boise City residents and $57.10 for non-residents. To register, see www.cityofboise.org/parks, call (208) 384-4486 or stop by Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road.


MOUNTAIN BIKING -- Spend Spring Break exploring some of the single-track trails on the Boise Front! These half-day youth camps are offered March 29-April 2. Learn proper bike maintenance, equipment responsibility, technical skills, safety, sharing, respect and more! Camp is based out of Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road and is co-sponsored by the Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association. Bikes are available. Kids age 9-12 will meet from 9 a.m.-noon; 6-8 year-olds from 1-4 p.m. Cost is $63 for Boise City residents; $97.10 for non-residents. To register, see www.cityofboise.org/parks, call (208) 384-4486 or stop by Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road.


DRAMA CAMP – Thespians will love this unique and musical theater experience during Spring Break! Skits, musical production, improvisational activities, and basic theater knowledge are all part of this week-long camp for youth ages 9-12. Each participant needs to bring sack lunch, water bottle and a snack. There will be a mini performance on the last day of the camp. Camp will meet from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 29-April 2 at Whitney Community Center1, 1609 S. Owyhee St. Cost is $41 for Boise City Residents; $63 for non-residents. To register, see www.cityofboise.org/parks, call (208) 384-4486 or stop by Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road.


GOLF CAMP – Tee up for five days of fun at Warm Springs Golf Course! This camp is designed to prepare youth to play golf on their own. Kids age 7-15 will learn full swings, short game, play and rules. Campers will take breaks with movies and down time too. Clubs are provided. Camp meets from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 29-April 2 at the golf course, 2495 Warm Springs Ave. Cost is $250. To register, call 343-5661.


GOIN’ WILD! -- Come explore the wonderfully wild world of animals at Zoo Boise. At these one-day camps, we offer a variety of games, crafts, hands-on science experiments, zoo tours, and an up-close animal encounter, students will explore animal wildlife. Open to youth in grades 1-3, each session meets from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the zoo. March 29 -- Herps! Reptiles & Amphibians

  • March 30 -- Feline Wonders: The Cats
  • March 31 -- Things with Wings
  • April 1 -- Beastly Behavior: Why do they do that?
  • April 2 -- Who Was Here? Animal Scene Investigations

Cost per person per day is $25 Boise City residents, $30 non-residents, $20 zoo members. To register, seewww.cityofboise.org/parks, call (208) 384-4486 or stop by Fort Boise Community Center , 700 Robbins Road .


LEARN TO SKATE CAMP – Beginners age 5-12 are invited to learn basic skating skills in this camp, which is taught by professional coaches. Open to boys and girls, “It’s Great to Skate” meets from 8:30-11:30 a.m. March 29-April 2 at Idaho IceWorld, 7072 S. Eisenman Road . In addition to skating instruction, campers will enjoy snacks, games and public skate sessions. Cost is $100. Registration deadline is March 27. Call 331-0044 for registration information.


HOCKEY CAMP – Boys and girls will learn basic hockey skating skills in this camp, which is taught by professional coaches. Camp meets from 8:30-11:30 a.m. March 29-April 2 at Idaho IceWorld, 7072 S. Eisenman Road . In addition to skating instruction, campers will enjoy snacks, games and public skate sessions. Cost is $100. Registration deadline is March 27. Call 331-0044 for registration information.


Youth scholarships are available. For more information, see www.cityofboise.org/parks or call them (208) 384-4486.