• education,  Family

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 7

    I’m back with another update (the 7th!) of what books my kids and I have been reading together. The books I share here are the ones my kids, 2nd and 5th graders, enjoyed and gave their stamp of approval. My feelings are sometimes more complicated. I’m a mom. I overthink all. the. things! First, I wanted to show you a different kind of book. This is my son’s Irish reading homework from a few months ago. Suffice it to say, I have to trust him when he says it’s a story about a monkey drinking milk. Now, onto the book list! The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams We’ve read…

  • education,  Ireland,  moving

    Living in Ireland: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

    When our family moved to Ireland 15 months ago, I did what I could from a medical perspective to make sure our transition was as smooth as possible. Today I’m going to share what I did in the hope that you’ll find my list helpful should you find yourself in a similar situation. Then I’ll get to the dramatic part tell you how it all went to hell a story of what happened last week that showed the drastic gap in my planning that most certainly contributed to a new patch of grey hair. BEFORE WE LEFT THE USA: Prescriptions: Before I left the states, I arranged to “buy-out” the…

  • education,  Family

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 5

    First week of September and I am up to my eyeballs in lunch boxes and homework! Before I completely forget everything that happened this summer, I want to give you the rundown of some books we enjoyed while school was out. It’s not the entirety of what we or they read, but the ones worth sharing. These are the books my (kids age 7 and 10) enjoyed and said, “just one more chapter! Please!” AniMalcolm by David Baddiel We stumbled into the world of David Baddiel when I picked up this book at the airport back in June. AniMalcom is a book about a kid who doesn’t like animals and then…

  • education

    How I Accidentally Got My Kids Excited for College

    It’s the first day of school (WOOHOO!!!), so it seems like an appropriate time to share this story. Come to find out, August is probably the busiest month for tourism in Ireland. It’s quite possible there are more tourists on the island than there are residents. At least it sure feels that way. Dang tourists. (Oh, wait. I’m practically a tourist myself. Never mind. Tourists are the BEST! Except when you don’t walk fast and I have places to be.) Anyway. Let’s just pretend I didn’t tell you how I really feel. My dad and The Junk Whisperer made plans to visit us during August. Them coming to see us…

  • education,  Family

    You Know You’re a Farmer’s Kid When…

    You know you’re a farmer’s kid when… Your dad pulls out his wallet to pay for dinner… just a simple, well-worn wallet… and bits of HAY (yes, hay that cows eat) fly out of his wallet and land all over the restaurant table. All. Over. Then, without missing a beat, he says… “It’s just a little seed money.” Get it…hay seed? What dad can resist telling a good dad joke? Truly, I laughed. It was a pretty funny moment. My dad spends pretty much the entire summer on a tractor making hay. And, yes, that hay seems to get everywhere. And, yes, I’m glossing over how hard this season is for…

  • education,  Ireland

    A Year Without Grades

    My children completed their first year in an Irish primary school. Woohoo! Next year it is on to 2nd and 5th grade. How did that happen so fast? Time is flying, people. Just flying by. When we moved to Ireland almost a year ago, my kids had been attending a terrific public school in the southern United States. Suffice it to say, this year has been a big adjustment for all of us – especially them. Side note: My kids are not in the Irish public school system. They attend a private primary school. I detailed those reasons here. If you’re an expat moving to Ireland, it’s worth the read. My kids…

  • education,  Family,  gift and learning

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 4

    I was reading aloud to the kids last week while we waited at the train station. My son, in typical fashion, was sitting on my lap and my daughter was sitting on my right. On her right sat an elderly man. I read for 5 or 6 minutes while the kids munched on their after school snack. When they hopped up to throw their granola bar wrappers in the bin, the man turned to me and with a quiet, gravelly voice said, “I remember my mum reading to me when I was a young lad.” I noticed his eyes had teared up. “She’s been gone 5 years now.” With that…

  • education

    Quick Tip: Teaching Kids to Type

    Do you remember learning how to type? Was it on a computer keyboard or a typewriter? I must have been in that transition period during the mid-1990s because I learned both in high school. While I may be in denial about how much time has passed since then, there is no denying I have two sweet children who will need to learn to type much sooner than I did. Between homework and computer games, my kids are doing more and more that involves typing. Train research, anyone? Watching them do the one-finger keyboard peck is oh, so painful. For my 6-year-old it is often accompanied by the “how do you spell” question and then a…

  • education

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 3

    I was snuggling with my son at bedtime recently and thought he’d fallen asleep. I was enjoying the quiet and psyching myself up to do that slow slither out of bed to avoid waking him. Just as I started to stretch one leg off the bed, my son suddenly says to me, “Mom, I had a good day at school.” Sometimes I second-guess our life choices and then one of my kids will say something like this and I think “Phew. We’re okay. It’s all working out.” I was certain he’d had a good day because it was Active Week at school and they had done tennis and gymnastics that particular day.…

  • education

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 2

    The other day my 6-year-old son was standing in front of his bookshelf and I hear him holler out, “Mom! You need to get me some history books!” I was so shocked to hear this come out of his mouth since he spends most of his time talking about farts, Legos and Minecraft that I didn’t even mind that he forgot to use the word please. I have no idea what prompted this declaration, but the next time we go to the library we’ll be sure to head straight for the history section. In the meantime, here are some books my kids and I have read together recently that they loved –…