Progress -Looking Back on a Year of Year Round Swimming

There’s a saying that goes something like, “A year from now, you’ll be glad you started today.” There are plenty of things I could start, but one thing I’m glad we started a year ago was classes at Goldfish Swim School.

The Fox has been swimming now, weekly, for a year and a month, and the word that comes to mind is Progress. He started in a midlevel class – comfortable in the water, but not able to swim for much distance, and his strokes were limited.

Now he swims for an hour at time at Swim Force, and can complete lengths of the pool easily. His strokes are fluid, and he takes any critique seriously.

What he’s learned by sticking with swimming also applies outside the pool – when he starts to lose patience, I remind him that it took weeks for him to coordinate his butterfly, and now he’s really good at it.

Goldfish has been great not only for his technique, but his confidence. A year from now, I can’t imagine how far he’ll be able to swim!

Disclosure: Thanks to Goldfish Swim School for partnering with us  to build my school-age swimmers’ confidence in exchange for my honest review of their programs! 

Burning Off Energy During the Winter Months

We’re buying lotion and chapstick by the vat, my nine year old has proposed we get a whole house humidifier and we have one more built in snow day left before the district resorts to an undetermined plan B.

It is winter in Indiana, and it’s been a cold couple of weeks. Not only are we all dehydrated from the cold, dry air, we fluctuate from being in catatonic nap state to stir crazy.

How do you keep school age kids active during the winter months? Fast food play places don’t cut it any more, it’s too cold for most parks, and they’ve outgrown the little trampoline I bought during the Polar Vortex.

I understand now why basketball is a winter sport. Not only do the kids get to run around, it’s a reason for parents to get out and socialize. Every Thursday and Saturday, we bundle up and head to the basketball league. Some blustery weekends, it’s the only time we leave the house. It’s great exercise for the kids, and it’s a great time to catch up with friends on the sidelines.

Swimming is his other regular outlet this winter. Tuesday night is Swim Force practice at Goldfish Swim School, and the whole team keeps moving the entire hour.  He comes out warm and tired and ready for a sound sound sleep. Also, everyone goes home wearing their pajamas, and it’s the cutest thing.

Other active things we try to get to during the winter:

Nerf Gun Events! The local community center hosts a Friday night nerf party where kids can run around and play with each other.

Unlimited Laser Tag! A couple of places have specials where it’s all you can play laser tag for one low price. It’s completely worth the price of admission.

The Wii! We have an original Wii, and a couple editions of Just Dance. When we are snowed in and restless, we start the music and take turns shaking our tail feathers. It’s always fun, and heart rates are always raised!

Open Swim! Goldfish has weekday open swims (handy for the random day off) and Friday night family swims.  We also visit other pools, and since the kids are confident swimmers (thanks to Goldfish), they always have a great time.

I know winter doesn’t last forever, it only feels like it. Until it’s over, look for me at the pool or on the basketball court -I’ll probably be there!

Disclosure: Thanks to Goldfish Swim School for partnering with us  to build my school-age swimmers’ confidence in exchange for my honest review of their programs! 

Gifts for Tween Girls: Show Us Your Spark MEGA Giveaway!

Gather your tweens around the Spark tree!

UPDATED- THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED- THANKS FOR ENTERING! If you are still looking for gifts for your tween, take a look at these rockin’ comments or head over to Show US Your Spark and use the code GOTCHA for 10% off! 

Remember when your girl was easy to buy for? When you could go down the aisle at the toy store, pick something with a character she liked and chances are, you could call it a win? Somewhere in these blog archives is a Christmas wish from my tween where she asked for simply a book and a candy cane.

Oh the good old days. Never mind that now she can stay home alone, cook simple meals for herself and do her own laundry, shopping
for her used to be much easier.


Enter: Show Us Your Spark.

This is the I am a friend box – complete with MadLibs, friendship bracelets and more.

Show Us Your Spark is the brain child of a friend of mine, and her two best friends. The original Spark Girls themselves, they have put together a subscription service that handpicks fun items for tweens to receive in the mail each month.  My tween received her first three month subscription for Christmas last year, and I’ve been renewing quarterly ever since because she enjoys them so much.

Each month she excitedly opens her box and finds nifty trinkets and inspiration. She’s been introduced to thought leaders, different cultures, unique crafts and more. The boxes often feature items from women entrepreneurs and small business owners.

In addition to entering the  Mega-Giveaway below, anyone who wants to start a subscription can use the code GOTCHA for a 10% savings.


Show Us Your Spark wants to spread the love this year with a mega giveaway to one lucky reader. They are giving away a set of TEN Spark boxes.  They’ll ship this mother-load of tween goodness to one lucky winner. (Prize shipped to US addresses only)

    • The themes included are:

      • I am Merry & Bright
      • I am Cozy
      • I am a Party Animal
      • I am a Bookworm
      • I am a Friend
      • I am Crafty
      • I am Curious
      • I am Mindful
      • I am Unique
      • I am Celebrating
How to Enter
Just follow the directions in Rafflecopter to play along – Good Luck! I’ll pick a lucky winner on Friday, December 15th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway