Book Review - Look, See the Farm! - Teach Your Kids about Nature Through Reading!


We were very excited about reviewing the "Look, See the Farm" book written by Bill Wilson and Katie  Fallon. Our daughter LOVES reading books and we encourage her to reflect on the books she read by "telling us about the book" though a video or by drawing something from the book.

This time, mom and dad had a chance to ask the authors some questions. Here we go!



Why is it important to teach kids about nature?
I have two young children, and they love being outside — they turn over rocks, wade in streams, look for birds, and are curious about everything. In addition to allowing kids to investigate and explore their world, being outdoors in nature promotes healthy physical activity. It helps them realize that they’re a part of a big world, where everything fits together and every piece is important.

Where can people get more information from you?
My colleagues Bill Wilson and Leigh Anne Carter and myself have another children’s book called Look, See the Bird! that was published by Hatherleigh Press last year. It’s a book about the kids in North and Central America who are connected by migratory birds. I’ve also written two nonfiction books for adults, Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Birds(2017) and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (2011). My website is www.katiefallon.com.

This post contains affiliate links to help you build your shopping list and travel list for your family. We are passionate about the product and the experiences listed in this post, but we also wanted to provide easy links you can click to purchase products for your busy lifestyle.

This week,

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!

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About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Mailing Address: 1030 East Highway 377 Suite 110; Box #145; Granbury TX 76048
Phone Number - 817-382-8475

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Attention Parents - We Need to Take Time for Ourselves (As an Educator and Higher Education Mom)


I'm a higher education mom. In my profession, if there are no guts, there is no glory for individuals in my field. This is especially true for higher education mothers on the tenure track. We teach, we research, we provide service for the community and the profession, we commute, we raise children, we cook, we clean, and we experience life. As our little ones learn how to navigate life on their own (at the wee ages of two or three) we are writing papers, grading papers, and discovering new ways to incorporate our higher education life with our home life.

Some of us teach in-person, while others teach online and hybrid courses (both face-to-face and online), but all of us have the ultimate goal of reaching our students without neglecting our families. I've commonly referred to this balancing act in higher education as the marrying process. We are married to our work and our home lives.

As part of this blissful matrimony, we need to find ways to keep our married lives fresh! Ultimately, this freshness comes with a long-term expiration dates (when our littles ones become mature adults). Think about this - when your child(ren) turn/s eighteen (18), will you regret NOT spending an evening, cherished activity, or helping them study for an upcoming test? Have we (as millennial and higher education mothers) become too busy to focus on our families through the tenure (and post tenure process)? I am guilty of this.

With my right hand up, I made the pledge that I would not miss out on my little one's activities (even if it meant grading an assignment later than intended). However, I do not want to neglect my students as well.

1 - Integrate time with your children in your electronic calendar (including Saturdays and Sundays).

2 - Make time for YOU in your schedule.

I am very guilty of this and I neglect myself often.

3 - Find your higher ed (or educator) mom hacks.

Even if it includes a new pair of shoes or a new way to a meeting location OR find something that makes you feel better about your daily walk around campus.

4 - Discover your mommy friends in education

I've discovered new mother friendships with students and other faculty/staff while enabling other friendships to wither away because of different interests or different life expectations.

5 - Determine your non-negotiables

What are you willing to "take on" and what are you willing to "let go"? If you determine these aspects, you can live life without regret. For example, if you did not apply for a job, 60 days later would you regret not submitting an application?

6 - Eat healthy foods, but incorporate them on your terms.

Even if it includes including a sandwich bag of baby carrots, black grapes, and a Special K bar, I always pack a snack, or two, or three in my bag!

7 - Plan a family trip months ahead of time!

If you plan your family trip months ahead of time, you can usually obtain a good rate, great seat selection, and amazing hotel deals. Always this will give you for which you can look forward.

8 - Keep everything organized. Make Excel spreadsheets your friend (especially Google Sheets).

Here's the link to Google Docs - http://drive.google.com/
I like the fact that you can access everything from your telephone!

9 - Make monthly and annual goals for your tenure, research, and service responsibilities.

10 - Take a snapshot of your successes and document them in your e-portfolio!

By iPhone, YouTube, or simply pen and paper, write down your successes. If no one knows about your successes, did they really happen?



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7 Reasons to Take a Cruise aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines from Galveston!



Thinking about taking a cruise?  You should definitely consider departing from Galveston, Texas aboard a Carnival Cruise!  Whether you're planning a family vacation or a weekend getaway, Carnival Cruise Lines offers several affordable and fun options.  If you are planning a spring break vacation or a summer vacation and have more time to travel, definitely consider the Carnival Cruise!

Shore Excursion to Isla Roatan, Honduras 

Whether you want to hang out at Mahogany Bay beach or go on an adventure tour, Isla Roatan, Honduras is a great port of call.  The people are friendly and the water and plants make for great scenery.



Shore Excursion to Cozumel, Mexico

In Cozumel, Mexico, you can tour the island, explore Mayan ruins, take a stroll through Downtown, or hang out at a beach resort.  You might even get to meet an iguana!



Great Food

Whether you like street tacos, burritos, stir fry, burgers, or pizza, the Lido deck has so many options from which to choose.  The hubby loved the burgers from Guy's Burger Joint, inspired by chef Guy Fieri from the Food Network.  If you prefer fine dining, you can eat at your assigned restaurant for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.  The staff at dinner also dance and sing!  You can even attend an afternoon tea.





Fun Onboard Activities

Carnival always has fun activities during your days at sea.  You can test your memory at a variety of trivia games, watch a Broadway-style evening performance, sing a tune during Karaoke, or take dance lessons.  You can even take a picture with the ship's Captain.



Fun Kids' Activities


From Camp Ocean to Story Time with Dr. Seuss, your kids will never be bored on a Carnival Cruise.  Story Time and the Dr. Seuss Parade are free activities while there is a charge for breakfast with the Dr. Seuss characters.  Camp Ocean also features BookVille, an area where you can read Dr. Seuss books to your kids.  Camp Ocean activities are free for day activities.  There are free and paid activities in Camp Ocean for kids during the evening.  Camp Ocean has three areas for kids in different age groups.  Our toddler loved Camp Penguin.



Fun Family Activities


Do you like board games?  Then you'll love Hasbro the Game Show aboard a Carnival Cruise.  Here you'll see some of your favorite games come to life as cruise passengers compete for prizes.



Towel Animals


After dinner each night, we would return to a different towel animal in our room prepared by our cabin steward.  Since our toddler loves animals, she was amazed by the different creations.








Question: What's your favorite part of cruising?  Let us know in the comments.




How the State Fair of Texas Can Help You TEACH Your Children


We were fortunate to attend the State Fair of Texas in Dallas last year (prior to COVID19) and we were VERY excited to experience this event. From the State Fair Midway and the barns (where they are preparing their livestock for show) and cultural experiences to shopping and creative arts experiences, you can experience almost everything that the state has to offer!

State Fair of Texas attendees travel from each corner of the state and beyond to attend this annual event.

We are all about learning and we use the State Fair of Texas materials to teach learning throughout the year (especially in the summer). Here are a few State Fair of Texas items that YOUR family can incorporate this summer!

1 - State Fair of Texas Idea - Dairy Discovery Zone (Presented by Dairy Max)

How to Make Dairy Dice (from milk cartons)!


How to Make a Moola Bank!


2 - State Fair of Texas Idea - Summer Cooking!

Your children can try a New Dairy Recipe (for Different Age Groups!

Make a Garden Veggie Pizza!

Funtastic Cheese Snacks

3 - State Fair of Texas Idea - Printable Games!

Play the A-Maze-Zing Dairy Maze!

Play the Shake-It-Up Word Scramble

4 - Engage with the Texas Discovery Gardens

Guess what? They are open during the State Fair of Texas AND they also have activities during the summer! From Butterfly Tea Parties to Storytime, the Texas Discovery Gardens has activities for everyone! Check out their schedule! - https://txdg.org/kids


5 - Prepare for Next Year's Youth Contests!

We always like to view the youth projects to give our child something to experience in the future. We love to view the different youth entries, because we have some TALENTED YOUTH in Texas!

Check out the Arts and Crafts Categories - https://bigtex.com/get-involved/creative-arts-competitions/youth-contests/

6 - Learn about Cows and Dairy Farming from Southwest Dairy Farmers

Time to Color - Downloadable "Milk: From Cow to You" Coloring Book
*Here's the Black and White Version - "Milk: From Cow to You" 

7 - More Exciting Educational Materials from the State Fair of Texas!

These are organized by grades (4th through 8th and 9th to 12th). Each activity has a student PDF and a Teacher PDF. Check it out!

These are some of the student PDFs for 4th grade:

Go with the Flow: Procedures and Consumers at the Fair

Energetic Tex: Art on the Move

An Amazing Race! From Local Farms to Texas Tables

Have an amazing time exploring the fair in the summer time!

The expos are great ways to experience the state fair and to discover new products that are available in your local grocery store. The products can range from

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!

About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
Weekends Count
Box 501
Beckville, TX 75631
817-382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

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Remember to Purchase or Download Our Family Travel Book on Amazon! - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

Did You Know There is an African Savanna at the Fort Worth Zoo?


We enjoy visiting zoos all over the state of Texas, but we especially LOVE the Fort Worth, Zoo! One of my daughter's favorite features of the Fort Worth Zoo is the African Savanna.



This section is GREAT for a day away from home. It is the PERFECT zoo for exploring new animals and different areas of the world. It actually reminds me of one of my favorite parts of Disney World - Animal Kingdom.






Seriously, these pictures are AMAZING and it does not seem that we are in the middle of Fort Worth! :)




What did you think about the African Savanna in the Fort Worth Zoo? Write your reaction in the box below. :) 

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!


Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!

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About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Mailing Address: Weekends Count; Box 501; Beckville, TX 75631
Phone Number - 817-382-8475

Did You Watch Our Videos on YouTube, Yet? Remember to Subscribe! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
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Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Remember to Check Out Our Book - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

Exploring Catalina Island with Kids - A DIY Cruise Excursion


The Catalina Island port has a lot of free and affordable experiences for families. From free playgrounds and a basketball court to affordable (and delicious) ice cream, your family can enjoy this amazing island. 


These free experiences are located steps away from the cruise port (including Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, and Crystal Cruises) tether boat and the Catalina Express Ferry port. There are many things to do for kids on Catalina Island, but if you do not want to walk too far from the ship, you can enjoy these free experiences.

Carnival Cruise Lines has an amazing itinerary from Los Angeles to Mexico. This cruise provides a lot of discovery experiences for children of all ages. Whether you are planning to explore the island or remain close to the port, enjoy these free experiences!

This is a NEAT list focused on Things to Do On Catalina Island
https://www.wheressharon.com/north-america-with-kids/catalina-island-things-to-do/

To get around the island, you will need to rent a golf cart OR you can take the Garibaldi Bus Service, which is SUPER cute!

Here's the Updated Bus Service Schedule
http://www.cityofavalon.com/transit

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

Sincerely,

The @WeekendsCount Family!

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About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Contact Information:
Weekends Count
Box 501
Beckville, TX 76048

weekendscount@gmail.com
(817) 382-8475
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Did You Watch Our Videos on YouTube, Yet? Remember to Subscribe! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
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Did You Follow Us on Twitter? - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Did You Look for Us on Instagram? - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Did You Discover the Weekends Count Blog? - http://www.weekendscount.com
Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com

Remember to Check Out Our Book - Family Travel Hacks and Tips for Any Budget!

Fun Things to Do with Kids This Weekend in Grapevine, Texas!



Our daughter loves Grapevine, Texas so much that every time I am (Jennifer) away at a conference, she literally PLANS a trip to visit this magic city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area! She convinces her dad to drive her ALL the way to Grapevine so she can visit Legoland and walk around the Gaylord Texan!

Here's our guide for families who are visiting the Grapevine area.

What Should We See?

You should definitely check out Bass Pro Shops, Legoland Discovery Center, AND Sea Life Aquarium.

Visit Bass Pro Shops!


LegoLand Discovery Center




Sea Life Aquarium


Where Should We Eat?

Dine at the Rainforest Cafe! We seriously love this plane and they have great gluten free options!


Where to Stay

Courtyard Grapevine - We LOVE this place!


Gaylord Texan - Yes, we are Marriott fans and we use our points here!



Great Wolf Lodge - We also LOVE the Great Wolf Lodge!!!

Have a great week and plan for the weekend!

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About Weekends Count - Weekends Count is a Millennial Family Travel, Fun, Food and Activities blog based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. We review hotels, travel and household items, and millennial family experiences!

Authors - Jennifer and Tony Edwards

Here's a link to our press kit/media kit - http://www.weekendscount.com/p/our-media-kit.html

Mailing Address: Weekends Count; Box 501; Beckville, TX 75631
Phone Number - 817-382-8475

Send us an Email! We are PR friendly! - weekendscount@gmail.com
Watch Our Videos on YouTube! - http://www.youtube.com/weekendscount/
Become a fan of Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/weekendscount/
Follow Us on Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/weekendscount/
Look for Us on Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/weekendscount/
Discover the Weekends Count Blog - http://www.weekendscount.com