Category Archives: Family

Tourists from Washington D.C.

Grandfather, Father and Son 3 generations visit Gloucester from Washington D.C.  Father and son came up to watch the Red Sox play the Washington Nationals.

FYI – They were all Red Sox fans.  The young man also counted 537 Granit Blocks he walked on all the way out to the Beacon.

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Live! Bikini Speedo Dodge Ball

It’s the official check in and rule breakdown.
Joey speaks science!

Frankie backs up the rules.

Stay tuned for pure shannagins!

A HUGE SUCCESS!!! COMMUNITY NIGHT IS A HIT AT PASSPORTS!

I am speechless, without words, and really full from the first Community Night at Passports held for the League of Women Voters! The portions were over-the-top, the flavors were fantastic, and the vibe was amazing. Every participant could not help but smile and toast to the folks around them that were having an equally great time. And above all, money was raised for local scholarships! Thank you again to Lyla, Eric, and the entire PASSPORTS staff for making this a wonderful night that bares repeating!! I look forward to the next big Community Night, and the good times and funds it will raise. See you there! ($15 for 3 courses?..Yep, it’s true)THE BOUILLABAISSE THE HAPPY FOLKS THE STEAK

 

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 4/11 + 4/12

Despite the fact that it snowed AGAIN yesterday, we are well into spring and I am hoping to highlight mostly outdoor activities for quite a stretch now.  You may have to dress warmly, but we’re heading outdoors!

Pick #1

We’re off to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, again, but this time on a Friday evening.  With our eyes on the prize, we’ll be hoping to catch some of the action as the wood frogs and salamanders make their mass migration to the vernal pools.  I’m sorry, but how cool is that?  Walks depart the barn, rain or shine, beginning at 6:00 and ending at 6:50.

Click here to register and learn more.

Each year on the first warm rainy night of spring, wood frogs and mole salamanders begin a mass migration to vernal pools where they breed. If you happen to be out on one of these evenings, the experience can be spectacular.

On Friday, April 10, a part of the sanctuary will be transformed into a Big Night scene. Participants will take a one-hour guided walk along the Vernal Pool Trail, where they will meet some interesting characters who will share facts and stories about themselves, vernal pools, and this special time of year. Some stops will feature live animals to see firsthand and learn about. The trail will lead to a real vernal pool where more animals and their eggs may be seen.

Refreshments and other surprises will await you in the Barn upon your return. Don’t miss this exciting educational night of family fun!

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Pick #2

Another awesome outdoor activity that screams SPRING!  I’m so loving this event also!

Kite Day at Cogswell’s Grant in Essex!

Saturday, April 11, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (rain date Sunday, April 12)
Cogswell’s Grant, 60 Spring Street, Essex, Mass.

$10 for kite-making workshop, free for flyers and spectators

Come fly a kite at Cogswell’s Grant! Bring your own kite or build one of your own, and watch professional kite flyers from Kites Over New England. Archie Stewart of Kite Education teaches a workshop with all materials included, where kids and adults can make their own kites and learn how to fly them. Sponsored by BankGloucester.

Registration is recommended for the workshop only. Please call 978-768-3632 for more information. Purchase tickets now

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Pick #3

I’ve never been here, but have been planning on it!  I’m super intrigued.  If you happen to go, please let me know how it was!

America’s Stonehenge  

Salem, New Hampshire.

Click here for their website and all necessary information. 

What is America’s Stonehenge?
Built by a Native American Culture or a migrant European population? No one knows for sure. A maze of man-made chambers, walls and ceremonial meeting places, America’s Stonehenge is most likely the oldest man-made construction in the United States (over 4000 years old).

 

 

Like Stonehenge in England, America’s Stonehenge was built by ancient people well versed in astronomy and stone construction. It has been determined that the site is an accurate astronomical calendar. It was, and still can be, used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year.

Various inscriptions have been found throughout the site including Ogham, Phoenician and Iberian Punic Script. Dr. Barry Fell of Harvard University did extensive work on the inscriptions found at the site. They are detailed in his book America B.C.

I should mention that America’s Stonehenge is also home to eight super cute alpacas!  What a bonus.

Please always remember to visit our friends at North Shore Kid for a more comprehensive list of fantastic family activities!

Sorry, Hawk, Easter is Over!

It must be spring because the Schraffts left work/school yesterday and hit Richardson’s Dairy.

The boys got gift cards in their Easter baskets and, since it was a whopping 50ish degrees after school, they naturally wanted to go get the first official ice cream of the season.  With the Red Sox game on the radio (they won 8-0, by the way) and the windows down for a stretch of the ride…off we went….because, really, how do you say “no” to that?

A couple of years ago we were fortunate enough to see a calf being born this time of year.  It was pretty awesome for the boys to see.  Yesterday’s wildlife adventure on the farm was led by a hawk…who apparently thought that Easter was not over because he was clearly still out on an egg hunt.

Check your calendar, Hawk.  Easter is over….and, you can sit there looking all threatening all afternoon, but those birds aren’t going to give up their eggs.

Happy Easter

A day in Maine with the grandchildren, hope everyone enjoys their family time.

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 4/4 and 4/5

We celebrated an early Easter with my extended family last weekend, so our plans for this weekend are kind of minimal…which is really nice!  I plan on clocking some time at the pool in the Aqua Room at Cape Ann Marina and Mile Marker One and hopefully taking some long walks in the woods and/or on the beach.  Never forget how great it is to walk out at Halibut Point, Ravenswood, around Goose Cove, etc.  Those destinations and more will be a future blog post when the weather gets just a tad bit better.

If you’re looking for something to do that screams “Easter” please don’t forget about last weekend’s pick about Appleton Farm’s Egg-cellent Easter Adventure! It is happening again this Saturday from 10-12 and sounds like a great time!

Pick #1

Easter Cruise on the Beauport Princess

Sunday, April 5
Easter Brunch Cruise!

Join us for live jazz, a gourmet buffet brunch, a cruise around our lovely harbor and even an appearance from the Easter Bunny himself! It’s a perfect way to enjoy Easter with your family! 1:00-4:00pm. $58 adults/ $26 children. Call early for reservations, this cruise always sells out!

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Pick #2  

Easter Brunch at Tupper Hall!

My disclaimer is that I can’t promise that this event is not sold out!

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Pick #3

The Seacoast Science Center

I love this place!  While summer weekend visits are a no brainer…weekends such as this one are nice too because all the inside activities are open, but the weather is getting nice enough to walk around Odiorne Point State Park to explore and take in the gorgeous view too!

 

For a more comprehensive list of great family activities please visit our friends at North Shore Kid!

 

Closing Time

This is one blog post that I don’t consider myself worthy to write for a couple of different reasons.  First of all, with only 15 years of residency in the amazing town of Rockport, I’m still a bit of a newcomer.  Secondly, my behind has never had the privilege of sitting in one of the well-worn leather seats that could tell almost 60 years worth of tales. Let alone the iconic horse saddle seat.  If scissors could speak.  What in the world am I talking about?   Well, THE hub of Rockport, of course.  Walt Julian’s barber shop.

As new parents, my husband and I made lots of decisions together…and some apart.  We agreed together on finding out the sex of our children before they were born.  We agreed together on names.  I, for example, decided on what the nursery would look like. And my husband, without consultation, decided that naturally their first haircuts would be done by the one-and-only Walt.  As if I would have argued.

Even prior to my own children, I can remember MANY an early morning that my husband would creep out of bed at a somewhat insane hour to get a jump on the line at Walt’s.  I still laugh about the day that he left at the crack of dawn as I slept on in disbelief.  I grew even more incredulous when the phone rang and it was one of his good friends….who had recently moved to Beverly…calling to see if he had already left the house.  When I said that he had already been gone for about 15 minutes all I got in return was, “Oh crap.  I’m never going to beat that line. Click.”

So, I’m sure most of you know by now, that Walt Julian has closed his barber shop. With almost 60 years of story telling, listening, laughing, trimming, buzzing, shaving, and lollipop giving….he leaves an enormous scrapbook of memories in his wake.

While I’ve only met Walt a handful of times myself…and I am not as rooted in history here in Rockport as many others are…I am thrilled and honored to have photos of Thatcher and Finn in Walt’s care.

Congratulations, Walt, on a respected and iconic career, for creating memories for generations of Cape Ann residents, and, now, on your retirement.

I wonder just how many family scrapbooks contain photos of you!  You will be missed!

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 3/28 + 3/29

So, we’re not exactly headed to the beach yet….but, maybe soon.

Pick #1

The Sound of Music at the Rockport Middle School

 

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Rockport Middle School presents :
The Sound of Music
Opening:Mar 26, 2015
Closing:Mar 29, 2015
Number of performances: 4
Organization: Rockport Middle School
Address: 26 Jerdens Lane
City: Rockport
State: MA
Country: United States
Website: rpk12.org

 

Pick #2

The Whodunnit Scavenger Hunt

Join Watson Adventures at the Museum of Fine Arts and try to solve the murder mystery.  1:00 on Saturday for ages 10 and up.

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A crazed killer is on the loose!

And it’s up to you to stop him! The killer has created a scavenger hunt that, when completed, reveals his name, the weapon he used, and where he hid the body in the museum. He sent the hunt to the police and dared them to try to solve it. The police need your help. You’ll get a list of suspects, weapons, and hiding places that are all items in the museum.

By following the trail of clues and answering tricky questions, you’ll narrow the list of suspects, weapons, and places and provide the police with the evidence they need to catch and convict the killer. Can you figure out whodunnit?

No knowledge of the museum or art is necessary, but good reading skills are helpful. Contact us to learn more and find more fun!

Learn all about Watson Adventures and this scavenger hunt here!

 

Pick #3

Egg-cellent Easter Adventure at Appleton Farms

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Say goodbye to the cold and celebrate the arrival of warmer weather here on the Farm! While we often associate eggs with the Easter Bunny, in many cultures eggs symbolize new life and are tied with the coming of spring. At this event, we celebrate spring, new life on the farm, and the bounty of fresh eggs produced by our hens.

Go on the “Egg-cellent” Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Enjoy homemade refreshments in our Carriage Barn, visit with the calves, and play games in the stone paddock!

Stop by anytime between 10am -12pm to start your Quest. Please bring a basket of your own to collect the Quest eggs. Note: It is only necessary to register for one ticket per family.

 

For a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid!

 

Learning to Fly

If you’ve ever thought about wanting to sky dive….if only it weren’t for that whole jumping out of a plane thing, then do I have the perfect place for you!

We made the short trek to Nashua, NH over the weekend and the boys were psyched to give “indoor sky diving” a try.

After a short instructional class to learn correct posture and some important hand signals they suited up with jumpsuits, earplugs, googles, elbow and knee pads, and a helmet.  It was right about then that I started to think, “Hmmm.  Maybe we should have waited a couple of years.”  But….”Fearless” and “Fear Not”….also known as Thatcher and Finn, were good to go.

Their first round in the tube was to try to get the hang out of flying with minimal help from the expert.  The second go round was quite a trip…with both boys soaring WAY UP HIGH…tandem style.

Sky Venture also has a pretty awesome wave and surf pool, a rock climbing wall, and a massive spinning fish pipe water slide.  I highly recommend the day trip and we’ll be going back for sure!

Skyventure.com

Cousin Joe Marcantonio Hosted Tommy & Peter from the Isle of Mauritius After The Boston International Seafood Show

Tommy & Peter from the Isle of Mauritius came to Sister Felicias after Joe invited them.  Joe works for Stavis Seafoods as a director of buying and they source a good amount of fish from The Isle Of Mauratius.

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Where is The Isle Of Mauratius You Ask?

Check It-

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I’m pretty sure they ate pretty good at Felicia’s Smile

It is OK

Dear Future Teachers, Instructors, and Coaches of my Sons,

I’d like to take a minute now to thank you for the hours, energy, and love that you will undoubtedly be giving to my children in the future.  I know that it is not always an easy job that you have, but it is one that you accepted, however long ago, because you have the best interest of children, and now my children, at heart.   Many of you have simply volunteered…and don’t even get paid…and all of you spend a large portion of your personal time thinking about, worrying about, or being excited about things that have to do with the classes you teach, the lessons you give, or the practices that you run.

I know, no matter how much you love what you do, the down side is that your job will sometimes require that you make difficult decisions.  I know that those decisions will sometimes even cause you sleepless nights, a heavy heart, and worry, and pain.

I’d like to tell you now…that it is OK.  It is OK to not pick my son.

It is OK to not call on him when his hand in raised as high as possible in class, because you have 20 students and they all want to make you happy by knowing the right answer or sharing their thoughts.

I know that even that one silly decision….who to call on?….can be excruciating…each and every time.  I know that you make a mental note…and try to call on them all the same amount each week, but it is still so hard to watch their hands fall disappointedly back into their laps.

It is OK, if my son ends up not being able to carry a tune, that he does not receive a solo in the Spring Concert…no matter how much he wants one. You know what? Even if he can sing, but isn’t one of the best, it is still ok.  I know that you’ll find other ways to encourage him and make him feel proud. I know that you’ll let him know how important his role in the chorus is.

It is OK, if my son has trouble finding his inner actor, to not pick him for a leading role.  He may be crushed for a minute, but I know that you need to do what is right for the other children and the school play.  He’ll understand, because he knows  that everyone has strengths.  We will encourage him to find another way to shine and tell him how important it is to play that small supporting role.  The play couldn’t go on if all characters weren’t cast…no matter how big or small.  After all.

I image that my son will enjoy working on science fair projects each spring.  But, you know what, when it comes time to pick just 5 projects to send to regionals, it is OK to pick others…and not his.  His hard work and the pride that he feels when he presents his experiment should be enough for him.  And, it will motivate him all that much more the following year.  And, trust me, I know how hard it will be for you to pick just 5.  I know that you wish someone else could make those decisions.

I want you to know now that it is OK if his essay is not submitted to the writing contest.  Even though I’m sure he’ll try so hard to be chosen and want so desperately to impress you, sometimes you have to just pick one…and inevitably the other children will feel sad.  I know, without a second of doubt, however, that you’ll pull him aside and tell him how much you enjoyed his story.  You’ll make him want to write again….because writing is fun…even if your story isn’t picked.

It will always be OK if, when some children’s art work gets selected for the art show, his is not.  We will shower him with praise, encourage him to create more, and teach him to congratulate his friends for their creativity and their submissions.  His art will always have a special place in our home.

It is also OK, no matter how much he tries, to sometimes make the decision to leave him on the bench.   I know that you will take time during the season to help him improve, make him feel valuable, and motivate him to dig deeper.  And, because you’ve done such a great job, I know that if the team wins, he will know he has won and played a monumental role in the victory.  Even if his role wasn’t as obvious in the final minutes of a game.

I want to thank you again, because I know that it sometimes feels impossible.  I know that you became a teacher, an instructor, or a coach for so many wonderful reasons.  I know that you had giant aspirations to always be “fair.”  I’m also guessing that you never imagined how many times each year, session, or season you would feel burdened by decisions that have no “fair” answer.

I hope that you know you have our support and gratitude and the love and respect of my child.  Even if you didn’t pick him.  Because…even if you didn’t pick him….you chose him.  You chose to teach him, encourage him, support him, love him, challenge him, push him, excite him, and inspire him.  Your success, loyalty, or impact can not be judged by one, or even several of those difficult decisions.  It is based on the many moments, outside of those decisions, that you made sure to make him know that you are there for him.

I think it is important to tell you….not that you don’t already know….that I don’t expect all parents will feel the same way.  And…that I am by no means speaking for them.  I am simply telling you how I feel.

Thank you in advance for all that you will surely do….and for those difficult decisions you are forced to make.

Sincerely,

Nichole

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 3/21 + 3/22

SPRING!

Not that it feels that way ;(

Pick #1

Thanks to Paul Morrison you may have already heard about this…but it is totally worth repeating!

Paul did a post about it just yesterday!

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We have always loved the school plays at O’Maley and I’m confident that this will be no exception!

Pick #2  

Sugar Shack Saturdays @ Appleton Farms

Spring is coming and the sap is running! Experience the time-honored tradition of maple sugaring with Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms. Spend the morning or afternoon with us and see how we turn sap into sweet syrup. Start by getting creative with some maple themed crafts in the Appleton Old House. Then get outside and explore our very own sugar shack! Learn how we tap our trees every spring, see the evaporator in action, and even taste some of our syrup! We will end back inside with some delicious snacks, including Appleton Farms cheese and a maple treat, while we read a sugaring story!

Morning Session: 10:30AM-12PM
Afternoon Session: 1:30-3PM

Recommended for ages 8 and under but everyone is welcome! Space is limited. Please contact crouillard@ttor.org or 978.356.5728 x18 for registration.

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Pick #3

This is a little less traditional, but I’ve been meaning to let you know about it for quite some time.

A fantastic on-line computer coding site for kids brought to you by MIT

Check out SCRATCH here!

Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.

For more listings check out our friends at North Shore Kid

Proud Mom Moment

The title of this post should be your warning that if you don’t want to hear me gloat….read no further.

Ok.  There.  We got rid of them. The rest of you can buckle in for a minute…or two.

Joey likes to tell me that the majority of my posts are about drinking….or things related to drinking.  One of Joey’s good friends teased me a couple of weeks ago that all I do is write about sushi and my boys eating sushi.  Neither of them are far off, I suppose.

So, today I’m going to write about one of my boys…his amazing hockey team championship (which was cause for a few drinks afterwards)…and I’ll even mention that when asked what he wanted to eat for dinner on Friday to gear up for two giant Championship games…he said “sushi.”

Seriously though.  I almost can’t even believe how crazy proud I’ve been of Thatcher this hockey season.  He’s worked hard, had some amazing games, and had a bit of a slump.  He has scored hat tricks, chased the puck, passed the puck, and done his far share of stopping the puck.  He has celebrated his teammates’ successes with minimal showboating and he has accepted constructive criticism humbly.

More importantly than just Thatcher…the entire team has grown, learned, improved, and rallied.  Equally as fun…many of the parents have laughed, cheered, and bonded.  As a family we’ve made some friends this season that we hope we’ll continue to play and cheer with for many, many years to come.

Thatcher started the Learn to Skate program with Cape Ann Youth Hockey when he was just under 3 1/2 years old.  He pushed the milk crate, cried a few times, and was soon off and skating.  For three full seasons he then participated in the CAYH Cross Ice Program. He learned skills, met some great friends, and grew to love playing more each year.  It didn’t take long at all for us to realize that hockey was to continue being a part of our lives for a long, long time.

During those three years I often joked with friends who were parents of slightly older children.  “When do they actually start playing games?”  I mean, don’t get me wrong, practices, drills, and mini scrimmages were cute and all, but after 4 full years I was ready to cheer during a full-fledged game.

This year….was that year.

This year’s hockey season started waaaay back in October…and ended yesterday.  The team started off slowly with a couple of wins, a tie, and then three losses in a row.  And then….something happened.  Something clicked. And, forgive me….but, the winning started.  This amazing little team of 7 and 8 year-olds started to become somewhat unstoppable.  To say that it was fun to watch is an insane understatement.  PLEASE don’t get me wrong….losses would have been fun to watch too…and I swear I still would have been crazy proud of that little team…but, to watch their success play out weekend after weekend as they hugged, high-fived, laughed, and celebrated gave me giddy goosebumps.  I tear up each and every time I watch Thatcher score.  Seriously, each and every time. I’m tough on Thatch…I expect a lot of him when it comes to manners, participation, hard work, politeness…pretty much you name it. That having been said, there is something about watching him skate so effortlessly and observing him be a part of a team….while we sit back and watch from afar that leaves me in awe.  It is never lost on me, and forgive me for throwing it out there…but it’s a big part of why I’m ridiculously emotional about him right now…that several doctors recommended that I end my pregnancy with Thatcher. There are quiet moments that happen almost daily when I think, Thank God. This weekend, for whatever reason, I thought that every second that I watched him play.  Thank God.

I love what he has gained from playing hockey.  I adore the player and the teammate that he has become.  I am thankful to all of those within the CAYH organization…especially this year’s coaches.

As the Cape Ann Mite Hybrid team went undefeated from November 16th, all through December, past January, into February, and unbelievably all the way to the end of the season this March, I saw changes in Thatcher that crept up on me and caught me off guard.  While I was so eager for him to play those “real” games….I wasn’t prepared for how grown-up he’d seem out there on the ice….not needing me for a second.  Like all parents, I’m an integral part of every other single aspect of Thatcher’s life.  But hockey…is all him….and his teammates and coaches (one of which happens to be my husband).

So, the regular season wrapped up with Cape Ann in 1st place.  With a first round bye, the play-offs only consisted of two make-it-or-break-it games for this little engine that could.

And…they could.

A 6-0 Shutout Win for rockstar goalie Luke Holmes (coined Luuuuuke-There-It-Is) by his teammates…who probably don’t even know that song…solidified the team’s journey to the Championship game yesterday at the Haverhill Valley Forum.

I am by no means a sports reporter so I won’t try to regale you with the details, but let’s just say that the game started with Cape Ann down 0-3 pretty quick into the first period and, wrong or not, dread started to creep into my spine. While we did eventually settle in and start to score, there was never a time during the game…and until maybe the very last minute….that there was any relief.

A final score of 8-7 led to some tears, an explosion of cheers, some tackling of a goalie who had another phenomenal game, and some deep, deep sighs of relief. Would it have been ok if they lost?   Of course.   Would be still have celebrated a tremendous season?  You betcha.  But… Am I secretly, almost ashamedly, beyond proud of those little skaters because of their Championship Season? I’d be lying if I said “no”.

I laugh even as I write this…because he’s 7 and it was a Mite Championship…but, I just can’t help myself but to feel so proud.  I have taught students who are now playing college sports on scholarship, I have friends whose children are winning State Championships, I even graduated with a classmate whose son plays in the NBA.  I rode in two World Series Rolling Rally Parades and stood on the field with all of the members of the winning Red Sox teams game after game. Gosh knows all of their parents felt proud. But yet…right now…while my little champion carries on, I can’t imagine how a parent could ever feel more proud.

Congratulations Cape Ann Mite Hybrids and Valley League Champions!  You should all be incredibly, incredibly proud.

 

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 3/14 and 3/15

Pick #1   Think Spring!

The Boston Flower and Garden Show

The Boston Flower & Garden Show will return to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on Wednesday, March 11 through Sunday, March 15, 2015 with the theme “Season of Enchantment”. Our gardens are places of magical metamorphosis. They’re the stage on which Mother Nature reveals her most wow-worthy wonders; where a talented designer can cast a spell over a dull patch transforming it into a colorful and lively oasis. And it’s where a little toil mixed with a few tiny seeds can conjure a breathtaking bounty for our vases and plates.

Click Here for more information and to buy tickets!

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To make your visit even better, especially with little ones, download the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Family Discovery Guide!

You can do that by following the link here:  Mass Hort @ the Flower Show

Pick #2

Suessical The Musical!

The Neverland Theatre always does a great job with their performances.

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Purchase Tickets Here

 

Pick #3

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire

While thinking of indoor venues that I have not mentioned yet and that may not be as well known as typical local weekend excursions, I remembered how much fun we had the two times that we ventured to The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Dover.

Read all about the museum here!  

While checking out their website be certain to find the calendar that shows what special events are being offered each weekend.

 

 

 

Know Your Dinosaurs

The youngest Schrafft, 5 year old Finn, finished up his 3rd hockey season the other day.  Thatcher’s team is in the play-offs and will finish up, one way or the other, this weekend.

While there will surely end up being some summer sessions or hockey camps in their near future, for now, the early morning wake-up calls are almost over.

I used to wake up at 5:45 to rally the troops and get myself to work and the boys to their respective classrooms, but lately I’ve been pushing it to a bit after 6:00.  Try as I may to convince myself to go to bed just once before 11:00 pm, I can’t seem to do so.  I love my boys…but, I also cherish my quiet late night hours alone.

So, while school days are always a bit of a whirlwind with a dash of crazy thrown in, when we miraculously get through to Saturday unscathed, the weekend early morning hockey practices usually do me in.

Until recently my husband worked early Saturday morning…which left me to get both boys into their hockey gear bright and early to get to the rink for 8:00 and 9:00 practices.  Actually, now on a travel team, Thatcher’s early Saturday practices have turned into earlier Sunday morning games.

While both boys are now experts on getting into their gear…they still need a fire lit under their butts to do so.  It wasn’t nearly as pretty for the first few seasons, however. It was always a mad rush…they both needed help with everything….they needed snacks to eat while the other one was on the ice…and even books, matchbox cars, and a bag of tricks to use as hush money to get through back-to-back practices.  It was downright ugly for quite a while. Might I mention that I am not…never have been…and never will be…a morning person.

I was laughing the other day when Thatcher reminded me about the “Hockey Dinosaur.”

There must have been many, many consecutive Saturdays, that I teetered on the edge of sanity while trying to get them out the door.

I believe my mantra became something like, “If you think I want to be up at the crack of dawn, you’re wrong, so please just get dressed” or “If you don’t want to get into your gear, and you don’t want to skate, I certainly won’t mind not getting up at the crack of dawn, boys!” or “If you think I got up at the crack of dawn yet again to beg you both to get off the couch and into your gear, you are crazy.”  You get the gist.  All very proud parenting moments.

So, one day, while I was no doubt stomping around like a mad woman, I heard Thatcher quietly say to Finn, “Mom sure is mad about the crackadon.  I don’t even know that type of dinosaur.”

So, for a while, stomping around like a Crackadon became my way of getting them ready for everything…school, hockey, soccer, etc.  Somewhere along the way, the Crackadon left us and the boys started to become a bit more self-motivated.  I won’t be surprised if however, years from now, a couple of giant crackadons visit my grown-up sons and their future families.  And we can all laugh about it again.

 

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