Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pet Training at it's BEST!!

This is not our first rodeo with a new puppy.   Actually- this is puppy #4 for our family!   The first 2 we didn't bother with taking them to any training classes.(regret!)

#3 we had Anne from Specialty Pet Training come and do a private session.

She was AMAZING!  In just one visit we were amazed at how much we learned and how much our dog learned. 

Now with #4 - we didn't hesitate.  THE DAY we brought little 5 month old Miles home-

I emailed Anne asking when her next Puppy Kindergarten class was...  yep- that's how impressed we are with her training style.

And not just the training time- Anne is available via phone and email in between session to help as well.  You can tell by just spending 5 minutes with Anne- that she loves animals, she cares about them and she cares about you as the owner and equipping you with the tools you need to properly train your pet.   And- you will also learn from Anne that alot of the training that goes on is more about training the owners than the pets!!!  Shocked?! It's true- we unknowingly undermine our ability to reinforce proper behavior in our pets.

Want to know more?  Visit Anne's website for a training session near you.  She has classes in several locations...with her newest locations in Flower Mound and Highland Village.
If your dog is already trained and you want some fun activities- check out her agility classes.  WE haven't taken one yet- but they look like a blast and I've heard wonderful things about them.    Regardless of the age of your Dog- puppy or not- Anne's classes will benefit your dog, you and your family.

And - just in case you're wondering...I was not paid to write this...I'm simply that impressed with Anne!    

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Too Cool To Homeschool?

It is amazing how much homeschooling has changed over just the last 5 years.    There has always been certain "stereotypes" that a majority of people had/have concerning people that homeschool.    Those stereotypes are being blown out of the water as more people realize the freedom that comes with homeschooling.    I can't tell you how many times people have said to me:  "YOU HOMESCHOOL?!  I WOULD HAVE NEVER GUESSED THAT?"  

 The face of homeschooling is so different now.   People who love to travel (that's us) may decide to homeschool so their kids are not considered delinquent in public or private schools.     The homeschool parent today doesn't look or act or believe differently than the parents who send their children to public or private school.   We just made a different educational choice.   Choice is good.   The big difference these days is that when parents today are deciding where to send their kids to school- PUBLIC, PRIVATE and HOME are all up for serious consideration for many.   

The choices are amazing these days.   I feel so blessed to be able to clearly lay out all these options and see that Homeschooling fits our family the best and is doable. 

One of my son's (9 years old) favorite things to do when he's learning something new is to play- "DID YOU KNOW?"   He states facts and tries to tell me something new about whatever he has just studied.  So I'm going to play here:

Did you Know?

1. Most people do not homeschool for religious reasons.
2. There are 1000's of curriculum options.  Homeschoolers can do anything from classic classroom style, to literature based, to online learning, DVD learning.  
3. In Texas- Homeschoolers are accepted to college by submitting their SAT or ACT scores- no GED needed.
4. In Texas- Homeschools are considered private schools. 
5. If you are a homeschool parent in Texas you are eligible for Teacher discounts at many retailers. (like. Ann Taylor Loft, Barnes and Noble, Apple and many more)

It amazes me these days- at how many mom's I talk to say - " I NEVER THOUGHT I'd be a homeschool mom but I absolutely love it!"   People are bravely stepping out...and saying... this is a valid option and I want to learn more. 

Homeschooling isn't for everyone- and that's okay.  Public and Private school are not for everyone either. It's not about one choice being superior to the other.  It's about finding what fits best with your lifestyle and the needs of your family and going for it!

If you're curious, google or bing (Ie search online) Homeschool Curriculum, Homeschooling and you will find out more than you ever thought you could know about homeschooling.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Legoland Grapevine

Today we visited the New Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine, TX.

I went on this field trip thinking we'd have a fine time but wondering if it was worth the money I paid for the tickets.    Here's my opinion:

First you should know that neither one of my children have ever really been too much into Legos.  A spark of interest here and there but it never stuck for too long. Until...possibly... THE DAY WE VISITED LEGOLAND. 

Upon entering Legoland- Professor Brick Brack shows the kids how Legos are made in the factory.   This session time is short and very interactive.  The kids LOVED it and got a free Lego (yep one block) after the short session)

When Prof. Brick Brack finishes- you go on your first ride and laser guns are involved.  Need I say more here? I mean COME get to shoot stuff on a fun little are having crazy fun and we'd only been there 10 min.  Okay..this is a good sign.   (Note: One adult must ride with children.)

 Our kids head to the next ride- it was a magic bike/harry potter looking ride.  They loved it!  They buckled in..the ride started spinning and they peddled to get their car to go higher.

Then the building began..there's a cool car station- where the kids can build a lego car then race it down about 3 different types of ramps.   I was actually embarrassed that the 6 year olds were putting together these amazing cars and I was just trying to make mine roll on 4 wheels...but enough about me.

There is a 2 story playplace right in the middle that is pretty amazing to the kids.  They spent a lot of time in there in between the various play stations and rides.   It's soft and netted, lots of climbing, sliding, jumping over know..crazy kid fun.  NOTE: kids need socks to play on the stuff some socks in your purse, bra whatever..the kids will need them.  

There is a special place...that the girls loved....

simply because it was pink!  And well- the Karaoke stage was a nice bonus.  The girls spent quite a bit of time in here building.

They had some fun little vehicles for the kids to "pose" on.

If your child is of the rowdier (aka destructive ) type...I'm not judging don't get defensive... be of good cheer.. these are not fragile Lego Bikes/figurines that they'll destroy.  These are sturdy and made for rowdy kids to play on.

The 4D cinema was a lot of fun.    They play 3 rotating movies that last about 10 to 15 min each so you can go more than once and we most certainly did!

Then there is Miniland...Don't skip it... we almost did because well..we almost overlooked it..oops.     Miniland is the city of Dallas- key sights- built in legos and it is amazing.   When you go in..find the little TV screen (we almost missed that part too...we are so observant!)   On it there are 4 or 5 buttons on the right ...each button will display a different Lego character on the screen for the kids to find in the Miniland display.   This was a really fun way for the kids to stay entertained while the adults simply admired the handiwork.

Legoland has a cafe inside the attraction so you can get a snack or eat lunch if you so choose.  But if you are going and want to eat out in the mall ..remember to hold on to your tickets for reentry.


1. Yes it's worth the money you pay for the ticket. (and- if you go and love it and want an annual pass- you can apply the amount you paid for that days tickets to your annual pass if you purchase it the same day of your visit.)
2. Plan at least 2 hours.  We were there 3 1/2 and my kids were still not ready to leave.
3. Bring a light sweater/jacket...the adults did get a bit chilly because we were not running around like the kiddos. (well some were just not us.)
4. Go in the morning if you can- it gets a lot busier after lunch.
5. It gets loud in the main area- very loud- so if you or your child are sensitive to a lot of noise, proceed with caution.
6. Adults can ride the rides and just be a kid here if they want...or you can grab a seat and watch all the fun from the sidelines..whichever strikes your fancy.
7. You exit - through the LEGO STORE-  just saying..prepare yourself and your children for exiting through the store on a LEGO HIGH.