4th Graders & Families Get Free Admission to National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park

New “Every Kid in a Park Initiative” gives all 4th graders & families free admission to U.S. National Parks starting September 1, 2015!

By Charlotte Bowman

Got a 4th grader? Get her off the couch and into America’s National Parks!

Beginning September 1, 2015, all 4th graders and their families are invited to visit any of the United States’ 59 National Parks  — Free of Charge!

The program is part of the White House’s “Every Kid in the Park” initiative, in collaboration with the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.

Why 4th graders?

Because many states focus on state history during fourth grade, hence the National Park Service already has programming in place in many locations.

Let’s face it. Watching skunks on TV is vastly different from freezing in place while one moseys around your picnic table. Just as watching a documentary about bears is vastly different from seeing a mamma bear and her three cubs amble through your campsite.

Cades Cove, Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

For real! That’s what happened the summer I was in the 4th grade.

Every year my parents took us tent camping in Cades Cove in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. We would ride our bikes around the 11-mile loop road, go hiking, and count the deer grazing in the meadows. Primitive camping with kids is always an adventure. Add unpredictable wildlife, and you get family tales that are retold for years to come.

That summer, a skunk came calling in time for dinner.  Apparently it had been startled recently, because the stench trailing behind it nearly knocked us sideways! For the record, it is extremely difficult to get a wiggly 3-year old to Not. Move. One. Muscle.

Later that week around bedtime, a family of bears came ambling through our campsite — followed by a park ranger and half of the campground residents. My parents still laugh at the memory of we kids (in various states of undress) erupting from the tent at the excited cries of, “It’s a bear!”

Forget bedtime stories, this was the real deal! We raced after the park ranger and bobbing flashlights to the edge of the campground. It wasn’t until the bear family had vanished into the dense forest that mom realized my little brother was buck naked!

Ah, the memories.

What do Know if you Go:

Spasm Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Spasm Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

Beginning September 1, 2015, 4th grade students can sign up online to receive an “Every Kid in a Park” pass.

This pass will grant you and a carload of passengers free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more! The pass is valid through the 2015-2016 school year.

According to National Geographic, the best national parks for children include Yellowstone in Wyoming, the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

Teenagers younger than 16 can already access the parks for free, but there is a fee for adults accompanying them and for the family car. An annual nationwide family vehicle pass is $80.

Happy Trails!

 

Muscogee Moms T-shirt Giveaway – 2015

2015 Great T-shirt Giveaway!

September 1st is our 7th anniversary.

To celebrate, Muscogee Moms is giving away 30 t-shirts.

FREE

(Available sizes: Adult Small, Medium, Large, X-Large)

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on any post in our BLOG category.

t-shirt giveaway

Our t-shirt giveaway ends September 8, 2015.

We’ll pick 30 random commenters as the winners. The more you comment, the greater your chance of winning. Be sure to include your email address in the email box when commenting so we have a way to reach you if you are the winner. Good luck!

Note: The first 15 winners will be contacted by email and listed in our weekly newsletter on Sept 2nd. The remaining winners will be contacted and announced on Sept 9th.

Thank you for being our fans. We love being part of your lives!

 

Guide to Teenage Slang 2015

teenage slang

A parent’s guide to teenage slang 2015

With school back in session, it’s time to brush up on the latest teenage slang. Young people are notorious for speaking a language of their own. If you need help translating the latest lingo, turn to SlangGuide.com or UrbanDictionary.com. Here is a partial list of teen slang to get you through a new school year.

1. Bae

DEFINE IT: noun. An affectionate term for your significant other.

SAY IT: “I love you, bae.”

2. Basic

DEFINE IT: adjective. Used to disparagingly describe someone who likes popular, mainstream products or music.

SAY IT: “All Rachel does is drink lattes and play Candy Crush — she’s so basic.”

3. Feels

DEFINE IT: noun. Wave of emotions or sense of euphoria.

SAY IT: “Watching Back to the Future gives me such nostalgic feels.”

4. Obvi

DEFINE IT: noun. Abbreviation for “obvious” or “obviously.”

SAY IT: “Well obvi, that’s a given.”

5. On Fleek

DEFINE IT: adjective. Similar to “On Point”. Perfect, flawless, looking good.

SAY IT: “Girl, your outfit today? Seriously on fleek!”

6. Ship 

DEFINE IT: Used to endorse a hypothetical romantic relationship. Frequently used in sentences with OTP (one true pairing).

SAY IT: “Harry Styles and Miley Cyrus? Not my OTP, but I can ship it.”

7. Slay

DEFINE IT: noun. Killed it. Used to acknowledge that someone has done something really well.

SAY IT: “One Direction’s newest video slayed.”

8. Squad

DEFINE IT: noun. A group of friends. Crew.

SAY IT: “Headed to the movies with my squad tonight.”

9. Yaassss

DEFINE IT: noun. Another term to emphasize or express excitement. Spelling variations can contain anywhere from one to a million more a’s and s’s.

SAY IT: “Just bought a new dress at the Blue Door Boutique. Yaasss!”

10. Yeet

DEFINE IT: noun. An exclamation of excitement. 

SAY IT: “I got an “A” in Organic Chemistry!! YEET!”

11. Zero Chill

DEFINE IT: noun. Uncool on so many levels.

SAY IT: “Just heard a rumor that One Direction is splitting up. Zero chill!”

Photo Credit: istockphoto.com

Pinterest Stress: It’s a real thing

Pinterest Stress: It’s a real thing

Do you have Pinterest stress? Yes, it’s a real thing!

The content on Pinterest is meant to inspire its users. If you like Martha Stewart-type crafts or DIY-home decor projects, you can see how others do them with fabulous results.

The problem happens when moms are convinced they have to live up to the Pinterest version of real life.

For years, moms have compared ourselves to our friends and neighbors. But every since Pinterest exploded on the scene, we’ve taken our unrealistic competitions to a whole… new… level. Throwing a kids’ birthday party or creating a Halloween costume has become serious business. In fact, a 2013 study says Pinterest has nearly half of moms feeling stressed and inadequate.

I have a circle of talented, creative girlfriends. Melanie used to decorate birthday cakes for Publix. Cathy stages homes for magazines. Eleanore makes award-winning gingerbread houses. Ann is a professional interior designer, and Anne Hayes is a fabulous cook.

Me? I’m not a crafty, creative DIY enthusiast. I don’t crave the smell of mod podge, and I don’t have an “eye” for color. It’s not how my brain is wired.

If pictures need hanging, I call my in-laws. If the walls need repainting, I let my husband choose the colors. And whenever I attempt a DIY-project, my husband makes sure a fire extinguisher and crow bar are handy.

Seriously! The one time I made a faux-stained glass window, I ended up with resin all over the kitchen counter and the window glued to our back porch!

IMG_3414
Photo Credit: Muscogee Moms

I’m just an average, absent minded cook. I can follow a recipe, but the results are less than stellar. Those inspirational Lemon Cookies I found on Pinterest? I followed the recipe exactly, but…. epic fail!

#PinterestFail
#PinterestFail – Photo Credit: Muscogee Moms

I know my strengths and weaknesses. I may not be a good home decorator, but I’m OK with that. Instead, I’m pretty good writer and editor. And, surprise! I’m a pretty good knitter. In the last four months I’ve knitted three sweaters, multiple scarves, and an afghan.

my grey wool sweater
Photo Credit: Muscogee Moms

When Toni Morrison was asked how she found the time to write as a single, poor mother, she responded that she writes, “in the edges of the day.” I’m not Toni Morrison, but I’m finding the edges in my day to do the things I love. I’ve written entire blogs in my head while waiting in the car rider line at school.

Last month I knitted all the way to the beach and back while my husband drove. And as I type this blog, my current project (a grey wool sweater) is draped across my lap.

Whether you’re a professional woman or a have a crafty side, think about how you spend your time. Do the things you enjoy and love. Let Pinterest inspire you, but not traumatize you. Choose what you like and are good at, and find the edges in your day to do them.

Let the rest go.

However, if you thrive on planning birthday parties, contact me. I’m willing to trade a knitted scarf  for Minecraft-themed party favors.

 

Sometimes Its the Little Blessings: Sponsored Blog

weeblessing.com

Sometimes Its the Little Blessings

By Alicia Brown Werle, owner, WeeBlessing.com

Calling all busy moms…..this article is just for you!

As a mom we are asked to be responsible for so many tasks and wear so many hats each and every day.  Tell me if this sounds familiar, wife, mom, daughter, career woman, chef, maid, nurse, playmate, errand runner, teacher, chauffer, banker, personal shopper, prayer warrior, etc.  If this sounds familiar to you then keep reading…

As a mom of two young children who are 4 years of age and 5 months old, one of the most difficult things to conquer easily on that list is the personal shopper role.  How difficult is it to load the kids up in the car along with all of their toys, bottles, DVD’s, snacks, diapers and other essentials and then attempt to go to a few stores specially looking for clothing and outfits for them.  Then you remember that you left the 20% off coupon you had for Carter’s on top of the counter by the door.  This causes most parents to leave stores frustrated and feeling that they have wasted so much precious time.

If you feel like I am reading your mind and you completely understand where I am coming from then I have the solution for you.  I started Wee Blessing when I realized that other moms out there must be dealing with the same struggles that I do.

What is it

What if someone could do all of the smart shopping for you? Wee Blessing is a web-only kids’ clothing service. Our goal is to provide parents with hand picked outfits for their children from the most popular and top name brand companies out there and do it cost effectively.  We guarantee that our outfits will be offered at discounts from 40-80 percent off retail.   Every blessing package can also be tailored for any family budget.

How it works.

WeeBlessing.comGo to our website and register for an account. Fill out your child’s clothing style profile and how often you want to receive your package.

Every month or every quarter we will ship 4 name brand outfits for your child based on your child’s size and the season.  These outfits will be hand selected based on the hottest styles and the information you provide in our quick online survey.

Everything will come shipped right to your door.  Simply choose what you like and return what you do not care for in the pre-paid envelope that we provide, along with a checkout form.  You have a full 7 days to decide what you like once delivered.  It’s that easy!  The best part is that we do all of the smart shopping for you and guarantee that every outfit will be discounted from 40-80 percent off retail.

It will be like Christmas every month when you blessing arrives.  This is something that you and your child can share for years to come.  Let us be your child’s personal clothing stylist so you can spend that much needed time with your families. Sometimes its the little blessings in life that make all the difference in the world.  Get your blessing today at weeblessing.com.

Alicia Brown Werle is the owner of Breaking Free Financial Seminars and Wee Blessing LLC. Contact her at [email protected]