Thursday, July 22, 2010

Children put on your Respirators, it's time to play in the sand box!


So my most recent project is a sandbox for the kids. I have been working on digging it out the past week or so and am finally ready to start shopping for Sand. Well, little did I know how complex this would be! It turns out that the PLAY SAND that places like Home Depot and Wal-Mart have are labeled with carcinogen warnings! Seriously? And they label it as play sand? One label I saw even said, "Don't inhale without a respirator!" Ok kids, go play in your sandbox, but don't forget to wear your respirator! LOL! So basically any sand containing Silicates are harmful and sand containing Carbonates are not. I also learned that there are other things to be concerned about. If your going to have a sandbox it HAS TO BE COVERED!!!! I read a couple articles talking about racoon's doing their business in sand boxes and some sort of worm they can transmit to our children that causes disease and mi grains! Also, bacteria can grow and contaminate the sand if the children's hands are dirty or if they are eating in the sand box! There are a couple options available for safe sandbox's. Sterilized Sand is one option but it is hard to find. You can get some at, but it will cost you about 60.00 per 50lb. bag, which is a lot considering you will probably need about 200-300 lbs for an average size sand box. The option that I am leaning towards is not sand, but PEA GRAVEL. It is basically just a variety of tiny rocks. You don't really need to worry about animals getting into it, and it will not cause cancer, and you can get different sizes and types of rock. I am pretty sure that any landscaping company can deliver pea gravel right to your sandbox. You can also buy it at Lowe's or Home Depot. The smallest variety looks almost like sand. I am headed to Lowe's tomorrow and I will let you all know what I end up with and how much it cost me! For some good info on using pea gravel check out I found a lot of good info here! Another Blog on toxic sand :

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Michael with the frog that he and Dom found in the backyard

Strawberry Picking

Relaxing in the backyard
Pool Time!!!
So I thought I would do a little family update of what has been going on around here lately. The kids are enjoying their summer vacation, and have already made several trips over to Gramps and Nanna's house to swim. Samantha loves the water and is already trying to "swim" (in her own way) Her hair is looking really blond lately, and it is actually growing and curly at the ends! Not at all what I pictured my little girl's hair to be like, but soooo cute!!!! Dom and Mike are sporting Mohawks for the summer! I made a deal with them that if they let me get some nice pics of them, then afterwards they can shave their heads, it worked. The silly band craze has hit our house also recently and the boys arms are decked with stretchy pigs, tools, fish, and any other thing imaginable! They have been fighting a lot lately and it has been driving me crazy! I have been trying to think of creative ways to get them to get along. The other day I decided that we were going to go to the store and buy water guns. They were still fighting, but fighting happily that afternoon! A good investment on my part for some sanity and peace ( inside at least!) Michael had his first dentist appt awhile ago!!!! He was soooo good and even whispered to me "mom, this is fun" when the hygienist stepped out for a sec! Samantha is still teething and I am wondering when she will ever get those last few teeth, but until then she will probably continue to try and chew everything, including bars of soap, candles, my lip gloss, dog food, random pieces of wood found outside, erasers, markers, crayons, play dough, and just about everything else! Oh yes, I cannot forget to tell you all about Soccer! Dom is DOMinating! this year! It is ridiculous and almost embarrassing at times. He really should be in the higher league but his birthday is in Sept. and they are strict about it! Ugh! He headed the ball the other night and then followed it though with a goal! Just about every time someone from the other team would get the ball and head towards the goal Dom would sweep in and turn it around, bringing it right back to score! Here's an example of borderline embarrassing (but yet proud!) parent moments Bry and I have been having lately! Everyone (even OUR coach!) is cheering for one of the cute little small boys on the other team who finally gets the ball and is headed towards the goal ahead of the crowd (mind you everyone is excited because this is rare!) Then comes Dom, from the other end of the field, flying by everyone headed for his target. All I am thinking is "Please don't knock him over! Please don't knock him over!" Well, he sweeps in and steals the ball turning it around. The little boy trips over his toes and falls and you can hear the sighs of parents as their hopes of a goal is taken from them..... What am I to do?! I have to cheer for my little soccer pro! It's ridiculous! Well, he played a great game that night! He is great at soccer, but I like that he is also kind. He never pushes or does things maliciously and he really does try to use teamwork. He passed a bunch of times tonight, and had some goal assists along with his goals (which I really didn't keep track of the exact #) Ok, enough about soccer. Some other things we have been up to..... strawberry picking, wild berry picking, visiting the Children's Museum, hitting the summer community sales, getting together with friends and fireworks! What have I been up to? Hmmm, I guess I have been enjoying our yard a lot this summer and have been making an attempt to grow some fruits and vegetables. We currently have Roma tomatoes, blackberry bushes, raspberries, grapes, blueberry bushes, red peppers, and strawberries. It looks like we will be getting a lot of tomatoes, but as for everything else, I am holding out hope for next year! A good friend told me a little saying about perennials, "First year they sleep, second year they creep, third year they leap" So in two years..... can't wait! I am really beginning to love gardening! I just picture the kids next year running around playing and snacking on all the fruits we will be growing! I have grapes growing next to the boys playground "Fort" and in a year or two they should cover it and make it look really cool! I know the boys will love it. I am also working on a sandbox for the kids. I actually just finished digging it out today so now all we have to do is get some sand. I was really excited last weekend when I found a whole storage bin full of sand toys for 3 bucks at a garage sale (bin included!) Well, Bry has been up to his usual stuff: Enjoying the Yankee's games and doing BJJ. He is now also teaching BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) at our church in a self-defense/fitness class. And then there's the furry child. Leo really thinks he is one of the kids and does everything with them. He was even in the kiddie pool with them the other day. Sam is his baby and she always lays on him on the floor and cuddles with him, it is so cute! He is very gentle with her and lets her pull his ears, bounce on him, ect... He is a great dog and we are blessed to have him! Sooooooooo that is about it. We are planning on doing some fun stuff this summer around here with the kids... Sea breeze, Red Wings, state fair, and maybe a short out of town trip. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their summer! Keep in touch! Love u all! ~Shannon

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Dear Lord, Thank you for this food, spend time, good day, amen"

Sitting around my kitchen table at any given meal this is what you will hear as Micheal prays. It is precious and I will always cherish his little voice saying those same little words every night.


It has also bothered me that they think of prayer as just some words you casually repeat before a meal or before bed. Prayer is talking to the God of the Universe! So I have decided to focus their Bible lesson on prayer for the next week or so. Undoubtedly this is an area that I need to work on too! I do not pray as much as I should and I do not think I approach God with as much reverence as I should, me being made of dust and all, and he being well, GOD!

Jesus gave us an example prayer to pray. He didn't tell us to pray the exact words when we pray, but he told us "this then is HOW you should pray" (Matthew 6:9). So verse by verse I am going to take the boys through this prayer and show them how they can say a little more then "rub a dub dub, thank u for the grub" I am going to be working on it myself too. One of the amazing things about God's word is that it is just as applicable for a four year old as it is for a twenty-eight year old! So here we go!

Matthew 6:9

"this then is how you should pray, 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..."

Lets keep this simple, 1. He shows respect "Our Father" and 2. He praises God "hallowed be your name"

The boys and I read this and talked about it and decided that we would work on saying one thing to praise God when we pray. Micheal prayed before bed tonight, " are awesome, and you take care of us..." Domenic prayed, " you are so good and powerful..."

I think That God wants us to pray in this way, not for his own benefit, but for ours. I mean, he is God, he knows how great his is! But when we acknowledge it to him and to ourselves, it prepares our heart to be humble as we approach him in prayer. I think that this is why it is at the beginning.

Work on prayer with us! Let me know your thoughts on prayer and Follow me! let me know that I am not just writing into the air! Love and God bless,