May
06

A Mother’s Day suggestion: ‘Second Sundays’ at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Posted in Mother's Day, Things to do
by Jennifer

I know, I know, Sunday is Mother’s Day and we’re not supposed to be planning anything for that day so that our husbands and children can take the lead and pamper us.
So, this blog post is for the dads.
Go ahead. I’ll pause while you pass the tablet over to him.
OK, now, gentlemen: Listen up.
The first thing you need to know is that Mother’s Day is all about the mother. This is the day that your wife (and your mom, but at this point in life she comes after your wife) gets to enjoy all her favorite things doing exactly what she loves with the people she loves most.
Not sure what that would be?
Here’s a …
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Apr
15

Make your April 15 less taxing

Posted in Free, great deals
by Jennifer

It’s Tax Day, as I’m sure you’re well aware!

Read MoreWe are fortunate and blessed to have a good friend and CPA who does our rather complicated taxes for us every year at the “family rate,” and she always gets them done well ahead of April 15. I’m not even sure how much of our refund is left after taking care of some long-postponed expenditures, like buying tires for the car, getting some work done on my husband’s car and paying down some debt.
But everyone can appreciate a good deal on a day when we’re reminded of how much money we’re sending to the government to keep our country running. (And yes, for all its warts, our country is still

Apr
15

Just Kids Stuff sale is Saturday

Posted in great deals, Medina activities, Things to do
by Jennifer

As the weather warmed this week, I started hunting for my sons’ uniform shorts that I stored last fall. That’s when I made two mental notes:
* I must do a better job of marking the containers (i.e., too often, grocery sacks) in which I store the kids’ out-of-season and save-for-the-next-one clothing so I can more readily find what I need.
* It’s time to invest in some new (or, at least, new to us) warm-weather gear.
Good timing, actually, because this Saturday is the twice-annual Just Kids Stuff sale at the Medina Community Recreation Center.
The sale, which runs 9 a.m. to noon inside the field house, features toys, clothing, shoes, athletic equipment, baby gear and much more for …
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Mar
26

Winner picked for I-X Indoor Amusement Park tickets

Posted in Free, fun, Things to do
by Jennifer

We have a winner!
It’s Anna Wise! Congratulations Anna!
Want to see our highly tech-savvy way that she was picked? Check it out the short video here! …
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Anna, just bring a photo ID to the “will call” window at the I-X Center the day that you want to attend the Indoor Amusement Park, and your tickets will be waiting under your name. I hope you have fun!
Thanks everyone for entering our contest! :)

Mar
24

Win tickets to I-X Indoor Amusement Park

Posted in Free, fun, Things to do
by Jennifer

We picked up our German “daughter,” Paula, from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport last night for a four-week stay with our family. Let the adventure begin!
Paula is a 16-year-old girl from a small town about two hours from Frankfurt… we’re still learning quite a bit about her and her town, but from what we learned from the pictures in the book she brought of course it is quite lovely. She is here as part of a Friendship Connection program to learn about family life in the United States, and she will attend school with our 17-year-old daughter and do all the things she does. I think she is very brave to leave home for so long and be so far …
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Mar
13

A good time for Spring cleaning

Posted in adventures in parenting, Cleaning
by Jennifer

Spring always puts me in the mood to clean and organize — get rid of the excess “stuff,” wipe down the surfaces that have collected dirt and grime, and tackle the to-do list.
But what’s even more motivating than the onset of warmer temperatures and sunshine is the anticipation of a visitor…especially one who likely will see every corner of the house while she’s here.
In less than two weeks, we will be welcoming a 17-year-old girl from Germany, who will be staying with us for about one month as part of an exchange program advertised at our daughter’s school. They had many more students who wanted to come than hosts available, so we wanted to help. Besides, our daughter …
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Feb
16

Ice Festival fun extended

Posted in Medina activities, Things to do
by Jennifer

Mother Nature can be so fickle.
Some years, the weather has been so warm — or so rainy — that the artfully designed ice sculptures that adorn the square over Presidents Day weekend barely make it through Sunday.
Other years — like this one — it’s so darned cold out that they are easily viewed even after the weekend.
This year was particularly brutal, of course, with temperatures dipping well below zero, combined with blizzard-like conditions Saturday that prompted the Medina County Sheriff to declare a level two emergency — meaning only those who need to be on the roads should go out, and then with “extreme caution.”
It didn’t exactly sound like an invitation to admire the unique ice …
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Feb
04

Recycling center change is a loss for Medina

Posted in 21st century parent, Medina activities
by Jennifer

When we moved to Medina County nearly 15 years ago, we were so proud of our progressive community for its novel approach to recycling.
No more bins for us! No more scrutinizing the bottoms of plastic containers for those tiny 1s and 2s inside the little triangles. It was great.
Eventually we started separating our newspaper for bins parked in the church parking lot, since it was a little fundraiser for the church, and I left glass jars and bottles in the garage for drop-off at the nearby collection site, but other than that, life was bliss. At least from a refuse standpoint.
We led more than one Scout troop through the recycling center to see how inventive the sorting …
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Jan
02

Putt-ing through the Ages is old-fashioned fun

Posted in Free, fun, Holidays & Seasonal, Medina activities, Things to do
by Jennifer

Well, moms, we’ve just about made it to the end of the Christmas break. On Monday, the kiddos will be back in school.
Did we all survive?
It’s a bittersweet time, because I rather enjoy the holiday bubble, when practices and other activities are suspended in favor of family events and a general lull in an otherwise hectic pace.
But, there’s a calm in the return to routine, too. No more teens sleeping in past 1 p.m. and meals ongoing throughout the day. No more little boys staying up waaaayyy too late just because they have nowhere special to be the next day.
My biggest observation this break might be that it’s not the act of doing these things that …
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Dec
29

Free rides tomorrow at Chalet ice chutes

Posted in adventures in parenting, Free, fun, great deals, Holidays & Seasonal, Things to do
by Jennifer

Our oldest daughter had surgery on her ankle last week, on Christmas Eve no less, so it’s been a quite different sort of holiday this year around our house.
That’s not bad; for me, anyway. I’m not the one on Percocet and virtually strapped to a bed. She, on the other hand, is getting a little stir crazy just five days into her two weeks of non-weight-bearing status. And it hurts more than we expected, which saddens and frustrates me as her mom.

Read MoreBut, knowing she’d be laid up for awhile, we ventured over to Strongsville last week to the Chalet and its ice chutes to cross something off our winter bucket list while she was still mobile.
I remember