Well… What can I say, too much came my way!

I was glad to see the back of 2012, with my AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) Diagnosis and living through Super Storm Sandy I really felt a better year had to be on its way for us… Seems 2013 did not change. My posts have been sporadic and I want to change that but I didn’t want it to be doom and gloom all the time!

January 2013 my daughter aged 12 was diagnosed with a Chronic Disease of the joints which presented as Severe Arthritis, the past few months have been depressing, stressing and chaotic.

I am going to start another blog totally dedicated to living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Juvenile Spondyloarthropathies… Our journey I hope will bring some awareness of both diseases and what we have learned in this short pace of time.

http://livingwellwithas.wordpress.com/

I will return to blogging here about whatever comes my way and I am hoping for some laughs and giggles….

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Crayon Art for Preschool Art show

At the preschool we are having an Art show in a few weeks.

We submit individual works of art for the parents to view. This year I decided I wanted to do a group project too.

This week I combined science with art and on Tuesday hot glued crayons to the top of a foam board.

The children helped me by grouping the colors together and placing them in rainbow order.

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The next day we talked about what would happen if I heated it with the hair dryer, melting, solids etc.

We watched…

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The next day with a different group we went over the science again and I got out the hair dryer and they watched.

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We had so much fun doing it and they love it.

They cannot wait to show their parents at the Art Show.

It’s been a while and Play-Doh recipe

So busy! Back to school for everyone including me…

Soccer and Football added to the mix = one really exhausted Mummy.

Today it really felt like Autumn so breakfast was oatmeal with blue agave to sweeten it.

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After a day with the three year olds at king of kings Pre-school I made them some play-Doh.

Purple is my fav colour, so purple it is!

My daughter likes it!

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Here is my Play-Doh recipe:

3 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 Cup of Salt
1 Tablespoon Alum
2 packages of kool aid

Mix all together

Add 3 tablespoons oil and 2 cups boiling water.

Mix thoroughly.

I lost my kool aid between the shop and home… So I used 2 teaspoons of food colouring instead!

You can even get snazzy and add glitter!

Enjoy ­čÖé

August 1st and summer is NOT over!

It was the start of August yesterday… I am sitting in my quiet place, eating breakfast thinking about how this has a different meaning this year!

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Breakfast is Archer Farms Raisin Cinnamon toast with a little earth balance. Yum!

For the past 7 years, August 1st has been the end of my summer. No more evening sandy hook beach concerts, no more grilling and having dinner for the kids by 5pm, no more lazy beach trips, no more day trips any where. Why?Because this was the day Pop-Warner Football became my life.

Practice started at 6pm and back out to get my Footballer by 8:15… Home by 9. Every week night through August and on into the fall.

Yesterday, at about 5:30 I started my 4 mile walk/run. I had been thinking about how nice it was I was not running around the house trying to find cleats that fit, under armour, socks, and anything else he needed.

During my walk I noticed the neighborhood heading out… I was planning on grilling kebabs made from the Shark the boys caught whilst on holiday in Port ST Joe, Florida.

At 8:30 we were chilling in the garden chatting and drinking… Not battling my way to the practice field.

Was I happy or was I sad? I really was not missing it at all!

My Footballer starts High School this year so I have some changes ahead. I struggle with the fact he is growing up so fast. But, don’t they all!

My eldest is looking at colleges so my life is nothing less than busy.

When I dropped Soccer son at the High School for practice today I realized that how exciting it is going to be… Now I will be spending every Friday Night under the lights not because my Footballer wants to watch the High School game, because now he will be part if that team.

Freshman have their own team, they play during the week… Oh yeah 2 games a week! Practice after school… Only one trip out the house!

So far I have a positive outlook on High School Football, I will be a dual High School Sport Mum… I better hold on to my hat, it’s gonna be a busy September!

Lets look back at my Pop-Warner player…

Once I can retrieve the rest from my dead laptop I will update my Pop-Warner Pictures through the years!

Who said College Tours aren’t fun!

The car can pretty much get me to the Pennsylvania Turnpike on auto pilot!

Today we headed to Holy Family on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

It’s a 4 year catholic private university.

This is the first suburban college we have been to. Here we are arriving.

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Upon arrival we were guided to the right place by balloons!

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Inside we were met and greeted by a team of admissions staff… Water and coffee!

Brief presentation took place in the auditorium, I like this part. Luke however finds it boring and starts fiddling with his phone. I think back to the day I dragged him to Chestnut Hill and feared this, but they captured him with the presentation that it didn’t happen.

There are many people here and the we are divided in to three groups and given a guided tour by a student working in admissions.

As with all the students Steve is well informed. The buildings are very well kept and the nursing building was amazing. Set out like a hospital with very expensive dummies to work on. If Luke wanted to be a nurse this would be great!

The dorms were very new that we saw and suite style. The lounge had a huge TV on the wall.

I guess I was not thinking too much and did not take many pics… When we visited the dorms I asked what percentage of students reside on campus… Just 30%.

Next stop the Book Store… Now I have to tell you this is the first which was a BOOK store with just a small amount of spirit wear.

Take a look at all these books!

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You can even rent them for the year and return them.

It was a nice tour and after they offered us lunch and a drink.

We headed back to NJ with some thinking to do.

Personally I do not think this is a fit for Luke, I feel that if he is going to a school where most students are commuting he might as well go to the wonderful Brookdale community college on our doorstep for two years and then decide!

But, it’s not my choice…

Here is the new standings as per Luke.

1. Chestnut Hill
2. Immaculata
3. Ramapo
4. Holy Family
5. Richard Stockton

Tomorrow is another visit… Then just 2 more left. When we are done we will have visited 9 University/Colleges. I hope that’s enough!

My postcard from Wildwood NJ

We just has a 3 day holiday to Wildwood Crest, NJ. This is not our first trip, but it was our first to the Tangiers Motel.

It was our first trip with only 2 children instead of 3, which made for a quiet car ride!

It was also the 1st trip we had not used our lovely dog sitter and dear friend Barb to watch over Barney and Charlie. Due to Charlie’s high energy level boarding seemed the best option. Some friends recommended Dogs on the Farm in Middletown.

Dropping them off was a piece of cake, they joined in the Doggy Day Care and never looked back as we drove away. Everyday they joined in with doggie day care and had a good ole time. How do I know this? They post photos on their website from the day before and you can see them in action!

I highly recommend them if you are in this area!

Dogs on the farm day care and boarding

The Tangiers Motel also a wonderful find… We have stayed in some dumps in Wildwood but not this time!

It is family run, clean and has a little coffee, breakfast come Ice-cream place too! I recommend the peanut butter ice-cream ­čÖé

Tangiers Motel

Monday I took a run and walk along beach, I was greeted at the beach by what seemed like 15 Dolphins playing in the waves… What a great way to start the day.

Day at the pool, playing Shuffleboard, some beach time and evening of rides and games on the boardwalk.

Another day at the water park with more Shuffleboard and beach!

Three days is enough for anyone!

We ate the Dogtooth Grill one night, that was good but busy be prepared to wait. There specials change nightly.

Here are a few snaps. I hope you enjoy Wildwood Crest as much as we do.

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2nd College Visit Complete… and my head hurts!

Our 2nd College visit today took us to Richard Stockton State College in New Jersey.

It was an easy ride straight down the GSP and we arrived in plenty of time.

The campus was massive… compared to Chestnut Hill.

The main building.. BIG and NEW compared to Chestnut Hills OLD and SMALL… Within 10 mins I told myself I must NOT continue to┬ácompare┬áthis school to Chestnut Hill they are in completely different categories. Which was when I realised that choosing a College/University would be no easy task for me let alone my 16-year-old teen.

I really could only ever compare this school to another State school and I am sure compared with another state school it is very nice.

It was very nice if you like that kind of thing… What I am trying to say is… The main building is NEW brand spanking shiny gleaming NEW! When we first arrived and got out the car the new concrete with the sun reflection burned my eyes!

The shiny walls and floor were…. SHINY.

The main building had a fireplace and the bookstore had a water fall wall… I mean this place was like a fancy hotel….

We all gathered in the NEW Theater and had a very non nondescript info session that lasted about 20 minutes. After this info session I knew how much it was going to cost, what GPA, Class Rank and SAT Average were required and how proud they were off the new building we were in.

If this was the end of the session…. a big fat thumbs down from us. It was as if my son would be a Number, if of course his Numbers were good enough!

New is not what I require…. Fancy eatery’s are NOT what I require. I want my son to be someone at college and not lost in the system as I feel he has been so far.

So far I prefer OLD with Character… Chestnut Hill.

The 2nd part of this info and campus tour was conducted by a Student Admissions Ambassador by the name of Dan Pettraluzzi, I hope I am spelling that correct, he had mentioned during the tour how most people get it wrong!

If it was not for this well-informed, enthusiastic young man I would NEVER even consider this school.

He told us everything you could possibly need to know, and more. An excellent tour of the campus, NEW and OLD. As I was wondering the OLD parts where the classrooms are I was reminded of a Hospital and wondered if Luke would really like it. Just like a hospital is split into wings.. A-H I think. Little Coffee places here and there to refuel as you go about your day.

On our way back Luke and I decided we were going to have to Rank the college’s as we see them to make it easy the more we see.

  1. Chestnut Hill, PA
  2. Richard Stockton NJ

I do not know if Luke intends to apply to Richard Stockton and will ask him in a few days. I am sure it will be a good State option if no scholarship moneys or aid is offered anywhere else. We could maybe afford this with a In-state fee of $11,000 per year plus Board.

I feel quite sad about that statement, but I am an honest blogger and will not delete it.

Now I am really panicking that we saw the best one first! Will anything else compare to Chestnut Hill College?