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Fun at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL

Fun at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL

 

A few weeks ago, my boys and I got a chance to go to the Field Museum together.  It was just a mommy and son day out since my husband had a nearby appointment.  I hadn’t been to the museum in about 13 years but they had been there just the year before, so they decided to “teach” me all about everything we saw.  It was so much fun and so educational!

We only had a couple of hours to explore but we made the most of it.  I let the boys lead me through and pick which exhibits they wanted to see.  

 

Be Prepared

  • Check local event schedules and time your trip accordingly – holiday weekends, Cub game days, special events at the museum, and even rush hour and construction could majorly impact your travel time.
  • Plan to arrive early – the museum can easily keep you entertained all day, and if you are done early, there are plenty of fun sights nearby.
  • Plan ahead on your parking – the Field Museum has some tips for where to park on their website, click here for parking information.
  • Bring snacks/lunch – you are allowed to carry a backpack, so I recommend bringing snacks and lunch to save a bit of money, or to help be more prepared if you have food allergies.  There is an area on the lower level as well as a beautiful grass yard outside for a lunch break.  If you do not want to tote around food, there are two restaurants at the museum.  
  • Look for discounts – As stated on their website, “Families with valid EBT (Link) or WIC cards from any state are eligible for $3-per-person Basic admission for up to six people.”  You can also qualify for free or discounted visits if you are a member of another museum.  I am a member of a local children’s museum, the Discovery Center Museum, in Rockford, IL and qualified for free basic admission for my family at the Field Museum.  You can also visit the museum on “Free Admission Days” but be aware that it will be very busy.  

 

Inside the Museum

After checking in, the first exhibit we went to was Inside Ancient Egypt right there on the first level.  It was absolutely amazing!  First you walk into what looks like a (mini) pyramid.  After walking through, you will reach a staircase.  You can go down into the “pyramid” and view real ancient mummies!  They have 23 human mummies and over 30 animal mummies.  You can also learn about ancient Egyptian life and see real and reconstructed artifacts.  

Inside Ancient Egypt - at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

The Egyptian exhibit was so impressive and interesting that we had to go through it again before we left the museum.  It was definitely a favorite of ours!

 

Maximo the Titanosaur at Field Museum Chicago - #HelloMaximo

 

Next, we couldn’t help but go check out Maximo, the Titanosaur!  Modeled from fossil bones, Maximo stands over 28 feet tall! 

 

Meteors, gems, and minerals at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

We wandered through some more exhibits, took a few bathroom breaks (and snack breaks because that’s life with two growing boys!) and eventually came across the Metetorites, Minerals, and Gems exhibits.  We probably spent equal time in each as my boys oohed and awed about everything.  Now that both are becoming avid readers, they were able to read the descriptions and maintain interest as we walked through.  They read and learned about birthstones and found each one around the room of gems, and then looked to see which gems were their favorites.  

We checked out more exhibits but I was focused on my time with them so I didn’t really get a lot of photos.  I am actually patting myself on the back for that.  It felt great to just be there in the moment!  

 

Chicago Illinois (behind the Field Museum)

 

Since we only had a couple of hours to explore, we got through everything that was on their list, then went behind the Field Museum for a snack and quick view of the city and Lake Michigan before we had to leave.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we took a nice walk before leaving.  

We definitely look forward to another visit as there were several exhibits we didn’t have time to see.  Next time we will definitely set aside more time since it just wasn’t in the books for us that time.  The Field Museum has so much to offer and you will discover something new with every visit!  It is such an educational place for all ages.  

 

How Great Coaches Make Kids Become Elite Players

People love cheering for famous professional soccer teams. A lot of those followers are so impressed by the way they play that they also decide to start practicing that sport. Some people are really interested in knowing the origins of those teams as well.

Imagine, today, you decide you want to be like them. You start training like them for a few days. After that, you quickly realize some facts about these teams and their players. Professional players are generally elite athletes who practiced almost every day since they were kids.

Kids have a higher chance of becoming the best in their game when they start practicing early. Even more, to ensure they make as much progress as they can and avoid losing time making unnecessary mistakes, they need the best sports coach training them.

 

WHY TRAINING WITH A GOOD COACH IS IMPORTANT FOR KIDS

Let’s be general first. Kids love trying a lot of different sports to have fun. They have little experience and most of them are unable to decide which one they like. However, other kids are conditioned with the dream of becoming amazing professional athletes.

Regardless of their motivations, we all agree they like playing because it makes them have fun and be happy. Even better, when having a coach who is making you do your best, you can improve a lot faster. Players that have better skills in soccer win more and this makes them get even better.

We all know it is important to do what makes us happy. In this case, these kids enjoy playing soccer. Great!  Now that we know what they love doing, we can make them improve and be more successful at that sport. This is where a good coach comes into play.

 

A GREAT COACH CAN IMPROVE KIDS’ LIVES

A good coach has the ability to use their dedication to improve their skills and gain recognition. And when kids see others being rewarded, they also want that attention. They will work even harder to become better players.

When it comes to soccer or any activity they enjoy, professionals have the opportunity of teaching them core values, such as teamwork, respect, work ethic, concentration, problem-solving, imagination, leadership.

When they train enough, they won’t only achieve success in their activity, but they will also be able to transfer those values and confidence to other areas of their life. This is why it is so important to keep them motivated.

 

HOW TO CELEBRATE THEIR VICTORIES

How do we find a way to inspire them to never stop improving? One of the best options motivation experts recommend is using acrylic awards. By doing this, every time those kids see those awards, they will feel special and believe in themselves, even when they lose a game. They will have a desire to work hard and achieve more awards.

They start using their best abilities, especially when they can receive crystal awards. It makes them feel special because they know their award is unique.  

 

ONE LAST PIECE OF ADVICE

In essence, the work of creating a winning soccer team is not always easy for a coach. However, the best coaches that kids enjoy training with understand the importance and responsibility of leadership.

The best leaders know how to make kids find reasons and rewards in putting more effort towards a meaningful goal. What’s more, good leaders know how to make athletes become leaders for their teams as well.

One of the biggest lessons a soccer coach can teach them is that nothing in life is guaranteed, even if you have the best training in the world. The most important part of a team is to solve problems together in order to achieve victory.

By doing this, coaches do a great service in creating successful people in life while enjoying what they do.

Toy Story 4 LEGO sets have arrived!

 

Toy Story 4 LEGO sets at Walmart

 

I can hardly believe it has been 24 years since the release of the first Toy Story movie!  As I had my own kids, I introduced them to the movies and now they have a new release to look forward to: Toy Story 4!  

As with other awesome Disney releases, LEGO has taken it upon themselves to create some fun, new sets.  From what I can tell, most, if not all, are recommended for ages 4 and up.  Here is a peek at them!  

 

Buzz and Woody’s Carnival Mania – includes 4 Toy Story figures, bumper cars, ice cream shop, and carnival shooting game.  

 

 

Carnival Thrill Coaster – includes Buzz Lightyear and Alien, and a fun coaster ride! 

 

Duke Caboom’s Stunt Show – includes Woody and Duke Caboom along with a stunt set that includes an exciting ring of “fire.” 

 

Buzz and Bo Peep’s Playground Adventure – features Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and Gabby Gabby Toy along with an adorable little playset 

 

RV Vacation – features Jessie, Alien, Forky, and Rex along with an easy-build RV 

 

Woody & RC – includes Woody and 3 tiny green army men and a fun imitation RC car (wouldn’t it be fun if it was really controllable though!) 

 

So which is your favorite set?  I think these sets really come together and could be a lot of fun!  I can’t wait to see if they add to the collection.

 

It’s Time to Take Rain Gutters Off Your To Do List

 

It's Time to Take Rain Gutters Off Your To Do List

Most homeowners have a to-do list of one type or another. These to-do lists usually feature a wide variety of projects. It can include everything from cleaning out closets to working on the gutters. People usually come to these lists with a sense of exasperation. It’s essentially an adult version of a chore list.

Ironically enough, it’s that relation to home care that keeps many of the projects so intimidating. People do tend to approach them in the same way they would their childhood chores. This attitude neglects the great thing about being a homeowner. You actually have the power to change how you go about the chores.

Take gutters as one of the prime examples that people usually have on their lists. Cleaning rain gutters is usually seen as a rather thankless and tedious endeavor. And to be sure, that’s true with the average rain gutter. The problem is that most people assume rain gutters are all the same. There was a time when that was the case. And the result is that many homes come with these flawed one size fits all solutions.

But today’s rain gutter is quite different than what people were stuck with in the past. The first thing to keep in mind is that location matters. For example, gutter installation Madison WI style is different than the Florida style. The term style isn’t just about aesthetics either. The style also applies to the gutter’s style of construction and design. 

But getting to that point means first circling back to the nature of the gutter design. People often forget how much construction methods have changed over the years. New materials have made their way onto the market. Formally expensive materials have become more affordable. Even transportation costs have changed quite a bit over time. This means that the gutters installed on the average home aren’t anywhere close to the quality they could be.

Basically, not all gutters are created the same anymore. Upgrading to a gutter system better suited to modern times and your own location can make a huge difference. It can even dramatically reduce how often you need to clean your gutters. For example, higher quality mesh guards can take a huge amount of the work out of gutter cleaning.

A high-quality mesh guard will keep the majority of debris outside of the gutter. Meanwhile, the actual rain will still be fully handled by the rain gutter. Mesh guards are a good example of how much time changes things. The construction would have been costly and generally prohibitive just a few decades ago. Now, they’re easily affordable for almost any household.

Something similar holds true for construction material. Vinyl was the norm in most locations for a considerable amount of time. And this also marks a return to the idea of regional style. Vinyl can be fine for many areas. But locations such as Wisconsin have rapid shifts between hot and cold weather. Freezing weather alone is often enough to crack vinyl. But rapid shifts in weather ensure a gutter will quickly begin to underperform. It’s also one of the big reasons why gutter cleaning tends to show up on people’s bucket lists so often. They’re essentially trying to compensate for damaged gutters that don’t match their climate.

But on top of everything else, there’s something else that makes a big difference with people’s relation to their gutters. We tend to think of rain gutters as a rather expressionless part of our home. People often think of a rain gutter in the same way they would a garage floor. The floor in a garage differs from the rest of the house in needing a lot more strength and support. It also gets dirty enough that people don’t see a point in decorating it.

This used to be the case with rain gutters as well. But today’s rain gutters use all of the techniques brought up so far to increase overall efficiency. They do the job so well that they can be efficient and elegant without losing anything. In fact, this is one of the reasons why rain gutters are getting attention in the general press. People are starting to notice that rain gutters can add to the beauty of their home. And in doing so they’re also finding that they can stop worrying so much about gutter cleaning showing up on the to-do list.

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