Family & Budget Friendly, Summer Fun

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Summer vacation is upon us. Okay so technically it’s not summer until June 21st, however for Educators in the Western Hemisphere, school’s out and we’re just easing into the long awaited phenomena that is summer vacation. Insert ‘woooooosah’ right here.

Summer for me as a child meant freedom, relaxation, exploration, discovery and making new memories. This still holds true in my adulthood, except that now that I am a mother, my focus is my children and their happiness. Ergo summer vacation is no longer all about me, but all about them. With a brood of 4, 1 of whom is an adult, 2 of whom live at home full time, and the youngest, my extra heartbeat, resides with us every other weekend… I’m seeking summer fun that is bound to be family & budget friendly. I was semi prepared for this entry as I’d already began to etch out a list of activities to do with the kiddos over the course of the next few weeks. After a little research and some careful thought, here is the list that I have compiled, 12 activities total, tweak, rearrange, edit to your liking. I suggest you check out local activities in your area and by all means do get as creative as possible. Have an amazing summer…

Have Fun? Will Travel! My hometown is pretty small as far as hometowns go. I cannot quote you the population by heart but there is 1 grocery store, 1 elementary, 1 traffic light/intersection. I’ve lived in larger cities, see Atlanta GA, Altamonte Springs FL, Fayetteville NC. If you’re lucky enough to live in a large city, your summer activities are sure to be plentiful. But if you’re like me, you’ll have to travel with the family. My top 6 activities require a bit of driving.

  1. The Zoo. This one’s easy, right? Well, here in Georgia, every library has this golden ticket. Really it’s a dvd titled, Zoo Atlanta Family Pass. And guess what that dvd gets you? You guessed it, a free pass to Zoo Atlanta! But not just 1 pass. Upon borrowing this cd from your local Georgia library and returning it unscathed (lol), you will receive 4 family passes to Zoo Atlanta. From my exact location, Atlanta is about a 3 hour drive. In comparison to having to purchase tickets for every single family member, I’ll take the drive time. Tip: Feed the family breakfast, fill up the tank, break out the cooler, pack a lunch & put it on ice. Then all that’s left to do is sit back & enjoy the ride. Admission for 4 FREE!!
  2. Beach Bum Lazy Hazy Summer Fun in the sun days! I live on the east coast of the United States, Georgia to be exact, and we just so happen to be 1 hour’s drive from the nearest beach, which is Tybee Island Beach. But get this, there are beaches running all up and down the east coast so depending upon the direction we choose to travel in, we could be lounging on a beach within 1 – 3 hours. Here they are: Tybee Island, Jekyll Island & St. Simon’s Island (Georgia), Amelia Island & Jacksonville Beach (Florida), Hilton Head Island & Myrtle Beach (South Carolina). Admission FREE!!
  3. Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge and Okefenokee Swamps. Local to Savannah. I didn’t fully research these. There’s an admission fee. I’m not exactly one with bugs and gators and creepy crawly things, so you’re on your own with this one. Lol.
  4. Noah’s Ark… http://www.noahs-ark.org/ Locust Grove Georgia, between Macon & Atlanta. My family & I absolutely adore this place. There is no admission fee, however upon entrance there are donation boxes posted. This location is an animal refuge. The peacocks are walking free. The wolves roam in expansive enclosures. There’s even a habitat that houses a lion, a tiger & a bear… Go ahead and say it, I know you wanna… Oh my!!! If you don’t do another thing this summer, go here, you’ll be glad you did. Not local, check out similar programs in your area.
  5. Library Movie Nights & Theater Matinee. Check local listings & websites, however my fave is just pick up the phone & call. Press 0, talk with a rep, get the deets (details). Does your local library host summer movie nights for the kiddos? What about your local movie theater? Is there a discount for noonday matinee? Do tell!
  6. Picnic at the park. We’re about a quick car ride from one of Georgia’s State Parks. Pack a picnic and after everyone has eaten, give the kiddos time to play.               That was round 1 which as you can see, required a little drive time, some near, some far. Now on to at home summer fun. Enjoy.
  7. Have a little back yard fun… Stargazing. Grab a blanket, a citronella candle, some insect repellent spray and wait for nightfall.
  8. Have a little front yard fun… DIY Slip & Slide! There are all kinds of videos and how to tutorials. Pick one and have a blast. Just add water!
  9. Get in the kitchen & cook up some memories. Whip up a family fave or create some new concoction. The point & the plan is to have fun. Make a mess. The bigger the mess, the bigger the memory.
  10. Go for a walk. It can be around your neighborhood, at your local park, or some other area you’d like to explore. Make it a nature hike. Bird watch. Whatever you do, just get out & get walking.
  11. Make a cool, sweet treat. Fruit juice, craft sticks (optional), paper cups, ice cube trays or invest in reusable popsicle maker, they come with cute, colorful plastic sticks.
  12. Last but not least, my favorite of this list of summer fun activities… Read a book! What was your favorite book as a child? What summer memories will you help to create for your family?
  13. BONUS ACTIVITY: Get creative & make some art. There’s a local rock painting group in my area, Tattnall County Rocks, and it well, it totally rocks!!

Enjoy your summer, Katandra Jackson Nunnally, CEO at FreedomInk Publishing http://www.freedomink365.com/about_the_publisher

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

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21 Things That I Love About Being A Mother…..

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21: Knowing that I’ve been a mother for over 1/2 my life and that I’ll never outlive that fact. (I gave birth to my firstborn a few months before I turned 18. This year he turns 21.) *Jermaine born 1997-age 21 this year
20: Growing up. No matter what age a woman becomes a mother, there’s no other force in this world that calls forth for maturity quite like becoming a mother… And at 17, I personally still had a lot of growing up to do! Crash course anyone?
19: The title alone is a worthy gift within itself. I’m not so insensitive that I’ve subconsciously forgotten that not every woman will be a mother in this lifetime; be it physical mechanics of the dynamic or by choice. Mom. Ma. Momma. Mommy. Madre. Mother. The closest name to it is the Creator himself. #LifeGiver What do you call your mother? What do your children call you?
18: The mind-blowing phenomena of cradling, nurturing, hosting & finally expelling a female from your womb. Brain explosion. Sons are special, this is true. But a flower birthed of your flower and being privileged to watch her grow outside of you… Call me a biased Gardener, but MY daughters are the most beautiful flowers in His garden. Doesn’t every mother think so!?! *Kailyn born 2000-age 18 this year
17: Having my own character tested, again & again, majorly thanks to that forever pushing Mom to the brink, middle child of mine. Grrr!
16: My personality, tweaked, magnified & reflected back to me like some sort of cruel and unusual punishment. Ever heard your mother say, “I pray that your kids are just like you,” ? Ever heard her say this and you haven’t even reached child-bearing years yet? That means that you my dear have been more than a handful and the only justice she deems fit is not if, but when you receive a dose of your own medicine! Sidenote: She can’t wait to see it unfold and she might even say, “Told you so…” Thanks Mom!
15: The youngest. The last. My baby. Motherhood has a start. It begins with the firstborn. And unless that child is an only child, there’s a beginning-a middle-and an end. Bittersweet knowing there won’t be more pitter-patters after hers. But who wants to have a houseful of children? Not me! We’re readying wings and looking forward to an empty nest! Secretly looking forward to grands in due time. *Ashley born 2003-age 15 this year
14: Cutting through an extension of my own flesh. The unbiblical cord is not something you give much thought to unless something is wrong. I was offered the opportunity to ‘cut the cord’ with my lastborn. It’s part gross & part gratifying. A mom moment I’ll never forget!
13: Cooking for my crew. There was some trial and error in my early days of motherhood. Thankfully, all but one was to young to remember and he remembers EVERYTHING and nonchalantly brings those remembered incidents up at the worst time.
12: Filter. No filter. My children have taught me to be more open, more outspoken. Opinions are like wild horses around here. They run when & where they please, and reigning them in could seriously get somebody hurt! In each other we’ve created some No Filter having Monsters and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
11: The absolute control of the most sovereign ruler and those ever powerful control terms… No. Because I said so. My house, my rules. You don’t pay no bills here. And with that every sane child is put in check. All hail Queen Mom.
10: Built-In-Besties!! That is of course after we all survive the teenage years.
9: Over the years I’ve loved discovering & cultivating my children’s gifts, skills & talents. Be it sports, knitting, art, I’ve enjoyed taking delight in the things that delight them.
8: The sweet symphony of arguing! I know those old school mamas were quick to slap a mouth, but these ain’t the old days. We each have opinions. Sometimes those opinions clash. Sometimes that clash is loud. And that’s alright. I’m building character over here. I don’t won’t to send them into the world too afraid to speak, to dull to form an opinion of their own.
7: Bonus babes are the best! I have my husband to thank for that. Not blood of my blood or flesh of my flesh, still he holds a very special place in my heart. Happy Mother’s Day to his mom. *CDN 😍😊😘💕
6: Not that I aspire to Hollywood or Broadway, but I do adore being center stage. Three pair, no make that four pair, of eyes are on me. I don’t take this fact lightly.
5: Imparting my knowledge & expanding upon theirs. I love being their first teacher!
4: Labor pains! It’s a pain you’ll never forget but after you hold that little bundle, that pain magically disappears. I mean it becomes such a vague memory that we do it again, and again after that!
3: Those 3 being living, walking, talking representations of myself, and so much more!
2: Being the soundboard and there is no sweeter sound in the entire universe than their cries, their voices, their arguing, their opinions.
1: Love. L-O-V-E. Unconditional, unrelenting, never-ending, unnerving at times, lol. But it’s a love that enters and consumes and never lets go. I love being a mother and I love that love that is only born of your children!

👍 my Facebook page! See ya there! ❤, Katandra Jackson Nunnally

https://www.facebook.com/freedomink365ceo/

Denim Day 2018

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A jury deliberated! Innocent! How could her Professor rape her? The denim pants she wore were too tight! Surely she must have assisted him in removing the garment that stood in the way of what he wanted! Broken the girl who is raped because the ‘provocative’ style of dress she chose was just screaming for nonconsensual sex. Are my jeans too tight? Does my cleavage entice? Do you understand the concept of an invite? N🚫 means N🚫 means N🚫!!! Got it?
#DenimDay2018
#NoMeansNo
#TealWeHeal

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Author, Katandra Jackson Nunnally

https://www.facebook.com/freedomink365ceo/

First Childhood Memory

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A first childhood memory must be as rare as a unicorn sighting for someone who’s had an ok childhood. But for the adult survivor of any traumatic childhood event, first memories are like ghosts of a Christmas never had. When I was 10, My biological father molested me. The abuse lasted up until the summer before my 13th birthday. I mention this because events prior to this are very hazy. One can’t simply choose which things she (or he) would like to forget without the threat of repressing more than bad memories.

But if I squeeze my eyes hard enough and tip-toe quietly and tip-toe past the sleeping beast, I might be able to recall in the least, an early memory, a memory of me before rape became a part of me.

There used to be this great big ol’ tree in my great aunts yard. This was the home of childhood family gatherings, Thanksgiving in particular. Well, I used to climb that tree. No fear. No trepidation. No hesitation. No solid ground beneath my feet. Just me & that tree. I loved it up there. The higher the better. Closer to the clouds is where every Dreamer desires to be. I was fearless then. Childhood was innocent. Life was sweet. And I was still a little girl.

CEO & Writer at FreedomInk Publishing, Katandra Jackson Nunnally. Like us at Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/freedomink365ceo/ woman climb tree.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart

All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood, one Reader’s point of view (a brief review)

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Let’s just be honest. I was both delighted and disturbed. The silent strength and quiet resilience of both Wavy & Kellen won’t soon leave me. Read with caution! Strong language, sexual references, drug use, child abuse and a very unlikely friendship turned relationship will have you most likely delighted and disturbed as well.

As a reader it’s easy to get caught up in the tragedy of young Wavy’s life. She’s forced to grow up too soon and much too fast so that she can take care of herself and younger brother. But there’s only so much an 8 year old can do. Along comes Kellen. He takes care of her and slowly Kellen becomes much more to young Wavy aside from the caretakers her parents consciously throughout the narration choose not to be. In return Wavy fills a lonely void in Kellen’s life; that void where he fantasizes about putting the gun in his mouth, pulling the trigger and painting the ceiling with his brains. Yes, it’s that graphic. More than a caretaker, Kellen is Wavy’s friend, and that friendship grows into something more.   It’s like you’re reading it, forgetting how old she is but remembering how old she is at the same time!!! Does that make sense? As an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, I could literally feel the shift as the dynamics of Wavy’s and Kellen’s friendship deepened. The invisible line drawn in the sand was constantly being tested and realigned. My feelings were all over the place as each voice gave their side of the story. The title of the book couldn’t have been more appropriate either! All the ‘ugly’ and ‘wonderful’ things. Life and love and loss can most certainly be both ugly and wonderful.

Please, please, please, rather you loved or loathed the book, these bonus/deleted scenes penned & blogged by the author are certainly worth the read. Chicago, Part 2 is my favorite alternate ending of all. You’re welcome. https://mailchi.mp/f6a0a4f7f8b3/atuawt_alternate_reality

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, one Reader’s point of view (a brief review)

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My book babes at RISKY business (Reading Is Sexy, Kill’em with Your Intellect) had me reading this one as the majority are into mystery, murder and mayhem. This book had it all. Lo is quite a memorable (unsteady) character, given her medical history and recent traumatic events. The blood, the scream, the splash are all it takes to set her over the edge. But when logic can’t be made of the suddenly empty cabin, Lo begins to second guess herself. Her paranoia and inability to stop digging lead her right into a trap. Now there are 2 cabins empty and the plot, it just keeps on building till the very end. Major suspense. A surprise around every corner, literally.

Same ol’ or Something new

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I’m always on the lookout for a new blog prompt. That’s what happens when you choose to blog about the things that interest and intrigue you, completely at random. With that said, I’ve received a response from real-life friend, Facebook friend, fellow Blogger, Marla Crews, to create a blog entry about how much has changed (or has not changed) in my life in the course of the past year. Great topic to contemplate as a new year sets in. Seeing as how we’re in the last days of the 3rd month of this so-called “new year”, I won’t reflect in that typical way, January to January. Instead I’ll approach the question atypically given the month we are in and reflect from last March up until this March. Forgive me if I’m brief or not overly detailed, a lot can happen in the course of just a day. We’re talking a week, a month, a year of days.

What has happened? The big chop happened in 2016! Shortly after, I dyed my hair blonde. This past year (2017) has seen bolder strides in my every step. Just recently I dyed my hair red. Who was it that said a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life? Dying one’s hair may not seem like a pivotal moment in one’s life. What constitutes a major change? A grain of sand could set the dam overflowing. Prior to dying my hair red, I’ve become much more vocal, much more adamant in advocating the importance of sexual abuse awareness. The louder my voice, the more urgent my message, the more I find myself an unexpected spokesperson in this arena.

 

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I started a book club. I’ve read 20 + books over the course of the last year. My husband and I traveled to Cleveland Ohio at the tail end of winter and ran into some bitter weather, but we still had so much fun. This March we had plans to visit Boston but that Nor’Easter forced us to choose plan B when there wasn’t a plan B, so at the spur of the moment, Jeremy & I decided we’d travel west instead of north. Houston Texas was beautiful! Let’s see… Last summer we became homeowners!!! We’ve rearranged several rooms in said home. I celebrated my 2nd year as a Co-Teacher. Just this very moment I’ve decided that the only way to know if my first fiction novel will be accepted is to write it.

Overall, these things listed and a few not listed prove what? That much remains constant, same ol’ me or that with any change, even dying one’s hair, the scenery changes even if it’s ever so slightly and that small degree guarantees that something new changes everything!

Shout out to RISKY business. Keep reading!

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