Washed Ashore: Georgia Aquarium's Newest Exhibit AND Giveaway!

Our little scientist really keeps us on our toes. He is the first to remind me to put the paper in recycle and sometimes he even lets me know he turned out of the lights as he left my room. Hint hint, mom.

T loves nature, animals, and all things outdoors. At Dauphin Island last spring, he collected shells but also picked up litter as we walked along the shore. I love him. I just love him. 

As you might imagine, he was THRILLED when I told him our family is renewing our dedication to reducing waste by partnering with Georgia Aquarium. After our recent trip, he declared "I love that the aquarium is not just about the shows mommy." He's right. There's so much more!

Through September, the Aquarium is hosting a very special exhibit-Washed Ashore:Art To Save the Sea. The exhibit offers an artsy twist on the global problem of ocean pollution featuring 13 larger than life pieces all created from ocean debris. Now T loves art almost as much as he loves nature, so he is very excited about this exhibit! 

Since June is World Oceans month and this awesome exhibit is so close to home, we decided to create our own piece of art using a few recycled materials.
T and "Elephant's Dream"
Now N and I have no idea where he found all of these bottle caps (obviously our neighbors,) but we were so happy he found a good use for them! He painted his cardboard with watercolor, placed his caps into just the right elephant shape, then added a newspaper scrap tail. 
This masterpiece is now proudly displayed on our mantle. I can't even tell you how much we love it. It shows his creativity and passion for animals. I have no doubt the Washed Ashore exhibit will leave me feeling the same way! 

Would you like to see for yourself by winning 4 tickets to the Georgia Aquarium
(Admission to Washed Ashore exhibit is included with general admission!) 
1. Use at least 3 items that you would normally throw away or recycle and turn them into art! 
2. Post a picture of your creation on Facebook or Instagram! 
3. Tag @mymommyreads, @georgiaaquarium, and tag #TrashtoTreasure and #SavetheSea.
4. Proclaim your family's commitment to reducing ocean debris!

One winner will be randomly chosen by midnight Friday, July 8th. 

Looking forward to seeing your art! 

The BFG Freebies!

Have you read The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl? I'm going to be really honest and tell you that we have had the book on our shelf for maybe three years and I had no idea what it was about. When I read the blurb, it gave me the hivvy jivvies. (I am such a wimp!) 

When T saw the preview for the upcoming movie, he said, "Hey, don't we have that book?" Yes, yes we do. I tried to change the subject, but he went to look for it and then he said, "Can we read it?" 

I think we know what happened next! While I still got the hivvy jivvies a few times, we both enjoyed the book. The language is amazing and the silly words from BFG are fun to read and play around with. "Am I left or am I right?" has become a common phrase in our house. 

Will I be reading it to my first graders? Nope. Am I so glad I read this with my son? You bet! 

I know older grades read the book in class and I know others read it just for fun. Maybe you are going straight to the movie though! That's cool, too! No matter how you choose to enjoy The BFG, I have something to share! Our friends at Disney have given us a couple of very cool FREEBIES! Click on the picture below to download several BFG coloring pages and some totally awesome two sided bookmarks! 

Disney's The BFG hits theaters July 1st! Click here to follow the fun on FB

Summer Lovin'

Let's be honest. When summer rolls around each year, teachers are happy, really happy.

It is not because we do not love our students, we do. I do. I really do. There are other reasons out there you know? 

Here are a few of mine:

1. I have two, super cute little boys and one pretty cool husband at home and I love them, TOO.
2. I want to go to a workshop to learn something new and not have to do sub plans. UGH! Sub plans!
3. I want to stay up late reading a book-any book I want, and not have to teach small people the next day! 
4. I want to shop for my classroom and future students. It's true. I've already started.
5. I want to plan stuff that might not ever happen and dream up big, elaborate lessons and make lists that will never be completed and jot down ideas that might not ever come to fruition. I want to write! 
Teachers love summer because it is a break. It is a much needed break. We need to recharge, not only for ourselves, but for our students. 

With that, happy summer teachers! Cheers to you and whatever your reason is! 

A First Grader, A One Year Old, & The Georgia Aquarium

We were invited to the Georgia Aquarium over Spring Break to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. What a treat!
I knew the area would be packed with out of town visitors, so we arrived early on a Sunday with a plan in mind! T and I visited the Georgia Aquarium site and put a loose schedule together for our day! High on his list was a visit to see the NEW Sea Lion show and of course, all of the touch tanks! 

We started with trips through River Scout and Cold Water Quest. We were watching the clock though so we could be in line for the Sea Lion show! 
While only about 20 minutes, the show was great. The trainers spoke about the sea lions, their habitats, their food choices, their strength (WOW!) and the Aquarium's conservation efforts. But was it T's favorite part of our full day? Keep reading!
After touch tanks, more touring and oohing and ahhing, we took a walking break with the 4D movie-Happy Feet! Again, the length was perfect for our seven year old and the content was fun and educational. From here, we decided it was time for a snack! The aquarium has added several options for snacks since our visit last year. We were impressed! 
Our next stop was a trip back to the belugas we had seen earlier in the day. T needed to see them "one more time mommy." I don't blame him. They are so beautiful and playful. I am a fan. We then went back to see the Africa penguins, because really, who couldn't use a little more penguin in their lives? Did you know you can check out the penguins from home on their webcams? My class is super excited about this Georgia Aquarium feature!
We went through the tunnel o' fish (not the real name, but that's what T called it) and M was mesmerized. Watching the boys watch the animals was a highlight for me. It's just sweet. While this was big hit with both of the boys, it still wasn't T's favorite part! I was shocked!!
Do you see the diver giving a thumbs up behind him? T thought that was soooo cool!
We went on the Ocean Voyager and saw the belugas being fed, visited even more touch tanks, and learned several new fun facts about some of our favorite creatures.  But was this our little scientist's biggest hit of the day? Not quite.
Another fun feature are these little "mini-experiences" around the aquarium. You can take selfies and have them emailed to yourself of shared on social media. Needless to say, we took advantage of this activity!
We really wanted to see the Dolphin Show because it has been revamped for summer, but M was maxed out! I have heard rave reviews of the new performance that really showcases the dolphin talent! Next time!

As you can see, they have really made some upgrades to the Aquarium. I have always enjoyed our visits,  but I feel like our customer experience (including the super friendly staff inside) was so amazing this time. They are ROCKING their 10th Anniversary and they want us to help them celebrate! Check out their special offers page for deals and start planning your visit now! 

Learn more by keeping up with the Georgia Aquarium on FB, IG, and Twitter!

But really, what did T say his favorite part of our day was? 
My favorite part was the Sea Lion show. I've just never seen anything like that before and I learned why they are in danger. It was really cool and Scout made me smile. 

There you have it! I wonder what your favorite part will be? 


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