Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

jennifer-pearce

Nutcracker Rehearsals begin!

Connie with her Russian dance partner

It’s Nutcracker time again, and my little dancers couldn’t be more excited. Something interesting about having two children in the same activity is how differently their talents and skills are used in the same situation.

Connie’s big sister Maggie has gravitated towards “acting” parts, most notably as Fritz in last year’s production. This year she was cast as Herr Drosselmeyer.

With Connie’s energetic stage presence and acrobatic ability, she has been cast in the more high-energy parts such as Russian and Polichinelles (Gingerbread). This year she was cast as Russian again, but with new choreography in a duet with another acrobatic dancer.

She is …

sharon-knosky

Celebrating Reading Success

Anna is five years old and has just completed her third week of first grade and she is reading.  I am so pleased with her progress at this time.  We are using the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) program, a wonderfully designed Christian education program that covers the full scope of education.  Their reading program is an intense phonics approach, but giving my background in language and literacy, I added in some of my own things that have been tried and proven by students that I have taught in years past.

We used the kindergarten program last year, where Anna learned each of her alphabet letters, how to write them and the …

sharon-knosky

Library Reading Kits

Did you know that the Onslow County Public Library has reading kits that you can check-out?  They aren’t just for preschoolers!  If you have a kid aged 8 and younger, you could benefit from these free kits.  You get to keep them for two weeks!

Because we have grown a vegetable garden this year, I was curious to know if the library had a reading kit on gardens.  They do!  There are several on vegetable and flower gardens.  I checked out one on vegetable gardens to use with our first week of school.  I like to start our day with a read-aloud.  Even big kids like to be read to and …

sharon-knosky

Play Dates

It’s summertime, so grab some PB&J’s, make a cheese and cracker tray, make a carrot and celery tray with ranch dip, and set out some juice boxes, board games, legos, coloring books, and puzzles.  Then invite a family that you know that has some kids that are near the age of your kids and have a play date.

Parents can even enjoy some time of talking and maybe even partake in a game or two!

When is the last time you invited friends over to play?  It doesn’t just have to be for the kids.  The adults can mingle and have fun too!

It is important to have some friends that also have …

jennifer-pearce

Too much texting–MOM!

One of the reasons I like to send my kids away to spend a week with their grandparents is that they get to bond more when I am out of the way. Their relationship is no longer defined by me as the middle man. My favorite times with my grandparents were the visits when my parents were not around.

This year I accidentally interfered with that vibe. Now that both girls text (Connie through her e-mail account), it was really easy to communicate with them without my being aware of what was going on at Grandma’s house. Monday night, I contacted Connie’s big sister to see how her camp went, and …

sharon-knosky

Building Character

Sticker chart with reward on left and chore chart on right.

I have written blogs in the past about chore charts and how I get my children to do chores.  The charts have been successful and they have become good little helpers around the house.  This school year, I decided to vary the chart a bit.

I typed up on the computer a chore chart (basically a bulleted list) for Anna and one for Adam.  I put things on there that I knew that they each could do independently.  If they complete their chores each day they earn stickers on a chart.  This chart also gets stickers …

jennifer-pearce

Grandparent Camp is a little more “exclusive” this year

For the past six or seven years, Connie has spent a week of the summer with my mother and stepfather in Charlotte. This year was a little bit different because she had them mostly to herself.

Each year, Connie and her sister make the trip together. Also, she has two younger cousins who live in the area. Typically, those cousins spend a big portion of the week with my daughters.

Connie is best of friends with her cousin Mary Katherine, who is very close in age. When the two of them get together, they hardly acknowledge anyone else!

This summer was different because her cousins were at Walt Disney World during the week …

sharon-knosky

Minor Disappointment

No tomatoes and no melons.

Calling all gardeners!  I need help!  I have made previous posts about the wonderful bounty from our garden.  The cucumbers, squash, zucchini, sunflowers, turnips, lima beans, green beans, and mustard greens did well in our garden.  However, the tomatoes, watermelon, honeydew melons, and cantaloupe didn’t do so well.  They all made fruits, but they didn’t ripen.  They rotted on the vine or just didn’t develop fully.

So what did we do wrong?  I am at a loss for how to make things better for our next garden.  I was so pleased with the things that did turn out, but I must say that …

jennifer-pearce

Watercolor Lessons in Emerald Isle

As I wrote earlier in the summer, Connie has been saying for years that art is her favorite subject, and I wanted to enroll her in a second art camp this week. Unfortunately, it filled up while I was sorting out our summer plans.

Fortunately for Connie and me, a new art studio opened in Emerald Isle, Loon Street Art Studio, and they specialize in lessons for kids. Connie attended a two-day mini camp last week and had a great time.

The class created “stained glass water colors.” They drew pictures, used a sort of black glue to outline their pictures, and then painted them the …

sharon-knosky

Where Does It All Fit?

Many moms ask me how I do it all.  How do I stay at home, cook, clean, teach the kids, and do extracurricular activities? And I do it with ease so they say…making it look easy.

Often I laugh and say I don’t know how moms who work outside the home juggle it all and make it all work!

But for those of you who really wanna know, this is how I get it done.

I get up early in the mornings with my husband.  This allows me to get my thoughts collected for the day in some quiet.  He and I get to see each other before he goes to work and …

 

Health News

A Living Donor

I have previously blogged about organ and tissue donation.  It is a close …

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