Category Archives: Family

New Year

Today marks the start of the school year for my children and hundreds of other families around the country.  We scrubbed our little darlings, dressed them up in their new outfits and sent them off into the world to learn, grow and, hopefully, have a great day.

This year we are marking distinctive first days for all three of our children.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Someday…

A few months ago my oldest daughter, Madison, mentioned to me that she might like to be a librarian when she grows up.  I tried not to burst with pride (I am an avid reader and bibliophile) and probed her carefully.  “What makes you excited about the idea of being a librarian?”

“I love books.” She told me in her matter of fact, Madison way.

Again, I felt like I was going to burst with pride, but what she said next concerned me.  “Books let me escape the world.  You know.  All the stress and anxiety of every day.” (Yes. My ten year old talks like that.  I am convinced it is the result of her being an only child who hung around with mostly adults until she was six.)  “Sometimes it’s better in books.”  That blew my mind.  Stress and anxiety?  Why does my ten year old prefer the company of Hermione Granger and Percy Jackson to her real life?  What am I doing wrong?  I began to have a mini panic attack.  Determined to get to the bottom of things, I casually asked her a few questions.

“What is so stressful to you?”

“You know, stuff.”

“Is there anything I can do for you?  What are some things causing your anxiety?”

“No.  It’s fine.”

I sighed.  This was getting us nowhere.

“It’s like this.  I get up and go to school and that’s real.  And I like my friends and I love my school. But…”

And then, in the midst of my overreaction (I was sure she was going to tell me about some life shattering issue she hadn’t shared with me), my daughter said the most amazing, prophetic thing any child has ever said (to me at least).

“We all need a break.  I may just be a kid, but school is like work to me and when I get home, I just need to relax sometimes.  Books are like a vacation I can take anytime I want.”

My heart swelled.  I love this kid.  Her ability to put complex emotions into the simplest of terms never ceases to amaze me.  So maybe Maddie will be a librarian someday.  She always tells me how the librarian at our local library is one of her personal heroes because she introduced her to so many of her favorite books when I had run out ideas. Maybe someday she’ll lead the next generation of kids to forgotten classics and brand new worlds.  Maybe…

We’re having a party!

Woohoo!  I love a good party and celebrating my kids is one of my favorite things to do.  Throw in a lot of good friends and a few moon bounces and we’re ready!  Last weekend we hung out with our close friends and family to celebrate my girl turning four, but this weekend is the “REAL” party with all of her little friends from school.

Tomorrow we’re headed for Bounce U!

I wish they had inflatable playgrounds when I was little. You had to rent these bad boys back then!

Shaking things up…

Usually I post recipes and delicious food photos on Tuesdays, but today I’m shaking things up for two reasons…

First, I am absolutely crazed this week with Grace’s birthday party, the classes I am taking and our upcoming trip to Florida.  The second reason is that I have some really cool things going on in my life that I want to share with you all.

As I said before, I am taking classes again.  Not for credit or at a college or anything, but I am taking a few classes online.  Four to be exact, but two of them are self paced independent study course.

Christina Katz, the on and only Writer Mama, is the person who inspired me to start this blog and create a platform for myself where all of my mothering, cooking, remodeling and living could be captured in a single space.  Her class, Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff, makes pros out of Mamas like me who need a little help getting started.  I know how to put together a functional sentence or two, but her class, even in this first week appears to be exactly what I have been looking for all this time!

Another class I am taking, Media Bistro’s Social Media Marketing Boot Camp, is a pretty interesting class as well.  I am using the class in order to learn how to promote Dedhico, the remodeling company my family owns.

The most exciting thing of all that is going on right now, however, is preparations for the girls and me to head to Florida next week!  From digging out shorts and sandals to trying on suits and dresses, we are in full on prep mode.  Of course there is a lot of REAL work to be done before we head out (two kitchen designs and a slew of contracts to write up), but the preparing for the trip part is much more fun!

Mads is ready!

I’ll drop you guys some cool recipes from sites I love later in the week!

Happy Birthday Grace!

My baby girl turns four today!  I cannot believe she has gotten so big.  It is absolutely amazing to see the beautiful person my little lady is growing into.  Wish her a happy birthday!

Four years old today!

Reading… It’s what we do!

As I have said before, my family is a family of readers.  From my husband and me all the way down to our youngest little boy, Michael, we love books.  Although everyone (except for two year old Mike) has an e-reader, I am still and always will cherish the weight of a book in my hands.  Someday I will build a house that has a two story library with one of those cool winding staircases in one corner, but I digress…

For a while, I felt like I was running out of books for Madison to read because I felt like she had already read most of the “good” books I read when I was younger.  I try to steer the kids towards quality fiction (Think Island of the Blue Dolphins or Little Women) and away from what I refer to as “junk food books” (Dork Diaries, Captain Underpants, etc.), but as long as they are reading, I am happy.  Anyway, after listening to endless weeks of Focus on the Family radio (more on that another day), I decided to try out some Christian fiction for her and we have, thusly, adopted the Lily series into our home.

The Lily series is, in my humble opinion, one of the best book series for young girls, Christian or not.  While there is an emphasis on finding your faith in God and accepting Jesus, I think parents of all faiths can look past that and see the quality moral values taught in these books.  Each one of Nany Rue’s fiction books has a non-fiction counterpart designed to guide young girls through the changes they are facing as they prepare for and pass through puberty.  Heavy stuff dealt with in an age appropriate and very fun way.

My personal favorite duo is “Lily the Rebel” and “The It’s MY Life Book.”  As most Mamas (and women in general) remember, being a teenager is a time when your parents just don’t understand you, you are constantly emotional and things can be just plain tough.  This book talks to girls in a way that they can understand about why it’s not cool to be disrespectful to your parents, how to talk about that feeling you get when you want to rebel and constructive ways to transition from being a kid to having responsibilities.  And it does so without talking down to them.  If you’ve ever been a preteen, you know how much they LOVE to be talked down to.

None of our kids are perfect and, as they get older, they are going to make more mistakes.  As parents, we have to give them the tools to deal with their increasing responsibility without overtly preaching to them about what they “should” be doing.  The last thing kids want to do at this age is what their parents say is best for them.  It’s better to help them find it out on their own.  Since reading this series, Madison has really taken more of an interest in helping with her siblings, being more kind to others and her attitude has improved markedly.  Methinks the two may be related…

For more on the Lily Series visit http://www.nancyrue.com/originalsite/tweenhome.html.

Here are some other things we are reading around here:

Everything Dr. Seuss is loved in this house

My son will know the proper names of construction equipment/vehicles. I went a little nuts and wrote the producers of Bob the Builder a scathing letter after they referred to a front end loader as a bulldozer. There's a difference people!!

What is your family reading these days?

The Absent Minded Child

I am currently reading a fascinating book called Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson.  After reading just the front cover, I knew that this book was for our family.  I have two small children, Grace (3) and Michael (2) and an older daughter Madison (9).  While the characteristics do not show up in Grace and Michael (yet), my Madison displays many of the scattered traits that are discussed in this book.

I can’t say I blame her.  I am incredibly scatterbrained and probably am to blame for a lot of the qualities she displays, but if you are a parent to a scattered child, you may find the information on executive skills  (think “executing a task” not “business skills”) in children.

To order the book on Amazon visit: http://www.amazon.com/Smart-but-Scattered-Revolutionary-Executive/dp/1593854455

For more information on Peg Dawson’s work visit: http://www.learningworksforkids.com