A Letter to My Son

Sorry I’m sending this again, the link didn’t take before. So let’s try it again.

I love this letter! It is a great reminder of the things we should be teaching our boys and girls. Our girls should read this too so they know how a boy should treat them.

When I was younger I said I would have my boys opening doors for me at the age of 2. I have to say I haven’t accomplished that yet, but now that the little dude is 7 I should start working with him on it. Every girl loves a boy with manners!

Please click on this to read the post:

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How Are You Going to Change the World?

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This question was asked of my 1st grader’s class. “How are you going to change the world?”

And my son’s answer was, “I’m going to be a football player.”

My reaction, “How is THAT going to change the world?”

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And then came his beautiful explanation.

“Well when I’m a football player I’m going to help up all of the players when they get knocked down.”

Well, shut my mouth.

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WOW. Wouldn’t that change THE WORLD if we ALL just helped up those who got knocked down around us? We don’t have to pick them up, or hold them up. We don’t have to stand around for years supporting them up. But if we just help them up. Just a friendly gesture, a good sportsman like move, an encouraging statement. It would go so far.

That’s how I want to change the world too.

Thank you little man. I love your wise words.

Boo Baskets

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Halloween “Boo”ing.

We were introduced to this tradition when the kids were really young. And we LOVE it. We make up some cute little baskets of goodies to share with our friends and neighbors and then…

Drop it. Knock. RUN.

We used to get caught all the time, but now, we are able to make the get away without anyone seeing us. Usually. Unless someone falls down (which does happen). Or one of the smalls has a change of heart and starts to go back to the door. So many things can go wrong when five little kids are trying to be sneaky! It really is difficult for us to pull this off. But we are getting better.

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And sometimes I think the kids hope to get caught!

But half of the fun is in putting the cute little packages together. We usually buy some treats and a cute container. Then we type the letter and stick it in. This is the one we have been using for a few years now:

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There used to be some rules that went with it about putting the sheet on your door so people knew you had already been boo’ed and then boo’ing two or more people in the next week. blah blah blah..

But we scrapped all that. Who doesn’t want to be boo’ed more than once? And it isn’t a chain letter. Spread it if you want and don’t if this isn’t your year! We don’t need any more pressure as moms, do we?

For some fun inspiration, here are some ideas for boo baskets that we are considering this year:

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I think this last one is my favorite, I’m just not sure I will be able to pull it off. Some years it is just so much easier to go through the dollar isle at Target and pick up a simple little container, throw some candy in it and voila.

So if this is your type of thing and it totally energizes you to do it, then by all means pass it on! Either way, I hope you are all boo’ed this year!

Rainbow Art Party

Well, the birthdays just keep coming! This one was really fun, and fairly easy.

Theme: Rainbow Art Party
Age: 10

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We opted to have it in an art studio where an artist instructed the girls on painting a picture. Each participant painted their own so they came out unique but “the same”.

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Invitations: I designed these and had them printed up and we mailed them out about two weeks ahead of time. They didn’t say “NUM.1” on them, obviously. Who names their kids such things?

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Activities: We started with some food and chatting while we waited for everyone to arrive. Then we began the painting. The teacher instructed them on the background and while they waited for that to dry they took a break for dinner. After dinner and snacks, they finished their masterpieces.

Food: We had pizza delivered for our main course and with it we had rainbow fruit and veggie platters. As a treat I let the girls have some soda with straws and “clouds”. they came out so cute! Then while they returned to painting we had some rainbow candy to snack on.

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Cake: Since I didn’t have time to make my own double decker rainbow dot cake, I made a run to the grocery.  They said they usually needed 24 hours notice, but since I am a “special customer” they would make an exception. So sweet! But since I don’t know them, and because this is a big chain grocery, I’m sure that’s what they call all their customers. But it didn’t matter, I needed a cake and they were happy to help me out in a pinch.

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About-Kylie

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Decorations: I made rainbow puffs and stuck them on sticks in jars. The food was as much decoration as anything. Then I added a pennant, personal poster and the glasses with straws and clouds topped it off.

The girls had a lot of fun, and it wasn’t too difficult for me either. Fall is busy 🙂

Children Experiencing God

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I pray that my kids will experience God in a real way everyday. I pray that as they encounter God in their lives their faith will grow and they will see who He is for themselves. Not just what their Sunday School teacher says, not just what their parents say, or worse, what their friends say. But that they themselves KNOW that God is real.

I pray these things, but I don’t always get to be there when it happens for a child.

But the other day, I did have the opportunity to see God at work. Number 1 and I have had many, many conversations about appropriate books and inappropriate books for her age lately. And I have come down on the “too protective” side according to her (and some of her friends). Maybe so. But I made the decisions (with some help from http://www.commonsensemedia.com) to help guard her heart and mind UNTIL she is ready to deal with such topics.

This isn’t about how over-protective, or permissive I am as a parent, It’s about how number 1 saw God in our conversation that day.

As I explained to her why I didn’t feel those books were appropriate to read yet and why it mattered, I quoted:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

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She looked at me and said, “you just read that off my paper.”

No, I hadn’t.

But sure enough, there it was written right in front of her and as I quoted it, she looked down and saw it for herself. When I told her that in fact I had not seen that written there I looked at her and said, “God just spoke to you. You, my sweet girl, just had a moment with God. Believe that.” And in her reaction I know that she knew it too.

Thank you LORD!

My Favorite Fall Kids Craft EVER

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This has to be the cutest idea ever. I had two kids do this craft in preschool and all the parents were nuts about it. The only problem is that you can’t keep it since it is all organic material, but the pictures of them will last forever.

Each child received a small pumpkin and they had all sorts of food, ribbon and material to decorate with but mostly food. Each child got to pick out what they wanted to use for eyes, a nose, mouth, ears and hair if they wanted. Then the teacher attached them to the pumpkin for the children with corsage pins.

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This is a great idea to do at home and then use as your halloween table decoration!

How to Talk to Your Kids About 9/11 (Or Not)

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You may be thinking, “your a little late aren’t you? I could have used this advice yesterday.”

Hang with me, you’ll see.

My kids weren’t even a thought when 9/11 happened. But once I did have a few kids I wondered how I would ever talk to them about that awful day.

How can you tell your innocent, sweet, precious child about such things? Well, I didn’t think about it long enough to actually come up with a good plan for that day. I guess I hoped it never would.

Silly me!

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One day my husband and I were on our way to a wedding with two of our kids. We were all dressed up looking nice and pretty.  It was Labor Day weekend and the anniversary (I think the 10 year) was coming up in a few days. My husband needed to run into a drug store for something so he left us in the car while he ran in. The three of us were sitting there listening to the radio while we waited quietly. Almost immediately after my husband got out of the car the announcer started talking about the 9/11 anniversary and the events of that fateful day.

Then the questions started coming from the back seat. “What happened, Mommy?” “Were you there?”

I new I had to say something. I could’t change the subject, they were too old for that trick. They were sitting in booster seats now! So like most uncomfortable topics I decided to tackle it head on with enough information that they know the truth and know that I will give them answers and not hide things, but not so much that I tell them more than they need (or want).

So I just started. “Well it was a really scary and sad day…” This, that and some other things were explained and when I got to the part about the men on the 4th plane that took it down before it hurt anyone… I lost it.

I mean, LOST IT.

There I sat talking through my sobs like a child. Eyes pouring tears. Mascara running down my face. Trying to catch my breath. I was a sight.

Then one of the girls (and mind you the OLDEST at the time was only 6) let me off the hook and said, “Mommy it’s OK, please stop crying, you are going to ruin your makeup.”

So I pulled myself together. Quickly. And the conversation was over.

My husband came out of the store and got back in the car.

No one said a word. It was months later before any of us told him what happened that morning in the car. I would have, but I was too embarrassed and I am sure the girls didn’t want to get me started again by saying a word.

They did get a good laugh out of it when we finally broke the silence – months later.

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So yesterday I finally had the opportunity to redeem myself and handle this teaching moment with poise and grace. This time number 2 was asking me questions because it came up in class.

Well, I failed again. I was a little more graceful about it, but not much. OK, maybe not at all. I’m just wishing.

So my advice to you is that you should definitely consult someone who has it all together on this topic because I have no idea what I am doing.

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I can only pray that through my tears they know I will talk to them with transparency about anything; that I am a real person with feelings and that feelings are not only OK, but normal; and that 9/11 was serious and life altering for our country, a piece of history to know and understand; and that they should go ask their dad all about it.

So while I can’t be of much help, I do wish you the best of luck in your conversations!