Go Climb a Tree–at the Library

A few weeks ago I wrote that we were having a "We aren't reading" kind of summer. The truth is that we've actually spent a lot of time at our local library. And, while I'd like to think that the librarians know me and the kids because of the extensive reading we do, I'm afraid our notoriety is mostly based on the excessive fines we pay (I know I can renew on-line, but do I?) or for how we (ok, the four boys) monopolize the reference librarians' time by requesting EVERY Mindcraft book in the … [Read more...]

Starting a Family Story within the Larger Story

I've started to think of family. . .whatever the configuration. . .as a story. There is a larger story of the extended family--ancestors and family history and traditions. Then there is the story of the immediate family--the daily things and events that make up the days and years of our lives together. There is an amazing beauty, though, when the immediate family story is celebrated by the larger family. That is what happened for us over the weekend. This is Amie (my niece) and Allen. In … [Read more...]

How Well Do You Know Your Child?

I bet the answer is not as well as you think you do. Sure, you might know her favorite kind of music or his least favorite food, but do you know developmentally where your child is? Do you know if the behaviors he or she is exhibiting (especially those that are driving you crazy) are typical for his or her age? This was the topic of this evening's parenting class I'm taking from parent educator, Geri Clouse. You can find her website and the classes she offers here. Her classes are life … [Read more...]

Get in the Christmas Photo, Mom!

So I've had two different conversations with friends who don't want to be on their family's Christmas photo card. Both conversations have gone like this: "I'm just going to take a picture of the kids. I've gained so much weight this year." I know how you feel. I thought for sure that I'd be wearing at least a size less this year. . .you know the clothes in that bin on the top of my closet shelf. But, the fact of the matter is, I'm not. Oh well. And even though I did try to photoshop a few of … [Read more...]

The Six Words that Will Encourage Your Child

I want my kids to do well in EVERYTHING they do. Ok, maybe I'm not that concerned with them getting the top scores in their video games. But when it comes spelling tests. . .soccer games. . .piano lessons. . .Accelerated Reader (AR) points, I often think that my constructive advice or nagging about practice schedules is encouraging them to do their best. I believe that both my years of experience (who doesn't have a certain amount of wisdom after 40+ years) and my omniscient mom awareness … [Read more...]

IT’S LABOR DAY. And I’ve updated my LinkedIN profile

Here it is Labor Day and I'm just hanging out with my kids. Nope, not working a lick. Well, I unloaded  and loaded the dishwasher, prepared four breakfasts (one bowl of cereal required four different cereals and two different kinds of fruits), picked up three from a sleep over, and made seven lunches and a pan of brownies for a Labor Day get together. But, really I'm just hanging out today. Labor Day has me reflecting on labor. . .and that has led me to think about LinkedIn because that is … [Read more...]

I Will not YELL for an Entire Year Challenge

Are you like me? I can hold it together pretty well with the chaos of my children for most of the day. But, come nighttime I end up snapping. By the end of the day I crave—desperately need—think that I will die if I don’t get some--alone time. I mean “the quiet, please no one talk to me, let me engross myself into something other than children and chores” time. Today is a perfect example. We went to the zoo. First we bought three buckets of popcorn, then we rode the zoo train, walked … [Read more...]

Water Balloons on the Last Day of School

For the past three years I've met my kids at their bus stop with camera in tow to record their last day of school. I like the idea of going full circle because I caught their first day of getting on the bus in August. But, after reading a post someone sent me on the cool things that fun moms do (and the grouchy, laundry-laden mom in this house could use a few tips), I thought that I would mix it up this year. WATER BALLOON FIGHT! I spent the hour before their getting off the bus, while … [Read more...]

To the moms who have multiples between the ages of 12 months and 3 years: There will come a time. . .

There will come a time when you will return to the scene of the crime. The one place where you lost control. . .where chaos reigned. . .where complete strangers asked if you needed help. . .where one child ran away laughing while you ran after him (not laughing) with the other child tucked under your arm like a football. You will return with a picnic in tow. . .pulled by the child that ran from you laughing. And, that child WILL GET HIS OWN LUNCH OUT OF THE COOLER WITHOUT NEEDING ANY ASSISTANCE … [Read more...]

The Other side of our Night Away: The sitter’s story

You can read about Scott's and my night away here. But there is another story. . .the story about how Patti, the sitter, ended up with only two hours of sleep that night. Our dear friend Pattie, who has know the children since we they were one and two years old and Dylan since he was born, agreed to watch the children for us while we went to the Lyle Lovett concert. Little did I know that Scott arranged for her to spend the night so that he and I could have our first night away from the … [Read more...]