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Showing posts from December, 2011

Bad Parenting???

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Parenting is a tricky balance.

Parenting by Love and Logic says that you let the kids make choices and then they deal with the consequences of those choices.

So is it wrong if they make a not so great choice and you help to give the natural consequences a little push?

I have a child who refuses to wear a coat.  We are living in 30 degree temperatures and this child wants to wear short sleeves and no coat.  I understand the whole wanting to be cool thing, but I'm not a fan of sniffles and colds being brought into the house to be shared with everyone!  So, yes - I have a child who is going around in short sleeves when it is cold enough to have snow on the ground!

My question is is it bad parenting when we go to the store and I park the farthest away possible and take my sweet sweet time walking through the parking lot?  Is it bad that we "forget" something and have to go back to the car?  Is it bad that we forget where we parked when we come out of the store so we have to sp…

I've Made the Big Time - well... sorta..

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Not to brag... but I am going to right now so if you don't like that kind of thing turn away!!

I think it is pretty cool that a South Tahoe Travel site has linked up my blog to use on their site!  I was contacted awhile ago about it and they are even using some of my pictures from my travels in different areas on the site!  How cool is that?!!  So go check it out!  It is full of great tips and information about South Tahoe!  Go to http://tahoesouth.com/blog/ and look under Related Resources.  You will find me there!!  Adventure and Attitude blog!  Now to find a way to get back there again!!!

We want to be a Muppet!

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The other day I took the kids to see The Muppets.  I think I smiled through the entire movie!  I loved that I recognized characters and songs that they sang.  What I loved the most was when they performed like they used to on the original show.  It reminded me of SNL actually just more of a kid friendly version!  Even my 16 year old enjoyed it!

When we got home, A got another taste of what it is like to survive in this household with me.  We found some of the songs that were in the Muppets on youtube and proceeded to sing, dance, and act them out!  I was the leader closely followed by Lola and Tyce.  A tried to pretend he wasn't watching our fabulous performances.  I'm sure he was asking himself if all Americans are as looney as we are!  When I got out my tap shoes he shook his head and left the room.  (That's right! I do have tap shoes and still can pull out a mean buffalo!)

The little ones were delighted, the dog was confused, and A was no where to be seen! (Jackson wasn&…

Do Over

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Driving down the road, I couldn't take it anymore so I pulled over into a parking lot.  The screaming behind me didn't stop.  You would have thought that someone was being strangled, but no, they were fighing over something.

The cause of the turmoil that had been going on for at least 10 minutes behind me (felt more like two hours) was ....drum roll.... a stinking...... piece...... of yarn!! Yarn!!  Really?

After I pried the yarn out of their white knuckled hands and laughed an evil laugh of how riduculous they were for fighting over yarn I calmly took the yarn from them and explained that it wasn't ok to scream that they were being killed while I was driving, I made one of them exit the vehicle.  Why would I do something like this?  First, I couldn't stand the screaming and fit throwing and second, they needed to be separated and know I was serious about staying put and them sitting in the parking lot until they could behave!!

I was able to take a breath and remove my…

Winter Break...how many more days???

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Yesterday we spent a large chunk of time on homework.  That is to say A and I spent a large chunk of time on homework.  Or rather he sat next to me while I tried to tackle the homework with as much input from him as possible. 

He has an English project to do about Columbine.  He and I tackled a timeline of April 20, 1999 yesterday.  By the time we were completed, I was so depressed about the events of that day that I resorted to eating half a jar of chocolate - yes I drown my sorrows in chocolate..

I remember coming home and watching the news in our living room and seeing the coverage unfold.  I remember crying for all of those children in the school and the families.  Now that I have my own children I can't even begin to imagine the anguish those mothers felt when they heard something was happening in their school.  Last year, when there was a bomb threat at the elementary my children attend I could barely stand it!  Such senseless violence.  I am very thankful that our schools t…

Bah Hum Bug???

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It's two days after Christmas and my home is completely clear of all things Christmas. 

I used to wait until after New Years, but not any more!  Does this mean I hate Christmas?  Absolutely not!  I am just thinking ahead and being practical.  All of the big boys were home so they could help me put everything up in the garage.  Do you know how many times I have done it on my own only to topple over and break things!  I'm lucky I haven't broken any bones! 

So yesterday I decided they could all help me wipe out all the signs of Christmas until next year!  Mission accomplished!  I love the decorations for Christmas, but I am relieved to have the house back to normal again.. until the next holiday.

Why does this have to be so Difficult???

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I don't understand it.

Do they think the Barbies or cars are going to magically jump out of the package and run away?  Really?  Do you need 20 zip ties to secure a tiny toy to cardboard?  It takes me more time to get all of toys out of the packaging then it does to find them in the store, stand in line to pay, and then wrap them up!  Don't you think it is a little excessive that I have to have an arsenal of tools on hand to get a toy out of a box?

Does Barbie really need to have her hair secured to a plastic casing?


This just annoys me!  It isn't made any better when you have children in such a frenzy to play with the toy they appear as if they will try to gnaw off the plastic if given the chance!

Merry Christmas!

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I don't usually post on Sundays, but I thought I would wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  I hope your day went as well if not better then ours has gone so far! :)

The kids were instructed not to wake anyone up until 7.  I heard them about 6 getting dressed and brushing their teeth.  Ry and I didn't get to bed until almost 1 because one 8 year old wouldn't go to sleep!  After the Christmas Eve celebrations with lots of family, all of the sugared desserts, having to make a last minute run to get milk for Santa, putting out milk and cookies, sprinkling reindeer food outside, and trying to put together a game with A, he could barely think straight, but couldn't sleep a wink! 

At 7 on the dot they plowed into our room announcing it was time!  This is what I saw waiting for me:


They did well waiting for Mom to quick throw something in the oven and get her camera before stampeding down the stairs to get A for his first American Family Christmas (which he told us was his b…

It's just a look...

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There really is only one thing that is the BEST part of the holiday season!  (aside from Jesus being born that is...) It makes all of the chaos, stress, and ridiculousness go away in an instant!  The extra sweets, the tired, crabby children, the rolls of tape, the shopping, the cooking, the trying to see everyone and making the rounds are all worth it in the end with just this one moment.

It's the look on the face of my kids.  It's the look of wonderment when they hold the candles and sing songs on Christmas Eve.  It's the look they get when they believe in the magic of Santa.  It's the look of excitement when they see gifts under the tree.  It's the look of pride when they hand a gift to a loved one.  It's the look of surprise and thrill when they open something they love!  It's the look of pure joy when they give their cousins or grandparents hugs!  Those looks make everything else manageable!  (when those looks are gone, however, all bets are off!)

Christmas Cards...

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I LOVE Christmas cards!  Really, who doesn't?  It is super fun to go to the mailbox each day and pull out a stack of cards to open.  I think it is the highlight of the day for the kids...and maybe me ;)

My favorites are the picture cards.  I love the pictures with the families and the pets and whatever else people feel the need to reflect the holiday spirit!

I always have huge ideas of what I want to do for our Christmas cards.  Year after year I set up the scene and do my best to capture it, unfortunately the children don't always agree with my vision...  This means I have to change my plan and meet theirs in the middle.  Ultimately, I end up pulling pictures from the year instead of the photo session I set up.  Here is our photo session this year...







Yup, I had awesome plans for these pictures, but when a kid looks like he is trying to poop - not sure you want that on your card!  In the end, this is what I ended up with...



With the fun part done, now it is time to get down to …

Best Cookies EVER!!

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Today I decided to make the best Cookies EVER!  They are chocolate marshmallow cookies and oh so so good!!  The last time I made them I did it all from scratch.  There were a ton of steps involved and it took a bit of time, but the results were fantastic!  This time, however, I wanted a faster version of a good thing so I looked around and found two different recipes.  I tried both and they both turned out fantastic!  (at least that was the vote by the kids!)

Box of Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 cup of oil
2 eggs
- Mix the above together and put on a greased cookie sheet (I spray foil with cooking spray and put the cookies on there)  The smaller the scoop of cookie you put on the sheet the more guaranteed you are to get gooey marshmallow in each bite!
- Bake at 350 for 6 to 7 minutes

-Cut large Marshmallows in half while the cookies are baking.  When they are ready to come out, put half of the marshmallow on top of the cookie and bake for 2 more minutes.
-Take the cookies out and put them on …

Out of this World Advent Calendar

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Each day the children have been opening a new door to our Advent Calendar and placing a figure on the board.  There are stars, angels, shepherds, animals, wise men, Joseph, and Mary.  The 24th door has baby Jesus in a manager.  Each day as they take out a new figure I tell them the story, recite a verse, or sing a song that goes along with the story.  This is where they have chosen to place the figures on the scene:

It seems that gravity didn't exist back in the time of Jesus!  The Wise Men are riding camels, however, so someone did listen to something I said!  If you ask Jackson what is going on, there is some kind of battle with the angel shooting stars!  Not sure if it is modern day television or their imaginations that have created this topsy turvy scene!

I Found a Dead Body!

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Twelve foot waves are really intimidating!  Even four foot waves can mean a face full of sand and a suit around your ankles! (thank goodness for frothy water and people being busy fighting the waves so they don't notice - at least I hope they didn't - maybe the fact that we were in a different country made it a little more acceptable)
While jumping over monster waves in Mexico recently and trying to avoid humiliation when they got the better of me, I couldn't help but remember a time I was jumping waves in Lake Michigan when I was 13 years old.
My family vacationed in South Haven every year.  We camped in the state camp ground.  I have many fond memories from those summers!  The families that my Dad worked with at the Nuclear Power Plant would all get together and camp at the same time.  We rode bikes, had camp fires, swam, raced remote control cars, picked raspberries in the woods, and caused one form of mischief after another!  It was actually during one of these summer ca…

Great Aunt

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I am officially a Great Aunt!  I have always been a pretty great aunt, but now I have the offical title!  My nephew had a baby boy!

While I am super excited that he is entering into a new phase of his life, I am a bit blown away at the realization that my sister in law and brother in law are now grandparents which in turn must mean that I am pretty stinkin old! 

Time just flies by way too fast!  I still picture my nephew as the boy I used to watch playing baseball and hockey!  I remember hiding beneath his window and scaring him and "sharing" his candy on Halloween!  Wow things have changed!

Congrats Jake and Bri!







The Greatest Invention EVER for a puppy!!

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Preparing your house and life for a puppy takes a little planning!   I had ideas in my head, but our little one came into the house way before I was expecting him so I wasn't able to plan it all.  To get ready for his arrival I did get a crate or cage so he can sleep in it and stay in it while we are away. I also got a little play pen type fence that I have set up in the kitchen. Being that he isn't house trained yet, I wanted to be able to put him somewhere when I couldn't keep a close eye on him!



Tyce calls the "play pen" Tucker's cradle and often is laying inside of it with the dog!  I walked by the other day and both Lola and Tyce were in the cradle with a blanket and Tucker snuggled between them! 

They are both also big fans of his crate.  They don't want to put the dog in it; they want to play in it!  They will get in it one at a time and ask to be locked in.  Thankfully there is really no danger to them playing it the cage!  Sometimes I think they…