Inspiring Family Traditions: Simple Pizza and Movie Night

Later this afternoon I'll set my bread maker to "Dough" and away we'll go.  Children will gather and we will measure ingredients and get the dough mixing.  Later, they'll oil the pan, roll and stretch the dough, spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, and add the toppings.  It is an easy task for little helping hands and they love to watch the pizza puff and bake in the oven.  These are simple delights in our kitchen, but ones I hope they'll remember.  I especially love that this is becoming a set … [Read more...]

Teaching Children to be Creators, and not just Consumers

The joy of creating, with Play-dough :)

As a person living in 21st century America, it might seem that our whole existence revolves around consuming. We consume readily available food and drink, we buy clothes and items for our household, and we consume larger than ever amounts of media in all its different forms. Truly, if we are honest with ourselves, we spend much of our time each day in "consumer mode" without a second thought. Consuming is not an evil in and of itself, but it can become addictive and can lead us to become lazy … [Read more...]

TP-ing: Can we please stop this before my kids get to middle school?

On Saturday and Sunday mornings as I drive through the neighborhood, I inevitably see a couple of homes and yards that have been artfully decorated with long white strands of toilet paper. Every time I drive past one of these homes, I think to myself about how annoyed I would be if I woke up on Saturday morning to find toilet paper all over my trees and bushes, and I inwardly groan! Our neighbors have a new 6th-grader, and just last weekend they spent 3 hot and sweaty hours getting the TP out of … [Read more...]

Dress My Tween – An Update

IMG_7170

I want to thank all of you who gave advice on dressing my tween, I think we have made some really good progress!  Here are some of the things I learned from you:1) Spend more, be choosy, have less.She is old enough to take care of her clothes, and the styles at the big box stores are too tacky, so we had to spend a little bit more.  This meant that I just bought one dress for church, and I paid full price.  We found a cute sweater dress at Gymboree.  It cost $39, which is really actually … [Read more...]

Apple Antics

Red and I took our families on an apple picking outing at a nearby family owned orchard.  This is the 4th year that we have picked apples together, and it struck me that annual projects like this really allow us to see how much our children have grown.  We brought 12 children to the orchard, but they really were easy to manage - two babies in Ergos, two toddlers helped by older sisters, two preschoolers who could walk alone, some big boys who could toss a football when they were tired of p … [Read more...]

Life Lessons from Lice

Over the summer, one of the more unpleasant experiences that our family dealt with was that of having several family members with head lice. The experience came at a most inconvenient time, as we were traveling to visit family and developed strep throat along the way. However, we dealt with the lice, and within a little over a week we were lice-free. Here are some unexpected lessons that I learned from our experience:1) Keep calm and carry on: Try hard not to let something like lice make you … [Read more...]

The Art of Being

We are in full swing into the new school year with classes starting and sports and activities filling our afternoon schedules.  It is a bustling lifestyle and one which my kids seem to enjoy.  They love taekwondo and the discipline and focus it demands.  They greatly enjoy soccer and the chance to run around with their teammates in the fresh fall air.  They don't like piano, but they are doing it anyway.  Mom's request.  Learning a musical instrument is a lifelong skill and a gift they can pass o … [Read more...]

Clothing advice for tweens?

Holly and Mary1

So, we have established that we don't want a "sweet and sassy" girl, but does anyone have any suggestions for better tween fashion options? My oldest daughter is 9, but quite tall, so she wears a size 10 or 12. For school she can wear khakis or jeans and a cute top, it's still pretty easy to shop at Old Navy or Land's End for her casual clothes, but she needs some outfits or dresses for mass and other dressier times. This summer, she wore little cotton Lilly Pulitzer shifts (bought super on sale … [Read more...]

Surviving Survival Mode

Our school year routine is beginning this week, and it has made me realize that I am totally out of practice.  It has been three years since we had a baby in this home school, and we had moved so far out of survival mode that we do not have the habits required to get through this very intense time with sanity intact.  After a messy couple of days, here are some of the things that I will be working on:1. Stick to the schedule - get up on time, serve meals on time, go to bed on time.  If ne … [Read more...]

Bikinis and the Male Brain

Check out this video clip in which author Jason Evert discusses a Princeton study on the effect of a bikini-clad woman on the male brain. … [Read more...]


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