## Christmas to-do list

Well, friends, the first Sunday of Advent is here, and I have to admit that I have not even printed the "begin in October to have a chance at a good Advent" to-do list.  Our kitchen is gutted, our house is a construction zone with boxes everywhere, and my calendar is looking like a spreadsheet, but I do need to make sure that my family has a lovely Christmas somehow.  I have learned over the years that when I start to get anxious and when I start to forget things, a to-do list is my first step a … [Read more...]

## Tricks and Treats From the Archives – Halloween Math Activities

As we get our costumes and treat bags in order, I am making a short list of math concepts which I want to be sure to touch on during this year's Halloween Candy Math unit the first few days in November.  For my kindergarten and first grade students, there will be sorting by one attribute, tallying, counting by twos and fives, single digit adding and subtracting with m&ms, graphing m&m colors and working different types of graphs, probably a bar graph and a pie chart.  Yum, candy pie!  Fo … [Read more...]

## Do you believe in Magic?

A little boy opened the bedroom door and looked up at me, tears in his eyes and a tooth in his hand.  "She didn't come," he said, lip trembling.  I pulled this puddle of disappointed cuteness on to the couch, close to me and almost into my bathrobe and decided to level with him."I have to tell you, buddy, there is no tooth fairy, it is parents who switch the tooth for money, it is supposed to be me, but I forget.  When you go to bed, I go to bed too, I am just too tired at the end of each da … [Read more...]

This post is part of a series on Thrive by Arianna Huffington.  Please read the first post here and the second post here and then join the conversation. Thrive highlights "the third metric for success" which is well being, wisdom, wonder and giving, working towards over all and holistic wellness.  As I continue to ponder this "metric" within the context of family life, I have been hitting against the idea that "well being" is really not an attainable goal for many people for a v … [Read more...]

## Thrive Family – Sleep is for the Strong*

I was so glad to read J's post yesterday, because her thoughts about family meal time fit in perfectly with striving for Well Being, the first pillar of Thrive.  With back to school time upon us, Autumn is a great time to think about habits that lead to Well Being and help set us up to Thrive on good days and bad.  Thrive includes lots of advice and evidence about our need for the right amount of sleep each day.  One thing that really helped me was the research that shows that we are more ef … [Read more...]

## Thrive at Home

I am a striver.  I know that I was born with a lot of advantages, and I worked hard to make the most that I could of the opportunities I had.  I took that same outlook into married life and parenting.  In almost 14 years of marriage, we have been constantly working to move forward, sometimes, as with a new baby or a big move, putting ourselves into "survival mode" for a while in order to get there.  My life has a rhythm to it: strive, survive, recover, systemize, coast briefly, burnout, repeat.  … [Read more...]

## Vinaigrette Idea

We are having crab cakes this 4th of July, and I am going to serve corn on the cob and a big green salad. As a change for our standard balsamic-dijon, I thought the flavors of this citrus vinaigrette looked great, and will work nicely with the the seafood. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/citrus-vinaigretteI love planning big family meals like this, and having time to put some attention into the details! … [Read more...]

## Small Changes for Modesty and Dignity

Ladies, I am finally willing to admit that I have entered the middle phase of my life. My life revolves around parenting, house maintenance and hoping to get today's bills paid before something else breaks tomorrow. All in all, it is a good phase of life, I am happy, and I am making an effort right now to embrace it with dignity and grace. I am of that indeterminate age, somewhere between 35 and 50, and I have noticed that I can't tell anymore whether the other parents around are older or … [Read more...]

## 5 Things in Summer

I am all about structured freedom these days, for myself and for the children. Menu planning and my grocery shopping system have totally changed my life, and more order in other areas has been very liberating.  I will have lots to say in the coming weeks about the new way that we are structuring household chores, but in the meantime, what about a little structure for summer?  I know that summer is the best time for my kids to have lots of free time, but I also want them to use that time pretty w … [Read more...]

## Thoughts for Thursday– Reunions Edition

What am I cooking?Green smoothies.  This is not really cooking, but I have gotten in to a smoothie routine that really works for me.  About once a week, I make a blender full of a combination of spinach, a whole lemon and fruit.  That becomes the base and I put it in mason jars in the fridge.  In the morning, I add some sliced frozen apples and a splash of plain Kefir and blend that again.  Portable breakfast (or lunch) that is healthy, delicious and almost instant.  I am finding that this is … [Read more...]