School’s Out!

Swim practice

It's that time of year again - the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation! In all honesty, it starts feeling a bit like summer break once swim team starts in late April - the countdown begins when we start donning goggles and swimsuits every afternoon for swim practice. I told my son that I couldn't believe that he was going to be a 5th-grader next year, and that I was just getting used to the idea of him being a 4th-grader. He told me that I should start calling him a 5th-grader … [Read more...]

Vegetable Labor

English cukes go fast around here

Feeding family vegetables is hard work. Hard, but necessary, I get it. A combination of: being raised in California, reading Michael Pollan, and fulfilling the duties of an Army wife to keep her husband trim has honed my focus on getting fresh vegetables into my crew. Let's face it, men will only eat vegetables that are washed and cut and put in front of them. Also Texas Mommy forced me to make all my own baby purees, and, consequently all four children are great consumers of produce as well. … [Read more...]

Another One Year Old

Today, we are celebrating our daughter's first birthday.  She is our fourth child, so we have a first birthday or two under our belts.   Yet, every time we go through the one-year mark, I am amazed by how much I still have to learn about this stage (or every stage, for that matter).  Is our house child-proof?  I thought so, until two weeks ago when our little lady started furniture walking.  What foods can make her choke at this stage?  Never mind my medical training.  Can I possibly make … [Read more...]

Call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle!

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My 8 year old son recently told me I needed to be more like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, who just understands children. In a certain sense I agree, I could be more patient and understanding at times, but with the huge caveat that I don't have a cupboard full of magic potions to cure many childhood bad habits. We have been going through a "Heedless Breaker" stage (if you are familiar with the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories), and, while I am all for natural consequences, the bill for all the things broken … [Read more...]

Virtue is Beautiful

My kids and I love the original version of this song, yes we are all saps, and I appreciate the spirit behind this version put together by some Mormon guys. What do you think? Pre-teen swoon potential for our girls as they learn to treasure their dignity in a broken culture? Or too ironic and silly to convey a delicate message about beauty and virtue? … [Read more...]

Opening Day of Spring Baseball

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I've died and gone to heaven... … [Read more...]

Make Spring!

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My kids have been begging constantly to fill the kiddie pool in the backyard. I keep telling them that we will when the temperature reaches the 60s and sunny. This morning, after putting breakfast dishes away, I discovered them playing in the pool, clad in swimsuits, in the 45 degree morning rain. They were just happy that the pool was filling steadily with rain water, hypothermia or not. If Philadelphia hands you an everlasting winter... make spring! … [Read more...]

“Grit”: What is it, and how can it help our children to succeed?

Good morning, friends! Recently, our school newsletter had a great column about how we can build the quality of "Grit" in our children, which is another way of saying "persistence" or "perseverance." The column included a link to a Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, which I found to be excellent. It is only 6 minutes long and well worth your while. I have included some of my favorite quotes below: ...what if doing well in school, and in life, depends on much more than your ability to learn … [Read more...]

Time is flying by…

My sweet baby turned the big "1" on February 23. *Gasp!* A few days ago I was sitting on the floor in her room watching her dart — yes, practically dart — from toy to toy, giggling, bobbing to music, waving at the dogs, and looking up to me for approval. I smile back always at times like this. She is so full of life and I love it! While in one sense it is so hard to believe that a whole year had passed — a hard, easy, fun, non-fun-one depending on the hour and how sleep deprived I was … [Read more...]

Celebrating in Style

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Yesterday, we celebrated the 4th birthday of a very excited little girl. She couldn't wait to try on her new party dresses, and even wore one of them to nursery school this morning. Honestly, I think that our youngest is just excited that she is closer to being one of the "big kids," although I'm not sure that the rest of us are quite ready for that yet! Our big decision for now is whether to send her to Pre-K at the big school with her older sister - all day, every day - or to keep her in our … [Read more...]


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