Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Tag Archives: children

You ever have one of those moments when your kid says something that just hits home with you? I had that moment this weekend. We were in the car going from one activity to the next when the conversation started. I love talking with my kids in the car. None of us are going anywhere. We’re all stuck in a small space which encourages all sorts of conversations. I’ve seriously had some of the BEST conversations with my kids in the car.

But back to the specific conversation this weekend.

Darling Daughter: I’m so glad you and Daddy are friends and like each other.

Me: Of we course we’re friends!

Darling Daughter: Yeah. I’m also glad you’re friends with Little Ducky’s mommie and daddy. (Little duckie is a baby who goes to our church. She was dressed as a duck last Halloween and hence forth is called Little Duckie by my kids).

I’m so glad you and Daddy are friends and like each other.

Wow. That hit home. My little 8 year-old notices a lot. I’ve always known without a doubt she and her brother know they are loved by their parents and each other. I’d always said kids pick-up on things even when parents are trying to hide it. I’d say that, because I’d learned that in school. I’d say that because I knew kids often, without thinking, share how their parents fight or when money is tight. But for some reason when it came out of her mouth, it really hit home.

I’m so glad you and Daddy are friends and like each other.

Such simple words made a huge impact on me. Yes, my husband and I love each other. Our marriage isn’t perfect. He annoys me sometimes, I annoy him sometimes. I can HONESTLY say we don’t really fight. We bicker every once in a while. But that’s not common at all. We have this MUTUAL respect for each other. We try very hard to talk things out before they become a BIG issue. I pray everyday that we can continue to do this. That we can WORK together to continue to build a wonderful marriage.

We’re not PERFECT. At all. But we sure do work hard at this thing called marriage. We don’t put on a face for the kids. We are real. We work hard to do family things together. My husband and I laugh together, tease each other, and work through things. All in front of our kids. They see us having a good time and problem solving together.

I never realized those little things, impressed on her. But she noticed.

Mommie and Daddy are friends. They like each other. 

What are your kids noticing from you? What do they think of your relationship with your spouse?

Last night our school had a fundraiser at a local restaurant. I took my daughter and we met one of her friends and her mom. The place was busy and noisy. The girls were giggly, loud, and squirmy. The service was slow as expected due to a great turn out for the fundraiser. Despite having to reel the girls in a few times, we all had a good time. Then it came time to leave. My daughter knows we don’t go running out of a store and towards the parking lot. I’ve reinforced her the need to stay close to me. However, last night all the excitement had gotten to her and I was a little worn out and tired from the day. She and her friend took off running out of the door and toward the parking lot. I yelled gently at my daughter and she kept running. So, I yelled firmly using her whole name. I rushed to her because she was running to far for my comfort zone. I immediately scolded her for her behavior.

Her punishment was to get into the car while I and her friend’s mom finished our conversation. We were trying to plan a time that we could get together next with the girls. After I finished the conversation and helped my daughter find her missing doll, I reconfirmed to her that I loved her very much but her behavior was inappropriate. I told her that her actions were not safe and even if we were having fun we had to be safe and listen.

And then the tears came. Huge crocodile tears were pouring down her cheeks. She was upset and sad that she’d disappointed me. She was embarrassed she’d gotten in trouble in front of her friend. She felt very, very bad for be disobedient (her words). And then my heart broke. Even this morning she said to me she was so sorry for last night.I reassured her we all make mistakes and that I loved her so much.

She is my sensitive one. She is the one who likes to push the limits a bit. I knew she was sensitive but I still scolded her harshly. I felt horrible. I wanted the lesson to be taught, but was I too hard? Had I let the situation with her behavior go to far all night that I was at my frustration point? How can I keep that from happening again. I felt like the worst mom ever.

I’m certain I’m not the only one that’s been there. Said something to their child either a little to harsh, handled things poorly or reacted without thinking. We all make mistakes. Despite wanting to tear myself up over this, I will not. I will take it as a learning lesson. I will have a better in plan in place before we do our next friend’s outing.

In fact, I already know what I will do before next time. 1) I will tell her ahead of time of the expected behavior 2) I will tell her she will hold my hand when leaving the store/restaurant/etc as we normally do.

I know I’ll stumble as I continue down this parenting path. New things and situations will come up. I will make more mistakes but I will learn from them. I find ways to move forward and to do things better the next time.

How have handled a parenting mistake or when you’ve over reacted? I’d love to hear from you!




Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 


I was extremely fortunate to be given opportunity to read a pre-release copy of the book The Green Dagger by Kelly Hess. A short while a go I read the first in the series Eyes of the Enemy.  I highly recommend reading that book and then checking out the new one.

The Green Dagger by Kelly Ness

The Green Dagger continues the story of Beynn and Fritz. The green dagger had been lost for years until it briefly resurfaced. Now the Queen Sorak demands the return of the dagger or Delvengard faces war. The evil dagger’s effect on Fritz is taking its toll. Fritz and Beynn are off to another quest to discover the dagger’s secrets.

This is the second book in the series and Kelly Hess has not disappointed. This story is weaved together with the first seamlessly. I found myself staying up for “one more chapter” until it was way too late. The Green Dagger is a great weekend book- you’ll start and want to continue until you finish it. The character’s have depth and despite written for younger children, adults would also enjoy this book. Kids, beware, your parents may steal this book for a fun-filled fantasy ride!

I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy books, especially junior high kids.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookends.

If you’ve not read the first one….go now and get it read it and then get this one when it’s released in early December! Here is the book on Amazon. 

What have you been reading? Anything you’d recommend? I’d love some recommendations.

I read this story slowly. Not because it didn’t pull me in but rather, it hit a little to close to home. I fell in love with Chirp. She is a kid that I would love to wrap my arms around and call my own. Not only did I connect with her on a mothering level but also as a child. As I read through the book, I remembered so many emotions from when my mom was sick as a child. Chirp’s gained a special spot in my heart.

Nest by Esther Ehrlich

Nest tells the story of Naomi, or Chirp, and her family. Chirp is a little girl who is spunky, full of life, and close with her mom. Then tragedy strikes the family. Chirp’s life is forever changed. Thru the family upset, she develops an unlikely friend with a neighbor boy.

I really enjoyed this story. It has the charm and attraction of a classic. It is set in the 70’s and there are several references to that time. I loved how the author put in the extra information on the birds. It was a nice detail that added depth to the story. Although this book is written for the younger readers (grades 4-6), there is no lack of depth to this story. The author does a wonderful job pulling the reader in and developing the relationships. Her ability to capture the emotions of a young girl was superb.

This book is a simple yet complex book with the makings of a classic. I would recommend this book for anyone grades 4-6. This book could be used in a classroom as it has some wonderful points for discussion.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 bookends.

I received this book from the publisher using for an honest review.


My oldest is in kindergarten. I believe I’ve said it before, Kindergarten has been a BIG adjustment for all of us. One of these adjustments has been my daughter’s need for independence and decision-making. At first, as I write this, I think of course a parent would embrace this. However, her attempts at independence has been less than desirable.

The pull for independence continues throughout childhood. It starts with those first few precious steps, continues into toddlerhood and goes on to adulthood. Often times lack of maturity has children pulling for independence in challenging ways. For example, I’ll listen to you but will choose when I will follow through with your request. This causes some extra chaos and reminders from mom as the little one wants desperately to be in control of her decisions.

The example above is what we’re dealing with right now. She knows what she’s suppose to do, she just isn’t ready to do it. This has manifested itself with extreme slowness getting ready to go to school or at school picking up her toys only after playing for a few more minutes.


Independence will be very important life skill for her to learn and master. She must learn to think independently to not be pressured into unsafe situations. She must learn to assert her independence appropriately in her future career. It is my job to help develop her growth. My responses to her independence will either help or hinder that growth.

I say, embrace this independent streak and don’t be in too big of a hurry to squash it in hopes of a compliant child. Don’t get me wrong, discipline should follow when she’s being defiant. However, be kind. Give your child choices when she can have them. Let her make some decisions for herself. Be upfront. In our case, getting out the door and to school on time is not negotiable. So, I put consequences in place for her not listening and getting dressed on time. However, I don’t really care what shoes she wears. So, she can pick out her shoes every morning. And if she gets ready timely, she has an extra reward of watching some television before we leave. I expect her to listen to her teacher at school and come home with a good daily report. I do let her have some time in the evening where she decides what she will do.

Embrace the independence, set realistic expectations, and appropriate discipline and your house will be a happier one!

Do you have a child going through an independent growth? Please share your stories! I’d love to hear how you handle them.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old and he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ASV

This is our first year at Kindergarten. It is the first of many years to come. Adjusting to Kindergarten life has been a challenge for all of us. All of our schedules have changed. We have a new morning evening routine. There are earlier and stricter bedtimes. We have weekly reading minutes and Bible verses to memorize. Our days are busier and sometimes I find myself landing in bed at night wondering what time I’ve spent, really spent with my kids.

Kindergarten has been good in many ways. My daughter has learned so much from school. She is now reading, well share-reading with me and I fully anticipate her to be a reader by the time summer comes. She’s become more outgoing and has made some new friends. She’s becoming a bit more independent. This life change has done us some good!

With our new hustle and bustle schedule, I’ve grown attached to the early outs. I pick her up during my lunch and she hangs-out until I’m off work. I have an activity ready for her and she’s allowed to watch a movie or television. She loves the television time as she’s in complete control of what she gets to watch. She loves to do art and craft projects so she also loves it that I have something ready, just for her.


The final activity to our early out is cooking dinner. Sometimes she wants to pretend we’re a restaurant for our guests. Other times we just cook together. She helps scrub potatoes, mix ingredients, add-in ingredients, etc. She also helps set the table and pour drinks. And when we are playing restaurant, she helps seat the guests (my husband and son) when they arrive and ensure they have everything they need as they wait for dinner.

I love this time that we get to spend together. I especially enjoy making dinner with her. Spending time teaching her basics of cooking and teaching her to enjoy doing these things. I’m setting the ground work for her future. I’m teaching her about nutrition, math, chemistry, meal planning, and so much more. I’m helping to prepare her for when she leaves my house. I’m setting her up to be successful.

More so then all those lessons, I”m getting to know her. This is our special time. We laugh and talk. I learn all about her school and friends. I’m investing in her. I’m certain she enjoys our time together as well. Often after we’ve had our early out, she wants to snuggle a bit more, listen a little closer, and asks to help out a bit more. These are signs that my kindergartner enjoys our time together.

What sorts of things do you do that’s just yours and your child’s? How do you know he/she is enjoying it?

Recently I’ve heard and read of stories about loss. Lot’s of loss. And, for whatever reason, I’m fixated on those stories. I do this every once in a while. Most recently, a dear friend of mine has been fighting terminal breast cancer. She has young children and it seems like her illness just keeps kicking her. She’s usually quite positive and hopefilled. I’m forever impressed with her. A friend of a friend just suddenly and somewhat traumatically lost her husband. Again, they had younger children. Finally, another friend lost a dear friend to a car accident. And, guess what, young, in this case very young, children.

Some of these children are young enough memories of their mom or dad will be quite limited. And in all except my dear friend with cancer, they lost their parent expectantly, meaning there was no time to plan “fun” memories. These children will be dependent on their daily memories and those already built. And those others around them share with them.

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This got me to think, if I would tragically be taken away from my very precious family. What will the remember of me? What do I want them to remember? I know, a bit morbid, right? But, this is so important to me. Because even if I don’t die (heaven forbid) tomorrow, and I live to see my grandchildren, I want my children to have positive memories of me. I want them to laugh and tell stories about the things we do together. I would love it if they remembered little “daily” things too. Not just the big trip or vacation or the trip to the pumpkin patch. Although these are important, it’s not the only thing I want them to remember.

I want my children to remember (in no particular order):

My love for them

Snuggling on the couch

Fun in the mundane

Giggling and tickling

Dinner around the dinner table

My love of life

My love of coffee

My love of God

What I don’t want them to think when they think about me:

They were not a priority

Housework was more important than them

Cranky and tired mom

Question if they were loved


So, how do I make sure I’m making the impression I want to make? How can I ensure my children’s memories are positive?


I have fond memories kindergarten and elementary school. I can remember the largeness of the gym/lunchroom to my six-year-old mind. I can remember the rug my grandmother had purchased for me to lay on during rest time. I can still remember the smell of the milk cartons for afternoon snack. And, I most definitely remember those colorful large clothes pins that denoted the special jobs for the week and most importantly, the line leader. I did so much enjoy kindergarten.

So, why is that now on the other end, sending my little 5 year-old off to kindergarten seems so sad to me. Sad, isn’t exactly the right word. It’s more, bitter-sweet. It’s very exciting to watch her grow and learn new things. It’s fun to see her achieve new accomplishments. But, there’s a sadness to it to. I’m saddened that I know my days with her being my baby are limited. I know her days and life will slowly become a bit more complicated. Maybe not this year, but slowly those little moments of snuggling and cuddling will disappear. It won’t happen overnight, but the start of school is certainly the beginning.


Dear Miss Adams, please remember I’ve left in your procession my darling daughter, my world. Remember to be kind, to listen, and treat her with respect. Be firm when it’s needed but quick to give hugs and high-fives. Know that I will do my best to prepare her everyday for learning. Remember to communicate often with me and well before any little concerns become a problem. You’ve been left with a huge responsibility, please don’t take it lightly.

She gets out early today so I’ll pick her up and we’ll go to Starbucks and have a snack. She’ll tell me about her wonderful day and all the friends she’s made. I’ll feel relieved knowing her day went well. She will once again remind me how much more I worry than she and how resilient she is.


This gardening experience has been so much fun. The kids have really enjoyed it. My son every morning and evening goes out to check the progress of our labors. He excitedly exclaims “there’s one!” as he finds the growing cucumbers. My husband checks things over and was the first one to notice the little ones growing on the vine.

Not everything has gone well with our little experimental garden. Here’s a few things that could use some improvement:

1) No herbs grew. Not. One. That was a huge disappointment. I love, love, love cooking with fresh herbs and couldn’t wait to cook with ones I’d grown. It can’t get any fresher than grabbing it out of your very own garden! But, that hasn’t worked out for us.

2) Our volunteer plant. Now, it was great to have a volunteer zucchini plant from our compost pile. Downfall however it not only grew right over our onions but also got the grubs. Yeah, not fun. So, not only did several onions die/not grow but so did the volunteer plant.

3) Organic Seeds were a bust. The first time I went shopping for seeds I was with my sister-in-law. She’d favored organic seed and I didn’t have a preference. So, I purchased organic. I went back several weeks later and purchased a few more seeds. Luckily I did otherwise we’d have nothing in our garden. Yup, the organic seeds never grew.

There are a lot of amazing things going on with our garden. Here’s a few of those.


1) Cucumbers galore! Oh boy did our cucumbers take off! My husband is very much looking forward to some home-made pickles and I’m excited to try out canning this year!

2) Just enough tomatoes. We have 4 tomato plants right now. Two are quite small and are on the verge of the cucumber hostage situation become a complete take-over. The largest plant has a couple of green tomatoes on it. I’m certain the second to largest will have some soon with the smaller plants following shortly after.

3) Watering is relaxing. I love watering the garden in the evenings. The sun is going down and I’m out there alone. The neighbors all retreated into their homes. It’s just me and my little garden.

4) Family enjoyment. As I mentioned above, my kids love the garden. In fact last week when we picked our first few cucumbers, my son was a bit overzealous and picked one early. They squeal with delight as they look for more veggies on the vine. That enjoyment is priceless.

5) Educational opportunities. Growing the garden has helped with educational opportunities. Not only do we talk about the fun of growing our own food but the importance of doing it. We have the chance to add a little science to our life by discussing why worms are important to gardens.


We’ve learned a lot this year so far with our garden. So much it would be hard to narrow it down and make a list. However, the top two things at this moment that I’ve learned is this: 1) it’s not nearly as difficult as I once thought 2) Joy of a garden outweighs any heartache (or body ache).

How’s your gardening going? What challenges have you faced? What benefits have you received? I would love to hear from you!


This entry was linked-up at Graced Simplicity.

June and July are always a bit of a blur in this house. Everyone has a birthday except me during these months. And since I like to celebrate the kids actual birthday just as our immediate family, I end up preparing two birthday parties for each kid. Granted the one with just us, is much simpler. I still have to plan it. I really could simplify the birthdays more by not having a large party and the immediate family only party, but I love birthdays. They are the day a year that is all yours.

My daughter had her first birthday party for her friends. We invited all her daycare friends and had about 10 little kids and parents show-up. They had a blast! We had her party at a local park that has a carousel and wading pool. I also set out some outdoor toys for the kids play with. We then did a much smaller party with just our family on her birthday. She also took cupcakes to daycare on her birthday.

My son’s parties we’re Spiderman themed. We did cupcakes for his daycare class on his birthday so we ate those after supper as a family too. He also had a much larger party the weekend following his birthday. We invited mostly some family, his God parents, and then a few of our friends who have kids about his age. He had a lot of fun at his party.

Here’s a few pictures of cakes. I didn’t get a picture of my daughter’s cupcakes as they went to daycare. I didn’t make either her big cake or the cupcakes. I did make the cake for our family celebration and all of my son’s cakes (my son has multiple severe food allergies so I don’t have the luxury of buying his).

Here are a few pictures of the cakes:

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