Friday, January 31, 2014

Guest Blogger - KarenTrina Childress

I am very blessed to have Karen guest blog for me this week!  I have learned so much from her and am happy to introduce you to her blog KarenTrina Childress.  Karen is a homeschooling mother of a large family, a fellow theater pal, and absolutely full of practical wisdom!  

FAMILY FRIENDLY CAMPING FROM ARKANSAS TO PENNSYLVANIA

When Kathryn asked me to guest post, I asked her for ideas about what she would like me to talk about. On my blog, I sometimes post about travel and have mentioned family camping trips. This appealed to her, so reminisce with me about a trip my family took from Texas to Pennsylvania in September of 1994. This is Part 1 of the trip. You can find Part 2 on my blog next week. Part 2 will cover the places we visited on our trip.

Before my children became involved in a lot of fall activities, we would take two week driving/ camping vacations. We are members of AAA. Tour Books and Camping Books provided to AAA members were and are a wonderful trip planning tool. I suppose there is an app for that now, but I still prefer the books. I always planned our trip in advance, looking for interesting places to visit and kid friendly camping spots for our trips. Anything that AAA lists as a 'must see' has always been more than worth the visit.

Our destination for this trip was determined by the fact that my parents were headed to Pennsylvania to settle my grandmother's estate and assist with the auction. We often traveled with them on vacation and had not been east, so the planning began.

We had just graduated from tent camping to pop-up camper camping, which allowed us to pack some necessities and staples in the camper and made the one-night stays much easier to pack up the next day.

We prefer to stay at state parks and recreation areas. It is usually quite scenic at these locations, some have playgrounds, and most have nature trails. Most are not right off the highway, but close enough to merit the stop.

Dillon State Park in Ohio provided a scenic place to relax after our first long day. The children were able to run and play and get rid of some energy from being in the car. A big perk of traveling in September is we rarely ran into crowds and often had camping areas to ourselves. It is like our own camping resort!  


We spent the next two nights camped at the Mill Bridge Campground in Strasburg, PA in Pennsylvania Dutch country. There was a wooden playground right next to our campsite that was perfect for the children. At this camping area, we were once again reminded why we love traveling after everyone else has gone back to school: most of the other campers are retired people. We have noticed that retired travelers love interacting with our children, and the children enjoy talking to them.

This camping area was a very fun place to stay. We took day trips to the surrounding area.

We spent three nights at Colonel Denning State Park.


We chose this park based on its proximity to my grandmother's house. It turned out to be a gem. Aside from the vault toilets (not my favorite for a three-night stay), it was a beautiful location with nice hiking trails, plus we had the place to ourselves! This place doesn't have showers either, but we showered at my aunt's house when we were in town.

Beech Fork State Park was an unplanned stop due to some miscalculation on my part. This is where the AAA Camping Book came in handy. I suppose smart phones would fill that role now.

We usually stop before dark, but this day we drove longer than usual and it was dusk when we set up camp. Fortunately, there was a small playground to occupy the children while we made camp. Unfortunately, there was a mud puddle under the swings and my two year old found it.


A shower took care of that problem and the gallon zip top bags came in handy for the muddy clothes. This was a nice campground near a little mountain lake. It would have been a lovely place to spend a day or two, but we pressed on.


Fort Boonesborough State Park was our next stop. We had planned to tour the fort, but it was not open the two days we were there. (note: always check hours of operation) The gift shop was open and the boys bought coonskin caps. Every boy needs a coonskin cap, right?

The campground did have a very nice playground that included a stagecoach, fort, teepee, steam shovel, and log cabin. This kept the children occupied for most of the afternoon. We also enjoyed one of the nature trails around the fort. The children agreed this would be a fun place for a summer vacation to take advantage of the junior Olympic-sized swimming pool complete with waterslide, misty fountain, and children's area.

Kentucky has so many wonderful state parks. Pennyrile State Park and Forest was another overnight camping spot where we could easily have stayed a week. Lots of nature trails, lovely playground, a pool, and lake. It would also be a photographer's paradise. I'm thinking I should put another trip to Kentucky on my travel list.

Even though my husband's journal says we stayed at the Blue Sky RV Resort in Mountain View, AR, it wasn't memorable. We do have pictures of Blanchard Springs, which is not far from Mountain View. I would recommend making a base camp at Blanchard Springs and then enjoying all the area has to offer.






Even though Mountain View can only be accessed by twisty mountain roads, it is a scenic area with a variety of activities.

Remembering all these wonderful state parks and camping areas has made me want to visit them again. Hopefully you have been inspired to plan your next camping trip or camping vacation.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that my husband is the most organized camper I know.  He has packing and unpacking down to a fine art.  He usually does most of the cooking when we camp, which helps make the trip more enjoyable, too.  

Karen will post part 2 of this trip at her blog next week.

Please remember to enter the giveaway and if you need some gift ideas or want to pamper yourself - go visit For Goodness Soap!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the Context of Contentment in every day life~
~Every Thursday at Like Mother Like Daughter~

Pretty
The weather reached 68 degrees this past weekend, and even in Texas that is not usual for January.  It was a breathtakingly beautiful day so to the park we went!  Under ordinary circumstances, this photo may not work for the {pretty} category.  Since it is January - it absolutely fits for {pretty}.

Happy
Happy, HAPPY kids playing in that sun shine with those blue skies!

Funny
They are messing with me, and the antics of these guys has definitely helped me be a less frantic mom when I see them up so high and trying to get a rise out of me. See #8 already following in #5's tracks.  "Look mom, are you worried Mom, wanna see me go higher???" and on it goes.  They are funny, and I love them for keeping a smile on my face.  When it comes to my boys, there is a 'if you can't beat 'em , join 'em' wearing down of my anxiety levels.  I enjoy watching the same antics that nearly gave me a heart attack years ago!

Real
Have you ever had those delicious souffle's at Panera?  I love the spinach & artichoke one, so I decided to try and make it for myself - with awesome results!

Spinach & Artichoke Souffle' 
1 pkg puff pastry
2 Tbs butter
6 eggs
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 artichoke hearts from a large jar, chopped up but leaving big chunks.
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste.
1 egg for brushing over pastry w/ 1 Tbs. water

In bowl, whisk the scrambled eggs with the heavy whipping cream.  I saute' pan melt butter and then add spinach, saute until just starting to wilt.  Add artichokes and eggs mixed with cream.  Sprinkle cheeses into this as you scramble over medium heat and add salt & pepper to taste.  Stop scrambling when eggs start to firm up but are still runny.

Prepare pastry.  I don't have ramekins so I improvised with the above pans.  I prepared each one and then cut each pastry to fit the pan.  I added scrambled egg filling to each one and sealed the pastry at the top.  I then brushed them with egg that has been mixed with 1 Tbs. water.  I placed them in a preheated to 375 degree oven and baked for almost 20 minutes.  I watched them closely since I had never done this before.

They turned out amazing!!!  The boys loved them.  I even made one with ham and eggs for those not wanting spinach and everything was inhaled!!


Please head over to Leila's for this weeks Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real (link to be added later)

Also, be sure to go enter the giveaway and check out all the goodness at For Goodness Soap!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guest Blogging - A Love Story & The Prayers of Students = Triplets!!!

*My sister-n-law Heidi graciously agreed to share about her family with us.  She is a wonderful mother and a talented Music teacher in addition to director of our parish Children's Choir.  I met her when she and Phillip began dating, so I got to see their story unfold when we didn't know the happiness that was to come.  I am so blessed to be living close to her now that we are back in Texas.  I am only sad that my children could not start off taking her music classes as babies - they are absolutely wonderful.  More information about that here:  Little Musicians*

Hello!
My name is Heidi, and I am blessed to call Kathy my sister-­in-­law. My husband, Phillip, is one of Pete’s brothers.
 Phillip and I have been married almost 13 years. Kathy asked me to write a post about our family, so here goes! Phillip and I first met in 7th grade. We really just had classes together and became friends. We shared an interest in choir and sang in several choirs together throughout our school days. In 12th grade, we started dating. When we first began dating, he told me right away that one day he would be a Catholic priest. I told him that was fine because I knew we would both go off to college in a year, and we’d probably go our separate ways. Well, we ended up dating 3 years straight. During the 3rd year, he felt he needed to pursue seminary, and I knew it would also be good for us to try traveling down different paths. It was difficult, but God was with us in our separate journeys. And so, another 3 years went by where we did not date. After the 3rd year of going down different roads, I received a phone call from Phillip. He was at the airport coming back from Rome during spring break. I was teaching 1st grade at the time in a Catholic School. He wanted to see me that night, but I told him I was busy (I had a date!). I met with him later on, and we both decided he needed to finish his current year of seminary and then see how we both felt (and where God was leading us both). To make a long story short, Phillip finished out the year but did not feel God was calling him to continue pursuing the priesthood. We started dating again, and then we got engaged. 

The next school year, Phillip also got a job at the same Catholic School, I was teaching at.  He began teaching middle school math and science. I was still teaching 1st grade, and we got married that school year. After we were married, many of Phillip’s middle school students would pray each morning at school, that we would have identical twins! Phillip had two sets of twins in his class. They were very fervent in their prayers. Phillip and I soon discovered we were blessed with a pregnancy. Little did I know that those children’s prayers would get answered, and then some! When I was 20­weeks pregnant, at our first sonogram, we were told we were having triplets! Neither side of our families seemed to have multiples in them. We decided that God definitely heard the prayers of Phillip’s students, and we jokingly said that we could have been blessed with triplets also because we kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland on our honeymoon! Carrying triplets was a little scary with all the complications that could occur. However, I made it to 34 weeks. We were blessed with 2 identical boys and a little girl.

 When we first had them, I joked that Phillip and I dated 3 years, we broke up for 3 years, and then he gave us a gift of 3 beautiful babies. We also had a tremendous gift of help from family and friends for many months. We even had to move out of our 2 bedroom apartment (we had signed the contract on it when we thought we were pregnant with one baby), and purchase our first humble home. 3 babies, 2 adults, and 1 cat just don’t fit into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment! Now, we have 5 wonderful children. Our last two pregnancies were both singletons, and we are blessed to have 3 boys and 2 girls total. The doctor had told us when we had triplets that since it was so rare, we would probably not have multiples again. I just thank God for our family. I certainly don’t deserve all He has given us. I am eternally grateful for my husband, my children, and all of my family! Thank you for letting me share our little story!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Master of Ceremony - #8


#8 got his turn to host Master of Ceremony and he relished every single detail.

His meal:
Chili Dogs
(because he knows how to spoil his siblings)
Chips
(Specifically Funyuns, because I never buy them)
Snack:
Chex Mix

He chose for us to watch an episode of Dr. Who


 
Asylum of the Daleks [HD]
we watched several milder episodes of Dr. Who from Netflix.

A wonderful time was enjoyed by all!!  I am so glad we brought this back.  #8 really appreciated all the attention he got from his siblings for making plans for a truly fun evening.

In other weekend news:

#6 was in a One Act Play Competition.  Each team had to write and produce their own One Act Play.  They were given an idea and they had to build their script off of that.  The idea given his team was:  Auditions gone wrong.  They came up with a play titled 'Felony to Fame' about a thief who inadvertently stumbles into auditions for 'Romeo and Juliet'.  The thief (played by #6) gets a part and goes on to become a famous actor.  The skit also included auditions from a teen very hip to Urban Dictionary, done in a "Shakespeare in the Hood" fashion (it was hilarious) and could not have been complete without that annoying stage mother pushing her child to audition and then practically doing the whole thing trying to direct her child.  All the skits were great, and I was blown away by the creativity of our Supporting Cast as well as our Director Webster Crocker for all the time and opportunity he provides through the theater.  Felony to Fame got "Best Acting" a little tongue in cheek and totally fun!


On Sunday we had our Wonderful World of Disney movie night and watched...

 
I always loved this movie growing up, but my kids had never seen it. They loved it, full of adventure, put on your Disney Glasses unrealness, and fun!

Be sure to enter the giveaway, it is going until Feb. 4th and don't forget to check out For Goodness Soap!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Giveaway!

A friend of mine has started a wonderful business creating Homemade Soaps and Spa products. 
 For Goodness Soap, has generously put together this wonderful assortment for a 9Peas guest.  
The package includes:
  The giveaway will wrap up just in time to have this shipped out by Valentines Day. 
  You can also follow the new soap lines she is creating as well as get great tips on natural products by following her Facebook Page.  I want to try everything she sells!  My kids are getting a few items for Valentines as well. 

*I apologize to my overseas friends, all entries must be US for shipping purposes, thank you*


Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Sensitive Child - Follow Up to Mothering Boys, Humor is Key


In my post about Mothering Boys - Humor is Key I was asked if I have any sensitive children and how do I handle that.  Great question, because I do have some sensitive children.  I understand how a mother can fear that by using humor it might cause the child to feel picked on and therefore sew seeds of bitterness within their heart.  Bitterness and hurt happen sometimes in family life, communication is vital to overcome these hurts.  Usually the hurt was never intended, especially when using humor - nevertheless, you have to be careful.  No one wants to be a bull in a china shop when it comes to their child's emotions.

First, be humble - always.  Humility does not mean you lose your position as being in charge.  Humility means that you own your mistakes, and your shortcomings.  

Pride does more to cause hurt than humor does


I admit to my mistakes and use self-deprecating humor quite a bit.  My kids see this and it helps them know that I'm not singling them out or brushing their feelings aside when I say "He is my favorite" or something like that.  I always follow such a statement up with a knowing smile and the I love you symbol in sign language.  We also have our own special 'Most' that means even more than love in our family.  My kids KNOW they are loved, and the sensitive child is better for us including them in the joshing, rather than leaving them out.  If I see bruised feelings, I assess the reason, let them know I care and then try to help them appreciate what was actually going on.

The lens we view a situation through can be manipulated to paint us as the wounded one, when we are not.

Remember, No Martyrs Allowed

We also discuss often how an extension of our strengths are our weaknesses.  Being sensitive is a gift, a gift God gave that child for a good reason.  
On one end of the gift is empathy, and on the other end is narcissism. 
 Enabling a child to use their sensitive nature to view life through a 'myownworldview' is wrong and does a disservice to them.  It actually teaches them to manipulate.  Helping the child overcome the weak side of their gift will help them fulfill the purpose God gave them the sensitive nature for.
 (Gosh I hope that made sense).

If family life provides lots of love, lots of forgiveness and open communication  I think even the child with a sensitive nature can thrive and come to appreciate the difference between being nagged vs. humor to motivate their participation in chores, rules etc...

As a Mom, we need to listen, to love, to forgive, to say we are sorry if they were hurt - 
but, also teach them how to laugh.


{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
~Every Thursday at Like Mother Like Daughter~

{Pretty}
I have always felt that a bowl of dough rising, covered in a pretty print, is beautiful.

{Happy}
This is #6 with his good friend at auditions for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Our local children's theater is putting on this production and I've never seen so many kids show up for auditions.  It was wild, and tons of fun.  They both got parts!  We are so very proud, and happy!

{Funny}
This one just tickles me, the look on her face as he is being all boy is priceless!  They were making pretzels which turned out delicious *recipe at end of post*

{Real}
We made all kinds of shapes with the pretzels and even though the steps took most of the day, we got a lot of school work done between each step - and it was fun!

Please join Rosie at LMLD for today's {P,H,F,R}

Homemade Pretzels
(as usual I double or triple this)
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg with 1 tbs water whisked in
Coarse sea salt or pretzel salt (we took ice cream rock salt and pulsed it in the blender, worked great)

In a stand mixer (if you have one, if not just blend in bowl and knead) with dough hook, add water and yeast (let sit for a few minutes) then add flour, sugar, and salt.  Let the dough hook knead this until you have a nice dough about 5 mins.  It will hold a ball shape and be slightly tacky.

Let the dough rise, this could take an hour in warm weather and up to 3 in really cold weather.  

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Shape into pretzels.

Preheat oven to 450 and prepare cookie sheets with cooking spray or parchment paper.

Prepare the water bath (key).  Bring 8 cups water to a boil, add baking soda (make sure the pot is big because when you add the soda, it is going to foam up).  Reduce heat to simmer.

Lower pretzels a few at the time into the water bath.  Simmer for 30 seconds then flip and simmer 30 more seconds.   Repeat until all are boiled, once boiled place them on the prepared cookie sheets.

Brush each pretzels with egg/water glaze and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes but watch them closely since everyone's oven behaves differently. 




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So Much Brewing Behind the Scenes


The above photo is of a giveaway I'll be hosting next week!  I am really excited about it, my first giveaway!  A friend of mine makes these amazing soaps, owns and operates For Goodness Soap!  I'll share more details next week, but wanted to share that this was coming.  

I also have some guest bloggers next week while I'm away.  You guys are in for a treat!
I will be back later today or tomorrow for a post.  I'm following up on my Mothering Boys - Humor is Key regarding how this works when you have a sensitive child.  I have one or two, and get the concern a mother may have when using humor.

Also, we've been busy with auditions for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  Two of my children made the cast and we are thrilled!  It has kept me from blogging the last two days and will continue to keep me busy but I'll still be around.  I love blogging and documenting our days.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Granola with Chocolate Nuggets

One of our favorite snacks is homemade granola, thank you Leanne for asking me to share!


It is inexpensive, so easy and absolutely delicious!



Granola with Chocolate Nuggets

(I double or triple everything, and to be honest if I quadrupled, it would still not be enough)

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds (pecans are also delicious)
1 cup coconut flakes (I use WAY more, so much that I don't even know because I love toasted coconut)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dried cherries (any fruit would be great)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup real maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (also 1 cup peanut butter chips)

 Mix all ingredients together except the chocolate chips.  Spread out evenly onto well greased cookie sheets and preheat oven to 300 F.  Bake for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally for even toasting.  Once done, take the cookie sheets out and let them cool about 10 minutes.

THE BEST PART!!!!

Layer some granola in a bowl, now sprinkle in chocolate chips, layer granola, then chocolate chips and repeat until out of both.

Shake the bowl good and let it sit, do not touch until chocolate has cooled and hardened.  Break up the clumps into nuggets with a good strong spatula or spoon.  

Enjoy!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Master of Ceremony

Several years ago we started a fun event called Master of Ceremony.
We go through entire seasons where we don't schedule these because life is pretty full at the moment.  Advent being one of them.
My daughter requested that we bring it back now, and we left off just before her next turn (funny how they remember these things).  The calendar came out, a family meeting was held and Master of Ceremony is back in our plans for a while.
What Master of Ceremony means is that it is an individual child's turn to plan the evening and take part in making it happen.
She chose her new favorite meal, Minestrone Soup for dinner.

She loves to play Monopoly (but as seen in the above photo, she does not love it when someone lands on Boardwalk before she does *or Reading Railroad*).  We played Monopoly but the game did not go on nearly as long as it usually does because the discussion kept returning to Dr. Who.

My partner for the evening!

So we ended up shutting down the game, popping popcorn (her other choice for the evening) and turning on some episodes of Dr. Who that are age appropriate for my youngest.  I won't let them watch all of them because some of them can be very scary.  Older brothers are HUGE fans, so the little ones want to be included as much as possible.  She was over the moon excited with my letting her watch and she felt like the hero for choosing Dr. Who for her older brothers.  They praised and praised her choice - I loved it!

#8 plans the next Master of Ceremony, and he has some great ideas in mind - I can't wait!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mothering Boys - Humor is a Key Ingredient

*Norman Rockwell

I am the mother to 8 boys.  If you have boys, then you already understand why humor is so important.  Eight boys means our home runs more like a Frat house.  I absolutely LOVE being the Mom to all these boys, it has been God's greatest gift to me along with my very longed for daughter.  I want to be honest, when I found out my first baby was a son I wondered what God was thinking.  I was, and still am such a girly girl - how would I ever raise a son...and then 8?  Thankfully, our boys have a wonderful Dad and he was raised in an all boy world of 5 brothers.  Pete helped me a lot with understanding when to relax, when to step back, and when to trust my instincts as a mother.  Most importantly, Pete taught me to laugh at myself and helped me see how vital it is when communicating with my boys, to speak the language of boys yet still speak as their Mother.  Humor is very often the best teacher, because it disarms those tense moments and helps soften ruffled feathers.

I have so little advice when it comes to raising boys, because I'm still in the trenches.
I do want to share that keeping a sense of humor is key...KEY!  
Boys are at every step of their journey working towards becoming Men.  Getting them there ALIVE may seem an impossible task sometimes. If they are not putting themselves in harms way, their posturing and independent ways can make you wonder if you yourself (as Mom) will make it alive to their adult years.
Keep a sense of humor and teach them by your example to keep one as well.
It will save many a moment where you've gotten yourself locked into a disagreement and you realize this is not the battle I was looking for today.  You are locked because there is a precedence to be set, a deeper underlying reason why you must stick to your guns.  They on the other hand, just really want to get their way and NEED you to understand them as well as trust them with whatever it may be.

Plus lets face it, boys can be turkeys.  Those turkeys turn into mighty fine Men though...it is all a part of the process.

*When a kid starts to pull the "It's not fair" statement, instead of giving them a speech on how life is not fair tell them instead that you stay up late at night plotting ways to keep things unfair and give them the "I love you" smile.  Boys understand this type of dialogue.

*When he begins to point out inconsistencies with another brother, you know the whole "It's not fair statement coupled with the Your showing favorites guilt trip".  Agree with the child, I do this ALL the time.
"You let Simon have the last cookie?  Why not me, you always let Simon have the last, he had the last cookie yesterday too"  I respond "I love him more" or "I like him best today" and give the frustrated child the "I love you" sign in sign language.  I usually hug them too.  I say this so often, that my kids really understand my meaning to be 'Quit feeling sorry for yourself".  Boys get this, a lot better than a speech about how you are not trying to show favorites.

   Do NOT wallow in parent guilt in front of a boy.  They will figure this out and use it to manipulate you to get their way later on.


*When they get surly (and they will), depending on the situation, be obvious in responding - and truthful.
"Mom, didn't you say you are giving up sugar?" Rude snicker as they point out the dark chocolate you are enjoying.  (This is really a bad example but my mind is drawing a complete blank at the moment.)  An honest reply of  "Thank you for reminding me, I'll go ahead and set this chocolate aside and continue to contemplate the new chores I was working on before the Dark Chocolate goodness distracted me"  
Trust me, my boys get surly and they get a reply to that (most times) that brings humor to the moment but also shows them to bring it down.  If they engage in more surliness because they are kids after all and sometimes read your tone to say 'keep going' instead of' 'whoa boy'.  A gentle redirection saying 'That meant stop' will often bring about a respectful end to the surly. 

*Chores - they are all resistant to cleaning up after themselves, cleaning the house, cleaning in general.  The reality is though, they actually like having order.  Equating that they are not young Kings on their throne but a part of a FAMILY is vital.  I will never forget ranting one time about how they must believe in fairies because they absolutely never pick up after themselves, gripe, gripe, gripe - I was really spun up.  I finally stated 'There are no such things as fairies' and on cue #2 started clapping his hands and shouting "I do believe in Fairies, I do, I do".  We all remember this very fondly.  A moment where surly from a child, actually diffused Mom needing to calm down and it worked.  We all laughed, and whenever I need them to understand I'm ready to rant about their lack of 'pick up' - I state "There are no such things as fairies" and the antics that begin are hilarious as one boy is shouting "I do believe in fairies" while others are flitting around - then they get busy cleaning up.  
I require chores, and I require that they do them well.  When a boy starts in on the whole Martyr/whoa is me shenanigans, I start singing "Cinder(insert name here), Cinder......, night and day...."  and I keep singing this until the whining stops.  They hate this, HATE IT yet they would rather me be silly, than me start in on an argument.  They also cannot help but smile because in our home, you cannot play the role of Martyr.  Too many people are ready to correct you.  They often start boasting about who has the worst chore, the hardest homework etc.., one upping each other to the point of absurd.  

Humor, helps bring the martyr back to reason. 


 Boys deep down (I believe) want to be Men and want to be treated with the dignity of being Men.  Even though they are not there yet, I find most battles between Mother/Son are springing from the place within a boy that is crying out to be acknowledged with more respect.  When I use humor to correct them, I feel they appreciate I trust them enough to convey the message without reprimand and speeches.  You have to do that often enough, because sometimes they cross the line, fall on their faces, and really mess up.  It is your job to help them brush off, recover from the bruise, and guide them into understanding how it all went wrong.  When it comes to the little moments within a day, all those tiny redirection and corrections can be done with a sense of humor.  Try it, you'll be surprised at how well boys respond to this.  Witty humor has kept many a redirection from becoming a war zone.

A warning though, humor does not translate as belittle.  I would never belittle my child, I like to help them see the absurd and ridiculous and the truth is, they help me see it too.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Full Weekend

I've begun working on this beauty again.  #1 selected all the fabrics in this quilt (many years ago).  I have to admit that I am not a fan of the Bear Paw patch, and that has kept me from getting this one done.  A new idea of working in some embroidery blocks has given me a fresh interest and I hope to finish in time for a College Graduation this May!

Two turkeys had a well child visit together - our pediatrician's office is pretty awesome to let this much exuberant boyhood in the door at once!

We made the long journey to return #1 back to college.  It was a full day of driving and worth it for all the great conversation, but oh my was I exhausted!

#5 had his first basketball game of the season.  It was a VERY close game and I may or may not have lost my voice after this one.  Our boys played hard and so well, it was a close score, but in the end we lost.

You can see how interested #7 is in watching her brother play - which is fine, because I love that she got to spend some time with her cousin.

Sunday evening we had my Mom over for her birthday.  I made her this scarf, that is absolutely beautiful in person.  I was really surprised with how easy this was, and how well it turned out.


#7 and I also made her this cake we found at Posie Gets Cozy (gosh I love her blog).  I will make this again and again - absolutely delicious!


Our weekend ended with some Fawlty Towers and knitting new dish clothes.

It was full and wonderful, and I'm still exhausted *smile*


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