Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Every Monday night we have Family Night. It is a night where we gather as a family, and have a uplifting and spiritual lesson.
We try to make them fun for the kids and try to include some sort of game or fun concept to work on for the rest of the week or month.
This month we talked about relationships and the different kind of relationships there are;
courteous, affectionate and intimate.
We decide the boys are old enough now to be in charge of the lesson with some help from mom and dad.
Last night it was Bear's turn to have the lesson and Daddy helped him
The concept we are working on is Loving Out Loud. Bear cut out letters and we pinned them to the dinning room wall where we can always see them.
We played a game with the hearts and then added them to help us remember what LOL stands for
We brainstormed things we can be doing for each other that will show our love
Things like:
Letting Mommy sleep in
No hitting
Helping with homework

No name calling
Helping Mommy clean the house
Listen and talk, but more listening

Be patient
Play with each other
Read to each other
It's something that we need to work on. The kids have been arguing a lot lately, for reasons still unknown, except for the fact that they're brother's and sometimes that's what they do. So it's been nice to have this up on the wall as a constant reminder that we need to constantly be finding ways to express our love for each other.


To learn more on Family Home Evening and how we, as Latter Day Saints support families visit Mormon.org

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Consult the "experts"

Disclaimer - I am NOT an expert in anything except being a tad sassy and a snarky relief from life!
Just a mother of three crazies trying to figure out life in this world of "experts"

Now then, on that note....I would like to know how you become an expert in something.
It seems that every other day there is a new article on "the best way to raise your kids".
The one I can't stand are the experts telling us to quit telling our daughters they are beautiful, or that our kids doing a "good job" While I agree that we need to raise well rounded kids, who know that looks and a mediocre effort aren't everything. I also believe we need to raise - well - well rounded kids!
Girls are girls, plain and simple. They want to know that they are beautiful. I want my daughter to grow up believing she is a beautiful girl. Inside and out, she won't believe any future husband when he says "You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen" if she doesn't believe it herself.  I'm not saying she needs to be self centered, or that beauty has one specific look, but she needs to believe that she is worth, and deserves a prince charming type guy!!
I have always been self conscious. Everyone has always been better looking than I am. My parents are amazing and they fought me tooth and nail to get me to believe I could be the kind of girl, and woman they saw in me (essentially, who I am today). I didn't believe them, so I didn't believe anyone else.
I want my daughter to believe it when people say she is a beautiful person. I want her to know what that means. I want her to believe she is smart and talented. I want her to grow up to be confident and  successful in her family and whatever else she wants to do. I don't want her to settle for someone because she thought she didn't deserve someone better.
I want her to marry the kind of man I did. The kind who treats her like royalty and gives her what she needs, and provides for her and their children. The kind of man who believes in her, and supports her in all her endeavors, no matter how crazy they are to him.
I want my sons to grow up being confident gentlemen, who know what a beautiful woman is, how she acts, how she treats herself and others, how she will stand up for what she wants and believes in. I want them to know that they deserve a woman who is confident and compassionate, one who will support him and stand by him. 
So from the outlook of a simple mother of 3 - Here's my thought on the matter.
*If you see a girl, no matter what she looks like, tell her how nice and pretty she looks that day! Girls want to hear they're pretty. That they look nice!  It's not the only thing they hear and it's not going to damage their outlook on life. In addition, tell them they are smart, they are capable of whatever they want to do, whether it's coloring or rock climbing. They can do whatever they put their mind to!
*If you see a boy, allow them the opportunity to be a gentleman. Let the 6yr old boy at church, the store or wherever hold the door open for you. As a mother of 2 boys, I encourage them to run ahead and hold the door open, obviously they are not a door stop, but they are gentlemen.
*Take your kids, all of them, to the opera, ballet, musical, concerts, church, movies, museums, the zoo, the park, library and the mall. I believe that kids are smarter than most people give them credit for. They know and understand FAR more than we think! At age appropriate times they are able to comprehend that there is a time and a place to be crazy loud, and a place to sit quietly. Both are fun, both are necessary life skills.
*Tell them "Not right now". Nothing is more important than your kids. Dishes will still be there, the laundry doesn't need to be started right this very moment, the bathroom will still need to be scrubbed after the game, but at some point - you're out of dishes, every one looks homeless, and you now need to don a biohazard suit just to open the bathroom door.
   There is always the argument, "that's what nap time and school is for", but I was raised in a "self cleaning house" You make a mess, you clean it YOURSELF! Kids need to understand that if they want mac and cheese for dinner, they need to let you take 10 mins and get the dishes loaded into the dishwasher.  If they want to bathe and do their business in a clean bathroom, they either grab a rag or give you 5 mins to wipe it down. If they are tired of being out of clean pants, then give me 5 mins to roll the laundry, and if you help me fold it, I'll be done sooner.
I always like to try things out, especially if an "expert" says so, I like to give it a whirl. So for one whole day, I tried to be careful with my "good job" handouts.  I have never, NEVER in my entire life seen so many crushed faces. At one point my 5 yr old, big eyed, little bear, literally said to me "did I do a good job?!"
"Good job" is something kids also need to hear!! I have found it builds their confidence, it reassures them that you love them and are proud of them!
So there it is, for what it's worth - Those are my 5 parenting tips.  Kids want to hear that they are good lookin, smart, capable kids, and that they are doing a good job!
If all else fails, you can always count on Aibileen Clark from The Help "You is kind, you is smart, you is important" and for kicks, just to stick it to those "experts" tell them their pretty or handsome! Cuz you know they are and they need to know it too!