Category Archives: Family Thoughts


All the kids pack their lunches for school every day on there own.  Sometimes this is a hard task to make them do, sometimes they just get it done, which is nice.

Lunchmeat is usually the one where I have to hound him to pack his lunch.  One day he had left his lunch box at school so I made him, after hounding, put his lunch in a plastic Walmart sack.

In the morning everyone got their lunches and went to school as normal.

In the afternoon when I picked up the kids, Lunchmeat was very upset.  When I asked him what was wrong he asked “Why did you only give me carrots for lunch?”  I reminded him that he had packed his own lunch and asked what he was talking about.  He pulled out a Walmart sack and out of it he pulled a three pound bag of carrots.He asked me why I changed his lunch for carrots.

When we got home his lunch was still sitting in the fridge.

Poor kid.  What I don’t understand is why no one from the school did anything about it?  Apparently several adults noted he only had carrots and commented to him but no one got him a new lunch or called me.


The Count

There is a daily ritual at my house that I refer to as “The Count”.  This is the time of day where I look in the dishwasher and the cupboard and count the sippy cups.  Anyone who has had a toddler will understand why this is an important ritual.  Doing this has saved me money and stress.  It has also saved me from losing my lunch.  Opening a sippy cup that has been left filled with milk, under the couch for a week is not pleasant.

When I was a younger Mom, and less wise, I did not perform this ritual.  This resulted in many a time of finding a sippy cup in some random place and wondering how long it had been there and what the contents had been.  There were times where I just tossed the cup out rather than brave opening it.

Now, in my older and wiser years, I perform the ritual.  Currently we own six sippy cups.  Keeping the number of cups to a minimum is very helpful in this ritual.  When I am loading the dishwasher after dinner I count the cups.  If there are any fewer than six cups everything in the house stops as everyone searches for the missing cup or cups.  Once the cup is found, rinsed, and placed in the dishwasher normal life can resume.  NOTHING is allowed to go in until the ritual is complete.  I am more sane because I do this.

What rituals do you have as a mom and save you from the mom version of DOOM?

Managing Summer

So, I’ve implemented our summer plan.  I do the same thing pretty much every summer, typically with a different focus.  This summer our focus is going to be on kindness.  My personal focus is going to be on consistency.

One of the things that drives me a little batty every summer (and in every day of my life) are the repeated questions.  I don’t mind questions, I try to encourage my kids to ask me questions, but there are a few that get asked over and over with a certain degree of whinyness that I just go bonkers.  And it doesn’t help that these questions are often asked of me two inches from my face at 6:00 am, thereby scaring me out of sleep and out of my mind.

To try and combat these two problems, I made the following documents and posted them on my bedroom door.  Several people requested them so I thought I’d post them here.  I got my kids to help me think up what should go on these.  Lunchmeat really wanted to add the occurrence of Zombies to the “Should I wake up the Parents” sheet and was irritated when I didn’t.  I told him Zombies fell under the “Bad Guys” category.

Answers to Common Questions

Should I wake up the Parents

For those of you who saw the pictures of these signs on Instagram you will see that I have removed the images from the “Should I wake up the Parents” sign.  I got the pictures off a clip art site so they are not my own so I felt it would not be right to re-post them here. Sorry!

Do you have a “Summer Plan”?

Do you have a particular focus in your “Summer Plan”?

What questions would you add to the “Answers to Common Questions” sheet?

Did I miss anything you would add to the “Should I wake up the Parents” sheet?

Peanut and Harry Potter

Peanut has recently discovered Harry Potter.  It was something we have been talking about having her read for a while.  The only reason that I put it off so long is she scares so easily and Harry Potter not only has some heavy themes but some scary scenes.  Her two best friends have been pestering her to read it and then the first book came up as t book for her book club, so I thought it was probably time.  We were at a book fair and I suggested she buy it for her book.  She was reluctant as she had a different book she wanted, but she bought it in the end (bought both actually, I only pitch in for so much at book fairs, if they want more then the set amount they have to pay for it themselves, but that’s a story for another day).

It took her one day to read it and she LOVED IT!!!!!!

When she was done she immediately came to me and said. “I NEED the next book, it is essential for my survival.”

She repeated this several times a day until I convinced her to check out the second digitally from the library.

She read that in one day, despite being quite ill at the time.

Harry Potter has resulted in a new obsession for her, it may have even replace science as her favorite thing, I’m not sure but here are some of the things she has shared with me about Harry Potter.

  • She already has her next birthday theme all planned, Harry Potter and Potion making.
  • She wants all the Harry Potter books.  She wants them in soft cover so that she can hug them.
  • She has finished the first book in Pottermore and is happy to be a Ravenclaw.
  • She felt guilty, like she was betraying us, because she was imagining that she was related to Harry Potter.  I told her that was not a betrayal of her own family and that she didn’t have to feel guilty.
  • She personally identifies we Hermione and I think that’s a perfect fit.  If you knew her you would see how she is a real life Hermione, same idiosyncrasies, same personality, same hair.
  • She is beside herself with excitement because the book club that caused her to read it is here at our house.  She’s been working on her book club plan ever since she finished the book.

I could go on, and she has, but I will let you imagine it for yourself.

I LOVE seeing my kids learn to LOVE new things, especially when they are things that I love as well.  It was hard not to push it on her.  Loving something, especially books, is not something you can really give to someone, and you can ruin it for them if you try to hard.  I’m glad this one worked out and I’m excited to see her learn to love more things.  I hope she takes to Lord of the Rings as well.  That will be fun!

What was something new and exciting that you or your kids recently learned to love?  How do you share the things you love with your kids?

In extreme emergencies

Peanut stopped me after dinner to, as she put it, “have an adult conversation” The other kids went upstairs and she asked me what the word assolence meant.  It took me until she told me it had something to do with growing breats that I figured out that she meant adolescent.  I explained to her that it was just another word for being a teenager.

She told me that sometimes it’s really awkward to ask me questions about stuff like that.  We talked about how even though it’s awkward it’s important she ask me about that stuff.

She responded “and in extreme emergencies, Dad.”

It’s nice to know I’m the preferred parent.

It’s a Natural Habitat for me

When I was talking to Cake about cleaning up her room she started to cry and said “I try to keep it clean, but it’s just a natural Habitat for me!”

And then I tried REALLY hard not to laugh at her.

I failed.

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Am I Doing this Right?!?

As my daughter is laying on the couch, crying, because I took her cupcake away, I ask myself the question that I’m sure all mom’s ask themselves when they do things that make their kids cry.

Am I doing this right?

We all want our kids to grow up to be decent people, unselfish, Christlike.  We want them to be safe, happy, healthy and generally clean.

We DON”T want our kids to be entitled, selfish, brats.  We don’t want them to be dirty, sick, get hurt or be sad.

We all do things, sometimes hard things, hoping to achieve that end.

Like today:

I took the keys from the toddler.

He cried.

I told the boy to get their shoes on so we could go do something fun.

He cried.

I tried to make him take a nap,

He cried.

I told them to play outside.

They cried.

I took some of my kids toys away because they didn’t put them away like I told them to.

They cried.

Then they fought over the cupcake they were supposed to share.  I took it away.

They cried.

As all these things happen I ask myself over and over “Am I doing this right?”

Then, when my daughter calls to me from the couch where she has been sobbing over the lost cupcake, to hug her to make her feel better, I think that maybe I am doing at least some things right.