Saturday, August 7, 2010

Days of Play--Balancing Contest

Balancing items helps children concentrate, learn self-control, and increases coordination.

Young Children:
Build a wooden block tower and see how high you can get it.

Toddlers and Preschool-Aged Children:

Have a contest to see who can stand on one leg the longest.

School-aged children:
Play a game of JENGA!

Simple.  Easy.  Fun!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fashion--Back Again?

Some "old" styles I'm glad to see re-appearing:

OXFORDS and LOAFERS (without socks, of course)



Some trends I wish would have stayed out of the new millennium:



BAJAS (also known as Mexican Hoodies)
Made famous by him in the 1990s


Oh my gosh!  I'm having 80s/early 90's flashbacks!  Help!

What trends are you happy to see again?  
What trends do you wish would have stayed away?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things I Love--Gold Canyon Candles

Back in the day when I met my husband (you know, when he was 19) his mom sold Gold Canyon Candles.  One way to grease the future mother-in-law is to buy her product so I did what any super poor college student would do.  I bought $20 candles.

One of the best ideas of my life!  A.  It helped build my relationship with my MIL and B.  I LOVE the candles.

My MIL stopped selling them years ago and they are still the only candle I buy.  They burn slowly, smoothly, and clear to the bottom. The come in various sizes and jars.  There are clean scents, fruity scents, floral scents, baking scents ...

I burn my candles seasonally--ginger lime, fizzy pop, orange, strawberry rhubarb pie, and grapefruit are spring/summer scents while Christmas presence, warm apple crisp, pumpkin pie, apple cider and banana bread make me feel all toasty during the fall and winter.

I'm a bit of a candle addict and I have a whole cupboard dedicated to carefully storing my candles. 

If you ever come to my home and it smells amazing, please know it is NOT me.  It's the candles.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What I Think About--Getting Away

A few weeks ago I read a charming little blog about a husband and wife who got to leave for a week and go on vacation without their children. Sounds dreamy, right?

The blogger, though, had to admit that she and her husband really missed their kids and that though they loved their time away, it was hard to look at the pool and know that kids would love it.  Hard to be at the beach without wishing she could hear their laughter ...

This really got me thinking about getting away.

We got away a lot as kids.  My parents took us traveling everywhere and it was a blast.  Those car fights, hideous hotels, and bathroom breaks along the side of the road are some of my best memories. But my parents got away without us a lot too (and I should mention here they've been married for nearly 41 years).  There were weekends away and weeks away.  I remember as a kid feeling a little duped but I must admit, I get it now.

It is very important to have quality time with your children. But it is equally important to have time alone with your spouse.   After all, one day your darling children will grow up and move out and you're going to want to still know that person you've been parenting with for 18 years.  Ladies, just as we make dang sure we spend enough quality time with our children, we must spend quality time with our husbands!

Part of being a healthy parent is balancing time with children, with your spouse, and with yourself.  Though I often feel guilty when I crave "alone time," I really don't think that constantly sacrificing myself or my marriage for my children is want to model.  I want to model balance and I can't do that unless I actually strive for balance! I can't expect my children to grow up and passionately pursue their dreams and purpose if I don't lead the way.

It is easy to feel guilty for wanting to get away.
It is easy to not make your marriage a priority.
It is easy to make your kids the center of your universe.
I'm saying these things are easy ...
 not right.

A few weeks ago Matt and I took a weekend to ourselves.  It was great to go hiking and out for dinner and to sleep in.  At the end of the weekend, I was ready to see my kids.  And Matt and I returned to them totally refreshed.

Here we are on the summit of Flattop.  We were supposed to climb the 
mountain behind us too but the weather rolled in.  

Yes, your children would have liked the pool.
Yes, your children would probably love the hotel.
Yes, your children probably would have loved the fries at that restaurant.
But here's the important one.
Yes, your children want your marriage to succeed.

Take a moment and get away.  Celebrate the foundation of your family--your marriage (and then plan a little family trip).

What I think is my parents were right children need to see their parents privately getting away to spend time building their intimate relationship. 

BTW--get aways can be cheap!  Go camping.  Get a motel room off priceline.  Switch homes with a friend for the night ...

Do you have any cheap/easy get away ideas to share? The comment line is all yours!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Your Words--You Know You Have PMS When ...

You know you have PMS when ....
  • Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
  • The dryer has mysteriously shrunk every pair of jeans, capris, and shorts you own.
  • Your husband agrees with you too quickly and about everything.
  • You get teary-eyed during Yo Gabba Gabba
  • You catch yourself reading "Guns and Ammo" instead of "Family Fun" or "Real Simple."
  • You think the Bible verse "... and Mary rode Joseph's ass ..." is a Biblical mandate to nag.
  • Pretzels, ice cream, and grape jelly seem like a logical breakfast dish.
  • You are retaining more water than all of the Great Lakes combined.
  • You will fight anyone who says that chocolate is not one of the major food groups.
  • A shirt with a big bulls eye on it seems like a good birthday gift for your husband.

Your turn to finish this sentence: YOU KNOW YOU HAVE PMS WHEN ...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's Cookin'--8/2-8/8

I got an e-mail from gal letting me know that most bloggers post their meal plans on Monday.  Thank you for the heads up, girlie!  However, I'm gonna keep my meal plans on Sunday because, as a meal planner, I think you should get your recipes and buy your groceries BEFORE the week starts (and my sister asked me to post the meal plan on a weekend day).

Here we go!
Monday--Chicken Marsala with salad (this is excellent over whole wheat pasta too but we are still eating very few carbs)
Tuesday--BBQ Salmon and wild rice with steamed veggies
Wednesday--Chili-lime steak salad
Thursday--Spicy grilled shrimp kebabs
Friday--Honey-lime chicken with couscous and salad
Saturday--Asian Chicken salad
Sunday--Spinach Pesto pasta with salad