Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Resolutions

Do you plan to make a new year's resolution for 2009? In the past I have resolved to do everything from losing weight to staying organized. I've promised myself to go to the gym at least twice a week and stop eating fast food. I've dedicated my mornings to praying and having quiet time with God...but what always happens? You guessed it...January 2nd!

This year I don't plan to make more empty promises to myself or derail any possible goals or plans I have for the future. My hope is to take one day at a time and enjoy it for all that it is and all God has provided for me. I want to pay more attention to my husband and children and really focus on their needs while still taking some quality time for myself. If January 2nd comes and I didn't do those things, then this year I'll just wake up January 3rd and try again.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year and I look forward to seeing you all in 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Remedies for Cabin Fever

I'm always looking for things to do with the kids in the winter. We've set up some play dates for the winter months and I hope you all can make it to a few. Other than the play dates, I'd like to know what you like to do with your little ones.

I'm hoping to save up some money so we can go to Disney on Ice-Worlds of Fantasy. Tickets go on sale January 23rd for the shows at the Palace February 25-March 1. Maybe we could get a group to go together. We went to Disney on Ice several months ago and my daughter loved it! We were fortunate enough to go with some great friends and their daughters so it was a girly day of fun.

Next week we'll probably visit Pump It Up so the kids can bounce out some of their energy. Let me know if you'd like to join us. Tonight we just went and walked around the mall a bit. I know winter just started, but I'm already getting cabin fever.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Days and Holiday activities

What do you do when you suddenly see that your child has a snow day? Do you bundle up and run outside to make a snowman? Do you whip up some hot chocolate and watch a movie together? Do you declare a pajama day and veg out with whatever comes your way?

Then there are those two weeks of holiday break. Of course Christmas activities and parties probably take up most of the time, but then there is the week between Christmas and New Years. What do you and your children do together to pass the time? Do you have any games, ideas, favorite movies or recipes you'd like to share?

As for our family, my kids and I have pajama day. We stay in our PJs all day and watch our favorite cartoon movies while eating PB & J with a bowl of soup for lunch. When Daddy gets home from work, we try to bundle up and play in the snow a bit before dark. Then we celebrate with warm baths and hot chocolate before bed.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Traveling with your children

With the holiday season, many of us will be traveling distances great and small with our little ones. Our family recently flew to Louisiana from Michigan (2-3 hr flight) and will be driving 6 plus hours to Indiana over Thanksgiving.

When flying we take the Play Station portable so they can play video games or watch a movie. It's so much easier than a travel DVD player. It doesn't weigh as much and you don't have to keep up with the DVDs. We try to plan the flights around nap time, but that doesn't always work. I try to make sure we're stocked on snacks since the airlines do not provide anything for less than $3.

When driving, we like to pack sandwiches and stop at rest areas for picnics. Of course in the winter it doesn't work as well. I love having the DVD in the van and then there is always road sign games. Since our preschooler is learning to read, we try to have her look for certain letters in the signs.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for other moms on how to keep your children occupied and keep yourself sane?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Change for the sake of the children

When I say "Change" I'm not talking about which Presidential candidate would be best suited or not for the job. I'm talking about change within our homes to teach our children about how to create their futures. Ronald Reagan said, "All great change starts at the dinner table." How true that could be if we would embrace it. If we all sat down each night with our families and turned off the TVs and really asked our children and husbands about their day, imagine how much we would learn. Imagine how much they would learn about us.

When I grew up, we ate every meal together. After the table was cleared, we'd bring out some dominoes or cards and play a game together. Occasionally we would invite one of the older ladies from the neighborhood to join us. As a teen I found that this wasn't commonplace. My friends never did this. I, however, got to really know my parents. I got to know the sweet widow down the street. I learned how they play a game, how they approach teamwork and I learned about their views on life. It introduced me to a higher comfort with the elderly. I learned that just because they are older doesn't mean they aren't useful. They have a lifetime of knowledge they would love to share.

I want to encourage you to spend that extra time with your family as well. If you can't get together every night, just try to do it a couple of times a week. Make the extra time for discussion. Learn about your children and maybe more importantly let them learn about you.
You can take this time to really make a 'change' for the better.

I ask you all to take time this weekend to join your family around the table and pray for our nation. Pray for our leaders and most of all for the leaders this election will provide. Ask for God's direction for our country and for our lives. God Bless!

Halloween Party Pictures

(Pic. 1 )The kids were going for the loot out of the pinata (Pic. 2) Evan, Lia and Jake were getting ready to go pumpkin bowling. (Pic. 3) All the little goblins that would sit still for a picture.

Winter's almost here

Snow in October!! The weather man has lost his mind!! Of course it was only a flake or two, but that is two more than I'm mentally ready to handle.

The winter always brings to mind snuggles on the couch with my sweet kids and a cup of hot chocolate . Then when those five minutes have passed and reality sets in I'm in real trouble. Knowing that the snow is inevitable I'm trying to prepare myself now with fun outings for the kids at least once a month. Since money is tight, I'm trying to do these outings on a budget. So far I've come up with a day at Pump It Up...that's about $10 since kids under 2 are free. Chuck E. Cheese is always a crowd pleaser and with the coupons from the website we can do lunch and games for under $15. I feel like that pushes the budget a bit, but I'm willing to skimp on other things for my sanity. I can only stay outside making snowmen for so long.

What do you do and where do you go to keep the kids busy? I want to find places where they can exercise while I keep my sanity and prevent cabin fever. HELP!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Family Activities

Halloween Fun in the Community--(all events are free unless otherwise noted)

**Wiegand’s Pumpkin Walk ($5)-- Wiegans Nursery-- Oct. 22 -- 6:30-8 p.m.
Romeo Plank, Macomb Twp.

**Healthy Halloween Harvest-- Partridge Creek Mall-- Oct. 25--
9 a.m.-1 p.m.www.shoppartridgecreek.com

**Trunk or Treat (cost of food) -- Fellowship Chapel -- Oct. 25-- 4-6 p.m.
Sterling Heights

**Fall Harvest Party -- Fisherman’s Net Church-- Oct. 25-- 6-9 p.m. Cass Ave., Utica

**Trunk ‘n’ Treat-- Bethesda Christian Church-- Oct. 26 -- 2-5 p.m. (16/Schoenherr)

**Halloween in the Park-- Veterans Memorial Park-- Oct. 26 -- 3-7 p.m.
St. Clair Shores (Masonic/Jefferson)

**Trunk or Treat-- The Shores Church-- Oct. 26 -- 4-7 p.m. St. Clair Shores (www.theshoreschurch.org)

**Trunk or Treat -- Woodside Bible Church -- Oct. 29-- 6:30-8 p.m.
Warren Campus (696/Hoover)

**Fall Festival -- Bethany Baptist Church-- Oct. 31 -- 6-8 p.m.
15/Groesbeck, Clinton Twp.

Halloween Activities

It seems there are tons of local things to do with your kids during the Halloween and Fall season. What are your favorites? Do you have a Trunk or Treat or Pumpkin Walk you like to do with your kids? Do you know of any that are coming up that you would like to share? If so, let me know so we can pass on the fun to other moms!!

Bethany Baptist will be having their annual Fall Festival from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 31st. It's all free!! The fun includes 3 floors of games, food and even a bouncy house.

Woodside Bible in Warren and Fellowship Chapel in Sterling Heights both have a Trunk or Treat. Check their websites for more info.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holiday craft ideas

Do any of you do holiday crafts with your children? If so, what do you do and what crafts do you like best?

We haven't done any before, but this year I think I'll buy some pre-made ornaments and have our daughter paint them to give as gifts to family. I also considered making candy canes out of pipe cleaners and pony beads.

If you have any fantastic ideas for preschool holiday crafts, I would love to hear them!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Whirlwind Life

Have you looked at your children and noticed that their feet are touching to bottom of their high chair when a week ago they weren't even close? Or maybe your daughter will soon be walking across the stage to graduate preschool and begin a whole new world of Kindergarten. Where does the time go?

I was thinking on the events of this past week and just last Monday's events seem like they were a lifetime ago. Things have gone in rapid speed all week and don't look they they are going to slow down any time soon. My time has been filled with planning things for my children to make sure they get the most out of their little lives, but in truth the best thing for them is TIME with their parents. Sure, a trip to the cider mill or the park with the play group is fun and of course the learning and socializing is important. However, I have to stop and remember that sitting on the couch and reading a story is just as important if not more. When my daughter says that she wants to stay home and sit in her pajamas instead of going to the park, I have to realize that she needs the time to rest and just sit around with her Mama. Sometimes I get so busy being busy to enrich them and create memories that I forget the importance of doing absolutely nothing and enjoying it too. I have to remember that the dishes and laundry will be there later, but Kindergarten is coming fast and before I know it the stage she will cross will lead her from high school to college.

I want to encourage all of you Mamas to stop and enjoy your little ones. Read them an extra story before bed and give them an extra squeeze and cheek sugar. Savor these moments because they don't last forever.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Biggest Fears

What are your biggest fears as a mom? I fear that I will lose my kids in a busy shopping mall or that one of them will run out in front of a car. I fear that I won't raise them to be productive or independent. I fear that they will fail and it will somehow be my fault. After all, I'm sure that's what they'll tell their shrink regardless. ; )

My biggest fear used to be that they will one day grow up and not need me anymore. I know that would mean that I did my job, but it's a conundrum. I think my goal for them now is that they won't need me to help them or give advice when they grow up, but I hope they will always want me to lend a hand or suggestion. I think that determines our success as mothers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mothers of Preschoolers

About the time my daughter was born, I was introduced to the MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) organization. I had no idea how much this group would play a part in my life. I attend Fellowship Chapel MOPs every other Tuesday and I'm truly blessed by the friendships I have made there!! If you need a way to connect with the world away from your children I suggest you find a MOPs group near you. You can go to www.mops.org for more information.

Monday, September 8, 2008

School has started

Our daughter started Begindergarten this year and loves it. She's learning so many new things. The one thing that we have the hardest time with is getting her to bed early enough so she won't be cranky in the mornings. We're slowly upping her bed time by 10 minutes a night until she gets on a good schedule.

So many of us have children that started school for the first time this fall. Have you run into any obstacles with your little ones while making the adjustments? Have you had any challenges that you would like to share with others so they can prepare themselves? If so, please post.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Healthy snacks

I was reading a magazine while at the pediatrician's office and saw an article on healthy snack ideas. It was so cute, I just had to share.

You take ice cream cones and fill them with snack mix. (popcorn, chex, pretzels, goldfish) That way the kids have a healthy snack and an easy way to carry it around without any dishes to be done afterwards.

Do any of you have any favorite healthy snack ideas you'd like to share?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

PreSchool Crafts

Do you have a favorite craft idea to do with your children? Lia likes to ask to do an "easy peasy" craft so I would love some suggestions. We made paper fans and made art work for the grandmas, used decorative scissors to make pretty designs on paper, but that's about my limit and I'm totally out of ideas. With winter on the way, I'd love some ideas that are easy and not terribly time consuming that even the non-crafty can handle. I look forward to your comments!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Family Friendly Restaurants

Do you have a favorite restaurant where you and your family go regularly? Is it kid friendly? Let us hear about it.

I enjoy going to Applebee's because they have a great kids menu, but Pizza Hut is my favorite. They have family package pizza deals that include salads, drinks, pizza and bread sticks that will feed a family of 4 for under $25. Also, during the week there is a lunch buffet so if the kids don't like what they get, you can always get them something different to try. Of course a good old stand-by is Chuck E. Cheese where the kids can play in a safe environment and enjoy some decent pizza.