• Kids

    Traditions

    Schools have always done some sort of heritage project at some point usually during the elementary years. Having two children who joined our family through adoption has meant that I have come to dread those projects. Each family handles it differently but for us, it means that our kids only do what they are comfortable with because I am not going to create more trauma for them just so we can complete a school project. That’s why I’ve been very excited these past few years to see my children come home with “traditions” projects instead. These projects ask what kinds of traditions you have done during your lifetime and why…

  • Uncategorized

    Freezer Meal Planning

    I’ve been a little absent from the blog for a while.  The reason is because I’ve been gearing up for yet another back surgery.  This time it’s a fusion with a tad bit longer of a recovery period.  One of the things that I’ve been working on (besides cleaning the house one last time – because, well, teens!) is making meals that I can freeze.  If you read my blog post Meal Planning 101, you may have noticed that I said you can double a recipe and freezer one. That’s what I do even if I need lots and lots of meals.  I tried that whole “30 meals in 3…

  • travel

    What’s wrong with EPCOT?

    During this time last year, I was standing in my happy place, Walt Disney World. My love for this place started when I was very young, as my parents took us every year through elementary school (sometimes twice a year!). I have made it my mission to have my children feel the same way about this beloved place.  So far, our older children (age 13) have been there 6 times and our younger ones (ages 11 and 12) have gone 3 times.  Our younger kids were only legally members of our family for one month before we whisked them away to WDW.  In hind sight, not my best move to…

  • Personal Self

    Real Life Self Care

    Self Care seems to be quite the buzz word lately.  When I’ve read articles on it, many people use it as an excuse to treat yourself to extravagant things.  That may be fine every once in a while but do I really have to wait until I can afford a full spa day in order to provide self care?  If that’s the case, then I’m looking at maybe one opportunity for self care each year….using a gift certificate that someone gave me. So let’s talk about some more appropriate self care options that we can use during the entire year…. intentional things that we MAKE time for. Feeling appreciated/special: Think…

  • Organization

    Meal Planning 101

    I love reading blogs in my spare time.  It’s my own little personal magazine where I choose the articles that I want to read.  Over the years, I’ve seen several blogs talk about saving money on grocery shopping using coupons and a meal plan.  Well, with our family of six, there’s rarely time to cut coupons or even plan meals around the coupons I have collected and I have NO room to stockpile items when there’s a sale.  Then I read ideas on just meal planning but it got tiresome researching recipes and learning to cook several new things every week. What I now do takes so little time and…

  • Kids

    Making Birthday Memories

    These past few weeks have been busy ones.  You see, in our house we move straight from Christmas celebration to birthday celebrations. Three of our four children have birthdays during the first week of January.  However, we do things a little differently around here.  We do not have birthday parties (besides some cake with family). No, we are not punishing our children.  No, they don’t revolt. Instead of parties and gifts, we give experiences. This all started about 7 years ago when our younger two children joined our family through adoption.  The trauma they experienced made parties and gifts hard to take in. Extreme excitement. Unregulated emotions. Feelings of shame…

  • Personal Self

    How I met my husband (with the help of my Mom)

    I thought I should let you all know a little more about myself and after thinking about it for a while, I feel the story of how my mom helped me meet my husband is a pretty darn good story. The reason it’s an interesting story is because my mom passed away a year before I even met my husband and yet she was the reason I met him.  I know, sounds creepy and far-fetched. I promise, she did NOT show up to me as a ghost or anything so just hold tight. I guess I should start from the beginning. As a young girl, I remember my mom casually…

  • Kids

    Sensory Related Gifts

    It’s the holiday season! And that means figuring out what gifts to get everyone on your list. I have always tried to get our children unique items that may not be found in the average toy store.  My goal is to also make it do double duty….a magnetic game that also works great on long car rides, an outfit that will work for a holiday gathering…you get the idea.  Whether you’ve got a kid that has some extra sensory needs or maybe just has LOTS OF ENERGY and needs a little extra help calming their bodies, it’s sometimes hard to find a gift that will help with regulation AND be…

  • Kids

    4 Ways to Toddler Independence

    When my twins were little, I was introduced to the Montessori method of teaching through their little preschool held at the vocational high school near us. I liked the concept so much I ended up teaching several years of preschool at a Montessori school. Montessori allows students to be more independent in their learning and lets their curiosity guide them in their learning. It helps foster a love of learning. However, if you want your toddler to be more independent at home, you don’t necessarily have to enroll your children in a Montessori school (although I would totally support that plan!). Here’s a few ideas on how to foster independence…

  • Personal Self

    My Success Defined

    This past year has really changed me. I’ve gone from questioning my worth on this planet to feeling confident in how much I bring to the table. If you had asked me a year ago what I have done with the past 13 years, my answer would be that I cooked, cleaned and was a taxi service for my 4 children.