• Exercise,  Family

    Basketball Drills for 4 – 6 Year Olds

    A few years ago I had the pleasure of coaching my son’s basketball team. He was 5 years old and it was his first experience playing the game. The stated goal of this particular basketball program was to introduce 4 – 6-year-olds to the game in a fun setting so they would want to continue to play the sport in subsequent years. No problem, right? Hahahahahaha! I say this with all the affection of a mother. It was like coaching a pack of wild animals. Albeit, very cute wild animals. Let me tell you what you will (potentially) be up against. 1) 4 teams of 8 – 10 kids practicing…

  • Family,  gift and learning,  holidays

    Presents My Kids Played With Longer Than 5 Minutes

    I challenge you to find me one parent on the face of this planet that didn’t hear their children say at some point after Christmas, “I’m bored.” In certain dialects it could have also sounded like, “I’m booooored.” You find me that one parent and I’ll show you a person with their pants on fire. Or a parent who is wearing earplugs because they are so much smarter than me. Yes, yes. There were moments this holiday season that were magical. Joy-filled. Melt my heart. Worthy of a Hallmark card. Those are the moments I hold close to my heart while I let electronics babysit my kids because the week…

  • Family

    Merry Christmas 2018

    So this is Christmas. And what have we done? Well, we took one family picture this year. So, that’s something. Ha! Seriously though, this year has been a full one and I can’t believe it’s already coming to a close! From our family to yours, we wish you all the best  – not just today – but in all the days to come. I also want to say thank you. Thank you for following along on this journey and being a part of my world. Thank you for sharing part of yourself with me. I’ll be taking off the rest of the year to spend time with my family and…

  • education,  Family,  gift and learning

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 10

    I’m back on this lovely Cyber Monday with the tenth installment of what my kids have been reading lately. My kids are 8 and 11 years old. That’s 3rd and 6th grades. I have one kid who goes to school with a book to read on the bus. I have another child who is ‘forced’ to read 25 minutes a day for homework. It’s a bit of a mixed bag in our household, but I still LOVE to read out loud to my kids and they enjoy that too! All of these books should be available in your local library. If you’re shopping online for children’s books this holiday season, please…

  • Family

    Thankful for Friends

    When we moved back to the U.S. this summer to a place we’d never lived before, I anticipated Thanksgiving would be a quiet affair with just our family of four. We’ve had several of those quiet Thanksgiving dinners. I don’t really mind them. The hardest part is to keep the twinge of missing out at bay. Those type of feelings defeat the entire purpose of being thankful. Then, much to my delight, friends from Georgia said they wanted to spend the holiday with us. So let me get this right… These folks want to travel on the busiest week of the year to eat turkey with us? Uh, HECK YEAH!!!…

  • Family

    Mom? Do Bad Things Happen to Everyone?

    97.8% of being a parent is answering an endless stream of questions. Most of them come in the form of… “Can I have…?” Or “Why?” Or my favorite, “Why not?” Sometimes there’s just a long “mom” or “dad” with a question mark at the end repeated over and over in increasing volume. Mom? Mooom? Mooooommmm??? When kids discover their voice they sometimes forget they have two legs and can get up to come find you. Then there are the weird questions. Case in point, I was recently asked, “Mom, how does a person become a god?” Uh… That’s what I get for letting my kid read a book at the…

  • Family

    What a Broken Pitcher Taught Me About Empathy

    On Sunday I was bustling around the kitchen making bread and granola. In the middle of that chaos the humans in my house wanted lunch, so I had a lot of different food projects going on at once. I pulled open the vegetable drawer in my refrigerator to get some carrots and thought it was odd that the drawer had liquid sloshing around in it. That’s never a good sign. Maybe the water in the bag of baby carrots had leaked? I wasn’t sure, but it seemed like a good time to clean that drawer out. And while I was at it, I might as well clean the other vegetable…

  • Family

    Happy Labor Day and First Day of School Eve

    This is our last day of summer before school starts tomorrow. New schools, new teachers, new friends. There’s a lot to be excited about. Truly. There’s excitement in the new. There’s incredible possibility. I’m telling you guys (because you’re my peeps, but let’s not say the word ‘peeps’ out loud because we’re adults, darn it and not marshmallows) that on the outside I am Miss Positive. I have to set the right tone for my kids. Fake it ’til you make it is how I navigate life anyway and it’s amazing how this positive attitude helps me too. However, deep inside is a part of me that’s currently hoping, praying,…

  • Animals,  education,  Family

    Does Owning an Ant Farm Make Me a Farmer?

    This is a legitimate question. Does owning an ant farm make me a farmer? Or just crazy because I have live ants in my house? Ants that I PAID MONEY to bring into my home and that I’m feeding and watering. You’re right. I drew the same conclusion. It definitely makes me a farmer. Glad we cleared that up. We recently took the kids to a place in New Jersey called Insectropolis. It is a self-described bugseum, which is a pretty great name. It was also a pretty great place to spend a couple of hours. We saw thousands of bugs and even touched a few live ones including a…

  • education,  Family,  gift and learning

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 9

    It’s been awhile since I updated you on what my kids and I have been reading together. How have you survived without this list?! My dad is out there right now saying, “I survived just fine!” Hahahaha! Before I get to the book list, I want to share my library receipt with you. I promise this is interesting. Our library recently started indicating on the receipt how much you saved by checking books out instead of buying them. On this trip we saved $262! Isn’t that a clever marketing idea? Alright, onto the good stuff. Our summer schedule has been pretty loosey-goosey and I felt like we haven’t been reading…