Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

They grow up TOO fast...

Tuesday Tradition #5

A day late...sorry!

This is fun to plan for St. Patty's Day that's coming up. Eat everything GREEN...from scrambled eggs, to juice, green pancakes to green Jello. Make it fun for the kids. Maybe even sneek in a few green treats in their school krispy treats, green grapes. Dinner can be quite exciting too. Some green pasta with green sauce and green salad. Stock up on some green food coloring and have some fun!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Heartwarming Stories: Sweet Sounds of Laughter

I started writing my "Sunday Story" and then completely changed my entire story to this one...nothing long or big, just sweet!
As I was typing a story about a favorite childhood memory, I kept hearing "giggling" in the background. I wasn't sure who was laughing, but I knew it was a few different voices...mostly girly too. So I assumed it was my daughters, 14 and 12. I then heard another little giggle, again, a girly one...and figured it had to be my 1 yr old little girl (who was supposed to already be in bed). The sweet sound of all three of my girls just giggling made me tingle inside! I wasn't sure what they were doing, but I knew they had be in the family room. My 12-year-old broke her ankle today in a soccer game and is pretty bummed out. So to hear her laughing, with her other sisters just made me smile. I kept typing and in the midst of the sweetness of laughter I could hear the "Academy Awards" music chiming in. I peaked around the corner and saw all three girls, snuggled up on the couch together, blankets, popcorn and the Academy Awards Red Carpet Previews on. They were commenting on the beautiful dresses and talking about their favorite actors and actresses. The littlest one at 1 years old right in the mix of it all. It was just too cute! I love it that they can find a few minutes out of the day, to put aside their differences, and enjoy each other as sisters and best friends!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #3

I have seen the light! That's what one of my daugther's told me....I finally, after 13 years, let my daughters USE MY SCRAPBOOK STUFF! I know--I can't believe it either. Some of the stickers and paper that I have is older than them! I realized I could keep it under lock and key or I could throw it out onto the table and them them have an art party! They spent about 3 hours at the kitchen table on this rainy day in Tampa making cards, writing letters to their family out in California, posters for their rooms....they had so much fun! I can't believe the day has finally come...I have seen the light!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

More Wordless Wednesday...5 Min. For Mom

Tuesday Tradition #4

This tradition is simple, yet it will have a HUGE impact on your family.

Dinner time at our house can be quite hectic and crazy…completely unorganized an all together a complete miracle if all seven us are there at one time. If we do have all 7 of us sitting around the table, I like to make the most of this time together. The mood can be like a roller coaster…with two daughters, a teenager & pre-teen, their 5-year-old brother looking for fun, twins throwing food from highchair to highchair, dad coming in from a stressful day at work and of course me, trying to remain calm and actually enjoy my meal.

There were plenty of wasted nights at the dinner table. Arguing, bad moods, silent treatments, food fights…I knew I had to find a way to make this quality time that our family could enjoy instead of the worst event of the day…that’s when I started to use the Cherish Bound Chat Cards.

The Chat Cards are a deck of about 50 cards that have questions on them. I LOVE the Family Chat cards. They have wonderful questions for kids of all ages and parents too. They stimulate healthy conversation and who doesn’t love a few minutes of story swapping? There’s no time for bad moods and food fights. Everyone is always waiting to get their chance at telling the next story. It’s a great way to teach each other how to be respectful and listen to someone else speak and gives our children a chance to have the spotlight for just a few minutes.

We’ve gone from crazy hectic dinners to a time of learning, teaching and growing. We look forward to our few nights together at the dinner table. We enjoy each other’s company and love that we’re sharing our stories with each other, teaching each other and keeping a family tradition of sharing story a part of our lives.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #2

AH! That's all I can say....AH! As you know, I just moved this past week. It was complete chaos...we survived, but it was crazy. We had to pack, move and downsize 2000 sq. feet into a temp rental very quickly. Obviously, I wasn't able to bring everything with me, but I did remember all my Cherish Bound stuff and my pictures and projects I'm working on...and I did have my scrapbooks. I had taken the time to pack them...very nicely in their own box. We moved 100's of boxes and furniture with no problems...none! Except for ONE box...take a guess! You got it! The scrapbook box containing ONLY 5 scrapbooks was too heavy and BUSTED open on the bottom..huh-uh! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?? Yeah...and to make it worse, it was near the GUTTER...that had the slightest amount of sprinkler water running through it from the obsessed neighbor 8 doors down. And....yes, one book hit the water pages open....yet again, another scrapbook damaged! THANK GOODNESS FOR CHERISH BOUND! Thank goodness for my private library online that holds all of my books and photos...thank goodness that I can make another copy of any book I damage...because we all know with seven pairs of hands running wild over these books I'm going to need archive guarantee forever!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2007 Family Yearbook!

As crazy as it seems, we're already a good 6 weeks deep into 2008. I don't know about you, but my mind goes into a fog very quickly and the memories of the previous year tend to slip away quicker with each day that passes. So before we get any further into 2008, it's time to gather and organize your stories and memories from 2007.

Thank goodness Cherish Bound offers the amazing Family Yearbook Story Starter. (one of my personal favorites) This story starter will break down your ENTIRE year for you!! There are 6 sections inside the booklet that help break up your year into bite size chunks....keeping it simple and easy for you.

The sections are:

  • A day in the life of our family
  • Monthly Happenings
  • All about each of us
  • Our year by themes
  • No Pictures...No Worries
  • Pop Culture

Each of these sections has around 10 questions to help remind you of events, details, memories and allows for the entire family to get involved and add their own versions of the stories.

In the very back of the Story Starter there is plenty of room to write all your thoughts and outlines down and organzine your entire Family Yearbook before hitting the computer for publishing. The proccess is simple yet complete.

A great tool to use while doing your family album is your calendar from the year you're writing about. Calendars are the perfect tool for reminding ourselves of all the events our families took part in throughout the year.

There have been times when I needed to do Major Catch-up from years way back or multiple years at one time....that's when I do an A-Z book. It's great way out of trying to do everything chronologically. Instead of doing your Family Yearbook chronologically you can do it alphabetically and relieve unnecessary stress.

And of course attending the Family Yearbook Workshop is a must! This is where you get to write and organize your entire book in just a few hours. Workshops provide a quiet, organized, efficient enviorment for you to complete the writnig process of your Family Yearbook.

2008 will be over before you know it, so don't wait! Get started now with your 2007 Family Yearbook. The process is easy and I'm here to help!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #3

Set aside a few hours one night a week that is just for the family. Make it a reoccurring event and keep it the same time, every week. Use this time to play games, watch TV, talk, laugh, bake together, teach each other something...whatever it is, spend this time enjoying each other's company. You'll find teens making sure they're home this evening and the younger siblings will be so excited when their family night comes. My philosophy is...I'd rather my kids be at home with me, but I also want them to "want" to be at home with me. Creating these types of traditions in your own home is a great way to keep your kids at home in a safe and loving enviornment. Give them something fun and exciting to look forward to...before you know it they'll be planning your family's special nights and starting their own traditions.

Little on the Crazy Side!

Well I'm neck deep in the middle of a move and I'm going to be out of internet for a WEEK!! Not sure what I'm going to do...oh, maybe unpack or something, but that's boring! I won't be able to add any new posts until next Thursday...Valentine's Day! Wish me luck and let's hope I come out of this move somewhat sane.......if you don't hear from by Friday, you know something went terribly WRONG!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #2

Traditions do not need to be centered around a holiday or a major event. Some traditions can be very simple, but have a lasting impact on our families. A tradition we have recently started is “Daddy-Daughter” dates. I read a great article from that talked about “fathers becoming more aware of their influence and regularly dating their daughters.” This is their time to talk, laugh, vent…whatever they want. They deserve to have this time to strengthen the relationship and bond with each other.

“The bond you develop with your daughter during real times of conversation and connection pays dividends.” Lynne M. Thompson and Cheryl Gochnauer

Here are some great ideas for “Daddy-Daughter” dates:

  • Go to a museum
  • BBQ and/or go on a picnic together
  • Go fishing, hiking or just take a walk
  • Look at photo albums and pictures
  • Teach her a new skill: change a tire, oil, fix bike
  • Teach him a new skill: sew a button, bake favorite dessert
  • Do a service project for someone in need
  • Go to the park
  • Shoot some hoops
  • Ice Cream shop
  • Interview each other and publish your stories through Cherish Bound
  • Go watch a sporting event

Visit this link to see more FANTASTIC ideas and tips to make your dates a true success.

Modify this list and activities to suit your family's needs. How about a grandfather or uncle? Maybe your family needs a “Mother-Son” date…whatever it may be modify it to create lasting memories and traditions in your family.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Heartwarming Stories: Family Story Time

Stories are what make us real and alive. They can bring out emotions from one extreme to another. They can connect the past with the future and they can heal our deepest wounds and fears. Stories are an important part of our existance on this earth. Whether they're shared through spoken word, printed on paper or even to a crowd of 100, they're worth telling.

Because I think it's so important to share stories, I'm keeping Sunday's all about stories. On Sunday's, I'll share some personal stories, have family share some and even have friends and guests come in and share a moment big or small that connected them, healed them or made them laugh.

But for this week, share a story with a child. It can be your own, from a book, or "make-believe". Just plan time to cuddle up and share a thought, moment or story. Start a tradition of telling stories to your children and grandchildren.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #1

I had such a crazy-mom experience about two days ago, and decided it’s worth writing about. Not just this one time, but weekly. My hope is that if I share my experiences as an “ex-scrapbooker” it will save you sorrow, unnecessary chaos and keep you from being called a psycho by your five-year-old son!

Where do I begin? This could be a 400 page post, but I will refrain and break it up weekly….So here goes week #1.

My 5-year-old was home early from school and looking for something to do. He kept getting into EVERYTHING that was either too much work at the moment, not his, messy, loud….you name it, he found it. I told him to find something quiet to do, something he could do while sitting on the couch and something he could do all by himself. I buzzed around the house doing laundry, chasing twins and it dawned on me that it was way TOO quiet….

So I came down the stairs to find him curled up on the big red couch, with a blanket, and the SCRAPBOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!! What was he thinking? He knows he can’t touch the scrapbooks! How did he get passed the security system?

“What are you doing with the scrapbooks son?” “You told me to find something quiet to do. So I did. I’m looking at my pictures….I love my pictures…I was so cute…my daddy…remember when…bla, bla, bla…” By this time my hearing was somewhat obstructed due to the fact that my heart was thumping in my ears and my blood pressure was reaching high risk levels. (Now please understand, this isn’t anger management problems…this is protecting and saving the world from losing valuable, irreplaceable information)

I quickly ran over to him and “gently” grabbed the scrapbook from him…by this time I was breathing somewhat heavier than normal, but managed to pry his dirty little fingers off and get the scrapbook back in my hands. “Why are you taking it away? I want to look at my pictures?” “Because you’re too little to look at it by yourself. What if a picture got lost or a page fell out…or a die cut moved out of its place…or a sticker—became unstuck!? Then what would we do?” I rambled on for a few minutes longer….lost in my own little-scary world, caressing the book and heading back to the vault that it came out of.

As I reached up to put the scrapbook back up on the VERY TIP TOP closet shelf where no one could see it, reach it, touch it again….my five-year-old son asked me, “Why are you so psychotic?” AH! Uh? Oh? I froze in mid-motion as I realized I was on my tip toes, teetering to put HIS book of memories, stories and photos on the top shelf of a dark closet where nobody could enjoy or see any of them…..

So now you can see where “Confessions of an ex-scrapbooker” has come from. I never-ever want to be told by a 5-year-old…or anyone for that matter that I am psychotic! Thank goodness I have changed my ways, moved on to publishing all my family's memories in Cherish Bound books.

The story continues….I then went into the family room where all of our family’s Cherish Bound books are displayed, grabbed one of his books from our library, pulled him up next to me on the big red couch, snuggled under the blanket and we read the story about his adventures at Dinosaur World. Now that’s redemption!