Thursday, June 13, 2013

Parenting Tip - Summer Goals

How are your Summer Goals coming? 

WHAT?  You haven't made summer goals for yourself or helped your children make summer goals?  Well, let me telling you, you're missing out on an excellent opportunity to get some things done and create a feeling of accomplishment for yourself and/or your children.

I LOVE, (repeat) LOVE to make summer goals.  I have made summer goals with my children when they were growing up each year, and have annoyed their families now that they're adults, by suggesting they make summer goals as a family.  Except this year.  I decided not to force my exuberance onto them again this year--though one daughter reported that she's really excited about doing summer goals with her family.  And a daughter-in-law loves summer goals, too.

I like to make goals during the summer because summer is a concrete length of time.  It has a beginning and an end.  It starts NOW, and ends THEN, depending on where you live and what your school calendar is.

When my children were younger we made goals on cooking, reading, learning something new, and music goals.  What a great time to teach your children how to cook a simple meal, or your teenage son/daughter how to plan a menu and cook the meals.

 What a great time to read, read, read.

What a great time to learn something new, like how to play the guitar, or earn a merit badge for your scout or cub scouter.  How about doing family history or sewing or knitting?  One year my sons were so hooked on making bookmarks out of plastic mesh, that one of them tried to sell some to the neighbors because he had made so many.

Don't plan so many activities this summer that your children don't have time to relax, play, swim, or be bored.  Yes--bored children can be creative children and make up the most interesting games and activities to do.

It's never too late to make summer goals--and actually, in some places of the United States, school isn't over yet.  So if your children are still in school, think about making summer goals this year.
Make them simple, attainable, and FUN!

Thanks for reading,



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Parenting Tip - Be a Minimalist Mom

Whoa, I was just reading a blog entry I happened to run across and had to stop and post the link  here--immediately!!

It's a post from a mom suffering from post partum depression, but that's not what the post is about.  It's about how her young daughter completely changed from being a whiny, moody, obstinate, change -clothes-constantly, non sleeping child into a happy, cooperative child again.

I know.  You're thinking, "what's the secret?  Tell me quick!"

She decluttered all the toys--picked up stuff off the floor and just put the stuff in a box in the other room.  She did it every day for two weeks--her daughter even started helping her. 

What was the reaction of her daughter?  She spun in a circle in her room and said, "It's a dream come true! Thank you for my new room mommy!"

Then this mother lists how her daughter has turned back into a normal, happy child again.

Are you sick of having a messy house?  Are there toys all over the floor that your child rarely plays with?  Are you feeling claustrophobic with junk piling everywhere?  Are you a hoarder?  Are you selfish?

Declutter.  Get rid of stuff.  Give it away.  It's WRONG to have so much of nothing.  It's WRONG to teach our children they need more, and more and more.

It's RIGHT to live a simple life.  It's RIGHT to enjoy using what you have.  It's RIGHT to not have so many decisions to make, clothes to wash, toys to pick up.  It's RIGHT to let children be creative and use throwable things to entertain themselves.

Stop the EXCESS!

Okay.  Sorry for the rant.  I think I've got it out of my system now.  But I'm going to take this thought to heart and go declutter my own house.

Thanks for reading,



Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.  ~William Morris

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.  ~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Parenting Tip - Establish a Summer Schedule

My son and his wife and 5 children are coming for a month long visit this summer, and I'm getting really excited to see them.  But I'm also thinking, "yikes, 5 kids ages 10 down to a baby.  How do I keep them busy?"  So I've been having a lot of fun searching the internet for fun summer activities--and if you've been out there surfing alongside me, you'll understand when I say there are a TON of ideas.

But first things first.  To make summer enjoyable, you have to be organized and ahead of the game.  That's why I'm sharing some summer organizational ideas I found that interested me.  Maybe they'll work for you too.  These ideas go from very simple to more complex.

This idea from Home Stories A to Z  is pretty simple.  Just type up ideas of things you 
want to do this summer, add some artwork, print
them and post them.

The next idea from Somewhat Simple and
Remarkable Home
has a different focus for each day. 


The blog, The Finer Things in Life has a free printable bingo poster of activities to do this summer.  She lists several fun ways to use the bingo idea so you can twist it to your family's needs.

The Reading Confetti blog had a cute alphabetical listing
of summer ideas. 

The Power of Moms  has a great chart to download of daily things each child needs to do each day.


These are just a few of the many, many ideas out there.  My suggestion to you is to ponder what YOUR focus should be this summer, decide how YOU want to implement it, and do it YOUR way.
 (Hmmm, that sounds like a song).  Then don't look back.  Don't compare your family with any one else.  Don't feel guilty you're not doing what someone else is doing.

Feel positive about how you are mothering your children with the abilities and strength you have in this season of your life.  You are like no one else and your family is like no one else. Never compare.
Just ENJOY! 

Life is meant to be enjoyed, and so is summer! Eat lots of watermelon :)

Thanks for reading,



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Parenting Tip - Housework Scavenger Hunt

 Summer is here for lots of you moms out there.  Now is the time to get some strategies going so that you have a successful and happy summer.  My daughter just emailed what she was doing today and I thought I should share it.

Problem: The house is a mess today and I can't and shouldn't clean it all myself.
Solution: A Housework Scavenger Hunt!
(We earn stickers for chores that later transfer into quarters.)

Here are the clues:
 We’ll start in a place where we like to hang out.
Reading and piano are what this room's about.

Let’s go to a room where we all like to sit.
We brush, wash, and ‘go’ there. Can you think of it?

Now let’s collect yucky stuff all over the house.
We need to get it out before it attracts a mouse!

Let’s go to the room that is mostly clean in part.
Just clutter from projects and animals and art.

Now each of you start on the room where you dress.
Pick up 30 things each while I sweep up this mess.

We’ll go back to bedrooms after piano lessons are done.
For now get 2 stickers and then go have some fun.

 Ok, let’s get back to the place where we drop
Shoes, backpacks, mittens, lunchboxes, papers and socks.

Now that that’s finished, who’s up for a race?
Get an old rag and let’s mop this whole place.

Let’s straighten the room with the big fireplace.
It shouldn’t take long, there’s not much out of place.

Now let’s finish up where you lay down your heads.
If we get it sparkling we can rearrange some beds.

While we are here, let’s straighten another little room.
It’s hardly a mess and does not need a broom.

I think we are almost done with our chores.
Put up 2 more stickers, then put clothes in your drawers.

You were such a big help, I couldn’t have done it without you!
Please go eat a popsicle as my way of saying THANK YOU!!

Good luck with your summer ideas!  I'll be posting lots more ideas, so check back often.
Thanks for reading,




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