Friday, September 30, 2011

October Wacky Holidays

October is one of my favorite months. The season is starting to shift to cool crisp mornings but sunny warm afternoons, the leaves on the trees are turning beautiful colors and Halloween is just around the corner! I LOVE Halloween. It is a time of year that you can just put your adult hat away for a while and act like a kid and it's acceptable. Halloween is also the official marker for the start of the holidays, and I love the entire holiday season. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Man Cave: Strength Through Struggle

I hear people all the time pose the questions "If God is exists, why does he allow so many evil things to happen in the world?"

If God is there, allowing bad things to happen, I like to think it's because he is a wise parent.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gossip Is Like Toothpaste

Years ago we were having a family discussion about gossip and the dangers of saying things about other people. When trying to explain something to young kids, it almost always is helpful to have an example to go along with it for better understanding. I used toothpaste, and it worked great.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Marshmallow Miracle

Guest Writer: Amy Hamblin

Last week we had our first rainy day since June.  I can’t believe that it has been that long since we have had a nice rainy day.  The kids went outside every time it stopped raining, but they would always be back inside in less than five minutes when the rain would pick back up.  Every time that they came in they would find their way to my feet where I would hear the classic: “Mom I’m bored, Mom there’s nothing to do, Mom I hate the rain, Mom what can I do, Mom…Mom…Mom” 

Monday, September 26, 2011

5 Creative Book Covers

It's that time of year again. Text books have been handed out, damage reports have been filled out, and now it's time to cover those babies to keep them from receiving any new damage that you will be responsible for. You could go out and buy some book covers, but why  not take a few bonding moments with your kids to create something fun and personal. I founds some great ideas on the interweb for you.

Get out the paper sacks and glue and have some creative fun!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Create A Brag Center

Kids thrive on recognition: heck, we ALL thrive on recognition. Create an area in your home, that is in a highly visible location, for a brag center: a place where you will display good grades received and awards earned. Your kids need to be rewarded for all of their hard work and accomplishments. When they can see how far they have come it will motivate them to continue to do well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Man Cave: Wearing the Pants Ain't What it Used to Be

No...I'm not talking about how the women's lib movement has changed a man's role in the family. I'm not talking about bringing home the bacon, wives working outside the home, or how children these days are more disrespectful than they used to be. I'm not talking about any of that crap.

I'm talking about literally wearing the pants, and it ain't pretty.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

White Chocolate/ Macadamia Nut Cookies

In honor of White Chocolate Day tomorrow, September 22, I am sharing my favorite White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookie recipe. This is a staple in our house at Christmas time: everyone gets to pick their favorite cookie for me to make and this is always at the top of the list.

Have a cookie on me tomorrow, and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let Them Cook For You Once In A While

Guest Writer: Amy Hamblin

I remember back when I was in fourth grade:  It seems like the world was a different place then, or  maybe it was just my world because of the situation that we lived in.  With a single Mom and 4 or 5 kids still at home everyone had no choice but to do their part.  I do not regret the experience though because I learned so many amazing skills at such a young age. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

5 Stategys To Cope With Test Anxiety

We've all been there to one degree or another.... you study all night long for a test in school, you get there the next day knowing your stuff, as test time approaches the anxiety starts to mount: finally the time comes, the test is placed in front of you and poof - all gone.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Taking My Little Girl To College Today

We are climbing into our vehicle in just a few short hours for the drive to Jess's new home. As I type this I have butterflies in my tummy. This is certainly going to be a new adventure for both of us, but most especially Jess. Will tears ensue? Only time will tell.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Man Cave: Sauerkraut and Banana Peel Sandwich

After 23 years I think I've learned the two most important words in marriage. I truly believe if you can master them the odds of your marriage being a long and happy one increase exponentially.

Trouble is, when they cross your tongue these two simple words taste like a moldy sauerkraut and banana peel sandwich.

Our Last Play Day

Yesterday was my last day to play with Jess before getting down to the nitty gritty. We went out and picked up my mom and spent the day at our local wildlife park - Northwest Trek. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shopping For The Essentials

Day three. Jess and I spent all day together shopping. It was a fun, but get down to the details, kind of day. There were still a lot of odds and ends essentials that needed to be purchased in order for Jess to have a successful time at college: you know, laundry soap, cold medicine, microwave popcorn and shoes... the absolute essentials ;o).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Family Fair Day

Day two of the count down to Jess leaving took us to the fair.  Aaron and I both have Monday's off and Jeff doesn't have to work until evening so we had a rare gift of having our whole family together for the day: onion burgers, elephant ears, scones and funnel cake ensued.

Monday, September 12, 2011

This Is It Folks

It's our last week with Jessica before she heads off to college. I know she won't be too far, only about 2 hours away, and that she will come home for the weekends every now and then.... but, things are just not going to be the same. My baby is growing up.

I am taking this entire week off to be with Jess, so I will be doing something a little different on Family Strong: I am going to be a little selfish with my posts and am going to post my week with Jess. I will be posting our adventures before she leaves, and the feelings I am having as we lead up to the day. Everyone with children will go through this day at some point, so hopefully I can pass on a little insight by sharing my experiences and feelings.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flower Hair Bow

Guest Writer: Amy Hamblin

If you have daughters you know how popular flowers in the hair are at the current time.  Well, I am sorry, but for me all the fake flowers are so expensive that I might as well go buy a clip rather than make one myself.  Since I am cheap, I found a good alternative:  I make the flowers out of fabric.  It is easy enough that my daughter can make them too, so it was fun for us to have this project to do together.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Man Cave: Backyard Time Capsule

Usually it is Kathy that does the creative, crafty stuff with our kids. She is much better at that kind of thing than I am. I do have my moments, though, and this was one of my best.

It is not only super-cool and awesome, but it satisfies one item on my list of chores every man should do at least once a year.

I present: the Backyard Time Capsule!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10 Homework Strategies

It's that time of year again. Some of us are excited to have the kids back in school and are ready to get back into a routine, while others of us are silently mourning the loss of another summer. Whether we are ready for it or not however, school is back in session. Here are 10 great homework strategies to help your kids get back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September Holidays

Wow, with being out of town taking care of family business, the first of September came and went without me even realizing it! So, here just a few days late are the September Holidays. Have some fun while getting back into routine after the summer holiday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Family Is Thicker Than Blood

It has been a whirlwind of a week. I am home now, and I have my mom home, safe and sound, as well. With this recent passing of my Uncle, my family has dominated my thoughts. I find myself in remembrance of all those members who have passed on before me. We have all heard the adage "Blood is thicker than water". I would like to rephrase that to say "Family is thicker than blood".

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Man Cave: Top 10 Things I Did While My Wife Was Out of Town

Kathy has been out of town this week, settling the affairs of her recently deceased uncle. She left on Monday, and has spent her week driving a moving van from L.A. back to Seattle. As a result I've been alone at home; bach'ing it. To the stereotypical male this would be a time for wild debauchery and wretched excess.

Not for me.