Category Archives: parenting

Girl Power


In preparation for my daughter’s first slumber party I decided to teach her how to make friendship bracelets.  This is a tradition that has stood the test of time.  Something I used to do as a kid is still cool with kids today!  Thanks to Pinterest, I decided to try and make a heart pattern.  It took me forever to learn the pattern, but I finally got the hang of it.  My daughter, who is almost nine, had a really hard time with it.  I would say this is for experienced bracelet makers only.



Once I realized that the heart pattern was too difficult for my daughter I had her make a simple striped bracelet instead.  She quickly caught on and started seeing how making bracelets was actually fun. She was so inspired that she actually attempted the heart pattern later.  It sits unfinished on my table.


My six year old decided to give it a try.  She made a striped bracelet and I gave her my finished heart bracelet.  It was a lot of fun to pass on this tradition to the girls.  We went to the craft store this morning to pick out some new colors of floss for the slumber party.  I can’t wait to see what they make and learn some new patterns from my daughter’s friends.

If you are interested in the heart pattern, here is a link to the instructions.  The video helped me a lot! Good luck.

Chivalry is Not Dead!

We have just one more week of school left until summer break.  We have had such an amazing year with our new school.  When I tell people about it the first question is always, “that’s a public school?” Yep!  We love the teachers and the principal, but I have also been impressed by the other kids.  The girls and I have all noticed how much nicer they are at this school compared to the last school.  I don’t know why this is, but we are so thankful for the good friends we are finding.

Yesterday, Morgan came home with a story about a soccer game at recess.  A bunch of boys were playing and she wanted to play too.  She jumped into the game and one of the boys from her class yelled, “go easy on Morgan!” Apparently he told her that he plays soccer and got hit in the face recently.  He seemed honestly concerned for her well being.  At, six years old, I find that impressive.  He also went out of his way to stop fast moving balls for her in the middle of the game, so she would be able to take a shot.  Morgan is tough and a natural athlete.  She didn’t need him to do this, but I find it adorable that he took it upon himself to protect her and make sure she had turns with the ball.

Morgan’s story reminded me of an incident with Emma earlier in the year.  I was waiting for her after school and as usual she was the last child out the gate.  Normally she is last because she is busy chatting with friends or looking for a lost lunchbox.  This day was different because she came out with a boy from her class.  He was carrying a box that belonged to her.  He saw her in the classroom with a lot to carry out to the car and stopped to help her with her things.

So often we hear stories about kids being rude and disrespectful.  It’s exciting to see so many thoughtful kids at the school.  Especially boys treating girls with respect!  It gives me hope for the future of our daughters. I would love to hear more stories like this. Comment with a story about kids being kind to others.  I know they’re out there.

Motivation: How I Get my Kids to Behave

Okay, so this title might be slightly misleading.  It’s an attention grabber though, right?  My oldest daughter is eight years old and we have spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out how to get her to comply with our rules and be a productive member of our family with the least amount of whining, screaming and talking back as possible.  We have always felt that our downfall was not finding the right “currency” to motivate her.  She just doesn’t care about things that other kids care about.  If we take away TV she happily reads a book.  If we take away all of her toys (yes we have done this) she happily reads a book.   If we take away her book she happily stares at the wall like it’s the most interesting thing she has ever seen in her life.  We have also tried having her work towards earning outings, toys and privileges.  This rarely works.

A few weeks ago I think I finally hit on something we can use to our advantage.  Sibling rivalry.  The annoying “not me”, “she did it”, “it’s her fault” business.  I found a way to use this to our advantage.  I noticed that the girls were incapable of using a toothpaste tube without making an enormous gooey mess.  I taught them how to do it properly as well as how to clean up the mess when they didn’t do it properly.  I just could not get through to them because they were too busy blaming the mess on the mysterious “not me” person that lives here.  So, I bought two brand new tubes of toothpaste.  I wrote their names on them and told them that I was going to find out once and for all who was making these messes.  They were thrilled!  Finally they could prove that the other sister was the messy one.

The result.





Two perfectly clean toothpaste tubes.  One small victory for mom!  How else can I use this to my advantage? Have you tried similar strategies?

What Your TV is Telling You

I have always been interested in commercials.  Well, not the commercials themselves, but their strategic placement on television.   The type of show you watch and the time of day you watch TV determines the type of commercial you will have to endure.  If you watch shows geared towards children you will get to see the hottest toy/doll/action figure on the market.  Daytime television offers a wide variety of career and parenting advice and don’t even get me started on the sports channels.  Yuck!

Yesterday, Monday, I was watching TV in the middle of the day and a couple of commercials caught my eye.  They were back to back commercials geared towards parents.  No surprise there.  The first was for diapers that you slip on like underwear, but this was not a commercial for Pull-Ups.  These diapers are not meant for children who are potty training.  These diapers were advertised for “squirmy babies” or babies that would rather be playing and crawling away than having their diaper changed.  Next up: PediaSure.  I have used a similar product with my kids when they were sick or we feared they might be dehydrated.  But this is not what the commercial was telling me about.  Apparently, PediaSure is great for picky eaters.  If your child refuses to eat healthy food, then you give them this tasty drink.  No more fighting!  No more worrying!  Your child will grow up healthy and strong!

What is wrong with this picture?  What happened to parents being in control of their children?  Of course babies are squirmy and don’t like to hold still for a diaper change!  I also realize that a lot of kids tend to be resistant to healthy or new foods.  I really don’t think this is an exaggeration, so stay with me here.  If we teach a baby/toddler to hold still through a diaper change, which honestly isn’t all that long, then maybe we can also teach them to eat their vegetables.  My poor kids had to do these things.  I also make them clean up their own messes and do their homework when they get home from school before watching TV.  Actually, most weekdays they don’t watch TV at all.  *Gasp*  I know, I might be asking too much.  I might be a “tiger mom”, but it’s time that parents take back the control of the family.  Are you with me?

Happy New Year

Today is the last day of winter break for the kids, which means that tomorrow is the first potentially productive day of the new year.  I am hoping to write more for my blog this year and not just about cakes.  I am also going to host my first give away thanks to the generosity of my brother.  Details coming soon and you don’t want to miss it!

I am not big on making new year’s resolutions, but I am excited about the one my five year old daughter made.  She is going to do her chores without being asked.  Apparently, this was inspired by a speech given by the principal of her elementary school.  Before the kids went on break they were all told to help out at home and do chores without being asked.  Have I mentioned that I love this new school?  I don’t know how long she will be able to keep this resolution, but I look forward to her efforts. I should also mention that my eight year old goes to the same school, heard the same speech, but made no such resolution!  Oh well. 

Happy 2012!


As I have mentioned before I am a stickler for tradition.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of wonderful family traditions.  One that I invented shortly after my first daughter was born is our Christmas card tradition.  We put our Christmas cards with pictures and letters in the mail the day before Thanksgiving every year.  This ensures that our card arrives the day after Thanksgiving.  For our family, this is the official start of the Christmas season.  We don’t decorate or listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but the day after… look out!

This year I fell a little behind in planning the Christmas card.  My grandmother passed away about a month ago and then I think time stood still.  It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I realized how quickly Thanksgiving was approaching.  I mentioned this to a friend at church and he said, “So, do you have your picture yet?”  That’s when panic set in.  No!  I did not have my picture yet!  Nothing about the Christmas card was planned and I needed to allow for processing, shipping, stuffing, and addressing the cards.  So, the internal dilemma began.  Of course people would understand that I have had a difficult month and there is no reason that my cards need to arrive the day after Thanksgiving.  Or is there?  Somehow, the death of such a close relative just makes family traditions that much more important.  So, Tuesday I got on the computer and ordered my cards.  I received my e-mail yesterday that the order has been shipped and I am back on track.

After all, what’s Thanksgiving without turkey?  The day after without my Christmas card?  A family without tradition?  Call me crazy or call me old-fashioned, but the fiddler on the roof had it right.  Tradition!

Funny Search Terms Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about all of the funny things people have searched for that brought them to my blog looking for cake decorating ideas.  Or at least I think that’s what they were looking for.  Since I do have posts about things other than baking I thought I would share some other funny search terms today.

I have written about some of the fun activities I do with my daughters, so I assume that’s why my blog came up when someone searched for “girl home fun”.  While it’s fun to imagine the possibilities of what that person might have been looking for, a more specific search of “mall girls” is just as confusing.

My favorite searches are the ones that convey emotion.  “How to scrapbook all the preschool” is top of the list in this category.  Anyone with a preschooler can relate to the enormous amount of artwork that comes home from school.  I posted about a strategy I have used to help conquer the mountain of construction paper, paint and glitter.  I hope it was helpful to the person frantically searching for “how to scrapbook all the preschool”!

Then there are the searches that I just plain don’t understand.  I am sure the people who searched for these terms were disappointed when they clicked on my blog. The phrases “route tree football” and  “football routen” mean nothing to me.  Sorry.  And the best confusing search would have to be “what year wilderness the great debate”.  Wow, I have no idea what you were looking for.

My final search term that I would like to share is the one that prompted me to write these posts in the first place.  It’s something I have been thinking about ever since I read a similar post on The Pioneer Woman‘s blog, but this search was the final push to actually record these crazy searches.  So, for me, the search that takes the cake is “female with long brown hair. twin boys a baby and a girl”. What?

Lemonade Mouth Cake

My daughter decided to have a Lemonade Mouth birthday party this year.  Today is her birthday, but I can still say she is seven until 4:51 pm!  Her party was yesterday and we had a blast.  We invited all of the girls on her dance team, a couple of friends from church and school.  We ended up with the nicest bunch of girls in our house yesterday afternoon.  I have been counting my blessings ever since.  God is good!

The cake.  We spend more time planning the cake than anything else for parties in this house.  My girls have become quite the cake designers.  Emma requested a cake that looks like the electric bass used by Mo in the movie Lemonade Mouth.  She was standing over my shoulder supervising every detail.  If the fondant color wasn’t quite right she had me keep working at it until it was just the way she wanted.

The guitar was made from a sheet cake.  I cut the shape out of it and then covered with marshmallow fondant.  The neck and head were a long bar of rice krispie treats covered in fondant.  The strings were piped with royal icing and the details are black licorice, junior mints and chocolate chips.  I also made a bunch of lemon cupcakes to go around the cake to help with the Lemonade Mouth look and theme.

The big surprise.  The day before the big party we had the good fortune to meet up with the dad of one of the actresses from Lemonade Mouth.  He watched Emma and her dance team perform a routine to one of the songs from the movie.  He was very impressed and made a point to talk to the girls after the show.  We mentioned Emma’s birthday party, so he said maybe he could get her an autographed picture as a birthday present.  Then, in private, he told me that he would try to get his daughter to make an appearance at the party.  And that is exactly what happened.  Hayley Kiyoko, the incredibly sweet actress from my daughter’s favorite movie, showed up at her birthday party.  She signed lots of autographs, took pictures with the girls and answered all of the girls questions.  It was so much fun to see the joy on the kids faces as they got to meet Hayley.

As my daughter said, “that was the best birthday party ever!”

First Impressions

We survived the first day of school.  Parts of it were just as chaotic as I anticipated, but on the whole it was a good experience.  I, like my kindergartener, am exhausted so I am going to keep this short.  Here are my first impressions based on the first day of school.

Principal- Caring, welcoming, and great at communicating with the parents.  She also visited the classrooms today to introduce herself to the kids.  She was very visible all day.  No hiding in the office.  Love her!

Kindergarten Teacher- Organized, calm, welcoming towards students and parents.  Poor Morgan came home from school rather grumpy, but I think she will like her teacher once she gets used to this new school routine.

Fourth Grade Teacher- Super organized, greeted each student before taking the class inside, strict in a good way!  She is just what Emma needs.  Fortunately, Emma loved her.  She chatted excitedly about her first day from the time I picked her up until the time she went to bed.  She is also thrilled that part of her nightly homework is to curl up in a chair and read a book of her choice for 20 minutes.  I made her take a timer with her because I figured she would go back there with her book and we wouldn’t see her again all evening… all in the name of homework!

It looks like it’s going to be a good year.

Daddy Date

Every month my girls look forward to a daddy date.  Emma goes in the middle of each month and Morgan at the end.  Normally they go to the park or the mall.  Sometimes they get ice cream or smoothies.  But today Morgan is on a fancy date.  She picked out her dress and shoes.  I did her hair and helped with her jewelry.  She added some sparkly lip gloss and they are off to dinner.

I remember Emma’s first fancy date.  She was two years old and I was pregnant with Morgan.  She got all dolled up and went out to dinner with her daddy for Valentine’s Day.  He even brought her flowers.  We realize that we are setting the bar rather high with these dates, but isn’t that what we should be doing?  Long before they even think about boys other than daddy they will know what to expect and how to be treated on a date.