Permission Granted

When I had my first baby I wanted to be with him all the time.  This is normal.  Mom’s need to be with their children and at the same time I treasured those little trips to Target to get food.  Just small outings where my husband could have one on one time with our baby boy.  As Robby grew I was never away from him over night.  I adjusted my job so either he came with me, or I came home for the night and went back in the morning.

Then when Robby was three Dan arranged two days away for our anniversary to Chattanooga.  He had friends of ours watch Robby for those two days.  Those were the hardest two days of my life and the best two days.  Permission Granted.  I could be away from him and he was just fine.  He had a blast.  In fact, two weeks later he went to my sister’s house for a few days too.

New moms need to know it is ok to be away from their kids.  They have permission, actually they really don’t need permission.  Part of raising kids is teaching them to fly.  Part of that is done by gently pushing them out of the nest.  We home school, gently pushing them out of the nest comes in forms of summer camps, VBS, homeschooling classes and other clubs and sports throughout the year.  My husband and I have taken week-long trips together without the children.

Moms you have permission to be away from your kids.  It is ok.  Yes some will cry, and it will be hard.  I have a five-year old who cried, screamed, yelled, threw, you named it he probably did it when we dropped him off at our church CDC for morning preschool.  I finally had to take him out.  But a few more months at home and he has made it a week at VBS.  But I know not all kids are not easy.

I also look at foster moms, since I am one too.  In one year we can all of a sudden have a house full of kids.  Most families take years to have this many kids.  And if you are a stay at home foster mom, the state does not fund child care for you.  So here you are left with little ones and no help.  But you need help.  Permission is granted to ask.  In fact you don’t need permission.  Just because you are a stay at home mom, does not mean you should not be allowed help for daycare, or summer camp for your kids.  You need a break.  You have to take care of yourself first.  Ask, ask, ask.

Moms, it is ok to be away from your kids.  To send them to VBS for the week or summer camp.  Even if they are in school all year, it is still ok.  Each mom is different and do what you know you can handle.  Permission is granted for you to be an awesome mom, and amazing mom.  Call another mom and go out for coffee.  Get a baby sitter and go on a date with your husband.  Have your husband take the kids to the movies and you stay home.  Your deserve it.

Permission Granted.

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Summer Fun-Making a TeePee in your Backyard

My kids love to make indoor forts, but I thought this year we would try something a little bit more creative.  Make a TeePee!  This kids bugged me last year about it, plus I can sneak in a little learning into summer…shhh…they will never know!

How to make a TeePee!  Sticks and Cloth!  I am know it sounds simple!  Here are some great sites to get some cool ideas from!  If you make one let me know!

I also learned that you can find plans as detailed as possible or simple as you choose!

Have Fun!  Check out all our other Summer Fun!





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Makings of Strong Families-Family Traditions and Celebrations

8.  Has a strong sense of family in which tradition and celebration abound.

When Dan and I had our first thanksgiving dinner, we brought two family traditions together.    His was onion rolls and mine was dried sweet corn.  Every Thanksgiving and Christmas after that we have always have those two items, among all the other wonderful yummy foods we have!  When Jeremy moved in with us, we asked him what one food item made thanksgiving for him.  It was deviled eggs.  So now, we have three foods, for sure we make.

It is the little things that we do every year that make traditions.

  • Leaving cookies and notes for Santa.
  • Dying Easter Eggs.
  • Fireworks on the 4th of July
  • Picking Pumpkins at a Pumpkin farm
  • Hunting for easter eggs
  • opening one present christmas eve
  • breakfast in bed on mother’s day

When I asked my 5-year-old what traditions we have.  He responded “Jesus.”  Oh gosh my heart melted!  We have family celebration of Jesus every day, and bigger on Sunday.  Every holiday we celebrate Jesus is woven into it.

We have special things we do for birthday’s.  Daddy has started taking them out for birthday breakfast.  We let them pick out where or what they want to eat for dinner.  It is their special day.  We also celebrate

  • birthday
  • baptismal
  • confirmations
  • anniversaries
  • adoption days
  • graduations
  • weddings

Family celebrations isn’t about money, but about time with one and other.

Some families have weekly game nights or movie nights.  Some have pizza night.

As we get foster kids in and out, we try to see what important traditions or celebrations they may remember and if possible, use them.  Just like the deviled eggs.

What kind of traditions do you have in your family?

Need  helping getting started check out Simple Mom and 10 Ideas to Get you Started.

Hey wondering about dried sweet corn?



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Makings of a Strong Family-Shares Responsibilities among its members

6.  Shares Responsibilities among its members

Oh I could go in so many different directions here.

When everyone works together things get done.  Faster.   Better.  Easier.

Is it a women’s job?  Is it a man’s job?

Let’s just agree some things men do better.  And other things women do better.

Find the better and do them.

If the hubby cooks well, then enjoy it!  If the wife likes fixing things up, wahoo!

It is about stepping up and taking initiative to know when you need to step up.

My husband is good at this most days.  He will do dishes often.  And he puts the lefts overs away.

But guys, if your wife is having a tough day, and not feeling good-step up.  If baby is sticky, don’t walk away like you didn’t smell that.  Trash over flowing…you get the idea!

And gals, our guys work hard.  Do extra stuff for them when you can.

All over our house we are lacking this right now- initiative and shared responsibilities.  Unless mommy is giving out who is cleaning what.  It is not getting cleaned right now.  There are something that are getting done.  But I know this is where I have fallen in terms of good chores and shared responsibilities.  We have had list before, but then kids come out and in.

And when I do ask them to clean some times I get screaming and whining.  And sometimes they do it with a cheerful heart.  And sometimes they do it without being asked.

We are going to work on this.  I have already a few ides in place for the beginning of summer.  This will be easier cause AnnieQ will be done with school and it will flow better.

My Kid Organization board on Pinterest has lots of ideas for chores.  Check it out!

This is part of my Making Strong Families Series.

How do you share responsibilities?


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Sunset Swim Club Home-100 Things to do this Summer-#2

We joined the  Sunset Swim Club Home two summer ago.  Although a little pricey at the time I signed up, it was well worth the money for the summer. (A little over a $150 a month for us to swim and that included swim lessons.)  Swim lessons were about $60 each kid.  For us it is worth the investment.  Plus we have friends that join so that really made it worth the time.

We were going to join last year, but the club was taken out by the F5 tornadoes that came through.  So after rebuilding they are reopened.

Check them out.  We plan to rejoin.


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Makings of a strong family

Just before we got married almost 12 years ago, I was finishing my Master Degree in Parish Education at Concordia College, in Seward Nebraska.  One of my summer classes was Marriage and Family.  First I don’t ever recommend anyone to take a class like that just before getting married.  Everything was book defined for marriage, I really had to step outside of that to focus on getting married.  My husband understood it perfectly.  From that class one worksheet stood out to me.  The day we got married that worksheet started hanging in our kitchen.  12 years later you will still find it in our kitchen on our fridge now.

strong family

I keep it there to remind us.  I keep it there to encourage us.  I keep it there to inspire us.

I hope it does to those who also read it there.

But I also keep it there, so when we have a foster child in our home, they can see and learn what is important to us.  And to help them take small nuggets to take back to their family.

It is just like our faith.  I can’t impose it on them, just expose them to God.

I trust He will take care of the rest.

So some have asked about the list.  So I decided to blog about each one and how we use it in our family.  We are not perfect, we learn each and every day.  This is why the list is always in front of us.

Where did the list come from?  Well considering it has been 13 years since my class, I had to do some research.  I believe that a Mrs. Curran came up with the list.   There are many different list of what makes families healthy.  This one just stuck.

So come hopping with me as I taking about what the makings of a strong family are.

I would love to hear what makes your family strong!

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An on the go kids tote

We have many baseball, softball, tee ball, field trips, and soon summer outings.  I knew it was time to restock my car with things we may need.  There were many times I needed a bandage, or wish I had bug spray or just wipes to clean dirty hands.  So I stocked up at Target (yes one of my favorite stores!) and fold an old craft bag I wasn’t using and put this together.


 These are things for boo boo’s, upset bellies, sunscreen and bug spray.  Along with basic hand cleaning and sanitizing stuff.

 I had this I wasn’t using.

 I use a little tin for the bandages and spray.  Good to grab and go.

And here is how I put it all together.

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Kid’s Summer Scavenger Hunt

Summer is a fun time to relax, explore, create and have fun!  For some more summer fun, I decided to do a scavenger hunt for them.  I made it large enough to take the whole summer to find.  Then by the end of summer they can make a scrapbook of all the fun things they found!  My goal is to make them work together and always be on the look out for these items.

You can use our list or make up your own.  Share with us later how the hunt went!

Summer scavenger Hunt


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10 some what creative ways to keep up with laundry

Laundry is a never-ending event in my house.  Just when I think I have it done, oh look more dirty clothes.  Now with sports and three uniforms to keep clean. Sometimes my mind wanders when needing to get things done, and other creative ways of getting things done pop in.  This is just a few ways (maybe not all of them) to keep up with laundry!
  1. Consider joining a nudist colony-just saying-I mean no laundry at all!
  2. Investigate dipped on socks-I mean socks are a mom’s worst nightmare!   Or like me just keep buying new socks.
  3. Scale down clothing-I had to do this with all my kids.  We had way too many clothes that just didn’t fit but some how all always ended up in the dirty laundry hamper.   Now they are in garbage bags in the garage!  General rule for your self, if you haven’t worn it in a year, you don’t need it.
  4. As folding clothes put the ones that don’t fit or for the wrong season on the side.  Don’t put them back into the rooms.
  5. Put clothes away after folding them.  Do not let them sit on the side of the couch or the kids will jump on the couch sending the folded clothes in the air.
  6. Label kids draws so they can help put clothes away.  This one is hard for me cause they don’t put folded clothes in the drawers, the cram the clothes in the drawer.
  7. Fold laundry when it comes out of dryer.  Hang up clothes right away.
  8. Have plenty of laundry hampers for dirty clothes and laundry baskets for clean.  Laundry baskets are great to keep loads of laundry not folded or folded without putting them away.  (I have 4 now, for two weeks, staring at me saying, please put us away)  Laundry baskets are also great for doing quick cleans! (you know throw everything in the laundry basket and put it in your room and close the door)
  9. Keep laundry room clean.  Who wants to do laundry if you cannot get to the washer.  A clean laundry room may actually make you want to do laundry.  Yes you heard me right!
  10. Hire a maid to do the laundry.  (HELLO-welcome back to the real world! Stop twittering, pinteresting, facebooking, blogging, computering, and get up and get it done!)

Happy Laundering

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For Easter next year

What I love about Pinterst (well there is ALOT I love about Pinterst) is that when you see an idea you think would work for the next holiday you can pin it up so you don’t for get.  I have many of them pinned up.  Since I started at Thanksgiving time, I haven’t repeated any holidays yet, so this is just a theory it is going to work!

But I read a web site that had a great idea that I wanted to “pin” away for next year.  They sent their son on a scavenger hunt to find objects of the holy week to talk about.

1.  Garden (dirt)

2. Thorns

3. A piece of wood

4.  Something that has died (like a bug, flower or plant)

5. A rock

6.  Something soft and white

7.  Something that was dead and came back to life (like a tulip)

And with these objects they could discuss the story of Jesus with their little boy.

What a great idea!  Hands on, gets kids out side, and kids love looking for things.   And you are able to retell the story of the old rugged cross!

Next year I plan to use this idea!  So for now, I am filing it for Easter next year!

LOVE is all you need…: Our Easter Best.

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