Eloiseisms + Ameliaisms

These funny girls are back to school today after a week of spring break, and it was a good week for all. When my sister asked how the week went, I told her I barely noticed they were home! They've been in their own little world playing lately, and I pretty much see them for meals and bedtime! Nick took three days off of work so he could join in some of our festivities. The highlight of the week, of course, was taking the train two stops over (a 7-minute ride) for lunch. All three kids were SO excited. I haven't done one of these posts for awhile! Here are some of the girls' latest and greatest sayings. Eloise: "Oh Mommy? Is there something wrong with your thinking brain?" "Taking care of a b

Dating My Children

I once read that relationships can't experience growth in a group setting, and I agree with this. If you have more than one child, and especially if your clan is on the larger side, I highly recommend carving out individual time with each child from time to time. Do you know that verse, "love covers a multitude of sins"? The same can be said for dating my children. Dating my children is one of the most effective parenting tactics I have in my bag. It is equally beneficial to parent and child. Maybe a child has been acting out, or withdrawn, or generally off. Maybe a parent has been feeling uncharitable toward a child for whatever reason, or the two have been clashing. Maybe the other child(r

"How Was Your Day?"

"How was your day at school?" If your child/children are in school of some kind, and they're old enough to report back on their day to you, do they? Or do they forget all that they did instantly upon arrival at home? We have a mixed bag at our house. I have a new trick up my sleeve that I thought I'd share, in case you can benefit from it, too. When my girls come home from school, lately I've been asking this question: "How were your friends today?" This instantly engages my girls in a conversation they're interested in having and unlocks all kinds of details from their days! It's an entry point into: what kinds of activities they did, what they learned, what they ate for lunch, who they pla

Easter Basket Filler Ideas!

Easter is coming, my most favorite holiday of all! What will the bunny bring this year? I'm still finalizing our baskets. Here are a handful of ideas for you, if you're in need! Our sole backpack for the girls got mildewy, so I ordered each child one of these adorable seersucker backpacks (pink for the girls, blue for George) for summer adventures. I had them shipped to Erica so she can monogram them for an extra touch. I can't wait to see the finished product! Amelia spent so much time playing with our nativity figurines at Christmas that her basket will include a couple Ostheimer figurines to play with year-round. The girls have been asking for a couple of things that will probably make th

Feeding the Family with a Traveling Spouse

Spring has sprung! The little kids and I spent about five hours outside in the (windy) sunshine yesterday, and it was glorious. It may not have topped 60 degrees, but that didn't stop the girls from donning bathing suits (with tags still on) after we picked up Eloise from school and running through the hose. Nick has been away this week (home tonight!) and I'm pleased to report it was an uneventful week. I always say I think the kids sense that they need to be on their best behavior when he's gone. This morning, I woke up at 8:00 (!) when George got up, and the girls had already gotten themselves dressed, made their beds, and were downstairs weaving (Eloise) and looking at photo albums (Amel

Kids' Activities + Being at Home

(Don't mistake her look for fear. This is the look of pure victory at having successfully inserted herself into what was supposed to be a riding lesson for one.) I have historically kept my kids close to the nest. This has meant just a handful of playdates over the past 5 years—which haven't seemed necessary when your kids are close in age and each other's built-in playmates—and only a couple brief and regrettable forays into the world of extracurriculars. My reasons? Equal parts due to nap schedules, wanting to keep the bar low during the little years, germ avoidance, and because I'm wired to be happy and content to mostly keep to ourselves and a small circle of family and friends. We have

Confessions of a Bad Editor

Life has gotten easier in a few areas lately and I have had the idea of freedom on my mind. What am I using my freedom for? Sarah's birthday post made me want to piggyback off the idea of "editing." Although I used to be an editor by profession, I do not always excel at editing when it comes to LIFE. I am the type who jumps at the chance to add things or responsibilities to my life the moment I'm able. Call it being the eldest child, Type A, an Enneagram 1...I have all the qualifications for this tendency. Historic examples: getting married young buying our house as soon as we possibly could having a baby as soon as we could afford to live on one income taking on a very part-time (4 hours/we

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