Dreams Come True in an Awesome Way

DallasHave a dream you want to realize?  Want to teach your kids to dream big? We talk with Dallas Clayton, author and dreamer whose book An Awesome World shows kids and adults how to dream big. Learn what it takes to make dreams come true and how Dallas is changing the world.

Check out this video about Dallas.  Dallas has a great book on Thankfulness and a great book on Love you should check out and share with your kids during Thanksgiving and around Valentine’s Day (or any time of the year).  There is even one for the adults.  Check them out!

Lily Mae BagsCheck out the Lilly Mae bags  The 20% discount code is Holiday 2014.  Lilly Mae is owned and run by Stay-at-Home Moms! Support moms everywhere in their dreams!

Thanksgiving and Christmas: Expressing Gratitude and Love

20141111_090326 We discuss ways to teach children gratitude and love this holiday season through small acts.  Starting in November and going in to December, these tips help teach kids how to focus on gratitude and family instead of on what your kids are “getting this Christmas.”

Starting in November:

  1. Start a Wall of Thanks or a Thankfulness Chain.  You can leave the Wall of Thanks up during after Thanksgiving and add to it as you go into the holidays.  Or, you can create a chain of thoughts of things you are thankful for.  This chain could be added to your Christmas Tree.  Let kids write as many things they are thankful for.
  2. Plan some acts of service for others.  Make it something your kids can participate in.  Maybe your elderly neighbors need some help with their leaves or there is a place for the homeless where you can bring some gently used clothes. Starting in November gives you a chance to start the holiday season off right.
  3. Contact a local shelter or crisis center and ask what they might need for kids and if they accept gently used items.  Help you kids decide which toys or stuffed animals they can part with.  Help them clean the toys and prepare them for drop off.

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Getting A Better Answer to “How Was School Today”

We ask our kids “How was school today?” and hear “Fine.” End of discussion.  Why do we ask it then every day hoping for more?  Because we want to connect with our kids.  Our intention is right, but the question is wrong.  We discuss ways to ask your kids about their day at school without asking the wrong question that gets no response.  The idea came from a post by Liz at Simple Simon and Company.  Check out their two lists of questions to ask your children instead of “How Was School Today?”

Teens and Respect

What do you do when your teen treats you with disrespect?  How do you deal with it when your simple request is responded to with venom?  Julie Nelson shares very practical tips on how to help your child navigate the hormonal horrors of the teen years that often set them off.

Use the following phrases:

  • Say Yes with a No:  Yes you can go out as soon as you . . .
  • I noticed that . . .
  • It appears that . .
  • That doesn’t work for me . . .

A few more tips:

  • Often kids need to blow off steam so using physical activities to help them get back in balance often helps.
  • Use Parallel Talk: this is when you do something while talking. This could include taking a walk, playing basketball, crafting, etc.  Anything that gives you time together and a chance to talk where you don’t have to look right at each other.
  • Past Performance Predicts Present Privileges: If your kids know that what they have done in the past helps determine what they will be able to do in the future, that will help them know what is coming
  • Loosen the reigns as much as you can.  The teen years are a time to give them a chance to experience more freedom and learn how to use it wisely.
  • Know that mistakes will be made by both you and your child so be prepared to have do-overs.

Check out Julie’s website at http://aspoonfulofparenting.com/ where she shares many more tips. And check out her book Parenting with Spiritual Power.

Free 12 Week Course: Fitness for the New Year

Shelly Zumba picsmallAre you ready to start on the first week of this super simple, totally doable, powerful plan to give your life a kick in the health? Check it out.

This is Shelly’s FREE and EASY Plan. She created it because she has seen people struggle with where to start for too long.  Many people don’t know where to start or aren’t even aware of what habits are unhealthy. She wants to empower you with simple, practical guidelines that will set you in a great direction.  The goal is to be in control of your health by the New Year but you can do this any time. This isn’t a “diet” but a way to establish the habits you need to get yourself on track to healthy living.

Let’s do together!

Shelly Parcell

shelly.zumbafitness@gmail.com
www.zumbaspot.com

School Social Skills

We expect our children to practice their handwriting, their piano, and their jump shot to get good at them but we don’t often think that they have to learn and practice social skills to be successful at school.  One blogger starts the conversation on what social skills we need to teach our kids and we continue the conversation.

Here is her list to get the conversation started:

  1. Make eye contact, smile and say hi.
  2. Learn to converse: don’t monopolize, ask questions, pay attention, listen (be a reporter).
  3. Learn people’s names.
  4. Include everyone.
  5. Be kind.

What do you think and what ways have you found to teach these skills to your children?

Get Your Spook On: Halloween Preparations

20141003_143858  What costumes do your kids want? How are you going to decorate (or not) for the season?  Are you in charge of games at the school party? What about some fun food ideas?  We cover these topics and more with some excellent ideas to help you get your Spook On!

Some Decorating Tips

  • If you can’t decorate a lot, choose one area to decorate and put it all in that one place.
    • Your front door is a great place to decorate because many people come there (see the photo of Nancy’s front door above)
    • Choose one Room to decorate (Nancy’s living room gets transformed with a Harry Potter Theme–check out the book titles and the magazines–great printables from online)
  • Choose a theme and a style
    • The key is to have some cohesive look (cutesy or scary, Harry Potter look or Fall Décor, witches or scarecrows)
    • Find a color palate and stick with it. Spray paint can be a life-saver20141006_11583820141006_11592620141006_115758
    • Black and Orange are not the only colors. Try using lime green or turquoise to spice it up. Silver and white work too to give a ghostly feel.20141006_115810
  • Use what you have—don’t buy new things
    • Outside lanterns for summer become spooky lanterns
    • Planters/Urns can be used to stage pumpkins or Witches Legs
    • Trimmed trees or bushes can become backdrops for both Fall and Halloween scenes
    • Vases and jars can become apothecary jars
    • Family silver and old photos of relatives add that old feeling
  • Candles add ambiance
  • Check out a past podcast and photos
  • Paper can be your cheap friend for a great impact (Shelly’s silhouette)
  • More is More—one bat won’t cut it. You need a swarm for impact.
  • Check out the perfect 20141006_120000way to cut out a pumpkin for cleaning and lighting  http://makezine.com/2009/10/23/a-better-20141006_115903way-to-slice-a-pumpkin/

Ideas for School Games

  • Eyeballs—have you played Kerplunk? Do this at school with eyeballs (ping pong balls painted)
  • Eyeball relay with eyeballs and spoons where they have to carry the eyeball through a course and drop it in the cup.
  • RENAME a game Shrinking Island (like Musical Chairs)
  • Witches Stew (kids have to make a stew by picking up pieces of paper with a straw and suction to get them in to their stew—the first one wins) Print pictures of Halloween ingredients for the stew from the Internet and

Costume Ideas

  • Start early
  • Think of something easily recognizable but not often repeated
  • If on a budget, think of something that uses what you already have (Clothing, etc)

Food Ideas

  • Use a toothpick to drag out legs from melted chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies   http://jensfavoritecookies.com/2013/10/19/spider-cookies-2/  or go to http://iambaker.net/spider-chocolate-chip-cookies/
  • Inside out Caramel Apples–slice the apple in half, core out the seeds and a bit more flesh, pour the caramel in the center and let set up before slicing.
  • Turn Cuties (small oranges) into pumpkins (with or without the peel).  With the peel–draw faces on the peel.  Without the peel–stick a green candy coming out the top like a pumpkin stem.

How to Get the Witch Leg Look

1410794201268Use what you have around the house. I used one pool noodle cut in half, halloween tights, old boots, and some stuffing and bubble wrap to get the shape of thighs.

Once you get the legs, you can attach them to your pot.  I used two dowels (actually two checkered flags on wooden sticks) to give the legs some stability. Then, I attached the shoes to the legs using rubber bands that I covered with cute ribbon (see the photo at the top).

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Cross Country Move

Back after a summer of craziness, cancer and a cross-country move!  Stacey shares tips on how to make the best of moving kids–especially kids in school–to a new place. How can you prepare your family to make the move successfully?  Listen and learn from a woman with nine-yes-nine children ranging in age from college to kindergarten.

Here are some tips for moving with kids/teens:

  1. Do lots of research. Uprooting kids (especially teens) is very traumatic for them, so make SURE it’s the best move for your family.
  2. Once you decide, don’t look back. Remember your old home fondly, but look forward with hope, speak with optimism.
  3. Find out what your new area is famous for (best fish, biggest clock tower? Special museums? Pumpkin patch, theater, etc.) and explore that with your family.
  4. Go onto a family history website to find out if you have ancestors who may have lived anywhere near your new place. Visit wherever they came from and feel connected.
  5. Keep family traditions going (bedtime stories, birthday dinners, holiday rituals) Keep some furniture and decor the same to provide a bridge during the transition time.
  6. Find a local congregation of your church and get connected there.
  7. Volunteer at schools, network in the community. Don’t wait for an invitation.
  8. Take treats to your new neighbors with a card introducing your family. It will break the ice and let them know you’re open for friendship.
  9. Communicate daily with your kids. Through notes on pillows, texts, emails, phone calls or talks in the car. Just communicate. They will be going through some of the hardest days of their lives. Keep a pulse on how they are doing. Tell them when you feel homesick too. Be a friend and a support. Let them talk safely about their loss of old friends, old school, etc.
  10. Stay connected with family and friends through Facebook, email, etc. but never say negative things about your new home. Your kids will take their cues from you. If you transition well, chances are, they will too. Soon, you’ll realize that home is simply where the heart is. :)

Upcoming Shows

We have several shows we are working on so please stay tuned (or let iTunes automatically download us when we post):

  • Cross-country Move: How to handle it with kids
  • Halloween Ideas to Get your Spook On: Costumes, Decor, Food, and more
  • So How Was School: Better Questions to get the goods on what happened during the school day
  • School Social Skills: What kids need to Learn to Succeed in the classroom
  • Best Baby Gifts Ever: What really is useful for new moms
  • Claire Lerner: Effects of Screen Time–the Definitive Study
  • Problem Solving with Kids
  • Homeroom Hero: Volunteering at the School

Thanks for your patience. These shows are worth the wait!

Disneyland Tips

Hadley and Nancy discuss Hadley’s recent trip to Disneyland and how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland–even if you are not a fan of theme parks or Disneyland.

  1. Know what kind of Disney Family you are (Full On Disney or Casual Disney—do you need your Mickey Fix or Princesses or just some rides—a Cars/traditional family—older/younger kids? Fireworks and Parades shows or No Shows)
  2. Pick your time of year wisely—Disneyland is small so people don’t spread out like in DisneyWorld.  You can check touringplans.com to get an idea of the crowds.
  3. You don’t have to stay on property (we like hotels that have separate kids rooms) Desert Palms also the Marriott is good.
  4. Skip Park Hopper and focus on one park per day but use Fast Passes (there are some new wrinkles you will want to know about so check these out online)
  5. Think about what you will ride before you go and plan out your day (use apps and touringplans.com or RideMax)
  6. Get the Disney PhotoPass+ DVD before you go for $69 and all your photos are taken for you and are yours
  7. Skip the Disney Dining Package (bring your food/eat off hours)
  8. If you have School Aged Kids, look into Disney Youth Education Programs  This was one of our Best experiences in a Disney Park.

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Paradise Found in the Lower 48

What parents don’t want an island get away? But leaving kids behind to travel across the Pacific ocean might not be in your comfort zone. We found an island in the lower 48 states that is tropical, easily accessible and less expensive than a hula holiday.20140607_122757

If you think of San Diego for Sea World, Legoland and surfing, we found that San Diego has a romantic side to it just right in price and tempo for a quick  getaway. Leave the kids and the sippy cups and pack your swim suit and favorite black dress for relaxation on a very tropical island.

20140605_153107We stayed at the the Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Island to celebrate our 20th anniversatry.  It is an island oasis in the lower 48 that offers amenities and relaxation without the need to fly across the Pacific.  The island has so much to do that it was actually hard to think about leaving–and we didn’t for the first few days.  With 5 pools, a marina with boats and other water toys to rent, bikes, segways, tennis courts, mini golf, tennis courts, and white sandy beaches, there really is no reason to leave.

20140608_084802We enjoyed our stay in a Bayside Bungalow on the lagoon side.  The bungalow is a wonderful choice for a couple wanting a relaxing and romatic getaway.  We had our own beach and lagoon to have evening strolls on and lounge on.  The water was even warm enough to swim in (in California–the water can be very cold).  We even saw lobsters walking along the bottom.

20140607_122955We enjoyed swimming in the pools and eating in the various restaurants on property.  My favorite meal was eating poolside at the Tropics Cantina.  The carne asada salad was delicious and the atmosphere was wonderful.  We also enjoyed the lagoon-side lunch at the Barefoot Bar and Grill.  Barefoot boasts a beautiful view of the marina and a lagoon filled with leopard sharks and rays.  For a scuba diver, it was fun to watch them while eating. Dinner at Tidal, Paradise Point’s new restaurant, was a feast for the eye and the palate.

20140606_13245020140606_140503Even though it was hard to leave our island oasis, we did venture in to San Diego where we visited Old Town and ate at Casa Guadalajara.  The fajitas were plentiful and delicious.  We strolled Old Town looking at the various historic buildings.  One that we enjoyed especially was the Mormon Battalion presentation.  It is fun and interactive.  Arthur even got to dress up as a battalion member and pan for gold.

20140608_105218We took a Harbor Cruise with Hornblower and it was quite interesting and enjoyable and gave us a great view of the San Diego skyline as well as many of the military establishments around San Diego. Located next to the USS Midway, the cruise was quite accessible–just bring quarters for the metered parking or be prepared to pay $10 for all day parking.

20140608_134426Finally, don’t miss out on Coronado island and especially don’t miss Sunday Brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado.  It was amazing.  The hotel and the meal are a feast for the eyes and the palate.  I especially loved the ceviche, crab legs, shrimp, striped bass, and salmon.  If you are not a seafood lover, there is a carving station that is incredible.  Everything was abundant and delicious.  Since I am gluten-free, there was an entire section of sandwiches and paninis that I did not even venture to.  There was also a complete breakfast section.

20140608_135526Coronado beach was also incredible.  The sand and the sea meet beautifully with a view of Mexico to the south and Point Loma to the North.  We met another couple on a romantic getaway strolling the beach like we were.  We enjoyed watching a man make a massive sand castle and kids jumping in and out of the waves.  If we had more time, we would have taken some lounge chairs in front of the hotel and relaxed while being served by an impeccable staff.

20140608_135541San Diego makes the perfect easy get away since paradise is only 10 minutes away from the airport.  We only drove 66 miles in our 4-day trip.   Everything is close and easily accessible when and if you decide to leave Paradise.  But if you decide not to leave Paradise Point, you could spend your entire vacation there and be perfectly content.

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Pantry Sparkle

20140604_102023Got a dark, unorganized pantry?  We have the solutions to make it sparkle and stay organized! You will save money and time when you organize your food and kitchen organization.

Here are Nancy’s tips and check out the photos below:

  • What You See is What you Get: if I can see it in my pantry or cupboards I won’t buy it again on accident—when it is in my basement
  • Location, Location, Location: put most used things where they are most accessible—not in the basement (take cereal out of boxes and stack bags behind the cereal in the shelves)
  • Once a Year Means Not Here: prime real estate needs to be used for things that get used all the time.  Things that got used once a year got moved down to the basement and the food got moved up. Take this chance to purge and decide if you use things often enough to keep it at all.
  • Divide and Conquer: I added more shelves in my cupboards and my pantry to give me more space to organize (love Lowes).  See the photos below. You just have to add cleats to the wall and put new shelves down!IMG_1323IMG_1324
  • Let There Be Light: Mr Beams battery operated motion detection lights added the light I needed to my pantry and to my shelves.  After several months of use, I have only changed the batteries once.  I used the Mr Beams LED Spotlight and the Mr Beams LED Motion Sensor Slim Light for the places you need to reach in to.

OK so here is the cute stuff:

  • Paint the walls in a bright color so the pantry makes you smile!
  • Use a bright color for the shelves (white) so you can see everything more easily)
  • 20140604_102002Paint old bread pans and 9×13 cake pans to sort your foods. You can add cute chalkboard stickers and write what’s inside on the end. If you don’t have old bread pans, check out the local thrift stores and garage sales or ask friends and neighbors if they have old ones.
  • Use see-through containers so you can see what your foods are (these are from IKEA)
  • IMG_1325Use baskets to wrangle the things like bags of pasta, rice and beans (these are from the dollar store but I had them before–no need to purchase new stuff)
  • Use lazy susans for the corners to get the most out of your space.  Mine are from IKEA and only cost $9 each–a great price.
  • Go up as high as you can!

Check out our past show on Pantry Organization!

FYI:  The pantry is still organized and looks great 5 months after I organized it.  Doing this motivates the kids to keep it clean!

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A Better Way to Say Sorry

Long-time listener Tristen shared a post with us about a better way for kids (and parents) to say sorry.  We chat with Tristen and discuss how this 4-step process has changed the way her children interact for the better.

The Steps include:

1) I’m sorry for…: Be specific. Show the person you’re apologizing to that you really understand what they are upset about.

Wrong: I’m sorry for being mean.
Right: I’m sorry for saying that nobody wants to be your friend.

2) This is wrong because…:This might take some more thinking, but this is one of the most important parts. Until you understand why it was wrong or how it hurt someone’s feelings, it’s unlikely you will change. This is also important to show the person you hurt that you really understand how they feel

Wrong: This is wrong because I got in trouble.
Right: This is wrong because it hurt your feelings and made you feel bad about yourself.

3) In the future, I will…:

Wrong: In the future, I will not say that.
Right: In the future, I will keep unkind words in my head.

4) Will you forgive me? Don’t assume that they will—ask for forgiveness

To read the original post, go to http://www.cuppacocoa.com/a-better-way-to-say-sorry/.  We reached out to the author of the post but she hasn’t gotten back to us yet.  Thanks for the great information!  We love that you shared!

Getting Boys to Read

Mike McQueen, author of Getting Boys to Read, discusses his new book and tips on how to get your boys interested in reading.  Do you know a boy who struggles with reading?  Mike has great tips that come from his own personal experience as a struggling reader turned teacher-librarian.  He knows what boys struggle with and how parents and teachers can help.  This book is filled with practical tips as well as interviews with authors.  With 114 tips, there is sure to be something that will help inspire you and get the boy in your life reading.

The book is divided into 7 main ideas:

  1. Create the right environment.
  2. Strengthen your relationship.
  3. Connect reading with his interests and needs.
  4. Lure him with the best materials.
  5. Make reading interactive.
  6. Make reading fun.
  7. Try different techniques.

Some of my favorite tips included in the book include:

  • read aloud daily
  • recruit male role models
  • set up a book club for boys (we podcasted about this 4 years ago–listen here)
  • never criticize what he reads
  • use Amazon’s related titles
  • take him to the library
  • allow him to read comic books
  • introduce him to non-fiction

We discuss these and SO many more ideas.  For even more great ideas, check out the Getting Boys to Read website.

Head to Heart How We Use It

How is our experience going with  Head to Heart?  We talk with founder, Johnny Covey and share how we are getting out of our heads and in to our hearts in some critical times in our life with our family members.

 

Head to Heart: Our First Experiences

We cover the basics of Head to Heart with founder, Johnny Covey and how we worked to get out of fright and flight (head) and into our hearts with our kids. Listen to this session and see what we learned and see how you might find ways to help your kids when they get in their Fright-Flight so they can make an amazing choice to create a better way for themselves.

THEN, get a Head to Heart group together and/or send us your Head to Heart experiences.  We want to hear how this is working for you!

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Grandma Version of Me

Julie Nelson, author of Parenting with Spiritual Power, discusses how the voice of a trusted grandmother figure can help you in your parenting.  Grandparents say that if they had known how great grandparenting would be, they would have skipped right to it.  Why is that and how can we use the wisdom grandparents have to make our parenting more enjoyable and impactful. The “grandma version” of ourselves is wise and witty and helps us to achieve the balance we need to survive the years until we do indeed become grandparents.

Head to Heart: How To Get Started

We chat with Head to Heart founder, Johnny Covey about how to get yourself and your kids out of the fright and flight (head) and into action (heart) to face fears, solve problems and find success in your daily life and peace in your children’s lives.

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Head to Heart is a framework that allows you to Choose to Change and Create. We all have had experiences that keep us from Creating what we want. Johnny spent 12 years searching for the answer to the question Why don’t I choose to do what I know? He read hundreds of books, attended conferences all over the country and invested over 10,000 hours to get the answer: The Head to Heart framework. Yes, he is related to that other well-known Covey so this figuring out thing is in his genes!  His great uncle Steven R. Covey taught about being proactive, Choosing your response. The Head to Heart framework allows anyone, regardless of their previous Experiences to Choose their response. It is so digestible that anyone can understand it, so doable that they will actually use it, so duplicable that they can teach it right away.

When we are using our Head we hold back, worried about what others think about us. In our Heart we are able to be ourselves and fully express ourselves. We Create rather than Control.

This session is the How To Get Started.  We will have future episodes where we discuss our results and what we found as we use this process in our lives.

Keeping Kids Safe on Social Media

Nancy shares her family’s scary social media experience and discusses tips to help kids navigate social media with clinical social worker, Kim Kettle.  Learn how a mom who set up incredibly distinct rules for using technology found a predator taking aim at her child and how you can keep your child safe while teaching them how to have good social media skills.  Your child is all alone in the social media landscape and you have to step up and be their guide and their support in this lonely space.

Kim’s Reasons WHY parents need to Help Kids with Social Media

  1. Ensure kindness
  2. Be aware of who they are communicating with
  3. Be aware of sites they are visiting
  4. Help them develop good judgment

Other Resources:

 

Missing a Childhood

Could you be missing your child’s childhood?  Modern parents struggle with something that parents of previous generations never did–the persistence of the cell phone/smart phone/internet.  Even 10 years ago, the use of these devices was not so everpresent in our lives.  By being plugged in, we can actually miss our children’s childhood.  We discuss what we can do to ensure we don’t miss our children’s lives while still living in the modern age.

For more information, see this blog:  http://www.handsfreemama.com/2012/05/07/how-to-miss-a-childhood/

“I can recall a time when you were out with your children you were really with them. You engaged in a back and forth dialog even if they were pre-verbal. You said, ‘Look at the bus, see the doggie, etc.’ Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at day care while you’re on the phone, it breaks my heart. They hear your adult conversations. What do they overhear? What is the message they receive? I am not important; I am not important.”