November 2011

Get Your Kids Involved with Chores Early

"Children love to help out."

A common mentality among parents is that young children should be left to being kids, and that responsibilities are best saved for when they are “older”.  In many aspects of life, this is very true.  For example, young children should never have to bear the burden of your struggles with your spouse.  Where this line of thinking goes wrong, however, is in the case of household chores.

Caring for Grandma

My grandfather passed away last May. As you can imagine, this was devastating to my grandmother. On top of that, she has dialysis three times per week and is legally blind. Fortunately, I own a non-conforming duplex, which just means the two houses on my property are not attached. I moved my Grandmother in to the second house. She calls it her “cottage.”

Genealogy versus family history

There's a difference.

My father is a big genealogy buff. He sends me information about my distant relatives who lived on the plains of Nebraska. He has names, mostly, maybe a picture or two. He connects with random distant relatives who he’ll never meet in person on the Internet, and they exchange dates, homesteads, bits of family history to tell him who he was, who he'll be, where he came from.

I Have a Confession

"new and improved TV rules allow us to impose limits while still giving us the option to use it as a tool when we really need it."

I have been telling you about our attempt to rid our home of the ubiquitous TV over the past few weeks.  Last week, I talked about how we were struggling with being without it, because there are just times when having that distraction seems appropriate.  Well, this week, we decided to put the darned thing back in the house.

Family Game Night Ideas

While it’s not always possible to spend quality time together during the busy work/school week, families can designate a weekend night as family game night. This weekly ritual is important, as it gives families a chance to bond while relaxing and having fun. Of course, if family game night is going to be a success, games that will interest the entire family are key.

The Game Wave Makes a Great Family Christmas Gift

The Game Wave is a family entertainment system provided by ZAPiT Games. This system is unique because multiple family members can play the games simultaneously. Children will appreciate this feature because they won’t have to wait to take a turn to play. I was first introduced to the Game Wave several years ago when I participated in a BzzCampain through I loved the unit that I had so much, I bought one for my sister’s family.

Do Something Drastic: Ditch the TV

We have small children who really shouldn’t be watching TV anyway, but somehow that TV ended up being turned on for most of the day.  No one actually spent much time watching it, but the background noise and opportunity for distraction was ever present.  My kids are four and two and never seem to settle into a project or toy for very long.  They also have trouble sleeping at night.  While we aren’t sure what the cause is, we had to try something to see if we could restore some order and harmony to our household.

I've Missed Eating at the Table

For the past couple of months, we have let our strict policy of eating dinner at the table together slide.  We had some weird roommate issues and it was just simpler to eat in the living room, in front of the TV.  I know, I know, it is one of the worst ways to spend family dinnertime ever.  So, last week, the roommate issue was resolved and we were able to start eating dinner together at the table again.  I can’t believe how much I missed that little tradition.

Though our kids are small – 2 and 4 years – I really enjoy spending time at the table with them, watching them interact with each other and make funny faces across the table.  It gives our family an opportunity to just be together.  No words are necessary.  We spend all day together so we already know how each other’s day went, but we are all busy doing our own things at home during the day, so sitting down at the table lets us slow down and actually make eye contact with one another.