Wednesday, 4 March 2020


Seriously, this is why I rarely post anymore. I just remembered this post at midnight! Ahhh!
I tried to do an Instagram story but IG and I don’t jive well. Lucky for you who do not have Instagram, you get a post.
So, if you have been following me since the beginning, you will know that I have homeschooled and then public schooled and am homeschooling again. Just one kid though. The same kid.
The first time I homeschooled, I felt like I was being called to it. I really liked the idea of having a flexible schedule and teaching according to your child’s interest. With my husband travelling for work, I dreamt of the kids and I tagging along and learning all sorts of amazing things on our travels. Not so. We didn’t have the finances or the sanity to make that happen. We loved the alternative school that was close by (Christian public school) and my decision wasn’t based on a desire to shelter the kids so it wasn't scary putting them in school. 
All was well; not perfect but well, until I noticed that one of our kids just didn’t seem to be understanding his school work. It’s hard to explain but it was apparent he was not catching what was going on in class and certainly not what was expected of him on paper. After years of seeking advice and help from our school and outsiders we had to take everything into our own hands. After some assessments, he was diagnosed with a few learning disorders (dysgraphia and discalculia are two).  We had a PIP plan set up at school but it took until the end of the year for the plan to be implemented.  It had already been a terrible year. Our kind and happy son was frustrated and discouraged. His teacher, although warned, seemed flabbergasted by his inability to finish any assignments and seemed to have written him off as a kid who didn’t care. So, he became a kid who didn’t care. When he started getting sent to the principal’s office is when we decided to pull him out and homeschool him. I just needed to see for myself what was going on with his learning and how far back he was.  We also just needed to breathe and let him breathe. 
We are 7 months in on our homeschooling journey and are really enjoying our time together. He seems to be really understanding math and  the reading and spelling lessons. He is great at everything else, it's just understanding the instructions that he struggles with.  I do have to sit with him and read his questions out loud.  He needs many breaks and reminders to stay on task. I don’t mind because it’s just us and well, I’m sort of the same. He has really taken a liking to video editing, like his dad, and I’ve allowed him a lot of time to work on that in the afternoons. It’s built up his confidence, he has learned a lot and thinks this may be something he could do for a career.  However, he really began missing his school when we attended his brothers Christmas concert. To be honest, I was super sad too. I loved all the social aspects of school, like concerts, talent shows, sports and field day, and I was sad that he didn’t have much of that. I tried to connect him with our homeschool community through some phys Ed classes but with pick-ups with the other boys, it made commitment very difficult.
I have thought of pulling all of the kids out and homeschooling because, honestly, it is difficult being in both worlds.  I am unable to help out with field trips with the other boys and there are many activities my homeschool boy can't be a part of because of his brothers' schedules.  Also, days off!!! I did't realize how much time kids gets off until it affected my teaching schedule!
I sometimes dream that we will move on to an acreage, pull the kids from school and homeschool using our land and travel to teach them all that they need to know for a successful life. However, as I get old(er), I am starting to see that I can romanticize things a bit much. My husband and family see reality and as much as they support me in homeschooling this year, they don’t see the kids and I successfully homeschooling. Now, some may think that that is mean, it sometimes feels mean. I also know that those closest to us know us best and those are who we need to hear the truth from.  I continue to pray and seek the Lord on His best for our kids and it seems that right now we are headed back to our public school.  I know that because I am seeking the Lord, He will not let us down so I will move forward until He tells me different.
All that being said, I think we as moms, can really get stressed out and anxious about the options for schools.  I mean, if you grew up like I did, in a small town where there was no option to homeschool, there was no choice.  I went to the school down the street and it suited me fine.  Living in the city with the various public and private options is daunting.  There are even more homeschooling options!   We can think that there is only one right option and if we pick the wrong one our kids are screwed.  Thankfully, God is much much bigger than that.  Someone told me that we need to pray for God to be and work in wherever or whatever we choose for our kids.  When we invite God into those choices then it WILL be good. He will use whatever we choose for His purposes.  I am reminded of how many times people in the Bible messed up and yet God's plan was still fulfilled.  The main thing is the truth of the gospel. That is the ONE RIGHT way.  We don't have to stress about getting it perfect. He is the only perfect one and He can use all things for the good of those who love Him. Phew!
 So, whether my son goes back to school and has an amazing school career from here on or fails miserably and comes back home with all of his brothers-it will all be used for his good, for my good, for all of our good and to God's glory. 
Moms, pray for wisdom.  Seek advice, receive criticism and do not stress.  God loves those children even more than you ever could.  He chose you to be their mom, knowing all about you and your fears and dreams.  Move forward looking for His promptings and then whatever you choose, pray. Trust that God is in control and working wherever they are.
If you do not know this God who loves you so much.  I encourage you to give up trying to handle it all on your own and hand it over to the One who holds the world.  He is good and He has had a perfect plan for His creation from the beginning of time.  Jesus calls all those who are weary and burdened to come to him and find rest. He says that we can give him our heavy burdens and exchange them for his rest.  If  this is something you would like to explore further, feel free to contact me or visit this website for more discussion.  >> Know Jesus
Thanks for walking with me in this thing called motherhood.  It doesn't always come natural but it is quite an adventure!

Monday, 26 August 2019

From All Natural to Duncan Hines-Surviving Birthdays

Hey friends, 

Over the last 10 years I have been trying to work out the best ways to have fun, stress-free birthdays for our four boys.  Our challenge is that each of them share a month with another brother.  Two have birthdays two days a part in August and two share the month of October.  They are also VERY different kids! As a mom who gets overwhelmed very easy, I have needed to find ways to put on fun parties that don't cause major anxiety and tears...for all of us!
With my first son, I did as most moms of new babes do, and went all out!  Lots of people, homemade and elaborate cakes and themes, destination birthdays, and lots of decorations.  This year for his 11th birthday I have told him that it's all being toned down with a couple close friends and a fun activity at home.  However, I still have three brothers behind him and frankly, I am tired.  I dreaded the August birthdays this year.  I was looking for ways to calm it all down and that's when this idea of sharing with you moms came to be. Maybe I can save one mom from birthday burn-out!

Here are a few things that I have incorporated into my birthday party planning to keep them fun and stress-free.

Five Things to Keep in Mind 

1. Our kids will not remember every detail. Try to think back as early as you can and remember the details.  Were the balloons the right colour, did your dress match your decorations, what games did you play?  I could only remember three cakes and I think it is because there are photos that I have seen.  I actually remember silly details like how bossy I was with my friends and special gifts that I received.  With that in mind, ask yourself "What do you want your kids to remember, if they actually remember?" Are you stressing over details that will be totally forgotten?  They WILL remember the good feelings, the love and the care that their mom had for them...but not the colour theme or whether the cake was homemade or not.

2.It's one day.
  If you are a mom who keeps sugary treats and trans fats at bay in your home, just relax for one day. Trust me, this is hard for me. I take very seriously how my kids eat and what their relationship with food looks like. We have some serious hereditary diseases that we do not want to be our boys' stories so we tend to be strict with pop and snacks.  My oldest son was unfortunate to eat a sugar free cupcake on his first birthday.  He hated it! So much for a cute "cake-on-on-your-face pic.  By the time I got to our fourth son, I went straight to Duncan Hines.  Was one day of processed cakes going to hurt him?
So with birthdays, I let it be the one day where we just relax and go for it.  Chips, pop and candy? Do it up boys!  One day is not going to kill them.

3. If you have multiple birthdays to plan, try to find ways to share decorations, cake supplies or activities.  One year I made a Minecraft cake and a Mario Cart cake. Both required green icing and chocolate cookie crumbs.  I was able to buy the good food colouring and use it on both cakes.  Win! This year I made the August birthdays have Nerf guns included in the theme.  The older boys, with the Pixel Gun 3D theme had a Nerf gun battle in the backyard with homemade barriers made from some free pallets and hockey nets and the younger Nerf themed party shot through homemade targets taped on the pallets.  In case you think it was fancy, think again. I taped tissue paper from the previous party up on the pallets and drew circles on them.  Lots of fun!

4. Ask friends to help.  This year I wised up and asked a friend who has a house full of everything if I could borrow a square cookie cutter and a spatula for smoothing icing. She had them both!!  If you have a neighbourhood Facebook group, ask there for cake molds, leftover decorations, balloons, or even someone to make a cake.  I also ask friends for used gift ideas.  One year we gave our oldest my husband's old iPod and this year we gave our second oldest a friend's old IPOD.  Another person's junk could be your kids' treasure. They don't care if it's brand new if it is thoughtful.  One of the few gifts I remember as a child was a used camera my grandpa got me.  :) No one said the birthday gift had to be brand new.

5. Take pictures.  This will be your child's memories.  Take pictures of the joy in them playing with their friends, with their family and with YOU!  What you think is cool now they may think is cheesy later so don't fuss over photos of the decor.  Capture the people and the smiles!

Some Things I Have Learned 

-kids just want to play with their friends- especially if they invite their school friends, who they probably don't get to free play with much.  I over-planned my 10 year old's party last year and I ended up sick on the couch with my husband and his friend running the show. You know what my son remembers most? Running around the neighbourhood after the activities.  Most of those friends had never been over before so he loved just having them in his world.
This can make the house a bit more chaotic or messy so if that is too much for you then, by all means, go to a play place or plan the games.  Do what works best for your comfort level.

-Have a tradition that the kids look forward to.  I copied my friend Lindsay by putting up a special birthday banner for each birthday.  Our boys know that when they wake up and come downstairs they will be met with the banner and balloons.  I bought a reusable felt banner from Target before it sadly left Canada (still so sad).  We also let the kids pick the supper for that day and we all pray a blessing over them at bedtime.  If all else goes wrong in the day, they know these things will happen.  They look forward to it.

-Bring back the good old games. Remember pin-the-tail, or hot potato?  I tried those last year on a few birthdays and the kids loved them!  I especially love the game where you wrap a prize in tonnes of wrapping paper and tape and the kids pass it around to music.  When the music stops, the kid who has the gift unwraps as much as they can until the music starts.  The person who gets to the treat gets to keep it.  It's a good game for gathering everyone together before present opening.

-I like treat bags; just not ones full of junk.  I hate Dollar store junk. My husband hates it more.  Chances are the guests' parents do too.  I usually let our boys pick out their favourite candy to give their friend and add in glow sticks (cuz everyone loves glow sticks!) or a themed gift that is unique. Kites, sidewalk chalk and bubbles are great gifts that I don't ever mind having around so I tend to give those too.  I like treat bags because it teaches my kids about gratitude.  They end their party saying thank-you and focusing on giving to their friend.  I hope that instills a value of sending thank-you cards or gifts when they are older.

Do one thing really well and relax on the rest.  I do cakes.  I am not an elaborate fondant seven-layer, Michael's workshop type of cake maker but I do like to challenge myself to a creative cake.  I usually bake the cakes during the day and take the evening to decorate while I watch a favourite show on Netflix and enjoy a fun beverage.  Our family is very creative so we all enjoy what comes of it.  My kids are super encouraging and always marvel at my attempts.  I even tried to make Nintendo Wii remote cookies one year. They were so sad looking. One of the parents asked my son if he made them! All of the kids loved them though.  That's all that mattered.
**Kids don't look through Pinterest and Instagram comparing decor like we do so their expectations are lower.**

Lastly, here is a secret >> Have your party in between meals so that you only have to provide a snack.  If you like hosting and providing a meal is no issue for you then- awesome! (I love being fed at parties.) However, if you get easily overwhelmed and stressed or you are on a budget then just skip the meal.  I had the August birthdays just after lunch and only provided chips and a veggie plate.  They were so busy playing that they didn't mind.  Keep the party no longer than 2 hours and all will be well.  I actually tried an hour long party with my four year old and that was a bit stressful. There as not enough time for everything. Two hours is perfect for some playtime, an activity, cake and presents.

Remember that ultimately, kids want the people they love most to celebrate with them.  They may fuss about wanting this and that but even if they don't get it, they will be happy with a fun time with their people.  (If they don't then you have other issues to work on). What matters most is that they have a mom who is joyful and able to share in the fun, not stressing and grouching in the background.  Keep it simple. Have fun.

I hope that some of the things that I have learned will help you to enjoy your birthday planning a bit more.  Only you can decide what is best for your family.  Don't let the social media world dictate what is a good party for your kids.  Don't let comparison get in the way of the joy of celebrating your children. Again, they are not going to remember half of it anyway.  Relax.  Create your own traditions and quirks to your family and own it! 

Is there anything else you want to know?  Send me a message and we can cover that.  Want to ask the Natural Mom community for ideas?  Join us on our Facebook group and start a conversation.
I do this so that moms can feel supported and encouraged.  I would love to continue on in this topic if it helps you.
Lastly, if you have some ideas to share or celebrate, send them to me through Instagram or Facebook and I would be glad to share them with everyone else.

Happy party planning! 

Monday, 22 July 2019

Social Media. It’s only been a part of my life for the last 11 years but it’s hard to even remember life before it. As a very social person, I love that it allows me to stay in contact with my groups of friends from the different stages of my life. I also love the inspiration I get from other people. There are so many creative and smart people out there that I get to learn and glean from.  However, if I am going to allow social media into my life, I also need to evaluate what ugly stuff it brings out in me. I admit that it can feed my struggle with gossip, comparison and envy. There are times when I know that I am not valuing the person that I am spectating and will unfollow them until my heart is right. I also continually ask myself the question in regards to envy, “Do you really want that for your life? Would you really choose that for yourself?” Often the answer is “no” so I reject the lie that I need what they have and allow myself to enjoy and celebrate with them.
One thing that reared it’s head today, and this is me being super transparent here, is the struggle to want to portray a facade.  I was listening to a cool song, enjoying the moment of my kids actually getting along and me having a good hair day.  My thought was, “I need to post this.” Now, there is nothing wrong with sharing our good moments or good hair days. However, digging deeper the question asked was “why”.  Why do you need to post it? What is your purpose? Who is the post aimed at?  That question brought me to the place of rejection and feelings of not fitting it in that I have lived with for all my life. A feeling that I am sure all of us have felt at one time in our life.  The post was for the boys that rejected me, including the first husband of my youth who wanted someone else. The post was for the girls that I felt like I could never be cool enough to be friends with. The post was for the lies that I believed in the numerous fashion magazines I read as a teen. Those lies that I just wasn’t  quite enough.  The next question was,”So you post it. Will it really do what you want it to do? Will it really prove that you are cool, beautiful, a good mom, someone who has it together?” Here’s my answer. Maybe it will fool a few people for a few days. Maybe it will fool someone enough to make them think they don’t have it together and then they start on a long insecure train of posting their “perfect life”. Maybe it will look good but will it prove anything to me?  Will it make me feel beautiful, together, cool? Do I even have to be those things? What is really going to bring me joy and peace? Cuz that’s what I really want here. Is this where my value is going to come from? No. My value is in who God says I am. He says I am precious and worth dying for. That’s better than a ❤️ or a 👍🏻. So instead, I’m going to just enjoy this moment of good music, good hair and nice kids. Just for me. And I’m going to tell myself, “ You’re one cool Mother with some great hair today”, and I will thank my Lord for a great moment of showing me the goodness in my life. I will thank the  Holy Spirit for opening my eyes to the truth in the midst of facades and images.  I will accept the value I have already been given and carry on with my day.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The Gift of Time- a letter to grandparents

This is a Facebook post that I wrote a few years ago. It is still true, if not more true today.

 As I look around our room full of toys and think about how much my boys actually play with them, it brings something from my childhood to mind. Kids didn't have rooms for toys back then. We had toy boxes.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins didn't buy us toys at Christmas or birthdays most times. We just spent time together. Grandparents usually gave us lame clothes and a few dollars to buy something we liked. If they did buy gifts, they were very special; like when my grandpa bought me my first camera. I'm sure it was used and it was old but I didn't care. It was thoughtful. This is also the grandpa that made a point to stop by our house every day after work just to say "hi". I'm glad he did that because he died when I was 10. Yet, I still have many fond memories of him in that short time. My grandmas would play school with me, colour or write poetry, take me for walks, let me help in their gardens or attend my softball or ringette games. A treat at our grandparents' houses were a mint from the mint jar or a chiclet. 30 years ago people seemed to have a lot more time and a little less stuff.  So when we got "stuff" it was rare and special. Thinking to that and looking at our room full of toys brought me to this :
Grandparents, in a time where people have so many "things" but not a lot of time, why not give your grandkids what is rare? Honestly, those toys you spend your hard earned money on often are forgotten.  However, your time, the memories that you could create by playing with them or telling them stories of your childhood while making mud pies would be treasured in their hearts forever. You don't need to buy them a lot of candy or spoil them with "stuff" every time you see them.  These days, even the doctors and dentists are giving them something. Did you know that they even get candy and toys with their Valentine's now? It's not as special anymore. Kids take "stuff" for granted. Mine do anyway. They don't take time together for granted though.  Less stuff more time. Would you agree, parents?

Friday, 7 December 2018

The Spirit of Christmas

At this time of the year we look forward to the fun of being with friends and family, enjoying special treats, Christmas events around the community, lights, carols and the special focus on Jesus and his humble birth.  With all of that we subconsciously or quite consciously expect that it should be a joyful time, full of laughter and love. Wouldn't you agree that we put extra pressure on the holiday to be a time of happiness and good times? 
This week, less than three weeks from Christmas Day, was met with great sadness for friends in different areas of our lives.  One friend lost her mom to an illness, one is waiting on test results on a tumour that is causing debilitating pain and others lost yet another grandchild to death in utero.  There is a heavy feeling in my chest as I think of what they must be going through in their hearts and minds.   For some reason, tragedies like these seem more painful to us when they happen close to Christmas, "the Season of Joy and Peace and Goodwill". 
As  I was driving today, praying for my friends, Amy Grant's song "Breath of Heaven" came on the radio.  One of the lines in the song reads:

I am waiting in silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me. Be with me now. 
                                                                                               -Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant 

One thing I find we do is romanticize the event surrounding Jesus' birth.  Many pastors have done a great job of bringing realistic details of this time; with descriptions of what Mary must have experienced with a seemingly unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock, the stank conditions of where our Saviour first laid his head or the number of babies who were slain by a narcissistic king who was threatened by a prophesy.  No matter how well these preachers and teachers present the truth of these events, we still hang on to the beauty of the young virgin, loved and cared for by a humble Joseph.  We love the shepards following after the star with wonder and hope, the host of angels who herald the New Born King, and the quiet scene of a new family in a tidy nativity setting.  We know, just like at Easter, that there was pain and anguish, unknowns and fear, but that is not as beautiful.  We want the Nat King Cole, Town Square lit Christmas trees, and children nestled up in their beds dreaming of sugar plums.  These have become the Spirit of Christmas in our minds.  
So what happens when our Christmas season is met with pain and brokenness and fear?  What if we are so busy going to chemo treatments or trips to the NICU that we don't have time to get the tree up and the cookies baked? What if our family gatherings are anxiety-ridden or completely non-existent? Are we less Christmasy?  
What if circumstances such as these, these painful, heart-wrenching circumstances, are the very ones that bring us closer to the true Spirit of Christmas? 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. -Psalm 147:3 

If we look at the words of Jesus and the many promises of God we find all that we are longing for at Christmas. 
If you really listen to the words of old hymns like Joy to the World and ... you will find great truths. 

Truly he taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains we shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
                                                                                                  -O Holy Night

Now, going back to Amy Grant's song. When I heard the words "frightened", "cold" and "alone", it hit me that these emotions are just as much a part of Christmas as the warm and happy ones.  The Christmas story is not void of negative emotions and hard circumstances BUT there is such beauty in them because they are met with the promises of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords-Emmanuel!  Those who are mourning at Christmas are blessed, as scriptures suggest, because they can experience  true and lasting comfort.  The brokenhearted can look to the Risen King for their healing and their freedom.  Those who look to the Babe in a Manger with desperation are those who will fully experience the true Spirit of Christmas and what they receive from Him will be far deeper and long standing than our happy times with friends and egg nog.  
This message is not to reprimand you for looking forward to the joys of Christmas frivolity or good times.  Not at all!  Celebrate all the good that the Lord has done; sing and tell stories and laugh. 
Simply, this message is an encouragement for you to not avoid or resist feeling negative feelings at Christmas.  Embrace them . Embrace them and let the true meaning of Christmas touch your heart and transform you.  If hardships come in this season, turn to your nativity scene on your mantel, bend your knees and allow him to come and give you beauty for ashes, oil for joy and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:2-3) 
Lastly, let's not avoid people who are hurting and broken at this time of year.  Bring comfort, offer rest, carry their burdens. Embrace their pain with them and in turn, experience the grace and hope of Christ.  Jesus is near to the brokenhearted.  If you want to find the Babe in the Manger, go be with the brokenhearted.  He is there.  The Spirit of Christmas is there.  

Sunday, 29 March 2015

12 Good Signs your a Mom of Boys (to name a few)

1.Vacuuming is a game. Even after clean-up, there are little pieces of Lego to avoid and you don't want to suck them up because you know to which masterpiece they belong to
2.You can find your way through the house in the middle of the night because the glow in the dark toys guide you. 
3.Cleaning bathrooms includes wiping down walls, trash cans, cupboards and anything in spraying distance. 
4. Flatulance is a any moment of the day...and is always funny 
5. Your sofa cushions are on the floor more than on the actual sofa
6.Dead bugs...dead anything, really, is the cause of much excitement and discussion
7.You learn that all things can be a sword or a gun 
8.You've said, "get your hands out of your pants" in many situations 
9.You've been peed on...more than once. 
10.Jeans don't last long enough to pass down. 
11.Favourite Bible stories are David and Goliath and Samson and the Lion (not Delilah...the lion) 
12. Even the littlest playful hug is invitation for a wrestling match 

It's fun being a boy-mom! 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Hello Strangers! Welcome to our Family Movie Night

I've missed you. It has been way too long, hasn't it?  I am sure those of you who are on my Facebook page can understand why I have been too busy to write.  For those of you who were not aware, my dad passed away after a valiant 8 year battle with Cancer just two weeks away from my due date.  We nervously made the trek to my hometown for his funeral and made it back home with baby still in the belly.  Jakin Lewis was born shortly after on October 26 and well, life has been pretty hectic since.  My mom came shortly after and was blessed to have such four wonderful distractions.  We loved having her around.  I really never tire of that woman.  I again, struggled with breastfeeding and am finally starting to feel emotionally and physically better since the birth.  He is a great baby but it seems to take about 3 months to really figure out who they are what works for them.  I don't know what I would do without my husband home.  He drops off and picks up kids from school and is available if I need to sleep in or take a shower.  These passed few months have been difficult, painful, wonderful and exciting all in one and I am glad to be back.  

Okay, so there's catch up.  

My reason for writing today is share the blessings of a weekly family movie night. When Munch entered the world of full time school, it became apparent to me that we have less time to influence him.  As he is meeting more friends from all different backgrounds, we are also learning how our family rules and values are different, christian or not, from other families.   We have been using the phrase, "Yes, their family may do that but ours does not."  During the time this was coming to our attention, I read a great article about creating family identity.   The idea of a family game or movie night was one of the suggestions and from there we made it our thing.  Now instead of just saying, "Our family doesn't do that." We get to say, "Our family does this!" 

This introduces...

7  Reasons Why 
We Love 
Family Movie Night: 

1. We are getting the boys into the habit of carving out time for each other and looking forward to it.  Right now it is really about the movie and the popcorn but as time goes on I am confident the boys will appreciate their parents' commitment to the night. 

2. It helps me to limit their screen time. When they ask to watch movies throughout the week, I have something to point them to.  "No, we don't need to watch a movie, we can maybe watch that one on Friday night." It works.  

3. Watching movie with the kids allows us to screen the shows that they are watching and have conversations about them.  I had made the decision based on a review of the The Lego Movie, that they boys would not be seeing it.   It was mainly for our preschooler.  This last week, Ryan said he read another review and thought we could give it a try. This way we could address any undesirable behaviour that we were concerned with.  Well, surprise to me, I loved it!  If we didn't have this movie night, those boys may have missed out on a really fun movie (that totally inspired them with their Lego!) 

4. It is something to look forward to.  When it's Wednesday and we all feel in a rut, we can look forward to our fun night of a movie and snacks.  We can all do this together. 

5. Snuggles. When there's five people to snuggle with and life gets busy, sometimes people get missed. This is a time where I can give catch-up cuddles. 

6. Popcorn!  I love the snacks....but also... it helps when the kids are always asking for snacks throughout the week.  I can point them to Friday, where there will be a fun snack night!

7. We are creating family identity.  "Our family has movie night."  Maybe one night it will be a games night.  When our boys are nine, we will have movie night.  When they are sixteen, we will have a family night.  It is our family's thing-we look forward to it, we enjoy it and we are proud to be in this family and doing this special thing together.

Does your family have some traditions or activities that help create your unique identity?  Share them here and inspire other families.  

It's good to be back.