Strength For Your Children

For those times when you just have to tell it like it is.

Life is filled with great moments and horrible events.  As a parent we need to understand that sometimes the lessons which brought us to a ‘horrible event’ needs to be announced loud and clear so that one can move on the the next ‘great moment’.  It is in this honesty that growth begins again and lessons are etched into our database of experience.

If you have an adult child who has gone through or is currently going through a hard time you know full well how hard it can be to be brutally honest and straight with them as you may fear hurting them more than than they all ready are hurt. However, sometimes the proper medicine is that verbiage which places their train of thought in a different realm of that which it currently occupies.  In short, get them to ‘Snap out of it’.

We all make mistakes and are in need of guidance regardless of our age.  Yet, we need to know that an over soft approach to child rearing can lend itself to much more harm than good.  A child does not need, and should not receive, a verbal or physical lashing every time he/she does something wrong or inappropriate.  But approaching every situation as though you may break your precious little glass child is not sending the message that at times life is tough and we have to pick ourselves up and change or correct what we are having issues with.

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Our first installment of ‘Video – Learning & Doing’ is underway

Elijah and I (Paul) are working on a project dealing with shooting video and editing within Screenflow.  It’s a great project – starter project – for both of us to grow and learn something new together.  Join in and see what you can do with your kids that will make a difference for both of you and/or all of you.

Video coming soon along with instruction on how to work with the software – Screenflow.

See ya soon.

Video – Learning & Doing

8 Things We Learned When Our Twins Made Spaghetti

Plus fun facts about Ava and Thérèse being twins

We’ve been working with the kids on getting them to learn to cook, so we thought it would be fun to create a video to help kids see other ones making dinner for the family.

They had already started when I got home from work, but that didn’t stop me from sneaking some sweet potato purée into the sauce. No one knew it was there until they watched the video! Score.

What we discovered while making the video:

  1. The sound would be a whole lot better if we plugged the microphone into the correct hole. Duh.
  2. It takes a lot of practice to seem natural in front of the camera.
  3. Knowing what you’re doing and explaining it are 2 whole different worlds sometimes!
  4. Getting the lighting right at night time in a small kitchen is a little tricky. We were just using a video light attached to the camera.
  5. Onions make your eyes water. A lot.
  6. Steam is hot.
  7. Gluten free spaghetti sticks to the wall even when it’s not completely cooked. It was a little chewy.
  8. Sweet potato purée tastes delicious in spaghetti sauce.

When we had first asked the Thérèse and Ava if they wanted to do cooking videos, they said yes, as long as they got aprons with their names on them.


Not really. They’re very cool girls.

So we told them they could have them after we’d done 5 cooking videos, just to make sure the

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How to Avoid Children’s Gift Overload This Year

And help them to appreciate what they've been given

One Christmas day back when we only had 3 children, we got up relatively early, dumped out stockings and opened a gift. Breakfast was next, a fancy pants one with bubbly orange juice in wine glasses. It took a while to get everyone dressed for church, and we loaded them into the car for our 1/2 hour drive to church for Christmas Mass at 12:30. Once we made it home at 2, everyone was sleepy, so naps commenced.

Naptime over, we opened up another gift but didn’t have time for anything else as we had been invited to some friends’ for dinner. As they lived 1/2 hour away, we all loaded up into the car and headed out again, with a busload of gifts still sitting under the tree.

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Why You Need to Teach Your Children to Tip

Tipped employees everywhere will appreciate it

Thinking back on it, I’m not sure really when I learned to tip. I don’t remember my parents teaching me. This isn’t because they neglected to do so, but rather because we didn’t seem to go anyplace where tipping was expected.

Going out to dinner was a treat, usually at the end of the school year. As my parents were both in the educational system, the end of the school year marked celebration for all of us.

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Fix Your Caveman’s Table Manners in 5 Days

The freebie you need if your kids embarrass you in restaurants

We finally finished our little project we’ve been working on, our free giveaway. It’s the “Fix Your Caveman’s Table Manners in 5 Days”.

Caveman freebieIn it, we talk about why it’s important to have good table manners both as children and as adults. Included also are 13 suggestions of simple table manner fixes that are most likely to embarrass you at Great Aunt Mille’s house when spaghetti is part of the meal.

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Unexpected Reasons Why Children’s Chores Matter

How much do your kids help out?

“Chores have a lot of short-term and long-term developmental benefits in terms of academic and social success,” reports Richard Rende, PhD, a developmental psychologist, researcher and author.

Yet in a national study of over 1000 participants last September, researchers discovered that although 85% of parents consistently had chores as children, only 28% of us have our own children do chores.

How can that be?

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Is Table Etiquette Still Alive?

4 rules we need to use today

As our 6 year old son Blaise committed another faux pas at the dinner table the other night (I can’t remember which it was–they were coming fast and furious), we got into a conversation about table etiquette.

“Mom, remember when Granny and Papa were going to take us to Florida, and you and Aunt Beth made Kayla and me practice table manners because you were afraid we were going to embarrass you? Seriously, Mom, we were only nine.” said Miss Manners herself, Naomi. And commenced with the how-ludicrous-you-are eye-roll.

Later she started waving around a steak knife to make a point. We’ve gone terribly wrong somehow…

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Scowling Kid vs. Parent Showdown

Who can make the meanest face?

There’s a tactic that we had to pull out of our bag of tricks today. Years ago, we discovered that when our kids were super grumpy, there was one sure fire way to get them to smile.

A mean face contest.

Oh yeah, as in, “Your mean face isn’t nearly as good as my mean face. Game on. Make the meanest face you can.” And we’d make horribly mean faces at each other. The kids would always burst out laughing.

How ridiculous is it for kids to have their parents tell them to make a grumpy face? We’d growl, “Come on, you can be nastier than that!” as we’d screw up our faces into the most disagreeable, cantankerous scowl we could envision.

The ensuing result was that, in the process of attempting to be crotchety, our faces would be so ridiculous that the child couldn’t help themselves, and the smirk would start.

“NO!” we’d holler. “NASTIER! Uglier!”

And they’d try but burst into laughter.

“Hold ON!” they’d laugh. “Let me concentrate!

Trying to be grumpy

And we’d discover a new, silly nasty face.

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Why We Must Teach Our Children That “No” Means “No”

They'll carry the lesson throughout their lives

Some pics I viewed recently on Instagram@StopRapeEducate, as my friend Mark says, “Got me to thinking.” Although I’m not even sure how I came across the account months ago, and I don’t agree with Amber (the owner’s) political views sometimes, I do agree with the overall message, that NO means NO.

According to HealthResearchFunding.Org, up to 80% of the date rapes that occur when the woman is intoxicated. More frighteningly, up to 90% of college campus rapes occur through date rape incidents.

Kansas State University discloses, “many women do not report or characterize their victimization as a crime for reasons such as embarrassment, because they do not want to define someone who assaulted them as a rapist, or because they do not know the legal definition of rape. Many women blame themselves.”

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