30 Days of Tween Parenting Encouragement E-book

30 Days of Tween Parenting Encouragement Free E-bookI am all kinds of stoked to tell y’all about this FREE e-book!

We’re sending 30 Days of Tween Parenting Encouragement out today, as a gift, to ALL of my blog newsletter subscribers.

Lee Felix of Like Minded Musings, did an excellent job compiling this book, with contributions from 30 different bloggers, who are all parents of tweens, including yours truly. Visit Lee’s blog, and give her a follow or a Facebook Like!

I wrote chapter 16 of this book, 2 Must Read Character-Building Books for Tweens. Be sure to look for me in there. I was so honored to be a part of it.

Here are a few of the many topics covered in this free e-book:

-Social Media Responsibility

-Giving Structure without Being Overly Strict

-Helping Your Tween Deal with Pressure

-3 Steps to Loving Your Tween with Purpose

-How to Connect to Your Tween Boy

-Anxious Tweens

-Tween Girls and Body Image

-How to help your tween set up a quiet time

and much, much more!!!


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And so goes the tooth fairy…


tooth fairy

Alan and the boys were getting ready to leave. Caleb was sitting at the table writing something on a napkin.

Alan said, “Caleb, what’re you doing? Are you writing the tooth fairy a letter?”

“Huh? Did she miss a tooth??” I asked, possibly panicking a little bit. Oh no! Had I messed that up again?

Alan explained, “He lost his tooth, so she had no idea because he didn’t put a tooth or a letter under his pillow,” halfway talking to me, halfway talking to Caleb.

Caleb looked at us silently. Caleb is loud when he plays, but when he is not playing, he is Mr. Nonchalant Straight Face.

Joshua looked at me, and he said in a flat, informative voice, as though he is always the narrator of this house, “Caleb was looking in your drawers yesterday for the 3DS, and he found all his teeth. So now he knows the tooth fairy isn’t real.” Then Joshua gave us a little shake of his head.

Whomp Whomp Whomp.

Caleb just looked at us.

I hugged them both, and reminded them that when you go snooping around in other people’s drawers you often find things you don’t want to know.

Then I asked Caleb if he’d like a dollar for his tooth.

He would, but my wallet didn’t have a single dollar bill.

So he settled for a big note on the board, “Caleb lost a tooth. Pay Caleb.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Caleb said.

It was all very non dramatic.

“Hey, Mom, so does this mean from now on you can just give us money, and we can skip the pillow thing, since, you know..” Joshua asked eagerly.

Sigh. So this is how the tooth fairy dies.

I looked at Caleb’s napkin on the table. He wasn’t even writing a tooth fairy note in the first place. He was practicing his math. Weird. I’m pretty sure I’ve never voluntarily done that in my entire life.



The Writer,the Adder, the Brownie Thief, and Joshua #2


This is my picture of the year for 2015. This totally sums up what I’m wanting this year to be like. Last year was all change, change, change, and more change. It was WORK. It was learning to teach again. It was so much learning I thought my brain would bust.

Nothing against work and learning, but I’m still exhausted.

Let’s make work and learning a little more fun for all this year, especially me.

This year we will not:

1. move

2. change schools

3. Go whole weeks without leaving the house.

4. give birth

5. wean a baby

6. Say good-bye to all of our friends.


This year we WILL:

1. Go to the beach more often.

2. Have lots of guests!

3. Keep on home schoolin’.

4. Potty train J.D. (later this year…not now)

5. Finish our first year of home schooling.

6. Go to Legoland.

7. Visit the San Diego Zoo. Oh yeah, baby, that is so happening soon!!!

8. Have my lesson plans done BEFORE the new school year starts. That’s a benefit of being a second year CC’er. I actually have some clue as to what is going on. That statement is probably something only a Classical Conversations family could understand. It’s just a whole other method of schooling that will shake up your brain and fill it with tons of new information and ideas.


I’ve captured a few of our recent 2015 adventures on camera:

Batman went to Joshua’s basketball game with us.

My friend Jennifer showed me a ‘meme’ online that had a picture of a Batman mask. It read, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.”

Daniel is following in Caleb’s steps of costume love. We often hear Caleb ask Dan, “Dan, do you want me to go dress you up in a costume?”

They have quite the super hero collection.

Do you know what else Caleb likes to do? He makes up math problems on the board. In his free time! Never have I ever.

Caleb likes to make up math problems to work on the board.

Did you know that we sometimes call John David “Joshua #2”? It feels like raising Joshua all over again–a more aggressive version. Anyone with three older siblings will come out kickin’.

What makes him like Jman? So many things! He loves books. He’s allergic to nuts. His face is very similar. He’s the same size that Joshua was. He’s high maintenance. They have all been high maintenance, except for Caleb.

Let me take a moment and thank God for the one low maintenance child….

haaaa! Of course, Caleb is a wild card. You never know when he’s going to take some freak notion to try to walk to school by himself, like he did in Kindergarten, BUT I will say that I’ve never seen a more self-reliant child. He almost never asks for help.

JD LOVES books. I think most kids do.

Beach Day #2 with Jennings. This time we went prepared for the soaking.

I already wrote about Jennings’ visit, but I didn’t share pics from beach day #2. We were much better prepared. All boys had on swim gear. Caleb wore very little, and I really don’t know how he didn’t freeze to death, but he didn’t.


Sometimes I wonder why we don’t just go to the beach every day.

When small people steal brownies

Last weekend, we prepared Daniel a perfectly good lunch. Then we went upstairs, and left him alone in the kitchen to eat it.

We also left a pan of cooling brownies on the counter. So there you have it.

The young author needs lots of room to spread out his work.

Joshua has a new hobby. He writes and illustrates copious amounts of comic book stories.  I get a kick out of the way he spreads them all out on his bed.

beginning PreK 4!!!

I’m gradually easing Daniel into PreK4. I love the Montessori preschool style, and we are also doing that with Daniel. I have a whole post that I’m working on about that.  Coming soon!

This pic is of Daniel enjoying an A Beka learning game. Every time he correctly says a letter sound, he gets to put an apple on the tree.

Believe it or not, Daniel will also be a Classical Conversations student in the fall. Too cute. My expectations for that are pretty low. I’ll just cheer on whatever he does learn and not spend a single second concerning myself with what he doesn’t learn. Entering as a K4 student, he will learn Cycle 1 memory work 3 times!

JD had a ball playing with Aunt Jennings at the beach.

Day 2: These two never did get wet.

Do you remember that pre-teen girls’ sleepover I mentioned? Well, they painted my nails. I haven’t painted my nails since about 2005, so now I have these horrible chipped, purple sparkly nails, and not an ounce of polish remover in the house. I am such a boy mom. Now I have to go buy nail polish remover.

I also learned that when it comes to modern pre-teen pop culture I apparently “don’t know anything at all!!!”

“What is BAE? What does that mean???”

“It means above all else…”

Wait…but wouldn’t that be AAE? Or maybe they said better than all else. I forgot already.

Then, of course, I had never heard of any of their bands/songs/singers. Also, did you know that many of these children have their own smart phones??

I cannot imagine giving a pre-teen unlimited, unsupervised access to the internet.

I’m sorry, but I think that is a terrible idea. Plus, it’s impossible to run any activities with people who are always looking at their phone.

The most startling realization from all of this is that our Joshua is only two years away from being a member of this ‘middle school’ crowd. He’s nine!  Does that mean that some kids his age are already getting their own smart phones??  Giving a kid a cell phone so you can call them is one thing. Giving them a smart phone where they can access porn, snapchat, and anything else in the world is totally different. I’m not talking about 17 year olds. I’m talking about middle schoolers.

Electronic time is such a new dilemma for my generation of fellow parents. Our parents had to deal with Nintendo time. We have to worry about what they might access on an iPad!

Alan and I have stuck to our ‘no electronics during the week’ rule. They can play video games on the weekend. This weekend they didn’t even get to do that, but no one seemed to miss it. We are also very strict about what video games enter our house.

I’d better run. Daniel and John David are ready to get out of the bath tub. When all else fails, baths are the greatest way I know to entertain small children.





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