Category Archives: Family

Parenting issues that effect the entire family.


Creating a New Familiar

I was totally expecting to marry, continue to live in the burbs, and be a stay-at-home Mom.  That’s what I pictured in my head as I grew up in the burbs of Cincinnati.  It’s what I knew.  It’s the way I thought everyone lived.  NOT!

Little did I know I would marry a Country Boy at heart with the need to farm running through his veins and end up Continue reading


Attached At The Hip

“Can I just have a few more minutes… please?”  My husband is having trouble waking up and jumping into Daddy mode.  He got home just last night from a week-long business trip – the kind where you get to sleep alone in a nice hotel room and go out to dinner with friends after work.  And then there’s the four-hour flight (also alone) round trip to read to your heart’s content, listen to music, or to sleep.  Not that I’m jealous or anything!

I show some compassion and give him an hour, taking our two-year-old upstairs to play.  Most weekends, we like to get up together to start the day because we don’t get to be together as a family very much during the week.  I am aware that my husband and I could be alternating days when we sleep in, each caring for our daughter on different mornings for a couple hours.  The reason this doesn’t work is Continue reading

Breakfast With Baby

Changing Tables, Diapers, And The World (Part 1 of 3)

In raising children, being active parents, educators, and dealing with all the things that come with children, men seem to be missing. Yes, over the past twenty years or so, men have stepped up to the plate and men have contributed more to the raising of children then their parental predecessors. My father wouldn’t even change diapers (so I’m told), where as I seem to be elbow deep in the mess. However, it seems that it is still a mommy’s world when it comes to dealing with children; particularly babies. As a new father, I am perplexed by this observation. I am distressed by it, as I was under the impression that, as a community, Continue reading


store called This is my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the lights and the holiday spirit. This year I am feeling a little guilty I have carried on the tradition of the Santa “lie.” In some regards I have been preparing my children by using the term “legend” whenever I speak of Santa or the magic of Christmas. For example, legend has it that Santa and his elves live in the North Pole. Or legend has it that the Elf on the Shelf (TM) only flies at night when no one can see him. Hopefully we still have a few years left of them believing in the magic of the season.

For some reasons this year I have found myself shopping more than ever. I have found some amazing deals. I am sure I have purchased more than enough stuff that my family isn’t going to want, although it is super cute. Many of them are not going to be excited about the book they are ALL getting as a gift from me. I’m sure there will be some rolling of the eyes or the “she is crazy” conversation behind my back. But is all good, they need this book!

I tend to spend a lot of money on my mom for Christmas. Some years I am better at managing the gift-giving than others. This year is not one of them. She is getting some really great stuff, some of which she really needs. There are a few items on her list that I didn’t get and I am tempted to run out to buy them, but as of right now I am controlling the urge. I have done a fair amount of shopping for my in-laws too. This year I did the shopping on behalf of my husband as he doesn’t have the time so I was able to push a few of my ideas.

It is so expensive to mail stuff so I am going to limit my mailing of goodies this year. Which means some of my friends will, hopefully, be disappointed they are not getting fudge or magic cookie bars. Gotta cut back somewhere. Smile.

What about you? Are you spending more this year or less than you did last year?

by Kelly Damron

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Attempting Communication With Tweens: Define Mistaken vs. Wrong

boy frowning into cameraI had an epiphany this morning. There’s a difference between being mistaken and wrong. Well, I knew that part. The epiphany was that I needed to explain it to the boys, and to clarify my message when I am correcting them. Because I homeschool, I’m in the position of correcting them in nearly every area of their lives. Now that they’re 12 (going on 18), we’ve got the adolescent sensitivity rearing its head.

Case in point: piano lessons. I recently took over when their teacher got full-time work and couldn’t do lessons anymore. This was not technically difficult; I have several years of piano study under my belt and am well-qualified to teach. In addition, they only had to finish the book they’re on to reach the release point. From there, they are welcome to choose what instrument (if any) to play. They should be done by the end of December, give or take a week.

For the whole time they’ve had piano lessons, they’ve resisted the idea of playing along to a metronome. In fact, I never even purchased one simply because they found it so offensive. Today when I tried to show one boy the correct tempo of a song by tapping gently with a pencil, he got so upset he couldn’t play the piece he’d just played moments before (albeit with the wrong tempo). He was actually angry, telling me that I was saying he was wrong when I never even used the word.

I had in reality complimented him twice on his playing, then said, “I’m going to pass you on to the next song, but I want you to play this one more time so I can show you something.” I then tapped along with his playing so he could find the errors on his own without me appearing to criticize. I don’t know how I could be any gentler without just letting him do whatever he thinks is good and fawning all over him from the side. And that would make me gag, so we’re not going there. A mom has to have standards.

The lesson ended early when I suggested in some frustration that perhaps mornings weren’t the best choice for lessons with him, since he got upset with me the last two weeks in the same way. I offered mornings, evenings, or find another teacher who could finish this whole thing out. Side note: since we’re saving money on not paying a teacher for lessons, I agreed to share some of those savings with the boys in exchange for their cooperation and hard work. So choosing another teacher means $3 less per week in his pocket.

He decided that we could try again in the evening.

After I’d gone out to clean the garage and settle down, I returned and explained to the boys that there’s a difference between ‘wrong’ and ‘mistaken’. They’re mistaken when they believe that a metronome is impossible to use. They’re wrong when they act disrespectfully and accuse me of meanness that didn’t happen. If they get annoyed with me and mutter under their breath and I’ve actually DONE something annoying? Totally fine. But muttering and anger when I’m doing my job? Wrong.

Maybe if I continue to define things this way, it’ll clear up some of the frustration. Unless I’m mistaken.

by AmyL

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