Posts Tagged ‘family’

Snail Mail

August 16th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

Every week, my kids receive a note in the mail from their great-grandmother.  She lives in Missouri and while we visit her as often as we can, she loves to stay in touch with them through the mail.  The notes are usually accompanied by some stickers, an article from the newspaper she thinks they would find interesting, or just a few words to let them know she is thinking of them.

You would think I was asking them to write the next great American novel when I ask them if they have written back to her.

“I don’t know what to write!”

“I don’t have time.”

“I can’t find any paper!”

“How long does it have to be?”

“Can I just draw a picture?”

Ugh.  Come on kids.  It’s not that hard to write a short letter to your grandmother, letting her know what is going on in your life!  It’s not like they have a shortage of activities to write about.  School is starting and they are both involved in many activities.  Dance classes will be starting back up soon.  They just rode their bikes across the state of Iowa.  They went to Okoboji for a few days.  They spent a lot of time at the pool this summer, meeting up with friends and inventing new water games.  Certainly they could write about some of that, right?

Both of my kids are great writers.  They have both written some amazing stories, full of the detail and drama.  Lauren has filled notebooks with stories of all kinds.  Brandon has written some excellent reports for school that gotten A’s.  So, why can’t they channel that skill into letter writing?

Is the art of letter writing dying out?  Do your kids write letters to family and friends?  What about thank you cards?  Any suggestions on how to get my kids excited about letter writing?

 

Snackin It!

August 8th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

If you’ve followed my blogs in the past, you know how important providing healthy snacks to my family is to me.  There are so many different choices out there and I am always conscious about what foods they are putting into their bodies.

Recently I explained it to a friend in this way - if you have a nice car, you only put premium gas in it right?  Isn’t your body worth more than a car? So shouldn’t you always be striving to put only the best things into it?

Now don’t get me wrong – I occasionally give the boys a french fry or a piece of candy – but that is not the norm in my house.  I always look for the least processed option, with the most natural ingredients, organic, and local if possible.  And I avoid fake sugars and artificial dyes at all costs.

When they are at home, they have no problem eating whatever I provide them – be it fresh guacamole or a fruit salad but where I find we run into issues is when we are out with friends.  Reece has started to want the same foods that his friends have – if they have a ho-ho, he wonders why he can’t have one too.  He grasps the difference between healthy foods and junk foods but still doesn’t quite understand why junk food is so bad.  I don’t want to place importance on weight (i.e. junk food will make you fat) so I often respond with that healthy foods will help him run faster, jump higher, and do better in school.  Some days he is satisfied with those answers but others those words mean little to him.  He just wants to have snacks like his friends – not a bag of carrots!

So I’ve started looking for snacks that will appease him, yet leave me feeling confident that I am still providing him with a healthy choice.  I’ve found a few good options that I keep a stock of at the house, my favorite being Pirate’s Booty.  I first found them at Whole Foods but in the last few months, I’ve noticed them popping up at my local grocery stores, Targets, etc.   They are baked rice and corn puffs, that are all natural, and gluten & trans fat free.  My boys can’t get enough of them – they come in “chip” bags (so they think they are getting chips like their friends) and they are yummy!! Yummy factor is important as I realized one day when Reece was happily eating an all natural popsicle and offered one to the neighbor girl – her face turned and I got a big “ick” – and wouldn’t you know it – Reece no longer wanted those popsicles.  He wanted ones that his friends would want to eat with him (to be honest though, they were pretty nasty – I’m surprised he even ate them!)

I always keep Pirate’s Booty on hand now (although I have to hide the supply because otherwise it will be gone in a day!)  and am so happy that the company decided to partner with us for Win it Wednesday!!  They provided us a big supply of my personal favorite flavor - Aged White Cheddar.  I can pronounce each ingredient and each 1 oz bag has only 130 calories! So not only is it a great snack for the boys, I’ve been known to sneak some out of the bag when they aren’t looking =)

We will pick THREE winners this week!!  For your chance to win some of this yummy stuff (think school lunches, after school snacks, emergency car snack) – comment below with your child’s favorite snack food.

For EXTRA entries - leave a comment below for each one you do:

-”Like” us on Facebook

-”Like” Pirate’s Booty on Facebook

-Share our “Win it Wednesday” post via Facebook

-Refer a friend to “like” us on Facebook (have them tag you on Facebook via a wall post)

-Follow us on Twitter

-Re-Tweet this

-Follow us on Pinterest

-Re-Pin this post

 

Giveaway ends 8/9/12 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Winners!!

Erin “Busymom”; CA

Susan S; FL

Laurie E; MS

Growing Up is Hard to Do

June 11th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

So, here it comes. The day I’ve been anticipating for the last 13 years… my son will officially be a high school graduate. I’m sure he’s excited, though he doesn’t show it much. I think he’s equally as anxious.

With each passing year we’ve worked harder and harder to overcome behavior problems, managed mental health issues, and be a healthy, functioning family. Over the years it’s often been one step forward and two steps back. We’ve cried tears of frustration, tears of joy, and we’ve shared our hopes and dreams for each other.

With graduation comes some expectation of new responsibilities for my son. I’ve set expectations for him to find a job – doesn’t have to be full time, but it should bring in some money to provide him spending cash and pay for his car insurance. We’ve also discussed his future plans to continue his education – to which he’s recently changed his mind on a few times.

The harsh reality of growing up is definitely taking a toll on my son and our household. I’ve resolved to no longer handing out $20 for trips to the movies, the mall, or other activities. And I’ve stopped the driving service to and from friend’s houses, the mall, and other outings. I’m trying to encourage his will to seek employment and develop more self-reliance and responsibility.  So far, it seems to be backfiring and causing a serious case of defiance, along with a temper tantrum or two each day.

Seriously, from an 18-year-old.

In my mind, there has to come a time when the handouts stop. When growing up means getting a job and figuring out the next steps, not alone of course, but with the help of a family who provides love, support and an understanding of what it’s like because we’ve been where these kids stand now. We want to be a support system, a spring board for ideas, and absolutely to provide assistance when it’s needed.

Some days I wonder if I’ve done enough. Some days I dream about what our lives may have been like without the stress of emotional disorders, behavior problems, and the severe ups and downs we’ve struggled through. I want, for my son, to be proud of who he is and what he’s accomplished. I want him to aspire for great things. I want him to make a positive impact within the community. I want him to feel the confidence of success. I want him to know what it is to live the journey so that he can envision the destination and appreciate the arrival.

My thinking is that some tough love and a reality check will do the trick. I remain open to other suggestions and great ideas. =)

 

Birthday = Bank Breaker?

April 10th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

Whew! What a busy weekend for my husband and I.  This past Saturday we celebrated Kalila’s 7th birthday, and on Sunday we celebrated Resurrection Day (Easter) which was very eventful.  My energy is spent to say the least.  If you’ve ever had to plan a birthday party for a child, I’m sure you understand the time and energy it takes to pull off a great event that leaves everyone happy—especially the birthday child.  With that in mind, you also have to be cognizant of the cost that goes into the party.  These days it’s easy to get carried away with over-the-top birthday parties, as well as giving in to the desire of wanting to spoil your child on their special day.

As parents, I believe we all want to give our children a celebration they can remember to honor another year of life.  But that sometimes comes with finding creative ways to accomplish that desire without breaking the bank.

In planning Kalila’s birthday, we considered many options. For the past couple of years Kalila has had a birthday party at home, and this year we wanted to do something different.  She loves the Disney Princesses, so we thought about having a princess tea party which consisted of having a lady dressed up as one of the Disney princesses hosting the party and singing a song from the respective movie.  But that option was too costly, and didn’t cover the food portion of the party.  We also considered having a pottery painting party, again which would’ve been costly.  Not to mention, we come from a big family in which Kalila has a lot of cousins.  Often times, these parties have a limit of 10 children or less, which would not work for our family because someone would always be left out.  Additionally, Kalila is at the age where she wants to invite friends from school and church, which adds to the number of guests at the party.

With all things considered, we decided to allow her to have a bowling party because the per-child price was reasonable and included food.  However, we had to be creative in how we celebrated in order to get the best bang for our buck because of the size of our extended family.  So we allowed her to select a couple of friends from church to go bowling with her in addition to a couple of cousins around her age, and would conclude the party at our home with her extended family.  Bowling was a hit until the excitement of the kids at the beginning of the game fizzled down to boredom after  only bowling one round!  Go figure!  You go through all of this trouble of planning a party, only for the kids to become bored after a while.  [End rant].

Then we invited the entire family to celebrate at the house where we could have pizza, cake, and ice cream, and host an unlimited number of guests.  It turned out to work great, and seemed to be a good time had by all.  Ultimately, we saved money that way as opposed to having everyone at the bowling alley.  Next year I think we’ll opt for a party at home with a bouncy house in the yard.

What are some cost-effective birthday parties you have had for your children?  How could you make a house party fun and entertaining?