Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

I believe I have mentioned a time or two dozen the challenge of parenting a teen and parenting a toddler. While each age group is obviously very different, nonetheless they are equally challenging.

I wonder if other parents, besides only myself, wonder if their children have split personalities…all of them?

Could it even be possible?

With me, I have no doubt.

I digress.

Some studies report that a child will misbehave when they are with the parent they spend the most time with, because they are comfortable “letting it all out” or showing their strong feelings”.

toddler personalities

Of course this makes sense but is it just an excuse?

One article I read on Parents.com, nailed my 3 year old to a Tee – when discussing how one child acted with the mother vs. the father.  I can certainly relate with the author of the article; she comes home from a day of shopping and finds that her daughter napped perfectly for her husband, picked up her toys – no problem and didn’t argue over the little things like which cup she drank of. This is a constant with Reed at home, with me, he will NOT go down for a nap, will fight me to the very end, will refuse certain drinks and will even be picky with meals. But, when he is with his dad, I hear things like “he was asleep before we got to his bed” or “he ate all of his dinner” or “he drank water”.

WHAT??? He never drinks water for me.

Again, I digress.

While it is comforting to hear that “acting up may actually be a sign of how safe he feels with you” I wonder if it is just that. Just sweet words to make parents, like me, not feel crazy.

We can discuss the multiple personalities of my dear sweet teenage son on an entirely different post.



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We have a new favorite book – or should I say Reed has a new favorite book, but his mommy is quite hooked on it too.

Fred Visits the Emeral Coast

He received this book as a Christmas present from his grandmother. One of the neat things about the discovery of this book is that my mom purchased it at the North Texas Kids Expo event I was working in November with She Is Dallas. She had met me up there to pick-up Reed to watch him while I was attending my booth. Before they left, she walked the expo from booth to booth and came across one with some children’s books. She met and chatted with the author, Diane Shapley-Box of Rockwall, TX, who according to my mom was “just lovely and a delight”. My mom fell in love with her books and was immediately drawn to them by the amazing illustrations done by Shapely-Box herself.

Reed received Fred Visits the Emerald Coast written and illustrated by Diane Shapley-Box and she also purchased another book, Tator’s Race for my niece, Miss C.

I am a firm believer of the power of reading and doing so from birth. I myself love a good book, have always enjoyed reading and am just tickled when I find wonderfully, beautifully written and illustrated books for my children. This book, Fred Visits the Emerald Coast, is about a sweet little frog, Fred, who visits the beautiful Emerald Coast with his best friends. While venturing off exploring alone, he runs into a sea turtle and a starfish who are frightened and in need of help. He bravely helps them without pause and in return they both tell him, “No matter if you live near or far, I will be your friend wherever you are”.

The next day, Fred and his friends from home go sailing and he runs into trouble, falling into a chest which locks and is thrown into the sea. The sea turtle and starfish hear his cries for help and swiftly run to his rescue. It ends with Fred reciting the same sweet words his new friends said to him, “No matter if you live near or far, I will be your friend wherever you are”. 

The story is followed by a Fun Facts page highlighting the sea animals mentioned in the story – a fun and educational addition to an already brilliant book.

Shapely-Box has done a wonderful job with rhyming verses and glorious illustrations. This is a beautiful book about friendship, kindness and goodwill. My son enjoys it as much as I enjoy reading it to him, turning the pages one by one admiring the beautiful sea creatures and greenish-blue water of the Emerald Coast. I strongly encourage you to add one of these endearing books to your child’s collection. She is right here in Dallas/Fort Worth and you can easily order her books online.

I can not wait to pick up the other two books to complete his collection and we will anxiously await for more to come out.

Diane Shapley-Box

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When you have children you pray they will get along, love another, coexist in the same environment and most of all be friends. Reed and the boys have a 10+ year age difference – which pretty much eliminates any competition, girl fights or arguments over toys. This is nice!

Reed loves his big brothers Oh! so much! It makes me so incredibly happy each time I see them sharing a special moment, especially when they do not know I am watching them. Those are the best. Pure, unplanned and true.

It is a feeling I can’t quite explain. A feeling of accomplish by me maybe – have I successfully engaged them to where they love one another unconditionally? Nah, they just share a special bond.

Now, do not get me wrong – it’s not all roses and butterflies here. They fight. Battle. Exchange words. Even at three (on the 25th) Reed can hold his own. He does have two older brothers of which  he has watched very carefully every day of their lives over the past three years. They do not give him any slack either – which is why he is so tough and independent.

At the end of the day, they all share a very unique, special bond and always will for years to come. I pray this bond only grows stronger and follows them into their adult lives. That they will always care for one another, can count on the other for help and their lives will forever be connected.

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Are you completely finished with your shopping list other than that one person who is likely the first person you started shopping for? I know how you feel. For years, I would have said my parents or maybe an in-law or even my husband were the most difficult to buy Christmas gifts for, but never would I have said my children.

Until now.

They have always been a pleasure to buy for and extremely easy. Never holding back their Christmas lists or desired gifts. Telling me months in advance, sometimes even right after Christmas they are already telling me what they want for next Christmas.

This has changed.

Enter the teenage years and buying gifts for teens.


He doesn’t want anything or he doesn’t know what he wants …. according to him.



I need that ginormous list of 2 or 3 several hundred dollar items and crazy unreasonable gift suggestions. I need the stress of worrying if he is going to be happy since I didn’t get the 3 different game systems, the cell phone and  iPod he asked for along with the other catalog marked pages torn out and laying all over “to remind me”.  I am only kidding really, but you get the idea.

Where did that list go?

Where did that kid go?

What does that mean exactly? 

Is he growing up on me? Who knows – I do not try to read the mind of a teen nor predict their next step or potential move.

Here are some good gift ideas for teens that will leave them full of surprise and excitement that you thought of these all on your own. You know what that means though, right? They will be please with your gift-giving skills without having been told and will continue to withhold this information for years to come.

I am starting with my favorite of all – I really like these styles, although they do have many to choose from.

 HEX polycarbonate watch band

The  HEX polycarbonate watch band is a hip accessory that you can mix and match with Nano’s 16 new clock faces. Available in five bold colors and made for the iPod Nano Gen 6/7.  Priced at $39.95. HEX Dealers & Stockists


This next one is way cool.

Rule the airspace with HELO TC, the touch-controlled RC helicopter you control with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.  Starting as low as $39.99
Download the free HELO TC app onto your iOS device, load your device into HELO TC’s Flight Deck and you’re ready to fly indoors in either of two ways:

  • Touch Control: Use a virtual joystick on your Multi-Touch display to maneuver the chopper.
  • Tilt to Steer: Tilt your iOS device to move the chopper forward, backward, and side to side.

Use the app to record and store up to three Flight Plans so you, or another pilot, can easily repeat a favorite flight pattern. Make up routes among the furniture, missions to fly, obstacles to avoid, goals to achieve, and replay them later with your friends.

I have a strong feeling this one will be just as popular with the young at heart.

Purchase online or visit a local retailer near you.

TOMS are a hot number and while there are several different brands picking up their concept and style, they remain to be the top seller. Try these Silver Holiday Women’s Classics $54.00 : Holiday cheer with every step. Featuring a soft wool upper for warmth. Like the sweater your grandma gave you, only you’ll actually wear these… or search their site for your teens style choice.


with every pair you purchase,
TOMS will give a pair of new shoes
to a child in need. One for One.

A retro double-belled design marks this thoroughly modern combination alarmclock/iPod charger that wakes you to your favorite tunes. Built-in, omni-directional speakers provide rich, vivid sound while you get ready for work or play. Docking feature charges your MP3 player (the universal docking plate suits most iPod socket configurations); alarm function includes a handy 9-minute snooze… More at Crate & Barrel. Priced at $59.99

I like to receive books as gifts and especially a good you-can-not-put-the-book-down series type of books.

My sister-n-law read these books in her book club and strongly recommended I give it a go. I understand they are geared toward a teen audience. Have you read The Hunger Games: a young adult science fiction novel written by Suzanne CollinsHunger Games is the first novel in a trilogy, followed by Catching Fire, published September 1, 2009, and Mockingjay, published August 24, 2010.

I am sure most have completed their shopping by now. I am never done it seems. I hope you enjoyed a look into these gift ideas for teens this holiday season.


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Preparing our kids for their future.

Ways to help them with responsibility, independence and making it on their own. Your teen may be itching to have his own job and freedom or maybe it’s you who is thinking they need to learn how to manage money or that it is time for them to start learning responsibility. Either way there are several creative job opportunities available that can put your teen to work and keep them occupied during off time and at the same time teach them discipline, responsibility and money management. It is important they balance their school work and personal life, for younger teens I would recommend the work load to be very limited during school months even possibly only allowing them to work during the summer. You know your child and what works best for them and your family — make the decision that best fits your child.

While the legal working age in most states is 16, there are numerous ways teens can prepare themselves for the future through part-time work, volunteering and after school activities.

For the sake of future argument, here is the State and Federal law as indicated on the Texas Workforce Commission:

Texas State Law:
A child 14 or 15 years of age may not work more than eight hours in one day or more than 48 hours in one week. A child who is 14 or 15 years of age and is enrolled in a term of a public or private school may not work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on a day that is followed by a school day or between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. on a day that is not followed by a school day. A child who is 14 or 15 years of age and is not enrolled in summer school may not work between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. on any day that school is recessed for the summer.

Federal Law:
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) a child 14 or 15 years of age may not work during school hours, may not work more than three hours on a school day or 18 hours during a school week, and may not work more than eight hours on a non-school day or 40 hours during a non-school week. Furthermore, a child 14 or 15 years of age may work only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year. Between June 1 and Labor Day, a child may work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

A child 16 or 17 years of age have no restrictions on the number of hours or times of day they may work.

It is very important for children and teens to be actively involved in something- whether it be in sports, clubs/activities, theater or music. This means they are less likely to get into trouble, experiment with drugs and alcohol, stay involved with like-minded kids and discovering who and what they want to be. This is the time in their lives that dreams are made and goals are set. In addition to their regular activities there are many ways they can be involved in their cities, states and communities. Of course it depends on their interest, parents permission and parents ability to assist activities, whether it be transportation, funding, supervision or mentoring.

Here are some job ideas that your teen can pursue to fill their free time, earn some spending money and even meet new people whom they may not have normally had the opportunity to have met.

Soccer Referee

In Texas, some associations begin accepting referee applications for as young as 12 with some restrictions over the age groups allowed to officiate. In order to become a referee they are required to complete and pass a program that includes classroom, field and written exam. At age 14, most associations allow you to referee all age groups once you have gained the confidence of your local assignor.

First, this gives them responsibility to attend the required courses and meetings to complete the requirements to become a referee. While most referees are current or past soccer players, you do not have to be a soccer player, although a basic understanding of the game is a plus. They are required to dress in uniform, show up on time and officiate the game according to the rules all while staying active and in most cases having fun at the same time. This can be wonderful experience for a future sports trainer, coach, teacher or athlete. They will also build confidence in themselves, increasing their self-esteem and communication skills.


You can make some serious summer bank if you have a steady babysitting job during the summer months or even on the weekends. If your child is serious about wanting to babysit and you are comfortable with his/her taking care of a child and accepting this responsibility, then I strongly encourage you to enroll him/her in a CPR and First-Aid Training Class. It’s Breathtaking provides a babysitting class so your teen can learn the ins & outs of babysitting and they’ll also get certified in CPR & First Aid. There are also classes you can find at your local YMCA, Red Cross and other organizations.

Yard Maintenance/Painting/Cleaning Services

Teens can make some nice money doing more than just lawn work. For example, an acquaintance recently put up a very large fence to cover 40+ acres on his property. This very large fence required priming and painting, he paid my son and another young man about the same age (14-15) to paint the fence, so he could do the more difficult work himself and therefore the job was completed in half the time. To acquire jobs like this, they will need to market themselves and let people know they are willing to work. It’s okay to tell them how much they think they should be paid and from there they will most likely learn negotiating skills and discipline of hard work and labor.

Painting – they could gather several friends or just one or two and even consider a painting business. People are almost always renovating…and they could paint exteriors in the nicer months and interiors during the colder months. With some extra help they will get the job done a lot quicker and have some one to keep them company at the same time.

Car Detailing Service

I would be much more likely to pay a young teen, who worked hard and did a nice job cleaning and detailing my car (even if it wasn’t perfect), than I would be to take it to an  expensive detail shop. That’s just me, which means maybe there are others like me. Oh dear – could it be possible?!
I would suggest asking parents for help with the gathering and possibly purchasing of supplies. You could make an agreement with your teen that once they make a certain amount into their profit to pay you back for the expenses or you could “donate” the supplies for them. After you see their hard work and determination you probably won’t mind helping them with this investment.  I would recommend starting with people in the neighborhood, friends, family and even put a sign up marketing your services. They could make appointments and before you know it, have their own client base.

Pet-Sitting Service

During the summer months is not only when teens have extra time for work – it is also the time when the people you know go out of town for vacations. You will need your parents permission for pet sitting and overnight care, but also offering pet walking, bathing, cleaning, etc. services will have you putting money in the bank in no time.

Freelance Service

Teens too can benefit from the wonders of the web and all it has to offer.  Is your teen truly gifted in a certain field  in a certain field, such as writing, drawing, or photography, consider starting a freelancing business where they can sell their services or projects to various businesses and media outlets.

Online Web Business

Maybe you have your own little web master right in your own home and don’t even know it. Are they a whiz at creating Web pages? Perhaps with your help, they could brainstorm a concept for an online business – where potential customers can come from anywhere.

The possibilities are endless really. My fourteen year old is doing several odd jobs and since he began, I have noticed some increase in his maturity by his insistence to be on time for work, preparing his lunch or a snack to take with him and carefully putting all his money into the bank. I love to see the boost in his self confidence- largely due to praise from a job well done. He purchased his own basketball goal and was pretty stoked about the ability to do that all on his own. He has made purchases on his own before from birthday money, allowance, etc… but the satisfaction on his face from that purchase was pretty powerful. He has started making goals since, to save money for a car. His next step is to be a soccer referee if his sports schedule allows.

While I think all of the money saving and making his own purchases is just fantastic, I am the most pleased with him taking his new responsibilities seriously and understanding he has to follow rules by being on time, following directions, dressing appropriately and staying on task. I do not push him to work, it actually all started as a one time position then he really enjoyed the benefits of his work and started seeking other various jobs to do. I allow him to continue as long as his school work and church remain a priority and his work is kept at a minimum, limiting mostly to summer and occasional weekends if he is available and interested. I am proud of his progress and look forward to who this young man of mine will become. I see good things for him.

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 pulled a fast one on

taken for a ride



dupe [djuːp]

1. a person who is easily deceived
2. a person who unwittingly serves as the tool of another person or power
3. a person who is tricked or swindled

According to the online dictionary, I have served as the “tool” of another person.

Who do you think that person is?





Now, in order to find out who the duper is, you must leave a comment telling me WHO you think it is and WHY you think it is that person.
I need atleast 5 comments.

Peace & Love

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Jace made the paper

WooHoo! His first write-up. Go Jace!!!!

7th-Grade A 20, Little Elm 12

LITTLE ELM — Michael Carrillo had three touchdowns and led Crownover to a 20-12 win against Little Elm on the road.

Carrillo scored on a 70-yard kickoff return, a three-yard run and a 60-yard run. He also had two PATS and blocked an extra point for the Cowboys (2-0-1).

Meanwhile, Coleman Grubbs and Jared Gambell each had an interception.

Another offensive leader was Nick Lohr. The Cowboys got productive line play from the blocking of Mason Smith, Marshall Smith and Mario Caballero.

Crownover’s defense was lead by J.T. Bock, Gambell, Coleman Grubbs, Jace Lester, AndrewSanchez and Max Smith.

Article credited to Denton Record Chronicle

Peace & Love

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