Best Summertime Day Trips

Planning for summertime day trips or day trip is easy, fast and fun! It was the only vacation my family took for many years.Best Summertime Day Trips — Special Replay

Planning for summertime day trips or day trip is easy, fast and fun! It was the only vacation my family took for many years. With both my husband and myself, self-employed the business did not run if we were not here. Being the ever-resourceful couple, we decided to ditch our car and buy a conversion van, and the fun began! Our journeys started close to home. Museums, state parks, and the planetarium. We asked the big question — is this a day drive? If not, we planned a week-end trip.

Out of our day-trip journeys, we soon found a love for nature and purchased our first pop-up tent in 1998. It was brand new and the camping trips began. It was small enough to fit behind our now, SUV and the best news was that it fit our entire family of five kids and two adults. Recently our pop-up was infested with critters that tore it up, but it lasted twenty years!

Supply list for summertime day trips:

Things to bring:

  1. Backpack
  2. Binoculars
  3. Fishing pole
  4. Portable chairs
  5. Picnic lunch
  6. Bug spray
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Water – plenty!
  9. First-aid kit
  10. Umbrella


Places to visit or things to do for summertime day trips:

  1. State park – hiking, backpacking, picnic, field trips.
  2. Museums – local displays, rotating or traveling exhibits
  3. Local culture – car show, horse shows, boat racing, sand sculptures, etc.
  4. Visit a farm / you pick
  5. Go to a fair – state fairs are in abundance in the summer
  6. Rodeo – a bit of culture for the cowboy or cowgirl in each of us
  7. Pet Store – just visit! Some stores feature exotic animals
  8. Flea Market – local culture at its best.
  9. Create an adventure
    1. Do something different, ride a roller coaster
    2. Taste exotic foods
    3. Visit interesting restaurants or cook these foods at home
  10. Horseback riding


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Summertime Unplugged Challenge

It's that time of year, time for the summertime unplugged challenge. What? You've never heard of it? Well, it is a thing. Now.Summertime Unplugged Challenge

It’s that time of year, time for the summertime unplugged challenge. What? You’ve never heard of it? Well, it is a thing. Now. I’m introducing the summertime challenge. Even if you do it for a day you will be blessed! Challenge yourself, your kids, and your extended family and spend a day without electronics. Yes. You. Can. Do. It. Join me for this fun podcast on finding life outside of your phone or digital device.

Not just for fun! The Truth Seekers Mystery Series is not only great reading with an adventure, mystery, and suspense. It is educational. Learn more here Novels include the Missing Link: Found; Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak and The Keys To The Past: Unlocked.

First of all, if you are listening to this podcast, congratulations! I figure I’ll get half of my download numbers as people don’t want to hear about the benefits of unplugging from your digital device. But you are among the brave and the small percentage who even cares.

Let’s clarify what I mean by “unplugged.” This means you do not have your phone with you 24/7. It means you can be away from your phone for a period of time and it means you can go without checking social media every five minutes. Think about all that time scrolling sucks from your life.

I’m not going to tell you all of the benefits, just some! You will have time to detox from the electronic waves that are all around us, you can enjoy simple things like an activity or learn a new hobby. Fly a kite, walk/run a mile, or go on a hike even if it is just around your neighborhood. You can put a puzzle together, play a game or read a book and learn to paint. Maybe you want to redecorate a room or do another project that has been long neglected.

Are you up for a challenge? Summertime is the perfect time because our schedules change and can be adjusted to your needs. Who should do this challenge? Anyone with a digital device who can’t put it down. Some digital devices are cell phones, cell phones without plans (many parents give their children their old phones that are Wifi), tablets, video games and consoles, and computers.

First of all, should you accept the challenge? Take this quick five-question test to figure out if you are a candidate.

Candidates for the Summertime Unplugged Challenge:

  1. You know where your phone is at all times.
  2. You check your phone at least five times an hour.
  3. You are on social media every day.
  4. You carry your phone everywhere you go.
  5. You text ten times or more each day.

You may think the questions were a trick to see if you are a candidate for the summertime unplugged challenge but no, this is factual and accurate (because I made it up)! Seriously, I can probably answer no to about four of those things. I lose my phone most days at least once if not more. I never check it unless it bothers me with a ding. I am only on social media when work calls me to post something or check something or message someone. I do not carry my phone everywhere, however, I probably do text ten times or more each day. So, if you give each question a value of twenty points, and you have sixty or higher you are in need of intervention.

So are you in? You may be thinking, “What do I have to do?”  This is the great part and it is so easy. All you have to do is put your phone on a charger, and make sure it is in a different room. That’s it!

What will keep you from the summertime unplugged challenge?  Actually, there are two main issues. the first is the fear of missing out. This is one of the reasons that people don’t want to be away from their phones. The second is the fear you will miss an important phone call (that is what voicemail is for), and as far as text messages, it will be there when you retrieve your phone.

Challenge times can be any length you wish.

  1. For a few hours.
  2. For one day.
  3. For one week.
  4. For one month
  5. For a longer period, you designate.

Still not convinced? How about this come up with a pro and con list. What are the pros of unplugging from electronics and what are the cons? You can let people close to you know you have your device in another room in case they have to wait for a response to a text message. For the record, I never think I have to respond immediately to a text, but I know that is considered rude. Sorry, if I don’t see it (or have lost my phone, so far I’ve lost it twice today) I can’t respond. My family knows this about me and will usually call (which I can hear from somewhere in my home) if they need me quickly.

How did you do? Did you accept the challenge and if so, how did it benefit your family? Let me hear about it. I’m challenging my own family the Gerwitz and Moss family to do this challenge this summer! Are you in?


Creation Summer Camp

Creation Summer Camp

Just thinking about summer creation camp brings a smile to my face. I never attended one as a child, but I sure put in my time at many church summer camp events. What I found was the children had a blast, the parents were happy with the faith-based content and safe environment with their children, the teens received volunteer service hours, and the adults who taught these classes became exhausted by the end of the day.

Listen to my podcast on Creation Summer Camp here (of course you can do a Creation Camp whenever you wish!) or to purchase the digital product go to

Fast forward, I wanted to teach my young children about the wonders of God’s creation and have this mini-camp at home. I enlisted my daughter Christina and her college friend, Amy to help write the curriculum based on the days of Creation, with a goal of doing this in one week. The girls tested the activities out on my younger three children and we managed to make adjustments as needed. One thing I wanted them to do is to create a spread sheet with a detailed list of all the items need and the quantities. And, we included these in our digital kits.

The creation camp was a success! One year at the state conference where I spoke we put together the entire thing in a box ready to go. These kits contained everything a family needed including the markers, colored sand, and even the glue. There were short experiments and fun activities that went along with each Creation Day.

The  Creation Summer Camp Contains:

  1. Student Manual
  2. Parent Manual
  3. List of Supplies

The kit is in digital format and it has all of the experiments and activities ready to print out for the kids. You can print as many as you want for an individual family (if you want permission for a camp please contact me felicegerwitz @

Creation Summer Camp Supplies:

Creation It takes about an hour to make your list of things you should buy. Most of the supplies are things you have at home, paper, pencils and pens, markers or crayons, and liquid glue. Other things will take a list of easy-to-find supplies. For example, there is an activity that demonstrates that the animals left footprints on the wet surfaces and we do this with a flat sugar cookie and animal crackers. You may have this in your home so that is great. We also use droppers for water, but a straw works the same way but can be a little harder to use without letting too much water spill out.

What are the days of creation? Often we teach the 7 days of creation. Well, on the seventh day we teach that God rested. This helps us and the kids remember that Sunday should be a day of rest. The Genesis account of the days of Creation is all in Genesis Chapter 1 while the verse about the Lord resting begins in Genesis 2. The Creation camp helps the children realize the importance of reading the Bible. The activities in this kit also help the children to remember the scriptures.

I invite you to take a week to study Genesis with your family. It is a wonderful time to make memories with your kids that will be lasting. The children will enjoy these activities and will even add some of their own.



Inexpensive Graduation Ideas On The Cheap

We have inexpensive graduation ideas on the cheap ideas - are you ready? Join Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis as they share their tips...Inexpensive Graduation Ideas On The Cheap with Felice Gerwitz and Meredith Curtis – Special Replay

We have inexpensive graduation ideas on the cheap – are you ready? Have you started your high school graduation party plans yet? No worries! We’ve got you covered. Inexpensive graduation ideas are our specialty. Meredith has graduated five children and Felice five and two from college, so between them, they have quite an arsenal of ideas that you can implement even if you waited until the last minute. Grab your notepad and listen in.

Graduation Party Ideas Here 

We enjoy hosting parties so it is no wonder that this podcast is a labor of love for both of us. With such large families, parties can be pricey so we want to be sure we that we can enjoy the fun without going over budget. Some of these ideas are often used for other parties and hosting friends. You can join in with other families to reduce the price.

Be sure to share our show with your friends – and rate us on iTunes, GooglePlay, or your favorite podcast app.

Show Notes: Inexpensive Graduation Ideas On The Cheap

  1. Location: churches, park, church fellowship hall, party at home
  2. Invitations – VistaPrint, at home computer
  3. Food
  4. Decorations
  5. Personal Touch

We discussed deciding on the type of graduation you want, planning the type of graduation early, and saving up money. Pray about the type of graduation that is right for you. Include your teens as well.

More great ideas

  • Food -finger foods – fun: candy bars – ice cream with toppings
  • Open house – visiting times staggers friends
  • Photo booth with props for teens
  • Personal touch – poster boards, items important to the teen


Homeschool Year End Shortcuts

Are you ready for some homeschool year-end shortcuts?  Are you finished with your school assignments or are close?Homeschool Year-End Shortcuts ~ Episode 467

Are you ready for some homeschool year-end shortcuts?  Are you finished with your school assignments or are close to them being done? Well, now is the time to show how much you’ve accomplished this year. Here are some of my best-kept year-end secrets. Listen to this podcast to learn more.

Visit Media Angels to find out more about curriculum and summer reading books for your children.

Year-end has such a final ring to it, and often I’d cringe thinking about all the work I had to do, paperwork that is to finish off our school year. It turned into a nightmare until I finally clued in that it was something I needed to do all year long and it made my end of the year a breeze. So much of this depends on your state laws, and how they require homeschoolers to report student progress. Some states are less strict than others. It also depends on whether or not you are using an online curriculum that reports grades and progress for you or if you are putting together a portfolio (with or without your child’s help) in order to see growth and progress throughout the year.

Homeschool Year-End Shortcuts ~ The Questions

Here are some questions to ask before you dig in:

  1. What are my state homeschool requirements and how will I fulfill this with an end-of-the-year report or summary.
  2. Are my children required to take standardized tests? Can the ACT or SAT fulfill this requirement (middle school and up)?
  3. What type of progress report or portfolio (samples of the child’s work in each subject area) will I compile?
  4. What is missing?
  5. Do I have my child’s reading list for the year? This includes textbooks, workbooks, and other curriculum guides as well as books that were assigned or were read to the children as a family.

How do you keep track of your progress? One of the best ways is to create a portfolio of your child’s accomplishments, even if they are enrolled in an online school or class. It is wonderful to create new ones each year or to keep adding to a master portfolio year after year. Doing it during the school year is a plus because it cuts out the mess of trying to create this at the end of the year. One way that makes this painless is with a memory keepsake the children can help put together.

Catch this replay – Yearly Evaluations

Yearly Evaluations

Best Homeschool Year-End Lists

My best homeschool year-end shortcut is not to have to scramble because you’ve been putting together bits and pieces throughout the year. Here are some things you can add to your portfolio or the children can add to a memory keepsake:

  1. School days or hours *calendar suffices
  2. Awards
  3. Reading lists
  4. Special projects such as science fairs or history fair
  5. Art projects or samples (pictures) of artwork.
  6. Chapter tests or summaries
  7. Reports
    1. Book reports
    2. Subject related reports
  8. Samples of quizzes
  9. Clubs or sports
  10. Hobbies or accomplishments

Homeschool Memory Keepsakes

With a memory keepsake, the children will take pride in adding their special ribbons or pictures of sports trophies. Perhaps they’ve learned a difficult music piece for the piano, or sing in the choir at church. All of these things are “school-related” and can be added to a memory book with pictures or even just a list. If you keep track of progress throughout the year it is so much easier and it is fun to see how much has been accomplished.


  1. Gather completed work samples weekly or at least monthly.
  2. Enlist the children’s help.
  3. Use the best samples from different subjects. Minimum of twelve per subject.
  4. Use samples from the beginning, middle, and end of the year.
  5. Make a plan to document special events.
  6. Create Calendars that you can use to jot down memorable events.
  7. Tests? Grades? Optional in most states, add this to the end-of-year lists
  8. Keep track of schooling days each week/or month
  9. Use pictures whenever possible.
  10. Stop and evaluate.

Sometimes it is unavoidable and leaving things to the last minute can not be helped. If this is the case, don’t panic. Use copies of your child’s best work and put together a reasonable timeline of accomplishments. This can include extracurricular activities. For many years I assigned the children reports based on our field trips. This was one way to make the fun field trip tie into schoolwork and they were able to practice their writing and spelling skills with this project.

I love the idea of keeping a yearly memory book or portfolio because it shows you that yes, you have accomplished so much during the school year. And, if you have not? No worries there is always next year. I believe if your children are working to their ability even if it does not fit into the academic plan that is okay. I had some struggling learners and some children that were gifted, and struggling learners who were gifted. This is one of the bonuses of homeschooling it helps to allow your children to succeed in a safe and loving environment. Encourage your children daily, and believe me I know it is hard at times. After five children completed their homeschool journey successfully I’m happy to report they are now all well adjusted and thriving adults! All those times I worried about spelling or reading lags were wasted time. Enjoy your children and your homeschool journey and hug your kids daily, telling them how much you love them.

Best Experiential Gifts

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What are the best experiential gifts you can give? The ones that last a lifetime in memories! Check out this podcast for great ideas!The Best Experiential Gifts – Special Replay


What are the best experiential gifts you can give? The ones that last a lifetime in memories!  Whether the gift is for graduation, birthdays for that hard to buy for person in your life. While opening presents can be fun, the glamor soon wears off and the gift is forgotten. In fact, how many times can you remember wanting a gift, only to receive it and see that it wasn’t worth the wait! In this episode, I explore various trips, and events to create lasting memories with your teens or even for the adults in your life who have “everything,” or want “nothing!”

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels Membership. For your curriculum needs on a budget visit the website to learn how to receive all the books and classes I’ve created to give your children a Christian worldview!

The Best Experiential Gifts 

  1. A trip – giving an experiential gift and making a lasting memory on a trip can be the most rewarding with some planning. As a caution, I am not a fan of allowing your teens to travel to far-off places alone, especially trips to the Islands, where cheap flights and hotels lure many unsuspecting tourists. However, visiting as a family is recommended:
    1. Hiking
      • Plan ahead.
      • Check the weather
      • Know the trails you will hike
      • Bring neem spray or bug repellent
      • Wear comfortable clothing
      • Bring food
      • Take lots of pictures
    2. Camping
      • Plan ahead
      • Off the beaten trail
      • At the beach
    3. Beach
      • One day trip
      • House rental
    4. Extreme Sports
      1. Cave exploration
      2. Water Rafting
      3. Mountain Climbing
      4. Sky Diving/ Para Sailing
      5. Sailing
      6. Water Skiing
    5. States Exploration
      • Planning Trips State Side
      • State Fairs
      • Rodeo
      • Williamsburg
      • Visit New York
      • Yosemite Park
      • San Antonio Texas
      • Grand Canyon
      • Theme Parks
    6. Europe
    7. A staycation event
      1. Party
      2. Family Camp Out
      3. Town Events
    8. Lessons
      1. Art Classes
      2. Cooking Classes
      3. Tennis Lessons
      4. Sports Training
      5. Flying Lessons
      6. Parachuting

Party Shortcuts

Birthdays. Graduations. Special Events. Oh. My! Party shortcuts and planning are the only way I survive hosting events over the years.Party Shortcuts – Episode 466

Birthdays. Graduations. Special Events. Oh. My! Party shortcuts and planning are the only way I survive hosting events, and in the many years of motherhood, grandmotherhood (yes, that is a thing), and having the largest house so of course family comes here. Join me as I share my best secrets for hosting with you.

Visit my website at Media for great books, character planning guides and so much more.

The latest and greatest party I finished hosting was the Easter Sunday meal. We had 24 people, then 28, and then 29, and we ended with 32 people in all. We had sixteen children, sixteen and under, and seventeen adults. Truthfully, the numbers this year threw me because we typically have a sit-down meal – buffet style, but still, everyone has a seat and the odd number at one big table with extensions and additional tables added was a bit of a juggle. But, we did it and everything went beautifully down to the previously prepared casseroles and dishes and the last-minute baked ham and tenderloin roast.

My short-cuts have taken me years to perfect and it has taken years of slowly buying one new thing to add to my party arsenal, but it has been money-saving in the long run. I tried many different things. One year I used disposable plates. The next year I added disposable utensils, cups, and napkins, but I didn’t like how they looked and they were expensive especially if I wanted party store variety rather than bargain-basement styrofoam.

The first thing I did was gather tablecloths. Not super expensive or linen, but cotton. Something that would hold up to years of washing and continue to look good. Also, it had to be something that could handle the invariable stains and spills. I ended up with two color schemes that also went with the colors of my accent walls. One was a deep burgundy table cloth that I paired with matching cloth napkins, and the next was a golden color that I paired with blue napkins. I made napkin rings after the ones I wanted were five dollars each! I used shower curtain plastic circles as well as wood dowels – each had different colors of ribbon wrapped around and glued in place. For the wood, I used a light, glimmery (not glittery – I do not like glitter!) and those were translucent and so pretty.

So with tables done, I searched for decorations that could be used for birthdays as well as holidays and found sales on candles after the summer bridal season in white and off-white. I purchased these back in 2005 when my daughter married and I still use them on special occasions – I don’t light them, although I have them they don’t look as great placed out as decorations.

My biggest expense was cut flowers that I purchased. I stretched bouquets with baby’s breath and smaller vases to place on the tables. It stretches your flower budget remarkably well!

Next was food – what do I serve that will again not break the bank? First off appetizers help tremendously in cutting down the food cost. It can be as easy as a cheese platter and crackers, veggies, and dip. This year I assigned appetizers to the guests and it was remarkable in that they arrived on time or early (then you have free help if you need last-minute things) and it took the early prep work off my list.

Baked ham is relatively inexpensive if you do not buy the already sliced and prepared. I know many people like the honey-baked ham, but a large pre-cooked ham roast you get at the grocery store can feed an army. Potatoes are another way to fill people up and of course, there are rolls. Round it off with a salad and chips (if you have kids) and you are ready to go.

I bake or prep casseroles ahead of time so they need to be taken out to warm up slightly before baking or it take way too long. Our family is a fan of lasagna and at any given time I have no less than three prepared in the freezer ready to go. All it takes is a salad and bread to round off that easy meal. (Well, easy once it’s prepared.)

So last minute and party shortcuts in a nutshell:

  1. Collect reusable table cloths, napkins, and serving trays.
  2. Use plastic wear and disposable items when there is a large crowd, or want less clean up.
  3. Assign a dish for others to bring.
  4. Plan out the menu at least three weeks in advance and shop sales.
  5. Bake and freeze whenever possible.
  6. Set out tables and chairs the day before with assigned seating. Guest appreciate this and of course, people can change or move, but it gives everyone a place to sit and put their stuff.
  7. Use name cards for place settings (I keep mine year after year).
  8. Use fresh flowers for a splash of color.
  9. Take out the trash the day before (don’t forget to clean the bathroom guests will use.)
  10. Make a time chart of when dishes need to be baked or reheated as well as when to take things out of the refrigerator or oven (once items go in!).
  11. Use juice boxes for the little kids – so much easier and less spilled.
  12. Have water, lemonade and tea for everyone else – if people want special drinks they can bring them.
  13. Use plastic cups with a sharpy to keep everyone’s drinks straight.
  14. Have one or two people in charge to help you.
  15. Assign clean-up!

As much as I try to prepare ahead of time there is always last-minute things that need my attention, and truthfully the hostess rarely gets to mingle with the guests until the meal is served! In our home we have the oldest go through the line first, and when it is the parent’s turn with the little ones, they can get their children’s meals. Usually, everyone has snacked on appetizers that no one is starving and it works out well.



Best Graduation Gifts

How do you select the best graduation gifts? And what do graduates really want? In this post you'll receive a gift giving guide to help you select the perfect gift.Let’s Talk About The Best Graduation Gifts that Teens Really Want!

With five children and a group of friends with many children, I’ve participated in my fair share of graduation celebrations in recent years. However, it was after really thinking about my own graduation and those of my children that I realized what children really desire is not what they receive. In this podcast, Felice shares her ideas of what a graduation celebration should be and ways you can make lasting memories with your own special graduates.

Show Notes – Best Graduation Gifts 

A study by Hallmark reveals:

  • 95 percent give money for gifts for graduation from high school or college
    • $25 is about the average amount spent for a close friend (or child of a close friend)
    • 67 percent believe that $50 or more is appropriate for a close relative
    • $20 is the average for a not-so-close friend
    • And many would give no gift to a not-so-close friend, but they might send a card.

Some of the Best Graduation Gift Ideas:

  1. A book where the child can begin their memoirs – one leather-bound book entitled: “My Life Story Thus Far”
  2. Jewelry
    1. Necklace, bracelet, earrings
    2. Watch
  3. Money Clip Holders
  4. Posters with great sayings on it.
  5. Personalized gifts
    1. Personalized wooden box
    2. Personalized jewelry – necklace/ ring/ bracelet
    3. Mugs, glasses
    4. Candy wrappers
    5. Picture albums
    6. Backpacks
    7. Picture frames
    8. Baseball bats
  1. Luggage
  2. Throw Rug
  3. A Bible with their name engraved – if they don’t already have one.
  4. Popular gifts but they also become dust collectors
    1. Paperweights
    2. glass shadow boxes – elegant glass boxes with your grads name so they can store and see their special treasures
    3. a globe that is made of cork with pushpins to mark the countries visited
    4. The year with a spot in the 0 for their picture
    5. Personalized wooden box
    6. Personalized jewelry – necklace/ ring/ bracelet

Nothing replaces spending T-I-M-E with your teen or soon-to-be graduate, making memories through gift-giving, if the right gift is selected helps.

Podcast #83 – Creating Memories on Vintage Homeschool Moms


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Gifts Moms Love To Receive

What are some gifts that moms love? Here is a shortlist you can share with your family, especially with Mother's Day around the corner.Gifts Moms Love – Episode 465

When was the last time you received a gift you really wanted? Sometimes the answer is never. Gifts moms love really don’t cost much and yet convincing your husband and/or the kids can take some work. In this podcast, I discuss talking to your children and even your spouse about giving gifts that show an understanding for the person who is receiving it, rather than focusing on spending money.

Please visit my website at for books, classes and so much more! Do you need monthly planners, or what about Character Planners for the entire family? Be sure to check out our specials.

We give presents for many different reasons, but one is to make the recipient, the person receiving the gift feel special. It is also a way for children to understand that giving and thinking about other people is important. It is a lesson in humility and appreciation. Children should be given the opportunity to participate in gift-giving, especially gifts that do not require money.  Some children struggle with the concept of giving and for others, this comes more naturally. Giving your children different opportunities to share their special talents such as drawing, or doing nice things for family members is a way to encourage this type of behavior.

Here is my replay on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Gifts


Why do we give gifts? Is it a tradition or is there a deeper meaning for you and your family? We give gifts for birthdays, special holidays like Christmas, and other holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day. The idea of gift-giving is to show appreciation. Unfortunately, many purchased gifts are afterthoughts or what some large company or corporation says you want or should gift. Often the presents fall short of their intent.

Before you begin think about the following questions and discuss them with your family.

  1. Why do we give gifts to each other in this family?
  2. Why do we give gifts to extended members of the family? (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc.)
  3. What is the purpose of a gift?
  4. Is there a special gift that you remember? What made it special?
  5. Is there a gift you wanted and when you received it, you realized it was not what you really wanted or needed? Again, think about why.

Going over these questions will help you and your family really focus on the real meaning behind giving a gift and that is getting to know the person receiving the gift and giving them something they will use or enjoy. I think my favorite gifts are things that I cherish, and spending time with the family is one of the most important.

Here is a shortlist you can share with your family, especially with Mother’s Day around the corner.

Gifts Moms Love

Flowers: not the expensive bouquets that whither and die quickly but the gifts that keep on giving. Plants that bloom and can be picked. Roses and gardenias are favorites. See what grows in your area.

Herb kits: This is a gift that keeps on giving. When you plant the herbs you can enjoy them for an extended period of time and it is so much fun to pick the herbs to flavor your meals.

Date Night with Dad: Time for just the two of you. Either an older child will babysit or perhaps your kids will make you dinner.

One-On-One Time: Before moms with big families tell me it is impossible – it is not! Spending one-on-one time with each child will deepen your relationship. This can be a coupon for one trip to the grocery store with mom or dad and a special treat. Such as the child picking out the dessert for movie night (Friday nights were pizza and movie night at my home when the children were little). Use a coupon gift for a child’s birthday to redeem during the birthday month or week. (Your child can do this in reverse as a gift to mom or dad by a coupon for their choice of movie and dinner picks.)

Family Vacations: As the children grew we began taking regular camping trips. One year we purchased year-long passes to Busch Gardens. It was about a 2-hour one-way trip and we arrived after lunch and stayed until they closed. The children brought pjs and changed in the car for the trip home, often falling asleep. There are many family-type passes to the zoo, the science museums, aquariums, and more. Shopping during special sales helps the budget.

Gift Card: To a bookstore, or even a used book store. Drop hints if you have a favorite shop you enjoy!

Gift card tastes vary. Several friends learned I had never had a manicure and purchased a gift card for me, it took me an entire year to finally use it, and I loved it. I don’t often get manicures but I do enjoy how my nails look afterward.

Coupons Kids Create:

  1. Coupons – for free car wash
  2. Doing an extra chore of your choosing
  3. Quiet time Promise – to give me 30 minutes of non-interrupted time.
  4. Neck massage.
  5. Dinner dishes off week.

Did you notice I did not give you a list of gifts that can be purchased? The good news is that there are many novelty types of items to purchase as gifts, but they often come with a steep price tag. This year for Christmas I sent family members a group present, I found a wonderful pretzel shop that delivered frozen pretzels that could be heated up at home. They also had waffles. It turned out the waffles were a bigger hit than the pretzels for some, but the kids loved the pretzels. Food is always a good choice for a crowd or family gift.

The ideas are endless and getting together with your family is a good way to figure out what the likes and dislikes are in the gift department and see ways to maximize your time and wallet!

Communicating Love And Kindness To Your Kids

Yes - there is hope! Communicating love and kindness to your kids does not come naturally. Ask me how I know! We discipline our children because we LOVE

Communicating Love and Kindness To Your Kids – Special Replay

Yes – there is hope! Communicating love and kindness to your kids does not come naturally. Ask me how I know! We discipline our children because we LOVE them – it is vital, and especially IF you want our children to grow up to become responsible adults.

Show Notes:

Realize your parental style –

  1. Authoritarian
  2. Neglectful
  3. Permissive
  4. Authoritarian – democratic

Kids are: 

  1. Kids are gamblers
  2. Kids often say what they mean
  3. Kids are have many character flaws – anger, temper tantrums, jealousy, self-centered, etc.
  4. Kids want to get their own way – news flash, who doesn’t
  5. Kids can manipulate like the best attorney’s in court out there
  6. Kids are easily distracted
  7. Kids don’t often follow instructions the first time.


  1. Kids need positive reinforcement and repetition and patience
  2. Kids do not need to be spoiled

These are Don’ts! 

  1. It goes without saying – but I will say it here – fear and abuse – mental and physical
    1. Screaming at them
    2. Hitting in anger
    3. Discipline that doesn’t fit the crime
  2. Using your child as a pawn to hurt your spouse.
  3. Character assassination –I can’t believe how horrible you are – I hate you, you are ….
  4. Treating kids as objects that you own


Discipline techniques – I’ve heard them all

  1. Withholding something – dessert, phone, etc.
  2. Time Out
  3. Spankings – of course not while angry… um, yeah, that works
  4. Punishing – removing an item or taking away a privilege
  5. Ignoring
  6. Isolation
  7. Reasoning

The secret sauce? Consistency – when consistency does not work that is when the consequences must be metted out.

Model good behavior – a niece of mine has colorful language to say the least and when her young son used this same language in Kindergarten and the teacher spoke to her about it she realized she needed to clean up her expressiveness

Kids are sponges

With kids here are some rules of conduct:

  1. Calm
    1. Get your kid under control if they are an emotional wreck
    2. Deal with the issue at hand – before you launch in
  2. Sensitive to tone
  3. Keep it simple – teach as you discipline – start young
  4. Ask the kids to repeat back what you said
  5. Ask the kids to think… instead of why are you leaving the ball in the laundry room ask ‘where do you think the ball should go” (this is instructive and if this isn’t followed through with discipline may follow)
  6. Be positive
  7. Use “I” instead of you … “I want you to get down” I don’t want you to bounce the ball in the house” instead of you are such a bad kid for climbing up there you will get hurt and fall and then…
  8. When you do this – then this will happen
  9. Use your words … if you expect good response model it…
  10. Listen
    1. Active listening – where they really know you are listening, that you check to be sure YOU understand what they are saying and you go from there.
    2. Eye contact and body language
  11. Decide rules and discipline – if you do this – this is what will happen
  12. Teens:
    1. Checking In
    2. Game plan
    3. Giving them ground rules
    4. Risks – explain



One Minute Discipline

  1. Make sure there is no danger – if so, get the issue under control.
  2. Eye to eye – little? Get on eye level – taller – be sure they are looking at you.
  3. Be sincere.
  4. Explain they cannot talk while you are talking
  5. Tell your child what they did wrong – in one or two sentences. Explain clearly why you are upset –
  6. Big Sigh – signifies a change…
  7. Tell them what you LIKE about them – that they are an amazing person – that you are happy they are your son or daughter – that you know they try hard – that you will help them learn how to try harder if they do not already, etc. I’m here to help you – I love you – I think you are an awesome person… if you can’t figure out what you like about your child do this exercise ahead of time. Pray – ask the Lord to help you love your child –
  8. Hug and a kiss if appropriate


Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.



Photo Credit @Copyright Deposit Photo ia__64