Stop this family and let me off!

The Roller Coaster of Parenting (Not For The Faint of Heart)

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I know now what I’m going to tell people if asked why I don’t like roller coasters. It’s because riding on one would be redundant. I’m already on one that has bigger drops, tighter turns, and makes me scream and cry just as much, if not more, than anything at Six Flags or Disneyland. So who needs another?

Case in point:

Last Thursday night (the coaster goes down) Andy, Allison and I have tickets to the evening production of “A Chorus Line” at Dallas’ Fair Park Music Hall.  When it’s time to leave for the show, Allison’s not ready and …

Giving Kids Some Freedoms

Postcards from Camp

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Well, we’ve heard from Emmie at camp– and the verdict is…..well so far…(drumroll please)…thumbs up!!! Whew. I was just a teensy bit worried.  One reason is because she insisted on signing up for the “tent unit” at the camp (i.e. no electricity– no AC and no fans) and the forecast called for 100-degree-plus days every day this week.  The weather predictors were correct– it’s been fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot! The other reason is that our car (that would be, my glorious minivan) overheated on the way to camp and we were delayed while my husband fixed the problem (Thank you, God, …

Kids and Food

The Great Food Challenge (or Why I Wish Spongebob Ate Spinach Like Popeye)

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Do you think American pioneer teenagers in the 1800’s ever sat down at the dinner table, folded their arms across their chests and announced, “I REF– USE to eat this disgusting salt pork!!”?  Did their younger siblings push the freshly picked-and-prepared peas to the far edges of their plates? I’ve been wondering that lately as I ponder my kids’ food aversions, and remember my own childhood dislikes.  Something tells me kids have always had strong opinions on food.  I’ve looked for clues in the Little House on the Prairie series, which Emmie and I have been reading together this summer, but haven’t found anything.  So …

Being a Better Parent

Yes Days

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Our pastor, whose children are grown, was telling those of us in his Sunday School class a couple weeks ago that he used to have “Yes” days with his kids– a day once in awhile where Dad would say yes to every request.  “What kinds of things did they ask for?” I asked him. “Oh, it usually involved ice cream,” he said.  “We’d go for ice cream a couple of times in one day.”
How fun, I thought, but if I tried that with my kids, I think I’d be broke pretty quick. No, make that, I know I’d be broke pretty …

Travel With Kids

Little Ones Need To Travel, Too

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My friends who are professional travel advisors have been telling me for months that “it’s too cheap not to travel this summer”.  Some thoughts about vacations, for people who are talking themselves out of traveling because they think their kids are too young– or for people who know families like that:

Six summers ago, we took our kids on a Southern California adventure trip when one was 8 and the other was 4. We’d saved up airline miles so that all four of us flew free, so we splurged and went to the Hotel Del Coronado, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, and …