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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Who's alive in there?

In the news today, "Controversial abortion motion defeated". Thank goodness. Why does it matter for the law or the government to decide on whether a fetus is a human before birth. Scientists, lawyers and mothers who want children vs the men and women who don't want the child will have a different opinion. It's not going to change or affect someone's decision to have an abortion or not.

For an expectant mother and her circle of family and friends, really excited about the arrival of a new baby, the beginning of that lifeform started at conception! If you're counting weeks, Day 1 is theoretically the date of the last period even before the sex happened!  I would personally be a bit offended if another human lifeform walked up to me at any point during my pregnancy before 22 weeks and said, "Hey your fetus is not a human yet, aka he's not technically alive yet (so you can get rid of it if you want to)".  Well hello, if some squishy thing with two eyes and heartbeat is kicking me all the time, someone is definitely alive inside me! 25 weeks is about the cut off mark for a baby that can be delivered with huge medical intervention to possibly survive after birth, therefore it wouldn't make sense to have an abortion after that point.
Image Source: her baby

As much as I support life, I'm really glad that controversial motion to reopen the debate was shot down. In fact, I actually support women's choice on the abortion issue, though hoping though that they would chose life. Think of the movie Juno. Think of Patty, Justin Bieber's mother who chose to keep her baby despite her own elders counselling her to get rid of it.

I have the opinion that the women who choose abortion were the ones who didn't want their baby for various reasons. They already acknowledge the baby is a life or a responsibility they don't want. The government deciding legally that the fetus is a human or not will not change it.  It's sad but they already know that they don't want that baby and they don't want to be a mommy. No amount of legal or societal pressure is going to convince them otherwise. A legal abortion within the first 22 weeks is actually more medically safe for everyone involved. Even if they outlawed it people are going to find their own way to do it, sometimes unsafe and costing even more resources, at the risk of the life of the mother.

On the flip side, is there a legal gap in the definition of a crime that involves injuring (or killing) a pregnant woman in Canada? In some States, taking the life of a pregnant woman would count as two murder charges, but not here in Canada. But what about a woman choosing to assault her own body with drugs and alcohol while being pregnant? But I wouldn't want someone to go to jail for that or having an abortion.

If someone is not going to be a good mommy, then how will they raise their child properly to be a good and law abiding citizen contributing to society? I know that my opinion goes against the popular opinion of my Christian religion, to actually support free choice. But I hope that they would choose life.  I think it would be productive for the government to support counselling and charities like Birthright that provide help to a teenage mom who's really scared or victim of a crime that resulted in an unwanted pregnancy.

I like the law in one of the States that mandates a medical description and actual ultrasound of the fetus and the heartbeat be shown to a woman seeking abortion at a licensed clinic, immediately before the procedure. However, hopefully this doesn't put too much of a burden on the technician to do counselling at this point.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Halloween Treats

Hands off, kids! These are for me.  I'm gonna try to make this one tonight! Candy Corn Fudge.

Source: Candy Corn Fudge

Very inspiring but much too ambitious for me. Halloween Lego Mini Figures and Cake Pops! They are made from ice cube trays you can buy from Lego at http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Minifigure-Ice-Cube-Tray-852771


Source: She did it!
 This one I can make. Halloween Jello Treats with gummy worms.

Image Source

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The UnSuspected Existence

I read the story about Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh of Team USA who was five weeks pregnant during her gold medal match and didn't really know it for sure at the time. She played her best and held nothing back, even barely wondering herself why she was feeling grumpy and moody at times.  And what about the woman who miraculously survived after falling from an airplane while skydiving with a faulty chute; she landed in a hay patch only to discover she was actually four months pregnant, and the eventually delivered a healthy baby girl. Tough chics! And the teenager who accidentally delivered her baby into a toilet at Walmart and just walked away without flushing, while another patron and paramedics were able to revive the baby back to normal.  And of course, the recent story about the British infantry soldier in the frontlines of Afghanistan who gave birth suddenly when she thought she simply had stomache pains. And the men were left wondering, how could she not know she was pregnant?

Well I can't answer the part about how someone would not know she was pregnant, cuz it's always been blatantly obvious to me. There's no denying that a slithering and kicking creature is growing inside my belly, and I'm not fat because I'm eating too much (though according to my daughter that is how babies are made, when mommies eat too much so the egg becomes a baby). Too cute, I'll explain peripherally what happens when she really asks.


How did I first figure out I was pregnant?  This is baby number four in production right now, so on some days this is quite a frightful picture I have in my mind what my life will be like very soon.

My firstborn one month old.


Basal Temperature Experiment

For baby number one, it was the first time I heard about a basal thermometer and I was very curious about the tracking of basal body temperatures and I just wanted to verify for myself if the textbook fertility chart example was indded true during a regular menstrual cycle. I was not necessarily trying to conceive, I just wanted to establish a baseline graph for myself in a normal situation. Anyways, halfway through the month I saw the characteristic dip and then the expected rise in basal temperature but it continued to stay up! I thought that was rather wierd but I didn't think much of it. My periods are usually very regular and I seem to have a six sense based on certain body functions or food cravings that my period is coming up very soon. That day came and went and I started to think, what if  this is true? That was the same week I was travelling to Hong Kong on a trip without my husband. Well I waited a week but I think I already knew the truth by then. Not sure if my food aversions or hyper sensitivity to certain asian food smells were real or imagined, but I bought two pregnancy tests at the local supermarket and used both to confirm what I already knew. I called my husband on the phone right away and he was rather speechless.
Image Source
First period appears once

I became pregnant with baby number 2 when my firstborn was about 6 months old.  I got my period back shortly before that and I remember thinking that it was wierd I didn't the second period on time.  I didn't think too much of it because I was told that while breastfeeding a newborn, the period is sometimes irregular. Anywayz I think it was way too long so I  commented about this to my friend who adamantly suggested that I should do a pregnancy test. I wanted to buy one at Shopper's Drug Mart but the price was rather excessive for something you just pee on so I went to the doctor instead (to see if I could get a free pregnancy test). However, she sent me for an ultrasound, and there it was a pulsing, blinking bright little dot that was the heartbeat of baby number 2.  The ultrasound also gave a very accurate prediction for the due date. So my number one and number two are 15 months apart.

Too much Christmas Eating

Probably on the same day my husband returned home from Afghanistan, I'm pretty sure something happened (wink). Anywayz a month later close to Christmas time, I also noticed that my nails were growing longer and faster, my hair did not clog up the bathtub after each washing and that my pants were getting a little snug. What was even more annoying was the older ladies at church were asking so are you having another baby? Woah, way too early to be even showing so I'm gonna just say they were politely telling me I looked fat or just hurry up and get on it.  I suspected that it was the Christmas eating, but then I started to wonder, well why am I late?  I wore a very tight and unflattering shirt and even my friend I only see once a year asked me if I was pregnant. I had to laugh and say no way! Well I waited till after Christmas and I bought the pack of two tests and used one. I accidently peed on my hand too so that was gross; and then shortly after Maggie turned 3 and AJ turned 2, there was the baby brother!

The Big Give Away

Fast forward nearly 18 months.  I had just given away all my baby stuff - the bouncers, the crib, the car seats, high chair, strollers, baby onesies, blankets, bibs, infant toys, baby swing and baby gym toys.  I gave away the maternity clothes and I was about to chuck the nursing bras. I even threw out the second unused pregancy test cuz why would I ever need it again.  Well it was February and I was enrolled in women`s swimming lessons. I didn`t want to miss my lesson because of girl problems so I bought a giant pack of best value tampons (never used them in my life until that day). I had the expectation that nothing should stop me from swimming ever, so I might as well just go big at Costco. Anyway the next month came and went and I am still stuck with the giant pack of tampons. My friend who has advised me of my possible pregnancies previously (even before I told my husband) told me that Dollarama has pregnancy tests for a buck or two. So on the same day as my 35th birthday I confirmed this with a $2 test.

Expect the Unexpected

I`m gonna go with my theory on pregnancy test kits, they are only useful for confirming something you already know, so the pregnancy test kit from Dollarama will be just as good as the digital clear blue one with all the fancy features like "know it before your missed period" for $19.99

Seriously though, I do not mean to make light of the seriousness of conception. Every life is a miracle. Things may seem to happen by chance, but I also believe that all of my children were created by God for me and my family as part of His plan. And I am very thankful for the new baby on the way.

Variations on Turkey Handprint Crafts for Kids with Poem

Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I found my kids' Thanksgiving crafts from last year. They are all Turkey-themed but very simple to complete at school or at home.


by Maggie 2011

Finger Paints
Apply finger paints to the child's hand, taking care to use the autumn theme colours on each finger as feathers, the palm of the hand will be brown. Press the hand directly to paper and draw in a beak and eyes. The attached poem was provided by the JK teacher last fall.

Here's the poem:
 
This isn't just a turkey,
 as anyone can see.
I made it with my hand,
 which is a part of me.
It comes with lots of love,
 especially to say,
I hope you have a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

by Lincoln 2012

by AJ 2011

CRAYON
Trace the child's hand with a marker. Add a turkey face, wing and legs. Colour the fingers with crayons in autumn theme colours.



by Maggie 2011

SUNDAY SCHOOL EDITION
The Thank You God for Friends, Faith, Forgiveness, Food, Freedom and Family Turkey craft. This is a great photocopy reproducible for a Sunday school craft.
It would be better to photocopy the worksheet and colour the pieces before cutting.  The older children can do their own cutting.

 


GOBBLE GOBBLE SNACKTIME!
The mom providing snacks at the Toddler Sunday School this week made this beautiful snack platter for the kids. Cheese and bread cutouts with a cookie cutter, sliced grapes and yoghurt covered raisins for the turkey feathers and half a pear, decorated with food colouring.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Iron Woman

I used to call myself the Iron Woman not because I am a particularly powerful leader or someone that swims, bikes and runs Olympic distances, but simply because I always had a healthy storage of iron level in my blood, like 18 or above. What are normal hemoglobin levels? Everytime I went to the Bloodmobile to donate blood it would just be obvious from the simple iron level test from the droplet falling into a blue copper fluid. However, in my fourth pregnancy finally, I suspect there is a little "iron man" or "iron woman" sucking the life out of me.

From the results of the 26 week blood sugar level test, my doctor advised me that my sugar level was fine but the iron hemoglobin level was on the lowest number of the normal spectrum. He said I was not anemic but I should consider a 100mg/ day iron supplement or promise to eat a steak every night.  Here is a picture of iron rich foods.


Image Source: Pescetarian
 It really shocked me because anemic sounds like a really scary word. I haven't had time to go to the pharmacy to pick up the over the counter iron pills, but I did observe something about my diet in the last two day since my appointment.  I've been inadvertently cut meat intake over the years, and especially during my pregnancy cuz meat just smells gross. Mind you, I love meat lovers pizza, spinach and beef cheesy lasagna, and chicken/ beef shawarmas. But an asian stir fry or steak on the grill, that's yuck, unfortunately for my husband. It amounts to one serving of meat and alternates a day is what I get.  I don't eat beans or barely any vegetables so probably my diet has been completely replaced with carbs from unlimited fruits, french fries or poutine, chocolate bars, cake, chips, cookies, ice cream, juice and Gatorade, rice, pasta, multigrain bagels, raisin bread and McDonald's.  Sometimes I buy a can of V8 juice but that is literally my 3 vegetable servings for the whole week (not even a day). As for dairy and milk, I have to force myself to drink one cup a day but it's probably supposed to be 3.  Perhaps my reckless choice of foods is a bit irresponsible considering I had gained 10 pounds in 24 weeks but recently lost 4 of them in the last month.

I'm not necessarily ashamed of this, but it has finally been drawn to my attention to look at the Canada Food Guide and at least try to eat well for the sake of my unborn child and myself.  Don't let this happen to you. You have to take care of number one cuz you are the mom in charge, there is no one above to take care of you and remind you to eat your wheaties (in my case it would be the meaties).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are you Soccer Mom enough?

I've heard enough recently about Jamie Lynn Grumet, the breastfeeding and attachment parenting mom on the cover of Time Magazine cover again with her toddler son sucking her boob, this time with her husband and older child looking on. Not judging, except that maybe she could send her son to soccer camp to play sports with kids his own age instead of playing with boobs all day.

That being said, I stumbled upon this image of a really hot looking soccer mom, the first hit searching for images on the word "Mom" of all things. Here's a small collection of soccer moms of all types. Which kind are you?

The Hot Soccer Mom
Image Source
Wow. As a mom, busy with a full time, trucking kids around to piano lessons and sports practises, plus preparing really wholesome meals and snacks for kids, how does a woman find the time to work out, beautify and mystify and keep that up? Aspire... I suppose on the other hand,  how could you not be sexy for yourself if you are really happy with your life. Plus I suppose if mom looks like her and dad looks like Thor, well there will just naturally be a soccer team full of kids in the family.

The Pistol Packing Soccer Mom
Image Source: CNN

Who needs to bring a fully loaded gun to a kids soccer game? Only in America, but to protect yourself and your children from what? Another pistol packing packing soccer mom? Insane how tempers could flare up, and clashes with coaches, refs and other parents could get out of hand.  In some of the more serious soccer leagues with the older children, parents are forbidden on the soccer field. In the event of a sports injury, the moms have to wait for the first aid responders to bring the child off the field before they can check on their own kid. Makes sense if people are carrying around guns.  Seriously, chill out! Sadly this mom met an unfortunate end with the pistol packing soccer dad.



The Designer Diaper Bag Soccer Mom
Image Source: Celebrity
This is Denis Richards toting along the whole gang to watch the big sister play soccer.  A really supportive mom and dad team. Just pointing out the really trendy diaper bag because there's a lot of equipment to bring along with all the kids snacks, milk, diapers, extra clothes, shoes, water, Gatorade, and everything else that goes in there.

The Olympic Soccer Mom
Image Source

A mom who really plays soccer.  Mia Hamm of Team USA (retired) played in four FIFA Women's World Cups and three Olympics; winning gold in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  She is the mother of twin girls and a boy.  Mia Hamm's advice for girls, parents and coaches - "Just be their parent" among other pearls of wisdom and reflection in this interview.  "As a parent myself, I can pay other people to do their job in terms of coaching my kids. I don’t want anyone but me and my husband to be their parents." These are really powerful words.  Her kids are probably in soccer but I get the impression that she lets them choose their passion.

The Texting Ninja Soccer Mom
I've seen someone like her at the park with the kids, walking down the street, at a school function, juggling groceries to the car, but hopefully not texting while driving. Someone with mad thumb texting skills but always hunched over the iphone.  Are live streaming of Facebook and Twitter updates more important than keeping the eyes on the kids? Don't miss the soccer game or your little girl making the winning goal cuz you were too busy texting.  Pay attention to your real life as it happens, not life online! (I couldn't find a texting picture but this one is crazee! Taken from another savvymom storyteller blog)
Image Source

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ink Baby

My daughter loves the temporary tattoos and I give them out as rewards for everything from completing math homework to helping with laundry folding.  They're harmless - Canadian flags, Tinkerbell, smiley faces, Paul Frank monkeys etc. At age 3 she was already fascinated with skulls and bones but not for tattoos fortunately.
Image Source: not my kid

Her father warns her every time that she is only allowed to have the sticker tattoos, and real tattoos are completely off limits. Funny though, that made her ask what is a real tattoo? I had to explain peripherally what is a permanent tattoo and how it is done. I don't even think she had any idea who was Kat von D or Miami Ink before that conversation. I described it as a possibly painful and expensive experience, but I did not specifically say it was off limits.

I actually really admire tattoos, especially beautiful and artistic ones. I have the opinion that when my daughter is old enough to decide for herself that she wants to permanently decorate her body, possibly age 16 to 18 and up, I'd rather be supportive and let her do it tastefully. I would certainly suggest not tattooing a boy's name or something immature that she may regret later on in life, but I could not outright ban it. I'd rather that she found a professional place to do it and be supportive enough to help her pay the more expensive rate for a more reputable job.
Actually in random conversations with my guy friends, most seem to have the opinion that tattoos are destroying or permanently marking a perfectly perfect body. They were shocked I would even consider it, but obviously my husband would not approve. It would be difficult to hide my arm from him!  In fact we were joking that if I ever got a full arm tattoo, that the ink would end up going into my bloodstream and permanently ink my baby too.  What an Ink Baby that would be! Anywayz as much as I would like to get a giant Phoenix and peony flowers or Kali the 8 armed Hindu goddess tattooed on my back or arms, I think I need to hit the gym and build some muscle tone first cuz my arms are pretty tiny and I wouldn't fit much art on it.

It was explained to me that a tattoo is like a scar on the body that heals and fades over time.  The only tattoo I've ever done is the eyeliner tattoo, over 10 years ago, for the top and bottom of the eye. This is quite common for many asian women (it's obvious who's done it, who's natural and who wears eyeline).  I know I'm due for a redo but it was such a painful and shocking experience, I think I'll just stick with the daily Avon Glimmersticks.

What would you do if your daughter or son asks for this? I guess it goes back to my previous post about parenting, obedience and guidance. If someone is still asking me for "permission" to do something than probably they're not ready to make this choice for himself.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf for Breakfast

I have no shame to serve Chocolate Zucchini Loaf for the kids breakfast, guilt free. They scarfed it down with milk without contest. It was a rather wholesome breakfast meal, and not all that sweet.   I got this recipe from a friend who had a crafting party last night and these were a few leftover pieces I took home in a doggy bag.

Image Source

The image and link above is the untested recipe I found from google.  It looks pretty!  Here is the recipe my friend actually used, below:

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI LOAF

1 and ¼ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

¼ cup apple sauce

2 and ½ tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup grated zucchini

¼ cup chocolate chips



Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients. Whisk wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry then add chocolate chips.

Bake in greased loaf pan for 50-60 minutes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eye Candy

The first time I saw Pandora bracelets, I had thought, wow why would I want to spend that kind of money on really expensive beads and charms? However after seeing them everywhere, they are growing on me.  Moments, each charm representing a moment or a memory, customized.

I received a lovely piano teacher gift from my students - the Iconic Pandora Gift - Clasp bracelet with two S clips in sterling silver with one music note dangle charm (not the one shown here! This one pictured complete is probably worth $2000)  Well now I'm hooked! I admit that I haven't quite shelled out $40 for a single Pandora murano glass bead, nor $300 for something filigree gold with Swarvoski but I did find all kinds of competitive products, some compatible some not.  I found Loulou Bijoux at Scholar's Choice for $7.99 each. Those make great teacher gifts too!
Image Source: Pandora
I stumbled upon Trollbeads while searching for Jade elements actually.  Tartooful writes an amazing blog about her bracelets, and the beads representing something from an exotic globe trotting voyage somewhere.  What is your eye candy or current fixation at the moment?

Image Source: Tartooful
Image Source: Loulou Bijoux

Image Source: Etsy

Pop Cap Phonics

I have a fairly large collection of juice caps in all colours - yellow, purple, green, blue, red, orange, brown, black and white. I originally started collecting them for my piano teaching notation methodology, and I enlisted the help of friends and colleagues to collect them for me. I also find them useful for labeling with numbers and choosing specific colours for specific number properties like prime, even, fives, tens etc.

Another usage for them could be a phonics bingo game or just a tub full of three letter CVC words (consonant vowel consonant). But I think someone's beat me to this product! I saw it in my kids' Scholastic book order flyer and I just ordered it instead of trying to build my own. This is from the current September 2012 See Saw Book Club flyer.


But if you are looking for worksheets or flashcards to print off yourself, I found the Lanternfish website to be very useful. I might print these out, use a circle punch and paste the graphics onto the juice caps and write the words or word endings (with a silver marker) to make a more durable set.

The next step in schooling, kids learning to read!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Train a Dragon

Cirque de Soleil Hat

When your dad is the US President there are bound to be a few rules in the house to live by. I was quite enlightened by the article posted on Yahoo about "The Obama's Strict Rules for Sasha and Malia". In simple terms, here are their rules for the princesses:

  • They must do their chores
  • They can't watch much TV
  • No R rated movies for pre teens
  • They can only have healthy snacks
  • They must play a team sport
  • Quitting is not allowed

This is a good one:
  • The girls have to eat their vegetables, and if they say that they are not hungry, they cannot ask for cookies or chips later.


  • That's one of my favorite ones because I am totally guilty of breaking that one with my kids.  Anyway, tt made me think about what our house rules are for the Tang Dynasty, so my husband's friends call us. How will we train our young little dragons to grow up righteously. Here's my list of guiding principles for myself and the kids, since I find that the word "Rules" sounds too much like the 10 Commandments. In no particular order:


    1) Sit down to eat dinner and snacks.
    Lincoln is the only one who keeps leaving the table and walking around with food in his hand. Maggie and AJ are much better and staying seated properly and finishing up before leaving the table. I haven't been able to just "throw away his food" when he leaves, but I've heard of parents who do that. It certainly seems very effective! So what bothers me alot is Grandma chasing Lincoln around with his bowl of rice and a spoon in the playroom. I know she means well and wants him to eat up, but it's not something I could do being the only adult around for most dinner times.

    2) No morning TV on a school day
    It used to be that the only way I could brush my teeth and do my makeup without little people climbing all over me and fighting for counter space was that I turned the TV on to the government funded TVO kids channel. Mind you, this is pretty good Canadian programming and I've even seen the Toronto made "Dino Dan" and "Kratt Brothers" translated and broadcasted in Spanish in the Dominican Republic!

    Anyway, it got to the point where they were watching way too much TV before breakfast time and no one was changing out of PJ's or brushing their teeth fast enough to get ready in time for school, so I made up a rule that we could only watch morning TV on weekend or non-school day. Having the TV on for Saturday morning allows their dad to sleep in a bit, since the TV is in our room of all places. We used to do TV for Sunday morning too before church, but now we're rushing off to do swimming lessons before church.

    3) Put your own dirty clothes in the hamper.
    All I'm saying is, I would like to be the mom who teaches my sons to put their own dirty clothes in the hamper; "IN" being the keyword. Not beside the hamper, near to the hamper or in the bathtub or on the floor, but actually in the hamper... to save the future wife some grief, or rather confusion - is this pair of jeans dirty or not? O it belongs on the floor? Why don't I just nail it to the ground with a nail then?

    4) Finish what you started
    It could be as simple as follow through, finish the puzzle, finish the maze, finish the homework page. Don't leave something half finished.


    5) Talk to me with respect
    No shouting, throwing things at me or slamming doors.  My daughter has a serious temper. Unfortunately I have no one to blame for it but myself. I might have shouted too much or been impatient with my voice. However I have never thrown anything or stomped away to my room and slammed the door. She always comes back in minutes, but my biggest concern is the tone of voice when asking me to do something (please, thank you) and reminding to say things in a nice voice not a mean voice.

    6) Work first, play later.
    My kids love to play outside with their playmates. All the neighbors have an open backyard and most of the kids' parents are OK with the kids running from one end of the lots to the other, and the kids use the doorbell at the back patio to invite their buddies out to play. It's a good thing to spend most of the before and after dinner time outside, but the kids have homework to do now. Maggie is very good at telling her best friend that she needs to finish her Kumon homework before going outside.  Sometimes her friend will come inside with her and wait for her to finish the homework while playing quietly. This is important for them to know priorities.

    7) Take turns
    I prefer if kids "take turns" to play a toy rather than "share". Sharing is a little bit ambiguous cuz you can't exactly cut a toy in a half. I suppose you could share blocks and Lego cuz it's such a big pile but when there's only one ride-on car (actually that's why I have three of them) or one Optimus Prime, I like to teach the kids to wait their turn. In fact if I tell AJ, when you're done with it would you give Lincoln a turn? He usually finishes playing with it pretty fast and hands it over nicely. I even see Lincoln watching patiently when he wants something instead of just grabbing it from the big brother.

    8) Put things back where they belong
    Makes sense, then you know where to find everything. Kids are naturally good at sorting and classifying objects in the right category. The toy food and dishes goes into the toy kitchen stuff bin, the cars and stuff with wheels go in the car bin, the puzzles go into the puzzle bin.

    I have another pet peeve about all the power tools and sets of socket wrenches and screwdrivers that end up all over the house, so I bought a work bench and shelf area for the garage finally.

    9) Excel and be really good at what you do
    This one takes a lot of work and dedication. Right now the kids are involved alot of sports - swimming, soccer, ballet and formerly gymnastics. Other pursuits include - fine art, piano and math tutoring. At some point I think they'll have to focus and choose to be truly excellent at one or two things, like swimming and piano or something.

    10) In God We Trust
    I would like my kids to know that God cares for them and loves them and is real force in our lives. Sometimes when I have a cough or a headache, my daughter will remind me that Jesus can heal me if I pray (really? Thanks!) Other times, when my son is afraid of the darkness and the wind and the rain outside, we close the curtains and I tell him, don't worry God is watching. He responds, "But how can he see me when the curtains are closed"? Well it's a good opportunity to assure him that God is in our hearts.