Friday, July 27, 2012

Question: Screaming

My almost three-year-old girl loves to scream.  She screams at the slightest provocation.  This morning, she woke the entire house with her "playful" screaming.  It is getting out of hand.  She has the vocabulary of a four- or five-year-old, so telling us what is wrong is no problem.  We can't seem to get her to stop screaming, though.
So, how do you get a child to stop screaming all the time?

Blogger answers:
Mary Lou: We did go through that with with DG to some extent. For us once we explained that the screaming was not acceptable and that she would be removed to her room every time where she would be disciplined, it became a disobedience issue for us. I know everyone is different. But perhaps removing her to her room every time. If you are out, removing her to the van.

Tiffany R. My son who is almost 6 has always been quiet but has recently discovered screaming and I mean those blood curdling screams. He thinks it's funny, we don't. Thankfully for us he doesn't do it all the time but when if he does and he doesn't stop then he is disciplined. We try explaining to him that you don't scream like that unless there is really something wrong.
I think with your daughter too it might be her age and a stage she is going through. I agree with what Mary Lou has said too. I'm glad that you have been posting lately! I always enjoy seeing your emails! Thanks for keeping it real too!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Freedom from Stuff

When we moved out of our house in Portland, we left most of our household items and moved into a temporary apartment for two months.  It was a furnished apartment, and had quite a few amenities, but there was also a minimalistic feeling about the apartment.  For a family of five, the dishware was barely adequate.  But I tried not to complain - we were only there for two months, and we were there as a family, instead of me staying behind in Portland with the kids while my husband started his new job in California.
After two months of this simplistic living, I realized that there are a lot of things I can do without.  When our household finally arrived on the moving truck, I was thrilled to have a fully stocked kitchen once again.  And then I started the process of unpacking.  Oh. My. Gosh.  We have a bunch of stuff!
As I sorted through the boxes of stuff, I started to get a little depressed.  It was actually a little freeing not to have a bunch of things around me while we were in the apartment.  So I've decided not to be depressed by all the stuff we have.  I'm going to enjoy everything I own, or I'm going to get rid of it.
I have come up with this motto: Love it, Use it, or Lose it.  If I don't love it or use it, I'll get rid of it.  There is absolutely no point of having something that I don't use.  Just as pointless is having something I sort of like, or something I don't like at all.  It's like that sweater in your closet that you keep only because you might wear it someday, even though every time you put it on you hate how you look in it.  GET RID OF IT!  Really, it is very freeing to only have things around you that you love.
As I unpack, I ask myself, "Is this something I use?"  By "use" I mean: can I define a specific time when I use the item?  "Use" doesn't mean that I might want to use it at some point, but can't pinpoint exactly when.  If I'm only holding onto it because I might need it sometime in the future, I'm getting rid of it.  It is clutter.
I also ask myself, "Is it something I love?  Does it have meaning to me?"  And if I don't love it, or it doesn't mean anything to me, I get rid of it.  For instance, my curio cabinet has a bunch of pretty things in it.  One thing is a miniature salt and pepper shaker that was given to me by a friend who couldn't use them.  I love how they look, but they don't mean anything special to me.  So, I was about to get rid of them, but then realized that I could use them.  They match my dishes and I could keep them on my table.  Perfect.  One item I love is now getting used.
Something else in my curio cabinet is a red glass coffee service.  It is pretty, but I don't particularly love it.  It was my grandmother's, but it wasn't anything special to her, she just bought it because it was pretty.  So, since I will never use it, and I don't love it, and it doesn't have any memories attached to it, I am going to get rid of it.
I just finished getting the master bathroom set up the way I want it.  I pulled out a bunch of pretty containers and a pretty tray that I've been holding on to but haven't used, and I found uses for all of them.  I plopped my wedding bouquet into a vase and placed it in a corner of the counter.  I love how refreshing my bathroom feels now.  There isn't a bunch of clutter on the counter, and everything on it is something I love, use, and/or has meaning to me.
Do you look around your house and just see a bunch of stuff?  I challenge you: Love it, Use it, or Lose it.  You may just be surprised at how freeing getting rid of stuff is.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


With the birth of my third child, I have really been pondering how I want our family to look.  What do I want to focus the eyes of my family on?  What traditions do I want to set up?  How do I want to make celebrations memorable?  How do I want to make Sundays special?  What values do I want to instill in my kids that will carry them through adulthood?  Businesses have a mission statement, a vision of where the company wants to be in five years.  I started thinking about how I want my family to look like in five, ten, twenty-five years. 
First off, I want the center of my family to be Jesus.  I want a family that is joyful and loving.  When someone walks into our house, I want them to feel like Jesus lives here.  And I want to incorporate Jesus into the traditions we keep.
I want the kids to look forward to those traditions every year and cherish them when they are older.  The first tradition we started is an Advent calendar that tells the Christmas story.  My mother- and sister-in-law made it for my eldest's first Christmas.  My husband had one growing up and remembers it fondly.  I want to build that fond memory for my kids.
Sundays in our house are fairly un-remarkable.  The only thing that makes Sunday different from any other day is that we go to church in the morning.  I want Sundays to be a day that is looked forward to with joy and excitement, and to be looked back on in fond remembrance.  When the kids are out of the house, I want them to remember the Sundays that we spent together and cherish those moments.
How will I make these traditions happen?  I'm not sure; I have a lot of thinking to do on the subject, which will probably happen as I type my thoughts out on this blog. :)
Do you have a vision for your family?  How have you accomplished it?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday's Meal: Popovers

These are so easy, and extremely yummy!  You can serve them plain, with butter, jam, cream cheese, or stuff them with almost anything you like.  I stuffed a few with some leftover Mexican rice for a simple meal.
4 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried herb or spice (I like sage for a savory, or cinnamon for a sweet)
Whisk eggs until light and fluffy.  Add milk and whisk until incorporated.  Add flour and salt on top of liquid and whisk gently until the flour is moist.  There will be a few lumps.  Let batter sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or grease with clarified butter. 
Stir batter one more time.  Pour batter into muffin cups almost to the top.  Bake for 30 minutes and DO NOT OPEN OVEN while they bake. 
Remove muffin pan and immediately pierce the top of each popover with a knife to let the steam escape.  This will keep them from being soggy.  Let them sit in the muffin pan for a minute before turning them out.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today's Blessing

One tired baby, needs to go to bed.
Two hungry children, waiting to be fed.
One mama rocking said baby to sleep,
One child yelling, Have you seen my Jeep?
A toddler on the toilet yells, Can you wipe me now?
Mama rocking baby silently wonders, How?
Setting screaming baby down she opens bathroom door
And tells the five-year-old to go and rock the baby more 
The two-year-old is taken care of, now it's the elder's turn
Mama also needs to go potty, for privacy she yearns.
Quickly setting granola bars out for the kids
She hopes the baby soon will close his sleepy lids.
Finally everyone is quiet, eating snack or taking rest,
And Mama finally takes a breath and realizes how she's bless'd.