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Stop and Take Notice to What Your Child can Teach You
Safety and Easy Access: Home Modification Tips for Disabled Parents
#Halloween - Happy Monster Family
Happy Pumpkin family an Easy Fun and Inexpensive #Halloweencraft
Happy St Pattys Day Enjoy some #Leprechaunmagic

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Haunted House Craft
Valentine mailbox craft - Happy Valentines House
Educational Play dates - Learn something new everyday
Kids and accountability - Teaching them to do what is right
Mothers Guilt - Let it go!

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#Happyhalloween party - #simplefun


We had our annual #happyhalloween party this weekend! As usual we were pressed for time but worked hard to make it happen! Incase you decide to throw a last minute party for your kids we wanted to share a few ideas.
My daughters food choices were a cute addition!
Cheese, olive and chive flour tortillas decorated as pumpkins.
#happypumpkintortilla


Cutie oranges peeled and decorated with celery leaves to look like pumpkins.
We used purple organic grapes on skewers to give our serving platter a finished look.
 
 
#Pumpkinoranges
 

The left over celery we washed and cut and added almond butter and decorated with dried cranberries.  I found a better finished version of this on-line

Unfortunately, I did not have all the ingredients, but if you do I would suggest these instead.

 
We made witches brooms with cheese sticks Snyders GF pretzels wrapped with the chives.  There are many varieties of these on-line we used chives already cut and ready to go much easier and faster prep time. 
#witchesbroom







And of course our magic potion station!  The kids always love this!
#magicpotion drink for kids
 
 
 We made rice krispie treats, instead of cutting them or shaping them into pumpkins, we made a silly pumpkin graveyard batch...definitely a time saver!

#sillypumpkingraveyardtreat
 

This years activities included decorating pumpkins, making slime and Halloween #Mad Libs. 
Your local grocery should have small pumpkins for less than $1....and the kids love to decorate these.  We typically use stickers/pens/stamps or paint.  Whatever we have on hand.  Another way to save money on your party!
We love slime!! 
I found these containers at the dollar store so the kids could mix and take the container home.  No mess for me and the container is perfect for the slime so it doesn't dry out!  We always give a party favor to our guests.  These gifts were around $3.  Not bad for a pumpkin and slime!!

#halloweenpartyfavors
 
We love Highlights in our family.  The book we used for our mad libs is a wonderful book of Halloween Mad Libs from Highlights.  My daughter picked two out she wanted to do with her friends.  I made copies for the girls.  When they finished filling them in they each stood up and read to each other.  One thing I always do at our parties is include something educational.  This activity made the girls think and they also practiced reading and speaking in front of others.  Of course they don't realize this...because they are having fun too!
#madlibs educational #simplefun
 

At the end of the day I received the best compliment ever!  One of the girls said to me that we throw the best parties ever!  #ilove it  It made our day!










#Maketime & #Taketime to spend #qualitytime with your kids this #Halloween.  Whether you go all out or do a couple simple things.  It is this time, any time, that we spend with our kids, that makes a difference in their lives and yours and helps you to raise  #amazingkids 
 

#savorthemoment
 
All of my best!
Dyan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#CutestValentinesEver - #HappyHearts to you

Heart Balloons
Heart Balloons
First step - picked up balloons
Craft supplies
Craft supplies
craft sticks, glue, paper
Craft sticks
Craft sticks
Handwritten name
Heart shaped paper
Heart shaped paper
Valentines Day cards
Valentines Day cards
Puppets
Valentines day card and gift bag
Valentines day card and gift bag
Puppets
Valentine Girl puppet
Valentine Girl puppet
Our favorite
Balloons and Valentines gift bags
Balloons and Valentines gift bags
With puppets
Boy!  What a success!!  These turned out cuter than I could of ever imagined...they really were not that much work and the #Valentine card gift bag was not that much money to put together.  I found a deal on the balloons at a dollar a piece and the craft cards were only about a dollar each with a couple of pieces of candy what a hit and definitely the #CutestValentinesEver   What we learned:  following directions, practicing handwriting, trial and error-what worked best where, creativity, uniqueness-just like everyone looks different so did our hand puppets, teamwork, using glue, counting, sorting and filling with our bags and treats.  What we shared:  using our imaginations, our ideas, creating happiness and joy, a fun-filled couple of hours. 
 
What we used:
craft sticks
glue
markers
heart shaped paper (foam, stickies or construction paper will do) pink, red or white
pom pom balls
googlie eyes
decorative valentines day bags
couple pieces of candy to fill
heart shaped balloons
 
Enjoy making your #Valentines, whether homemade or conventional, just take the time to do it!  It will bring excitement and joy to your child and create memories for you both, that you will cherish forever. 
May love, happiness and joy fill your day this #Valentines.  #HappyHearts to you!  Dyan

#Thanksgivingcraft to treasure and keep - fun easy and inexpensive #grateful craft for #Thanksgiving

This is a repost from last year...and I still love these so I had to share again.  They were such a hit last year at the dinner table every guest felt special and loved the fact that my daughter created each one especially for them!!  My daughter and I loved these so much that we are using again this year for our guest place mats.  A #Thanksgivingcraft to treasure and keep!!  They are fun, easy and inexpensive to make (my motto)...What better way to show your children's love and #gratitude for their family and friends by creating unique place mats for all of your guests on #Thanksgiving Day!
 
What you will need to create these special take home treasures:

1. Orange, brown, yellow or white construction paper.
2. Different colored pencils, markers, crayons to create their masterpieces.
3. Scissors if paper needs to be trimmed to fit your laminator.
4. Miscellaneous Thanksgiving stickers (optional).
5. Paper laminator.  Caution:  adult should always supervise this activity as the laminator gets very hot!  If you do not have a laminator, you could use a thicker paper (i.e. poster board or paper cover sheets/pre-laminated sheets purchased at any office supply store.
6. Your child's imagination.

#thanksgivingcraftsCreate each place mat unique for each guest.
 
Use your child's hand to trace to make the turkey.  Then have them decorate, color or use stickers to make as intricate as they choose. You can label each place mat and then use them as place cards too!



What we learned:  Lots of stuff!  How to use our hands to make turkeys, how to draw leaves, colors of #Thanksgiving and fall, practiced hand writing names, worked on letters and spelling, practiced writing name, creativity, strengthening hands by cutting, using the laminating machine and practiced safety lessons.
 

I love crafts that reinforce learning!
 
What we shared:  Lots of fun!  Getting into the holiday spirit, memories, useful craft that we will have many uses (a #Thanksgiving Day card, place mat, place card and take home gift for our guests), creative ideas and a fun afternoon of spending time together.




May your #Thanksgiving holiday be filled with peace, blessings and many things to be #grateful for....may you take the time to enjoy the time with your family, friends and kids.  Grab some paper and create some special memories this #Thanksgiving and make these place cmats.  They are easy, fun and inexpensive to make.  #Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.   All of my best, Dyan

#Gingerbread Haunted House - A fun and easy #Halloween craft

Here we go again...another #Halloween.  Can't wait to make our #Halloween Haunted house again this year!  I hope you take the time to spend #qualitytime with your #amazingkid this #Halloween. 

Love, love, love these gingerbread houses!  We have bought these before for other holidays.  They are easy to use and your kid has so much fun decorating!
Here we go again...another #Halloween. Can't wait to make our #Halloween Haunted house again this year! I hope you take the time to spend #qualitytime with your #amazingkid this #Halloween.

Love, love, love these gingerbread houses! We have bought these before for other holidays. They are easy to use and your kid has so much fun decorating!
Haunted Gingerbread House by Create a Treat. See link on my links page
Chocolate gingerbread!
Easy to assemble.
Chocolate gingerbread!
The easy to use base and the icing hold the gingerbread house in place.  It doesn't cave in or fall like others I have made.
The easy to use base and the icing hold the gingerbread house in place. It doesn't cave in or fall like others I have made.
First step complete.
What I love about this cookie craft is that my daughter can make it her own, unique design.
She even mentioned to me on several occasions that she doesn't have to decorate it like the picture on the box.
What I love about this cookie craft is that my daughter can make it her own, unique design.
What kids learn:
What kids learn:
Patience in building the ginger bread house with the frosting base and waiting for it to dry before decorating.
Tracing of lines while applying the frosting on windows, roof, doors, etc.
Builds strength in their little hands that will help with writing or other activities.
Tracing of lines while applying the frosting on windows, roof, doors, etc.
Using color and different items to decorate and make patterns or own designs.
Using color and different items to decorate and make patterns or own designs.
My daughter used opposites and numerical matching items to decorate windows and roof.
What we shared: An evening of fun creating our own happy haunted house!
Laughs, #qualitytime, memories, a new family tradition and patience in taking turns.
What we shared:  An evening of fun creating our own happy haunted house!
Haunted houses don't have to be spooky!
Haunted houses don't have to be spooky!
Back view
Take the time today to spend #qualitytime with your #amazingkids. Whether you make a Haunted Gingerbread House, make holiday cookies or another holiday craft. I love to do things like this with my daughter. She has learned so much from everything we do together. We don't look for perfection in our crafts, we don't always use the best materials (many times we use stuff from around our house) to me it is about spending time with my #amazingkid and teaching her something about everything. For her it is #qualitytime with her mom and learning new things. Kids need this to feel loved, special and build confidence. It is our job to do this and nurture #amazingkids! Take the time and make the time for your kids. You'll be glad you did.
Happy #Halloween week! Have a boo....tiful day! All of my best, Dyan
Take the time today to spend #qualitytime with your #amazingkids.  Whether you make a Haunted Gingerbread House, make holiday cookies or another holiday craft. I love to do things like this with my daughter.  She has learned so much from everything we do together.  We don't look for perfection in our crafts, we don't always use the best materials (many times we use stuff from around our house) to me it is about spending time with my #amazingkid and teaching her something about everything.  For her it is #qualitytime with her mom and learning new things.  Kids need this to feel loved, special and build confidence. It is our job to do this and nurture #amazingkids! Take the time and make the time for your kids.  You'll be glad you did.

Last #EasterEgg hunt of the year? Absolutely not.

Don't know what to do with those uneaten hard boiled #Eastereggs still in your fridge?  Instead of throwing them away, have another #Easteregg hunt, just for fun!  Then throw them away.  We typically do our traditional #Easteregg hunt with plastic eggs.   No one really ever eats the hard boiled eggs, so we always do an "after" #Easteregg hunt with the colored ones.  I feel at least we do get another use from all the time spent decorating the eggs, instead of just throwing the pretty eggs away.  My daughter loves it and I don't feel as wasteful.  
Will this be the last #Easteregg hunt of the year for us?  Doubtful, we do them all the time.  My daughter loves to hide them by herself and then have a pretend egg hunt.  I  hide them for her too.  It is a great way for her to entertain herself, which being a only kid sometimes gets tough for her to do.  She fills them up with different items from around the house, coins, fuzzy wuzzies, any trinkets she can find and hides them.  It is a great way to have fun through out the year and to stimulate pretend play.  So, will this be our last #EasterEgg hunt of the year?  Absolutely not!! Have fun hiding those eggs whether real or pretend and may your children have fun finding them. All my best, Dyan
 
What we learn:  Other uses for our once a year toys or games therefore instilling reuse, creativity, sizing objects...what will fit in what size egg, practice opening and closing the eggs learning patience...sometimes the plastic eggs are not so easy to close.
 
What we share:  Inexpensive fun game time, a shared activity and plain #oldfashioned fun!

#Music and #kids go together so well! #childrensmusic Let music #inspire you to do something fun with your kid today!


#Music and #kids go together so well!
#childrensmusic
Let music #inspire you to do something fun with your kid today!  
Swing Swing Swing available on iTunes   #childrensmusic


SWING, SWING, SWING  IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE                                                     
                                           ON iTUNES
(enter swing, swing, swing moms, kids and friends in search field)

OR CLICK ON EITHER LINK BELOW:





 I've always loved #music for the joy it brings into my life.   #Music can bring you back to special times in your life, it book marks special events in your life, it can #inspire, it can make you happy, it can make you sad, it can make you think, move, sing, motivate, bring people together...the list goes on and on!  #beinspired

What I like most about #music is the joy it brings my daughter and I when we are playing, dancing, singing, doing chores or learning new things. There's nothing better then listening to music to make everything just right!   
My daughter has #inspired me to incorporate more music into our lives.  I love it and more importantly, she loves it too!  It has helped me teach her important things about her life and environment.   
I realized when she was just a baby how #music made everything better, taking baths, playing and learning.  She responded so well to simple everyday tasks when I would put them to song.  As she grew, she started helping sing the many songs that we still sing today.  I love #music and have instilled in her this same love of #music.  I am thrilled that she loves #music!  She is learning how to play the piano and sings just about everywhere she goes.  #Music to us is fun, #inspiring, positive, motivational, reflective, nurturing and makes everything better. 
I have released my first single and it it now available on iTunes, cdbaby.com and amazon music.  
You can check it out on my face book page too:  
under music player.  
Swing Swing Swing (the opening #music on moms kids and friends)is a song about playing at the play ground with friends while enjoying all the beauty around you.  Take a listen, I think you will love it!  I do have to warn you though, it's very fun, catchy and will definitely want to make you get up and dance or swing at the park  and you will probably be singing it for the rest of the day.  

Download it, listen, dance and sing with your #kid....#beinspired and get ready to get your happy on....you'll be glad you did.  All of my best to you, Dyan

#Music and #kids...go together so well! 
#childrensmusic


SWING, SWING, SWING  IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE                                                     
                                           ON iTUNES
(enter swing, swing, swing moms, kids and friends in search field)

OR CLICK ON EITHER LINK BELOW:







#Happynewyear! Be #optimistic and teach your kids to be #optimistic Making changes in 2016 - do it!

Smile.  Be #optimistic  Make your dreams come true!#Happynewyear!  Be #optimistic and teach your kids to be #optimistic Making changes in 2016 - do it!


Welcome 2016!  Every year I say it, every year I mean it, every year I try!  "THIS IS MY YEAR!!!"  That's what I say, that's what I mean and that is what I try to do...make it my best year yet.  I am an overly #optimistic person.  I always see the sun through the clouds, the rain and the muck of life.  For example, we are at Disneyland last week, and even though the forecasters said rain, rain and more rain.  I truly believed the sun would come out (and it did-just for a moment, one small moment).  My mother-in-law said to me, "Wow, you really are an #optimist!"  (As it poured all day long!!)  But guess what?  We had an Awesome day!  We didn't have to wait too long for rides, my daughter met most of the characters that she wanted to meet and the crowd was so small that we nearly got to do everything that we wanted in one day.  So, even though the sun didn't shine but for a brief moment in time and we were completely soaked 2x, my #optimism paid off!!  What a whirlwind of fun!  Yes, Walt, our dreams did come true!
As I look at the year ahead and reflect on 2015... Yes!  2016 will be my year!  2015, could have been better, much better.  I turned a 1/2 century, (don't feel like it-thank god 50 is the new 40...lol...does anyone believe that?), my husband was ill, there were several life altering experiences, challenges - almost all bad, growing pains of being a mom and realizing my daughter is growing way too fast, marital issues, the list goes on.  There were days, many days, I prayed for peace, strength, hope, love and laughter.  Some days were better than others.  Some days down right stunk!!!  Actually most days did!  But at the end of it all.  I kept my #optimism.  That today is my day, this is my year!  I'm  a lot like #Annie,  my childhood was close to the equivalent, probably even worse, but with one big difference, no daddy Warbucks.  But that is ok!  Because the sun will come out tomorrow!  And today is my day!  This is my year!  2016 is going to rock! Thank you dad for my forever #optimistic outlook on life!!  As I regroup and let the past be the past, the present remain the present and not worry about the future, I am changing my blog to what I know will be a better site.  See forever #optimistic!  In the meantime, if there is something you need or want to change - do it!  Take the time to make the time to do it!  And, if your going to teach your child one thing today, teach them #optimism.  It could be the best thing they ever learn.  It will show them perseverance, the ability to find the good in everything and every one, hope, happiness within and they will learn to stop and smell the roses of life.  Here's to you in 2016!  May it be your year!  #Happynewyear 
Dyan

PS - May it also be my year to write all of my blog ideas...the folder is overflowing...



Practice #Patience with your kid - #Baking a good learning tool

Practice #Patience with your kid - Baking a good learning tool

We all need a little #patience, right?  I think there was a song about that…. If you are lucky enough to be a #patient person, I wish I was more like you!  One way that I practice #patience is when I am #baking with my daughter.  I love to #bake!  And this time of year is the best time to #bake.  It is like a switch goes off and my oven is in use all the time.  Something to do with the fresh cool air and the holidays right around the corner and my need to reconnect with myself and my family through good old fashioned #baking.  

My daughter and I have enjoyed this shared experience since she could stand up next to me in the kitchen (she even was my audience while still in her high chair).  Every time we #bake, I come to the same conclusion… I love creating things with her in the kitchen, I am a bit of a control freak (a this is how we do it kind of person - so is my daughter) and I have to be #PATIENT! 

This past week we did all things #pumpkin.  #Pumpkin pancakes – yum!  #Pumpkin cheesecake, #pumpkin chia seed pudding – yum yum!! (See Holiday page for recipe).

Filling cupcake holders.One way to practice #patience with your kid is to #bake.  I find that when I #bake with my daughter I have to practice patience, real patience.  She is eager to learn and create.  She loves to measure, mix and pour. She has always loved to create things in a bowl making some concoction or another.  I am a good baker, I always have been.  But I know that it takes patience, correct measurements, time and having the mix of the right ingredients. 

Since she was little I had to always take a deep breath to let her do the work, pouring, sifting, folding, stirring, measuring whatever the next step was, I had to take a step back and let her do it.  This simple small step has given me the ability to teach her and grow with her in the kitchen.  Even if it means, cracked eggshells in your dish, liquids spilled on the counter, flour everywhere, licked fingers in the bowl for the second, third or fourth time. 
I tell myself she is learning, growing and one day will be a good baker and it is OK to make the mess as long as you clean it up, right?  

Having fun learning and practicing patience!Over the past several years I am finding that I am finally becoming more #patient.  I am standing back and letting her have some control.  After all, there are so many valuable lessons, learning opportunities and quality time spent with #baking (I always want this to be something fun we do together), not to mention the delicious creations you can make!

#Patience with #baking is not only practice for you, but for your kid.  My daughter is always in the hurry up and pour, create and taste mood. She also likes to have complete control.  While #baking I take the time to tell her the importance of correct measuring, mixing and the many safety rules of a kitchen.  She has to practice #patience too, which is why this is such a valuable educational task for both of you.

Still don’t think you can be #patient?

If you cannot stand to relinquish the control…you can do what one of my friends does.  She gives some ingredients to her daughter including her own bowls and measuring cups and lets her make her own in her own bowl.  A good way to mix fun and learning without having to be so #patient.

All of us could use a bit more #patience.  In this time and age we live in, it seems everywhere I turn people are getting more and more impatient.  Standing in line at a store, traffic light, school pick-up, with your kids, your spouse….the list goes on and on.  I am just as guilty as the next and have really been trying to focus on being #patient in every aspect of my life, with everyone that I interact with on a daily basis.  Deep breathing, thinking before I act and now #baking.  Grab your favorite cookbook, google your favorite recipe, get your kid in the kitchen and spend some quality time #baking.  All of my best, Dyan

What I learned:  Be more flexible, lighten up and that messes and mistakes are okay.

What we learned:  #Baking improves many skills and is a wonderful learning tool. Depending on your childs age many things can be learned and/or introduced to them.  How to organize ingredients, counting, measuring properly wet and dry ingredients, pouring, cracking eggs, stirring, reading the recipe and labels on ingredients, teamwork, textures of the ingredients, patience, creativity, an everyday task has a plethora of educational value, introducing the concept of fractions, clean-up, kitchen safety the list goes on….what a great way to be with each other, create something delicious and special for yourselves and family.

Get up and bake time - pumpkin cupcakes...yum!What we shared:  A morning of fun, good old-fashioned quality time, laughs, good food, creating memories and practicing #patience together!!

#November a time to #bethankful


#November – a time to #bethankful.  As Halloween and October have come to a close, I look forward to the month of #November.  For me, it is a time to #bethankful!  Don’t get me wrong, I am #thankful for each and every day, this time of year though, I think, I am more aware or at least I try to be.  I have asked my daughter each day this month what she is #thankful for today.  So far, she has told me - family, her dogs (all 4 of them) and life!  I loved her third one – life!
I am #thankful for my health, so I can live each day to its fullest, for my family…my daughter whom I love dearly and who inspires me every day, for my husband, whom I love, cherish and am #grateful for his flexibility with me and the perfect fall day yesterday!  My daughter and I spent the afternoon at the park.  It was cool with a gentle wind, but sunny to keep us warm.  We played kickball, basketball (she made her first 3 basketball free throws ever...granny shots on a regulation net-pretty exciting for her) rode bikes and scooters, rolled down hills, did life size shadow puppets and blew bubbles and chased after them.  What an awesome day we had, we had not spent a day like that in a long time and it was wonderful just to relax, hang out and play.  Not to mention playing is great for you whether you’re 6 or any age!   

make the time for your kids play kickball
make the time for quality time with your kidsmake the time with your kids play basketball                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
fun things to do with your kid at the parkFull size shadow puppets with your kids imagination at its best                                                                                                                                                                                    As we proceed into the month of  #November, I will relish each moment of time. Whether it is interacting with my daughter, husband, family, friends or following my dreams.  Take some time today to reflect on your life and everything you are #thankful for in your life.  #bethankful
 Talk with your kids to see what they are #thankful for, teach them the importance of #gratitude.  Remember to make the time and take the time to spend with your kids, loved ones or yourself this #November.  Create new memories, new traditions, follow old traditions and savor each and every one.  I have some wonderful ideas for crafts, recipes and to #bethankful, starting with what to do with those pumpkins that didn't get decorated or carved this year...so check back often.
 All of my best Dyan

#Pumpkin Craft - #Reusing and #recycling items around the house

Getting ready to create our pumpkins!
Getting ready to create our pumpkins!
#HappyHalloween! Not yet, it is still one week away. My daughter and I created these pumpkins from items around the house. Reusing and recycling. I love it!
All of our supplies.
We used a card board box and old tissue paper. You also need, glue, scissors, paint brushes, paint - orange and green. (Black if you want to paint the eyes, nose and mouth) and pencil. That's it!
All of our supplies.
Sketch of pumpkin.
Sketch of pumpkin.
1. Sketch pumpkin. 2. Paint in the orange paint for the face. 3. Paint the stem green. 4. Glue the tissue paper in place for the eyes, nose and mouth. (One thing I need to mention, I did not have black tissue paper, so I thought easy...I'll color with black marker, wouldn't suggest this, either use black tissue paper or paint for the eyes, nose and mouth). It did turn out cute, but was more time consuming than I realized!!
Painted pumpkin.
After paint is dry and eyes, nose and mouth are finished. Cut out.
Painted pumpkin.
Finished pumpkins.
Finished pumpkins.
We love them! Put them in the windows so you can see from the street. They turned out great! The best part is we used everything from what we had on hand. We reused and #recycled and created our own pumpkin decorations to use for years to come. Happy Pumpkin creating! All of my best, Dyan

Make the most of your mornings with your school aged kids

Please enjoy this repost from last year...it is a wonderful reminder to make the time and take the time to spend quality time with my daughter...and I wrote it!  Second grade is here and I miss her even more than when she was in first grade.  Time is clicking, clicking away, she is getting older and more independent.  Enjoy the moment, because that is all we have.  PS...I still sing the nursery rhymes, can't help myself, or some of my own songs about school, enjoying the moment, one breath at a time.  All of my best,  Dyan

One of the hardest things about going #backtoschool for me is not getting to spend the quality time with my child as I used to when she was in preschool or kindergarten. 

This year she started first grade, her days are longer and she has more homework.  We still have managed to incorporate a couple of after school activities.  I find myself wondering where has time gone and how can she be almost 7??  Unfortunately, as we all know there is nothing we can do with time, it goes by whether we want it to or not.  But one thing we can do is make the most of the time we have and try to make the most of every moment that we have been given.

In kindergarten, I found that we did a lot of racing around in the morning getting ready and off to school on time.  This year, I have decided that we both need more time to connect in the morning.  My daughter needs more time to eat a healthy breakfast, more time to get her brain ready for the day, more time to talk to me and more time to hear how special she is.  I need more time too…more time to tell her how special she is, more time to hear how and what she is learning in school, more time to hear if she has any difficulties, more time to tell her how much I love her, more time to tell her how proud I am of her and more time to talk and bond.  That being said, I am trying to make the most of our mornings together.  I have given her an extra 20 minutes for her morning to just relax, eat breakfast and to talk about whatever she needs to talk about. During this time I try and listen to her, what is bothering her, what excites her, read a book, whatever she may need.  I know that 20 minutes isn’t a lot, but it is enough time to bond and strengthen our relationship, our trust and to be there for my kid.

Every morning I take the time to wake her up in a loving way with singing a favorite lullaby or song, scratching her back or talking to her if something exciting is happening for the day.  I let her climb on my back and give her a piggy back ride to the kitchen while pretending I am a train leaving the train station..all aboards and chug a choos.  These days of innocence will be gone in a blink.  I believe the seeds I sow now for a nurturing and caring morning will bring me benefits of closeness and trust in the future. 

Garden picked strawberry for breakfastToday I woke her up to let her know the strawberry in our garden had finally turned red and was ready to eat, she was so excited to see it she got right out of bed!  Not every morning is so easy, but I try to be patient, be kind and creative with hopes that she has the best morning as well, to keep that #positive attitude I have instilled on her since she was born.

Tomorrow morning make the time to take the time or take the time and make the time to have quality morning time with your kids.  Be patient.  Don’t scream to get ready on time.  Listen. Talk about what is on their minds.  Make a special breakfast.  Give lots of kisses and hugs.  Tell your kids how proud you are of them!!  Most of all be in the moment that short special moment that is given to you each and every morning. Tomorrow morning make the most of your morning with your school aged kids.

 All of my best, Dyan

Happy Mothers Day - #MOM

Happy Mothers Day to all of the moms out there.  Without you the world could not function, this I am convinced!!! Take the time to enjoy the time with your children and your families today.  Leave your expectations behind and enjoy the moments of today.  Without your wonderful, beautiful children, you would not be a #MOM. Savor the day!  If you don't get breakfast made in bed for you today... make one of your own favorites.  If you don't go out for lunch or dinner...make it easy on yourself and have left overs.  If you have to go to work...make time to spend some quality time for your self and child before or after work. 
 
Whatever it is you do today be thankful for your "mom" qualities and spend some time with your family, kids and friends.  Have a wonderful day!  All my best, Dyan
*Note : This is a repost from 2013...I had visions of all things mom this year starting with a special countdown.  Unfortunately, with my obligations as a homeroom mom and teacher appreciation this week, I fell far far behind.  I guess this is one of the things moms constantly do, is fall behind on life.  I was talking to a dear friend of mine yesterday and we asked each other "Why do moms always do for others and forget about themselves?"  We all know the answer to that question...it's because we are a #MOM.   Even though, I am consistently behind on my things to do, I don't workout enough, I sometimes don't eat right, I definitely do NOT get enough sleep.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love being a #MOM. I cherish being a #MOM. I am so blessed to be a #MOM.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to my husband and my daughter for letting me be a #MOM.  I may not be perfect and I am sometimes crabby (not enough sleep remember...).  But I always try my best!  And I know you all do too!!  Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers in the world!!  Old, young, new, step, whatever #MOM you are...the best to you!  Dyan 
 
 

#nationalpuppyday - For the love of dogs rescue one today

#nationalpuppydayFor the love of dogs rescue one today!!  
#nationalpuppyday    

This is a repost from last year, and I wanted to share again in honor of #nationalpuppyday.  If you are considering purchasing a puppy, please check with your local rescue organizations first.  There are many puppies that need to be adopted in all shapes, sizes and breeds.  Typically they will go quick, but they are available for adoption.  If you miss your opportunity for the young puppy, who knows, you might just fall in love with the older one in the next cage...senior dogs need love too!  
 
I wanted to share a link with anyone and everyone who might be searching for that perfect pet.  


Yes, it is great to go to the local pet store and see all those cute puppies barking, wagging their tails at you and asking for you to take them home.  But over the years, I have found a better way to make a pet part of your family, a way that helps your community, rescuing dogs.  There are so many dogs that need to be rescued every day, every breed and those cute little mixes too!  

Before I met my husband he rescued many dogs, his preference in breed was the Great Dane.  After we met, I rescued my first two Shih Tzu’s.  I wanted a pet to keep my older Shih Tzu company.  After much deliberation and discussion I did it!  The first time I rescued, I talked to my groomer who was pretty much an all Shih Tzu groomer and asked her if any of her clients needed a home for their Shih Tzu, low and behold they did.  A women that was heavily involved in the rescues of Shih Tzus, became very ill and could not take care of them any longer.  They were frantically looking for homes for the dogs, otherwise, they would be forced to put them down.   
#nationalpuppyday
I was so happy that we asked her and just in the nick of time!  I was only going to rescue one, but after seeing the other one waiting for a home, I just couldn’t resist and rescued two.  The dogs were so happy to have a home, one of them wagged her tail the whole way home and quite frankly I think wagged her tail for the next 8 years nonstop!   Truly, the happiest dog I have ever met!  

Our family loved them both instantly and we made our family of dogs work.  Great Danes and Shih Tzus turned out to be the perfect mix for our family.  The new additions kept my little Shih Tzu boy happy and company.  I believe it was one reason why he lived to almost 17 years old.  They helped each other in ways that I never knew existed in the dog world.  

So, after 17 years of my first real pet, we rescued again.  I called my groomer and low and behold there was a client that needed a home for his Shih Tzu.  A male, a perfect fit for my female at home.  So cute and he even resembled my 17 year old.  We love him so much and he, I believe, helped our other dog live longer and helped her get around the house as her vision started to fail her because of old age.
#nationalpuppyday
This year after the loss of our beloved Shih Tzu, we rescued again.  This time my groomer didn’t have any Shih Tzus that needed a home.  So, I went on-line and researched and researched and researched.  My husband decided to help me and he found this website that we really felt comfortable with and knew that the rescuers were true angels with a true love of dogs and their well-being.  


After talking back and forth and deliberating on the cutest Shih Tzu we again could not resist and adopted two.  One was blind and I knew if I didn’t adopt her no one would.  (I have the temperament and patience to have a blind dog.  Just a note it might not be for everyone).  But with two elderly blind Shih Tzu’s previously it was an easy fit for me.  We instantly feel in love with both of them!  


#nationalpuppyday#nationalpuppyday










This time we adopted a 3 year old as my daughters pet and the blind one we call PK is about 6, both keep our now aging 12 year old young and happy with hopes that he will live to at least 17.  

If you are considering a pet, please look at this rescue, which has affiliations that rescue and place all breeds and mixes.  There are donation fees if you are inclined to do so, but at the astronomical price of dogs these days and the need for many dogs in rescues to find a home, I am not sure why anyone would start their search anywhere else.  Good luck in your search for the perfect rescue dog, they will bring you happiness and you will literally make their day!  Bow wow for now!  Dyan


What we learned:  Take your time in researching for the right breed or mix for your home.  Do your research on the rescuers.  If you have other dogs at home make sure you find a good fit for them, you don’t want any bad feelings coming from your other pet (s).  We knew from the temperaments’ of our dogs that our males would not like other males so we adopted females, a good companion choice for them.  You will have to fill out applications and donation fees are appreciated, but the cost really goes to help the rescue with their costs.  Rescuing dogs is so important with our over population of pets today that rescues really need our help.  Dogs are a wonderful way for families to bond, with walking, playing and teaching your child responsibilities.  They bring so much happiness to our home we hope they do the same for you!

Valentines Day Mailbox and Puppet House

Make this wonderful Valentines Day craft from a box you have around the house.  Reuse and recycle!  Enjoy making this with your kids this year!  We love it and still put ours out every year.  All of my best, Dyan 
Valentines Day House/Mailbox
Valentines Day House/Mailbox
This Valentines Day House/Mailbox turned out better than I thought! We had a lot of fun putting it together and it was a craft well worth doing. Now we have a place to put all of my daughters Valentines. She was also inspired to use it as a puppet house for her new puppets she received for Valentines Day.
Back of the House/Mailbox
This was a multi-purpose craft and we will definitely keep it for next year.
Back of the House/Mailbox
Side View-we decorated the whole house...what fun!
Side View-we decorated the whole house...what fun!
What we learned: A lot with this one...patterns, sorting, counting/numbers, colors, stacking, creativity, design, imagination in creating the perfect house, lines and using straight lines to create a fence, shapes in creating windows, doors, trees and butterflies, practiced handwriting, cutting with scissors and creative thinking in a multi purpose house (puppet, play and Valentine card holder).
Top view of our Happy Valentines House.
What we shared: laughs, happiness, time together, working as a team, creativity and how to express it, crafting to brighten our home, fun and learning.
Top view of our Happy Valentines House.
Keep the imagination going...kids have great ideas too! My daughters Valentines puppet theater.
Keep the imagination going...kids have great ideas too! My daughters Valentines puppet theater.
What we used to create our craft: box-any size construction paper-red,white,pink glue tape scissors-always help your child and use safety rules stickers-regular and foam markers craft stick,gogglie eyes for person

Tag your it - the best things in life are free -#timewithyourkids

My family  and I have finally recovered  from a 10 day long, knock out, icky virus!  As, I am slowly getting back in the swing of things...please enjoy this repost, one of my favorites, in case you missed it.  The best things in life are free...if you actually take the time to enjoy them, #timewithyourkids that is... and I hope you do!  All of my best, Dyan


What a crazy day...last minute 1099 stuff, phone calls to set-up service man for our move back into our home (after our daughter's illness), health insurance needed to be renewed and waiting for a phone call from the car dealer on when my car would be ready for pick-up. Finally, I could break away for a minute and promised my daughter sometime outside. "The park or just playing in the grassy area of the park?", I ask. "Playing in the grassy area," she shouts as we get ready to go outside. We grabbed a ball, frisbee and put on our gym shoes and headed to the park. 
On our way to the park she states she wants to play TAG YOUR IT, one of her favorite games. We get to the park, throw the frisbee around for a bit, (she is still learning to catch it), so we basically just throw it and race to see who gets it first. The same with the ball and then TAG YOUR IT. As we run around the park, she screams happy screams, laughs and runs like crazy back to what she calls base - to have a break, her safe haven where no one can be tagged or be the tagger.  It is always fun to pretend like your exhausted and can't go on and then sneak a tag in and run the other direction. As we run around like crazy playing tag, I realize, my daughters coordination has improved and that she is faster than ever. I am still pretty quick even for a 47 year old mom.  I told my husband tonight at dinner that she is getting quicker or I am getting older, maybe it is both. I am happy to say though, that I enjoyed every minute of tagging and getting tagged and got a great workout in the meantime. 

The best part of my day was TAG YOUR IT and hearing my daughters laughter and excitement. THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE...running around the park hearing her say those words "TAG YOUR IT" was priceless. 

What we learned: Plain old fashioned running around is not only great exercise, but the most fun you can have for free with your child, that moms and kids can have quality time without phones or other electronic gadgets, getting out of the house even for just 35 minutes is a great way to refresh your minds, spirits and souls. 
What she learned: Mom can still run fast and play, spending quality time with her is very important and that young is all a frame of mind.

TAG YOUR IT.....all my best, Dyan
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