End of the Year Checklist

Did you accomplish what you wanted to this year? Did your children? How about checking a few things to see if you kept on track….


Did you clean and organize? Did your kids help you and learn to do their own?

clean out that dresser!

removing wallpaper can be hard....

Did you learn a few new recipes and get the kids involved with the measuring and chopping? Great for math and reading skills:)

making Christmas cookies

Did you choose some things to donate to others? Did your children get to do that with their own toys and clothing? The ‘giving mentality’ lasts a long time!

how many toys can I find in here?

Did you read, read, read to them and with them? You will never regret the time you spend with your children, no matter how old they are….

Did you show the kids how to take care of their things by letting them help you take care of yours?  Cleaning garages or houses….fixing cars or sewing clothes…dusting, baking, vacuuming, learning to use screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches…tools of all kinds. When kids are very little, they really want to help. As they get older….not so much:)    But if they are already in the habit of helping, it just comes more naturally.

helping in the basement

learning how to mow the lawn:)

helping build a trailer

workin' in the yard

Can I do it???

always fun...washing cars

Now is the time to check out what you and your children have done this year. Have you both learned what you would have hoped for?? Great…keep it up! Every little bit of learning will show up in their futures! Have fun with them and teach them what you want them to know!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

List of Intentions

At the beginning of 2011, I wrote about writing a list, or letter, of intentions. I learned about doing intentions, instead of resolutions, from Diane at “A Spot of Whimsy”. What an amazing difference in my mindset! Intentions can continue without a definite date and can be ongoing. I made a list of 24 things off the top of my head that I really wanted to accomplish sometime ‘sooner rather than later’. Some of the items I didn’t realize I wanted to do until I wrote them down.


None of this was ‘official’ in any way, and I didn’t share them with others…I really wanted to see how I did on my own. Checking the list throughout the year helped…because sometimes you forget the things you actually thought you wanted to do!!


Want to know how I did?  I completed, in full, 19 of the 24 items! I reassessed  2 items….decided I didn’t need to figure out iTunes, but could use Pandora instead! I couldn’t work on my quilt (after finishing Chad’s) because the hand sewing messed up my thumb for about 4 months!!! I’ll continue that intention for this coming year:)   The items I “intended” to do , but didn’t….can be continued into the new year, without guilt!!


Pretty cool process, right?

Here are a few of the completed intentions on my list:

gave blood

continued the blog (I guess you know that!)

started Happiness Tuesdays (I guess you know that too)

donated time and $ to school

organized a birthday card folder w/cards

organized closets

cleaned garage and attic

doll collection from cleaning the attic!

integrated our website, blog, events

self-published our book

e-published the book

did workshops at schools (still working on childcare facilities and church groups)

finished Chad’s quilt

shared kindness (hope so)

got the piano tuned

organize photos…not in the way I thought I would…but organized!


Other parts of the list included supporting others with love and $ and time….hope I did that also…

my lovelies, last year....

...and this year :)

My intentions always include finding joy and happiness…I think we do that! What about you??


Happy Parenting!

D and C


Happiness Tuesdays #52…wow! A Year’s Worth!

Happiness Counts!


Happiness Tuesdays are here to tell you some things that make me happy and to share with you quotes, websites, and photos to make you happy!

Happiness Tuesdays #52


Here are three things that make me happy:


This time of year I could put many things here, so how about these…


1) Out to eat with the guys and their girls…love it

2) a Christmas get together with our Torch Lake friends

the 'kids'

...and the big guys:)

3) Christmas Day with my favorite people :)

beautiful, inside and out...

love them:)

I hope the holidays brought you joy, gave you peace, and relieved a bit of that pre-Christmas stress. Find your happiness with the people you love!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Merry Christmas to everyone this Christmas evening!


The kids (big ones) have come and gone, opened presents, stuffed our faces, spent lovely time together. Ahhhh…love it!

Happiness Tuesdays will bring you lucky people photos from this year’s festivities…. :)


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Christmas Share – Day 24

Nearing the end of  Pargas 25 Days of Christmas!

Join Emily today with her winter time craft:

December 24, 2011

Featured Blog – My Crazy Bliss

There are so many fun things to make for the holidays. I wanted to think of something unique and fun to put in my windows this year. This craft is great because it can be used all winter long, not just at Christmas time. I’m happy that we don’t get snow here too often, but snowflakes go along with the cold weather!

Continue reading post at My Crazy Bliss

Christmas Eve! Be Happy!

D and C

Christmas Share – Day 23

Well, hello there!
I’m McCall from Lee, Me, and the Girls,
and I fully believe that no part of the year carries more traditions than Christmas.
From the food to the family, we all want the holiday season to be special and fun.
On December 23rd, I’ll be posting about some of my  favorite traditions
as well as some I wish were my traditions.
And most importantly, I’ll be talking about the traditions that help us keep in mind the true meaning of this wonderful time of year.
I hope you’ll join me, and I wish you all a very merry Christmas!

Remembering Manners + Christmas Share – Day 22

The Thursday before Christmas??? Are you ready? Are your children ready to be cheerful and happy with what they receive…no matter what it is?

are you grateful for each other?


Maybe a little discussion is needed…talking about the difference between wants and needs…talking about those less fortunate…talking about manners and making those around you feel comfortable!  Lots of discussions, spur of the moment kinds of talks…what do you hear and see on TV and music…is that how you want your kids to respond to others?

Speak up…let them know how you want ‘your’ family to act and react during this crazy, festive, stressful holiday season!  Kids will only go as far as you let them…so check for the coming meltdowns and distract and redirect to help them find something interesting to do.

Please and thank you are important lessons to pass on to your children…and they learn them from watching you and your interactions with them and others.

use any kind of thank you's...

How about thanking Santa for the goodies?

Loving the season, the reason, the family, and the day….be happy and joyful (even if it hurts)….


Happy Parenting and Christmas Sharing,

D and C


From This Mama Says….for Christmas share



Christmas is just right around the corner and normally the last thing that everyone is shopping for are those small gifts and stocking stuffers. All those little things you kept saying to yourself that you’d pick up later….. Well ‘later’ is NOW!

Here is a great list of OVER 100 small and inexpensive gift ideas! I don’t know about you, but I hate filling stockings and buying small ‘filler’ presents only to be throwing away those things within weeks, because they were junk!

This year I’ve decided that instead of wasting money, I’m buying things that are either needed, useful or consumable!

Another great idea for coworkers, friends or family is to group some of these items together for a “theme basket”. I tried to group the items together as best I could! Here are a few suggestions… Baking, coffee, makeup, nails, art, golf, spa, electronics, car care, etc.

Also, considering that most of these items are $5.00 or less this would be a wonderful way to bless a family in need! We will be filling a stocking to send to our World Vision child, but you could also drop off with a charity, a church or a specific family that you know! What a wonderful blessing to someone you could be! And what a lesson it would be for your children!


Christmas Share – Day 21

Join Parga’s Junkyard as we share Christmas with some of the web’s best bloggers!

December 21, 2011 Features It’s Not Over til You Quit

Do you have a favorite Christmas book? Has it changed since you were little? The books I read at Christmas have changed but I still love the idea of have specific books for Christmas. Right now my favorite Christmas book to read with my nephews is the Hawaiian version of the night before Christmas. It’s nice to bring that piece of my childhood alive when I live so far away and remember reading books about snowy Christmas’ on Christmas eve wishing I could experience that!

Come on over to It’s Not Over Til You Quit to see how reading this Christmas book goes in my house and hear how you can enjoy Christmas no matter where you are!

Happiness Tuesdays #51 and Christmas Share – Day 20

Happiness Counts!


Happiness Tuesdays are here to tell you some things that make me happy and to share with you quotes, websites, and photos to make you happy!

Happiness Tuesdays #51


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) a fully decorated tree…old, sentimental, lovely ornaments

filled with love

and more love


2) Chad and Scott each did these cross stitch stockings in their fifth grade classrooms…aren’t they wonderful?  Both the stockings and the boys!!!

lots of math involved in these projects!

3) My mop angels bring me happiness every Christmas! I received the first one about 15 years ago from a mother of a 6th grade student (thank you, C) and now have five of them! They are so beautiful and definitely share the Christmas spirit with me!

look at those sweet faces!

Christmas brings us joy and happiness if we let it! Happiness to all of you and your families this holiday season!


Happy Parenting and Christmas Sharing,

D and C

Join Parga’s Junkyard as we Share Christmas with some of the web’s best bloggers!

December 20th, 2011

Featured Blog – Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the chance to share special meals with friends and family… but what can you do if some of your loved ones are allergic to your favorite traditional foods? It can be tricky to avoid gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, fish and nuts… the most common food allergens. But take hope! I’ve searched the internet to find delicious recipes that are free of the top 8 allergens, and I’ve collected them here with photos and links to inspire your own holiday feast! (click for more).

Christmas Share – Day 19

Coupons For Wisconsin has joined up with Parga’s Junkyard and many other holiday-lovin’ blogs to bring you tips to get you through the craziness of this season!

December 19, 2011

Featured Blog – Coupons For Wisconsin

Even with everyone looking for a little more help in tight economic times, individuals seem to be feeling extra charitable over the last year. I am not going to go into all the details, but to make a it short, dollars donated have increased 1.3% from 2010 to 2011. Surprising, right? But as more is being donated, more is also needed. Holidays tend to bring more awareness to charities, and donation opportunities are presented at almost every retailer you visit. How do you react to these opportunities?

Do you donate every chance you get?

Do you throw a handful of coins into the Salvation Army’s red bucket once or twice?

Do you do whatever you can to avoid contact with the donation seekers because you literally don’t even have a penny to give?

Just last year, I was in the last category. In a way, I still am in that last category! But I have discovered alternative, more creative ways to give to others besides pulling cash out of my pocket. Join me in the joy of helping strangers celebrate this magical season, and explore how you too can donate on a dime.