Happiness Tuesdays #35

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 #35


Here are 3 things that make me happy:


1) Scott, Lauren, and I went to a wine-tasting on the grounds at Meadowbrook on Saturday… a beautiful sunny day, lots of people enjoying both the wine and the weather:) I brought home a raspberry wine in a tall, slim wine bottle and a chocolate wine that tastes just like Kahlua!!


2) You know how much I love memories and photos, right? …and that I have 35 albums, right?   So I thought I’d share a family memory from each one…today, from album #1:

isn't he cute?


3) Blogger Doreen has written our first blog review for “How to Break 10 Common Childhood Myths”….here is a link if you’d like to hear what she had to say:)



I hope you find many things that make you happy every day…share them with your children:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Checklist: Chores

Beginning of the year or beginning of the school year…maybe we could all use some reminders on how to handle chores:)

This is a repost from January:

There are many different types of chores, all very important. Here are a few:
1. Type 1 is the everyday chore: the one you want your kids to do everyday – duh, sorry, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Anyway…brushing teeth, making bed, feeding dog, clearing the table, or whatever you want the kids to do based on age and developmental abilities…all become everyday chores. Do you have a chore chart??

from Current, Inc.

Charts can be very helpful in encouraging kids to want to do their jobs. Use old-fashioned stickers or markers or make up a check-off program on the computer to keep track of success.  Then use a small treat as an incentive at the end of the week if all chores are completed…the dollar stores are helpful in choosing!

2. Type 2 chore is the now-and-then chore:
the overflowing basement toy box

When the toy box is overflowing, the bedroom is a mess, the bookcase is empty because the books are all over the floor, or any other area that is “theirs” needs work…….Have the kids set a timer for 20 minutes at a time. Say, “Let’s work hard for 20 minutes, then you can do something fun for 10 minutes.” Make sure that you work with them to keep them going. As they get older you can leave them alone to work for longer periods of time but not unless they have copied your work ethic for quite a while. The 20 minute intervals continue until the job is done, or until you’re worn out.

is the job done yet???

3. The Type 3 chore is one where the kids help the family do household jobs. These jobs encourage being a part of a productive family and give children a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and pride.

helping clean out the fireplace

4. The Type 4 chore is kids helping with an adult project. They can help Dad build a trailer or help Mom organize photos – anything that gives them an opportunity to see the work that the family members do and to learn how that work ethic works. It also gets them out of that couch potato rut. The younger you put them to work with you, the better. As they get older, whether they like it or not, they’ll consider helping to be a normal part of the family routine.

helping with a garage project

5. The Type 5 chore involves learning skills they can use in the future: changing a bicycle tire, baking cookies, raking leaves, folding laundry. If they will use the skill in the future, then they should begin learning it early as a part of a loving family experience.

fixing a flat tire

Try to keep the idea of doing chores as pleasant a task as possible…I know, that sounds ridiculous, right? But…turn on the music, laugh with each other, lighten up!!! It doesn’t have to be drudgery. Remember, you are the role model. If you’re a grouchy worker, they will be too!!! Be happy, be positive!

With school starting up again, some sort of structure will be helpful in the continuing battle to teach responsibility, both at school and at home:)

Happy Parenting,
D and C 






Book Club Pick!

Are you looking for a new book for your book club? Are you a parent…or a teacher…or a grandparent….or someone looking for a baby shower gift, preparing for Christmas gifts….birthdays, or just looking for a fun read?


I got to be a guest speaker at a lovely book club gathering last night. These wonderful ladies had chosen How to Break 10 Common Childhood Myths as their book for August and invited me to discuss it with them. How exciting is that? It was so much fun because the message of the book isn’t negative about what we don’t do as parents, but positive about what we do right. Everyone can use a hint now and then, right? Our book hopes to enrich your parenting experience by sharing silly and/or serious stories from our family and classrooms, giving you ideas to use or share with others.

If you wish to see a couple of sample pages from our first ‘childhood myth’….”No Means Yes”… just head to Amazon at the above link and you can check it out:)


Maybe if you choose a certain book for your book club a certain person might come join your discussion:))


Thanks, book clubbers, for making us feel that our adventure has been worthwhile. It means a lot to us!!


If you have any questions about book clubs, workshops, home parties …anything to do with parenting and/or teaching…send them along, and we’ll be happy to answer them:)


Happy us….and Happy Parenting!

D and C

Happiness Tuesdays #34

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 #34


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) absolutely gorgeous Michigan weather…78 degrees, bright sun, slight breeze…ahhh:)

2) Chad and I presented a Childhood Myths seminar for student teachers from CMU…so much fun…shared a few classroom management tips:)


3) Our book  How to Break 10 Common Childhood Myths was chosen for a book club in our area:))   I’m going to be a guest speaker for them tomorrow night when they discuss it!!


What a happy week…already!! I’m going to try to keep it up:)

How about you??


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Omelets in a bag??

So what is this about actually making omelets in a bag?? Are you crazy?


Well, sure, we are crazy…but we do know how to make omelets in a bag…literally!!


Our group of friends was Up North recently, and 7 of us wanted to have omelets for breakfast. Normally that would mean a lot of work and cooking things separately so each person could have what they wanted in their own omelet. Sometimes you would pair up with common ingredients and share one omelet.


We had tried this ‘bag thing’ before and loved it! This is how it’s done:

Start by boiling water in a large pot on the stove.


1. You need quart-size freezer bags and a permanent marker to mark your own bag with your initials.

2. Gather all the ingredients you have and put them in separate bowls. We had tomatoes, spinach, roasted red peppers, ham, bacon, feta cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese.

see all the goodies?


3. Have people put the ingredients they like in their own bag.

4. Crack 2 eggs directly into the bag.

5. Zip it shut, and squish it all together….yes, that’s right squish!!



6. Put everyone’s bags into the boiling water at the same time.

7. Ignore them for 11-13 minutes!!

8. Remove bags from the water, open them, and r-o-l-l them out onto the plate. They automatically form into a light, fluffy omelet, and everyone may eat at the same time!

I don’t have a picture of the final product because we were too busy eating…sorry:(

Seriously…this is so much fun for adults…can you imagine how much fun you could have with your kids??


I hope you find something fun to do with your family today.


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Pure Michigan :)

Have you heard about the Pure Michigan advertising that has been used to help promote Michigan tourism?


How about a little more for the ‘Pure Michigan’ campaign? After going up North this past week and spending time with friends, I can share a few examples that make all of us Michiganders proud of where we live…

Here is the Traverse City area:

beautiful sky

wonderful place to stay with friends..over 30 years' worth:)

see the loons on Long Lake near Traverse City?

lovely morning sunshine...

And here is the Alden area:

...in the city...

birds have a great view here, don't they?

the trail at Coy Mt.

sunset at Torch Lake

...and good-bye to all from northern Michigan

It’s not Tuesday, but I couldn’t wait to share these beautiful places that definitely make me happy!! They have been important in the lives of my family and the Torch Lake Group families as well.  We love it there….how’s that for a ‘Pure Michigan’ spot!?!

Find your happy spot and enjoy!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Happiness Tuesdays #33

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 #33


Here are 3 things that make me happy:


1) summer TV – White Collar, Rizzoli and Isles, the Glades, Suits,  So You Think You Can Dance, and many others!


2) opening the door wall and letting in cooler and fresher air!!


3) old friends and new:

And sometimes the old and new friends are the same people:)


Happy, happy, happy….start smiling, folks!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Organizing your Morning

School day mornings can be sooo stressful! Everyone has been there at one time or another…the age of the child doesn’t matter, the issues just change a little!


We talked in the past about organizing your evenings so that stress would be reduced in the morning….things like putting clothes out, backpack with all assignments waiting by the back door, jackets, shoes, lunches all ready to go and always in the same places.


So today, how about trying to find a calm way to get up in the morning??  Most kids do not want to wake up on your schedule…only on theirs. When they are very young they wake up before you want them to, but as they get older you feel like you need to drag them out of that bed:)


Here’s a suggestion for your school age munchkins…may be helpful, may not…but could be worth a try!


Try a countdown in the mornings:

About 5 minutes before you want them out of bed:

Go in the room….say “5 Minutes!”

Two minutes later, go back in the room…give ‘em a kiss and say “2 Minutes!”

After 2 minutes, go in the room, turn on the lights(the part my boys hated the most) and say “Up and at ‘em” and walk out of the room.  They need to believe that you trust them to follow your directions.


Check after one minute and say “Let’s go!” and start giving them their clothing, remind them to brush their teeth and have them head downstairs(or wherever yours need to be). Make sure they don’t need to go back upstairs once they’re down…it could be a stall tactic. Breakfast…not usually time for “what do you want?”…just put out what you want them to eat. Give them another 2 minute warning before it’s time to head out the door. One last reminder to grab all of their things. You be the last one out so you can check to make sure the backpacks and lunches are not still waiting to be picked up.


There will always be a morning or two that goes crazy on you, but hopefully a tip here and there can make most of your mornings happy and a cheerful way for your kids to start their day:)

busy at school

When children have calm, easy-going mornings they tend to be more successful in school. Aim for a stress-free morning:)


Happy Parenting,

D and C



Flowers. Stop. Smell!

Whether you have already begun your school year or still have a few weeks left, stopping to think…grow….enjoy…is always important for your well-being and your kids’!!

Make sure you do enjoy the little things….like your kids do!

Flowers, raindrops, bugs, puddles, anything that you might pass by which seems to interest your kids. Stop and enjoy!


Actually do ‘Stop and smell the flowers”!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Happiness Tuesdays #32

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 #32


Here are 3 things that make me happy:


1) a welcome shower of rain to help cool things down just a touch…


2) connecting with friends, old and new…


3) and always, always, these guys!!!

I love you bunches, you two!! You definitely make me happy!


Search high and low for what makes you happy…and go get it!

It will be a great lesson in perseverance for your children:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C