Christmas tips

For any of you wondering what got me started blogging in the first place…

I was very much interested in helping parents – with ideas to share about children and Christmas – always hoping for respect, manners, and joy to be a major part of every child’s world.

From December, 2010 … Part 1 of 3


This is the first of a three part series on holiday gift giving.
Today we’ll talk about the “giving” of presents. How do you involve your children in the giving spirit of the season?? Well, the operative word here is INVOLVE!

Decide with your children who they will give gifts to: Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparents, teacher, and anyone else you think appropriate. Remember that some of the most precious gifts family members can receive are those that have been made by the children in their lives.

Then decide, based on the child’s age, who will pay and how much. When children are very young, obviously the parents will be in charge of buying gifts and helping with decision-making. As children get older they can begin contributing some of their own money as the decision of what to give becomes more their own. Many schools offer Santa Shops where kids can purchase inexpensive items for all of their special people, and in some cases, the Santa Shop elves even help them with wrapping presents before the kids take them home.

Do include your children in the wrapping of gifts to give to family members. Involving your kids in thinking about what to give, who to give to and why, and preparing the gift increases their ability to care about others and to think about someone besides themselves.

an obvious overabundance!!
gifts of clothing can be fun:)
Christmas photos when they’re young…
…and when they’re older – always important!!

Remember to teach your children important messages in the little things you do every day, especially during the holidays!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Super Saturday #24

Hurray for Super Saturday #24…

Beautiful things, exciting things, inspiring ones…I’ll share with you those things that bring me joy and make me happy!


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) spending time with my mom

2) my lovely TLG friends…who celebrate my honey’s life every Nov. 10th…cannot believe he’s been gone for 17 years!! Luckily for me, I know he is still with me:)))



and now…with my buds!!

3) my 2 new ‘daughters’ took me to see Mamma Mia the Musical….as an early Christmas gift. It was so much fun to spend time with them …. and I LOVE musicals:))) Thanks, darling girls!!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Extra Holiday Stuff

Starting to take the ‘holiday’ stuff down and return it all to the basement…but I only do a little bit at a time. I really do love all the decorations, and it’s hard to go ‘cold turkey’ back to what all of a sudden seems very empty!!

still up...not quite ready to take it down

a yummy 'signature' drink

d making those cocktails

LOVE photo cards

the boys actually made these in the 5th grade!

the couples:)

love them lots!

Thanks for letting me share….


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Joyful Thursdays #49

What brings you joy, makes you happy, gives you peace? Here are some photos, quotes, and thoughts that make me joyful.


Joyful Thursdays #49


Here are three things that make me happy and bring me joy:


1) Scott and Lauren’s engagement continues to make me very happy…

aren't they cute?

2) I found my own ‘elf’ on the floor downstairs one morning…. someone took it off the tree…can you guess who that might be??

3) new stockings this year….love them!!

Their pups have stockings now, too!


This is a lovely week isn’t it….between Christmas and a brand new year! Count your blessings, and share them with your kids!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Some News and a Merry Christmas!

Scott and Lauren are engaged!!!   ….as of Christmas Eve morning, during a walk with the puppy in the park!

We are all so excited!!

the happy couple :)

My lovely, romantic son actually found the ring she had posted on pinterest….sneaky, huh?


We all celebrated at our traditional Christmas Eve dinner out…with Lauren’s family and ours, too :)

An exciting start to our Christmas!!!!

A very Merry Christmas to all of you


Happy Parenting,

D and C

A TLG Christmas

Another beautiful TLG Christmas…delicious meal, great presents, but most of all…wonderful friends!!!

Every year, as many of us as possible get together and have FUN!!!  9 of the 12 possible adults, 8 of the possible 15 “kids”…..

a signature cocktail...

a yummy pork roast

many tasty side dishes...

great folks...

more lovelies...

I love these people sooo much…those who attended and those who couldn’t…        Our Torch Lake Group:))

One of our continuing traditions since the kids were babies! More traditions coming soon!


Happy Parenting!

D and C


Joyful Thursdays #48

What brings you joy, makes you happy, gives you peace? Here are some photos, quotes, and thoughts that make me joyful.


Joyful Thursdays #48


Here are three things that make me happy and bring me joy:


1) working on doing 26 acts of kindness…love it!

#1 & #2 – drug store gift cards left at the pharmacy

#3, 4, & 5 – small box of chocolate to smiling cashiers

#6 – 12 – bought a book for each grade level and dropped them off in classrooms

#13 – Barnes and Noble gift card for media center person to buy books for school

#14 – today when I deliver Meals on Wheels I’m giving each senior a flower also :)

2) continuing to come up with ideas in the coming weeks to finish out 26 acts…and hopefully continue with more

ideas: gift cards for crossing guards and police at schools, gift cards(or $) stuck to packages of diapers at KMart and Target, buy towels for rescue centers, buy socks and/or mittens for senior center… you have any more for me??


3) new sugar cookie recipe was yummy and easier than cutout cookies!!

Keep finding the joy this season…laugh with your kiddies:) Make beautiful memories!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C


Helping Remember

C and I were checking out the ornaments on last year’s tree, and I was telling him the stories of each one…where and who it came from, how long we had had it, whatever I could remember. C said I should take a photo of each ornament and tell the story on the back so the stories wouldn’t be forgotten in the future. That sounded like a great idea until I began taking the ornaments off the tree and decided I would NEVER get finished…way too many of them:)

So here is my compromise:  photos of groups of ornaments that have similar stories…here are way too many of them for you to see, but definitely not all of them!

F2's childhood ornaments

my childhood 'Horns'

some of C's

more of C's

some of S's

more of S's

lovely TLG ornaments

birds for luck and more of D's childhood


love elves and angels

more angels

collected during our travels

more travel college

love the teacher ornaments

gifts from family and friends

Okay…I know…that’s enough, right?? I have at least twenty more photos, but you get the idea, I’m sure! I love that C thought of this plan. Looking at the photos will make it easier to tell the stories of individual ornaments and reliving the memories that make them special!

Find happiness in the season and share it with your children:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C



So…do you believe in Santa?

Come on, Santa, smile!!

That is always the question, isn’t it? Is there really a Santa Claus? How do you answer your children’s questions – blow it off, ignore it, answer from the head or from the heart?

We wanted our boys to enjoy those light-hearted, magical beliefs as long as possible. I still believe in Santa…the spirit of a giving soul expecting nothing in return! Shouldn’t we all be more like that “Jolly Old Elf”???

If your conversations with your children can begin to focus more on the gifts Santa gives to everyone else, how kind and industrious he is – it may help your children to develop some of those helpful characteristics in their own lives. Santa letters, Santa cookies to give to others, special Santa wrapping paper and bows, trips to see Santa, watching TV specials — how can that be wrong?


Make sure your child knows what you believe. You do believe in that loving spirit, don’t you? If you’re confident in what you want for your children in the way of believing or not, then no remarks by kids at school or by crabby relatives can shake them from those beliefs.

a present from Santa :)

The light and sparkle in your kids’ eyes should not be extinguished just because others may think your children are too old to believe in Santa. Hold on to what you want for your own kids. Chad and Scott never thought that we had lied to them when they were young but that believing in the spirit of Christmas continues into adulthood.

I believe in Santa, do you?

Happy Parenting!

D and C

City Lights

Friday night in Rochester with friends…first dinner, then the gorgeous holiday lights came on! Wow! Rochester really knows how to throw a party…it is beautiful:)))  We walked up and down the city streets and through the Kris Kringle market. What a lovely start to the season!

all the stores on Main Street participate

making sure I show a Scott streetlight...with smiling buddies!

we ate here and watched as the great lights were turned on

up close

to show the dichotomy...semi in the front, horse and carriage in the back:)

at the Kris Kringle Market


in a store window:)))

beautiful evening

Many families enjoyed walking around the streets checking out the lights. Main Street has just recently been reopened after a long reconstruction. What a great way to get everyone back in the swing of things! Enjoy the holidays:)

Happy Parenting!

D and C