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Hello from the author of “Raising Amazing Children (… While Having a Life of Your Own)” Deborah Drezon Carroll:
Our daughter’s wedding was a glorious event for us, as you might imagine. After it was over, though, one thing stuck in my mind. People, our friends and other guests whom we didn’t know, repeatedly came up to us and said, “Your daughters are amazing. What’s your secret?”
While that is a beautiful sentiment, and may even be true (if I do say so myself), I wondered: Are they really amazing? We have three daughters who are really just lovely people with good hearts and good souls. They weren’t exceptional students (they were good students for the most part) or outstanding athletes (they did try, though); they didn’t cure cancer in our basement, or discover the secret to solving the world hunger problem. They didn’t win scholarships or attend Ivy League colleges. They just were good kids (most of the time but certainly not without challenges along the way) who grew up to be teachers.
And that’s when I realized: maybe they are amazing.
If the goal of being a good parent is to do the job well enough for our kids to leave us someday and be happy people who are independent and live with integrity and decency, and if achieving that is amazing, maybe we were all amazing.
I thought about how we achieved such greatness. What was our parenting secret?
My husband and I had both been teachers early in our careers. We learned a great deal about how children develop. We learned strategies for facilitating growth in young people by treating them with respect, trust, faith, and high expectations. And, when we had our first child we got some very good advice.
The advice was to find ways to integrate our child into our lives rather than turning our lives completely upside down to integrate ourselves into our child’s life. In other words, we were advised to raise our kids while living life the way we loved it before our kids were born as much as possible. We were told to find ways to keep doing the things we loved so we could share them with our kids. And so we did. Whatever we did, we invited our kids to do it with us. From cleaning the house to traveling across the country on a camping trip (Yes, we did go on a cross country trip with three kids under the age of 5!), if it was something we did before we had kids, we did it with our kids. We tried not to give up any of the things that mattered to us before we became parents, we just found ways to incorporate our children into those activities.
As a result, our children learned life skills by experiencing life with us. They learned to love reading and writing as we do so they value education. They can do simple home repair, they all did their own laundry since they were very little, and each can negotiate a tight deal of any sort. They understand the value of work and the need to budget money as they watched us do both and learned by seeing our struggles and our successes. They learned compassion and caring for family, friends, and strangers as they lived both on a daily basis. In short, they learned how to live life by living it with us and witnessing the ins and outs of making a life work.
The simple tasks of everyday living provide parents with opportunities to teach children something of value each day. By inviting your kids to work alongside as you do things like shopping, housecleaning, gardening, cooking, home repair, traveling and more, you both win. You’ll save time as you’ll have helping hands to get the jobs done faster, your child will learn priceless life skills, and you’ll all have more time to enjoy life together.
By incorporating your kids into your life, you get to continue living a life that makes you happy. Happy parents raise happy children. Your kids will thank you for it… some day!
Raising Amazing Children (…While Having a Life of Your Own). The title sums up our parenting secret.
To learn more about Debby and her book, visit her website!

Free Subscription to American Baby Magazine!

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It may be hard, but it’s not the end! Guest Post by Kayla Block

This post is going to be about Eric and I hitting rock bottom and working our way back up. It’s hard to talk about this – because honestly, no one likes talking about how hard life can be. Sometimes – it just needs to be said.
Before Eric and I got married and had Audrey, we had spontaneously moved down south and thought that we could get a fresh start on things, with it being a new place and all. Before we knew it, we were barely living pay check to pay check. We both had jobs, and at some point, Eric had two jobs but got laid off from the one that made more money. It just seemed like a giant black hole was eating whatever money we did bring in.
We were toying with the idea of moving back home to be closer to our family but we knew we barely had the money to do so. We could barely afford to keep a roof over our heads. Towards the end of us living in that house, we both were burnt out beyond belief. We had went from not arguing about anything to just arguing just for the sake of arguing, sometimes, in a matter 6 months to a year of living there.
As we found out I was pregnant, we were both in a frenzy of do we literally pack up and move pre-baby or wait until after she is born. We wanted to be closer to more family, but financially, it just wasn’t possible at the time. I had gotten laid off that month, and the job Eric was working was not giving him hours. Around 5 months of me being pregnant, we worked it out to move back. We now live a lot better than we did, and it seems like things are working out a lot better. We aren’t fighting like we used to, and although there is a small cushion in case of emergencies- which me managed to save up pre-baby and have just added a little bit since, we don’t feel as trapped by money. {Well, Eric does – but he is working on it.} I am even fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom while I go to school – which is a blessing!
Why living on nothing actually has helped us:

  • We know we can make it work if something were to happen again with jobs.
  • There are people out there less fortunate than us, and we should realize that, sometimes step back, and be thankful we have a roof over our heads and a hot meal every night.
  • That blessing sometimes do come in little bundles of joy.
What my daughter did for us, was make us put our priorities in order. She actually helped us start living a better, healthier lifestyle, more frugal and has brought some serious joy into our lives. Most of all, she has taught me patience and sometimes you need to go through a little hardship to get to a better place. Even though she wasn’t planned, it seems like it was meant to happen. She renewed our purpose and made us reevaluate our lives.

I know that looking back that, I am thankful that we had gone through that because it did make us closer, even if we were fighting.



Hosted by Kathleen’s Blog Spot and Crafty Kate Going Crazy!

The month of March is about new life… The snow starts to melt… Trees start to bud… Flowers start to bloom…Spring is here! What would be the best way to celebrate Spring?? How about with the Ultimate Mommy and Baby Event! The entire month of March Kathleen’s Blog Spot will write about everything Mommy, Baby, Pregnancy and Parenting. There will be several giveaways through out the month. Including A Huge Mommy and Baby Giveaway from March 8th – 31st. Two winners will take home over $500.00 in prizes from various small businesses!!!!

Be sure to look for New Reviews of the latest baby items and pregnancy must haves from our favorite companies and small businesses, including Pinxav, Tomy, Bear Haven Boutique, Pink Bowtique and more. You will also find Guest Posts from some our favorite bloggers. The month is sure to be full of fun and excitement!

Free Mix & Match Favorite Pose Package at Olan Mills

This one expires March 15th, 2012.

I had my kids pictures done at Olan Mills several times and I always love how they come out!

Get your Free Mix & Match Favorite Pose Package here.

 


Very Special Valentine’s Day Giveaway

One (1) Winner will Receive a Valentine’s Day Six-Bag Sampler
(Retail Value $29.95)
 Peanut Butter & White Chocolate DrizzleCorn
– Twice-As-Nice Chocolate DrizzleCorn
– 
Cinnamon Creme DrizzleCorn
– Black & White Biscotti
– Double Chocolate DrizzleCorn
– Dark Fudge with Praline Almonds
  

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Who is the one person that helped to make you who you are today?



That is the easiest question. I would say that my mom is the one person that helped make me who I am today. She was a stay at home mom from the time my little brother was born, until he graduated. She was the first one up every morning and the last one to sleep every night. She made sure that we were up every morning and were never late for school. One of her favorite sayings is “A place for everything and a thing for every place.” I honestly think I heard this in my sleep she said it to me so many times. And forget telling her if I couldn’t find something because I didn’t want to hear it. And forget about staying up late on a school night because you would hear her other favorite sayings, “Early to bed, Early to rise. Makes a person Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.” She was always home when we got home from school to help with our homework. (Snack would be there too.) Dinner was never late. She swore by her schedule and even though I hate admitting it, It worked. We were never late and always early. You learned not to question what mom says because you would hear “I told you so.” My mom was the one that I could always count on and I knew she would never let me down even if I let her down. I could always count on her and knew she would be there to dry my tears. I hated fighting with my mom even though I started a lot of them because I thought I knew better than her. Boy was I wrong! She never put herself first, it was always the family. She never took nights off even when she was sick. She was always a mom first and even now she is the same way everyone comes first. She made being a mom and wife seem easy. Being a mom is nowhere near easy, but she never let it show. 

I moved of my parents house three times and moved back in twice. And even if I never showed how much I appreciated my parents, if it wasn’t for them and their unconditional love, I wouldn’t be the person or mother that I am today.



I am now 28 years old and my mom is my Best Friend. She is the one that I can talk to about anything. The one that I can laugh with and cry with. Just hearing her voice comforts me. I strive everyday to be half of the mother that she was with my children. It’s funny how things you learn and see when you are a child stay with you. I use the same saying with my kids and repeat my self 1,000 times sure enough to say, “If you would have listened to me in the first place we wouldn’t be having this conversation. 

I LOVE YOU MOM!


So Who is the one person that helped to make you who you are today?

Free Set of Nail Shields ($12 Value)

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Midnight Mommy is looking for Review bloggers to test out some Cloth Diapering products, Kebbie’s Diaper Bag.

If you are a  a cloth diapering mommy that will test and give an honest review of their products visit http://www.midnightmommy.com/2011/12/calling-bloggers-to-review-cloth-diaper.html for all of the details!

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