Archive | What boys like

I never would have thought…

Big Nate Red cover

Big Nate.  I love you.

You have provided our family with information we never thought we would need.

Since my boys have discovered you we have discussed Kenny G, Barry Manilow, two-pees (toupees), study hall, casual laughs, baseball and the Three Stooges.

This morning Walt quizzed his dad from the Big Nate Boredom Buster book. Who was MVP of Super Bowl ex-v? (He guessed Walter Peyton, not correct.)
When was ZZ Top inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Missed it by 2 years. The only question he got right was what is 12×7. I just don’t know when we would have ever gotten around to discussing ZZ Top without you Big Nate. Big Nate inside


Yes, Nate, I know you are a little irreverent, and detention is a word I hoped we would not have to deal with, but I love how much you value your friends,  how you tolerate your father, and how you find a lot to laugh about in middle school.  Oh, and your cartoons!

Last week Mack asked if I knew ree-oh speedwagon.  Huh? Oh!  REO Speedwagon!  Sure.  Let’s listen to “Keep on Lovin You”.   Then we listened to “Take it on the Run.”   I have not thought of those songs in a good ten years.  Thankfully, now my children know REO Speedwagon and the meaning of an 80’s power ballad.

I am so grateful.



Big Nate yellow cover

All these questions and flashbacks are good for a Mommy’s brain.  It feels good to know all the words to, “I Write the Songs that Make the Whole World Sing.”  Maybe my brain is still firing on some cylinders.

I pull out all my Mommy talent to follow the middle school banter read to me from Big Nate.

In cartoon frames.

While driving to soccer practice.

A good exercise in focus.

Keep those Big Nate books coming Lincoln Peirce.  You are good for our whole family.  And we love it!



Using my device for good. Every night.

Oh, bedtime.                      book cover (1)

Some nights it is such a struggle.  Some nights I have to raise my voice and pull out my mean mommy routine to get teeth brushed and pj’s on and little ones into their beds.  The stalling is just so exhausting.

Especially after a long mommy day.

A tired mommy is a frustrated mommy.  Not the way I want to end the day with my children.

I want the day to end on a comforting thought, with values passed on and reminders that I love them no matter what.  Thoughts and ideas that don’t make it in to the atmosphere of cleaning up the breakfast dishes, putting away clean clothes and studying for our timed times test.

That’s why I wrote, A Life of Great and Wonderful.

It’s a reminder for me.

If I have the words in front of me I have the tools to end the day in a gracious, comforting way that is soothing to my children and to me.

These are the messages I want pickling their sweet, wild minds when they are without me:  in their camp bunk, or their barracks, or their dorm room.

I want to remind these sweet precious souls how much they mean to me, to our family, to our community and to the world.

If you would like your own digital copy to read to your children, click here.

Turn out the lights, dim down the screen on your phone or tablet, and soothe.

Sleep well.  Everyone.  Sleep well.


A new word for chores…


Think it will work?

Works for me.

Today, so far, my contribution to my family has been  washing two loads of clothes, unloading the dishwasher,  preparing 9 meals by 7:15am (5 breakfasts and 4 lunches), chauffeuring three boys to school and maybe a couple of other things I haven’t thought of that mommies do automatically.

Yes.  It feels less like a job and more like a joy when I call it a CONTRIBUTION.

We will see if three little boys agree when I offer them a list of CONTRIBUTIONS they can make to our family and our home today after school.

Contributions like:  emptying the trash cans, folding the towels, putting away clean clothes and setting the table.

I like it.  Can’t wait to try it out!  Everyone hates to do chores but most love to make a contribution.

The power of words.

Happy contributing!  (Not sure if that’s a word.)


Things that made me say, cool…

Don’t you just love it when you stumble on to something that you have to tell someone else about!

That’s how I felt about this great post— with pictures– about awesome family bikes.

Then there’s plaid.  We are just starting to get less humidity here.  I think we’ve had one or two days when the boys had to wear a jacket in the morning as they headed out to school.  But I am in the mood for plaid.   plaid boys shirt

This shirt is from Target.

These adorable shorts are from Janie and Jack.

plaid shorts

Not that I would put these two together.

plaid throw

This throw is in my cart.  From Target.

plaid shoes for women

And finally, contemplating these shoes.  Very cute.



Books and Curiosity and Love


I wasn’t expecting to be inspired reading the latest Costco magazine. Entertained, yes, but mostly grateful to have something new to read just before turning out the lights. I feel so excited to go to bed knowing there is new reading material on my nightstand. Guess that’s an old age thing, something so simple, but I’ll take it and count it as one of the highlights of my day.

The reading doesn’t go on for long, but that really is the point. After all it is time to get some sleep and start a glorious day again early in the morning.   Mornings are so hopeful.

But back to the Costco magazine. J. Rentilly has a short, barely a page, article about the new book by James McCullough called, The Wright Brothers.

I’ve never read a McCullough book and can’t say I’ve ever seen him on his PBS show, American Experience. But so much about the man and his words lingered with me for a few days. I had to go find the article and read it again.

Along with all kinds of research and interviews and flat out work that goes into a big ole book like this, McCullough says he did what he calls, “considerable thinking.”

He loves and collaborates with his wife of 61 years, Rosalee. McCullough says she is a great dancer.

What stayed with me the most, though, is that he says the Wright Brothers believed they had all they needed to be successful, “Books and curiosity and love­­–and then they simply did what they did.”

And what they did changed the world.

Books and curiosity and love. Gosh, don’t we all have that?

Now we just need to do what we do.

Maybe we can change the world.


Favorite Television Shows, ages 7 and 9

With homework and practices we don’t watch a ton of tv but when we do these are our favorites:

Phineas and Ferb    Adventuresome boys are what I have growing in my house.  So they love the antics of Phineas and Ferb and their eclectic sidekicks.  I love the eclectic sidekicks.  I love how Phineas and Ferb treat their friends with respect and kindness.

I love the relationship between boyfriend and girlfriend Candace and Jeremy.  Jeremy is the kind of boyfriend I hope my boys will be when they are teenagers; laid back, understanding and appreciative of his quirky girlfriend.

I feel lucky that the boys like it so much because it is definitely a show I enjoy as well.

We watch it on Netflix since we are a (recently) non cable family.

Mighty Ships, and  Might Planes


Blue Angels

Africa Mercy ship

More Mighty Ships, Please!  These 45 minute shows just draw my boys in.  There is so much to learn about life on the water.  The boys have their favorites.  We have watched HDMS Absalon many times.  There are guns, helicopters, fires, emergencies– they love it!

Mighty Ships and Mighty Planes are both on the Smithsonian Channel.  When we had cable we would DVR the episodes so we had several available to watch.  Now that we are cable (bill) free!  we watch on the Smithsonian Channel through our Roku streaming player.  So far it seems that there are only two episodes available to see at any one time, and they change occasionally.  Still, we watch in awe at the jobs these huge ships and planes do.  Incredible interesting and especially enthralling for boys.

Peep and the Big Wide World Peep

Yes it’s animated and yes, this is propabley not going to be on the request list for much longer.  My nine-year old protests when the younger ones want to watch but then he laughs the loudest.  That’s what I like so much about Peep and the Big Wide World is that my boys laugh out loud!  Peep and Chirp and Quack manage to get themselves into some interesting situations that are fun to discuss at the dinner table.  And then laugh about again!

We watch Peep on You Tube and Netflix.


Wild Kratts

Part animated, part human, The Kratt Brothers always teach us something about animals.  On PBS Kids which we get through our Roku.  It’s nice because you get to choose from every episode.

wild kratts







The most important meal

A Breakfast Poem

A silly poem to ponder as you sleep and wander in your brain

And you realize how much knowledge there is to gain from

One simple, solitary planned activitiy that can buffer you up to profound exclusivity.

Eating breakfast is the best.

It helps you keep your wobbly head

From spilling all the contents out and

Forgetting all the quotient amounts!

This important meal cannot be skipped,

Lest you find all your day gets tripped up on

Wild vocabulary and lunch decisions

It really must be a lifelong revision to have a hearty meal

At the beginning of the day and make sure you have ample energy to play!

Sleep tight brave and wonderful child.

I’ll see you at the beginning of the day!


Taking a Christmas Card Photo

old card photo

card pic 3

card pic 2

This could go on.  Until someone just gives up and cries.  (Like Mommy)  They were so cute when they were little.  But they did not like to have their picture taken.  Back then I was frustrated.  Now it makes me laugh.  This is a good time to remind myself to laugh more and feel frustrated less.  I think we finally went with this picture that year:

card pic 4

We are still not all happy about getting our picture taken.  At least we aren’t all happy at the same time.  And they are still so cute!

dock family-001

I hope your are enjoying your holiday season as much as we are!  Happy Celebrating!


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