Sunday, September 25, 2011

I believe that extra-curricular activities can add value to children’s lives in many ways.  These activities teach things that are often not taught in school or can focus on specific areas of interest for the particular family or child.  There are many activities available to us even in our small city and it is often difficult to determine which to enroll the children in.  Each of my children are enrolled in two activities which occupy their time outside of school.  C is taking piano lessons as well as rehearsing to perform in the school play and perhaps later she will attempt a larger play with our local college.  R is enrolled in swimming lessons as well as Beavers through Scouts Canada.  Is that enough?  Is that too much?

I want my children to experience as many different things as they can because the more exposures they have, the better choices they can make about their futures.  I want them to find their passions but I also want to ensure they learn that making commitments mean seeing them through so they are not allowed to enroll in a bunch of things and drop them as soon as it isn’t fun anymore…unless it is affecting their education. 
On the flip-side, I also don’t want to overwhelm the children either.  Education is most important and they have certain levels in which we expect them to maintain.  Those levels are set based on the child and what he/she can and has achieved in the past.  An easy indicator of a child being overwhelmed is grades.  If grades begin to suffer, all extra-curricular activities are re-examined and some may be put on hold until the grades in question return to the expected levels.  Another indicator is interest.  About a year and a half ago, C was involved in various activities and we asked her to take time off from all of them to focus on her grades as they had been slipping a little and mid-terms were coming up.  When her mid-terms were over, we asked her what she missed and found that most of the activities she was enrolled in, she wasn’t all that interested in anymore.

I don’t believe there is a set number of activities that works for all children as each child is different and each activity requires a different level of commitment.  For C, that number is two and her interests lay with the fine arts.  In this level of commitment, she maintains an honor roll grade level and still has time for friends and to be involved in other smaller activities in her school community.  For R, we haven’t determined the exact number yet as his school commitment has only now become full time.  We keep him at two for the moment but it may increase or decrease as other things peak his interest or his grades and focus comes into question.  It really is a trial and error type of thing from my perspective.

What works for your kids?  What kinds of activities are they interested in?

Take Care,
D

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We are embarking on a new stage in the teen years…boys.  C has been interested in boys for a little while and I suspect that, although I have only recently been hearing about it, she and her friends have been discussing boys for much longer.  C is a fairly reasonable young woman though and has not made any steps toward dating...at this time.  I do suspect it won't be long, maybe a year, until we hear of her having a boyfriend.  What boyfriend entails to her, could be a number of different things in the relationship spectrum.  She is only 13.  That hurdle we'll jump when we get to it.

We joke about her not dating until she’s 30 and that we pity the first boy she introduces to her father as her “boyfriend”.  In fact, Hubby and his friends who have daughters have a pact to gather at the respective father’s house to greet and interrogate the young man (perhaps while cleaning their guns or sharpening their hunting knives).  In actuality, we have not placed any limitations on what age is or isn’t appropriate for dating.  We have focused on appropriate behaviour for a young woman along with facts and warnings about sex, conduct that may mislead boys, and peer pressure.  We hope this guidance along with rules around knowing where she is at all times, who she’s with, and meeting all friends of either gender will help us keep her safe and that she will make the right choices. 

It’s scary as hell!

This is my first post about concerns for boy troubles and outlooks but I’m sure it won’t be my last.  Here’s  a post from a friend on Facebook which made me smile while giving a bit of advice:
To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: " Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz." While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don't settle for any of his relatives; Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheating-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, , Goodfornothing-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyo-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yo-az.

Take Care,
D

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This week is Spirit Week at R’s school for our local Food Bank.  So long as you bring a donation you may dress up for the daily theme.  Today is Cowboy & Cowgirl day but R refused to let me take a pic of him this morning…so I’ll use one from last year.  Doing so adds a bonus – C’s in it too!
R's trying to wink but sometimes forgets to leave his other eye open.

Take Care,
D
 

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Monday, September 12, 2011

The other day, R and I decided we wanted some cookies to go with our milk.  Not just any cookies…Oreos.  So we suited up for a long bike ride to the grocery store near our house.  It was a half hour ride there, then after our purchases were made, we stopped outside the store and sat on a pallet for a drink before the half hour ride home.

The ride gave us some great mother-son time to chat about school and R’s new friends.  We admired the changing colors and made some predictions for seasonal weather.  We laughed at a cute puppy and returned someone’s run-away garbage can.  It wasn’t an exciting event but it is definitely a bike ride I will remember.
Take Care,
D

Friday, September 9, 2011

Georgina Kincaid has had an eternity to figure out the opposite sex, but sometimes they still surprise her. Take Seth Mortensen. The man has risked his soul to become Georgina's boyfriend. Still, with Lucifer for a boss, Georgina can't just hang up her killer heels and settle down to domestic bliss. In fact, she's being forced to transfer operations...to Las Vegas.

The City of Sin is a dream gig for a succubus, but Georgina's allies are suspicious. Why are the powers-that-be so eager to get her away from Seattle—-and from Seth? Georgina is one of Hell's most valuable assets, but if there's any way out of the succubus business she plans to take it--no matter how much roadkill she leaves behind. She just hopes the casualties won’t include the one man she’s risking everything for...


Succubus Revealed is an Adult Urban Fantasy by Richelle Mead which was released August 30, 2011 from Kensington Books.  It is the sixth and final installment in the Georgina Kincaid Series.  When I began reading this book, I knew it was the last of the series and hoped that it would end with fewer questions than many other series’ ends that I have read. 

The book held a strong storyline in and of itself with Georgina finding herself, once again, in the middle of a hellish plot…literally.  Georgina has always been a remarkable character, probably because she’s such a contradiction.  She is a succubus in the employ of Hell, yet she strives to do the right thing.  Roman was right when he spoke of Hell to Georgina stating she was too nice and “They should fire you out of principle.”

Having read the other books in this series made this book all the more exciting.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much had I not read the previous five.  I found many references to the previous books in this installment as the whole series came together.  The Georgina Kincaid series became less of a collection of good stories about the same characters and more of a fantastic single story broken into parts (which is better in my opinion).

The entire book seemed to finish off the series effectively and answer most of the outstanding questions I had from the other books.  The end allowed each of the remaining characters a way to move on with their lives in a normal fashion.  Although I’d like to hear more about these characters, I think this was a suiting end to their story.

Take Care,
D
Available from Amazon as Hardcover or Kindle eBook
                   
This review is based on my opinion and any similarity to other reviews or expressed opinions are simply coincidence. I was not compensated in any way for this review

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Car rides seem like they must be some kind of torture for kids.  I mean, we strap in these bundles of energy, tell them not to move and to be quiet.  I don’ t know about your kids but that usually doesn’t last until the end of the block.  Any number of complaints begin to surface like “C is being mean.” or “R looked at me.”…need I go on? 

One day while driving down the road we saw a Volkswagen Beetle and I remembered that old game where we (as children) would punch each other and scream the color of the VW Beetle then “Punch Buggie, no returns!”  When I brought that up to the kids, they thought it was silly but C had actually heard of this before.  We began playing the game.  About 10 minutes in, the children started in on the complaining and whining again.  It seems that looking for a vehicle that isn’t very popular in our area gets old very quickly if it isn’t spotted often enough.  I racked my brain for more ways of keeping the kids entertained and would span the age gap between C and R.  That’s when I spotted three mustangs within two blocks of each other.  The light bulb went on!

I talked to the kids about adding some vehicles to our game.  C started giggling and said, what if the Beetles were Tickle Buggies?  She kept giggling, “That’s so fun to say!”  Smiling I said sure.  What about adding sports cars?  “Yeah!” was the response from the back, in stereo by both children.  Finally , success!

So that day we planned out what vehicles we would have an activity for and what that activity is.  The list has been added to and sometimes the additions seem to be getting a little out of hand.  Hubby and I are having trouble keeping up with all the activities.  We also explained to the children that the goal of this game is not to inflict pain on each other but to be the first to spot the specific vehicles so be gentle with each other. 
Some of the vehicles and activities are Tickle Buggies (C’s right it is fun to say), Punch-stangs (Mustangs), Kick Camaro, Double Kick Corvette, Charger Chop, Double Chop Viper, PT Poke (PT Cruiser) and everything had an added activity if the vehicle was a convertible.
 So far, so good.  This has kept my kids busy in the back seat for over a year now.  The kids’ observation skills are boosted a little because everyone always has their eyes out to be the first to spot those vehicles – even if we don’t actually punch or kick each other…most times.

Take Care,
D

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