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A happy back-to-school new year

by Traci Schumacher on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 12:59pm

And so they're back to school, cold weather and all. The house is quiet as pets nap and I tap away at the keyboard, alone with my thoughts, thinking.

We had a good Christmas break, complete with family and friends and fun. I was sad last night to see it end, just as I was happy this morning to send them off, bundled in their warmest coats for the brief dash from van to school building.

Enjoying the after-Christmas

by Traci Schumacher on Thu, 12/26/2013 - 2:45pm

T'was the day after Christmas and all through the house... the children were happily playing with their Christmas gifts. Making rubber band bracelets and bead creations, roller skating, playing tether ball, riding a stick horse... It makes a parent's heart glad to see their kids enjoying their gifts.

My 4-year-old had repeatedly asked for a stick horse for Christmas, and when he unwrapped it he exclaimed, “It's just what I wanted!” We nailed that one! Today he happily rode his horse down the street to Grandma's house.

Getting ready for Christmas

by Traci Schumacher on Mon, 12/23/2013 - 11:48pm

Are you ready for Christmas? Now there's a loaded question. And my answer so often seems to be a resounding yes and no.

Yes, as far as the big things go, I'm ready. My heart and mind are focused. Essential gifts have been wrapped. If Christmas were to surprise us all and show up a day early, I'd be fine. We're good.

Discovering my son's new Christmas wish list... after I'm done shopping

by Traci Schumacher on Thu, 12/19/2013 - 10:38pm

This week I essentially finished my Christmas shopping for my children (yay!). After observing their preferences, asking their input, and generally looking for cool toys for them, I was feeling pretty good about my selections.

So this morning my son saw a commercial on tv for these little Lego type toys that change into robots or something. He was pretty excited about them. He dashed off to his room to write them on his “Christmas wish list.”

Skatefest 2013: Time to hit the ice!

by Traci Schumacher on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 12:17pm

Our family traded our shoes for ice skates Monday night at Skatefest 2013. Well, four of us did. My husband opted to observe, socialize, and take pictures to document our fun. I happily escorted the kids around the rink for an hour and a half. Everyone made great progress in their ice skating skills over the course of the evening, though it's interesting to see how their experiences were shaped by their personalities.

Taking Holiday Pictures of Your Pets

Taking Holiday Pictures of Your Pets

by Dr. Carla Case-... on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 10:59am

Submitted by Becky Smith-Photos By Becky

Pets add so much joy to our lives.  Of course we would include them in the family holiday card!  But—HOW?

  

Free tools teach kids computer programming during Hour of Code Week

by Traci Schumacher on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 11:04am

This week is Hour of Code Week, in case you didn't know. A project of Code.org, with the support of CEOs, celebrities, and the President, the goal is to encourage every student (all ages) to take some time to start learning computer programming.

Mom dilemma: picking a winner among my children

by Traci Schumacher on Wed, 12/11/2013 - 10:52pm

The evening wore on, and my children were busy amusing themselves, chattering back and forth between their bedrooms. From another room in the house I could hear my son and daughter talking excitedly about some new scheme they were collaborating on. As I listened, I gathered they were planning a Christmas decorating contest, and my daughter wanted me to be the judge.

My son protested, “We can't have Mom be the judge. You know who she always picks to win.” My ears perked up, and I wondered if I unknowingly favored one child over the others.

Making the most of the good days

by Traci Schumacher on Sat, 12/07/2013 - 11:59am

The good days of parenting. We all have them, though maybe not as often as we would like. The good days are days when the kids behave well in action and attitude. Days of relative peace and pleasantness. Days of cooperation instead of conflict.

Going through Advent to get to Christmas, and revamping our Advent calendar along the way

by Traci Schumacher on Wed, 12/04/2013 - 10:25pm

Counting down the days until Christmas, I have set up our Advent calendar. A gift to us from family, our beautiful wooden box is decorated with a winter animal scene, and its little drawers are numbered for the days before Christmas.

In the past I have hidden little candies or tiny toys in the drawers, but that became more challenging as our family grew. When our third child came along the drawers became far too small, so instead I tucked little notes inside that sent the kids on scavenger hunts around the house for small prizes.

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