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Lesson Learned Parenting Edition: Encourage your child’s unique design

Jeff and I are blessed to have 4 healthy, energetic children. We realize more than ever though how different and unique our children are from one another.

We are imperfect parents but we have been complimented for having fun, well adjusted kids. We are more than willing to offer some tips of things that we have learned along the way. I hope you can take something productive from this lesson.

Encourage your child’s unique design.

Rebecca (13) is a loyal, strong leader. And she is hilarious.
 

 
Rebecca consistently bugs us at 9:30 at night when the other kids are asleep. She tries to get us to laugh. At first, Jeff and I would dismiss her and tell her to go to bed. We were exhausted at that time. Later we were convicted that this was her really reaching out to us when she didn’t have anyone else to compete with.

Jeff and I have made a concerted effort to laugh and joke with her and now often we find her climbing in our bed, laughing, and then telling us what is going on in her 13 year old life. What a blessing this time is now for us as parents. We realize how much we would be missing out if we had stuck to our original plan to ensure all the kids were in bed at the same time.

Sometimes parenting books are merely guidelines, and you need to do what fits your family and child best.
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Around Here – May Edition

Around here Emily still feels like she is 8 and loves her red converse. She has read the entire Percy Jackson Lightning Thief Series in a week.
 

 

 
Around here summer is in full swing. Our kids love jumping our back wall to play baseball in the school field behind our home while Hank sunbathes.
 

 
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Blue Lily Photo Shoot Video

Often I am verbose. Way too wordy. But not today.

Today I am just grateful for who I get to share my life with. And I am beyond excited for this past weekend. Jeff and I have been given a renewed energy and newfound clarity that we are still processing. Excited for the peace and possibilities.
 

 
To see the photos that Wendy and Tyler of Blue Lily Photography took with this photo shoot, go here. So thankful for their talents and inspiration to pursue their dreams.

Edit: The song is You Got Me by Colbie Caillat. Isn’t it perfect?

Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

If you are new to my site, welcome! Like what you see? I would love for you follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog and joining me on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

List – Easter tradition: Making Cascarone/Confetti Eggs

At first glance, you might think these just look like your run of the mill dyed Easter eggs, but these are the key to you being the coolest mom EVER on Easter weekend! This is especially a hit with school aged kids. These eggs, known as cascarones, are filled with confetti or your choice of filling.
 

 
I was first introduced to cascarones in middle school during a Cinco De Mayo festival in which the eggs were filled with paper confetti and glitter. I also saw them used at a pre-wedding party over a decade ago in which bird seed was used to fill the eggs. I also made them for a 4th of July party and filled them with star punched paper confetti and glitter. Obviously, they are a universal treat that can be used for many occasions.
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100 Family Conversation Starters & a QR generator review

One of my favorite things about my family of 6 is that we talk to one another. The lines of communication are wide open partly because Jeff and I ask our kids a lot of questions during carpooling to swim practice, family dinners, and on family outings. Our kids are destined to have 2 things thrown at them: questions and a camera. As my oldest daughter told our neighbor, “That’s the price of being a Meyerson kid.”

The main purpose of these questions is to foster healthy relationships with my kids and challenge them to think about why they have their opinions and why they make the choices that they do. These questions are not meant to add to your to do list. You can simply ask these questions (not record the answers) and still get tremendous benefits from asking them.

Here is a list of 100 questions that we have asked or will ask the kids. We have 4 children ages 2, 8, 10, and 13. Obviously, I have to adjust a couple of the questions for our 2 year old but she is always part of the conversations.

Click here for a printable pdf or just click on the image below to enlarge and read the questions more easily. I would be thrilled for you to share this on pinterest, facebook, or twitter.


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39 List – Our Blue Lily Family Photo Shoot

Our first ever photo shoot… big sigh. I’m in love. I love the lighting, the colors, and these kids. I really love these kids. I’m so thankful that Wendy and Tyler of Blue Lily Photography captured our family just how I see us… full of life, smily, colorful, loud, and loving. I wrote about our experience with Blue Lily here, but let me tell you once more.

Our photo shoot was effortless. Jeff and I loved Wendy and Tyler. I left the photoshoot totally inspired. Wendy and Tyler sold their house and all of their possessions, and are traveling the world with their 2 gorgeous children while taking pictures and video. Yes, please.

So since this is our first photo shoot, I am refusing to apologize for overloading you with photos. Hopefully I don’t make your computer irritable.

 

 
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Life List – Take Kids to Feed Giraffes

The kids got an early release today from school and I decided to take advantage of it and the absolutely gorgeous weather, here in Phoenix, Arizona. It was windy and a little cooler than usual, but that means I was wearing my favorite jeans and a jersey sweatshirt. This is code for Happy Jenny.

Sam and I read an animal book every night and she always talks about wanting to feed the “Raffies”. I did some research and then remembered the Wildlife World Zoo. It’s about 40 minutes from my home and I had been once before with Emily’s Kindergarten class field trip. I was very pregnant with Sam, so I didn’t climb the tower to feed the giraffes.

It was amazing how close we got to the giraffes. The giraffes loved being fed and would let you touch their leathery tongues, but gently moved if you tried to touch their faces. They are truly magnificent animals. And on a side note, I loved how their house/enclosure had a tall, skinny “doggie door” cut out for them. The kids really got a kick out of that.

 


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39 List – Take the Kids to See Wicked

Jeff and I had the amazing opportunity to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. last summer. Aside from our dancing video and reuniting with my high school friends, a highlight of the trip was seeing this Broadway show. We weren’t planning on seeing the musical, but we went to a Washington National’s baseball game and Dee Roscioli sang the national anthem and it was the most beautiful rendition I ever heard. The announcer mentioned that she was starring as Elphaba in the Broadway musical, Wicked. I gave Jeff that look and he knew we were going to have to see the musical if there was any possibility.

Jeff and I got back to the hotel room, we ordered tickets for the following night, and had one of the best nights of our life. We even got to meet Dee after the show.

When we left the show, I was moved to tears. Music is so powerful. I told Jeff on the plane back to Phoenix, that if Wicked comes to town, we MUST take the kids.

So several months later we drove by a billboard for Wicked and Jeff looked at me and smiled. So for Valentine’s Day, Jeff went to the Gammage Theater box office to buy tickets. He told the ticket salesperson that he wanted us to have decent tickets, so that the kids would be able to see it. He told Jeff the options, but Jeff wasn’t happy with the options or the price. Then Jeff explained that this was a gift and an item on my life list. The salesperson kept searching and then asked Jeff, “Do you mind going in the middle of the week with the kids?” Jeff said we could go any night. Jeff ended up scoring great seats for the SAME price as the tickets in the back of the theatre. He said, “These tickets weren’t here just a second ago,” and scratched his head. Magic I tell you, magic.

Moods had been dampened over the past week, with losing the house, my car being hit in a parking lot, and Hank our dog has been missing for a couple of days. They say bad things come in three’s and I have to tend to agree with that this week. So this night was a welcomed relief.

 

 


 

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I Said Yes

I was so excited to have the weekend to spend with Ben, my 10 year old son. I had big plans and gave Ben about 100+ suggestions on how we could explore Phoenix. I suggested hiking, a road trip, a visit to the science museum, cave exploration, etc. He had a basketball game Saturday morning and we could leave right after his game.

Ben said, “No. I want to just hang out with you. I don’t want to go many places.” He had his own agenda and I decided to go with the flow and say, “Yes!” to his plans.

 

 

So we went to Dave & Busters to play video games. After watching him play games, I think I’m safe to buy him a gun, as he is an excellent marksman. But he will NEVER drive anyone in our family. Oh my.

We saw 2 3D movies – Star Wars Episode 1 and Journey To The Center of the Earth 2. I’m not a fan of 3D movies, but he was in heaven. He picked our seats, got extra butter on his popcorn, and even got Skittles and Red Vines.

We watched the Slam Dunk Competition and ate spaghetti and drank rootbeer out of the bottle at Ben’s request.

And this morning, I offered to take him anywhere to eat for breakfast. Again I suggested about 20 places. He decided on Denny’s. That wasn’t a suggestion. :)

So I put away my grand plans to mark items off my life list and said “Yes” to Ben and “Yes” to putting my list down, and “Yes” to relationships. And I’m a better person for it.

Before Jeff got home, Ben said to me, “Thanks mom for doing a lot of things that I really like doing. It was great.” Yes. Indeed, yes.

I’m really excited about the wonderful opportunities that are just around the corner. Really great things.

Thank you for your kind words from last week. My dream is not gone, it is merely postponed. Normally I respond right away, but wanted to take a few days to digest the events of last week and get my attitude back on track. Again, thank you. I’m beyond grateful for you.

Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

If you are new to my site, welcome! Like what you see? I would love for you follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog and joining me on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

Loving the bigger picture

When I started this blog, I had lost a part of my identity. I was consumed with full time work and being Jeff’s wife. I was referred to as Rebecca’s mom for almost 2 years by one lady at our school, before I finally said, “You can call me Jenny.” I’m sure every wife and mom can relate to this at some point in their journey. I had to sit down and remind myself what I liked and what excited me that wasn’t related to Jeff or the kids.

But in my planning for 2012, I went to the opposite extreme of planning without taking into consideration what the dreams of the other 5 people in my family wanted. Don’t get me wrong, most of my items include them, but looking back I don’t know if I really asked them.

I’m thrilled to be Jeff’s wife and a mom to Rebecca, Ben, Emily, and Samantha. I want to see my dreams come true, but I also want to encourage Jeff and the kids to chase their dreams as well. I want to make sure they see that I seek to find that balance between holding onto my self identity and my cherished roles as their wife and mom.

 


 

In making my life list, we have started talking a lot more about dreams in our house. And this weekend at their big 3 day swim meet, we have been talking about our dreams. When we started sharing, I found myself a tad shell shocked. I learned so much in just getting Jeff and the kids to tell me 5 life list items. Just 5.

I found out that Jeff misses golf and regrets not trying to pursue professional golf longer. I learned that Rebecca wants to meet Foster the People. I had no clue who this group was, let alone that she liked them enough for them to be #1 on her life list. Emily wants to learn how to play lacrosse, Ben wants to go whale watching in Hawaii, and to no surprise, Miss Samantha wants to go see Mickey Mouse again.

Here are their lists…
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