Seventeen blessings that make growing older worth the effort!!...and 2 more blessings since this picture was taken!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if your family were the envy of all your neighborhood? Not because your family had the biggest house, the fanciest car or the very best interior decorator.

The reason isn't that you are the parents of the most beautiful children, you have a "to die for spouse" and you command a 6 figure income.

The fact of the matter is, you don't own a fancy house, your car is a CarMax reject, and your interior decorator is the local Goodwill Store.

Is all of that important? No! What is important is that your family is "The Happiest Family on the Block"!

I will be sharing our secrets that worked with our 6 children, 6 sons and daughters-in-laws and 19 grandchildren! I will share secrets and ideas that we did do and wished we hadn't, things we didn't do, but wished we had, AND things we did do and are glad we got something right!! Hindsight is 20/20 you know!

The "happy family" revolves around:


Raising children





Hobbies- cooking, sewing, crafts, decorating

Making money


Being friends with your grown up children

Being the best grandparents you can be

Etc, etc, etc

Grab a cup of coffee, sit down, relax and let's visit!

My Darling Grandaughter

My Darling Grandaughter

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapter Ten - DADS!

"The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

Dad, today is your's!

I know there are many times you come in your front door after a hard day at work, looking for that peace and comfort of being at HOME. You want to tell your wife about the problems you have had with your boss and co-workers. You want her sympathy and comfort. What meets you? Total chaos! The house looks as if it was turned upside down, the baby is screaming, your wife looks as if she hasn't brushed her hair for a's spit-up is on her shoulder. What are you going to do? Now is your chance to shine or to blow it totally! You can start in by criticising the looks of the house, asking her what she has done all day and when in the world is dinner going to be ready!! "I am starving!"

OR, you can give her a hug and kiss, ask her how her day was and then listen while she cries on your shoulder about everything that went wrong! You can take the baby and let him/her spit-up on your expensive, new suit and quiet the little munchkin down. If you have more than one child, you can play with them, entertaining them while your wife prepares dinner for all. Do your part in picking up toys, sweeping the floor and helping with the dishes. There will be time, after you help her get them settled in bed, for you to tell her about your day. She will be able to be receptive to you then.

By pitching in, being the strong one, putting her needs before your own, you have brought peace and order to your home and made your wife the "happiest woman on the block". You have shown your love to her in a real, tangible way and she will thank you for it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chapter Nine - Time with your spouse

"If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" This is true for Dads too. Let's try to help!

Don't you hate it when you have had a long, frazzled day and you feel like a wrung out dishrag? You just don't want to do anything! Maybe you have been running around taking care of a dozen different projects. All you feel like you have been doing for weeks is just saying "Hi" and "Bye" to your spouse. That is so easy to do when children come along.. you have PTA, soccer practice, gymnastics, the baby's sick, the washer stopped working, etc., etc.

Jan Blaustone said in her book, "The Joy of Parenthood, "Quality time" begins with your marriage. What's good for your marriage is good for your children."
It is time for some quality time alone with your spouse. Time to talk, to just enjoy each other's company. Call your Mom, call the teenage girl down the street, call anyone you can trust and get away for awhile. It doesn't have to mean you spend a lot of money, it just means time together. Go window shopping at the mall,  go to the local library, have a drink at Starbucks or stroll through the park together. If you like fishing, bowling, ice skating or tennis, it doesn't cost much to indulge in any of these once in a while.

The important thing is to get away and spend time together without your children. They will be fine and you are not depriving the them of a thing. In fact, if you come back refreshed and relaxed, you have done yourself and your children a favor! You are showing your spouse that you think they are very important to you and that will only strengthen your marriage.

A happy couple is a happy home!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chapter Eight - Enjoy!!

Every Day is a New Day
You are a happy family of three now!  It is the time to enjoy that precious bundle you have. You don't have to worry about spoiling the baby at this age. Babies cannot be spoiled for the first month or so. You don't have to discipline or wonder what mischief  he/she is getting into. That will come before you know it. You can hold and cuddle to your heart's content.
Involve your husband. Lots of husband's want to help but are not sure about what to do. Give him a chance to bond with the baby by holding, comforting, changing diapers, and bathing.
Treasure every change! Write down each new event in the growth and development of your baby. You will be so glad you did! At this new age there will be change each and every day. I remember, when my babies were little, looking forward and enjoying each new milestone in our babies' lives. It passes so soon!

                                                    My Little Cowboys
Before you know it, baby will be reaching out and touching things, probably things you don't want them to touch.  You will come it one morning and find him/her on their stomach when you left them on their back! They will soon be holding their head up which will lead to sitting up. Then it will be crawling, pulling up to chairs and other furniture, followed by walking.  So soon they will be "little cowboys" and more. Where did time go? Life is constantly changing to adapt to baby's changing world.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chapter Seven - Postpartum Care

Postpartum Care-Depression, Rest, Eating, Houswork
You are home now. Life is not the same as it used to be.... You are tired, your bottom hurts, your house is a mess, baby didn't sleep much last night, you feel like crying all the time.... is it worth it? Yes, it is and now is the time for you to take care of yourself.
You have the most beautiful baby God ever created! You had an awesome labor and delivery, or maybe it wasn't so awesome. You husband has been the most  wonderful, helpful and loving husband you could ever wish for, so why are you crying? Why does the whole world look gray today? The most important thing to realize is the postpartum depression,"baby blues", is real. It is to be expected and is a normal part of your post natal recovery. Don't try to hold it in. Share with your husband what you are feeling.  Cry on his shoulder... it is broad. If it is warm weather, get out and walk. Put the baby in the stroller and take a stroll, breathing in the fresh air. Take time for yourself and realize that "this too shall pass". You will feel like this for a few days or maybe a few weeks and then it will vanish. If it lasts longer than that or gets worse don't hesitate to call your OB doctor. They know what to do to help.

You need to sleep when baby sleeps. Let everything go, lie down and rest. Being tired affects every aspect of your life. If you can't sleep, take that time to indulge yourself in a long soaking bath or shower, a good hair wash and manicure. It will make you feel so much better!

Ask for and receive help. There are friends and family who would be glad to come over and lend a helping hand. Even if it is only for 1 hour, it will give you time to get out, take a walk, sit down and eat a relaxing meal, or just relax. If you don't have any friends or family close by, ask your hubby to hire a postpartum doula to mother you. They are wonderful!  Go to to find a doula in your area. If someone offers to bring you a meal, DO NOT REFUSE!

Eat well. It is so easy when you are tired and overwhelmed to not sit down and eat a good meal. Make sure you try to eat a balanced diet, complete with lots of fruits and vegetables , protein and whole grains. Drink lots of liquids, milk, juices and lots and lots of water.

Prioritize. Your live has changed now . Things are going to be different so decide what is important in your life right now. Obviously taking care of your baby and yourself is tops.  You don't have a choice there!  In the first few weeks don't push yourself and don't expect perfection.

I believe having a clean kitchen  goes a long ways in keeping your spirits up. Enlist the help of your husband in keeping it tidy.

You need clean clothes. There again, your husband can be a big help in throwing a load or two of wash in the machine. You can sit on the sofa or bed and fold them as they come out of the dryer and he can put them where they belong.

Straighten the main livng areas as needed. Notice I said straighten. No heavy lifting, no vacuuming, no mopping the kitchen floor. Get someone to help you do those things or just let them slide. The dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the mirrors, ironing, and cleaning out the refrigerator CAN WAIT! 
Rest and enjoy that precious little one!

A happy mama is a happy home!
The youngest Grandson!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chapter Six - Colic

Chapter six - Colic and The Crying Baby

I sure hope your baby isn't still crying!!! Let's fix it!!! Maybe baby is just tired. Many times being overtired will cause a baby to cry. I found that lowering the lights, putting on soft music, YOU RELAXING, and quietly rocking the baby, will gradually soothe baby into sleep. 
Another big problem are tummy aches. There are multiple reasons for tummy aches... Mommy ate the wrong things, formula is wrong, baby has gotten too tired, baby is constipated, etc. You have to try to isolate the problem.
New mothers often don't realize how much what they eat can affect their baby, if they are breastfeeding. If they are somewhat aware, they will be careful with broccoli, cauliflower, spicy foods. Even so,  there are may other things that can cause tummy problems in babies  and I will name a few..... lettuce, coffee, all milk products, legumes, tomatoes. It can really be a trial and error effort to find out the problem. So what do you do in the meantime???

Here are a few hints to try.

 At all drugstores and healthfood stores there are products to try. There are baby colic formulas, drops and tablets. There are Mylicon drops which are very fast acting and effective. You can try GripWater or Colic Calm, which is available at most healthfood stores.  After you have given the baby these drops, swaddle him/her snuggly. Pull the babies feet up so that they are in a knee chest position and hold the baby against your chest and rock or lightly bounce. This will usually bring relief. Many times it helps to hold the baby facing out, against your chest, with your arm pressed against their tummy.
There are Homeopathic remedies available for tummy aches and colic. Ask someone at a local health food or vitamin shop for help. I will talk more about Homeopathy later.
Another thing to try is fennel tea. Take about 15  fennel seeds and boil them in 1 cup of water. Let steep for 15-20 minutes and cool. Give baby about 5 drops in mouth or in a bottle with a small amount of water. You can put just a dab of sugar in to make it taste better. Use this a couple of times a day for maybe a week. Don't use continously for longer than that, as it could affect the kidneys.
And when all else fails, you can call Mom!!!
If none of these things work, talk to your pediatrician about your diet and other things that might be affecting the baby. Some babies have reflux and there are things to do to help combat that problem.
I do hope baby is quiet now!

A happy baby is a happy home!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is it Colic?

Chapter Five- Is it Colic?

You're're on your own.... baby is screaming... what do you do??!!!!
First things first. YOU RELAX!! Now I know that sounds impossible, but it isn't, truly it isn't. The baby is not going to get sick from crying, it is fixable and it will be okay! Realize that your tension and stress communicates to the baby. The tenser you get the harder the baby will cry!
Second: Try to find the source of the problem. Maybe baby is hungry, needs a diaper change, is tired, has a tummy ache, or is feeling insecure. Let's see if we can't fix these!
If you fed the baby within the last hour, chances are that hunger is not the problem. Don't try to feed him/her again at this point.

Some babies REALLY do not like a wet or messy diaper, some don't seem to care at all. If you are new to parenting you might not understand just how often and how fast these little munchkins can dirty a diaper.
"But I just changed him/her!!!" Yup, that's right you just did... but baby just did it again!
More soon.....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Baby's Home!!?!?!

Chapter Four -  New Baby

Your dream has come true.. you think??!! You had a fantastic pregnancy..maybe.. you had a wonderful experience in labor and delivery and now you are cuddling this precious little addition to your perfect family.
Mom, dad and baby are home........ baby has not stopping crying since you all pulled into the garage! "HELP! I can't do this!!!"
Well, I am here to tell you that you can do it.  I will help to guide you through the messy diapers, the sleepless nights, the spitup on the floor, the piled up dishes and the screaming baby that you love with all your tired, worn out, blue, crying heart!!
Where do we begin? Let's start with that sweet little screaming baby!! We've got to get him/her quiet so we can think!

My Sweet Hubby

Chapter Three  - Marriage

I was sitting at my table yesterday, slaving over my book sales, when in walked my husband with a handful of beautiful daffodils!! How sweet!! They meant as much to me as if he had bought a huge bouquet of roses! He picked them from around the edge of our property where they are growing wild. I love it!! That is what I call thoughtful!
I promised I would start our visit about raising children, but I have had a nasty, cruddy cold and have not felt like raising my little finger. I promise I will write soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Be Nice!

 Chapter Two

Do you ever get so mad because you husband left his socks on the floor AGAIN??...or your wife forgot to wash those socks and now you have to wear the same ones you wore yesterday? That is so aggravating!!!! You want to just give him/her a piece of your mind!!  Maybe it was worse; your wife just backed into your new car..... Hang in there, chill, count to one hundred.... we all make mistakes. What you need to do is, swallow your pride and just forget it. It isn't worth creating a scene just to make your point. Just go in there and pick up the socks... go give your wife a hug and tell her its okay!! BE NICE!!! That is what you do ...BE NICE!!! Getting even will leave a bitter taste in your mouth and a rip in the fabric of your marriage!


  My husband came in from work the other day... I was feeling yucky with a cold, headache, and fever. He had in his hand a small bouquet of flowers that he had bought from a local grocery store. Just seeing them made me feel better!! You know, those meant as much as a dozen red roses. Why?? Because of the thought behind it!! It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to be thoughtful. A little note in his lunchbox to tell him you love him, a note taped to the mirror that will help him start a new day. ...A call to your sweetie in the middle of the day, just to say you love him/her. You could fix his favorite meal.... ask him how his day was and quietly listen as he rants and raves about his boss! Offer to watch the children so she can go out shopping by herself. WOW! What a treat! Thoughtfulness goes a long way and covers a multitude of mistakes! 

Don't Take Your Spouse for Granted
I know of so many marriages that fall apart because one or both partners took the other one for granted. Remember the little things you did for each other when you were engaged and first marrried... how often you spent time together... how often you just sat and talked and listened to each other. Don't give those special times up!  Don't forget to listen to your spouses needs, dreams, and wishes. They are so important in keeping a marriage alive!

Don't Retaliate
So your spouse has just called you a fat, lazy slob. (I hope not) Steam is absolutely boiling out of your ears. You want to blast him/her away with words! This is when you count to 10, 100, 1000, whatever it takes to keep from being spiteful right back. Retaliating will do no good! The momentary pleasure you get from doing it will not be worth the added pain it brings to your marriage. When I got married, I set a rule in my mind regarding my husband and future children. I would never say anything that would unjustly, unfairly hurt the one I was talking to. I mentally pictured my words on my tongue before they came out and if they wre hurtful, I would try to swallow them. I did not succeed everytime, I know that and my husband and children will tell you that. Many times, though, I swallowed words that almost choked me, because I knew how much they would hurt our relationship. The trite little ditty," Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me", is the most untrue saying that was ever created. Words will tear and destroy any relationship, whether it is with your spouse, your children or your friends!

You know, there are so many thing we could talk about regarding marriage but let's move on... we can come back here later. Tomorrow, we will talk awhile about raising children. Bring your coffee cup and I will fill it up!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Marriage

Chapter One - Happy Marriage

Guess what!!! Marriage is work!!! But it is fun work. Having a sense of humor, playing some jokes, laughing a lot, loving a lot, praying a lot...making a journey of memories. My husband and I still laugh at the jokes we pulled on each other when we were first married. Now he knows I DON'T LIKE FROGS... He came home one night with his lunch box in hand. When I opened his thermos, out jumped a tree frog and landed right on me. I was not a happy camper then, but it is so funny now when I think about it. I got him back... One morning I crept into the bathroom as he was showering, knelt down in front of the tub, reached under the shower curtain and grabbed his ankles.. OHHH, I can still hear his yell!!!!! I thought he was coming over the top! We are still married, and it has been 38+ years of fun, work, laughter, tears, sorrows and many, many joys!!

Relax and let me share a few tips.
  •  Say, "I love you". Say it when you leave the house, say it on the phone, say it in a note, say it when you go to sleep. You can't say it too many times! It will be a soft whisper in the heart of your loved one throughout the day.

  •  Say, "I am sorry." Ohhhhhhhhhhh, this is hard!! We all have an over-abundance of pride and we don't want to say these three simple little words. Maybe you aren't the only one who is wrong. Guess what, someone has to be first. Go ahead, swallow your pride and SAY IT!! What healing it will bring!
 Come back for more. It will be exciting as we work through ways to make your home the "Happiest Family on the Block".

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Family
The family is like a book---
The children are the leaves,
The parents are the covers
That protecting beauty gives.

At first the pages of the book
Are blank and purely fair,
But Time soon writes the memories
and paints the pictures there.

Love is the little golden clasp
That tightly bind the trust;
Oh, do not break it, or all the leaves
Will scatter and be lost!

1 Precious Daughter, 2 precious Grandaughters

1 Precious Daughter, 2 precious Grandaughters
I am blessed!