What's in a Hyphenated Name?

I didn’t get married until 35.  I had years of professional experience using my last name and I didn’t know any other name for all those years. That could be half my life. Why change then?  I had many professional books and articles and presented workshops under my name.  If I changed my name, no... Read more »

Christmas Crafts 2018

Every year I assemble or craft Christmas gifts for the family and teachers.  I ran out of time this year so I didn’t get to complete all of my projects.  But here are some easy and inexpensive standbys. 1.Photo magnets.  Every year I create a magnet with my kids’ photos.  This year I took a... Read more »

Christmas Crafts

As I am starting to form ideas for new crafts for the holidays, I thought I would share what my children and I made for Christmas last year (2017).  I love to make gifts and replicate things I see at craft fairs and on Etsy or online.  My ideas are not that original, but they... Read more »

Hallmark (and many other new) Christmas Movie Reviews 2017 Part 2

Normally a post about Christmas movies would be premature for September, but the Hallmark Channel Christmas Countdown Facebook page reminds us every day just how close we are getting to Christmas and to the Christmas holiday movie season.  And those movies will be starting in just one month.  And there are even more this year.  About... Read more »

Harry Potter Events in the Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana)

I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when it was first released.  Three years ago, when my son was in first grade, I could tell he would love these books too.  So we started reading them tiogether.  I would make us read the books before we would see the movies.  Our first goal was... Read more »

My kid isn't as smart as I thought he was. He's smarter.

My child seemed to be on track.  I thought he was doing well for one of the youngest in his class by starting first grade at only five-years-old.  He was sounding out words better than my older son had at his age.  He was getting most of his spelling words right.  I thought I had... Read more »

Santa Trains in the Suburbs and Beyond

My son was obsessed with trains as a toddler.  One of his first words was choo choo.  While my other son could be entertained by Barney or other kid shows, my oldest found train videos calming.  So when he was old enough, we started to visit Santa trains in the area. Here are my suggestions,... Read more »

Hallmark Christmas Movie Reviews 2017 Part 1

For the last four five years or so, I started watching Hallmark and Lifetime (and sometimes Ion) Christmas movies more religiously.  I try to watch every single one.  Then I started writing reviews on them for my Facebook friends.  Some read for amusement and some for guidance and some just because they watch them all too. ... Read more »

Don't like the Elf on the Shelf? Here are some different options to try.

The Elf on the Shelf is not my favorite Christmas activity. I prefer watching the Hallmark movies, wrapping and buying gifts, having multiple advent calendars, and going to any Christmas event within an hour drive.  Every year the elf is in a place I cannot remember, or he may sit in plain view in a... Read more »

Morning madness or why I sometimes just want to get in my car and keep driving until I run out of gas

Wake up at 3:30 a.m. 3.5 hours before I have to leave for work because I fell asleep in my son’s bed listening to Harry Potter because he has to read or listen to a book 20 minutes a day. Take the dog out. Chase him to the neighbor’s front yard in my robe where... Read more »