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Share the Love — Little Things Mean A Lot!

Post Date: 01/31/17 | Blog author: A. is a huge sports fan, art and design enthusiast, and mom to yellow Labs, Ames and Lucy.

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February is always a month of scrambling—the holidays are over, winter breaks are in the books, and the task at hand is to get back on schedule with your family and career. February is also a month traditionally associated with showing your love for the special people who make your life a happy one! Here are a few fun ways to say I love even when your schedule is jam-packed and the pace of life is hectic!

    Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutters!

  • This one is tried and true and makes family meal prep fun by using a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make each sandwich say “I love you!” It’s easy; make your sammie like you usually do—but use the cookie cutter to punch out the center of the bread to carve out a sweet snack for the kids or your significant other. This also works for pancakes, burgers, mini pizzas, and of course cookie dough! Use your imagination!

  • Lunch Box Love Notes!

  • I have a friend at work who receives little love notes from her husband when he packs her lunch for work each day, how great is that? The same can be done for your kiddos! When putting their lunch together, slip in a note of love or encouragement like, “I love you honey—or good luck on your spelling test!” these are wonderful ways to let your family members know you are thinking of them throughout the day. Love notes can be tucked into backpacks, books, briefcases, or suitcases when your spouse is on the road and away from home!

  • Make Date Night a Play Night!

  • Create alone time for you and your love by scheduling a date night. Time together not only allows you to reconnect as a couple, but the much-needed break helps you manage the day to day stress you experience as busy parents. The kids will enjoy your date night as well if you have a special plan for them too! Kids Quest is a perfect place for that! Check your children in for fun and games while you share a quiet dinner and conversation—this way, everybody feels the love!

  • Kids Quest—Playtime for Kids, Free Time for You!

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Family Resolutions for 2017!

Post Date: 01/03/17 | Blog author: A. is a huge sports fan, art and design enthusiast, and mom to yellow Labs, Ames and Lucy.

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Resolutions aren’t just for adults—the New Year is also an opportunity to plan a fresh start for your family. January is a great time to get your home team together to draft goals and game-changing resolutions for the coming year and beyond!

    So Let’s Get Started!

  • Gather the family! Every member of the household should be a part of determining family goals. Have each person make suggestions and vote. Being a part of the decision making process creates buy-in, and buy-in makes reaching your mutual goals much easier!

  • Be realistic! Determining the feasibility of your goals will go a long way toward achieving them! Avoid “absolutes” as they will only set your family up to fail.

  • Ask the “why” behind ideas! Discussion will lead to some really productive conversation between family members about their suggestions and the reasons motivating them.

  • Be clear on roles and responsibilities of each family member to achieve your goals! Every member of the house needs to understand what they personally need to do to make the resolutions work.

  • Reward good choices and follow through! Feedback is vital to the success of your plans. Let your home team know they are on-track for meeting the goals you set as a family. Praise early and often to keep the momentum going!

  • Remember that flexibility and forgiveness encourage progress! The phrases “I’m sorry” and “Great job” should become a big part of your vocabulary as a family. No one is perfect, so redirect gently and make sure to talk openly about slip-ups—they may even be yours as a parent!

    Now that the ground rules have been covered, here are a few family resolutions to get you thinking!

  • More talk; less arguing! Conflict is never resolved with raised voices or anger. Take a breath, think before speaking and then sit down to have respectful, balanced conversations instead!

  • Listen up! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. Nothing is better for self-esteem than feeling like your thoughts emotions and observations are being heard.

  • Give hugs coming and going! You should make an effort to share the love when saying hello and goodbye!

  • Heads up; devices down! Nothing is more important than eye contact, conversation and uninterrupted family time.

  • Less technology; more play! Internet and TV time has a place in our lives, but the lack of personal engagement and creating family fun does not!

  • Simplify schedules; simplify life! Don’t let activities rule your world or wear your family out! Down time free of commitment is restorative for adults and children.

  • Encourage the truth; choose to forgive mistakes and grant second chances! Fear of punishment can lead to a habit of dishonesty that is hard to break, and fear of making a mistake can cause crippling anxiety. Make sure consequences are understood, but an effort to tell the truth should always be acknowledged as well.

  • Do things together and strengthen your bond! Volunteer for a charity, work as a team on a home project, create a family game night, plan a craft day, cook, bake and eat at the table as a family. Group accomplishment forges strong bonds!

  • Have fun making your list of resolutions, and enjoy the fact that each plan you make will be as unique as your family!

    Happy New Year!

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Visions of Kids Quest Danced in Their Heads

Post Date: 12/16/16 | Blog author: A. is a huge sports fan, art and design enthusiast, and mom to yellow Labs, Ames and Lucy.

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