31 Days: CANDY

This is post is part of the series: 31 Days of Intentional ParentingFind all the posts in this series here.

Since Jared has type-one diabetes, we’re fairly conscious of what we feed our family and have tried to teach our kids about good food choices, but it’s definitely challenging when they see all the treats at the grocery store, play with friends who’s parents don’t follow the same guidelines, go to school or church parties and potlucks, or when our sweet grandmotherly neighbor loads them up with a baggie of candy before sending them home.

So since Halloween is almost here, CANDY is abundant everywhere I look. And we’re guilty too, with a stash hiding in the master closet for “trick-or-treaters ” (and after-the-kids-go-to-bed treats!).

I’m wondering what you all feel about this candy situation.

Do you let your kids go trick-or-treating and eat whatever they want until it’s gone?

Do you stretch it out one piece a day for months?

Do you let them choose a few pieces and get rid of the rest?

I feel like our family needs to establish a system while our kids are still young (like: NOW) so that I don’t have to fight about candy every year.

{Halloween 2010}

Please, share ideas!!

Diving In (featured on Heartsy!)

You know that feeling you have right before you jump off the diving board? How it’s way scarier if you stand on the edge and look down, so it’s best to just dive right in and get wet. That’s how I’m feeling right now. Deciding to finally take the leap and open an Etsy store was completely terrifying to me, but once I made the commitment, I just dove in. It’s only been two months, and I’m not really sure what the future holds, but I do have the hope this little shop will continue to grow and become substantial enough that I can help support my family, continue to chunk away at our debt, and be able to do so while staying home with my babies.

I would like to believe that when our intentions are good, good things happen, and so I’m super excited to be a featured seller on Heartsy this week. If you aren’t familiar with Heartsy, it’s a fabulous “deal” site that features independent artists (usually Etsy shops), and offers vouchers at a discounted price. It’s a win-win deal for everyone because the artist (me!) gets more exposure, and the customer (you!) gets a fantastic price on unique, handmade gifts. Having the opportunity to be featured at this time of year is especially exciting as we are coming upon the holiday season and it’s time to be thinking about Christmas presents. Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices. So here’s the deal Heartsy is offering on my shop this week: Buy a $10 voucher, and get a $21 credit to my shop!! That’s over 50% off (and believe me, it’s the cheapest discount there will ever be!)!! The $21 credit expires in one month, and CAN be applied toward shipping. So it’s a pretty great deal all around. In case you need a little more convincing :), here are just a few handmade products you can purchase with your $21 credit: For teachers, daycare providers, children’s librarians, or YOUR kids:

{The Very Hungry Caterpillar felt story set}

{Printed Bookplates}

 {I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly felt story set}

For Newlyweds, College Students, or ANYONE who eats:

{Baking-Themed Recipe Cards}

{Recipe Binder Cover and Categories}

{Printable Meal Planner}

For Grandma, Best Friend, Neighbor, or YOU:

{Just a Note notecards}

{Thinking of You notecards}

Once you browse the shop, if there is something you don’t see that you would like, feel free to send me a convo and we can chat about a custom order.

Happy Heartsy shopping, and THANKS in advance for supporting handmade.

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices.

31 Days: Make them Smile

This is post is part of the series: 31 Days of Intentional ParentingFind all the posts in this series here.

When we moved across the country to Kentucky, Jared drove the moving truck, and I drove along side in our car. It took us five days to make the drive with (then) two little kids and a very uncomfortable pregnant mama. I’m not sure we would do it that way again, but you learn by experience, right?

During that road-trip we had to be creative in order to keep the kids entertained and Jared showed Ryan how to “ask” a semi truck to honk by pumping his arm up and down in a “honking” motion. Then four-year old Ryan was fascinated and spent incredible amounts of that long cross-country drive staring out the window waiting for us to pass a semi so he could encourage the truck to honk for him. His head barely came above the bottom of the car window so most truck drivers couldn’t see him, but when he did get an occasional honk, the success was enough to fuel him for the next round of semi trucks.

Shortly afterwards we bought a second family car–this one with tinted windows–making it now impossible for truck drivers to see Ryan’s honk requests. Last week our family left our small, country town and headed to the big city for the day. We had plenty of freeway to cover, making semi-truck-honking-requests ample for my six-year-old as well as his four- and two-year-old sisters. Even though we reminded them the windows were too dark for the truck drivers to see through, the three kiddos attempted anyway–holding out for the hope of a good, deep honk. But after the fifth or sixth unsuccessful request we could tell they were disappointed.

We were coming up on yet another truck on my passenger side when Jared suggested I “ask” the driver to honk.

“No,” I shyed away.

“What, are you embarrassed?” he asked.

“Uh, yeah. There’s a big difference between a kid and an adult asking for a honk.”

“Come on, do it for the kids. Be a silly mommy.”

“You do it.”

“The truck’s on your side. He can’t see me. Come on, I’ll slow down as we pass.”

And so Jared slowed, and I looked over at the friendly-looking truck driver, who looked back at me, (as my kids are fervently making honking motions behind me) and I smiled as we passed.

“Pam!” he whispered. “Did you chicken out?”

“Ugh, it’s just so embarrassing.”

“Do it,” he egged.

I didn’t want to. But I also knew he wasn’t going to back down (and the kids weren’t going to give up pumping their little arms until they got a honk), so when the next opportunity came and Jared slowly passed, I took a deep breath (avoided looking at him in fear of chickening out again), turned toward the old truck driver, sweetly smiled, and motioned for him to “honk.”

For a brief second my self-fulfilling prophecy came true. My cheeks flushed hot when when the old man gave me one of the dirtiest looks I’ve ever seen and rolled his eyes. But then, then–he blared his horn as we passed.

Jared and the kids roared in excitement.

“He honked for us!! He saw us!!” cheered the kids, oblivious to Jared’s encouragement and my inner conflict.

I looked over at my husband who was beaming. I looked back at the kids, still congratulating themselves for having “achieved” a honk. The enthusiasm spread and I started laughing and shrugged off the embarrassment. So what if the old man was annoyed?

The happiness of my children was well worth it.

{Tough Trucks, Black and White Type, Sanded Solids, Newsies by Jacque Larsen}

31 Days: Take a Break

It’s been hard for me to want to write about intentional parenting lately, because I feel like I haven’t been very intentional. At 33 weeks pregnant–my body is gigantic, my energy-level is minimal, and keeping up with the chaos is overwhelming. It seems we are coasting in survival mode with too much TV, frozen pizza, and a messy house.

I was on the verge of emotional and physical exhaustion and was ready to crawl in my bed with a bag of the “trick-or-treating” chocolate when when Jared took me on a rare (away from home) date this weekend. It wasn’t anything fancy, but having the motivation to step out of my yoga pants, put on some new eyeshadow, and have the car door opened for me was just the boost I needed to rejuvenate.

I feel like I’m a better mom, a more intentional mom, when I take a break. Sometimes it’s actually leaving the house (grocery shopping my myself is one of my favorite things to do!), and sometimes it’s closing my bedroom door and working on a project that’s just for me. How about you?

What do you do to recharge your parenting battery?


31 Days: Get involved in Their Education

This is post is part of the series: 31 Days of Intentional ParentingFind all the posts in this series here.

Since becoming PTA President, my main goal has been to increase parent involvement. Originally that goal was received with a lot of criticism and negativity, but when you know something is right and can’t shake that gut feeling, you press on.

At the first PTA meeting I’d ever attended, I was one of three parents. This month we had 32 parents join our discussion. Improvement? I’d say so! (Although the credit for increased involvement doesn’t go to me, I’m still giddy and would like to hope our hard work is paying off. Time will tell.)

Joining the PTA is obviously not the only way to get involved in our kids’ education, it’s just the example that’s close to my heart right now. But being involved in our kids education, whether home, public, or private, in my mind–is a must.


We all want the best for our kids and research shows consistent results. When parents are involved their child’s education, kids are more likely to:

  • earn better grades
  • score higher on tests
  • pass their classes
  • attend school regularly
  • have better social skills
  • show improved behavior
  • be more positive in their attitude toward school
  • complete homework assignments
  • graduate and continue their education

(source: PTO Today)


There are lots of ways to be involved in our children’s education. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Talk to them about their day. Find out what they are learning, who their friends are, and what a “normal” day is like.
  • Read, read, read. To them, with them, next to them.
  • Make homework a consistent part of the daily routine.
  • Have high-expectations, and praise success.
  • Visit their classroom to see what they do at school and how they interact with others.
  • Volunteer to help in the classroom.
  • Attend student events and performances.
  • Get to know their teacher.
  • Be part of decision-making committees such as the PTA.

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