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A Homemade Slime Recipe, Plus Practical Life Lessons

Creativity and Crafts, Family

Last week, I had my entire family in town: my three sons, three daughters-in-love, and six very, very advanced grandkids (I’m obviously not partial). It was a constant whirl of activity. The whole crew made a homemade slime recipe together. We visited the fire station. We paddled down a river. Some of us rode horses. We ate loads of ice cream. It was such fun and I’m still soaking up the sounds of their laughter and little voices.

Having the family around one table just made my heart so happy. But now, they’ve all travelled back home and we will have to rely on the fun photos to keep the memories fresh. continue reading

The Best Father’s Day Gift Idea: Books For The Dads In Your Life

Books, Family
father's day books

Are you prepared for Father’s Day this Sunday or are you frantically looking for last-minute ideas that don’t seem so last minute? It might be too late to pull off some of the great ideas I included in the Fierce Father’s Day Gift Guide, but don’t fret. I have a solution. (You can thank me later).

As your resident author friend, I’m obligated to share book ideas on all subjects. (It’s in the universal author contract. Right below the clause that says I can helpfully correct grammar and spelling. Hah!)

Back to sharing books. I read. A lot. Some might say too much. They would be wrong. But I certainly do a big chunk of reading.

So let’s have all the time I spend reading serve a purpose for you, my Fierce Friends. Whether it’s a gift for your husband, son, or your own father or grandfather, books are always the answer.

Books: The Best Father’s Day Gift Idea

Without further ado, a few suggestions for Father’s Day books (aka the best Father’s Day gift idea, in my unbiased opinion):

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Best Father’s Day Gift Ideas From My Family

father's day dad

Now, I’m not going to assume that you’re keeping up with the events in my life, but if you follow me on social media, then you know this week all my darlings and grand-darlings are in town for a visit. All 12 of them.

Which means I’m extremely busy loving on (equally, of course) six wonderful little bundles of joy. Honestly, I was thinking I might take a break from blogging this week as I knew my week would be packed. Somehow though, every time I think I might take a break, part of my brain gets triggered and I end up stuck there until I just sit down and get my thoughts out. The kids are all napping and here I am, excitedly typing out my thoughts on the subject of: buying gifts for men vs. buying gifts for women.

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Christmas Gifts For Men: Your Husband is Fierce Too

Cherish Relationships, Family
Christmas gifts for men

I’ve saved the best for last, a helpful list of gifts for those men in our life. If the saying is true that, “behind every good man there’s a good woman” (and it is!), then we are grateful to have those good men to stand behind.

There aren’t too many days left until Christmas. So if you’re still looking for ideas right now I’ll keep this short-and-sweet and get you right to my gift suggestions.

(Are you still looking for gifts for girlfriends, or grandchildren or book lovers? I’ve got you covered there too!)

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Fierce Grammy’s Guide: Best Christmas Gift Ideas For Grandkids

Cherish Relationships, Family
Christmas Gift Ideas for Grandkids

Let’s face it: grandchildren are the most fun to buy presents for, but can sometimes be the hardest. It’s difficult to keep track of what kids these days are interested in, and after you learn, it can change faster than you can say “iPhone!”

But there’s nothing quite as special as the look of joy on a child’s face when Christmas morning comes and they open presents. (And the inevitable hug afterwards!).

When I shop for my grand-darlings, I try to think back to being a parent and remember the practical side of gifts, too. Here are a few ground rules:

  1. SAFETY: Even if you’re buying for an older child, be sensitive to lots of small parts that could be dangerous to younger kids.
  2. SANITY: Keep parents in mind. Ask about things like an art set that might create large messes or a drum set that might affect the acoustics of home life. Your grandson might be the next Picasso or Ringo Starr but sometimes those messy or loud  gifts are best kept at grandma’s house!
  3. SMART: It’s no secret that all of our grand-darlings are clearly advanced, which is why it’s important to look for educational toys that help develop their young (and obviously brilliant) minds.
  4. LOCAL: Shop local when you can. ‘Nuff said.
  5. BOOKS ARE SUPREME: The last rule for me is that each grandchild always gets a book, no matter what. (Not that I’m biased or anything because I’m an author, I just think kids and books go together like partridges and peartrees).

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My Son’s Wedding: The Dress! The Flowers! The Epic Mother Son Dance!

Celebrate Life, Family, Hospitality and Entertaining
mother son dance

It seems like yesterday when my youngest son thought every single animal, no matter what it was, was a cow. Moo! (it was a cat), Moo! (it was a dog). Moo! (It was an elephant for goodness sake).

Just to embarrass him, here’s a picture of him as a little ball of fluff. Adorable, right?

Oh, and here is one from those awkward middle school years with braces.

It’s my right as a mother to share these on the internet, yes? I think so. continue reading

Our Journey: What I’ve Learned Since My Husband’s Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Cherish Relationships, Family, Healing and Hope

Two years ago, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This is something I haven’t talked about much until today, not online and not on this blog.  There were a couple of reasons for that.

For one thing, though it impacted me as well, it really wasn’t my story to tell.  It was my husband’s and he is a very private person.

Also, in our usual straightforward and efficient way, we handled it.  After talking with doctors and doing quite a bit of research, my husband had surgery to remove his prostate.  The margins were clear and no chemotherapy or radiation was deemed necessary. After a few months of recovery, everything seemed fine and we went on with our lives. continue reading

The Dos and Don’ts of Family Reunion Planning

family reunion planning

One of my relatives loves to assert at every family get together that “You can’t choose your relatives.” She smirks and we laugh because we are so lucky to have such a fun bunch, despite the quirks, dysfunctions, and fiery Irish personalities. But her statement rings true for everyone: you really can’t choose your relatives. Whether you like it or not, you’re a lifetime member of the club. You are bound by shared DNA, shared memories, shared secrets, and shared histories. Essentially, you’re stuck together. And that’s not such a bad thing, is it? continue reading

Long-Distance Grammy: Craft of the Month Club

Creativity and Crafts, Family
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One of the toughest parts of moving into our new home was leaving our grandchildren behind. If you’re a grandma or, like me, a “grammy” – then you know how quickly you can get addicted to those grand-darlings!  For over a year, we had actually shared our home with my middle son, his wife, and two of our grand-darlings so I had become very spoiled, getting to see them every day.

Technology definitely makes it easier to stay in touch with long-distance loved ones but visiting with your grands on FaceTime (especially if they spend most of the visit making faces into the camera) just isn’t the same. continue reading