Friday, June 28, 2013

Whiny Kids- HELP

My kids are 5, 3 and 1. And let me tell you, we have been going through some major whining lately.

Their whining voices have the effect on my nerves of someone pulling fingernails across a chalkboard. Bad, I know!

These whiny meltdowns seem to happen especially often at meal times, when everyone thinks that what they are being offered to eat isn't what they really want. Or when the other kid has the book the other needs RIGHT now. Or it is time to go to bed, etc.

I have tried saying, "I can't hear you when you talk like that. Use a happy voice." I have tried saying, "Ask nicely." These sometimes work, but rarely.

Our three old's newest trick is saying at meal times,
"I can't eat" (She wants us to feed her. But I am feeding our one year old while trying to eat).
I say, "Ok, if you don't want to eat you can go play." 
She says, "No, I want to eat." I
say, "Good, then eat." 
She says in her most whiny voice, "I caaaan't."

What are your tips for dealing with whiny kids?

My hope is that this is the tail end of their illness over the last weeks and that with the return of better healthy they will also be less whiny and more optimistic.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cancer Scarf

Browsing the Internet I found this gorgeous scarf for a great cause. Isn't it amazing what a scarf can portray and stand for? 

Tie THAT silk scarf

Need a new idea how to tie your silk scarf? Try the Windsor, click on the photo for full instructions. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Family Games- Our Favorite Five

I have always loved board games and other table games. Right now our nieces are visiting and it is fun to have an excuse to play games.

Our top 5 favorite games now are:

1. Saboteur.

This is a favorite card game we take to parties, cafes (while waiting we play) and to visit friends. Everyone enjoys it! Works best in groups of 4 and up.

Description: Players take on the role of dwarves. As miners, they are in a mine, hunting for gold. Suddenly, a pick axe swings down and shatters the mine lamp. The saboteur has struck. But which of the players are saboteurs? Will you find the gold, or will the fiendish actions of the saboteurs lead them to it first? After three rounds, the player with the most gold is the winner.

2. Think Blot

I remember playing this with my friends in college and it stuck in my mind as a fun game. I was excited to play it again last time I was in the States and to get a cheap one on Ebay.


Description: Look into the ThinkBlot images. How many things can you spot? Do you see a praying mantis or a pair of scissors? Is it an eggshell or a crown? Look closer. There are hundreds of ways to interpret the images!
Can you convince the other players to see what you see? The more you see and persuade, the more you score!

3. Carcassonne:

A game I gifted my husband. Nice that it can be played as a couple as well and it is fast.


Description: Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of his meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.


Love this game growing up, it is so much better than Monopoly.  My nieces are enjoying it now, playing it several times a day.


A great game for a group and for getting to know one another. This is a favorite at our parties at our home- easy to use too since we only have to translate the questions into Latvian.

How about you, what are your favorite games?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

For my Husband, On Father's Day

When I met you I didn't know what kind of a Daddy you would be. I believed, hoped and prayed that the experience you had as a kid with an alcoholic father would not interfere with your fathering skills. 

I want to tell you today we are proud of you. 

Our firstborn made your a Father for the first time and now nearly 5 years later you are still his greatest hero and the the rock we all lean on for our emotional support. 

Our second born blessed you with a Daddy's girl. And it is precious to see how she looks up to you the same way I have always looked up to my Daddy. 

Our third born blessed you with another heir to carry on your family name. He has brought joy to our hearts with his happy nature and contented attitude. 

Words can't express how we look up to you, and need you in our lives. We are blessed when you lead us with a strong, but gentle hand. We are at rest when  you put God first in your life, leading us in His ways. We are proud that God has given you so many talents, and that you can fix anything you put your hand to. 

We love you! 

Happy Father's Day! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Dear Daddy 

Thank you for  wanting me and always telling the story of how you rejoiced over my birth so much that you yelled out the window "I have a girl."

Thanks for reading to us growing up. The books you read shaped the beliefs and worldviews I hold. It was hearing about the missionaries around the world that led me to study Intercultural Studies. Thank you. 

Thank you for teaching me to fish and taking us fishing as kids. I love that we did that as a family and I can do it with my kids. 

Thank you for all the music lessons you paid for, I love that I can play the piano and even the violin some. 

Thank you for always setting us an example of a man of God, and that you have never lived a double life at home and work. 

Thanks for all the prayers, tears and love. 

I love you Daddy! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Working Woman

Perhaps you remember my earlier posts on my new favorite place to drink coffee in town. Or the time I spent an afternoon baking at this lovely little bakery making American goodies?

Well this week marks the second week of my new job. I am working a whole 6 hours a week, very little I know. But for a busy Mom, during summer (with tons of garden work) this seems like plenty and even a lot. I enjoy the time to do something different,pursuing another hobby and earning a little money. It is fun to get to know my new colleagues and learn some new tips as well. I have also enjoyed seeing the looks of surprise when friends or old acquaintances come in and see me working. Fun,fun, fun!