Category Archives: Family

Cheer Up, Charles!

Standard
Cheer Up, Charles!

Hello! My dad, CHARLES, is always spreading joy in the home with his beautiful bouquets and I look forward to seeing what arrangement is going to be on the kitchen table every time I stop by. This is his latest work:

E4D6DD65-FCA1-4803-AAC1-5CA25CB3DDB5C4CBDCCF-DF28-45EC-83CE-F4F0BD496F98BBDD8160-B958-4548-B6E1-BB70ABE6BEBA7A4E6356-710A-453E-9126-73BEE9C77B98D384A6AD-95DD-42FF-8D3F-FA582D1BE9CD

My dad is the best, funniest, most wonderful man I have ever known and, unfortunately, he broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder this past week. 😦 It makes me so sad and we are all hoping for a speedy recovery for him and are extremely thankful that he’s okay.

I wanted to make a call to action for Operation: Cheer Up, Charles and would love it if all of you could please comment with your favorite flowers and any well wishes. It will be like my readers are sending him a virtual bouquet! It would be so very appreciated and will be sure to make his day.

Thanks in advance to all and get well soon, Dad. I love you! ❤

Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Standard
Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Families can be difficult and, sometimes, you’re going to argue. Usually, disagreements get forgotten and things go back to normal but that isn’t always the case as some families might end up splitting apart and not speaking, potentially for years. Dealing with estranged family members can be incredibly difficult and many people feel as though they want to keep things as they are and not speak to those people ever again.

However, even though you feel like that in the heat of the moment, it’s something that you could come to regret later on. Many people find that when they become parents and they start thinking about the importance of family, they want to rebuild those relationships before it’s too late. If you have an estranged family member and you want to reconnect with them, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Forgive Them For The Past:

If you are searching for an estranged family member because you feel like you’ve got a score to settle, things are never going to work out. It’s important that you forgive them for the past before you reconnect with them so you are going into this process with a positive mindset. Many people are estranged from loved ones that have been in legal trouble, for example. If this is the case, you need to deal with the practical elements, like how to search for an inmate and set up a visit, but you also need to find a way to forgive them for the mistakes they made in the first place. If you are not ready to put the past behind you, meeting up with estranged family members will only make things worse for both of you.

Establish Clear Boundaries:

Putting clear boundaries in place will help you rebuild the relationship slowly and avoid conflict. You should make your boundaries clear from the beginning and what those boundaries are depends on the relationship and the reason for it breaking down. To start, you may tell them that you won’t tolerate lying if that was a big issue before. Sometimes, you may also need practical boundaries in place about what time they can call you or how often you will see one another. The whole process will be much easier if everybody has clear expectations from the beginning.

Maintain Other Family Relationships:

When you rekindle a relationship with a family member that you haven’t spoken to for years, it feels like you have to make up for a lot of lost time. It’s common for people to throw themselves into that relationship and neglect other family members without even realizing it. It’s important that you are aware of this and you take the time to do fun activities with the family and spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel like this new relationship has taken over everything else. 

These are all important things to consider but the main thing you need to remember is that you must be patient. Healing old wounds takes time, but as long as you don’t push it, your relationship can mend.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

Standard
Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. 😀

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

Standard
Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

Many of us have exhausted a range of activities in the midst of societal lock down. We’ve baked, we’ve cooked, we’ve tried foreign cuisine, we’ve read, we’ve relaxed. So, it’s understandable if you’re feeling restless or irritable once your options for activities have been depleted. Not being able to ‘get out’ and enjoy the warm weather (by virtue of it being winter) also limits us a little more. You shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling irritable, as a lot of people are – myself included!

But what’s best for when you’re feeling irritable? To us, playing games and having fun with our family members can really help. Games help us act creatively, to compete in safe settings, and moreover, to have fun and a laugh. Hosting a fun game night with the family can be lovely then, and perhaps a weekly tradition.

But what sort of game nights could you have with the family? Your board game collection is a great place to start or you could order a couple of games online for something totally different. Why not also consider some of the following options?

Word & Quiz Games:

It can be fun to test your general knowledge or show off your Words With Friends skills with a word game. My personal favorite word game is Scrabble and using a descramble words tool can help you buff up before the games begin. Memory games, general trivia, and even games like timed ‘random Wikipedia journeys’ can be a great idea. These games will help you get a brain workout by the end of them! And who’s to say they aren’t competitive?

Video Game Parties:

If you have any video games consoles and games that offer cooperative play, you will be in for a blast. Four play Mario Party can be phenomenal, for instance, helping you enjoy a range of mini games across a players board, building stars, and dunking on others as you go. You’re sure to have fun with Mariokart, Keep Talking, And Nobody Explodes to show you what friendly competition is all about. We would also recommend Human Fall Flat and Fall Guys if you’re looking for something comical and cartoonish.

A Homespun Talent Show:

It can also be a wonderful idea to enjoy a homespun talent show, one that helps you feel connected, appreciated, and able to express your silliest joys. Perhaps you and your partner can do a magic show for the children, while they can lip sync and play air guitar to their favorite song. It sounds very silly, and it is! The goal is for everyone to be grinning from ear to ear. You can all judge and score each act and work up to the semi finals and finals over the course of a weekend. It might be a bit of work, but the outcome will be well worth it!

With this advice, we hope you can enjoy a fun game night with the family – and no doubt end up having a ball. You will feel much better afterwards too! 🙂

Featured Image By: Pexels

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

Standard
Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

Hello! The day after Christmas, Johnny and I visited his parents and it was so nice. Due to COVID, I have not seen them in forever and I was really happy to safely spend time with them. We opened gifts, caught up, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as per their family tradition. I feel lucky that this was my second viewing with them and I can’t wait for many more. Johnny and I were gifted with such beautiful presents and I am so tickled that they even got me a stocking for their mantel! Check it out:

A1CE398D-ADEA-48BD-8B91-5F44173DB2980791D221-596F-4508-A678-4069E5ED569162C36BD4-DB03-4395-BFEB-3F120170B9063DEB60A6-37EF-4DBF-A141-14D6626C8ED42707C877-A024-4142-9E33-B4CE6FEF8E79

^^^ The adorable “Our First Pandemic” ornament is from Johnny! 🙂

I love all of the gifts from Johnny’s parents so much and I love that many of them are from local businesses in our area even more. The unique earrings came from a local boutique as well as the bar soap and delicious smelling Gingerbread Caramel lotion, which was from Hope Soap. They have a store in downtown Cuyahoga Falls and I have always wanted to check it out so I’m really eager to try their products. And, don’t even get me started on the popcorn from Amaize because it is the BEST. Johnny and I were gifted with a huge sampler of their different flavors last year on our birthdays and we made very quick work of it!

Johnny’s parents also gave us several different ornaments, which was so thoughtful because despite not having a Christmas tree in our apartment this year, we will definitely want one for next Christmas when we are in a bigger place. It will be so much fun to collect ornaments for our own tree and we already have a nice start! I particularly love the middle ornament in the picture above – it is so pretty. 🙂

Being able to spend time with Johnny’s family was the best gift of all. I miss them so and I can’t wait until things are significantly less crazy so we can see them more often. ❤

Do you have an ornament collection? What is your favorite ornament or holiday decoration? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Tips When Caring For Elderly Relatives

Standard
Simple Tips When Caring For Elderly Relatives

Looking after the people you care about is always a priority in life. Whether young or old, you want to make sure that your family is in a good position, and there are plenty of ways to achieve this goal. As the people in your family get older, the types of care they might need will become clearer. This can create challenges, especially if your loved ones need permanent care, but there are tips that you can follow to make this easier for yourself. Let’s take a look at some of your options to get you started:

Emergency alarms:

Having an emergency alarm to use when they desperately need help can make caring for your loved ones much easier. This will take away the stress of checking on them all the time, giving them the freedom they want while enabling you to maintain a normal life. Tools like this can prove life-saving in certain circumstances, with just about every care facility in the world providing them. You can buy special pendants that can either connect to your phone or a special operator that will be available at all times.

Walk-in baths:

Being able to clean themselves is a key element of your family member’s independence. Having a wet room can be perfect if they are disabled, making it easier for them to clean themselves and for carers to do parts of the job for them. Walk-in tubs are better for those with more mobility, but who would still like to be able to get into the bath or shower without assistance. Walk-in bath tub installation isn’t too expensive, especially when you consider the difference it can make.

Ramps:

Even when you’re not dealing with someone with a disability, you’d be surprised at how useful ramps can be when used in the right circumstances. Small steps can get harder and harder to climb as someone gets older, but ramps ease this process, giving your loved ones the chance to make their own way into their homes. Stair lifts can be good for full sets of stairs, though this can be quite pricey if you want an option that will last for a long time.

Key safes:

Being able to access the home of your loved one is crucial if you want to be able to look after them. Key safes are a great way to be able to give access to a group of people without having to have loads of keys to keep track of. If you need a doctor to visit when you’re not there, for example, you can have them use the key safe to let themselves in if there isn’t an answer at the door. Like an alarm, this can prove to be invaluable.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to make your life caring for your loved ones a little bit simpler. There are more options out there to help with this, making it well worth doing your research before you decide which you will choose.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Rita Rites

Standard
Rita Rites

Hello!! I like to think that I got my knack for writing from my grandma. Not only was she a gifted musician but she loved to write too and had a monthly newsletter called “Rita Rites” that was distributed in her church and mailed to her friends. In fact, when I was younger, we would both sit by the computer and she would read her handwritten draft of Rita Rites out loud to me while I typed it. I would always look forward to receiving the end results of our handiwork in the mail! In a way, it was kind of like her own blog, filled with jokes, fun facts, stories, and charming insights.

I was proud to be able to help my grandma with her newsletter and even prouder when my mom accidentally called my blog my “Rita Rites” the other day. I considered it a high compliment! From a young age, I was exposed to all of the joys of writing and I definitely have my grandma to thank for that. Her creativity, dedication, and the fact that I can never recall her using the same blurb twice continues to inspire me to this day.

I loved being able to help my grandma with Rita Rites and I miss her terribly. But, thanks to my mom misnaming my blog, I have felt so close to my grandma every time I’ve sat down to write since. Fond memories of an afternoon with my grandma working on the newsletter and then sitting down to a delicious dinner with my whole family have flooded my thoughts and it makes me happy. I think my grandma would be extremely proud of my blog and that makes me happy too. 🙂

Even though everything pretty much sucks right now, writing has helped keep me sane. And, whenever I struggle to come up with a post for the day, I think of my grandma’s dedication to her craft and everything just kind of flows. Whether you just started writing or have been doing it for years, keep going! Great friends and some of the best memories will be around to greet you at every corner. I am so thankful to the support of the blogosphere and my loved ones when it comes to my blog and Lil Red will always be here to help support all of you too!

What inspired you to start blogging? How long have you been writing for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Productive & Rewarding Activities To Do As A Family

Standard
Productive & Rewarding Activities To Do As A Family

As a parent, you’ll want to do all you can to make your child’s (or children’s) quality of life the best it can be. This means you’ll have to put in work in various areas. Educating them is obviously high on the list of priorities. Keeping them healthy mentally, physically, and socially is also important, of course. You also must make sure that their minds are being stimulated every single day in a positive sense, too. Part of being a parent is helping your child to view life in an optimistic and positive light. There is very little point to life if we’re not enjoying every single day!

Your job is to raise them properly and ensure that they have every advantage going into their adulthood when they’re entirely responsible for their own life. No matter how old your kids are, they are never too old to do things together as a family. Here are some activities that you can do with your family that will be educational, productive, rewarding, and fun:

Family work outs and exercise:

Working out as a family is a great way of bonding as well as staying fit and healthy. It’s often tedious and grueling when you have to work out on your own – especially during the cold, dark, and gloomy days. Getting your gang to tag along with you can be so rewarding. Not only will you all enjoy it, but you’re teaching your entire family about the kinds of things they need to be doing in order to feel better mentally and physically. They could also pick up all kinds of sporting hobbies – which is, of course, an added bonus.

Extra curricular schooling:

Some kids may not like the idea of learning things when they’re away from school. Others, however, may find something they genuinely love and they may want to delve into it even further. The practice of learning from home has become a lot more popular due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it has to stop once life gets back on track again. One thing’s for certain; you’ll have a much smarter child on your hands than if you don’t bother with it!

Work on the house:

Nobody’s expecting you to behave like professional remodeling companies, of course. Even though that would be AMAZING if you could replicate that stuff! Doing some DIY and conjuring up little projects would be fun a place to start. You’ll get productive tasks done while teaching the kids (and yourself) all kinds of new, useful skills.

Travel to new places regularly:

Doing the same kinds of things over and over again, even if you find them quite entertaining, will end up being boring. You won’t stimulate your brain anywhere near as much as perhaps you should. Visiting new areas of the world definitely would. Even new areas in your home country need exploring! You’ll learn so much and your confidence would grow a lot. Plus, there are plenty of awesome memories to be made when traveling with your family!

Enjoy quality time all together with the ideas above for an even stronger family unit in the future.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

Standard
4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

As a parent, tutoring is automatically an additional responsibility once your kids are school age. Whether you are helping with homework or teaching them how to do basic research, you are engaging in some form of tutoring. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a real threat, many parents have taken on tutoring their kids full-time to keep up with the schoolwork they may be missing. Other parents have decided to co-tutor with teachers online using the various available technologies. This is the best time for you to step up your game as a tutor so keep on reading for our tips to help you improve:

Incorporate technology:

Technology is driving education, and you must find ways to incorporate it into your teaching. Students of all ages now have access to at least a mobile phone or a laptop – even if it belongs to their parents. There are tons of apps out there that can help you to deliver any conceivable topic from history, science, math, and English tutoring, the choice is yours. You can use these apps for your professional development or you may be able to introduce these apps to your kids as a fun way to learn and explore the subject area.

Be adaptable:

No two students are the same, so you must be adaptable and quick to realize your child’s learning style. Find a method that he or she identifies with and use that to teach them to increase their participation. Some students prefer to know the subject matter and prepare before the actual class. Others learn best when the teaching is interlaced with some activities that improve their retention. Another thing to improve upon is speaking in terms that will be understood and always encouraging questions when things aren’t clear.

Be patient:

Patience is key to understanding your child and finding ways to make learning easier and more fun for them. While some students are quick to understand certain concepts, others are not. Do not get flustered or impatient. Instead, take your time to explain and break down the idea so that they can grasp it. Other students have problems with retention, and this is quite common. If you do have a student that struggles with information retention, employ the use of memory retention techniques such as mind maps and acronyms, which can be helpful in such a situation.

Seek your child’s feedback:

If your child is struggling, ask for their feedback on what you can do to make things easier. It could be that he or she is not learning in a style that best suits them. Ask them how they feel about your teaching style or approach to a topic when you are helping with homework. You can also ask them how you can make the lessons more exciting or beneficial to them. This will help you improve your teaching methods while giving your kids the opportunity to voice their feelings and have a hands on experience with their education.

tutor1

Pixabay Image

2020 has brought parents directly into the classroom with at home learning. Help them be successful with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

Standard
There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah