Category Archives: Family

A Flower For Me

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A Flower For Me

Hello! On Father’s Day, my sister and her daughter arrived at our parents’ house at the exact same time that I did. We didn’t plan it at all and it was perfect because we all had the maximum time together before we split back up for the day. Beautiful presents and lots of love were gifted to our dear old dad but I think I got the most special treat of all that day. Check it out:

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After presents, we all took a pause and went to the backyard so my niece, Valerie, could move and groove before my sister took off. My dad loves to show Val his flower and vegetable garden and she loves it too. More often than not, you can see my dad smelling the flowers with her and then he will help her pick a bloom for her mom.

On Father’s Day, Val wanted a flower for each hand once she picked her favorite. Then, she toddled up to her auntie and handed me a flower with a big smile on her face. And, right at that moment, our Golden Retriever gobbled up the flower in the hand she wasn’t paying attention to. *Face palm*

Once Val realized her other flower was missing, I offered her mine to make up for it. But, she just kept handing it back to me. I have to say, I was really happy she did because there is literally nothing better than getting a pretty little flower from your fifteen month old niece. I brought it home with me and put it in my dried flower collection and it’s never not going to make me smile whenever I see it. ❤

How did you celebrate Father’s Day? How is your garden doing this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Caring For Your Senior Loved Ones During Lock Down

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Caring For Your Senior Loved Ones During Lock Down

Lock down has been tough for many of us. As the days and weeks roll on, life has become rather mundane, and in some ways, quite stressful too. Not only do we need to find new things to do with our time (after binge-watching the entirety of Netflix), but we have had to cope with the mental effects of lock down too.

Times are hard indeed, but if they are hard for us, they will be especially difficult for our senior loved ones. If they are living independently, they might well be suffering from the effects of loneliness and stress themselves. So, consider what you might do to care for your aging parents or your grandparents. Here are a few suggestions:

Ensure they have health support:

If they need support with any health-related issues, now is the time to make sure your senior loved ones have everything they need. It might be that you need to collect any prescriptions for them or you might need to contact their doctor to refill them. Specialist home care services, such as those provided by Serenity Home Health, can offer support to the elderly, so get in touch if your loved one hasn’t yet accessed such support. And speak to your loved one’s neighbors, and ask those that can be trusted to keep a socially distanced eye on your family member.

Stay in touch:

If your senior loved one is living alone, you should make an extra effort to get in touch with them. A daily phone call might make their day, although you could also use Skype, Zoom, or social media to stay in touch with them too. And when you talk to them, be reassuring. The last thing they might need is your stressed-out tones if you’re worrying about lock down, as they might have similar worries themselves. Instead, be encouraging and reassuring, and do nothing to exacerbate their fears. Let them talk to your kids, share stories that will make them smile, and answer any questions they might have if they do share any concerns with you.

Offer practical support:

We have already suggested picking up their medications, but there are other ways to offer practical support too. You might arrange food deliveries for them, for example, or you could take food parcels to them. Maybe you can help them stay on top of their garden and you could drop off books, DVDs, knitting supplies, and anything else that will give them something to do while they’re restricted at home.

Share ideas with them:

If your senior loved ones are unable to exercise outside, share these 10-minute chair exercise ideas with them. If they are experiencing anxiety, research breathing exercises, and go through them with your loved ones on the phone. And if they have any other needs that could be met through your research, do what you can, and provide them with the solutions to the problems they are facing.

Your extra care to your elder family members is just what they need right now. Use our suggestions and research other ideas online to meet their particular needs during this crazy time.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Activities For Children In Self-Isolation

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Activities For Children In Self-Isolation

Hello! Many of my friends are now home schooling their children and, for the most part, it’s going great. Some are even thinking of making the plunge to home schooling all of the time. But what do you do when your kiddos have a ton of extra energy and assignments due? How about some entertainment? Help eliminate the wiggles and get some extra focus back with the following activities:

Scheduled Recess:

To many students, playing with their friends at recess is the high point of their day. Schedule some play time outside or board games inside if the weather is inclement after lunch. It will bring some familiarity to their schedule and, after a half hour of free play outside, the next math assignment should come a bit easier afterwards!

Pillow Fort Party:

Are your kids hung up on English homework? Build a pillow fort special for them to do their reading in. Permit playing in the fort once the chapters are read and the homework is complete for a special reward. How about a movie night from the comfort of the pillows and blankets once the day is complete? Don’t forget the popcorn. 😀

Kitchen Helpers:

Kids can learn a lot about math and science through helping in the kitchen. Have your little ones help you out the next time you make lunch or bake cookies. Teach them about different measurements and kitchen safety. If it goes over well, decorating the treats once the “lesson” is done makes for a fine reward.

Talk To Them:

If you’re having a hard time keeping your kids focused on the task at hand, just ask them what you can do to help. Maybe that means playing music as they work. Or what about a dance break to a few songs every hour? They might have their own tried and true methods, themselves, so try sticking to them if they work.

Encourage Their Friendships:

I’m sure it’s so hard for all of the kiddos to be away from their friends right now, especially if they have no one around their age at home. Encourage their friendships even in self-isolation. Allow them to FaceTime or chat with a friend on the phone during a break. Even teachers give their students chit chat time so do the same while you’re homeschooling. Just a small break to talk to someone in their peer group could be a welcome change of pace for your child throughout the day.

I tip my cap to all of the parents at home right now with their children because I genuinely don’t know how they’re doing it! Hopefully, these tips will make their current job a little bit easier. 🙂

How is homeschooling your children going? How do you keep them focused during the school day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

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Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

Hello! Ohio has a stay at home order in place until the beginning of May – as for right now. Unfortunately, special occasions don’t just stop because we are practicing self isolation. So, if a loved one has a birthday coming up, it can certainly feel like a bit of a bust. Thankfully, there are still ways to keep communication alive from the comfort of your own home. Use some of the following tips if anyone you know is celebrating their big day:

Order Them Takeout:

If a friend or family member is celebrating a birthday, you could do the social distancing equivalent of a birthday dinner by sending them over some takeout. Pick out a delicious meal from their favorite restaurant and Door Dash it on over for a birthday surprise. And, how surprised and thankful your giftee will be when he or she finds out that they don’t have to cook dinner!

Special Delivery:

Online deliveries are, for the most part, still a thing. How about sending your giftee a quarantine kit to help keep them entertained? Assemble a care package filled with adult coloring books, board games, books, or movies with the promise of a game night/late celebration once the stay at home order has been lifted.

Have A Virtual Drink:

Virtual drinks and happy hours over video chat has become a new trend as of late and my boyfriend and I are so there for it. We have participated in a few rounds of virtual drinks with our friends and it is always a blast. Call up your friend or family member on FaceTime or Skype who is celebrating a big day and toast to them. And, of course, real life drinks at a later time goes without saying!

Plan Ahead:

If all of the virtual mumbo jumbo isn’t your style, send your loved one an email or some snail mail inviting them to a celebration hang out at a later time. Your giftee will be 1) tickled that you remembered and 2) excited to have a fun event to look forward to. Plan an itinerary for an afternoon or evening on the town with the person celebrating and don’t forget to mark it in the calendar!

Don’t let your loved one’s special day go uncelebrated with the tips above and happy happy days to those celebrating during a stay at home order! ❤

How have you celebrated a special occasion during self-isolation? Will your birthday take place during the stay at home order? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday, Kristen!!

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Happy Birthday, Kristen!!

Hello! We are ringing in another Mushenheim family birthday because today is my big sister, Kristen’s, big day. My sister is my best friend in the whole world and it is my life’s greatest achievement to be the designated fourth wheel to Kristen, her boyfriend, and their little girl named Valerie. Kristen is celebrating her “one year and one day” of motherhood and she is amazing at it. But today, it is all about her!

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I know I just used the word “amazing” to describe Kristen but I’m going to use it again. She is AMAZING! She is the most loving mother and it is the best feeling in the world to watch her playing and cuddling with her sweet daughter. Kristen is my BFF but Valerie is definitely a close runner up! Her compassion knows no bounds and when she’s not caring for the dogs and cats at the animal shelter she works at or tending to her daughter and two dogs and two cats, she is never too busy to participate in family time or help a friend (Or sister!) in need.

When I was younger, I used to get somewhat annoyed when people told me Kristen and I looked alike but now I consider it the highest compliment. My sister is the epitome of beautiful inside and out and it makes me so proud to be her little sis. I wish we weren’t under lock down so we could properly celebrate Kristen’s day but I can’t wait to spoil her with a candle lit Taco Bell dinner once this all blows over. 😉

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRISTEN!

I LOVE YOU! ❤

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

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Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Hello! March through May is a stretch of the year where birthdays are plentiful in my family. It starts with my niece’s birthday at the beginning of March then goes to my mom, dad, sister, and brother ending in mid May. Today, we are on birthday number three in my family, which belongs to my dear old dad. Despite him despising birthdays, I can’t not give him a shout out on lifewithlilred so here it goes:

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Ever since I was little, I can remember my dad’s lament that birthdays are “another year closer to the grave” and he still feels that way today. Lol so, needless to say, his birthday is filled with begrudgingly opening presents and accepting birthday wishes. The best part, though? I think we can all tell that he secretly enjoys himself and that makes the obnoxiously huge birthday hugs I give him even more fun. 😀

Although we all love pushing my dad’s birthday buttons, it really is a special day. My dad is one of my favorite people on the planet. He is so funny – like so unbelievably funny. The humor is then amplified by his infamous and infectious “laugh attacks” which is the cherry on top of whatever my family was joking about.

What I love the most about my dad, though? He is such a thoughtful man and it always makes me so happy when my boyfriend gifts me with flowers or cooks dinner for me because my dad is constantly doing stuff like that for my mom. He provided me with the best guidelines of how I should be treated in a relationship and I am so thankful for that.

When I had a really early class in college and had to drive an hour to get there, my dad would always get up and make coffee for me so I could have it during my commute. That’s the kind of guy my dad is. Sweet gestures and kind words from my father will forever be treasured by me and he is a man who deserves to be celebrated… Even though he hates his birthday. 😉

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!

I LOVE YOU! ❤

They Raised You, Now You Raise Them: Looking After Aging Parents

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They Raised You, Now You Raise Them: Looking After Aging Parents

It’s one of those things in life that we all need to do at some point. As we get older we become more aware of our mortality and it’s when we end up looking after our parents that we can truly realize just how precious life is. But when we are looking after our parents it can take its toll on us. Whether you decide to put them into a nursing home or you try your best to push through without any professional help you need to understand what it takes to cope with looking after them. What are the best things to consider?

The Right Professional Help:

You may feel that to truly make the most of the situation so you don’t feel bound by various pressures that you put them in a care home. And many can do it thinking that it will be a better outcome for everyone concerned. However, this is not always the case. It all depends on the home. But you also need to be aware that if there is something untoward going on.

There can be elderly abuse, something no one really likes to think about, but it’s definitely worth considering. There are websites like Chony.org that can help if you’ve got to the point where you put your parents in a home and there is something untoward going on. Professional help will always be beneficial because you are are able to make the most of a difficult situation. But you still have to do your homework.

The Sibling Situation:

It can be incredibly stressful coping with looking after your parents so you may feel that if you’ve got siblings that they can help, but this can cause a lot of issues. It could be to do with the inheritance or it could just dig up old sibling rivalries. On Psychologytoday.com there are some pieces of information to consider when dealing with siblings. It’s never an easy thing to navigate when you are are looking out for the welfare of your parents especially if you’ve got a sibling that is just waiting for their slice of the inheritance. Do what you can for the benefit of the parent, not anybody else.

Looking After Yourself:

Having some “me” time is easier said than done in these situations but it’s crucial for your own sense of sanity. Whether you are looking after them yourself or you are feeling the stress because you put them in a home, you have to remember that life goes on for you, especially if you’ve got people dependent on you. You have got to make sure that you are looking after yourself properly. This means that it’s not just about the financial aspects but it’s about giving yourself that breathing space when you feel that it’s all too much. Take that opportunity to step back when necessary and assess the situation. It’s a very stressful situation for anybody. And feeling that you have to push through won’t do you any favors a few months down the line.

Coping with aging parents regardless of the situation is never easy but it’s something that we all will have to figure out at some point. Make sure that you are coping with the situation, not just for your benefit but for the benefit of those that really matter.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Hello! Today is a happy, special, wonderful day because it is my mom’s birthday! My mom is my best friend and, although she deserves to be celebrated all day every day on and off the blog, I always look forward to bragging about her for her annual birthday post! With two new grandchildren being born in 2019, my mom had an exciting year and I can only hope that 2020 will continue to offer the best of all of life’s sweet surprises to her. Now, let’s take a look at this beauty:

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Jane is a loving mother and grandmother and she is also a bona fide, badass, cancer survivor. We are so thankful for her remission status and, whenever I am struggling with something, I always remember the positive outlook my mom kept during that difficult time and it instantly makes things easier. No matter what curveball has been thrown at my mom, her shine never manages to dull. In fact, it radiates even more strongly and I think everyone can learn from that.

My mom is amazing and she has this beautiful gift that makes everyone around her feel amazing too. It’s hard not to when we’re together, considering you can literally feel the pride that she has for her family, grandchildren, and dogs! My mom is proud of me but I am even more proud to be her daughter and I will always aspire to be half of the woman that she is someday.

I LOVE YOU, MOM! ❤

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Making Learning Fun

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Making Learning Fun

Young kids love to learn. They are like sponges, soaking up any knowledge that they are offered. They are keen to learn and to practice new skills. Then, as they get older, things start to change. They might start to rebel against the idea of learning, avoiding studying, and complain about active learning. They might moan about going to school or hate the idea of sitting down to do their homework. As parents, we’re in a unique position to show them that learning can always be fun. That enjoyment of education isn’t something that gets left behind when school learning becomes more academically focused. Here are some of the things that you could try.

Create Puzzles:

Creating puzzles is a really easy way to learn but also to reinforce knowledge and help with knowledge retention. Use WordMint to create word searches and crosswords around subjects that they are studying or otherwise interested in. Alternatively, let them create puzzles, using their own knowledge, for you to complete. They’ll love being the teacher for a change.

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Pixabay Image

Use Your Imagination:

Very young children learn a lot through pretend play. They learn how a kitchen works by pretending to cook for you. They learn about dinosaurs by pretending to explore a Jurassic world. Imaginative play can still be a valuable learning tool for older children, but you might want to bring in some tools, such as Lego, to help them to immerse themselves in a pretend world.

Manipulate Objects:

Playing with LEGO, building a fort, or even learning how to use a microscope are all fun ways to encourage learning by doing. Tactile play helps hone children’s social, emotional, and cognitive skills all while having fun! What’s great about these strategies is that they can be applied across various subjects and can be designed in many different ways so your options are limitless!

Read Stories:

Fiction is a great way to learn more about different worlds, times, and ways of life. Find stories set in times or places that they are learning about. Even big blockbuster films about topics of study can be an effective way to learn, as long as you take the time to sort fact from fiction and clue them in.

Make a Mess:

Messy play can be a great way to learn. Experiment with basic chemistry, use play-doh to craft volcanoes or mountain ranges. Paint seas and sea life. Getting messy is such fun, get some supplies, enjoy crafting, creating, and building together. Just try not to get stressed out about the mess!

Talk About What You’ve Seen:

Encourage learning by talking about what you have seen and done. Don’t just build a model or watch a film and then leave it at that. Speak about what you’ve seen or experienced. Encourage your child to ask questions and ask them your own. Spend time researching anything that they want to know more about and enjoy open debate.

Get Outdoors:

Getting outdoors is a great way to learn more about nature and the world around us and inspire conversation. Give them the freedom to explore and let them lead you on a trek through your local parks.

Learning never has to be boring. Use the tips above and watch your child’s interest in education grow!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Puppy Love

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Puppy Love

Hello everyone! This past week, we welcomed a brand new tiny, furry member to our family and he goes by the name of Archie! My mom and dad adopted a new baby brother for our little terrier, Ollie, from One Of A Kind Pets in Akron and he is the sweetest ball of Golden Retriever fluff you will ever see in your life. Take a look and prepare accordingly for your heart to melt:

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We Mushenheims are a lover of all dogs big and small but we have a special place in our heart for Golden Retrievers. Sadly, our sweet golden, Gem, passed several months ago and we still mourn the loss of her and all of our fallen angel pets. However, we have always been a two dog family and, once we felt the time was appropriate and we were ready, we began to look into different pet rescue sites for a new pup to adopt.

After a handful of failed meet and greets with some of the dogs we were interested in because little Ollie straight up didn’t like them, we were beginning to lose hope. And, then, tiny Archie rolled into One Of A Kind Pets, an amazing rescue organization, and we decided to give it one more try.

My parents brought Ollie into One Of A Kind to meet Archie and, thankfully, they got along swimmingly… Probably because they’re the exact same size for now! So, needless to say, the adoption was a go! We have never had a puppy before, as we’ve always opted for older pups and it is definitely a different change of pace. Archie is three months old and loves to chew on everything, sleep, and then continue to chew on everything. 😀

We are so in love with our new little baby and, although Ollie remains indifferent to everything, I think he likes him too. I can’t wait to watch Archie grow and play and I am obsessed with that uber soft puppy fur! He is already and irreplaceable part of our family and we are so thankful to One Of A Kind Pets for bringing him to us. ❤

Have you gotten a new pet recently? What animals do you have at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah