Appreciation Boards for Families

Make an Appreciation board

How long is too long to be cross and moody?

How do you come back after a dramatic exit?….and when?

As families we won’t always agree with each other and it’s in these disagreements that everything seems to go pear shaped.

What we were originally talking about gets ambused by disrespect, rudeness, ignoring, lack of attention. As parents we may have entered into full on lecture mode, pointing the finger, yelling and having a full on tantrum to match their tantrum.

None of this is cool but we’ve all stumbled here at a time or three. We retreat to our safe places and regroup.

Have you noticed that some parents and children ping back really quickly? Off they go with bright sunshine. Nevermind that 2 minutes ago there was full on emotion happening. They’ve made a full recovery and onto the next stage.

Some parents and children, hold onto the burning rock of anger, frustration tightly in their bodies, through gritted teeth. It’s like they can’t let go of the issue. There’s no resolution. No amount of deep breathing seems to shift this new mood. It’s settled like a dark cloud over them and threatens anyone that walks close to this weather system.

How do you reach your child when they get so stuck? How do we get back to the sunshine when we’re in that spot?

It had been a particularly challenging set of weeks with a lot of reacting of emotion in our house. I knew I could do better. I had gotten into a negative cycle of complaining and criticizing. It had started to spread among the boys. I had to break the cycle as it wasn’t doing any of us any good.

Here’s the new tool, I first heard from Duct Tape Parenting, called Gratitude boards. With our last name being an A, it made fun alliterative sense to change it from Gratitude to Appreciation.

I wanted a way to reach each of us when we’re in that deep dark emotional place. You know the one when you’re still stonking mad. Red is what you see. You’ve gone through a few calm down techniques and they are starting to work but you’re stuck.

I wanted something for the bystanders too. We see the hurting. We as brothers want to hug you, cheer you up, apologize ( because now we see it wasn’t a good idea), we want to make it up. We as parents want to move on and know that you’re not thinking straight and the next ideas of trashing the room, breaking something comes from the wrong place. If you were thinking clearly you’d be horrified with yourself but right now you’re kind of out of your mind. We want to hold you tight and love on you. But…. you are not ready for us. We need to respect that. But it is hard to do nothing when a family member is hurting.

How we made our Appreciation Board

  • Large white board
  • Positive stickers ( optional)
  • Letters ( we used scrapbook paper and a wooden letter)
  • White board markers ( multi-coloured)

Our Appreciation board sits by our dinner table. How we use it and more about appreciation boards I’m sharing in An easy way to practice Appreciation in your family. I’d encourage you to listen to the show on your phone, device or computer and try this out for yourself. It’s a short one but it goes into more detail and ideas about how you could use it yourself.

Make your own Appreciation board Make your own  Family Appreciation board


Like with all fun parenting ideas this is just a tool. There’s no magic here. I just started doing a fitness dvd. When I did the ‘start it up’ section the moves gently got me going. My legs felt good. Nothing on my squishy bits. This week I’m onto the ‘ramp it up’ section and phew I feel it on my legs and squishy bits. Working out with my husband he feels the pain in totally different areas to me. Until we try a few things we don’t know the impact these have on our families.

Start today adding this super easy tool to your family. A place where they can write good things about one person. They get to see it for the week. Help nix that mood taking over the family mood. Help each of us surface.  Have a permanent record visible of what your family really feels and thinks. ( See they don’t all hate you!)

For more tools like the appreciation board follow these Pinterest Boards

What would you put on your not to do list ?

So glad to find Not to do lists. Create some space with not to do lists. A creative solution to the adding more problem with to do lists.

To do lists seem daunting. You start with good intentions and before long you have a list that runs on forever.

How in the world are you supposed to be motivated to get through it all?

As regular fall of the wagon of to do lists,I find myself back in the place of needing them. We’re getting ready to move from the UK to the US as part of our military move. So yes we need to dust off the to do list and fire that list up again.

As you can tell I’m really not excited by the prospect of the to do list because lists and decluttering really drains me ( and many of us!)

But we know we need to do it. I wish it was catching to be energised by to do lists. But it is not. So we have to find the motivation from somewhere.

In my distraction pursuit of to do lists I came across, “Not to do lists”.  Jim Collins in his book- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t and Tim Ferriss in his book- The 4-Hour Workweek both talk about stripping away things you don’t want to do and now you have time to do the things you want to do.

Since we all have the same hours in a day how we choose to use that time is critical.  When we look at our parenting and what we do at home we could do with saying no a few more times.

You see the things is we want to be productive, have fun and get things done. We want to be a less busy parent and have time instead of that mantra-, ” I just didn’t have enough time”.

Parents like us find ourselves doing many things that distract us from what we really want to do. Before we can add and make our to do lists of family fun, family habits and family time  what is it that we need to slim down on or just stop?  What really takes our energy and time in a normal day ?

Focus on one or two of these at a time. I hope they trigger some ideas for you so you can make your own not to do list.

 Parenting Not To Do list

1. Do not fill your precious moments endlessly scrolling. Set a time limit and a timer. 

All that scrolling adds up. There was a reason you got on to look or do something. Do it and get off. Treat your time like the valuable commodity it is.

2.  Do not spend ( much of) your time in the company of people who drain your energy.

Online forums and groups, anonymous commenters, family members, friends of friends- you know your trigger places. You become like who you hang around. Your parents told you that when you were in school and now even as adults we forget. Limit the amount of time you dwell in these situations. You want to be happier, healthier, productive then you need to spend more time with these type of people who will build you up and not tear you down, distract, confuse and depress you.

3. Don’t start the day without a plan.

Yes…it does sound like a to do list. But what I mean is whether it’s the night before or before everyone is awake- take time to decide a focus, a priority for the day. Write or type it- whatever your way but have it there as a testament to what you want to do today. It makes all the difference as you try to get to it than just going with the flow.

4. Don’t keep adding activities and actions into your family without taking some out.

Less is more. But in our pursuit for better we add this one more thing, this new habit. We need to take away, limit and be strong enough to make family decisions that work for our family.

5.  Don’t stop seeing, listening, learning and taking action.

  • Keep our minds open to new ideas or ways of doing things
  • Notice how things works for others and how you might adapt it for your family.

6. Ditch the tap tap tap machine and cultivate that relationship.

Have the self control to have phone, ipad and computer free times during the week and during the weekend. Set reasonable limits and times and slide on down to get more time away. More time with your loved ones. Cultivate those relationships and adapt to the lifestyles of split shifts, night shifts, oncall spouses but find a way.

7. Don’t miss the beautiful people you have in your family while trying to overcome the latest hurdle.

Backchat is something that’s slowly been creeping into our house lately and we’ve been trying to find the cure. As it happens we think of what we should say and do. When the children aren’t around we are wondering. It was consuming us. Then they produce a lovely piece from school or tell a story with such fire that your heart melts.  Don’t miss these nuggets of relief and rays of light.

8. Don’t give perfection a safe haven in your home.

If you’re a people pleaser you know what I mean with wanting everything to be perfect in your home ( relationship/ parenting). There’ll always be someone or something better. If we wait on perfection nothing good ever gets done. Dive in. Make your mistakes. Find your happy spots. Done is better than perfect. Do overs are often available. Perfection often paralyses us into no action and lost opportunities.

It’s easy to become stuck and spiral the wrong way as a parent. Reading and listen to new things every week.

What is great about moving is the chance for a reset. Complete change to how we parent and do family. Somethings we do are location and culturally dependent . With a new country we get a chance to try something new and decide which things are the most important to us plus decide what we don’t want to do anymore because it’s not good for us right now.

You don’t have to be moving to make your not to do list. Just have a burning desire to be more effective and as a result happier.

Some inspiration to help you with your own- not to do lists

The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now – Four Hour Work Week

Six Things to Put on Your To-Not-Do List- Forbes

The Not-Do List: 9 Things You Need To Stop Doing- Lifehack

What one thing would you have on your not to do list?


Being prepared: Fighting back when you are in that dark place

Fighting back when you are in that dark place. 4 things to lift you

When you’re in your darkest moments.

We feel the most alone.

No one else can truly understand where you are. Often it takes us to get us out of this funk. Sometimes it will take other interventions. ( I’m not covering mental illness, depression nor am I giving medical advice)

The day in day out of life with children isn’t always a walk in the park. We all get down sometime. and snapping out of it isn’t the issue. We’re in a groove and it’s just hard to find a way out.

I’m going to share my rescue kit that’s helped me many times ( and still does) when I’m feeling low and blah to get back up and continue on. Because misery loves company and it’s easy to get stuck here.

We can help ourselves in those low times by being prepared in these higher times.

Getting it out ideas

Journal- writing down all the thoughts on paper is freeing. Screwing up that paper and throwing it away- magic. You get to have all the imaginary conversations you want to have but know it’s not right to have. You know the ones I’m talking about. Remember don’t send them. Something about getting it on paper changes these particular feelings. You’re not stuck with them.

Change of scene- If you can get out into nature and walk, run or cycle things will begin to feel different. Maybe you need a new park, new town to explore, new trail to find. Join a walking group or a outdoor preschool. Hearing sounds in nature is calming and fills most of us up.

Being prepared for it again

Keep a running record in one place- journal, Evernote, on your phone, in your bag- Only record things that make you happy, bring a smile, memories, phrases, doodles, fragments of conversation, overheard funnies in this special place. As you feel the dip. Bring out your secret weapon and read through. It will change your mood.

Have other voices than the echo of your own thoughts. Podcasts are quick and easy audio listening. Stitcher radio for your phone . You then pause and play your way through categories. Below you can see shows for parenting family and kids.


stitcher podcasts

Look to the right and you see the other categories.

The app is free and so are the programs- many of your radio shows are there already and you’ll find many new ones to try. There are lots of podcasts apps for your phone. Check them out.

Another good place to look is iTunes. Check out the categories or try your luck with new shows in the New and Noteworthy or popular category.

iTunes new and note

When you’ve found a podcast you like you’ll see other shows beneath it that you might like also.

iTunes related shows

Hearing other stories, lives and hearing about other places changes our perspective on our own situation. We get a little proportion and perspective back. We’re better able to tackle, confront, manage and deal with issues that previously had blown up in our eyes.

I’m a big fan of podcast here are a few recommendations They range from two or more hosts chatting and us listening in to their lives to interview shows with special guests on particular subjects. You’ll find something that fits. Not just perspective- sometimes we need just a big belly, pee our pants laugh. Podcasts do that too.

I like to be positive and being prepared is often half the battle. So while those of you that are feeling OK to great now – go start your”Being prepared for it again” ideas so when that time comes ,and it will, you’ll be ready for it.

For those of you that are in the midst of this season. My big cyber hugs to you. You’re not alone when you find yourself low. Chances are there are others that feel just the same way. Reach out to a friend you’ve not seen in a while. Invite them out. Share a podcast that’s spoke to you with a friend Try a new show.

Keep taking action even though you’re not back to where you want to be.

What’s part of your rescue kit when you’re low? 

5 things your kids can do with less of

5 things your kids can do with less of.jpg

  1. More things because they begged you for it at the counter or each shop you went into.
  2. Your face glowing with a screen reflecting the white light while you tap on your screen
  3. A full calendar of events, activities, places and in and outs of the car to get there for your family.
  4. Huge piles of clothes- how many pants and tops do they really need?
  5. Instant. Instant everything because we have the disposable income ( or not) to get it.

5 things my kids can do with less of would have been a good title too. Don’t get me wrong- we’re not a perfect family at all. While I can pat myself on the back to some of the things on the list above there are still some that ring loud and clear for us.

It’s no good me just tackling this list myself. It’s something that we as a family unit need to embrace.

Buy this for me

We went out and my youngest asked all the time if we could buy him something. So much so that his older brothers were getting annoyed…. and that takes a lot.

We’d gone to price up some toys and books.

  • We’d had the conversation about we’re going to look not buy.
  • We all gone deaf when he’d asked.
  • We had speed past potential hotspots.
  • We listened to him.
  • We’d stopped and looked.
  • We’d reminded.
  • We’d been firm.
  • We’d allowed for his age……We’d tried.

Another time once I was brave enough to take the boys shopping again the youngest started his barrage. His dad takes them shopping and window shopping regularly and reports exactly the same song is sung. I was determined that we wouldn’t have the same situation….there must be another way. We had much more time this time- because maybe it was time. I like to breeze in, check and breeze out. Maybe the LO had a different pace to me?

I wondered if he really really wanted to have it or he was really wanting to share his love of it. Bit like how we can be thirsty but we eat something. So I hit on a fun idea. When you want to say-Can you buy this for me?  just for fun I want you to say…… I really like this…..

I’ve tried it once and want to try it a few more times before sharing how it went for us.

It’s not always easy to find an answer to things that you know you’d love to be different in your family. We’re on our way. Trailing a solution and developing some family habits.

What can your kids do with less of…….?


TED talks for parents – Grit

TED Talk for Parent-Grit

We want our children to have good character, succeed and have the staying power to keep going. We want them to have grit. The hard thing is trying to do these things without becoming the overbearing and pushy parent.

Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk about Grit really struck a chord. She raises the issue and starts the conversation around staying power and success. Sometimes we have things around backwards because we’ve picked it up from popular media or sweeping generalizations. I especially love the comment that- well doing it this way never was a problem for me. I turned out okay!

This talk challenges us to think differently and so does the work that Carol Dwek has done on Praise and the impact it has on our young children setting them up for failure if we stick to certain scripts.

As you would expect there’s not one answer to character building and teaching grit. This makes it hard for us to pick up that book, article or paper- read it and do it. In our time pressed family lives we want action. How are we going to move ourselves forward? How are we moving our kids forward? It goes on that lofty to do list of ” I’ll get to it” but we don’t often do.

What can we do to start sharing and showing the character traits we want and see grit in action with our kids?

1. Ask questions when reading stories. Allow them time to talk through their answers. Why did he do that? What would you do? What would you do next?

2. Find better scripts. Sometimes we get the reaction we deserve because we don’t think of the impact of our words. I’m guilty. We’re tired or pushed for time. Things are said in the heat of the moment. When our children are not sharing. When our children need to resolve an argument or having a temper tantrum. We can add fuel to the fire. We can get the same response we had the last time or we can try something different. Taking time at a different time to learn some new scripts for dealing with common problems will help. Yes they feel forced and wooden but you learn to adapt, tweak and make them your own.

3. Help the kids from when they are young learn about Growth Mindset. ” belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort. Dr. Dweck has shown that when kids read and learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.” TED talk- Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk The key to success grit.

4. Spend time focusing on what we want to see happen in our families. Point out good examples in books, real life examples. Catch them doing good. Often we spend a lot of time talking about why did they do something……they don’t know they just did. Lots of hot air. We’d be better off most times talking about what we’d like to see then they can try and do it.

I have much to learn about grit and working on character. Each of our families throws up new challenges. Getting the fundatmentals right matters though and starting the journey with coneversation and information helps.

For more information:

True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach It

The KIPP framework for excellent teaching has some hidden gems for parents,. Download the pdf at the bottom of the page

Seven Keys for Implementing Character in Your School – all just as useful for parents

For older children try the grit test

Example of failure and way to deal with it

After you’ve had a watch let me know what’s your favourite TED talk. I’ll be adding a few more. If you can’t wait then check out the TED talk board on Pinterest.

Three things you should embrace as a new mother

3 things you should embrace as a new mother.jpg

New beginnings!

So exciting………. I remember being a new mother. If I could go back and talk to me. What would I say? There are so many things spinning around in your mind. Let’s quieten that and get a little focus. What three habits will help the big picture?

Get this bit right and everything else seems easier to manage.

[Read more...]

Simple Parenting and Play Planner

Simple Parenting and Play Planner  with two weeks of giveaways.


I’m really excited to share with you the Simple Parenting and Play Planner as a brand new way to have your space and a place for taking action on your family haven.

What is the Simple Parenting and Play Planner?

  • Place for parents to catch their dreams, values and ideas and gently lay them out, evaluate and make them happen.
  • Space to focus on the things that matter in YOUR family. Set your agendas. Discard the rest.
  • Guardian of what you hold clear and dear in your family. Your play intentions, your family intention and you.
  • Opportunity to get ourselves, our spouse, our fun back on track after the shifts and changes of motherhood.

There’s this mismatch between what we do and what we want to do.

For whatever reason

  • we didn’t get to do that play activity we wanted to do.
  • we want to have better conversations about the school day or do that seasonal activity but we were too late ordering the parts or getting the time off to go.

We wish parenting was easier like menu planning that we can pick our best loved recipes and choices and use them over again. The thing about menu planning is when it works well it’s usually because we planned.

Meal times are more relaxed and calmer. But we don’t do this type of planning for play and creating the family haven we want.

Spend a moment in your Simple Parenting and Simple Play Planner- picking one area so we don’t go into overwhelm and use this focus to work on feeling happier about your parenting and play.

You don’t have to plan the life out of things. You’re always able to free flow, simplify, fly by the seat of your pants. Those things don’t change about you. The Simple Parenting and Play planner works with your family- is used in your family regularly.

This is a simple, intentional way to connect with your ideas, values, rhythms and routines on a regular basis without feeling guilty.

sample pages Simple Parenting and Play Planner

On Monday 31st March, we start the Simple Parenting and Play Planner- on tour!

This is cool for you as this 51 page planner will be visiting 10 blogs where you’ll learn a little bit more about the planner AND have a chance to win a copy.

So not just one copy but 10 chances.

Here’s how it works……

Check out the list below for each of the stops. Visit each blog and enter into the giveaway.

Monday 31 March    My Healthy Beginning

Tuesday 1 April        The Mom Writes

Wednesday 2 April    RainyDay Mum 

Thursday 3 April         Megan Flatt

Friday 4 April             Pickle Bums

Saturday 5th April       Bliss Beyond Naptime

Monday 7 April           A Free Spirit Life 

Tuesday 8 April           Simple Kids**Today**

Wednesday 9 April      Mama Scouts

Thursday 10 April       Plannerisms

Friday 11 April           Raising Playful Tots

I’ll be updating the posts here on Facebook and Instagram so be sure to follow me there.

If you’re curious to find out more about the planner you can check out Simple Parenting and Play Planner

Good luck!


Honoring play and exploration by scheduling less

Honoring play and exploration by scheduling less

Last time we dipped into how to schedule a less scheduled weekend. With some good beginning steps behind you let’s move onto getting the balance right of activities

Here are 3 types of activities to try. These are in a different format to usual as it helps to see what you’re doing in the activity.

Found activity-  Children are naturally curious. They can’t resist peaking into boxes. Found activities are activities you deliberately set up in a visible place. Your child will not miss it and naturally want to discover more about it. These are open ended activities that allow creativity and often springboard into other activities. These are fun to wake up to, arrive home to or just appear from thin air.


Deeper longer – These are the activities you’re constantly saying….’ okay. It’s time to pack that up now.’ If they could, our children would do this all day. Each family will have different things in this section and top of the list will be electronic media for most people. If we exclude that red herring for a moment and focus on the non media activities for this weekend.

It’s a chance to really develop the muscle of extending play. Just like any workout it’s hard to build up the endurance. I saw a bit more whining and frustration when things didn’t stick or stay when we did went deeper and longer. There was also a lot more emotion towards everyone.

The hardest thing was that I was so used to activities that lasted a small time. 5 minutes to 15 minutes. I’d be training a lot of sprinters. No wonder they were falling by the wayside during this longer afternoon activity. So expect some resistance and gentle growth for you both. Extend the play by small amounts as you build up.  I have a short guide if you want some ideas.

Board game- Like it or loathe it kids love board games. There are so many good ones out there and if you’re going to be the one playing them. Get them! Set time limits on how many rounds and have different rules for the siblings. How we speak to each other and respond is learnt at times like these in our home or witnessing it elsewhere.

Posts like this one you’ll find on my Pinterest board : Parenting with Purpose.

For more ideas like this one following simple parenting and simple play join the Raising Playful Tots Note

Raising Playful Tots Note

7 Family Habits worth building and How to

7 Family Habits worth building and How to

If I were a fly on the wall in your home on a good day what would the atmosphere be like?

It’s interesting how much our family atmosphere or family culture goes up and down. There’s definitely a rhythm to it.

Now when you think of those golden moments and good times- is it loud dinner time conversations or snuggly book reading? It’s interesting because when we think about family culture and family atmosphere at home we all think differently.

What I think is cool, you may not and that’s okay. Now the question is how can we get more of the atmosphere we want at home and does it really matter.

Turns out it does.

Happier families are ones that intentionally make choices. That’s not to say that every decision they make will be right but when we keep an eye on something, pay attention to something we notice and can respond better.

Why build family habits?

There are a lot of really practical things we share and teach our children like don’t touch it’s hot. Look before you cross the road.  These are our mantras the kids can finish for us. Then there are habits we would love to see but are a little tricker to do.

  • Habits make us productive.
  • Habits give us time to have fun.
  • Habits give rhythm and structure to a day that otherwise would be spent reacting to everything that’s happening.
  • Habits give us welcome pauses.
  • Habits are a must have for moms and families.

These tricker habits are more about how our family runs, the temperature of it. When you visit some homes, there’s just calm peaceful atmosphere. There’s likely structure, order and more than a side order of fun. The way they speak to each other, how they resolve problems, relate to each other is clear.

It’s not perfect, nor is it supposed to be but you noticed it.

Building family habits is as easy as noticing it and making the intention to follow through and do it.

Which 7 habits are worth building in my family?

There are many habits to try and where we fail is that we don’t make them age appropriate and we sometimes focus too much on the long term outcomes.

If my 5 year old does a 2 step direction I’m happy. It doesn’t always happen and I hoped by now he would be able to but he’s working on it. I have an age appropriate response compared to my 10 year old. Instilling the habit of a clean room is good for him now and later. But breaking it down into small steps and doing well with each step and building on each step. This is better right now than the final focus although in view, it is not the sole aim.

Here are our 7

Cheerfulness  My mum sang while she moved around the house, as she ran up the stairs, as we headed out in the car. Some people are just cheerful. Her mood was and still is catching. Cheerfulness is catching.  How we greet each other and our children we set the tone for cheerful interaction.  Our face doesn’t always show are sunny happy feelings ever to our children. We do spend a lot of time looking stern and exasperated.

Determination   “Just keep swimming”  the famous Dory from Nemo said. Perseverance and determination are just budding in our families. So many times we hear, ” I can’t do it!” followed by wailing and emotion. It’s so easy for us as parents to just do it ourselves. It’s quicker. There’s a time and place for everything. Encouraging our kids to have grit is good for them now and for the future. Life is not a sprint. Family time is the place to cultivate and nurture this ‘muscle’.

Diligence   Haphazard and slapdash if you’ve ever asked the kids to do something saying, ” Put all those toys in the box and then we’re going to  { insert your fun thing here}.” What happens? The activity doesn’t get done well. Kids are easily distracted. Jo from Organized Chaos talked about in a recent Montessori interview on Raising Playful Tots, that a task is taking it out, doing the activity AND putting it away. It’s paying attention to the details and showing our children they can do it that matters.

Listening   So many misunderstandings happen because we didn’t listen.We misunderstood. Life is busy, work all consuming, children constant… waves of tiredness threaten to take over yet we can listen fully. Listen in two ways. Listen to others. Get good opinions. Cultivate a home where we let each other speak. Interrupt less and not cut each  other off when we think we know what they are going to say.

Patience   Things don’t always work out when we think they will. That note to school took longer to write. The laces to longer to tie and that zipper too. In a calm home there is space for patience. “We’ve got time….try again.” “It’s alright to get it wrong here….why don’t you try again…this time….”

Reflection  When life moves at such a pace we don’t get a chance to look back and reflect on what went so well and what you’d never want to happen again. Not just an activity for New Year’s a family that looks back is able to build on their strengths. Take different directions and work to the needs of the family than feeling tossed around by the sea of life.

Self control   Being able to put off things now so that later you can have it is hard. Not doing something even though every fibre in your body is willing you to do it. Knowing to think first act next. Self control not a popular or easy idea when you can get almost everything instantly.  Children need the time and space to develop self control at home.  It’s hard. But there’s space for waiting and getting a reward.

How can we build these family habits?

Well this is the place that most of us get stuck. We want to do these things but somehow days turn into months and then years. New challenges come our way.

First we need to become more intentional. Focus on what’s important and decide to make it happen in our family. What is important? We need to have regular discussions and make sure we’re staying on track. Working in our family is not the same as work where we have trophies, promotions and bonuses to track our success. Working in our family has its rewards but it’s not the same. Yet we see later on the choices we made and in how things work out.


Let me help you get unstuck and excited about family time again.

Creating a family haven

Creating a family haven is a 7 week online class for busy, playful moms who are passionate about family but feel miserable about what happens in there sometimes.  You want to have better family habits and grow a family haven so your family can thrive, not just now in this stage but as the children grow.

Together in a private community of likeminded moms  we together build an intentional plan so that your family can thrive.

Registration is open

Find out more. I’d love to support you.

I want to create a family haven so my family can thrive


Choose to model slow

How you can chose to model slow in a busy family life.
I model busy without any effort.
From the boy’s perspective, I’m busy doing all the time.

The morning exit is a whirlwind of breakfast, tidying, dishes, conversation, lunches, lost things and moved things. It’s not until we’re standing in the playground do we get a sense of peace and calm. We finally catch breath.

Our Sunday easily the same thing happens with laundry, homework, lost things, moved things ( sensing a pattern in our house for lost and moved things!) tidying, food prep, eating, clear up, dishes and conversation.

I model busy without any effort.

When the kids are bored or having nothing to do how will they know what to do? Have they ever seen us with nothing to do and what do we find to do?

For Christmas we bought The Settlers of Catan. We loved it so much we went and bought two more expansion packs. These games have taught us a lot about busy. We’ve sat between 2-6 hours each time playing these games and loving it.

There was no whirlwind.
There was no catching breath.

Just all of us, laughing, teasing, noticing, listening and having conversations. I would say we were busy but in a connected slower way.

Magically, all the things of our usual Sunday still got done….well mostly. We didn’t go faster or quicker. We did all help.

Yesterday my youngest found me lying on the bed staring at the ceiling. Not doing anything. He crawled right beside me and looked at the ceiling. Probably trying to see where I was looking. “What are you doing?”


“Can I do nothing with you?”

Yup…..We just sat for a moment then he started talking. Soon offered a range of games, activites and books we could do together. For a moment he saw how you don’t have to be doing something all the time. I shared how I was thinking of reading the last few pages of Under Pressure
but I just wanted to lie here and think.

It’s easy for us to say and keep busy and never model to our children slow and rest.


It’s become quite the badge of honor to how busy we are. It’s also seen as showing off to say you’re not busy. It’s somehow lazy, entitled and condemning all at once.

If we live in a fast paced, busy, hurried lifestyle and we would like to share a slower family style. We want to enjoy the small moments. We have to embrace slow, show slow and not saying we’re busy all the time.

Choose to model slow this week.

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