Wordless Wednesday: Little Prince in the Kitchen

Stacy

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Listening

I am tired and this may not make a lot of sense, but I have been thinking about some things. 

I have read  few blog posts lately that have me thinking about me and my kids and the way I am with them.  I know that I am doing my best, that I love my kids and that they love me and that we are happy.  But I was thinking about how important it is to truly listen to my kids.  How important it is to really hear what they have to say and to give them permission to feel what they feel.  Let them know that in this busy, crazy, world, there is at least one place that they are heard and listened to.

So if my child is scared, or overwhelmed, don’t brush it off, hurry them along, or something similar, listen to them, hear why they are feeling the things they are feeling and help them through it. 

If my austistic child needs to look at all the birthday cards before we leave the store, take a few minutes, let her see them, give her that.  She doesn’t want to be annoying, this is important to her. 

If a ride is too loud, or overwhelming, or crowded for my child, give her permission to say no, and we will do something else instead. 

And if my non-verbal boy tries to hold onto my neck, shaking and crying because the escalator is scary, take the elevator.  If he lets me know in his own way, he is scared, pay attention, comfort, take the time.  If he is in the kitchen having a snack after I get home from shopping and he starts to cry when I leave the room, then either take him with me, or sit down with him.  The thing is, he is such an easy going boy, and so quiet that it would be easy to view him like a little doll that you take around with you.  But he is a little person, growing and learning and seeing this world.  He needs to know that whatever way he finds to communicate with me, I am listening.  I hear it and I am trying. 

Book Review: The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner

Publisher: Astor + Blue
ISBN: 978-1938231018
Pages: 310
Format: eBook
Rating: 4
Age recommendation: Teen, Young adult, Adult

Amazon: http://amzn.to/Upqegp 
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/UkeQCO

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review “The Car Thief” by Theodore Weesner. 

Alex Housman is a 16-year old kid who has already stolen fourteen cars. He skips school on some days, unbeknownst to his father who spends his after-work hours drowning his problems with alcohol. After being caught by the police, Alex is sent to the home for delinquent boys. Eventually released from the home, Alex shapes up his act only to fall into the rut again. The Car Thief is about hopelessness and hope, life going on in an imperfect world.

This story is different, one that isn’t easily forgotten. Looking through the lenses of Alex, the world seems grey. However, in the midst of the emptiness, we read about the characters who are kind, who care. These characters are the glimpses of hope and light that appear periodically despite the darkness.  In reading it, you could also feel Detroit and Flint, Michigan ooze from the pores of the pages. Alex’s father works at the Chevrolet car manufacturing plant and you can feel how the car culture embeds itself into the community.

This was a lovely is a coming of age story. I found “The Car Thief” to be poignant and beautiful and saddening all at the same time. I really liked the simple honesty in the telling of this story. Overall, I feel like the The Car Thief`s poignancy and honesty make it a book for all to read. It feels timeless and ageless, meant to reach a wide range of people. I think we all suffer from the pain and shame of life and can easily identify with Alex’s need to reconcile and move on.

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday’s heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.

Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

1. Story time with my kids

2. A fun night of popcorn and Doctor Who with Princess Belle and Prince Charming. 

3. Sweet naps when the play is just too big for the day.

4. Fun days with where all my kids enjoy playing with their friends, even Little Prince.  

5. BBQs with friends.

6. Cool summer evenings.

7. My funny babies.

8. A new pair of shoes that help my feet hurt less.

Cool

Princess Belle and I had a mommy/daughter day today.  She has a pool party tomorrow and due to her recent insistence on growing like crazy, she didn’t have any swimsuits to wear.  So shopping we went.  At our first shop, the suits were $90!!!  At the end of summer, for a 12 year old who probably won’t fit into them again next year.  At the second shop, they were $150!!  I told  her that if I bought one of those, she would have to promise not to grow any more.  She tried to angle for a bikini, saying that if it was a bikini, she promised.  LOL, I don’t think so.  There is no need for her to have a bikini.  Finally, we found a sale!  We bought her TWO swimsuits for way way way less than any place else!

It was actually fun to shop with her and chat about things and get time to be alone with just her.  She really is a cool person.

This Moment: Sweetness

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

TOS Review – Happy Kids Songs

Recently, I was happy to be given the opportunity to review Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-On Activities to Build Character, Social And Emotional Skills (Retail price $13.95, currently available for $12.56)
Happy Kids Songs Reviewfrom Happy Kids Songs. Additionally, I received 15 songs total as music downloads from three of their eight available CD sets. The music is by Dr. Mac and Friends and are sung by children and adults. Each set is available for $4.95, or .99 per song:

Happy Kids Songs ReviewFriends and Sharing (Set 1)

Happiness and Attitude (Set 5)

Happy Kids Songs Review

Manners and Character (Set 6)

Happy Kids Songs Review

The book and CDs are geared toward children ages 3-8, but don’t be surprised if children 0-9 also enjoy them. Since, they are music and my family is very musically oriented even Little Prince and Princess Belle enjoyed them!  And since social skills are an issue in my house, I love these!! 

It was easy for me to download the music and then play the songs while I worked around the house.  The girls would listen to the music, sing along (loudly and enthusiastically LOL) and even dance a little. 

Happy Kids Songs  is a product that is truly aptly named, because the three downloadable MP3 sets I received, indeed, contain quality, upbeat music to teach social and emotional skills to children from three to eight years old. They have produced eight albums covering a variety of topics such as talking, listening, bullying, fears, sharing, happiness, attitude, and more.

Some of the songs are sung by grown-ups and some by children.  Each is only a couple minutes along with clear, easy-to-sing along with lyrics.  So my girls could understand the message of the songs while enjoying the fun of music.  Since my little Princess Magpie is a thinker, it was fun to hear and be a part the conversations inspired by the songs.

The approximately 80-page workbook was really fun and had activities that corresponded to the songs to reinforce the lessons learned about character, friendship, manners, sharing, talking, and listening and more appropriate social behavior and socialization skills. The workbook covers all eight albums, including a total of 40 songs.
 Happy Kids Songs is on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Overall, this was a success in our home, I loved that the tunes were catchy and stick in your head, I love the lessons and I enjoyed the conversations they inspired. 

Happy Kids Songs are available to download for $4.95 per album (or $0.99 per song). The Happy Kids Songs workbook has a retail price of $13.95 (currently $12.56). To decide if the songs are a good fit for your family, we’d recommend listening to the samples available here and signing up for the free song and activities here.  

Many of us on the TOS Crew reviewed Happy Kids Songs. Check out what others thought on the Review Crew Blog
 
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