Guest Post: More Than Happy

My good friend, Ruthann, has been reading the book “More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting” by Serena B. Miller and Paul Stutzman and sharing her insights online.  I asked her if she would share some of the things she has taken from the book with you.

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Who do you want your kids to be when they grow up?
Most Englisch (those who are not apart of the Amish culture are referred to as Englisch by the Amish) when asked, would say that they want their kids to grow up and be happy individuals. The Amish response is a bit different in that they strive to raise children who will become a person of value and exceptional character, more than happy.

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Sporty Spring

IMG_20150512_164634Spring sports are ending this week.
Grace had her gymnastics showcase last week, and she did great!  She can do at least six pull-ups, backbends, flips on the bar and balance beam work.
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Gregory has his last soccer game on Thursday.
He has been playing so well this season!  He has some really fancy footwork and has scored several goals.  He even faked out someone once!IMG_20150519_155346 IMG_20150516_162101

David is playing basketball on a local team.  It hasn’t been the greatest experience, but he has tried really hard and played his best.

We have been really busy with all of the games and practices over the past few weeks.  But these have been good opportunities for the kids, and they have enjoyed it!

Hillbilly Hotdogs

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that we love trying out new foods and hitting any restaurant that has been on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.
When we were traveling through West Virginia, we decided to try out Hillbilly Hotdogs!
IMG_20150426_150525The food was really good, the atmosphere like nothing else we’ve ever seen and the kids’ meal were a lot of fun.  It is a bit out of the way, but hugely popular!


The Good, The Bad & The Cranky

Every once in a while, we will have a really good day, an almost perfect day.
Last Thursday was one of these days.  Just before bedtime I sat down with the older two and reviewed the day; I reminded them what a great day we all had together.  They agreed.

However, along with the good days come the bad days, those days when nothing seems to go right.  The kind of day when you want to throw in the towel and just go to bed so that you can start over again the next day.  We’ve had a few of those days, too, recently.

And then there are the cranky days.  On these days, there is one child (or two… or three… or four) who is just in a bad mood or having a hard day and refuses to comply and complains about everything.  Yesterday was one of those days.  And Mom could do no right. I showed my worst side in public in front of lots of other parents, whose kids were all behaving while mine were not.

All this to say, I get it!

We’ve all been there.
We’ve all been frustrated, angry, embarrassed and worn out.

The good news is that these days can be redeemed!


Even though I yelled and whined to my husband when we got home, I was able to sit down with each child and explain why their behavior was wrong and the consequences of doing that again.  We had a nice dinner, and then I read and cuddled with the little boys while Nathaniel played a board game with the older two.   It, certainly, was not one of the “good” days, but we survived, and today is a new day “with no mistakes in it yet.” (Name the book/movie!)

Have a great day, friends!

Visiting Grandma

After we visited Grandpa in the hospital, we went to see Grandma. While she didn’t say much, it was easy to tell that she was very happy to have us there.

While the older kids were exploring the barn, Eric made friends with Cutie, Grandpa’s dog.

Weekly To Do List {Printable}

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I created this Weekly To Do List for myself, but I thought I would share in case someone else can benefit from it.   It is very simple, and the background provides some space to color (aka de-stress).  I use the space next to each day to write down appointments, activities, etc. I use the column on the right to make a list of things that I need to get done during the week, and I cross them off when I’m done.   I hope you can help you, too!

Oldest Intersection in America

Untitled While in Kingston, New York, we visited the Oldest Intersection in America at the corners of Crown and John streets.
We also passed the Senate House, which was erected in about 1676, where the first Senate of State of New York met after the adoption of the first constitution 1777, until the burning of Kingston, October 16, 1777. One of the few buildings to survive the burning of Kingston in 1777 was the Hoffman House Tavern, which we also saw, but I didn’t get any photos of it.