Sunday, December 27, 2015

10 Tips to Prepare for Next Christmas RIGHT NOW

I have to say it, I'm so glad Christmas is over! I hope yours was somewhat enjoyable.

Before we know it, we will be back around again to the Christmas hustle and bustle of 2016. Yeah, I know. Don't remind me, either! 2015 was enough for me!

Wouldn't it be nice if you knew you had already made preparations the year before? Believe it or not, you can take a whole lot of stress of yourself by preparing now.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What We Have Taught Our Nine Children About Santa (And Why Mine Won't Be Writing Angry Letters To Us)

With nine kids ranging from one-year-old to sixteen-years-old, all of them still believe in Santa, believe it or not. Heck, even I believe in Santa still!

We teach our children that Santa is similar to God. I know what you are thinking. Follow me here for a moment, though.

We never actually see Santa or God, but we still believe in them. The Polar Express has always helped me with teaching this concept to our kids in a way that they can understand. The story about the bell (of belief) and how it stops ringing for children when they stop believing brings tears to my eyes every time I read the book or watch the movie.

The wonderful thing is that bell has not stopped ringing for any of my kids. It probably will never stop ringing.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Food Coma Ahead: My New Favorite Del Monte Holiday Recipes (Images)

It's the most delicious time of the year! Or so you would think in our house!

Preparing holiday meals is an extremely important tradition in our family -- it has been since I was a little girl. During the holiday season, we'd always make tons of veggie casseroles, cornbread, and let's not forget the desserts! We would all gather around Gramma's kitchen - I used to love the smell of everything browning and bubbling in the oven.  

I recently partnered with Del Monte (the makers of premium canned vegetables and so much more) to share with you some fun stats on what Americans love to eat during the holidays

Saturday, December 19, 2015

WINTER BREAK - Expert Tips to Re-Energize Students & Inspire a Strong Second Semester

By Barbara Dianis, author of Grade Transformer for the Modern Student
Winter break is upon us, and for students it can either serve as a time to let what they’ve learned during the first half of the school year slip away, or it can be a time to re-energize them for the spring semester. Here are a few of the most common hurdles parents face, and some ideas for what they can do to successfully get over them with their child.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why My Disciplined and Your Undisciplined Kids Don't Mix

I discipline my children. I hold them up to expectations, and my expectations are fairly high. If they step out of line, they will be disciplined. And, yes, if it's bad enough, I will spank them.

I am no fool. Children are children, and mine are no different than any other kid when they start playing with other kids. They can get caught up in the moment. I'm referring to my little ones, in this instance. They also can be easily swayed and influenced by other kids, especially when they spend enough time with the other children.

Like most kids, my children are loving and kind. We have taught them to embrace others without prejudice. We expect them to be kind to others and to treat other people with respect. We keep them in good neighborhoods (although we would prefer them to be inside on computers than play with a raw mixture of unattended children out and about in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact, we would prefer they stay in our own yard. Who knows what is beyond that?) Of course, they aren't perfect. And when they step out of line, like I said, they get disciplined.

If your children are playing with my children, I expect you to have similar expectations of your children as I do of mine and I also expect you to discipline your children, or it's just not going to work out in the long run. If you refuse to discipline your children because you "love them," or better yet, medicate them because you cannot "control" their behavior, sooner or later, this situation isn't going to work.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Coco Austin's New Baby Girl and Why She's Defending Her Motherhood

Nobody should have to defend their motherhood. Unless, of course, they are totally screwing up their kids. Let's be honest, though, most of us are trying our best at accomplishing something that we didn't have an ounce of training or experience with - parenting is by trial and error, no matter who you are! Even if you're successful with your first child, that doesn't mean it's going to go just as smoothly the next round.

Regardless, if you find yourself defending your motherhood like Coco Austin has been, JUST STOP.

New PRESS ROOM on Mommy Rantings - PR Newswire (Plus FREE Benefits for Bloggers & Journalists)

Disclosure: First of all, I want to say up front, that I was not required or requested to post this. I was approached with the possibility of a partnership, but a blog post was not part of it. I decided to write this one on my own. The more I read about the benefits of this website and company, the more I thought...there are a lot of people I know who would love to be part of this!

FREE STUFF TOO? Oh, yes, for the most part, all of these resources are free. Who doesn't love free?

So, here's the lowdown:

I'd like to welcome and thank our new partner, PR Newswire! If you go to the News Channel on Mommy Rantings, you will find syndicated press releases from PR Newswire that are geared toward us parents. (Go ahead and click the News Channel link and check out the new section of Mommy Rantings, I'll wait.)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Hello...From the Mother Side" Parody (Video) Uproarious Depiction of Motherhood!

This is one of those posts that simply does not need any commentary. But, I will say...especially during the holidays, and with nine kids, I feel her! I truly, truly feel her!

So, without further ado, here is Emily Mills' parody of Adele's Hello:

What Brings Back the Magic During the Holidays Every Time

I confess, I can be a downright Scrooge during the holidays! Bah humbug!

Ironically, I never really did let go of the spirit of Santa. Even when I had been told Santa was not real, I still "believed." I kept believing. I never stopped. I never did come to terms with that information.

Friday, December 11, 2015

"The Christmas Virtues" Book Review

It's book review Friday and I have the perfect curl-up-in-bed or cozy-in-front-of-the-fire book for just about everyone this holiday season.

Maybe you don't have time to sit down and read full-blown romance or thrillers during the holidays, and the honest truth is that you would prefer something a little more on the lighter side. Maybe short stories?

They wrote The Seven Deadly Virtues and The Dadly Virtues and now, with perfect timing, comes The Christmas Virtues.

Breaking the Rules Book Hits Amazon Best Sellers Top 100!

I am ecstatic to announce that my new release, Breaking the Rules, has already hit the Amazon Best Seller Top 100 list for Parenting Reference!

It's currently at the #42 position!

Yes, I discuss 7 controversial parenting issues, but I do it with my children's best interests in mind. I oppose all of the experts, but rightly so. Excerpt:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Truth About Elf on the Shelf

We never did buy into the whole Elf on the Shelf concept.

Part of the reason why is because I have a personal issue with glorifying a "Bad Elf" or a "Mischievous Elf" or whatever you want to call the little punk. Especially during the same exact season that we are constantly reminding our children that "Santa's coming soon! You better be on your best behavior!"

First of all, like we need One.More.Thing to take up our time during the holiday season! Apparently, there are a whole lot of people who just don't have enough activities and parties and school holiday events to keep you busy, but I darn sure do not have time to orchestrate the naughty endeavors of the little Shelf Elf.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

12 Days of Mom Complaints

I think it's time to switch up from all of this thankfulness and let off some steam during this holiday season.

If you pay any attention to Facebook, you would notice that people spend a lot of time trying to remind each other - and themselves - to count their blessings.

Let's face it.

There's a reason we have to remind each other. Probably because anyone who wears Mom Shoes (or the Mom Hat, or whatever you want to call it), sometimes find it difficult to veer our brains away from the myriad of reasons to complain.

After all, our kids, alone, give us plenty of reasons to complain on an hourly basis.

Sure, we love our kids and they are blessings. We all know that. This holiday season, let's put it on the table like it really is. #KeepingItReal

Friday, December 4, 2015

Why I Don't Teach My Kids They Have to Share

Sharing is something that we parents have long argued with our children. How many times have you told one of your kids to share with their younger sibling?

Sharing, unfortunately, is not something parents should be forcing on our children. If you think about it, how does sharing make sense in the adult world?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Facebook Battle Over Anti-Vaxx and Pro-Vaccination - One Comment Shut the Whole Conversation Down

Even though it happened a few weeks ago, I'm still astonished that someone who I consider a close family member actually had the nerve to oppose me on my book promo post!

Any author will tell you that promoting their book is probably the single most difficult thing about writing and publishing a book. Don't get me wrong, every single part of writing, publishing and marketing a book is grueling, however if an author has no marketing experience, the promotion part can feel, at the very least, awkward.

Fortunately, I have a plethora of marketing experience.

So, a few weeks ago, I posted a promo pitch on my Facebook account that had this anti vaccine meme attached:

I understand that childhood vaccinations fall under the touchy subject category, hence the reason it's in my controversial book Breaking the Rules! When you write about controversial issues, you have to be prepared to back up what you say.

And I did. In my book.

Apparently, when you are promoting your controversial book, you have to be prepared to back it up on your promo Facebook posts, too, because one of my cousins decided to try to out me! I could post screenshots, but something tells me not to. I don't know whether it's my professionalism or my love for the family member and friends who commented, but whatever, I have to follow my gut instinct.

Even quoting the comments makes me a bit worried, but if they said it on Facebook for the whole world to see, then I'm sure there's nothing wrong with me quoting them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Hero of the Holidays: 4 Ways to Bring Family Together

By Margery Leveen Sher, author of The Noticer’s Guide to Living and Laughing: Change Your Life Without Changing Your Routine

Ah, the holidays are upon us. What does it bring to your mind?

Catching up with relatives you haven’t seen for a while? Gorging on turkey and treasured, old family recipes? Enjoying the little children who have been born to cousins in the past few years? Talking with the grandparents?

Or maybe your holiday isn’t always quite so idyllic.

Are you cringing at the thought of several hours with grouchy Uncle Bob? Are you hoping the kids running wild don’t grab you with sticky, dessert-covered hands? Are you preparing to pop an Advil for the noise and to grab a large glass of wine as Gramps tells you the same World War II stories again?

Whichever your mindset and past experience is, there are new ways for you to truly enjoy yourself all while being… the Hero of the Holidays!

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