Showing posts from November, 2012

Packing & Road Trip Tips!

We made it on family holiday to Colorado and home with one large duffel bag. This is our family bag! Everything else (like fleece blankets and books) fit inside the Suburban. This trip we had 11 people with our 11 seat belts because uncle Ty hitched a ride. As a child I grew up traveling. I remember in 5th grade at Saint James Catholic school we were asked what type of food had preservatives in it that we ate often. I raised my hand and exclaimed   airplane food ! Mrs Porath scolded me, but then later apologized saying she supposed eating something every 4 to 6 weeks counted as often. I remember feeling so much better that I had not been dumb and also realizing perhaps I flew more often than others. We traveled all the time and my parents said I had to bring whatever I needed in carry on bag. I learned to pack things that dried quickly, matched interchangeably and items of entertainment that could tide me over during long drives or lectures. All these years later I find the sam

Follow up results

On Friday after our last night of oatmeal we had a family round table meeting. More like a large rectangle meeting with parents on stools, but we met. Kids talked about respect as the primary lesson. We asked about the food side of things. James (12) summed it up I don't think this was as much about food as being nice to mom. Sometimes I am really nice abut food, sometimes I am not it has to do more with me than the food . We asked him how he could be consistent having manners during meal times, rather than the pre teen slump and eye roll. John-Luke (10) jumped in If we just always say thanks for the meal we are not lying or anything, I mean if we don't like it we didn't say we did just said thank you to mom for making it. And that is the idea folks! I realize not every meal will be perfect, or beautifully made BUT it is the effort and love that went into getting it onto the table for 10 people every day that I need respected. Markie (7) had his own ideas I wi

Our Week of Oatmeal

The week of oatmeal. I am very much hoping my kids talk about this week for years to come. Presenting our children with meals has become tedious lately. "What is this?" and "Could you make this any healthier?" and "Seriously mom this looks like it grew feet and walked out of the garden, can we have something with a crust?" Ok so that insult was actually creative, but usually it is more along the lines of a turned up nose or rolled eyes. And some of these meals were basic fare not lovely baked fish or eggplant parm, the last straw was roasted chicken! SO not a mother to be a martyr, the Otis kids are enjoying oatmeal for the week. Yes they will have veggies and fruit for snacks and other meals, I am quite sure they will not perish  (although I have heard arguments that they might). Old fashioned oats with raisins, cinnamon and real cream. 5 nights this week. No meat, no veggies, no spices and no curve balls. Oatmeal it is. Day 3 kids wer

Election Day & MCHO

This time of year I am always reminded of the deep need our world has for respect. As our kids talk in classrooms, hear campaign adds on the radio and collect flyers from the front stoop it becomes conversation. We have friends and family on both sides of the party line. Debate is healthy, opinions and the right to have them, are the backbone of this great country of ours. As we navigate the political waters I hope to show moderation and kind language, especially around our kids. Keeping the language clean and the prayers calm help teach our future voters to be fair and reasonable. And those who know me well know I never swear (unless Tequila or Pepper Vodka are involved which is another blog:) Mark Chappell Hall Otis was born on election day 7 years ago! We gave him an election worthy name just in case:) His initials MCHO remind me of macho which may prove more fitting than a candidate run! It is so tempting to judge others, to condemn other choices but that simply is not my