• Holidays,  Rants & Musings

    Halloween Children’s Books That I Love To Read

    I advocate for teaching kids to read and helping them develop a love for it. I think it is so essential for children to read. In my household, I find that one way to excite my children to read is with holiday books, especially Halloween children’s books. Here is a list of my favorite Halloween children’s books that I love to read to my children or that they now love to read to me! We pull these out at the beginning of every Halloween season and read them repeatedly!

    The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything Book Cover

    The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything
    by Linda Williams

    This book is really fun for little kids because they can do actions while you read the book!

    Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard… clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap.

    There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat! Book Cover

    There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!
    By Lucille Colandro

    Who doesn’t love the There Was an Old Lady books? I love this book because the ending, just like all the other books, has a surprise!

    Synopsis: The Old Lady is back and this time she’s swallowing a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin…and more! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic rhyme will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!

    Dem Bones Book Cover

    Dem Bones
    by Bob Barner

    This book is educational. You read about the different bones in the body. The fun thing is that if you know the song, it is fun to sing this book to your kids!

    Synopsis: Sing along with a colorful skeleton band in this exuberant rendition of a traditional most-loved African-American spiritual, passed down by word of mouth for generations.

    Frank was a Monster who wanted to Dance Book Cover

    Frank was a Monster who wanted to Dance
    by Keith Graves

    This book is funny! My kids think it is just hilarious!

    Synopsis: Frank was a monster who wanted to dance. So he put on his hat, and his shoes made in France… and opened a jar and put ants in his pants!

    Bedtime at the SWAMP Book Cover

    Bedtime at the SWAMP
    by Kristyn Crow

    This book has a part the kids love chanting with you as you read! There is also a fun new friend at the end!

    Synopsis: It’s bedtime at the swamp—except somebody’s not ready. Somebody’s still splashing in the water and the mud.

    Shivery Shades of HALLOWEEN Book Cover

    Shivery Shades of HALLOWEEN
    by Mary McKenna Siddals

    This book has a lot of fun rhyming words as you read about Halloween’s different colors!

    Synopsis: What color is Halloween? Why, it’s as green as an “eerie glow, evil grin, vile brew, clammy skin,” as white as “cobwebs clinging, a misty trail, a skull, a spook, a face gone pale . . .”

    Miss Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pies Book Cover

    Miss Fiona’s Stupendous Pumpkin Pies
    by Mark Kimball Moulton

    I always love to read books with witches. This witch is 400 years old and makes pies for all the kids in the neighborhood. There is a surprise at the end about how she serves it!

    Synopsis: At Halloween, all the neighborhood children look forward to eating the delicious pumpkin pies made by Fiona, an old woman who reminds them of a witch.

    The Skeleton in the Closet Book Cover

    The Skeleton in the Closet
    by Alice Schertle

    This book is my ultimate favorite Halloween book of all time. We have two copies of this book! I have read it so much to my kids that I have memorized it. The kids repeatedly ask me to read this book; they love it so much! The Skeleton in the Closet is a really cute book.

    Synopsis: Bam! Bam! Bam! A skeleton’s knocking at the door. Creak… creak… creak… Now he’s going up the steps — but this skeleton isn’t looking for what you’d expect. There are both snickers and shivers awaiting readers in this wickedly funny rhyming story that is sure to tickle funny bones.

    Every year I find new Halloween books that I love. For now, this is my list of favorite Halloween books to read with my children. I hope you and your family enjoy these books as much as we have over the years! Until next time, Happy Reading!

  • Family,  Rants & Musings

    How I Love to Lose Track of Time Doing Puzzles

    Do you have that one thing you love to do, and when you do that one thing, you lose track of time? I do! The one activity I can lose track of time doing is putting puzzles together.

    I love to put puzzles together. It is very relaxing for me. Sometimes, when I am putting a puzzle together, hours will go by without realizing it. It’s gotten to the point that when I start putting a puzzle together, I must be very careful because I lose track of time easily.

    I will put together all kinds of puzzles. There are so many puzzles that it is sometimes hard to choose from. Around the holidays, it is fun to put together a holiday puzzle. The kids sit with me and help me when I pull out a puzzle. I love to do any activity if I can get my kids to participate in it with me!

    Puzzles are also great for those long weekends when the kids are out of school. We like to set one up in the living room and work on it all weekend. Sometimes, we will do a large puzzle, such as a 1000-piece one, or a couple of smaller ones for my youngest child.

    Last Christmas, we bought a wooden puzzle. The pieces are cut out of wood instead of the cardboard pieces. The kids liked this one because they had little pieces in the shape of little animals or flowers. The wood puzzles usually come in exotic animals, like elephants or tigers.

    You might think that puzzles can get expensive, and you are right. We like to get our small puzzles from the dollar store. We also pass around our puzzles to other family members, and they, in turn, share their puzzles with us. That makes it less expensive when we can share puzzles with others. Occasionally, we will splurge and buy a nice puzzle, such as the wood puzzle. I am okay with spending a little money on puzzles because they are more educational and creative than other things my kids spend time doing.

    Even though this activity makes me lose track of time and makes me put off doing my household responsibilities, I still do it. Cleaning can always wait. Plus, to me, when my kids help with the puzzle, that is more important than cleaning!

    Do you have a favorite puzzle you like to put together? Is there an activity you like to do that makes you lose track of time? Please share. I would love to hear about it.

  • Holidays,  Rants & Musings

    My Favorite Time of the Year, I Love Fall!

    Happy Fall, Y’all!! I love the fall season! I always tell people that Halloween is my favorite holiday. It isn’t necessarily the holiday itself, but it is the season it is in. There are three things I love about the fall season. I call these my three S’s.

    Sweaters, Scents, and Scenery!!!


    There is just something about wearing sweaters that makes you feel all nice and cozy. I get so excited when the weather turns cold, and I can bust out all my sweaters. This is the number one thing I love about the fall season. I can’t wait to wear my sweaters.


    The next thing that screams the fall season to me is the smell. There are many yummy smells at this time of year, from apples to pumpkins. My favorite smell is spiced apple cider. I feel like when I smell these scents, it just makes everything seem so homey! I love to come home from the grocery store when it is cold out and walk into the house, which smells so good. It always puts a smile on my face. It especially makes me happy when my children tell me the house smells so good. That means they appreciate it just like I do!


    Where I live, we are very close to the mountains. Every fall, the mountains change from green to orange and red. It is the most gorgeous thing to watch happen. When the leaves start to change, going up the canyon to see the change is amazing. Sometimes, we drive through the canyon; other years, we will go hiking. This is something that we do as a family. You have to love whatever it is that you can get the whole family together and do, especially if you have a teenager!

    My list of favorite things about fall could go on and on. These are just a few things I love once the fall season is here. What are your favorite things to do to bring in the fall season? I would love to hear what you do in your families.

  • Rants & Musings

    The Most Dreaded Week Of Elementary School

    When you have children of elementary age, there is always that one dreaded week of the entire year. Can you guess what it is? I am sure you can probably think what it is. Have you guessed it yet? No, not yet.

    For me, it is that moment when you open up your child’s folder with a RED paper in it. That red paper can only mean one thing. RED RIBBON WEEK.

    Here you go for those of you who are lucky enough not to know what this week is. Red Ribbon Week is the week the school talks about being drug-free and saying no to drugs. That is great. It is such a great message, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. It is what comes with the week that I dread.

    Every day for one week, the kids wear something silly to school. Most of the time, it isn’t too bad, like silly hat day or silly sock day. Those are easy. They throw on something before they run out the door. I can even get down with the day they wear their pajamas to school. There is one thing that is ALWAYS on the list that I cringe at. It is the Crazy Hair Day.

    Oh, how I absolutely hate this day. I know I have a choice not to have my kids participate in this day, but unfortunately, the kids love crazy hair day. I am sure some of you out there love this day. I, however, do not because I am horrible at doing crazy hair day. I have a hard time doing hair on a regular day, so you can imagine how hard it is for me on a crazy hair day.

    Here is how it always works out for me. I, of course, can never come up with an idea on my own. I looked up some ideas on Pinterest. If you have not looked up crazy hair day ideas, you need to see this. It is incredible what some people can do. There are so many that are so talented. I don’t, however, fall under this category. I have to scroll through so many ideas to get to one that I can maybe somewhat do. This takes me a while to find one. Once I have found one I think I might be able to handle, I look at the picture or video repeatedly to ensure I know how to fix it.

    On Crazy Hair Day, we have to get up early. I have to have time to redo anything that doesn’t work out. Things usually start OK, but I am praying the whole time that it will work out. I can tell you right now that my track record on it working out is that it has never worked out. It is always a nailed-it picture. It never looks exactly like the picture. Sometimes, you can see what I was trying to do. The children are such good sports. They always say they love it, but I know it doesn’t look as good as it was supposed to.

    Once I had finished their hair, I rushed them out the door. I have to sit for a while and take a breather!! The whole process for me is exhausting. I am so glad once that day is over. It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It sounds so silly that it is such a stressful day, but it is the same every year.

    I know this day will only last for a few more years, but I can honestly say that I cannot wait until I don’t have to do it anymore. How about you? Do you love this day, or do you dread it like me?

  • ADHD

    School Strategies for an ADHD-Inattentive Child

    Children with ADHD struggle with attention and organization, challenging academic success. However, these children can succeed in the classroom with appropriate strategies and support from parents, educators, and the school community, as has been our experience, even though it hasn’t been easy. Here are a few strategies that help us with our ADHD-inattentive son.

    Create a Structured Environment

    Children with ADHD often benefit from a structured environment. Establish a consistent routine at home that includes specific times for studying, completing homework, and engaging in extracurricular activities. In the classroom, teachers can provide visual aids, such as daily schedules, to help the child anticipate tasks and transitions. Organizational tools like color-coded folders or assignment notebooks can also aid in keeping track of assignments and due dates.

    Break Tasks into Manageable Chunks

    Large tasks can overwhelm children with ADHD, leading to procrastination or avoidance. This is especially true with our son. If he feels a task is too large, he will delay and procrastinate completing the task. Encourage breaking down assignments into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach allows the child to focus on one task at a time, reducing anxiety and increasing productivity. Teachers can provide clear instructions and divide assignments into smaller components, providing frequent check-ins and guidance.

    Utilize Multisensory Learning

    Engaging multiple senses can enhance attention and retention for children with ADHD-Inattentive. Incorporate visual aids, hands-on activities, and interactive technologies in the learning process. For instance, using colored markers or highlighting important information can help improve focus. Educators can integrate multimedia resources, such as educational videos or interactive software, to make lessons more engaging and accessible.

    Implement Behavior Management Strategies

    Behavior management techniques can foster positive learning environments for children with ADHD. Encourage using reward systems, where the child earns points or privileges for completing tasks or demonstrating desired behaviors. Collaborate with teachers to establish consistent expectations and consequences, ensuring a structured approach to discipline. Praising and reinforcing the child’s efforts and progress can boost their self-esteem and motivation.


    Supporting a child with ADHD-Inattentive in their academic journey requires a collaborative effort from parents, teachers, and the school community. By creating a structured environment, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, and implementing behavior management strategies, we can empower these children to thrive in the classroom and reach their full potential.

    Remember, every child with ADHD is unique, so it’s essential to tailor interventions and strategies to their needs and strengths. With patience, understanding, and consistent support, we can positively impact their educational experience.

  • ADHD,  Tactile Defensiveness

    What We Tried to Stop Our Son’s Chewing Habit

    When my son was in elementary school, he started having a problem chewing little pieces of paper. I am honestly not sure if it was because of his tactile defensiveness or if it was from his ADHD, but it was constant and becoming a problem.

    He would chew little pieces of paper and then put them on the floor. Then get a new one and do the same thing. By the time school was over for the day, he had tiny pieces of paper all over the floor underneath his desk.

    The first grade that I remember his habit being a problem was in the second grade. His second-grade teacher is the one who brought this habit to my attention. We tried different things that school year to help him stop doing it. Here’s what we tried to stop our son’s chewing habit.

    His teacher allowed him to chew gum in class, but that didn’t work because he would spit the gum out and not in the garbage can. We also tried sending him to school with Tic Tacs that he could suck on. This didn’t work because he would eat them and didn’t suck on them.

    Since neither worked and his teacher didn’t want him chewing on paper, he started chewing on pencils. Once again, at the end of the day, he would have little pieces of wood pencils on the floor underneath his desk.

    By the end of second grade, we could not solve the problem, and when he got to third grade, it was still a problem.

    His third-grade teacher did not like him chewing on paper. This is the year that we were introduced to sensory chewing necklaces. These can be found easily on Amazon.com using a search term like, Sensory Chew Necklaces.

    A sensory chewing necklace has a round rubber medallion that they wear, and when they get the urge to chew, they can chew on the medallion.

    Our son tried this for a week, but then he got embarrassed and stopped wearing it to school. I’m guessing the kids said something to him. You can buy sensory chewing necklaces with a block that looks like a Lego. I thought that would be perfect because he loves Legos, but he was still embarrassed to wear it.

    When that didn’t work, we discovered chewable pencil toppers. We found a pencil topper that looked like a Lego. That worked pretty well for him for quite some time. Until he either lost them or they got stolen from him.

    Starting in fourth grade, his teachers didn’t care. They said it isn’t a big deal if the vacuum can pick up the little pieces of paper.

    He did get made fun of when he was in fifth grade, and that is when he started to hide it a little bit more. He still was chewing paper, but rather than dropping them on the floor, he would put them into his pockets. Lucky me, when I did his laundry, I would find all of these little tiny, tiny wads of paper in his pockets.

    Now that he is sixteen, he still chews on things, but not like he used to. We have accepted that he likes to chew on different things, and we wouldn’t change him for anything.

    Hopefully, this helps anyone with a child who likes to chew on things. Even though the sensory chew toys didn’t work for us, it is very possible they could work for you. There are so many more options out there for sensory than there used to be. It takes patience with some trial and error to find the right strategy for your child!!

  • Family

    Teaching Your Child to Keep Their Room Clean

    My 12-year-old daughter loves to sit in her room and talk to me at bedtime. She will talk to me about anything and everything that is going through her mind. I was talking to her last night, and she was so excited to tell me she had a blog post idea for me, something she wanted me to write about. She wanted me to talk about how hard she is working to keep her room clean and some of the things we’ve discussed together that she uses to help keep her room clean.

    My daughter is working hard to keep her room clean. It is not easy! Not too long ago, my daughter’s room got so messy and cluttered that we had to take an entire weekend to clean it. As we started working on her room, we talked about how much stuff she had, and I had to explain to her that she probably needed to get rid of at least fifty percent of her stuff because she had so much clutter. Surprisingly, she did very well with this suggestion and got rid of quite a bit of her accumulated clutter.

    Once we had dusted and vacuumed her room, we returned all her stuff to where it belonged, sat down, and discussed keeping her room clean.

    Here is the advice I gave her. Here is my simple advice for teaching your child to keep their room clean.

    It is much easier to keep a room clean if you take five to ten minutes before bed and put away all the stuff you got out that day.

    Sometimes, she is too tired to take five to ten minutes to put things away each night. Overall, though, she has kept her room somewhat clean. Thankfully, it has not gotten as cluttered and messy as before. I am still able to see her floor after a couple of months.

    It is always a work in progress. Hopefully, she will take more time to keep her room clean as she ages. Watching her grow up a little bit every day has been fun. She has started to understand and realize that a clean room makes her feel calmer.

    Try this with your children and see if your household becomes calmer!!

  • Rants & Musings

    Why Do We Focus On Perfection?

    I see a pattern, a pattern in everything I see online. I see it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, other blog posts, and just about everything else. That pattern? Everything looks so incredibly perfect, and perfection is always the ideal. Why do we focus on perfection?

    When I scroll through Pinterest because that is what I am on the most, it always appears that everything is perfect. The topic doesn’t matter, and I always wonder how people accomplish such perfection.

    For example, I recently looked up ways to organize my pantry because I felt it was a complete disaster. Of course, knowing me, I first go to Pinterest to get ideas. The articles I read and pictures I saw comprised these perfectly organized shelves that used all these fancy containers and baskets.

    Based on what I saw, I needed a bunch of containers, baskets, and a label maker to label everything. My next step was to go to Amazon and see what was available and what I could order. Once I put everything in my cart, the total came to over two hundred dollars. For most of you, that probably isn’t too big of a deal, but I am very cautious about how I spend my money, and I thought that was a ridiculous amount of money to spend just to try and make my pantry more organized. 

    If I truly wanted to do this, I would have to budget it into my monthly budget and buy a little at a time over a period of months. Was it worth taking months to organize my pantry? That just seemed like so much work.

    The more and more I looked at the pictures and read the articles, the more I realized that many of the pantries I saw were not practical. There were no bags of chips, cans of soup, or just cans. There were no boxes of cereal or crackers, nothing that you would likely use regularly in their own containers. Yeah, the pantries looked nice, but they didn’t function well.

    The pictures and articles were designed to showcase perfection, not to be practical. If I want practical ways to organize my pantry, I wonder how I get that if everything online shows perfection.

    I do not doubt that there are fantastic pantries that are excellent for those who have them; however, that doesn’t work for me or my family, and I’m guessing I’m not alone.

    Anyway, that takes me back to the beginning of this post. Why do we focus on perfection? Why do we gravitate to perfection when that isn’t reality? Why can’t we show how messy our lives can be? Why can’t we be authentic? If we took a step back and talked about how our lives are, I believe we would find we have more connections with each other. It is time for us to come together and be more authentic. 

    Oh, and just a side note. I talked a lot about pantries, and while I don’t want to put all my pantry food in containers, I am looking for more practical and cheaper ideas on how to organize a pantry. If you have any such ideas, I would love to hear them!  

  • ADHD,  Family

    Can a Teenager With ADHD Drive?

    As soon as my son was diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive type, my brain had so many questions. One of those questions that always came back to me was whether he could learn to drive, having ADHD.

    Can a teenager with ADHD drive? In short, yes! But let me tell you about our experience.

    My son turned sixteen a couple of months ago, and I will tell you that the last year has been a whirlwind.

    Surprisingly, my son is getting his driver’s license was a lot of work. I think some of it is because he is my oldest, so getting a driver’s license was a new experience for both of us. It was a year’s worth of work for both of us. He had to take the test to get his learner’s permit, drive many hours, take a Driver’s Education course, and take a lot of drives with an instructor.

    Before he got started, I always thought that his ADHD was going to be a problem. He wouldn’t be able to pay attention in class or while driving. This was very far from what happened.

    He got his learner’s permit very quickly. He just had to take a written test. Getting him to drive the car was the hardest part. And it wasn’t the ADHD that ended up being the problem. He ended up having a great deal of anxiety. Every time he drove, he worried about getting into an accident and wrecking the car.

    Even as he got more experience with driving, he has struggled to get over his anxiety. From the beginning, he never enjoyed driving, so getting him to commit to driving was always a battle. Once he got his license and realized how much more freedom he had, his anxiety went down.

    In the end, and with much celebration, my son received his license. It was a lot of work to get there, but every child is different, and every child’s ADHD is different. Can a teenager with ADHD drive? In my experience, I know that if you have a child with ADHD, it is possible for them to drive someday. It may not be easy, but they can do it. Just give them lots of encouragement and be patient.

  • Holidays,  Rants & Musings

    Do I Make a Halloween Costume or Buy One?

    I love the Halloween season. I love all things fall! The one thing I stress about Halloween is Halloween costumes for the children. My kids are great; they always know exactly what they want to be. That has never been the problem. My stress as the mother is, do I make a Halloween costume or buy one?

    In the past, I have done both. When my kids were younger, there were some Halloween’s that I would attempt to make their costumes. Some years I have bought them. In the years I have bought them, I always felt like I wasn’t a great mom because I didn’t make this fantastic costume for my kids to wear.

    During the years I made their costumes, I would try hard to be like the other moms and make these beautiful costumes. I would spend hours trying to make these costumes, and in the end, they never really turned out great, and I would feel like a horrible mom because their costumes weren’t these great, amazing costumes.

    I have concluded this about myself in just these last couple of years. I AM NOT A CRAFTY PERSON!! Making costumes was just not my thing. It was the most stressful thing and would take me twice as long to make as it should. Making them for me took the fun out of the holiday season. I love doing all the fun fall festivities in our town. During the years that I would make the costumes, I felt like I didn’t have time to take the kids to do all the fun activities.

    So, I stopped making their costumes. I buy them now. It has taken the stress out. We have more time as a family to do fun activities for Halloween. It has taken me a long time to feel good about not making costumes. I always felt like less of a mom when I didn’t make them.

    I have bought costumes for the last couple of years, and I have no feeling of guilt. It is the best choice for my family and me. We enjoy the season so much more than we used to. I admire those who can make their children’s costumes or even their own. It just isn’t my thing. You are still a great person if you don’t make costumes. You do what is best for you and your situation.

    In short, do I make a Halloween costume or buy one? My vote will always be to buy one! What do you do? Do you make your costumes, or do you buy them?