Corn on the Cob Song Fun

Corn on the Cob Song Fun

corn on the cob song fun

Corn on the cob. A vegetable that gives you a rich buttery taste and a little crunch. Who doesn’t enjoy this golden treat? It’s so delicious and versatile! Why not sing a song about it. This song was a fun mom and son activity I did years ago. It’s been hanging out on YouTube, I’m just sharing our corny creation with you. May you be inspired to write your own jingles. Simple, clean, happy fun!

When you think of a road trip do you think of singing family songs like She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain or I’ve Been Working On the Railroad? Well, you’re in luck with a new song to add to your road trip mix or the dinner table. When you’re driving through Iowa, Illinois, or Nebraska bust out the vocal cords. In honor of being the states that grow the most corn, this song should be the national corn song of America!

The song write

I created this jingle back in 2013 while driving along a road in Michigan lined with cornfields. My son was five-years-old and we had a ball singing this song. The song talks about how it grows, what uses it has, and more. Super kid-friendly and corny.

After the song was written, it was just too good to keep it to ourselves; so my niece, son, and I created a music video and put it up on YouTube. With over 18,000 views…not too shabby for a corny jingle…I still enjoy singing the song during the corn on the cob season.

Corn on the Cob Song Fun Copyright © 2013 DoMoreThanExist. All Rights Reserved.

Please note!

Please note, the song can get stuck in your head, kids love the video and they will want you to play it over and over again, and you’ll always think of this song when you eat corn on the cob. Enjoy!

Corn. Corn. Corn on the cob!

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.

5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Wellness in Kids & Us

5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Wellness in Kids & Us

5 valuable ways to manage mental wellness in kids

My mental wellness plan started early in my years. I learned at a young age how to develop a relationship with nature. It’s not until later in life I realized how important that relationship was going to be. I’m sure you’re thinking ‘relationship with nature? That sounds weird, but what we’re addressing here is mental health and how to manage it. And nature was my #1 go-to, I also have four other incredible ways to tame the lion within ourselves and kiddos.

The beach

My toes were planted in wet sand. My arms stretched out as wind combed through my pigtails. “Let’s give them a show,” I said. I cleared my throat, threw up my hands, and orchestrated the waves as they crashed and rippled onto the beach. My mind was free, I had no stress, I played and used my creativity; I was happy. It was just me and the beach. No toys. No electronics. In fact, no one else was by me. It was a simple setting, yet a powerful one for my mental wellbeing.

The brain

National Geographic wrote, “Nature provides us essentials like clean water, food, medicines, even recreational retreats… it also helps regulate our weather and climate. But these systems are extremely fragile…we know that once they are gone, there are no replacements.” We didn’t need National Geographic to tell us this. However, isn’t that statement similar to our mental health? Our brains need clean water, good food, and recreational escapes to help normalize our well-being. If we don’t get these things, our minds, too, are fragile and will break.

Mental health issues shouldn’t be shrugged under the rug. We all have them! Sorry to break that news to you, but we do have our own mental poo; whether it’s addictions (large or small), obsessive-compulsive disorders, learning disabilities, anxiety, anger, hypochondria, social challenges, depression, PTSD, or what have you; we all have a touch of something, even your kids do too. Perfectionism doesn’t exist in this world. Now, don’t you feel better you’re not alone?

What can we do about it?

You’d think that we can either fix it or we can try to ignore it. But neither way works very well. What we need to do is manage it. Fixing it 100% doesn’t exist, it’s bound to surface again someday, and ignoring it is going to lead to other problems. Who needs more problems? Yet managing it helps us understand our triggers and how to handle them.

My mental issue

For me, I’m mad at my body. I know that sounds silly, but my body has caused me a lot of grief in my life, from autoimmune hepatitis, hyperemesis gravidarum, bulging disc, miscarriage, colitis, torn ligaments, and nerve damage to name a few. These all have put a mental toll on me. It’s one thing if these ailments are short-lived, but they weren’t and are not. They go on and on. Anyone hear me out there? Some people just go with the flow, and boy, I admire those people. I honestly don’t know how they do it, hence, my mental issue. I’m just mad that my body can’t figure out balance and I eat well and exercise. However, what I do know is that I’m driven to figure it out; that’s why you’ll see posts about health stuff every so often at Simplify Firefly.

Maybe this will help you understand my madness, my dream as a kid was to have optimum health. Weird dream for a kid, but hey, I’m weird. At a young age, I wanted to be super healthy, strong, and run an Iron Man. I’ve been trying to work towards this since 1982 when I was doing Disney Mousercise in my driveway…basically aerobics to Disney tunes, and yes on a Boom box, I had the cassette version. But even at a young age, it was one blow after another, then another. However, I always had hope that I’d learn something new. The Lord gave me that light and helped me through and through. Oh, I love Him so much.

Acceptance

It has taken me years to accept my mental issue, but it’s clear as day to me as I look back on life and I can see how this all came to be. Believe me; my madness wasn’t helping my health at all. It was probably making it worse. A vicious cycle it was and still is if I ignore my mental state.

With that said, this is a journey friend. I still struggle with management today, but I’m determined to understand my root cause, which I know I’m getting closer to. I think that’s why I share so much because maybe someone has gone through the same kind of thing and we can help each other. What do you have to lose?

What to do.

Probably the biggest step in helping ourselves and our children with mental health management is to digest that we have something going on. Upon discovery, many may experience anger at first, but others will feel relief that they finally figured a piece of the puzzle out. Does that make sense? All in all, when we can embrace it and understand it, we’ll have a better chance of managing it and living that amazing life we always envisioned. I may not run an Iron Man, but I’ll know a heck of a lot more about how my body works and why it does what it does.

Anger Management 101

I could end on that, but it’s important to reiterate that a ‘lack of understanding’ usually gets us upset in the first place. Why? Because we don’t understand! That’s why fights happen and judgments lash. We don’t know why people act the way they do, because we don’t live in their shoes. For all we know they could be sick, have a chronic illness, be abused, have social issues, or on drugs. And when we don’t know how to manage those things, a mess of emotions implodes and then explodes on others.

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When we have an anger about something, we usually want to do something about it. I’m not talking about anger towards a person when you want to lash out at them for saying something stupid, that’s a different post. The anger I’m referring to is about how we react to either ourselves or a cause that affects other people. Some call it anger, others call is passion. You can take it a step further and call it uniqueness. There is this great book by Matthew Barnett, “The Cause Within You”. I highly recommend this book to not only inspire your own life but to motivate how to help others. Super good!

Okay, so what do we do now?

I’d have to say the majority of people try to ignore their mental state or try to numb it with something else like drugs, alcohol, shopping, or eating. Another route to managing our mindfulness includes prescription drugs and/or counseling. These are helpful ways if used correctly, but they can be pricy and scary for that matter. And what about the kids? As parents, we can teach our kids how to manage our ‘uniqueness’ in less complicated ways, of course depending on the severity.

*Disclaimer: For the record, I am not a therapist, nor am I trying to be one. These are things I have personally learned and wanted to share them with you. Please consult your physician before trying anything new, especially if you or your child is at risk of hurting themselves.*  

5 valuable and creative ways to help

Here are some creative ways to help you and your family manage our mental uniqueness.

1. Get outside

Remember that relationship with nature I started talking about? The National Academy of Sciences performed a study that shows a simple 90-minute walk in nature {a place with trees} decreases negative thinking about oneself. Taking a walk in an urban area like a city or industrial park has zero effect. This study reveals that there is a “…pathway by which nature experiences may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health…”

I don’t have 90 minutes to take a walk but I do have 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes are gold to me. My ideal walking area is to be around trees. For you, it might be the beach, the park, field, or mountains.

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The University of Minnesota says there’s “a growing prevalence of depression caused by ‘nature deprivation’,” which is largely due to screen time… Push your kids outside. Show them how to get started with orchestrating the waves, climbing trees, building a fort out of sticks or snow. My favorite is to grab a camera (a camera separate from a phone) and ask for certain pictures to be taken. We had gotten one for our son and he absolutely loved it! He still goes back and looks at his pictures.

If nature goes away; so will our sanity.

2. Head to your hobby

A hobby can do loads for you. It keeps your hands busy and your mind focuses on being creative and being you! Kids love this! I wrote a post on hobbies with a list of different ones to try, check’r out!

3. Do something kind for your body.

Our bodies take most of the brunt from stress. As much as my body and mind are not getting along, I’m still kind to it. When you feel good, you are kinder to yourself and others around you. Do you need a run, a yoga session, a massage, a hot bath, a cup of tea on the couch? Do something that makes you feel better that is good and pure. This teaches kids how to pamper themselves when pampering is needed.

4. Eat foods for your brain

Food matters! Your brain needs fats, the good fats. And getting the clean kind in your body helps your body and brain fight off free-radicals…those are the guys that destroy the good stuff. Here is a post about Omega Oils that will help you out. And don’t forget the avocados.

5. Journal

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I know this sounds like old news, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Journaling works. When our thoughts are written down on paper, more so than typed, it’s like you’ve given permission to let the hurt get out of you. Write about your journey and what you’re trying to do to help. Put down what is working and what is definitely not working! Put in what you’re grateful for too. Not all journaling needs to be venting, having a flip side to things to healthy. Journaling is a great exercise to help kids express their emotions yet feel like they have some privacy. Plus it’s fun to shop for their very own journal. Another idea is to check out this workbook specifically for anger management. It will you guys understand each other.

For more ideas, this post from Mental Health America is a good one!

Taking little steps here and there are strides for our health both body and especially mind. Show your kids how to do it. You’ll be helping yourself and teaching your family. Win-Win!

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

“Dress-up” Not Just for Kids: 5 Benefits to Play Dress-up

“Dress-up” Not Just for Kids: 5 Benefits to Play Dress-up

boy and girl playing dress-up

As a child, one of my favorite activities was to play dress-up. Yet as an adult dress-up plays a big role in our overall success, did you know that? Have you ever tried mowing the lawn in a business suit? How about swimming in blue jeans? I’ll give you the top 5 benefits of dress-up for both kids and adults and why you should think about what to wear.

My recent dress-up play

One of my dreams as a kid was to have a Little House on the Prairie kind of life. What I mean is where the clothes and doing basic chores in them. I know that might sound silly, but those dresses were so pretty and full! I never forgot this dream. Today I do not live in the country, my neighbors live about 12 feet away on both sides of our house, but I do have a little garden.

After a fried day to the brain, I wanted to do something different to spark my imagination and escape my time zone so-to-speak. I wanted to play dress-up. To my bottom of my dresser drawer I went and pulled my big long skirt out. I would define this skirt as a gypsy skirt. It was dark teal with scattered blue sequents, and lime green lace and ribbon. My imagination wanted it to be one of those long prairie skirts that Ma wore in Little House on the Prairie.

What I did next.

I slipped on the skirt and headed to the garden to do chores. It was fun walking to the garden, but gardening in this thing was not fun. The garden was full of weeds and I only had a short amount of time before I had to get my son from school. My ‘playtime’ immediately went to ‘work time’.

working in garden

Wearing a long skirt while gardening is not the smartest move. I don’t know how they did it in those days, but it was pure misery. Weeds poked my bum and little bugs crawled up my legs! Needless to say, I didn’t want to get my fun skirt dirty. I got nothing done and my ‘fun’ escape turned into a stress ball. Back to the house I stomped, I even stepped on my skirt and about pulled it off. Arg! I threw my fun skirt on the floor and pulled on my garden pants. Back to the garden I went, sat down in the dirt with confidence, and weeded the rest of the garden in half the time.

What I learned

What I learned from my dress-up play is that I needed to decide if I wanted to play or work. If it’s to play, to be practical goes out the window, who cares! But if it’s to work, you gotta adjust your attire and put practicality to use.

As soon as I changed into my garden pants, the pants I don’t care about getting dirty, the garden was weeded efficiently and quickly without any bug up the butt interruptions! All in all dressing the part will give you a leg up on performing the part.

Top 5 Benefits

1. Builds Confidence

Confidence. We all want it, we all need it. Why? Because people are depending on us to make things happen. Things usually don’t happen unless we have confidence in doing the task at hand. Playing dress-up gives us permission to move forward and boost our confidence in looking the part.

The more confident you feel in your clothes

the more you’ll achieve.

For instance; dressing the part tells your mind to do that specific activity well. If I’m mowing the lawn in my work suit, I’m going to hurry up and do a bad job because I don’t want my suit to smell like mower exhaust. And if I’m swimming in jeans…let’s just say I would probably drown. I know these are off-the-wall examples, but I’ve seen people do them. Not only did they look miserable, but the guy mowing the lawn did a terrible job. To read more about confidence, check out this post: 5 Easy Ways to Build Courage & Confidence.

2. Improves Brain Function

Dressing the part or playing dress-up engages our mind and triggers our memory. If we saw a coworker do an epic presentation and noticed their outfit, we too want that feeling of awesomeness when we do our presentation, so what do we do? We dress-up as they did.

If we saw our mom make an amazing meal while wearing an apron, we too would want to wear an apron. How about dad working in the yard with his work gloves and ballcap?

Wearing clothes that correlate to the job we’re trying to perform, puts us in the mode of doing a good job in that particular role. It gives us more confidence and freedom to act the part out, hence stimulating our brain to think as they do. When we dress like the character, we start to think like the character.

3. Fake it til you make it.

Dressing the part gives you permission to be that person. Have you heard the saying, “Fake it til you make it?” Sure you have! And you have every right to do so. You’ll learn more and more about that role until you know how to do it. Especially so if you are around people in that particular role.

4. Challenges your skills

What does a uniform say? It says I’m an expert, I have the answers. When you, let’s say, start a new job or your going to a trade show, your company wants you to wear their logo. They are asking you to represent them, which says you need to know the answers. Another example is at the store. You have a question, who do you seek for answers? Someone in uniform. When you wear the vest or logo, you have a responsibility if you want a paycheck. Dressing the part challenges you to learn as much as possible to answer questions. In return, knowing the answers makes your job a lot more fun and rewarding. It becomes easy and builds confidence.

5. It’s fun.

Putting some fun in your work can start in your closet or accessories drawer. Wearing fun bracelets, rings, or scarfs really do make a difference in enjoyment. Even nail polish can lift our moods. Dressing the part or playing dress-up is fun! When you have pep-in-your-step you’re happier, more productive, and people notice.

Isn’t just for kids

Playing dress-up isn’t just for kids, us adults will benefit from it too. We don’t have to dress up in our old prom dress or as a frontier woman to reap the benefits of dress-up, we can make subtle additions that can have a magical impact.

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Subtle dress-up ideas:

  • Wear a fun apron when you cook or even clean. The apron gives you confidence in making a mess! Who cares if you wipe flour on your apron or splash cleaner on it, it’s an apron! It’s simply doing its job. Check out this super cute apron.
  • When working outside in the yard wear work gloves and “garden pants”.
  • Working-out? Dress for success. Pitch the cut-off sweats and homemade tanks, pull on the performance wear.
  • Home from work? Immediately change out of your work clothes into something more relaxed.
  • Dress for the weather…need I say more.

May you get the most out of your outfits. Dress for any occasion, you’ll feel better, have more confidence, and you might learn a thing or two.

Copyright ©2016 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved. By CT

To Be Aware: How to Teach Your Child

To Be Aware: How to Teach Your Child

A skill every child should learn is how to be aware of their surroundings. Some awareness skills we are naturally born with, instinct. However, if you really want to succeed in life, you must learn it and pay attention to it. This life lesson can not only save their lives, but it enhances their ability to succeed in communication, life skills, and survival in many different situations. I’ll teach you how to help your child and yourself become more aware of using your eyes and ears. Check out my tips below.

Gone fishing

CTFishon

“Shh…walk softly on the dock, we don’t want to scare the fish,” my dad instructed. It was a summer morning. The lake was like glass, not a movement of wind. Today, at seven years old, I was going to learn how to fish. And the most important fish skill of all: awareness.

We got into our boat, started the motor, and trolled to our fishing spot. My dad whispered instructions on how to bait the hook. He showed me how to adjust the bobber, and he demonstrated how to be quiet watching for signs of a hungry fish.

I wasn’t just learning how to fish; I was learning how to become more aware of my surroundings.

What exactly does it mean to “be aware”?

Wikipedia explains it like this: Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns.

As the world drives to go faster, to be aware of what’s going on around us and in us is being ignored. This can get us into trouble. We get so focused on our to-do lists, phones, and work that we forget to stop and look around to see what’s happening in our relationships, our children, and our overall path in life.

To be aware is a skill

There were two major events that helped me understand how important it was to be aware of my surroundings. One was fishing. The other was when I endured a rare sickness.

The sickness

Awareness doesn’t come naturally; it is a skill that can be learned or in some cases forced. Not too long ago I felt that force…not Luke Skywalker ‘force’, more like the ‘dark side’. My body suffered, so much so, the tiniest movements made me fall ill. For months on end, I was continually nauseous and weak. Have you ever heard of muscle wasting? That’s when your body eats itself because you’re not getting enough nutrition from food. That was happening to me. I couldn’t keep much food down, yet alone fluids. It was hard for others to understand what I was going through.

What I noticed while going through this torturing sickness was the love and compassion of others. Never had I paid attention to it before because I wasn’t the receiver of it. I became instantly more aware of how powerful a card was, how impactful a visit was, how humbling a listening ear was, and how a small smile from a stranger made me feel.

Not only that, I also became more aware of the power and reality of spiritual presence.  My faith grew stronger every day I suffered; I became more aware of His grace and protection. But I had to seek Him to get it. If I hadn’t endured this suffering my eyes would have missed these little gems of light in our broken world.

How to be aware with your eyes and ears

Open your eyes

This skill of awareness starts with using your senses.

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The simple exercise helps us to pay attention to even the smallest details. Do you know those “Hidden Picture” games in kid magazines? Or the Where’s Waldo books? These games are great exercises for enhancing our skills of paying attention. I would qualify myself as a Master Finder, not only in these games but in finding things around the house. Having the challenge to find something is gets me going. My dream vacation would be to hunt for buried treasured or go to a goldmine!

Want one?

Lately, my 11-year-old son is in that phase of asking me where everything is. My answer varies from, “It’s your responsibility to keep track of your own stuff” to “If you can’t find it, you can’t have it.” When in fact the item he is looking for is literally right in front of his face. I’m not trying to be mean by not helping him find it, I’m trying to teach him the skill of looking, to be aware. He obviously needs to brush up on this skill.

Tips

Tip #1: when finding certain objects whether it be inside or outside is to look for a piece of the object, not just the whole thing. Rarely is the entire object going to be visible? Look for a part of it. This technique works for fishing and hunting too.

Tip #2: envision yourself finding it. What reaction will you have? Will you pause and whisper to yourself that you found it or will you yell in excitement? Visualize yourself finding the object.

Tip #3: Lastly, but firstly, pray to God in helping you find whatever it is that you’re looking for. He knows exactly where it is, why not ask him to help you find it. Most importantly, listen for his ques and hints of where to look.

Use your ears

Like using your eyes, use your ears too. Ears come in handy when it’s dark or when you’re lost in the woods. Have you heard the lesson about listening for the road when you’re lost in the woods? How about listening for a car coming when you’re riding your bike on the road?

I’m a fan of the show ‘Naked & Afraid’. I hate to publicly admit that, but it’s a great show to teach us about awareness. The nakedness part could go away, I don’t like to see people’s exposed. Yet, because they are nude I think their awareness of their surroundings enhances. They feel vulnerable and their senses are on overdrive.

In this show, it seems at night is when they get the most freaked out. I don’t blame them. The noises they hear when they can’t see become so much bigger and uncertain that panic nestles in.

As in walking down the street. Using our ears helps us hear when someone is coming up behind us. Walk signs now have beeps to tell us when to walk. And horns on cars tell us something too.

I didn’t even mention Mother Nature, but we can learn a lot about the noises she makes.

Tips with hearing

Tip #1: If you’re in a strange place, unplug the earbuds. Pay attention to the sounds around you.

Tip #2: If you’re having a conversation with someone, listen to what they’re trying to tell you. There is more behind the words they say. Like when I was enduring the sickness. People understood that what I was really telling them was that I felt alone and needed comfort. Be aware of what they’re really trying to say, then act on it.

Tip #3: As in fishing or hunting, use your ears for clues of where they are. Is there a splash in the water? Are there leaves rustling or twigs snapping?

In conclusion

Be aware of the peace that is offered daily by nature, the kindness that is freely given by others, and the small blessings that are awarded without reason. I encourage you to stop and look around; for I know you’ll be amazed by what you see and find.

By CT Copyright © 2016 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.

3 Ways to Help our Kids Not Be Stuck in a Mold

3 Ways to Help our Kids Not Be Stuck in a Mold

What saddens my heart is seeing people, especially children being stuck in a mold. Not actual mold, that’s gross. I’m talking about being molded into someone they’re not. Taking the shape of others is easy. We’re easily accepted. But are we being true to ourselves? Are you in a mold? Are you ‘molding’ someone else right now? Learn how to break away from all that and how to teach your children to be free.

countryside sunset

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes because it encourages us to be unique individuals.

A mold

squash mold

A few years ago I was given a winter squash mold. These molds are used to shape a squash while they grow. The mold is a clear plastic shape, kind of like a mask. When the squash is young, the mold goes over the top of it. When the squash grows it will shape itself to the mold. Interesting, eh? After the mold is filled the squash is taken out of the mold and put on display.  The squash mold gift I received was in the shape of a scary face. Gosh, I’d be scared too if that mold was to shape every squash in my garden.

When I thought about this mold, I really didn’t like the idea of it because the mold wouldn’t allow the squash to have any unique character, or for that matter look like a squash. I enjoy seeing God’s creation take on the shape and color of what God intended his creation to be.

Our own identity

Finding my own identity being the baby of five children was really difficult. I have three older sisters and an older brother. I really enjoyed my childhood with all my siblings. But as I got older I noticed something I was doing and I didn’t like it. I was getting scared.

Being the last of the litter has some advantages and some disadvantages. One advantage is learning the lessons your siblings learned and not getting in trouble as they did. One disadvantage is copying your siblings. I watched all my older siblings go through life before I got there. And because I knew no different, I copied their identity. It was like I was at a store, I took a little identity from one sibling and took a little more from the others.

Copying was easy to do, but by the time I was a senior in high school I didn’t like myself because I wasn’t myself. I was trying to be like my older siblings and my friends. I was stuck in a mold or as Ralph Waldo Emerson would say, I was on their path and not my own.

How am I going to fix this?

Don’t get me wrong, my family taught me good morals, responsibility, and about Jesus; but I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to become. This was my fault. I did this, not my siblings, nor my parents. It was me. How am I going to fix this?

As a kid, I would play by myself when I got the chance. I looked so forward to that time because I could play how I wanted to play! As a teenager it was tough. Our bodies go through so many changes and we get so worried if we’ll be accepted or not. The teenage years can be a real struggle for identity seekers, hence the copying I did. The problem with me is that I couldn’t get away from influencers. I still tried to spend some time alone, particularly on a run or walk through the woods with my cat, but it wasn’t enough.

After graduating high school I knew I had to change. I had to find ME! One thing I did was go on a ‘solo adventure’ from time to time. This is essentially “me time”. It’s a time where I spend time alone without any influences from people I know. It sounds weird, but it’s super healthy and critical in checking-in with yourself about who you are. Even as a parent. “Me time” gives me sanity and refreshes my spirit so I can be a great mom.

Be aware of molds

There are a lot of molds out there. Molds from friends and siblings to name a few. When you have developed a habit of scheduling a regular “me time”, you become more aware of your identity and the influences around you. It becomes easier to be yourself around others because you have more confidence in being who you are.

When you know yourself, you’ll recognize instances where people try to mold you and you can put a stop to it right away. I’m not talking about being rude and yelling “Heck no!” Unless you say it in a funny way. I’m talking about recognizing when people are wanting you to do something you don’t want to do. If you can at least see that that is happening, then you have won. It’s then your decision to decide whether you want to engage or not. Just know who you are. Don’t let someone mold you into someone you’re not. You’re a strong person who has confidence in herself!

That’s the other thing about ‘solo time’. It creates confidence in ourselves. When I intentionally go on a ‘solo’ trip its for me to spend time with me. To learn more about my own opinions, passions, and desires. As much as I love my family and friends, it’s important to take myself on a date so-to-speak every once in a while and check-in with myself. When we know more about ourselves we naturally gain more confidence in who we are.

Parents

For us parents, it’s easy to put our child into a mold. Yes, it’s our responsibility to teach them right from wrong. We are to help them learn how to live an independent life and contribute to society. Parents teach us about how to eat and take care of ourselves. We are the biggest influence on our kids, but we must let our children do what they love. If they are interested in dance, let them dance. Please don’t tell them they can’t dance because ‘we’re not dancers’. Let them explore different things so they can learn about who they are, what they like, and what they don’t have any interest in doing. If you want a happy kid, let them learn about themselves.

3 ideas to encourage your kids to be themselves

  • Make them play by themselves. Separate the siblings and give each kid their own ‘solo time’. Whether you send them to their room or outside. Give them some space to do their own thing in their own way.
  • Siblings have a way of comparing and competing. I suggest taking a walk and having a 1:1 conversation with each kid. It’s like a mini-date with mom or dad. Talk with them about how unique and different they are, how it’s important to be true to yourself and to be your own person. Tell them a story about you and your identity journey. Please do this with each child at separate times, not with all the kids together.
  • Give them a coloring book. I know it sounds funny, but coloring or drawing gives kids and adults the freedom to choose what colors to pick or what to draw. There are no rules which is what you want with coloring, not even to stay in-between the lines. Here are some fun options whether you’re a kid or an adult. Adult coloring book. Kids Coloring Book Awesome Animals, I am Confident, Brace & Beautiful coloring book for girls.
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Final thoughts

One of the things I love about ‘solo time’ is that it’s a time where I can wear my ‘relaxed face’ and not have people ask me if I’m okay because I look mad. Ha ha ha! You know what I’m talking about don’t you?

‘Solo’ time gives me the freedom to relax and uncover more discoveries about myself that would have otherwise be drowned out by noise. Know what I mean? I’m not saying to become an introvert, not at all! Just remember to carve out some time for you to not have to react to others. Time to only think about yourself and for you to love-on yourself the way you like to. This is especially important for parents and spouses.

By CT Copyright © 2016 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved.

4 Simple Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

4 Simple Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

When we look at our children we can easily think they don’t have any stress. We might say, “What possibly could they be stressed out about?” Kids have stress, just like us. It might look different, but they do, and knowing how to relieve it can be confusing for them, even for us adults. No wonder stress is the #1 cause of illness and ailments.

Who is Stress?

Think of it this way, whenever we have something important to us get compromised or threatened, ‘Stress’ comes to visit. Let me refer to stress as a person for a second, Mr. Stress. When things don’t go according to our plan, Mr. Stress welcomes himself into our home. When there are projects and deadlines to be met Mr. Stress sees an opportunity to break-in and steal. Hear me out, projects and deadlines aren’t bad, they’re actually super good, what is bad are the distractions that keep us from achieving those goals. And it’s the distractions, when not managed well, that act as precursors to our foe, Mr. Stress. Mr. Stress can cause memory issues, sore throats, and digestive tracts havoc to name a few. That’s only a few headaches he causes. What happens at this moment is that Mr. Stress wakes up a hormone in our body called cortisol. Cortisol is the ‘bad stress hormone’. So what do we do?

Awareness is critical

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” The very first step to ignoring Mr. Stress is to be aware of his triggers. This year I was on a quest to destroy my cortisol-feeders. Awareness helps us recognize the cord before it is struck. With awareness, we will then know what circumstance to avoid or to mentally prepare for. On a personal level, I needed to kick Mr. Stress out, so my plan was to simply pay attention to the little things, because the little things add up, and then do something about them.

4 discoveries that fed my killjoy

  • The step-counters. At first, I found it curious. But then it became an obsession. I had to reach my 10,000 steps or it wasn’t a good day. This equaled a DISTRACTION for me. My fix? I took it off and just made a mental note of how much I walked.
  • Social Media. “I’ll just check it”, then 45 minutes later I’m like “What just happened?” Another DISTRACTION. My fix?  I set a timer or don’t check it at all.
  • My purse. Wow, this was really stressing me out. My purse was awkward on my shoulder. It was too slippery…yes, slippery. Too HEAVY! Not organized. Weird zipper. I had no idea how much of a DISTRACTION my purse was. My fix? I changed my purse.
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  • Paper Clutter. I enjoy a clean countertop. What took up the most real estate on my counter was paper. Junk mail, receipts, sticky notes, magazines, old homework, sale ads, and newspapers were piling up. This was not only a DISTRACTION but a stress bomb. My fix? I got a recycle bin and an organization station.
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Tasks are done, stress is gone, or is it?

When the big “tasks” are complete, cortisol levels go back to normal. Everything is fine, right? Not necessarily. Think of a wave approaching the shore. When a wave breaks how does it hit the beach? It crashes. Sand and shells stir and water splashes. It takes time for the water to settle and be calm. Like an ocean, the wave of cortisol might be gone, but our bodies take a lot longer to recover. How do we fix this?

4 strategies to combat the ‘crash’

  • Set a daily routine. Routines help reduce anxiety, we sleep better, and we are more productive. Let your kids write down what they would like their routine to look like. You can compromise with them to give them a little responsibility and to show trust.
  • Make a ‘daily to-do list’ that includes errands and simple things like laundry and walking the dog. This is another great habit to teach your kids. It helps them see what they need to do, and then feeling the gratification of crossing it off as ‘done!’.
  • Get outside every day for at least 20 minutes. This is harder for us parents, but it teaches our kids that nature is their friend. As a parent, force yourself to get outside, even better you’re your kids. Show them how important it is to connect with nature.
  • Cut out (as much as possible) disturbing TV shows and movies, even the news. We know bad stuff is out there, but we don’t need to be reminded of it day and night. News especially freaks kids out. A friend of mine loves the news, she had it on all day. She also has two kids, who were around the news. As time went on, the kids are afraid to go outside and play. For our kiddos and TV shows? Be wise with what they watch. Their brains aren’t developed to determine what is real or fake. Even if you say, it’s fake, seeing is believing. So unless you can show them how they make movies, keep to the ‘G’ or ‘PG’ ratings, and turn the news off!

Taking charge of your life needs awareness, self-discipline. What is one thing you can change today to help fight stress and its crash?

Here’s another post about stress you may find helpful: 5 Stress Fighters That Most People Forget About

By CT Copyright © 2017 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.

The Meaning of Christmas & Your Identity. Don’t Miss This!

The Meaning of Christmas & Your Identity. Don’t Miss This!

Are you looking to have an awesome Christmas this year? A Christmas that will have meaning? I know I am. This past month I researched Christmas, that’s kind of funny to say. But I sought out answers to this holiday. After I put some of these pieces together, I was reminded of how to make this holiday a meaningful one. And who knew it has to do with identity…the meaning of part of our existence? Before we get to that let’s have a short history lesson.

christmas gift with pinecone

What’s up with ‘Merry Christmas’?

Tis the season to be Merry, fa la la la laaa, la la la laaaa! In 1843 it was Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” that introduced the word ‘Merry’ for “Merry Christmas”. Did you know that? I didn’t. The dictionary defines Merry as cheerful and lively. Occasionally you’ll hear “Happy Christmas”, but “Merry” fits the bill. The word “Christmas” originated from “Christ’s Mass” which literally means a group of many people gathering to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th. In fact, this celebration started in 313 AD, three centuries after Jesus’s crucifixion. Interesting isn’t it?

Let’s talk about gifts. 

For most people, Christmas’s meaning means presents. How did gift giving come into play on Christmas? Well, it’s not a black and white answer:

1– It started in Europe as a pagan custom around Winter Solstice, a celebration to mark the shortest day of the year. It falls in the range of December 20th-23rd each year. At this time ancient Rome would celebrate this day by gift-giving.

2– Around 336 AD December 25th was established as Jesus’s birthday in which the solstice gift-giving tradition leaked into the Christian holiday. Some believe that the gift giving started with the three Magi (wise men) giving gifts to baby Jesus.

3– On top of that, Santa Claus was introduced from a fourth-century Greek bishop who was a gift giver, Saint Nicholas. His legacy gradually blended into the Christmas celebration.

So “Merry Christmas” is a combination of things, but one thing is for sure, “Christ’s Mass” has stood the test of time. Jesus came to save us from our sins so we would have the opportunity to have life after death. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost”, says Jesus. And in Mark 10:45 Jesus also says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

How meaning comes into play

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A few years ago I read Matthew Barnett’s book The Cause Within You. He talks about his experience of listening and obeying God’s cause that He placed in his heart. Based in LA, he tells great stories about how people off the street, the homeless, the drug dealers and prostitutes have completely turned their life around by focusing on Jesus and the cause God placed in their hearts. How serving others, rather than serving themselves and their addictions has changed their life.

He says, “As soon as you start thinking about the needs and burdens of others, and what you can do to alleviate them, or how you can bless and build up others, you begin to establish a new identity for yourself – your true identity. “ (page 38) This brings on meaning! Meaning for living.

Think about that for a minute. Christmas is the most popular time of year to give; not just presents. Just look at the Christmas movies: It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, or even Die Hard. Yes, I just referenced Elf and Die Hard in the same sentence. But hear me out, they all have something in common.

Do what now?

Let me ask you this, what do you think would be a powerful way to celebrate the birth of Jesus this year? Sure we can give tangible gifts or donate money to a cause, those are fantastic ideas! But what about your time? Your precious time? What about sacrificing a slice of your time and put your talents to work to take the burden off someone else? What about using your strength to help a neighbor out with a project? What about turning on your personality to lift someone up with a little encouragement? You might say, “But I do that already Christy” But do you do it with Jesus in mind? Do you consciously say, “Hey Jesus, let’s bless someone today! Use me. Work through me. Let’s do this!”?

I love this statement from Rick Warren, “What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it. Not how long you lived, but how you lived.” In the Bible, 1 Peter 4 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” But here’s a bonus in all this. If you think serving is just for the person being served, you’re missing it.

christmas scrabble

What does serving do for you? It produces being Merry. It gives you meaning.

  • It gives significance. Putting our talents to work to help someone else is meaningful for us. It warms the cockles of God’s heart. And generates joy in your own.
  • It produces gratitude both for the servant and the person being served.
  • It brings us back to earth. Serving helps take the focus off what’s going on inside us, to what’s going on around us. This helps us put our own lives in perspective.

Here are a few tips that have worked for me on serving others:

  • The Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
  • Vision yourself helping.
  • Pray for opportunities in which you can help someone out.

I have an experiment for you to try this month to gain more meaning in this holiday. I bet you know what it is. Serve with the mindset as giving a gift to Jesus; use your time, talents, and strength to give back to Him. Not sure where to serve? Don’t make this complicated. Open your eyes and pay attention to your surroundings. He’ll tell you.

One more thing, I encourage you to experience a “Christ’s Mass” and attend a Christmas Eve service at church this year.

By CT Copyright © 2018 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved.

The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt (kids 8-13 yrs. old)

The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt (kids 8-13 yrs. old)

Scavenger hunt to the rescue. Do your kids have a lot of time on their hands? Are they feeling dumpy and bored? I have a fun low-cost solution for you! My scavenger hunt takes at least three hours to complete. Can you hear the angels sing? LOL! This adventure keeps the kids busy and creates a smile on their faces.

Scavenger Hunt
Download it today! Click the picture or head to Freebies.

Not your typical scavenger hunt!

This hunt is like no other. First off, it’s not just a list of things to find. It involves reading, drawing, exercise, strategy, skill, teamwork, creativity, and cognitive thinking.  Seriously the kids loved it. They were outside and having fun. And strangely they got along! As a parent, it was gratifying to watch how much joy was happening in the kids. A memory for sure!

Another fun difference from other scavenger hunts is that it tells a little story. The story starts out with Larry who is lost and needs to find his way home. He has to go through the first three challenges to unlock his map, materials, and list. Then the rest of the challenges help him find his way home. He gets hungry on the way, wants to find presents to bring home, and needs to spend the night. And the most exciting part of all is that he needs to create a flying vessel to get home!

Who is Larry?

Larry is actually one of my son’s stuffed animals. I just grabbed a small one that would be suitable for flight. You can use an egg…this would be interesting…or a water balloon for that matter, or a cardboard cutout. Essentially, Larry can be anything you want. However, with the stuffed animal, I found it made the hunt more personal-able and “real”. They really had fun with it.

Who is this scavenger hunt for?

This challenge is for 8 – 13-year-olds. Younger kids can be helpers; some of the challenges I found to be difficult for kids younger than 8 years old. But that is up to you. You could make some adjustments to cater to younger kids. This is also fun for families.

Scavenger Hunt Challenge
Download it today! Head to Freebies.

Materials and Set-up

As for materials, use items you already have in-house. No need to run to the store. This is what can make the scavenger hunt more challenging…after all it is a scavenger hunt! For instance, for Larry’s flying vessel I just found some yarn, balloons, a plastic cup, a piece of fabric, foil, and threw in some other things from my junk drawer. Who knows what kids will come up with!

All you need to do is draw a map and set-up the course. This usually takes about 30-minutes. I personally had a lot of fun doing this. It brought me back to my childhood fun. To make it more interesting, I allowed a phone to be present for the kids to shoot video and for taking pictures. They enjoyed this part especially making the trick shot video. I simply downloaded an app called Clips. My son actually had to show me how to work it, in other words, it’s easy to figure out.

Scavenger hunt example

Here’s a video summary of this scavenger hunt we did the other day:

Larry is waiting for you!

Ready to have some fun and watch your kiddos have a blast? To download and print Larry’s Scavenger Hunt Challenge head over to Freebies. OH! One last thing, it’s actually a lot of fun as a family to do too! Not to mention at a campground when on vacation. Enjoy!

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.

The Proven, No-Fail Christmas Gift for Kids.

The Proven, No-Fail Christmas Gift for Kids.

The proven no-fail Christmas gift for kids

Making Christmas special is what most parents aim for with their kids. What I’m about to share is something I wished I had learned years ago with my son. It’s the proven, no-fail Christmas gift that is sure to make every Christmas special.

Presents!

Christmas is a time of giving and receiving. We all know this. And the stores love this! I’ve been sucked into Black Friday, store sales, and crowds; anxiety took residency and what was supposed to be fun turned into frustration. In fact, this year I thought I’d avoid crowds and shop online. It was convenient to shop while eating pancakes, but I soon realized I fell prey to the timed sales and limited deals.

My body temperature increased as the minutes slipped away and my mind swirled not being able to make a decision. Before I knew it I was sweating through my comfy pajamas! What the heck was happening to me? My husband even said, “They got ya!” He got that right. The shopping hoopla had its grip on me. The kick-in-the-pants is that it the time spent got me NOWHERE. In fact, I had taken that whole morning with my face in the computer missing out on hanging with my son and walking our dog. And you know what? I ended up returning half the stuff when they arrived on my doorstep.

Feel the Love.

Don’t me get wrong, gifts are fun to give. Gifting is, in fact, some people’s love language. On a side note, in case you didn’t know, there are five defined love languages and each is unique on its own. If you don’t know your love language or the language of your family members, I highly recommend Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages.” Click on the picture below for more details.

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Picking out the ‘perfect’ toy for your child, something that is unexpected and so exciting is where the magic happens…at least in the moment of buying, wrapping, hiding and then opening. But then what?

Let me put this way, in five years is your child going to remember that toy she played with for maybe four weeks? Is she going to even remember who gave it to her? In some cases, she might. But in most cases, she won’t. The real magic isn’t a tangible item, it’s something more valuable.  

family christmas gift

An Ultimate Christmas Story

Let me tell you a story I heard years ago that I wished I absorbed better. Here’s my second chance. I hope you enjoy it.

It was in the early evening of December 20th. A father and his young son were planning a trip to the city. They had a checklist of all the things they wanted to see and do; the big Christmas tree, the street decorations, ice staking at the city center, Christmas cookies at Carla’s Bakery, hot chocolate at the “Reindeer Barn”, and most of all the toy store where the son got to pick out his present. 

The dad was excited to show his son all the sites and to buy him the perfect present at the store. And the son, well, he just couldn’t wait to get to the toy store. He’d say, “Dad let’s do the store first!” The father would reply, “No. We don’t want to carry the gift around all night.” Yet the son persisted throughout the day leading up to the downtown venture. “Dad, I can carry it. I promise I’ll be careful.” We all know the real answer to that, not happening fella. The dad was starting to get a little annoyed that his son only wanted to go to the store, but he reminded himself that he was just a being a kid.

Uh-Oh! Or Not So?

After brushing a fresh blanket of snow off the car, they hopped in their seats and performed their ‘system checks’. “Hat?” the father asked, “Check” replied the son. “Gloves?” “Check”. “Phone?” “Check”. “Wallet?” “Check”. All systems were a go. The key went into the ignition, the dad’s grip got stronger, and turned key upward. Nothing happened. He tried again, but this time he pushed on the gas just to see. Complete quietness. Not even a click. The dad took in a big breath, looked at the son, exhaled and said, “Looks like we need a new plan.”

The son thought the trip was off, no toy store, no nothing. His eyes started to sting and his throat got tight. They headed back inside the house, the son sat on the couch and flipped channels. After about five minutes the dad looked at his son and said, “Grab your boots, we’re not going to let a broken-down car stop us!” They put on their hats, gloves, and coats and started to walk down the sidewalk. The son asked, “Are we going to walk there? It’s so far!” His dad said, “Nope, we’re going to ride the city bus. We’re just walking to the bus stop.”

The Ride.

When the father and son got on the bus, they sat in the middle side by side. The bus driver announced they were headed to the heart of the city, and off they went. During the ride, the son and father played “I spy”, they talked about the silly dog sitting in the seat across the aisle, they looked at Christmas lights on buildings and homes they passed, they played a game of “Would You Rather”, and lots of giggles where shared.  

They made it to the city and saw the beautiful tree. Lights alone the sidewalk sparkled. They ate Christmas cookies and drank hot chocolate. Everything on the list was being checked off. The last stop before heading home was the infamous toy store. The son walked through the doors and his eyes got wide. They spent at least an hour in the store before the son carefully picked out his present. The father with a full heart bought him the gift and they walked back to the bus stop.  

On the bus ride home the son asked, “Would you rather ride Rudolph or be Rudolph? Would you rather drink one cup of hot chocolate every day for a year or eat 10 candy canes in an hour?” When they arrived at their final stop, they wished the bus driver a Merry Christmas and started to walk home. As the son and father held hands, the dad asks his son, “What were your top three favorite things of the whole night?” The son replied, “Playing ‘Would You Rather’, laughing, and the best of the best was riding the bus with my dad.”

Christmas Love.

This melts my heart. The son didn’t mention the toy; he didn’t mention cookies or hot chocolate. His son said that it was the time his dad spent with him that was the most special.  The dad didn’t see that coming. My friends, ‘time’ is the real magic. It’s a gift that will last a lot longer than a plastic toy or video game for that matter.  

Merry Christmas from Do More Than Exist. May you enjoy many “bus ride” moments this Holiday season.

By Christy Copyright © 2019 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved. 

13 Family Games Worth Playing, Plus a little History

13 Family Games Worth Playing, Plus a little History

The first family games date back to Egypt in 3100 BC. That’s right, BC “Before Christ”. It was the game of Senet that set the stage for board games. Today stores are filled with an overwhelming display of games. Let me save you some time and money, the best place to find amazing board games is in your parent’s closet. And secondly, the trick to making family games fun is to find the right game the whole family can enjoy, not just an 8-year-old.

13 family games worth playing

I’ve got a list of 13 family games that are worth the time and money. Believe me, we have one child, so when it comes to games, we parents want to like it too. However, I wouldn’t advise ‘borrowing’ your parent’s games, those games and the memories they hold are theirs, so keep the games in their closet. It’s time to get your own games and create tattered box memories with them.  

What makes a game fun?

First of all, I’m not talking about games about poop or getting whip cream in my face. The toy companies certainly don’t make games like they used to. The family games that make the top of the pile are games that require skill, cognitive skills, and where we’ll learn something like strategy. They are games with a little history.

With that said, the games listed below are for ages 8+ for the most part. Keep Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and Hi Ho Cherry-O for your younger crowd. In fact, those are the best choices anyway for that age range.

The 13 best family games

If your game closet is looking empty, let me remind you of the top 13 picks for family games. Some of these games you might have played as a kid and forgot about them, I sure did. Note: these games are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Battleship (2-player)

Battleship involves strategy, it also involves reading your player. Reading your player in a poker kind of way, did they’re eye-brows go up when you got close to their aircraft carrier? Keep your eyes peeled. You can get it on Amazon.

History: Battleship goes back to World War I by using a pencil and paper to play the game. In 1967 Milton Bradley came out with the plastic board version.

Catan
click for the price

2. Catan

I personally have not played Catan yet! But I will be getting it soon. This game has rave reviews. It’s about developing your own civilizations. This brings you back in history a bit. I hear it’s easy to learn how to play, but difficult to master. I’m getting this one! Check it out on Amazon.

History: Catan was created in 1995 in Germany.

3. Chess (2-player)

This too gets lost in the game pile. We recently taught our son the game of Chess and he beats me every time! Chess requires strategy and getting to know your opponent. Again, reading the player and getting in their head to figure their next move is key.

History: Chess goes back to close to 1500 years! Whoa. It originated in northern India. For more info check out Wikipedia.org.

The game of clue

4. Clue

This game never gets old. Clue is best played with more than two people. Put some mystery in your game night with Clue. Amazon price.

History: This game goes back to the UK air raids of World War II in 1943. When Anthony Pratt and his wife were stuck inside during the nightly air-raids they invented this game.

5. Connect Four (2-player)

I love Connect Four. My son and I have an ongoing Connect Four title. Like the WWE title, ours is Connect Four. This game is all about strategy. We play the best of three games. History: It’s been around since 1974.

6. Gin Rummy (cards, 2-player)

A classic card game that never gets old. You can find how to play here. Plus many other games at Bicycle. History: This dates back to 1909.

7. Monopoly

I don’t think I need to say much about this iconic game. Monopoly and I have a love/hate relationship. If you want to play a game for hours or even days, this is it! However, learning about strategy and money radiates from this game. Head to Amazon to get a fresh game.

History: The original name of Monopoly was The Landlord’s Game. It was designed by Elizabeth Magie in 1902 and patented in 1904.

8. Operation

Who doesn’t like a little zap and lights? Operation is as close to blood and guts you’re going to get in my family games list. It takes about 15 minutes to play. If you have shaky hands, this is not your game. I suggest using your reading glasses for this one. History: This game has been in circulation since 1964.

9. Pay Day

Move over Monopoly, yes I did just say that. Pay Day has become one of our family favorites. Unlike land in Monopoly, you learn about money, taking risks, debt, and did I mention it’s a quicker game? You can play as many months as you’d like. History: It was first created in 1974.  Yep, Amazon has it.

10. Jenga

Jenga is like a cross between a cardhouse and pick-up sticks…sort of. Any age can play this game. And it certainly comes in all sizes. It’s a great game to break the ice. History: created by Leslie Scott in the early 1970’s. Jenga means “to build” in Swahili.

Family Game Night

My family game night memories

Family game night is a vivid memory for me. My dad wanted to take one night a week to hold a family game night. At first, when my sisters and I were young we got into it, but as we got older the more we grumbled. I remember a time when my dad announced that it was Family game night and we all rolled our eyes and moaned. His stern response was, “You’re going to play a game and you’re going to have fun!” Ha ha ha! I’ve used that response in my family. But it’s those game nights that formed a special yet goofy bond between our family…even when we didn’t want to play, we did still have fun.

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11. Skip-bo (cards)

We dug Skip-bo out recently. In fact, I forgot how to play and had to have one of my son’s buddies re-teach me. Since then, we have been playing almost every night. Yes, it’s true. We play a quick 10 card stack of Skipbo. I’m happy to say I beat them all last night with my secret strategy!

History: Skip-bo first came alive in 1967 thanks to Minnie Hazel “Skip” Bowman.

click for price

12. Ticket to Ride

Once again, I have not played Ticket to Ride but looks awesome. It involves a train adventure in which players collect and play matching cards to claim railway routes through the United States. This game has gotten awards. The youngest game on the list came into being in 2003. Find it on Amazon.

13. Yahtzee

This is a great game of chance. If you don’t mind a little noise and love strategy, Yahtzee is fun for everyone. I’ve even seen it in giant size for camping!

History: The history of this game is a bit confusing. Some say it dates back to 1938. Others say it was essentially invented on a yacht, hence, “Yahtzee” by a wealthy Canadian couple.  

Boils down to memories

Okay, that does it for my brief review of family games. You might have played these games at your home when you were growing up. I hope I took you back to some great memories. But now it’s time to make amazing family game memories with your kids. Or, maybe you have invented a new game during the COVID-19 crisis of 2020!

Let’s turn off Disney+ and Netflix, gather your troops, and make it a game night! To get any of the games listed above, simply click on the links. The links will take you to Amazon.

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved

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