30 Movies to Watch With Your Kids {if You Were Born in the 80’s}

There’s two reasons why I share movies from when I was a kid, or movies I loved as a kid, with my own children; 1) movies today kind of suck for kids and 2) I’m a sentimental person. Sharing stuff that I loved as a kid with my own is pretty awesome! Movies today feel totally inappropriate for the age they are marketed to, and often there are things that I just plain don’t like. Is it just me or are all parents dumb now too? And not the Tim Taylor, Danny Tanner kind of dumb, where the parents actually end of being right and the kids come around and end up being respectful. No, parents today are the kind of dumb where they are stay dumb, do dumb things and the kids are the smartest ones in the room. Pass!

This list composes not only movies from my childhood, family movies we watched when I was a little bit older and my sister was young, and movies from my mom’s childhood that we watched as kids. Many of these movies aren’t as flashy as today’s flicks but they are none the less important ones I feel like the next generation needs to have in their lives!

Man of the House

Angels in the Outfield

The Adventures of Huck Finn

Mighty Ducks

That Darn Cat

The Sandlot

Back to the Future (Probably best meant for older kids, includes Adult Content. Common Sense Media Review)

Jurrasic Park (Common Sense Media Review)

Richie Rich

First Kid

Spy Next Door

Home Alone


Men in Black (Common Sense Media Review)

The Parent Trap (we prefer the original)

The Little Rascals

Space Jam


The Secret Garden

The Little Princess

Galaxy Quest

Flubber (Original and new versions)

Shaggy Dog

The Incredible Mr. Limpet

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!

The Santa Claus

Davy Crockett

Charlie the Lonesome Cougar

Spy Kids

A Kid in King Arthur’s Court

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Why You Should Practice Self-Care and Choose Joy!

When you’ve lived most of your adult life as a mom life is a little different. There are a lot of things I didn’t do, that most of the world values as things you should do when you are “young” or “college-age”. The seasons of my life might have been in a different order, but I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. The Byrds and Ecclesiastes said it best, “To everything turn, turn, turn….there is a season turn, turn turn.” But when you’ve spent the first part of your life being a mom, and thinking about everyone else but yourself you might not know how to NOT do that when the time comes that you don’t necessarily have to as much anymore. The kids are growing up, they are more easily able to go off and do their own thing and be left with friends or family. We have worked hard to instill independence in our children, to let them know that they are safe even when we aren’t there. I always wanted to be able to maintain a sense of who I was even as a wife and a mom. Being out, traveling and being with other people is something that sustains me. It can be hard to do that when you are a wife and mom, especially as a military spouse. And while sometimes I get to do all those things more than other times, it has always been important.

Give yourself permission to choose you! Find what your self-care is and make time for it. You will be a better parent and person for it! Click To Tweet

I made a promise to myself that I would do things in 2019! I would live out adventures here locally and by traveling more. I’ve identified that this is something that speaks to me and something that has been put so far on the back burner of life that it’s actually cold and starting to get a little moldy. The time has finally come, the timing is right and I really can’t wait. 2019 has started off amazing with the most amazing trip to Houston. It centered me, relaxed me, and made me excited. It truly spoke to my soul and I left a piece of myself there. The idea of traveling has never really been something that I considered. Only recently have I even been able to take the time to travel for work, so traveling for myself without it being to visit family has NEVER been a consideration. But I’ve found my joy and what my self-care is and I’m going to keep holding on tight to it.

As women, I think this is hard! As moms, this is even harder. But I challenge you to look for that happiness in 2019! Even if you still have little ones, it’s so important to be the best you and if you aren’t the best you how much can you really give to those around you?

Self-care doesn’t have to be a big production! It can be small. Here are some ideas for some simple self-care:

Manicure or Pedicure

Making time for some “Quiet Time/Devotional” whenever you can

30 Minutes of TV alone and quiet after the kids go to be

Reading a book even when you think you don’t have time

Listening to music

Going out for a cup of coffee

Grocery shopping alone

Getting a hair cut

Visiting a local museum or a new place you’ve never been

Getting a group of girlfriends together for a movie night in OR out

Picking up the phone and calling a friend or your parent

Not cooking dinner and instead ordering pizza or going out

how do you practice self-care?!


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I Took My 12 Year-Old’s Cell Phone and Guess What Happened?

Let’s just start out by saying that Middle School is rough. I knew it was but man, it all comes flooding back when you send your first child there. Its gonna be fine you tell yourself, he’ll survive just like you did right? And then comes the first hard parenting decision you have to make. The first quarter didn’t go the best. The sharp left turn into the google classroom world wasn’t an easy one. The idea of doing everything on a computer, turning stuff in, sitting in a classroom also on a computer was a lot for my kid’s brain I think. Focusing doesn’t necessarily come easier when you are on a computer all day, then come home to also work on the computer. Despite all that I will say that the staff at our school, for the most part, is top notch!  They have been supportive, gotten tutoring for him for math once a week, and have just been all around supportive and approaches things with a listening ear. One of the worst parts, and most surprising, has been the change to letter grades and the fact that they are updated in real time. They have spent their entire elementary school lives with these arbitrary number grades which mean almost nothing. They have no concept of what letter grades mean, how a curve works or having them updated in real time based on what assignments are available to turn in. And the kids can access this through an app on their phone. Not the best idea for a generally anxious kid.

photos by Cherish Pennington Photography

So after much thought, a phone getting taken away and the distraction of it all, I decided to take it away. And guess what? He didn’t die? His world hasn’t fallen apart and he makes it home from school each day and I haven’t worried one little bit about it. We entered the cell phone world mostly because of me – well, all because of me. I was under the impression that he needed it in the big bad world of middle school here. He’d be home by himself sometimes, walking home from the bus or possibly staying late at school. How would I know? What if something happened at school and he needed me? What if he didn’t have his cell phone? So, we got the phone, I downloaded all the cool things like Life 360, which tracks them, and OurPact, which allows you to schedule time when access to games and such are available. He has to request all downloads and be approved by me. I only allow a certain number of “fun” apps on his phone. No Youtube, no music.ly or anything like that. I’m the least fun cell-phone mom in his little circle of friends I think. But that still wasn’t enough. He’s 12! Let’s face it, 12 year-olds aren’t ready for the responsibility of a phone. As evidenced by the fact that almost everyone I know complains about the fact their kid can’t leave their phone and is always on it. So why have we given in? Why are constantly battling something that actually belongs to us? Having a cell-phone is a privilege and not a right. And frankly, as adults, we have a hard time curbing our cell phone usage. Having kids old enough to pay attention has really made that more apparent to me and has directly affected how I behave with my phone.

photo by Cherish Pennington Photography

So, the great cell-phone experience – while not a flop – was, and is a learning experience. Every parent needs to make their own decisions when it comes to technology and their kids, especially when it comes to social media. But why are we giving our children’s adult responsibilities and then annoyed (whether we realize it or not) or shocked when they can’t handle it. If its hard for us to put down the technology how can we expect to not be EVEN MORE difficult for our children to as well? I have to also remember by job isn’t to make him a kid of the world, to make sure he fits in or that he’s the cool kid. My job isn’t even to raise a straight A student! My job is to raise a good human FIRST! Frankly that is my only job. I want my kids to love God, love their families, love their country and their community. That’s it. Not be good at technology, not excel in math, or be able to play every sport with professional ability. Its just not. And that is something I think we have to work on reminding ourselves.

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My Kids Do Chores, and Yours Should Too!

School’s in full swing and we are fully embraced in our new schedule. So it’s the perfect time to evaluate the chore duties. We have three kids, and they are all their unique person. But let’s face it, when more often than not I’m here alone with them the easiest road is the one I often choose. But chores are important, and no matter what you’re doing them so we should all get to a place where we can accept that. Acceptance is key! In our home we also pay for chores. It’s one of those marriage compromises, that I ended up totally coming on board with and we have seen the payoff *no pun intended*. We don’t pay lot, but we pay enough for them to understand the value of money and get into the habit of saving. I use a great allowance app with a profile for each kid. They can also choose to put money in their piggy bank if they want. They also have a goal they are working towards and we encourage them to pick something special. You see the beauty of them making their own money is now they buy themselves anything they want. So outside of birthdays I now can say “save your money for it!” The second benefit is their desire to do extra chores and coming up with the idea on their own! It’s lovely!!

So what types of chores do they do?

-It should be noted that my kids are also required to participate in the our household like putting away folded laundry, clearing the table, keeping their rooms clean as best they can and other things that are part of keeping our home together-

The 11 yr old $2.50
  • Vacuuming
  • cat box duty
  • dusting
  • unloading dishes
  • vacuuming and mop kitchen and mud room
  • extra chores we ask
The 8 yr old 1.50
  • Bathroom (minus chemicals for shower and tub)
  • vacuum and mop bathroom
  • wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • dusting (splits with brother)
The 5 yr old .75
  • windows ( whatever he can reach)
  • bathroom trash
  • recycling
  • he loves extra chores, so he’ll ask regularly for them
You have to change your point of view
If you are a super type A person this will either drive you crazy or be a great learning experience….what I’m hoping is that its both. It’s okay to want perfection. I’m kind of that way about my living room. It’s my space, with no kids toys or anything like that. So there I get to be crazy and organized. But the dishwasher, maybe not the best place to go crazy. 1) they won’t learn how to do it and 2) they won’t want to do it with a happy heart. When are having company sometimes you’ll see be bust out the cleaning supplies for a grown-up once over. But its so important to us that they kids also recognize and take ownership over the space.  Kids can do way more than we think they can and we have seen the benefit in our household.
What kinds of chores are done at your house?
Got any questions?  

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What Did I Tell My Kids?

I debated about whether or not I would write a post about this topic. We’re definitely on overload. And while conversations from adults are what they are, it the kids that I want to talk about. I’ve recently been asked by several people what I’m telling my children. My answer is, “We have a new president-elect, who will take office in January.” No more, no less. Every election it seems like our children are becoming involved more and more. And not just involved by knowing what is going on and having fun learning about things; but actively involved in the disgusting underbelly of the election. Kids coming home telling their parents that their friends will be deported in Trump wins, others talking about how Hilary should be in jail. Both sides feel justified in their anger; and both sides have justified the actions of the other. Her emails weren’t really that bad, he said those things as a celebrity, what he said was worse than anything she may have done.

No matter what I firmly, and without questions, believe that our children should not bear the weight of what is going on right now. They are going to schools and talking to friends, parroting things they are hearing – spreading the fear, anger, judgement and whatever else to small children who are entirely too young to be worrying about this. My five, eight and possibly my ten year old don’t need to be scared or feel like their world could implode at any moment. That the election of one man will suddenly cause a tidal wave of destruction that will deport their friends, imprison people, take away rights and destroy our country. And if the election had turned gone another way I would say the same thing.

So what DO I say to my kids? I tell them, “we have a new President, there are many people upset, and many happy. Someone was going to be angry and someone was going to be happy. No matter what you hear on tv or from your friends at school, Mommy and Daddy have it under control. You don’t need to be worried about anything. Just be excited there is a new President, and its okay to be sad that President Obama isn’t going to be anymore.” President Obama is the only President they have really known. They know about him, watch him on TV and look up to him in the way any child should someone like our Country’s President. As military kids they are keenly aware that he is their daddy’s boss and is making decisions about their daddy. There is so much they do worry about in their life, and adding more to that isn’t what we are about.

How do I ACT? All I can do is set an example for them. An example of love and kindness. As Christians, as a Jesus loving, faith-based household that is my belief and my duty as a parent. And that’s it. There is plenty of time for all the other things in life. Plenty of time.

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