Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa's Texas Outpost

Santa's Texas Outpost provides a place for families to really get into the Christmas spirit. At the Outpost, you will find a "real" Santa and reindeer. There are opportunities for photos with Santa (including hot drinks and cookies!) There are also hay rides available. Be sure and bring your letters to Santa!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

adult outings

We were able to take our teens out to a couple of more "adult" places this past weekend for my husband's birthday. One night we went to a comedy theater, which runs shows rated PG/PG-13. The kids enjoyed the hilarious show and fit in just fine with the mostly adult crowd.

The next day we went out for lunch in a nice but still affordable restaurant. I didn't see many kids there. The lights are lower, there is jazz music playing and I didn't see any high chairs. There are nice goblets on the table and fine steaks served. It was very pleasant to be able to take the kids out for more adult fare.

Monday, August 23, 2010

to save a life

While many families are not able to save a life, ours has been involved recently in saving the life of Charlie.

My son's girlfriend found a stray dog. She did not know what to do with it. She mentioned it to my son, who mentioned it to my daughter who has some connections with a shelter. She found out what we can do with him if we can't find him a home. In the meantime, we secured a foster family for him, baby sat for him, posted his name and story on facebook, and are trying all we can to save Charlie's life. Working together as a family has been hard but it has been good knowing that we are trying to help Charlie unite with the perfect family.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I know that kids will not think that cleaning house together is a good idea for a family activity. But in reality, it is. It helps show the team work of family. It helps show the value of a clean and healthy home. It helps show that we take pride in where we live and how we present ourselves. It can be a chore of course, or you can try to add a fun element to this necessary task. Turn up some loud music-you can play your "oldies"! Have a timed contest. Or see who can clean out the most trash/unwanted items. Or have a treat when all the work is done. Working together as a family is always a good family activity!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

outings with other families

It is nice to be able to take family outings with other families from time to time. It still allows time for the family to be together. It also allows others to model and reinforce family values (or allows teachable moments otherwise!) It also allows some of the pressure to be off the parents and the children, allowing everyone some space to relax and enjoy the outing.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Sometimes families just get stuck. And there seems no where to turn. No one can seemingly understand what you are going through. The family at this time can pull together. And a night spent in prayer together as a family surely can't hurt!

Monday, July 19, 2010


It is hard to make Family Night a priority. Especially as the kids get older and have their own commitments and activities. My husband has been good about making sure we spend time together every week in a time of family connected-ness, whatever that may mean at any given time in our life.

I had also been struggling with whether or not to continue posting on this blog. I have recently received good feedback and felt some re-determination to continue sharing ideas for family nights, whatever that may mean at any given time!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

indoor skydiving

I saw a piece on tv about indoor skydiving. This is basically a wind tunnel driven by a huge fan. Students go through a short training session and then are brought in for about three minutes of "flying" time. This is an activity that is open to all ages and abilities. It sounds like a great activity for families with kids of all ages. It would be a really cool way to spend some family time together and would likely be a great memory for families who try this new activity.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

poetry party

Teaching kids about poetry can be as informal as a family get together with some fun poetry books. Finding poems that rhyme, ones that are shorter, ones that tell stories and ones that are funny and silly are great ways to spend family time together. Having everyone take turns reading poems aloud helps build bonds and strengthen ties as well as building academic skills. It's always a great time to have a poetry party!

*check for poems by Bruce Lansky and Shel Silverstein for some quick and easy poetry fun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

to the gym

When you have teens, doing what they love to do is important. I had a nice time with my son going to the gym last night. Although we did not really work out together, it was nice to go together and spend time bettering ourselves, at least in the vicinity of one another!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Apple Store

If you have a local retail Apple Store, this is a fun way for families with older kids to spend some time together. You may even learn a few things! At the Apple store, they will let you "play" with computers and programs to get an idea of the things they offer and how they work. This is in hopes you will eventually buy their products. They do even offer free workshops including changing over to Mac products. Again, this is a great way for families to share and learn together.

Monday, May 17, 2010

kids' choice

No matter the age of the kids in your family, it's good to often allow family night to be "kid's choice". Whether that means they choose the restaurant you eat at or the menu you have at home, or if you allow them the choice of activities for the night, things will always be more enjoyable if the kids feel as if they have some choice in what goes on at family night.

Monday, May 10, 2010

nursing home visit

While spending time as a family we have discovered that one of the most important things we do each week is visit an elderly lady in the nursing home. She is a member of our church and has recently moved into the facility. She is often confused by the days and feels rather lonely. She is glad to see us when we come on Sundays. It helps her remember which day it is. We also read to her from the bible and bring along communion for her to partake. She is very happy for these small things. And we are very blessed to help in such a small way. This has been such a blessing to our family and valuable in letting our kids see us practice what we preach and teach them to help others. They also can see how important it is to the lady that we visit. This has been a valuable way to spend some of our family time together.

Monday, May 3, 2010

fund raiser

My son found out about a fund raiser for a friend of ours in need. It was at a local pizza place so we spread the word and headed there after church. My son was thrilled to see several friends and even their families stop by for pizza and sodas in an effort to raise funds for the boy in need. One girl was even raffling a date with her at the pizza parlor! There were shirts for sale too. The kids bought them up as well. Donating together as a family is a perfect way to spend family time together. Enjoy the food, the fun, and the idea of giving to help those in need!

Monday, April 26, 2010

new way to watch movies

We are going to have to find a new way to watch movies on any given family night. Our Blockbuster video rental store went out of business! My daughter told us she knew it was going to, but when my husband went by that same day, they were already empty! I guess for any upcoming family movie nights we are going to have to learn how to order from netflix or get something from the redbox! Gone are the days of browsing the video store!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

to each his own

When you have teens in the house, sometimes "family night" means letting each one do his own thing that night. For teens, just being home together is considered "family night!! Letting each have his/her own space and time to "chill down" makes for a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere in the home, which is the essence of family night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

on the lake

We were talking about going to a lake today to practice an open water swim. I asked our kids to go with us to canoe or kayak if we could find one. That way they could hang around and watch out for us if something happened. We did not get to go due to the weather, but our daughter was excited about being able to just go out on the lake for a while! I am hopeful that we get to do this soon. Anything the kids want to do makes a great family night (day)!

Monday, March 22, 2010

dinner outside

With the beautiful spring weather, my teenage son asked if we could eat outside tonight. What a great way to spend a family dinner. Good food, good company, and good weather! It feels good to have the sun shining down, not too hot, not too cold. Seems like kids never outgrow the simplicity of a picnic!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

burgers and blues

Discovery Green in Houston has lots of family activities. Many are free. On Wed. March 17 you can come out to the Green and listen to live blues music. While there you can enjoy burgers and other items purchased from the Lake House Restaurant. This week's music will be put on by the Milton Hopkins Band on the Anheuser-Busch Stage. The fun starts at noon. Weekly concerts go through April 12.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

buying a television

Our television has been out for some time. When looking at them we decided we could not afford one at the time. However, with us being gone for a while, we were able to save the grocery money that would normally have been spent. So I am now thinking that a good family night activity would be for us to go pick out a new tv. We like to watch tv nearly every day, though our tastes in what to watch varies! My husband and son especially like to watch and lately, with a couple of teens hanging around, we spend many evenings watching television together. It seems that since it has become a common family event, it would be a good idea to pick out a new tv together.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tour de Hood

While watching Texas Country Reporter last night, we came across a great program taking place not too very far from us. It is called Tour de Hood . Dr. Veon McReynolds has in effect started an inner city cycling club. This cycling group is for all ages and abilities. He has collected an array of bicycles and allows folks to come out on Saturday mornings for a ride. The ride is at an easy pace for everyone to enjoy. At the halfway point, there is a break for fruit and water. Helmets, bikes, snacks, and even t shirts to wear are all provide to participants at no cost. All are invited to join. You can bring your own bike if you prefer. And if you have a bike that is not working, you are invited to come on Fridays and they will help you fix it! Dr. McReynolds is also wanting to get a few three wheeled bikes so that senior citizens who don't feel comfortable on a bicycle will still be able to join in the fun of each week's ride.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum Family Days

The jack-up rig "Ocean Star" now serving as a museum and educational facility offers Family Days every second Saturday of each month. Each month a different theme is presented with information presented at the student's level. Word games, coloring and crafts are used to present the information as well as the museum exhibits. Children 18 and under are admitted free on Family Day with a paying adult. This month's theme is "Types of Rigs". Bring your family and learn about these vehicles at sea. You can even make your own piece of offshore artwork!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kids Night on Broadway

There is an excellent opportunity coming up to introduce your kids to the theater. According to a recent Theater Under the Stars eBlast:

"TUTS encourages you to expose your children to the arts by making a
family trip easy and affordable through the Kids Night on Broadway
program at South Pacific and Little House on the Prairie. With the
purchase of one adult ticket to the first Wednesday evening performance
of the run (Wed. March 10 for South Pacific and Wed. April 28 for Little
House On The Prairie), TUTS offers you one free ticket for a child under
the age of 18. Your Kids Night experience includes interactive games
for the children in the grand lobby, a souvenir Playbill and other fun
treats. For tickets visit and use promo code KNOB."

I wish we could take advantage of this really great deal. This would be a really grand family night out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

picnic in the park

A picnic in the park can often be a nice change of pace for the entire family! It can be a simple affair, or you can order out. Just spending time together outdoors is often all that is needed to get the kids going and mom and dad too! Keeping the picnic simple allows for an easy time in transporting the food as well as in the cleanup. Be sure to enjoy your time in the park as well!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

time capsule

At the turn of the new century, well, in the year 2000, my kids put together a time capsule. They were 3 and 6 at the time and the time capsules ended up being plastic shoe boxes. This past January 1, it was fun to watch my 13 and 16 year old open them up. There were photos, newspapers, drawings, lists of friends and even Star Wars action figures! My kids added a couple of things on this go 'round and then closed them up for another ten years. This is a great family project and fun to look back on!