Saturday, June 26, 2010

STAND BY. Conversion in progress?

I almost can't believe I am about to say this. This is June in South Florida. This is the time of year that I ramp up the lamentations of what a hellish place we live in - sure it's hyperbole but given the summer time temps around here it feels pretty understated - and assume my seasonally hermitic lifestyle. It's H.O.T. around here folks, and I don't do heat well. Let's face it, you can pile on the layers to keep warm in the winter but in the summer you can only remove but so many before you run into trouble with decency.

I know I've mentioned before that I am not exactly a beach person. However, that may not be 100% accurate...I actually really love hearing the sounds of the ocean and watching the waves roll in, even playing in the surf...but at night, under the moon not the blazing fireball that is the South Florida summer sun. I've lived in South Florida for 12 years now and, before this year, have quite willingly relegated my daytime trips to the beach to the "only at the request of out of town guests" column on my Things To Do list.

That said, four of the five of us Murrays spent an uncharacteristic day at the beach today. (And, technically speaking, the missing fifth Murray also spent the day at the beach today, except he was on a beach in St. Croix with his Grandma and Papaw instead of here with us. Tough life, eh?)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch


Katie and Bill were thrilled to be at the beach.




They played in the sand, searching for shells and driftwood, building castles, and burying each other.


They played in the water, swimming, body surfing, and snorkeling. They even got Mari and me to join them for a little bit of fun in the waves, but mostly we just sat and relaxed, cooled by the sea breeze and the shade from our cabana umbrella.



(And I even got to read a good book while Mari slept off the salty air high she got from playing on the beach and in the water.)

I'm really surprised to say it, but we all thoroughly enjoyed our day at the beach. And what's more, we're all looking forward to our next one (even me!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!!

We've been having a ball (no pun intended, although we were throwing bowling balls around today at 9am!) celebrating Katie's 7th birthday.

My only question is, "How'd she go from this:



to this:



so dang quickly?!?!?!?!?!"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATIE!!! We love you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Review: LOVE, WARMTH, AND DISCIPLINE By Rev. Val J. Peter


I love to read and, while I do quite enjoy a good fiction book (and even the not so good ones from time to time), I have really been in a zone lately reading non-fiction covering a wide variety of topics. My most recent read? Love, Warmth, and Discipline - Lessons from Boys Town for Successful Parenting by Rev. Val J. Peter.

The book introduces, explains and analyzes three main parenting styles - permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative - and gives examples and case studies ("dispatches") of kids who come from each particular style. This book certainly made me think about the approach I take with my kids and how that approach has changed and morphed throughout the years. Some of the information underscored some basic opinions I have talked about for ages; some felt like an oversimplification of things; and some I am pondering. Even now, I am tossing around some ideas that came to me in reading the very first chapter of this book, churning and processing them to see if they‘ll become something bigger. I’ll have to address those ideas in another post, though, and stay with the point here. And that point is this: just how helpful are these "dispatches from the front" that Fr. Peter is talking about in his book?

Bottom line here is, while I don’t necessarily wholeheartedly agree with every detail or suggestion in the book, I think the topic alone makes this book a good read for any parent who has ever wondered where their kid's instruction manual got lost. I mean, I think we all have some question as to our parenting skills from time to time, and we all would love to have a little insider information from an expert right? Anyone agree, or am I all alone on this? I guess it‘s possible that I‘m the only one, but I somehow doubt that. Boy's Town has spent decades helping children and families and thanks to their wealth of experience, Love, Warmth, and Discipline gave me a few good techniques to add to my parenting arsenal…and a couple more general ideas to mull about and have a little fun with.

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This review was written as part of the Catholic books reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Love, Warmth, and Discipline - Lessons from Boys Town for Successful Parenting.