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Violins with Grandma | Spending Time with Family

Spending Time with Grandparents

For the past several years, my sweet Eighty-something grandmother has volunteered every week to play piano for folks in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She has an incredibly large repertoire of songs, all of which she plays by request for her darling audiences, entirely from memory. This summer, my daughters were able to join her in her weekly performances (at three different facilities — she gets around!), and I wanted to share a little bit about that experience.

First, it was seriously fun to see how much Grandma enjoyed having some fiddlers in her show. She was so excited to have them there, to introduce them to her friends, and to play along with them. My girls inherited their musical ear from this great woman, and it was a treat to see her eyes light up when my oldest finally got up the courage to play an unrehearsed tune in front of an audience along with the piano. The girls loved hearing her play old standards like The Tennessee Waltz, Blue Hawaii, Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue, & Springtime in the Rockies.

Violins with Grandma | Spending Time with Family

Spending Time with Grandparents

Here are some of the benefits my girls gain by spending time with grandparents:

1-Character – having the opportunity to see their grandmother’s example of service helps build their own character. They can see the good she is doing, and they are learning from her to do the same.

2-Connection – shared time is the basic building block of relationships. Just being together provides opportunities to connect, to get to know each other better, and to just enjoy.

3-History – Grandma has seen and experienced so many things in her life, I want my girls to learn as much as possible, and to love being with her. It was so fun to listen to the historic music she loves with them, to see them smile and tap their toes, and play along.

4-Skills – in our circumstance, this activity provided the chance to improve their own performance skills. Getting more comfortable in front of a group of people and gaining confidence in their musical ability is a win-win! Whether it’s honing skills they’ve developed on their own, or learning something new from a grandparent, there are many opportunities for growth in spending time with grandparents!

What are your favorite ways to provide your children with Grandma time?

Violins with Grandma | Family

Mom Talk Monday: Katie Lindsay

Tell us a little about your family & why it is special?

My family is special to me because I have only boys; 4 to be exact, ranging in age from 7-13. We are a very busy and wild bunch.

What do you do for work/volunteer outside of being a wife and mom?

As an extra income for our family I own a Daycare. After I send my boys to school I have about 9 to 10 children come into my home. After school I have about 14 kids each day. My is always filled with laughter, crying, arguing and playing.

Is there something your family does on a regular basis for quality time?

Quality time is spent at many sports games but our favorite thing to do is movie night.

How do you take time for yourself to recharge?

To recharge myself I run. It is a great stress relief.

What is your go to, never fail, and in a pinch recipe?

When things have been crazy and I don’t have dinner ready the best and fastest thing I do is eggs, french toast and orange juice.

What is the one product you cannot live without?

Microwave! With all the work I do and food I prepare it would be a big pain if I didn’t have one.

If you’re interested in being featured on Mom Talk, email us at [email protected] Subject line “MOM TALK”.

Ramona, Creator of One Small Child

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As we end the month long celebration for our 30th year in business, we thought it only fitting that Ramona, Creator of One Small Child, take over for Mom Talk Monday. Her experience and knowledge far outweigh anything you could learn anywhere else. Ramona started this sweet company herself and helped it blossom. We are so thankful to have her here to give up a look into what the last 30 years has been like.

-Starting a business, any business, is a tremendous undertaking. What inspired you to create one that is so hands on and detailed?

I didn’t know it would be so hands on and detailed. Who ever thinks of things like that when they are filled with a passion to create something? I have always loved to create beautiful clothing. I started sewing my own clothes when I was 13 years old. I love the process of visualizing and creating the end result. I love the feel of fabrics and the potential they present to create a beautiful human being.

I love the feeling people get when they look at someone who is beautifully dressed, especially children. I believe it builds a child’s self esteem when they are admired by other people and I create beautiful clothing to enhance how adorable they are. I recently realized that I have always loved art and the idea that I could be somewhat of an artist. I have spent my life’s work, not painting on a canvas with paint, but using children as my canvas for extraordinary clothing. I create beautiful works of art by enhancing their beautiful spirits with lovely clothes.

-How did you juggle your role as a wife and mother while growing One Small Child?

Sometimes not very well. It took a tremendous effort to keep up with the growing day to day demands. My family has always been my top priority, but sometimes I had to make a decision between them and putting out fires at work. I look back with regret on many of the things I missed with my children. I spent a lot of years getting up very early in the morning, working until it was time for the kids to get up for school, then working all day and spending time with them after school. Then, after they were in bed, I would work well into the evening. It was a difficult time and I often felt like I was on autopilot.

My younger children grew up in the shop, having their own room and toys to play with during the day. I interacted with them in between the demands of the business.

-Tell us a little about your family and why it is special.

I was very excited to have children and be a mother soon after my marriage. However, I experienced some difficulty at first. I had a miscarriage about a year after we were married. I felt very sad at the loss. A few months later, I had a tubal pregnancy that required emergency surgery and I felt that I would never be able to have children. To my delight, I was able to have a normal pregnancy and a beautiful baby girl a year later. 4 more children joined our family and I was happy thinking we were complete. Our oldest daughter was about 9 years old when I started designing and sewing a line of tricot slips and dresses call Fluff ‘N Twirl. We started selling them to retail stores around the USA, employing the services of independent Sales Reps. They were well accepted and we began to grow. At times, we operated a retail outlet locally and I’m often told by young mothers today that they loved their Fluff ‘N Twirl dresses when they were little girls. I love that I was able to bring joy to many people and they can tell me about it.

When my youngest daughter was 10 years old, I strangely started feeling sick for a week or two. I very seldom got sick and I thought it must be the flu or something. For some reason, I felt that I should purchase a pregnancy kit and Voila!!, another baby was on the way. I loved the idea of having another baby to love, but I was 42 years old, extremely busy with our business and totally unprepared for this wonderful event. But, what can a mother do? We all just moved over and made space for this darling little boy. The other kids adored him and it was so much easier with a new baby, myself being older, more patient and having built in babysitters. I just picked him up from his bed early in the morning and took him to work with me. I fed him at work, had a room for him to take naps, a rocking chair to read stories in, toys of many kinds. He grew up amongst the sewing machines and the nuts & bolts of a business. I never regretted for a minute the wonderful miracle of him.

-What is your most humorous story you can think of that happened in growing your business?

Late one Friday afternoon, we got a panic call from one of our customers that she hadn’t received her order and the Christening was the next day. We quickly put together another order for her to be delivered the next morning. The UPS driver had already left with the days orders, so my son, Kendall, drove to the Idaho Falls, ID terminal to get the package on the truck. When he got there, he found that the Next Day deliveries had already left for the airport. He rushed over to the airport and saw that the delivery truck was on the tarmac, parked next to the airplane where the day’s shipment was being loaded up. In a heroic effort, he ran over to the fence and hollered at the driver to come over. Kendall tossed the package over the fence to him and it was safely loaded, on it’s way. It was such a good feeling that we were able to go above and beyond the expected customer service.

-Where have you drawn your inspiration?

Angels often give me ideas and inspiration. It’s like someone else takes over my body and creates something incredibly lovely. Vogue Bambini magazine. Brides magazines, Antique magazines and catalogs, old pattern books. I look at attractive things other people are wearing and think about how I can enhance it and make something similarly beautiful, but not a direct copy.

-Do you have a favorite product that stands out?

The Preslee Christening Gown. The first gown I designed that I was able to make with the very best fabrics and trims rather than have to cut back and think of ways to make it less expensive.

-What suggestions do you have for those wanting to start their own business?

Don’t go into debt right away. If your idea isn’t profitable, find something else to do that will satisfy your need to create.

Don’t grow too fast.

Don’t think that more volume is a solution. More volume = more expenses.

If it’s not good for your family, don’t do it.

Learn enough about business so you know if you’re making a profit.

Learn how to do cost analysis.

Don’t forget to add overhead expenses to your Cost of Goods.

Listen to your spirit. If you know it’s right for you, never give up.

If it isn’t right for you after awhile, don’t do it anymore.

Try to sell direct to the public. Selling wholesale is harder and more cost intensive.

-How do you take time for yourself to recharge?

Power nap. When I start feeling bone tired weary, I lay down for 15-20 minutes and breathe deeply, willing the feeling to relax and go away.

-What is your go to, never fail and in a pinch recipe?

Slow cooked Roast beef. Put in the oven at 200-250 degrees and bake it all day ( at least 8 hours). Always comes out pull apart tender. Especially tasty when you sprinkle a packet of dry soup mix over the top.

-What is the one product you cannot live without?

A planner

Thanksgiving Kid Crafts and Activities

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Everyone did a painting of a turkey in the shape of their hand in school; and kids still do. But doing something new never hurt either. We highlight a few Thanksgiving kid crafts and activities that you can do to get into the spirit of Fall and will add some festive flair to your home.

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This adorable painting is easy for even the youngest littles. They can use their fingers or paint brushes. All you need is paper, paint, leaves and tape. When it’s all dry, put it in a frame and every year pull it out to display in your home. You’ll be able to talk about the day it was painted with your kids for years to come. Find a tutorial here.

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Kids love to make things, but things with eyes on them are always better. This simple craft could be done with a group of kids with each one being a little different. Another idea would be to let your kids make enough to use as napkin rings. Find a tutorial here.

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On the big day sometimes it can be hard to keep the kids distracted long enough to cook. Have them paint some feathers (or just buy colorful ones) and hid them around the house. Tell your kids they have to find all of the “Turkey” feathers before they come into the kitchen. Depending on how well you hide them you may even be able to sit down for a few.

To see more fun ideas, check out Parenting.com’s great article!

Thankful Wall

Family Time: Month Long Thankful Wall

During the craziness that is this time of year, it’s easy to rush through our Thanksgiving plans and into preparing for Christmas–it can be hard to really stop and breathe for a moment to reflect. Last year one of my favorite blogs, Our Happiness Tour, was featured on her local news channel for a “craft” she did with her family of four. I loved it! I immediately put it to work in my home. I couldn’t believe the difference it made for me. {Lindsey’s Blog Post , Lindsey’s Video Interview about the Banner}

We had to think hard about what we were thankful for each day. Closer to the end of the month it was getting a little difficult, but that is the point. You have to truly decide and speak out loud what you can’t see yourself being without. Below you can see the start to ours in our entry way. Because we are proud of the things we write down, we want everyone that comes into our home to see them.

My kids enjoy it because they can participate and help hang them up. But it’s a daily activity that will build a memory over time. Although mine isn’t as fancy as Lindsey’s, I hope to add some fun touches over the month.

{Tip: you can find cute paper cut outs at your local craft/scrapbooking store}

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Paisley by Kayla Commercial Newborn Photographer

Mom Talk: Kayla Evans

For our Mom Talk Mondays we have something new for you! A different and unique mom every Monday that will hopefully give you some inspiration for your everyday life.

(If interested in being featured on Mom Talk Mondays, please email Bethany at bmbarrow [at] hotmail [dot] com, title MOM TALK)

-Tell us a little about your family and why it is special?

I am a farmers wife and a mother of 3 with #4 on its way soon! My kids are from ages 11 to newborn [soon]. We recently built our forever home on my childhood farm and I LOVE being home! It’s been my dream since I was little to live on the farm and I am living that dream now. My children have loved being a part of moving cows, playing in the ditches and riding the atv’s around the farm and to Grammie and Grandpa’s house and even to their cousin’s down the road. Being close to family was important to us.

-What do you do for work/volunteer outside of being a wife and mom?

Outside of helping with the farm, I co-own a photography/hair salon called Paisley Studios.  I have had a camera in hand for 14 years, starting in my mom’s darkroom in her house developing my own film and moving on to good old Photoshop!  I love what I do, but I have to admit it is hard because my work is always with me.  Still trying to find balance with working at home.  At the same time I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

-Is there something your family does on a regular basis for quality time?

We love to have family game night!  We choose a game and play it over and over…..well until bed time.

-How do you take time for yourself to recharge?

A night out or day with my girlfriends!  Shopping, food…..it always makes for a great recharge!  Connecting with other women in the same season of life as I am helps me know that where I am at is normal.

-What is your go to, never fail and in a pinch recipe?

Taco Soup – My kids love it but I think my husband is starting to get tired of it after 13 years.

-What is the one product you can not live without?

I would have to say Doterra On Guard Cleaner Concentrate. I use this on a daily basis to clean all of my counter tops and other surfaces in my home!  I had battled with eczema for quite awhile and really needed to keep my hands out of the water as much as possible, and this is what did the trick for me to get things while keeping my hands dry.  I literally have a spray bottle plus a bottle of the concentrate in all of my bathrooms, my laundry room and my kitchen.  I would really have a hard time without it for very long!  [I am discovering that I am a little OCD on clean, so this is the product that I must have!]

Thank you Kayla and congratulations on your soon to be here baby!

Mom Talk on Motherhood

Mom Talk: What We’re Learning from Motherhood

Mom Talk on Motherhood

There are three of us bloggers here at One Small Child, and like many of you, we are wearing the multi-tasking hats of mom and working woman. We are each in different stages of motherhood: Samantha is just starting out with her first little girl, now 6 months old. Katy has two spunky toddler boys (plus a darling tween girl), and Audrey is living smack in the middle of the tween zone. We regularly meet together as a team to discuss business affairs, and invariably, lots of ‘mom talk’ gets sprinkled into our conversation. Each of us is highly committed to our families, and we are all learning the art of motherhood.

We believe that one of the best ways to become a better mother is to share ideas with other mothers. It’s best not to re-invent the wheel, right? We learn so much from others who have been there before, and sometimes we just need a fresh perspective. With all this in mind, we really wanted to share our ‘mom talk’ with all you mothers out there. We hope that you’ll join in, too!

With that, we’d like to introduce ourselves and share with you what we’re learning from our current stages of motherhood.

Samantha

Mom Talk: on motherhood

I’ve just started my long-awaited motherhood journey, and I love my baby girl dearly! So many feelings–unconditional love, joy and intimidation–have lingered since she arrived. Motherhood has definitely proved to be a lot different from what I expected! It is tough and a joy, beauty and boogers, all wrapped into one! I’ve come to rely (again) on my own mother for advice and support. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know!

I’m learning to follow that ‘mom instinct’ that fortunately guides us every once in a while. It is such a learning curve, caring for a baby! Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do and what not to do. I’ve found that my gut feeling is usually right. My little family is working hard at making sure things don’t come before our time together. Developing routines that enable us to spend quality time together, while still accomplishing our commitments is definitely a balancing act! This is a tough transition, but we’re determined!

One of my favorite things to do is watch my little one while she goes about her play. Everything is so new and wonderful in her observant little eyes. I cherish the moments that I take time to live in!

How excited I am to keep growing as a mother, as my baby grows as well.

Katy

Mom Talk: on motherhood

Hi, I am Katy and I am the mother of 3 little miracles.   My story is unique in the fact that my family grew in ways I never imagined, but wouldn’t trade for the world.   I am the mother to a 10 year old daughter, two boys, a 4 year old and 20 month old. My 10 year old is my biological daughter and my boys came to us through the miracle of adoption.

As you can imagine I am one very busy mama.

In my current stage of motherhood I am overwhelmingly grateful. After the birth of my oldest daughter we came to the realization that we may not have any more children.   But through the miracle of adoption our family has grown exponentially.   What a miracle! I have learned not to take these moments for granted, for they almost didn’t happen.   I had always wanted a big family and to see my dream come true through a birth mother who placed her trust in me and my husband to give her children the family that she desired them to have is a very humbling experience and I want to do the best that I can.

I have learned to calm down and enjoy the noise and all the craziness that comes with these little ones. It goes by super fast.

While my job at work is important, I never want my children to feel that it was more important than them. I try hard to find a good balance and to not over commit to other projects or people, that it is okay to say “no” when needed.

These are the days to let go of the extra and focus on the day to day with my children.

Audrey

Mom Talk: on motherhood

I am Mom to three kiddos, ages 8, 10 and 12 (girl, boy, girl), but everyone else calls me Audrey. I love so much about the current stage I’m in with my trio of tweens! They keep me just as busy now as they did when they were tiny(maybe even more so), but I’m truly enjoying the experience of helping them develop their talents and interests as they continue to learn and grow. It’s amazing to me how each is living true to the personality they were born with.

I think the lesson I’m learning most from motherhood right now is the need to slow down and l-i-s-t-e-n. My little family is blessed with many opportunities to work and perform and contribute, and with that comes a lot of distraction as we rush from one place to another. Life is busy, it just is. We’re all running at full steam all day (at least at my house). In all honesty, I’ve heard at least two of my children ask me to “just listen” in the last twelve hours. Sometimes it makes me sad that it’s so difficult to learn this lesson. But I’m glad for the chance to keep trying, and so I do!

We’d love to hear your thoughts: what are you learning from motherhood?