Lucky Seven Family

How I wish…

What an amazing post from a mom who can accept and move on for the best of her daughter:

http://www.today.com/parents/letter-my-daughters-stepmom-i-never-wanted-you-here-1D80341783

Live the moment!

Recently, we spent the Thanksgiving holiday break with LuckySevenFamily in Maui – what an amazing trip!  We were there for 7 sun-filled days.  Prior to going, we had developed a mental checklist of all the things we wanted to do while there:  surfing, boogie-boarding, snorkeling, swimming, etc.  Once there, one of the kids requested to see black sands beaches.  This request led us on one of our most amazing adventures of the week – “The Road to Hana”.   Hana is on the east side of Maui and the journey there is filled with rain forest, waterfalls, and black sands beaches.  The day was a long one; driving on this narrow, winding road with five kids in a mini-van!  We stopped multiple times for breaks – banana bread at a road-side stand, photo ops of waterfalls at various spots and look-out points with unbelievable views.

Although we often fall into a mindset of planning every moment, this day trip reminded me that leaving room to “live the moment” is really important in a family.  First, the suggestion and request to see a black sands beach came from one of the teenagers.  Second, we used the entire day for this trip, even though before arriving in Maui we had not even considered such an adventure.

Vacation needs to be just that! Don’t over-think the entire trip.  Leave room for spontaneity! Take suggestions from the kids – they are forming and testing their own thoughts and opinions – this idea from our son led us to one of the best days for our entire family!  Although the vacation generally will stand out in their memories of family trips with LuckySevenFamily, this day will be paramount in their minds given the beautiful scenery and great family bonding!

Aloha!IMG_4501

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

IMG_4394And the final posts from the kids today…

It’s the boys’ turn –

The 7th grader:  I am thankful for having fun with our family and having nice family dinners together.  I am also thankful for spending time with my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle and cousin here in Hawaii.

The 8th grader:  I am thankful for our family, food on the table, and that we can share nice family trips together.

 

What Are You Thankful For?

Today, it’s the oldest child’s turn to share what she is thankful for…

Her family and friends and all of the experiences she has with them and the memories she has made with them.

What are you thankful for?

WIN_20141125_141936What are you thankful for?  That was my question to all of our kids on our flight (our very long flight!).

Working up to Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a couple of their thoughts today…

I’ll share the two “little” girls’ comments today… the oldest of the “little” girls is starting to object to the term “little girls”; I suspect they will be the “little girls” to us even when they are off to college!

For the youngest, she is thankful for being able to go on really cool trips and for all the nice things she gets on her birthday.  Now remember, she is only eight years old so she isn’t likely to come up with something much outside of her realm of the world; however, she does recognize that not every child has the opportunities she does, and for eight years old, that’s an important thing to know!

For the oldest “little girl”, she is thankful for our family, our trips and that we have plenty of food.  We’ve been talking about donations to NoKidHungry recently and how we can have an impact on child hunger both in our town and on a larger scale.

Today, I’m thankful for this crazy, amazing, fun family that we have blended.  As I’m typing this, four of them are playing and laughing; for that, I am thankful!

 

Travel… what I hope we are teaching our children

life-quotes-travel-is-the-only-thing-you-buy-that-makes-you-richer

Honoring Veterans today…

veteransday_1

Travel Tips

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday period, I’m thinking about our travel plans.  What are LuckySevenFamily’s best travel tips for a blended family??

1.  Water bottles and snacks are a must have – hungry or thirsty kids make for cranky travelers!

2.  Headphones for all!  Color-coded makes it even better – see my previous post on organizing in a blended family (www.luckysevenfamily/?p=192)

3.  Speaking of headphones – for a long car or plane ride make sure everyone has at least one movie downloaded that was THEIR choice!

4.  Have a few non-electronic games to play as well — math flashcards, Uno, license plate game, our favorite:  “where will you be in XXX years?”

5.  Give each kid a chance to choose something — kids love to feel they were involved in decision making and also feel that their voices matter!

Since it is Thanksgiving season — one thing on our list for travel is to have each child share something they are thankful for.  They each have lots to be thankful for.  For me, one of my top items will be LuckySevenFamily!!

 

 

Blended Family Quotes – What is the Secret?

AM-Quotes-BlendingFamilies

The Name Change – “I do” or “I don’t”??

When you choose to re-marry, you are making a commitment to many new things in life.  I’ve committed to taking something new; my husband’s name.  At face value, I have no issue with being Nerissa Beste.  In fact, I love the idea of taking Russell’s name.  Perhaps it is the romantic soul in me, but taking his name will demonstrate outwardly what we have committed to one another.  Yet, life is not always about what we want; sometimes, there are others we must consider.

We have been married for more than one year and I still have not gone through the steps to change my name.  One part of me says it is just related to the time it takes and the organization of all the paperwork.  But, the other part of me knows that my children will be affected.  Currently, I share their last name (I took my first husband’s last name when we married).  Sharing a last name makes it easier on my children; there are fewer explanations to be made when you have a mom with your last name.  I know it is something my daughter has considered because she has mentioned it in conversation.  I do love that she is so comfortable to express her thoughts and feelings about sensitive topics with me; it bodes well for her pubertal years!  If I listen to my heart, it is her words that are really holding me back.  Her concern is that we will no longer share something that is part of her identity; of course, she didn’t say it that way but that is what she explained to me in her ten-year old words.

So, how do I rectify this – Russell is wonderful in that he has never pushed the issue.  Despite this, it does weigh on me.  He has never asked me to change my name but I know it is what he wants.  And, it is what I decided to do when we got our marriage license!

Sometimes, I wish I had never changed my name when I was first married.  My daughter would have already faced the fact that we had different names; perhaps it would not have been an issue for her if she had grown up not knowing anything different.  The cynic in me would suggest to any new bride that she keep her maiden name as there is a 50:50 possibility that she will face separation and divorce and have to deal with the name issue anyway!  But, don’t forget, I have a very strong romantic side.  It’s hard to think one should make a decision about their name based on considering a negative outcome like divorce.

Ultimately, legally, I have to do it; I put it on my marriage license!  So, what does that mean?  It means, I need to take the time to do it.  To do the paperwork, but more importantly, to have the conversation with my sweet daughter that clearly has the same romantic soul as me.

What will I do?  I will explain to her, that a name is not what makes us who we are.  Our family is not a conventional family; what makes us who we are will never be a name.  What makes us, will be our love for each other and the bonds we build over the years.  I hope she will understand; if not now, later. Later, when she is dealing with the same question of what to do when she ties the knot!