Lucky Seven Family

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Tuesday Tip #18: Organizing the Blended Family Life

When we are all together with our five kids, getting out of the house for an activity can prove challenging!  As summer approaches and we are planning for boat trips on the lake I’ve been thinking about ways to simplify getting out the door and on to the fun!  Transporting clothes and supplies between our two homes in MA and VT make this even more complex.  Here are some suggestions to get your family focused on the fun times:

  • Leave items you know each child will need for activities at the respective homes (like swimsuits at our VT home for boat trips) instead of taking them back and forth
  • Have dedicated items packed, stored, and ready to go for specific reasons – for example, beach towels for the boat – we have an organizing tote specifically dedicated to beach towels for the boat.  After a trip, we wash and fold and they go back to the organizing tote ready for the next fun trip!
  • Monogramming is another helpful way to keep each child’s items identified – towels, water bottles, tote bags are all great examples of items that can be monogrammed.  This is a great gift idea too!

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of those that serve the role of “Mom”!  Remember that even if you are not a biological mom, you have a significant role to play in a child’s development.

Enjoy the day!

 

Lucky Seven Family Remembers Boston Marathon 2013

Today is the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Boston has been my home and my children’s home for the last 7 years.  The bombing was and still is an emotional topic for many.  Russell was at the marathon biking along the course to follow a good friend that was running the race.  My children were supposed to be with their dad at one of the medical tents.  When I first learned of the bombings I was terrified.  The thought that the most important people in my life could be in harm’s way was devastating.  We were lucky; Russell and friend were both safe and the kids’ dad had changed his plans regarding manning the medical tent that year.  WhenRussell arrived home that evening, we held each other and cried.  Many families are living with life-long effects of that day.  Today, there are not enough words to soothe the pain, but positive thoughts and love are going out to all of those affected by the events of that day one year ago.

Modern, Blended Family

There are many great blogs on step-families!  www.luckysevenfamily.com adds the MODERN to step-families.  In addition to blending our family, we manage living 3 hours apart in two different homes!

Tuesday Tip #14

Spring always brings CRAZY sports schedules for all of our children –

basketball, lacrosse, soccer, baseball and gymnastics x 5 kids = CHAOTIC WEEKEND SCHEDULES!

Making sure we get the kids to their activities (and remember, we are in different states!) is important; at the same time, our family and family relationships are important too!  We are dedicated to making time for our family even when it requires shorter weekend trips than usual.

Plan ahead, set “rules” that work for your blended family, and build a family calendar that works for all!

Taxes!

What tax tips do blended families have?  I’ve just learned that certain ways of filing affect taking child care costs deductions (or not!).

HELPING EVERYONE TO BE HEARD

Family BreakfastWith five kids, different personalities certainly affect the conversations we have when we are all together.  We have the older two (one girl, one boy) that are very strong characters – they make themselves heard.  We have the younger ones (one boy and two girls) that are strong in their own ways but certainly have their big sister and brother to try to be louder than when a conversation is on-going.  It is interesting to observe the behaviors and how one child will interrupt and the response it gets from another child.   Sometimes they just all keep talking, none hearing the other! Sometimes, one bows to the interrupter, other times they stand strong and call each other out for the interruption!  As parents and step-parents, it is important for us to help make sure each child feels that their voice is heard; at the same time, we also have to let the children form their own social rules just as would happen at school or some other group event.  Finding a balance of stepping in occasionally but not always policing the conversation is critical to the children growing together as siblings and step-siblings.

Our family dinners have played a critical role in the successful blending of our family.  We started a tradition early on of “Where do you see  yourself in XX years?  Sometimes it is 5 years, other times 10 years, etc.  Each child (and parent!) takes their turn at saying where they will, what they will be doing, etc.   This allows each child the opportunity to speak without interruption.  It is also great fun to hear where they aspire to be – college plans, career plans, silly plans!  We have been doing this for more than 5 years – hearing how these aspirations change over time is also fun for us as parents.  You see your children maturing in their thoughts and maturing in their ability to communicate and respect others.

Try “Where do you see yourself…” with your blended family today!

Issues we have faced…

I’d love to hear from other families regarding issues they would like to see discussed here.  Some of the issues we have faced and topics we have enjoyed include:

building family traditions
growing together
Halloween parties!
being step-parents
children being step-children
interacting with ex-wife/ex-husband
birth order and how it affects our relationships
scheduling our weekends
scheduling our holidays/vacations
discipline

Tuesday Tip #6

Board games are a great way for your blended family to bond.  No matter how old or young the children are, bonding over a game of Scrabble or Monopoly is not only a way for the brood to grow closer, it’s educational too!

Welcome!

banner wedding all seven

Lucky Seven Family is a blog to share the unique experiences of a modern, blended family.

Over the last four years, we have combined 2 families with 3 hours distance between us.  We have 5 great kids, a sweetheart chocolate lab, a guinea pig and 2 intense careers!  We’ve learned so much during our time together; we want to share our stories that include lots of laughter, some tears and boat-loads of fun!

I am still designing & developing the site – please continue to check back for the latest updates.