Lucky Seven Family

Tag Archives: Family

The Holidays (or How to Keep Christmas from becoming Chaos!)

Christmas Eve dinner at our local Chinese buffet

Nerissa, Valentina (our awesome au pair from Germany), and the kids’ Dad (his girlfriend is taking the photo!)

It’s New Year’s Eve and I am finally getting my post about Christmas written!  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays to you all! No matter what you celebrate at this time of year, blended family life can be tough for parents and children alike.  Lucky Seven Family’s holiday schedule goes something like this:

Nerissa & her kids:  My ex- and I have an UN-written agreement that we will always stay in our home town for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  Typically, one parent gets Christmas Eve and then we all meet up at the other parent’s home for Christmas Day.  We let Santa know each year which house he should deliver gifts to and lucky for us, he obliges!  Ho, Ho, Ho!! On Christmas morning we have breakfast together; typically sausage & cheese balls (yum!), egg casserole, and sweet rolls! We then share in the fun of watching the kids opening their Santa gifts and gifts from us.  The last couple of years we’ve each made vacation plans with the kids; last year Russell and I took the kids to our home in OBX and this year, my ex- took the kids to visit his family in St. Louis.  These family vacations are important to both of us so flexibility prevails! We have altered our schedules a bit and the parent that was not taking the kids on vacation was with the kids on both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning was celebrated at their home.  Here’s what is so great about our ability to do Christmas together — the kids see a healthy dynamic between everyone and feel the love from all of the adults in their lives.

Next post will be about Russell & his kids celebration plans!

For fun, here is our favorite sausage and cheese ball recipe (this is a favorite from my childhood when we would have Christmas breakfast with my mother’s family…)

Sausage & Cheese Balls:

3 cups Bisquick baking mix

1 lb. sausage (bulk – we like Jimmy Dean)

3-4 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded (shred cheese yourself, the pre-shredded cheeses tend to be too dry & use more the cheesier you like things!)

Mix all ingredients together (hint:  let the sausage & cheese come to room temp before you try to mix) & shape into 1 inch balls.

Preheat oven to 400F and bake for ~15 minutes.

ENJOY!!!

Blended Family Quotes – What makes a family?

family isn't blood

LuckySevenFamily cares about one another!

Tuesday Tip #25 – What is Family?

photo-5

Luckily for the MODERN, blended family they added the USUALLY!  Although many families do reside in the same dwelling, others maintain more than one household with success!

 

Tuesday Tip #23: Screen Time

Limiting screen time is no new topic for families.  For our blended family, screen time can consume us!  With iPods, iPhones, Kindles, Samsung tablets, and iPads we find ourselves with five kids that are totally consumed with games, texting and Instagram.  Given we only spend weekends, holidays and vacations together, our time as a family is limited.  We’ve decided to limit electronics on vacations to specific periods that coincide with some much needed “down-time”.  Early mornings can be a difficult time for our blended family; two boys that wake up with the sunrise, stomp around, and try to wake the entire household versus two little night owls that prefer to sleep in after a late night of reading make striking a morning balance difficult.  Limited screen time in the early morning allows for the early birds to watch lax videos or play games quietly while giving the sleepy heads an extra hour of rest.  We’ve also decided to “collect” the electronics in a central, adult-controlled location so that the kids aren’t tempted by their electronics at every turn.  This approach gives us controlled quiet time while still allowing for plenty of time for important family discussions and interactions!

I would love to hear how other blended families deal with screen time – give us your input today!

Modern, Blended Family Quotes

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”  — Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

This is so pertinent to our blended family.  We ARE one family, yet we are growing up under roofs that are not always the same.  This quote makes me confident in the choice we have made for  our blended family life!

Tuesday Tip #7

Recognize and appreciate the opportunities that your new blended family can bring into your life.  Your spouse/partner and their children will bring new hobbies, new places to visit, & new extended family to get to know and enjoy into the mix – embrace these opportunities!

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!

Tuesday Tip #4

Holidays for blended families can pose many scheduling difficulties – conflicting schedules with parents & step-parents make FLEXIBILITY a key element of success.  Make the most of every minute you have together; whether it is with your spouse, your children, or the entire crowd!  These times together build the memories of the blended family that you are – focus on making the memories that will last a lifetime for the whole bunch!

Tuesday Tip #3

Contributing to the family has been an important part of our growth together.  Over the years, we have set the expectation that the children all contribute to the family meal.  Children of all ages can help with jobs such as:  setting the table, pouring milk, getting out the ketchup, cleaning the table, loading the dishwasher, etc.  Make sure everyone has a job and contributes as an important part of the blended family!

Tuesday Tip #1

Build traditions that carry from year to year with your blended family — making Christmas cookies together as a family is one of our favorites!