Mamas on Magic 107.9: Ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve

Well, in just a few hours it will be 2013. Can you believe it?

If you’re planning to stay home with the kids tonight, we’ve got a few great ideas for having New Year’s Eve fun, family style. We know some of your younger kids won’t last until midnight, so here’s a fun idea:  count down until the noon year.

Bring out the noisemakers, pour a sparkling apple cider toast, and count down to the stroke of 12 p.m.

Another fun idea:  travel around the world’s time zones. It’s always midnight somewhere in the world, so set clocks around the house to ring in the New Year in other time zones. You could also look the different countries up on the Internet and learn about their New Year’s traditions. Fun plus a little education!

For more ideas to celebrate the New Year, click on these links:

If you’re staying in: New Years Eve, Family Style (PBS website)

If you want to go out: Last Night Fayetteville celebration

last night

 

 

Mealtime Mama: Dishes with Seoul

Happy New Year’s Eve!

In the mood for something a little different? These recipes come from a super-talented dad who (unfortunately) doesn’t live in Fayetteville anymore. If you’re tired of the traditional holiday fare and want to bring some unique dishes to the table this week, try these recipes from Minki Chang. They are simply delicious (Shannon has tried all of these dishes and can vouch for each!):

Seoul Spinach Salad

1 bag spinach (~8oz)

1/2 red onion

1 chicken breast

1 tbsp red pepper paste*

1 tsp vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp brown sugar

Salad:

Boil chicken and shred or mince. thinly slice red onion. add chicken and red onion to spinach in salad bowl.

Dressing:

Combine red pepper paste, vinegar, sesame oil, and brown sugar.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

  • 2-3 lbs short ribs (found at Sam’s Club)
  • 1/2 medium grated onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup Sprite or 7up
  • 3 tbsp white wine

Combine all ingredients and add to ribs. Best if marinated overnight. grill or broil.

Korean BBQ Pork Ribs

  • 2-3 lbs pork ribs (spareribs or back ribs)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp red pepper paste*
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Combine all ingredients and add to pork. Best if marinated overnight. Bake at 300 or grill on indirect heat until done, about 2 hours.

Hand Rolls

  • 1 package roasted seaweed sheets*
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 sticks imitation crab meat
  • 2 tbsp roe* (fish eggs)
  • 1 tsp wasabi
  • soy sauce

Beat egg, fry in thin pancake. Julienne cucumber, carrot, scallion, egg, and crab meat into 2 inch strips. Cut avocado in thin strips. cut seaweed into approximately 2×3 inch pieces. Arrange ingredients on plate. Combine wasabi and desired amount of soy sauce into small bowl and roe into separate bowl. Each person takes a piece of seaweed, adds desired ingredients, tops with roe and dribbles wasabi/soy sauce mixture. Wrap seaweed into roll and enjoy.

Note from the mamas: Don’t forget that ONF has a great deli for fast pick-up (click here to see what’s cookin’ today!). Healthy food and you don’t have to cook! The deli also makes catering packages!

Devotion in Motion: God’s Wonderful House

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) Luke 2:4 (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

I dreamed about Heaven again last night.  Now that’s nothing to be alarmed about. I’ve been dreaming about it every-so-often for years. At first, years ago, I didn’t realize that it was Heaven that I was dreaming about, because my version of it didn’t fit the way that it’s typically pictured. There are no clouds, or harps, or angels with wings. My dreams of Heaven always take place in a house.

I’m not sure why, but the house I dream about changes from time to time. Sometimes it’s my grandmother’s house, and sometimes it my aunt’s house.  Sometimes it’s Grandma Louie’s house. (Grandma Louie was Gwen Rockwood’s grandmother.) No matter whose house it is, the sun is always shining, and the rooms are full of light. The windows are always open, and there’s always a cool breeze that makes the white curtains flutter just a bit.

The thing that helped me figure out that I was always dreaming about Heaven was the identities of the people living in the house.  The inhabitants of the house are folks who have gone to be with the Lord.  They must have day jobs or something because they’re not all always at home at the same time when I stop by to see them.  Sometimes my dad is there, and sometimes it’s my grandmothers. My aunts and uncles are there lots of times. Sometimes my cousins who died too young are there.

Sometimes friends I’ve lost and folks I loved from my congregation are there. And sometimes Gwen’s brother Greg stops by. You’d think that when we all see each other that we would hug or cry and stuff like that. But it’s not like that at all. The people are always busy with good things that they are doing. It’s like when you go to visit your relatives on Christmas. They’re thrilled to see you at the door, but then they have to go back to stirring the stuffing or putting rolls in the oven.

The best thing about my dreams is that they’re real. I mean, everybody has crazy dreams sometimes; you know, the kind where you are roasting marshmallows with Lyle Lovett and Mother Theresa in the shoe department at J.C. Penney’s. Those dreams are caused by things like cold medicine or bad digestion. But my dreams of Heaven are not like that at all. There’s never anything absurd going on. And if anyone tells me anything (which they don’t very often) it always turns out to be very comforting and useful later.

Did you know that Jesus said Heaven is like a house? When I was a child, all the churches still used the King James Version. Our preacher used to read, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how God could make a house that was full of mansions. But when I got older, I learned that the picture here is of a wealthy man who has a country villa. Everybody in the wealthy man’s family (and even his servants) have a place to live inside his house. Think about how the families lived together in the villa on the “Romeo and Juliet” movies. Or how everybody lived with Miss Ellie at Southfork on “Dallas.”

God’s house is mentioned in the Christmas story, too. Today’s Scripture text (at the top) says that Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem because they were of the “house and lineage” of David. That’s because Jesus came to rule “over the house of David” forever and ever.

This Christmas, take a little time to tell the little ones about the Lord Jesus. If we love Him, we’ll dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) If we open the door for Him, He’ll live with us in our houses here on earth. (Revelation 3:20)

*Previously published December 20122. Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (a little house where a lot of loving and happy things have gone on over the years.)  He would love to hear from you in an email sent to jcash@scott.k12.ms.us.

The Rockwood Files: How to Be in the Bee

rockwood filesBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3     

There are a few things my oldest boy inherited from me that he’s not crazy about – the smattering of freckles across his nose, pale skin that sunburns when we walk past a running microwave and feet that stay at subzero temperature. The gene pool can be cruel at times.

But perhaps I made up for it a little by passing down my spelling skills. In an age of spell check and auto-correct, spelling is a lost art. But in elementary school, it comes in handy during the annual spelling bee.

Adam studied for the spelling showdown for about a week. His little brother Jack quizzed him on tricky words, giving him one Skittle candy for every word he spelled correctly on the study sheet. (In our house, Skittles have been unscientifically linked to increased brain power.)

On the big day, I wished Adam good luck and told him to take his time while spelling the words. Then Tom and I took a seat in the auditorium while spellers filed on stage. A teacher explained the rules and then, one by one, each kid took a turn at the microphone.

microphone in standCloth” said the judge when Adam stepped up for his turn.

I held my breath and hoped it hadn’t been a mistake to skip over the easier words on the study list. We’d been so concerned about the long words that I hadn’t bothered to quiz him on shorter ones.

“C-L-O-T-H,” Adam said slowly and deliberately.

“That’s correct,” the judge said, and I exhaled in relief.

The rounds continued and the words got much harder. “Provincial,” “recipient,” “flirtatious,” “fantastically,” “recyclable.”

One by one, contestants left the stage after hearing the dreaded “ding” of the bell that indicates the word was spelled incorrectly. There were only two kids left standing, and ours was one of them.

Adam looked focused and excited. I, on the other hand, could barely stand to watch. And I regretted telling him to take his time as he spelled the words because every time he paused between letters, my breath caught in my throat and my heart stopped for a few seconds as I braced for the wrong letter to dash his hopes. Watching your kid in the final round of a spelling bee is a little like waiting for a bomb to be diffused and hoping like crazy that the right wire gets cut.

After several more rounds, the judge called this word out to Adam: “Empirical.”

Adam began the word with the letter “I” instead of “E.” The dreaded ding rang out. The other competitor spelled one last championship word to claim the title and the spelling bee was over.

But what happened in the next 30 seconds was the best part. As applause filled the room for the winner, Adam walked over to him and shook his hand in a move that made him look much older than his 11 years. It’s the moment I’ll remember most from the spelling bee – the one where he showed character and goodwill. When Tom and I finally got through the throngs of students and reached out to hug him, that’s what I whispered in his ear, how proud I am of who he is and not just what he can do.

Soon 8-year-old Jack walked up to us with tears in his eyes because he’d been rooting so hard for his brother to win. So we assured him this was a great moment and not one for sadness. Because when you do your best and lose with integrity and grace, it is most definitely a “win.”

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Author Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Top Parenting Headlines of 2012

year in review parenting

Happy Friday!

Since the year 2012 is winding down, we thought we’d look back and recap a few of the Top Parenting Headlines. This morning, in our Mamas on Magic 107.9 segment, we talked about everything from The Tan Mom to the mom who loves Twitter so much (even more than Shannon) that she named her baby girl “Hashtag”.

If you recall, 2012 was the year that LOTS of celebrity babies were born.  And in just under the wire, Prince William and Kate Middleton announced in November that they are expecting a baby.

If you missed this morning’s segment, click on the blue bar and be reminded of some of the funniest headlines. While you’re listening, see if one of the mamas is able to pronounce the suuuuuper long name that Uma Thurman gave her new daughter:

Dec. 28, 2012 Top Parenting Headlines of 2012

Have a great weekend!

Calendar of Events: January 2013

calendar-ad

Free Yoga Fayetteville Public Library

The Fayetteville Public Library will hold free yoga classes on Monday nights from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Walker Community Room beginning January 7.  The Hatha yoga style classes are suitable for both beginner and intermediate yoga practicioners.  Participants must bring their own yoga mat to every class. Instructor Casey Prock is a Certified Yoga Teacher Specializing in Dynamic Hatha Yoga. * Please note this class will not be held Monday, January 21st because the library will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr Day.

Date: Beginning Jan. 7

Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Public Library

More info: Click here

KidzArt Workshop for Kidz

Kidz (Grades K – 6th) & adults work together to create a unique work of art. Enjoy a fun afternoon out and make a memory to last a lifetime as you create a treasure to display at home. Class time: 3 – 4pm

Date: Jan. 5

Time: 3-4 p.m.

Location: Wishing Spring Gallery, Bella Vista

More info: Click here

Tux on the Run

Awards will be given to overall Male and Female finisher and top three finishers in the following divisions both male and female: 13 and under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60+. There will be prizes for Best Dressed in the following categories: Best Scarf, Best Formal Attire, and Best Embodiment of the Theme.

tux on the runDate: Jan. 12

Time: 10 a.m.

Location: NWA Mercy Family YMCA

More info: Click here or call 479-273-9622

The Velveteen Rabbit

Date: Jan. 19

Time: 2 p.m.

Location: Walton Arts Center

More info: Click here

WAC-Velveteen-Rabbit-385x75

Paint the Town Red

Join local professionals who are passionate about the overall mission of the American Heart Association at this “Party with a Purpose.” Enjoy socializing with new people, live music, silent auction, signature dishes from over 15 local restaurants, and expand your knowledge of the American Heart Association’s life-saving mission to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% by 2020.

Date: Jan. 26

Time: 7 to 11 p.m.

Location: Fayetteville Town Center

More info: Click here

 Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Doors will open at 8 a.m. inside Arvest Ballpark. 3,500 new or almost new shoes and handbags from the best stores and closets in Northwest Arkansas will be sold for $10 each. All proceeds from the sale will support counseling services for children, families, and adults. You can drop off almost new shoes or handbags at any Ozark Guidance location between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday until Wednesday, January 16, 2013. We are accepting donations of men, women, and children’s shoes. If you would like to donate financially to this event, please visit our online donation page.

Date: Jan. 26

Time: 8 a.m.

Location: Arvest Ballpark

More info: Click here

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Go for a “refresh” while you’re packing up Christmas

packing up decorations

We really hate to be Debbie Downers, but  we know many of you are stuffing Christmas cheer back up in the attic today.

Regardless of when you take it all down, it’s a good idea to consider freshening up the room, to make way for the new year. One of the easiest ways to do that without spending any money (we’re out right now) is to simply move the furniture.

For more ideas on how to refresh a room, click on our Mamas on Magic 107.9 segment:

Dec. 27, 2012 Freshening up the house post-holidays

Here are a few other ideas for minor changes that can have a big impact:

 10 easy ways to refresh a room

 Refreshing on a budget

Ideas from local Modoa Interiors

 

10 easy ways to refresh a room:

 

Mamas on Magic 107.9: What to do with visitors in Northwest Arkansas

northwest arkansas things to do

Good morning! We hope you had an amazing Christmas Day spent with friends and family.

We know some of you have company today, so we thought we’d give you a few good ideas for what you can do together in Northwest while they’re here visiting.

Our list includes:

  • Terra Studios (Bluebirds of Happiness!)
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Lawrence Plaza Ice Skating Rink in Bentonville (open through late January)

For more ideas for what to do with visitors, click here to listen to this morning’s Mamas on Magic 107.9 segment:

Dec. 26, 2012 Things to do in NWA with house guests

For more ideas, click on these links:

 Things to do around NWA

Nearby weekend getaways

Last Night Fayetteville (Dec. 31st event)

 

Check these out next time you’re cruising online

Of course, we love it when you visit nwaMotherlode when you have a few minutes to cruise around online, but it’s always fun to share a new blog with our fellow mamas.

parenteerHere are a few we’ve found recently:

The Parenteer is a “newspaper” for parents and it’s FUNNY. None of the stories are real (it’s a bit like The Onion), but they will make you lol. A few of the headlines we saw earlier this week:

We noticed in Cosmo that Hukkster.com is a new site where you can bookmark something you want and tell Hukkster how much you’d be willing to pay for the item. The site notifies you when the price drops. Instead if “like” or “pin” you click “hukk” on the things you’re interested in possibly purchasing down the road — if the price is right.

Click here to read a Forbes.com story about the women behind Hukkster.

Hukkster cofounders

Hukkster.com co-founders

 

Merry Christmas from the Santa Mamas!

Merry Christmas, mamas!

We hope you’re having a fantastic day so far. Won’t you let us share a personal message with you via the airwaves? Here’s our Mamas on Magic segment from this morning:

Dec.25 A Few Of Our Favorite Things

xox,

Gwen and Shannon

Santa Mamas

Mamas on Magic 107.9: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ for parents

twas the night before christmas parents version

Christmas Eve is so exciting. But when the children are nestled, all snug in their beds, mamas and daddies will be putting together toys and trying not to go nuts.

We found a Christmas poem on the Internet that we thought was really funny and thought we’d share with other parents who will be joining us tonight as we try to get it all done so the kids will be amazed tomorrow morning.

Click here to listen to the mamas read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ for parents:

Dec.24 Twas the Night Before Christmas, Parent-style

Santa’s helpers tackle gifts with “some assembly required”

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.
Instructions were studied and we were inspired,
In hopes we could manage “Some Assembly Required.”

The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds,
While Dad and I faced the evening with dread:
A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie’s town house to boot!
And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat….
Let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!
Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
If we can’t get it right, it goes in the basement!

When what to my worrying eyes should appear,
But 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,
With each part numbered and every slot named,
So if we failed, only we could be blamed.

More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
All over the carpet they were scattered about.
“Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!
Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand.”
“Honey,” said hubby, “you just glued my hand.”

And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
That all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
To keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
With “assembly required” till morning’s first light.

We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
Till our eyes, they went bleary; our fingers all hurt.
The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
Before we attached the last rod and last pin.

Then laying the tools away in the chest,
We fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.
But I said to my husband just before I passed out,
“This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.

Tomorrow we’ll cheer, let the holiday ring,
And not have to run to the store for a thing!
We did it! We did it! The toys are all set
For the perfect, most perfect, Christmas, I bet!”

Then off to dreamland and sweet repose I gratefully went,
Though I suppose there’s something to say for those self-deluded…
I’d forgotten that BATTERIES are never included!

Cheers and here’s hoping you get some rest tonight before the kids wake you up at sunrise!

Devotion in Motion: Sick at heart over school shootings

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” ~ Luke 19:10 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

It’s been kind of hard for me to feel the Christmas spirit this year. The killings in Connecticut have broken my heart and have made me feel physically ill. Situations just don’t get any worse. I know that’s how you feel about it, too.

We’re all looking for explanations for why things like this happen. And we’re all looking for ways to guarantee that things like this sandy hooknever happen again. I don’t think there are any easy answers. And I don’t think there are any quick fixes.

Some people lament the discontinuation of Bible study and prayer in the classrooms of America and blame all our ills on the loss of them. As a public educator for almost a quarter-century, I can tell you truthfully that these things have never vanished completely from classrooms.

You may say, “Well, there are rules against having God and the Bible in American schools.” To that I would reply, “Yes, but all the schools I’ve ever worked at also have rules against bubble gum and cell phones, too. Even so, those two things are never totally eliminated in the classroom, either.

In every instance, the things that people strive to keep out of classrooms are pretty good at slipping in anyway. And  if you look, you’ll find God and His word in our American schools every day. You can’t lock Him outside. If you could, He wouldn’t be God.

As for school prayer, as long as there are final exams, you’ll have prayer in the classroom. It may be a silent prayer, unheard by anyone else, but that seems to be the kind that the Lord likes best. (Matthew 6:5,6) A school is really just a box that holds our society. Anything you have in society you will also find in school. There are a lot of God-fearing-and-decent people in our society.  Those people are found among the workers and among the students at schools, too. I rub shoulders with those fine folks every day of my life.”

Have you noticed the one thing all school-shooters have in common? They are always described as “loners” and “misfits.” The Bible uses a different word for them: “Outcasts.” Our Saviour Jesus always had time for the outcasts of the world. The first people on earth to worship Him were shepherds — who were considered to be the dregs of society in that time.

Jesus was the one who touched the lepers, healed the demon-possessed, and ate with the tax collectors and sinners. He was always reaching out to the outcasts, seeking to make them a part of “His group.” If He truly lives in our hearts, we will be striving to do the same.

I believe with all my heart that therein lies part of the solution to the scourge of school violence. It seems to me that school-shooters are broken people — people who have been hurt and are angry. Nothing hurts like being excluded, bullied, or ridiculed. You can bet that if Jesus were in a high school cafeteria and saw someone eating at a table alone, He would go invite them to sit with Him and His friends. So maybe if we reach out in love to those on the fringes of school culture, they might not be so angry. Maybe they wouldn’t lash out and kill others.

This is not a simple solution by any means. I don’t think we will always be successful. We are not going to always be able to win people over. But in my way of thinking, it’s worth a shot. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Prayer and Bible study are good things. I believe in and practice both of them. Prayer is talking to Jesus. Bible study is talking about Jesus. But what we need in these last days are more folks who are doing their best to live (and love) like Jesus in this fallen world. That’s our best hope. And probably our only hope.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 27 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where folks believe that “Jesus is the answer.”) The Cashes have two sons, Spencer (age 21), and Seth (age 18), who live in the parsonage, too, except when they are away at college. He would love to hear from you in an email sent to countrypreacherdad@gaggle.net.

The Rockwood Files: Mom’s Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

By now you’ve probably received letters from my kids. Don’t worry about the length of their wish lists. I’ve told them not to expect everything on the list to show up under the tree. A trampoline and a pony won’t fit in our living room anyway.

As for their niceness or naughtiness, I can attest to more nice points than naughty ones. Besides, we wouldn’t want kids with round-the-clock perfect behavior because then they’d seem more like creepy Stepford children or those eternally cheerful kids from the Barney show who never have a bad day. Our kids are just naughty enough to keep things interesting around here.

As for me, I’ve been trying to decide which list I’m on this year. I really do try to be “good,” Santa. So it’s frustrating when I constantly feel like my level of “good” is not nearly good enough. It makes me wonder if the problem is a warped definition of what it means to be a good mom.

For moms caught up in the quest to do more and be more, being good also means being busy. Because good moms stay on top of the housework. And good moms make wonderful dinners. They volunteer at the kids’ schools. They vacuum the inside of their minivan at least once a month, and they never allow a stray chicken nugget to fossilize under one of the car seats.

Speaking of nuggets, good moms also avoid fast food. They Zumba every chance they get and they love it. They know their calorie counts, and they know how to pronounce and cook things like quinoa. They own running clothes that they actually run in instead of just wearing them to do the grocery shopping.

Good moms read insightful books anytime they’re not working or folding clothes, and they’ve never even heard of some of the shows on the primetime lineup. They keep work and family in perfect balance and never disappoint the kids or their husbands. They’re punctual, organized and totally committed to daily flossing.

If that’s the kind of good mom you’re looking for, Santa, then go ahead and FedEx some coal to my address because I fall woefully short. But my instinct tells me your definition of goodness has more to do with the love in our hearts versus our list of accomplishments – more about bonding than busyness.

Even you, worldwide bringer of joy, don’t hold yourself to impossible standards. You have elves running around to help with your countless chores. You practically invented the art of delegation. (And I’m certain Mrs. Claus plays a big part in the process – even though we don’t hear much about her behind-the-scenes contribution. I’m just sayin’.)

You also have that magical flying sleigh, which must save time that the rest of us spend in traffic and at the gas station. And I have to assume you’re not the kind of man who begrudges a hungry mama a treat or two during the holidays – seeing as how your belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. (By the way, I hear that Zumba is very good for that kind of problem. I also find Spanx especially helpful.)

So, yes, mark me down for the “good” list, Santa. Despite all the things I could and should be doing better, I’m still a good mom. And for Christmas, I hope you bring me the good sense to skip the holiday hustle and bustle and just be with my family – to soak in the joy and blessings of the season.

Yours truly,

Gwen Rockwood, a good and imperfect mom

Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Avoiding the holiday hassles

holiday hassles

Happy Friday before Christmas, mamas!

Today we shared a few key phrases we hate to see on Christmas morning. Things like “batteries not included” and “some assembly required.” We asked Santa to please remember that we’re moms and dads, not engineers, when he places those toys under the tree.

Oh, we also asked Santa to pretty please not put the toys into hard plastic packaging that requires the jaws of life just to open it.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with lots of holiday cheer. And if you’d like to hear more about what we asked Santa to help us with this morning on Magic 107.9, click on the blue bar:

 Dec. 21, 2012 Avoiding the holiday hassles

Brilliant and Clever tea-light lanterns

tea lights

By Laurie Marshall

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

It’s easy to prove this out by taking a quick look around the internet for unique craft ideas.

When Etsy.com was a new baby website I used to spend time in their forums finding out more about being a merchant and how to handle marketing and promotion and such.

Pretty regularly, someone would post a discussion about people who were allegedly copying their Brilliant and Clever Handmade Item. They would accuse the other seller of blatant theft of their design and of attempting to capitalize on someone else’s talent without spending the time to labor over the design phase of the creation process. Usually, the response from the masses who were reading these posts was less inflamed…  more like “meh.” It was obvious in those forums that most people doubt the possibility that an idea, no matter how unique, will never be reproduced by someone else.

Case in point:  My Brilliant and Clever Tea-light Lanterns

tea light full shotI came up with these a few years ago after lucking onto a whole box of glass insulators for .25 cents each. You can find them in flea markets for a few dollars and up to $12 each, which is crazy-talk. They are neither rare, nor collectible… but they do make fantastic lanterns!

The best thing is that the hole on the inside of the insulator, when it’s turned upside down, is EXACTLY the same size as a tea light. Isn’t that nuts?

So, of course, I had to get crafty. I had a bunch of wire, and a pair of needle-nosed pliers, and came up with my own wacky design for hanging them. They also work well as replacements for the glass candle holders that sit in metal holders… I like mine better.

So, back to the copying thing…  I have never sold these online, but have had them posted in my Flickr feed, and maybe mentioned them on a blog at some point.

But let’s face it – the visibility of my personal photo streams and blog posts is extremely limited. So, when I do a quick search on Pinterest for the words “glass insulator” and find over a half-dozen varieties of the same idea, I just chalk it up to the “no new ideas under the sun” thing.

They’re really simple to make, so if you find a couple for less than a few dollars each, grab some wire and pliers and give it a go. They are great hanging on a porch or in a tree near a patio. When you get them done, be sure to post them on Pinterest for the rest of us to see!

Laurie Marshall has been a regular contributor on nwaMotherlode for several years, previously writing posts for “Getting Healthy For Good”.

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