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Halloween is just around the corner, and you might be asking what fun things there are to do around town! We’ve done all the work for you, and made a handy dandy list of “spooktacular” Halloween activities in Colorado Springs.  “All ages” activities are family friendly and have an asterisk beside them, all others are geared more towards teens/parents.

 

 

 

Click on the title links for more info! Enjoy!

1. Hellscream Haunted House

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Colorado’s Ultimate Haunted House, is not only one of the scariest haunted houses in Colorado and the Midwest, but one of the Top Haunted Houses in the Nation. For 6 years this intense, cutting edge, multi story, multi attraction haunted event has thrilled and terrified visitors…regularly garnering attention from the likes of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and the Colorado Springs Gazette. Named scariest and best in Colorado Springs numerous years by the Colorado Springs Gazette, and named the scariest and most feared Haunted House in Colorado by several websites, and organizations! Created by film, television, and special effects professionals, HellScream is also notable for its custom movie quality special effects, amazing actors, unique themes, and extremely detailed sets. Don’t miss one of America’s best haunted houses…visit HellScream this Halloween season!

  • HellScream Haunted House was named best & scariest Haunted House in Colorado by DenverHauntedHouses.com
  • Best Haunted House in Colorado Springs by the Gazette Scream Team numerous years.
  • Peoples choice award for Best Scare & Best Value in Colorado by “Our Town Live” on 740 KVOR

 

2. Ghoul’s Gulch Haunted House

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Ghouls Gulch is more than just a haunted house company, we are a family. The original members decided to move from home haunters to professionals in 2003 when they emerged in Colorado Springs and teamed with Theatre Works on Dante’s Inferno. Many of our original Inferno techs and cast have been with us since then and are now members of our family. We have watched the cast grow not only into adults but into key members of our team. With each haunt that we do our family grows and we are thrilled. We welcome previous cast and crew back and enjoy reuniting the family as often as possible.

Our family has a wide range of skill sets, from Professional Grave Diggers to Rock and Roll Roadies to Technical Theater Teachers to Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists to Certified Pyrotechnicians, Airbrush Artists and more. We even have a Therapist to help out when we have messed with our own heads too much.

We are a diverse group and appreciate the uniqueness of the individual. We build haunts because it is our passion and we have fun doing it!

 

3. **Trick or Treat at the Spook-Out Shoot-Out

 

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4.  Goth Glam Bash at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

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The Bash is back and it’s bigger and better than ever! Unleash your dark, mysterious side and prepare for an evening filled with eerie and alluring fun. Whether you’re cyber, goth, steampunk, glitter, Lolita, Victorian, or anything in between, we challenge everyone to enter the most creative costume contest and win the best, most exclusive prizes in town. 

Oct 29, 2016
7:30p-midnight

  • Music
  • Photo Booth
  • Food Trucks
  • Cash Bars
  • Costume Contest with Prizes
  • Live Entertainment
    • DJ
    • Aerial Contortionist
    • Taiko Drummers
    • Tarot Card and Pendulum Readings
    • Acrobatic Yoga Performers

Tickets: $10 pre-sale, $15 Oct 22-28, $20 at-the-door

 

5. **Boo at the Zoo

 

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It’ll be all treats and no tricks for your little pirates and princesses at this year’s Boo at the Zoo, the region’s most unique Halloween event. Boo at the Zoo is a fun way for families with young children to trick-or-treat and enjoy Halloween festivities in a safe environment, and all of our candy is made with sustainable palm oil to help protect wild orangutans!

Support the Zoo’s efforts to reduce waste by bringing your own trick-or-treat bag from home!

2016 Dates – Open 7 nights!

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, October 21-22-23
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday, October 28-29-30-31

Time

4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – with the last ticket sold at 7:30 p.m.

Please NOTE: The Zoo will close early for day visits at 3 p.m. on all seven Boo at the Zoo evenings, with the last ticket of the day sold at 2 p.m. Guests must exit the Zoo at 3 p.m. Last Sky Ride is at 2:30 p.m. and the Shrine Road closes at 1 p.m. The Zoo will open for Boo at the Zoo at 4 p.m.

 

 

 

 

6. **Great Pumpkin Run at Venetucci Farm

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The Pikes Peak Community Foundation is excited to present the Annual Great Pumpkin Run at Venetucci Farm.  Come out for a great morning and run, walk, jog or just cheer our runners on!  We will once again offer the Little Pumpkin Fun Run that will include two distances, 400m and 800m, for children 10 and under.  Feel free to wear your Halloween costume and join in on all the fun!

Due to severe hail damage to the crops and fields, the Pumpkin Patch will NOT be open at Venetucci Farm.  However, please join us for a whole host of Family Activities on October 8th, including face painting, wagon rides, live music, and more!

Suggested $5.00 donation for non-runners.

Please note:  Registration is online at Active Communities, sponsored by the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Online Service.  You will need to create an account and use the following activity numbers:

 

 

8. **Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Parade

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October 29, 2016 The 21th Annual “Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Parade”
12:00 to 4:00PM

This festival lines the streets of Manitou Springs with thousands of spectators cheering on 50 coffin race teams racing down Manitou Ave. Attendees come from all over the country to experience this internationally acclaimed event. The races are preceded by the parade of coffins and antique hearses. This event is a great kick-off to Halloween and fun for the whole family. More info at www.ManitouSprings.org 

 

9. Emma Crawford’s Wake – Miramont Castle

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October 28th “Emma Crawford Wake”, Miramont Castle
The cost of admission will grant you entrance into Miramont, viewing of Emma laid out in the parlor in pure Victorian splendor, and a Victorian Wake, resplendent with a generous buffet dinner and beverages in the Great Hall. Since this is sure to be one of the year’s most talked about events, make your credit card reservations early. Space is limited. Time: Viewings are every 20 minutes. The 1st Viewing is at 6pm and the last one 7:20pm.
Cost: Adults – $50.00, Children 12 and under – $30.00

Call 719-685-1011 to make your reservation!

 

10. Haunted Mines

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The Haunted Mines is an all-volunteer charitable organization that raises money for theWestern Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI) and other local charities. We do this by producing a professional, thrilling Halloween event for our community’s enjoyment. We teach our volunteers valuable skills that they put to use at our events and carry with them into their adult lives.

We want to be the best Halloween haunted attraction in Colorado. We produce a thrilling and exciting event unlike any other, for adults of all ages and children (ages 13+). We use historical-based scenes and situations from the American West and America’s mining legacy as our backdrop, but with a new twist every year to keep you screaming!

 

11. Rocky Horror Picture Show at Iron Springs Chateau 

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Richard O’Brien’s ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ comes to the Iron Springs Chateau this October!

Live actors performing on the Iron Springs Chateau stage, along with the most popular cult movie sensation in international history playing, will provide an outrageously fun night. Goody bags are free to the first 25 arrivals – and there’s even a costume contest on Friday and Saturday evenings of Halloween weekend for fans who dress up as their favorite character. Come on down to the Chateau…It’s just a jump to the left…and a step to the right…Let’s do the Time Warp again…

This show is sure to sell out — Get your tickets NOW!

This production is rated R – You must be 18 or accompanied with a parent.

REFUND POLICY: Rocky Horror Picture Show Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
PRIVACY POLICY: Customer information is collected for the purpose of processing your order. This information is kept confidential and is not shared.

 

12. Fright in Falcon

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We are a homeschooling family of 5 who love Halloween, being creative and “Geocaching” … and apparently, THIS is how all those things come together! 🙂

Fright in Falcon 2016

Halloween is almost here, and we’re getting ready for YOU!

We’re working hard to make Fright in Falcon 2016 bigger, better, and yes, even a bit scarier.

Fright in Falcon is open on Friday and Saturday nights September 30th thru October 29th, October 30th, and October 31.

Children’s Hours: 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Regular Hours: 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.

Don’t wait. Get your tickets here!

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All relationships have their ups and downs, and no relationship is ever perfect. We’ve all had fights and arguments with those we love because that’s the normal roller coaster ride of being human, right? Absolutely! However, there are behavior patterns and habits that are abusive, and that are not ok or normal. These are destructive behaviors that are fairly consistent in a relationship and that make the victim feel isolated, controlled and belittled. If these behaviors are practiced over time, the victim starts to see it as their “blurred normal”, not even realizing that they are caught in an abusive cycle.

 

“Emotional abuse” can a be a term that is thrown around a lot these days, and to show respect for those that are true victims of emotional abuse it’s a term that shouldn’t be used lightly.  The following scenarios are not emotional abuse:

  • You get into the occasional argument with your partner, and you exchange some harsh words that you both regret. This is not emotional abuse.
  • Your partner forgets your anniversary 2 years in a row. This is not emotional abuse.
  • Your partner has a bad day and acts cold and distant one evening. This is not emotional abuse.

Although these situations can cause some hurt feelings; as they stand alone, they are not abuse. These are normal human behaviors we are probably all guilty of at one time or another.

Real emotional abuse endures daily battles. For example, living a life of constantly walking on eggshells to make your partner “happy”. Waking up each day worrying what they will be upset about or find fault in today. Feeling emotionally exhausted and drained because you’re trying to make your partner happy, but to no avail. Feeling anxious when they come home each day because you don’t know how they’ll act or treat you.

Here are 5 signs you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  1. Your partner discourages you more than supports you.  Is your partner supportive and happy when new opportunities come your way? How about when you discover a new hobby? Or do they scoff at your interests, and say how stupid they are. Do they make you feel guilty for pursuing your own interests and friendships? Do they belittle your job? Your friendships? Your activities? A non-abusive partner will be your cheerleader and not your personal Debbie Downer. They will be happy for you when you are happy…pay attention to these cues.
  2. Your partner criticizes you. Your friends praise you and say how pretty you are, or that you look great in your new outfit – everyone seems to point out the good things about you, everyone except your partner. If they are constantly making remarks about how you should work out more, questioning your make up, hair color or style, or making snide remarks about your character, this is controlling and emotionally abusive behavior. If they literally call you names in an effort to maintain power and degrade your worth, you are being emotionally abused.
  3. Your partner is indifferent to your suffering. A loving partner should be a safe place to land when you’ve had a rough day, you’re not feeling well, or you’re struggling with heartache and grief. An emotionally abusive partner will become distant and indifferent during these times, because they don’t like the focus being taken off of themselves. Abusers also tend to be very self absorbed and more concerned about their schedule, their day, their needs, and their feelings more than anyone else’s.
  4. You feel more chaos than contentment.  Every relationship has it’s highs and lows, but if you are living in a constant state of chaos it’s time for serious reflection. Healthy relationships are built on two people striving to retain balance and compromise. If one partner is constantly in need of being in control, and belittles you and even instigates arguments to maintain that power, that is emotionally abusive behavior.
  5. Your partner is constantly playing the blame game.  “If you had just made my lunch last week”, or “done my laundry properly”, or “paid that bill on time”…then I wouldn’t have any reason to treat you like crap. This is what they’ll tell you. Or, if you hadn’t taken that trip with your friends, they wouldn’t have had such a crappy week at work. If you just kept the house more clean, they wouldn’t be so stressed. Is your partner really good at blaming you for their own bad behaviors or bad days? If your partner is constantly blaming you for making their life miserable, and not taking responsibility for their own actions, that is a sure sign that you are in an emotionally abusive cycle. An abuser thrives on control and pride.  Always willing to point out the flaws in others, but has a really hard time seeing flaws in themselves.

Don’t short change yourself. Healthy relationships are built on respect, admiration, sacrifice, balance and personal responsibility. No one should ever feel controlled, manipulated, belittled or scared when their partner comes home each day. If your partner doesn’t realize there is a problem, and refuses to seek help, it is time to leave the relationship, for your own sanity and well being. It is not your responsibility to pay for someone else’s brokenness. Despite what your partner tells you, you are worth it.

If you feel like you have nowhere to turn and need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website for more info.

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You might notice a new trend this Halloween where people display teal colored pumpkins on their porch instead of the traditional orange pumpkins. You also might be wondering why?

Food Allergy Research & Education, also known as FARE is hoping to start a new trend in allergy awareness in the spririt of inclusion and safety. Teal is the color of food allergy awareness, and children with food allergies can feel safe knowing that houses with teal pumpkins will offer non-food treats like small toys.

According to FARE 1 out of 13 children suffer from food allergies of some kind. Some can be life threatening. My daughter is one of them. She is severely allergic to tree nuts, and every Halloween we have to sort through all the candy she can and can’t have. This new trend can help these children feel less left out and accepted.

If you would like to participate in the teal pumpkin project this Halloween, you can visit FARE’s website for more info and download a free poster to display.

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It’s that time of year when viruses are bound to hit your family at one point or another. Some viruses are impossible to avoid, between kids bringing home lovely germs from school, and flu season being at it’s peak, but there are some surprising origins of viruses that you can avoid. About 76 million people get sick each year because of food-borne illnesses. Most of these may be from restaurants and public restrooms, etc, but many are caused by culprits hanging in your own home.

 

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, kitchen and bathroom towels pose a big threat to you and your family. Most of us wash our bath towels and dish towels, but you may not be washing them often enough. Damp towels are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and if you’re using a used towel to dry off with or especially to dry your hands off on during meal prep or dish washing, your chances of getting sick go up tremendously. The CDC says food-borne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,200 deaths in the United States each year! So it’s something that should be taken seriously.

So, the simple way to keep the family more healthy? Just wash your towels, hand towels and dish towels/rags with hot water and soap. “If everyone is otherwise healthy, a few times a week for a kitchen towel and once or twice a week for a bathroom towel should suffice,” Dr. John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, told the Wall Street Journal. If you use kitchen towels for food prep or cleanup, don’t reuse them, wash them right away.

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If you’re like most moms, you’ve either already seen the new movie out called “Mean Moms”, or you’ve probably seen the trailers. It’s about a group of moms who have had enough with the demands of motherhood and decide to “go on strike” and become a little bit rebellious in the process. Not something we haven’t all thought of at one time or another, right? Because being a mom is hard work, and sometimes a very thankless job. Most of us don’t want to be the “mean mom” though, at least the kind that’s abusive, neglectful and belittling. We’re not talking about that kind of “mean”, obviously. But studies are showing that moms can definitely “up” the discipline factor, and in fact, being a little more “mean” with our kids can actually help them be more successful in life.

Which is great news, because this morning, my kids and I were in a rush to drop the three of them off to school when this conversation happened.

“Did you girls pack a lunch?” Nope.  

“Do you have lunch money?” Nope. We ran out and forgot to tell you.

Now, the nice mom in me quickly flirted with the idea of running home to get them some cash, or something to take for lunch, but then I thought nope. They are perfectly capable teenage girls, who need to learn to take responsibility for themselves, so today they will have no lunch, and tomorrow they will be better prepared because they’ll remember the discomfort of being hungry!

Sometimes it’s hard making those kinds of decisions, because it’s our natural instinct to take care of our kids and keep them comfortable and happy. But sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not raising children, I am raising adults. One day (and too soon for my liking) these kids of mine are going to be out in the world taking care of themselves, and hopefully being good people in the process. Coddling them, and doing things for them that they are capable of doing themselves won’t help them become the responsible adults they need to be.

One study done by the University of Essex showed that girls who have mothers who “nag” them, (or in other words regularly “remind” them of things they can be doing better) were more likely to go to college, get better-paying jobs, and avoid teen pregnancy than those with mothers who were more relaxed.

The study, led by researcher Ericka Rascon-Ramirez, followed the lives of over 15,000 girls between the ages of 13 and 14 from 2004 to 2010. Researchers found that high parental expectations played a role in some of the girls’ major life choices.

The study also found that even when it seems our children are not listening (which never happens, of course) our words and “persistent encouragement” do seep into their brains, and cause them to think twice when faced with important life decisions.

So keep nagging, moms! We can be loving and kind, but also unleash our “mean streak” once in a while, that not only shows our children we mean business, but that we have high expectations of them not because we’re unrealistic, but because we know how awesome they are!!

Are you a “mean mom”? We’d love to hear from you!

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It’s “Pumpkin Everything” season, but call me crazy… I have never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie. However, I DO love me some other pumpkin desserts, so I’ve been on a quest find some of the very best! It’s the perfect weather and time of year to turn the oven on and fill your home with the scent of freshly baked goods.  Give some of these delicious pumpkin dessert recipes a try!  (Your family will thank you!)

 

 

 

 

 

1. One-Bowl Chocolate-Pumpkin Swirl Cake with Chocolate Ganache

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2. Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

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3. Pumpkin Delight Dessert

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4. Pumpkin Crumble Bars

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5. Double Pumpkin Poke Cake

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6. Easy Pumpkin Swirl Chocolate Brownies

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7. Pumpkin Roll

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8. Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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9. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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It’s that time of year when we’re holding on to the last days of summer weather-wise, while also anticipating the beauty of Fall that is just around the corner!  Leaves are slowly changing, and there’s a new crispness in the air. Colorado is home to some of the most spectacular Fall leaf displays in the country, and there are some beautiful drives we’ve listed below that will give you front row seats.

Peak season in Colorado for Fall leaves usually starts mid-September and runs through mid-October.  Throw in an early cold spell and leaves can start changing in the first couple weeks of September. Pick a weekend and head out with the kids to experience colorful Colorado!

1. Trail Ridge Road – This drive takes you through (and over) stunning Rocky Mountain National Park. Take U.S. Highway 34 between Estes Park and Granby, and you’ll drive to 12,183 feet.  There are several scenic overlooks to take in the scenery.

2. Boreas Pass between Como and Breckenridge – This gravel road is an old railroad bed and offers amazing sightseeing opportunities. Take Boreas Pass Road off of U.S. Highway 285 in Park County. If you’re in Summit County, take Boreas Pass Road right off of Colorado Highway 9 on the south side of Breckenridge.

3. Kebler Pass from Crested Butte to Paonia State Park – This is a longer drive from the Front Range the huge Aspen grove is said to be worth the trip. Kebler Pass Road extends out of Crested Butte, but can also be traveled from Colorado Highway 133 by taking Interstate 70 to Glenwood Springs, then south on Colorado 82 to Carbondale. Take Colorado 133 south out of Carbondale to Kebler Pass Road.

4. Peak to Peak Highway – Take Highways 119, 72, and 7 from Black Hawk to Estes Park. Discover the Peak to Peak Highway off of I-70 by taking the Highway 119 exit.

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5. The Maroon Bells – This may be the most photographed location in the state. Maroon Bells has many hiking trails and can be accessed from Aspen on Maroon Creek Road.

6. Divide to Cripple Creek – While on Colorado Highway 67 take Teller County 1 to Florissant. This is a great drive to catch some midseason color and to see some of Colorado’s mining history. The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is also on the way and worth a stop.

7. Kenosha Pass –  U.S. Highway 285, heading South from Denver has many beautiful summits and hiking trails to check out the stunning display of Fall foliage.

Learn how to preserve Fall leaves HERE. They make great crafts!! 

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Summers can be chaotic and busy with the kids home from school, and by the end of it most moms are pretty ready for them to go back.  However, every time that first day of school rolls around,  I am hit with that little twinge of sadness that we don’t get to share those long days together anymore! I really do love my kids, and I miss them when they go back to school. (I think most moms do, right??) So, sometimes I have to give myself a pep talk and remind myself of the things that I am “really” missing *insert sarcastic voice* about Summer…

 

Disclaimer: I know there are perfect moms out there who manage a strict schedule during the Summer, who have children who do all their chores, and who have wonderful manners. I am not a perfect mom, and my kids are not perfect. I try. They try. The examples below are memories of some of the harder days of Summer…

 

The Noise

Oh, how I miss that noise! The constant bickering, the constant pleas of “I’m bored!” and “I’m hungry” (5 minutes after lunch). The chasing each other around the house, and then the subsequent never ending screams of torture because they just ran into a wall. The cheers from the basement during particularly riveting sessions of Minecraft. The teenagers competing over music selections in the car. Yep, I miss that. So much.

My grocery bill

I don’t know about you, but I really miss those thoughts of considering taking out a second mortgage on the house to feed my three kids during the summer. Oh my word!  They all develop chronic hollow legs, and complain about starvation almost every waking moment of the day. Never do I ever spend as much on groceries during the year as I do those few months my kids are out of school.  Totally miss that strain on my budget!

The messes

Tripping over flips flops 187 times a day is my favorite. Wet bathing suits, wet towels, milk left out on the counter, juice stains on the couch (despite no juice on the couch rules), double the laundry because my kids insisted on wearing a minimum of 5 outfits a day in the summer time. Crumbs EVERYWHERE from the 10 snacks a day they stole from the kitchen. Yep, I totally miss getting after them all day long about cleaning up their messes and then doing it myself anyway…because, motherhood.

Being interrupted

I still have to work from home during the Summer, so I really miss trying to focus while being interrupted every 5 minutes to drive one kid here or there, to chase a dog down the street because a kid let it out (again), or to stop another argument while I am on the phone. I miss hearing “mom!!” every 45 seconds while I am in the bathroom too. Those are my favorite moments of Summer.

Having random kids in my house

Most of my kids “play dates” are planned, but I will never get used to extra kids running around my house, drinking my juice boxes and terrorizing my pets. It’s even more loud, more food gets eaten, someone almost always ends up crying and going home early, and something is always left behind which becomes an emergency to their parent.

“Omg, Chris left his broken Happy Meal toy from 3 years ago at your house, when can we come back to get it?!!”

I am trying to teach my kids that friendships are overrated, but they’re having none of it.  Sigh…

And so, despite missing my kids while they’re back at school, there are definitely some parts of Summer I won’t particularly miss! That is, until they’re off to College one day, and every single horrifying memory of Summer vacation magically turns sweet…

What do you “miss” about Summer time, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Having two teenage daughters in high school, there is no shortage of drama at our house! My girls are full of stories of peer pressure, bullying, and all the other normal (but emotionally draining) experiences that come with on again/off again friendships. One day they have a best friend of 3 years, and the next week they don’t. High school is full of friendship changes and feelings of belonging and then suddenly not belonging. And “belonging” at any stage of life is an important need, so for a teen who suddenly doesn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch, it can feel like a very lonely and isolating existence. Thankfully technology is catching up with this reality, and a teenager herself created a new app called “Sit With Us”. Her goal is to end those feelings of isolation and loneliness by helping teens find other teens who are willing to hang out with them and be their friend. It’s an amazing tool that will hopefully help so many youth feel like they have someone they can go to when they are feeling lonely or excluded.

 

The creator of the “Sit With Us” App is 16-year-old Natalie Hampton from Sherman Oaks, California. The app launched on September 9, and she says she was inspired to create it after she ate alone her entire seventh grade year, she told LA Daily News. The experience left Hampton feeling humiliated and vulnerable and also made her a target for bullying.

Hampton is now a junior, and thriving socially at a new school, however the memories of having to sit alone and being bullied as a consequence still haunt her, and she knows many other students face this battle on a daily basis.

“Hampton told Audie Cornish on NPR’s “All Things Considered” that the reason why she felt an app like this was necessary is because it prevents kids from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers.”

It’s a private app managed through a phone, so no one needs to know. There is also a sense of relief for the user knowing that once they get to the lunch table they won’t be rejected.

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The app allows any student to designate themselves as an “ambassador,” which enables them to invite others to join them for lunch. Ambassadors can post “open lunch” events, which invite anyone seeking a friend to sit with that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table.

As a mom, I really hope this app takes off and that students embrace it with open arms. This can be a saving grace for so many struggling teens who just need a friendly face to sit with at lunch! It can help eliminate so many feelings of isolation, prevent bullying, and create community within schools across the country. Please share this with others so they can be aware of the Sit With Us too!

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I have a confession. I really want my kids to help around the house, I really do! The problem for me has always been allowing and trusting them to do it! In the past I was such a perfectionist, that I became my own worst enemy in some ways. For example, I was the mom that would allow the kids to decorate the Christmas tree, and then when they were asleep I would fix all the ornaments so the tree looked pretty again. I would let my kids help fold towels, and then secretly refold them because they did it wrong. I would let my kids bake cookies, but insist on taking over when the batter wasn’t stirred correctly.

 

Sigh…

and the truth is many moms fall into this pattern. We have become a generation of “it’s ok, I’ll do it” moms, and our families are suffering.  It not only effects our kids and their own independence, but it typically extends to our spouse as well. How many times have you given your partner directions to do something, and after having to explain it for too long just gave in and said “never mind, I will do it”?

We think we can do it all, and honestly we probably can do it all, because let’s face it, we are superwomen! Unfortunately, doing it all does not teach our families to do things for themselves, and it can lead to resentment in our children and spouses because it tends to send the message that we don’t trust them to get the job done, or we don’t think they’re smart enough. Obviously we want to avoid those assumptions!

Here some signs you may be doing too much for your family…

You’re focused on doing things “right” all the time

If you’re obsessed with the dishes being stacked in the dishwasher right, and find yourself saying things like “nevermind, I will do it” out of exasperation…you’re doing too much for your family. It’s time to let go, and let your children (or partner) complete the task. There is nothing wrong with giving some guidance as to how it’s done properly, but doing it all yourself is not only adding to your own plate of chores, but taking responsibility away from other family members. Something everyone in the home should feel like they have.

You’re constantly questioning your family’s decisions and choices

Maybe your husband comes home with groceries after you’ve given him a list, and he buys the wrong brands. Do you say something or do you let it go? If you say something like “I usually get this brand of toilet paper instead” or “I really don’t like this brand of barbecue sauce”, guess what? After a while your husband is going to say “You know what? Do the shopping yourself!” Now that’s one less thing he’ll be helping with around the house. Learn to bite your tongue and choose your battles. Learn to allow your family to do things their way sometimes.

Picking fights

If you’re so bent on being right or doing things the “right” away around your house, this can lead to more than just resentment on your families behalf. This can start to change the entire tone of your household, with more arguments and fights over silly things. If you’re doing everything, there’s no doubt you will become resentful too and start blaming it on the fact that no one knows how to do anything right. This is a very dangerous pride cycle, and there needs to be balance. A family that’s united is much more important than how the beds are made or how dinner is prepared.

You’re always bringing up past mistakes

Maybe your spouse was late paying the mortgage two years ago, or your child put laundry soap in the dishwasher that one time… do you still belittle them for it, or have a habit of bringing up their past mistakes? And do you use those past mistakes to justify why “you’ll just do it yourself”? If this is the case, you are taking away valuable lessons from your family. Mistakes are part of learning. Allow them more opportunities to learn and grow and they may surprise you with how much they can handle! And you may just start breathing a sigh of relief that you actually don’t have to do it all…

I realize not all moms struggle with this idea of “having to do it all”, and that many families have a very healthy balance when it comes to chores, responsibilities and contributions. But if you are a mom who struggles with any of the feelings above, there is hope (and you’re not alone). It’s ok to take a look within ourselves sometimes and figure out how we can do better. Sometimes it’s not our family who needs to “see the light”, sometimes it’s us…

Do you find yourself struggling with the “have to do it all” mentality? Or maybe you have found some good balance in your family and can share some more advice. We’d love to hear your thoughts either way!