Does Your Child Have This Habit?

This is an oldie, but a goodie. Originally posted in March, 2011

Recently an 11-year-old asked me a question that so impressed me, I was inspired to add new step in my family’s daily routine.

A few weeks ago, we were setting up for a big community garage sale as a fundraiser to help finance a week-long training camp for teens at the state capitol.  During set up, I spent more time chasing down the kids to help than actually working.  The fundraiser was for them, not the adults, but the adults seemed to be doing all the work, and I was irritated, to say the least.

Holding a serving spoon with a glob of nacho cheese caked to it, I turned to the nearest child to ask that it be cleaned.  Subconsciously, I expected her to comply, but it was clear the kids had their own agenda that day. They were there to socialize, and all parental orders distracted them from their real purpose.

Don’t get me wrong, these are all obedient kids. There was no real disrespect, and they all did what was asked without complaint.  It was more of a clash of expectations — we expected them to socialize in the midst of the real agenda – work – and they expected to have to do some work in the midst of their real agenda – socializing.

So there I was, searching for a teen, cheese-encrusted spoon in hand.  Anna was closest to me, and at this point, my expectations had been set. I figured she’d take the spoon, shoulders subtly slumped at the faint disappointment of having to interrupt her conversation, and run off to the sink so she could hurry back and resume the real work of socializing.

Instead, she smiled and said, “Sure!” and reached out her hand to take the spoon. She was cheerful and unrushed, and everything about her body language said, “I have no other agenda right now but to serve you.”

When she returned, she didn’t drop the spoon on the table in a rush to resume her conversation. Instead, she handed me the spoon and said, “Is there anything else you would like me to do?”

I was amazed. Had she really just asked me if she could do anything else? And with a smile, no less?  WOW! My first instinct was to kiss her sweet cheeks and tell her to go play.  Her attitude made me want to bless the socks off her.  The truth of the matter was, I still needed her help, but after she completed a few more tasks for me, I lavished her in praise and sent her on her way.

Returning to frustration, I went on a manhunt to find the other teens, but Anna’s character that day inspired a new plan for my own kids.  Just like teaching our kids to use the potty, it’s all in the training.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

Just like everything else we’ve trained in our kids, it takes persistent, hard work.  The truth is, we have to start by training ourselves.  Building a new character trait in a child starts with the parents making a decision, setting a plan, and then disciplining themselves to work the plan consistently. But it’s worth the payoff.

Here’s the plan we’ve been using:

  • We started by explaining that anytime a request is made or instruction is given, they are to return when they’re done and ask, “Is there anything else you would like me to do?”  That question is really what completes their task.
  • Then came role-playing. Whenever we role-play, we start small.  So in this case, it was “Bring me a tissue” or “Bring me a glass of water.” If they returned without asking the new question, we asked, “Is your task really complete?”
  • Just like any other habit, as we enforce it with every little task, it will soon become second nature to them.

It’s easy to focus on making sure they do their homework and keep their room clean, but it’s those subtle issues of character and attitude that can slip under our radar, and yet in life, these are the principle things.  God is faithful to point them out when we’re paying attention, and our reward for diligence is a respectful and cheerful child who blesses the people around him.

Occasionally we might even garner a few heart-warming compliments.  At the yard sale, it was my pleasure to pour out praises on Anna’s mom.  She deserved as much recognition as Anna.

At the end of the day, the work of character training pays large dividends.

Jody Hagaman

Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 18 to 30 and one precious baby grandchild. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired
tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan
organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

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How are You Preparing Your Child For the Real World?

Facebook users, we have an AWESOME new group that’s all about preparing our kids for the real world. We want your voice and opinions and ideas, and we’d love for you to ask questions of the community and brainstorm with them.

This community is growing so quickly! We’ve added almost 500 people in the first few hours of it’s existence. Log into Facebook, join the group and invite your friends!

Here’s some info about the group:

This is a community for people who want to share ideas, ask questions and offer information that will help build the kind of skills kids need to succeed in the real world.

The goal of this community is simply to work together in raising kids who have REAL WORLD life skills — the stuff they probably won’t get in school (how to balance a checkbook, buy a house, grow a garden, learn about alternative energy, patent a product and bring it to market, harness social media for a purpose, etc.).

We’re here to talk about HOW and WHY to raise:

  • entrepreneurs
  • good communicators
  • civic-minded people
  • effective activists
  • debt-free, financially wise stewards of our planet
  • world changers
  • people who can manage their own thoughts, emotions and choices well
  • emotionally healthy people

We’re here to brainstorm together, offer ideas, ask questions and share information about:

  • how to help our kids start a business
  • how to teach our kids about our free market system
  • how to raise kids who will know how to cast an informed vote
  • how to help find their passion
  • how to nurture their passion
  • how to teach our kids to advocate effectively for what they believe in
  • how help kids negotiate well
  • how to teach kids good conflict management
  • you get the idea!

Did you join yet? Do it now, and share this post. See you on Facebook!

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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Party Thank You Notes

Every party in our house starts and ends with thank you notes. As we’re planning, we decide how we’re going to handle the thank you’s. Then, as the guests arrive, we have someone stationed at the front door to write out name tags, talk to parents about any issues such as food allergies and have the parents fill out an envelope with their child’s name and address. This helps us make sure we don’t overlook thanking anyone, and it makes thank you note writing a breeze!

I like to keep the thank you cards in my bag the week following the party, and have the birthday boy/girl write work on them during short moments of waiting (standing on a long line in the store, waiting for the dentist, on a commercial break, etc.)

When it comes time for presents, we assign one person the job of recording the gifts. Give the person a pen and pad, and after each gift is opened, hand the card to this person so he/she can describe the gift on the back of the card. The pad is handy for any gifts that don’t come with a card. Keep all cards in one gift bag, and after the party, take our your party planning notebook, and write the gifts next to the names of participants.

Not only is important for our kids to get in the habit of sending handwritten thank you notes, but it’s also a good educational tool. I give my kids a small spiral notebook with a photocopy of the guest/gift list clipped to the front. Then I have them write rough drafts of each note in the notebook. When they’re done, either my husband or myself or an older sibling proofreads the drafts, and then the kid copies their notes into the actual thank you cards.

 

Stop by tomorrow — we’re going to wrap up this series on birthday party planning with a look at the photographs!

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Kids Party Favors

This past week we’ve been talking about planning kids’ birthday parties. Today we’re focusing on party favors.

As with decorations, invitations and activities, it’s great to tie these into the party theme.

Whenever possible, we like to incorporate favors into the activities. For example, at our Backyard Habitat party, the kids made mosaic designs on a terra cotta pot, built bird houses out of milk cartons, and made seeded bird treats. Those were the favors.

One year we had a car party, and all the kids took trucks and cars dipped in paint and rolled them across white t-shirts. It was a hit, so at a Bug Party, we had kids dip their fingers in paint and use their colorful finger prints to create bug shirts (lady bugs, caterpillars, spiders, etc.). Painting t-shirts is a fun way to make a wearable keepsake.

As you choose favors, look for things that kids actually enjoy having. It’s a sad day when a party ends in tears because the favors break before they even make it out the door. Punching balloons are surprising hit and are really inexpensive, and you can never go wrong with edible treats or fun how-to’s (i.e. a piece of origami paper with instructions from the internet). 

Tomorrow we’ll talk about Thank You Notes. We’ve got some fun tips to make this easier. In the meantime, leave us a comment with your favorite party favors.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Kids Party Decorations

This week we’ve been talking about planning kids parties, and today, we’re turing our attention to decorations.

Decorations really anchor the theme. When you’re planning the decorations, think of the food and present table, centerpieces and hangables.

Start with colors that accentuate the party theme and then use those colors when planning balloons, streamers, table cloths, cups, plates and napkins. Walmart and the Dollar Store are good places to get these things inexpensively.

Think about fun ways to spruce up the tables. For example, at our Spider Party on year, we took silver Scotch-Brite scrubbing pads and wrapped lengths of solder around the middle of the pad to make funky looking spiders on the tables. For the same party, we found directions on Family Fun to make a few giant spiders out of milk jugs and pool noodles. We hung those in the corners around the room.

After years of doing really elaborate parties, we’ve scaled back some. This year, I made a simple but awesome looking balloon arch to hang over our sliding glass door. Get a bag of multicolor latex balloons. Blow them up, and tie each one to a long curling ribbon. If you don’t space them too far apart, they tend to cluster, making it look very full. Then just tack the ribbon up over an entry way or running up the length of a staircase.

Pinterest has more ideas than you could ever use for centerpieces and other decorations, and Family Fun is another great resource.

Stop by tomorrow. We’ll be talking about party activities.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Activities for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Like decorations, activities for a kid’s birthday party can hinge on the theme. When you’re planning these, think of a welcome activity, an icebreaker and some theme-related games and projects.

Welcome Activity

As kids are arriving, we always have a activity that they can jump right into. This keeps everyone occupied while you’re welcoming guests and chatting with parents.

One idea that we’ve used a few times is to have each kid decorate something that you can add to a keepsake for the birthday boy or girl. At our Thomas the Tank Engine party, the birthday boy decorated an engine cut out of poster board, while his friends each decorated a train car with their name on it. At the end of the party, we hung the train like a border around his room as a reminder of his great day.

One year, our son had a Chef’s Party. As each guest arrived, we gave them an apron and let them decorate it with fabric puff paint. We got the aprons for a great price at Oriental Trading — an awesome resource for activities, decorations and favors.

During our son’s puppet party, we had a puppet show going on that kids could watch as they were arriving.

Icebreaker

Once everyone is there, consider playing a game that can help kids get to know each other. Team games are a good idea (three-legged or relay races, hot potato, tug of war or offer a group project). You can also do a memory game that requires everyone to learn and remember each other’s names. Baby shower games are great icebreakers. Do a Google search on these or team builders or ice breakers to get more ideas.

Games and Projects

Activities can tie in with the theme. At our Monster Party one year, the kids all made slime and fill buckets with it. Then they put on big monster feet that we’d made out of old cereal boxes and foam craft paper, and they raced one another to transfer the slime from one row of buckets to another.

At our American Girl party, we used the Hobo Code introduced in the Kit books to do a big scavenger hunt with each clue paying homage to one of the American Girl historical characters. And at the Puppet Party, kids made sock puppets and watched a puppet show.

Whenever we play games, we have a small prize for the winner and a candy bowl for the non winners. As someone gets out, they get to pick a treat from the candy bowl. It allows for friendly competition without creating sore losers.

Pinatas are always a big hit, and you can find (or make) one that coordinates with the theme. Plus, the candy or toys that the kids collect can be a part of the party favors.

As a homeschool family, we are BIG fans of fun (but also educational) activities. For example, our Backyard Habitat taught kids the essential elements of a habitat, and our Community Super Heroes Party introduced party goers to the local firehouse, ambulence corps and rescue squad.

We also like activities that double as party favors. My son recently had a big sleepover, and the kids made t-shirts. They drew pictures on white shirts with colored permanent markers, then they drizzled rubbing alcohol on the drawings to spread the color and make psuedo-tie dyed shirts. The shirt was their party favor.

Scheduling

As you plan activities, think about the timeframe for the overall party. Plan at least 15 minutes for the welcome activity, and then divide the rest of the party into segments, allotting an estimated time block for each activity, including cake and presents. Keep your schedule handy during the party to stay on track.

 

Stop in tomorrow. We’ll be talking about Party Favors!

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Kid Party Food

Good food is an American birthright, and we are the land of plenty! But party food can mean different things to different people.

There are three basic aspects to planning food for kids’ birthday parties:

  • The Cake
  • Snacks or Meal
  • Beverages

I’m not a huge fan of cooking. My darling husband is the chef and baker in our house. He’s been known to make some fun cakes (a treasure chest, a fire engine, a dinosaur, a spider, and a giant baby block, to name a few). But because I’m not the big cook, I typically schedule all of our parties between 1:00 and 5:00 pm. That way, guests have lunch before they come and dinner when they leave. We choose to provide snacks, drinks, cake and coffee and tea.

The Cake

The cake serves a few purposes. It’s a great way to emphasize the theme, adds to the decorations and feeds the people. If you’re industrious and like to bake (like the dad in our house), you can find all kinds of ideas online. Choose something that will highlight your theme and then start searching. Check out Pinterest, Family Fun, Martha Stewart and iVillage.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the cake pan. For our daughter’s American Girl party, we served beautiful petit fours in honor of Samantha. Cup cakes baked in wafer ice cream cones are another big hit. Cake pops are also really popular right now, and they can help keep minimize portions of the high fat and sugary fare.

Snacks and Meals

When planning other foods, you can either keep it simple, or tie it into the theme. One year we had a Community Super Hero party. For snacks, we made each child a fire truck. The cab of the truck was a juice box wrapped in red paper. The back of the truck was made from a small cereal box (the individual serving kind) with the top cut off. It was also wrapped in red paper, and we cut sandwiches into quarters and lined up the pieces in the cut cereal box. We draw on wheels and ladders, and voila! We had little fire engines.

During our Cooking Party one year, the activities WERE the food! The kids made individual pizzas and chicken cordon bleu, decorated their own cupcakes and had a donut eating contest.

But as I said earlier, we don’t typically get too elaborate. Usually, I like to make a fruit platter and crudite (veggie platter) with dip. If you go that route, I have few tips. Grapes work well, but grab your kitchen scissors and cut off small bunches. Quartered oranges, pineapple, and strawberries also work well. Stay away from apples and pears because they tend to brown quickly, and blueberries are another no no. Inevitably some will fall and be squished, staining whatever they touch.

For veggies, we’ve found that broccoli and cauliflower are not a big hit with everyone. When we did include them, they were always the last to go. Sliced bell peppers, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber (cut in lengths) are popular choices.

If cooking is your thing, then you might opt to serve a meal. Buffet style food is always great at a kid’s party, since the last thing kids usually want to do is sit down for a formal meal. Make-your-own sandwiches with a cold cut platter, rolls and condiments are often a big hit. Taco bars are another popular choice, and similar to that (but a little more unique) is a mashed potato bar. Offer plastic parfait cups with delicious mashed potatoes and a choice of toppings such as salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, chives, nacho cheese and bacon bits.

Speaking of cheese, you can do a psuedo-fondue by keeping a warm ninja crockpot with melted cheese and put out toothpicks and a wide range of dippable foods such as mini hot dogs, meatballs and cut veggies.

Drinks

At the beverage table, leave a permanent marker next to the cups with a little sign asking people to label their drinks. It will save on wasted cups. We like to offer water and ice tea and avoid sugary drinks.

During cake, we put out coffee and a carafe of hot water with a basket of tea bags, along with a gallon of milk for kids to wash down their sweets.

 

What are some of your kid party food favorites?

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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The Invitation

This week we’re talking about planning great kid parties, and today we’re turning our attention to the invitation. Sure you can text everyone or send a Facebook message, but if you want to do something more, read on.

Once you have a theme in mind, grab your planning notebook and make a list of who you’ll invite. Jot down phone numbers next to the names because you’re bound to a have few who don’t respond by the deadline, and you’ll need to make calls.

Okay, I have to interrupt myself to air a small pet peeve. I’ve been doing birthday parties for more than 15 years (since our oldest’s first birthday), and I have seen a disturbing downward spiral in RSVP etiquette. With each passing year, I find myself having to make more and more calls (or send texts) to those who have not responded. What’s going on? If you have any thoughts on what’s causing this ugly trend or any ideas on how to fix it, please comment below! I’m dying to know what’s happening. Okay back to party planning.

With your list made, it’s time to decide on the invitations, which can run the gamut from a group text to an intricate note in a bottle. One year our oldest son had a puppet party, and we turned paper lunch bags into hand puppets (girl puppets for girls and boy puppets for boys) and wrote the invitation on the back. 

Another year we did a Backyard Habitat party, and glued a blank card to the back of a packet of seeds. We wrote party details on the card and sent them out in regular envelopes that we had decorated with a garden scene.

If you’re going for a handmade invite, get the whole family involved. Put up a crockpot, invite grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins, and set up an assembly line with each person in charge of a different aspect. Like the old quilting bees, this can be an invitation bee, and it gives us another reason to get together with people — something that seems to be dwindling in this age of digital relationships.

Speaking of digital — if you want to save postage, check out Evite.com, which lets you customize a digital invitation for free. You can add emails manually or link to your email account and/or Facebook to add people. The beauty of this method is that guests can leave messages, ask questions, see who is coming and get directions, and you can track RSVPs and send group messages and updates.

But I happen like to Facebook Events even better than Evite. Like Evite, Facebook let’s you track your list and send group notifications about the party. It also sends reminders to the people who are coming and let’s them talk to each other easily. I use Facebook for a lot of things, so I find it easy for parties because I’m already there a few times a day.

For more party invitation ideas, check out these websites:

Pinterest (my fave for ideas and how-to’s on all aspects of party planning)

Family Fun Magazine’s Blog

Martha Stewart

diypartyplanner.blogspot.com

 

Stop by tomorrow. We’ll be talking about party food!

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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Start With a Theme

Every good party starts with a theme, but the big secret is that a theme can be virtually anything. We tend to think about movie characters or toys or kiddie cliches like princesses and castles or planes, trains and automobiles. And those are all good, but some of the most memorable parties are the most unusual!

A theme can revolve around a shape (circle party), a place (taste of Italy party), an activity (soccer or theater party), even a website (Instagram or Pinterest party).

Circle_Party

Start by thinking about your child’s interests and personality. Does your kid like to knit and crochet? Have a Needles and Knitz Party. Decorate with balls of yarn and knitting needles. Give guests a few basic tutorials (kids LOVE to learn how to knit and crochet), and offer a goodie bag with a small ball of yarn, crochet hook and simple pattern.

Does your kid like gardening and animals? Do a Backyard Habitat Party. The National Wildlife Federation teaches families how to build a backyard habitat, and you can even get it certified. Center a party theme around this idea by building a small animal shelter, planting a butterfly garden and serving a garden cake.

Cooking_Party

Think outside the box. Is your son turning eight? Do an “Eight” theme where everything revolves around the number eight. 

What’s your child’s favorite subject in school? Have a math party or a science party. There is no limit to what you can do.

The year our son Sam turned four, the librarian read Jack & The Beanstalk at a library reading group, which prompted him to ask for a Jack & The Beanstalk party. We read the book at the party, had an egg race with “golden” eggs (eggs painted gold), started bean plants, played hot potato with a “magic” beanbag, played Mother May I (with giant steps and Jack-size steps), and had cupcakes with beanstalks made out of green icing and green gumdrops cut to look like leaves.

Another year one of our kids was really into superheroes, so we did a Community Super Hero party. We arranged a progressive tour of the town’s fire department, ambulance corps and rescue squad. Then the kids ran through an elaborate obstacle course and won whistle necklaces when they completed it. For lunch, we make a fire truck to hold our drink and sandwich quarters. To make each one, we took a travel-size cereal box with one of the long sides cut off. I glued that to a juice box, and wrapped the whole thing in red paper. We cut a sandwich in quarters and placed the pieces in the cereal box and then decorated the whole thing to look like a fire engine. They were a big hit!

Check back tomorrow. We’re going to talk about some unique invitation ideas.

 

 

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Party Planning 101

The school year is winding down, and my brain is already sliding into summer mode. So I thought I’d dip into a lighter subject. For the next few days, we’ll be in a party frame of mind with ideas and systems to keep it all together and plan a great party.

When my third child was turning three I asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted. His older sister, who was six at the time, suggested a princess theme, but he rejected that idea. Then she proposed a dragon party, hoping for a back door into the princess concept. He didn’t bite on that one either. 

 “I think I want a yellow party,” he said. Yellow was his favorite color, so we ran with it. Everyone came to the party dressed in yellow. The cake was a big yellow smiley face. All the favors and decorations were yellow. Even the food and games revolved around yellow — potato chips, bananas, bell peppers, a yellow pinata and yellow t-ball game, to name a few.

With six kids in our house, we’ve had some great parties, and over the years, I’ve figured out that there is an easy-to-follow formula that can make every idea a success.

I know that the world is going digital. Call me old fashioned, but I still gravitate toward the old pen and paper. Before I plan any party, I grab a small note book for planning. I’ve found that it’s best to keep everything in one place. That way, I can check my invite list as RSVPs come in and keep a running shopping list as I plan decorations, food and activities. I like to attach a small binder clip to the front of the notebook, so that I can print off cool ideas as I research and plan.

All the magic starts with a theme. So check back tomorrow, and we’ll go deeper into choosing the right theme. I’ll have some suggestions to help get your juices flowing and think outside the box!

In the meantime, leave us a comment and tell us about the best party you ever hosted!

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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