kids corner (calming them)

kids corner (calming them)

I believe children need to be soothed, quieted, comforted and calmed. They do not learn this inherently. They have to be taught.

If they are never taught, why would one expect them to know how?

At bedtime, for example, it’s a great idea to have the bath, warm jammies and then a story or two, or more. They will become tired settling and listening. That also has to be taught. If a child is never calmed but rather allowed to run constantly all day and evening why would one expect them to be able to settle down for sleep? It doesn’t have to be reading every night. Perhaps a family puzzle time or art, drawing or coloring, but calm. No getting up and running around during quiet time…just slow, calm time before bed. Playing soothing music might also help.

Even at my age I can not work on the computer on something I’m passionate about (writing this blog) and then settle right down to be ready to sleep. Nor can I do a workout in the evening because I will become too wound up. What do most adults do to get sleepy if we aren’t when we go to bed? We read!

For my kids it was Sunday church. That was the hour that we were determined to teach our kids to sit quietly. There was a nursery available. We chose not to use it. We wanted them to learn to sit in church. It didn’t come easily. Like anything worth while it takes time and energy and practice. I had to bring things for them to do in the back of the church for a while and cheerios for them to eat. But eventually they learn to be quiet and sit still for that small window of time.

We also had a very regular bedtime routine that the kids knew and could count on, every night. It was the same. A bath, brush teeth and jammies then read or as they got older perhaps watch a movie, but still, no running or playing.

I think we are moving away from that quiet dinner hour. Yes, life is busy. Yes, it’s hard to figure out how but if you can make an effort to sit quietly and converse at an evening meal most nights, it will eventually pay off big dividends. For example you can go to a friends home and also have a quiet calm meal if that is your routine at home anyway.

NOTHING COMES EASILY! One cannot run a marathon with no training or shouldn’t anyway. But I PROMISE if you put in the time and energy when they are young and developing it will pay off for YOU as well as THEM in the future.

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“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”  Anne Bradstreet


bye bye carpet

bye bye carpet

Well, we had an exciting weekend!

We are transitioning from carpet to laminate upstairs and didn’t want laminate on the stairs. I had researched it and some reports stated laminate was slippery for stairs. I am too old to be slipping and falling and breaking things. I read up on it and decided wood stairs would be safer for us. SO…

Sometime last week my husband and I pulled up the carpet on the stairs to take a peek and see what we had to work with under the carpeting. That was totally deceptive. Saturday morning at about 9 am my hubs pulled away the first stairs carpet and began gluing newly stained treads and newly painted white risers. I had stained and painted everything Friday afternoon so it could all dry.

12 stairs went perfectly and then we got hung up right at the finish line. We had to make a change in plan for the landing. Therefore the landing and the steps below the landing are on hold for completion. However I’m excited to show you the progress we have made so far.




The man is patient and quite handy!

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I am so happy with the way they came out! I would say well worth a days work to save over $1,000.00 just in labor! You will have to stay tuned for the finish. We are ordering a finishing piece for the laminate (future upstairs laminate) that will go on the landing. Also I still need to paint the wall behind the landing gray!

Hopefully this project will be complete by the end of the month and then on to something else.



Still selling books

Still selling books

I am feeling quite blessed to still be selling books, 5 years later!

What a labor of love to gather all the information, get the facts straight, have several proofreaders, a sister so smart she could edit the entire book, and then the publishing process. A labor of love I will always cherish. My tiny contribution to honor Daniel.


I’ll never forget my sister saying “now you know, we are going to need to do this several times”, after taking the first proof out of my hands. I was like…What? you mean it’s not ready to go to the printers? (insert laughing)

Today I received my “royalties” check. I get one every quarter. I will never become rich having written this book, but the fact that people are still buying it and reading about Daniel 5 years later…priceless!

The book is available on should you be interested.



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Easter centerpiece

Easter centerpiece

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I wanted to share an idea for an Easter centerpiece. You could vary it in many ways with whatever treats you like best. Try two bunnies in the center back to back so it is more visibly pleasing around the table. How about all eggs of different types, live greens instead of fake Easter grass? So many options! Have fun with it.

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Be sure to buy what you like, so when it doesn’t get eaten, you can enjoy it! I used a basic cake plate but use your imagination. There are so many things that would be cute. A three tier dessert stand would be awesome. Send me a picture of YOUR ideas.

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knowing no

knowing no

I was asked by a parent with young children to dedicate a few posts to parenting. This is a subject I love and was honored to be asked.

My first thought / challenge to parents is: why do you say no, if you don’t mean it?

I understand some parents don’t want to use the word no. “There are more creative ways, it’s too negative, we like to re-direct”. The problem is that you are not preparing your kids for the world that WILL tell them no. Will they be able to handle it if they don’t hear it and understand it as kids? Or if they hear it, but it doesn’t carry any weight then basically it isn’t valuable.

When you say NO to a child it is usually for safety, their benefit, or the benefit of others. Perhaps you are in someone else’s home that isn’t kid proof, kids playing together in large groups, an older sibling with a new baby around, etc. etc. One may need to say no in some of these settings and so many others. Kids with mom in the grocery store…that calls for a LOT OF NO’s. Unless money is no object and even then, should they really get everything they want? NO

Those parents that repeat no over and over again and it doesn’t work…it’s because the word carries no significance.

FOLLOW THROUGH is crucial. Otherwise I’m sorry but you look and sound ridiculous.

No. I said no. (insert kids name)___________NO! Do I have to get up? I’m going to__________ if you don’t stop. OK, THAT’s IT! ******************* (this parent Is still on the couch or on their phone or at their computer). The word has NO value. This scenario will exhaust you, make you loose your temper, and put you in a foul mood. To avoid this frustration you must make your NO count. No means NO. IF you say it, you need to mean it and follow through the FIRST time. Parents, you will want your children to be able to say NO to others and to things they shouldn’t do. If they don’t practice it’s meaning, how will they use it effectively?

My 18 year old son, after leaving home and in College at West Point was taunted and urged to smoke. AT 18. I’m so happy and thankful he had the confidence and intelligence to say NO. He had heard it PLENTY as a child.

I think in some instances it’s great to take the time to explain WHY the answer is no. But also not all the time. Sometimes it’s just NO. I’m the parent, you are the child, I have a lot of wisdom and experience and the answer is simply, NO.

Parents – you DO know what is best. You do know why no is the answer. It’s okay to say no just because you don’t want to do whatever your child wants you to do in that moment. But say it ONCE and mean it. Be in charge in your home. Kids want boundaries.

NO has value! KNOW it’s value.

My experience: 2 children of my own, in home day care for years, coached hundreds of young girls over a 16 year span, and worked at the high school level as a teachers aide. I’m NO expert, but I do KNOW kids.

Thanks for reading!

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what’s in a name?

what’s in a name?

March is a good time to share pictures and updates on friends of Daniel and our family who had children and named them for, after, and in memory of, Daniel.

This is the “original” little Daniel. Daniel Rubalcava. Daniel’s daddy, Darrin played baseball with Daniel Hyde way back in elementary school. They remained friends even though they attended different high schools. His wife Christina did not know Daniel, but lovingly agreed that their Daniel should have his name. Daniel is 5 and he got the “ball” rolling!


Caden Daniel Barry was born almost a year later to parents who were both good friends of Daniel at West Point. Daniel was in Jennifer and Nick’s wedding in June of 2007. Caden is 4 and about to make a big move (Daddy is still in the Army) and start kindergarten.


Daniel Belote is also 4. His mommy (Jeralyn DeVries) and Daniel used to practice martial arts together. When she had her 3rd son, she and her husband Ben agreeing our Daniel was a strong Christian with good character, wanted this little guy to have his name.


Nico Hyde Trueba turned 4 in January. He was born 5 days before Daniel’s birthday. Little Nico’s mommy and daddy, Erica and Roger met Daniel in Atlanta, GA while Daniel was doing his Officer training at Ft. Benning. They were incredibly supportive, great friends of Daniel’s and shared many good times together.


Jordan Daniel Thait was middle named after Daniel. The name was chosen by Daniel’s youth group leader and her husband, who is now a Pastor. Although the parents of Jordan never knew Daniel, his mother has now read about Daniel in my book. The custom for the Burmese people is to allow dear friends to choose their children’s names, especially an American name for the middle name. So Daniel’s youth leaders Annette and Jim (friends of Jordan’s mom) had just finished reading my book at the time, and wanted this little guy to have Daniel’s name.


This is Owen Daniel Colwell- his mommy and daddy are Lesley and RJ.



Our family of three attended Owen’s daddy and mommy’s wedding in beautiful Colorado back in 2014 and as a result of that union came little Owen. ALSO 5 days before Daniel’s birthday in January of 2017. Owen’s daddy, an Officer in the Army served alongside Daniel in Iraq. They were the best of friends and will be brothers forever.

Trueba’s and Colwell’s …I just realized TODAY that the boys share a birthday on Jan. 20, 3 years apart. How awesome!

Last, and definitely not least, little Anakin Hyde Ten Fingers! This “little guy”, Guy is his daddy’s name, was born in November of 2017. His daddy is the famous (to Thomas Downey High School and Modesto Junior College) Guy Ten Fingers, the basketball legend. Anakin’s mommy and Daniel were good buddies as well. Since Daniel’s death this family has paid close attention to Daniel as a person, man and American. The children (3) all know Daniel by name and visit him frequently. They wanted their son to have a strong name, and Anakin translates in Native American to soldier. We adore this family and their newest addition.


It goes without saying that our family is humbled and joyful to share these little boys with everyone we know. What a gift of monumental importance to have these little guys carry a name with them forever that is in loving memory and devotion to Daniel Hyde. We couldn’t be more honored or proud!

Thanks for reading.