In case anyone is wondering, my sister Val, is keeping me on my toes with this whole blogging thing. I’ve received several text messages from her letting me know that everyone is waiting with bated breath for my latest edition of my Favorite Things. To be clear, she is “everyone” as she has almost completed her Christmas shopping from my suggestions. If only she would have done everything I told her to when we were growing up…but, no, she and my other sister, Vonda, made me do everything they said. Can I get an “Amen” from all of the last borns out there?! The good thing about a blog, is I can throw them under the bus and they cannot refute. Let me ask you, could you gang up on this precious, sweet, innocent, only-wanted-her-sisters’-attention, little girl?
I’m joking…kind of. Some of the ridicule was deserved. Like the time I read my sister’s diary to my friend…whose brother happened to be the object of my sister’s unrequited love. That didn’t end well.
I don’t know where I would be without my sisters. Siblings are special. They share a history with you that only you all understand. Sometimes it’s a good history, sometimes it’s broken and needs repair. Sometimes it’s all of the above. If you have children, don’t you wonder what they will say to each other about “mom and dad” when they grow up? I’m not sure I want to know. I already hear (from all of my kids several times a day), “mom, seriously, stop. I’m not kidding, that’s embarrassing, stop.”
And, because I’m feeling especially wordy this morning, I’ll share more about this…because I’m a glutton for punishment and I think we could all use a good laugh. Do y’all watch the the Sing Off? It’s AMAZING. Y’all know I have a love for music, so this show is right up my alley. The contestants are INSANELY talented; using only their voices to create all kinds of instruments (in addition to singing). My favorite member of each group is the “percussionist,” or for those 40 and younger, the “beat-boxer.” Sometimes I want so badly to have a talent that I simply do not have, i.e. beat boxing. But, there is a part of me that will not let that dream die so I practice my beat boxing skilz in the car where my children have no means of escape. After an intense performance this week (which included an impromptu rap) my youngest told me that my beat boxing is a form of punishment and he would prefer a spanking over my talent.
He’s honest, that one.
Anyway, back to family. I thought this edition of My Favorite Things could be geared toward the Teens/Tweens of our life. I am in the throes of parenting teens/tweens and I’m always on the look-out for meaningful and useful gifts for them. Here are my two snarky, witty, wonderful, and encouraging teenagers.
They’re silly and they’re stubborn. Oh, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. They need each other. Their mom is cray.
My Favorite Things: Teen/Tween edition
As much as we try to fight it and/or change it, teens communicate via text and social media. I happen to love it!
1. Because I hate talking on the phone and
2. More times than I can count, I have counseled or encouraged my teens in the midst of a crisis or bad day. Rather than having to hear the account later, I can walk through it with them as it’s happening. Oh technology, I am grateful for that part of you.
With that knowledge, here are some of my favorites for the smart phone (particularly, the iPhone…that’s just what we have, so I’m familiar with these products. Not trying to exclude any other smart phones out there, just don’t know those products).
Extra long cord
I also know that teenagers change their minds often. And, that last sentence is an understatement. So, I like the idea of giving them something they don’t have to commit to long term. I have a subscription to BirchBox, but there are plenty of companies similar to it. For $10 a month, you receive a box with samples of skin care, hair care, and makeup (for girls). I have really enjoyed trying out products I wouldn’t normally try because I’m cheap and use mostly drugstore makeup/products. Anyway, there’s a man’s box and a woman’s box. Check it out. BirchBox
I also want to raise my kids with a world view that is bigger than the invisible bubble of self that so easily entraps teenagers (and adults, but that is another blog post). It is a fight, people. Remember what it was like to be a teenager? It was tough. Self preservation was a necessity. I’m not sure any other time of my life was more focused on me, or how the world around me impacted me. They should be called Me-agers. Or, maybe that’s what I should have been called.
In an effort to broaden their world view, these gifts could get conversations started about what the world is really like, and how, now, more than ever, the world needs Hope of a Rescuer. I like this company, FashionAble, but there are several companies out there that give back and have a social conscious.
If I could be so bold to offer one more suggestion to help broaden our kid’s view of the world. If you have a college kid you need to buy something for this Christmas, maybe these tickets would be the perfect gift.
Okay, off my soap box. I’ve got two little miscellaneous favorite things that my daughter and I both consider some of our favorites. Kendall loves her curling wand . There is a technique to use it, though. And, I love my
camera…and I included it with the teenage gifts because I’m kind of like a teenager at heart.
I realize that I didn’t really include many tween gifts. Maybe that’s because this is Kase’s list. So that he can do more of this…
While we raise them under the same roof, children inevitably are different. Keeps us asking for super-natural wisdom to parent each of them in their own way.
Have a good one…I’m off to practice my beat boxing skilz. Maybe this year I’ll perform an original rap for my sisters’ Christmas gifts. They should be so lucky. 😉
In case you need proof that there is an inner rap-artist waiting to be born. Circa 1989