Thursday, May 30, 2013

Preschool 2013-2014

  Rora and I are so excited for preschool next year!  She will be doing a co-op preschool.  We are trying something different and hopefully the kiddo's retain rather than regurgitate the information back!  Here is how it will be structured.


Preschool will be held on Monday & Thursday from 9-11:30.  Hopefully this will be the perfect amount of time, not to rushed to get the lessons done, but not to long that Mom feels like a babysitter!

We will start with
Music – 4-5 songs that will rotate monthly along with a couple that are repeated each day (Welcome song, days of the week, months of the year, alphabet.)
Pledge
Calendar
Show and Tell – one child per week - the child of the Mom that is teaching, can be related to any of the days lessons. 
Review last lessons
Phonics lesson - Using Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons.  I LOVE this book and hope that it translates well to preschool!  We will do two lessons per week.  For writing practice, rather than printing letter sheets each week each child with have a letter workbook. (Thank you dollar store!)
Math lesson/activity - Patters, sorting, more & less, length, etc.  Games are the perfect way to teach math and keep the kids engaged.  We will not be practicing writing our numbers, but instead focus on understanding the concepts.
Snack time - Mom who teaches provides snack.
Story time - One or two books, focusing on asking comprehension questions (what do you think will happen next? Is he sad or mad? etc.  It was pointed out to me, and I agree that it's great to use the same story(s) for both Monday and Thursday so the kids can anticipate what comes next and get more in depth with the comprehension questions.
Themed lesson/ Craft – One day do a craft, the other a themed lesson.  This is up to the teacher(Mom's) discretion as to which day they fall on.  The lesson could be first with the craft based on it, or  the craft presenting the new topic.  Whichever works best that week.  The themed lessons will be rotated monthly.  It's up to the Mom teaching to pick something in the theme to present.  Lots of flexibility here! 
The themes are:
Community helpers(Firefighter, policeman, librarian, etc.) -September
American Heroes (Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks, Abigail Adams, etc.)-October
History of Thanksgiving(Including Columbus) -November
Christmas(either around the world, true Christmas story, etc.) -December (first 2 weeks)
Animals – focusing on Mammals, Reptiles, Birds and Fish each week -January
President’s Day – Lincoln & Washington – Valentine’s day craft -February
Weather science – rain, wind, sun, air, volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods -March
Fun science experiments -April
Preschool will end in April so May is free for older sibling activities.

Free Play - I like to keep it to around 30 minutes so the kids really get to have fun with their friends, but not long enough that Mom is left babysitting.
 

We will be using the stoplight discipline strategy.  Staying on green & yellow gets a sticker or stamp at the end of the day.  I doubt that we will need to use it much, mostly in cases of hitting or other similar activities.  Fidgeting, talking out of turn, etc. are normal for this age and will be met with encouragement to pay attention.
 
Each child will supply a pencil box with crayons, scissors, glue stick & pencil.  The boxes will stay with the 'preschool' items and will rotate each week to the Mom that is teaching.  The children will each bring a backpack with a folder for any papers/crafts that they bring home. (Only because it's SOO exciting to bring a backpack!) 

That's it!  I'm sure it will run smoothly and be a stress free, wonderful experience for both Rora & Mommy!

Summertime!

   Now that summer is officially here, I am trying to get us into a routine.  It's a bit challenging since I want the girls to be able to enjoy all the fun friend things, but I don't want to be all carefree.  Here is our tentative summer schedule, to be done anytime we have free during the day.  (Some days we spend the mornings at the pool, some the afternoons.  Add in dance and all other friend events and we are busy!) 

Mondays: Practice piano 5x's (During the school year it's 10x's)
                 Read 1 chapter in book (She reads a page, I read a page)
                 1 Math worksheet
                 Write a story, minimum of 5 pages (Usually she only has one or two sentences per page.)

Tuesdays: Practice piano 5x's
                 Read 1 chapter in book
                 1 Math worksheet
                 Write spelling words 10x's (5 words chosen that were misspelled in her story)
                
Wednesdays: Practice piano 5x's
                      Read 1 chapter in book
                      1 Math worksheet
                      Write spelling words 10x's
                       Read a book about a famous person (Currently we have library books on Calvin Coolidge, Abigail Adams and Pocahontas.  Kira chooses who interests her.)
                 
Thursdays: Practice piano 5x's
                  Read 1 chapter in book
                  1 Math worksheet
                  Write spelling words 10x's
                  Science  (We read a science book and if applicable do experiments.  This week the book is HOT and COLD.  It's all about the different states of water.)

Fridays:  Practice piano 5x's
               Read 1 chapter in book
               1 Math worksheet
               Spelling test!

This should keep Kira loving to learn while still feeling like she gets a break from school.  Rora usually does what Kira does with the exception that she chooses the stories I read to her. :)

As for me, I have a great project that I hope to finish (and start) this summer.  Wish me luck and I will take pictures as I go because it's going to be EPIC...IF I can get it done!

More cheese please!

I just wanted to share the recipe for my all time favorite mac & cheese recipe.  I first had it a potluck lunch just after we moved to Alabama.  To me this is the quintessential southern food that brings me right back home to Alabama!  Thanks for sharing your recipe with me Angie!!

Homemade Mac and Cheese
12 oz macaroni (shells or elbow) cooked
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I've used cottage cheese when I haven't had ricotta on hand)
2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 cups  shredded cooked chicken
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
4 Tbs butter melted
4 Tbs milk (To make it easier to stir and keep the moisture in)
 Dash of salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I use a lot more to cover up the whole top, but do what you like)

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine cooked macaroni, ricotta, chicken, 2 cups of the shredded cheese, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, butter, milk., salt and pepper. Pour into a 9x13 baking pan or casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until topping is browned and crispy. Serve with your favorite veggies and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Experiment: Week 2

   We are 3 days into the organic week of our experiment.  And I'm giving up.  I haven't noticed any change from last week in the girls behavior and I am starting to feel a bit stressed out.  We have already gone through all the organic produce I bought, I've spent way more than I wanted to, and  we just don't have the variety available in organic options.  We will continue through our two weeks, minus tomorrow* since we are going to visit my cousin (YAY!) who lives a few hours away, and at this point I am thinking about going forward with where we are now.  I see the difference that cutting out that last 5-10% processed food has made and I'm loving the difference!  My body feels good(minus the headache that comes from trying to eat organically) and that's all that matters. 

  *I made a healthier version of my favorite chocolate chocolate chip zucchini bread to take with us.  It was my first time making it and it was super delicious! 
Here is the link for the original recipe(Thanks Ricki for sharing!!):
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Zucchini-Bread-I/Detail.aspx
And this is how I made it:
3/8c cocoa + 2Tbs coconut oil (since I don't have bakers chocolate)
3 eggs
1c honey
1c white sugar
1 c coconut oil
1tsp vanilla
2 1/4c fresh ground white wheat
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2c semi sweet mini chocolate chips

It turned out wonderful and is a healthier(but not by much!) alternative to the original.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Just a Little Experiment

   I consider myself a fairly healthy person.  We eat at least 95% fresh foods, indulging in the occational soda or treat and I hate to say it, but I can't seem to not use one or two cans of cream of whatever throughout the month.  We also let the girls have crackers every now and then.  I know it isn't much compared the the  *average* family, but I also know that we can do better.
   I have a theory mulling around in my head about the rise of mood swings, add, adhd, along with food allergies and all other sensitivities.  While I won't get into all that now, Aurora has always had some sensory issues.  She prefers her shoes two sizes to big, throws massive fits if her pants aren't in the perfect spot, etc, etc, etc. 
   I know that it's common for children to act that way, BUT part of me wonders if her natural sensitivities are amplified by processed foods.  If this turns out 100% then Rora will have fewer meltdowns as a result of something being too tight. 
  A few nights ago I was reading Chapter 89 in the Doctrine and Covenants (A book of Revelations from God through the Prophet Joseph Smith) which is a guideline for keeping our body healthy and pure.  As I was reading one point jumped out at me.  Verses 12-13 read:

12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.
 
   I have always known that meat was to be eaten sparingly, but I had never really KNOWN it.  If that makes sense.  So for part of this experiment we are only eating meat twice a week. 
   OK, now for the experiment:
For one week we are only eating fresh foods.  No canned vegetables (exception being made once for home canned tomatoes that I KNOW 100% haven't touched anything in a processing plant.)  Nothing that isn't as fresh as can be.  Nothing artificial. 
   For the second week of our experiment we will be eating the same as the first week, with one minor difference.  Everything will be organic.  I have read both sides of the debate on organic foods and honestly don't know if they are better for us.  Logically I want to think that they aren't any better because all organisms are designed to reject unnatural items, but what if the pesticide was strong enough that it is still in the food?  So we are trying it. 
   IF I notice a difference after week two in Rora's issues and some cyst issues I have, then we will continue onto a third week going back to not 100% organic.  If there is once again a rise in problems then that will be enough proof for me that organic truly is better.  Let's see how this goes and hope we get some great results!
 
Today is Week 1 Day 2:
 
Day 1 we ate eggs for breakfast, veggie tortilla wraps for lunch and had french dip sandwiches (loaded with mushrooms and onion) on homemade(fresh ground wheat) artisan rolls for dinner. For snack we had cucumbers (girls like theirs with salt on it...thanks Josh...YUCK!) Delish!
Day 2 we had a power smoothie for breakfast (spinach,homemade plain yogurt, strawberries, banana and peaches) broccoli (fresh and lightly steamed) and cheese over brown rice.  And dinner was veggie stoup (tomatoes, potatoes, leeks, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, green beans and spices) served with buttered artisan rolls (leftover from yesterday.) YUM!  Snacks for the day were grapes, string cheese and a small glass orange juice. Dessert was strawberries dipped in chocolate(maple syrup, butter & cocoa.)
 Day 3: Homemade granola cereal (girls had milk over theirs, mine was dry) with orange juice for breakfast.  Lunch was same as yesterday, broccoli and cheese over rice.  For dinner we had stir fry followed by dessert, banana dipped in chocolate(I have to get my sweets fix in there!)  Today the girls and I shared a 12oz all natural rootbeer (virgils brand) and had string cheese and a homemade popsicle for snack (apple juice and pureed strawberries.) 
Day 3 notes:  Rora acted better today, had less meltdowns.  I'm not sure if she was just in a good mood, or if the food is helping.  Her meltdowns didn't last nearly as long as usual.
Day 4 was a great day!  We had a smoothie for breakfast, leftover french dip meat quesadillas for lunch, leftovers for dinner and chocolate dipped bananas for dessert.  For snacks we had pumpkin muffins and homemade popsicles. 
Rora did quite well today.  Even though she had meltdowns, they didn't last nearly as long as usual and she didn't have quite as many.  All in all it was a great day!
Day 5 was crazy!  I know everyone has hectic days, but today seemed soo busy!  We had a smoothie for breakfast followed by snacks at the pool (string cheese, apples and pumpkin bread.) When we got home we had carrots, celery and more pumpkin bread before naptime.  For dinner we had homemade whole wheat tortillas (not very good.  Tortillas are my weakness and taste so much better with white flour!) with fajita style veggie filling.  YUM!  We ended up skipping Kira's makeup dance class (her leotards were all in the washing machine...) and headed over to Grandpa and Grandma's for a party.  I'm so proud of the girls, there was no fussing about wanting to eat what everyone else ate, they just snacked on watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, celery and carrots.  There was no whining about eating the bread (white and store bought, or the spaghetti - processed noodles, and we left before they cut the cake (it was already 9:45pm) so the girls weren't tempted by that.  They did great and i'm so proud of them!
Day 6 - I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of week 1.  It's gone by so fast!  Today we had eggs for breakfast and then Rora went to a birthday party.  We talked about how the cake wouldn't be ok just for our 3 week trial and she decided that she would be ok with a pumpkin muffin with cream cheese frosting (cream cheese and maple syrup) instead of a cupcake at the party.  She had a blast and ate 2 frosting covered muffins and didn't seem to notice that the other cupcakes were different than hers.  Because the party was before lunch Rora wasn't very hungry, and neither was I.  I cut up a cantaloupe and we all snacked on it for the next few hours.  Kira also had a leftover tortilla.  For dinner tonight we are heading into town (Chandler) to do some shopping and will stop at Chipotle, meeting Josh during his lunch break, for burrito bowls for dinner.  YUM!
Day 7 - Our LAST day of week one!  We had a quick breakfast of homemade granola cereal for the girls and a pumpkin muffin for me.  For lunch we had burritos (not sure if they were burritos, but we'll go with it!)  bell pepper, mushrooms, onions and zucchini sauted with all the regular toppings.  We snacked the afternoon away on cherries and each had a small glass of strawberry lemonade.  For dinner we had green beans, shrimp and scones.  I know it was random, but it sounded good to me!  After the girls went to bed Josh and I indulged and had a glass of Martinelli's apple cider.  Soo yummy!

I wasn't expecting it, but I've lost a bit of weight during week one.  Which was a nice surprise.  Rora seems to have mellowed (ha!) out and is only having around 2 major tantrums a day and 4-5 mini ones.  A huge improvement from around 5 major and 10-15 mini!  Let's hope it lasts!

We are now starting week 2 of our experiment.  Eating organic.  My initial goal was to eat ALL organic, but that is proving to be impossible.  The variety of produce that we eat isn't available in all organic options, and we decided not switch to organic grains.  We are doing the best we can and I will specify which foods aren't organic.
Day 1: The girls had leftover scones for breakfast and I had a piece of toast with butter.  The bread isn't organic, but it is made with fresh ground whole wheat, raw honey, organic coconut oil, yeast, salt and water.  For lunch the girls had peanut butter sandwiches with homemade organic strawberry jam and organic peanut butter, I had a organic grilled cheese sandwich and Josh had a veggie sandwich.  We had a non-organic watermelon for snack.  For dinner we had *all organic* crockpot chicken cooked with onions and garlic, mashed potatoes and zucchini gratin. We each also had a 3oz glass of organic raspberry lemonade and the girls got a treat.  A preservative free, dye free organic sucker.
Wish us luck on the rest of the week!
 

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Pitfalls of Social Media

   Facebook for me is one of the blessings in my life.  I don't live by most of my family and friends and through facebook I get to see tidbits of their lives.  For me, it helps me stay connected to those I love.  I've had a facebook account for roughly 4-5 years.  Lately I have noticed that people are becoming more brazen.  Sure, people will 'share' photos or articles or updates that I might completely disagree with, or I may agree with them, it doesn't matter.  It makes me sad that you can't post an opinion without being belittled.  I see so many people that ask for an opinion and then when you share it, they shoot it down.  What happened to freely sharing ideas and opinions without resorting to belittling words and name calling?  I could care less if you and I disagree politically, (I'm sure most people disagree with me as the majority of *thinks* they aren't a libertarian as I am,) I do however take offense at many things that have become the social media norm.  From all sides.  I find it especially sad when religion is attacked, any religion. 
   I grew up believing that people are good and when given the wherewith all, will shine and uplift those around them.  And yet facebook has become something other than that.  It's a bog.  With everyone trying so hard to pull others down to their level.  Why can't people be happy with where they are and be glad for other's success?  And before you get your panties in a bunch, most people aren't like it, it just seems that more and more people are falling into the trap and being drug down rather than uplifted.  I find it so sad that, whether necessary or not, I feel the need on many occasions to either say nothing or edit what I want to say simply so I won't start a debate.  Because debates so often turn south.  Phrases like 'just kidding' and 'no offence'  have become the prequel to hurtful or belittling comments. 
   We have the power to bring only good in our lives.  Whatever the state of the world, I choose to stay positive.  For now I still think that social media is more good than bad (thank goodness for the ability to 'hide' the posts of those who are volatile!) and until that changes I will continue to enjoy the positives that technology brings. Remember, if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all!  And no, I have no idea why this popped into my head tonight, seeing as I haven't felt like censoring myself today, or even this week... 

The Grand Canyon

After Arches we headed straight to the Grand Canyon.  We were exhausted and just wanted to take it easy.  When we arrived we went straight to the visitors center, of course it was closed, just our luck so we weren't able to get the girls Jr. Ranger books.  But we did get our first "out of the car" look at the canyon.  Wow!  Stunning, words can't describe the beauty, which is why I took a ton of pictures.

After dinner in a cafe and a good night's sleep we were up and raring to go.  The only downside to the grand canyon is the people.  There are so many visitors!  I prefer to be alone in nature, so it wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped.  It was really weird for me, to feel so small in comparison to the canyon, and then bam, it's as busy as a city complete with free (packed) shuttle buses to different touristy viewpoints. 

By lunchtime I was ready for a break from the people so we left the beaten trail and headed down a "serious backpacker" trail.  It was 11 miles to the bottom and we followed the trail about a half mile down into the canyon and then had lunch on a rock overlooking the canyon.  It was exactly what my soul needed.  Time alone with those I love the most to reflect on the magnitude of God.  After lunch we went back up the trail and shared an ice cream. (Yep, snack shack and gift shop at the top of the trail...)

We hiked along the mostly paved 'trail' along the rim of the canyon for a couple more miles before heading back home to our RV. 

The next day started off with another trip to the visitor center, this time to get the girl's Jr. ranger pins.  They loved the keepsake and I loved that they had 'homework' while on vacation.  I highly recommend the Jr. Ranger program at all the national parks and hope to take my girls to get many, many more. *They also got their pins at Arches, but I forgot to mention it there. 
We then hiked the other direction along the rim.  We hiked about 2.5 miles over the course of the day and while it wasn't as fun as arches, it was still great to be mostly alone with the fam.  Kira is an amazing little hiker and isn't a complainer.  So wonderful! 

By the time we got home we were exhausted and ready for a vacation from our vacation, the feeling that every great trip should leave you with! 

We decided that our next trip to the Grand Canyon we will hike down into the canyon and stay at Phantom Ranch a couple nights before hiking back up.  I don't know when it will happen, but something tells me (knowing my personality) that whenever we end up making that trip I will be carrying a baby as I really don't want to wait until my kids are all old enough to hike 11 miles!

I can't imagine my life without him!

Taking pictures after lunch the first day

Ella needed to stretch her legs

My favorite people!




Rora napping on Mommy...pain can be so hilarious!

Daddy loved the Ella snuggle time!

The girls made a stage back at the campsite and put on lots of shows for us!

Simply Stunning!

Arches!

   We had a blast at Arches this year.  It is by far one of my favorite places on this beautiful earth, made even better because we go with family!  My family is one of the best on the earth, even with all our drama we truly love each other and enjoy spending time together. 
   A few of my favorite moments from our time at arches:

Dad snuggling all 3 of my girls.  I love the relationship they have with their grandpa.  He had to leave a day earlier than we did and Rora started crying when she couldn't see his car anymore.  It was so pitifully sweet.

   We had a mini birthday party for Ella, Myleigh and Adaly.  I wanted to be able to celebrate Ella's birthday with all three babies.  Both Shontel and Monica were spoil sports and didn't want their babies to get messy so they fed them, Ella fed herself and hardly got messy at all.  She is such an awesome baby!
 
   I don't have any pictures of them, but Aunt Monica made all the kids water bottle holders.  She is so thoughtful and my girls love them!  THANKS!!
 
   Again, no picture (I was a major slacker and forgot my camera...all the pics I did take are courtesy of my Dad's camera!)  Seeing Christian for the first time was so wonderful.  I feel like I've missed so much of his life and wish I could see him everyday!  Jerica is such an amazing Mom and it's so fun to see her dote on Christian.
 

   All the hiking was great.  There is something about nature that brings the soul to the surface and makes life seem wonderful.  All the hikes were made better by the banter with the fam.  On our hike up to delicate arch, Ashleigh and I couldn't help but mock the over commercialized trail.  Their were stairs carved into the stone!  And yet, compared to the grand canyon it was nothing! 



   Ella HATED the sand and thought it was the end of the world when I set her into it!

 
 
   There are a million other pictures and memories, Kira jumped over the bush, cartwheeling in the sand, climbing to the swimming pool and a million others.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to spend time with those I love and can't wait for next year!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mothering is in our bones!

   A couple weeks ago Josh's sister had her 2nd child.  She is precious and I am so in love! 
Yesterday they came over for Ella's birthday party.  As soon as I had a free minute (and Mom's permission) I had to hold her!
   This is what I saw

Kira hovering just waiting for her turn to hold her.
She couldn't wait to get close to that perfect baby from Heaven! 
When I was little I always hovered around the babies, and in my family there was always a baby handy.  I love that Kira has that mothering instinct and that desire to be near babies.  Being a mother is the most rewarding challenge of my life and I can't wait until I get to do it again and again and again! 
Kira is going to be an amazing Mom and while I want her to stay little forever, I know that her journey as a Mom will be the ride of a lifetime.  It sure is for me!

And just because I can't resist, here's another picture of this perfect princess!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Holy Cow!  Where did the year go?  It seems only yesterday I was washing baby clothes and counting kicks in my belly.

Ella at one:
Her favorite song is Roll Your Hands from the LDS Primary songbook.  She does the actions and is so sweet!
She says mama, dada, nu(nurse) na (snack or any type of food) and mimics a million other things.  Yesterday Josh and her carried on a conversation for about minutes where Ella was telling him exactly why he was a goof.  It was hilarious! 
She has started to reject the pacifier which makes me sad.  It's so handy to keep babies quiet!
Her favorite foods are anything sweet, especially strawberries and sauteed onions.  I know, weird.  She loves onions!  She wont eat bread or potatoes, but loves onions!?!  Go figure.
She does not like to be dirty or messy in any way. 
She can drink out of a cup quite impressively(with almost no spillage!), but doesn't like sippy cups.
She loves her baby doll and is quite the little mommy. 
She also loves to dance and is quite comfortable at the big girls dance studio.  (She rarely goes to people and only wants Mom.)
Ella can now walk!  She usually takes between 10-15 very small and deliberate steps (the smallest slowest steps I've ever seen a baby take!) before falling, but she always picks herself back up and continues on.  Yesterday she took 38 steps in a row, the entire length of the living room!

Her smile melts my heart and I honestly have no idea how I do anything but play with her all day. 
I call her my little engineer.  She thinks through everything before doing it.  Every move is deliberate.  She knows if what she is going to do will get her into trouble and weighs the consequences before proceeding. 
She loves to play in my room with the milk caps and bag of bells. 
Ella makes me a better Mom and I can't imagine my life without her. 
Happy Birthday baby girl!! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Ideals of the Disney Princess

   I have heard so many people tell me how much they hate the fantasy of Disney Princesses.  Why would we want to teach our girls that they can fall head over heals in love in a matter of minutes and live happily ever after?  That having a handsome prince is how happiness is found.  That love conquers all.  It's crazy. It shows how weak women are, that we need a prince to ride in and rescue us.   Women are more than that.  We write our own destiny. We don't need a fairytale to find true happiness. 
   And it's all bologna.  I want my girls to grow up believing in happily ever after.  To know that they are safe in the arms of the man they love.  That although times might get tough, happily ever after is possible. 
   It is wonderful for women to embrace their femininity and allow a prince to step in and care for them.  That is how God designed us.  He designed us to be physically weaker, to rely on a man. If we shut that off then we lose part of what makes women so special.  That nurturing, soft nature of being a woman.  
   The world tells us that love isn't the most important thing.  But it is.  Without love, there is no point to life.  If I didn't love my family, why would I sacrifice everything I have for them?  Why would I put my body through pregnancy?  Why would I endure when times get rough?  Without love Christ wouldn't have suffered in the Garden for me.  He wouldn't have died on the cross if he didn't care enough about me to sacrifice everything. 
   That is what I see when I watch a princess movie.  I see that it's OK to dream.  That marriage comes first before other worldly endeavors that that as long as we endure to the end, we can live happily forever after. 
   I want my kids to dream big.  To go through life wanting a prince beside them.  To find a man that makes them happy and helps them be better.  I want them to know the joy that I know.  That life is wonderful and magical and dreams can come true.  That once they find their special prince, that happily ever after has only just started and they have forever to make it perfect. And above all else, that they truly are a princess and do deserve their own prince to grow old with.