Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Best Birthday Ever

I am usually not a huge birthday person. It usually doesn’t take much for me to have a good day on my birthday. As long as I have a good time with my fam and get to do fun things with them, I am usually good. Though I’m not one to have super high standards […]

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The Real Housewives of Benton County: Elisabeth Parker: Keeping the Faith

I met Elizabeth 4 years ago when she took Baby Class with her first son Judah. Elisabeth has this warm and calming presence. She is a good person. She is a good mama. And.. Elisabeth has been faithful and hopeful during some very difficult trials. Elisabeth has been an amazing example to me of someone […]

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Rachel Harrington - August 26, 2014 - 12:06 am

From my experience, I would change the last bullet to *don’t* ask what you can do to help. When people asked me that I would say, “We are doing okay. We don’t need anything.” What worked better for me was when Jesse said, “we are starting a meal train. Is Monday, Wednesday, Friday enough? Or do you need more?” (Note the Love and Logic strategy of giving a choice where both outcomes are acceptable. :) ) Or when my mom asked me to think about when she could fly down and then just bought a ticket anyway. Or when Katy said, “I want to do a garage sale and give you the money. You don’t have to help. I just wanted you to know.” I could go on and on about my family, my coworkers, and my friends. You get the idea.

Elisabeth - August 27, 2014 - 8:51 pm

You’re totally right, Rachel. It was awesome when people said, “We’re going to set up a Caring Bridge, fund, meal train, etc. for your family…” because people like my husband and I have a hard time accepting help, and that way, we couldn’t say no :)

Elisabeth - August 27, 2014 - 8:52 pm

You’re totally right, Rachel. It was awesome when people said, “We’re going to set up a Caring Bridge, fund, meal train, etc. for your family…” because people like my husband and I have a hard time accepting help, and that way, we couldn’t say no because they didn’t ask :)

The Real Housewives of Benton County: Sara Egbert “Mother Nature”

I am so excited to be back doing this interview series! Although this is a project that I simply did not have time to continue as my schedule got busier, it never left my heart. With so much focus these days on what is wrong with the world, I want to show evidence of all […]

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Marie Palmer - August 11, 2014 - 1:49 pm

Thanks for the interview, Kara. I’m glad I met this great mama while she was here this summer. She does exude that comfortable feel toward nature, her kids and other people that you can sense in this interview. I’m excited to read more interviews in the future!

Sara - August 11, 2014 - 3:16 pm

Kara and Chris- Thank you so much for capturing my kiddos and I in word and pictures. You two are such a dynamic duo with your love of people and beauty.

Elisabeth - August 11, 2014 - 4:01 pm

When Sara and I were friends as high schoolers, we got to spend a week traveling in Italy with our choir. During that week Sara taught me to embrace silliness, and just to enjoy life and to take myself much less seriously. As a mother, there is so much more she could teach me about lightening up and embracing the dirt :) Wish you lived in Corvallis full time, Sara! Thank you for making such a positive impact on my life when we were kids…and for continuing to inspire me!

How to Train a Babysitter

I started babysitting when I was just shy of 11 years old. Yes you heard correctly… 11 years old!! Why someone trusted me at such a young age to take care of their children, I am not sure. I was a very responsible kid, but I certainly had no idea of what the characteristics of […]

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Rachel - August 10, 2014 - 2:25 pm

Great list! Ryan and I leave the kids for up to two hours with a twelve year old neighbor. Her parents are usually home and she almost always brings a friend or her older sister. The kids LOVE her because she plays with them non-stop. Eleanor actually cried when she left. There is something about that sweet-spot for girl and boy babysitters between the ages of 12 and 14. They really play! That’s being said, we only use her for short bursts and not during naps or bedtimes.

One more bullet to add: Please feel free to text me a picture at some point while I’m gone. I start to ache for my kids after being gone for more than a few hours and pictures really help.

EmmaJ - August 10, 2014 - 3:22 pm

We generally only use babysitters for date nights, and maybe once a year for something during the day. We are lucky to have good neighbors who will watch our children (and vice versa us theirs) if there is something during the day. The girls we hire are always from our church and normally 15-17 years old. We pay $10 an hour for 3 kids and round up if it isn’t a whole hour. This usually requires them to make dinner and do bed time. We let the kids watch one movie and then the babysitter usually plays games or do a puzzles. We also ask that they read scriptures and do prayers. We favor the girls who can drive themselves to and from our house and currently we have two girls on regulate rotation. They are great girls and are usally doing homework when we get home. The house is always cleaned up from whatever they played with the kids.

Karli - August 10, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Kara, I’ve always known we were kindred spirits. I actually DID try to set up my own babysitters club at age 11. Didn’t last super long, but it was a great attempt. I am perfectly comfortable with certain 11 and 12 year olds watching my kids, as they are much more attentive and excited about it. But I play it on a case by case basis. I almost never pay more than $6 an hour, but I will give bonuses for doing dishes and going above and beyond. I do think kids either haven’t been trained like we were to go above and beyond or they’re lazier. I’m not sure which.

And while I like to hire sitters to provide teens with jobs, my life has been changed by the formation of a babysitting co-op in my neighborhood. It has saved me lots of money, provided my kids with social time, and made me freer to go things without all the kids in two and without feeling guilty about pawning them off on a friend. Also, it’s much more helpful during the day when teen sitters are in school. I can email you details if you’re interested. I know you’d have the resources down there to set one up in no time.

Finally, I’m curious as to your feelings on male babysitters. I know a lot of people who won’t have one as a rule, which is sad to me, because my oldest son will someday make a great babysitter.

kara - August 11, 2014 - 12:04 am

Rachel,
I think that you are right about 12-14 year olds being most willing to really get down and play with kids. I would definitely consider a younger kid if they lived close and had parents nearby.
Emma,
Sounds like you have a good setup with babysitters. I feel like the process is getting easier now that I don’t have a baby or young toddler. My kids are at easier stages to be left, which makes it nice!
Karli,
I do want to hear more about the babysitting co-op. I’ve heard of them happening hear, but they always sounded kind of complicated and hard to keep drama from happening. Tell me know more. We have had a teenage boy babysit a couple of times. I am not opposed to having a boy, I just am not sure how to seek them out. I imagine that Gabe would also someday be a great babysitter. He LOVES playing with any toddlers of our friends
Another point that I forgot… I think that it is important for the moms to take the sitters home afterwards instead of dads. I remember many many awkward car rides home with dads. Not that they were creepy or weird or anything… but awkward is the right word. I think that some dads may not be as prone to chit chat as moms, so sometimes those 10 minutes felt like an hour :)