Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Ten - Signs That You Might Be a Volunteeraholic

This week is Vacation Bible School week at our church and I've had a pretty big hand in planning the part for our older kids -3rd, 4th & 5th graders.  (Although, there are MANY volunteers who are helping in various ways and they all deserve equal credit and appreciation!)  Because of VBS, I've had some conversations via email, phone, and Facebook chat with some friends this week.  Each of these ladies are dear friends and fellow volunteers extraordinaire who are, like me, always helping out with something at our churches or our kids' schools.  Through these conversations this week, it has become very clear that we may have a problem.

The Golden Spoons

Ten Signs That You May Be a Volunteeraholic

1.  People keep asking you to do stuff.  Hint: It's probably because they know there's a pretty good chance you will agree!
2.  When people ask you to do all these things, you often say "Yes!" without wholly considering what you are really getting yourself into.  Therefore, you often find yourself in the midst of a volunteer task saying "What have I gotten myself into?!?"
3.  You frequently ask yourself, "But if I don't do it, WHO WILL???"
4. When you are helping with all of these activities, people who appear confused or uncertain seem unexplainably drawn to you.  They seek you out assuming you know the answers to all their questions and might even occasionally ask "Do you work here?"  (Another hint: Just smile and say "Yes.")
5.  Friends send you emails that include pictures such as this:
Then you share the picture on Facebook in hopes that it might help others as well!

6.  You spend hours making pb&j "sushi" rolls (or some other equally creative and tedious snack, craft, or decoration) for a large group of children who are not biologically yours.
Case in point:

7.  Every time you drag your kids to another organizational meeting (or some sort of similar activity) they issue complaints that typically include the word "Agaaaiiinnnn?" spoken in an excessively whiny tone.
8.  You have many, many t-shirts in your wardrobe that have come from church or school events (such as, perhaps, Bible School???)
9.  When there is an upcoming event, people approach you and, rather than asking you IF you are helping, they simply ask what aspect you are overseeing.
10.  One of your New Year's resolutions was "I will learn to say 'No' without feeling guilty."

**BONUS** Your house is a mess, you fed your kids crap for dinner, and your blog post could be so much better.  But, it's o.k. and you know that pretty soon you'll be knee deep in the next volunteer "opportunity" that comes along! 

Happy Tuesday folks!!!  Are you a volunteeraholic??  How do you know???


Friday, July 26, 2013

Finish The Sentence Friday - The Best & Worst of Blogging

This week's Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is . . . . .

The best and worst parts of blogging are. . . . 

First of all, you need a little history. I started this blog completely on a whim in February 2010.  I had no idea what I was doing!  In that past three years however, I have learned so much.  I have learned that there is a whole blogosphere out there full of other bloggers.  A good portion of them are mommy bloggers and I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to connect with them.  I hope that, someday,  I will have the opportunity to meet some of them in person at a conference, on a trip, or just for coffee if we're close enough.  I have also learned a ton about technical "stuff."  I have never been a computer guru and I still am not by any means.  However, I have learned a little bit about code.  I have figured out how to set up this blog and add all those little things on the sidebar over there.  I have also learned the ins and outs of Social Media (I'm still learning a lot in this realm).  All of this makes me feel pretty good about my ability to figure things out!

So what are the BEST things about blogging?  

1) Writing- I have always loved to write and that is the primary reason I started blogging.  I had a story to tell; a story I wanted to put down on "paper" and share.  I still enjoy writing and love to get the "pat on the back" when someone says that something I wrote made them smile, or laugh, or cry, or just feel better about their day. 

2) Connections- I alluded to this above.  I have several virtual friends that I have made through blogging.  Motherhood can be lonely and "meeting" other mom bloggers who are experiencing the same struggles or the same joys makes me feel a little less lonely.  It helps to know that other moms make mistakes, too.  It is a place where I can get advice from moms who have more experience than me and where I can share my suggestions with others.  When I first started, I didn't know these connections were out there.  I'm so glad I found them.  Now, they are one of the main reasons I keep blogging.

3) Memories- When I started this blog, my main goal was to have all my posts printed and bound someday into a book I could give to my three daughters.  I wanted them to have a record of all our memories.  I also want them to have something to look back on when they are mommies and know that they are not alone.  I want them to have a glimpse into what my life as a mother was like and be able to take some comfort or wisdom from the struggles and joys I went through with them.

4) It's mine -  As moms, we spend so much time doing for others.  This blog is one thing I do for my own enjoyment.  Eventually, my daughters will appreciate having it to look back on (I hope).  But right now, it is mostly for me.  It is something I am figuring out and accomplishing all by myself without asking my tech savvy hubby.  It is something that brings me recognition for my own achievements, rather than just because I'm _____'s mom or wife.  When I introduce myself, I usually give my name followed by I'm her mom or I'm his wife or I'm her daughter or I'm their sisiter/sister-in-law.  Not when it comes to the blog, though.  Then I can say I wrote that, I designed that, or I am a blogger.

And the worst things about blogging?

1) Stress and Pressure -   A few months ago, I decided to stop sitting around waiting for someone to notice my blog and I started actively promoting it.  I amped up my Facebook presence.  I joined Twitter.  I started jumping in on every blog hop I could find.  I put pressure on myself to write better and write more.  Now, all that self-promoting has led to lots more of those wonderful connections which I love.  It has also created a lot more stress for me, though.  When I co-host hops or participate in ones like this one, I actually have deadlines and obligations that need to be fulfilled (and three kids who are at home for the summer and do not understand these "deadlines.")  I know more people are reading my writing, so I want it to be awesome every time.  I said I never wanted this blog to become something else on my to-do list.  I wanted it to be something that brought me joy, not something else that adds to my stress.  Sadly, it has become exactly that to a certain degree.

2) Jealousy - I admit I have a jealous bone.  I see blogs that have become super popular, bloggers that have hundreds of Facebook followers or thousands of Twitter followers and that little green monster sits himself right on my shoulder, whispering sweet nothings in my ear and planting seeds of self-doubt.  Why don't I have that many followers??  I must not be as good as her.  Maybe I should try to be funnier.  Maybe I should try to be more inspirational.  Confidence has never been my strong suit. Sometimes this blog provides a boost that I desperately need.  Other times, it sucks a chunk of confidence right out of me.

3) Internet Safety-  I have heard horror stories from bloggers who posted pictures of their children only to have them stolen.  Just last week, another blogger had her entire blog copied.  Others have had their blogs hacked and/or erased.  The thought of all that is pretty scary.  I have done all I know how to do to protect myself, my family, and my blog, but, the truth is, I can only do so much.  There will always be people out there with evil spirits and far more computer knowledge than me.  I choose not to let them dictate what I do with my blog, but the fear is always there in the back of my mind.

4) Blogger's Guilt - Back to #4 of the best things, I an not accustomed to doing things for myself.  Although it feels so great sometimes, it also gives me guilt.  Instead of typing a new post, I should be hanging with my kids or spending time with my hubs or doing laundry or cleaning something or . . . . the list goes on.  Sometimes it just feels selfish and that makes me feel guilty.  

So now it's your turn.  If you're a blogger, what are your joys and struggles with blogging??  If you are not a blogger, be honest and tell me what things you like and don't like about my blog in a comment!

Finish the Sentence Friday

This post was written as part of Finish The Sentence Friday which is hosted by the following bloggers.  Please give them a visit and see all the other blogs that participate as well!

Stephanie at Mommy, for Real

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Than Mommies Mixer

There's a lot going on here on the Golden Spoons today!!!  First of all, I am Mixologist for the More Than Mommies Mixer!  This is a great opporunity to connect with others by linking up your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter, and your Google+ profile, and your Pinterest!
Janene and Christine have also issued a vlog challenge!  I haven't worked up the nerve to do a vlog yet, but if you participated it the TMI vlog challenge, linkup your post below!

I am also participating in the Finish The Sentence Friday Linkup today!  To check out that post, just click here.

Now, Let's Party!!  On with the Mixer. . . . . 

Here are the "rules"
(Don't make us post bouncers at the door.)
More Than Mommies
Follow the Life of The Party - Jenn at Endlessly Inspired

We will choose someone who signs up via Twitter on the Linky below to be our LOTP each week. We love to keep up with all of you on twitter--so tweet with our hashtag (#MTMmixer) so we can find you!
Follow our Mixologist - Lisa at The Golden Spoons
 Every week we will choose one participant to get our party started at the #4 slot. All you have to do is link up under the first Linky (and follow the "rules") to be considered!
Add your Post/Twitter ID/Blog URL to the Linky it belongs in.
Follow the person directly BEFORE you on the hop!
Finally, we ask that you post one (or both) of our buttons in either a post or on your sidebar to let other people know where you are partying today!

Add your Blog Linky Here: Add your Mommy TMI Link Here: Add your Facebook Page Here: Add your Twitter Handle Here: Add your G+ profile Here: Add your Pinterest Boards Here:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dirt Pudding

Most of the time we tell our kids not to eat dirt, but here's a fun little summer activity that make it o.k. for them to eat dirt - and worms!!! :-)
Dirt Pudding

Here's what you need:

1 package instant chocolate pudding (5.9 oz)
2 cups milk
1 package Oreos (We like the Double Stuff)
Gummy Worms

1.  First up, mix together the pudding and milk.  Set aside.  

2.  while you wait for the pudding to set up a bit, put the Oreos in a large zip bag and get you frustrations out by pounding them and crushing them.

3.  Now, stir half of the crushed Oreos into the pudding.

4.  Scoop the pudding mixture into individual serving cups and insert some gummy worms.

5.  Last, sprinkle the remaining Oreo pieces on top of each serving.

 6.  Finally, let you kids eat dirt!!!  (You can have some, too - it really is yummy!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Ten - Things I Didn't Realize I Would Have to Teach My Kids

When you have kids, you know there are certain things you will have to teach them.  Some things we look forward to teaching like reading and riding a bike.  Other things we anticipate with a bit more dread like having "the talk" or teaching them to drive.  However, my oldest is almost 11 now and I have found myself teaching these girls some things that never occurred to me before I had kids.

So for today's Tuesday Ten . . . . 

The Golden Spoons

1.  How to use a towel - My two oldest are independent enough to shower on their own (and the youngest is almost there) but, they seem to have no idea how to use a towel.  They step out of the shower and simply wrap the towel around them super hero cape style.  (Assuming they remembered to get a towel before they got in the shower, that is.)  Despite repeated reminders, they do not seem to grasp the concept of actually rubbing the towel across their bodies to actually dry themselves off.  

2. How to clean up - Last month, I wrote about my "Chores Experiment".  I have written before about my frustration with getting my kids to clean up.  What I have learned is that my definition of cleaning up is very different from my kids definition of cleaning up.  To them, their room looks clean, but I still see shoes in the floor or an un-made bed.  If I want them to clean according to my definition, I have to explain it very clearly again and again and again.

3.  How to dress - Wardrobe is an ongoing issue in my house. Each of my three girls definitely has her own individual style and I have learned that some battles just aren't worth the fight.   But at some point, they have to learn that neon green and orange are not an attractive color combo; that striped shorts and a paisley top are not complimentary; and that simply putting high heels on with sweat pants does not automatically make your outfit "dressy."

4.  How to comb their hair - You just run a brush through it, right??  Apparently it is not that simple.  Now to her credit, my oldest does have rather curly hair, but at almost 11 she still needs me to comb it out for her after a shower (or at least she thinks she does).  My middle one would never pick up a brush if I didn't ask her every day "Have you combed your hair?".  When the youngest attempts to fix her hair, it usually involves about half a bottle of detangler and some bows that are simply decorative and serve no function whatsoever.  (She's only 5, so I'll let her off the hook - for now!)

5.  How to brush their teeth - As adults we do this so often (hopefully) that we don't give much consideration to our method - it's just a habit.  Not so with the kids.  My middle feels strongly that a proper teeth brushing can be completed in less that 15 seconds.  The youngest puts the brush in her mouth and chews on it - like one of those dog treats that "brushes" their teeth when they eat it.  Getting them to do it efficiently takes delicate instruction.
(And, I recently found toothbrushes that light up for one minute - as long as it is blinking, they have to keep chewing - er, brushing.)

6.  How to talk on the phone -  My two oldest occasionally have friends call them at home.  Often the initial conversation goes like this:
Me: Hello.
Friend: Hi.
Me: Who are you calling to talk to?
Friend: Megan
Me:  O.k.  She can't talk right now because she is doing her homework.  Can she call you back?
Friend: O.K.
Me: Well, who is this?
Friend: [gives first name only]
Me:  Well, I'll have her call you when she finishes her homework.
Friend: 'K
Me: Bye
What I have realized is that, in this technological world, actual conversation does not come naturally to children.  So, when my kids call someone else, I give them step by step instructions:
The first thing you say is "Hi this is  {Name}.  Then, tell them you are calling to speak to {friend}.  If you have to leave a message, be sure to give your phone number, too.  And, don't forget your manners - say "Yes ma'am, no ma'am, Yes sir, and no sir" if friend's parents answer!
(For the record, I overheard my oldest talking to someone's mother the other day and was quite impressed if I do say so myself!  At least something is sinking in!)

7. TV is not reality - We adults get the behind the scenes of TV shows.  We know there are scripts acted out by people who are getting paid.   Kids sometimes don't get this.  You mean they redecorated that house in three days?  But it was only on for an hour!  Did you ever notice that Austin & Ally never go to school???  When I get married I'm going to get a $25,000 wedding dress too! 

8.  How to tell jokes -   Have you ever heard anything like this from the back seat?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Zebra Who?
Zebra is a giraffe!!!!
(hysterical laughing)
Suffice it to say, I don't think kids get the gist of a punchline until they are a little older and have had some coaching.

9.  About Money -   Of course kids have to learn how money works eventually, but, this is not something we think about when we are cuddling that sweet infant.  They don't have any idea how much things really cost or how money works.  Once, my girls were asking why we couldn't just buy them a horse (two of them take riding lessons).  As I explained that horses are very expensive, they said "Well, just go to that machine, put your card in, and get the money!"  Obviously, they have a lot to learn about money management!

10. The necessity of sleep - Half the time, the phrase "Sleeping like a baby" doesn't even apply to babies, so I guess it's unfair to expect it from kids.  Now, I have confessed that my kids are not early risers.  However, when it comes to bedtime, they are master stallers.  "Can't we finish this show??  There's only 7 more minutes!"  And, once they are in bed, the often get out of bed a handful of times before actually settling down.  "It's hot upstairs!" (Nope!  Same temperature it has been all day.)  "I have a mosquito bite!"  (Strange, it hasn't bothered you all day long.)  "I need you to cut this toenail."  (It didnt' need to be cut 15 minutes ago before you were in bed!  Wow!  It must have grown incredibly fast!)

So there you have it - my Tuesday Ten!  How about you??  Leave me a comment and let me know what things you didnt' realize you would have to teach your kids!  


Monday, July 22, 2013

Old School Blogging

There's a thing going around the blogosphere called Old School Blogging.  Each month there is a different topic.  Other bloggers can tag you to participate or you can just jump in and go for it.  Since I always wanted to be one of the cool kids, I thought I would throw my hat into the ring, too!

For July, the topic is Lists of Fives.

Five things I have a Passion For
1.  My family - Of course.
2. My blog - It is one thing that is my own and I love it. 
3. Children - not just mine, but children in general.  Education, preventing abuse, etc. 
4. Music - I'm not musically talented, although I did take piano lessons for years when I was younger.  I love to listen to music and wish desperately that I could sing and play instruments well.
5. Cooking - Well, this used to be one of my passions.  Meal planning and hurriedly cooking meals for a family of picky eaters has taken a bit lot of the joy out of it.  Maybe I'll get it back someday!

Five Things I'd Like To Do Before I Die
1.  Travel More - There are so many places I haven't seen.
2.  See my children grow up.  I don't want to rush them, but I really want to see what careers they choose, what husbands they choose, what children they have, etc.
3.  See my grandchildren.  My parents and in-laws all say that the love you feel for your grandchildren is different from the love you have for your own children.  I want to see my grandchildren and experience that love.  
4.  Learn to be content with my body.   I'll spare you the history of psoriasis and the "emotional scars" that remain.  Suffice it to say that I have pretty much never liked the way I look.  I'm working on it and hope that someday I will look in the mirror and be happy with what I see looking back.
5  Have something published -  Every writer's dream, right?  I used to dream of writing children's books.  I would still love to do that, but would also like to write a book of my own or have a short story/blog post type thing included in a collection.  I think that would be so cool.

Five Things I Say A Lot
1.  Sssshhhhhh!!  (See here for an explanation!)
2.  We'll see.  (My way of giving the kids an ambiguous answer that is neither yes or no.  For example, Kids: "Mom, can we stay up until midnight tonight?"  Me: "We'll see . . . ."  )
3.  I love you - because this is the most important thing a mom (or parent) can say.
4.  Just a minute - Seems this is my automatic response when the kids ask me to do something. :(  I need to work on that.
5.  Clean up - I couldn't think of a fifth one, so I asked my hubby and one of my kids.  They both gave this as their answer.  I'm not quite sure how to feel about that!    

Five Books and/or Magazines I Have Read Lately
Sadly, I don't find much time for reading, other than blogs.  I need to work on that, too.  So my list of five. . . .
1.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller  (Read this at the end of the school year with my Bible study group.  It's the only "grown up" book in the list.)

2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

3.  Beauty and the Beast

4.  Barbie: A Mermaid Tale

5. Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss

Five Favorite Movies (maybe you've seen them five times . . . )
1. One Fine Day
(read more about that here)

2. Jerry Maguire

3.  The Blind Side

4.  Hope Floats

5.  Good Will Hunting

Five Places I Would Love To Travel
For one of my Tuesday Ten Posts, I wrote about Ten Places I Would Like to Visit.  Just click and check it out!

Five People I Tag to do This Meme
It seems most of the bloggers I would consider tagging have already participated, so consider yourself tagged!  If you don't want to participate, it's no big deal, but if you do just jump on in and write your own post with the above lists of five.  

If you join up, please go to The Miss Elaine-ous Life or Writing, Wishing and link up! Don't forget to tweet your post being sure to tag @elainea and @AlisonSWLee and use the hashtag #OSBlog.

Friday, July 19, 2013

This Never Happens

I actually won something, ya'll!!!  This pretty much never happens.  In our house, my middle child is the one with all the luck.  She finds all the pennies on the ground and, if there is a drawing, her name is almost certain to be drawn.  But, me??  Nope.  So, imagine my surprise when I got an email telling me I had won something!!!  And, I'm really excited about what I won, too.

Recently, some other bloggers I follow have been reading a book called Parenting Without Borders by Christine Gross-Loh.  Over the last several weeks, they have been posting each week as they examined and reacted to each chapter of the book.  They called it the Around The World In Six Weeks Parenting Blog Carnival.

  I have truly enjoyed reading their posts and, by commenting, was entered to win a copy of the book autographed by the author!!!

Well, I won and I am so excited to read this book.  (Plus, like I said, I never win anything so   this is a super big deal!!!)  As I read it, I'm sure I'll be inspired to write a post or two myself!

All that being said, I would like to send a shout out and a huge THANK YOU to all the bloggers who wrote posts for the carnival.  They are all awesome writers and you should 
definitely go check out their blogs!

Jessica at School of Smock
Stephanie at Mommy, For Real
Sarah at Left Brain Buddha
Lauren at Omnimom 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tattle Tales!!! (Blog Hop)

"Moooom!  She hit me!!"
"Mooooom!  She's looking at me!"
"Mooooom!  She won't give me the iPad!"

How many times a day do you hear stuff like this??  A million it seems.  What is it with kids and tattle telling?!?!  Well, when I figure that out, I'll be sure and share with all of you.

In the meantime, though, here's your chance to turn the tables a bit and tattle on your kids!!  I'm co-hosting the Tattler Thursday Blog Hop!  Please see the rules below, then leave a comment to tattle on your kids and link up your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Bloglovin!!!

Hiya Snappers! Welcome back for week #10 of the Tattler Thursday Blog Hop! It's time to tattle and hop!
It's a share your crazy, gross, hilarious, in-the-trenches parenthood stories, kind of blog hop! I love funny kid stories and I want to hear yours!

 Just leave a comment with your story, post not required! So think of your funniest, wackiest or favorite kid stories, leave a comment  with your story/tattle, follow your Host and Co-Hostesses, visit and discover other blogs, and have fun!

Remember the easiest way to get a follow back is to like/follow other pages and leave a comment! So hop around, tell your friends and share, share, share! This is a hop designed for you to have fun and share! Happy Tattling!

 Please, Please, Please follow your host and co-hostesses! We do this for free, and fun, so don't be a bloghole and not follow! Also looking for future Co-Hosts(no cost associated and it's super easy just ask! Also a great way to gain new followers and make new bloggie friends)! Send me an email @ gingerssnaps32@gmail.com if your interested! Thanks guys and dolls! Muah! Wink!

The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingerssnaps

                                                     about the Blog Hop HERE!

                                                                 The Rules are:

                                          1- Follow Your Host and Co-Hostesses
                                          2- Grab the button and display it on your blog or hop page/section
                                          3- Leave a comment with a funny, wacky, or gross kid story/tattle
                             Be Sure to Hop over to other blogs and visit/network and share the Hop
                                         Have fun Hopping! (and come back next week!)
                                The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingerssnaps                                

            Thanks to this weeks co-hostesses,  Miss Cristyl, Miss Joy, Miss Lisa, and Miss Cathy! Be sure to  hop by their pages and give them some lovin'! Love these little gals!


Comfytown Chronicles


A Peek Into My Paradise
If You are interested in co-hosting, email gingerssnaps32@gmail.com for more information! Signature Fonts
Image by FontMeme

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Ten - Family TV Shows

It's summer and like most families probably are doing, my kids are watching a little too much TV.  But, it was a rough weekend with lots of boredom and bickering that ended up with our girls losing TV and technology privileges all day on Sunday  (Gasp!!! The horror, right?!)  In the end, though, we all survived the day and ended on a pleasant note with all of us sitting down together for a late supper and everyone actually liking most of the meal.  So, after that, we gave the TV privileges back before bed time and hubby suggested that we leave the dishes and go join the girls for some family time.

Nowadays, family time in front of the TV is way different from when I was a kid.  Last night, family TV meant the Disney channel watching Dog With a Blog and Austin & Ally.  This also occasionally includes Jesse and/or Good Luck Charlie.  However, I draw the line at Shake It Up.  I watched it with them for less than five minutes and felt dumber for having done so.  The thing is, half of these show aren't really even about family.  There are rarely any parents mentioned or portrayed on half of these shows.  The parents on others are often disrespected or made to look ridiculously unintelligent.

The alternative, though??  Network TV these days is all reality TV shows or crime dramas.  The sitcoms that do exist are rarely about family and are not appropriate for kids (in my opinion) as they all involve sex or other "adult" humor.

Having three girls, it seems that kids these days go straight from Dora and Doc McStuffins to the teenage dating scene on the Disney shows.  There is no in-between for them.  So my solution??  Bring back the really  good, family focused shows I grew up with.  Here's the ten I would most like to see:
The Golden Spoons
My Ten Favorite Family Shows From Childhood 

1.  The Cosby Show - This has to be #1.  We always watched this together as a family and we always laughed.  But, I also appreciate the example this show set for families.  The parents were the ones in charge and the kids knew it.  However, they had fun together; they laughed together.  They had "real family" problems like sharing a bathroom or teens sneaking out.  Most of all, I loved the creative discipline Cliff and Claire dealt to their children.  Remember the episode where Theo wanted his own apartment??  or when Vanessa drinks alcohol underage at a friend's house??  With five kids, there was always something interesting happening in the Huxtable household!
How can you not laugh?!?!?

2.  Home Improvement - Remember Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor??  This was Tim Allen's original claim to fame.  Sure, they kind of made fun of his propensity to blow things up and break things, but the family was the core of the show.  The brothers fought.  The spouses got frustrated with each other.  But, they worked things out together.  We can't forget their kooky neighbor, Wilson, either.  He was always imparting some philosophical words of wisdom  Like Cosby, it was impossible to watch without laughing.

3.  Growing Pains - Growing Pains was different at the time because the mother worked outside the home and the dad was psychiatrist who worked from home.  Like most family shows, they had one troublemaker kid, Mike (played by Kirk Cameron, who was constantly at odds  with his honor student sister, Carol.  They had a younger brother, too.  In real life, these characters had turmoil, but on the show, they were the quintessential family.

4.  Family Ties - Usually we think of parents as being more conservative than their children.  That was not the case int his show.  Elyse and Steven Keaton were "hippies" who grew up in the 60s.  Their ultra-conservative son Alex (Michael J. Fox) was the oldest of three siblings.  He had two sisters, Mallory and Jennifer.  They had typical family issues including Mallory's boyfriend of whom everyone was skeptical.  In one episode, Tom Hanks played Elyse's alcoholic brother.  Despite their differing political views, they always supported each other and stuck together.

5.  The Wonder Years - This show was centered on Kevin Arnold, who, form his adult perspective, narrated the show.  Kevin was the youngest child in the family.  He had an older brother, Wayne, and an older sister.  His dad had a gruff exterior, but a soft heart underneath.  His mom was the homemaker that kept a more positive outlook.  Although the show aired in the late 80's-early 90's, it is set int he late 60's.  The family is coping with world events like the Vietnam War as well as everyday struggles like getting bad grades in school, friends moving away, and, of course, Kevin's crush, Winnie Cooper.  They are the typical American family of the 60's.  The show had a good mix of comedy and serious stuff.

6.  Full House - This show was about a very non-traditional family arrangement.  Upon the death of his wife, Danny Tanner asks his friend Joey and his brother-in-law Jesse to move into his San Francisco home and help him raise his three young daughters.  The family, has obviously gone through a difficult time, but friend and family come together to support each other.  It is an adjustment for everyone.  Although the premise is rather sad and serious, the show was mostly comedy.  There is nothing more comical than the idea of a couple bachelors who have no experience with kids learning how to change a diaper and wrangle a toddler!

7.  Who's The Boss? - This show has a very unlikely scenario that make for some great comedy.  Tony is a retired Major League Baseball Player who, with his daughter, becomes a live-in housekeeper to Angela and her son.  Angela is a high powered executive type who is divorced.  Although they are not exactly "family," they live together and help each other through life's ups and downs. 

8.  Family Matters - Of course, this show is best known for its character of Steve Urkel who provided much of the comedy.  However, it is actually the Winslow family who is at the center of the plot line.  Eddie Winslow is a  Chicago police officer who is married to Harriet Winslow and they have three children, Laura, Eddie, and Judy.  There is a lot of extended family portrayed in the show as well including Carl's mother who lives with them and Harriet's sister with her young son. 

9.  Diff'rent Strokes -  I actually didn't watch this one all that much, but if you Google "Family sitcoms from the 1980's" it is on every list.  It is the story of the rich Mr. Drummond and his daughter who adopt Arnold and Willis, two African American brothers.  I do remember that this one was known for tackling some pretty heavy topics including drug use, racism and child abuse.  (Probably the reason I didn't watch it much since I was pretty young for some of those topics.)  It is, of course, also very famous for it's comedy and the phrase "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

10.  The Andy Griffith Show - I know this one wasn't from the 1980's, but i watched it in the 80's and the 90's.  It was a regular in my house.  Talk about good old fashioned values??  This was it.  In fact it may be too old fashioned for some people, but it is set in North Carolina and, since I'm a Carolina girl, it is pretty much a classic in my opinion.  Again, a non-traditional family with Andy, the widowed sheriff,  his son Opie, and Andy's Aunt Bee who lives with them to take care of the cooking, cleaning, etc.  Every episode had a "moral to the story' along with plenty of comedy and laughs. 

A few others that almost made the list: The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Webster, and Charles in Charge.

So what do you think of today's "family" TV shows and what were your favorite shows when you were younger???

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