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Smart Stepfamilies

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"Thankful, Thanksgiving Stories" from readers of our November E-Newsletter


Your “Fun Food” and Thankful Stories:


Debbie M. was the first person to respond to our request for your stories last month. She sent in a special poem written by her daughter for her stepdad:


                                   “A Poem for a Special Stepdad"

                                     By: Keri Allyse Ashworth


            You never tried too hard to be something we already had…..

            You respected each one of us, even our dad….

            You showed us warmth and love just as you do your own…

            You provided a happy home where family and friends can come….

            You fill our tummies with your wonderful food….

            You feel our hearts with gratitude…..

            We all are so blessed to have you in our life…..

            And I am so thankful my mom is your wife….”


Way to Go, Keri! Thanks for blessing us, and thanks for sharing it with us, Debbie!



Trent’s “fun food” story goes like this:


            “Well, my story covers when I was getting to know my wife and her daughter.. I was falling in love with her, and we went for a walk along the lakefront and stopped in at the Dairy Queen. We ordered and went outside to eat our ice cream, and I noticed how Amanda (now my stepdaughter) was carefully eating her ice cream. She dropped a bit and Tricia, her mom, told her to be careful.

            Well, I couldn’t believe that – that an 8-year-old was being told to be careful in how she ate ice cream! So I proceeded to show her how to eat it! By the end, she had ice cream all over her face, clothes and hair. Tricia was laughing, and Amanda was totally into her ice cream...

            Love is beautiful; God is love...”


Thanks, Trent. Mint Chocolate Chip double-scoop, anyone?



Shannon, mom to a 6-year-old son and stepmom to 12- and 13-year-old stepdaughters, shows us how making something as simple as tuna can be a challenge in a stepfamily:


            “When my son and I first moved into my husband’s house, it needed tons of remodeling and cosmetic work. One day (out of many) I had worked non-stop ripping wallpaper and painting with my best friend. At 5:30, my husband Kyle was home from work and he and the kids were all “starving.” I decided the fastest thing to make was tuna fish sandwiches.

            My son and I like our tuna with mayonnaise, while Kyle and the girls like “salad dressing.” So . . . being what I thought was the “thoughtful” stepmother, I made one batch of tuna with mayo – no onions – for my son, a second batch  with mayo and onions for me, a third batch with salad dressing and no onions for the girls, and a fourth batch with salad dressing and onions for Kyle.

            I was so proud when we all sat down.

            Until . . . . . .

            Kyle said, “I don't like sweet pickle relish. I wanted dill pickles.”

            I just sat there, stunned. I thought I had put so much energy into making everyone happy, and I still couldn't appease everyone.

            Happily, now it is a running joke; and no one asks me to make tuna again.”


Shannon, you can make tuna for me anytime – with mayo and onions!




Michael S. shows us how stepfamily dining can be more like visiting a crowded diner, as he writes:


            “It would be pretty entertaining to watch dinner hour at our home on a fairly typical evening.  After spending a couple of hours to fix a delicious vegetarian dinner for our vegetarian college-aged daughter who was supposed to be home at 6 p.m., she does not show up and things begin to unravel. Three of the four younger boys refuse to eat, and ask for something better. After some discussion, we find them some leftovers or fix a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One of the teenagers would sit down to eat. Three other teenagers would cruise through the kitchen, as a group, to see if anything is fit to their liking. One of them would decide to raid the fridge and find something different, while the other two exit.

            Then our oldest daughter would drop by and decide to eat. This would cause the teen at the table to promptly get up, leave her dinner, and head upstairs.  The other daughter who raided the fridge would take the empty seat.  All the while, my wife and I would be “enjoying” our dinner together, interspersed with getting up to help the younger ones.

            After cleaning up the kitchen and getting the dishwasher started, we would hear the teenage boys downstairs again and in the pantry searching for their dinner.  They had made their sweep through earlier, and now are back to find what they “really want” to eat.  Almost as soon as they exit, the wave of younger “I’m hungry” boys, who ate a little bit but really didn’t like it much, reappear. 

            There have been all sorts of variations to this scenario, almost on a weekly basis, and the kitchen ends up looking like a self-service fast-food diner at the end of a rush!”


Phew! We’ll just take a veggie wrap and a salad with sprouts to go, please!



Thanks to everyone who wrote in and shared a small piece of their world with us!

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