Smart Parents in the Know: October “Wins”

Smart Parents in October|

Written By Melanie Studer

Melanie Prather Studer has spent the last thirty years as a mother and teacher- preschool through middle school. When her kids became teenagers, Melanie started keeping notes and doing research to help her children get a head start on getting into college and ultimately out into the real world. She shares real world ideas and solutions for raising teens in today’s world.

October 14, 2019

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What I’m learning and loving in this month of October! “Smart Parents” in October is a series that I’m continuing.  I will talk about a few things that I am learning in my life, and also a few things that I am loving.

I will do this sometime during each month.  Let me know what you think! *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Smart Parents in October|



Here is an amazing story of one man who made a huge difference by trial and error.  He spent his own money and time getting arid, desert land to become fertile.  It reminds me of the movie Biggest Little Farm.  If you haven’t seen that one–it’s the wonderful story of a family who has done the same thing in California!

These are great stories of perserverance, resiliance, and hard-work with awesome results.  All traits that our kids need more of, my own included!

There is a book by Rose-Lynn Fisher, she’s a photographer, called Topography of Tears.  It shows amazing pictures of tears under the microscope. Did you know that crying can release stress?  They can also release toxins. Here is an interesting article about this.



This was my favorite book that I read this summer! It has mystery, love, nature, and is great story about a young woman who grows up in the marsh mostly on her own.  Sooooooo good!


The 100–Have you ever watched?  I am on season 1 with our 15 year old, and at a different spot with our 19 year old!  This is a dystopian series with a little twist.  Think Hunger Games crossed with Divergent. Find a show that you enjoy with your teen, it’s really fun to have them share time with you! (Heads up-this is definitely for older teens, there is violence, and so far in season 1 sex is just alluded to)


Top Gun–Can you believe that this came out in 1986?!  I remember watching this with a good friend in college.  We were both dating pilots at the time!  A current movie that you need to go to if you haven’t already seen is Downton Abbey!  It was sooooo good!


Stainless steel straws–This are great for you to take anywhere, and bonus, you are helping to save the environment!


Chocolate Eclair Cake: Super easy!!

1 box graham crackers, 1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip (thawed), 2 (3.4) oz packages vanilla pudding, 3 1/2 c. milk, an 1 can chocolate frosting

Whisk together the milk and pudding mix.  Then fold in the Cool Whip.

Line the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan with a single layer of graham crackers.  You may need to break some.

Spread half of the pudding mix.

Top this with another single layer of graham crackers.

Spread other half of the pudding mix.

Put down one more layer of graham crackers.

Soften can of frosting in microwave in 15 second increments till pourable.  Stir well, and pour over the top layer of graham crackers.  Spread to cover.

Refrigerate overnight if possible, but for sure at least 6-8 hours.  It’s so much better once the pudding starts to soak into the graham cracker layers!  Eat!

This is my youngest son’s and my dad’s favorite dessert!  So easy and delicious!


Car Vent Organizer— This is a great way to keep organized for your daily life, road trips, etc.  I am getting one for each of us who drive in my family!

I hope that you find all of these items and ideas helpful!

Have you checked out my September Smart Parents blog post.

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Smart Parents in October|



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1 Comment

  1. I could use a car vent organizer. So handy! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stainless steel straw. Not a bad idea, though if you can keep them clean.


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