It is my pleasure to introduce you to Smarty Mom, Kelli Crane. She and her college sweetheart have been together for 17 years and married for 14. They live in south Charlotte, down on Lake Wylie and have three children and one dog. I could go on but I will leave it to her friend Susan Purser who “Mominated” her to do the formal introduction:
I have a friend I’d like for you to consider for a “smarty mom” As I read your blog, I think of her. Kelli Crane is a wonderful mother of three and wonderful wife to her husband Jamie of 14 years. In my entire life, I have never met a person who spends so much time helping other people. Not only is she PTA president, room mom, baseball team mom, cheerleading mom….she also goes out of her way to help all her friends and family. The most striking thing about her as a parent is how she teaches her three children to help others as well. Each month her three children fill a basket with their toys (good ones, not broken) to donate to less fortunate. She also is teaching them about autism and how to treat other children who are different than they are. Her kids Trinity (8) , Jacob and Juliana 6 year old twins are some of the most polite and well mannered children I have ever met. I seriously don’t know how she does it….but I love her for all her hard work. Thank you Susan, let’s meet Kelli.
As your friend Susan points out, you are very active with your kids, school, sports, ect., How do you balance your time?
I never stop moving. I feel that every minute of every day is valuable. I try to do as much as I can and some days things I get more done than others.
How do you balance work and home life?
My husband and I make a wonderful team. He is my best friend. I would say that he is the most supportive man that I know. Working for the school, community and my family allows me the chance to meet some wonderful people.
Friend say your kids are always so polite and well-mannered – what’s your secret?
My husband and I started talking with them about manners when they were one. If they hear you use good language and manners, they will follow in your footsteps. Don’t get me wrong every now and then they get corrected. The rule in our family is you treat others the way you want to be treated.
How do you teach your children the “spirit of giving”?
I do not believe in donating my children’s toys when they are at school so they get upset. I involve them in the process and I believe this is the perfect opportunity to teach them how fortunate they are and that they need to help others. I do not allow toys that are broken or missing pieces to be donated. From the time they were 2 years old, they started donating items according to their ages. Example: Trinity is 8 so she will be donating 8 items. This is something my mom started teaching me at the age of 2. I feel this is an important lesson to keep it alive.
What is your favorite family activity?
On Friday evening we have family night. We play games, watch movies, cook together as a family, and pop popcorn. We finish the evening with the kids camping out on our bedroom floor.
Favorite place to eat out with the whole family?
We go out as a family regularly and they each love so many things. Our rule is that when we go out they are not allowed to order off the kids menu. We want them to try new things and as a result they now love more food. My oldest daughter Trinity loves lobster. Jacob’s favorite thing to order is lamb chops. Julianna loves lobster ravioli and blue cheese wedge.
Favorite weekend escape?
Charleston, SC. We love it as a family or for some alone time.
Favorite date night place/activity?
My husband and I go on a date once a week. I feel that this is necessary in keeping a good balance in our lives. It teaches the kids that “wow, mommy and daddy still go on a date and they have fun”. We really love food, so drinks and dinner make the perfect evening. Whether we go the the country club, local pub or our favorite restaurant Del Frisco’s as long as we are together I am happy.
Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
A Children’s Place. They have the best deals.
Mini-van or SUV?
I really dislike both. My husband drives an SUV but I have a four door car. The mini-van feels like driving a tank.
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
There are so many wonderful things to do and see.
I could not live without my…
Cell phone. Ask anyone who knows me, I believe in this day and age you should be able to get in touch with anyone at any time.
I wish someone had told me sooner…
How wonderful it is to be 36 years old. I love being my age. Some people wish to be younger and that is fine but I really am enjoying the fact that I am getting older and hey that’s ok. When you’ve got a Mother (my mom) that looks like she is my sister, I don’t worry to much anymore.
Thank you Kelli and Susan for the momination. If you have mom that you think is “Oh, so Smarty”, please send us her information at firstname.lastname@example.org.