Taming the Temper

I am into round 2 of raising up littles. My four are grown (24, 22, 19 and 18) and we currently have a 10 year old foster daughter and 5 yr old and 2 yr old grandkiddos under our roof. In a lot of ways, I am WAY more laid back and relaxed this go round. But, I have to admit that, more often than I would like, my temper gets the best of me and I react instead of respond to these crazy kids. I could make excuses for that (the sheer amount of words the 5 year old uses in a given day is enough to drive anyone to lose their ever lovin' mind, I promise you) but I don't want to. I want to change it. I don't want to wound them with my tone and my words. I want to pour love into them in every interaction. And, God laid on my heart to work on this very thing this Lenten season. Negativity, … [Read more...]

Parenting boys…not for the faint of heart

Parenting boys is not for the faint of heart. I have weathered many ER trips, wrestling matches gone wrong, bloody noses, scraped knees and broken bones. {I have three rough and tumble boys, excluding my husband}.  And, as I sat in the ER with my boy, I am ashamed to admit that my thoughts were wandering to angry places.  Angry at the risk, angry at the sure to rise insurance premiums, angry at myself for letting him drive alone when my mama heart wanted to keep him little forever... Yes, I was having selfish and angry thoughts the very same night my son wrecked the van and hurt himself. Read the rest of my mama confession over at the MOB Society.   … [Read more...]

Real Life, Our Living Room

Kelly's Korner is one of the first blogs I ever read, long ago when I first stumbled across the blogosphere. She has a sweet heart and two adorable little girls and every Friday she hosts a link-up called Show Us Your Life.  I love looking at the links when it is time to link up living spaces but never join in because my house is a wreck, y'all.  Lots of people, little space and other priorities have left this house neglected in the decorating department. But, something Kelly said this time struck me enough for me to get my camera out the moment I read it and create this post. She said "we may be tempted to say "Oh I want to change some things or I wish I had this or that" but if you have running water and electricity and floors and a roof - you are more blessed than the majority of … [Read more...]

An Unbalanced Nest

I have been a parent for half my life. I will always be a mama. But, the sands are shifting under my feet. I have never liked that feeling. My youngest will be 14 next month.  We are going to his high school orientation tonight. I want to rewind time. I look at photo albums and family movies and cry. I'm not ready for this. Time marches on...dragging me, kicking and screaming behind. I know not what God has in store and I know that I still have a lot of parenting left to do. It just feels like a door is closing and it makes me want to cry. {The special challenges and joys of parenting teens will be the focus of my new site, Inbetweenmoms.com, launching September 1st.  Look forward to a humbling line-up of contributors ("mentor moms") and articles for those of us parenting … [Read more...]

TTT- Hope Chest

When Miss S. came into our home, I immediately got her a hope chest.  Already 18, she {and I} had some catching up to do with this tradition. She had no idea what I was talking about and acted like she thought it was a silly idea. Until she saw the types of things I was putting in there.  Now, she will point things out when we are out and about and comment how nice an item would be for her hope chest {that girl makes me laugh all the time} My grandmother had a hope chest for me.  It meant the world to me, a child that did not have many ties to tradition, to have this box of meaningful items given to me when Mike and I married. For those of you that aren't familiar with the hope chest concept, it is a box {we use a trunk in our family} that is used to collect household items, recipe … [Read more...]

Making the most of small spaces

It has been almost a year since we downsized from our 3400+ square foot home to 1400 square feet of cozy living space. I am fairly certain I hear God chuckle on nights like this: with girls and their babes gathered in to "hang out" and watch movies. I know my heart sings when I watch my boy growing into a young man making a sweet baby giggle. and when a cherub faced little girl gets her hair braided and walks around our tiny space saying "I pretty". Yes, sweet girl, you are very pretty indeed! We make room on the floor to play dress-up... and room on the couch for those that need to rest their eyes... There is something that feels right in this small space filled with laughter and the noise of teenagers... and I chuckle back to God, and thank Him for filling my heart AND my house … [Read more...]

The best laid plans

Sometimes we find ourselves asking God "why" and questioning His sovereign timing {or is it just me that does that?} Sometimes we think He got it wrong because what seemed like the best path to our finite minds results in closed doors and confusion. Sometimes we forget that He is God and we are not. Then, sometimes something will happen and we will say "ooooh, that is what You were up to".... We are unwrapping one of those times this week. After a summer of closed doors, not understanding His plan and yes, even questioning His timing, God brought things to fruition that explained why some doors had been closed and why opening our home had been on our heart all summer, just not in the way we expected. Isn't God funny like that?  Perhaps He who created the heavens and the earth … [Read more...]

Miss(ter) Independent

There is a thirst for independence in teenagers.  An unseen force, pulling them away from dependence on their parents and toward a future they don't see or understand.  Yet, they respond heartily to the call and pull of that force, while we parents want to fight it with every fiber of our soul. In a few short days, my husband and I will drop Jared and Matt (14 and 12) in Florida to stay two weeks with my dad and my brothers.  They are going to have a great time!  Adventures with Grandpa Bill, beach with Uncle Ian, amusement park with Uncle Tom..they are going to have fun and create special memories. And, they are pumped.  Their mama is deflated. They have never been away from me for this long.  They will fly home alone in two weeks. My feelings are hurt that they are so excited to get … [Read more...]

Modern Day Miracle

Who would have thought that a rickety roller coaster and a sweltering day at a cheesy quaint amusement park could bridge huge holes of the heart? God. Who would have thought that the day would be full of smiles and fun, rather than anxiety and angst? God. Who would have thought that racing go-karts together (see daddy way there in the back, ha!) would be freeing in so many ways? God. Who knew that this mama's heart would behold {all} her children reunited on this side of heaven? God. Saturday was a very special day for our family.  It was the first time we had all been together, the five of us, in the same place at the same time in THREE years! God gave me a gift that I had given up on a long time ago.  And I have been unwrapping it ever since! {If you haven't been here … [Read more...]

Avoid the Summer Reading Slump

Guest contributor and MobiStories.com producer Wendy Toone, offers great tips on how your kids can avoid brain drain when they're out of school. Take a look... It's Summertime! Catching fireflies, eating dinner on the deck, swimming, no school!!! What have your kids been doing? Waking up late, lazing around in front of the TV? It's nice to decompress after the school year. For a few days. But now what?? Camps, classes, playdates can fill up the days and keep the kids active and occupied. But my fear is always that their brains will turn to mush by mid-July, leaving them (and in turn, me) frustrated and floundering come mid-September when they're back in school with flabby grey matter that hasn't been exercised in way too long. According to Kent State Graduate School of … [Read more...]

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