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Woman's Roles
Are You Dependent?
Are you co-dependent? Of course not. You won’t be enabling another to do wrong!
We think of dependent people as not very strong, and, well, dependent. Weak, lacking strength, a parasite—sapping strength from someone else.
Don’t we raise our daughters to be independent. We don’t want them to be dependent on any man, in case they fail. We need something to fall back on, if things don’t work out. In case, he leaves you.
We raise our children to be independent as soon as they’re babies. Make them sleep in their own beds while they cry themselves to sleep. Don’t want them dependent upon you—as if they would stay in your bed until they were adults!
We honor and elevate independence as some goal to achieve. Isn’t that good?


Male vs Female:Is It Equality We Seek? 
Men are different from women. Otherwise, God wouldn’t have needed to make male and female.
Yet we obscure the boundaries between genders for the cause of equality.
God created us: male and female.
Man was given work. Woman was made to help him.

Woman was the only being created that was “suitable for man,” Genesis 2:20-25.
If women were created equal with man, one of us wouldn’t be needed.
We weren’t made to be like man. We were created to help man, in a way he couldn’t help himself.
We are different. (very different.)
We aren’t equal.
We have different roles to fulfill.

Are You a Nag?
Do you find yourself repeating requests over and over? Do you wonder if anyone is listening?

Google defines nag: annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging.
"she constantly nags her daughter about getting married"
synonyms: harass, badger, give someone a hard time, hound, harry, criticize, carp, find fault with, keep on at, grumble at, go on at; henpeck; informal hassle, get on someone's case, ride.

Whatever you want to call it, you don’t want to be that. But how do you keep from it?

 

Do You Have a Picky Eater?
Is your mealtime a tug-of-war over what your child will eat?
Do you run a restaurant, offering a selection of choices at every meal?
Are you trying to please everyone at dinner?

Dinner should be a time for family to come together and share their day.

With toddlers, I know the sharing becomes more a reminder of rules to follow and how to eat, but it does get better with age, a little. 

A Way to a Man's Heart Is through His Stomach 
My husband’s office runs like clockwork. Patients, Drug Reps and others who come have commented on how well the office is run. There is a peace and calmness about it. Why? No one is bickering about who should do what. Everyone knows what they are suppose to do, and they do it. He tells the ladies their job is to make his job easier. They prepare the way for him to cut out the cancer and calm the patient. He is able to give that special attention to each patient, because the ladies have prepared them for his job.

Shouldn’t our homes be run like that too?
Recently, a friend was sharing about her son’s wife. The wife had quit her job because it was “too stressful.” Now she stayed at home. Our friend was commenting that the wife didn’t even send a bottle of water for her husband’s lunch. Her son would call her (the mom) and ask if she could bring him lunch and she worked full-time. She said something is wrong.

Are You Challenged by Your Man's Challenges? 
Men need challenges. They need to climb the highest mountain, explore unknown territory, conquer the unconquerable.
But what’s a wife to do with these challenges? She likes the security of what is known, what is safe, what is comfortable.
Should the husband drag her along as he hunts, fishes, and explores, when she hates getting her fingernails dirty?

My husband took our younger boys to a four-day rifle course. He asked me to go.  I try to keep living things growing and happy. I have no desire to make noise, shoot, or be challenged for four days. I told him it would be good for bonding time with the younger boys. He came back with bruises. Now, why would I want to do that?

What do you do with your husband’s challenges?

Happily Ever After sayings from pinterest

Are You Appreciated?
Do you feel the only time you're noticed is when dinner’s late or when someone needs laundry?
Know what makes my day? It’s the simple “thank you” from one of my sons when I gave him his folded laundry. Only one son ever said it regularly, but those simple words, made it worth it.

My husband tries to minimize the work that I do. I appreciate that too.

But it’s those words. (Remember my love language is words. Maybe you feel appreciated by gifts, time, acts of service, or touch)
Like when we finish eating dinner---that took most the day to prepare and only fifteen minutes to eat. The boys say, “Thanks for supper, Mom." I do notice when they don’t say it. I wonder if they liked it, or if they're sick, or…

But even with that, sometimes I feel like I could drop off a cliff. Would anyone notice? Except of course, for their dirty socks and maybe missing dinner.

 

Do You Feel Loved?
Perhaps your husband is telling you every day that he loves you, but he never helps you with the baby. Do you wonder at the truth of his words?
It may be that your husband is trying to talk to you in his love language, but you don’t feel it, because you speak a different language.
Let me explain.

Valentine's Day: A Day for Love?
I preface this article with a disclaimer. I recognize that Valentine’s Day is probably originated as a pagan holiday of false love, but it is a good reminder to treat your man with respect. I need a nudge periodically to remind myself not to take him for granted, to appreciate what he does and who he is. I use the day to help me to focus.

How do you measure your husband’s love?
By what he gives on Valentine’s Day?
My husband has told me that Valentine’s Day puts impossible expectations on the man. How can he fulfill any dream of a woman? Can he even imagine what she’s thinking?

Valentine's Day: Help Your Husband Out
Last week we talked about the demands the world puts upon the man to perform on Valentine’s Day, expectations they can’t hope to meet (See Valentine's Day: A Day To Love?). I spoke of telling your husband what you expect, not hoping and assuming he will know your unspoken requests. I gave the analogy men are like light switches, one look and they’re ready, whereas women are like irons, takes a while to get warmed up.

What if you don’t know what you want or how to help your husband prepare you? After all, when he asks what you want for dinner, you don’t know that either. Here’s some help.

Biblical Manhood
What Is Man?
As authors, we sometimes do a character sketch to solidify the character we want to portray. After writing the article “Superwoman: Is She Believable?" I realized that I did not have a clear picture in my own mind of what is a man.  

When I google searched it, the first article gave this description: “A man carries cash. A man looks out for those around him---woman, friend, stranger. A man can cook eggs. A man can always find something good to watch on television. A man makes things---a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds---engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him.”1

Of course, the article continues and elaborates on this description. But it was nothing more than illustrating what he does—rather than a definition of who he is.   Is that all? He can make eggs and has cash? 

Where Are the Men?
In a previous article, I defined what a man is. There has been a definite shift in the way society views man, his virtues, his strengths.

In a not too distant past, a gentleman respected a lady enough to…. always open her doors, help her put on a coat, stand at attention when she entered or exited the room, offer a seat to her and help her be seated, and carry her packages.1

Today, if a man did these things, the woman might hit him. Have manners changed that much?

In the process of allowing women their freedom to “be all that they can be”, men have been hit, spit on, and screamed at for trying to continue old fashioned etiquette. “I can get the door myself.” “I can cuss as well as any man.” “I can carry my own packages, thank you very much.” This shift in society not only effects etiquette, but the entire society’s framework.

Society leaves men wondering who they are and what they should do. If they hold the door open for women, they are accused of being a sexist, but if they do not, they are cursed for ungentlemanly conduct. What should a man do?

What Should a Man Do?
In this series, I have discussed the roles of man in the article “What is Man?" and also in the article “SuperWoman: Is She Believable?”  He is king, warrior, teacher and friend. He protects. He provides.

His roles help determine who he is. I asked “Where are the Men?” because of society’s treatment of men. Society treats men as overgrown children, cowards, perverts and the enemy. Men have relinquished their roles.

Last week I hesitated to leave the article in despair over the state of society. I wish for this week to provide concrete answers to what should a man do? Let me preface this article with a qualifier: I am not a man. I cannot think, act or feel like a man. Nor is it my intention to instruct men. I present these Biblical principles and allow the men to apply them in their God-given roles.

What is a Christian to do with society changing God-given roles and genders?

Biblical Womanhood
What Is Your Choice?

We’ve discussed What is Man? in his roles of king, warrior, teacher and friend.1

We’ve shown how society seeks to destroy manhood in Where are the Men?.

We’ve presented principles to stand against society and show God’s way as truth in What Should a Man Do?.

This week’s article asks, what should a woman do? How can she change society to accept her man as God intended? In order to answer that question, she must operate in her God-given role. As both man and woman obey God, they become a testimony to what God intended for every couple. This shows society a better way.  In this article, woman’s role as helpmeet to her husband as king will be presented.

Letting Him Protect
This week’s article asks: What should a woman do? How can she change society to accept her man as God intended? In order to answer that question, she must operate in her God-given role. As both man and woman obey God, they become a testimony to what God intended for every couple. This shows society a better way.  In this article, woman’s role as help-meet to her husband's roles of warrior and teacher will be presented.

Do you know the protection of standing behind your man? He is there to protect you.

He is king. He is a warrior. He confronts evil, stands his ground, holds his own.

How do we submit to his role as warrior?

Are You a Friend?
This article concludes this series about how women can help their man be a testimony to society of what God instituted. She has helped him with his kingdom, she allows him to protect, she learns from him. Now we see man as our friend.

 What is your husband’s passion? What drives him to preform? Do you encourage him to reach his challenges? I can give forty reasons why his idea won’t work, instead of telling him one reason he should try. I must strive to be my husband’s cheerleader.

Who Controls the Money?
Money…what do you value?
Money only shows the problem in a relationship, it‘s not the problem.
Who takes care of your finances?
Before we married, we decided who would pay the bills…because the person who controls the money, controls how it is spent…we decided that my husband would lead in all things.

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: How To Make Your Husband Love You.
Just before my husband cut off a cancer, his patient asked him, “Is your wife happy?”
My husband has removed close to a million cancers, but for this patient it was his first time. Myhusband assured him his wife was happy, and so is he.
Why?
“Because if Momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy.”

The Power of a Smile: How To Make Your Husband Love You
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Men, even your husband, are highly attracted to smiles.
Notice in a crowded room, who gets the attention? The woman who smiles.
Husbands overlook a lot of ugly, if the heart is merry.

Control
How much control do you hold in your hand?
The feminists really have it all wrong when they encourage women to work outside the home, act like a man, compete for man-things, and get noticed by the world.
Why?
Because a woman at home wields more control than any woman fighting the men in the workforce.

In the work force, men act like men. If they don’t like you, they tell you. And they move on.

When women entered the work force, all of the sudden laws were made about being nice at work, to avoid ‘feeling’ threatened. Men were still treating each other the same way they have always treated each other, but women had barged into the men’s world. While working with the big dogs, women are treated like a big dog. They wonder why they come away beat up.

Superwoman: Is She Believable?
I have seen a surge of fiction lately that elevates the abilities of women to superwomen. Authors, Christian or not, put women into roles in the army, police force, fire department--performing feats comparable to men. I would like to contest that idea with four reasons. 

Submission

Created for Him
I find it interesting that God, in His wisdom, clearly told us wives a command twice.
Once in Ephesians and the second time in Colossians. Know what that command was?
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
It tells me that it’s probably harder to obey---thus the need to remind us twice.
It’s so important, that He didn’t want us to misunderstand it.

Do you know the curse of Eve? That she would want what her husband has…His power, his position. “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

 

Do You Help Your Husband?
Are you his conscience, correcting what he should be doing?
Are you his judge telling him what he’s doing wrong?
Did you marry him, only to change him?
God doesn’t need our help to act as Holy Spirit, convicting him of all his sin.
Nor are we God, Who will judge all wrong.
We are commanded to be his help-meet.
What does a help meet do?


Made To Conquer
Ever watch men play, or work, or do anything?
They are aggressive, invasive, combative, warring, forceful, vigorous, energetic, enterprising, initiators, instigators, movers, attackers, assailants, chargers…
Why?

God created man with a job. He was commanded to “subdue the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

My husband has tried to explain to me that men (or boys) will compete over anything…how far they can spit, how accurate they can guess…
I used that to my advantage when they were little. “Who’s the strongest?”
The boys have since learned my tactics and now just ask, “Mom, what would you like me to do?”
But they still must prove that they did it. And I must be careful to give them credit for what they have done.
Men were made to subdue the earth.

Women Working
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Work?
[Ever been told by God to do something but don’t want to do it. Unfortunately, that happens to me, too often. Writing this article was one of those. Then I waited several weeks before publishing it, again because I didn’t want to do it…I wanted to soften the message, to change the intent, to trash the entire article…but God kept prompting me to publish. The Bible’s message is true, is best, is what we need, right now. So I have finally obeyed. I pray that you won’t have to struggle so much to obey Him.]

The family is the foundation of a society. When the family is destroyed, the society will soon follow.
In Titus 2:5, God tells women to be “workers at home…so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
Some have justified and changed that command all different ways but God says, "women be keepers at home." I don't know what it means to "dishonor God's Word," but it doesn't sound good. I will work at home to avoid that.

How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Stay at Home?

I will not tell you staying home is easy. IT IS HARD. I remember many days calling my husband when the kids were crabby and I was too. I would ask, “Why do I stay at home?” He would say, “Because you love us.” I would reply. “That’s not good enough, why else?”

Margaret Thatcher, She Changed the World, But What about her Family?
Lately we've been discussing what it costs for women to work in and out of the home. 
I don't have easy answers, or even any answers.
People often praise Deborah as an ancient example of super woman. She did it all.
How could Deborah, judge of Israel, still be submissive to her husband, and obedient in her role as helpmeet? 
Are there exceptions to the principles set by God?

My husband reminded me of Margaret Thatcher.

Motherhood
Marjorie Rutherford: A Testimony to God's Faithfulness
To watch Marjorie Rutherford as she persistently maneuvers the ramp at church with a smile, you can’t help but think of Job 23:11, My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside.
What brought her to faithfully seeking God’s people every week without fail, even though difficult?
Here’s her story.

Marjorie Conrad: A Testimony to God's Trustworthiness
When Marjorie Conrad was asked, “What one thing, in all your years, did you learn about God?”
She said without hesitation, “To Trust Him. To really believe He has me in His Hands.”
Even her favorite verses replays that theme of trust.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
It’s not her strength; it’s God’s. Even when she feels inadequate.But, it's hard to let go of worry.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

When she shared her life’s story, that theme of trust is woven through all the happenings of her life to bring her not only into her Savior’s hands but into His heart.

 

Starting School Again.
Another school year has come and with it the growing list of inadequacies that always comes with it.
Satan does a good job at reminding me of my failures and dumping them at my feet where I must trudge through them before I even start the day.

Dependence or Independence? 
Your Babies Cries
Children are born with a sin nature. But that doesn’t mean their cries are selfish.
That’s their language to tell something is wrong. “I’m wet. I’m hungry. I want to be held.”
These are needs, not selfish wants.
Security and trust are nurtured in the baby when his cries are met. He knows you are there. He stops crying.
Allowing him to cry himself to sleep teaches him not to trust. Moms have been told, “Let them cry. They’ll go to sleep. It’s good for them.” While the mom listened, her heart broke.

Breast Milk Made Especially for Your Child
Much research has confirmed that God designed mother's milk especially for your baby. Consider these studies...

What Is Essential for Babies?
I recently went to a baby shower. Lot’s have changed since I’ve had children!
I remember our birth of our first born…the pain has gone away, but the words of my midwife linger. “Babies don’t need anything. He just needs you.”

My Space, My Time, My Needs
In the midst of raising babies and young children is there such a thing as your time? You feel every time you turn around someone is demanding something from you. By the time your husband comes home from work, you feel like a limp, soggy rag that should have been washed three weeks ago.

After you maneuver through dinner (when do you really eat a sit-down meal when a baby wants to nurse or a toddler finishes in five minutes and you haven’t even begun to eat?) You throw any leftovers in containers for tomorrow’s lunches, and soak the pans to greet you in the morning.

Then it’s time to get them to bed. Deep Sigh.

When do you get “alone” time? You can’t even go to the bathroom by yourself, lest your toddler yell through the door in a petrified voice wondering if you’ve disappeared. (Only in your wishes)

What's a Mom?
I dedicate this page to my mom, who showed me how to be a mom.
I don't know how you ever did it!

A Mother's Influence
Feel like you’re spinning in a circle going nowhere? Does what you do make a difference?

Consider this woman.
She was the 25th child of 25.
She had 19 children.
Nine of her children died as infants.
Four of those infants were twins.
One was accidentally smothered by a maid.
She buried 11 of her children.
Her husband left her and the children for over a year over a minor dispute.
Her husband went to jail twice due to poor finances.
He spent all his life and the family’s finances on his book that was never remembered.
Their house burnt down twice.
One son nearly died and was rescued from second story window.
Her children were placed in different homes for two years while the house was rebuilt.

Yet, this woman resolved to speak with every one of her children alone.

A Mother of Boys
I have written before about man’s need for respect but this week I would like to discuss how to respect your boys as you raise them. 

I have noticed certain ‘stages’ in a boys’ development that cause a ‘breaking away’ from mothers. For lack of a better word, I will call these stages ‘independence.’ James Dobson, in his book Bringing Up Boys, tells of sons breaking their mother’s heart a little at a time so she will let him go when he needs to leave. This process has some distinct age markers.

Prepare for the Lord: Thoughts for Moms from Exodus 19
If you were to meet God on a mountain top, what would you do to prepare yourself? 

(v 10-11) God told Moses to prepare the people--yet they were staying at the bottom of the hill. They were to consecrate themselves for two days--washing themselves and their garments. They were told to be ready on the third day.

How do you make yourself ready to meet with God? How do you hear the voice of the Lord?

 

 

 

 

 

Child Training
Made To Work
Ever watch a mother hen? When she finds a bug, she gives it a peck, and then clucks for all her little ones to come eat it. During this time of raising her brood, she almost becomes skinny (if a chicken can be skinny), because all her energy has been devoted to providing for her young.

But the time comes for her brood to grow up. And she must no longer give.

Being a mom is a balancing act of providing what they need and allowing them to do what they can.

Holding Onto Truth
Last week we talked about Letting Go of the Little Boy. This week is about holding onto truth.

God has given moms that Mama bear attitude that keeps our children protected from harm when they’re little. We have snakes on our property. Some of them are actually good snakes that we let live. When one good gopher snake was prowling (do snakes prowl or slink?) around my son’s chicken coop. I tried to pick it up with a shovel and direct it away from the pen. (By the way, shovels do no hold a three-foot snake. It will twist back at you as you hold the shovel.) I didn’t have much Mama bear courage at that moment. I threw that thing as far as I could. When it wrapped around our corral fence, then tried to get back into the chicken coop, I had to protect my son’s chicks, I killed it.

That mama bear mentality is a God-given trait that makes us love our child at their worst.

Letting Go of the Little Boy
Where did the years go?
Remember when your son was just a toddler, and you did everything for him? Now he's a teenager.
We’ve talking about teen trials and the importance of allowing the teenager his own values and his own choices.
Now we will discuss other issues that the teenage years brings.

Are You Patient?
My husband is patient. He can wait.
I can hardly wait for my water to boil for making tea.

When I ask him if I can do some project (usually after I’ve planned and want it now), he says, “Wait.” It’s the first time he knows there’s a problem and must consider it. But I already know it’s a problem, solved it and must now wait for him. UGH!

Sometimes I think my husband’s timetable is like God’s: non-existent.
I call my husband’s “Mexican Time,” or "Man’ana” (tomorrow).
Does God live inside of time? No.
Does God think yesterday, today, and tomorrow? No. When He says I’m perfected by His Son, He sees me as I will be, not as what I am. That’s a good thing. 
Do you ask for patience?

How Do You Love Your Children?
Titus 2:2-5 says “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

I recently re-evaluated whether I should continue writing to young mothers. I don’t want God’s Word to be dishonored. What struck me in those verses was the phrase, "teach young women to love their children."

How do you love your children?
Joey wondered about that. “I thought moms automatically loved their children.”
I laughed. "Are you kidding?" Every day one of my children give me a good reason why I find it hard to love them.

Raising the Impossible Child
Do you have one of those children who...
Can’t seem to hear you, except when you are whispering to your husband about things they shouldn’t know?
Latch on to anyone as if you don’t give them your undivided attention at home?
Create unrest wherever they go?
Live to push your buttons?
What’s a parent to do?

Premises for Child Training
Do you not know where to begin with training and disciplining your child? Here are some premises that will put a firm foundation to your training process.

Teen Trials
We’ve been discussing discipline for toddlers and preteens. This week we’ve entered the teenage years. Ready or not … mostly not ready, but here’s what I’ve learned…

There are no pat answers, no magic formula, no step by step process that makes great kids.

Each child is an individual with their own talents, abilities and WILL.

I feel a failure often and more than any other stage and for that reason, I hesitate to even tell you what works, because maybe it was a fluke for that child, because it didn’t work for the next… But I have learned these things.

Preteen Trouble
We’ve been talking about discipline a couple of weeks ago. We’ve talked about how you must start young, strive for obedience, not give up, and most of all seek God.

Now you have a pre-teen. You realize that you didn’t strive as much as you should have for obedience. You now have a sassy, challenging boy who is taller than you and you can’t spank (without hurting yourself). What do you do?

A Place To Call Your Own: Instilling Ownership in Your Child
Growing up in a houseful of girls, (I had five sisters) my mom instilled a sense of ownership, boundaries, responsibility. I couldn’t just “borrow” my sister’s clothes. I had to ask her. No house back then was built to allow everyone a room to herself. We had to share. But Mom knew the importance of “this is mine,” even with drinking glasses. Sometime later, when she saw my boys sharing a glass a water, she questioned herself, “Was I right to instill such ownership?” Us girls would never “share” germs like that. (Maybe that was their father’s Mexican heritage vs my German or maybe that was my mom’s nursing education, I don’t know.)

Mom found a way that we all could have our alone time. 

The Why, When and How of Child Training
Much of the suffering that happens in the world is due to people who never learned as children to conform to the will of their parents.

If I could give you a nice little formula that magically works every time for discipline, I would. I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s like explaining God and His purposes. You can’t put God in a box, nor can you put your child in a box. (He is, after all, made in the image of God.)

So how does an understanding of suffering help you discipline your child?

Freedom To Choose
Do you feel like that sometimes?

Is it any wonder, when you spend your day thinking for more people than yourself?
My husband and I give our boys choices. When they were small, they could choose oatmeal or granola for breakfast. But as they matured, they were given more freedom.
As their ability to make wise (or not) choices grew, so did my prayer life. By the time they became teenagers and young adults entering life, the decisions they made were life-changing, could destroy or add to their life in huge ways.
I could be one of those controlling mothers who made their decisions for them. But did I want to think for them for the rest of their lives? Didn’t I have trouble thinking clearly for what I needed to do?

But nor do I like feeling helpless.

Then I thought of God. 

Eight Don'ts of Discipline

Ten Do's of Discipline

To Have a Hamster To Hold:
A Case Study on Discipline

Just the Facts, Ma'am
I have a son who tells on himself. He cries about someone hitting him. When I weed through the reasons, he’ll finally say, “Because I hit him with a stick.” (I have given permission to hit back in defense; it’s a matter of self-preservation.) “If you hit them with a stick, they’ll hit back.” (They tell him to stop several times first. I hear them.)

After weeding for the facts, I tell him, “If you do this, you’ll get this. That's cause and effect."

The glazed look in his eyes tells me that we will have this talk again.

Time Out or Restoration
I’ve been reading through the laws given to Moses for the Israelites. God is very clear when a law is broken, what the punishment should be: Do not steal; pay back seven times. Do not murder; stone him. If you don’t honor the Sabbath…the land will get its rest and so will you.

As I read, I noticed the Israelites had no jails. Why? The punishment rectified the situation. The victim was restored (except in the case of murder). I can’t tell you that I understand all of the punishments…That part where a woman is raped and she is then given to the man as his wife doesn’t sit well with me…But I saw restoration, not separation. The criminal was restored to citizenship (unless he was stoned, of course, he couldn’t do that).

Training for Truth
How do you train for truth?
Set the example.
 If truth isn’t important to you, it won’t be to your children.
I can give you 100 excuses why I do not obey, but the fact is, I still did not obey. I show that I do not value obedience, I value excuses. That’s what my children will learn and remember.

Look What I Can Do?
Do you have a five-year old?
Those are the days when all he can say is, “Watch me, Mom!”, “Look at what I can do!”
As our boys got older and outgrew that ‘watch me’ stage, I had to work to appreciate the next son who had just entered that stage. My husband Joey reminded me that each boy needed that attention. He was just as excited with the last one as he was with the first. Me, I’d seen it before and had too much to do.
To move from one stage to another required security. I especially noticed this with toddlers. They got clingy, crabby, and unbearable before they learned something new. I would think, “Why do I have to hold you all day?”, then they’d burst forth with independence that brought another skill tried and mastered.

Where's the Box?
Ever wonder why you can solve problems in the shower after struggling with them all day?

Your brain works in cycles. A morning person solves problems, tackles questions and makes decisions first thing in the morning. For night prowlers, later in the day is their peak time for efficiency.

But when creative work is necessary, success increases when the brain isn’t working efficiently. When tired, the brain doesn’t filter out distractions nor focus on one task and remembering connections is difficult. This allows for ‘thinking outside the box’. Other options are considered. That ‘ta-da’ moment arrives.

Is there a correlation between artistic people and their ability not to focus on ‘real world’ issues? Perhaps that ‘thinking outside the box’ has taken over their entire brain?

I seek to understand my children so that I can either help them focus, or make sure that I have enough sleep so that at least one of us can focus on ‘real world’ issues.

Finding Your Child's Gifts
Each person is unique. Each person has a gift like no other. As parents we want to maximize these gifts so our children can reach their potential. So how do you find your children’s talents and gifts?

Developing Your Child's Gifts
Each person is unique. Each person has a gift like no other.

Last week, I presented ways to help find your child’s gifts. As we saw, exposure to various things helps find your child's gifts, but then those gifts must be developed and strengthened. How do you do that?

Helps
The Dreaded Family Picture
A picture is what you take when you accidentally mash your hands on the shutter release while your camera sits idle on the living room table. It’s when you bump the camera while it hangs from your shoulder and snap that oddly angled picture of your feet. It’s the photos you took of your friend just because they asked you to. It’s also generally what most of us are shooting the first time we pick up our cameras – myself included.

But if you really want to advance your photography, you’ve got to stop pressing that shutter release just because you can. Instead, take the time to create a vision. Stop taking pictures. Start creating images.”  Matt Dutile, New York City photographer.

People think our family picture must be a breeze to take. It’s not.

Let's Talk about Laundry
With eight boys, I've done a lot of laundry. That is one thing that I didn't  make them do, unless they were going away to school. The boys are good about grabbing the laundry buckets and carrying them for me, when I'm carting them back and forth.
What works for me...

 

Camping with Children
 Keep It Simple.
Often looking through outdoorsy magazines, I’m tempted to purchase so many gadgets I'd need a U-haul to bring everything, and a separate barn to store it. We camp once a year (maybe), and must store it the rest of the year.

Keep in mind: food—first, sleep—second and everything else must be minimized.
Camping List
Camping Recipes

Traveling with Children by Airplane

Traveling with Children by Car

Saving Time with School
Tips to survive that “School Hectic Time.”

Shopping to Save Money
I shop once a month. Why?

Tips for Clutter Management

Why De-clutter?
This is not how you should declutter---this is more why you should de-clutter.

Twelve Steps to Take the Hectic out of the Holidays

Tips for the Holidays

Tips To Save Time in Making Meals

Tips To Make Food Stretch