Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Break Has Begun

What a week! Not at all what I expected, but things are coming together nicely. Abby is finally feeling better. She is talking up a storm! Having a few days were she didn't have the energy to talk much was almost as bad, if not worse, than strep throat for her. As my dad says, "She just can't help herself. Abby has to talk." So true.

We still haven't done our Family Movie Night and milkshakes. We wanted to wait until Abby was feeling better. Rick is on a call out now, so maybe tonight. Elf is on tonight, and I love that movie. Maybe we'll skip Red Box.

Christmas shopping is almost finished. Just a couple little things left to do. I haven't even begun the wrapping yet. Rick and I usually work on that together. He wraps and I do the name tags. Gifts don't go under the tree until Christmas Eve night.

I'm off to do some more cleaning. I have got to get this house back into shape before I can lose myself in the kitchen with some Christmas baking. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the Mend

UPDATE: Abby headed back to the doctor this afternoon because we thought she was having an allergic reaction to her medicine. The doctor thinks it is something viral on top of everything else. We got a different prescription for Abby just in case. Since she has been on an antibiotic for 24 hours she can go back to school tomorrow. Thank you, Lord! The kiddo is getting restless.

It wasn't the flu after all! Abby had a doctor's appointment today and her strep test came back positive. Now she is on antibiotics and Motrin. I can certainly tell when the Motrin is working as well as when it getting close to time for another dose. One more day home from school, and then she'll only have two days until Christmas break begins.

Rick stayed after work to plow, so we are going solo tonight. Scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. It's filling, but gentle on Abby's throat. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Flu is Here

Rick and I headed out for our date day with no worries. The weather was beautiful and we were finally able to spend some time together. The plan was to have our date day and then go pick up the kids for a family movie night (courtesy of Red Box) and cake batter milkshakes from Steak 'n Shake. Rick isn't really a birthday cake fan.

I started feeling really nauseous about halfway through the day. I thought I just needed to get something to drink. It didn't work. We ended up coming home early and I went to bed. I felt so much better after a good night's and part of the afternoon's sleep. Abby, on the other hand, was pretty miserable. Yesterday was spent in her bed being as still as she possibly could. On the plus side, I was able to finish reading "On the Banks of Plum Creek" to her. We ended up reading for 3 hours! I didn't even realize how long it had been. I'm thankful that God gave us a sweet time together in the midst of the flu. Abby is home from school today, and hopes to head back tomorrow.

I love my man! He was disappointed that his birthday weekend didn't turn out the way we had planned. I can't say I blame him. He made not one, but two Walmart trips for the needed Ginger Ale and Motrin, and some other necessities. And not one complaint from a guy who hates to do grocery shopping. Rick said we'll do the family movie night and milkshakes once everyone is healthy again.

Happy Birthday, Rick! I love you madly!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Winter has finally made itself known in NE Ohio. This is the first winter that my husband, Rick, has been behind the wheel of a snowplow. While we are enjoying the overtime, getting used to being on call has stretched us both. Rick has been staying a my parent's house this week so that he can be closer to work if he gets called out at night. It's been 4 nights in a row away from home. We have been saying all along that we needed to move, and this week has shown us that the sooner we make that move the better. Our house will be going on the market in January.

Rick and I have already agreed on a couple different things regarding this winter. First, any overtime money will go towards our emergency fund. Second, we will have a evening away after the plowing season is done. It really helps to have goals and something to look forward to.

On the plus side, tomorrow is Rick's birthday. Rather than purchase gifts for him, we are going shopping together. He will have his birthday money to spend, and we'll hopefully be able to finish Christmas shopping for the kids. We did the same thing for my birthday and I loved it. Date days are awesome! I am especially thankful for it after having to be apart so much this week. Thanks to to my in-laws, Ken and Linda, for watching the kids tomorrow.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Unexpected Gifts

For the first time, Rick and I got up bright and early on Black Friday in hopes of getting a Nintendo DS lite for Matt. He has it at the top of his Christmas list, but knows it's a higher priced item and doesn't really expect to receive it. Our early morning adventure paid off and we were able to get a the game system at a great price. I can't wait to see the look on Matt's face when he realizes he has the gift he wanted, but didn't expect.

This year has been a good one for our family. Yes, there has been plenty of transition, but it's been good just the same. We had an unexpected gift from God along the way that has just been precious and completely unexpected. The gift of time has lead to some perspective and allowed me to see God's provision.

Back in April, Pastor Evan asked people in our congregation in they would be willing to share a cardboard testimony about God's work in their lives. After some delay, I decided to share how I had been abandoned by my biological mother, but I was not forgotten by God. Isaiah 49:15-16 says "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." I am so thankful to the Lord for showing me those verses and letting them go from my head to my heart. God was working on something awesome that I couldn't see yet, in the middle of this.

About a month later, Abby had to do a family timeline for school. We worked on together and got it done. I started thinking about my biological mother's side of the family and realized I would like to know just a little bit about their family tree. All I was hoping to figure out was a timeline. I headed to and entered the information I knew. Along the way, I found my biological aunt's email address. With a good dose of trembling, I sent off an email asking for the information. Not only did I get the family tree I was hoping for, but so much more.

At the same time I was making the decision to do that cardboard testimony, my Aunt Wendy was at my biological grandmother's house and gathering up photos and notes about my biological mother, me, and my sister, that she thought should be preserved. Aunt Wendy and I have formed a friendship, I have those photos and notes she gathered that day, as well as perspective on a lot of things I thought I never would understand. I have seen God's protection, provision, and most of all his love. What an unexpected gift in an amazing form.

So what about you? In what ways has God shown up with an unexpected gift in your life?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mommy Guilt

Rick and I attended parent/teacher conferences Monday night. Both Abby and Matt are ahead of the curve, which is wonderful to hear. Matt's teacher brought something to our attention which I am very grateful for, but at the same time I am experiencing what I call "Mommy Guilt" over.

Ever since Matt started school he has had trouble with handwriting. He hates to write and I always thought it just wasn't on his list of favorite things to do. The other thing he has consistently done is write his numbers backwards, especially on a timed math test. Every year at conferences Rick and I would ask about it, and were told he'll grow out of it. His first grade teacher said if it continued into later years (Matt is now in third grade.) to look into further. That brings us to the present. While Matt is doing well, he is still writing numbers backwards and now he wrote his name backwards like a mirror image. His teacher said she was still in the process of learning about it, but she thinks Matt has dysgraphia. I'm so thankful to have a name for what Matt has been struggling with. As soon as we were home from conferences I got on the computer and started researching.

Here comes the guilt. I found an article explaining this learning disability, symptoms and learning strategies. The more I read the more I recognized things that Matt has struggled with. Things we used to battle over. It has to do with spacial reasoning. People with dysgraphia are often very intelligent, but can't put their thoughts to paper well because of having to walk through how to form the words. Another symptom is not being able to hold a pencil in the normal way. Matt makes a fist to hold his pencil. There are other symptoms as well, enough for me to print out the article and send it to Matt's teacher. I highlighted everything that reminded me of Matt. I feel horrible for having battled over these things and now I realize it was not his fault.

On the plus side. Matt's teacher has already begun to work with him. His school is going to provide therapy so he can learn how to properly hold his pencil, and an IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting is going to be scheduled. That means that Matt will have the help he needs with assignments and tests. All of this a relief to me because at least now we have an answer to something that we have always wondered about.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some Answers

My family and I are still in the midst of transition, but answers to all that was up in the air are beginning to appear. Rick got the position he wanted at work. There is a lot to be said for having a job you enjoy. My man has been one happy camper.

We still haven't made a definite decision regarding when to put the house on the market. However, we have begun working on several small projects that need to be completed around our home. Abby's room is done and Matt's room is a work in progress. Somehow I have to convince him that the bright green walls he's hoping for won't go over well with potential buyers.

As for me, my new position is going more smoothly now. I don't have to do curriculum this month, which helps. Thank you, Maria. You rock! I so thankful for all the people that have stepped up to be a support to me in this new role.

There's one thing I have learned is that things don't always fall in place right when I want them to. They do fall in place when you need them to.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Giving It to God

After I posted about all the transition yesterday, I was reminded three different times, through three different people of the same verse. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7 I love when God makes Himself overwhelmingly clear. May I always have a listening ear.

What anxious thoughts or situations do you need to give to God? He's waiting to hear from you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Back!

Okay, all I can tell you is that there has been a ton of transition for the Carlson clan lately. It's all good, but life is a little crazy lately. Have you ever had a time where several changes hit at once? It's enough to make the control freak in me go berserk!

Rick has interviewed for a promotion at work. Everything looks to be headed in the direction of him being offered the position. The catch? We have to get our house fixed up and on the market so that Rick can get to work sooner should he be called in. We have wanted to move for quite some time, but are concerned about how to time everything. School has begun. Should we work on the house over the winter so it's ready to go on the market in the Spring? Do we just get it on the market now, when it needs a lot of work? I really don't want to move in the middle of the school year. The questions just seem to keep coming.

Abby and Matt are so excited about their teachers this year. Matt actually has the same teacher that Rick had for third grade. I don't know what she's doing, but I have never seen Matt so eager to complete his assignments. Abby is in the gifted program. I'm so happy for her. This will probably sound strange, but I'm looking forward to her being challenged. Unlike her mom, school has always been pretty easy for Abby. I want her to be challenged so that she actually learns some study skills and how to work through difficult things.

As for me, I have taken on the position of Children's Ministry Director at church. I'm excited to have the opportunity, and overwhelmed all at the same time. I just need to spend some serious time with Jesus and jump in with both feet. This morning was my first Sunday on the job, and it was busy. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, eventually. I'm grateful to have people around me to help me through the transition.

As for blogging, I will try to get back into the swing of things. Back to tackling the changes...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Reversal of Destiny

Session Six took some work, but watching it all come together at the end was so worth it. Learning about the reversal of destiny was really interesting. Beth touched on this, and I think it needs repeating: Sometimes god uses the very thing that we thought we would be the end of us to his glory. What an awesome reversal of destiny. Nothing is wasted. I don't know about you, but I'm glad for that.

Share what you consider to be your reversal of destiny in the comments this week. I will get back on track and actually post on Tuesday next week. It will be the first day of school, so I'll have a nearly empty house. Oh, the mixed emotions that come with that day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Waiting On The Lord

We have reached Session 5 of Esther. May I just say that this week's homework was wonderful and excruciating at the same time. I have been shown some things I really need to work on. God has provided the opportunity to do just that. On the one hand, it would be nice to not have to put into practice what I learned so quickly. On the other, at least I'm able to handle it while the lessons are still fresh in my mind. As I learned in this week's video session, God is all about timing.

I loved the reference to Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." I realized how often I have thought that meant waiting on a certain event or person. When what it really means is to wait on God while I wait for whatever I seem to need/want to happen at the time. I think learning all these things and then going out and living them is what working out our salvation is all about.

Have a great week! See you next Tuesday.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What Encourages Me

I read about a challenge on a brand new website I am going to post about something that is a great source of encouragement. Hearing about a friend named Lisa and her significant other each making a decision to accept Christ as Savior is an encouragement to me. I pray that God would continue to increase Lisa's desire to learn more about the Bible. I loved hearing the excitement in her voice. Lisa, your enthusiasm is awesome! Thank you for calling to share the news with me. You have an incredible journey ahead of you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's Tough Being a Woman in the Tight Fist of Fear

I'm so grateful for this session today. I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need the Lord to make something abundantly clear to me. I have had so many reasons of late to be in the tight fist of fear. This morning I woke up and decided I had a choice to make: I could either give into the fear, or face the situations head on. I made the choice to face them, and I met with this session along the way. Thank you, Lord! I could go on and on about all the ways this week's session was just what I needed, but I won't. I would just encourage to take the courage given to you by your Savior, and run with it. He is with you all the way. Have a great week; see you next Tuesday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For Such A Time As This

We've finally come to what is probably the best known verse in the book of Esther. Esther 4:14 says "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" For all intents and purposes, Esther had the weight of the Jewish world on her shoulders. I can only imagine what must have been going through her mind. It's tough being a woman thrown a giant-size weight. I'm looking forward to learning more about this challenge placed before Esther as I go through this week's homework.
Watch for answer's to these Principal Questions as you complete your homework this week: 1) Was Mordecai the only one in such a grief-stricken condition? If not, who were the others and exactly what did they do? 2) Why do you think Mordecai refused the change of clothes? 3) Why did Esther think Mordecai was asking too much? 4) What were the consequences of not approaching the king? Which side seems to offer the greatest risk? 5) What special significance did the fast have that you might not have thought about?
Thank you for sticking with this study. I know it takes a good chunk of time to do the homework and view the sessions, but it is so worth it. Keep on keeping on. I'll post again next Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Tough Being A Woman

Yes indeed, it's tough being a woman. So far we have explored that it's tough being a woman in another woman's shadow, and it's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment. Now, we get to discuss how it's tough being a woman in a mean world. And I second that one with an Amen! If you haven't viewed session 2 yet, I want to strongly encourage you to do so. The session is packed with practical, biblical teaching about living in a mean world. I love what Beth says: "You will never be more prone to attack than when God has pulled you out of where you have been and he has your feet on a wilderness road; but you're not there yet." So true.
As you complete your homework this week, watch for the answers to these Principal Questions. 1) Mordecai did not slander, but he also did not kneel. How do we know Mordecai continued his stance? 2) Haman's shrewd rage turned into careful calculation. How did Haman choose a day for Jewish destruction? 3) Haman was obviously adept at psychological warfare. In what ways did he apply psychological tactics to get what he wanted from King Xerxes? 4) How does John 8:44 offer all the permission we need to identify the Devil as Haman's "father"? 5) How do you picture the people of Susa reacting to the edict?
Thanks so much for taking this Bible study journey with me. Don't forget to post your thoughts as tackle this week's homework. I'll have a new post next Tuesday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just a Peaceful Sunday in the ER

Abby and Matt spent the night at The Ridge last night. Rick and I were supposed to pick up them up around 12:30. No problem; we were on our way out the door. Then the phone rang. My parents were taking Matt to the ER in Geneva. Matt had an accident on his bike and split his chin open. Rick and I were still at home, about 20 minutes from our boy. I felt like we were never going to arrive! Of course, we did get there; and Matt was being so brave.
Matt left his afternoon in the ER with 7 stitches, several stickers, a stuffed rino, and a dollar bill the doctor "found" behind Matt's ear. The staff of the hospital was awesome! Everyone was friendly and did an excellent job of keeping Matt and our family calm. The hardest part was actually having to wait for the numbing medication to take effect so the doctor could put the stitches in.
We ended our eventful afternoon with a trip to Baskin Robbins. Matt lost a tooth last night and we have a family tradition. When someone loses a tooth, we either get a milkshake or Baskin Robbins. Since we were in Geneva anyway, Baskin Robbins was the choice. Matt got a Reese's peanut butter cup cone, and life after stitches commenced.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

King Xerxes Had Issues

I'm really starting to wonder about the mindset of King Xerxes. First, he decides to show off the splendors of his kingdom and hold a banquet that lasts 7 days. Then, he gets upset when his wife decides not to come when he calls. I wonder if Queen Vashti was just ready for the party to be done and life to return to normal. What was the relationship between Xerxes and Vashti like before the days of showing off the kingdom and hosting an extravagant party? To top it all off, Xerxes decides to listen to his "advisors" and decrees that Vashti is never allowed to enter the presence of the king again. The man had issues.

As we get ready to tackle our second week of homework, the search for a new queen has begun. Before the candidates can enter King Xerxes presence they are to spend time under the care of Hegai. Beauty treatments are to be given. I'm all for taking care of ourselves, but this is just a little crazy, don't you think? The girl who pleases the king will be the new queen. So much for having a one-on-one chat with Vashti to see why she made the decision she did. King Xerxes just decided to move on. The man had issues.

Feel free to post throughout the week about your homework or the session at the end of our first week. We can learn so much from each other. I'll have another Esther post next Tuesday.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Thunderstorm And A Softball Tournament

I would love to be able to tell you that I handled the upheaval in my schedule with composure and grace. I would love to tell you that I have no trouble at all when an unexpected glitch comes my way. I would love to...but, I can't.
Rick's softball season comes to a close today with a double elimination tournament. As the commissioner of the league, he is trying to get this tournament completed while dodging raindrops and thunderstorms. I gotten a couple of phone calls from Rick asking for a weather update. "No problem, dear. There is a large mass of green and yellow on the radar and it happens to be right where you are. Not going away anytime soon, either." I was taking care of Abby and Matt, as well as my nieces, while these phone calls were taking place. No problem, the kids were able to play with their cousins. Due to the aforementioned green and yellow mass, there was no playing outside today though.
I decided to clean the kitchen and get lunch started. Toasted ravioli w/dipping sauce sounded good. I usually stick with sandwiches for lunch, but decided this would be a nice treat. I got the ravioli started and then my sister called to say she would be picking the girls up early. No problem, I completely understood. Now I had an oven full of food with only my children to feed. The dishwasher was loaded and running, and lunch was in the oven, when the power went out. Not a flicker and then comes right back on, out.
I noticed myself getting a little agitated, but I kept myself together. I called the electric company to report the outage and was told there were several outages throughout the area. The electric company was hoping to have power restored by 8 p.m. this evening. Didn't they realize that we had been grocery shopping just the night before last, and I had food in the fridge? It was 12:30 and I had things to do, thank you very much! Didn't they realize this was the day I needed to tackle Mt. Washmore, make a cake, and prepare for the Sunday school lesson? Ugh!
My sister and nieces had left. It was just me and my very bored, not sure what to do children. There schedule was turned around just as much as mine. I should have had compassion for them. I should have thanked God that the rain had cooled things off a bit, and that I was going to have some uninterrupted time with my children. Please forgive me, Jesus. I went to sleep. I told the kids to wake me if they needed me, and I slept for a little over an hour. So much for dealing with the situation like a grown-up.
The power is now back on. It was out for about an hour and a half. I am now ready to tackle the projects of today. Right after I go and apologize to Abby and Matt.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Are You Listening To The Coach?

My family just returned from yet another soccer game. There are at least 5 games going on at one time on the various fields spanning the school property. As a spectator, it can sometimes to be difficult to distinguish which coach is shouting directions to his team, not to mention the constant blows of the whistle by the different referees. The players seem to have no trouble listening for, and recognizing their coach and responding to his leading. All this got me thinking about how, as Christians, the world can be filled with a hectic pace and lots of distractions. I want to be able to block out all that craziness, and listen to my coach, Jesus Christ. This is something I definitely need to work on. I need to spend some with Him, and let him do the leading. I want to be ready to say, "Put me in coach!"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Introduction to Esther

I have viewed the introductory session, and it's awesome! I'm excited to see what Christ calls each of us to do through this study. Let's pray that God will make himself known to us in amazing ways and press on to the next session. Hit the homework, and I'll post next Tuesday about session one. In the mean time, what are your three toughest things about being a woman?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Esther Study Update

Here's the latest info on Esther. Tomorrow, June 28th, is the absolute last day to sign up for the study. Member books will be ordered on Tuesday. The cost is $14.95, payable to LIFEhouse. Below is the link to the individual video sessions for the study. Audio is available as well. Downloads may be paid for with a debit or credit card. Once the member books are in, I will set a start date. I'm getting excited, and I hope you are too.
If anyone needs help in learning about blogging, I will be at the picnic tomorrow. Let me know if you need assistance.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Answers For The Journey

When pondering something theological, it doesn't hurt to talk to your pastor. I talked to mine yesterday. He was such a good sport and put my mind at ease. Pastor Evan told me to remember a time when I experienced a wonderful worship time with the Lord, totally focused on Him. Was I wondering about anything else at that time? Nope, just enjoying Jesus. Multiply that by 1000 and you've got heaven. Sweet!
At first it really bothered me that I was even wondering about these things. I've been a Christian for almost 17 years; shouldn't I have this stuff figured out? Then I realized just how boring that would be. When I became a follower of Jesus Christ, my journey was just beginning. It will not be complete until I get to heaven. How awesome that God continues to show Himself to me in new and amazing ways! I don't need to feel strange about asking my Father a question. He delights in showing me the answer. Sweet!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some Theological Pondering

I said in my last post that there are things I will probably never understand this side of heaven. (Check out the post below this one for what led to that thinking.) While I agree with that statement, it got me thinking. Once I see Jesus face to face, will I even care about all the things that puzzle me here on earth? Will I remember the struggles that led to the questions, or does Christ take that bad memory away? Will we have the opportunity to sit down and have a one-on-one chat with Jesus? How awesome would that be! Will we be so taken with being in His very presence that we will be unable to speak? I know that heaven will be absolutely glorious, beyond anything I can imagine. I just find myself pondering all these things. Thanks for reading my rambling. Anybody else ever had these kind of questions? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Closure Is A Beautiful Thing

It all started when Abby had to complete a family timeline for school. I realized at that point that I would like to know more about my past for both myself and my kids. Through completing some research on I was able to find my aunt's email address. With hope and trembling, I sent off that first email. We have been emailing back and forth for about a month. She has been extremely helpful and willing to answer all of my questions. Yesterday I got a package filled with old photos and papers in the mail. Thank you Aunt Wendy! I was able to call her last night and we had a really good conversation. The first of many, I hope. While there are things that I will probably never understand this side of heaven, I am at peace with my past and see God in all of it. Closure is a beautiful thing.
Aunt Wendy and her husband, Doug, are Christians. Being able to share this experience with them and view it through the lens of our faith has been awesome. As it turns out, The Cookie Mom has an aunt who loves to bake too. I hope to gather some family recipes in the future.
Thank you Dad and Mom for loving me even when I was difficult to love. I am the person I am today because of how you raised me. I love you very much!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First Soccer Game of the Season

I was the lone Carlson on the sidelines last night. Abby and Matt had their first soccer game of the season; and Rick is their coach. They faced a tough opponent, and the game did not end in their favor, but I am a happy momma. Both Abby and Matt played hard and didn't give up. Hopefully, I'll be able to post some pictures later today. I need Rick's help with that. As much as I'm learning about blogging and computers, downloading pictures is utter confusion to me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Esther Study 101

Okay, Ladies. Here's the info on the Esther study I have so far. I hope to start at the beginning of July. There is still time to sign up, so let's encourage each other to not neglect Bible study this summer. We will be completing Esther: It's Tough Being A Woman by Beth Moore. The cost of the member book is $14.95. Make sure you are signed up by next Sunday, so that a member book is ordered for you. Instead of getting together to view a DVD session, you will be responsible for downloading the video or audio session for each week. The cost for that is $4.99/video or $3.99/audio. I will set up a day of the week that we will meet via this blog to discuss the previous week's homework and get ready for the next. At the conclusion of the study we will have a get-together, location TBA.

I realize this more expense than usual, but we will be doing this study from the comfort of our own homes. Once you have downloaded the audio or video, it's yours to keep. Many a time, I have wanted to go back and review a Beth Moore session, and now I'll be able to. Thanks for taking this Bible study journey with me. I think we are going to have a blast!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summertime Advice

I didn't write the following article, but I love the advice given in it. These are things that I need to work on. I've known it in the back of my mind for a while, but seeing it in print made everything clear.

Saved By the Bell
A Summer to Remember
Sharon Lovejoy AutryThe final bell rang. The kids screamed for joy. Mom sits in the carpool line wondering, "What in the world are we going to do all summer?!" Maybe as summer has begun, you've found yourself resentful and angry because your children constantly "interrupt" your schedule. If that's how you're feeling, you're normal.But, wait. We wanted these kids, right? Are they really interruptions or blessings in disguise? How can we move from simply surviving the summer to making it a summer to remember?Here are a few ideas to get you out of the summer survival rut:1. Realize they won't be this way forever. What is it about your kids that you won't have in two years? If you are a parent of:
Preschoolers: Look at their hands and notice how tiny they are. Enjoy that.
Elementary children: When you're away from home, call them. Their voices sound small on the phone. That always reminds me to enjoy their innocence rather than expecting them to act like little grown-ups.
Tweens: Laugh at and enjoy their giggles (usually girls) and the fascination they have with being gross (usually boys)! Hopefully that won't last forever!
Teens: Even if they are driving you crazy, make your home the safe place. I still remember the fun place our parents created at home. It was our refuge. Let kids feel safe in your home by cutting down on the criticism and looking for ways to build them up. Mom and Dad's secret was a ping-pong table. We spent hours there. 2. Say "no" with a smile. It makes you and your child feel better. They know you have some regret at having to say no. You are on their team.3. Play music. Anger and music don't usually dance. Movie soundtracks, praise songs, music from my teen years or even classical stations. I rarely find myself upset with my kids when we have music playing in the background.4. Go outside. Sometimes taking a walk or bike ride with the kids can do wonders to change everyone's perspective.5. Things aren't always as they seem. Remember that the way you are seeing things at this moment is probably not how it will look in a couple of hours. Frustrations can build and dissolve quickly when you have kids.6. Offer them 30 minutes of your time. After they have helped pick up around the house let them pick what the two of you will do together and watch their eyes light up! For older kids, offer them the day off after helping for an hour.7. Ask your kids what they think is fun. You might be surprised to find that their idea of fun often doesn't cost any money. My sister was amazed to find that her 7-year-old son's idea of "fun" was playing tag in the front yard with dad, mom and his little sister.8. Slow down. Successful parenting doesn't mean you have your children involved in every possible extra-curricular activity. Successful parenting means you are there for them. If you've been running all year, it takes "practice" to enjoy staying home. Don't give up. Turn off the computer, TV, cell phone, etc. and read or play games (no matter what the age of your children).9. Pray. When you are at your wit's end, ask God to help you remember what to do with your kids. On our own, it's hard to enjoy the moments because "life happens." But God has a way of giving us perspective that will slow us down and help us see our families the way He sees them: with love and compassion.The next time you blow your top or realize you're just surviving your kids instead of enjoying their clumsy feet, silliness, or their constant desire to talk on the phone, stop and think, "one day I'll miss this!" The funny thing is, tomorrow we'll be longing for today. If we choose to think like that long enough, the kids won't be the only ones sad to hear the school bell ring this fall.Sharon (Lovejoy) Autry, a mom of 3, co-authored Mom and Loving It, Finding Contentment in REAL Life with her sister, Laurie (Lovejoy) Hilliard, mom of 4.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Lysa TerKeurst has been discussing how she is winning the battle with food on her blog. ( It's a very thought provoking read. I know I need to let go of the caffeine, and the junk food. But I like it. Self-discipline where are you? Realizing there is a problem is a good start. Now to take it to the next level. Help!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything

We had a totally unexpected, but very welcome, visit from some old friends last night. It was nice to be able to touch base after so long. Mark and Sheri, we missed you guys! Thanks for stopping by.
No babysitting today. That means a Mom, Abby, Matt day. My children have energy to spare. They are headed to The Ridge later today, and are just a tad bit excited. I hope to be able to spend some one-on-one time with them before Paya comes to pick them up.
Matt had been asking to spend some time on the computer yesterday. When I told him he could he told me he loved me and gave me a bunch of little kisses on the cheek. I told him that was sweet. Matt said, "Mom, I'm always gonna give you kisses like that, even when I'm all grown up." Lord, help me to embrace this season of parenting, while keeping an eye on the next.
I'm getting ready to facilitate a Beth Moore Bible study on Esther using this very blog. It won't start until the beginning of July, but I am ready for it to begin now. I learn so much from doing these. Miss Beth most definitely has a gift.
That's it for now. Thanks for reading all my randomness.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's Your Favorite Cookie?

Being that the title of my blog is "The Cookie Mom" I thought it would be fun to ask what your favorite cookie is. Do you have a favorite? Do you have a memory of making or decorating cookies that you would like to share? I love choc-oat-chip myself. How about you? What's your favorite?

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a mom who wanted a place to post all the neat, and sometimes profound things her children said. Thus begins my journey into blogland. I hope you have as much fun reading this blog as I had creating it.