An open letter to kids’ church workers

Dear children’s pastor,

You – and your team – are the reason we go to church.

This is a tough season. Three young kids, who all prefer to stay close to mom rather than enjoy the activities offered to them. Most Sundays I am sitting in a room alone, watching the service on a TV while trying to keep my children happy with snacks and small toys. Most Sundays I wonder why I still go, why I don’t stay in my pjs and watch the livestream instead of wrestling my kids into clean clothes and out the door. Most Sundays I struggle to see the point and purpose, when I barely get a hello to my friends or more than a few minutes to engage in the service without interruptions. Continue reading

Attention Management For Moms

This past week I listened to an interview with Maura Thomas.

Maura has a long career in teaching individuals and businesses how to be more productive and more effective by controlling where they focus their attention.

It was obvious to see why her advice would be helpful in any work place … but as I listened to her speak, I couldn’t help but think that as a parent, this woman’s methods have a lot of wisdom to offer.

The most impacting statement I heard Maura say was,

“The ability to focus is our most valuable resource.”

Time isn’t my problem. I just think it is. Continue reading

Monday meals: pizza pockets

This one is definitely more labor intensive than most of the recipes we’ve been posting. I mostly wanted to try it out to see how these pizza pockets went over with my kiddos, in the hopes that I could make a batch or two on a quiet day and toss them in the freezer for quick meals on the go. Even though there’s some work involved, I think it’s worth it! They were a hit with the littles (and me too) and easier to wolf down. Continue reading

The eyes of a child

There’s a passage of Scripture that recommends we all become like little children.

That’s a preposterous idea if we think about those legit crazy adults that like to carry around pacifiers and dress in diapers. Or even the less extreme folks who live with their parents their whole lives, neglecting to learn real-life skills and contribute to society.

I don’t believe that’s what the verse was saying. I do think there’s merit to it, and my daughter is slowly teaching me what it really means. Let me explain. Continue reading

Monday meals: sweet and sour meatballs

I’m an unashamed fan of any dinner than I can throw in the slow cooker sometime in the morning and then throw onto plates whenever my kids are hungry in the evening. This is one of those meals. And an even bigger plus – it makes a great freezer meal. Just put all of the ingredients in a ziplock bag and whip out whenever you need a quick, easy, no-prep option to feed your brood.

I actually kind of like making my own meatballs, but you could just as easily use a bag of frozen for this recipes. Whatever works for you, momma! Continue reading

The perks of a sister

I always knew I wanted more than one child. I’m from a large family; so are my parents, so I’ve been surrounded by siblings and cousins my entire life. Thankfully, my husband is also from a larger family and has always been on board with having more than just one or two. We agreed we wanted to give our kids the experience of brothers or sisters, but it’s been even more amazing than I thought.

When we found out we were having a second daughter, I was beyond thrilled. I have two older sisters and one younger, so the reality of having two girls close in age was so special to me. I immediately decided they would be best friends for life.

And somehow, they are already. Continue reading

Monday meals: waffles

Breakfast for dinner is always a winner, right? Waffles were pretty much my favorite breakfast when I was a kid, even though we didn’t have them often.

Though some might think it a lame gift, I was thrilled when my husband bought me a waffle maker for Christmas a couple years ago so I could finally start making this deliciousness for my own children.

There’s a lot of good recipes out there, but this one has become my go-to. With oats and just a touch of brown sugar, I like to think it’s a slightly healthier option than others out there. Though I suppose it doesn’t matter how much sliced fruit I throw on top, I’m still going to drench the whole thing in pure North Country maple syrup. How could you not? Continue reading

Learning Grace

It’s been a tiring couple of weeks.

I’ve finished some classes I’ve been taking, which is great, but they’ve been at the expense of my housework and regular meals.

Some days it feels like they’ve been at the expense of my kids.

It seems when mom or dad are extra busy, little people’s behaviors get out of whack. It’s probably part lack of routine and part boredom, but regardless we have all been having meltdowns. Frustrations. And exhaustion.

This is by no means in the top difficulties I’ve faced – it’s actually just a pretty normal life season – but it has had me thinking about rough patches. How we perceive them. And how we use them. Continue reading

What Daniel Tiger taught me

You know how in every Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episode there’s a little ditty that drives home the lesson?

Okay, so maybe you’re not as well-versed in this Mister Rogers remake show as I am, but it’s super cute. And yes, in each episode a red-sweatered Daniel Tiger learns something and conveniently has a song to help us remember it (or it just become ingrained in our brains whether we wanted it or not).

Well, there’s one that goes:

“Do your best, your best is the best for you.”

I had it stuck in my head for days after my daughter watched the show. And I realized it’s just as relevant for me as an adult and a mom as it for kids competing in sports or comparing abilities. Continue reading