3 things we must do to protect our kids online

protect my kids online

This week, my husband and I attended a movie called “Over 18”,  which is a documentary that talks about the harmfulness of the porn industry, particularly to children and youth. We both came away from the film rather discouraged. It’s a big system, designed to create addiction so that it can make more money. Studies show that 90% of boys and 60% of girls have been exposed to internet pornography before 18. Say WHAT? I just want to put masks over my little boys’ eyes forever. The most powerful testimony in the movie was the 13 year old boy who became addicted to pornography at age 8. ← That’s not a typo. Age 8. And it all happened on the computer in the kitchen, while being homeschooled by his loving Christian parents. These were not negligent parents. They were normal, loving parents, just like you and me. And their boy … Read More

The one parenting goal you don’t want to miss

One parenting goal

I have heard it said that parenting is like flying a kite. When they are young, you keep them close, but as they grow, you let out the line little by little. If you let it out all at once, giving them too much freedom, they’ll get tangled in the briars of life. But if you never let go, they don’t learn to fly on their own. The key, the impossible, glorious key, is to let it out knot by knot, at the right times and in the right places. I’m quite sure it’s impossible to get right every time. Today I let out a knot, allowing my 8 year old to ride home from the park on his own. There were only 3 smallish roads to cross, but still, my mama heart beat faster than I would have liked. I have seen the damage that can be caused by … Read More

Books for preteen girls!

Harmony Blues, a book for pre-teen girls!

Today I’d love to welcome Victoria Kimble to my space. Her book for preteens, “Harmony Blues” is the third in a series of books for Christian preteen girls. Victoria has graciously donated the first two books in the series as a giveaway on this, her launch week for Harmony Blues! With an average of 4.9/5 stars (and with 79 reviews on Amazon, wow!), this is a fantastic giveaway! All you need to do to enter is share this post (Pinterest, Facebook, or email a friend with preteen daughters) then comment at the bottom! Giveaway closes on Tuesday, July 4 at 9 pm MST.  I wonder if I’ll ever get over how awkward I felt in junior high. I’ve forgotten a lot of things about my childhood, but the memories of junior high are always vivid, never fading. I can picture my walk to my locker, the stairs to the classrooms, … Read More

The 9 best reasons to live in a houseful of boys

One mom's humorous take on what it is like to raise 3 sons

If I had a dollar for every time someone said one of the following things to me when I’m out with my 3 boys, I’d be living on a private island right now: Are you trying for a girl? You must be busy. *look of extreme sympathy* Rather than divulge any personal information about my reproductive life, I think I might start printing and handing out copies of this list of all the best reasons to be raising a crop of boys! 1) Appreciation for my poop jokes. I love a good poop joke. No, not excessive ones at the kitchen table, but a witty poop joke can crack me up anytime. Try this one on for size: Knock knock Who’s there? Yoop Yoop who? No, I didn’t poo. Did you? I truly appreciate having an easily-pleased audience when I come up with that type of gem. 2) Less clothes Sometimes I have … Read More

When your child believes the lies of the enemy

My two oldest boys get on each other’s nerves something fierce these days. Recently, however, the fights were different. Tensions were high because of a deep mistrust that had burrowed itself into the mind of my eldest. Every word spoken and every action taken by his brother brought him to the brink of a tantrum because he felt like his brother was “out to get” him. During a particularly hard day when everyone in the family had gotten frustrated with his attitude, he wailed to his dad, “I feel like everyone is against me” and it finally clicked. My little boy was believing lies. You see, we have this enemy who wants to devour and destroy anything good in the lives of our boys. He does not want them growing up with a strong bond of brotherly love, and he will do what it takes to tear that bond apart. Lies were … Read More

the day I accidentally taught my kids about perseverance

I set the boys up with an activity then settled into my project for the day: homemade kinetic sand. The websites all made it seem easy…which meant that I was doomed for a #pinterestfail. My kids listened as I grumbled and groaned over batch after failed batch. My slime was too thick. The sand was too clumpy. It was NOTHING like the kinetic sand in the store. It was more like kitty litter. (used kitty litter. yeah.) While I tortured myself, E, my 7-year-old was just as frustrated in his corner. He was trying to build something out of recycling, something that seemed grand and glorious inside his head but wasn’t panning out properly. Eventually, he gave up. Just before lunch, when I said I was giving up too, my wise little 5 year piped up, “at least you tried. Right Mommy? It’s important that you tried.” Heart melted and … Read More

fighting FOR our strong-willed kids instead of against them

hard-to-handle

Let’s swap “stubborn kid” stories, shall we? I’ll tell you about the time a friend asked my 3-year-old to help clean up a communal play area…and he soundly ignored her after repeated attempts to get him to help. I was mortified. I’ll tell you about all the nitpicked meals that have gone in the compost because a certain picky eater would rather go to bed than touch his food. Or the time this child refused, REFUSED, to go to Sunday School. The same Sunday School his mother is in charge of. Yup. He was so rude to his teacher, I wanted to hide in a corner, not go stand in front of the group and teach them about God’s love! Then there is the child that still refuses to speak at almost 3 years old. Can we talk about the screaming, the foot-stomping, and the slamming doors? Or perhaps we can just allude to that … Read More

Christmas gifts that make a difference

gifts that make a difference

“True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the “rejects of life,” to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands–whether of individuals or entire peoples–need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed We all like to support our favourite organizations, especially at Christmas. My firm belief is that true charity should empower. So much of charity work is done with good intentions, but with the ultimate result of leaving more people dependent on handouts, or worse. Donating reams of old clothing and shoes to the developing world? This puts many local tailors and clothes stores out of business. Donating infant formula? This causes babies to sicken as the formula is mixed with dirty water, … Read More

lessons from the potty chair: the spirituality of potty training

frog potty training

I was dreading potty training my third son. He’s quite stubborn and he doesn’t talk so I was expecting a horrible weekend*. But as with anything mandatory with kids, I jumped in and did it anyway. Partway through the day I had this sudden realization that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, and not because he was miraculously potty trained in 5 minutes. (he wasn’t, just to clarify) I had this little epiphany: God is helping me. He is giving me wisdom and patience (LOTS OF IT) and energy so that I can continue the dreaded P-Day with joy. The revelation surprised me, because I had not thought to pray about potty training. It is easier to remember to call on God when I’m working at church, or leading a Bible study, or praying with my kids. But perhaps I had compartmentalized my faith – remembering that God is with me … Read More

The 3 powerful words every child needs

3 powerful words

Imagine this very common scene with me: Olivia and Jack are playing together. They squabble, as kids tend to do when doing anything together. During the fight, Jack whacks Olivia on the head and Olivia starts crying. A few minutes later, the fuss has calmed down, and Jack says to Olivia, “I’m sorry for hitting you.” What does Olivia say? 9 times of 10, Olivia says “it’s okay”. Is that really what she should be saying at that moment? “It’s okay that you whacked me on the head? Go ahead, do it again anytime, because hey, it’s okay!” If you’re anything like me, you’ve coached your kid to say this at least once, but really, the words are meaningless, aren’t they? Assuming that “next time, I’m gonna kick your teeth in” isn’t a reasonable alternative, what should be said instead? I Forgive You.   “I forgive you” is the most powerful phrase you can … Read More