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Don't forget to make some memories!

7 Ways to Celebrate National Smile Month

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

June is national smile month. I know, I know—it refers to oral health, and that’s all good. But why not give this theme a fun twist for your family? Why not declare “Smiles” as the hot topic in your home this month? Here are seven suggestions: Discover fascinating facts about smiles. Older kids can have fun researching and sharing trivia such as…the average child smiles approximately 400 times per day, but grown-ups smile only about 20 times per day. Babies are born with the ability to smile. And there are 19 different types of smiles. Enjoy an art project. Have each child draw an animal, fish, or bug with a big, toothy grin. Or tell them to draw a picture of someone or something that makes them feel happy. Ask the kids to tell one joke per day. Be...

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The Family that Exercises Together . . .

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

“Daddy, my legs are getting rusty.” It’s been years since our youngest son said those words but it still makes me smile whenever I think of them. As summer approached that year, the two couch potatoes at our house and our three little spuds had decided to add an evening walk to our routine. Most families are busy. We juggle a wide variety of things in our schedules and it often takes someone persistent who will keep pushing (yes, nag!) everyone to get started. Some people in my family (not naming any names) might have grumbled a bit—maybe even claimed a new love afair with cleaning the kitchen, but we finally set out on that first walk . . . and the second . . . and the third. Those late spring evenings were so nice. Perfect for walking—especially...

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“But I Don’t Have Time to Pray!”

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

As the mom of three preschoolers, I longed for quiet moments dedicated to personal Bible reading and prayer. But those moments were few and far between. As time passed, I felt woefully inadequate and frustrated. How could I ever grow my relationship with Jesus if I didn’t have a decent chunk of time to sit down and talk with Him? Everything changed when I realized that a one-size-fits-all prayer template was a misnomer. While some moms in my circles enjoyed 15 minutes or more of daily undisturbed intercession, my schedule and family responsibilities didn’t offer me that luxury. Rather than feel guilty about it, I had to find a system that worked for me. One of the most freeing discoveries in my spiritual life was that I could invite Jesus into the mundane of my day and thus enjoy...

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Moms, You’re Enough!

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

Being a mom is the best job in the world. But let’s be honest here, sometimes it’s a tough job. There are days of sheer exhaustion when there’s not a scrap of energy left. (Well, at least for you—the kids still have plenty of it.) There are moments when your children are sick and you’re worried, times when you’re up all night with them, washing load after load of laundry, dispensing medicines throughout the wee hours—and then you have to perform all day the next day as if nothing had happened. And let’s not forget those mountains of laundry. Dirty clothes piled to the ceiling. A mountain of warm clothes on the couch waiting to be folded. And it’s never-ending. Add in jobs, church, being a wife, fixing dinner each night, and countless other responsibilities, and it’s a wonder...

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Saying No to “Should” and Yes to “Could”

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

I recently overheard a mom talking about her child’s upcoming birthday party. “My son wants a dinosaur theme, so I scouted Pinterest,” she told her friend. “Oh my goodness—there’s a ton of amazing ideas.” Then she described what she’d seen online—ideas for a dinosaur-shaped cake, invitations, room decorations, party favors, games, and costumes. “I really feel like I should do these things to create a fantastic memory,” she continued. Then she paused. “There’s only one problem: it would cost a small fortune. Besides, I don’t know where I’d find the time to get everything ready.” If it had been appropriate for me to break into the conversation, I would have encouraged this woman to resist the pressure to pull off a party fit for a prince. I might have said, “Let go of what you feel you should do....

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3 Life Lessons Our Kids Teach Us

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

Moms and dads expend a measureless amount of time and energy teaching their kids everything from basic life skills—how to use a potty, how to dress, how to eat with a fork—to character development and beyond. Books and blogs and magazine articles abound, offering advice and information for every topic imaginable. Sometimes, though, it’s refreshing to turn the focus around and think about the lessons our kids teach us. “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about,” says author William Saroyan.  I totally agree. My kids were masterful at instructing me in life’s important matters, and they did so without intention. Here are three examples: Kids teach that joy is found in simplicity. My children squealed with delight if a ladybug landed near them. They gushed over spring’s...

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