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Don't forget to make some memories!

Taco Bell Truth

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

“Let’s do this again.” Those words, printed on a packet of Taco Bell Mild Sauce, fit the evening like a glove. The unusually cool weather had beckoned our family outdoors. Hurricane Irma was headed our way, but on this night before her arrival, everything was still. Even the mosquitos stayed away. I sat on a picnic blanket in our backyard, surrounded by my four favorite people. Because I was too tired to cook, we had picked up tacos and brought them back home. After enjoying our fast food dinner, my husband and kids spent the next half hour playing frisbee and catch. I snuggled my preschooler in our oversized rocking chair. From inside the house, I could almost hear the sink of dirty dishes calling my name. I could envision the messes trailing from one end of our home...

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Raising the White Flag

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Lean in close, I have a secret to tell. “I am a recovering control freak.” Seriously. Life is good when things go according to plan, when nothing too crazy happens, and when people behave themselves. But if things start to veer too far off course, I get anxious. God has grown me a lot in this area over the last few years, though. I’m learning to raise the white flag, to trust Him and listen to His voice when things seem out of control. I had an opportunity to practice this recently. My child was very loudly and quite passionately objecting to the word no. I knew I couldn’t give in to the tantrum. Such behavior was unacceptable. I needed to make the child stop. But all my efforts were in vain. Every discipline or redirection seemed to make...

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When Your Child Doesn’t Get the Award, Part 2

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Our home has been a flurry of activity for the last several weeks. We lead a busy life year-round, but as school wraps up, our calendar is even more full than normal. A highlight of this season was our kids’ project fair and awards dinner. We prepared for weeks and greeted the evening with eager anticipation. During the ceremony, teachers handed out awards and praised the achievement of their top pupils. An emcee read student choice awards for such categories as “happy-go-lucky,” “most influential among classmates” and “most likely to become president.” Our daughter received three awards that night. Our son received none. As we’ve processed the joy and pain of that event, we have had opportunities to discuss some important life lessons. This type of situation undoubtedly occurs in every home where there’s more than one child. How...

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When Your Child Doesn’t Get the Award, Part 1

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Applause erupted as our daughter stood to receive her third award of the evening. She beamed with excitement while walking onto stage. I listened to the praise of both her teachers and peers and my heart swelled with joy. At the same time, I ached for her brother who received no awards that night. Oh, the depth of conflicting emotions that can simultaneously possess a parent’s heart. Our son did well in his classes this year. He makes friends easily and is very outgoing. But he won no “student choice awards” that night, nor did he get the highest scores in any of his classes. On the way home he commented, “I wonder why I didn’t get any awards.” I turned in the front passenger seat and looked at him with compassion and understanding. I’ve experienced these gut-wrenching feelings...

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Scrapbooking with Pics

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Organize the photos. This is where it all begins. A scrapbook can contain anything that can lay flat such as photos, movie tickets, awards, plane tickets, programs, invitations, etc. Be sure as your get your photos printed that you include dates on the back so that when you scrapbook you will know exactly when the events took place. Decide on a theme for your scrapbook. What would you like your scrapbook to be? Here are a few ideas . . . a family scrapbook, travel, graduation, holiday, new home, first job, birthdays, or maybe a scrapbook for a child, grandchild, grandparent, or a friend. Choose your album There are all kinds of albums and all sizes. Look at your local craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby or AC Moore for a great selection of albums. Organize your page...

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

One thing that is hard for me as a professional photographer is to take just one picture that tells a story.  I want the picture to be perfect like I said before in an earlier blog. (http://just18summers.com/simple-fun-must/)  I want to set everything up so that it is appealing and catches the eye. While going back through my iPhone pictures from our less-than-a-month-ago trip to Kenya, I find myself stopping at the one that isn’t perfect. I find myself stopping at the one that triggers a memory . . . forms a lump in my throat . . . brings tears to my eyes. The one that tells a story. Take time—especially this summer while so many memories are being made. Look for a moment that is special and snap that shot in that second. When you go back through...

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