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Don't forget to make some memories!

The Five Magic Words

Posted by on Nov 23, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

I have no idea how many times I heard this question growing up; “What’s the magic word?” Even as I write this I hear my mother’s voice. Those who teach manners call them the “five magic words,” although some of them are more than one word. What are they? Excuse me. Thank you. You’re welcome. Please. Sorry. Why are they called magic? Because of their potential power. The magic words are an easy way to create positive communication and goodwill—and it’s important for us to instill this in our children. “Excuse me” or “pardon me” are polite ways to smooth over the intrusion of your life into another’s. Sometimes, there is a need to interrupt a conversation. Sometimes we need to make our way through a blocked area. Sometimes we accidentally interrupt or inadvertently step into someone’s way. All...

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Living Water

Posted by on Nov 15, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Giggles and Grace | 0 comments

For years, I sat at the kitchen table to have my morning quiet time with the Lord. I would sit down and read my Bible after I fed my kids breakfast and got them playing or took them to school. One day as I read at the table, Grace, who was three at the time, came dancing around the table and behind me. I possess the special mom skill where I can listen for signs of distress but tune out the sound of chatter and singing. Grace danced and sang as she meandered all around the kitchen. She stopped at the fridge and played with the magnet letters for a minute before dancing on towards me again. Her songs were a pleasant background music for my reading. My little girl disappeared behind my chair standing between me and the...

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Train Up a Child

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

In the small town where I grew up, “turning out” was a big deal. A person turned out right when they got a steady job, got married, had a family, and stayed in the same church in which they were raised. It was the formula hovering over each parent, judging their success or failure. Nothing fueled gossip or categorized social strata as much as how offspring turned out. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it,” (Proverbs 22:6; NASB). On four Sundays, my husband and I dedicated four different children. I remember each occasion. I also remember feeling uncomfortable with my parenthood visible for all to see and sensing that I was inept at the task. Our first child, a baby girl, cried (aka screamed) all the...

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Just Be Little

Posted by on Oct 18, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Giggles and Grace | 1 comment

I have two daughters and a son. All three of my kids have always loved dressing up in costumes. My son, who is now seventeen, spent many an afternoon as a little boy in full Peter Pan costume climbing trees in our yard. He has been an army man in head-to-toe camouflage, a pirate, Robinhood, a cowboy and a knight. The girls, on the other hand, have always loved to be some sort of princess. While Faith preferred Snow White or Jasmine, Grace always loved Cinderella. One afternoon when Grace got out of the bathtub, she begged for me to make her Cinderella. We dug through the toy box to find her blue princess dress. After a thorough search, we located both of Cinderella’s light-up slippers, her crown, her wand, white gloves and even a black ribbon choker necklace...

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The Positivity of Just 18 Summers

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Recently I saw a re-posted rant on Facebook. It complained “Stop telling me I only have eighteen summers.” In it, the author wrote that the slogan judged her and she outlined many negatives the phrase incited in her. She told that she was constantly stressed doing the math and traumatized about how much she may have missed. The writer pointed out the pain the comment would have if someone’s child died before eighteen years. She mentioned parents who might have a problem child or screaming youth they don’t even recognize. In summation she nit-picked that folks were telling her she was a bad mother if she didn’t enjoy every single minute of those eighteen summers. I was saddened by her discouraged state. Not just because I am privileged to be a columnist for the Just 18 Summers on-line parenting...

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Banana Stickers and Big Questions

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 6 comments

Charity bounced into the kitchen. Two braids swung behind her. Her black Italian school uniform covered mismatched pants and shirt. The hidden kaleidoscope of colors was her way of nose-thumbing against the system’s imposed social equality. It was hard to stand out in a standardized sea of black robed children. But not our child. Oh no, Charity was the only one that sported a Chiquita banana sticker stuck on her forehead. “I’m starting a new fad,” she told me. Her blue eyes sparkled. It was hard to appreciate her excitement with that white sticker smack dab in the center. “Oh, I see,” I said, wondering why the only American in the entire school needed to brand herself as different. “Everyone will want a Chiquita banana sticker like mine,” she pointed one finger at it then carefully felt around its...

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