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3 Ways to Communicate Love

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

“Do you know how much I love you?” I ask my grandkids each time they visit. They smile and shake their heads in mock naiveté. “No, Grandma. How much do you love us?” they say. I extend my arms wide and say, “I love you thi-i-i-i-s much.” Their smiles break into giggles, and their giggles melt my heart. This seems such a simple game, but the children never grow bored with it. Neither do they tire of receiving hugs, snuggles, and my undivided attention. This doesn’t surprise me, for who ever tires of knowing they are loved? Occasionally I ponder what I’d do differently if I could retrace my steps and parent my kids again. The answer always comes back to this: Worry less about the things that don’t matter much in the long run, and focus more on...

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3 Keys to a Successful Fresh Start

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

Hanging a new year’s calendar infuses me with hope. The action seems to mentally erase last year’s foibles and failures, or at least lessen their impact. I see those unmarked pages as promises for a fresh start, and I feel encouraged. As a mom, I often wished for a fresh start, especially after saying things I later regretted—words spoken in anger or from utter fatigue. Sure, I asked my kids to forgive me, and—bless their hearts—they did. But I ruminated over my failures, spending way too much time berating myself and bogged down in regret. If only I could undo and redo what I’ve done, I’d think. Time and experience have taught me a few things. One of the lessons I’ve learned is that we can’t undo and redo those regrettable things, but we can do things differently from...

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Quiet Discipline

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

Have you ever thought about the fact that your children might hear you better if you don’t yell at them when they’ve misbehaved or you’re upset with them? I get it. Parenting can be tough, and sometimes our kids tromp on our last good (or bad) nerve. Other times we’re beyond exhausted and the patience well is on empty, and then—even though we have the best of intentions—we end up yelling. And later, we feel guilty or sad about it. So how can we do better as parents? Acknowledge that there is a problem. Understand that we’ve been influenced by our own childhoods—which can be a good or bad thing. For those of us who had parents who yelled at us, this is our opportunity to break the cycle for our own children. Make a conscious decision to do...

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How to Raise an Awesome Teenager

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

Awhile back, I was invited to speak at a women’s event at a church. The leader of the group said, “We want you to speak to the moms of the teens and tell them how to have great teenagers.” My reply? “Could I speak to the moms of the two-year-olds then? That’s where the process of having a great teen really begins.” It’s true. Why does a parent who can’t control their children when they’re two or three think that they will have any authority over them when they are teenagers? Here are some of the key things you can do with your little ones that will have a big impact when they reach their teen years: Teach your children to be respectful of you, authority figures, other people, and their siblings. Somebody has to be in charge. Life...

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5 Ways to Teach Kids About the True Meaning of Christmas

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

As secularism continues creeping into our society, it’s especially important to help kids understand the true meaning of Christmas. It’s far more than Santa Claus, the elf on the shelf, and jingle bells. It’s about giving, loving, and celebrating the birthday of Jesus—Immanuel, God with us. How can we instill Christian values about Christmas in our kids’ lives? Here are five suggestions based on our culture’s norms: Toys Gifts play a major role in Christmas celebrations. Enjoy the fun of secrets and surprise within your family, but ensure that your kids anticipate the excitement not only of receiving, but also of giving. Ask your pastor if he knows of a needy family within your congregation or community, and buy gifts for those children. Sponsor a child through Angel Tree, or buy practical gifts for people staying in a homeless...

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Teaching Our Kids to Live in the Moment

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and my husband and I had decided to spend it at the annual local airshow. http://tinyurl.com/qyvknlf Performers included the incredible USAF F-22 Raptor, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, and the Breitling Jet Team. Their aerial feats left me, and thousands of other landlubbers, astounded. Too bad the kids in the van parked beside us missed all the fun. While everyone around them watched airplane acrobatics, these kids—a boy and girl guesstimated to be about 10 years old—glued their gazes on their cell phone screens. “Get out of the car,” urged their mom. “You can’t see anything from where you’re sitting.” Her words fell on deaf ears. What a shame, I thought as I watched the scene unfold. These kids have the opportunity to see some pretty impressive flying, but they’re missing it. If only...

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