Smart Phones: Friend, Foe, Freedom

Kids and phones are and have seen the best of times (I mean, really – sitting in a germ-infested doctors office is MUCH less stressful with a kid’s hands occupied rather than free to the room) to the worst of times. We could probably fill the page with the latter. social media pressures seemingly unavoidable access to damaging apps argument inducer that accompany almost every limitation setting even addiction There’s also a new term, “nomophobia” meaning NO MOre PHone phOBIA – as in debilitating fear when the phone is gone. Seems a stretch, but who can make this stuff up.   Of course none of that is limited to kids. But it’s always easier to see others’ issues before our own. Or maybe it’s the major warning signals flashing brightly, letting us know that something is

Great News in Today’s culture

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! We’re still working on addressing cards and delivering a couple of neighbor gifts – hot chocolate, better late than never, right?!. And, I might have even found a gift or two that got lost in the mix. The still unwrapped items just might be saved for a later since their absence never mattered to begin with. As expected, the most special gifts were the ones the kids picked out and payed for each other. The best was probably this math equations nerd-shirt. The kid instantly put it on then chuckled throughout the evening at a couple of the equations. Apparently they’re real – and funny. Who knew?! Returns have already commenced. Especially since I accidentally ordered 2 (TWO!) beanbag chairs – the special gift for 1 (ONE) kid – oops! I thought I share a little

Gift Guide – Simple Rules

“What are you getting the boys?” a friend of mine asked. We bumped into each other at the pharmacy. My fingers are still crossed, hoping we’re done with the flu! “That’s the question of the hour,” I shake my head. “Funny thing,” I started in, “I was in Tuesday Morning last week picking up a lamp for my mom. Our rearranging of her furniture opened the perfect spot for a lamp by her chair. And I totally scored with the perfect lamp for that spot.” “I love Tuesday Morning,” she sighed. “It can be hit or miss. But when it hits, it’s a home-run for sure.” “I know. So happy.” Birds were singing, we smile-nodded, all was right in the world. “If only all shopping could be as quick and productive as that lamp-run,” she said. “Fact,” I shuh-replied. Yeah, my friend looked at me weird, too. Sometimes

The Overwhelming Nature of the Season

I have a tiny vendetta against pressure/stress/circumstance-laden Overwhelmed. I’m tired of things stealing from me, from us – the kids and my friends and people in general. There are so many examples. Huge things like the legitimate uproar over kids and smart phones. Jean Twenge recently authored a study/book on the dangers of smart-phone use, specifically to the point of destroying a generation of kids who are “on the brink of a mental health crisis.” I see the articles. And my heart aches at all the repercussions and the enormity of the situation. Medium things that look huge since we live in the days of instant (instant gratification, instant results, instant judgement,… ) like grades. It’s the end of the semester – a few low numbers threaten to make that fragile, yet powerful GPA an indictment rather than a golden

The Often Dismissed Importance of Self-Standards

This morning as I parked in front of the house upon returning from a Top-Pot donut run (funny thing about having kids, donuts re-entered my life – I know that’s not the case for everyone, but they’re just so yummy and life’s short and I have such fond memories of weekend donuts when I was a kid, and well, enough excuses/justifications just don’t judge me :) I noticed something that I so wish I had captured on video – integrity and doing the right thing at its finest. Standing on my neighbor’s sidewalk, bent at the waist, staring at the grass stood a neighbor (TS) from a few blocks over (I know he lives a few blocks away because he’s our friend.) Behind him two leashed dogs sat, waiting. He looked and looked. Stood up, scratched his head, then looked some more. He absolutely couldn’t

Freshman (college) to Freshman (high school) Advice

The college domino affect started a few years ago in our house. With five kids, we knew it loomed on the horizon since the days when they were little tykes, convinced that swimming in a plastic pool in the front yard was as close to paradise as one could get. Now those early years of making a dollar stretch a mile, making life-altering decisions (like which Mother’s Day Out is “best” – as if), birthday parties, carpools, sports teams, … fill in the blank –  all seem like child’s play as we face daunting. Not only the cost (seriously – what happened?!) but also the huh?!-factor. Huh?, as in – since when did co-ed dorms sound like a good idea, for young adults – who may or may not be at the height of their wise-decision-making ability. But along with daunting comes exciting. Seriously exciting. These kids are amazing.

Change – Managing More than Nickels & Dimes

Sure death and taxes are inevitable, but so is change. I don’t about you, but we’ve got a lot going on in this house. New schools (new college, new high school, middle school), new teachers for everyone, Driver’s Ed, teams, hair styles, puberty (‘nuff said!) … seriously the list could go on and on. Some change is fun. Other change – not so much. And, how we meet change, how we handle change can have a major impact on our attitudes, our stress level and our contentment. The thing about change – it’s not just the landscape shift that determines the ripple affects, dormant emotions (of which we may not even be aware) can drive anxieties or reactions that come with change. Over the summer we had lots of change. One of my favorite friends passed away. It really surprised me at how I couldn’t shake it. For over a month I had trouble

Hope

Grief is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha. Funny in that though its a concept –  it acts like thing, a person, a force. It inflicts pain like a punch to the gut one minute, then it weighs down as if s a 300 pound gorilla scampered up your back to snag a shoulder-ride the next. Then It morphs into twins so it can grab onto both your legs at the same time like a tantrum-toddler hanging on for dear life, refusing to let go, dragging behind so steps forward feel like trudging through quicksand. But Hope is a funny thing, too. And Hope, though a concept, goes so much further than grief. Because unlike grief, Hope IS a person. Hope gently lifts. It steadily adjusts and brings into focus Truth. It shines light. It holds back the floods & storms so the waters don’t rise over. It blocks the flames so they don’t burn. It shelters. It keeps

Never losing sight of dinner’s deeper nutritional value

Cleaning House Boot Camp: Week 1 “Get ready for some good food, Mom,” dinner-kid shouted to me from the kitchen. “I’m such a good cook, I already have my own bakery. It’s called Jack’s bakery.” “You’re making dinner,” his sister reminded him, shaking her head at the newly minted, possibly excessive confidence. “Bakeries make desserts. “Well, my food is so good – it tastes like dessert.” Bam! The fun & laughter wasn’t so much fun & laughs at our family meeting the night before. We kicked off our six-week Cleaning House boot camp of sorts to the sound of moans and groans: “What?!” “Why would we do boot-camp’?! We already know this stuff.” “You’re just trying to get us to do all the work around here.” And then someone had to throw in, “did you run out of things to write about?”

A Reset – A Cleaning House Bootcamp of Sorts

Hello sweet moatblog friends :) Sorry for lots of silence. May bleeding into April and a couple of graduations is probably ’nuff said. There’s that and the truth that most spare time of late has been spent on the vod/podcast front. Our little SaySomething Show latest episode with Sandra Stanley on contentment is worth the 20 minute-view has been a blast to put together and hopefully encouraging/informing to folks that tune in. Well those things AND I’m tossing around the notion (and wondering if I’ve got it in me) to write another book – more to come on that. Back to blogging front: this spot on the blogosphere began because a line was drawn in the sand – and that same line is about to be drawn again (eek!). Our house needs a taming-entitlement refresher (and since tons of folks have asked), I’m
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