May Madness – Covid Clarity

May Madness – Covid Clarity

Well, we’re halfway through May and it still seems a bit surreal. How can we almost be through another school year? How does time go so fast, yet so slow at the same time?

Still, here we are. May with all its activities has barreled onto the scene. So, welcome to the 6th annual (skipped last year – I mean, that was an entirely different story) May Madness Bracket – Covid Edition.

We had a few contenders drop out this year as uncertainty around gatherings and future...

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MOAT – Mostly Ordinary, Always Together

MOAT – Mostly Ordinary, Always Together

A slight change is at hand here at themoatblog – not in content (though maybe with this minor shift, content will be coming back!!) but in context.

Our house has transformed from 5 tweens & teens to no tweens and 2 teens (for a short time). And far from my aching heart’s desire (though I never would have thought that at the onset), my days in the carpool line are coming to a close.

This kid is on his way to college,

this kid high school,

and these three are young adults....

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Artist Anne Neilson on B.U.S.Y & her new devotional

Artist Anne Neilson on B.U.S.Y & her new devotional

What is more beautiful this time of years than angels? Especially Anne Neilson angels!

I mean – seriously.

Anne’s story that began with a paper she wrote in 3rd grade, that hit lots of highs, lows and lots of waiting is sure to inspire you as it did us (Brenda Teele to tears) and put wind in your sails as you travel your own journey. Hers tapped into art, raising kids, then back to writing which is why she joined our SaySomething ncarpool chat – to share about her new...

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Happy in Who We Are

Happy in Who We Are

A little something I started a few years ago as the kids started to head into adulthood (and before I say, know that the follow-through has been well-intentioned with a side of freedom to be imperfect) is to highlight a Bible for them. Not in some super-spiritual sort...

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8 Days of Thankful Done

8 Days of Thankful Done

Today is day 8 of 8 Days of THANKFULness (like the 12 Days of Christmas, but instead of gifts, calling out things for which to be grateful that begins the letters in THANKFUL). Today is “L”              I am so thankful LAUGHTER & LOVE!   Laughter might be the only contagious thing we want to catch. Good thing it’s highly contagious. And unlike annoying Covid-19, it’s a wonderful contagion. It’s healthy – for the body and soul. Laughter literally reduces stress hormones,...

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Days 1 & 2 of THANKFULness

Days 1 & 2 of THANKFULness

On Day 1 of our 8 Days of THANKFULNESS, begins with the letter “T”. Instagram friends landed on things like Table, Teachers, and Time (grateful for extended time with kids & family, a silver-lining of Covid). Which leads to where I landed, thankful for TODAY.

Beingn thankful for TODAY might sound weird, but I’m so glad that we don’t have to be held hostage to yesterday [it has already happened — we can linger in lovely memories or learn from the challenges or circumstances,...

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8 Days of Thankful

8 Days of Thankful

This pic popped up on my Facebook memories. It made me smile and linger in the way that gratitude/thankfulness really does turn “what we have into enough.”

Along with countless others, we’ve had quite the ride this year. Some of which brought us dangerously close to the edge in ways we never could have imagined. My heart aches a bit as not too distant memories flicker in in and out of my thoughts. Yet even on the darkest day and diciest of moments, the ground stayed...

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Safe Places

Safe Places

A friend touched base yesterday, checking in to see how we’re doing. She was such an encouragement as she entered into our sphere while welcoming me into hers. We laughed, we cried and we prayed. She’s a safe place to do such things.

Do you have a safe place? A friend? a mentor? A person with whom you can share real things? A place where you don’t need answers and where you don’t have to brace yourself for answers?

I think we all need safe places.

A safe place ...

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Listening, Learning, Acting during tense days

Listening, Learning, Acting during tense days

Little acts of kindness can seem insignificant, yet they have such great impact. Especially kindness as it relates to words - spoken as well as heard.⁣ Last week my friends with SaySomething Show (our video podcast) got together to do both. We know it's hard to...

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What a gift

What a gift

Last night, our family watched Antiques Road Show together (Saturday night excitement!)  A lady brought in a painting that her doctor father had received as a thank-you from a patient to whom he waved payment – since he knew they couldn’t pay. After her dad passed, the woman inherited & treasured the beautiful landscape. She decided to bring it to AR and learned that her treasure is an actual treasure – worth quite a large sum of money.

Overwhelmed, she gasped ...

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Forced Exit, Enjoying the View

Forced Exit, Enjoying the View

It’s strange to think about a week ago today.

Whatever you were doing – one thing is certain (for everyone, everywhere) – business as usual isn’t usual right now. Plans have changed, schools & businesses closed, certainty has taken a back seat – in some cases hopped out of the car all together. Clouds have blown in, making it a bit hard to see what’s happening.

Clouds on the horizon can steal our peace.

They appear threatening and can ...

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New Year, Book Marathon, changes

New Year, Book Marathon, changes

These are a few interesting reads I gathered from our shelves. Not all will be on the marathon and a few more will be added. So I’ve decided to do a marathon this year. Not a running one, but my own made up one involving books, 26.2 books for 2020. I'm also working on...

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Mercy Invites Dignity & Redemption

Mercy Invites Dignity & Redemption

We just passed the half-way point of our Heart Cleanse that I might be renaming Soul-Cleanse because that’s what seems to be going on. Something deep at a soul level is happening.

A levity has entered our sphere.

“Have you been doing our little cleanse thing?” I ask Snopes.

“In my head,” she replies.

I nod. And ask, “Have you noticed a levity? I mean, it seems like with the boys, all of us, a lightness is there.”

“I know,” she says – almost wide-eyed – and nods. “Absolutely.”

“I’m not making...

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GKM Power Walks

GKM Power Walks

The Heart Cleanse continues (40 day feast – practicing gratitude, kindness & mercy), and opportunities abound.

This offered a lovely morning greeting after a wonderful (yet hard) college send-off weekend in San Antonio last weekend. The boys held down the fort while the girls traveled and dropped off.

Why the open cereal boxes? Why not just close them and put them away (& other counter-stuff for that matter?) I don’t know. But with a genuinely happy heart (GRATEFUL...

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When College Drop-Off/School-start Doesn’t Look Like You Thought it Would

When College Drop-Off/School-start Doesn’t Look Like You Thought it Would

It’s about this time of year that social media threads begin to be filled with smiling happy people heading back or off to school. Pics of trips made, roommates hugging, dorm rooms decorated, fraternity & sorority choices announced … and in the younger years: teachers announced, carpools arranged, seats assigned, teams made — fill feeds. And it’s good and we celebrate and cheer as next steps in life are taken.

But not everyone’s picture looks like they...

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Heart Cleanse – feast instead of fast

Heart Cleanse – feast instead of fast

A few weeks ago, just after backing out of the driveway (our neighborhood still has side drives) I was hit with a morning blast of unnecessary rudeness. Such a lovely way to start the day.

A car bossing it’s way down our street for sure wasn’t going to give way. It barrelled at me so close I had to back down the street in order to let it pass. “Really?!,” I might have muttered, then added “…well, Good Morning & happy day to you” even though the driver absolutely ...

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To be, or not to be – Afraid

To be, or not to be – Afraid

What is it with fear?

This weekend, I went to the movies with my two oldest kids. Shocker of all shockers – we were early! Which means we got to see the trailers. All was fun and fine until my daughter turned to me and said, “Don’t watch this!”

Hilarious that she’s telling me to avert my eyes. The tables sure have been turned. Does that mean I’m old? … Probably best to not answer.

“This is a trailer for It,” she loud-whispers.

I guess there’s a Take-2 for that gem. And though I never saw it (scary...

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Perspective-laced photo stroll down memory lane

Perspective-laced photo stroll down memory lane

May. State testing. AP testing. Graduating Senior. Banquets. End of year productions/parties/award ceremonies. Presentations. Plans…. The lists literally go on. These days, I can’t help but wonder where I’m supposed to be and if I’ve forgotten something. Especially things like forms or sign-ups for next year which seem to be in play too.

It’s an exciting time of year. Spring flowers fill gardens and birds are singing (seriously –...

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Love Reminders

Love Reminders

As February has drawn to an end and we say good-by to our shortest month of the year – the only month that sets aside it’s middle day to celebrate love – here are a few thoughts on love that I find myself contemplating.

After a week of congressional hearings, historic diplomatic talks and loads of regular life walked alongside people (some we love (desperately), some we avoid) love deserves a second take before our Spring calendars hit hyper drive. As sails are...

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Practicing neighborly love with Sarah Harmeyer

Practicing neighborly love with Sarah Harmeyer

How can it be February already?! Where did January go? And should I admit that our Christmas tree is still up? (eek!) It’s coming down today – or not.

February is such a great month.

Unique to February, it is the only month with less than thirty days. And, interestingly enough, smack dab in the center of it (literally) is a holiday celebrating love. Which is especially nice after January with its well-intentioned resolutions likely long gone by now.

Resets and resolutions...

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A Peek Behind the Veil

A Peek Behind the Veil

“How was your vacation?” a friend asked us yesterday. “Did you go anywhere?” I looked at my daughter standing next to me. We both shook our heads and smile-sighed. It seems like the holiday was months ago.

Sometimes life instantly ramps up and time goes into a weird hyper-drive that is slow motion at the same time. Those times when a day feel like a year and a year speeds by in a day. A time warp that is crazy, but safe. Like in Mario Kart when the bullet-award...

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Screen-Free Gifts For Tweens/Teens in 2018

Screen-Free Gifts For Tweens/Teens in 2018

A certain kid done with finals started his break from studies by opening a box I had sitting by our dining room table. The box contained a puzzle – a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright, gold foil, 1000 piece puzzle. A puzzle I bought for my sister for Christmas. Because it’s beautiful. Stunning in fact. Yet, truth be told, the puzzle scared me. So many colors and shapes and pieces. I hoped she’d like it.

But before I could stop him, not only had he opened the puzzle, he had...

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Soul-Hydration for Holiday Stress & Pressure and Weekend Giveaway

Soul-Hydration for Holiday Stress & Pressure and Weekend Giveaway

For some perspective-TRUTH and soul hydration as we near the holiday that brings with it JOY, PEACE, HOPE filled with and anchored by the kind of love that is wide and long and high and deep, exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine – here are a few things I’ve gotten to share on web.

TODAY parenting:

HOLIDAY PRESSURED/STRESS? WHY NOT RE-PURPOSE OVERWHELMED?

Ten days and counting.

I was kindly reminded of this fact while driving carpool. A sweet family...

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Point of Light – George H.W. Bush, a true American Hero

Point of Light – George H.W. Bush, a true American Hero

In the mid ‘80s when Ronald Reagan was President, then Vice President George H.W. Bush came to our home town for an event or two that my civically-minded and servant dad spearheaded.  I don’t remember specifics, but a few things I do.

I remember my mom inviting the Bush Advance team over for dinner, offering to wash their clothes since she knew they traveled pretty much non-stop. We gathered around the dining room table that sits in my dining room today and ate whatever she was cooking...

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Don’t judge, accentuate the positive and more with June Hunt

Don’t judge, accentuate the positive and more with June Hunt

With Joy to the World on the tips of our tongues as December sits right around the corner, why not go to a great source of wisdom for her take on joy-filled days. We’re so lucky to have June Hunt in Dallas. And she was a dear to spend some time with Brenda Teele, Julie Hildebrand and I in the car – dear and brave!

We asked her to share her top five tips to a joy-filled life, all of which I hope will encourage each of us today.

Here’s the vodcast:

or podcast:

Thanks for walking...

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30 Shades of Gratitude, Lysa TerKeurst & a focus shift

30 Shades of Gratitude, Lysa TerKeurst & a focus shift

There’s probably a reason Thanksgiving is before Christmas – to help us focus (with gratitude) on all we already have rather than on what we could, would or should have.

“I had a professor once who asked each person in our class to say something that they were thankful for, ” Snopes said while we sat in traffic this week. “So everyone went around the room and said things that you normally think of – like a roof over my head or a nice family. But it was a struggle – especially...

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Contemplating Joy – today, before the holidays

Contemplating Joy – today, before the holidays

In the very near future Christmas songs will be filling the airwaves in the same way holiday decor has hit the retail aisles (why so early?!) In the malls, on the radio, at school recitals, through churches across the globe, songs about peace and hope will be sung. Peace, hope and JOY.

It seems we could all use a nice jolt of each right about now.

Yesterday, one of the kid’s schools was so nice to host a morning coffee for moms – a gathering to get to know each other better and...

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17 Years Later – a Kid’s “Why?”

17 Years Later – a Kid’s “Why?”

 

Life’s overwhelming events—with all their headlines, judging, heartache, and confusion (does anyone tell the truth anymore?) —can weigh heavy, especially when a kid traveling alongside asks “why?” The youngest of my five asked why this morning. A radio show teaser prompted his question: Tune in as we reflect on the 17th Anniversary of 9-11.

He doesn’t remember 9-11 since he wasn’t born. We had three kids at that time – ages 5, 3 and 1. I had flipped on the television that seemingly...

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Can Truth Inform Life’s Overwhelming Circumstances

Can Truth Inform Life’s Overwhelming Circumstances

“This time last year…” started a conversation with a friend I bumped into last weekend at a wedding celebration.

He & his wife are long-time friends – back in the days when we really didn’t have a care in the world. It might have felt like we did, but gosh did we ever burn the candle at both ends – not carousing, just fun. Those were the days when you could stay up all night, eat at the IHOP at 1AM and still function the next day. Well, maybe not...

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Not the Boss of Us – Behind the Scenes Look at a Pub Date

Not the Boss of Us – Behind the Scenes Look at a Pub Date

Tuesday August 21 – Not the Boss of Us: Putting Overwhelmed in Its Place in a Do-all, Be-all World’s pub date

5:50   Wake up and try to get a post written to share the fun news about putting Overwhelmed in its place before heading to DFW FOX 4 for morning live interview.

6:00  Sneak in and get Mitty out of daughter’s bed since he must have heard me going downstairs.

6:20  After failing to keep Mitty quiet so everyone can grab as much sleep as possible since school starts...

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Back to School Bracket

Back to School Bracket

It’s that time of year again – the time when a day evaporates in an hour with lazy and hazy being quickly replaced by crazy days. Summer is over.

In recognition of all that vies for our attention and in an effort to find sanity in the midst, welcome to the 1st Annual Back-to-School Office Pool – or call it like it is: Car-Pool. With End of Summer’s tournament in high gear and first rounds completed, we’ve swept through the Sweet 16 in the bracket of what will get attention...

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An Ode to Back to School

An Ode to Back to School

Because back to school is now greeting us at several places of business we frequent, here’s a little poem for those who might be feeling a teensy bit overwhelmed by the prospect of what’s just around the corner. Especially for those who might not be friends with all the forms and appointments and having to be places. Yeah, those things. Plus there are the try-outs, the work-outs, the worries (who will be my teacher) and concerns (when do the schedules come out), the ...

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Re-Purposing Overwhelmed

Re-Purposing Overwhelmed

I’ve never been a fan of Life’s Overwhelmed – the one that feeds on stress, pressures, expectations and circumstances. The one that masquerades as life’s new normal.

In my younger years, I took performance pressure’s bait – hook, line and sinker. Then tried to control the landscape by joining my skinny High School locker-buddy on a diet that eventually landed us with eating disorders. Thankfully, Truth – with all its grace and hope and peace and joy – showed up and did what...

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An Interruption

An Interruption

This week has been exceptionally difficult for a few families in our neck of the woods. Unexpected and sudden tragedy entered the picture. And relationships were interrupted.

For one family, very regular plans for twin brothers enjoying their last summer with friends before entering college when tragedy intervened. The kids had been playing a game, counting & comparing how many seconds they could hold their breath under water when a girl, who happened to be a life guard,...

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Fresh-New

Fresh-New

Welcome to the MOATBLOG’s fresh-new look. There might be a few minor tweaks to be done here and there – but I love it. There’s something about a fresh-new look that feels special and refreshing as we melt here in the staggering Dallas heat.

A fresh-new look can go a long way – be it a blog, a haircut, paint on walls or even a closet.

Last week, Barton decided to re-fresh her space. One of her friends calls Barton’s room the tree-house. Covered with windows,...

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Enough: Can we ever be it or have it?

Enough: Can we ever be it or have it?

The conversation turned yet again to Enough. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with that word.

On the one hand it can seem so satisfying.

When my grandmother was alive, she always kept cookies on hand. Sometimes she would have a coffee can filled with her melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies. I loved if I saw my name felt-markered on masking-tape stuck to the can’s flimsy plastic lid. They were my favorite. “Did you get enough?” she’d ask. “Oh...

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Nice People

Nice People

“Oh, Kay!” our ever-sweet and delightful school receptionist stopped me as I walked by on my way to grab a kid out of the carpool line. Sometimes after an assembly, we walk to get kids rather than drive through the line. I had stopped several times along the way to catch up with folks, so I was last. My poor kids. Last in the alphabet. Last thanks to a chatty-mom.

“Hi Cindy,” I smiled back at her.

“Kay, I think this key might be yours?”

Huh? A key.

She rustled through some papers on her desk...

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Modeling Perfect Imperfection

Modeling Perfect Imperfection

Singer, songwriter and author Andrew Peterson stopped by Dallas last week to inspire kids and adults alike. I don’t know Andrew, but if I did and if he and his family lived in Dallas, I think we’d be friends. I also thought, oh so many years ago while sitting next to my sister in the Wichita Falls Sikes Center Mall movie theater watching Top Gun, that one day I’d meet Tom Cruise.

I haven’t.

But I did get to meet Andrew. I group-ied in line with his fans (middle...

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Carpool Messaging

Carpool Messaging

Carpool heaven.

We’ve gone for years without a dog. Which for those who know our story has been hard, but right. I’m an animal lover who brought everything home to be a pet. And I always thought I’d have horses and cats and dogs – but my path didn’t lead that way.

So we were surprised by this new addition (Mitty) who has made morning drop-offs sweet. I mean how can riding to school with an adorable, though sometimes mischievous, puppy on your lap be bad...

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Do’s And Be’s Aside

Do’s And Be’s Aside

“… then have Alexa read your kid a good-night story so you can have a few moments to yourself.”   “What?” my shotgun kid said in disbelief.   I had to double-take myself. I’m so used to rewinding to see or hear again, I reached for the remote control. Realizing that we’re driving and that radio doesn’t rewind, I repeated what we thought we heard one of our local personalities say to the rousing agreement-exclamations of her on-air buddies, “I think she just said to have Alexa...
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Smart Phones: Friend, Foe, Freedom

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”...

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Great News in Today’s culture

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...

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Gift Guide – Simple Rules

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...

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The Overwhelming Nature of the Season

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...
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The Often Dismissed Importance of Self-Standards

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...

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Freshman (college) to Freshman (high school) Advice

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...

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Change – Managing More than Nickels & Dimes

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 ...

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Hope

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....

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Never losing sight of dinner’s deeper nutritional value

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 ...

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A Reset – A Cleaning House Bootcamp of Sorts

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...

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THE tale as old as time

THE tale as old as time

 For years my uncle, Eugene Brock (namesake for our 4th child) rounded up writers to share op-ed for our home-town newspaper (Wichita Falls Times & Record News) during Holy Week. Very sadly, my uncle Brock went home to the Lord earlier this year, so my cousin Alan Brock took over the helm. What an honor and privilege to have been included in both their line-ups. Here’s what was on my mind this year. I hope you have a very blessed Easter. Thank you for blessing my life as we walk...

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Spring-Signals that Inform Life

Spring-Signals that Inform Life

Recently we sat in the car at a red light waiting for green. I was going on hour 2 of carpool – not because we were traveling outside of a 3-mile radius of our house, but because staggered school-end-times plus drama practice plus track practice result in lots of wait.

I looked out my window and saw this tree:

“Boy, that tree looks sad doesn’t,” I said to my shotgun rider.

“It looks dead,” she replied.

But right next it stood an almost exact replica...

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A Facts-of-Life Chat

A Facts-of-Life Chat

“Oh – should I roll up the window?” my shotgun passenger sarcastically asks. We were about to get on Central Expressway.

I respond with an eye roll.

“I’m not going to let you forget,” she laughingly nods. “What else have you told me that isn’t true. Hmmm… I wonder.”

Several years ago, when the kids were much younger, likely at the end of a long day, probably when a kid in the far-back seat was bothered/crying because...

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A Giving Lent

A Giving Lent

God has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. But Lent wasn’t a significant part of worship in the churches we attended. So, I was intrigued and curious when I would see my Catholic or more liturgical friends show up on Ash Wednesday with a cross on their forehead.

So, with the season of Lent at hand, chatter about what it means and why it’s observed bantered around our carpool drop-off this morning.

“What is Lent,” floated the youngest.

“It’s when you fast...

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Eggs vs Goldfish

Eggs vs Goldfish

“Why do eggs make you so full so fast?” asked the kid sitting next to me. He needed to be sharp for the day ahead so I added some eggs to his waffle breakfast.

Reaching for all my scientific expertise I answer with the usual, “I don’t know” followed by a guess – “probably because it has protein.” Then teasingly/truthfully add, “Those eggs will for sure keep you going longer than your food of choice – Goldfish.”...

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Kids, Social Media & All-Things-Internet with Kathleen Fischer

Kids, Social Media & All-Things-Internet with Kathleen Fischer

Around here, it looks like our 2017-February will be our new January since the days certainly passed, but it was so fast (probably due to some wheels that came off) I’m not sure I saw January coming or going. AND with The Say Something Show taking on a life of its own, all the writing that has been in my head hasn’t quite made it to the fingers and a keyboard. So, I’m combining the writing and the show since TONS of what people have been sharing still lingers in my thoughts....

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Obedience to Perfection or is it to Faith

Obedience to Perfection or is it to Faith

One of the more fun things I’ve gotten to do this year (aside from the Say Something Show) is hang out with the MOST (Moms of Students) crowd at First Baptist Grapevine. We’ve been using the analogy of clothes to talk about identity issues in the context of the Lord’s vs the world’s views. This Sunday, we’re talking about shoes (“obedience”) – the action/taking steps. Which can look a lot like and lead to performance issues ...

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Hydrating for Holidays – More on Gratitude

Hydrating for Holidays – More on Gratitude

The opportunity to practice thankfulness seems to have no boundaries – even though it is often overlooked. Not only do opportunities amply avail themselves, scientifically documented benefits come along for the ride.

According to Forbes,

gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.

As we hydrate for the holidays...

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Hydrating for the Holidays – Tip #1, Gratitude

Hydrating for the Holidays – Tip #1, Gratitude

I don't know if it's coming off the crazy election period or if the extended Texas summer (we hit upper 80's on Wednesday!) has us stupored by holidays zooming in from around the corner. But rather than let stress/pressures knock us down why not fight to find the...

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Powering Down Perfectionism

Powering Down Perfectionism

It almost goes without saying that the days of yesteryear seemed so much less stressful and rude and judgmental and on steroids than the days of now. Pressures certainly existed back then and likely did their best to trip up even the most laid-back of folks. Rude and...

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To be, or not to be – Happy :)

To be, or not to be – Happy :)

I remember several years ago, talking with a medical professional about the happiness level of one of our kids. I was concerned. He wasn't. Holding our 10-pound, almost 12-inch thick file, he gently smiled at me as wisely said "With as many personalities as you have...

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Household Hashtags

Household Hashtags

I recently was reminded about an article I did a few years back in DMagazine’s DMom on hashtag musings. It made me chuckle. So – much to the chagrin of my kids who can’t help but roll eyes at their #soyesterday #notcooI mom - I added a few new and am recycling some...

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Living the Days-After in Dallas

Living the Days-After in Dallas

“Mom.” I heard my son’s voice, but didn’t instantly react. “Mom?” he gently asked, “Did you forget to sign me up?” With his name absent on the season finale Champs Swim Meet heat sheet, I didn’t blame him for wondering. I’ve forgotten before. But this time, the...

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Kids, Summer, Screens & Keeping the Peace

Kids, Summer, Screens & Keeping the Peace

A Facebook SOS went out this week from my friend Missy (mom of 4 tween/teens): I need some help setting up guidelines and restrictions with screens during the summer with my 4 kids. (Screens=tv, computer, phone, video games, etc). Help! It's especially an issue with...

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Hello … It’s me and it’s May

Hello … It’s me and it’s May

Hi. My name is Kay. I have definitely been MIA. (And apparently, I"m a poet - this is where I need a laughing-crying emoji. Seriously, I think I could communicate 100% emoji, kind of like hieroglyphics- or not. But that's another story for another day.) Anywhooo - I...

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Lessons on Leadership from the Fruit Bowl

Lessons on Leadership from the Fruit Bowl

They say that love makes the world go ‘round. I think a kind word does too. A kind word plays by the same rules as love –it considers someone else's interests as much, if not more, than our own. These days we sure could use come kind words in our world of...

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Regular in a High Octane World

Regular in a High Octane World

“How was the basketball game?” I ask Jack – whose name probably needs to be aliased since he is getting old enough to be aware. “Not good,” he answered. “What?” I was surprised. He has so much fun running around, shooting for the hoop and hanging out with his friends....

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Something to Talk About

Something to Talk About

Walking by a hearse with a teenage daughter isn't on my Top Ten list of things I'd like to do. Sitting next to a teenage daughter at the end of a row of her grieving friends, struggling with disbelief, in a sanctuary anchored by a simple casket - not on that list...

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Eyes on 2016

Eyes on 2016

My road - the one paved with good intentions - never ceases to be plagued by detours. And detours can be distracting. Distracting and deflating. Mostly due to focus issues that can arise while on life's little detours. Because detours can tempt our focus to settle on...

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#hydratefortheholidays Water Station 1: Others

#hydratefortheholidays Water Station 1: Others

Well - the holiday marathon has certainly begun. And I hope that our little hydration effort has been a help. If nothing else, thanks for humoring me. It has helped me on many fronts - even yesterday when a whole line of cars started honking as a stoplight turned from...

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Internet Silver Linings

Internet Silver Linings

I'm weary of so much that comes with the Internet of Things these days. A couple of the things that make me the most tired are: The underlying (explicit) push toward personal branding and image manipulation/control. I guess I'm still mulling over that topic from this...

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#hydratefortheholidays: pic behind the pic

#hydratefortheholidays: pic behind the pic

When recently asked about intro-info beyond regular bio stuff by a group wanting to be consistent with my "image", I couldn’t help but reply with a slice of real: I have no management over an "image" :) Except that I manage to constantly embarrass my kids. One asked...

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#hydratefortheholidays: practice JOY today

#hydratefortheholidays: practice JOY today

In a few short weeks (they seem to be getting shorter and shorter – which makes me sad since all I want these weeks to do is linger), Christmas songs will be filling the airwaves. In the malls, on the radio, at school recitals, through churches across the globe, songs...

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#hydratefortheholidays: Tip #5 – Exercise

#hydratefortheholidays: Tip #5 – Exercise

Last year I had the unfortunate opportunity to meet face-to-face a not so fun diagnosis of Shingles. But, with all that is going on with my friends and their much more life-altering diagnoses, I really didn't care much about it. Still, for anyone going through...

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#hydratefortheholidays – Sacred in the Ordinary

#hydratefortheholidays – Sacred in the Ordinary

For the most part, days are ordinary. My sister in law said it well earlier today when we were doing what we do – phone chat. We touch base almost daily. Not so long ago, my brother would go through the phone bill, get frustrated with the costly long-distance minutes...

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#hydratefortheholidays: Why? & Tip #1 – Declutter

#hydratefortheholidays: Why? & Tip #1 – Declutter

Christmas in October?! “Ahhhww!...” I couldn’t stop the audible groan. “I can’t believe it.” “What?” my son riding shotgun looks up. “Christmas lights. Already. Up and on!” We were on our way to pick up his brother from practice. “Wow,” even he was taken aback. “Has...

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Taming Technology

Taming Technology

"When I was your age... (fill in the blank)." We've all said it. It usually involves some reference to hardship. I said it on a recent drive to my brother's lake house. Mine went a little something like this: "When I was your age, my brothers and sister and I endured...

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Torn Seats and All

"There's a side to you that I never knew, Kay Wyma," my friend Brooke smiled. We were last to leave the morning gathering. "Yes," she continued, "I learned a few things about you last week - from your car." New things about me from my car? My mind raced to grab hold...

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GPS

GPS

"I think I need to go right," I said to Barton who was riding shotgun. "No," she rebuked - well, maybe not rebuked, firmly replied. "Just keep going straight. She will tell us when to turn." The "she" is Barton's GPS voice that was leading us through the streets of...

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The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

"What's the meaning of life?" The question floated my way from the back seat. It was lobbed to me by my sole passenger whom I had just retrieved from a birthday party at Lil' Ninjas. He's 8. I thought he was being silly. "What do you think the meaning of life is?" I...

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USA Today: Graduates, Listen to your mom: Column

USA Today: Graduates, Listen to your mom: Column

USA Today was kind enough to share a little carpool commencement speech. Here's a snippet and a link to read the rest. What advice would you add? (Join the conversation here OR better yet on the USA Today site.) With a 600-word limit - and an editor that made a few...

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The Glimpse … and Awards

The Glimpse … and Awards

With five kids, not only have the last few weeks been filled with projects, exams, plans, costumes, banquets and like ... but award ceremonies. So far, I've attended 2 banquets and 3 ceremonies with 2 more to go. At one of the award celebrations, a gal I don't know...

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May Madness – Tournament Bracket

May Madness – Tournament Bracket

Despite my letter a couple weeks ago politely asking May to take a small break this year, the month has come on with its usual vigor. So rather than sink into the stress, why not have a little fun. Welcome to the 1st Annual May Madness Office Pool ... or since we know...

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A New Arrival

A New Arrival

Today is a big day around our house. Well - it's sort of a big day. It will probably come and just like any other day. Because life goes on. Carpools are run. AP Exams are taken. College decisions are still blurred a bit by indecision. Dinner will likely be take-out....

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Mom: Codeword LOVE

Mom: Codeword LOVE

Some phone calls are fun. I embarrassed my kids, yet again (I think I'm on an embarrassing rampage) by calling in to 98.7 KLUV's morning show on the way to school to play Rebekah's College of Hollywood Knowledge. Lo and behold, I was the lucky caller that got to try...

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Manna Living

Manna Living

Recently, I received an email from one of my sister-friends. She’s been by my side for over 30 years – at some times closer than at others but always just a phone call away. She asked me about graduation plans – specifically about a party for our Senior and if she...

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The Beginning of Good-bye

The Beginning of Good-bye

I just enrolled my third child in a summer Driver's Education class. Though she's super excited, I can't say it warmed my heart. For so many reasons. First of all, I selfishly like a clear calendar in the summer. So, already scheduling something makes my beginning of...

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Easter – A Fairy Tale Come True

Easter – A Fairy Tale Come True

Before I realized I enjoyed writing, my Uncle Brock - on some sort of whim -  asked me to try my hand at an Easter op-ed piece for my home-town's newspaper, The Wichita Falls Times & Record News. Who knew writing could be so much fun?! Having really enjoyed the...

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Another Great Acceptance Speech

Another Great Acceptance Speech

I didn't watch this live, but sure do appreciate the things Justin Timberlake had to say while accepting the Innovator Award at the I Heart Radio Awards. (Pardon one of the words he uses if you watch the entire speech imbedded below) - but hear the rest. I especially...

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Keeping Secrets From Your Kids

Keeping Secrets From Your Kids

A terrific resource in Dallas has been kind to as me to write a couple things for them. It's been fun to act like a reporter of sorts. Dallas Child gave me a couple of topics on which to research and to write. Here's a portion of one of them. The topic: keeping...

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A Praying Mother

A Praying Mother

Yesterday, we headed to Birmingham for college quick-see. It’s nice living in Dallas where the airports are close and good options on frequent flier programs reign. Have I mentioned we’re a tiny bit last minute flakey? As in, “Oh, yeah – the college decision is in a...

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Connected in the Crowd

Connected in the Crowd

With the start of our Spring Break staycation, I'm determined to be productive - begin Spring lean and clean. So, not only are the rooms getting a once over, so is my computer (or at least some of it) - which is where I found today's post. Hiding in a sea of open...

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Together Makes a Difference

Today's post (which is sadly long overdue) is by our friend Erin Schreyer. I've loved her friendship since the day we met at the park down the street a few years ago. I relish any time we get to chat. Not only are our chats fun, they are usually thought-provoking and...

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Regular… a highlight-REAL

Regular… a highlight-REAL

Forget about a Facebook highlight reel. You know, how they (whoever “they” might be) say that social media shows the pristine good. Because, who’s going post a picture of a college reject letter rather than the happy photo of your top pic school's acceptance with the...

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The Perils of Cheating

The Perils of Cheating

Frustrated with my phone, I might have marched into the Apple Store yesterday. My phone has one of the recall batteries. All I really need to do is make an appointment and have the battery replace – for free – since it’s recalled. But, for whatever reason, I just...

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Teen Talk

Teen Talk

Even though the teen years offer some interesting (mind-numbing) opportunities (challenges), one of my very favorite things that accompanies budding young adulthood is the rich conversation that doesn’t always, but sure can flow. I actually enjoy the fresh opinions...

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A Father’s Love

A Father’s Love

I’m sitting amidst my Christmas cards that were so going to be sent Saturday – as in last Saturday. How could a week have passed?! I sat in the same place yesterday. At my dining room table. Looking at envelopes and cards and various address books - since I've never...

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Wonderful-Horrible Faith

Wonderful-Horrible Faith

Some days, on special days, I stop by Eatzi's, a terrific local take-out market, and grab a sandwich and a large ice-tea to go. Eatzi's always has taste-stations for patrons to test their goods scattered around the store. These chips were available last week. I ate...

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World Hello Day

World Hello Day

Two things that should probably never be in the same sentence are “Kay Wyma” and “Cafeteria Cashier.” It has something to do with my Overtalkers Anonymous recovery program (kids waiting in a line with their food trays just wanting to pay and sit down - they don’t have...

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Life’s Clutter Drawers

To dream the impossible dream... :) “When did more than napkins fill this space?” I asked aloud as I tried to pry open an overstuffed drawer. I looked at the kid next to me who simply needed a pencil to finish his homework. Pencils and hair ties – no matter how many...

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A Reminder to Breathe

A Reminder to Breathe

Some phases of life are "easier" than others. Right now, we're in one of those remind-me-to-breathe times. I don't know why. But in the midst of challenges, I'm always grateful that rarely does everything crumble at the same time. With five kids, usually one is...

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Table Talk: Thankfulness by Jeannie Cunnion

Table Talk: Thankfulness by Jeannie Cunnion

So this week, I'm posting guest blogs from some terrific folks that have great things to say. Today's blog is by my new friend Jeannie Cunnion. I met her through sweet Courtney DeFeo, who has blessed us here at themoatblog before. One super fun thing, Jeannie is...

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Age-Rating Literature

Age-Rating Literature

Last night I sat in a meeting that left my stomach in knots. I even woke up with the topic on my mind, deeply concerned about an issue that faces all of us even if we don't have kids in the mix. The topic: sexually graphic nature/mature themes in...

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Dissapointment – An unlikely gift

Dissapointment – An unlikely gift

Since the start of school, life has been a bit crazy. It has something to do with my flaky, not so organized, stop-and-smell-the-roses way of living. Which is a fine way of living – until deadlines enter the picture. Deadlines and forms. Forms that have to be turned...

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Hitting the Wall

Hitting the Wall

Yesterday, in the midst of a mind-numbing conversation, filled with countless illogical and stubborn arguments, I felt like I was on a seemingly never-ending hill of a running-my-heart-out-but-going-nowhere marathon. I hit the proverbial wall, determined to push...

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Sunglasses or No Sunglasses?

Sunglasses or No Sunglasses?

All of my kids are different. They came out that way. Even though I ate, and acted and exercised during pregnancy pretty much the same on each child (... ok, so maybe exercise got less with each child. By number five it felt like my insides were falling out if I...

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5 Life-Lessons from a Cross-Country Trek

5 Life-Lessons from a Cross-Country Trek

Vacation is interesting. Summer vacation is great. I'm so incredibly sad that it's coming to an end. I'm not one of those who longs for the start of school. I'm not sure why I'm not. But, I know I love having the kids around. I'd so much rather endure I'm bored-om...

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Detour Driving

Detour Driving

Sometimes life happens and the road on which you were so happily traveling takes a detour. Detours, in the form of change, are part of life. And the way we handle them has a huge affect on our outlook. We can either be miserable, frustrated and complainy... or we can...

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Photo Strolling Perspective

Photo Strolling Perspective

This morning I got a tiny bit side-tracked. I sat down with my cup of coffee before anyone was awake. And what do you know, but my computer was right at my fingertips. So I opened it. And I remembered something I needed to do. But, I opened iPhoto instead. I'm sure I...

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Life’s Secret Sauce in Action

Life’s Secret Sauce in Action

"It was so great," my daughter told us while driving home. Her sister and I had just picked Snopes up after a week at camp. "But I didn't have a 'mountaintop' experience," she added thoughtfully. "You know, some life changing experience like I hear people talk about."...

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Outing OCD – Obsessive Comparison Disorder

Outing OCD – Obsessive Comparison Disorder

I saw them this morning. Even though they’ve been hiding, I know they’re there. I really like them. And I miss them. That’s why I keep moving them. MY BK pants ... you know, Before Kids. Since having kids, we’ve moved five times. All within a half of a mile radius....

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Occupation: Mom

Occupation: Mom

It could happen in the most unlikely of places. For me it was at the YMCA signing up one of the kids for an activity. "Occupation?" the young man behind a computer screen asked. "Uhmmmm..." I stammered. I didn't know what to say. I wanted to splurt, "I'm a mother, you...

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A Mother’s Day Prayer

A Mother’s Day Prayer

"Is Mother's Day on Sunday or Monday," my youngest pipes from the far back of the car this morning. He's been asking me about Mother's Day for at least a week now. I'm thankful to his teacher, who I'm sure has been reminding her students to tell their mothers that...

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“One of Those” Moms

“One of Those” Moms

It's that time of year again. May - Spring's December. Because here we go, entering the craziest month of the year. The month where, at the height of exhaustion, we pile on Field Trips, Field Days, Birthday Parties (so all the summer birthday kids won't feel slighted...

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Table Talk: Real Labor by Marci Seither

Table Talk: Real Labor by Marci Seither

One of the of the most fun things about having a blog is meeting some amazing people who have lots of great advice and insight - then inviting them to guest blog. I was introduced to Marci Seither by Rachel McPherson who is helping Marci get the word out on her new...

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I’m Just a Person …

I’m Just a Person …

I've been a tiny bit under the weather of late. See Also: no posts, no social media, lots of feeling cruddy. A virus funk that had the makings of Swine flu nailed me, then decided to give the gift that keeps on giving - Shingles. Who knew the fun?! (Not.) I rarely get...

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Table Talk – Happy

Happiness rocks. And there's a song rocking it around the globe, making people smile. I love it ... and so does it's writer. Here are a couple reasons why 1) Pharrell Williams has touched on part of the secret to real success - genuine, humble gratitude as you live...

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I feel the need, the need for … SLOW

I feel the need, the need for … SLOW

One of my kids told me the other night, in a moment of raw authenticity, “I just want to know what I’m good at and do it.” The kid was longing to land. The kid was already tired of the race. Tired of the race that seems endless, getting him nowhere but to places that...

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Life’s Puzzles

Life’s Puzzles

We can't seem to stop with the puzzles around here. They started during our staycation and have remained as the go-to boredom reliever du jour. Last year it was Mexican Trains. I'm not sure which I like better. So when I'm-Bored tickled my ears the other day, I...

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Making Memories, Staycation-Style

Making Memories, Staycation-Style

Today, or maybe yesterday, for sure tomorrow is the last day of our Spring Break. We don't have a long trip home; because, as usual our destination location was our home. I might have had a bad attitude about it. (eek!) We don't have pics from the mountains. We didn't...

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My name is Kay

My name is Kay

It's always fun to get an article in the New York Times Motherlode, which I did today. I hope you will read it and let me know if this bugs you too. It could have been a menopausal, oversensitive moment - and I adore and respect the person who inspired the write as...

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When Headlines Have You Down…

Headlines can sometimes make me all verklempt. Especially ones that have to do with my kids. I try not to look. But sometimes, they're handed to me on a silver platter with utensils so I can eat it all up and feel sick. Thanks to social media we see them all the time...

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So Life Will Go Well With You

So Life Will Go Well With You

“Smell my hand…” Never a good idea when offered by a boy. But I did ... hesitantly. “Oh my word!” I reeled back, wishing I could un-smell whatever I had just smelled. “Ohhhhhh… sick!... Ohhhhh-ewww!!!” Muffled laughter preceded an, “I know. It's gross, isn’t it.” “Yes...

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The Land of Oblivian and “Extra Shoes”

The Land of Oblivian and “Extra Shoes”

During yesterday's breakfast rush, one of mine sat down to scarf waffles before racing to the car so we could be on time to school. We actually left the house last week without one of the slower school-goers. I wonder if they will ever learn that I actually mean it...

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Heart-Shaped Intentions

Heart-Shaped Intentions

Still bumbling along my new road of follow-through rather good-intentions. It hasn't been pretty, but I have taken steps. Teeny-tiny, sometimes microscopic, baby steps. But steps, nonetheless. This morning, getting past the many months of good intentions to go the...

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“Bad Parenting”

“Bad Parenting”

"She said she hated me and I was the worst mother in the world," my friend told me after recounting her daughter's response to a "so not fair" grounding that resulted from some seriously bad choices. It's funny, because I had just left another mom experiencing the...

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Mom Resolutions

Mom Resolutions

What a treat for us today. My sweet friend Susan Ligon posted a question on her Facebook page. It got me and many others thinking; so I asked if she would share her thoughts with us here. I hope we can all take a minute to stop long enough to consider what in our...

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The Downton Abbey Cure

The Downton Abbey Cure

Should I admit that every night last week we (well, the girls and I) parked ourselves in front of PBS's replay of  Downton Abbey Season III? That we might have shaken our heads in anger whenever Thomas or O'Brien (good riddance, by the way!) sneaked in the shadows to...

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Gifts – The Art of Giving & Receiving

Gifts – The Art of Giving & Receiving

When I was in 7th grade, my grandparents set under our tree a large, beautifully-wrapped gift. It was adorned with ribbons, bows and my name on top. My grandmother and grandfather wrapped everything and put it under the tree. Pencils, clipboards, barrettes, socks -...

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A New 12-Days of Christmas in 1 Day

A New 12-Days of Christmas in 1 Day

I woke up this morning, happy that yesterday was so productive. With a child in tow, we finished all our shopping (except the grocery store and a couple gift card stops) and even wrapped every gift before dinner last night. We watched Parent Trap while wrapping....

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“Can You Just Describe Jesus?”

“Can You Just Describe Jesus?”

Several years ago, I heard our friend Ruth Meek speak at a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. She shared ideas on Redeeming Christmas. Wonderful tidbits of encouraging and fun information passed her lips, but one, the idea of Secret Santa-ing someone in need - real...

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The Second Greatest Gift

The Second Greatest Gift

I was moved this morning by a Facebook post from my cyber friend Jodi: Tonight after little bro went to bed, Mary and I sat down to craft. We made these paper cones which we have no plan for. I had other things I could be doing. The point is this: in that hour and a...

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Table Talk: Broken Christmas by Elisa Morgan

Table Talk: Broken Christmas by Elisa Morgan

Today's Table Talk is by my friend Elisa Morgan. What a treat and an honor to have her share with us from her heart. She has written a new book that not only is a pleasure to read, but also brings out in the open issues/hurt that so often people try to hide and avoid...

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Required Field Revelations

Required Field Revelations

It's Day 4 of Ice on the ground here in Dallas. Schools are closed. The kids are still asleep. Even the youngest, who awoke on Day 1 way before anyone else, has given in to hibernation. And, what's a mom to do with all the peace and quiet? Clean the house? Finish the...

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Letting Greatness Blossom

Letting Greatness Blossom

As a mom, it can be hard to remember who you were before the invasion of little people. You know, when you could think complete thoughts. When you could sleep through the night, go to a movie on a whim, stop on the song that you like. The days when you got stuff done....

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The Blessing of a Mismeasurement

The Blessing of a Mismeasurement

“Okay, I’m right in front of the trees,” Jon reported over the phone. He was standing in front of the fake Christmas trees at Costco. “Which one do you want. 7 ½’, 9’ or 12’?” A few years ago, we bit the bullet and switched from a fresh to a fake Christmas tree. It...

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Table Talk: Thoughts on Thanksgiving by Ruth Meek

Table Talk: Thoughts on Thanksgiving by Ruth Meek

I ran into our friend Ruth a few weeks ago and asked if she had anything up her sleeve that she would like to share with us. As is usually the case with me, I forgot to follow up. But I was thrilled to receive this in my in-box and am happy to share. Thanksgiving....

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Behind Refigerator Doors

Behind Refigerator Doors

“I put some brownies in your refrigerator,” my very nice new friend kindly informed me. We were standing in my entry-way. “You did?” I smiled. “I can’t stay for lunch,” she continued, “but I wanted to bring something for dessert for those who can. Thanks so much for...

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Closed Door Opportunities

Closed Door Opportunities

One thing I’ve noticed with my kids is how quickly they take “no” for an answer or even assume they can’t ask. I mean, someone could look at them with a quizzical response to a question and, more often than not, they’re running the other way saying something like,...

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Ms Carpool America

Ms Carpool America

(Anne Taintor Design) As has been established, I'm not going to cut it as Mom Grand Supreme ... but I am in the running for Carpool Queen. Maybe not Carpool Queen... but Miss ... okay, Ms. (it has been a long time since "Miss" has been uttered before my name. "Hey...

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Mom Grand Supreme

Mom Grand Supreme

As much as I can barely stomach admitting it, my girls love to watch TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras. TLC offers family friendly fare that we often watch together. I’ll miss Stacy & Clinton telling me What Not to Wear. I loved the way they encouraged women to be...

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The Island Illusion

"If it doesn't directly affect us, we just don't care." A sticky comment floated from a young person at an event I attended last week. I just haven't been able to shake it. He sandwiched it in the middle of asking a question to the speaker on talking to people his age...

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There’s More to Life than Tasks

There’s More to Life than Tasks

Last week, due to a little procrastination and flakiness, I walked into one of the local copy shops at 5:30 the night before I needed sixty-five sets of 40-page, double sided and bound copies. Despite a 6:00 appointment, I Polly-Anna’d my way on faith that I could get...

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Dress To Impress

Dress To Impress

“Mom … this week can we go dress shopping?” asked Barton. We had just dropped her friends off at their houses on the other end of Jon D William’s Cotillion class. Cotillion, the age-old effort to groom manners and introduce children to the art of proper social...

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When the going gets tough…

When the going gets tough…

So much on our plates. So many new territories. So many opportunities to walk, run and fly ... and to fall. And to get back up to try again - all while grooming the same approach to life in our kids. Sweet MOAT Leslie agreed to let me share this and the poem that her...

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Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight

Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight

I’ve had the chance to see my Kiera in the Tom Thumb check-out line a lot lately. She works the early morning shift. One morning I needed flowers. Another frozen waffles. It’s so nice and quiet in the early morning, I took extra time last week to go ahead and peruse...

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Carpool Confirmations

Carpool Confirmations

School is full swing in gear. Summer seems like a lifetime ago. And I’m back at Tom Thumb, grateful for the gas discount, waiting with all the other carpoolers to fill up our cars on Sunday night. I’ve assumed my position behind the wheel and have somehow survived...

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Is Less Actually More?

Is Less Actually More?

“He’s so interesting,” my friend commented, laughing at Jack walking by. He had shot her a little wink. Not a flirty wink – the kid is six – but a cute little excited-about-this-piece-of-cake nod. I saw him do it, but wasn’t going to say anything. Since she started, I...

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Still Chewing on Kutcher’s Comments

Still Chewing on Kutcher’s Comments

I'm still chewing on the shot heard around the world fired by Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards last week. Kutcher’s remarks almost instantly went viral. He made headlines across the globe – not for his new movie, but for his candor and surprise spin. His back...

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End Of Summer? – This Mom is Sad

End Of Summer? – This Mom is Sad

I've read the posts. I've heard the quips. I've lived the quips. Like every other parent in the summer, I've lived through the heat, multiple iterations of "I'm bored", teen sleep (as in: I'm fairly certain one of mine never once ate breakfast this summer since he got...

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Dolphin Friends

Dolphin Friends

Kids and the swimming pool are hilarious. I love watching them entertain themselves with creative games and ridiculous dares. Right now three of the of the four boys at our house are jumping from the wall at the end of the pool, stretching every inch of their middle...

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Table Talk – Time Flies, by Jonny Wills

Table Talk – Time Flies, by Jonny Wills

Today's Table talk is by my nephew, Jonny Wills. I could go on and on gushing about how wonderful and amazing he is, but I won't. I will just share his thoughts that he recently penned. I asked him if I could share them with you because I think they hit us all. I, for...

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Shopping Perspective

Shopping Perspective

Sometimes I forget my kids have grown. And when they grow, they need new clothes. Granted a few of mine want clothes much of the time. But need is different. And we've hit the need zone for my girls. So on Saturday, we ventured to the mall. Until we drove up to...

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Love in the Form of Extra Rice

Love in the Form of Extra Rice

I think Chipotle puts some type of addictive special seasoning in their food that makes a couple of my kids think their day cannot be complete without a chicken burrito. Sort of like the ice tea at City Cafe To Go for me. I wish I was joking. And like Starbucks, there...

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Independence

Independence

It's hard to come away from celebrating the United State's birth of independence and not be moved. We celebrate independence because a group of people, frustrated by what they outlined in the Declaration of Independence as an over-reaching and inappropriate use of...

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Who Came Up With That??

Who Came Up With That??

So many times I wonder, “Who came up with that?” And “Did they even think it through?!” I mean seriously. The number of things I could live without as a mother continues to rise. Not because they’re bad things. But because I constantly find myself digging out of a...

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Thoughts from the Laundromat – The Great Equalizer

Thoughts from the Laundromat – The Great Equalizer

Recently we moved. With seven bodies in our house, boxes are not our friend. So, like the Tasmanian Devil, I (and my forced labor) tore into those things and put everything away in three days. Still, a few straggling issues remain. And a few unexpected issues arose....

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A Little Midweek Heard on the Street

Some phases of life seem to be a bit more exhausting than others. The newborn no-sleep because they're up all night years. The teen no-sleep because you're up all night wondering-if-they're-okay years. It's funny, my kids don't get it - as I'm sure I didn't when I was...

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Summer Reading – More Than Just Required

With summer days fast upon us, free time is but a breath away. Free time that can be filled so many ways: swimming, playing, swimming, televisioning, swimming, gaming, swimming, vacationing, swimming and reading… Yes. Reading. But, if my kids had their way, summer...

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From Interested Parties – Part 2

Here's the "to be continued" from a mom in Florida who did all that she got to see up close and personal what can happen when we keep our hands off. This is what she wrote me: I feel like we should start this like an AA session and I could introduce myself and say "Hi...

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Moving Memories

Moving Memories

Nothing like moving to get your summer started off with a bang. Well actually to get your summer started exhausted. Exhausted and eager to purge … and reflective. Reflective and sappy. Seriously. Upon opening boxes (or “packages” as Jack so positively saw them) and...

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A Moving Experience

A Moving Experience

First things first ... I have been completely missing in action and I apologize. We moved (okay, still moving) last week. I can't imaging why it has consumed my life the last 10 days, but I feel like I've been running in quick sand. Maybe it had something to do with...

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Try, Try Again

Try, Try Again

On a plane, I was recently inspired by American Way Magazine. Apparently, I am a complete and total sap. I might have wiped a tear from my eye reading the stories. So here you go … some fuel for your equipping tanks lest our kids (or we) think that everything in life...

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Remembering to Remember

Remembering to Remember

Last week I walked made my way up the stairs after a very long day. Mid-way up, I heard a couple brothers giggle-scramble to the shower, like I wouldn’t figure out that they had been goofing around rather than tending to their business. But as I ascended the last...

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Beautiful

Beautiful

  On Wednesday last week, I called my mom to let her know I was running a tiny bit late. I instantly knew by her pause that something had happened. She forced words through a tight throat of stifled sobs, “Lucia didn’t wake up this morning.” Sweet Lucia. One of...

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Yes You Can

Yes You Can

What happened to Wednesday’s post? Hmmm… I think it’s sitting beside my Christmas cards that have yet to be mailed. I told some friends yesterday about my Christmas cards that are also our moving cards. Because we moved. Maybe that’s part of the problem, our five...

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Cat-Like Moves

Cat-Like Moves

We have a new friend. Her name is Tabasco. We didn’t name her. In fact, no one is sure who did. Tabasco, a sweet little calico cat, roams my parent’s block. The next-door neighbor feeds her. Every kid on the block searches for her …  so they can play with her. My kids...

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Training Awareness

Training Awareness

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the atrocities that we find pervasive in society today. Some hit the headlines and garner worldwide attention. Sadly, many hide in the shadows – until glimpses of light reveal their existence. Yesterday, USA Today gave space to one such...

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Swing Time

Swing Time

Every morning on the way to school, we drive by a house that reminds me. Two pink bucket swings (I imagine twin girls) hanging next to a lone yellow belt swing offer a detour down memory lane, reminding me that time flies - fast. I’m pretty sure it was just yesterday...

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Scenes from A Less Than Stellar Day

Scenes from A Less Than Stellar Day

You know some introspection is in order when: … the day begins with a failed attempt to exercise. Nothing like walking out the door, making it to the end of the sidewalk, feeling some very light sprinkles hit your face (most likely the result of a cool breeze swaying...

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Implication Consideration

Implication Consideration

“Is that legal?” the daughter riding shotgun sent my way as I pulled out of the long line of traffic and scooted through the center lane to make a left. “Sure it is,” I start then begin to justify. “There were no cars coming. And since we’re going left, I just simply...

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Impossible?

Impossible?

From your local slacker blogger for the week (you guys think I'm not as flaky as I claim to be ... but I am.... my week really got away from me) a message on Easter - from a special place. A couple months ago, an incredibly talented friend asked me and several, much...

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Lessons from the Roller Rink

Lessons from the Roller Rink

Being Spring Break staycationers, we filled our vacation week with Legos, Downton Abbey revisits, rousing games of Mexican Train and a couple local outings. Our favorite of which was an open-skate afternoon at the crowd favorite, White Rock Skate. For the kids, it was...

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An Inspiring Week

An Inspiring Week

We've had a big week around here. Remember how I told you a couple weeks ago that I had blown it. Remember how my kids snapped me out of any funk and refocused my attention when I, as the driver, became the student yet again. Well, I had not blown it. On Thursday...

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The Signs of a Real Friend

The Signs of a Real Friend

A few days ago, one of my aspiring young chefs decided that she wanted to make something special for our family. Thanks to a school event, she had watched and participated in putting together a meal of home-made fettuccine with Alfredo sauce. The deliciousness of her...

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Table Talk: Entitlement and Such in the News

Table Talk: Entitlement and Such in the News

There's just so much in the news that today's Table Talk will be a splattering of things for you to choose from, if you'd like. Or maybe you can just keep it in your back pocket for days when you need some fuel in your equipping tanks. All it takes for me is a zippy...

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Mile Swimmer

Mile Swimmer

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to share what we've learned about entitlement and the power of equipping kids to a gathering of summer camp directors and owners. What a treat to get to be in a room of folks who love kids. And they get it. And they've seen...

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Reboot

Reboot

It doesn't seem to matter how old they are, my kids are wimps when it comes to creepy movies. Suffice it to say, they have never seen Snow White, or Pinocchio, or Harry Potter, or ... well anything that many a sensitive soul might consider scary. Most kids lean into...

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Sew Much to Learn

Sew Much to Learn

“Well, that’s sure cute,” my mother said thoughtfully as she rotated the soft, yellow, heart-shaped pillow in her hands. “Barton made it,” I replied. “Really?” She knew the kid didn’t learn sewing from me. Buttons are about the extent of my Singer repertoire. “Yes …...

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A Lesson from the Sock Drawer

A Lesson from the Sock Drawer

Four words took the cake for me last week. They found themselves making their way across my lips multiple times in one day. And I learned a little about not only why I needed to use them, but how. “I am so sorry.” It all started with yet another crazed morning. Or...

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Its the Little Things

Its the Little Things

“Oh my gosh,” laughed one of the girls. “Do you remember the time I opened my binder and acorns fell out all over the floor.” The kids joined her laughter. “Yeah, my little brother Jack is the biggest hoarder," the kid’s sister informed her friend who had joined our...

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A Home-Based Attack on the Entitlement Culture

A Home-Based Attack on the Entitlement Culture

This is how I feel toward the societal pressure to hover-parent. I meant to post this last week, then Wednesday - and here it's Friday. But I'm a bit slow since we've been hit hard by the flu, bronchitis and basic crud. Thank goodness for great medicine. Which is just...

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Perspective from a Park Bench

Perspective from a Park Bench

“You know when you were that age, I had friends for you over almost every day.” “Really?” asked my teenage daughter as we sat on a park bench watching her younger brother. Poor boy has no friends. Unless their last name is Wyma. Then he has four friends. Four best...

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Table Talk: That Football Lady by Margie Sims

Table Talk: That Football Lady by Margie Sims

Today's guest blog is by my new friend Margie Sims. Margie is a rare breed. Not only is she walking the road with us, she has also launched a few of her kids. So she just oozes wisdom. She really encouraged and inspired me last week when we were chatting about a few...

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Real Friends and Radar Speed Signs

Real Friends and Radar Speed Signs

A few years ago, our city added radar speed signs to the neighborhood streets. These signs might drive some folks crazy, but I love them. They're so thoughtful to show me my speed. Most of the time I'm on target. (Remember, I have a resident speed officer riding in...

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Tempering Competition

Tempering Competition

I learned about a new rule in my brother's house. A rule named and implemented by her kids. Chris, my sister-in-law and dearest friend, became privy to the rule when she took a break from her motherly duties (at that moment, cleaning) to join the kids in an exciting...

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A Parent’s Greatest Fear

A Parent’s Greatest Fear

Last week, I wrote a little something for The New York Times Motherlode blog. I hesitated doing it. For so many reasons. Most of which center on my never, ever, ever wanting to assume anything or do anything that would hurt someone who has walked a road of major pain....

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Real Happiness?

Here's a good word from Rabbi Marc Gellman that was shared yesterday in NewsWeek's Daily Beast. Words that encourage us to stop for a moment and define the happiness we pursue and so desperately want for our kids. What kind of happiness do you strive to gain? ......

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Opting for Downton Abbey

Opting for Downton Abbey

Last weekend, Jon & I sat down to breathe. As we exhaled, we hit the remote control and searched for some veg t.v. - as in, thoughtless, let’s escape for an hour, mind candy. Downton Abby popped up on the guide. So we decided to see what all the hype is about....

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Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Thanks DMoms for sharing our moatblog experience ... especially since the friend with whom I was lunching was their editor Joslyn Taylor. I've just loved getting to know her. And boy did she put some wind in my sails that day.   “I probably had said too much, but what...

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Beyond a Glass Half Full to a Full Glass

Marie Osmond, one of my favorite childhood stars, graciously invited me to come to L.A. for a little chat on her lovely set. The Marie Show airs on Hallmark  - which is fast becoming my favorite network – along with PBS (Downton Abbey) and A&E (uh, Duck Dynasty!)...

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Some Inspiration… or is it conviction?

Some Inspiration… or is it conviction?

Well, in true procrastinator mode, I'm putting off until tomorrow today's post. Okay, maybe not complete procrastinatorship (as if my grammar hacking isn't enough, I"m now making up words!), but I can't help but share what a parent sent me this morning. It sure hits...

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A Safe Haven

A Safe Haven

“I like to call that a skipper,” said one of my children sheepishly looking my way, realizing that she was busted mid-action. I’ll let you figure out to what she was giggly-referring. “Did you seriously just do that … with me standing here?” I ask, thinking to myself...

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Three Super-Words

Three Super-Words

Squeals of delight and tears of joy will fill many homes over the next twenty-four hours as a season is celebrated and gifts are exchanged. A few eye-rolls and quite possibly, “Awww!”s could also float through the air. In our house we just might have one or two,...

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Happy, Happy, Happy

Happy, Happy, Happy

A couple weeks ago, we made our way to Walgreen's to cater to a little somebody's whim. It's hard to say "no" to the kid. I'm a total push-over with that one. We walked in empty handed and walked out ready to adorn our car with some Rudolph action. The sheer...

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Emergeny Vehicles in Unexpected Packages

Thanks, as always DMagazine, for posting on DMoms. Would love for you guys to comment share your thoughts on how you and your family are handling this tragedy. Saturday morning as I coaxed my tired old legs to run just a few more blocks, I heard the sound of a siren...

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An Unexpected Gift

An Unexpected Gift

Sorry - yesterday got out of hand. I meant to post then, but alas, 'tis now. Thanks, as always, to DMagazine's DMoms blog for walking the road with us by sharing our post there as well. Click on the pic to link on over to DMoms Daily. They've got some fun stuff going...

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Reflective Light

Reflective Light

I was moved last week by the staggering beauty of our full moon and shared on Lil' LIght O'Mine's blog a little about where it led one of my kids and I as we were (guess....) riding in the car. Following is a small snippet. I hope you will click on the link to Lil'...

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Some Zig Ziglar Wind for your your Sails

Some Zig Ziglar Wind for your your Sails

There are some people who come into life determined to leave it better than they found it. Zig Ziglar was one of those men. He inspired countless people to look beyond themselves and whatever situation they felt defined them and to reach for stars. He died on...

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A Thank-You Note to My Kids

A Thank-You Note to My Kids

Emily Post might cringe in her grave at all the mannerly blunders that pave my path. Despite the best of intentions, I find myself failing in proper etiquette more often that soaring. It’s not that my mother and grandmother didn’t teach me well… or that Miss Ela...

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Retrofitting Normal

Retrofitting Normal

Sitting across the room from a medical professional, I reeled from the words nonchalantly floated my way. “I said to your child, ‘You’re not normal… Let’s work on that,’” His matter-of-fact manner, as if discovering a vitamin deficiency, stunned me. Watching all my...

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Table Talk – Thoughts on the Election

Table Talk – Thoughts on the Election

For today's Table Table Talk, I hope you don't mind connecting over to our friend Janet Denison's husband. Jim writes a terrific blog on truth and culture (Denison Forum on Truth and Culture - connect and subscribe, such interesting commentary.) As could be expected,...

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Stagnent To-Do Lists

Stagnent To-Do Lists

Here's Monday's blog on Tuesday as posted on DMoms. Click here to connect to "In Praise of the Stagnent To Do List" or read below: Sixteen years ago, I sat on in my doctor’s office, computer on my non-existent lap, waiting for my doctor to tell me when I’d be having...

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Heard on the Street – Thoughts on Adultescence

Heard on the Street – Thoughts on Adultescence

I so enjoy things you guys send my way. The following is a small snippet from a CNN article that ran this summer. Who cares if the article ran in July? Wasn't that just yesterday? In fact, here in Texas, it still feels like July - so bring it on. Sally Koslow (Hey,...

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Wha’s-Up?… & DMoms

Wha’s-Up?… & DMoms

Here are a few things brewing this lovely Monday: First - We're almost halfway through October (yikes!) and I'm just now getting to this month's free give-away for folks who like themoatblog on Facebook. Click to "like" and you too will be entered for this month's...

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DMoms: A Carpool Line with a View

DMoms: A Carpool Line with a View

Mondays might be a tiny bit different around here. DMagazine's DMoms and I are going to try out a little blogging relationship. Since you guys know my flakey/procrastinatey tendencies, let's hope I can keep up with my end of the bargain to have a post for them every...

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Striving For Still

Striving For Still

There's a fun new place in the blogsphere with lots of great bloggers weighing in. I'm the "one of these things is not like the others" ~ but since they asked, I shared ... and will share some of our stuff every so often. Here's my small addition to their effort...

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Heard on the Street: Instagram & Failing

Heard on the Street: Instagram & Failing

As always, I love it when you guys forward me articles. Today's Heard on the Street offers small bits of two interesting perspectives on subjects near and dear to our hearts - our kids. First an article about Instagram published on CNET this week. Michelle Meyers...

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The One Thing

The One Thing

Nothing like driving with your daughter sitting next to you and an advertisement for Dr. Phil's interview with Lindsay Lohan's mom comes on the radio.  My girls loved Lindsay Lohan in Parent Trap. They have no clue about her train-wreck of a life and they can't...

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In the News

I just love when you guys send things my way that can put wind in our equipping-kid sails. So here are two things. The first is a Today Show segment featuring psychologist Madelyn Levine opining on a subject near and dear to our hearts ... moving away from helicopter...

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Morning Mood Perspective

Morning Mood Perspective

Ahhh... morning moods. Nothing like a houseful of tween/teens to get your day started with a bang - or drip ... depending upon your perspective. Today started as usual. One of my super productive kids greets me, dressed and ready for school. Up at 6:30 having set his...

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Hobo Dreamin’

Hobo Dreamin’

While the parents are striving for American Dreaming (American Dreaming, by way of the stairs), the kids are dreaming of a way out - a responsibility-free way of life. Apparently, the grass is greener if you you're living, not on the other side, but on the tracks....

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Going Green

Going Green

In Dallas, it's still a bit toasty. Although the summer maintained its unseasonably cool label, we still live in Texas. So on a hot Labor Day, what's a family to do? Go to the movies with every other air-condition-seeking family. Loaded up with popcorn, candy &...

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A Sunday Smile

A Sunday Smile

Don't hold me to it, but I'm determined to start sharing some of the funny quotes that have come my way. Being the recovering procrastinator that I am, we'll hope for the best (as in consistency) ... and if not a laugh, maybe a smile as we start the week together :)...

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Car Talk – Loving Enemies

Car Talk – Loving Enemies

"Mom ... What do you think the Bible means when it says 'love your enemies'", Snopes asks riding shotgun after carpool pick-up. I'm sure her question was spurred on by a conversation she overheard between me and a college friend. We were catching up when a sad topic...

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Table Talk – Planting Seeds by Lila Pond

Table Talk – Planting Seeds by Lila Pond

Today's Table Talk is by my friend Lila Pond. She is a mother, grandmother, and step-mother with years of experience walking countless miles on the parenting road. I ran into her earlier this summer and coerced her into sharing a few nuggets with us. I hope what she...

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Some Carpool Car-Talk on Car Ownership and Life

Some Carpool Car-Talk on Car Ownership and Life

I must apologize for my sporadic blog entries. Thanks for tuning in despite the inconsistencies. Now that school's back in session (I know many are happy, some have another week of summer, I'm still super sad, even a little mad), maybe we will add schedule to our...

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Headlines Heard on the Street

Headlines Heard on the Street

Today's Table Talk offers some encouragement to moms and dads in the trenches as we try to equip rather than enable our kids. All of the articles (which be sure to click the links for full reads) were sent to me by fellow MOATs. So happy reading ... as if you have...

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Otherwise Dog-upied

Otherwise Dog-upied

Summer is sadly barreling to a close for the Wyma family. The kids' school begins next week (ohhh... say it ain't so!!) One of the kids has been toiling away the entire summer, preparing for his academic year ahead. He's amazing that way. I think it has something to...

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Fanning the Flame

Fanning the Flame

Like most of you, I'm sleep deprived (which might explain my techno-glitch on Monday's post - which will come your way as soon as I can find it!) and swollen-eyed (from all the crying) thanks to the Olympics! So, I thought I'd share a little Olympic inspiration today....

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Friendship

Friendship

Just for fun and a laugh, I thought I would share a guest article I wrote for Elisa Morgan's weekly reFill blog. She has a really neat online magazine that you might enjoy called FullFill. Check it out sometime. The topic for this issue is Friendship. Here's my take...

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Endurance Training

Endurance Training

I can barely believe that August is just around the corner. I can almost feel school breathing down my neck.... eek! Have I mentioned how much I love summer. That I just might live for summer. Okay, "living" for it might be a tad dramatic... but summer is so wonderful...

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Thoughts on Childhood – Author Unknown

The following graced the presence of my email box. Who knows how many hands have added to a taken away from its original content (according to Snopes, it's been making the rounds since 2005). But it still might inspire. Or at the very least bring a smile as many of us...

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Actually, My Kid is Special

Actually, My Kid is Special

Today's post is found at DMagazine's parenting blog called Tiny Dallas. They were so sweet to have me on their cool site. While you're there, check out Dallas MOAT Cynthia Collins wonderful spread (DHome). She's one gifted lady who is as humble as she is talented......

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You’ve Got to Laugh… Even at Midnight

You’ve Got to Laugh… Even at Midnight

This made me laugh yesterday: Let me read it for you, "Why Fix Dinner... if it isn't broken?" The kid sitting shotgun sighed, "My point exactly!" I couldn't help but laugh. He's a funny one. But he wasn't so funny last night around midnight when he stood over me,...

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Time Travel Temptations

Time Travel Temptations

“If you could go back in time, what time period would you choose?” We’ve had lots of cousin time around there this week. Two are at camp, so that leaves only thirteen for rousing games of Hide & Go Seek and Sardines. Yes – even the cool tween/teens join in. It...

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Pieces of Peace

Pieces of Peace

My behavior yesterday has prompted me to punt my prepared post and to share a little insight from my friend Erin Schreyer as she concludes of her month long Peaceful Project. Her encouraging words are something I think we all could use. Whether standing amongst the...

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Character Pursuit

P. Doug Wilson in his Forward for The Trinity Forum Reading, The Oracle of the Dog by G.K. Chersterton: "The pursuit of character is hard work, particularly if you, like me, have developed an increasing immunity to one of the key tools for character development,...

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Got Spoiled?

Got Spoiled?

David McCullough, Jr. nailed society with his Generation-Special speech. Now The New Yorker has written a lengthy article on the subject of society and it's trend toward "spoiling", dare we say emasculating a more than capable group of kids - our kids. In Spoiled...

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KIDCANDOO

I've changed our menu just a bit and am starting to add stuff folks are requesting. I'm calling it "KIDCANDOO". Kids doing for themselves ... because they can. It's just at the beginning stages, so I need your help. This section is going to be for us, provided by us...

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What do Slides and Helicopters Have In Common?

What do Slides and Helicopters Have In Common?

What do slides and helicopters have in common? ... Apparently parents. Thanks to my tired old knees, I've had to move my exercising back in doors. I'm hoping to hit the running circuit again, soon. But until then, the stash of Blue Bell mini ice-cream sandwiches is...

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Breakfast Talk

“Hey Mom,” was lobbed my way from Boxster, a.k.a. Teen Take-Out who has now morphed into Study Guy. Yeah, a little something that started happening about a year ago. When the kid was struggling in school and life at the end of last year, we opted to steer clear and...

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All in a Day’s Work

Summer is well under way as are all the free time opportunities. What are you kids up to? Because there's more than x-Box to fill the empty spaces. Time Magazine reported this week that the job market offers a few options for those that are willing. Here's some of...

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Chatting with “Friends”

Chatting with “Friends”

Fox & Friends posted the interview today... Of course, I'm embarrassed and can't stop myself from thinking about all the things I wanted to say, but didn't -  but here you go... As always, thanks for all the encouraging words, support and faithfully...

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A Fleeting Calgon Moment

A Fleeting Calgon Moment

Please tell me it hits you too... the moment when you feel the urge to lob a little, "I'm tired of the complaining, the attitudes, the not-getting-long, the bickering, the .... (should probably stop there :) - Guess what ... I QUIT!" to the snarky kids that can't stop...

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Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer

Okay, so I’ve avoided talking too much about our pup, Wembley, who has lived in our house exactly one year … but after this morning’s walk, I can’t stop myself. Wembley is a golden retriever. The kids and I had been begging for a dog for years, showering Jon at every...

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To Mrs Bixby…

To Mrs Bixby…

In honor of the countless heroes that have fought for freedom. Executive Mansion Washington, Nov. 21, 1864 Dear Madam, I have been shown in the files of the War Department of a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who...

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Heard on the Street – Consequences

Heard on the Street – Consequences

I love it when you guys send a little something my way. The following was sent to my by a Dallas friend and MOAT. This article is in response to a an issue which occurred in late April. Apparently in Redwood City, Ca, a 10th grader was caught cheating and subsequently...

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Heard on the Summer-Job Street

Heard on the Summer-Job Street

As usual, be careful if you are friends with me, let alone related, because I just might be compelled to share your story. This one I'm super excited to share, not because it's fun to hear that this family (my brother and sister-in-law) is working, but because they're...

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Summer Job Fair

Summer Job Fair

Summer is just around the corner. What to do ... What to do.... Instead of a guest blog, the rest of the posts this week will focus on ways to fill free summer time with productivity. Productivity and creativity. Creativity and problem solving. Problem solving and...

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Entitlement In the News

As is the case these days, Youth Entitlement continues to find itself in the headlines of major news publications... this week in the Wall Street Journal. First - Stephens: To the Class of 2012 offers quite a hard-hitting letter to graduating college Seniors. Allow me...

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Kid Can-Do

Kid Can-Do

Today is a big day at the Moatblog (okay a HUGE day). When I started the Moatblog, I never intended to opine on Youth Entitlement, or do anything more than provide a place for moms tired in the trenches to find a spot of respite ... and encouragement ... and...

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A Home-Spun Recipe… Just for Fun

A Home-Spun Recipe… Just for Fun

Here's a little recipe to inspire the weak-kneed, like me, when I get tired of pushing the kids toward greatness ... okay, so maybe laundry isn't "greatness", but it's a step. GG's Entitlement-Bustin' Souffle Take one mild to chronically over-served child (willingness...

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Table Talk: Words to Live By

Table Talk: Words to Live By

Rather than post a piece from one of our many wonderful guest bloggers, I can't help myself from sharing words from a faithful life that left the world this week. My friend Ann sent me the obituary of "God's Man" from World Magazine. So much of what he said relates to...

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I’ll Have a Glass of Humili-Tea

I’ll Have a Glass of Humili-Tea

Around our house on any given Wednesday or Thursday night, these days you just might hear a little five-year-old moan, “Naaahhht American Idol!!!” Oh yeah… almost all of us love gathering around the television and watching our tevo’d episodes of incredibly talented...

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Car Talk

Car Talk

One thing I've done an excellent job passing down to my kids is my gift of procrastination. I mean really... why do today what you could do tomorrow? It's like a fine wine, putting off a task ... fermenting with age. But, unlike a fine wine, the fermentation process...

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Table Talk: Growing Up by Ashley Parks

Table Talk: Growing Up by Ashley Parks

Today's Table Talk is by Ashley Parks, author of The Saving Seed: Growing a Financially Healthy Family Tree. She has so much to share on planting and modeling "good financial behaviors with you children, starting in their youth and continuing into adulthood." Check...

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“Stop It!”

“Stop It!”

A friend sent me this hilarious video today. I couldn't help but share. Especially when thinking about parents these days and our almost neurotic way we race in to save, hover, manipu-finagle... well, you know. So watch... and laugh... then STOP IT!. Here's a shout...

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The Paralytic Power of the Superlative

The Paralytic Power of the Superlative

With beautiful weather upon us, park time has reentered our picture. Blessed to live less than a block away from one of the prettiest parks in our area, we often grab rackets or soccer and volley balls then race to see who gets their first. "We" might be a bit of a...

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A Little Good Friday Fun

A Little Good Friday Fun

Ready to celebrate Easter, our very favorite holiday, the kids wanted to make some goodies and spread the cheer. In the same way we've "boo'd" friends at Halloween (deposited some treats with a sign stating "you've been boo'd" on the front porch, ring the bell and...

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Afraid to Fail… or Let Your Kid Fail?

Afraid to Fail… or Let Your Kid Fail?

Okay, so maybe with "Cleaning House" coming out in a month, and all that goes on with talking/writing about it - I just might have youth entitlement on my mind. I thought I would share with you a fun article on failure ... and what can come of and from it. Or what can...

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Entitlement in the News Again, and Sneak Peek

Entitlement in the News Again, and Sneak Peek

It doesn't surprise me that once a week a major news source reports on societal trends in youth entitlement or enabling parenting... but twice in one week?! Yikes Monday it was NPR (remember the Easter Egg Hunt Canceled Due to Aggressive Parents), Thursday World...

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American Dreaming

American Dreaming

Yesterday, NPR reported on the latest in a seemingly never-ending revelation that parents are enabling kids. It apparently goes so much farther than enabling. It's hard to find the right word to describe the absurd lengths to which parents go these days to insulate...

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Expiration Dates

Expiration Dates

Rummaging through a few things, I found a couple blogs that I never posted... they've been drafts lost in the land of the forgetful (that land where I live). This one hit home with me today, because I've been faced with trusting God when the messages all around seem...

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3 Little, but Powerful, Words

3 Little, but Powerful, Words

There are 3 powerful words that warm my heart when they come my way. When uttered from my mouth, they transform my kids ... even though it can take time for them to sink in, really sink in. I've caught myself saying them a lot lately, wishing that they would be...

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The Tables Have Turned

The Tables Have Turned

In a borderline comatose sleep stupor, I try to ignore my husband's poking and a child whispering, "Is she awake?" "Huh," I groan. "Is it a school day?" Not even sure of where I am, my mind clumsily searches to recall the day. "Is it Saturday? Sunday? Monday? ... Oh...

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Very Pinteresting…

Very Pinteresting…

Are you Pinterest-ing? Have you joined the craze? Do you even know what I'm talking about? I'm not sure what rock I've been living under, but I was in the not-knowing crowd until a few weeks ago. With a little urging from friends, I've launched my boat into the fast...

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Heeard on the Street

Heeard on the Street

Pontificating to the captive (okay, so maybe sequestered) audience, sometimes known as carpool, I capitalized on the opportunity to teach my children and their friends the merits of standing up for your rights. "Yup ... Here's the light where I got a ticket. Uh-huh....

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Table Talk: Remember When? by Kathryn Martin

Table Talk: Remember When? by Kathryn Martin

Today's Table Talk is written by our own Sue Bohlin's good friend, Kathryn Martin. We are so fortunate that Kathryn offered to share with us some of her vast wisdom. Get ready to be blessed. And might we all let the blessing flow forth to our kids as we anchor our...

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Say it Ain’t So

Say it Ain’t So

We've seen it on the playground. We've seen it in the classroom. We've seen it on the soccer field. We've seen it ... well, okay, almost everywhere we can find a parent. But on college campuses?!  In the workplace?! What's next??! NPR's All Things Considered aired...

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Chopped

Chopped

The first day of March ushered in a high in the 80's and what looks to be a quick end to our nonexistent winter. Beautiful sunny weather with a light breezed pulled us like a Star Trek tractor beam to the park. Loads of friends plus relaxed laughter - and did I...

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The Wild Ride

The Wild Ride

Parenting teens (especially those of the female persuasion), some days, okay – maybe most days - often takes on many the characteristics of an amusement park roller coaster ride. It starts with the ascent, the early morning attempt to raise a teen from coma-like...

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It’s In The Genes

It’s In The Genes

"Mom! This just isn't working!!" "You look fine." I encourage my teen who is frantically changing outfits. I feel her pain. I remember the days of teendom when nothing you put on seemed to work. Too casual. Too nice. Too form fitting. Too baggy. Too outdated. Too.......

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Chore-Induced Attention Deficit Disorder

Chore-Induced Attention Deficit Disorder

Today's guest post is a video by my thirteen-year-old daughter. Inspired by last week's old lady video, she was all over the chance to share what goes through a kid's mind when faced with a chore ... even a chore that directly benefits them.     Heard on the...

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Hitting the Links

Hitting the Links

I don't normally do this, but today's post is a linking one. Maybe it's a rainy day and I feel like being lazy. Or maybe there's just SO much great stuff, I can't help myself from sharing what people have sent. On Wednesday, Erika provided the link to Tommy Jordan's...

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Command Central

Command Central

Today's guest blog is by my friend Katie Feurst. She loves her kids well. When she told me about this story a few weeks ago, I asked her to share it with everyone. In the heat of a morning moment, she realized that it's not only about teaching kids the importance of...

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Angry Dad’s Reaction to Daughter’s Facebook Post

Okay, so I can't stop myself for sharing this video, mostly because it has gone viral (over 20 million hits). Clearly this frustrated dad hits a nerve with lots of folks. He takes a stand and points out the audacity of his daughter's entitled attitude in quite a...

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Half-Cooked or Well-Done

Half-Cooked or Well-Done

Who knew the abundance of lessons hanging around the kitchen and its associated chores?! Last night, one of the kids stepped up bemoaningly to put away the clean dishes and load the dirty ones. The standard, "I did that yesterday" whine, or "Why MEEEEEEE?!" protest,...

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More Run-On Sentences

More Run-On Sentences

Years ago, I would always take my kids running with me. They were too small to join the fun, so with my kids graduating baby-joggers along the way. I started with a single, grew to a double then made the plunge into a triple. No need to point out that we far exceeded...

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Heard on the Street – Teenagers

Heard on the Street – Teenagers

Here's an interesting article from the Wallstreet Journal sent to me by a good friend (a fellow MOAT). Agree or disagree, it's worth contemplating the subject. Here's the link: What's Wrong With the Teenage Mind plus the little snippet below. Thanks, Ann sharing!! ......

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Run-On Sentences

Run-On Sentences

As January barrels toward an end, the convictions and resolutions are beginning to burn. I thought about that as I hit the pavement week, feeling a little (okay, maybe a lot of) muscle burn. Lofty aspirations look good when the hills begin/ but mid-climb, status quo...

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Chore Talk

Chore Talk

“You’re on laundry today.” slave-driving mom tells her able-bodied child. “No. No-ho-ho-ho… Laundry takes too long!!!” drama kid responds. “Sorry, pal.” Not really “I already washed a load for you. So put those clothes in the dryer then head upstairs to get the dirty...

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Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Right or wrong, in our home no one gets homework help unless you ask. When, where, who and how that might take place has changed over time. One year we started Study Hall. Kids with averages below a certain level were placed in our dining room make-shift work center....

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Brace Yourself

Brace Yourself

Sitting in the orthodontist's office, I remind an obstinate kid who happens to be frustrated by his seemingly endless battle with an equally stubborn overbite, I tell him, "This is a gift, you know." "What?!" "Seriously. You have no idea how much money we're saving...

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If You Could Do It Over…

If You Could Do It Over…

If you could do it over ... would you? Our little Future Hoarder of America is four which means school, real school, is right around the corner. With a May birthday, he could either hit the kindergarten crowd next year, or... we could hold him back. The truth of the...

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The Gimme Generation

The Gimme Generation

One of my very favorite MOAT Ironing Board Advisers, Sue Wills (my mom :)  has sent me a few fun things. She saw this interview on FoxNews and thought we might be interested. Further fuel to keep us equipping our kids rather than enabling. Our kids are so amazing....

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 Today's Table Talk is by Mary DeMuth. Mary is not only a prolific author, but an endlessly encourager to those with whom she crosses paths.  Thanks, Mary for encouraging us today! ... check out a few of Mary's books on The Pantry or her web site when you have a...

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Letting it Sink In

Letting it Sink In

Someone asked me last week if we still do our "working around the house thing". I stopped for a minute to do a mental check ...wondering why she asked. Had she been over recently and seen me racing in to do everything for our kids? Was she bowled over by the clutter?...

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The Comings In and Goings Out of Womanhood

The Comings In and Goings Out of Womanhood

Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai As I place Slow Walker's edge-removed Eggo waffles on the table (have I mentioned I'm an enabler? the edges off a frozen waffle?... still working on it), I greet my 13-year-old daughter. "Good morning...

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Table Talk – Why Teachers Quit by Andy Kerckhoff

Table Talk – Why Teachers Quit by Andy Kerckhoff

Today's Table Talk is by the MOAT's good friend Andy Kerckhoff. He's in the trenches and on the front-lines having been an educator for almost 20 years. He loves kids and is invested in raising a generation equipped and strong to do all they were created to do. Here's...

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A Word From the Wise

A Word From the Wise

I don't know about y'all, but we're a bit sad our Christmas break is quickly barreling to an end. The end of the break signals Spring Semester ... the longest part of the school year. (Have I mentioned we're Summer People?!) Since the kids are so thrilled about...

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Surprise Packages

Surprise Packages

Chatting with my mom this morning, we touched on thankfulness... thankfulness for things for which we often forget to be thankful. I can't help but share. Lately, she's had a little extra time to think and time to read. That's when she came across our friend Scott...

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