Touched by a Child’s View of Parents Going on Date

Written back in May.

Last night my three little ones got to enjoy parents night out at our local Little Gym. Which meant that Dan and I got some alone time to spend talking over dinner at O’Charlies and walking the mall. These times are needed to just reconnect with the each other.

As I got the kids out of the car last night Lulu- our foster child- said to me “I’m calling the police on you two.” I was like “what??” “You two spend too much time alone. That can’t be right.” I smile and told her it’s a good thing that mommy and daddy spend time alone. Makes us a better mommy and daddy.

She thought of it for a minute and said “you’re a better mommy and daddy when you play games with us after dinner.” And I told her I didn’t disagree. She is still learning about marriage and about having a mommy and daddy. Her view is valid to me. We had been so busy with end of school and church activities that even though we have been with the kids a LOT these last couple of weeks- it wasn’t the same in her eyes as just us sitting down not running around. Kind of like a family date.

So we will continue to teach our kids that dates are still important and we will continue to teach our kids why we go on dates.  We also will be touched by her innocent views on what we are doing on our dates and what we do as a family.

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10 Random Thoughts That Float in My Mind


  1. I talk to myself a LOT. No really- I am the one in the store mentally talking out loud going through my check list. My kids will look at me and say, “mom who are you talking to?” I smile and respond “my mind.” My mind is a dangerous place to be.
  2. Like when the thought “If I can “just” do this” enters in. Folks “just” is a dangerous word in the females language. It starts in the mind when she see something on Pinterest or a magazine or a blog. And the mind says “if I can just do this.” If this is then verbally express-the husbands know they are trouble.
  3. Why can’t the towels be hung back up. I don’t know if this is a problem in your house, but 6 kids using one bathroom, oldest 19 now. How hard is it to hang up wet towels? This questions floats in my mind often.
  4. Sometimes random narrations go on in my mind. I can write things or argue issues. I sometimes wish I had a recording button because these normally happen when I don’t have anything to write down my thoughts.
  5. Scripture and prayer. I try to always have God’s word everywhere to read and ponder on. These verse will float, echoing in my mind. Song will be singing praises, and prayers always being said.
  6. What homeschooling curriculum I am using this year? It is summer time and this is always floating through my mind. Robby is going into Jr. High- little kids 1st and 2nd grade. What is going to work best for us with our situation.
  7. What is going on with our world? Some issues really hit me and I feel like I want to be the changing force with it. Others just make me mad. All day long I can stew about these issues.
  8. Church. This is always on my mind. More than I can explain. Ministries-how to make them happen, what needs to be done, how to pray for them. Am I making the right decisions? What more should I be doing?
  9. Should I have another cup of coffee? I love coffee. The taste. The smell. (hold on I got to go get some)
  10. How to make our house better work for all the people living in it. With 8 people, including our young new family-how do I organize all. How do I keep food together? How do I keep cost down with furlough going on? Are we moving? Or not? How should I organize the homeschool room?

Someone once said a women’s mind is like a 1001 tabs open on the internet. Yep and these thoughts sits with us all day, till our husbands come home and we want to talk about them. All at the same time-sometimes like a flood. And our poor husbands think-I was only gone for the day!

What random thoughts floats through your mind?





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Advice to Young Newly Married Couples

Being married is HARD!  It takes work ever minute to learn how to live with each other, communicate, love each other, respect each other, just live with each other.  We all know it takes a LOT of work to be married to each other.

When I married Dan, we both came from divorced families.  So I took the best from my parents, asked many questions of my grandparents both married over 50 years, and I learned from those in the trenches.  So I asked my Facebook friends and fans what advice would the give to young newly married couples: (I had one couple in mind-but the advice was general to any married  couple)

  • Jessica-Save! Pray TOGETHER! Don’t go to bed angry. Kiss before you leave each other, and again when you see each other.
  • Wendy-Set a budget together, coupon together and make one night a month a date night.listen to each other feelings. Also them wedding vows you said to each other make sure you stick with them. From someone who has gone through every vows It’s NOT easy but it can be done.
  • Erica-Hold hands and face each other when you are angry and “fighting”. It helps calm you and focus on the other one. We learned that in our pre-canna classes and it works.
  • Joni-Laughter and a sense of humor are a must make the little things count and make time for each other
  • Christie-First off, realize that you both are still young and are still becoming who you are going to be. Changes will happen as you both mature so knowing that and accepting that and helping each other grow in to the best each of you can be will help your marriage together grow. Now add baby to the mix and not only will you be getting to know one another as husband and wife and learning to live and work as a couple, you will be doing this as new parents and the joy and stress of a newborn. She will require much of your time, energy and patience. Those sleepless nights which turn into grumpy mornings for one or the other. Acknowledge the emotions, help each other out as a team and back off when needed. Remember your vows. Yes, there will be both good times and bad. There will be sickness and health. There will be times where you may question your choices. But in the end, you are a couple. You are a team. Be there for each other. Talk to each other, not by yelling or sarcasm or in a condescending way. That will get you no where. It’s going to be challenging at first but it is worth it to wake up next to your best friend.
  • Wayne– Run!!!  J/k. Someone once told me marriage isn’t give and take, it’s give and give. That was a good way to look at it.  Don’t be afraid to talk about money. And don’t be defensive and fight about. Just talk it out.
  • Melissa-Pray & read Bible daily together and worship together
  • Heather– Forgive each other. Talk about sex outside the bedroom, not necessarily when you are trying to make love. Love is a decision, not a feeling. Feelings are not the same as truth—and don’t expect that the other one will just know anything. You have to talk and listen. We still teach the 3 Cs–commitment, communication, and Christian community. You are not alone as a couple.
  • Stephanie-Marriage is about serving each other. Keep Christ the center, then always remember the phrase ” who can bow lower” formost in your thoughts, and all will be fine. Not necessarily easy, but fine. To always strive to serve the other more than you are being served, most especially when you don’t “feel” like it. Now that is love.
  • Heather-Marriage is designed to make you more like Jesus, and the happiness is a byproduct. You’re not supposed to get married to be happy. Marriage isn’t going to make you happy all the time. It isn’t for whimps! Lol
  • Judy-Be Newlyweds forever … Mark and I take a trip every anniversary and we are working on our 11 year old newlyweds
  • Carrie-We say “I love you” whenever we say goodbye, whether it be in person or when getting off the phone. We say it before bed and of course, numerous times throughout the day/evening when together. At one point, I wondered it if was diminishing the meaning, but then realized, if it wasn’t said and something happened to one of us, that would always be on our minds, that we didn’t say it.
  • Cyndi-Try not to go to sleep angry
  • Carrie-Another thought, take a little time for them selves separate from one another. Granted, I don’t really do this, well I do, for me it is sleeping in Saturday morning. I may wake up and just lay in bed for a while or read but it is my time. My husband plays in a band, they have practice once a week and that is his time. Big one–communicate. Communicate needs, frustrations, wants, etc…hold hands. Sit next to each other on the couch. Find out what your spouses love language is.
  • Christina– For Christian couples…remember that you are to minister to your spouse the same you’re called to minister to anyone else. They are not exempt from your patience, your long-suffering (different from tolerance), your kindness, or your tender-heartedness

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Waiting For Haddie

My grand-daughter Haddie will be here soon. She will be starting a new chapter in our lives as grand parents. A chapter I wasn’t expecting to start so soon in life, but as we all know life does not alway hand us what we expect. So we take what God gives us one day at a time.

Jeremy and his fiancée Autumn are going to be teen parents any day. This week we are looking at possibly bring home Haddie(she isn’t due till May 11), Jeremy is finishing last-minute work for High school schoolwork and I need to work on school reports. On top of it, we are trying to sell our house to get a house that fits our family better.

Today we thought Haddie was coming. Everyone got excited. We were waiting for Haddie to show up today. But it wasn’t time yet. Haddie still has some baking to be done, some growing and developing. It is best done inside mommy. IMG_0555

So for now we will wait for Haddie. Because when she gets here our house goes to 6-8 for a while. I will be gaining another teenager and newborn as the three of them merge into a family. When she gets here, the noise level will be the sweet sound of the newborn cry. I will be molding a young soon married couple to become the best parents they can through trial and error. I will be gaining a daughter in law soon to help balance out the number of girls in the family. And soon-on the outside- a grand-daughter that I will get to love and cuddle on, and then hand back when stinky or fussy! Ahhh going to like this Grand momma job!


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To Drink or Not To Drink Starbucks Coffee?

I LOVE my Cafe Mocha.  I will not lie.

I LOVE going to Target and getting a Starbucks and walking about.

Or Kroger’s now.  I mean how perfect is that!

I Instagram my Cups all the time.

White Mocha.

Peppermint Mocha.

Hazelnut Macchiato.

BUT I am torn now.  As somehow now, drinking my cup of coffee that I enjoy- is now saying that either I support or not support gay marriages.  OR worse, that the company has said that if you value tradition marriage they don’t want you.  WHAT??

Oh I know what some are going to say-what about Chick fil a?  What about them?  Dan Cathy only stated what he believed in.  Not that if you believed in gay marriages you should not be there.

I realize that many company’s have beliefs that I don’t believe in.   But for one to come out and say if you believe in tradition marriage then you are wrong.

See I believe in Traditional Marriage.  I don’t believe in gay marriage.  Those are our families morals and values.  Mine.   This is what we teach our kids.  We don’t teach hate, or violence. We teach love and forgiveness.

Sorry if Starbucks doesn’t think my morals and values are worthy of their drinks.

I am torn because I enjoy my drinks and I enjoy the ladies that work in the stores.  I have known some for years.  BUT I feel I have to make a stand for tradition marriage.

So I guess, for now, I have to think about whether or not to buy and drink Starbucks.  

Not because they support gay marriage. 

But because they don’t  seem to support traditional marriage.

I thought they were embracing diversity?  Seems to me they are more about embracing their own agenda.



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Little Girl Dreams from True Love

Being a wife and mom have been the best things in the world.  It was what I always dreamed of.  I have always had a love for kids.  When I grew up I wanted to be a nurse to help children get better.  I loved to babysit.  Babies loved me.  Kids loved me.  I dreamed of a big family with 10 kids (which I dropped off at my moms for the summer time:)

Being a wife, a mom, having a house, a perfect family- I remember growing up dreaming about all that.  Life was not always easy growing up.  My mom and dad had many struggles, and were divorced by the time I was in 8th grade.  We didn’t have a normal childhood, my parents made it the best they could for us.  We as a family went through many illnesses and financial troubles.  But it was a good childhood, with more happy memories than bad ones.  With the  help of extended family they where able to just make it by.

I would dreamed with  JC Penny’s and Sear’s Catalogs picking out baby stuff, wedding stuff and house stuff.  That is what girls do.  They dream.  We live in a world of what ifs.  We live in a world to make it better than what we think it is now.  That’s what girls do.  We love to dream and live in our little dream world.

As I went to college and started to really grow up more, I started to look at marriage and what I really wanted in my future husband.  I dated some, and while I dated it was hard to really separate what was really good for me and what felt good for me.  I knew God had a bigger plan for me.  But sometimes I got stuck on the good feelings, and those good feelings almost took me to places that sometimes it is hard to return from without a good fight.

I remember hearing what true love was one day on the radio.  True love was a husband holding his wife’s hair back while she was throwing up, and not complaining about it, but gentle cleaning her up and putting her to bed.  At the time I thought, that was odd true love. Wasn’t true love -making out?  Wasn’t true love getting what makes you feel good?  Wasn’t true love that feeling you got?  I was 21 when I heard that.  But it stuck with me.

After college I didn’t really date much.  I became really focused on what I wanted in a future husband.  That was how I looked at dating.  It wasn’t something fun for Saturday night.  I thought maybe I had someone in mind.  But then, when I got the call here to Ascension, I met Dan.  I can’t explain it, but the first time I met him-it made an impact.  I wasn’t even sure if I was going to move here.

After getting to know Dan I truly understood what true love was.  You first have to understand the first True Love to understand your true love.  Dan has stood by my side through the good and the bad.  We try to up lift each other and to encourage each other.  While we are sinful and have our faults, and we do have our days where we get frustrated with each other.  We have our days were we can talk to each other and not hear what the other says. We have our days that we just don’t know what the other person wants.

But ever year we grow.  We grow together with our 4 kids.  We grow together as husband and wife.  We grow together as Christians.  We grow together as we care for the house.  We grow together through the tough times.  We grow together on our times aways from life.  We grow together sack dap in the middle of life.  No one said life was going to be easy.  Or this journey of marriage was going to be easy. It certainly is nothing like I fantasized when I was a teen looking at catalogs picking out what I would put in a nursery, or in my kitchen.  I am glad that I didn’t fall to that need to having a JCPenny’s or Sears catalog life.  Oh that sounds like a country song.

Dan and I are going to be celebrating 12 years of marriage on Sunday.  Since we have been marriages we have had 5 kids (one baby in heaven), 15 foster kids, been on too many cruises, traveled on train across country, been to countless kids baseball games, eaten out too many times, became Disney Vacation club members, survived a tornado disaster in our area and a week with no power, hold strong to our faith and church, have amazing friends whom  hold our arms up when we just can’t, have family that stand the test of time.  Our 4 kids continue to amaze us and frustrate us at the same time.  We continue to learn that life is just plain messy sometime and while it is messy, I would not trade it in.

Each moment of life gives us chances to learn.  I love learning with my husband.  How blessed and privileged I am to have someone who loves me unconditional like Dan.  Our 4 kids continue to give us those chances to learn.  While they grow and learn, and even if they get lost in this life, we will always be here for them then they need us.

One day we will be holding grand babies, telling them stories for their parents and smiling as we see them go through all the same struggles we went through with them.  Till then we will tacking this next year homeschooling our kids next year and cruising.  Making the most of the great life God has given us.  That is the best we can do.

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Permission Granted

When I had my first baby I wanted to be with him all the time.  This is normal.  Mom’s need to be with their children and at the same time I treasured those little trips to Target to get food.  Just small outings where my husband could have one on one time with our baby boy.  As Robby grew I was never away from him over night.  I adjusted my job so either he came with me, or I came home for the night and went back in the morning.

Then when Robby was three Dan arranged two days away for our anniversary to Chattanooga.  He had friends of ours watch Robby for those two days.  Those were the hardest two days of my life and the best two days.  Permission Granted.  I could be away from him and he was just fine.  He had a blast.  In fact, two weeks later he went to my sister’s house for a few days too.

New moms need to know it is ok to be away from their kids.  They have permission, actually they really don’t need permission.  Part of raising kids is teaching them to fly.  Part of that is done by gently pushing them out of the nest.  We home school, gently pushing them out of the nest comes in forms of summer camps, VBS, homeschooling classes and other clubs and sports throughout the year.  My husband and I have taken week-long trips together without the children.

Moms you have permission to be away from your kids.  It is ok.  Yes some will cry, and it will be hard.  I have a five-year old who cried, screamed, yelled, threw, you named it he probably did it when we dropped him off at our church CDC for morning preschool.  I finally had to take him out.  But a few more months at home and he has made it a week at VBS.  But I know not all kids are not easy.

I also look at foster moms, since I am one too.  In one year we can all of a sudden have a house full of kids.  Most families take years to have this many kids.  And if you are a stay at home foster mom, the state does not fund child care for you.  So here you are left with little ones and no help.  But you need help.  Permission is granted to ask.  In fact you don’t need permission.  Just because you are a stay at home mom, does not mean you should not be allowed help for daycare, or summer camp for your kids.  You need a break.  You have to take care of yourself first.  Ask, ask, ask.

Moms, it is ok to be away from your kids.  To send them to VBS for the week or summer camp.  Even if they are in school all year, it is still ok.  Each mom is different and do what you know you can handle.  Permission is granted for you to be an awesome mom, and amazing mom.  Call another mom and go out for coffee.  Get a baby sitter and go on a date with your husband.  Have your husband take the kids to the movies and you stay home.  Your deserve it.

Permission Granted.

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Makings of a Strong Family-Shares Responsibilities among its members

6.  Shares Responsibilities among its members

Oh I could go in so many different directions here.

When everyone works together things get done.  Faster.   Better.  Easier.

Is it a women’s job?  Is it a man’s job?

Let’s just agree some things men do better.  And other things women do better.

Find the better and do them.

If the hubby cooks well, then enjoy it!  If the wife likes fixing things up, wahoo!

It is about stepping up and taking initiative to know when you need to step up.

My husband is good at this most days.  He will do dishes often.  And he puts the lefts overs away.

But guys, if your wife is having a tough day, and not feeling good-step up.  If baby is sticky, don’t walk away like you didn’t smell that.  Trash over flowing…you get the idea!

And gals, our guys work hard.  Do extra stuff for them when you can.

All over our house we are lacking this right now- initiative and shared responsibilities.  Unless mommy is giving out who is cleaning what.  It is not getting cleaned right now.  There are something that are getting done.  But I know this is where I have fallen in terms of good chores and shared responsibilities.  We have had list before, but then kids come out and in.

And when I do ask them to clean some times I get screaming and whining.  And sometimes they do it with a cheerful heart.  And sometimes they do it without being asked.

We are going to work on this.  I have already a few ides in place for the beginning of summer.  This will be easier cause AnnieQ will be done with school and it will flow better.

My Kid Organization board on Pinterest has lots of ideas for chores.  Check it out!

This is part of my Making Strong Families Series.

How do you share responsibilities?


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Makings of a Strong Families: has a Sense of Play and Humor

5.  Has a Sense of Play and Humor

All can be perfectly quiet, calm and before they know it, momma is doing something silly!  You got to!  Kids love that stuff, when moms and dads can be silly!  Watch the smiles on their faces when parents get down and play with them.

When Robby was little he had lots of toys.  But the thing he loved best was when Dan got on the floor with him and played horse.  He loved that.  The smile beamed from his face!  Sadly many parents don’t take the time to get down and play with their kids.  We often are tired or busy.  But kids they want us to play with them.  They would rather us take a ball and throw it with them than sit and watch TV or computer.  Kids would rather sit around the table playing a board game or cards on an evening then all this other stuff we have them in.

Families have to play.  Together.

 I don’t always do a good job on the together part.  You often hear-go play-so I can get things done!

I remember one time we were outside working on some yard work.  Before I knew it we had a football game going on.  The kids ate that up!  More so cause daddy was the one running the football!  Kids love parents when they play!

Marriages do better when you can be silly every once and a while.  Or more.  Most marriages balance each other one, one a little bit more serious the other a little bit more silly.  Dan and I balance each other out!  I have the daily fun down better, he has the big fun down better.

Really as I type this Isaiah walks out with a huge bead necklace, going “look at me” and “shaking his booty!”  Where’s my camera?  Humor and Play!

Jeremy and I can go from having the most serious conversation about life, to have the funnest conventions about life.  Robby thinks we are funny.  Sometimes we are.  But in our house, you just got to find humor to make it through!

When was the last time you all had a belly aching almost peed in your pants laugh?  I remember years ago, I was at my granny and pop-pop’s house.  We were playing cards like we always did there.  My great Aunt Dinny was also there.  I don’t remember what happened, but she said or did something that we all laughed so hard.  We normally didn’t laugh like that together.  But that moment, I will always remember!  We always played together, but the humor was the bellying laughing kind.

I am going to write a book.  I have been saying this for 10 years now. It is going to be called “When All Else Fails There is Always Duct Tape.  Humorous Parenting Advice”

Have fun.  Play games.  Laugh.  Blow bubbles.  Tell knock knock jokes.

How is your family playing and finding humor in life.

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Developing a Sense of Trust Makes Strong Families.

4. Develops a sense of trust

When babies are born, the first thing that they learn is trust. Trust that when they cry their needs will be met. Crying is their only form of communication. When our babies cry, we pick them up, love them, feed them, and care for them. This teaches them that every thing is ok.

This little guy above is my nephew Jon Jon. My daddy took the picture!

When you get married you form a bond of trust. For better or worse. I promise to be there.It is wise for you to create hedges or fences to make sure that trust stays true in your marriage. Listening to each other and keeping communication strong helps keep trust strong. Respecting each other creates a sense of trust.

Divorce is not in our vocabulary. We never have to worry about if we have a bad day with each other that it may end it all. We trust each other that we can make it through those tough times. We trust that God has given us the strength. But it takes work. All the time.

That trust we have in each other is something we have to teach Jeremy. He makes comments that Dan is cheating on me or me and the pool guy. Coming from a normal back ground kid, I would be mad. But we know his back ground. We know that we have to teach him, that Dan and I are strong and together. I do not go to the store to “cheat”. I goto the store to go to the store. But if you understood the history of where he grew up, this is what people did. They didn’t commit to each other for ever. They came and went. They cheated. They were not there when you needed them. Sometimes the only person you could trust was yourself.

Robby grew up with a strong sense of trust. He was hungry, I fed him. He was wet, I changed him. Yes there were times he cried and I didn’t know why. Sometimes babies cry. But we gave Robby that sense of trust.

Isaiah came to us stiff as a board. We popped him into the sling and carried him. He cried all the time. He was sick. He spit up all the time. We only fed him 3-4 ozs at a time. But in time he wasn’t stiff any more. We invested a lot to help him learn to trust. To teach him how to attach.

We did not know he was going to be ours forever. Just that he needed this. To trust.

This trust is a two way street though.

While teaching children to trust, parents trusting children is important to. Mr. Isaiah has been at it again with food. This time hiding food in the dinning room under a dresser. This brought in an ant parade. Right now I do not trust him in the kitchen. He is not allow in the kitchen. He had to get really strict with him about the kitchen and food thing.

When Jeremy move in with us I didn’t trust him. I loved him and wanted him. I just didn’t trust him. He was coming from a back ground where he had done many things and I didn’t know yet how much I could trust him. As time went on, I slowly trusted him more and more. But then when things would happen, certain trust would fly out the door and slowly had to be regained again.

Trust in the Lord you God with all your heart, mind and soul.

Trust is a funny thing. Here one day gone the next.

Why don’t you take your kids on a Trust Walk? or better yet, let them lead you!

Check out my Pinterest Board on Strong Families for more ideas on trust

How do you develop a sense a trust in your family?

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