Monday, March 24, 2014


I've been reading a fair amount of articles and blogs lately about 'too much entertainment' for our kids.

I have to say........ I FULLY AGREE!

Where has imagination gone?

It's not uncommon to go ANYWHERE and see little bitty kids, some barely sitting up, with their noses pressed against the screen of a tablet. Little eyes blaring, little fingers fumbling at the screen.


Never mind the older kids with their phones, tablets, ipods. They rarely even look up. Some even walk while reading, texting, gaming.

It's insane.

Plus, it's commonplace to have our schedules filled.  Some might look like this:

Mon:  Park play date
Tue:  Swimming at the Rec. center.
Wed:  Soccer practice
Thur:  Piano lessons
Fri:  Movie night - in or out
Sat:  Zoo
Sun:  Jump and Play after church

That's an ENTIRE week of 'fun and activities'.

No down time.  No outdoor play.  NO IMAGINATION!

In my day, that amount of 'fun' would have been spread out over the course of a YEAR.  Maybe more. 
(exaggeration intended)

No wonder so many kids respond with 'I'm bored' when they have a day at home or the TV breaks or the iPad is charging.

I can't say we haven't been guilty of this ourselves.

Our kids have WAY more toys than they need. We do take them to the zoo and park on occasion (granted NOT weekly or daily).  We do allow them to play games on the computer. We do have Friday  night family movie night -- usually IN.

However, recently, we took most of our children's (especially the younger set) toys away.

You know what happened?

They. Began. To. Use. Their. Imaginations. Again!  Not that they didn't before, but it's on a whole new level now.

Selah has printed and cut out 'paper dolls' with which she and the other two girls make elaborate games and stories.

They go outside more.

They read books more.

They interact more.

It's fun.  It's new.  It's exciting.  It's IMAGINING at it's best.

And..... I LIKE IT!!

Not once have they asked for all those toys back.  Not once have they asked to 'go to _____________' whatever venue of entertainment you can think of.

They are enjoying 'playing', make-believe, being home.

What I'm not saying is I never hear 'I'm bored'.  Just last week I heard it twice - from 2 different littles.  Know how I responded?

"Go clean your room."

The first unsuspecting victim giggled nervously and said, "What?"

"Go clean your room.  You said you were bored. There's plenty to do.  Your room needs cleaned.  Go, now."

Reluctantly she meandered off and did, in fact, clean her room.

Another day, another "I'm bored" rolled out of one of the girl's mouths.

Without hesitation, the response was, "Go clean your room."

This time, no back talk, no shock, she remembered he sister's plight.  Off the couch she slid and down the hall she trotted and ...... clean her room she did.

You see, I knew that these 'I'm bored' statements were more a result of our rule of limited computer time each day than any lack of fun stuff to do.  These little manipulators were HOPING mom would give in and let them have a little 'extra' screen time.  Their ploy backfired.

We do need to stop 'entertaining' our kids all the time. They need to learn to occupy themselves. To find things to engage and inspire their brains that don't revolve around a screen of any size.

Want to join me?  Turn off the computers, the phones, the ipads, the ipods.  Send them outside. Send them to their rooms to read, clean.  Unschedule your calendar a bit.  Grab a board game and get playing.  Print out figures and have them play with paper dolls.

It'll be worth it.  It'll be GREAT!

Maybe, just maybe our kids can learn to be content where they are; to play and utilize their own imaginations rather than having it filled with the imaginings of others.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

They're only little for a time

As I stood singing hymns in church, the girls clamoring for WHO would sit beside mommy.......

Hands groping my legs; bodies pushing against mine hard enough to make me teeter; little feet on top of my feet; arms wrapped around my waist to ensure their coveted spots........

I leaned back to a friend and commented:  "This is when the touch quotient goes through the roof."

She smiled, then politely stated, "Enjoy it while it lasts.  Soon enough they won't WANT that attention."

I had no choice but to agree.

It's hard, this stage of mommy-hood.

My body is not my own.  My time is not my own.  My thoughts sometimes aren't even my own.  LOL!

HOWEVER, as my friend reminded me:


I'm not going to lie and say that I don't have days when I literally shoo the kids away because I just need time to decompress or have literally been touched so much my skin actually hurts.

But, I can honestly say that I LOVE snuggling, caressing backs and heads, and just generally loving on my kiddos.

Secretly I yearn for them to clamor for my attention.

I DO know that this time is fleeting.

I have 3 older children who generally sit in an entirely different pew across the aisle from us at church nowadays.

To you mommies who are 'in the thick of it':  Relish this time.  Enjoy their hugs.  Memorize the feel of their little arms wrapped around your legs and waist.

It won't be long and they may take a step back when you approach them for a hug; when you put YOUR arm around their shoulders.  At least in public.

Thank you, friend, for stating what I already know.

This time DOES go fast.

I AM relishing it.

Even though some moments I need a little extra space to breath.  Once that needed moment is over, I'll willingly go back to being pressed against, tugged on, squished, and all around 'touched' by my bundles of joy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Last Tue night our second to youngest daughter asked Jesus into her heart.  She personally claimed Him as her Savior.

<<<HAPPY DANCE!!!!>>>>

What a blessing.

What an answer to prayer.

Techno and I have prayed for all of our children. That they would all come to a personal decision to ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.  To acknowledge their need for a savior and then welcome Jesus into their hearts and lives forever.

So far, 5 of the 6 have made that choice. Accepted His precious gift.


We remember how each of our children, thus far, have come to this knowledge.  Most were pretty young.  One of the benefits of being in a home where the whole family attends church and has accepted Jesus as Lord.  Of having the Bible read and taught.  Of having family that attempts to live out their faith and love of God and His Son.

Charity has been 'on the cusp' for quite a while.

She knew all the right words. She just hadn't made it personal.  Hadn't accepted the gift Jesus put before her.

When asked if she believed Jesus died for HER sins, she'd say, "I don't know."

That changed this week.

Now.  She.  Knows!  And.... believes in her heart it's. for. her.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of salvation that you give so freely.  Thank you that 5 of our 6 children have claimed that gift. Opened it.  Accepted it with joy.  We continue to pray for our youngest.  That she too will come to know you.  Personally.  
In Jesus' name.  Amen.

We rejoice that our precious daughter has also become our sister in Christ.  The best, most important decision she will ever make. The one with eternal rewards.

She's looking forward to this coming Sunday when she will be baptized.  Demonstrating her obedience and showing others her decision..... To. Trust. JESUS!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014


I've been struggling with losing weight for several years.

In all honesty, I've struggled with weight most of my life.

In highschool I was so active that I managed my weight by riding my bike E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E!  In addition, I was a majorette with practice daily throughout the week.   I could eat what I wanted because I just burned. it. off.

Then college.  Yeah, I gained the typical freshman fifteen and came to the conclusion I was huge and became a borderline anorexic.  All at the wopping weight of 130 pounds.

Crazy, I tell ya.

After losing down to 105-110 pounds my jr/sr year in college, burning more calories at the gym a day than I'd eat, and popping laxatives to 'eliminate' those few calories I did eat, I realized I was walking a thin line.

Yeah, I had 6 pack abs and could wear most any piece of clothing I wanted, but I was skeletal.

105 pounds isn't quite enough 'meat' on a 5ft 6 in frame.  Especially for a young woman of 20-21 years of age.  My body was trying to do the natural thing and prepare for babies, while I was starving it.  The two don't mix well.

As I hit my lowest weight, I met Techno.  I like to say he 'saved me' from myself.  From anorexia.

The downside to that equation was eating became a HUGE part of our relationship.  That component continues today.

Hence, I swung the pendulum of being way underweight and catupulted to way overweight in the early years of our marriage.

That has been my plight for the last 21+ years since we've been together.

Yo Yo!


....... down.

Mostly up, however.  (7 pregnancies aided in that since I wasn't overly careful with what I ate and didn't get much exercise during those times.  Or after.)

My pendulum swing had been edging to the VERY overweight side in the last couple of years (despite having lost and kept the weight off for several years prior).

With that looming before me - knowing I was creeping toward my heaviest weight - I made the decision to MAKE A CHANGE.

I ordered the AdvoCare 24 day Challenge.

I knew 4 couples who had followed this program and had great success.

I was willing to give. it. a. shot.

Something had to give. The supplements and support were just what I needed.

A jump start.

With my blood pressure and cholesterol on the rise, my energy levels at an all time low, and my body image plumeting, I figured, "Ain't got nothin' to lose!"

I finished the challenge with an 8 or 9 pound loss.

Since then I've continued to make healthy lifestyle changes.

I'm currently down 13 pounds and a couple inches off my waist, hips, bust, and thighs.


I'm continuing this journey of healthy living.

I'm eating better; exercising; drinking plenty of water; and overall just striving toward health and fitness.

I know it's a long journey.  That old adage:  'It's a marathon, not a sprint' is right on target for this particular journey in my life.

Come along.  Join me.  We can do it together.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My Quest for Modest Swimsuits

Having 6 kiddos, 4 of them girls, means swimsuit season can be challenging.

We believe in being modest EVEN at the pool or beach.

This is NOT an easy order to fill.

The boys are pretty simple.  A pair of long swim trunks or board shorts; a rash guard shirt and...... they. are. set. to. go!

On the other hand, the girls..... well, that's a whole different story.

When the 3 littles were smaller, I frequently found suits at Target that consisted of a rash guard shirt and swim shorts.  The shorts - because the girls were still pretty young and their legs were still kinda short - were long enough to keep us happy and feel they were pretty modest.

Now that they are bigger, those shorts just. don't. cut. it.  Not to mention, most of the 'suit sets' now have bikini bottoms.

We don't do bikinis.  Period.

Not an option.

I've scoured the internet and have found some feasible options.  The cost, however, is quite prohibitive.

Especially considering we have to buy 4 girls' suits, plus one for me.

Not to mention, part of our quest in being modest is to avoid drawing undue attention to oneself.  Some of the 'modest suits' available would turn as many heads as wearing a bikini.  Granted, the girls and I would still be 'covered', but that's not our ONLY goal.  Our aim is to be modest and glorify God in so doing.  NOT cause others to gauk and stare because we look 'odd'.

Bethany is a challenge in an of herself.

She's a teen now. Starting to LOOK like a young woman.  Tall.  Lean.  Long legs. Long torso.

A nightmare for ANY swim suit shopping let a lone the modest variety.

In the past she's had a couple options.  She had a swim dress, but the top was a bit low and she had to wear a swim tank or high fronted sports bra under it.  Not the most practical.  For the last 2 years, she's worn a pair of boy's board shorts (we picked a teal color that didn't look masculine) with a one piece teal bathing suit under them and a matching rash guard shirt over that.

Functional, but WOWZA, the layers.  Talk about a challenge to use the restroom.  Sheesh.

I started the search for modest suits recently when I noticed summer items appearing in the stores.

First I checked the racks. Always cheaper and easier to buy from a local store.  Then I searched on-line - despite having done so NUMEROUS times before.

I'm pretty familiar with WHAT'S available on-line.  Deciding which suit we REALLY preferred and HOW MUCH we wanted to spend, was our next step.

We were fortunate to stumble upon some cute swim suits for the 2 youngest girls at Costco.  They had a rash guard shirt and a skirted bottom.  The bottom was a bit short, so we purchased black capri leggings to go under them.

Cute.  Functional.  Modest.  Feminine.  (Plus, fairly easy for 'potty breaks'.  Important when your are dealing with a  5 and 6 year old.)

Unfortunately the sizes did not go high enough for the other 2 girls.

More searching.

Walmart had some cute rash guard shirts, but only bikini bottoms.  Any shorts I have found might as well be bikinis - as short as they were.

That wouldn't do.

Finally, it hit me.


Duh!  Why didn't I think of that years ago?

The quest is on.

Finding the 2 older girls and myself swim shirts we like, coordinating capri leggings, and matching lycra material and.....


After a bit of sewing.....

Modest suits all around.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

You've heard the song.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

Boy is it.

As I posted recently, the healthy lifestyle thing has had it's challenges.

I discovered as we learned of Doug's cousin-in-law's passing, that I dealt with sadness by...... wanting. to. eat.


I knew stress could do that, but this was different.

As I cried and thought about the situation, I simply wanted to dive into a pan of brownies or a big bag of chips and dip.


It hit me.  Breaking up with my old eating habits; my love of junk food; my desire to munch is hard to do.

In just the last week, I've caved to a pizza dinner where I ate 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza.  Followed the next day by eating nachos and cheese at the carnival - simply b/c they were cheap and easily accessible.  Then on Sunday I had too many carbs, no fruits or veggies, AND a piece of the rose cake I made at our church fellowship dinner.  Finally Monday for dinner I made taco salad and allowed myself a second bowl PLUS an extra handful or two of corn chips.  All this after almost a month of 'standing firm' and 'staying the course' with healthy eating and avoiding temptations.


As I sat and watched one of our children eat a bowl of cereal, I fought the urge to grab the biggest bowl we own and fill it full with the crunchy goodness of corn pops and milk.


I didn't.  I stood firm.

I've done better since these 'slip-ups'.

I didn't have to fight the urge to make a batch of cookies or fudge simply so I could stand there and scarf the entire pan myself.

I more easily coaxed myself into doing my Biggest Loser Bootcamp video 4 days this week.  (Granted, my legs killed me most of the week, but I felt so much better once I'd accomplished that task. Stronger.  More confident.  Empowered.)

I understood this journey to health would be challenging.  I knew there'd be days I'd want to give up. Days I'd crumble and eat poorly.

I knew that 'Breaking Up Would Be Hard To Do'.

But..... I'm NOT giving up.  I'll stay the course.  Techno is worth it.  My 6 beautiful children are worth it.  I'M worth it.

After all, I AM fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.  

This body of mine?  It is HIS temple.  It's my responsibility to care for it the best I can.

That's my aim.  My goal.  

As I break up with my old habits, I may lapse into them once in a while, but each day is new.  Each day I have a choice to make.  I can make the right choice after a relapse.  I just have to be cautious and not have a full collapse.