The question game!

Meal time can feel chaotic and my mama heart longs for it to be relational and life giving. The time we all come together after a long day and share our thoughts or learn something new. Perhaps it will as they grow but it can't now with all the "Eat two more bites", "Yes, you do have to finish those Brussel Sprouts" or "Stop putting your feet on someone else's chair". So, we play the question game. We have some printed out on sticks, we make others up, or we Google lists to learn new things and test each other to see if we share the same knowledge.  Because, I know I am not alone when breakfast takes too long and dinner is full of too many "Please sit down" commands here are a few if you need them for your table too! What shape is the globe? (sphere) What is “hello” in Spanish? (hola) How many feet are in a mile? (5,280) How many stars are on the American Flag? (50) What shape is a Stop sign? (Octagon) How many sides do

Family Films: Into The Spiderverse

Sundays are quiet at our house. After church we stick close to home for chores and easy family time:  Laundry, cooking for the week, the pool, a bike ride . Our favorite Sunday tradition has become pizza dinner and a family movie. After a long week and a busy weekend it is a great way to finish off the weekend: snuggled on a couch together, enjoying the story, an Aldi five dollar pizza and sometimes folding that previously mentioned laundry! Whether it is Friday night for your family, Saturday morning after chores or Sunday, like ours...this week's feature of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse will have you all wanting to press play again. Have you seen it yet?! In the first five minutes you see working parents balancing jobs, parenthood and still flirting. Miles has a conflict about school with his father because school is hard and he is not with his neighborhood friends. He argues about leaving to go back to his old school. The father-son dynamic plays out i

Just Say “No”

             I have been there…that place where you say ‘yes’ to everything because you are trying to just survive. You are trying to just survive through breakfast, just survive until naptime, just survive until daddy gets home. I have been there, in that place where staying home all day with kids felt impossible, insurmountable. It felt so hard you couldn’t get out of bed or you did, but you never took off your pajamas. I have been in survivable mode where we turned on a show after each hour because it was a celebration of them eating breakfast, me sweeping one floor or I just needed to nurse the baby without the two-year-old eating the dog food. I didn’t say “no” other than in response to “Can I run through the parking lot?”             I tried to say “no.” I said “maybe”, I said “not right now”, I said, “I will think about it”. But, those answers were never clear and they just produced children who were still very hopeful that mommy would say “yes” if they kept asking; a

How I Got My Kids To Listen

When I call my kids names I am met with silence. My voice no longer makes their ears turn on, in fact it might do the complete opposite! They don’t hear me over the TV show or playing or reading books. My voice has lost some power. Their lack of response makes me unsure if my directions are going to be followed. Often, they leave the room so I have a false sense of certainty that they are following directions. When they return thirty seconds later it becomes obvious they heard the noise of my voice but not the words. It’s time to take the power back! We need to get their attention before we start giving them tasks. We need to allow them to stop what they are doing so they can listen. Kids don’t multitask, they cannot think or play and take in extra information. Parents cannot remain patient and kind when completely ignored. I am always surprised when visiting my kids classrooms at how the teachers keep things quiet and calm. How they aren’t yelling over the volume of t