Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #21

Wandering WednesdayHello! And Welcome Back to our Wandering Wednesday Link UP Party!

We have had such a great month with Jennifer from Heritage Makers guest hosting with us! I hope you all have enjoyed getting to know here and the wonderful things that she does! Next week we will have a new guest host!  If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Here is a little bit about Jennifer!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little better this month while I’ve guest-hosted Wandering Wednesdays.  I really enjoy getting to know you bloggers through your posts.
For my last Wandering Wednesday guest host, I’ll give you some behind-the-scenes things about me that you might not learn from just reading my blog posts here on Wandering Wednesdays!
I love the beach, shells, laughing, pithy quotes, chocolate, rain, sunshine, creativity, holidays, words, and really good Mexican food, but not necessarily in that order.  I have a B.A. in Humanities-English Literature from Brigham Young University.  #gocougs  Three weeks after graduation, I spent a year and a half as a volunteer missionary for my church.  I am fluent in American Sign Language and have interpreted off an on for over 20 years.   I’m married and have three kids.  I was born on Guam.  (When I got married and went in to legally change my name, the lady behind the desk asked me for proof of citizenship.  …Woops.)  I don’t really like change, but I like controlled adventure.  Surprisingly, over my lifetime, I have called seven states and three countries “home” as well as the U.S. Territory I mentioned previously.  This is, in large part, what is responsible for my addiction to traveling.  If I had a million dollars, it wouldn’t take me an entire second to decide what to do with it.  I would travel!
Jennifer can be found at
Blogs:  https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com (her blog) and https://www.livegrowgive.org/ (she’s the weekly #familyhistoryfriday contributor)

We are so excited to share “Our Favorite Things” With you this week! All my favorite picks will be shared on my Facebook page and I will also pin it to Pinterest! So here we go!

My Favorite Pick!

This week as I was reading Give Your Adolescent the “Empathy Advantage” by Navigating the Years, I was reminded of how important empathy is in all aspects of life.  Reflecting on how much lack of empathy is in our world, and how many problems would be solved if we simply recognized that we can teach our children empathy has motivated me to be more intentional in my parenting.  Being more empathetic can be taught by example.  Things such as eating dinner as a family as much as possible, having a movie night, and simply being kind are all simple ways this can be done. I really enjoyed her suggestions and look forward to diving into her recommended book Unselfie by Dr. Michele Borba.



 Jennifer’s Favorite

So many great posts again this week!  The one that spoke to me the most is “Welcome to the Women Who Rock! Series” by Ruxandra LeMay.  I’m sure this post spoke to me because I’m a woman over 40, but I loved what Ruxandra wrote about the increased self-confidence and more giving nature of women over 40.  I think in a culture with such a negative attitude toward aging in women (but, interestingly, not in men), this is such an important issue to bring to the forefront.  This post is just an introduction to an upcoming series, but it gives me something to look forward to!

The Viewers Favorite!

The favorite this week by the viewers was also Give Your Adolescent the “Empathy Advantage” by Navigating  the Years. Great article loved by many!!! Don’t forget to vote by Saturday each week!


Thank you so much for everyone’s entires and we can’t wait to read your posts this week!

Enjoy this week’s Wandering Wednesday!  Don’t forget to vote on your favorite post this week in the comments below.  See you next week!

So Now on to the party!
Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

If you still need our new widget codes click here 

If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #21”

Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

How to Transition from Homeschool to Public School

I am that parent who never envisioned sending my kids to public school. Let’s be honest, we were having so much fun learning at home and getting to go on vacation whenever we felt like it, why would we ever choose to go to a “real school”?  I had homeschooled for 10 years 2 months and 15 days when my 15-year old son decided to issue these words, “Mom, I want to go to high school!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but I wanted my son to experience high school if that’s what he really wanted to do, so off we went into an unknown territory for our family.   

#1 Vaccinations

The first step in entering public school is making sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date. If you choose to not vaccinate then you will be required to sign a waiver and get it notarized.  I currently live in Texas which has a few more required vaccinations then where we previously lived, so you want to make sure you check your state’s vaccination requirements.  You cannot assume like I did, that all of the state laws are the same.  Get to know what vaccinations are required in your state for your children to attend school so there is no delay.

One important option for those parents who do not vaccinate is that some states have waivers that you can request to opt out of certain vaccinations so check into that if you choose to not vaccinate.

#2 Current Report Card

While homeschooling it’s important to keep track of any grades you give your children on assignments and tests.  This information will be helpful to the school so they know what your child knows and he/she will not have to repeat courses you have already taught.  I did not use an online homeschooling program so this made things a little tricky and held up the admission process. So you want to be sure to keep great records while homeschooling just in case they will ever attend public school.   

#3 Testing

One thing I made sure to do each year was to give my kids a national standardized test.  I went through Abeka. This was required where we lived, even though we only had to submit the results every other year. Each state is different though. Texas, for example, has a state test as well as national tests that all students must pass in order to move to the next grade level.  Therefore, to satisfy the state, and prove my child’s grade level, he was required to take the state test for the previous grade level.

My son was a little bit nervous about doing this and I thought he might change his mind, but his desire to attend high school was greater than the anxiety he felt about taking the exam.  (Of course, he passed with flying colors…. Yep, teacher of the year right here, just saying!)

#4 Adjustment Period

Being homeschooled allows for parents to remove the negative effects of peer pressure that can be present in public schools.  During the first month of attending high school, my son realized that being the “class clown” was not the smartest way to go.  He also quickly understood that teachers were not like parents and they did not accept late work.  This was the hardest part of the transition! It took patience as I watched him struggle through the adjustment.

How I Dealt with the Adjustment Period?

No parent wants to see their kids struggle, so I searched for the right thing to say or to do. I learned through this adjustment period that teenagers need guidance without it appearing to be lectures. So what I chose to do was offer a few soft words each day help him find his way.

#5 Other Ways to Bond

Now that my kids go to public school, I no longer get to spend as much time with them like the old days.  So every day after school we all sit down at the kitchen table and they work on homework and I work on other projects to be able to spend time with them. Since my kids started public school it gave me a chance to go back to college and take some classes, which has been fun because we have shared each other’s successes (good grades on test) and cry with each other during discouraging times (usually when I feel overwhelmed my kids are there to help encourage me to continue).  We have bonded in new ways, which I would never have imagined prior to them going to public school.

Transitioning from homeschool to public school has been a journey that I did not think we would ever take as a family, but our family has now done it twice and been successful both times we have done it!  As I look back I think the transition was the hardest for me!  I used to look forward to waking up every day and spending it with my kids teaching them, but now I look forward to them coming home and telling me about their adventures at school.  I still work closely with all of their teachers (love that the school has everything online for parents to see each day) to make sure my kids are on track.  Making the move to public school was the right choice for our family.

What were some of the most difficult things you encountered transitioning from homeschool to public school?


5-things-to-remember-when-transitioning-from-Homeschool-to-Public-School (5 Things) - JY


~Written by Jennifer

Marriage, parenting, Step Families, Stepmoms

It’s Going To Be Okay

Dear Bonus Mom,

We know you are out there! We know what you are probably thinking and feeling because we have been there too! We know at times you are depressed, burnt out, feeling like you are walking on eggshells in your own home, and most of all feeling like you don’t belong in a sea of other moms. we promise you, you are not alone!

Thanks to Hollywood when we hear the word stepmom we cringe. We instantly think of Cinderella and her evil stepmother making her do everything for everyone, treating her horribly, and then locking her up in her room so she could not find happiness.

We know that’s not really how stepmoms are. We know there are people like you out there that put your stepkids ahead of your own happiness. We know that there are people like you who love unconditionally even though you feel like you get no love in return. We know that there are people like you doing everything for your family and getting none of the credit. We know that this is probably the hardest thing you have ever done in your life, but you wouldn’t change it for anything.

So in case someone hasn’t told you lately, Thank you!

Thank you for loving your bonus kids like your own. Thank you for taking on the hardest thing you have ever done in your life so your bonus kids can know what it is like to be raised in a home with parents that love each other. Thank you for being there for your bonus kids, even when it feels like you are the third wheel. Thank you for always looking for the good in every situation when it’s easier to look for the bad. Thank you for staying involved and trying your hardest to bond with your bonus kids. Thank you for having thick skin and a soft heart when it comes to being a bonus mom.

So next time it gets hard just remember, you are not alone. Next time it gets hard just remember every day is a new day to try again. Next time it gets hard think about everything you have overcome and let that give you the strength to keep going. Next time it gets hard know there is probably another bonus mom out there struggling just like you. Next time it gets hard just remember it will all be worth it. Next time it gets hard remember it’s all going to be okay.


Another Bonus Mom

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Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #20

Wandering WednesdayHello! And Welcome Back to our Wandering Wednesday Link UP Party!

We are so excited that Jennifer from Heritage Makers is here co-hosting with us this month!

Here is a little bit about Jennifer!

I’m happy to be guest hosting Wandering Wednesday for week #20!  It’s amazing how much this linkup has grown in 20 weeks.  We have lots of fantastic bloggers now!
On my first week of guest hosting, I introduced myself and my business since that’s how my blog was born.  Last week I shared with you my WHY–why I’ve written for my own blog for 8+ years and now am a weekly contributor for another.  Blogging takes time!  Quality content takes time.  But my WHY–one of my main driving forces in my life–is a deep desire to do good and make a difference.  This is what fuels all my blog posts about connections, photos, memories, family, and stories–and the powerful, life-changing things they can do for us.
This even inspired me to write a little book!  (And when I say “little,” I mean it.  It’s probably a 30-minute read.)
There’s so much focus these days on wellness.  We talk a lot about wellness of the body and mind, self-care, etc.  You can find pins and blog posts on diet and exercise all over the place.  There’s not a lot of talk, though, on wellness of the heart and soul.  I’ve learned a lot over the past few years about one key element that goes much further than we realize in lowering stress, creating a sense of purpose and belonging, and even some therapeutic benefits.  This book poured out of me.  I think it’s been waiting to be written for a while!  (You can find the book at this link.)  It goes back to what I told you about myself last week:  I have a deep desire to do good, to inspire, to educate, and to lift.
Jennifer can be found at
Blogs:  https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com (her blog) and https://www.livegrowgive.org/ (she’s the weekly #familyhistoryfriday contributor)

We are so excited to share “Our Favorite Things” With you this week! All my favorite picks will be shared on my Facebook page and I will also pin it to Pinterest! So here we go!

My Favorite Pick!

Sometimes you just need a good laugh and I got that as I was reading Funny Items Toddlers Want to Sleep with in their Beds by Fab Working Mom Life. I started thinking about all the interesting things that kids like to take to bed. My 11 year old still needs 4 different cozy blankets after his sheets and comforter, his thumb chucks Santa brought him, and 3 stuffed animals that rotate each night (he would sleep with all of them if we let him). Talie sleeps with a pink bear, Minnie Mouse, Chocolate (her dog, she recently named), and Super Dog (her other dog that just got named) as well as her cup even if nothing is in it and a couple of books… I could totally relate to what Julie was talking about in her post, and this is why it was my favorite this week!

  What is something your kids love to take to bed?


 Jennifer’s Favorite

 There were so many fabulous posts to choose from on Wandering Wednesday #19.  One that really stood out to me was “Motivational Word of the Year – Try” from Amy at NeededInTheHome.  Amy listed some great ideas of things to try this year, and she even included a fun theme song:  “Try Everything” from Zootopia.  What really struck me, though, is the whole concept behind “TRY.”  New Year’s resolutions are often “pass/fail.”  Either you stop eating sugar, or you have a cookie, right?  But trying to eat better is completely different.  We don’t often make grandiose changes in one day or week or month or even one year.  More commonly, we can look back and see grandiose changes that happened very slowly over time simply because we tried and kept trying.  Amy’s post encouraged me to just add an attitude of “try” to everything I do this year.


The Viewers Favorite!

This week there were two favorites so I am choosing one that was a favorite that I really enjoyed as well! It was from Christine A Howard, called 13 Ways Disney Adds Magic For Those with Special Needs!  I think we all like Disney a little more after reading this!


Thank you so much for everyone’s entries and we can’t wait to read your posts this week!

Enjoy this week’s Wandering Wednesday!  Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post this week in the comments below.  See you next week!

So Now on to the party! Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

If you still need our new widget codes click here 

If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #20”

Kids, parenting

How Do You Stop Yelling?

Despite the fact that I have my degree in marriage and family studies and have taken parenting classes and early childhood education classes I still struggle with parenting at times. It is no secret that one of my biggest challenges is Yelling in the heat of the moment. If you don’t believe me go read, I’m a Yeller.

I yell. I yell too often, and then my kids ask me why I have my angry voice out?

I’ll be honest at first it feels totally justifiable why I am yelling, I mean they aren’t listening, but then mom guilt comes in and I realize that I shouldn’t handle things that way and then I feel really bad.

10 days ago I committed to not yell for an entire year, and man it’s been hard at times, but I haven’t yelled… I have been super close many times, but then I remember that I am in control of my actions…

So… How Do You Stop Yelling at Your Kids?


First, Let’s Chat About Yelling…

In order to be successful at something we need to set ourselves up for success, so how do we do that? We need to understand why we yell in the first place. I have come to understand that yelling for me is me losing complete control of the situation. Therefore, I have to make the choice well before the situation occurs that I am going to stay calm no matter what, I know… Easier said than done.

Find Your Triggers

I have thought long and hard about why I lose it with my kids and 9 times out of 10 it is close to bedtime when I have a plan and things are not going according to that plan. With me being able to recognize my trigger I am able to make changes to allow me to not become as frustrated and allow my emotions to take over. I have learned to have some flexibility in the plan. Yes, bedtime in our house is at 9pm, but is there really that big of a difference between 9:00 and 9:02? 10 days ago I would have said, “Yes!” but after realizing to be a little more flexible our nights have become better, and I have less of a desire to yell…

What are your yelling triggers?

Recognize that Yelling Doesn’t Work

I know at the moment we think that yelling is the best way to handle the situation, but in reality, it doesn’t help anything and it doesn’t work. Yelling makes the kids sad, you get an “angry face” and it just makes the situation worse, followed by you feeling guilty for yelling at your kids.

Plan Ahead

I know this sounds ridiculous but think about those situations that make you the most frustrated and plan how to handle it differently the next time it happens.

For me, it’s usually when I say, “It’s time to get ready for bed.” And then like clockwork, my night goes to hell in a handbasket… I think the boys take this as a nightly invitation to start horsing around, tripping each other, bring out their accents from around the world, checking one last thing on their phones, complaining that they are hungry, and the list could go on and on as to what happens.

So now 10 minutes before it’s time to get ready for bed, I tell them we are getting ready for bed in 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes, when it is bedtime, I already expect that these shenanigans are going to happen, so when they do I am not instantly fired up and ready to yell. I also have planned my Positive FIrst Response, “Boys, I don’t think you heard me the first time, It’s time to get ready for bed. Please head to your rooms and get your Pajamas on and then brush your teeth.”

So to recap the changes I have made with planning ahead: 1. Thought about the situations that makes me most frustrated 2. Planned a Positive First Reaction and 3.Gave the kids warning that bedtime was coming up, rather than springing it on them when it is time to get ready for bed. These simple steps have helped me keep my cool.

In The Moment When You Want To Yell

It’s time to get ready for bed and the boys are now chasing each other around the house trying to trick one another. One is trying to pants the other and the other is screaming for dear life… It’s here! The moment we planned for… I am angry. I am frustrated. No one is listening and I am about ready to lose it. How do I calm down so I am not the crazy shouting mean yelling mom? 

Talk Calmly, but Firmly Using Simple Phrases

This is when we need to use every ounce of patience we have and we need to take a deep breath and calmly, but firmly announce what is supposed to be happening. Do this with simple short phrases. In my case, I calmly, but firmly state, “Boys, it is time to get ready for bed. Go to your rooms and get ready for bed.”

Respond, Don’t React

Certainly, it would be easy for me to chase the boys around the living room or to yell at them when they are yelling at each other, but this doesn’t work because it is me reacting to the situation based on emotions. We need to respond effectively to what is happening rather than reacting.

Set Consequences/ and Follow Through

If talking calmly doesn’t work using simple phrases, then it is time to set a consequence. “Boys, if you do not start getting ready for bed right now, then you will lose your wifi after school tomorrow.” Okay… So in our house, this usually is what gets at least one of them bolting to their room because a life without wifi is the ultimate punishment. I know what the parenting books say, the consequence should go in line with the punishment. So if they aren’t getting ready for bed they should have to do it sooner the next day or early to bed… This does not work for us. We have a few things that if I threaten to take them away I can be guaranteed fantastic behavior immediately, the wifi being one of them. So find a consequence that works for your kids. It probably is a different consequence for each one of them. 

If your kids don’t do what they were supposed to after you set the consequence, then you have no choice, but to follow through. If you don’t follow through your kids will now realize that you just like to give “idle threats” and that you really don’t mean what you say, so they will never believe any consequence you set, ever.

Walk Away

If you are about ready to lose it, it’s time to walk away and get a few deep breaths… I know you might think this is letting the kids win, but really you are winning here because you are recognizing that you are still in control of the situation. Most of the time when I walk away the kids usually start listening. If the problem is still happening when you come back then you are able to deal with the situation with more patience.

Walking away from a situation also shows my kids that it is okay to walk away from situations they are in before they lose it. It teaches them it is not okay to scream or shout and we can all take a moment to compose ourselves before dealing with the situation on hand.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

When the situation is escalating and you want to yell, using humor might be a good alternative. Making a joke and laughing can change the situation completely. When I tell a joke the boys stop chasing each other and start wanting to tell jokes. I then let them tell a joke and then they head off to get ready for bed. Problem solved! We avoided Yelling and they are now getting ready for bed, and bonus! Everyone is happy!

After I’ve Yelled

Let’s be honest… I yell… I feel like crap… I feel like the worst mom in the world… I feel like I am majorly failing… I feel like my kids hate me. So what do we do once we yell?


Tell your kids you are sorry, and really mean it. This is important to do this because they need to recognize that everyone makes mistakes, even their mom, and dad! It helps them learn how to apologize also when they are in the wrong. 

Show an Increase of Love

Parenting can be hard! So can being a kid, trying to figure everything out. In those moments after we lose it, we need to make sure that our kids know they are loved. We need to take this time to give them some extra attention, spend some quality time playing a game or reading a book or give them some extra hugs to make them know how much they are loved.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

For days after I yell, I worry that my kids hate me, even though they show no signs of hating me… I mean kids are really the most incredible forgiving individuals in the world! It’s easy to think that we are the worst parents in the world and that everyone is a better parent than me, but that doesn’t help anyone! So pick yourself up and figure out what you want to do better next time! I know you can do it! 

What have you found helps you to not yell at your kids?



baby, Marriage, parenting, relationship skills

4 Tips to Help Your Marriage Survive a New Baby


208 days ago my husband and my life changed once again when we welcomed baby #5 into our home! I still remember those precious moments after Tony’s birth that I quietly got to spend with my husband. These moments in my eyes are some of the most special ones a couple can experience together sharing in the joy of this beautiful infant being brought into the world.


After a day or two in the hospital you get to bring home this beautiful infant and you soon you realize that your entire lives have been turned upside down, caring for this infant who needs your attention around the clock. It is easy to get caught up in the taking care of the baby that you quickly forget about your relationship with your spouse and only focus on feeding schedules, lack of sleep, and the fact that you constantly smell like spit up, I get it! I’ve been there many times, we have a lot of kids.

I would have to say that having a new baby in my eyes is one of the hardest times (but yet one of the most special times) in your marriage just because of the hormones, lack of sleep, and trying to figure out how to get everything done. I think it is only natural that we quickly start replacing time with our spouse with infant feedings, diaper changes, and other necessary things we need to do for our baby. So how can we care for our brand new babies, but yet continue to focus on our relationship with our spouse?

I have discovered when I focus on a few small simple things that our relationship not only stays strong, but I also get more help with the baby and the other kids, bonus for me right?! So on to the tips that can help your relationship survive your new bundle of joy!

Appreciate the Little Things

It’s so easy after having a baby to go a little crazy! I mean think about it… lack of sleep, something literally always attached to you, hormone levels are all over the place, your hair is falling out making you wonder if you will wake up bald tomorrow, and the one thing you fear the most is that someone is going to come and get your baby sick and send you back to the hospital so you become a major germaphobe! With us, as moms, so caught up with all these things, it is so easy for us to forget about the diapers our husbands changed, the trips to the store he took to get more pads because we were leaking through every shirt we owned, or the fast food he picked up on his way home from work so we didn’t even have to think about who was going to clean up after dinner. Of course, these things don’t go unnoticed by us, but sometimes we get so caught up in the moment doing other things that we don’t let our husbands know how much we appreciate them. We should take the time to verbally acknowledge how much we appreciate these small acts and let them know that they don’t go unnoticed.


Connect Each and Every day

I know what you are thinking! Trust me, I think it too! In fact, connecting each day is the last thing that I want to do, (If you don’t believe me, just read To My Husband), but it is necessary to continue to strengthen your relationship. So how can you do this when you can’t do certain things for 6 weeks according to the doctors? Well, of course, there can be lots of kissing, hand holding, and back rubs, snuggling just the two of you in between all the cries from your newborn, late night feedings, and diaper changes.

After the 6 weeks are up, make time for your hubbies, we don’t want them to be grumpy. 🙂 I know you are tired, I know you don’t want to be touched, I know all you want to do is to go to sleep, but I promise if you take this time with one another it will 1. Put him in a good mood  2. Encourage him to help more and 3. Strengthen your relationship and show that the two of you are still important to one another!

So take a nap, when the baby sleeps (no one will know, I promise). Take a shower every couple of days and make sure to make your spouse a priority too!

Kiss Criticizing Goodbye

Ask my husband, I’m Queen Bee when it comes to criticizing, but with a new baby, it is a learning experience for everyone so we need to kiss the criticizing Goodbye! With so many crazy baby things out there it is easy to be confused between bumbos and boppies. And who really remembers to point little boy parts down so you don’t get peed on at the 3am feeding? I am sure that your husband did not intend for your baby to pee through everything and on you in the middle of the night. Swaddling is an art and I’m sure you weren’t an expert the first time either, so let’s let him catch a break. So go easy on our spouses and kiss the criticizing goodbye and be grateful they are an active participant in your baby’s life trying to help make your life easier, even if it’s not the way you would normally do it.

It’s Not All About the Baby

I totally get that we all just got another demanding full-time job (a newborn!), but I am going to let you in on a little secret… Ready for it? Your life doesn’t always have to revolve around that sweet little infant. Not everyone wants to hear what color their poop was that day, or that they were awake for 3 hours 26 minutes and 15 seconds. When your husband gets home from work really listen to what he is saying, rather than half listening and half thinking when the next feeding is and what side the baby needs to eat on… Let’s make sure we allow our spouses to feel important, even with our lack of sleep and engorged boobs.

With all this being said, babies grow up so fast, so soak up their smells and kiss that soft skin. Nurse them for a few minutes longer because those moments will quickly pass you by, but just don’t forget about your spouses in the meantime. Show your spouse’s how much you love them and how grateful you are for this life that you are building together.


How are you going to show your spouse you appreciate them today?


Kids, Mom Life, My Life, parenting, Parenting is hard

One Day This Will All Be Gone and You’re Going to Miss This

One Day This Will All Be Gone-2

Yesterday I got nothing done because we were on a two-hour delay from school.

Today I had to drive everyone to school because it was simply “too cold” they said to get on the bus.

But one day I won’t have any kids at home anymore to help get ready in the morning.

Yesterday I did 5 loads of loads of laundry and it still didn’t look like I had done any.

Today I have washed, dried, and folded 4 loads of laundry and have three more to do.

But one day my washer and dryer will be empty and there won’t be folded piles all over the table.

Yesterday I slept all day because I had mastitis.

Today I fed a child 9 times taking up approximately 4 hours of my day.  

But one day my kids will be grown and I won’t get those precious moments with them anymore.

Yesterday I listened to my baby “cry it out” until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

Today I was greeted by my 2-year-old at 10 o’clock at night who was scared and didn’t want to sleep alone.

But one day my bed will only be filled with the snores of my husband.

Yesterday I picked up a gazillion toys around the house.

Today I picked up a gazillion and one toy, 19 pairs of shoes, 5 winter jackets, and 13 socks.

But one day I will have a perfectly clean house but will be missing the kids who made the mess because they will be grown and have their own kids making messes in their house.

Yesterday I said “uh huh” about 30 times to the kids when I wasn’t really listening because I was trying to get something done.

Today I let the kids play video games and watch TV so I could get something done.

But one day I will wish there was someone to talk to and someone to do something with.

Yesterday I rolled my eyes when Colby slid into home plate when he really didn’t have to just to get his pants dirty.

Today Tony got sweet potato puree all over his brand new shirt.

But one day I will no longer stand in the laundry room for hours trying to remove stains thinking of the memories of how they got there.

Yesterday I ran kids to sports practices, choir concerts, band performances, church activities, and got to eat PB and J for dinner in the car because it’s all I had time for.

Today it will be spent doing pretty much the same thing minus help from Ty because he’s out of town.

But one day I will wish I had these days back spending time watching the kids do things that they love.

Yesterday I was the worst mom in the world because I made the kids clean their room.

Today I will again be the worst mom in the world when I make them clean the playroom and put their laundry away.

But one day they will thank me for teaching them to be organized and clean.

Yesterday I felt like a failure as a parent.

Today I don’t feel much better about that.

But one day I will look back and realize that I did something right because my kids turned out pretty good!

So with that being said, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I will keep making plans and to do lists that need changing when something comes up with the kids. I’ll keep doing laundry day after day so the kids have their favorite shirt to wear the next day. I will treasure the moments of feeding my baby rather than dwelling on what else I “could be doing”. I will snuggle my baby until he learns to fall asleep on his own and welcome our daughter into our bed at any hour. I will listen more when my kids talk. I will cheer louder when Colby slides into home and praise Tony for actually eating real food after trying for a month to get him to eat. I will happily treasure the time in the car of having time with the kids while on the way to their activities. I will treasure the words as “worst mom in the world” because that usually means you’re doing something right. Because one day all these things will just be distant memories we wish we still had when our kids are grown.

Parenting is hard. There are days where I wonder if I am making a difference. There are days when I feel like I am failing. There are days that I wish I could go to the bathroom by myself or take more than a two-minute shower, but then I look at my kids and realize how have you grown up so fast? Where have all my little babies gone? And then I think, one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!

What are you going to miss most when your kids aren’t so little anymore?

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One Day This Will all Be Gone



Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #19

Wandering WednesdayHello! And Welcome Back to our Wandering Wednesday Link UP Party!

We are so excited that Jennifer from Heritage Makers is here co-hosting with us this month!

Here is a little bit about Jennifer!

I’m so thrilled that Michele asked me to guest host Wandering Wednesdays this month.  I love reading so many great blog posts all in one place, and being the guest host gives me a chance to write a little more about them!  There is a lot of great content shared EVERY week, from uplifting inspiration to home decor to great recipes.  I love Wandering Wednesdays!
One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I really have a strong desire to do good in the world.  It’s always been in my heart, and it’s been an interesting journey to see where that’s taken me.  As a blogger, I’ve enjoyed sharing not only my thoughts but also practical solutions for how to increase connections and strengthen family ties and relationships through photos, memories, and stories.  My LifeTales Books blog (https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com) is just over 8 years old, and for the last year (almost!) I’ve been honored to be a #familyhistoryfriday contributor on a new blog called Evolve (https://www.livegrowgive.org) that inspires women especially to embrace their gifts as they live, grow, and give.
I always deeply appreciate comments, shares, and pins on whatever I write, and I hope that you and those you share it with will find great sources of inspiration, new ideas, and the ability to increase your own circle of influence for doing good. 
Jennifer can be found at
Blogs:  https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com (her blog) and https://www.livegrowgive.org/ (she’s the weekly #familyhistoryfriday contributor)

We are so excited to share “Our Favorite Things” With you this week! All my favorite picks will be shared on my Facebook page and I will also pin it to Pinterest! So here we go!

My Favorite Pick!

So if you know anything about Talie (2 1/2) you would know that she is addicted to her how-to-remove-a-pacifierpacifier! In fact, I think she would rather lose a limb than her pacifier! Well, last week I read How to Remove Pacifiers from Toddlers from Have Twins First and I thought to myself, well that is a nice thought, but it would never work with this stubborn girl… Well, I decided to give it a go and HOLY COW! IT WORKED! We have been pacifier free since Friday! So this is definitely my favorite pick from last week! If you are struggling with your toddlers loving their pacifiers read all about it and give it a go!


 Jennifer’s Favorite

I read so many posts at Wandering Wednesday #18 that I commented on, pinned, and loved!  I always say this, but it was so hard to pick a favorite!  (Thanks for making it hard to choose, bloggers–that’s a nice problem to have.)  🙂  My favorite post from WW #18 is from Meet The Harris Family.  It’s called “Embrace Your Gifts.”
I think we often spend so much time seeing other people’s gifts that we don’t make ourselves sit down and look at our own.  Maybe it’s an over-40 thing, but I find I’m so much happier when I stop comparing myself to others and see that what I AM and can offer the world is just as valuable as EVERY SINGLE gift I see in others–even (or maybe especially) if it’s different from everyone else’s.  I really liked how Meet The Harris Family talked about how you can use your gifts in a business!  You never know who needs your talents and skills–and who would pay for it.  Excellent, thought-provoking, encouraging post!


The Viewers Favorite!

Again this week there were so many favorites and I had to break the tie, which was so hard to do, but I went ahead and voted for What Type of Traveller Are You? by Kate on Thin Ice! 


Enjoy this week’s Wandering Wednesday!  Don’t forget to vote on your favorite post this week in the comments below.  See you next week!

So Now on to the party! Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

If you still need our new widget codes click here 

If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #19”

Kids, Mom Life, parenting

I’m a Yeller and I’m ready to Change!

According to my boys, I’m a yeller, I tend to think I speak in a voice that they can actually hear me in over their shenanigans. Last night though was a turning point for me, I decided that I might just be a yeller, even though I don’t want to be one!

It all started when Ty decided that we should have hot chocolate before bed. The kids, of course, went crazy as I was trying to get Tony ready for bed. They ran into the kitchen to make hot chocolate… Followed by the whipped cream getting squirted into each other’s mouths, followed by Talie spilling her hot chocolate all over the table and me having to clean it up one-handed. Then Colby brings out an Australian accent followed by talking about “Baby Jesus” from Talladega Nights…  I lost it… I admit it… I yelled at them and sent them to bed…

Confession Time

I felt horrible for yelling, I felt sad for the night ending like that…  Were they doing anything wrong? Not really, they are just typical 13 and 11-year-old boys having fun, right? And because of me, the peace was gone in our home. My yelling was the one who made it go away… Me, the one who learned about all the different parenting techniques in school, but yet can’t implement any of them when they are most needed.

I confess I have always blamed them for me yelling or raising my voice (I mean if they would have listened, to begin with 🙂 …), but really, it’s not them, it’s me… I am the one who needs to change. I am the one who needs to get better. I am the one that needs to have more control over my feelings. I am the one who needs to strive to have more peace in the home. I decided right then and there it was time for a change!


What’s the Plan?

Last night I decided to not yell for one solid year! (except when appropriate: sporting events, playing outside having fun with the kids, if a crisis is happening and it will save someone’s life… you know those moments.) Lao Tzu says, “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So I knew that the first step would be the hardest, which is why I am telling you all that I  am making the commitment to not yell for one year! There it is a step in the right direction! To be a more patient and loving mom. A step towards using those parenting techniques when I need them most!

A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Now you might be thinking, “Holy cow! What is her house like? Do they just yell all the time?” Of course, we don’t. There is lots of love, lots of peace and lots of harmony, but there are those moments when we are plagued with loud voices that drive all this away. It’s at those times when I fall into Mom Funk, especially since our house has been plagued with sickness for the last 22 days and I have been sick with the flu or a double ear infection for two weeks now. It’s on those days that are too cold and windy to go outside and play so those dang little screens occupy the kids, until bedtime when they decide it is now time to get some energy out.

Who’s With Me?

I’ll be honest… This journey is going to be hard… I’m going to fail a few times, okay probably many many times, but I do so much better when I am surrounded by others doing things with me, so with that being said, Who wants to join me? Who wants to change? Who wants more peace in their home? Who wants to share this journey with me? You certainly don’t have to do a year, like me, but I challenge you to set a certain amount of time to make your home a No Yelling Zone and see just what happens. Will you join me on this journey?NO YELLING ZONE!.png
Together we can share stories, encourage one another, and just support one another in being better parents and bring more peace into our homes! Join the challenge today and comment on this post: “I’m in!” Let’s all offer each other encouragement and share stories along the way on our journeys to have more peaceful loving homes, so who’s with me?

With Love~

Michele Signature.png

I'm a Yeller and






Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #18

Wandering WednesdayHello! And Welcome Back to our Wandering Wednesday Link UP Party!

We are so excited that Jennifer from Heritage Makers is here co-hosting with us this month!

Here is a little bit about Jennifer!

In March 2005, I was minding my own business.  I had three kids under the age of seven, and I didn’t need anything else to do, thanks.  Within about four days, I had three phone calls from good friends telling me about a new company called Heritage Makers that offered high-quality digital storybooks and scrapbooks.  I have always been a big believer in taking photos and recording memories.  It’s just good for the heart and soul.  My friend Cary said, “This is a company made for you.”  By week’s end, I had signed up as a consultant for this company I’d never even tried before.  And that’s saying a lot–not even because I hadn’t ever used the product before, but because I’m a die-hard introvert!
And then in November 2009, my blog LifeTales Books was born.  I’ve poured my passion for the power of story, photos, and memory keeping into over 300 blog posts in those 8 years–and I recently celebrated over 50,000 page views!  I am serious about inspiring people to reach higher and enjoy all the benefits of memory-keeping, from a greater sense of purpose to higher self-esteem in kids, and I’ve loved the ways my blog has stretched me to help others in their journey.  I find myself writing about photo organization, time management ideas, and the scientifically-proven by-products of knowing family stories.
blog header 2017
My blog has helped me make friends, too!  And that brings us to Michele at Confessions of Parenting.  I never would have met her if we didn’t blog.  I am thrilled that she asked me to be the guest host for Wandering Wednesdays this month!  Michele has managed to find some amazing bloggers to contribute to these weekly linkups, so I hope you always “save the date” each week and make sure you check in to see what’s new.  There are fun posts, inspiring posts, and even yummy posts!
Jennifer can be found at
Blogs:  https://lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com (her blog) and https://www.livegrowgive.org/ (she’s the weekly #familyhistoryfriday contributor)


We are so excited to share “Our Favorite Things” With you this week! All my favorite picks will be shared on my Facebook page and I will also pin it to Pinterest! So here we go!

My Favorite Pick!

If you read 25 Things About Me, then you know that I LOOOVE “To Do Lists” and staying organized! Well, my favorite pick this week is from Kate at A Hundred Affections called 21 Free Printables to Help you Organize your Life 


 Jennifer’s Favorite

Like every Wandering Wednesday, it’s so hard to pick a favorite post because there are so many great ones each week!  However, at Wandering Wednesday #17, I really enjoyed “3 Ways to Make More Meaningful Choices This Year” by Lori Jackson at Choosing Wisdom.  I love how she suggested that goals often focus on scarcity (like “don’t eat junk food”), but we’re more likely to choose well if our approach is a focus on abundance.


The Viewers Favorite!

After reviewing the comments from last week there were lots of favorites! Which one was your favorite? We went ahead and broke the tie by choosing Kill the Resolution: 5 Ways to Kick Butt in 2018 by Desire at N.Chi’s World


Enjoy this week’s Wandering Wednesday!  Don’t forget to vote on your favorite post this week in the comments below.  See you next week!

So Now on to the party! Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

If you still need our new widget codes click here 

If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #18”