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 shenaniganz. 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 whip 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 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 being 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”

My Life

25 Things About Me!

Every week, you, my loyal readers, come and visit my blog, which I am so grateful for! So I thought it was about time you learned a little bit more about me, the person behind the blog! So without further ado, here are 25 Things About Me!

25 things about me

  1. I love Diet Coke… If I could live on only drinking it, I would.
  2. I have a hidden desire to live a semi-crunchy life… You know the cloth diapers, make my own baby food, make loaves and loaves of bread every week, grow everything in our garden, have a huge orchard with all kinds of fruit trees, oh and to have chickens! What stops me? Well, I can’t stand the thought of swireling diapers in the toilet to get the poop off and then smelling a pile of diapers waiting to get washed. As for the homestead aspect… Well, if I made my own bread I would weigh about 50 pounds more because I love homemade bread, and as far as eating only what we grow… we live in Texas and the ground here stinks making it a very tedious.
  3. I love running, but i tend to find any excuse to not run. When I lived in California I had the best running buddies and I just loved to run, but here in Texas I haven’t found the “perfect buddy” yet and it gets cold… Once I am doing it I love it, but I will find any excuse to not do it at all…
  4. I hate clutter, even during the holidays. Yes, I hate stuff everywhere. Things need a place. When Christmas comes around I don’t mind putting a tree up and a few other decorations, but I am so ready for them all to come down on the 26th!
  5. My husband and my mom are my best friends who i tell everything to.
  6. I am a Reality TV Junkie. Yep, every Monday night is Date night with my hubby watching the Bachelor.
  7. I love to cook and bake, but i hate cleaning it up! (That’s why I love doing it when around my mom, because she loves to clean up, I swear she does!)
  8. I wish there were more hours in the day.
  9. it only took me 15 years to graduate from college. I began taking some college classes right after High School, but then I got married when I was 20 and started having kids. Nine years later I ended up getting divorced with nothing to fall back on, so I went back to school and Graduated in 2016 with my degree in Marriage and family Studies.
  10. Because of #9, and you never know what will happen in life,  I will strongly encourage my kids to graduate before they get married.
  11. I wish we only have spring and fall… Capris and cardigans with sandals is my go to favorite outfit that I could wear everyday.
  12. We have 0 pets and if my husband has anything to do with it we never will.
  13. I am far from a hoarder. I am more like, oh you haven’t used that in a week, we must not need it anymore and will want to get rid of it. 
  14. My husband and i never went on a honeymoon. We got married and escaped from all the kids the night of our wedding, but hit the ground running the next day blending our family.
  15. I live by to do lists. If it’s not written down it’s not getting done.
  16. I love grocery pick up. I love not having to haul the kids into the store to shop for groceries. I mean with a toddler in the front of the cart and an infant carrier in the back where am I supposed to put anything?
  17. I love ice cream. I have been known to sneak into the freezer in the laundry room on many occasions ust to snag a bite before bed.
  18. The first convert i went to was Dr. Dre 2001 concertYou couldn’t pay me enough money now to go see Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, or Eminem…
  19. Call me Grandma, but I love to sew. My Grandma taught me when I was 8 and I feel like this hobby connects us together everytime I sit down.
  20. I live in my pajamas. If I have no plans to go anywhere that day, you will find me in very comfy clothes. My kids pray I never have to get out at their school when picking them up or dropping them off.
  21. Ever since I was little when catalogs come I love to circle everything I want. If I am really bored I will even add up how much all of it would cost and dream about being rich enough to buy it all.
  22. We have a big his, mine, and ours family! We have a total of 3 boys and 2 girls. If we were younger, we probably would think about having more, but we are not young anymore. 
  23. I love Mexican food. Hands down I would eat it every day and never get tired of it!
  24. My dream would be to have an interior designer come in and decorate my entire house exactly how I want it.
  25. One day i hope to make a small difference in the lives of couples who are trying to blend a family together!

Done! Now you know just a little bit more about me! What are 25 things about you?


Photo credit: Michelle Thurgood Photography

Marriage, My Life, remarriage

Cleave to Each Other

Learning to Cleave
As I walked up to the door I was nervous. I was meeting my future mother in law for the very first time. I knew she was concerned because we had only dated a short time. I had hoped she would like me that night to start our relationship off on a good note. I knocked on the door and the door opened. On the other side of the door was a perfectly dressed lady that looked like she had just stepped out of a Nordstrom catalog. The home was perfectly decorated as well. I smiled brightly and said, “Hi!” I recall her reaction as she observed my clothes I had carefully selected to wear that night and she with no smile at all responded, “Come in.”
I recall that night her not being very positive, but I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt that perhaps she was just as nervous as I was. Throughout the night she had made several comments that didn’t sit well with me about her disapproval of our upcoming marriage and if I really knew who I was marrying. I was young and naïve and shrugged them off determined to have a good relationship with her. In one study 80 percent of couple’s marriages end in divorce when their marriage does not have the support of the parents of who they are marrying.

Continue reading “Cleave to Each Other”

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #17

Wandering WednesdayHappy 2018! We are so excited that you are joining us for our link up today!

This week we have been hit with all kinds of awesome sicknesses! It all started on Christmas Eve when Talie got a fever, which then turned into conjunctivitis, Taya got the flu and then gave it to me and Talie was feeling like sharing is caring so she shared her conjunctivitis with Tony, but other than that life is good!

We had a great Christmas with all the kids. I think they all got what they wanted so we had lots of happy kids! School starts in just a couple of days and we are certainly ready to get back into a normal routine again! With it being 2018, we are changing up our Wandering Wednesday a little bit where I will give my favorite pick from last week, my guest host’s favorite pick, and then the viewers favorite pick! So keep joining us and linking up and you just might be out favorite! 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!

I have to admit that I am a sucker for DIY things, because let’s be honest I have great ambitions that I am going to make all this really cool stuff, but then I realize that I don’t have 45 hours in a day! 🙂 I am loving the DIY Wood Garland Post from 3Clementines 


The Viewers Favorite!

The post with the most comments was Live Well Play Together and her 2017 Year in Review . Be sure to check it out becuase it is such a great idea to do!




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

If you still need our new widget codes click here 

Continue reading “Wandering Wednesday #17”

Kids, parenting

What I Wish I’d Known as a Teenager about Dating


It’s the start of a new year! Most of us have probably made New Year’s resolutions and goals that we’d like to accomplish in 2018. But have we made any goals that involve what we plan on teaching our children?

Oftentimes we as parents get so caught up teaching our children the day to day life lessons that we forget to teach one of the bigger lessons, such as understanding what dating is and why it’s important.

When I was in High School one of the main things on my mind was if I would have any opportunities to date. Going on a date at the time meant that someone found me attractive, wanted to date me all the time, and that we would end up being boyfriend and girlfriend.

If I got asked out even once, I almost automatically assumed the boy liked me as more than “just friends”.  Isn’t this a typical mindset of High School students?! I hope so at least!

Jumping forward 10 years and going out on a date has a completely different meaning to me.

It now means spending time with someone in order to get to know them better, and to see if this is someone I would enjoy spending more time with. The guy doesn’t necessarily have to like me as more than friends or an acquaintance. What a drastic change! How did this happen?


5 Lessons I Wish I Knew and How we as Parents Can Teach Them

There are 5 main lessons teenagers and young adults need to understand as they start the process of maturing and interacting with people who they would like to eventually be committed to.

“A date is a planned activity that allows a young man and young woman to get to know each other. In cultures where dating is acceptable, it can help them learn and practice social skills, develop friendships, have fun, and eventually help them find a future companion.”

1.     Do I Need Someone to Complete Me/Make Me Happy?


The fundamental answer to this question is an absolute NO!


When I was a teenager I would have thoughts like, “When I get married, I will finally be happy”, or “When I get married, I will become better at organizing, be more outgoing, I’ll know how to cook better,” and the list goes on and on.

These, and other similar thoughts, are thoughts that many young people have. They look to the future for better things to come, and think once they finally happen then they will be happy. They will wait for a partner to start being the best they can be, to learn certain things, and they don’t think that they can possibly be happy now without it .


This thought process is perpetual, and the grass will always be greener on the other side.


What we need to help our children realize is that you don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend in your life to be happy. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be in your life to accomplish your goals and dreams. You can be happy now and you don’t have to hold back to be your best self.


2.     Love vs. Attraction


We hear so often young people (teens/ young adults) say, “But mom I love him! You just don’t understand!” But honestly, do they really understand what love is?

When we hear the word “love” we usually think of the love between a male and female. There’s the kissing, the cuddling, hand holding, and eventually sex, right? However, this kind of love is not applied to everything. I mean when we say “I love you dad,” we don’t also mean that we ever have the desire to make out with him right?

Mental picture…………………………………………ewww no!


So what does love actually mean if it’s not applied to both situations?

The difference is that attraction is involved with someone around our age and not towards our parents, siblings, most friends, grandparents, etc.

Love is the deep emotional connection we have with those people who are close to us. It comes from time, hardships, patience, and service.

Attraction is what makes us crave the physical pleasure. It comes from hormones, how pretty or good looking the other person is, fun times you have with this person, kissing, cuddling, hand holding, and eventually sex.


Some teenagers might dispute this difference, saying love and attraction are basically the same thing. But again, when we say we love our mom or dad that doesn’t mean we want to make out with them. There IS a difference.


The attraction, or “twitterpation” stage, is what most of us feel in the beginning of relationships, but we should not confuse this feeling with love. Love will come with time and experience.


3.      “Soul Mates”


Many people, including teenagers, have probably thought at least once that they want to find their “soul mate.”

First of all, there is no such thing as ONE person you are supposed to marry. It’s simply a ridiculous idea that there is only one person in the entire world that you are meant to find, and thanks to Hollywood chick-flicks we ALL have this thought process (though they are fun to watch!).

There can be, however, a certain type of person you are meant to marry. But how do we teach our children what type of person they like? We teach them that they need to go on many dates to see what kind of person they are attracted to both physically and personality wise.

It’s not a bad thing to date a lot of people; in fact it is a very good thing! There is a strange notion that if you “date around” you are a player. We need to help young adults understand that going on lots of dates is a good thing. Of course in a committed relationship, dating around is wrong.

We need to help young adults understand that going on lots of dates is a good thing

It is also important to teach our children what type of person they should become starting at a young age.

Raising boys to become gentlemen is something that isn’t as popular as it used to be, but boys who know how to treat a girl with respect, and know how to be chivalrous, is something everyone is looking for, I promise.

Raising girls to become more feminine. Being feminine does not mean being someone that others can walk over, or someone who is helpless. Being feminine is a strength that not many women have in today’s society.

I know you might be thinking, “I want my daughter to be strong and independent!” but this video explains my point perfectly!


4.     What is a good date?


Dating has become more serious than it used to be.

As I described earlier, as a teenager I assumed going out on a date, even once, meant there was something more serious involved. If dating was meant to be casual and fun, then how did it become something so serious?

Dallin Oaks gives a seminar in which he describes the differences between dating and hanging out, and what a good date should look like.

Helping our children follow these guidelines to good dating can help with the confusion some feel about what to do. A good date should include these three things:


  1.     Planned Ahead: Making sure there is actually a plan, and letting the young woman know what it is well in advance so she can prepare. Avoid showing up to pick up your date and asking “so what do you want to do?”

By making sure a plan is made before the actual date helps teach young men how to be leaders and organizers. This is helping them practice for not only a future marriage, but also in life and future careers.

It also shows young women what kinds of men they should look for. Men who will take the initiative to plan something and take charge, and to be responsible.  

  1.     Paid For: As a general rule (at least for me) if a guy asks me out and we end up going somewhere that requires money, I’m expecting him to pay for me. If I ask a guy out it’s a different story. If we begin dating long term, then paying for dates can be discussed and equalized.

When a boy pays for his date, it teaches him how to provide. In essence this is practice on how to provide for a future family.

When a girl sees a boy pay for her, it helps show her that he is responsible, and it helps teach her how to be treated right. It doesn’t mean that she can’t pay, but it shows her what it’s like to be taken care of (even just for one night). Girls should also be taught to say “Thank You” when a guy pays, instead of expecting it and not saying anything.

  1.     Paired Off:  You + your date. No third wheel friend, not a bunch of random people that you bring with you, just you and your date. You asked them out specifically, which means there is a commitment of short duration expected.

When guys ask a girl out they are then also responsible for her safety and well-being. This helps teach him how to be a protector, because he is now responsible, for a short period of time, for someone other than himself.

Protection from others, and sketchy areas is included, but it can also be from each other. Guys shouldn’t force the girl to kiss them or make out, they should respect her space and never try and do anything that would make her uncomfortable.

When a girl goes out with a guy she should feel safe with him, and should feel like he will take care of her for the duration of their date. This helps teach her how she should be treated and how she feels with this certain individual.


  1.     Discussing the Dating Rules or Guidelines for your Family

Dating is fun, and adolescents should be allowed to experience it when they are of an age that is appropriate. This is based on every family’s personal guidelines, but they should definitely be discussed and solidified.

For me, 16 is when I could start going out on group dates. Each of us had an individual date, but there were multiple couples involved. Those were some of the most fun activities I’ve ever been on. It was fun, safe, and I got to know a lot of different people.  Notice that this is actually a group DATE, instead of a hang out.

Now as an adult, I don’t have as many group dates because my focus is now on finding someone who I could see spending the rest of my life with. I’m not looking for that at 16, and my maturity level has increased (well, in some areas at least).

Parents need to discuss with each other:

-What age their child should be allowed to start dating

        -Is there an age difference for group dates vs. single dates?

-Curfew and what time is appropriate for weekdays and weekends

-How involved you are knowing where they are, who they are with, what the activity is, etc.

Dating is how children and young adults practice their social skills, and it exposes them to different types of people. It can be looked at as an educational experience, but overall it is FUN and should be FUN!

Dating doesn’t have to be so serious, and teaching our children these points will help them feel like dating is something they can do frequently and with a confident attitude.


-Written by Lisa Jensen. 

Lisa Jensen is a recent graduate of BYU-Idaho with her degree in marriage and family studies. She has spent the last semester interning for Confessions of Parenting. She is striving to help young adults and teenagers become more confident in themselves, and their abilities, in all aspects of their lives. She hopes to help parents become more informed and involved with topics that children and young adults don’t often get taught at home, but rather from their peers and society.