A Lifetime Commitment to Fruit Loops

  I made it very clear that I am not a Fruit Loops spokesperson.  I can’t stand the things—all rainbow-y and sugary and pseudo-nutritional.  And at the risk of offending any of you closeted fruit-loop-aholics, I just go ahead and say that I would be perfectly happy if they removed Fruit Loops from the store shelves forever.  I’m sorry. But, just to make sure to really drive home what I’m said in my last post (and to make sure you were intrigued to read the post), I entitled this post “My Lifetime Commitment to Fruit Loops”.  It worked, didn’t it?  You want to know more. My point is that growing Godly character is a lifetime engagement—something that Christians work on from the day they accept Christ until the day they die.  And as parents, there is no one magical formula that helps kids to become pillars in the faith.  That’s God’s job (thank goodness!)  But, I also understand that part of raising children with Godly character is exposing them to biblical concepts at an early age. And so in the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how to do that.  How can I show my kids Jesus every day, every hour, every minute in a way that’s authentic, organic and real?  Oh, and in a way that makes them crave him.  And so I quizzed some of my “older” mama friends (I won’t name names since I’m calling them “old” in public, but these are women who have not only successfully raised kids, but managed to do so without burning down their houses or losing their sanity.  Needless...

How Fruit Loops Got Me Thinking About Godly Character

Fruit Loops. I sent my husband to the grocery store last week and he came home with a bright red box of Fruit Loops.  I guess I should’ve been more specific.  After all, I did just write the word “cereal” on the list.  And, while in my mind, “cereal” means the uber-healthy, corn-syrup-free Fiber-O’s that I normally buy, “cereal” to him apparently means asking the kids what kind looks good to them.  And, when (shockingly) they point out the brightest, most colorful, most sugar-filled box in the bunch, he tossed it into the cart without hesitation. As it turns out, my husband figured out really quickly why Fiber-O’s is my breakfast standby.  Two bright-eyed faces were peering at us over the edge of the bed at 6:15 the next morning, wondering if it was breakfast time yet.  And, when my husband told them to go pour themselves a bowl of cereal, they did so gladly, only to wander back in a half hour later in a state of pure sugar-induced unruliness that ended with my husband being drug out of bed before 7 am on a Saturday.  Lesson learned. For the next few hours, we fought the Fruit Loop battle.  I swear, that stuff is like… well, chocolate during that time of the month.  One taste and before you know it, you’ve eaten an entire bag of Hershey’s Kisses.  (Not that I know that from experience or anything.)  My kids were on a Fruit Loop rampage.  Had I let them, they would’ve finished off the entire box on that first morning.  Instead, much to their chagrin, I put the...

This is the Day That I Pray For the Kids in Newtown… and America

Dear Jesus, I’m unsettled today.   There are tears streaming down my face as I spread peanut butter on sandwiches and slice apples for my kids lunches.  Simple tasks that I’ve done thousands of times before.  But today it is different.  Because today I know I am sending them off into a world that has lost a bit more of its innocence. I can’t stop thinking of those precious kids in Newtown who won’t be heading off to school today.  Kids who you created in your image.  Kids who you love more than anything.  Bright-eyed, joyfully innocent kids like my Joey. Lord, fill those families with a measure of peace that goes beyond human understanding.  Because none of us can imagine or understand that pain.  But you can.  Comfort them, heavenly father, with a love and hope that can only come from you. Lord, I am so grateful that my kids’ joyful innocence that has yet to be shattered by this dark world.  By guns and violence and threats and pain.  Pain that no one, much less children, should ever have to endure.  I want to tuck my kids under my wing and protect them from a world that terrifies me.  But that is not your way.  You created me– and my children– as lights for you.  I pray for their protection, today and every day, but even more, I pray that you would never allow this dark and angry world to extinguish their precious lights.  Let our family shine for you, Lord. And so, today, Lord, I pray that you make yourself known to our nation.  That you...

15 Easy Things to Do With Your Kids… Today

Summer is (finally) here.  And I am so, so (did I mention SO) excited to not be driving back and forth between every corner of Austin with the baby in the carseat.  We can finally stay home.  Of course, that leaves the question:  What do we DO at home?  Here are 15 easy kid-friendly and mom-friendly activities that you can do…with things you have on hand at home today. 1. Do chain drawings.  Draw a tiny picture in the corner of a page, then pass the page to another child and have them add something to the picture.  Keep going until the pages are filled. 2.  Make homemade lemonade.  Experiment and create new flavors:  Strawberry lemonade, nectarine lemonade, basil lemonade. 3.  See how quickly your kids can get completely soaked by standing in the sprinkler.  Time them. 4.  Make cloud dough– Mix 1 cup flour with a few tablespoons of baby oil until it’s soft in texture.  Give them measuring spoons and cups to play with it. 5.  Go bug hunting. 6.  Go online and plan your dream vacations.  (So what if it costs $10,000 a night to stay at the Princess resort your daughter wants to visit…she can dream, right?) 7.  Bake cookies. 8.  Look through cookbooks and plan your next feast. 9. Make Letter Pictures. Draw your kid’s names in bubble letters and have them draw pictures of things that start with those letters. So, if your kid’s name starts with a J, he can draw jelly beans, a jar or a jump rope. 10.  Build a playdough cafe. 11.  Have a picnic.  And yes, PB &...

Happy Birthday to My Sweet Wills!

Dear Lord, You are a more/and God.  You give me more hope than I can even comprehend, more comfort than I need, more peace and forgiveness than I could even ask for and more love than I deserve — and then on top of all that, you’ve filled my life with more/and blessings–big, joyful and abundant blessings that fill my days with sticky-fingered hugs and my heart with laughter. One year ago today, you blessed me with one of my greatest more/and blessings:  My vibrant and energetic son Will.  And like his Creator, my sweet boy has a more/and personality.  He wants more out of life– more excitement, more noise, more exuberant arms to toss him into the air and catch him safely as he falls.  And, on top of all that, he loves people, he loves to smile and he loves to wrap those sweet arms around my neck for a snuggle. Yes, he is a more/and kind of guy– with a big personality and a big heart to prove it. Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful more/and son.  I pray that you give me the vision to clearly see you working in sweet Will’s life as he grows this year.  And, as he explores the world you created, tests the limits that he’ll surely test and learns about how life in this world works, reveal yourself to him.  I want him to know you, Lord. Lord, I simply cannot be the mother Wills needs without you– I lose my patience in twelve seconds and my mind in eighteen.  So, grant me the tenacity, the grace, the humor...
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