Mom Monday Week 52 – The Best Mom in the World

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My son slipped into my bedroom at 6am one morning. I was sleepy, so I decided not to move. There was plenty of room for him to just get under the covers next to me. We did not have to speak. I did not have to welcome him as I usually do, by raising the cover and saying something sweet. I knew he knew he was welcome. I just could not speak or move – I was sleepy.

He slipped under the covers without a word. Just when I thought I was off the hook and we would go back to sleep, he said, “Mommy, please turn around to face me.” I obliged without saying a word. Then he said, “You are the best mom in the world.” Now that’s something to wake up to, isn’t it?

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It was not the first time he said that to me. He says it to me a lot in different settings and at different hours of the day. Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 51 – Merry Christmas!

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This year, I discovered the secret to a peaceful and relaxed December. Are you ready for it? You know, the ONE thing you need to do in order to stay sane through the holiday season, Christmas shopping, and the end of the semester. Drum roll, please… Get sick.

Yes, friends, get sick. If you get sick, the amount of work your family will allow you to do is minimal. Everybody will pitch in a bit here and there. You discover that the whole operation will move on just fine without your efforts. It’s brilliant!

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I should patent this idea: eat a lot of sweets through November and extra pie at Thanksgiving, so that your immune system gets overwhelmed and completely unable to deal with the viruses going around. And work extra hard through November, too, to the point of exhaustion. That is a sure recipe for sickness in December. And you’re off the hook with the Christmas preparations.  Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 50 – The A-Bear

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Recently, I came across a great blog on gentle parenting or, as the blogger herself puts it, on how to yell less and love more: The Orange Rhino. Many of you may already be familiar with her work. I had never heard of her experiment to live yell-free for a whole year.

Her blog provides lots of tools for calming down. Her book, which I am in the process of reading, will walk you through 30 days of learning why we yell and how to replace yelling with successful parenting techniques.

As parents, we should all take the responsibility of calming our own nerves and temper down. Only we can do that for ourselves. The world around us will never be peaceful enough, quiet enough, or perfect enough to soothe our psyche.

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I applaud anybody who takes the time to share what has worked for her in that department. Showing some vulnerability in the parenting blogosphere helps, too. How many of us have read a blog and felt completely intimidated by the perfection exemplified there?  Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 49 – Christmas Gifts

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What do you want for Christmas? I hope you get what you wish for. Here are my wishes:

1. Health for everybody in the family. Right now, my daughter is complaining of ear aches and is coughing at night. My son just finished his cold. I am still struggling with a bit of a cough myself.

2. Patience with my children and myself. I certainly need it as we homeschool and enjoy each other’s company 24/7.

Mom Monday Week 49

3. Peace on earth, good will among men. You know how that goes.

4. Good weather so we can spend some time outside every day throughout the winter. Fresh air does wonders for the mind and the body, but freezing cold air does not appeal to me at all.

Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 48 – If Only

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This week, I took the kids to see The Nutcracker. Is there anything more beautiful around the holidays? I think not. “Our” Nutcracker is performed by The Appalachian Ballet Company. They have been doing this show for 46 years now.

If only we could go through life as gracefully as ballerinas, perpetual smiles on our faces. Sigh. Big sigh. At this time of the year, I am struck by the idea of grace, graciousness, and gracefulness. Not just achieving goals, but the manner in which we achieve them. The beauty of Tchaikovsky’s music, the colorful costumes, the ethereal gliding of ballerinas remind me it’s not just about getting to the destination. It’s also about the journey. Mainly, it is the journey that counts more than anything.

Mom Monday Devotional for Homeschooling Moms

Both my kids loved it. My son told me at the end, “It was wonderful, mommy! I loved it.” My daughter made several positive comments throughout the show. Well, that’s a relief. It was their first time seeing a ballet and this gives me permission to take them back to see another one.  Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 47 – Thanksgiving Every Day

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The idea of taking one day out of the year to eat well and think about what you are thankful for really, really appeals to me. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, if not THE most favorite. I like the Thanksgiving menu and the whole idea behind the holiday. I think about the Pilgrims and what they had to go through – can you tell I am an immigrant? I know the feeling of looking back on my first year in a foreign country (Sweden and then the US) and knowing God’s protection and blessing has been upon me.

Thanksgiving Everyday

Having said all that, Thanksgiving should happen every day, in my opinion. Personally, I have chosen to write down ten gifts I already have in my life – every day. It’s a great reminder to walk away from discontentment and into the attitude of gratitude.

Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 45 – Enjoy!

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When was the last time you had lunch or dinner at your local Olive Garden? For those not living in the US, Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant (American-style, of course), which stays full pretty much all the time. Wherever you go in the US, if you find yourself in an Olive Garden restaurant, you will be told by a server, “Enjoy!”

As far as I know, this is the closest American equivalent of “Buon apetito!” – have a good appetite – which many European languages and cultures have before a meal.

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I remember the cultural shock of some American evangelical missionaries who came to Romania. Before meals, everybody wished them a good appetite. These sons and daughters of the Pilgrims told us they pray before a meal. They don’t wish each other to have a good appetite. It’s enough to make one smile, right? Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 44 – All Sugared Up

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It seems that I wage a daily battle against sugar. This season, more so than other months. Between Halloween, my son’s birthday, and my husband’s birthday, we have been floating through a sea of candy, chocolate and cake. Coming up in three short weeks, Thanksgiving itself, with several pies for dessert.

Look, I am health-minded enough to say, “No candy.” But my husband thinks our kids should be allowed to have a bit of candy now and then, as long as they behave. Thank God for my husband, who balances me out. So we dance this dance daily, negotiating how many pieces of candy corn we should allow or if we should allow any at all.

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It is our responsibility as parents to raise children who understand nutrition and what is good for their bodies. Sugar is not good for your body. Period. Taste buds do not have to be trained to like sugar. It is concentrated enough to overwhelm and give an addiction after a few tries. American sweets seem to have a lot more sugar than European ones, too.

A friend of mine has not given her daughter, who is two, any sugar yet. As a result, this child is calm, peaceful, and reasons from cause to effect. Yes, even at two. I watched it happen and it helped me stay even more resolute against sugary foods.  Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 43 – A Thorn in the Flesh

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Many of you may be familiar with Apostle Paul’s expression, “a thorn in the flesh,” the Christian equivalent of Achilles’ heel – a weakness, a downfall, an irritating situation or physical ailment that one has to live with. Something that can only be managed and not get rid of.

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But Paul was not just venting about his weak eyesight in 2 Corinthians 12:7 when he said, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

His intention was to teach all of us a huge lesson. Those weak spots in yourself, be they physical ailments, bad habits, lack of skills, or whatever else holds you back, were allowed by God in you for your own good. That’s right. The very thing that you see as a weakness actually helps propel you forward in your character.

Continue reading »

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Mom Monday Week 42 – When It Rains

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You have heard the expression, “When it rains, it pours.” You have experienced it in all its symbolic glory, no doubt. When the kids misbehave, they all misbehave at once, while you are talking on your cell, getting a meal ready and watching helplessly as the house phone rings – no doubt, hubby trying to let you know something important.

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When bad news hits, it hits on all fronts: your work, your kids’ health, their school performance, your husband’s parents etc etc etc. Fortunately, the rain which pours can also bring about happy events, all at once. Happy in our limited scope and worldview, mind you, for we have established several weeks back that all is relative and that all things work together for good, according to Romans 8:28 and many other Bible verses.  Continue reading »

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