The First Time

“It’s time to go guys!  Get your shoes on!”  My simple request fell on deaf ears as my three rambunctious kiddos tore around the house, continuing to play a rowdy game of hide-and-go-seek tag.

“Come on! Let’s go!  We are going to be late.”  I said in a slightly firmer voice.

This time, my kids paused long enough to acknowledge that I was standing in the hallway and words were coming out of my mouth.  However, I suspect they were experiencing the Charlie Brown phenomenon where every adult word sounded like a muffled trumpet: “wha, wha, wha, wha, wha wha wha whaaaa.” Continue reading

Discipline and Delight?

Last night I caught my seven-year-old son trying to sneak a nutella snack pack AND a package of fruit snacks into his room right before bed.  His ingenious plan? Hiding the treats in his socks.  His SOCKS! He might have actually succeeded if it hadn’t been for the distinct sound of plastic packaging crunching against his little ankles.

I have to admit that as I shook my head and confiscated the “stolen merchandise,” I had to hide a smile.  I wasn’t thrilled with the sneaky behavior (there WILL be consequences) but I was slightly amused with his creativity.  Continue reading

The Gift Of Wonder

I was in a hurry.  My mind was set on one goal.  Get into the store and get out!  We needed paper plates and some white table cloths for an upcoming event, and that was it.  I had NO time to dilly dally and look through the aisles of “junk” in our local dollar store.

But my young daughter had other plans.  You see, when we walked into that discount store, she didn’t see cheap trinkets.  Instead, she saw aisle upon aisle of treasure.  Everything was new and exciting. Breathtaking even.

As she excitedly flitted from one chintzy item to the next, her eyes were wide with wonder.  Every once in a while, she would let out a little gasp of glee at her newest discovery.   Continue reading

It Starts With Me: A Mother’s Honest Confession

It’s July in Minnesota.  We are not quite half-way through our summer break, and if I’m completely honest… I have been STRUGGLING!  I’ve been struggling with my patience, struggling with my temper, and struggling with this whole parenting thing.

I have three kiddos and I love them to pieces.  They are truly a blessing in my life.  You know that saying, “children are a gift from above?”  It’s true!

But let’s be real.  My kids don’t always behave in a manner that conjures up warm, fuzzy, “I’m feeling so blessed right now” emotions.  Continue reading

You Are Not Alone

I could hear the baby wailing from across the department store. My first reaction was to breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t one of my kids.  I was enjoying a quiet shopping trip all alone, a scenario that rarely happens, especially on a Friday afternoon.

My husband had the day off and had graciously offered me a chance to sneak away so I could buy some much-needed items for myself. We both knew what a nightmare it could be to try to corral our kiddos in a dressing room while we frantically tried on clothes.  I was definitely relishing in this unexpected moment of retail solitude. Continue reading

I Won’t Stay Silent!

Two weeks ago, I heard the heart-wrenching news that one of my former high school classmates had been shot and killed inside her Colorado home. Molly Nickal was just 35 years old. She left behind three beautiful children, the youngest a 3-month-old baby boy. Her husband, Gary Nickal, has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

As I read the news articles chronicling her tragic demise, it was very clear that this beautiful woman was a victim of domestic violence. According to an article in the Mankato Free Press, Molly’s family had been afraid for her because her husband was controlling, violent, and had isolated her from the rest of the family. Molly had even told one of her sisters that she felt like a prisoner in her own home. Continue reading

A Fatal Distraction

My four-year-old son was silently struggling for his life near the edge of a swimming pool filled with people, and no one knew it… including me.

It happened so quickly.

I had just taken my little guy’s life jacket off so he could run into the house and go to the bathroom.

The pool party we were attending was starting to wind down and my mind was preoccupied with our after party plans. I wanted to call my husband to confirm our dinner arrangements. Just then, my son tugged at my arm. Continue reading