Archives for April 2011

Fun Friday Photo — April 29, 2011

Future Daddy?: Fifteen-month-old, Matthew, was practicing to be a good helper when baby brother, David, arrived.


Thanks to James and Kate M. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

Huge Steps of Faith


224603_10150161133712635_603497634_6785775_5522887_n.jpgSunday was a special time for our family apart from the normal Easter festivities. Our 7-year-old, Christopher, was baptized. The pastor did a beautiful job, not only explaining to visitors why we baptize by immersion and what it symbolizes, but also in endearing each child’s story to the congregation and reading a verse  parents picked out for their child.

We asked our pastor to read Christopher’s life verse that we chose for his baby dedication: "Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). We have told Christopher that this verse is important for all Christians because we always represent Christ in everything we do, but that the name Christopher literally means "Christ follower or Christ bearer." He literally represents Christ with his name!

The pastor also mentioned Christopher and the courage he showed on the day of his baptism. Christopher had been very nervous! In fact, our pastor used Christopher as an example at the invitation time, encouraging adults to come forward with courage and accept Christ. It reminded me of what Jesus did when He called a little child to stand with and be an example of faith (Matthew 18:1-5).

Children have a remarkable ability to believe, love, and trust—as well as show courage—that we as adults could learn to follow as we all grow together in faith.  It takes a lot of courage as an adult to face fears, stress, conflict, and failures. Sometimes I wish I could say time out and call a "do over" like we used to do as kids playing games. But it takes courage to face all these difficulties, to parent, to say "I’m sorry," to admit mistakes, and even to share the gospel of Christ with others. That’s a big part of why Jesus used a child as an example of great faith.

We want to partner with you in helping your kids take huge steps of faith. Let us know other ways we can partner with you to raise godly kids!

A Long Overdue Stay-cation

I’m taking a break from my looming deadlines this afternoon to day dream for a few minutes about some much-needed time off. My husband, Jason, and I have always been huge fans of vacationing in the fall when the weather is cooler and the crowds are smaller. We’ve taken some really great vacations as a couple — the Smoky Mountains; the Biltmore in North Carolina; North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia just to name a few. 

But ever since Jack’s arrival, we’ve not had a great track record with vacations — a week at the beach where Jason and I both ended up with a stomach virus, a trip to Cincinnati that ended early because we didn’t plan well for a toddler, and a whirlwind trip to Texas for a family reunion (more exhausting than relaxing).


So this year, we decided to do things differently! Rather than waiting until the fall, we decided to take some days off this spring, before it gets too hot and crowded. And rather than spend a lot of money traveling, we’ve decided to stay home! We are officially on "stay-cation" next week! I can’t wait! We plan to go to the zoo and to our favorite children’s museum. I’m sure we’ll play at the park and maybe even go swimming! We will do some shopping and eat out some, but most importantly … we will rest and spend time together as a family. My prediction is that it just might be our best vacation yet!

For now … it’s back to reality. Those deadlines won’t take care of themselves!

What are your favorite vacation memories? Do you have exciting vacation plans for this year? Any tips for our upcoming "stay-cation"? I’d love to hear from you!

Being a Friend

Here are some more suggestions on mom friendships from Jennifer Holt, a supplement to our May 2011 article, "Looking for a Safety Net?"

Make the time to develop and nurture female friendships. The best way to make a new friend is to be a friend.


  • Send encouraging notes. A verse, a text, an e-mail, or even an occasional greeting card can help you bond with a friend.
  • Find a women’s Bible Study group. They will be your prayer partners in any season, and the forum lends itself to “bonding time” already.
  • Meet at a local fast-food playground or park midweek to share ideas with someone old enough to appreciate you!
  • Start a playgroup or join a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group in your area.
  • Plan a regular girls day/night/weekend to be with those who make you feel like you’re not alone.
  • Find a common interest. Do you know someone who likes to hike, scrapbook, paint, or read? Take a class, read the same book, or plan a trip together.

What other suggestions do you have for keeping up your friendships (with moms or otherwise)?

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

Fun Friday Photo — April 22, 2011

Brinkley is so proud of hiding the Easter eggs!


Thanks to Erin S. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!


Allergies 101

The May 2011 issue has a quiz about allergy myths (#3 got me!). Here is some more information from author Evelyn Hanes, R.N., about the dreaded sniffle-bringer: allergies! 

Day 38


Allergy Symptoms


Seasonal Allergies

  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal stuffiness or clear drainage
  • Coughing
  • These are generally present without fever.


Food Allergies

  • Hives
  • Swelling of lips and face
  • Itching of the mouth and tongue
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain


What are allergies?

Allergies are caused when antibodies, produced by your immune system, react to allergens and release chemicals that cause symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and itching. If you are not sensitive to these allergens, you don’t develop an allergy. Repeated exposure to allergens increases the likelihood of developing an allergy.

Is it really a food allergy?

Food sensitivities are not the same as allergies. Symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and inflammation of joints may be due to sensitivity to certain foods such as wheat, shellfish, or acidic fruits. These symptoms may also be present if you have a food intolerance (such as lactose), food poisoning, or reaction to chemicals present on the food (pesticides or fertilizers). 

Do you or your children suffer from allergies?

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

You’re Not Alone, Mom!

Chasing SuperwomanIn the May 2011 issue, our article "Looking for a Safety Net?" talks about the kind of mom friends you need in your life.

If you can’t find a way to meet regularly with friends, at least take time to read their blogs! There are tons of great mom Web sites out there to help you network and remind yourself you are not in this alone. Here are a few of our favorite Mom “reads” in book and Web site form.



Do you have a favorite mom blog or book about being a mom? I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own imperfect-mom blog, Vanderbilt Wife. Hope you’ll pay me a visit! – Jessie

God’s Little Princess Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our Sheila Walsh giveaway.

The winners of the two princess kits are:

#2, Sara
#21, Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect

The five winners of a copy of How to Be God’s Little Princess are:

#14, Angie
#24, Vicki E.
#27, Kira
#15, Stephanie
#10, Tracey Fonteboa

Congratulations, again, everyone! We’ll be in touch by e-mail soon.

5 Signs Your Child is Ready for Sleep-Away Camp by Jennifer Kelman

Summer Camp 2012 Junior Camp
source: DioceseFDL

As the winter begins to wrap up and we all look forward to the dog days of summer, some decisions need to be made. Some parents are not sure about when it is the right time to send their children to sleep-away camp. I don’t believe that there is an exact age that is the “right” age; it is more about the readiness that your child exhibits that lets you know she can handle being away from home.

Here are 5 signs your child may be ready for sleep-away camp:

1. Your child begin expresses an interest in going to camp

This is an easy sign that lets you know your child is ready.  As your child develops peer relationships in school and begins spending more time with her friends away from you, she may verbalize her desire to go to camp.

2. Your child is able to spend longer periods away from you without being upset.

Your young child might express a desire to have a sleepover with a friend; but once the child is at the friend’s home, she may become anxious and want to come home. If this is the case, wait until your child can have sleepovers without being upset or returning home.

3. Your child gets along well with her peers.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your child is displaying any behavioral problems at home or school, most likely these will follow her to camp, Your child needs to be able to get along with others, as this is a major part of her growth at camp.

4. Your child is able to follow directions from leaders.

There are so many wonderful things that your child will learn at camp. Being able to follow directions and respect the counselors and group leaders is a necessary skill in order to be away from home. Often, kids who are away from their parents may think they have free reign to do and say whatever they please, so it is important to discuss this aspect with your child and make sure she is capable of handling it while she is away from your watchful eye.

5. Your child is asking to attend the type of camp that fits her needs.

It is possible to have your child be ready for camp but choose the wrong type of camp. Some camps emphasize sports and others theater or science. It is crucial that you don’t place your child in an athletic camp if her desires and talents are in other areas. Your child will more than likely feel out of place, and this can be a set-up for failure.

Figuring out the right time for your child to attend sleep-away camp may be tricky, but paying attention to the signs she is ready may help make the process a bit easier. Do not push a child to go before she is ready. Even if your child expresses the interest to go to camp, it is still possible that she may get home-sick as she acclimates to her new environment. Just remember this is normal and should pass as she becomes entrenched in camp life, which is a rewarding and growth-producing experience.

Would you add any more signs that your child is ready?

Jennifer Kelman has a BA in Sociology from American University and a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has worked with children in a variety of psychiatric and medical settings. She is the creator of Mrs. Pinkelmeyer, who inspires self-esteem in children through her love, warmth and silliness and author of the new award-winning children’s book, Mrs. Pinkelmeyer and Moopus McGlinden Burn the Rrrrump Rrrroast.

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

Fun Friday Photo — April 15, 2011

Ten-year-old Caroline takes a quick break from riding to pose for a photo!


Thanks to Elizabeth M. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!