Archives for February 2012

Transforming Mistakes Into Success

It was just a couple weeks ago when Christopher had a really bad day. He had an argument with Mom, lost his temper, and spent some time in his room calming down. All seemed well by dinnertime until Christopher dropped his plate on the way to serve his food. His plate shattered, and he burst into tears. All he could say was, "I had a terrible day!"

I reflected that I did not learn how to deal with mistakes well growing up. I tended to internalize the mistake, blaming myself and feeling ashamed, usually dwelling on the mistake rather than facing the problem and moving on. That was not a very healthy approach especially when I, like most people, made some of the same mistakes over and over again.

That’s why a love a fresh start: second chances, a new week, or even a new year. We are trained to make resolutions, start a fresh semester in school, and to start the year off right in many areas of life. But is it easy to do that as a parent, especially in the face of mistakes? Does one setback throw you completely off track?

I think the answer to successful change is all about the vision for success. The problem is that we are too busy to develop a clear vision and often to listen to God’s voice about what He would have us do.

So the challenge is to take time now before the hectic pace of life sweeps you away to seek that vision: vision for your family, what you want your children to be like at age 18, and where you want to be in your relationship with God.

Each month the ParentLife team wants to equip you to be the parent your children need you to be. Please let us know how we can better partner with you in your parenting journey!


Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

This Friday is Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2), and across America kids everywhere are celebrating by eating green eggs and ham and wearing Cat-in-the-Hat hats. My daughter and I are going to see Seussical Jr. at Chattanooga State University this weekend, about which we are both very excited.

If you’re interested in doing something at home with your kids, here are some Seussified ideas!



Make oobleck [Bartholomew and the Oobleck]




Peeps dipped in almond bark and drawn on with edible markers.





 Adorable Horton figure made of toilet-paper rolls [Horton Hears a Who]

What your favorite Dr. Seuss book to read?

Shaping Culture by Andy Dukes

Each month we are partnering with CentriKid to share content and speak to each other’s audiences. So click over to CentriKid to see William’s article on What Preteens Want. And here, we have CentriKid’s Andy Dukes speaking on today’s culture.


Today’s culture will shape tomorrow’s culture for today’s kids. The question becomes how are we (as teachers, parents, leaders, ministers, etc) going to respond to the rapid change that is happening?

My response would be to embrace it, learn from it, and figure out how to inject the Gospel into it. I love checking out new websites and finding new material on subjects that I care about. I thought I’d do the same with you guys. Take some time and check out these links. Which of these struck a chord with you? What does this tell you about today’s kids? Comment and let us know!

| How to deal with the TV-centered Family | The Naked Brothers Band |
Cell phone service for kids | Disney survey on technology trends for kids| |
my favorite: Age-By-Age Technology Guide | 

Andy Dukes studied Organizational Communication at Murray State. He served on Crosspoint and CentriKid beginning in 2005 and has been in the office since 2008. He is married to Meghan, who is a 2nd grade teacher.

Thursday Links 2/23

Yes, the links are a bit early this week. Enjoy!

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci.

Helping Children Grasp the Resurrection by Jessie Weaver




Explaining Jesus’ death and resurrection to a three-year-old is hard.

Because really, what concept do they have of something dying and being brought back to life? Libbie has been to two funerals in her short life, but she doesn’t understand "death"—nevertheless the miraculous and beautiful resurrection we celebrate each Easter.

Christmas is easier, in a way. Kids understand babies being born. They may not get that part of the story about the immaculate conception, but they can grasp the key players and events: angels, shepherds, wise men, a donkey, a couple, a special baby.

I want to focus on the Lenten holiday just as much—if not more!—than we followed along with the Christmas story, crafting and reading our Bible every day for a month. Belief in the resurrection is what makes our faith different from anyone else’s. Our God is ALIVE! He could not be conquered by death!

Last year, Impress Your Kids did a round-up of "meaningful Easter" posts with ideas to help you create Easter experiences for your kids. I wanted to share a few of them with you here, and encourage you to go visit all the links!

Do you have any Easter traditions or easy activities to teach kids about the resurrection?


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 When Jessie Weaver is not busy being the resident ParentLife Blogger, she writes at Vanderbilt Wife and also for magazines like HomeLife and ParentLife. She lives in Chattanooga with her husband, where they run after two little ones: Libbie (3) and David (1).

Angel Band: The Hymn Sessions

Frequent ParentLife writer Andrew Greer released the album Angel Band: The Hymn Sessions on January 31. On the album, he comes together with other vocalists to reinterpret classic hymns. The hymns have a folksy feel.

Greer wanted to represent the communal nature of hymns by joining forces with other artists. I love this video that shows them in the studio!



We congratulate Andrew on his album and hope you’ll take the time to check it out! It’s available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and You can also purchase tracks, charts, and stems for each hymn on LifeWay Worship, if you want to incorporate these tunes into your church service.

Do you love hymns, redone or just belted out in the original tune? We are big fans of Alan Jackson’s hymn album around here, and listen to and sing hymns all the time at our house.


Meet Karen Kingsbury by Paula Parker

Famed author Karen Kingsbury wrote the article on choosing adoption for our March 2012 issue. Here, get to know Karen and her family a little better.


Meet Karen’s Family

Karen Kingsbury has been married to Don for 23 years. Don has been a teacher and coached basketball and football for almost 25 years. Karen and Don’s love of art and sports is reflected in their three biological children and three sons adopted from Haiti.

  • Kelsey (22), the Kingsburys’ only daughter, is a marketing major and actress with roles in several Christian films.
  • Tyler (19) is studying Christian music and hopes to become a professional singer. 
  • Sean (17), one of Karen’s adopted sons, is a high-school junior; he plays football and basketball.
  • Joshua (17), another adopted son, is also a junior and plays soccer and football. “In the summer of 2010,” his proud mother says, “his Amateur Athletic Union club soccer team finished third in the nation.”
  • EJ ― Emmanuel Jean (pronounced ‘John’) ― is 15. He’s Karen’s third adopted son. He’s a sophomore and plays football, basketball, and soccer.
  • Austin (14) likes football, but he’s crazy about basketball. “He’s real tall ― he’s 6’3”; he’s well past his dad’s height.”

Whatever the event, the Kingsbury family is their own fan club. “Whether we’re off to a concert that someone’s singing in or going to a game,” Karen says, “the whole family goes and we all enjoy both.”

karenkingsbury.jpgBlending Family & Career

Life as a wife, mother, and writer is a matter of organization for Karen. “For me, when it’s a writing day, I try to clear the schedule and write from about 9:00 to 3:00, when the kids are in school. Sometimes, it might spill over into 4:00 or 5:00. I don’t write every day. The marketing and other aspects of my career as a writer happen when the kids are at school.

“I try to have my evenings open for the family. I try to be team mom and have supper,” she laughs. “Not every time is it a fancy meal, by any stretch of the imagination.”

As a teacher, Don’s schedule is similar to the children’s. Karen and Don find time for each other by focusing on daily moments. “We’ve always had a great relationship. We don’t have a lot of dates going out; we make memories and have fun and find our romance at home. Part of being successful in our family and in our marriage is that neither of us feel like we have to get out. Some couples need a weekly date night; we don’t. For us, we might play a board game with the kids or we might take a walk through the neighborhood. We find our moments in the ‘everydayness’ rather than making big trips or date nights.”

“We really have a wonderful marriage and I credit a lot of my ability to have this kind of schedule and work to Don. He prays for us all the time. He’s the kind of guy that we can have fun making dinner together."

You can learn more about Karen Kingsbury and her books at her website or Facebook page.

Friday Links 2/17

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci.

February 2012: ParentLife Everyday

Each month ParentLife pulls together a one-page document for preschool and children’s leaders and teachers that highlights articles that might help families they work with. But this also is a great tool for parents!

The articles below are in our current February 2012 issue of ParentLife. Read the articles that minister to your family and pass along a copy to those who might benefit from it!



The Wicked Stepmother: Many blended families fall for three ridiculous myths about stepparents. Bust the myths and help families establish strong foundations (pp. 30-31).

New Crib Safety Standards: Did you know that the Consumer Product Safety Commission released new safety standards that prohibit the sale of drop-side cribs? Are the cribs in your ministry safe? (p. 11)

Trends & Truth: Do the families in your ministry watch American Idol? Provide them with these great conversation starters to help them evaluate the impact of pop culture (p. 28).

The Use and Misuse of Rewards: Rewards are a popular method of discipline in the church setting. But are the teachers in your ministry using rewards as effectively as they could be? (pp. 38-39)

Parents & the Path of Purity: Sexuality and purity are sometimes difficult for parents to discuss with their children, but it is critical for them to feel equipped to do so. Provide parents with this list of four common hang-ups related to talking about purity and truths to help them overcome those struggles (pp. 20-23).

Childhood Depression: Childhood is supposed to be a time to enjoy the world without grown-up hassles and worries. But sadly, depression steals happiness from too many children. Equip families struggling with depression with the information they need to find help (pp. 34-35).

Hidden Message Hearts: Consider using this creative Valentine’s Day craft to help the children in your ministry hide God’s Word in their hearts (pp. 36-37).

20,000: The number of underage profiles Facebook removes from their site each day. Are parents in your church prepared to stand their ground before allowing their children to take the Facebook plunge? (p. 24)

You might also be interested in these ParentLife Online articles that relate to the print issue:

To download a colorful PDF of ParentLife Everyday, click on the link below.


It’s A … by Becky Suggs

ultrasoundposter.jpg22 weeks pregnant

From the beginning of our pregnancy, we knew we wanted to find out the gender of our baby. I’m not a big fan of surprises, so we were so excited for our ultrasound that would hopefully reveal the gender of our little one. I admit I was up most of the night before in excitement, praying our baby would cooperate so we could get the perfect picture.

There are many old wives’ tales about how to predict the gender of your baby.
I had to try a few of them just for fun!

  • Carrying low or high? Well, I’m kind of in the middle, so not much help there.
  • Heart rate of baby:  It has been consistently over 150 beats per minute, so that indicates girl.
  • Craving sweet, salty or sour? Cravings haven’t been really strong, so not much help there either.
  • Chinese Birth Chart (which my hairdresser swears by): Boy
  • The Drano test: Of all the tests, I just couldn’t bring myself to do this one. You’ll have to Google for more information!
  • If both age and conception year are even or odd, then it’s a girl. If they are different, then it’s a boy: Girl
  • How do you pick up a key? If by the skinny part it’s a girl; if by the head of the key it’s a boy: Boy
  • Ring Test: If your wedding ring hung on a string above your belly swings in a circle, it’s a girl. If it swings back and forth, it’s a boy. This one said girl.

While these tests can be fun, I have to admit I don’t place much weight on their results, especially since they weren’t consistent at all!

At our ultrasound, though, our baby cooperated beautifully. And we are so excited to announce … it’s a GIRL! 


Becky's Journal

Becky Suggs and her husband, Robert, live in the mountains of Glorieta, New Mexico, with their pug, Sadie. They are expecting their first child in April. In her spare time, you can find Becky reading, enjoying the great outdoors, filling in squares to the latest crossword puzzle, and spending time with family. She has a passion for both kids and camping ministries.