Archives for June 2012

Friday Links 6/28

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 Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Ahh, Summertime!

Summer fun

@font-face {
font-family: “Times”;
}@font-face {
font-family: “Cambria”;
}@font-face {
font-family: “CaeciliaLTStd-Light”;
}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.bodynoindentbasicstyles, li.bodynoindentbasicstyles, div.bodynoindentbasicstyles { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; line-height: 12pt; font-size: 9pt; font-family: CaeciliaLTStd-Light; color: black; }p.bodyindentbasicstyles, li.bodyindentbasicstyles, div.bodyindentbasicstyles { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-indent: 12pt; line-height: 12pt; font-size: 9pt; font-family: CaeciliaLTStd-Light; color: black; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

I have loved summer since I was a kid. Back then, summer was for playing outside, attending special church camps and events, vacationing, working in our garden, staying up late, laboring on our farm, and playing baseball.

My kids don’t have quite the same agenda, but there is still lots of playing, staying up late, church events, vacation, and baseball.

Pick up our July issue of ParentLife this Sunday and see all the great content about summer for families.

  • Moving or preparing a child to enter school for the first time? Check out Kristen White’s “Smooth Moves” (pp. 36-37).
  • Planning to spend lots of time outdoors? Then don’t forget these summer safety tips in “Super Summer Outdoor Safety” (pp. 24-25).
  • Looking for great summer activities? Dig in to “Create and Play” (pp. 30-31) and “Fast, Fun, and Free!” (pp. 32-33) for some great summer fun ideas.
  • Wanting a new twist on celebrating Independence Day? See “A Celebration of Heritage” (pp. 42-43) and find ways to celebrate Independence Day and explore history with your kids.
  • Make studying the Bible fun this summer. Check out “The Rizers” (pp. 20-23) to find out how they make Scripture memorization rock for kids (and adults — their catchy tunes will have you jamming to Scripture when you least expect it).

We offer lots of activities to help fill your schedule but let me recommend something often overlooked to supplement your summer fun: nothing. A day full of planned activities doesn’t give kids the opportunity to be bored and use their imaginations. Take some time to do nothing together. In fact, mark it on your schedule so you’re sure to keep your appointment with your kids for a day filled with kid-directed play.
Let us know what fun you are planning this summer!

Photo Source: vastateparksstaff


History Web Sites for Kids


With Independence Day drawing near, it’s time to expose your kids to some history. (Just don’t tell them it’s "social studies" …) In our July 2012 article "Celebration of Heritage," Kelly Wilson Mize gives some ideas for exploring our country and its history with your kids. Here are a few Web sites she recommends as well.


Do you have any suggestions for celebrating the 4th with kids?

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


CentriKid Live!


Wanna see what REALLY goes on at camp? Tune in as CentriKid worship goes all the way live!


DATES/TIMES: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. (EST)

BROADCAST FROM: LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC

CAMP SPEAKER: Jon Merryman

WORSHIP LEADER: Jeff Slaughter

Insider camp information and the 2013 CentriKid theme will be revealed during CentriKid LIVE!

Friday Links 6/22


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 Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

A New Kind of Job by Becky Suggs

Becky's Journal


 A few months ago, when asked what my job title was, I could easily respond with “Summer Camp Director” and “Event Programmer.” When I unexpectedly lost my job due to changes in the operational model where I worked, I struggled with not knowing what my job title was.  “Soon to be Mom” just didn’t seem like enough. I was unemployed, yet that was hard for me to admit (unfortunately due to my own selfish pride). I wasn’t yet a stay at home mom, so my title, for me, was in definite limbo.

It’s amazing how much can change in just four short weeks. My new job description as a mom comes with a lot of new titles … titles I know will change drastically over the coming months and years.


rocking chair in sunlight


As I sat in the nursery for an early morning feeding last night, I smiled as I thought of all my new tasks:

Diaper Changer. Early Morning Feeder. Crying Soother. Baby Photographer (how many pictures can one take in the first few weeks?!). Infant Carrier. Stain Remover. Formula Fixer. Crib Sheet Changer. Laundry Folder. Bottle Warmer. Onesie Snapper. Pacifier Cleaner. Lullaby Singer. Diaper Bag Packer. Infant Swaddler. After-feeding Burper. Baby Bather.

I’ve only been a mother for about a month now, but I have been more humbled in the past month than ever before. This is a job I don’t take lightly. Not everything I do is glamorous. However, everything I do is for a very important purpose. I know I have been given a precious gift to help mold and grow. What an exciting adventure (because it’s not just a job) I have begun! May God grant me wisdom, discernment, peace, and grace as I continue this journey called motherhood.

Thank you for taking this journey with me over the past nine months. My husband and I have enjoyed sharing our story and introducing you to our daughter. 

greatest picture.jpg

Becky Suggs and her husband, Robert, live in the mountains of Glorieta, New Mexico, with their pug, Sadie, and new daughter Anderson, born 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.



Did you miss an entry in Becky’s Journal? Here they all are, in order.

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




Are You UltraViolet Impaired? by Mike Nappa

Trends & Truth is a monthly column in ParentLife magazine and also here at ParentLife Online. Mike Nappa speaks about pop culture and its effect on our kids.


ultraviolet.jpgYour kids are badgering you to go online and get an “UltraViolet locker.” Movie studios and retailers are pressuring you to do the same. But what is UltraViolet? Is it safe? Can your kids use it? Can you?

Read on to learn what you need to know about this new digital media trend …


What is UltraViolet Exactly?

UltraViolet is the new normal in digital video distribution. Basically, it’s a system for buying and using digital movie files. Instead of keeping your movies on your computer or tablet device, UltraViolet keeps your purchases in a “digital locker” within their online library of titles. Buying an “UltraViolet Digital Copy” of a movie means you are granted access to that movie on their site.


How Does UltraViolet Work?

According to HomeMedia magazine, UltraViolet works this way:

“Consumers buy a [movie] title, either digitally or a physical Blu-ray or DVD, then activate a free UltraViolet account online and unlock access to a digital copy from the cloud, which holds it in permanent storage for instant access on a wide range of viewing devices.” A movie in UltraViolet’s library should be viewable on pretty much any popular device, such as tablet computers, internet-connected TVs, game consoles, and so on.


Does My Family Need to Buy Into UltraViolet?

Philosophically, there are some concerns. There’s a definite “Big Brother” aspect to the UltraViolet system. Access to your own property relies on the goodwill of whoever controls the service—and whatever new fees/restrictions they choose to impose in the future. (Netflix anyone?) It also keeps detailed records about your family’s viewing choices and demographics, which will be used in marketing and which some view as an unnecessary invasion of privacy.

On a practical level, because UltraViolet is a brand-new technology, there will be glitches and growing pains. For instance, at present, you have to sign up at the UltraViolet website AND also at individual movie studio sites. Also, UltraViolet can’t handle movie rentals or subscriptions, and not all movies are in the UltraViolet library yet. And because it’s internet-based only, any online disruption will interfere with your access.

HOWEVER, in spite of those things, UltraViolet appears to be here to stay.

Most Hollywood studios are betting millions on this new initiative (which helps them guard against piracy and also helps lock in their customers), and retail outlets are following suit. When Walmart joined the supporters, that pretty much guaranteed UltraViolet is not going away anytime soon—and that there would be no real competition to it in the near future.

That means that if your family likes to watch digital editions of movies, yeah, you’re probably going to have to join the UltraViolet universe. If UltraViolet ends up replacing physical media (such as Blu-ray and DVD), we’re all going to have to do that.


Does UltraViolet Offer Any Parental Protections?

According to the FAQ on UltraViolet Demystified the short answer is, Yes.

“Each UltraViolet user has parental control information. Parents can set the maximum rating level for their children (and perhaps the children’s grandparents), which limits what the children can purchase, what they can see when they view the digital library, and what they can stream. Parents can also set parental control on their UltraViolet players, which will restrict playback of UltraViolet movies with ratings that exceed the settings.”


Where Can I Learn More?

Check out the official UltraViolet website at, and the UltraViolet Demystified website at


Have a pop culture question for Trends & Truths? Email it to!


Mike Nappa is a bestselling author, a noted commentator on pop culture, and founder of the website for parents,

Ministering During Vacation Bible School by Jessie Weaver


Is it VBS time at your church? We had our Vacation Bible School early this year, starting on June 3rd. Sadly, I got strep throat in the middle of VBS week and missed two nights of teaching my little first-graders. (And am praying I didn’t infect any of them when I was there!)

While I was teaching, though, I had a wonderful time. I loved LifeWay’s theme this year of Amazing Wonders Aviation. For me, it’s not that hard to work VBS, though. Our church’s is at night, so I left my kids at home with daddy to go. I am a stay-at-home mom, so I have time during the day to work on preparations. Not every volunteer has those privileges!

I’m sure you realize that the busiest individual during Vacation Bible School is probably your children’s minister or VBS director. Our lovely minister – a good friend as well – has two preschoolers AND her husband was in Africa during VBS!!

I try to make it a priority during VBS week to cook her family a quick dinner they can heat up. Feeding people is kind of my "spiritual gift"; it may not be yours. How else could you minister to a busy director or volunteer during VBS?

  • I have to reiterate that preparing a dinner can be such a blessing! Here are some ideas for my favorite go-to meals and some tips. If you don’t cook, even picking up dinner from Subway could help!
  • Offer to watch children for a few hours so the individual can get some rest, have some quiet time, or simply work undisturbed for a bit.
  • Help make last-minute trips to the Christian bookstore or warehouse store.
  • Give her a gift certificate for a post-VBS pedicure or him tickets to the movies.
  • Pray vigilently for your VBS, directors, ministers, and the children attending.

And if your VBS has already happened, too? File away ideas for next year, your next big event, or an everyday surprise. Our ministers work hard! They need spoiled every once in a while.


SNV32999 copy.jpgWhen 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).

Friday Links 6/15


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 Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.


June 2012



PL June issue


Want a few good reasons to pick up the print issue of our June issue? Here they are!

  • Learn about new SIDS guidelines as well as other sleep safety issues.
  • Get to know Jason Crabb of The Crabb Brothers: about his wife, their miscarriages, and the lessons they’ve learned in "Through the Fire" (pp. 20-23).
  • See what Mike Nappa, our Trends and Truth columnist, has to say about the TV show So You Think You Can Dance?
  • Learn about adding to your family through adoption from Abbey Land. Abbey and husband Jeff are now the parents to four sons who came to them through international adoption.
  • Read about Father’s Day for the single mom and single dad.
  • Contemplate whether summer camp is the right choice for your child.
  • And much, much more! 

What articles would you like to see in future issues of ParentLife?