Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kid's Story...

This is really cool.

I'm doing an article for On Mission Magazine and I came across this in my research. It's a way for kids to write and share their personal testimony.

It also has fun Scripture verse puzzles.

If your kids use this, I would love to hear about it.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putman


This weekend we threw a big party for my husband. All because my six-year-old decided her Daddy needed a surprise party. Emphasis on the word SURPRISE.

I’ll be honest, I would have run out of enthusiasm and energy long before she did. I would have even warned Eric to act surprised because of all the inadvertent hints Abigail dropped except it was the desire of her heart to surprise him. And who am I to cross a determined six-year-old?

So we schemed, sent invitations though and then gulped as all the RSVPs flooded back. My husband is one loved man.

Then there was the planning. How many adults? How many kids? Where would we put everyone? What would be on the "agenda"? What kind of food to serve? And the kicker: how to get a very smart man out of the house without him suspecting.

Trips to Wal-Mart and the Dollar Tree to get food, decorating supplies and items for goody bags for all the kids.

On the third or fourth attempt, a good friend had better strategies than I did for getting Eric out of the house. After Eric left at 4:30, Abigail and I flew around the house. Blew up balloons, hung streamers, threw meatballs and little smokies in crock pots while praying they'd heat incredibly fast, made the sweet tea, prepared veggie and fruit trays, and then waited.

Would the guests arrive before Eric? Would we get to say, "Surprise." He called before we were ready, so I sent him on a loosely disguised errand to the grocery store. That gave us plenty of time.

It was a blast to watch our friends interact. Some from college days. Others from church. And a couple from the neighborhood. A full house, that thanks to an ice-storm, turned into a modified slumber party. It was a riot! So now my house is quiet again, Eric is back on the road, and the kids and I are relaxing.

As I sit here looking back on the great weekend, I can’t help thinking about the lengths we went to all to surprise my husband. How much more God does to delight us. All we have to do is look at the brilliantly painted sunset, a mountain towering over the plains, or waves cascading against shore. All show the majesty and splendor of a King who is also the ultimate Creator. The little things I did are nothing compared to everything God does. We are just a shadow of Him and His character.

And the kicker to our party? Abigail didn't get to scream "surprise!"

Monday, February 26, 2007

Boomers, Xer's and Millennials...

Here is another article for you. It was published in USA Today last September. Very intersting comparison between Boomers, Xers and Millennials. (Millennial is the generation after X and is sometimes referred to as Generation Y).

When the USA's 300 millionth resident appears next month, that person's life will be shaped, in part, by whether Mom and Dad are baby boomers, Gen-Xers or millennials, experts say.
Someone who came of age when civil rights and the women's movement helped define the generation will have a very different take on life than someone who grew up a decade later listening to Madonna and watching MTV. Those even younger who have never known life without computers, video games or cellphones have yet another perspective.

"When you talk about generations, what you're really discussing is difference in attitudes," says Peter Francese, founder of American Demographics magazine and a demographic trends analyst for Oglivy & Mather, a New York ad agency.

Such generational attitudes can't help but affect child rearing. If Mom and Dad are products of their times, this also frames the ways in which they parent.

Read the rest... What differences have you noticed in the parenting styles of those younger than you?

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Life unScripted...

Well, even though I'm not quite done writing this book, it's already in the catalogs...I never cease to be amazed at the way the publishing industry works!

Here's the scoop:
Using the metaphor of screenwriting, My Life, Unscripted explores relationships in every teenage girl’s life—with herself, her friends and enemies, her parents, guys, and with God.

Real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, make this an interesting read for teen girls as they delve into their own inner struggles and outward relationships. They’ll also learn the importance of “scripting” their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise. By contrasting real-life with TV or movies, teens will understand they don’t have to get caught up in the drama. They also don’t have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before the scene begins.

So, I could really use your prayers as I finish the second half of the book! :)


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Guest Blogger...Judy Fedele

The Wrong Line at the Wrong Time

Let’s talk shopping. You know when you’re at the grocery store, finished with the hunting and gathering and in a hurry to leave? You scan the checkout lines, trying pick which looks the fastest. This may seem like a no-brainer decision, but in reality it takes a very scientific approach to correctly choose the lane which will most likely get you and your groceries home the quickest. There are important factors to calculate:

1) How alert is the cashier (upright or slumping?)

2) Number of customers already in line

3) Quantity of groceries in the carts ahead

4) Whether those customers look like they will either:

a) argue with the cashier over expired coupons and non-existent sale prices,

b) or worse, try to chat with the cashier

5) Whether those customers have their kids with them, which means they will be distracted and slower to unload their groceries and sort out their coupons and beverage-return slips, all while trying to keep the younger child safely in the grocery cart seat and focused on the free cookie snagged from the bakery to keep her out of meltdown mode during the tedious check-out process, while the older child is busy sneaking forbidden items onto the conveyer belt which go unnoticed because the harried parent is otherwise occupied. (This being a hypothetical situation and not one I’m familiar with myself…)

Unfortunately, even the most astute assessment can backfire, because at the exact moment you commit your cart and move into a checkout lane, that lane will reverse polarity from warp speed and grind down to a crawl. As every line but yours moves forward in a forwardly direction, there’s nothing you can do but grit your teeth and sweat into your coat. You know that feeling? I feel like that all the time.

And then, of course, we have the shopping horror-stories. These are typically not as gruesome as pregnancy/childbirth stories from veteran moms to expecting mothers-to-be, but it’s a shared experience we can all relate to. My favorite three shopping stories are all grocery store mishaps. The first is from a few years ago, as I was checking out, and the woman behind me in line had a child who was touching and handling my groceries as I was putting them onto the conveyer belt. This child was definitely old enough to know better than to touch someone else’s stuff and I politely asked the woman to have her stop. This mom – obviously a strong disciplinarian - responded with, “She ain’t got no germs!” Charming. Ain’t got no manners, either.

My second story (which happened quite recently) continues on the conveyor belt, where again I was unloading my groceries and the woman behind me began unloading hers before I was even halfway finished. The plastic stick divider did nothing to keep her stuff from squashing my poor groceries as the cashier and I struggled to keep up. This is one of those times where we wonder if it will do more harm than good to say something. Hey, lady, turn on your “clueless” light and warn us all that you’re coming.

My last trip is a visit down Amnesia Lane, and one incident I would rather forget. I was newly married and doing some grocery shopping on a very limited budget. I had maybe $30 dollars in my pocket at the time, cash only, without a credit card or bank/ATM card as a backup. I don’t know what I was thinking but I had loaded up my cart without keeping any kind of mental tally. I checked out and it added up to something like a hundred dollars. Reality hit, and hit hard. Had to explain I only had $30 and started the tedious (and embarrassing) business of voiding pretty much my entire order. That’s one store I never visited again.

Sometimes shopping is great, where I get to slay dragons and battle giants and come home with fabulous deals on meals for the family table. It’s a hard fight, but one I enjoy winning. Other times, not so much. Shopping can be at best an outright drag, or at worst… well, you fill in the blank. Which reminds me, the fridge is empty and I’m pretty sure I saw tiny tumbleweeds blowing around in the pantry. I’ve got to suit up for battle and get out there to do some serious shopping. I’ll likely have my kids and my coupons with me, so if you see me in the checkout line at the store, I give you carte blanche (freedom of the cart) to pick any line other than the one I’m in. It will guarantee you’ll get home in record time.

Judy Fedele

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Loving yet Tough

Here is an article, published three weeks ago, that I think captures Gen X parenting quite well. I see many of examples in my own life and those of my freinds. What do you think?

Jacqueline Frazer, 40, a stay-at-home Toronto mother of two children under the age of 2, is another resourceful member of Generation X. One of the things she has done to reduce conflict with her 21-month-old son is teach him American Sign Language, so he can ask for juice or a snack.

Like many Gen Xers, Frazer says she is open to new ideas about child-rearing and looking to non-traditional sources for information. She relies more on other mothers than on her family doctor.

"People our age understand that doctors are just educated guessers, particularly when it comes to parenting," she says.

Mothers groups are important to these women, providing a sisterhood of support and a treasure trove of child-rearing insight. This is another natural consequence of few family supports.

When her daughter was born three years ago, Rachael McCaig joined the Metro Mother's Network, which has numerous branches throughout the city providing informed discussion groups as well as group play time. Sessions cover everything from nutrition to post-partum depression.

McCaig, a 33-year-old actor whose parents are in their 70s, notes that Gen Xers don't necessarily want older generations helping out. Nor would she turn to boomers for advice – they are raising undisciplined kids "who think the world owes them a living," she says. "We are raising our own kids so differently."

Daughter Molly already knows she must pick up all her toys and put them away after playing or she won't get to play with them for a couple of days.

Frazer, too, says kids need to be taught to be responsible.

"I find teenagers today don't have a lot of discipline. Parents are trying to be their friends and not parents."

The dozen women in her mothers group share this concern. In a problem such as correcting rudeness on the playground, "we make sure we are fair and tough," she says.

Read the rest...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putman

A couple weeks ago I blogged about modesty and models. Then this week a friend sent me a fascinating link to a modesty survey. I just went over to explore it and have to say I am FASCINATED.

Background on the unscientific survey: It is a product of Project Rebelution: a Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. Here’s what the site says about it:
The Modesty Survey was not intended to serve as a scientific measurement of what the average man thinks about modesty. In the strictest sense, it isn't a survey, but a discussion between Christian guys and girls who care about modesty. Over 200 Christian girls submitted their questions. In less than twenty days, over 1,600 Christian guys (12 and up) responded. Close to 200,000 separate pieces of data were collected, including 25,000 text responses.

If you have pre-teen or teenage daughters, this survey could be an invaluable tool to talk about the effect her clothes choices have on the guys around her. If we don’t understand the impact of our clothing, then it’s impossible to consistently make good choices.

The site also has links to some interesting articles on modesty, a guy’s responsibility, and a girl’s responsibility.

The Rebelution website/blog is the minsitry of Alex and Brett Harris, the teenage sons of Greg Harris. If you grew up in the homeschooling movement, then you know who Greg is. Their older brother Josh has written several books including I Kissed Dating Good-bye.

All in all, this site is worth checking out. I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’ve visited it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Mama Said" Blog Tour for Jenn Doucette

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This by Jenn Doucette

Mothers often feel they are running as fast as they can to keep up or to stay just ahead of those who want a piece of their time, energy, and self.

Author, speaker, and mother Jenn Doucette offers a humorous and insightful look at how every mom on the run can head for much–needed rest stops by:
*experiencing girl time
*choosing contentment
*setting boundaries and achieve freedom
*getting a grip on emotions
*giving themselves a break

With comedic flair, Doucette confesses to her own failings as well as God’s successes in the face of them, reminding mothers that it is healthy to laugh, take a break, and practice grace.
Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

I sat down with Jenn to ask her a few questions:

Tricia: If you had only five minutes to sit down with a overwhelmed mama, what glimpse of advice/hope would you offer?

Jenn: [my opinion is that the term ”overwhelmed mama” is redundant . . . motherhood is overwhelming by definition! J]

First I’d give her a hug! Then I’d let her know she’s not alone (not by a long shot). I’d then ask her about the top three things stressing her out right now. Chances are, just by talking about them with someone who cares and commiserates with her will already help our frazzled mom. But if she’s like me, she’ll want something tangible to take home with her and help her cope in the trenches. Here’s the advice I’d hand over:

* Get help! Hire a responsible 10-12 year old to help keep your younger children entertained while you get caught up on some housework.
* Get out of the house! Take some time every week to spend alone or with a girlfriend.
* Get creative! Alternate cleaning/kid sitting days with a friend
* Get ‘em on board! Give the kids one chore to do every day. Don’t go back and re- clean after them. Just let it go . . . . .
* Get the strength you need for every day! Read Philippians 4:19

Tricia: Too often I find myself wanting more and more (especially at the mall or bookstore). I see the same traits in my kids. Help!

Jenn: Ah, what you’re talking about is the elusive enigma otherwise known as contentment. Even though North Americans have more stuff than 90% of the world, we’re constantly on the prowl for stuff, stuff, and more stuff. And once we get sucked into the vortex of consumerism, it’s tough to break free. Here are a few strategies that have worked for the Doucette family in our quest for contentment:

*Establishing simple, inexpensive family traditions like Ice-cream Friday Nights! The goals is to spend time together, not break the bank on the next big function. This one’s become such a fun time for our family, we rarely miss it!

* Sponsoring a child through Compassion or World Vision. Our family has always sponsored at least one child; just reading her letters and hearing how thankful she is for the small things, helps to keep our priorities balanced.

* Scheduling in down time. Everyone needs down time and the family unit is no exception.

* Practice saying “no” – even to good things! There really can be too much of a good thing sometimes.

Tricia: I often run and run until I collapse. I feel guilty when I think of "me" time. Tell me (please!) why it's important to give myself a break.

Jenn: Great question, pick your adage:

“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

“Take good care of yourself, you belong to me!”

And my personal favorite, “Fudd’s First Law of Opposition” which states:

"If you push something hard enough, it will fall over."

The wonderful thing about motherhood is that it’s all about giving; the brutally hard thing about mothering is that it’s all about giving. Julie Barnhill wrote a book last year titled, Motherhood: The Guilt that Keeps on Giving. I think that says it all, doesn’t it?

It’s an undeniable fact, however, that unless you take care of yourself and take a break occasionally, you won’t be as effective on the home front. When I feel the mom guilts setting in, I remember that Jesus took breaks away from the crowds, and that God rested on the Sabbath.

I just need to try and remember that before I’ve fallen over from exhaustion.

Tricia: Where can I find out more about your book and you???

Jenn: My book, Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This, can be found or ordered at any bookstore. You can read more about it on or the Harvest House website (

Jenn Doucette
Come visit me on my blog ( sometime – I could use the company!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Guest Blogger...Stacy Stallings

I Want Them to Say...

The other night I got to talk extensively with one of my favorite Holy Spirit friends-my sister. Since we both have families to keep up with now, that doesn't happen as often as it used to, so we really took advantage of this time. Late into the night we talked about what God is doing in our lives and about how He has recently been bringing up places in each of us that need to be healed.

As we talked, she said, "You know, ever since I was first married, I had one goal. I wanted to be the best mom to my kids. I wanted them to say when they were grown up, 'We had the best Mom. She was so great.'" On the whole not a bad dream. I think many of us moms think exactly the same thing.

However, she didn't stop there. She said, "Now I see how that dream is about me. It's about what I want to hear because I want to have earned that. Then they other day, I realized that I don't care if they ever say that about me. What I want them to say more than anything is: 'We have the best God ever! He is so great!' Now I think if they say that when they get older, I will have done my job.

"Wow. I was blown away. Not just for her, but for me.You see, the business of writing often starts as a desire just to write. You just love to write, and so you do. Then you get a little better and a little better, and pretty soon, you begin to sense that "just writing" is not enough. Now, you want to be published. So, you begin to learn the rules of publishing, and you work, and you hone, and you learn. And pretty soon, a new goal creeps into your soul. "I want to touch a lot of people with my words about God. I want not just to be published, but to be thought of by many as a great writer."

After our conversation, I see that for what it is... having your focus on the WRONG GOAL. It's like my eighth grade girls' basketball team. It was our second game of the year. The first half went by, we went to the locker room, came back out, and were ready to start the second half. Now if you don't know, when you start the second half, the teams switch ends of the court. They tipped off, our girl got it and proceed to dribble to the other team's goal where she made the shot! Her technique was great, her shot flawless, but the problem was, she was shooting at the wrong goal!

I wonder how many of us want to be the best... the best fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, writers, accountants, salespeople, workers... And yet, we are shooting at the wrong goal.

In the last 24-hours my life goal has changed. I no longer want everyone to think I'm the best writer. If somehow, they see through my writing that He is the best God ever, and their lives begin to reflect that, then I have accomplished the new goal for my life.

How about you? Are you shooting at the wrong goal-wanting to be the best salesperson, counselor, or teacher? Maybe God is asking that you start being those things in a way that points people to the best God ever. You do that, whatever else you do, you will be successful.
(c) Staci Stallings, 2005

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Podcast Interview

Christian Work at Home Mothers me over for an interview on Tuesday.

This site is dedicated to providing work at home moms with opportunities to promote their businesses while at the same time providing them spiritual encouragement and articles.

You can listen to my interview with Jill Hart

Thanks for having me Jill!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Calling all Gen X dad's... any of you know men like these...

...I had met Fowler along with a half-dozen other fathers in their 30s and early 40s who gather monthly at a Watertown bar called Conley's. Everything about them seemed to confirm the latest research trumpeting a new breed of father. They experience, as working women have for decades, the joys and anxieties of wanting it all: the satisfying career and the time with their family. These guys dub themselves "Dads in the Dark," though they see their group as far from unenlightened. They grab paternity leaves and reject overtime even when they could use the money. They are as adept at sculpting Play-Doh as they are at drafting memos. A manager at Fidelity Investments says being home by 6 p.m. is not just a target, "it's firm."

One of the regulars, a market strategist in his late 30s, has studied these trends among fathers in his age group. He says the dads "behave, think, and are wired differently." These men met through their wives, who were in a local mothers' group. The guys liked one another so much that they kept meeting (but only after 8 p.m., when the kids were down), talking about everything from the Patriots and the Sox to the job market and office politics and home renovations. Juggling work and home demands is exhausting, they say, but they refuse to replicate the life of a traditional breadwinner - in many cases, the life their own dads led. Many of them, like Fowler, grew up with parents who followed the breadwinner-homemaker model - only to divorce in their 30s and 40s. The men at Conley's aren't looking to put their feet up at the end of the day.

Read the rest of the article and let me know if you think these dad's are the norm or the exception!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putman

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.
Today we’re supposed to get more than 12 inches of snow in balmy Lafayette, Indiana. The temperatures got above ten degrees for two days before this blizzard slams into us. Nothing like enforced family time. My husband is flying back from Florida tonight, so at this point I’m praying he makes it back. If this trip is like his other recent jaunts, he’ll get stranded or rerouted at least once just to keep him on his toes. And even if he makes it to Indianapolis, there’s no guarantee he’ll make the hour north to home.
Without him, it’s just the kids and me. Stuck in a house. The sixth day without dad. I’d like to call it quiet, quality time, but I know me too well. Investing time in our kids is so critical, and studies show Gen Xers believe this is an important area to invest in. However, reality sometimes makes this investment less than perfect.
There are so many times I want to bite my tongue after my words come out a bit sharper than I intended. Or my focus gets distracted by keeping up with two kids, a husband, and a house the size of ours. I don’t like feeling like a perpetual maid. We’ll probably play card games. Shovel a lot of snow. Bake some cookies and have a tea party or picnic on the floor. Read books. Read books. Read more books. All to keep us engaged and occupied.
So what do you do to make the time with your kids actually count as quality time?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Calling all Love Birds...

During this week of LOVE I'm giving books away; one for you and one for your "sweetie" on my It's Real Life blog...

Check it out...and let me know how you plan to spend Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Meet the parents...

Here's an article full of stat's and assertions on Gen X and how they (we) are parenting. Do you agree with the author's summation of us, the Gen X parents?

Call it the "Home Alone" factor. William Strauss, author of Generations (William Morrow, 1992), cites childhood divorce as one of the decisive experiences influencing how Gen Xers shape their own families. Above all, they want to avoid creating the broken homes, alimony disputes, absentee fathers and tangles with stepparents that many of them experienced as children, he says.

Gen Xers' childhood as latchkey kids has pushed them to value family stability when it comes to their own children, says David Stillman, a partner in BridgeWorks, a Sonoma, Calif.-based generational consulting firm, who is himself a Gen X father of two. "Xers often came home to an empty house as children," Stillman says. "They don't want to create broken homes because they came from broken homes." According to generational marketing firm Yankelovich Inc. in Norwalk, Conn., Gen Xers offer a corrective to certain freedoms and rebellions expressed by their parents. As a result, "[Gen] Xers are approaching homemaking with caution and concern," write Ann Clurman and J. Walker Smith in the marketing bible, Rocking the Ages: The Yankelovich Report on Generational Marketing.

Read the rest...

Do agree with

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Are we "Hyperparents"?

Do we Gen Xers focus too much on our children. Are we harming them? Are we too paranoid? Read the article below from the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) and give me your 2 cents! Interesting...

MARK and Ruth McCrindle go to seminars on child-raising, read a monthly parenting magazine, and have bought eight books on the subject. They share the caring of their daughter Acacia, who's almost three, and one-year-old son Jasper.

There is a baby monitor in Jasper's bedroom, which is hooked up to a receiver in the lounge room to listen for his cries. And when their son had a minor ear infection recently, Ruth sought the opinion of not one, but two, general practitioners.

Mark, 31, a social researcher, has investigated how generation X parents handle parenting. He and other researchers have found that contrary to the dated image of a cynical, aimless generation, Xer parents can't do enough for their offspring, investing almost every spare moment in their children's futures.

But many generation Xers have become "hyperparents", trying to plan every aspect of their children's education and leisure, while eschewing discipline to be their children's best buddy. Some experts warn generation X's bubble-wrap approach to parenting could leave their children lacking resilience to fend for themselves.

Read the rest of the article...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Boomers vs. Gen Xers... Part II

Here's another article, published Monday, discussing the Boomer vs. Gen Xer statistics.

It also talks about today's marketing and how the trend has shifted toward the younger, and ready for fun mom. Do you find that the media has portrayed us Gen Xer's accurately? What similarities/differences have you noticed between the two generations?

When my seventh grader confided that she loves the ''Moms have changed'' ad for the Nissan Quest minivan, which features sporty 30-somethings ready for fun, I think it was her tactful way of letting me know I'm an old-model mother. She's right that the baby-boomer brand of parent no longer predominates. According to ''Generation X Parents: From Grunge to Grown Up,'' a study recently published by the Boston marketing-strategy firm Reach Advisors, more than half (51 percent, to be exact) of kids under 18 now have mothers and fathers who were born between 1965 and 1979, the cohort once known as ''slackers.'' And if there's one thing these Gen-X parents can't stand, the strategists report, it's the boomer ''soccer mom'' label and the bossy bustling it connotes. Nissan has gotten the message: ''More sunlight for kids. More moonlight for parents,'' promises another Quest ad (touting the Skyview roof). Sounds lovely -- leisurely, cozy, even sexy -- doesn't it?

Read the rest...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reach for the Stars!

Last night I talked with a group of teen moms, and I wish I'd had this quote that my sister sent to me this morning:

"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."
- Leo Burnett

I love that! It especially ties in to what I talked about with these young women: goal setting.

When I asked these moms about their goals, they had quite a few: to get a GED, to go to college, to ge a good mom.

We talked about local schooling options, yet we also talked about the daily ends and out of parenting. These young women have some of the same struggles we all do--losing their patience, yelling, and get plain wore out.

I shared a few things that helps me. Maybe they'll help you to:

1. Set goals for parenting. For me this changed at different times. When I was a young mom this meant cutting out cussing and yelling. It meant not flicking my kids on the shoulder when I was frustrated (something that had been done to me). Now, it's setting aside time to talk about friends, boys/girls, and life. It means thinking of life after graduation (yikes!)

I talk to God about my goals, and I ask for His strength. Then I THINK through GOOD responses or a good plan of action. The more I think about it, the more my goals become my actions.

2. Seek accountability. I hate having to fess up with someone else that I've messed up. When I share a struggle with a friend, then I know she will ask about it, so I do better. It also works with my kids. They are quick to tell me when I'm not following through on my goals!

3. Go to God. God forgives me when I mess up. God gives me wisdom to know the right thing to do. God gives me strength to follow through.

I go to God often because I often need HELP! I'm thankful there is not quota for approaching Him. God's there 24/7. Yes, even when it seems like parenting is just too tough, too overwhelming, too much work. He's there.

Now, doesn't this quote fit perfectly?

"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."
- Leo Burnett

So remember, reach for the stars . . . and the heavens.

Guest Blogger...Cara Putman

I’m not ready for this!

Last week, my six-year-old Abigail lost one of her top teeth. Now this isn’t the first tooth she lost. The middle bottom teeth came out months ago, and these top two teeth have taken their precious time to loosen.

So I don’t think it’s the tooth coming out that bothers me. Ready or not, it was coming. And the way she twisted that tooth, Abigail was eager for the tooth fairy to make a return trip to our house.

No, I think what bothers me is the very conspicuous reminder that my baby isn’t such a baby. She’s beginning to read fluently. She dances all over the house. And her smile – missing tooth and all – could light up a room.

But that missing tooth is a constant reminder that she’s six plus some.

Where does the time go? And how can I grab hold of these moments?

Sometime in the last two years I stopped making it a priority to capture these milestones and moments in her journal. So much has happened that I want to make that a priority again. Because someday I’ll wish I was only in shock over Abigail pulling another tooth out.

The problem is I know boyfriends are coming. And then college. And, yikes, somewhere in there marriage and kids and…I think I need a café mocha. Anyone ready to meet me for a cyber cup of coffee?!?!?!
Cara C. PutmanCanteen Dreams -- coming October 2007 (Heartsong Presents)
The Law, Life & Books:
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

Monday, February 05, 2007

February CONTEST!!!

My new fiction book, Valley of Betrayal, hits the store shelves this month! Woo-hoo!

The book is the first in a three book series Chronicalling the Spanish Civil War, you can read the first chapter here...

And to celebrate I'm havin' a CONTEST!

Commentors, get commenting!
(I'm sure that's not proper English, but doesn't it just sound exciting!)

At the end of February, I will randomly select a name from everyone who leaves a comment on the blog. The winner will get a copy of my new book, Valley of Betrayal and a Copy of Generation NeXt Parenting! Fun!

Boomers vs. Gen Xers... Weigh in

Here's an interesting article I found on Fox news about the difference in parenting between boomers and Gen it and let me know if you agree.

..."Gen-Xers don't seem to be falling back on the ultra-strict, obey-without-questioning child-raising philosophies their grandparents held dear.

"There has to be a balance," said Wayne, N.J., stay-at-home mom Judy Salmanson, 35. She describes herself as the family disciplinarian while her boomer husband opts for the familiar lenient-parenting style.

"You want to be your child's friend, so they're not scared to come and talk to you about things," she said. "But at the same time, there have to be rules and guidelines. They have to respect you."

Because Gen-Xers grew up in an era full of divorce and latchkey-kid syndrome, they tend to be more cautious and pragmatic about marrying and having children, and more flexible about molding their careers so they have time at home.

"One thing we've heard from our [Gen-X] readers is that they start planning how they're going to be parents before they even get pregnant," Bain said.

"They've seen their mothers try to juggle everything and they don't want to do that ... Family stability is very important to them. There's much more focus on getting jobs that are family-friendly."

According to a recent survey by the Yankelovich marketing firm, 89 percent of Gen-Xers in 1999 thought modern parents let their kids get away with too much. Sixty-five percent favored a return to a more traditional sense of parental duty and 57 percent wanted to revive traditional standards of marriage.

Read the rest...

Friday, February 02, 2007

1 + 1 = Happy Family

Today I'm doing something GREAT for my kids. I'm heading out of town with my husand John for the weekend.

Yes, they're going to have to cook for themselves. No, I will not be here to pick up after them either. Instead, I'm going to be relaxing at a lodge with no phone, no computer, and one sweet man.

When it comes to helping our kids, one of the best things we can do is strengthen our marriage. After all, if our marriage crumbles, our kids' whole world crashes around them.

The truth is, though, we didn't get married so we can fill up a calendar with other people and things. We got married because we loved each other and wanted to spend time together.

This weekend John and I are going to celebrate that!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

What do "kids" think of Generation NeXt Parenting?

Here's a review by Caleb, an 11th grader!

"This book was awesome. I was asked to review it to get a kids perspective. I loved it. If your looking for a guide to the perfect child book don't buy this one, don't buy any, because there is no such thing as the perfect child. But do buy this one because it proposes just that. All you can do is show them the way you can't guide them down the path. I highly recommend this book to anyone. I feel privileged just to have gotten a chance to read it."

Wow! How great is can read the rest of Caleb's review at his blog (he even has his own blog!) Reviews Plus+.

Thanks Caleb!

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