5 Tips for Pretend Play: A Survivor’s Guide

I am gathering the last few things we need for the morning of errands—snacks, water, a sucker for a bribe—and my daughter, slight pixie fairy surfer girl with her sweet, sweet curls hanging down her back wearing a full Spiderman suit makes herself as tall as possible (up to my waist) and stands in my path. “Can we play Beanie Boos?” she asks, her already high bubble voice...

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Reading with Kids: An exploration into the fun of Chapter Books, and a Meatheads Giveaway

We went to the playground to meet up with my sister and her kids recently. Wally, Vivvi, and I got there a little early and played for a little on the lower “big kids playground” before heading up to a playground meant for younger kids. We had to scale a landscaped step that was about 3 feet high. I gave Vivvi a boost and Wally followed behind. Then the kids sat by me on a bench to...

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When Caterpillars Become Butterflies: That Time We Mail-Ordered Bugs

Every time a kid’s birthday party approaches, my sister-in-law LizE asks what they would like, and usually I instruct, “You just do you.” Because she just happens to be the best gift giver on the planet. When my kids were babies, I suspected this was because of her career as an occupational therapist, where she helps kids develop their motor and fine motor skills. Because of...

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Listen To Your Mother When I Am One of the Mothers: My On Stage Experience

People are asking me how it was, how I did, how it felt at Listen to Your Mother on Sunday. And I am processing, processing. It was such a big life experience—so unusual from my every day—that I believe I will be working through all of these feelings, these enormous tsunamis of feelings that keep washing over me. My prayer the day before went something like this: Lord, Be with me tomorrow...

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The Key to a Happy Mother’s Day

Motherhood is a gift. They hand you your newborn and send you home from the hospital, and you think, you have surrounded me by nurses for the past 3-5 days who have swept in when my child needed a diaper change, when I needed that lovely prescription-strength Motrin, when I wanted more of that blessed, blessed ice. And now, you have wrapped up my little living lump and sent me on my way to do it...

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I Want to Be Forever Young

We watched an old family video the other day. We were at my mom’s house, and she was feeling sentimental about my Grandpa, who passed away recently. He was so quiet, so he is an interesting man to mourn. You dig back in your memories of him, and he’s not jumping into the spotlight, giving you long bits of advice or story, doing wild and crazy things. Mostly he is sitting in his easy...

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So What Is This Listen to Your Mother Thing You Are Doing? On the art and outcome of storytelling.

(All photos courtesy of @Balee Images LLC. Brandi from Balee Images is incredible, as you can see from the photos. She’s not only good, but had the perfect photographer presence, offering just the right amount of direction, ease, stealth, and kind zhooshing when we needed it—”we,” as in me, my hair, and my scarf who were refusing to cooperate for group and head shots.) When...

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Go Big or Go Home: Some Thoughts about Family Identity

A few years ago, we got the family together to go to a Slugs and Bugs Concert for kids at our church. The Slugs and Bugs guy was a writer for VeggieTales, and now he goes around singing concerts for kids with cute, catchy tunes and moves. It was one of those events where beforehand, you picture your kids enraptured, zoned into the music, maybe dancing in the aisles and glancing over at you with...

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In Memory: My Grandpa, on the Power of Joy

As read at the Celebration of Life Memorial Service, February 21, 2016. In loving memory of my Grandpa, Charlie May, September 18, 1923-January 27, 2016 When my siblings, cousins and I were small, my grandparents lived in what is affectionately called by the family “the house on Cedar.” I remember only a few small things about this house. It smelled like pipe smoke, a theme for the...

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Adventures in Nervous Twitches: Wally Takes the Stage

Last week I got a text from the Children’s Pastor at our church. He was presenting a children’s sermon at church that Sunday and wanted to interview a few kids during it. He wanted to know if Wally could be one of the kids. Wally would just have to answer a few questions about an experience he had setting up pads for the PADS ministry at our church. I read the text over and took a...

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