Great-Grandparenting

I have some news and it is fabulous. . 

First,  I want to say that being a grandparent is a fabulous season in my life!

I absolutely love all of my grandchildren so much it is truly a love like no other. .  I have no words. .  I would do anything for them (please do not tell them that as I still have to be around them
Anyway,  Kourtlyn,  William (by proxy),  MaKayla,  Courtney, Jewel,  Jazzy,  Natalie,  Jaxson,  Anthony,  Jayden,  and Kaitlynn are the most amazing people ever! . Christian, beautiful and handsome,  smart, like scary smart!!,  funny,  talented,  hard workers,  ballers, fantastic sports players,  creative, artistic, one is a great homemaker, they all are very respectful, they love to play hard, they love to work hard, and they all are just amazing people (without being my grandchildren)

I am so in awe of how much I love them more every single day!

So all of that to say, I am going to be a GREAT –  Grandmother.  

My child is going to be a grandfather!  I do not think I could even think this through to begin with, however, when I sat down and realized the impact, I became a blubbering baby.  Those feelings that I have felt all these years, he now gets to feel.  He will understand just how I love his children so much!

So yeah, that’s our news, 

We are going to be great grandparents and my beautiful granddaughter is going to be a mommy and she will be amazing.  She is so great with children and I admire her so much.

I cannot wait to see her as a parent and begin this journey she is taking!  

No pictures except this one, because of privacy, and respect for my grandkids (who are, mostly at that age, of please don’t post my picture because I look horrible) 

BUT 

here is this one!

here’s my little peanut!!!

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To say that we are over the moon with excitement is just the tip of the iceberg.

I cannot thank God enough for entrusting our family with this new little one, and especially K&W  

They are going to be amazing parents and I am so incredibly proud of them as a grandmother and cannot wait to see what God has stored up for them and this precious little peanut!

HixCrew Organizing Hacks

LifeHacks

I have three pieces of organizational software I use  I will explain about them in this post.

Use a calendar. No matter whether it’s an app or a paper copy, use a calendar. Put EVERYTHING on it.

  1. My husband and I use Gmail calendar,  this is a pretty simplified calendar that my husband and I use across multiple platforms

  2.  my extended family uses Cozi  this is a program that my extended family uses across 3 homes, 9 kids and 5 school systems.

  3. Evernote  this is an incredibly powerful notetaking-webclipping-pdf saving and so much more app.

Here are somethings I use my Gmail calendar for.
Of course schedules, mine, my husbands, my grandkids (sports teams etc)

here is a tutorial on how to set up your calendar

Every bill I have due, goes on the calendar 2 weeks before it’s due. That allows for budgeting, reminds you to actually pay the bill, leaves a paper trail that isn’t huge stack of stuff.
Days I open accounts
Dr’s appts. I am separating this one, because this is how I do it
Dr Joe Blow/Mary Someone (dr’s name and the person who scheduled it – sometimes that is very important, for when they have no record of said appt or it gets rescheduled or whatever, without notifications. I do this for any appt I have, whether it be a Dr or any other service provider
101 What Street (what if you are so sick you can’t tell someone)
Wherever, Wherever
999-999-9999
Friday, October 9, 2015
11:00 AM (I also put it on my calendar 30 minutes early)
Notes: 3 mth xyz check up with fasting labs
(I use an app, so I always send an invitation to my husband The big things like surgeries etc., I send to my son also because he holds my medical power of attorney
Whether you use an app or paper, I do put all this information

Gmail Calendar will also import Facebook events, birthdays and events from your email.  to be a simple run of the mill calendar it is a powerful calendar

Now the Cozi Calendar.  If you have never used this app, please check it out.  It is great.  We are networked across three homes, 9 kids, 5 adults and 5 different school systems.  It works so great, so that all kids schedules, school functions, etc. get put on it and the family has access to it at a glance.  Then you can also sort each “team and get a team lineup” you can sort by person (each person has its own color to add each apt)  Notifications can be sent to only adults, or each person that is involved with the appointment or everyone on the system.  The paid version will let you add birthdays, shopping list, to do list, meal planners and it will even import that Gmail Calendar that I talked about earlier.

here is a short video that helps explain Cozi

I use Evernote that syncs across mine and my husbands as well as the older grandkids tablets/phones.
We use a central grocery list, a central to do list (for days off)
This software package is one of the most productive and necessary apps I have ever used. I do use the paid version, and it has reminders, passwords, and you organize things by “notebooks” it is an amazing, easy but powerful piece of software that my family couldn’t do without. I also use it for my blog to help organize things.

Here is a video overview of Evernote

Imagine a row of notebooks lined up on a shelf, and in those notebooks each little note that is pertinent to that “notebook”  Some of our notebooks are Hix Family passwords, Recipes, Hix Family Manuals (it clips pdf files from the web); His Personal Notebook, Laura’s Personal Notebook; Paul’s Personal Notebook.

In mine (Laura’s Personal Notebook, we are going to use it as an example, so the binder is Memaw Personal.  Inside are all my little “notes” Anything Kids (not schedules) Blog Stuff, Book Reviews, Devotionals, FMF Encouragement, Laura Notes to Check, Scans, WebClip’s

Okay, I know this is overkill on the organizational stuff but it takes that to keep a family as large as ours organized with all the kid schedules etc..
As a grandparent, I do try to get to at least some of every child’s activities.

I always, and I mean always write dates on groceries of when I buy them. I keep a sharpie in the cabinet and before I put them up, I just write the mthdateyear on the package.

Just some random things:

Other things, I use tubs for games, every piece goes in the tub, Each child has an activity box at my house.  Puzzles go in ziplock bags.  I have one huge crayon box, but then each child has a Journaling Bag for trips.  It has a journal, pens, pencils and a few crayons.

On my computer, I use simple file names. If it is something for the kids, I am very pragmatic about it, say Nattie’s basketball schedule, that is exactly what I use for the file name. I don’t fancy them up, nor let the computer decide, I dumb it down as much as I can so that I have no problem finding them. When I clean out my phones, or my desktop on my computer, I use Phone10012015 (the date I clean it) or Desktop10012015 (the date I clean it)
Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Since it is ONLY my husband and I at home, I streamlined our kitchen, 6 plates, 6 bowls, 6 cups, etc. Less to clean, less to take care of and I also bought smaller. I purchased 7” plates, instead of standard dinner plates, so that we would eat less. 

I do a LOT of crockpot cooking (even for us two) I make our dogs food and will soon start making his treats when we run out of what we have.
We are not only getting our organizational skills up to par, but are also getting healthy at the same time.

and my bonus that helps me with the grandkids

make a calendar for your kids; I am talking about a rotation calendar.  Whatever the rotation is for, is up to your family and what works for your family, but for our family, it is a shortened calendar that stays in my car, and has one child’s name on it for every day. (these are the kids I have on a routine basis) whoever;s day it is, gets several privileges as well as tasks.  That person is #1 for the day.  It doesn’t mean they are the best or whatever, it just means for that day, they usually get the most “extra things” and have some extra tasks so it’s not all pretty.

some of these things are  (we have three kids now so, here’s some of our things) My kids are older, so remember this as you are reading

Kid #1 gets to sit up front (I must use my front seat because of lack of seats, so don’t even go there with me) they also get the privilege of holding the money if the kids get to go to the store, they also get to “pay” at the grocery, gas station.  They get to choose first through snacks I bring from home if there are different ones however, I try to do all the same.  If they were staying at home with me that day, they also take their shower first, must help wash the dishes.  they get the trash out of the car (everyone is responsible for getting their own trash to them) so it’s not all good stuff and it’s not all bad stuff

#2 usually doesn’t have that many activities assigned they get a free day basically except they help me because I am disabled, with my things and oxygen etc.

#3 holds the door anywhere we go.  they are responsible for putting all the car buckets up (will explain these in a minute)  

So the person that has the day, is the go to person for the day.  This helps me avoid arguments from the kids of who sits “shotgun”   Sorry look at the calendar.

The rotation continues no matter what, we do, no hold days. Whatever day you are in my car, That calendar day stands.
Way back when I had grandkids staying with me all the time, I started this. I took the arguments out of the equation
(these things MUST be set up and in stone first) and I had them help me do this.

Other things, we have in place already, are
Winner cleans up the game,
Everyone gets their dishes to the sink. Even the littles. If they can’t reach the sink, they put it on the floor. I’m good with that, because it gets it all in one place.
The littles are NOT too little to carry their belongings or pick up their belongs.  If they can stand and play with toys they can put things up and take responsibility for their things.  That doesn’t mean they have to solely be responsible because they are too little.  But if they can take a toy out of a backpack, they can put it back in.

Also in my car, every child has a bucket that has 4 pockets and a handle. This holds their personal belongings in the car for long trips, as well as if we stop and get food they have a place to hold their food.  Kinda like these, and then they decorated them up

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I also have made sure everyone has a cup holder because my van is conveniently unequipped with them. LOL
We have church rules that are already in place, as well as general rules that I expect them to follow everywhere, house rules, and trip rules and we adjust appropriately.  One of the biggest is “hands on car”

When I had the older set of granddaughters staying with me, I had a runner.  We opened the doors, she took off running.  So the rule was implemented, your feet touch the ground, your hands go on the car, until I say go.  If the car is too hot you “pretend to touch it”  This keeps the kids from running and keeps them all together.  Being disabled, you keep your “ducks in a row” where you can LOL
But these are set in stone, and each child knows them and it’s kind of like a “manual for the Hix Crew”

With 9 grandchildren, there is organized chaos. I get more compliments on trips etc, because they know ahead of time what is expected, Just had one start going with us on overnight trips, so he has been added to the rotation and got to get a crash course on the rules. He was the best one on the last two trips!!! Maybe refresher courses are needed. However, the kids wrote the rules to begin with, when this was first implemented, so they take ownership in it.  It works for our family and I can stop the “I wanna go first” or I don’t wanna pick up the game, or all the other little things that kids can find to argue about!

But it’s worked out where first is not always best, last is not always worst, and in between doesn’t get left out.

Everyone has a task and when you have this many people at one time sometimes in a hotel room/car etc, it is necessary

Being organized is a cohesive lifestyle. You may not have to be “this” organized, and you may have to be even more organized.

I am NOT an organized person  I am very unorganized.  I have ADD.  I cannot focus on any one project for any given length of time

Some of this maybe duplicated, and some is overkill, however, when you are as chronically UN organized as I am, this keeps me on track and focused.  After the first setups with each one, it’s as easy as just typing a small note and hitting save.  I have used Gmail Calendar for a few years now as well as Cozi and just found Evernote and started with it.  

However, these three apps are my lifesavers.  

One thing I also do, is I make a print copy (for backup) of each month.  I don’t do it every time something changes, because they each have their own internal “cloud” to back up to. Just a few things that work for our family to give us some sense of order in our huge family organized chaos.

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Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey #FCBloggers

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I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey with Family Christian Stores.  Written by Katherine Blackmore, B&h Kids Editorial and Dandi Mackall.  This book is published by B&H Publishing, and let me just say, they know what will catch a kid’s attention and keep them reading. Or at least it did for this old kid!!!

Upon opening the book, you cannot help but notice all the super bright colors and the just complete “neatness” of the book. It isn’t busy, nor is it slow.

unnamedAs you get into the book there are 52 devotions that give you life situations, and I am going to use this one as an example: Making Camp: Learning to Love Along The Way.

Devotions Off The Map is available for Preorder at this link.  It should be in the stores by August 1, 2015 . The book has special graphics that explain each part of the devotional, like

ThTreee Overlook – it explains what your child will learn in the devotional – our example is “You can learn to show love to everyone”

 

CompassThis Is The Way – provides one key Bible verse and some scripture references to memorize, study, word by word, and/or life applications. All pointing you back to the devotional. Our example is O John 4:20 – If anyone says. “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And a few more verses that go with the devotional.

treehouse formatedLessons From The Tangled Treehouse – this section is where the devotions come in. Easy to read, challenging for your child and something that your child might find that He or she already knows – Our example is about a person that goes somewhere for a few weeks, and upon their roommate walking in the room, immediately judges them. In their own mind, they are sure they don’t like the roommate, and are not going to be open to getting to know them. However, upon getting to know them, they realize that they and the roommate really do have a lot in common and the further they go into the time together, they really do like each other a lot and become very close friends. Something kids go through at school, camps etc. all the time. God tells us we are liars if we say we love Him, but do not like our brothers. That’s harsh! However, the devotional puts it in words that are so easy for any child to understand.

Bushes FormatedShady Grove Prayers – this is the part of the devotional where simple prayers, already written out for you that you can either pray with your child, or have your child read and then say their own based on the examples given.    for non-readers can pray out loud and read to them, the words are easy enough and always again they make these so easy to adjust for non-readers and to be able to put into words they can understand.  Our example uses this prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you for your love, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Your love is amazing. Help me to show that love to others whether I know them well or not.
want to be more like you. Amen”  

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I don’t know a child of God (of any age) that would not benefit from God’s help in this devotional. That’s the beauty of this book. So much applies to adults, kids, and even non-readers, (now this is my opinion, so don’t go trying to say, oh I know one, I know one!!!) I am sure there is someone somewhere, who wouldn’t like this book!

questions FormatedField Study – is a question and answer section that begin with why, how when or where. These questions, will push a child to think, use their Bible to look up answers or open a dialogue between a parent/teacher/guardian to open the child’s mind to different opinions based on sound Biblical principles – One of our examples is the following “How can you love someone who doesn’t seem to love you?” That’s just one of 4 in this particular devotional.

Boots formatedWalking to Boulder Bridge– this section is where you child puts what they have learned into everyday life. With activities, community projects, crafts or even family discussion time. I love this part of it. Being a very hands on thinker, learner. This appeals to my inner child so much! I know for me, “doing” teaches me so much more and not just reading from a book. So our example, Show love to one another, gives examples, like cut out a heart, put the initials of people you love. On the other side, write people’s initials that may need some love shown to them, and then keep the heart in your pillowcase so that you can remember it, pull it out and pray for each person that you wrote down, also it helps you remember that God loves everyone equally! – This section, again, also opens up ideas from parents/teachers/guardians, and there are so many other ways to use this, like if you know someone hurting, you could write them a short note, or just “God loves you” with the verse reference and even mail it to them or many other applications that are age proper, and based on your child’s skills, and learning abilities. Whatever works best for your family?

I think my last statement “whatever works best for your family” is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Nothing is just as it is. There are so many variations to how each section can be used and applied to your family and your lifestyle.
The Lessons Part – if the child is a non-reader, the book is written in such a way that most younger kids could understand the life application because of wordings that the writers have used in my opinion, younger children, may not understand, because of concepts of time and distance, however, they can easily be used in their words and their understanding and changed up to have a jumping off point and then the book is not just useful for readers alone.

Prayer

This devotional is  as a follow-up to a VBS, however, there is no way that you need to go to the VBS to understand the book.  I pray that anyone that purchases this little book will love it as much as I have!  I go on vacation soon with my grandchildren, and this will be our daily devotional book.  I am sure around day three of “all the cousins” they will need a great reminder of showing their love to someone and this is just the book for it!   We range from 1-year-old to 18 years old, so they all will be able to put it to use in some way and fashion!  I really cannot say enough good about Devotions Off The Map a 52 Week Devotional Journey;

 

 So much simplicity rolled up into 52 devotions, which will touch your child’s heart for a lifetime!

You can buy this book at a Family Christian Store near you, or online at http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/311787/

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog  I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done.  Al thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and OI only recommend products or services I use personally ad believe will be good for my readers  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements and 
Testimonials in Advertising"

Christmas Series – Tricia Goyer – Author Highlight

I am going to be doing a series over the month of December from Tricia Goyer.  I will be having giveaways, printable resources like recipe cards, bookmarks etc, book reviews and lots of stuff about her Christmas books and even some of her non Christmas books.  Get ready to spend the month getting to know Tricia, and enjoying her books! I know I sure do! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her books, getting to know her as a person, not just as an author and reading some of her latest books.  I pray that you will be just as excited as I am to read and enjoy this truly gifted author!
Tricia writes about Amish Life, WW!! and Parenting as well as other subjects.  She wrote the novelization for Mom’s Night Out, Writes for Guideposts and has many other irons in the fire. Here is the Media Release for Where the Treetops Glisten.  Tricia’s newest Christmas Book. This is one of the books I will be giving away starting The day after Thanksgiving!  Be ready!!!
 
 

Meet Tricia

meet-tricia

Tricia the Author
Tricia Goyer has written more than thirty-five books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and non- fiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.
Goyer’s fiction and non-fiction books have won awards from the American Christian Fiction Writers and Mt. Hermon Writers’ Conference. She is also a two-time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee.
Tricia has authored several books on family and parenting, as well as co-written with Max Lucado and Robin Jones Gunn. She collaborated with Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges for Lead Your Family Like Jesus, published by Focus on the Family/Tyndale.
Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research. Tricia speaks to groups interested in these eras, with the intention of preserving and honoring the memory of the men and women who served.
She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, as well, writing the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Series. Tricia is currently working on The One Year Book of Amish Peace: Hearing God’s Voice in the Simple Things and a true Amish story co-written with Ora Jay and Irene Eash (contracted to release in 2013 and 2014 respectively).
Tricia is also the visionary force behind the new website, Not Quite Amish. Inspired by the writing process of her Amish releases, she wanted to create a community where Amish and simple living experts can become contributors. Launched in the fall of 2012, the Not Quite Amish lifestyle blog features daily posts about recipes, repurposing, simple style, beautifying your home, sewing Amish proverbs, and more. In addition to having more than fifteen regular contributors, readers are also encouraged to submit ideas, questions, and posts for topics they’d like to see written about.
In addition to Not Quite Amish, Tricia also posts regularly at her personal blog and is a contributor to other family and homeschooling blogs, such as The Home Educating Family, The Better Mom, Allume and MomLife Today. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com.Throughout the past ten years, Tricia has been interviewed by numerous national TV and radio programs and magazines.

More about Tricia’s Ministry
In addition to writing and family time, Tricia enjoys sharing Jesus’ love through volunteering and ministering to others. Her vision is to be a voice of hope and possibility for teenage girls, pregnant teen girls, mothers, and wives. Her intention is to serve ordinary women by encouraging them to do extraordinary things with God’s help.
Motivated by her own experience of being a teen mom and the women who were supported her, Tricia has a heart for mentoring teen moms and their families. Before moving to Arkansas, Tricia co-founded Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana. She currently leads a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group in inner-city Little Rock.
Tricia has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS International Convention, Hearts at Home, and Allume conferences. She speaks to groups around the country about families, writing, research, and the world of publishing.

Tricia also cherishes being able to minister in the Czech Republic on regular missions trips. The Goyer family also leads children’s church every week.
As a part of her vision to reach real women about real life and real hope, Tricia hosts a weekly internet radio show, Living Inspired, where she interviews Christian authors and artists.

Tricia at Home
Her love of writing and the awards and accolades she has received cannot compare with her greatest joy: her family.
Tricia and the love of her life, husband John, are the parents of six and grandparents of two. There is always fun and adventure at Goyer home, and Tricia’s grandma is right in the middle of it, having lived with Tricia and John for the past several years. Friends and fans can keep up with Tricia’s regular updates via her Facebook fan page.
Tricia homeschooled their oldest three children through high school and will be starting the school process all over again with the youngest three! The Goyers make their home in Arkansas.

Short Bio
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com  and other homeschooling and Christian sites.In addition to her roles as mom, wife and author, Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR. Tricia, along with a group of friends, recently launched www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life. She also hosts the weekly radio podcast, Living Inspired. Learn more about Tricia at http://www.triciagoyer.com.

An interview with Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin Authors of Where Treetops Glisten

Authors
Three of the most beloved Christian authors of World War II-era fiction have come together to gift their readers with the new Christmas release, Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN: 978-1601426482/$14.99).
Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin invite readers to turn back the clock to days gone by as they listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow and get to know the Turner family. Each of the three siblings is forging his or her own path in his or her own love story filled with the wonder of Christmas. Hailing from the heart of America in Lafayette, Indiana, these characters will never be the same as the reality of America’s involvement in World War II hits incredibly close to home.

Q: How did the three of you decide to collaborate on a collection of novellas together? 

Cara: I’d written in a couple of novella collections and loved the collaborative aspects. Writing is often solitary, but when you’re working on a collection with other writers, you have fun opportunities to work together. I asked Sarah and Tricia if they’d like to work together because I love their World War II stories, and I love their hearts. I also thought this was a sneaky way to get to know them better. It’s so fun now to have a book we’ve written together!

Tricia: The coolest thing about Cara approaching me is that I highly respect both Cara and Sarah for their writing abilities and their love of World War II. There aren’t many people I know who enjoy both of these passions, just as I do, and it was easy to say YES!

Sarah: When Cara invited me to participate, I was thrilled. We all liked the idea of using one family’s experience over the course of the war to tie the stories together.

Q: What themes run through each of the stories in Where Treetops Glisten to tie the book together? 

Sarah: In all three of the stories, someone is overcoming grief or loss, and someone is dealing with regrets of the past. Strong themes of healing and reconciliation and hope run through each story. Giving is also a crucial element, which is appropriate for Christmas stories!

Tricia: I also love the use of Christmas songs from that era. The title, Where Treetops Glisten, may be very familiar to readers. Also each novella is named after a popular Christmas tune from those years!

Q: How did the three of you work together to make sure there was continuity between the three novellas?

Sarah: We started in the brainstorming phase, throwing out character and family ideas and making them mesh. Since I’m the nerdy chart-maker of the trio, I made a timeline and a character chart we could use for reference to keep details straight. Also, we bounced ideas off each other throughout the writing process: “Who would Abigail have in her wedding party?” “Does this sound like something Pete would do?” “What would Merry be feeling at this time?” We shared our rough drafts to make sure the details and personalities rang true. The collaboration was challenging since our stories are more tightly connected than in most novella collections, but it was a lot of fun.

Cara: Sarah is the spreadsheet queen. Seriously! After our conference call, Sarah had character and timeline spreadsheets ready for us. We stayed in contact and used those spreadsheets to keep the details straight.

Tricia: There were also many emails that flew back and forth with questions like, “What year was Pete born again?” and “What was so-and-so doing in 1943?” It was fun figuring out this family and these characters together. And then once we figured out the information, Sarah put it in her spreadsheet!

Q:Each one of the three siblings in the books has to chart his or her own path. How is the love of their family a support system for them, even as they make their own life decisions?

Sarah: Pete’s always seen himself as the black sheep of the Turner family — but as a much-loved black sheep. His family was there for him during his wild youth, and they’re there for him when he returns from his combat tour drained of hope and joy. They offer wisdom and humor and encouragement.

Cara: Abigail has keenly felt the shortness and unpredictability of life. Because of it, she’s afraid to chase her dreams or really dare to dream. Her family provides the support and stability to try even when life is something she can’t safely manage.

Tricia: Meredith (Merry) is the wanderer. She is the one who moved to Florida to attend nursing school as soon as she graduated from high school. She’s the baby of the family, and she’s always tried to prove herself. Yet as the years go by, and as Merry finds herself serving as a nurse in Netherlands, she realizes the place she wants to be the most is home — back with the family she loves.

Q: The three novellas are all titled after a Christmas song that became popular during World War II. Can you share a little of the history behind the songs and how they became a part of the book?

Sarah: Since so many great Christmas songs debuted during World War II (“White Christmas” in 1942, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1943, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944), I’ve often thought those songs would be a fun way to connect a novella collection, so I suggested it to Cara and Tricia, and they liked it too.

Cara: I loved the idea of using the Christmas carols to connect the stories. So many of those songs are a big part of Christmas even today! But we still had to figure out the rest. Christmas carols alone wouldn’t be enough for three stories to come to life. Once we were all on board, we had a conference call to figure out the rest.

Tricia: I used my song title, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as an inspiration for my character too. I have a friend named Merry who was born on Christmas . . . so I used that for my novella! Meredith is nicknamed Merry, and her name plays into the story; that song makes its way into the novella too!

Q: World War II was a tumultuous, uncertain time. Why pick that era as the backdrop for a Christmas story?

Tricia: I love World War II, and I always loved chatting with Sarah and Cara about World War II. Our purpose is to remind readers of the importance of family, of home and of togetherness. Even in a time of war we can remain strong because of the love of God and the love of those we serve.

Sarah: Because World War II was so tumultuous, I think Christmas became more important. In the Christmas songs of the era, you hear a wistful nostalgia for white Christmases, for home, for mistletoe kisses, for merriness, for a time when your troubles would be out of sight. The holiday reminded people of home and hearth — exactly what they were fighting for.

Q: What sparked your interest in this particular historical time period?

Cara: I love the way this particular generation came together in a big way to fight a world-size problem. Everybody made sacrifices — sacrifices of even the most basic ‘needs’ like coffee and sugar. And everyone did it. If you talk to members of this generation today, they still insist they didn’t do anything special — yet I think it was heroic.

Tricia: I first became interested in World War II while traveling in Europe with two friends. We went to Mauthausen concentration camp, and I was overwhelmed with the stories. I ended up interviewing more than 100 World War II veterans, and then I started writing World War II novels. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I
stepped in that concentration camp. I’ve written other genres, but deep in my heart I’m thankful to be back writing about World War II!

Q: What kind of research did you do before writing your story?

Cara: Because I live in Lafayette, I didn’t have to travel anywhere for research. I already had a friend’s house in mind I thought was the perfect home for this family. Still I had to research details like where the heroine worked, how McCord’s/Glatz makes candy canes, etcSarah: For me, this was a refreshing change. I usually have to do great gobs of rather technical research, but not for this story. I already had a good base of Home Front research, so I just had to research Lafayette — and that was fascinating.

Tricia: Since my novella takes place in Belgium I studied a lot about the field hospitals at the time and the nurses. I also have a friend who lives in Netherlands who shared her uncle’s story with me. He died as part of the resistance. I’m thankful for the foundation I had of my other World War II novels. I enjoyed building upon that.

Q: Did any of you have a special tie to the book’s setting, Lafayette, Indiana?

Cara: Well, I actually live in Lafayette. One of my very good friends owns a historic home near downtown Lafayette, and I’ve known for years it would be the perfect home for a heroine. So when we set the book in Lafayette, I asked Ann if we could use her home. Since I wasn’t sure if anyone else would get to come to town to visit, I sketched out the floor plan and uploaded it to Pinterest so Sarah and Tricia could refer to it — reinforcing why I went to law school and not art school!

Sarah: Oh, my favorite part! I had the privilege of spending a couple of days in Lafayette, staying with the delightful Putman family. Cara — and her four children! — took me all around town. One of Cara’s friends graciously loaned us her home to serve as the Turner home, and she let us traipse through, sketching floor plans and taking pictures. We visited the Alcoa plant, the bridge over the Wabash and the charming downtown area. Driving around the area where I knew Grace would live, we saw the cutest Victorian — for sale! Since I figured they wanted people to look inside, I walked all around, peeked in the windows and took dozens of photos. I also spent a few hours at the local library going through 1943 phone books and newspapers — a treasure trove. And of course, we had to sample the wares at McCord’s!

Tricia: I was honored to travel to Lafayette to speak at a banquet, and Cara was a wonderful hostess while I was in town. We toured downtown and visited McCord Candies (and grabbed a soda there!), and we also visited some antique shops, which really gave me a feel for the area. Cara drove me around to see the home of the characters in the book. It was a delight to see the town come to life!

Q: Each of the characters in this book has to overcome not only personal obstacles, but also cultural conditions he or she has no control over. What lessons can we learn for our own times from their stories?

Tricia: The issue of “cultures” comes up strongly in my novel. Before the war, Meredith had fallen in love with a man from Germany. After Pearl Harbor, he abandoned her and returned to Germany, breaking her heart. Old and new feelings crash within her as their unit prepares to enter Germany. Meredith also cares for German soldiers who are brought into their field unit.
The lessons I hope the reader walks away with is that our nationality is only a part of who we are. Our family situations, and our faith, also make us who we are.

Q: Even just looking at the cover makes the reader want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. What did you do to get in the Christmas spirit as you penned your story?

Cara: I visited McCord’s and watched the staff make candy canes. I also listened to a lot of Christmas carols.

Sarah: That was challenging since I wrote the novella in the summer. In California. But I had brainstormed and outlined the complete story at Christmastime the year before when I was in the Christmas mood. While writing the rough draft, I just had to think cold. And I did hum “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” while I wrote.

Tricia: I listened to wonderful Christmas music on Spotify, and I turned up the air conditioning!

Q: One thread that ties all of the stories together is the siblings’ grandmother. What do they learn from her lessons of wisdom and faith that help develop their own choices?

Cara: Grandma was such fun to write! She was feisty but with a deep love for her family. She provides the perspective of time and experience to each of the siblings — yet in a different way to reflect their unique journeys.

Tricia: I loved including a “grandma” in the story since my Grandma lives with me. I love the unconditional love and snippets of wisdom that come from the older generation.

Q: What is it about the Christmas season that engenders such a strong feeling of warmth and love?
Cara: There’s a freshness and sense of wonder to Christmas. The idea that God would send His son to earth as a newborn is an incredibly humbling thought. There’s also the cleanness of fresh-fallen snow that always makes me think of what Christ did on Calvary. Combine that with great music, tradition and the love of family, and it becomes a magical time where almost anything seems possible.

Learn more about the authors!

 

Tricia Goyer
 
 
Cara Putman
 
 
Sarah Sundin
www.triciagoyer.com
 
www.caraputman.com
 
http://www.sarahsundin.com
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Tricia has released 7 books as well as numerous blog posts, articles and radio shows.

2014 Releases

** Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom, How can a work-at-home mom raise kids, juggle a career and take care of family responsibilities with only 24-hour days? Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom. (January 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** An Amish Garden, co-written with Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman and Kathleen Fuller (Thomas Nelson, March 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** The Kissing Bridge, Book Three in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series (Zondervan, April 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** Moms’ Night Out, the novelization of the movie (B&H, April 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** Plain Faith: A True Story of Tragedy, Loss, and Leaving the Amish, the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. (Zondervan, May 2014) FIND OUT MORE
** An Amish Second Christmas, (Zondervan, September 2014)
** When Treetops Glisten, a WWII novella, (Thomas Nelson, October 2014)

Be sure to check out Tricia’s Historical, Amish, Contemporary and Non-Fiction books pages,
or download a bibliography of all her books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grandparents Change

I have had the privilege of caring for 4 of my grandchildren this week since Thursday morning, and we have been in VBS this week so we have had a LOT of time together.  I asked for this pleasure, I begged for it, (because I had been sick) and my son was (rightly so) scared of leaving the kids with me, and me getting sicker..,.  I LOVE my children with all my heart.  They are the most amazing children in the world.  They have the most amazing children in the world.  My SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren.

Knowing that I was 100% responsible for their well-being for this period of a time, and with their parents so far away, terrified me in a way, I was never terrified as a parent.  I was confident as a parent, I was strict, I was over strict (with one) and too lazy with the other, and just down right, flat-out wrong

I found myself, very “un”confident, very second guessing, very “guilty” about every word, every action, every reaction, and every choice that was made.  Was it right, was it wrong, did I screw them up forever, did I do something special that they would always remember, or could they just have fun…  (they didn’t 100% of the time) and ya know what… That was OKAY.

I don’t have to make everything perfect for my grandchildren all the time, I don’t have to be “on” 100% of the time, 100% of everything being, going, doing, planning, playing, talking and or that Disneyland grandparent (without the benefit of Disneyland)

i CAN BE OFF AND IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.  I can apologize and let them realize that I am not perfect (trust me, they knew it anyway, but I was clueless) and that life sometimes with grandparents will be NOT fun and games, and NOT about doing something “fun” or “planned” or whatever…..

It will be rules, and it will be discipline and it could be hard… But it can still be fun…  and that’s okay….

I hurt each one of them’s feelings in some way this weekend, somehow.  I made them obey (oh my gosh) and they even had to help at home, and  shocker, I know, they even back talked (Brian and Amilia, please don’t freak out, because that’s NORMAL for children to do, and while it’s not necessarily the norm for parents) it’s okay as their grandparent to let it happen.  Because that’s how they stand up for themselves, become independent, have a voice…sometimes, it’s okay for them to be wrong, and it be okay… (with me) I need to remember that they aren’t little adults, they are KIDS, with KID feelings, KID emotions and KID hearts. (even the teenagers)   (Just please know these kids aren’t disobedient) they are KIDS!!!)  It may seem like they are being just unruly and whatever else, but please know that it is JUST the opposite!!

Those hearts, so big, so amazing, and they LOVE their grandparents (all of them, we discussed YOU ALL this weekend) and that all of their grandparents are super grandparents.

I get to be in their lives more than most and for us, it is a routine, Church, Library days, every week something fun (at least once) and they are part of a routine with me, and they are AMAZING!!!   They have learned to give my insulin shots (I can do it, they choose too) they help with my oxygen and my wheelchair and, oh my gosh, there is NOT enough words that I can say to say to them, thank you…. for being so amazing.

You 4 kids have helped me so much this weekend, not just “physically” but emotionally and spiritually and in ways, that you may never know.

I have realized, exactly HOW HARD it is for your parents and realize that they are incredible, awesome parents,  (even when I think they are too strict)  Because sometimes strict is what is necessary to teach.

I cannot express my love for these 4 kids (and the rest of them) in words.  There are no words.

But know, that you have taught Memaw so much in such a short little time, that I pray, and I am praying hard that each day with you from here on out will be incredibly different.  Not necessarily different in things we do, but different in expectations of your behaviors.

I expect you to back talk, I expect you to “have wiggles” and suck the water bottle in ’till it scrunches, and to fight with your brothers and sisters, and argue with me, because

that’s what kids do… 

doesn’t make it right, but it makes it okay…

and discipline (the right way) isn’t a bad thing, trusting you that your choices and your actions are okay…..  And knowing that because you have a life with God, you are going to still make bad choices, but that you already know when you have done something wrong.  You KNOW, because you have that conviction of God’s heart.

I have also learned that way too much, is WAY too much…. Down time, is a good thing… Just sitting around reading a book and not being “on” is okay… (well, I knew it was anyway) but the “entertainment factor” is changing.   I do NOT have to entertain you 100% of the time that I am with you…. YOU can entertain me, with your strength and your wisdom, and your choices (because you all make awesome choices most of the time) and your just being who you are.

Who you are, is, my SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren, this also goes for the rest that weren’t with me this weekend.  I think you all are so awesome and all the above too…

Just know that there are gonna be some changes.   You may not like some of the changes coming up, but just know that the changes in me are gonna be there.  Because you all deserve the best.

 

2 Timothy 1:13-14  “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

 

God has blessed me with these amazing grandchildren, and I am so honored to be their grandparent…   I pray that he can give me the strength, and the wisdom to do what is right by these amazing children.  (a couple that aren’t children, but teenagers)  They DESERVE the most amazing life ever!!!!  Don’t even think that there will be more things  more things happening and more “going”  (it will probably be less) and that there will be more discipline, just different discipline.  No more of the thinking you have to be perfect all the time, but more of the knowing that you will be kids and going to be some things happen that well, you probably need to be disciplined for.  But know now that the discipline, probably will not like any discipline you have ever received before.  I’ve tried, but I know I am very inconsistent, and I will promise you that God will bless our relationship 100% more than he has already has and because of that, things will change…

Yes you must have manners, yes you have to not hit your brothers and sisters, and yes, you even have to clean up after yourself, that doesn’t change.

You do get to have fun, you do get to know that when you mess us, that it’s going to be okay.  You do need to know that no matter what you do, I am never going to stop loving you.

No matter what you say, I will NEVER stop loving you.

I didn’t think it was possible to love you any more than I already have, but I do.

Thank you for this wakeup call….

Memaw needed it.

Thank you again, Brian and Amilia for being the BEST parents for these children.  I am so proud that you are the parents of my grandchildren and honored that you trust me enough.  I pray that you will see the change also, NOT in the kids, because they are and have done exactly what they should have done, being kids and learning about life.

They are awesome, and you both have done an incredible job raising them.

Isaiah 46:4  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

What a promise.  HE will rescue me.  I am so ready to be rescued!  Oh yes, God, please rescue me, please take me to a place that only you can.  I NEED to be rescued from myself.  From that grandparent that sees everything as “if you show them fun, they will love you” to the grandparent that if you show them love, they already love you… I don’t have to show them fun, I have to show them respect.  and love.  That’s IT, with those two things, then the rest will come.

God please give me the love, the understanding and thank you for the blessing to be the best grandparent I can for these children, because they deserve the very best.  I thank you every day for them and for the gift of their beautiful lives!  Thank you so much for gifting me with their parents also.

Here are some pictures from our week.  I didn’t get many, but here’s couple!

Five Minute Friday – Bloom

Bloom

1. the flower of a plant.
2 flowers collectively: the bloom of the cherry tree.
3. state of having the buds opened: The gardens are all in bloom.
4. a flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc.: the bloom of youth; the bloom of Romanticism.
5. a glow or flush on the cheek indicative of youth and health: a serious illness that destroyed her bloom.

Bloom

 

I have always heard, “Bloom where you’re planted” or something like that.  In other words, do what you need to do, right where you are, with what you have, and let God take control.

For me, that is very hard.  I am a control freak.  I want to be in control of every single aspect of my life, my homes life and what is happening around me

Imagine my surprise when God gifted me with a, a couple of broken legs when I was two and several surgeries after that till I was an adult, a husband with leukemia, a son with asthma, couple of serious illnesses, a very ADHD child and a sister that completed a suicide.

Just a few life interruptions that have been blessings in the long run, if I stop and look at them long enough (*except my sister’s suicide)

It’s all been in how I looked at them, and if I let God “Bloom me where I was planted.

I have had to change MY ways of thinking and realize that no matter what, God is in control, of every single, minute detail.  Not the ones I want to give him, but EVERY single detail.

Bloom where you’re planted, in spite of broken legs, and hurt joints and many surgeries, keep going, keep playing basketball, keep playing tennis, and keep on running… Bloom

Bloom where you’re planted in spite of a husband that had leukemia.  Greet each day as a new day, and make friends with the families on the floor, ask how they are doing, what do they need, what can I do, do you need to talk.   Bloom

Bloom where you son is in the hospital with asthma/pneumonia at such a young age, treat the nurses to pizza at night, ask them about their life, ask caregivers about their lives, do they need anything, can I help take some of the load off of you because I am here and won’t be leaving….Bloom

Bloom in a school where my son was having a very huge difficult time. He spends more time in the principal’s office than he does in class…. Bloom…. Bloom because you KNOW he is a good young man and he has been labeled bad, and if someone would just take the chance to know him, love him, challenge him, and get to the real young man that he was,

Bloom when your sister is so mentally challenged that she wants to kill people, that she sees demons, that she finally is so unsatisfied with her life, and thinks there is absolutely no going back, she takes her life.  In doing so, you know she is at peace for the first time in many years, however, you also know that your parents have lost two children early and for them, it is the worst day of their life, and for you, still you know she is at peace, but the pain hurts.  Physically she is gone.  Emotionally she is healed.,

 Bloom :), blessings…. Bloom where you are planted, right where you are, with what you have.

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday


this is from Lisa-Jo Baker’s Blog that explains FMF)
So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for going on four years now hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.
We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
Your words. This shared feast. It’s easy to join in, just:
Check what the prompt is on my Lisa Jo Baker’s Blog.
Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
{And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on my post} Link over to Lisa’s blog and invite friends to join in. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url http://www.lisajobaker.com but your post url
http://www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ } Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of Lisa’ Five Minute Friday post enter your link. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it
Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community

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Surprised By Motherhood Review

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My #SurprisedbyMotherhood journey is anything but pretty.  Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE my children. They are the love of my life!

I am so honored to be their mother.

However, getting here, has been a journey of pain, agony, illnesses, hate, bitterness and then seeping out to being a helicopter mom, over-protectiveness and then just pure respect and love.  Loving being their friend as adults

The back story.

I was born to two parent that absolutely adored me!  However, they lost two children, one at the age of 8 in a car accident and the 2nd at the age of 28 to a completed suicide.  My parents loved the two of us remaining, however, they also were very depressed (mom) but oh how she loved God.  She put her faith in Him and she lived, knowing that it was #GodsPlans

My dad however, while a great dad, great provider, was hard to love.  He didn’t show love, he didn’t show affection.

Mom and Dad both ended up crippled for life from the car accident, but they both worked their tails off to give for us and give my remaining sister and me everything we wanted and needed and then our kids also.

So while I had role models, their model was not a true identity of who they were.  It was tainted. By life, by circumstances, by death, mostly..

Okay fast forward to me being 21.  I married the first person that asked me.  I thought I was in love with him.  We fought constantly, we fought hard.  He was a great provider, and when we did get along, we were fantastic.  However, we ended up pregnant and then it was only downhill from there.

We split up with my oldest son was 3 months old I went home for several years. “Let” my mother raise my son, except when convenient me to be a parent.   His Granny was the person he loved, he went to, and he looked up to as a parent.  Not me.  I was a passerby, they while I was there almost every day.  I didn’t take an active role in raising him.

That soon changed.  My mom was older and tired.  So she said no more, to me.  This was the best thing that ever happened to me.  When Brian was 3-year-old and being abandoned by his father and had been by his mother except hen convenient for them, we realized, hmm how many emotional issues does he have.  Hyperactivity (yes at 3) and as he grew, we also knew he was obsessive compulsive and oppositional (gee wonder why mom) and then dyslexic.

During this time from 3-5 for him, I also married again, got pregnant again (I will talk about that soon) and Brian was ecstatic, He had a parent that gave him the time of day.  I moved out from my parent’s home and soon had to parent.

I learned hard and fast, just how hard it was.

Okay back to the pregnancy.  When I found out I was pregnant again.  I cried, literally sat down and cried, because I did NOT want a 2nd child.  I couldn’t put enough time into the first one, much less a 2nd one.

Also during that time, I ended up divorced again.  *after only 6 months

David was sick from the get go.  Born a month premature, also with lung disease.  Born with sores all over his body from my water having broken early and not knowing it.

On the day of his birth Dec 21, I was alone.  I had gone to a routine apt and they said we are taking him now, Scared, terrified actually (way before cell phones) I tried to reach my parents, my mom was gone to the zoo with all of her grandkids, and my dad working, and I finally reached him.  By the time they did the C-section and I recovered, my aunt, my sister-in-law were there.  They told me how beautiful he was, red hair blue eyes.  Etc.  But it was Christmas time, and this particular hospital NICU was on a different floor.  I was not allowed to leave the floor without someone with me and he was not allowed to come up without someone with me (because of the C-section) I finally got to see my son after 5 days.  (His daddy never showed up, because he never received the message that I had given birth)

Finally get to come home from the hospital, and let me just say that a newborn a 5-year-old hyperactive boy and I was given out.  I made very bad choices in my life and not even a prayer to God for help, guidance and/or love I was lost totally.

By 6 weeks., David had pneumonia twice already and then ended up in the hospital.

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This was my wake up call.  To hear my baby in another room screaming from spinal taps, and IV’s and whatever else they did to him, I realized I had to wake up, be a parent and realize that my children needed to come first.

Then I get sick, with a devastating skin disease (yes there are those) and ended up with blood poisoning and was alone again and not able to parent right.  My oldest son, was my lifesaver, he took care of David, took care of me, and took care of our home.  He was amazing but just too much to be given to a then 6-year-old.  But by this time my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

So in a period of 6 years, I got married, had a baby, divorced, sister completed suicide,  married, pregnant, divorced, had a baby that was in NICU and then a baby that was seriously ill, I ended up seriously ill,  and a mother terminally ill then got REMARRIED (to the 2nd one again) and mom died, then…,. Husband was diagnosed with leukemia.

For several months on end, my children again had no parent with them. They lived with relatives again.

 

Okay, fast forward 20 plus years.  I am now the mother of 4 (my husband had two) and I am trying to be the best parent I can be.  I am in their life, I am madly in love with them, and I am so proud of their adult lives and enjoy my children.  They are such a blessing to me.

After years of learning disabilities, basketball games, cub scout and boy scout meetings and camp outs, and playing in the dirt, learning new things, struggling with chemistry, struggling with life choices, etc., my boys and daughter are the 4 blessings God has gifted me with that make my life so amazing

Then add in the 9 grandchildren.

I am so extremely blessed that my children still love me.  I have broken the cycle that we were in as a family.

I am continually amazed and #SurprisedbyMotherhood

Because as the mother of adult children, I can honestly say that I am so proud and so in love with those 4 Gifts from God.

I cannot even put into words how much I love them

 

Now the book Lisa-Jo Baker’s book Surprised by Motherhood, teaches that all moms will be #SurprisedbyMotherhood.  It’s what you get out of it, then give back that IS the gift.

Always He knits together what is separated, fractured, to create wholeness

I am encouraged by this book, but even more encouraged by the Gifts from God of motherhood, separation, reconciliation, and wholeness

It wasn’t pretty by any means, in fact it was downright dirty,

But now it’s whole, we have our issues, we have problems, we love deeply, but we love

Here is the trailer for the book Surprised by Motherhood.  I give this book 5 stars… IF I could give more I would!

 

Thank you Jesus for the gift of Tara, Brian, Paul and David.  Thank you for the gifts of my parents and for the gifts of teaching me what wasn’t right.

I may not can change what happened in their lives, but I can change what happens In THEIR kids’ lives to be that loving, kind, Memaw, that the kids can run to and take sanctuary is my #surprise

Because God gifts eternal forgiveness I know I can’t make it right, but I am forgiven.

 

Please get your copy of Surprised by Motherhood and know you will be blessed forever.  Your life will change from the words written on the pages there.  I have learned that no matter how messy it was, now it’s blessed by God and being a mom/Memaw is all I ever want to do

Purchase your copy of this book here

http://lisajobaker.com/surprised-by-motherhood/#

 

Get your sample of the first three chapters here

Sample Chapters

 

(copied from Lisa-Jo Baker)

Top 10 reasons moms are saying you should read this book:Because you need something to read when you are locking yourself in the bathroom for some quiet time – Angie click to tweet

  1. It’s a heart-to-heart from a friend who “gets it”- the hard, the hurt, and the heights of this mysterious messy miracle called motherhood. – Katie click to tweet
  2. Because no matter how old you are or how old your kids are, it still feels pretty fantastic to have someone tell you that motherhood (and you) deserve a medal, a superhero cape, and likely, a chocolate sundae. – Rebekah click to tweet
  3. Because it’s a reminder you’re doing holy work & also it’s OK to cry a bit when they get out of bed AGAIN.  – Alia click to tweet
  4. Because sometimes you need your friend to sit you down and tell you that what you’re doing right now – all of it – will build the love in our kids. – Andrea click to tweet
  5. Because it’s better than fried chicken. – Kate click to tweet
  6. Our mothering either comes from our own mom’s or in spite of them – Lisa-Jo’s journey is a beautiful combination of both. – Susan click to tweet
  7. Because Lisa-Jo really gets it… she gets the whole loving your kids and at the same time wanting to throw yourself on the floor and throw a tantrum of your own. – Julie click to tweet
  8. Because Mom’s need a guidebook, to go with their afternoon chocolate, while waiting in the school pick up line. – Kashoan click to tweet
  9. Because in my crazy, try harder life, I need a reminder that I really don’t want this mothering thing to be over. – Lori click to tweet

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.c
om/surprised-by-motherhood/#sthash.INlkNm7M.dpuf

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