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Responding to the Call

Submitted by kim on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 23:55 in Adoption, Parenting

The Facebook message from my friend, Beth, caught me off guard.

She wrote, “Do you remember that my mom is an adoption worker? She has a very special little girl that needs to be adopted. I have no idea if adoption is in the realm of possibilities for you guys, but when Mom talked about the ideal family for this little girl and asked if I could think of anyone at church that might be interested in adopting, God brought you to mind. Mom was in such agreement that you guys could be a great fit that I had to let you know. If interested, contact my mom.”

I read the message aloud to Rich. “Have we met Beth’s mom?” I asked him. “Did you know she was an adoption worker?”

Do I Have What it Takes as a Mom?

Submitted by kim on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 16:09 in Lessons for Mom, Parenting

I had thirty minutes to waste at Barnes and Noble last weekend and walked out with John Eldredge's Fathered by God: Learning What Your Dad Could Never Teach You. I didn't intend to by a book on manhood, or even intend to buy a book at all. But when I thumbed through Elderidge's book, a chapter title caught my attention: Cowboy.

Just like I buy books without intending to, I have raised cowboys without setting out to do so. We have lassos, hats, dusters, and more boots than I can count. And somehow I've raised these cowboys while living in the suburbs of a large city. Without horses.

Family Read Alouds for Advent

Submitted by kim on Mon, 11/26/2012 - 12:18 in Character Building, Homemaking, Parenting

I have a box of Christmas things marked "OPEN BEFORE THANKSGIVING." It contains the items we need to celebrate Advent: our wreath and candles, booklets of Advent readings from previous years, our Christmas music CD's, homemade nativity scenes, and three of our favorite family read-alouds for the Advent season.

Jotham's Journey - A story of young Jewish boy, the son of a shepherd, who gets seperated from his family.  In the process of searching for them, he finds the Savior!

Building Relationship Bridges

Submitted by kim on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 21:56 in Character Building, Marriage, Parenting

We had the opportunity this fall to visit the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin with a group of volunteers. We spent a Saturday cutting firewood for the tribe's senior citizens. As our group processed what it meant to be invited onto the reservation, we were challenged to think of ourselves as bridge builders from one culture group to another, and then further challenged to think of tangible things we could do to build bridges.

Our list, written on wood, became an actual bridge of simple things that establishes and deepens relationships.

A bridge builder:

The Packing Starts

Submitted by kim on Sat, 07/28/2012 - 01:51 in Parenting

Three weeks from today we'll take our fifth child to college for his freshman year. We've done this before; all summer I've falsely believed that fact would make this new transition easier. But as I shared coffee with my son this morning and started making the packing list, I felt the familar tug on my heart.  And an occasional lump in my throat. He's leaving. Very soon.

It's a strange process to go through as a parent and a family. This letting go doesn't come easy.

Tolerating Board Game Arguments

Submitted by kim on Wed, 07/25/2012 - 20:17 in Parenting

We spent last week with my extended family.  My brothers and I are scattered around the United States now, but every year we meet in our home town, Lakeside, Ohio.

We grew up as year around residents of this summer Chautauqua on Lake Erie, an experience that I visit frequently in my writer's notebook. These annual summer trips not only give inspiration to my personal writing, they also give my children a chance to live with their uncles, aunts, and cousins for a week.

This year, my boys and the uncles discovered the iPad Monopoly. They played a lot.

A Faithful God Hears

Submitted by kim on Tue, 07/10/2012 - 20:44 in Lessons for Mom, Parenting

We planned our summer vacation for this moment.  2,623 miles.  And I couldn't watch.

He took a job out west working as a wrangler on a ranch this summer. The town's July 4th rodeo gave all the wranglers the opportunity to be cowboys.

He told me early June he was entering two events: Wild Cow Milking and Wild Horse Racing.

Wild Cow Milking was first.

His job was to chase down a roped cow and hold her still so a team member could milk her.

He had run and caught her three times, been tossed over her head, pressed under her weight, and dragged.

"Excuse Me, Daddy."

Submitted by kim on Mon, 06/25/2012 - 12:20 in Parenting

There are few things that annoy a parent more than a child constantly interrupting.  

We've all experienced it.  We're in the middle of a conversation with another adult and our child seems to need us every minute and a half.  From the parent's perspective, even the most polite and necessary requests can get annoying.  From the child's perspective, the need is real and urgent.  Both parent and child want something.  

Swimming Safely with a Family

Submitted by kim on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:00 in Parenting

There are some activities, like house cleaning day, when having a large family is a real blessing. And then there are other activities, like swim day, when having a large family not only makes the task harder, but can sometimes even be dangerous.

I took my son and niece swimming this week and was immediately reminded of swim days with littles in tow.  Our family started getting pool passes when our youngest was born. We went to the pool often, at least three afternoons a week.  Between those parenting experiences and being a lifeguard for six years, I have some strong feelings on mixing children and water.  

A few tips on swimming safely with a large family:

Book Review: Raising Real Men

Submitted by kim on Tue, 06/19/2012 - 20:36 in Parenting

Children don't come with instruction manuals.  But sometimes, one reads a book that almost seems like it could pass as a manual.  Such is the case when I read Hal and Melaine Young's Raising Real Men, Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys.

The Young's are raising six "real men." In chapter one, they outline what I felt was a dominate thesis of the book, "Convenient is not part of the job description of parenting, nor of boyhood."