12 Hugs a Day

hugs_dogRenown psychologist Virginia Satir once stated,

“We need four hugs a day for survival.  We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.  We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

I don’t know if those numbers have been scientifically proven, but I do know the power of a hug. [Read more…]

5 Steps to a Decluttered Life

Einstein bannerHope your summer was a great one. I spent mine attempting a total declutter of my home (still not quite finished), and that led me to thinking about decluttering the mind and emotions.

I remember reading once that Einstein didn’t even know his own phone number because his philosophy was to never clutter his mind with things he could easily look up. And that was the secret to his genius—his mind was free to glimpse into the mysteries of time and relativity.

Because I’ve always been a super-busy person with a tendency to take on more than I can handle, I’ve spent most of my life with a cluttered mind—a mind overwhelmed with the tasks, schedules, information and activities I needed to juggle in the course of marriage, family life, home schooling, being a pastor’s wife, and managing a business. I was a victim of cluttered emotions as well after enduring the inevitable emotional upheavals we tend to experience as we grow older. [Read more…]

The Early Morning Book Club

book_with_heart3I came across an interesting article about a father named Jeff Gunhus who was concerned that his two boys didn’t like to read. So he created what he called the Early Morning Book Club.

My boys were the same way. Even though they knew how to read, there were always much more interesting things they’d rather be doing, like building forts or playing knights and castles. And the typical school-like beginning “readers” just weren’t exciting enough to capture their interest. So we wound up scouring the library for books that boys would love and would pique their interest in reading. Now all three are avid readers. [Read more…]

50 Things to Say Before You Die

girls_whispering2You’ve read the lists that compiled the 50 or 100 places and things you must see and do before you die. These lists are great for reminding you how short life is and for showing you what you’re missing.

I want to share a different list I found on Andrew Galasetti’s website, Lyved.com. It compiles 50 things to say before you die. [Read more…]

Prepared For a World That No Longer Exists

earthMy husband and I grew up in what is now considered the dinosaur age. Those of you who did not live through the 1960s may find it hard to grasp the radical shift in American culture during those years.

In the fifties, people’s lives were lived pretty much as they had been for generations. Fathers worked at the same job for years, mothers usually stayed at home and raised their children, and neighborhoods were places where everyone knew everyone else and you and your neighbors shared the same values and many of the same religious beliefs. Picture “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” in your mind and this will give you a pretty good idea of the kind of life we were being prepared to live. [Read more…]

100 Days Left! Go for it!

Reach for the moonDid you know that on this Sunday, September 22, there will be only 100 days left in 2013?

It’s hard to believe the year is coming to a close. Most of us who are homeschooling are still settling into a school and family routine after a summer break, Thanksgiving is around the corner, and then the Christmas holidays. So with all that going on in our lives, the year is practically gone already.

Think back to January 1 — what were your plans and dreams for this year? What did you want to achieve? Have you reached those goals?

If you’re like me, “LIFE” has a way of taking over my life and a lot of the goals I started the year with were abandoned before Spring. Now I’m wondering where the year went. [Read more…]

An Introvert Trapped in an Extrovert World

body_languageHere’s my confession. I’ve always been an extreme introvert in a world that values the “Extrovert Ideal,” a world that expects people to conform to this ideal whether they are extroverts or not. Because of this, I have spent a lifetime working on my social skills and learning to act like an extrovert. I’ve gotten pretty good at it in short bursts, and have reached the point where sometimes I actually enjoy it.

(What is the “Extrovert Ideal,” you ask? A person who is outgoing, confident, socially savvy, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight. These personality types are considered “smarter, better-looking, more interesting, and more desirable as friends,” according to Susan Cain’s research in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.) [Read more…]

Don’t Eat That Marshmallow!

For some reason, I began thinking about The Marshmallow Tests today and thought I’d share about them because they are a great lesson in the benefits of being able to delay gratification.

In the late 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel, a psychology professor at Columbia University, performed a series of tests on preschoolers referred to as “The Marshmallow Tests.”

Mischel “tested” over six hundred 4-year-olds by putting each child in a broom closet-sized room alone with no distractions and only a child-sized table and chair. On the table were a bell and a plastic plate. [Read more…]

25 Ways to Talk So Kids Will Listen

conversationTrying to communicate with your children can be a  a hair-pulling exercise. And it’s a crucial skill for homeschooling parents because, unlike our public school counterparts, we are with our children 24/7 which presents an amazing number of opportunities for communication misunderstandings. For that reason I highly recommend the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It has saved my sanity (and my children’s sanity) many times. It’s a cool little book that breaks down communication with children into a series of best practices with a cartoon format that’s fun to read.

I was looking something up on Google this morning and noticed that someone has compiled the suggestions in the book into a list of “25 Ways to Talk So Kids Will Listen.” I’m not sure exactly who wrote the original article because it’s been posted on the internet a dozen or so times with no attribution, but I think it was originally on Dr. Sears’ website and you can see the original list here.

It is worth repeating, so here ya go! [Read more…]

Daring Greatly in a “Not Enough” Culture

Dare_GreatlyI’ve been reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. My assessment—it’s worthwhile reading, but certainly not worth all the hype it’s been given by Oprah and the media. Most of it is just common sense that she’s backed up by research and built a following around because of her popular TED talks.

But before those of you who love Brene Brown skewer me for my opinions, I’d like to share a little of what she says about shame-based parenting, which I thought was excellent.

Last year I wrote about an incident at Costco where I watched a mother try to shame her little boy into compliance. He was four and having trouble balancing the flimsy cup Costco gives you for soda. So, naturally, being a four year old with a flimsy cup and a wiggly body, he spilled his drink.

[Read more…]