Monday, February 14, 2011

KID Find!

My 9 year old son and I watched this today:

Where the Red Fern Grows (DVD, 2010) 
This is the 1974 movie rendition of a children's novel written by Wilson Rawls. It is about a boy who raises two coon hound hunting dogs during the 1930's in the Ozark Mountains.

There is a wealth of character development here for a young boy. I especially enjoyed watching the father guide his son into manhood.
Additionally, it is a good movie to prepare young children for the sorrow in life, yet, provides hope in the midst of it. The two coon dogs meet a mountain lion and both dogs die. When the family moves, the boy is discovered at the graves of his beloved dogs, saying good-bye. He notices a red fern growing between the dog's graves. According to Indian legend, only an angel can plant a red fern and wherever it grows is sacred. With this sign, Billy is finally able to recover from his loss.

It reminded me of how there is always a glimmer of hope no matter how bad life gets. I like that concept being passed along to my children.

We will read the book in a couple of years but head's up: Walmart has the 1974 version of the DVD for 5 bucks. There have been a few remakes since then.

Friday, February 11, 2011

By George, I think she's got it!

This mom of 9 children (with 2 sets of twins!) has done a wonderful job of what this site is all about. I don't know if she reads Mom Stuff, and I certainly don't take any credit. I'm just thrilled that she's "got it".

It's too easy to copy someone else and even covet who they are. That leads to discouragement and it spills out in how we mother.

Learn from each other, depend on each other ... but for goodness' sakes, be who God designed you to be and know that He did it for a reason!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


(an entry for the Prosperous Writer Prompt)

I suspect many writers are introverts. They gain their energy from within themselves: thinking, reflecting, and writing. That said, I wonder if the caution and lack of ambition for some writers is simply because it is not a natural part of their personality? It may take some learned extroverted personality traits to be enterprising.

If in order to become enterprising, it requires undertaking a project that will change you and cause you to grow, my suggestion is finding a writer friend that is more extroverted. He or she will be naturally enthusiastic, encouraging, and a great nudge!

Additionally, the introverted writer has to believe in him/herself. Outside circumstances cannot be the final say in success. There will be wins and losses. A writer has to weather the rejections, losses, disappointments ... and keep going ... not spiral down into themselves. The creative energy within has to be projected beyond inner thoughts to think big! Yup. These writers need their imagination to go beyond the written page and into the future of possibility.

Writers have to stop saying almost apologetically, "I'm just a writer", like a mom may say, "Oh, I'm a stay-at-home mom".  Enterprising will come when the writer treats his or her craft as valuable. They will then progress to making a living at it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I took my own advice...

and went out into the snow to play...

so I made a snowman while my son worked on an igloo...

the plowed up snow made a great base...

1 1/2 hours later... ta-da!

I feel accomplished.

Monday, February 07, 2011

there is an end in sight!

Don't get me wrong. I am not promoting hurrying through the days of mothering young children so you can be free from the work. But there are seasons and you will get to a place when it slows down. Once a mom always a mom. It just changes.

That said, it's wonderful when they are grown up and want a Super Bowl party! The house gets clean without you asking! The food gets bought and prepared!

Me? I'm just sitting here with my laptop, my feet up on the heat register, watching it all.

Wooo hooo!

Friday, February 04, 2011

to be or not to be.

Some moms are so efficient that every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed. At the end of the day they feel a sense of accomplishment.

Some moms are less efficient and more time is spent finding that misplaced "i" and "t".

And some moms didn't even know there was an "i" or "t".

We come in quite an array of colors, shapes, and sizes don't we? There is no one-size-fits-all.

Don't spend time trying to be someone else. We can get ideas from each other and implement tried and true methods. But in the end, do you have your child's heart?

I started out as an i-dotter and a t-crosser. Somewhere into 5-6 kids it broke in me. It didn't crush me since I am who I am and God wired me this way. What broke was the incessant need and burden I placed upon myself to be perfect. What your kids do cannot be more important than who they are.

Routines, order, and structure is good. But so is chilling when a day or two goes by and there are undone chores.

(I cannot speak to moms who are on the other end of the scale but feel free to comment here on your struggle and/or success in finding balance)

In the end, I think we place upon ourselves more than God does.

If flexibility isn't your thing and you can't remember the last time you laughed, then MAKE yourself go outside today and play in the snow with your kids!

If you are too flexible and find you are easily distracted, then MAKE yourself get that laundry done!

Bottom line, you are the right mother for your children. You know what is best for them. But don't be afraid of some tweaking.  : )

Sunday, January 30, 2011

KID Find!

George Washington   

The Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire books are treasures for the K-6th grade crowd. They were published in the 1930's and are not tainted with political correctness. The illustrations are well done and they are all around a good set of books to purchase. With President's Day coming soon, a good read is George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Friday, January 14, 2011

getting back on track.

On the perfectionist scale, I used to be a 9. Bringing this into mothering ... well, it had to go. It didn't go over night but in time, I whittled it down to about a 4.

Our strength is our weakness and perfectionism can be beneficial. People like us not only are dependable but we are thorough. The fault is that we can be too hard on ourselves and the people around us. Know this non-perfectionists: we are harder on ourselves!

Having 8 kids brought balance. When #2 came along, despite his extremely calm demeanor as a baby, it did me in. I couldn't keep everything going perfectly so some things had to go. By the time #3 came along, it was much better.

Yet, it was a process. I remember turning a monumental corner in 1996 after baby #7 came along, and with 5 in school. I threw out my homeschool planner. I had found myself spending far too much time writing in it. When I stopped, I found I was much calmer and happier. There were only so many hours in a day and an hour back then was precious.

I still have perfectionist tendencies, but they have been tempered by the "school of hard knocks". I'm still learning, but my outlook on life is much more pleasant. Perfectionism and worry usually go hand in hand and when you realize that much of life is not in your control, you relax.

How do you stop perfectionism? Like anything else in life. You walk through your daily life, take it as it comes, and grow through it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


This is a side note that applies to me personally but applies to moms, too, so it fits here! (which I accidentally posted on the blog it is intended for instead of linking here - sorry)

I've been a full-time mother/homemaker of 8 kids and homeschooling for 25 years (3 still at home). As much as I value my role as said mother/homemaker, I still feel like I'm in the shadow (howbeit not as large and looming as it was) of the "professionals". Mainly, because when I am done, there is no monetary reward. Money cannot buy what I have invested in the lives of my kids but the fact remains: there ain't no retirement check!

I have had one article recently published and received payment. I am a contributing author (now that word took some getting used to) to 2 e-magazines. I soon realized it was time to become more confident in defining myself or I wasn't going to get very far.

I've got to believe in me. I've got to believe in my writing. After gaining ground here, and getting paid for my writing, then I can be more comfortable in calling myself a professional.

Point being, there are changes that occur when your children grow up. You may have put some things aside in order to be available to your children. Or, like me, you discover new things about yourself. Whatever it looks like, be assured that how you define yourself will show. Whether it is being an author, artist, musician, volunteer, seamstress ... the list is unlimited ... being confident in your craft and who you are will speak professionalism. Consumers are looking for polished, top-notch products and everyone of us has it in us to produce it.

a new day.

The New Year brings reflection of what was and anticipation (or dread) of what will be. As New Year's Resolutions prove, we are good at becoming overwhelmed by seeing too far ahead.

Then make it simpler. Not a new year but a new day.

The world operates the same day in and day out. The sun rises and it sets. It's predictable. There's truth to the adage, "the sun will come out tomorrow".

It's okay to get off track. Just get back on and pick up where you left off. You are not perfect. You are not indispensable. Does the sun need your assistance? I didn't think so!

Today is a new day. How will you live it?