getting married

We Can’t Give Up On Marriage

Hardly surprised that we were headed toward troubled waters again, I thought I knew enough to weather the storm (fairly) unscathed. After years of marriage, we’ve endured more than a few disagreements, but most of the time we’ve easily found our footing and resolved our differences.

Marriage is hard work for every couple, we knew that. Yet, when the winds of discord got stirred up this time, I almost abandoned ship. Continue reading

intruders enter

Home Invasion: The Night My Daughter Confronted An Intruder

My husband and I left behind the house we’d intended to grow old in. We gave up the magnificent dining room that we’d hoped to one day entertain our grandchildren in. We let it all go to protect our family.

We traded a beautiful, spacious, old home for the promise of greater security; because the once-grand neighborhood in which we’d resided became a hot-bed of crime as house prices declined and gang activity increased.

So, there we were sleeping soundly (in our new, safe, country home) about a year later, when our 7 year old daughter stood in the doorway of our bedroom and announced, “The man just left.”   READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog

stuff in your closets is holding you back

When The Stuff In Your Closets Is Holding You Back

Sometimes holding on to stuff is a wise decision. Why purge those out-grown onesies if they can be handed-down to a younger sibling? Yes, sometimes storing up stuff is necessary. But what about when the things in your closets are simply holding you back?

Let the Stockpiling Begin

It was 1995 when my family threw me a baby shower to help me welcome my firstborn. I still remember oohing and aahing over all those tiny new outfits and the sweet, bunny print bedding.

My husband and I had hoped, right from the start, to grow a big family and by 1999 we were well on our way. Seeing as our little ones were generally arriving every other year, it seemed prudent to keep a ready supply of baby items in the attic.  READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog

cleaning for success

Spring Cleaning for Success

“He’s on the roof again!” cried a younger son as he bounded through the back door. Not the least bit shocked, I knew exactly to whom he was referring.

Feeling compelled to do my parental due diligence, I put down my cleaning supplies and stepped outside to investigate. I wanted to be sure the accused teenager wasn’t trying to out-do himself by scaling new heights.

Not wanting to be detected, I stood, close-lipped, watching as my son mentally assessed the roof’s height and the distance to his landing target (a patio cushion). Looking on in amazement, I remembered my own fear of high places. READ the rest HERE  on Raleigh Moms Blog

bad attitude changed to gratitude

My Bad Attitude: How I Learned to Give Thanks for Family Challenges

We were headed in opposite directions, my husband to soccer and me to fulfill our weekly adoration hour with the rest of our brood of children. It wasn’t really anything new or extraordinary, single-parenting in adoration.

Admittedly during the adjustment period three years ago when we first began adoring as a family, two pairs of arms and eyes were needed to manage our youngest ones as the clock ticked off sixty minutes, but since then we’ve all learned how to spend an hour in the chapel with (relatively) few interruptions or needs for discipline. Continue reading

When Good Parenting Doesn’t Equal Good Results

Last Thursday, I found myself engaged in a parent-teacher conference of sorts. Since we’re home schoolers, parent-teacher conferences generally look like me getting pulled aside by a fellow parent so they can inform me of some disappointing situation my offspring has engaged in or facilitated.

This was one of those conversations. Continue reading

rosalini's pizza & sub restaurant

We Bought a Restaurant & We Home School, Too

For most of my marriage, I’ve been a stay-at-home mama and home school teacher. My spouse has been the sole bread-winner. When we purchased a restaurant in December of 2015, I assumed that the effect of our decision would be confined to my husband’s employment only. I never dreamed that our choice to buy an eatery would have such radical repercussions on our whole family life, including our home schooling. Continue reading

fighting for marriage

I Like My Drinks On The Rocks, Not My Marriage

How diligently I’d searched for just the right hair clip to draw back my auburn locks. Although no one was likely to notice my barrette with its pale peach-colored rosettes hidden beneath my flowing, white veil, I spared no energy in my search for it. The tiny fabric flowers continued the theme of my wedding gown which was adorned with clusters of silk roses. As a young woman, preparing for my nuptials, every detail seemed incredibly important.

What care I’d taken in preparing for that whole day. From the superfluous purchases, like finding the perfect shade of blush to compliment my complexion, to the necessary arrangements, like choosing matching gold rings, a great deal of time and attention went into making our wedding day perfect.

I did my best to prepare for the day, but I wasn’t quite as thoughtful about equipping myself for the life ahead. As a blushing young bride, I never dreamed of the heartaches, disappointments, frustrations and losses that we’d face in the years to come. READ the rest HERE

teaching kids to read

Teaching Kids to Read Can Do More Harm Than Good

 

My sister called to ask me for recommendations for teaching my 5 year old niece how to read. An old friend announced a few days earlier that his daughter had gotten accepted into transitional kindergarten. Someone else was touting the awesome school they’d just enrolled their toddler into.

While all of these parents want the best for their children, they’re being duped (by an education system that derailed a few generations ago and a cultural psyche that touts more as better) into believing that a focus on early academics will produce brighter students in the long run.

The trouble is that repeated studies and experience prove the opposite to be true.

An educator herself, my sister recognizes the deficits pervading her kindergartner’s lesson plans. Lists of sight words are the primary tool being used to raise her daughter to the status of reader. My niece is definitely one smart cookie, but memorizing pages of words at the tender age of 5 isn’t really her thing. And at 5 years old it shouldn’t have to be. READ more HERE

random acts of kindness

Motherhood’s Random Acts of Kindness

 

We’d just finished showering, the two-year-old and me, when I reached for the towel bar. Unfortunately, since I hadn’t planned in advance for our dual exit from the hot, steamy shower into the frigid, meat locker that is our bathroom in winter, my hands met with one dry towel and one damp one (left over from my husband’s solitary shower a few minutes earlier).

In a split second decision, I grabbed the dry cloth first and wrapped it around my little one’s pink, naked body. Then I proceeded to use the chilly, wet towel on myself. Working in high speed, I figured I could whisk away enough water from my limbs to stave off hypothermia.

Once this step was accomplished, I was forced to tip-toe across the icy tile floor to get from the bathroom mat to the laundry room rug (because again my morning brain hadn’t thought to have our clean clothes laying at the ready.) READ the rest HERE