The Perfect Gift is Closer Than You Think

The Perfect Gift is Closer Than You Think

The countdown is on with three weeks to go until Christmas. Which makes this my personal “crunch” week to make sure my decorating, initial baking, and shopping is done. Of course, as a perpetual planner, I’d rather check everything off my list ahead of time so I’m able to simply soak in the season as the days go by. (Not to mention, the college boy only gets eight days off before having to report back

All Good Things Come From Above

All Good Things Come From Above

After an extra-long weekend filled with turkey, pie, football (on television), basketball (college game streamed on my laptop), very little shopping, and some teenaged Birthday celebrating, I’m more than ready for our regular routines again. However, ’tis the season when the blessings…and the stress…overflow. Why? Because my to-do list between Thanksgiving and Christmas also includes two Birthday celebrations and some annual guardianship paperwork in addition to the usual shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking leading up

Things I’m Thankful For

Things I’m Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving Day later this week, I’m sharing my “Things To Be Thankful For” list with all of you. (And in the interest of full disclosure, a few of these were stolen, um, borrowed from some of the newsletter contest responses I received earlier this month.) Of course, I’ll probably keep adding more to this list every day, but it’s always good to get a jump start in order to put my heart

Contentment Is the Root of Gratitude

Contentment Is the Root of Gratitude

We’ve all met them at some point. The person who isn’t happy unless they’ve got something to be upset about. Gas prices. A slow traffic light. Road construction. The weather. Politics. Food that’s too spicy or too bland or too something. They walk around sporting a frown and a wrinkled nose at someone else’s choice of fashion or music. Even on vacation, it seems they just watch the world around them until the moment comes

Lessons To Learn As We Go Back to School

Lessons To Learn As We Go Back to School

For many in the teaching profession or with school-aged kids, this back to school season marks the beginning of a new year with new goals. To make friends. To try something new. To learn a key skill. To grow in stature or wisdom. To rid ourselves of extra weight…or braces. To discover more of who we are meant to be by exploring our strengths and weaknesses. With my youngest off to class tomorrow (8th grade),

Regrouping In The Calm Before The Storm

Regrouping In The Calm Before The Storm

School is around the corner and it’s getting more than a little crazy around our house. In the calm before the storm hits next week, we’re busy regrouping. Evaluating where we’re headed and checking to see what we need to climb the mountain of challenges ahead. There are school supply lists to shop for. Updated technology requirements and new chargers to locate since the old cords have shorted out. Lists of fresh dorm supplies and

When Baby Steps Are The Only Steps

When Baby Steps Are The Only Steps

Last week, I shared about our change of pace on vacation thanks to my son’s surgery and need to use crutches. Well, he’s now been given permission to start putting weight on his leg and have officially entered a new phase in his recovery and injury rehabilitation where baby steps are the only steps. First, weight-bearing with crutch- or cane-assisted walking. Until he can ditch the help and walk pain free. Then we work on

A Change of Scenery and A Change of Pace

A Change of Scenery and A Change of Pace

Sometimes we all need a change of scenery and a change of pace to shake us out of our doldrums, recharge our internal batteries, and realign our priorities. That’s why taking a vacation is such an important part of our workplace sanity and family health. By getting away from the normal routines and environment, our eyes are challenged to see new things and adapt to new routines. (Not to mention, the extra rest that usually comes

Running My Race By Staying In My Lane

Running My Race By Staying In My Lane

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” ~ Hebrews 12:1 NIV “The strength of a river is between the banks.” ~ Writer Cara Grandle on Periscope Sometimes it takes a different angle before we truly see the truth. Example? I know that familiar scripture about running the

Life Lessons From a Rubber Band

Life Lessons From a Rubber Band

The last month around our house has been a tad stressful. For me at least. The month started with a castle trip (fabulous!) and then a Special Olympics trip (good memories but blazing heat), followed by several weeks of revising a very-rough first draft manuscript, putting the polishing touches on The Author Toolbox blogs, planning the class I’m teaching next month, switching our family from cable to live streaming services (complete with a new internet