Private college tuition. Gulp.Times two this year. Double gulp.Medical bills from a kiddo’s recent hospitalization, labs, tests, and follow-ups.Air conditioning that doesn’t work (in TEXAS!).Recent home renovation that overshot the budget.1968 plumbing.A car way past 200,000 miles, ready to give up at any time.Competitive dance.Ouch!When we look at our family’s budget, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We are creatively looking at ways to cut expenses and decide where to spend[…]

Here it comes again. That unexpected gut punch of parenting a high school senior in the spring. Last show choir performance, last choir concert, last banquet, last prom, graduation… I’m so ready for her to spread her wings, and she’s so ready to fly. But, then again, I am devastated to know she is about to take off without me. She can’t wait to leave one minute, but then wants[…]

Why do we even let our kids do this competitive thing? Why would we invest time, energy, and money in dance? Here are four fabulous reasons.1.  It literally makes them smarter.Dancing encourages synapses between the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain. Gross motor skills interact with rhythm, creativity meets the beat, and counting gels with gracefulness. As these pathways of communication between brain hemispheres[…]

After an intense day at a dance competition, Rich and I needed toothpicks to prop our eyes open for Bethany’s solo awards at 11:15 p.m. We settled into our “wake me when it’s over” slump in our seats, half listening for the title of her solo, Bluebird, so we could whoop and try to remember which medal the judges decided for her. (This weekend it would be High Gold, Platinum,[…]

I take extreme measures to avoid girl scouts in February. When the doorbell rings, I dive and roll. When they have a table set up at the grocery store, I take an alternate entrance.You see, I have a weakness. One bite into peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness, and the whole box is gone. Then I look for another box. Not long afterward, I feel really, really sick and angry at[…]

I sat down for coffee with my creator this morning, and this is what came out. You are always with me. You created me. You know me. You LOVE me. You love the good and the bad that make me “me.” You are in every detail and care about every detail. You know the plans you have for me, and you can’t wait to see them happen. You delight in[…]

Are you stressed out? Running on fumes, snapping at everybody, always tired? I’m talking the kind of stressed out you are when you get all the way to your daughter’s dance studio before realizing you don’t actually have your daughter in the car? (Yes, I really have actually done that.) I know some people who are totally calm and seem to keep their head in all situations. I want that![…]

We have an ongoing family joke that we should try to work the word “nourish” into our prayers as many times as possible. It all started when one of us was put on the spot to pray out loud before a meal in front of extended family members and actually said the word “nourish” seven times. Really. SEVEN times. How do you pray for your children? Do you stick with[…]