Thursday, March 27, 2014

GIVEAWAY...and my favorite parenting book ideas

You could say one of my hobbies is reading Parenting books.  I like reading different philosophies and ideas and then incorporating some of the ideas into our family.  I don't totally subscribe to one philosophy, I take bits and pieces and use what feels best to me to use in our family.

There are thousands of parenting books and it is easy to get totally overwhelmed with information and ideas.  Honestly sometimes reading these books can be detrimental because you think they are the "experts" and start listening to them instead of your own intuition.  You are the real expert on your child and you should look at parenting books as a supplement to your own information and ideas about your child.  Don't totally take their word for it, but you can get new ideas and strategies from books about parenting.

One of my new favorites is  the new book "Motherhood Realized: An inspiring anthology for the hardest job you'll ever love."  It is a beautiful, real look at the role of Motherhood and the ups and downs but ultimately the joys of it.  I am on the "book launch team" (sorry if you are sick of hearing about it from me). This has been very exciting because this book is #65 on ALL of and has a real shot of making it to the NY times bestseller list.  We are making a big push for this week to try and get it on that list so that media opportunities will be more available.  This isn't to pad any one person's pocket, this is to promote the importance of motherhood and to join women together to help each other.  It would make wonderful Mother's Day gifts, baby shower gifts, birthday gifts for friends etc.... Consider buying one or two or ten.  You can buy it here  If you buy this week, there are some additional gifts from Power of Moms, read about those here

I have read an advance copy and it is beautiful.  It made me laugh out loud and made me cry. The best part for me was that these are short essays that I can read in 5 minutes and I can read in the carpool lane or while my kids are playing.  It's an easy way to get a bit of an uplift in a short time.   I will give a signed copy away if you comment on this post.  I will give it out (or mail it out) next week after I attend the book launch and get a few of the authors to sign it.   Who wants to attend the book launch with me??

Comment below with your favorite parenting book. 

So here are a few parenting book ideas:

Here are a few of my favorites:

How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk by Adele Faber

I didn't plan to be a Witch and a Joyful Mother of Children by Linda Eyre

Raising a Spirited Child by Mary Kurcinka (has fantastic ideas for raising any child)

Mitten Strings for God and The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison

Parenting with Love and Logic  by Jim and Charles Fay (don't love everything in it, but lots of great ideas in this one 

Deliberate Motherhood

If I Have to tell you one more time by Amy McCready (reading this right good)

The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Books I have not read, but have come highly recommended
Celebrate Calm (this is actually CD's and a website to subscribe to

The Game of Work by Charles Coonradt

Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

Hold on to your Kids: why parents need to matter more than peers

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler

Parenting books for the LDS Community:
Not every one who reads my blog is LDS, so I put this in a different category because of that.  Here are some of my favorites with an LDS perspective:

The Book of Mormon (seriously the best book to learn about parenting, it is all about families, it is all about imperfect families.)

The Power of Positive Parenting by Glenn Latham

Christlike Parenting by Glenn Latham (one of my very favorites)

Raising up a family to the Lord by Gene R Cook

Mothering with Spiritual Power: Book of Mormon inspirations for raising a righteous family by Debra Woods

I am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson

Sunday, March 23, 2014

ABQ retreat

I had a fantastic weekend in Albuquerque with Tiffany Sowby. We flew out at the crack of dawn, literally.  Our flight left at 6 a.m, it was crazy early but gave us a whole day in ABQ which was great, I hadn't ever spent any time there. We met up with Angela Brown who's husband is cousins with my husband and we have bonded through both having 5 kids and a totally crazy life and thanks to Facebook.

We met up with Angela (in the light blue sweater) for lunch, we had such a good time we decided to make it a girls night and get a hotel (we were previously going to stay at someone's house).  We had some therapy sessions, lots of good discussions about life and we laughed.....A.LOT.

The next morning we went to a beautiful home and met up with some amazing, deliberate Mothers.  We had amazing discussions and I learned so much from them.  I'll put my insights at the end of the post.  I was a bit nervous to present as it was my 1st retreat as one of the main presenters, but once I started it was SO FUN.  I really loved it so much.  I hope to be able to teach in this format more often.  

This is Tiffany, she is awesome.  She is the director of trainers for Power of Moms and I'm grateful she gave me this opportunity to do my first (hopefully of many) retreat.  Before we left, Dave asked me if I was nervous to spend so much time with her because we haven't spent much time together other than the two Las Vegas retreats, but I told him I thought we would get along and I was right.  I felt like we have known each other for a long time. We have a lot in common and had some enlightening, interesting talks.  We have plans to go to lunch together and dinner with our husbands in the future.

Here's some photos of the day, including one of me presenting :)

We had 4 babies there (the other had left already when we thought to take this picture).  They were SO good and so cute!   My babies would never have done that well, I was amazed.

 This is the team who made this day happen.  Jen  and Emily on the left were the ones who wanted to bring a retreat to ABQ and worked so hard to make it a go.  Registration was slow to happen so Jen, Emily and Angela worked their magic  and spent hours working on getting more people there.  Thanks ladies, you are awesome!
There is a real phenomenon called Post Retreat Letdown Syndrome.  It happens to everyone.  My youngest was a monster this morning.  He did not want to go to church, this is a picture of him in the car waiting in the parking lot until he calmed down (it took a LONG time).

It's an interesting thing to teach, because I always learn SO much from teaching others.  It was great to be able to participate in the discussions and learn from the people who attended.  Here are a few of my insights:
  • From our host who has grown children, when it comes to teens remember 3 things: don't take it personally, have a sense of humor and this is temporary!
  • Another insight is totally avoid getting into a discussion until you have a calm face, voice and body.  Otherwise it is just an argument and nothing productive happens.
  • Clear, communicated expectations are essential
  • Teaching kids to work, isn't just about hard physical labor.  Music lessons, sports and school can also teach important principles of hard work and persistence.
  • Life is long, you can have it all, just not all at once.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy...Theodore Roosevelt
  • How do we teach our kids that progressing and learning new things is a good thing if we aren't doing that?
  • How do we teach our kids to love themselves and not compare to others if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others?
  • My favorite insight.  I am so far from a perfect Mom, but I am a GOOD MOM because I am trying my best daily and I am 100% committed to my kids and I love them fiercely!
I am looking to hopefully teach some smaller workshops on this material locally. I am looking into teaching through community education or in people's homes with groups of women (if you want to host a workshop I would love to teach one).

A big HUGE shout out to my husband.  He is amazing, before I even asked him he took Friday off so he could be with the kids.  I came home to a fairly clean house and pansies planted in my front yard.  I LOVE flowers so he definitely spoke my love language.  He is wonderfully supportive, I'm so blessed.

I have attended 4 retreats which equates to interacting with 120+ women.  There are SO many wonderful, deliberate mothers out there who want to do their best.  It gives me hope that our society will be just fine.  This particular weekend these 22 mothers represented 88 children.  The ripple effects with be huge.  Even if they only implement one thing they learned it will strengthen their family and they will be better Moms.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shine on...

Have you ever found something that you were passionate about?  That makes you light up and "shine"? And then have you ever let your own self doubt and insecurities or others opinions stop you from pursuing that?

I have been thinking about quite a bit lately.  So many times I find something I love to do and then the thoughts come into my head such as..."you aren't good enough", "who are you to accomplish that?", "you are selfish to pursue something outside of your family."   I have turned from several opportunities or interests because of those thoughts.  I have a firm belief in God, but also a belief on the flip side of the good that comes from God, that there is also a darker power named Satan who does NOT want us to live up to our potential and puts those thoughts there.  He wants us to live in fear and insecurity because then it blocks us from fulfilling our God give potential.

It's not just with dreams or passions that it happens.  It happens every day in our lives, especially as Moms.  We never feel like we are enough.

An example of this is, I wrote a couple of articles, submitted them and was published on the Power of Moms website.  I have submitted a few more articles that were rejected and I haven't written and submitted anything since.  It deflated me a bit because that thought came, "See you don't have what it takes."  But seriously how many writers are rejected multiple times?  I am going to get back on that horse and write and submit again.

Tomorrow I am flying to Albuquerque with my friend Tiffany to be one of  two presenters at a Motherhood retreat on Saturday.  I wrote before how this was one of my dreams to do this, but this week those doubts have crept in and made me wonder if I can really do this.  Not to mention it's been a less than stellar Mothering week. Who am I to be telling other Moms how to be better when I cannot get my nearly 4 year old potty trained, or inspire my child to do better in school, or get my older boys to quite fighting with each other?

However, I do know that it is the principles I will be teaching are powerful and empowering.  It isn't me, it is the material we will be teaching.  Plus I am a real Mom in the trenches and I won't sugar coat that it is hard and can be mundane and frustrating.  But I also have found great joy and purpose in my Mothering by using these principles.

So I will hold on to that purpose I have felt with this opportunity and I will replace those negative thoughts with thoughts like this quote at the top from Nelson Mandela.

Do you have thoughts of fear and/or insecurity?  How do you battle those?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lessons learned....

I have learned so many life lessons lately from various are just a few.
  • Go to the funeral or viewing.  It doesn't matter if you knew the person who died, if you love their family just go.  It means so much.
  • does a mind good.  I have  completely different day when I exercise than when I don't, even my kids notice.
  • Go outside, dig in the dirt, play with kids, get that natural vitamin D.  It makes such a difference in my mentality when I spend time outside daily.
  • When someone's name pops into your head randomly, call them or go see them or write them a note.  It's not a coincidence you thought of them.
  • Snuggle with  kids in the morning, even if you think you don't have the time, do it.  It can change your whole morning.
  • Play freeze tag in the front yard when your 6 year old asks (even if the neighbors stare), you will have a blast and she will talk about it for days after...
  • Preserve the relationship at all costs, relationships are forever, schoolwork and scouts are temporary
  • Make sure your kids know you are on their team, that you are their #1 ally.
  • Raise the praise, minimize the criticize.  I have to learn this one over and over again.  I think I so much want for my kids to be their best selves that I focus on the things that they aren't doing, when in reality they are absolutely fantastic kids and I need to let them know I believe that about them.