And the winner is......

On another note...totally not deep at all! I love Gwyneth, she has always been my fav and she is by far the best dressed of the Oscars..and since she is a mom- this blog post totally makes sense! She even inspired me (via her blog Goop) to do the Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis workout- which I will now have to actually use this week after seeing her in this gorgeous dress! I will keep you posted on my "metamorphosis"!

Who was your fav tonight- (since the fashion is really what it is all about)


Wisdom: Anything else to share?

This is the last wisdom post- I hope everyone enjoyed this as much as I have! It is such a blessing that we can join together as moms and learn from those who have gone before us. The other night I woke up and was just really pondering on this: "I want to focus less on MY plans for the future and instead focus on the ONE who holds my future in his hands." We can plan all we want for our lives and our children, but I think a better use of our time would be to seek the Lord and His plans and grow in our relationship with Him. It is a lot more fun and there is so much freedom in trusting Him with all of the details in our lives and the lives of our kids! Thank you to all of the moms who participated!! 

-CC: Take your children to church and Sunday School from the minute they can go to the nursery!  They will feel comfortable there always.  Every once in a while - take a day off and let your kids do the same.  Stay in jammies, eat on a blanket in the family room, play on the floor with your kids and for one day - refrain from saying "In just a minute". Also, you can never start teaching manners too early! 
-CC: (cool products), One of the best things that I have seen lately is the baby food maker from Williams Sonoma.  If takes the things that you are making for dinner already and introducing them to the baby early.  I think in the long run, they will be better and healthier eaters and you don't have to buy that nasty jar baby food.  Introduces texture earlier.
-MH:  Involved in community and neighborhood activities, meal time and bedtime prayers together--always
-MH: One thing I used to tell my students in Parenting class: If you want and/or need advice regarding parenting your child, ask a very white-haired lady who has raised more than one child.  I have had more people tell me this was better advice than anything they received from anything they had read.
-CC2: laundry can and will wait. Who cares if you have laundry baskets decorating each room?  Buy each person in your house a lot of extra underwear and you'll be fine.
Advise on food: don't always cater to their every whim, but don't be a food Nazi either, do you always want to eat what everyone else is eating? Buy a big freezer. 
-SC: Teach a good work ethic from the beginning, don’t assume they can't do something. They can do small tasks at a very young age.
-LG: (LG is new today! but such great wisdom to share for this last one!) Really, the only thing I wanted to say has already been mentioned by several of your friends…..When my kids were babies/toddlers, I wish I would have been more relaxed and worried less about every little thing.  Yes, I read all of the books, did the BabyWise things, was fairly obsessive about routines and scheduling, learning activities, etc. and have great kids to show for it.  But, I wonder if I were to do it again (15 years later), if I could relax and enjoy each moment more.  After having some more life experience, I’ve learned to let go a little more and trust that God is in complete control.  Of course, ask me again when I am finished with teenagers!  Time files!

Wisdom: Do you remember any activities or tips you used when you had young children?

Such fun ideas! 
-HJ: "Treat Club".  After afternoon naps we would crawl under the kitchen table and pretend it was a little clubhouse.  We'd get an after nap snack and make a really big deal of how cool it was to have our own little club - both my kids loved it and still talk about it.  Simple, but really sweet.
-CB: Singing, dancing, I wish that we would have done more outside fun time and not just sports.
-CC: I think children like organization and thrive in it.  When things are organized and done the same way, they feel secure and know the drill - less frustrating as a parent too, i.e.  bedtime ritual - putting jammies on, brushing teeth and reading a book.   When things were in chaos, everyone including me was in tears and trying to play catch up - no time for fun!
-JS: Get in a playgroup...we used to have one every Friday at 4pm.  Moms would have a glass of wine, kids would play and the dads would meet us after work.  We rotated houses between 5 families.  Highlight of the week for sure!
-SS: Easter egg hunts that included neighbor kids who didn’t know Jesus and sharing the Easter story, lots of swim parties. We were (actually still are) the “party house”. Make your house a place where their friends want to be. All you need is a big T.V. Lots of food and a Jacuzzi and you are set. Our kids friends still hang out here. Also we started a couple years ago “friends” Christmas. We have a group of 4 families and we have a Christmas celebration together. WE have kids that are in college and live out of state so once a year we all gather. We have been friends for years so this is a way to stay connected. We have had some great vacations but I think the kids love the simple things like camping. It doesn’t have to be Disneyland
-MH: Musical activities, reading books, watching children's TV programs, Sunday School, Church, Meals together
-BM: My kids loved dress up.  I would buy time for my chores by reading them a story, then they would have the project of dressing up and making play out of the story we read or their own original inspired from that story.  (while they worked on it I got stuff done... I'd tell them to rehearse it many times:). Then I video taped their play and we could share it with dad that night.  They always really liked that game,  and a few of the videos were real keepers that I still love to watch.
-AA: There were a group of moms that got together and organized different little field trips for our kids for us to do together in Wichita and close towns.  Trips they wouldn’t necessarily take in school, still educational, but fun and great interaction between different ages of our kids.  I also  tried to not accomplish too much in one day – to make a reasonable list and if it got done, great, if not – add it to the next day. I learned early on to not compare my kids with other kids – in sports, achievements, developmental stages, etc.  To love them where they are and not compare to others or even discuss with other moms… We played a lot of games early on and now we still do – when they come home from college or at holidays – our entire extended family loves to play games!! We watched sporting events very early on with them and we all still love to do that together.  Even when in college they are txting back and forth about a game we are all watching on TV  - gotta love jayhawk Basketball!! To try to focus more on Character Building moments vs. how they performed individually in a sport, music performance, school test, etc.   To focus on relationships more than the “prize” at the end.
-CC2: (a real scenario from a day-in-the life with 4 kids) “Mama wants to run a few errands alone, but child #2 begs to go along.  This will happen every time you leave the house.  Someone will want to go with you.  Take them, especially if it is just one child and you have multiple.  They need time alone with you.  We went to Hobby Lobby, the Library and to Walgreens. No excitement here, but I think it is just the daily "doing life" together that gives a relationship something to call "real."  I thought I needed time to myself, but advice: pay attention to and listen to what they don't say and you can often figure out what they need.  I am glad I took him! (And unless I really need a kid break, I never regret deciding to take someone with me, although I may not feel that way when I first say "yes").  Say yes whenever possible without loosing your authority. “
-SC: I read and read and read to my kids and they loved it. All day and at night before bed- I see my daughter do that and their kids cant go to bed without reading. Something so special about sitting down reading to your kids.  If possible, it is really great when the dad reads books to the kids, this is a great bedtime ritual! 


Wisdom: What information do you wish you would have known when you were at home with babies that you know now?

Good Stuff!
-HJ: I wish I'd known about  Bumbo Seats!  They weren't invented yet when I needed them...how did I ever make it?
-CC: That baby wipes take out any stain!!
-JS: that time FLIES by and before you know it they're in jr. high and NEVER home. Celebrate being with them, even when the days seem long!
-SS: this too shall pass
-BF: Don't get caught up in "right answers"  There are as many answers as there are kids.  However, listen to others and glean what might be right for YOUR child.  Be willing to try things.  And remember.....no one knows your child as well as you.(probably)   I would never give up trying to solve an issue.  Sometimes we are smarter than Doctors when it comes to our kid!
-MH: Times are so much different now than when I was a Mother of young children but  I believe my greatest failing as a mother with young children was trying to instill in them "What will people think" rather than "Is this pleasing to The Lord".  We were fortunate to have family and friends of all ages and my children were comfortable to be with all of them.  They knew how to behave and were always well-liked by them and that was important to me; not until they were older did I realize "me" is not the One who should be pleased with  their behavior---it is "OUR" behavior that I missed!
-BM: This too shall pass, and so much more quickly than you realize.
-CC2: There will be a day when you can sleep in again (We even ask whoever comes in our room first (to check if we are awake) to take the dog out! Lucky kid!)

Wisdom: If I could change one thing I did or did not do when my children were babies/toddlers, I would change...

I am sure we will all look back and be able to find something we would change about our parenting, but what a gift to be able to learn from others! 
-JM: I will speak for the infant phase with my first child: I wouldnt have been so anal with other people sticking to my rules. I would have allowed them to enjoy my baby and my baby to enjoy them! This applies especially to in-laws- they will not ruin anything you have worked toward when they keep or hang out with your child- even if they break all of your rules. I wish I would have “chilled out” with my mother in law and allowed her to enjoy my girls without her being stressed that she was “doing it wrong” in my eyes. Now that she has passed away, I would love to redo that.
-CB: Oh goodness, I would probably do a lot of things differently.  At the age of 24/25 I just went with instinct and a lot of prayer.  I did like schedules and I did like my "rest time" when they went down for an afternoon nap.  That was key for me.  Whether it was 30 minutes or an hour of sleep, reading, etc.  I had to have that time with no kids, no phone, just quiet to make it through the 2nd half.
-CC: I definitely think when you have babies at home that you have to give yourself a break every week, or every couple of weeks for an hour or so and have some "girl" time with your friends!
-JS: Not worrying about what everyone else was doing with their kids or how others were progressing.  Children are individuals and no cookie cutter plan works for everyone.
-SS: I can’t say that there is anything I would change. I am far from perfect and am grateful for Gods grace. I probably didn’t teach my boys to put down the toilet seat so they don’t. I was lazy in some of those etiquette areas. I think we had a fun house great family vacations. Erica would say that she loved Saturdays because we worked outside as a family in the yard an ate sandwiches on the front porch for lunch. I love that that is a favorite memory. I know I have friends who love in the place of regret with their kids . I think that is why god gives us grandkids
-BF: I would probably change the "attention" I gave to my spouse.  I was probably too caught up in parenting and perhaps forgot I was first a wife.
-MH: My priorities
-BM: I lost my temper too much
-AA: To just enjoy the moments with them, probably read more to them and not be so scheduled for my own activities, bible studies, tennis groups, etc.  Knowing that the one on one time with your kids before they go to school is priceless and you can never get it back.
-SC: I wish I would have enjoyed each season more than I did at the time. There is so much wonderment in each season, as moms we get to caught up in all of the little things- we don’t take time to enjoy the season we are in. Enjoy EVERYDAY even when it is hard.


Wisdom: What books or resources have influenced your marriage?

Make sure to comment if you have anything to add to these lists! 
-CB: Dr. Larry Crabb made a huge difference in our early marriage.  Also, our Mentors, Marv and Ellie Martin helped us through life through books, encouragement, example, and just being there to walk through it with us.
-CC: Hate to admit it, but I don't read alot of books.  I use the Bible and my devotionals and the Lord shows me things during the times that I'm in.
-SS: I love love love Marriage and Respect by Emerson Eggerich. I didn’t read the book but did the DVD series. Very impactful. Also Gary Thomas “Sacred Marriage”,  Shaunti Feldhein “For Women Only" and “For Men Only”
-BM: Marriage covenant group at church.  YPO seminars
-SC: The Bible has had the biggest impact on our marriage. 
-JM: Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, Dave and I read this together. Ladies, if your man has not read this book, buy it for him and you should read it too! Power of a Praying Wife is also great. 

Wisdom: What books or resources have influenced your parenting?

I love great resources, here are some great options for you and for me! 
-CD: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, The Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp, Baby Wise, Growing Kids God's Way both by Gary and Ann Marie Ezzo
-CB: We didn't have many resources when my kids were growing up.  Dr. James Dobson was just coming on the scene.  His books were helpful, but, as the Kids grew older, I spent most of my time in Proverbs.
-SS: The books that have most impacted my life are the Beth Moore bible studies. In regards to parenting Dr Dobson, Mark Driscoll, Gary Thomas, ( it has been awhile since I read a parenting book)
-BM: Price of Privilege, Queen Bees and Wannabes, The Good Son and if course just talking it through with my girlfriends and husband (this us probably #1)
-AA: We have read many many books,, there are several that stand out.  “ The Gift of Honor” and “The Blessing” , Spiritual mentoring of Teens,  The five Love languages, several other Gary Smalley books, both about kids and marriage.  Joe White’s books, both that we read and our kids read.   “Be There”  by John Trent. 
-JM: Of course, Babywise, Babywise 2, Toddlerwise, Childwise, Pottywise ...you get the idea, Love Gary Ezzo! 
-SC:Dare to Discipline”, “The Strong Willed Child” Dr. James Dobson 
(SC is new today, she is AMAZING, the mother to two, mother-in-law to 2 and grandmother to 6! Quite possibly one of the neatest ladies I know!)


Wisdom: Spank or Not to Spank, that is the question!

What a "hot button issue"! I love that every child is different and every parent is different! I will say this, we have five-six SHORT years to be the primary influence in our child's life (unless you home school); no matter the method, I want to take advantage of every training opportunity possible! (to clarify: of course I am not going to "check out" when they go to school- pretty sure I will be walking the halls!) ok, enough of me.... 
-CD: spank - but with an attitude of the spanking being FOR the child and not TO the child (best quote - "The child that does not learn to obey their parent's voice will have a hard time obeying God's voice." ~ Gary Ezzo
-CB: Following the Scriptures, I had a responsibility to train them up according to God's law.  That mean't when necessary and not in anger, you bet a spanking was in order.  They both are living and not scarred for life.  They learned to obedience.
-CC: I think you have to look at each child.  Some kids just need "the look" and others have to be shown consequences in a stronger manner and if you have one of those children then I think you sometimes have to spank.  Today especially, it seems that in our world there is no black and white, right or wrong, everything is in the gray area and there are no consequences.  I think we have to teach our children that there are consequences to everything and they have to be accountable.
-DW: Spank: seems like more spanking young age 1-5 meant less spanking after that
-JS: I've spanked when DANGEROUS situations are  involved (i.e. running in the street, etc.)
-SS: Spank
-BF: Spank......although I rarely did it.  They were good kids.  You need to set "boundaries" early in life.  Believe me, the kids want them!  After a certain age, it is both inappropriate and ineffective.
-BM: No spank
-AA: We kept the discipline of spanking for pretty major offenses.  But we did spank occasionally-with lots of love before and after.  We usually tried to discipline by taking away a privilege that was connected to the offense.
-CC2: Discipline example: “The boys like to set up Legos and other toys that have thousands of pieces, all of which they know they will get to pick up by the end of the day or the feared black "donation" trash sack will come out. Advise: Let them fear you, at least a little.”
-JM: I do think every child is different on what method of discipline is effective. For us, our first child has a strong will and we spanked a lot when she was 3-3.5 (after we tried time-out, taking things away, etc.. and those didn’t work) one day it just clicked, she didn’t want to be spanked anymore- now all we have to say is “make a choice how you want to act” and she almost always makes the right choice. My husband and I were just talking about how amazing it is that we haven’t spanked in a long time. Also, I always try to evaluate what is behind the “offense”- is it a result of disobedience, wanting attention, anxiety, selfishness, ungratefulness, disrespect, lack of self control, anger, lack of integrity, etc.... After everyone is calm, we discuss the issue behind the action. Results still to come!! :)

Wisdom: Public, Private or Christian Education?

This decision comes in the blink of an eye, I cant believe we are already having to think about it! As you can see, there is no right answer or formula, but it is fun to hear what worked for others! 
-CD:  I think it is important to step back and ask what the goal of education is before we can answer what system or place best meets that goal.  Read Proverbs 9:10.  Is education just an accumulation of facts with a diploma at the end or is it the accumulation of truth, knowledge, wisdom, and insight?  If it is the latter, then we, as parents are responsible for finding and giving that to our children.
-CB: Evaluating this now as a GrandMother, I am so glad that we did Christian Education.  Although I would have changed many circumstances, my Children learned to love the Scriptures of our one and only God.  Watching them accept Jesus at early ages played out well in both of their lives.
-CC: We never had our children in public school, so I'm not sure I am qualified to even answer this one, but I will say that having the kids in Christian schools through middle school really gave them the foundation that we felt was important.  To know that the school was walking with us as we were trying to teach them about the Lord and salvation I think really gave them the firm foundation that they needed spiritually as they left for high school.  High school was also private and probably sheltered them alot, but looking back that was OK!  They were introduced to the real world soon enough and honestly I think they had the maturity by then to make better choices then maybe they would have at any earlier age.
-DW: Depends on the situation; we did some Christian and mostly public
-JS: My dad was a public school teacher and administrator so we are public.  I think our area has several options though and would support either.
-BF: This is an individual decision based on so many things, like quality of the education in your area, the particular child, etc.  For us, I believe Christian Education was the best thing we ever did.  Those were dollars well spent!  It provided a little protection from a mess of a world! 
MH: Depends on the child, the school and individual needs
-BM: Public
-AA: For our Kids and our public school situation in our city, Christian education was the way to go for us.  We have nothing against public education, we just felt for our kids they could benefit the most from Christian education.  We didn’t necessarily see the real fruit until they reached high school, there was just something to say about where they went to be with friends and who they had as friends.  Most came from Christian homes with somewhat the same principles and rules as we had.  Also, once they went to a very secular, liberal university, they were very grounded in their faith and values.
-JM: Since I have been to every kind of school: Christian (Lutheran), Christian (non-denomination), Public, Private, Boarding School, Catholic, Large State University and Small Christian University- I am always going back and forth about what I want for my kids. I do know this...it depends on the school, the town and the kid! My brother who was one grade older, had a different experience at each school than I did. IF, Lord willing on funding, we are able, I would like my kids to receive a Christian education in the early years at least. I think the foundation is SO important in those years- meanwhile we are praying about it...a lot! It is a really big deal who you choose to influence your child DAILY at school! 

Wisdom: What has been your primary struggle in your marriage?

Marriage is the best thing and the hardest thing..at the same time! I have a feeling we will always need wisdom in this department!
-CB: Time.  Being married to someone that has demands in all areas of his life means that I am the benefactor on one side and sometimes lonely on the next.
-DW: Communication
-JS: Blessed to say not many but would maybe say consistency of parenting.  I'm the bad guy...he's the super fun Dad.
-SS: I have to say I am married to a very patient man so my marriage has not been my biggest challenge. I think realizing there is a purpose in our differences has really helped.
-BF: Communication......it's easier for some people to withdraw when the relationship is not "perfect"  It takes more courage and strength to communicate and work things out than to just accept a less than great marriage!  God desires us to have a GREAT marriage! 
-BM: Have to say I've been pretty lucky.  I guess time to talk.
-AA: When the kids were young, making them the primary focus of everything without devoting special time for just the two of us.
-JM: He doesn't seem to mind as well as my girls do! :)

Wisdom: What has been your primary struggle in raising your children?

Let's face it, we all struggle at times, that is when the Lord works on our priorities, our pride issues and allows us to grow as a person. What a blessing to learn from the struggles of others and see where those issues might lie with us and our kids. I want to have open eyes to my struggles and hopefully grow from them now. With open eyes.........
-CB: Staying on the same page with my spouse on how to raise kids.  Releasing control and accepting the loss of control.  Understanding Gods plan for my Children and not my plan.  OPEN HANDS TO THE HEAVEN'S IS ALWAYS A MUST.  When I closed my hands, I would take the control back into my own hands.  This didn't work out well.  Releasing did.
-CC: Sometimes I felt like I was so busy making sure everything was checked off, that I didn't REALLY enjoy my girls like I wanted to.  That is what has been so great about becoming a grandmother. 
-DW: Sometimes coming together as a couple with a united front
-JS: Fear of failure, theirs and mine.  I've learned that my definition of happiness is not necessarily theirs. 
-SS: Wow what is a primary struggle with raising my kids !!! It varies with their age . I think knowing that God is for them. There will be disappointments and that is so hard. We want or kids to be happy but that is not in their best interest. Life is hard and we are training them to look to Jesus. If life is easy who needs God. It is hard to have that perspective at time. I have seen my kids grow through those difficult seasons. That is what we want . We want our kids to grow and develop their own walks with the Lord. I also at times struggled with wanting my kids to look a certain way in their behavior because after all that is what a Christian should “look” like. That I realized was my pride and God has made that obvious to me.
-BF: My primary struggle was probably giving up my career.  I never regretted it at all but it was still hard.  Motherhood is thankless at times and time-consuming.  It has the greatest rewards in the long run!!
-BM: Jumping in to situations too emotionally before really hearing what they are saying/meaning
-AA: Probably staying consistent with our parenting with each child even though they have different strengths and weaknesses.


Wisdom: What is your best advice for maintaining a healthy marriage with children?

Here is question 2, I am going to have to post 2 per day so I can get all 13 questions in this week! Enjoy! 
-CB: Your spouse is your life-mate, your children are gifts that need Roots and Wings.  The choice of a mate is the most important thing you do next to choosing to serve Jesus Christ, so you better plan on going the distance with the mate of your choice.  Once a year trips just the two of you is necessary, And reasonable bedtime hour (8:00) for children in their own beds is a must and non-negotiable.  Download time without distractions is necessary.  COMUNICATE-COMUNICATE-COMUNICATE. 
-CC: Definitely have a date night and a yearly vacation with your husband.  Most importantly NEVER get so busy that you each find yourselves doing your "own" thing to the point that you are not doing anything together.  I think women who have busy husbands find themselves totally involving themselves their children and their activities, or their own activities that when their husbands do come home, there is no room to fit them in.  They have been so busy "handling" everything that they convince themselves and make their husbands feel that they are not needed and are guests and before you know it - they are and you become strangers to each other.  Went through this and by the grace of God, we came out on the other side of this!
-DW: Save some energy for your husband
-JS: Find a baby-sitter, make him/her part of your family, pay them well and use them often to reconnect with your spouse.
-SS: maintaining a marriage takes effort. What is my husbands love language, do I respect him? We have fun together date nights and get ways are a must. When I talk with young women who struggle with leaving their kids for a kid free vacation they feel so guilty. I tell them they are doing this for their kids . This is so important . Our marriages needs to come first. Gary Thomas has said that god doesn’t use marriage to make us happy but to make us holy. It is an invitation to grow and growing can be painful.
-BF: You must take time for the marriage.  It has to be healthy for the FAMILY to be healthy. It's very tempting to put all your time into "motherhood"  but we are called first to being a good "wife"   Please have "date night" and other time in the relationship that is not centered around the kids.  Get a sitter and make TIME for your marriage!
-BM: Time away from the kids on a regular basis and let your kids know that your first priority is always your spouse.
-JM: I always love Ephesians 4:26b“...Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”

Wisdom: What is your best advice for raising your children?

Here we go, Question #1 was: What is your best advice for raising your children? (see previous post "Wisdom: The Panel" for information about the initials listed)
-CC: Don't take everything so serious - dinner will get made,  the laundry will get done, your house will get cleaned (maybe).  If you worry to much about these things than you will totally miss out on enjoying and getting to know your kids.  I should have put the windex down sooner!!  You can never get this time back!
-DW: Be consistent, mean what you say & follow through…don’t keep giving idle threats;  & realize the difference between childish irresponsibility and direct disobedience and respond accordingly
-JS: Don't take everything so seriously.  Women have been raising children for millions of years.  LOVE them first...the rest will come.
-SS: (my best advise for raising kids and a healthy marriage is walk closely with Jesus. That will positively affect you parenting and your marriage.
-BF: Must seek the Lord for the right answers.  Even when my kids didn't  agree w/ me, my girls ALWAYS knew I loved them more than life!  I reminded them that I was doing my very best and that they were my priority. They could always choose to do it differently when they were a Mother.
-MH: they are people; talk WITH them; LISTEN to them
-BM: Ask them questions and listen to their answers.
-CB:  Laugh as much as you can.  Even on stressful days try to find time to laugh with them.
-AA: Besides many hours of prayer…To enjoy the  moment- every stage and age gets better, but also  flies by… unless you stop and savor the moments…even the “messy” ones.
-HJ: As parents we are the primary FOUNDATION builders of our children's lives and we are living in a world where the main goal of the enemy is to destroy those foundations.  One of the ways we foundation build is by keeping our kid close and making sure we have lots of TIME with them to teach and train them, build great relationships with them, and of course have FUN! If he can steal our time, he can distract us and throw us off the job we've been given by the Lord.  He wins...we lose.
Psalm 11:2-3 "The wicked bend their bows that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.  If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
So, I guess my best parenting advice (to myself first and foremost!) in these crazy days we are living in is I need to be seeking the Lord like never before every day and filling myself with His TRUTH that's found in the Bible so that when those arrows fly (distractions/lies of the enemy/lies of the culture/world/media) I will be able to identify them and extinguish them (with God's truth) right away! Questions I ask myself all the time are "What things can go(or totally need to go)?  Are we too busy?  Is that activity or commitment truly beneficial or simply a distraction? Are we being media-centered instead of relationship-centered?  Is my time with the Lord my top priority? Am I feeding on God's truth or cultural junk? As we determine to seek the Lord we can know that even in these super crazy days He promises to "show us great and marvelous things we wouldn't know on our own" - Jeremiah 33:3.  As a mom trying to raise my precious children in wild times that gives me peace and stokes my fire to keep focused on foundation building!  I can be sure that when I don't know what to do or how to handle a particular situation with them, I'm not alone and He will give me great ideas and strategies that are perfect for each of my kiddos individually!
-JM: Be consistent, if you train at home you wont have to train as much in public- do not tolerate things at home that you do not want to happen in public- I try to focus my discipline on the "heart" issues more than the "image" issues.


Wisdom: The Panel!

My Panel of Experts!
I am using initials to protect the identity, but I wanted to include this info, so that you can get to know the person behind the answers a little bit- maybe you can relate to some of them!

JM: (this is me! not that I am an expert or that you care, but it might be fun to see my answers now and when I have teenagers! And for new moms, there is already a lot learned in 4 years of mommy-hood!) Kids ages: girl 4, girl 2. About Me: event planner & blogger :). Married 7 years
SS: Kids gender/ages- girl 24, boy 22, boy 19. About SS: Bible studies, mentoring young women especially young moms and young wives, love to shop for shoes,  jewelry, makeup I am a real girlie girl, love to exercise especially walking outdoors, great food and spending time with friends, great wine and reading. 28 years of marriage in May
AA: Kids gender/ages- boy 22, girl 19. About AA: Born to be a mom! –but had tons of early experience from teaching hundreds of children to swim and watching the parent/child relationships along the way. Years Married: 25 and goin!
HJ: Kids gender/ages- girl 10, boy 6. JM Notes on HJ: this is one of the most creative moms I know, she has a way of “training” her children like no one I have met. Her kids are mature beyond their years. She home-schools her kids and is amazing at it. Years Married 15
CD: Kids gender/ages- boy 20, boy 19, girl 14, girl 11. About CD: biology teacher, school administrator, horses, Bible teacher. Years of Marriage: 21 
CB: Kids gender/ages- boy 33, girl 31. About CB: Passion=  Being a Grandmother and decorating on the side, having lunch with my daughter.  Years married:  35 1/2.
CC: Kids gender/ages- girl 32, girl 30, girl 27 About CC: Community Volunteer and Rep for Women's Clothing Line. Married 34 years
CC2Kids gender/ages- girl 13, boy 11, girl 9, boy 7. About CC2 (according to JM): Amazing mom who home schools (and does an awesome job at it), a nurse by profession. We have been married 15 1/2 years
DWKids gender/ages- girl 36, girl 33, boy 32, boy 29. About DW: Camp Director, Teaching Precept Bible Studies. Married 38 years
JSKids gender/ages- boy 12, boy 10, boy 7. About JS: CPA by trade, passion for sports, exercise, cooking. Married18 years!
BF: Kids gender/ages- girl 27, girl 24. About BF: retail business Co-owner. 33 years married
MHKids gender/ages- girl 59, girl 57. About MH: Retired teacher with numerous interests. Years Married: Almost 60 altogether; 30 1/2 yrs. in first marriage; almost 29 yrs. on second marriage
BM: Kids gender/ages- girl 14, girl 11, boy 10. About BM: it's been too long since I've done anything "expertly" that is non kid related! (JM Note: BM is an amazing busy mom, her kids are involved in EVERYTHING and so talented- she gets it all done!) Married 19 years
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