Category Archives: parenting

Mother, did you know?

I was blessed to spend Christmas Day with some wonderful and rare women, all mothers to me in one way or another. We talk about Mary on Christmas Day because of her special motherhood. I think on Christmas Day, perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in family life, holidays, parenting | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Amazing Lemon Meringue Pie Time Machine

There was Nancy, eating lemon meringue pie in Amsterdam. She messaged me, that’s how I knew, and she’d made it from scratch just like our mom used to do when we were children, and Nancy, too, when she was probably … Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, health/cooking/food, parenting | 12 Comments

Last week of May in pictures

Someday life won’t be so overflowing with noise and ruckus, dirt and wild animals–and wild children, so dear diary, help me remember this for the quiet days ahead. Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, parenting, the ranch | 2 Comments

When you have to grow up with your kids

She is asking for her first bra; his feet just outgrew mine–they are working hard at the job of growing up, and I’d better grow too, because right now I can barely handle this change. When I unpacked his bag … Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, parenting | 1 Comment

To honor when it isn’t fair

Oh, grace to cleanse my irritated soul. The way she shuffles, asks again what day it is, tells me she forgot how to whistle, burps at the table, a thousand ways that need grace.
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Posted in family life, features, parenting | 7 Comments

Beware the secondhand stress!

I grew up inhaling secondhand smoke… maybe secondhand stress is just as deadly for children? Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, parenting, religion | 7 Comments

Sister Love, Brother Bear

How stitch by stitch, their souls were being connected in gracious love.
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Posted in family life, features, parenting, religion | 15 Comments

The Toothpaste Story

I hastily wiped my dripping hands on the red flowered towel hanging askew from the oven door and answered the commanding ring of the phone. “Hi, this is Jasmine, can I talk to Jaime?” trilled the young voice, obviously experienced … Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, parenting | 3 Comments

In the Garden with Children

How to have fun, grow food, and build character while gardening with your kids.
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Posted in education, family life, features, parenting, the ranch | 7 Comments

Corncob Dolls and Christmas Coming

It wasn’t Susan’s fault that she was only a corncob. Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she did it only when Susan couldn’t see. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods I caught my breath on these … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, features, parenting | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Merry Christmas from Diary of 1

Christmas Eve day. What a day of bustling, cheery, frantic activity for us. We’ve been sweeping the dropped needles, clearing out every dust bunny we can unearth, fine-tuning the best pie crust recipe ever, and generally preparing for this most … Continue reading

Posted in family life, holidays, parenting | 5 Comments

Dang, the kid can color!

I’m not one to pay much attention to developmental milestones in my children. But my five year old boy gives new meaning to “color inside the lines.” Here is what he accomplished last week, all in one sitting. I thought … Continue reading

Posted in arts & crafts, education, family life, parenting | 10 Comments

Boy’s eye view of science

My favorite photo from last week is my 10 year old son putting together his “Snap Circuit Set.” He needs a more advanced electricity kit because he does this one by heart and so fast it would make Franklin and … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, features, parenting, science | 10 Comments

She’s a Biologist

“Mommy, can I cut the lizard open?” JJ questioned very matter-of-factly. She had just come in from checking on her latest lizard, a big fat one she was sure was pregnant with dozens of eggs. She had felt little bumps … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, science, the ranch | 8 Comments

Swimming in April?

I thought I was celebrating spring, not summer. But I have brave kids. Central Oregon, April 5, 4:00 p.m., 66 degrees. I’m wearing a sweater. But blue sky, bright sun, and no wind all make for swimming in April, at … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, the ranch | 7 Comments

Cole Family Christmas: A Treasured Tale

“Do the flying Hilda!” JJ shrieked in delight to her brother as he hung over the balcony, swinging a little plush goat. With four young children in the house, nothing surprises me anymore, not even a goat madly flapping through … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, education, family life, holidays, parenting | 7 Comments

I think he’s in love with me!

I sat holding my four year old son last night, cherishing the moments that are so fleeting. He began a long and lovely conversation with me that went something like this: Mommy, you are beautiful! Your hair is beautiful, your … Continue reading

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Simple Woman: November 24

For Today…Monday, November 24, 2008 Outside my window…the dark of early morning, but day will break within the hour. I see the bold outline of Juniper trees against the rising sky which now displays several horizontal streaks of the palest … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, the ranch | 5 Comments

Text Messaging: Concerns for the Adolescent

I’ve been thinking about text messaging and whether parents are concerned about their child’s use of this social media. My own children are too young for this and don’t have cell phones; however, as a middle school teacher, I’ve been … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, parenting | 16 Comments

Sleepover with an 84 year old friend

“Jane is spending the night,” I announced to my kids yesterday. From the wild whoops of joy that followed and the “happy dance” of my five year old, no one would guess that Jane was not a favorite classmate, but … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, the ranch | 15 Comments

The Anniversary

Two days after our wedding anniversary this year, my husband says to me, “Honey!! We forgot it! Again.” An even dozen deserves to be remembered. But we both are wise enough to know that the act of timely recalling a … Continue reading

Posted in family life, humor, parenting | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Frugal Field Trips

Local field trips are a perfect late summer outing–follow us to the greenhouse, a ranch, and a stunning state park.
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Posted in education, family life, features, parenting, science, the ranch | 12 Comments

It’s all in the glasses.

“Your students would really like you, Mom.” My almost 9-year-old son was speaking in a serious voice, knowingly pointing to his head. I was a classroom teacher before I had all these kids, and I was talking to my young … Continue reading

Posted in family life, humor, parenting | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Revisiting Father’s Day

I was commenting today over at Tipper’s blog, Blind Pig & the Acorn, on her Father’s Day post, and I’m reposting my comment right here, because it’s a good follow up to my previous post. Tipper blogs about her Appalachian … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, religion | 8 Comments

For the Fatherless on Father’s Day

I am fatherless. On Father’s Day, I celebrate my husband as father of our children. But I’m still reminded that I am fatherless. You say God is my father. I’ve heard many, many sermons about how even if you don’t … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, religion | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Magnum Opus: Happy Mother’s Day

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, all you moms, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, god-mothers, and lovers of little ones!! My husband captured this sweet moment with my littlest a few weeks ago. For Mother’s Day, I’d like to repost a tiny piece I wrote over … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 17 Comments

Breakfast al fresco

It’s that time of year; I’ll have syrup and sunshine on my pancakes, please. Wordless Wednesday. Technorati Tags: breakfast al fresco, outdoors, children

Posted in family life, parenting | 11 Comments

How can I possibly have a child old enough to ride a motorcycle?

When did his scooter sprout a motor? When did those endearing “vroom-vroom” noises of my baby begin to emit from a big, scary machine and not his pouty little lips? As every parent knows, and as every older parent loves … Continue reading

Posted in blog stuff, family life, parenting, the ranch | 7 Comments

When Your 6-year-old Makes You Cry

She tried to hide the card under my pillow last night, but Dad shooed her off to bed, not knowing her mission. This morning she was grumpy-sad because her big brother had taken the card from its safe-keeping under her … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Gardening With Children

The best plants for children to grow and other great ideas for helping children develop a love of gardening.
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Posted in arts & crafts, book reviews, education, family life, features, giveaways, parenting | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments

Five Year Old’s Solution to Hell

Aloha, it’s Friday! My fun question for you today is this: Has your child – or do you remember your own from childhood – ever come up with any funny conceptions of God, Heaven, or Hell? Here is my answer, … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, religion | 22 Comments

Field of Dreams

“Is this heaven?” “No. Oregon Iowa.” If you’ve ever seen the movie Field of Dreams, you’ll recognize that dialogue between John Kinsella and his son Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner). And, of course, it was Iowa. But here’s the Oregon version, … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 4 Comments

A Fast from Asking

I told my kids that we are going on a two day fast from asking for things. I saw over at Heather’s that her family was fasting from complaining, and I knew I needed to steal her idea. I am … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, religion | 5 Comments

Disturbing images to stop the whining?

Am I just a twisted mother to do such a thing? My son had been whiiinnnning all morning about doing his math. With no apologies, I told him he simply must learn how to do subtraction with renaming. It’s an … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, religion | 7 Comments

I Really Like Homeschooling, I Just Want Someone Else to Do It For Me

There are days, there are seasons to be sure, when a homeschooling parent has a tough spell. After spending a week investigating a local fine arts charter school, a private Christian school, and homeschool co-op options, I’m back to where … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, parenting, religion, the office | 10 Comments

A Peanut Butter Tale

“Can I have anuvver peanut butter san’wich, Mom?” I look and see the half-eaten sandwich on his plate, the fourth one today. “But,” I protest, “you haven’t eaten all of that one!” His wide sky-blue eyes, full of a three-year-old’s … Continue reading

Posted in family life, health/cooking/food, parenting | 8 Comments

Thursday Thirteen: In My Purse

Can you tell a lot about a girl by what’s in her purse? I don’t know, but here are thirteen things currently in my purse. I’ll pull them out in random order, and let’s see what will be revealed about … Continue reading

Posted in carnivals, family life, parenting | 13 Comments

Winter Fun

My husband and I took our kids and a few of the cousins ice skating on Christmas Eve. We survived with only a few bumps and bruises, remarkable considering that between just the two of us, we managed seven children … Continue reading

Posted in family life, holidays, parenting, poetry | 10 Comments

Cooking With Kids: Tips and Tricks

“Mommy, can I help you?” is the phrase most often heard in my kitchen. Moms around the world know that a kid in the kitchen means the meal will take about three times the usual prep! Well, at least that’s … Continue reading

Posted in family life, health/cooking/food, parenting | 11 Comments

All in a Day’s Mothering

As the saying goes, out of the mouths of babes…here’s some bits of conversation heard around here today. JoJo: Mommy, JJ called me a Blabber Face! JJ: No, Blabber Mouth! ********************** Upon doing his business on the toilet, in the … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 6 Comments

You Know Your Mother Has Alzheimer’s When

She takes the dirty clothes you’ve just loaded into the washing machine, and left momentarily, but long enough for her to come along, and transfers them to the dryer, never minding that they are bone dry and thus could not … Continue reading

Posted in family life, health/cooking/food, parenting | 14 Comments

Project Generation Connections

Do you sense a disconnect between generations? This report is one of many which shows a detachment of today’s young people to their heritage and history. Many factors could be at work, including the breakdown of families, loss of respect … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, parenting | 9 Comments

Too Many Choices?

Can too many choices paralyze the modern parent? And her children? Decide for yourself – here’s an interesting article at The Parenting Post. Author Barry Schwartz, in his book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, addresses this question … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 9 Comments

Father’s Day Tribute

Why we love Dad. He is very smart and he’s building a house for us. He is very nice for taking us special places and doing special things with us. He plays games with us and teaches us about life. … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 11 Comments

Letters as Colors?

I just made an astonishing discovery. My seven year old son sees letters as colors. As we sat at the table finishing lunch just in this past hour, my daughter said, “Amy is a special name.” “Why is that,” I … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, parenting | 5 Comments

What about Mom?

A big misconception I hear about homeschooling is,”What about your time for yourself?” People seem to think that I require all this time alone, or time to shop, or time to visit with friends, or get my nails done, whatever. … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 8 Comments

Saving up for the tooth fairy

I don’t know where he got the idea, but as of this morning, my seven year old son now has three teeth saved up for the tooth fairy, in hopes of getting a bigger prize. I am quite clueless on … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting | 2 Comments

Magnum Opus

“Are you awake, Charlotte?” he said softly. “Yes,” came the answer. “What is that nifty little thing? Did you make it?” “I did indeed,” replied Charlotte in a weak voice. “Is it a plaything?” “Plaything? I should say not. It … Continue reading

Posted in parenting | 2 Comments