7 Things I Learned from the Book: 52 Things Kids Need From a Mom

7 Things I Learned from the Book: 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom #motherhood

Motherhood is hard work.

But it can also be a beautiful journey — even when there’s pain involved.

In my own journey as a mom, I’ve experienced many, many joy-filled moments. It’s truly a blessing to have five children. There’s laughter and comedy going on in our home all the time.

But…there’s also a lot of pain that’s been written into my personal story as a mother. The most terrifying night of my life happened this past year as I held my then 4-year-old son in the pediatric intensive care unit.

I thought he was dying right in front of me. As the tears filled my eyes, I thought he was dying even as I held him up in my arms struggling to help him in any way that I could while the nurses and doctor did their job to save his life.

By God’s grace, David survived and ultimately underwent a bone marrow transplant. He’s doing well now, but there are bumps along the way. And these little “bumps” that at times steal my joy because of their ability to turn into “mountains” are hard to live with.

But I’m not in control.

God is steering this ship.

I was reminded of that and so many other wonderful things about motherhood and what our kids need from us as moms as I read through the book by Angela Thomas, 52 Things Kids Need from a Mom.

After I finished reading this particular book, I thought it would be a good idea if I shared a post about the tips and ideas that I walked away with and started putting into practice in my own life.

Here’s My Top 7 List:

1. The little things matter. Turning down beds at night. Talking to your kids like they are fascinating. Getting to know their friends and treating their friends like family. Touching your children. It all makes a difference. Seemingly tiny acts of love can speak volumes to those on the receiving end of it. The little things matter.

2. A private family blog is a great idea. Why did I not think of this sooner? Instead of hoping your kids will remember important facts, special events, and even fun stories about your family, why not document it for them in a private a family blog?

Birthdays, where you were born, your family tree, and that vast wealth of knowledge you’ve gained over the years…why not put it all into a blog? A blog that is NOT public. A blog that is only for your family’s eyes to see. When I read about this concept in Angela’s book, I thought: this is genius!

3. You set the tone in your home. It’s true. Our children do not set the tone and frankly, they should not be allowed to set the tone in our homes. They’re kids. They should be following our good example. Yes, as moms and human beings (and sinners!), we will fail at this sometimes, but ultimately, setting the atmosphere in our homes is our responsibility.

4. Share your family’s “highs” and “lows” around the dinner table. This idea wasn’t one of the “52 things” but it’s something that Angela’s family does that really stuck out to me.

Basically, you go around the dinner table, and have each member of your family share one high point and one low point about their day. Our family has started doing this, and we now look forward to hearing each person’s response. You may even be surprised by what you hear.

5. Just keep praying even when you there’s no such thing as “quiet time” in your home. When I only had two kids, it seemed like having quiet time with the Lord was relatively easy. I could read seven chapters a day in my Bible. I had a PRAYER CLOSET that I would visit often. I had it together. ;)

Then I had my third child…and the wheels fell off.

Truthfully, since then, I haven’t been able to get back to the place that I was at with my quiet time as when I only had two children. And that’s perfectly okay. Angela reminded me of this and encouraged us moms to just keep praying around our kids. Praying in the same noisy room that they’re in (just because they want to be with us) is sufficient.

6. It’s okay to do something extra-special for your kids every once in awhile. Plan an over-the-top birthday party for the birthday child, even if it’s just your immediate family that’ll be celebrating with them. Make a homemade Valentine’s Day card. Go on a special outing. The possibilities are endless, but remember, this is only an every-once-in-awhile event.

7. Make much of God, and your kids will notice. In Angela’s words, “Our kids need moms who will teach them that no matter what and no matter where, God is a really big deal.” My greatest joy in life would be to see all of my children come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and that they’d each walk with Him.

So that’s it. Those are 7 things I took away from reading the book 52 Things Kids Need from a Moma book that was given to me by my mom. ;)

I’d love to hear anything you’d like to share from your motherhood journey!

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Once again, I met most of the goals I had set last week, but I didn’t meet my goal of writing at least three blog posts.

After thinking about it, the thought crossed my mind to actually put together a plan for how I can make this goal a reality each week. So this week, instead of simply setting a goal to write a certain number of posts, I’ve decided to create a goal to write for 15 minutes each day.

More specifically, my goal will be to write blog posts for 15 minutes a day.

Next Monday, I’ll report back with how things went. :)

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 90 minutes on the treadmill

5. Juice 1x

6. Finish reading the last few pages of Tasty Food Photography and watch videos from the book

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum upstairs

8. Move photos and videos from my computer to an external hard drive

Business Goals:

9. Purchase black foam board or simply something else that I feel I can use as a background for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts — Once again, I didn’t meet this goal, but I have a plan to make it happen this week. ;)

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini bread

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein — By the way, the new Hobbit teaser trailer came out today for the final movie. Not that I was waiting for it or anything…

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub — This year, reading short ebooks on areas in life and work where I need improvement has been such a blessing! The last book that I finished is helping me to improve my food photography in ways I hadn’t even though of, and this next book should help me to FINALLY be able to get into the habit of waking up before my children.

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms — It’s amazing how bathrooms can get so icky so quickly. I do basic daily maintenance of our bathrooms, but they need more serious cleaning on a regular basis!

8. Start home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Make and photograph a recipe to include in an upcoming post

10. Spend 15 minutes per day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Similar to last week, the next seven days should be pretty laid-back.

So, I’m going to try to break out the juicer at least once, and I’m planning on working hard to actually write three posts this week! I feel like I just need to get into a rhythm with my writing, and then it’ll become a habit.

Or not.

Because I do have five beautiful children that tend to keep life sort of unpredictable. ;)

Anyway, here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home — We watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (again! :) ) and ate hobbit/dwarf-themed food.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 100 minutes on the treadmill

5. Drink water with lemon (or lime) and cayenne pepper 4x — We ran out of lemons…

6. Read 20 pages of Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum

Home Management Goals:

7. Mop the floors

8. Fill a bag with items to donate

Business Goals:

9. Bring in a piece of furniture from the garage to use for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts — I wrote two posts.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 90 minutes on the treadmill

5. Juice 1x

6. Finish reading the last few pages of Tasty Food Photography and watch videos from the book

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum upstairs

8. Move photos and videos from my computer to an external hard drive

Business Goals:

9. Purchase black foam board or simply something else that I feel I can use as a background for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Child Hunger Ends Here: How to Easily Make a Big Difference in a Child’s Life

This is a sponsored collaboration with The Motherhood and Child Hunger Ends Here
to bring awareness to child hunger in our country.

Child Hunger Ends Here: How to Easily Make a Big Difference in a Child’s Life #ChildHunger

What if…something you did that seemed small could make a big difference in a child’s life?

What if…you could help in the fight against child hunger by simply bringing home items you regularly buy from the grocery store?

What if…feeding your popcorn addiction meant one meal for someone else?

Okay, maybe that last one was only meant for me. ;)

But seriously, it is that simple.

The Child Hunger Ends Here Program

The Child Hunger Ends Here program makes it easy to provide one meal for a child who needs it.

Here’s how:

Simply look for ConAgra products that have the red pushpin pin somewhere on the package (front or back), and then enter the code either on the Child Hunger Ends Here website or in the widget in my blog’s sidebar.

Child Hunger Ends Here: How to Easily Make a Big Difference in a Child’s Life #ChildHunger

For every 8-digit code entered now through August 2014, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America.

DID YOU KNOW? More than 1 in 5 children in the U.S., including more than 1 in 4 Latino children, may not know where their next meal is coming from. That’s nearly 16 million children, a number that could fill 8,000 playgrounds!

Child Hunger Ends Here: How to Easily Make a Big Difference in a Child’s Life #ChildHunger

A Quick 1 to 2 Minute Survey

Would you be willing to take a quick 1 to 2 minute survey to help gauge awareness about child hunger? If so, head on over here to share your thoughts.

Child Hunger Ends Here: How to Easily Make a Big Difference in a Child’s Life #ChildHunger

And Finally, a Fun Facebook Promotion

Child Hunger Ends Here is giving people an opportunity to ask Hunter Hayes a question — and he may answer it personally!

Just enter a code on the Child Hunger Ends Here website for the chance to “Ask Hunter” a question. Each month through August 2014, Hunter will personally answer one question (using the winner’s name) and post the video on the Child Hunger Ends Here Facebook page.

Ideas for Your Question: In July, be thinking about what you want to hear from Hunter about being a role model. Perhaps you want to know the best thing about being a role model? Or the hardest thing? Or maybe how Hunter hopes to leave a mark on the world?

*You must be 14yrs. or older to take part in the promotion, and there’s one prize/question allowed per person.

Did you know about the Child Hunger Ends Here program?
P.S. Entering codes may be a great way to start a conversation with your older kids and get them engaged and interested in helping fight child hunger!

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

I was able to cross almost everything off my list from last week.

In case you ever wonder how I stay mostly on top of my goals after I set them, my not-so-secret tool is Google Calendar. I use it so often and it’s become such a helpful tool that I finally stopped using any sort of tangible planner.

In the past, I couldn’t stay organized without physically writing out and scheduling things in my planner, but now that I use Google Calendar and realize how much better organized it allows me to be, I did away with my planner.

Someday, I may write a post to share why I personally love Google Calendar. ;)

Anyway, here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home — Our family days usually happen on Sunday afternoons, and lately, they’ve involved a movie and fun snacks. To be completely honest, we’ve been watching The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films week after week for a while now. We went through all five movies and now we’re checking out the extended versions from the library.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 95 minutes on the treadmill

5. Drink water with lemon (or lime) and cayenne pepper 5x — I only drank this twice.

6. Read 20 pages of Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum

Home Management Goals:

7. Organize Elisabeth’s play area — It’s become overridden with LEGOs.

8. Unpack one box in the basement — I decided to unpack a garbage bag of old swimming/pool stuff that was sitting in the basement instead of one of the boxes.

Business Goals:

9. Get caught up on emails

10. Write 3 blog posts

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Day at home

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 100 minutes on the treadmill

5. Drink water with lemon (or lime) and cayenne pepper 4x

6. Read 20 pages of Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum

Home Management Goals:

7. Mop the floors

8. Fill a bag with items to donate

Business Goals:

9. Bring in a piece of furniture from the garage to use for food photography

10. Write 3 blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Remarkable Waterproof Smartphone: The Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Sprint. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating. #SprintMom

Remarkable Waterproof Smartphone: The Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE #SprintMom

As a 2014 Sprint Ambassador, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to try out various Sprint devices and services, and then share my experiences with you here on The Sensible Mom.

Today, I’m sharing what I love most about the new Kyocera Hydro Vibe waterproof 4G LTE smartphone.

Without a doubt, my very favorite thing about this phone is that it is waterproof.

A Funny Story

A few years ago, I was driving home from somewhere, and at the time I had a habit of getting into our car and sitting my phone in one of the car’s cup holders. Well, I happened to do that very thing that particular day and much to my surprise, when I looked down at the cup holder after I arrived home, I realized that I had put my phone into a cup holder that was filled with some sort of liquid. It was probably what’s known as “pop” here in Illinois. ;)

Anyway, my phone died, and it never regained consciousness.

That incident would have turned out differently had my phone been a waterproof Kyocera Hydro Vibe, because this phone can handle hanging out in liquid for a while.

Remarkable Waterproof Smartphone: The Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE #SprintMom #MC
The Day I Took a Million Pictures at the Pool

I recently took the Kyocera Hydro Vibe smartphone with me to our local waterpark, and it was fantastic being able to carry it around and snap pictures of my kids without the fear of accidentally dropping it in pool.

Nope. With this phone, I was able to take tons of great quality pictures and videos of my family and even had a little fun dunking it in the water on purpose! :)

The Kyocera Hydro Vibe smartphone has an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and video camera.

Remarkable Waterproof Smartphone: The Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE #SprintMom #MC

I shared this collage in another post but wanted to post it again, so that you can see the truly high-quality pictures you can take with the Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE smartphone.

Remarkable Waterproof Smartphone: The Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE #SprintMom #MC

Besides the fact that it’s waterproof and takes high-quality pictures and videos, I love that this smartphone’s battery lasts all day.

Even after using the phone quite a bit on the day we spent seven hours at the waterpark, it didn’t need to be charged at all while we were there.

Remarkable Waterproof Smartphone: The Kyocera Hydro Vibe 4G LTE #SprintMom #MC

I’m loving this trusty new waterproof smartphone. Bath time, pool time, or backyard water hose, I can be worry-free with the Kyocera Hydro Vibe.

Have you ever thought about choosing a waterproof smartphone? Do you have a funny smartphone water mishap story? :)