Bringing Up Boys

At first glance, I am the absolute last person who would ever be considered a good "boy mom". I have never played a team sport... in my entire life. I do not like being hot and sweaty. I can't stand bugs and am squeamish around blood ... not to mention... the dreaded... throw up. As a child, I spent most of my days playing "house" with my sister and our massive collection of dolls and stuffed animals. If I wasn't doing that then I was reading books or doing arts and crafts. My idea of playing outside always involved a pool.

Fast forward twenty years or so... and here I am, mother to the most amazing little boy on the planet. A little boy who is ALL boy. He's constantly sweaty and would always rather be outside. His idea of playing outside includes digging up rocks in our yard or eating grass. He has a very short attention span, is constantly moving, does not like to sleep, and sometimes gags himself just to see my horrific reaction. And even at the age of 19 months, he thinks dad is WAY cooler than mom.

I say all this because after reading Bringing Up Boys, I have been given a fresh perspective on raising this amazing little guy. While there are parts of the book that I don't completely agree with, I found the whole of it to be incredibly helpful. Here are a couple of my thoughts along with some of my favorite quotes from the book:

-Boys have distinct physiological qualities (brain structure, hormones, etc.) that make them the way they are... thus making them different than girls. God has given them these qualities for a specific reason!
-The time we have to truly impact our children's lives is so SO short. For these imperative years, it is essential that I make the sacrifices needed in order to give my son a firm foundation on which to stand. If that means I don't get to sleep as much as I'd like or don't keep up with every new tv show/movie/book or have to postpone some of my personal goals, then I'm ok with that. You only get one shot at parenthood.

-There is absolutely NO substitute for spending time with your kids. And "time" doesn't mean sitting at the dinner table together and not speaking... we're talking about quality time here.

-Our society has seriously missed the mark in some areas. Things that should be important aren't, while things of very little value are often what consume us. Living counter-culturally (did I say that right?) isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world- within moderation of couse.

-Boys need their dads. They need healthy role models of masculinity and good examples of what it means to be a strong, Godly father. Sadly, many men don't take their role as "father" seriously anymore.

-"Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy, stone upon stone upon stone. Never assume for a moment that you can 'do you own thing' without serious consequences for him and his sister. I believe this task must be your highest priority for a period of time. It will not always be required of you. Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps into the adult world. Then it will be your turn. By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do. But for now, there is a higher calling... Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility." p. 108

-"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9

**I could write/talk about this stuff for days on end, but I'll stop now since this post is getting a little long. I'd love to hear your thoughts... so comment if you have something to say :)


Caramel Corn

Do you love Caramel Corn as much as I do? If so, whip up a batch of this SUPER EASY and DELICIOUS recipe! I'm embarrassed to say that ours was gone in less than 24 hours... so you may want to double it. Also, make sure you only use 6 cups of popcorn (which is actually less than one bag) or you won't have enough caramel sauce to cover it.

6 cups popped corn
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine sugar, butter, salt and corn syrup in a pan and melt. Stir in vanilla and baking soda.

Pour over popped corn and bake for 10 minutes. Allow time to cool and harden before serving! ENJOY! :)

*This recipe is from tnhomeandfarm.com and can also be found here

"Continue To Do Good"

Our lazy summer days have been filled with trips to the library, farmer's market, and the pool, play dates with friends, long walks in the evening, and lots of new recipes. It is easy to slack off on things that matter- things like scripture reading and Bible study. I'm continuing in my study of Esther (slowly, but surely) and am loving every minute of it! I'm also trying to let God use other parts of scripture to speak into my life ... and this passage has some powerful applications to my life at this moment:

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."

I Peter 4:7-11

verse 19: "So, then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."

Every single verse of this passage has meaning for me, but I'll refrain from giving my commentary in hopes that the Holy Spirit will speak to you individually.

I will say that I especially love verse 19 because it is a direct challenge for me. "Continue to do good" when you suffer... when you are persecuted... when you feel abandoned... when God's will doesn't make sense...

Commit to our Creator who is faithful and keep doing good.


Quick, Kid Friendly Recipe

I am always on the hunt for new recipes. I can't stand to eat the same thing over and over again- plus, it makes cooking much more exciting! I recently came across this recipe for "No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars" in an article on cooking blogs. I found it to be incredibly versatile, not to mention easy and delicious. Little Carter was even able to help!

I used what I had on-hand... but you certainly could mix this up in a million different ways! Here are the ingredients I used: 1 small banana, oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut, honey, and vanilla. They are better cold, so I just keep them in the refrigerator. Enjoy!



I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I just wrote a very lengthy post about our 4th of July experiences.. complete with links and pictures.. only to find out that it somehow posted to our old blog. A blog that has been "dead" for months and that no one looks at anymore. To make things more challenging, I could not just "cut and paste" the whole post from one blog to another. FRUSTRATING.

I don't have time to retype the entire thing... so irritating... sorry people.