Hope for the Weary Mom e-book review

Affiliate links imageI’ve been gathering up some e-books to read and the first was Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess” Hope for the Weary Mom, by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin. Here is a quote and the chapter headings from the table of contents page:

“Just finished reading Hope for the Weary Mom & I’m feeling normal for the first time in a long time.”

Table of Contents

  • When the Gentle Words Won’t Come
  • When You Don’t Measure Up
  • Beer & Cigarettes?
  • Why You Can’t Live at the Spa
  • When You Just Want to Give Up
  • Sometimes it Takes an Altar
  • When Life Hurts Too Much
  • Help for the Weary Mom
  • Verses for the Weary Mom
  • The Weary Mom Manifesto
  • Resources for the Weary Mom

When I put the book down, and even after just relating to that quote, I knew I had to share my review with you.

I’ve posted about some of the feelings I’ve had as a mom in the past and readily related to some of the titles in this e-book. I found myself excited to read it once I realized I’m not alone in my feeling weary.

Some mornings it’s all I can do to get out of bed to greet my one still-tired boy and my so-energetic-that-I-have-to-make-my-stuffed-animal-continually-screech boy. Just the thought is exhausting, never mind that I know in two hours they will be off to school.

I find myself tired to the bones after they go to sleep, having little or no energy to fold the laundry, let alone focus on my husband to grow our marriage.

Are you finding yourself in the same spot these last days before Christmas? Maybe this would make a great gift to yourself?

Weary mom, please know you are not alone. This book has wonderful stories and examples of exactly what you are going through, and relates them in such a way that you can laugh. Be encouraged there are other moms experiencing just what you are going through and are sharing their stories to help you along through this weary time.

Be encouraged!

Mom is the Only Girl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. By purchasing through this link you are providing a possible commission at no additional cost out of pocket to you.

{on being} A Better Mom

It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about.  What’s hard is figuring out what you are willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about. – Shauna Niequist

I saw this quote on The Better Mom and think it is so true. I also remember reading on a friend’s facebook status something to the effect of being so caught up in what she wants her Christmas to look like that she isn’t enjoying any of the preparation. She doesn’t want to give anything up to make her holiday what she wants.

A Better Mom http://momistheonlygirl.com

I’m in the midst of a transition. With Sweet Pea off to Kindergarten this year I find myself wondering what I want to be when I grow up. My previous profession is all but gone (I was a medical transcriptionist who finds her work has been given to computers, and before that the person at the ad agency who made sure the product made it through all the steps and was released on time – a job integrated into another position.) I’m literally free to be whoever I want to be professionally. But I’m finding it is hard to decide what I want my life to be about – outside of being a wife and mommy.

I’m finding it hard mostly because I’m not willing to give up being at home, being the caregiver, launderer, cleaner, finder-of-lost-things, even while they are at work and school. At least not yet. And I’m not ready to give up all the family time that being a stay-at-home-wife-to-a-school-teacher brings with it in the summertime.

As moms, I know we all feel this way to a degree. I also know some have made the transition to working and love it, others wish for their lives they could be home waiting for their child to get off the bus and their husband to walk in the door.

I’m deciding today to do my best to think of Shauna’s idea in a more positive way for myself as I make this transition and attempt to ‘grow up’. Not that this statement is negative. I just want to think about it without the words ‘hard’ and ‘give up’. Would you like to as well?

Let’s decide to think more in terms of what we as moms can provide through this process of thinking what we want our lives to be about.       Love for others.             Feeling for those who are can’t be there.          Bettering ourselves to provide in the future for family.          Listening and spending time with others now, when we might not have that time in a little while.

Listening to our hearts. Seeking out our talents and skills. Embracing our desires to care for others.

Possibly through this process we will also begin to see more clearly what we do really care about and invest our lives in that while we are able.

Violin http://momistheonlygirl.com

Accomplishments

How do you feel when one of your kids accomplishes something? Do you shout it from the mountain tops or quietly revel in pride?

Do you fear gushing about it will make them self-conscious? Or not speaking up about it will make them strive to work harder for the next goal?

Violin http://momistheonlygirl.com

Praising our children for their accomplishments can totally backfire for some children, causing them to withdraw into a cocoon, not wanting the attention, or not wanting to have to strive for the same or better next time.

Read More…

Christmas Traditions

It seems like every family celebrates Christmas in some way in their home, whether atheist, Jewish, African or Christ followers. Each involves traditions of some sort. (I'm not going to go into semantics here.)

In our home, we try to celebrate Jesus' birth and our love for each other. We incorporate going to church and giving gifts to loved ones, decorating a Christmas tree with items representing us and our memories. In other homes there may be no gifts, no tree, or no going to church. There may be no celebrating Christmas with a focal point being Jesus' birth.

Read More…

Trampoline jumping

Getting Kids Moving Indoors

As I sit writing this it is 20 degrees outside with a light wind that makes it feel -50! It seems like a good day to post a variety of ways I keep my boys active when it’s too cold outside to get that gross motor play in just by playing in the snow (or green grass as we currently have). Following are just a few of the ideas I turn to. I need a few more in my arsenal now that my almost-eight year old is getting bigger. Any ideas?

Indoorgrossmotorplay

Venturing Out

Read More…

Melted Crayon Ornaments http://momistheonlygirl.com

Melted Crayon Homemade Ornaments

Have you been enjoying this week of simple homemade Christmas ornaments you and your child can make together? This last one I’m sharing seems like it should be for older children, but I think with supervision and help preschoolers would enjoy getting involved, too! I’ve provided an affiliate link for the ornaments for you below.

This homemade Christmas Ornament the boys and I made last year involved a heat gun (or hair dryer), crayons, clothespins and small glass ornaments. (Make sure they are glass! Using heat and glass makes this a no-brainer – adult supervision is strongly encouraged!)

Melted Crayon Christmas Ornaments

These came out so beautifully that we are making some for our own tree this year! I bought the ornaments from JoAnn Crafts this year, but you can also find them on Amazon by following this (affiliate) link. I’m going to warn you making these can be addicting! It’s strangely relaxing, so you might even want to make these by yourself!

Using a grater or whatever method you find easiest to make your crayons into small pieces, crush them up! It’s up to you if you’d like to group the shavings by color, but we found that to have the best results.

Be careful with little fingers

Be careful with little fingers

As you remove the ornaments from the packaging try not to ruin the plastic package, as this makes a neat, safe place for the ornaments to cool off.

Everything you should need

Everything you should need

Carefully take the top hook portion off the ornament by squeezing the round loop and pulling gently. Remember, these are made of glass. They are pretty sturdy, but can still break if squeezed too hard. (If it helps to know, we didn’t break any!) Set the loop aside for now.

Get those little crayon shavings in there!

Get those little crayon shavings in there!

Decide what color(s) you’d like your ornament to be, use your imagination, and place a few crumbs of crayon in your ornament. Experiment with color – its a great activity to review colors and introduce shades of colors and color creating to younger onese. Get the science lingo going if you’d like to make this into a mini science lesson! Then carefully put the hook back into the ornament. Clip the clothespin to the round hook and hold tightly as shown above.

Use your hair dryer or heat gun to melt the crayon. I suppose you could also hold your ornament over a stove burner as well, but be very careful with whatever method you use. We used the clothespin to help keep our hands away from the heat.

Keep turning the ornament and heat source until the desired swirling effect is achieved.

Let the melted crayon ornament cool!

Let the melted crayon ornament cool!

Get creative with your color combinations and pattern attempts! Even one swirl of a bold or shimmering color has wonderfully beautiful results! For some ornaments, we heated until just starting to melt and it created a spotty effect! I wish I had taken pictures of all the ornaments, or at least of a couple on a tree! I loved every creation for a different reason. You’ll know what I mean when you make your own!

Once the ornaments are cooled package them in a pretty container and wish the recipient a very Merry Christmas!

If you try this with your kiddos let me know what you think! And if you missed any of the previous kid-firnedly ornaments I shared, feel free to check out the star ornament or the cutout ornament!

Thank you for letting me share these homemade ornaments with you! Go spend some time with your kiddos and create something beautiful!

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More Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Continuing with the idea of homemade Christmas ornaments, here are some baked dough ornaments we made and adorned to use as gifts.

 

Being a rubber stamper/card maker in my pre-child years (honestly, where does my time go that I cannot craft?!) I pulled out my stamps after the kids cut simple Christmas shapes out of this great three-ingredient salt dough recipe. (We used this recipe from The Imagination Tree.)

 

Anyway, after cutting out your shapes, lay them as directed on a cookie sheet. Before popping them in the oven to bake, let the kiddos pick out a few stamps to adorn the ornaments. Make sure they don’t press too hard, just enough to leave a clear indentation. Another option is to roll out the dough, then stamp all over the dough if you are working only with patterned stamps. And then make your cut-outs.

 

We used a paisley-patterned roller stamp, swirls, initials…we even tried stamping in ink then onto the dough, but I think painting the ornaments afterwards would have worked better for us as the ink didn’t stick too well, although you can see some of the pink showing up.

 

These ornaments came out beautifully white and delicate-looking and my kiddos did surprisingly well keeping the shapes intact! However they turn out, this ornament gift will be special! (And you’ll be working on coordination and fine motor skills without them realizing it!)

 

We packaged these with the more traditional cinnamon dough ornaments and our melted crayon ornaments to make special gifts for grandparents!

 

Star Ornament

Homemade Ornaments

Every year we try a craft for Christmas. Last year we made stars and some other ornaments that we gave as gifts. The stars are so simple to make and work on coordination skills and process thinking – some sneaky learning!

Materials:

  • liquid glue (we found it to work best adhering the sticks together, but try glue sticks on the surface of the craft sticks for the glitter!) You can also use glitter glue for decorating!
  • glitter or other decorative items
  • craft sticks – your choice of size

First, lay out some paper on your craft surface, maybe have a paper plate nearby for catching glitter.

Next, lay out your sticks in a star shape. You’ll get to sit back for a minute watching your kiddos think through how to lay them out overlapping to make the shape. It’s a bit tricky, so its fun to watch the thought process and coordination skills! When it’s achieved, grab some more sticks and make another, this time being prepared with glue to adhere the sticks together, using the first star as a model. Letting these dry as you make more and enjoy a snack is advised because the liquid glue take a while to set up.

Third, take your glue in whatever form and apply it to the craft sticks in whatever pattern you’d like. It’s fun to try different color sticks or even use markers and create a pattern on the sticks before (or instead of) applying lots of glitter!

We found it easiest to have several plates nearby to catch the glitter as it was applied, to save on glitter (one plate per glitter type) and to help eliminate some of the mess. Of course, if you use glitter glue then you can skip this step!

The boys are already asking what we are going to make this year!

Are you making anything with your child for Christmas?

Sweet Pea is Six!

leaves and rake

The family time spent raking leaves and jumping in them!

Thanksgiving break is never a relaxing time for us. We celebrate Sweet Pea’s birthday, celebrate Thanksgiving twice (once with each family) then celebrate my niece’s birthday. Then we are soooooo ready to relax into the meaning of Christmas and the Christmas season.

Seriously, though, Thanksgiving has always been special to me, but six years ago it took on an entirely different kind of special when we brought Sweet Pea home from the hospital on Thanksgiving day.

Turning six!

I love seeing life through my children’s eyes and this year’s birthday was a little milestone for Sweet Pea. He turned six, and to him that meant he could finally have that LEGO train he wanted – because, after all it was for ages 6+ so he wouldn’t have been able to play with it before then! Don’t you love how their minds work?

The joy of opening that one gift you were so desiring!

With all that excitement behind us I can rest and think about the special moments we had this past week with family.

I’m going to spend some time thinking again on January 1st. Not about the resolutions I will make or what the year will hold for me, but about the memories made in the Christmas season throughout December.

The peacefulness of fallen leaves…introducing the colors of Christmas.

Do I want to remember myself being stressed trying to find the right gift at the right price? The running around trying to get things done? Or do I want to remember the meaning of Christmas? The celebration of my Savior’s birth. The memories made as my family gathered together again…

Bright fall colors remind me that although the white of winter is coming, new life will follow.

May we all take time to rest in the thought of memories we will cherish when this Christmas season has faded into the New Year. I encourage you to think about how you want to remember the month of December and act on it!

OKSocial resource

I’m slowly changing the focus of what I’m sharing in this little corner of the blogosphere. I thought along the way I should share some of the resources I’m finding helpful in this transition. One resource that has helped me a lot has been oksocial.com.

Kristy is a photographer, social media strategist and real food transition coach, but also is in charge of oksocialmedia. I initially downloaded her “Be a Better Blogger: 9 Secrets to Blogging Success” e-book, which started an e-mail dialog. She is one of those who actually want to help bloggers learn and improve, and she was so helpful in me finding some direction for this little blog of mine!

Check out oksocial.com and get this book!

Check out oksocial.com and get this book!

You can sneak a peek at oksocial’s blog, submit a question (they really do address them!), download the (very helpful) book Be a Better Blogger, 9 Secrets to Blogging Success by signing up for their mailing list and receiving lots of useful tips and information regularly, or just click on through to her food blog!

I was so impressed that a real person e-mailed me back when I downloaded the “Be a Better Blogger” book and took a serious interest in what help I was looking for by perusing the book. I trust you will find oksocial to be a valuable resource in your blogging adventure, too!

Thank you, Kristy, for all of your help and support!

 

 

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