Do You Love Your Adopted Child as Much as Your Biological One?

Recently on a Facebook post I received the following comment. I find it difficult to get past the distinctions in your children: my daughter, my grandson (those ones are really yours), my adopted daughter, my adopted son (these ones you're allowing to live with your family). Don't you think they see this? I've never heard of anyone doing this … [Read more...]

The North Carolina Mountain Vacation that Disappeared!

How do ten months disappear into oblivion, never to be seen again? I remember as a child just cringing when my parents would say, time flies. When you're eight years old and enduring summer vacation, time seems to crawl by at a snails pace! Now as an adult I pray for the privilege of being bored! Just one day of boredom! Sleeping in, … [Read more...]

What I Really Want for Mother’s Day This Year

Maybe this Mother's Day you're feeling a little sentimental like me, or searching for a purpose in those sleepless nights and endless days of diapers and tantrums. Could it be that the teenage years are wearing thin and you're wondering if anything you're doing really matters?  Totally unprepared for motherhood 27 years ago, I … [Read more...]

How to Lose Weight: Rachel’s Story

What do you call someone who can't stick with a diet? A desserter. You can't lose weight by talking about it. You need to keep your mouth shut. And one last one for my (no longer a painter) husband. Why should you go to the paint store if you're on a diet? You can get thinner there. Why all the diet jokes today? You know you clicked … [Read more...]

I Didn’t Choose to be a Pastors Wife

As I was teaching my children to write during my many years as a homeschooling mom, I never dreamed that one day at least one of my kids would enjoy writing like her mom and would wield the pen as a mighty sword. Rachel is so much like me with the way her writing comes from a well of deep emotions. Inspiration strikes and lives can be … [Read more...]

Motherhood: Rewarding and Heartbreaking Journey

As I watched my oldest daughter's journey to motherhood I was grateful to play an active part in her life and now in my precious grandson's life. From the very beginning Rachel was full of questions and transparency. Did it take you long to get pregnant? Did you have morning sickness when you were pregnant with me? When did you get over … [Read more...]

First Birthday Ideas and a Letter from Nana

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. There's just something so incredibly unique about a child's first birthday. Is there any one year in life where more change and growth is experienced? From a helpless newborn infant to a mostly walking, … [Read more...]

Is Your Baby 6 to 12 Months? What You Need to Know!

Ah, how things change in such a short time when you're a new parent! It's been so much fun being involved in the life of our first grandchild as these first few months have flown by. My daughter Rachel and her husband Donny are here to share some parenting tips on the second six months of Aiden's first year. It's been several months … [Read more...]

5 Things Every New Mom Should Know About Cloth Diapers

I remember when I was pregnant with our now 22-year-old son Joshua. I was planning on quitting my job and staying home which would require cutting corners everywhere possible. To help our budget I took the plunge into the wild, unknown world of cloth diapers and got a real education. I loved it. Okay, I loved the fact I was saving us money. I … [Read more...]

Advice for New Dads: Cliff Notes Version

Welcome back my daughter Rachel and an especially big welcome to her husband Donny!  Let me tell you about my son-in-law. Throughout the courtship/dating process he and Rachel spent a lot of time in our home. We got to know Donny so well we considered him as just another fixture in the house! He loves to tease me and I try to give as … [Read more...]

The Day I Fell in Love With my Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Thank you to my daughter Rachel for sharing a precious reminder of the beauty of motherhood with "The Day I Fell in Love With my Pregnancy Stretch Marks."    When I became pregnant with our son, Aiden, I was the heaviest I had ever been. I knew it would help to lose a few pounds but my husband thought I was sexy when I was … [Read more...]

Elephant Themed Baby Shower

My first grandson is now nine weeks old and I promised myself I'd share the shower I threw for my daughter before he was crawling around!  Aiden James Baldridge entered the world four weeks early and threw us all into a panic (you can read the story here). He was worth every minute of those days and was the best reason … [Read more...]

Exciting News and a Dare to Dream Big Dreams

  A few weeks ago I was sitting at my computer working (not unusual in the least) and felt a moment when I believe God planted a dream within me (quite unusual for me!) Today I want to share just a few thoughts on how I believe God is working in my life and family. I have been working diligently on my blogging business for almost two … [Read more...]

4 AM Feelings From a Sleep Deprived Mom

Many of you longtime readers have heard all about my oldest daughter Rachel, with everything from her DIY wedding in 2011, baby gender reveal party last August and the unexpected arrival of baby Aiden early in December. From age eleven and a half and up when we adopted a sibling group of three in 2000, Rachel was so faithful in … [Read more...]

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

  Have you ever had a silly argument over practically nothing, especially with your spouse? ~raising hand~ Me, too. In marriage it's usually the little things that drive me insane build my character. Little habits like when Tim kicks the sheets out from under the mattress or goes to the grocery for me and calls me 10 times … [Read more...]

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Christmas Post

Yes, this season of Christmas joy has not been without its challenges and surprises. As many of you know my oldest daughter Rachel has been pregnant with our first grandchild. Her due date? January 13th. (You can read all about the announcement and the baby gender reveal party if you want to know more!) My … [Read more...]

Family Blessing Jar and Instilling Gratitude

  Do you ever feel pulled by the demands of family, job, school, church or outside activities? Of course you do! You are probably especially feeling the pull of this busiest season of the year as we race towards Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. I will be honest and say that this year as a work at home/homeschooling mom I'm … [Read more...]

31 Days: Baby Gender Reveal Party and Free Printables

   As of a few months ago I hadn't even heard of a baby gender reveal party, but today I'm here to share all the details of the fabulous way we celebrated our first grandchild on the way. The concept When our oldest daughter and son-in-law announced that they were expecting our first grandchild we were so thrilled! Rachel immediately … [Read more...]

31 Days: Why Take a Family Vacation?

As the warm breezes blow through my hair, I'm transported back to days of yore. Children splashing at the shore, sand seeping through toes and bathing suits. Waves chasing the wee ones as they squeal in contagious joy.  Screeecchhhhh! That was a terrific walk down the family vacation memory lane, but it's not my life … [Read more...]

Beach House Decorating Ideas

Our family spent last week in Emerald Isle, NC enjoying some good food, family fun and as much sun as we could handle! I find the older I get the less enthralled I am with hours on the beach burning to a crisp. Since this was our second year at this specific house I took several pics so I could share some great beach house decorating with … [Read more...]

Family Fun at TGI Fridays Restaurant

Our oldest son Joshua recently married his love Emmaline. They live in Raleigh, NC, about an hour and a half drive from us. As you mamas of adult children know, it's hard when your lives don't intersect as often. When our son invited us to come see him play keyboards at his church we jumped at the chance! Joshua has put his educational … [Read more...]

Gender Reveal Party Banner

Disclosure: I received free product and compensation in exchange for creating a project using products from Consumer All opinions are my own. The next few months will be exciting ones for our family. Other than normal school, work and church activities, my daughter Rachel and her husband are expecting our first grandchild … [Read more...]

Embracing New Motherhood: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known

I am walking through a season of life that is new and exciting yet also terrifying. I am no longer "merely" a stay at home mom. I am a work from home, homeschooling mom of teenagers. I am a soon to be a grandmother. A nana. A lover of a precious new gift. As much as I enjoy and embrace these days I also find myself floundering at … [Read more...]

7 Tips for Family Vacation

The years are passing even quicker now that we have adult children with spouses as well as two teenagers living at home. My oldest daughter is expecting our first grandchild and our oldest son just got married a few weeks ago. As our lives change our plans for vacation each year become more complicated! Last year we were … [Read more...]