Remembering a lesson learned – "When you need a time out, go to the beach"

“When you need a time out, go to the beach,” is my mamma’s lesson 12. As I wrote in my book, Mamma has always been a big believer in taking “time outs.” Since I’m fixin’ to do just that, THANK GOD, I couldn’t help but dream about what I hope to experience when I get to my spring break destination.

These past couple of years have been filled with some doozy challenges I hope not to repeat anytime soon – or rather I hope to never repeat! Two surgeries, for example, are two TOO many in a lifetime much less in a year. But my health woes are not the half of what has weighed heavily on my heart. And I know you have your own troubles and certainly don’t need to hear my dreary list.

So I’m moving on to reminiscing happier days. My mamma and I made countless trips to the ocean, often driving a thousand miles to get there. Sometimes we drove all night even if only for a weekend. The beach was her favorite place to “time out.” Whatever the reason, a trip to the beach picked up her spirits and gave her the rest and encouragement she needed to keep moving ahead with her life and goals.

Indeed, there is something calming about listening to the ocean waves crash and enlightening about gazing at the endless ocean horizon. Problems that seem huge and unsolvable become small and fixable as I soothe my feet in the infinite grains of cool sand. Yes, the seashore is my favorite “prayer closet.”

But I can’t always head to the beach because it is still about a thousand miles away. Thankfully, there are other opportunities to be alone and quiet. It might be a candlelit bath, a walk in the country side, a drive to a nearby lake, or just shutting my office door and closing my eyes to ponder how much greater God’s love is than any problem I’m facing.

But this time……I’ll be closing my eyes oceanside!

May you find your “beach” where ever that may be this spring break week and every week in the year ahead!















March Top 3 Good Books for Moms

Good Books for Mom


The March edition of “Good books for moms” features three books my friends Karen and Peggy recommended. I’d love to share your suggestions in future blogs, so please share your parenting secret weapons. Or maybe you didn’t need books to fill you up with awesome parenting wisdom. If not, you’re welcome to share how you managed to raise the most incredible, intelligent children I have no doubt that your children are!


I love this title! Not that I ever felt like I was losing my mind. Well, perhaps I wasn’t very good at potty training, except with my dachshund. My potty training skills really shined there!

Making children mind without losing yours By Kevin Leman

Karen says that Making your children mind without losing yours “is an uncomplicated sensical approach to parenting!”

 Here’s the Amazon book summary:

Raising children these days can be daunting. But if anyone understands why children behave the way they do, it’s Dr. Kevin Leman. Equipping parents with seven principles of Reality Discipline–a loving no-nonsense parenting approach that really works–this internationally known psychologist, author, and father of five shows parents how to:

– Understand why children misbehave and what to do about it

– Foil finicky eaters, turn off temper tantrums, and minimize sibling rivalries

– Set suitable allowances, curfews, and privileges

– And much more

Real-life examples, questions at the end of each chapter, and a discussion guide for individual or group use make this book an engaging read for parents, teachers, and child care providers. With over a million copies in print, readers can’t go wrong with this classic and continual best-seller-now in a fun, new package.

Toilet training in less than a day By Nathan Azrin & Richard Foxx

Peggy recalls that Toilet training in less than a day “had a list of readiness skills, like being able to follow complex instructions such as ‘Go get daddy’s shoes out of the closet.’”

Here’s Amazon’s book summary:



From two noted learning specialists; here is the amazing, scientifically proved Azrin-Foxx method that teaches toilet training quickly — in less than four hours for the average child. And after that rewarding learning period, he or she will willingly use the toilet without assistance or a reminder!

Also inside is a wealth of information on related topics, including:

• Unexpected benefits — your child’s newfound pride and independence can increase eagerness to feed and dress him- or herself, and improve responsiveness to parental instruction

• Pre-training techniques every parent should know • Bed-wetting problems — and how this method can help end them

• Happy children, happy parents — how mastering toilet training benefits the whole family, increasing parents’ personal time and deepening the parent-child connection.

With more than 2 million copies sold, TOILET TRAINING IN LESS THAN A DAY is the one guide you’ll need to make this significant transition a rewarding and pleasurable experience — for both you and your toddler!

Finally here’s a parenting book written by a woman! I must admit I am surprised at how many parenting books are written by men. I’m not meaning to sound sexist or anything, but where I grew up, the daddies were not that involved “in the home,” shall we say.

Teaching Montessori in the home By Elizabeth Hainstock

Peggy says Montessori in the Home was the most well worn book in her home, other than her Bible lesson for her peace of mind. I don’t know if both of these editions were around when Peggy was wearing them out, but I see on Amazon that there are two editions – for “the pre-school years” and “the school years.”

Amazon’s book summary:

Claim quality togetherness with your child and fully enjoy the sensitive and formative years from two to five by adopting proven teaching techniques in your own home.


This acclaimed guide puts the entire range of the Montessori system within your reach, so you can make the most of your child’s vital years. Teaching Montessori in the Home has already helped thousands of parents with the techniques, exercises, and easy-to-make Montessori materials that are essential for success. It demonstrates how you can develop your child’s sensory awareness and practical life skills, as well as lay the foundation of preliminary reading, writing, and math. The author is recognized as one of the most influential proponents of the Montessori method in the United States and throughout the world due to her concise, accessible writing style. This bestselling book grants you the opportunity to teach your child at home and gain a truly rewarding experience. Hainstock takes great pains here to offer the reader a very thoughtful yet concise introduction to the Montessori philosophy.


Good book-club books

February’s fabulous 5!

There are so many wonderful books being published each year, it can be difficult for a book-club to know where to begin to make their reading selections. In the hopes of providing some assistance, I’ve been asking my twitter and Facebook friends for their recommendations. You can help by sharing some of your favorites in the comment box below. Simply click on the book image to go to the Amazon book page for each title. Each month I hope to share more suggestions. Until then, happy reading! And please do share your favorites with me so I can share them in future blogs!

Blessings by Anna Quinlen

Black and Blue by Anna Quinlen

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

 The Children by David Halberstam