Friday, July 30, 2010

Fun Friday: A Great Mommy Pick-Me-Up

Because a baby's laugh is quite possibly the BEST pick-me-up for a Mama . . .










And the winner is . . .







Congratulations to Gini Kirk! She has won the drawing for the book giveaway this week!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

"First Day of School" from MOMMY-PICK-ME-UPS

Here is a sample chapter from Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load By Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden. Don't forget to *enter to win a copy of the book!


Gena sat alone in the car. A tear escaped her eye. Why is this so hard? she wondered.

Katie Beth was her first child, and the first grade year had always seemed so far in the future. But here it was, and there she went.

Gena and Katie Beth had prepared for the day with a new backpack, pencils, socks, and hair ribbons. Katie Beth was ready, and Gena thought she herself was.

But now as she sat in the car watching Katie Beth, pigtails bouncing, run up the same steps Gena had climbed as a first grader, she wasn't sure she was prepared to let her firstborn enter the world of public school.

"Lord," she prayed, "take care of Katie Beth. Provide some wonderful new friends for her. Help her pay attention in class. Let her remember that I love her and will miss her all day!"

Gena had met Katie Beth's teacher, and she seemed very nice. But would she know that Katie Beth did not like her food to touch on her plate? Would she have any idea that Katie Beth was a perfectionist, even down to the position of the bump in her socks? Would she know . . . ?

As Gena watched Katie Beth enter the building, God quietly spoke to her heart: "I am going to take care of her. She is My child too. I love her even more than you do. Trust Me to take care of her."

Gena smiled. She knew all that. But just for a moment as she relinquished her precious firstborn to the mercy of the school, she wished she could go along and be by Katie Beth's side all day! How thankful she was for God's reminder: "She is only on loan from Me to you. She is Mine, and I will be there for her through the good times and the bad . . . especially on the first day of school."

Message for Mommy: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.--I John 4:16

Pick-me-up: Is there anything harder than letting our children go? Mothers take their responsibility of looking after their children very seriously, and that is as it should be. But as our children get older and the things we release them to seem bigger and more potentially dangerous, it gets harder.

Mothers often need to be reminded that God loves their children more than they do. God understands the heart of a mother. After all, He created it. But He also planned for mothers to train their children and help them grow into independent people who love Him.

Today ask God for an extra measure of trust as you guide your children into independence in the world and their place of peace in Him.

Creative Parenting: As you guide your child into independence, help him or her learn that true independence can be achieved only through total dependence on God. That is a lesson we learn in small steps, but mothers can help their children understand the concept probably better than anyone else because of the difficulty they experience in letting their children go.


*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups! 


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Are We There Yet?" from MOMMY PICK-ME-UPS

Here is a sample chapter from Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load By Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden. Don't forget to *enter to win a copy of the book!


Leah dropped into her seat in the car and breathed a sigh of relief. Why did it take so much effort to get her little family ready to go on vacation? Even the hour drive to the mountains required multiple hours of preparation.

Leah leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She had gotten everything together just in time. What a sacrifice of time and energy it had been! Whatever was forgotten they would do without--no matter what it might be! They were getting on the road now and would have four entire days in the mountains to play as a family. She pictured long walks, wading in the streams, sleeping late, and . . .

"Mom, how far is it to the mountains?" Jeremy asked, interrupting her thoughts.

"I don't know, Jeremy. Why don't you take a little nap?"

"OK."

Leah thought, That was easy. Then her mind started to focus in on the fresh mountain trout she hoped they would have for supper.

"Mom?"

What now?

"Are we there yet?" asked Lisa.

"No," said Leah. "We have another hour or so to drive. Look over there. Do you see the mountains in the distance? That's where we are going."

"But it doesn't seem like we are getting any closer."

Leah had been anticipating these questions. She was prepared. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a map and a highlighter.

"Here, Lisa, why don't you chart our progress. I'll mark where home is and where we are going. Then you can watch the road signs and look at the map to see exactly where we are."

"Good. Thanks, Mom."

Leah relaxed and began to enjoy the scenery.

Then Jeremy stirred from his nap and asked. "Mom, are we there yet?"

Message for Mommy: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.--Proverbs 3:5-6

Pick-me-up: Do you ever ask God, "Am I there yet?" Does your journey ever seem long and endless? Sometimes things seem so hard that we lose sight of the end of our journey. Heaven will be more wonderful than we can imagine. We just have to be faithful for the journey.

To help us along the way, God has given us a "road map"--His Word. Take a little extra time today to study the map. Following God's road map to your life's destination will bring you true joy.

Creative Parenting: Look for opportunities to talk to your children about their destinations in life. If they are not Christians, pray earnestly for a chance to share your faith with them. If they have already asked Jesus Christ into their lives, encourage them on their journeys. Let them see your excitement about the ultimate destination, heaven.


*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups! 


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Funderstorms" from MOMMY PICK-ME-UPS

Here is a sample chapter from Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load By Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden. Don't forget to *enter to win a copy of the book!


Boom! Another clap of thunder rang out. This time it was closer.

"C'mon. Hurry up. Everybody to my room." Big sister Laura made sure her sister and brother heard her announcement. Her mom was already headed to the usual meeting place.

Flash! Lightning lit up the hallway just as Mom got to the doorway. She flinched and hurried into the room. The three children came in right behind Mom, each carrying a pot and spoon.

Laura's mom was terrified of thunder and lightning. So years ago, she made a conscious and, for her, difficult decision: thunderstorms at the Johnson house would be fun!

Whenever the skies darkened and the faintest rumbling of thunder could be heard, Laura's mom sent one child to the kitchen to get pots and spoons, one to pull down the thick, room-darkening shade, and one to make sure someone cleared space in the middle of Laura's room for everyone to sit on the floor.

Again, flash! "Is everyone ready? It's time!"

With each lightning bolt the family beat their pots as hard as they could and sang at the top of their lungs. The object of the game was to be so loud that they could not hear the thunder at all. Between claps of thunder they tried to guess what God was doing up in heaven to make so much noise. Mom never let Laura, Tad, and Chia forget that whatever His activity, God knew exactly what He was doing and would take care of them in the meantime.

Laura's mom's fear of thunderstorms developed early in life. When she was a little girl, her grandmother (Laura's great-grandmother) lived with them. Grandma was not usually a very nervous person, but at the first darkening of the sky, Grandma would begin to shake, and then she would lock herself in a closet. Laura's mom always went with Grandma. In the beginning, she may have gone in the closet to keep Grandma company. But after years of this weather-triggered ritual, Laura's mom began to fear thunderstorms every bit as much as Grandma.

Laura's mom knew that choices we make often affect those around us too, and she chose not to pass on her fear to her children. What a great choice she made!

Message for Mommy: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. --Psalm 56:3

Pick-me-up: Fear does not come from God. But sometimes, in our humanity, we forget that. We must remember to reach out for God's hand whenever we feel fear creeping into our lives:

Lord, whatever it is that I fear today, help me to handle it. Keep me so close to You that fear does not even have a place in my life. Amen.

Creative Parenting: Take a minute to think about the things that you really fear. Are you passing that fear on to the next generation? Take steps right now to find a positive way to deal with your fear so your children will not have to.

*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups! 


Monday, July 26, 2010

Introduction to MOMMY PICK-ME-UPS

The Introduction of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load by Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden . . .


Mom. That one word can evoke hundreds of thoughts and emotions. Words are inadequate to describe the feeling of holding a baby, your baby, in your arms for the very first time. As you look into the face of your precious little one, you feel as if you are looking into the face of God. He is perfect love, and His reflection shines from the face of this child. Life could not possibly get any better than this--definitely a pick-me-up moment. Oh, that being a mom would always be that easy and tender!

Those of us who hold the coveted title of Mom know that much of our lives are lived either on the mountaintop or in the valley. The struggle to stay on top is continuous. Even those moms who outwardly seem to have it all together probably do not, in reality!

Few of us understand that when we accept the challenge of motherhood, it is something that remains with us for life. A mother's heart is a forever gift. It binds you to other women, both known and unknown. You are instantly a part of a worldwide sorority. You are unalterably bound to dimply knees, peanut butter-smeared faces, pigtails, and the like, especially when observed on little ones who share your nose, hair color, or crooked smile. And motherhood changes you.

The change in your life is physical. Before having children, you never knew that you could be so tired or that you could eat in so many different positions.

The change is mental. You not only have to plan what you are going to wear, but you also have to hunt shin guards and tutus and go to 50 different stores looking at prom dresses only to return to store number 1 to make your purchase.

The change is emotional. You never dreamed you could cry over an off-pitch solo of "Silent Night" or a missed bid for cheerleader. You do not worry about heart attacks; you worry about heart bursts--your heart swells every time you see a stray curl on a forehead or smell the scent of baby powder.

The change is spiritual. You never knew God could be so close. You see Him everywhere--and at all hours of the day and night! There could not possibly be any more wonderful glimpse of His glory here on this earth than what is seen through the eyes of a mother gazing on her children. And no greater accolade exists than for a woman to experience Proverbs 31:28: "Her children arise and call her blessed."

The joys of motherhood are euphoric. The pains of motherhood send you to the depths of despair. And in between is the constant blessing of everyday life that can be experienced to the fullest because someone somewhere calls you Mom.

Whether you are currently on the mountaintop, in the valley, or somewhere in between, may this book bless you and point you to the One who created moms in the first place. May you be inspired to bless your family and all the other people around you.


*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups! 


Book Week and a Giveaway!

That's right, Mamas. It's Book Week on Stuff Mamas Like! This week I'll be featuring Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load by Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden. Each day I will share an excerpt from the book that I hope will encourage you in Mamahood. You will have a chance to enter the drawing to win your own copy of this book (See below.), so don't miss out! The drawing's on Friday!


*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups! 


Friday, July 23, 2010

Fun Friday: The BABIES Movie

My sisters, my mother, and I went to see Babies a few weeks ago, and we enjoyed it so much! I'm not sure it's still in theaters, but when it comes to DVD, you really must watch it!




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not Being Bombarded With Instructions

As my family and I were driving down the road the other day, I suddenly felt bombarded by all the road signs and billboards barking for my attention, telling me what to do.
crazy-road-signs.jpg picture by CassCass9395
"Eat here!"

"Turn there!"

"Sleep here and use our free WiFi!"

"Call this number! NOW!"

"Don't miss this!"

"Advertise here!"

"Don't go this way!"

"Watch out for animals crossing!"

"You need to remodel your bathroom!"


Seriously. If you paid attention to every sign along the road, you would feel bombarded with orders. As I thought more about this, I started laughing to myself at the similarities between navigating your way through all the signs on the road and navigating your way through Mamahood. It seems that from the first "We're having a baby!" announcement until that baby is off to college (or even beyond), there are people all around you barking their opinions about what you should do with your baby and how you should raise your child. Unfortunately, a lot of it is unsolicited, much like the billboards. Thankfully, though, there is often some really helpful information thrown into the mix--something you're glad to know about (like that you're literally going the wrong way).

As Mamas, we just have to know our course, know where we want to go and how we'd like to get there. Even if it's the scenic route. Pay attention to the signs that are helpful and ignore the ones that aren't. 

After all, there's more than to be a Mama.

Mama Question: How do you handle unsolicited instructions on being a Mama?






Friday, July 16, 2010

Fun Friday: Charlie Bit My Finger

This just never gets old, because it's so stinkin' funny!!




Monday, July 12, 2010

Being an Aunt

I currently have a house full of nieces and nephews, which is very different from just having a house full of kids. These are my sisters' children, and there's a special, natural bond between us, even though we don't get to see each other that often.

My own kids notice it, too. They love seeing their cousins! They can hardly sleep for the excitement that cousins are on their way to our house! And so for a few days, once or twice a year, we all pile in together in one house and play together, share meals, and fight for the beds and showers. It's chaotic greatness.

Being an aunt also means that I can tease and hug and dote on my nieces and nephews all I want. Oh yeah--and I can tell them all kinds of stories of when their Mamas were little girls, giving them lots of ammo for a later use. All in good fun, of course. All in good fun. Heh heh heh.

Mama Question: What do you love most about being an aunt?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Children Who Love Reading


Whether they're reading on their own, being read to, or just looking at the pictures, children who savor books are a joy to behold! Although their first taste of reading tastes much like cardboard as they gnaw on a board book with their slimy gums, it can still lead to a lifelong love of books. Even a baby's ripping out the pages of a storybook shouldn't be misinterpreted as not loving books. Maybe they just think each page is good enough to stand alone. Maybe.

As children begin to learn to recognize letters and then words and then sentences, a whole new world [Cue Disney music.] opens up for them. It gives them a new sense of pride (the good kind) and independence and accomplishment. And we Mamas would do well to go out of our way to enforce and encourage this particular habit. After all, it's a habit we'll never even want to have them break.

Mama Question: Do your children love books? How do you encourage reading at your house?


Monday, July 5, 2010

Seeing Other Mamas' Messy Houses


Look familiar?! It does to me. Even though it's not a picture of my house, the similarities are striking, and it makes me feel better knowing that I'm not alone in the messiness issue. It's gotten a bit better as my children have gotten older, but clutter (particularly from toys and laundry) still abounds. 

While I wish my house weren't this way, I've also come to the following conclusions about it:
  • It's bigger than I am, and I'm just not going to win. So I may as well not get all huffy and worried about it.
  • When my children are grown and gone, I can have a tidy house. (Of course, then I'll be sad that they're grown and gone and won't be motivated to clean it up even then.)
  • People--especially other Mamas--are much more comfortable visiting my house if it's already messy.
So do yourselves a favor, Mamas, and don't fret about the messiness. It's just part of the season we're in. If you're expecting company, consider leaving all those toys on the floor. You want your guests to feel at home, don't you? And if you are the one visiting another Mama's house, let her know how much you appreciate her not going out of her way to clean up for you.

On second thought, that might not go over so well. Better know how she'll interpret that one before you say it.

Mama Question: Do you keep your house tidy, let it go, or something in between? What about when you're expecting company?


Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Showing Off How Smart Our Babies Are

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2324/1593682634_e2d079f436_o.gifC'mon, you know you do it, too. I particularly remember my first-born's nine-month wellcheck. Our pediatrician was asking all the routine questions and was wanting simple answers, but I wanted to show off Callie's awesome skills in saying words, making animal sounds, and  pointing to various body parts. Because obviously my child was highly intelligent. I mean, how many nine-month-olds can clap their hands?!

Okay, so most of them can do all these things. But Mamas still have the right to take pride in their babies' new tricks. It's funny, though, isn't it? I mean, who ever knew we'd get so excited about a kid pointing to his own nose? But it's greatness.

Mama Question: What are your baby's new tricks? Feel free to show them off here!