So Much Good Stuff

Doesn’t this time of year take your breath away? So much is happening!

This week brings the last day of school, Beza’s high school graduation, a big Sunday dinner celebrating Beza with big kids in town, our 34th wedding anniversary, and Claire leaving on a 17-day 4-H trip to Washington DC.

It’s the good kind of busy.

It also requires a lot of food, which means a Costco trip is planned for Thursday.

Russ spent four hours researching and booking flights for Peru and Kenya last night. It’s a complicated combination.

He and some of our big kids are trekking Machu Piccu this summer. He also needs to go to Kenya for water projects, so rather than come home in between, he’ll go straight from Peru to Kenya.

It’s easier for me to have him gone longer than to have him come home and leave again. Anybody else feel the same?

When he’s gone on a long trip, I get in a groove with the kids. Then when he comes home, I’m so ready not to be completely in charge. If he turned around and left again, I just might fall apart. I think this will be better.

As my Instagram pic at the top of the post says, I’m teaching an online marriage class beginning this Thursday. I’m so excited. Friends, we need to hold on to our marriages, even in the hard – especially in the hard.

We’re also offering the class, How to Balance Nurture and Structure. Melissa is teaching and I will be participating because, honestly, I continue to work on this.

Registration closes tonight (Tuesday) at midnight. You can find more information about both classes HERE.

This is the kids’ last full day of school – I have lots of mixed feelings. I still hope for the old, kick-back feeling of summer, which is probably foolish because we haven’t had that in many years. But I can hope, right?

Actually, I need to make a plan, which I should have done a month ago. I’ve been thinking about it, but I need something in writing. A chart, a list, something that lends structure to the days, weeks, and months of summer. I’ll get to it soon.

All for today, my friends. I hope you’re doing well. Say hello if you have a minute.

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With hope and courage,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Abrianna
    June 5, 2018

    My summer consists of being out of the house twice a day M-F. We swim long course in the mornings, summer swim team and kung fu in the evenings. Next weekend we have an all weekend meet.

    We are also job hunting and it looks like another cross country move is in our future . My husband will go ahead of us for the job and we stay here for the next school year, meaning moving when my blessing is a high school sophomore. Boo to that.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 5, 2018

      That’s tough, Abrianna. And your summer sounds full!

  2. Sarah Sypkes
    June 6, 2018

    Your words are always a breath of fresh perspective, truth and wisdom for my days filled with good and hard things. Many thanks. Sarah.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 7, 2018

      You’re welcome, Sarah. I’m so glad to bring something helpful to you.

  3. jen
    June 20, 2018

    Ah, reading that bit about it being easier to have Russ gone for one long trip rather than a quick stop home in the middle reminded me of my husband’s deployments: Easily, I find the hardest part of the deployment the in and out that he goes through before the deployment. He’ll be gone for a week or two of training, then home for a few days then gone for a week or two of another training, then home for a few days, then he leaves for the deployment . . . and by that time the kids and I are so frazzled that no one knows which way is up! Once we settle into the new “Daddy’s gone” normal, life is so much simpler. So…I get it! I totally agree with you!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 23, 2018

      I often think of military families and how hard deployment must be. Good to know you understand, Jen. And good to hear from you!


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