Weekend Wandering 7.9.16

wandering above Blue Lakes in San Miguel County, Colorado
wandering above Blue Lakes in San Miguel County, Colorado

Before we jump into our favorite internet finds of the week, I want to give a last reminder that one of you will win a $100 Visa gift card from Excedrin.

To enter, follow the simple instructions at the bottom of the post, Oh My Aching Head.

Okay, carry on with a couple of great reads!

Failed Parenting from KathyEscobar.com

So many parents carry a pervasive feeling of constant failure and no safe places to talk about it…

When my kids struggle or rebel or do-all-kinds-of-things-that-make-me-crazy, the first place I go is always the same – I must have done something wrong.

Our Broken and Beautiful Adoption from Huffington Post

During our hardest days, the fact that we could never be the forever family was what got me through. I knew we could do it for a season and help her have stability until the right family was found for her. I felt like I could manage all of this for a time and then celebrate when she went to be with the mother who was better equipped than I was to meet her long-term needs.

We hope you have a great weekend, friends. I am so glad to have Russ home. He is already back into some big projects and the tractor is running late into the night.

Jennifer and her family are enjoying a respite weekend in the Rocky Mountains. Life with their littles is looking up a bit; they are finding some new routines that may make their days (and nights) a bit easier.

I’ll have an update on our journey as a foster family on Monday.

with hope and gratitude,

Lisa and Jennifer

Weekend Wandering 6.25.16

wandering north of lisa's house
wandering north of lisa’s house – near sarah’s house – taken by sarah mortimore

My Mercedes Went to Missions from Desiring God

My friend had chosen the path of generosity. He tithes, gives sacrificially, and pours out his life and income for gospel advance. He chose not to be rich. Despite his education, capabilities, and family wealth, he chose generosity that looks radical by comparison.  But in that moment, across the table from his [financial] advisor, he felt a flash of shame.

Here’s to You, Moms Who Are Good at Bedtime from Amusing Maralee

I don’t do bedtimes, but I’m pretty much always available to my kids. I make dinners and lunches and breakfasts and snacks. I do baths and mediate conflicts and kiss cheeks and sing random songs (Although I do not make up fictional stories with my child as the main character. It’s just not a skill I have, but I know some of you are awesome at it. Well done.). I love these kids fiercely and do my absolute best to be gentle and kind. . . which is part of why I try to clock out before my patience does.

Comings and Goings from Pull Up a Chair

…with the house next door, i didn’t have to imagine too, too much. i knew the players. had come to love the players. over time, you learn things, peel back the stories, allow the bond to build — the new year’s ladies lunch she always hosted; the time we went together to the tracks, put down dollar bills on the horse he assured would win; the day we moved here nearly 14 years ago when she came to the door with a tinfoil-domed platter of the best chocolate chip cookies anyone ate that day, and she looked me in the eye, said, “i think we’ve a lot in common….”

Weekend Wandering 6.18.16

ww green mountain 2wandering on the top of Green Mountain in Golden, Colorado


Enjoy a few of our favorite recent internet finds…

The Manager in My Home and the 5 Words That Changed Everything from Huffpost Parents

There was a time in my life when I barked orders more often than I spoke words of love… when I reacted to small everyday inconveniences as if they were major catastrophes… when normal human habits and quirks raised my blood pressure to dangerous levels.  Rather than nurturing my family members, I took it upon myself to manage my family members until there was no room to bend or breathe.

7 Ways to Disarm Defiant Children from DanielleMaxon.com

As much as you can, say yes, but in a way that honors your family’s values and rules. Instead of “No cookies until you finish your dinner,” try “Yes, of course you can have a cookie, right after you eat 5 more bites of broccoli.” Kids hear No all the time; No is like white noise to a spirited child.

A Prayer for When You Don’t Know What to Say from Emily P. Freeman

For the parents, friends, co-workers, and family members who received final texts, phones calls, or heard no word at all, we ask for Your abiding presence to come beside, to stand behind, to walk ahead, to comfort.

I was honored to be featured on my friends’ Mike and Kristin Berry’s blog this week.

8 Ways to Help a Struggling Family from Confessions of An Adoptive Parent

Last week I heard from a woman whose friend adopted a child and the family is struggling. Her heartfelt note asked what she could do to help. She wrote, “The mom looks sad and frustrated all of the time.”

She closed her email with, “What can I do to help? What can our church family do to help?”Let me offer a few thoughts…

This week has taken my breath away. I fully intended to send a newsletter, but Russ and I took a wild and unexpected leap into the licensing process to become  foster parents . Remember when I said we were going to do that some day?

Then I got the flu – the real, full-blown flu, and I’m still recovering. It has taken so much out of me – in fact, as soon as I finish typing this, I’m taking a nap.

Oh, and school is out, the kids are home from school, and I’ve been on the couch all week. It hasn’t gone quite like I planned.

Let’s hope next week is better – much better.

This weekend is Father’s Day! Jennifer and I would be honored if you would share our Father’s Day posts:

Happy Father’s Day to the Audacious Dads

The Only Daddy They May Ever Know

Have a great weekend, friends.

Lisa – and Jennifer 

Weekend Wandering 6.11.16

wandering in lisa's backyard in north idaho
wandering in lisa’s backyard in north idaho

Enjoy some of the treasures we discovered while wandering blogs and online articles this week.

A Life Worth Printing, Posting, Remembering, and Living from HandsFreeMama.com

Recently a reader of my blog wrote to me about her 19 year old daughter. She was facing great challenges in her schooling and the mother wanted to support her in ways that would lift and strengthen her. The mother asked, “Do you have any words I can say to my daughter?” That is when my mental Soul-Building List became a physical one…So here is my list of 20 Soul-Building phrases followed by the printable and two extraordinary resources for knowing and loving your people.

19 Tips to Potty Train Your Kid in Three Days from BuzzFeed.com

Jennifer is about to embark on potty training a toddler again (it’s been a number of years!).  She’s planning to use a few tips from this list (dry erase marker to doodle on the toilet lid!  and a potty watch timer!).

Summer Reading Lists for Kids from The Art of Simple

I [Lisa] hope to do a lot of reading this summer and plan to take my kids along with me. I’ll be referring to these lists when we make our library jaunts.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for your summer reading, check out some of our favorites.

One of our readers will win a $100 Visa gift card, be sure to enter to win on this post.

Have a great weekend, friends. Thanks for sharing our lives and letting us be part of yours.

Lisa and Jennifer


Weekend Wandering 5.28.16

ww above ouraywandering near Ouray, Colorado

Enjoy some of the treasures we discovered while wandering the internet this week.

A Story: 136 Days from Because of His Goodness

From the minute the call came in, their hearts were stirred for this child. Even though on paper all the hesitations and concerns still looked just as strong. Even though there were many more questions than answers. Even though the fears definitely out-weighed the hopes. The answer was ‘yes.’

Why God Gives Us Weakness from Christianity Today

While I mourn the losses inherent in these troubles, I also see how God might be repurposing them for my good. Weakness is doing its double work in me. The Lord is knocking the edges off my life-threatening conceit. And I’ve watched him show off his strength in the midst of my depletion. To paraphrase Paul, I’m learning to be okay with operating at diminished capacity, operating within serious limitations, because when I am at my lowest ebb, God’s work through me is at its best.

How to Recover From Emotional Eating Binges from Candace Creates

I woke up this morning knowing today can be different. Having these difficult episodes so often over my lifetime has definitely shown me they are temporary. Even though I may find myself hopeless at times in the midst of those days, I know without a doubt from past experiences, I will once again overcome the darkness.

If You Think Your Kids Don’t Notice Race from A Musing Maralee

This idea that kids don’t see race is so pervasive and it’s surprisingly harmful. We idealize their “innocence” without realizing their inability to talk about race has little to do with their inability to recognize that people are different and has much more to do with the socialization they receive that says it’s shameful to talk about race.

Believe it or not, Russ and I got away to Coeur d’Alene for a few days last week. It was so good for us. We hiked, went to a movie, explored, and relaxed together. I’m thankful for our older kids who made it possible and good friends who loaned us their lake house.

We’re home for the weekend and Russ is working on our big patio project. I just want him to slap down pavers, but it doesn’t work like that. He’s digging out the old window well, rerouting sprinkler pipes, and designing the wall that runs along one side of the patio. He tells me that laying the pavers is the fun and fast part of the whole project.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. We’ll see you next week!

Lisa and Jennifer

Weekend Wandering 5.21.16

canola fields in north idaho
canola and wheat fields in north idaho

Enjoy some of the treasures we discovered while wandering the internet this week.

A Visible Life from D. L. Mayfield

I can feel it, like the changing of a season. I am entering into a new phase of life. I feel incredibly visible, like I am living in a fishbowl. Now that we know people, if we step outside our back door into the communal courtyard the interactions are immediate: women inviting me over for tea, women waving from the balconies, commenting on my appearance, children wanting to play with my daughter or eat the few tiny strawberries we are growing.