Kiddos

Dear Ginger… 7 Ways to Help Answer Your Kids’ Tough Questions About Divorce

Dear Ginger... Answering Your Kids' Tough Questions About Divorce

 

Dear Friends,

 

I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!

 

Today I’m answering another question that I receive pretty often…

 

What should I say to my kids when they ask me why their daddy and I are divorced?

 

First of all, I wish that I could give you a great big hug right now. This situation can pierce a mommy’s heart. Each time our boys have looked up at me with their dark eyes and asked me this question, I had to swallow the lump in my throat and send up a quick prayer for help in how to help them understand.

 

My boys were only 5 months, 3, and 4 when our marriage fell apart, and 1, 3, and 5 years old when our divorce was finalized. Because they were so little, and because of the betrayal and hurt that led to the end of our marriage, I had to find a way to help them understand without putting the weight of our circumstances on their little shoulders.

 

My Littlest Gift - justoneoftheboys.com

 

I heard a story when I was growing up of when Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom was little girl, and she asked her father a deep question when she was still too young to understand the graveness of the answer. Her father’s analogy has stuck with me all these years, and I have used it when I talked to my own little ones about divorce in our family.

 

“Honey, I love you so much, and I know that you have so many questions. I wish that I could give you a better answer – but the truth is that the reason we are divorced is like holding a heavy suitcase. It’s just too heavy for you to carry right now, so I will carry this for you. And someday, when you’re bigger, if you really want to know, I will tell you more. Please know that I love you so much – to infinity and beyond! Thank you for coming to me. You can always ask me anything, and I will do my best to help you understand.”

 

Here are a few other tips in answering those hard questions:

 

  1. Take their questions seriously.

 

Look into their eyes and acknowledge their pain and wondering. As much as it hurts you, welcome their questions and keep that line of communication open between you both. This will help in your own growth, you can assess how your kids are coping, and help them with their own healing.

 

  1. Be honest, but guard your privacy and their little hearts.

 

boys

 

They don’t need to know all of the nitty-gritty details. They will never need to know ALL of the details that led to your divorce.

 

  1. Don’t bad-mouth your ex in front of your children.

 

Co-Parenting After Divorce

 

As much as you might be tempted to pull back the curtain on your ex’s character, please don’t. This is not the time to vent your frustration. Nothing good will come from it – only more hurt and confusion about loyalty to you both as parents. Instead, find a loving friend who will listen as you cry, yell, question, and process your own pain. And then you can be there for her when she needs it.

 

  1. But you don’t have to sugar coat things either.

 

You don’t have to pretend that everything is just peachy. It’s okay to let them know that you are sad about how circumstances turned out, but also let them know that you will be fine, they will be fine, and that you are working with their dad to parent them together as a team.

 

  1. Explain that it’s just too much for them to carry right now.

 

It isn’t time for them to carry this information. You’re not putting down their age by saying that they’re not old enough. You’re also not giving them a time frame of when they will get those answers. You may feel the need to carry most of this heavy information for them for the rest of your life. This isn’t just about protecting the other parent’s reputation. Children are much more perceptive than we give them credit, and over time they will see things about each of us as parents – good and bad – for themselves.

 

  1. Find ways to help them ease into this transition.

 

11 Ways to Help Children Cope With Divorce

 

Secretly tuck notes or funny cards into their bag when they leave with the other parent for the weekend. Give them a stuffed animal that they can take back and forth to remember you by. Take them to counseling so they can use play therapy and projects to work through their own pain. Keep a routine at your house that helps the children feel settled during this time of change.

 

 

  1. Show love for their dad.

 

Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?

 

Affection might be the last emotion you feel for the other parent, but it’s important that you maintain a civil relationship with their father. You don’t have to be best buddies, but I’ve learned that being at least casually friendly to their dad will go a long way to your children feeling settled, loved, and a jump-start on their healing after the divorce.

 

Offer him more time with your children on his birthday. Wish him a happy Father’s Day. Seek out his opinion when your child is sick. It might feel as if you are giving him more and more influence, but he is their dad. When you put the ball in his court, you are giving him extra opportunities to graciously co-parent together. He may or may not respond the way that you wished, but at least you gave him that chance, and your children will be better for it.

 

 

What about you?

 

Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

 

Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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Crashing into Grace…

So… My morning didn’t start out so great. I turned my head when something caught my eye, and I was not looking behind me when I backed out of our garage.

 

CRUNCH.

 

I felt my stomach drop as the realization of what I just did washed over me. I had just hit my husband’s car. Joe was still inside the house,  so I sent in one of the boys to go get him.

 

I put the vehicle in park, and I just sat there – still shocked by what I had just done. The sound of my own thoughts echoed inside my mind…

 

Look what you did. How could you be so stupid, Ginger? How could you be so careless? You know better than to get distracted. You’re so irresponsible. I can’t believe you just did that. Stupid!

 

Blame. Name-calling. Judgement.

 

That’s when my Beloved walked outside, and I saw him involuntarily cringe when he saw my predicament. That’s when my heart and my tears fell.

 

“I’m so sorry.”

 

“It’s okay, Honey. That’s why they call it an accident.”

 

GRACE.

 

“But I’m really, really sorry.”

 

“It’s okay, Honey. Really. It’s just a car.”

 

More GRACE.

 

Our oldest son climbed up next to me and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. “Are you okay, Mom? Everybody makes mistakes.” 

 

No blaming. Just GRACE.

 

I ran my errand still shell-shocked, and returned home to my family. Aiden’s concerned face greeted me when I went inside. “Mom! Are you okay?” Our freckled middle child who doesn’t enjoy showing physical affection could sense what I needed just then, and he gave me a hug.

 

No judgement. Just GRACE.

 

Our littlest guy hurried up the stairs. “What’s wrong, Mommy?” He leaned his head against me and looked up as I explained what had happened. His brown eyes got even bigger, and then his face softened. “It’s okay, Mommy. Sometimes stuff like that just happens.” 

 

No name-calling. Just GRACE.

 

Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

And my Beloved. His kind eyes searched my face and could tell that I was still beating myself up for my mistake. He stood there with open arms – full of the forgiveness and grace that I was denying myself… that I have become accustomed to denying myself over the course of my whole life.

 

It was then that I realized the only one pointing fingers of blame was me. My whole family had surrounded me with love and forgiveness. I could continue on in my shame spiral, or I could accept what everyone else was already handing to me. GRACE.

 

This certainly isn’t the last time that I’m going to mess up, but today I’m choosing GRACE.

 

What about you?

 

Have you found ways to give yourself a little grace when you let yourself down? Do you struggle with it like I do? I’d love to read your comments below. It means so much to me that you let me go on this journey of life with you! Thank you so much for being part of our Just One of the Boys family!

 

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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What I’m Into ~ March 2015 Edition

Is it really that time again? The month of March has come to an end, and we’re back with the lovely Leigh Kramer and sharing what we’ve been into this past month! Are y’all ready for spring? As much as I love boot and leggings weather, I’m pretty happy to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and soak up the feeling of everything being new and fresh again!

 

What have you been into this month? I just love seeing what everyone is reading, watching, and up to! Call me nosey! I’m always looking for a new movie or series to watch with my Beloved, or on my own for some much-needed girl time! And I love adding to my GoodReads list with new books to devour. Are we GoodReads buddies yet? I hope so!

 

So here’s what I’ve been into this month…

 

Spending time outside ~

 

Since the weather has warmed up, everything is getting green and lovely again! I’ve been perching with a book on my bench outside while I listen to the boys play basketball in the driveway or ride their bikes. I love this time of year… until my allergies hit! Ahhhhhh…CHOO! Have you found anything to help with seasonal allergies? I’m trying Claritin this year, but I’m thinking I might have to get out the dreaded NetiPot!

 

What I'm Into

 

Taking Back My Health ~

 

In preparation for my 34th birthday coming up this month, I decided to tackle the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene! I shared a few of my thoughts on the first week earlier this week… Will this help me welcome the next year with a bang, or will it kill me first?!

 

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Read in March ~

 

I’m a little in awe of how many books I read this past month. I had been feeling a little homesick for diving into good books, and I spent quite a bit of time getting back to one of my first loves – reading. I felt like I had been given an IV and felt so much more refreshed, invigorated, and like myself when I give myself time to read. Do you know what I mean, or am I just a weirdo? Anybody? Bueller? Nevermind. *wink*

 

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I have been waiting my whole life for this book! I can’t tell you how much I loved reading her original Pioneer Girl manuscript, and the added notes on each page that went into deeper detail of the history of Little House and the interaction between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane.

 

Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win, Christine Caine – An amazing friend mailed me her copy after she read it, knowing how much this book would touch my heart. I could have underlined every word. There were so many areas that were convicting, encouraging, and inspiring – and it really lit a fire in my heart!

 

Unstoppable

 

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker – This one had been on my radar for quite a while. I put out a plea on Facebook to see if any local friends had it to borrow, and people ended up suspecting that I was pregnant! Yikes! A dear friend sent me a copy, and I have really treasured my early morning quiet time reading this sweet book every morning. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have been recommending it to every mom I know! This would be a PERFECT Mother’s Day gift for the special ladies in your life!

 

Surprised by Motherhood - an awesome book by Lisa-Jo Baker

 

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker

 

On Writing, by Stephen King – I read this back in 2013, but decided that it was time for a refresher. I loved this book EVEN MORE this second time through it. I am a very new King fan. I’ve never read any of his scary books. I started 11/22/63 a while back, but had to take it back to the library before I got into it, but I think I’m going to give it another try soon! His years of honing his craft, the advice for new writers, and learning more about his life was surprisingly both entertaining and inspiring!

 

On Writing

 

Fooling Houdini, by Alex Stone – I’ve always been curious about magic. I mostly flipped through this book before I had to take it back to the library. I found his explanations pretty interesting, and I’d love to know more about the way our brains see what they want to see when it comes to illusions!

 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty – I’ve seen this pop up on many to-read lists recently, and it was finally my turn on the library hold list. She had some really crazy stories about working in cremation!

 

I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich – Shauna Niequest recommended this in a recent blog post, and I was excited to see it available at our library. This lady is the fashion guru to the NYC elite, and she has led a fascinating life.

 

Astonish Me, by Maggie Shiptstead – I always love learning more about the world of ballet. This story jumps around to different dears and lives that all intertwine. There’s a love triangle, drug use, depression, and the Nutcracker. Kinda crazy. I skimmed through the last few chapters, wanting to know how it turned out, but not wanting to read through every single line. I’ve been in the mood for more comedy lately, and this one just wasn’t cutting it.

 

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, by Jessica N. Turner – This was another great book! I loved reading it at night and thinking about how I can better use the “fringe hours” in my own life as I fell asleep at night. I’ve already recommended it to a friend, and I’m sure that my copy will be out on loan quite a bit!

 

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money, by Ron Lieber – A very different look at teaching kids about money! Loved mulling over different ideas and talking with my Beloved about them. I think this is one we should get for our collection someday. I was sad to take it back to the library!

 

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – I listened to half of this book while I was on a road trip by myself, and then I finished it while going on walks or doing the dishes after the boys were in bed. It’s in the same family as Gone Girl, but not quite as messed up. If you’re looking for a page-turning thriller, this is a good place to start!

 

The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan – This is the first book I’ve read from Kelly Corrigan. I really enjoyed her Medium Foreword interview series, and I wanted to get to know HER a little better. I’d heard awesome things about this book before, but I had avoided it because it dealt with cancer. Because of how cancer came into our family, I hadn’t wanted to “go there” just yet, but I’m really glad I went ahead and read her story.

 

Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear!: The Go-To Guide for All Shapes and Sizes, by Shari Braendel – A fun look at clothes, fit, and color! This stuff fascinates me. I love the science behind why our bodies are the shape that we are, and why color does or doesn’t work on a certain skin tone. With my olive-ish complexion and a straight up and down shape (complete with a bit of a muffin top), and it can be difficult to find the exact shade or fit for my body. I loved her explanations and ideas on new colors. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut – but she inspired me to shop my own closet and use things in new ways!

 

 

Reading in April ~

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – I saw my friend Andrea reading this a few weeks ago and it piqued my interest!

 

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I can’t believe that I’ve never read Margaret Atwood, but I recently watched her interview with Medium Foreword, and decided that I had to remedy that in April!

 

Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

 

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell

 

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

 

 

Screen Time ~

 

This month my Beloved and I watched House of Cards, Blacklist, and March Madness! I’m a Kansas Jayhawk fan, so I was pretty disappointed when they were knocked out by our in-state rivals Wichita State University. Humbug.

 

I finally got around to watching Capote. Philip Seymore Hoffman is beyond amazing in it.

 

I tried to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I fell asleep. It seemed to interesting that maybe I’ll give it another shot this month when I’m not so tired.

 

On the Blog ~

 

I shared a very personal and painful look at forgiveness

 

Forgiveness

 

 

I shared my very first VLOG with you and asked for your help

 

We talked about what THEY don’t tell you about parenting

 

What They Don't Tell You - Parenting Over the Years

 

 

I shared 7 simple ways to help when a friend is hurting

 

Dear Ginger

 

Gave you a peek into a day in the life of a #BoyMom

 

It takes a lot more than that to scare me - I have boys!

 

 

And had fun designing several #boymom photos! (Click here to see more!)

 

Yes, I do have my hands full... #boymom

 

If I step on one more LEGO, so help me... #boymom

 

Put your weapons down and eat your breakfast! #boymom

 

No, Mommy doesn't have one of those... #boymom

 

 

What About YOU?

 

I’d love to know what you’ve been up to this month! Have you read any good books? Watched a must-see movie? I’d love to hear all about it!

You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!

 

Wishing you an exquisite month of April!

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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#Boymom – A Day in the Life!

It takes a lot more than that to scare me - I have boys!

 

 

A day in the life of a #boymom:

 

7:00AM – Breakfast. “Put down your weapons and eat your oatmeal.”

 

7:20AM – Discourage him from putting gummy vitamins up his nose.

 

8:41AM – “We don’t wear Spiderman undies on our heads.”

 

8:42AM – “Because I said so.”

 

10:19AM – Laundry time. Check pockets for insects, crayons, and treasures.

 

12:04PM – Lunch time. “Nice try, but you are not allergic to veggies.”

 

2:28PM – Sibling squabble. “No, you may not sell your brother at a garage sale.”

 

3:37PM – Grocery shopping. “Yes, I have my hands full. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

3:42PM – Still grocery shopping. “Yes, they eat a lot. Yes, I know they will eat me out of house and home when they are teenagers.”

 

4:02PM – STILL grocery shopping. “No, we’re not trying for a girl.”

 

4:45PM – “I’m pretty sure you won’t starve to death before dinner is ready.”

 

5:37PM – Supper. “No lightsabers at the dinner table.”

 

7:24PM – Bathtime. “No, mommies don’t have those.”

 

8:02PM – Bedtime chat. “I don’t know why God made boogers.”

 

10:27PM – Your bedtime. Find a rubber snake under your pillow. Sigh, smile, and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

 

#Boymom – The faint of heart need not apply!

 

What about you? Is there anything that you would add to the list? I’d love to hear about a day in your life!

Do you know a #boymom who would enjoy this I HAVE BOYS picture or post? Forward this to them and make them smile! Life can feel so overwhelming when you feel alone. #Boymoms have to stick together!

*Fist bump!*

~ G

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What They Don’t Tell You… Parenting Over the Years

What They Don't Tell You - Parenting Over the Years

 

“Mom, what does @$*%!^ mean?”

 

I held a steady poker face to cover the horror that gripped my heart as I listened to the words that my curious fifth grader had overheard at school.

 

Uhhh… Wow… Ummm…

 

I did the best I could to answer his questions, explain why such a word can cause so much hurt, and warn why it would never be acceptable to use it.

 

Later I wrapped my arms around my little man-in-training, and felt him return my goodnight hug.

 

“Thank you for talking to me, Mom. I love you.”

 

I ruffled his hair and sent him to bed before I collapsed back on the couch, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I had reassured him that he could always come to me with his questions, but I was silently cursing the parenting books that I’d read cover-to-cover twelve years ago as I prepared to become a mother. They never mentioned anything like this. 

 

Sure, everyone knows that the first year is going to be rough, and that the terrible twos can get dicey, but no one tells you that parenting just keeps getting harder and harder with each passing birthday party. I’m no longer worried that my little guys will put something in their mouths, stick a chubby little finger into an outlet, or tumble down the stairs. Now I get to worry about swear words, girls, peer pressure, social media, and Middle School.

 

Oh goody.

 

Makes me wish we could go back to when my boys were little and I spent my days just trying to keep them from killing themselves!

 

A dear friend recently gave me a copy of Lisa-Jo Baker’s touching story, Surprised by Motherhood. As I read each chapter her words took me back to those early days of being a mommy, and I started to remember a few surprising things that the What to Expect books left out…

 

You will never sleep again.

Bad dreams, croupy coughs, stubborn fevers, sleepwalking, and burning the midnight oil while you make four dozen school treats all get in the way of sleeping through the night.

 

You’ll discover how selfish you really are.

I love my boys more than life itself, but sometimes I want to eat the last cookie. I’m definitely not a morning person. And I’d rather have a root canal than listen to them explain anything Minecraft.

 

They will eat you out of house and home from now until forever.

Speaking of cookies, and food in general, be prepared for them to eat it all like a plague of locusts devouring everything in sight. I just realized that in a few short years, we will have THREE teenage boys in our house. Hold me.

 

Someday you’ll have THE TALK with your child.

If this one doesn’t put the fear of God in you, nothing will. Looking into their eyes while you explain the science of how babies are made is not for the faint of heart. Your breathing will become rapid and shallow, you will experience dizziness, there will be profuse sweating, and you will speak higher and faster than normal, but try your hardest to postpone your panic attack until after the big talk.

 

I had mistakenly thought that I was prepared for life as a mom. All of those years ago I read up on how to properly care for my baby. I studied swaddling diagrams. I weighed the pros and cons of crying it out vs. nursing on demand. I was a parenting expert before I had kids… And then I became a mother and realized that I didn’t know anything.

 

Those darn What to Expect books forgot to mention several other important things as well…

 

The journey.

Experiencing the world through the eyes of your child is an incredible gift. You get to discover dandelions and ladybugs and puppies and rainbows all over again. The world is such a magical place, if we will only pause long enough to see its beauty again for the first time through their wondering eyes.

 

The pain.

Having a child is like ripping your heart out of your chest and sending it out alone into the world. Their joy is your joy. Their hurts are your hurts. You will want to shield them forever from the pain, injustice, and darkness of this life – but what they really need is for you to take their little hands and guide them through it.

 

The LOVE.

The amount of love that you will feel for the precious gifts who are entrusted to you is undefinable, unmeasurable, and infinitely beyond what you had ever imagined.

 

I wasn’t prepared for this. I wish the books had warned me. But then again, I wouldn’t trade this adventure, and even the surprises along the way, for anything in the world.

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Mama said there’d be days like this…

And the day was going so well…

 

I’m wondering if you would mind helping me with something today?

 

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Take a Little Time ~ Forgiveness

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Monday, Lovelies! I’ve been thinking of you all – and feeling so grateful to be on this journey with you!

 

How was your week? What are some of the ways you have taken a little time for yourself? Did you call a friend? Light a candle? Fix yourself a cup of tea? I’d love to hear all about it!

 

I was a bit vague about one of my goals last week:

  • ~ Finish an unpleasant project that I’ve been meaning to cross off my to-do list. I won’t be able to fully relax until I know that it is over.

 

This is a tough post to write, but I want to share a little more about what I meant…

 

I meet with my ex-husband after every 9 weeks of homeschooling for a progress report/parent-teacher conference. I dread it almost more than anything. It’s not that it’s difficult to write up report cards for our sons. It isn’t – in fact, it’s pretty easy because I keep detailed and organized records of our lesson plans and their grades. The reason that I dread it so much is that…well… My shoulders tense and my eye begins to twitch when I think of sitting across from the person who hurt me in so many ways, and I put it off as long as I can. Then I get even more stressed because life would be so much easier if I would just hurry up and get it over with.

 

I’ve shared with you how I’ve been hurt, how I’ve forgiven, and how I’ve healed – but I need to tell you something:

 

Forgiveness doesn’t equal amnesia.

 

Those memories and wounds are still there… even years later. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse what they did – but it frees you from the chains of anger, fear, and resentment that bound us to that person. Forgiveness allows us to heal. But it still doesn’t make sitting in a coffeeshop with that person a cakewalk. Meeting with someone who has caused me pain will probably never be enjoyable – but the passage of time, giving myself grace, and doing this for our children is slowly making it easier – a little at a time. And this week was no exception.

 

Forgiveness

 

I always breathe a sigh of relief when we finish our meeting, a little bit proud of myself for facing and overcoming something that I had filled me with so much worry just an hour earlier.

 

See, that wasn’t so bad. It was a little easier than last time!

 

My eye stopped twitching, my tummy quit working itself into knots, and I was finally able to relax after it was over. I did it. I crossed it off my list.

 

You might not be in my shoes, but I’m wondering if there are unpleasant things in your life that you put off, too? If so, please take this week to cross it off your to-do list. The weight of it being lifted off your shoulders is such sweet relief.

 

And forgiveness… I’ve shared before how forgiveness isn’t a gift that you’re giving to the other person. It’s a gift that you give to yourself. People ask me if forgiveness is a one-time thing – and I think it’s a specific decision that a person can make one time, but it is also a daily decision to live out that forgiveness in our lives.

 

Forgiveness doesn’t take away everything that happened to you – but it will give you the courage and strength to face what is in front of you. Forgiveness is still the best decision I have ever made, the best gift that I can continue to give myself and our precious boys, and the best gift you can ever give yourself.

 

Just know that you’re not alone on this journey of forgiveness and healing. I’m right there with you and cheering you on the whole way! *Group hug!*

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

 

  • Write down (or take pictures of) THREE things you are grateful for each daySome of the things I was grateful for over the last week:

Quinn’s laughter – makes me smile every time.

Hearing the words, “I’m sorry.” 

Forgiveness.

A good night’s sleep.

Orange juice. Copious amounts of orange juice.

The friendships we have made in our weekly small group. We love the range of ages and phases of life we are all in – but the feeling of community is so sweet! (And check out the pineapple parfaits we had this week. So thankful that they don’t mind being my Guinea pigs when it comes to trying out new recipes!)

pineapple parfaits

 

  • Finish an unpleasant project that I’ve been meaning to cross off my to-do list. I won’t be able to fully relax until I know that it is over.

 

  • Indulge in some quality time with my Beloved! It’s a kid-free weekend, House of Cards is coming back to Netflix, and we have more chapters to read in Love & RespectJoe and I both came down with colds just as the weekend began, so we spent most of our time on the couch snuggling through fevers, watching House of Cards, reading, napping, coughing, drinking orange juice, and blowing our noses. Not super romantic, but I actually enjoyed having that down time with my Beloved! Now that I’m feeling a little more human, I’m ready to attack the coming week!

 

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I was pretty good at exercising Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but by Friday I was too coughy/sneezy/achy/fevery/miserable to work out. But I think I lost a couple of pounds from pretty much only eating grapefruit over the weekend. There had to be a silver lining somewhere!

 

  • Measure out and drink 60 oz. of water each day, and a serving of coconut water to keep my body hydrated. I probably drank my weight in tea over the weekend. I couldn’t stomach the thought of drinking chocolate coconut water over the last few days, so I’ll probably double up on that this week to make sure I’m staying hydrated.

 

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

Our Group Goal ~

  • ~ Let’s take care of our nails this week! Trim, file, push back cuticles… Buff, polish, apply Jams… Whatever floats your boat! And I’d love to see them!

 

For My Head ~

  • ~ Now that my broken finger is mostly pain-free, get back to playing the piano every day (even if it’s only for a few minutes).

 

For My Heart ~

  • ~ Push myself outside my comfort zone and share a video blog with you!

 

For My Body ~

  • ~ Exercise for at least 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 

For My Family ~

  • ~ Family Game/Puzzle Night! What are some of your favorite games to play as a family?

 

 

Will You Join Me? ~

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to write out three things you are grateful for today! You can even share them here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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Mom’s Got Mail! How a Family Mailbox Saved My Sanity

mom's got mail

 

**Today I am honored to be guest posting over at my friend Tanya‘s blog – Mom’s Small Victories! I am sharing how a simple thing has saved my sanity in a house of boys!**

 

“Why do you have a mailbox in your kitchen?”

 

This question from surprised friends always brings a smile to my face when people come to our house.

 

Oh, that? Let me tell you about our family mailbox…

 

One day I’d had it up to *HERE* with the tattling, fighting, and brotherly pestering that was going on in our house. As much as I wanted them to learn how to work out their grievances amongst themselves, I also knew that sometimes a mom has to step in to settle things. The problem comes when I can’t stop what I’m doing  – often helping someone with fractions, fixing dinner, or making a phone call – every single time there was a LEGO or light saber dispute.

 

What I needed was a personal secretary, but since that wasn’t in the family budget, I had to come up with something else.

 

**To read the rest of how a mailbox has changed our lives – just head over to Mom’s Small Victories! Can’t wait to see you there!**

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Take a Little Time ~ Take 7

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Monday er, uh, Tuesday! I dozed off last night on the couch while I was working on this post. I’ve been so tired recently after having some late nights, so I think I need to make more of an effort to get myself to bed earlier!

 

How’d you do on your goals last week? Did you write down things you are grateful for?

 

I really liked taking time to think about the things I’m grateful for every day! I started out writing them down in my African journal each morning, but then I decided to change it up a little bit. One day I decided to be aware of the things that stick out to me during the day – and take photos of them instead. I loved pausing for just a few seconds here and there throughout my day and just soaking in what I was grateful for in that moment.

 

I shared this photo on Instagram and Facebook – I am so grateful for this bookworm in soccer jammies and crazy bedhead! I love watching his love of books grow each day. “Just one more chapter, Mom! Please?!”

Grateful - Aiden reading

 

I am also grateful for the time each day that I get to sit down with our littlest bookworm as he reads aloud to me. I love getting to experience the magic of Shel Silverstein and other authors through their little eyes for the first time over and over again!

Grateful - Quinn reading

 

And while I was contemplating other things that I was grateful for, I came across my “Gratefulness Journal” which is from Zambia. I got it last fall from my friend Sara who is living in Zambia and has a heart for helping boys in African prisons.

 

African journal

 

Looking at my journal made me so grateful for friendship. I have so many wonderful friends devoting their lives to helping others…

Sara is in Zambia, Will is working with orphans in Ukraine, Vanessa is in Peru, Crystal is working with a village in South Africa, Katie started a work in Haiti, Jennifer is working in my hometown, Alysha is encouraging broken hearts after a devastating loss, and there are so many others… I am inspired and challenged by these people every day just by having them in my life – for which I am beyond grateful!

 

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Write down three things we are grateful for each day.

 

  • ~ WRITE. Just spend time writing – whether it is journaling or blogging. I can process life, wounds heal, and creativity grows when I set aside time to write out what is on my heart.  I spent quite a bit of time last week journaling and processing through things that were on my heart, and finished a guest post that I’ll tell you more about soon. I also fixed myself a giant stein of Earl Grey tea and wrote out a list of topics I’d love to share on the blog in the future. 

Grateful - tea in the evenings

 

 

  • ~ Soak up time with my girlfriends when we have our monthly dinner this weekA few girls were under the weather, but I still LOVED sitting down and having dinner with my friends! We memorized James 1:1-4 over the last month, and now we are moving on to the next four verses. I’m finding that it’s way more enjoyable to work on Scripture memory with friends! And check out the cute bookmarks my friend Ashley made to help us throughout the month!

Bible Verses

 

  • ~ Measure out 60 oz. of water to drink each day. I’m pretty happy that I was able to get through my water every day except one. Baby steps! It really is SO much easier to remember my water if I measure it out!

Glass pitcher

 

copper mug

 

  • ~ Take care of my nails – file, apply cuticle balm, and polish them a pretty color. I didn’t get around to polishing them. Bummer!

 

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

I loved this new way of practicing gratitude so much that I want to do it again!

 

Weekly Group Goal ~

  • ~ Write down (or take pictures of) THREE things you are grateful for each day!

 

For My Head ~

  • ~ Finish an unpleasant project that I’ve been meaning to cross off my to-do list. I won’t be able to fully relax until I know that it is over.

 

For My Heart ~

  • ~ Indulge in some quality time with my Beloved! It’s a kid-free weekend, House of Cards is coming back to Netflix, and we have more chapters to read in Love & Respect!

 

For My Body ~

  • ~ Exercise for at least 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • ~ Measure out and drink 60 oz. of water each day, and a serving of coconut water to keep my body hydrated.

 

Will You Join Me? ~

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to write out three things you are grateful for today! You can even share them here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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This & That… Links You’ll Love!

This & That

 

 

Hey, Friends! Here are a few links that I’ve loved over the last few days – and I wanted to share them with YOU!

 

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have done it again. Are y’all watching A PATH APPEARS? You should be.

A Path Appears

 

What can a Pregnant Photojournalist Cover? EVERYTHING!

 

Quick Tips Every Woman Should Know – How to be More Efficient – LOVED this graphic!

 

This video of a little Shirley Temple look-a-like calming her baby sister is ADORABLE!

 

Here’s a video interview where Alysha from An Intentional Future and I chatted about being intentional with family, even in the midst of trials. Check out the rest of her incredible Being Intentional video series. I was so honored to be part of it! P.S. – I didn’t realize just how much I talk with my hands!

BE-INTENTIONAL-WITH-FAMILY

 

This BAKED BRIE dish is most definitely in my near future! What’s your favorite way to eat Brie cheese?

 

MOM GUILT BINGO! Any other non-perfect moms out there? *wink*

 

I was thrilled to guest post over at my friend Cara Meredith’s blog this week! I shared a peek into how one of my daily routines with our boys became a treasured moment that I will remember forever!

A Mommy's Love - To Infinity... and Beyond

 

I found this article on why you should tell your kids how much money you make  FASCINATING! It helped me see financially training our kids in a whole new light.

 

And be sure to check out the JUST ONE OF THE BOYS Facebook page! We’ve had a couple of giveaways recently – a few of my FAVORITE THINGS!

A gorgeous bracelet from Future Hope Inc. in Haiti:

Future Hope

 

 

And a beautiful hand-burned wooden spoon from Rambling Tart in Australia!

Favorite Things ~ Hand Burned Wooden Spoon

 

I have even more giveaways up my sleeve, so like us on Facebook to stay in the loop! I just love sharing a few of my favorite things with YOU – my friends!

Did you come across any great articles this week? Try any killer recipes? Did a video make you laugh until you cried? I’d love to know all about it!

Wishing you an exquisite weekend!

Hugs,

~ G

 

 

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I’m Ginger ~
I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.
Join the fun!

MY GIFT TO YOU!