There is no better and ultimately no other way to teach your children that they are valuable people than by valuing them. 

Second, the more children feel valuable, the more they will begin to say things of value.  They will rise to your expectation of them.

Third, the more you listen to your child, the more you will realize that in amongst the pauses, the stutterings, the seemingly innocent chatter, your child does indeed have valuable things to say.


I love this quote from one of my favorite books The Road Less Traveled.  If you have children, undoubtedly you understand the task it is sometimes to try to listen to them…  to filter out the endless (and sometimes mindless) talking to get what they are telling you.  I joke around a lot with my 3 1/2 year old, and enjoy teasing him and adding play to our days, but I love hearing what he has to say – it usually surprises me how much he already knows.

The thing is, if I don’t really try to understand what he’s thinking about things, how will I know what to teach him?  What if he’s got the wrong idea?  What if he’s confused about something, but thinks he’s right?  How would I be able to get him to listen to me, if I don’t give him the time and effort it takes to fully listen to him.

Teenagers are a completely different side of the same coin.  If you have a teenager, especially a teenage boy, it might take some work to draw them out to tell you what they are thinking – or to be able to put down everything you’re doing when you can tell they need to talk, but it is so worth it!

A couple of nights ago, when I was putting my little one to bed, he was praying and thanking God for all of his family.  Then he peeked up at me with laughter in his smile and said, “And thank you God for my silly Mommy!”  There is no greater treasure than getting to be that role for him.  I feel like I’ve been blessed with too much.


Our European Stay-cation

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“Cruelty & wrong are not the greatest forces in the world.
There is nothing eternal in them.
Only love is eternal.”

“Failure means nothing now, only that it taught me life.” -Elisabeth Elliot

These few weeks being home and getting to enjoy my son and be a woman who takes great care of her life and house and family – have been so beautiful! My son is learning more with me being the one to teach him – he was in an “advanced class” at his daycare, his wonderful teacher who loved him like a second mother urged me to let them bump him up – she was afraid he would be bored. But when I started to really work with him at home that first week, I could tell he was having major trouble recognizing numbers and letters (which would put him behind and not advanced right now, even though he is incredibly smart). He’s always been ahead mentally, I think he fooled his daycare teachers! He’s an incredible guesser, but with me tutoring him one-on-one, he is actually learning everything – and learning it incredibly fast!

I teach him Reading, Writing, Math, Music, Science, Art, Cooking, Geography, Languages, and World Culture. Sounds intense for a 3 year old? I only do 2 hours of “classes” a day, and usually one of those classes is a soft class like Music, Art, Culture, or Languages. I want him to have more of a European upbringing, they take raising their children very seriously. Women in Europe usually take 1 to 2 or 3 years of maternity leave just to be able to focus on this new change in their life and family, here you are lucky to get 2-3 months! Taking time for your family is valued in Europe. Being a wife and mom is valued in their society. The average work week (even for men) is 35 hours – not 40+… they know how to enjoy their life – and a major part of their enjoyment of life, is enjoying it together with their family. Not to mention they drink wine all day and eat carbs. 😉 That’s paradise right there.

Fridays are our field trip days with no classes – I want him to understand how important having fun is, which I believe, is just as important as academics. What use is having all the scientific knowledge in the world without the ability to enjoy your life? I take him anywhere and everywhere – downtown, Sea World, the Zoo, to beautiful gardens, to stunning museums, to parks – we have a blast together.

Here’s to living life simply, in beauty, with delicious home-made pizzas and frittatas, scones and pastries. Thank you Europe, I appreciate the impressions you’ve made on my life.