Training Mommy

So I was walking through the store the other day. There was a kid stuck in a cart who was desperate for his moms attention. Over and over and over he yapped, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, look at me, mommy.” I think he was asking for a toy. Every time she would come into reach, he would try to tap her. He was getting so obnoxious everyone in the store was taking notice and avoiding the area.

In a final last resort, the child wailed, “Mommy, owwwwwww!! Mommy, that hurts!” She was nowhere near him and he obviously wasn’t hurt, but somewhere he had learned that those words would get her attention. It worked.

We inadvertently train children every second of every day. This kid tried everything that had ever worked before to get her attention. At some point or another, his obnoxious repetition had worked, his pleading touches, and finally, his crying in “pain.” She had trained him. Not in the way she had intended, but she had taught him what he had to do to get her attention.

Every moment of every day, people train each other, especially children and parents. As kids, we want things all the time. And smart kids take subconscious note of what they have to do to get what they want. Even if it’s something as simple as attention. We all want our parent’s attention. In desperation, we’ll even settle for negative attention. At least we’re being heard.

So today, remember to reward good behavior with attention. And remember that every moment of every day we are learning about each other.

Wife Training – Eh, no…

When I was a kid, I remember my dad saying, “We’re training you to be a good wife.”

I thought of that today, and I don’t agree with the ideology behind it. If you raise children to be good adults, they will be a good wife or husband. No special training needed. 

Venting moment: Don’t train your daughters to be “good wives.” Good wives come in all shapes and sizes, to fit husbands, who also come in all shapes and sizes. Try to show your children (by example) how to follow God and be a caring spouse, pray for them, teach them what they need to know, and let them go.

Feedback for “The Artist”

So one of my old friends recently bought a book (Yaayyyy!!) and emailed me the other day with this:

“We have been really enjoying reading it at bedtime and any other time momma’s hands are dry!  I love the art and the note to your readers at the end especially,  it made us feel like you, as the author, actually cared and you weren’t just some distant random person out to make a buck! God bless you on your adventures.”

Thanks so much, Gwyn!!

5 Tips for Knowing what Your Child is Doing Online

There’s a lot of bad stuff and people on the Internet. Parents are often at a disadvantage because they didn’t grow up in the same techy world that their children survive in. Read: they often don’t know what’s going on, AT ALL. Since the topic of internet is so broad, here are 5 tips to knowing what your child is doing on social media.

1: Become their friend. At the very minimal, be their friend online and figure out a time each week where you can go to their profile or page (alone or in bed or with your spouse) and catch up on what they’re doing. Like their pictures, put frowny faces on their sad statuses, etc. Be present. Show love.

2: Know their account info. This is a drastic step, since it feels like an invasion of privacy for your child. HOWEVER, if they have nothing to hide and understand that you just want to help (not spy on them), than it’s fine. I had a HUGE objection to my parents having my passwords because I was writing a boy they didn’t want me to communicate with. They also didn’t explain their reasons (other than spying on me) so I didn’t feel they had a right. If they have a huge objection to you having their password, offer to give them yours (if it’s safe) so it feels more equal.

3: If they’re still young and as long as possible, share an account. Make a family FaceBook or Instagram. Everybody who’s old enough has the password, and nobody does anything weird or writes anyone they’re not supposed to, because everybody else sees it.

4: Have computer or internet-enabled devices in a public place like the living or dining room.

5: Lastly and most important: take the time to KNOW your child and what they’re spending their time doing. If you just take an interest, they will be much less likely to get into trouble online, just because you can help them be wise and they don’t feel like they have to get attention online. Most of life is not just lived in the physical world anymore, it’s lived online, and if you want to truly know your child, check out what they do and say online.

I’m not a parent yet. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was a kid. And I do know these tips help kids stay safe on the internet.

Review for “The Artist and the Clay”

This almost made me cry. One of my friends shared “The Artist” with her daycare students, ages 5-9, and asked them what they thought. “Awesomest book ever!” “Total epicness” “She is one of the bestest writers ever!” “I liked her letter to us at the end.” Diana said, “It has already become a favorite for them and we tied it to the scripture too.” -Diana Herzog and the God’s Giants class of All God’s Children Childcare.

This made my day and my night and probably my week, too. 😀 That’s why we do it.

P.S. I got my first book signing!!!! In Nampa, ID, at Pearson’s Twice Sold Tales, on Saturday, Aug 15, from 10am-2pm!!!! 😀

Why I Wrote the Book

Before and during college, I struggled a lot with what I was supposed to do, career-wise. Though prayer and Bible reading, I came to this conclusion: God creates people different from each other, with unique gifts and talents. He did that for a reason, and it’s a good thing. Throughout the Bible, God talks about forming us like a Potter forms clay, and compares us to a body, with different parts with different purposes.

So I thought this idea was worth sharing. But how would I explain this concept to my little niece or nephew? Ergo, the story was born. I was (and still am) exploring my artistic talent, so I started drawing pictures to go with the story, just for the joy of creating beautiful spaces. Matt encouraged me, and I came up with something decent.

I’ve gotten some amazing encouragement from people who read the story, and now the book is printed and available on Amazon.com or from me personally. All proceeds will go towards my next book and a new project called the Genesis! game that my husband and I are working on.

The-Artist_looking-around_stained-glass

I Want Your Fears (or Adult Monsters)

The mother of a child is crying for her baby. A monster lurks outside her halo of blankets, intent on gobbling her heart.

But her child peeks out. She hasnt yet learned pain. She trusts in her mommy, who has always kept her safe. “Why do you tremble?” Her innocent eyes see no reply. “The fog is so beautiful, it’s a fairy land!”

When do we learn that the unknown is scary? At what age do we stop trusting the One who holds us safe? Is it when we first fall down and see blood on our knees? Fear keeps us from touching the fire again, but it can also send us to our graves, frozen in dust.

My Father isn’t one to always keep me from running. He even watches me fall sometimes. But He’s always there to pick me up. Always there to teach me better. And who knows how many times he’s kept me from toppling over?

Years teach is fears. Monsters become letters in the mailbox or empty accounts hiding in the closet. But the One who protects us from giant spiders doesn’t grow less powerful with the passing of years.

Give me the worst of your fears. Compare them to an eternity without God. How small are my monsters compared with eternity. Relax. Be at peace. God is on His throne. Trust the One you know.

Adult-Monsters

How to be Confident

This is the second in a series I’m doing on the top 4 Google results for “How to be…” 

Realize that most people don’t think about you too much.

971664_10200223032887550_1818749354_nThe people who do care about you do it regardless of your faults. My freshman year of college, a girl told one of my friends that she hated the way I dressed. I was hurt. But she wasn’t the type of person I’d become friends with, anyway. The close friends I had, and still have, love the unique way I dress, giggle at my eclectic hairstyles (and take pictures) and love and respect me for who I am inside, regardless of if I was a beauty or a beast.

Think about something else instead. Regardless of what you know in your head, your self-confidence is shaky at best. But when you have another purpose, something else to think about, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to be confident and at ease. I know many people who are really fun to be around just because they try to make sure everyone is doing okay. They ask about OTHER people, say encouraging things, listen, and contribute only when it will be good for the whole group. These people, no surprise, tend to have a LOT of friends, but not even realize it.

Regardless of how you set it up in your head, though, if you go out constantly thinking about yourself and what others think of you, you WILL be self-conscious and timid. I’ve tried this so many times. The best remedy that I’ve learned is to:

a) realize it doesn’t matter what most people think. They’ll never see you again.

b) have an overriding purpose that trumps being socially successful, beautiful, smart, etc. The fact that God came to earth and saved us is mine. Everything else slightly pales in comparison. When I can focus on that, and what I can do for him (which isn’t always or even most of the time :p), then I’m confident and what others say doesn’t matter. 🙂

That’s all. Are you confident? What helps you have unshakable confidence?

One-Skillet Breakfast Potatoes

Serves 2 hungry people, or a mildly-hungry small family

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 green chilies (optional)
  • cheese (optional)
  • red chili powder
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Cut up the potatoes into medium chunks and put them into a medium/large skillet. Cover with water. Boil for about 20 minutes. Drain.

Put in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (while the potatoes are in it). Put it right back on the heat and keep the potatoes moving until they start frying nicely.

Dice the rest of the vegetables and toss them in. Size of chunks is your preference. Stir occasionally, just enough to keep it from sticking.

Once the potatoes are slightly browned, throw in some red chili powder, black pepper, and salt to taste. If you like it spicy and included the green chilies, I would recommend about a half Tablespoon of red chili powder, one half teaspoon of pepper, and a half Tablespoon of salt. Stir until the spices are mixed in. Optional: cheese is yummy on top of this!

Done!

Note: for a more protein-rich option, add eggs when you add the vegetables and keep them moving.