Sunday, December 21, 2008


I know that I say it all the time but I can't seem to say it enough...I love traditions and so do kids! If you want to be amazed start asking your kids about Christmas last not say anything about presents just ask them what they remember about Christmas last year. Unless they received a significant gift or they just happen to remember crazy details....they will most likely have forgotten all about the gifts that you spent so much time and effort and STRESS on! They will remember the traditions of baking or parties or grandparents! I remember very few of the gifts that I received as a kid but I have vivid memories of the traditions! What about you? If that is the case shouldn't we put a little more effort into enjoying the traditions!

This weekend we went to my moms to celebrate Christmas with her....she just lives a mile from me, and my sisters live 7 and 9 miles away but we all spent the night with my mom and dad....all 20 of us and 3 dogs! Yes it was nuts! Yes it was great fun. We sat up last night playing spoons. Great fun but it was wild and noisy and a great memory! We woke up this morning and Eric read the story of Jesus' birth and then we opened gifts and ate an enormous breakfast. We spent the day playing games..taking naps..and cleaning up.

Eric...yes my husband..set this little thingy up, by himself while watching the game...boys never grow up. I love it! We had a wonderful time making memories.

Love those babies!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We have winners!

Thanks for all the lovely comments! Our three winners are......



Chromiumman......You did not leave an email can contact me at

michele at driventoencourage dot org (no spaces)

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Give Away

Hello Ladies....I am giving away 3 copies of my can read more about it in the post below. Just leave me a comment and name your all time favorite dish that you remember as a child. You do not have to leave the recipe, although you can. 3 winners will randomly be chosen on Friday morning....just in time to mail our for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cook Book

I love to travel and speak to womens groups. Outside of being home with my babies...which I love the most.....I love to encourage other women to love Jesus, love their husbands, love their babies and enjoy their time making a home! It truly brings me great satisfaction to pour out the things that the Lord has taught me over the years. I spoke last year at a ladies event in Newnan, Georgia and one of the ladies who was there wrote a really sweet comment on my blog and told me that she is going to feature my book on her blog! WOW! That is awesome! Her blog is can check it out here.

I love cooking and I love having time with my family around the table. You can learn many, many things at the table! We live in a society that is WAY to busy! The story is long and I am tired but it is a great story about how the book came to be...I will try to write about it tomorrow. But for today...this book is a really easy read.....about 30 of my families favorite recipes (easy, simple,and enjoyable), a few cooking tips, a few parenting tips and a lot of encouragement to enjoy your family at the table.

If you are interested you can order it right here for $6.95 which includes shipping. It is also available on Amazon. It would make a great stocking stuffer or gift for a mom who needs some encouragement! If you wanted it and order it today I will send it out immediately and I think it should make it for Christmas. Love those babies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why is our first thought NO!

I am getting better the longer I am a mother...but I still fight it.....that urge for the first response to be.... NO. I am thinking...that is too messy...that is too much is too is too cold. I really try to stop and ask this really a big deal. I always tell my kids that they are in charge of clean up and they almost always agree that clean up is still worth whatever it is they want to do??? Kids?? We had a really big rain and this is the giant puddle that was created at our church across the street. The kids had a great time until the security guys stopped all the poopers....although you know they secretly wished their mothers had let them play in such a great puddle!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Videos

One of the great things that we do around here is to watch all the classic Christmas Videos...we all enjoy this. I keep these videos put away all year so that they are fresh for the season. We watch very little tv here...we do not have cable so there really isn't a point to watching a lot of "snow" and we really limit the number of videos they see. I am a big believer that kids should go out and play or use their imaginations inside. All of that to say...they love to totally veg out and watch these shows. It was a bonus to snap this picture of my youngest two..Benjamin 9 and Luke 6 watching one together tonight! Sweet! Love those babies!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saving Dogs

I was watching the news tonight while I was clipping coupons....exciting huh???? I live in Georgia and there was a story about a man who beat his dog almost to death and a neighbor found the animal and took it to the vet. There was apparently a huge outpouring of support money wise to help pay the bills. The very pitiful dog was leaving today to go home with it's new owner...cameras catching the whole thing. Then a story about the owner who is now in jail for beating the dog.

OK...I love my dog and I feel for the animal...they should not be beaten. But what in the world is wrong with our society that lets babies be murdered in their mothers wombs and even born and left for dead as seen here, and we are silent but for a dog there are cameras and an outpouring of sympathy. Come on Christians we need to make some noise and stand up for these injustices!

Love those Babies!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

How busy are you?? I really try to keep it under control. My shopping is all done and most of it is wrapped. We keep things really simple here with buying just for the sake of buying. We love Christmas time and we love to spend time doing really fun things. I am going to post some of those fun things over the next few days. I will tell you that we enjoy all of the "magic" of Christmas. We love to drive around and look at lights...attend fun parties....and eat special food..but we do keep our focus on the fact that this is Jesus' birthday. We spend lots of time being thankful!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Store

I was out with my kids a few days ago and my oldest was giving a piggy back ride to my youngest...15 and 6......and my oldest son was holding hands with my 4th......12 and 8 and I was arm in arm with my 11 year old. Now I must tell you that my kids are not out of control (we nipped that in the bud at early ages) but things are not always so picturesque either. My kids do get along well but they are human so of course there are times of tension or even little squabbles but for the majority of the time they are kind to one another.

We were stopped by a woman who asked if ALL these were this question in and of itself is one that we get frequently and it never ceases to amuse me....I want to revert to my sarcasm and say something like....."No, I loaded up my neighbors young children to come to Walmart just for the fun of it!!" Of course they are all mine!!! Then the next question that we also get asked quite a bit....."How do you get them to get along so well." Now if I could tell you 3 quick steps to implement right now in the middle of Walmart.....I would be very rich and I could and would hire someone to sit with my well behaved children so I could just take my oldest and throughly enjoy the experience....but the truth is there are not 3 simple steps!

It is like looking at someones well manicured, hearty and abundant garden at harvest time and say, "How did you get your garden to look like that????" LOTS AND LOTS of HARD WORK!!!! Well the same is true with my is the secret.....prayer, tears, communication, discipline, training, fun, listening, going, coming, preparing, feeding, bathing, kissing, hugging, teaching, chasing, reading to, helping, holding, singing, explaining, re-explaining, encouraging, loving, kindness, mercy, gratitude, thankfulness, salvation, Jesus, sweetness, boldness, character, and Bible....EVERY DAY........Starting when they are born! Does this look easy??!! It is huge! It is takes time and effort. Is it worth it? Yes, and I am reminded when someone stops and asks me such a silly question like "How do you get them to do that??" :/
One of these days I am actually going to rattle off what I am actually thinking!

Love those babies!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best cleaning tip ever.

My mom has been using Shaklee Basic H since I was in middle school. That was long before all the fuss about using organic, nontoxic, earth and kid friendly products. I mix up 16 oz. of filtered water in a spray bottle and put 2 drops......seriously 2 drops of Basic H and I clean windows and glass. Honestly I was looking for the math on that somewhere on their web site and it says that one 16oz bottle equals the cleaning uses of 5,824 bottles of 26 oz Windex. The member price of that is $ do the math. I buy it by the gallon because I use it for everything and 1 gallon lasts us for about a year. It is really the best degreaser on the market. I use a stronger solution 1 teaspoon per gallon to mop my hardwoods and tile floors and to clean cabinets and tables. I am telling you the stuff is amazing. Check it out here.

I thought it was kind of funny when I heard that Oprah featured it on her favorites show. I have been using it for so long because it is good and economical and it is a huge bonus to me now that I have kids because I do not like them surrounded by so many chemicals.

Love those babies!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Is it all His

Is everything you have the Lords. What is your attitude toward your "things?" Do they have a hold on you? What about your children? Are they the Lords? As Christians we say that they are the Lords but does this show true in our attitude towards them? Have you ever borrowed something very special from a friend.....maybe a special beautiful punch bowl for a party you are having......maybe something that you could not afford yourself and you friend has loaned to you. How do you treat that item?

We do not own our children. We have been entrusted with them to take care of them and be the mentors and teachers for the Lord. They are His just as we are His. Every day we should ask the Lord to help us take good care for His possessions. All of His possessions....things and people and ourselves. It's all in the attitude.

I was recently challenged in this area. I am always saying and believing......"I do not want anything that I have to have a hold on me. Everything I have is the Lords." I even add...."I really do feel this way......I am not materialistic." Well I was having a moment with my mom a few weeks ago and I was have a giant pity party for myself. I was concerned about how the Lord was going to provide for our financial situation. I was feeling frustrated because we so live within our means and I cut corners every place I know how to cut corners and I was explaining to her that after YEARS of doing this...I AM TIRED OF IT!!!!!! I went on a mini rant about how everything in my house was used.......clothes , furniture, dishes even my carpet downstairs. I have always viewed these things as a blessing but on this day.....I just wanted to be able to afford to go and pick out something for myself ....anything!!! Well, I felt better after I got it all out to my sympathetic that evening I got alone with Jesus. He so gently(powerfully) reminded me of my own words........"nothing I have has a hold on me" so if that is REALLY true then it doesn't matter if I didn't pick it does it????? Funny how the Lord has a way of putting His finger right on that area that needs to be surrendered to Him.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Kiss is just a Kiss????

This is Lindsey and Marshall, my 10th and 7th graders.

Emily, 6th grade and myself...boy do I look tired.
Lindsey and some of her best friends in the world!

Our family has really radical views on this subject by some standards. I have been asked to share them....for your general amusement. :) Some of you are going to say..."Wow! I like that"...some of you are going to say..."Those poor children" !! I want those of you who do not know our family personally to know that we are NOT stuffy!!!! You can't imagine the things that we talk about here! We have a great time and we know that our kids are very attracted to the opposite sex and that is the way that God designed us! That being said....

When you are kissed passionately...your body wants screams MORE! We were designed by the most creative and amazing God. He designed our bodies to be stimulated and desire more. It is an amazing plan....I know...I love to kiss my man! I also know from first hand knowledge that when you are young.....someone from the opposite sex only has to pass by you to give you goosebumps. I wish that I could tell my kids that the only man I ever desired sexually was their daddy. I can't! I'm not talking about having sex here...I am talking about kissing passionately, even at an early age....14....and desiring so much more. When my kids get older...and they are making decisions on their own...I will not be the "kiss police" they will have to make that choice for themselves but for now....we have "friends" dates and lots of fellowship with groups. For pete's sake....why on earth do kids need to be alone and kissing??? Is that not just asking for trouble. Hormones are raging enough as it is. Our oldest children are 10th, 7th and 6th grades and so far they are on board with us about has not been an issue. My thoughts are that kids need to be with their friends..having fun...and if you give them plenty of opportunities to hang out, laugh and enjoy one another you might be surprised at how this eliminates some of the need for boyfriends and girlfriends. We talk constantly about how and why they are attracted to a particular person. We also talk about the best way to put a plan in place for purity. So what do you think about the matter???

Love those babies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

19 Years!

My Sweetie and I celebrated 19 years yesterday! I can't believe it. You know in some ways it seems like that wonderful day was yesterday and in some ways it seems like we have been together our whole lives! I love him with all my heart and I am so very glad that Jesus brought us together! Here is a list of some of the many reasons I love him.

*He loves Jesus...I mean he really loves Jesus and wants to serve Him!

*He loves our 5 babies...he is an amazing daddy.

*He brings me coffee every morning when he wakes me up....yep with the right amount of cream and sugar!

*He encourages me to be all that I can be!

*He helps me with the dishes and laundry!

*He prays with our children EVERY night.

*He leaves me love notes all over the place for absolutely no reason.

*He loves traditions.

*He is very romantic...maybe more than I am.

*He is sooooo gorgeous!!

I am excited to spend the rest of my life with him!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My surgery

Many of you know that I had surgery 3 years ago and I decided to write about it here. Those of you who know me...I am sure that I didn't really look that bad???? There are almost no pictures of me during about a 7 year period in my life except when I was pregnant or right after having a baby. This one was 1 week before the surgery. :)

Dinner Ideas

I love to cook! I even wrote a book about how important time with your family is and how so many families today live in such a hurry that they never sit down together! I feel passionately that it is important! Anyway I made an inexpensive, easy, and tasty meal tonight that I thought I would share it. I bought a bottom round roast because they were on sale at my grocery store. The key to making a good roast is proper seasoning and cooking time!

Put your roast in an oven safe dish with a lid. Sprinkle it with garlic salt and black pepper. Put 1/2 cup of water in the dish and bake for 5 hours at 275. The meat will just fall apart! Next I chunked up the roast...removing any visible fat. I mixed one packet Aujus gravy mix (dried packet) with the juices from the roast and 2 cups of water. I added the beef back to the juice. I let it stand in the juice for about 30 min. With a slotted spoon I dipped the meat onto whole wheat buns (if you don't drain it..the bread will be soggy.) I made a salad and steamed veggies that I got on sale at the store last week. 29cents a bag after my coupon!! :) We all loved it! It was a good meal and I was not tied to the kitchen for hours.

Love those babies!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Arranged Marriages????

As my kids get older...I AM all for arranged marriages!!!! OK maybe not really...but I like the "guided" idea! I love to pick the brains of those parents who are further down the road than I am and have children who love Jesus and are serving Him. I want to know their secrets. I am sure that each child has their own will and just because a parent does "all the right things" doesn't insure that their children will always make the right decision, but some families sure seem to be blessed with kids who have made good choices. Many of these moms have shared with me a common thought.....if you do your job well when your kids are will not have the problems with your teenagers that those parents who have neglected to lay a good foundation when their kids are young have. Thus far this has been the case for us. Lindsey is 15 and delightful! She is an amazing teenager! Marshall is almost 13 and WOW the difference in him! Both were difficult headstrong little ones. Those of you who know us...know that I really didn't think I would survive Marshall!!! Parenting is not EASY.....but neither is anything worth having!

We do not allow dating here at the Helms house...I know we are strange. My kids are not of course we talk about who is cute and why. We talk alot about character. My kids have good friends of the opposite sex but we really think that "dating" is something you do when you are old enough to think about a mate....30...just joking. Why oh why do kids need to be on a date???? alone???? We have many get togethers here at our house with friends...we have dinner and watch a movie or play a game..Eric and I are always involved and love to entertain our kids friends!

I love to read Vicki Courtney's blog. I do not know her but I am sure that we would get along. Our thoughts seem to be going in the same direction. She has written quite a few times about how she is going to arrange her kids marriages. She wrote about how her oldest son doesn't want to date just to be dating...he is in college....a young man after my heart! She has a younger son...oh so adorable!! He seems to love his that!!! and has a good that!! I have decided to take her up on her general offer and arrange a marriage between Lindsey and Hayden! Check him out here and let me know what you think! Now as long as Lindsey doesn't read my blog...we can do this quietly! You can check her blog for young girls here.

Hey...Love those babies!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Hello Friends, It sure feels good to be home!!! I have been going...going....going! I just got home from a science trip with Lindsey. She attends a Christian school once a week that specializes in science and every year they take a 5 day trip to the beach to study marine biology. It really is amazing! Those kids go from sun up till sun down.....we were at the beach but we never even got in the really is a working trip. I have included a few pictures and I will write more tomorrow...for now I need to catch up on laundry!
I can tell you that it was wonderful to be away with my beautiful daughter. She is a blessing to this mama's heart!

My baby and I

Big scary crab at the research center.

These are amazing to look at but really odd!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have been tagged!

Hello friends, I have been away on a trip with my honey. The whole thing was such a huge blessing! We totally enjoyed talking and reading and catching up on some much needed rest. We certainly hit the ground running when we got home!!!

Before I left I was tagged by my friend Deanna and when I got back my friend Tammy tagged me...FUN....FUN.

This is how you play...list 6 things about yourself that others might not know and then tag 6 others.

1. My last baby (#5) was 12 pounds and 14 oz......oh how I wish there had been 2 more oz. I mean you would really have bragging rights to 13 pounds. He was also 24 1/2 inches long!

2. My belly measured 60 inches around with that baby...I would post a picture but I'm afraid you would be scarred for life!

3. I have been para-sailing and would love to go again.

4. I had gastric bypass surgery 3 years ago and lost 85 pounds.

5. I was an aerobic instructor for 12 years and that is where I met my amazing husband.

6. I cut my own hair, Eric's hair and my kids hair...I am not a stylist just poor! Actually Lindsey started going to have her hair cut about a year ago. She wanted it really short and I was afraid I would botch it.

I tag.....Kasey, Kristiapplesauce, Lindsey, Amy, Lisa and Jessica

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What is your mindset?

OK so I do not want to come across "preachy" and I do not want to give the impression that all we do here at the Helms house is sit around and pray, talk about Jesus and read our Bibles. We do however want everything that we do to be seasoned with all we know and love about the Lord. That being said.......I received a recommendation from a friend to go and see a new movie that is out. She had rave reviews about it and was sure that I would love it! I came home and looked it up on screen just scroll to the bottom of the first page and click NO THANKS and it will take you to the next screen where you can find your movie. I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and looked at all profanity and sexual situations. UUUGGGG!!!!!!

This movie hits on many of the things that God hates....sexual immorality, heavy drinking and taking Gods name in vain...repeatedly. You know Hollywood knows how to dress all this up and make it more palatable. The story line is exciting or scary or romantic and suddenly we are hooked. Why are we not sickened by what we see? How has our moral compass become so whacked out? We are supposed to be in the world and not of it! 1 John 2:15-17

I love this passage..."Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise...think about these things." Philippians 4:8 We need to get back to the simple principle that I teach my kids.....if Jesus was physically standing right with you would you still look at....listen about things the same way....cause He IS right with you! We need to be different!

About 6 months ago my daughter wanted to see a movie that so many others were seeing...I sat her down with the review and asked her to read over the words that were spoken and asked her if she would want to sit next to Jesus while this was playing......I never heard another word about it from her!

Love those Babies!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without Faith. Have you ever thought about that???? Impossible!! I want to have faith that is mind blowing! I want to live my life in such a way that the only explanation for my life is Jesus. I do not want my life to "make sense" to the world. If the world can explain it then what is the real difference?

I believe that Biblical faith is stepping out when we do not see the "door." I mean is it really faith when we can see everything??? My husband and I stepped out 1 year ago into full time ministry. WOW has it been incredible and scary and amazing! We have seen many people come to know the Lord and many who seem to have been greatly encouraged by the words the Lord has given us. We knew that the Lord made it clear to us that we were not to raise money...don't get mad at me if that is what you's just not what He told us to do. We moved our 401K into IRA's so we could easily get to them and we started serving in all the places that the Lord opened doors. The Lord has allowed us to be apart of some amazing things. The Lord has brought people into our lives who have come along side us and simply said...we want to be a part of what you are doing! WOW!! The Lord is so good! We have used the money from our retirement account to supplement the difference. We are of the mindset that it is all His so it was not a hard decision to use that money.

We are almost at the end of that the real faith comes!!! Will we stand or will we fall. I think about Joshua and the wall of Jericho. I can just see the average Christian today.....Hmmm Lord I 'm sure you if know this but that wall is really thick and high and blowing horns is NOT going to do the trick!......Lord...honestly my friends and family are going to think I am NUTS and you do want me to be a dignified Christian...right? ........Lord I am sure I heard you wrong so I will sit here and wait for you to open a great big door right into Jericho and I will be glad to walk right in! Most of us would still be waiting for the door...thank God Joshua just obeyed!

What have you had to have crazy faith about?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Treasure

Oh...I am so sorry...I believe that I said I would post the very next day :( Our very sweet pastor and his wife asked Eric and I to come to the pastors conference that Johnny heads up. We did go and we had a blast!

Last week when I was cleaning out my boys room I ran across a picture that Benjamin made....he is 8. He took the bottom of a banana box and painted it black for his frame and then he painted a picture and taped the paper in from the back. I loved it! I asked him if I could have it and hang it in my room. He was thrilled! Kids love for you to display their stuff. I have framed pictures of my kids work all over my house. There is nothing that I could buy that would be more precious to me! I will try to take more pictures to share with you. Love those Babies!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Two of my boys...Benjamin...8 and Luke 6...share a room. I spent most of the day going through it. This is a seasonal event here at the Helms house. I need to get out the warm clothes and put away the summer things. This always turns into a huge undertaking. I clean out their closet, drawers, and toys. Do toys seem to multiply at your house?? I feel like we are good about not buying many WHERE do they come from???? I threw out 3 garbage bags of stuff. My boys were so excited to see everything so neat and organized. I found a treasure in the room but I'm not going to tell you what it is...I will take a picture tomorrow and post it.

You know in my Christian walk, I tend to get cluttered with all sorts of busyness and worry. I take on things that I shouldn't and my load gets too heavy. I reach a point that I think...Where did all this stuff come from???? It always feels so good to let the Lord clean out and reorganize those areas of my heart!

Love those Babies! should check out my daughters blog...I am so proud of her!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Disrespect- Older Children

I have been thinking and praying about this post all day. I felt the desperation in those who emailed me. I am so aware that I can't write a few words and make it all better! I wish I could! I will start with this..and if you read my blog long enough you will see this written over and over again.... Jesus Christ wants the best for you and for your children. He wants them to honor Him in all that they do and you too for that matter! Absolutely the first thing that you need to do is get on your face and ask the Lord for and pray specifically for your child and for guidance as a parent.

Disrespect is not something to be ignored. How many of you have heard these..or maybe even said them......"Oh, she is in the terrible two's"...... "Boys will be boys"......"It's just sibling rivalry"...."She is so hormonal"....."AH...girls and their attitudes"....."The middle school years are awful"..."The high school years are awful"...."I can't wait until they grow up!" We have made excuses for our children's behavior at every stage in their lives. You need to recognize it for what it is...sin. This is a heart issue. I have known parents who let "sibling rivalry" go on constantly...honestly that is just bullying in your is NEVER OK.

Do not allow your children to talk to you or to each other rudely or disrespectfully. We have never tolerated these attitudes we still deal with them...yes! My kids are imperfect people like the rest of teenage daughter...who is very much like her mama...struggles with her attitude. She is an amazing daughter and I am blown away at the way the Lord uses her but if she is upset she has to keep her attitude in check. Just today I had to pull my oldest son aside and talk with him about the way he responded to his younger brother. I asked him if it was Christlike and I asked him what would have been a better way to handle himself and how he intended to make it right. Parenting is definitely a marathon and not a sprint! It takes a great amount of time and patience to do it the right way.

If you are having trouble with your kids I would, after much prayer....have a family meeting with the entire family and discuss the "new rules" which should include how they are expected to respond and what the consequences will be if they do not abide by the new rules. You need to let them participate in this discussion and you should try to understand their view point. You should give them examples of the best way to handle a disagreement. Children should be able to disagree with their parents. They should be able to come to you calmly and tell you that they want to talk with you and they should be allowed to express frustration or even anger. If you do not help them understand how they should go about will see explosions. When they do express quick to hear and slow to speak! We have many grown men and women who were never taught the right way to handle frustration, anger, sadness and many other emotions and boy are the marriages of today paying the price.

Remember a few things...You are the parent!!!! You do not need to be afraid to lead! Training takes time. Look for ways to spend time alone with your children and engage them in conversation. Tell them about areas that you struggled in when you were a kid. Tell them often how much you love them. Look for behavior that is good and praise them. Everyone of us wants others to notice when we are trying to change a bad habit!

I hope that this has helped someone. I will be praying for you!
LOVE THOSE BABIES...even the teenage ones!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Disrespect Part 2

WOW....I have had several emails and 1 post on this subject. I want to start with the toddler stage and then address the older kids.

First let me say that we do not have the perfect family...because there isn't one! We are all imperfect but I serve a perfect Lord and He wants the best for my children....even more than I do!! I have 5 who has had 5 spankings in her whole life...seriously...she is the most obedient child you will ever meet. I also have one child who has, at times, had 5 spankings by the time breakfast hit.......seriously! By the way we believe in spanking. I am not going to go there tonight because this would be way to long...but I will soon give you our parameters on that. I feel like we have had to deal with a wide variety of issues between all the kids.

I do not believe that there is an age that is too young to begin talking about respect and the correct way to treat others. Even children as young as 1 can begin to understand your tone before they understand your words....this doesn't magically happen when they turn 3. In our home it has never been acceptable to whine, beg, groan, complain and certainly not to be disrespectful and rude. Many times we do not see that begging, for instance, seems just an annoyance when they are young but when they get older it seems so disrespectful. It is always disrespectful!!! at any age!!! and you need to see it as such! Did my kids do all these betcha they did! Did I ignore them....NO. When my little ones would whine for something in our house.... I would say, "I am so sorry honey, I can't understand you when you talk like that you need to use your big boy voice so I can understand you." If you do that every time and do not give them what they are asking for until they can ask properly....they will learn not to whine! This is a part of training your children. It is not necessarily a discipline issue every time....just training! Teach them that they are not going to get what they want by begging, whining and certainly not by demanding! Do not yell at your children. You need to speak firmly but in a low or normal voice......if you yell, you are teaching them that you are not really serious until you hit a certain decibel. You want them to listen and obey because you are speaking to them not until you are so angry that you are yelling.

When you see a behavior in your child that is unacceptable, you need to stop whatever you are doing and address this immediately. Call the child to you....bend down to their level ...make eye contact and speak to them about the to resolve it....and what the punishment will be if it continues. Make sure that your child always apologizes to whomever they were disrespectful to. Here at our house we spend a great deal of time talking about how our behavior is either pleasing or displeasing to the Lord. When my children were little we prayed specifically about their behavior...good and bad....and it does my heart good to see my older children asking me to pray specifically for an area in which they are struggling.

Always praise your children for the things that they are doing well. Sometimes it is oh so hard to find :) but you can always find something to say that is positive. Always tell them how much you love them and that you are proud of them....not for what they do...just because they are yours!

I promise to talk about older children is late and as I was writing this I was spinning with things that kept coming to mind. There is so much to say on this subject! Love those babies!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I have often heard new moms talk about all the things that their children will "never" do......while those of us who have been around a little longer give a quiet chuckle under our breath! You will soon realize that children will do things that blow the walls off of all that you thought they might do! I can't tell you that my toddler will not pitch a fit but I will tell you what my response will be....EVERY time! Actually we are out of the toddler 5th child is 6 :( so we are out of that stage for now anyway!

My children pushed the limits, some sooooo much more than others but they all have pushed at one time or another. I can't guarantee that if you will handle things correctly when they are little all will be perfect when they are older but I can tell you that the reap what you oh so true! I was at a Christian home school football game Friday night. As I was sitting on the front row trying to watch the game.....well actually I wasn't trying to watch the game I was looking at my incredibly gorgeous husband who happens to be a coach :) ...... a mother and her 16ish year old daughter stopped right in front of me to have a discussion about something they disagreed about....both were quiet but the daughter stood there rolling her eyes at all the mom had to say and finally walked off.

OK...........first......mama, if you need to speak to your children.....DO NOT stand in front of the entire football stadium....this is embarrassing to your child. are reaping what you have sown. When you allow your 3 year old to get her way by having a bad attitude, when you allow your little ones to treat you with disrespect you can count on the fact that they will do it when they are 16 and it doesn't look so cute then! Disrespect should never be cute! I will write tomorrow about some of the ways that we handle this in our house...until then....LOVE THOSE BABIES!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Organize the Bathroom

Well I wanted to pass along a couple of little things that I have implemented over the years that have proven to be time savers for me and for my kids.

I used to find towels all over the place and no one seemed to know whose they were. :( Do you have those same magical little fairies that live in your house, you know the ones that make all the messes that your children did not make??? :) Well my theory is that if you just took a bath, and assuming that you did actually should be clean...therefore your towel should be clean as well. It should be able to make it through a few baths before needing to be washed...that is unless it is left on the floor....crumpled up and wet!! I took my 3 boys to the store and let them pick out there very own colored towel.......of which they loved doing. My husband made a sturdy thingy (yes that is a real word in my dictionary!!) with hooks . Now I know just whose towels are in the floor and whose are hanging where they are supposed to be!

As I wrote in another post, each of my kids does their own laundry. We kept have a problem with others taking the laundry out of the dryer and putting it on my bed because they were not sure whose it was. So I bought a sheet of magnet paper, (craft dept. at Walmart) and cut it in rectangles and had each child decorate their own. Now when they do their laundry they put their magnet on the door of the dryer so that anyone who needs the dryer can just call that person! Simple and easy fix to frustration for my kids!

Love those Babies!

Friday, August 29, 2008


I grew up in a house with three girls.....boys are soooo different! I am not sure why this is such a huge shock. You see I also grew up with a father who is a nut. My mom still thinks he has some sort of death wish! He thinks he can do anything!!! Well I sort of think that he can to! :) He loves chain saws and took great pride in climbing many..many trees in our yard over the years...some dangerously close to the house and always dropping them where he wanted. Well except the one he dropped across the entire busy street we lived on!! He told us crazy stories about growing up with his 3 brothers and sister...but still I was not prepared!

My girls and I sit and shake our heads much of the time. As different as they are...My ultimate goal is to raise them to love Jesus. I want them to make a huge impact for His kingdom wherever they are. I want them to be prepared to always give a yes to Jesus, wherever that might lead them! I want to raise Warriors. One of the blogs that I love to read is Virtue Alert she recently wrote an article about boys. I love it!! And I agree with it!!...Scroll down to the article Warriors or Wimps. Let me know what you think??

Love those babies! Especially those boys!:)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's the little things!

So many times I see women who are feeling very defeated in their role as mommy. They feel discouraged in their everyday lives, which is a very effective tactic of the enemy. Being a mom is a huge important job, however, that is a subject for another day!

I want to talk about how you can make a HUGE impact in your everyday comings and goings. Think back about someone who impacted your life in a huge way and they don't even know it. Maybe they said something in passing that encouraged you or maybe it was a kind word or deed from a neighbor that they have long since forgotten but you still remember. You have that power to speak kind words and do kind deeds. Share your extra dinner with your elderly neighbor, take a little extra time at the store to ask how the clerk is doing, write your pastor an encouraging get the idea.

This is all fresh on my mind because I was reading a friends blog and I clicked onto one of her friends blog. I found it so interesting. She and her husband sold all that they have and went to South Africa to be know I love that!! Her blog is raw and edgy and I enjoyed reading of their work, I left a simple comment and she emailed me back and told me about how much those comments mean to her. I felt comment was not very long and I also felt was such a small thing that had an impact on someones' life....someone that I do not know. I will comment more on her blog....and guess what...someday if our paths never cross here on earth, I will get to meet her in heaven and meet all the sweet African children that came to know Jesus as a result of her willingness to go there. Maybe just maybe the Lord will use me to encourage her in His work in South Africa!!! WOW!!!!! Now that is exciting!!!!!
If you need a place to start making a can leave a comment for Kristi....


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Did I already title one like this?? I must need to do it more!!!

First I want to thank my sweet friend Hollie who took time and told me how to put in a link to other places from my blog! So I will try it now!! You can check out her blog right here.
Let me know if it works!

My life continues to be full..too full so I began to think about more ways that I can simplify. I love to cook and I tend to be an all or nothing kind of gal. I find myself dreading cooking sometimes because of the time issue. I plan everything so I always know what the weeks dinners will be so I can prepare some things during the day and not wait to do it all at 5:00. I also try to think ahead and double up on somethings to save work for later.....grill chicken for one night but make enough to cut up and serve over salad the next night, or make triple amounts of spaghetti sauce or taco meat and freeze it for later.

And still I needed to reexamine! :) I am posting my menu for you to see. I tried to look at the time it takes to make each meal and save meals that take more time for days that I have more time.

Monday....Grilled chicken, salad, baked potato and sliced apples (I would normally bake these but I am simplifying!)

Tuesday..Salad with cold grilled chicken, cold carrots(with Ranch..of course), whole wheat rolls.

Wednesday...Breakfast...Eggs, grits, toast and fresh fruit

Thursday...Tacos, refried beans, chips and salsa

Friday...Flank Steak, corn, green beans, buttered potatoes, steamed mixed veggies, rolls


Sunday...crock pot....beef and noodles

Love those babies

Friday, August 15, 2008

Coupons Anyone?

OK....Everyone who knows me knows that I do not like to use coupons...usually they are for junk food or expensive cleaners and toiletries and they take gobs of your time! I buy mainly store brands and even with the best coupons...the name brand is usually not cheaper. If you meal plan and use store brands you will be well on your way to saving lots of money. I still believe that!!! However, I had a good friend who challenged me about the whole coupon idea. She said that she could show me a way to use coupons and I would save a great deal of money. She was right!!! I am saving quite a lot of of the tricks that I foolishly didn't think about was only using coupons to buy things that are at their lowest sale price. (be careful here because some things on sale coupled with a coupon are still more expensive than the store brand)

She also turned me on to a great web site that taught me how to play the CVS game. I will not even attempt to describe can go here and look for the section on the right side that says CVS 101. She offers many tips. You will love her site. This is a young mother who really has it together and the Lord is using her greatly. Let me know what you think......Hey and don't forget...Love those Babies!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics

Are you all watching the Olympics?? We are loving watching..however it seems like we were just watching them a few months ago!! Is time going faster??

One of the things that you hear over and over again is the amount of training that these kids invest into their sport. Are we surprised? It takes much time perfecting every detail. Do you think that most of the training is spent in repetition? I do!

We expect this with the athletes but we do not expect the same things in our own homes. We expect that when we tell our little ones to do something....they should get it the first time and never ever forget it. The Bible says TRAIN up a takes much, much, much time and repetition! If we want children who are respectful, kind and giving we have to train...train...train. It IS hard and sometimes tiring work but oh the payoff is BIG!
Love those Babies! Michele

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pitt/Jolie Twins

OK .....Admit it........How many of you have looked at the new pictures on the cover of People at every magazine rack in the country?? I found myself looking at the babies and the happy couple more than a few times this week as I was in different stores. Am I drawn to them because they are celebrities?....because they have a larger family and seem to embrace the idea of more? because they are beautiful people?? I started to ponder all of it today and while I am always intrigued by large families and adoption I have to remember how this union started. We are looking adoringly at unwed parents who got their start in adultery! Boy doesn't the enemy make it all look so sweet and innocent!

That is usually the case.....if we really saw the ugliness and wreckage of sin, no one would ever be apart of it, so the enemy is really good at making it all seem so innocent! Remember to take the opportunity to teach your children that sin always has a price! Love those Babies!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Place for Everything

I know that this may seem so simple....but most of the time it is the simple things that make the most difference!

Make a place for everything. One of the things I use a lot is tin cans that my children decorate and I put them in a small box. Then I use them for pencils, pens, markers, scissors etc. I have two such boxes in my house. I have a small bucket with tape in it.....every variety you can imagine is in the bucket. I have a place for keys and cell phones. You will save yourself time and effort if everyone knows where to find things and where to put them back when they are finished! :)

I loosely organize my kids toys. I went to Walmart and bought 3 plastic containers that fit under my boys bed. There is a separate container for Lego's, cars and GI Joe men. Years ago I had a large toy box that everything was dumped into and I found that my kids were not really playing with most of their things. When I separated the toys and started pulling out a box at a time for them to play with I was amazed at how much more they enjoyed their things.

Simple changes make a real difference! Love those Babies!! Michele

Monday, August 4, 2008


Mealtime is one of my favorites of the whole day. What an opportunity to pour yourself into your family. Many moms that I talk to are not enjoying this time at all. It is very stressful for them. I think the biggest reason is a lack of planning. Here are a few practical tips.

Get out your calender so that as you are planning for your meals you will remember what your schedule looks like. For instance you might want to plan a crock pot meal or a picnic if you know that you will be at the ball field on Tuesday evening. Write down all the meals you will be having.

Plan 2 weeks at a time...I do not know why this works but it does! You can creatively do this without going back to the store. Eat the fresh fruits and veggies that go bad quickest first then use the frozen and canned things last. Another ideas is to make fruit smoothies the second week instead of fresh fruit.

Make a list using your meals as a guide. Think through all the ingredients you will need for each meal. Think about the items you will need for snacks, breakfast and lunch and make a detailed list.

When 4 o'clock rolls around you will not find yourself standing in front of the fridge trying to figure our what is for dinner as your little ones are crying and fussing because they are hungry. You will know and you will have already laid the meat out and maybe even started some of the preparations.

Remember your meals do not have to be fancy. There will be times for complicated recipes and time consuming baking. Now is the time for a simple well balanced meal and precious time with your family!

Love those babies!! Michele

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


While this may seem like a "no brainer" to some, I am continually surprised at the number of families who do not have their children doing chores. My children do chores from the time they are 2 and some even before that. Of course a 2 year old isn't really "doing" anything but it is great training ground for later. At that age they help me put away their clothes, transfer wet clothes to the dryer, wipe down chairs or cabinets etc... I write up a schedule of all their weekly jobs and post it on our refrigerator. (I change things up usually every 9 months or so) Each child has a kitchen job every day and each child has to make up their bed and straighten their room everyday. Each of my kids has one day a week that they are "kitchen help" and they love this! That child helps me wash, chop, stir, bake and serve dinner. We spend time together and I can easily teach them all kinds of things from kitchen safety to nutritional information.

My kids also wash their own clothes...even their bed linens! I help my two youngest..6 & 8 but the other 3 totally do their own. I do all towels separately and I am not super picky about them separating things..most of my boys clothes are play clothes and my girls have been taught how to separate and hang dry certain items. I recently did a workshop and a mom told me that her concern was her kids might not do well at separating their clothes. You might have a bigger problem than you think if your kids can't tell lights from darks. In all seriousness...your kids are capable of more than you think!

You can't just make up a list and expect them to have to start by training them...let them help you a few times on a particular task then you help them and then you observe them. It takes a little time at first but the payoff is huge! During the week my kids chores are light because of school work (about 20 min worth...10 for my youngest) and on Friday and Saturday they have more ( about 45 min. .....20 for little guys) I am going to put the chores listed for my 10 year old so that you can get some ideas.

*Mon. Straighten room, wipe kitchen table and chairs, water plants
*Tues. Straighten room, unload dishwasher, vacuum living room
*Wed. Straighten room, sweep kitchen, wipe off stove top, kitchen help
*Thur. Straighten room, wipe kitchen table and counters, laundry(her own)
*Friday straighten room, clean girls sink & mirror, dust 1/2 of living room, sweep kitchen, wipe table and counters in kitchen
*Sat. straighten room, vacuum room and school room, sweep hall downstairs, trash downstairs, move and wipe kitchen chairs, mop dining room, unload dishwasher.

I hope that this helps! Love those babies! Michele

Monday, July 28, 2008

Order Please!

I had the awesome privilege of speaking to many women this past weekend at a womens conference and I received quite a few questions and subsequent emails about various things that I spoke about. In the next few entries I am going to try to answer a few of those.

What is the most important ingredient to having order in your home?

I know that some of my friends laugh that "I" am being asked this question...GAY BROWN...because well lets just say you had better call before you drop in so I can be sure to get dressed:) In all seriousness...I am NOT a hyper organized gal. I am not a hyper scheduled gal but I have learned over the years that things run so much smoother when you have a routine and a PLAN! Your babies are happier when they are on some form of a schedule and this really does carry over throughout their whole lives.

Without a plan your day will be one big blur. We have all had those days when it is 3:00 in the afternoon and it seems we have been spinning our wheels all day and we have accomplished nothing! Well without a plan those days will be more and more frequent! So until next time start praying about the goals for your family and remember......Love those Babies!! Michele

Fire Proof!!

I will write more about this later and maybe even get some video up so you can see it. We were asked to view a special screening of the new movie Fireproof made by the same group that made Facing the Giants. It was amazing! What an incredible story! Mike Catt is the pastor at Sherwood Baptist(he used to be my youth pastor :) many, many, many years ago!!) and he has done an awesome job in leading the charge in encouraging these movies! I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for them! Remember always....Love those Babies! Michele

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Best Thing that you can give your kids.

There are many things that you can give your children. Obviously the most important thing that will ever happen in their own life is Jesus but when your children are still very young, the best thing that you can do for them is for you to have a strong intimate relationship with Jesus. Have a special quiet time every Gods word and pray for your family! You will be better equipped to handle whatever comes your way when you have a strong relationship with the Lord.

The second thing that you can give your kids is a strong intimate relationship with your husband! Your children need that security. It will effect how they relate to the Lord and how they will relate to their spouse one day. Respect your husband and do not ever cut him down. Be very careful even if you are talking to a friend that you do not say anything about him that your children might hear and understand. Some of you may be single moms and you sometimes feel discouraged....take heart....there is a verse that says that God will be a father to the fatherless. I do believe that this verse is talking about the home where the father is gone either through death or abandonment, but I also know that the Lord stands ready and willing to stand in the gap!

If you are saying....this is overwhelming....I do not know where to begin???? when you wake up in the morning open your Bible to Proverbs. Proverbs has 31 chapters...just the right amount for each day of the month. Every day read the Proverb that correlates with that date. I have been doing this for about 7 years.... I love it!!! Proverbs is so rich and so applicable! I study deeper in the evening after my kids go to bed but always a Proverb in the morning! Try it, you will see that it will make a difference! Love those Babies!! Michele

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's the Simple Things

Our generation of families have been taught that the things that really matter are the big larger than life trips, presents and experiences. Ask your children individually...."What is your favorite thing to do with mommy?" You might be really surprised at the answer. It usually has very little to do with BIG plans and more to do with TIME. Something that we do not seem to have to give our children! Precious memories are made by spending time with your children, often doing the most trivial things. I recently asked my 8 year old son this question and he said one of his favorite things to do with me is to go to IHOP...just the two of us...for pancakes. He said he likes for just the two of us to talk.
Let me give you an idea. Go by your local appliance store and ask for a couple of large boxes. When you get home...set them up...color, paint and draw on them. Cut out a door and fill the inside with pillows and blankets. Make a snack and sit in there with them for a bit and just talk. I promise you will be your child's hero and you will be able to get lots done the rest of the afternoon because those free boxes are more entertaining than an expensive day a Chuck E. Cheese!
Love Those Babies!!! Michele

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Don't Forget Your House! Part 4

...Deuteronomy 6:9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" There is so much history about the children of Israel and the meaning behind doorposts and gates but for today I want to talk literally not symbolically. These verses are talking about the place that you call home. Is your home a place where others walk in and know that there is a difference from the rest of the world. Is your home a sanctuary from the ugliness of the world or is it just like the world?

When I was growing up, along with my two sisters, my home was such a haven. My parents always welcomed our friends. My mom was always cooking and she always had enough for whoever might drop by and my dad was always lively and funny. We always prayed together and had many conversations about the Lord. I always knew that I wanted to have that kind of home. What an example for me and my sisters. Now I have the awesome privilege of making that kind of home for my children, husband, family, and guests. I say "make" because it does not just happen. You must be very intentional if you want a home where your children learn to love the Lord. I am always learning and growing and asking the Lord to show me new ways to teach and inspire my children to love Him more.

I don't think there is any doubt of the importance of teaching our children to love the Lord, these verses remind us that it is THE most important thing we will ever teach them and we should be conscious of it all day and in every way!

Love those babies! Michele

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Right Between the Eyes Part 3

Have I mentioned that I LOVE this passage?? Look at verse 8, (Deuteronomy 6:8) "Bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Frontlets were literal strips of papyrus or leather with scripture written on them and they were attached to the forehead or wrists (this is actually really interesting to look into deeper). So the Lord tells us how important it is to teach our children to love Him...all day long...everywhere we go and now He speaks of the visual. When I started thinking of the places that he tells us to bind this...our face and our hands, I was convicted. I am normally calm and collect...I am not a screamer, I do not struggle with anger but if looks could kill I might win the prize. I 'm not talking about your normal "mama's serious so don't push me" look......I am talking serious fiery darts! Sooooo does my countenance show the love of Jesus?? What about yours?

Then we look at the hands. Are we showing love? Just saying that we love the Lord is not good enough. If others can't see through our actions and maybe more importantly our reactions that we love the Lord then we only have lip service. Now apply all of this to teaching diligently to our children how to love the Lord. They are watching everything that you do! James Dobson said it best.."When they are young they will follow our advice but when they are older they will follow our example"

Love those babies, (and show it!) Michele

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Talking all day long. Part 2

We are still looking at Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Notice verse 7, when should you teach this to your children? ALL DAY LONG! The Lord has to be very specific with me! He makes it very clear here as to when to teach our children. Start in the morning, help your children to view each new day as a gift and an opportunity for them to love the Lord and to show that love to others. Praise them when they do even little things that are pleasing to the Lord.

We live in a culture that is extremely self centered and self indulgent. A wise mother will teach her children daily that the world is not all about "me." This should start at a really early age and aught to be reinforced until they leave your house. Teach your children to pray first thing in the morning when you have breakfast and thank the Lord for your food and ask Him to bless your day. This verse reminds us that the Lord wants to be like a beautiful golden thread that winds through your entire day.

I love spending time with my children and two of my favorite times are dinner time and bed time. One of my favorite questions to ask my kids is, "What was the best part of your day and what was the worst part of your day?" You would be surprised at the insight this can bring! Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is very convicting! It is also a great time to help your kids learn to be grateful for Gods many blessings. Remember to first examine can't properly teach your kids to love the Lord with all their heart if that isn't the desire of your heart as well. Love those babies!!! Michele

The Greatest Commandment Part 1

I am passionate about the home. There are so many women who feel inadequate and less than important in their role as mother. This is a lie that the enemy loves to feed women! Your job is HUGE and your impact is huge as well! One of my favorite passages in the whole Bible is the 6th chapter in Deuteronomy and specifically verses 4-9. I wish that you would take a minute to read it. Notice the command....."You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might"...... now notice who you are commanded to teach this to...YOUR CHILDREN! Is there anything more important than teaching them this? We tend to be so proud of them when they can recite their ABC's from the cradle or when they name all the Presidents forward and backward in three languages. I know...I have 5 children that have preformed various feats for proud grandparents. All of those things are great but do we show the same enthusiasm when they want to give their last quarter to a missionary, or when they want to pray for a friend who needs Jesus??

Notice also that the Bible says to teach them "diligently" to your children, some translations say, "repeat them again and again." The Hebrew word here is to whet, and to whet means to sharpen. When a knife is dull you whet it against a stone in order to sharpen it. A dull knife does not make a very big impact. WOW... In teaching my children to love Jesus with ALL their hearts I am sharpening them. I am preparing them to be all that Jesus wants them to be. Now I call that an important job! Love those babies!!! Michele

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