If you were a fly on the wall at my house, you'd be sure to hear your share of fussing, complaining and whining. Maybe even a slammed door or two.

But enough about me.

In the pressure cooker that's parenting, I have exploded more than once. And it's harder to clean up than spaghetti night with a toddler.

So after years spent indulging in fruitless self-flogging, I finally let go of my obsession with getting it all 'just right.' I confess...I'm not a perfect parent.

Whew. That felt good.

Now, when my son saunters in with his 42nd tardy of the school year, I let it go. When I hear myself hollering "Whatever!" at my teenage daughter, I move on.

Having it all together is overrated anyway.

And I've determined not to waste God's grace. I'll never get it just right. You won't, either. So read on, sister. If you see a little of yourself in me, I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Nope. If you're a mom, face it. You're never, ever alone.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Will a Vitamin a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

Take your vitamins!

How many times have you said that to your children?

But did you know that not all vitamins are created equal? That the wrong kind of vitamin may be doing more harm than good?

Dr. David M. Winsor, Chiropractor and Nutrition expert tells us what to look for in the vitamin aisle:

by David M. Winsor, D.C.
You may have decided by now that all this nutrition stuff is too much for you.
You may be wondering if you could just load yourself and the kids with a mega-multiple vitamin and call it a day. After all, there are so many and the ads look so good. Why do we need to bother with this “good” food stuff?

In a world so used to having a pill for everything, who can blame you for thinking along these lines? The hard truth is that some of these pills are not very good for us. In fact, most of these pills are not so good and some are downright bad for you.

Believe it or not, all multivitamins are not created equal. Some may, in fact, inflict enough punishment on you that they should probably be flushed down the toilet. Consider this… If your multivitamin is synthetic, how do you know it’s even doing you any good? Are you assuming that because you take a ‘multi’ you’re guaranteed better health than if you don’t – because it seems like the healthy thing to do?

I always acknowledge any effort to improve health and hate to see this effort wasted, so let’s discuss some basics.

The majority of multiple vitamin supplements are partial or synthetic, or in other words, incomplete. The human body has to maintain a chemical balance at all times and if a food is incomplete, it has to rob Peter to pay Paul. It must take nutrients from some where else in your body. This creates deficiencies.

One of the best examples of this is a high dose of ascorbic acid -- greater than 100 mg. The label shows Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The problem is that vitamin C contains bioflavinoids and lots of co-factors which are protected by a shell of ascorbic acid. If you take the ascorbic acid without the other stuff, the body takes what you have from your stress gland, the adrenals. This actually increases your stress and weakens your immune system. This happens with all incomplete or synthetic vitamins in the multiple. Some have 50 or more ingredients, so the damage can be great.

Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health. Synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others, not balance.

Always read the label and only buy supplements which are whole food, not just from food, but the whole food. The link below is to a short video which explains this a little more.
http://my.standardprocess.com/display/2111.spi

Sometimes we have to show our children what to do and not just tell them. A colleague of mine would make a point of eating things he really did not like and making quite a face while he did it. When his children asked him why he would eat something he obviously did not like, he replied that it was the only food which would give him the specific nutrition he needed and the taste did not matter. Years later he heard them doing the same for their children. Every little bit helps.

Be advised that the suggested nutritional program is not intended as a treatment for any disease. This adjunctive schedule of nutrients is provided with the intent of supporting the physiological and biochemical processes of the human body, and not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.
Dr. David M Winsor
www.AccessChiroCenter.com; 941-629-8444


Read Dr. Winsor's other nutrition columns on Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Last week, my goal was to improve the quality of my daughter's breakfasts. She's a teen. Need I say more? So I came up with a workable, although imperfect, solution:

I put a scoop of all-natural vanilla ice cream into a smoothie! She won't eat it without the ice cream, but with it? Viola! A somewhat healthy breakfast!

The other ingredients I used were Coconut Milk, Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Bananas. So, all in all, I'd say the good outweighs the bad. And sometimes, that's all we can do.

My goal this week is to have carrots and celery and cucumber with ranch dressing on the table when the kids come home from school. I buy relatively "healthy" chips, but I'd rather seem them go for the veggies than empty calories.

Okay, that's it for now. Hope you are learning alot and feeling encouraged that you can do this!

If you'd like to participate in Mission Family Nutrition this week:

1.) Choose a nutrition goal for your family.

2.) Write about it on your blog and link back to this post via Mister Linky below. (Or use the handy button code in the righthand column).

3.) Visit others who are participating!

Congrats, MamaAngie ... You are the winner of this weeks Nutrition giveaway -- a $10 Walmart Gift Card! Just email me at melinda@parentingconfessions.com with your email and I will send it out pronto!

Good luck and good eating! ;0)

Melinda

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm Not Ignoring You ... I've Just Lost My Mind

I haven't abandoned you. Really.

You may think so. I've been conspicuously absent from your blogs in the last couple of weeks.

Why? Well, look at the picture. That is me.

We're all busy. I know you're usually swamped, too. But I think you're probably better at multi-tasking that I am. I get too much on my plate and I go a little bonkers.

And right now, my plate overfloweth. I am co-writing and coordinating a new Mother/Daughter Bible Studies Series for teens at my church and I'm preparing for a big writing conference next week.

I'm actually co-presenting a workshop on blogging (ironic, isn't it?).

I just wanted you to know that I'm not ignoring you. I miss you. I've just lost my mind for a while.

Hopefully it -- and I -- will return soon.

(I'll be posting Dr. Winsor's column on Nutrition tomorrow).
Melinda

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just Call Me Brainiac

I’m not smarter than a fifth grader.

Or apparently my fourth grader.

At least when it comes to memory games.

Everyday at 4:30, Micah and I watch a Nickelodeon show called Brain Surge – his current memory game show obsession. And for a half an hour I wonder how I ever managed to earn a college degree – or, for that matter, remember to get dressed in the morning.

The show is a series of memory puzzles. “It’s really similar to an IQ test,” my friend and pediatrician’s wife told me. Great. Based on my performance, I have the intelligence of the common housefly.

Can you please tell me why they make these kind of game shows anyway? Don’t our kids already think they know way more than we do?!

What really bothers me sometimes, though, is the important things I tend to forget – especially when it comes to my children. Here are a few things I have to continually remind myself of:

1. Kids are not little adults. I forget this all the time. I have to remember to keep my expectations of them age-appropriate. I can’t, for example, expect my 13-year-old to want to help me with laundry. Heck, I don’t want to help me with laundry.

2. Instruction is more helpful than pointing out the obvious. I’ve been a big offender of this in the past. Especially in the morning. “We are late! How many times are we going to be tardy this year? Are you out to set a new record?” On and on, I’d rant. It was very helpful. Inspiring, really. Not.
We’re still late sometimes, but when I quit being a lunatic and started working with them to eliminate obstacles to our tardiness (getting up earlier, finding items the night before), etc. , our chronic tardiness began to subside. More than that, when I instruct instead of rant, I actually teach them discipline and problem-solving skills.
3. Humor is a parent’s best friend. This morning, for instance, I could not get my son out of bed. Literally. He would not move. I took away privileges. No movement. This kind of thing makes me crazy.
In desperation, I opted for my weapon of last resort. I pulled out the water spray bottle, pulled off the covers and began giving him a soaking. Pretty soon, he was out of bed and we were all laughing. (In the middle of this, Molly says, "I think you are enjoying this too much.") Now, mind you, I must admit I will not find much humor in the “refuse to get out of bed routine” tomorrow.
There’s so much to remember when you’re trying to be a good parent, isn't there? It can be overwhelming. It helps me to focus on a few of the important things and just try to love their socks off.

When they’re grown up, that’s how I’d like them to remember me.

So, how ‘bout you? What’s a great principle that you try to remember in the craziness of parenting children?
Melinda

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mission Family Nutrition: Week Three

Start young.

That's my advice to all of you young parents.

The older your kids get, the harder it'll be to change their eating habits.

I started young with my son, but my daughter was older when I tried to turn the tide with her. By then I met some intense resistance. As a teen, it's a whole new battle. Don't even get me started ....

Okay that's my two cents, inspired by this morning's breakfast battles.

On to my Mission Family Nutrition update.

Every person in my family is a picky eater. So when I can find something everyone likes, it is a major miracle of God.

My goal was to introduce a new vegetable. It was not successful. My kids would not try the tomatoes I offered to go with their Fajita Burgers this week. I know. Weird. Who doesn't like tomatoes?

All was not lost, though. I found a great new recipe -- easy and delicious -- that everyone loved. I got it from EatingWell.com. They've got a ton of awesome recipes!

Fennel & Chicken Flatbread


Ingredients

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bulb fennel, quartered, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon chopped feathery tops for garnish
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, very thinly sliced crosswise
4 6-1/2-inch whole-wheat pitas, or eight 4-inch whole-wheat pitas
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation
1.
Preheat oven to 500°F.
2.Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
3.Place pitas on a baking sheet and top each with an equal portion of the chicken and vegetable mixture; sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fennel tops and serve warm.

Nutrition
Per serving (6 1/2-inch pita): 447 calories; 13 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 10 g fiber; 660 mg sodium; 416 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (160% daily value), Vitamin A (35% dv), Calcium (25% dv).

If you'd like to participate in this week's Mission Family Nutrition challenge, here's all you do:

1.) Choose a nutrition goal for your family this week (cutting back on soda, trying a new recipe, etc.)
2.) Post it to your blog.
3.) Be sure to include my cute button (code is in the right sidebar) or a link back to this post.
4.)Leave your link to your post via Mister Linky below.
5.)Visit others who are participating in the challenge!

I will choose one participant at random to win a $10 Walmart Gift Card! And Em, I haven't forgotten to send your Target gift card. It's coming your way this weekend!

Eat well!

Melinda

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Family Nutrition Tips: What's For Dinner?

I'm not a short order cook.

But for years I felt like one.

Molly doesn't like carrots, Micah doesn't like corn, Mike won't eat broccoli ... the list went on and on. Who has the time or patience to cook around all those picky eaters every night?! Not me.

Now I try to avoid the things everyone truly despises. But aside from that, I just try to cook healthy and keep it interesting. I figure if they're really hungry, they'll eat.

And believe it or not, no child has ever keeled over from starvation in my kitchen.

Some foods they may never like. But there have been others that they didn't think they liked but grew to like after they tried them a few times.

If you can get beyond all the griping and complaining (and it ain't easy, sister), you might find those kiddos will eat more than chicken nuggets after all! ;0)

Dr. David M.Winsor, chiropractor and nutrition expert is here again this week to provide us with a little more dinner direction:

by David M. Winsor, D.O.
So here we are at dinner. It would be nice if you all had ample time to prepare the perfect meal but life is not like that very often. We therefore have to think ahead perhaps with preparing multiple meals ahead and freezing them and just adding the vegetables and varying brown rice or sweet potatoes.

Again the plan is to eliminate the bad stuff already discussed and to focus on what good stuff your child will eat. You must get them used to having at least one cruciferous vegetable a day and then sneak in a new one gradually to try. They may surprise you.

So how about chili con carne with beans, cauliflower cooked with no salt, mixed vegetables, and salad greens? If you want to add dessert, try a fruit plate. Encourage the family to drink water rather than soda to keep the sugar down.

When possible, have fish but make sure it is caught wild and not a farm fish with added hormones. Also shop the green food section to limit hormones in all meats.

I cannot list multiple specific dinner items, but work on the cruciferous veggie group. These are kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beets etc. You can Google a complete list.

Nutritional deficiencies are often assessed by the RDA or recommended daily allowance. This is the minimum amount needed to stop an animal from becoming sick with a deficiency. It is NOT the amount needed for health.

The most common deficiencies we see in Florida are vitamin D and iodine both of which are essential for health. Calcium is often very low.

To give you some context: The average adult's RDA for potassium is 4,700 milligrams per day. To fulfill 4,700 milligrams of potassium, you'd need to eat 14 cups of lettuce, or 10 bananas or 29 apples. To obtain the RDA for iodine of 150 micrograms per day (for an average adult), you'd have to eat six eggs or four half cups of plain yogurt.

Meeting the RDA is probably much harder than you thought. You may even decide that it is impossible. Most of us have to take food supplements to achieve the necessary levels. Any supplements should be whole foods to avoid both over and underdosing.

If you would like a complementary nutrient evaluation, you can visit my web site at www.AccessChiroCenter.com and just click on the green apple.

Be advised that the suggested nutritional program is not intended as a treatment for any disease. This adjunctive schedule of nutrients is provided with the intent of supporting the physiological and biochemical processes of the human body, and not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.
Dr. David M Winsor
www.AccessChiroCenter.com; 941-629-8444
Melinda

Monday, February 15, 2010

Keep What You Love, Lose What You Don't

Eating healthy doesn't have to be difficult.

I know what you're thinking ... Yeah, right, Melinda. I think you've been sipping one too many smoothies.

Really. It's true.

Lindsay from Cookin' Lean with Paula Deen says you can substitute healthier ingredients and still make your favorite dishes. As part of Mission Family Nutrition, I asked her to give us some ideas about how to accomplish this gold medal-worthy feat (a little Olympics reference there). She's got some awesome tips!

by Lindsay Rudolph

The thought of overhauling your entire diet can be quite exhausting -- even before thinking about tackling the eating habits of your family. This is especially true when you add factors such as young children, people that have grown accustomed to a certain style of cooking or in the worst cases…picky eaters.

Taking on this challenge can tend to look more like a homemaker’s version of Mission Impossible. Well, listen up and by all means, do not abort the mission just yet. There is a way to get over this obstacle.

Eating well does not mean swapping cupcakes for cardboard. It isn’t about swearing off all things delicious. There is no longer an “off-limits” food. The days of saying “no” to your favorite meals and treats are over. With just a few simple and smart switches to the ingredients in your favorite dishes, you will begin treating your body better without neglecting those taste buds.

Cooking lean, in my terms, is not about changing what you cook. The changes are in the ingredients used and how they are cooked.

Here are just some of the tricks I use every day in my cooking to keep things lean:

• When baking, substitute equal amounts of no sugar added apple sauce for oil.
Fat Free cooking spray is a great alternative to butter or oil in foods such as: grilled cheese, omelets, stir-fry, sautéed meats and vegetables.
Low-Fat Dairy can be used in place of the whole fat versions listed in most recipes (shredded cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.). If a recipe calls for melted shredded cheese, 2% melts nicer than FAT FREE.
Egg Whites and Egg Substitutes will cut fat and cholesterol from cakes, cookies and any dish that calls for it.
Whole Wheat Pasta, Breads and Wraps can easily take the place of white products lacking in fiber and other nutrients.
Lean Meats such as skinless chicken breast and fish are always best. However, lean beef, bacon and sausage are available. Look for meats that are “reduced-fat”, half the fat or 93/7.
Butter has been made better thanks to options such as I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Smart Balance. They are up to ½ the saturated fat and sometimes made with heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil. Check them out and try substituting in some recipes that just won’t work without butter.

To show you how easy this is, here is a recipe from my blog, Cookin’ Lean Like Paula Deen. It shows how a classic dish can be made a little bit healthier by making small changes to key ingredients.

CREAMY MACARONNI AND CHEESE
Makes 12 Servings



INGREDIENTS:
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon Smart Balance Butter-Blend w/EVOO, cut into pieces
1/2 cup FAT FREE sour cream
3 eggs whites or 1/2 cup Egg White Substitute, beaten
1 cup FAT FREE cottage cheese
10 oz. 2% Velveeta block cubed
2 cup uncooked Whole Wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and Velveeta. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter-blend mixture and add the sour cream, cottage cheese, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Add egg whites.
Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally

Food is more than just something to fill our tummies when we are hungry. It’s about making us feel good inside. Food has meaning and feeling attached to it, even memories. This is why we shouldn’t give up the foods we have loved all our lives. We just need to simply give our favorites a little twist to make them as good for our bodies as they have always been for our souls.

For more recipes and ways to cook lean, visit me at www.cookinlean.com.
Melinda

Tone Deaf

“Quit yelling at me!”

I was frustrated. Pressed for time. Trying to get Molly out of the door for school on time and then to an appointment I had 40 minutes away.

But I wasn’t yelling. I was just using a "firm voice." A “firm voice” is so much better – it denotes a controlled seriousness. AM I RIGHT?!! (Oops, I wasn't yelling at you, was I?)

Molly, for one, wasn’t buying it.

Me: I’m NOT yelling. I’m being very calm. (I said through clenched teeth.)

Molly: Yes, but you have that tone.

Me: What "tone"? (I said with sarcastic impatience).

Molly: It’s that voice you use. The voice that means, “I’m really frustrated with you and I want to tear your head off, but I’m trying really hard to hold myself back.”

Wow. Ouch.

Her words hit me like a dagger. I thought back to how many times I had used that “tone” without knowing what it was really conveying to her and probably to her brother as well.

It wasn’t what I intended to convey. Yes, I was frustrated with them, but mainly I was stressed. Thinking of all I had to do. Not wanting to be late. Feeling the pressure of obligation.

But, as children are prone to do, Molly internalized all those emotions and assumed that she was the sole object and reason for my displeasure.

But exposing a wound always provides an opportunity for healing.

I asked Molly for forgiveness – not only for that morning, but for the many times I’d hurt her with my tone. That I didn’t realize the depth of what "that voice" conveyed to her. I also promised to remember this the next time I was frustrated.

And she accepted and responded softly herself.

Amazing what striking the right tone can do.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)
Melinda

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Did You Hear the Buzz?

It's the Opening Day of Little League Baseball.
And it looks like my son Micah made it to the Bee(s) after all.

If you haven't read about the Bee Micah didn't make and the sting his mama felt,
be sure to read here.
Melinda

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mission Family Nutrition: The Best Laid Plans....

Sometimes life doesn't go as planned.

Last night, for instance, I had planned to try out a new healthy recipe for my family -- my Mission Family Nutrition goal for this week.

Until my kitchen sinks backed up and my dishwasher overflowed Wednesday night -- rendering both unusable. With no plumber in sight until Friday morning.

So we went to Quizno's instead.

See, I told you we didn't eat perfectly.

So, while I was hoping to share a new recipe that my family gave rave reviews (a risky proposition at best), I'm sharing the new recipe I will try this weekend:

I found this recipe on EatingWell.com. Here's the link to the recipe on the site. It sounds delicious, healthy and different.

Barbequed Chicken Burritos
Ingredients
1 2-pound roasted chicken, skin discarded, meat removed from bones and shredded (4 cups)
1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed, or canned corn, drained
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 leaves romaine lettuce
4 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
2 limes, cut in wedges

Preparation
1.Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, barbecue sauce, beans, corn and sour cream; stir to combine. Cook until hot, 4 to 5 minutes.

2.Assemble the wraps by placing a lettuce leaf in the center of each tortilla and topping with one-fourth of the chicken mixture; roll as you would a burrito. Slice in half diagonally and serve warm, with lime wedges.

Next week, my goal is to introduce a different vegetable at dinner this week (we tend to get in a rut). I will do this barring any unforseen kitchen catastrophe.
If you'd like to participate in Mission Family Nutrition this week:

1.) Post your nutrition goal on your blog today.

2.) Include my Mission Family Nutrition button (righthand column) or link back to me.

3.) Use Mister Linky to link to it below.

4.) Visit others who are participating!

Good luck and good eating!
And EM, you are the winner of the $10 Target Gift Card! Congratulations! I will email you your prize!
Next week, I'll award one participant a $10 gift card to Barnes & Nobles!

Melinda

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Family Nutrition Tips: Lunchtime

Twinkies. Pizza. Soda.

That's what most kids would eat for lunch everyday if they could. Some do.

And the results aren't pretty, as Dr. Winsor discusses below.

However, there is a better way. And it can be done -- slowly.

I'll leave it to our nutrition expert, Dr. David Winsor to tell you how:

by Dr. David M. Winsor

It is not easy to be a parent for so many reasons. Most of the time, we do the best we can.

A recent study, published by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, reports that school-aged youngsters and teens should be screened for obesity and sent for intense behavior treatment if they need to lose weight.

Their conclusion, however, is that there are few benefits from pediatric obesity programs and the main problem other than cost is that many families are not prepared to make necessary lifestyle changes. In other words, it is up to the parents to save their children.

We began last week with the carbohydrate content of a typical breakfast. The word breakfast means just that. It is the break of fasting from dinner to the morning meal. Do not let any child go to school or even out socially without food. If you do, the body must get glucose from somewhere and it will fire up the stress hormones to do this. Many kids are already stressed and they do not need this.

The stress hormones prepare the body to survive a life threatening danger and demand action. If a child has increased stress hormones, it is almost impossible for them to sit quietly and learn. Could this be a contributing cause of ADD? I think so.

So we’ve made it to lunch. If more carbs are loaded, fatigue and poor concentration are guaranteed for the afternoon. So how about replacing the chicken nuggets with roasted chicken breast, and a tossed salad, celery and an apple with plain old water? Yes, you may meet a little resistance and yes, you will have to prepare it the night before but the benefits are huge. You can also add nuts.

Just cutting out the carbohydrates, white bread and sugar laden drinks will make such a difference. In any transition, it may be necessary to make the changes slowly at first so focus on the healthy foods, whatever they may be that your child will eat and slowly increase this choice.

Next time we will move to dinner and begin to discuss the most common deficiencies in most American children. We will discuss the RDA or recommended daily allowance and what it really means. So for now, good luck with breakfast and lunch.

To learn more about my six-week Mission Family Nutrition Challenge, click here.

Be advised that the suggested nutritional program is not intended as a treatment for any disease. This adjunctive schedule of nutrients is provided with the intent of supporting the physiological and biochemical processes of the human body, and not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.
Dr. David M Winsor
www.AccessChiroCenter.com; 941-629-8444
Melinda

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Outnumbered Mom

Do you sometimes feel outnumbered? Overwhelmed? Underqualified?

Yea, me too!

That's why my blogger of the week, Laura Lee Groves, is such an encouragement to me. She raised four boys -- and lived to tell about it. This gives me hope (although I'd feel more hope if she'd survived raising a teenage girl!) Nonetheless...

I met Laura at a writing conference a few years ago and we've kept in touch ever since. She is warm, approachable and full of hard-won wisdom. I'm so excited that she's going to be sharing her message with the masses in her upcoming parenting book!

I asked Laura to share with you a little bit about herself:

I’m a mom, a teacher, a writer – with a heart for moms. Raising four sons (with a wonderful husband, I might add) gave me plenty of material for my upcoming book, I’m Outnumbered: One Mom’s Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys. The book is due out in the Fall of 2010 and will be published by Kregel Publishing. (I love the cover, by the way. You can see it on my blog in the coming months. Once the marketing department gives me the go-ahead, I’ll be sharing it with my readers!)

Although I have a special place in my heart for boy moms, my hope is that my blog to will be an encouragement to all mothers. The verse at the top of my blog says it best: “My purpose is that they be encouraged in heart and united in love” (Colossians 2:2).

I firmly believe that all moms, no matter where they are in life – moms of infants, teens or even young adults – face many of the same things. We all feel outnumbered by something. And who better to understand than another mom? We need each other, and we need a touch of something Greater than us.

So, join us at OutnumberedMom.com – be encouraged and inspired on your mom journey!

Some of my blog links:

A Preview Coming on Monday!

A Story To Start the Week

A Must-See Movie for Boys


OutnumberedMom.com

Hope you'll stop by to see her today!



Melinda

Monday, February 8, 2010

Love is a Battlefield

"You hate me!"

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard those words in my house, my bank account would be recession-proof.

If the same applied to “It’s not fair!” and “You don’t understand!”, you’d be lookin’ at the next Bill Gates.

Apparently, the older my children get, the more emotionally and intellectually challenged I become.

The latest evidence? Last weekend, my 13-year-old daughter wanted to go to the fair with her friend.

Molly: Yea, you can just drop us off and pick us up around 10 p.m.

Me: Umm, no.

Molly: No?! Are you going to go around with us and hold our hands?! Please, mom, no!! You don’t understand! We want our independence!

Mike (Dad): Here’s the deal. Either mom and I or another adult is going or you can’t go.

Molly: Other adults will be there.

Me: Yes, Molly, I know. We’re not talking about random adults who also happen to be going to the fair.

Molly: Oh, come on!

Kids assume love means getting their way. All the time.

My husband said recently, “A lot of times, I think it’s hard for her (Molly) to feel like we love her because a lot of what we do doesn’t feel like love.”

Quite frankly, love is a battlefield.

Sometimes I feel weak – not up to the fight. But retreat is not an option. One day my kids will be glad I did battle.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Join my Mission Family Nutrition Challenge! To learn how, click here!
Melinda

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mission Family Nutrition starts today!

The Mission for Nutrition has begun! Your assignment? Tracking down better family eating habits!

If you’re ready to accept the challenge, your instruction are as follows:
1.)
If you haven’t already, post your nutrition goal for this week on your blog today, along with my Mission Family Nutrition code (see right sidebar) or link to my original Mission Family Nutrition Post.
2.) Throughout the week, implement your goal, whether it be introducing a new healthy food to your family or eliminating an unhealthy one. Maybe you want to post a new recipe you tried with your family this week. Think HEALTH, but get creative.
3.) Leave your link to your nutrition post via Mister Linky below!

If you haven’t joined in yet … it’s not too late. You can join in any time! To read my original post and instructions, click here.

You can't solve a tough case without some good information. Dr. David Winsor, my personal chiropractor and nutrition expert, is going to give us some clues to get started. He'll continue to provide us with great nutrition tips throughout our six-week challenge.

by David M. Winsor, D.C.
With the exception of major trauma, our health and longevity depend upon what we do or do not eat. The human body was designed to eat food, not synthetic genetically modified chemistry. While this concept seems obvious, the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) leans far more toward convenience and speed rather than nutrient dense foods.

In the next few weeks, I hope to offer some guidance to those who may be confused by the advertising and never-ending advice from experts. Many scientists agree that this may be the first generation of children who will not survive their parents because of childhood diabetes.

Let’s start with avoiding the big three: sugar, white flour and pasta. Always ask yourself, "Where would I find this on a tree or plant?" Yes, there is sugar cane in nature, but it has fiber which buffers and protects the body. Refined sugar doesn’t. We could discuss the chemistry but let’s consider what children usually eat for breakfast.

Cereal, milk, orange juice or maybe toast or a bagel is common. This start to the day is almost all concentrated carbohydrate and the problem is that it provides an overload to the body, demanding that the pancreas work really hard. Anything not immediately used is converted into fat. The energy is short-lived and when the blood glucose falls in about an hour, concentration and mood suffer. Later in the day this child may have a carbonated beverage with more sugar and some French fries with transfats and perhaps some candy with even more sugar.

For the evening meal, it could be a rush to a fast food outlet for a quick load of synthetic meat, more trans fats and, of course a really big drink of something containing more sugar.

If this is a typical day for your child, I hope to be able to offer some better ideas. For now, let’s start with a bowl of mixed fruit, an egg and oatmeal with plain yogurt. Stay away from fruit juices. They are all concentrated carbohydrates. Eating the fruit itself buffers the sugar rush and protects the pancreas. We will talk about other meal suggestions next week.

Change is never easy, so I suggest you focus on what your child will eat that is healthy and slowly eliminate the bad stuff. As the body reacts to the more nutritious foods, cravings should decrease. You will not win this tomorrow but the rewards are well worth the effort. Remember, typical American food is the main single cause of the diseases most of us suffer and die from.

Some good thoughts to chew on, huh? Thanks, Dr. Winsor!

Be sure to leave your link below.

My goal this week is to try a new healthy recipe with my family. If it's a hit, I'll post it next Friday.

At the end of the week, I'll choose a random participant to win a $10 Target gift card!

Good Luck!

Be advised that the suggested nutritional program is not intended as a treatment for any disease. This adjunctive schedule of nutrients is provided with the intent of supporting the physiological and biochemical processes of the human body, and not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.
Dr. David M Winsor
www.AccessChiroCenter.com; 941-629-8444



Melinda

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mission Family Nutrition starts tomorrow!

Your challenge -- if you choose to accept it -- is tracking down healthier eating habits for your family! Are you up to the assignment?

If so, Mission: Family Nutrition starts tomorrow! (If you don't know what this is read this.)

If you'd still like to sign up or know of someone who would, it is not too late. Anyone can sign up at anytime. The sooner you join the mission, the sooner your family will be on the path to good health! It’s time to crack the case!

If you don’t think you can ever solve your family’s nutrition dilemmas, take heart. I had a long history of horrible eating habits before I experienced health effects that spurred me to take action.

Slowly, over time, I changed my lifestyle and the way I thought about food. Then, I began to slowly change the foods I gave my family. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. We don’t eat perfectly. I’m always looking for new ways to keep healthy eating interesting and appetizing, but we generally make healthy choices. (Although I can’t be responsible for what my teenager consumes at sleepovers! ;0)

Don’t forget that along the way, you’ll get support and encouragement from me and other bloggers and from Dr. David Winsor, chiropractor and nutrition expert. He will be posting nutrition tips weekly. He said he would also be happy to answer any questions you email me (melinda@parentingconfessions.com).

I’ve also enlisted some other guest bloggers who will give you the tools you need to complete your mission!

Here's what you need to do for tomorrow:

1.) Choose your first nutrition goal. Start simple. For example, it may be cutting down on the quantity of a certain unhealthy food you and/or your family eats. Or, it could be trying a new recipe. It could also be trying a new healthier food. It won’t be easy at first. You WILL meet resistance. Don’t get discouraged and abort the mission!

2.) Post about it on your blog tomorrow (please either copy my button code or leave a link to my Mission: Family Nutrition post in your Friday post, so others can learn about it and join in.)

3.) Come here on Friday ... I will have some “nutrition clues” to help get us started.

4.) Leave your link on my blog Friday via Mister Linky. (Be sure to link to your Mission: Family Nutrition post, not just your blog.)

That's it!

Please tweet this, so others can join in!

And come back tomorrow and we'll get on the case!
Melinda

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Miracle Boy

Yesterday, my son turned 10.

You probably see a happy, cute, somewhat mischevious little boy.

And you’d be right.

However, you don’t see what he fights everyday of his young life: cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic respiratory and digestive disease.

And that, my friends, is a miracle of God.

Ten years ago, I will never forget walking out the hospital doors after receiving his devastating diagnosis. Mike and I couldn’t imagine what life would be like 10 days from then let alone 10 years. It felt as if we were walking into the great unknown.

I cannot tell you the countless prayers that have been lifted up for Micah from people all over the country. If you are one of his prayer warriors, you have meant more than you’ll ever know.

I cannot recount all the times I’ve seen God intervene, placing the right person in our path, providing financially and giving us what we needed each day to face the “great unknown.”

Today, Micah starts his Minor League baseball season. He just finished a fall season of soccer. And a little over a year ago, he won a gold medal for his age group in a 5K race to raise money for missions.

If that doesn’t sound like a Miracle Boy, I don’t know what does.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21
Melinda

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Can you spell V-A-I-N?

It had to be a mistake.

Micah, my 9-year-old-son, had barely gotten into the van last week after school when he blurted out, “They had the spelling bee tryouts today to go to districts and I didn’t make it.”

What?! Not sending my son to the district spelling bee? Oh, no you didn’t. Micah had WON the district spelling bee two years in a row! And the previous year’s winner had always gotten an automatic qualification the next year. I could smell the injustice.

I put on my "Crazed Stage Mom" hat, parked the car and marched into the school. My son not making the spelling bee?! Ludicrous, I tell you!

I wanted an explanation. A mom on a mission can be a frightening thing. I finally found a school official who explained that it’s the teacher’s choice whether or not to automatically send last year’s winner. It was not an official "rule." Micah’s teacher chose to make him re-qualify and he didn’t. It was as simple as that.

After my heart rate returned to normal and I regained my senses, this mom discovered something rather disturbing about herself. I wasn’t just disappointed for Micah (who was taking it far better than I was, I might add). I was more disappointed for me. Yikes. A part of me enjoyed the “reflected glory,” being the mom of the “smartest” kid.

I asked myself, "Who’s more invested in this, him or me?"

To channel a little Carly Simon, “I’m so vain. I probably think this Bee is about me.”

Encouraging and being proud of our kids’ accomplishments is one thing. Tying even a small part of our self-esteem to them is quite another.

I rebounded and told Micah I was proud of the boy he was – Bee or no Bee. And that I was impressed with his mature reaction to the disappointment. (Don’t you hate it when your kid is the grownup?)

Hopefully, I’ll deal with my issues before next month’s Math Olympics. If not, it could spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Join my six-week Mission Family Nutrition Challenge! It starts Friday!

Melinda
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