Our Answers Revealed

In yesterday's post, my mom reflected on what she was glad she did in raising my sister and me.

Today my sister and I reveal 5 things that WE are glad SHE did.

Holly's 5 Things "I'm Glad My Mom Did" -

  • Threw parties. I learned how to celebrate and throw fun parties myself.

  • Stuck to her word in punishments. If I got grounded, there was no getting out of it and no shortening of time. I was free when the original stated time of grounding was over. I learned consequences and that I couldn't weasel my way out of things. She meant what she said.

  • Was involved by leading Blue Birds (girl scouts type club) and chaperoning my school trips. There are some similarities with those childhood meetings and a girls group I started as an adult. Who knew!?

  • Made me quit hanging out with a couple friends when things started getting iffy. It was awkward at the time, but the future proved she was right.

  • Let me do a lot of things. I had lots of interests and tried many different things between sports, lessons, organizations.

Heather's 5 things -

  • She always came to my my sports activities, even though she didn't like sports. ha.

  • In elementary school, she picked me up weekly for a McDonalds lunch, which I thought was really cool and fun. She could do that because she was a stay at home mom, which I liked as a kid. I liked having her home when I got home from school.

  • She prayed for me...even though I didn't like it at the time. (I couldn't help but ask my sister for clarification on this) The clarification is- I liked knowing she did it, I just didn't want to hear her doing it. Hahaha!

  • She taught me manners and responsibilities, like if you're expected somewhere and will be late, then call. Be on time. RSVP to invites. If you volunteer for something, follow through on commitments. Now I'm amazed at adults who have no understanding of these things.

  • She made sure I had great birthday parties because my birthday was so close to Christmas. And I got separate presents for both! I always had whatever kind of party I wanted and she made sure it was special.


My First Interview- With My Mom

"What are 5 things you're glad you did in raising your daughter?" This is the question I've been asking moms of grown children. Able to look back with a broader perspective now, these moms can help those of us still in the trenches to see what is truly important.

When my own 3 adorable girls were very little, women stopped me countless times in public and said, "Enjoy these days, these are the best of times!" I know they were being nice, but the notion worried me a bit because as much as I loved and enjoyed my girls, I spent much of my time wanting to pull my hair out! "It doesn't get any better?!" is what I was left thinking with a touch of panic. And I loved being a mom. Still do.

Now I understand what they meant and I know that as trying as things can be at times when kids are young, a main principle to live by at that stage is to stop and enjoy the moments. Enjoy life, all the parts of it. One day you'll want to relive them.

I'll be sharing many mom stories with you over time. But for today, we begin with my own mom, Verna Craig. She and my dad raised me, my younger sister, Heather, and our older brother. They have been married a whopping 51 years and live in Ponca City, OK. Many of my talents come from her and I'm happy she agreed to be my first story!

Until age 7, I lived in Kansas City and my mom worked full time. Then we moved to Ponca City where she was a stay at home mom from my elementary years until I left for college. I say that just to set context for her story.

Heres what the Madre to say! Oh, and she had 6 points instead of 5, but since she's my mom I'm letting her keep all 6. (mom privileges) What are the things she's glad she did? In her words...and my words in italics :)

  • Becoming a Christian at age 35 helped me to become a better mother. I learned to pray Bible verses for my children. I spoke scriptures out loud for each one of them everyday. I could go on and on about my love for the Scriptures and the truth contained in them.

  • In my twenties I worked because I thought we needed the money, which we did if we wanted any extras. Your dad never wanted me to work. But I liked the work, and it didn't bother me to leave my young kids with someone else. I would do it differently now. When I did stay home, it was difficult to sacrifice and live on one salary, but I would do it over again. I found ways to stay on budget. It was important to me to be home to take care of the house, my kids, study the Bible, pray, and fix nightly dinner. The benefits of staying home far outweighed the opposite in my opinion. I wish more women today would think about staying home with their children to train and nurture them. Society is different today. Often people work to afford luxuries.

  • I ran a tight ship. (yes she did) From a young age, I taught them to call me if they were going to be late coming home. They could play at someone's house but only for two hours and then they came home. (I don't even remember the time constraint.) If they spent the night with a friend, we picked them up at a designated time in the morning. This was being courteous to the parents at the home where they were spending the night.

  • Taking lessons was a great way to learn discipline. If they took piano lessons, then they had to practice 30 minutes a day before their dad got home. (and it was 30 minutes per subject- piano, ballet...with no sympathy for friends playing football outside waiting on me) Competitive sports is a great way to learn not only discipline, but how to interact successfully with others. Then there is the child who is not interested in lessons or sports. They may have to learn things the "hard" way, but maybe it's not "hard" to them.

  • It's very important to flow differently with each child, because each child IS different. Nurture the gift that God has placed within each child. It may not be your choice, but if it's not something bad, then allow free expression by letting go of them and gently guiding them in the path they have chosen.

  • Most importantly, teach them the ways of the Lord not only by instruction, but by example. (which they have always done!)

Prayer, work, order and courteousness, discipline, uniqueness of children, her example. Those are the issues that came to her mind when asked to look back at the past. I would have to agree that all of those principles served us well.

FYI, I will NOT be adding extracurricular peanut gallery comments in other ladies stories, haha. Since it was my mom and my life, (and my blog), I took the liberty! I want to thank Mom for being brave to be my first interview! And for being a great mom.

Coming tomorrow, my sister and I share 5 things we are glad our mom did raising us which will be a surprise to her! We wrote ours before reading what she had to say, just to keep it interesting. Stay tuned!

Post script- I have fabulous mom interviews coming up, many who always worked full time and many who stayed at home. That can be a touchy subject at times, but we are highlighting women of many situations. I also found it common among older women to question whether their advice is now outdated. I disagree. If you're happy you did it, it is relevant!


5 Things to gain from this blog...

Raising girls is fun, and difficult, sometimes even at the same time! Screams of delight, emotional ups and downs, uncontrollable tears, hysterical laughter!

Hormonal days. Lots of hormonal days.

All in all, whether you're a mom who's having fun raising girls, or worn out in your efforts, let's talk. The joys are multiplied and stresses lessened when we can have someone share our journey. And we all know the world's pretty crazy out there, so we need all the support we can get!

We need a place to come together. What can this blog offer?

1. How to deal with issues.

2. Not feeling alone in parenting.

3. Perspective. The big picture!

4. Thoughts from other moms who have lived a variety of situations.

5. Thoughts straight from teen girls themselves.

I've done the research and listened to many teens. Now let me share with you the discoveries!

Also talking to many ladies and girls behind the scenes, getting some great stuff ready for you! Excited about girls who are willing to write for us, to catch a glimpse inside their worlds.

Coming up Monday, my first interview answering the question, "Five things I'm glad I did" in raising girls. Pass this along to friends so they don't miss out!

Follow us by email, or "like" the Facebook Page called 5 Things.


It Starts So Young...

I’d like to maybe have a baby girl one day (said with smile), but you know (as if sharing universal knowledge), when they’re teenagers…..” (fade out, with voice of dismay). I guess I was to imagine my own ending to that sentence. A young married girl said this to me just days ago, echoing thoughts I’ve heard before.

But girls don’t have to be scary to raise! I know many FAB teenage girls! Just start young. Begin with the end in mind. What kind of girl do you want your daughter to be when she’s older? Raise her now with that result in mind. It’s never too young to teach life lessons. In fact, the earlier the better! (And pray a lot).

Life lessons started early at our house! 5 funny stories I recall, all of which happened when my girls were 4 years old or less.

(boys) The quest for a husband -My daughter, at 3, (pictured above) packed her little Lillian Vernon suitcase, which grandma had embroidered with her name, and said she was going on a journey to find a husband. So cute in her pursuit, I simply told her, "Well honey, your husband is supposed to find you. You don't need to search for him." Somewhat appeased, she said, "Well I'll just sit here and wait then." She and her Lillian Vernon bag waited on the porch for awhile, but she quickly got bored and went to play again. That seems to be the last time she was worried about it!

(character/integrity) Driving around our hometown one day, the kids asked to eat out. I said, "Remember girls, daddy and I told you we are starting our own business right now, and may have to spend a little less money for awhile?" Silence. Then after a few seconds, the ponderous child in the back said, "Mommy, can't we just steal the food and repent later?"

(gender confusion) One of my girls, in a particularly appreciative moment, walked up, put her arm around my shoulder and said, "Mommy, you're a good man."

(media choices) My youngest got to tag along to an outing to see "Princess Diaries" at the movies. Being the most "grown up movie" she'd seen, she paid a lot more attention at age three than I thought she would, proven by the fact she climbed over the theatre seats to whisper to me, "Mommy, I don't want to rent the Goofy movie anymore. I want this one with all the boys in it!"

(spirituality) One daughter asked one day, "Has a girl ever died on the cross?" Before I could even answer, thank goodness, she settled her own mind with a quick, "No, it wouldn't look nice...with men it's a little better!"

I share those in jest and humor, though they are real! As years have gone by, life training isn't always so easy or cute, but still so necessary, and so DAILY, coming up at unexpected times. I encourage you to write those funny things down as they happen, you will definitely laugh over them years later!

Stay tuned for some great insights from ladies who have raised girls. I'm interviewing moms who have walked this road and are willing to share their insights with those of us still in the trenches! I'm asking each lady, "What are 5 things you're glad you did raising daughters?"

Also working on follow up content from our first mean girl story, From the Heart of a Teen Girl. THANK YOU for all the blog support you sent our way! If you “like” the Facebook page,

5 Things, you’ll be subscribed to all of our posts.

I’m talking to many ladies and girls behind the scenes, getting some great stuff ready for you!


From the Heart of a Teen Girl

I had a whole introductory blog planned and written, but in extraordinary timing, I received a message from a teen girl, Imani, telling me her story regarding mean girl drama. Imani is a relative of mine in another state. With her permission, I'm sharing it with you, in her own words. There's no better way to start this blog. It is because of these real issues that 5 Things was created.

"So I sat down to write everything out last night, and it really made me sad, mostly because I have such great female friends now who just build each other up, and encourage me to be better, but there are so many girls who don't know what that feels like, and that simply saddens me.

When I went through some of my mean girl situations most of them boil down to looks, and the way I speak/carry myself. Not good at all, but those are the easiest things to critique and be rude about.

In fourth grade there was a girl who was pretty, blonde, and VERY thin. She used to talk about how skinny she was, and wear short shorts that my mother would never (even today) let me wear, and I was a bit jealous. Our birthdays were days apart, and she would make hers bigger and better than mine. She would tell people that she would never talk to them if they didn't go to her party, and she would exclude me just so I would have a party where not many people showed up. She made me feel less than good about myself. But I also felt badly for her because her parents were getting divorced, and she didn't seem happy about it (like any normal girl) and she was always BEGGING for attention.

In Middle School, I was homeschooled and encountered the most painful Mean Girl in my history. She was very very manipulative. To adults she was nice, and to everyone else she was admired. When I came to our Homeschool Co-Op, she started to tell people that I was trash, lie about me ruining property or saying mean things so everyone would be mean to me and exclude me from their events and activities. When I told my mother, she had a sit down with me, the girl, and a boy who she had told to be mean to me. The boy apologized, and was pretty nice to me after the meeting, but the girl never apologized, kept spreading rumors, and her mother didn't interfere at all. She even got her little sister to be rude to my little sister, calling her fat, and ugly, which I just thought was wayyy beneath the belt.

Those were the two biggest situations, but I have many small stories of girls who talk about the way I speak and the way I dress, but those don't bother me as much because I have family and friends who build me up. If I didn't, I don't know where I'd be.

I also know that the shows like Real Housewives... are creating an image of women that is not cool, or fabulous, but just dramatic and catty. When girls say things like "This is why I don't hang out with girls; there's too much drama." It makes me sad because it's not true. I have very little drama with girls I'm close to because we love, and support each other. Why aren't there more shows like Gilmore Girls where they hold each other up, and help each other reach for their dreams? It's because it's not as "entertaining" and that's very damaging to the way women are portrayed.

PLEASE let me know if you need anything else. I love that you love working with young girls (like me!) because no one else seems to. You seem to be so excited to work with girls. I really, genuinely wish there were more women like you to teach girls about how amazing women can be!"

Wisdom from a teenager. More to come.