A Global Perspective

So thank you to all of you who obeyed and left comments on "Why I Can't Get Anything Done" where I exposed the silliness of my inner mind! Rather relieved to know so many of you relate! It is so much more fun to have a conversation with you than just putting words out there into cyberspace, so keep those comments coming.

5 funny comments I got after that blog:

1. One lady laid in bed at 4:00am on her iphone giggling at the blog, next to sleeping husband.

2. One person told me her friend thinks that way OUT LOUD. All the time.

3. Several women sat at computer reading and laughing with tears and aching sides, relating to the story.

4. I LOVED reading comments of your own crazy situations!

5. An unnamed person admitted I was funny.

Apparently many of you live the same life as me (at least those in America with kids of similar ages as mine). Except for my dear friend in Hong Kong who has informed me of the safety of their city and the helpful city transportation their kids can use with no fears. I actually researched and found an article that called Hong Kong one of the top three safe cities in the world. I'm jealous! I wish I could send my kids around town without any worries, but unfortunately, our midwestern Bible belt area has raced to the top in crime, divorce, abuse, trafficking, teen pregnancy and incarceration. Unfortunate. And hard to believe.

Life has hindered blogging in the last two weeks, but I’ve spoken with and received messages from many of you regarding different topics relating to girl issues. So many things are in the works. I appreciate your input. I appreciate my friend Lisa sharing a guest blog during my busy week. Check out her special word for single moms if you missed it.

I’ve also continued meetings with local girls and can’t wait to share some of their wisdom and thoughts too (anonymously of course).

When my husband and I were recently in San Francisco , a highlight of the trip was feeling like we’d traveled the world. We hardly heard English spoken. People from all over the world were there. As we toured the city and heard about their culture, I thought to myself how different life probably is even in some American cities than in our Midwestern town.

Some of the thoughts we share that work in our geographical areas may or may not make sense to someone in large cities or across the world. Or maybe it does! I'm just a little intrigued by it. (I should have been an anthropologist).

Then again, some values and ideals penetrate every culture and situation, because we are all human.

Obviously most readers of this blog are in the States, but I'm fascinated how the internet has made out world so small. Just since my last blog, our readers (or those who have at least stumbled upon this site) have included Hong Kong, Poland, Russia, Latvia, Romania, Mexico, Malaysia, Portugal, Germany, France, Argentina, Canada, Taiwan and Ukraine. (I guess blogger translates??) What's fun is my favorite artist I've found online who created today's blog picture is from Ukraine. (Tasia 12 at Anyway, I would love to hear from people in other cultures that read this blog. Do we live similar circumstances or are things vastly different for you?

One thing I do know, no matter what our surrounding circumstances, the issues of the heart remain the same for all of us.

More to come.

For Single Moms

The unique circumstances of single moms have been on my mind. The fire was fueled when at a recent women's event, a lady shared that during her single mom days, she always felt judged that she wasn't doing things right, or things were her fault. Aside from obvious hardships of single moms, I imagine others can relate to those extra emotions.

I have asked my friend Lisa Bain, pictured here quite a few years ago with two of her children, to share a guest blog with 5 Things today. We met through a mutual friend in the last year, though we recognized each other from college days (and wondered how we'd never met because we know all the same people!)

Upon reading her blog one day, I was stunned to find out she'd been through a previous marriage and divorce and therefore, some single mom days. She has since remarried and has a beautiful family and story. I say stunned because if you know Lisa, she is WAY TOO SWEET AND NICE to have ever gone through anything awful!!

When I told her those thoughts she said "Oh honey. I have been through some stuff."

She shared her story, and I believe it will be meaningful to many single moms out there.

Pass it along.

I'll let her share her story herself.

"I remember the day like it was yesterday.....that drive from Texas to Tulsa almost 20 years ago....with 2 babies. My son just a few months old, and my daughter just 22 months old. It was just the three of us now. In her sweet little voice, my daughter whispered to me “Mommy, are we going bye bye?” My heart broke. As my parents drove the van, I sat in the back seat and hung onto my babies for dear life. My world had literally stopped. How could I raise them alone? They were babies! How could we have been left? Why? How could he leave us? My husband had chosen an affair over his family and now, I had to pick up the pieces...I had no choice. Of course my self esteem was shattered with all the feelings one has when an affair occurs. But I can only say that it was at that moment, when I passed the Oklahoma state line, that my world changed, forever. I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart....”I will carry you now Lisa. I will take you to new places with your children that you never dreamed possible, and I will open doors.....I will heal and I will guide and teach you things that will change your life forever....don’t let go of your dream.” Don’t let go of my dream? What? But Lord, my dream was shattered? He saw much further than I did, and He knew the dream He had placed in my heart all along. He wanted to bring it to pass. It was my job to let Him. It was my job to give Him the brushes and let Him paint the new picture on this blank canvas before me....with my babies. Little did I know it would be more than just a picture, it would be a masterpiece.

I remember those days like they were yesterday. Working 2 jobs, getting those babies up everyday and getting them to school. I remember being so tired that my toenails even hurt, and knowing I had to get the kids home, get homework done, get dinner on the table, and spend time with them. I remember the pressure of making it financially on my own. I remember the loneliness when the kids were all in bed and it was just me.

You know what is amazing though? When I look back on those years of single parenting now, and I see the picture God was painting all along, I stand in amazement. It was at that very moment of being left and alone and clutching onto Jesus with every fiber of my being that taught me the greatest lessons that I still lean on to this day. And what exactly can one learn from being left with 2 small babies to raise?

I learned that 2 Corinthians 12:9 is true. He pours out His grace in proportion to what we need. And I needed a truck load of grace. He cared so deeply for me and saw my extreme need for Him as His opportunity to provide. And He had more than enough grace to walk me through this journey. We were tucked safely under His wings. And He was not letting go.

I learned how to forgive. Oh this was a biggie for me. My children could pick up on the angry feelings I had and carried. I will go so far as to say I not only walked through anger, I walked through rage. I was mad! When I wanted to speak badly of their father, I knew I couldn’t. He was still their father. God literally took my hand on this one and step by step peeled away the layers of unforgiveness until I walked in freedom. I could not have done it without the Holy Spirit guiding me every step of the way. There is freedom in forgiveness. I knew the second that weight was lifted off of my shoulders, I had forgiven. I could breathe! I realized that forgiveness can be a daily journey though. When tempted to take that anger back on, God was there to take it for me.....daily. There were some days on that journey I literally had to say, Jesus, right now I can’t do this, can you? And He would take it from there. The Holy Spirit became real to me in ways that forever changed my life. When in my own strength I couldn’t, He could. 2 Corinthians 12;10

I learned how important getting involved in a great home church really is. Not only was it a place for healing for me but I realized that I could be used by God even in my broken state! We were in church when the doors opened, and we were involved. I developed friendships that were healthy and life long. My children were involved and loving it! Singing on the praise and worship team was instrumental in so much of my healing. We were surrounded with love and support, and this was literally a life line for us. God used that church to help us in more ways that I can even express.

I learned that there is laughter and joy, even in the hard times. One day, feeling overwhelmed, I started to cry. I cried one of those “ugly” cries where you can hardly breathe. I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror and how my face was all shriveled up like a prune, and how ridiculous I looked. It cracked me up! I went from uncontrollable tears to uncontrollable laughter! My kids came in and we just laughed! In fact I could not even remember why I was crying in the first place. It was at that moment that I realized that I could laugh! It was healing! And I could teach my children how to laugh! I remember funny dances we would make up together, silly songs we would sing, bible verses we would memorize with hand motions, cookies we would bake with silly faces.....and laughter filled the house. And you know what my kids remember to this day most? The laughter and the love in our home. And when we talk about that love and laughter during that season, it gets me every time. They remember it with detail.
Laughter is healing. And I learned that even when my heart was breaking, I could laugh, and the joy of the Lord really would be my strength. Many have asked me how I find laughter in tough journeys. I found it during this season of my life. It was what got me through. Laughter comes from the soul, where Jesus has a grip, and it is unexplainable, and it literally carried us through. It still does.

I think the biggest thing I learned through this journey was to not let go of my dream. Even though it seemed the dream was crushed, of being a wife and mother, it was not. God was just going to find a different way to bring that dream into fruition. Trust me, He will blow your mind. Just don’t let go! Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy that you will never see that dream come to pass. As I gave the Lord those brushes to paint my masterpiece, He did! And what a masterpiece He painted! I have 4 children and a daughter in law now who are all passionate for Jesus, a husband who was sent from heaven, and 3 dogs who, yes, are also part of that beautiful picture! I look at that dream everyday in awe and wonder and thankfulness. I also remember those things I learned in the 10 years I walked through the journey of single parenting. I could not have made that journey without Jesus.
To all my dear friends walking through the journey of single parenting, I want to encourage you!
There is hope! There is laughter! There is strength! There are miracles! There is a masterpiece in the making! Just let go of the brushes and watch Him paint! I promise you, you will be amazed! Van Gogh and Da Vinci have nothing on what God is painting for you!"

I encourage you to get to know her through her blog "Joy in the Journey" at She's an inspiration!


Why I Can't Get Anything Done

allow me a moment to indulge you into just a few moments of my mind this hot crazy summer, which i surprisingly captured on paper.

"after a late night stalking jason castro with my girls at a local concert, staying late to ensure they got a picture with him, i awoke early this morning to take a daughter to horse lessons. the summer heat stretch is causing us to have incredibly early lessons to ensure survival and the drive is a bit far away.

sometimes i stay out in the area to write, sometimes i drive home. today? giggly over getting home to a MUCH needed quiet morning alone! even if it's only an hour and a half before having to drive out there again. so excited. barely got horse daughter out of the car when other daughter calls because she has a sudden babysitting job way out by the horse lessons, so can i take her? of course. certainly. even though i have to drive allll the way home to get her and allll they way back out by horse lessons. don't want to discourage strong work ethic. so much for the needed quiet morning. i can adjust.

drive home. have one cup of coffee. take daughter way back out to babysitting job. if i added up time spent in car i'd be depressed so i don't. come home. aaahhh quiet morning. get a text from horse daughter that someone else is bringing her home. praise God for nice people! get call from sitter daughter that she's been requested to stay longer now, but doesn't know how long, so now i'm "on call".

have a bit of needed time alone. remember that husband asked me to drop off dry cleaning shirts today. throw them in the floor in the doorway so i can't possibly forget to take them when leave. whenever that is. i don't know because i'm on call. get a call from third nanny daughter who is watching 3 kids. the problem is she has to take them places but the boy has hives and can't get hot. we all know her car is blazing hot because it hasn't had AC in three years and the nation is in the middle of a hellish heat streak. so could they use my car? (which leaves me with hot car to pick up sitter daughter who dies if she has to be seen in nanny daughter's car especially if a parent is driving it).

searching for viable options, the other choice we come up with is i could drive the whole group to their lunch destination, wait a half hour doing whatever i'm supposed to do, then come back and get them and take them to the theater, then go back and get them two hours later, which would work but wait, what if sitter daughter needs a ride right when movie starts? then she'd have to sit there awkwardly with people she doesn't know well for 30 minutes while i drive to get her since it's so far away. that really wouldn't hurt her so maybe i'll do that. or i could say no to the whole nanny daughter thing like my husband would. but according to the kids, that's what makes mom the mom. she does these things.

being a mom is like one gigantic ongoing sacrifice. we consider things husbands don't. i can't let the boy with hives drive in a hot car can i? ok take my car. i'll drive the hot one. nanny daughter has suffered three years in it, so i can take one turn. i leave in hot car to take the shirts that i tripped on to the dry cleaners. turn on car and radio station i don't allow is blasting. reminded that she's 18 and going to college and there's not a darned thing i can do about and it's not my job to approve her music outside my home anymore. remember the speech my husband often gives about the "diet" of music, not wanting too much junk food in their diet. and all the reasons they've gotten from me about unapproved music and why. the times i've made them read lyrics out loud to us. or worse for them, when i read them. ha.

reminded that she tells me she turns off gross, degrading songs and doesn't like them either. i think about a music/media blog coming up and i could blog this, but then people would probably say aaaahhh, the poor deceived blog lady actually thinks her daughter turns off the bad songs. isn't that precious....but i can handle that cuz i know she probably does because that's the kind of person she is, and has she ever actually listened to one? probably. i'm not clueless. i remember how long it took me to clean up my own song habits and how i only really listened when it was God telling me and not someone's speeches.

then i see a handwritten scripture taped to dashboard next to the radio about may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord. thank you Jesus. i chuckle at how contrasting the song and the scripture are as i listen to the words of the song which i 've decided to KEEP playing, so i can be proven if needed that this isn't really a bad station. but the song is describing an ongoing sex scene in more detail than i have ever heard in a song, and now i have to listen to it for research purposes so i know what's going on.

so now i'm driving around the hot car blasting the unapproved radio station thinking how funny it would be for people to see the 5 things lady driving around blasting around an explicit sex song. then it's windy cuz all the windows are down cuz it's hot so now i have to turn it up even louder and i'm thinking what a funny blog this could be but do i dare expose the world to my real mind? i remember how my husband told me once it must be exhausting to live inside of my head and i had only given him a tiny glimpse of my daily reality. laugh to myself because people think i'm quiet sometimes, but it's cuz my head is always like this and there's so much going on that i'm too tired to talk.

i stop at the gas station to get gas because of course the car that i get has one fume, but the song isn't over so i sit and listen to the end of it (yes with my windows down), typing whatever words i can understand into my phone so i can look it up later for research purposes to know what those muddled words actually were. wondering how many kids listen to this garbage and how many parents even know that the songs say such things? or do the parents listen to?

anyway, pump gas, get back in hot car, excited i have a new text, then realize it's from myself. disappointed. laugh that in my mom world with sometimes little adult interaction, a text is cause for excitement. how pathetic. at least i entertain myself. i am my own best friend. as i drive and sweat, i'm thinking to myself that not only am i on call to pick up sitter daughter whever that is, but i also previously agreed to take horse daughter to a friend's house after her lesson. my selfish motive at the time was to have quiet time , but there's always a price, right? and my price is driving. and oh how i pay. but soon i'll have no one to drive around and then i'll miss this, right? self talk. perspective.

so the day that i thought would be filled with aloneness and fulfilling writing deadlines is now full. then i recall that yesterday was the SAME. i started my glorious day only to receive a phonecall from my husband that his car had just broken down on the highway. he got a ride to work. i still don't understand what happened, but all i know is i had to take a spare key, drive it to abandoned car, put the key under the mat and leave it unlocked because the tow truck was on it's way. simple.

i promptly drive to abandoned car. leave key under mat. lock door. get ready to drive away and PANIC that i just locked our only extra key into the abandoned car, with tow truck in route!!

PANIC that i cannot possibly reveal my ignorance OR stress out my husband who is in a series of meeting after meetings and can't help me anyway. i have to take care of it myself and don't have much time to do it and how could possibly be this DUMB? because my head is this full you see.

all the way there i was sad thinking of all the hard sicknesses and accidents and hospitalizations of friend's children that are going on. it's just so wrong and there are so many things to pray for and i want everyone to have a miracle. so now i've locked the only key inside. as i hold my skirt down with each wind gust from each semi that barrels by, i am thankful for smartphones. look up locksmiths. beg someone to come like right NOW cuz a tow truck is on the way, and my husband can't possibly know i did this, because he just wouldn't get it, cuz men's heads aren't full like this, right? all the cartoons show the empty bubble cloud above the man's head and he told me that really IS true, and then i think i wish i was a man sometimes it would be easier, but not really cuz then i'd have to provide an income.

a wonderful locksmith, now my BFF4L, came and saved me within 15 minutes and i use an old credit card hoping it will go by unnoticed, realizing i would have paid him a million dollars, well not really but YAY it was under 100. we pact together that this never happened and i speed off. husband texted that the tow truck was almost there and i respond "cool." so calm.

now i'm driving home and get a panicked call from horse daughter who is at home and she's crying cuz our dog has something wrong with it. i imagine heat stroke and i panic again, speeding home. why is my heart pounding so much today? thank goodness it wasn't actually heat related. i misunderstood the crying sounds and the dog was okay, it's too hard to explain the tears so never mind. now i have to spend an hour settling my heart from the adrenalin rush i just had twice. i'm thinking of my friends who had worse things happen recently and wow if i'm pounding over that imagine what they were like. go home. exhausted. no writing today.

i'm left today thinking about people asking how the writing is going, probably wondering about my self imposed deadlines i've spoken out loud. and how difficult that is to answer. what do i do everyday? things like this. drive, drive around town, drive more. meet needs. say yes to too much. write in my head, wondering if i'll ever have time to get it on paper. wondering if it matters.

thinking what a funny blog this could be-inside a multi tasking mother's head. but then i wonder wait what if i'm the only one? then i'd just look really crazy to the whole world. well the whole world of 100 people that might potentially be reading it. but surely not, surely other moms can relate to this madness. am i the only one? please say i'm not. am i brave enough to find out? i don't know yet. we'll see. but i'd definitely find out if my husband reads my blog!

gotta go. sitter daughter needs her ride. i didn't tell her it's the hot car. we'll surprise her.

p.s. if no one comments that they can totally relate, i may never blog again. and we'll say this never happened."

p.p.s. the above picture is what I actually looked like driving around this summer. the below pic is how i liked to imagine myself, to get through the day.

(If you'd like to stay in touch with ongoing issues of today's moms, I invite you to follow us by email or "like" our facebook page called 5 Things. And pass us on right now to one friend who can relate!)

Rockhold Girls Have Their Say

WOW. That was then, this is now! After a hilarious afternoon getting four opinionated sisters to agree on a picture to post with this blog, I told them that nothing has changed! You would think we were all still 15! I have a whole new set of blog material with their rantings of who looked like what in each picture! :) Having 25 children among them, it was pretty difficult to find a non-pregnant skinny phase for all at one time HAHA. I told them it was all silly because they all look beautiful in every picture I see! Aren't they all lovely?

These girls were all too willing to share 5 things they are glad their mom did, now that they can look back and see without a clouded adolescent perspective! :) We'll go youngest to oldest for the sake of my BFF VALERIE.

Valerie- (that's her right in front)

1. I'm so glad my Mama instilled in me a real love for Jesus Christ, and a faithfulness to His people!

2. I'm so glad she was strict, even though at the time..I didn't like it...ha! I think I'm way more strict now than she ever was!

3. I'm so glad she loved my dad the way she did and still does. Her example there has been really wonderful.

4. I'm so glad she instilled in us a love of family...and spending time together. I love my family!

5. I'm so glad she taught me to be courteous and respectful. I've seen SO MUCH of the opposite in my grown up life, I'm glad I know better!

Janet- (far left in picture)

1. I'm so thankful for my mother's confidence. She was always sure of herself when it came to mothering and it gave me wonderful security. I don't remember her ever second guessing herself. I wish I had the same confidence.

2. She loved our Daddy so much. I think their 5:00pm smooch when he got home from work every day taught me myriads of things! Taught me that I was secure in a family where they loved each other and taught me how to "greet" my hubby!

3. I'm thankful she didn't feel like she needed to "flit about town" and be involved in lots of other things to make her feel fulfilled. She worked, she was a wonderful nurse, but she was fulfilled the most I think by being our mom.

4. She was always home when we were home, always there to listen to us (even if she was so sleepy she would nod off).

5. I'm so thankful she taught us about the Lord Jesus and the gift of salvation and that she encouraged us to grow in the Lord. I love that she's always been my teacher/encourager in my life long pursuit of being as good of a momma as she was!

Karen - (back middle in picture)

1. I loved how much my mom and dad loved the Lord. It was never religious or churchy or just social. They lived it every day. Not that there weren't disappointments, but she was always honest, never hypocritical. They taught us about Lord.

2. My mom was always lots of fun; she liked to stay up late, always watching The Tonight Show. She loved parties and having friends over, hers and ours. I remember how she let me skip school my senior year, just to shop for a prom dress. (I should have skipped that prom, ha). I thought she was really cool to let me do that.

3. I agree with my sisters, except that I don't think she was always home when we got home. It's just that we felt so secure, we didn't mind. She worked different shifts and would often leave before 7:00am for work, while I was on my way to the bus. Sometimes she would not get off until 11:00pm. But it all seemed so normal to us (we even sometimes "skipped" holidays until the next day, when it was her turn to work a holiday shift). We just felt secure as a family. Our house was always a place friends wanted to come.

4. I ALWAYS knew my mom could fix any problem, especially if it involved blood! (being a nurse) HA! I'm sure she was scared at times, but she didn't let us know it.

5. I know how much she didn't want to move to Ponca City at first (where we grew up), leaving her parents in Kansas City and coming to a small town. But I never realized it then. After 30 years in Ponca, she didn't want to leave and move back to Kansas City! I miss Ponca City, but I am glad she's closer to us now. Now that I'm a wife and mother, it's easier to see how much she gave of herself. I love her dearly!

Wendy-(far right in picture)

1. She really trusted in the Lord to work in our lives. She was not surrounded by books and magazines that are so available now for help. She didn't have Google, she didn't have peers giving her free advice.

2. She trusted us girls to make right choices. She didn't hover over us with advice. I remember that some of her friends were critical of her trust in us.

3. She was just who she was. She never pretended to be someone she was not. She was a new believer when she married my dad, so she was intent on surrounding us with opportunities to be exposed to Bible teaching.

4. Even though she was strict, she was never a list of rules. She had compassion on us when we made mistakes and didn't berate us for them.

5. She taught me to love lemonade! Silly, huh?

Well Mama Rock ought to be one happy camper now, right? If you missed yesterday's post where Mama Rock told her five things, check it out! They are a great family. Good memories.

Hopefully everyone likes the picture!

and I wonder who is pregnant...JK!!!!

The "I'm Glads" from Mama Rock

Marilyn Rockhold, who I affectionately nicknamed Mama Rock, is the mom of my junior high and high school BFF, Valerie. I spent much time at their house growing up, along with Valerie's THREE older sisters! So when I think "mom of girls", Mama Rock is one of my first thoughts. I saw her in action and I've seen the results of her fabulous mom skills in the lives of all four sisters grown up! She is among the first I approached to ask "the 5 things she's glad she did raising girls".
First, I must reminisce. When I think of fun times at Valerie's house, I think of the green tapioca pudding or the homemade Orange Julius drinks we made every time I spent the night. I think of Valerie's 1976 Mercury wood paneled station wagon that we drove on the weekends, a car that skipped radio stations every time we hit a bump, but we just as quickly switched our song as we sang along! Mama Rock hosted get togethers at her house quite often for us. Her sister Janet and I both share a Halloween birthday and we knew we were both TREATS and not TRICKS! I think of the time Papa Rock drove Valerie, Janet and I to Hutchinson, KS for a weekend retreat, but an hour down the road Janet discovered she'd forgotten her curling iron. Being a dad of 4 girls in the 80's, he knew the gravity of the situation and the undeniable need to return home for it, but that doesn't mean he was happy about it! When he said with very mild controlled “fury”, "I'm just so mad I could SPIT", we hysterically giggled in silent vibrations and uncontrollable laughter in the backseat for a good long while! Because as calm as his anger was, that was really mad for sweet Papa Rock! Yes, he took us all the way home for the curling iron. They are good people.
Ok, so now for “substance”. When I asked Mama Rock the 5 things she's glad she did in raising her girls, here is what stood out to her. (This was prefaced by "it was all in spite of me and by the grace of God". I made her come up with practical pass-on-able tidbits!!)
1. I am glad we taught respect for authority and obedience at an early age (right off the bat, one year old and up). If you wait until they are tweens, it's too late. Now they respect God and His authority, as well as the law, their parents, teachers, etc.
2. I am glad we required them to do household chores because they learned how to keep house and to do their share as members of a family. (I can attest to this fact when my own girls and I visited Janet's family of (7children) in Kansas City in recent years. It was like a well oiled machine- every person did their part happily, without a parent having to beg and no one complained. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I mentally scribbled notes, wondered what in the world I had done wrong and said to my kids "DO YOU SEE THIS?!?!?!" Sorry for my extra comments there, couldn't help it.)
3. I am glad we kept an "open house" for their friends, because we got to know their friends and they got to know us. Have as many activities in your home as possible. We wanted the girls and their friends to feel welcome anytime. Because of this we would know if there was trouble anywhere and they would be less likely to go astray.
4. I am glad we made family time a priority via meals together, going to church together, watching TV together, etc. Family should come first after God- and that includes extended family too. Having a good husband/wife relationship and agreement between the two (at least in front of the kids) is very important too.
5. I am glad we did not wait "until they were old enough" to teach these things but started at a young age, because if a child is left to herself she brings shame to her Mother. Proverbs 29:15
To sum it up, she said teenage years can be scary and there are some really hard times, but she found them to be so much more fun than she expected. Mama Rock and Papa Rock are now the proud grandparents of a whopping 25 wonderful grandchildren and one grand-son-in-law !! Grandkids range in age from 25 years to 3 months; thirteen girls and 12 boys.
Afterwards, I couldn't help but bring up the subject of her working as a nurse while raising kids, since she didn't mention it. I remember her often being in her nurse uniform, coming to and from work late at night, wondering why we were coloring our tapioca pudding green. Her thoughts on the subject: "Nursing was the only job I was ever interested in, even as a child. I was never interested in having a career or climbing the career ladder. My family was my first priority and my job came second. I just worked part time in order to help with family finances, college,weddings, etc. I'm very proud that two of my granddaughters are RN's also. It's fun to be able to "talk shop" with them. When my granddaughter Abigail's class recited the Nightingale Pledge, all the RN's in the audience were asked to join them, I was very proud to be able to do that. I'm very grateful for all the nursing experiences I've had."
Coming tomorrow, insights from all four now grown up Rockhold sisters! Stay tuned, it's fun because what they appreciate is all so varied. Thanks to Mama Rock for being willing to share her thoughts with us. Their entire family is a great example to many people. I'm glad to know them.



Blogging was tossed aside the last few days due to being on a getaway with my hubby of 20 years....that's right, 6 days alone! That's rare, but so fun! Here we are at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Now I'm back home and today at my scheduled haircut, my hair guy and I told each other about our trips- we BOTH just got back from rare "alone-with-our-spouse-trips" to Cali!

Then we veered into the inevitable talk about raising kids (he has 7 kids and is in the throws of all young ages!) All this reminiscing got my mind going.

Such a key part of parenting well is having a good marriage. Part of having a good marriage is making time for the two of you to be alone, even if it doesn't seem convenient. Time alone, it's a good thing to pursue.

Yesterday at Walgreens, my favorite checkout lady and friend, Karen, asked how school was going for my kids. I said I barely knew because I got them started in school then immediately left for a week! Her quick and usual wise response was "and what a growing experience for your kids to get through that alone" (meant in the best way possible). That was nice to hear because I did have one small twinge of doubt about leaving, but it was truly the only possible time for us to get away. Yes I had guilt about missing Back to School night for one of them, but my fabulous friend went in my place and all was well. We moms are notorious for feeling guilt no matter what we decide! But if we "feed" our marriage, we fuel our parenting as well.

Knowing this need to get away, along with reliving "little kid days" with my hair guy took me back (humor me and follow the path of my mind) to days when my girls were all little and sometimes I just needed a break! Like a real "get away" break. I LOVED being a mom of little girls, but I will also be honest and say that there were times if I didn't get away I thought I'd go crazy....yes, I LOVE me some alone time....which is rare at that stage of life. I used to dream of a Land called NOONENEEDSMOM. Of course I loved and wanted to be needed, but just for a day?! Maybe two? No one needs anything? Doesn't that sound dreeeaaaammmmyyy?

I happen to have a husband who believes in the premise "if mama ain't happy nobody's happy". But back in those days he took it a step further (being a true man) and actually suggested and helped make it happen! NO, he wasn't trying to get rid of me (I don't think). He truly knew everyone's life would be more peaceful if I got those precious few moments of ME time to regroup. Wives everywhere burned in jealousy when they realized I had a man who would send me on a trip and offer to take care of the kids (just kidding). But there's also another element to this concept. Some women may have been jealous for alone time (who knows), or judged me for leaving my kids, OR maybe even had a husband just as willing. But sometimes great moms are also very uncomfortable to let things fall into the hands of dad tactics, like the kids won't survive without mom there. I took a risk back in the day and let him try it. Guess what? Everyone survived. Was it different? Yes. Was it the way I did things? No. Did everyone miss me and appreciate me? Yes. Did they have fun without me? Yes. They even made fun dad memories that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Are you in this position and wishing for some time away? Are you thinking about forwarding this blog to your husband to give him a clue? (hee hee) Take these 5 points into consideration.

1. Pick a fabuously thoughtful husband. If it's too late for that, then
2. Tell him some benefit that he will receive by you getting away. If you're happy, he'll be happier. It's not manipulation, it's just true!
3. NOW, don't NAG him about how he does things while you're gone. (yes if you forward this to him, I meant for him to see this point). Let dad be dad no matter how preposterous things can be (ha). You can go into any bookstore and find biographies of children who survived horrifying conditions growing up. People are very resilient. The kids will survive if nap time is skipped or cookies are served for dinner. My own kids memories of "dad-cations"? They loved using only paper products. Therefore no dishes to do. They also survived a tactic that I thought was ludicrous and unfair, (but rather funny). For dad-survival, by day two my husband eliminated all questions. If you have small children, you know that is the majority of conversation. He was great fun, did lots of stuff with them, took fabulous care of them, but just couldn't handle the barrage of conversation and questions. "Ut! Was that a question? Remember no questions." Guess what? They aren't scarred. They barely remember. The point is, I was ALONE and the kids were bonding with their manly dad.
4. Now before you leave, prepare yourself to deal with the guilt you will feel upon departure. Motherhood is one big guilt trip after another. My memory is of my family driving me to the airport when I went to stay with my sister in D.C. The kids were all little. I looked at them in the backseat and my quietest one was just sitting there silently with tears rolling down her sweet cheeks. STAB ME IN THE HEART. I said goodbye, got inside the airport and called my friend. I said, "I need you to tell me right now that I'm not a bad mother and that it's ok to go on this trip." My wise friend said "You are teaching your girls to go visit each other one day and to take care of themselves too". What a good friend. I went.
5. When you get back, you will be ready for the Land of EVERYONENEEDSMOM. Be extra nice about everything, be nice to your husband, and maybe just maybe, no one will mind if you do it again!

For women who don't have this option, my heart goes out to you. Truly. I've been humorous in this blog, but I have so much respect for women who parent alone. I hope and pray for creative solutions for you. Maybe two moms can swap time with each others kids to allow alone time. This is an area we could perhaps be more sensitive to others. Maybe watch for moms who need time and offer services ourselves. Just a thought. Everyone is entitled to a little peace, quiet and rest. I'm thankful. And mentally wondering who I need to help.


Groundhog Day Mom Days?

"I think the most significant work we ever do, in the whole world, is done within the four walls of our own home." Stephen Covey
So many mom days can be full of ordinary "groundhog day" moments (if you remember that movie), but if we can tweak our perspective just a little bit and see how valuable ordinary days are, our outlook will begin to change.
You ARE where you're supposed to be, living the life you're supposed to live. What you do each day matters more than you realize. Try to look at the ordinary normal moments of each day as what they really are, LIFE. Life is a lot of normal moments all wrapped up together.
Don't let a world full of glitz and glamour distract you from the true glamour of a steady life well lived. What you do with each normal moment builds the life you will live.
Enjoy today's normal moments!
I love, love, love inspirational quotes! This beautiful book called "Love Life" is available through (They didn't even pay me to say that, I just love it!)