Sunday, November 29, 2015

Conflict and Contention

Did you know there is a difference between conflict and contention? Often we are mistaken and believing that conflict is bad however it is normal for opinions and beliefs to differ and conflict to arise. When conflict arises it is our choice whether or not we will choose to remain calm and peaceful or become angry and contentious. No one can make us angry or offended that choice is ours and it is one that is influenced by Satan. When we become angry we break down relationships and once we say things in anger we can never take them back. It is our choice whether or not we will become offended. Often times we see many people leave the church because they were offended over something simple but again that is another one of Satan's tools and is something that can be avoided if we learn how to have conflicts without getting contentious and becoming angry and possibly damaging relationships. We don't have to win every disagreement and prove we are right. It's ok to agree to disagree.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Activer Listening

I have been thinking about actively listening lately when communicating with are friends and family members. One thing that stood out to me was how we need to actively listen with love. I believe if we actively listen with love our communication and relationships will improve. It's important to stop and be patient when listening to our children and family members. The relationships we build in this life will carry with us in the next. A big part of our family relationships is communication. If my children don't feel that I am really listening to what they say they will go to someone else who will and that is not always a good thing.  I realize that sometimes when I'm listening to others I find myself coming up with my response or interrupting. It's a bad habit and I know that when I do this I'm not really listening to what others are saying. I also realize that with my kids I'm too quick to offer a solution or fix their problems when maybe they just wanted someone to listen to them. This is way I feel active listening is a great communication skill to work on to help strengthen my family relationships. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from his Mom

I came across this article one day called

"What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from his Mom." I really liked this and felt it applied well to me as I have one teenager and one almost there. 

I have enjoyed each stage my kids have gone through and so far I'm loving the teen years! My boys are so fun. 

However as a single mom I often wonder if I'm doing enough to meet the needs of three boys especially my teenager. So in the article she shared 11 tips that teenage boys need most from their moms.

1.  A safe place to figure themselves out.
It happens almost every day, and sometimes many times a day:  Teenagers are always changing.  They will change their clothes.  Their mood.  How they walk, talk or what they’re into.  Some days they just need to figure out what feels right.  Some days nothing feels right.  Being a teenager is hard.  Sometimes our greatest job as Mom is to act like we don’t even notice.

2.  Boundaries.
Our boys need to know what is absolutely ok, and what is absolutely not.  They may resist rules, but deep down they feel safe when there are clear-cut rules without exceptions.  Make them clear and consistent, and have absolute consequences in place for when they break rules.  Boundaries =Security. 
3.  Freedom.
Within those boundaries, teenage boys need the opportunity to stretch their wings.  Teenage boys should be encouraged…Even pushed–to try new things, to take some risks, to find adventure.  Given enough opportunities for healthy adventure, they will avoid a lot of trouble.  (Remember–“Idle hands” and all of that…)
Keep boys busy doing character building, exciting activities and watch them become men before your eyes. The minute my boys act in irresponsibly, they will lose freedom.  So the freedoms we give are taken very seriously.  
4.  A Listening Ear.Boys need to talk.  Even the quietest ones will open up when given the chance.  Get them alone, in the car or wherever you can, and make it clear that you WANT to hear about their interests, and their lives.  Be patient, and try different times and places until you figure it out. This makes it clear that I am OK with any and every topic and I will always be available and comfortable talking.
5.  A Sense of Humor.
This is the good stuff.  Teenagers…are hilarious.  This may be my very favorite thing about these years.  No more knock-knock jokes or bad made-up jokes that never seem to come to a conclusion.  Teenagers actually GET STUFF.   There’s hardly anything like the bond of a good laugh with my boys.
When one of my boys come out laughing and want me to watch a funny Vine or YouTube Video, I drop everything for it.
Side note #1: As for us–**We have a rule of “clean” entertainment only.  No swearing or anything off-color.  And they know that if I find them following anyone inappropriate, I’ll remove their Vine/YouTube etc account (See #2))
Side note #2**I have a “I can check your phone, computer, etc anytime I want to–no questions asked.”  This keeps everyone in check.
There is plenty of FUN and FUNNY entertainment out there if you look for it.
it’s a hard world:  A good sense of humor will get your kid through many trials in life–So encourage it.
6.  Touch.
Your teenage son will likely pull away from you physically, and that is normal, albeit painful.  But even the most rigid, sulky teenage boy needs hugs from Mom.  Don’t get awkward and keep a distance.  Create a “hug a day” rule or something that makes it routine and normal.  He’ll love it even if he refuses to show it.
7.  Genuine interest.
What does your teenager love?  Learn to love it too.  Know at least enough about what they are passionate about so that you can have a decent conversation.   This will keep doors open greater than any other gesture you can make.
8.  Forgiveness.
Teenagers will make mistakes.  Lots of them.  They’ll act selfish.  They’ll space out.  They’ll get insecure and do stupid things because of it.  They are going to mess up so much you’ll wonder where you went wrong.  If you know it’s coming, it won’t throw you off.  Consequences may be in order, but so is a whole lot of grace.
9.  Direction.
Listen Mom:  Your teenager actually WANTS you to give them guidance. Sure, they’ll act like they don’t, but they do.  Keep it relevant, and as brief as possible, but when you see them facing forks in the road, go ahead and speak some good solid words of advice to them.  Share a Scripture that fits their situation.  Quote someone they might respect.  You are their greatest resource they have, and they need your direction.  They’ll thank you, even if it takes twenty years.
10.  Encouragement.
It’s hard to be a teenager.  (remember?)  The world will yell and scream all kinds of negatives to your son.  So be his greatest fan.  Be his cheerleader.  Believe in him with your heart, and tell him that you do.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I’m not talking about phony, contrived encouragement (Everyone is a winner!) but the authentic kind that finds their greatest giftings, and speaks them boldly.
11.  An example.
Our kids are watching us.  They get a lot more of an idea about what is right, wrong, good and bad from what you do than what you say.  So take your position seriously.  No, you’ll never be perfect, and you can tell your kid that–but don’t use that fact as an excuse to be lame.  If you don’t want them to swear, don’t swear.  If you teach them to speak well of others, make sure you do the same.  Probably the greatest thing you can do for your son is to model the kind of person you want them to be.
The common key to pretty much everything named is that Mom is involved in the teen’s life.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Sometimes we can be silly but I love it! We were watching a movie together that some how turned into a goofy family selfie session. I think moments like these are far more important and more memorable to my kids than the movie we watched. I can't even remember the movie but I remember the fun and happiness felt as we had fun together! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

Turn Our Hearts to The Family

It's crazy how so many people are looking for happiness OUTSIDE of their own homes and families. We live in a world of instant gratification and money will buy you happiness. But what people fail to realize is that...


If we turn towards Him and build a strong foundation centered around Christ we will find the peace and happiness even during hardships and trials. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Priesthood

My middle son Hunter recently turned 12 and received the Aaronic priesthood. I feel blessed that both my older two boys hold the priesthood. As a single mom I don't feel limited to the priesthood just because I do t have a husband. I know that leaders and home teachers will come and administer to my family anytime I need it. The priesthood is for everyone and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a mom of boys in whom I can teach them to magnify their priesthood responsibilities. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy Halloween

This year for Halloween we kept it low key as one of my boys ended up with pneumonia. We did however go to the wars Halloween party and carve pumpkins. My oldest went out with his friends on Saturday night while I tookmy youngest  trick or treating and my middle son was in bed sick. I do have to say how proud I  of my youngest. Without even being asked he decided to do half of his trick or treating for his sick brother so he could get candy too.