Tag Archives: grateful

Raising Grateful Kids – Review

So little did I think that with my little blog that a handful of my facebook friends read I would be chosen to be part of the launch team for a new book by Kristen Welch (of wearethatfamily.com ) – Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World.  I even filled out the form at the very last day!  I’ve only been reading her blog for a couple months but I have come to appreciate her insights.

So the book – it’s a bit of an emotional read, but I think it’s an important one.  Kristen shares many stories from her parenting experiences, and those of others.  Also included are some polls she conducted and research studies from others.  There is also plenty of scripture to support her ideas!

I most appreciated the chapter on technology, as it convicted me about my own overuse of my phone.  Also because this era of technology is a new parenting world.  Even I can remember a time before computers (barely!) but my kids will have so much more technology than we ever did.


The other best chapter was the last one –  “Dear Parents” – where she gets real about the challenge of this undertaking.  One of the series on her blog has been “Parenting upstream in a go-with-the-flow world” which described it well.  She boils it all down to what all parenting goals boil down to:  What you want them to be like, you have to model.  But of course, there are a lot more practical details on how to do that in the book, including ideas for each age group at the end of each chapter.

I also loved her focus on service and perspective, drawn from her experience with travel and starting a non-profit.


I did have a bit of a hard time relating to some of the examples for a few reasons.  I think our current financial position has forced us to be more content.  I can remember thinking that I would never ever live in an apartment when I had kids – I would own a home for sure.  And now here we are, in a 2-bedroom rental, after living in a 1-bedroom until Leland was 18 months old, and I think that if we could live in a townhouse that would pretty much be my dream home.  God has been gracious in changing my heart on my sense of entitlement (at least in some areas) as we have learned what we can actually afford.


Much of the book is also more for future reference for me – my kids are only 1 and 3; their little desires are quite simple and so far they are happy with simple.  Sure they get itching for “something new”, especially around birthdays and Christmas when people are a bit too generous, but they also say “thank you” often (well, “ks” from Elliot) and even unprompted.

My only other area of differing opinion is that I definitely lean in more gentle parenting style than Kristen, but I was able to take the information and fit it into my ideas about parenting.  Some of it is just semantics, like in the chapter against a child-centered home. I can also see how attachment parenting might look too child-centered but could still be more family-centered (and even better – Christ-centered).  Because again, I only have littles, and let’s face it – they tend to be the focus and their needs tend to influence the rest of the family.  That’s why I am sitting here finally typing this review while they are sleeping!

Overall it was a good and important read and I’ve been blessed to be part of the group previewing the book.  Check it out!

Where to buy:


barnes and noble

also check lifeway and cbd





Inside my head

It’s a scary place, but allow me to give you a peek.

I have a hard time speaking up in discussions.  And it takes shape in some curious dichotomies . . .

For example, I greatly fear sounding stupid.  On the other hand, I don’t want to sound esoteric (wait -esoteric sounds esoteric – let’s say “know-it-all”), or feel too proud of what I have contributed.

I also hesitate in the selfish self-consciousness of avoiding sounding self-centered.  How’s that for neurotic?

I am reminded of a friend who I thought should join the choir since she could sing the alto part so strongly, but she declined because she couldn’t get up there without it feeling like a performance and not worship.  She knew herself well enough to not let herself fall into that trap.  I didn’t understand it then (this was many years ago – maybe I was a teenager?) and I probably fall into that trap myself sometimes when I sing in church, even from the pew.  Maybe that’s why I still get horrible nerves – the nerves get better the more I focus on worship and the more I pray to let it be about God.

Today in Bible study this morning it may have taken me awhile to warm up because I was still busy beating myself up for wrecking everything and always making the wrong decision (hello black and white thinking) because I thought I would drive around a bit beforehand, Elliot would sleep and then nurse in the car before we went in.  Well he didn’t sleep, and he didn’t nurse much in the car (not really surprising really – he is easily distracted), and then he was up with me for most of Bible study because he is a clingy little man.  But at least he’s cute!

Anyways, I’m trying to get over myself because I love the fellowship I’ve been having at this Bible study and I want to get to know these people better!


It wasn’t going to be the timing we wanted (not that ultimately we are in control of these things), and it wasn’t really our plan anyway.

She came to visit a little bit early, as I often pray she will when I get my hopes up at all.  I spent 2 years that way, so I am used to having my hopes turn to disappointment month after month. God was gracious and his timing is perfect.

“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

We choose to be open to life, not because of any mandate, and not because of any particular Bible verse, but because our study of the God’s word and prayer has led us to not decide how many children we will have or exactly when.  Not being under any particular church’s teaching regarding family planning, however, we also choose to artificially delay for my health for a reasonable amount of time and then open up the possibility.  (Although you could argue that Natural Family Planning isn’t really natural either . . . ) If lactational amennorhea worked for me, we wouldn’t even do anything at all and “leave it up to God” as they say . . . but isn’t it always up to Him anyway?

It’s hard to talk about what we did without framing it as a mistake.  Without saying “oops” or “we weren’t careful enough” or “we weren’t trying”.  We did what we did and we owned it, even though I knew with my highly predictable fertility it probably wasn’t peak time anyway. It’s hard to talk about it now that she came to visit without framing it as relief, or dodging something, or being safe, and not actually making a mistake.

But now that there was the possibility, and we grew to be okay with whatever the outcome this month, should we continue to delay? Well we chose our health plan based on no babies this calendar year, so I suppose we should probably stick with that for now 🙂

Oh, and Aunt Flo who came to visit?  We’re on speaking terms.  I’ve even forgiven her for all those other unwanted visits because the little boys that came when she finally took a vacation away from our house (thanks to a little surgery for the hubby) are pretty amazing people to have waited for.


And a funny story:  So I ended up having to go to urgent care today (after writing the rest of this post), and thank goodness Brian was home after finishing up being in a jury.  I was doing my usual trick of using the knife to get the pit out of an avocado and the knife went straight through the pit and into my finger. Anyway the medical assistant asked if there was any possibility I was pregnant and I had to chuckle.  This was after I had to explain why I was still taking prenatal vitamins, and that my baby was 9 months old (he assumed newborn, because I was breastfeeding I guess?).


I really hate to complain.  Wait, who am I kidding?  I would love to complain all the time but we all know that it just brings ourselves down and nobody wants to hear it.  So here I am going to complain about things that I REALLY shouldn’t complain about, but I have a blog now so I can do whatever I want!

  • Elliot sleeps a lot. 7pm to 3am ish (then til 6ish, maybe up one more time inbetween).  The other day he slept until 5am straight!  This is no good for my milk supply.  The morning after he sleeps so long I choke the poor kid for the first few feedings and then struggle to have enough for him by the end of the day.  He also eats almost every hour during the day and mostly cat-naps, so I think it evens out a little?
  • I have really long eyelashes.  If I wear mascara I usually wear clear mascara.  But man, they keep hitting my glasses! It took me a couple weeks to figure out that was the problem.  I kept thinking I had something in my eye or allergies or something!  I know, boo hoo.
  • I struggled with oversupply of breastmilk for awhile.  It sounds like a good thing, but the poor child was choking and spitting up all the time with it. I know there are many who struggle with low supply (myself included with Leland) and I know that is hard, but oversupply is hard, too!
  • I made this term up: Secondary hyperfertility (Like secondary infertility, but the opposite).  We struggled to get pregnant the first time, but took care of a small issue on Brian’s side and now we have had no trouble.  I have a crazy body and my fertility returns very quickly after pregnancy despite round the clock breastfeeding.  I hate to complain, and I am happy that we most likely won’t have any trouble when we want more kids, but it is burdensome on my conscience that is leaning toward openness to life (I hate to use the phrase “have as many kids as God wants us to” because that is what will happen no matter what we do!).
  • Leland is really smart. A little too smart for his own good.  I’m grateful, but if you have a smart kid you know how this can be annoying at times! And his memory is crazy – he won’t let you forget a promise!
  • Ooh, I think I can really complain about this one: Post-partum morning sickness (and as is the case with regular morning sickness, not restricted to just the morning).  Apparently it’s a thing. I googled it. I’ve already taken two pregnancy tests since Elliot was born.  Thank goodness for Dollar Tree tests (see I told you they would come back up!) that don’t hurt the budget! Also thank goodness for seltzer, my magic cure for morning sickness and heartburn!

Okay done complaining!  I truly am grateful for so many things in my life, but we all need to complain a little sometimes!