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Pressure Valves

I have been reading an awesome book called “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids." The author is telling me everything I already believe: less toys, less books, less activities, less choices, less clutter, less ingredients, less distractions, less noise, etc. make for more secure, more connected, and more peaceful children. {read more}

6 Minimalism Tips

I would like to bear my testimony about minimalism. Our landlord called on June 8th and gave us 30 days to be out of our house. He sold the property, so I am in the middle of moving! It's been a little stressful around here, but not as stressful as it could have been. Luckily, I have been decluttering, dejunking and de-owning ever since I found minimalism two years ago, so I simply have less to move. {read more}

Because My Mom Told Me So

I remember my very first answer to prayer. I was in the first grade and I had lost a reading book that my teacher let me take home. The book was due back, but it was no where to be found. Mrs. Johnson kept bugging me to return the book. I so wanted to please my teacher and felt terrible that I had let my teacher down. So I prayed and prayed to find the book. But I couldn't find it. {read more}

12 Days of Young Women

Elle turned 12 years old in April! And since 12 is sort of a rite of passage in our Mormon culture — where the kids go from Primary (the children’s program) to the Young Women (the teenagers’ program) — I wanted to make this birthday memorable and special.  So I took a cue from my 12 […] {read more}

In the Shadows of Competence

I realized something about my parenting lately. Elle, my oldest, is so dang capable and competent that my other children might not be. It's not her fault. It's not their fault. It's mine. The other kids just bask in Elle's competency or shrink in her shadows, depending on how you look at it. {read more}

Don’t Whisper Softly

Elle's birthday was last Monday. She turned 12 years old! As we considered what we could do to celebrate Elle's 12th birthday, lyrics from one of my brother's songs came into my mind. "Don't whisper softly the things that you want loudly to be."  {read more}

Spring Break. A Break From What?

Last week was Spring Break around these parts. Now I personally believe that just because there is a break from school does not mean there is a break from life. If mom still has to cook and dad still has to work, kids still have responsibilities as well. {read more}

Finance Fridays

Chad and I have been sticking to a strict budget around here since last February. We budget to zero every month so we know where all of our money is going, and we use cash for many of our purchases. Budgeting has been a rewarding, challenging, learning journey. One tool that has helped me stay on top of the budget is Finance Fridays. {read more}

Story of My Life

I cried Monday morning in yoga. Not bawling crying, not ugly crying -- but a tear did roll down my cheek as I lay in shavasana. I cried about German Chocolate Cake.  {read more}

Life Lessons from a Theme Park

My family and I have had a wonderful week at Disneyland. The theme park stars aligned and we had perfect weather, short lines, and great parking. Our favorite rides that were supposed to be closed were open and the kids' dreams came true. Crew got to eat corn dogs; Locke got to see Buzz, Woody and Jessie; Croft was tall enough for "California Screamin", and Elle got to ride "Tower of Terror" multiple times. {read more}

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