Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

Where Have You Been All My Life?

Ok, so maybe “all my life” is a bit of exaggeration. Perhaps we can narrow it down to the last 10 years…

I am a mom. I have bad days. Put them together and I have Bad Mom Days. Do you?

No, this doesn’t mean I am a bad mom, it just means I have those moments where I could have made a better choice. You know those moments: we yell too loud, or too long, or we use words we wish hadn’t. Maybe we are over-protective; or under-protective. Maybe we step in when we should but out. The bottom line is that moms are human; and as humans we screw up sometimes.

For example…

There was a time when I made homemade tomato soup. And it was good! {If I do say so myself!} It was when we still celebrated Halloween and the recipe was called Soup with Goop. It had chunks of melting mozzarella in it. And there was also a pasta dish called Bats with Cobwebs, using bow tie pasta and shredded Parmesan cheese. The pasta was a hit; however the soup was not.

LegoFan was about 5 at the time. He had not been diagnosed on the spectrum yet; and I had not yet leaned to pick my battles. And battle we did. He sat there and refused to eat any of this soup. I was bound and determined to make him eat it.

To this day, LegoFan refuses to eat soup of any kind.

I have berated myself for creating this aversion to soup. I’ve kicked myself for being insensitive. I have really beaten myself up over this for years.

But seriously. It’s time to let it go. Was it really my bad parenting moment that created this soup aversion in my son? Maybe, maybe not. Knowing what I now know about autism and sensory processing disorders, my ill-planned battle may have had very little to do with it. But I beat myself up anyway.

And that’s where the title of today’s post comes in. I’ve recently read this gem of a book by author and speaker Kathi Lipp called “i need some help here! – HOPE for When Your Kids Don’t Go according to Plan”

I am SO glad I read this book, but I have to admit that I wish it were in print before I made the Soup with Goop! Perhaps I would not have chosen to fight this battle. Or, perhaps, if I did fight it, I would not have beaten myself up over it for the past several years.

Ladies, we do that a lot. We beat ourselves up over these mistakes we make. Guess what? We’re going to keep making mistakes. If we beat ourselves up over each and every one, we’ll never make it to puberty, much less adulthood.

Kathi’s book offer hope and encouragement to all of us. But this isn’t your typical self-help book. I love that she includes stories from the trenches. I don’t know about you, but I feel just a little better about things when I know others are in the same boat I am.

Also included in this book are prayers ~ prayers for our children; and prayers for us as moms. Kathi skillfully uses scripture to help us on this journey; and to assist us in looking at ourselves through our Heavenly Father’s eyes.

In the immortal words of Larry the Cucumber: “I laughed. I cried. It moved me.”

Thank you, Kathi for freeing me from the Goop in my own Soup!

Here’s a little more about “i need some help here!”

It’s easy to feel worried and anxious as a parent. There are so many areas of your child’s life that can go wrong along the way. What’s a mom to do? In I Need Some Help Here! Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan, Kathi meets you in your moments of panic or despair with wit and wisdom. She offers the most powerful tools, from prayer to practical tips, for you and your child. The book covers all of the stages of your child’s life from toddler to young adult and tackles the most common issues that cause stress and anxiety, sharing:

  • Practical wisdom when your child makes poor choices
  • How to pray when your child is running away from God
  • Comforting words fore when your child feels left out
  • “been there” advice for when your child is different than other kids

Whether you are at the end of your rope, or simply need a little extra support as you walk the parenting road, you’ll cherish Kathi’s heart, humor and experience.

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp inspires thousands of women each year to take beneficial steps in their personal, marital and spiritual lives through purposeful living. With humor and wisdom, Kathi offers hope paired with practical steps to live each facet of our lives with meaning.

Kathi is the author of ten books with Revell Publishers and Harvest House Publishers. She has become well respected on the topics of marriage, children and self-purpose from a biblical perspective. She has four more books slated for release in the next two years.

She is a national speaker and is often featured on Focus on the Family, MOPS International,, and Nickelodeon TV’s Parent Connect as well as a number of other reputable organizations around the country. She was recently named “Best of Broadcast” on Focus on the Family.

She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.

Kathi can be found on:





* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review – the opinions I have expressed are my own. The link to amazon is an affiliate link; any pennies earned by your purchase of this book through my link will assist me in taking care of my kids and keeping them home.

Get-To-Know Me Post

Kendra from Catholic All Year “tagged” her readers to answer several questions, so here goes…

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

I live in Maryland. I guess you could say I live here because of my parents. We were living in Connecticut, when my father retired from the Navy. He got another job that ended up transferring us to Maryland in 1982. I’ve been here ever since. I would actually like to move out of Maryland, but I am legally bound to stay for a while. As much as I would like to move, I do love all the history that is here; especially the Catholic history. We are also relatively close to both the mountains and the ocean; and we have some incredible farm lands. Despite its problems, Maryland is a beautiful state.

Fall GlorySunset on the Water

2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?

I am currently watching the NCAA March Madness Tournament – my brackets are busted, but I’d be happy with either UCONN or Florida winning. The kids and I have started watching the Dr. Who tv series and are through the first three seasons. As for reading, we are reading through the book of Leviticus as well as Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

I am a cradle Catholic. However, I don’t think I really had an appreciation for the faith until I started to teach my children. And this deepened even further when I went through my divorce.

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

In college, I was known as “the girl who went to church,” which was great, but I would party every weekend and wasn’t really living it. However, when I started teaching my children, we listened to Jeff Cavins’ Bible Timeline Adventure – I learned so much about the Catholic faith that I had either forgotten or never knew. It was at that time I decided to make a more conscious effort to raise my children to live out their faith, not just go to church.

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Let’s see: a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of flat suede boots, and a pair of heeled boots that are falling apart. And there’s my Christmas Shoes.  Remember this song?

This has always been Diva’s favorite Christmas song. So a couple years ago, she went out and bought me a pair of glittery gold, sequined shoes so she could be like the boy in the song. The shoes didn’t fit and we went back to get a larger size. But they didn’t have a larger one. So we looked around together. She saw these rain/snow boots and had me try them on. We actually tried on two different pairs, but we got the pair that she (and I) liked the best…

Christmas Boots

I guess that means I have four pairs of shoes/boots.

6. Are you a good dancer?

Wow, I’m not sure about this one. If I was still in my 20s I’d answer a firm “Yes!” However, I haven’t danced for about 14 years. I’ve taken Swing dance lessons and I’d like to learn other kinds of dancing; but right now I have no dance partner. Alas, the answer to this question will have to wait.

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

Well, since I am a single mom, I have no choice. I’m the one and only driver in this family. If I was married, I would prefer that he do the driving and I do the passengering.

8. What’s your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Christmas is my favorite! First, we keep Christ in Christmas. We love the music and the lights of the season. We love the giving. We love trees, train gardens, and Christmas villages.

We have participated in Holy Heroes Advent Adventure, done Jesse Trees, baked cookies for everyone we can think of, bought presents for under the Giving Tree, and more. It’s such a wondrous and wonderful time of year.

Jesse Tree

9. Which is correct? Left or right?


The left. Definitely. I will change it if you put it the other way…

10. Do you have any scars?

I assume we are talking about visible scars here… And I have a few. I have one really big one from my two c-sections and subsequent hysterectomy. I have another one on the bottom of my foot from when I was a kid and went fishing. Barefoot. I slipped on a rock and sliced my foot. Then there was the time I fell off my bike and had the kickstand go into my calf. Sorry, no photos, next question…

11. What’s the most famous thing you’ve ever done?

Since Kendra broke the rules altered the number of things, I’m going to go rogue and list two here. First, when I was in high school, our marching unit was selected as Maryland’s sole representative to the Inaugural Parade of Ronald Reagan in 1985. It was too cold that year and the parade was cancelled. President Reagan arranged for all the parade participants to come to the arena in Landover, MD; and we all got to hear him speak. My one regret is that I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have.

GHS Silks

And my other claim to fame is being an extra on the show Homicide: Life on the Street. This show was filmed in Baltimore and I was blessed to be an extra on one episode where a priest or two were murdered. I got to be a mourner at the funeral. In fact, I had to tell the person in charge that a Catholic would genuflect before entering the pew. He told me I should add that then, but it ended up on the cutting room floor. I was in Season 6, and I think the episode was called Something Sacred.

Thanks, Kendra, for including all of us in your award! It was fun!

7 Quick Takes: My First Post

— 1 —

I’ve been seeing these posts linked to Jen’s Conversion Diary for a while now, and one of my goals for 2014 was to start participating in more of these link-ups. Heck, my main goal was to give myself the proverbial kick-in-the-behind to start posting on a regular basis. So here we begin…

— 2 —

The kids made it through most of the Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. It was great to see them discover country names that they’d never heard of before. They compared flags and outfits. Ok, really only Diva made comments on the outfits. LegoFan could care less. I am looking forward to watching the events with them over the next several days.

— 3 —

Today, we ended our school day early in order to attend one of the opening showings of The LEGO Movie. I’m not a movie reviewer and I probably don’t pay attention to some of the details I probably should, but I have to say that – for me – this movie was worth attending. Some of it was, of course, predictable. But I must say that I like the theme of working together as a team. Even now, I can still hear the theme song in my head: “Everything is Awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.” But I think the best part of it was spending time having fun with my children and seeing them enjoying themselves.

— 4 —

Another goal for myself this year was to improve my health. To that end, I decided to start taking Plexus Slim and Bio Cleanse in an effort to get healthier and lose weight. Tomorrow will be 30 days since I began and I get to weigh myself and take my measurements. But I have to say that I have already seen some great results in how I feel!

— 5 —

This week starts a busy season for us. LegoFan begins a group for children with Anxiety Disorder. It’s an experimental group, and if successful, the results will be used for training others in how to treat Anxiety Disorder. It could prove to be a very positive experience for both him and I.

— 6 —

Diva will also be starting a group this week. She is really looking forward to this, and has been for quite some time. Her group is for siblings of those on the Autism Spectrum. She will get to meet with some other girls who also have brothers on the Spectrum, and it will be led my two women who also have brothers on the Spectrum. I am so happy that she finally has the opportunity to learn some strategies for dealing with all that ASD has brought into our lives, and that she will get to be with other girls who are also experiencing similar things.

— 7 —

Wow, for my first Quick Takes post, it sure took a long time to write! But I must confess that Downton Abbey was on in the background, and I was a bit distracted. However, I look forward to participating again, perhaps with less distraction.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

* Links to Plexus will take you to my business page, where I hope to make a little money to help keep my babies home with me. It’s one of the ways, I, as a single mom, can earn a living so I can continue to homeschool them. I thank you for your support.

Moving – Finally!

My blog has a new home. Over the next few nights I will be transferring all of the content from here to the new domain. What is it, you ask?

I do not know if those of you who subscribe to emails will also be transferred, but I think you have to stop by and subscribe to the new blog. Please do!

Looking forward to your visits and comments at our new home – Thanks!

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 Backwards Blog Tour – Don’t Compare Yourself

I have a special treat today! Amy Bayliss stopped by on her month-long blog tour celebrating her new ebook: The Pursuit of Proverbs 31: A timeless, biblical study of the modern Christian woman.

Comparing ourselves to others is really a dangerous place to be. We never consider the things of God when we do this. The fact that we have different circumstances, experiences, gifts and talents all play a large role in the lives of us and others. We cannot waste precious time and energy comparing.

Many of us are fascinated with, and at the same time terrified of, the
woman in Proverbs 31. This woman was a wife, mother, manufacturer,
importer, merchant, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer, and
the list goes on and on. She is intimidating to say the least. I’ll admit I’ve
snarked at her under my breath on more than one occasion.
We still try to be like her though, don’t we? And when we fall short we
don’t want to face it. Instead, we try to hide behind strength and facades of
perfection. But, there is always the One who can see right through us. He
sees our hearts and our intentions. He knows what the neighbors would
have never guessed; we don’t have it all together.

I, too, thought I was conquering this short snippet of time called life. At
one point, I worked my fingers raw cleaning my home and crafting items
I had no interest in. I memorized Scripture so that I could quote it at the
next Bible study. I kept my hair in a trendy, but easy to manage, style and I
spent lots of money on fashionable clothing so I could look nice at church
functions. I smiled and laughed even on some of the worst days of my life.
I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable or to break. I was more than superwoman.
I was super Christian woman. I can do all things, right?

Yet, even in the midst of wearing the superwoman cape I echoed the questions
that have plagued the hearts and minds of so many:

  • Why can’t I get it right?
  • How can I find more time to get it all done?
  • Why isn’t God helping me?

Aren’t those the kind of thoughts and emotions we go through? Life brings
us obstacles and we make it our responsibility to conquer them.

This is the result of comparing oneself to the Proverbs 31 woman.

If you’ve ever wanted to tear the 31st chapter of Proverbs out of your bible this book is for you. She is a wife, mom, business owner, seamstress, she serves the needy, speaks life and wisdom, and seems to be quite the major overachiever, perfectionist type. Except that…she’s not. [youtube] Come along and journey with Amy and take a look at the real woman of Proverbs 31. She isn’t as perfect as she seems. In fact, I think she is a lot like you and me. If you want the Kindle version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31. You can also download the free Kindle app on your PC, iPad, iPhone, or many other devices. For the downloadable, printable PDF version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31

Amy Bayliss

Amy is a small town Cajun girl living life in the big city. She and her husband Ryan have four children, all boys, ranging in age from toddler to teen! Amy is a full-time blogger and WP designer at My Southern Media. You can visit her at her personal blog, Cajun Joie de Vivre or you can follow her ramblings on Twitter and keep up with her mischief on Facebook.

Thrive90 – Phase Two Done!

As promised, I am back with my results from Phase II of Thrive90. As I mentioned in this post, I spent most of Phase II with a sprained ankle. Therefore I was not expecting big results; I said I would be content to maintain what I had accomplished in Phase I. After completing my fit test and doing all the measurements, I found that some things were maintained, but there were some improvements. Yay! Even injured, I still made progress!

Without further adieu…

  • I lost a half a pound (not much change, but Tony said that could be due to me increasing muscle, which weighs more than fat);
  • I took another half inch off my waist;
  • I lost an additional inch from my hips;
  • My thighs are another half inch smaller;
  • My arms shrunk by a half inch as well!

So Tony’s idea that I may not have lost much weight in the numbers due to muscle gain seems plausible to me since I continued to lose inches. In fact, if I  add them all up from the beginning, I have removed 6.25 inches from my body! While it’s gone from different places, it sure does add up; and it will never be allowed to return.

My fit test showed improvements as well. Though I can still only do one non-modified push up, I can now do two additional sit ups. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but for someone who couldn’t do any at the beginning of this journey, it’s a marked improvement. My flexibility has improved enough that I can now extend my hands about 6.5″ past my feet. I suspect that when there’s less around the middle, I will be able to do even better at this. I’ve never had difficulties in this area. My Wall Squat improved from 10 seconds to 15 seconds; and my static plank went from 40 to 50 seconds.

I am thrilled to see these little changes! But I have to admit that I wish I hadn’t sprained my ankle; perhaps my results would have been better. I was hoping I’d be further along than I am. So, I will just have to do better in Phase III.

And so I press on…

* As usual, all opinions of Thrive90 are my own. I am the one completing the program and the results are 100% mine.

Thrive90 – Week Three Update

I am a little late in my updating my Thrive90 progress here. So I thought I should update tonight before Week Four actually begins!

After I completed Week Two, I did weigh in and found that I had lost another 2.2 lbs! Yay! That brings my total loss for the first two weeks to 3.6 pounds. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of weight, but when I look at things that weigh around three pounds, I am amazed at how much is now gone. I am starting to see a few subtle differences myself. In fact, I felt just a little better in my church clothes this morning :>!

Each week, I am seeing differences in my ability to do the various exercises. For example, I can routinely hold my Static Pike for 30 seconds, I can do all 40 Mountain Climbers without stopping; and even though they’re modified, I can also do all 15 Chair Dippers without stopping. To me, that is incredible. I get such a feeling of accomplishment when I do something just a little better than I did it the previous time.

I also wanted to take a minute and talk about goals. I’ve never been much for setting goals – though I do realize their value and I’m learning how to set them. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

One of the items that came with my Thrive90 Program was a SMART Goals worksheet. I don’t know where this concept originated, but it is not a new one. It is, however, new to me. For anyone else who may be new to this concept, let me explain. For goals to be successful, they need to be SMART. By this I don’t just mean intelligent. SMART is an acronym:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic or Relevant

T – Timely

Basically, goals need to be something that is actually doable! By being SMART, I am actually setting myself up for success instead of failure. So I had to set two SMART goals at the beginning (three weeks ago).

My first goal was to lose 15 pounds by the end of the 90 days. I actually want to lose more than that, but in order to be realistic, this is only a 12 week program, I had to make my goal achievable within that time period. I guess that means I’ll have to keep exercising even after my 90 days are complete. Just kidding, I knew that was a reality when I started. Looking at my goal of 15 lbs., I would need to lose an average of 1.25 lbs per week. I am already slightly ahead of that goal and that is very motivating to keep going.

My second goal was geared toward the fitness test I took at the beginning. There were five areas in which I was tested: Sit & Reach Flexibility, Wall Squat Hold, Static Plank Hold, Sit Ups, and Push Ups. My goal was that I would improve in three of these areas by the end of Week Four, four of them by the end of Week Eight, and all of them by the end of Week Twelve. I know that I am getting stronger with each week, so I hope that I am on my way towards reaching that goal as well. I will find out for sure at the end of this upcoming week.

Thanks for the continued support I’ve received!

The usual disclaimer: Thrive90 and Fit Marriage are affiliate links through which I hope to help my family income. I purchased the program; and all opinions and results are solely mine.

A New Beginning

The new issue of TG magazine is finally available in digital format! It looks beautiful! Many thanks go to Jess Bolfik for a great new design and Lou of Ammax Publications for digitizing it (is that a word?)

The new issue was launched last night on our brand new social network site. This is a private site so you must be a subscriber to become a member.

The launch was very successful and many subscribers signed up quicky! We have all sorts of chats and discussions going on – if you’re a subscriber come join us (email: for more info)! If you’re not a subscriber yet, why not? Hop on over to TG magazine and get your own subscription!

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