Lifestyle Change!

October 1, 2018 was my first day of exercising every day.   As of today, it has been 190 days in a row.   I have been celebrating one day at a time.  Today, I realized it has been six months!

I started with the plan to run or walk 2 miles every day.  Once that was established and it felt like a normal every day habit (and it got to be boring) I increased my goal to exercise for at least 30 minutes/day.  It is recommended that we exercise for 30 minutes for at least 5 days a week.

Some days, it has been very easy to exercise and some days not so easy.  I am not a morning person and have always hated the idea of an early morning or late night exercising activity.  I have gotten up at 5am to exercise twice, multiple times I have started my exercising by 6/6:30am and at least three times I have exercised after 9:30pm.

I have learned to be more flexible, prepared, to plan ahead, watch the weather and to go out of my comfort zone.  The most difficult and still challenging thing I deal with is making time for me to exercise.  I struggle in my motherhood journey with putting everyone in my life before myself.  I struggle with depression and as I get older I see high cholesterol and diabetes knocking on my door.  I have less time to do active things with my kids and find myself spending more and more time spectating sporting events, being the cook, housekeeper, taxi and referee.

My inspirations:

My parents and Jack’s parents.

My kids.

My 30-year-old sisters.

My goals:

Continue to exercise every day.

Every year, do a birthday ride or run.  Riding my bike or running  the miles of how old I am.  For my 50th birthday I will run 50 miles!

Be healthier than my parents.

Continue to be physically capable of doing active things with my sisters, who are 18 years younger than me.

Be healthier in my older years for my kids.  I will be 60 years old when Nola Mae goes to college!

To have the physical ability to travel and do active things with my grandkids well into my 70’s, like my mother-in-law.

Be a positive role model to my children.

Inspire others to have a healthy lifestyle.


“One Day Closer”

Credit: Ben McMillan

Naughty People

Naughty People

Recently, Robbie asked if someone would steal a car with kids in it while the parents were paying for their gas.

I had to do some quick thinking on how to answer this.  Make it short and sweet?  Use this as a teachable moment and maybe give him too much to think about?

The mother in me thought:  They are strapped in the car and calm and it seemed like their ears and minds were open. So teachable moment it is!

So here is what I said,  “probably not and not many people out there would steal a car. But people do.

“You know how I read about all the naughty people in the newspaper? I have read about a few people who have stolen cars – a boy from his parents and a girl from her boyfriend.  These people got in big trouble for not asking to use the car.  Because they didn’t ask for permission the owners thought the car was stolen and they called the police.   Stealing cars is serious and people go to jail for it.   It stays on your name forever and whenever you want a job they will know what you did by looking it up on the computer.  And they may not hire you because they think you can’t be trusted.”

Robbie:  “There are some jobs you can do on your own, like sell juice.  But that doesn’t get you much money.”

Me:  “Right!  You will need to find a job to pay for your house and food!

People learn respect and good behavior when they are kids. That is why Papa and I always stress these things.  So you will learn them now and not when you are a grown up and you do something really bad.

Remember stealing that cupcake decoration in 4K?”

Robbie:  “Yes!”

Me:  “If I just ignored that and didn’t take you to talk to your teacher you may have stolen something else and kept stealing other things all your life and maybe end up stealing a car!”

I also explained:  Besides your family teaching you these things it is important that you have friends that make good choices, and your friends that you hang out with are kind and respectful to you and others.   You and your friends need to help each other to remember what is right and wrong.

Aunt Becca’s job is working with people who were in jail for doing something bad.  Part of her job is to help them learn respect and responsibility.  Some of them didn’t have a Mama or a Papa or an Aunt or Uncle to show them respect, kindness and love.  She also helps them to learn that it is important to show up to work every day and work hard.  You boys already know how to work hard!

Robbie:  I didn’t even know there is a job like that!

After my long babbling talk about naughty people,  Charlie corrected me about naughty people:   “Mama, there aren’t any naughty people. There are people who make bad choices. There aren’t any good people. There are people who make good choices.”

Project 365 Week 27

Project 365 Week 27

Project 365: Take a photo a day and see your life in a whole new way.

7/4/11 (Monday) –  I like to consider myself a Free-Range Parent.  On the last night of our weekend up north the boys asked me to set the alarm clock so they could get up early to go fishing, by themselves!   I was a little nervous about this idea, my Free Range thoughts reassured me that it would be okay! Click here to read more about the Free Range Parenting philosophy.    The boys were so hyped-up about fishing and wanted to fish every minute possible before we left.  The dock they would fish off of was about 1/8 of a mile walk from the cabin we were staying in.   In the morning we let them sleep in a little and let them go fishing.  

Here they are after their own fishing trip.

7/5/11 (Tuesday) – Over the weekend Charlie’s fish “Tank” died.  Just last week I was telling Tank, that if he died we wouldn’t be replacing him because I was tired of feeding him and cleaning the fish bowl.  I waited until today to break the news to Charlie.  Charlie wanted to dig a hole for Tank and put him in Bear Country (their fort in the woods).  Robbie and Charlie went outside to take care of Tank and about five minutes later Robbie came into the house.  He told me Charlie wanted to be alone for a little while.  Oh man, this darn fish was breaking his heart and mine on top of it!  Charlie came back into the house and made this sign and a new “Tank” for the fish bowl.  Charlie amazes me all the time with his creations with paper (a topic for a blog post).

7/6/11 (Wednesday) – On hot beautiful days we love to go to the beach.  Our second favorite activity is reading in the shade.  We gather blankets, books, my iced coffee and lemonade usually during Henry’s nap time and read for as long as possible.

7/7/11 (Thursday) – I went strawberry picking with our neighbor while Jack played with the boys on his lunch hour.  I picked 19.5 lbs of strawberries for $23!  We have eaten most of them.  I still have a lot of strawberries in the freezer from last year.  I need to make strawberry smoothies more often!

7/8/11 (Friday) –  Strawberries were on my mind when I wanted to bake a cake for my book club meeting and use up the leftover frosting from last week’s Spiderman cake.  This is what I came up with my heart-shaped cake pan.

strawberry cake

7/8/11 (Saturday) –  Our town is known for The Old Car Show, which was this weekend.  It is an amazing event, especially for people who love old cars.

Over a hundred thousand people come to our little town for this event.  In order to pull this event off all of the organizations in the surrounding communinties volunteer their time.  Each group has their own job. Jack worked for the Lions on Saturday morning cooking 1,300 chicken halves.

When Jack’s shift was done we walked around looking at a few of the old cars.

7/9/11 (Sunday) – This wood shed was started earlier in the week.

I wanted to include these two photos of Charlie this week because I love how he dresses  – shirt tucked in, shorts and his skiing socks.  Every morning I encourage him to put on shorts and a short sleeve shirt, BECAUSE it is summertime!  I recenlty found out from him that he likes his legs covered and when he is wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt and it is 80 degrees he tells me, “only my top gets hot, so I can still wear pants.”


A little progress was made every night this week.  Quick Papa!  Henry is climbing!

My Reflections on Motherhood

 My Reflections on Motherhood

“The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”   — Jill Churchill

The most important part of who I am today is who I am as a mother and a wife.  So far, my most fulfilling and challenging job in my life has been raising our three boys.  I have been doing this for seven and a half years.  There have been many days I wished there was a workplace for me to go to and many more days that I am thankful for the wonderful husband I have who brings home the bacon so I can stay home full-time with our children!

One of my main goals is to help our boys to grow up to be loving, kind, gentle, considerate, compassionate, respectful, Christian, healthy, hardworking, confident and intelligent men.  Just like their Papa and their uncles!

My many ongoing tasks that take a lot of my energy:  we cook, eat, play, read, and work around the house/garden/farm.  I try to keep them safe and happy; while teaching them to be responsible, to make good choices, and to think before they speak and/or act.   Oh yes, how could I forget I do teach them manners!  If you have been around us you may not believe this.  Why do manners seem difficult for boys to learn?  Some days the constant talk of poop, toots, and burps make me want to pull out my hair.

When there are three boys in one house with different interests and attention spans it is difficult to keep up with all the activities, so things get a little trashed around here at times.  And it feels as though I am not getting anything accomplished.  My escape is to take them outside to ski or go to the beach or work in the garden.

Although mothering is an incredible job that I take seriously and in order for me to be the best mother I also have to remember who I am as a person, click here to see my post titled “I am…”

I have an ongoing conversation with one of my dear friends about how to be the best mom that we can be.  We have come to the conclusion that we are who we are because:  our own mother, our role models, experiences as a child, the books we have read, our friends who are also mothers and last but not least the lessons we have learned from our own mothering.

We have to accept that we are doing our best.  We have to trust that our children will take what we have taught them and make the right choices.  They may not always make the right choices and that is okay, too, because they will learn from their mistakes.   Part of being a good mom is allowing our children to make mistakes and not expect them to be perfect!  In return I hope that our children will grow up to be the best adults and parents they can be.

When I was in college my Dad told me once that one of my purposes in life was to do a better job in this world than my parents.  I have taken this very seriously in all areas of my life.  I also had very big shoes to fill.

I have an amazing mother who raised six children, five of whom are loving, kind, gentle, considerate, compassionate, respectful, hardworking, intelligent, and successful in all areas of their life.

I have the best step-mother in the world.  She loves my Dad and has always shown love, support, kindness and understanding to the three of us kids, even when we didn’t return that love.

I have an incredible mother-in-law besides the fact that she is the reason my husband is on this earth, she raised him to be a wonderful man and a great father to our boys.   She has helped me understand many things about marriage, communication, forgiveness, patience and peaceful parenting.

Mothering is a difficult job, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside of your home part-time or full-time.  We do the best we can with the resources we have.   I believe it is important to have a circle of moms who love, support and respect us for the mothering we do!

Thank you to all the moms in my life!

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Added on October 25, 2012 when I found this quote: 

“God intended motherhood to be a relay race. Each generation would pass the baton on to the next.” ~Mary Pride

Added September 4, 2013 when I found this awesome blog post, titled, “Moms, When are you going to learn?  I’m not super mom. ”  Definitely worth reading!

I’m not normal (& neither are my friends)

Recently I was told that the way I parent doesn’t fit in the norms of this society.  Our parenting  isn’t normal in our society; it’s better!

Our boys are being raised in a farm environment, we do many activities with our boys (camping, snowshoeing, x-c skiing, making firewood, sewing and woodworking – just to name a few).  We take time to teach them skills and expose them to different experiences.   Show me a  5 and 7-year-old that can cut veggies for soup, or split a piece of wood with a splitting mall, sew on a sewing machine or make something on the lathe.


I have learned many things from the parenting books I have read,  from my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister and many other mothers in my life who I admire.

Below are some statistics that my Mom found on just a few topics relating to my parenting.  I was curious to see how my friends and I (22 of us) matched up to the “Norms”.  I have included our statistics.  If I went deeper it would only show more areas where I am not normal.  


99.38% of births are in Hospitals or are unplanned out of hospital
.62% are planned home births  (

 My friends and I:  Planned Home Births – 36%  &  Hospital Births – 64%


64% of mothers initiated Breastfeeding
29% at still breastfeeding at 6 mos
6% were still breastfeeding at 12 mos

 My friends and I: Were still breastfeeding at 12 months + – 100%


68% of mothers with college degrees and with children under 6 yrs are in the workforce.(’t_we_get_along.htm)

 My friends and I: Stay-at-home Moms  – 73% & Working Moms – 27%


99% of households have TV and on average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console.
90% households have cable TV or the equivalent
1% don’t have a TV  (

 My friends and I:  0% of my friends’ kids spend anywhere close to 32 hours in front of the TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console!


My friends and I: No TV – 55% & Have TVs  – 45%


94% of parents spank their child by the time the child is 4 yrs (Psychology Today)
25% of those use an object to spank a child
6% never spank   (

 My friends and I: Never Spank – 77% &  Spank – 23%.

I’m Not too NORMAL, are you?