“Say Lovin’ Words” beyond…

Sticks and Stones can break my bones,

but words can actually destroy me.

Our children listen and watch. The way we speak about other people, issues, or living things; our choice of words, tone, and body language, will be picked up and mimicked. Adults are models for children.

“Say lovin’ words” about other people’s circumstances and about the beautiful world we live in. Be careful about grown-up issues that are too developmentally intense for children and do not speak about them when they can hear. Be careful how you speak in front of your children.

I have observed preschool girls stand with hands on hips, whispering and pointing at other little children and shun.

I have observed children say a parental script exactly down to the tone it was presented.

I have talked children back in to enjoying something in nature that was told by an adult was dirty, ugly, gross, or boring but when returned to their natural earth connection which is their birthright, they love it and love learning about it; such as holding and reveling in worms.

The world is harsh already. Teach children to  use words which contribute to a better place to live for all living things and allow them to be loving humans by you leading the way.




That first “stupid” comes out of your angel’s mouth.

“Gasp! Where did they hear that?” We look around like we are s…

My dad had creative ways to alter big family squabbles and wrangles.

He used to say, “DDDDDDDDDD!”

It always got our attention and he meant business.

With a cheesy grin and brows raised, he would glare out the side of his glasses staring us down and then complete the moment by saying…

“Children….Say lovin’ words.” in a sing-song fashion.

He would then return back to what he was doing while his six children knew exactly what that meant.

That was it.

When your baby is small is when you determine your word weather. I will tell you that it is extremely difficult to change your word weather later! Some of our taboo words in my husband’s and my home were stupid, dumb, shut-up, fat, butt,  kill,… and no swears ever. Discover substitutes and model them for your children.

Some families can stir up a pretty harsh word storm meant to be hurtful and demeaning. It creates a weather that is difficult to get rid of and feels scary and sad. Words do hurt. Words are lethal.

Begin young to determine your family language.

Do something strange to get your kid’s attention away from word hurting, in a fun way.

To this day, I can hear my father make that noise and say those words.

It makes me smile.

Do you know what?

It worked.


Put a Pause in it…

The very minute your baby enters  your life you shift into something I refer to as “maintenance mode.” It is an entrance to a never ending treadmill ride where you are constantly running in sync with time.

  • Baby wakes up.
  • Baby needs changing.
  • Baby needs food.
  • Baby needs a bath.
  • Get baby dressed.
  • Put baby in the car seat.
  • Take baby out of the car seat.
  • Feed baby again.
  • Change baby again…

And it just keeps going on and on and on and on. And you coast on maintenance mode driving and rushing forward until you crash in bed for a few minutes before baby wakes again, and it starts all over.

Adding more children that speed on that treadmill gets going faster and faster and doing things seems to be always on a deadline to “hurry up.”

So I am suggesting every once in awhile to push stop on that treadmill and look at your child…right in the eyes.

I heard one mother of triplets used to do it when she would place her babies in their car seats. She took one moment out of her day and looked right in their eyes…  and paused out of maintenance mode and forgot about time.

She may have given them a rasberry under their chin, tweeked their nose and said “You’re a snicklefritz,” or sang a song…”I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck…”

Every once in awhile put a pause in maintenance mode. We all know “IT” has to be done and the treadmill keeps rolling, but you have control of the pause button. And when you stop and look, you are once again reminded why you love being a parent. It’s that baby!

It is all for her, about her…

This blog is in honor of this gentle lady who has modeled pure and honest love and kindness to every living creature she has come in contact. I cannot express in words the gratitude I feel to have been sent to her as her child and to have learned how to be a mom from the choicest humans to have ever lived.

Four years ago today your light left the earth and it has felt dimmer and colder ever since. But a piece of you is in your children and grandchildren and we will try to carry on the legacy you left.

May all who read this blog always feel her warmth, her big huge hug span wrapped around you, for she hugged everyone–even the postal worker. And her sweet words saying “It will be alright.”



I miss this little wave

Winter Blahs

“It’s the season of eternal phlegm, of hissing vaporizers and silver teaspoons full of gooey bubble-gum-flavored syrups that break fevers and dry up noses and end midnight coughs. All kinds of coughs; whooping coughs, barking coughs, wheezing coughs, hacking coughs, sniffling coughs. Some are wet, some dry; some are in the throat, some in the chest; some are from allergy, some from colds, and some from a mysterious planet called Virus. In the middle of the night, though, I’m not awake enough to classify coughs. I’m just trying to locate from which room they are coming. (Fate, pg. 165)”


Fate, T M. (2011), Cabin Fever. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.


There is a squabble. The toddlers are fighting over the same toy. Seconds before they were each playing with their own, happily. But one looked over at the other toy and thought, ‘Hey, that’s mine. I want to play with that now.’ And she gets up to take what she believes is hers, even though the other child is playing with it.

You rush in as the responsible adult. You explain “sharing” as simply as you can, while taking the toy away. The squabble escalates…

How absurd is that concept; sharing! In toddler’s mind, everything is his and made for him. ‘Sharing…? You adults are so dumb!’

But do we grow out of “MINE?” Some people never do. And it creates a unique family dynamics.

A family is a little community. Each has a role in that space. It is a unit that learns to work together as a whole’ as an “US” entity but it does not always run as such. Many families do not operate in an “us, we, or ours” fashion. They chose or have learned by example to initiate a “mine” philosophy. A “mine” entity distinguishes separations in the unit and hierarchy and power are the result as it runs as independent pieces rather than as a collective connective whole.

Certainly a child is not going to pay rent even though a parent supplies shelter. Certainly a stay-at-home mother cannot pay bills when her income is based on a shared spouses income. Certainly a father’s income is not earned for him solely. As you build and create a family unit you are a whole unit and how you can operate collectively and interconnectively depends on how you assert what is yours or give and share what is “ours.” A family is not independent pieces of a unit just stuck together. It is supposed to be a sharing community that everyone connects to and learns to work with and consequently loves each other.

I have difficulty when I hear adults who live in family units talk about their things as “mine.” “My” car, “my” house, “my” table, “my” bed you sleep in, “my” food you eat…referring to family members as disconnects to things actually helping them thrive. It makes the member not a part of the money or object, but almost instills guilt that they are using or eating something not there’s and have to pay for it some other way. Have you ever heard a parent talk to a teen,  maybe on television, and say, “Don’t you dare put your feet on my coffee table…” And the teen takes his feet off. What that parent has established is that everything that is bought is the parent’s “mine.” The teen is not a part of it. Of course the teen did not buy it. But it WAS bought for the collective family unit to help everyone as a whole. The teen will not feel connected to it so he won’t care about it consequently, except for wrath for harming it and getting punished.

I grew up in a “sharing house.” Everything was collectively ours and a result of that was that we cared and loved it as our own instead of it being a “rental object” just put there with no love or connection attached. “Our” family car was not my father’s “mine.” It was “ours.” We all rode in it, we loved it, and we wanted to collectively take care of it because it belonged to ALL of us. We had a small cabin in the woods. My father did not tell us, “this cabin is “mine” and you all better like it. He bought it for “us” to share and make memories, and we did and love it and treat it with great respect. We felt that way about all of our things because it was given to us with love. There never was an intended feeling of being left out, or being disconnected in anything. Our family things were never an adult “mine’ but always intended for us all as a collective family unit; even as we built our own families. We are all family…always. And share collectively.

You may think this philosophy is absurd. If I work hard for it, I deserve to claim it as “mine.” This is so dumb…just as the normal ego-centric toddler thinks when a toy is taken from them. But ego-centric is vastly different than egotistic and independent. Aren’t we here to learn how to live together connectively.

If you think about it, the sharing philosophy, to help build families is much how God treats us as his big family and we his children. Everything HE has, HE offers to “US.” It is “OURS.” He never ever says, That’s “MINE.” “Get your eyes off my sunset.” “Don’t you dare drink all of my rain water I gave you.” “How dare you cut down my tree and build a house with it, did I give you permission for that!?” “You better eat every speck of my chicken because I can take it away when I want.”

You see…”mine” is only for toddlers…