We don't need 13 Reasons. We only need one.

After avoiding 13 Reasons Why since its release a few weeks ago. I sat down and watched it over a few days recently and have been trying to process it ever since. 
The show is told in a gripping and suspenseful way. The young actors all deliver powerful performances, I couldn't stop watching. That, I'm afraid is where any praise for the series ends. Right up front, I should point out that my experience with the material is based on only watching the Netflix interpretation. I have not read the novel by Jay Asher. My biggest criticism of the show goes hand in hand with our biggest opportunity as Christian parents to learn from whatever message we're meant to receive by watching or reading about this series. And here's the best part. You don't need to watch it to get it! (and neither do your kids in spite of what the actors involved are saying.)
Here it is. Are you ready? Take your family to church. Your whole family. Every Sunday. But don't stop there. Embed your f…

come to the movies (a birthday party wrap up)

Our oldest turned eight earlier this month. His birthday is almost the beginning of the month so we always celebrate as a family before school goes back.

This year we also gave him a party for his friends to attend. Since we're all about Star Wars lately we had an afternoon at the movies. 
Our local movie theater offers a variety of party packages. We chose to utilize their private screening room and bring in our own movie. We watched the original Star Wars Episode IV. My thought was for some kids this may be their first exposure so why not start at the beginning. Also, as a parent nearly all of us are familiar with this film, and they could make a judgement about whether it was appropriate for their child or not. 

The theater provided all the popcorn we could eat (which was a LOT!) and I found these adorable popcorn bags at Michael's. A few doors down from the theater is a pretzel shop where I picked up a party tray with dipping sauces. 

On the sweet side, I made a candy bar …

more than friends

A couple of years ago I wrote about how my husband and I met. Today, we celebrate nine years of marriage. I find myself reflecting on what makes a marriage strong enough to stand the test of time?

The top of my list would be to abandon the notion that you're married to your best friend. Christian marriage has no room for that. "Marriage is a picture of Christ's love for His bride, the Church" (LSB). Jesus is not our friend. He is our Lord, our protector, his love so sincere that he sacrificed himself for us and died a horrible brutal death so that our sins would be forgiven and that we might live. That is why the vows we say are different from the vows our husbands say. A man does not promise to be our best buddy and faithfully sit beside us to watch Downton Abbey each week (Kudos if he does). Instead, our husbands vow to nourish and cherish us as Christ loved the church. To give himself up for us and to never forsake us for as long we live. With these precious words…

go noodle saves lives

It's Friday, the weekend is fast approaching and Winter weather seems to have finally arrived. For those of us in the Mid-Atlantic, it means we've entered our rainy season. Outside play gets tricky around here but more worrisome is the cabin fever that quickly follows. Enter Go Noodle!

Our son's second-grade teacher gave me a great gift over the Winter break and I just can't keep it to myself. A free website full of short organized physical activities totally suitable for indoor play. From silly songs with guided dance moves to Shawn T style exercise routines to Zumba. If your need to bring the hype level down they have videos for that too. Stretching and yoga, breathing and relaxing. But if you are my kids? They're all about the Kidz Bop dance videos. Even the littlest little can get in on the action.

I wish I had known about this when we were homeschooling. It's such a great way to just get the wiggles out if someone is feeling antsy. Or a productive way to k…

new year, new...

This post is not going to be full of ridiculous resolutions but rather a short and sweet kick off to 2016. Oh, don't get me wrong. I have a personal laundry list of accomplishments I hope to check off my list this year but they're mostly boring. I will say that I will be here more often and hope to connect with you in a variety of ways.

I'll be sharing blog content and related posts on the Raising Hands Facebook page
I've also created a blog only Instagram account @Raising_Hands_ You can still following my @Delawaremama feed for what's happening with the family. 
I dipped my toes into the waters of Periscope last year and had fun. Look for me there @Delawaremama
For Christmas, I received an amazing new camera. That should improve the pictures around here too! No more pictures from my phone! 
Well maybe one last picture

I'm excited to see what 2016 will bring. Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon!
Happy New Year!!

2015 wrap up

As 2015 draws to a close I find myself reflecting on our whirlwind of a year. I never seem to get my act together to write a Christmas letter but since it's still actually Christmas here we go. 

Stephen continues his work as Director of Leadership and Organizational Development as well as pursuing a Doctorate. Needless to say he stays busy and is always making the most of his free time to get in as many tickles, hugs, and snuggles with the kiddos as he can. 

Jacob is in second grade and growing in confidence and independence. He began taking piano lessons in the Fall and it's taking Mom right back in time listening to him practice. Even learning with same method books! When he's not doing homework or practicing piano Jacob is playing/watching/talking about Star Wars and/or Legos. He is also a great reader. His current favorites are the Gironamo Stilton series. Mom has also started reading Harry Potter. We're all enjoying that. 

William is in Kindergarten. He is sweet and …

of Ina, and root vegetables

Yesterday I left you with a bit of homework. Did you do it? I spent last night going through my stack of Barefoot Contessa books and focusing on finding a new root vegetable dish to try, and I have one tomato dish that is just as delicious as it is beautiful.

Here's the thing about Ina Garten. Most people associate her style of cooking with memes like this one.

It's hilarious because it feels true but when you spend some time reading her books you'll quickly learn that she is all about comfortable and effortless entertaining. Martha Stewart writes in the foreword of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, "There is a liveliness in Ina's cooking, a total lack of finickiness, a reliance on the freshest and best, and a casualness that I know will be appealing to everyone who uses her book". I don't just read her cookbooks for the recipes and gorgeous photography. Ms. Garten is a really good writer to boot! In the opening pages of Barefoot in Paris she tells the read…