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Posted 3/14/17 at 7:16 AM | Lisia

Here are the 8 Fashion Trends to Look Forward to in 2017

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” that is according to celebrity fashion stylist, Rachel Zoe. The way you put together yourself from the head, down to your toes, indeed, is how you make an impression, most especially in this growing culture of “Hi. Goodbye.”

Bring it on, Spring.
Spring, unlike the cold and gloomy months of winter, is a time to welcome the sunshine and therefore a great time to go see, sit, have a tea and chat with the lovely people in your life. When you do bask in the sun, style it up in the best fashion trends for spring. Here are our top picks:

Metallic florals and pastels.
Hands up to the extraordinary showing from Elie Saab. She lined up a delicious combination of mini dresses and sheer, long gowns in metallic pastel and glitter frosted fabrics. Who would have thought that glamor, star quality (the clothes literally have stars on them) and comfort can all be rolled into one —and, for the warm months of spring. The collection also showed what look like Kimono inspired dresses with neckline cuts running across the chest, all the way to the waist level. We also loved the glittery ball caps, very clever! FULL POST

Posted 2/23/17 at 11:23 AM | Brian Wallace

Frivolous Student Loan Spending

Preventing teenagers fro taking on a lifelong debt load is job #1 when it comes from preparing your kids for college. Learn more about student loan spending from this infographic!

Posted 2/2/17 at 9:18 AM | Marianne Kurtz

Who Am I Now?

Maybe this is something you have asked yourself, maybe it's not. But, I have constantly for the last 2 years...Who am I? What do I want to be when I grow up?...that is what is on my wall!

I said something to my son today that made me think this is exactly what is going on. He is doing his own taxes on a ship while deployed….what??? I thought for sure he would still need me for this. Come on! I’m an accountant, I’m your mom, I’m handy to have around. But, he clearly is finding himself in this world and wants to be a whole young man and lead his own life. I’m….good….with….that….ummmmmm. YEA! Actually, I really am! But, what I said back to him was it was fine, “I am learning to grow into my own person too…it’s just taking longer because it was unexpected.” I didn’t realize how much of my life was wrapped around my sons. Everything I did I did for them. I worked hard…for them. I cleaned up…after them. I didn’t date…because of the time I wanted to spend with them. I cooked…Now that I didn’t do! Haha! I did teach them how.

In saying that to my son, I really realized that is exactly what is happening. I am finding out who I am all over again. I thought I knew, and I still know that part of me is real, but there is more. From this point forward to look forward to what is new in me and finding out what I want to be when I grow up too! FULL POST

Posted 1/24/17 at 9:12 AM | Marianne Kurtz

The Gifts and Callings are Without Repentance, right?

The Gifts and Callings are Without Repentance, right?

This just makes me wonder what we are trying to so hard to get everything perfect for. We are human and we are most likely going to make mistakes.

So, what makes our gifts and callings of no more value in our lives?

I believe it is not seeing them for what they are. Kind of where I am right now.

I have said it before, I have always been ok with changes in my life, been able to move on, get over it…be happy. But, this parenting thing where parenting isn’t really happening anymore is very difficult. What do I do with all this knowledge God has given me when no inspiration? That has been my question the last couple years.

One day I was minding my own business and started thinking about how through all my life no matter what decisions I have made that were right or wrong, and I have definitely made some wrong ones, God has always been faithful and has never said to me that my gifts or calling was negate because the decisions I made ruined it all! OMG that would be a lot of pressure and unfortunately, some people live their life that way, I know because I did for a long time. FULL POST

Posted 12/20/16 at 5:28 AM | Linda Cartwright

Teach Your Teen Mindful Dating

Social interactions, and dating it particular, often become the center of teenager life. It is a very important stage on their way to maturity, and it is only natural teens put so much value into their friendship and romantic relationship. They make mistakes, they learn, they look for their own “tribe” – and yes, it means they will want more autonomy and freedom.

Teenagers tend to have this “No one gets me” attitude, with “one” being most often, the parents. It is simple, really. Parents tend to either overreact to the problem, or on the contrary, underestimate it. They have their experience. They (seemingly to the teenager) overreact to things that pose some kind of danger to their child and underestimate teen’s emotional struggle. For teenagers, the latter is real, while the former is close to non-existent. The truth is, as always, in between, for both are real and both matter. Try to keep it in mind while approaching your child and having a conversation about dating and relationship. FULL POST

Posted 12/19/16 at 10:24 PM | Karen Farris

Santa Fantasy

The whole Santa thing started before I could walk or talk. My parents felt that a little storybook make-believe at Christmas just made the season even more special.

It didn’t take long for my young self to get acquainted with the big jolly guy in the red suit.

You won’t find any pictures of me crying on his lap. I must have connected the dots that this guy made things go well on Christmas morning.

Santa and I seemed to develop a friendly rapport. It didn’t matter that there was a dreadfully long line to see him every year. I could whisper my wishes with confidence and he’d ALWAYS remember.

The specialness lasted but a few years and then like all good storybooks, the ending comes.

When I asked my parents, they told me the truth about Santa and his magic elves. While the magic had been fun for my childhood fantasies, something quickly replaced it that was far better. FULL POST

Posted 10/13/16 at 4:07 PM | Marianne Kurtz

Teach As We Are Taught - The Word Never Fails

Teach as We are Taught


A. it’s ok to start over
B. It’s ok to apologize to our kids if we messed up maybe got upset over small things

You should also remember that starting over gives you a chance to make things right. don't get discouraged if you have to tell your children things many times either, it takes time to learn.
and as children they will see how far they can go and where there boundaries are.
as a parent I would get very busy and have many things on my mind and forget the last rule I made or we changed. so, in order to eliminate confusion, I established a method of defeating this - we wrote the change on a calendar. Then when I would say "how come this or that is not done?" or whatever the case may be...we would see what that last change was and take it from there. and because we all were present when it was made it was easy to determine the outcome and if there was a misunderstanding or discipline was needed.

Of course this was more for as they were older...but, I haven't really established an age for this site. :)

Will They Ever Learn?...

Ya thing I learned after a while is that when I discipline them they know how to fix it but, really they don't. I mean let's just think for a minute...if you got a spanking every single time after you didn't clean your room right or after fighting with your brother and knew the right way to behave would you really do it again and again and again? I don't think so. FULL POST

Posted 10/10/16 at 8:51 PM | Trace Embry

2 Ways to Turn Your Home Around

Our world is busy. Our homes are busy. It’s easy for us as parents to get caught up in our important tasks. However, sometimes we overlook the fundamentals. Today, I’d like to outline two things that you can address to turn your home around.

Picture provided by Marc Falardeau

Tell Your Teen No

First, learn to tell your child “no.” Too many parents are afraid of losing the approval or favor of their child by saying “no.” For as long as I’ve worked with troubled teens I’ve learned that virtually no child really hates their parent for saying “no” – even when they tell them they do.

Children are very good at over-reacting and making emotional statements. Even teens have several years left to fully develop emotionally.

Stick to what you know is right, address disrespect with discipline. Continue despite your teen’s reaction to the word no. Even while your teen is saying “I hate you” their spirit is loving and respecting you deeper.

Remove the Junk in Your Home

It’s astounding how many Christian homes feature MTV, VH1, BET and the like as entertainment staples. It is little wonder our teens struggle with the very same temptations plaguing those of the world. FULL POST

Posted 9/15/16 at 9:06 AM | Marianne Kurtz

Life After Bulimia

Life After Bulimia

I have written about insecurities but being in a constant state of insecurity regarding what I look like is a whole other story.

I know everyone deals with insecurity but, I can’t speak from their point of view. I can only speak from mine. One thing I could never understand is the saying: "You can’t love someone unless you love yourself"

I never agreed with this statement before because I know I can love…I love my kids, my friends, my family, and I think I have the ability to love without judging them. I never believed that I didn't have the ability to love just because I struggle with loving myself.

Then I started thinking how not loving yourself can hurt a relationship. Yep...I might be wrong about not agreeing with it...and now it's in writing...that I'm wrong. Oh NO!!!

When you're always looking at all the negatives within yourself then it's hard to imagine people seeing the positive. With family it's different because you know the unconditional love is least in my family it is. My kids will love me unconditionally, my mom will and has loved me unconditionally no matter what I have done, my aunts, my uncles...they all love me unconditionally. But, someone outside the family...not so secure in that love. FULL POST

Posted 9/8/16 at 2:00 PM | Marianne Kurtz

A Little About This Single Mom

It was in 1995 that I found myself a single parent of two children that I tried to have joy being around but they just did not listen to anything I said. My cry for help to God was one of utter frustration.

I knew when I was pregnant with my oldest son that although I was not in a place in my life where having a child was a great choice I knew two things: 1) He would never go to public school and 2) I would raise them in the way they should go even though I was nowhere near the right way to go.

At this point in my life I had no way of knowing how to achieve either of those two things and low and behold 3 years later I did not like even being around them very much because they seemed to ignore everything I said. If I said, “Pick up your toys” I would end up doing it and in my head I was showing them how, even though after three years of saying the same thing I couldn’t figure out how they possibly did not know how to do it themselves by now.

Not only was it the fact that they were not obedient at all but the fact that I knew there was no way I would be able to be home and school my children! How in the world was this ever going to happen? Well, I was not in the greatest place in my walk with God but I did know that He would come through and He did. FULL POST

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