10 Easy Phrases to Teach/ Empower Your Preschooler

"Give Me Words!" Part 1 / 2

photo by: arwan-sutanto, Unsplash

One evening last fall, I was driving our 13, 11, and 2-year-old home from an activity and little one was cranky, tired, and in desperate need of who-knows-what…When that couldn’t be found she resorted to mumbling and sputtering every word she could think of—  crying and pointing to different objects in the car.

My 11 year-old son was in the back with her trying to help but couldn’t translate her frantic rambling. After fruitless attempts to appease her with random toys, books, and crackers, he started shouting OVER her, to me, AS IF I had no idea what was going on one seat directly behind me!

What does she want, mom? What am I supposed to give her?” he begged, desperate to end this episode. I told him, “You’re going to have to help her. She needs the words to say what she wants. So, give her words!” And as if on queue, she howled,                               “I NEED WOOOOORRRRRDDDDSSSS!”

We all cracked up and the tension was immediately broken by the funniest example of parroting our toddler had ever committed.

Parroting” is what some child development specialists call this stage where toddlers partially repeat and/or imitate the words or phrases they hear. It’s one of the many ways vocabulary is developed and very early language skills are acquired.

Paying the Price for the Breakdown of Wisdom

pro-church media- Unsplash

Which values do you think make for a thriving and productive society?

Would you say it’s things like hard work, integrity, meaningful relationships, and compassion that create a healthy and prosperous society? Or do you believe that laziness, infidelity, disrespect, and substance abuse are the keys?

Which societal norms are most advantageous for a nation desiring to reclaim world leadership in technology, science, and industry?

These sound like ridiculous questions, right?

But when an article came out on August 9, 2017 in the Philadelphia Enquirer titled, “Paying the price for the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture” the public response could make you wonder.

10 Things We Tell Our Children About Violence in the World-Part 2

A Three-Part Series

Photo by ilya-yakover on Unsplash

Keeping up with current events can be frightening. There are new reports of violence, murder, abuse, and devastation each and every day. Sensational stories receive the most attention and to an alert and watching child, they may cause fear and anxiety in their young, impressionable mind.

I recognized this when my oldest had to prepare a current events project two years ago which she chose to do on ISIS. As we read a few articles together and discussed the information, she asked me, “Mom, are they coming here?” Will they come for us? ISIS, was after all, in the headlines for their latest string of beheadings of Christians, westerners, and non-converts.

And today, we hear new stories of mass shootings nearly every week… Lord give us strength…

10 Things We Tell Our Children About Violence in the World-Part 1

A Three- Part Series

photo: Jordan-whitt Unsplash

Recently, another heartbreaking event occurred. A church massacre left 26 dead and 20 more wounded. And now there has been another school shooting. And unfortunately, we can probably expect more.


We take to social media with comments like, “What do we tell our children? How do we keep them from thinking this is “normal” with new reports of violence, hatred, rioting, etc with each new week?”


Before we address this with our children, we must address this with ourselves. How are we interpreting what is happening all around us? As a Christian, I turn to the Bible to help adjust my view, my perspective on things happening in the world. If I only look from the ground level, I can be filled with fear and hopelessness. I look around and see senseless violence, hatred, and discord, and tremble in fear for my self and my family. But when I pull back to the bigger picture, with a different perspective I find understanding, power, and hope.

Why We ALL Need Wisdom

a glimpse of the multi-leveled city

Never before have I ever been so terrified for a complete stranger.


He was no ordinary stranger though, he was a child.


We were gathering at an outlook on Machu Picchu, situated atop a mountain at an altitude of almost 8,000 feet, looking out over a gorge hundreds if not a thousand feet below and there was NO GUARDRAIL!

Healing for the Heart of America

3 Scriptural Filters for Our Words

Attribution: © Nevit Dilmen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License no alterations have been made

Attribution: © Nevit Dilmen no alterations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License

It’s no surprise that our hearts are hurting. Current events in the world and recent social and political turmoil in America have left many feeling confused, angry, and brokenhearted. It seems everywhere we turn there is criticism, argument, and overwhelming fear or negativity. And it spreads like a virus, going straight to the heart, weakening who we are as individuals and as a nation. We need healing.

But with such pain and frustration, it seems easier to join your preferred bandwagon rather than be the lone voice of faith, hope, or love, especially when many are now hardened and cynical, doubting that ANY of those things even exist anymore.

But what if I told you it is much easier than you would think…to change the course of conversation and bring about health and healing?

A Recipe for Peace and Quiet


Not my picture- this looks much better than how mine turned out!

Our family enjoys meal time. It is when we all can sit down, talk, and laugh. We laugh a lot because we have a son who innately understands that the most exhaustive efforts at comedy usually produce the most gratifying response. 

But there are times when there is no laughter. Or conversation. Or enjoyment of any kind while we eat.

That is usually because something has sabotaged our dinner.

Sometimes it is a busy night with too many activities and responsibilities.

Sometimes it is conflict over siblings struggling to get along or hurt feelings when the teasing goes too far.

Sometimes it is disappointment from plans that just don’t go our way.

And sometimes it is Spaghetti Squash Alla Carbonara.

Mondegreens and the Cross-Eyed Bear

hqdefaultI have a severe hearing loss in one ear and often if someone is talking to me, but I don’t hear every word clearly, my mind will insert words or phrases that sound the most like the missing pieces, creating a new stream of thought entirely.

Apparently this is a modern phenomena called “Mondegreens,” named for the first published example of mishearing / misinterpreting a phrase due to homophony (similar sounds) in a way that gives it new meaning.

We all have been guilty of a Mondegreen at some time or another. If you ever sang “Big ‘Ol Jet Had a Light On…” by the Steve Miller Band, you probably didn’t realize he was saying “Oh, Big Ol Jet Airliner.”

To Share or Not To Share

Church Basher Blogs

DearChurchFew things get me roiled quite like a good ol’ church bashing blog post by someone claiming to be a former leader, teacher, elder, or God-forbid a pastor that has become disenchanted by their church for some reason or another. This type of blog rears its ugly head every few months with the ebb and flow of trendy blog post topics. I can almost count on it. After a few months of school rants, parenting/ discipline guilt trips, Franken-mom makeovers, 10 things I should never eat / say/ do/ think, and of course the all too common “What’s lurking in your body/ refrigerator/ medicine cabinet/ waiting to kill you,” I know it will soon be time for another church basher of a blog that goes viral, sending shock waves through the virtual blogosphere.

The Way to Wisdom Podcast Episode 9 – Tongue and Speech

Welcome to “The Way To Wisdom Podcast” with Tracie Dawson. A podcast dedicated finding WISDOM in the Choices We Make and the Paths We Take!

Today’s Topic – Tongue and Speech
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