College Tour Guides: A Brief Sociological Study

OK.  I only have an N of 5.But we just finished our 2nd round of college tours, this time in Philadelphia with friends.  Our crowd included my 2 girls, a rising junior and freshman, my friend Mona, and her 2 daughters, a rising sophomore and freshman who are also my girls’ oldest friends.  We visited University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore and Villanova.After visiting Northwestern and University of Chicago last trip sans friends—let me tell you it’s a lot more fun with friends—for kids and … [Read more...]

What He Said (advice for new dads)

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Jeff was asked to send along some advice for our friend Peter, who is about to become a new dad.  His note was so great that I thought I should pass it along.  Whether you are a new dad, an old-pro dad, or somebody's favorite uncle, read and enjoy.  And have a great Father's Day!Dear Peter,Wow. Beth has given us a tall order.  Advice for a new dad.  My ADHD brain starts to fire on all cylinders.  After sifting through a bunch of practical stuff, I've got two slightly less practical ideas … [Read more...]

My Theology of Parenting or Why I Gave up Being God

BK (before kids) I met 2 women with vastly differing parenting styles, both of whom rooted their parenting in their beliefs about the nature of God and humankind—their theology.Donna emphasized God’s order and the sinfulness of humanity.  Therefore, providing babies with a structured environment including scheduled feeding, napping, and playing would corral their sinful natures.  The baby was not the center of the universe.  Instead the baby was a part (albeit an important part) of a commun … [Read more...]

Driving with My Daughter for the 1st Time

Lings had her learner’s permit for a whole 12 days.  I avoided driving with her the whole first week, when Scott took her out 3 times.  I resisted her pressuring me to let her drive during our trip to Chicago.  (“I’m 100% positive that it’s not in the rental car agreement to let an unlicensed 16 year old drive.”)But then Monday night, exactly a week from when Ling got her learner’s permit, Scott booted me out of the front seat of the van where I was waiting for us to drive to a Japanese resta … [Read more...]

Our First College Tour

On Saturday, my oldest child turned 16.  On Monday, she got her learner’s permit.  And yesterday, I walked with her all over my alma mater, Northwestern--our first ever college tour.  Today we look at University of Chicago.Whew!  Time flies when you’re having (or even not having) fun.As I’ve talked about this college trip at the end of her sophomore year, almost everyone (including my husband), says something like, “Wow, you’re starting early!”And of course, I suspect they’re also thi … [Read more...]

Extraordinary Miracles and Ordinary Wednesdays

Losing a child is every mother’s biggest fear. It’s a fear that Laura Clark faced on February 27, 2002, when her two-month-old son Wesley was found in his crib, not breathing. Despite emergency workers' every effort, he died of SIDS at 1:06 that afternoon.Laura and her husband, Colby, were devastated, but throughout it all they felt God’s grace and love. They were utterly humbled a year later when, despite the odds, Laura delivered a healthy baby girl on February 27, 2003, at 1:06 p.m., exact … [Read more...]

Washing Fungus Feet: A Maunday Thursday Reflection

I knew Scott was going to wash my feet when he proposed because his good friend had done the same.  So I brought along 3 bars of LL Bean soap, the first presents Scott ever gave me (for Christmas when we weren’t even dating—I had that horrible “I didn’t get you a present because I didn’t want to presume our relationship is actually going to happen” reaction).  We washed each other’s feet with LL Bean lily-of-the-valley scented soap as a symbol of how we wanted to serve one another in our marriage … [Read more...]

A Tiger Mom Fights Fat

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Parenting books are all the rage these days, but they’ve taken a different turn ever since Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, hit the shelves a year ago and struck a nerve.  These current books aren’t filled with parental angst about the fragile state of a child’s self-esteem or soft lines such as, “Honey, you’re perfect the way you are...”  Instead, the parenting is critical, harsh and results-oriented.In a recent article called “Weight Watchers” in April's Vogue magazine, Dara-L … [Read more...]


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