What Every Mom Needs

In my past eleven years of parenting, there have been moments when I’ve been absolutely desperate for a nod of approval from a family member or a friend or both-you know one that says, “it’s going to be okay, you’re doing a good job.” Just that simple act can brighten a mom’s day when she feels inadequate, exhausted, and is currently wearing the lovely shade of spit-up.

I guarantee there’s a mom in your life right now–a daughter-in-law, a friend, new neighbor with a baby on her hip and one in her belly, or you’re own reflection in the mirror–who needs a nod today.

What Every Mom Needs


  • It’s okay, really. My kids argued constantly. You will survive this phase. This is normal.
  • I had a picky eater also. Once for a week, she only ate marshmallows and glue.
  • I lost my temper, too. That doesn’t make you a bad mother, only human (in need of chocolate).
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself. Every mother gets a year or so behind on well child checkups (RIGHT??)


  • No, that’s never happened to me. My baby slept 8 hours each night since birth and was perfect. Something must be wrong with you.
  • It took me seven years to lose the baby fat, too. It might take you eight (pats flabby arm)
  • My kids never acted that way in public.  Are you giving them red dye?
  • What is wrong with your child? <——–Don’t ever say that to a Mom.

Every mom needs to know:

——————————THEY ARE NOT ALONE————————————

Every mom needs to feel:


Every mom needs to be told:

——————————-THEY ARE APPRECIATED——————————

Every mom needs to believe:

———————————THEY ARE ENOUGH——————————–

Every mom needs to remember:


Are you a mom? What do you need today?

In one word, what do you need?


I thought I’d be less busy once I returned from Kenya.

Hysterical. Only not the laughing kind.

Considering this week was a fast and furious blur…..

I even asked for a wife. On Twitter.

I’m trying hard to balance it all, not lose sight of what’s most important and glorify God in all I do. I’m not doing so hot, but I’m trying.

I’ve had half a dozen people volunteer to help me with Mercy House stuff this past week and had my socks blessed off, so I’m learning the art of delegation and letting go. And being thankful.

In other news, 2/3 of my kids are heading to the Grandparent’s farm for the week. I can’t wait to count ticks when they get home.

Oh, and also, I’m dreading school. Summer is flying too fast and the Christmas decor at Hobby Lobby irritates me.

This is what I look like (in Africa) when I’ve washed my hair in the sink, let it air dry and bathed with a wet wipe:

The exciting part of the busy week was AAALLLL the orders from the Mercy Shop. Thank you! Thank you! I Skyped with our darling girls in Kenya and told them how much everyone loved their creations. (FYI: I got emotional seeing our new baby snuggled up to her momma).

So, before I make this post any more random, I’ll tell you the THREE winners from the Mercy Shop giveaway:

Congrats to random commenters: Amy @ Tiny Blessings , Deb Wilson, Renee

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Do have a happy weekend y’all. xoxo

WFMW: Swagbucks Review

I thought it was time for a Swagbucks review. If you don’t use this search tool, you should!
Last year,  I was able to pay for Christmas gifts for my family with Swagbucks. This year, I’ve been able to buy needed items for Mercy House.
You can easily join (for free) and start earning your own Swagbucks today!
How it works: It’s very simply a search engine that rewards you for searching. Instead of using your regular search engine, you use the Swagbucks engine or even more handy, download a great toolbar that’s right at your fingertips.
Every once in awhile, while searching, a Swagbuck or two or five will be awarded. These can be redeemed for prizes or Amazon gift cards.
And that’s it, easy! I’ve quickly learned that if you invite friends and family (no blog, needed!) and they sign up, it increases your Swagbucks.
If you have a blog, you can post a button to help people sign up (like the one below) to encourage your readers to sign up and then they can encourage their readers and so on:
Search & Win
(click to join)

Remember, this isn’t an overnight money miracle. It’s a slow, steady consistency that pays off in the end.
It works for me!

Grand Opening {Giveaway}


We are so excited to announce that the Mercy House Shop is now open! The beautiful items for sale have been lovingly made by the residents at the maternity home.

By shopping, you are generously supporting the future and welfare of our sweet girls and their babies. 25% of over purchase goes directly into an account for our girls to use once they graduate to start a business or continue their education. The remaining 75% goes directly to the maternity home expenses in an effort to create sustainability.

In celebration, I am giving away THREE $25 gift certificates today to three commenters!

Shop mercy.

Leave a comment and tell me what you love!

[Please note: there is a very limited supply of each product. We hand export the items and are currently trying to build up an inventory. If an item sells out, we hope to restock soon!]

Also: I am currently looking for a local (pay is in sweet tea and a heavenly reward) volunteer to help me run this shop. Email me if you’re interested!

My Son’s Two Wives

They were busy collecting baby blankets, dolls and toy accessories upstairs. I could hear quiet whispering and giggling, even brother was involved.

I didn’t dare disturb them. It had been a long, hard week, recovering from our trip to Africa. Laundry piles scattered and sleep coming at all the wrong times.

Then I heard: “PUSH! You can do it.”


I couldn’t help but laugh and let them.

It’s a lot better then what they were playing the week before…..

[The Masai are the indigenous tribe in Kenya that I wrote about last year. This tribe is known throughout the world for their practices of female mutilation and polygamy, as well as the blood they drink from cows.]

(I think my son was remembering how old boys are when they get circumcised)

Masai dress in red plaid, make beautiful beadwork and can be spotted in most parts of Kenya.

My mom bought each of my kids a little Masai figurine (women for my girls and an old wise man for my son) at a market and they played…..

(My oldest is making my son kiss his second wife)

polygamy all day.

“I’m his favorite wife,” my four year old argued with her big sister….until I made them play something else.


See? So birthing babies upstairs is no big deal!


House Conference TONIGHT

*updated: please not the time is 8pm CST

Tonight, I’m helping host a Together for Adoption House Conference in Houston with Jason Kovacs and my church, Woodlands Point.

This isn’t just for those who have or want to adopt. This is for the church. YOU.

You don’t want to miss this amazing hour that will be live-streamed. You can watch here. at 8pm CST.  I’m excited to have the opportunity to be interviewed about Mercy House!

It’s a Girl!

Yesterday, our first baby was born at Mercy House via an emergency c-section.

Mom and baby are doing great. Thank you, God! We are so thankful that Quinter was rescued from her desperate life. Her birthing story might have ended much different if she was still in the slums…

Please keep this young, new mommy and baby in your prayers!


What I Haven’t Said About Our Trip to Kenya

So y’all probably know by now, I like to write honestly. I don’t want to paint a picture that my life is always wonderful, my kids and hubby are perfect, and my laundry is always done.

Let’s not speak of that last one again. Because I’m pretty sure my family will reach perfection way before I’m caught up on laundry!

Our trip to Kenya was amazing. Life-changing. But hardly without comedic relief and the usual THAT family moments. There were a few days and situations that were just plain difficult. The following list isn’t an excuse to complain and not in any certain order, it’s just reality and the rest of the story….

  • Traveling 26 hours straight with kids is quite the adventure. For the most part, my kids did really well-better than I expected. But we also picked our battles. For example, when my son wanted coffee, I let him have it and when my hubby wanted wine….um, never mind. Even when my youngest insisted on stripping down to her undies, who was I to refuse?

  • At some point, my little girl found the emergency evacuation instructions and was pretty ticked off that our plane didn’t have a slide or cool yellow cups to breathe in. It also turns out the throw-up bags make handy puppets.

  • We took Malaria pills, which isn’t that big a deal. Except my youngest doesn’t swallow pills. I became an expert in crushing pills and mixing them in various foods. Turns out peanut butter (the messiest option, of course) was the only approved choice by my 4 year old. She calls it her “special snack” and I’m pretty sure we might have ruined her favorite food forever.
  • When we were vaccinating our kids for the trip, the pediatrician said most kids aren’t harmed by strange diseases, but the number one cause of death in foreign countries was from traffic accidents. So, I proudly packed a car seat, only to discover the vehicle had no seat belts! I prayed every time we drove anywhere. My little girl LOVES transportation in Africa. I wonder why?
  • One thing I don’t think I’ll ever get used to in Kenya is traffic. Oh my. There are some seriously crazy drivers and bumper to bumper traffic is the norm. In certain areas of town, you have to keep your windows closed and phones down because it’s common to get things stolen thru the windows.

  • Of couse, my kids haven’t ever met a stranger, so while we sat in traffic (sometimes for an hour!), they would wave and make faces at the hundreds of people walking in the city. At one point, I heard someone yelling “mzungu” and they were pointing at my youngest blowing kisses at people. (“Mzungu” means “white person” and since my daughter has such white blond hair, she got a lot of attention, which she loved).
  • Temper tantrums- oh yeah, baby, even in Kenya. We mainly saw the temper when we made our youngest release the “pets” she caught every day. But once I found out that carrying a frog in a jar is considered voodoo in Kenya, I had no choice. Ya know? Oh, and she may or may have not referred to the Mercy House day guard as her boyfriend. I have no words, really.

  • One of the most challenging things was showering. By the end of the day, my kids were covered in red dirt. The water was mostly cold. Ice cold. But we found out what’s worse than ice cold water? And that would be no water. We went several days with just a trickle and bathed using wipes. My kids loved it.
  • Vomit-it happened in someone else’s house. But you’re not surprised, are you?
  • I didn’t freak out when my kids were filthy or even barefoot. But when my son was chased by a teeth-baring monkey and my daughter petted a kitty covered in ringworms, I might have perspired a little.

  • On our way home, my son’s backpack was considered an international security issue. Turns out that you can’t have a slingshot. Who knew? It was confiscated and he was very relieved not to be arrested.
  • I ran into someone who reads my blog on the long flight home and enjoyed getting to know her. Only she didn’t recognize me at first BECAUSE I HADN’T BATHED IN THREE DAYS.

    And that’s just the beginning my friends…..