Category Archives: Parenting for Excellence

Learning to be Thankful

Learning to be Thankful

Thankfulness is not a natural state for me. I grew up as a very driven, ambitious woman. I had high expectations of others. I had even higher ones for myself. The checklist was endless. As a visionary, I wasn’t that impressed with reality. You can probably guess that life inside my head and heart was…

Giving Grief Time

Giving Grief Time

While the households of current seniors are in a whirlwind of activity, the homes of last year’s seniors are strangely quiet. After the massive college application push, the excitement of college acceptances, the joy of graduation, the exhilaration of summer plans and the preparations for college, students head giddily into a new life. Left behind…

Diluted!

Diluted!

Dilute: make (something) weaker in force, content, or value by modifying it or adding other elements to it. When our children were younger, we lived in a tiny town perched on the side of a breathtaking Colorado mountain. There were few cultural opportunities in this rural mountain area and my daughter, an accomplished violinist, opened…

Finishing Strong

Finishing Strong

My beloved prairie is known for its harshness – wildly hot summers, cruel winds, severe winters, violent thunderstorms, hail, and tornados. Yet, we are also legendary for our stunning sunsets. The day can bring a traumatic mix of weather extremes, but as it softens into night, the sky often presents a glorious pageantry of color.…

Important Interludes

Important Interludes

A new year.   A different season.  Rounding a corner and realizing you are in an unknown place. Unexpectedly we find ourselves with a new vista.  It is not always comfortable, but can bring about a valuable paradigm shift.  It can be thrust upon us, as is normally the case.  Or we can choose it, by…

No Teens Allowed

No Teens Allowed

I’m a tough love kind of mama. I never liked childhood hissy fits and teenage theatrics, so they were not allowed in my house. Every time I hear a young mom make an excuse, “Well, you know how thirteen-year-olds (or two-year-olds) are . . .” I want so badly to share, “No. I don’t. It’s…

Enough is Enough

Enough is Enough

On a stunning Southern California spring day we were driving to meet our son to celebrate years of hard work – his college graduation from the California Institute of Technology. My cell phone buzzed and I heard a strangled voice, “Mom, one of my classmates committed suicide yesterday.” The beauty of the day was shattered…

Another Year, Another Choice

Another Year, Another Choice

I don’t know about you, but the New Year always seemed not so much a fresh slate but a review of a school year that had, thus far, not gone according to plan.  Maybe it was because January landed in the middle of the school year and not after it was over, but I think…

Awakening Possibility

Awakening Possibility

Benjamin Zander conducts the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of 45, he had a life changing insight. He explained, “I’d been conducting for twenty years, and I suddenly had a realization. The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. [His power depends] on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed…

Passing the Baton

Passing the Baton

 Relays were one of my favorite events as a track and field athlete. As a member of the highly proficient team, I would be in position, hand strained back, watching until my teammate, thundering down on me would yell. Once I snapped into a sprint, we had a very narrow window of opportunity for the…

Uncomfortable Miracles

Uncomfortable Miracles

I feel rather sorry for the Israelites.   Scripture records so beautifully the miracles that God wrought on their behalf.  It also chronicles so painfully (and so publicly) their ungrateful reactions to the miracles they would have handled differently. Take manna.  Here was a food they didn’t have to grow, kill, cut up or preserve for…