Mom’s top 4 secrets for survival!

Raising respectful kids begins at home with the safe boundaries we create and reinforce as their parents. Daily, we teach our kids to respect others and understand consequences by our very own example. (don’t worry – you’re doing great!!!)

You’re allowing space for growth, confidence, and independence in our children. And we both know, creating and reinforcing boundaries is giving our kids a place to make mistakes. No one has perfect kids! Or perfect parents! Just give warmth of our reassurance and love to help hold our kids up so they can mature into young men and women who benefit society.

Parents: This takes a lot of WORK!
But, you are equipped to do it!

I’m a mom who learns from wrecks and big time mistakes. You too? Well – let’s simplify the system. The feel of the family. To navigate the push and pull of society, with the tugs of your heart – and ultimately make life easier.

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So… these are boundaries you set for yourself!

Tips to make your parent life easier:

1. Kitchen closed. After supper dishes are washed and the counters cleaned, the kitchen is closed. The lights are off. Cabinets are shut. The pantry is off limits. And stomachs will survive. Sometimes our dietary needs prohibit this rule from happening, but that is the exception. Establishing respect in our very own kitchen, teaches our children to appreciate the exception. Because, of course, there are random nights for malts or hot fudge sundaes.

2. Don’t rescue the forgotten backpack. Your kids forget their backpack? Their basketball shoes? A sheet of homework? Try saying: Oh boy. What a bummer. Is this your “semester rescue call?” Establish a rescue plan for the things your kids leave behind. Our kids know Mom will rescue them once a semester. Create a “rescue” boundary that works for you. You can chase after your kids with the sweatshirt they left on the floor of their room once a semester – or you can constantly chase after your kids. Letting them feel the natural consequences of their decision sticks. Forgotten sweatshirt? They won’t freeze. A homework paper left behind? They’ll never forget that failing grade. It doesn’t mean they’ve failed – it only means they’ve learned from their mistakes! And, tomorrow they will choose preparation and organization. It’s such an important skill to learn as a child!

3. Surviving my child’s birthday! For some reason, celebrating the birth of our child can be overshadowed by stress, logistic nightmares, and a party etiquette fiasco! Here’s what we do to survive: One big party. Yes, one party can include their entire class – their big circle of friends – or their entire neighborhood. Do it once. And keep it short. Let them eat their birthday cake without forks! But, keep them well fed throughout the party. And ask a friend to help contain the kiddosyou’ll thank yourself later. Make it memorable for everyone! Set boundaries: personal devices stay home – its one less thing to find at the end of the party, too!

4. Sleepover survival: If the kids don’t sleep, mom can’t sleep – and MOMs need sleep! I know you agree. So, here are the secrets of the best, most amazing, unforgettable, sleepover our kids ever had! Before the party started, I covered our clocks. When the kids arrived, they tossed their electronics in a basket. We gave each kid two packs of football cards. And for almost an hour, they were entertained trading cards! They weren’t all huge NFL fans, but they were bonded anyhow. We had men snacks and pizza. For many of the kids, it was their first sleepover – so whenever they became weepy or scared, I stuffed Kleenix in their pockets, and hugged and squeezed, and they found bravery in themselves. When the kids asked what time it was, I often distracted them from an hour – and refocused them into the fun they had! It was dark – and they didn’t know much better – so I steered them into thinking it was later than they thought. They played air guitars, ice bucket drums, and tooted horns. The later they get – the more wild, right! So… I always helped them believe it was much later than it really was! They packed the night with buddy memories with lip sync and actions – Youtube videos, and trading cards. And… everyone jelled. And ultimately, mom survived the sleepover! Mom WON! Because they thought it was 2:00 A.M., and everyone was tucked in by 10:30 P.M.! Victorious. For everyone.

So… give them a try! Or skew them to work for you! I only want to create a spark in your heart – and inspire you with the confidence you need to do this parenting job the very, very best you can do! You have what it takes! Trust your heart! Follow your intuition! And share your secrets of survival!

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Hurricanes of our lives…

In the dead of winter with cheeks frozen and numb fingers, I muttered to myself: I’d rather live through a hurricane.

How naive and dumb of me.

Yet, how natural.
Because, no one wants to suffer.

Hurricanes, floods, droughts – STORMS teach us the most about ourselves. They impact our reasoning. Question our character. Uproot our logic, yet ground our lives.

The storms of life teach us top 5 things:

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1. Some of us will be inconvenienced, and we will pout. Our big plans are altered a bit. While some lives are devastated. Forever.

2. Interstate lanes will be reversed to ease the evacuating process. Get out, and get out fast. Meanwhile, heros take the back roads – driving into the force of nature to serve. Facing the eye of the storm.

3. Gas stations with long lines and empty shelves will irritate some, will others go knocking on doors of elderly and forgotten, leading them to a place of safety, comfort, and warmth.

4. Vacationers will pack their bags early with adventures untaken. But, upon their return home, family and friends will run to greet them. Their prayers: answered.

5. Busy lives will press forward, giving only a moment’s thought to the lives affected. While others will see the opportunity to change within. To recognize others. They will be compelled to pray. They will establish a community of support.

We must be conscience of our choices, and be aware of our brothers and sisters in the world.

Choose to ignore – and not disrupt the current of your life.
Or choose to be involved.

Be brave.
Bend, but don’t break.
And embrace the blessings in the storm.

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When the life of the party dies…

Hello! I’m Katie.

Life is way too short. And sometimes the life of the party dies. And the music stops. But, it seems only for a short time before the next verse plays. So, while we’re here, we need to leave a trace of our song.

Right before delivering a keynote in North Dakota, I received the most unexpected sadness. My 41-year-old “life of the party” friend – bursting with energy, hugs, and love – was now gone. And we were left devastated. Because Bubba was so full of life, the contrast of death seemed incomprehensible.

Bubba was a bubbly, joyful kind of guy.
Big hugs.
Burly embraces.
Enormous receptions at every encounter!
Frankly, Chris “Bubba” Enget simply loved BIG.

His tender heart was an open book. And he filled each section with his people. His clan. Of course, his favorite chapter was his precious children, and the love of his life. But everyone had a place in Bubba’s book. From his childhood friends, to college buddies, to the patients and staff who received his tender nursing care in the emergency room. Everyone was special in Bubba’s eyes. Everyone was a friend.

Sometimes we lose touch with our dear friends. Life gets too busy. Our interest change, and miles separate us. Sometimes friends quietly fade. Others we have to let go. But, Bubba was a pick-up-wherever-you-left-off friend.

Bubba and Katie

Shortly before his sudden death, I randomly shared a few Bubba stories with my oldest son. More fond memories surfaced that week when I stumbled on an old photo album I forgot existed. Although I hadn’t seen Bubba in quite some time, Bubba was on my mind. Friends just have that kind of connection. So, it really should not be a surprise when my eye caught a special sign the day of Bubba’s brain aneurysm. The day he left.

Even when we’re shattered and hurt, life goes on. In my brokenness, I reluctantly gave a 55-minute keynote to rural ND women – that night. I’m not sure it was really inspiring, but it was honest. Life is a Highway… ROLL ON!

After the crowd cleared and it grew dark, I left the building. It was dark and lonely and fatigue was heavy, but a reflection from the streetlight caught the edge of an marking Traced in the once-soft concrete was:

K.K.

My nickname.

Only one person in this world calls me K.K. and that’s BUBBA.

KK the mark

We never know how long we have.
But, we don’t have to live long to live a good life.
Just love BIG.

Give all humankind a place to BELONG.
And freely give love. And be loved.

That’s how we leave our mark.

Bubba

Bubba. Well done. Good and faithful friend. Well done.

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Make way for the rough patches…

A few weeks back, I met a couple so in love – celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary! It was easy to see – they were absolutely wild about each other! For you and for me, I wanted to know their secret.

Without a minute of hesitation, the man who chose this woman to have and to hold for life looked deep in my eyes and shared the secret no one wants to talk about. “It’s not easy.”

Whether its marriage, school, friendships, family relationships, teammates, or business colleagues – we are made to handle the difficult times – but how can we do it?

Here’s 3 quick Katie tips for handling the rough roads….

1. Hope. Clinging to hope can carrying you through. Its really the greatest gift of all. Hope’s best friend is Believe. Hang onto both!

2. Call in support. Your family and your friends love you so very much. Be frank. Be assertive. And take care of yourself. Their love and prayers may be just enough to get you over the hill – to see with a new perspective!

3. Honest. Be honest with yourself. Only you can define your core values. Be bold in your actions. Be kind in your thoughts. Be a friend to yourself.

Always remember – you are loved.

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Boys and their big ideas

Bringing together four minds usually means four ideas.
And lots of ideas can be a wreck.
Especially when its strong-willed little boys we’re talking about.

As a farm family – we wanted our sons to learn to work together at a young age!

Making mistakes.
Fixing breakdowns.
Together.

So, we gave the boys a pile of supplies and enough tools to do the job.
And under the bright sunshine, they set out to replace the shovels on this piece of equipment.

The shovels are heavy.
Awkard.
Sharp.
Dirty.
Cumbersome.

The sun was glaring and our boys were sweaty.
They sat uncomfortably on the concrete.
Their backs a bit wrenched and that was ok.
Their hands were busy.

The four brothers figured out a process.
And everyone had a job.

They disassembled –
and Reassembled.

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They didn’t want to ask too many questions.
Because they loved getting to work!
They loved their newfound independence.
They felt tough.
Dirty.
Appreciated.
Valued.

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I watched from a distance, and couldn’t believe my eyes.
They looked like men – manhandling that large farm equipment.
It made me sad.
It made me happy.

They were working together great!
No fights.
No flareups.
Just determination.
Raw.
Gritty.

Before I knew it,
the shovels were changed.
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And the boys stood back to admire their work.
They were satisfied.
Myself: in awe.

My husband: well, he was clenching in teeth, and scratching his head…
Because, after six hours of work, he realized the self-sufficient sons had gathered some of their own supplies! (you know where this is heading!)

To the untrained eye – a bolt is a bolt.
But to the experienced farmers – the threads of a bolt are standard or metric.
Unfortunately, they grabbed the wrong bolts.

And… back to work they went!

Twisting themselves out of a mess –
One bolt at a time.

So… about those bolts?
Whose idea was it to grab the wrong ones?
They won’t say.
They were a team.
And they stuck together.

Boys-together-working

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Prom kids refuel their station manager’s heart…

Prom night – and these kids had a grand night on their mind and in their hearts!
On a night where they’ve never felt more beautiful – or more special –
they wanted to share it with one of their biggest fans.
The fuel station manager.
Donna.
Donna’s heart only has one fight – the fight to live.
And… these kids want to see her live happy.

With a twinkle in the teen’s eyes – they left the school.
This small town worries about kids’ choices on that night and many others.
They were set to show – their hearts are made to love.

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They left with a plan. A private grand march in the living room of Donna.
She’s filled their gas tanks. She filled their hearts.

They all met outside her home on a cold Saturday night in North Dakota.

“Why are all those kids going to the post office on prom night?” – Donna laughed and wondered aloud to her long-time husband, Nick, as they looked out the living room window.

The kids were on a special delivery. Priority mailing.
To bring cheer to the home of their cup filler.

Donna made countless smoothies for them on warm summer afternoons.
She’s sold gas to fill their tanks. They talk. She listens.
She’s wished them well before ball games, and she’s there to hear about their losses.
Donna spent a lifetime refueling – and they wanted to fuel her!

Grandma-Donna

Couples linked their arms, and went into her living room.
Standing before her – they were star struck.
Their Donna.
THEIR beautiful Donna. Fighting cancer – and not losing her smile!
This time they were holding the hose – refueling HER.
Everyone was overwhelmed.
That’s what love does.
It overwhelms us – especially when its love you’ve first given away – and it comes back to you.

The kids smiled with pride. I’ve grown up.
Donna’s played tag in the aisles of that gas station with them. When they were younger.
She’s cleaned their spilled drinks. No harm done, she’d say.
She’s given them free donuts. And invited them to sit and eat.

Donna-and-family

She knows their favorite drink. She knows their favorite sport.
She’s mixed paint for their homes. She knows all of their families by name.
She’s not fuzzy and soft – she’s honest and understanding.

The kids went to refuel their tank –
But when they came out of her home –
Once again, she had refueld them.

Not a one kid was looking at their cell phone.
No one browsing for something they could be missing.
Because everything that fills the goodness of hearts had just happened to them.
That moment was all they needed. all she needed.
And… the love shines on.

Grandma-Donna-and-Melva

Good supply is an momentous part of leading a wholesome lifestyle. How can medications help us? What can customers get without prescription? There are many medicaments for every diseases. At present hundreds articles were published about price of cialis. What may patients discuss with a doctor before taking Viagra? How you can get correct info about “”? The very significant problem you must look for is “cialis tadalafil“. Undoubtedly, sexual diseases can soothe chronic pain and, even more importantly, reaffirm the joys of living. You have to not take any drug if you are allergic to it’s ingredients. If you have a feeling that someone might have taken an overdose of this cure, go to the accident department of your local hospital as soon as possible.