Family Conversations Team-up and Link-up #27

family conversations

Back in January, I proclaimed 2016 as my year of teamwork. It has awesome experiencing the power of teamwork in action with the launch of my latest book on creative family conversations.  Here is what has happened so far! 20 Family Conversations Over Dinner In addition to writing an incredible review, Pat Fenner from, asked if she could…

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How to Preserve The Gift Of Being a Blended Family

gift of blended family

As I sat next to my step-mother, watching my dad’s casket being slowly lowered into the ground, the thought occurred to me: not only was I surrounded by extended family, but by my blended family. My mother Petra died when I was 7 years old. Three days before I received my First Communion; only a…

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Grace Based Parenting in Our Blended Family Home

Grace Based Parenting

This month I have been learning a lot about grace.  We have been talking in church about giving and receiving grace, in MOPS this is a topic of discussion, and I started studying the book Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.  And I have been finding these lessons extremely helpful in my everyday life.…

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Behind the Link: Our Interview on Happy 100 Days

Jed Jenny and Family

Why did you start blogging? Jenny and I began blogging because we wanted to share what we are learning about blended family life and family leadership. We also wanted to encourage others to keep growing in their faith. In the process, we discovered that writing is an excellent way to continue our own growth, while…

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How to Help Our Kids Bust Boredom and Flex Their Creativity

Flex your creativity

“Daddy, I’m boooaaard.” Brooklyn drawls out these words with a mischievous smile, and I know exactly what she is doing. Brooklyn is attempting to activate the boredom-jar. The boredom-jar–a brightly colored container, holding nearly 100 Popsicle-sticks–sits strategically on top of our refrigerator. Written on each stick, is an activity that encourages our children to flex their creativity. The boredom-jar is activated whenever the words, “I’m…

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Moving past Mommy Guilt and Embracing Joy

moving past mommy guilt

As any parent knows, there is a special gift that comes with the honor of having children that is called “mommy guilt.”  You are barraged from day 1 of your pregnancy with lists of don’t-do that-but-be-sure-to-do-this.  And far too often those lists contradict each other.  To cry it out or not, baby wear or not, breast…

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An Easy Way to Reduce Step-Parenting Battles

reduce step-parenting battles

Sometimes the life of stepmom can feel like a constant battle.  You are coming into a situation where dad and kids have their own routines and systems that you have to try to fit into.  Step-kids may resent changes in the family dynamic and be resistant to accepting you into their lives.  And of course…

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Blended Family Discipline: Strategies That Work

Making Blended Family Discipline Work

One of the most challenging parts of stepping into a marriage where kids are already present is learning how to have the stepparent deal with discipline.  As with many parenting decisions, I believe that there is no one, set in stone, way to deal with this issue.  However there are some valuable lessons that I…

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Sharing and Re-Sharing Your Blended Family Story

Your Blended Family Story

Your story matters! Cognitive therapists know that the nuances of our story, are just as important as the story itself. For example, a person undergoing horrific circumstances, might refer to herself as a victim, and as a result, feel intense shame. Another person, facing similar hardships, will proclaim herself a survivor, and feel proud at having overcome adversity. How we choose tell our blended…

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How to Celebrate an Unfair Christmas

unfair christmas

On Christmas morning, Jenny and I try to keep thing fair. We are blended family, so Jenny and I are hyper-vigilant about keeping things even among all of the children. Jenny meticulously counts the number of presents, each child will receive, before setting them under the tree. She has a common step-mommy concern. Jenny doesn’t want her stepdaughters to find things unfair, and think…

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