Win Your Child’s Heart

Win Your Child’s Heart






For the past five posts I’ve written about my experience at SLS18 in Chicago. I’ve written about the mission of FOCUS and how that mission became an invitation to evangelize in my own parish. But here’s the real truth: If I spend all of my time bringing Jesus to OTHERS and neglect those in my home, then I will go straight to hell. Okay, I don’t think I will go to hell, but you get my point. My first responsibility…

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One Cool Way to Combat the Silo Culture

One Cool Way to Combat the Silo Culture






Last week I was in Chicago at the SLS18 Conference. I thought I was there to learn about the FOCUS model for colleges. I was a bit shocked out of my complacency when the leaders of the conference invited me to bring a “FOCUS” mentality to my parish. For those of you that don’t know what a FOCUS mentality is, let me explain. FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is about transformation. To accept Jesus is to be transformed. Not…

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SLS18 Day Four Highlights

SLS18 Day Four Highlights






I am writing this day-by-day account of the SLS18 conference for my daughter, Rachel. This last day of conference for me, Friday, January 5, 2018, was about the mission. (I left a day early. Others stayed til noon on Saturday.) In order to truly explain the day, I have to explain the mission behind FOCUS. The intent behind FOCUS is to train newly graduated college students on the ins and outs of evangelization, turning them into true missionaries because once…

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SLS18 Day Three Highlights

SLS18 Day Three Highlights






I love this life. I didn’t want to come to this conference, I didn’t think I needed to be at this conference, yet my son and my husband told me I had to be at SLS18 in Chicago. So, here I am, writing a recap for my daughter, Rachel, who is a new FOCUS missionary (her training will be in the summer of 2018). Okay, dearest daughter, so I woke up on Day Three, Thursday, January 4, 2018, totally refreshed,…

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SLS18 Day Two Highlights

SLS18 Day Two Highlights






I am in Chicago at a massive Catholic conference geared to college student leaders of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). It’s called the Student Leadership Summit and it has been awesome. AWESOME. My daughter Rachel wants to be here so I decided to write a day-by-day update for her. I am going to include what spoke to me in the talks as well as the little things… So, dear Rachel, Day Two started with a huge blessing: I was…

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SLS18 Day One Highlights

SLS18 Day One Highlights






As a mother of eight, it is not easy to get away from home. Several months ago, my son Eric told me he wanted us to go to the SLS18 Conference in Chicago from January 2-6. I said no. Yet. I am currently at the SLS18 Conference in the Windy City. “SLS” stands for Student Leadership Summit.

The Easiest Christmas Cookie You’ll Ever Make

The Easiest Christmas Cookie You’ll Ever Make






Last week I was at Walmart, again. As Cindy, one of my favorite cashiers, was ringing and dinging my groceries, she wondered about the boxes of Ritz crackers and almond bark. Just what was I planning to do with all of that? I told her about The Easiest Christmas Cookie You’ll Ever Make. She got out a piece of paper and jotted down the three ingredients, exclaiming that her six-year old granddaughter would love making them with her. I left,…

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Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust






The first time I had quiche I was hooked. I was in a little restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska. I was in college. Yes, college. I loved the flavor as well as the texture. Years later, when I became a mother, I found a simple quiche recipe that called for a TON of Swiss cheese, ham and heavy cream. My kids loved it. Fast forward fifteen years. I have slowly implemented changes in our diets, mostly due to my intolerance of…

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How to enjoy Christmas…without killing anyone

How to enjoy Christmas…without killing anyone






Last week my husband and I took our four younger kids, ages 9, 13, 14, and 15 to “Illuminations” at Botanica. Botanica is a massive botanical garden situated in downtown Wichita; there are nine acres of prime land filled with thousands of flowers, beautiful fountains and soul-awakening scenery. Every August they start stringing lights to get ready for their month-long LIGHT SHOW, Illuminations. There are literally millions of Christmas lights, as well as themed displays and lasers. Russ thought it…

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How My Fourth Kid Surprised Me

How My Fourth Kid Surprised Me






When I was 32 years old I had a nice little family. My kids were 6, 4 and 2 years old. The only issue? I had eggs that wanted to be hatched. Seriously. I was NOT done having kids. The problem? My.husband.was.done. He was extremely serious when he told me that he didn’t want any more kids. He was stretched to his absolute limit, spiritually, physically and financially. So, what’s a woman with energetic eggs to do? I briefly considered…

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