Present Moments
   Receiving Peace
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Present Moments - Receiving Peace

  • A True Champion: What My Dad Taught Me When He Almost Lived to See the Cubs Win the World Series Something epic happened last night. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in what the media is calling “the greatest game ever”. In a jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, up and down, 10-inning, rain-delayed, 7th game the Cubs finally prevailed and “The Curse” was broken. The Cubs are no longer the team that couldn’t quite make it to the top for over a hundred years. They are now World Champions. There’s a twist to this story. At least for my family. Last night, while fighting fatigue, my widowed mother and her children and grandchildren gathered wherever they could to root on the Cubs in honor of her husband, a die-hard Cubs fan who lived to see ...
    Posted Oct 16, 2017, 2:27 PM by Smith Moments
  • My Mama-Yoga Marathon I was shooting the breeze with my awesome, but ordinary neighbor recently and she shared that she’s training for a marathon. I felt my jaw drop. And then without thinking (I was still in shock), I repeated so many of the familiar phrases I hear when people learn I have 8 children. “Whoa! I can’t imagine. Why?! That’s crazy!! Good for you! There goes your summer. HOW do you do it?!?” She smiled and nodded and assured me that yes it’s incredibly hard, but it’s a dream of hers, she enjoys it, and it makes her a better person. Still baffled, I asked for details about her running schedule: Pretty much every day. Keep adding ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2016, 12:07 PM by Smith Moments
  • The Decibel Level Sometimes the noise in this house drives me bonkers. As a mother who tries my darnedest to open my heart to as much energy as my children have to share with me, and as a mother who values the creative clamor that comes from instruments and pretending and singing and laughing and joking, and as the mother of a really ear-piercingly screechy Baby #6 who never took a pacifier and has now grown into a really ear-piercingly screechy 23-month-old...I expect a lot of noise.But wow. Sometimes...And the decibel level follows me wherever I go. I feel like a noise magnet...especially when I'm cooking dinner or on the phone or in the ...
    Posted Jul 28, 2016, 4:14 AM by Smith Moments
  • 2 Cents and a Million $$ Smile A box of 100 generic band-aids costs about $2 at Wal-mart. That's...2 whole pennies each.When I was little and my parents kindly reminded me that I was wasting my dad's money whenever I didn't finish my food, I used to envision dollar bills swooshing right out of his wallet that sat on top of his tall dresser at the very moment I cowered at the kitchen sink and secretly dumped my soggy cereal down the drain...I was terrified.Since those days (even though my imagination is much more tame now), I still tend to notice when pennies disappear...and try to avoid that experience. It keeps me in my comfort zone.So ...
    Posted Jul 28, 2016, 4:17 AM by Smith Moments
  • Meditating with MaryAnn This is MaryAnn's favorite spot to sit while her mother bustles around from fridge to cupboard to silverware drawer to counter to table answering a ga-zillion requests for relief of hunger pains all at once.Recently, when my head was spinning as fast as the fruit blending into a smoothie nearby, I paused long enough to watch how peaceful and pure MaryAnn's mind seemed. I observed MaryAnn's extended ability to focus on the effects of water filling, dripping, rolling, smearing, and soaking. Her facial expressions showed thoughts freely flowing from one observation to the next...all as if her routine discoveries were a brand new experience...unmarred by previous judgments and conclusions.I found myself deeply ...
    Posted Jul 28, 2016, 4:20 AM by Smith Moments
  • Oh How I Love Thee...let me count the ways I recently received a few hints that my mind is quite distracted with all the pondering-on-how-to-explain-brain-theories thoughts running through my head lately.When we came across Table Topics* question: "What can parents do to show their kids love?" during dinner recently, my 10-year-old said, "I like it when parents really listen when I tell them something...like one time I told Mom I'd hurt myself and she said, 'Oh, that's nice.'"Yikes.  A few days later, my 8-year-old daughter was still churning this question and suggested, "I know what parents can do to show kids they love them...they can not mix up their kids' names and they ...
    Posted Jan 23, 2013, 7:20 PM by Smith Moments
  • The Best Beauty Salon...Ever I'd never been to a beauty salon...until my birthday last week.I had just cuddled up on the couch with my laptop. I felt relieved that MaryAnn was finally down for a nap...and pressure to make the most of those minutes...the clock was ticking. I was planning to post the blog entry that would announce our new www.presentparenting.org website. It felt like a monumental moment for me. After years of stirring up ideas and hypotheses, I was finally ready to share. Excitement welled up inside me and out through my fingertips as I tapped away.30 seconds later, I heard giggling in the vicinity...and footsteps. I peered above my screen just in time ...
    Posted Jan 23, 2013, 7:20 PM by Smith Moments
  • The Birth of The Pyramid Birth Announcement: The Accountability Pyramid has Arrived. Brent and I have been working on a unique kind of “baby” this past year. We’ve created a simple website (including an initial version of The Pyramid) to share our parenting theories, brain research, and discipline experiences.Conceived in the spring of 2009 for use in our own family, The Pyramid will be viewable to the world starting on January 3, 2013. We’ve decided to name it “Present Parenting: Giving and Receiving the Gifts of Peace and Wisdom.” It weighed in at: Tons of Work; and is 43 pages long.Visit www.presentparenting.org to take a peek.There’s so much more to add...more adjustments to make. But it ...
    Posted Oct 7, 2016, 1:05 PM by Smith Moments
  • Knight in the Kitchen June 11, 2012 While I was rushing around the kitchen (again) cooking dinner (again), the kids were supposed to be tidying up (again), but suddenly princesses in distress were screaming and clinging to my leg (again) because monsters were tormenting them (again)...and my blood pressure rose (yep...again). Trying to keep my cool, I made my frustration find a hiding spot inside me for a moment. Then it almost exploded out when Cienna (age 3), who was sitting on the counter eating watermelon (again) screamed at the top of her lungs, "Guys!!" Just before I launched an attack to stop the chaos (my plan was to out-shout the troops. Smart, eh?), I paused...but this time it wasn ...
    Posted Jul 28, 2016, 4:35 AM by Smith Moments
  • The Open Window June 4, 2012 The lunch rush was over. I scurried around the kitchen sweeping up millions of crumbs with my mind wrapped around just as many racing thoughts. Laughter entered the open window. I stopped the broom and gazed out at all 6 of my children playing on the trampoline. The boys were perfecting kung fu moves (they don't take lessons) and bragged about their ability to defend the backyard. The girls sat around the edge cheering enthusiastically. Even little MaryAnn bobbed on Kirsten's lap, cooing along. My mind rested from all my motherly worries as their joy became my joy. A few minutes later, I stopped the broom again. Most of the kids came swishing back to ...
    Posted Jan 2, 2013, 10:26 PM by Smith Moments
  • Bedtime Routine June 3, 2012 Allison eyes drooped shut as we drove home from a Sunday evening meeting. Upon arriving in our driveway, I scooped her out of her car seat and carried her limp body to the bathroom. As I was lifting her back off the toilet, her grin caught my eye...and the game was on.Instead of gentle silence during the journey to bed...my voice sang, "Let's get Allison in her PJs, so we can tuck her into her nice,warm bed." I carried her upside down. She tried not to giggle. I flopped her onto her bed with her feet on her pillow and pulled the covers over her head. She lay in silence for several ...
    Posted Jan 2, 2013, 10:06 PM by Smith Moments
  • Cristi's Crafts May 30, 2012 As I wrestled with MaryAnn's diaper change on my bed, Kirsti came in and started endless questions about what was in the box on the top shelf of my closet (where I usually keep my stash of future birthday presents). I half-attempted to dodge 5 or 6 or maybe 11 questions, but she successfully pulled bits of information out of my weary mind to keep the interrogation going..."It's not presents...it contains old craft stuff...not today...I don't know when..." "Yes," I finally consented because when I turned to face her as she dragged a chair across the floor, I melted in her excitement...it felt refreshing. With the contents spread ...
    Posted Jan 4, 2013, 7:59 AM by Smith Moments
  • The Beverage Chiller May 29, 2012I rushed around the kitchen preparing dinner as usual. MaryAnn clung to my leg (because she can get herself to where she wants to be now), so I scooped her up and prepared ingredients one-and-a-half-handed. As I shuffled through the fridge, I paused...and noticed MaryAnn's fascination with the sliding door on the "beverage chiller" (I think it's supposed to be a compartment on our fridge door to keep wine cool...but we don't drink wine, so it houses our ice cream toppings). Her wide eyes bulged with intense focus upon finding something that opens and closes. I helped her experiment...open, close, open, close, open, touch the chocolate syrup ...
    Posted Jan 2, 2013, 9:54 PM by Smith Moments
  • Morning Prayers May 28, 2012I knelt hunched over the side of my bed this morning, saying my morning prayers. I soon became aware of MaryAnn edging her way to me from her sleeping spot in the middle of our bed. Conflicting thoughts came racing in: Why did the floor creak?! I can't even have a moment to myself to say a prayer in the morning?! And then: Your innocent child is approaching you. Pay Attention. Thankfully, I consciously dismissed the first thought by listening to the second. MaryAnn continued inching toward me. She celebrated her successful journey by wriggling her little body on top of my bowed head, patting my back with her baby hands and breathing cheers of delight ...
    Posted Jul 28, 2016, 4:46 AM by Smith Moments
  • Burning Bright You can't stop adding fuel to the fire, or it will go out.On the other hand, if you want the flame to go out, stop fueling the fire!*Haha! This post makes me laugh. My darling husband added the above picture and caption to test how such posts would work when he was building this site for me years ago. So supportive and creative in his own way. My fire for him is burning bright...and always will!!
    Posted Jul 28, 2016, 4:30 AM by Smith Moments
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