Questions from the trenches

I’d like to write a few helpful posts for moms in the trenches, who might not have 4 teen daughters and a never-ending supply of ice cream.  Wait – the ice cream is gone?  Why is the ice cream gone?!

Anyway, what would you like to know?  If you and I were sitting on my deck, sipping our homemade frappucinos, how would you complete the following sentence:

“How would/did/do you…?”


  1. We have been struggling with our very strong willed son since he was born almost 7 years ago. How do you deal with disrespectful attitudes and arguing. He listens eventually, but needs to push against everything we say. Thanks for any thoughts you might have!

  2. Hair!

    How do you style little girls hair on a daily basis? I feel like our 3 year old looks like a ragamuffin lately with stringy hair that is always in her face or in her food.

    I like it long, but I am at a loss for styling her thin baby hair.

  3. How do you handle teen drivers? I’m really behind in considering this and I’m looking for advice from people I trust. How do you decide when they are ready? How do you afford the classes and insurance? What guidelines do you have in place.

  4. Gillian says:

    I’d love to hear about your grocery budget. We are a family of 4 (soon to be 5!) and we spend $100/ week and that’s with couponing, meal planning, shopping sales, etc. We’d love to have lots more kids but I’m a little worried about we can afford to feed them!

  5. Wow, there have already been so many GOOD questions that I want to hear your thoughts on too! I was planning to ask two questions, but one has already been mentioned: How do you deal with bickering?

    The other is: My son really struggles to focus on tasks all the way to completion. Do you have any suggestions for encouraging his committment to obeying and obeying completely? (He is 4.)

    Thanks for your blog – I love reading it!

  6. How do you get your babies to sleep through the night?? #5 is fed on demand, 6 mon. old and still waking up every 3 hours!!!

  7. Thanks for your post this morning! I had that question like a lot of others here. I’ve got one little one and another on the way and I’m already wondering how it’ll work out, especially since I had no siblings growing up.

    I really like some of the other questions too and they’ve got me wondering 🙂

    A few others I had –
    How do you do finances? Any tips for saving? Things are tight here already and we’ve only got one.

    When and how do you handle discipline issues with little ones involving character/attitude issues? My little one is 9 months and we do discipline when she does a wrong action like touching things she shouldn’t, but I’m already seeing behaviors I don’t really want her to keep doing like crying when she doesn’t get her way. I’d like to address this now but am not sure quite what to do since she’s so young and what’s appropriate (I had pretty much no discipline growing up and was a bit of a terror until I became a Christian, so I’m kind of trying to find my way here).

    How did you get started with “homeschooling” when you first had kids to homeschool? What age did you start at, did you use any curriculums? Any tips/pointers? You might have already addressed that one, so I’ll look around 🙂

    Any things you’d wished you’d done differently in the beginning? Lessons learned? 🙂

  8. Ruth in England says:

    How do you help your children handle being “different” from other believers? I mean in those grey areas where not everyone holds the same convictions. For example, what do you say/do when other girls appear at church wearing items that you have taught your girls are inappropriate? I don’t want my daughter to have a holier-than-thou attitude toward them, nor do I know how to answer the “Why can’t I if so-and-so can? Aren’t they Christians too?” questions.
    I don’t know if this is really the type of question you had in mind. Maybe it’s more a 4 Moms question.

  9. whoops, should’ve stated they are 9 and 6 lol

  10. How do you do summer? Do you continue schooling through the summer? I am looking for idea’s to help keep my older two of five working together and learning over the summer without mandating a schedule…so really some things to give them for ideas that they can take and run with I guess….Thanks!

  11. Have you ever had a nursing baby out right refuse to move on to a bottle/sippy cup?

    My 1 y/o just won’t drink from anything but me. He won’t take a bottle, and he just sort of lets the fluid from a sippy cup drip into his mouth. Obviously he can’t get his fluid needs this way, but he’s getting so big (25lbs and counting!) that it’s beginning to get difficult for me to support him through nursing.

    So far we’ve tried traditional sippy cups, sippy cups with straws, sippy cups with non-standard heads, and just plain cups. He does the best with just plain cups, but is too little to drink much at a time. Help!

  12. Courtney says:

    How would you stop your baby from using you as a pacifier? He loves to nurse and I have been doing the baby led nursing which has worked great for us! He just turned 1 last week and I’m ready to start weaning, but he is so attached. Some tips would be great! Thanks 🙂

  13. how do you encourage your boys in manliness as a mother?

  14. What would you do if you jumped on board with certain parenting ideas that encourage you to “let boys be boys” while they are little. You wait and do not push him to read until he is ready. He never gets ready even though you have read extensively throughout his life. He is very smart from learning by visiting museums. He is highly artistic BUT…He is not reading and is way, way, way past the age where most learn to read. Now, the reading books for early readers are too boring and clearly for little children. What would you do?

  15. Shannon Mallory says:

    I saw many of my questions mentioned already.

    I just wanted to give you a GREAT BIG thank you for the frappe recipe! I have it taped inside my kitchen cabinet… Use it several times a week!! 😉

    Ooooh! I do have a question! I want to find a big, thick tarp-like canvas like you have to shade your porch. We could so use one to shade our deck. What is it called? Where can I find one?

    Thank you!

  16. Maybe this should be a question on your 4 moms post, or maybe here. You have your kids read from the bible, but what do you do about explaining the, um, well parts like Rahab’s job and other mentioned activities of that grown up nature (trying to be vague as I don’t know what words to use to avoid search engines finding things and bringing awkward traffic to your site!). So far we tend to edit-on-the-fly in reading to the kids, but their reading ability is getting to the point they could probably read on their own. I am just stuck on how to handle the sometimes grown up violence and “other stuff”. Thanks so much for all the wonderful helpful info you share on your blog!!!

  17. How did you go to the grocery store? I realize this seems simple but I have 5 kids YOUNG kids…..and the youngest two are 2yr old twins. It seems like it takes FOREVER for to get the shopping done & we always seem to foget some important item. I don’t want to shop in the evenings when my husband is home or on weekends BUT taking everyone w/me to the store is hard.

  18. By the way, I feel like you have extended that hospitality to me on many an occassion. You shared your frappucino recipe with us before and it is delicious. My 14-year old son makes it for me on occassion when he sees mother might need a little pick me-up. THANK YOU!

  19. How would you deal with an 18- year old daughter-the eldest-who has a contrary nature and also with that is constantly challenging my authority. It seems as though there are two mothers around here….

  20. How do you…..keep the bickering down (between the children). 🙂

    … with a child who has gotten into a habit of disrespect?

  21. I have 3 daughters: 11, 7 & 3. We began homeschooling last year. I LOVE it! However, I don’t love that with the constant togetherness when one girl gets tired.cranky, etc…the person she takes it out on is her sister. 🙁 Sometimes I think they need more one-on-one time, or alone time, or other friend time…How do you help foster your daughter’s relationships with one another? 🙂

  22. My question is “How did/ do you develop a network of like minded homeschooling families?” Support group? Church? Other? And how do you balance the desire for friendships or support with the demands of a large family. I think I know the answer to this, but I really want to hear it from the horses mouth, so to speak. 😉

  23. I’ve got a boy who is really only motivated by external rewards, but my older daughter (who is more internally motivated), gets a little tired of her brother getting stuff, just because he’s done what she already willingly did. Thoughts? Advice?

  24. meals. toys.
    specifically cheap meal time and how many toys to you let stay around and what to you do to stop them from overwhelming the house – like at birthday time

  25. How do you keep a meek and quiet spirit through the children’s whining and bickering with each other? Better yet, how do you stop the bickering with each other and the “Mom, so-and-so did this”. Oh, but wait, you probably never had that problem ;).

  26. How do you manage several small children, no older children or family to help, advanced pregnancy, potty training, and a spirited child (and mama!)? I’m feeling quite frazzled these days.

  27. Natalie says:

    My question is very general I guess.
    How did you make it through with 6 littles?
    I have six, 7 and under. I’m trying to homeschool a first grader, teach my 6 year old to read, teach my 5 year old anything she will learn, potty train the 2 and 3 year old (that’s not going well) and nursing the 11 month old.
    I’m feeling overwhelmed, overlooked and completely unmotivated.
    I guess somebody needs to call the Waaaambulance for me now. 😉

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