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holiday

Mothers Day Lessons at the Beach

Mothers Day is a wonderful pause, the perfect time to think about the big questions: Is anyone learning anything ?; These kids won’t be home forever, what lessons will they take with them?;  DOES ANY OF THIS REALLY MATTER? Truthfully, the answer to these questions usually feels a little dismal. The kids don’t seem to...
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Feast & Famine (a fast for Lent)

Today begins Lent: to give something up or not to give something up? The pendulum keeps swinging, doesn’t it? For a while there, fasting from something was only a Catholic thing. Then a Christian thing. Then the fasting was scorned by Christians everywhere. Shortly after that it was celebrated. No matter what your decision, critics...
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The Ups and Downs of December

Every year we start December with that same feeling you have waiting in line for a roller coaster. As we stand in the snaking line, listening to the riders screaming from the ride, we try to remember, why did we want to come back for more? Where were the twists and dips and stressful parts...
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Friday FAQ

Today’s Fraudulently Asked Questions is with all the Hergenrader Kids about the Week O’ Christmas Programs. As an audience member, I heard the rave reviews from the huge crowds. “Awesome!” “The kids did so well!” “How did they learn all those songs?” Now to hear from the stars themselves… FAQ #1: Catie, great picture! How...
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Hark! It’s Christmas Program Season!

We are up to our halos in Christmas Programs around here. Tonight all the kids are in the church’s Christmas program. Tomorrow night, they’ll all in the school Christmas program. You know what Christmas program practices are like? They are that hour before we have company come over to our house. They are stressful chaos....
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What We Learned on Vacation

Traveling with kids–traveling with four kids, one too young to carry his own stuff–is an ordeal. They want to help with all the packing, and unpacking, and transporting, but they don’t know what they’re doing. And they have crazy ideas, like stuffing all the bags full of toys, and rollerblades, and pita chips. So, now...
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Thanksgiving or UnThanksgiving?

This year, when I heard some stores would be open on Thanksgiving, I told the kids this was the beginning of the end of Thanksgiving. Unlike Halloween or Valentines Day or Christmas, no one makes big money off Thanksgiving. Churches and great-grandmas won’t produce multi-million dollar commercials reminding Americans to stop and acknowledge the blessings...
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Kids Who Touch the Cactus

Traveling through the Southwest for Thanksgiving Break has confirmed we have two kinds of kids: those who believe a cactus is sharp and those who have to touch it themselves. Kids who touch the cactus are also the ones who feel my hot curling iron, who pick up the hotel phone hundreds of times to...
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Joy to the World!

Growing up, mail during Advent was a really big deal to our family. We received lots and lots of Christmas cards, filled with those goofy family letters, beautiful pictures of Jesus, and thoughts about His birthday. I remember sorting through the evergreen and cherry envelopes, recognizing some senders by their distinct handwriting, giddy to know...
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Baby, It’s Mild and Slightly Cool Outside

This week, the temperature in Houston dipped into the 50s. Clearly Starbucks was packed, every Houstonian posted about “THIS WEATHER!” on Facebook, the dogs slept in a shivering heap, and my kids declared themselves frozen. Let’s chat about this frightful weather in some Fraudulently Asked Questions. FAQ #1: You look cold, Nate. How are you...
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