Category: Service

A Tribute To Our Mother

I mentor mothers and one of the things we always have to work on is their tendency to believe that they are falling short, they are never going to measure up and that they are ruining their kids.

If you have read the introduction to my new book Becoming a Present Parent then you know that I was not a perfect parent. I came into it with lots of baggage, few skills, and a lot to learn. Our family wasn’t perfect either. We had some really tough times.

That was one reason I used to hate Mother’s Day because I knew I didn’t measure up.

A few years ago my daughters hijacked my website for a surprise gift for me on Mother’s Day. Here is what they said – “We wanted to share with all of you, her dear readers and friends, how honored we are to be her daughters and what she means to us. We are grateful for your joining with us to celebrate our mother and yours. We hope you enjoy this song, in celebration of our mothers as you read.”

I enjoyed reading their words again this year, they made me cry. I am astonished at how they see me. They see what I haven’t always been able to see in myself. It takes a lifetime to find out just what a good job you have done. I was in my sixties when I read these words from my daughters for the first time and knew that although I was imperfect, it had been enough.

We really are doing better than we think – despite any mistakes we may be making. Take heart this Mother’s Day and know that you are doing better than you think.

Kate Housten

I remember one of my favorite things when I was living at home was sitting in our “library” with you talking about our love for books. You taught me to hunger for knowledge.

When I was young you showed me how to make a meal out of almost nothing, how to grow a beautiful garden, and how to REALLY clean. You taught me how to be a homemaker.

The summer I wanted to study abroad in Europe and we had no money, you spent the whole summer baking cakes and selling water bottles with me. You taught me how to work for what I want and be creative doing it.

When I wanted to be a varsity cheerleader my senior year of high school, even though I had NEVER cheered before, you were right there the day of tryouts to make sure I stuck it out until the end. You taught me how to dream, and dream big.

Growing up you loved to teach us how to make sugar eggs, gingerbread houses, and frosting flowers for cakes. You taught me the importance of cultivating my talents.
When you were in your 40’s, you had seven children, an incredibly busy life and yet you finished your master’s degree. You taught me the value of education.

When times were tough and family life was especially hard I’d walk past your open bedroom door and ALWAYS see you on your knees. You taught me how to have a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Mom, it’s easy for us to look back on our time as a mother and wonder if anything we did gave our children what they needed to be successful in their lives. Sometimes we look back and feel discouraged because as far as we can see, what we did wasn’t enough. But it’s the little things, the daily things you taught me that made all the difference. Because you were the person that you were, I am the person that I am today. Through your service to others, you taught me how to serve. Through your example of forgiving and being patient, you taught me how to forgive and be patient. Because you grew and blossomed, like the flowers out back in our garden, you taught me how to grow and blossom.

Now I’m getting ready to take my first steps into motherhood and because of you, I am not afraid. You have already walked the path down this unfamiliar road and through the wisdom you have gained, you will teach me what it truly means to be a mother.

Thank you, mom,
Kate

Marie Henry

There are so many things that I have learned from you but there are two things in particular that have forever changed me and how things have gone in my life. The first one was prayer. I remember always walking in on you praying. I knew Heavenly Father was your friend and that you trusted him.

When I decided to come back to the church I knew what to do. I knew I could talk to him about everything. That is was okay if I was angry, even at him, as long as I talked to him about it. That even if I sat their and said nothing at least I was in the right place. I knew I had to build up trusting him but I trusted you so I knew I would get there and that it would be okay.

The second thing was to never ever give up, that change is possible and that it is very real; that you need not give up hope. There is a way to return to happiness, and it is through Jesus Christ.

The past 13 years have been quite the journey for me and my family. There were times I didn’t think things would ever turn around or feel differently, but then I would pray and get through the day. I knew from watching you that no matter what, you don’t ever, ever give up. You continue to fight even if the answer takes years to come.

Now, look where I am at. I finally love being a mother, I feel content and peaceful with me and how things are going in my life, and I have the greatest man as my husband.

There are many things I get to pass on to my children but the two things I continue to tell them about is to always pray no matter how you feel and to never ever give up, that Heavenly Father is there for us and no matter what you fight to stay on his side.

I know that one day you were praying, in the kitchen I believe, and you said to Heavenly Father that we would have all been better off if he had just sent us to someone else. He said to you that may be true but he sent us to you. Well, I am proud that he did. I am very grateful to have you as my mother.

Our lives here on earth are meant to have trials in them. I left your home knowing how to make it through and come out the other side being a better me and closer to the Lord. Having fewer trials really doesn’t matter. That I know how to make it back home to Heavenly Father is what I came here to learn and learn it I did. I am grateful for the family I have and PROUD I get to say you are my mother. I love you.

Love,
Marie

Jenny Johnson
I really love my mother. And it is one of those interesting loves; the bigger the love gets, the bigger my heart gets, and the more it makes me love the entire world. Amazing!

I remember being a child and mom would take all of her 7 children with her to the nursing home on Sundays just to visit the patients who weren’t getting usual visitors. It was the family’s volunteer work. That is how I now kind of define my life. I prioritize (highly) having volunteer work in my life that serves the geriatric population.

Also, I just finished the endeavor of earning my Master’s degree. I will now start working as a professional to serve the geriatric population with different modes of therapy. I feel so happy and grateful because I know that working in this environment and serving this population is really going to feed my life, daily! She has taught me that despite possibly never bearing children, there is a viable way for me to mother this world! I serve…and it makes me happy. It is how I run my life. This is the legacy my mother has left in my life. An ocean of thanks to you, my sweet mother.

A handful of years ago, when I was in a severe car accident and wasn’t walking, my mother flew to California and took care of me for 4 months. I mean REALLY was taking care of me, as if her 30-year-old daughter was 3 again. Feeding me, cleaning me, helping me move from point A to point B, etc. That was such a wonderful blessing given to each of our lives because what came out of that intimate tragedy was that my mother became one of my dearest friends. I feel so supported, loved and valued and that, again, strengthens and augments my desire to serve and support this entire world, and it makes me love this world even more. A canyon of thanks to you, my sweet mother and friend.

What my wonderful, beautiful, vibrant mother is teaching me now about being a woman is that personal evolution never stops and it is never too late to become 10 times more than you have ever been. Beauty, wisdom, self-love, personal manifestation, grand service – these are things I am learning from her and really beginning to value because she is performing these things and becoming these things and mastering these things and it is all so amazing to watch! She is painting such a colorful masterpiece across the canvas of her life. She is leaving such a mark, and I feel so honored and blessed to be apart of it. I love you mom, to the moon and back! A universe of thanks to you for everything.

Jenny Rebecca

Jodie Palmer
I turned 40 years old a few weeks ago. It’s sort of a surreal experience for me because it’s the only age that I distinctly remember my mother being. She gave birth to her last child at 40, and so have I. I am now where my mother once was, a place I remember her being.

A fascinating thing has happened now that I’m standing in the shoes I remember my mother wearing. She has suddenly transformed into something more than my mother. I’m connecting with her as a woman.

It’s been hard to try to put this transformation into words or describe what it means to finally see my mother as a woman.

I hate to admit it, but my mother has never been a “real” woman to me. She’s been . . . my Mother. Something different than, “a woman.”

Through my life, I’ve been walking these antipodal paths of both discovering who I am as a woman, and consciously putting myself together into who I want to be. But the change that has happened for me is that I am beginning to see my mother in the context of who I am as a woman—this complicated mixture of contradictions and messiness, grace and beauty, vices and flaws, backbone and tenacity, soft and tender places, guarded and hidden places, confusion and wisdom, fullness and emptiness and so much more all wrapped up in one heart.

I find myself feeling so tender towards her, not in a reminiscent way, as is usual for Mother’s Day, but in this current, primal, female, connected, Red Tent sort of way.

As I was attempting to write this tribute to her I came up with my usual celebrations of memories, the ones that have informed my whole worldview and way of being with the world. Like the time she packed us all into the car to return something that had recently been purchased because we needed the money. On the way out of the parking lot, there was a man holding a sign asking for help. She rolled down the window and gave the man part of the change we had just received. She shared and gave, even when it hurt.

Or the time when she washed the body of a woman who had died who had no one in her life to give her that one last loving honor. She is a rememberer of the forgotten.

There are so many other memories that have served as the elements taken up as food by the beautiful garden of my life.

But, today I want to honor my mother differently than I have ever been able to before. I want to honor her as a woman. I want to honor her complicated, contradictory, messy, deeply beautiful, wise, lovely self. All of it is beautiful to me, and so needed by me, as a woman. All of her is so needed by the world. And the world is better for it—the little worlds of her children and grandchildren, the little worlds of her client families, the little worlds of her neighbors, and the strangers that cross her path. All these little worlds collide together in one big bang of goodness and beauty for all the rest of us.

That’s the beauty of women, we are wombs and birthers of beauty and goodness in the world through the complicated mixture of who we are. We are good for the world . . . And the Lord God looked and said, “It is good.”

I am honored to a woman born and grown from this woman. I am honored to have her blood and her bone, her spirit and her heart living in me.

I am grateful for these new eyes that have allowed me to not only see her differently but see my daughters differently. I newly see, and feel, that we are sisters, we are friends.

Love,
Jodie

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

My Second Christmas Gift to You

In my time I have made some award-winning gingerbread homes. I’ve made whole villages. I’ve made Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds that actually move. I LOVE making gingerbread creations.

But even more than making fancy gingerbread creations, I LOVE helping kids make their own. In our family, we have a gingerbread tradition. Each year I help my grandkids make houses. Then I go to their school and help their friends make them. Most years I help over 100 children make a gingerbread house.

This is a project that any family can do. When you add popcorn, hot cocoa, a good Christmas story and lots of hugs at the end of the project you have a perfect family activity. This is my gift to you – An afternoon or evening of holiday family fun.

What you need are a few disposable bags and the right frosting recipe! Trust me; the recipe makes all the difference.

How to help kids make Gingerbread Houses:

Take it step by step
  • Call your local school and get some empty milk cartons
  • Buy graham crackers and lots of small candies, raisins, and mini-marshmallows
  • Snip off the top of the carton (where it is sealed) and tape it shut. Now it looks like a house
  • Lay carton on its side on a sheet of paper or cardboard and trace; cut out pattern
  • Lay carton on its front on a sheet of paper or cardboard and trace; cut out pattern
  • Lay the pattern on a graham cracker and using a serrated knife (plain will not do!) cut 2 sides, a front, and back. Usually, the cracker is just a bit narrower than the pattern. It won’t matter. (If you need to trim a cracker use scissors)
  • Half a cracker should make a fine roof. If the overhang is too large just trim to the size you want.
  • Cut a door and three windows from the scraps
  • Make the frosting and put into disposable decorating bags or the corner part of a sturdy Ziploc. Cut off the tip of disposable decorating bag or corner of Ziploc bag. Don’t make the opening overly large.
  • If using a disposable decorating bag rubber band the back end shut so the frosting stays inside
  • Using frosting, glue carton to a Styrofoam plate or square of cardboard covered with foil.
  • Using the frosting glue the sides, front and back to the carton. Add roof pieces. Use plenty of frosting. Jiggle the cracker up and down on the carton to stick it well. Don’t press on the cracker or you may break it.
  • Put the door and windows in place.
  • Cover the seams one at a time with the frosting and add candy. Royal frosting dries quickly so do only a small section at a time so that it doesn’t crust over making candy adhere poorly.
  • Finish decorating the house any way you want
Anyone can make a gingerbread house!
Mentally prepare for the mess.

Tips to help parents have fun while their make their houses:

 

 

  • Mentally prepare for a messy table, floor, fingers and shirt fronts.
  • Kids will suck on the decorating bag. Get over it!
  • Some kids will put NO candy on their house; it will all go inside them. Just accept it. : )
  • Some children will put the door or windows on the roof. It’s OK.
  • Not all children will cover all of the seams. They don’t see the carton and a successful house to them isn’t dependent on all the seams being covered. Let it go!
  • Many children will put no candy anywhere but the roof. It is the part they see and the rest doesn’t matter to them.
  • Children under 2 need help. Squeezing the bag can be too hard. Putting the candy on the frosting is enough for them.
  • Children between 2 and 3 want to squeeze the bag even if it is hard. Holding their little hands in yours helps them just enough.
  • Children over 3-4 can usually manage this project with only a few instructions. When I work with large groups of children or even just my grandkids, we work at the same pace, one piece at a time, until the house is assembled. Then I turn them loose.
  • Children over 5-6 need very little help and if they are over 8-9 will resent any help. : )
  • I have been helping children make gingerbread houses for over 40 years and in all that time I have never seen a child who didn’t like their finished house no matter what it looked like, even the house with NO candy on it, unless an adult pointed out the flaws. Resist the temptation to ‘do it your way.” Don’t spoil it!!
  • If you fix their house so that all the seams are covered or so it looks “good” it’s no longer their house. It’s yours. Don’t be selfish.

I hope you have a wonderful time making a village for your home and just plain enjoying one another’s company. Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas,
Mary Ann

Frosting for Gingerbread Houses:

Royal Frosting (Meringue Powder)

This frosting is much easier to make and handle. Grease does not break it down and it can be re-beaten for later use. It can be stored in covered container for up to 6 months. Meringue powder can be purchased at some craft stores and any store that sells cake decorating supplies. Worth the extra cost!

¼ cup meringue powder ½ cup water
4 cups or 1 pound powdered sugar

Mix the meringue powder and water…beat until it peaks. Add the sugar (1/2 cup more for stiffer frosting) ½ cup at a time on low and then beat on high to desired consistency. This will beat up a bit more quickly than the egg white version.

Royal frosting dries quickly and as hard as cement so keep it covered at all times with a damp cloth or in a tightly covered bowl until you put it into the bags. As you use it on the houses encourage and remind kids to do small sections at a time because if it “crusts up” things don’t stick as well.

The BRAG Corner

A 2-year-old who is doing it herself.

 

The rubber band keeps the frosting ‘in’ the bag.

 

 

 

 

 

Award winning village made by a youth group.

 

 

 

 

 

My oldest, for a school project. The periscope really went up and down.
My youngest and her ‘first’ real gingerbread house.

 

 

Even a family of boys likes making houses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a project that kids LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

!!!!!THERE IS STILL TIME!! On December 21st I will be giving away 5 copies of Becoming a Present Parent via a Goodreads Give Away. There are no strings attached. You won’t be added to any lists. So head on over and enter. You just may be a WINNER.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Becoming a Present Parent by Mary Ann Johnson

Becoming a Present Parent

by Mary Ann Johnson

Giveaway ends December 21, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

I WILL BE SPEAKING at the Winter Homeschool Conference on January 27, 2018, in Layton, Utah. This conference is designed to support and rejuvenate home educating parents who want to thrive, not just survive the homeschooling experience. You don’t have to be currently homeschooling to attend! I will be speaking on Process vs Outcome. Knowing the Difference Can Change Your Family. If the topic resonates with you I would love to have you join me.

 

P.S. You can learn more about connecting with your children even in busy times in my new book Becoming a Present Parent, Connecting With Your Children in Five Minutes or Less. Knowing the difference will help you let it be enough. You can also receive a chapter from the book on Touchpoints, creating points of connection rather than having points of contention, FREE by visiting becomingapresentparent.com It can be life-changing for your family. I promise!

My First Christmas Gift to You

Ready for Christmas Giving

There are many families that would love to make a gingerbread house but, well, it can be intimidating. The few I have known to actually do it usually have mediocre results. I have also seen families use the kits and I haven’t seen one work out yet. That is because the recipes for gingerbread and the frosting count!!

So today I want to share a wonderful story of family and tradition with you and a recipe that is over 100 years old. It ‘s my favorite cookie recipe of all time. For those who are not gingerbread fans, this cookie is for you. Mild and delicious. I have used it for both gingerbread men and gingerbread houses. It works perfectly.

The Christmas Gingerbread Story

Over ninety years ago Ann Gardner, my grandmother on my mother’s side, taught first grade in Star Valley, Wyoming. In fact, she taught all of the grades over a 40 year period of time. She was known as a tough, but fair teacher. My dad, Verl Cazier, was in one of her first-grade classes!

One of her holiday classroom traditions was making gingerbread men with her students. Each child would get a large ball of dough. They would break that into smaller balls, for the body, head, legs, and arms. They would also get a square of cardboard. Each child would flatten the largest ball of dough in the middle of the cardboard square. They would then add the head, arms, and legs by doing the same with the smaller balls of dough. The ‘man’ had to fit in the square of cardboard with nothing hanging over. Then red-hot eyes, mouth, nose, and buttons were pressed into the dough. Each child would then carefully carry their piece of cardboard, with their gingerbread man, to the cafeteria to be baked.

When I was a young mom, making gingerbread houses and villages to pay for our families Christmas, I asked her for her recipe. She gladly shared it with me and the story of what she had done all those years before in her first-grade classes. Since then her gingerbread has graced many Thanksgiving tables, been given as countless Christmas presents and been shaped into numberless gingerbread houses and cookie people.

I hope that you will enjoy this recipe and pass it down to your own families. It is now well over a hundred years old and you won’t find a better recipe out there. : )

Ann Gardner’s Gingerbread Man Recipe
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ – 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • (if you like a little bite, add 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper – this is my own addition to the mix)

Cream sugar and shortening. Add molasses and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and mix. Add dry ingredients. When it gets too stiff to mix with a spoon turn it out onto the counter and knead until all the flour is mixed in. Chill one hour.

Roll out ¼ inch thick on tin foil, parchment paper or waxed paper. (If I am making a house I roll it out 1/8 inch thick because I want to cut down on the weight and bulk.) Lift foil onto the pan. Cut out shapes. Remove excess. Make sure to leave at least 1/2′ between each gingerbread piece. Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a flat surface. Enjoy!

If you want to try your hand at making a gingerbread house these patterns will get you started. The frosting recipe for holding gingerbread house pieces together makes a huge difference too. Here is one that works every time. Be sure that you beat it until it is thick and stands up in peaks and then your house will hold together just right.

This frosting is easy to make and handle. Unlike royal frosting that is made with egg whites, grease does not break it down and it can be re-beaten for later use. It can be stored in a covered container for up to 6 months. Meringue powder can be purchased at some craft stores and any store that sells cake decorating supplies.

Royal Frosting (Meringue Powder)

¼ cup meringue powder      ½ cup water      4 cups or 1 pound powdered sugar

Mix the meringue powder and water…beat until it peaks. Add the sugar (1/2 cup more for stiffer frosting) ½ cup at a time on low and then beat on high to desired consistency. This will beat up a bit more quickly than the egg white version. Royal frosting dries quickly and as hard as cement so keep it covered at all times with a damp cloth or in a tightly covered bowl. Keep any utensils, tip, bags etc. covered also.

I experimented with transferring the pattern to a printed page. Right-click and save the photo. Paste it into Word, Publisher or a similar program. Size it to fit on an 8×10 sheet of paper and print. Cut out pattern pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that want to make a gingerbread house with your children, I will be giving you all of the details and directions in my next article. It requires no baking!

SERVICE FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

During December I want to do some form of service each day. I want to increase my sense of joy and happiness during the holiday season as a gift to myself and to the Savior, and serving others does just that. “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25: 40

I found a link that gives you a calendar to download with one act of service to do each day leading up to Christmas day. It is family and time friendly. You too might want to check it out.

GREAT NEWS!!!!!! Just in time for the holiday season. On December 21st I will be giving away 5 copies of Becoming a Present Parent via a Goodreads Give Away. There are no strings attached. You won’t be added to any lists. So head on over and enter. You just may be a WINNER!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Becoming a Present Parent by Mary Ann Johnson

Becoming a Present Parent

by Mary Ann Johnson

Giveaway ends December 21, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

I WILL BE SPEAKING at the Winter Homeschool Conference on January 27, 2018 in Layton, Utah. This conference is designed to support and rejuvenate home educating parents who want to thrive, not just survive the homeschooling experience. You don’t have to be currently homeschooling to attend! I will be speaking on Process vs Outcome. Knowing the Difference Can Change Your Family. If the topic resonates with you I would love to have you join me. ​​​​​​​

P.S. You can learn more about how to connect with your children, even when times are busy, in my new book Becoming a Present Parent, Connecting With Your Children in Five Minutes or Less. Knowing the difference will help you let it be enough. You can also receive a chapter from the book on Touchpoints, creating points of connection rather than having points of contention, FREE by visiting becomingapresentparent.com It can be life-changing for your family. I promise!

Creating A Culture of Serviceability and Kindness

One day while helping a friend in her home she asked me if I ever felt as if I was at war with my family. She said that if anything was organized it wouldn’t stay that way. If it was clean it would get dirty. If it was peaceful chaos would inevitably show up.

I understood her frustration. After all, I had raised seven children. However, somewhere along the way, I had a mighty change of heart. I went from waging war to ministering to my family. It was a slight mental shift in how I looked at the work required to manage my family and it has made a huge difference in how I feel on busy and chaotic days.

When we step out of management mode we begin to ‘see’ the needs of those in our family and we’re better able to step into the service and kindness mode. We put ourselves in a place where we’re able to be Present. We see the ‘one’ and minister to them rather than being upset that there is one more thing to take care of.

As parents, one of our greatest responsibilities is to help our children become successful adults. I have found that the most successful adults I know are generous and kind. They serve others. They ‘see’ people and reach out.

Last Sunday one of my grandchildren was ill and one parent had to stay home with them. That caused the rest of the family to run late. In our church, the Sacrament is passed early in the meeting and my daughter worried that they wouldn’t get there in time. Sure enough, they missed the bread portion of the ceremony. She was deeply disappointed.

Then the children who were with her began to struggle to be still and they all ended up out in the hall. Her nine-year-old son, Jack, reached out and touched his mom on the arm and said, “Mom, I’m sorry we missed the bread and that we’re out in the hall.”

This is a perfect example of a person ‘seeing’ the need of another and this someone was just nine years old.

That same nine-year-old ‘saw’ me the other day. It had been a long day. I had been doing a lot of physical labor and I was tired. In fact, I was feeling a bit old. Jack came to me and said, “Grandma, I really like that shirt. You look good in it.” As you can imagine I felt better.

Jack has learned from the example of his parents to ‘see’. He has learned the value of kindness and service within his family because his parents serve their children rather than just managing them.

As I was beginning to transition from being in constant management mode in my family to serving my spouse and children I remember watching a video of a real-life experience that helped me see the difference between working in a family and serving the family.

A man with a very important job was leaving his home to go to a very important meeting. He had on a suit and tie. As he descended the stairs he saw his eighteen-month-old crawling up the stairs. He picked her up to give her a hug and say goodbye and found that she needed a diaper change.

This busy and important man, this father, did not call his equally busy wife. He got a diaper and wipes and sat down at the top of the stairs and changed his daughter. While he served his daughter he smiled and talked with her. He ‘saw’ his daughters need. He was also aware of the need of his wife. He served them both with great kindness and did not feel put upon while doing it. He was not in management mode but in the kindness and service mode.

WHY MAKE A MENTAL SHIFT

There are some very good reasons to work on this slight mental shift, from management to service:

• When we lose ourselves in service to others we grow and flourish. So do our children.
• When we feel that the work we do is serving rather than a burden we feel less overwhelmed.
• With this slight mental shift, we’re able to remain calm when things aren’t going well.
• When we serve our family we model it for our children who become kinder.
• Families who have a culture of service and kindness sustain one another better.
• In fact, as we serve rather than wage war, we begin to create a culture of kindness and serviceability.

In today’s world, there are many opportunities to reach out and serve. Let’s begin in our own families. Consider it a privilege rather than a daily burden. You can’t and won’t respond this way all of the time. But if you can slip into this mindset even a few times each day you will feel better about parenting and you will have more joy in the work that you do.

What service have you given to or received from your children? Please comment. I would love to hear your experiences.

Here’s to more joy,
Mary Ann

P.S. You can learn more about how to spend less time in family management in my new book Becoming a Present Parent, Connecting With Your Children in Five Minutes or Less.  You can also receive a chapter from the book on Touchpoints, creating points of connection rather than having points of contention, FREE by visiting becomingapresentparent.com  It can be life-changing for your family. I promise!