Family Favorites {Life at the Pond}

Life at the Pond

We LOVE Life at the Pond radio shows – they entertain us with wholesome humor and promote biblical wisdom during our day.  

They are super entertaining for all of us, holding to the belief that the entire Bible is God’s word.  The humor is clever, and the lessons are built around character, wisdom and godliness.  We crack up when Shae uses remarks from the Pond in our everyday life.  (Oh yes, and he has developed an occasional lisp from listening to Bill the Duck…)

{Check it out}

You can download audio episodes, or listen to two episodes for free each week on Life at the Pond’s website.

Family Favorites Life at the Pond


loving the little years. {giveaway & interview with Rachel Jankovic part three}

Loving the Little Years

I was SO happy when Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches gave me the opportunity to interview her.  Catch up with part one and part two of this three-part interview.


{Part three of three.}

ME: Do you have any strategic ways of planning and preparing for days and weeks to come (food, hearts, cleaning, activities, etc.)
RACHEL: Haha! Probably not! I am not really a schedule oriented person. It would not make me happy to know what I was making for dinner a week from tomorrow, and if I wrote “leftovers” on a dinner plan somewhere my husband would probably swing by the store for something to grill on his way home.  If I think of something that I want to make for dinner, I’ll add it to the menu. Bad news though – sometimes the menu is just in my head. My problem tends to be too many ideas of things to do, so the places that I have had to work to improve has been finding satisfaction is just getting it done, rather than doing it the way I would ultimately like to do it. I have joked with friends that I don’t look at Pinterest because I do not need more inspiration, I just need more time to follow through!  For example, I love to cook, used to cater, and still really enjoy planning and making good food. But the reality of this time of life is that I often don’t have the time to make everything the way I would like to. So I have had to actively shift my source of satisfaction from making something that interests me, to feeding people in a prepared and timely manner.  I have found a happy medium where I always have the stuff to make some quick dinners in the freezer/pantry, but I plan a more fun menu right on top of that. That way when the day isn’t working out like I may have hoped, I can pull out one of the quickie dinner options and still feed everyone on time. I keep grated mozzarella and parmesan in the freezer so I can almost always make a couple pizzas fast. I always have stuff for spaghetti. Pasta, rice, frozen veggies, chicken, etc. It’s not exciting food but it is food!  I do the same thing with activities for the kids – lots of stuff on hand to do (lots!), but no real plan. Sometimes I do something above and beyond, but for the most part I let them do what they want to with it.


Rachel has kindly given away a copy of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches.  The winner has been chosen and contacted.  Thanks for your interest!


Family Favorites Loving the Little Years

{This book is part is one of our family’s favorite biblical resources.}

loving the little years. {interview with Rachel Jankovic part two}

Loving the Little Years

I was blessed to have an opportunity to interview Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches  Catch up with part one and part three of this three-part interview.


{Part two of three.}

ME: With children who are old enough to understand what you’re talking about, and once spelling out the occasional word in an effort to communicate is no longer an option, do you have any ways you find helpful and enjoyable to communicate with Luke regularly about what is going on with your and the kids’ hearts?
RACHEL: I am super blessed that my husband and I really enjoy each other. So it is very natural for us to communicate. For example, I often text him while he is at work – sometimes only something like “blahahahaha!” and he would text back something like “Woop doggie?” and then we would conclude with “love you!” Not exactly formal communication, but we keep in touch and make each other laugh with these sorts of things.  He is a great and very involved dad, so he talks with the kids about how they are doing, and with me about them, etc. He really is the best!
ME: Considering that “Christian childrearing is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge” (from chapter 10, Know Your Sheep), are there simple ways you have found that are helpful to you to keep some sense of order around your home?
RACHEL: I am constantly engaged in trying to keep our house orderly, but I don’t have any one big trick or strategy. I have found that it changes through different seasons of life. I have done lots of different things – laying clothes out the night before, and emptying the dishwasher before bed in one phase. Setting the table for dinner in the afternoon in another phase. 
I tend to be a bit artistic with the kids (meaning they can cut, color, glue, tape, paint, sew, knit, make things out of shoeboxes, etc. whenever they want.) Our messes can be big! But it is reflective of the life being lived in it. We’ve been working with the kids on taking responsibility for things that you yourself didn’t mess up – chipping in without being asked, helping out with general cleaning, etc. We have lots of room to improve here, and I hope we keep improving! As I said in the book, the biggest kind of order that we are striving for in our home is fellowship together. So in that sense, the answer is really keeping short accounts. My Dad was always fond of saying that the difference between a clean house and a messy house is not how many things were dropped, it is how many things were picked up. We try to pick up bad attitudes and disagreements quickly. The best practice in this is of course for mom to not be leaving these kinds of messes all over the house. And when you do mess up, pick it up right away!


Family Favorites Loving the Little Years

{This book is part is one of our family’s favorite biblical resources.}

loving the little years. {interview with Rachel Jankovic part one}

Loving the Little Years

To the point, brilliant, grace-filled, and hilarious.  Rachel Jankovic’s Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches has been such a blessing to me, that I chose to include it in our family favorites, because of the very real application it has had in my life as a mother.  Rachel has ministered to my heart, through her faithfulness to train her children in godliness, and by thoughtfully encouraging other mothers to persevere in, and enjoy the calling of motherhood.

I was excited to have an opportunity to interview Rachel with some questions I was curious about.  I completely enjoyed her answers and look forward to sharing them in this three-part interview.   There’s more available from part two and part three.

{Part one of three.}

ME: I love how short (sometimes just two pages) and thought-provoking each chapter is. It’s about the amount of time I have to read at any given time. Does it reflect the realities of long you had to write them?   
RACHEL: Yes, totally! I write while at home with little people. I don’t sit down to write until I know what I am going to say. So most of my time is spent thinking, and then a few short minutes actually writing. The short and to the point style is definitely reflective of the style of my life. I really don’t have the time to write longer things, and I also don’t have the mental space to carry one long and sustained train of thought. But I’m guessing you know how that feels!
ME: Your writing of gospel truths have ministered to me in Mothering the Little Years, as well as your articles on Desiring God and posts on your family’s Femina blog. What are some writings from others that have most ministered you?
RACHEL: Well, it has been a while since I read any of them – but I have to go with the books from my parents (Doug and Nancy Wilson) on family. The best part of these is that knowing them so well, I can really endorse that they are the people they seem like they are, that they did what they talk about, and that we all have a really sweet relationship. My parents are hands down the most sacrificial, loving, faithful, kind people that I know. Growing up to be like them would be pretty great!

Family Favorites Loving the Little Years

{This book is part is one of our family’s favorite biblical resources.}

Evidences of God’s Grace

(We started writing evidences of God’s grace that we see in each other in a central area in our home to encourage and bless one another.)

Expressing evidences of God’s grace that you see in people’s lives is powerful.  Rather than thinking about negative aspects of a person, remember that we are no better than them.  We are all sinners in need of God’s grace; we need to believe in Jesus and his death on the cross and repent of our sin to be saved.  God promises that when we do, we are made new; a brand new creation.  That gives me hope.

We can do no good apart from him.

So when we see good in others, we know that it is because of Him.  I’d encourage you to find ways to bless those you love (and those you find it hard to love) with words of encouragement.  It will not only touch them, but the Lord may change your heart in the process.