How to Have Those BIG Talks with Your Kids with Christy Montes

How to Have those BIG Talks with Your KidsChristy Montes is back to chat about those BIG talks.

Christy and I have had many talks with all of our kids over the years and thought you guys might benefit from hearing from us on this topic. We have done some things well, but we have messed up plenty. If you want to have a relationship that promotes open communication, start early and talk often. Some other things we suggested were:

1. Make time for each child.
2. Stay in the moment, that means put away your phone.
3. Don’t be fearful about the BIG talks.
4. Take advantage of car rides, it is a great place to talk.

This picture is of sweet Christy and her husband at a recent history night. I wonder if they had any talks in that car. 😉

5. You will make a mistake, which is why GRACE exists.
6. You will feel like your drowning in toddlerhood, know that your investment pays off later.
7. You are not meant to be friends with your young children, but if you do not invest in them when they are young, you will not be friends as adults.
8. Find a friend you trust and encourage each other through this mothering gig.


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Kids and Phones – Smart or Not? – MBFLP 172

It’s been ten years since Apple introduced the iPhone – and the whole world has changed because of it. Like many new devices and technologies, what started as an amusement became a near-necessity. But should our kids have access? Do young people need a phone of their own? Or is it a popular trap that causes more trouble than any possible benefit? This episode we talk about why some of our kids have phones and others don’t, and some common sense ways you can navigate that winding road in your own family.


This episode brought to you in part by Great Waters Press, publishers of

Love, Honor, and Virtue

LOVE, HONOR, AND VIRTUE: Gaining or Re-Gaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality

CLICK HERE to find out more!

I Love Homeschooling But My Kids Don’t – HIRL Episode 63


So, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the best option for your kids this year, but the response from your kids has been less than positive. You want to follow God’s calling, but your kids are threatening a mutiny. What do you do now?

Fletch and Kendra dive right into this discussion, because it is very close to home. They had a similar situation with a child in their home, and on this episode of Homeschooling in Real Life, they discuss how they navigated their relationship with that child and how God taught them all a meaningful life lesson in the process.



Give a listen and let us know what works well as you budget for your homeschool year.

:58 – Introduction
11:47 – Part One – Our story
27:15 – Part Two – Discussion

Show Notes

HomeschoolingIRL Coffee Tumblers – From HIRLer Cyndi Newman












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Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order.

Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace and for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades of Homeschooling In Real Life.

Be Thankful

What are you most thankful forIt is that time of year when everywhere you turn you see holiday decorations. Some make me shudder and others well—let’s just say a decorating course or two would be beneficial to those people.  I love to  decorate my home with silk flowers in the theme of “fall” since I live in southwest Florida where the weather still inches up to the 80s and if I could, I would spend time at the beach daily.

Since we can’t enjoy fall weather or the leaves changing, I decorate with as much color as I can and enjoy this beautiful warm weather and my flower arrangements, I’m preparing another blog about those! You didn’t know I had a flare of artsy, did you? As a result I have a feeling of thankfulness and cheer, so it was not surprising to me that I recently received a prayer journal that was along that theme. I wasn’t surprised because that is how the Lord works in my life.

Several years ago, when I was feeling very stressed, a lady sent me her draft of a document that was entitled, “I Surrender.” She wanted me to publish her book. Instead I ended up helping her to self-publish. However, in the midst of this project it hit me; the Lord was asking me to surrender! Surrender everything to Him.

So here I am wondering how to instill joyfulness and thankfulness in my children, at this time of the year and what comes across my desk? Or more accurately, what come to me via email in a PDF format? Yes, another book, this time geared for families and especially children!

Thank you, Lord!

I’ve noticed that some homeschool moms find it incredibly easy to fashion a book from something they’ve been teaching to their children, or something that is on their hearts, and some frankly, are pretty bad! So I’m always hesitant when someone sends me a book to review…especially when I know them. This young mother (who happens to be the very talented lady who created this website) sent a draft of a prayer journal. I love prayer journals, so I’m admitting it would have to be pretty bad for me not to like it, but what I really loved was the theme of this journal: Be Thankful.

Be Thankful… doesn’t that make you smile? Kids in the Word

The journal is for any time of the year (ooohh, I like that!) and it can be pulled out when you are at a low point and need a jolt to remind you to seek God and find those places that are hidden from Him or ones you need to surrender. The journal ever so gently walks you through the process, but the  keyword here is gently. The author, Amanda Pelser, does not hit you over the head with the idea of thankfulness or how you must do this or that. She guides you and encourages you to listen to that still voice and search your heart.

We often teach our children that faith must be acted upon. In my own home I have the freedom to pray and share the Good News with my children. It is such a blessing, but today was one of those opportunities to put faith into action and we stood with our  brothers and sisters in Christ for the 40 Days for Life March in our town. My children are thankful that I chose life and we discuss the importance of praying for others who are in dire circumstances. In fact, my children held signs that said “A baby changes everything”  Isn’t that true!

When we came home I was able to emphasize being thankful with the many printables for the children in this journal. In fact, the Scripture we used for copywork was Psalm 86:12:

“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.”

If I had little ones, which I don’t, I could easily substitute this for a handwriting lesson. What better way to practice handwriting then with Scripture verses on being joyful and thankful? Don’t take my word for it – head over to Kids in The Word and check out Amanda’s site. She has an amazing sale going on but even at full price it is a bargain! You will truly be thankful when you see all you receive in this eBook.

What ways will you teach your children to be thankful? I’m open to any ideas or suggestions you may have for me!