Mama J on November 2nd, 2011

Most of my blogs this season have been quite cheery. It didn’t seem fair to myself or to you to continue in this vein without expressing at least a little sadness as well.  Overall, our stepfamily has come a long way. To be honest, I only use the “step” words in this blog or other […]

Continue reading about The Grey Side

Mama J on September 28th, 2011

Last Saturday our oldest daughter, my stepdaughter, was the first of our kids to get married! Click here to read part 1 of my post. I promised more details about the ways the wedding ceremony balanced honor and acceptance. First of all, Brianna’s aunt (who is Brianna’s mom’s sister and was her best friend) attended […]

Continue reading about Wedding Ceremony Balances Honor and Acceptance, part 2

Mama J on May 19th, 2011

Last week I made a case about how I think face time with my kids trumps Facebook. Recently, we’d had the pleasure of having each of my older kids (my stepchildren) move back in with us, one at a time. Last week I told the story of my stepdaughter, her fiancé, and their dogs squeezing […]

Continue reading about The Blessings of Face Time, Part 2

Mama J on May 11th, 2011

I’m here to validate an understatement: for real relationships, face time trumps Facebook. Our stepfamily had a lot of face time in 2010. Each of my adult stepkids (then 23 and 22) stayed with us during the year, living in our basement one right after the other. Instead of just marking “Like” on a Facebook […]

Continue reading about The Blessings of Face Time, Part 1

Mama J on June 17th, 2009

The days are long But the time is short.             — Unknown Although you wouldn’t know it from my picture, summer officially starts in four days (and maybe my picture will change at exactly the same time!). A few of you may be committed to year-round school with two-week breaks every quarter, but most of […]

Continue reading about Hit the Decks; It’s Summer!

Mama J on February 18th, 2009

This is the third in a Wednesday post series about the role of the parent in stepfamilies.   Stepfamilies might feel more cohesive if the parent is able to: Be the central hub of the stepfamily. Be the main disciplinarian in the stepfamily. Be physically available (present). Be emotionally available (interested).  Today we’re looking at how […]

Continue reading about Role Blockers, Part Two

Mama J on October 8th, 2008

(And Then What Happened When I Was) In my very first post on this blog, I mentioned that I have a big, beating heart for kids.  Before I even had kids I signed up to be a mentor to ten-year-old girl who was classified by my mentoring organization as “at-risk.”  I never really found out […]

Continue reading about What Happened When I Wasn’t Trying to be Perfect

Mama J on September 18th, 2008

One of the many things I appreciate about my 8-year-old is that she is a good communicator.  Lately she’s been expressing to me that she just doesn’t understand the Bible.  She thinks this is part of the reason “church services are boring.” I spent a little bit of time stressing about how I don’t make […]

Continue reading about A Creative Way to Talk about the Bible

Mama J on September 10th, 2008

Your turn:  What topic areas or skills give you an anchor in your stepfamily?  Leave a comment at the end of this post. In the early years of developing a relationship with my stepdaughter Brittany, a youngster named Shayla played an important role.  Shayla was an intelligent, curious, and playful individual on my side of […]

Continue reading about Finding Common Ground

Mama J on September 8th, 2008

Dorothy said it best during her time travel from Oz:  “There’s no place like home.”  A recent vacation to New York City, where I grew up, was such a relaxing and rejuvenating experience that it sparked me to think about the significance of home.  Home may be where you actually grew up.  Or, it may […]

Continue reading about Going Home