Mothers of Boys…

Let me introduce you to an amazing blog and website. It’s called the MOB Society (MOB stands for Mothers of Boys). They have incredible resources especially designed for these moms to pray, share, and encourage one another as they raise the next generation of men to know and love the LORD.

The special challenges that boys (of all ages) can present are discussed with honesty, wisdom, and humor.

This summer they have graciously invited me to walk these moms through the steps that will help them address the topic of sex, and to shape their child’s sexual character.

The first installment for the conversation with Heather MacFadyen (mother of FOUR boys, new friend, and wonderful blogger) will be tomorrow, June 6. If you are a mother of boys, or know someone who is, or are simply interested in a review of these simple steps…please visit their website tomorrow by clicking on this link http://themobsociety.com/
And please check out Heather’s Blog, God Centered Mom…http://godcenteredmom.com/

Now that I’m thinking of boys…Here are my personal favorites!! Husband, Son, and the two wonderful young men who married our girls!

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Aren’t they cute?

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Like my facelift?

Oh not me, silly….my website! You’ll have to check out http://www.maryflo.org and take a look around. My “web-lift” was performed by Michelle Covington, and I’m so grateful for her creative work to make it look years younger. It takes a skilled surgeon to understand the back side of web pages. You’re invited to visit as often as you like…and invite your friends!

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KIA Superbowl Ad

I’m generally a pretty enthusiastic football fan, although this year I wasn’t so much into the game (no interest in either team) as I was into the commercials. I loved the Best Buy commercial with Amy Poehler asking the Best Buy employee all of those questions…those are MY questions. Especially, “WHERE IS THE CLOUD?” I actually do wonder about that.

But the KIA commercial REALLY caught my interest. Here is a family in a car and the son asks, “Dad, where do babies come from?”…well instead of me explaining the whole commercial, I’ll let you watch it for yourself. Just click on this, and then we’ll discuss

Three things occurred to me…
1. The silly (but imaginative) lie.
2. The fact that the boy had already been told some information by his friend Jake.
3. Parents who were far more uncomfortable than their son….so much so that they prefered to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” to visiting with him.

I would call this the perfect example of why I have a job.

Coaching parents on this subject, so that
1. The truth and your values are easier to tell, and you don’t have to lie.
2. You can talk to your child before Jake does. (who knows what Jake may have said)
3. Best of all…. you can have a REAL conversation with your child instead of having the tune to “The Wheels on the Bus” in your head for days.

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Catching Up 2.0

Now that I’ve introduced you to my grandbabies, I feel just slightly compelled to bring you totally up-to-date. So here is a quick snap shot of life with the Ridley Family since November…
Ridley’s second Birthday!

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She wanted a birthday cake that looked just like Curious George’s cake…so Flo Flo tried her best…

Ridley's birthday cake

Grace Patten Hooper was baptised the next day, and what a blessing for our family!!!

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A few weeks later, we were all in Dallas for Thanksgiving…

Loved taking some walks

on a walk

Ridley liked licking the spoon…

licking the spoon

and Grace and Hannah had some fun cousin time!

Grace & Hannah

We also loved bringing all the girls to Southwest Airlines.

Flo Flo and Pops with girls at SWA

Hannah JUST turned 5 months last week…

Hannah at 5 months

And she is coming to Dallas tomorrow for a visit.

We are having so much fun!!! Even our crib friends are excited!

crib friends

Thank you for letting me share the joy of these past few months with you.

As our family grows and changes, God brings new blessings…and right now our cup is overflowing. It gives me a new appreciation for young moms and dads and the joys and challenges that you face. May God bless you and your precious ones.

 

 

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Let’s Catch Up!

Happy New Year, and welcome to my New Year’s Resolution…to blog more often. You’ll have to hold me accountable to blog at least once a month. I fell off the blogging cliff last year, and I’m trying to climb back up.

My excuse for not writing is a bundle of blessings named Jill Ridley Hooper, Grace Patten Hooper, and Hannah Florence Hudson. These grand-daughter-sweetie-pies have captured my heart and my time and I’m so grateful!

So let me give you the run down of 2012 with the Ridley family.

We’ll start with May 1, 2012….Grace Patten Hooper is born in Greenville, S.C. Second daughter of our first daughter, Meg and her husband, Travis. Notice Ridley’s eyes…not too sure about this!

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The above picture doesn’t do Grace justice does it? Let me try again:

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Big sister still checking her out…so sweet!

The whole family was there to welcome Grace!

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Now we  move to June.

An amazing trip of a lifetime to Israel with Dave and Davis.

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We  went with  a group from our church, with our pastor, Pete Deison, as our leader, and it was such a blessing! To be in Jerusalem and on the sea of Galilee, and the Mount of Olives…just  life changing!

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Davis and I waded into the Sea of Galilee near the spot where Peter jumped in to meet the Lord for breakfast.

Mid summer was busy getting ready to publish my new book. Ann Higginbottom helped me every step along the way…including finding our artists to illustrate it…her darling nieces and nephews and their friends! This isn’t a new grand child…but almost! Here she is: God’s Very Good Design

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This newest book takes the same steps that I encourage parents to take in Simple Truths, and it gives them the scriptures to support those steps. It’s a book for parent’s of young children, and I’m very excited about it! In Dallas? You can buy it at Logos bookstore, at the bookstore at Park Cities Presbyterian, and at St. Michael’s Women’s Exchange…or on line a http://www.maryflo.org

That brings us to the end of July….and Davis moved back to Dallas from North Carolina, and started working for Chick Fil A. So grateful to have one of our kiddos living in Dallas!!! Stop by the Hillcrest Store and look for the cute guy who is one of the managers!!

Davis at CFA

August 24, 2013…what an exciting day! We got the call from Ryan about midnight, grabbed our bags, and  caught a plane to Charlotte. As soon as we landed, we got this text:

Text from Ryan

I still get goose bumps reading this!! And when we arrived…there they were!

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We entered into the soft light of the delivery room…and we rejoiced!

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OH…I forgot to tell you, my grandmother name is Flo Flo, and Dave is Pops! So Flo Flo and Pops are popping with Joy! Three grandchildren..and all beautiful Carolina girls.

The fall months are a bit of a blur, with trips back and forth to the Carolinas. But two wonderful technologies keep out-of-town grandparents in the loop…Instagram and Face Time! Such fun, and so grateful that the girls keep me up to date.

I really shouldn’t over-do my first blog after such a long absence…so I’ll save the rest of our catch up time for tomorrow. I’m sure you’re exctied to see the rest of the family pictures (hmmmm)…but I’ll leave you with a happy family pic at Grace’s baptism in November. It was suppose to be my Christmas card, but they are still on my desk, so I’m going to call them Valentines!

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Pre-Holiday ideas

This morning I would like to welcome Michelle Covington to be my first guest blogger! She has some terrific ideas that I want her to share with you as you think about preparing your family for the holidays. It may seem a bit early…but it is coming soon, and I think your family will benefit from them!! Welcome, Michelle!!

 

 

 

That Fall Frame of Mind

Written by guest blogger Michelle Covington

 

It’s that time of year. The kids are in school, the weather is getting cooler, and if you’re somewhere other than Texas, the leaves are probably changing color. For most of us, the months of October through January pass by in a blur of constant activity. We have so much to do and prepare for with the increase of school activities and slew of holiday preparations on top of already busy schedules.

 

Christmas, that blessed and stressed season, is already creeping up on us. Walmart’s holiday section has made sure we’ve been aware of it for at least the past month. So, how do you plan to avoid stress during this fall season?

 

Not sure? Here are a few tips:

1)      Purchase Christmas presents early and online. This will take enormous stress off of the season and prevent those frantic last minute gift-scapades. Simple Truths materials happen to make GREAT Christmas presents for parents of young kids. Now, buy 10 or more Simple Truths discussion guides for $10.99 each, or 5 or more Simple Truths complete packages for $49.99 each.

2)      Let the kids help with those fall and Christmas decorations. Who doesn’t love a hand-print turkey mural or a popcorn garland? Plus, it will keep them busy and give them a sense of pride and inclusion in the season. You may even find some teachable moments.

3)      Take occasional self-assessment breaks. No matter how many things you have to do, take a moment for yourself, drink a pumpkin spice latte and make sure you’re not over-stressing.

4)      Exercise. It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise is a great stress-reliever. It’s also the first thing we tend to scrap when we get busy, but you’ll be much happier and healthier taking as little as 10 to 15 minutes to get those endorphins pumping.

5)      Don’t be afraid to delegate. No matter how much you may want to do everything yourself, handing over the reins on certain things can be a mental-health necessity. No one expects you to be superwoman and most of the time friends and family are more than happy to help out.

6)      Prioritize. Focus on what is important. When you find yourself getting too busy, take a minute to decide if it’s really necessary to hand-stitch Christmas outfits for your children. Chances are, there’s something on your to do list that can wait until later, or be scrapped altogether.

7)      Don’t be a perfectionist. This can be a tough one for some of us. But remember, enjoying your friends and family during this time is much more important than having every piece of tinsel perfectly placed. People will appreciate the quality time you spend with them much more than they will appreciate your immaculate, perfectly decorated house. Remember, it’s not a contest.

8)      Keep gifts for your kids simple. Think about what you gave your kids for Christmas last year. Can you remember what all of those gifts were? Can they remember? Do they still use them? Consider only giving your child one gift from each person in the family or selecting a theme such as 4 gifts – something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.

9)      Know when to say no. Don’t feel like you have to attend every event, party, and activity you and your kids are invited to. Everyone understands that the holidays are busy, and the most important thing is enjoying your time with family and friends. Frantically running from one thing to the next can interfere with your enjoyment factor.

10)   Plan ahead. Lots of stress can be avoided by planning out a holiday schedule. Designate gift shopping days, decorating days, baking days… If something is important, put it on the schedule. If it’s not important enough to schedule in advance, it’s probably not important enough to worry about.

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Looking backwards, forwards

This has been a very special year for many reasons. (Like school children, my working year is counted from September to May) I’m so grateful to all of the groups that invited me to speak in…Houston, Charlotte NC, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, and Augusta GA. Each stop brought special friends and memories. Hard to believe, but 37 times this year it was my privilege to present a message to parents, and each time it was a blessing to me!

A very special thank you to Just Say YES who does an amazing job of booking, shipping, and supporting in every way! A big shout out to  LINDA ROSSI !! She has been my right arm for several years, and I can never thank her enough. If you have ever had the joy of working with her, you know what I’m taking about.

An exciting new addition this year, thanks to the Council for Life and Sue Bailey was Breaking The Cycle. A redesign of my message for teen moms who want to raise their children with a different image of sex than what they grew up with. I’m so grateful to Brenda Teele who partners with me in this effort.

Looking ahead,  there are two opportunities this summer that I’m particularly excited about.  Focus on the Family has invited me for an interview on their radio program and the taping will be at the end of June. I will keep you posted about when it will be broadcast. And in August, I’ll be speaking at the MOPS International Convention. These milestones would not have happened without the prayer and support of many friends, and I know that! What a journey this has been.

And one more piece of BIG NEWS…my new book is coming out this summer!! I want to save an entire blog post for that…so stay tuned!

Looking back over this year, I am grateful and astounded by the opportunities that God has granted me to share with parents and make new friends…and looking ahead I am blown away, with breathless thanks for what He is bringing!!

Thank you for your part!

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