Friday, October 31, 2008

Putting some things in perspective....

Christmas seems to cause even us "frugal" people to be challenged!
I saw this video over at Valley Girl. God has already been leading me to think of ways that we can reach out to others right now. Our culture has made Christmas in to one CRAZY time. All the frenzy, all the money, all the expectations don't bring real satisfaction. Only Jesus can fill up the need for unconditional love that we all have in our hearts. This Christmas I challenge you to reach beyond the normal frenzy and give in ways that can make a REAL difference for someone.

There are all kinds of wonderful Christian organizations that are working to spread the gospel as well as make practical life changes with people that desperately need our help. We enjoy participating in Samaritan's purse. Each of our 4 children fills a shoe box for another kid of their same age/gender. It helps our kiddos focus on making Christmas for a child that won't get a gift otherwise. Storing up Treasures in Heaven!

Choosing Simplicity in Christmas is possible. As Flylady says, give the gift of experiences, not more clutter. One way to understand how little Christmas gifts mean in the long run is to sit down as a family and ask your family to share some of their best memories from last Christmas........THEN ask everyone to tell you what they got (and from whom) last Christmas.... This is an eye opening experience. Somehow the gifts loose significance over time, but the relationships the experiences are not forgotten.

Check out the video...! It makes a great case for less!
Have you been feeling the pull to simplify Christmas? What has been on your heart?
For more frugal Friday entries visit Biblical womanhood.


And the winner is......

The winner of the November Simple Family Supper menu is: Every one that left a comment! Everyone left great reasons how Simple Family Supper could benefit them, how could I just pick one out of ten.. why not everyone? The comments say it all; these are the reasons I do this! Enjoy November's Simple Family Supper Menu plan! I pray that you experience less stress and more enjoyable moments around the table. (Saving money is also a bonus!)

Dawn and Amy, I need contact info to send you the pdf file! Please email me: Heather Corbin @ Simple Family Supper dot com (remove spaces)

Have a great day!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's that time of year!

Awana (local kid's Bible Club) has a "Fall Party" for the kids. The parents participate in "Trunk or Treat" and hand out candy to the kids from their trunks. I love it! It is a wonderful and safe alternative to the trick or treating.

This year I had a Pizza Delivery boy (Wes), a Pirate (Robyn), and 2 Soldiers (Ethan - left-, and Nate -right-).

They had a BLAST and came home with TONS of candy.... to be enjoyed over a long time!

*** Don't forget to sign up to win the November issue of Simple Family Supper: Drawing will be FRIDAY***


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Simple Family Supper GIVE AWAY...

Give Away Time!
The holiday season is QUICKLY approaching and that means everyone will be EXTRA busy! I am a firm believer in the Family Supper. I know that life is CRAZY and that it takes time to plan, shop and prepare supper.... I am a wife and mother of 4 children... I understand crazy!! I have created Simple Family Supper to help reduce stress in families, help you save money and make it easier for you to bring your family together for supper. I am going to give away a copy of the Simple Family Supper November menu plan. The menu plan is complete: menu, weekly shopping lists, all the EASY to prepare recipes and bonus desserts. All you have to do is visit and then come back here and leave a comment about how the Simple Family Supper menu plan could benefit your family. To be entered twice all you have to do is put a link on your blog telling others about this Simple Family Supper give away. Leave a comment letting me know you did this. I will be doing the drawing on FRIDAY (10-31-08).

Everyone can recieve a FREE one week money saving complete menu kit simply by signing up for the Simple Family Supper newsletter. (See the side bar)

To see more give away opportunities visit Money Saving Mom.


Something real....

Our nation is facing BIG challenges. I have posted about the urging I have felt to be more stocked up here at our home. Many people are facing job losses... I live in Indiana. Amy, from the Motherload, is also from Indiana. I was actually born in her neck of the woods. Amy is DOING something practical to help her fellow Hoosiers. I am supporting her efforts and I challenge you this holiday season (yes, it is here) to look for ways you can do something REAL to help a struggling family. There are so many ways we can do this... here are some of my ideas, please leave a comment with more. (Leanne, thank you for posting about what Amy is doing... I hope more and more spread the word)

  1. Support efforts, like Amy's
  2. Keep your eyes open for a family in your church or neighborhood that is struggling and do something practical to help out (drop them off some groceries or dinner, include their children in your Christmas gifts, buy them a gas card, etc)
  3. Participate in local "Christmas Give" opportunities
  4. Adopt a single mom and give her practical helps like fixing things around her house, having the kids over to give her a break, fixing her dinner, having them over for dinner
  5. Practice hospitality: Have others over to your home, build up friendships! Encouragement in the form of friendship goes a LONG way in helping people get through hard times.
  6. Send an anonymous note with a gift care to a family
  7. volunteer your time and talents to help others
  8. be creative!
In any challenging situation we can be used by God to bring GOOD! In stressful times we are more likely to seek after our one and only true provider, our Heavenly Father. As Christians we can embrace these days as a chance to reach out to others in the name of Jesus. We have the opportunity to bring others to Jesus! We are living in times of wonderful opportunity!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

November Menu is up and ready!

Can you believe that it is almost NOVEMBER?? It seems like summer vacation was just here. I know summer is officially over.... we have the wood stove fired up! It smells so good and feels so warm and comforting... I really do enjoy the wood heat so much more than central heat. (It helps me stay in shape, too!)

The November Simple Family Supper menu plan is up and ready. The menu is complete with a month plan, shopping lists, all the easy recipes, tips and bonus desserts. If you are a current subscriber simply login with your username and password. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time. With the holidays coming I know you could use some extra money and need EASY meals that are family friendly. I have included 2 bonus dessert recipes that would be great for Thanksgiving (although I am sure your family would love you for making them just for them)! They are both simple and sure to please... be prepared to be asked to make them again!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cute and easy!

To make a totally cute and EASY "pumpkin" shaped cake click here for instructions and even a video!
This is just way cute!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"What goes in must come out..."

"What goes in must come out..." as the old saying goes.... Sometimes it isn't pretty! If you have ever had the stomach flu you know exactly what I am talking about.... However, the same applies to all parts of our life: What we fill our hearts/minds with will come out in our life.

It is very true... the word of God says to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12). What we fill our minds with we think about. What we think about we will start to believe. What we believe fills our hearts and "out of the wellspring of the heart the mouth speaks". What we speak we put into action. What we put into action impacts all that are in our sphere of influence. Powerful. Inspiring.

Daily I need to renew my mind in God's word. Daily, moment by moment I need to CHOOSE my thoughts because they take me down a slippery slope.

The exciting thing is that our modern world does give me lots of opportunities to soak up God's word as I complete the necessary household tasks. Click here to listen to the "True Women of '08" conference now! Listen via your computer or download to your mp3 player. Fill your mind with GOD'S word.... Make a difference in your sphere of influence!


Monday, October 20, 2008

The blur of life....

I know I am not the only one whose life seems to woooosh by! The fast pace of our culture, the never ending to do list keeps us hopping! More Than Survival, Choosing Simplicity is my passion. Enjoying the simple moments of life without being distracted by the "next" thing. Savoring life as it unfolds rather than focusing on the completing the next thing on my list. It is HARD to live this way, it is EASY to get caught up in the wooosh! It takes SACRIFICE to choose simplicity, it takes GIVING up GOOD and WONDERFUL things to treasure the select few that are the BEST! I am always in the process of evaluation of our home and family... I am always in the process of evaluation of my attitude.

My attitude is a good clue if life is simple or complicated! When my patience level drops, when I am snapping at the kids, when I feel like time with my husband is a "scarifice" to geting other things done then I am WAY too far away from simplicity and have given ing to the whrill that life will automatically take me on! YUCK!

We have had a TON of stuff going on in our life the last couple of months and it has kept me HOPPING constantly... I am DONE! Last night my hubby shot his first deer of the season. It is bow season right now, his favorite time. He shot a large bodied 8 pointer!!! Yeah, lots of meat!! I was really excited for him, but you want to know the truth?? I was a little annoined that I had to give up my time (I had some pressing things that needed done) to help him bring the deer home, gut it, wash it and hang it (about an hour and a half). Rather than joyfully celebrate and thank God for the meat for our freezer, my flesh was reacting in selfishness!!!! This is NOT how I want to be!!! I have always enjoyed helping my husband with the deer (as gross as that might sound) and he has enjoyed my enthusiasm.... last night he didn't feel it and I know that had to hurt his feelings.

Choosing Simplicity! What do I need to give up to keep life simple???? This is again going to be my prayer focus. God wants me to be a blessing to my husband and children. God wants me to be full of smiles, not rants about what needs done!!! I've been way too much Martha and I need to be more Mary!!!

What about you? Do you face this challenge, too??


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

God made us to need friendships!

Warning: I am very passionate about the following topic! Modern life can be very lonely. It doesn't matter if you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom, full time "paycheck" mom or any combination of that. We live in a RUSHED, busy, fast paced world that squeezes out all of our time, resources and energy. It doesn't leave a lot left for friendships.

I am a people person and really enjoy being around others. I find conversation invigorating and inspiring. God has put in me a strong need for relationships. I HAVE to connect with others.

This week I have had the privilege of spending time with TWO different friends. I met for lunch on Monday with my friend, Jackie. Jackie and I have only been friends since spring. She is older than me, but it goes to show that when God is involved in your friendships age doesn't matter at all! I believe that God has bought us together for a reason... to encourage, inspire and push each other in our personal walks with our Heavenly Father.

Today my friend, Brook, came over for a nice visit. We try to get together every other week on Wednesday mornings. We have known each other for almost 9 years... she was pregnant with her first, she now holds her precious baby girl, number 5! She is such a blessing and encouragement to me. We are both mothers of many young ones and understand each other's challenges and stresses. She was also pregnant at the same time while I was expecting my last two babies. Pregnancy and babies created a bond between us. She is also married to a "Chris". I think that one reason Brook and I get along so well is because we are opposite in so many ways. We always joke that personality wise I am like her husband, Chris, and she is like my husband, Chris! Some of the best qualities of each of our spouses we find in our friendship! Opposites really do attract in friendships as well as in love.

Making time for friendship is important. Life is BUSY and CRAZY, but doing the IMPORTANT things first puts things in the right priority. I value the group of wonderful ladies I meet with for Bible study on Friday mornings more than I could ever express. They are not only wonderful friends, but the accountability to be in the Bible completing the study is just what I need.

I went through a very lonely time a few years ago... I finally felt the Lord tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to reach out to others and BE a FRIEND! God's principle of sewing and reaping is true in every aspect of our lives. As I put enegy and effort into being a friend and reaching out to others God has blessed me with friendship in return. Friendship is a lot like gardening..... I think that I will make that another post! LOL!!

I encourage you, reach out to women around you. Become a friend to someone. They don't have to be just like you, the same age, or have the same lifestyle or hobbies. Some of my good friends live the town life, others live out in the country. I have friends from many different churches, but we all love Jesus. We all have a need for relationship, we all have the need to be valued. Modern life can be lonely.... we can go days without real conversation. Give someone a call, write a note or invite someone over! Lunch dates, play dates, Bible studies and phone conversations are all possible if we just put out the effort. My best friend, my sister Melissa, lives 50 miles south and is a full time "paycheck" mom. Between distance and time factors we don't see each other as much as we would like, but we make it a point to talk on the phone and email on a regular basis. Do what works.... be a friend and enjoy friendship!

Ok... off my soap box!!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Faith and wisdom, not fear.....

As I previously posted about, watching the news these days is a sure fire way to get stressed out! The things going on in the world today can be quite unsettling. We all have a CHOICE: Live in FEAR or live in FAITH. I am CHOOSING to have 100% faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! He has NEVER let me down and He will always be true to His promises. I can count on HIM! This world does not meet my needs, JESUS does!

One way that Jesus meets my needs is by instructing us to have wisdom. Read these verses from Proverbs:

Pro 6:1

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,

if you have struck hands in pledge for another,

Pro 6:2

if you have been trapped by what you said,

ensnared by the words of your mouth,

Pro 6:3

then do this, my son, to free yourself,

since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands:

Go and humble yourself;

press your plea with your neighbor!

Pro 6:4

Allow no sleep to your eyes,

no slumber to your eyelids.

Pro 6:5

Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,

like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Pro 6:6

Go to the ant, you sluggard;

consider its ways and be wise!

Pro 6:7

It has no commander,

no overseer or ruler,

Pro 6:8

yet it stores its provisions in summer

and gathers its food at harvest.

Pro 6:9

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?

When will you get up from your sleep?

Pro 6:10

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest—

Pro 6:11

and poverty will come on you like a bandit

and scarcity like an armed man.[fn1]

God wants us to GET OUT OF DEBT!!! (see Dave Ramsey for sound advice) He also wants us be like the ant.... diligent to do our part to prepare for the "winter". We have been working on becoming DEBT FREE for the last 3 years... we are almost there! Praise the Lord! We have also been working on "storing up for the winter". We now have 3 pigs in the freezer and hopefully a deer or two, soon. We have a flock of chickens and the set up to raise rabbits if we would need to. I have done some canning this summer and have been working on stocking up our pantry. This is NOT living in fear! This is following God's word.
Proverbs 10:3-5
Pro 10:3

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry

but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Pro 10:4

Lazy hands make a man poor,

but diligent hands bring wealth.

Pro 10:5

He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son,

but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

God has laid out instructions in HIS word! I want you to understand that by storing up for "winter" I am not putting faith in myself, but rather in God giving us wisdom. Ultimately HE is our source for ALL! I have faith that HE will meet EVERY need we have along the way, He has faithfully done this for us in the past. I could tell you so many stories about HIS provision to us during our marriage! God is FAITHFUL!

So, I have been asked: "What are you storing up? Could you give us a list?"

We have obviously been stocking up our freezer. We have also been stocking up our pantry with foods that are non-perishable and that can be cooked/eaten in various ways. We heat our home with wood so I could cook on the wood stove (in the winter) or on a camp fire (in warm weather).
Here is a list of some of the things in my pantry that would keep us fed if I couldn't go to the store for many weeks: (note: I froze all the non canned products for a week in our deep freeze. This will kill most of the eggs that could cause products to become buggy over time. I will also be using out of this store on a normal basis, just replacing it as we go. Between the freezing and the using/re-stocking, we shouldn't have a problem with buggy food.)
  • dried and canned beans
  • lentils
  • rice
  • pasta
  • canned meat (also frozen meat)
  • canned veggies
  • canned fruit (both home canned and store bought)
  • flour
  • sugar
  • yeast
  • spices/seasonings
  • potatoes (instant and fresh)
  • soups
  • canned tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • diced tomatoes
  • popcorn
  • corn meal
  • cake mixes
  • cereal
  • oatmeal
  • coffee
  • tea
  • drink mixes
  • peanut butter
  • home made jams
  • all purpose baking mix
  • powdered milk (both regular and soy)
  • water

With these things I could make SOUPS and STEWS of all kinds. I could bake bread, biscuits, tortillas, pancakes and muffins.

We have also stocked up on some non food items:
  • Toilet paper
  • soap (dish soap, bath soap, shampoo)
  • Ingredients to make home made laundry soap
  • over the counter medications (none of us are on prescription ones)
  • personal hygiene products (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc CVS deals)
  • cleaning products
  • first aid supplies
This is where we are right now. We have some more to go: fill our grill propane tanks, get a hand water pump for our well, generator, flashlights and batteries, lamp oil, chicken feed, cat food, dog food and garden seeds. I would also like to have a plan for doing laundry if we were to ever have to live without electric, but this is not at the top of the list right now. I REALLY hope we don't have to live without electricity... I have three freezers full of meat!

I am NOT focusing on disaster or dwelling on the "what if" possibilities, I am simply being like the ant and storing up for "winter". I don't have any idea what "winter" might be like or when it might come, however, I have been commanded to prepare for it. That is all I can do and I will REST in GOD'S peace! He will be with us and He will ALWAYS meet our NEEDS (note, I did not say wants).

I am not writing this post to condemn, but to encourage you to seek God about what you should do to prepare for "winter". Trust God, have faith in HIM, obey His word!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good bye, Frank!

Frank, our feather-footed rooster, is no where to be found. He has been missing for FIVE days. His mate (how they understood that they were a matching pair is amazing when he had 25 hens to pick from) is still here. Frank rarely left her side... he would even often stay inside while she laid her egg. They were such a cute pair to watch and I was looking forward to hatching out some of their eggs next spring.....
We are believing that Frank died a hero's death. We have lost a total of 15 chickens to the coyotes this last month (I now finally have them all safe and sound locked up in their pen.) I believe that Frank did his best to protect his beloved, and she did get away. Good bye, Frank! You are missed! (We are also missing the other 14.... definitely missing the eggs..... I won't be letting them out of their pen any time soon.)


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Enjoying a BEAUTIFUL day!

Today is BEAUTIFUL, with a sunny high of 80 degrees! Not bad at all for October 11th! I get a few more days of WARM weather before the highs sink to the 60's. My hubby had to work all day so the kids and I took advantage of this wonderful weather by going to some end of the season yard sales. My hubby jokes that I am addicted to them, but thanks me for all the savings I search out for our family. Stretching our income to pay off debt and stay a one income family is important. I found some fun and useful finds. The kids came home with another bag of books. We read some right away at nap time. I found some new curtains for the living room, for the mud room and some to put on a tension rod on the lower half of the entertainment center. I got ALL of those curtains for 50 CENTS!!! YEAH!

Have you landed any good end of the season scores at yard sales lately?? I hope so!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Want to save some $$$$??
I have created a BONUS FREE money saving week menu that I want to give to you! When you sign up for the Simple Family Supper newsletter you will have INSTANT access to the family friendly, budget friendly menu. I am very excited about this menu. All the recipes are family favorites and I know from experience that they are all budget savvy!
Sign up today: you will find the sign up in the side bar.

Thank You!


Apron Pattern???

I have this thing for aprons....
I have made a few, bought a few.
I would really like to have one like the one in this picture and would like to sew some other vintage style aprons...
Anyone have any suggestions for EASY patterns. I am a "newbie" at this sewing thing... learning more and more, but still LEARNING.
Anyone else love aprons?? You should see my boys wearing my aprons as we cook. I think for Christmas I am going to make some "boyish" ones for them.
Suggestions welcome! (notice in this picture that she is holding a store bought pie! LOL!)


Monday, October 6, 2008

This and That.....

Fall is here! I am trying REALLY HARD to be excited about that! In all things, REJOICE! The farmers are out in droves harvesting fields. Today they are tackling the fields just south of our property. CORN, corn, corn, corn as far as the eye can see.... soon we will be able to see across the great expanse of fields till they meet up with the sky... it makes me realize just how small I am and how BIG our God is.

Today we took in our final two pigs for butchering. It is kind of lonely out in the barn now... just the 7 cats, 15 chickens and 1 dog.... But oh, how good all that pork will taste as the snow flies!!! Next spring we will start again with two new baby pigs..... We named our roosters this weekend.... Frank and Leroy. I will post pictures of our handsome guys, soon. They do a good job of keeping the ladies "happy" if ya know what I mean.... living on the farm is such a natural way for children to learn all sorts of things! I am happy about that... God created things that way... he designed all that "natural nature"!

God is such a big God... He is in control, I have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! For EVERYTHING! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise the Lord!

I was thinking over the weekend about how being a Christian compares to other aspects of our life... As a Christian our faith and relationship with Jesus is supposed to impact everything. Do you remember when you were first saved and how HUNGRY you were for God?? You wanted to know everything, devoured the word and clung to every message at church. Then somehow, we start fading away from that hunger and the world creeps back in. I'm not necessarily talking about bad stuff, just stuff. LIFE. My friends, Valley Girl and Leanne , are being convicted of similar things... I believe that God is trying to get our attention.

Being busy, being busy, being busy and we spend less and less time with God..... We start filling up our time with other things... not doing the most important FIRST! Have I read the word today? Have I prayed today? Have I done Keys for Kids with my children??? Yet, am I on the computer? Yet, have I talked on the phone? Yet, have I watched TV? Yet, have I gone to work, fed the animals, helped my husband, washed the dishes, etc... I think you totally understand how one thing leads to another and suddenly it is the end of the day and where did all my time go and did I ever spend time with our God of the universe???

I know that I have posted two other you tube videos this past week, but MUSIC speaks to my heart. I listen to K-Love all the time. Right now "One Life to Love" by 33 miles is really speaking to my heart. God seems to put songs into my life with messages that I need to learn! Enjoy the music and let God speak into your life! Pray for me, and I will pray for you that God will help us make the right priorities in our lives and homes. One Chance, that's all I get!!!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Celebrating Birthdays!!!!

Happy Birthday to my youngest, Nate!
He turned FOUR on Friday, October 3rd.
Here he is on the day he was born.... it was my fastest birth and BIGGEST baby of all four. He was such an easy baby! BLESSED!
Happy Birthday also goes to Nate's GREAT-GRANDPA HAAN.... his birthday buddy! Of all the children (6) grandchildren (??? lots) and great grands (?? TONS) Nate is the only one that finally landed on his birthday! I really NEED to get a picture of the two of them together.

Happy Birthday also goes out to my mother in law, Mary Lou. She will celebrate her birthday this coming Tuesday. I had been hoping to wait out to have Nate on HER birthday, not realizeing that Grandpa Haan's was the same week. Mary Lou was VERY excited to have a grandson born on her father's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! (Here she is holding newly born, Nate.)

Here is Nate from this summer!
He is a TON of fun!!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

In God we still trust.....

IN God I trust! As I shared before, keeping our eyes on Jesus is the ONLY way to stay in peace and joy in these challenging times. God is FAITHFUL!
My friend, Brianna, emailed this to me. I looked it up on You Tube and found this to share!
Enjoy! (Yes, I am a country music fan. I grew up sharing country music with my Grandfather as I helped him milk the cows. I particularly like older country music. One of my long lost dreams of childhood was to write country and christian songs.... Up until I had kids I filled my journals with all kinds of things that could be songs....hmmm)


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tired of the mommy wars??? I found this on my friend, Cara's, blog and LOVE it! Please take the time to watch this short clip.... very funny way to embrace the many differences we have! I am a stay at home, work at home mom. However, my very best friend (my sister), is a full time work out side the home, mom. We are different, but we share a common bond: motherhood! I am very protective of my sister and get very frustrated with the mommy wars because it pits mommies like me against mommies like her. My sister and I are both great moms (if I do say so myself) and there is no "right" mom! Check this clip out and laugh with me.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What is your mothering style??

Hmm... what kind of mother am I.... DON'T ask my kids... they will tell you about all the dirty dishes in my sink! (The ones I should have been washing rather than being on the computer!)

I took a motherhood personality quiz . It was very interesting. You can take the quiz, here:

Below you can see my results..... VERY, VERY, VERY accurate!!!! I enjoy taking personality tests. Back in college (when I was trying to figure out "what I want to be when I grow up") I took a wonderful class to help me learn about myself and my strengths and weaknesses. We took SEVERAL tests, and they really did a great job of helping me pinpoint my personality. This one is equally accurate!

Have fun with the quiz... Let me know what kind of mom you are!

Results of my test:

Your type is: entj —The “Executive” Mother

“My mind is always going. How can I fine-tune the system to everyone’s advantage?”

  • Competent and confident in a management role, the ENTJ mother organizes the needs and schedules of family members into a workable family system. Within the system, she provides her children with care-taking, direction, and limits, but she also gives them space to develop their own self-sufficiency and judgment.
  • Analytical and adept at problem-solving, the ENTJ mother listens to her children’s concerns empathetically and then strategizes with them how to improve the situation—either by intervening on their behalf or backing off to let them solve problems on their own. She particularly enjoys watching them take responsibility and accomplish something they find important on their own.
  • Intense and insightful, the ENTJ mother is cued in to her children’s intellectual and emotional development. She uses her quickness and communication skills to talk things through and help her children connect with people and better understand life.