Moms In Touch

{Photo 257/365}  This morning I attended my first Moms In Touch group at the school my little nuggets attend. Why? Because my son asked me, “Mom, will you pray for me?” I said YES! What a blessing it was to be surrounded this morning with other moms who are passionate about praying Truth into their children’s lives! I’m looking forward to seeing what God is up to as we seek Him first!! =)

Lemonade Stand

{Photo 227/365} Today we were driving down the road and we saw these two little girls at the corner of a busy intersection selling lemonade and cookies.  We stopped.  I’m glad we did.  I gave the boys a few dollars — they chatted with the girls while they ate and drank, asking a whole bunch of questions, like how many people have stopped?  how much money did you make?  It’s the little things that we take time to do that brighten the days of others.  The boys were excited to support their “little business” and the girls were thrilled to have customers.  I love to help and encourage others.  So sweet.  ”Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.” – William James

Football Camp

{Photo 209/365}  He took this week so seriously, football camp.  Training for the upcoming season of tackle football is super exciting.  It was hot.  It was humid.  It was sweaty, sweaty, sweaty.  It was fun — he had a blast.  Zach and I went today and watched his team scrimmage the other teams, I can tell he learned a lot, fundamentals of the game, which is so crucial.  Life is about learning and growing.  It’s about commitment and desire.  This little guy toughed it out, had such a positive attitude all week, and now he’s anxious to start the season.  I love being a mom and watching these little nuggets develop. grow. become.  God is doing great things in their hearts, I can see it.  special.


What we see

{Photo 146/365}  We went for a walk tonight, just the two of us.  He wanted to talk about the Army and the NHL; the two things He’s considering when he turns 18.  He’s so interested in knowing what he will be when he grows up, the options are limitless which can be overwhelming.  I encouraged Him to seek God’s plan for His life because His plan is the perfect plan and His plans for us are for good.  I shared with him my story so he could understand the difference between living in our own will vs. living God’s will.  I think he got it.  It was a beautiful evening to walk through the neighborhood – here’s what we saw, two families of geese swimming in the pond.  what we see.

Don’t Compare

{Photo 116/365}  Last night I went to my small group.  I love meeting with these women each week.  There is so much wisdom, encouragement, truth, and understanding shared.  Each time I leave, my cup is filled.  The group is very structured, based on the 12-steps.  One of the first things we review, before we dig into a step, is this little sheet of 14 “Just For Today” statements – the last thing we read is Don’t Compare.  We need this reminder frequently, don’t compare.  We are all on our own unique life journey – we all have our own special gifts – God has a plan for each of us individually – we must not compare our lives with others.  It’s a false measuring stick that can leave us discouraged and discontent.  grateful.

Do You Believe in Santa?

Monday night, my family set out to see Santa. I piled Owen and Gracie into our car, and met my husband at the local mall around 5 PM.

I should first tell you about the ride to the mall. My 6 year old, Owen, began to ask questions. “Is Santa real?” Apparently Anna, also a first grader, has told all her friends at school that Santa isn’t real. (Thanks Anna.) Owen then said: there is no such thing as reindeer that can fly, and how could there possibly be a santa at every mall? I could just see his little mind going. He then asked a very sweet question- “Do I have to believe in santa?” Not really knowing how to answer, I threw it back at him and said, “Why do you say that?” He answered, “I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” He then concluded all on his own, that the santa we were going to see was probably a santa helper who communicates back to the real santa everyone’s wish lists. Gracie just sat and listened to this conversation, not really phased by any of it.

When we got to the mall, much to our surprise, there was a very short line! We live in MN, so once inside, my kids threw off their coats and I found myself quickly holding 3 down coats, a purse and camera bag. A mom thing I guess- we can double as a coat tree. As we got closer, we noticed that Santa wasn’t perched in his chair… Yup. He was having dinner. “Be back at 6:00” sign sat on his chair, instead of his friendly face. Some quick decision making, and we decided to wait it out. The “Be back at 6:00” turned into “Be back at 6:20” – I guess he was having dessert. Doug met us in line, and helped out with the coats and helped keep an eye on the kids as they ran in circles.

About half way through the waiting, Gracie began to start whining. I can’t blame her, waiting in line for over an hour is a lot to expect of a 4 year old, even if it is to see Santa. She was begging me to hold her, and when she put her face next to mine, much to my surprise, her face was burning up. Another mom talent- knowing your child has a fever without the use of a thermometer. “My throat hurts, my tummy hurts, my head hurts…” Seriously? Just like that, she started to fade, and fade quickly. We couldn’t exactly leave at that point. Owen was waiting anxiously, and a bit more patiently than the rest of us. I think he wanted to answer some of his “Is Santa real?” questions. We also saw the long line that had formed behind us, and we suddenly felt a greater sense of urgency for Santa to down his dessert and get on with the show. We had visions of Gracie tossing her cookies all over Santa and the line of parents and children behind us raging at the mishap.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen. We made it through the remainder of our wait, and both Owen and Gracie were able to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. We made sure Gracie didn’t get too close (she didn’t actually sit on his lap), and we paid our $17 for 2 hokey pictures to capture the moment. After all, it was the real Santa at the Burnsville mall on Monday night!

Yet another Mickschl memory. I sometimes wonder, does every family have these moments? I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Wishing you and yours a very fun, unexpected, joy-filled Christmas.

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It Takes A Village

imagesI am a pediatric nurse who specializes in evaluating and treating children who have been suspected of being physically or sexually abused. I’ve been a nurse for the last 16 years, and at my current job for just under 11. Some say to me ‘working with abused children must be so hard’. Yes, I suppose it is, but I also have to admit that I’ve learned to keep a safe distance to be able to go home and sleep at night. When I say distance, I mean my heart.
This time of year, I feel more disturbed than I usually do. Disturbed at the hurt placed upon our most vulnerable children. Hurt from a slap, hit, shake, kick, slam. Hurt from being touched sexually. Hurt from being stuck in the middle of 2 grown ups (their parents) who should know better. Hurt from a parent who doesn’t believe their child. Hurt from insufficient housing, or no housing. Hurt from lack of education. Hurt from an angry parent. Hurt from dishonesty. Hurt from hunger. Hurt from disease. Hurt from an unwanted pregnancy. An unwanted child.
I think I feel sad at this time of year the most, simply because I, by contrast, am surrounded by joy. Quite honestly, I feel like many of these children don’t stand a chance. Why? Because of their environment. Because of those who were given the privilege of being their parent. Because of their failures. It is a cycle. A tough one to break too. How do you expect a child raised in an unhealthy environment to be any different than all they’ve known?
It is easy to get into the ‘whoa is me’ mode. Or the, ‘nothing will make a difference’ mode. What I have chosen to do- or the approach I have chosen to take- is to do what I can. When I have a chance to interact with families, I try and be a positive influence. When I have an appointment with a child who is living in less than ideal circumstances, I try and provide as much love and encouragement as possible, knowing that the hug I give them may be the only hug they’ve had in awhile. I choose to pray for them silently. This, however is my job. This, is what I am paid to do. This, is how I help my family pay my bills.
I was thinking about what the average person can do to help children in our community. What I can do, when I’m not at work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with abused children. But remember that age old saying, “It takes a village?” I believe it does. This site is about keeping things personal. Not going about our daily lives, isolated from our neighbors, but getting involved. I want to be that parent, that adult who kids feel safe coming to. The house kids want to hang out at. I think it goes without saying that we all can be positive role models for our children, for our neighbor’s children. But, it does take some effort.
I happen to live in an amazing neighborhood where there are children exploding at the seams. We all seem to pitch in and help each other out. Play dates are a common occurrence, and children feel free to wander in and out of their friends’ homes, most likely with not a care in the world. What if, though, you had the opportunity to be a positive influence in a child’s life. What if a child walked through your doors with a heavy heart. Would you take the time to recognize it? In my job, it is easy. I know up front that I will be working with someone who needs help in one way or another. At home, it may not be so obvious. I may not take the time to recognize how I can affect a child’s life. Would you?
I encourage you to open your doors to our children, and be a positive influence in their lives. Did you know that having a positive adult figure in a child’s life is a huge protective factor for them? You may be helping in ways you don’t even know about. Take time to listen, to be around, to be present, to care. Your actions and words, what you do and don’t do, in front of a child may be just what they need.
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Who we are…

Keeping it Personal: not as in keeping it to yourself. It’s not, NOT sharing with others or being in your own private thoughts and keeping IT……….what ever IT may be to yourself. Not ‘keeping it personal’ in the selfish sense of the phrase similar to a child who wants this to be “mine, mine, mine” or an adult who doesn’t want to share a good idea, thought, or compliment.

We’re keeping it personal – we’re about the relationship, sharing what’s real on a personal level. We’re taking the “impersonal” out of what society has made impersonal to speed up the process, to get going with the next thing. We want to inspire you to keep it personal in your daily interactions. Inspire you to look for the moments where you can impact the lives of others around you by sharing your experiences and your story. By freely giving compliments and encouraging words to others. We want to motivate you to reach out to others by keeping it personal, by using your special gifts and talents; by being real, honest, kind, genuine. We want to educate you and provide you with ideas that will impact your life, which in turn, you can share to impact the lives of others.

Keeping it personal is what customer service lacks. Keeping it Personal is what can turn an acquaintance into a life long friend. Keeping it Personal is what can give someone hope who is hopeless- because you were transparent and shared a story they could relate to. Keeping it Personal and sharing your passion could be the start of an organization to help a family in need or a homeless/runaway on the street. Keeping it Personal is dropping that personal handwritten card in the mail. Taking action with those lingering thoughts; NOT ignoring them. Keeping it Personal is taking the time to make a phone call to the person who’s been on your mind. The personal touch may be just what one person needs on a particular day to bring joy to their world.

Our mission is to be a daily reminder for people to keep it real by keeping it personal. Through sharing our experiences and our stories online, we hope to inspire you to keep it personal as you connect with your community and others around you.

Who are WE? We are simply two women, two mothers, two daughters, two friends, two aunties, two sisters-in-law, two wives, two children of God who have come to realize through our own past experiences on this journey of life, that keeping it personal is what keeps us grounded. We have not mastered this by any means or claim to be perfect, but are striving to keep it personal in all our affairs. We find joy and fulfillment by reaching out and sharing with others; and in return we grow and are inspired by what others share with us in their stories and experiences. Our hope is for others to find what we’ve come to realize.

Keeping it personal is a community of twos. We hope to attract and influence a community at large who share our vision of keeping it personal.

Teri and Leah