Security is not found in the quantity of our online connections. It’s discovered in the quality of real and faithful relationships. Or, it should be. Let’s let our kids know that online relationships can be great and let’s model and talk about the benefits of relationships with people we meet up with face-to-face and on the phone.

To learn more about Dr. Kathy’s book “Screens and Teens”, as well as her other resources, please visit

The 8 Great Smarts with Diana Waring (Interview)

I’m super excited to welcome Diana Waring to my blog. I met Diana at a homeschool convention a number of years ago after hearing about her through homeschooling friends. She writes brilliant world history curriculum and uses the 8 great smarts to help children learn.

In this blog, you’ll get to know Diana. At the conclusion, please make sure to watch her short video that serves as an introduction to the smarts. Then watch it a second time with your children. In the next eight Wednesdays, I’ll share about each smart and I’ll share Diana’s clever and creative video about that smart. Again, you’ll want to watch with your children. The videos are set in the news studio and Diana plays both the reporter and the person with that smart who she interviews. You’ll love them!

Here we go … My interview with Diana Waring.

Before we get to specifics about multiple intelligences, tell us something about your beliefs about education, teaching, and learning.

If we start with a scriptural view—that it was our Creator’s plan that each person would begin life as a helpless baby, and that growing to adulthood would mean learning an enormous amount of information (including one’s culture, technology, social skills, history, and more)—searching for His design in how people learn becomes incredibly exciting! In the nearly 3 decades I’ve spent speaking and writing for the international homeschool movement, it’s become increasingly clear that a biblical education (one that conforms to God’s design) is “relational,” meaning it values:

  • the relationship between teacher and student (one of the most significant predictors of educational success);
  • the relationship between a student and the material being studied (engaging deeply rather than superficially so that learning is usable, memorable, and teachable);
  • the relationship between a student and God (learning in light of God’s Word and His ways, having it change one’s life).

You love history and have written and produced curriculum parents can use with their children. Why do you enjoy and value history? Why did you create your materials?

From the time I was a little girl, I heard stories of my grandfather (who worked for President Truman) and a great-great-great uncle (who invented the icebox). This made history seem “up close and personal”—more than a story, history was vividly real and incredibly interesting. In university, my absolute favorite courses were history and anthropology. So, as I began teaching my own children, when questions arose concerning ancient Egypt and Moses, an insatiable hunger grew to see how ancient civilizations and the Bible fit together. Once we started down that path, curiosity developed about how Church history influenced the Middle Ages, etc.. . .It was truly a domino effect!

As a speaker at homeschool conventions, I began to tell some of the amazing stories I was learning in this quest (like what the archaeological record helps us know about Jonah). People wanted the stories, so I began recording them. They then requested curriculum to help them dig deeper into the time periods, which set me on my quest for the past 20 years—to create a world history curriculum that would both honor the design for learning in each student AND discover the richness of His Story interwoven into the stories of antiquity through the mid-1950s.

Tell everybody about your love of music. Why have you used it with history? Why did you merge the two?

Music has been my joy since I was a child, singing in school programs and playing oboe in the school band. When my grandfather gave me his guitar, I found the way to both sing and play—as a folk singer!

When I discovered that fewer and fewer students knew the American folk songs we had grown up with, an idea came to teach the songs within their historic context. Families loved this History Through Music series, as it renewed the heritage of our country’s folk songs, while, at the same time, taught aspects of American history. Honestly, it makes the history come alive! (And, it’s a lot of fun!!)

Now, share with us about multiple intelligences. Why do you believe in their value? How did knowing about them influence your curriculum development?

I first learned about multiple intelligences in a Youth With A Mission school in Auckland, New Zealand. One of our teachers, Rosalie Pedder, had literally taught students around the world, and her firm belief was that EVERY person is smart in the ways God wired them. If students learn through multiple intelligences, they will succeed. As Rosalie combined lectures with multiple intelligence activities in our class, we all saw that something easy for one person was difficult for another.

As one who had always achieved top marks in school, I was startled to see the transformation for people who had always seen themselves as “stupid”—they suddenly discovered they were exceptionally good at learning when it came in non-traditional ways. And, I discovered that things these students found to be simple were very hard for me.

This way of looking at the various kinds of Smart became one of the significant structures in the next revision of my curriculum so that ALL students thrive in their learning.

Tell my blog readers how they can find out more about you and your curriculum/products.

Visit me at where you will find my History Revealed curriculum, my History Through Music series, and much more! Thank you!

Now, watch this video for her fun introduction to the 8 great smarts. [NOTE: she refers to “logic smart” as “number smart.”]

Diana’s Biographical Sketch

Diana Waring is one of the pioneers of homeschooling. For nearly three decades she has been an author and speaker to the international homeschool movement. Diana is the author and publisher of the History Revealed curriculum, the Experience History Through Music series (William T. Anderson authored one of the titles in this series), Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest, and numerous world history and homeschool encouragement audio CDs. She is a video blogger, blogger, columnist for The Homeschool Minute, guest writer at The Old Schoolhouse magazine, curriculum writer, singer/composer, actress/playwright, wife, and homeschool mom.


Dream. Dream BIG. Dream Large. Dream Gigantic!

Change. It’s a word and a concept that results in many strong reactions.

There’s not a person alive who doesn’t have something they could change in order to have a better life.

More productivity. More peace. More joy. More friendships. More hope.

Less fear. Less trouble. Less trauma. Less loneliness. Less despair.

Change will more likely work out well when all five core needs are met in healthy ways. This gives us a lot to count on during the sometimes shaky transitional times surrounding change.

How do we get started? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and legacy we celebrate in America today, believed a dream was essential. He was right.

You’re Not Alone: The Overwhelm of Mom Guilt (Guest Post by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory)

How often do you wonder if you could have handled a situation with a child better than you did? Notice, I didn’t ask if you do, I asked how often you do. That’s because if you’re a parent who cares, you have wondered. If we’re not careful, mom guilt or dad guilt can occur and paralyze us as we’re overcome with regrets. It’s just one of the many things that causes parents to be overwhelmed.

Because being overwhelmed is never good and can lead to other negative issues, I was glad to pre-read the new book, Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity, written by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. You’ll benefit from the book as they share about many things that can cause us to be overwhelmed and, more importantly, what to do about them.

Please read their guest blog. At the end, you’ll want to get the free gift they offer you and follow through to possibly win a free book. (The chapter related to the free gift is worth the price of the book.) – Dr. Kathy

You’re Not Alone: The Overwhelm of Mom Guilt

“What would you do differently as a mom, Cheri?”

I hesitate, look around the table at the five women gathered for a mom’s night out, and realize I’m among friends.

“Pretty much everything!” I say, only half in jest.

“There are three general types of feedback people can give each other: (1) Affirmation (2) Coaching, and (3) Evaluation.”

Everyone nods; they’ve each read Thanks for the Feedback, too.

I continue. “What I wish I’d done was spent their first ten years giving them very intentional coaching in all key areas of life. Then, by the time they were teens, the foundation would have been well-laid, and I could have focused more on affirmation. Unfortunately, I fell for the self-esteem movement of the 90’s.”

All five women roll their eyes in sympathetic understanding.

“I did it the wrong way around: I affirmed my kids’ every waking moment but failed to coach and, as necessary, correct. As a result, they’re 24 and 26 and still trying to figure out how to launch independent lives.”

As our conversation continues, each mom shares her own regrets.

By dessert time, our list is long indeed.

The Overwhelm of Mom Guilt

I’ve seen plenty of social media memes urging us to “Live with no regrets.”

But I have yet to meet a regret-free mom.

Most conversations I have with mothers, of any age or stage, quickly turn to how overwhelmed they are by Mom Guilt.

A few years ago, I posted this question to my Facebook page:

“I’m working on a project and need some examples of negative self-talk that parents use against themselves. (i.e. “They deserve a better mom than me…”) Give me your best imitation(s) of those inner critic, mom/dad guilt voices!”

In less than an hour, almost one hundred women (no men) had left comments like these:

  • “If I was a better Mom, I wouldn’t have such a hard time breastfeeding – or I’d produce more milk.” Or “This baby deserves a better mom – one that isn’t feeling weepy or crabby every day.”
  • “What will people think if my child keeps _______________?” (Fill in blank with crying, sucking his thumb, whining, talking in church, carrying her blankie, refusing green vegetables, etc., etc.)?
  • “At this rate we’ll be Jerry Springer Show regulars by 2015.”
  • “If I were a good mom, my child would… take school work more seriously, be better organized, have more friends, play outside more, not be failing his class, not be working on his project at 10:00 the night before it’s due.”
  • “Whatever I do it will never be enough.”
  • “They would choose (another mom’s name) over me for a mom if they had a choice.”

My Most Overwhelming Regret

I resonate with every single concern voiced above.

But my most overwhelming regret is that I didn’t take care of my own emotional and spiritual health when my children were little.

I met my husband when I was 18, just six months after being discharged from the eating disorder unit of a neuropsychiatric hospital. We married young (21) and had children right away.

I knew that the eating disorder I’d struggled with for five years wasn’t fully resolved. But I did what so many women do: I believed I could put my own needs high on a shelf for the next twenty years, raise my children, and then pick back up where I’d left myself off.

Of course, it didn’t work that way.

My kids grew up with a mom who was barely surviving. Oh, how I wish they’d had a mom who was intentionally thriving!

Giving Our Guilt to God

Over the holidays, my 26-year-old daughter, Annemarie, and I sat at the kitchen table, drinking tea and chatting about how God is working in our lives.

As I shared some of the self-care and boundary-setting decisions I’d recently made, Annemarie responded, “I’m so proud of the choices you’re making, Mom! This is such incredible growth for you.”

“I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to deal with my issues,” I said, deflecting her praise with guilt. “I wish I’d made these kinds of choices twenty years ago.”

Annemarie reached across the kitchen table, put a hand on mine, and her next words took my breath away:

“Mom, you need to know that the 6-year-old in me is watching you, too.”

For so many years, I thought it was too late. The damage was done. It was too late for me to change, to become a better mom, to be the kind of mom my kids needed and deserved.

But my daughter’s words told a different story. They reminded me that God really can
“restore … the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25, KJV).

Today, if you’re a parent who feels overwhelmed by regret, here are four truths you need to know:

1)  You’re not alone.

2)  It’s never too late.

3)  You can change.

4)  Even the smallest change you make makes a difference that matters.


Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (that will only last for a week), how about creating a Personal manifesto that will carry you through the rest of your life?  Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.


Kathi and Cheri would like to send a copy of Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity to one of our readers!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT below.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Friday night so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

About Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering if it’s possible to move from “out of my mind” to “in control” when you’ve got too many projects on your plate and too much mess in your relationships?

Kathi and Cheri want to show you five surprising reasons why you become stressed, why social media solutions don’t often work, and how you can finally create a plan that works for you. As you identify your underlying hurts, uncover hope, and embrace practical healing, you’ll understand how to…

  • trade the to-do list that controls you for a calendar that allows space in your life
  • decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite
  • replace fear of the future with peace in the present

You can simplify and savor your life—guilt free! Clutter, tasks, and relationships may overwhelm you now, but God can help you overcome with grace.


Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the bestselling author of several books, including Clutter Free, The Husband Project, and The Get Yourself Organized Project. She and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four young adults.

Cheri Gregory spends her weekdays teaching teens and weekends speaking at women’s retreats. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Daniel, for more than 28 years. The Gregorys and their young adult kids, Annemarie and Jonathon, live in California.

Names Can Be A Positive Source Of Identity

Our names are important to us. They can be a strong positive source of identity. This is certainly true for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. When we know His names, we know a lot about Him.

The identity link to our names is among the reasons I wish more parents would be as thoughtful and purposeful when naming their children as some of my friends have been.

Especially when children know their name’s heritage, dreams parents had for them are reinforced when they hear their name. If your children’s names are significant, make sure they know the reasons. Tell them the relevant stories.

For my first example, let me share a short paragraph from pages 131-132 in the book Jill Savage and I wrote, No More Perfect Kids. I love the reason Jay and his wife named their son Jamison.

Kids’ names are important because they’re the first labels they’re given. If your kids don’t know why you chose the names you did for them, share your reasons, especially if you named them for a reason or because the name held significance. Kathy’s friend Jay and his wife named their son Jamison. Jamison was present as Jay told Kathy about his name’s origin and how much he had prayed for a son. Although it’s pronounced with a short i sound, his name means “Jay my son.” Although Jamison already knew the story, you should have seen his face while his dad explained it to Kathy. The connection between the father and son was beautiful and obvious.

And, how about the decision my friends, Michael and Meredith made? They’re expecting their second daughter and have named her Moriah Renee. They explain their choice this way: Abraham offered his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, where God provided a ram in the thicket as a substitute and it is near where He would ultimately provide His own Son as the perfect sacrifice to be the Savior of the world. The name means “God is my teacher.” Renee means “reborn.”

And now let me share about Zion Daniel, the son of David and Lindsay Eaton. They’re pictured above. In David’s words:

Let’s start with Daniel. Daniel means “God is my judge” and in ancient times he was quite a man of God. He was full of wisdom, courage, conviction, vision, and faithfulness. He was a shrewd leader and a servant of the people.

The name Daniel also means a lot to Lindsey and I because some of the most important men in our lives have that name! We knew that we HAD to name our first son Daniel just to honor them.

– Daniel Gee … Lindsey’s loving father.

– Conan Daniel Gee … Lindsey’s steadfast brother.

– Daniel Eaton … my annoying brother 😉 … that I deeply respect and admire.

– Jeremiah Daniel Callihan … the other cofounder at Axis who is a dear friend.

– Daniel VanValkenburg … an incredible friend from college and lifelong friend.

… and of course there are a host of other amazing Daniels in our life as well …

And the name Zion. It is a name with many meanings. Some think it means “bald dry place” as in the top of a mountain, but we prefer the meaning “monumental” or “fortress” that other scholars ascribe to the name. It is actually not a Hebrew word … but rather predates Israel. However in the Bible it is a very important geographical place and a concept. It represents Jerusalem, the City of David, and is the place of worship and redemption for Israel. It also embodies the future hope of followers of Jesus, of a restored world and the eventual city of God where God dwells with humanity.

One final thing that we particularly like. Any ancient temple like the temple on Zion or the temple location at Shiloh, our daughter’s name, was considered a dwelling place for God. It was a place where the veil between heaven met earth was thin. We like the idea of our children representing an overlap or intersection between heaven and earth.

I believe Zion Daniel, Moriah Renee, and Jamison are blessed to have thoughtful parents and rich stories and meanings assigned to their names. I’d love to know about your name or names you’ve given your children. Please comment below. Let’s encourage each other.

Some Random Thoughts to Enlighten and Brighten 2017

Enjoy some random thoughts about a new year.

Have you thought of some things you want to change? Maybe some things to leave behind in 2016 and not take with you into this year? Great. Remember, you can make these decisions daily. We don’t need to wait for the year to change for us to change.


I teach that “wishing it so won’t make it so.” If you want to change, it will take effort, diligence, perseverance, humility, … good old-fashioned work. Listen to your language. Are you telling people that you “wish you’d lose 20 pounds” or you “wish you’d be more compassionate when your kids struggle to learn”? It will take more than a wish. Let’s make work fashionable.


Remember, it’s really hard (if not impossible) to start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading the current one. Have you learned from the past what you needed to? Stop reading yesterday’s news and start writing the next chapter.


We’re each one decision away from something. What decision do you want to make? Anne Frank said, How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.


We need to make sure any changes we desire for ourselves and children are appropriate and realistic. If they’re not, discouragement comes easily. I sometimes use the example of my height. I’m 6’1”. I’m not ever going to be short even if I pray a lot about it. Make sure your goals for 2017 fit. Do the same for your children. In the words of a young child, recorded in the book Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me, “If the tree had apples last year, don’t expect pears this year.”

Change is possible, but expectations must be real or disappointment and despair can set in. We can pray about and hope for juicier apples. Redder apples. Bigger apples. More apples. Tastier apples. Fewer worm-filled apples. But, not pears from an apple tree. If you want pears, plant a pear tree.


Daily, weekly, and monthly, let’s make 2017 great. That reminds me – instead of telling the next person you talk with to “have a great day” encourage him or her to “make it a great day.”


Do you have any enlightening and/or brightening random thoughts to add? Please leave a comment! Would love to hear what you have to share.

Agree to Disagree? Persuade? Either Way, Respect Is Key

Watching the Rose Bowl Parade is a tradition for me, my brother, and his wife. We talk about the floats and the amazing creativity of the designers. We enjoy talking about their choices of unique flowers and seeds to create their designs. We often talk about the float themes, too.

We also enjoy the marching bands and will sometimes comment on their sound, song selection, marching ability, and even their uniforms. We don’t ignore the horses and other parade units.

Even before marching in the Rose Bowl Parade with my high school band when I was a junior, our whole family watched the parade. It became a much more serious tradition after that experience. Two cousins marched in the band, too. Their mom and my mom were both chaperones. It was a definite highlight of my youth and, since then, has made watching the parade a rich joy.

My nieces and nephew aren’t parade watchers. I laughed when reading the Zits cartoon from yesterday’s paper because Jeremy probably expressed their views well. It’s okay. Their parents and I can like it. They don’t need to. We agree on plenty of other things that are more important.

How I wish that more people would agree to disagree. There are many times when we can choose to let things be. Sometimes this isn’t the case. Then persuasion is appropriate. Agreeing may be ideal.

Respect is the key. It wouldn’t be appropriate for my nephew and nieces to laugh at us for enjoying the parade. It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to yell at them because they don’t.

This year, oh how I wish more people will agree to disagree when it’s okay to do so and persuade while respecting people when it’s necessary.

Will you be spending time with teens and young adults this week and next? If so, if you use Dr. Kathy’s idea about affirming them, you could positively affect their 2017. Yes! That’s how powerfully important your words are. What do you believe they can accomplish? Do they know that? Her example of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, will inspire you. Mary Christmas! Merry Christmas!

The Greatest Fulfilled Promise of All Time…

The birth of Jesus Christ is the greatest fulfilled promise of all time.

God keeps His Word. He keeps the promises declared in His Word. Look for them and be refreshed. Keep the miracle of Jesus’ birth alive in this way.

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” ~2 Corinthians 1:20

Choose the “Best”, Choose to Initiate


If you’d like something different to think about this week and next, choose initiative.

Especially if you’ll be with others, and you want to be a blessing, choose initiative. Talk with your children so they’ll do the same.

Initiative is recognizing and doing what needs to be done before being asked. Initiative is action. It’s helpful. Purposeful. Directed. About others. Tasks to bless people.

Initiative is “just do it” now.

Choose to see what you can do for the people you’re with. Have ears to hear. Help your children see and hear in these ways, too. Talk about this idea. Model the behavior. Reward it with “Thanks!”

Picture your family at your mom’s for dinner. She’s cooking when you and your children arrive and the table isn’t set. There are maybe four possibilities for your children.

  • They don’t notice the need and do their own thing. This is not good.
  • They pay some attention to their grandmother and ask, “Do you need any help?” This is good.
  • They ask, “May I set the table for you?” This is better.
  • They know where the dishes are and set the table knowing it needs to be done. This is best. This is initiative.

You arrive home with a car full of groceries.

  • Adults and children who are home pretend to not notice they could help. This is not good.
  • Someone yells from another room, “Do you need any help?” This is good.
  • Someone asks, “May I help you bring the bags in from the car?” This is better.
  • Someone stops what he or she is doing, meets you in the garage, and carries as much as possible into the house. This is best. This is initiative.

Using initiative honors others. It’s efficient. It decreases arguments. (Imagine not having to declare, “I could use some help in here!!” ever again!) Initiative can increase peace and joy.

Initiative feels good. A few minutes ago, while I was working on this post, my brother needed to locate the serial number on the back of his TV cable box. He moved it with one hand and had his phone in his other hand talking with the tech person helping him. There wasn’t much light in the area and I knew the numbers would be small. So, without being asked, I stopped writing, put down my laptop, and stood up and walked toward him as I turned on my phone’s flashlight. I positioned the light so Dave could see the numbers. He was able to read them for the person on the phone. He was grateful. So was I.

I’m not special. You can do this, too. So can your kids. It feels good. It is good. It is initiative.