Love Your Neighbors

You know those unexpected moments that change they way you view the world and how you want to behave within it? Our encounter with the owner of Valentino Market in San Francisco did that for us. Elie Chahwan reminded us of our purpose and our mission as humans, to share warmth and love with others to help make the world brighter and kinder. Read about him and his mission here!

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Jennifer Payne
Listeners are World Changers

Listen up Future World Changers! Wait! Why do we say “Future” World Changers? Teenagers! You are the “NOW” World Changers! YOU are the strong, powerful, connected voice of what this world needs, not in the future, but RIGHT NOW! And you want to know the secret to being a teen that has the most power, the highest level of leadership, the strongest impact capability? Because I know the secret, just lean in and listen.  Are you listening? Good! Because that’s the big secret!

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Jennifer Payne
Enjoy the Ride

Sometimes as moms we need to take a minute outside of our own heads and enjoy what our kids might have to teach us. Today my man-child taught me a great lesson about joy when I stopped to view the world through his beautiful eyes instead of feeling sorry for myself about him growing up. He taught me to enjoy the ride. 

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Jennifer Payne
10 Crucial Tools to Help Your Kid With Confidence in the World

The words our children hear are the words they will speak internally to themselves. What interactions and feedback are these little humans that we’ve raised receiving from their external world? As parents, we should be champions, not challengers, of our kids’ self esteem.  We are human, and so is everyone else in our kid’s daily life, so naturally, there will be days when someone says something negative that our child takes to heart and nurtures as truth.  We, as the protectors and warriors of our families, must be a shield against the arrows of other humans that provide feedback for our kids.

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Jennifer Payne
You're the Champion!

Parenting. Sigh. Sometimes… scratch that… often we feel so unprepared, so unequipped, so inadequate. No one person has all the answers, and no two children are the same. Unique, one of a kind children are given at birth to unique, completely untrained parents. In a world where every move we make has preparation attached to it; we go to college or a trade school to do our jobs right, we get instructions to run a simple coffee pot; what in the world was God thinking when He decided to drop living, breathing little humans into our laps and say, “Here, this is yours. Don’t mess up.”? Yet, despite the absolute terror of the unknown and foreign world of raising a child, we keep procreating….on purpose.

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Jennifer Payne
My Thank You Letter to Running

My long distance running story was born from desperation almost 15 years ago.  I had two little ones, aged 5 and 2.  I had a husband that was working hard to build a future for us from the ground up. I had a classroom of fun 5th graders that I enjoyed spending my time with everyday. And I had a stomach that didn’t work very well.

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Be a NOW World Changer! Here's the secret of HOW!

Listen up Future World Changers! Wait! Why do we say “Future” World Changers? Teenagers! You are the “NOW” World Changers! YOU are the strong, powerful, connected voice of what this world needs, not in the future, but RIGHT NOW! And you want to know the secret to being a teen that has the most power, the highest level of leadership, the strongest impact capability? Because I know the secret, just lean in and listen.

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Jennifer Payne
A View From the Balcony

It’s always an unexpected joy for my husband and me when we are in a position of secret observation of a child engaged in imaginative play; not in a creepy, voyeuristic way, I promise. It’s not like we go hiding behind hedges, peeking our eyes over the top in search of children we can spy on. It’s those natural moments of pure thoughtful childhood freedom that we are honored to observe; those moments when a child is playing, fully engaged in an imaginative world where there are no boundaries or rules or obligation.

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Jennifer Payne
5 Study Skills High Schoolers Need to Ace Exams and Prepare for College!

Are you concerned about your high schooler’s study habits? Worried they’ve fallen into habits won’t help them do well on exams and required assignments? Here are five easy study habits your high schooler can use to help them on exam day! If they can embrace these easy steps, they will have a more effective study time and will see results that make them feel successful!

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Jennifer Payne
Thanks Samuel Morse!

“So glad I didn’t have to deal with this when raising my children!” was a comment one mom posted on Facebook in response to an article in the New York Times on how social media has infiltrated our children’s world. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Kik…the list is endless.  And once we, as parents, have even the tiniest grasp on one or two of these platforms, another Gen Z’er becomes a billionaire from the creation of the newest Claptrap, PeepingTeen, SnoopScoop, CheapChirps platform that allows us to be “social”.

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Jennifer Payne
Feathering the Nest

Raise your hand if you already knew that parents receive lessons when their kids go off to college. We send them on their way to receive a higher education, and what happens? Every waking hour we are being schooled. At least that’s what’s been happening around this nest….

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Jennifer Payne
A Letter to Teachers: Heart2Heart

It's time again, teachers! Time to unlock those classroom doors and windows, let the fresh air in and the musty, dusty smell that has been stored in our classrooms over the hot summer out, and time to begin preparing for that day that is approaching quickly; the first day of the new school year!

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Jennifer Payne
Father Time

Father’s Day is right around the corner! It is that time of year where wives and kids show Dad how much he is appreciated, loved and valued in their family. This may be your very first Father’s Day and if so, CONGRATULATIONS!  Having a child is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have in your lifetime.  More precious than any job promotion, annual award or any other professional accolades, the opportunity to love and raise a child is truly one of life’s most unique gifts—because it transcends time.  If this is not your first rodeo with Father’s Day….CONGRATULATIONS!

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Jennifer Payne
The Journey?! No Thanks!

Okay, Mamas…time to ask this honest question…does anyone else sometimes feel like being a mommy is emotionally like riding on a funhouse psycho rollercoaster? Well, my hand just shot up faster than I can even blink! I’m serious, this job is “the wildest ride in the weeeeiiillllderness!” (Disney fans, shout it out!) I’d bet money right here and now that for so many of you, no explaining is needed about my rollercoaster analogy. This mommyhood thing is unnerving! Before I fall over the next cliff in the journey, I’ll spit out my latest adventure in parenting….

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Jennifer Payne
History is a Present

We just finished a great hockey tournament weekend in Portland. The tournament was definitely an embracing of the joy and love of the game (this is our method of emotional coping when we lose every game except the last consolation game). We had a great time watching our beloved Capital Thunder team play passionately and work hard while learning the agony of defeat and that sometime the biggest growth comes from learning from losing.

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Jennifer Payne
Embrace You!

I got the unusual Sunday morning privilege of bringing my son to hockey this morning. Usually, I go to church to hear Hannah sing on the worship team while Jeff brings Ben to the rink, but today Jeff had some things to do and Hannah is in India, so I got to be the lucky hockey mom (that was not sarcasm. I really like it). While Ben was getting his gear on, I decided to go to the car wash before it got too busy. It’s a familiar car wash, on a familiar road, in a familiar town. During our homeschool years, this was our place. 

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Jennifer Payne