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  1. Jennifer Harris says:

    Would love a retreat – raising a 16 yo (technically my grandson) and many learning challenges but learning strategies and how to overcome and excel in those challenges, especially when using his passions for much of the curriculum. My daughter (adopted at 11 from Kazakstan) would love to come as well. She’s a new mom with a 1 year old and I want to encourage her in her new journey!
    Also caretaking a 94 yo father~
    Reading and listening to many books at once – my problem is finishing them because then I see new ones. I’m like the “squirrel” the dog sees when finding new books!

  2. Hawaii retreat sounds incredible!

  3. Emma Johnson says:

    Wow! you have a lot going on. Spring is coming and I am getting busy too! Life is now packed with horseback riding, cleaning and school-work. I hope your doing great!

  4. Oooh – I look forward to your podcast! Writing this on another chilly day in South Dakota, so dreaming of a retreat in Hawaii is just the ticket 🙂

  5. You inspire me! I love the coffee date catch ups! Just heard surfing is going to be an Olympic sport! Could Luke be an Olympian? Wowza! All is good ( albeit super chilly) in Illinois. Rolling out the welcome mat for spring and longingly looking forward to a little spring break getaway to northern Florida. It won’t be balmy- but the seventies sound dreamy as I shiver under this blanket and sip tea. News in our family… Hmm… all is calm, which makes me nervous to say. We are thinking of adding more chaos with a second dog to keep our lonely pup company. Heaven help me!

  6. Shelly Watterson says:

    I live in MN. I am over winter! (so.much.shoveling…..but the boys (8, 10, 12) have built some amazing snow forts – so there’s that!) To escape winter, the fam and I will be driving to Hilton Head Island, SC at the end of the week to dip our toes into the Atlantic Ocean and exchange boots for flip-flops, yay!!
    As for the podcast, I’d love for you to do a panel-interview with your sons (mainly 3 oldest) to hear how they have enjoyed their homeschooling. I think it would be super for to listen to with my sons!
    Pick me!! I’ll come to Hawaii!
    Books I’ve been reading: a few gals and I have been getting together once a week to discuss “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero. It’s been really good; deep stuff. Also, just finished “Classic Christianity” by Bob George – it’s an oldie but a goodie!
    and, read aloud with my sons: “Prince Warrior” series by Priscilla Shirer – A-MAZING! Love how she writes and engages us all in wanting to put on the armor of God!

  7. Joy Cunningham says:

    Yes!! To the retreat! 🤗

  8. I would love to have coffee with you! I am reading Overcomer by Dr David Jeremiah and Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

    1. Jennifer Harris says:

      Desperate is a wonderful book and so is Different based on her son Nathan!

  9. YESS! I would
    Love to come for a retreat. Wow !! Please do this 😃

  10. Christina says:

    I would definitely come to a retreat in Hawaii! Woohoo!!

  11. Jen’s living room view is amazing!

    As you talk about kids going off to college, my guy is preparing for high school. He’s finishing up middle school on some good notes, and I am confident that he will do well in high school. It’s just, where does the time go? I am sure that I will blink and be sending him off to college or trade school or a gap year or whatever. Yikes!

  12. Hi from San Diego! My oldest is a boy & turning 12 this May. I teach some fitness classes at a really cool gym (Ray & Joan Kroc Center through the Salvation Army). Love your stuff! My husband is a stand-up comedian, he tours with John Crist, Tim Hawkins, Michael Jr, etc. : )

  13. I’d listen to your podcast. Teens and tweens are my focus- ugh the hormones!!
    My favorite thought this week:
    Do I want to be “right” or do I want to be “reconciled”? Pretty much a perfect question for any relationship!

  14. Hello! I’m a mom of four boys living in chilly Minnesota. My husband works in leadership development for Target Corp and I’m a stay-at-home mama. I prefer warm weather, but by God’s grace, the cold, long winter has been enjoyable. My oldest son is just 11, so I’m enjoying (and learning from) your blog. I’d love a Hawaiian retreat someday!

    1. Christina says:

      I can’t wait for your podcast and book! We are living in the UK but I would save up to come to Hawaii!

  15. Debra Whitesel says:

    Tonight I sit in my warm house, on my comfy couch, under a cozy, soft blanket praising God it’s FRIDAY!
    Once again God has been so good – He knows what a week it was! Even knows what my next week will be, but no worries- He’s got it covered!
    For me, whatever God leads you to share will be perfect Monica!
    Always so uplifted to get your emails – your writing style and photos are delightful!
    And hearing the birds chirping and singing so much more the last few days here in Ohio has blessed my soul! Looking forward to Spring sweet Spring!

  16. My mom had frozen shoulder a few yeara ago! It’s awful. I’ll have to mention your therapy to her because her other shoulder is pretty stiff lately…

  17. Definitely would love to hear a podcast! and boy mom tips and navigating college time /senior year, etc!

  18. Hi Monica love reading your post especially your optimistic and uplifting words. Going through a rough patch with my 13 year old so I have not had time for myself. Just got a book about positive parenting; let’s what techniques I can use to reshape things. I would so need this type of retreat. An idea for podcast would be: how do keep sane with four boys; The things that you do uplift yourself; positive self talk

  19. Hi Monica,

    I love podcasts and I especially love ones that are about 15-20 minutes long and on specific topics. I look forward to listening to yours right from the get-go!

  20. I want to go on your retreat! I need it. And I am going to guess that Luke’s update has to do with new sponsors?? I heard something about something between my husband and my son.

    Podcast I think you should interview your favorite fatherhood and travel writer. LOL

  21. I think as moms we always give. We give to our husbands, children, friends, and mentor those that are younger than us. My mom was asking me on Wednesday what I was fasting from during Lent. I honestly didn’t have an answer for her b/c I feel like I am already giving so much that instead of fasting from something….I need to be focusing more on filling myself up with God’s Love and Truth! So that is what I am focusing on during Lent. More focus on spending time with the Lord and having Him fill my cup b/c I am at a season in life that is really HARD

  22. Hi, friend! I wish we could have coffee face to face 🙂 I can’t wait for your podcast to come out! I would love to hear about remaining calm as a mom in sticky moments. I am currently reading “Preach to Yourself” by Hayley Morgan and loving it! I’m also making my way through the Chronological Bible In a Year plan, and about to start “Peaceful Parent, Happy Child” by Dr. Laura Markham.

    I would be so interested in this retreat! Depending on price, I think that would be amazing. Lately I’ve been feeling stretched thin, and your word about God seeing me was just so encouraging. Thanks, Monica 🙂

  23. You are so inspirational!!! We are cold and gloomy here in Ohio, so I always look forward to your blogs and posts!!

  24. It is so great to hear all is well with you and your boys! I am looking forward to the podcast. Anything about parenting is always welcome. I am sorry to hear it is cold out there. It is damp and rainy in Oakdale, except today.
    I am looking forward to baseball season with the kids and gardening season for me.
    Thank you for the words of encouragement. Parenting is so overwhelming but so wonderful too. I will read Introverted Mom. I happen to be very Introverted and now the kids are getting older I find it hard for me to bond with others. Mostly I always feel like I say too much or not enough.
    I am still soon as excited for Boy Mom!
    Thank you again for sharing your wisdom.

  25. Since I have a frozen shoulder myself, it was very interesting for me to read how yours was treated. MUA has not been mentioned yet, we first want to try PT. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for stopping in and seriously — you MUST look into MUA! I actually read through your blog and story and you are a really fun and creative person/writer. Glad you tracked all of your experiences! 🙂 I feel a bond with you because I relate to all that you share. 🙂 PT and stretching are just so painful and slow…If you can get the MUA I say do it. (Not all doctors do it, apparently, but I see absolutely no reason not to! It is quick and effective. All I can think is sometimes the medical system wants to drag things out so everyone makes more $$…(PT, docs, more MRI’s etc…) I recommending getting it over with as soon as possible! Keep me posted, all the best to you!

  26. Hi Monica!! How I wish we could have these coffee dates in real life!!! Perhaps someday, Lord willing 🙏🏼💕 but for now, I would SO LOVE to join you if you do decide to do the island retreats! Can’t wait to hear all the details and sign up and go!!! 😆😆😆😁
    Also, I am excitedly waiting for those podcasts… blessings to you in that! And please have your husband join you, perhaps to address the dads. And maybe your sons could do some podcasts for boys??
    I’d also tell you I’m so glad your shoulder is doing better! I can’t even imagine not being able to do the “mom stand” 😆😆
    I am strongly considering homeschooling my two youngest next year, not even sure how to go about that so I’d definitely ask for you advice.
    Also, I would tell you that my cousin just got diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and it’s also spread to other organs as well…. maybe one year to live…. so we are all pretty crushed right now… but I put my trust in the Lord and not even sure how to deal…. 🙏🏼😭
    Then I would tell you that we are coming with the kids to Oahu in beginning of April and can hardly wait!!!! We have had a very cold winter here in the Seattle area, it’s snowing right now too. My back and joints are not happy with this cold either 🥶 ❄️
    Alright dear Monica, praying the highest blessings over you and your family and all that the Lord has planned for you 💕💕💕
    Thank you for the coffee dates, I absolutely love them!!!!

  27. My son is leaving in a few weeks with the high school band for Hawaii and I am so bummed I cant go with! I did give up facebook for lent as well, but I am going to have to break my fast during his trip for updates. ( because i know he wont update me himself )

  28. Cathy Pellegrino says:

    Sounds wonderful … i’d He interested I. The retreat! ❤️💕

  29. Monica- I enjoyed our coffee date. ‘-) and Love the view. I so miss Maui. We were able to visit my mother-in-law for several years in Jan/Feb and were able to escape the East coast winters for a few weeks.

    I love the idea of a retreat. I wonder if you would like to add daily fitness classes for your participants? I would love to come teach classes as part of your retreat. I own my own fitness business (10 years) and teach many different types of fitness classes. I am mother to a boy and girl..both teens….I so appreciate all your insights and can’t wait for you to start your podcast! I just turned 50 and am excited for this coming year and looking forward to what God as planned for me.

  30. Needed this today as I sit here not enjoying the never ending winter we are currently experiencing. Snow is deep, Kids are crazy and my mental health might not survive. I think I am Jim…except I am almost 40(St. Patrick’s Day). I also think a retreat is a wonderful idea. Make sure that it is winter here when you do it so it is an extra getaway. Will be excited to hear some details!