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Amanda

Big News Here at The Mom Crowd

by Amanda on December 30, 2009
category: (604) 586-4998

ChangeChange can be a good thing. In fact, I really love change and big events in life. I get excited about how life will be different after a big decision. The results of change are thrilling even if its an unexpected turn of events in life. There is change in my life and as a result The Mom Crowd is closing. This basically means that we will not be publishing any new content. The blog and archives will remain online. We may re-run some of our best posts in January.

A Little About Me (Amanda)

I am the Editor and one of the original founders of The Mom Crowd. There hasn’t been any drastic change in my life unless you count adding a second child into the mix this year. I feel that it is time for me and my co-writers to end this phase of our lives. The Mom Crowd has grown to be a wonderful, successful blog, but to take it to the next level of blogging would require more time than I am able to give the site. Blogging is so much more than writing blog posts, in fact that is the easy part! Blogging also includes marketing, networking, accounting, updating design, adding new features, search engine optimization, promotion emails and planning the blogs future. I don’t have time to keep all of it going.

As a result of The Mom Crowd ending in my life I am excited about devoting this new found time to new projects. I have a personal blog that got sorely ignored and I can’t wait to revive it. I want to blog more about my family and my random thoughts that aren’t necessarily related to motherhood. So you can find me over there. (You can also find Dawn at her personal blog and 805-517-4420 as well.)

This next year I have some new opportunities to serve at my church, (575) 274-7082. I also plan on helping my husband in a bigger role with his web development business, Grow Development. I am excited about the new opportunities that I have to serve others and help my family in 2010.

Finally, I helped create The Mom Crowd 3 months after quitting my full time Human Resources career. I needed a creative outlet that let me use my brain. This has been an amazing project and I have learned so much about leading a team, accounting, and networking! I think I am definitely more confident in my role as a Stay at Home Mom and I don’t need a successful project to define what I do now. I will be forever grateful for the bridge that The Mom Crowd created for me.

11thankyou

Thank You!

Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. Thank you to the sponsors of The Mom Crowd. Our goal has always been to encourage, inspire, and inform moms. My hope is that The Mom Crowd has helped you in some small way in your life. Thank you from the bottom of my Texas-sized heart for your comments and reading The Mom Crowd!

Our History

I co-founded The Mom Crowd 2.5 years ago with my friend McKenna. Together we brainstormed a name, design, blog posts topics, and the future of our site. We felt that we had information and encouragement for new moms to share with our friends. McKenna has expertise in Down syndrome and loves to research everything. I brought my own excitement of building a website and my knowledge of breastfeeding and natural child birth to the table. We felt like we could conquer the internet world and even host a conference one day! I registered a DBA and opened business bank account and got ready to launch August of 2007.

McKenna and I quickly realized that it takes a lot of time to write meaningful content 5 times a week. So we asked my friend Amelia to join us. Amelia has 3 boys, is a Bradley birth instructor, and shared our love of investigating motherhood. Amelia brought 418-589-5967 through some of her mothering events and (218) 981-0938 to The Mom Crowd. Our site would not have been the same without her.

As the blog grew I needed more help with content so I could work on marketing and with advertisers on the site. Myself, McKenna, and Amelia all agreed to include our friend and frequent-commenter, Dawn. Dawn’s original title was “Pop Culture Correspondent.”  She wrote about movies and television shows portraying motherhood. She later wrote more about her own motherhood lessons with her children. These last few months she began writing our wonderful Abiding Monday series focusing on being a woman and a Christian. I am so thankful for the friendship that grew between Dawn as we worked together on The Mom Crowd and other projects.

momcrowdshowThis past Summer in 2009 McKenna stepped down from contributing on The Mom Crowd and we invited Christy to join our team. I hadn’t seen her in person in 14 years. She brought a fresh look at motherhood with her experience with Juvenile Diabetes and her amazing frugal sense. Christy is a wonderful mother and a great writer. I will always be thankful for her insight and time that she gave The Mom Crowd.

We have had some fun here on The Mom Crowd. Along the way McKenna and I thought we were going to be big internet stars and created a web show called, adipate” We wanted to be the 2697581215 or 301-864-3734 of motherhood. It was fun to film, but a heck of a lot of time to edit, render, and upload. We didn’t have the tools and equipment to make this happen full time, but we had a lot of laughs filming.

The focus of The Mom Crowd was always changing. In 562 blog posts we have focused a lot on Down syndrome, breastfeeding, natural child birth, being frugal, pop culture, and recently Christianity. I have loved every post and learned so much here.

Check Out These 10 Blogs

If you have enjoyed The Mom Crowd, here are 10 other blogs that I enjoy and I think you will too:

  • Like a Warm Cup of Coffee- Sara Mae writes wonderful posts on Christianity, motherhood, and many other subjects. She is also fun to follow on Twitter.
  • Kristi Stephens – Kristi loves researching the Bible and sharing deep insights in scripture. I love that she is real and isn’t afraid to share who she is online. Kristi is one to watch in up and coming blogs.
  • station wagon – Seriously funny. I had the privilege to have lunch with her one day and pick her brain about blogging. Sometimes I happen to sit on the same row with her at church. She is as funny in person as she is on her blog.
  • 9197771125 – I found Sarah’s site, because MommyZabs often posts links to Sarah’s posts on Facebook and Twitter. Sarah posts sometimes say what I am thinking. She wrote her 623-233-2818 around the same time I wrote my post on the same subject.
  • San Diego Momma – I got to meet Deb the writer behind San Diego Momma a few months after starting The Mom Crowd. She blogs unabashedly about her weaknesses and experiences with her own brand of wit and creativity.
  • Firemom at Stop, Drop, and Blog – I somehow became a follower of Firemom on Twitter. I then read her profound story of her daughter and life with her boys. The blog is great and fun, be sure to check it out!
  • Happy Mom Amy at Makes Mom Happy – For product reviews, be sure to check out Makes Mom Happy and follow Amy on Twitter. She is a great follow and nice person. She really is happy and you never hear her crabbing much.
  • Women Living Well – I found Courtney’s site through Kristi. Courtney has been on Rachael Ray showcasing traditional marriage and motherhood. Her site is helpful and encouraging to all women.
  • 5199823563 – If you are a runner, you must read Heather’s running blog. She is encouraging and helped me out a lot when I was confused about breastfeeding and marathon-training.
  • Mom Bloggers Club – Technically this is not a blog, but I have to plug The Mom Bloggers Club. This is a great site to discuss blogging, meet friends online, and join groups. The founder, Jennifer James, is very nice and sincere. I really enjoy hanging out over there.

Phew! There are so many GREAT blogs out there. I could keep listing more. A lot of Mommy Blogs have started and have become successful since The Mom Crowd started 2.5 years ago. I am proud to have been a part of the mommy blog movement and I can’t wait to see the power of this blogging movement grow.

Thank you again for being a part of The Mom Crowd!

- Thank you photo courtesy of (630) 543-2376

Christy

quadriplicated

by Christy on December 23, 2009
category: rattlenut

(207) 889-3653 got me to thinking about all the things we do in our lives that seem innocent enough, but in reality can lead us down a path of destruction.  Now, having a cup of coffee or watching a little tv isn’t going to kill us, but the influences we allow in our lives (including those on tv) can be dangerous.

About five years ago, I was an avid Oprah watcher.  I loved how she seemed to have less drama and more information on her shows than other talk shows and how she was always encouraging people to be a better version of themselves.  (Now some people may get mad at me for writing this and quite frankly I was having a hard time deciding if I should open this can of worms, but my heart said I should.)  I remember watching one particular episode where she was talking about writing in her gratitude journal and something she said caught me off guard.  She started talking about God, whom she had always claimed to follow, differently… like he was just a force and how we could harness the power He had by being good people.  She stopped talking about Jesus and started talking about a spirituality that was anything but Christian.  This belief system she supported grew and grew and she started promoting this “church” on her show.  I saw how so many women in our culture blindly followed her, even after knowing the Truth, because she simply was Oprah.  I felt sick.

Our culture tends to glamourize anything that celebrities do and women in our society are the ones that do it.  We are the ones that read the gossip magazines, that watch the gossip type shows… now I’m not suggesting that all of us do it, but we as women seem to be more vulnerable to this vice.  All this to say, the Bible warns us in 2 Timothy 3:5b-7 to “turn away from such people! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  By our very nature and by the proddings of society we are vulnerable to be influenced negatively. 

I write all this to say that we have to guard our hearts like never before (Proverbs 4:23) so that we can be godly examples to our children.  Let your children see you reading the Bible, praying, doing things that edify.  Don’t let the negative influences, even the ones that society deems as positive, impact your life so that your heart is no longer guarded.  It’s easy to let your guard down when something seems to be good… even when it’s not.  And by all means, guard the hearts of the beautiful gifts God has given you to raise.  What you bring into your life, you bring into theirs also.

How are you doing your best to guard your heart and that of your children?  What negative influences have you omitted from your life in order to guard yourself?

Photo courtesy of 219-958-2891

Amanda

(438) 798-1905

by Amanda on December 22, 2009
category: Inspiration

brokenglassWhat do you do to recharge your energy or to re-focus? Perhaps you relax in the front of the T.V., enjoy a cup of coffee, indulge in some ice cream, or curl up with a good book. All these things are perfectly okay to do, but they don’t truly give us life. Sometimes I relax with my favorite show or a cup of tea, but I never really talked to God that day.

God says in Jeremiah 2:13 -

“My people have committed two sins:  They have forsaken me, 
the spring of living water, 
and have dug their own cisterns, 
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

As a mom I need energy, life, encouragement, and love, because I am pouring out all day long. After the kids are in bed, my husband and I crash on our bed and “take 5 minutes.” We need to recharge and rest. The constant listening, concern, disciplining, and physicality of lifting children is draining.

I often look in the wrong direction to recharge my “batteries.” I sometimes fail to have a quiet time and meet with God that day. I don’t wake up until I hear my children are awake and the bustle of my day immediately begins. Why don’t I fight for time alone with God?

My friend, Esther, shared this quote with me this past week:

“God is your greatest fan. As your heavenly Father, He is constantly coaxing you forward into the heights of spiritual victory. When you neglect the secret place, He’s not disappointed in you, He’s disappointed for you. He sees the spiritual riches available to you, and His heart breaks when He watches you getting by-passed. He wants you to share in heaven’s best, and He looks with wistful longing when you short-change yourself spiritually.” – Bob Sorge

Ouch! We are robbing ourselves of God’s living water with the cisterns we have created for ourselves. We are short changing ourselves.

It is hard to find time to spend with God. I don’t like waking up early and my brain is fried and exhausted at night. I have to fight to find time with God. It isn’t easy. I sometimes sit at a crumb covered breakfast table with my 2 year old sitting next to me drawing in her own notebook. Sure, she is distracting, but at least I am sitting at the side of a river with flowing living water. Its probably better to be sitting at the river slightly distracted with my children, than not even going at all.

My mentor, Kristin, gave me this challenge and I am passing it along to you.  Before you do anything fun for yourself spend some time with God. What she means is before you sit down to watch TV or read or eat for fun do something to spend time with God. It could be reading the Bible, listening to a worship song, or saying a prayer. The point is to seek God for His life. He wants to be the source of our lives!

When do you find time to be with God? What are some of the “broken cisterns” that you have created that you use to relax?

Christy

Abiding Monday – Be a Christmas Shepherd

by Christy on December 21, 2009
category: Abiding Monday

abiding monday“17 Now when they [the shepherds] had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Luke 2:17-20 (NKJV)

The shepherds who came to see Christ after His birth understood the importance of His birth and in essence were the very first missionaries for Jesus Christ.  In verses 9-14, angels came to the shepherds and proclaimed that they were bringing joyful news “to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  The shepherds went and saw Christ and were compelled to go share the good news of Jesus with everyone they knew.  Then to top it all off, they went back and then glorified and praised God.

The shepherds on that first Christmas are a perfect example of what our hearts should look like every Christmas and year-round… hearts that long for the world to know Him and hearts that give God praise for sending Christ for us.  Even when we are trying to focus on Christ at Christmas, it’s easy to get sidetracked from having the right heart.  Make it a point this Christmas, and from everyday forth, to share the good news of Christ’s birth, death and ressurection and then daily go back and praise God for His love and mercy to all mankind by sending Christ for us.  It will give Christmas a whole new meaning for you and maybe for someone who’s heart is ministered to by you.

Lord, please give us the hearts of those first Christmas shepherds.  Let us see Your good works and know who You are, share it with the world, and always come back to give You the praise and glory.  Let Christmas be a time of ministry in our lives and not just a time of gifts, decorations and stress.  Thank you for sending us Jesus and for giving us examples of what You want us to do.  In His precious name, Amen.

Amelia

When Another Child Steals From Yours

by Amelia on December 17, 2009
category: 3 – 5 years (preschooler),2105704300

207976344_851f3a1f28We recently encountered a situation where friend of my kids stole some toys from the house. I was in the living room while the boy was playing nearby. I noticed that he kept looking at me to see if I was watching him while he played. I saw him fold some toys in his hands and then casually get up and go out of the room.  I thought I saw him put something in his pocket.  He said he was going to go visit another friend.  My suspicion increased.  I was pretty sure some of our lego guys were in his pockets so I asked him if he had put any of the legos in his pocket. He told me no and I asked him if he was sure. He was sure.  I was pretty confident I had seen him sneak the legos away and put them in his pocket but I knew I could have been wrong.  My mind started reeling.  What should I do?  How should I handle this?  Why didn’t I ask him to empty his pockets (nicely of course)?

It turned out he left something at our house andI knew he had to come back, so I waited. My husband came home and I told him what happened. We talked about it and decided to wait for the boy to come back. When he came for his forgotten object, my husband casually asked, “We are missing some legos, did any end up in your pockets? Could you check?”  The boy felt in his pockets and said, “Oh, I guess I put some in there.”  Busted.

My husband said, “Thanks for checking.  We don’t want to lose our legos.”  And off the boy went back to his house.  After he left my husband and I realized we have several options on how to deal with this situation.

How would we want someone else to deal with our children should they steal something from another child? We would want them to be kind, but direct.  Not yell and shame.  I’m glad for his sake that he got caught.  Learning at a young age when the consequences are less costly is a lot better than learning them when the “price is higher” (i.e. stealing toys from a friend when you are 6 or 7 years old vs. stealing $$ from friends while older or stealing cars etc.) Of course a 4 year old taking toys from a friend’s house deserves a different approach to consequences than a 6+ old child.  A 4 year old may not fully understand what he/she did was wrong and need to be told directly “taking toys from a friend’s house without permission is wrong”.  A 7/8 year old is much more aware of appropriate behavior at a playmate’s house.

What should the consequences be for that child the next time he comes to our house? Possible options:

  • Tell his parents and come up with a plan together.
  • Make sure we put the legos away when he comes over to play.  (The boy likes legos a lot so I think they are a particular temptation for him)
  • Ask him to check his legos to make sure that none of our other legos “accidentally” made it back to his home.
  • Not let him play at our house anymore.
  • Be a little more direct and tell him we know that it wasn’t an accident that those legos ended up in his pockets and that he won’t be allowed to play legos at our house anymore.
  • Check his pockets everytime he leaves our house.
  • Let it go and hope he doesn’t do it again.

Some of these options are more appealing than others.  What we ended up doing was talking to his parents and let them know what happened. I talked to his mom and told her that if the situation was reversed I would want to know what was going on with my kid.  We had a good conversation (although I admit I was very nervous because I don’t know the parents VERY well and I was worried about relational consequences–would she think I was accusing her of being a bad parent?  Their faith beliefs are different from ours–would she feel like we were being judgemental religious people?  Would she think I made the whole thing up?).  I told her that her son is always welcome to come play at our house. He is a very sweet boy and he plays well with the kids.  She was glad I told her and shared with me some things going on with the boy.

My husband and I decided that we would keep the legos put away when he comes to play and that he is welcome to play at our house anytime.  I feel satisfied in the way we handled the situation.  This was one of those issues that surprised me–I wasn’t really expecting to deal with stealing at such young ages (okay, I don’t think I was even aware that I MIGHT have to deal with it one day).  It was a good life lesson for all involved.

Have you ever encountered a similar situation?  How did you handle it?

photo courtesy of speckle

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