A Woman of Vision


Hello! Just wanted to share a few thoughts from a book I’m reading for our Ladies Literary Club this month called, Martha Washington, by Patricia Brady.

First, here is a quote from Martha that could have been written two centuries later by a positive psychologist:

“Martha had a naturally calm and optimistic outlook on life, but she also worked at maintaining that attitude. As she later wrote, ‘I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances; we carry the seeds of the one, or the other about with us, in our minds, wherever we go.'”

I like the way she expresses that truth.

Also, a paragraph jumped out at me about how Martha supported George as he was in a demanding and extremely important role as the military leader of an emerging nation:

“As usual, her first concern was her husband’s comfort, allowing him freedom from domestic details to concentrate on his military responsibilities…she reorganized household affairs so that they ran more smoothly. His emotional comfort, however, was her primary care. Her deep devotion to her children and other family members paled before the burning intensity of her love for George Washington. He accepted her adoration without much thought. It was the atmosphere in which he breathed and lived, where he was most himself. She was at his side on his side, sympathizing and supporting him through depression, failure, disloyalty, and anxiety about the future. With her, he needn’t pretend to be perfect.”

At his side and on his side. To me, these are the profound thoughts and actions of a strong and capable woman who chose to use her nurturing influence to support her husband, and in the process, change our history. Do you believe this idea of creating places of “emotional comfort”  can have such powerful and far reaching consequences for a marriage, a family and in some cases, a country?

I wonder, what legacy are you and I leaving for our families and all those who will come after us? Something to think about…

All my best to you!


P.S. Are you ever tempted to think that the small nurturing acts you perform day in and day out may never amount to much? Those seemingly small things will make all the difference in the long run! We have to remember that the small things are the big things! Who is in your sphere of influence right now? As Mother Teresa reminded us, we can do small things, in our seemingly small circle, with great love and that is what changes the world. You’re doing it! And you’re doing it well. Thank you!

How To Love While You Lead


Here are a few ideas about how to love your kids, even while you are doing your best to lead them to better things, like say, a clean room…

1 Be Quiet

So much of our mother-yacking becomes so much background noise and does nothing to help our children attend to what we are saying. Do your best to clearly say what needs to be said once. Then move forward with what needs to be done.

2 Be Together

Instead of sending your son or daughter off to tackle the job they need to do, consider tagging along and calmly helping them get started. Some kids need direction all along the way, while others may just need a prompt. I remember a wise mother saying that to get her children interested in a new book, she would read the first chapter aloud with all the drama she could. Often, she said, they would be ready to read more on their own after that!

3 Be Patient

When our son who has high-functioning autism is working on a job, he takes breaks in between the small tasks. I used to come unglued wanting him to pick up the speed, but now I know that if I stay present and enjoy the breaks with him, he keeps coming back to work some more. A few days ago, he cored and peeled {with our handy dandy apple corer/peeler} a whole cookie sheet of apples for a batch of apple sauce. The breaks in between were listening to a song from Hook or watching a scene from Batman. Then he would come back. Your young kids may have the need for breaks. Hey, maybe we can learn to take a break now and then too!

4 Be Kind

Remember the boundaries of kind, gentle, respectful and FIRM? Sometimes as parents, we forget that we get far more cooperation from our troop when we treat them with respectful kindness. Even when they choose differently than we want them to, even when they get home late, even when they leave their bike on the ground behind the car, we still need to be kind. Think of the times you feel that someone would be justified in yelling at or criticizing you when you make a poor judgement call. No, no one wants to be treated poorly, even when they’ve done something foolish. In reality, we have all done foolish things.

5 Let Boundaries Speak The Loudest

Being kind doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for bad behavior right? So, say you find your child’s bike behind the car as you’re pulling out to go to a meeting and you have to stop {hopefully before you hit it} to move it out of the way. Pretty frustrating, particularly if you have discussed this no no with your family and you know that they know better! Do you scream and berate your child for being thoughtless or for not following the family rule about putting bikes away? Nope. You let the consequence do the talking. You might show the child where you found the bike and you might talk to them while you are putting the bike in the shed where it will stay for the week {or whatever your family’s consequence is for leaving bikes out.} The bike that is unavailable will be the sad consequence, not the mistreatment of your child.

6 Decide Together

In order to let consequences talk, they need to exist and be known! Teach in calm moments. Talk together about what happens when problems arise. Talk after the consequences are put in motion. Teach and talk and validate and listen. We’re all learning together.

I hope these ideas will be helpful to you as you go about your days.

This stage of life, when children are home and growing flies so very fast. I pray you’ll enjoy as many fleeting moments as you can, with the perspective that this time will go by and be a memory before long. And also with the knowledge that by being a parent, you are learning as much or more than your children are! Family life is an education for everyone. Maybe the most valuable education there is.

Much love to you today!


Cracker Jack!


This is an approximate recipe from The Diet Rebel’s Cookbook. {We have enjoyed trying their dessert recipes for special occasions!} This baked popcorn is simple but it does take a little time to bake and you need to stir it at intervals. Thank heaven for a loud timer! Pop three batches of corn in your air popper. Mix 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup black strap molasses, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sucanat and 1/2 tsp salt in a sauce pan and let it boil for 4-5 minutes. Take it from the heat and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp baking soda. Pour over popcorn and add a few handfuls of Spanish peanuts and stir until each piece is fairly evenly coated. Then bake on cookie sheets in a 250 degree oven, stirring every 20 minutes or so for about an hour. When it finishes baking and you pour it into a bowl, it gets dry and crispy. You’ll love the flavor if you like Cracker Jack! I hope you all had a good day today! It is fun to create memories isn’t it? Be well!
Love, Jacque

What’s Your Style?


Are you a mover-shaker?

Or do you calmly focus on details?

Are you spontaneous and random?

Or is your approach more structured and precise?

If you don’t know how to answer these questions, I’d suggest that you take a few minutes to consider them and get to know yourself a little better. This is an important idea because it can help you to know how to help yourself!

If I know that I enjoy paying attention to detail, then I can capitalize on that and create a plan for my days or for my home that reflects that kind of thoughtfulness.

However, if I know that details feel like the devil and moving at that pace feels like swimming in molasses, then with that self-knowledge, I can manage my time in chunks and take big mama steps in getting jobs done, leaving the details to someone else if at all possible.

If precision is important, I know I don’t want to be haphazard about my direction or about how a job is done and finished so that I don’t constantly feel failed in the things I’m trying to accomplish.

Thrive on spontaneity?

Then there can be a loose plan, supportive with variety and change, including a zero-comparison policy to my sisters who may be living in a completely different pattern.

I bring this all up because in our goal this month to become aware of the problem spots in our home environment that we’d like to address, personal style can become an issue!

Do you ever feel badly about yourself as you see the way someone else is moving forward?

Being more self-aware can assist you in relaxing the expectations you have of yourself, at least in not trying to force yourself into working in the style you might be observing and possibly admiring in someone else.

We are all so blessedly different aren’t we?

I know that if I approach a job with too much attention to detail, I’ll lose interest before I even begin. Detail = boredom to me. Or, if I have to be extremely precise or measured, I’ll feel bogged down to the point of paralysis. I want to jump in and create things as I go! Take a few minutes for details, measure less than eyeball where things need to go and then cross that task off my list!

For years I compared myself to those close to me who love and are good at precision, and in doing that, I felt failed most of the time! How I wish I had known that my way of approaching things was valid and valuable too. {Comparison, especially without self-knowledge is such a faulty measure!}

Some people want a house that is simple, sparingly furnished and may be good at making decisions to keep it that way.

Some want collections and color and may be attached to the people and memories behind things.

What do you want and how do you operate, if we’re talking about the healthiest version of yourself you know thus far?

I hope we can hit our goals this month using our unique strengths and vision. Becoming more self-aware will help us get there…more peacefully.

I hope you are well!


P.S. No matter how we see things, and no matter how we personally get things done, we all have to find our way to a functioning space in order to thrive! And most often, no matter if we’re leaping, carefully sliding, skipping or striding in a straight line, that means we have to put one foot in front of the other over and over again.  We can do this!




Active Learning


“The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity.”

Maria Montessori