Recipe: Fresh Cranberry Relish!

by Hal | 11/25/2015 | 0 comments

When you were a child, when you thought of cranberries, did you think of round slices of red jelly? The good ol’ canned cranberry sauce is like comfort food – but this relish is awe inspiring. It’s delicious, it’s beautiful on the table, and it’s easy. You can make this in just a couple of minutes!…
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November 24th, 2015

Avoid The Awkward Pause

by Hal | 2 comments

One of the great joys of the holiday season is the chance to spend time with family members that you don’t get to see the rest of the year.

Unfortunately, that’s also one of the stressful things about the holidays – extended family that you don’t see the rest of the year.

Blog - Avoid The Awkward Pause -V Continue reading »

November 19th, 2015

The Scary Question, “What Grade Are You In?”

by Hal | 1 comment

It’s funny the things that throw you for a loop when you’re homeschooling.

Teach four grade levels? No problem.

Volunteer at the local food pantry with kids in tow? Got it.

Lead a field trip with a dozen parents and a hundred children of all ages? No problem.

“What grades are your kids in?”  <runs screaming from the room>

Continue reading »

November 18th, 2015

Guys That Help Around The House Are Just Being Biblical Men

by Hal | 0 comments

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This time of year, the housework goes into high gear – cooking, cleaning, and all that, getting ready for the holiday rush. If your home is like ours, the cry for “All hands on deck!” is deep, often, and heartfelt in November and December!

When we were a boys-only family, though, a friend with daughters chided Melanie for expecting our sons to help with household chores — that was “women’s work,” in her opinion. We’d like to suggest the opposite — it’s just work work, not unmanly at all. In fact, guys who help around the house are just being Biblical!

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November 10th, 2015

Talking to Your Kids (All of Them) About Choking

by Hal and Melanie Young | 8 comments

A dear sweet friend of mine nearly lost her son the other night. Just a few seconds, maybe a minute more and she’d be planning a funeral right now. Here’s her story:

Sam, our fourteen-year-old, came stumbling into my bedroom on Saturday night at ten, crying pretty hard and saying, “Mom, I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what happened…”

I asked him repeatedly what was wrong, but he was nearing hysteria, so I got him calmed down a bit, and he was finally able to speak.

RRM The Choking Game V

Sam said, “I was standing by John’s bed (our 12 yr old), and we were talking about the football games we’d watched today. The next thing I remember was hearing really loud buzzing, and he said I put a scarf around my neck and started choking myself. I wouldn’t stop, Mom, and look at my neck!!!!”

I looked, and y’all, his neck had really bad purple bruises on it, like bad rope burns. He was very near hysteria again, so I ran and got the younger one out of bed and brought him in my room. My hubby was in the shower, so I sat on my bed, just loving on both boys while they both just sobbed, and asked hubby to please hurry.

In the meantime, I prayed with the boys, asking God to reveal to us exactly what had happened. I was VERY frightened, because he obviously had NO CLUE how or what had happened.

Hubby came out, and I managed to get the younger brother calm enough to speak, although it was extremely difficult for him. Here’s what he told us:

“Sam was standing by my bed, and we were talking about the games. There was a crocheted scarf tied onto the foot of the upper bunk, and while we were talking, he started messing with the scarf. Then he looped it over his head. When he got it over his head, he stepped down, and then he started acting really funny. I thought he was messing with me, so I turned over and faced the wall.

Sam started making noises, so I looked back at him, and he was kind of jerking around and acting weird, but I still thought he was fooling around so I told him to cut it out, and I turned back over again.

The noises got louder, and when I turned back over, his face was really purple and he was twitching and his body was like jerking and there was drool running out of his mouth. So I hollered at him, “Are you okay?? Sam?? Sam???

And then I realized that he was choking, so I jumped up out of my bed and I lifted him underneath his arms, and I held him there against my body, and I worked the scarf back over his head. Then he fell to the floor and he wouldn’t wake up. I kept trying to wake him up, and he finally opened his eyes, and he came to your room.”

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November 9th, 2015

Preparing for Christ-Centered Holidays

by Hal | 0 comments

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The holidays are rapidly approaching, and while we all enjoy the feasts and the fun, there’s so much more than that. The trick, really, is remembering why we celebrate, being sure to teach that to our kids, and somehow figuring out how to plan a big family celebration without losing sight of the One who gave us the reason we’re rejoicing!

This week’s podcast, we talk about some ways we do that here … CLICK HERE FOR A PREVIEW! (2 minutes)

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November 9th, 2015

My Son Wants to Use Stronger Words

by Hal and Melanie Young | 1 comment

A reader asks, “I have a question I’d appreciate being posted anonymously, please. My 12-year-old son came to me with this: he would like permission to use some “stronger” words to use on certain occasions. He had some good friends who use words like “cr-p”and “dang”, and he says he feels left out when all he can say is “oh, man.” Lol. I want to tell him to always have his words be kind and good, etc. But, barring swear words of course, IS there a place for stronger words in a young man’s vocabulary?”

RRM Using Strong Words


I have really mixed feelings about this one. Most of those things don’t offend me and you’ll occasionally hear some strongish interjections around here (but no profanity). However, an old friend once challenged a group of us at her house for a mom’s night out to consider our hearts. Continue reading »

October 31st, 2015

Q&A: Are Violent Video Games Ever Appropriate?

by Melanie | 1 comment

Video games are wildly popular among young men – the Pew Research Center found that 84% of teenage boys play video games on a computer, game console, or portable device, and one survey found that 60% of daily gamers spend an hour or more every day. Two-thirds of teenage gamers say they play games with “considerable violence” at least some of the time. [source]

Not all of the popular games are trouble – our kids have enjoyed many with historical themes, educational games, or simply entertaining fun. But what about games with realistic action, a level of violence, and even first-person shooter situations? If you do allow video gaming, how do you discern what’s appropriate and what’s not for your son?

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October 30th, 2015

Q&A: My 16-Year-Old Wants to Be in a Relationship! What Do I Do?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 1 comment

Q. My wife wants to invite a nineteen year old young man over for dinner. He works with my sixteen year old daughter and brought her flowers last week. We’ve briefly talked about his interest. She came to Christ last year and she’s a good girl, but I’m just not comfortable with this – I don’t think she’s old enough or mature enough! What should we do?

They grow up fast, don’t they? It can be pretty alarming to suddenly be dealing with grown up situations like this when it seemed like just the other day they were carefree children.

RRM Too Young for a Relationship

There are several ways to handle a situation like this one: 

You can just throw up your hands and let the relationship develop, and hope for the best. You already said you aren’t comfortable with that!

Or you can go all authoritarian and just forbid it. This might work if they were 15 and 12, but they’re not — and even if your daughter isn’t mature enough to get married yet, she’s old enough to think it might work. She’s only a couple of years from being old enough to marry without your approval, too.

And since she’s working with him, she’s going to be seeing him, often, without you being there.

Clearly, whatever course you decide, you’ve got to get her on board or you might create a situation where she’s hiding and sneaking … and that’s dangerous. 

We’d recommend a middle course – one that will preserve your relationship with your daughter, but protect her, too.  Continue reading »

October 29th, 2015

A Better October 31st

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Q: So what is Reformation Day and why do you celebrate it?

We were delighted to find out that Christians have been celebrating Reformation Day as a holiday since at least 1567! As parents of six boys, we’ve loved having a holiday to remember a true Christian hero — a man who faced death and by that, opened the door for many to find life!

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As a law student walking through the woods, young Martin Luther was alarmed by the onset of a large thunderstorm around him. Taking a bolt of lightning as a warning from God, he left his university and became a monk in the Augustinian order, but he did not find the peace he sought in that service. His restless search for peace with God led him to a doctorate in theology, then a professorship with the tiny University of Wittenberg in German Saxony. It was there, in his study of the Bible, that he was struck with the truth, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) He realized that all his works could not save him. Only what Christ did on the cross could pay the price for his sins! Continue reading »

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