Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

Key Lime Angel Food Bars

key lime angel food bars

Sometime in the past few months, I bought a can of key lime pie filling. It must have been an impulse buy because it’s been sitting in my pantry collecting dust. That never would have happened with chocolate, but I digress.

Today, I decided to use it. My daughter made Key Lime Angel Food bars, and they are refreshing and light. Here’s the recipe she adapted from Enjoy!

  • 1 angel food cake mix
  • 1 14 cups cold water
  • 1 can pie filling


Heat oven to 350.

Beat cake mix and water on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add pie filling and mix well.

Pour into ungreased 15×10 jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.

Bake 25 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar, lime glaze or frosting.




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May I Have a Compromise?

While my hubby watches TV, my son plays Minecraft with his friend and my daughter enjoys a sleepover, I’m getting a head start on work for the week.

One of my writing topics is compromise. We already compromise and negotiate in our home a lot. I figure it’s a good way to give my kids a voice. I do not want to be a dictator, and everyone deserves to have a say in most sitations.

That’s why I was excited to find this interesting perspective on the topic at I definitely think “May I have a compromise?” is going to become a new mantra in my home! What about yours?

May I Have a Compromise?


When people hear our kids ask, “May I have a compromise?” they tend to look at us a bit funny. They seem completely confused when we respond to our kids as if their request for a compromise is normal. But at our house it is normal. In fact, it’s a request we hear no less than a dozen times each day.

We began teaching our kids to ask for compromises when our now five-year old daughter was only two. We figured that she was old enough to have a conversation with us, so she was old enough to begin learning how to compromise.

One thing we’ve noticed over the years among kids who are adopted or in foster care is that they tend to have control issues — sometimes really BIG control issues. Many kids (and parents) struggle with control issues, but this especially true for adopted and foster kids that come from homes or situations where most, if not all, of their world was out of control.  Sometimes these kids had to raise younger siblings, or had to fend for themselves to find their next meal. Sometimes these kids had to use control and manipulation to stay safe, both physically and emotionally.  And some of these kids resorted to control as an attempt to mask their lack of trust and feed their desire to avoid being hurt, neglected, or abandoned ever again. Control is often an “all or nothing” proposition for these kids, and when they come to our homes they aren’t willing to easily give up the control they’ve worked so hard to get.

In our home we’ve decided we are going to help our kids deal with their control issues not by taking control away from them, but by sharing control with them. Share control with our kids?  Sounds crazy. After all, we are the parents so we need to show our kids that we are in control, right? The thinking goes that they need to respect our authority or everything will devolve into chaos. We followed this way of thinking for a while, but showing our kids that we were in control was NOT working. As we tried to suddenly take all the control away from them what we got in return were power struggles and the very chaos we were trying to avoid. What worked, however, was a very simple solution…compromise.

The insight that helped us grasp this approach was actually something that Dr. Karyn Purvis said – “If you as a parent share power with your children, you have proven that it’s your power to share.”  This helped me understand that I get to decide when and how much power to share when I offer my kids a compromise.  And offering compromises doesn’t mean that I lose control or give my kids all of the control.  It means that I teach them how to share power and control appropriately and by doing so, I teach them an essential skill for healthy relationships.

Here’s how a compromise works at our house:

Me: Son, please go clean your room.
Son: (who is playing a videogame) Sure mom. May I have a compromise?
Me: What’s your compromise?
Son: May I finish this level on my game and then go do it?

Since that is an acceptable middle ground I will typically say sure and let him finish the level before going to clean his room. Of course this is an ideal conversation. Often times it goes more like this:

Me: Son, please go get your room cleaned up.
Son: (who is playing a video game) Ugh!! Can’t I just finish this level first?
Me: Whoa! I don’t like that tone. Are you asking for a compromise?
Son: Yes.
Me: I’m listening.
Son: May I have a compromise?
Me: What’s your compromise?
Son: May I finish this level on my game and then go do it?
Me: Sure! That’s a good job asking for a compromise!

Learning compromises takes practice for both kids and parents.  As they learn this skill, it’s important to praise your kids when they ask for a compromise correctly (even if you have to prompt them). Still the risk remains that your child might not hold up his end of the deal.  So, as you start using compromises it’s important to remind your kids that if they don’t hold up their end of the compromise, then you won’t be able to offer as many compromises in the future.  Contrary to what I thought would happen, my kids have always held up their end of the compromise.  As a result, we have had far fewer control battles.

By using compromises our kids have learned that they have a voice. They know that I can’t always give them or agree to a compromise, but they also know that I will as often as I can.  And the funny thing is that they now are able to accept ‘no’ much better than in the past.

Remember – compromising is NOT about allowing our kids to argue or debate with us, nor is it about losing our control or giving them all of the control. It is about sharing power – our power.  Compromises give our kids a voice and allow them to RESPECTFULLY ask for what they want and need.  And compromises give us as parents the opportunity to teach our kids an important way of relating that builds trust and connection.



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Cats Know Who Loves Them!

whiskers on nanny peach blanketThis is my buddy Whiskers. He’s two years old and one of our rescue cats. (His mama runs around the property that surrounds my hubby’s auto body shop.)

In fact, all our cats were rescues. And even though he’s allergic to cats, hubby’s the first one to bring home the strays. I love his generosity to the least of these.

I guess that’s why Whiskers is hanging out on my mother-in-law’s blanket. She passed away four weeks ago, and as soon as we brought this blanket home, Whiskers jumped on it and took a little nap. He knows who loves him! ❤

I am grateful for this reminder today. It’s easy to forget that we are loved, but each and every one of us has someone who loves us. May you remember how much you are loved today!

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May the Fourth Be With You

May 4

Photo by:Fernando Bueno (Flickr)

Confession: I’ve never seen an entire Star Wars movie. (Hard to believe, right?! It’s on my bucket list for when I can really sit down and focus on it!) But May 4 always reminds me of power!

God’s Force lives in us!

I’m grateful for that power because in the last 24 hours, it has helped me forgive a nasty comment someone made about me, choose to overlook a sin committed toward me and respond with grace instead of anger toward one of my children.

Here’s a short list of some of my favorite Bible verses that talk about God’s power.

What will you do with the power that lives in you today?

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When You Feel Weak, You’re Strong

2-corinthians-12-9Motherhood wipes me out.

I often feel unqualified, unprepared and unequipped to do this job.

And then I read these verses from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Go ahead, read that again. I know I needed to.

Paul’s saying that God gives grace despite our weaknesses. In fact, when we’re weak, God gives us power to endure everything that comes our way.

Think about it.

When we’re energized, recharged and rested, we feel capable of taking on the world.

But when we’re drained, worn down and exhausted, there’s no way we’re doing much of anything besides ordering takeout.

This parenting gig will beat you up faster than a round inside a boxing ring with Muhammed Ali. Trust me, this past year has been filled with drama, trauma and heartache for me and my family. Many times, I felt like quitting and was certain that I would not make it out of the day alive! Yet, according to these verses, I am at my most strongest when I am weak. Those moments certainly are the times when I cry out to God for strength, wisdom and help.

May we learn today to celebrate our weaknesses. Instead of trying to be super moms who complete the to-do list by 9 AM, create three healthy, gourmet meals every single day and always know exactly what to say to our hurting kids, may we accept our limitations and cling to God’s power!

He has what we need and will make us strong despite our weaknesses.

Will you let Him work through you today?

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