Gratuity Not Included

How To Develop And Maintain A Thankful Heart

Thank you! No, I mean it…thank you!

You’re not even sure what I’m thanking you for—but you’ll have to admit the words sound good!

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We’ve got the Thanksgiving holiday coming so this is a good time to talk about the power of a thankful attitude and its expression.

A Critical 30 Minutes In Your Child’s Day

By Gail Andersen

We’ve all done it. Rushed through our day, pushed ourselves further than we should, and looked so forward to getting the kids in bed so we can have some peace and quiet.

But is that really what we want to do?

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Do we intend on shuttling our kids through their day and then at bedtime just popping them in bed with a quick kiss?

Turning The Unexpected Into Significant Family Traditions

How Frozen Pizza And Root Beer Saved Our Thanksgiving

Our family loves the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. It’s filled with Andersen family memories and traditions. And we’ve got a bunch of them. I’m often saddened when I realize how many families have missed out on all that traditions can add to family spirit and culture.

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Some traditions are common to many; e.g., Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas trees. Some are handed down for generations. Others start with something unexpected yet are significant enough to be repeated.

Healthier Eating Made Simple—Really Simple!

Great Nutrition And Great Taste Don't Have To Be Complicated

“What recipes do you use?” It’s a question Gail and I are asked several times a week. Once people hear we’ve made the choices we’ve made in our eating, they want to know our recipes. Our response is usually a paradigm shifter.

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It’s not that we don’t have recipes—we do have some favorites. It’s just that we don’t use many. Instead, we do more of what we call “food combining.”

Road Trips With Kids Made Easier

Keeping Your Sanity And Enjoying The Ride

By Gail Andersen

Just the thought of taking a road trip anywhere with a big family can be overwhelming. A roundtrip drive of several hours or more in the car each way is a big enough deal—add a carload of little ones to perhaps a full day of travel and you’ve got a “Serenity now!” moment!

Courtesy 123RF/Tatiana kostareva

Obviously these trips will require a lot of flexibility, planning, and sheer motivation. But once you get past the initial thought of all being locked in a moving vehicle with each other for an extended period of time, it can actually be a fun experience for the family.

Making Time To Sharpen The Axe

Stay Sharp. Work Less. Accomplish More.

Stephen Covey made the metaphor of “sharpening the saw” famous in 1989 with his bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit #7 is: Sharpen the saw—principles of balanced self-renewal.

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But Covey didn’t create the principle—it’s Bible. It’s a timeless principle for all of us.

If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10

9 Daily Marriage Builders

Never Neglect The Simple Things

Great marriages are made. And the things that make them great are the things that help keep them great. Even the best of marriages can deteriorate if a couple neglects little courtesies and acts of service and affection.

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I’ve worked with a lot of couples who’ve needed to regain lost ground in their relationships. And Gail and I have needed to strengthen our marriage throughout our almost 37 years together.

Getting Through a Shopping Trip With Kids—With Ease

By Gail Andersen

You are making a new recipe for dinner tonight, hoping to impress your husband. But you realize you don’t have two of the ingredients. Now you will have to load up the kids and run to the store.

Courtesy 123RF/Dmitry Kalinovsky

The last time you attempted taking all of them for just a short shopping trip, you wound up listening to kids squabble, constantly saying no to their many requests of things to add to the shopping cart, running short of cash at the checkout, and having to threaten discipline for too many misbehaviors.

The One List You Should Make Every Day

5 Minutes That Guarantee A Better Day

All of us are busy. Although many often complain about being too busy, they are really lamenting they aren’t busy with the most important things. Are you busy doing what you want and feel you are proactively working towards those goals most important to you? Or, are you running ragged reacting to the demands of others and circumstances?


Courtesy 123RF/Kirill Kedrinski

Productive people are proactive rather than reactive. Things happen mainly because they plan their work, then work their plan.

What Do You See In Your Child?

Perhaps A Bit More Awe And Wonder Is Called For

People see kids differently. Many see welcome members of the family. Some see an unexpected “accident”. Some see the carriers of the family name—and family business.


As a young dad, I got a glimpse of a different view of kids that changed me forever. It came through a song written hundreds of years ago by Israel’s King David. It’s found in Psalm 127:3-5 and says,