Ten Blue Eyes

life as we see it

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Snail Spa

I’ve heard it said that no lake vacation is complete without a man-made snail habitat. Er, something like that. But I can’t argue with the saying, because it certainly rang true for us.

While spending a week with our extended family, my daughters and their cousin not only discovered the snails in the shallow water of the lake, but “rescued” them and carried them a good twenty feet from the water to our deck railing. The girls then spent hours caring for the snails and building a natural habitat out of paper bowls, water from a squirt gun, leaves, scissors, and dish soap.

Of course the scissors and leaves were part of the snail clothing design unit and not so much the living quarters, but useful nonetheless.

The habitat was complete and the snails were quite spoiled with their own bathtubs, showers, and even a hot tub. I can’t speak for the snails, but who could really dislike such a variety of hygiene and relaxation options?

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As I watched the girls bathe the snails for the forty-second time it occurred to me that as parents we really don’t need to create fun for our kids as often as we think we do. Sure, sometimes it’s good to play a family board game or a round of “I Spy” in the car, but most of the time, kids just need a little freedom and maybe some Palmolive.

It’s a delight to watch a child’s imagination at work and to see their little hands design and create- even if it leaves you with a mess and a few less paper bowls in your stash.

This post is was inspired by the Five Minute Friday blogging community where bloggers are invited to write about a topic for about 5 minutes based on a one-word prompt. To see more of this week’s post from other bloggers visit here: http://katemotaung.com/2016/07/14/five-minute-friday-create/

This week’s prompt: CREATE


Give It A Rest.


It’s really just a piece of junk that our dentist gave my son as a prize after a routine teeth cleaning. The pink and blue toy top with the smiley face lays on the floor as another hazard for bare feet, along with the Barbie shoes and plastics beads.

With a quick snap of my thumb and middle finger I send the top into motion. It spins across the floor and the happy face blurs out of focus. I watch it and also notice the dust and dirt that’s been tracked into the house on our many trips in and out.

We’ve been busy.

Summer break has begun, but our calendar apparently didn’t get the memo. Each day we’ve set alarms and helped bleary-eyed children get dressed and out the door for our fun-filled camps and summer activities. Three weeks into this routine is enough. Thankfully now the pace is slowing down.

But just as the top begins to wobble more as it slows, I feel as if I’m becoming a little unsteady myself. The motion has brought joy, but I feel that for it to continue to do so, it first needs to stop and be intentionally set back into motion.

Sometimes a reset is needed.

The top slowly ceases moving and rests on its side. The happy face is back in full focus. And this is clear to me as well.

Rest makes it easier to get a good grip and a nice start to the motion.

Just watch your step if you leave your toy resting on the floor.

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday community where bloggers are invited to write for about five minutes based on a one-word prompt. To see other posts on this same topic click here: http://katemotaung.com/2016/06/23/five-minute-friday-rest/

Today’s prompt: REST


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Nothing to Lose.

I’ll never forget what she said. She stood behind the simple podium telling a room full of young moms the heartbreaking story of her infant daughter’s death. My throat felt tight and many eyes twinkled with tears as she told our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group the details of her unimaginable loss. But it was one statement in particular that hit me. And it stuck. Though it has been years since that morning, I have replayed her words in my head often, as if she said them just last week.

She said something like;

“This may sound strange, but now that we have other children and I try every day to protect them from this world and to raise them right, there are times when I’m thankful that the daughter that we lost is already safe. Nothing can harm her now. She’s with the Heavenly Father, and she’s safe.”

Her transparency is capable of encouraging many others to live with such a perspective. Her worldview is an eternal one. Her hope is not rooted on Earth, but in Heaven. Her trust is in an invisible and loving God.

Though she has lost the most precious thing, she has nothing to lose.


I know for a fact that this woman would have rather not faced her horrific pain in order to gain such a mature and godly perspective. But we don’t always have a choice in our life lesson plan. We do however have a choice in how we’ll accept it.

And her words remind me to accept an eternal perspective.

That with our Heavenly Father’s love and the gift of hope He offers, we have everything to gain.

And when we rest in the Truth, we have nothing to lose.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot 

This post of a part of the Five Minute Friday community where a group of bloggers write for about 5 minutes about a topic based on a one-word prompt. To see other posts from this week you can click here: http://katemotaung.com/2016/06/16/five-minute-friday-lose/ 

This week’s prompt: LOSE


In Plenty And In Want.

It was a few tissues and an empty Starbucks cup that tipped me over the edge. They were strewn on the floor around the empty trash can instead of being out by the curb with the rest of the trash that my husband had collected. Didn’t he see he’d dropped it and he really hadn’t completed his task of taking the trash out? I would be sure to mention this to him.

And I did.

“You left a mess of trash on the floor out there and you forgot to put a trash bag in the upstairs trash can. Basically, you completed half of your job.” I said in a huff later that afternoon.

I wanted him to get it right. I wanted him to do his whole job with no mistakes and no delay. I wanted him to make me happy and not leave extra work for me. I wanted him to be perfect.

Somewhere along the way in marriage the “wants” change.

IMG_5301When we were dating I wanted him to sit by me. To take me out to dinner. To kiss me. To propose. I wanted him to want me and choose me to be his forever.

When we said our vows we said we’d love each other “in plenty and in want,” and we meant it. Of course, that meaning of the word “want” in that context is to be in a struggle or need of material possessions or money. And that is a “want” that we, middle class Americans, have never truly known.

Somewhere along the way in marriage the “wants” change.

The focus changed. It went from me wanting him to choose me, to me wanting him to do things for me.

My focus used to be on him, and now it is more often on myself.

I want him to provide and protect.

I want him to help with the kids.

I want him to help me keep the house in order.

I want him to take all the trash out.

Somewhere along the way in marriage the “wants” change.

And each day I need the reminder to strive to change them back.

To ask myself how he’d want me to serve him. And to faithfully put him above myself.

To love and cherish the wonderful man I married. In sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.

In plenty and in want.


This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday community where bloggers write about a topic, based on a one-word prompt, for about five minutes. To join us, check it out here: http://katemotaung.com/2016/06/09/five-minute-friday-want/

This week’s prompt: WANT

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Famous Wise Sayings (Mommy Style)

Happy Mother’s Day! Here’s to “keeping it real.”

Ten Blue Eyes

DSC_0293I have great and utter respect for Benjamin Franklin, Albert Eisenstein and Thomas Jefferson. The guys who wrote the Chinese proverbs and whoever thinks up the sayings on fortune cookie papers aren’t bad either. Some people just say some smart stuff. Ya know?

But today I’d like to keep things real. What if the famous wise sayings of old were written by a mommy who was still wearing her bath robe and slippers and was able to just say it like it is. I’m talking about Mommy Wisdom. Smart little nuggets for REAL, daily life.

This thought struck me as I cleaned up a spill on my kitchen table and floor for the third, yes third, time in one day. Thus leading me to my first Mommy wise saying amendment…

Don’t cry over spilled milk.

AMENDMENT: Don’t sob over spilled milk. Deep breaths and/or moderate sighing is encouraged. If…

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In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, I am sharing this post from four years ago about the struggle I felt as I turned 34- the same age my mother was when she passed away.

Ten Blue Eyes

23 years ago today my Mom, Mary Miller, died suddenly of a heart arrhythmia. She was 34 years old.

This Friday is my birthday. I will be turning 34.

I’m going to be very honest here and admit that I’m struggling with turning 34.  It has nothing to do with aging and I’m not one bit superstitious so the number itself doesn’t bother me. I guess what bothers me is the realization of how young my Mom was when she passed away. This realization sits with me differently at age 34 than it did at age 10.

I always knew she died young. I heard that comment from grown-ups over and over in the months after her death. I also knew it was such a sad thing that she left my Dad with two little children, ages 10 (6 days shy of 11) and 6. I was sad because I’d…

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The Dash

Ten Blue Eyes

April, 2016
This month I will receive my first paycheck in almost 12 years. I started working part-time as a grant writer for a non-profit (FCA.) I’m excited to be able to use writing to help raise money for a ministry that I care about, all while working mostly from home.
The decision for me to start working again was not one Kraig and I made lightly. For a dozen years we’ve intentionally chosen for me to stay home full-time with our three kids. Now our youngest will begin Kindergarten this fall and the timing seems good for me to start this job as well as pursue some other opportunities as/if they arise.
A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “The Dash” about my thoughts on being a stay-at-home mom and how when a financial planner summarized my contributions to our family with a little…

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