Tuesday, December 31, 2019


In just mere hours, another new year will be upon us, and we're reflecting . . . .

Over the past year, we've invited you to join us in making strong, thriving families, and you've accepted our invitations. Thank you all! Marriage, parenting, and family should bring you joy and contentment; if that is not your story, would you reach out to us? We'd love to add some love and encouragement to your 2020.

--Stacey and Andrea
John 10:10

Here's some of the sweetness we've heard this year . . . and y'all . . . sniff sniff. So sweet, and what an encouragement for this mission He has put before us!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Now Booking!


Stacey Watts
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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Book Recommendation for YOU, Mom

“I'll put on some Bing and we can believe for a marvelous, miraculous, glorious Christmas season.” --Rachel Hauck, The Wedding Dress Christmas

Normally we're one-holiday-at-a-time girls, but sometimes a Christmas book comes along that you just can't wait on slowpoke December to get here to read.

This is that book.

Forget Mayberry, forget Stars Hollow . . . we want to live in Hearts Bend. As you're urging your children to read and hoping for 100 Book Club memberships, don't forget about your own pleasure reading. This one is an instant mood-lifter. We highly recommend this book and this author!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Weekend Plans

Got big plans for this weekend? Does your kid have one or 17 invitations to various birthday celebrations over the next two months?

Yeah. Us too.

Listen to this:

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Free Printable

We LOVE the idea of hiding notes for our little ones (and maybe even our big ones) to find: in a lunch box, book bag, or tucked in the pages of that boooooring math book. We took a stab at creating our own! Print this file on card stock and they may last more than a day . . . HA HA!

Do you like this idea? If so, we might just make more . . . .

#ifyourenothavingfunyouredoingitwrong #areyouhappilyparenting

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

On the Same Page

Husbands and wives: are you on the same page today? “Singing from the same sheet of music,” as the old expression goes?

(Notice we didn't say "Dad and Mom.")

Check out this video and let us know how you stay connected during this crazy season.


By the way . . . we have a huge male fan base at the Happily Parenting Headquarters. Maybe you'll see why at the end of this video.

#areyouhappilyparenting #areyouhappilymarried #ifyourenothavingfunyouredoingitwrong

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Thank You, Lord, for keeping Your promises to us. Help us to do the same with the ones we love.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Two Simple Things: HUGE Pay-Off

There are two things that you can do to drastically improve your children’s lives spiritually, emotionally, socially, academically, and mentally.

Want to know what they are? Take a look here:


Such small effort . . . such a huge pay-off.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Look him in the eye!

What do you do when your children become shy around adults?

Give them some tools to overcome those moments! Here's one story that might help:


Look for more videos from Happily Parenting on YouTube!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Happily Parenting YouTube Channel

We're big fans of articles, blogs, and the written word, but sometimes there's nothing like a good video. If you need some encouragement, some laughs, or just something to play in the background as you go about your day, join us over at our Happily Parenting YouTube Channel! New videos will be posted soon, so keep checking or subscribe for updates!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


What do you think when you use the word "discipline"? Do you enjoy being with (or working with) people who are NOT disciplined? Listen to this teachable moment on our Happily Parenting YouTube channel.


And as we always say . . . if you're not having fun (for the most part!), you're doing it wrong!


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"You're going to let us have WHAT?"

As a parent, do you know when to bring the hammer down and when to let loose? Do you know how and when to shock your children with a rare "YES" moment?

'Cause if it isn't rare, it's not gonna work . . . .

Listen to this story and see if you can relate.


We invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Never Stop

The fall and winter months can be FULL to say the least, and there may be days when your only quiet times are the 30 seconds before you fall asleep.

Does that sound familiar?

If you find yourself lacking quality time to focus on your relationship with God, keep this verse in mind. You can (and should) pray while you're changing diapers, driving to school (eyes open OB-viously), baking cupcakes, listening to a conference call, homeschooling, working on that overdue report, ironing your husband's pants, and yes, in those 30 seconds before you fall asleep.

We have a Father who hears our thoughts and knows our hearts at ALL times.


Friday, September 6, 2019



Any healthcare professional will tell you that good health is largely dependent on balance. Work and play. Cardiovascular exercise and good stretches. Fruits and vegetables with the occasional cupcake.

Balance is a big deal for the health of your family dynamic, too. If all of the attention is on one person (or one CHILD), the health of the family suffers. If one child is controlling the whole family--whether it's through his/her behavior or his/her extracurricular activities--then the peace of the family is upset. And there's no balance in that.

If your family is child-centered, then your child will grow up to be self-centered.

God's design is for the relationship between husbands and wives to be second only to our relationships with Him. In other words, Dad and Mom need to put Him first, each other second, and the children (with attention distributed equally to all) come next.

#areyouhappilyparenting #itsnotaboutyou #ifyourenothavingfunyouredoingitwrong


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Word About Fear

Another hurricane season is here, and while this one will probably bring nothing more than wind and rain to our neck of the woods, talk of threatening weather can be a little unsettling for all of us.

Whether it's a big storm or a weird shadow in the middle of the night, scary moments are going to happen for our children. When they do, you can bet they'll be watching to see how WE react to them. Adults who are calm and fully in charge in the home allow their children to be children: less anxiety and more self-confidence.

Along with exhibiting an "I've-got-this" attitude, you can also fill your child's heart and mind with some solid truth about fear. He has not given us a spirit of fear . . . so if HE didn't give it to us, then who did? Hmmmm.

This is a good verse to start!


Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Have you heard this story? It's the one about how the LESS attention you pay to your children, the MORE attention they will pay to you.

Does that sound odd?

Link to the video is below. Try it and let us know how it goes!

Pillar of Salt!


#areyouhappilyparenting  #ifyouarenthavingfunyouredoingitwrong


Thursday, August 29, 2019

It's not supposed to be this hard . . . .

Motherhood is not supposed to be this hard.

In fact, just a couple of generations back, most women considered it fun. They also considered raising children to be one of several interesting things that they did.

We often find that the same women who focus solely on the role of mother are also the most drained among us. And they're also the same women who share photos of their children and proclaim, “This is my whole world!”

Don’t form a club of women based on the burden of motherhood. Drop the burden!

What’s making you tired? Women generally report noise and mess as their top two. I would add your schedule (and your children’s schedules) to that list. See if any of these fit your lifestyle:

Are you doing too much around the house?
Are you doing chores that your able-bodied children are capable of doing?
Are you allowing each child to participate in more than one extracurricular activity?
Is the family eating dinner around the table less than three times a week (or never)?
If your child gets an invitation to a weekend birthday party, does it automatically go on the calendar?
Do you have trouble remembering the last time you enjoyed unplanned, unscheduled time at home?

We seem to be concerned that if we’re not involved in every aspect of our children’s lives, we’ll be seen as bad mothers. But they are separate people. They will eventually leave the nest, and as weepy as that makes us all (and it’s okay to mourn that thought), it’s right and healthy and of the Lord to let them create their own lives. Letting them go is the selfless thing to do. Think of them, not yourself. Imagine them in thriving, healthy families of their own.

What child feels free to leave his mother when she’s proclaiming to everyone, “He’s my HEART! He’s my WORLD!” Okay . . . do you want to still be coordinating his dental appointments when he’s 32? (The right answer is no.)

Let’s take it down a few notches. Love them, but don’t be in love with them. Save that kind of passion for your husband. If you’re not married, then reserve that kind of passion for your own interests.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Sweet-Smellin' Little Sinners

"A youngster’s heart is filled with rebellion, but punishment will drive it out of him." (Proverbs 22:15, TLB)

You know that word "rebellion" (or "folly," as some translations call it)? It's sin. Straight-up sin, straight out of the womb.

But their heads smell so, so good . . . .

Yes, we cherish them, adore them, and would give our lives for them. But we should never lose the perspective that we're sinners raising sinners. We'll each find the right mix of tough love and loving grace (not too much of either!), and we'll do just fine.

(We'll all need a giant sense of HUMOR, too.)

#ifyourenothavingfunyouredoingitwrong #areyouhappilyparenting

Thursday, August 22, 2019

This School Year

I wholeheartedly believe that parents genuinely want to slow down.

Mothers are tired. Husbands want their wives back. And kids really just want to be kids (minus the over-scheduled agendas and lists aplenty). It can be done, but only if we speak up, stop comparing ourselves to each other, and put what is best for our children first--even if we are the only family on the block to do so.

My prayers for this school year are that your child will have:

an overabundance of opportunity to falter . . . so they can pick themselves up!
the hidden blessing of not winning . . . so they can know determination.
the indescribable gift of time . . . so they can explore.
real-life consequences . . . so they will always know that their actions have real meaning.

This school year, step back for their sake AND yours!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Back to School: How Big Are the Bows at YOUR House?

Back-to-school season, y'all . . . how big are the bows at your house?

Check out this video!


#areyouhappilyparenting  #ifyouarenthavingfunyouredoingitwrong

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Happy School Week!

To all of my teacher, administrator, and support staff friends . . . this one's for you!

Happy First Week of School!


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Scheduling Happily Parenting

We're still eating ice cream by the pool as often as possible--but y'all, it's time to start thinking about fall and winter! Who needs a fresh start this school year? Marriage? Teens? Pre-schoolers? Family talk in general? You're not alone, and we've got you covered. E-mail Andrea at afuller@happilyparenting.com.

Hope to meet you soon!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A new game we are playing at our house . . . .

Even in the most consistent households, parents will find from time to time their lambs juuuust need to check and see if the rules and expectations are still the same. Say for instance, picking up after themselves.

Yes. That is STILL the expectation.

Rather than throw your arms up in utter disgust and exasperation over what you believed to be a closed case (because after all, you have been intentionally consistent) . . . dude . . . have fun with it!

In our home of late (which houses two teenagers), we are using these moments as an opportunity to learn about adult life when they are on their own. As adults, when we are unable to perform a needed task such as a small home repair, gabage removal, etc., we have to pay for this service. Adulting is fun that way.


Right now in our home, if you are unable to pick up after yourself or complete a task expected of you, Mom or Dad will complete that service for you--yep, you read that correctly.

But keep reading.

Each service provided by Mom and Dad LLC will cost $2. $2 per cup, per sock, per trash liner not replaced. Invoices will be issued for payment at the end of each month with payment due upon receipt.

Good thing they have those summer jobs.

#comeonbigmoney  #mamaneedsnewshoes  #ifyourenothavingfunyouredoingitwrong


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Q: "I have two children, ages 6 and 8. I love my children very much, but I don't really like them most days. What is wrong with me? I feel like a failure as a mother!"

A: First, let me say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. The only thing you have working against you is also the same thing you have going for you: you were born! Each of us--born sinners that we are--are also created in Christ's image. We love because He loves us so much so He gave His own Son for us! As parents, how many of us would be able to do such a thing? Most of us can barely fathom the thought of them sleeping over at a friend's house! As John Rosemond puts it, "We are but sinners raising sinners." While we are shooting for sainthood, obtaining wisdom in this life is full of struggle and frustration.

No doubt you love your children, and I would even go so far as to bet you'd give your life for them! For most parents, that is a given, even in cases where the definition of "love" is a bit skewed. But it would be absurd to suggest that you don't relate more to one child over another and that this itself will change as they grow. It's just simple logic and personality understanding. So it makes sense that you won't necessarily "like" your children all the time. My own children and I had this very conversation once.


Yes . . . calm down . . . wait for it . . . .

My daughter asked one random afternoon driving down the road (because the big questions are never set up like an after-school special) who I loved more, her or her brother? Both were in the car, by the way; it instantly became like rapid fire as they both tried offering their best and obviously self-absorbed answer to the question in play. Ya feel me? I told her that I loved them both the same; a mother's love can't be measured, but if it could, each of their cups would be full. I was sure to include that they were two very different people . . . very reminiscent of the book I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse (I taught both of my children kindergarten and first grade, so of course I use every opportunity to interject a book reference--I can't help myself!) Like most conversations of this nature, she pressed on and on, to which I calmly and very matter-of-factly added, "But sometimes I like you different." She immediately responded with, "Like right now, you like him more cause I'm bugging you?" Bingo, little girl.

Of course, my experience with this emotional struggle is quite different from other families I've worked with. I've known parents who have tried to fight every battle for their children from day one, never held them accountable, consistency was out the window, and the resulting self-induced behavioral challenges were too numerous to mention. I've had these parents sitting before me weeping when they had finally reached the point of breaking because of the "love" they thought they were giving the child. I asked, "I bet most days you dread picking him up from childcare after work?" The mother sobbed and simply said, "Yes." She was quick to defend her love but had to admit that she didn't "like" what her son was becoming and could hardly stand to be around him. As sad as this is, it is very common.

I don't know the depth of your situation, but if you find that you relate more to the latter scenario, step back and assess your situation. Are you stuck in a season of serving your children because you believe that "that's what good mothers do"--yet you now realize that you're raising a narcissist? If you're there, I want you to know that getting back on track is not impossible. I would love to talk with you more.

Bottom line: truly loving your children comes in your parenting attitude and how well you lead your children. When we can love them in this way, chances are we are gonna like them on most days too!


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Thank you, teachers!

Thank you, teachers, who think of this each time you step into a classroom. Your work is not going unnoticed!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Celebrating the Women in our Lives!

Teachers, mothers, nurses . . . what a week to celebrate the women in our lives who live out these verses!

Photo courtesy of Ron Lambros Ministries, Inc.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Upcoming Events with Happily Parenting

Do you need a speaker for your school, church, childcare center, or women's group? We're happy to help!


Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Transformation


“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” --Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

Do you feel tingly when you read that verse?  Do your eyes widen, and does a smile spread across your cheeks as you think of the possibilities of the word new? We all love something new:  a new book, new clothes . . . and how about the thrill of transforming something old into something new? But new comes with a price. New shoes don’t come free, and even making something new out of something old comes with a price: hard work.

Does your approach to parenting need a little transforming? Perhaps you’ve fallen into the trap of being the “good” mother, and in doing so, you’ve suddenly found yourself exhausted, your marriage in dire straights, and no idea what it means to have a peaceful home.  By today’s definition, being the good mother means being available to your children 24/7, regardless of their ages.  Women are so focused on their children that their marriages are being put on hold--and in some cases, the damage is irrevocable.  Children are more disobedient than ever, and you’re asking, “What did I do wrong?” 

Guilt comes when we choose to put something—anything—before our children.  But here’s the truth:  your children will have a better chance of happiness when YOU are happy.  They will thrive when they have happily married parents.  Joy and peace have a greater chance of reigning when God’s plan for the family is carried out.

After the first two years of life, the time when your precious angel needs you to care for his every need has come to a close—and THAT is when most mothers fail to return to their husbands.  He needs a partner, a companion, a lover, a playmate, and a friend.  You need each other to witness the other’s life, to parent as a team, and to make memories that you can replay to each other long after the youngest one has left the nest.  By placing this relationship above all others in the home, you give your children security, peace, and ultimately happiness.  When marriage takes a back seat to a relationship with a child, the balance is thrown.  You should love your children but not be “in love” with your children.  

All is not lost, dear friends.  If your priorities are a little out of whack, don’t bemoan the past—but don’t continue this pattern either.  Here are some ways that you can restore the order that God intended for your home:

1.      If your children are over age two, encourage their independence.  Let go of the lie that boundaries are bad.  Children must learn to do for themselves in order to desire doing for others.  Esteeming a child to the point that he still believes he is the center of your world beyond age two produces the opposite result most well-intentioned parents want.  Your goal is to foster self respect, which grows respect for others.  Holding on to your image of that sweet babe (who, just yesterday was swaddled so tight!), keeps him and YOU from much happiness and growth.
2.      If you’ve stopped dating your husband, please start again!  Dates don’t have to cost a thing.  Something as simple as an early bedtime for the kiddos, no matter their ages, might be all you need.  Let your children see how important you are to one another and that your relationship is worth your focus.  By dating and respecting one another, setting aside time each day just for the two of you, you’re showing your children the kind of man or woman you want them to one day have, as well as modeling how to treat that future spouse.
3.      Let your children fail.  There comes that guilt again!  Whether it stems from wanting your child to “like” you, terror over seeing him hurt (no matter how minor), or fear of how their failures will make YOU look, if you always come to his rescue—well, how will he learn to deal with adversity or know the value of hard work?  Some of the greatest joys come about because of the greatest trials.  Don’t be constantly available to your children to correct or prevent every failure.  Use this time to be available to your husband and not fail his need for your attention.

So let’s try a new approach.  Let this be the year that you shower your husband, not your children, with endless attention.  Remember your wedding day?  You didn’t marry your children; you married your husband, and you married him for life.  Mothers, I know you’ve thanked the Lord a million times for that beautiful bundle of joy that the doctor placed in your arms.  Let this be the year that you thank Him just as often for the gift of your spouse.