Summer Memories

The last few weeks have been full ones for our families. Summer is in full swing and that means unusual schedules, exciting adventures, and memorable moments. Because of that, we won’t be having a new podcast episode this week (just couldn’t seem to fit that in with everything else going on). We’ll be back on schedule in two weeks with a brand new episode about conflict resolution!

Until then, we’d love to hear from you about what kind of summer plans and memories you have going on. Here’s a a few highlights for us:

Vacation to Innsbrook, MO where we hiked, waded, and collected lots of bug bites in the woods.

Fishing and berry picking on our farm.

Trying new things at an Affogato Bar.

Taking the “whole crew” to a movie!

Please share with us your stories and memories in the comments. If you missed the last two episodes, they give great ideas on making summer vacation plans and having a spiritually successful summer. Until next time, Be Abnormal!

A Fifth Tuesday Recommendation!

Today is the fifth Tuesday in March and, while we won’t be having a new episode of our podcast this week, we wanted to recommend another great resource!

A few weeks ago, our church attended a youth conference where Arlene Pellicane was the speaker. She was energetic and interesting and told us all to burn our phones! The teenagers loved it! Seriously!

Arlene teaching at the 2022 Collide Retreat in Branson, MO.

Arlene is a speaker and an author who combines her love for Jesus, her experience parenting, and her research into technology to help families navigate some of the difficulties of living in a digital age. She’s written several books, hosts a podcast, and even has a Masterclass!

We want you to encourage you to check out Arlene’s resources. Our suggested place to start is a recent episode of the Happy Home Podcast where she talks about the wonder of creation with guest Louie Giglio. Louie is a pastor, author, and one of my favorite speakers!

So check that out and then plan to join us next Tuesday with a brand new episode of our podcast! Until then, Be Abnormal!

Where We Need the Most Help and Advice

This excerpt from Episode 83 – What Parents Need! shares one of the biggest concerns for parents of teens and young adults – Spiritual Development.

We want to invite your feedback by filling out our Parent Survey. This survey is meant to help us continue providing the best ideas and resources for the needs of your family. We will be highlighting the results in an episode in mid-February. Stay tuned and Be Abnormal!


There is no new podcast today. We will be returning next Tuesday – January 4th – with a brand new episode for a brand new year!

As we look forward to 2022, we are excited to continue partnering with parents to help raise our children for the cause of Christ! Here’s a little preview of some of our upcoming episodes:

  • The Superpower of Empathy
  • Social Media Do’s & Don’t’s
  • Helping Your Child Find Help
  • How to Talk to Your Teenager
  • Having Fun on a Budget!

We look forward to sharing these and other topics in the upcoming weeks. We would also love to hear from you. You can comment on our episodes and posts. You can reach us via social media at Facebook or Instagram. Or you can email us directly at

Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son

In our most recent podcast episode – #78: Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter – we reviewed Vicki Courtney’s book of the same title. If you’ve already went through that material or if you are just wondering “But what about my son?”, we want to recommend Vicki’s other book – Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son.

In this very accessible read, Courtney covers the same five conversations – just from the perspective of what your son is experiencing. We strongly recommend reading both of these valuable books and having these life-changing conversations with your sons and daughters.

A Great Resource for Your Spiritual Journey

On our most recent episode of the Is That Normal? Podcast, we talked about personality profiles and how they impact our relationships. (If you missed it check out Episode 76 – Personality Profiles, Reaction Scales, and Emotion Grids).

If you want to dig deeper into some of these concepts, we’d really recommend Cron and Stabile’s The Road Back to You. This book highlights the details of the Enneagram framework but from a solidly Christian viewpoint. In each chapter it discusses the spiritual side of each personality type as well as gives suggestions for spiritual transformation.

Of all the research we’ve done on personalities, I believe this book offers the best instruction on how our particular makeup effects our spiritual and emotional health, as well as gives very practical ideas on how to head towards health in those areas.

Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Finding Stories that Teach Us

As a follow up to our most recent episode – ITN #75: Lighting Fires and Leaking Buckets – I wanted to highlight another great podcast.

Out of the Ordinary Books with Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy highlight books and authors in each episode that help us on our journey as parents, followers, and humans. They totally get the idea that the right stories can help us find our own place in the story of God and life. Go check them out and be Out-of-the-Ordinary!

Helping Your Kids Reflect Rather Than Pose

Yesterday should have been a podcast Tuesday.  However, with the busyness of camps and vacations and an unexpected quarantine, we are a little off schedule. 

We’ll return to our normally scheduled Is That Normal? Podcast schedule in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I’ve got a few thoughts and a challenge for you. 

In our Instagram society, it’s easy to run through life looking for the next cute post. Just take out your camera and point it at a young person and they are ready to pose! (I actually think I saw someone this week whose face was permanently frozen in their selfie face pose – you know the one, lips pursed, head tilted slightly down.)

But as we come out of the summer, I find this is a great time to reflect rather than pose. To take time and inventory the significant moments of the season. To record spiritual milestones. To cherish family bonding. To evaluate personal growth. And then to look to the future. To set goals for the next season. And finally to take some breaths. To watch some sunsets and enjoy the noises of summer nights. To rest in the moment. 

And parents it’s our job to model for our children and lead them to these habits. 

So here’s the challenge – buy some journals (Yes, real paper journals…and some cool pens!) and set aside some time for you and your family to reflect on their summer. And when you’re done, share highlights with each other over ice cream!

As you do this activity, May it lead you all closer to God and closer to each other. Until next time, Be Abnormal! 

For Further Reading: Can’t Even…

For Episode 70: What To Do When Your Kids Come Back!, we used Anne Helen Petersen’s book Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation for some of our research.

This well-researched commentary opens a perspective-changing window into the challenges for the millennial generation. Written frankly by a millennial, it tells of some of the cultural and systemic factors that have led to the current generational situation. Petersen did a great job of peeling back the layers of older generation’s gripes and seeing some of the shared problems facing our society.

For those of us called to love and influence the next generations, this book offers insight into understanding the why’s behind the economic, relational, spiritual, emotional, and moral concerns – many of which might surprise you. May we continue to pursue understanding others that we might better offer love and truth to them!