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For Truth with a Texas Twang, join Fireside Talk Radio, the show where women ponder the things we store in our hearts. Host Cathy Krafve invites experts to share their personal stories and talk openly about all the things women care about. You name it, we talk about it.

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Liberty Loving Kids, Plus Lathan Watt’s Top Books for Fostering Religious Liberty, Part 1

First Liberty's Lathan Watts joins us on Fireside talk Radio.

Defending religious liberty all the way to the Supreme Court takes up a ton of Lathan Watts’s mental energy. An attorney with First Liberty, one of the nation’s foremost defender of religious liberty, Lathan joined me recently on Fireside Talk Radio. Of course, he shared a ton of stuff on instilling a love of religious liberty in the younger generations.

You’ll love his passion and sense of humor. Plus, he sports an insider’s view of where the battle lines are drawn on the issue of religious liberty.

Lathan’s Book List for Educating Young Patriots

With a constitutional scholar and history lover on the show, I couldn’t resist asking for a book list. Here’s Lathan’s top picks for raising liberty loving young Americans.

  • His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis
  • American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis
  • The Federalist Papers, which Lathan describes as “some of the best writing about the Constitution by the men who wrote the Constitution” 
  • Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World by Daniel Hannon, which makes the case our Founding Fathers were simply claiming the rights they enjoyed as true British subjects. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble thinking of myself as a subject, rather than a citizen. My, how far we’ve come!
  • The 5,000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen
  • 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D.
  • 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read: Plus Four Not to Miss and One Imposter, by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D, Robertson Dean, et al 

Respect for Religious Liberty

Honestly, I just wanted a book list for kids. But leave it to Lathan to get to the heart of the matter—what adults don’t know. Seriously, Lathan caught me flat footed. Especially since the only thing on his list I’ve actually read myself was the Federalist Papers. Ouch! 

Still, he gave me a GREAT excuse to order books promptly! In my world, the only thing better than chocolate is a good book! Actually, chocolate plus reading out loud to our grandkids ranks as the BEST! (Soon, Anna and I plan upcoming episodes devoted to fun ways to instill a love of reading in your creative children. Stay tuned!)

“You can’t go wrong starting with the reading the Constitution and the Federalist Papers,” adds Lathan. (For more on raising kids with a love for liberty: Independence Day: How to Foster Independence in Kids and Country .)

Passing on Passion for Civics 

As a father himself, Lathan appreciates just how hard it is to raise children.

“Well, my parents did their best to raise me right, I guess,” he laughs, describing himself as “that weird kid in grade school who watched the news.” He adds, “I just couldn’t wait to vote and all that.” As a little boy of four or five his dad was his hero. 

“I have a memory of being over at my grandparents’ house and my dad pulling me over and sitting me in his lap. He said, ‘I need you to be quiet because I want to hear what this man has to say.’”

The man was Ronald Reagan. 

A Love of Learning

Clearly, many parents want to raise kids with a passion for history and a love of country. So, Lathan encourages parents to stay alert when it comes to their kids’ education. (For more about how religious liberty secures families from the effects of anarchy, click here.)

“I think a big mistake that some parents make, and it’s easy to do, is assuming their kids are going to be taught history and a love of country in school. In many places they’re not.”

According to Lathan, parents must be intentional. He suggests opening up daily conversations about what they’re learning in school. “They (his own kids) know Daddy was a history major,” he laughs, “So everything they learn in history class they want to talk about with me. I ask them, what did you talk about in history today.” Plus, he pays attention for normal opportunities to observe and think.

“It’s taking the opportunity to discuss things when they’re current. One thing that is seriously missing in education is critical thinking.” In order to get his own kids thinking, he asks good questions. “Did you hear the way the newscaster introduced that story? Does that sound objective to you?”

One Interest Leads to Another

In his own life, his initial interest in President Reagan led to a fascination with American history. That bloomed into his passion for religious liberty. 

“Whether it’s a political figure or a band I like, I want to know who they’re interested in.”

From Reagan, Lathan discovered Calvin Coolidge. Then, because Reagan often quoted American patriots, Lathan’s interests expanded to include Alexander Pain, Thomas Jefferson George Washington and so many others.

“I wanted to know who were the men they believed in,” Lathan says. Naturally, his self-education expanded to include more historic figures. “Who were the Founders reading?” he asks, answering John Locke, for one. 

A Texan By Marriage

“I’m a Texan by marriage,” laughs Lathan who thanks his wife for bringing him to Texas. “I was raised in a small town, went to school in small towns. When I moved to the Dallas area, this was the biggest city I’d ever lived in.” 

As a young man, he served on his first political campaign. His goals included using his legal training locally in a less traditional way. Soon, he discovered an innate gut instinct for civics.

Raised in the church, his sought his own personal calling to service. With his background, he began to realize his passion for the American self-governing process.  

“Other than being a full time minister, I saw no other opportunity where you could impact more people’s lives than having an influence in our government.”

To understand more about some current Supreme Court cases and how they impact our lives, find more of our interview and another podcast, here. For more about how Lathan and his colleagues at First Liberty champion the cause of religious liberty—they specifically request prayer—click here.

May I pray for you?

Father in heaven, we are grateful for the way You established freedom and free will for us all. We’re amazed at Your willingness to send Your Son. When we were enslaved to sin, You bought our freedom with His life, if we but choose it. How grateful we are for the choices we get to make daily! Grant us now wisdom to choose companionship with You and freedom.

Bless those who fight–those protecting our liberty–to keep us a free people. Today, specifically, we thank you for the attorneys across this nation who study the U. S. Constitution. Give them wisdom as they present cases to our courts to protect our religious liberty. Thank You for our Founding Fathers who–at their own personal expense and sacrifice–stepped into the destiny You created for them. Dear Lord, thank You for the opportunity to follow our own hearts today, devoting our lives to worshipping You. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What teacher inspired your love of history? How do you open up fun conversations with your kids and grandkids? What’s your favorite book about American history?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Suddenly Single Mom Jeanette Hanscome Shares Tips

Jeanette Hanscome and I pose for our listening friends!I waited two years to interview Jeanette Hanscome, author of Suddenly Single Mom. Believe me, it was worth the wait! Experiencing divorce? Or, someone you know? Jeanette offers comfort and power in the authentic stuff she shares in our podcasts for Fireside Talk Radio. 

Jeanette writes for publishers like Focus on the Family, The Upper Room, Standard Publishing, Walk Thru the Bible, LifeWay, and Guideposts. We took this quick video recently as we plotted the ways she could encourage you! I hope you love this courageous leader as much as I do!




Is Divorce an Option?

People say, “Divorce is not an option.” Sadly, though divorce is an option, even in the church. In fact, sometimes divorce remains the last, best option. For followers of Jesus, we need to talk about divorce in an open way, preparing us to care for the wounded.

Fortunately, my friend Jeanette transformed her experience with divorce into a book. Oh, the tender, authentic way she writes in short chapters perfect for the reader overwhelmed by divorce! If you’re suddenly single or love someone going through divorce, you are going to thank me for passing along her message.

The Shock of Being Suddenly Single 

Here’s her wisdom. (Plus, she shared her story in a podcast here.)


Tips For the Suddenly Single

Kindly, Jeanette offered a bunch of great insight from her own experience with navigating a messy divorce. (She shared a bunch more, so click here to find more podcasts.) Here are a few of her thoughts—

#1 You can do this.

“We all have something in our lives that causes us to believe, ‘I can’t do this,’” Jeanette says, “For me, it was facing life as a single mom who had low vision. For others, it might be something else.” No matter the case, Jeanette offers plenty of practical advice. How do you ask for help? Why does recording the blessings God sends your way help? Fortunately, she answers these questions and a bunch more in our podcasts, so click above.

#2 Others should assume they don’t know the whole story.

For Jeanette, separation from her husband involved a one year process of “trying to work through some serious issues I purposely didn’t put in the book.” Of course, with young sons, she simply could not share every detail, a common experience for people going through divorce. 

Fortunately for Jeanette, her church stepped up with help, no questions asked. (For more about how the church should handle those who hurt, check out what Dana Goodrum had to say.)

#3 Sometimes the worst thing that could ever happen to us turns out to be the best thing.

“I had to hold on to the knowledge that God would use what I was going through. As a writer, everything in my life becomes material,” she laughs, “I kept that in my mind, God is going to use this for someone else.”

#4 Your life will be good again. 

“I never expected this, but I can honestly say that my life is not only good, it is actually better,” Jeanette says. Today, she is amazed at all the doors her life experiences have opened, including ministering to many who have struggled with divorce.

Kids are More Resilient Than We Think

“I was really afraid that my boys would feel maybe ostracized or that they maybe had something to be ashamed of because their parents were divorced,” Jeanette shares tenderly. Surprisingly for her, a turning point came when her youngest son won an award at his school. As she watched him interact with his friends, enjoying the moment, her heart lit up with gratitude.  

“I marveled at how messed up he wasn’t,” she laughs now about what turned out to be a healthy trend, adding, “Kids are resilient. We don’t give them enough credit. I’ve seen that our attitudes really do make a difference in the experience they have.”

Single and Strong

When Jeanette was a child, her parents heard a lot of negative predictions of what would happen to her, as a visually impaired youngster. For instance, people said she would never be able to make it through a public school. Or, she’d never go to college.

“God reminded me when I was young I was the first visually impaired student at pretty much every school I attended. I went to school at a time when they just didn’t know what to do with the visually impaired kids yet,” she chuckles. Instead of caving in to the negative predictions, she accomplished them all!

“I remember thinking, I bet surviving as a single mom never occurred to them!”  

Practical and Down to Earth

Well, you can see for yourself how practical and down to earth this dear lady is! Not to mention funny. I find her stuff encouraging on so many levels. (To find more terrific interviews about being your family’s champion, scroll back to our interviews with Sandra Beck or Darlene Marshalhere. Both women are impacting our world in a big way post-divorce, so they offer tested Biblical insight and experience. Plus, some great stories!) 

In addition to her own writing, Jeanette also offers coaching for fellow writers, along with many other services. If, like me, you can’t get enough of Jeanette’s writing, you can sign up for her blog, here, in the left hand column of her website.

Help for Homeschoolers

Speaking of friends who write great stuff, as many of you know, we’re pro-education at Camp Krafve–all forms of it! Plus, every now and then, I scan my friends websites for stuff I can get excited about. Boy, did I hit the jack pot this week! I’m not getting paid to advertise here, I just like Susan Stewart’s website.

Just in time for fall, I found Susan’s class on creating clear purpose for your homeschool! Wow! This is exactly what I needed to keep us on track when I homeschooled along the way. (Especially since I really like to have fun rather than study!) Called, Why Am I Doing This? Seven Steps to an Educational Philosophy, Susan nails all the important points step by step to focus and personalize your homeschool plan.

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, see our friends, Your children, who are struggling with divorce. Surround these friends with compassionate people who will minister kindly with practical help. Give sisters and brothers in the church wisdom and tenderness to understand there’s so much we don’t know. Protect any children affected by divorce and comfort their souls. Strengthen this family to come out of this crisis with courage and dignity. Give this dear one strength to be the family champion You designed! Thank you for my friend Jeanette, who wrote courageously and authentically about divorce as a blessing for all of us. And as our children and grandchildren return to their studies, thank You Lord for all the religious and educational liberty we enjoy in this country. We are grateful. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What has helped you in a crisis situation? When have you felt like your life was unraveling? How has a “no questions asked” policy provided privacy and compassion in your life?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Tea Time Anytime: Raising Confident Girls with Anna Krafve Pierce

Could raising confident girls be as easy as planning a tea time anytime? Yes! According to Anna enjoying a hot cup of tea with your daughter is one of the BEST ways to create confidence in her heart. And who doesn’t love any excuse for a hot beverage?

Tea Time Anytime: Raising Confident Girls

Anytime is the perfect time to serve tea and create memories!

Tea Time Anytime

As a mommy and a teacher, Anna stumbled over this tea-time-anytime truth recently as she observed the dynamics in her own home. This week, she joined me to share what she’s learning about teaching her young daughter to be comfortable in ALL social settings.


The Benefits of Tea Time Anytime

What a happy coincidence: to share something as fun as tea time and know in your heart you are simultaneously serving your daughter and her friends! 

“So many tea parties were a part of our pretend world,” laughs Anna, remembering happy pretend parties with her grandmothers, “By the time we graduated to having people over for tea or ice cream socials, where I was sitting at the table with my grandmother and her friends, it was a seamless transition. We had practiced with my stuffed animals!”

Undoubtedly, parenting doesn’t get any better than that! (To hear Anna’s story about her kindergarten teacher’s tea party, click on the above podcast.) Keep reading for Anna’s list of tea time benefits.

#1 Learning to Honor Others

Not only does tea time introduce young girls to the concept of polite conversation, according to Anna. Simultaneously, the rhythm of tea time helps little girls feel good about the way kind women engage with each other.

“We are a very casual culture and in a way that is a good thing,” Anna says, “The down side is our culture has forgotten how to ask polite questions, while respecting the other person’s perspective.” Fortunately, tea parties can teach your daughter to cross cultural lines with confidence because she feels good about herself and what she offers to a conversation, adds Anna.

#2 Sharing the Joy of Initiating Friendships

Sadly, all kids inevitably face rejection, especially at school. (For Anna’s thoughts about Back to School success, click here. For powerful information about bullying at school, click here or go to theMegan Meier Foundation.) However, the confidence they gain from practicing proper etiquette and learning to initiate healthy friendships can actually insulate your daughter’s heart. Recently, taking the initiative, Anna’s daughter invited her mommy, her brother and all her stuffed animals to tea time.

“She initiated it. It was an honest to goodness invitation, ‘Would you come to tea?’” laughs Anna. (For more insight on why initiating is important please listen to the full podcast above or look for more ideas here.)

“What was so cute is about half way through, her brother decides he wants to do the same thing. Because he had been invited, he wanted to try that out himself,” Anna adds. Spontaneously, he invited his sister and his mommy to go hunting.

As soon as tea time finished, the hunt began. Together, the children snuck around the house hunting the stuffed animals Anna quickly hid.

#3 Appreciating the Trust Produced by Good Manners

Surprisingly simple things like what to wear and when to bring a hostess gift can teach youngsters confidence about how to honor others.

“I was sitting at a tea party recently with my mother-in-law, my daughter, and my niece,” Anna shares, “My mother-in-law and I were both in our shiniest dresses because the girls had picked them out.” The words prom dresses might have come up in our conversation! Instinctively, the little girls felt so special, Anna reports.

“Grandy, please pass the cookies,” each girl said in her most elegant voice. Crystal and silver serving trays were arrayed in a dazzling menu, including rainbow colored marshmallows, squirt can whip cream, and peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches.

“Everything was covered in sprinkles,” laughs Anna, adding “I was just doing it because it was fun and my niece was so excited. Until I sat there with my mother-in-law, I didn’t think through the fact that what we were doing was important not just fun!”

Learning a structure for honoring others builds a kind of confidence that comes from knowing society’s rules and being able to navigate them successfully. Rules are not to restrict people, but to free us so we can focus on what’s really important, other people.

#4 Uniting Women is Powerful

Anna makes a good case for the universal appeal of women gathered around a table together, enjoying a snack and a hot beverage. She says tea time experience at home trains our daughters to be comfortable with women anywhere in the world, simply because we recognize the ritual of tea time.

“I don’t remember ever sitting down at a table with women where I felt awkward, in lots of different contexts, in lots of different places and cultures,” Anna explains, almost reverently. “If I’m in a group of women, I feel pretty confident about how to be kind. Truthfully, the focus on how to be kind is definitely part of it.”

When you teach a kid how to be the hostess, Anna explains, you coach them on how to respect  the needs of others. Specifically, planning ahead to make everyone else comfortable, becoming alert to the relationship dynamics, learning to relax, and enjoy others develops deep confidence in a girls’ heart.

And I Thought Tea Time Was All About the Fun!

Honestly, I was astonished when Anna told me she thought tea time was a powerful tool for raising confident daughters. I just thought tea time was fun. (Anna shared more about how her grown up friends schedule tea time to get a break in their mommy jobs. To listen to our whole conversation, check out the above podcast or click here for more podcasts.)

Since everyone wants to raise confident girls, she had my undivided attention and I scheduled the show. Could confidence develop out of something as easy as hosting a tea party? Now I know.

Don’t forget: tea time is a great way for grandmothers to jump in and support the raising of confident girls. (In the above podcast, Anna honored the three generations of women in a beloved family we know. I hope you’ll listen in for how one family’s tea time tradition of is still impacting our family into the fourth generation.)

Raising Confident Boys? Oh my!

Consequently, this topic of how tea time can be a tool for raising confident daughters, got us thinking. How do we raise confident sons? Is there an activity that mommies can start early with their little boys? Fishing? Hiking? Sports? Hmm.…

The answer isn’t obvious to Anna and me. Therefore, we hope you’ll chime in with your thoughts. Soon we’d really like to do a show about raising confident boys. But we could really use your help. (To sign up for free weekly ideas about creating life-long companionship in your family, click here.)

Including Others

Certainly, the formality of tea party sets your sons up for success just like your daughters, if you can only get a son to sit still for a minute! Because she believes they make everyone feel more comfortable, Anna advocates enthusiastically for good manners. Of course, as much as she loves chatting over a cup of tea with other women, she thinks tea time is best when everyone feels included. 

“It’s a way of being inclusive. Just like my sweet little daughter set off a domino affect with her brother when she invited us.”

Many times, the formality of being specific about inviting others, honors guests by respecting their free will. For instance, asking for the honor of another person’s company means letting the other person decide. Then, they get to choose to accept or decline your invitation. Tea time is gracious in that way.

Whether your next team time gathering is formal or casual, Anna suggests kindness translates into easy confidence in your child’s heart.

May I pray for you?

Dear Good Father, You want the best for Your daughters just like we do. It’s hard to imagine being so loved by You. Yet, each day You send tender, gentle proof of Your love in the chirping of a bird, the caress of a pet, or the comfort of a good friend. Today, O Lord, grant us Your favor as we try to instill wholeheartedness into the spirit of our daughters and granddaughters. Surround us trustworthy women who can comfort and strengthen our hearts as we pour out love on our families. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What is your favorite treat to serve with tea? (Yes, and feel free to send us recipes, dear one!) When have you been invited to tea and what made the invitation special? What is your favorite childhood memory of playing tea party?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Back to School: A Plan for Success with Anna Krafve Pierce

Lots of bottles of children's school glue.Ah, the relief of back to school! A plan for success each day! Suddenly, weekdays fall into place and weekends gain savored freedom. Kids groan. Moms rejoice.

Moms everywhere can all release a collective sigh of relief. Even as we grieve another summer of their childhood spent. (Speaking of learning a ton, I have a really happy personal announcement at the end of today’s blog. We invite you to join our family in rejoicing and celebrating because you are an important part of what’s happening!)

Naturally, we want them to go back to school full of joy and anticipation. To prepare for a successful new year at school, I asked Anna for her best tips as teacher and mom. Whether you taxi your children to school or prepare to homeschool, you’ll love Anna’s back to school plan for success.

Back to School Enthusiasm

Lovingly, Anna starts by honoring her own dad’s enthusiasm for back to school.

“I feel compelled to honor him when we talk about back to school,” laughs Anna, recounting her dad’s enthusiasm for back to school shopping, “He was always thrilled and excited to buy whichever thing he could afford to buy for us.”

It’s true. Even in the worst years financially, David always rounded up back to school treats for our kids. As a small business owner, he believes folks need the right tools to do their jobs. (If you’re curious about David, you can click here for more about our family.)

“He (Dad) really honored the effort we were putting into school by making sure that he was excited to get us what we needed to be equipped. It doesn’t have to be extravagant,” explains Anna. A parent’s enthusiasm is contagious. “It was always a thrill to sharpen that new pencil for the first time.”

As a teacher and mom, Anna can’t wait for school to start. After taking a few years off to be with her babies, each fall in her classroom delights her. With joy, Anna offers a few tips to plan for back to school success.

#1 Be Practical About Fashion

Even though advertisements depict fall leaves and little red school houses with bells, in the south where it’s still hot, fall fashion may not be practical. For instance, new sweaters may torture for several months.

“One year when rain boots came into style, I think every girl in the junior high wore those to school,” laughs Anna, “They were desperate to take them off. The whole room smelled of feet and rubber.”

#2 Keep Lunches Easy

To keep things simple in the morning, Anna likes a container with divisions. “Self-contained and easy,” best describes her attitude about school lunches. Her family likes containers with a built in spork, a spoon with teeth like a fork. According to Anna, the right container doubles as a snack container for after school care or picnics in the park. Plus, the divisions have an unexpected bonus.

“I can look at it and think, ‘Oh, I didn’t put quite enough food in here!’”

#3 Say it in a Note

Additionally, she likes notes in lunchboxes, but nothing too complicated for mom. To keep it easy she suggests a personal note on their napkin or a Bible verse on a 3×5 card.

Even though this was a daily habit from Anna’s childhood, I have to confess, I always looked for the easy way to accomplish goals with my kids. So, I often copied several verses onto 3×5 cards ahead of time, just in case the mornings got away from me. In fact, mornings frequently got away from me!

Due to their cheerful pictures, left over party napkins are a lifesaver. Quick as a wink, one loving sentence and done! Also, jokes put a smile on a child’s face and give them a fun way to talk to new friends at lunch.

“The consistency is what communicated your love to me,” adds Anna, remembering the simple notes in her own lunch box.

#4 Intentional Morning Rituals

Anna suggests a loving habit the kids learn to trust. This pattern serves them well as they make new friends at school.

“I try to say, ‘Good morning’ every morning. I look them in the eye the first time I see them, and my goal is to say their name,” Anna shares, adding, “Mind you, I don’t always do it because they are waking me up at 5:30 right now and I’m groggy!”

It’s important for kids to know they are loved each day, according to Anna.  She can tell the difference when she fails to intentionally greet each child. Beyond the daily greeting, she tries to convey another important truth always.

“Even though mommy is groggy and not in the best mood, that’s not about them,” she adds, “That’s my battle. Whatever stress I’m carrying today, that’s not about them. They are amazing and wonderful and exactly who I want them to be.”

#5 Offset Inevitable Rejection With Initiating Friendship

Of course, Anna knows from experience as a teacher and as a kid that rejection is inevitable. But, she says there are tricks you can try to rejection-proof your children.

“I’m just thinking about all the times I’ve been rejected,” sighs Anna, “I have so many friends and people I love, people who are dear to me. Yet, still in the course of a lifetime there’s always rejection.” (If your child experiences bullying at school, click here to find our blog and podcast with the amazing Tina Meier, one of the nation’s leading experts on how to handle a bullying situation or go to their website here.)

Naturally, as children learn to be thankful for others, they grow more confident because they understand their own value, according to Anna. With intentionality, wise parents can accomplish this understanding between siblings, cousins, and neighborhood friends, long before a child arrives at their first day of school. As an example, she refers to her friendship with her own sister.

“Ellen is like the friend God chose for me because we share DNA. She’s the friend that’s so different from me. If we’d only been in a classroom, we might not ever have found the footing of deep friendship. But because we had to share a room….,” she laughs, adding that learning to respect and value differences prepared her to value friendships with people of all varieties. (For tips from our friend SharRon Jamison on how to build lasting friendships, click here, or go to her website here.)

Teach Your Kids to Initiate

“You can’t stop someone from rejecting your child,” says Anna, “So, when they run into kids who are ready to be friends, they must know how to initiate. Initiation communicates a great basis for friendship.” (For insight about dealing with difficult people, click here to look for our interview with Learning Styles Guru Cynthia Tobias or go to her website here.)

For instance, Anna suggests talking out loud at dinner or in the car about how to initiate friendships. Begin by teaching your kids to ask good questions. For example, ask your child, “What did you like about that new friend?” By doing so, you’ll prime their brains to go back to school, thinking about what they like about the other kids.

“A big one is learning the new person’s name,” Anna says. In the junior high where she teaches, she loves to hear friends shouting each others’ names down the hall. She suggests coaching your child to pay attention on the first few days when the teacher calls roll. (For more great ideas about the etiquette of friendships, watch for next week’s blog called Tea Time: Raising Confident Girls or find all our blogs here.)

Honoring Their Hard Work

Along with her tips, we also talked about those first glorious days before the homework starts. Possibly, I may have shared a few pet peeves about homework. Perhaps, Anna may have reminded me of one family story, ahem, about my bad attitude about homework. (To listen in click above or find the podcast here.)

She sums up back to school success this way: “Honoring the effort your kids put into school is important. The beginning of the year is a great time to start honoring their effort.” Together Anna and I want to thank all the teachers who are going back to school, celebrating our kids in their hearts.

“I love school! I’m so thankful to be a teacher. Having people entrust their kids to you, it’s such an honor to get to be a part of educating kiddos.”

We are thankful for teachers! To teachers and parents, we wish you every blessing as you guide our children and grandchildren!

May I pray for you?

Father, You are the Parent who loves us unconditionally with unfailing tender love. Oh, how we want to be like You, filled with Your Spirit as we guide our children and grandchildren! Thank you for the parents who ensure a great education for their children, all the while working hard to provide for them and making sacrifices for their child’s well-being. Thank You for the teachers who receive them with joy!Please strengthen them now, as they send their kids back to school and plan for success. Please show them the plans You have for each one; for each family, each parent, each child, each teacher, each administrator. We love You, good Father. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What plans do you have for your child’s success at school? In what ways does your morning routine function well? Where could you use some fresh ideas? Which experts would you love to hear from when it comes to helping your child succeed at school?

More Good News!

Aspiring author Cathy Krafve in front of a painting of her great grandfather, another author.Me with my great grandfather, Sylvester Primer, the last author in the family (unless my cousins send me a correction about that!)

I’m thrilled to announce that Karen Neumair of Credo Communications agreed to be my agent! If you hope to write a book and wonder how to get an agent, my best advice is beg! Seriously, Karen’s experience and natural ability to build relationships showed immediately as she answered all my myriad of questions. I’m so grateful to have her working behind the scenes on behalf of all of us who love books!

(Please click here to check out my very own author page!)

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

Most of all, thank you for sharing this moment together. Without you, it would be no fun at all!!

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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How to Launch a Book or Business? Entrepreneurship with Mike Sahno 

Mike Sahno with some of his favorite people: readers!

Author, Speaker, and Publisher, Mike Sahno, joined me to chat about entrepreneurship and following your dreams in a social media world. No stranger to challenge, Mike understands the hurdles small business owners face daily. In fact, whether you want to launch a book or business, many of the tips Mike offers are the same.

Author of the newly released fiction novel, Whizzers, Mike knows the angst and the joy of seeing your message in print! If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business or writing the book of your dreams, you can listen to the whole conversation below.

Mike’s Book, Whizzers

Whizzers just released last week. I pre-ordered the book and can’t wait to read it. It’s the story of “a recovering alcoholic, Mike, who discovers his six-year-old cousin, David, travels through time to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own demons.” (You can order your copy by clicking here.)

One Example of a Success Story

This latest release is not Mike’s first opportunity to launch a book or business. In fact, he often enjoys helping others benefit from his experience in order to succeed. For instance, one of his favorite stories involves a highly successful business coach, a “terrific guy,” to quote Mike.

“He had written a book on his own and published it. It was okay, but he didn’t feel it was as successful as he hoped,” recounts Mike. The coach, an entrepreneur himself, recognized he wanted more social media traction for his next book. He enlisted Mike to ghost write part of the next project and to help him with the launch.

“What was so great about that project was that within the first couple of weeks that book went to Number One in one of the subcategories on Amazon. So, he’s able to put Number One Best Seller on his stuff going forward,” Mike laughs, “He’s a great guy and I was pleased to be able to help somebody like him.” Nothing feels quite as good as helping others succeed. (For more on mentoring, check out the two blogs we did with Civic Leader and Businessman Tony Johnson: and

To Launch a Book or Business: Mike’s Advice

As a marketing expert, Mike likes to see his clients adding value for readers long before you want launch a book or business. Whether it’s a blog, a free book, or articles based on your expertise, adding value for your potential customers means treating them respectfully by offering free, meaningful content they need. (To read Mike’s blog, click here.)

Fortunately for us all, he pulled together some tips for the entrepreneurial at heart, especially about how to grow a social media following. (To get an insiders view of starting up a social media platform and a short list of people I trust to help, click here.)

Ignore the Myths

#1 Ignore the Myths. Mike offers Twitter as an example of a platform where people suffer from commonly held misconceptions. He suggests ignoring the common misperceptions about social media, especially if your thing is helping others.

“Twitter has some downsides to it. I think people think of it as kind of a broadcast medium for people to go out and argue with each other and so forth,” Mike explains, “But there’s also a lot of people trying to be supportive of each other and what they’re doing. I learned early on that it can be used in a way like networking.” But, that’s only if you use Twitter as a way to help others.

Serve Others

#2 Serve Others. With over 22,000 Twitter followers, including me now, Mike can speak with confidence about how to build a social media network by serving others. (To follow Mike on Twitter, click here.)

“The best networkers are people who really focus on being a giver and trying to do something good for somebody else. Maybe connect them to someone else or help them promote their stuff a little bit,” suggests Mike, who adds he shares other people’s messages 80% of the time and his own a mere 20%.

Woo the People You Love

#3 Woo the people you love. There are no shortcuts in finding the people who love the same things you love, according to Mike. Instead, he shares another myth when it comes to social media.

“’If you publish it, readers will find you.’ I quickly learned the hard way that if only a few people know you work or know about you, you’re not going to make a whole lot of sales.” Instead, as you  prepare to launch a book or a business, he makes an unusual suggestion.

“To use an old-fashioned word, you have to woo your audience.”  

Shhh…Another Fun “Pet” Project

As a perfect example of wooing the people who love the same things you love, Mike shares a little bit of a special project he enjoyed lately. Watch for this next project; one that’s still so secret he can only hint about it. It involves a retired NFL pro and a new breed of dogs. The football player followed his interest in the dogs to discover an amazing story.

“He funded this project but it’s someone else’s story,” reports Mike, because the football player cares so much about the message. The story includes the life of one of the co-founders of the breed. “Her life had to be in there because she has such an interesting life,” he says, adding, “There was some real drama in there.”

Respecting and Wooing Your Audience

I really loved Mike’s choice of words to explain the process of finding people on social media who share your passions. For instance, when a man woos a woman, he really studies what she cares about. Mike shared more stories and more insight than I can include here. To hear our entire interview click above on the podcast button. (To find other experts on a wide-range of topics, go to Find more Fireside Talk Radio podcasts here.)

Most of all, please know we really love our reading and listening friends. We love it when you let us know the issues you care about so we can line up experts on those topics. (You can sign up here or make comments or send us messages here. or scroll to the bottom of the page. I read each and every comment personally.)

Readers Rock!

As a reader, I love both sides of this equation. As much as I love writing, I also love reading. I truly love reading other people’s stuff. When an author respects us as readers, doesn’t it feel good? After all, readers give our time to engage in a book. We want to be inspired, encouraged, and yes, entertained, too.

Okay, I’m done writing today. Thank you for reading. Next up: I get to find a cozy place to curl up with Mike’s new book. For a few hours, Mike’s book will be my book. What a treat!

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, You are the Master Creator. You hold heaven and earth together. All life flows from Your nature. You designed us for Your purpose and for companionship with You. We are all creative because we are designed in Your image. We praise You.

Yet, it’s no small task to figure out what You want us to do with our lives. We turn to You now for creative inspiration. Teach us to love and serve others in a way that brings glory to You. In Jesus’s name Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What social media sites are your favorite and why? Which topics do you wish someone would talk openly about? How can we serve your family, church or community to open up terrific, healthy conversations?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at Truth with a Texas Twang.

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