• Mercy, 2
  • Giveaway: 2 moms will win $75 to FFO Home
  • Health Help: Back to school with Dr. Merrick, Mercy Kids Pediatrician
  • August 2016: Things to do in SWMO
  • Guys Tell All: How can I convince my husband we should have another baby?

Sunday Devotion: Just one good friend…

We have shared an “I am Second” video before, but… They are SO good! So we are sharing another one we love!

Just in time for back-to-school, we love this video about the search for “just one good friend.” Something good for us to think about and something great to show our kids or at least talk to them about the importance of being a good friend.

Have a great week, mommas!

Fitness: Confessions of a Super Mom

BPFitnessSeries_SWMom_640x128-hdr (002)by Kelsey Fields

I’m going to pat myself on the back for a second, because I’m kind of super mom. I have a 2.5 year old, a 3.5 month old and go to school full-time. Up until recently, I have been going to school online, while staying at home with the children. However, this semester is my final semester and I am spending it student teaching in a first grade class room. This. Has. Rocked. My. World.

For example…

Things I (mostly) did as a stay-at-home mom:

✔ Kept the kids alive

✔ Picked up legos and hot wheels off the floor to avoid major injury

✔ Made sure everyone had clean underwear

✔ Provided nourishment, mostly in the form of PB&J and macaroni and cheese

✔ Made it to the gym 5 times a week

Things I do as a working mom:

✔ All of the above (except I have to keep 20 kids alive)

✔ Work 40 hours a week

busWhether you stay at home with your little or are providing for your family in the workplace, many of you moms out there are going through the same struggles.

Back to school means routines and schedules are changing. Gone are the lazy days of summer. Now evenings are filled shuttling the kids to various clubs (Rubik’s Cube Club? Really kid?), checking homework, and attending sporting events. And while there doesn’t seem to be one spare minute to focus on your fitness goals and mental health you must make time.

Stop and ask yourself these questions:

When is the last time you curled up and read a good book?

Where is your favorite place to shop?

When is the last time you had fun doing something that you love?

If you can’t answer these questions. It’s time to reevaluate.  I wear many hats. I am a wife, mother, and teacher. There are times when I need to step away from our many roles and just focus on “Kelsey.” And so do YOU.

I will admit it has been challenging to find spare time to put myself first with my new schedule, but I made time each day. Here is how I spent time a little time each day nurturing myself (notice I never took more than an hour a day, but it totally recharged my batteries):

  • groceryMonday: I loaded up both boys, went to the Y, and did a kick butt workout. Bonus that Max loves playing in the YMCA’s child watch area and took a great nap for me afterward! (45 minutes)
  • Tuesday: I woke up thirty minutes early so I could have a cup of coffee in silence and mentally prepare for my first day of school. (30 minutes)
  • Wednesday: I went to the grocery store by myself! This sounds silly but I love taking time to buy healthy food for myself and the family (click here for healthy snack ideas). You mamas know how hard it is to take your children grocery shopping. Props to my husband for allowing me to do this! (1 hour)
  • Thursday: I taught Insanity at the YMCA. Not only do I get my workout in, but many of my girlfriends attend. This week was especially grueling so in between moaning we were able to catch up with each other. (1 hour)
  • Friday: I started a book I bought FIVE MONTHS AGO! I made a promise to myself to read at least a few pages every night before bed in an attempt to wind down. (30 minutes)

So here’s my challenge to you:

  1. Make a list of what activities make YOU and only YOU happy
  2. Fit one of those activities into your schedule every day
  3. Watch how it makes you a better in your other life roles. You will find you are a better mom, wife, and in my case, teacher.BPFitnessSeries_SWMom_640x186-ftr (002)kelsey head shotKelsey is a stay-at-home mom and full time student pursing a degree in elementary education. She is a Beachbody certified Insanity instructor, avid runner and yoga enthusiast. 

When she is not working out, you will find her cheering on the Denver Broncos and spending time with her family. She is wife to Blake and mom to busy 2 year-old son Max and newborn son, Mick.


bassprospringfieldlogoSWMO Moms fitness category, which is full of healthy tips for all women,  is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Fitness Festival.  Their mission is to celebrate health and wellness, outdoor adventures and wildlife conservation in the beauty of the Ozarks. Programs are designed to include activities for people of all ages, backgrounds, fitness levels and areas of interest. CLICK HERE for more information or give them a call at 417.873.5214.

Adventures of the A-Team: What I learned when my baby went to Kindergarten

by Mindi Artherton

K, day oneYa’ll this is hard. For the past month, I kept thinking of life before kids and how people would tell me you can’t explain what it is like to parent until you have a child. Your friends and family give you tons of advice and try to explain what it is like to be a mom, but you don’t really “get it” until you do it yourself…

That is how I have felt this week. I thought sending my oldest to kindergarten would be a breeze, but it is tough–and you don’t really “get it” until you do it yourself.

My 5 year-old daughter, B, is READY for school. Like begging to go for a year, counting down the days all summer until the first day of school and semi-stalking her new teacher ready. She couldn’t be more excited, momma on the other hand, has been counting down the days too, but in a different way! =)

Well, just as planned, the days turned into weeks and summer was gone before I knew it and it was time to send my little one on her way to the “big school.” And I gotta be honest, I cried–just as predicted! I will say, however, for me, dreading it was worse than actually doing it! You know, kind of like going to the doctor–you dread it forever, and once you go, you realize it really wasn’t that bad. That is how drop-off day was for me!

I think during this transition, I have learned more about myself than I could have dreamed. I was upset and worried about B, but maybe all along God was using this time to teach me a thing or two…

  • I am not in control. Once again, I tried to imagine every possible scenario in my head and try to prepare her for anything that may come her way during day one, but guess what? I am not in control and that is impossible. I think that reality hit me like a ton of bricks when our friend posted this devotion about letting go. I am learning to realize maybe the best thing I can do is make sure she feels loved and has a safe place to come home to.
  • My people are awesome. I can not even begin to tell you how thankful I felt the day I walked out of her classroom. Thankful because my phone was blowing up all morning with text from friends and family checking on ME! They knew B was ready to go, but loved me enough to check in on me. Thankful because when we arrived, we immediately had a friend take over a job that my husband was working on (he is a teacher) so we could walk down the hall together as a family. Thankful because I honestly believe I am sending her into a school full of people that already love her and care for her–even though they may not know her yet. Thankful because I know I don’t have to be in control (see above)–He is in control. I just honestly felt thankful. I don’t know how else to say it…
  • Parenting is a journey. Before having kids, I had this idea in my mind that the newborn stage was the hardest. The older I get and the older my kids get, I am learning that is not the case at all. While I have enjoyed being a mom–it is hard! The reality hit me during this transition that this journey will not end and it only gets more complicated.

K, day one, 2So she is off… With a skip in her step, a twirl in her skirt and glitter in her hair (literally!) my girl is off to take on kindergarten and thanks to Him, I know it will be great. I know I have many more parenting lessons ahead of me, but I am thankful for the journey!



Giveaway: 2 moms will win $75 to FFO Home

FFO Home giveaway sliderHave you stopped by to shop at our sponsors FFO Home lately? If not, let us give you some advice: Go! 

FFO Home has an impressive inventory stocked full of quality furniture at a great price! Browse through your local FFO Home and you will find:

  • glenshire bedroom btsliving room furniture such as  sofas, sectionals and recliners
  • dining room furniture from small sets for the breakfast nook to 6-chair dining sets for your next family gathering
  • bedroom sets, including mattresses (click here to read more about their comfy mattress options)
  • kids’ furniture including bunk beds, trundle beds and futons
  • adorable home decor like accent chairs, wall art, pillows and lamps

This week, we are going to GIVE you free money to shop! That’s right, our sponsors at FFO Home are giving away 2, $75 gift certificate! (We want to share the love, so each winner will receive one gift certificate).

Learn more about FFO Home by clicking here to read our Sponsor Spotlight story or here to read about their adorable bedsets and mattress options for the whole family.

Can’t wait to save? Find your local FFO Home here – they have 37 locations and counting so you can save on everything you need for your home no matter where you live.


Kid Fair adHOW TO ENTER IN PERSON: Swing by our booth and throw your name in the drawing this Saturday (August 27) at the Kid’s Fair at Dickerson Park Zoo. (Click HERE for more info on the Kid’s Fair.) In addition to registering to win the giveaway, we will also have $25 off a $100 purchase coupon, so make sure to come by and grab one!

HOW TO ENTER ONLINE: To put your name in the online drawing for this giveaway , click the word “comment” at the top of this story and tell us what you would purchase with the gift certificate!

TO ENTER VIA EMAIL: You can also throw your name in the hat by answering the question above via email. Just email us at giveaways(at)SouthwestMissouriMoms.com.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: Really want to give your kiddos this fun experience?  Increase your odds by simply sending an email to your friends and family about this giveaway and be sure to put giveaways(at)SouthwestMissouriMoms.com on the CC line of your note. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell.

MORE BONUS ENTRIES: And here’s another way to get extra chances to win: Post an update on Facebook about this giveaway  and let us know that you told your Facebook friends. If you’re a Twitter fan, feel free to tweet this news as well for extra chances to win. (Tell us in your posted comment or email if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter or both.)

Please note that winners are always chosen at random using a random number generator so anyone can win.

We will select a winner on Monday, August 29 at 12 noon.

Sunday Devotion: Risk it All Radio

by Angela Matthews

Hello, my name is Angela Matthews and I am an imperfect person.   Sometimes I talk too loud and laugh too much. I love to be overly goofy, and often speak without thinking.

I am the master of procrastination (which could be a side effect of laziness), eat too much, like to be in control because I know best (sarcasm). I am insecure and get my feelings hurt easily, don’t always hear the Lord (or should I say I don’t always listen because once again I know best), and the list goes on and on.

Thankfully though, the great I AM covers over all of this. He calls each of us to do a job that He has prepared for us in advance.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2: 10 (NIV)

Throughout the Bible God used people who were imperfect: Moses, the Disciples, and Jonah, just to name a few. Actually, everyone He used was imperfect. There was only one who was perfect, JESUS.

With this being said, He has called me to try my hand at podcasting, to provide a platform for others to witness to His mercy and goodness in their lives. (Sometimes even a loving Father’s correction).

I am an imperfect person, but I’m willing to Risk It All, because that’s what He wants us to do….

Risk it AllWhat is Risk it All Radio, and why?

Risk it all Radio…Huh? What is this, a game show?   Am I going to have to risk something by listening to this podcast? These might be just a few questions you ask yourself before clicking on the link.

I assure you that there will be no risk to you, except that you might find a story like your own being told by someone else.  You may also realize that God is still alive and active in the life of a believer and an unbeliever.

He still pursues us, comforts us, guides us, teaches us, breaks us, fixes us, and then uses us in spite of ourselves for His purposes.  Most importantly He saves us.

I have always loved a good story and everyone has one. A few years ago I started thinking that we have so many older people in our church that, I was sure, had amazing stories. I was trying to think about how I could record those stories. I thought about writing a book, which included each person with a picture and their story.  The procrastinator kicked in and I never got around to it, but it hovered in the corner of my mind.

Then one day I was listening to a podcast and one of the hosts made the comment about technology changing everything and it was extremely easy and inexpensive to produce a podcast. Who doesn’t love a good podcast?

So I asked myself, “Why not put together four things I love: talking, stories, podcasts and Jesus?”

Our pastor presented a new mission statement for our church which describes Risk it All Radio perfectly.

“We are imperfect people risking it all to make Jesus real one person at a time.”

We are all imperfect people who each has a testimony that was created by God, they are His testimonies and we are told to share them no matter what the risk.

The goal for Risk it All Radio is to provide a platform for people to tell their stories, stories of God’s pursuit of them, miracles, and more. Many people may fear criticism and shame in their stories, that is the risk, but we know that our stories of Jesus and what He has done in our lives will not return empty but will glorify Him.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

My prayer is that those who are called to risk it all will be blessed for doing so. I also pray that comfort will be found by many and through these words spoken; many will come to realize Jesus is the only way to God, ultimately choosing a relationship with Him.

All we have to do is tell His story, God will do the rest.

Isaiah 55:10-12 states;

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

All that, just for us, because we tell our stories of HIM.

Visit Risk it all Radio by clicking here and listen to the podcasts and read the blog. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google play.

AngelaAngela is a smiling coffee-lovin’ mom to her 21 year-old son and 15 year-old daughter. She lives in SWMO and works alongside her husband, Dr. Mark, in their family owned business. They attend St. John’s Lutheran church in Monett.