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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at 

My Stomping Grounds


Let's talk about bedtime.

That little hour of the day, that falls in our family between 7:00-8:00.

Every night.

One hour.  That's all.  But it's one hour that can turn our glorious dancing into disaster. 

Some nights are awesome and I want to squeal "Bless the Lord, Oh my soul!"

However, other nights... other nights I am convinced I am the only mother alive who is in great need of a white jacket and an institution.

One hour earlier I was B.E.G.G.I.N.G. my sweet little cherubs to drink their milk at dinner.  Sixty minutes later, they are camels.

"Mom, can I puh-lease have my 13th sip of water? I'm going to die! Do you NOT CARE THAT MY THROAT HURTS?"

No. Truly, NO. I just do not care. I care that I have been awake since 5:00AM and once I hear that little snore come from your lungs, I am going to sit down, pour a warm cup of tea and go to my happy Hulu-Land. 

And two books a night is clearly a case for calling CPS on me because "My friend Jane's mom reads her THREE books a night.  THREE, MOM."

Well, good for Jane's Mom.

My youngest daughter’s current delay-tactic: theology questions. Um, no. You do not get to pull "Church-Staff-Kid" card and ask me an ecclesiology question in hopes that it will earn you 20 more minutes of awake-time.  I finally catch on to this array of questioning and I just proclaim (as any sane woman does) "NO MORE! No more Jesus questions... No more God questions... No more Bible questions... JUST. GO. TO. SLEEP."

Then, every ache and ailment comes to life:

My tummy hurts

My legs are itchy

My throat is dry

My arm is falling asleep

I forgot to put my hair in a ponytail! I'll get knots!

It gets so intense that I wonder if my girls pediatrician needs to be changed to a geriatric doctor. 

Don't send me hate-mail... I absolutely positively adore my children more than my next breath.  I totally am aware that this time is flying by and I will completely miss these nights.  But I also know, I miss my sanity! I lose all rational mama-thinking between 7-8 and become like a robot:

Brush your teeth.

Go to the bathroom.

Drink a sip of water.

Get in bed.

Get under the covers.

Close your eyes.

Stop talking. 

Kiss. Kiss. Hug. Hug. Snuggle. Snuggle.


Then... just as the crazy is finally wearing off and my girls give-way to much needed sleep...

I stand in their dark bedroom, stare at their beautiful sleeping faces, do a quiet Whip-and-Nae-Nae and think:

We did it, girls.

We survived one more night.

You are the greatest kids on this planet.

Your sleep is restoring and reenergizing your little bodies so we can embrace a great day of life all over again tomorrow.


And I am reminded: I absolutely, postively adore and love being their mom.


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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.