Today we're featuring our second guest post from Terri Fedorenko, a dear friend of ours and an amazing counselor. She'll be focusing on how to ease into the back-to-school schedule without losing your sanity or your sense of humor. Last week’s post discussed the first strategy; today we will talk about the second and third strategies.

Last week, we talked about how the first step to easing into the back-to-school transition is to check your own emotional state -- after all, our children’s own emotional health is uniquely tied to ours. Once you’ve accomplished that step, here’s what’s next.
Today we're featuring a guest post by Terri Fedorenko, a dear friend of ours and an amazing counselor. She'll be focusing on how to ease into the back-to-school schedule without losing your sanity or your sense of humor. Today she’ll discuss the first strategy; next Wednesday's post will feature the second and third strategies. 

I’ve been asked by many parents on how to make the back-to-school transition run smoothly. As a wife, the mother of five children ranging from 21 to 9, and a marriage and family therapist, my investigations have led me to three strategies to help calm the chaos and alleviate the anxiety of the transition back to school.
Dinner out at Haute Dish
Last week, we mentioned that TRE was celebrating our one-year anniversary. In case you missed it, here's our post talking about what we learned over the last year.

In honor of the occasion, we went out for dinner at Haute Dish in Minneapolis this weekend. The food was amazing! We had a tater tot hotdish that was like no other...yum.

Our extremely good-looking husbands
Now it's your turn: We'd love to hear how God has been with you over the past year, what you're most thankful for, or how you've made it through! Once you've shared, either on our blog or Facebook page, your name will be entered in a drawing for a FREE TRE book!  (Winner announced Monday, Aug. 26)


Praise God in his holy house of worship,
    praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
    praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
    praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
    praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
    praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
    Hallelujah!" Psalm 150:1-6
Hooray! We can hardly believe it's been a year since we first started blogging! Although we could spend this time sharing accomplished goals made over the past year -- things we're certainly thankful for -- we've
decided to take a much more personal route, with each of us sharing how God has shown up in our lives over the past year. Places he's met us, ways he's comforted, joys we've shared. And we're asking you, dear friend, to join us. Once you've read our account, please consider sharing your own. We'd love to hear your reflections from the past year.

So here goes...

I’ve dealt with fear my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are shrouded in fear. Not that I really had much to be afraid of, growing up in a safe, loving home, but for some reason I’ve been afraid. Of everything.

I was afraid of school, new experiences, even people. In fact, as an adult I ran into one of my mother’s good friends from when I was a child who bluntly told me, “We thought there was something wrong with you; you never talked to anybody!” And all I could do was smile and think, Great. I was the scared, weirdo girl.

Today my heart stopped for just a moment. We were on the ferry boat, gliding across the bay from Madeline Island to Bayfield with the motor humming in the background and seagulls swooping past, when my oldest child turned her small face toward mine suddenly and said, “Mom, you’re my best friend."

My sweet, rascally 3 1/2-year-old
Aww, we all said. That’s so sweet.

And coming just a few days after a meltdown of epic proportions in which she told me she wanted the babysitter instead of me, it was also welcome. A reminder that love covers a multitude of sins.

Tammy Johnson,
This week I have the privilege of highlighting Tammy Johnson, my brother's sister-in-law. Jake (my brother) married into an incredible family who have been involved in a variety of missionary work locally and abroad for decades. 

Tammy is continuing on her family's missional tradition with an organization called Mercy Ships. 

As I did the research for writing this particular post, I cried (probably not terribly surprising for those of you who know me well). Get out your tissues for this one, folks!