New On The Blog

Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).


When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Lisa Lou

Choosing a School: Public/Private/Homeschool

In the days of COVID, deciding how your child will be educated takes on a new meaning. Choosing a school is one of the fundamental decisions parents must make. There are pros and cons for each choice. In addition to thinking about your child’s specific needs, you must take into consideration the overall family lifestyle.

Public Schools: Public schools will ensure your child is introduced to the children in their neighborhood. This can be helpful when you are trying to find close-by connections. There is greater diversity in a public school because all children have a right to a free public education. There is usually greater diversity in academic classes as well as extracurricular activities, too. Be advised that in the larger schools, there can be a very selective process as students head toward high school. This may keep your child from participating in activities they wish to experience. Public school classes are taught according to specific curriculum standard guidelines. In addition, parents can keep tabs on the performance of the school, what their child is being taught, as well as how their school stacks up based on a variety of measures. One option in the public-school system is the charter school. To gain access to a charter school you must apply, as well as enter a lottery system (for those charter schools with a waiting list). School guidelines differ by state, but for Texas residents you may utilize these public school links for more information: ; ;

Private Schools: In a private school a student may be able to experience a wider array of extracurricular activities than students in a public school, simply because these schools tend to be smaller. You do not have to be “heading pro” to participate in athletic activities or the school play. Check into the classes and activities offered in the private school you are researching. Some private schools do not offer the same variety of academic and extracurricular options that you have in large public schools. One aspect to consider in a private school is their alignment with your family values. You might find a closer match in these institutions. If your family values are faith-based, science-focused, computer-focused, etc., and this is important to you, a private education may be a good choice. Keep in mind there is usually considerable cost for a private education.

Homeschool: Homeschooling is a great option for families that value flexibility and the opportunities that go with that whether they be real-life focused, or travel focused. A typical homeschool day can usually be completed in less time than their public/private counterparts. Which can leave more time for other educational opportunities. Make no mistake, homeschooling requires an intense commitment, typically from the mother. The homeschool mom must wear three hats in the family: mom, wife, and teacher. This can be a heavy load. However, there are a variety of academic, sports, and fine arts cooperatives for homeschool parents which can help lighten the load.

Contributing writer:

Donna Bahorich-Texas State Board of Education