Don’t forget to say “thank you”


As moms, how many times in a day do we say, “Don’t forget to say ‘thank you'”?  I was recently blessed to see a note my 9-year-old son Micah put under his pillow along with his tooth for the tooth fairy.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

It really doesn’t take that much extra time or effort to say thanks. When was the last time you thanked your husband for doing something as important as providing for the family or as seemingly insignificant as taking out the trash? When was the last time you thanked a teacher for their investment in your child? When was the last time you thanked your parents for their involvement as grandparents?

Tooth fairies give quarters and maybe even dollars sometimes, but God’s bountiful blessings cannot be measured. Let’s remember to daily thank the Giver of all good gifts.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Ps. 118:1

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Updating Blog and Website


It’s time for a change, an update – I hope an improvement. And more change may be in store. How does the saying go? The only thing consistent is change.

Visit my website in the coming days at and comment here to let me know what you think.

Also, I’m moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress, and blogging under BrennaStull instead of CoachMomBook.

I hope the changes reflect the growth in my ministry and my personal walk with God. He has blessed in so many ways. Recently, we launched the production of the Coach Mom Study Group DVD Set. And now updating the blog and website.

I will continue to blog organization tips and family fun ideas, along with bits from my day-to-day life as wife and mom. I want to encourage you and all ladies to make every minute count!

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Didn’t get all your graduation gifts sent?


May, almost competing with the Christmas season in terms of busy schedules, can be so overwhelming that even with your best intentions, things fall through the cracks.  Summer begins, and the fun begins! With children home, camps to go to, VBS to work, then packing for vacation and the laundry aftermath when you return, often those things that slipped through the cracks never get caught!

If you are sending your children back to school and in your organizing come across announcements for high school graduates who you never congratulated, do not fret. You have a great opportunity before you!

Contact the parents to get the Fall mailing address for their child. If they are attending a university, on their first week of class, send them a care package with an encouraging letter, and include a gift card or cash gift. All college students would love this. College student or not, no one minds receiving a gift in the mail even if it is a little late.

See? You actually have spread out the fun. They had so many activities and gifts to open in May. Now is the perfect time to send a gift!

Excuse me, I need to go email a few out-of-state parents….

Originally published at on August 10, 2009

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Is Paper Clutter Making You Crazy


As the end of the school year draws near and the papers entering the home hit an annual high, it is important to have a plan. Here are some time tested tips that I have picked up over the years on how to get a handle on your paper monster.


Tips for managing children’s papers:2009Sep24

Trash it – Throw away everything except papers that best demonstrate the child’s talent (put in the bottom of the recycled trash bin, unseen by small people) With oversized artwork, take a photograph it (you can even photograph your child holding it), then throw it away unless it is special enough to frame.


• Find a Home – Assign a drawer for each child in a central location to be the “keeper paper” drawer. I picked up a small chest of drawers in a garage sale, painted it, and assigned a drawer for each child.


• Memory Files – As a drawer gets full, go through it, pick out a few more papers and file the true keepers in plastic bins with labeled hanging files.


Tips for managing Mom’s papers:


• Not Sure? File it – What other topics do you need in your filing system? Don’t limit yourself to just bills and papers such as bank statements, insurance papers, and warranty information. Ask yourself this question: What is it that makes stacks on my counter or desk? Categorize it, then start a file. If you can’t bring yourself to make a file for it, then throw it away. If you can’t bring yourself to throw it away, then go ahead and make a file for it.

• Coupons – I used to save the grocery ads each week and put them on the counter so they would be handy for checking out the sales. One day I realized that if I continued at this rate, I would have grocery ads on the end of my counter permanently. I now have a file labeled “Current grocery ads.” Each week when the new ads come, I take out what is in the file and put in the new week’s ads. When it’s time to go shopping, I can access them immediately.

• Specialty Filing System – Make your files work for you and your interests. Organize files in a way that will encourage you to use them, and have files for your interests. Some files that fit my special interests are:

  • My calligraphy and artwork originals: I can make copies from them.
  • Kids’ stickers: Keep them for projects when the kids need an activity.
  • Pending: For paperwork that is in process, such as fund-raising packets, memory verse papers, birthday party invitations that need to be saved for addresses and directions.
  • Home ideas: Clip ideas, then toss the magazine. But do so sparingly…remember, the internet is a great file-free idea resource.
  • Health file for each member of our family: Jotting down dates of sicknesses and other health-related information could prove to be helpful in the future.
  • Cards to save: In this file, keep the cards with the rare handwritten message.
  • Drawing lesson plans and ideas: I reference this file as I prepare to teach summer drawing classes each year.
  • Speech outlines: I save these for future speaking engagements. I also save anecdotes and stories related to my frequent topics.
  • Kids’ extracurricular activity information: Brochures on tennis camps, gymnastics classes, community center classes, and such go in this one.

Make all of the paper files work for you and your personality. Would you do better to have papers filed in notebooks, in a closed drawer, or in an open crate? Although the open crate idea may not win an award for best appearance, it will look neater than piles of papers on countertops and allow you to access whatever you need within minutes.

Take heart as those papers come in your door – you have a plan. Roll up your sleeves and say, “Bring it on!”

Originally published at on March 30, 2009

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Giving Back to MOPS: Speaking at 2009 MOPS Intl. Convention


When I was a young mother of two active boys born 16 months apart, my MOPS Group was my lifeline. Those days were filled with trying to quiet the cries of a colicky baby, keep my curious toddler from injuring himself or the baby, keep everyone fed and in clean clothes. Days were lonely at times as my husband often traveled and our parents lived a thousand miles away. I lost 15 pounds during that season because I was so busy that I went whole days forgetting to eat. A shower was a luxury, and too much to expect on some days.

Although MOPS was one of my only morning outings for the week, I was lucky to get there within 15 minutes of the start time because I ran late everywhere I went. I remember one morning after I got the boys strapped into car seats I smelled one in need of a diaper change. As I was changing him, my toddler got into the kitchen cabinet. When I walked into the kitchen after changing the baby, I saw Dillon sitting in the middle of a pile of glass from a broken Pyrex bowl. Little shards of glass penetrated his skin and blood seeped out of little cuts on his arms and legs. I almost gave up on the MOPS meeting at that point, but forged ahead. I picked the glass out of his skin, stuck his white clothes in a sink of cold water, applied bandaids, put new clothes on him, then changed myself, as I had blood on my clothes also. By that time, the baby was crying, because it was time for his nap. I just loaded them in the car, left the mess for later, and fell into my MOPS leaders’ arms once I arrived.

Once those days passed, and I had a couple more children, the Lord gave me the chance to start encouraging younger moms through speaking at Phoenix area MOPS groups. One morning in late January 2003 only three moms showed up to hear my talk at a local church, but I didn’t mind. I was thrilled to just have my children in childcare and a chance to share and discuss ideas with other mothers.

That day I left the meeting with joy overflowing from my heart, sensing the joy that one has when they feel they’ve been an instrument in God’s hand to touch and make a difference in others lives.

After putting my children down for naps, I thanked God and rejoiced in the morning as I mopped the floors. I still remember where in my family room I was standing when I sensed God said, “Do more.” Those words sent me on a three-month journey to discern what that meant. After a number of confirmations, I realized the Lord was leading me to get that speech down on paper – to write a book about it, what eventually became Coach Mom.

I sat in on sessions at the MOPS International Convention last year with over 5,000 MOPS leaders, and longed for a chance to share the message of Coach Mom. I am thankful to the leaders of MOPS International, who in January invited me to speak on Coach Mom at the 2009 MOPS International Convention in Nashville, TN. The MOPS ministry encouraged me as a young mother, and now I have a chance to give back to others coming behind me.

Originally published at May 7, 2009

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