• Connecting with Teens Can be Fun

    Well, as of 3 weeks ago, I officially have two teenagers. I feel like I have leveled up in the mom life. Two teens is like two toddlers.  I get a little more respect from other moms.  Not as much as the mom with three or four teens, and certainly not as much as the […]

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  • 5 Summer Prayers for a Tired Mom

    I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I LOVE the season of summer, especially in Oregon. Fresh blueberries, warm (not hot) evenings with outdoor meals, gorgeous sunny days with green everywhere you look. I also love not having to worry about homework battles or making lunches every day. But I also dread summer break. My […]

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  • When Mom’s a Cranky Witch

    Three kids crammed on mom's lap.

    I wrote this post several years ago, and stumbled on it recently. The ages of the players (namely: me and my offspring) have changed, but not much else. I’m still a sinner raising sinners, and we all have really rough days. I hope this still resonates with you as it does me. **** That picture […]

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  • Sweet & Salty

    Sweet and salty chex mix

    Something bizarre happened to me the other day: I had a calm and kind conversation with someone who doesn’t necessarily agree with me about Covid vaccines. I KNOW! It was refreshing and noteworthy. For many reasons, our family has chosen to take advantage of the Covid vaccines available, both for Trent and me and for […]

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  • Why I Won’t Tell You About My Son’s “Real Mom”

    I have three kids, and only two of them grew in my tummy.  Our youngest son, Asher, was born in Thailand and joined our family through adoption when he was 22 months old.  Our adoption journey has been amazing, challenging, beautiful and heartbreaking.  It is a big part of our family’s story, and yet most […]

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  • Refined in the fire with every poopy diaper.

    2020 Tompkins family

    (I originally wrote this a few years ago when I had someone in poopy diapers but the sentiment still fits.) This weekend Trent and I were able to join over 1,000 adoptive and foster parents at the Refresh conference near Seattle.  It was a great weekend, spending time together with no kids and connecting with […]

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  • Change the Testimony

    Little Jen in t-ball uniform.

    When I was in a high school, I was big time into “Youth Group.”  That’s what we called church for teenagers back then. Partly because it was expected by my parents and partly because I actually liked it, I attended every Sunday morning worship service, every retreat, every camp.  It was my jam for most […]

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  • Where have you been?!

    I’ve been having so much fun writing for the Portland Moms Blog!  In case you missed it, here are a few of my favorite articles that I wrote this summer: Why I Won’t Tell You About My Son’s Real Mom 28 Signs You May be a BOY Mom Nine Steps to a Child-Free Vacation You’re a […]

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  • Friday Favorites: Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

    I haven’t done a book review for Friday Favorites since last fall, and I’ve got a GOOD one!   I’ve been writing the review up in my head since the first few pages, and I devoured the rest of the book in just a few sittings.  I like it so much that I’m giving away a copy! […]

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  • Five Stages of Summer Vacation Acceptance

    As a part-time working mom with three kids in school, I have mixed feelings about summer vacation.  I love summer itself.  The season of summer.  In Oregon, where we live, summer doesn’t really begin until around the 4th of July.  The weather in June is a real crapshoot.  Don’t plan a large picnic for 5 […]

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