Category Archives: Children

Regaining Momentum

I have tried to regain momentum in blogging a couple times before. The problem is I think I took on too much, too fast. This time around I want to keep things simple. I want to share what is on my heart and mind. I want to encourage you. I just don’t want to drain myself in the process. So for now I will just be posting once a week.

I would also like to invite you to join me in prayer as I begin writing my very first bible study. This will be a study on obedience and seeking the Lord. This idea is one that has been a seed planted in my heart for awhile now. It was only yesterday though I began to see what that seed was growing into.

It has really grown out of my desire to find a study to help guide and teach my young children what it looks like to obey. See we can tell them we want them to obey ourselves or God all we want, but unless we reach their hearts and show them what healthy God-fearing obedience looks like they will fall short.

So if you are here today reading this I thank you. I thank you that you haven’t completely given up on me. I thank you for your patience, as I seemingly disappeared and got myself together.

Messages, Judgments, Choices, and Your Kids

Spank your kids or else they will be unruly, disrespectful, little brats.

Messages, Judgments, Choices, and Your Kids

Spank your kids and you will damage their self-esteem,  teach them violence equals love, or that they can bully those smaller than them.

Give them time outs kids need discipline, they need order, they need consequences.

Give them time outs and they feel shamed, neglected, humiliated, isolated.

Breastfeed. It is best, it is natural, it is cheap, you are doing what only comes naturally.

Breastfeed. But only at home, only when I don’t know what you are doing, only when you can find a place alone, or only when you and baby are fully covered.

Bottle feed in public and no one tells you to cover the baby, to go to the next room, or go to the bathroom to do that.

Bottle feed though and hear the whispers, feel misunderstood,  or even just feel defeated.

Buy organic, free range, cruelty free, hormone free, non-gmo it is best. It is the only way to go.

Buy what you can do your best, don’t worry about the gmo’s it is all hype anyway.

Homeschool vs. Public School vs. Private School vs. Charter School

Cry it Out vs. Not Crying it Out

Free Range Parenting vs Helicopter Parenting vs Any one who falls in between

Parenting can take on many forms. We hear many messages each and everyday on how other people think we should be doing it. We might even be putting on our judgy pants and telling other parents how they are doing things wrong.

We might even feel justified in judging, giving un-asked for advice, or commenting about their choices in not so hushed tones. Maybe it is because we have raised our kids, and they are successful happy adults. Maybe it is because our kids are older, or we have more kids. Maybe it is because our kids did something like that once. Or maybe it is because we just don’t understand.

That last one there is the real kicker, isn’t it? Do we  really understand? Have we walked a mile in that person’s shoes? Don’t judge, what you don’t understand. Let each of us extend grace, encouragement, love, and support.

That tired, distracted mama with a real stinker of a kid? Give her a supportive smile. Heck maybe you are the friend who can help distract the kid for a moment, while she takes a breathe, finishes a phone call, or cooks dinner.

Instead of telling a friend all the, “Well I would do’s,” ask them about why they made the choices they made. Then listen, really listen.

In the end remember, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it might benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) It is not our place to be critical of their choices. We are not the ones who were tasked with raising their children. Instead let us, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32)

 

 

School Evolves With Spring

Spring has arrived in Alabama.

The kids are more easily distracted from book work. The lure of a warm sunny day calls to them. It beckons to be played in, and discovered. So with that our lessons evolve from snugly days reading, afternoons coloring, regular crafting, and page after page workbook lessons to a world of discovery outdoors.

School Evolves With Spring

Paige’s craft from when we discussed chickens.

We are discovering animals  anew. Long walks lead to a discussion on cows, and their nature. An introduction of the baby chicken to their new environment, begins a discussion of life cycles. The planting of seedlings produces a wonder in the cycle of life that the Lord has created. The children marvel at how a seed so small can grow so large, which again open the door for more discussion.

School Evolves With Spring

The baby chicks around 1 week old.

Teamwork and diligence are demonstrated as a green house is being assembled. The value of hard work is being passed on to the next generation.

School Evolves With Spring

Rusty and a family friend working on the frame for our large greenhouse.

Playtime out doors brings its own lessons. Creativity and imagination develop as they turn an old box into their play house. They learn the value of sharing when there are three of them and one softball bat. New skills are being discovered as they are roller skating, riding bikes, and learning to climb trees.

The lessons don’t stop because the weather is warm. They simply evolve.

There is time enough for book work and crafting when the weather is  poor. So while the sun shines I will let them play, for in play they are still learning.

What are some ways that you can inspire learning outdoors where you live?

***Share this post with a friend if it has touched or inspired you in any way. Please just be sure to link back to the original post.***

Please continue to bear with us as we slowly work to update and improve this blog. 🙂

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

My girls and I are fans of anything crafty. I love sitting down working with them on a project. It is just so much fun to see what they will create or how they will interpret what I demonstrated. Sometimes though when they really want to create, I still have house work to do or other work that needs to be done.  This is where playdough comes in, because a little girl can see crayons for only so many days in a row before revolting. (Disclaimer: While yes, I pull out the playdough when I have other work to do, I still must be nearby to supervise. Playdough must not leave the kitchen!)

We have done store-bought playdough in the past. In terms of consistency, it is great I know what I am getting, but it can get expensive to have to continually replace. I also prefer homemade because then I know first hand what is going into the product, and then the girls can also get involved in creating it.

I have tried my hand at both cooked playdough recipes, which for us were a flop, and no-cook recipes. A simple Google search led me to The Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe. Anna, the author of the blog, offers up this simple recipe. It creates a soft dough that the kids have used for the last two days and there have been no signs of drying out. It produces a great end result that I will turn to again and again.

As great as the result was though I noticed it was stickier and tackier than playdough should be, when I followed the recipe exactly. So what follows below is a slight adaption of the original recipe. (It is worth noting that she does say that you might need to add a touch more flour, but since what I had to add, 1 cup, was more than a touch I will explain how I did this.)

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

(Adapted from The Imagination Tree)
 
 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve one of the three cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (add in increments)
  • food coloring (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Mix the flour, oil, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. On a low-speed add the oil.
  3. Add the boiling water in  1/4  cup increments mixing until the dough is smooth.
  4. If you still have tacky sticky dough and the mixing is not helping go to your flour reserve, and add a 1/8 cup at a time till dough is smooth to touch.
  5. Divide playdough into the different number of colors that you wish to create. Work food coloring into dough by hand, kneading the dough as you go. (This can get a bit messy so gloves are an option here.)

Store your playdough in an airtight container, and it should last for months.

 

Valentine’s Day Sun Catcher and Giveaway

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This just means I get a small referral rate paid out to be for each item purchased using a link (not all the links.) I also promise to only endorse products I fully believe in and any comments related to the products are 100% my own, unless otherwise stated.*** Getting ready to write the post for today I noticed that this will have been the 10oth post I have a published. It is a small milestone, but a milestone none the less. I just thought I would share that observation, before sharing today’s craft.

Valentine's Day Sun Catcher and Giveaway

Valentine’s Day Sun Catcher

 

Materials:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Single sided self-laminating sheets

 

Directions

  1. Cut your tissue paper in 1×1 squares to 2×2 squares . (You could cut other shapes as well but use your sizes for squares as a guide for rough sizes of the other shapes.)
  2. Using your marker draw a heart on one of the self-laminating sheets.
  3. Peel off top strip of the back off the self laminating sheets and using painter’s tape secure the sheet to the table there. Finish peeling off the rest of the backing and secure at the bottom edge using more painter’s tape.
  4. Now that the project is set up invite your toddler or preschooler in the room.(Those are the ages I have found enjoy this most. I have done this with a child as old as six and as young as a 18 months.)
  5. The child can stick the tissue paper anywhere on the self-laminating sheet, but the only part you will need will be the part inside the heart. Let them place tissue paper till their hearts are content.
  6. When they are finished, peel the bottom strip of painter’s tape off.
  7. Peel the backing of a second self-laminating sheet, and gently secure it to the back of the one your child has been working on.
  8. Carefully remove your sun catcher from the table (it will still be secured by the top strip of tape.)
  9. Cut the heart shape out.
  10. Now you will have a heart-shaped sun catcher.  (How to hang them will be your call. I simply use shipping tape and tape them to a window. Although you could get a hole punch, punch two holes, and then string some yarn between the holes.)

Have fun and enjoy the beautiful colors.   Now in celebration of 100 posts I would like to offer a giveaway. In this giveaway I will be offering two books and .

Desperate is a joint effort by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae each lady has a way of writing that speaks to the heart and encourages the soul. In their book Desperate they are seeking to encourage the desperate mom, the one who feels alone, who is stressed to her max,  and just needing to feel a little less alone. It is a book that speaks to the heart of every mother whether you are a brand new mother or a veteran mom of many, because at times we all need a breathe of fresh air and encouragement.

Under the Sun Giveaway

Educating the WholeHearted Child was wrote by Clay and Sally Clarkson. It was wrote with the homeschooling family in mind. Even if you are not homeschooling or not planning on it, this a book that I would recommend to every family, because every parent is a teacher and every home a classroom. It will provide a comprehensive over view of using real books and real life to nurture the heart, soul, and mind of your child. Quoting the description on Amazon, “Whether you are a first-time homeschooler or a longtime veteran, this comprehensive guide will equip and empower you for your journey of faith as a family. Discover the joy of bringing relationship-based, book-centered learning into the natural daily life of your home.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fruit of the Spirit: Love Your Children

(Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links.  Meaning I will get a small referral rate if you purchase after having clicked on the link. I will not endorse a product I do not believe in, so any endorsement on my part is purely my own.)

“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21

 

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

 

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”  Psalm 127:3-5

 Under the Sun - Fruit of the Spirit: Love Your Children

From these three verses it is clear what the Lord expects from parents. What is not clear is how we implement these truths. That there, is the beauty of the deal. There are many ways to raise your children in a Godly, loving home, and still seek after the truth of these three verses.

Whether you homeschool or send your children to the local school, you are still doing the best job you know how. Maybe instead you did CIO or maybe you co-slept. Maybe you used formula or maybe you were a mother who did extended breastfeeding. There is no winner and no loser. One parent is not better than the other. We are each doing the best job we know how to do, but still there are a few things that EVERY Christian parent should be seeking to do with their children.

Colossians 3:21 tells us though that no matter our choices we still need to speak love into the lives of our children. Our children have tender hearts. They are seeking love and approval. Clay Clarkson in his book, Educating the WholeHearted Child — Third Edition, says, “God has designed your children’s hearts to expect love from their parents. When they don’t receive familial and parental love, it is a kind of neglect of their spiritual and emotional nourishment, in the same way that not receiving food would neglect their physical nourishment. A child whose need for love is neglected will begin to close their heart and emotions out of self-protection.” See though you don’t have to embitter, as the bible says, or neglect their spiritual and emotional nourishment, as Clay describes it. Instead encourage them, express your love in words, hug them, and show them just how much you value them. Are your actions matching your words?

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 clearly expresses that we need to teach our children what the bible has to say to them. We can not do that though if first we are not seeking the knowledge ourselves. Live a life that you would be proud for your child to imitate. Are you spending time reading and learning from the Lord each day? Do praise and worship songs fill the air of your home? (They need not be the only songs, but are they given any air time?) Our children are aware if what we are preaching is matching up to the life we are leading. We don’t need to do everything perfectly, but we need to continue to grow in the Lord. Even in our mistakes they can learn much. But it doesn’t stop there. Are you spending time reading to them, and teaching them how to apply what they read to their lives? Guide them.  They need us to be an active guide, not just modeling the behavior we expect, but teaching them how to find the answers for themselves as well.

Children are a heritage

Psalm 127:3-5 Is a reminder that I have written on the black board by my laundry room. Our children are one of the great gifts that the Lord has to offer. Yes there will be days they challenge you. Parenting seems to stretch you in ways you never realized you needed stretching, and when the days get long and your patience gets thin, it can be easy to forget they are a gift from the Lord. So today I remind you to breathe and tell yourself that the Lord gifted these children to you. He didn’t bring them to anyone other than you. God saw to it that you would be the parent to your child. Appreciate that for a moment. He has trusted you with his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10,) his sons [and daughters] (Galatians 3:26-27.) It is that reason I have Psalm 127:3 wrote in large letters in my home, so when my patience runs thin I can remember that they are his gift to me. And your children are the Lord’s gift to you.

So today I say love your babies. Go raise them with the knowledge of the Lord. Get through the day-to-day issues of this world the best way you know how, and know you are loved. (John 3:16)

***If this post has touched you in any way please feel free to share this post. The only thing I ask is to please back to the original. And as always feel free to share via social media. If you have missed any of my prior posts in this series you can find them here : Introduction, Love Your God, Love Your Wives, and Submitting To And Respecting Our Husbands.*** 

 

Creative K Kids

4 Links to Inspire Fall Learning Fun

I wanted to share with you four of my favorite links this last month that I used to form lessons, inspire creativity, and have fun learning with my children. Now these are all fall or Thanksgiving themed so if you want to indulge in them you still have a little time before the onslaught of winter/ Christmas activities.

4 Links to Inspire Fall Learning Fun

I would also recommend as you look through the activities to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Where is your child developmentally? Just because the activity looks fun or cute to you doesn’t mean it won’t frustrate you and your child if it is outside his current skill set.
  2. What resources does it require? Can you afford to buy what you are missing? Is there a way for you to create a substitute for what you are missing here at home?
  3. Do you have the time and/ or energy to to commit to this lesson or craft?

 

From there enjoying looking through the links and discovering things you can do with your kiddos.

1+1+1=1 is always full of wonderful lessons and printables, and her Thanksgiving Preschool Pack is no exception.

 

Thanksgiving Preschool Pack 1+1+1=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Serving Joyfully, I found this wonderful preschool Fall Fun Pack, for my oldest, Chloe.

Fall Printable Pack- Serving Joyfully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over at Frugal Homeschool Family, I was able to find these wonderful color pages that both my 2-year old and 4-year old have enjoyed.

Free Thanksgiving Color By Number- Frugal Homeschool Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final link I want to share I discovered through Pinterest. This link from Diapers & Daisies provided much inspiration for us over the last couple months and I hope to find more inspiration from them in the coming months.

10 Best Fall Crafts to do with Toddlers- Diapers and Daisies

Preschool Homeschool: Themed Lessons

In our preschool homeschool we have been doing themed lessons as of recently. I thought I would share one of our themes from a couple of weeks back. At the preschool level I like to cover character, colors, shapes, introduction of letters, listening skills/ reading skills, counting, and as Chloe advances  further along letter and number recognition.

As I read blogs from homeschooling veterans, and books from experts they all seem to agree on one thing. At this age learning through play is natural. With this in mind while we have lessons, I have decided to keep them short and enjoyable. The lessons themselves are centered around things my children already enjoy doing even without specific lessons in mind. I would encourage you even if you plan on sending your preschooler to public or private school to keep the idea of active playing or playing with purpose in mind with your preschooler. While free play is wonderful playing with purpose helps children to understand from a young age learning can happen in almost every environment.

My girls naturally gravitate towards arts and crafts, stories, videos, games, and anything that involves outdoor play. My two oldest girls also love helping Momma in the kitchen. What do your kids love to do? Think about those things. Use the things they enjoy to introduce new concepts and reinforce old ones. Time spent with building blocks, for example, can also be a quick lesson in counting or colors, simply by asking them to hand you a specific number of blocks or asking them to find a certain color block. Arts and crafts also naturally lend themselves to learning. With crafts, kids work on fine motor skills, cutting, pasting, counting, color/ shape recognition, and more. They just need a parent there to challenge them to try new things, help them when they get stuck, and supervise to make sure they don’t eat the glue or cut their sibling’s project in half. 😉

Now that you have the idea, here is my theme from a couple of weeks ago:

 

Homeschool Preschool: Themed Lessons

Fishies

I kicked off the lesson with a viewing of  Finding Nemo. I used the movie to talk about love, family, and listening skills. Plus it is just a cute movie.

Then we read a poem about fish. Now I really would have loved to have read The Rainbow Fish, but since we don’t have that book. I searched for children’s poems about fish. Reading is a great way to help young children build their vocabulary, so as you read  to them not only read their favorites introduce new stories, poems, and concepts.

The final portion to the lesson was a fish craft.

Materials needed:

  • construction paper
  • crayons/ markers/ paint (really whatever you are comfortable letting them use)
  • scissors
  • white paper
  • glue sticks

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Cut a fish shape out of your white paper.
  2. Draw face on fish.
  3. Cut scales out of construction paper.
  4. Demonstrate how to use the glue stick to put a scale on the fish.
  5. Let the kids have fun decorating their fish with the scales and coloring utensils.
  6. Display fish for all to see. 😉

***What are some of the ways your children learn best? What are some of your ideas for learning through active play?***

Birthday Reflections

Four years ago at this time I was just getting used to my new role as mom, and now four years later I am mom to 3 beautiful girls.  As much as my girls have grown and changed, I have as well in equal proportion. Four years ago I would never have imagined spending half my night awake tending to a sick baby and then awake  writing my blog  and celebrating a little girl’s birthday. Once upon a time I could not function on anything less than 8 hours sleep. Now all I need is a cup of coffee and a little time to re-adjust in the morning.

Birthday Reflections

This is a sweet day for me. My four-year old birthday girl is busy playing with her princess castle. Her younger sister is busy playing next to her, and her baby sister is asleep in her grandmother’s arms.  It is so wonderful to have a houseful, and the mess of children all around.

Before kids I was able to workout and exercise when and where I pleased. Now four years later and after five weeks of The Living and Active Challenge I have learned more about flexibility than just how far I can stretch forward. I have learned that my workouts don’t have to look the same from week to week or even day-to-day. I have also learned how to incorporate preschoolers, toddlers, and babies into any workout.

This challenge has also blessed me through the scripture. I am able to take the scripture and share it with my children. My girls are learning the value of scripture as I learn to memorize it. Never before have I actually attempted to memorize it. I have always taught myself the principles, the general locations of where to find them, but now I am learning the verses word by word and the exact locations. Yes some verses are more difficult than others, but persistence pays off and my girl’s are learning the value of these things through watching me.

Thank you, Lord, for granting me these last four years of Motherhood. Please bless me in the years ahead that I may further learn and grow in my role as a mother. Thank you for these blessing that are my daughters. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

***What are you learning through this journey of parenthood? What so far has been your favorite age or stage your child/ children have gone through?***

Previous Posts on my Living and Active Challenge:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Living and Active

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Do you lead by example?

Do you want your children to do chores daily? Tend to your responsibilities around the home.

Do you want your children to be patient? Practice patience.

Do you want your children to have manners? Exhibit manners.

Do you want your children to have compassion? Show compassion.

At the end of each day it is what we have done that matters. It is not the things we have said, or the lessons we teach out of a book that make a difference. Our children remember our actions.

Long after bedtime stories have ended and the building blocks are put away our children will remember how we spent our days. Did we love them? Did we lead them? Did we comfort them? Did we discipline them?  What did we teach them with our day?

Don’t fool yourself, every day we are teaching our children. Our lives are our examples and the world is our classroom. You don’t need to have perfect patience, but instead show your children you are working on it, striving to be better. If your manners need work show your kids it is not too late to learn. It is never too late to learn the behaviors would like to see your children exhibit.

As a challenge consider this: think of one behavior that your children exhibit that you do not care for, just one.  Now, how is that behavior either encouraged or exhibited in your life? By encouraged I mean do you cave to whining? Do you laugh when your child shows disrespect?  Once you determine how it is exhibited in your life, start taking small steps to correct the behavior in yourself. You are leading your children by your behavior. You set the tone. If your children see their mother trying to improve this behavior I promise they will take notice.

***Have you ever noticed one of your habits coming through in your children? How did it make you feel to see that behavior or habit reflected in the next generation?***