Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Fail-Proof Method for Memorizing Scripture

I've tried a lot of ways to get the kids to memorize scripture. I have to admit, there are times when I've felt like a failure because I couldn't stick with something in particular. I'll mention some of the ways I've used...and then
I'll tell you what I've found REALLY works. Ok- it's not what you think, hehe, keep reading.

When the kids were young, I did a thing where they said the verse, sang it, learned the sign language for it and did a craft. That worked for a while. We were really into it, but then I ran out of songs to go with scriptures, and I wasn't making them up fast enough, and really it was tough to learn all the sign language.... But you know what- they learned some scripture.

After that we tried the box that had scriptures in it, listed on index cards. We had verses for certain days of the week that we were learning, and then we'd review them. This also worked really well. But then the cards would get lost or misplaced or we'd skip days and not know where we were. But you know what- they learned some scripture.

Then I put a scripture on a chalkboard and we learned that scripture all month. That really did work for a long time. It was something I could handle- once a month. But then we stopped, for whatever reason. But you know what- they learned some scripture.

Next up- I bought the ABC scripture cards from Abeka. So during different times in the week, we would learn a scripture that started with A, then B, C, etc. I think we stopped around E or F. But you know what- they learned some scripture.

After the cards, I came across an AWESOME set of CD's called Sing the Word- you can see those here, and the kids loved it! I bought the A-Z one. We would listen to it in the car. The kids were learning so fast and we had great ambitions of learning the CD and then buying the next one....but then my ambition fizzled out. But you know what- they learned some scripture. (and really, those are great CD's).

And right now....I've given each of the kids one of the ABC scriptures in their school box and they are each learning a different verse. It's working well right now. Will it always? From my experience- probably not. I know myself. But.....yes, you know what- they are learning some scripture!

And that's the point. That's my fail-proof method of scripture memorization. Just don't quit. And don't feel like a failure if your current method isn't working. Change it! Change it up. I think there are lots of things like that, sometimes you just need to try it a different way and that's ok. Do you have other ideas I can add to my arsenal of methods??

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Encouragement for the Limit Setter

Limits…I feel like that is the anthem of parenting. You can go this far, and no further…..that's why I liked this pic. One kid, stuck in the middle of both the others, hehe. We are constantly setting limits for these kids, telling them when they can and can't do just about everything. And that's good, that's what we're supposed to be doing. And at certain points, they get more freedom, as they mature and grow.

But right now, we are in the very middle of technology limits. Oh man, I feel like it is a constant battle to not cave in and just say- you know what, do whatever the heck you want, when you want and for as much time as you want. 

Ok, obviously I know I can't do that. I know setting limits is good. But lately, I'm feeling discouraged by battle of the "Can I?" "Can I watch a movie, can I look up something on the internet, can I play nintendo, can I play iPad, can I listen to the iPod…." annnnnndddd the list goes on. 

On top of the "Can I?" You have the "Can You?" "Can you unlock the iPad for me, can you unlock the computer for me?" "Can you be around while I'm on the computer?" Now….these ones I feel like, are part of the crux of these technology limits. I could just unlock everything, give them the passwords and let them do the looking on their own time… but I choose not too, in hopes that I can help them steer clear of content that will be inappropriate for them to see. So….I have to buck up, sacrifice a little, inconvenience myself so they can use the technology in a way that won't be harmful to them. (Is this a fool proof plan, heck no, but it's a start and it's a plan and I know it will be helpful to them.)

As far as the limits themselves- I've tried setting up a schedule- like, ok, you can only play nintendo on such and such days for such and such time. That does work….but then you have to set a specific time, otherwise those cutie pies will ask you from the time you wake up, when they can play. So, I try to say, not until school is done. But then, it's still on my shoulders because I am usually the one they are waiting on to finish school. So,…..they're still asking me. I've tried setting specific times- like- 4:00. Well, that works for like one day and then the next day, we're gone or we have an appt, or I don't know, I like to be spontaneous, spur of the moment- so I realized I don't like set times. 

So we're kind of at a stand still. And what I finally realized is this- the challenge in the fact that we SET LIMITS. And I believe that as long as we set limits- there will be challenges and bucks against the authority and the system we set (including my own bucking, as I would really like things to be more convenient for me.)

As the limit setter- I must be a few things- I must be 

Vigilant. I must know that my limits will be tested and bucked at. I need to keep a watch for this!

Consistent with what I say. The kids will test me, test those limits and ask and ask again, in the hopes that the fifth time I will cave and change my mind. I might even cave in on myself if the day is going crazy. So I'm also working on making the limits realistic (see point below).

Detached emotionally. When my little cute 4 year old asks me to watch a movie every hour since she wakes up, I must gather my courage, forget that she's super cute and say "No, you may not." Or- like the time when I said the boys couldn't do internet until 4:00….so in the morning, my son asks- what time is it, and I say 9:15 and then he mutters under his breath but loud enough that I can hear…."ok…only 7 more hours until I can look something up." 7 more hours!!! What torture am I putting them through?? Just kidding, but it feels like that in the moment. 

Set realistic limits, and times. This is the biggest challenge for me- as I said earlier. I have to be realistic. We aren't giving up all technology, and because of that, I need to assess what I have in the house and how much time each thing is allowed. It would also help me to set up a time for TV watching….which I am thinking about that. So that, I can tell my daughter- you can watch a show at such and such time. But I also want to allow for flexibility in our schedule- like I really really need to do something and a 1/2 hour show would be just the ticket. Or, we're headed to the doctor and I have one kid that's being seen and 4 that need to sit quietly…I may will decide to bring the iPad. 

Allow for changes. If something isn't working- we need to change it. 
I can't expect different results by doing the same thing. And this has happened lots of times, I've changed, rearranged, whatever, to make things work. 

And most of all, I need to just embrace the fact that limits are good. They are for my kids' benefit, my benefit, our family's benefit. So, I'm taking a deep breath today, embracing our limits and being thankful for them. And getting some more coffee. 

Happy Thursday!! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Fairy Garden

I had been looking for fairy ideas for Clara- this all started after someone posted Fairy Mud on Facebook. We did end up making it and it was really fun, and lasted….still lasting, in the fridge. Then another friend posted about a fairy garden- I had never heard of that before. Basically it's a tiny garden that your fairy could live in. So….we set out to find our fairy a house, some flowers/plants, a basket to plant in and fun things to put in the garden.

On Saturday we went to our local thrift shop and found this incredible little house!! It was so perfect for a fairy house and it was $2.00, and when we brought it home we found out it made music! Super cool.

Next purchase- flowers. We went to Home Depot and picked out some pretty flowers. 
We had a gold basket, dirt, colorful stones for a walkway, and a fairy already. First, we filled the basket with dirt. 

Then we planted the flowers. 

Added the house and some other things…and viola! A fairy garden. Clara loves it! And she thinks it's fun to water it. 


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If Only My Husband Read My Mind

Ahhhhhh. It's been forever since I've posted. Oh well.

So. I have a funny story.

About a month ago, we had Robin from Neat Nest Organizing (and also our awesome mentor mom) do a presentation at MOPS on how to "Clear the Clutter." Ok- so I was super inspired and went home and cleaned up my spice cabinet. Hey, that's a small area, but it was a big mess. I bought some cute containers Robin had suggested and put my spices in them- voilĂ , lovely. (See picture)

Ok....so, skip forward to MOPS last week- I was presenting on ideas for containing your messes with kids, while crafting. I needed an empty spice container to put glitter in (my theory is that if you put glitter into a smaller container, with smaller holes, it makes less mess- this is true, IF your child doesn't find the bigger container of glitter and dump it anyways.)

Well, I grabbed the cayenne pepper- and quickly poured it into the empty "Parsley" container. What I was thinking at the time was this- there is no way my husband will confuse cayenne pepper for parsley.....I mean completely different, right?!?

Don't worry, it's not what you think....just kidding. Here's what happened. (If you're a Monk fan, that's a funny line.)

Travis was making dinner- curry. I come in the kitchen and see the "Parsley" sitting on the counter. I freak out and say "oh my gosh, what did you DO!?! That's cayenne pepper, NOT parsley!" His reply-

"I thought it was PAPRIKA!"

Oh my goodness......needless to say, the curry was very spicy.

And I really need to label the spices- particularly ones that are detrimental to the health of your dinner (or your kids ability to eat it, or anyone eating it for that matter). My husband said it's like putting gasoline in a cup and being like- don't worry, it's not milk.

Ohhhh well. It says "Cayenne" now.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Paper Towel Roll Puppets

I really like to save paper towel rolls. And toilet paper rolls. It just seems nice, like one day we'll really need these, or the kids can do something fun with them, etc.

Well, now you have it! Puppets. The kids had made a puppet show stand out of a giant cardboard box. It also doubles as a spaceship, but that's neither here nor there. It's nothing fancy, but the kids have had a good time with it.

So, the other day my daughter asked for puppets and the idea for using the paper towel rolls popped into my head. We printed out themed coloring pages by googling them, cut them out, and glued them onto the rolls.

We did two sets- a nativity set and a birthday set. Clara did a nativity puppet show for us and it was the cutest thing! I can't find Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus at the moment, so they are not included in the picture….but they exist somewhere in this house. Clara colored the birthday ones.

Good times for recycled items and rainy days!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolution and a Prayer

Keeping in the spirit of New Years, or maybe just because it's what's floating around in the air- I've been examining my life and wondering if I need to make some changes.

I've started reading Brooke McGlothlin's "Praying for Boys" and it's just really inspiring me to pick praying back up. I say it so nonchalantly, but what I really mean is, I REALLY want and need to start praying for my kids again.

Brook McGlothlin is the co-founder of the MOB Society- mothers of boys, and I found myself over on their site today. Their challenge for today was to pick a scripture to pray over our kids for the 2014 year. Actually, pick a word and then a scripture to go with it. I love this idea and it's not overwhelming!

I've been thinking about this today- what word do I want to use for our year?


I think that's it. I want peace for my family. Not peace at any cost. But the peace that passes all understanding. Peace that remains, even in the face of adversity. Peace that can look at any situation and say "I know God is in control and He's got this." I want to experience the kind of peace that comes when I'm in the will of God. And the discernment to understand when I'm not and the peace is gone.

So, in looking at the scriptures- I've decided on this one, actually 2-

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I am really excited to have a goal in mind. And a plan to follow. I know myself and I can't have too much a plan or I won't follow through with it!

Oooh. One thing that just stuck out to me. I saw another verse about peace-

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15

I'm thinking we need to be thankful in order to experience the peace. I know how I get when I'm super worked up about something. Or when I think about what we don't have, I lose the peace so fast. So….maybe in thinking about PEACE for our family…we need to be purposeful about being thankful. Looking at what we do have and what God HAS provided for us so far.

Well. Cool. I am encouraged, ready to start the year off fresh, and excited to see what God will do!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Feel Good Story

Last week sometime, I was tucking my 9 yr old into bed. We started talking and he began unloading some cares…weeks worth of pent up frustration and all around upset-ness. He was having different troubles with this or that, the main thing being he hadn't scored a goal in hockey. He plays hockey and he totally loves it, but this year has been challenging. He's one of the younger kids and it's more work than last year. He's really a great player, but these last few weeks he just hasn't been able to see it. He was more worried that he was the only one on his team that hadn't scored a goal.

So anyways, we were talking about it, and I said did he ask God to help him, and he said yes, he had multiple times. In that moment, I was like, geez Lord I don't know what to say to him? We had recently been talking a lot about Saul and David and what it meant that David had a heart after God. So, I reminded him of that. And suggested that he ask God to maybe change his heart about scoring a goal, ask God why he wanted to score so badly and change him if he needed changing. So he did that. Ahhh, sweet boy.

Well….that weekend he had a game on Saturday. His team lost 5-1…but, HE SCORED THE 1 GOAL!!! My husband text me about it and I was just so exited for him. My husband said you never saw a bigger smile on his face.

When he got home, I said wow buddy, God totally met you! And he said, yea mom, it was totally God because the goalie should have been able to stop it. (He also said it was easy enough for his brother to stop it…geez, I had to be like, buddy, don't put your brother down.) But the point is….God answered him!! And wow, it was just so great.

Happy Wednesday!!