Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I am going to post more on character training, I really am.  Sickness has entered our home and I have gotten hit so there is a slight delay!  I will get back at it when I am well.

Stay tuned please!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Character Training~ Part I

This is a topic that I feel so unworthy to talk about because sometimes as a parent I see my flaws WAY more than I see the things I have done well.  However, with a 17 and 15 year old, living in my home, I have been through a few years of "training a child in the way they should go".  So here are some idea's that we use and have used in the past.  I'm still learning and cannot believe how the more I know, the less I feel like I know!  I do believe that the most important thing we teach our children are how to imitate the character of Christ.  It must start from very small child on.  I even start when my children are newborns!

*I do that by laying them down for nap or bedtime and EVERY time telling them Jesus loves them out loud.  You probably are thinking, "They don't understand that yet, why would that matter?"  Well, first of all, the one main thing I want my children to know is that God loves them unconditionally.  By telling them about His love before they even understand it, is essential to them understanding it later in life.  My two year old was asked when he could barely talk, who loved him and his reply, "JESUS!"  He was told that EVERY time he was  laid down.  (I still do this when I tuck my children in!)  They WILL get it!  After I tell them of Jesus love, before they can understand, I gently tell them, "It's time to go to sleep now."  They also learn that when I say, "go to sleep", they know a few months later, when it is time to sleep and they have no choice.  I have NEVER had a problem putting my children to bed.  We have had the same bedtime routine and been consistent with the time.  Even when they get to be older, bedtime is bedtime and that is it!  That is one of the first ways, we train them.  No stalling, no games.  Bed time is bedtime. 

*As they grow, we begin teaching them the word of God.  Simple verses.  Proverbs is always our starting place.  This is also a  verse that all of our children know, I Timothy 4:12~ Do not others think less of you because you are young, be an example to all believers in word, in spirit, in faith and purity.Or Proverbs 20:11~ Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right. They don't learn these ever night, word for word but they will begin to understand them with gentle reminders throughout the day of examples they can "prove" these verses to other's.  I then begin to teach them memorization of these verses bit by bit.

*My husband at around 18 months to 2 years old, will set things on a table to tempt them.  Things that will test self-control and encourage it.  Something they will really enjoy.  A piece of cereal, cookie, or something that they really want.  He will then sit on the floor with them and gently tell them to wait.  As they begin to reach for it, again, he will say, "wait".  When they are finally able to just stare at it without reaching out for it, he will say okay to them and let them have it.  This also takes time but it teaches them to not always grab something just because the "want" it.  It really pays off later on, when our goal is to have them ask before they take something.  Looking back, we have slacked with some of our children on this training technique and they have the hardest problem with impulse and lack of self-control.  Personality also plays a part in that!  Some kids are just more impulsive and some are more careful, but as a whole, we see a pattern.  The better we have stuck to it, the greater the payoff later.

*With young children, we have encouraged them to learn how to sit at a young age.  Blanket time is something I used quite often with my older ones but have found it harder because of a "busier" life with my last 6 or so.  I still use play-pen time,  up to 18 months old.  This teaches them to stay on a blanket or in a play-pen for a time to learn to focus on something for a while.  More on this HERE.  The next step to that is teaching them to sit on a lap or small chair quietly for a few minutes at a time.  Getting up is not acceptable until told it is okay to get up.  My husband has sat through MANY crying fits because a child did not want to hold still.  He just quietly continues to hold them until they quit crying and gently speaks to them as many times as needed, telling them when they are quietly sitting for a time, they may get up.  After a few sessions of this, you will be amazed at how they will sit when they know it is necessary!  It works great for Wal-mart and strollers also, once this has been taught.  When they are in a cart or stroller, gently remind them, they need to sit until mommy says so.  I have hardly ever had problems with a child when it comes to sitting somewhere for a time.  Now, I also don't abuse this and I understand at a certain point, children need time to wear off some energy but there is no reason a small child cannot sit through a church service at a VERY young age,  if trained properly at home.

*One thing we are "religious" about is is Bible time/family time.  EVERYDAY we meet with the children for a small amount of time together.  That is where some of the things mentioned above can be practiced and utilized.   When we slack in this area, which is rare, we notice that we always have to go back and "remind" them of the expectations.  Lots more work then just sticking with it!  It is a time we all look forward to.

These few things, we have done to BEGIN character training.  More to come in Part 2 for the child a little bit older...

I would LOVE any idea's you have for the younger child age group!



Friday, January 14, 2011

Missing her...

I am missing her soooooo very much!
Would love to have one more smile,
one more visit,
one more touch of her hand on mine,
one more chance to see her loving my children,
one more chance to see my children kissing her cheek,
one more chance to tell her I love her!
Someday, I get to spend eternity with her
So, for now I will just remember the good times and keep her in my heart...
I miss you so very much Grandma...

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter fun

Winter has FINALLY hit, so we ventured out for some winter fun!

We got bundled up until we could not move our limbs
Well, except for dad who thinks a hat is not even necessary!
Legs were strengthened climbing up BIG mountains!
(yes, it looked HUGE to us adults also!)
First year sledding fears, were gently soothed
LOTS of smiles were implanted on children's faces
Running fast and free was the norm
Little brothers got taken for rides DOWN the hill, up was a different story!
A sled WITH a child on it even got ripped in half by a metal pole that looked like this...
Child okay! Just an adrenaline rush remained. 
(That's why mommies pray before activities like these!)
We even played at the park!  Try it! Your kids will thank you!
And just think, if they fall, they are well cushioned! :)
This was our cue, it was time to say farewell to a morning of fun!
We had outworn our welcome!
I LOVE winter!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Randomly thinking...

:: sure glad I put tubs of toys away so on REALLY cold winter days, my boys have something new to play with for a day ::
:: can't believe Christmas toys are already a bore ::
:: I love having a fireplace ::
:: love it that I can stay home and not HAVE to go out in the cold if I choose not to ::
:: love feeling babies kick inside of me ::
:: wondering how I am going to wait about 100 days to see that babies face! ::
:: I like my new hairstyle and highlights ::
:: trying to decide if it was a compliment or and insult that my mom PAID for me to get it done ::
:: so thankful my oldest daughter likes to cook ::
:: I have a love/hate relationship with our WII game system ::
:: why are boys SO competitive? ::
:: I wonder what life will be like in 10 years with many teenage boys under one roof? ::
:: I wonder what my food bill will be? ::
:: I'd rather not go there for now! ::
:: wish I had new carpet for my living room ::
:: thankful I have never let my children eat in the living room ::
:: living in an older home, brings about some amazing drafts! ::
:: thankful for Tums ::
:: wishing I could sleep better at night ::
:: it has increased my prayer time ::
:: probably the only time God can get my full attention ::
:: rather be sleep deprived than God deprived! ::
:: I love my life ::
:: I love my husband ::
:: I'm amazed how easy he finds it to love me! ::
:: I love my kids ::
:: sometimes they are hard to LIKE but never hard to LOVE! ::
:: I am suprised how I sound like my mother so many times during the day ::
:: I appreciate my mother more and more the older I get ::
:: I know I am right where God wants me to be because I go to bed EVERY night knowing I would do nothing else with my life than what I am doing now ::
:: for that I am TRULY thankful! ::

Needing some rest because I have SO MANY things on my mind!  Hoping it will feel bether to let it all out!  What thoughts is your mind filled with?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Motherhood has eternal value

I know it is over a week into the new year and looking back is way past due but yesterday I was sitting on the floor changing my 18 month old's diaper and for some reason began to think of all the things I "accomplished" as a mother and wife.  The world does not give mother's much merit, and in fact even looks down on them for giving up "everything" for the sake of their family.  If you have a great job outside of the home and your children are the smartest in their class, then praise is given.  But changing diapers and feeding hungry little mouths 3 times a day is not as important.  So I thought I would share a few of the things that God has given me the grace and wisdom to accomplish last year and maybe you can identify with some of them!  I am thankful for my role as a mother and I hope to make a list this year as time goes on, listing some things that I am proud of as a mom and wife that God has given me the privilege of doing in and through Him.  As for last year, here are the ones that came to mind~
  • had the honor of holding a child in my womb for 12 short weeks
  • moved bedrooms around so my children could share and enjoy each other's company with other siblings
  • got a new leather couch that everyone can sit on while we do bible time
  • taught 3 kids how to write their names
  • watched one with some learning delays, learn to cut with scissors and hold a pencil with 2 fingers instead of his whole hand
  • got to witness the sparkle in my children's eyes when each one of them learned something new that I taught them!
  • listened to my 2 year old talk to Jesus
  • watched my children look up bible verses
  • get to take care of another little one in my womb and found out it is a girl!
  • potty trained my 2 year old
  • heard about stories of camping trips that my oldest son took his siblings on
  • prepared filling meals with sometimes VERY little in my cupboards
  • cuddled numerous sick children MANY times and lived to tell about it!
  • swept and vaccuumed A LOT!
  • trained children how to help keep a house livable and clean
  • attempted to teach them time management skills
  • brushed many teeth
  • cut MANY fingernails and toenails
  • kissed little cheeks galore
  • kissed little toes galore
  • watched as my 17 year old drove away for the first time by himself
  • spent LOTS of time on my knees in prayer for my children
  • taught bible verses
  • watched a baby take his first steps and cheered him on
  • celebrated birthdays which means we are all healthy and thriving
  • held my husband when he lost his job
  • encouraged him to trust God
  • pointed out God's provision and faithfulness to my children
  • watched my oldest daughter play her violin with such skill
  • gained one more teenager in the house and watched her turn from a little girl to a beautiful young lady right in front of my eyes
  • laid beside my grandma as she left this world
  • watched 3 of my son's and my husband, carry her casket to her gravesite
  • had fun spending precious time with my parents quite often
  • grew in faith knowing my Savior has once again, provided and supplied every one of our families needs
These are just a few.  My point is, sometimes when I feel like the things I am doing day to day, are mundane and pointless, I need to remember that I am shaping the eternal lives of many little ones.  Is there anything more valuable than that in God's eyes?  I think not!  So moms, keep moving on and realize that what you are doing IS important and you are helping shape eternity!  God is very pleased!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A shower

At the end of everyday, I take a few minutes to jump in the shower.  (Okay, not really in the jumping mode at 6 months pregnant, but you get the idea!)  It has just become part of my day.  I shower early in the morning also.  Not sure why I started this "habit" but there is just something about starting and ending my day clean, that I have become accustomed to.  Now that you know WAY more than you care to know, let me share with you something that God brought to my mind this week as I routinely "jumped" in the warm water.

On these cold winter days, it is almost torture getting out of the hot, steamy, water mist, into the cold bathroom. So, I linger a touch longer than I need to sometimes just allowing the water to keep me warm, even after I have washed off.  It just feels sooooooo good!  God brought to my heart an example of the desire I should have for Him that somehow gets lost in my daily routine.

I love to be clean!  Maybe a fettish or obsession, not really sure.  If I had that same desire to "cleanse" my spirit as much as my physical body, He could do so much more with me and I would not feel the constant battle with my flesh as I so often do!  The water falling down on me is so refreshing and invigorating, and sometimes relaxing, depending on my mood.  God's desire to do that to my spirit, is the same!  To wash me in His spirit and cleanse my soul is essential if I want to live according to His plan for me!  Somedays it is hard to get moving but I love routine and I more often than not, stick to my plans.  If not, choas happens.  The same goes for my heart condition.  If I let my relationship slip just because I don't "feel" like taking the time to be alone with Him, choas happens.  I hope that just as I plan on showering my physical body daily, I will look to Him to shower me with His presence and cleasnse my soul daily even more and shelter me from this cold world!

Father, today I ask you to drench me with your presence and shower me with your neverending love and continue that I desire to linger there just because I want to.  I desire to live for You and allow You to invigorate me and relax me with your gentle spirit so that You know I am completely yours.   Amen


Friday, January 7, 2011

Foto Friday~ my life leads to this

My life with boys leads to this...

::An 18 month old with a pop gun::

 ::a rubbermaid full of little testosterone-beings::
::And then me saying the poem out loud, "Three men in a tub, the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker..."::

::I wouldn't want things any other way!::

 (Okay,I admit the thought of my little estrogen-fillled being coming in April, DOES make my toes tingle and smile from deep within!)
 But I will continue to be brave on my journey with a Life FILLED with BOYS!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We have...

...been watching mom's belly grow,

 ...looking closely at new things (which includes noticing mom's expanding belly and reminding her daily, that her belly is getting "fat"!)
And somehow that is considered a GOOD thing! :)
... been playing with and eating cardboard, (who needs presents or cookies)
 ...had fun sitting on big brother
 ...had more fun sitting on another big brother, (they are everywhere ya know!!)
 ...spent time being creative and then time coming off a sugar high!
 ...enjoyed frosting on our lips, hair, and fingertips!
 ...remembering that Jesus loves us and came to this earth to save us
 ...even saved a runaway bunny in the snow with a lesson in how Jesus will go after just one of His lost sheep!
(We are homeschoolers and can't let a learning oppurtunity like that go to waste!)
 ...also celebrated a 6 year old's birthday!

But most of all,
we have been just enjoying each other and the blessings God has given us as a family!

Thought I would just catch you up a little in case you were feeling left out! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

What will this year hold for us?

Last year was one of many changes.  I am sure this one will be also.  We have continued to lay all that we have at Jesus feet and my "goal" this year will be to do the same.  I am reading on my Nook-color, that I received for Christmas, (yes, way too cool and I am bragging just a touch!), a book by Oswald Chambers.  It is one of the most life changing books I have read with the exception of the bible.  It is about prayer and I realize I may have been looking at prayer in a way that may be hindering my relationship with my creator. 

Chambers states this:
"Prayer nourishes the life of God.  Our Lord nourished the life of God in Him by prayer.  He was continually in contact with His Father.  WE generally look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical idea of prayer is that God's holiness, purpose, and wise order may be brought about.  Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the new Testament."

I don't know how many times I go to God in distress without reasoning.  I have just cried out to Him.  Which is not all bad.  However, the purpose of prayer is to reveal the presence of God, equally present at all times and in every condition.  So, I should understand that whether times are really tough, or going pretty well, God is there just the same and my need for Him is no different! 

With that being said, I have been really been re-evaluating my idea of what I want for my life attempting to lay the hour, day, month, and year before Him and resting in knowing that He has gone before me and will guide me.  I am a control "freak" by nature so this is not easy!  From having a clean house to allowing my children to make mistakes and learn from them are things that I battle daily sometimes hourly!  It has been a process of listening and obeying that I have not mastered yet!  I can listen pretty well and even obey, but usually it is in my time!  I also worry and fret WAY more than I should.  And that is an understatement! 

Chambers also quotes: "...prayer  deals with the nourishment of life.  It is nourished by refusing to worry over anything, for worry means there is something over which we cannot have our own way, and in reality is personal irritation with God.  Jesus Christ says, "Don't worry about your life.  Don't fear them which kill the body.  Be afraid only of not doing what the Spirit of God indicates to you."

With this, I have no choice but to quit trying to control things that I am not to take on anyway!  Let go and let God know I am not irritated with Him and I DO trust Him!  (That even means trusting Him knowing my daughter my be going this summer to AFRICA on a mission trip!)  Even my most valued thing on earth, my beautiful children!  My biggest fear in life is they will not choose to follow Christ and also fearing that one of them will physically die!  I literally have built my life at times, around those two fears!  I can't control either if them!  Wow, how much internal struggle I could have and will prevent when I let go of that! 

To get back to what our year will hold...I have no clue!  EXCEPT, I am going to let God take over and rest knowing that He will sustain me no matter what!  Oh, to trust Him more and give up MY plan and control to the giver and author of MY life!  No New Year resolution, just a decision to give up and turn over to Him what was never supposed to be mine anyway! 

I am excited to see what God is going to do in 2011 and I will welcome (okay, with much prayer), whatever it is knowing my need for Him is no different this year than it was last year!  I hope you will come along with me and watch as I enjoy the ride!



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