Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!
Gramma & I took the kids to get their free books at Barnes & Noble today. With the BN Summer Reading Program, kids read 8 books, write the titles in their Summer Reading Journal, and write their favorite part of the book. Then take the Reading Journal to BN before 9/7/09 to redeem a free book from the Summer Reading bookshelf.
I've always been fascinated and awed by the way God speaks to us, and guides us to do his work in the various aspects of our work and play and service. I like this devotional that a friend sent to me this morning.
From Compass Readings, 05-29-09
The following “marks of a call” are offered as templates to help discern whether or not our respective ministries are in fact activities to which God has called us. This list has been expanded from material developed by the Church of the Savior’s co-founder, Mary Cosby.
REMEMBER: These are only guidelines. God’s Spirit blows where it wills! Rarely will an individual call match all of these guidelines to the letter.
1. A call can be simply and clearly stated. Though it may be viewed in global terms it will be focused and manageable, e.g. “I believe God has called me to proclaim the Gospel through writing and performing songs,” or “I believe God has called me to care for families who are facing loss because of AIDS.”
Numbers you might need when you're out and about - save in your phone address book: Dentist (you never know when you might have an emergency) Doctor (with a sick child, you don't want to stop and look for a ph#) Pharmacy (so you can tell the doctor where to call in your prescription) School Mechanic Pizza place Daycare Your favorite takeout restaurants
Numbers you reference, but they change seasonally - save on a list in your planner: Coaches Babysitters (I sort these by favorites, homeschool (available during the day), and referrals) Teacher's phone #s I also keep a few phone #s that I would need if I lost (yikes!) my phone
Numbers you need, but not frequently - in an address book or on a computer spreadsheet Neighbors Neighborhood association
Last Tip Ask your cell phone store if they will print out a list of your phone #s that are saved in your phone. This is a LIFESAVER in case something happens to your phone! And with little tykes running around, you never know what might happen to …
bubbles face painting finger painting guess how many jar (m&ms or peppermints) play dough sculptures (homemade playdough) sidewalk chalk competition skateboard or bike ramp Silly String Fights water balloon toss water balloon volleyball yo-yos twister hula hoop competition hullabaloo frisbees bounce arounds (if families share the cost)
I've been saving a lot of posts on google reader this week. Partly a sign of busyness with work and play, but mostly because I've stumbled upon some great events and articles that I thought you would enjoy:
basketball shooting contests charades stage dance contest four square hopscotch Kid's talent show limbo magic tricks obstacle course bicycle obstacle course paper airplane flying competition puppet theater (also make paper bag or sock puppets) relays sack races Slip and slide (homemade) street hockey three-legged races volleyball
You can also find 175 more games in our book, Great Group Games - and they're all zero prep ideas! If you use the "Going Deeper" questions at the end of each game, you'll also be 'playing with purpose' - using the games to build character, relationships, and leadership skills.
Whatever you decide to play, have fun being outside with family and friends - it's a great way to build family memories!!
You can greatly impact the people that live around you by taking time to gather them together. People recognize faces, and they'll wave when passing by.People learn one another's names, and they'll say hello.People saying hello leads to a more friendly neighborhood.People say hello, and they might ask for a cup of sugar when they need it at the last minute.People that have a relationship are more likely to respect one another's property.People that care about one another will watch out for one another and their children.People that care about one another share resources with one another (wheelbarrows, flower bulbs, babysitting, tomatoes...)People that know one another live in a safe neighborhood.People that know one another might lead to people helping one another through tough times (new babies, sickness, grieving, death)People that discover commonalities might start sharing life with one another.People that converse with one another might have the opportunity to talk…
My DH got one of these shirts for me for Mother's Day. Thankfully, I haven't had breast cancer, but we have dear friends that have struggled. He also knows that I appreciate supporting philanthropic causes. They're super-cute, so I thought you might be interested in ordering one too! All proceeds benefits the American Cancer Society.
Update 10/09: they have sold out of the tshirts, but I'll repost info if they get more in stock.
My strong-willed, albiet lovely, girl is getting the best (and worst) of me. She seems to like time-out...it is not much of a deterent, and spanking causes her to hit me back. Do you have one or two favorite parenting books or DVDs you would recommend? THANK YOU! Rhonda
Oh, we've all been there!!
I definitely use time out and spanking, but I find that taking away privileges often works better for my kids. If they act out in the middle of playing a game, they lose the privilege of playing the game. If their favorite lunch treat is string cheese, but they throw food on the floor, they lose the privilege of string cheese. If they throw a fit about getting the legos out, then they won't be able to play legos until tomorrow. If they try to stand up in the stroller, they lose the privilege of riding without the straps. I try to take away privileges that are natural consequences, so it's an immediate impact.
When the kids are young, I also do a lot of redirecting behavior.…
Connect with Kids just posted an encouraging article about modesty. They believe that teen fashions are trending toward a more modest style. They even give a few practical guidelines for talking with your daughter and her peers about modesty. They are not written from a Christian perspective, but it's good conservative advice. Such important lessons to discuss with girls!
I've been posting a series about Activity Centers this week. Today's focus is on the ART CENTERS that we often use in our home.
Hint - recycled materials are often the best for this dimension of play. The egg carton that you almost threw away can become the base for a child's homemade elephant; old birthday cards are great for cutting/pasting collages; and canisters are great for making a musical band. Teach your kids to be creative, and they'll find a use for everything. Yes, that's a little frightening, but you don't have to keep the new creations forever...
Stamps Stencils Playdough Dress up magnets Coloring books Markers crayons Paint (watercolors, tempera or magic paint books) Airplanes Light brite Decorate boxes Cut Glue Trace Make rubbings (with leaves or any bumpy surface) Send cards Make gift packages Origami shapes Paper airplanes (not traditional art, but great for young boys!)
Here are some of the stations my kids enjoy in the ACTIVE CENTERS.
Hullabaloo Garage ball Box bowling Wii Basketball Run up the stairs Hyperdash Drums Obstacle course Run around the house Hopscotch Crazy dancing Follow the Leader Bottle bowling (with 2liter bottles) Fun-aerobics (we make up our own silly exercises) Personal bests (how many sit-ups can you do? push-ups? jumping jacks?...)
Here are some of the activities that we have in our IMAGINATION CENTER:
Farm animals in the barn Little People Car garage with matchbox cars Gearation Spy gear Dress up Kitchen Castle Trains Cars Train mat Geotrax Tea party Tents Tell stories Knex Tinkertoys Lego star wars Rescue heroes Mr. Potatohead
The activity centers can include whatever activities you have around your house/neighborhood/city, but here is a sampling of the activities within our LEARNING CENTER.
Dora ABC book Wipe off books ABC magnets Cooking Letter Factory video Talking Words Factory video Leapfrog magnets Dot to dot books Puzzles Organizing items (candy, snacks, colors, toys…) Starfall.com Reading books Books on tape Computer games Word World video Memory Lettery Factory game Tic tac toe Suduku animals Piano Maps Science experiments Making playdough