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!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When Children React with Anger

I like this article I just read from  My eldest son's sin tendencies are often related to anger, so it was encouraging to read the practical ideas they shared.

The child who doesn't like an instruction or limitation may reveal frustration outwardly, sometimes in a small way and other times with downright revenge. One mom said, "I can tell when my thirteen-year-old son is frustrated and upset. He becomes more abrupt in his actions and words. His roughness sends a message that says, 'I'm not happy with you.'"

It's important to remember two rules of engagement when confronted by a child's anger. First, don't be afraid of your child's emotions. Sometimes children use outbursts as a form of self-protection to prevent parents from challenging them. View the display of emotion as a smoke screen and look past it to the heart of the issue. You may not confront in the heat of emotion but don't let your child's anger prevent you from correcting him or her. Parents too often see the emotion as a personal attack and react to it, losing any real benefit that could come from the interaction. That brings us to…

Rule of engagement #2: Don't' use your own anger to overpower your child's anger. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A gentle answer turns away anger." When you begin to lose it, take a break. Come back later and work on it some more.

"I've been thinking about the way you responded to me earlier when I asked you to do your homework. I'd like to share an observation that might be helpful for you. It seems that you believe you ought to be able to wait and do your homework just before bed or in the morning before you go to school. Is that what you're saying? One of the values I'm trying to teach you is that self-discipline often means we work first and play later. That's one of the reasons I require you to do your homework early every day. I'm trying to teach you an important value. I know that you may not agree with me, but I want you to know why I'm asking you to do homework before dinner."

Allowing emotions to settle first can bring opportunities for dialogue later, instead of turning the present issue into a battleground. Realize that kids will go away thinking about what you've said, even if their initial response looks as if they haven't heard you. This is especially true for teenagers. Prepare what you're going to say and choose your timing carefully without getting caught up in the emotion of the moment.

This parenting tip is reprinted from the free online newsletter at  The excerpt comes from the book Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN,BSN.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wanna Be Less Frazzled?

I just read Mandi's blog post, titled Traits of a Frazzle-Free Mom at Our Busy Family Life. She offers several simple keys to keeping this crazy job called 'mom' a little more under control - and full of peace! I definitely think she's onto something!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Simple Art to tell the REAL meaning of Easter - part 2

Get two pieces of construction paper. Draw a big cross on each one.

On the first picture, let your child draw a stick figure on the cross to represent Jesus. Talk about how Jesus lived a sinless life, then died on the cross to pay for our sins. Across the top of the page, write "Jesus died for our sins."

On the second picture, let your child draw (or color) a heart on the cross to symbolize God's great love for us. Write "Jesus is Alive" across the top of the paper.

Talk about how Jesus is alive and he wants to live in our hearts. When we invite him to live in our hearts & ask him to forgive our sins, he will give us clean hearts that can be friends with Jesus.

Hang the pictures up to remind your family about the real meaning of Easter - and God's great love for us.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Traditions

Here are some of my favorite places to find Easter traditions for families:

From the Simple Wife - picture books, family seder supper and resurrection egg hunt

From Passionate Homemaking - a whole set of resources for families - from recipes to homeschooling curriculum to Holy week.

From Harvest Ministry - a list of ways to minister to others during Easter week.

A list of Easter ideas from School@Home

Kelly's post on Frugal Resurrection Eggs (be sure to follow the link she mentions in the 1st paragraph for easy-to-make eggs and the scriptures woven into a kid's Easter story)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Simple Art to tell the REAL meaning of Easter

I spent the morning doing arts & crafts with my 3 and 5yr old. We were cutting/pasting Easter bunnies and eggs. Then we drew pictures about the real meaning of Easter - it's such an easy way to tell the gospel story!

You can use these easy pictures to tell the story, or add in your own pictures to go into deeper detail.

Write the word God
draw 2 stick people to represent Adam & Eve
a red heart represents clean hearts
a tree for the garden
a snake
an apple
a black heart to represent sin
baby Jesus in a manger
a cross
write Jesus is Alive
a star to represent heaven
then I drew stick figures of each child with a red heart, representing Jesus' desire to live in their hearts.

(**Don't worry about your art skills - your kids will love your stick figures and your attempts at drawing. It's the gospel story that matters!)

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

My mom just made her own hand cream, following a friend's recipe. It is very moisturizing! My DH and I are really enjoying it, and my MIL is planning to make a batch soon.

All products are generic brand from Dollar General, but I'm sure you can also use other generic brands.

2 jars vitamin E cream
1 large bottle baby lotion (use the white unscented bottle unless you want to smell like a baby)
1 small 3.75 oz jar of petroleum jelly

Mix with hand mixer until smooth. Store hand cream in the vitamin E jar (or gladware or recycled jars). Enjoy!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cooking for Large Groups

I was intrigued by Meredith's blog posts titled Feed A Crowd For Less at Frugal Hacks. I rarely cook for more than 10 people, but I'm looking forward to checking out her tips, resources, and books during my next large group cooking adventure!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Resources for Children's Ministry

I thought you and your church might enjoy this list of resources for K-5 children from John Piper's church. I have not seen the curricular pieces in person, but I like everything I've seen from their church.


The Call of God—An Evangelistic Study for Children on the Work of God in Redemption. God is calling people to be a part of his family. This curriculum explores how God overcame the sin problem through the sinless life and death of Jesus on the cross, and thus enables people to respond to the call of God with faith. These lessons are also available in Spanish.

Things Hidden—An Evangelistic Study for Children on Kingdom Parables. Using kingdom parables, the goal of this curriculum is to awaken spiritual interest in children, so they might seek after the hidden treasure of God and find their satisfaction in him.

God Always Wins—An Evangelistic Study for Children on the Greatness of God in Salvation. These lessons show God as the great Victor who triumphs over all enemies, including Satan, death, and sin. He is great and mighty, and worthy of our worship!

Wisdom Calls Aloud—An Evangelistic Study for Children on the Wisdom and Fear of the Lord. This study uses wisdom literature to teach the difference between foolishness and wisdom, and shows children the need for a true heart change to fight against their foolish and sinful nature.

Visit our website to view sample lessons in English or in Spanish or to learn more about our Backyard Bible Club and Vacation Bible School resources.

If you want to know what it takes to host a Backyard Bible Club, Bethlehem's website lists the basics.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Pharmaceutical Deals

According to Faithful Provisions' blog post, Costco now offers many of the cheapest prescriptions around town - and you don't have to be a member to use their pharmacy!! Check out this short article to learn more - Lowest Priced Prescriptions.

And if you're not a regular subscriber to Faithful Provisions, she posts some great deals throughout the week!!

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