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!
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4 Steps to Creating Your Own Family Code
We got published by a parenting group called Homer, so I thought you would enjoy seeing the article!
4 Steps to Creating Your Own Family Code by Ann Saylor & Susan Ragsdale
Have you ever written a family code that defines your family’s way of being together and making choices? Think about the benefits of writing down your family values. It will help you make decisions on the way you spend your time. It will help you choose family friends. It will help you navigate choices related to books, movies, hobbies, sports, and vacations. It will help you respond to sticky situations. Not to mention the bonding with your family as you spend time together creating the code!
When you create a family code, you identify the values that are important to you as a family, and you begin the process of talking about how those values look in practice. Involving your kids in the conversation helps both children and adults think about how all of you can be both individuals AND a family of character. You can create a family code in four easy steps
Step 1: Set the timer for ten minutes. Select a family scribe to record your ideas.
Step 2: Ask each family member to name one important family value or principle. Have the family scribe record it. If you need a few ideas to start, you might consider patience, helping others, and honesty. Continue taking turns until you have 8-10 values listed.
Step 3: Review the list, making sure everyone understands the words and what they mean. If you have similar words, such as kindness and compassion, you might choose to narrow down your list. You are finished when you have a good set of values that your entire family can agree to live by and be proud of.
Step 4: Post your family code in a place where everyone will see it often.
Extending the Experience: Work together to display your family code in a creative way. For example, you might write the code inside a shield and decorate it with your family members’ favorite colors or meaningful pictures. Or, you might write the words in fancy lettering to display on a chalkboard or in a picture frame. Or perhaps your family could make a painting using all the words. The possibilities are endless!
Ann Saylor is the passionate mother of four children ages 2-15. Susan Ragsdale is known as “Aunt Susan” by 15 nieces and nephews. Both are well acquainted with the joys, tears, and fears of nurturing children and teens. Together, they have created over 891 activities in 8 published works to help people craft fun, engaging experiences where children and teens learn and thrive. See more of their work online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn for Ann | LinkedIn for Susan | Books
The Armistead family taught our children a lovely blessing to sing at the dinner table. It is sung to the tune of the children's classic song, Are You Sleeping?
God our Father God our Father Once Again Once Again We bow our heads to thank you Bow our heads to thank you Amen Amen
We love this blessing, and we've recently adapted it to involve younger children and guests. Instead of everyone singing each phrase twice, we sing it as an 'echo prayer'. One child leads the song, starting with the first phrase, "God our Father". The rest of the table echoes. Then the leader leads the second phrase , "once again", before waiting for the table to echo. And so forth, until the whole blessing is sung.
It's an easy way to remind our children (and ourselves) to give thanks to our Provider and Sustainer throughout the day.
Reader Question: I am in charge of creating 74 goody bags for an upcoming marriage retreat for my church, and I am in desperate need for some frugal, creative ideas on what I could put in these bags. In the past I know people have put little candy bars, a bag of microwave popcorn, a couple of packs of hot chocolate, tea bags etc so I was looking for ideas that might be something similar, but maybe a little different too. Would you have any fun thoughts on this?
A Few Ideas: Visit www.likemerchantships.blogspot.com - Meredith does a fantastic time being incredibly hospitable on a budget.Our women's retreat coordinators wrapped the following things in a cellophanebag: a mininotebook, a pen, a candle, peppermints, chocolate kisses,and a colored paper quote/scripture. A friend just suggested packing candies that correspond to questions: an almond joy - share a joyful moment in your marriage, a hershey kiss - something about your first kiss, snickers - laughs, lifesavers - when your…
My two boys LOVE legos, so they naturally end up scattering lego creations and random lego pieces throughout the house. Last weekend, we converted their closet to be a LEGO WORLD. Now they can store lego (and knex) pieces in their lego world, they have instructions for all of their kits in a ziplock bag, and they have a place to display their favorite ships. And I have a mostly lego-free kitchen and living room!!