Taking a Breath

I’ve been reading some books lately on parenting and teaching my kids.  It’s like I have taken a deep breath in and then slowly released it.  And with the release, I am feeling much better.

I don’t have the time or the ability at this point to articulate all that I’m thinking…nor do I think most of you would want to know.

However, I will say that today I was reading to the girls about India and their caste system.  They were not interested.  They were wiggling all around, doodling on random paper, and generally just not paying attention.  I tried to redirect them a couple of times and then I took a deep breath.

Normally, I would have said harshly, “Now listen.  I am your teacher.  And if you don’t learn from me, you will have to go some where where you will listen.  I am not putting up with this.  Sit still and listen.”

And they would have put on a good show.  Sitting still.  Pretending to be listening.

I would have finished reading, asked a couple of questions and probably given them the answers because, like I said, they weren’t listening. But I would have checked my box for reading them the chapter of History.

And it wouldn’t have meant a thing.

So back to that deep breath.

“Ok, girlies.  I can see that this isn’t going to work.  So, here’s the plan.  You two are responsible for teaching your dad about India–it’s caste system and whatever else you learn after you read this chapter.  Ok?  You’ll need to draw a diagram or something and figure out what all you are going to say.  Don’t come out until you are ready.  Love you!”

And out I went.  I vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned downstairs.

photoThey worked on their assignment.  It didn’t take them terribly long.  Ruby was more studious.  Molly did the least she could and then left Ruby to finish.

You might wonder, “Are you ok with that?”

Well, Molly is likely to be embarrassed tonight as she and Ruby “teach” their dad.  Ruby will be more prepared.

Now, Molly may not care at all that she isn’t prepared.  I’m ok with that, too.  It is just a reminder to me that I have some work to do in teaching her how to love to learn.  It won’t help if I am barking orders and telling her how bad she is for not applying herself.  She is 7.  We will work on it as we continue to do life here day in and day out.

In one of my parenting books I came across a quote that I love, love, love.  It’s another one of those deep breaths.  I am not responsible for my children’s entertainment.  They have played so much better now that I have established that I am not going to figure out something for them to do.  They know that when they come to me and say, “I’m bored!!!,” they will likely hear this:

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Isn’t that great?  And it is true!  They have done so well at PLAYING together and figuring out something fun to do or even reading.  I love it!  And I do things I need and want to do…like reading!

There is much more running around my thoughts, but for now, that is where I will leave it.  Somebody has got to cook.  And for now, that is me.  Pretty soon I’d like to see my kids doing the cooking.  Now that would be the start of something wonderful!!

 

 

Sweet Prayer

Before eating his Apples and Cinnamon Oatmeal, Mack sat down while wearing his beloved Spider-Man pajamas and  bowed his sweet head topped with messy bed-head and prayed this prayer:

Dear God,

Thank you for this day.  Thank you for my food.  Please help us have a good day.  Please help Daddy have a safe ride home today.  Please help Mama teach us good….like she already does everyday.  Amen.

SWEETNESS, I tell ya.  Pure sweetness.

Interesting words coming out of my mouth….

As a mom, I find myself some times having conversations that are just funny.  At times I wonder how in the world certain words can be coming out of my mouth….

Take this evening.  The kids had been playing outside a ton since the temperatures have been so mild.  They get dirty, sweaty, and dead grass covers their clothes.

It was  TIME for a shower.  I directed all three upstairs to get cleaned up for our fun family night.

They all came down and appeared to be clean.  I asked each of them if they made sure to scrub their hineys.  One obedient, compliant child said, “Oh yes.”  Another one said, “Of course.”  And another one that will remain unnamed said, “Um, I forgot.”

“Um, how can you forget?  That is kind of the main point of the shower, don’t you think?,” I asked.

“NO!  I washed my hair!!”

And then I said, “I’m sorry, dear, it doesn’t matter how good your hair smells if your hiney stinks.”

It’s true, and yet I didn’t really ever envision myself saying those exact words all together like that.

The children all shook their head in agreement….maybe it will become a standard principle in their life….”It doesn’t matter how good my hair smells if my hiney stinks.”

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Can’t believe I forgot!

In all the organizing and putting away and re-focusing, I realized there were several important things that happened last year that I didn’t want to forget about.  Not the least of which is the redneck Christmas party that our Sunday School class hosted.  It was a blast…very funny to see these people all dressed up? dressed down?  dressed funny?  You decide.

DSC_0178 photo copy 2 photo copy 3 photo copy 4 photo copy photo CSC_0255 DSC_0166 DSC_0168 DSC_0169 DSC_0172 DSC_0207 DSC_0239 photo copy 5This doozy of a picture is Josh from behind.  He looked so ridiculously funny!  We joked that he went into “redneck mode” quite easily.  And his outfit came together seamlessly.  He is a natural.

 

2013

Happy New Year!  Oh how I love a New Year.  A fresh start.  A blank journal.  And a new Bible…for me…it was one of the gifts from Josh this year, and I love it.  It has a red cover.  I have my Bible from when I was in middle school (awkward years).  It is burgundy with my name in gold and had a long strap so I could wear it like a purse.  Then, I have a rainbow study Bible that I used in high school and college (growing years).  I loved that Bible.  Then, the Dorminy’s gave me a black Bible that buttoned closed on Christmas 2002 (marriage years and then having baby years). It was my first NAS version, which Josh says is the best.  I’m excited about where all this Bible will go with me and where all I’ll go in this Bible this year!

I also like to set some goals for the year.  Here are some of mine for the coming months:

1) SABBATH: I want to be more intentional about observing the Sabbath.  Rest more.  Try to not do anything relating to home school or house work (laundry, cleaning bathrooms, etc).  Also, I want to implement a NO SCREEN ZONE that lasts all day Sunday….no phone, no computer, no facebook, no iPads, no wii.  There is something to be said about reminding yourself that I need the Lord, He wants me to be set apart, and He is first in my life (my week, my day, my finances, etc).

2) SCRIPTURE: I plan to memorize two scriptures per month with Beth Moore’s scripture memory team on her blog. I get to post on the 1st and the 15th the verse I am memorizing for those two weeks.  I’ll be keeping them in an index card spiral I made myself.

3) READ THE BIBLE: I signed up for the chronological reading plan of the Bible with youversion.com and hope to stay on track and read the Bible through this year.

4) BLOG:  I want to blog more often.  We got our computer cleaned up and amped up so it actually works really well now. I enjoy writing and it is always so fun to go back and read old blogs—some are so funny of the kids and their silly sayings and some are just thoughts that I am glad I recorded.

5) SMILE!!!  I know, sounds silly, but it is on my list.  I want to enjoy where we are in life and show it!  I need this to come to fruition especially with my children.  My interaction with them in recent months has consisted of barking off orders and ranting about all that they do not do that I already asked them to do.  It can get to the point that I don’t even like myself, so I am sure my kids sometime wonder what I am so mad about.  I found a verse and a quote that I think will be helpful for me in my daily interaction with the kiddos.

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”  Proverbs 3:3

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“Truth is always authoritative and gracious.  Authoritative words should never be harsh, and gracious words should never be without power.”  – Jennifer Rothschild

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So, Happy New Year to you and to your family!!!