Month: January 2016 (page 1 of 2)

You’re going to want one of these!

I received my package yesterday!  The package containing my “real life” copy of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World!  Oh how I love to hold a brand new book in my hands!

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BUT…the most exciting thing in my box, was our Global Family Kit from Mercy House Kenya!  Guys!  We got a Kenyan soccer ball made by Phinny.  I don’t know who Phinny is, but when I saw our personally signed tag on our soccer ball, I teared up.  This soccer ball was made by Phinny, who lives in a slum in Kenya.  Our soccer ball was made with plastic trash bags, and this is what children play with where Phinny lives.  I stopped and prayed for Phinny and honestly haven’t stopped having her on my mind yet!

I made this comment to our Raising Grateful Kids group yesterday after being in Target with my child, “Raising grateful kids is hard in Target.”  Then, I received this box!  Perspective!  Oh man how I want to have a real, God-like perspective every day!  Children in the slums of Kenya do not go to Target and stand and look at the 10 soccer ball options and then complain that they would really like 2 soccer balls!  They don’t complain that they would rather have a pink and silver soccer ball rather than a plain, black and white soccer ball!  They make their soccer balls with trash that they find!  Perspective!

So, if you are like me and are always wanting to find ways to teach your children about other parts of the world and the people who live there, you’re going to want one (or more) of these kits!  Both of my kids immediately connected with the soccer ball, because it is tangible, and they began the conversation that I hope never ends.  The conversation about how other boys and girls live.  The conversation about how we can help others in need.  The conversation about how we can serve others!  Yep, you’re going to want one of these kits!  Here is a link where you can check out the 4 kits available and purchase if you would like.

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Another great way to support those in need in other countries is through Fair Trade Friday.  Fair Trade Friday is a monthly membership club that delivers high quality fair traded items to your door. The items in the box are fairly traded and provide employment to women all over the world. Plus, they are really cute! We currently have multiple monthly options: our original (and very popular) Fair Trade Friday box—this include 3-4 surprise items (think stylish accessories, organic soap, coffee, etc); our next option is a one-time box to try out as a trial or give as a gift; and finally, our brand new option: Earring of the Month and Bracelet of the Month. 100% of the proceeds from each product go toward the empowerment of impoverished women as an avenue to introduce them to the Gospel.  Here is a link if you are interested:

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I can’t wait to start learning with my family about the people of Kenya!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Homeschool Classroom

I love quotes.  (I think I may have already mentioned that!)  Here are the few that we have in our classroom right now.

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do the right thing

 

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Happy Wednesday everyone!!!!

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Today is Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, and it started out really YUCK!!!!!  I had to call the plumber.  Enough said!  We have a home warranty, but did you know that warranties cover repairs, but warranties do not cover maintenance on your hot water heater?!  I tried to get them to just replace the hot water heater because that would have only cost 1/5 of the price of the maintenance.  (That would have probable been unethical, right?)

But, today is Tuesday.  Today is Launch Day for the book that I have been telling you all about.  The book that teaches us to be grateful!  God knew that the hot water heater was going to need maintenance.  He knew that I was going to need to have a better perspective.  So, is it coincedence that these two things collided on the same day.  I like to think not!

Thank you Lord, that you give me a better perspective when all I want to do is sit around and feel sorry for myself and pout!  Thank you Lord, that you gave me an opportunity to read a book that has helped to change my perspective!  Thank you Lord for loving me and knowing me and caring for me!  Thank you Lord for Tuesdays!

 

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Teaching my children about the 80’s!

Grace and I were watching Beezus and Ramona with a friend today, when the song Eternal Flame by the Bangles came on.  Oh man!  It’s the scene where Hobart and Aunt B are listening to the “mixed tape” from their high school days!  Oh, how many of those mixed tapes did we make?!  Remember how you would turn up your STEREO and set your BOOMBOX up close and push the record button, hoping that you pushed it at the right time so that you got the whole song, hoping that you didn’t tape over the last recorded song, and staring at the door and praying no one walked in and started talking or it would ruin the whole thing?!  Hahaha!  Man, those were the days!

Anyway, I told Grace that I needed to enlighten her into the world of my jr. high years!  (Okay, let’s be honest…I am only wanting to enlighten her into the world of the music I listened to!  Don’t NOBODY want to relive those jr. high years!)  So, I pulled up a few Debbie Gibson videos and remember every word and sang them loudly!  Grace’s comment was, “Why is she laying in a bed on the beach?” Ha!

 

Fun times, and so hilarious to go back and actually watch these videos with my now jr. high daughter!

If you’ll now excuse me, I need to go pull my hair back with a HUGE bow, put on my acid washed jeans, and my Reebok sneakers so that I can dance and sing to Eternal Flame!   I think I’ll tight roll my jeans and put on slouch socks too!!!!!

(By the way, I am CERTAIN that I never saw this video.  It’s a bit creepy and weird, but such was the 80’s!)

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This homeschool gig is tough!

It doesn't have to be

 

It’s been a while since I posted anything about homeschooling.  That’s because, many days, I want to forget that this word even exists.  (Too harsh?  Sorry!)  It’s just that it is hard!  Really hard!  Do I love the time with my kids?  Of course!  Is it awesome to have pajama days and start at 9:00 am?  Absolutely!

But let’s be real…I am the sole educator of my children each and every day.  That is A LOT of pressure!

I feel like I was a pretty good teacher (a great teacher, and one who loved what I did) when I was in the public school classroom.  But friends…85% of the time I feel like a failure at this homeschool gig.  7th grade algebra was hard when I went through it the first time!  Teaching it to my own child is torture!  (Probably more so for her!)  Teaching my sweet boy how to read is not what I expected it to be.  I am a reading specialist, for goodness sakes!  I have taught NUMEROUS STRUGGLING readers how to read, helped teachers be successful in this area, helped other parents know what to do to help their children with dyslexia, but my own child…IT’S TOUGH!  I beat myself up constantly when our day is not exciting.  We have to get through ALL of the lessons everyday, or I feel as though we have failed.  I want my kids to love every minute of our little homeschool day, and if they don’t seem “happy”, I kind of freak out!  (It’s true. Ask my kids.)

Here’s what I am learning though:  it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!  I like to say that a few times in a row, to help it sink in to my thick skull!  I know that I used to feel the pressure when I taught kids every day in public school, and I felt even more pressure when I worked with those kids that struggled more than others. (A majority of my teaching was to those struggling kiddos.)  I loved those kids that came through my classroom and still think of many of them each day and have ALWAYS wanted the best for them.  But…I want SO MUCH MORE for my own kids, and that is what makes this gig harder than ever!

We’re going to be okay, and I know that there are so many benefits to homeschooling.  Most of all, I know that I prayed for 9 years to get to be home with my children, and the Lord answered that prayer in a bigger way than I could have imagined.  (I learned that I should pray very specifically, or sometimes God gives us an added bonus, like homeschooling!  Ha! Ha!)  So, when I am weary, downhearted, and want to give up; on those days when I just want to load up the kids and drive them down the mountain to the public school; on the days when I have lost my mind and yelled and said things I wish I hadn’t…I stop and pray and ask the Lord to take over and remind me of why He has entrusted me to this task.  He does!  He always reminds me and for that I am grateful!

So, tomorrow morning at 9:00 am, we will come downstairs and get our day started.  We will laugh, work hard, and keep trucking on this “homeschool” gig.

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday – MLK, Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, I thought it only appropriate to share his words of wisdom.  Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!

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Gratefulness In Our Home

Seems so easy…being grateful.  I mean, in Texas (where I’m from), you are born saying “thank you!”  Yes ma’am, yes sir, and thank you are your first words.  But…are those words coming from the heart?  We want them to, but are they?  How do we make sure that our kids have grateful hearts, not just empty thank yous?  We live out gratefulness in front of them.  Real life gratitude.  This doesn’t mean we have to be crazy and think up random things to do all the time, we have to live out true gratitude in front of our families!

I have had the pleasure of being on the Launch Team for Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch.  (You can purchase the book for only $10 on Amazon.com right now!)  She says, “Parents say much more to their kids by their lives than by their words.”  Wow!  That will make you slow down and really consider your attitudes and behaviors won’t it?  Throughout this book, parents are challenged to really evaluate themselves and make sure that they are willing to follow Christ’s example of gratitude.  Truly parenting against the norm in society.  This is hard, and Kristen says it best:  “When you decide to push against a cultural norm, there will be people in your life and community, even your church, who will question you.”  Are we ready for that as parents?  Are we?  How do we ready ourselves, so that we can raise our children to be grateful?

There are so many amazing ideas for gratitude journals and creative ways to teach your children about gratitude.  I often find myself becoming overwhelmed with wanting to do these “cutesy” things, and then end up doing nothing.  So, this year, I decided to use plain spiral notebooks.  (Oh the horror!  Nothing cute at all.)  The kids and I read a devotional together each day, then we write down one thing we are thankful for and one prayer request each day.  Only one!  One is doable.  One doesn’t make anyone fall down and tantrum.  One has been beautiful each day.  And, because we set an attainable goal, it has happened every day!

I want to begin to serve as a family too, but I am still working on exactly what that will look like for us.  It’s not going to be extravagant, we may pick up trash at the camp we work at, or wipe tables, but we are going to serve.  I loved this quote, “We enjoy what we enjoy.  But life isn’t just about what we love; most of the lessons we learn come because of hard work and practice.  And sometimes practicing more makes us love something more.”  So, we are going to practice serving.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.  I just put these around our house as reminders to strive for gratefulness in our home.  You can print them and do the same!  Have fun being grateful in your home!

Link to printable: Quote Printables

Quotes

 

Check out more amazing blog posts about #raisinggratefulkids below:

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Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude – by Alison
Rasisng Grateful Kids – by amanda
Why You Can’t Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store – by Andrea
Missing – Gratefulness in our home – by Ange
Choosing Gratitude – by Angela
Gratefullness – by chaley
5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family – by Christa
Practicing Grateful Parenting – by Dana
Sing a Song – by Hannah
Cultivating gratitude in our family – by Jamie
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Let It Begin With Me – by Jen
Choosing Gratefulness – by Jennifer
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – The Book – by jeri
Eradicating Entitlement – What are you rooted in? – by Jessica
Gratefulness in our home – by Kate
The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us – by Katelyn
7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful – by Kathryn
Raising Grateful Kids – by Keri
How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude – by Kishona
Grateful – by Kristy
Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie – by Leigha
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids – by Lindsey
Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? – by Marie Osborne
Gratitude, A Practical Definition – by Mia
Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home – by Nancy
Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness – by Rachel
Being Grateful – by Rebecca
I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without – by Sarah
The Power of Naming our Gifts – by Sarah
Outfitted – by Sarah Jo
Growing Gratitude in our Family – by Sondra
Teaching Gratefulness – by Stephanie
How Grateful Looks From Here – by Alison
Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us – by Leah
Entitlement Problem – by Karrie
Grateful Today – by Krystal

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Obedience

Obedience is still obedience,

 

Our church is studying the book of Exodus right now.  Yesterday, we were in Chapter 7, and again, I learned something new!  I’m a learner, and love that when you read something you’ve read many times before, there is still more to learn.  Our pastor spoke about how Pharoah’s heart was hardened (which God told Moses he was going to do), and how Moses had a bit of trouble remembering/realizing that GOD was in control.  Moses was scared.  God told Moses how things would go down, what to do, and how to do them, yet Moses continued to be scared.  BUT…Moses was obedient.  Moses went to Pharoah and followed God’s commands (at this point in the story), even though there was defeat.

Our pastor also spoke of SNAKESESSES, and Lambo Field where the Green Bay Packers play, so if you have time, you might want to check it out!  You won’t be disappointed!  Click here for the sermon:  North Coast Church

 

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Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

I love quotes and little bits of wisdom that encourage me and inspire me to do better.  (I like the ones that just make me laugh, too!)  So I have decided that Wednesdays should be devoted to just that…Words of Wisdom!  Enjoy!
Bday

I love my tribe!!!!!!

OCEAN (1)

snowflake

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Beautiful Creation!

I cancelled school today.  I RARELY do that anymore, now that I have a 7th grader, and ALGEBRA!  (You cannot get behind in that stuff!  It starts multiplying and then you just have to give up!)  Anyway, I did!  I totally cancelled school today.  I don’t have a super good reason for doing so, other than the fact that the teacher needed a personal day, and the teacher wanted to go and see some properties on the mountain with her husband.  So, I did just that.  We saw some super fun cabins, one MASSIVE home being built up here (10,000 sq feet ya’ll!  Crazy ridiculous!  I’m hoping that they will need a person to go turn on the lights, the heater and get the coffee started on the “weekends” that they come up.  I’m their person!  Haha!)

Can I just tell you that no matter where I go on this mountain, I am in awe of God’s beautiful creation?!  Every view, every creature, every time.  I am so thankful that the God of the universe chose to give His beautiful creation as a gift and reminder of His love for us!

(I know I need to work on my photography skills.)

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