Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 28: Creating Traditions


Day 28 of 31 days of Consistency & Children


I don’t know if you get into Halloween or not.  I used to get much more involved than I do these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Halloween and my kids love dressing up and going trick or treating!!

Haley Halloween
Haley as a baby/grandma??
Haley and I goofing around!!
Kids Halloween
Lathen-Spider, Olivia-Witch, Blake-Batman
Me Halloween
We get to dress up at work so I went as a bee!

When my husband and I had only one child, we used to decorate the house and outside and I would get excited about carving pumpkins.

Carving pumpkins was a big tradition while I was growing up.  I think my dad liked it more than my sister and I did but nonetheless it did become a tradition.  I wanted the same for my family.  I even remember when our daughter was about two years old and my husband came home from being gone all week with a pumpkin that Haley could have fit into!  It was huge but it was the coolest thing!

As I got busier with more children and working full time outside of the home, the decorating part had slipped.  I wanted to decorate but the thought of digging everything out of the basement was daunting.  I didn’t seem to have the energy and then to think that I would have to turn around and pack it all up again, YUCK!!

The sad part is that I know my kids love decorating as they look forward to helping grandma decorate each year.  I really should just suck it up and do it.  Maybe next year:)  Halloween is already this week.

Don’t go hating on me yet!  We do stick to the carving pumpkins tradition and I do enjoy that.

Halloween 2014 Halloween 2012-Dad and Lathen

I will post more later.  Lathen is the only one who has carved a pumpkin yet.  The rest of the pumkins have already rotted:(  Dad will get more tonight so the rest of us can do our pumpkins!!

Creating traditions for your family to follow each year is important for the kids.  They will always have those memories to cherish and hopefully carry on with their families.  My husband and I have stuck with a lot of traditions that our families had over the years.  The issue we have faced is that my husband’s family and my family had variations to the same type of traditions.  It seems that both our families had similar thoughts or ideas passed down but with a little bit of a difference.  When we first started these traditions with our children we were not sure how to implement them but over the years we have agreed on our own ways of doing them!

We have traditions for Easter and Christmas as well as Halloween but these have changed over the past year or so in our family.  Easter and Christmas are not just holidays to me which is one reason I dislike the saying “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”.  These holidays are based on Christian events and I want my children to know what Easter and Christmas REALLY stand for.  Last year we started doing things a little different.  Instead of the traditional things people do on these holidays we have changed it up a bit.  On each day and the days building up to Easter and Christmas we talk about what those days mean and read biblical books and right from the Bible.

On Easter we make a cool (and very yummy) treat called Resurrection Rolls.  I also purchased a cool Easter egg hunt idea from called Resurrection Eggs.  This follows the traditional egg hunt idea but inside each egg is a symbol.  There is a booklet to explain what each symbol represents.  The kids really enjoyed this last year.

Christmas presents are such a huge deal.  Society has taught kids that more is better or bigger is better.  WRONG!!!  I don’t want it to feel like a competition or that we have to buy just to give a gift.  That is not the message of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, we still get our kids presents.  But we only give them each three presents.  This represents the three wise men and the gifts they gave to baby Jesus.  Jesus got three gifts and our kids get three gifts.  They did not quam about it at all!!

Those are just some traditions we do and how we are changing them to fit our lifestyle.  I would love to hear what you do and how it works for your family.

God Bless, Crystal

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 21: Designated Areas

Day 21 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


Since doing the 31 days challenge I have really been thinking about how my children need a lot of direction.


They need to be given very strict boundaries and very clear directions in all their daily activities. When too many tasks are left for them to interpret things can go haywire very quickly!

My kids have a toy room and a bedroom and then I thought it would be nice if they had a spot in the living room for some of their toys but I have quickly changed my mind. It is funny how ideas change rapidly when a person is thinking about the issues that can arise from such ideas.

My living room turns into a disaster.

living room

The toy room has been hit by a massive tornado.


Their rooms were demolished by a tidal wave in a matter of minutes!!

tidal wave

Too many areas for them to “play” turns into more work for mom. I have changed my mind!!!

I completely revamped my living room.  NO more toys!  NO more books!  Not in my living room!

I have decided to get their toy room under control as well.  That room will be the only room for their toys and books.  They can have books in their rooms and maybe a few toys but the majority of the stuff will stay in the toy room.   My kids spend most of their time in the toy room anyway so why not keep that the designated room for toys!!

So the consistent part of this is that each and every night they will have to pick up the toy room and any other things that they have gotten out and put it back in its place.  I am sooooooo tired of picking up then turning around to pick up again.  This momma is not going to keep stressing about picking up because I am not going to pick up their stuff anymore.  My kids range from 3 to 15 which is more than old enough to be responsible for their own items.  If they are left out of place I will take it and they may not get it back.  I don’t want to sound mean but I have plenty of other tasks to do each day.

What do you all think?  Please tell me you have similar problems.  What have you done to create less stress for yourself?  Comment with your thoughts, ideas or suggestions!!

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 20: On Fire for God

Day 20 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


I long for my kids to be on fire…on fire for God that is!!!

I pray that my kids have a strong passion for God and for spreading the Gospel message to others! I talked about relationships yesterday and the best, most important relationship is with our Lord!!

Jesus Christ has done more for us than any other friend could ever do.
He died for us!
He died for you.
He died for me.
He died to pay for our sins!
Do you know anyone else as awesome as that??

I didn’t think so!

I want my kids to be excited about that relationship. To have a soul on fire for Jesus. To have a soul on fire for the cause. Not any cause but THE cause.


In February I was blessed to join our youth group at a Dare 2 Share event and it blew me away!! What an amazing, glorious, eye opening time I had!!!

dare 2 share

To see so many teens excited about their faith was probably one of the most astounding times of my life.

dare 2 share 2

I want to expose my children to Jesus as much as I can. One way is by attending Awana at our local chapel. I love the message Awana teaches and how they incorporate scripture. When my children walk around the house reciting scripture it makes me so happy!! I knew nothing about God growing up but wish I had so I love that my kids are learning much earlier in their lives!

I will continue to teach my kids about Jesus and what an amazing relationhip they can have with God. I will continue to Start a Fire in their hearts!!

God Bless, Crystal


Day 19: Relationships

Day 19 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children



Who remembers young love?
That first crush!
Butterflies in their stomach when _______ walked by or better when they yet said hi to you in the hall!

What an awkward time in our lives that was!! Our emotions were on a continuous roller coaster. In love one day then arch enemies the next. We wete all just trying to figure out where we belonged in the crowd. Doing what we had to just to fit in.

I don’t miss those days. It was really hard being a teenager.

The reason for all my babbling is that my 15 year old daughter is struggling with relationships. My husband and I decided that our children will not be allowed to date until they are 16 years old. Hold on, I kniwvwgat uou are thinking…That is not at all what she has an issue with!!! She actually likes this rule. I think it takes some pressure off her!

There is a boy!! She thought that she liked him. She meet him in FFA and they just kinda clicked. She made him aware right from the beginning that she can’t date until she is 16. In the past when she has told other boys that she can’t date they just stop talking to her all together. That really sucks but she realizes that it is their loss if they choose not to even be friends anymore.

Back to the current issue at hand. My daughter and FFA boy where hanging out a little (with other friends) and she made sure he still knew they were not “dating” which he appeared to understand. BUT last night FFA boy and another friend said they were coming over. Haley said no because she didn’t want to get into trouble as she was already told she couldn’t do anythjng. They came out anyway! Nice, right?? My husband told her she had 5 minutes to say hello. She relayed these instructions to her friends and they refused to leave. They insisted that she would not get into trouble. She was getting upset with them. They finally left but 5 minutes had come and gone many minutes prior.

Today Haley and I talked because I had a funny feeling that something was up. (I had an uneasy feeling about him from day 1 just so you know.) She was not too sure if she liked him anymore.

We had a few nice conversations about friends and respect. I explained that friends and boyfriends (someday) should respect her and her parents rules. If they can’t respect a few simple rules what happens when a bigger decison needs to be made such as they decide to take her home late or act on a feeling even when “no” was said. This can become a huge ripple effect. She was very upset that her “friends” couldn’t respect her enough to listen to her.

We also talked about listening to the still small voice or as some say the gut feeling because that is God talking to us. If something makes us uneasy then we should steer clear of that.

We ended our day with a conversation about Haley telling FFA boy that she didn’t want to disobey her parents by dating before she is 16. Can you imagine the smile on this mom’s face:)

So as I am revisiting the days conversations I say to my husband that we are blessed to have such an open relationship with Haley. We have always kept the communication lines open and we stand by what we say to our children. We have always told them to talk to us about anything. We want them to come to us if they are struggling with something. So consistent communication and trust will go a long way with children.

I want to close today with scripture about obeying our parents.

~Ephesus 6:1-3
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on earth.”

God Bless, Crystal


Day 18: Honesty

Day 18 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


Honesty is very important! Honesty builds character. Honesty builds trust. Honesty builds relationships.

Why is that a hard concept? Honesty should come natural to us. That is what I try and teach my kids anyway.

One thing that is not accepted in our house is lying!!! I am constantly preaching, “You will be in more trouble if you lie to me than if tell me the truth! ” We can work through the truth but I will not tolerate lying. If you messed up or made a mistake, fess up and let’s see what we can do to avoid doing the same thing next time. The same goes for me and my husband. I am the first to admit that I messed up. As well, If I do something wrong, tell me so I can fix it!!

This appears to be the opposite of how the world works. The world accepts lying and doing whatever we have to do to get what we need. How messed up is that?!?!

According to Philippians 4:8 – 4:9…

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Does this sound like the ways of the world? I think not!!

So what do we do?

Lynn Cowell is one of my favorite speakers from Proverbs 31 Ministries. “Lynn Cowell is a speaker and author whose passion is helping our generation become wise women who raise wiser daughters.”

Since our oldest daughter is 15 and our next child is an 8 year old daughter I really enjoy her ideas!!

My best suggestion is to pray consistently and teach our kids with scripture and by modeling how we want our kids to live!!

What do you think? Comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

God Bless, Crystal


Day 16: Chores

Day 16 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children



That almost seems like a bad word in my house!

Nobody really wants to do chores but it has to be done in order to keep our home in order.

Laundry, dishes, garbage, recycling, sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, picking up toys and so on and so on!!


I try to give the kids each chores they can handle since they range from age 3 to 15 but it can be a challenge. I need to get them motivated but how?

I found this fun video on How to make chores fun.

I really need to remember this when asking the kids to help and when they need to do their daily chores!!

What tricks do you have up your sleeve to get the kids to help? Share in the comments!!

God Bless, Crystal


Day 13: Lead Me

Day 13 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


All this talk about consistency and children brings me to where my true inspiration comes from. I long to be a good mother and raise my children up in a Christian home. I want to lead my children up in a way to glorify the Lord!

One of my favorite songs is called Lead Me by Sanctus Real. Check it out below!

Lead Me by Sanctus Real

Let me know where your inspiration comes from and what your favorite song is!!

God Bless, Crystal


Day 12: Family

Day 12 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


Today I am just going to share some pictures of my family!!

Lathen (3) looking out the patio door
The hubby cutting wood
The toy box is a good nap place
My hubby and our oldest
We had a very nice day in September
Lathen likes craft time
Haley, Olivia and Blake being silly
Olivia making a fort in living room
Blake and our dog Boomer sleeping

Day 15: Goof off Day

Day 15 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


Let’s not have a plan!

Let’s just go!

How about a drive on a nice sunny day?

You don’t have to go to school today!!

What in the world am I talking about?

Well I am referring to my day today!

My oldest daughter is 15 and a Sophomore in High School.  She has been very busy with Cross Country (which she is not able to run due to an injury), FFA, friends, family, etc.  She has also been a little down in the dumps due to her knee/hip injury which is taking much longer to heal than expected.  It is a very beautiful day in the midwest!!  The sun is out and it is about 50 degrees out.  Mind you that we have had 2 days of cold rain so today is a treat!!

My daughter, Haley was hurting today pretty badly and was struggling to walk so I told her just to stay home and rest.  Oh no you didn’t!!!!! This is not like mom to let the kids skip school but it would be hard for her to walk from class to class and she has physical therapy tomorrow so hopefully they can get her feeling better!

What on earth does this have to do with 31 days of consistency & children?  Well nothing really:)

Okay, let me explain.  I believe that consistency is very important which is one of the reasons I am blogging about it for 31 days and praying for God to help me be a consistent parent with my kids.  That is a LOT of prayers!!  I also believe that it is important to spend some one-on-one time with each kiddo.  I don’t believe that should equal spending money or going out of town or buying treats.  Just good old fashion one-on-one time doing something fun!!  Haley was feeling down so we took the boys to their aunts house for a few hours and drove around for a little while.  My daughter LOVES taking pictures of nature so we went out to the local nature center, campground, trails and river!!  Below are some of the amazing shots she got!










On top of being outside in the beautiful weather, we got a little silly!!  Yeah I can be silly at times.  We laughed so hard we were both crying.  Haley was snap chatting with some friends and of course thought it would be funny to get mom in the pictures.  What she didn’t know what that mom could play along.  Check these out!!






We had a fun goof off day!!
God Bless, Crystal

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 14: Consistency Update

Day 14 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children


I just want to update ya all on how our routines are going.

My morning routine that I talked about in Day 1 is not going well at all!  I am being honest and telling you that I is HARD to get up early especially when I am TIRED!!!  Now part of that is my fault and I know that.  I have a hard time going to bed early but last night I was in bed with the lights out at 9:30 and my goal is 10:00!!!!

Finally I can go to sleep and get a goods night rest, right??


At 10:30 I woke up and I can’t even remember why!

11:30 the dog was barking like crazy!

At around midnight my youngest was coughing so hard I thought he was going to throw up!!

Needless to say I almost slept through my alarm which I changed in the middle of the night to 7am instead of 6am:(

On a happy note, the morning routine for the kids is going well in part because we have been picking their clothes out the night before like I talked about in Day 2!

I get them up at 7am and they get dressed.

Then they eat breakfast.

Teeth and hair come next.

Last they get their shoes on and watch for the bus!!!

This works pretty well most mornings except when they have poor listening ears which is mentioned in Day 4!

So they last thing I want to talk about today is the bedtime routine.  Day 10 lays out the plan for that.  It is going okay!  We had a very busy weekend so that was a challenge but we are working.  Each night gets a little easier!

I just told my dad a few minutes ago that he needs to give it all to God so I am going to take my own advice and give all the worries and issues over to God because I know he has this.



God Bless, Crystal