Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 27: Reading the Word

Day 27 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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There is one area that I am not consistent with my children on and pray that I can be.

Reading God’s Word is a passion that I have recently found.  I find deep peace in reading the Bible.  I am not consistent in reading each day but I am working on that.  I long to read from the Bible each day to my children as well.  I want them to hear God’s word and to want them to read the Bible for themselves as well.

Each one of my children has their own Bible (well my 5 year old will have his own on Christmas).  My 3 year old has a childrens Bible and we have numerous Bible stories.  I feel it is very important for them to have their own Bible so they can read it, make notes in it, and whatever else they choose to do.

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I pray that God can help me teach my children his word and that I can carve out the time to do so.  I don’t really have a good method or plan to reading it myself and I would really like insight on a good reading plan.  I would love to read the Bible in a year but I am much more passionate about reading it daily for myself and reading it daily to my children.  I welcome any ideas or suggestions.

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Thank you in advance!

God Bless,

Crystal

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Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 28: Creating Traditions

 

Day 28 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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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??
Halloween
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 familychrisitian.com 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

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

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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.

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

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 14: Consistency Update

Day 14 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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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??

NOT!!!

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.

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AMEN!!!

God Bless, Crystal

Cleaning/Organization, Other, Parenting

Day 11: Keep Them Busy

Day 11 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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Children like to stay busy! They will always find something to do even if you don’t give them something to do and when that happens you may not like what they pick!

They will find entertainment like when my 3 year old was cutting paper which was a wonderful learning time to work on fine motor skills until he decided it would be cool to cut his own hair!

hair cut

What I forgot to mention is that they should be supervised while doing these things. I know! I know! That is a good time to do a quick load of laundry or some dishes or jump online quick but they should at least be in your sight!

I have learned a lot since going from full-time to part-time! My kids love doing crafts, art work, reading or really any activity. They like doing things that are monitored with direction which surprised me a bit. It is funny how much I didn’t know about my children! That breaks my heart because my husba n d and I had these little people with no intention of having someone else raise them. I am enjoying what I am learning about each one of them!

So I have been online looking for simple, cheap ideas to do with them. I figure the key to this is to pick a few times each day to work on such things. Consistency! See how I threw that in. Sneaky, right??!!!

Another good resource is the Family Fun magazine. I had subscribed to it years ago and cut out the ideas I liked and created a binder for the such ideas. I put them in categories so I can easily find a holiday or season project to work on. I can finally use these cool ideas because I am with my kiddos much more often which makes this momma happy!

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God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 10: Bedtime Please

Day 10 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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What does your nighttime routine look like?

Do you have one?

Do you even know what that means?

I would like to say that we have one and it is amazing and it goes ever so smoothly BUT that would be a lie.

Mine can be pretty chaotic which is why we are trying to get a good evening/bedtime schedule down.  We had done good for awhile but then I took on a part time job outside of the home.  This job required me to only be gone a few nights a week but my hours are from about 6 pm-9 pm so as you can imagine this tends to put a damper on the routine.

My husband and I have an idea of what we want that to look like.  Let me lay out our goal for each evening.

~6:00 pm~ Supper

~6:30-7:00 pm~ Clear table, dishes (each person helps), clean kitchen

~7:00-7:30 pm~ Pick out clothes, gather PJ’s, bath time

~7:30-8:30 pm~ Quiet time, read books, finish homework (if not done already)

~8:30 pm~ BEDTIME!!!!

I don’t understand why this is so hard for us to stick to!!  It feels so good to follow through and the next morning seems to go smoother.  Why is that not enough to continue the next night and the night after that??

Part of the problem is that my husband has to take over all of the above when I am working.  The other part of the problem is that we are selfish and want to do our own thing.  I know this is terrible but it is the truth and it is easy to fall into our own things that all of a sudden it is 8:30 and the only thing done is supper:(

Our goal is to forgot our own agenda and concentrate on the kids until they go to bed at 8:30 then we can do our stuff!!  Lets see how that goes:)

What does your evening look like? With or without kids, do you have a routine for the evening/bedtime?  Any advice would be welcomed as well!!

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 9: Momma is sick

Day 9 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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In all the talk about consistency with our children we know that we have to do things over and over again, day in and day out so that things will become a habit, a routine or a consistent thing!

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But what happens we momma doesn’t fell well?? How do we keep things going smoothly in our homes? I ask this because I have been suffering with severe allergy issues the past two days which has made me very sick:(

I have been trying to keep up with things in my home and keep the kids on a routine (which is very hard since my kids have not had one prior to a few months ago) but all I want to do is curl up in a warm blanket by the fireplace and sleep!

God will give me the strength I need but of course the boys are going to push the limits as much as possible. I need help!! What do I do?

sick momma

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 8: Discipline

Day 8 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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Discipline?

What does discipline mean?

According to dictionary.com, discipline, in noun form is “training to act in accordance with rules;” or  in verb form,to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.”

So what does that mean???

We must “train” or teach our children to act in an appropriate way so to have order and control.  This teaches obedience.  This is helpful in our homes as we raise our children.  It will prepare our children for the world as we all have rules and regulations to follow our entire lives.

What does God say about discipline?  This has been a little confusing to me in the past but with some research and Bible study it is clearer now!

Proverbs 22:6 (As I have been using as my header for the 31 day challenge) says:  “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The things we teach our children today they will remember and use even when they are older.  Hopefully they will teach their children the same.

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Now let’s look at Proverbs 3:11-12: “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

God is our father and we are his children.  Who better to learn from then our Lord.  He teaches us and disciplines us because he loves us.  Now make note that Discipline and Punishment are not the same.  This is where I would get confused.  God is not punishing us but teaching us to live in the way we should.

God teaches his children and guides them on the straight path.  We would be doing an injustice if we did not do the same with our children!

What discipline methods do you use with your children?  What discipline story do you have to share?  I would love to hear from you.  I have not been very consistent with disciplining my children but that is an area I am working on with the help of our good Lord!!

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Why did God not turn the light on???

A few years ago we started talking about God in our house with our children.  We started praying at meal times and individually.  We have not really prayed as a family but occasionally we do.  One thing we just don’t think about or realize is how our children interpret things unless they clue us in which every now and again my children enlighten me.

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If you have been following the 31 day challenge I am doing you read about my five year old son having surgery yesterday.  This little guy is smart and very inquisitive!!  He asks questions a lot and if he doesn’t understand the answer he will let you know and expect a different answer.  I love this about him even though at times it is hard to explain the answers to him.  He is also a big worry wart.  Now this is bothersome to me a little because he will worry about something so much that I fear it is not good for him.  I knew that having surgery was really weighing on his mind so on Sunday night when we were laying together before bed and I asked him if we should say a prayer.  He likes to pray and does it often.  He will even stop what he is doing and go somewhere he can be alone and pray!!  Anyway, as I was praying asking God to give the medical staff steady hands and wisdom to perform the surgery I asked God to comfort Blake so he would not worry and not be scared.  He stops me in the middle of my prayer and says, “That doesn’t work!”  A little shocked I ask, “What doesn’t work?”  He informs me that when he is sleeping and it is dark and he is scared, God doesn’t come turn the light on for him!!!  Wow, I had to hold back from laughing but his kid was dead serious.  This was no joking matter.

Obviously my prayers are much different than that but to a five-year-old that is an important prayer.  So now I have to try and figure out how to explain why God doesn’t come turn the light on and hope this doesn’t make him think God doesn’t answer prayers.

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The good news is that when we got home from our hour and a half drive from the hospital, my son says, “God did help me!  He helped me at the hospital and he made sure we got home safe!”  This made my heart smile!  He had not given up on God because one prayer was not answered the way he thought it should be.  What a smart kid!!  It is funny what we can learn from our children.

Even when we don’t feel like God is answering our prayers we need to keep turning to him in prayer!  As I learned in my Devotion this morning, prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us!!  We need prayer to soften our hearts. We need prayer to grow closer to God.

As I was worried that my son would not pray anymore or that he would question God, I read my devotion this morning titled “Questioning God!”  How appropriate!  God wanted to ease my mind as a parent and he did so through that devotion.  God is good!!

I just wanted to share that little story to encourage you so you can see that God is here for us even when we question him or when we don’t think he answers our prayers.  God is doing some amazing work in my little mans heart.  Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

My son before surgery with mom and dad
My son before surgery with mom and dad
After surgery-not so happy:(
After surgery-not so happy:(

The thing he was looking forward to the most about having surgery was that he might get to ride in a wheelchair so we made sure that happened:)  He was a trooper and I know God was watching over him!!

God Bless,Crystal

Other

Day 7: Temper Tantrums

Day 7 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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“Mom I want a treat!”
“I will be good can I have a treat??”
“I want it now!!”

I bet we have all heard those words as we make our way through the store. But what happens after we say no can be astounding!

A full blown temper tantrum!

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How embarrassing!

With four kids we have had our fair share of tantrums. I always go into the store hopeful that this time they will listen and be good. We even talk about it before going in BUT it tends to happen anyway!

Everyone staring at you, kids screaming, my face red! Now what? You give the sweet little one an evil look hoping they will get the hint.

Then the worst thing happens that you told yourself would not happen because you would have control…

You give in and let them get a treat so you can get out of he store quickly!

BAD IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Guess what happens the next time you go to the store with that adorable little child?

Yep you guessed it. An even bigger tantrum than before.

So the funny thing about kids is that they are smart. They have us figured out WAY before we figure them out!

I have been talking with my kids about these situations and I have informed them that they will not get treats every time we go to a store. In fact they will not get them very often unless it is a special occasion or they have been exceptionally good.

That sounds easy enough but when they start throwing a fit my rational thinking goes out the window!

Well yesterday (after a very long day at the hospital with my 5 year old son) I was put to the test again. My 3 year old son wanted a treat and I firmly said no and proceeded to walk to the checkout. He followed me (crying of course) but he still followed. We walked out as I ignored him and we got in the van. He was screaming but I paid no attention and asked the rest of my family to ignore him as well.

There is great relief in winning that battle! I am the parent and I was in control and I won!! Now if I can just be mindful of my role and who is in charge the next time and the time after that and so on and so forth I will continue to win! It will get easier each time but I have to be consistent!!!

What do you guys or gals do in this situation? How do you avoid the tantrums? I would love to hear how you deal with your kids in stores.

God Bless, Crystal