Thursday, December 21, 2006

Encouraging One Another

Christmas is here! With Christmas, come visitors and family which can create some issues with your children. My little girl Caileigh has a best friend named Jenna who is the daughter of one of my best friends, Tiffany. Caileigh and Jenna have a problem. When together, the two have a tendency to create chaos. They are both normally fairly well behaved sweet girls but when together watch out! Collin and his cousin Jadin create the same phenomenon. One afternoon, out of desperation I sat down with the girls and asked, " Do you Caileigh love Jenna? And Jenna do you love Caileigh?" (I know it sounded like a wedding vow, but it was spur of the moment) Both nodded with sad eyes ( they had been separated and had lost the privilege of playing together during rest time) and held hands. "If you love each other do you want bad things to happen to your friend?" "No", they answered. " I love Miss Tiffany so I want only good things to happen to her, and I want God to be pleased with her so I only encourage her to do good things. If you love your friend you should want the best for her and so should encourage each other to do good and not sin." This seemed to click with the two girls and we talk each time they are together about encouraging each other to do good. I had to have this same talk with Collin and Jadin this week after several incidents and they too seem to get the message. We must learn to help our friends and let our friends help us when we are struggling and teaching them as children to love each other and encourage each other to do good is imperative. This could be vital in the teen years, imagine your teens being and having friends who will help each other make right choices. what a blessing that would be!

If you haven't had your child memorize the golden rule this would be a perfect time to work on it.
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12

I hope you have a Merry Christmas filled with the awe of the stable.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Math Hint

Just a quick helpful math hint. Connor was having trouble with long division and double digit multiplication and my very smart friend, Sara suggested I try having Connor use graph paper so that he could keep the numbers in their proper places. It worked beautifully!


Helping Others

The Holiday Season is almost upon us, yikes! Time has just flown by for us this fall. As Christmas approaches, I find myself thinking of Christmas presents and yummy treats and evenings spent togther with family and friends. Before that happens, our family is going on a missions trip to Juarez, Mexico( where we are going to visit and play at an orphanage ( Caileigh is planning a tea party to have with the little girls - which is a first for these little girls), feed a colonia that has been hit hard by the floods earlier this year and put on a health fare. This has been a real growth area for all of us as we've had to agree that Christmas is going to be smaller and our budget a little tighter as we try to raise the money to go. I'm hoping that Christmas will mean so much more when we understand that the real gift of the season is Jesus, not things.

One of the things were doing is making up shoeboxes for children who might not have any presents over Christmas. Normally we do this through Operation Christmas Child (for more info go to ) but this year our church is packing them to send with us to Juarez. My kids save money all year to be able to make the best boxes they can for children who might not have a Christmas present. They find such joy in combing the store to find just the right things to go in their boxes. They pray over their boxes so that the children who recieve them know that they are loved by Jesus and by us. We are blessed by giving to others and helps reinforce that we need to put Jesus first then others before ourselves. Before the hustle and bustle of the season find a way to give to others, it will be one of the highlights and will help teach your kids the J.O.Y (Jesus, Others, Yourself) of Christmas.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sweet as Honey

Caileigh and Collin have been learning about Proverbs during school this year ( We have been particularly paying attention to the ones about the tongue. The first one we memorized was "He who guards his mouth and his tongues keeps himself from calamity" Proverbs 21:23. We had fun acting out calamity, but this week we are learning, "Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24. I had our vinegar bottle handy ( which is useful for whining and complaining) and a spoonful of honey. After trying the vinegar and talking about how unkind words, and disrespectful tones are like vinegar, we tried the honey. What a contrast! We all saw ( and tasted ) the difference our words and tones make. It has really made us ( and I mean us - I find myself judging whether my words are honey or vinegar) take the time to watch our words!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kid's Cleaning

Summer is in full swing, seems like it's just flying by and soon we'll be preparing for school. Summer is a great time to implement new routines before the hectic pace of the school year. At our house we've been implementing a new chore and cleaning routine both for Mom and for kids. A friend introduced me to the "FlyLady" and her system of cleaning. You can go to for more information,but be prepared for the avalanche of e-mail if you sign up, you might just want to check the web site daily. Anyway, the kids are now wiping down the counters of the bathrooms daily and we've implemented a 15 min cleanup after dinner of the toy areas and bedrooms which has really cut down on weekly cleaning time and kept the house looking tidy. I've also started doing one load of laundry a day from start to finish. My laundry room has never looked this clean - ever and our laundry isn't wrinkled - who knew. The kids are also getting used to daily putting their clothes away.

Teaching kids to clean can take more time at the beginning than you're prepared for but it's so important for teaching kids responsibility. Last week my Grandmother came for the twins 5th birthday two days early (and of course I wasn't prepared), the kids were able to fully clean her bathroom for me while I made her bed. They were so happy to be able to help prepare for company and proudly announced what they had voluntarily done when Grams arrived. I buy windex wipes, clorox wipes and disposable toilet cleaners for the kids to more easily clean. They also are in charge of cleaning the mirrors,wiping down all the appliances, dusting and taking out the trash. My good friend Sara says,"It may not be house beautiful but it's hygenic."

Start teaching your kids to clean today, it will help them and you!


Thursday, June 08, 2006


School is out and summer has begun! Yeah! We started summer out by going to Disneyworld for a week with our good friends, the Parrotts. We had an amazing time, vacations always seem like a good barometer on family dynamics and character training. The kids were great and behaved well even during long lines, late nights and hot, HOT weather. Praise God! All the hard work of parenting does pay off!

Summer is a great time to make sure your kids have a good biblical foundation, even as babies and toddlers. We, as parents, need to make devotions a priority even in summer. (We need to do them by ourselves and with our children). The kids and I are reading ( and singing) "Hymns for Kids" by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Erickson Tada through Focus on the Family. We are reading about great men and women of faith and learning the story behind many great hymns. Yesterday we learned about John Newton who wrote ,"Amazing Grace". John Newton was a captain of a transport ship carrying slaves from Africa who later came to know Christ and eventually played a major part in outlawing slave trading in Britain. We learned that we needed to be doers of the Word of God not hearers only. This starts out our day with great practical ways of living every day for Christ. If you have babies and toddlers, there are great story bibles out for that age range. Make a point of reading the Bible in chronological order to your kids to provide a firm biblical foundation.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Prince Charming

Warning - this post may contain opinions which are not very popular. Today, we like to think of girls and boys being equal. That girls are as strong and tough as boys and that there is no difference between the sexes, and I believe that's not true. Okay, I admit that girls sometime have to be tougher than boys and that my little girl is willing to not only touch a tarantula but hold one (the boys were cowering 10 feet away), but in the end, we women want a protector. Not only a protector but a headship, a leader. God set this in motion when the world began. In Genesis 2:18 it says, "The the Lord God said, "It is not good for for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him." then God proceeded to make Eve. Did you catch what God said? The women was to be the helper, not the leader. ( I know, I struggle with this too - I'm mouthy and by personality a dominant) So as parents, it is our job not only to model this relationship but to teach both our girls and boys their responsibilities in this. ( I am not getting into a discussion of submitting to the extreme, I am talking about a stable relationship with Godly men and women.)

When Caileigh and Collin were two, they both were very interested in Princesses and Knights so we gave Caileigh, Princess dresses and bought the boys swords, shields and all the Knightly gear. During the course of play, we told our boys that they were to be the protector of the Princesses in their life. They must protect them from dragons and evil men and anything else that might harm them. They must have manners like Knights and open doors for ladies, to step first into danger, and to escort the Princess to ensure her safety. For Caileigh, ( who is like me, and questions obedience and submission) , we stressed that Princesses must never use tears to get her way and that she needs to listen to the trusted Knights in her life because they may know of danger that she's not aware of and that she needs to allow those trusted Knights the privilege of protecting her from harm, Daddy, of course, being the most important Knight and Protector. This sort of play has also led to manners lessons and talk of being ladies and gentlemen. My boys at 8 and 4 1/2 open doors for ladies, both members of their family and perfect strangers, which always gets noticed as being exemplary and have several offers of marriage from parents of young girls. I am going to be bold and encourage you train your boys and girls in a similar way, their future marriage may be much smoother for it.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Home Schooling Works!

Our son, Connor, took his first set of standardized tests this year as per Colorado law, which says that students starting in third grade and every other year after should be tested. As a home schooling Mom, this was a bit stressful. We knew that Connor was bright and we thought we had taught him what he needed to know but the question of how well he would do still nagged at the back of my mind. Connor, being a bit of a perfectionist, always stressed at tests and lost his self-control, so at the beginning of this school year, I began testing him daily on everything so that he would get more used to testing and lose his fear. On the days of the testing, he handled it beautifully, even though he was in a strange enviornment and surronded by 20 other kids who were also testing for the first time and very nervous. I was proud of how self-controlled he remained through out the two days. ( Yes, self-control hands even worked in this situation to help him focus on something concrete.)

We received the results back yesterday and they were even better that I had anticipated in my best case scenarios ( yes, I thought about best and worst case scenarios - after all I felt like I was being tested as well.). Connor scored higher than even the national homeschool average.

Here's a quote from one study:

In 1997, a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America." The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects. A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that homeschoolers who are homeschooled two or more years score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less. The new homeschoolers were scoring on the average in the 59th percentile compared to students homeschooled the last two or more years who scored between 86th and 92nd percentile.

All this to say that if you have not given home schooling a consideration in your educational choices for your children than perhaps you should. I know that there are other options other than home schooling but make sure you consider all the pros and cons carefully. For more information check out or in Colorado


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Character Training

I know we've talked about having "J.O.Y." ( Jesus, Others, Yourself) in a previous blog but the kids and I have been memorizing a verse that really hides this truth in their hearts. Matthew 22:37-39 says this,

"Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

We need to be continually helping our children ( and ourselves) hide the Word of God in their hearts. They need to know that these aren't just rules we set up, but that God himself did. All of our rules need to have a moral or a safety value behind it and we need to be able to share with our children those values. We need to share the "why" of the rules so that our children can apply them to other situations. For instance, "Bobby, share the toy with Johnny." is instructive but it doesn't allow the child to know "why" he should be nice and share. However, if we have previously taught Bobby the value of loving others and putting others first we can say, "Bobby, are you thinking of others first by not sharing that toy?". We are teaching a value not merely issuing a command. Teaching values is what creates a Godly character. Look for the verses in the Bible that you can teach your children, for they should be the foundation of all character training.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Teaching the Truth at Easter

At Easter, as with Christmas, we parents have a great opportunity to focus the holiday on Jesus instead of the Easter bunny, candy, and baskets. Here's an easy way to teach your children the salvation message. For fun, we decorated foam cut out in the shape of eggs (eggs are a symbol of new life - which can be used to symbolize the new life we have in Jesus) in each of these colors and made them into Easter wordless books. We "read" them often so that our kids remember and can recite the salvation message.

Gold – reminds us of heaven and how great it us but we can't go with sin!
Black – reminds us that we all have sin and can't get rid of it ourselves.
Red – reminds us that God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us to take away our sin.
White – reminds us that we can be cleansed from sin if we will believe in Jesus.
Green – reminds us that when we trust Jesus we begin to grow more like Him.

Duet 6:7 commands us as parents to talk to our children about God's commandments. It says to “talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you wake up.” We have a wonderful opprtunity to do just that at Easter. Focus on the Family website has some great ideas to help us as parents to teach about Easter. You can go to and click on “Finding Easter in Bunnies and Baskets”. I think you and your family will be blessed if you do!

Categories: holidays,

Friday, March 10, 2006

Happy 10th Anniversary

This blog is dedicated to my husband of 10 years today! So many memories flash through my mind as I think of the last 10 years. From watching him him tear up as I walked down the aisle, gently rocking our first son, Connor, on the day he was born, going to Home Depot at 10:00p.m. to get me an air conditioner while I was pregnant with the twins so that I could sleep. ( Most women send their husbands out for food - not me , I needed a $600 air conditioner - now!) The years have had some down moments but for the most part we have been blessed by being together, our family and friends, a great church and delightful children.

I am so grateful that God sent me someone who is a partner in our parenting, home schooling and everything else that comes our way. I love you, Scott, and can't wait to see what the next 10 years have in store for us!


Monday, February 20, 2006

Surprised by Joy

Lately I have been reading much of C.S. Lewis. I just finished "Surprised by Joy" which is an account of Lewis' early life and his conversion to Christianity. One paragraph particularly caught my attention:

"In reading Chesterton, as in reading Mac Donald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere- " Bibles laid open, millions of surprises," as Herbert says, " fine nets and stratagems." God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous."

As parents we must also be unscrupulous in managing what goes into our children . We need to make sure and provide them with books and thoughts that lead them to God. We never know what will grab our children's attention and may be used later for God's pleasure. In Psalms it says "Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you." We must be sure to help our children hide the word of God in their heart but also provide them with other materials that peak their interest towards God.

In our home we are reading "The Chronicles of Narnia". In knowing Aslan our children can more fully understand Jesus. I also love George MacDonald's "The Princess and Curdie" and the "The Princess and the Goblins." " At the Back of the North Wind" is wonderful as well. For the younger ones we enjoy reading "Jeremy, the Tale of an Honest Bunny" by Jan Karon. Books on tape are a fun way to introduce them to great literature.


Sunday, February 12, 2006


Just a quick note with Valentines Day approaching, remember to include your children in your celebrations. Absolutely, take some time with your husband or wife to spend some quality alone time but make sure you make a point of letting your children how much you love them. Make a special breakfast with a handmade note and a few candies for each child or have a fun Valentine's Party with their friends. My husband not only brings me flowers every year but our daughter as well. She melts at the sight of the flower that Daddy gives her and insists on keeping it in her room where she can see it right before she goes to sleep. Our children are a blessing from God and we need to make a point of telling them that they are precious to us.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Getting along

This weekend we went to Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park, CO to celebrate my birthday. We haven't had much snow this year so I was missing the cold. We went sledding and tubing had a bit of a snow fight and made snow angels. We also went swimming and played a little basketball, all in all we had a great time. At Snow Mtn Ranch there are no T.V.'s or radios ( we did have to find a restuarant with a T.V. for the Broncos game) and you are forced to spend all your time together. Spending all your time together in the same room shows much about your children's relationship with each other. I love that my kids are best friends, they really are, I'm not just saying that. Some advice that we were given by other parents who seemed to have children that enjoyed being together:

1. Don't allow tattle telling. Make them work it out, you'll only get in the way. ( We allow them to come to us only after they've talked to each other or in cases of physical harm.)

2. Don't allow name calling - ever.

3. If one child has wronged another make them say sorry, ask for forgiveness and make it right.

4. Verbally reiterate that "We are a family that loves each other and are each other's best friends."

5. Make time for them to play together. Our rule is that if they can't play nicely together then they don't have the privilege of playing with other children.

I pray this works. I've seen this workwith other families who have created strong family relationships marked with respect and care for each other. If this weekend was an indication, I think we are on a road marked with success.