Browsing Tag

child rearing

Growing Up

Simply Reading Aloud

Benefits of reading aloud with kids from an early age
This entry is part 19 of 27 in the series Homeschool

Our regular readers will likely remember we are quite the book-loving family around here.  Back before we had kids, my husband and I actually started a book blog.  We had a fun time talking about the words of others using words of our own.  Then we became parents and reading for ourselves is a bit more sporadic.  I still crave the joy of a book so well-written it demands I stay awake turning pages (old-fashioned or digital) until the wee hours of the morning.  Those joys are just fewer and more distant between them than they used to be.

In the meantime, we have discovered the joy of short, sweetly penned books that resonate with us because of contagious rhyming structures or delightful interactions.  We have become picture book loving people.  And thankfully, through these simple books we have somehow turned our little ones into lovers of books, too.

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Growing Up

Simple Effective Baby Sign Language

Super simple Baby sign language. Communicate with baby with these 5 signs that are life-changing!
This entry is part 30 of 33 in the series Baby Days

We joke around that babies are SO sweet…until they start to say, “NO!”  But there is a short period of time in baby’s life when she simply doesn’t have words (not even, “No”).  The inability of our little ones to fully communicate what is going on in their heads can lead to various outbursts that look like tantrums or frustration.  But it IS the earliest form of communication for them – we just can’t quite understand them.

Figuring out a way to communicate effectively with baby at this crucial early time in her life is life-changing!  If you are like me as a mom, you cherish the littlest moments with your sweet child; savoring each “Goo” and “Gah.”  But, you often struggle when it comes to the not-so sweet moments.  The grunts and the growls, the screams and screeches are likely the last thing you were looking forward to while gently caressing your pregnant tummy and dreaming of mommy-hood.

That is why I am so thankful for baby sign language.

I am not a child development expert and I have no credentials other than being a mom of four.  But I highly recommend learning some very basic baby signs and teaching them to your little ones, starting at a very early age.  We have practiced simple baby sign language with all four of our little ones with great success.   Continue Reading

Devotion, Growing Up

Wisdom turned Inside Out

Some of the most interesting and fun activities are the ones that are sudden inspirations for us.  The other day we got a set of stickers for the new movie, Inside Out (a Pixar film that looks great, but we haven’t yet seen).  And the girls LOVE stickers!  G asked me immediately if we could play with the stickers.  I had grown weary of the way they have been “playing” with stickers lately – sticking them all over their bodies and then onto the tile floor for me to scrape up later; so I said, “Let’s do something special with them!”

G responded, “We could put them on paper!”

I said, “That’s a great idea!”

And in that moment a sudden inspiration hit and I knew that these stickers would be an opportunity to talk about emotions with my young ones.  And I knew I needed to take the opportunity to show them what God’s Word has to say about our emotions and help them to direct them in positive ways.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have taken the opportunity to work on each of the emotions represented in Inside Out and talk about God’s wisdom.

You see, the reason I thought it was important to talk about God’s ways of handling emotions was because I had a strong suspicion that Inside Out would in some small way glorify the emotions that are not what God wants of our kids (or us!).  I suspected they would make Anger something cute, or funny, or appealing – and I didn’t want my girls to find Anger attractive.  I also suspected that Disgust would be something that would be directed at parents or authority figures.  Again, I have not seen the movie, but I felt like I could see where they were headed.  Rather than allow my girls to watch the movie or play with the toys related to the movie and get all their concepts of emotions from them, I wanted to direct them to the Word of God. Continue Reading

Growing Up, Nest Building

Clean Kids Rooms Every Day – DAY 1

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Kids Clean Room Challenge

Do you struggle to keep your little ones rooms clean on a daily and weekly basis?  Do you find it hard to fit it in amongst all the naps and playing?  Are you frustrated to find your hard work cleaning undone in a matter of seconds?

Me, too!

So this week I am pledging to do something about it!  I am setting up a cleaning schedule for my little ones’ room that won’t take too much time out of the day and is easily maintained (with some help from the kids!).  And I am calling it the Kid’s Clean Room Challenge. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Modern Lullabies for a new Generation

Do you sing to your kids before bed?  Did your parents sing to you when you were little?

I don’t remember if my parents sang to me, but some of my earliest memories are associated with music.  Music was always playing in our house and I can mark specific times in my life by very specific songs.  I hope to pass along a love of good music to my little ones.  And though most people would discourage my singing (the voice is just not what I would hope), my little ones think I have a beautiful voice!  I sing to my kids every day throughout the day, but I like for bedtime to be a little bit more routine. And I have a repertoire that includes a handful of songs.

I thought I would share our favorite modern lullabies for a new generation:

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Spirit-Led Parenting: A Helper

Sometimes God has a way of hitting me over the head with a truth from His Word!  Does that ever happen to you?  It seems to happen to  quite often in relation to parenting.  God is sanctifying me by giving me the opportunity to serve my daughters as we raise them trying to point them to Jesus.  And sometimes, I seriously fail!  And sometimes, I have those lightning bolt moments where there is a connection made, a wall broken down, a new understanding  gained.

I am in the midst of co-leading a Bible study on Romans 6-8 – the topic of sanctification.  And we just finished observing and interpreting chapter 7 (yeah – the difficult chapter).  I watched the video of Kay Arthur teaching on the chapter twice (once in preparation and once in class) and God impressed upon me one of the illustrations Kay used regarding the first 6 verses of chapter 7.  Continue Reading

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