Categories
Family Home Schooling

Monday Mornings

Woman Placing Her WashI love Monday mornings! Sundays are busy for us, so having a day at home is always something to look forward to!

Plus, my children are usually over-tired from a busy Awana club meeting the night before, so they sleep in a little bit, allowing me more time. I’m usually fired up about getting the house in shape after letting it go over the weekend, so starting a load of clothes is first on my list, and if there’s time, I get our lesson plans for the week all written in before the girls wake up.

Seeing to the chicken chores is another welcome morning routine, necessitating a trip through the brisk morning air–revving up my lungs and heart and putting the final touch on “waking me up” to a brand new week!

How do you feel about Mondays?

The wind is howling today, we’re almost done with schoolwork, 4 year old is napping…and I’m thinking about supper tonight…we had steaming, oven baked sweet potatoes for lunch, slathered in real butter and sprinkled with ground cloves…most delicious, nutritious and filling lunch in the world.

Hope your Monday is going great!

Categories
Family Home Schooling

Sister Love

There’s nothing like the classic Bing Crosby movie, White Christmas for nudging the ‘sisterly lovins’ at our house (“Sisters, sisters…there were never ever better sisters”). Unless you’re watching, City of the Bees, that is. We were, watching City of the Bees, and towards the end of the 28 minute Moody Science video my youngest became quite squirrelly. Picture our whole family lounging in the master bedroom (where our only TV is located), five people on a queen sized bed with lots of pillows–that’s ten legs by the way–and when one of them is in squirm mode, it can feel like 25!

So my four year old lays half across me, her feet in eight year old’s face, and what does eight year old do? She lightly grabs four year old’s feet. Four year old pulls them back, giggling. “Don’t tickle, please don’t tickle!”

“I’m not going to tickle you,” eight year old murmered, “Lay still and I’ll rub your feet for you.”

Collective “ahhhh” anyone? Smile. That’s the two of them in the picture, by the way. Two buds if I ever saw any. Earlier during the movie, we all had our choice in an after supper dessert of mini candy bars, and of COURSE, four year old’s was gone in a lick and no splits, so she started mooching around, hinting, wanting a bite of someone else’s treat. My bar was history as well–guess she gets her hurry up and eat mentality from me–eleven year old was still disgruntled about a couple of skittles filched by littlest sis earlier in the day. But before youngest could ask, eight year old sat up from her stomach-lounge at the end of the bed and waved her candy bar in the air saying, “Anybody want a bite?”

Youngest practically hurled her little body to the end of the bed, mouth open like a starved birdie. Eight year old was like–“Hang on a minute, don’t take a huge bite now!” But after a teensy bite, eight year old told little sis to go ahead and take a bigger bite.

I love it.

And by the way, bees are pretty fascinating critters too.

How’s the love at your house these days? ‘Tis the season you know. The greatest gift of all originated from a Godly love we can’t fathom, a sacrifice we don’t deserve, and an eternal future so bright if we only believe.

May His love fill you to overflowing, and may it eclipse all the other things so quick to overshadow the reason we celebrate this Christmas. No matter what you’re going through, we have much to be thankful for.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas!

Categories
Christianity Home Schooling

God’s Call to Parents

This verse is a call to all parents, but it especially resonates to me, a simple home-school mom who needs reminders from time to time, that this work God has given *me* is crucial to my children’s earthly and eternal futures.

“‘And these words, which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.'” Deuteronomy 6:6, 7

Pretty sobering directive, especially considering how little time is left for God at the end of a typical day…not to mention the other three settings in which He’s wanting us to teach His word to our children.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 1:16, 17; 2:2, 3

The secret treasures of wisdom and knowledge is hidden in Jesus Christ! This verse makes the first one come alive. There aren’t enough hours in all our days to teach our loved ones the glory of God and the masterpieces of His creation.

What a challenge!

Categories
Cooking and Food Family Home Schooling

Update at 2 A.M.

I like my house after midnight. Sure, come tomorrow I’ll wish I’d been sleeping–especially since the alarm is going to blare around 4:30 A.M. at which point I’ll have to jump from deep slumber and get my two older girls up and dressed in cowgirl apparel so they can rodeo with Daddy at work today. Sigh…can you hear me yawning in advance here? Well, I can fully blame myself. The reason I’m rambling here at 2:20 in the morning? I began my cinnamon cucumber ring project without mentally registering the full soaking times for my cukes. I actually forgot they needed to soak for three hours in ice water before simmering for 2 hours on the stove. And I remembered that around 10 P.M. Yeah, wish I’d thought of that earlier in the day, but I knew I needed to get to the grocery store for cinnamon red hot candies before beginning the syrup, so I didn’t even double check the recipe. So sad. I have about one hour left to watch them simmer before throwing together the syrup recipe. So there’s the wherefores.

I just sneaked a “Cream Cheese Spiral”–easy to do in a sleeping household! This delicious tea-time canape with a streusel-type filling all rolled up into a croissant looking treat is Yum! My ten year old found the recipe in The Cookie and Biscuit Bible she gave me last Christmas. I’m in awe that she likes to try these tricky recipes all-by-herself. Yesterday she made a chocolate mint cookie that required her to boil sugar water to hard ball stage. And we don’t own a candy thermometer. She figured it all out and now we have these Christmas-y tasting chocolates with a crunchy peppermint chew to them. Delicious. And horrible for my “diet”.

Yes, I began exercising again three days ago…after taking the last month off. You remember my poison sumac incident? That kept me off the equipment for a week, and by the time I was feeling great again, we were full swing into homeschooling. I stepped on the scales with bated breath last week after avoiding them like the doctor and couldn’t believe I hadn’t gained much of anything. Did I ever update here and tell you guys I’d lost thirty pounds this summer?

My mommy moment this week came yesterday when my 8 year old proudly brandished a stack of spiral notebook pages under my nose, titled, “My Horse, Midnight”…she’d been secretly writing a “book”! It has five chapters, each chapter is half a page long in tiny, neat handwriting and accompanied by detailed illustrations! It’s got bad guys, intrigue, clues and lots of exclamation points!!! The COOL and awesome thing about this is that my 8 year old is finally coming around to scholarly pursuits! It’s been a long road to get to this place. She loves it when I read to her, but she’s only this year gotten past the hump of reading because she HAS to for school, to reading because she WANTS to for pleasure. I can’t tell you how many times last year I threw in the towel to God and hubby, telling myself that it wasn’t worth the angst. It’s a tough act to be your child’s teacher. Sometimes you just want to be the nice guy. You know how ecstatic the kids get when daddy arrives home from work at the end of a long day? Well, the 24-7 homeschooling mom is lucky to get the crumbs off the royal table–and SHE prepared all the food!

You know…this year it’s all paying off. In some ways it’s even more thrilling because I’m so acutely aware of how hard it was last year.  To be able to coast through 6-8 hours a day of school and enjoy 98% of it so much we don’t realize that time is flying as opposed to watching my then 7 year old fight tears over every little brain flex! Last week, I got up from the couch (where we do the majority of our schoolwork), went to the kitchen to pop some popcorn for an “afternoon” snack and I happened to check the time: 6 P.M.! We had no idea it was that late!

So this story she wrote was a milestone of sorts. She’s writing in. her. free. time. Amazing. Not only that, but her math facts are clicking, she’s reading for pleasure and to her little sister. So true that each child learns at their own pace, and some just aren’t ready as early as others. So hang in there, moms and dads. Don’t judge every child by your firstborn.

Well, my cucumbers are calling me. I hope I can see straight in the morning, I have a whole lot on the agenda. With the older girls spending the day with their daddy, I decided to fix a bunch of meals for the freezer. BBQ Meatballs, Chicken Lasagna, and Pizza Pockets to be exact. Hoping for time to mix up a couple buckets of my mom’s refrigerator Ice Box muffins, and just maybe get around to making pear-apple sauce out of the box full on my back porch…oh yeah, and at some point, I’ll have to can up the cinnamon cukes.

If I can prop my eyelids open, that is!

Have a great Tuesday!

Categories
Home Home Schooling Writing

Posting at Writer…Interrupted Today

A new school year always sends me into a dither…juggling fifth and third graders and a very motivated preschooler means not verra much time for moi! Not to mention the whole housekeeping OR homeschooling dilemma!

But some good things have come of it…come see pics from our first day of school and read all about my adjustments!

Thought this pic of my youngest juggling cukes about sums it all up! Lately it seems I’ve been blogging by the skin of my teeth…sorry about that!

(Oops, wordpress isn’t letting me post the picture…I’ll try again later!)

Categories
Christianity Home Schooling Writing

Conflict of Passions

Are you struggling between two heart desires? Believe me, I have been there, done that and it’s not much fun.

For me, it began almost three years ago. You’ll remember many posts from me on the subject of my women’s fiction writing, and how easily I could lose myself in it–letting the children and housework fall apart around me. What a struggle to find balance, in fact, balance was so elusive, I finally quit fiction writing altogether. I just couldn’t reconcile the two passions–homeschooling and a writing career. I know better women than me can juggle these things…and maybe someday I’ll be able to, but not now.

At first letting go was terribly depressing. I hung onto my writing projects like a toddler on the verge of losing his blankie…I’d never had a passion outside my children and husband before. Sounds pathetic, but remember I married right out of high school, and my family has been my world. And I’ve been so fulfilled that I never felt anything was missing. Discovering the books within me, though, tapped a brand-spanking-new-and-exciting dimension of ME…a falling in love experience…a happy realization that God gifted me with this crazy love of words for a reason! Wow. Anyway. I lost myself in this dream for a year…devouring books on the writing craft and going to writing conferences and learning from other pros and wannabes. Pure bliss…that continually battled my family for my time until I realized that I had to cut back. And cutting back didn’t work. Giving it up altogether finally made the difference.

My point is, I’m not missing the fiction writing at all these days. I’m not even all that concerned when a week goes by without blogging. We’re ramped up about homeschooling and spending time with friends and church activities…right now the solitary and immersive lifestyle of writing isn’t possible! I don’t want it to be possible. I want my life to be about homeschooling and enjoying these girls while they’re little and being a 30-something stay-at-home mom is my ultimate joie de vivre!

How did I end up letting go of my writing dreams? Well, honestly, I haven’t let go of them. I feel a real peace that those are future chapters in my life, ones I anticipate and gladly put off for a more convenient time…possibly not until my kids are raised! I begged and pleaded with the Lord about it, especially because I got to the point where I would have gladly put the girls in public school just so I could have a full day of unfettered writing time. I began resenting my family’s needs and that was what finally opened my eyes to my wrong priorities. Wrong for *me* because God has emphatically called us into this homeschooling lifestyle.

Asking God to realign my desires with His really meant turning OFF my passion for writing. Please, I’m not preaching at anyone, this is *my* story–I’m not cut out to balance two passions. Not as whole-hog as I am about my “babies” (both real and imagined!)!

Anyway, I just realized today how God’s given me back my satisfaction with this season of life. And it’s a pretty blessed arrival, deserving of documentation at my site!

Anyone relate?

Categories
Christianity Home Home Schooling

Turning a Bad Day Into a Good One

Even a sunshiny day has its cloudy spots. Life is sure like that, sometimes it seems that we have the same old trials spotting up our happy days…and it’s up to us to choose how to react. By God’s grace we don’t have to slug around in the shadows!

Today started out slow for us, with me feeling typically behind after “losing a school day” yesterday. Tuesday was a crazy busy day away from home…picnicking at the zoo, running errands in the “big” city, delivering a meal to a good friend who just had a baby boy (!), and barely making two meetings at church. The girls and I rushed home at 9:30 pm, head-achey and starving, threw a pizza in the oven and commenced to carting in all our “stuff”, coolers of perishables I’d bought, bags of other grocery items…by that point I didn’t want to even eat supper I was feeling so nauseous. But I slept great!

And I slept in…putting me further behind. Woke up to some discouraging news of the financial variety and you know what? God has shown me over and over again that nothing is TOO big for Him. But I’m human, and venting is part of the process. Fortunately for my kids, my house took the brunt. I cleaned all morning like a mad woman breaking only to supervise school and start on lunch. All the messy spots that remained from my bout with poison sumac are washed away…and something about all that homemaking rooted down deep within me and God brought peace to my heart.

It’s like, the sky can be falling in, but I am a mother and a wife and a woman, and these things are my heart–the things that matter–they surround me. My family and my home. I may not be able to change any outside circumstances, but I can whip my household into submission and be better for it!

I even got industrious about supper–thawed some cubed steaks, beat the tarnation out of them with my meat mallet, breaded them and fixed them up for smothered steaks tonight! Which reminds me, I have a pot full of potatoes boiling that needs checking…

Once my youngest was down for her afternoon nap, the older girls and I got out our devotional book and our Bibles and had a great quiet time…which progressed to reading a chapter in our Health book, and then assembling our spelling notebooks and filling in one of the spelling rule pages…we even had an hours worth of fun with our Botany, playing Taxonomy with shoes! Didn’t get all the subjects covered, but we had a wonderful time together, no sour faces about school today!

Around five o’clock, we headed outside to clean out the chicken’s brooding boxes and refill them with fresh wood shavings…collected ten cucumbers from the garden from which the girls chose a couple, hosed them off and munched them gone. Mmm!

For a day that started out sluggish-turned-panicky, I feel real peace and happiness right now.

I just shared one of my favorite verses with a good friend yesterday, and God knew I’d need it today. Maybe it would bless you as well.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (italics mine)

So next time you’re hit with something unexpected, try to turn it over immediately to Him…with thanksgiving! And don’t be surprised at the peace that eventually follows.

It’ll be okay.

Categories
Home Schooling

Our Homeschooling Curriculum Favorites

All my lovely “first day” plans kind of went out the window, with last week’s bout of Poison Sumac–ick! You’ll all be glad to know that I’m so much better, in fact, well enough to go camping with friends this past Saturday/Sunday! I doubt I’ll take normal life and good health for granted for a long time to come!

Anyway, as I was saying, I’d planned on last Thursday being our first day of school…complete with our treasure hunt kick-off and craft day. Problem was, I didn’t have all my supplies together for either the craft OR the treasure hunt, so we’re jumping into school books anyhow and plan to work the other stuff in on a special day TO BE ANNOUNCED. Thankfully, my girls cut me some slack this year! We did, however, get to break in my middle daughter’s pottery wheel…and oh boy, was that a blast!

So everyone always asks me what curriculum I use, and the truth is, I’m eclectic…always using a hodge podge of whatever comes highest recommended to me by trusted family and friends. There is SO much out there to choose from…so many top notch resources, so much that I’d love to do if we could afford it…so each year I add something new, and continue using what I loved from years prior.

Here’s a quick list of what we’re using this year, and links to the websites so you can check them out if you so desire! You’ll notice I like to combine subjects with my girls…they’re in different grades (3rd and 5th) for math and language arts, but this year we’ll be tackling the other subjects together! Last year we did different histories and sciences, etc, so I’m really psyched about this approach. There are always ways to make it more intensive for my older daughter…so I feel certain this is the way to go…for us!

One last thing–I praise God for the freedom to hand pick my daughters’ educational resources. To have endless options as far as Christian curriculums go…you can’t ask for much more than that. What a huge blessing!

  • Mystery of History Volume 1, Creation to Christ–I’m super excited about this series, because it covers world history in ancient times, such as what was going on in China when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, and what famous Bible figure was living when the Trojan horse was being built…I joined the yahoo group for this volume of MofH, and have already printed off timeline figures, map helps, additional book lists, book report blanks, etc. Plus, the pictures people have posted there of their completed projects are hugely motivational!
  • Historical Biographies– the What Really Happened series will be a wonderful read-aloud complement to our history program!
  • A Child’s Geography this is so highly recommended by EVERYONE who has ever used it, and we are loving the author’s kid-friendly style and enthusiastic approach to earth study! This textbook came with a CD-Rom full of helps, and there is also a yahoo group in support of it, full of files and resources that I’ve been taking FULL advantage of! I’m impressed by the “Reaching Out to His World” and “Further Exploration” book list sections at the end of each chapter. This is more than a textbook, it’s a revolution to get our kids thinking beyond their own self-focused backyard and across the world by encouraging a mission field type of outlook. Powerful.
  • The Star-Spangled State Book and Workbook we’ll tackle this once we’ve finished up the Child’s Geography. I’m super addicted to the Geo quizzes in this book, can’t wait to teach it to the girlies!
  • Apologia science, their elementary Botany program so excited about this, as I just discovered that creationsensation.com has Apologia lab kits for each subject all packed up and ready to go, with experiment items listed according to chapter projects…this will save me HOURS of planning and shopping! There’s also, yes–you know what’s coming, a yahoo support group for Apologia elementary sciences, with so many resources in their files…from games to vocabulary lists to scheduling guidelines…My girls are anxious to get a Venus Fly Trap in the mail–woo-hoo! Botany, here we come!
  • Professor B Math common sense math, taught and mastered in far less time than conventional math programs. I LOVE it! We have the CD-Rom, which is scripted, so my older daughter can sit with my 3rd grader and walk her through it if need be, and gain review in the process. Me likes that!
  • Spell to Write and Read by Wanda Sanseri this program is the best all around multi-age language arts program, imo, for teaching phonograms and for making sense of the English Language! I love the spelling lists that stretch from preschool to college level, and that each week’s words are accompanied by several spelling enrichment activities. Plus, each year, my girls make their own spelling book, featuring spelling rule pages that outline each of our language’s twenty-something spelling rules. Fantastic program. I’ve blogged about it here beforemany times! A curriculum you can buy once, use for all your children, each year. Very cost efficient!
  • Sonlight’s Grammar Ace with School House Rock what a fun way to reinforce grammar rules! This is a super fun, user-friendly program that my whole family enjoys. Hubby and I really get a kick out of reviewing the School House Rock DVD songs…Conjunction Junction, and Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here…and what’s even better, this program comes with ALL the School House Rock videos that were ever made! Not just the grammar ones…these jingles really stick in your head, my last year’s second grader particularly liked “3 is a Magic Number“–to which she learned her 3 times tables!

Of course, we’re still doing Mavis Beacon typing, and Music Ace, God’s World News and Bible…and all our handwriting will be covered by copywork out of our geography, history and Spell to Write and Read curriculums. The girls love to read and read aloud and be read to, so no need to assign extra reading…

Yes, I’m super happy with what we use, can’t you tell (?), but that doesn’t mean it’s the only good stuff out there, of course! Just sharing *my* favorites…the tip of the iceberg of all the goodies available to homeschoolers! If you are raising preschoolers, do your homework. You could start researching now, and be way ahead of the game…

I’ll leave you with an article I really enjoyed, 5 Essential Ingredients to Homeschooling Success by Terri Johnson. It outlines many of the things I love about being able to live this lifestyle…

How was your child’s first day of school? And if you happen to home educate, or have a favorite curriculum, please share it in comments!

Categories
Christianity Family Home Schooling

Number One Parenting Tip: Train Your Young Child to Ask Permission

This sleeping beauty is my youngest daughter. She just finished singing “The B-I-B-L-E” to me, wreathed in dimpled smiles. She adores helping around the house, yesterday she even picked up, organized and put away her older sisters’ Horseopoly game (which was left out after they were done playing!) to surprise everyone. She’s a grand little girl!

How can little ones be so perfectly precious one minute and completely naughty and horrible the next? Easy, we’re all born with an old sin nature…and some of us with a stronger will than others! God says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to “teach our children diligently, when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lay down and when you rise up.”

It’s so important to train them from the outset, and this means spending time with them…they learn so much from osmosis, so to speak. Elizabeth at the Raising Godly Tomatoes site calls this time together “tomato staking”–staking your child to your side, teaching and training all the day long. Follow the tomato staking link for an in-depth explanation of this theory. The point is, you stake them to you while they’re young, so they’ll grow up straight and productive.

Putting this in CAPs because it’s important:

I AM NOT CLAIMING TO BE AN AUTHORITY ON CHILD TRAINING. (On the contrary, that’s why I’m writing this post!)

YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND ARE RESPONSIBLE TO GOD FOR HOW YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN. EVERY FAMILY, EVERY SITUATION IS UNIQUE, SO SEEK WISDOM FROM HIM BEFORE YOU THINK WHAT WORKED FOR ME WILL WORK FOR YOU…

That said, I am going to share my thoughts candidly, in the hopes that you might be encouraged to stay the course…and maybe learn some practical tips from my mistakes/successes.

What I Did and Didn’t Do

I definitely spent more one on one time with my oldest, as most moms probably do. Her vocabulary as a 10 month old was phenomenal, and by age two we were reading the Little House on The Prairie series–and Stormy of Chincoteague…she couldn’t get enough chapter books. In the car we’d play the “Bible Questions Game”–both of my older girls still love to rattle off their Moses facts (Jochebed–his mom, Amram–his dad, Aaron and Miriam–siblings) and the fact that Jesus, James and Jude were brothers…they begged me for Bible stories and morality tales about Princess Bratty and Lady Loveday.

We tried to be consistent in our training. We set up trial runs that were more about cheering on obedience than punishing for disobedience. We spanked when necessary. We talked about appropriate behavior before things like birthday parties or Christmas gatherings…our approach was more positive with the older girls, because we were more pro-active. With our youngest, we’re so busy correcting all the bad behavior that there’s hardly any time leftover for praising the positive.

She’s not a monster by any means. She loves helping, as I stated in the first paragraph. I’d hate for her to be reading this blog’s archives in a few years and think that mommy had nothing good to say about her, b/c she’s a totally precious little girl unless she doesn’t get her way.

Which Leads Me to My Number One Parenting Tip…

Letting toddlers choose their own way is a surefire path to destruction. They are too young to be left to their own devices (whether it’s time in front of the TV or complete freedom to wreck the house with their toys). There has to be a healthy respect for authority, ie, you want to train them from little bitty to ask your permission for everything! Lol. That sounds OCD again, doesn’t it, but believe me, it’s such a simple step when you start young and don’t let things slide as I have. Because you really don’t want them to run outside into the street whenever they feel like it, right?

Dialog such as:

“May I have the green cup, Mommy?” (**and then being able to handle occasionally getting the blue cup anyway)

“May I have a snack?” (rather than letting them help themselves to anything and everything, whenever and wherever, because this doesn’t teach them healthy eating habits or self-control)

“May I watch a movie?” (don’t let them decide when the TV gets turned on and off)

Every time they ask for permission, you are reinforcing that you are the one looking out for them, you are building trust, and teaching them contentment…while it’s still relatively easy to ingrain! And just THINK of all the temper tantrums you are avoiding!!!

**This doesn’t mean that you are saying “No” to everything…you want to tie heartstrings with your children, it’s a blessing to grant their desires when it’s reasonable, and if it’s not, you can explain why–sometimes. Sometimes they just need to take your word for it and not question your say-so. (Isn’t this a picture of the kind of grace relationship we have with God? And sometimes we don’t understand why He stops us in our tracks when we think we know what’s best for us! Maybe He’s just training us, ya think?)

I fully believe that most of the problems we’re having right now with our four year old stem from her having too many freedoms. Suddenly mommy and daddy are taking away these freedoms (her getting away with bad attitudes, etc) and she, of course, resents it! Doesn’t this sound more like a teenager issue to you? Ding-ding-ding!!! I believe that the teenage years don’t have to be full of rebellion and angst–if the training is done right in the early years.

I Have Proof (the mother protests!!!)

Yes every child is different, but in observing my three children, I can see the fruits of good training (and lack of!) so clearly.

When my 10 and 8 year old daughters wait till after Sunday school is over to eat the candy their SS teacher has given them, they are doing so because they want to eat it with my permission. And believe it or not, the self-control that takes is good for them! And here’s the thing: I have never told them they could not eat candy given to them without permission. They have the habit of asking permission deeply ingrained within them from their early years. Yes! My jaw drops when they ask permission for things like this, because they are better trained than *I* am…and their happiness while asking is evidence that it hasn’t hurt them any to wait. (I’ve since told them that they are old enough to enjoy candy in class if everyone else is!) An interesting thing to note, is that they don’t seem to have a sneaky bone in their bodies…and I’ve been radaring their every move!

So when do you start?

We started teaching certain sign language signs to our girls at 8 months of age. Sometimes it didn’t really catch on till later, but many of the signs were wonderful ways to introduce the proper way to get what you want! “Please” and “May I have a drink”, etc. Wow, they became such polite little things! If they didn’t ask nicely, they didn’t get what they wanted. Simple. And at that age, they usually took the quickest route to satisfaction. A painless way to teach a good habit that reaps so many benefits as your child grows older.

Another benefit to this, is your child will be the one standing to the side in a group of mischievous youngsters. They know better, believe me, because their mind has already been processing the fact that if they’d asked permission, it would have been SERIOUSLY denied and for good reason. I’ve noticed that many children act without thinking whatsoever– wrecking people’s property, putting themselves in danger, etc.

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Well, hasn’t this turned into a ramble…just give it some thought, and ask God to give you wisdom and strength to train up ALL your children in the way they should go.

They don’t raise themselves. And you don’t get many second chances.

Categories
Christianity Farm Life Home Schooling

Baby Bunnies

My 4 year old (she just had a birthday, btw!) found something very special nestled under some leaves and cottonwood tree fluff. Right out in the open where they could accidentally get stomped was a nest of 12 baby bunnies! One escaped the hatch as we clicked away.

Sad update…my 10 year old went to check on them and a HUGE black snake caught her by surprise…feet away. She ran for her daddy, which is what all able-bodied females should do when confronted by such a threat to wee small furry friends…and Daddy shot snake dead. But there were only eight bunnies left in the hole. No, we didn’t perform an autopsy to see if he’d done the dastardly, but that would have been a neat science lesson.

This second picture shows the little escapee on the far left, straight across to the right is their hidey-hole. Can you believe it’s there? Good camo, mom rabbit, but what happened to burrows way down deep? Is that just stuff for storybooks?

Moral of the story? You never know what surprises God has for you in the underfoot muck of life. Look for miracles in the ordinary and you might actually find some. And watch out for snakes. They seem to appear after every miracle. To make you doubt His goodness?

Never!