Thursday, August 28, 2008
While our boys both have times of being lazy, they don't have a chronic problem with laziness. So, I feel a bit unqualified to throw out advice. I'll just share what immediately came to mind and then depend on those who have walked that road or are in the midst of it themselves to pick up my slack.
I try to make the punishment fit the crime and use natural consequences as often as possible. I suppose that what I'd do would depend a little on how the laziness was manifesting itself. I'd also try to define what the opposite of laziness was so that I could work on instilling that quality in my child. Perhaps the opposite of laziness is responsibility or diligence. Maybe perseverance.
If the child was lazy about keeping their room clean (dawdling during cleanup time, leaving stuff laying around instead of putting it away, etc), then I'd get rid of most of their belongings. If you don't care enough about your belongings, then you don't need to have them.
If the child was lazy about getting chores done, then they would not get to do anything until their chores were completed. At our house no one gets breakfast until they are dressed, their bed are made, and their chores are done. I give a 15 minute window after breakfast is served for them to get stuff done. If they aren't at the table in 15 minutes, then they miss that meal. The responsible people do not have to wait for the lazy one to finish their chores and the lazy one doesn't get to drag breakfast out for hours.
If the child was lazy with schoolwork and was not putting forth their best effort, then they would redo the work until it was done to the best of their ability. I would not expect perfection, but I would expect an genuine attempt to do well.
Those are just a few practical examples off the top of my head. As a side note, I'd make sure that what appeared to be laziness was not a legitimate struggle with something. For example, I'd want to know the child being lazy in school was not struggling with numbers or dyslexia, that the child that dawdled in cleaning up their room wasn't genuinely overwhelmed by having too many toys, etc. Basically, I'd make sure I wasn't setting the kid up for failure in the first place.
I'd talk with the child about it outside of a specific lazy moment. I would ask some open-ended questions without any right or wrong answers. My goal would be to understand where they're coming from and to help them think through their choices. Perhaps their answers would help you better understand how to help them.
* How would you define laziness?
* What do you think the natural consequences for laziness are (both for yourself and for others)?
* What is the opposite of laziness?
* What are the natural consequences of that trait?
* What makes it hard for you to get motivated in (name specific area they're lazy in)?
I'd also spend time praying for the child to overcome their laziness. The final thing that comes to mind would be to work together to find out what the Bible says about laziness and about diligence, hard work, perseverance, etc. Maybe look up verses and write them out together. Make it a team effort, not a punishment.
Ultimately, the child has to have a change of heart. You can't force that. You can, however, help them to see the bigger picture of how laziness will influence them, both now and in the future, and those around them, both now and in the future.
So, that is my totally inexperienced opinion. For the record, these are all the things I'd aim to do. In reality, I'd probably have a few psycho-mom moments of complete discouragement and total frustration. But you already knew that.
Now, those of you who have some experience, and especially those with some success, please give the person who e-mailed me the comments that she's hoping to get from you.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Potlucks - We recently finished our summer potluck series. Friends and food. An excellent combination! We had 79 people show up to the potlucks. Some came to more than one, bringing our total potluck attendance to 98. Think we can beat that next summer?
Praying Parents - I mentioned earlier this month that a friend had me write a guest post on her blog about praying for our kids. Well, I was recently cleaning out my inbox and found an e-mail I'd forgotten about. Someone had read the guest post and asked how I thought parents should pray for their kids who are married adults.
My thought is that parents can pray for their married kids in basically the same way they'd pray for their own lives. Concerning marriage - open communication, forgiveness and patience, sexual intimacy, genuine friendship. Concerning kids - unity in parenting, wisdom and discernment, easy and healthy conceptions and pregnancies, patience. Concerning individuality - contentment at work (whether a job site or at home with the kids), opportunities to use natural strengths and skills, willingness to work on weaknesses. This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but it's the first few things that popped in my head. In addition, a parent can pray about things that are specific to their child or their child's marriage, such as a child who struggles with depression or whose spouse is severely disabled.
So, tell me what you think. What are some things you'd want your parents to pray for you now that you are an adult, whether you're married and/or a parent or still single? For those whose kids are already grown, you may find some new insights in how to pray for them. For those who have no kids or whose kids are still at home, you can consider this a sneak preview into a way you can bless your kids when they are adults.
And if you want some more encouragement in the area of praying for your kids, then go back here. Mandi, from the site I did a guest post on, has spent the whole month of August focusing on praying for our kids and has had other people do guest posts. Clicking the link I just gave you will take you straight to the posts about prayer.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We're still living below our means and putting extra money toward school debt each month. In case you forgot, I detest debt. I hate school debt. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Debt robs you of the opportunity to do things you want to do. For us, the money we spend on debt each month could allow us to buy a house, to get orthodontic work done, to help financially support various individuals and ministries, to take classes just for fun, etc. I'm not saying that to whine. I'm just being real. Debt stinks. Think seriously before taking on debt for something that will not increase in value.
Moving on. You know I love a good bargain, so I'm going to give you two links today. The first is to Dave Ramsey's site. He's having a sale through 9/2/08 with all books, CDs, and DVDs priced at $10.00. In some cases, that's more than half off!! I know many of you are familiar with him, but some may not be. Or those that are may discover that his sale puts his products in this month's budget. All of his material is focused on helping you manage your money in a responsible manner - credit card debt, school debt, car debt, retirement, insurance, etc. My brilliant suggestion would be to get Financial Peace Revisited and/or The Total Money Makeover as a Christmas gift for any high school or college students you know. Better to prevent stupid financial decisions in the first place, rather than trying to salvage a mess down the road.
The second link is to Value Village. They're having another 50% off day on 9/1/08 in the USA and 9/2/08 in Canada. That means everything in the store is 50% off!! And from 7-9pm a specific color tag will be 70% off!! I love 50% off days!!
Now, back to you. How's your money situation? In what ways are you stretching your budget? What's the best bargain you've gotten lately? What recent financial decision or milestone are you proud of?
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thanks to all of you who have prayed - through the drama of the ambulance ride and hospital visit, against Silas getting pneumonia, for emotional well-being for all of us, etc. We are blessed! I told Tim the other day that if we hadn't been there when Silas drowned, then we'd never believe that it happened. There is absolutely no sign, whether physical, emotional, or mental, that anything happened. None.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I have FOR THE LOVE OF GRUB set up and will start entering recipes this week. My posts on that site will only be recipes and all my chit chat will stay here. However, if you have questions or comments about specific recipes, then feel free to comment on them. Though my posts there won't be chatty, I will definitely respond to any questions that are posted in the comment section.
Thanks again to all of you who contributed suggestions for naming the new blog!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
We are obviously so thankful that Silas is alive and healthy. He is a walking miracle. He truly is. So, in a spirit of thankfulness and looking for the positive spin, I am going to share with you some of the bright spots of the whole situation.
Before I list those things out I want to tell you how everyone is doing. Silas is fine physically. We need to watch him for the next few days for signs of pneumonia. Otherwise he's doing well. He is also fine emotionally. Tim and I are a little tired from the lack of sleep we got in the hospital, but we'll get a few naps and be good to go. Tim is doing well, though his direct involvement in the rescue has kept his mind a little more preoccupied than mine. My dad, his wife, and her daughter are doing well, though they've also been more emotional than I've been. My dad helped with CPR. His wife and her daughter were there when Silas was pulled from the water, helped care for the other kids, and called 911. I'm fine emotionally. I was not present when Silas drowned. I think that's a big reason why I'm doing so well, as I'm able to focus more on the outcome and less on the actual crisis.
Now, on to some funny, cute, ironic, and encouraging things.
* The ambulance called ahead to let the ER know we were arriving. We walked in the ER quietly, but the entire place turned to face us as we entered. Everyone - nurses, docs, staff, patients, guests, etc - had heard the call from the ambulance and were waiting for us to arrive. Then a doctor starts walking toward us, but she's not walking quietly. She's clapping and cheering, saying "Yes! This is exactly how we want to see you come in, we're so happy to see you coming in like this!" It was so awesome to be greeted with enthusiasm for the fact that our son, who minutes earlier had no heartbeat, was entering the ER alive and in his mother's arms.
* Silas told us exactly what happened when he drowned, but it was very matter-of-fact. He had no anxiety at all.
* One of the nurses gave Silas some crackers to smash for feeding to the fish in the koi pond. He enjoyed watching them gobble up the snack he was giving them.
* As we entered the ER we recognized one of the nurses as someone from Simple Faith, our church when we lived in Ashland. She recognized us and popped into our room to say hi.
* Silas and Devon got to talk on the phone Saturday morning. Silas' end of the conversation went like this. "This is the coolest doctor's office EVER. Do you know why? You get Nintendo and movies and popsicles and Gatorade and apple juice and toys".
* Tim and Silas got to spend some quality male bonding time playing Nintendo on the portable station that was brought into our room. Silas didn't go to bed until 11:00pm because they were gaming together.
* There was fluid in Silas' lungs when we arrived at the hospital, but within a few hours much of it was already absorbed into his body.
* Silas was excited to discover that he could use his own remote control for moving his bed and turning the room lights on and off. He took advantage of every opportunity he had to control the lights.
* Despite having his vitals taken every 1-2 hours during his stay at the hospital, Silas slept for 8 hours straight!!
* After we'd been in the ER for a bit Silas started getting cold, so we asked for a blanket. A few minutes later someone brought a heated blanket to him and covered him up. You should have seen his eyes light up when that blanket touched him. He loved it! That sparked a conversation about how many heated blankets the hospital had. His guess, after a moment pondering it, was 1,009.
* My dad brought some stuff to us at the hospital, including some clothes for Silas to wear home when we were discharged. He grabbed the top outfit in Silas' suitcase pile and threw it in a bag. It wasn't until we were home that I paid attention to what outfit Silas was wearing. It was a lifeguard shirt. Ironic.
* As we were packing up our stuff to prepare to head back to Beaverton, my dad asked Silas what the best part of the weekend was. Silas' immediate response was "the hospital". He was so impressed with all the special treatment he got there.
* The first thing that Silas said after getting all wired up in the ER was "Did Papa and Nana already eat the pizza?" We had some Papa Murphy's in the oven when he drowned and his biggest concern was that he had missed out on pizza. As soon as those words came out of his mouth I said, "Our boy is going to be just fine".
* Within an hour of getting back to my dad's house Silas was asking to go out to the pool. He has absolutely no fear of the water.
I am typing this post from a hospital where we spent the night with Silas. Just before dinner last night he drowned. He was at the bottom of a pool, not breathing, and without a heartbeat. Tim pulled him from the water and began CPR. My dad quickly joined in giving CPR. My stepsister called an ambulance. My dad's wife gathered up Devon and Naomi and took care of them.
When Tim began CPR there was no heartbeat. None. After some CPR Tim felt a heartbeat. Then Silas started breathing. He puked. He cried. Never before have puke and tears been such a great thing to witness.
Because chest compressions were given, the paramedics transported us to the hospital to get Silas checked out. That's when we found out there was some fluid in his lungs and they needed to keep him overnight to monitor him. As of now, at 7:30am, he is asleep. His vitals are good. His lungs have improved. The doctor will make rounds sometime between 8 and 9. We're hoping to be discharged at that time. Otherwise we sit around til evening rounds and try again. It looks like we'll be able to leave, but we don't know for sure.
We made it through the critical 8-12 hour period after the drowning without any problems. Now the main risk is for pneumonia, which would only happen if any of that pool water in his lungs formed some bacteria before being absorbed by his body. If that happens, then it would be in the next week or so.
I realize some people will wonder how he ended up at the bottom of the pool, but it doesn't really matter. We're focusing on the fact that he's alive, not how he almost died.
We are very thankful to still be the 5 Ws.
Update: You can read my my dad's version of the drowning here and my description of some of the silver linings here.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I will tell post the top four in a poll over on your right. Voting will be open through midnight on 8/17/08. I'll announce a winner on 8/18/08.
My four favorites, in alphabetical order are ...
Eats, Meats, Wheats & Treats
For the Love of Grub
Queen B's Royal Recipes
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Thanks to everyone who helped us eat cake and creamsicles!!
Friday, August 8, 2008
I'm so thankful to Sharon for asking me how I define success as a wife, mom, and homemaker. I spend so much time feeling like a failure, but one can't fail unless there is a standard to strive for in the first place. I've never really defined what that standard is, what success looks like to me, but I constantly feel like I don't measure up. It's just about killed me, but I haven't read the responses to the questions yet. I didn't want them to sway my own answer. I'm sure the comments will be good, yet varied. Some philosophical, others practical. I'll read them as soon as I finish typing this up.
As I wrote yesterday, I've realized how much I determine my success or failure by how much of my "to do" lists of marriage, parenting, and homemaking I get accomplished. I told someone today that unless my house is sparkling clean and all projects are completed, my kids always obey immediately and no bickering is ever heard, I never have to deal with a behavioral issue with a child more than once, and our marriage is filled with endless and fascinating conversations, constant and phenomenal sex, and plenty of fun dates, then I feel like I'm failing. It's like I'm trying to keep so many plates spinning at once and it's just overwhelming. What do you do when you're spinning 20 plates and seven of them are starting to fall? Try to keep them all barely going? Let some crash and work to make the others spin well?
I've spent the last two days thinking, reading, and praying about this issue. I'll share my definitions in just a second. I don't think my answers are "right". They're simply the things that would be indicators to me that I was successful as a wife, mom, and homemaker. And I've decided what to do about those seven falling plates. I'm going to work on one at a time. I won't completely blow off the other six, but I'm going to work on being more realistic about what my abilities are, both as an individual (my personality, weaknesses, etc) and as someone in this particular season of life (at home with three young kids, homeschooling, etc). I'm going to work on knowing my limits, knowing when to keep working on something and when to just chill out.
For the record, I don't think I'm currently failing in each of the following areas that are my personal indicators of success. They are just my goals. I've also included some verses that came to mind as I thought through all of this.
So, here we go.
I will know that I'm successful as a wife when -
* Tim and I are good friends who enjoy and desire each other's company
* Tim and I have a sex life that is satisfying for both of us
* Tim feels respected and appreciated
* Tim knows I pray for him regularly
* Tim knows I love him unconditionally
Wife verses -
* Proverbs 31:11-12 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (respected and appreciated)
* Song of Songs 5:16b This is my lover, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (good friends)
* I Corinthians 7:4-5 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourself to prayer. (sex life)
* Ephesians 5:33b And the wife must respect her husband. (respected and appreciated)
* James 5:16b The prayer of a righteous man (or woman, as the case may be) is powerful and effective. (prayer)
I will know that I'm a successful as a mom when -
* My kids know who Jesus is and how much he loves them
* My kids have the skills to make wise and responsible decisions
* My kids have been taught and shown how to serve and be kind to others
* My kids understand what a good work ethic is
* My kids know I love them unconditionally
Mom verses -
* Deuteronomy 6:5-7a Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. (know Jesus)
* Proverbs 18:9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (wise and responsible, work ethic)
* Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (know Jesus)
* Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." (work ethic)
* Ephesians 4:32a Be kind and compassionate to one another. (service and kindness)
* James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (wise and responsible)
I will know that I'm a successful homemaker when -
* My house is tidy and clean
* My family is well fed and clothed appropriately, within our financial means
* Our money is managed wisely
* People know they are welcome and feel comfortable in our home
Homemaker verses -
* Proverbs 18:9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (tidy and clean, fed and clothed, money management)
* Proverbs 31:27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (tidy and clean, fed and clothed, money management)
* Malachi 3:10a Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. (money management)
* Acts 20:35b It is more blessed to give than to receive. (money management)
* Romans 12:13b Practice hospitality. (welcome and comfortable)
One more thought before I wrap this up. You may have noticed that my indicators of success as a mom didn't have much to do with my childrens' behavior. Many moms will say they'll know they were a good mom when they're kids have grown into godly, responsible members of society. The problem with that is those moms have forgotten the element of their child's will. There are no guarantees in parenting, which is why there are some lousy parents with great kids and some great parents with lousy kids. All I can do is give my kids the skills and knowledge they need. What they do with the skills and knowledge will determine their success, not mine.
And now I'm off to read your definitions of success.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I'm going to be totally transparent here.
I struggle daily, 24/7, with feeling like a failure as a wife, mom, and homemaker. It's not the occasional bad day or rough week. It's constant, it's overwhelming, and it's been going on for a couple years.
As I shared this struggle with some women the other day, one of them asked me how I would define success as a wife, mom, and homemaker. I've been thinking on that since she asked and writing down the things that come to mind. It's been good for me to distinguish between the things I think or know are my duties, my "to do" list in those areas, and the way I would actually define success. I've realized that I determine my success or failure by whether or not I can cross everything off the "to do" list.
I'm going to spend some more time today thinking on my definition of a successful wife, mom, and homemaker and tomorrow I'll share what I come up with.
What I want is for you to tell me how you would define success in any or all of those three areas.
What I don't want is sympathy or a "you're a great mom". I just want to tackle this from a practical standpoint, not an emotional one. Okey dokey, artichokey?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
About three years ago Sonja's parents, Lane and Susan, joined the staff of Family Life. In case you aren't familiar with Family Life, it's an organization committed to keeping marriages and families intact. They are known most for the work they do in building marriages, but their site has info for everyone - married, single, parents, etc. Go check out the link.
But the real reason I'm doing this post is to show you Lane and Susan's newly launched website. It is filled with info about them, their ministry, facts about Family Life, and .... PHOTOS!! After all, a bunch of information, no matter how helpful, is pretty boring if there aren't any pictures to look at. Right? So, without further ado, I introduce you to Lane and Susan.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
I mentioned yesterday that I love Glade's 2 in 1 Creamy Custard and Blushing Apple candles. They smell so wonderful!! I also love Partylite's Honeydew candles. While I love flowers, I'm not crazy about floral scented things. I just like the real deal when it comes to floral scents. When it comes to candles, I tend to go for scents that are fruity or cozy. What's a cozy scent? It's things like vanilla, spiced pumpkin, apple pie, or almond. What candle scents do you like?
Online Opinions - Remember Mandi? She's the one who was doing all the giveaways I linked you to a while back. About a week ago she asked if I'd be willing to do a guest post on her blog. So, if you head over to Doodles' Place, then you can read my opinion on praying for our kids.
Oral & Open - The Devs loves his mouth. The Devs loves fruit. The Devs loves to show the fruit in his mouth to the camera.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
1. From now through midnight at my house (PST) on 8/10/08 you can suggest a name for my recipe blog. Post your suggestions as comments on this post. You can enter as often as you'd like.
2. On 8/11/08 I will pick my three favorite suggestions and let you vote on them.
3. Voting will be open through midnight on 8/17/08.
4. The winner and new blog name will be announced on 8/18/08. Whoever contributed the winning name will be give a Coldstone giftcard. If the winner does not live anywhere remotely close to a Coldstone Creamery, then they will be in my prayers. They will also have the choice to get a gift card in the same amount to a dessert establishment in their area or to have me send their prize to someone else (this would be the most logical option if the winner lives overseas).
5. I will be telling Tim what the one idea I came up with was. If anyone comes up with the same exact name, then I will give them an undetermined (because what if it's so uncreative that 30 other people come up with it and I can't afford to pay my rent because I spent so much money on prizes) prize.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, by Kevin Leman
Kevin Leman is one of my favorite authors. He's a funny, Christian psychologist and his books are always super practical. He can tackle serious topics without weighing you down. This was probably the third time I've read this book. It's a great "pep talk" kind of book. I actually blogged about him once before because he puts into words the way I try to parent. Notice I said "try". It's been a rough time around here lately.
The Explosive Child, by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.
Good book with step-by-step instructions for dealing with a kid who can't handle frustration. An excellent reminder to make sure that your children are truly heard.
First Service, by Andrea Jaeger
This was going to be my fun read in the midst of practical books, one I scored at Dollar Tree. What a letdown. This book just went on and on and on and on. While I think the program the author has going (an incredible camp in Colorado for kids with cancer) is great and her heart for kids is huge, the book was way too long. I think the book could have been cut in half, then a list supplied in the back of all the people who have contributed to her program and how many times she saw, felt, or heard the light or energy of God. Great program, boring book.
Have a New Kid by Friday, by Kevin Leman
I read this because it pertained to our current parenting struggle and because I love Kevin Leman. The "new kid by Friday" part was a relatively short part of the book. Much of the book was dedicated to him giving advice for specific situations, a handy reference guide in alphabetical order. Making Children Mind has a similar reference guide.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Here are some of the blog posts he made it into. He was in the background of a few others, but he's pretty visible in these. You can click on the picture in the blog to get a bigger view.
Bucket fill relay - on a back at the end of the movie
Hands full relay - the studly runner in the fourth picture
Backwards day - back of the line in the movie
Skits - the surfer on the right in the fourth picture & walking offstage in the fifth
And a great shot of Jayden, the extra W.