Friday, July 27, 2012

Snapping = Being A Good Husband

My youngest son Isaac has been working on snapping lately! Ever since he realized that our best friend's daughter can snap, he has been determined! She is only one, to make time even more of the essence to him. When he saw her snap, he said, "Mom, I can't even snap and I'm 4 years old!"

Well, now that he has figured it out... I'm not so sure I'm as thrilled about it as he is!

"Why?" you ask???

Example #1 - To ensure I see how well he can snap, he puts his hand directly in my face!

Example #2 - He told me in Target today, "Hey Mom, I hope you know, I will snap at you!" Is that a threat???

Example #3 - He tells everyone to "Just snap out of it!"

Example #4 - Isaac and Hannah were arguing and she says to him, "Isaac, you're not going to make a very good husband!" To which Isaac responds with, "Um, yes I will Hannah! Cause you know why? I know how to snap!"

Hmmm... Should I be worried that my son see's some type of a connection between snapping and being a husband??? Where has he seen this example? Have I done something that makes him think, "My Dad should really snap at my Mom for that!"???

This sounds like the perfect opportunity to blame this on my husband! Right?!! Yeah. Let's go with that!

Here is a little example of the snapping! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Survive Summer with Kids

Every school year when the weather starts warming up, I find my self saying, "Oh I can't wait for Summer and no more school!"

And then every Summer, I quickly realize, "What was I thinking??? I had it easy!" Lol

Let's face it... You love your kids and you love spending time with them, but when kids have free time it can quickly turn into a nightmare!

Summer can be a great time to connect and have fun with your children! It can be tempting when Summer hits to want to through any kind of structure out the window! But kids that spend too much time together and without routines... This can cause you to lose your mind! Now that I've had a few summers with kids under my belt (7 to be exact) I've found a few things that are necessary to keep some order and consistency.

So here are a few things that I do to survive:
  1. Keep a bedtime - Whether it's 8pm or 12pm have a time that they have to get into bed. Not only do kids need boundaries, but most kids will stay up all night if you let them. And they will not normally make up for any sleep lost by sleeping late. Which means everyone will pay for it the next day. Your job as a parent is to set your kids up for success! Structure and lots of sleep are a good start for that.
  2. Have a bedtime routine - Again, another way to bring structure to the summer. This helps to prepare my kids for sleep. We're calming down and they know what to expect. Also, when children are acting up in the evening I can punish them by sending them "straight" to bed, which works well. Of course there are some nights that we are getting home late and everyone just gets right into bed, but this is what we strive to make happen.
  3. Limit T.V. time - Television is definitely an easy thing to fall back on when your kids are bored, fighting, making messes, etc. It's a great distraction. But it can also have many negative effects. One thing that I always notice is it seems to make the kids irritable & lazy after awhile.
  4. Do something active every day - Whether it is inside or outside, I make sure that they do something active. Kids can be creative, let them use their imaginations. If they need some help give them some ideas. Here are a few ideas I use.
  5. Have a chore routine - Every day my children do chores. They vary every day, between how many and how time consuming. I do have a schedule of what I try to get done each day and we try to stick to that. This ensures that my house doesn't get too out of control. During the summer we often find ourselves making last minute plans and leaving in a hurry. By staying on top of chores we can avoid having to spend a whole day of summer inside!
  6. Have lots of healthy snack options - My kids always eat way more in the summer. They're more active and using a lot more energy, especially when we're at the beach or pool or out at a ballgame all day. Not only do they need to eat a lot more, they need to eat healthy. Of course, we still eat cookies and things like that, but I always make sure we have other options, too. Hungry kids quickly lead to grumpy kids and meltdowns!
  7. Have a daily schedule - I use the word schedule for lack of anything better. The schedule more just outlines inside time, outside time, time with neighborhood friends, t.v. time... Things like that.

Those are my Summer Survival Tips! What are yours???

    Making your home sing Mondays

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Mom on a Mission

    Can you tell by this picture what is happening in our house lately??? I went to the library and on Monday and this is what I came home with!

    Bickering between the kids is always more of a problem in the Summer. Or at least it seems that way with everyone being home and constantly with each other. There is not a lot of time apart or alone. Plus, when you add in boredom or tired from a long day of fun... Ugh!

    Besides all those circumstances, I still have noticed that the kids seem to have gotten worse about getting along. After "studying" the situation for awhile, I see a few things that seem to contribute.
    • The kids are getting older and therefore want to make sure they are being heard as an individual.
    • Also, with getting older come a lot of opinions.
    • Hormones are starting to be a factor.
    • Patience is not a virtue in this house.
    • They do not respect their siblings as an individual.

    The last point is probably the biggest problem. When you don't respect someone it is a downward spiral. They don't value others opinions, their property, their feelings, etc. 

     I know all of this is so hard to believe when you look at these sweet faces, right??? Pshh

    So I have done a lot of praying and seeking advice. And now I'm reading. **An important side note in reading, especially about something so personal. Make sure you already have a strong foundation before you start reading. It is easy to be swayed into someone else thinking.

    I already knew that we needed 2 things: To do something that would bring unity & to create respect for each other.

    So far these books are exactly what I was looking for... I read the beginning of one that was advising the parents to stay out of it so the children could learn to get thicker skin, stick up for themselves both verbally and physically and never take sides in saying a child is wrong in their behavior toward their sibling. Hmmm... Sounds like I would be a lazy parent creating a narcissistic bully?!? No thanks! That's exactly why you need to be prepared before you find information.

    Here are a few things that I am going to try to implement:
    1. Family Meetings - probably weekly or biweekly
    2. Family Rules - write these up during the first meeting
    3. Weekly Bible Verse - pick a verse to talk about throughout the week
    4. Do at least one family activity that we are all involved in - play a game, do a project, go for a walk, etc.
    5. Create meaningful conversations during meals
    6. Try new discipline techniques - this will be the most difficult

    The one thing that I realize is that these are all things that will create a lot of work for my husband and I! But that is part of being a parent. It takes work! 

    I also know that my children will still fight despite the changes we make. But I believe that it can get better than what we have now.

    I have been telling myself that this is normal and it will work itself out. But I don't believe that's the case. I believe that we will all just grin and bare it until it's over. And that's not what I want for my home. I want better.

    I'll keep you updated on our progress! Care to share any of your own tips for stopping sibling fighting???

    Making your home sing Mondays

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Look UP

    Good news... I managed to survive my last week of school for the Summer! Woo hoo!!! No school til the Fall! Although, I can't quite say the same thing for everything else! :)

    Apparently, my relief from finishing school has carried over into other things. And by "other things" I mean everything! Yardwork, housework, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry... You name it!

    This of course is another busy week. We have something every night. I also have the added stress of my husband leaving on Saturday for a missions trip in Mexico! He will be gone for a week. So that's definitely throwing me off a bit. 

    Hopefully next week should be better. I always get a lot of cleaning done when he is gone, so I can stay occupied. We'll see how successful I am.

    I'm planning on going back to the monthly meal plan and shopping starting next week. That was much easier! Especially with the summer, I want to spend the least amount of time in the grocery store. Plus, planning ahead allows me to pick meals that are quick and easy to get on the table.

    With weeks like this it is easy to get overwhelmed with life. I'm trying to keep my eyes on what is important... Which means that right now some things will be neglected. My house won't be spotless, my kids will have to entertain themselves (*gasp), I have no meal plan... But I'm okay with everything not always being perfect.
    I know that sometimes the Proverbs 31 woman can bring on an eye roll from many. But we shouldn't be intimidated by her, we should learn from her.
    It doesn't say that she does everything without failing. It says she works her hardest! Some days everything won't get done, but we should still work at it the best we can.

    Idleness is an easy thing to fall into, especially with all the electronic "conveniences". You can sit on the phone, t.v. or computer for hours. Nothing is wrong with taking a break or using any of these things. The problem comes in when we let them distract us from what should be our real priorities.

    What is your motivation? What are you relying on? Where is your strength coming from??? Yes... Even for housework! You are being a servant and that is hard work that requires patience, strength, perseverance, etc. All things that God can perfect in you

    Look to Him! Look up!

    Shared with:
    Making your home sing Mondays

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Week #3 of Summer

    I don't have too many pictures from this past week. We were so busy, I kinda forgot! :)

    I have been trying to catch up on some of the cleaning that has been neglected and I've enlisted the help of my children. So far we have done the kitchen, downstairs bathroom, and our foyer. We've scrubbed top to bottom. The kids do most of the scrubbing, I do the organizing and purging.

    The kids have had a relatively good attitude... Dare I even say that they've enjoyed it some??? I think anytime a child can justify standing on the counters, it's deemed fun! I'm not sure how much cleaning my youngest son, Isaac did, but I'm pretty sure he did the most climbing!

    We went to the park twice this week! Once, we met my Mom and Sister for about an hour! The 2nd visit we met our church Mom's group and stayed for about 4 hours! Thankfully the weather was great and the kids had a blast! They love being free to run around and be loud!

    He finally made it to the top of the big rock!
    We also had our 1st of many celebrations for Hannah's 8th BDay! We started with shopping at Justice and then mexican for dinner! It was fun to be out with only her and my husband and spoil her for those few hours.

    Yes, that would be a lemon in her mouth!
    We also had plenty of events without pictures... A double date with great friends, we went to see another $1.00 movie, a marriage conference at our church, a pastor's wives brunch, AND baseball games & practices!

    Funny how when I look back at my week like that I wonder how I fit it all in! :)

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Meal Plan 07/02 - 07/08

    This past week has been a complete blur! Surprisingly we did pretty good sticking with the meal plan. Only 2 meals didn't happen that will be repeated this week.

    This week I only had a chance to make peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for the freezer. I attempted to make Homemade Tortillas for dinner & extra for the freezer, but that did not work! I don't know why, but they were so tough I could barely roll them out! So that was a fail! I may try again this week.

    No shopping this week! I will be running in to Harris Teeter today or tomorrow to grab a few sale items, milk, bread and fresh produce. I'll post that later.

    We had another fun and busy week of Summer! I'll post some of our activities tomorrow!

    This weeks meal plan is all about survival. I have one week of school left for the summer, which means lots of papers. We also have a birthday to celebrate! My goal will be to simply put food on the table. Nothing fancy. And using mostly items that I already have, so not a lot of shopping. Crock Pot meals are great for these type of meals.

    What's your all-time favorite go to easy meal???

    Here's the details: