Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good Parenting Books

Sorry I didn't get a blog out yesterday. Every time I sat down to write I was interrupted or had other things demanding my time, so it just never happened.

Today I wanted to ask you what are some of your favorite parenting books. I love good Christian based parenting books. I'm always looking for a good read as soon as I finish my previous one. I've read How to Be a Hero to Your Kids, Bringing Up Boys, Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, Keeping our Children's Hearts, The Duggars: 20 and Counting, Creative Correction and I'm presently reading Dare to Discipline. There are more that I've read I'm sure but these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I've recently heard of a book called Scream Free Parenting that I plan on reading next.

I love the insight I get from these books and it's not that I try to be perfect, it's just that I realize there's always room for improvement. I look for encouragement from people who have been in my shoes and done well, like the Duggar's

Of course, the number one instruction book is the Bible and I try to make sure that everything I read lines up first with scripture. If it doesn't line up with the Bible, I usually don't read it.

So, what are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Homemade Drano

Get tired of clogs in your drain? Did you know there is a cheap homemade way to help clear them? Clogged drains drive me crazy, but so the high prices of drain cleaners. So I've found a cheap homemade way to clear them. Now, I always clear all the debris that I can get to before using this but here is what you do. Take baking soda and pour some down the drain, then add vinegar. You will begin to see it bubble up. Reapply the vinegar as often as you feel you need to clear the baking soda, and there you have it. Now it may not work on your toughest clogs like the commercial brands, but I've always found it to be helpful on your everyday clogs. Plus, it never hurts to try and see how well it works for you. Between baking soda with vinegar and a good plunger I can clear most drains with no problem and I've saved myself $. Now who doesn't like that?

Now that I think about it, I think I need to work on our shower upstairs. Guess I need to go get to it. Have a blessed day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Child's Interpretation

This morning during Bible time with my pre-readers I was reading from a Bible story book. Today I was reading about Samson and Delilah. Here is the quote that I read.

"That night Samson slept with his head in her lap. He was sound asleep. The Philistines quietly cut off Samson's long hair. He began to weaken and all his strength left. Then Delilah shouted, "Wake up, Samson. The Philistines are after you."
Samson jumped up thinking, "This is like the other times. I'll shake them off. ""

When I asked the question "What did Samson do?" Matthew raised his hand. I called on him and he began to jump up and down tapping on his chin as if thinking and said,
" He jumped up and down on his bed and was thinking."

It took me a second to realize what he said and how it related to the story. Then it hit me that when I read that Samson jumped up thinking it would be like all the other times, he assumed that Samson jumped on his bed. I couldn't help but laugh at how cute he was and at his interpretation of the story. You see, he doesn't answer questions that often and he was so proud of himself today. I loved his excitement.

I love having children and seeing the world in their eyes. It keeps life interesting and keeps us from becoming too serious as adults. God was very wise when he gave us children. They really are therapeutic in so many ways for us serious adults. Enjoy your children and have fun with them, laugh with them and understand them. It really will help you enjoy life more.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sibling Bonding

I love that having a large family gives everyone the chance to learn things they may never learn in a small family. For instance, I have learned that Kaitlyn enjoys being around children. That she's nurturing and loving and very good at making them happy. Kaitlyn has learned to help with her brothers and they in turn love her for it.

Having a large family teaches children to learn to get along with all types of personalities and learn to work together and share. Some of these lessons come easier for some than others, but that's all a part of the fact that we have different personalities in our family. I love that they enjoy being around each other and playing together (most of the time), and when they get together there is a lot of laughing that takes place. In fact, just last night all the kids were sitting on the front porch having fun together and laughing. When I told them it was time to come in they were disappointed that their playtime together was over.

Kaitlyn cuddling with Joshua after
his bath before she dresses him.
I love how he seems so comfortable with her.

I look forward to hearing all the memories shared when my children are grown and come together to talk about childhood days. I'm sure there will be lots of laughter then as well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Old Fashioned Sunday

Here are some pictures from Old Fashioned Sunday. I just realized that we didn't get a picture of Kaitlyn. She was dressed like a flapper and was one of the winners in the costume contest for children's church. If someone posts one later, I'll try to post it so you can see.

Costume contest (that's me in the middle with the blue dress and straw hat)
Micah and Josiah
Boys on the train
A view from the side of the field
A view from the front
Another view from the front

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birthing Center

I have mentioned in the past how much I love having a midwife and delivering at home. Well, due to financial and insurance reasons I will not be able to deliver at home this time, but the next best thing is delivering at a free standing birthing center. I have found such a place and have my first appointment today. I am excited to be able to deliver here instead of in a hospital where I still have midwives and options such as water birth available. I can have as many people in the room when I birth as I desire, so all our children can be there, and I can eat and drink and walk and have no IV's attached.

I have delivered in a birthing center once before. Our fourth child was born in one in NC. It was a wonderful experience and opened my eyes to the wonderful world of midwives. I feel privileged that I have births with no complications and have the opportunity to deliver with midwives in environments such as birthing centers and at home.

So, as long as there are no complications with this pregnancy and no twins, I will be delivering at a birthing center this time around. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Cutting Grease

Back in May when I was staying with my sister while visiting family in NC, she told me about how to get grease out of clothing. Now I don't know about you, but it seems that every shirt I own somehow ends up with those dreaded grease spots. You know, the ones that look like wet spots but never dry. Well, since visiting with my sister I have read in a couple of other places as well that by rubbing Dawn dish detergent on the spots then washing the garment, the stain comes out. You can even do this on shirts that have old stains on them. No more ruined shirts! Yay! Try it for yourself and see, it really does work.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Church

Yesterday was Old Fashioned Sunday at our church and we had so much fun. Our family participated in the costume contest and two of our children won in children's church and I came in third place in the adult contest. Guy Penrod came and sang during the service then did a full concert outside on the Jubilee stage around 2:00. After our church service we had a huge fried chicken lunch in which everyone brought side dishes and desserts. Afterwards, we went outside and there were train rides, an inflatable bouncy room and slide, petting zoo, old fashioned cars, BBQ, and bluegrass gospel music. It was a great, fun time to fellowship with church members and our community and since we have two services it gives us a chance to get to know those who we don't see regularly.

Our church is always looking for ways to bring the community in and encourage a relationship with Christ. I love that we enjoy fellowship with each other and encourage that everyone find someone that you trust enough that when times get tough you have Christian accountability and someone to encourage you. The whole reason we do these extra activities is for relationship, fellowship and to invite our community to come be a part of God's family.

I have never known a more giving and loving group of people. Our Pastor is such a humble man that teaches the Word of God better than I have ever heard it taught. I love Knoxville Christian Center and encourage you, if you live around the Knoxville area and are looking for a place to attend, come check us out. We are located at 818 Cedar Bluff Rd., Knoxville.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Camera Fun

My kids love to get a hold of our camera and have fun with images. I try often to let them use this creativity and here is one of their pictures. As I come across more I will try to post them. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Home Security 4 Life

Our new website is up and running. Feel free to purchase any of your home security needs, life safety or cameras. Come on in and welcome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Removing Permanent Marker

This is a great tip that I know, from experience, works. If your child marks on your computer and computer screen with permanent marker you can remove it with toothpaste. Just take the toothpaste straight from the tube and apply it to the marks, then take a wet cloth and rub clean. You may need to reapply more toothpaste and wipe but it really comes off rather easily. You will also need to rinse the cloth a few times until you clear away all toothpaste residue.

I'm not sure how well it removes older markings since we found ours within a few hours of it happening, but I would definitely give it a try.

So don't fret, relax. Try toothpaste and water and save yourself $$ and save your dignity as well :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting Ready for Fall

On our first cool weekend this month our oldest son , Josiah, decided to turn our front yard into a Fall Festival. He set out water games, a fishing game, tossing games, a wagon hayride, etc. The other kids got involved and helped by setting up a scarecrow for pictures and our oldest daughter bought candy to give all the kids after a scavenger hunt she set up for them. It was a fun day for all the little kids and I loved that they were outside doing something constructive on a beautiful day. Here are just a couple of pictures from that day.
Josiah, the mastermind behind it all

Tossing game

Kaitlyn getting Joshua set up to go fishing

All the kids dressed in costumes and had
their picture taken with the scarecrow.
Here is Jonathan as Superman (his teeth are blue
because he just finished eating a blue Airhead)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Playing Together and Reading

Since we don't watch TV during the week, when the kids are done with their schoolwork it's up to them to find something constructive to do. One day when the house was pretty quiet I went to find out what the kids were doing and this is what I found.

The boys were playing Candy Land together in the Living Room
Kaitlyn was reading a craft book

I was so pleased to see them working together without arguing (yes, that happens in my house, too). Kaitlyn loves to draw and make crafts so it doesn't surprise me at all that she was reading about crafts.

I love my children dearly and I realize that time passes by way too quickly not to appreciate every moment. I love that they aren't wasting their time in front of a TV and that they find more interesting things to do. I encourage you to keep games and books within reach of your children so they can access them and let their imaginations and skills flourish.
Be blessed and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Relaxing While Homeschooling

I suppose the best piece of advice I was given when I first started homeschooling was to relax. Don't worry about trying to keep up with everyone else, especially public school kids. Every child learns on a different level, and trust me, with five kids schooling now, I can testify that all kids learn differently and on different levels.

My first child, Christiana, didn't learn hardly any alphabet her kindergarten year. I would spend a whole week on one letter doing all kinds of methods that used every sense to help her. At the beginning of each day I would ask what letter we worked on the day before and she couldn't tell me. I would get so frustrated and cry, thinking I was a horrible teacher and what was I thinking, homeschooling. It just must not be for me. But I wanted to homeschool so bad. So her first grade year, I tried again. And would you know that within the first week of school she knew every one of her ABC's. I learned that she just wasn't ready her kindergarten year for what I was trying to teach.

My other children have not had problems with kindergarten and the struggle with learning ABC's has been non-existent. However, reading has been a little different. My fourth child is now in the third grade and still struggles with reading. All the while my first grader is flying through learning to read. I've come to realize to just relax. To not put pressure on Micah and let him know that I have full confidence in his ability to learn to read. Many people don't even attempt to teach boys until they are eight (Micah's age). I don't wait that long, but I figure that he's only eight now so we will see how this year goes. So far he is doing well. He is beginning to pick up quicker than he did before and can relax and know that I trust he will do fine.

So I encourage you today, if you have a young one who is struggling, relax. Added pressure will only delay the learning process. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and not everyone can be strong in every subject. Besides, when we get to heaven, I don't think God is going to ask how we did in school. I think it will be more important what we did with His Son Jesus. Don't get me wrong, learning is important and I think we should do the best at everything we do, but sometimes our best is not an A+.

In the realm of everything, it's okay. Kids will learn, just not always at the level we expect. So be patient and relax, it's okay, really. Blessings.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Homemade Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets
Container of fabric softner
3 sponges

Rinse or clean an empty plastic ice cream container. Take fabric softner and pour into container. Fill jug with water and add to softner, do this two times, so you have 1 part softner to two parts water. Take the sponges and cut each in half. Add to the container of softner until saturated. Each time you dry a load of laundry, squeeze out a sponge and throw into dryer as you would a dryer sheet. When finished with load take dry sponge and put back in with the softner.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day

So today is Labor Day. Jim is off work and the kids get a day off of school. We are just taking it easy today and enjoying this great weather that we have been blessed with. I pray that all of you are enjoying your day and finding something fun to do with your families. Enjoy this mini vacation, it's the last one until Thanksgiving. Blessings to you all.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Baby Bump

Just thought I would post a picture of my baby bump for those of you wondering how I look. So, here it is...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Helping Hands - Mowing

I've spoken in the past about my kids helping teach their younger siblings to do things and last week was a prime example of it in action. Josiah is 12 and he enjoys mowing the yard and started last week to teach his eight year old brother to mow as well. Below are some pics of them working together. I love this and it blesses my heart to see them work together so well.
Josiah teaching Micah how to mow

Helping with the corners

Walking along beside Micah and
letting him mow on his own :)

Good job, Josiah and Micah! I'm so proud of you both.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - PB&J Anyone?

PB&J anyone? Don't ask me why he decided to do this. I thought he was past smearing his food all over his face, I guess not. Oh well, that's what baths are for :) (Ok, so this is not EXACTLY wordless...)