About Me

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I have been married to my incredible hubby for 14 years. We have four rowdy, growing boys. I love to gather ideas from other mommies and books. My heart is to share some of these with you and encourage you in this adventure.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Proverbs' Woman: 9 Attributes

     The Proverbs Woman is found in Chapter 31 of Proverbs.  To be honest reading about her can be quite intimidating.  I am far from being a Proverbs Woman, I mean like really far.  Over the past few days I have studied her.  I looked at 7 different translations of the Bible to compose a list of some of her characteristics.

     The opposite of being a Proverbs Woman would include the following:  pointing out the husband's flaws, being critical of the husband, having a complaining spirit, not being productive, not being a good steward with money, taking care of self is not a priority, speaking whatever comes to mind, being selfish with money and concerned only with self, feeding on trash (what she looks at during the day), worrying and fretting about things instead of praying.  OUCH.  I am going to list the 9 different attributes I compiled.  My challenge for myself and for you is to prayerfully ask the Lord which ones He would have us improve on in our lives.

The Proverbs Woman:

1.  She is noble, high minded (she does not feed on trash or nothingness.)  She is trustworthy.
Her husband is able to trust her fully.

2.  She comforts her husband and encourages him.  She does him good and is not spiteful (mean or revengeful).

3.  She is a hardworker.  She doesn't complain about her work.  She takes delight in it and senses the worth of her work.  She does not eat the bread of idleness.

4.  She is wise with money.  She puts money aside for times of need.

5.  She is prepared and organized.  She gets spiritual food for her family and stays grounded in the Lord.

6.  She takes care of herself.  She does not wear "mommy clothes" all day (Steph's translation).  She girds herself with strength (spiritual, mental, and physical for her God given tasks).

7.  She is the "watchman" of the home.  She keeps an eye on everyone in her home.  When trouble or sorrow or fear comes, she prays through the night.

8.  When she speaks, her words are kind, wise, and worthwhile.

9.  She is giving.  She reaches out to the poor and needy.

     There were many areas I could have chosen to work on with the Lord's help.  Here are the 3 I have chosen to focus on over the next few weeks:

1.  I can get into a complaining mode and talk about "how hard things are" or "how tired I am".  I am going to try to cultivate a thankful heart throughout the day.
2.  I often forget the value or worth of being a "stay at home mom".  I need to remind myself daily that it is a high calling and has great value in the eyes of the Lord.
3.  I need to make physical exercise a priority. I have had sick kids for over 2 weeks and my exercise routine is non-existent.

     Please look over the list and prayerfully ask God to show you an area.  I would love to know the area or areas you are going to focus on in the weeks ahead.  Please message me and I will be faithful to pray for you!!  Love to you all.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayer Chart 4 Kids

     Do you ever find yourself being repetitive in your prayers or asking God for the same things?

I know I do.  I think we all probably do to some extent.  As a young mom, I read a book by Elizabeth George titled "A Woman After God's Own Heart".  From that book, I took away a prayer chart that I still use daily.  I will share it at the end of this blog post.

Here is the prayer chart I have posted by the boy's beds.  This one is great for ages 2-7.  You can simply print out a bear coloring sheet and have them color it.

This one is great for ages 8- teen years.  You can make a girlie one or just personalize it for your child!  Not every personality may love the idea of a prayer chart.  It is just a tool to use if they want.
Download your free printable of the chart here:

prayer chart printable

Here is more detail to prompt them in their prayers:

Mon:    My family (Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, Grandma, Grandpa, etc)
Tues:    The Lost (those who need Jesus)
Wed:    World (we pray for specific places such as Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, etc)
Thurs:  Those in Charge (teachers, pastors, president, etc)
Fri:       Friends (children in their class, etc.)
Sat:      Self (their purpose, for likeminded friends, Col 3:12, etc)
Sun:     Service Opportunities (to the poor, at school, at church, etc)

Last of all, I will share about my prayer chart.  As a mom, wife, and friend there is an overwhelming amount to pray about each day.  My goal is start my day off praying for the things listed on my chart.  Then as the day progresses I will pray for things God places on my heart. As you will see, mine is similar to the childrens.

Mon:      Mate, marriage,
Tues:      The Lost
Wed:      World
Thurs:    The boys
Fri:         Friends
Sat:        Self
Sun:       Service

Let me know your thoughts.  Pray on Mighty Warriors!!  Love to you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Disciplining/Instructing the Little Ones

     Because I am a mom of four children, the question I get asked the most is "How do you discipline your children?". So I am going to attempt to write a blog entry about how we discipline/instruct our children.

Disclaimer:  I have not arrived.  I am not the perfect mom.  The ideas I am sharing are simply the ones that work the best for our family at this moment in time. I am constantly reading books and trying to gather new ideas. Please know my heart, I would be thrilled if a handful of people take away one tip from this entry.

My Tone: When my children are misbehaving, my goal is to be a responder not a reactor.   I have to check myself and make sure I am responding with a calm and gentle voice. It is challenging to respond when they are yelling or getting louder.  If I react to their misbehavior and become harsh and stern, this does not allow for the teachable moment to take place.  I am constantly praying Col 3:12 over myself  "Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Do I ever blow it and use a stern or harsh voice?  Of course I blow it,  and when this happens I immediately ask for their forgiveness.

     There are really 2 components in our parenting techniques.  My hubby and I are on the same page when it comes to parenting so we try as a team to implement these strategies.  The key is trying to be consistent for us!  First I will share the "Consequences for Misbehavior" and then I will share our "Positive Reinforcement Chart".

Consequences for Bad Behavior:

    When the boys misbehave I send them to the bathroom so our conversation is private.  I begin by asking them what they did wrong.  I ask them these type of questions in attempt to get to their hearts:

"Were you stirring up trouble with your brother or were you promoting peace?"
"Were you being a troublemaker or a peacemaker?"
"Were you building your brother up or tearing him down with your words?"
"Were your words helpful or hurtful?"
"Were you obeying mom or disobeying mom?"

After our little discussion, the consequence is given.  I am trying to give them a "natural consequence". Some examples of this:
"Oh, you guys are fighting over legos, I guess you are done for a while."
"Oh, you are not taking turns on the trampoline very well, I guess you are done."
"Oh, you are still bouncing the basketball in the house after I asked you to stop, I guess it is mine for the day."
"Oh you are having a rough morning, I guess you need to go to bed 15 minutes early tonight or maybe even 30 minutes."
"Oh you are not being kind to your brother, I guess you need to apologize and think of something kind to do for him."

Sometimes I use the "uh-oh" jar for consequences:

"The Uh-Oh" Jar
adapted from Pinterest

Here is a list of the possible consequences for the jar:
Pick up 15 things in your room.
Pick up 10 things in the backyard.
Sweep the patio.
Take the recycling out.
Gather all of the laundry.
Write out 10 times "I will be a peacemaker."
There are also three pieces of paper marked "mercy".  This means they get a free pass.  One day my six year old was misbehaving and he drew out the paper with mercy on it.  His face lit up and his whole day totally turned around. 

The last step in instructing/discipling them is praying with them and giving them a hug.  I try to do this each time but sometimes I get in a hurry.  It is an area I am striving to do better at.

The Reinforcement/Praise Chart:
We have only been doing this for about a couple of months.  The boys have a chart taped inside of the pantry with boxes they can check off. Once the chart is complete, they can pick a prize out of the treasure box.

Here are some examples of getting an "x" on their chart:
Being kind to a brother by sharing.
Encouraging or building up a brother.
Being a helper when they were not asked.
Having a good morning routine without any behavior problems.
For the little ones, staying in their room at night without coming out after "lights out".
Doing homework without complaining.

They are not given a sticker for every time they share or are kind.  Also, they may not ask for an "x"!

Here are some treasure box ideas:
hot wheels
a dollar
a trip to starbucks for hot chocolate
a trip to get ice cream
stay up late card

    The ages of my children are 5, 7, 9, and 12.  These strategies work great for the younger three.  I am reading and exploring ideas for my 12 year old.  He still has a progression of consequences but I no longer spank him.  He also was not too thrilled about the positive reinforcment chart so he opted not to do it.  I am gathering information for the "teenager phase".  Wish me luck!

     This mommy stuff can be very challenging and exhausting at times.  It is a high calling!!  I would love to hear your parenting ideas or tips.  I am always open to new ideas.

Lastly, my very favorite parenting books:
Love and Logic
Don't Make Me Count to Three
Grace Based Parenting

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sibling Scriptures

     I am SO excited to pray these scriptures for my four boys.  I searched in the New Living Bible and the Message Bible to find these!  

Help them to love each other deeply.  1 Pet. 1:22 NL

God, help their love for one another to grow.  2 Thes. 1:3 NL

May they agree with each other, love each other, and be deep spirited friends
Phil 2:3 Msg (this is my very favorite scripture for them!!!)

God, help them to get along with each other.  Help them to be considerate of one another.  
1 Cor 1:10 Msg

Help them to be patient, kind, and forgiving, not boastful, proud, rude, or irritable.
1 Cor 13:4 NL

May they find  a common ground with each other.  1 Cor 9:22 Msg

Let their words to one another be good and helpful.  Eph 4:29 NL

Help them to be even tempered, content with second place, and quick to forgive.  Col 3:13 Msg

Remind them to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, and love.  
Col 3:12 NL

Give them the desire to be agreeable, sympathetic and not retaliate.  Help them not to use sharp tongued sarcasm.  1 Pet 3:8 Msg

May they choose not to to speak evil against one another or be critical.  James. 4:11 NL

Help them to not grumble or complain about each other.  Phil  5:9 Msg

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Kindness Jar

I'm a mommy of four energetic boys ages 6,7,10, and 12.  I love being a mom and embrace it fully.  However, some days are just hard and exhausting, especially when the boys are bickering with one another.

One morning, I was totally frustrated with the squabbling in our home.  I don't remember the specifics of that day, but I know we were rushing around trying to get ready for school, and the boys were not getting along.  In a home with several siblings, the possibilities are endless.  It could've been over the last piece of bacon, a glaring look, unkind words, first dibs on the bathroom, or determining who would get the last pair of Nike socks, etc.  What I do remember is being frustrated---with how challenging it is to create a squabble free environment.

On that particular morning as I washed the dishes at the kitchen sink, I asked God for wisdom.  That is when He gave me the idea for "The Kindness Jar".  Wow, it was a simple idea and I already had the supplies:  a mason jar and marbles.  I told the boys we would be looking for random acts of kindness throughout the week.  When we saw them being kind to one another we would place a marble in the jar.  There were 2 stipulations. 1) They could not ask for a marble. 2) They did not get a marble for every act of kindness.  Once their marbles filled the jar, they would all be rewarded. 

Here are a few ideas for rewards:
--A trip out for ice cream
--A trip out to Starbucks
--A round of miniature golf
--A visit to an indoor trampoline facility
--A family outing to Dave and Busters

While my boys, like most siblings, still argue over trivial matters, "The Kindness Jar" helped my hubby and I take note and praise the boys more often for their positive behaviors.  It also helped the boys be mindful to encourage each other and act in kindness.  The next time I have a "frustrated mommy moment" I hope I remember to ask God for wisdom and help.  
Hopefully, this will be a great parenting tool for your family.  

This is one of my favorite verses on kindness to pray over the boys and myself:

"..clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Col 3:12