My Kids Are Funnier Than Yours

I’m not a bumper sticker kind-of-mom.

But I think I’d put the title of this post on my minivan bumper. Because I’m wild and crazy like that. And also, I have pride.
My kids put the fun in funny.
Just recently:
We were eating pizza at the Sam’s Club cafe (which is a stretch of the word cafe, since there are 4 picnic tables and a soda dispenser), when my toddler noticed two kids at another table sitting by themselves. (Yes, we eat out at Sam’s. This is often a highlight of our week: $9.54 for all five us to eat fresh, hot pizza).
So, she says in the loudest voice possible (she wasn’t shouting, the child just talks LOUD (mental note-schedule hearing test)), “Momma, where are those kid’s parents?” and she points, of course. Just in case anyone was in doubt who the said abandoned children were.
Before I could shush her or even respond, she yells her own answer:
“They are probably dead.”
It’s too bad. Sam’s was the nice restaurant on our list.
[I think she’s entered the talking about “death” phase a bit early. Ever since our pet rabbit Marshmallow died, it’s been in her vocabulary. The other night it was cold and we decided for the first time to roast marshmallows….she piped up, confused and a little afraid, “But I thought Marshmallow died???” I’ll need to remember that story for the family counselor.]
Just thinking about leaving my kids Tuesday for another country, makes me weepy—so, today, I’m pushing those thoughts away and I’m asking you to tell me something funny your kids have said!
Ready. Set. Go.

Do Hard Things

I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie.

Half Pint was my friend. I cried when Mary went blind and fell in love with Almanzo like the rest of the world.
I didn’t bat an eye watching my TV heroines sleep in a one room cabin, wear their one good “Sunday dress” to every church service, wedding and special occasion. Life was hard on the prairie, days were long, work was consistent, and distractions were few.
I know life isn’t a television show. It’s not divided into 30 minute feel-good segments, all wrapped up with a tidy moral at the end. But there are some wonderful lessons we can all learn, not only from this wholesome show, but from the period in which it was set.
It was a time in our country when children lived under great expectations. There was early childhood and then there was adulthood. Teenagers were often newly married with land and babes of their own, working under tremendous responsibility.
I don’t remember any Little House on the Prairie episodes about “Laura’s challenging tween years” or “How much allowance should Mary get for making her bed?”
Now, I’m personally thankful for modern times and certainly don’t want to go back to the ways of yore (I love the word yore, don’t you?). But in reading Do Hard Things, a book written by two teenage brothers, who have rebelled against the low expectations of today’s culture, it’s pointed out that with money, technology and a shift in work ethic, we’ve made things easy for our kids.
We don’t expect hard things from them.
Instead of expecting greatness, we do something worse, we reward our 10 year old for picking up dirty clothes off the floor and our 7 year old for cleaning his plate. I’m not pointing fingers here, we’ve done it too, but in reading this life-changing book, I realized this has to stop in our home.
My kids don’t need an allowance for being a part of the family. They don’t need a reward for putting away their own laundry (that I usually fold!) They need to be challenged to greatness, pushed away from laziness and mediocrity. Our society expects our kids to do the minimum, filling their minds with low expectations.
We need to expect them to do hard things.
They don’t have to wait until they are out of college to witness of Christ to a friend or turn a certain age to raise money for the poor. They don’t have to expect comfort and ease and be okay with the status quo. They don’t have to be like everyone else.
Doing hard things is, well, it’s hard. It’s gut-wrenchingly hard to share your marriage testimony for the world (and your neighbors) to read. It’s scary-hard to squeeze another $38 out of your budget to rescue a child from poverty. These things are hard, but they are good.
I want my children to know that not only did we expect hard things of them, we did them ourselves.
When I announced I was going to Kenya, I received a comment from a stranger. Another Mom, just trying to make her mark on the world. She and her little girl were touched by a photograph of hungry street children in Kenya gnawing on the leg bone of a cow.
Nanyus boys
They could have just felt bad, even whispered a prayer. But they did more. They have done something hard. They created a company called Mom and Me Baking, a great little cookie bakeshop that profits the hungry in Kenya. In just the first two months of business, this mom and daughter duo fed 150 African people for a week!!
Are you expecting hard things from your children? Aiding them to make a difference and fanning the flame in their young hearts? (If so, PLEASE tell me all about it in the comments!)
In a few days, I’ll be doing something out of my comfort zone (and also have I mentioned, terrifying for me?) I will be asking you to join me as I travel to Kenya.
I will push you out of your comfort zone as you read along, exposing you to uncomfortable pictures and heartbreaking stories from Africa’s largest slum, a place without electricity or running water. A place where a million people survive and put their own sewage in a plastic bag and throw it out the door. A slum that is littered with thousands of plastic bags–
I’m asking you, today, to open your heart……
to get ready to do something hard. For Him.
[This book is written for teens. But we decided not to wait to share it with our 10 and 7 year old. As we read it aloud, we did so with their age in mind and edited out a few parts.]
I’d love to hear about your choice to do something hard in your life….tell me about it in my community and you’ll be entered to win three dozen cookies from Mom and Me Baking!! (this little giveaway is happening in my Blog Frog Community, not on my blog).

Happy Birthday Swag Bucks

Y’all know I’m a big fan (BIG FAN!) of the Swag Bucks program. I’ve been amazed at how many Swag Bucks I’ve earned by simply having readers (and real life friends, family) sign up under my referral code.

Let’s just say I have enough to buy a new house.
Kidding. Just thought I’d soften the blow before I tell you that I have enough Swag Bucks to pay for Christmas 2010. Seriously.
Swag Bucks is celebrating their birthday today and the launch of Swag Bucks 3.0 and they are hoping those of you who have been holding out will join in by entering this special code: THATFAMILY
Click right here to sign up and enter the code.
The code below will be active from Feb 25th starting at 6am (PST) and will extend to Thursday March 4th at 6am. The code is case sensitive. This is only available for new registrants.
Instead of earning the normal three Swag Bucks, you’ll earn SIX.

Just like that!