Attn: David Crowder Fans {Giveaway}

UPDATED WITH WINNER: Comment #245 Ashley

I’ve been listening to Christmas music.

I know. It’s too early. We just hit 60 degrees down here in South Texas and I saw a leaf turn orange. One.

But I love the David Crowder Band’s Christmas Album, Oh for Joy, because it’s a happy mix of worship, caffeine and celebrating Jesus. It’s not too Christmasy, ya know?

This is their last tour and they will be missed. I love their gospel-centered songs and I love that they made the familiar Christmas songs their own. Plus, have y’all seen David’s hair (see above nutcracker)?

My favorite is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. My little girl digs Go Tell It On the Mountain (although she prefers her version which includes a stick horse and made up words).

Today, I’m happy to offer ONE WINNER, the entire David Crowder Band CD Collection! It includes:

  • Oh for Joy
  • Church Music
  • Remedy (Club Tour Edition)
  • A Collision
  • B Collision
  • Sunsets & Sushi
  • Can You Hear Us?
Just take a listen. Leave a comment. And you’re entered!
This giveaway ends Thursday.

Real Life Parenting Tips

I wanted to title this post How to Go From Good Parenting to Great Parenting. But it’s hard to write about great parenting, when you’ve had one of those weeks.

Of course, my next title might have been: Objects in Picture Aren’t As Happy as They Appear. (Because driving to family pictures creates the perfect storm, dontchaknow?)

Ahem.

So, I thought it might be better to just be real and share some tips that are working for us . It’s something I do best, share my junk, the good and the bad.

[My kids are at that age where I want to protect their privacy, so I’m going to keep their struggles private for now, but still share what I’m learning]

On Sibling Rivalry:

I told my hubby the other night of my two oldest, I never argued like them. He said, Remember you told me fighting drove your parents crazy? Me: Oh yeah, my twin and I would fight in the closet–very quietly. Do you know how hard it is to quietly beat each other up?

Your Kids Will Not Get Along 100% of the Time- Do you? My hubby and I don’t yell and scream at each other, but we do argue sometimes. It’s actually pretty  healthy for us to get something settled, or find out how we both feel about it. Occasionally, we agree-to-disagree on stuff. It’s called living together and we can’t expect less from our kids. When my kids are really arguing, I let them, as long as they are being respectful, keeping their hands to themselves without bullying or intimidating. I want them to learn to give in and to stand firm. It’s a dance for all of us, but in the end, we want to be better because we’ve worked something out that needed to be dealt with.

When Your Child Crosses the Line-It will happen, especially with older, stronger siblings. Finding a way to positively correct is challenging. We don’t always get this right. We are still learning as and as our children get older, it changes. But we won’t allow bullying in our home.  A few weeks ago, I sat down with one of my children and explained that they were intimidating their sibling. I asked for them to write an apology letter. This could have gone either way, but I was moved by the letter from one of my kids to the other. I’ve seen a heartfelt change in both since.

 

On Discipline:

Some things that have worked for us:

  • Writing sentences, writing Scripture —these are not appropriate punishments for kids who LOVE to write. (Yes, learned this the hard way)
  • Reward charts- stickers for positive attitudes, helpful behavior, great school conduct, chores, etc
  • B doesn’t happen before A- We got this from the book Have a New Kid by Friday. It’s awesome. If A is “clean your room” and B is “go play with a friend” B does not happen until A happens. It gives your child the responsibility of doing what you asked them to do. This is not easy because they might whine, cry and throw a fit about B. Just FYI
  • Chore jar is our newest one (thanks, Karen!)- if there’s a bad attitude or an ugly remark, my kids go get a chore and have to complete it immediately. It’s great because this helps me not to engage  and turn a sassy remark into a battle.

On Responsibility:

I think every child over 1 should have age-appropriate responsibilities, whether it’s picking up toys that were played with or doing your own laundry.

  • Don’t make their room a battleground. I’m type A, this is one of the areas I’m most challenged in. My hubby helps me (not have heart palpitations) by checking for me and pointing out areas that need work to my kids. We’ve recently started a weekly check (instead of whenever we walk upstairs). We just felt like our kids needed more freedom in this area and if they want to spend one whole day cleaning up their room to get it back in shape, that’s up to them.
  • Don’t do everything for them-My kids share the heavy load of laundry (get it?) Each weekend, they help wash, fold, dry, hang up the laundry they wore during the week. They also make their own lunches for school each day.
  • Don’t constantly bail them out-When my oldest lost her retainer (again), we asked her to explain it to the Orthodontist. And although we knew she wasn’t in a position to pay, we asked her to make our bed for eternity or until it’s payed for.
Bottom line, there are no perfect families because they are made up of imperfect people. Don’t beat yourself over the head. Learn from your mistakes and be the best parent you can be. Plus, prayer goes a a long way!
Tell me your real-life parenting tips. I could use some!
* family photos by Suzanne Box Photography

Fall{ing} For the Perfect Treat

I fell in love with chocolate peanut butter acorn cookies on Pinterest.

 

This is my kind of baking:

Buy three ingredients, use the microwave instead of the oven and assemble.

It’s so easy, a child could make these (and my daughters pretty much did).

Take half the bag of mini chocolate chips and melt them (10 seconds at time, stirring). Chocolate glue is the best!

Apply a bit of chocolate glue to the bottom of the Hershey’s kiss and attach it to the Nutterbutter. After it dries, attach the acorn top (mini choco chip).

Share with friends! [like awesome neighbors who constantly bring you goodies-looking at you Bridget]

We were going to take some to other people, but we ate them all. Turns out we aren’t that nice.


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Be A Courageous Parent

I took my oldest daughter to see Courageous, the new {Christian} movie about Biblical fatherhood.

I cried the ugly in the middle of the sold-out theater.

My daughter and I shared popcorn, a coke, and much more. We held hands.

She declared it the best movie she’d ever seen.

The next day, my husband took our 9 year old son on the same date, except they communed over Grape Fanta.

I don’t have verification of real-life man tears, but I saw the lump in his throat, hours after the movie ended.

On the drive home, my hubby asked his only son to give him a parenting grade. (Something I don’t think I’m courageous enough to do).

He stepped out to pump gas and when he opened the car door, my son said, “Well, Dad. I have good news. You passed.”

And then my hubby started worrying.

“I’m going to give you a B-”

And then they talked. Really talked. I think it’s too beautiful to share, too private to disclose, but when they returned, we sat down as a family and talked about the one thing my son pointed out– the one thing we could really work on. It was something he felt like all five us struggle with. He was absolutely right.

I was proud of his courage to tell us. Even more proud of my husband to ask.

We sat around the sofa and joined hands and we each asked God out loud to help make us more like Him.

It was one of those moments I will never forget.

Whether or not you watch the movie, I dare you to ask your kids for a grade. It might just begin a beautiful conversation…

If you’re feeling courageous.

——————————–

did you see the movie? you must. that part where the dad dances in the field by himself….. I think I even hiccuped-cried.

WFMW: An Awesome Tradition

I’m not a foodie. You know one of those people who’s really amazing in the kitchen. I get the job done and every once in awhile, I wow myself.

So, even though I wouldn’t consider this “my gift” I find that I’m taking a dessert or fixing a meal for someone on a regular basis. And sometimes it’s take-out (don’t judge me). Because we all know free food you don’t have to prepare is good food. Can I get an Amen?

My dear and amazing friend, Meg, shared a most-wonderful African tradition with me. [Her family of four are in the middle of adopting an older sibling group from Ethiopia. Her two kids just happen to be very close friends to my older kids and our hubbies are great friends. We just LOVE them ].

Back to the tradition. It goes something like this: I shared a dish with Meg when she had surgery this summer. She returned my platter filled with fruit for my family.

I was having a bad week a few weeks ago, she sent over a delicious salad. I returned her glass bowl filled with strawberry shortcake.

Tip: Return plates, dishes, bowls to friends and family filled with delicious food! And if you don’t currently have a dish loaned out, then maybe you should whip something up and take it someone sick or in need of cheering up.

It works for me!