Fifty Parenting Ideas You Won’t Regret:

  1. Tuck Love Notes in their lunchbox, dresser drawers and unexpected places.
  2. Tell them why you love them
  3. Worship together
  4. Be affectionate
  5. Plan a purity weekend with your tween/teen
  6. Ask them questions
  7. Ask then to grade you as a parent
  8. Break your own rules (eating in bed, playing in the mud, etc).
  9. Give them a Bible you’ve read and written notes in (next to meaningful Scripture) especially for them
  10. Go on special dates with your child(ren)
  11. Go on a family missions trip together
  12. Memorize scripture together
  13. Be intentional with holidays-bring Christ in
  14. Engage every day: connect with them on a deeper level
  15. Help them live counter-cultural
  16. Serve with your children
  17. Listen: stop what you’re doing and really listen
  18. Don’t always rush to fix their problems
  19. Be consistent (A doesn’t happen until B-parenting book)
  20. Have regular family nights
  21. Make activities matter (Don’t just fill time. Ask: why are we doing this? How does it benefit?)
  22. Spend time doing something they love -music, running, games, drawing, etc
  23. Write a Family Missions Statement together
  24. Create Family Rules for your home
  25. Look for teachable moments
  26. Read to them (100 books to read to them)
  27. Limit media (TV/video games) to a certain amount of time a day/week
  28. Love your spouse in front of them
  29. Pick your battles
  30. Teach them to be strong
  31. Create family traditions (10 new ones to start today)
  32. Teach them to pray
  33. Show them what true success looks like
  34. Ask your kids for forgiveness when you fail
  35. Stand up for them
  36. Don’t over-schedule your kids
  37. Give them down time
  38. Pray for your kids– Let them overhear you doing so
  39. Keep the TV out of their bedroom
  40. Say yes as often as you can
  41. Give them the opportunity to change a life
  42. Use Conversation Starters at dinner
  43. Create with them
  44. Give them chores (age appropriate list)
  45. Challenge them to read their Bible and reward them for doing so
  46. Catch them being good
  47. Reward kindness
  48. Have fun with them!
  49. Write in a family gratitude journal
  50. Conduct regular family meetings
  51. If you don’t accomplish any of these in a day, don’t be discouraged! Above all they need you to be there.

 

Some of My Favorite Toys are Wooden

I love Melissa and Doug brand wooden toys. They are sturdy and last forever!

There’s a big sale on this brand at Amazon today…the following toys (I happen to already be giving are all $10 today!)

I’m giving this pizza set to one of my nieces for Christmas:
Pizza Set

And this to my youngest next week on her birthday:
Birthday Party Set

My awesome neighbor, Amy (queen of wooden toys), has this. I think my hubby would like it for Christmas. Actually, I think my whole family would play with it:
Pound and Roll Tower

Today only, these toys (plus a ton more) are 50% off! What a deal!

*affiliate links

Warning: This Post Contains Bad Words

I buckled my little girl in her seat and closed the van door.

“Where we going Mommy?” she asked, as I backed out of our driveway.

“We are going to wash and vacuum our stinky van!”

She didn’t answer.

I looked in the rearview mirror at her little face deep in thought.

And then she said, “Yep, it sure smells like cr*p in here.”

Y’all. I nearly had a wreck.

“What did you say?” I said s-l-o-w-l-y.

And so she said it again.

“Honey, that is a very bad word,” I said disapprovingly.

“Which one?” she asked innocently.

I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to find out where she heard it. It’s not something we normally say. I didn’t make much progress and tried to turn it into a teachable moment.

But it was also hard not to replay the moment over and over in my mind. It made me laugh every time (secretly, of course). It was just so unexpected.

Later that day, my oldest and I were alone in the car and I told her what happened. Except I said, “Your sister said a bad word today. You will never believe what she said.”

But only the next part didn’t go like I planned.

Because my nearly 12 year old said, “Did she say @!&*#?”

WHAT?

And I nearly had my second wreck of the day.

“Um, No, she didn’t. WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT WORD?”

She nervously laughed. I joined her. Nervously.

“Mom, I go to public school. You can try and shield us from all the bad things in the world, but we are going to be exposed to things that are worldly. We know right from wrong. I’ve never said that word. It was just a guess.”

And then we both giggled. For real this time. My child is so wise and her words were true. I tend to overreact about things like “bad words.” It was good to just chill and learn from my kids.

Later that night, my little one said, “Mom, remember when I said that word today?”

I waited.

“I can’t remember what it was,” she sighed.

PRAISE GOD.

“I know! Will you tell me all the bad words you know so I can remember?”

Clearly I have my work cut out.

 

WFMW: The Breakfast That Makes You Mom of the Year

Lately, I’ve been feeling super guilty about breakfast.

Yes, you heard me right.

I’d gotten in a bad habit of handing my kids a granola bar or filling up their cereal bowl. I mean, sure, sometimes that’s an okay breakfast, but Eggo waffles were becoming the norm.

Y’all know dinner is a big deal to me.

And I decided I was missing out on a great chance to help my kids get the best start to their day via breakfast. So, for the last two weeks, Momma has brought breakfast back. It’s not fancy, but it’s hot and fresh and (mostly) healthy and all three of my kids have separately and quietly thanked me.

We’ve done bagel egg sandwiches, pancakes, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs and toast, all kinds of muffins, etc…

But by far, this breakfast has been the biggest hit (we’ve made it for dinner too!) and even changed it up a bit.

 

You can click to get specific instructions, but here’s my version: I cut a circle out of a piece of wheat bread (I used a glass cup). I sprayed the muffin tin, placed the bread in the bottom, cracked an egg over it and added salt and pepper. I didn’t have bacon the first time, so I added a mini sausage (YUM) and baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes.

Mine:

Y’all, it’s a winner!

Here’s a fun, quicker variation that my hubby came up with. Cut the hole in the bread, spray a skillet with Pam, crack an egg in the center of the bread and cook on low until the egg is done.

P.S. We sometimes do paper plates at breakfast. Baby steps.

Yummy, hot breakfast works for them, which works for me!



The Kind of Man I Married {Giveaway}

UPDATED WITH WINNERS:  Congrats to Ingrid (comment 16) and Deborah (comment 89)

He was on his way home from work.

I was stirring soup in the pot, holding the phone between neck and shoulder, stepping over my youngest and her “spy doll center” under my feet.

You know the normal mom stuff.

We were talking about nothing and everything. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t call me. Sometimes we just enjoy the silence on the other end. Sometimes the call is about connecting, not communicating. But not in a gross way. We just like each other. A lot.

He asked me to hold. And then I heard the muffled, “here you go, I have an extra bottle of water. Oh, wait. I also have a blanket in my car. Your welcome. Stay warm.”

And then he was back to me, as if nothing happened.

“What was that about?” I asked.

“Oh, nothing. I just saw a homeless person and remembered I had that blanket from the park in the trunk. I hope it okay. It’s about to get cold,” he said guiltily.

He sees a need, meets it, and then pushes it off like it was nothing.

He doesn’t give to be seen. He doesn’t tell of his generosity. He does it because that’s the kind of man I married.

We’ve been together a long time. We know each other very well.

And yet, he surprises me every day, inspires me to live for others and challenges me to do things that go unnoticed.

I’m a better woman, mother, wife because of him.

And that’s why I own enough of these for almost every day of the week. I want the world to know that I love my husband. I want people to know he rocks.

I want them to know the kind of man I married.

Today, Union28 wants you to proclaim your love for your spouse. They are giving away TWO of these cute long sleeve shirts!

  

Tell me why your hubby (or wife) rocks and what shirt you’d proudly wear!

This giveaway ends Thursday.

Help Me Create My First Photo Book!

I have always wanted to make a photo book, but the idea of sitting down and pilfering thru hundreds of photos and adding captions is something I never felt like I had time for.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. One time I tried to turn my blog into a photo book and the book was 420 pages and cost $1000.00, not to mention there were a million photos (these numbers are not at all inflated). The whole experience was completely overwhelming and discouraging. Since then I’ve sort of had a bad attitude towards photo books.

Oh, I love the way they look, all organized and personalized and coffee table-ized.  I’ve just have never had time to actually create one.

At least that’s what I thought. I’m participating in Snapfish’s “Your Creative Lens Thru LIfe” Holiday Campaign, which is basically a really great reason for me to create my first photo book. They also have a very cool new tool that helps design your book for you.


There’s a contest between the ten bloggers in the campaign.  The contest will be judged on how creative the photo books are. If my photo book is selected as the winner, I get Snapfish credit and the first 100 people who comment on this post will receive an exciting gift from Snapfish! Cool, huh?

Good thing I like pressure.

So, here’s my question: What should the theme of my book be? [My first thought was Mercy House??]

I need y’all to leave a comment with your suggestions to help me create a unique photo book…if you have a great idea, tell me about it. If you’ve made books before and have suggestions on themes or layouts, I need those too.

I can’t wait to show you what I create. You know, as soon as y’all decide for me!

 

Important: Please leave your EMAIL in your comment so there’s a contact for when WE WIN!

Yes, that’s called faith, people.

Disclosure: I am being compensated by Snapfish for my participation in the  “Your Creative Lens on Life” Holiday Campaign.