The Life of a Mom: I Say the Same Sentences, Every. Single. Day. (Really)

Sometimes I swear my life is straight from the Groundhog Day movie.

  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it.  But let’s be for real, we literally do the things, in the same order, every single day. 

  And what is worse?

I say the same sentences EVERY DAY!

Sweetie, did you make your bed?

Nicely?

If I go in there, am I going to find you are telling the truth?

What about your jammies? Are they on the hook?

Did you brush your teeth?

Where are your socks?

Whose turn is it to unload the dishwasher?

Why are you still in just your underwear?

Who is going to help Mommy do chicken chores?

Who left all their bedtime stuff in front of the fireplace?

Who left on all the bedroom lights?

Why is there toothpaste ALL OVER THE SINK AGAIN!?!?!??!?!  I just cleaned this bathroom yesterday!

  That is just morning, how about Clean up Time before lunch is served:

Did you put the toys away?

Should I go check?

How about the Play Closet?  And your room?

You know I charge 10 cents for every item left out, right?

That’s what I thought, go try again.

Have you gone potty lately? Quit honking your pee pee.

Paxton, there are no monsters in the bathroom.  You don’t need the light on, there is a window!

Avery, why did you change into dress up clothes? It’s LUNCH TIME and I sent you in to clean, not play!

We don’t eat lunch in Princess clothes, they get too dirty.

No, we are NOT having PB&J’s for the 4th time this week.  We are having {Insert leftover name}!

What? You loved it the other night!?!

Sorry darlin’, you are going to eat it, and you are going to LIKE IT.

And let’s not forget Supper time:

Why are you under the table?

If you weren’t messing around, your water wouldn’t have spilled.  AGAIN.

Don’t talk with your mouth full, please!

Avery, we are almost done and you haven’t taken one bite!

Who is feeding Sophie their scraps? Stop it, I don’t want to clean up dog barf later.

It is Tylan’s turn to talk, he listened nicely as you shared your Good, Bad & Blessing of the day, so please show him the same respect.

Uh, did you guys ask to be excused?

What do you say to Mommy for supper?

Have you cleared your spot?

Did you get the dish rag and wipe it down?

Was the rag WET even?

Why is your chair still out? Push it in!

Don’t set your dishes next to the sink, rinse them and load the dishwasher!!!!

  Please people, this is not a difficult task…..AND IT NEVER CHANGES!!!!!!!!

So sometimes, I lose it.

I do.

Simply because I am tired of having to ask!  I holler, “GET BACK OUT HERE, PLEASE!!!!”  Plop down the rag on the table, and huff and puff in exasperation, as I wait for them to try, try again.

Well, one particular day I had an epiphany at the end of lunch…..

I could holler for the two littles to get back into the kitchen, and clear their spot, wipe it and rinse their dishes, PLEASE!!!!

OR

I could make this a fun learning time and possibly come up with a chart or rhyme, SOMETHING to help them remember what steps to take once they have been excuse.

God hears and answers a Mother’s “I-Am-Going-To-Lose-It-If-You-Don’t-Help-Me!” Prayers, because in the next millisecond, this little sing-song is what popped into my mind:

“Clear your spot and wipe it down,
Or Mom’s smile will be a frown!
Load the dishwasher, push in your chair,
Or Mom will have to pull out her Hairrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!”

You have to drag that R good and proper, oh and act it out, of course!  They came running, and they came smiling and giggling.

It was in that moment I remembered that I was to teach and instruct them, but I was also to show them love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness….you get the picture.   

  Instead of saying the same sentences AGAIN, I had the opportunity to make life fun.  To smile and giggle instead of roll my eyes and sigh.

  Here is a video of the kids saying the rhyme. 

  Haha, catchy right!?  They grin every time, and quickly set to work to do their tasks. The big kids, too! 

Sooooo, does anyone have a rhyme for toothpaste in the sink?

Cause ya’ll, that is just NASTY!

Hugs, T

Word of the Year 2014: Balance

   I had not ever had a “Word of the Year” before, when the Lord spoke to me RESTORATION in 2013, then followed it up with a million and one “God Moments”. 

Click on the word Restoration above, when I re read it, it gave me tears and chills. 

  Our Father in Heaven is so incredible to speak to us in such tangible ways.  I was asking Him in to Restore what the locusts had eaten at my house and in my marriage in 2012.  I was asking Him to restore my joy, to heal my heart.

He did.

He still is.

I feel my Word of the Year for 2014 is BALANCE.  As the Lord has blessed our home in various areas, we have gotten busy.

And you know what I think about busy:
Burdened
Under
Satan’s
Yoke

So my commitment to 2014 is to filter everything through Christ Jesus and His word, and His desire to be Number ONE in my life.  To stop and PRAY about each commitment before it goes on the calendar.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

My second commitment is to put my husband and his needs next, followed by my precious children.  This means that I will not always be staying up late at night to create a blog post for you all.  This is tough for me to say and do, because I am a pleaser and by nature want to do my best, both feet in.  I have worked hard to have blogs set into January, ready to go, because I worked ahead knowing the Holidays were going to be crazy.

But here is the deal….

No one made me blog 5 days a week for the past 3 1/2 years, but I have done it: driven by my need to give it my all.

I am plain burned out, and I think I need to admit that to you and to me.   So, sometimes if you come and there is no post, just know I am choosing to snuggle up with Dale on the couch, make a t-shirt scarf, play a game with the kids, or just read a book for fun.  

  I also am going to have to find BALANCE in my Photography business as it grows.  I want to limit myself to 2 appts. a week, no appointments wedding weekends, and once again put into place, a waiting list for any appointments beyond my set limit. 

  The pleaser in me wants to fit everyone in anytime they ask, but in putting my life back into its proper order, it will just not be possible. I know God will bless this commitment, even if it means some people chose another photographer.  I am ready to be ok with that.  I release it.

  I also want to be careful not to over do next October-November.  We call this the Christmas Card RUSH.  I was working all morning, all nap time, AND staying up until 2 in the morning trying to get sessions done because there were simply not enough daylight hours.

Paxton got to the point where when I was heading outside he would ask, “You leaving a long time mommy?  You got lots of photo shessions today, Mommy or just one?”

The others would ask, “Mommy, can I watch you edit so I can be with you?”

Yikes.

Time, no matter how much I beg, does NOT multiply.

For years I kept asking God to multiply my “Pie”, my time allotted each and every day.

A slice to hubby, a slice to kids, a slice to cooking, a slice to Facebook, a slice to blog, a slice to edit, a slice to a hurting friend, a slice to quiet time….wait, there are only crumbs left well before my list is done!

My family is my world, and I want to show them that by giving them my biggest, best piece of pie, not the crumbs.  They are starving for me!

I want to seek them out while they are still seeking me back.  Avery goes to school next year, these moments of me being a stay at home mom are passing quickly through the hour-glass, and I can’t help but feel jealous of the time I give other places.

Another area I want to apply Balance to, is natural healing and home treatment for illnesses.  There are so many wonderful natural ways to help the body heal, I want to learn more!!!!  

I have home remedies from the kitchen cupboards and utilize herbal supplements, homeopathics, and Natural Remedies, a lot.

This year in an effort to find balance, I want to replace the money spent on herbal supplements with essential oils.  I am a long time Young Living oil user, but am excited to say I have branched out and tried doTERRA as well.  I have been blown away by the results we are already seeing in our home this week!  We used DigestZEN twice for owie, sick tummies, gone in 25 minutes and Lemon for Paxton’s drippy nose, gone the next day.

Eeek!  I could go on, but I will wait and make another blog for another day as I learn more.  I am excited to study these new essential oils and share with you!!!!

  So, can you commit with me to find BALANCE in 2014?

Anytime you add something, it means another area must give up!
Seems simple enough, but it was news to me!!!!!

finding balance

  Can we commit to limit busyness, so we can have family time around the table each evening, curl up with our spouse on the couch after a long day, read a book, or knit a scarf?

 Commit to communing with God, no longer rushing from thing to thing, wondering where the time goes?

I want to find Balance in 2014.

My battle is not against the people who ask me for my time, but against the devil himself….

1 Peter 5:8 (AMP), it says:

“Be well-balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

“Do you ever feel your life is out of control—out of balance? As a child of God, we must take time from our busyness to set our priorities in order. Life is a gift and should be lived well.
We all have emergencies where we burn the candle at both ends, but this should not be the norm or soon there will be no candle left to burn.
That candle is the spirit within us that inspires us and propels us into forward motion.

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness”(Psalm 18:28).

The darkness refers to our confusion, hesitation, frustration, or anything that would put out the light within us, as life has been known to do. Finding balance in life applies to all age groups, as the principles remain the same. It is essential to keep the most important things on the top of the list and to allow proper time for these things so one does not burn out, become frazzled or haggard.”

Source

More about Christian women finding balance here: http://christianity.about.com/od/womensresources/a/KW-Work-life-Balance.htm

May God bless you with a fresh start and a fresh perspective on your “Pie” of time each day in 2014….

Let’s keep each other accountable!

Hugs, T

Something NEW At The 4 little Ferguson’s Blog

There is something new here at the 4 little Ferguson’s blog!  Introducing……..

A new “Big Picture Parenting” Page!

I had a reader write over the weekend, requesting that some of the parenting posts be linked up for easier finding.  Well, DUH! Why didn’t I think of that?!?!?!

Soooo, I am excited to announce a new page is going live today.  Parenting tips and tricks, all in one convenient location! {top row of tabs, by About Us & Surviving Infidelity}

No more long searches and scrolling pages….

Raising kids God’s way in today’s World is challenge enough on its own, it is my hope that this page can be a source of encouragement for you!

Now please, go check it out maybe you’ll find something there you haven’t read yet!  :)

~T

“Planting” Purity

  I had a 4 little Ferguson’s reader ask me a really great question yesterday, after the Drama post went live.

Tonya,
Today’s post made me start thinking about how to instill standards of purity in my daughter.
Obviously, based on Destiny’s ability to identify inappropriate content in a book, you have been able to address some of the issues of purity.
Would you be open to writing a post of what teaching purity looks like in your home, how you address it, etc?
Thanks!

Great question!

  I felt prompted to share our stance on teaching Physical Purity earlier this month, in the Train Up A Child post. 

The Bible says, If we train up our children in the way they should go, they will not depart from it when they are older.{Proverbs 22:6}……it means I am Intentional in my parenting.  That I am always on the look out for those teachable moments. That I do my part to teach my children the value of hard work, daily duties and prayerful hearts.  That I am to speak and pray those blessings over my children just as the Fathers in the Bible spoke blessings over theirs, blessings that came to fruition.”

  I don’t think Purity is taught like a school lesson.  Although it sure wouldn’t hurt to sit down as a family and discuss what Purity is going to look like at your house.

  I think it is LIVED. 

  I think purity is in our actions, learned by our children watching us as we face the World, situation by situation. 

  It means we pepper our conversations with it, DAILY, moment by moment.

~When you shut off a movie, because it used bad language, you are teaching purity of the mind.

~When you see kissing on an otherwise clean movie and you say, “UH OH! Nooooo kissing until you are married.”  You are teaching purity of the heart and body in a few short sentences.

~ When you see a scantily clad Barbie doll in the toy aisle, you can choose the one in a full ball gown instead, “Honey, this one is dressed more appropriately.  We need to save our bodies for our husbands eyes only.”  Teaching purity in the moment.

~ When your child wants to talk about “someday” with you, use it as a teachable moment.  Tylan said, “Mom, someday I am going to get to go to a friend’s house and stay overnight?”  I replied, “Yes, Ty. But first, I want to make sure you are ready for what you might face. Your friends might want you to watch a bad movie, or look at a magazine that is not appropriate, or even try to show you naked girls on his phone.  If that happens, I want you to be ready to look away quickly, leave the room and call me for a ride home.”  “Oh ok, mom. I don’t ever want to look at that bad stuff. King David did that once……” 

Purity planting in a 6-year-old.

  On another note, ever since we had that talk with Ty at bedtime, Avery has added to her “Future Husband” prayers, that he would NOT look at his friend’s phone or bad naked pictures of girls. 

  I was Purity Seed Planting in Ty, and guess what?  4-year-old Avery’s seed took root, too.

You all, THEY ARE LISTENING TO EVERYTHING!  Make every single moment count! 

Whether we are teaching purity of the mind, “We don’t read books like that….”

Or by listening to only Christian radio or Adventures in Odyssey in the car.  We don’t want them to fill their minds with the sexual words of pop music and think its acceptable.

During Family Movie Night:

 “We are shutting this movie off now! We never use the Lord’s name in vain. It breaks His heart…..”

Or if it’s a movie you can keep watching together, then use those teachable moments: 

“Did you hear that child sass her mom?  We NEVER talk to our parents that way, do we!”

Or purity of the heart:

 “Dating that many girls only makes your heart full of holes, like Swiss Cheese.  It’s best to just be friends until the Lord shows you otherwise.”

Or purity of the body:

 “That lady IS so pretty in her dress, but see how low it scoops? When you have a dress like that, we will make sure you wear a pretty lace tank top underneath it to cover up more.”

  Once you make it a point to use any and every chance for teachable moments, you will be surprised how often they come!

  Limiting your child’s exposure to media and commercials will also help their “Radar” to be strong.  The more we expose our kids to the worlds idea of behavior and dress, the more “acceptable” it becomes in their young minds.

  Even adults are affected!  Case in point:

  I watched Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 and 2, and like a frog placed in water slowly heated, won’t jump out, I didn’t even realize how bad things were getting.  I loved the show so much, I was willing to overlook some of the inappropriate scenes I was beginning to see on a more regular basis.

  Season 3 started and I couldn’t watch it due to a conflict on Thursday nights.  When I did tune in, late in the season, I was MORTIFIED at how trashy it had gotten. I haven’t watched since.

  How did I miss it?  Did the show change, or did I?

  Somewhere along the way, the show became less medical drama, and more character drama. My radar was dulled.  The clanging bells were muffled, as I slowly became acclimated to the filth being presented there.  It took me not watching to “reset” my radar, and I was mortified when I returned to the show.

  I now choose not to watch TV in the evenings.  My time can be better spent editing, blogging or working around the house.  I enjoy the occasional Undercover Boss episode, or the other night, Dale was watching America’s Got Talent after the kiddos were down, and the singer caught my attention from the other room.  But, between my disgust in the commercials {which we don’t allow our kids to watch on the rare occasion they watch something other than PBS!} and the lack of anything good on, it’s easier for me to not watch at all.  And to teach them the same.

  They aren’t even allowed to watch “The Funny Show” {America’s Funniest Home Videos} anymore, due to the sexual jokes and harsh language from the host.

  “Planting Purity” starts with us as parents, setting the example; i/e tilling fertile soil.  This is followed by seed planting during daily, Teachable Moments.  Careful weeding will keep filth out of the garden of your child’s life and mind, and watering with the Word of God daily, will keep harvest plentiful.

In Matthew 7:16, it says you will be known by your fruits.  “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

    The “fruit” of Destiny’s harvest showed yesterday.  I didn’t know if I was doing my job helping to plant the right kinds of seeds, or if I had watered enough with God’s Word. 

apples

  But in these moments, in these situations that make us infuriated at the World we live in, we see our hard work pay off and a bountiful harvest to be thankful for.

~T

 

 

Drama

  This book looks colorful, light hearted and cute.

It is anything but. 

Scan_Pic0009   

  Sweet Destiny came to me and told me she stopped reading this comic-style library book because it was too inappropriate. 

  When I asked what she meant, she told me that there was some kissing and a scene where the boy announces he is gay.  She said she knew it wasn’t one she should read anymore.

  I told her she did the right thing, and after she went to bed, skimmed the rest of the book myself.  This comic style chapter book included several making out scenes with sound effects, the previously mentioned: “I like boys, hey I am gay” scene, followed by boy on boy kissing on the stage of a play, and then to top it all off, a red-cheeked “Where have you been for 2 hours?” walking in on them scene…..

  YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

And this is a Scholastic book?  And in the children’s paperback section?

  I  know, that not all of you reading, will understand my take on this.   You will scorn me for trying to shelter my child too much.  Or tell me I am disrespecting the differences in sexual orientation.

  Listen up, my job as a Christian, is to raise my children via The Bible, God’s instruction book for us.  It is my job then, to be diligent in protecting my children from this World.

To teach them to be IN the world, yet not of it. 

  That is why we don’t have cable.  That is why we don’t watch regular evening tv shows with inappropriate commercials. I do NOT want them to become so used to our loud, buy it, need it, got to have it, politically correct or incorrect, sex sells everything World. 

  If I become lax on this, then it becomes a part of who they are, hard wired into them as “normal” everyday life.  Your kids ARE their environment.  It can’t be toxic!!!!!!  

  Satan is a sneak, even colorful cutesie paperbacks from your small town library, are not to be assumed safe anymore. I am saddened that this is occurring, and I will be returning this one to the library personally, so I can speak to the librarian about this book being in the children’s section.

  I can teach my children to respect peoples differences, to hate the sin, but love the sinner, without allowing them to absorb that lifestyle in movies, reading etc. I know they will be exposed to this world we live in eventually.  And that is a conversation I’d rather have with them on my own time, limiting their exposure to it, lest they began to believe that making out, gay lifestyle, or even the extreme violence that is showcased everywhere, is tolerated.

  And yes to me, the making out in that book bothered me as much as the gay agenda. We are trying to teach purity of heart, mind and body…this book promoted none of these things.

  I know that I cannot pre-read all 30-50 of Destiny’s library chapter books that I help her select, its just not feasible to do this every 3 weeks on library day. 

  I think the fact that she still knew what to do, shows that you can teach your child what to expect from the World we live in by peppering it in all your daily conversations, give instruction on the action you’d like them to take when they come across something they feel is wrong, i/e a racy picture, bad words, inappropriate actions, and come out positive in the end.

   Our job is to equip our children for this World they reside in, and right now, that is done by setting boundaries and expectations for what COULD come their way.  As much as I want to, I cannot hide them in a bubble.  But I can make sure they are growing up in a safe, open and honest, God filled life while they are here at home with me.

  So, what is your take on this as a parent?  

~T

 

Train Up A Child…..

  The Bible says, If we train up our children in the way they should go, they will not depart from it when they are older.
{Proverbs 22:6}

4 little Fergusons

  So, what does this look like?  “Train up a child”

  Well, I think it means I am Intentional in my parenting.  That I am always on the look out for those teachable moments. That I do my part to teach my children the value of hard work, daily duties and prayerful hearts.  That I am to speak and pray those blessings over my children just as the Fathers in the Bible spoke blessings over theirs, blessings that came to fruitition.

   One area I have been struggling with lately, is praying for their future spouse.  I have diligently been doing this since each child is born, diligently like EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Purity is a big, big deal to me, something I held dear to my heart in my growing up years.  Something I knew I wanted for my children.  Something I wish Dale would’ve chosen differently on.  We represent both sides, saving and not saving.  Our kids will have the opportunity to hear of the long term heartache that comes from sex outside of marriage.

  My prayers of 9 years have been this:

  First, for my child to be a Godly man or Proverbs 31 wife, then for them to save themselves for marriage, by hanging on to their purity for the treasure it is.  To save all the pieces of their heart for their ONE true love.  To allow the Lord to bring them that person when the time is right, when they are both ready.  To choose to court instead of date.  To allow the Lord to script them a beautiful love story.

bride to be

  In the past 2 years of Surviving Infidelity, I have learned purity will not save my children from heartache.  It won’t. It’s not a guarantee.  The reward doesn’t necessarily look like I thought it would.  And as I learn more and more about the hold porn has on our men, and our teen and preteen boys, I have lost heart.  So instead of praying about it, I was mourning the odds of my children finding pure spouses.  If 1 out of 3 teens look and 4 out of 5 men in your church pew look, then its a lost cause.  Right?

  Then the Lord reminded me of John 14:14 “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

  This doesn’t mean He is a genie in a bottle, grant me my 3 wishes!  It means that when I pray something I KNOW He backs with scripture, that I need to believe it will happen, and it will.

  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”
Mark 11:23

  I am asking the Lord to, somewhere out in the world, raise up a little boy, or a little girl, ready to marry my children.  Being raised in a home that speaks blessings, and prays diligently for their children’s purity, for my children as their children’s future spouses.  A family that is aware of satan lurking on the internet, billboards and scantly clad women/men on tv.  I am asking they be raised in a family that is real about this trap of porn, that talks regularly about the importance of pure eyes in the world we live in today.

  Tylan is in Kindergarten.  He just turned 6, do you know that he prays for his wife already?  Did you know that he asks me what he should do if his friends show him pictures that are bad?  You may think that is too young, but I am glad.  It will be hard wired in him to look away, leave the room, call me for a ride.  It doesn’t mean he won’t fall or fail at times, but it means that even from a young age, those thoughts of purity are taking root.

Did you know, that Avery asks me if that Barbie’s outfit is “inapwopiate” in the store toy aisle because she is wearing a skimpy mini skirt and tummy showing halter top?  Instead of telling her not to worry about it, we talk about modesty, and covering tummies and breasts. Saving our bodies for our husband. I don’t think she is too young to know the truth about this.

  Parents, your children are listening to you, your prayers at bedtime need to MEAN something.  Not just thank you for this day, please help Johnny to have good dreams and no bad dreams. Amen.  

  No, think of it as seed planting, carefully tended each night, until you will watch it sprout and grow. Someday, your child will parrot those same prayers for themselves, then walk it out in their lives.

  Do not lose heart, for I have overcome the world.  {from John 16:33}

Praise you Jesus,

~T

Need help knowing how to pray over your kids? 

I suggest this book:  While They Are Sleeping: 12 Character Traits to Pray for the Children You Love

    I have used this for almost 10 years and my copy is falling to pieces, but it covers areas from purity to leadership, kindness to humility, courage & contentment.  Each topic includes several days worth of prayers to read out loud and 2 verses to back it.   You could read it with your spouse as part of your devotions, or include it in your child’s bedtime routine, so they hear you pray over them, these qualities.

 

 

Playing Trash: A Fun Kids Card Game

  We have a new Kids Game at our house that we LOOOOVE to play! Aunt Kasey taught it to the kids and we’ve been playing it ever since.  It’s fun to watch Ty and Avery, 6 and 4, playing it and having fun during quiet time!  This game is great to teach them counting, as the cards are placed in numerical order each round!!!!

Avery and I were both not feeling well one weekend, so we played while we rested, and she totally kicked my booty!  It reminded me I wanted to teach it to you! 

IMG_5578

I am going to try my best to explain it with some help from this site……

Playing Trash

2 players use 1 deck of playing cards

3 players or more use 2 decks of playing cards

Leave all cards in deck:
A-10 are in play
Kings and Jokers are Wild Cards

1) Dealing:

  Shuffle, then deal each player 10 cards face down, no looking!

Like this:

IMG_5671

The remaining deck is placed in the middle.

IMG_5672

  The point of the game is to line up your cards from Ace through 10 before you opponents do.

2) Playing:

  The first player draws a card from the center deck.  If it’s an Ace through a 10, place that card in its correct location.  For all remaining turns, each player chooses from the deck or the discard pile.

Example: In this photo, I drew a 2, so I am flipping up the card in the 2 position…..

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Whatever card you flip, may also be played!  I just flipped a 3 that I can use as well in the 3 position… IMG_5582

Wild Cards, King & Joker, may be played anywhere in your hand at any time.

IMG_5585

  You keep flipping cards like this until you get a number you cannot use, then discard and your turn is over.

Example: Under the 3 position was an 8 I didn’t need because it was already filled with a flipped 8, so I discarded it and my turn was over. 

  Avery could choose to grab the 8 from the discard pile, OR draw a fresh card from the stack.

IMG_5583

  If you draw a card that can replace one of your Wild Cards, do so and use the Wild Card again in another spot!

Example:  Here I drew a 5 from the draw pile  It can replace my Wild Card King, and he will go down on 8’s position.  Because of this, I will have finished this round successfully.

IMG_5675

3) Winning A Round:

When a player has assembled all cards Ace through 10 in front of him, he wins that Round.

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Remember, you can win with Wild Cards in place too! Like this:

IMG_5674

Remember, Wilds are Joker and King!

IMG_5677

After the Round winner flips his last card, each player has ONE last chance to draw a card and use it.  They may also flip over all remaining cards, per the chance that they actually can use those cards and finish their Ace-10, Wild cards and all.
{Sometimes it really does happen!}

4)  Round 2 & Winning the Whole Game: 

The deck is reshuffled and dealt again, only now, ALL of the previous round winners who completed Ace through 10, only get NINE cards.  They will spend the next round assembling Ace through Nine. 

  If you didn’t win the round, you once again have to try to do Ace through 10 until you complete it.

  This continues Ace-8, Ace-7, Ace-6 on and on, until one player gets down to one card in front of him and draws an Ace. That player wins the entire game!

Have fun, it’s such a great game to play with your kids! And such a nice change from Candyland or Shoots & Ladders….

Just sayin!  :)

~T

Cards

 

Cleaning House {with LOTS of Help}

  I was just thinking a few Saturdays ago, as I cleaned house with 4 REALLY great helpers, how difficult it was.  I also thought how much easier it would be for me to do the cleaning while they were all at school, allllllll by myself.  It would be faster, and sometimes, when I know we have a busy weekend, I will do just that. 

HOWEVER, 99 times out of 100, we do it…..  

ALLLLL of us.

  Do you know how hard it is, to find jobs for 4 really great helpers?

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It’s all I can do sometimes to keep everyone going, but we do it faithfully.  Know why?

  Because as the mom, it is my job to bring up my children to know how to work.  To feel the sense of accomplishment for a job well done.  To create a daily habit of bed making, room tiding, to make a habit of weekly cleaning.
To teach them how to vacuum correctly, wash windows, dust and mop.  Even scrub toilets.

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If I don’t take the time to train them, who will?

  I like Big Picture Parenting. Or Intentional Parenting.  I spend a lot of my time thinking ahead of how such and such will affect my children in the future. That is why I stand by my conviction, that my children age 2-9, can absolutely carry part of the load of household chores. 

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  Most of the time, they love to help!  And, sometimes we even FIGHT over whose turn it is to vacuum. 

And if we aren’t careful, someone gets his toe pinched when he tries to release the vacuum tab all by himself.  Hmm, guess that’s why Mommy said WAIT?

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Other chores we do together:

Laundry

Sorting and starting loads. Folding and Putting away.

Sometimes its just the little 2, sometimes they are all home.  Whoever is home, is the helper.

Laundry collage

  When the laundry is sorted, they can go play.  Once I have finished all the loads, folded and placed the items neatly in each persons basket, the children then come to help sort and fold socks.  Then EVERYONE helps put their own basket of clothes away.  Eventually, I will make them help fold clothes too, but for now, this works.

Daily Chores include:

Unloading the Dishwasher

{this is for whomever is home that morning}

  We start our dishwasher helpers a little before they turn two.  They can easily help with silverware sorting. 

  Destiny came up with a great job rotation: bottom rack person goes to top, top rack person goes to silverware, silverware person goes to bottom.  They all have a job that way!  Paxton always does what we call “easy silverware”.  That means when the utensil rack is empty except for basic dinnerware, it’s HIS turn to help. He does such a good job sorting 2 sizes of forks, 2 sizes of spoons, butter knives and kids silverware, that I no longer even have to stand around and help him.

You will find this to be true with a lot of jobs, train now, and suddenly in the future, they can do it on their own while you help another child.

Chore collage 2

Gathering Eggs

  Everyone takes turns with this chore.  It’s easy and fun!  While they are outside getting eggs, they must check the chickens water bowl.  Then, when they come back in the garage, they are to sort the eggs and put them in cartons. 

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Setting & Clearing the Table

Everyone has to take a turn setting the table and filling ice waters with me. This is a great opportunity to teach them to set a tidy table, with silverware where they belong etc.  They also must clear their own plate when lunch or dinner is done, and wipe down their area of the table, catching the crumbs in their hands and throwing them away. NOT on mom’s clean floor! Smile

  The bigger kids can rinse their own plates and load the dishwasher.  As long as the little two bring over their dinner plates, I don’t mind doing the rinsing and loading.  Again, this can all be changed as they get older, I am happy with the level of help they can complete easily for now.

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   Here are some keys to this process:

We remind them to work as if working for the Lord in whatever task they have to do!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord….” Colossians 3:23

  Once the chores are done, it’s Play TIME! I want them to go have fun and be kids.  To know how good it feels to have worked together to complete our tasks.

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Here are some age appropriate chores from a previous blog post on Chores, we start ours earlier than this age bracket, but I think it will give you a general idea:

Ages 2 to 5
Work alongside your children to help them perform simple chores like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, sorting laundry into color-coded piles, making their beds and feeding pets.

Ages 6 to 8
Children can dust and vacuum, put away their clothes, empty wastebaskets, set and clear the table, care for pets and help with some yard work.

Ages 9 to 12
Kids can unpack groceries, load and unload the dishwasher, mop the floor, fold laundry, wash the car, and help prepare simple meals.

  Most child-development experts agree that children shouldn’t be paid for household chores, which are part of contributing to family life.

Here are some tips for a positive chore experience at your house from Dr. Dobson:

Give kids ownership:  Have a family meeting and enlist the help of your children in selecting the chores they want to do.  Also have them participate in selecting the consequences for chores not performed in a timely manner.  Let kids know expectations ahead of time.

Use “shaping” to teach tasks:  First, let children watch you perform a chore as you talk through it step by step.  The next time, let children perform one part of the chore.  Each time, give kids a little more responsibility until they’re ready to tackle the chores alone.

Use language cues to spur self-reflection and responsible behavior:  Say “I see books on the floor” rather than giving a direct command.  That helps kids make decisions and reduces any defiance.

Offers encouragement:  Always thank children for their contributions and offer genuine praise for their efforts.  Instead of saying, “Your room looks good,” say, “Thank you for working so hard to put your clothes and toys in their proper place.”

  The key here is not to expect perfection! When Destiny was a little girl, I had to learn not to go tidy her bed after she made it.  Wrinkled or not, she had done her best and worked SO hard on it!  By fixing it in front of her, I was showing her that her best wasn’t good enough.

  I thank God that He allowed me to see her crest-fallen face and slumped shoulders once, early on, so He could open my eyes to what this was saying to her.

Doing chores is not always welcomed, but if you face it with a smile on your face and a cheerful heart, your children will soon learn to work hard, so they can play hard later.  They will learn the value of chores and responsibility!

On days they DO NOT want to help or have a bad attitude about it, we remind them of this verse taken from Philippians 2:14-15:

“Do everything without arguing or complaining, so that you might become a child of God…..”

Now those are some good words to chore by!

~T