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Abbie got to go horseback riding! We made arrangements for her to ride a horse! Pretty photo?  This is Earl, Abbie’s new buddy.  She had a blast but wanted to go again. The owner even let Kiki sit on the horse for this brief photo opportunity.  Her first horse ride!!

      

Afterwards, we stopped at some stables and petted all the other horses, even a baby!!  Oh how sweet.  We even fed them some fresh hay!  Making memories!

Kiera saw two roosters so now she does a chicken dance all day full with vocals, arm and leg movements and turnabouts!

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In the Old Testament, Job was a very faithful man whose faith was indeed put to the test.  He showed WAY more patience then I know I ever could.  Job lived a very faithful and righteous life yet he endured one affliction after another without cursing God. I think most of us would have lost our patience much earlier.

Patience is something I have been attempting to cultivate for a long time. While I often fail, I believe I have made some progress over the years, and things that used to get me ticked off I can now just let go. I still get upset, of course, but not nearly as much as I used to.  I guess 5-6 kids can wear you down a bit!

 

Here are a few tips that might help you become more patient, with practice:

1.        Got it down.  Once you become aware of your impulses, you can work out an alternative reaction.

2.      Figure out your triggers. Become more aware of the things that trigger you to lose that patience.

3.      Take deep breaths. When you first start to lose your patience, take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly.  Breathe deeply and slowly for two minutes.

4.      Name the Seven Dwarfs or recite the State Capitals. This one really works. When you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, stop, think and name these things.  By the time you are finished.

5.      Take a time out. Often it’s best just to walk away for a few minutes. Take a break from the situation, just for 5 minutes, let yourself calm down, plan out your words and actions and solution, and then come back fresh.

6.      Remember what’s important. Sometimes we tend to get upset over silly things. In the long run, we won’t even remember these things tomorrow.  Shake it off!

7.       Find healthy ways to relieve frustration. I clean, clean, clean when I’m mad or frustrated.  Not only do I feel better and release energy but there is a wonderful outcome as well.

8.      Pray. This is definitely the most obvious one.  I almost didn’t even mention it because this should always, always, always be the first response.

9.      Just laugh. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that no one is perfect, that we should be enjoying this time with our loved ones, and that life should be fun — and funny.

10.   Say I love you and tell that person why you love them.  It is the best solution to any problem.

Doing our own  Fireworks on the 4th of July!

I need your help today.
I want to care for those you’ve sent into my life,
to help them develop the special gifts you’ve given them.

But I also want to free them to follow their own paths
and to bring their loving wisdom to the world.

Help me to embrace them without clutching,
to support them without suffocating,
to correct them without crushing.

And help me to live joyfully and playfully, myself,
so they can see your life in me and find their way to you.
Amen.

Words have awesome power to build us up or tear us down emotionally. Many people can clearly remember words of praise spoken years ago. Others can remember negative, cutting words–in extraordinary detail.

Psalm 49:3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding.

As a mother I try to remember this daily. 

Dear Lord, help me to be the mother my children deserve. Encourage my heart when I feel like a failure. Erase my errors from the hearts and minds of my children. Instead, help them to see Jesus in me, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we went to the beach with Abbie and Kiera. It was a very good day.  We collected tons of shells for Abbie to take back to Washington with her.  It was a VERY, VERY hot but relaxing day.  Thank you Jesus for today…it was refreshing.

Family Handshakes

 

Your family is rather an exclusive club, so why not develop a secret family handshake? Shaking hands is a ritual so why not create your own playful “secret handshake” for family members only. For example, you could do a double shake (standard handshake done twice, quickly); triple snap (snap fingers three times and shake); high five (hand and palm up, clap together); or a double cross (shake opposite hands at the same time).

 

Play the handshake game: This is a fun game for children and parents.  Everyone adds a movement to the handshake they receive. For example, the first two people touch thumbs. The second two people touch thumbs and slide palms. The next two people touch thumbs, slide palms, and clap. The next two people touch thumbs, slide palms, clap, and clasp little fingers. Keep going around the room until you get thoroughly confused!

 

You can also play silly shakes: This is a fun game to play with a very young child. How many different body parts can you shake? Everyone knows you can shake hands. Trying shaking a foot, elbow, knee, pinky finger, earlobe, hair, thumb, nose, and so on.

 

 

 

 

Summer is definitely here! The boys are all at Royal Ranger camp so today is “Girls” day, well Daddy too!  Here are two of the girls having a “picnic” with their fried chicken.  Clever young things  aren’t they?

 

 

Enjoying the pool!

 

 

Kiera’s favorite place in the world: dirt, mud, anything dirty at all!

 

 

Let’s Jump on the trampoline! What Fun! 😉

 

 

Here is the newest addition to our family….meet Sam the CRAZEE kitten!  He has successfully destroyed ALL my houseplants (but we still love this playful little guy).

Kiera (Kiki) is definitely two now.  See her saying “no” to posing for a photo?