Thursday, November 22, 2012

Twas the Day before Thanksgiving...

Twas the day before Thanksgiving, when all through the house,
The kids were all playing, thank God there was no mouse.

Mama was in the kitchen, ready to bake pies with care,
In the hopes she could produce a most scrumptious fare.

The two youngest children were asleep in their beds

While visions of pies and turkey danced in our heads.

Mama was frantic; her recipe was lost
She had to find it, no matter the cost

She searched the internet trying to find what to do
Then posted online to see if they had a clue

What if the a new recipe was the absolute worst
Why hadn’t she just scanned it on the computer from the first?

When out in the kitchen there was such a sound
Papa and teens came from all around

Away to the kitchen they flew like a flash,
Tore open the baby gates and jumped over the dog as he decided to dash.

The counters in the kitchen was covered with books,
 With mama all worried about the pie recipe crook.

When what to our wondering eyes did she do?
But she picked up the phone and called family too.

After the call mama breathed a sign of relief
The kids walked out quickly and didnt give any grief.

Papa helped peel the apples with care

Since he knew in moment mama could be pulling out her hair.

More rapid than eagles, her pies they all came,
And she cheered and she smiled and she tossed ingredients without any shame.

“Now,Apple! Now Cinnamon! Now Lemon Juice too!
On Sugar! On Flour! On Nutmeg!
To the inside of the pie! To the top of the heap!
I’ll stay up if I need to, I don’t need  to sleep!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So into the oven, the pies they all flew,
I think they just wanted to escape from her too.

And then in a twinkling I heard from the stove
Mom muttering about recipes that needed whole cloves.

As I peeked from the sofa and was just coming round,
Out of the kitchen Mom came with a bound.

She was covered in flour from her head to her foot,
And her eyes were all wild with recipes to cook.

A bundle of pie pans she had flung on her back,
She looked like a woman about to attack.

Her hair was so wild! Her eyes were so scary!
Her cheeks were aflame, her nose covered in cherry!

Her droll little mouth was drawn tight with no bow.
And the sugar turned her fingers the color of snow.

The stump of a mixing spoon she held tight in her teeth,
The smoke from the flour encircled her head like a wreath.

She was muttering to herself and consulting her books,
I could see right away she was a very good cook.

She was chubby and plump, and could be a jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself.

A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
She told me to be smart and get ready for bed.

She spoke many words, while she went about her work,
Then turned around with a quick little jerk

And laying a pie pan along side the stove,
And giving a nod, out the door she dove.

She sprang to her car, to Papa gave a whistle,
And away they flew, like the down of a thistle.

But I heard her exclaim as they drove out of sight,
“Next year I will start earlier and not be blogging to the middle of the night!”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Monday!!

As Thanksgiving draws closer I think of all the things I have to be thankful for:

Being a Child of God.
For Freedom.

Our wonderful son who has learned how to express joy and happiness since joining our family only a few months ago!
Our super silly daughter, who always makes us smile and laugh. Who has a million and one expressions and loves to smile.

Beautiful babies who feel safe and secure in their own beds and sleep through the night

 Wonderful family outings to the Buddy Walk and Grist Mill
 Our compassionate daughter who is very involved in community service projects, the Key Club, and Natural Helpers
 Our loving teenage son who still has time to give his parents hugs before he heads off to bed and who helps out without complaining
 Our adult daughter who enjoys sweets enough to make oatmeal cookies for everyone
 Our kindhearted daughter who flew home at a moments notice while we were in country adopting Veronika and Gavyn to help watch her younger siblings. (pictured with her husband)
 My amazing husband who loves all his children very much and tries to spend one on one time with each of them
 The bond of siblings
And for quiet moments, where we can just think about our day and be thankful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Raising Healthy Happy Children

My philosophy on raising children seems to be less popular today than in years past. I draw my ideals from over twenty-two years of experience raising my own children and also over eleven years of childcare.
I suggest you stop reading now if you are so set in your ways that this will upset. We have six children. We are raising children who have good hearts and who are obedient. No child is perfect, but we do not have problems with back talking, we do not have insecure children, we have happy children who know that we love them very much. We are very proud of our children.

Showing Love

We believe that love should NEVER be withheld as punishment. Children should know that no matter what their parents love them. They should be secure in the knowledge that their parents will always be there for them. We enjoy doing things with our children and want them to know it. We talk with our children, make sure that we are there for them when they need us and sometimes even when they think they don't. We enjoy family vacations with our children, we enjoy sitting around and just playing board games with our kids. We are a very affectionate family. Babies are rocked to sleep and we believe our children are never too big to hug. Because of this, our older children are very good at showing affection to their younger siblings.

Family Bed

Unless there is a medical reason a child should not sleep on their own, then a child should be in their OWN bed. By keeping a child in a parents bed, you are preventing a child from learning their first step of independence. There are countless times during the day for loving and cuddling. If a child is hurt or just wants to cuddle we will sit together in the rocking chair all snuggled up together. While a child is still an infant, I rock them to sleep them put them into bed. Once a child is out of a crib, I will sit with them on their bed, read a book with them, and then rub their back for a little while. Then I LEAVE the room! If my child has slept in bed from the time they were a baby, they should not be afraid to sleep in their own bed. When a child is sick, we have allowed them to sleep with us in our bed. However, on those nights hardly anyone gets sleep.
My husband works all day. When he gets home we want to be able to look forward to our own time. We get that time once all the children have gone to bed. It is so nice to get to climb into bed, pray about what is on our hearts and minds, talk about our day, and then cuddle together. Knowing the kids are all in their own beds means we do not have to schedule intimate time.
The day is devoted to making sure our children's needs are met. Nighttime is a time where we can ALL be comfortable. Our children are free to move around in their own beds, finding that comfortable spot, without having to worry about being crowded in a bed, and we as parents do not have to worry about moving around and rolling over on a child or a child falling out of the bed.
Another reason we believe a child should be in their own bed is because our children love having sleep overs.
Our now sixteen year old daughter had her first sleep over when she was three and a half years old.
Tamara (the little one with the white pjs) was so excited that her friend was allowed to sleep over. Both girls had a great time baking cookies with me, reading stories, and then at their bedtime snuggled under the covers and went right to sleep without any problems. If they had been use to a family bed, this sleep over would have never happened.
We raise our children with the knowledge that their bed is safe. There is nothing to be afraid of. Because of that, they are not afraid to sleep in their own beds. They sleep well, and if they wake up, they can easily fall back to sleep on their own until morning.

Being your child's friend
We believe that a parent is suppose to be their child's parent. NOT their friend. It is OK to tell your child no. It is ok if your child gets upset when you tell them no. There will be times when you do things that makes your child cry. For instance, Veronika HATES getting dressed. Every single time she gets dressed she cries. We do our best to help her see getting dressed as a good thing, but right now she sees it as a time when she has to be still and she is doing what babies do and expressing her dislike over the idea. But it is cold outside. Playing in the house in a diaper is no longer an option. She needs clothes on during the day so she does not get cold, so as much as she hates it, she has to get clothes on.
A child needs to know that there is someone in charge. That is the parent's job. We are here to train a child in proper behavior. Why do we use the word "train"?? We follow Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
In life someone will always be there telling you what to do. If a child is allowed to think they are equal to the parents and can argue about what they are suppose to do when they are five, what will they be like when they get their first job?
Another problem today is children who have never been allowed to suffer disappointment because their parents go out of their way to make sure they never have to deal with that. I would rather my children understand disappointment while they are little than have their first dose of it when they do not get hired for that job they were hoping for.
We have a rule in our house, if it is not your birthday and it is not Christmas, do NOT tell me you want things when we go to the store. We are going there to get what is on the shopping list, nothing more. If my child NEEDS something (clothing, new toothbrush, etc) they will certainly get it, but children do not need a new toy or candy every single time they go to the store. Because our children know this rule, I have never had a temper tantrum in a store. I have never had begging for candy or a toy or even them asking. That isn't to say that they never get things through out the year. Sometimes I would go shopping on my own and come home with kites and announce we are going to the park for the day to fly them. Or maybe I would get some candy and popcorn and rent a movie and we would all sit together and enjoy it. We do special things, but we want our children to be raised with respect for who the parents are. By trying to be their friend, we lose that parent child relationship with them.

Teaching Independence
 We do our best to help our children learn independence. It makes for a happier child when they know they help out with things and even do some of their own problem solving. We try follow Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." We want them to try to work it out first on their own. If they are still unable to resolve the conflict, then we will help them, but we do not want them to tattle. Sometimes it is easier to help get that coat on rather than taking the time to teach your child how to put it on themselves. By teaching your child to help themselves you are giving them something to feel proud of. We believe that by teaching our children how to do things on their own, we are lifting them up so they can be proud of their own accomplishments. I remember how proud our daughter was when she made her very first meal.

Cell phones

When I was growing up, there was no such thing as cell phones. Somehow, we managed, our parents managed, and the world kept spinning.
I remember a day when people would talk to each other. I am brought to near tears when I see parents on their cell phones while they pick their child up from school or childcare. Instead of being able to tell their parents about their day, they have to wait because their parent is on the phone. I do not understand, can not even comprehend why people feel such a need to call other people all the time.
I do not have a cell phone. My husband does, he has a long commute into work and needs to be able to get ahold of his boss if he gets caught in traffic and knows he will be late. But when we are home, he puts his phone away. When he is home it is family time and family time does not involve a cell phone.
We want to spend time with the people we are with. We want to show our children that we are there for them. That we are more interested in them, than we are with talking on a cell phone.
So many people are so addicted to their cell phones that they do not know how to go a whole day without using one. For you, I offer a challenge... go an entire WEEK!!!! without using your cell phone while in the presence of your child. We have a house phone for the school to call if one of the kids are sick and need to be picked up. But we do our best to stay off all phones unless it is really necessary.

Being Consistent

When you say something, stick to it. Do not make threats. Do not punish when angry. Have house rules, make sure your child understands them. Make sure that they understand the consequences for not following the rules. When children are very young, we will give ONE reminder when they are not following the rules. When they are older, they are expected to know the rules and they do not get a reminder, they will get a consequence. Our children are well behaved kids, who know what is expected of them and know what will happen if they do not follow the rules. They are not afraid of us, they choose to follow the rules because they do not want a consequence. We also want to make sure the consequence is one they will remember. For instance, our children have their own laptops. It is a privilege to have the laptop. One of the consequences for not doing chores when asked is they will lose their laptop for the rest of the day and then the following day as well. I am not afraid of making my children miss events either. If one of our children decided to talk back to us and they were going to be going to a sleep over or to a friend's house that day, they would not be allowed to go. By knowing we are serious, they listen and follow directions and we have a much happier house hold.


As parents we expect certain things from our children. We want them to know that we are the ones that are in charge. We expect them to follow directions, and we expect them to have good manners. We try to teach our children that when they are not at home, we expect them to be on their best behavior. They are not to run in stores or touch things that do not belong to them without asking. We expect them to wait quietly for their turn when the grown-ups are talking and not interrupt. We expect them to say please and thank you. We expect them to take care of things that belong to them, and when at a friend's house to use things appropriately. When I see teenagers trying to climb on the baby swings or the little rocking toys at a park it is very upsetting. Those are not meant to take the weight of a teenager and are likely to get broken. It is very sad to see kids throwing their trash on the ground and not having respect for our environment. In all we do, we hope to teach our children respect. Not just for us as their parents, but respect for others, themselves, and our community. 

Politically Correct

I grew up with the "old fashion" nursery rhymes. I remember reading about Georgie Porgie, and Three Blind Mice, and An Old Woman in a Shoe. I did NOT grow up to think it was ok for boys to take advantage for girls, I did not grow up wanting to cut tails off of animals, and I did not grow up thinking I should beat my children and then put them to bed. 
I grew up reading Peter Rabbit and did NOT get emotionally traumatized when Peter and Benjamin were spanked with the willow switch for not listening. 
I think parents today over think things, alot, they think we should change the wordings to the nursery rhymes so Georgie Porgie does not seem like sexual harassment, and that Three Blind Mice does not encourage animal cruelty, and that An Old Woman in a Shoe does not encourage child abuse. WHAT?? For ages these poems have been around and they did not encourage that at all. In most cases children do not analyze poems. 
We want our children to know the bible and I can tell you now some of the stories in there are WAY more intense than what you will find in a child's nursery rhyme or Peter Rabbit. For instance, David killed Goliath with a stone, Jesus was nailed to a cross, Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. These are stories that were in my children's bible when I grew up. I think my children can handle a nursery rhyme if I expect them to be able to handle their own children's bible stories.  If my child has a question on something we are reading, they know they can ask me about it, but I do not believe changing the stories is the answer.

Encouraging Service to Others

We want our children to have a servant's heart. We want them to take pleasure in helping others. We try to find ways to help out and encourage our children to do the same. We are so pleased to see our children taking it upon themselves to do this own their own now.
Our sixteen year old daughter joined the Key Club at school. The main focus of the Key Club is community service. On Thursday, our daughter worked with the American Red Cross during a blood drive at her school. She also is part of Natural Helpers that is a peer-helping program that assist other students with a range of issues, from everyday problems such as difficulties with a boyfriend or girlfriend, to more serious issues such as drug use or depression.

In everything we do, we want to make sure that we are teaching our children about living with JOY. They are NOT the center of the universe. They are an important part of what makes the world better, but only as long as we train them in the right way to go. It is our child to teach our children to care about others. JOY is an acronym that stands for:

By following these simple principles we are raising our children to be happy and obedient children of God.