Tag Archive | blog

A New Year

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It’s hard to believe another year is over. Welcome 2017! I am so grateful for each of you. I thought we could look back at some of our top blog posts for 2016:

Guest Blog by Shannon Clark

Midlife Motherhood

The Birthday Wish

Private or Public School

Mano A Mano

Guest Blog by Amy Lu

Again, thank you for supporting my blog. I truly appreciate it. I’d love to know what blog post was your favorite in 2016 and what topics you’d like to read about in the next twelve months. Feel free to comment below…

Blessings, Rebecca

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Cheers!

Guest blog by Shannon Upton/Book Review

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I was approached by fellow Blogs by Christian Women Author Shannon Upton to review her new book, Building Your House.

In it, Shannon incorporates organization with faith. She shares great practical advice to build your Christ-centered home and de-clutter physically and spiritually.

My favorite chapter is #10 where Shannon gently reminds us to walk in faithfulness. She sprinkles helpful suggestions throughout such as playing inspirational music, lighting a candle or hanging encouraging scripture on the wall.

As a result of reading Building Your House, I believe my home will look and feel more inviting, peaceful and less cluttered.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Shannon Upton is a Christian author, blogger, and speaker.  Her goal is to help women use a little organization to clear out  their spiritual clutter so they can make room for peace and joy! She’d love to serve you (and by extension, your children) through her two books; the second being Organizing You. Feel free to stop by Organizingjesusmoms.com  to discover great resources she has for you there. organizing

Please welcome Shannon!

Blessings, Rebecca

 

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Intentional Influence

“Shannon, did you just call yourself ‘homely’? Don’t you ever say that again!”

When I was in seventh grade, my Sunday School teacher gave us lists of adjectives and asked us to circle the ones we thought applied to us. I knew that the lesson was on self-esteem, so I circled things like “smart,” “friendly,”…and “homely.”  At the time, I thought that “homely” simply meant “plain.”  It was the choice after “beautiful” and “pretty,” but before “ugly.”

What I remember about that moment isn’t how my teacher said that I was a very pretty girl (she had to say that, didn’t she?), but how shocked she was that I’d circled “homely” in the first place. She was downright offended on my behalf!

When I looked at her, I saw a woman who was very well-dressed and put-together. She obviously knew what it meant to be attractive… yet there she was saying that I was beautiful.  I was startled into a realization: I was a child of God and He would never want me to think of myself as “homely.”  Ever.

Today, I’m still under her influence. I have the habit of complimenting the appearance of others, admiring a pretty blouse, cool shoes, or a warm smile.  I even give a scripturally-based talk about how to organize your wardrobe!  It’s not that I think outward appearance is all that important, far from it.  But my Sunday School teacher taught me that God sees us as beautiful, and that’s how we should see ourselves.

How are you influencing your children through your outward example? We can tell our children wonderful things, but they see what they see. When your kids look at you, do they see…

Someone who’s tired and worn out, or someone who’s taking care of their body?

Someone who avoids time with God, or someone who loves to go to church and spend time in prayer?

Someone who’s overwhelmed and stressed, or someone who’s choosing to trust in God?

Our influence doesn’t come through our words, but how we’re intentionally living our lives. When our kids see that we know what it means to be a child of God, they’ll be able to hear our encouragement to follow Him.

This is the heart of my ministry! I help women use home and family organization, not to pursue perfection, but to live in Christ’s abundance.  When we intentionally live all in for Jesus, we’re building our homes and raising our families for God’s glory.  That influence will last for generations to come.

 

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If you’d like to follow her, you can Like her Facebook page.

Now it’s your turn to own Building Your House as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from you on how you build your home with your children. Simply share a family routine that has solved a clutter or spiritual issue in your home with us below. Your name will then be placed in a random drawing.

On December 26, 2015, we will select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than December 31, 2015. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided. Best wishes!

 

Guest Blog by Kathleen Crane

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Have you ever struggled getting your toddler to clean up his/her mess? This week, my guest blogger, Kathleen Crane shares her ideas on getting toddlers to clean up their toys.

Kathleen is professionally experienced in the field of home improvement. She loves to write and share her thoughts with the readers. Please welcome Kathleen!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Toy troubles: My Toddler Won’t Help Clean up

Encouraging your toddler to take part in the cleaning process requires more efforts than you can imagine. Normally, toddlers are not keen on arranging of their toys and rooms and that is why parents will meet a lot of difficulties when involving the toddlers in the basic tasks..

Surely, you need to dedicate a lot of your free time if you want to explain to toddlers why they need to clean up after themselves. Starting with the arranging of the toys is the most appropriate decision as kids spend a great part of their time playing with their favourite toys.

If you want to teach the toddlers how to preserve the immaculate condition of their toys for a longer time, you need to keep in mind certain rules. Thanks to this piece of article you will find decision to a wide range of problems that concern the involving of toddlers into some basic household duties, and especially into the activities that include the arranging of the toys.

toddlerHere are some tips from HireHouseCleaners SW9 to take into account:

Set Definite Rules 

No matter how much you want to help the toddlers, let them try to manage with the situation in their own way. If you tell them to pick up the toys and to place them in the basket, instead of leaving them spread around the room, you, make sure that they will understand your request correctly. Do not pick the toys instead of them and do not pretend that nothing has happened. Being positive is a good thing, but toddlers need to understand from an early age that it is up to them to keep their toys clean and unbroken.

Encourage The Toddlers To Help With the Cleaning of The Toys

As you can imagine, toddlers won’t be able to provide perfect cleaning of the toys but they can at least help you in this activity. Explain them that toys should be cleaned on a regular basis and that they should give you a helping hand because it comes to their own toys. Most of the toys could be effectively cleaned with a clean cloth and with a solution of warm water and some liquid soap. Demonstrate the toddlers how they can provide a simple cleaning – you will be amazed how well they will cope with the task as long as you are patient enough to explain them everything in details.

Be Ready For Compromises 

Toddlers do not like being told what to do and they will probably accept the new rules as a challenge. Unfortunately they usually try to oppose to your opinion so you need to be ready for certain compromises. For instance, in case the toddler refuses to clean the toys, you can at least teach him how to arrange the toys in the basket in a more interesting way. Take it slowly and you will see that toddlers will gradually accept most of the new rules that concern them.

Regardless of the cleaning rules that you apply, do not forget that your approach is very essential. You need to have a strong bond with the toddlers, otherwise you won’t succeed in teaching them of some basic habits. Be patient and tolerant and start with simple cleaning task. Make sure that you praise the toddlers for their efforts and that you communicate with them in a calm way. Educating children is certainly a difficult task but when you are determined to accept the challenge, you will be able to teach the kids how to be more organized and responsible towards their duties.

Guest Blog by Sarah Dyson

Happy Labor Day!

Sarah Dyson enjoys gaming. Her My primary gaming experience has been Massive Multi Player Online Role Playing Games or MMORPGs. She has played games on all platforms (i.e. consoles, personal computers, and handheld devices) for the past 25 years. Sarah has a Masters degree in Information Technology and Project Management. She is pursuing her PhD in Social Psychology to better understand cultural and social factors related to gaming. Please welcome Sarah Dyson!

Blessings, Rebecca

Internet Safety for Parents!

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As parents, we continually ask ourselves what parts of the Internet are appropriate for my kids.

Internet safety can be challenging to say the least.  With so many devices, and forms of entertainment parents continue to question child’s online safety.  Public Wi-Fi networks, such as Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, and McDonald’s are in my opinion not safe for children.  These are open networks, and easy targets for predators to infiltrate your device and reach our children.  The most reliable network is one that you can monitor.  If a device is needed to entertain your child while, in public, I suggest that you have a 2nd device that does not access the Internet. 

What are the best ways to keep kids safe while still having fun?

As parents we want to connect with our kids, we want them to enjoy life, and have fun, but remain safe while doing it.  Playing games online can be safe, but a parent needs to make it safe and keep it safe for them.  Below are a few quick steps we can take to implement and maintain this environment.  Children are brilliant, fast learners, and today have access to a variety of information online.  If we keep this in mind while protecting our kids, we not only keep them safe online but also teach them to be safe online as well. This concept is no different from “stranger danger” while in public.  Talking with our children about who they play with online, what types of games they like most and why, provides prime opportunities to teach online safety.

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Here are a few tips, on how to keep your kids safe while online and monitor their game play.

  • Having a family computer or console in a central is a great way to monitor the content children are playing.
  • Observing whom they are playing with, talking to and interacting with online is important as well.
  • Asking questions about whom they play with, why they like to play with them, and what they like about the game are all important aspects of connecting with your child and monitoring their gaming habits.
  • Learning about your child’s interest not only establishes a connection but also gives you insight into your child’s perspective.
  • You can learn whom your children are playing with on a regular basis without being argumentative or intrusive. solutions4 Key Steps to Safe Online Gaming!
  1. Home networks are the safest
  2. Secure your network with these 6 steps Click Here
  3. Always keep your virus protection up-to-date, check this regular
  4. Password protect all gaming devices with a combination of capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers and symbols that only, the parents know what it is also; update this password on a regular basis.

For more information on Gaming, Internet safety, or Device security click here or head over to Parents Guide to Gaming to get your free e-book on How to Painlessly Remove Devices from your Child’s Bedroom.

http://www.parentsguidetogaming.com

Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries

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JUNE HUNT is Founder and CSO (Chief Servant Officer) of Hope for the Heart, a worldwide biblical counseling ministry started in 1986. The ministry provides biblical hope and practical help in 27 languages and over 60 countries. She also hosts the award-winning radio program Hope In The Night. . Her numerous books include Seeing Yourself Through God’s EyesHealing the Hurting Heart, and Bonding with Your Teen through Boundaries.

Combined, the broadcasts air on nearly 900 outlets worldwide. One of the world’s leading biblical counselors, June is also an accomplished musician, popular speaker and top-selling author dedicated to presenting God’s Truth for Today’s Problems.

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Review

As a mother of a tween and a teen, I was riveted by all the sound biblical/parental advice given in June Hunt and PeggySue Wells’ book Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries! I struggled to put it down. I am excited to share my thoughts on it as well as offer you a chance to win your own FREE copy of Hunt’s book at the end of this post!

The first part of their book is devoted to explaining what are healthy boundaries and their benefits. In the second half, Hunt and Wells discuss tough topics such as lying, anger, cheating, cliques, wardrobe, disrespectfulness, gossip, tattling, whining, homework hassles, peer pressure, substance abuse, stealing, tardiness, etc. Each issue is thoroughly reviewed with an example and prudent tips are given on how to handle each situation.

Each page spoke to me as a Mom, because I’ve faced and may face trials in our family. Hunt and teach us how to draw and maintain boundary lines in order to build strong relationships with our precious children. While reading the chapter on back talk, my daughter said something sassy and rolled her eyes at me as if on queue. I put my book down, and tried implementing their simple recipe for respectful communication…and it worked!. Now, I have the tool to maintain the behavior until it becomes part of her character.

One of my favorite chapters is about bullying. As a society, it’s become epidemic as evidenced on many talk shows, social media, news and self-defense classes offered. Hunt and Wells give practical advice on how to look for signs of bullying, and what to do if your child is being bullied or is a bully.

Like you, I want to raise my son and daughter with strong godly character. Using sound tools such Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries helped me to be a better parent. So, if you too are looking for practical tips with spiritual insight, I highly recommend Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries!

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their children with godly character. Simply comment below on what boundaries you set and how do you implement/maintain them? Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On September 14, 2015, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than September 21. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Guest Blog by Claire Brighten

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I met Claire a few years ago when she visited Kidz Korner, our community children’s clothing exchange. She is a gentle and sweet woman, wife, mom and awesome photographer! I asked her to share her thoughts on parenting. She writes about her ups and downs with infertility/motherhood.

Sprinkled throughout her post, you will see my family pictures she recently photographed at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park in Felton, California. We won her Rainbow Child Photography contest, because we too experienced the lost of a child between our son and daughter. I learned that our daughter Alicia is our Rainbow Child. What a blessing this gift was as we hadn’t taken a family portrait for ten years! Please welcome Claire Brighten!

Blessings, Rebecca

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My experience with motherhood was years in the making – first in biding my time while my husband finished college and searched for his first job, then we learned my body wasn’t ready. Over the course of three years, I had two miscarriages, with months of infertility between pregnancies. I spent months seeing specialists at a fertility clinic, then months going to acupuncture. After my second loss, I gave up and actively tried not to get pregnant. Then we bought a house and moved to a new city and unintentionally became pregnant, and somehow, by some miracle and some focused work on my part on my diet and stress management, I was able to carry my son to term.

So my path to motherhood was a journey indeed.

The loss of a child really helps to put any living children’s minor infractions into perspective. I remind myself often how important my son is, not as a way of letting him off the hook – we deal with his missteps and poor choices as best we are able – but as a way of remembering that these moments are fleeting. Life is fleeting. My son is already somehow 3 years old. I will blink and he will be 5, then 10, then 14, then a full-grown adult. These challenges are ultimately small and the larger picture is that I am grateful for his existence.

But that doesn’t mean I am not frustrated. Often. Motherhood is a task of self-study. Our reactions and interactions are shaping our relationships with our children and their relationships with the world. And we have to look at ourselves constantly – to be more attentive, to be calmer, to be more patient, to be sillier, to be firmer or more lax, to be, in general, the bigger person. And this is challenging – a challenge to ourselves to grow as our children are teaching us about ourselves. And a challenge to fight that internal battle to hold strong even when they are pushing every single button possible – and even some we didn’t know existed.

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My son is 3. The “terrible twos” did not exist for us, but the “threenager” stage is in full effect. He talks back. He yells “Stooooopppp!” when we are at the grocery store and I am reminding him to keep his hands in the cart and instead ask questions about what he sees. He wants to do everything himself and thinks he knows best. He does not want to be told what to do. This is by far the most I have been challenged as his mother.

I am on my journey of motherhood and I hear that little voice inside me, remembering how precious this being is to our lives, for the rest of our lives. Today is a challenge. Tomorrow will be a challenge. There will always be a challenge. But I have overcome many just to share in shaping this tiny person’s life – and he mine. He is 3. He gives kisses freely. He wants to hold my hand and run together. He loves to sit with me while I read him books. He finds wonder and excitement in so much of the world around him. At the end of the day, the joys outweigh the challenges. And I will forever be grateful and honored to hold the title of “Mom.”

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Unconditional Love

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I watched the nurse serve my then twenty-two-month-old son a purple solution. His body slowly slumped in her arms, and she whisked him to the Operating Room. Fear crept in my head as I waited patiently. I understood hernia surgeries to be common place, however, hospital statistics did nothing to calm my nerves. This is my precious boy; my firstborn.

My husband put his arm around me, “Austin will be fine. He’s in good hands.”

I squeezed him, “I know. I just love our boy so much, and it pains me to see our toddler undergo surgery. I wish I could take his place.”

While I paced, I reflected on my understanding of love. After all, I married my best friend just three short years earlier. I enjoy watching our wedding video. It never fails, a lump forms in my throat each time I see Randy wipe a single tear off my cheek during our nuptials.  Yet, this time, the love I felt differed. I ached.

It began two months prior, Randy called me into Austin’s bedroom. “Come here Hon, there’s a bump popping out his stomach when he pushes. Look!”

I gasped, “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure. Pack his bag. We’re taking him to the ER!”

I kept calm as to not scare our little guy, dressed him and rushed to the hospital. Upon our arrival, the staff immediately wheeled him into an examination room.  The doctor asked us some routine questions, and pressed on his bulge. He explained, “Austin has a hernia. It’s typical for children his age. I’ll have my nurse schedule a simple surgical procedure repair the hole. The wait is approximately three months out. Don’t worry. We perform over 400 surgeries per year.” What, his intestines are popping out and of his muscle lining and we have to wait three months!  He continued, “If the hernia doesn’t retract for some reason, then return for emergency surgery.”

I looked at Randy, “Why doesn’t the parenting handbook cover these issues for first time parents?”

He chuckled and pulled me close, “We’ll learn together.”

Ninety days passed, and his surgery day arrived.

Approximately an hour later, Austin’s surgeon entered the waiting room, “The operation was a success, and Austin is fine.”

Inexplicable joy filled me. I exhaled, “Thank you doctor. When can I see him?”

His nurse escorted me to my son’s recovery room. I glanced at my baby rattling the crib rails with all his might, and jumping up and down. His red, sweaty face screamed, “Mommy! I want my Mommy!”  I felt as if someone had opened my chest cavity, and ripped my heart out. I believe Austin waking up in an unfamiliar environment with strange people, tubes taped to him, and the absence of his parents frightened him.

I gathered him in my arms, and held him tight. I sunk into a rocking chair, kissed him, and whispered, “It’s okay Austin. Mommy is here.” He buried his little head between my neck and shoulder, and fell asleep. At that moment, I knew unconditional love. It’s a sacrificial compassion for someone other than me, and it’s even sweeter when reciprocated. As I recount this incident, I’m reminded that Austin’s surgery hurt me more than it did him. I don’t understand why so many boys and girls must undergo hernias, but I’ve certainly developed more awareness and empathy for sick children.

Coincidentally, that same summer my father’s was diagnosed with a similar hernia; only it took my dad six months to heal due to his surgery being more evasive.

On our ride home, I watched Austin slumber, and I realized the bond between a mother and her child is very strong. It’s truly unconditional love! I believe it’s one of life’s beautiful mysteries.

Have you ever experienced Aha moment of unconditional love? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

PS I joined Top 25 Mommy Blogs! If you have enjoyed our blogs, please vote for me by clicking their emblem on my home page. Thank you!

cover-imageIntroducing my new book, Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure! Now available at Amazon.com.

Resonate Blog

I wanted to share another resource for parenting and children. It is Twin Lakes Church Resonate Blog which hosts authors with diverse backgrounds and experiences who share their encouraging stories.

This week my previous guest blog author, Barbara Taylor, shared her heart-wrenching story about a time her twelve-year-old son decided he wanted to live with dad. Read more to find out what happened a dozen years later.

Motherhood Interrupted

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