Tag Archive | kids

Family Fun

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My husband and I are blessed to work at two different Christian camps. Each year our family is allowed to attend Family Camp on both campuses.

In July,  we spent a week at Mission Springs in Scotts Valley. This past week,  we spent a week at Mount Hermon in Felton. Since it is a full two weeks of camp and we like to do other summer time activities,  we tell the kids mom and dad will work while they are in class.

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We did take the day off to enjoy an unique experience of taking a diesel train from Felton to Santa Cruz.

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It was a gorgeous sunny day with a cool ocean breeze. The redwood trees are so majestic providing much needed shade.

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We had a blast riding the rollercoasters and grabbing a bite to eat. It is amazing to do all that and have the ocean as your backdrop. At the end of the day, we hopped back on the train and returned home.

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The week was jammed packed with fun activites such as BBQ, smores, Zumba, night swim, trivia night, slip n slide, crafts, jazz night, ropes course, archery, lawn games, hikes, bike tours, etc.

We completed our week at Victory Circle listening to folks share their highlights, having communion, and celebrating with a party at the common grounds. We snacked on popcorn,  snow cones, hot chocolate and frozen bananas.

We enjoyed our time together at camp as we wind down our summer. I can’t believe it’s time for the kids to return to school.  It went by so fast…

How are you winding down your summer?

Blessings,  Rebecca

Road Trip

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This past weekend, we took a road trip to drop off Austin and Alicia to summer camp in Santa Barbara. I had never been there so we made an adventure of it.

Our first stop was in San Luis Obispo to grab a coffee in town. We walked around a bit and my daughter really liked the “vibe.” I may have to bring her back down again some time soon to see if she would like to attend Cal Poly.

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Our next stop was at our camp site at Rancho Oso RV park. It was a blistering hot day and we reserved a special tent. {See below}

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We were eager to sight see. So, we headed downtown to the State St. There my daughter found a three story Forever 21 store. As you can imagine, she loved every inch of it. Also, we strolled along the Sterns Wharf.

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Another stop we made was in Solvang; a cute Dutch town for a delicious meal at the Viking Garden Restaurant and danish treat at Olsen’s bakery. Randy and I finally got to visit this adorable spot after many friends’ recommendations.

windmillWe then headed back to our campsite to take a dip in the pool and was pleasantly surprised they had a DJ playing music which made for a lively evening of entertainment.

The next day, after breakfast, we headed to the Santa Barbara Beach, played in the water and rested under a shady cypress tree. Afterwards, we went into town and ate at Mesa Pizza restaurant. From there we headed to Westmont College to drop the kids off at Frontier Ranch camp. The campus is quaint landscaped with beautiful trees and gardens.

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On our return flight,  I was merging from the fast lane on Highway 101 into the slow lane when my husband and I felt the car get sluggish. We pulled off the highway and noticed our front passenger tire had blown. We prayed for safety and quickly changed our tire. In a few short minutes, we were on our way again. While working on the tire, a car full of college students stopped to make sure we were okay. That was very kind of them. We noticed our spare tire only had 29psi and it calls for 42psi. So, we prayed again, drove gingerly to the neighboring town and put air in it. Thank the Lord we arrived safe and sound to both destinations.

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Have you taken an adventurous road trip? Please share with us…

Blessings, Rebecca

Things I Wish I Knew Book Review and Giveaway

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When I was approached to review Gary Chapman’s latest book Things I Wish I Known Before Becoming Parents, I jumped at the opportunity.  I love his work, especially The 5 Love Languages. Also, I am a contributing writer for Love is a Verb. Plus, his latest collaboration with Shannon Warden is a perfect topic for my parenting blog.

About the Authors

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Gary Chapman is a counselor, the best selling author of The 5 Love Languages series, and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. He travels the world presenting semi ars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations.

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Shannon Warden is an assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University where she teaches in the graduate counseling program. She is also the director of counseling and director of women’s ministries at Triad Baptist Church in Kernsville, North Carolina.

About the Book

Gary shares what he wishes he and his wife had known before having kids. For example, children affect your time, money, marriage – and that’s just the beginning. With his trademark warmth, he offers practical advice on everything from potty training to the importance of apologizing to your child to keeping your marriage strong…all the while celebrating the great joy that children bring.

Review

I really enjoyed reading their book; especially Chapter 9 The Social Skills are as Important as the Academic Skills.  I am a preschool teacher and we spend the majority of our time teaching our students how to share and to say “please” and “thank you.” Gary confirms its importance, and I reinforce this positive behavior in my own home with my tween and teen children.

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

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Things I Wish I Known Before We Became Parents 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 you wish you knew before becoming a parent. Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On November 5, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than November 10, 2016. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s ddress (within the continental Unites Stated) provided.

Blessings, Rebecca

Harvest Family Tradition

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Holiday traditions are fun and important. In fact, Marriage and Family research shows, that  “Traditions are the cement that keeps the family together . . . and help you withstand the storms that come.”

One of our harvest time family traditions is to visit a pumpkin patch, pick a pumpkin, and bring it home to carve it.

It’s fun to go to a farm and look for the perfect pumpkin. I wonder, Will it be big, medium or small? Will it be green, white or orange in color? Will we free hand our design and rough cut it with a table knife or will we use special stencils and delicate carving tools?

It delights my heart, as a parent, to watch my children squeal with delight as they make many choices such as where to place our pumpkin. Do we put it on the porch or do we perch it on the windowsill?

When our kids were younger, we hosted annual pumpkin carving contests in our backyard. We’d invite friends and family to join us, and it was a blast to see how everyone’s pumpkin came out.

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We’d set up tables with newspaper to catch all the leftover pulp, and place pumpkin carving utensils/stencils out.

Our family also collects pumpkin seeds, sprinkles salt, and bakes them at 300F for approximately 45 minutes or until brown. Yum!

Here’s a picture of this year’s blank canvas. I can’t wait to see to see how it turns out! Each year offers something new and exciting.pumpkin

What is your family tradition during the harvest season? Does your children’s school or church group host an annual harvest festival? Do you go on any special field trips? I’d love to hear your thoughts/suggestions. Feel free to comment below.

Tough Times

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This past week has been tough! My life seemed like a roller coaster with its ups and downs; twists and turns. First, we were blessed with a new place to live. The kids were excited to unpack their boxes, and I was thrilled to move in before winter hit.

Yesterday, we explored our new surroundings, and hiked to Eagles Landing observation deck. I marveled at the amazing vista of Scotts Valley, California!

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Second, my friend Dianna Cornell passed away of kidney complications. I miss her smile, hugs and encouraging words. She was an awesome friend, and taught me how to blog using WordPress. I featured her Guest Blog on February 23, 2015.

Dianna loved the Lord. The good new is she’s now present with Him and pain-free. Although, it is a sad time for her family and friends, it’s also a hopeful time in that one day we will see her again in Heaven.

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During this topsy turvy time, I’ve learned four things that have helped me cope.

  1. Focus on God – I find that when I start my days reading my Bible and praying to God, it always goes smoother. His peace helps me through my hectic day.
  2. Prioritize Activities – I know I can’t possibly do everything all the time. So, I write what needs to be done down and determine what needs to be done first. Once I complete it I cross it off my “To Do” list and move on to the next task.
  3. Persevere – When I feel overwhelmed, I remember to press through and keep going. Otherwise, if I stop or slow down, work piles up and I feel worse. So, I do what I can without compromising my sanity or healthy.
  4. Ask for Help – I’m extremely independent. So, this is next item is definitely a learned behavior for me. If I need assistance, I now ask my husband, son, daughter, other family or friends for help. They are always eager to help in time of need.

My hope is these simple steps can help you during a stressful season of life. I’d love to hear how you have successfully navigated through tough times. Fee free to share your insight with us.

Guest Blog by Emma Lawson

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I’d like to introduce Emma Lawson. She’s a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. Emma is a regular contributor to High Style Life . She writes about some fun things you can do with your kids that are also learning tools. I especially like her mention of meditation. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of Law always on your lips. Meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Please welcome Emma Lawson!

Blessings, Rebecca

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5 Things You Can Do For Your Kids

We all want to give our children the best possible childhood they can have and teach them something that will develop their abilities and help them lead good lives. Here are a few things you can do for your kids when they are still young that they will benefit from as long as they live.

1. Foreign languages

It is scientifically proven that learning foreign languages is one of few activities that grows brain cells and improves all cognitive abilities. Children learn much faster than adults so starting early really makes a difference. They will probably have a foreign language at school so you are giving them a head start, even if it’s a different language. They are also learning how to appreciate other cultures, ethnic differences, and how to function in a different environment. Their career prospects are basically multiplying and they are becoming international workers and global citizens.

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2. Musical Instruments

Everybody likes music, and science is catching up to explain why. Recent studies have shown that multiple areas of our brain become engaged when we listen to music, but what’s even more interesting is that these activations become more like a full workout for our brain when we play an instrument, making it one of the most beneficial mental activities. It increases the capacity of our memory, teaches us perseverance and discipline, enhances our coordination and motor skills and sharpens our concentration. Apart from that, it promotes social skills, gives a sense of accomplishment and fosters our self-expression and creativity. But most importantly, it relieves stress and brings the party in.

3. Getting a Pet

There are many benefits to letting your kid grow up with a pet, like developing empathy and a loving attitude. You can teach them how to be responsible for another living being early on in life, taking care of for example their dog’s wellbeing by taking them out for walks regularly and feeding them. Exposure to animal related allergens in early childhood decreases chances of developing allergies later in life and there are many other health benefits like lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower stress levels and a great way to beat the blues, as unconditional love from your pet is available 24 hours a day.

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4. Flying Kites

In these modern times, most children spend too much time indoors, in front of their computers screens, with their phones and gadgets. There is no more spontaneous playing outside with other kids from the neighborhood, and it is sometimes hard to get your kids interested in going outside. One perfect way to spend a day outside, get some fresh air and some exercise is flying kites. This is the perfect opportunity to spend some time with older child, if you have a baby, too. While your baby is sound asleep in its stroller, tightly wrapped in its baby sleeping bag, you can devote all of you to the other child. It is not too complicated to learn how to fly a kite, they come with instructions, or you can figure it out together with your kid. You can use the opportunity to teach them about nature and the environment. It is exciting and you are bound to have loads of fun together.

5. Meditation

The Dalai Lama said that if children were taught how to meditate at school, war would be eradicated in a single generation. Most parents would like their kids to be more peaceful and here is a great way to achieve that plus gain other benefits. Meditation helps in a variety of ways. It reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, decreases aggressiveness and anxieties, and automatically improves relationships at home and at school by improving behavior and attitude. It also improves focus, memory, concentration and promotes inner peace. We all want our children to be stress free and this is a great tool that will help them throughout their life.

Feel free to follow Emma on Twitter @EmmahLawson

PS I Like Bugs is now available in paperback!

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Guest Blog by Leilani White

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I met Leilani as a fellow Mommy blogger. I asked her to share her parental insight with us, and she writes about being a mom and stepmom.

Unfortunately, movies and television often portray Stepmothers as not so nice. Let’s turn that perception around, because there are a lot of awesome Stepparents who are loving and caring. Please welcome Leilani White!

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How many out there are stepparents? I’m a mother of 4. Trinity is 15, Leonard III is 11, Alana is 5, and LaRae is 3. They definitely keep me on my toes (especially the 5 year old), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m a stepmother to the older two, but I’ve always worked very hard at making sure all four kids feel equally loved, nurtured, and pushed to excel in their strengths.  

The job of a stepparent is a very thankless job, and not everyone is cut out for the task. Being a stepchild myself, I believe that there are two kinds of stepparents out there: the kinds that treat the kids as if they’re their own, and the kind that don’t.

Growing up, I had a stepdad who always provided for me, but he never took any real interest in me, or anything that I took interest in. So when I met my husband and eventually met his kids, I made sure that I didn’t push myself on them. I gave them the respect they deserved, and they gave me the same in return. That was seven years ago, and now I have a total of four kids.  

I make sure that each child knows independently that I love them and why I love them. I point out little differences that set them apart from my other kids, so that they know they’re unique, and I love and admire their uniqueness. I acknowledge their strengths, and help them grow from their weaknesses. 

Whether you’re a stepparent or not, it’s important to make children know that they’re loved and that you’re always in their corner. It’s never to early to teach them what unconditional love is. Children need stability, a firm foundation to build on, and love poured into them. It takes a special person to be an awesome stepparent, and even though I’ve been one for seven years, I’m still learning new things everyday. There have been plenty of times that I’ve had to apologize for not handling something the right way, even with my own kids. But they all know that I love them to the end, and they know that they’re all an intricate tool that makes our family run smoothly. It’s definitely a full time job, but the love I have for all my kids in the end, make it all worth it. 

Leilani White

www.lyfeshowsup.com

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