Tag Archive | mom

Guest Blog by Tracey Clayton

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As we wrap up 2015, I’d like to wish you and yours happiness in the New Year!

This week, my guest blog writer is Tracey Clayton. She is a full-time mom of three girls. Tracey loves to cook, bake, sew and spend quality time with her daughters. She’s passionate  about writing, and her motto is “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” You can follow her on Facebook. Please welcome Tracey!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Things that the kids can learn from their surroundings

The child’s environment plays an important role in his/her education. Parents should make every effort to ensure that this environment does not bring negative effects to the child, and they must make a great effort to guide their child to the right track.

Parents are the role models

As the child’s immediate environment is the family, it is inevitable that the child takes the characteristics of his/her parents. Therefore, parents should be careful about how they treat their children; it is not strange if children become mean or very aggressive if parents show identical behavior in front of them. Parents need to have a healthy attitude towards a situation that presents itself. If a problem occurs, for example, they must be able to show the resolve or at least seem to have courage to overcome it. As parents are the role models for their children, kids often simply copy the look and behavior.

Peer pressure

Apart from education provided by the parents, the children also receive education in their immediate environment, the most important thing being school. The relationship with teachers and peers has an effect on children’s education. Children often tend to follow what their friends do.

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The importance of games

Play is essential to the child especially in early years. Combining learning and entertainment is an interesting concept involving the game. Through play, the children are not subjected to any pressure and progress at their own pace. It contributes significantly to the motor development in the simplest possible way. This is also a way to develop communication between children and parents. When they play pretend, children understand the world by trying things they have learned and they have seen, and reflecting their impressions. Just looking at my girls play, I could learn a lot about what they feel and think.

Games with rules

At about time they start school, children start to play games governed by rules, which they must comply. This encourages them to use strategies, logic and their moral judgment. Board games, card games and team sports all involve rules. They help children to learn to play in turn, negotiate, solve problems and get along with others.

Useful toys

Toys are an essential part of education, proper development and education in a child’s life. Apart from getting my kids toys that are appropriate for their age and stimulate learning, I also allowed them to play with different household items such as pots and magnets, and I even got them a Zado rug, with alphabet, so that they could subconsciously learn while playing.

The influence of technology

It is certain that the development of technology significantly changed the role of parents. It was really hard for me to comprehend that something that was not part of my growing up, is now an integral part of childhood for my children. However, regardless of all the technological wonders that surround us – the kids are still kids! That is, while kids acquire certain skills through games, mobile phones and computers as they grow up, playing with a ball, riding a bike, and other small, everyday activities, precisely at the appropriate age and in an appropriate manner – will not be able to get compensation later. Your participation as a parent is of paramount importance, much to the benefit and satisfaction of both you and your child.

The positive education demands patience because the child does not adhere very quickly to change. Parents must accompany the children and encourage them, providing everything necessary for the proper development while taking care of children’s immediate surroundings.

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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!

 

Tumbleweeds

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Christmas 1978 (Me, Mom and my brother Greg)

As Christmas approaches, I’m so excited to participate in the  Christmas Blog Tour hosted by Blogs by Christian Women (BCW). If you’d like to follow along, the next stop on our tour is at Niki Roberts blog on 12/7.

Blessings, Rebecca

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Family traditions were important to my Mother. She was one of nine children who grew up in a family steeped in rituals. She hoped to create her own family traditions which she did despite my parents divorce when I was six-years-old.

At times, she held two jobs or sold catalog products to make ends meet. We had a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and clothes on our backs. For that  I am forever grateful.

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My Mom, Georgia

The first year was especially tough. I remember going to the grocery store to purchase groceries with food stamps. I pondered in my heart why we didn’t use cash like other families.

Next to Easter, my Mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas. She loved the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus and wrapping presents.

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We lived in an apartment complex. One day, while walking past my neighbor’s door, their tree lights shimmered and the scent of fresh pine filled the air. I ran home, “When can we get a tree, Mom?”

“Next weekend,” she said.

I was so excited that I could barely contain myself.

That Saturday, we jumped in our Plymouth Belvedere and drove to nearby railroad tracks. We hopped out and started walking, “Where are we going?”

“We’re hunting for a Christmas tree sweetheart.” She grabbed a scraggly bush, “Here’s one. Help me find two more Becky.”

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I asked her, “What’s that in your hand?”

“It’s a tumbleweed,” she replied.

Suddenly, a gust of wind blew several more past me and I ran as fast as I could to catch them.

When we arrived home, she stacked one on top of the other and spray painted them gold. Sparkly!

“There, all done,” she said.

Afterwards, we popped some corn and carefully placed each kernel on a string. Before long, we had our first handmade decoration.

That night, as I laid in bed , I heard her sobbing. I crept into her room, “What’s the matter Mama?”

“Nothing Honey. I’m just a little sad; that’s all. You see, I want to get you and your brother some Christmas gifts this year, but I don’t have a lot of money.”

“It’s okay Mom. We don’t need anything. Please don’t cry.”

Two weeks later, Christmas arrived. To my surprise, there were beautifully wrapped boxes under our tree. “Eeee! Did Santa bring us all these presents,” I squealed.

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“Yes, he did,” she beamed.

I gingerly opened the first one, savoring each tare of the pretty paper,  “I’ve always wanted this record!” Next, came a Shirley Temple color book and sharp new crayons. Then, a pair of rainbow colored socks. Finally, a tin of delicious Almond Roca candy.

I later discovered she worked overtime to purchase our gifts. That Christmas, my Mom taught me a valuable lesson of sacraficial love.

A few years ago, my husband and I found ourselves in a similar situation unable to buy a Christmas tree for our two young children.

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Randy, Rebecca, Austin and Alicia Christmas 2010

Two weeks before Christmas a friend from church, asked, “Did you get your Christmas tree yet?”

Sheepishly, I said, “Not yet. We can’t afford one.”

The following day, Lynda showed up at our home with a brand new six foot artificial tree. “Now, you’ll always have a tree for your kids.”

My voice cracked, “I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much.”

Christmas arrived and our children ran to see our tree just like I did when I was a child. They looked at their presents and were astonished,  “Wow! Did Santa give us all these gifts?”

“Yes, he did,” I said beaming.

Christmas is a very special holiday season. I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions. Feel free to comment below.

Veteran’s Day

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Happy Veteran’s Day!

I would like to thank all the brave men and women who serve/have served in the Unites States military. I appreciate your courage and sacrifice to keep our country free!

Starting bottom left Dad, Brother Greg, Me, Daughter Alicia, Son Austin, Husband Randy, Sister-in-law Connie, Stepmom Dorene.

Starting bottom left Dad Jim, Brother Greg, Me,  Son Austin, Husband Randy, Daughter Alicia, Sister-in-Law Connie, Step-Mom Dorene.

I’d like to send out a special thanks to my Dad, Jim Mosberger, who served in the US Air Force during the 1950’s. He was stationed in Savannah, Georgia. His passion was  maintaining  military airplanes until he discovered his color blindness. This news crushed him, however, he understood the seriousness of possibly crossing color coded electrical wires. As a result, he retired from the military and moved to California where he met my Mom. The above picture is his 77th birthday celebration…

Sharing is Caring

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Thank you for sharing. It shows me you are caring are the lyrics to a song we sing in pre-school. Yet, it’s my observation kids’ least favorite activity is sharing toys. It’s my experience that children will inevitably want the same toy to play with at the same exact time. The rule at our school is to ask your friend, “Can I be next?” Then the other child will respond, “Yes,” play for awhile and hand over the item. However, there are times when a child will respond, “No!”

Why is it so hard to share? Like when you are savouring a delicious meal and your spouse asks, “Can I have a bite?” Of course you give them some, but deep down you may be thinking, “No!”

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Sharing appears to be a learned behavior varying from culture to culture. Some people share everything with others such as their money, time, house, car, clothes, food, etc.

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I believe the ultimate act of sharing is when God gave His one and only begotten son, Jesus, to be a randsome for the world’s sin. Often, I look at my thirteen-year-old son,  and am reminded of His loving sacrifice.

How do you share or teach your children to share? Or has anyone shared something special with you? Please tell us below.

Guest Blog from Catherine McMullen

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Catherin hales from Davison, Michigan. She’s worked in early childhood education for 16 years; the last 9 at  Head Start agency. She worked her way up from a Lead Teacher to a Home Visitor and now an Education Coordinator. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She has a three -year-old Boston Terrier named Jagger. She is also an avid runner! She’s included some helpful parenting links for you at the end of her blog. Please welcome Catherine McMullen!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Parent/Child insight-Catherine McMullen

First I think it is important to note that parental insight differs, sometimes greatly from child insight. Naturally parents see or internalize situations from a different perspective than children. So, that makes it easy to understand why these two parties are usually at opposite ends. However, closing this gap as much as we can will strengthen the parent-child relationship, further supporting a positive bond between the two.

This subject was a topic of conversation for me this past weekend. Over a lunch with a good friend of mine who also works in the field of education with me. We discussed a recent child’s birthday party that I attended.

I recalled how much fun it was. I mean the parent’s had it on a sunny and hot Saturday in July. It was perfect! It was so beautiful outside. They had the pool open and clean, filled with toys and kids! We grilled out with yummy food. Everybody seemed happy visiting and socializing. I remember thinking, Wow this mom and dad really put a lot of thought, energy, and work into making this a great day.  This is an act of love for sure. The birthday boy was turning nine He had a blast playing with his friends in his pool! He seemed to be having a great day, a spectacular birthday party filled with love and excitement.

Keep this in mind: when I first arrived a young boy who was already in the pool sprayed unsuspecting victims with a squirt gun. This is unsurprising child play, right?!! Yes, but to those who did not want to get wet, it was not seen as fun nor welcoming.

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So back to the party. It was now toward the end of my venture at this wild and crazy party. I was standing outside of the pool area preparing to say, “Goodbye” When out of the pool came that little trigger happy boy. He was tattling on the birthday boy. It seemed has if he was having a change of heart about that fun pool play. Now, I am not exact on what he tattled or what the birthday boy may or may not have done. It doesn’t matter.

This is where parental insight needs to try all it’s might and match the child’s insight.

The mom, like many, walked over to the pool. I’m sure had a discussion with him about the accusations, and met with opposition. Not surprising! He’s a 9 year-old boy, who was surrounded by friends and fun.

I am not sure how he displayed his opposition. That doesn’t matter either.

What does matter is to know and keep in the forefront of our minds that parental reaction or “insight” into a situation, is so much more advanced. We, as adults, have the luxury of being able to use our developed brain and think through problems and situations before we respond.

This doesn’t happen enough.

Instead of taking the time to fully and appropriately understand the birthday boy’s perspective on the situation, his mom engaged in the infamous power struggle. She pulled him out of the water, forcefully pushed him to sit in an outlying lawn chair, and continued to yell her frustrations at him.

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This is a classic example of how the gap between parent and child insight can directly lead to the malfuncion and deterioration of discipline and other strategies are used. This is what my point was while discussing this over lunch. The differing of insights on this particular situation allowed for an ineffective discipline method.

The child’s brain is not as mature as adult’s. They are emotional creatures meaning, and tend to be run by their feelings. They cannot easily detach as we can from an emotional situation and gain logical perspective. We, as adults, are more able to know if we are heading into a power struggle we can make choices to step away from the situation to gain some distance to allow our rational thinking to kick in.

In my line of work I see many parents unable to do this or simply not taking the time to process situations this way to gain the proper insight. Which leads to ineffective strategies and frustrations on all parenting fronts.

So, she saw this as removing him from a situation where he was misbehaving (or was he defending himself?) by taking him to a secluded place to get her point across.

However, a further differing insight of this situation was, she pulled him out of the pool in front of all his friends, grabbed his arm pushing him across the yard further humiliating him for everybody to see, and then continued to disrespect him by yelling her words at him.

I’m sure in the heat of the moment, she didn’t see it at all this way. In her mind, she’s solving a problem. But,in the birthday boy’s mind, further problems were being made.

These different perspectives are not conducive for parent-child relationships. Children do not learn anything from this situation, because they stay in the emotional part of their brain, which does not allow for proper and successful processing to further allow meaningful learning from the situation.

This shows us how important it is for us as adults to detach from emotional power struggles with children, in order to close the gap between the two insights to progress in positive and meaningful relationships.

http://consciousdiscipline.com/about/conscious-discipline-for-parents.asp

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/docs/parent-child-relationships.pdf

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Just a friendly reminder if you enjoy our blogs, please click on Top 25 Mommy Blog icon…thank you!

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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Miscarriage: The Loss of our Baby

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The Ultrasound Technicians slowly moved her wand through the warm gel along my lower abdomen. I watched her face desperately searching for a ray of hope. She turned off the equipment, “I’m sorry Mrs. Krusee, but your baby’s heart is no longer beating.” Water filled my eyes, What! This can’t be happening…I’m only five weeks along!

On my ride home, my mind rehearsed the devastating report. I reflected on the fact we married later in life at age 35, had our son Austin at 36, and tried for over a year to conceive this baby at age 39. My heart sunk!

I shared the crushing news with my husband Randy. We cried, knelt at our bedside and prayed for God to heal our broken hearts, and to bless us with another child.

My doctor suggested I rest my body for 30 days before trying again. I did, and to our surprise the following month, we discovered we were pregnant!

Nine months later, we welcomed our precious daughter Alicia.

Recently, a friend taught me the baby following a miscarriage is called a “Rainbow Child.” I like that analogy of something beautiful following a storm, because she definitely fills our lives with color. Also, I have hope and look forward to meeting our baby in Heaven some day.

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For those of you who have also suffered the loss of a child or struggle with fertility, I want to extend my sympathy to you. I empathize with your inexplicable pain, and pray you find comfort in the loving arms of God during your difficult time.

Blessings, Rebecca

PS

Now available in paperback!

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Good Viewing

Ever heard the verse in the children’s Bible song O Be Careful, Little Eyes, “O be careful little eyes what you see?” The premise is to be careful what you watch. In other words, good input equals good output, and bad input equals bad output.

Just like my Seeking Wholesome Children’s Books blog on March 2, 2015, I’d wanted to share with you our family’s challenge with finding good programs or movies to watch.

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We four agreed to turn off any entertainment which contains foul language, suggestive body language or uses God’s name in vain. You’d think this would be an easy task. However, it’s turned out to be a lot harder than we thought. I can’t count the number of times we’d be watching an engaging program, then we’d hear,”Bleep,” and have to change the channel, because the FCC blocked a curse word.

I remember when my then five-year-old son was watching a cute movie called Stuart Little, and a white cat pointed its rear to the camera and said, “Talk to the butt.” It may seem innocent or funny at first glance, bu I didn’t want my kindergartener going to school the next day and telling his classmates or, worse yet, his teacher, “Talk to the butt.”

Even established family networks like Hallmark we’ve enjoyed for years are growing increasingly suggestive. Most of their latest movies have leading ladies wearing skin tight or low cut blouses. It’s disappointing when your child says, “Look Mom, you can see her crack,” while you are watching a wholesome Hallmark movie.

There are numerous movie rentals my husband and I have turned off for foul language or using God’s name in vain. I think back how excited we were to watch a “grown up” movie called Avatar. After about fifteen minutes, we turned it off, because a lady popped out a space capsule commanding, “I need a ‘GD’ cigarette.” Is this kind of screen writing necessary to the story? Seriously!

Lastly, we’ve see a trend with the various cartoons and tween shows who have sassy characters who belittle their friends or parents. Who finds that funny?

A couple of resources we use to rate family friendly entertainment is the Dove Foundation and Common Sense Media.

The bottom line is, when we come across some inappropriate material, we find something else and discuss it as a family. That way our children get much needed answers to their questions. These discussions often lead to precious teachable moments.

In the end, my husband and I only have 18 short years to raise our kids at home with good principals and morales. Then, they’ll leave our nest and make their own choices in life; viewing or otherwise.

What does your family do to find good viewing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Update 5/30/15

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Our family walked out of Disney’s new movie Tomorrowland due to shocking scenes such as a female robot being beheaded, and a little girl robot being ran over by a truck. Not to mention deception, vandalism, and inappropriate language. Sad!

 

Guest Blog by Christy Shults

My goal is to share insightful parenting/children blogs Monday evenings. This week’s schedule was interrupted by a respiratory infection. Thank God I am on the road to recovery!

Enough about me. I am delighted to introduce you to Christy. I met her shortly after moving into her father’s neighborhood in Ben Lomond, California. Even though both her dad and I have moved away, it’s such a small mountain community that I see her frequently. In fact, her son is one of my pre-school students.

Christy is an amazing woman, mother, businesswoman, artist and student! She’s the mastermind behind the illustrations of Am I Pretty which she designed from scratch as well as other books she’s illustrated for me.

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If you are in the market for unique handcraft gifts, head on over to her on line stores Hilde Hauc and Zelzi Belle. I asked her to share her thoughts with on parenting two young children. Please welcome Christy Shults!

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My name is Christy and I am a single mommy of two awesome kiddos, Mikayla ten and Zachy five. I am a full time student and I have many little jobs entertaining my creative side. I can imagine that the perfect mother with the perfect kids never raises her voice to her children nor do they give her a reason to do so. However, here on God’s green earth, my children and I were created with free will, so there are many days we irritate each other.

Lately mornings in my house have been filled with whining and crying children and my voice carrying through every room with aggravation. We make it to the car, I apologize for yelling, feel the guilt multiply and repeat the next day. But today I had a parenting win! I told Zach to get dressed, and he needed to be done by the time I got out of the shower. I get out, look at his pile of clothes, look at him and see he has only put on his shirt. My temperature starts to rise, and then I see Mikayla looking at me with the uh oh here it comes look. So I calmly call Zach into my room, get down on his level and ask him, “Zachy, what did I ask you to do?” He starts to respond, “Mommy I was going to die on my game so I couldn’t finish getting dressed.” Deep breathe…”Zachy, did I ask you to get dressed or win your game?” “You asked me to get dressed.” Wow, he got it. “So do you think you should finish getting dressed before you play?” “Okay Mommy.” I look over at Mikayla and she is smiling taking it all in. I don’t know how tomorrow will go, but this morning was a Mommy win.

Those kind of mornings make me feel like, okay, I got this. Then there are some days where I just cannot hold onto the calm. I am human, it is natural. What I can do though, is let my children know that I am sorry.  That I should not have yelled. If I own my faults then I will be setting an example to them. This has really worked in my household. My ten year old is going into her pre-teens and I am so proud of her when she comes to me and explains that she was feeling overwhelmed and that is why she may have slammed the door. Or even my five year old son told me that even when he is mad and he says he doesn’t love me, he still does, he is just mad right then.

We have to remember that we are forgiven, and to forgive ourselves too, and offer our apologies.