Category Archives: Kids

What to teach our kids before leaving home (that they aren’t taught in school)

In this world of entitlement and technology, I struggle with how to “train up” my children in the way they should go. It is almost a constant battle given the plethora of social media outlets, our privileged society, the rising divorce rate, and many other elements that lead our children into cluelessness. We have abandoned the very foundation of our educational system: The family.

Each birthday that passes I muddle through memories and wish time would slow down. There is just too much to teach them! We can’t rely on schools, churches, social media, friends, etc. to show them the do’s and don’ts, the wrongs and rights, the ins and outs of this life. Not if we want them to have our perspective, that is, and as a parent I think we have the right to inform our children of our thoughts and how we came to be at the place we are. Let’s face it, our wrongs will teach them as much as they taught us and our accomplishments will inspire them, possibly (hopefully), to attain a standard higher than they could have dreamed.

One day while starting to prepare dinner my oldest son asked me how I learned to cook. It certainly was not in school – Gag!  Do you remember those “government lunches?” That’s what I had termed them – government cheese and cardboard pizza. And Pinterest, well that was not even an idea at that time. Nope, I relied on Dorothy Johnson (RIP) and Karen J. Lord. Those two women taught me everything I needed to know to get started.  I had a knack for cooking, and after I was married I bought cook books and tried and tested many entrees after getting the basics down. However, I never did ask my protégés about anything else – balancing a checkbook, how to clean a toilet (Mom did that. Why did I need to know?), having kids (NEVER!), or the hundreds of other things you have to do as an adult. When do you exactly become an adult? When I googled “define adult,” I was faced with a pretty clear answer, right?

 A-dult: A person who is fully grown or developed.

I laughed for a moment thinking about that definition. Then I contemplated when exactly I became an adult. I mean, that definition is fairly vague, don’t you think?  I remember telling my boss one day that I would never marry and I would never have kids. I know some of you were there too? A year later I was married and I needed answers, and after we had kids I needed even more answers. Guess I was an adult at that point, but there was still a lot I did not know! From my experience, there are many things parents should teach their children before they leave the nest. These are just a few of the things I wish my parent’s had talked about with me and those that I will hopefully get to discuss with my miniature humans.

1) Residual Income: Who doesn’t want money coming in without much work? Keep in mind I said “much work.” We need to be clear that things still need to be tended to. Sure, there will be upfront costs to get started accumulating passive income, but if you don’t even know what it is how the heck are you going to gain from it? We need to teach our children about royalties and building assets, and the difference between active and passive income. Here’s the thing, had I known more about real estate as an asset when I was younger, I probably would have purchased a house to rent out and who knows where that would have led me.

2) How to put gas in the car: Case in point…just watch the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xx-C03NdIU

3) Philanthropy: I am utterly amazed at the amount of nonprofits and other organizations that depend upon donors and volunteers in order to assist in their endeavors. I also had no idea the many types of civic organizations that one can be involved with. There are causes in the world…let me rephrase that…there is probably a cause in this world for anything you can think up. Get the kids involved early. Visit the elderly, tell them about Rotary and Ruritan, encourage them to volunteer in a field of study they enjoy, and lead by example.

4) Financial security: This could incorporate a wide variety of lessons and I believe the key is to start young. Lessons can be taught on buying groceries vs eating out, buying that first home, renting an apartment, buying vs renting a vehicle, and the list goes on. Utilize teachable moments to discuss financial stability and money management. You can search the web for “teaching kids about money” and obtain thousands of webpages. A few are below:

5) How to be domestic: This is important. One day your son or daughter is going to find a significant other, a roommate, or they may even wind up staying at home (Oh No!) and you know the old saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”  Cleanliness brings a feeling of satisfaction, being physically and mentally well (IMO). Teach your child(ren) to wash their clothes (fold and put them away), clean the toilet, cook, make the bed and other task that seem so menial but go a long way in giving responsibility and confidence.

And to conclude, I have devised a list of skills that require walking the line very carefully when talking with a young “adult.”  These topics can make the most solid parent/child relationship fragile but I think are necessities before they venture out in the “real” world.

Finding their moral compass, choosing a good partner/spouse, choosing good friends, when to say “yes” and “no,” and lastly, how to change a tire (oh, arguments can ensue over this!).

I will leave you with this quote from Ann Landers:

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

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Monday Funny: Kids!

My posts have been kind of heavy lately and I thought we could all use a laugh.  See, I can laugh now but I certainly was not laughing then…because I have been in most of these situations.  Happy Monday!

***none of these are my kids but were pulled off the net (just btdt)

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As a wise therapist once told me, some kids just can’t be left alone…for a minute.

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A is for Alligator

Sometimes we just need a game day, play day, a gimme some play dough day.

I love homeschooling, no matter how much I gripe about the daily process. 

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Carson is using a program to learn his letters.  Kendra is learning fractions via Math U See.  Brady is learning to read with Learning to Read by Christian Lighthouse publications.

Today we did our memory work, listened to the states and capitals song while we made play dough animals, learned some Spanish, thanks to YouTube, and had a great card game of Crazy 8’s.

We love Fridays!

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A Picture of Imperfection

There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. ~ Jill Churchill

What a statement of truth.  Sitting in a room full of women, my friend said something to our new friends that took me aback. She referred to me as a perfect mother, the queen mother, the mother of all mothers.  Well ok, maybe she didn’t take it that far but she did say perfect and that, my dears, is so far from the truth. I do not want to fool anybody and if that is written on my person then I need to make a correction…quickly.  Let’s face it.  I don’t have time for the magazine articles, TV shows, and book tours that come with being The Perfect Mother.

After nudging her slightly hard in the shoulder from her mishap of a word, I let it go…until I got home.  My mind took off like a race car at the start line. Perfect.  What does that look like?  Wanting to run away after 5:00 each night?  Dreading coming up with a dinner they are going to eat? Yelling, yelling, and yelling some more (still working on it)?  Or is it correcting them when they talk back?  Giving them a hug after they just called me stupid? Taking them to their favorite restaurant? Planning the best birthday party? Trying hard to teach them the ways of God?

Perfect: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

Hmmm, let’s stew over the as good as it is possible to be part of that.  How many times have you heard someone say, when speaking of parenting, I/we did the best I could?  Maybe you have even said it.  Pretty sure I have.  Does that qualify as perfect?  I can only answer that for myself….

When we first started our family, our lives were far from perfect.  Our marriage was tumultuous at best with lots of baggage floating in streams behind us, probably stacked 2×2.   I’m pretty sure between the two of us the kids have enough junk to write a novel or spend years in therapy working through.  Honestly, it’s life.  We’ve had 10 years to get something right and I will confess, with happy emotion, that recently things have turned around.  The novel is ending.  This parenting thing is hard though.  There is no handbook, no class, only life experience to hurdle through and at the end, and hopefully,  somewhere along the way we hope to be “good” parents. We long to do the best we can, not being perfect, but to train our children in His ways so that they will do the same with theirs and mimic what they learn.

So, we really are doing the best we can – most of the time- and this is how I would like to be known by my children:

A wise mother knows: It is her state of consciousness that matters. Her gentleness and clarity command respect. Her love creates security.
~Vimala McClure, The Tao of Motherhood

Perfect, I am not.  I hope I am not deceiving anyone because I strive to be honest and transparent. I am no Mother Teresa.   I have many faults for which I cry out to Him to help me surrender daily. I took my friends comment to heart because I know she loves me and she thinks I am a good mom.  That’s what friends do, encourage each other. However, I also took it as a sounding board because this stuff is rough, hard, and sticky as all get out. I can’t do it alone.  I NEED help and I need my friends.  On those days when I am not perfect, I’m gratefully honored to have someone to turn to…who is perfect.

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My imperfect loves

 

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Filed under Family, Friends, Kids, motherhood, Religious

We ARE Those People!

Lights go down.  “We’re just resting” says Kevin.  “Yeah, resting” comes from my withering body.  It was 8:32 when I last looked at the clock.  Kevin had just put his arm around me as we cuddled closely in the bed. Next thing I know it is 10 something and I feel a tap on my shoulder.  I’m thinking at that moment…

wake me and die

Woken from a peaceful slumber, which I have no idea I went into, Kendra is asking me if she can sleep on the couch.  REALLY?  You woke me up for that.  Mumbling something that I still don’t know exactly what was said, she left.  Back to sleep.  THUMP!  I lay there for a minute or two listening to screaming from upstairs.  The thump was the all too often sound of a boys feet hitting the floor above our bed.  What were we thinking when we set up these rooms?  Already decided, our next house will be a ranch with a GIANT split floor plan. Great.  Kevin got up to deal with that and I fall back to sleep, kind of.  This screaming, pretty much happens about every night, is louder than usual and very annoying as I was in dreamland right before.  UGH!  How could I have been asleep for 2 hours?  I still have my clothes on and my feet were getting quite warm in my cozy socks.

We are those people, I think, as I really get ready for bed, which consist of me pulling off my socks.  Those people.  You know who I am talking about.  Those people who are in bed by 8:00…ok, maybe not right at 8, but pretty close.  When did we get to be THOSE people?  This thought has lingered in my brain for some years.  When we were in our mid twenties our neighbors had small children.  Mind you, our neighbors at that time were about our age.  At night as I would be settling down for my TV shows or getting ready to go out with friends, or even on a job (Tupperware it was!), I would see all the lights off in their house…all except their bedroom. ” Gosh, how could they be going to bed already?  It’s like 8:00.” I would think with some concern.  What kind of life is that?  I was Judge Judy not believing these folks could really be going to bed at 8:00. LOL  Boy did that one come back to kick me in the butt!

Well what I didn’t realize, because we did not have kids then, is that those little souls can suck the ever living life out of one large body.  How can little people like that have so much energy and take so much from ours?!   OH MY GEEES!  I ask for forgiveness for judging my neighbors so poorly.  SLEEP!  SLEEP when those life suckers are soundly tucked away because they will again rise from their slumber, oh too soon!, and begin filling up…again, and again, and again.  And I assure you I will be asleep as soon as they are tucked in the next night.

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Don’t Worry, Be Prayerful

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. –Robert Brault

There are so many mornings I sat in church listening to the preacher talk about how he prayed for his children.  That they would meet the right person, that they would have the right friends, that they would be good.  Nah, I don’t think he ever said that but I would surely and have prayed that over mine.  I don’t pray as much as I should – well, let me rephrase that.  I don’t pray for the right things as often as I should.  I find myself “spot” praying as I call it.  Brady has done the unthinkable – “God please grant me some restraint not to hurt him.”  Kendra has talked back once more today – “Oh God!”  Yeah, that one just slipped out.  Hey, I’m being totally honest here.  I pray all day but they are not the deeply routed in my soul prayers that I think the good pastor spoke about.  Plus, I think he AND his wife may have prayed together and you know what they say about more than one praying, He is there.  Getting real for a second though, prayer works.  I have experienced it myself and though we don’t always get what WE pray for, the knowing that HE hears our prayers and wants us to relate to Him is all the reason to send up some love.

Tonight I am particularly emotional for some reason, and when I get this way waves of thoughts and feelings just wash over me.  I have to almost heave cry…you women know what I’m talking about right?…to get through it all.  IT.FEELS.SO.GOOD.  Of course I have to do this after my kids are in bed or hold up in the bathroom with the door locked, hoping they don’t find the key.  After sifting through the garbage, holes and sometimes lies, it pretty much ends at the road of worry.  Gracious, I worry about everything! My mom can attest to that, right mom?  I worry about the kids falling on their bikes, falling from a tree, getting snatched from me, hitting their head on the coffee table, breaking a leg, falling out of bed, getting lost, getting hurt by a friend, getting hurt by a loved one, hurting each other!, falling down the stairs/or being pushed by a sibling, and the list goes on.  See, I’m insane right?!  And what if any one of those things were to happen?  What would happen?  We would go to the hospital?  I don’t even want to think about that anymore.  I think I was born worrying.  I would love to see a study, or better yet be in a study of why people worry so much…and they find the cure!  Oh wait, the cure has been written for ages.

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On the couch, crying over whatever was coming to mind as I was reading my newest novel, I began to anguish over our eldest.  My sweet baby girl who is growing up before my eyes.  I feel like time has cheated me and I have let so many opportunities slip through the sand.  There is so much sand and I want to scream!  As she was going to bed and I kissed her goodnight, I began thinking about her taking her first trip with a friend, to the Outer Banks no less (following in my foot steps).  This is when the worry set in – already.  The trip is in August!  I won’t bore you with the list of incidences that came to mind because if “they” read this, they are likely to think I am more insane than I already act.  LOL I still remember the first time she was away from us.  She just went to my parents for a weekend but she was a baby.  I showed up on the doorstep of a friend and began bawling through a fake smile while saying, “I’m free.  Kendra is at my parent’s for the weekend.” Gaaa, that was hard.  It did get easier and that gives me comfort that each first will bring with it a little more peace. It’s just that this is my baby, our first born (who cares if from heart or womb)…she is my baby girl.  So, through tears of happiness  I will let her go because I know this will establish her independence and give her those wings we hear about.  This day is coming too soon.

I will continue to pray my spot prayers I know, I will not lie, and I am vowing to begin to pray the fervent prayers for all our children that I believe our pastor did with his.

As I end this post I leave you with one last quote and this.  I so believe in these words and pray that my children will see me in this light as I do my own mother.  I think as we grow older and certain things come to pass, we gain greater understanding of the ways of the world and hopefully that which lies beyond as well.  For all the moms out there…

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. – By Washington Irving

 

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Filed under Family, Kids, motherhood, Our Holes, Religious, Vacations

Another Attempt – Our Life Now

Well, well…we meet again. Yes, I know it is years later. I am not really that good at keeping up with the Jones’ when it comes to posting. I want to be like Mrs. Jones next door who finds something witty to say each night. Who has time for that!? I have three kids under the age of 10, a dog and a needy (sorry babe) hubby. And sometimes in there I need to find time for myself. That doesn’t happen much but are you with me?

I have decided for my sanity, hopefully I can find some other moms who are going through the same things, to write some daily accounts down. I often times find myself saying, “I should really talk about this with others,” and never do. Then that fleeting moment is gone and another crazy things has happened. Hopefully I will be able to find the time to enlighten you with our mishaps of the day. Until then, just hold on to your pants and read another blog. 🙂

Last I left you, the kids were small. Brady was crazy, Carson was crawling, and Kendra was growing. Not much has changed. Well, all except Carson is almost 5 now and I am homeschooling! Never thought I would say that. I was a teacher, of course, but I actually said the opposite – That I would never homeschool my kids because they would not listen to me. Hmmm, I’m really starting to understand why they say, “Never say never.” I’ve pretty much done everything this past year I said never to.

To conclude the first new post of my blog life, I hope to inspire, cause laughter, gain insight, vent freely, and make you smile on a somewhat daily basis. That is to be seen.

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