Sunday, October 30, 2011
This can be created for any child, and the cards can relate directly to an issue, or can be general consequences. The ideas are endless. Have fun with this and try it! I did find that both my daughter and I would smile when I handed her a card. We hardly ever had to get to #2.
Have you ever had the sinking feeling that you just said or did something, as a parent, that has hurt the heart or spirit of one of your children? I had that happen the other day. It wasn't that I meant to hurt her, or that it was intentional... it just happened. The product of carelessness. I didn't say anything directly, but I asked an off-hand question jokingly that communicated a message to her. We can brush these off, but I really don't believe that brings any kind of true peace -- for the parent or child. I have found the only way to navigate those not-so-shining parenting moments is through humility. I told my daughter before bed that I had been careless with my words -- it was a bad joke, and I asked her if she would forgive me. She said she would. I'm always amazed at how quickly my kids forgive. They respond to a humble spirit, and it allows me to point to Christ as the One who gives grace, who authors forgiveness, and who reconciles. My children see that I am not perfect, that I need forgiveness, and that I am continually on a journey. I want them to know the "real," not the "fake,"the authentic, even if it means we have to sit in the mud for a while.
It hurts my heart when I make a mistake with one of my children. I work hard to build them up, to encourage who they are, to make sure they know that God directs their path and has a plan for their life. Then I somehow tear that down in a moment through a spoken word. OUCH. It is no wonder the Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that the tongue can bring "life or death," or that is says in Proverbs 21:23, "Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble."
We have a choice as parents, we can bring life to our children through our words, or death. Do we take the time to even think about what we are saying? Do we weigh our words carefully, often choosing to remain silent instead of saying how we feel in the moment? Do we fully comprehend the impact our words have on these little hearts in our care? I know for a fact that I could be doing so much more to breathe life. Sometimes it takes a concrete reminder. I know people who put 5 rocks in their pocket. By the end of the day, the goal is to give 5 encouragements and have all of the rocks in the other pocket. Whatever it takes, let us do what we need to be moms and dads who are speak life-giving words. Here are some specific ideas below taken from an article by Karen Stephens.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Gary smalley, a guru from the Smalley Relationship Center, found that close-knit families have an interesting thing in common: CAMPING. Families who camp value shared experiences and spending time together. They are willing to make the necessary sacrifices for the greater good. TRUST ME. I fully understand this concept. It is a lot of work to camp. I spend days planning, shopping, cooking, organizing, loading, and packing. Then there is the laundry, laundry, and more laundry on return! However, smart families know that almost anything worth doing has some form of a challenge to it, and camping is no different.
Below is our camping menu, recipes, and a shopping list for this year's outdoor expedition. ENJOY!
Lunch: sandwiches (made at home)
Dinner: Pesto chicken pasta
Breakfast: Breakfast Scramble
Lunch: Cold Cuts, Crackers, Cheese, Apple Slices
Dinner: Pork Barbacoa Tortilla wraps
Breakfast: Peach & Apple Pancakes
Lunch: Pitas with hummus, cucumbers, kalmatas
Dinner: Campfire Mac N Cheese
Breakfast: French Toast Kabobs
Lunch: Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Dinner: Hawaiian Camp Chicken, Campfire Corn on the Cob
Breakfast: Apricot Granola
Lunch: Pizza Crackers
Dinner: Cowboy Supper
Campfire banana splits
Mix together scrambled eggs, chopped bacon, cheddar cheese, chopped onion, a splash of milk, & diced potatoes or a bag of hash browns. Cook thoroughly. Eat alone or in a tortilla wrap.
Pork Barbacoa wraps
Place pre-made pulled pork, black beans, cheese, avocado, tomato, & lettuce in a wrap. Heat wrapped up in tin foil.
Re-heat the chicken/pesto mixture (which was made ahead by roasting the chicken, shredding it, and mixing with pesto). Add to cooked penne pasta.
Mix together 2 cans bush’s original beans, 1 can northern beans, 1 bottle sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce, ½ c. ketchup, ½ c. brown sugar, 1 lb. cooked and crumbled hamburger. Let simmer together.
Campire banana splits
Cut a banana stem to stem. Leaving the peel on, carefully place chocolate chips, mini marshmallow, or a candy bar inside. Wrap with aluminum foil and let melt in the campfire. You can also do this with butter, cinnamon, & Sugar (and a splash of rum for adults for Bananas foster)
Campire Mac N Cheese
Combine in individual tin pans ½ elbow mac. (cooked), ¼ cheddar cheese, 1 tbsp. parmesan, 1 tbsp. milk, ½ tbsp. butter, salt and pepper. Seal the top in foil. Place it over the campfire to melt the cheese, let cool a bit, then open the foil top and enjoy
Melted Chocolate Trail Mix
Mix together 3 cups nuts (any variety), ½ c. sunflower seeds, ½ c. coconut flakes (optional), 1 cups raisins, ½ c. dried cranberry, & whatever else you want to add! Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Roast at 375 for up to 25 min. (if desired). Let cool. Melt chocolate in the microwave. Pour over the nut mixture in ribbons. Stir to coat everything. Let the chocolate cool and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes 12 servings.
Campfire Corn on the Cob
Place husked ears of corn in a foil packet and season with butter, salt & Pepper, and whatever other seasoning desired (Cajun, etc.). Place over the fire and roast for 10 min. Unwrap and enjoy.
Go Eat Worms Dirt Dessert
Mix together cool whip, smashed oreos, gummy worms, and gummy critter. You can add pudding if you want & have milk. Serve in bowls. You can make this ahead of time and keep in a container until ready to serve.
Another way to serve this is to layer. Place the oreos on the bottom as “dirt.” Top with whipped topping mixed with pudding. Add some gummy worms to this layer. Top with more oreos and a few worms sticking out of the top.
Peach or Apple Pancakes
Mix pre-packaged pancake mix according to directions.Place a peach or apple slice on the griddle. Sprinkle with pre-mixed cinnamon & sugar. Pour pancake batter over the fruit. Flip as usual. Serve with syrup.
Sausage on a Stick
Unroll 1 package of refrigerated breadsticks. Coil one breadstick dough around a fully cooked sausage link.Repeat with several. Rotate slowly in a pan or over the campfire until the bread is cooked through and the sausages are heated.
Hawaiian Camp Chicken
Mix together 1/3 c. ketchup, 1/3 c. soy sauce, ½ c. brown sugar, 3 tbsp. sherry, 1 piece chopped fresh ginger, & 2 minced garlic cloves. Place all ingredients in a ziplock bag. Add 4-5 lb. chicken breasts. Marinate until ready to grill over the fire.
French Toast Kabobs
Wisk together 8 large eggs, 2/3 c. buttermilk, a pinch of salt & ½ tsp. vanilla extract (this can be done ahead and placed in a container). Cut a loaf of bread into 1 inch cubes (also can be done ahead and placed in a ziplock bag). When ready to cook, mix cubes of bread into the egg mixture to coat evenly. Melt butter in a sauté pan over heat. Add bread pieces in a single layer and cook. Turn over until all sides are cooked through. Thread cubes onto skewers alternating with banana slices, blueberries, and raspberries. Or forget the skewers, and mix it all together on a plate. Drizzle with syrup.
Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Mix together 2 cans tuna, 2 chopped celery sticks, 1-2 chopped dill pickes,, 2 tbsp. light mayo, 2 tbsp. fresh basil (optional), the juice of one lemon, salt and pepper. Add to hearty wheat bread.
Mix together 4 cups rolled oats, 1 c. sliced almonds, 1 c. chopped pecans, 2 c. chopped dried apricots, & 1 cup sunflower seeds. In another bowl, mix ½ c. oil, ½ c. molasses, 4 tbsp. brown sugar, ¼ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. nutmeg. Mix well. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.Flatten onto greased baking sheets (or I use silpat liners underneath). Bake at 275 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 min.
Start with a grain cracker, such as triskets. Place a dollop of pizza sauce as the base, add pepperoni, and a slice of mozzarella.
Grocery shopping List:
Shredded cheddar cheese ( a very large bag, or a large block shredded)
Hash browns or red potatoes
2 cans black beans
1 head lettuce
4-6 chicken breasts
2 cans bush’s original beans
1 can northern beans
1 bottle sweet baby rays bbq sauce
1 c. brown sugar
1 lb. cooked hamburger
2 bushels bananas
Mini marshmallows (one baggie)
Individual tin pans
Parmesan (a small bag)
2 sticks butter
salt and pepper
dried cranberries or cherries
2 bags chocolate chips
Corn on the cob
2 cartons cool whip
2 pkgs chocolate pudding
1 pkg. oreos
2 pkgs. Refrigerated bread sticks
pre-cooked Breakfast sausages
1/3 c. soy sauce
sherry (3 tbsp.)
ginger (1 Piece)
2 garlic cloves
1 or 2 loaves of French bread
2-4 cans tuna
pecans (1 c.)
molasses (1/2 c.)
Last summer, I wanted a fun way to connect with my older nephews and my daughter at our family lake cabin. I went to the bookstore and found Ted Dekker's The Lost Series. I got the first book and we began reading. The rule was that we all had to read together, and out-loud. They would beg me to sit down and read more.
My boys and I have been in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia all summer. We've worked our way from The Magician's Nephew to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where we are currently. Now that school has started, I read a chapter or two as they go to bed. We all love winding the day down with this ritual. Honestly, it is as fun for me to read them as it is for them to hear them. I am completely captivated by these stories! We watch the movies together after reading the story also, and the boys love filling in the gaps.
Reading aloud to our children accomplishes several things. Here is a list taken fromSonlight Curriculum's webite:
- Introduce your children to great literature that is beyond their personal reading capacity.
- Develop within your children a life-long love of reading.
- Expand your children's vocabulary
- Build listening skills - including the ability to visualize the meaning of spoken words.
- Develop an "ear" for good oral reading
- Develop oral reading skills.
- Give you and your children a context for sharing mutually significant times together.
I like to use Sonlight's website to order books for read-alouds. Having a stack of quality material ready makes the legwork easy. The books they carry are often award winners, and they promote something worthwhile -- historical education, character building lessons, or just a fun story that is well crafted. There is so much out there, and it is hard to know what is quality and what isn't. I don't always have time to find out, so this resource is invaluable to me. You could also write the titles down and order them through the library.
I'll never forget the time when my boys and I sat on the couch and cried together as Little Ann and Old Dan faced their deaths in Where the Red Fern Grows. It was so moving that our hearts welled together with sadness and emotion. It bonded us and created a "moment." A moment I wouldn't trade for the world.....
Friday, July 15, 2011
- The camp usually lasts 4 days -- 2 days at my house, and 2 at my sister's
- We pick a theme verse and reinforce it throughout the time together.
- Whenever we go places, each child is assigned a "buddy" (a younger and an older cousin are paired). They are to stick together no matter what.
- We focus on activities and skills -- fun things they normally don't get to do, or skills they don't know or could improve upon. Here's a list of life-skills we planned to do at my house this year (we got to almost all of them):
How to change a bike tire
How to unclog a toilet
How to build a fire
How to make a dinner for someone special
How to tie various knots
How to calculate your heart rate
Simple technique for studying the bible
What to do in an emergency medical situation
How to compare prices
How to sew on a button
Execute a spin dribble
How to catch a football
How to answer a phone
How to engage adults in conversation
How to tie dye a shirt