Category: Short People

One Way Ten Years of Homeschooling Has Paid Off

I’ve cried more times than I want to admit about this whole homeschooling thing. We’ve been doing it for ten years and each year has different tears, different fears, different joys.

IMG_7666

It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. It challenges me and bothers me.

There have been years I’ve gotten so close to chunking the whole idea and sending them to school so mama can get a break.

I’ve never done it.

The guilt bag would be too heavy.

But, I can pack a guilt bag for anything. Not teaching them enough. They aren’t getting all they need. They won’t have the great memories I do. I’m a slacker. My schedule doesn’t look like hers. They aren’t going to be smart! They’ll never read!!

IMG_4723

Ten years of wondering if I’m doing the right thing, while knowing I am. For our family, this is the right choice.

Ten years of looking at them in pajamas working on English and Math.

Ten years of taking long winter breaks and stopping school on a crisp, spring day to go play outside.

Funny thing is, I have twelve more years of this. And it will be my joy.

IMG_7602

Then, last night, at Perspectives, a young mother of two comes up and with anticipation and some fear in her eyes, she starts asking me about homeschooling. I want to stop her right there and say, “Oh honey. Your babies are two and 7 months. Come back to me in three years.” But the look on her face said “Help!”

She shared with me her own education and how long she was in school to get a doctorate for a job she now hates. I could sense she didn’t want that for her kids. Also, there is a growing chance that she and her husband might pack up their little family and move to a foreign country to take the Gospel of Jesus out to the nations. That country won’t have class parties and PTA boards. They will have to do it.

This is where her wide eyes spoke to me saying, “I don’t think I can do it! How will they learn? I’m not able to teach them!”

I assured her an email was coming full of encouragement, links, and resources to start helping her bring her heart rate down and sigh some deeps sighs of relief. She hugged me and already seems to be relaxing.

Then it struck me…

All these years, all these years of tears and joy, anger and bliss, frustration and victory, I never once thought that my choice to teach my kids at home might be a catalyst of peace for families who are considering leaving the States. 

If you grew up in the public school system, it gives you the sense, because we know no other way, that if you don’t put your kids in the system, they will miss out on something or they will lack in something.

This simply isn’t true.

If you choose to not use the public system of education, then you have a wide open field of choices as to how you will educate your child. The resources available to you are so plentiful, it can actually be overwhelming. The support around the nation, and I’m sure, in your own community, is important and prevalent.

If you choose to uproot your family and leave the States, the choice to come out of the public school system is now no longer a choice. You’re leaving. Maybe where you’re going has it’s own system, but what about the language? What about the actual system? What about the environment? What if they don’t have a school system? What if you’re going remote?

Home education can trigger a whole new level of panic.

Home education outside of the States for missionaries can trigger not only a panic, but a burden that seems overwhelming.

This should not be.

I realized that my ten years of doing what I though was just for my family might be of some comfort to those leaving. That sweet mom at my class last night was reaching out to someone a decade ahead of her for confidence and assurance.

IMG_2654

And I was able to give it to her. I was able to look at her and say, “You two can do it. You’re more than able and there is so much support out there.”

I was able to look at someone and give her assurance that her children will be just fine and she is more than capable of educating them. More than that, she and her husband are more than able to look beyond an American definition of education and give their children lives full of a Spiritual education that only they, as their parents, can give them.

I never dreamed that my years at home would one day be the confidence a young mom would need to take one more step to becoming a missionary.

Never think that what you do isn’t for His glory or someone else’s benefit.

What an honor to serve His servants this way. 

Wanting a Pacifier God

paci“She’s lost her paci again.”

These words have been uttered who knows how many times in all the years we’ve been raising kids. The never-ending hunt for a paci plagues most parents with babies who love those darling, wonderful peace-saving pieces of rubber!

Whoever invented the paci should get a Nobel Peace Prize, or at least a firm slap on the back. We salute you, pacifier inventor.

A Paci is just that, a pacifier. These man-made wonders (probably mommy-made wonders) were designed to bring both comfort to the baby, and peace to the mommy, because mommy cannot be the pacifier, wee one. Momma need a shower! However, when time to say goodbye, these wonderful things become the most troublesome, we-are-the-worst-parents-ever, “yes, you can have it one more night”, complicated seasons of your young child’s three year old life!

What? What happened to easy bedtime filled with joy and singing and ease!? (None of that is true, but it felt true when we starting taking away said paci) The tears! The sadness! It was like the paci had a soul! It’s like we took away her best friend! What parent does that?

We did.

Twice.

No “paci fairy”. No sending it to other kids who needed it. No lying. (Parents, stop doing that.) We just told her, “It’s time to stop using the paci now, baby.” And slowly, we worked it out of her little life.

Paci’s are good for a season. When that season is over, paci’s are from the devil.

A pacifier and comfort are two different things. A paci fixes a moment. Comfort goes with you through the moment. The difference is stark, especially when it comes to faith. 

Let’s focus on us grown-ups for a minute. Anyone here ever get angry at God? What about wish you knew the details to the future plan of His universe and was slightly irritated that He wasn’t telling you? What about when you demanded a sign from Him so that you would believe? Ever hold hate or anger in your heart toward someone and wish He would just change them? Ever want to throw yourself of the floor and kick and scream like a toddler because you weren’t getting your way? (Maybe, you’ve actually done that! Shhhh, I won’t tell, but seriously, get up. You look like a fool!)

I remember one afternoon I was in the car and took the opportunity to talk to God about some stuff. I was struggling with an issue in my life and I just needed Him to take it away and make me different. I was irritated and crying that He wasn’t fixing my problem. Then, I heard in a very clear voice in my heart:

“Natalie, I will not pacify your sin.”

I was stopped in my spiritual tracks. I knew exactly what He meant. God was telling me that He would not make me feel okay about what I was doing and that He would not just make me feel better and take away something that I needed to stop doing. It was a clear teaching that He would not pacify my sin, but would be more than willing to comfort me in my repentance.

  • You see, God will not pacify your sin, but He will comfort you through your repentance.
  • He will not pacify your rebellion, but will comfort you through your return.
  • He will not pacify your stubbornness, but will comfort you through your humility.
  • He will not pacify your unbelief with signs and wonders to prove Himself to you, but will comfort you through your faith with signs and wonders of His goodness and faithfulness to you.
  • He will not pacify your anger and tantrums, but will comfort you through your calming down, listening, and remembering He is good and He is God.
  • He will not pacify your blame game, but will comfort you through your ownership or your forgiveness of others.
  • He will not pacify your hate, but will comfort you through loving your enemies.
  • He will not pacify your judgmental nature, but will comfort you through your grace.
  • He will not pacify your “rights” and living for yourself, but will comfort you through your “cross” and dying to yourself.

Our God is not a giant paci to our me-centered faith. Instead, He is a God of grace, mercy, forgiveness, intimacy, fire, strength and comfort when we are humbled to Him and His Spirit. We have to be a humble people to a mighty and awesome God. I’m not saying we can’t be honest with God. I am saying we can’t be like tiny kids, angry that we aren’t getting our way, and expect God to fix it, pacify it. We don’t do it to our kids, He won’t do it to us. He wants a humble heart, a contrite heart, one yielded to Him.

There you will find all you need for all you need.

 

In what ways do you expect God to be a paci? 
In what areas do you need to humble yourself and let Him be the Prince of Peace in your life, the God of all Comfort?

I Don’t Want My Kids to Be Their Best Self

IMG_7653Counter-cultural title isn’t it?

Sounds like I don’t want my kids to be awesome and amazing and stand out and be successful.

Truthfully?

I don’t.

In a society where the best rises to the top and the others are left scrambling trying to gain altitude with those we see as successful, I, as a parent and someone who follows Christ, have to step back and ask, “Is this what the people of God should also be about?”

Should we be telling our kids to be the best version of themselves and go and be successful and “you can do anything you put your mind to’? 

I guess, if in the context of an American Dream society, that sounds pretty good.

However, in the context of people who believe in a God greater than them and has His own plans, those statements do not fit.

Let me clarify some things. I do want my kids to be successful, society contributing individuals that are secure and strong, loving and gracious. However, I do not want my kids to believe that they are the center of their universe and that their gifts and talents are a gift to the world.

I want them to know that the best version of themselves is the less version of themselves. Here, and only here, can they be available to be the best broken vessel for Christ.

 

What I want my kids to understand is this:

They are the “light of the world.” Not their own light, but a conduit of His great and marvelous light that brings people out of darkness. Their “light” is not their own. Matthew 5; Phil 2:12-16; John 1:3-9

They have access to the Almighty God who hears them when they pray, not just for their own asks, but for an intimate relationship with Him so that they know their role in His story, know His heart, and have the fullness of the Spirit. Matthew 6; John 17:3; Ephesians 2

Their humility leads to His greatness in them. A model of humility makes a greater impact than talking about it. These things I want for my children must first be what I want for myself. John 3:30

They are filled with the Holy Spirit to know Jesus and to have all they need in Him. Not for just giving them a sense of a better self, or that He died so they feel better about themselves, but so that they are a whole being, ready for their calling for His kingdom work, brave and true to the Truth. 1 Corinthians 2

There is no dream of God’s put in them that doesn’t not first give and bring Him all the glory, and second, would make them think they had the power to do it in and of themselves for their glory and success. 2 Thess. 1:11

IMG_7287

Their life might not be so easy in the Church here in America as the years pass. Our concept and easy way of doing life here in America could see it’s last days in their lifetime. They will be equipped for a dark world and not ill-equipped because I inadvertently made them think this life was for their benefit and comfort or that I didn’t take what is happening around us seriously. 2 Tim. 1:8-12

Their weakness and failings are not something they should try and remedy. I’m not saying they should wallow in sin and weakness and be big, fat babies about stuff, but we tend to believe that if we have a weakness, we should get rid of it.

 

“Citius. Altius. Fortius.”

“Just Do It”

“If you believe, you can achieve”

“Be all that you can be”

The Word of God teaches to get rid of sin, but boast in weakness. That takes some training to know the difference between the two. One (sin) is covered by the blood of Jesus, the other (weaknesses) are empowered by the Spirit of Jesus to be and do what we cannot be and do ourselves. This is a far cry from being our “best self” when our “best self” is ridiculously weak and sinful. The more I teach my kids to rely in faith on the Holy Spirit to do and be all they need, the less they will work for themselves.
1 Thess 5:23; 2 Cor. 12:7-10; Romans 8:26-27

When they spend themselves on behalf of others and not on themselves, they will find wholeness and healing. When the majority of their time and thoughts are about alleviating the suffering of others and not pacifying a need for more stuff or recognition, then they will know the heart of God. Isaiah 58

IMG_7573

These are just a few of the things I see that is very counter-culture (even in the Church, albeit I think it’s not been on purpose) that I want my kids to know and understand and live out. I can be caught up in a world that says I deserve things and should have things and that if I have faith I will be wealthy (okay, some of this stuff is on purpose in the church), and that I should get what I want and be who I want and be the best at all of that.

This is not what Christ taught or even emulated.

This is not what his disciples taught or emulated.

This is not what the early church lived or perpetuated.

We have a gift of a great country (America) that has been given the gift of wealth and influence, not for ourselves to make castles for ourselves and drive the best and wear the best, but we are the extension of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12.

I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

As the people of God, our blessings as a nation, but more importantly as a church, a wealthy and powerful church, we have been blessed to bless. We have been blessed to humbly give to the world the gospel of a great and gracious God. To teach our kids anything less, is to be counter-productive in the Kingdom and irresponsible with the Truth. 

To teach our kids these things, we, the parents, must live them first. These things I want for my kids aren’t always played out in my own life. May His mercy and grace train me as I train them. May we all ask God to show us His ways over our own, His culture beyond our own, His plans and goals, His heart, and then, ask Him to help us leverage the blessing so that He is glorified and the nations are stunned with His majesty.

We get a lot of stuff wrong, we get a lot of stuff right, and the more humble we are to the Word of God and the indwelling Spirit, the more powerful and effective we will be in this world.

 

He must become greater. We must become less. 

 

 

 

 

“He Doesn’t Talk to Me!” said the 4 year old.

I’ve decided that working out is the right thing to do. So much so I now have a personal trainer. Yes, I’m that cool. Truth be known, I have her for two reasons. 1. I do not know a whole lot about working out. 2. She’s one of my besties here in Nashville and we laugh…a lot. So, she is my frainer. My friend trainer. Or my Triend. Whatever, stop trying to blend words, Nat.

So, we meet about every other week for her to put me through hell with our friend Jaime. She sends us off heaving and sweating and with a new workout schedule for the week. Super. All week I have her to blame for burpies, squats, hard card on the treadmill that includes hills, big ones. It’s what you think it is. Hard freaking work.

One fine day, before it got to the unbearable temperature of 80, I was working out on my patio. My four year old darling little boy came looking for me. I was in the middle of something painful when he sat on the chair and said, “Mom, why you always gotta work out?” My mind raced for a better answer than, “Well, honey, because since I had you I can’t lose a dang pound and mommy feel like a lardo most days.” Hmmmm, what to say? What to say?

I said, “Honey, I do this so I can be healthy and strong so I can do all God wants me to do.” Listen people, that is the truth. I do want to have a body that works well and stays strong so I can complete anything God tells me. And that is what I will teach my children. What I say to my girlfriends may be something totally different.

He then asked, “How do you know what God wants you to do?”

Huh? Come again? Aren’t you four!?

“Well, He tells me” I said. It didn’t but barely slip through my lips when he quickly and with a slightly irritated edge snapped, “Well He doesn’t tell me!”

Completely taken off guard and let out a laugh and then said, “He will sweetie. He will use Daddy and Me to help you and He will use the Bible….” I didn’t get much further than that and he was outta there.

You ever feel that way? Like God isn’t telling you anything or talking to you? I know. I get it.

Here’s the deal. Just because you can’t hear Him or feel Him or see Him doesn’t mean that His powerful Holy Spirit isn’t at work at all times. We underestimate the power of God in our lives and think it’s regulated by our emotions and situations. We tend to think that by some power of ours, whether it be a bad day or a hard season, that we have shut God up and off. We think our immature emotional roller coasters have the power to derail the One who raised Jesus from the dead. Let’s pull that bad boy back for a min. We do not carry that kind of weight or power. He is always at work. Always speaking. It is His very Word at this moment keeping your heart pumping. It is by His limitless power that you breathe your next breath. He is your very breath. He may be quiet, but He is not absent. May we never be so bold to think that God ever owes us an explanation or even another Word. Tough, I know.

When you have times where you are struggling to hear God, may I challenge you?

Stop everything.

Stop working at hearing Him. Stop reaching out and craning your neck to maybe hear His voice. Stop looking for signs and omens. Cease the work of straining to hear the Holy Spirit. Stop and be still. It may be for a day, it could be months. For whatever reason, either you can’t hear Him, or He has chosen to quiet Himself, you are not without the power of the Holy Spirit. Your humble spirit before Him may be just what you need and He honors. Your quiet heart before the most loving God might be all it takes for whatever to change. A heart of worship rather than a demand for an answer might be what you need to work on. Me too. His Holy Spirit knows His mind, the mysteries of all eternity rest in Him. We must learn to wait and wonder and awe at Him…even if He were never to speak again.

Sometimes, the darkest places bring the greatest revelation of Him, not us.

And I will give you the treasures of darkness and  hidden riches of secret places, so that you may know that is it I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name. Isaiah 45:3

Filtering the Feelings. I Need Your Help

I don’t want you to bash your kids. That’s not what this post is about. I just need some advice. I’m trying to filter my feelings and desires and determine if they are warranted or not.

Lemme s’plain.

I love my bedroom. I love the way it feels and looks. My little escape, if you will.

Here look.

Here is my parental dilemma: my kids love to hang out in my bedroom. They love reading in there and wrestling in there and watching movies in there. All is fine.

but

somedays… I wish they wouldn’t.

I’m struggling with wanting my room to look nice and pristine all the time and taking from them some potentially great memories. I’m not saying they don’t ever get to play on our bed, but most of the time, I really don’t like walking in there and seeing my “stuff” messed up.

Now hear me, I know I can enforce the “clean-it-up-when-you-leave” but let’s be honest, they just don’t do it like I do. 🙂

Part of me says, “Ok, this is the only room I really care that they don’t mess up.”

The other part of me says, “Come on. They won’t be here forever. There might be a day you wished they were playing in your room.”

What does a mom do?

Our Tween

I have a beautiful daughter who will be 12 this year. (Mercy, did I say TWELVE?? How old AM I?)

Our journey into the “tween” year is but a couple of calendar pages away and we are wanting to be as prepared as possible, if that’s at all possible.

My husband, JT and I, have had numerous discussions about our young girls moving into this stage. Honestly, you don’t really think it’s going to happen, but as it turns out, it is! She is slowly changing and moving into that stage that I’ve heard enough good and bad to be both excited and frightened. I’d rather just be excited!

So, my amazing husband, being the future thinking father he is, has come up with a plan: a year of mentoring, discipling, teaching and purposeful dating with his soon to be TWELVE year old daughter .

One of the things we are going to do over the summer, gearing up for her 12th birthday, is prepare for her a (way cool, it’s gotta be cool) personal Tween Notebook. I haven’t hashed out the whole thing and still need to build it, but basically, she’ll have a year to get through her notebook.

What’s gonna be inside? you ask. Well, here are some of my thoughts……

(oh and I better title these with cool names)

Goals— Maybe name it, “Stuff I Gotta Do”. We’ll set goals for her and help her reach them. Not sure what those are but they’ll be very purposeful.

Scripture— ummm, “God Talk” LOTS of scripture to learn and read and ingest.

Mentors“People My Parents Want Me to Hang Out With” okay, I’ll work on that one. Basically, over the year, she will go out with some really amazing women and they will pour into her little life some sweet nugget of truth. She won’t get all her discipling from us and I don’t want her to. There is a huge world of wonderful leaders I want her to be directly influenced by.

Reading“Sweet Books and Magazines” Going to get some of Vicki Courtney “Between” magabooks that she will have to work through. I’ll find others too.

Events“Out on the Town” — dates with dad or mom. Events with mom. Dates with grandparents, etc. I want so badly to take her to one of Vicki Courtney’s events called “You and Your Girl”. Got to work out the details.

Hubs— help her keep character first and boys….last? Something like that. And, this will begin her thinking about a future hubs.

Character — “Inside Beauty” Basically, bah, you get the idea.

Those are the initial ideas. As soon as I get it all done, I’ll post it with picture so you can make your daughter one too! I can’t wait for JT to take her out on a date and present this to her in September!!!

Oh, I guess you could make one for your son, but make sure it has skateboards on it or something. Dirt? I dunno.

I Don’t get some parents…if this is you…sorry

I was at my parent’s house last night for dinner. My kids came in with a friend and we said she was more than welcome to stay. I told her, “Hey, just get what you like and if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it.” No big deal.

Somehow, it came up again. I don’t know, I guess I just wanted her to know that she didn’t have to eat the peas she served herself if she didn’t want to. I went on to tell her that if my kids don’t like something, they usually don’t have to eat it. And, if they get full before their plate is “clean” then I guess they got full, but I know they’ll be hungry in about an hour. It’s the law of a little stomach. Sue me.

I remember once when my oldest was little I had made her a peanut butter and jelly for lunch and, well, she didn’t like it. Now, she cut her baby teeth on PBJ’s and it didn’t make sense to me that she didn’t want it, so I told her to go ahead and eat it. Soon enough, she was gagging.

I felt sheepish.

Food, for me is just not something I really give rat’s patooty about. I mean, its ONE peanut butter and jelly. Shoot, I have to eat eggs everyday for breakfast, but I never finish them because the time I get to the end, it’s all I can do to get them down. *gag*

Back to the little girl visiting for dinner. She told me that her dad always makes her finish what she’s ordered if they go out. And, if she is at his house she has to finish what’s on her plate, even if she doesn’t like it. What’s that all about?? I mean, if he is at a restaurant, orders food and doesn’t like it, does he finish it? What’s the big deal about cleaning your plate anyway? Why force her to eat something she doesn’t like. Does he eat things he doesn’t like? Doubt it.

If you can’t tell, it burns me up. My mom was not a food stickler so I’m sure that’s where I get it.

Now, before you give me the run-around, I have had my “food battles” with my kids. Those nights where they didn’t eat much for dinner, but want cereal before bed. Yeah, yeah. Know what I do? I tell them they have about 2.6 minutes to slam down some toast before they go to sleep. If they don’t each much dinner, I tell them, “Hey, this is dinner. If you get hungry later, warm it up.” Sometimes they do, usually they don’t. Leftovers for tomorrow, I say.

In the grand scheme of things, I just don’t understand why parents make their kids cry at the table, not let them grab a quick snack before bed, or why they make such a big fat hairy deal if the kid doesn’t like what they ordered. I get it, we all have “table” issues, but honestly, I think there are parents who are way out of line.

Lighten up on the food. Be more passionate about character.

Okay, I’m going to go wake my kids up and see if they want some ice cream.

Preps for the Peeps!

A long time ago there was a King named David. David was told that God would build a Temple for himself, but that David wouldn’t get to do it. His son, Solomon, would. This was no small project and David knew it.

This temple would be the grandest, most beautiful, most amazing temple for God that any man had yet seen, and it would take a lot of time, talent and treasure to see it through. It would house the very Spirit of God himself, be the place of worship for the people of the land, and be the place to serve this most gracious and loving God.

Seems to me David may have been a little nervous for his son to take this on. In fact , in 2 Chronicles 22, I think we catch a glimpse of his nerves.

David said, ‘My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be build for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.’ So David made extensive preparations before his death.

I wonder if we can’t take a clue from David’s insight. If you have youngin’s runnin’ around, I’d like you to pause for a moment and try to picture them grown up.

Now, what preparations have you made for them to enter in as a temple of God into this world? If your children choose to follow Jesus, they too will be a temple for this same God, according to 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19.

Are we preparaing them to recieve Him? Are will filling their minds with the Word? Are we talking about the Holy Spirit, who he is and what he does? Are we teaching them to pray? Are we equipping them to begin their own journey with Jesus?

I pray it’s true for me and my prayer is one like David’s:

My children are young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and beauty and holiness in the sight of everyone they come in contact with. Therefore I will make preparations for and with them, in and through Jesus’ power in me!

I Wish

There are a few things that my kids have done that I wish had not happened. There are also a few things that I wish they would do. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

I wish my daughter had not put her stuffed teddy bear’s stuffing up her nose. We didn’t find it until her face stank and we went to the doctor only for him to pull out a rotten stuffing blob.

I wish my daughter would remember to flush after going to the bathroom…number two.

I wish my daughters would have realized that missing the fact that their toddler sister was in the street cost them a month’s grounding from everything they loved and cherished.

I wish my children would magically become grown-ups in the sense of responsiblity, but still keep their littleness.

I wish my toddler would not have picked up the dead mouse by the couch this morning, walked to her daddy while flipping the thing back and forth, and ask him, “What’s dis?”

“Oh!” says daddy, “That’s a dead mouse. Let daddy have it.”

Hands were scrubbed thoroughly and dipped in a vat of anti-bacterial lotion.

Ah, the things we wish for.

Here’s What’s New!

We Witcher’s are ready for 2010 probably more than any other year to date!

Why?


Because we want things to be different this year. We want to take our family somewhere on purpose and to do that it requires change, vision, focus and follow-through. We’ve done pretty good in the past, but this year, JT and I both feel the urgency to step it up!
It starts with me and JT. If we aren’t willing to make a plan, then our girls will have nothing to follow. 


For me it’s believing God at His Word and receiving His promises freely and without condemnation. That’s a tiny bit of a whole lotta information, but I’ll talk about that stuff later.


For JT it’s being intentional with this sweet little family. Again, you are getting a title, if you will, of our hearts for 2010, not the whole book.


So, with those in line, we have the freedom to lead our girls in 2010. Needless to say, we got reeeealll creative!


First of all, we “tricked” them into a family night. Which means, they just didn’t know what was coming. JT took them to pick up ice cream and I got bizzy with our plan. Earlier in the week, JT and I had laid out what we wanted for the girls this year in all areas: home school, church, attitudes, accomplishments, schedules, and then we made a fun way to integrate it into their lives.


It all started with a scavenger hunt!


We hid ten one dollar bills that they had to find using clues. Here they are…

This was bad news…we’re cancelling cable. wah wah. They took it juuust fine. 

There WILL be a “light’s out” time Sunday-Thursday (different for weekends) (yes, those are pillows. We like to write on the pillow and not use cases. I still wash them! Sheesh, what kind of mom do you think I am?)

And you will get up with the chickens. Sorry little girls.

Computer time will be earned. Period. 

New chore chart. Found it at Pier One

School room. They’ll be in it. Nothin’ new.

Money in the game cabinet. They will learn to use their time with other things. We call those “Instead Of’s” (now, it’s not that they watch TV ALL the time, we just want to cut it out almost completely. Just covering myself here 🙂

Again, TV time is shrinking….big! 

They found their “Christ In Me” frames. I’ll show you more in a minute.

And finally, two new wallets for money training: Give, Spend, Save.

Here are some pics of them finding stuff!





We took the girls into the school room and explained how all of it was connected: TV, Computer, integrity, family, serving, vision, change, purpose, etc. You know what?? THEY LOVED IT! 

Here’s a glimpse of our schedule:

And what they can do to earn computer time.


So, we took a snack break!




We finished the night with a project. About a year or so ago, a friend of our made the big girls matted frames. They were the girls names that made the matte and we could put pictures in it. We got clever this year and used them for a “Christ In Me” project.

I went out to the school room with the girls and we talked about all the things we’d like to accomplish this year, change this year, or let God change in us this year. Once we listed those things out, they put them in their name. Here, take a look…




And that is how we started our year with our kids. Feels good. Feels real good!