When Your Adult Kids Still Live at Home

When Your Adult Kids Still Live at Home

Tips and thoughts for ways to handle adult kids still living at home

Right now we have 4 adult kids living at home and 1 more graduated that’s just under the wire of official adulthood.

This is a whole new level of parenting.  People say toddlers and teenagers are hard….we didn’t have big struggles with those ages.  But adults, that is a topic that needs some attention!

Our kids have always had responsibility and had to learn hard lessons.  They pay for their own things and work from home (mostly) and earn their own money.  They help around the house and are generally pleasant.  But there are still some things that we are working to figure out.

1. Where does the authority of the parents end and the “child’s” begin? (I am calling them child for the sake of clarity, but I know they’re not children)
2. How much of their needs should they pay for?  Rent?  Food?  Insurance?
3. Should we let them use our car?  Our wifi?  Our phone plan?
4. How do we handle discipline?  Or do we?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of adult children living at home.  If they were someone else just moving in with us we would have set clear boundaries from the beginning, but since we eased into this for the past 18+ years it’s not so cut and dried.

The good news is that we do all believe in the Bible being the Word of God and even though not all of those things are addressed directly, is it clear how to handle disputes and so we manage to keep the peace.  That is a victory all by itself!  If you are still raising your young children keep that in mind.  Teach them now to love the Lord, do hard things and care for other people.  It will benefit them now and forever more.

I am sympathetic to my kids’ situation.  They are adults living a child’s life.  They need to break out and believe me….we want our little birdies to fly from our nest.  I am not anxious to be the head of an adult living center.

Even though I am still in the midst of this season and I do not have a full view from the rearview mirror, I have learned a few things that might help anyone headed this direction.

1. If it belongs to me I have authority.  My house, my car, my food….I can say how it gets used and if I let you paint the room you are living in your favorite color then I am doing you a favor.  And you should be grateful.  But if it’s yours…..your purse, your clothes, your car then I should leave you alone about it, even if I have a great idea that would help you undoubtedly achieve great future successes.  I close my mouth.
2. They should pay for themselves as much as possible.  We haven’t moved to having our kids pay rent, but that is because they are responsible with their money and they voluntarily hold themselves accountable to us about how they use it (accountable, not obedient).  But we do require them to pay for their phone (they are on our plan) and they buy their own special foods (so if they like a certain cereal or drink they buy their own, but they eat meals with us).  I have thought about charging my son for laundry services.  Free if you do it yourself, $2 per load if you convince a sister to do it for you. ;)
3. Easing into adult responsibilities.  Our two oldest kids are each saving to buy a car and when that happens it will be 100% their responsibility.  For now they use our cars, but there are rules.  They have to ask.  Every time.  They have to tell us where they are going and when they will be home and if that changes they have to let us know.  And they have to pay for insurance and whatever gas they use.
4. Discipline is a harder issue.  For example, if we request they get up and be dressed by 7:00 in the morning and they don’t do it….what should happen?  Basically, we give them adult sized consequences for these things.  A week without the use of our car has been a consequence we used in the past.  That wasn’t fun.  We do give them a lot of privileges that we could take away if necessary.  I mean, eating here is a privilege and so is having your own room.  If you want that privilege then you have to show respect for our needs as a family and joyfully do what we ask unless we discuss it and all agree to something else.

We expect our adult children to take care of more than just themselves.  By age 18 you should carry your own weight and help those around you.  That means they have responsibilities for kitchen, cleaning, car maintenance, helping with siblings, working for Mom or Dad in our business, etc.  Their whole day can’t be just about them.  That is not good for them and it certainly isn’t good for the parents.  We can’t carry our adult kids around and we shouldn’t have to.  Each adult in the home must be making a large contribution to the cost (financial, physical, emotional, etc.) of living in the home.  We expect them to contribute a minimum of 4 hours per day on family needs, but this can include working for us in our businesses.  If they have jobs that allow them to contribute financially then that time requirement would change.

But what happens when they just don’t agree?  They shouldn’t have to agree with us all of the time of course!   And all of our kids disagree with us on various topics.  That’s when the relationship becomes so, so important.  James and I work hard to spend time with our older kids and listen to them.  What’s important to them? How can we support their dreams?  How are their friends doing?  What are they struggling with right now?  How can we help without jumping in and rescuing them?

It is a delicate balance for all of us and one that we can all become more like Christ through the process. 

If you only have young children now or are looking at being in this situation soon, hear me when I tell you….keep the lines of communication open.  Your adult children still need you.  But you have to practice self-control like you never have before.  No more swooping in and saving the day.  No more endless streams of motherly advice.  No more being bossy (come on, it’s not just me).  They need to make mistakes….sometimes big ones…..to learn and be able to fly away.

Be strong mamma……we are growing and learning too even though we’re supposed to be the more mature one.  It sure ain’t easy.

And when all else fails I can remind my adult kids of what it says in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,  then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones.”

;)

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Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

Who Says I Can’t Pull Off a Surprise?!

I am writing my Monday post on Tuesday because, well, I’m tired and it was a long weekend.

I remember in college I could stay up all night for a week then recover with a nap and some cold pizza.  Now I require three days of sleep and chicken soup (without the noodles) to get over staying up until midnight.  Which I did on Saturday night.  You would think I’d learn not to do that but I was hanging out with some of the most amazing women and I decided it was worth the sacrifice of being coherent for the next week.

On Friday I drove 8 hours to Oklahoma City for my husband’s law school graduation ceremony.  I didn’t tell y’all I was going because I didn’t tell him.  It was a huge surprise.  It’s not that I don’t trust you all and I am sure you would have kept my secret, but I couldn’t risk it.  My 9 children already knew about it and just keeping them from spilling the beans was all I could manage.

I rented a zippy little red car and drove myself to Oklahoma.  Considering a 15 passenger van has been my mode of transportation for the past dozen years I felt like I had been released from some kind of prison.  I was all in and out of parking spaces like I hadn’t a care in the world.

James was so, so surprised and it was fun to pull it off with my son.  The graduation ceremony was beautiful and I am so glad I went.  It was better than any church service I have been to in a long time.  On Friday night after the first part of the ceremony each graduate took a turn sitting in a chair while the faculty prayed over them.  How often do you see THAT at a law school graduation?!

On Saturday after the actual graduation I went to a meeting with the Winter Summit planning team.  I hope y’all will go to the Summit in January either in Texas or Oklahoma!  It’s going to be an incredible weekend of refreshment and encouragement.  You do not want to miss it!!

Then on Sunday came the dreaded 8 hour drive home.  It was rough.  I got about 2 hours down the road and it felt like I couldn’t drive any more.  I kept stopping and walking around then I’d drive another hour or 2.  Stop.  Walk.  Repeat.

I finally got home around 6:00 PM and was so glad to see my family that I fell asleep.

Have a great week!

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Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

A great room for boys and their Legos! #legos #boysroom #kidsroom

In my Summer Home Tour I showed you my boy’s loft bedroom.  But I thought I’d show you it again with a little more of the details.

A loft room for boys and their Legos!

This room is so small, but we only keep the Legos and two beds up there, so it works.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

There are mattresses on the floor at each end of the room.  We got new mattresses and I am surprised at how comfy it is.  I went to Target and got the dorm-bed-in-a-bag kit.  They were happy to have matching bedding and it didn’t cost me much.  I added a couple of accent pillows.  Doesn’t every guy want throw pillows?

A great room for boys and their Legos!

I decided to add red because I found these AWESOME red metal lockers at IKEA (my happy place).

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The fence looking thing is the rail that you used to be able to see through from below.  But with the room makeover we put luann in front of it so they have more privacy.  To make the best use of the space we built a white shelf at each end of the lockers that faces the beds and one in the middle to hold all of their Lego books and manuals.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

It creates one long surface for them to build their Lego creations.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

On the opposite side of the room is the only wall.  With one weird shaped wall you have to get creative about how to use it.  We built shelves that were completely fitted to the wall and filled them with containers for the….you know what…..Legos!

A great room for boys and their Legos!

Most of the containers I got at IKEA.  Duh.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

If you’re wondering what the wooden thing on the floor is….that’s the door to the room!

The boys have organized the Legos how they want, which is basically not organized at all.

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 I left empty spots on the shelves for them to put some of the things they’ve built.

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I even added (again, IKEA) little lights on each end of the long shelf for them to hit when they need light in the night.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The whole room was done with 1x8s, paint and 1x2s for the brackets!  It took some measuring, but we got a lot of storage in a small space and it doesn’t feel cramped because the middle is completely empty except for the seat cubes.  They need a place to sit while they build.

If you like attic spaces, I’ve found some more really cute ones over on my Attic Makeover board on Hometalk!

hometalk-attic makeovers

 


Noah Meets Invisalign

Noah Meets Invisalign

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

I want you to meet my son Noah.

Follow this blogger on a journey with using Invisalign with her son.

I don’t mention him much because he’s just easy and sweet and takes care of himself.

But he’s a typical Pennington.  By that I mean he has orthodontic problems.  I blame my husband.  He gave the kids crooked teeth and I gave them OCD tendencies.  So, so many things for our children to be thankful for.

Noah is 15 years old and child number 6.  So by the time he needs something, I am practically an expert on the subject.  Potty training?  Got it.  Swim lessons?  Yep, I know the perfect teacher.  Bite issues?  Been there.  Done that.  Five times already.

We have, up to this point, had 4 kids in braces and one in Invisalign clear aligners.  That was actually our first child and we loved the whole process.  I wanted to use Invisalign with the other kids after her, but that was many years ago and I was told that they didn’t qualify.  So we went the traditional braces route.

Then, a couple of years ago, I learned that Invisalign has come a long way and they now have a program specifically for teens.  In fact, they have improved so much that I am confident that the rest of the kids will be able to use it.  So I took Noah to be checked to see if he would qualify for Invisalign.

Follow this blogger on a journey with using Invisalign with her son.

And to my delight, he does!  He just had to have a simple device put on for a few months first to pull one tooth forward (you can see it in the picture above).

I want to take you along with Noah and I as we go through the Invisalign process so you can see what’s it’s like for him and for me.  It’s very different than traditional braces.  In fact, we changed orthodontists because the one we used for the past 4 kids isn’t an Invisalign provider.  You can go to their website and find someone near you to have your teen evaluated!

Follow along as this blogger and her 15 year old son go through the Invisalign treatment

Along the way I will share with you our experiences, good and bad, with clear aligners and I will be busting some common myths.  But for now I will just share with you this very long infographic.

invisalign

Oh!  And I should tell you about a sweepstakes that is going on now where someone will actually WIN Invisalign treatment!  Below you will see there are multiple ways to enter…..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and my son is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement.

Can Other People Correct Your Child?

Can Other People Correct Your Child?

Over the weekend my friend Connie asked on Facebook, “How do you feel about other people correcting your kids?”  I thought it was interesting, so I asked it on my page too.  It started me thinking, why do people get so upset about this?

Do you get upset when someone else corrects your child?

First I will say that I not only don’t mind, I appreciate it when other people correct my children.  It doesn’t happen very often because I am almost always right there and I am quick to correct my kids.  But they know that if someone else corrects them they are to show respect and heed the correction.  I also really appreciate if a friend tells me if she had to correct my kids (in case I didn’t hear) so I know how to deal with it later.

The most common response on FB was something like, “I don’t mind unless the other person is mean/grumpy/telling my kids not to do something I let them do.”  The problem with this thinking is it is arbitrary and impossible for other people to know.  Other responses were they get annoyed if someone does it while they are standing right there.  But there are times when this is acceptable.

This is about authority, not feelings.  There are clear times when someone else has authority to correct your child.  If you are in my home, I have authority over some areas, even if you are standing right there.  If your child is drinking his grape juice on my carpet, I have the right to tell him to stop and give him direction for where he can drink his juice.

I will generally tell children some of our house rules when they arrive so they know what is expected.  I understand that people have different sets of boundaries in their homes of course!  But I have actually had a woman tell me, after I just announced which rooms were off limits, “We let Johnny explore. I don’t want him to have boundaries.”  I asked her, “Are you planning to follow him around while he’s ‘exploring’?  If not, then he needs to stay where I told him.”  I have a right to make those kinds of rules in my home and to enforce them. (She later told me that she believes her children should never have to obey anyone but their parents and she has told her children that they don’t have to do what I say.  This woman has robbed her children of a God-given life lesson.  And you can imagine how unpleasant her children are to be around.)

If we are at the park and I tell my kids where they can go, I don’t have a right to expect other kids to follow that.  It’s not my area of authority.   If we are in the grocery store and a child is running their cart into things, I have authority to tell them to stop.  It is against the general rules of the store.  In the movie theater, I have the right to ask the child behind me to stop kicking my seat.

I have been in other people’s homes where their children were jumping on furniture, hanging off balconies and doing things I would never allow my children to do.  But I don’t have any authority to correct them, especially if the parents are right there.  It definitely makes me uncomfortable, but I stay quiet.

But that is not necessarily discipline.  If it’s just something they really didn’t know and not a discipline issue, I like to speak directly to the child.  I feel like it shows them respect and helps me build a relationship with them.  I see telling them not to drink on the carpet as a teaching situation, not necessarily correcting.  It is best if possible, when dealing with a discipline issue, to speak to the mom instead of the child.  This is especially if you don’t have a good relationship with their family.

This gets tricky because, as we all know, moms get really defensive about this.  Look, I get it.  The times I have had someone tell me something about my child or harshly corrected them in front of me I got my back up for a second.  It’s a natural, fleshly reaction.  But I almost immediately make myself stop and realize that I need to practice self-control and maturity.  It’s not an insult or a criticism, and even if it is I can handle that and I want my children to know how to handle that.  Their lives will be much better for it.

I have 2 ideas on this….first, I want my kids to learn respect for others over protecting their own feelings.  If they are corrected and it hurts their feelings in some way, they will get over it.  If they can be respectful and generous to the grumpy person, they have the satisfaction of knowing they are developing a wisdom that is pleasing to God.  Second, you can tell someone that you prefer they not correct your child without turning it into an offense.  Why do we have to get so upset about it?!  It is an opportunity to grow and learn and become better at dealing with problems.

I have, if I have a relationship with them, spoken to a child about a character issue.  But I try to do it in kindness and love with the goal of helping, not criticizing.  It is not always received that way, but then it’s just another opportunity for me to learn to forgive.  We can’t seek a perfect, trouble-free life and ever really grow.

In closing, I want to add that it is never OK to physically discipline someone else’s child.  Again, it’s a simple matter of authority.  Even if someone told me I could do that, I wouldn’t.  There are plenty of ways to teach a child in your care without touching them.

I know this is long and if you are still reading, I really just want to say that my goal in sharing this is that we all become a little less sensitive about letting other people speak into our child’s life.  It is good for them to understand that other adults have wisdom and authority over them in some areas.  And if it’s a gray area then they should be kind and generous no matter what it makes them feel like.

Thanks for hanging in there with me for this LONG post.  :)

How to Always Find the Scissors

How to Always Find the Scissors

Do you spend too much time looking for a pair of scissors?!

If I told you to go get a pair of scissor right now, how long would it take you?  Or how much time do you think you spend going to the junk drawer for the scissors when you need them from another room then putting them back again, or worse….not being able to find them because you didn’t put them away?!

I have solved that problem in my house.  It was so simple that I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out.  Now you, my brilliant friends, have probable already done this and will be feeling sorry for not telling me sooner.  It’s OK.  I won’t hold it against you.

I went to the store, bought a bunch of cheap scissors (even some of those kid scissors that are on sale right now will work!).  Then I came home and put them in every spot in the house where I might need scissors.  I no longer look for scissors or hurt my teeth trying to avoid going to get scissors or spend any time fussing at people for taking my scissors.  I am sure if I counted up the amount of time I have saved through the end of my life I would have enough to take a nice long vacation.

Here are the places we now keep a pair of scissors:

1. In a kitchen drawer

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2. In my makeup drawer
3. With my first aid supplies
4. In my sewing/ironing area

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5. In my purse
6. In the car
7. With my essential oils/mailing supplies

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8. By my computer
9. With my school tools
10. In my workshop/garage

Sometimes I keep them in a drawer, sometimes I can hang them (like in the workshop).  But they are right at arm’s length in every room.

The key to the success of this plan is to leave the scissors where they belong.  Just use them and put them right back.  No need to carry them off anywhere.  You could even use tape around the handles to label where they belong.

Happy time saving!

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5 Tips for Handling Lying

5 Tips for Handling Lying

Lying can be a hard thing to conquer.  These 5 tips are a great place to start! -- The Pennington Point

My husband and I have always felt that most important thing to focus on in raising our kids is building godly character.  Integrity, strength of courage and trustworthiness are missing in so many people these days.  What is more valuable than teaching our children to be truthful in all things?

All 9 of our children have struggled with lying at one point or another.  It is difficult to break once it has become a habit.  I want to share with you some of the things we do to help them break the habit.

1. Talk with them about honesty

Not a lecture, but a simple talk.  Give them Bible verses about truthfulness and help them understand how important it is to be honest at all cost.  Above all, don’t show frustration.  Let them know that they are loved and you are confident they can work to regain your trust.

When I say talk, I mean really dig deep.  Read some verses about truth and memorize them together.  Discuss what they think about the verses.

2. Listen

Ask them what they think about lying and if they have ideas that will help them stop.  Listen to their heart, it is your key to understanding their struggle.  The clues you get from listening can help you figure out why they feel compelled to lie in the first place.  Sometimes it’s just become a habit, but sometimes it’s a deeper issue.

3. Pray

Ask God to show you ways to help your child stop lying.  Also, let them know that you pray for them and make sure they see you praying.  When you see them struggling, take their hand and pray together.

God has given me the most creative ideas when I ask Him.  Once, I was inspired to have one of the boys write down his lies each day.  He had a little pad of paper and teeny pen that were just for that.  I never looked at it or asked him about it, but it made him aware of how often he was doing it and it really helped him stop.  That idea came to me through prayer.

God is ready with His infinite wisdom to help you with your parenting struggles.

4. Pay close attention

Keep them close and spend extra time with your struggling child.  They need you to help them through and hold them accountable.  Don’t let them be in their room all afternoon without any accountability for what they are doing.  Try to find ways to stay close either by working together or by having some down time (games, reading aloud, watching a DVD together, etc.) together.

If you’re busy and can’t do that, then have them stay close by.  While you check emails, for example, have them do schoolwork in the same room.

5. Discipline

Whatever method of discipline you choose, the key is to be consistent.  It’s important that they get caught anytime they are lying.  If you suspect a lie, don’t spend too much time pressing for the truth.  Trust your instincts and deal with the issue directly.

Occasionally it will happen that you discipline for lying when they were telling the truth.  I tell my kids that when that happens, they should remember that there were times they lied and didn’t get caught.  This is a good opportunity for them to reflect on the real consequences of lying which is that after a few lies, people won’t believe you even if you’re being honest.  I assure them that they can work toward being believed again by telling the truth and earning our trust.

And remember Mom and Dad, this is not a quick fix.  It takes time to break a habit and regain trust.  Keep working together, be patient and above all let your child know they are loved no matter what!

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight”  Proverbs 12:22

 

The Easter Bunny’s Job is Safe

The Easter Bunny’s Job is Safe

How do you sum up Easter weekend in one blog post?  There was traveling, Jesus’ resurrection, finding the boys’ lost church pants and hiding plastic eggs all over the house.  Spectacular.

On Friday I drove to Austin to visit my parents.  I took four of my kids with me, including my 22 year old son who I rarely get to spend time with.  He’s not a big conversationalist, so I brought some theology books to spark ideas.  He likes to discuss deep thoughts and God’s Word.  Me, I am more of a shallow thought girl, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  If I want him to talk with me I have to crank the doctrine dial up to 10.  It hurt my brain after about an hour, so we stopped and turned on some Mandisa.

We spent the night at my parent’s house, which is in a large retirement community.  I went for a jog early Saturday morning and was surrounded by dog walkers and golfers over age 55.  At one point there was a man on the trail behind me that had to be at least 80 years old.  He was small and a little frail looking and he was just walking along in his velour sweatsuit.  I decided to put some distance between us so I picked up the pace and jogged for a while.  When I slowed down I heard a noise behind me and there he was, right behind me still walking.  I think he had actually closed the gap.  In a minute he was passing me and I said to him, “You’re fast!”  He just kept walking as he muttered, “Nah, I’m moving kinda slow today since I’m wearing ankle weights.”

Great.  I am officially the slowest human being on the planet.

We arrived home Saturday afternoon in time for James to inform me that he wanted to do a little Easter egg hunt for the kids.  So we drove to Walmart and dug through what Easter supplies they had left.  We found some plastic eggs and got some dried fruit and candy.  I know.  Dud.

All of our kids have different tastes in snacks and some have dietary restrictions, so we always code the eggs by color.  Each child (even the adult kids) has their own color of eggs which makes it easy to be sure we know what they get and then if they find someone else’s color they just pass by and don’t say anything.

After church James filled all of the eggs and brought them to me ready to hide.  We had to do it inside since it was raining, so we sent the kids onto the porch to wait while we hid the eggs.  We had 7 eggs per child and, I am not even exaggerating here, it took us TWO HOURS.

We got so confused about the colors and where we hid them and we kept trying to go back and find the ones we had already hidden and oh my goodness it was a mess.  I asked him, “Please don’t make me do this when we have 45 grandchildren.  Let’s just hand them each $5 and leave it at that.”  James agreed.

Easter Bunnying is not our strong suit.

We actually gave up at some point and just let the chips fall where they may.  If some of the kids got less eggs than others then – oh well.  Let it be an opportunity for character development.

Then, to make it even more fun the kids could not find the eggs.  We tried to make it hard, but we may have gone a little overboard in that department.  All in all the whole egg hunt took about 4 hours and went well past dinner time.  Thankfully the kids had Reese’s Pieces and raisins to snack on.

This week begins my big round of conference travel.  I am heading to Salt Lake City this weekend to the SNAP conference.  I’m going to represent my peeps at HomeRight because I love them so.  Then next weekend I go to Chicago for the 2:1 Conference and to spread the word about my friends at Engaging Education.  Y’all know we big puffy heart their classes!

Have a good one!

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

Here in Texas we are having some kind of cold front, which I am loving.  I know that in a month I will be wishing for the days to be cooler so I am pretending it’s May and enjoying the crisp breeze.  I am also enjoying my last few opportunities to wear my cold weather clothing.  Long sleeves will cause me to sweat profusely in a matter of weeks and I am having a love affair with the anthropolgie shirt I bought myself in February.  We don’t want to part.  We are soul mates.

On Saturday we cleaned the house all morning like a little army.  I barked orders and handed out supplies while the kids scrubbed and swept.  I didn’t make them wear a uniform or anything, but after each task was complete I would inspect the work.  It sounds kind of  miserable, but it was actually kind of fun.  It’s nice to work hard together to take care of our home.  In the afternoon we rested, except for two of the boys who had a Lego disaster in their room and took the whole day to get it straightened out.  Legos are the bane of my existence.

This morning I am in Houston for a quick, fun, visit with my aunt.  She had a couple of spare days and I couldn’t resist driving the 4 hours to see her.  She pampers me and tells me I’m pretty and let’s face it….I’m not getting much of that at home since we are just over a week from tax season being over.

On the good side….we are just over a week from tax season being over!  See?  I can be an optimist when pressed, although it’s not my natural gift.

Tonight my aunt and I are going to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, my favorite restaurant to which I don’t have easy access back home.  I have been saving all of my calories for this meal and, while it will probably make me ill, I plan to eat a few bites of cheesecake.  This will be my first rich food in months so I don’t know how my tummy will take it.  I may have to settle for eating just a teeny bit.

This makes me wonder if we weren’t really meant to eat 1200 calories for dessert.  Food for thought.

In the meantime my kids are home eating scrambled eggs or spaghetti, which only makes me feel 1/100th guilty.  But not enough to skip the cheesecake.

I will go home tomorrow and go back to normal old grilled chicken salads and non rich foods and probably warm weather.

The word for the week is: EMBRACE

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Love Your Brother

Love Your Brother

With 9 kids we have many different personalities.  Different interests.  Lots of moods…..

Despite all of that, our children have very loving, caring relationships.  We have almost no arguing or fussing and there is never physical fighting.  Our children really enjoy each other.  This brings such delight to my mother’s heart!

That led me to decide to write a series about building godly sibling relationships.  I want you to have that same joy!  I’ll be sharing each week what is happening in our home and how we manage problems.  We will open up and answer questions as we go along.  It’s gonna be great!

So let’s not waste any time getting started……

The first thing we always do when we are figuring out how to manage anything is look to God’s Word.  It has a LOT to say about how we should treat one another.  We should be kind, merciful, put others first….I could go on and on.  So this is what we teach our children.  And we make sure they know where these ideas come from.  Knowing God said it holds a lot more weight than if it’s just Mom’s crazy idea.

You may have noticed that the Bible never says, “Be kind, unless you’re three and haven’t had a nap.”  Nope.  We must treat each other well and set ourselves aside no matter how old we are and no matter how we feel.  Of course, a three year old hasn’t learned how to be selfless and that’s why you need to teach her.  Be patient, be understanding, but do not be lenient about proper behavior.  Kids can’t be perfect…..no one can.  I am still trying to figure this out and I am 48 years old!  Perfection in NOT the goal.  Learning and growing to be more Christlike is the goal.  And glorifying God instead of ourselves is the BIG goal.

Begin to teach God’s principles for how we are to treat one another.  It’s a good place to start.  Write out a few verses and start memorizing them together.  We will work build on this through the series.

1 John 3:16-18 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

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