A Little Mom Time

A Little Mom Time

Moms need breaks sometimes. If you're feeling bad about resting, it's time for you to get over that!

Well? How was your weekend?

It was pretty quiet around here.  It was supposed to be busy, but things got cancelled and changed and it turned out to be kinda slow, which was so nice.

On Saturday it was just me and my younger three boys at home, so I told them that if they got all of their chores done quickly they could have the afternoon free.  The only requirement for their free time was that at least an hour of it had to be doing something outside.

I could hear them plotting while they swept and folded the clothes.  By the time we were all done with chores they had a whole plan in motion.  Their plan included sword fights, super heroes, eating nachos and playing wii.  That was perfect for me because my plan included ignoring them for the afternoon while I caught up on my reading.  I have two books that I am in the middle of, one fiction and one non-fiction.  There are always two because sometimes I’m in the mood for educating myself and other times I’m in the mood to get swept away in a great story.  This day it was fiction.

I settled in my bedroom and read my delicious book.  When the day was over I was feeling pretty refreshed.  I mean, what’s more relaxing than a clean house and happy kids who are playing together?  Nothing, I tell you, nothing.

On Sunday we visited a new church for the second time.  The whole finding-a-church thing is so hard.  You visit one for a few weeks, realize it’s really not the right fit for you and you move on.  Sometimes it’s obvious why the place is not right for you and sometimes it’s just a sense after much prayer and discussion.  We have had several great churches in our past that we loved and loved the people, but since we moved here many years ago that connection really hasn’t happened.  We’ve attended some for years, but not had that sense of belonging.  I’m not sure why God has kept us in this dry place, but we have continued the search and are not giving up.

After we got home yesterday it was the best part of my week….Sunday nap.  I mean to tell you my Sunday nap is critical to my well being the rest of the week.  I slept for 2 hours and woke up wondering where I was.  After a second I rolled over and just laid there…oh yeah, it’s Sunday.  It’s really the only day I can just let myself wake up slowly without someone waiting for me to help them or asking me a question.  There was nothing pressing, no work to do, no kids needing me for anything.

If you’re feeling jealous over my Saturday reading and Sunday napping, hear me when I tell you that these things were impossible for me for about 20 years.  With 9 kids and homeschooling and living on a hobby farm, there’s never been much time for rest.  So this is a new season and you will get there too.  When the babies are little it seems so far away, then you blink and you’re there wishing for them to be little again.  But not too little….’cuz that nap was pretty awesome.

This week it’s gonna be me bracing myself for the oncoming heat wave.  The temps are rising steadily and are expected to be 90 by the weekend.  That’s nothin’ compared to what’s ahead, but still too hot for this A/C loving mama.

Have a great Monday and hop over to Facebook to say hello!

Smile!  It Increases Your Face Value!

Smile! It Increases Your Face Value!

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

Come on over and share your smile story!!!

Did you know what a smile can do for you and the people around you?  Here are a few fun facts about smiling:

  1. It actually improves your mood.  Studies show that the simple act of smiling sends the message to your brain that you are happy.
  2. It helps others feel better.  Like a kind word or happy song, a smile cad cheer up another person.
  3. It makes you look prettier.  There’s really nothing like a big smile to make you look your most gorgeous.
  4. It can lead to laughter….and we know what the Bible says about laughter….it’s GOOD MEDICINE!
  5. It’s a natural stress reducer.  You’d be surprised to discover how much more relaxed you can be just from smiling a few extra times a day.
  6. It boosts your immune system.  If smiling relaxes you, then it also naturally helps your body fight off germs.  The more relaxed you are, the healthier you are!
  7. It makes you look successful.  Have you ever seen a person smiling and wondered what they have going on in their life that’s so good?  It can actually make you look like you have a great life which communicates success!
  8. It puts others at ease.  Meeting someone that is frowning (like me!) can make someone uncomfortable.  Should you talk to them?  Are they worried?  Do you even want to know what’s happening in their life?!  Smiling helps other people feel more comfortable.

I definitely need to work on smiling more.  It’s one of my many weaknesses….I don’t smile enough naturally.  I can be all happy and cheerful on the inside but often no one can tell.  I am convinced that God gave me a natural frowny face as a life challenge.  I sometimes smile at myself in the mirror so I can see how much better my face looks when there’s a happy expression on it.  It may be embarrassing, but it actually helps!

When I started speaking to women’s groups a few years ago, a friend of mine told me, “You need to smile more when you speak.  It will really bless your audience.”  I knew I wasn’t super smiley, but I hadn’t really thought about how it affected the listener.  So I began to really work on it, besides looking in the mirror and practicing, I also tried to remember to smile at least twice in every conversation.  Even if I am on the phone with someone, smiling changes the mood of the discussion.

Recently I made myself a challenge….to smile for 10 seconds when I am talking with someone.  Do you know how HARD it is so smile for TEN SECONDS?!  Especially for someone like me who tends to have that airport face on all the time.  You know, the one that says, “I am not.in.the.mood to talk to you.”  I will not even realize I am doing it, so I try to remind myself of how great it feels to me when someone smiles at me and then try to give that feeling to other people.  So if you’re talking to me and I look different than usual, know that I am probably practicing my smile.  Maybe even smile back at me to help me see if it’s working.

Come see 8 reasons smiling is good for you!!!

 

I’m not insecure about my smile though, I just don’t naturally grin.  But many people are insecure about their smile.  One of my sons, for example, used to keep his lips closed when he smiled or he covered his mouth.  He was really self-conscious about his extremely crooked teeth.  Of COURSE we encourage confidence no matter how you look!  That’s so, so important!  I am also glad we were able to use the Invisalign treatment and get those gorgeous teeth straightened.

A big, confident smile can really make a difference in every area of your life.  Family relationships, work, church and community friends, even how you see yourself can all be improved with a joyful beam.  I am also amazed at how much better I feel when I am smiling.  It’s an instant happy pill….like sunshine and chocolate.  My son has found his smile and it does my mama heart good to see his face light up with confidence.

Here’s a really sweet video about how some other people found their smile too:

The folks at Invisalign are interested in your smile story!  Click HERE to see how you can not only share your story, but enter to win a “Smile Grant” for free Invisalign treatment!

Say WHAT?!  Now that should make anyone smile!

So, let’s all smile more!!  I hope you’ll head over to the Smile Grant page and share your best smile story!

If you liked this you’ll also like my Ten Reasons to Use Invisalign and 5 Tips for Helping Your Teen with Invisalign!

And for extra fun, hop over to Facebook and tell me if you know what move the title of this post came from!

Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons 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.

Doth Thou Feelest Ready for Summer?

Doth Thou Feelest Ready for Summer?

There's always a slew of things to do before the summer.  Like, put away the stuff still out from last summer.

Are you getting ready for summer?  With school winding down and vacations being planned and the heat coming upon us it’s prep time.  I am trying to clean the house and the spiff up the porch and our pool is getting the care it needs to be ready for daily swimming and splashing that happens all summer around here.  At some point I guess I need to see if everyone’s last year’s swimsuits still fit and/or have any elastic left.

My summer is already looking full on the calendar.  I am traveling a couple of times each month plus we have nieces and nephews visiting for half of July.  I am really looking forward to their visit….they are so precious!  I am going to plan all kinds of fun times while they’re here.  Pennington Summer Camp complete with NingXia red popsicles and diffusing peppermint.  My 7 year old nephew might not realize how awesome this is, but he’s getting it anyway.

This past weekend I made a quick trip to Dallas with my husband for the Republican Convention and to visit my oldest daughter.  When I got home on Friday night, being in my summer prep mode, I started to unpack and then wondered about the suitcase…..to put it away or not to put it away…..that is the question.  Really, it always comes down to Shakespeare, doesn’t it?  Once more unto the breach, dear friends and all that.  Yeah, I don’t know what I’m saying.  It’s possible that the suitcase now sitting in my bedroom with no purpose but proving that I am too lazy to carry it to the storage building then go get it back out in three weeks has gone to my brain.

I did clean my bedroom on Saturday.  I was alone with my 3 youngest boys all day so we decided (well, I decided and they went along with it since I promised them a junk food dinner) to have a bedroom cleaning marathon.  We made lists on our giant white board of tasks in each room then set a timer and blasted fun music while we worked.  After the timers went off we all checked each other’s progress.  We got a lot done that way.  List, work as fast as we could to the music, timers going off, check, repeat.  3 rooms cleaned.  Now we only have the rest of the house to do.

Their reward was going to the dollar store for food.  I let them each pick a frozen dinner and chips.  Don’t judge me.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.  I’ll feed them veggies all week to make up for it.

I am also getting my wardrobe ready for the heat wave that’s about to hit.  I haven’t heard any weathermen saying there’s a heat wave coming, it’s just that I live in Texas and there’s no avoiding it.  I am also making sure all of our fans are working and I have freezer space for bags of Sonic ice.  I read recently that it’s healthiest to only drink room temperature water.  While this may be ideal and maybe I will shoot for that in the mornings and evenings, I can’t do it in the mid-day-summer-temps.  My survival depends on crushed ice.

I am also hoping to get the yard cleaned up before summer, but that may be overshooting our abilities since all my bigger kids have jobs, are in theater performances and doing extra activities that keep them out of the house.  It takes a village to run this operation and half my villagers are running around all times of the day and night.  Although one day last week my girls got the urge to clean out the pantry which absolutely made me giddy until I saw the mountain of “extra” food covering the kitchen table.  “We weren’t sure what to do with this stuff,” they said.  Um…..great.  Now I have a pile of expired soup and half used boxes of dry milk to feel guilty about.  #thestruggleisreal

Maybe if I promise someone another dollar store TV dinner with Nacho Cheese Doritos they will just throw it all away without asking me and I can pretend I never saw it.

Yes, I teach parenting tips.

And now I shall leave you with this thought, “Goodnight!  Goodnight!  Parting is such sweet sorrow.  That I shall say goodnight ’til it be morrow.”

Come join me on Facebooketh for more sweet delight!

Celebrating ALL MONTH LONG

Celebrating ALL MONTH LONG

I am over the moon excited about my essential oil deal this month!  I decided to do something extra special for the month of May to celebrate Mom all month long.  ‘Cuz moms are th’ BOMB!

So, you know I love my oils and how they have changed my life and how I can’t stop talking about them, right?  I remember before I ever got any essential oils wishing I could try them, then finally jumping in and ordering some, then letting them sit in the drawer for a long time. But one morning I decided to take them out where I could see them all the time and voila!  Instant love.  I started using them every day and soon wondered how I ever got along without them.

If you're not unsing your essential oils, maybe it's because they're not sitting out where you can see them everyday!

I have a large collection now because, well, I am hooked.  H-O-O-K-E-D.  I’d call it a problem, except they have rescued me so many times that I think of it more as a solution.  I want to encourage you that it took me time to build up my arsenal of oils by buying a little each month.  Keep going and you will have what you need!

Oils have made such a huge difference in my life that I want to share them with everyone!

Because I want you all to have a starter set to begin and that’s why this month I wanted to send my new members something special.  Because you all are SO special to me.  The members I work with are one of the HUGE blessings of being part of Young Living.  I have gotten to know some incredible people and been able to share in their journey toward natural health and wellness.  I love each person and pray for them regularly and I want to add you to my list!

Here’s what I am sending my May members who order the Premium Starter Kit:

1. A diffuser necklace – This is a small silver medallion necklace that opens up and holds a small pad that you can put oils on.  Then you have them on you all day long.  I have several diffuser necklaces and adore wearing them!
2. A bottle of Orange Vitality Oil – Orange is one of my favorite oils to combine with other oils in the diffuser or in water.  It boosts the flavor or scent of other oils and is a great way to extend the life of your more costly oils.
3. A great reference book – As soon as you get your kit you will want to explore ways to use them.  This is a very full book that will keep you perusing for hours (in fact, I keep one in the bathroom just to look through!).
4. A starter guide made just for you by our team – You will be added to an amazing team called Oily Families who has put together a simple starter guide to help you with just the oils in the kit.  It’s like the quick start guide when you receive your electronics….not comprehensive but a great thing to get you going.
5. Mama Needs a Do-Over – Yes, I am sending my book, which has nothing to do with essential oils and everything to do with finding joy through the hard days.  It’s a great read for moms and I wanted to add it to my gifts for new members this month to encourage you to be JOY-FILLED!

A great deal for May.....come join the Young Living family!

 

Oh!  And I will also add you to a great Facebook group where you can ask questions.

Isn’t that a great deal?!  That’s just the extra stuff from me to you.  That’s not even mentioning the incredible set of oils you will get when you order your kit.  Thieves Vitality, Lemon Vitality, Lavender, Peppermint Vitality, PanAway, Frankincense, Copiaba Vitality, Purification, RC, Digize Vitality & StressAway.  Plus you get a diffuser, some sample bottles for sharing, and a few other samples you will enjoy!  You can click HERE to see how I use the oils in the kit.

So what are you waiting for?!

Click HERE and go get signed up.  And be sure to join as a wholesale member so you get the 24% discount and other great deals.  You never have to sell if you don’t want to, you can just order for yourself if you want.

I’m so, so excited to add you to my list of oily friends!

Some Easy Reads for Your Spring Weekend

Some Easy Reads for Your Spring Weekend

spring-reads03

As you head into your spring weekend, I have a few things you might want to peruse for some light reading.  Books are amazing, books are my favorite thing, I’d spend a weekend with a book as often as possible.  But sometimes I don’t have a whole weekend to spend in a hammock with a whole book, so these will serve as a momentary substitute until you have more time.  Some of these are articles I wrote and most are treasures written by people I follow and I want to share them with you…

  1. 8 Mother-Daughter Tips from an Older Mom – This list of 8 things I would share with moms of young girls is one you may want to bookmark.  Read it again when you’re struggling.  After 26 years of experience with raising daughters, many victories and many failures, I am happy to share this sweet list with you.
  2. No Screen-Time Until… – My friend Becky at Your Modern Family shares how her family handles screen time in her home and she has a cute printable for the kids to reference.  It’s super cute!  We are very tight about how much screen time the kids get, only at night after dinner with their ipods and the wii is once a week for 2 hours, one movie a week on Friday night.  But occasionally they will ask on a quiet Saturday if they can do something electronic and I can see this list being a great source for when to let them.
  3. When Motherhood Reveals Your Blemishes – This from The Better Mom isn’t about skin care, like I first suspected, but about having your weaknesses and fear exposed.  It’s a quick, easy read of encouragement and hope.
  4. When They Say ‘Be Yourself” They Don’t Mean Me – This is an older post of mine that I shared on Facebook last week to give people a laugh.  Sometimes we just need a time of getting outside our head and laughing at what could have so easily have happened to us.  Enjoy!
  5. Momma Are You Listening? – Be careful about this one…it’s ouchie!  Wendy over at Hip Homeschool Moms shares the sad truth about how we pay more attention to our phones than we do our kids.  I have a rule not to be on my phone at all when I am out with my family.  It is really hard (sad, but true) but I know it’s the right thing to do.
  6. Lastly, if you are looking for a whole book to spend the weekend with, all curled up on a lawn chair, be sure to pick up my book, “Mama Needs a D0-Over“.  Get it on Kindle and don’t wait to get started!

I hope you have a glorious weekend of refreshing and relaxing.  Be blessed!

Lisa on Ice

Lisa on Ice

 

lisa-ice03

Sorry, no ice skating here.  After all, I live in South Texas.  The kind of ice I am on is more of an ice pack than an ice rink.  I hate to be a drag, but ice skating is about the last thing I could have done this past weekend, even if I lived in Canada.  Mostly because I can barely walk.

It happened Saturday morning.  My babiest girl and I were about to head out to celebrate her birthday with some mom-daughter shopping when I brilliantly decided to toss a load of laundry in the dryer before we left.  Mistake.  BIG mistake.  I mean, no one really needed those sheets and towels right then.  I just turned as I was putting the sheets in the dryer and felt a pain.  That;’s the whole story; I didn’t even get a good laugh out of it.

My daughter was standing at the front door waiting for me to finish the laundry switch when I limped past her and said I had just done something, not sure what, to my back and needed to grab some ice and some oils.  I oiled up, threw an ice pack behind me in the car, and off we went to shop ’til we dropped.  Unfortunately, I dropped immediately.  The whole getting-in-and-out-of-the-car thing became a problem.  After only an hour of shopping it became obvious that this wasn’t going away.  I had to wait in the car while she shopped.  Happy birthday to you ♫.

I texted a friend of mine, the wife of a chiropractor, and asked her what to do.  She gave me her thoughts and I followed them (once I got home).  Of course, she’s not a real chiro so I realize her advice isn’t considered treatment, just like when someone asks me for tax advice.  You should really ask my husband instead, but I might know a little bit.

“Rest as much as possible until Monday then get to the chiropractor.”  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

lisa-ice02

That would have been lovely if I hadn’t been scheduled to speak at a local woman’s group on Sunday afternoon.  I texted another friend, “Please pray for me….I can barely walk or stand and I have to speak tomorrow.”  She asked me if she needed to learn my speech, just in case.  It didn’t seem right to have her tell all about her CPA/attorney husband and 9 kids, so I hobbled through it, then went home and got back on the regimen.  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

Today I am 5% better and headed to the chiro.  The good news is, I am getting a lot of writing done.  The bad news is I am having to cancel some important appointments this week.  I really, really hate cancelling commitments!

lisa-ice05

My 4 younger boys are taking care of me, which is interesting.  Sunday afternoon I had Levi (8 years old) as my helper.  At bedtime I called him to turn the bed down for me and while he did that I got into my PJs.  It hurt to stand so I was anxious to lie down and before giving it much thought I painfully fell into bed.  Then I realized that I had forgotten to do several things, so I told Levi, “I have bad news for you, I am going to need you to do some more things for me.”

“Why is that bad news?” he asked.  “Well,” I smiled at his sweet little face, “Because I only asked you to turn down the bed, but now I need you to plug in my phone, start my diffuser and a few other things.”

“I don’t see why that’s bad news, Mommy.  It’s basically all I have been doing all day anyway, and besides, I really don’t even get what’s wrong with you.”

Oh, to be young again!

My 14 year old is my helper today and he, unlike Levi, is checking on me every 20 minutes.  He set his timer and he is taking his job very seriously.  A little too seriously.  He’s like the waiter who refills your tea every 15 minutes whether you want it or not.  I mean, I appreciate the dedication, but I am trying to get some work done here.

But don’t feel sorry for me.  By the end of the week I will be up and running again.  My boys and I will have had some quality time and I will have gotten 20 things knocked off my list of “sitting jobs.”  There’s always something good to be found in an unexpected situation!

Have a terrific week!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat….just search for @penningtonpoint.

I Was Cleaning, but then I Got Sleepy

I Was Cleaning, but then I Got Sleepy

Spring.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…..

I can’t help it, I get poetic about the amazing weather and flowers popping out everywhere.  It’s such a nice change from brown grass and chilly rain.  It doesn’t get super cold here, but it’s still enough to make your bones feel frozen.

We’ve been spring cleaning around here.  Every afternoon I work on one spot in the house, cleaning and organizing it.  I am doing it slowly in an attempt to trick myself into thinking I’m not really working.  It’s just one drawer or a bookshelf or cabinet, right?  No biggie.  And so far the illusion seems to be successful.  I am getting things done and not feeling overwhelmed.

Since we have a houseful of company this week the cleaning is going to slow down, but that’s OK.  We can pick it back up next week.  It’s not like the mess is going anywhere.

My oldest daughter is home from Dallas with her favorite guy.  All of our older kids will be attending the Christian Worldview Film Festival together this week.  It’s something they look forward to every year.  Another daughter made a short film that’s playing in the festival, so we are all excited to see it on the big screen.  I may cry during the showing, ‘cuz that’s what my mother heart does when I see one of my kids reaching for their dreams.  When she goes to the Academy Awards in a few years to accept her award for Best New Screenplay, she should probably not ask me to be her +1.  I’ll cry the ugly cry and embarrass when she is being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest.

We also have a couple of other friends staying here this week so it’s a full house.  That means lots of extra food and toilet paper and laundry detergent.  I went to Costco and stocked up as best I could, but I am sure there were holes in my plan and I will have to make a few grocery runs during the festival.  It’s my goal to make that part of their week easy so they can just enjoy the fellowship.

Last night a few extra young adults joined us all for dinner and it was such a special time.  In our dining room there are 2 tables, a long one where our whole family eats our daily meals and a shorter table where we generally do school and it doubles as an extra when we have a lot of people over.  The 20-somethings all sat around the long table with a few of my teens.  James and I sat at the shorter table with our little boys and were supposed to be talking to eat other.  But I couldn’t focus on my table conversation because I was too busy soaking in the joy of having a table full of godly, smart, laughing, young adults next to me.

I promise I wasn’t listening in on their conversations.  I really was not paying attention to what they were saying at all.  I just absorbed the joy of it.  This is my dream…..happy kids with happy friends all helping each other find their way in the world.  Watching a toddler learn to walk is amazing, but it’s really just a shadow of watching your grown child learn to walk into their adult life.  It makes my heart explode with the sweetness.

The only negative to my whole weekend was the ridiculous annoyance of Daylight Savings Time, which has thrown my internal clock into a tizzy and I can’t wake up.  Like, all day.  I practically fell asleep last night at 8:00, which shouldn’t happen because doesn’t my body think it’s 7:00 and I should be fully awake?!  But NO!  I think I have DTS induced narcolepsy.

So I will be half sleep-walking through my week with all of these house guests and my beautiful daughter visiting and the film festival.  I hope I can wake up enough to at least get the rest of the groceries we need.

Have a great week…..I’ll be soaking in the sun, the kids, their friends a few naps and my partially clean house.

A Word for 2016

A Word for 2016

So it’s a whole new year.  Clean slate.  Ready – set – go!

For me, 2015 will go down in my personal history as one of the hardest years of my life.  Years from now when I am in the nursing home and an attendant pushing my wheelchair asks me, “So, tell me about your life.” I will say, “I don’t remember much, but I do know that 2015 was H-E-double-hockey-sticks.”

I am glad to have it behind me and I have high hopes for 2016.  Not that there’s any reason to think that except trust in God and believing He knows that I can only take so much.

Then there’s that “Word of the Year” thing people do.  Last year I chose the word “trust” and man-oh-man, did I get tested on that.  I’m pretty sure I passed, but my grade might be like a D.  So this year I wrote down a few words that I thought might make the year a little easier.  I thought maybe a word like SLEEP would be good.  Or SNACKS.

But then, ya know, I prayed about it and God said no.  I had to have a word that actually would challenge me to be more like Christ.  Really, these words, it feels a little like He chooses them because I will start to feel drawn to something in particular and slowly it becomes clear.  Like those Magic Eye pictures from the 90s where you think you see a kaleidoscope of images but when you change your focus it actually has a crystal clear other picture there.

This one, for example, shows 3D snowflakes and two of the birds float to the front when you look at it with a different focus:

So I changed my focus on my list of word ideas and God gave HUMILITY for 2016.  I am really hoping for a gentler lesson than the 2015 experience, but with a word like humility, it could get rough.

I think I am going to order one of those teeny stamped rings with my 2016 word on it.  I have a few others already with some favorite words that inspire me.  I have one that says “abundance” another “valor” which are my favorite essential oils.  I have a “trust” ring for 2015 and a few blank ones.  I was, of course, originally going to get my kids’ names on my rings, but with 9 of them it was too many to wear at once and I felt bad thinking I would have to choose which kids to wear each day, so I went with motivational words instead.  After all, if I am drawn to be more humble, trusting and brave then I am a better mom with or without their name on my finger.   So I will add “humility” to the stack and hope it helps me see where God is leading me this year.

God has been convicting me more and more over the past few months that I need to expand my serving.  I would have told you that I already do plenty of that, but since He has been so clear to me that I need to do more then I am following His lead.  Plus I need to work on other areas of humility like to listen more and talk less, think more of others and recognize more that I am not always right.

I don’t know where God and I are going with this, but I am bracing myself for the journey.  I am not going to force it.  I’ll just start small and see where He leads.

Speaking of humility, I’ve been sharing some sweet, humble stories on Facebook all week of acts of kindness and caring.  Finding these stories to share is helping me see where I am supposed to shift my perspective.  Plus it’s been good for me to see how many selfless things people do for each other.  We all need that reminder in the midst of news stories of school shootings and people tearing each other down on the internet.

This one is too long for me to share anywhere else and the image quality is bad, but it’s worth sharing!.  Be warned…you may need a tissue….

So his mom posted the on social media:

And look what happened….

It was even better than they could have planned.

 

This was a little boy’s dream come true.  A simple act of kindness could alter his life.

Don’t be mad at me if you’re bawling now.  I gave you fair warning.

What about you…do you choose a word for the year?  I’d love to know what it is.

Join the conversation over on my Facebook page!

10 Questions for Your Kids When They Are Bored

10 Questions for Your Kids When They Are Bored

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello!  If you’re stopping by from Thomas Nelson…welcome!  I hope you’ll hang around and if you want to know more about me THIS is a good place to start!

10 great questions to have your kids ask themselves when they are bored. #parenting

With 9 kids, I have heard many versions of “Mom, I’m bored,” and, “I don’t have anything to do.”  I usually send them outside with orders to, “Run around and have FUN!”.  But the cold weather (or here in Texas, the summer heat) can keep us inside and not sure what to do with ourselves.

I keep a list posted in the house for the kids to reference when they have nothing to do: 10 things to ask yourself before you tell Mom you’re bored.

Before you tell Mom you’re bored, answer these questions:

  1. Is your room clean?  Picking up a few things and straightening is an important thing to do every day.
  2. Have you exercised?  Use your body and get your heart rate up every day.
  3. Can you help someone?  The best way to use your free time is to give it to someone else.
  4. Have you read a book today?  Keep your mind exercised by reading every day!
  5. Have you prayed?  When you’re bored, it’s a good time to spend a few minutes talking to God.
  6. Have you read the Bible?  Find a verse and read it 3 times then say it out loud.
  7. Have you done something creative?  Draw a picture, write a story, play some music, weave a potholder.
  8. Have you played a game with someone?  NOT a video game, but a game where you sit at a table facing each other and talking to each other.
  9. Are your chores done?  Is the dog bowl clean and your laundry put away?  You are an important part of your family and when you don’t do your chores you are making life harder for everyone else.
  10. Is there something you can find to do yourself?  Look around and see what you can do without interrupting Mom or Dad to ask.  You might be surprised at what’s available to you already.

Here are a few fun books to keep around for the kids to read while they’re looking for something to do:

Read and Share 5 Minute Bible Stories (quick, easy reference to find Bible stories, you might even find art projects to go along with them!), Henry Hodges Needs a Friend (a sweet little book about feeling left out), Under the Sea  (packed with hundreds of ideas for felt creations), MindWar (for the teens, one of those thrillers about a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers a hidden gift)
The next time your child tell you they are bored, get out the questions and let them find productive things to do on their own.  Get their creative juices flowing and teach them to make wise choices for how to spend their time.
And then send them out to play.
Come on over to Facebook for more conversation!
Today I am Thankful

Today I am Thankful

Last week when I was at Disney I got to meet a couple of y’all and that was wonderful!  I love meeting you all in person and getting to chat with you.  Each of the ladies I met asked me the same question that many of you ask me, “How are things going with your daughter?”.

I have stayed away from this subject on the blog for several reasons.

  1. There really isn’t anything to tell.  We don’t hear from her and know very little about her life.
  2. It is painful.  I like to be positive and encouraging here, but I want to be honest.  This is a very hard subject for me and frankly I just don’t like to talk about it.
  3. The haters.  It is a sad, sad world out there and people sure do enjoy tearing others apart.  Every time I mention anything about my hurt over this situation people come out of the woodwork to throw stones at me and it’s just so dumb and mean.  I simply don’t want to dredge up the crazy.
  4. The very, very limited accessibility we have with her is a precious treasure to me and I don’t want to lose that by saying anything that would hurt her in any way.  Sometimes you just need to keep quiet and pray, so that’s what we’re doing.

But I know that many of you care about us and wonder how I am.  I get asked about it several times a day, and your tenderness has been a blessing!!!

Here’s the answer: I am really, really sad, but I am OK.  In fact, I am finding places of joy and peace that I never knew existed before because I never needed it so much.  I am learning humility and hope and trust in the God who knows exactly what we need.

I am still working on some other lessons I need to learn, like forgiveness and confidence in who I am in Christ without being affected by what other people think.  Those 2 things, yeah, not easy.  I read once that if we won’t forgive someone else then we don’t fully understand the depths of our own depravity.  That really helps me remember that I am no more deserving of forgiveness than anyone else, no matter what they’ve done.  The Bible is clear on that.  But honestly, there are a few people that my flesh would rather never see or hear from again.  Just being real, not saying it’s right.

God is even using that battle to grow me into a stronger, wiser, more valuable member of the Kingdom.  I do want that, even though it hurts like H-E-double-hockeysticks.

This week, as we move into the holidays I am fighting the grief again.  My heart breaks daily and God beautifully mends it every single time.  He often uses you all to be His messenger of love.  Those of you who have sent me cards and messages, you have held me together.  Every note of encouragement is a healing balm to me.  Isn’t it amazing how you find out who your true friends are through these kinds of trials?  I have been shocked (and saddened) at who has been hateful and even more surprised at many who came out in force to stand firm by my side.  Those people are my earth angels (great, now I’m picturing Marty McFly from Back to the Future and that song “Earth Angel”).

God uses our suffering for our good, and knowing who you can really trust is a very good thing!  I have been so, so grateful for that.  And He has shown me where I am strong, thickened my skin, held me up in times of trial and proved to me that I can survive what I would have thought would kill me.

OK, I am reading back through this and it sounds like a real downer.  I don’t want to leave you with anything but the tremendous hope and gratitude that I have in what God can do and how great He is to use my hardships to help me and the people I love.  Nothing but good will come of this trial, that I am sure of.

Here are a few things that I am so, so thankful for…

  1. He has lovingly removed some toxic people from my life.
  2. He is teaching me to forgive, which is my biggest challenge.
  3. He is showing me where my value lies, which is in Him!
  4. He is making me more loving and understanding.
  5. He is giving me new friends who are trustworthy.
  6. He is strengthening my relationship with my other kids (this part has been SUCH a blessing!)
  7. He is teaching me blind trust and giving me that kind of joy that only comes from the Holy Spirit and has nothing to do with circumstance.
  8. He has strengthened my marriage through this, when it could have easily gone the other way.
  9. He has blessed my business, how amazing!!!
  10. He has give me the opportunity through this to encourage thousands of you who are going through a similar trial, which is an incredible gift to me.

Yippee!!  Look at what a great list that is! I hope that encourages you to be thankful this week and for whatever God is doing in your life.  It can get really hard, but oh so rich with blessings along the way!  Make your own list and see what great things God is doing.

Happy Thanksgiving!  May the joy of the Lord be your strength!