Actions Speak Louder than Words

Summer is just around the corner! By next week your kids will be yours for the summer… and for some your schedule will be more relaxed. Stay at home moms will no longer be working against a clock to get up and have kids out the door early every morning. There may be a week of summer camp where you have the whole house to yourself. Maybe you don’t have kids of your own yet, because you are still in college yourself. Or maybe you do have kids but are in college and get a little break for a few months.

Regardless, summer tends to bring an air of laziness to most homes. And I mean that in a good way! It’s great to slow down and unwind. It’s important to spend time with your children; or doing things for yourself. But we can go too far in relaxing our standards.

With Summer vacation so close, my Facebook and Pintrest are both blowing up with all the cute little “Before you XYZ, have you 1,2,3?” type lists. These lists promise children all of one thing as long as they complete a list of other things. For example: All the screen time you want, as long as you have cleaned your room, read for an hour, played outside for an hour, done something creative, and done the chore of mom’s choice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the idea here that kids need to be more active, and such during the summer. My problem is I have yet to see a list for mom. What makes us think we can teach our children to be responsible if we aren’t setting the example? It won’t work. We have to SHOW our kids how to be grown-ups. So here is my list for moms… And it might just help you set up a system that will keep you more in check, and sane during the next school year too!

Before you read novels, open Pintrest, spend an hour on Facebook, take a nap, or turn on Netflix; have you:

  • Done a load of laundry, washed dishes, swept/vacuumed, or cleaned a bath room?
  • Spent an hour outside (walking, lawn work, watching the kids play…even a picnic)
  • Read something educational (news article, chapter of a non-fiction book, etc)
  • Played or worked with children for at least an hour
  • Baked or done something crafty

There you have it ladies (and dads too, I might add.) A tidy little list for setting a better example this summer.

I’m Not the Mom I Thought I’d Be

Sweet little home made dresses billowing behind giggling girls swinging in the sunshine. Rows of clean laundry, and cloth diapers flapping in the breeze. Hot supper, of fresh picked garden treasures on the table when the kids cheer “daddy’s home!”……..

That was the mom I thought I would be. But it certainly isn’t who I am.

No. I’m the mom typing a blog on a phone, while eating a sundae at the Sonic drive-in, at 9:45 on a Thursday night.

I’m the mom who remembers there was a fit that led to a spanking today, but can’t fir the life of me recall what the fit was about.

I’m the mom who calls a fruit cup lunch….And a bowl of cereal breakfast.

I’m the mom looking frazzled and exhausted. And complaining to my husband because I’m overwhelmed.

No. I’m certainly not the mom I thought I’d be. I still aspire to be that mom. To actually bake those amazing biscuits for breakfast. To line dry our clothes, and make more sweet dresses.

Maybe some day I’ll be that mom… For now I’ll be the mom of a little girl who suddenly grasped potty training, and went from wet pull-up, to dry big girl pants – day and night – in just 2 weeks.

I’ll be the mom of a little boy who gives the very best hugs.

I’ll be the mom who puts the kids in “swimming soups” to play in the water.

I’ll be the mom who make 2 matching plates of hot dogs and cheetos for lunch.

I’ll be the mom who gives more kisses and praises, than spankings and time outs.

And I’ll be the mom who writes blogs at Sonic… The internet is better here anyway.

May Operation Christmas Child Ideas

I’m running a little late posting this, but here it is!

The month of May is dedicated to collecting things for 10-14 year old girls. This can be a tricky age to shop for. It’s hard to know what a 14 year old girl we have never met, might want as a gift. The truth is, most of the children who receive gifts through Operations Christmas Child need so many things, that almost any gift will be a blessing. Like the months before I have shopped and found some things I recommend for the shoe boxes.

Clothes

PART_1462898641386_0510161141.jpg

 

The shoe boxes that can be ordered from Samaritans purse are pretty small. That makes shopping for older kids tough, because the clothes need to be bigger. I recommend something like this shirt, leggings set. Both are soft and can be rolled fairly small. A simple dress, or skirt would also be appropriate. This set is size 8 and was $8.74 at Wal-Mart. Socks and panties are also great to put in each box. This package of size 10 briefs is perfect. And the package of size M socks is also a great buy. (Sorry, some of my prices are missing… I misplaced my receipt.)

Shoes and Accessories

PART_1462898632506_0510161141a

Unfortunately, shoes are really hard for this age group. They are just too big to fit in the box with many other gifts. $.98 flip-flops are good compromise over nicer shoes, unless you are using larger boxes. The set of 4 bright colored necklaces make fun “filler” gifts for this age. They were only $4.88. Bright colored bandanas can be very useful; and they are only $1! This neat little purse is sure to bring a smile to a young lady across the globe. This one was in the girls clothing department for $5.47.

Fun Gifts

PART_1462898617291_0510161141b.jpg

Gifts for this age can be more along the line of small tools or other useful items. I read in Franklin Graham’s book Operation Christmas Child, how a young boy was ecstatic to find his own “towel” in his box. He was in a orphanage and all the children shared just 1 or 2 towels. He said he was later told what he had was actually a wash cloth.Can you imagine even one child drying off with a rag? But we can assume from his story that the towels they all shared could not have been too much bigger than a rag. With that in mind, I think hand towels (around $2); or even bright, fun kitchen towels will make super gifts for this age group! I also suggest a small sewing kit (around $1) and some fabric (around $5-7). Any box with a sewing kit should also receive a pair of school scissors, for cutting fabric.

These are all simple gifts, and none of them are expensive, but they may very well change the course of a child’s life by bringing them to knowledge of the Love of God.