Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School Backpack Organization

Having half a dozen kids in school can make it tricky when it comes to keeping the homework and backpacks where we can find them.

We have left the teens to their own devices on this one -mostly because they should know better by now.

Our three boys are in 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade and they are more focused on playing than keeping their school supplies together. We have realized this was going to be a major problem two weeks into the school year so we came up with a solution.

In our 'mud' room (laundry room technically with the back door in it) we hung up a coat rack for their backpacks and enough hooks for them to also hang their jackets when it gets cooler. We are on day three and it already seems to be making things so much better for them..

Monday, August 22, 2011

Team Work: Not an Option

B1 & B2 working together
A family is very much a good synonym for a team.

Think about it. A healthy, functional family works together. They are a team. The kids do chores and help out around the house. The parents are involved in the kids lives but there is still room for them to breath.

Now, I know this does not always happen. Frankly, in our home it rarely happens. It is an issue that we have had to face many times and it is mostly because we are a blended family. It only takes one person to rock the boat if you know what I mean. One child decide they are not going to do their part and next thing you know, nobody wants to do anything.

As our family has matured we have tried many different ways to keep the team work alive. It is a struggle with teens that want to do their own thing. We are looking for inspiration with the teens. Their main motivation is electronics and money, neither of which happen to adequately available for them.

When the girls were younger and even with the boys, a chore chart worked wonderfully. Listing the chores and then putting stars by the ones completed on the day they were done. Then at the end of the week, add the stars up to see what incentives were earned. Which, the incentives do not have to be costly. You can make an incentive chest and fill it with pinata filler toys rather inexpensively. (We avoid rewarding with food 98% of the time.)

We have thought about purchasing giftcards from our local Kroger that way we earn the fuel points from purchasing the cards and end up saving money on gas (which we REALLY need to do with the Expedition).

The other thing we have done is tickets. Each chore earns a ticket and then there are things the kids can do that cost tickets. (i.e. 3 tickets = 30 minutes TV, 10 tickets = trip to the playground, 30 tickets = movie theater, etc)

When the family is on the same page the results are wonderful! There are days that all the kids are eager to help out Mom and Dad, and those days are great.

How do you get your family to work together?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Heavenly Peace

Have you had those moments where you are almost positive that the situation will not end well but then a complete sense of peace comes over you? That is how I wish I always felt. That complete sense of peace, knowing not an ounce of fear and knowing that the Lord God Almighty has everything in control.

There has been a few times in my life when I have felt that encompassing peace. Yet, the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) It makes us question why it is so easy to be anxious and afraid.

When our family was in a really bad wreck. It was one of those incidents where all of a sudden everything seemed to slow down and that quick scream of "Oh God!" translated to "Oh heavenly Father, protect my family Lord please!" and the answer was instant peace.

The days and weeks after the wreck as my mind processed everything that happened and how the kids were doing. This is when I realized that our youngest has God's peace all the time. To him the worst part of the wreck was that our vehicle is no longer red because we had to get a different one. This is our same child that can not wait to go to heaven so he can see Jesus face to face. (He DOES NOT want to die, he just wants to go to heaven.) I have realized that the reason B3 does not have the fear is peace God has given him the peace and he holds on to that peace.

God wants us to have His Heavenly Peace all the time though, not just in life and death situations.

I keep reminding myself that if I can change things then change them according to God's will, if I can't worrying or being afraid is not going to do anything but waste my time and energy. What do I mean by "according to God's will"? It means stay in the Word and be prayed up so that I, or you, know what His Will is.

Be blessed!