Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun Friday: Snotty Doctor

In honor of the changing of the seasons and the snottiness it brings . . .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

School Pictures

Tomorrow is picture day at my children's school. Which made me think of last year's picture day . . .

Much to my mother's despair, I don't always spend a lot of time on my girls' hair. And my boy's hair--well, we never brush it. We just tousle it with our hands. (Honestly, it looks best that way. He's got great hair!) But for picture day, I do try to make my girls' hair look really nice, which includes making sure it's been washed the previous night.

So this time last year, my then-third grade daughter decided to do something a little "extra" with her hair . . . without my knowing it. Apparently, after she'd already been put to bed, she got up and put her hair into about a dozen different tiny twists.

The next morning, I woke her up and discovered what she'd done. Since we had gotten up late, as usual, there wasn't enough time to rewash, dry, and style her hair. Plus, this was something that she had wanted to do, so we just went with it. As I began taking down and untwisting her hair, I found it to be the frizziest, tangled mess I'd ever seen. The more I brushed it, the worse it got. So I started spraying it down with water and ended up pulling some of it back away from her face, at least taming it a bit.

Callie loved it. So we left it. And the smile on her face in her third grade picture far outshines her hair that day. (Thank goodness.)

Mama Question: What has been your worst school picture experience (either your own or your child's)? Bonus points if you share the picture with us!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun Friday: Pistachio Winner!


Congrats to Juliana Kyzar! You've won the Pistachio DVD! Just e-mail your mailing address to me at, and I'll get your prize in the mail to you next week.

Fun Friday: Pistachio Giveaway (What?)

That's right--I have a Pistachio to give away! Of the VeggieTales DVD variety, that is. It's a lesson in listening to your parents. Who wants it? (Who wouldn't?!)

To be entered to win, you'll have to tell on yourself this time. Leave a comment here and tell us about a time when you didn't listen to your parents . . . and should have.

I'll start: My mother told me that I would one day regret not sticking with an instrument. Once upon a time (but not at the same time), I played piano, clarinet, and cello. Today I can play none of them. However, I can play a mean egg shaker. Oh well. She told me so.

Your turn. Do it fast, though, because the drawing will be at 7:00 tonight!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Gift of Giving: Instilling Generosity in Your Children

I haven't posted any of my articles on this blog, so I thought I'd start doing that from time to time. Here is one I had published in Parents & Kids magazine on teaching your children about giving.

Mama Question: How do you encourage your children to give to others?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not Feeling Frazzled
Mamahood is just plain busy. It's constant. There is always something that needs to be done or seen or heard or kissed. And it doesn't really matter how we feel; we still have to tend to it. We can easily feel frazzled and overwhelmed, which is why we must take the time to tend to ourselves. It is essential to the health (and safety?) of our families for us to make sure we take the breaks (even short snippets) that we need and get the rest (with eyes closed or open) that we need in order to be at our best.

Mama Question: What do you do to tend to yourself when you are feeling particularly frazzled?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun Friday: Smelling Like a Man . . . or a Monster

Ever since the first time I saw this commercial, I thought it was hilarious . . .

But this one is even greater . . .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Creating

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Jennifer said, "We use our hands to make things the way God made us and our world! Our favorite things to make are drawings and food. Josie especially loves to use her hands to 'help' us make bread."

Using our hands to create, mold, build, design, or fashion is a wonderful way to express ourselves and can also be a beautiful act of worship. What a tremendous way to engage our children in both praising and serving our Creator! Thank you for the reminder, Jennifer.

And for those of us who dread the mess that so often accompanies creativity . . . Well, we just need to get over it, don't we?

 Mama Question: What do you and your child like to create together?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Hugging, Not Hitting

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Sherry said, "My son is a hitter. So we constantly talk about how hands are not for hitting. Hands are for helping and hugging and being gentle."

When little ones get frustrated, they don't always know how to handle it. (Neither do I, kids.) Particularly before they have learned how to verbally communicate their feelings, I think it's just instinctive to act on them physically. So it's our job as parents to continually remind our children that hitting is not appropriate.

I like Sherry's suggestion--hugging! Unless they're like my daughter when she was little. She hugged a little too tightly sometimes. Talk about tough love.

Mama Question: How have you dealt with little ones who like to hit?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Sharing

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Kara said, "My 3.5 year old son is still adjusting to sharing his toys with his one year old brother. So, we are constantly trying to remind him how God wants us to (use our hands) share our things with other people."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . Anyone who thinks we aren't born with a sin nature hasn't spent any time with a toddler! We are naturally very selfish creatures, aren't we? We as adults are often guilty of not being able to share, too. We need to practice right alongside our children.

Although it's one of the most important lessons we can teach our children, it's also one of the hardest. Keep it up!

Mama Question: How do you encourage your children to share with others?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Doing Dishes

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Emily said, "I have my kids scrape the plate and put it in the sink for me, this helps tremendously when I start to load the dishwasher. My four year old can do this easily."

We're trying to get better about this at my house, Emily! My children are entirely capable of clearing the table and scraping their plates. Sometimes I find myself caught up in the years-long habit of doing things for my children, that I don't even consider that they can actually do things for themselves now. (This is not a good thing.) Or else I'm afraid they'll break a dish or make a mess or not rinse properly or just plain take a long time getting it done. But it is worth all these things in order to teach them how to help with the dishes and contribute to the family.

Thanks for the reminder!

Mama Question: Do your children help with the dishes? Have a great story to share about it? Do it here!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fun Friday: Book Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Kara! 

You have won Max Lucado's newest children's book--One Hand, Two Hands! E-mail your mailing address to me at, and I will send it to you next week. Congrats! And enjoy the book!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Max Lucado's ONE HAND, TWO HANDS Book Giveaway!

I have one copy of Max Lucado's newest children's book--One Hand, Two Hands--to give away! To be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment about some different ways you encourage your children to use (or not use) their hands. The drawing will be this Friday at noon. Tell a friend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Review: ONE HAND, TWO HANDS: Oh, the Ways We Can Help With Our Hands!

The wonderful illustrations are what first captured my attention in One Hand, Two Hands. Gaby Hansen has created sweet, colorful, warm, joyful illustrations that both children and their parents alike will enjoy looking at time and time again. The pictures truly invite the reader/listener to explore the book.

Of course, Max Lucado does a wonderful job with the words, too! Since the book is intended for toddlers and preschoolers, the language is very simple, and the use of rhyme engages their minds, attention, and senses. As the reader/listener observes the little girl interacting with various animals throughout the book's illustrations, the words evoke images of fun, playful, creative, and helpful things we can do with our hands.

One of my favorite features is found on the last pages, where listed are different things that Helping Hands, Kind Hands, and Loving Hands can do--things like clean my room, gather the trash, draw a get-well card for a sick person, and clap for someone else. Then the child is encouraged to think of other ways that their hands can be helping hands. So even though the book is fairly short, it can provoke some wonderful conversations between parents and children.

This delightful children's book would be a treasured addition to any family's library.   

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

Prolific Partridges

I just started a new blog where my children and I can post their writing and artwork. We're pretty excited about it! Check it out. Become a follower, even!

Fun Friday: Spinach/Spanish