Touched by a Child’s View of Parents Going on Date

Written back in May.

Last night my three little ones got to enjoy parents night out at our local Little Gym. Which meant that Dan and I got some alone time to spend talking over dinner at O’Charlies and walking the mall. These times are needed to just reconnect with the each other.

As I got the kids out of the car last night Lulu- our foster child- said to me “I’m calling the police on you two.” I was like “what??” “You two spend too much time alone. That can’t be right.” I smile and told her it’s a good thing that mommy and daddy spend time alone. Makes us a better mommy and daddy.

She thought of it for a minute and said “you’re a better mommy and daddy when you play games with us after dinner.” And I told her I didn’t disagree. She is still learning about marriage and about having a mommy and daddy. Her view is valid to me. We had been so busy with end of school and church activities that even though we have been with the kids a LOT these last couple of weeks- it wasn’t the same in her eyes as just us sitting down not running around. Kind of like a family date.

So we will continue to teach our kids that dates are still important and we will continue to teach our kids why we go on dates.  We also will be touched by her innocent views on what we are doing on our dates and what we do as a family.

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Getting Ready for Advent: Truth in the Tinsel

With everything that has gone on-I am ready for Christmas this year.  More so Advent.  Now that I have three little ones (two 7 year olds and an 8 year old) plus a 13 year old, I knew I wanted something special and meaningful.  I had looked at the Truth in the Tinsel a year ago or so. After thinking about writing something myself, I was brought back to Truth in the Tinsel!  This year I just purchased it and I am excited!  I love the little clues for morning time- that way my kids can think about it all day long!  And I am thinking about putting a special tree up in the Sun room for these ornaments!  (4×25 will be a lot!!)  So it will perfect!  I also bought the printable ornaments to have for on the go.    Click here to visit to see all about the Truth in the Tinsel Advent Devotional!

What are you doing for Advent this year?  If you need more ideas goto my Pinterest page for lots of great ideas!


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Lunch time is really cooking lessons in our house

And then comes lunch time.  I hate lunch time.  I dream of all these healthy homemade cooked lunches for my children-but more than normal I end up buying process foods.

It seems that when I mention I educate my children at home, I get a “oh that’s great, but I could never do that” or this look with “that’s nice.”  And it’s then that I find myself justifying our family’s education choices. Something I should not have to do but do.

Today is a half sick day.  My two little ones are under the weather, and didn’t sleep well last night.  Robby is fine and has been doing his assigned school work.  Our morning has been off and on with tired cranky children-with a tired more than normal sleep deprived mother.

And then comes lunch time.  I hate lunch time.  I dream of all these healthy homemade cooked lunches for my children-but more than normal I end up buying process foods.  Last week I for the first time followed the whole week of E-meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It was great to have some ideas on hand.  This week I plan to follow it again-but have not been shopping yet for the week (something I avoid like the plagues with the children.)  But I had a breakfast still left over from last week of eggs.

So-I think -Robby needs to expand his egg cooking abilities.  He has the basic eggs down.  Today, here is what we did.

  • I got out of the fridge
    • three cloves of garlic
    • a head of broccoli
    • some green onion
    • tomatoes
    • fresh parsley
    • a pack of honey baked ham that I can eat (no sodium nitrates)
    • shredded cheese
    • eggs
  • I had Robby chop up all but the cheese and eggs
  • While he was scrambling the eggs I showed him how to start sautéing the veggies.
  • After they were done he heated up the ham.
  • Then cooked the eggs
  • After the eggs where almost done, he added in the veggies (minus tomatoes) and ham.
  • Those that wanted cheese and tomatoes could put them on after.

He was so proud of himself.  He said this was the biggest dish he has cooked so far. (I think he has cooked bigger but maybe because of the cutting it seemed bigger.)  Isaiah was his sous chief.  Helped with cleaning up.

I think now once a week we will have “cooking lessons” for lunch time.  And also plan to follow some Emeals for other lunch ideas along with Cooking for a Month.  And for a great monthly schedule from Confession of a Homeschooler– she has it all laid out for the month!  I have done that before, it does make life easier!

p.s we cooked with the green frying pan.  Love this pan.  Just saying.

And then comes lunch time.  I hate lunch time.  I dream of all these healthy homemade cooked lunches for my children-but more than normal I end up buying process foods.

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5 Cool Crafts to Keep you Warm this Winter

coolSeriously.  It has been cold this winter.  I mean bone chilling cold! Florida has been in the 40’s and Texas got snow!  I live in North Alabama and it seems that nights are in the teens or single digits are becoming the norm.  While some areas that may seem warm-this is the south and it is plain cold.  Plus it is darker and dreary.  The children are on the edge -the cold was fun for a while because they could freeze everything, but after a while-it is just cold.

So on a day a few weeks ago when it was like 6 degrees or 9 degrees or some extremely cold day I asked my kids-what could we make that would keep us warm this winter.  And just like that they came up with a list of crafts and a few foods to keep them warm.  Since the cold weather doesn’t seem to letting go of us, we are working on staying warm.

  1. Making Scarves.  My kids love it when we make scarves.  We have many both from fleece and knitted.  There are some simple ones and more complicated.  We made a simple one.
    • Robby wanted to make a scarf that like he saw at Disney-it was Mickey ears on top and it was long with mittens on the end.  He has not found his “fabric” of choice yet.  Check out these other fun scarves at Spoonful.
    • Looming Scarves.  I have made the kids scarves from looming.  I find it relaxing and an easy alternative to knitting.  I normally only do this in the winter while watching TV and the minute the weather becomes warm I quite.  If I would stay with it I would have lots of gifts!  LOL
    • Isaiah saw this one and was hooked!  So we one day we happen to be at Hobby Lobby and picked up some fleece.  This was easy, easy, easy!
    • This looks fun-but I have never done anything with felting.  Have you?  This would be great for older kids or maybe you want to be a little brave?
    • No Sew is always a key word for an easy warm craft!
  2. Hand Warmers.  Robby was trying to describe to me these things that broke and that he put all over him at a camp out with friends.   Finally I got they were  hand warmers.  He asked if we can make some.  I told him sure,  I think if we just sew little squares, put some rice in them, and then they can pop them into the microwave before going out.  Kinda like bean bags but with rice. Should not be that hard right?   Come to find out, these are pretty popular.
    • A cute heart hand warmer. Here I that it may be better to use corn (but not pop corn!)
    • Ok so not one you make but a fun experiment in hand warmers!
    • Here is a Ziplock  hand warmer.  This is what my son whats to make.
  3. Make your own soap and bath salt.  What a better way to warm yourself up than a nice hot bath!  We have  made a fun oatmeal lavender soap using a kit from Hobby Lobby.  I had it sitting around for a few years.  I poured my mixture into a lined cookie sheet and then just cut it.  And then I cute one into tiny bits, the kids love those.
    • I always think that soaps that smell great are fun to use!  I love all the wonderful suggestions on fragrance oils here on Bramble Berry. They have lots of great resources for making your own soap, (along with lip balms which I am researching!).  I would love to learn how to make cold process soaps-they are so beautiful!  Maybe for a warmer day though!
    • Create cards to send.  Valentine day is around the corner and on these really, really cold days-set out all the cut craft supplies and get creating.  Better yet, invite some friends over to have a card party!  Make it an adult party and break out the wine and cheese, or involve the kids and have hot coco and cookies.  If your church has a list of shut in’s send cards.  Look at this fancy Valentine Card Making Party on HGTV.  Or this one at Better Homes and Garden.
    • Make a Sun Catcher.  On cold days we try to follow the sun.  We have lots of windows and I am so thankful for that.  Making fun sun catcher is a great way to focus of the warm sun on a colder day.
      • Some awesome ideas for lots of sun catcher and stain glass windows at The Artful Parent.
      • I have never seen a sun catcher made with pony tail beads, but this was worth checking out.
      • Buggy and Buddy make a fun sun catcher with crayon shavings.
      • Of course there is my kids favorite sun catcher with tissue paper.  Check out these cute hearts at First Palette.

As the winter keeps blowing all this cold air, hopeful you will keep warm with these ideas.  Need more ideas, check out my craft board on Pinterest.

Now I know you may be wondering what food ideas the kids picked to keep themselves warm.  Hot Coco, warm cookies, grill cheese and soup.


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Living with Explosive Children-20 Tips to Help

Living with Explosive Children

I love my children.  I would not trade a moment with them in for the world!  BUT our daily lives are not quiet and at any moment of any day my children can explode!

Now I don’t mean like in a cartoon, where you will see “BOOM” all around.  And I am not talking about every day tempers or melt downs.  I am talking from 0 to 10 in seconds.  I am talking one thing can set them off.  I am talking about having to parent with another voice inside guiding me when these out burst occur.  Even this does not fully describe them.

When I read about other homeschooler families-I see order and every now and then I see things go crazy.  In my school day, ever day my children have explosive behavior.  Screaming comes with our territory, and objects being thrown are not uncommon. Now before I go on, let me make this clear.  This does not make my kids bad!  My kids are amazing kids, sweet, servant like, love God, willing to help, gentle hearted. But there are moments-I hold on for the ride.

For example:  AnnieQ (7) was playing with Play dough.  Her plastic knife broke and I told her to just keep using the broken side because we would be cleaning up soon.  That was a trigger-just like that she threw the knife, threw the play dough, her attitude change, she started screaming.  I could have given in-Yes.  But even then she had hit a point of no return.   So at this point I put her in time-out, on the way to time out she destroyed stuff as she went along-not to mention the  high pitch scream.  Mind you this is all from a broken knife.

She started screaming louder now she was horribly  hungry and has not eaten anything all day.  Now she has, they got Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch, as been snacking all day-even had fresh pineapple.  The screaming is beyond what I can handle right now.  So I make a PBJ sandwich and warn her that she will also be going to bed early.  When she saw the sandwich she started crying I want real dinner.  Not this.  And other note: my husband was at a church meeting and I wasn’t planning on making dinner-sandwiches worked well.  She screamed for about 20 minutes how she wanted real dinner.  I finally walked away.

She finally ate the sandwich, apologized and got dressed for bed.  And just like that she was fine again.  I deal with about 2-3 explosions like this daily from her.  Triggers can be simply asking her to find her shoes, cleaning, doing school work, to many unknown things.

Another example is Isaiah (5-almost 6).  Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah.  (Yeah many days are like that!)  I know little boys are active and active and well active.  But there is something else about him!  One day we can get math done, no big deal, but if my breath smells to much like coffee-it will be a struggle. (And he likes my coffee-even drinks it!) Like today, they were outside playing and Robby got some mud on him.  Isaiah came in all mad.  I told him to shake it off and go back outside till he was done playing.  He then went, and got undressed, had other clothes and was getting ready to take a shower.  I stopped him cause I told him if he took a shower he wasn’t going to go back outside, that he was done for the day.  And there it was-the ugly explosion -screaming and words.

The other day I had to carry   drag him out of Home Depot, because he wanted to show me something and could not wait till I was done.  This turned into a whole scene, which now everyone knows we were in the store.  I just calmly go pay for my items I had already picked out, respond fine when the cashier still ask “how are you today?” As I am dealing with a screaming child.  How do you think I am? “Fine.”

These explosion are daily in our lives.  Mostly from the two younger ones.  I have worked with a lot of kids.  I have learned to deal with it, and I am working HARD not to respond with screaming.  But that is hard.  Frustrating.  Some days I feel like all I do is scream-other days I bite my tongue to be better.

So our days with our children-are not always perfect but precious.  Our plans get changed and one thing shifts everything.  Many people see my kids as active and bad.   I see small children being raised to be adults who love and serve the Lord.  That that they do, love and serve the Lord.

A Note: None of my younger children are diagnosed with Explosive Disorder.  While there are things we are watching, my younger adopted children are still young-and many different issues could be causes this.  I am not in anyway a Dr. qualified to give out medical help-but more of a parent giving out ways to live with this help.  If you find you have a child that displays this-get help.  I have been told about a great book to read-it is on my list.


Here are 20 tips to help deal with explosive children.  Maybe you use another term.  Some are basic parenting.  If you have more, share them in the comments below!

Tips to Help

  • Keep track of Triggers
  • Use the same discipline where ever you go
  • Have a schedule, but be flexible
  • Remember it is not you
  • Love them
  • Tickle them.  (I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes attacking the screaming with tickles work-you just need to know when)
  • You take a breather when they get to much
  • Just know people will not understand you kids
  • Do not get mad at the people who don’t understand-educate them
  • Reward your kids every time you can!
  • Know what battles to pick
  • Teach breathing exercises
  • Train children it is ok to be mad, but not ok to hurt people or things.
  • Give them ways to be mad and express it
  • Know people will stare.  Smile back
  • Starbucks-for you.
  • Make sure your husband and you are working as a team.
  • Get outside help when you need it.
  • Allow children to be children-they need lots of outside time
  • It is OK to use iPhones or iPads to get peace-but use it wisely.


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Wordless Monday


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Jim Henson: A Puppeteer Legend {A Birthday Lesson}

Back at Thanksgiving my husband and I took our younger three kids to see the new Muppet movie. Boy, childhood memories flooded back, and by the end of the movies I had tears in my eyes singing “Mahna Mahna” all the way back to my sister-in-laws house. I grew up with the Muppets. They were one of the molding factors of my childhood. I loved Kermit and Ms. Piggy, and the whole crew, along with the special guest every week. I looked forward every week to hearing this.

Back then I didn’t really didn’t know who Jim Henson was. As I have grown I learned who Jim Henson was. He was a puppeteer, a visionary, and a man who would leave a leave his mark on history. He became a puppeteer legend.

I asked my Facebook friends what was the first thing that came to mind when they thought of Jim Henson. Frog-pig, laughter, cookie monster, genius, Kermit, “hello this is Kermit the frog here”, The Muppet Show followed by a bazzillion images, “Hi Ho Kermit the frog here” and Animal.

“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending”. Jim Henson wanted to make a difference in the world and leave it a better place. No doubt he did. I think that quote is the best thing to live by.

The Swedish Chef still cracks me up, Pigs in Space, Kermit, Big Bird, Ok, I’ll bite, who is Jim Henson, Gene Krupa: jazz drummer, Animal’s inspiration. Being in England, meeting someone who knew him and visiting his house. WOW!!!!

Fantastic and Interesting Things to Know About Jim Henson

  • Fun Trivia about Jim Henson LOTS of great information!
  • Jim Henson Company. There are AMAZING THINGS HERE! Worth checking this site out! This is the main web page for all Jim Henson movies.
  • Make a puppet lesson
  • While this lesson plan is to get ready to visit Jim Henson’s Fantastic World-a traveling exhibit -it has some great things to pull from it to use at home.
  • Did you know the same person who does Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy and Yoda? (not Jim Henson but it was interesting!:)
  • A great time line of Jim Henson’s life
  • Sam and Friends was his first show-staring Kermit the Frog

This was from Jim Henson’s 1966 Academy Award nominated short film. Henson, as the writer/producer/director/star, created the experimental short about the effect of time keeping on us all.

Movies of Jim Henson’s

We watched a movie earlier this year called Being Elmo. While this movie isn’t directly about Jim Henson, it is about Kevin Clash-the voice behind Elmo. He was a man with a dream about being a puppeteer just like Jim Henson and was inspired by Jim Henson. And he is now inspiring others the same way Jim Henson did. It is worth watching.

In honor of Jim Henson, we made paper puppets. We first talked about Jim Henson, who he was and what he did. Then I grab a few craft boxes and let the kids go. They had a great time.

The best way to end this post to honor Jim Henson….

now you all will be singing!



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Citiblox- {iTunes App Review}

Over 5 years ago I got my first iPhone.  It was just a months after the iPhone was released.  Back then there was just about 26 apps in the educations category.  Since then I have watched the apps grow.  And grow.   My App collection has grown also.  Five years later, we have finally introduced an iPad into our family (a birthday gift for me), which opens a whole new world of possibilities!  Now I get to take time to review upcoming apps.

CitiBlox-What is it?

I had a chance to try out a classic game  called Citiblox.

The rules are simple

  • Touch the gray line between the colored dots
  • You are the blue line, your phone is the red line
  • Complete any block or square to reveal a portion of the city underneath
  • If you complete a block, you get another turn
  • Complete the most blocks, and you reveal the animated city underneath

In Citiblox your opponent is the computer and your goal is to uncover the cities below.  The game can be played on the iPhone or on your iPad.

As you can seen, there is a city under the squares…this is the view from the iPhone and then the iPad for the three different levels.


What my Children Think of this Game?

I put the game in the hands of my three younger children.  My 10-year-old beat the first level fairly quickly.  He was challenged by the 2nd level, and hasn’t even attacked the third level. He must conquer the 2nd one before moving on, that is the way he roles.

My 5-year-old son understands the game on paper.  He enjoys just tapping the lines than playing on the iPad.  He doesn’t understand playing against someone who “doesn’t helps him win” along the way.  He will learn though.

My 6-year-old daughter, enjoys playing level 1.  She says it is fun, and she likes seeing the city.  She hasn’t yet mastered that true concept of the game, but is working on it.  She does ask if she can play it.

My 10-year-old son is challenged by this game.  He loves simple games like this and he loves winning.  This game is a quick for him and he likes to think about what the computer will do next.  At one point he was trying to beat level two and all of a sudden I hear “level two why are you mocking me?”

What I think of it?

I finally beat level three….in the middle of the night when I could not sleep.  It took me an hour and I was determined to beat it.  I loved the fact I could take my time playing this game!  This is classical game with a fun surprise below and keep watch, those cities change!

CitiBlox is great for

  • at a restaurant
  • at the doctors
  • traveling
  • Shopping
The game itself also teaches children and adults skills such as
  • future thinking
  • problem solving
  • logical thinking

Where to Find More Information

  • CitiBlox was developed by Jennifer at AdAir
  • CitiBlox can be found on iTunes
  • Make sure you go like their facebook page to keep up with the up coming apps!

What is Coming Up Next?

Mindstorm IPhone app


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100 Things to do This Summer-#71 {Horseback riding}

Summer is still in full swing for us this month. With the help of a friend from Robby’s baseball team, our kids were able to cross of #71 from the list of 100 Things to do This Summer-go horseback riding.  They have been bugging me to do this all summer!  Most places don’t allow young children to ride.  So this worked perfect for us!  Isaiah and Robby were hesitant to ride, Isaiah more than Robby, but with a little bribing and coaxing we were able to get them on.  AnnieQ was naturally attracted to the horses and had no problems riding.

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Summer Survival: Phineas and Ferb Style {5 in 5}


Welcome Back to the final 5 days of Summer Survival. Do you still have your stillness? On Monday I focused on mom’s stopping for a moment to find their stillness-make sure you read the post if you are just joining us! (Personally I have had to reread it. My week has been very hard and I have had to look to God many times for my stillness. I have gone to my knees in prayer, praying a mother’s prayer for her son.  God sent me my stillness. Those moments I needed to keep going on when the world felt like it was crashing around me)

“I know what we going to do today!”

One of the best things about Phineas and Ferb is they talk about using your imagination.

The bigger the better. Summer can be just as simple as sitting under a tree or building a rocket with mom’s car. How horrible it would be if our children would lose the ability to imagine.

We are all about imagination. While we do watch TV, play video games, and use the computers, we encourage the kids to just play. I love to give them things to do, but I want them to come up with things to do. So I make sure to have toys and other items that are good for using imaginations.

  • Legos
  • Lincoln Logs
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Dolls
  • Play kitchen
  • Train sets
  • Cars
  • Arts and crafts
  • Recyclable stuff
  • Empty Boxes
  • Tea sets
  • balls
  • My kids start kick ball games outside on their own
  • The build forts and bases.
  • The play tag
  • The play hide and go seek
I think on the best way for kids to use their minds is to just let them be. Give them a box of dress up and let them have fun. We just got done with VBS this week, and we had a great basket of “Rock and Roll” stuff out for our PRAISE VBS. I had to get in the action-it is my dream to be a rock star!
My kids love to Dress up. At Halloween we do dress up.  Our dress up box is filled with lots of fun. Isaiah went through his flipper stage.  Robby pretends to be a pastor all the time.  My kids can play the strangest games.  After the tornadoes last year they played tornadoes drills for months.  For them that imagination play was a way to cope with the disaster that had hit our area.  They would have sirens, hide in the closets, and then report if it was a F4 or F5 tornado that came through.  Imagination play  help my kids process that horrible day.
Here are some of my kids in their “imagination play action!”

This summer we are going big.

I have been waiting.

Phineas and Ferb style big.

We got some art work a few months ago, (Thomas Kinkade. We bought a week before he died.) The artwork came in HUGE boxes. They have been sitting in my living room. (driving me crazy) But I know that there is a great week or two of play here. I am just waiting. And then I will release the boxes. Imagine what my kids will create!

So what ya doing today?

The premiere homeschooling blog hop, a first of its kind in the homeschooling community,

sponsored by our good friends at The BEECH Retreat.

Thanks for joining me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

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from Christine at Fruit in Season

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from Jenny at Planner Perfect

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from Sarah at Sidetracked Sarah

      • 5 Days of Summer Survival

from Susann at Momma Hopper

      • 5 Days of Creative Co-op Classes

from Ami at Walking by the Way

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