Monday, August 18, 2014


If I got a chance to do it again—buying a house, that is—I would choose a house where the bedrooms are upstairs and the kitchen, dining room, and living room (which would be on the main level, of course) are open and flow together without walls between them.  Here's why.

My children are early risers.  I am too.  However, I would like to rise before they do.  But, living in a rambler—where the main living area and bedrooms are on the same floor—if I'm making any noise in the kitchen, they hear me and get up.  What's the point of getting up at 5:30 if the chil'uns are up then too?

Regarding having what I believe they refer to as a "great room" these days—having the kitchen, dining room, and living room one open space without dividing walls—would be beneficial for parental supervision purposes.  Presently, I can be working in the kitchen and all kinds of shenanigans and tom foolery are going on at the dining room table, of which origin I cannot discern because I do not have x-ray vision!

Anyway... just thinking.  Truthfully, I am happy with my humble abode, all in all.  We have a warm, cozy home in a safe neighborhood with kind neighbors.  What more could we ask for?  (Well... er... see above... hee hee)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Understanding the world of boys

One of my favorite blogs/ministries is Raising Real Men.  These folks—Hal and Melanie Young—have a window into my world.  They have six sons and two daughters! 

Today I happened upon this terrific advice.  (It comes out of the middle of a blog post entitled It Seems I'm Always Yelling.)
Don’t be put off by comments from parents in different circumstances. A wise man once wrote, “Once I had no children but six theories about raising them. I now have six children and no theories.”  We had a friend with several daughters who was blessed with a boy at the end; after a couple of years, she went to all her friends with sons and apologized. “I thought you must be poor parents, with all that noise and energy and dirt going on,” she said. “Now I know.”  Often times we really don’t know the challenges our friends are facing, and we should give them the same grace we want for ourselves. Smile, thank them for their concern, and follow what the Scripture and experience tell you!

I love that quote from the guy who had many theories about parenting before having children!  (I walked in those shoes, too!)  Ultimately, we don't know the challenges other parents are facing... and we should never judge.  Give them grace—and give yourself the same grace!  Seek God earnestly for direction in parenting your children... in your set of circumstances! 

...And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus... 
[Hebrews 12:1-2]

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chores and developing character

I don't think I needed to be convinced that chores are good for children.  But this little snippit written by Marilyn Rockett really sums it up:

The lessons our children need to master are greater than how to make a bed, vacuum a floor, clean a toilet, or consistently feed a pet.  They need to develop perseverance, stewardship of possessions, cheerful service to others, teamwork, selflessness, completing a  job they start, and working with excellence as unto the Lord. †

To rephrase it, by doing chores our children aren't just learning housekeeping skills.  They're gaining valuable character lessons in:
  • perseverance
  • stewardship of possessions
  • cheerful service to others
  • teamwork
  • selflessness
  • completing a job they start
  • working with excellence as unto the Lord

I'll admit, I'm often tempted to just do the household chores myself—not necessarily because I just love doing them, but because I can do them more efficiently, and with a whole lot less complaining! (hah!)  But when I see the benefits of children doing chores "spelled out" in these terms, it helps me make the effort to keep my boys on track with their daily tasks. 

† From "PACE Yourself: Plan, Assign, Change, Execute" by Marilyn Rockett, which appeared in The Paper MACHE magazine, August/September 2014 issue