Monday, February 25, 2013

On Staying Home

Last week I had three extra kids in the house. By accident. All on the same day.

 There's the child I babysit twice a week
{Mother is a vet - vets are open till 7pm. After school care is only open till 6pm - see the problem?}

There's the neighbourhood girl who comes to our house every day. She either walks home with one of my kids or expects a lift. Shes here morning and afternoon for hours and her mother has never asked me once if this is ok. She's an only child so I understand she is lonely.

There's the kid I wait with every afternoon. Her brother walks from the local high school to the Prep. It takes him 20 mins. It seems crazy to pay for after school care for 20 mins, so for her immigrant mother who works two jobs I wait with her till brother comes. Except this time brother didn't come.

I don't share these things because I'm angry
{It doesn't bother me to do these things, extra kids sometimes makes my kids better at home}
and I don't share to say I'm awesome
{I have so many failings its ridiculous}

So as I sat there feeling a teeny bit put out thinking GEE these people are lucky they have ME

 a thought hit me so hard

This is a blessing.
This is why you are a stay at home mum.
To provide exactly this for your children.
If you can also provide it for other children it also a blessing.

Sometimes I can't believe I have been a stay at home mum for 12 years!
{bar a short stint at part time work and working in my husbands business while he got another job}

12 years! It doesn't seem that long but when I say 12 years I wonder if I've wasted my life away.
I could have multiple extra degrees by now, a strong career, be saving peoples lives.
I worry that I actually prefer being at home, taking the easy way out?!

Each year I seriously feel like I'm getting dumber and dumber and less confident.

{Just ask my husband when I refuse to do calls regarding insurance/electricity/phones etc - I don't do calls. Scares me lol.  When he tells me of work politics I feel sorry for him. I don't do confrontation.
It's going to be a steep learning curve if I ever do get back into the job market - I've gotten so used to being my own boss and a lady of leisure ;) }

But at the same time I'm gaining smarts and confidence in other areas.

I'm a blessed woman. We have everything we need and surplus and I can stay home.

We might be frugal, we might not be rich.

But what riches we have in other ways we can try to share.

These decisions always seem hard. There's never a perfect life.

Stay home 100%, work full time, work part time. Help noone, help everyone.

It's not possible to do.

Each one has positives and negatives. Each one equal losses.

So as I push myself this year to volunteer daily with the hope of employment in future years.

I'll remember it was a blessing.

Staying home was such a blessing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

FHE Lesson {Honesty}

We had a little incident at school. The teacher pulled me aside to say that my daughter had stolen drunk another kids juice box. Daughter said she thought it was hers. Teacher asked do you usually have a popper? Daughter in her naivety says No. Teacher knows kid was lying.

So of course anytime a challenge comes up you do a FHE lesson on it right? After my husband suggested it, I initially balked because I remember an adult telling me once how much she disliked FHE growing up because all the lesson would ever be about is something her or one of her siblings did wrong that week and pointed out to them.

Hopefully we left a big enough gap between incident and lesson, but we did get the guilty child to TEACH the lesson!

Lesson: Honesty

Song: I believe in being Honest #149

Article of Faith:  #13.
We focused on the first line... we believe in being honest, true...

What is honesty? What is true? Start discussion.

Object lesson:

I got our 6 year old made a little village out of lego.
We had the green mat, some houses, some lego friends girls, a lego tree.

In her words she told the story of 'The Boy who cried Wolf' -
{I went through the story with her previously in the afternoon}

She had a lego girl go off to the hills and sat under a tree and called to the villagers
'A wolf A wolf '
When the villagers came there was no wolf
{other lego people come and check it out}

The next day the girl went back up to the hill and called out 'a wolf a wolf'
The villagers came again and once again there was no wolf

Later the girl was back out up the hill under the tree when a REAL wolf {lego dog} came along. The girl called out but the villagers did not come because they did not believe the little girl was telling the TRUTH!

The girl was gobbled up by the wolf {tiny lego dog eats girl}

Why is it important to tell the truth?

Sometimes you might tell a lie and not get caught. You might think you go away with it.

BUT eventually you will get caught in your lies and it could:

make you lose friends/family
people will not trust you
might be dangerous (like the wolf)
you will have to tell more lies and it will hurt your spirit

We talked about how sometimes we are frightened to tell the truth so we might lie because we feel we have no other alternative
{dont want to get in trouble with a teacher, if something is broken}

But taking the consequenences is ALWAYS the better way.

If you lie and get found out the teacher/friend/parent learns not to trust you

If you tell the truth the consequence might be hard but that person knows they can trust you to do what is right and tell the truth and you will be better for it.

Establish some positives about Truths

We love it when people in our family are honest
Your parents will always love you even when you make a mistake
honest people make nice friends. Tricky people you should beware of

Closing Song: The Thirteenth Article of Faith #132

Closing Prayer: Child


Idea 1:
You can't unbake a cake
Ask children is it possible to Un-bake a cake
{like put it back in a low temperature and reverse the process}
discuss how once a cake is made it is pretty impossible to change.

As with lying or being dishost it is sometimes very hard to undo.

Idea 2:
Using small lollies hide them around the house and have children ask questions to where the lollies might be hidden in which you TELL THE TRUTH to the questions they ask to help them find the lolly. Telling the truth is useful and helps us find our way when people help us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Home Evening Ideas

I'm going to try hard to put up a Family Home Evening Lesson each week.

Just that Monday seems to come around so fast!!

Previously I was posting them over here

No Lesson today but some tips I thought I would share.

Most people say they have trouble making FHE last longer than a few minutes.

When I share that our FHE can often go for hours people are surprised.

So Here are some tips I've used over the years to lengthen out FHE to more than a few minutes.

:: Journal Writing
Use the first few minutes of FHE to write in journals. (I did this more when I had little children) The girls would draw a picture of anything that happened in the last week in their journals. Then I would write the words above for them. I found this helped me as I was now keeping atleast a weekly update of what they were getting up to.

:: Scripture Hero/Story
This is a new to us this year idea. I was helping in Primary and they were holding up a picture of Adam and Eve and asking who it was. I was shocked when neither my 3 or 6 year old answered! They KNOW THAT!. But then I thought about it, and realized we had moved beyond holding up pictures and sharing the bible stories as our older kids grew and moved into more subject orientated FHE. Having 12 years-3 years old in the family we have to make sure we cover both younger and older learners.

Each week the younger children will hold up a picture from the gospel art kit and tell us about it, ask us questions on who is this? What is this story?

We have a fairly large whiteboard that we use often. Whiteboard can be used for pictionary, drawing out the lessons, games, for the little ones to scribble on while we focus on the older ones, or for older children to be scribes {give them something to do}

::Song App
We have the Childrens Songbook App for our Ipad. It has most of the childrens songs with the words and a bouncy ball when to sing the words. It also has several photos to go with the songs. When we sing we use the app and our younger child slides the pictures for us while we sing. It makes it fun and they want to sing for a long time!

Monday Night is our Fancy Dinner Night. I try to cook a better dinner on Mondays, with sides and with dessert. We set the table with a table cloth and try to make it look nice. We start our FHE before Dinner. We open with prayer and sing Love at Home while all holding hands around the table. This is the opening of FHE for us. Once dishes are cleared we go straight into FHE. It helps extend the length and idea of FHE to our kids and they know that Monday night is family night from about 5:30pm-7pm

::Articles of Faith
We printed and laminated each Article of Faith on a separate piece of paper. The girls take turns choosing an article of faith to hold up, read out, make us guess

:: Games
Some weeks the lessons might be short, or some weeks they just seem to want to keep going so we keep a few easy quick games around to play after FHE lesson is over and after dessert. Uno, Jenga, Boggle etc.

We have a shy girl or two so we take time having turns at practicing our testimonies.

Do you have any Family Home Evening Tips to Share?

I am looking at starting a Facebook group to put up links to lessons, share and chat about FHE lesson ideas etc. Would you be interested?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Double Digits

Turning 10 always feels like a milestone no?

We have had a busy little time lately and I'm trying to keep things simple but I always feel 10 is a special number.

The night before her birthday I happened to be checking on everyone in bed. This girl loves to sleep with the blinds open {I would NEVER!} and there was a warm glow around her perfectly arranged body, with her little hands tucked neatly under her cheek.

Sometimes I feel its a long time between 'tender moments' when parenting.

But I had one of those tender moments.

I looked at her and kissed her cheek and said 'it's the last night of single digits sweetie'.

Oh and was she up early.

I love that my girls love our birthday traditions and are getting old enough to help set it all out.

10 candles just so
a birthday shirt
a birthday letter {which she actually read this year!}
presents {umbrella, walkie talkies, snorkle, kids electronic safe}
chocolate mousse and cream for breakfast

This girl
:: Loves her alarm clock and to get up early
:: Loves the outdoors
:: Loves being around people, rarely likes alone time
:: Independent, only one of my children who gets ready without help
:: Loves riding, skateboarding, iceskating, swimming
:: Adventurous and loves taking herself to school
:: Loves to keep her side of the room tidy and lined up

She loved her Pool Party last year and has opted to do the same again!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

14 Years

Between our birthdays, school starting, childrens birthdays, valentines, is our wedding anniversary.

Choose your Wedding Date Wisely if you want to ever celebrate it again.

{I actually don't mind if its between these things because if something happens you just can put extra effort into one of the other celebrations to 'make up' for it.}

There was this time and it was our 14th wedding anniversary and the night before The Mr's employer calls to say he is wanted pronto 2000 km away the next day for work.

Sad Face

the day started off by hosting four missionaries for breakfast
then off to school and volunteering there
Then he off to buy a car, paper work transfer it all over to us
then me off to help with swimming at school

then he off on a plane.

Somehow previously I thought I was going to get a lunch date or a dinner date someplace nice as we don't typically exchange gifts. 
{GIFTS would totally work as a back up way to cover when life invariably gets in the way of spending ACTUAL time together. Note duly taken}

But it shall be hereby known that on his late night trip to the store to buy supplies for said missionary breakfast he did pick up a block of white chocolate  and it did say DREAM on the outside and he did all cute and sickly smoochy say to me the morning of our anniversary

You're my Dream girl


So while I was gettting all sad and only slightly huffy {I may have thought briefly... an anniversary alone isn't such a bad thing.. maybe I will get that babysitter afterall and take myself out....}

the Mr says well we invited the spirit into our home by hosting the missionaries so early in the morning and it made a great start to the day. You are getting a car for your anniversary and I'm off alone to big bad work earning the money to be able to do so and provide for this family.

You've always got to look on the happy side of things right?

and luckily like most holidays/celebrations theres always another one next year.

We can't get it right all the time on ONE day of the year.

But we can have good days for the REST of the year, and that's what keeps one happily married I spose.

Monday, February 11, 2013

FHE Lesson {Love}

Family Home Evening Lesson

Opening Song: Love One Another

Opening Prayer:


As Valentines Day is coming up perfect time for a lesson on love.

Perhaps firstly you could discuss expectations, what individuals would like to have happen on the day. (my girls like lindt chocolate, flowers and balloons - I usually only do ONE of those per year. It could be a nice family dinner and dessert, a special heart shaped pancake breakfast or I'm doing heart pretzels this year}

Set and discuss goals to do a secret kindness for someone else this week
{help siblings, bake something for a neighbour/friend, do something special for mum and dad}

Discuss how and why we should love others {John 13:34}


Make Heart Maps {idea found here at Chocolate on my Cranium }

Basically draw a heart with several small compartments.
Inside each space draw a thing YOU LOVE.

Ideas to prompt young children:


Leave Heart Maps up for the week to remind us of the real things we LOVE.

Hopefully by focusing on real love we can avoid commercialization of Valentines Day.

Have a LOVE-Y week!

Closing Song: Jesus Said Love Everyone

Friday, February 1, 2013

Back To School

I had planned to do a back to school dinner.

Then Brisbane had a cyclone and it was rainy and noisy and flooded and we helping other people and checking on everyone and didn't get much sleep and plans went out the window.

I forgot all about it till last minute but we still managed to pull it off.

One lovely daughter set the table all nice and offered to be our waiter for the night


Bacon, chicken and Green bean linguine
Warm bread rolls
Jelly and Cream

Sparkling apple drink

Fathers Blessings for each of us girls to start the year off

And we were set and ready for the start of school!!

We actually had a great holidays. They always feel a little long towards the end, but when the day came I almost didn't want them to go. But go they must for we had truly fallen into zombie mode. TV turned on first thing in the morning and left going all day. Children stuck at computers and Ipads for hours possibly days even. It makes you feel kinda blah. Even though I didn't want them to leave I did long for a bit of routine and purpose to life.

First week back at school has been wonderful.

We loved the holidays that us repeatedly visiting the creek, science centre, museum and art gallery, iceskating, swimming swimming and more swimming, late nights, movie nights and sitting around in out PJ's. But it must come to an end.

See you soon holidays. Please come back now ya'll.

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