Monday, October 15, 2012

KitchenAid Mixer Give-a-way!!

Welcome to the Ultimate Kitchen Aid Mixer giveaway event! Why ultimate? Keep reading! Musings From a Stay At Home Mom and Fabulous Finds by Tiffany have teamed up with Only A Breath, Worthy of the Prize, The Mama Report, and Triple Braided along with more fabulous bloggers to sponsor this great prize!
The Prize:
One lucky winner will receive their choice of color/style Kitchen Aid Artisan 5 Quart Stand Mixer with a value of up to $350 from Amazon!

Enter below with the Rafflecopter form. You can come back everyday for the daily tweet option - that gives you a lot of extra entries!
This giveaway ends on November 14, 2012 at 11:59 EST The winner will be picked randomly and will have 48 hours to respond by email before the prize is forfeited and a new winner is chosen. Open to the US and Canada*
*If the winner is Canadian, they will be given a $350 gift card to be used toward the purchase of the mixer.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pinterest Projects

I am new {very new} to Pinterest. I refused to join for the longest time, dreading one more place to "lose" time....but I relented and now I am hooked! I love finding fun, useful ideas and being able to "pin" them for later.

But that's the catch, isn't it. Later. Do you ever go back and put those pins to good use?

I am excited to say that I am doing just that. Working through my pins. Here are 5 that I worked on this past week {and of course my comments about how they turned out}.

1. How to make Kettle Corn in 3 easy steps - This came out perfect!!! My daughter and I made a batch at home and we also made a batch for her small group at church. Yummy!!

2. Easy Fall Craft - Modge Podge fall leaves to a jar that can be used as a votive {battery operated} holder. Ok, this one may have worked out if I wasn't impatient and actually took the time to dry the leaves properly. {wink}  So ours worked out just "ok" - I highly recommend drying the leaves first.


3. Easy Baby Blanket Tutorial - This really was an easy project. The most difficult part was lining up the fabrics and keeping them lined up {I should have used more pins}, but it turned out great!!!

4. Felt Leaf Garland - This was a super fun, fall craft to do with my daughter. She keeps wanting to sew and this was a fun first step {baby steps, baby steps}. It looks great and she loved doing it!

5. No sew skirt - I made these in a fall theme for my girls when we went to the pumpkin patch. Instead of elastic, I used some ribbon. They were so easy to make and it made the girls feel super festive! It is hard to see their skirts in this picture, but they are there, under the jackets. :) It was so cold and breezy that day - but gorgeous!!

This is what I am going to work on next - isn't it ADORABLE!!??!! This one is a tote bag, but I am going to make it into a pillow so I can see it all the time.

What have you been pinning? I'd love to see what your favorite pin project has been.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Walk in a Manner Worthy of our King

As I am studying through Colossians with the Good Morning Girls, something popped out at me - mission statement for our family.  

Paul was praying for the Colossian believers and he prayed that they would

"be filled with the knowledge of His {God's} will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding"...

Why? for what purpose? for what mission?

What a fantastic mission statement for our family!!

1. Walk in a manner worthy of our King - make wise decisions about the way we spend our time, money and energy.

2. Please Him in all respects - make an effort to live a righteous life and please the Lord. Even though we will all fail and are thankful for the grace that abounds, we still make it our effort to live godly lives.

3. Bear fruit in every good work - faith without works is dead! So we need to be busy for our Lord and doing good works {not just living a casual, complacent life}. This includes sharing the gospel {numero uno}, serving, encouraging, bearing with, forgiving, and loving on others, and doing our best to be at peace with all people. We can't just say we are doing these things, we need to bear fruit! So just do it.

4. Increase you knowledge of God - be in God's word. That is the only way to know Him. We need to make it a daily practice to be reading our Bibles and learning about God. Praying that He will open the eyes of our hearts to hear Him and understand the lessons that He has for us.

Do you have a mission statement for your family? Do you have it posted in your house? I think I may print this out and hang it in our living room so that we can keep it at the center of our decisions.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Influence from Friends

My husband and I have chosen to homeschool our darling daughters. This decision started for one particular reason, but has grown into a plethora of reasons. The main reason {now} is that we want to glorify God in all that we do.

In school, children learn much more than what the teacher puts on the blackboard. Yes, there are many controversial issues that Christians will battle the public school textbook on, for sure {evolution, young Earth, dinosaurs, God's hand in all of history}.  

We really are more concerned with the lessons that our daughters would learn in the hallways, lunchroom and bathrooms. The friendships they would develop. The influence these friends will have in their lives in regards to music, movie, TV shows, clothing, jewelry, make-up, and even the way they talk. Friends can be a very strong influence in a child's life and they should be chosen wisely. They can easily influence a person do live foolishly and take their eyes off of God.

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, 
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Proverbs 22:24-25

After reading "Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl" this summer, I am also more aware of how Satan can use outside influences to harm the purity and sensitive consciences of our kiddos when they are very young. The younger they are when they are exposed to "cultural junk", the greater harm it can be. What may be OK for a 13 year old to watch, is confusing and even harmful for a 7 year old.

Homeschooling has been a great option because I can basically pick who our daughters are spending time with and therefore, have a great influence on the friendships they are developing. These are typically like-minded Christians from church and our co-op. It has been great!

One goal we had for the summer was to get to know our neighbors. This has proven to be challenging. They are not believers and since the live next door, it is hard to limit the time spent with the girls. It turns out that kids these days are very eager to spend time away from their homes - at least it seems that way when they knock on our backdoor 10 minutes after they get dropped off by the bus.

We have been very diligent to supervise conversations {so far}. There have been a couple of times where the girls next door do not understand why we do things differently {homeschool, not listening to pop music or watching certain shows}. But most of this has been pretty harmless.

Until last weekend.

There was a lot of chaos as our neighbors were having a big birthday party {and somehow all the kids wanted to play in our yard}. I looked out and noticed our 7 yr old and one of the neighbor girls weren't in the backyard. I sent the sister over to get them.

My daughter came home with a funny look on her face. I asked what they were doing and she said watching Martha Speaks on youtube. When I asked if that was all they watched, the tears streamed down her cheeks. She was very upset and very confused.

And I was getting angry....

What on Earth had the girl exposed my daughter to? They watched something  on youtube that has left my daughter very upset. What could it be??

She was so embarrassed that she didn't want to tell what it was.

I was getting angrier by the second, wrapped in compassion and love for my lil' girl.

It turns out that it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but because of her sensitive conscience {thankfully}, she was knew it was wrong to watch all the same.

So I had to have a talk with the friends next door. I had to explain what it meant that we are Christians.

But that'll be in the next post....stay tuned.

Have your kids been exposed to something from their friends that you weren't prepared for? Did a friend influence them to do something they shouldn't {or should have} have done?

I can remember so many choices that I made based on the bad influence from friends. Not blaming them because it was my own decision, but they presented me with options that I never would have thought of on my own.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top 10 Reasons I am looking forward to Fall

Ok, summer is officially my favorite season. I like it H.O.T! I love the sweet smell of chlorine, sweat and sunscreen. I love fireworks {which didn't really happen this year}! I love fresh fruit and veggies! I love playing outside!

But, I am looking forward to the close of summer and starting fall. The crisper air puts a sort of longing in my soul for what is next.....

Top 10 Reasons I am looking forward to Fall 

10. My electric bill is sky high in the summer - especially this summer! We had 50+ days over 90 - and many of those were in the 100s. I like hot weather, but I like it to be cool in the house - especially when I am sleeping. I know, I'm spoiled. So I am looking forward to the lower electric bill.

9. Bonfires, roasted marshmallows and warm wassail. Here is my favorite recipe.

8. Sweatshirts, jeans and hopefully a new pair of boots. Yes, I used to be a cowgirl and I have been turning on the twang again. Yeehaw!

7. Pumpkin picking and hayrides. We live less than a mile {walking distance} from a wonderful pumpkin farm and we love to visit each year. It is such a blessing!!

6. Pumpkin rolls - need I say more? Yummy goodness!!! I could {literally} eat a whole one by myself.

5. Fun crafts - like these awesome Fall Wreath ideas over at Tip Junkie. This is what will be hanging on our front door very soon!

4. Cute hats, scarves and gloves {isn't my model beautiful?}.

3. Beautiful Autumn leaves. It is like the glory of God touching the leaves and erupting in a beautiful splendor of color. And if you happen to see the autumn leaves with a gorgeous red sunrise / sunset - simply breath-taking!!

2. Chili - I love chili! You know, the kind that makes ya sweat. Do you have a favorite recipe? I usually make a venison chili {thanks to my hunter hubby}, but I also like turkey chili and buffalo chicken chili. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering already!

1. The number one reason I am looking forward to the first that all the ragweed will DIE!!! My nose and eyes are in a terrible state and this horrible weed {which I am sure was created in hell itself} needs to go.

Do you have any fun projects lined up for the upcoming season? I'd love it if you wanted to put a link in the comments so that I can see what you are making {or planning to make}.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Excess baggage

At our church's family conference this past summer, the speaker {Pastor Jerry Wragg} spoke about grace, love and unity in the body of Christ. In the last session, he specifically spoke in the different opinions believers have when it comes to the gray areas of the Christian life.

Although the Bible is the full council of God and the tool we need answer all of life's questions, it doesn't always say specifically "thou shalt do this" or "thou shalt not do that". That is what he referred to as a gray area.

Note: if the Bible does specifically say to {or not to} do something, that is not gray; it is black and white and our job is to obey {although that is sometimes easier said than done}.

An example is submitting to and respecting your husband. It is clear that we are to obey this command and that it is important since it is mentioned in more than one place. That doesn't make it easy, does it?

An example of a gray area is entertainment. The books we read. The songs we listen to. The movies we watch. Concerts. Sporting events. Spare time. The way we spend our money.

Pastor Wragg got me to thinking about these areas where we may not agree as believers. Some choose to live a more conservative lifestyle and others choose liberty.

The first and most important thing is to love one another, despite our differences. I listened to another pastor this morning point out that God could have made us all robots that follow Him without even thinking and without any personality differences. But He didn't and the church is a beautiful medley of differences in shape, size, color, age and sound. We glorify God when we live each other despite our different opinions.

When making entertainment choices, you might consider the following questions:

Is this something that will enhance your walk with Christ or drag you down? Is this something that promotes a sinful lifestyle?

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. {Ephesians 4:20-24}

Does it leave you thinking certain sinful choices are not so bad {desensitization}? Does it celebrate something for which Christ died {violence, sex outside of a traditional marriage, cursing, blaspheming, disrespecting parents or government, lying, stealing, taking glory away from God}?

Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. {Romans 1:32}

Are you an influence to others, especially Christians that are early in their walk with the Lord and may be more vulnerable to temptation? Would your choice in entertainment be considered a stumbling block for another?

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.  {Romans 14:13-15}

As followers of Christ, we do not want to live sinful lifestyles and we certainly do not want to give approval to those who practice such.

We also don't want to make *seemingly* harmless choices that may hinder our walk with Christ or the walk of a younger Christian.

Some choices may not seem harmful, but they are just excess baggage on our walk with the Lord. Jesus came to make our burden light. Won't you follow after Him and leave the popular books, songs, TV shows and movies behind?

Even though these are personal choices and we shall not judge another by our own personal standards, we should seek the Lord's guidance when making decisions on how to spend our spare time and money.  

I mean, do you want to be found watching that show  when Christ returns?

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. {Luke 12:40}

What do you think? Is there a show that you watch {or used to watch} on TV that promotes sinful lifestyles and maybe you have felt the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to turn the TV off?

Have you ever walked out of a movie theater because of sinful content?

How do you teach your children to make wise choices?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Did It!

Wow - I never dreamed those 3 little words would melt my heart, but they do.

They remind me that my daughter is getting older.

They remind me that she is getting so strong and capable.

They remind me that I won't have her with me forever.

This makes my heart sad and happy all at the same time.

I dropped her off for Sunday school and she crossed the road all by her big self. She quickly turned around and proudly yelled, "I did it!" I was so happy that she wanted to share that moment with me and a bit teary-eyed at the thought of her growing up so fast! {sniff sniff}

The older I get {or maybe it is the older my kids get} the more emotional I become. I hate to see how many kleenexes I'll need when they graduate!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Top Ten Things I learned from the book

I am finished with the summer book study of "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " by Dannah Gresh. It was a fantastic book stuffed full of useful information. As a way of concluding the book study series, I put together a top ten list.

The Top Ten things I learned from "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " by Dannah Gresh.

10. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Don't let this be your little girl. The devil is not some red creature with pointy ears and a tail. No, he comes as the angel of light. He is crafty and knows how to tempt a little here and a little there - seemingly harmless. He comes camouflaged as cultural norms. He has desensitized the people into believing his lies. This book draws back the curtains of ignorance and opens our eyes to his schemes.

9. I always knew there was something wrong with Barbie, besides her crazy, unrealistic body proportions and now I know. Dannah tells us why {and now our Barbies are in the trash}.

8. My 3 yo and 7 yo both ask "why" all the time. Did you know that this has a different meaning depending on the age of your child? I didn't. I thought my 3 yo was being curious and my 7 yo was being defiant. Not so...find out what it means to ask "why" at 7.

7. I thought the only danger of this "growing up too early" culture was my daughter giving her heart and body away before she was married. There are other dangers such as eating disorders and depression. This book gives great advice for battling these dangers as well as premarital sex.

6. Do you ever feel like the lion in the Wizard of Oz? Do you need a dose of courage and strength? This book will empower you to say no to the culture and yes to the Lord. It gives valid proof of why certain things that seem so normal in our society are just plain WRONG. They are attacks from Satan and we need to be informed so that our conscience is informed and we are empowered to fight off the flaming darts {even when they come disguised as a "fun song" or "cute show" on TV}. 

5. Did you know that most teenage, Christian girls do not want to be Moms? That was me. I had no desire to have children as a teen and young adult. Thankfully the Lord has changed my own heart and we can learn {as Moms} to create the desire in our daughter's hearts to be mothers.

4. When is the right age for your daughter to date? Have you even thought about that yet? Will she go on group dates or alone with a boy {gulp}? When do you tell her the rules for dating? It turns out that you need to start thinking about this {and communicating it with her} when she is a tween so that she clearly understands the rules. The more she understands the rules when she is younger, the less {hopefully} she will fight about them when she is a teenager. 

3. Do you know how old your daughter will be when she has her first period? Did you know that you can be watching for clues? You sure can!

2. How will you have the important talks with your little girl? How will you tell her about her period? How will you tell her about the gift of sexuality and how this is a present for her future husband? How do you do this in a way that honors God, protects her innocence but equips her with the best information to fight temptation? How do you not scare her to death and breed self-loathing when talking about her period? How do teach her to stay as far away from any boy-girl relationship, but prevent her from thinking she is terrible because she thinks they are kinda cute?

1. The most important lesson I got from this book is that the best thing I can do for my girls is to be the parent. Be there for their questions. Be there for the fun times. Talk to them about these things in a God honoring manner. Cover them in love so they are not out seeking it from another source. Create a fun environment so they want to stay home and play with friends instead of always going to another house {this requires me letting go of some control issues I have - eek!}. Parent - child connectedness {and lots and lots of prayer} is the number one weapon in protecting her purity and helping her love who God made her to be.

There is a companion book for little boys, "Six Ways to Keep the "Good" in Your Boy " that I didn't think I needed to read, but.... God has put a little neighbor boy in our life and I am thinking this might be a good way to equip myself for conversations I might have with him. He is a very sweet boy {reminds me of my nephew}. I am not sure how long he will be in our lives but we pray for him and hope that we can be a light in his life. And if he is going to be hanging around my girls, I need him to be a "good boy".  {*wink*}

Did you read the book? What was the most interesting thing you learned? Did anything make you go "WOW!"?

Here are some great resources you might enjoy...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Trash 2 Treasure - Spool Tables

We were planning an end if summer party and 18 kiddos were invited. We have had that many kids over before and they usually sit on blankets around the yard. That is ok, but....

Driving down the road one afternoon, we spotted some electrical wire spools free on the side of the road. {light bulb}

These would be perfect tables!!!

And wouldn't you know, our local grocery had some super adorable, round table clothes on clearance for $1.

So, I measured 7 inches in on each table cloth and sewed on some elastic. This made a nice band to keep the clothes on  the table.

And, tada! Perfectly adorable tables for our super fun party!! Someone else's trash was my treasure!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wishing Wells

As we walked by a stream of water at the zoo the other day, my daughter noticed some coins in the water. She wondered why those were there. I said that some people feel the need to drop {filthy, dirty} coins in any puddle of water and make a wish {yes even at the zoo where the animals live in that same water - not nice in my humble opinion}.  

But that got me to thinking...

I wonder how much money is laying beneath the countless bodies of water, big and small, deep and shallow, as money paid for a wish?

Have you ever turned in a jar of change at the bank and discovered how quickly it adds up? I have and I was GREATLY surprised!

So back to the wishing wells. How much money is there, in the fountains, ponds, wells, creeks? What if it were all gathered, counted and used to buy food for the impoverished? or build houses for the homeless?

Why do we just throw money away when it can be used for good?

Save your coins in a container and donate it to the poor.
Save your wishes and just pray to the true and living God.
Only He is able to make your wishes come true {Mark 11:23-25}.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keep the Little in Your Girl Pt 7

"Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl" - Dream with her about her Prince.

"68 % of Christian girls {public, private and homeschooled} say they'd be happier if they had a boyfriend"

"Approximately 50% of 16 year old girls are sexually active and an overwhelming percentage are boy-crazy."

"Here's the challenge: You want to keep her off the boy-crazy train while at the same time developing within her a love for marriage. How do you do this?

You do it by being positive about boys and telling her about what she can have in the future - not by being paranoid about boys and telling her what she can't have now. Dream with her about the pure relationship God wants her to have one day, and teach her that the beauty of that relationship depends on how she lives today."

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
{Proverbs 31:10-12}

Have you ever noticed that it says "all the days of her life"? That means when she is 5, 13, 18, and 25. That includes the time before she even meets her husband. How can she possibly bring her husband good when she is just a little girl?

"That may mean not being boy-crazy when she's 8, or giving her heart away to guys when she's 13, or giving her body away when she's 16."

I never thought of it that way but it makes perfect sense. Of course it does, it is from the Lord, right?

So don't condemn her for thinking boys are cute, just use that energy to get her dreaming of the plan that God has for her. We know He has a perfect plan!

One thing that Dannah stresses is communicating the rules and values you and your husband have for the family before the time comes when you need to enforce them. This helps your daughter to know where the boundaries are {and why} before she wants to out with that guy on a date {or do whatever else...}.

She suggests having "the talk" about the birds and bees before your daughter is 10 {whew, I have some time!}. The exact age depends on what your child is exposed to. One thing to consider is, "by ten or eleven years, many children who have not received adequate instructions about the facts of sexuality become disturbed and worry about what is real. They usually have heard bits and pieces of facts from peers." {Jimmy Hester, founder of True Love Waits}

The greater the chance that your daughter may hear about sex from peers {public school, older siblings}, the younger you need to have "the talk". You do not want your timidity on the subject to create confusion in your daughter.

"Talking to your children about sex
between the ages of six and ten
isn't a moral choice,
it's a strategic choice.
It is much easier to build a sexual value system
from the ground up
than to dismantle untruths and rebuild."

A Connecting Mom is not a Perfect Mom.

I loved this chapter! After reading this book, I got the feeling that the author did everything perfectly and that it is a goal that is unachievable by me - regular Mom who fails on a daily basis.

This chapter is about being that regular Mom. It is about how we all fail, but with God's grace and help, this can happen.

But only with the power of God. So we need to be fervent in our prayers for our daughters and ourselves as their parents. We need to seek His ways {even in our own walks} and avoid what the world declares "popular".

How old were your kids when you had "the talk"? Did it go well? This is one thing that makes me extremely uncomfortable, but I know that it is much better to have open lines of communication so I will just put a bag on my head and force the words out. ha ha! I actually do think I'll use some books to help with the conversation and be reading some of the additional resources that Dannah lists in the book.

If you have a story - I'd love to hear about it!! Please, please comment. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012


I have come to realize that I am never truly hungry. Oh, I may hear my tummy rumble in the morning (seconds before I fill it up with hot coffee) - but I am not truly hungry.

I looked back at some of the pictures of the kids from Haiti and thought about how some of these kids know what that means.

They have been so hungry that it feels like their stomach would just chew through their skin.

They have been so hungry that they would eat anything put in front of them {including dirt}.
They know what it is like to watch someone die from malnutrition and starvation. 

They know what it means to have to give up a baby brother or sister because there isn't enough food to feed another mouth.

But me, I am not hungry. Whenever I feel the slightest lull in energy or tummy rumble, I open the cabinet doors and look for a snack.

I want this to change. I never want to wallow in the blessing the Lord has given me so that it turns into a curse. I don't want to take any resources for granted {although I am sure this is inevitable to some degree}.

Once a month, I am going to start fasting. This is in no way shape or form even close to what the Haitians (or other impoverished peoples of the world) experience, but it is a start.

As my tummy rumbles on this day, I want my thoughts to quickly turn into prayers.

Prayers for self-control. It would be so easy just to put a little morsel in my mouth.
Prayers for the people of the world who face true hunger.
Prayers specifically for those influenced by Three Angels Children's Relief in Haiti.
Prayers for opportunities to help.

I am not going to write about when I am fasting - that would defeat the purpose a bit. Jesus tells us to beware of letting others know about our fasting:

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. {Matthew 6:16-18}

But if you would like to choose your own {secret} day of fasting each month, I am sure the Lord will bless that and use it for good.

Won't you join me in experiencing just a tiny bit of what it means to be hungry - for maybe the first time in your entire life?!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Keeping the Little in Your Girl Pt 6

Part 6 of "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl " covers chapters 8 and 9.

Unplug her!

"The average tween girl will absorb 38 hours a week of video games, computer time, music, television, radio, and print. If she is at a public or private school for another 35 hours a week, that doesn't leave you much time to be the primary molder of her value system. What's a Mom to do?"

Unplug her! Back away from the screens and media swallow your little girl whole!

Dannah {author} suggests the following:

1. Set limits in terms of screen time - this includes all screens such as computers, iPods, TV, gaming systems, and movies.

2. Turn off all screens during mealtimes. I cannot even imagine watching TV during dinner, but I know many families do. This is such a great time to talk {and listen} to each family member. What a special time!

3. Set a good example by being physically active and by limiting your own screen time {gulp}. Yes, our children are watching. The greatest lesson they learn is the one they see us living out each day. It is good to turn off the screens {even my little smartphone} and take time to play with the kids and be busy working in our home. That is my job, isn't it?

When your kids are watching TV or on the computer, make sure you know what they are watching. Use it as teachable moments when there is an example of sin and help her interpret the messages as the media attempts to brainwash her. You should even pre-screen some things before she is even allowed to look at it. Dannah had some of the lyrics from a Lady Gaga song and wow! I cannot believe any parent would allow their child to listen to that *stuff*.

Also be sure to address what it means to be truly beautiful as she is watching these teen pop stars on TV. No one looks like they do on TV {even the pop stars themselves} in real life. It seems to be more and more of a struggle to have a healthy body image with these twiggy stars on every magazine cover with flawless faces and incredible hair. It is no wonder that "one-third of 10-year-old girls are worried about their weight."

Be sure she knows that even though man looks at the outer appearance, God looks at the heart. That is what is truly important.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. {Proverbs 31:30}

Unbrand her!

Don't let the media tell her what looks cool and that it is OK to run around in super short shorts and tank tops that used to be considered underwear! I am appalled when I go out and see what little clothing {and large amounts of make-up} these little girls are wearing - and they are with their parents!! It isn't like they are even sneaking out of the house and changing how they look in the mall bathroom.

The Lord tells us that, "Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." {1 Peter 3:3-4}

It is ok to want to look nice, but this does not have to involve showing so much flesh and trying to make a 13 year old girl look like a mature woman.

So what can a Mom do?

Practice modesty yourself. Be an example.

"Make a new goal for yourself - and help your tween daughter establish the habit of spending more time in God's Word each day than she does in front of the mirror. It's easy - if you spend 15 minutes getting ready each morning, you need to spend 15 minutes with God. If you spend 30 minutes painting your face and spraying your hair, you need to spend 30 minutes with God." {double gulp}. That sure is convicting!

Dannah also lists out several "Truth or Bare" tests that are great ways to see how modest your tween's clothes {and your own} really are. This is a great way to talk about her body and how it is precious and beautiful, but it is also private and to be saved for when she is older and married. It is a gift for her Prince Charming.

How will you pass the Truth or Bare tests? I dare - no double dog dare - you to click over to her website and see how your outfit checks out.

I am so thankful for the wisdom in this book! Have you been reading along? What are your views on screen time and modesty? Will there be any changes made around your house?

Friday, August 10, 2012

What did you expect?

Now that the summer book club {you can read about that over HERE} is over (don't worry, I'll post the last blog posts as soon as I locate my book - lol!), I am picking up another book, "What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage " by Paul David Tripp.

This book is SO convicting!

I wanted to share what I read this morning:

Page 77 {emphasis added}

It is a GRACE to be willing to listen and consider criticism and rebuke. It is hard to see ourselves with clarity and hard to accept what we see when we do. It is so easy to be defensive.

All of us carry inside ourselves an inner lawyer who is easily activated and quickly rises to our defense. We've all been in one of those moments when someone is pointing out some wrong in use, and although we are not speaking aloud, we have already begun a silent defense of ourselves against what they are saying. As they are pointing to evidence of a need for change, we are marshaling evidence that we are not, in fact, the person they contend we are.

It takes GRACE to be ready to listen and willing to hear.
It takes GRACE to quiet our mind, to focus our attention, and to settle our heart so that we can actually receive the help that God is offering us in that moment of unexpected confrontation.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved {and continues to sanctify} a wretch like me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Keeping the Little in Your Girl Pt 5

This week we discussed Chapters 6 and 7 from Dannah Gresh's, "Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl ". Wow! I say that for every chapter {have I mentioned this is a great book?}


Chapter 6 is about finding the right toys for your daughters. The suggestion is toys without limits to allow more creative play. Great suggestion!! Remember that during these tween years, the girls' brains are developing and this creative play helps that process.

"Time spent playing make-believe, dress-up and building things with sticks, twigs, and blocs actually helps children develop a critical skill called executive function." "Executive function performs many different things in a human being,  but one of them is to self-regulate - or to appropriate moral behavior and values."

Self-regulating - wow, that's a novel concept. To be able to control oneself. I see the need for that all over the place {including in the mirror}. One study dealing with self-regulating {self-control} measured how long a child could stand still. Can your children stand still? Let's just say it is a struggle for mine. lol!

In the 1940s an average 5 year old could stand still for 3 minutes and a child over 7 could stand still for an indefinite period of time. WOW! Can you guess what those numbers are today? An average 5 year old cannot stand still for even a minute and a 7 year old can stand still for about 3 minutes. That is a huge difference!

So I put my daughter {almost 7} to the test. The first time she made it 30 seconds. The second time she made it about 90 seconds. The third time {after I told her it was a contest} she lasted 4 minutes 15 seconds. Hooray!! I think this is a skill we will work on regularly. :)

This chapter also talked about the right kind of dolls our daughters should have. Here is the big question....

How do you feel about Barbie?

Let's just say that Dannah Gresh has a strong opinion and I'd have to say a valid opinion. Barbie is a doll that has "consumerism" written all over her. She is a marketing tool - and she is good at her job! But do we want our daughters to fall prey to marketing schemes so early? Besides that, she is a doll with limits. Due to her sexualized "attributes", she limits the way our girls play with her.

"When our daughters play with cute, nonsexual dolls, they tend to let imaginative play loose. They role-play and create, giving muscle to their executive function. But when our daughters play with dolls that have a more seductive or beauty-based nature, they tend to be more confined in their imaginative play. Their play generally leans toward "seduce the boy". "The more a girl plays this way, the more she'll focus on looks and coquettish behavior, and the less time she'll spend doing the open ended activities kids need. It puts her on a conveyor belt to early sexualization."

Whoa! Even though I played with Barbie when I was young, I have not been a fan of her for my daughters; this just reinforces my decision. In our group discussion, we had others who felt differently and I can see their point as well. I think a lot of it is how your daughter is playing with the toy. Do you hear her playing "seduce the boy" or "get the boyfriend" or do you hear her playing house, doctor, librarian, veterinarian?

Although what happens if/when you do start hearing her play more "romantically" with Barbie and Ken? Do you take it away?

One of my very favorite people / dolls / animal friends are the Calico Critters . Have you seen them? They are little animal families and they are the farthest thing from a Bratz doll. Both of my girls will take and play with these little friends in all sorts of scenarios. Tonight, my youngest (3 yr old) ran to the bedroom after bath to play with the Mommy Guinea Pig and all the babies (rabbits, cats, penguins, guinea pigs). It looked like she was playing "The old lady that lived in a shoe".

Chapter 7 suggests how to talk with your daughter about her upcoming period. Have you even thought about that yet? My daughter will be 7 next month, so I hadn't really considered it, but Dannah has a beautiful way of sharing this new milestone of life.

She says that this is a way to celebrate the gift that God has given us as women to be able to have babies. Celebrate! Is that a word you think of when you think of that monthly cycle? It isn't for me, but the way that she puts it in the book makes it so beautiful!

In our society, it is an unfortunate thing that being a mother, especially a SAHM, is not a position of respect. Most young women dread the idea of being a Mom and would rather chase after a career than toddlers. In a survey of "1200 Christian teens, the vast majority of them did not want to be mothers and felt motherhood should be a goal secondary to the dreams they had for a career." These are Christian teens. This breaks my heart.

So what a great opportunity you have as a mother to celebrate her period and to use it to help motivate her to to want to be a Mom someday. Dannah lists all kinds of ways to do this, but I won't give them all away. You gotta read the book, too!

One thing we are thinking of doing this fall, just to get the conversation started about how babies are born and all, is to visit a local dairy farm. I am told that they have regular births - like multiple each day - and everyone just piles into the birthing barn to witness a calf being born. How awesome!! I cannot wait - although I am a little  nervous for the plethora of questions I'll get from my daughters {Lord please help me}.

So what toys do your girls play with? Will you be giving some away to Goodwill after reading this chapter? How long can your daughter (or son) stand still?

Have you had "the talk" about puberty and the monthly visit from Aunt Flo yet? How'd that go? I'd love to hear what you think.