Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keeping the Little in our Girls

This summer, there is a lot going on in our lives and we are very busy. I want to make sure that we also have some time set aside to just relax and let the kids be kids (you know, play with worms, dig in the mud, climb trees, catch fireflies). I usually try to have a book club that is a pretty easy read (something that won't make smoke come out of your ears like Spurgeon or the Puritans) but that will also challenge myself and other women in our walks with the Lord. Last summer we read the The Ministry of Motherhood , which was fantastic and really challenged my outlook on being a Mom!!! I also participated in a book study at church on The Excellent Wife . Also fantastic (and really challenging)!!

But this summer, I had decided not to have a book study (for various reasons, one being that the gift of time is so very precious!).

Until, God placed a book filled with such timely wisdom in my hand that I just had to share it with other Moms. As I started reading it, I was busting at the seams with such eye opening (and startling) information but also inspired by such godly wisdom that I just *had* to share it with someone (and my husband was getting mildly irritated at me as I would interrupt his reading to read my own book aloud to him).

The book you ask?

Dannah Gresh's Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl.

You see, I have two little girls. One is six and a half and the other is just weeks away from turning 3. My oldest daughter is not boy crazy or even remotely considering a boyfriend, but I started wondering how to communicate things like modesty, changes in her body as she approaches puberty (gulp), and saving her heart for marriage. I saw her talking to a boy this past fall who was 6 years older (yes I said older) than her and although I am sure it was all innocent, it still caught me off guard. I knew I needed to get a game plan together about how I was going to talk to her about this stuff before I was caught off guard too many times.

A couple months ago I saw a post for a free (or nearly free) download of Dannah Gresh's book on Keeping the Little in your Girl. This is really directed at parents of tween girls, so I thought I'd download the kindle version and read it in a couple of years since my daughter is only 6. A few weeks (yes, weeks, not years) later I was in the airport looking for something to read and thought I'd read the introduction to this book. I couldn't put it down! I was stunned by the amount if information I needed to know NOW! Not when she is 10, but when she is 6 (or younger). There are so many things I (and YOU if you have little girls running around your home) can do to proactively protect our girls from the darkness of the world that is trying to sexualize our daughters and steal away their innocence.

The first things you need to do are pray. Get on your knees and pray for the wisdom to handle each day as a gift from the Lord. Our daughters are only small for such a short time and it is important to see each day as a gift and use each training moment for all it is worth. I am so very thankful that my husband has allowed me to stay home with our daughters so that I have even more time available to train them and be involved in their lives. Seek the Lord and His ways and communicate this to your daughter. She is called for so much more than strutting around in skimpy clothes, sticking out her pouty lips as she takes a picture of herself with her phone (so she can post on FB or tweet for countless people (including predators) to see), saying she loves this boy one week and a different boy the next and trying to live her life to match the teen idols on her favorite show.

Moms - we are engaged in war! We need to fight for our daughters! I have a dream that my daughters will be in the minority that saves not only their innocence for their wedding night, but maybe, just maybe, she will save even her first kiss for her wedding day. I grieve the fact that I wasted so much of my love and my self on other men and did not save everything I had for my husband. What a beautiful picture of Jesus and His Bride as your daughter prepares for her husband - the man that God will send into her life (start praying for him now)!

My plan is to post something each week (although these first couple of weeks will be sketchy with VBS at our church and a mission trip to Haiti) about the book and how it has touched my heart. It would be so fun if you wanted to get a copy of the book for yourself and read along! I'd love to get your feedback and hear how it has affected your outlook as a Mom and what changes you may or may not be making after reading the book.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Knot No-Hem Shorts

The Crafty Critique has this super cute tutorial for Knot No-Hem shorts and I couldn't wait to make a pair for my darling daughter. There is always a stack of jeans in her drawer that are too short, but fit fine at the waist. I tell her that I'm going to stop feeding her vegetables so she'll stop growing (and stay my baby girl forever!) - but she insists that won't work. She is so smart. {smile} And how cute are these shorts anyway with a band of fabric - any color you want - to accessorize the edge?

This would also be helpful for those {raunchy} shorts that are so popular. You know the ones. They are missing legs. Obviously this is a rough time with our economy (and over in China where all our clothing is made) when they can't afford to put legs on the shorts. Now you can just add a band of super cute fabric and make them a proper length.

So here is the finished product - what do you think (don't mind the horrible lighting)? Are you going to make some for your daughter? I know she'd love them!! They took less than 30 minutes - and that included my daughter choosing the fabric. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Summer Bucket List

Do you have a summer bucket list created yet? Do you know what this is? It is a list of things (some big and some smaller) that you would like to do over the summer break with your family. This is a great way to make sure summer doesn't slip by too quickly. Remember, we are building memories that will be treasured for a lifetime (even after we are gone). Get out a pencil and paper and jot down some ideas (and have your kids help brainstorm) that you would like to add to this summer's adventure. Then take some  time to turn these ideas into a *work of art* to hang in your kitchen. This way you can refer to it often - like when the kids are declaring they are *bored*.

My darling daughter and I have been working on ours. Here is a glimpse into our bucket:
  • Camping (back yard and state park)
  • Catching fireflies
  • Visiting Conner Prairie and going up in their balloon
  • Attending an outdoor concert
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Play in the sprinkler
  • Paint rocks
  • Attend VBS and invite friends and neighbors
  • Learn about a new missionary
  • Go fishing
  • Have a new family over for a cookout
  • Swim as much as we can
  • Lay out on a blanket and look for shapes in the clouds
  • Play with playdoh
  • Spend time on the canoe and paddle boat
  • Make a *passport booklet* for the local parks we plan on visiting
  • Summer Reading program through our library

Do you create a bucket list with your family? If so, what fun and interesting things are on your list this year?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Healthy Eating

I recently watched the documentaries, King Corn and Forks Over Knives. My conscience has been pricked. I am becoming more and more aware (especially as I have experiences pain in my own body from the foods I eat) of the fact that our bodies truly are impacted by the foods we choose (yes it is a choice here in America) to eat. I am not able to become a vegan. I enjoy a good steak or chicken on the barbie too much for that sort of drastic change (although I said that once about dairy and now I am dairy free....). But, I would like to remove as much processed food as we can from our diets and incorporate as many fruits and veggies.

I want to teach my daughters to love the food that God created. I *love* to see how excited our 6 year old is about my husband's vegetable garden (I say that it is his because I don't want to claim any credit for his hard work). I loved picking strawberries from the local UPick garden this spring and then making our own freezer jam and being able to thank God (with my daughters) for the perfect strawberry growing weather we have been blessed with this year.

I also want to help train my daughter's taste palettes to love fresh veggies and fruits. I don't want them to think they need to drown food in salt, fat and sugar in order to make it taste good. This is a big problem in our country! We want food to taste super salty, sinfully rich, or lockjaw sweet - and we are teaching our kids to only like food that has this strong flavor. This is one reason for the drastic increase in childhood obesity.

Summer is upon us and the hot 90 degree days are perfect for a yummy frozen treat! How about frozen bananas (and/or other fruit) that are whipped up like soft serve ice cream? How yummy does that sound? This is a great way to eliminate the sugar loaded, high fructose containing creamy dessert from your kids' diet (or at least cutting way down) and include more fruits that are loaded with Vitamins and Minerals they actually need to be healthy.

Introducing..... Yonanas Ice Cream Treat Maker

I cannot wait to get my own Yonanas Ice Cream Treat Maker