Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Only Good.


Many days parenting older children, I'm going to say it, teens, is difficult.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2017


Life as a Christian is a life complete.  Perfect.  Don't hear me say "no problems, perfectly happy, idyllic .."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Remembering When


Family Day.  We faithfully had a family day out every sixth Saturday.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

He Knows

www.rachelwojo.com

He knows your going.  Not that "you are" going but your going.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lately


Phoebe turned 13!  What a dear and sweet girl she is.  It's hard to believe she is 13.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Raising An Alien Child


My youngest son.  The sixth child I have been gifted to raise to give back to his own Heavenly Father

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Let Him Hear Your Prayer And See Your Tears


It's one of those days.  The days you spend almost continually exhausted from weeping.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Love And Control, Scheduling And Meal Planning - Child Discipline & Training


Mothering “Littles”

When our children were little we constantly heard the phrases like terrible twos and impossible threes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Keeping My Children Safe


Keeping my children safe is my priority.  I pray each morning as I hear their cars go up the driveway

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Making Of Men - Book Review


Reading this book in our season of raising godly young men.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  For parents or a parent of any age son this is for you.  It isn't a Christian book yet can be read and appreciated with loads of practical application, not to mention wisdom and excellent research to learn from.

Do you ever worry about your teenage son and what will become of him?
Do you want to see him happy, successful and excited about life?
Are you alarmed about the influence of technology on his life?
Do you wonder how the enthusiastic and energetic kid who made you laugh, drove you nuts with questions and was into everything, seemingly overnight turned into a grunting teenager, unwilling or unable to communicate?
If these questions concern you, or if you've answered yes to any of them, this book is for you.

Father of two boys Dr Arne Rubinstein draws on his thirty years' experience working with teenagers. He reveals what happens to boys during adolescence, what you can do about it as a parent or carer, how you help them stay out of trouble, and what you need to do to ensure they grow up to be a happy, healthy and well-adjusted men.

Packed with insights, practical tips and honest, no-nonsense wisdom. Find out more about The Making of Men on Dr Arne Rubinstein's website, or on social media sites facebook, twitter, linkedin.



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Feeling A Bit Thwarted Today ...


My two daughters, 16 months apart and raised as twins these past 14 years.  My hopes and dreams and especially, my prayers, for them continue today.  To be godly, faith filled, joyful and sweet daughters, girls and women.

In this life, our home is quiet.  We do not have extended family, have not found like minded faith by and large in our church family, suffered church splits, ridicule and shunning.  Today we are in a church body we are most grateful for yet the years have meant not so many friends or comings and goings for us and our children.  We are quiet by nature, preferring to keep out of church politics and all the usual circles that people operate in it seems by default.  We have made our mistakes, sinners by nature too.  Yet, we are forgiven in Christ!

Our children have raised up faithful and obedient but dare I admit - lonely.  To this end and particularly lately we have introduced out of the home activities for them.  Each considered with much prayer and thought but this week two things have me feeling thwarted at best and a little cheated as well.


Our daughter was being briefed for an upcoming activity and had to squirm in her seat when assaulted with way too much information on upcoming rules and regulations between her and her co-horts in this activity.  Good moral boy/girl rules yet could they not have been put with the correct anatomical phrases instead of what I'll call street slang?  To God's praise because of how we raised her, she came home and told us everything as she does each activity but to see this young girl's reaction to what she heard and how she felt was just disappointing to this Mum.

My immediate reaction - pull her out!  Yet what then?  Is there anything better to offer her?  The tyranny of decision - 

boredom and it's inherant ills
vs.
the chance to season and engender resilience in her all the while praying she can swim and not be engulfed and drown in it ...

I don't like those chances.

We monitor, keep talking, watch and pray but still ... I don't like it.


My middle son during the course of an accredited college course is offered and instructed on alcohol use and taste all the while under age!

Thank God for relationship and conversation with each child yet the perils and disappointing seasons of parenting.  Is there anyone who cares about my child as I do.  Well, no.  That's the point isn't it of our children and not just having them but raising them.  Of taking the time day after day, year after year to pour values and principles into them.  Faith and words to live by when life's storms blow and even when just winds of change cross their face.  Of forging relationship with them by our time, our heart, our prayers, our hopes and dreams.  Of letting them go that first time they are ready to "lift off".  Of watching them fly, maybe sputter, maybe crash and burn even.  

Somehow I expected they'd be more ready, there'd be more care for them, more interest in their welfare from strangers but there isn't.  People are by and large good.  Not godly but good.  Yet no one really cares about your own as you do.

Lord, help me to graciously accept your hand to me today.  All the while trusting and hoping in you alone.  In your promises to me and to my children.  Amen.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Social Media Rules


How wise is this?  It is so key that it isn't so much what we say as parents as what we do.

Our children watch us, we all watch something, allow ourselves to be influenced by some thing, person, culture, tradition etc.  As people we love to follow something.  Let's make sure our children are spending enough time with us to be able to watch us.  To follow us.  May we be worthy to be followed!

For me that means keeping close to my Lord God.  Following His commands and precepts in grace and forgiveness which I find in Christ, alone.



Monday, February 8, 2016

Bringing Baby Home


We are well past this stage in our lives.  Although it is still possible, I don't think it's likely for us.  To the dear friends of mine who are, this is for you.

Each of our babies has been prayed for and waited on.  Each one we believe to be an answer to prayer and to come complete with an eternal soul and great purpose according to God.
From the moment we know we are pregnant we begin to talk about the new baby to our other children as though this baby will come and join our family.  We anticipate how that will work in their little day to day routines and get them ready to share their toys, their personal space and their mummy and daddy with a new best friend.

We faithfully read several books but these are my favourites:




Each night during our bedtime routine we read the usual books and finished with these.  It was a way to anticipate what it would be like in their little lives when the new friend came home from hospital.  With older toddlers, it gave way to fascinating conversation no matter how limited by their tiny understanding and/or vocabulary of what they were expecting or even worried about during this exciting time in our family.

We were given early on in our marriage two pieces of wisdom I continually employed and that made all the difference to those first few months after bringing a new baby home.  They also proved a great foundation for the peace of our home.


First, to "bring the baby to the family" as opposed to "bring the family to the new baby".  The risk of being "child centred" instead of Christ centred.  Did you know the family begins with the marriage - Mathew and I are the primary relationship, the family.  The children are welcome and most blessed additions.  Right here, it set me on the right foot as far as attitude to these little ones who are straight from the heart of God to our home.

How much agony is it to all of a sudden have to tip toe around the house because the new baby is asleep.  Let the baby come to the family within acceptable limitations of course.  Our fourth child, Emmeline, was a newborn when we were extensively renovating our home.  I also had our son Budd at 30 months at the time.  When the builder started up the band saw  inside  our house and it was nap time, I made sure to put them down in the middle of the noise.  They slept through it all.

Second, if the older child and the new baby are crying or need attention at the same time, prefer the older child.  Of course make sure the baby is comforted and safe but allowing for that, the baby can wait.  The older child will far benefit from knowing you are still there for him or her.  Calm or comfort them whatever the situation then together see to the baby or better still if Dad or another family member can help, do that.  There were days when I was on my own which was most of the time.  This advice became key to me.

Lastly and very practically, the Crockpot - oh my!  LOOOOOVE IT!!!!!
 The time was 0900 and my dinner was on and smellin' fine.  Yay!


Our little team would help with everything for bath to change time to meal preparation.  No matter how menial or time consuming - let them help.  It pays far more dividends over time.  Our last baby was Jedidiah some 10 years ago.  Charlotte my eldest was 12 at the time and completely able to care for that child on her own.  And she wanted to.  I made sure not to overburden her little mother's heart but my goodness what a blessing she was.  Jed's older brothers, Josh at 10 and Budd at 7 were so proud big brothers and so tender with a new mummy who cried a lot **  Emmeline was 4 a few days after Jed came home and allowed a tired mummy to give her a store brought chocolate cake (this gave me much mummy guilt at the time) and little Phoebe was 3.  She was just a doll helping me with her very own life sized baby doll :-)

** I faithfully begged to go home from the hospital and then felt I wasn't ready yet when I got there.  The last "bringing home the new baby" moment I was determined to do better.  And I did.

I arrived home to the oohs and aahs and little hands clambering all over me and Jedidiah in my arms.  I felt the overwhelming feeling wash over me and the tell tale tears begin to flow.  I sat down on the lounge with my babies all around me, set the new baby in his bouncer at my feet and hugged my children and wept.  When they asked why I told them the truth - I felt afraid that I could be a good mother to my new family.  I let their sweet ministerings just flow over me and trusted this great God I love so very much.  After not that long I was OK and so I was.

So plan, communicate, imagine and then most of all be thankful and enjoy every moment of
Bringing Baby Home!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Have A New Kid By Friday - Book Review


Reading this book again this week.  It is always so simple, so timely and so profound.  This week I have asked Jedidiah to do something then turned around and walked away.  It works.
This past month we have struggled with first time obedience to simple things like "time for dinner" or "please tidy up your room".  Things we have trained each child in over the years but yet, they go wanting during some seasons of life or just plain rebellious times.

Dr. Leman lays our child's attitude on our shoulders.  "Your attitude has everything to do with how you live your life.  It has everything to do with how you behave.  And it has everything to do with the character you develop."  P. 41

The key to changing your child is changing your attitude

"Almost 100 percent of the time parents know the difference between respect and getting dissed, but they choose to ignore it."  P. 40

When the rewards stop, the behaviour will stop

Attention, albeit unwanted, from Mum and Dad for disobedience won't be worth it if we ask, turn around and leave the room in expectation the child will comply.  If they don't there are consequences.  Consequences prior we have decided upon and communicated to the child over time.  Most importantly consequences that we are willing to follow through on!

In my opinon, this books heavily relies on prior discipline training for each child so they know what to expect and what our behaviour standards are and why - of course age appropriate each time. 
In our case, Jedidiah knew his responsibilities to his room, under his bed and the floor area in particular and secondly, when Mum calls for dinner it is time to "drop sticks" and make your way to the table via the hand basin to clean up.  Stat.

You're the parent and the adult in the situation, so you apologise first

So key to be humble with our children.  Consistent consequences and real, transparent parenting on our part including sorry and asking for forgiveness when we "lose" it are important.  Sometimes we didn't have all the information for the situation, sometimes we are just too hard, sometimes we are just in a bad mood too.  I hope they are the exceptions rather than the rule for me and Mathew.  Most of the time we prayerfully approach discipline and control techniques for each child well.  It's hard to be patient for the fruit of righteousness though. 

For me that's where this book comes in.  It encourages me to go on, toughen up and expect and demand that obedience that we have ALL worked on so hard.





Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This Thing Called Love



To run a marathon from what I know, you have to work up to the distance over time.  Gain strength and endurance.  You must know your race, the length, the route and you have to mentally plan for it.

Motherhood isn't like that.  We cannot know what is ahead.  We have plans and dreams, we watch others, reflect on our own upbringing and our own Mothers yet, each child, each family is different and inevitably we are unprepared.

Mathew and I learnt as we went along, we didn't have good role models to follow nor many to cheer us on from the sidelines.  We had thought these things would make us better parents because we knew what didn't work and what we didn't believe in.  What we didn't realise though was that we also had no reserves to draw from, no role modelling to imitate, so it was very difficult.  We often felt lost and bewildered and consequently our marriage was in serious trouble.

When our first child was only 3 years old we came in contact with Growing Families International and the parenting curriculum Growing Kids God's Way.  It changed our marriage first and then our child raising techniques and outcomes.  With each subsequent child we employed what we learnt.  We have been and continue to be great and vocal advocates of these child raising principles.  Over time in this marathon however, new and varied stages and dilemmas present themselves.  I have personally gone back to the "book" regularly.

Last night I found myself scouring our bookcase shelves again for some inspiration, encouragement, even words of wisdom for another shift in the marathon route that I never trained for and am finding myself failing on.


Right about here I am reminded that God's Word itself is all I need and to turn to Him and ask for wisdom, grace, forgiveness and patience is the good and right to do.  However, I also can glean from those who have gone before and have the talent to write and teach parents like me.  I must admit there isn't much if anything written for parents of older children.

I held to the idea that attitudes and problems start in the early years and to get them while they are young will save trouble later yet I'm here, in trouble, I've run a good race, I'm tired but it isn't over yet.  This crazy thing called "love" for a child.  Love that won't let go, that chases down and forgives over and over, that fears and trembles at some stages - this love is frightening.

Surely I am being honed out of this rock of life just as surely as my child is.  May I be a good student for the potter, may my child and I hold still and be moulded into His likeness, may I wait patiently on Him, may I mount up with wings not for me or even for my child but for His glory and His Namesake.  Amen, Lord.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Back To School 2016

We have started our new school year today.  This year marks 17 years of homeschooling for me.  I have graduated three students and am grateful that they all went on to tertiary study and full time employment in Nursing, I.T and Hospitality.  This morning my three "littles" begin Level 4, 6 and 7 respectively!

It's always nice to have had a break and to recharge, get in new pens and pencils, books and folders and dive back in for a new year.


By the end of each year all finished books are filed and school reports generated and grades noted for each child.  I like to do this to keep me interested and abreast of how each child is coping and tracking.  If I'm going to take the responsibility of their education I should do a good job!  It always encourages me in doing this because I see just what they have accomplished throughout the year and so does Mathew.   I've simplified the work boxes for this year.  Easy go to storage space in our former library area - now a make shift bedroom.


This morning I found hard to motivate me but one thing at a time and I found my feet.  This is my laundry room in full swing with a pile for everything and all things ready and waiting for their next action.  This is OK with me.  It's never ALL done but it's in a priority pile and being processed.


Oh, and my trust crockpot - love it so much! - is on and smelling fine.  This year sees two of the children begin a weekly activity outside our home.  Tonight is one of those.  We need to eat by 5 and be out of the house by 6 at the very latest.  Pressure!  Just one or two little things pre-arranged will help and make all the difference.





Jedidiah had a very difficult start back - problems obeying ..... however we handled that with loads of contemplative time ..... and finally got the wheels rolling only to later apologise to Mum for his behaviour this morning and then proceed to set off for a record morning of reading and painting and writing.  Thank God!

These children are just that, children.  Homeschooling doesn't make them perfect but it does, with God's grace and forgiveness daily, enable us to make close relationships with them and therefore in times of conflict have those conversations with them and that influence over them.

This classic verse so often used is a promise to me.  Reason for my hope.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Australia Day 2016


A special cupcake tree in honour of many things Australian!

My Country

by Dorothea Mackellar

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.


Special BBQ by Dad for lunch.





We arrived through heavy rain at Coollum Beach, the surf was rough but the water was warm and refreshing.  



At one stage we weren't sure it was worth a trip to the beach? But we soldiered on.  After all, maybe it wasn't raining up the coast?!
Well it was and it did. We had a couple of hours of swimming and body surfing in rough conditions with a total six lifesavers at the water's edge watching our every move.  Thank God for the Royal Life Saving Association of Australia.



Yesterday Phoebe and Emmeline made and iced these cupcakes.  Aren't they clever!


So, today as every day, I thank God for this country we live in.  A land of contrasts and a land of uniqueness.  A place I am free to live and work and worship.  A place just far enough off the mainstream of life yet with every modern tenant of a world class city.  I guess the world will catch up one day but for now I am grateful for this place to raise my family and to have lived my life.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:20

Friday, January 8, 2016

Being A Mother When They Start To Grow Up

You know, you pray for a child, you have them, you raise and nurture them day by day by day, you believe in godly parenting and motherhood and fatherhood, in marriage and the family unit, you believe in Biblical submission to a loving Husband.

More than that, you preach it to all those watching, those that may ask - although precious few want to know - you really live and breath and honestly come to think you are on the right road.  Not because of our efforts although they are real but because of God's promises in the Bible, His Word to me about my children and family.


Then the season comes when that child wants more than the home and life they have lived.  They rightly or wrongly want to stretch their wings and because of how they've been raised there is no fear of the world or understanding of the dangers of certain decisions.  There is little suspicion of others' motives or life's turns.  An innocence that could set them up to be vulnerable.

Raised with unconditional love, acceptance and all the right insulation to weather life's storms, yet a tenderness to be protected, prepared and provided for at this later stage in their lives.

Wasn't it meant to be the hard work when they were babies, then toddlers?  Yes, then too.  This motherhood, it's a marathon not a sprint.  I'm getting that today .. 


Yeah.  Amen to that.  Because God told me that didn't He, only I wasn't listening as keenly as today.  It didn't mean as much to me as it does today.  His living Word.  Every day it is new, relevant and able to encourage, rebuke, discipline and comfort me.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:16


Some days it is a wearisome journey.  Would I have it any other way, do things differently, yes and no.  Each child is different!  I'm learning too.  We are all learning about ourselves before our great God.  The important thing for me to remember is "this too shall come to pass".  To "keep on" and "pressing toward the mark".

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28




This gives me much comfort.  Some days as mother I wonder at how and if I have made a difference, am making a difference.  Then I'll spy a child doing their chores when no one is watching and no one has reminded them.  I'll spy two teen girls playing and giggling together in complete friendship while an hour ago they were bickering to my distraction.  My son will text me and keep on texting me telling me about his day, sending a picture to me that he knows I'll like.

Then I see God's hand moving and shaping us all.  I feel His comfort and His understanding and I feel brave again that "this too shall come to pass" and that He has us and me in the palm of His hands.  That no matter the storms of life, we are in His hands and we can have peace in knowing that.

That I can be still and know He is God.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

SummerTimes


McDonalds for breakfast


A park bench, tall pines, an early morning cool breeze, deafening bird life - always tastes better that way!



Selfies - can't beat them really.  Always happy and fun.  Just thought my favourite little gingerbread house in the middle there adds some colour.


Swimming at Gran and Pa's pool!


Aw Mum.  Another photo.


In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thess. 5:8

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gingerbread House Tradition


Christmas music, a Gingerbread House Kit and many happy hands on a bright, early Summer Sunday afternoon.  One of our traditions.


Charlotte was home this year to help!  Jedidiah made the pattern on the roof his very own.


White sugar covers a thousand mistakes with the tubed icing and looks incredibly realistic as snow on the ground.


And icing sugar sifted over the roof adds another realistic dimension.  Don't you love Charlotte's icicles hanging off the roof edge!


Love it!

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