Archive for June, 2006
Sallie is starting up the Blogs of Beauty Awards! This is their second go-round! Last year, when she started these awards specifically for women bloggers I had about six bloggers that I read on a regular basis! This year my list is so much longer! I’ve all kinds of ideas about nominating some of you lovely ladies out there!
Here are the categories for awards…
(Oh yeah, the nominees, finalists, and winners get a lovely graphic for their site!)
Best Artistic Content
Has the best use of artistic content (photos, graphics, etc.) in daily entries. (This award is for daily content, not overall blog design. Overall design is given in two other awards.)
Best Biblical Exhortation
Does the best job of bringing biblical truth and exhorting others to walk closely with the Lord Jesus. (Blog does not have to be exclusively a theological blog.)
Best Crafts and Projects
Has the best craft and project ideas.
Best Design – Contemporary
The most beautiful blog of a contemporary design.
Best Design – Traditional
The most beautiful blog of a non-contemporary design.
Has the best discussions in the comments sections.
Best Encourager – General
Has the most encouraging blog content.
Best Encourager for Singles
Has the most encouraging content for being a godly single. (Blog does not have to be exclusively about singleness.)
Best Encourager for Wives
Has the most encouraging content for being a godly wife.(Blog does not have to be exclusively about marriage.)
Has the best content regarding frugality. (Blog does not have to be exclusively about frugality.)
Best Group Blog
Has the best content of a blog written by a group of three or more regular bloggers.
Has the best content regarding homemaking. (Blog does not have to be exclusively about homemaking.)
Has the best content regarding homeschooling. (Blog does not have to be exclusively about homeschooling.)
Has the best humor.
Best Meet for a Mocha
The blogger you have never met and would most like to meet in person for a mocha.
Has the best content about being a mommy. (Blog does not have to be exclusively about motherhood.)
Best Quiet Spirit
Demonstrates a beautiful, quiet spirit through her blog entries.
Has the best recipes. (Blog does not have to be exclusively about cooking.)
Has the most enjoyable variety of content.
So start thinking about who you would like to nominate….and go here for submission details and have those nominations in by Sunday, July 9, 2006, at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Happy nominating ladies!!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
And I must agree. I love play. We play….lots! We are big believers in swimming, tree climbing, basketball, soccer, football, racing, trampoline jumping, trips to parks, carnivals, and bookstores (yeah, that IS play!)But I’m going to say that all play and no work makes Jack uninteresting as well. And fat, lazy, selfish, and a whole host of other things we’d rather Jack not be…..
I read this post, on the value of work, one day last week and it really struck me. I think the importance of hard work is something our culture is not passing on very well. Laura’s post is well written on the value of teaching your children to work.
Nick happened in at some point in the conversation wherein he was asked if he didn’t wish he had more free time and fewer responsibilities. He replied with one of our family mottos, “You don’t work, you don’t eat.”
This is something I’ve only recently started (last several months or so). And I want to encourage all parents out there to assign your child some chores…no matter their age. (Okay…if they aren’t weaned yet, maybe not!)
I was of the variety that thought my five year old just got in the way as I was doing chores. (And honestly, I’m far, far from being a neat freak….so anything getting in my way of working was a huge distraction!) I would have my children “clean their rooms” but really had never taught them how to do it! Uh, duh! Kids don’t learn how to do new things instinctively….well, except for things you’d rather them not learn!
I finally decided that doing all the chores for a family of four was NOT fun! And, I knew my kids were missing that work ethic that builds their character. My husband suggested a chore chart, not unlike the one his mother used for him and his younger siblings as a child.
I sat down with my children and explained his/her duties to them. They were rather excited. I even had them give a few examples of chores they would like to do. I then added some that I thought they would be able to manage nicely.
This is what we started with. I haven’t really updated it….we’ve made a few changes. I felt like Shiloh, my eight year old, could handle a little more responsibility. And then my step-children, ages 6 and 2, came for the summer, and we’ve worked in chores for them as well. But basically this is the break-down.
Shiloh, age eight- washes dishes four days/nights a week, sweeps the floor four days/nights a week, waters the plants daily, loads the washing machine, seperates laundry into rooms (boys room, girls room, mom and dad’s room, towels, etc.), cleans and maitains her room and laundry, and helps (a lot) with the two year old!
Landon, age five, and Daunte, age six – clean and maintain their bedroom, clear off the table after meals (dishes, food, and then wipe it down), pick up clutter in the living room and hallways, take out garbage, and fold and put away towels, washclothes and dishtowels.
Gabbie, age two – errand girl! goes through laundry picking out and throwing away dryer sheets, hauls (light) baskets of laundry to the appropriate bedrooms, brings single items to a particular place (“Go put this book on the bookshelf.”)
And believe it or not, there has been little to no complaining about the chores. The boys, in fact, have made a contest out of folding the towels and race to see who can fold the fastest and the neatest! They do a rather excellent job!
But I will explain how I have countered the complaining we have had. One day my daughter was setting the dinner table (I don’t think I listed that on her list!). She muttered ,”I hate this chore. I don’t want to do it!” After reprimanding the attitude, I explained that if noone did chores they didn’t like there would be a lot of things never done around our house. I explained a few of the chores I and my husband do not enjoy, but do anyway. And I explained why we still do them. That we are part of a family and had to contribute to the household. And then I explained that the things I don’t enjoy doing are better when I think of the fact that I am doing them to help the people I love!
And about a week later, after folding his towels, my son asked if he could have a dollar for folding the towels. I said, “Sure, but I want a dollar for cooking dinner, a dollar for cleaning the bathroom, a dollar for mopping the floors, a dollar for cleaning the porches….” He got the idea. I then had a similar conversation explaining that in a family we don’t get paid for the work we do. We do it because we are a family and we want to help each other out!
Believe it or not, those conversations seemed to work! I have had no problems since. (Although my step-son tried to give me money for the “chores” I do. Wasn’t that sweet. I didn’t take it though….even though I would love a sno-cone! Ah, pregnancy cravings!!)
Anyway, while skulking about a bit last week I found a blog post written by Amy of Humble Musings. Although the post wasn’t on chores or work it did have some information about the Amish culture that I found interesting.
The Amish have a saying about this division of labor: before the age of seven, children are a cost to the household; between ages 7 and 14, children pull their own weight; and after the age of 14, children contribute positively to the household economy.
I thought this awesome! I am a school teacher of seven year olds. I’ve run across very few (if any) children that pull their own weight at home! I don’t think kids are expected in our culture to ever pull their own weight.
I think I’m going to take this information and frame it in my kitchen. Children used to be taught the value of work. Sometimes it might be easier to “just do it for them” but what are our kids missing in character development when they do not get an opportunity to stand back and admire a job well done!
Our jobs as parents shoud include this training, as well as positive feedback, and praises for jobs well done. In Laura’s post on the value of work she tells about a time her son did a difficult job for her….
Besides learning necessary life skills through doing chores, there is also a sense of accomplishment that comes from doing a job and doing it well. I recently decided I wanted a new flower bed around the mailbox. Not wishing to deny my beloved son the opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment, I drew out what I was thinking, laid out the required tools, scrounged up some bricks, and told him to go at it. It was back-breaking work to hoe, dig, remove rocks, carry bucket after bucket of clay and weeds to the woods, and place the bricks just so. I did my part by providing the ice water, snacks, and ample smiles and encouragement. There were moments when he was not happy about this assignment; there were moments when I doubted myself for having him do it. But when it was finished and he could admire his good work, he was proud of himself and I was proud of him.
She mentions the encouragement she gave while he did this difficult task and her post mentions a few other rewards (not allowance!!) that came from his job well done. There is a sense of pride that you can only have in truly working hard.
I have every intention of adding to the chores of my children as they become older. I want them to grow up and appreciate hard work. I want them to have a good work ethic….but for now, we are starting small. Besides….I only have one child who should be pulling her own weight around the house for now!!
Besides, my husband and I are enjoying the slave labor! I mean, who wants to do all the work by themselves!
And that Works for Me!
Ok, I admit – I hijacked Bethany’s blog – I quote: “It would be cute, if you posted.”
Well, not because it’s cute… or because I’m cute – but because I’m quite impulsive, and because I’d like to make an announcement.
We’re having a girl.
This will be her second, my third… and it’s quite… odd. Ok, ok, you need some background.
I’m the oldest of 6. The first 4 of us were boys. It took a long time for my mom to have a girl. It’s.. odd, to have three girls in a row, if you look from that perspective. Or, I’m just rambling.
Either/or. Regardless, I’m quite happy to be having a little girl! A little girl NOT named “Fireball”.
So, there you have it. Girl. Dad is posting… even though he doesn’t post at his OWN blog. Plus, I’m invading a decidedly testosterone-free area. I must be brave, or stupid. Or both.
I have admin access, so I can, regardless. Something like that. Did you know that Bethany can’t delete my posts, even if she wanted to? Hrmmm. I should write an essay on the glories of war, destruction, muscle cars, or motorcycles, one day. But only if I want to have a honey-do list the size of, oh, say, Isaiah, handed to me, in an offhanded way.
So, I wonder if I’ve rambled enough? Probably. Hope I amused… or exasperated you!
Just reading around the blogosphere one day got me to this post about people being upset when they find out the gender of their child at the ultrasound.
He tells a story about he and his wife finding out the gender of their child at the ultrasound. When they were excited to find out they were having a girl the tech mentioned some reactions she had witnessed from other couples who found out they were having a girl.
The sonogram technician told us that you’d be surprised at how many women burst into tears upon hearing the news, and apologize on the spot to their husbands or male partners.
Julie and I were astonished by this, and appalled. You hear of this kind of thing in China and India, where many people murder female babies in the womb, but I had not really expected that kind of prejudice to linger in our society. The technician indicated that it is a lot more common here than many people might suspect.
Although I find that a bit sad, I was surprised at some of the discussion that took place in the comment section about ultrasounds in general. Call me naive, but I didn’t know they were as controversial as they seem to be from this thread. I encourage you to read it (and I think if you do most of my post will make a little more sense….). I’m curious what other people out there think….
Do you see anything morally wrong with ultrasounds or other in vitro testing?
Now, I’m going to go ahead and let you in on my little secret. Not only do I not have a problem with ultrasounds, I’m heading out tomorrow, at three o’clock precisely, to find out the gender of my unborn child.
You see, we cannnot stand to wait for the “surprise”. I mean, if for some reason we do not get to find out the sex, we shall live. And the surprise later will be fun.
I have also found that ultrasounds are very effective in the pro-life movement. Most of the comments from the post I linked to, that were against ultrasounds, seemed to think they were harmful to the pro-life movement.
One commentor had this to say:
Why do people get sonograms, especially Crunchy Cons opposed to abortion? We’ve had seven children and never felt this procedure was appropriate, not to mention “necessary.” If anything, it certainly robbed the birth of the excitement attendant to proclaiming “what” the baby is..
And another had this to say:
…it gives you a chance to abort the baby if there’s anything wrong.
We turned down all the Downs tests because how in the world would that help if we knew?
I guess some people abort if they have a Downs baby? How sick is that?
My mother worked for several years in a pregnancy crisis center. It appears that if a woman can see an ultrasound the chances of her aborting her child are a lot less likely. Whereas, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a story where a family decided to abort a child based on a gender preference. Although stories like that linked above make you wonder….tears and apologies due to the babies gender. Sounds silly.
My comment- (and to explain the blaming the father thing…well, it stems from the original post and several commentors were jokingly saying that men were responsible for the sex of the child…even though I really think all that a bit silly…God is the one who decides a child’s gender…..)
I don’t think people are actually blaming the father for the sex of the child. I’ve taken all those comments as tounge in cheek. I think most are apalled by the fact that there are apologies and weeping over the fact of NOT having a child of a particular sex. Babies of all gender are precious and wonderful.
Of course, most of us have a preference. That doesn’t mean we should fall into depression when we don’t “get what we want”. I wanted a daughter for my first child. Desperately. Would I have loved a male child any less? No. I have a son now as well. I adore that kid! I’m now pregnant with a third child. My husband’s fingers are crossed that it is a boy. My son and daughter are both hoping for a sister. Currently, I don’t care. I love both my children of each gender….but the “competition” going on in my house is kinda fun!
When we find out what we are having at the end of this month there will be much rejoicing, regardless of the sex of the child.
Why have a sonongram? Some people chose not to. No problem! I know several who like that surprise delivery room announcement. However, we are drooling over baby clothes and bedding in pinks and blues. We want to get ready.
I don’t think there is anything partiuclarly wrong with finding out the sex of your baby. Sure, it may turn out differently, but that really just makes great birth stories to tell your child later. “We thought you were going to be a boy and bought all this blue stuff! Boy did you suprise us! We had to take it all back!”
I don’t think sonograms are for people who would have an abortion. In fact sonograms are often used in convincing women that thier babies are “real, living babies” and not a blob of tissue.
So, for me, that’s why a sonogram. I cannot answer for Rob. But I think sonograms are helpful for the pro-life movement, not hurtful to it!
Congratulations Rob! Girls (as well as boys) are true blessings!!
I’m not knocking having a gender preference….
As well as having our curiousity satisfied, we have a few gender preferences around the house. My husband is hoping for a baby boy. My daughter is hoping for a baby sister. My son can’t decide from one day to another whether he would prefer a baby sister or a baby brother. My sister, mother to three boys, is hoping to have another neice to shower girlie things upon. And I truly don’t care one way or another except that there is more space for a crib in my son’s room than my daughter’s room…
Do I think this little preference game terrible? Are we all sexist bigots?
Nah. We are all just having a bit of fun. I can guarantee you that the outcome of tomorrow’s ultrasound will be cause for great rejoicing, no matter the gender of our unborn child. There will be no tears shed in this household because of the sex of a child.
But what do you think? Ultrasound or no? Why or why not? Did you have a gender preference? Ever?
I’m just curious!!
And to make this interesting…how about a poll? Do you think my child will be male, or female?
A lot really. Especially when you have a house full of kids and they are thirsty all the time. (Who can blame them? It’s been in the 90′s all summer!)
With four kids in the house for the summer, and the ocassional babysitting of my three nephews or another friends three girls, we can go through massive amounts of Kool-aid, water, milk, and sweet tea. The first few days with this many kids in the house drove me nuts trying to keep cups clean for them to use.
I was also being asked for a drink 7 gazillion times a day. In the middle of folding laundry, using the bathroom, sweeping the floor, taking a shower, reading a book, blogging…. It is hot enough that I hated putting the kids off…I know they need liquids!! But with sometimes up to seven kids around you can be asked for a drink almost constantly.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it took me a few days to figure it out, so I thought I’d share just in case it could help you guys out.
I have now moved to plastic cups. I begin each day by getting a plastic cup for every child that will be in the house (except for the toddlers with sippies still.) I use a Sharpee and write the kids names on the cups. We then leave the cups on the table all day. Everytime I go through the kitchen I top off the cups with drink.
I do not get rid of the cups until the child is gone for the day or asleep for the night.
Believe me, this has saved me hours of pouring drinks and washing cups!
So….that’s a tip that Works for Me!
Yup! Crawly Amphibians are one of my daughter’s favorite things. The rest of the kids are rather in awe of this frog my father caught, but my daughter is in love with it. She has already been mourning tonight’s release of the unfortunate creature.
His name is Bigfoot!
This is what happens when you accidently grab a two green packages of Kool-aid but they are not the same flavor. To make our “Slime Kool-aid” you need: 1 package of lemon lime kool-aid, 1 package of strawberry kiwi kool-aid, two cups of sugar, and lots of cold water.
I think the heat is getting to me. Incidently, this was only the third gallon of Kool-aid we had on this particular day. It is now a favorite of the boys….
And the information can be found here! Next week’s Carnival is on the Beauty of Self-Control. Whew! I think I’m gonna need that one! Anyway, it’s to be hosted by Susanna at A Christian Mother’s Reflections. Be sure to send in entries by 3:00 on Tuesday!
If heaven was a pie it would be cherry
Cool and sweet and heavy on your tongue
And just one bite would satisfy your hunger
And thered always be enough for everyone
This song by Andy Griggs kinda trips me out. I always laugh. I just cannot imagine comparing heaven to a cherry pie (now a chocolate cheesecake, maybe!)
But my husband shares this sentiment. He adores him some cherry pie. And good wife that I am I make it for him all the time. Well, uh, what I meant to say was I make it for him on ocassion. Or well, actually I just really make it for him on rare ocassions! Okay, okay, okay….I mean, I’ve made it for him once. Yeah. That’s all. The other night.
But…..I worked hard on that pie.
I mean, after I picked, washed, and pitted my homegrown cherries I came in and began making my secret, made from scratch pie crust. (I’d tell you how to make it but then I’d have to kill you….)
See my very fancy rolling pin? It’s the blue one….I know you are jealous!
After that I go get my cherries, add some sugar, corn syrup, and other secret ingredients before filling the pie…
Add the final crust to the top….do some fancy knifework….and you’re ready to bake.
Pop it in the oven and bake it for about 45-50 minutes….
And when you are done….a (somewhat) beautiful cherry pie!
(Okay, sheesh. I know it’s not that pretty. Give me a break. I pitted my own cherries for crying out loud! )
Then present a slice of cherry pie topped with whipped cream to your husband….who is utterly amazed at all the hard work and time you put into creating this sugary masterpiece…..
I mean….it’s no wonder I’ve never made him a cherry pie before…that was one tough job. Or well…uh. Okay, I’m feeling a bit guilty. I really got the pie from here