Creative Cleaning and Cleansing

"Less Stress from Cleaning the Mess." From decluttering to inspiration! Proverbs 31:27a

A Father’s Heart

Hands

A Fathers Heart is full of Strength and Love

That is only given to him from God above

He shows this love in so many ways

Just as he shows it everyday

He is always there to show me that he cares

His love is abounding

His Strength is astounding

His loves is unconditional

He is a mighty man of God

He holds the key to my heart

It feels like we shall never part

His Love is like the beautiful Sea

It shines so bright for the World to see

He says that love will set you free

And that he will always be there for me

His Soul is a like a Mighty Eagle soaring high in the sky

His Love for me will forever be

A light that I will forever see…

 

~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

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A Mom’s Prayer-First Day of School

Here we are again, Lord.  Their backpacks are loaded and their faces are scrubbed and their lunch accounts are full.

And I know you’ll walk with them, Lord.  You always do.  But a mom still has to ask.

Will You walk with them?  Will You whisper to them what they need to hear, when I’m not there to whisper it?

Will You please, oh please, cover their school with the protection only You can give, and will You keep harm far away?

Will You make their minds strong and ready to learn?  Will You help them understand that hard work honors the One who created them?

Will You guide their teachers, giving them patience and wisdom and creativity and more patience?  Will You bless them for their efforts?

Will You love all those children there, the ones whose lunch accounts aren’t full, the ones who feel alone?  Will You teach my children to be kind and unselfish and to love those who are different from them?

Will You point them back toward home just as soon as you can?

Lord, I give them to You today and everyday, trusting them to Your care.

Thank YOU God that you are their God!

Amen.

~~~~Author Unknown~~~

“Let my child’s light shine before others, that others may see YOUR good deeds and praise YOU, our Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

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Summer Fun For Everyone-Part 2

 

A Few More ideas for Fun in the Summer, Birthday parties, Church activities,  and even in the Classroom! Endless fun for everyone one!

Aqua Pinata

Fill a large plastic bucket with water and hang it from a tree.

Blindfold each person and let them try to hit it with a broom or stick, one at a time.

Watch the splashes and downpour along with laughs.

Art Attack

Have enough white t-shirts for each person. Have each person put on white t-shirt.

With washable paints, have each player Paint a masterpiece on ANOTHER persons back.

Take photos for memories and send them out asap.

Then take a hose and spray for a Tye-dye look!(bring xtra clothes)

Great for fun in the sun !

Colorful Bowling

Take 10 water bottles and remove the labels with hot water.

Use food coloring to make each bottle a color and then replace cap.

Set up the colored water bottles in a triangle for bowling.

Take a ball, roll, and get a strike!

Dog Chases Tail

Line up players, holding each other shoulders or waist, conga style.

Tuck a bandana into the last person’s back pocket.

Then the first person tries to grab the “TAIL” of the last.

Take turns being first and last etc…

Great for a crazy zig-zag run!

Thread the Needle

Have players hold hands in a circle with a hula hoop hanging from on person’s arm.

Each person must step through the hoop and twist and turn to pass the hula hop on to the next person, WITHOUT letting go of your hands. Great ice breaker and fun for all ages!

Tic Tac Toe

Tape a Tic Tac Toe grid on driveway or street with chalk.

Use small toys, rubber ducks, or other items and play the game.

Then cool off by spraying the chalk of with water and then use the dry chalk to create Bright pictures.

Other Great Ideas you can get from this book called, ” Family Fun Boredom Busters.”  Edited by Deanna F.Cook and the experts at FAMILY FUN Magazine.

ENJOY!!!!!

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Alternative Rewards and Possibilities

Preschoolers

 

Going to the park Playing with friends Getting in bed with parents
Making mud pies Listening to a bedtime story Playing on a swing set
Spending the night with friends or grandparents Being lifted into the air Feeding a pet
Rocking Playing games Making noises with rattles, pans, or bells
Having a horse ride by swinging on parent’s foot Doing a puppet play Having parents take a Polaroid picture of the child
Talking into a tape recorder Going out for hamburgers or pizza Wearing dress-up clothes
Playing with clay or playdough Going someplace alone with dad or mom Helping plan the day’s activities
Helping mom or dad Having a longer time in the bathtub Riding on a bicycle with dad or mom
Whirling in a circle by arms Watching a rainstorm Playing in the sandbox
Sitting in the chair with dad or mom Going to the library Going for a picnic
Bouncing on the bed Playing outside Riding a tricycle
Staying up late Going on a trip to the zoo Getting a piggy-back ride
Having a bubble bath Singing songs Skipping
Delaying a nap Flushing the toilet Riding on dad’s shoulders
Going outside at night Having a family night Helping to hold baby sister or brother
Swimming Reading a story Mixing cookie dough
Having a special dessert Chewing gum Finger painting
Drawing with crayons Listening to walkman Playing a game with
parent(s)
Sitting in the front seat Playing video game Watching a video
Renting a video game Renting a video Computer time

 Elementary School Children

Taking a trip to the park Playing with friends Having a bedtime story
Playing on the swing set Spending the night with friends or grandparents Going to a ball game
Spending the night with friends or grandparents Being lifted into the air Feeding a pet
Eating out Going someplace alone with dad or mom Baking something in the kitchen
Planning a day’s activities Riding on a bicycle Going on a fishing trip with dad or mom
Choosing a TV program Taking time off from chores Holding hands while walking
Using the telephone Dressing up in parent’s clothes Setting the table
Camping in the backyard Going to the library Chewing gum
Telling a round-robin story Decorating the home for the holidays Helping to make Jell-O, popcorn, or something similar
Helping to take a gift to a friend Feeding the baby Staying up late
Going to the movies, especially with a friend Making a trip along Playing a favorite tape or CD
Coloring Riding next to the window in the car Riding in the front seat
Listening to themselves on a tape recording Choosing the menu for a meal Calling grandma to tell of their successes
Getting a promise to ride the escalator three or four times in a store Putting up schoolwork on the refrigerator door Buying something
Planting a garden Going for a picnic Going skating, swimming or bowling
Making something, some special craft with mom or dad Ordering pizza Going for a hike
Going canoeing or camping or fishing or skiing Sleeping in a different place in the house Doing a jigsaw puzzle
Decorating your own room Having a special after-school snack Having a special treat in their school lunch
Choosing a special breakfast Playing a game with mom or dad like checkers, marbles or cards Listening to a walkman
Computer time Playing a video game Renting a video game

Teenagers

Having dating privileges Participating in activities with friends Having friends over
Taking dancing or music lessons Redecorating their own room Skating or bowling with friends
Talking additional time on the telephone Playing the stereo Making a trip alone
Finding a part-time job Taking the car to school for a day Getting to stay out late
Having car privileges Staying up late Staying overnight with friends
Taking time off from chores Having a date during the week Getting a chance to earn money
Selecting TV programs Being the chairman at a family meeting Getting to use the family camera
Getting a driver’s license Driving the car on a family trip Camping out
Going to summer camp Getting a special haircut or hair style Going to Disneyland or some other amusement park
Being allowed to sit alone when the family eats out Inviting a friend to eat out Getting to sleep in late on the weekend
Having their own checking account Receiving a magazine subscription Going shopping with friends
Buying a tape or CD Having their own telephone Selecting something special for dinner
Going to the library Going bowling, skating, etc. with friends Going horseback riding
Going to a concert with friends Going to the movies with friends Computer time

 

There are so many options but these are just a few from various sources!  I pray that these will help have much success!  GTG…RR~!

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Reward Types

Types of Rewards for Your Children – There are several types of rewards you can give to your children for completing their chores. You can give them monetary incentives and non-monetary incentives as chores payment.

You might also want to consider designing a ‘bank book’ for each portion of the allowance and tuck each into three separate coffee cans or money jars, and that way you and your child will be able to keep track of how much has been saved, how much has been spent, and how much of their allowance has gone to help someone else.
Should you decide to use non-monetary incentives as chores payment, be sure you set clear parameters for your child.

Be sure they understand that two hours each weekend of their favorite video game or going to see a movie with mom or dad is only earned by completing the chore list successfully each week. You might want to consider writing these on a slip of paper as ‘currency’ for the child to keep in their ‘privilege bank’ and they can cash it in with you when they’d like. Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind this can be a valuable tool for both you and your child. So, be wise, be patient and be their best friend.

Food

Health experts have cautioned parents to avoid using food to reward kids for every good thing they do. But reserving food rewards for one special effort, such as earning good grades, can be a positive reinforcement for your kids. Don’t just give Junior a candy bar when he brings home an excellent report card. Instead, make the reward more meaningful and significant:

Let him choose what to have for dinner one night.

Take him to his favorite restaurant.

Hit the grocery store together and let him pick out his favorite goodies.

Friends

Kids love celebrating with their friends, so reward your child with some special friend time for her accomplishments:

Let her invite a friend or two (or more) over for a sleepover.

Let her pick one friend to take along when you go shopping, to the movies, bowling, etc.

Let her talk/text on the phone or chat on the Internet a little longer than you usually allow.

Time

Kids are always so confined by rules at school and home. Relax those constraints and give your kid a little dose of freedom:

Let him stay up an hour past his regular bedtime.

Give him an extra hour of TV, computer or video game time.

Give him a break from his regular chores to hang out doing whatever he wants.

 You

There’s nothing better you can give your kids than your own time. Turn off the phone, computer and all other distractions and reward your child with your undivided attention (something you may do less often than you realize!):

Let your child select the activity — board game, bike ride, shopping, movies.

Let your child pick the destination of the next family outing.

If you have more than one child, plan an activity that doesn’t include the siblings for a change.

Your child’s favorite things

The key to the perfect reward is knowing what your child really likes. If she likes fashion, take her shopping. If he loves cars, let him test-drive some at a nearby dealership. Go to a salon or a sporting event together. And offer praise. Children love to please their parents, so make sure they know how proud you are. The more personal the reward, the more appreciated it will be.

(Alternative Allowance/Behavior Rewards can be a great tool as well.)  See Aleternative Rewards for details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Servants Heart

The Heart and Mind of A Servant

 

  All families are a social group that must learn together to get along, care for each other and serve one another. The family is God’s plan for each of us. A place where we learn how to serve one another as Jesus served.

Designating jobs or chores to family members helps to reinforce that structure and teach family members the lessons of servanthood. New challenges are a great way to help met the way of keeping house and organizing.

I personally believe, that early on in their life, a child should have two things introduced to him. The first is the Name – Person of Jesus Christ and His Word. The second are the lessons of servanthood. One of those ways that we can teach serveanthood is by having assigned duties in the home. By doing chores/assigned duties, the child is learning the foundation of servanthood for his brothers and sisters, Mother and Father, and community!

Until we have an understanding of the Servant Mindset, and the example of Jesus as the Humble Servant, we cannot begin to understand the necessity of teaching our children at this early tender age about being a servant. Having the servant mind of Christ allows God to work in our lives and through our lives in mighty ways. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5.
Jesus…”made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant” Philippians 2:7.

The three qualities that are most necessary for a servant mind are these three that we see in Jesus; submission, lowliness, and willingness. However, there are 14 characteristics of the Servant Mind as exhibited by Jesus. These are few from the book The Mind of Christ by T.W. Hunt.

  • · Obedient
  •  
  • · Willing
  •  
  • · Loyal
  •  
  • · Faithful
  •  
  • · Watchful
  •  
  • · Courageous
  •  
  • · Not Quarrelsome
  •  
  • · Gentle
  •  
  • · Able to Teach
  •  
  • · Patient
  •  
  • · Meek
  •  
  • · Good
  •  

 

Looking at this list you may first declare that we frail humans can never accomplish them in this life. However, remember that you have the Mind of Christ, and His mind will accomplish these in you if you are willing. These are the characteristics which can be laid out as a foundation in our children’s day to day life.

When they arrive at a point of accountability to God and begin to live a life in Christ, they will already have the benefit of being taught Christ-like behavior and thought. With the understanding of why you are assigning chores to your children, to teach them the Christ-like mind of a servant, you can now begin to exhort and encourage them in their daily tasks instead of driving them and scolding.

Discipline is necessary, and often the child must suffer the consequences of his wrong behavior. However, we are to train them to be a servant by exhortation, example and encouragement. Prov. 22:6 ~ “Train up a child in the way he/she should go, and when he is old he/she will not turn from  it.”

So cheer them on, and tell them how pleased you are with their service. Work with them, side by side and show them how to do a task. One day they will be our fellow servants in the King’s service!

 

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WHY CHORES?

WHY CHORES?????

·Chores are one of the best ways to build a feeling of competence.

·Chores help children understand what needs to be done to run a household.

·Chores establish helpful habits and good attitudes about work.

·Chores teach real-world skills and valuable lessons about life

·Chores help ease the transition into adulthood.

HOW:

“Create a list of every job it takes to keep a family going.” That way everyone know what is expected. Have kids pick out the chores they’d like to do the most — or at least the ones they’d hate the least. Of course, you may need to ensure that each member of your household is capable of handling the chores they sign up for.

Create a chores chart with three columns — one for the list of chores, one for deadlines, and one where you can each make a check when the chore is completed. You might find it easiest to have two lists: one for daily household chores and one for weekly household chores. Here are some Guidelines to get you started!

·Provide a wide berth with deadlines. You do this so family members can complete the chore at their leisure. But make sure kids don’t “hold the family hostage” if they don’t get them done, he says. For example, Suzie can’t unload the dishes if John hasn’t loaded the dishwasher yet.

·Be specific with instructions. “‘Clean your room’ is vague and can be interpreted in any number of ways.” Instead, be explicit by saying, ‘Put your clothes in the closet, books on the shelf, dishes in the kitchen, and toys in the toy box.'”

·Ease into chores for children. First, demonstrate step by step. Next, let your child help. And then have your child do the chore as you supervise. Once your child has it mastered, he’s ready to go solo.

·Offer periodic praise. Especially with younger children, don’t wait until a chore is complete to drop some well-placed kudos.

·Go easy with reminders. If you think your system won’t work without reminders, make sure everyone, including parents, lets others know how they would like to be reminded. A suggestion: use the “when/then” technique, such as, “When the pets are fed, then you may have your dessert.”

BE CAREFUL:

And if you consistently redo your child’s chores, you may send the signal that it wasn’t done well enough — not a great way to ensure cooperation.

Don’t wait until a chore is completed to show appreciation — or to not praise and encourage at all.

But inconsistency may be what trips up parents the most. If your kids aren’t expected to regularly follow through, they might start putting off chores in the hope that someone else will do it for them.

 

 

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Encouragement and Praise!

We all want encouragement and praise! Here are just a few simple statements that will make a difference!You’ve got it made.

You’re on the right track now!

You are very good at that.

·I‘m happy to see you working like that.

You’re doing a good job.

That’s the best you’ve ever done.

I knew you could do it.

·Now you’ve figured it out.

·Now you have it!

·GREAT!

·You make it look easy.

·That’s the right way to do it.

·You’re getting better every day.

·SENSATIONAL!

·That’s the way to do it.

·Best yet.

·PERFECT!

·TERRIFIC!

·Much better!

·You’ve just about mastered that!

·OUTSTANDING!

·You did that very well.

·FANTASTIC!

·You’re really improving.

·SUPERB!

·Keep it up!

·You’ve got that down pat!

·TREMENDOUS!

·Good thinking!

·I’m very proud of you.

·I think you’ve got it now.

·You figured that out fast.

·That’s really nice.

CLEVER!

·That’s great!

·Way to go.

·Now you have the hang of it!

·You’ve done a great job.

·Congratulations, you got it right

 

  ·That’s GOOD! ·GOOD WORK! I’m proud of the way you worked today.

You’re really working hard today.

·You’ve just about got it.
THAT’S IT!

·Congratulations! .

·You are doing that much better today.

·You’re learning fast.

·Good for you!

·Couldn’t have done it better myself.

·You did it that time!

·That’s the way!

·SUPER DUPER!

·You haven’t missed a thing.

·Keep up the good work.

·Nothing can stop you now!

·EXCELLENT!

·FINE!

·Wonderful!

·That’s better than ever.

·I appreciate your hard work.

·Now that’s what I call a fine job!

·You must have been practicing!

·You’re doing beautifully.

·Right on! 

·You’re doing fine.

·You are really learning a lot.

·You outdid yourself today!

·SPLENDID!

·Good going!

·MARVELOUS!

·Good job.

·Well, look at you go!

·DYNAMITE!

·Nice Work

 

There are so many more but hopefully these will help everyone at every age gain CONFIDENCE!

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21 Ways to Enjoy Life

1. Embrace Time Abundance: give more time to what you need to get done.

2. Create the Opening: say no to say yes.

3. Relish the Space Between things: schedule a “DO NOTHING,” time.

4. Disengage from Clock Combat: be clock/watch/time free for a day.

5. Invite flow into your life: engage in activities that make you forget time.

6. Eat Mindfully: Nutrition and slow bites.

7. Use your tools: let the call go to voicemail, helps you regain your center.

8. Switch your cell phone: turn it off.

9. When a window closes, a door opens: Close things that distract you…only focus on one project at a time to be more effective and successful.

10. Captain your ship: decide to visit other areas in your life, new things bring simple pleasure.

11. Redefine the value of leisure: get rest will rejuvenate your efforts.

12. Rekindle childhood dreams: pursue something you’ve always wanted to do, see or experience.

13. Adhere to the rule of FULL: instead of ½ day take a full day to enjoy.

14. Take an adult size time out: Be gadget free and reconnect to people.

15. Change your routine: will raise your awareness and creates a new sense of place.

16. Thirty Minutes outdoors: Vit D even through the clouds, stress reliever.

17. Surround yourself with beauty: aromatherapy, soothing music, and candles, stimulate your senses.

18. Get Moving: Stairs not elevators, walk not ride, park further out, keep up your cardio and improve your circulation.

19. Take small steps: helps reduce procrastinations, reduces being overwhelmed, and increases accomplishments and increases confidence.

20. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Focus on what you can do and now what you can, focus on what you have and now what you don’t have etc…

21. Savor your day: You choose how to spend your day and time doing what you want to do, starting with your attitude.

 

 

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Family Notes

Take Control of the Chaos

Is your family becoming almost like strangers, meeting each other coming and going from one activity to another? Slow down, take control, and schedule in family time to foster a well-balanced and all-around happier family.   (Some of these ideas have already been posted but some have not.)

·Start with a family meeting. Even young children can participate in a discussion that can be as general as asking what kids and adults would like to see to have a happier family. Ask about their activities, and their commitment to them. Do they love something or are they doing it because either you or their friends expect them to? Is it fun or stressful? Take this time to ask about whether they have other pursuits they’d like to consider, desire more unstructured time, or whether they feel their life is just right as it is. Avoid leading kids into any answers and don’t make them feel something is “wrong” with their family life now. Tell them you just want to check and make sure of everyone’s contentment with things and whether they feel the family as a whole is effectively balancing school, family time, work and community.

·Pick a family night. Designate one night a week as family time. It can be a movie night, game night, pizza or take-out night, entertainment night (such as karaoke or dance performances), or even a time to exercise together (ride bikes, go for a walk, or go to the park). The point is to be together in a quality fashion. Having a spouse plop in front of the television, a teen playing video or computer games, or young kids relegated to a back room does not bond family togetherness. Do things together, and discuss the coming week’s activities to build enthusiasm and momentum for family time together.

·Encourage kid friendships. Sure, your food bill may soar, but encourage children to bring their friends over, stay for dinner, and participate in family time. Time with friends in unstructured play helps to build relationships, learn things like give and take and sharing, and also how different families do things differently. For parents, having your kids’ friends come to your house means that not only do you know who your child is hanging out with, what he’s doing and where he is at, but it helps to foster a greater level of understanding as to what makes your child tick. Just observing kids interact and play helps parents to better understand their child’s interests and passions, which in turn can be utilized in future family time gatherings.

·Eat together. You’ve heard this before, but child experts really emphasize that this simple act improves family time with members through conversation and togetherness. Research clearly shows that eating meals as a family is one of the most important things you can do to stay connected, especially with older children and teens. Eating meals together should be seen as a positive experience, important, and a priority. It’s a chance to casually ask about a child’s day, interests, concerns, needs, and a great way to initiate good ol’ talk time.

·Share responsibilities. Children really should be active contributors to the household. Get kids involved with taking out the trash, setting the table, cooking meals, cleaning up after themselves, or raking leaves. It’s even better if these chores can be done in conjunction with family time so all members contribute in some way. Kids won’t always do the same quality job as adults, but they need to start somewhere, and will improve with positive encouragement and reinforcement.

·Set reasonable expectations for activity levels. Some kids want to participation in everything, and are perfectly happy to have structured activities each night of the week. With other kids, parents have to push and prod to get them to willingly participate in even a single activity. Balance is the key for happiness and overall family time quality. Consider a child’s age and interests and be sure to weigh those against what your own dreams of what you hope your kids will thrive in. Accept that your kid’s may not share your passions or interests, and then find out what does make them excel.

·Make sure it’s possible. Many activities nowadays require an increasing amount of time and financial resources. Consider transportation, practice conflicts that will require juggling to be on time and get picked up on time, and missed games or competitions due to being only one place at a time. Be sure your family finances can afford activities such as all-star cheer, competitive dance, or select sports, which can require traveling, additional uniforms, and equipment purchases.

It takes commitment by kids and parents alike to successfully balance school, family time, work demands, and community participation. Families should meet and discuss commitment levels and establish expectations in advance before allowing kids to sign up for ambitious programs or year-long activities. Family time success is dependent on an “all for one and one for all” commitment that is free from whining. Here are things to consider:

·Require a commitment of your kids. While you should be willing to let kids change from interest to interest–after all, that’s how they really learn what they love and what they don’t–do not let them be quitters. Many teams accept a certain number of kids or build programs based on participation, and kids should be taught that they need to stay committed for the season. After that, they don’t have to return. But kids should commit to activities and agree in advance not to whine about practice, getting up early, or yet another game. That type of behavior creates negative family time issues. If you’re in doubt that your child will like a year-long all-star cheerleading program, for example, then only sign her up for recreational cheer. If she exhibits enthusiasm and commitment to the sport, then next year you can always consider increasing participation levels. And just because a child has natural talent in an area (i.e. baseball), it doesn’t mean he will “love” the sport and want to play on a select (hand-picked) group, even if chosen. Be honest, be fair, and allow your kids to say no before you agree to yet more practices.

·Be sure your spouse is committed as well. Activities and programs require commitment and support of the spouse as well, particularly if a family has multiple kids and mom and dad may be scurrying in different directions.

·Be your child’s best fan. Coaches and program directors increasingly express dismay as to how overscheduled parents nowadays drop their kids off to practice, games and performances and pick them up at the end without staying to watch their child in action. While remaining at events isn’t always possible, parents should make it a priority in their lives as well and positively support kids. That being said, remember that there is a difference between positive support and encouragement and being the backstage mom or screaming dad that everyone hates to have in their program.

·Have fun with your kids for the best family time of all. Enjoy your kids, their activities, their talent (or lack of in certain areas) and embrace being a family. The best family time memories are often those just spent together as a team, sharing jokes, eating together, and having fun.

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