For The Love of Bunnies

jonthan and bunny

About a week ago, I rounded the house to find our dog, Duckie, sitting with purpose on the sidewalk giving me a look that said, “You need to deal with this.”  As I walked closer I spotted the littlest brown bit of furry cuteness sitting at her feet.  I picked it up and was surprised to the the baby rabbit was still alive.

Baby rabbits need help to keep warm, so is took this little guy in, wrapped him in a wash cloth and tucked it in bed with Jonathan.  Jonathan fed this baby every hour with kitten formula.  Rabbit milk is extremely hard to replicate and all the information I have found (this is not our first bottle baby rabbit) says to use kitten formula.  The rabbit, named Spock, would lick the formula off of Jonathan’s finger and snuggled up to him during the night. It was just so sweet.

Then the other morning, he woke up to find that the bunny had died.  Yes, he cried.  His heart was broke and I just hate it.  One of the hardest lessons I have to learned as a mother is to let my children grieve loss- whatever that loss may be.   My first urge is to make it better, to get a new pet, or sweep it aside as if it doesn’t matter just so I don’t have to feel heart broke as well but none of that benefits my child in the long run. Like it or not, as long as we are on this side of heaven we will experience loss.  One of the best things I can do for my children is to walk with them through it and show them how to feel real feelings and then deal with them in a healthy way.  It is hard.

I must say that the farm has provided many opportunities to deal with grief and death.  When we began this journey of homesteading, I had no idea how much death would be a part of our lives.  But, never have we experienced the joy of life in the way that we have in our everyday lives on the farm.  If we refuse things like the baby bunny to save ourselves from hurt, we would miss the days of joy and fun that was brought by the bunny.  To love is to risk hurt, but love is worth the risk.

The afternoon the Jonathan’s bunny died our kitten ran up with another baby rabbit.  What did I do?  Handed it to Jonathan.  Some might think I am crazy to provide my son with another opportunity to feel loss and hurt, but I think I provided him with another chance to love.

That rabbit died, too but before Jonathan had gotten attached.  To be honest, we have never bottle-fed a rabbit and had it live.  But hope springs eternal on a farm and we will keep trying should the opportunity present itself.

bunny

The Most Powerful Woman In America

time coverAs I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day, Time magazine caught my eye.  An attractive woman was on the cover with the line “Don’t hate her because she is successful” and under it was her name and claim that she had “a mission to reboot Feminism”  I guess being the top dog at Facebook gives her that authority.

I am struggling to order my thoughts as I am writing even though I have written this blog in my head a hundred times.  The problem I am having is that this cover stirs up so much in me I can’t decide which dog to turn lose first.  So I think I will just start with the first thought that popped into my head.  Those of you who know me might have just cringed.

Thought # 1– Why does feminism need a reboot?  It seems to being going strong, every day I see angry women raging on the news with their tight lips, unhappy eyes, and scowling faces telling me that I would be happier if I put myself first and through off the out of date ideas that children need a mother and that I need a husband.  (Which I do need him, he is my rock and I am not ashamed to admit that I am happily dependent on him).  I really can’t understand why they think that smart, intelligent women who are happy with their lives of raising their babies, have happy marriages, and are content to be busy making a home would want to trade that kind of contentment for raging, angry tirades.  This particular woman was thought to be a shinning example because she is running facebook, really- what eternal value does facebook have?  I’ll take Mother Teresa any day.

Maybe it is not a reboot that feminism needs it is a revamp- to embrace those traits that are truly feminine.

Thought #2– Where do they get the term “feminism” anyway?  I mean really- to be considered feminine is have certain traits about you.  To be soft ( not weak, picture a fist of steel wrapped in velvet and satin) and kind, to be smart, and attractive (not just in looks, but in your demeanor, people want to be around you), to be dignified and refined, to be fierce- like a mamma bear when her cubs are threatened.  All of these traits I see in Godly women I would like to emulate, not in the forerunners of this movement who demand this and that, who are angry and fierce- the scary kind of fierce that won’t tolerate anyone who thinks differently than they do.  These women who demand the right to kill their unborn children because they have a “Choice”- yes, you do have a choice to wait until you are married to have sex, simple as that- are not examples of what I want to be as a woman.

These women are not feminine- they are the very opposite of what we females were designed to be.

Thought #3– What exactly is their problem and why do they think feminism needs a reboot?  I think many of their issues rest in the fact that women still make up a small percentage of the “high up” positions in the work force.  Have they ever stopped to consider that maybe the numbers are what they are not because women “can’t get the jobs because they are female” but because women as a whole will not sacrifice their families for their career.  This thought will greatly chap the hides of a lot of  the “feminist” movers and shakers but it seems to me that there are too many women who have achieved their goals of getting to the top for it to be an impossibility.

“”Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

The Bible is full of references to sacrifice, dying to your own desires and then finding fulfillment on the other side.

 

Thought #4– Who is the most powerful woman in America? or the World?  It is that woman who lays down her life to nurture, raise, and guide the next generation.

Society is a fabric- each thread woven together is a human life, each human thread is spun at home.  When society has the awful problems with school shootings, teen pregnancy,  greed, abuse and violence the problem is not with society in itself, but a breakdown in the home.  So the women that are choosing to put the next generation first whether that be by staying at home full time to be a wife and a mother or being that teacher that gives of herself above and beyond against the odds, or the working mother who turns down a promotion so that she won’t have to sacrifice her time with her children, or in any other facet where she finds the ability to make a difference- these are the most powerful women in America and the World.

I do not reject the idea that women are capable of great things outside the home, that they have the abilities to work at the highest levels or even that some women are called to do so.  I reject the idea that if I choose to lay down my own pursuits to put my husband and children first in my priority list that I have some how fallen short of what I was designed to be as a woman.  It takes a very strong woman to be secure in herself, to take on the challenges of building a healthy marriage and raising the next generation and to stand against the current that is telling her to abandon her post, and to trust her God to take care of all the things that she cannot control- that is femininity at it’s highest.

I know I sound a bit angry in this post, but that would be because this issue does make me angry. The home has been in large part abandoned and children are left to parent themselves with the help of “Jersey Shore” and “16 and Pregnant” while both parents pursue their own lives and we then wonder why there is a breakdown in society.  The home is worth fighting for and I am tired of listening to those that are wrong say they are right.  Instead of looking at it as an unfair yoke, being the gender that was trusted with bringing forth the next generation and having the fate of society & the world rest in your hands should be revered as the highest honor on the planet.

 

“The Talk”

What a cutie, sweet with a will of iron.

What a cutie, sweet with a will of iron.

It seems that it is time for “The Talk” once again at my house.  For many of you, you probably assume that from the title this talk will be about the birds and the bees.  Not so.  When you live on the farm topics like reproduction and various anatomical differences between male and females come up with everyday life.   As a matter of fact, most non-farm orientated folk would be deeply disturbed by what is discussed at the dinner table amongst the farm family. Then the kids just sort of put things together, if you will, and then the topic of human reproduction comes pretty easily and just moves on by.

No, in our house dominated by strong-willed females “The Talk” is a different sort of beast.  Really, it is more of a speech- talking involves conversation and by the time “The Talk” is needed I am not interested in conversing- I am interested in laying the law down.  With each of the girls- all three being ahead of the boy- as age 14 rolls around they have just about decided that I don’t really know what I am doing.  And possibly, they have confused the fact that I treat them with respect and as intelligent individuals instead of just dumb kids  with the presumption that they are equal to me.  Big Mistake.  My authority does not come from the fact that I am more intelligent than my children- the fact is that they are just as if not more intelligent than I am and they arrived in this world that smart.  My authority comes from that fact that God made me their mother and I am in charge until they are adults and out of the house.  Until that day, I am the Alpha Female.

Well, the youngest daughter just turned 14 and just like her sisters before her, she has gotten a little too big for her britches.

 

To her I will say:

“You have four years left here in this house.  These years can be years of peace and fun or they can be 4 years of fighting and unhappiness for you.  It is your choice.  The rules haven’t changed and they will not.  You will treat me with respect, treat your siblings with kindness and respect or we can fight about all these things and you will lose.  I am still the mother and I am not budging.  The boundaries that have been in place since you were born will not change, test them as you may, test them if you must- but they will not change.  If you are looking for a fight, I am game.  However, I hope you choose peace.  What will it be?”

Because I have laid the ground work for 14 years of their lives- I don’t make idle threats, if I tell you I will take away all your books because you keep reading instead of doing what you are supposed to, I will.  They know I mean what I say and they also know from whom they inherited the strong will and have decided it’s best not to tangle with me.  Now when I speak of boundaries, I am speaking of basic tenants of obeying our guidelines and treating one another with love and respect.  I am not a mother who had ideas of what her children should be and then forces them into the box I have created.  My children are free to be and to become what God has intended.  I simply create an environment in our home in which they can hear God.  The Bible is the final word in our home, therefore, if you do not like what it says don’t blame me take it to God.  Until He changes, I am not.

This all sounds pretty harsh, but really it isn’t.   Also, these are strong willed kids- you have to have a will of granite to stand your ground or they will eat you alive. We all need to know where the boundaries are in our lives.  I want my children to learn that inside the boundaries are freedom and peace.  If they learn that in our home boundaries mean good things for them then when they are own their own they will know that living within the boundaries that God sets are for their good and protection.  So far so good, the 19 and 17 year-old have not given us one moment of grief and I can truly say I love having teenagers.

So, here it goes for the third time.  I am not sure there will be a forth- will Jonathan challenge me or his dad when the time comes?  I don’t know- I hope he challenges his dad…  Why should I get to have all the fun!

What have been the most challenging seasons of raising you children?

Our Food For Thought…

As we homeschool, great emphasis is place on character and knowing God.  One of the best ways to get to know God is to read the book He wrote.  Each week I choose a verse that the Sierra and Jonathan will use as their copy work and handwriting lessons.  This takes care of two things- scripture memory and handwriting.  Most weeks, the verse comes from Proverbs.  Proverbs is a book filled with simple, one line instructions on how to live, treat each other, and relate to God.  The best way to change nasty attitudes is to change the stinking thinking with the truth.  Proverbs has lots to say about the heart and the mouth.

I have always been able to find a scripture to address any problem that I have ever faced in training my children.  Lately, bickering has been a problem so this weeks scripture is about bickering.  Now, when ever they start in on each other I can say “What does the Bible say about that?”  Then, they can quote this back to me and the bad activity is quelled.  Does this mean that once we learn this we never have to go back and re-teach it?  No, kids brains leak out of their ears while they sleep, so you have to put back what they lost the next day.  For this reason, we stay on one scripture for one to two weeks.  In this way, their minds are renewed and filled with truth.  Then later on in life, when their Spirit wants to do what is right and their flesh wants to do what is wrong and it is up to their souls to break the tie, there will be truth stored up in the heart for them to chose what is right.  If there is no truth on file, the flesh will win out.  I have seen very good fruit in my older two children who are now in college and a senior in high school and I know that the Word of God made all the difference.

I painted the end of my kitchen island with chalkboard paint. This is a perfect place to put our Scripture of the Week.

The Scents of Home

My grandmother & my sister Windy. Grandmother has made a lot of memories for a lot of us.

“Nothing recalls the past so potently as a smell, ” Winston Churchill.

How true this statement is, nothing can take you back like a smell.  Everyone in my family- I’m talking all those descended from my great-grandmother, about 20- think of her, Katie Mae Hoops or MawMaw to us all, whenever we smell a certain rose scent.  She loved roses, they were planted in her garden, she kept rose scented air freshener by Wizard at all times, and her lotion was Rose Milk.  Needless to say, every grand kid and great-grandkid had to spray the air freshener thus imprinting that scent with that equally memorable woman.

I realized how strong a scent memory can be long before MawMaw was a memory brought back by roses.  One day I opened a medicine cabinet and immediately thought of my great-grandfather- Papa, who happened to be married to the rose loving MawMaw.  I was fortunate enough to have some memories of him, but given that he passed away when I was only 6, those memories were limited.  There are two distinct memories, though. One was from the evenings when we spent the night.  Family was always plentiful and there would be cots and pallets laid out all over the house.  As I would be getting into mine he would say, “Goodnight, Irene”  I thought this was so funny given that my name was Holly and not Irene.  What can I say, I was and still am easily amused.  The second memory is from the morning.  I am an early bird, but on those mornings at their farm I would stay in my cot until he came in.  I just had to have him say, “Wake up, sleepy head.”  And then of course he would have to “count my ribs” to make certain I had not lost any while sleeping. A good batch of giggles for going to sleep and a good laugh for waking up, what more can a kid ask for?

So, I stood there looking into this medicine cabinet wondering why he popped into my head.  Then I noticed it.  The owner of the medicine cabinet wore the same aftershave or cologne that he had worn.  I thought is so unusual that for me to have so few memories of him, I could remember the scent of him.  I realized then how scents and aromas affect us.  Who has not felt comforted walking in from the cold to smell a favorite winter dish waiting in the kitchen.  To this day, a pot roast with potatoes and carrots makes me think of Sunday dinners, my mother frequently made that so it was ready when we got home from church. Our nose is a powerful thing.

It may seem odd, but given the above mentioned memories, I have been very purposeful concerning scents in our home.  I wear a rose scented perfume, rose scented bath products and try to keep rose scented sachets in my clothes closet.  Years from now I want the scent of a rose to bring memories back of me- a woman that loved my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren more than anything in the world.

Scents in the kitchen are important also.  I cook a lot and there are certainly family favorite recipes.  I love a house full of good scents that will remind my children that some always has and always will care for them.  My grandmother is a wonderful cook.  I come from stock that likes to feed people.  If you are sad- we feed you.  If you are happy- we feed you.  If you are lonely- we feed you.  Just about anything makes for a good reason to feed you.  So, needless to say there are many aromas associated with her kitchen.  All of them tied to memories of being loved and loving those around me.

Creating a home filled with happy memories is a priority for me and should be for all mothers.  The home hinges on us, the mothers, wives, keepers of the home.  Think about what you love to smell.  Think about what you love to remember.  Now, think about what you want your children to remember.  These are the things worth making time for in our daily lives.  Soccer games will be forgotten, all various awards assemblies will be forgotten along with all those many events that had no eternal value, but what went on in your home will be remembered for all the next generation.  Lets get busy making good memories for our kids.

What is you favorite scent?  Why?

The First Eagle To Fly…

Cheyenne Kay in her new room

Today was a big day in the Ross household.  The first of our four children moved out.  Now, it was just down the highway a bit to Athens, Texas and Trinity Valley Community College, but it was a really big step.  It feels so odd as I sit here and type this knowing that she will not be coming home tonight or tomorrow… Of course, she will be back, after all, the college food holds no comparison to my home cooking.

There were only a few misty eyes for us today.  I had a good cry yesterday and got it all out of my system.  I don’t grieve that she is leaving, I am happy for her.  I grieve because a season of my life that I really enjoyed is coming to a close.  I am more than half-way done with the “raising” of my children.  There are no more preschoolers, no chubby thighs that I get to squeeze & kiss, no bellies painted to look like Indians with squished up berries as paint, & no more kiddos that will sit on the counter while I cook (now, they do the cooking which is not so bad)- those days are over.  But, what a GREAT ride it was.  I do miss Cheyenne, but to want her to stay would only be selfish on my part.  I was entrusted with an amazing gift and now I get to watch as she takes flight.

And taking flight she is!  She has earned a spot on the TVCC show team and got herself a job as a ranch hand at TVCC’s ranch all the while making A’s in her ag classes.  For those of you who know Cheyenne, you know that she is in her element!  Another great perk of the really  nice dorms that she calls home is that her room over looks the practice field for the football team.  Her deep brown eyes just lit up when we raised the blinds and saw the goal posts. She & I had a really great day, I loved every minute of it! I am really impressed with Cardinal Hall.  What a really nice layout the rooms have and they also have their own bathroom with separate vanities.  This dorm is brand-new and didn’t even have that peculiar smell that usually resides in old dorms seeming to have a life of its own.  She just doesn’t know what she is missing!

Speaking of missing, I maybe missing her and her dad may be missing her, but her sisters- not so much.  Cheyenne hadn’t even made it out the door before Sierra was taking up residence in her old room.  Apparently Sierra wasn’t moving fast enough- for Savannah was moving Sierra’s things out of their once shared room while Sierra was doing her chores.  Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”?  That was pretty much the atmosphere around here.  You could just feel the love oozing.  Jonathan, however, maybe missing her, too.  He gave her a Lego figurine to take with her.  A twelve year old boy doesn’t part with legos thoughtlessly.  The significance was not lost on Cheyenne, the little guy is now sitting on her desk in the dorm room.  Jonathan’s pain was eased by the fact that he is on his first Boy Scout camp-out this weekend.  He was all smiles when I dropped him off this evening.

So, here I sit the newest member of the group of parents that have adult children.  Wow, how the time flies by!  I am very pleased with the person that left my home as an adult.  I could not have asked for more.  Proud just doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.  Now, I hear that not only will I get used to having the kids leaving home but I will actually grow to like it.  Thankfully, Cheyenne’s dad is also my best friend and I look forward to sharing an empty nest with him- even though that is still a few years away and I intend to squeeze every bit of fun out of the years left with children in my home.

These milestones come regardless- might as well celebrate & enjoy them all.

 

Sierra + Birthday= Chicken Jalepeno Soup

That is a lot of candles! She blew them all out in one try, make your wish

My third daughter, Sierra Anne, turned 13 this past January.  My how time does fly.  Sierra is very petite, but don’t let her size fool you.  She is a firecracker.  But, she is every bit as sweet as she is feisty.

When it is your birthday on the farm, you don’t have to do your chores.  The other siblings chip in and get them done.  All of the kids like this perk.  I also cook the birthday person’s favorite meal for dinner.  So, on her night we will be having chicken jalapeno soup.  What is funny about this recipe, it that I leave out the Jalapenos!  Cheyenne and I like it hot, but we are about the only ones, if only 2 out of 6 like it I will tone it down.  No matter, this soup is still awesome!  Sierra also has a thing for jello.  She will choose the Chinese food place in town just for the jello, the food there is not that great.  So, I told her that I would get her some jello- one flavor for every day of the week.

The birthday banner goes up and stays up for about a week.  Why not?  I am so glad that God sent these wonderful people to be my children, so why not let the celebrating linger on?  Birthdays are fun and we enjoy them. Regardless if people admit it or not, everyone likes to have a fuss made on their birthday.  It feels good to know that there is someone who is delighted that on that certain day in history, you entered this world.

Here is the recipe for the birthday girl’s favorite food:

Chicken Jalapeno Soup
1 whole chicken
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
garlic clove

To the broth add:
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cream (half/half will work great, plain milk is ok, but not nearly as creamy)
2- 4 oz cans of green chillies
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
1/2 cumin
1 lb velveeta cubed.

Boil chicken until tender, remove from broth (save broth- you should have about 8 cups add water if you don’t), pull chicken from bone and tear into small pieces

In skillet heat oil and cook onions until clear, add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Add onions to broth, then add the ingredients listed above except the velveeta.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add velveeta and cook over low heat until melted.  Stir in chicken and cook on low until warmed through.  Serve, this tastes great with cornbread.

Sisters, Savannah and Cheyenne teamed up for this cake

And Great Shall Be Their Peace

My four, Oh How I Love THEM!

There are many scriptures to which I cling like one would cling to a scrap of wood while floating in the sea filled with hungry sharks smelling blood in the water.  These have been my guide posts, the light at the end of the tunnel of motherhood, and the happy promises of what this life can be today.  I do believe Proverbs to be the best book for common sense, practical advice.  It has been from Proverbs that I have taken most of the scriptures that I have trained my children with and used to teach them how to function in this world.  But for encouragement, nothing beats the book of Isaiah.

Now, if you are familiar with the Bible or have been around the religious establishments, you may find this odd.  After all, this whole book of prophecy is about the Israelites blowing it once again and having judgement come down from heaven. But, that is what makes it so encouraging.  God has passed judgement on them and then He makes them these beautiful promises.  We all blow it every day, we fail to live up to the standard but take heart, God makes us so many great and mighty promises in spite of ourselves.  These promises were given to a people in the old testament before our Savior, Jesus Christ, had come to make right all the wrongs, but never the less, once we accept Jesus as our Savior all the promises become ours new and old testament.  All we have to do is believe Him.  For me, the chapter I have poured over has been chapter 54.  It is so great.

As I have walked through the years of parenting, one verse in particular has stood out as a huge ray of hope to me.  Isaiah 54:13 “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”  Isn’t that great!  Who doesn’t want their children to be at peace?  This doesn’t mean without challenges, the Word is clear that we will have challenges on this earth, but through it all, great shall be the peace of my children.

The first translation I read this in said “Your children shall be taught of the Lord“. I took this to mean that I taught my children of the Lord and they would have peace.  A perfectly good and true thing to do.  But then I read it with the word “by the Lord” and I realized that I was not in this mothering thing alone, God was right there with me teaching my children about Himself, hallelujah!  Thank you Jesus.  How many of us know, left to our own devices we are not the mothers or fathers that we want to be and this whole parenting thing can, at times, be overwhelming?  I was so encouraged to know that the perfect Father was by my side- actively involved.

This revelation came to me back when my children were just preschoolers- the older two, the younger two were still just a glimmer in their father’s eye.  Now, those two are 19 and 17.  They are amazing, they have never rebelled, our house filled with teenagers (we have 3 in residence at this time) is not filled with anger or fighting, it is a home of peace because great is the peace of my children.  Does this mean that there is never any friction? No, there will be growing pains and friction as children become adults and are ready to move out on to their own.  This is normal.  What is not supposed to be normal is rebellion, anger, antagonistic behavior by both parents and teens.  God did not entrust me with these precious gifts for me to accept societies ways as “normal”.  We are a living testament that you can have a great time and a great peace with teenagers or preschoolers- the peace just looks different.

Some of you may wonder about the “how” to receive the promise of God.  This is how I would pray this scripture (and still do) over my children as they were growing up:

“Father, I thank you that your Word is true and you promise that “My children, Cheyenne, Savannah, Sierra & Jonathan, will be taught by You and GREAT will be their peace.  Thank you, Jesus, for the blood you shed on the cross to make this my promise. Thank you!”

Then when all hell wants to break loose in your home- You remember this prayer and repeat it.  You cling to the promise regardless of what you see in front of your face.  Our children’s flesh does not always- hardly ever- want to cooperate with the Word of God or you, but hold tight and you will reap a harvest of PEACE!

What Did You Do?

When you have four kids you get asked a lot of questions. I am very proud of my children and  so often people now ask me what we did to get such great kids.  This question is especially asked of my older daughters who are now 19 & 17.  It seems that respectful youth with good work ethics and self-confidence is unusual.  This is sad, and not the fault of the kids.

The problem I have with that question is that those that ask seem to think I can some up 20 years of hard work into a couple of sentences.  That is simply impossible and when I am faced with it, I don’t even know where to begin.  But really, the beginning is God and His plan for my children.  When they were born I was excited to see what He had gifted them to do and what His design was for their life- not mine.  I do believe a frequently made mistake by parents and other adults make with children is dreaming dreams for the kids without ever consulting God or simply looking at what the child is and what their desires are.  Each of us are gifted from the womb with abilities and desires written on our hearts by the hand of God.  To ignore these in our own lives is to live a life of misery.  To ignore these in our children is to set the children up for hardship.  In this situation, the child will either have to bury their God-given desires and dreams to conform to the parents wishes or they will have to rebel or fight to follow God’s will for them.  Woe to us as parents if we ever put our children in that position.

So, as my children grew they were free to dream, to express their hearts desires, and they were free to obey.  Everyone answers to authority, the sooner we accept this the sooner God can move in our lives.  I answer to Tony (my husband) and to God.  My kids answer to me, their father, and to God.  The idea here is that I am following God so that answering to me is the equivalent to answering to God.  Which means I had better be keeping close with God or I will mess my kids up!  So, my children learned that they were free to be the person God created them to be, but obedience was a key to that.  Some of the four accepted this with out much protest, some of them were not going down without a fight.  Either way, they have come to understand authority and the blessing that obedience brings to their lives.

Another key to developing great kids is to have time at home.  In the society that we all live there is this merry- go- round.  You know the kind that was once in all the playgrounds.  It could go as fast as the kid pulling or pushing it could go.  Well, the society merry-go-round is spinning out of control with lots of “good” activities for you too participate in and for you kids to be involved.  The problem is this- most of these activities have no eternal benefit.  They do not develop any skills or fundamentals that your children will need as adults.  I even include sports in this because sports had become a god to so many.  Yes, there are benefits to sports- I know because my kids played and so did I.  However, there is no reason for a kid to be playing every sport, many at the same time.  If your schedule has you gone from home every night of the week and most Saturdays- your house is a hotel and not a home.  Changes must be made if you want your children to be successful, confident, and stable adults.  We were once on the merry-go-round as well.  We have four kids and with each one choosing only 1 thing each at a time, we were still busy every night, then you add in church, family events, and school with all its demands= we were out of control in our time and stressed.  We did find the key to getting off the merry-go-round– You have to JUMP!  It will not stop and people around you will not applaud your choice.  But, it must be done, you will be glad you did!  We cleared our schedule- no sports teams, no camps, no anything for a few months and then we only added back what God clearly said to do.  Wow, we were happy, even the kids were after the initial hurt feelings.  We had time to play card games, board games, and time for fishing and camping.  This is the life!

Now, I could go on for pages about the things that we did as parents to get the results we are seeing, but these few things I have listed are key elements.  There will be many more blog posts on different aspects, but these are the ones I believe give the best starting point.

My Beautiful Family