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5 Prayers for Your Child

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family
Have your children started back to school yet?

Mine begin Tuesday and I’m both nervous and excited.Nervous because this is a new school and three of my four kids have never attended school in the States before!!

Excited because I’m believing for tremendous growth academically and spiritually in their lives. Plus, I’m ready to have a long quiet time again :)

5-back-to-school-prayers-for-your-child

I’m getting so much out of the 40 Day Praying the Promises for Our Children Challenge (it’s going on now and you can still join!) that I thought to share some of the scriptures we are praying during the course of this challenge. What a blessing to link arms with so many others as we storm the heavens on behalf of our children. My husband is praying these scriptures with me too. He told me this morning how much he is enjoying this challenge!

I hope these scripture prayers will motivate you to join us if you haven’t OR be diligent to keep at it if you’re already praying. You are making a difference!

5-Back-to-school-prayers-for-your-child-pin-326x500

1. For wise teachers and adults to invest in the lives of our children (Proverbs 22:6, 27:17)

Proverbs 22:6- A back to school scripture to pray for our kids

2. For God’s word to guide their path and guard their steps (Psalm 119:9)

Psalm 119:9

3. For a steady heart that seeks the Lord and dwells in peace (Psalm 34:4)

Psalm 344

4. For feet that run away from evil and towards righteousness (II Timothy 2:22).

2Timothy 222

5. For a godly impact and influence (Philippians 1:14-15)

Philippians 2 14-15

The cards above are included in our Fall Resource Kit, for a total of 40 printable prayer cards, journal sheets, and more. If you’d like to grab the Praying the Promises for Your Children Resource Kit, it’s available now for only $5 for a limited time!

Our prayer is that this resource equips you to effectively pray God’s word on a consistent basis. Let’s do this!

Source: arabahjoy.com

25 Tips to Prepare for School

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family

As August begins, many of us are now thinking about how we can prepare for school. The back to school sales are everywhere and your home will soon be overwhelmed with papers (that you can easily control!) As you prepare for school, find some extra helpful tips here.

1) Take some time to read with your kids throughout the summer and it will help prepare them. These six tips will be so helpful to teach you what you need to do to get the most out of your reading time with your kids.

2) Enjoy school shopping with your child and involve them by giving them choices. Our kids love to pick out their own outfits! (as you can see below – because rain boots go with every outfit, right? haha! That’s our Allie!)

3) Prepare yourself for early mornings and prepare what you can the night before. Being ready for a school morning is the best thing that you can do to get your family off to a great start! It makes a HUGE difference (and cuts back on stress and chaos for the mornings).

4) Celebrate back to school with a party! My friend hosted a back to school party and it was adorable. She had water balloons, pizza and gave each of the kids a few school supplies that were adorable (like cute Frozen pencils and a fun Initial notebook!)

5) If you are homeschooling, build up your supplies as you start the new year. Stock up on pencils, markers, crayons, highlighters and more! You can even check out the free printable below from PassionatePennyPincher.com.

6) When all the busyness of school hits, it is nice to have some planned family time.  Play one of the board games here or do any of these 10-minute activities with your kids.  Our favorite time to play is right after bath time when we are ready for some much-needed family time!

7) Take time to prepare your anxious children for school. Take a tour of the school, meet the teacher and practicing pick up and drop off are just a few ways to get starting in your preparation. It will really help your child to know what is going to happen on that first day.

8) Create a homework station for your children. You could even build a whole desk for under $100 like this one (get the directions here)

9) Heading back to school is always a busy time for teachers, surprise your child’s teacher with a gift as school starts. A mason jar filled with pencils is perfect!  Paint the mason jar a bright shade of apple red to look like an apple!  Or you can make a school supplies cake and fill it with everything that your teacher could need this year.

10) Use this video is my secret weapon to teach the kids their letters in a week!  Seriously awesome (use it in the car… even better!)

11) Start a tot school with the little ones to include them in the fun! Preschool is a great time to help your kids start learning.

12) Use hooks for each child’s book bag to keep things organized. I grabbed these little buckets & hooks at Ikea.

13) Mix up the lunches this year and keep it simple.  You can even use something fun like this sandwich cookie cutter to make their lunchbox filled with anything BUT a boring sandwich:

14) Organize your child’s clothes for the entire week.  Pick every outfit out on Sunday afternoon and lay them out or hang them up for the week.   It will get rid of any “I didn’t want to wear that!” type of battles… well, let’s hope so! 

15) Start your child’s day out right with a great meal! These make-ahead frozen breakfast ideas are easy and you can have them ready to go. A little protein is all that they need .

16) Plan out some easy, healthy after school snacks to fill your kids just enough until dinnertime.   I can remember my mom letting us pick a snack as soon as we came home from school (which reminds me… I can also remember my VERY HEALTHY brother having two powdered doughnuts and sprite every single day after school!  I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had a doughnut in over 20 years, so that is a very funny memory!)

17) Back to school means sicknesses are on their way, find ways to cut down on sickness!  I recently read a study that said that two groups of people were ‘given a cold’. One group slept for 8 hours. The other group had under seven. Which group was more likely to get a respiratory infection? The 7-hour group… THREE TIMES HIGHER!   Find more tips like that right here.

18) Let go of last year and be ready to start fresh with a positive attitude!

19) Start the school routine a weeks before school starts to get yourself and your kids ready!  I love the tip about preparing for back to school emotions. They caught me off guard when our very mature first born started Kindergarten several years ago… and was very nervous and scared to go.   I wish I had prepared for this part a little more.

20) Create a command center to keep all your meal plans, papers and other school materials organized.  I love the ones here (you can buy these to make your own Command Center!)

21) If your child is going to Kindergarten, these back to school items are going to be really helpful for your child!

22) The morning of the first day, have a special gift for you child. It doesn’t have to be fancy.  A great book and crayons or pack of fun pencils might be all that you want to do. I love to give our kids a book like this before their first day:

I like this one, too, if you have a child with First Day Jitters:

23) Have your child fill out a first day interview.  These are adorable and your child can fill it out on their own or with a little help (although I suggest you let them write it… get in some last minute handwriting practice before school starts!)

24) Try lunch box notes to brighten your child’s day. If you don’t want to use chalkboard paint on their things, at least stick a little note in each lunchbox. Here are a few free printable lunch box notes that you can print out to be ready for that first week!

25) Be sure to use your last week before the kids go to school to spend some much-needed one on one time with the kids. This is how we have one on one time in our house of four kids and it has been really helpful and all of our favorite nights!

What are some tips you find to be useful as you prepare for school?  I would love to hear them! 

Recommended by Brock Tozer – TED Talk

July 5th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family

BrockIf you can bear with the audio issues, in the first few minutes, this Tedx talk is well worth watching, in full. I love the direct one-to-one connection she makes between household chores & the development of character, in our children. As parents, sometimes we’re guilty of placing too much emphasis on grades, & personal achievement, even at the expense of teamwork and cooperation (such essential life skills!). This is a great reminder, on that score, from Dr. Deborah Gilboa. – Brock

Moms, this is a great read!

July 5th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family

Can I Be Honest? Sometimes, I Get Jealous

Stay-at-Home Mom

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom,

Can I be honest? Sometimes, I get jealous of you.

Like, when I picture your mornings, minus the chaos of hustling kids out the door to daycare. I picture breakfasts eaten without staring at the clock, maybe a morning kids’ show, everyone still in PJs. I see you taking the kids to the zoo or the park or the lake mid-morning, snapping selfies with them and texting your husband the funny thing your oldest said. I see you throwing a load of laundry in the dryer when you get home (or whenever you WANT!), playing goofy games with the kids over lunch, eating food you didn’t have to pack at 11 PM the night before.

When the youngest goes down for a nap, I see you getting things done around the house, or working on your in-home business, or bonding with your oldest over a craft project. I see you witnessing every milestone and every funny moment, amassing memories that will make you smile years from now. I see you, glowing and healthy from days spent outside, chatting up the other moms at the park or the library or the gym, wearing whatever the heck you want, never going to boring department meetings, never realizing mid-day that you forgot to put deodorant on and can’t do a thing about it…

It all seems so nice, as I sit in my cramped, sunless office, stressing about the project I’m way over my head in and wondering what my kids are doing right now (that I’m missing).

But don’t worry. I know there’s more to it than that.

I know you also deal with meltdowns, and picky eaters, and fighting over toys (over everything), and long, lonely days where you’re way over-touched and you don’t talk to a single person over the age of 4. I know there are rainy days, snowy days, teething days, and inexplicably-crazy-kids days. I know you go to the same park a bazillion times a week, repeat the same phrases to your kids all day, play the same games over and over, and prepare and clean up SO MUCH food.

I know you’re desperate for alone time and adult time, and I know you feel guilty when you take that out on the kids. I know you think about your education and your pre-kids career, and you wonder if you’re doing the right thing. I know you wish you could contribute more financially. I know you worry that you’re pouring so much of yourself into your kids that you might lose sight of who you are.

I guess I just wanted to let you know that I see you, and I recognize the sacrifices you’re making for your family. It’s easy for me to focus on the highlights of your life—the things I’m personally missing out on—but I know that’s not the full picture.

The truth is, neither of our lives is perfect or easy, but they’re both pretty dang awesome—just in slightly different ways.

I see you, and I support you. Keep it up, girl!

Love,

Working Mom


Dear Working Mom,

Can I be honest? Sometimes, I get jealous of you.

Like, when I picture your mornings, sipping a still-hot latte, alone at your quiet desk. I see you going to important meetings, talking to important people about important things (or at least, talking to adults about adult things). I see you grabbing lunch with your coworkers, gossiping about the office, maybe on an outdoor patio, maybe over some giant salads and still-cold iced teas. I see you giving presentations, in that cute tailored blazer you have, speaking eloquently and confidently to a room of people who respect your ideas.

I see you planning out your days (and having that actually be a useful endeavor), working on projects that interest and challenge you, getting recognized for your hard work from your peers and superiors. I see you traveling for work—sitting on a plane (ALONE!), staying in a nice hotel room, eating dinner on someone else’s dime. I see how proud you are of your career, how good it makes you feel. I see how extra special the time you spend with your kids is—the way you’re eager to pour into them in the evenings and on weekends, the way you treasure every minute…

It all seems so nice, as I sit here eating leftover cold chicken nugget bits off my son’s plate, half-heartedly yelling at the kids to stop tackling each other and preemptively beating myself up for all the TV I know I’m going to let them watch later.

But don’t worry. I know there’s more to it than that.

I know that you still feel guilty sometimes after dropping off your kids, especially when they cling to you and cry. I know you envy the person who gets to spend their days with your children, seeing the funny things they do and hearing the funny things they say. I know you hate being stuck in your office on a beautiful day, wondering what your kids are up to and wishing you could be part of it.

I know it’s hard at the end of the day, when everyone’s tired and hungry and cranky, and you’re desperately cobbling dinner together before the frantic rush of baths and bedtime, and you SO wish it could be different because those are the only precious hours you get together as a family. I know it sucks to have to cram all the housework and errands into the weekends. I know you get lonely when you travel, and all the nice dinners and hotel rooms in the world can’t compete with those little faces at home that you can’t kiss goodnight. I know you miss your kids, and you wonder if you’re doing the right thing.

I guess I just wanted to let you know that I see you, and I recognize the sacrifices you’re making for your family. It’s easy for me to focus on the highlights of your life—the things I’m personally missing out on—but I know that’s not the full picture.

The truth is, neither of our lives is perfect or easy, but they’re both pretty dang awesome—just in slightly different ways.

I see you, and I support you. Keep it up, girl!

Love,

Stay-at-Home Mom


Note:

This post was written by a woman who’s been a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, and a work-from-home mom. She’s felt the unique joys and challenges of each, and is here to scream from the rooftops: none of them were easy. None were perfect. And definitely, none came without guilt.

There’s always greener grass somewhere, and always will be. Don’t forget to look down at your feet from time to time–the ground you’re standing on right now is actually pretty awesome.


About Kim

Kim grew up in Minnesota, but moved to Madison to attend the UW and fell in love with the city’s spirit and culture. Kim is married to a handsome dude named Brent and has two handsome little boys, Mason and Joshua. When she’s not racing monster trucks across furniture or reading dinosaur books, she’s working on freelance writing projects or planning events for Madison Momshine, a local health and fitness community for moms. Kim is a certified personal trainer and teaches strength training classes for women through her fitness business, Lioness Fitness. She’s also a food allergy mom, which means she can read a food label like nobody’s business! Kim’s a sucker for good wine, good sushi, a good book, and ANY beach.

SOURCE: http://madison.citymomsblog.com/can-honest-sometimes-get-jealous/

No Sandwich Lunches

June 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family

Only a couple more weeks of lunches left to pack before school is out! Dan Adam’s wife shared this great link to give you some inspiration for these last few weeks. “Some of these dishes and containers really make portioning and packing a lot easier… dare I say fun!  If you suspect you’ll be needing a lunch bag makeover in September, consider looking for sales now instead of at the end of summer when the store’s selection can get low.”

ARE YOU TIRED OF SANDWICHES?? ME TOO!
So let’s just say no to the boring old sandwich, and mix things up a bit!

Here is a whole page for you with lunch after lunch after lunch with no sandwiches! These are my favorite kinds of lunches to make. And while you may see some similarities, if you look closely you’ll see that the lunches are never the same twice.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at God’s Not Dead 2

April 4th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family

Click here for a list of showtimes!

Easter is a whole season. Here are some ways to celebrate with kids of all ages.

March 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family
Do Your Children Understand Easter?
shutterstock_68094250Free mini-lessons to help you give your child a greater appreciation and understanding of the purpose of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

Many parents would agree that children should wait until they are older to see the acclaimed movie The Passion of the Christ, which graphically depicts the horrible violence that Jesus Christ endured before giving His life on the cross.

For the most part, children in our culture are privileged enough to be insulated from the reality and “scariness” of death.

Death and life, however, are at the core of the Christian message exemplified by Good Friday and Easter and remembered each Sunday. How much does your child understand that message?

Children need to know that dying was Jesus Christ’s reason for living on earth. They also need to know about Jesus’ resurrection three days later. As a parent, you can have the wonderful privilege of talking with your child about these important truths. The Easter season (which only begins with Easter Sunday) is great time to do this.

The following mini-lessons are designed for you to download, print out, review with a Bible in hand and then read with your child. These lessons will help you give your child a greater appreciation and understanding of the purpose of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

Ultimately, these five mini-lessons will encourage your child to join God’s family.

These mini-lessons are intended to help parents to excel in their role as spiritual leaders for your children. Focus on the Family is a primarily donor-funded ministry, and their online resources are provided through the generosity of our supporters.

Source: focusonthefamily.com