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God's Greatest Blessings

God's Greatest Blessings
Our Gifts from Above

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Pond....

It sure is hard in this world to find good, wholesome things for our children to watch or hear.  There are a few favorites in our household.  We enjoy the StoryKeepers series, Adventures in Odyssey both audio and video,  and a series called The Pond.  Each of these series teach good values and Godly character.  Recently I downloaded the newest episode from The Pond. It is called 19,000 Frogs and Counting.  Sound familiar.... well if you love the Duggars, it will.  We enjoy watching the Duggar family each week and seeing the way they share their faith.  This episode is very special because it has the voices of all the Duggar clan.  It is only $5.95 for the MP3.  You can download it right to your computer.  It is a 48 minute episode, and even the adults will enjoy listening to this :) 

Here is the link:

Want to teach your little ones......

I found a great resource to teach the 10 Commandments and the Books of the Bible.  I wanted to share these links with moms and dads who would like a fun way to teach these very important things :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kp8yXDpNaQ&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63UlqUyg8FI&NR=1

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our End of the Year Video

If you want to see some of what we have done this year please watch our video.  This isn't everything because the video was getting too long :)  We put in the main highlights.  Enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amtJD_89gqM

Some more Christmas crafts

Today we decided to make stockings from white cardboard and lots of glitter and glue :)  We had a lot of fun making a mess and coming out with beautiful craft.  We used foam letters to put their names on the top.  Here is how they turned out :)

Megan made a really cute sign for Christmas too :) 


Friday, December 17, 2010

Give this Christmas Away.....

Sorry I haven't been able to blog much this week, but I have been busy helping with the local toy drive.  I  felt honored to help in this cause this year.  In years past, I had always been too busy to be able to be a part of this, but this year our schedule opened up and my husband and I were able to help.  Our fire department hosts this toy drive every year.  The leaders of this are friends of ours.  We feel helping in this was a priveledge.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to help pass out the toys to the families and it was just an awesome experience.  It was so great to see the smiles on those parents' faces.  They were all kind and warm and very grateful.  I praise God that our community gave this year, in order for these families to have gifts for their children under the tree this year.  I thought of a wonderful song that came out last year and wanted to share it with you all.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2ulYpoNXC0 

Have you thought about giving of yourself during this season?  There are many ways to give this year.  You can give money or food to a local food bank,  volunteer at a local shelter, or just make cookies for a neighbor who may be alone during this Christmas.  GIVE THIS CHRISTMAS AWAY!!!!! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Character

The number one priority in our home is to teach our children Godly character.  After schoolwork is finished, we spend about an hour going over a couple of character traits that we want to establish in our lives.  We read many Bible verses on each trait, then we talk about how we can display each character quality in our lives on a day to day basis.  I found a wonderful chart on the Duggar's website.  It has 49 character qualities that we need to have as followers of Christ.  It lists qualities along with definitions and Bible verses.  Here is what it looks like: 

It is easy to download.  Go to this link: http://www.duggarfamily.com/characterqualities.html

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Fun

On Sunday, 2 of my teens were in a play at church.  They started out the play talking about all the gifts we receive at Christmas time.  The play ended with the younger children telling about the free gift of salvation.  I wanted to share the video of Megan dancing and Robert being Elvis :)   We had a good time watching them, and hope you do too :)   Here is the you tube link:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDgs2i2NS0w

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Story.....

It is very easy to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas during all the hustle and bustle of the season.  I believe it is very important to keep our sights on Christ.  He is the reason for the season.  We need to keep our children's eyes upon Him too.  I found 2 very special dvds to help parents in this endeavor.  I wanted to share them with you all.  The first one is The Christmas Storykeepers.  It is a 70 minute long animated movie that shares the true story of Christmas. 

The second dvd is The Kingdom Under the Sea, The Gift.   It is a delightful little story about getting back to the real meaning of Christmas. 

I also encourage you to read the Christmas story in the books of Matthew and Luke.  Read it often over the next few weeks.  My kids love to act it out too.  Get them a nativity that they are allowed to play with.  Let them show you what happened that glorious night in Bethlehem.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Traditions

In our home we have quite a few traditions.  Each year we make a chain (made from green and red construction paper) to count down the days until Christmas.  We usually put it up right after Thanksgiving.  The little kids love to wake up every morning and take one of the links off.  It is a great thing for me too, I don't have to keep telling them how many days are left, they can see for themselves :) 
This was taken right after we made it.

Another tradition is making ornaments for our tree.  Sometimes we make picture frames or foam ornaments, and one year we even used ornament kits.   They were a bit tedious, but the older kids enjoyed them.  This year we are making ornaments using pipe cleaners and beads.  It is a tradition we do the week right before Christmas.  Gives the kids something to do that week to make it go a little quicker :)

We also enjoy sitting down and watching our favorite Christmas movies.  We love "White Christmas",  "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Charlie Brown's Christmas Special".    Of course we enjoy watching some of the old animated shows as well.  I think "Frosty the Snowman" is our favorite.    We usually pop some popcorn and sit around cuddled under blankets when we watch these classics.  On really cold evenings we have hot chocolate and warmed cookies.  I love making these memories with our kids. 

Another tradition is making cookies with my kids.  We all huddle in the kitchen and make our favorite, yummy treats.  Cut-out sugar cookies, chocolate chip, and peanut butter blossoms are just a few we make.   This year we are going to add a few new treats to our list.  We are going to make red and green popcorn balls and rice crispy  treats cut into shapes and decorated.   It is great to get everyone involved.  Even the little ones can help measure and stir.... oh and they love to decorate their own cookies :)

My favorite tradition is what we do on Christmas day.  We wake up, open presents, then we read the Christmas story from Luke.  We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and even bake a cake in His honor.  After all it is his birthday we are celebrating.   We have taught our children that He is the real meaning of the season.  We want them to know that Christmas is all about giving.  Giving of ourselves to help others throughout the year, not just during the holidays.  Jesus gave of himself everyday and He gave the ultimate gift when He died for us.

What are some traditions you share with your family?  Do you make special memories with them each year? 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering.......

There was a time in my life when I didn't realize how precious my children were.  When I was younger, I didn't appreciate them the way I should.  As a parent, I use to get very aggravated with them running around screaming and hollering, or leaving toys all over the house,  but as I grew as a mom, I learned to enjoy everything about being a mama.  I think my attitude changed the most after we lost our son Caleb in 2006.   I began looking at the small things as a true blessing. Each time my kids hugged me I now cherished it so much more. Now their toys all over the house, was a reminder that they were alive and well and able to play, instead of being a nuisance.  We were blessed in 2007 with our precious Hope, and the fact that my baby could cry and wake me up in the middle of the night was now the sweetest sound I had ever heard, and I would just smile as I went to pick her up.  She could have kept me up 24 hours and I would still just be content with the fact she was in my arms. 

I am sharing this with you all, to remind you not to take anything for granted.  Enjoy the little things.  Learn to delight in the good and bad times of the day.  Rejoice in the fact that you are their parent and that they are your child.   Be glad that they are there with you, even when you have to discipline them.  Learn from them.  Let them teach you how to be a better parent.  Watch them as they play.  Enjoy every minute you have with them :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Always learning

Recently I began reading a book by Tedd Tripp, it is called Shepherding a Child's Heart.  Rather you have small children or teenagers, I recommend reading this book.  I don't agree with everything he says, but there are a lot of insights into how to reach your children and teach them about God as they grow.  I am always open to new ideas on how to give my kids knowledge that will last a lifetime.  I am always looking for ways to become closer to my children,  ways to communicate and ways to teach them in a way that will give them a deeper understanding of things.  Tedd shows in this book that the things your child does and says flows from the heart.  He refers to Luke 6:45 that says "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."   It is important that we remember what goes in, will come out.  We have to think about what we let our children watch and hear.  Over the last year, my husband and I have cut back on the amount of television our family watches and electronics our children use, and when they are allowed to do these activities, we make sure it is wholesome shows or movies we watch and that the games or internet usage will not be a negative influence on them.  

One of our favorite movies is "Facing the Giants",  in that movie the coach makes a statement that now hangs on our wall.  He says "Your attitude is the aroma of your heart, if your attitude stinks, your heart is not right".   I believe this statement is 100% true.  It goes right along with the verse in Luke.  We must keep our hearts pure and clean in order to have a good attitude.  If you find yourself dealing with a lot of issues in your home, you probably have a heart issue.  It is important to get to the root of the issue.  If you want to see a change in your children, you must get to the heart of the matter.  You must see what the deeper problem is in order to solve the issue instead of just putting a bandaid on the surface problem.  Take it from a mom of 6 very different children, they each have issues we deal with everyday, but when we sit down and get to the root of what is going on, we see a long term change in them, not just a  short lived adjustment.  We keep a very open and honest relationship with our kids.  We allow them to talk to us without fear of being scolded or reprimanded.  We give them the chance to voice their feelings as long as they do it in a respectful way.  It is very important to let your children know their opinions and voice is important to you.  God has opened up many opportunities to teach our children during these conversations.   Always take every opportunity you are given to shepherd your child's heart!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

More ideas to share :)

We wanted to share some more ideas with  you all :)   During the day each of my kiddos have certain chores to complete.  In order to let them know what is expected of them, we have a chore chart.  They each have 2 card holders, one that says "Need to be done"  and the other that says finished. Each chore has a card to explain what the chore is and in what room.  Every morning their cards are placed in the need to be done holder, and then as they complete a chore, they move over the card that corresponds with that job.  It helps them to know and not forget what is their responsibilities for the day, and keeps me from having to remind them all the time.  It is important to be sure to go over each chore card with your child/teen,  and show him/her how you expect the chore to be done.   Even our little ones have a few chore cards.  We have read over them enough, that they are able to read them on their own :)  We believe it is very important for our children to have responsibilities.  It prepares them for having a job and home of their own one day.    Here are a few pictures of our Chore Chart :

This chore chart is very easy to put together, and it only costs $3. 
All you need is a poster board, card holders (that were purchased at the Dollar Tree, in the teachers section), index cards and some stick glue :)

Yesterday a very dear friend of mine shared a link to make a wonderful thing called Flubber.  It is great for preschool and elementary age children .....the teens probably will play with it as well :).  Here is the link for that recipe.  She said it is easy to make, easy to clean up,  and hours of fun!!!!!  We will be making some this week and will share with you how it goes :)     http://www.omsi.edu/flubber

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reminding our kids of the real Saint Nicholas

Tomorrow is St. Nick's Day.  I believe it is important for our children to know who he was and what he did.  Tomorrow we will do a few crafts, read a book about him and watch a video story about him.   Here are some of my recommendations:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Relationships

As my kids are growing into young adults, I have been praying about how to make that shift from being the parent of a child into the parent of an adult.  I have read many good books, from Christian authors who have grown children, in order to prepare for this transition.  God has shown me that I need to be letting go each day.  I need to give them more responsibility and I need to let them make their own decisions.  I would never over step my bounds with them.  I will not make them do things they don't want to do and I will not force them to be something that God has not called them to be.  If and only if they ask my opinion will I give it.  I have to trust that we have taught them to do what is right and that they will follow God's will for their lives.  One way to push your older children away is to nag them and force your will on to them.  You have to allow them to fly.  You have to let them make mistakes and learn from them.  You have to give them opportunities to grow.  You must let go.  You have to allow God to work in their hearts and lives.  You have given them the instructions, now let them go and be who God made them to be.

It's Snowing :)

video
We woke up today to a beautiful sight.  It is snowing outside.  What a way to welcome in December and the Christmas season.  The kids are just all giddy about it.  They love the snow so much!  Joshy went looking for his snow pants to get them ready.... you know... just in case it snows enough to go out and play :)   Snow makes it look so peaceful outside.  It puts me in the mood for Christmas :-)   I think we may take our Christmas picture for our Daley Christmas letter today.