Friday, August 28, 2015

I’m Never Alone in a Big Family ~ #FiveMinuteFriday

Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung, sounds like so much fun that I decided to take up the challenge to write for five minutes without editing. Every Thursday evening, Kate posts the topic of the week, and the community then free writes. In her words, this means “no editing, no over-thinking, and no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” See? A challenge for this perfectionist! J

This Friday’s word is ALONE.

Ready? Here we go.

When I was a child I spent a lot of time alone. I grew up with one older brother, and we were so different from each other that we typically weren’t the best of companions. We would play together occasionally, but I mostly found myself reading, writing stories, roller skating, or playing with my toys…alone. Girls would move in and out of the neighborhood, and they were fun. But there was no one there all the time.

That actually had a lot to do with my desire to have a big family. Growing up, I wanted to be in a big family. Brothers and sisters to play with. To talk to. To giggle into the night with. To read with. To get into trouble with. J Brothers and sisters who were there all the time.


I have to be the parent now, but I finally have my big family. Six children, ranging from fifteen years old down to four years old, and a husband who can be just about any age. J

Sure, I have moments of alone-ness. Sometimes I leave my husband with the children and sneak off to the library to read or shut myself in the den to get some writing done. A mom needs revitalization.

But none of us have to be alone. There is always someone to play a game of Stratego with, someone to talk to about books (with avid readers in the house, we’ve all read a bunch of the same books), someone to stay up too late with, someone to help with the dishes, someone to run to Wal-Mart with and have a heart-to-heart as we drive.



Many think my husband and I are crazy to have so many children. But we know we are blessed beyond measure.

The end.











~~~~~
Receive new posts from this blog by e-mail.
Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Or follow this blog with Google Friend Connect on the sidebar.
~~~~~


Photobucket Wise-Woman-Builds Our Simple Country Life AProverbs31Wife.com Missional Women MomsTheWord Homegrown Learners Hip Homeschool Moms


Pin It!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How My Children Are Becoming Avid Readers ~ A List of Ten

It makes me a tad nervous to write this post. I have little ones, and the jury is still out on how avid their reading will become. But I have received the question from a reader on how my children have come to be avid readers. It's an excellent question, and I thought it was a good time for an update.



I love lists almost as much as I love reading, so I made a list of how we have encouraged our children to become readers. J

1. My husband and I both value reading and model that to the children. We always have a book we're reading {sometimes more than one!}. The children see us reading, and we talk about what we're reading with the children.

2. My three oldest children are avid readers, so the Littles see them reading and want to emulate them.

3. Our primary decoration in our home is bookshelves filled with books. It's what the children see all the time, not a big-screen television or a bunch of babbling battery-operated toys or a stack of video games. The children have bookshelves in their rooms, we have large bookshelves in the living room, and we have an upstairs library with two more bookcases.



Lots of schoolbooks and children's classics in the upstairs library.

4. We encourage the reading. I go to special effort to find books I think they'll like, keep up with how much they are reading, encourage them to read, and then talk about it with them in an animated conversation. I focus my attention on them and the book, not multitasking.

5. I write. Remember Under Duress, my Love Inspired Suspense novel coming out in February, 2016?
J I also talk about what I write. I ask my children to brainstorm with me, and that shows them the value of story and the written word.


A portion of the shelves in the boys' room.

6. My husband and I read {and the Bigs read} to the Littles, copiously. With voices.

7. Birthdays and Christmas always include gifts of books.

8. We visit the library once each week where we check out many, many more books than movies.


One set of shelves in the girls' room.

9. We participate in summer reading programs, including our local library and Half-Price Books. We also participate in the winter reading program at our local library. The prize offers an extra incentive, especially when it's a packet of food coupons to go out to eat.

10. I pray for my children to love reading and learning.


A few shelves in the office.

Now, the $60,000 question ~ which of these work the best? I have no idea, but prayer is always worth it.

Happy reading!









How do you encourage your children to read?


~~~~~
Receive new posts from this blog by e-mail.
Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Or follow this blog with Google Friend Connect on the sidebar.
~~~~~


Photobucket Wise-Woman-Builds Our Simple Country Life AProverbs31Wife.com Missional Women MomsTheWord Homegrown Learners Hip Homeschool Moms


Pin It!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Finding White Space ~ #FiveMinuteFriday

Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung, sounds like so much fun that I decided to take up the challenge to write for five minutes without editing. Every Thursday evening, Kate posts the topic of the week, and the community then free writes. In her words, this means “no editing, no over-thinking, and no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” See? A challenge for this perfectionist! J

This week’s word is FIND.

Ready? Here we go.


I’m really not sure how it happened. What switch got flipped or what finally clicked.
But my husband finally agreed to declutter. In fact, he’s leading the charge.

It’s been nearly twenty-three years of marriage and six children. Add in to that my mother who claims shopping as her number one hobby and a mother-in-law who passes along a few things now and then, and we were bursting at the seams. I’d gotten rid of a few things here and there, but it was never enough.

Perhaps our move to the new house was the tipping point. As we unpacked, we surveyed our domain and what filled it. We found a bunch of stuff that fit one of three categories ~ we either didn’t use it, didn’t need it, or didn’t like it.

The bigger question was why did we keep all of it?





Some of it was to appease extended family. They gave it to us and expected us to love it and maintain it. We’ve reached our breaking point. No more!

Some of it was the what-if-we-need-it-later mentality. But we’ve had a humidifier for our fifteen-plus years of parenting and only used it once. Time for it to go!

And all those papers? Well, the scanner’s been going nearly non-stop since it arrived on the big brown truck, and I can see the desk again. In fact, I’m not even sure I need a desk anymore. J




Underneath all that stuff and paper, you know what I found?

My sanity.



Stop.









Are you decluttered? How do you find the white space in your life?


~~~~~
Receive new posts from this blog by e-mail.
Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Or follow this blog with Google Friend Connect on the sidebar.
~~~~~


Photobucket Wise-Woman-Builds Our Simple Country Life AProverbs31Wife.com Missional Women MomsTheWord Homegrown Learners Hip Homeschool Moms


Pin It!