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How to Help Your Kids Screen Less and Read More – A Free Gift!

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For those of you who don’t receive my emails, I have a free gift for you today I think you will love!

Read ‘em & Reap – the rewards that is

A free gift for you to encourage summer reading in your kids

Take this little quiz

  1. Would you love to walk into the room and find your kids reading? Without being asked??
  2. Do you want to limit screens without constantly telling them to put the screens down?
  3. Do you dread hearing “Mom, I’m bored!”
  4. Are you wondering how you will fill all the live-long summer hours?
  5. Would you love your child to become more compassionate, empathetic, and kind?
  6. Do you want to sneak in some learning that will actually be fun?
  7. Do you want to watch your kids have fun doing something that is incredibly good and enriching for them?
  8. Do you want some peace and quiet in your home?

Ok, if you answered yes to most of these questions, I have something we are doing in our home that is a ton of fun.

Our library summer reading program began a bit early for us and the prizes were so good my kids began reading for hours at a time. I’m not kidding.

This happens for us every single summer. School’s out, they read, they earn the prize at the library, then the reading tapers off.

My middle son, Zachary, gave me a great idea. “Mom, what if you make us prize packs for every 10 hours we read beyond the library time. I’m loving this and it will keep me reading all summer long.”

I thought it was a fabulous idea. So I did just that. I created what I called a ‘Big 10 Prize Pack.’

Within 2 weeks, Zachary logged in 20 hours of reading. (BTW audiobooks count too!) So I had to get to work fast. What I came up with had him so excited I realized I had to share it with you.

I’ve created a pdf download for you to create your own Big 10 Prize Pack. Keep it simple. Use them all in one pack or just a couple at a time.

Here’s a little video.

 

Grab your free download now by entering your email address here!

 

 

 

Happy summer reading! Here’s to many quiet hours in your home this summer!!

Grab your free download before leaving!

And if you are in need of a little bag for your books, check out the shop!

When Sibling Bickering Escalates

andrew

Dear Boys,

The button pushing has reached new heights. It was sly the way it snuck in on us. A few times that I let slide opened the door further. A few more times multiplied like gremlins doused with water. Suddenly we found ourselves in a situation of running from alarm to alarm, to the sounds of crying, yelling, and name calling. Bruised hearts remained long after the “I’m sorry’s” were uttered.

Don’t believe the lie that sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. It’s a complete lie. Words are like a dagger, a sword, a baseball bat right to the tender spots. Those parts that you open to the ones you trust, and when the words come from the ones you’ve allowed in, the bruise is darker and takes longer to heal. When you think it’s healed, the scar remains. Every so often the scar begins to ache with memory pains.

So, words. They are worse than sticks and stones. Use your words wisely. I’ll be writing more to you on words later. But today let’s talk about button pushing.

Do you know what I mean when I say, “Stop pushing your brother’s buttons!”? It simply means stop provoking him to anger. When you look at him in a way you know he despises, you are pushing a button. Now I know he has his own sin issues in allowing himself to be so easily frustrated and irritated, but we can’t control or change someone else’s sin. What we can control is ourselves! When you push your brother’s button, you are provoking him. In your sin, you make him sin. And we all end up in some ugly looking sins.

Sometimes we don’t see our errors. Today, I want to help you see your errors through God’s Word.

Psalm 19:12 Who can discern his errors. Forgive my hidden faults.

Put this letter down and pray Psalm 19:12. Ask God to forgive your hidden faults and ask Him to help you discern your errors.

Do you know what the Bible calls what I call a button pusher? A mocker.

Proverbs 21:24 The proud and arrogant man – “Mocker” is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.

So the behavior of a mocker is one of extreme pride. My Bible notes say this about mocker “Those who are proud and arrogant, who are full of insults, hatred and strife, who resist correction even though they deserve flogging.”

We won’t be flogging you, but do you see how serious this is? That description is not who you are. This is not a description of your heart at the core of who you are. When you push buttons, you are acting not true to yourself, to your true nature and character. You are not reflecting the love of God and glorifying Him.

Proverbs 22:10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended

Do you know why I send you out of the room when you begin to push buttons? Because when I drive out the mocker, the fighting stops, the insults stop, the name calling is over. I don’t want to drive you away. And I know you don’t want to be driven away.

But you know what else? When you are a button pusher, you push others away from you. And I know that isn’t what you really want either.

Here’s the bottom line. We are sinners. All of us. It’s ugly. It makes us react and behave in ways we dislike. This is where grace enters the picture again. Grace we will never stop talking about. It’s central to our entire lives. I will end this letter here because as you know, I could go on and on. Especially when we get to talking about grace.

When you go to bed tonight, ask God to forgive your hidden faults and help you discern your errors the next day. And when you are tempted to push that button on your brother, push pause first. Pause and pray. Remember who you belong to and who you represent. You don’t represent a mocker. You are a child of God.

With all my love,

Mom

Mocker

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How to Remember So We Can Forget

Remembering

I kept my hands at 10 and 2, focusing hard on the road ahead.  They can work out their own bickering.  I will focus on the road; let them deal with their own issues.

“I’m not Andrew today. I’m Dudey,” he piped in adding to the banter flying across the back seats.  Glancing at my rearview mirror, I matched his twinkling eyes.  “And I’m not Mommy.  I’m Rudy.”

Nose scrunched upwards, his baby blues squinted closed that ever-present twinkle.  “He-he-he,” a little whisper escaped.

“And Jacob isn’t Jacob.  He’s….Pooty,” I added hoping to distract the others from their arguing.

“Hey!  I’m not Pooty.  I’m not playing along anyway,”  Jacob chuckled.  “Besides, that is Zachary’s name.”

I’d forgotten.  How had I forgotten that?  It was only 4 or 5 years ago.

“Awwww!  Yes!  Pooty!!  Zachary, remember when Jacob nicknamed you Pooty?”

His eyes darted right as he gazed at the trees whizzing by. “Yes,” he said softly, sweetly.

Remembering.  It can stop us in our tracks.  It can change the moment completely.

“Zachary, what did you call Jacob?”  I knew it.  I wondered if they did.

Jacob wasted no time.  “Bubba!”

“Aw, yes.  Bubba.  Zachary, I remember you standing on the sidelines of Jacob’s soccer games screaming, ‘Go Bubba!!!  Go Bubba!!’ ”

They all 3 began laughing.  Then Jacob said, “I love him.  Gosh, I love him.”

In an instant we were all taken back to a time of beloved, treasured memories.  Going back took us out of the current moment, which was filled with disagreement and strife.  We were transported to a time of encouragement and were reminded of how much we loved each other.  The boys never finished their argument that day.  Remembering had changed their perspective.

Sometimes remembering can help us forget.  Remembering the past can help us forget the discomfort of the present.

I recently led a bible study at my home on One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  In one of the sessions she reminded us how the Israelites told stories to their children.  She said something like, “Remembering is an act of thanksgiving.  Gratitude is the memory of God’s heart.  It shapes our trust in God’s heart.”

When I find myself in the valley, I love to look back on my prayer journal to remember the times on the mountain.  To remember the countless ways He shows me His goodness, mercy, love, and faithfulness.  When I remember the infinite ways He works in my life, my perspective of the moment can change in an instant.

Psalm 103:1-2 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”