Monday, January 16, 2012

Praying Virtues for Your Children Daily

When we lived in The Woodlands, we were introduced to a wonderful concept at Faith Bible Church of little index cards for each day of the month that help you pray for the character development of your children. Each card contained a virtue, short prayer, and scripture reference. This last Christmas we made a special homemade present for my sister by creating a set of these prayer cards for her illustrated by my older son.

They are so very precious that I have to share them!

Day 1 - Salvation

Lord, I pray that my child would obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, eternal glory.
2 Timothy 2:10

Day 2 - God’s Grace

I pray that my child may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18

Day 3 - Love

Father, grant that my child would learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who lives in him.
Ephesians 5:2

Day 4 - Integrity

Lord, may integrity and uprightness protect my child because his hope is in You.
Psalm 25:21

Day 5 - Self Control

Father, help my child not be like many others, but to be alert and self-controlled in all he does.
1 Thess. 5:6

Day 6 - Love for God’s Word

Lord, may my child regard Your Word as more precious than gold and sweeter than honey.
Psalm 19:10

Day 7 - Justice

God, help my child to love justice as You do and to act justly in all he does.
Psalm 11:7 & Micah 6:8

Day 8 - Mercy

Oh Father, grant that my child would be full of mercy and compassion as You are Lord.
James 5:11

Day 9 - Respect

Lord, help my child to show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands.
1 Peter 2:17

Day 10 - Self Esteem

God, help my child develop a strong self esteem rooted in the realization that they are Your workmanship.
Ephesians 2:10

Day 11 - Faithfulness

Let faithfulness never leave my child, but bind this virtue around his neck.

Day 12 - Courage

Lord, may my child always be strong and courageous in his character and his actions.
Deut. 31:6

Day 13 - Purity

Create in my child a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in his life.
Psalm 51:10

Day 14 - Kindness

Father, I pray that my child would be kind to himself, to his family, and to everyone else.
1 Thess. 5:15

Day 15 - Generosity

Lord, I pray my child would be rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share. 
1 Timothy 6:18

Day 16 - Peace Loving

Father God, help my child make every effort to do what leads to peace.
Romans 14:19

Day 17 - Joy

Heavenly Father, grant that my child would be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
1 Thess. 1:6

Day 18 - Perseverance

Lord, teach my child to persevere in all he does, and to help him run with perseverance the race set before him.
Hebrews 12:1

Day 19 - Humility

God, please cultivate in my child the ability to show true humility toward all.
Titus 3:2

Day 20 - Compassion

Holy Father, I pray that You would clothe my child with the virtue of compassion.
Colossians 3:12

Day 21 - Responsibility

Lord, grant that my child would learn to be responsible. For each one should carry his own load.
Galations 6:5

Day 22 - Contentment

Father, teach my child the secret of being content in every situation, through Him who gives him strength.
Philippians 4:12-13

Day 23 - Faith

Lord, help my child to fight the good fight of faith, taking hold of the eternal life to which he was called.
1 Timothy 6:12

Day 24 - A Servant’s Heart

God, help my child to develop a servant’s heart, that he may serve wholeheartedly.
Ephesians 6:7

Day 25 - Hope

God of hope, grant that my child may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Day 26 - Patience

God, strengthen my child with Your power, so that he may have great endurance and patience.
Colossians 1:11

Day 27 - Passion for the Lord

Lord, I pray my child’s soul would pant for You as the deer pants for streams of water. 
Psalm 42:1

Day 28 - Wisdom

Father, I pray my child would ask and that You would generously give wisdom to him as You promise.  
James 1:5

Day 29 - Prayerfulness

I ask that my child would be committed to prayer and not faint, lose heart or give up.
Luke 18:1

Day 30 - Gratitude

Lord, help my child to live a life overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks.
Ephesians 5:20

Day 31 - Boldness

I pray that my child would fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel of Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6:19

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If I Ran My House Like I Run My Home Business, What Would It Look Like?

1. I would be mission driven.
2. I would not give up.
3. I would have a sense of urgency.
4. I would be able to discern between income-producing activities and time wasters.
5. I would take responsibility for communicating clearly.
6. I would be courteous.
7. I would establish efficient systems.
8. I would show up consistently.
9. I would celebrate success.
10. I would have clearly defined goals that are broken down into specific, daily, measurable tasks.
11. I would have a budget.
12. I would have a servant's heart.
13. I would try to continually improve.
14. I would seek out the best people for my team.
15. I would innovate.
16. I would lead by example.

Latin for Lunch

The "play" at left is Perseus and Medusa...the classic tale brought to life in the adorable Minimus: Starting Out in Latin curriculum from Amazon. Just to keep my boys' brains engaged and fully functional this summer, we are learning chapter a week each of the 12 weeks of Summer.

My main goal is to improve their English vocabulary, have fun and keep them busy! Nearly 2/3 of the English language has heavy Latin learning the Latin roots can really empower your verbal skills. Little did I know that in going through the curriculum, we'd learn other language skills as well such us gender AND that the curriculum is actually based on a REAL FAMILY that lived just south of Hadrian's wall in Great Britain in the year 100 A.D.. To see an actual Roman birthday invitation, real artifacts like dishes, and to learn cool cultural things like how the Romans ate lying down propped up on their left elbow make it fascinating and fun!

Our strategy has been to listen to the audio during lunch each day and do the related activities right after we eat. It's been so successful that even my 4 year old has been asking for Latin for dinner as well!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2nd Grade End of Year Party!

Okay, the picture simply does not do this Swiming Pool Cake justice! My 4-year-old and 8-year-old boys and I had so much fun making it together. The pool really is blue jello and the "steps" in the pool (faintly visible on the left side of the pool in the photo) totally happened by accident. The little swimmers are gummy bears and they are using fruit roll-ups as towels and gummy rings as intertubes. We followed the instructions at Clearly, I must have cut the pool a bit too deep because the first batch of jello leaked right through...ACK!...except for a very thin jello border on the bottom of the pool. No worries. We just chilled it in the fridge and then tried again. And the second time worked perfectly! The first leak created a cool blue border around the whole cake that worked out just fine. PLUS, it was delicious!

The cake helped set the tone for a fun 2nd grade end of school year party last week! We created sand art bottles (67 cents/bottle from Hobby Lobby plus the different colors of sand) and decorated summer journals in hopes that they will actually continue to write during the summertime! We also played summer-themed hangman with words like waterskiiing, vacation, ice cream cone, sandals, and more! The kids had a blast and I had fun trying out something new!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer Ideas for the Work At Home Mom

SUMMER IS HERE!!! There's no escaping it!
One week from today is the official start of Summer for my boys! I am so excited. My younger son will have one more year of preschool and then it's off to full day Kindergarten so the clock is ticking on that wonderful free playtime at home.

I want to start planning right now to make sure that Summer is full of joy, learning, growth and fun for them BUT ALSO full of growth and momentum in my home business. Also, summer activities must stay within budget so this year I will have to be extra creative since day camps are out!

Here are some key principles that I like to keep in perspective for working from home with kids in the Summer:
1 - Love your work! Your example can instill a value and appreciation for commitment and diligence. It's an awesome thing for our children to see us set goals, stick to them with tenacity and achieve them! If we want our children "to do things heartily as if for the Lord and not for men," then it needs to start with us. I love what I do so when I work hard, I want my family to know that I enjoy it and am so grateful for the way it benefits and rewards my family as well. Your own attitude determines whether your family will have a supportive or resentful attitude toward your work.

2 - Keep a consistent work schedule. Your kids respond well to a predictable and consistent rhythm for your work. It helps them to know what's next and have clear expectations for "mom's in the office" time vs. quality time with mom.

3 - Plan your spontaneity. Build in an "uplanned" slot of time daily to allow for something spontaneous. Kids love this and you will be able to better honor their creativity by planning in this spontaneous time for them.

4 - Build in rewards for your kids. Each month I set specific goals for my business, I post them on my wall and throughout the Summer, I will share these goals with my kids and let them know my progress. As I hit the goals, each month, I will plan a special Friday lunch date with them once a month at one of their favorite places (i.e. Peter Piper Pizza).

5 - Keep them busy with developmentally appropriate fun tasks. They can mirror your own goal setting and reward plan with their own tasks. Also, I have found that children love the independence and clear boundaries that established "stations" can provide. You can use floor mats or beach towels to indicate boundaries for different "games." Then change the stations to bring in new activities at least once/week for variety.

I will revise this as we go, but here's my first crack at the M-F Summer Schedule:

6:45am I get up
7-7:30am My work-out time at gym
7:30-8:45am kids wakeup, get dressed, b-fast, walk dog, check the garden, unload dishwasher

TTH 9am-Noon Solid worktime for me, Kids with Howard
MWF 9am-10:30am My worktime, Kids upstairs or backyard play
MWF 10:30am-11am Snack for kids, Introduce cool activity idea for the day
MWF 11am-Noon My worktime, Kids upstairs or backyard play or Wii

Noon-1 Cleanup Gameroom & Lunch (Fridays, I do quick meal planning for next week)

1-2 My worktime (TV break for them)
2-3 Spontaneous Time! (On Monday, this can be library time. Wed. could be craft supply pick-up time (if needed) and Friday could be grocery time.)
3-5 Swim Time or indoor movie time if rain
5-6 Dinner Prep (plus voice email/email catchup time)
6-8 My worktime (except eating dinner 7-7:30)
8-9 Bath Time & Stories
9 Boys' bedtime & My time to plan tomorrow's cool activity

I have grouped our activities into COOL ACTIVITIES, DAILIES, and WEEKLIES (which may be weekly or just broken up over the long-term):

COOL ACTIVITIES(will add more specific detail and share these as I choose them):
  • Art (Pottery, Painting, Drawing, building a birdhouse out of popsicle sticks)
  • Cooking (Gabriel can learn how to make one dinner each week...spaghetti, etc.)
  • Origami
  • Paper Airplane Making
  • Mad Science Experiments
  • Story Writing
  • Model Building

  • Dog Walking
  • Lego Time
  • Gardening (they get to earn $5 a week for weeding the garden and keep aquaglobes full of water)
  • Latin (Using Barbara Bell's Minimus Pupil's Book and Audio CD...Target: One Chapter Per Week)
  • Summer Reading Program (reward system using age appropriate library books)
  • Swimming (2 hours daily)
  • TV Time (1 hour maximum per day)
  • Wii Time (30 minutes maximum per day)

  • Letter Writing (to Childcare Worldwide Kids and grandparents)...Goal 1 Letter/Week
  • Scripture Memorization (Psalm 1 for Gabriel and Psalm 23 for Joshua)
  • Gabriel's 3rd Grade Math Book (MWF mornings...20 minutes)
  • Weekly Library Day

Summer Goals for Joshua (age 4):
  • FUN,
  • Reviewing letters and numbers,
  • Improving fine motor skills,
  • Enjoying fun science things (like measuring for cooking and some small experiments),
  • Basic knowledge & practical application of the Seven Universal Values,
  • Summer Reading Halfway goal 20 books, total 35 books for Summer
  • Memorizing Psalm 23
Summer Goals for Gabriel (age 8):
  • FUN,
  • Laying a foundation of Latin to improve vocabulary (one chapter per 12 Chapters of Minimus textbook,
  • Preparing for 3rd grade math (3x week),
  • Keeping up cursive skills through letter writing (one letter per week),
  • Basic knowledge & practical application of the Seven Universal Values,
  • Summer Reading Halfway goal is 5 books, total 8 books for Summer
  • Memorizing Psalm 1

I am going to loosely tie in the "Cool Activity" of the Day to the Character for Kids curriculum focus on these Seven Universal Values:
  • Honesty (June 1 - 14, then skip VBS week)
  • Trustworthiness (June 22 - July 6)
  • Respect (July 7 - July 19)
  • Responsibility (July 20 - August 2)
  • Courage (August 3 - August 9)
  • Caring (August 10 - August 17, during trip to Florida for convention)
  • Fairness (August 18 - August 24)

  • VBS Week (June 15-19)
  • Hawaiian Falls Trip...Earned by Memorizing Psalm 1 (Gabriel) or Psalm 23 (Joshua)...Target mid-June
  • Ft. Worth Money Mint Trip = Reward for Helping Mama Hit June Business Goals ( first week of July
  • Friday/Saturday Summer Camp for 8 Year Old (July 10-11)
  • Six Flags Trip...Part 1 of Summer Reading to be earned by completing 5 age appropriate books for Gabriel, 20 for Joshua...Target Mid-July
  • Glen Rose Dinosaur Park Trip...Part 2 of Summer Reading to be earned by 3 more books for Gabriel and 15 more for Joshua...Target August 22 (
  • Convention/DisneyWorld Trip (August 11-17)
  • Reward for keeping their toys picked up = Playdates for friends to come over
  • 1st Day of School is August 25
Day Trip Idea(s) w/o date selected:
  • English Horseback Riding Free Lesson Coupon for Gabriel

P31 Woman Works From Home!

For the last 7 and one-half years, I have had the honor of being a work-at-home-mom. About the first year of that experience, I had this continually torn working, am I not focusing enough on my family? Are my priorities in line with what God wants me to do with my life?

What a heartening and refreshing fact to know that even the Proverbs 31 woman...the "wife of noble character" that the Christian woman aspires to be WORKED FROM HOME!! Listen,
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark; she provides for her family and portions for her servant girls.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:13-30)
Talk about SuperWoman! The Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of action. Here's a list of what she does:
  • brings her husband good
  • selects wool and flax
  • works with eager hands
  • gets up while it is still dark
  • provides food for her family
  • considers a field and buys it
  • plants a vineyard
  • sets about her work vigorously
  • holds the distaff
  • grasps the spindle
  • opens her arms to the poor
  • extends her hands to the needy
  • has no fear for her household
  • makes coverings for her bed
  • makes linen garments and sells them
  • supplies the merchants with sashes
  • can laugh at the days to come
  • speaks with wisdom
  • watches over the affairs of her household
  • surpass them all
These are her attributes:
  • Noble
  • Worthy
  • Giving
  • Eager
  • Industrious
  • Thoughtful
  • Prepared
  • Empowered
  • Discerning
  • Diligent
  • Business savvy
  • Hard-working
  • Resourceful
  • Committed
  • Focused
  • Generous
  • Fearless
  • Creative
  • Strong
  • Dignified
  • Watchful
  • Aware
  • Wise
  • Faithful
This woman is clearly empowered by God to honor her husband and pursue a life of excellence. She is not sitting or wondering what she should be doing. She's not pining away for things lost or past things she felt she deserved. She's not sitting around watching Oprah. She's not waiting for the knight on the white horse to give her anything. And she does not have time to worry! She is a worker. She is fueled by Godly discernment, wisdom and love for God and family.

Best of all, in spite of her diligence, I get this sense that she's NOT got too much on her plate, but that she is actually balancing all of these things well. Her actions are in line with her beliefs. Her strength, dignity and nobility of character come from a harmony between God's plan and purpose for her life and the daily steps she chooses. Those day by day little choices have made this woman great. AND, even with all of her success, you know she's not a workaholic because of the warmth and esteem that her husband and children have for her. That can only happen when she puts her love for God, husband, and family in the right order BEFORE all of her work...yet she is still able to thrive and succeed in her fact fueled by her love for God and family.

Reading and meditating on the Proverbs 31 woman totally removes any hint of being "torn" between work and family. It provides clarity, identity and purpose for the modern woman just as vividly as when it was first written.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The NO YELLING Campaign

I am ever convinced that God has a mighty and powerful sense of humor. For years in my family, we've battled anger...from my own eight-year-old eyes on family violence to my own loud, impatient voice as a mother allowing frustrations to take hold of better judgment. If there's one stronghold in my house that we are losing, it's anger.

Counseling. Prayer. Promises. And still anger persisted, winning over our "quality time" all too often. My eight-year-old even launched a "No Yelling" Campaign complete with signs in every room of the house. The signs did not help that much though...instead it was like a constant irritating reminder of failure. Then there was the "Mama Should Be Nice Petition" signed by both children. And then we got a rescue dog from the SPCA. Eight pounds of weenie dog that pees wherever he is whenever you utter the first audible hint of a yell. I believe the technical term is "submissive urination." So I believe that God is being funny and real and personal. He is digging into our daily existence and letting us know that if we yell, we will have a lot to clean up afterward. He is reminding us that "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for a man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:19-20)