Category Archives: Parenting

Paper Pizza Prank – Your kids will love this!

Let me set up the story first and then I’ll explain the pizza prank.   Back when we only had three kids we used to frequently do homemade pizza nights.  We would spread out the dough and pizza sauce and then divide the pizza into sections using cheese for lines. Continue reading Paper Pizza Prank – Your kids will love this!

Communicating Chore Expectations

I know I can’t be the only parent who has ever dealt with the following situation.  It’s Saturday morning and it’s time for everyone to do their weekly chores.  You give the orders and you proceed to attend to your own weekly duties.  You march full steam ahead, hopeful that each child has their zone under control. Periodically, a child will come to you to inform you that they are done with their responsibilities.  You smile to yourself because you know that you are well on your way to an orderly house and fun times as a family.  When you finish with your tasks you breathe a sigh of relief and you start to tour your clean home.

Only … it’s NOT clean!

Inspections of each zone reveal atrocities overlooked by each child.  Missed dusty surfaces.  Half-cleaned toilets.  Neglected mirrors.  Toys under beds.  Crumbs in the corners.  Sticky drinks rings on the counters.   Perhaps a stray napkin or two.

How could the kids POSSIBLY think this is CLEAN?!?!?

I used to get angry at this scenario.  Week after week I would have this experience.  Same show, different episode. I was so frustrated with what I perceived as  laziness and indifference to a job well done.

One day it occurred to me that the kids did not have a clear picture of what my expectations are.  I was looking at their attempts with perfectionist adult eyes.  From their point of view, they DID do their job and often seemed confused over my dissatisfaction. Continue reading Communicating Chore Expectations

The Ultimate Dad – A Father’s Day Tribute

If you have gone to the movies or watched television in the last decade or so,  you may have noticed a disheartening trend in the way the modern day dad is portrayed.  Often the father figure is subtly (or not so subtly) represented as detached, aloof, clueless, lazy, disorganized, selfish, clueless, foolish,absent, and uninvolved.  I don’t know what kind of men the rest of you are dealing with out there, but I am grateful that the father of our six children is a stark contrast to the above stereotypes.  He is the polar opposite of all of those things and more.  I couldn’t have asked for a better dad for our kids and I am eternally appreciative of the father and husband he is to us. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell him thank you for all of the big and little things he does for us daily. Continue reading The Ultimate Dad – A Father’s Day Tribute

Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman – A Mother’s Day Tribute

I know there are no perfect people.  One of the frustrating things about blogging is that there is a tendency to present yourself and your life in such a way that if people didn’t know better they would think you were living the perfect life.  Our blog is no different.  We celebrate the exciting events in our life and share interesting and educational posts, but the pictures and stories are usually edited so every imperfection is wiped away.

When I decided to draft this post as part of my Mother’s Day gift to my wife, I wanted to start by clarifying that our life is messy.  We have 6 kids ranging in age from 5 months to 17 years.  I have a demanding job that frequently has me traveling most of the week.  We home school all six children.  We have bills.  We have moods.  There are diapers to change and teenagers with attitudes.  We get irritable. We are almost always tired.  We have unfulfilled goals.  We struggle with allergies, headaches, and illness.  We sometimes resort to junk food even though we know better. Our house is in a roller coaster state of clean and dirty.  The laundry piles up.  The lawn needs mowing.  The eight of us frequently let each other down.  We lose our tempers.  We fight.  We are selfish.  We drive each other nuts.  Our life was not always this “messy” though. Continue reading Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman – A Mother’s Day Tribute

Lesson 009 – From Cain and Abel to the Flood – 4000 to 2500 BC

Today’s lesson covered a lot of material and a huge span of time – from Cain and Abel to the Flood, spanning from roughly 4000 BC to 2500 BC.  We began the lesson by reading Genesis chapters 4 through 10 and then we discussed the questions below.  This portion of the Bible is difficult for many people to accept as history so throughout the discussion time I shared with the kids the various perspectives on the flood, the Nephilim, and the longevity of pre-flood humans,  ranging from myth to historically accurate perspectives.  We also continued to focus on how all the stories of the Bible lead up to and point to Jesus.  Here are today’s verses for easy reference (using the World English Bible version): Continue reading Lesson 009 – From Cain and Abel to the Flood – 4000 to 2500 BC

Lesson 008 – The Garden of Eden and The Fall – Before 4000 BC

I have decided to start a series of lessons with my kids that will cover the entire history of the Bible.  I will be using the World English Bible (WEB).  I prefer the New International Version but it is copyright protected, whereas the WEB is public domain.

I covered the creation story in a previous Life Lesson with Dad so I’m jumping right in with Genesis 2 & 3 and the story of Adam, Eve, The Garden of Eden and The Fall. Continue reading Lesson 008 – The Garden of Eden and The Fall – Before 4000 BC

Children are a Blessing…Yes, Even the 6th Child!

I remember distinctly the first time we found out we were pregnant.  We were so excited and I remember the people around me communicating similar excitement.  When I shared the news with friends, family, and even strangers, their immediate response was either “Congratulations!” or “How exciting!”…something like that.  Based on that first experience I assumed that was the way people always respond when someone announces a new life will be joining this world.  When I made that announcement my new baby was just an “it”…an unknown person, unknown sex and I had no idea what ‘it” would be like.  Today, that little baby is my 16-year-old daughter, Mannah. Continue reading Children are a Blessing…Yes, Even the 6th Child!

Blessed to be in Love with My Best Friend

This post is in response to my wife’s post called “Lucky to be in Love with My Best Friend“.  I was a little caught off guard when I read her post today as it is not our anniversary or Valentine’s day or some other occasion when you might expect some type of romantic message from your spouse.  It happens to be my 39th birthday today but that’s not really cause for such kind words from my Sweetie.  So I’m not really sure what the catalyst was for her post but I do appreciate it and I hope that some day I will live up to the picture she painted. :-)  I confess that I felt honored but I also felt slightly embarrassed that she shared such intimate words with the world. Continue reading Blessed to be in Love with My Best Friend

Ultrasound…it’s a boy!

We had an ultrasound a few weeks back and the technician said she was pretty sure we are having a boy but today she confirmed that November’s blessing will definitely be a boy.  We decided to bring all of the kids with us to the appointment so they could be part of the experience.  I’m so glad we did!  They were perfectly behaved and we all got to see his little arms and legs, his alien shaped face, and most importantly, his beating heart.  We were able to listen to the baby’s 135 beats per minute heart and watch as the technician pointed out each of the 4 chambers.  Everything checked out and all signs are that the baby is healthy and growing well.  Please keep Bethany and the baby in your prayers.  Bethany still has 5 months to go so your prayers are appreciated. Continue reading Ultrasound…it’s a boy!