Sunday, July 19, 2015


A friend posted a comment on one my Facebook posts that succinctly summarized something that I've been pondering for a while.  He said "I would be messier, care less that every thing is just right and focus more on the kids."  I've been trying to figure out how to be less concerned with things that don't matter in the long run, and more concerned with the things that do. 

Image result for little house on the prairieMy default is to focus on my house looks, how my kids behave in public, how I'm perceived by those outside of my family.  But that isn't really what I desire to focus on.  So, speaking specifically about my family, how can I be more intentional?  The reality is that apart from schooling them, I spend a proportionally small amount of my time just being with them.  So then I ask myself if this is just some cultural fad.  Do we need to spend X amount of time on the floor with our kids so that they are well adjusted?  Do our kids need scheduled play time with us? 

For perspective, I look back though history and how families have functioned.  I think in large part, little bitty kids were at their mother's side.  Not necessarily playing games with her, but near her, maybe playing independently on the ground, talking to her, and mother was never distracted by text messages or Facebook or a telephone call (just by washing or cooking or mending).

School age kids (or often just boys) either went to school somewhere or were tutored at home by a slave or a hired tutor.  I doubt that many mothers were spending money and time to purchase the best curriculum and spending 5-6 hours of her day teaching math to her large family.  She was most likely too busy with her household duties, with buying and selling, most of which the girls were helping her with.  

Image result for father reading to childrenI think older boys, if they weren't being formally schooled in some way, were probably with their fathers, either helping with any manual labor or watching as deals were struck and business was carried out.  As soon as they were big enough and old enough to help, they were right in the thick of it.  

Dads didn't sit in front of computer all day in offices where kids are frowned upon.  This was back when children wanted to become like their parents.  

Then, at the end of every day, there were no cartoons to babysit the kids while things got done around the house.  Parents weren't up until midnight finishing household chores or checking their twitter feed.  No one was sitting at the dinner table checking Facebook.  The end of the day would arrive and the family was together.  Maybe playing music, listening to father or mother read a book, or just everyone relaxing in their own way before going to bed.  

There weren't alarm clocks to get everyone up after their 6 hours of sleep.  People more often woke up on their own when the morning came.  

For Judeo-Christian history, families always had a least one day of the week to just be together.  To worship as a family and then relax, maybe playing games or just enjoying each other.  They didn't have to schedule family times or save up for months, or even years, to go on family vacations.  Depending on  the time/culture, a trip to visit extended family was vacation!  

All that is very nostalgic, right? So...what can I learn from history?  I'm certainly glad that I'm living when and where I'm living.  I'm glad that dysentery and polio won't kill or cripple my children.  I'm thankful for conveniences and more time to do things other than housework (like volunteer at the orphanage) and I LOVE being my children's school teacher.  At this point, I don't like my other options for schooling, anyway.  

But are all of the things that we've lost unavoidable? Can we get any of that back with easy changes or even just by being intentional? 

Generally, we can start by getting off the phones/laptops/tablets.  Getting off of Facebook and twitter and instagram.  We can start by turning off the TV.  We can share music together and books together.  

We can invite our kids to participate in the few chores that we do, like mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, growing a little garden, sewing, mending, cooking dinner, washing the dishes, folding laundry.  I don't mean just getting the kids a chore chart, but a "come and sit with me and help me fold these towels."  

Maybe we figure out how to apply the Sabbath (or the Lord's Day) where we unplug and just be together without an agenda or a to-do list, and without having to be entertained. 

Is this all unrealistic or too old-fashioned?  Is it unnecessary?

After pondering this and discussing it with Brandon, we have decided to make a few small but intentional changes:
1. We are going to try to bring the children (probably one at a time) with us when we run errands, to have them participate in the process.  Like teaching them about filling out the deposit slip at the bank, or the process of putting gas in the car.  
2. Personally, I am going to unplug more.  I'm going to (for the most part) get off of facebook, pinterest, and netflix.  Those things don't add value to my day, and they use up time, which right now is my most valuable resource.
3. We are going to nix the movies for FFN (family fun night) and do other things instead like building forts, reading chapter books aloud, and having game night.  
4. We are going to focus on unplugging and being together on Sunday afternoons.  Not each of us doing our own thing.

So, what is working with your family and what isn't?  Are you up for any changes?  Share your thoughts with us!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Politics of Adoption

I want to tell you about how some of my faith has been restored.  Maybe it will restore some of yours as well. I'm not talking about faith in the Almighty.  That faith hasn't needed to be restored.  He has kept me and will continue to keep me.  I'm talking about faith in the US government, and in the way this process, this representative democracy, works.

I hated politics.  I really hated the idea of politicians.  I didn't want to hear about republicans or democrats, or any of that.  I didn't see the US government as anything but people wanting more and more power.  But then something happened.

For much of our adoption, I felt that the US government made adopting internationally more difficult, not easier.  I was frustrated at how long things took, how little information they would give us, and when the suspension on exit letters hit, how little they seemed willing to help us.  I was very disillusioned!  What I'd pictured in my head of how it should be, just wasn't panning out.  I felt foolish for ever feeling like the US "had my back" so to speak.

And then something changed.  In all that feeling helpless, I was invited by other adoptive moms to join a conference call with Kelly Dempsey, from Both Ends Burning (BEB).  (Click on the link to find out all about them...they are amazing!) What followed is truly remarkable.

BEB asked us to reach out to all members of congress, letting them know about the exit letter suspension.
  We did it. 

We called, and e-mailed, and many of you called, and e-mailed.

Then BEB organized a petition asking members of Congress to get involved in the lifting of the suspension.  In a  matter of days, we had over 100,000 letters sent to our legislative branch!  Letters that you help send.
You did it.

And you know the amazing part?  Congress, both the House and the Senate, responded!  With the help of BEB, they authored a bipartisan letter addressed to the President and Prime Minister of the DRC, respectfully asking them resolve this crisis, and give exit letters to children already legally adopted in DRC.  
They did it.

Then we organized a DC trip, for as many as could make it, to go and speak personally with our members of Congress, showing them our faces, our tears, speaking on behalf of the literally hundreds of children who can't speak for themselves.  And you know what?  For the most part, everyone listened to us! They looked us in the eye and heard our pleas, and many began trying to find creative solutions.  We met with the staffers from the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, and with the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  We were finally being heard.  We held a candlelight vigil on the capital lawn, and many of you lit candles all over the country in support of us.  Michelle Chin, Texas Sen. Cornyn's legislative assistant (one super smart, SUPER busy lady) came and stood for an hour and listened and prayed with us.  We sat in on the House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, holding photos of our children, and watched as these men and women, who's job it is to manage the laws of our great nation, voted to take House Resolution 588, on Adoptions from the DRC to the floor of the house where it later passed uncontested.  Oh, my.  

We did it.  You did it.  They did it.

Since we've been home, the Senate passed a similar resolution. Dr. Jill Biden visited the DRC and met a couple of adoptive families who were there.  BEB and key members of Congress circulated a letter to President Obama, asking him to bring this issue up with DRC President Kabila directly.  Again we called, and called, and e-mailed, and many of you called, and e-mailed, and 167 members of Congress signed this letter!  The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing about international adoptions where our very own Kelly Dempsey and others were invited to testify.  This is AMAZING!  Again,

                       We did it.  You did it.  They did it.

And then yesterday, we had a national White House Call In event, where so many people flooded the lines of the White House, leaving message after message, asking President Obama to take this issue on personally.  Even my own children called!  I've heard from so many of you who called.  

People, we CAN make a difference.  We have been making a difference.  We will make a difference.  I have never been more proud to be an American.  Our Representatives and Senators have heard from us, and they are actually representing us!  They are taking on the Department of State for us! (This is where the US side of the problem has been.)  They are listening to us!  This is how it is supposed to work! Watching the men and women of the United States Congress at work, seeing them take on the issues of their constituents, and making it their own, has restored my faith.  My faith that the giant, beastly, powerful government of the United States of America, completely entrenched in red tape, works.  It actually works.  And it works because of the people who are there on the Hill, the representatives, the senators, the staffers, all of them.  And they will continue to work!  And we will, also.  And, Lord willing, so will you!

All of us, we will get it done.

Note: since Congress got involved, 19 American children have come home.  this isn't enough, and we must keep fighting, but that is 19 children who are now safe in their parents' arms.  We praise God for those lives.  Also, although all of us have been working so hard, it is God in Heaven who is going to solve this.  Thankfully, He often uses our efforts and the efforts of those in power, such as our Congress.  So above all, we appeal to the true Ruler of the Universe!  

Oh, and click on all those links for some awesome info!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Adopting Faith and Facing Giants

Oh, my.  We really need some faith.

All of us live and work by faith to some degree.  We stop at red lights and then go when it turns green, because we have a measure of faith that the other traffic will stop.  When a police car flashes the blue and red lights behind us, we pull over, because we have a measure of faith that the police officer is indeed a good guy, and won't hurt us.  But this is natural faith.  In this adoption process, that natural faith is simply not enough.  God is calling me to a supernatural faith.

Our pastor preached on this last Sunday and I wanted to process it more and share it with you.  When it was time for the Israelites to enter the promised land (the first time), Moses and all the people were standing on a high place, overlooking the land.  (See Deuteronomy 1:19-21).  They looked out and Moses said that this is the land "which the Lord our God is giving us....Go up and take possession of it."

Lets be clear on something.  The command to go and take possession of the land meant, "go and fight and take the land from the people who are there."  God was going to empower them, fight for them, do the heavy lifting so to speak, but they still had their job to do.  They had to go, walking in faith.

At the end of that passage, Moses says "Do not be afraid or discouraged."  Why would he need to say that?  Because what was in front of them could strike fear and discouragement  in their hearts.  If they didn't have faith.

Then, all the people wanted to go and scout out the land before they went into it.  That seemed like a good idea to Moses (v.23).  I mean, who wouldn't want to get a good look at what the future entails.  Who wouldn't want to see which hills they would have to climb, or which river they would have to cross?   But, what happened?  Even though they saw the "good land" in verse 25, the people, based on apparent circumstances (giant men, fortified cities, etc) became afraid.  They refused to walk in faith.

After all the miracles they had seen, after the plagues, the sparing of their firstborn, the parting of the sea, the destruction of Pharaoh's army...verse 32 of chapter 1 says "But in spite of this you did not trust the Lord your God."  Side note: more information does not always have a positive affect on our faith.

We are at this point in our adoption journey.  We are looking out over where we are supposed to go, and we see giants and fortifications.  Governments and laws and men who refuse to help and sickness for our son. We see no natural way that this is going to happen.  And we have seen the miracles that God has done to bring us to this point.  We are at a crossroads...we will choose faith, or will we choose fear?

Moses chose faith, the Israelites chose fear.  And then, when they saw the consequences of that, they decided to fight!  The problem was, that their faith at that point wasn't in God, but in their presumption, and they went ahead in their own power and were completely defeated.  You see, faith isn't simply "going" and "doing", but it is dependence and obedience.  In trusting, not in any natural method, but in the Lord.

Hebrews 11:27 says that Moses "persevered as one who sees Him who is invisible."  Often times we want faith, but we aren't face to face with our God.  Moses chose faith because he was face to face with God.  For me to choose faith, I must trust HIM.  I trust Him because I know Him.  I know Him by learning about Him, choosing to obey Him, and experiencing His trustworthiness.  The more I am face to face with Him, the easier choosing faith becomes.  In Moses's mind, the land was already theirs!  God had already given it to them!

Joseph is already ours.  The Lord has already given him to us.  We really don't know what is ahead.  From the little scouting that we've been able to do, things look pretty scary.  Pretty impossible.  But God is saying to us "don't be afraid or discouraged!"  And we must choose to put our faith, not in some natural method to get our son home, but in God!

With all the news coming from the Department of States, from the embassy, from people on the ground in the DRC, from the adoption agency, it is very easy to be blown all over the place.  One minute ecstatic and hopeful, one minute in total despair.  But our feet are firmly planted.  We are firmly planted by faith.  We will not doubt.  We will not be blown around.  Because our God is a firm foundation!  And HE will NOT be moved!

Our faith is in a sovereign God, not in the outcome.

If you've read this far, it would be worth it to read a little further.  Here is a quote from a book called Trusting God by Jerry Bridges:  "We can learn God's will for our character intellectually through reading and studying the Scriptures - and we should do that.  That is where change begins as our minds are  renewed.  But real change - down in the depth of our souls - is produced as the tenets of Scripture are worked out in real life.  This usually involves adversity.  We may admire and even desire the character trait of patience, but we will never learn patience until we have been treated unjustly and learn experientially to "suffer long" (the meaning of patience) the one who treats us unjustly."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Hate Toys...So I Did Something Drastic

Ok, I really don't hate toys.  I actually like toys a whole lot!  I like the idea of my kids having cool stuff and getting to play with neat things.  I hate cleaning up toys.  I've actually blogged about this before, because toys and the small parts and the things all over the place drive me crazy.

During our boot camp, I noticed that cleaning up large messes is hard for children.  Obvious, right?  But seriously, when there are a lot of toys, there is a large mess.  At least in my house.  EVERY time a kid comes to my house to play, all the toys get dumped out, a couple get played with, and we have to either battle with our kids for a couple of hours to get it all cleaned up, or I end up taking 40 minutes of my time to clean it up myself.

And then I did something drastic:  I read a blog.

And then I did something else drastic.  I took almost all of my children's toys out of their rooms.

First, let me show you the pile of things that we took out.  I am going to show it to you from a couple of different angles so you get a really good idea of how much my children had stored away in closets, under beds, in boxes, on shelves.

 This is really sickening for me.  No wonder my kids act spoiled!  No wonder they have a hard time cleaning up!  I would, too, if I had all that stuff to deal with!  This is a problem 8 years and 3 children in the making.  We are not crazy toy buyers!  We pretty much limit toys to birthdays and Christmas, and Brandon and I usually only get them a few things!  And then there are birthday parties, and grandparents.  (Thank you, Grandparents, for always thinking of my kids and being so generous with them!  I'm not complaining!)

There is a train table under there which
gives the pile some height.  


But, enough of all that stuff.  Its depressing.  The good news is that my kids are TOTALLY ok with how we have changed things up!  Let me tell you what we told them:  We are taking things out of their rooms so that they have an easier time cleaning up.   That's it.  They were all for it.  They helped me!

So, I took some after photos today after we had some dear friends (with children) over last night.  This is messy for them, now.  I did not clean up their rooms before I took these photos.  Basically, since we did this on Saturday morning, cleaning up their rooms has been a total breeze!  Plus, my kids played for like 4 hours with their friends in their rooms with the few toys that we left, and they were FINE!  And they were creative!  And didn't make a ginormous mess!

So here are the after photos:

Sorry this is blurry...but you get the idea
Look at that HUGE mess!  hehe
Beds were made, but then there was a nap.
What am I going to do with all of this stuff?  This week I am going to work, sorting it into piles of things to keep (in boxes high on shelves for the kids to request to play with), things that the kids agree to sell, and things that the kids agree to give away.  The money that they make selling their toys will be their money, so I'm hoping that motivates them to get rid of things that might otherwise keep.

The next problem is this: How are we going to keep this from happening again?  Well, we are making a no toy gift policy.  We are explaining this to the grandparents.  For birthdays, Christmas, etc, they can either receive money, or excursions, or events, but not toys. Any toys they themselves plan for and buy, are the only ones I want.  And I hope to keep a "one in, one out" process going.

Our weekly mission (an extension of our Boot Camp) is to keep a focus on our morning routine: Get up, make bed, get dressed, pick up the floor.  They have been doing it for the most part, but I am still having to remind.  That will stop this week.  :)

The only thing left to write is that I am super excited about this step in our little journey.  I wanted to post more details about the results of the Scott Family Responsible Child Boot Camp, but I thought this was more pressing.  I'll get to that, I'm sure.

By the way, if you want to receive the blogs I write in your e-mail, just use the little "Subscribe via e-mail" box on the right.  I won't spam you, I promise!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Scott Family Responsible Child Boot Camp: Day 5

We are almost finished with our boot camp.  This doesn't mean that we are finished training.  It means that next week we will start normal school, and we will lessen our training to a weekly goal.  This week wasn't at all what I expected, but we have seen some incredible results.  I will post more on that tomorrow.

Today, we have LittleK with us all day.  LittleK normally goes to preschool (in order to learn Spanish) 3 mornings a week to a WONDERFUL Montessori school where he washes his own dishes, cuts tomatoes with a real knife, and a host of other things.  So he has missed out on a lot of the training that we have done.  So, today I will be using the older children to help me train him.  I think that will be very effective, as that little guy sometimes listens better to his siblings than to me!

We did NOT play the Quiet Game as much as I wanted, so the big kids can only sit still for 5 minutes (at least as far as we've tested) and LittleK needs WAY more practice with that, so today, we will being doing that.

Code Word Calling has been SUPER effective, but the problem is that I sometimes forget to use the code word.  I need as much practice with that as the kids to.  So, we will set up several artificial Code Word Callings, so that they can practice stopping whatever they are doing to come right away.  I sort of feel dorky yelling "CHEETAH" off the balcony at my children, but then again, they really respond well to it, so who cares.  Plus, I don't have much of a voice because of this cold.

Meal times are going much better with manners (at least with the older two), but I don't think practicing outside of meal times will help much, so we are just going to be super on them when we sit down to eat.

I never made it outside yesterday to practice speaking with adults because I took a nap instead (we're going to blame it on the cold), but we had a dinner guest last night and the kids did really well.  After that, I know we need to work on the Interrupting Game A LOT, but not just with hand signals, also with just practicing listening.  I  have never met a child who NEVER interrupts, so I think this is a long term goal.

A comment on an earlier post this week talked about a little script that this particular family uses to remind of obedience (that isn't nagging) and I love it!  We have done something similar in the past, but this one is longer, and I tried it yesterday and it seems to give the kid some time to think through his response.  We changed it up a tiny bit to fit us, but basically it goes like this:

When a child isn't obeying, or is complaining, or ignoring, etc)

Me: What is obeying?
Kid: Doing what you say, when you say it, with a respectful attitude.

Me: When do we obey?
Kid: First time.

Me: How do we obey?
Kid: Without complaint

Me: What do choices have?
Kid: Consequences

Me: What do good choices have?
Kid: Good consequences

(and I've been leaving it at that, even though I taught them "What do bad choices have?"  "Bad consequences", but I am assuming that they will make a good choice, which goes a long way toward how they will act!)

Anyway, we are going to be adding this, as it also calms me down when I start getting frustrated with disobedience.  I have a script which we have taught in advance.

Let me say this: We do not believe that children should be controlled by their parents.  We have come to this after a lot of trial and error with our kids, a lot of reading books, being instructed by other parents, and by taking parenting classes.  We are not "obey simply because I said so" people for the most part.  We do believe in choices and consequences and discipline, but not in an authoritarian sense. Hence the training.  We are doing this to create habits and associations.  We've only been doing this parenting thing for 8 years, so we have a lot to learn, but in those 8 years we've learned that, at least with a couple of our kids, expecting immediate obedience with no dissent at all times followed by a harsh discipline (spanking, solitary confinement, etc) doesn't work all that well.  And the goal isn't to have perfectly little obedient children.  The goal is to have self controlled, wise, Jesus loving, understanding adults. This is contrary to much of the Christian parenting we've observed/been taught, but with our "method" if you can call it that, we feel like we are teaching our children to understand how to offer dissent respectfully, how to reason through actions, how to create habits, and how to treat real authority.  Please know that I am NOT claiming to be an expert, and we are probably doing something "wrong,"  but God's grace is bigger than our parenting mistakes!  Haha!

And one thing I've learned over the last 8 years: There is no one right way to raise children.  I know wonderful adults who were spanked, wonderful adults who were not.  I know wonderful adults who's parents used time outs, and ones who's parents wouldn't dream of isolating their children.  What I've learned is that discipline is love and that the Word of God offers little in terms of methodology, and a ton in terms of motivation.  :)  So, walk in grace, parents, and love your children well!  And know that the Father and Creator of the Universe is with you, guiding you and giving all wisdom!  

And "wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical."  James 3:17

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Scott Family Responsible Child Boot Camp: Day 4

Yesterday was MUCH better!  I have discovered something about myself during this. I am a little lazy!  I never would have said that about myself before.  I mean, I can ALWAYS act lazy at any given time, but I've always considered myself a very hard worker.  But, I'm sort of having a hard time sticking to the plan everyday, because, well, I'm a little lazy.  That, and a little bored.  Plus, LittleK is in preschool in the mornings, and he needs the training more than anyone, and he's missing most of it.  I'm going to have to remedy that.

Here are some specifics: So yesterday we did the Messy Scavenger hunt.  That went super well, and we talked about how easy it is to get a job done when we just focus and work hard for a short time.  I gave them a blow pop at the end.  Then, a little bit later I asked them to pick up a mess, and GirlM asked for a blow pop as a reward!  Backfire!  Augh!   This is why I generally don't like rewards for expected behavior.

Then, there was a small mess last night that I asked BoyD to clean up, and I could tell he really had no plan to do it, so I asked, "Do you think you've had enough training to get this done, or do we need to do some more?"  He just nodded and immediately went to work.  This is MAJOR improvement!

We had some friends stop by yesterday to take BoyD to baseball, and he had the opportunity to greet the man.  His first reaction was to be shy and walk away and ignore, but when prompted, he turned around, looked the man in the eye, and gave some mumbled response because he wasn't sure what to say.  He then came into the kitchen and asked "What would have been a good thing to say?"  That tells me he is trying, and that we need more practice with all that.

So, here is today's plan of action. I'm REALLY going to try hard to stick to it:
This morning before LittleK goes to school: Code Word Calling, and "TIME TO GO" 
Breakfasts are difficult when he goes to school, so I'm gonna do my best to enforce bottoms in chairs, napkins in laps, etc.  If it doesn't really go well, then we will practice when I get home from taking the little one.

I've discovered another problem that we have, and that is coming in the house after we've been gone.  The children tend to scatter to the far ends of the house and we end up hollering a lot to get everyone back together.  So, at least with the older kids, we are going to practice like 10 times, getting out of the car, and following some set of instructions when they get in the house.  "Walk straight in and wash hands and sit at the table."  "Walk straight in and sit on the couch."  "Walk straight in and head upstairs to your bedrooms."  

We are going to play the Quiet Game for 6, 7, 8 minutes (we're a little behind on that one)

Around lunch time, we're going to walk around the block and visit a couple of friends and practice greeting and speaking with adults.

We need to have another Messy Scavenger with LittleK around, as well as several rounds of the Interrupting game.  My littlest one has a REALLY hard time waiting if he wants to talk to me or ask me a question.  I think practicing when he isn't dying to tell me something, might help give him some tools to keep him from getting so frustrated.

I've pinpointed some of the reasons that I've struggled with this training in the past.  When I am totally "there" and involved with the kids, there with body, mind, spirit, focused on them, it works better (seems obvious, right), but if I'm distracted, talking on the phone, answering an e-mail, visiting with a friend, trying to clean my room, ANYTHING that has my attention, they kids feel like they don't have to obey.  They aren't motivated to do what we've practiced.  They know I'm not going to notice immediately if they get distracted or just ignore me.  I'm not sure how to remedy this.  Any thoughts on this are welcome.

Ok, to see descriptions of each of the games that we are playing, see the post from Day 1.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scott Family Responsible Child Boot Camp: Day 3

Yesterday, the Scott Family Responsible Child Boot Camp was more like a torture camp.

It was a disaster.  I mean, we did very little of the fun, sweet, cute games that I had planned, and I did a lot of getting frustrated and yelling.  So, I get the bad mom award for the day!  I ended up trying to get some "work" done around the house.  For some closure for me, I wanted to get the crib out of the boys' room, seeing as BabyJ won't be coming home to us until he is over 2.  That was probably too emotional of a chore for me to do. Also, we are having a bazaar at church to raise money to put in a nursery, and we are supposed to take stuff to donate for them to sell.  I thought, for boot camp, I'll just put the kids to work helping me sort though stuff, etc!  Bad idea number two.  The kids were WAY more interested in playing with the stuff that I was trying to get rid of.   By the time the afternoon rolled around, I was irritated, and the kids were, too.  BoyD had to rehang up his pants on hangers like 4 times because he would just stop working and sit there and stare into space.  So, I would take all the pants he had hung up so far and take them back off, saying he needed practice.  Boy, the games from Day 1 worked so much better.

But, God is so gracious and His mercies are new every morning and I get to start over today! I got to tie some strings with my kiddos last night and apologize for yelling at my daughter when she kept trying to pack "goodie" bags with (what I consider) trash for street children.  I kept telling her that we don't know any street children, and even if we did, they wouldn't want old wipes and chewed up toys in an old bottle carrier!  Oh, the shame.  Now, let me say that even though her heart is SUPER big and she was trying super hard to be thoughtful, I had told her to throw that stuff away!  Ok...I digress.  There is no excuse for ever yelling at my kids...unless they are about to run in front of a car or something...but that wasn't what was going on.  Oh, how I wish I was that mother that never yelled at her kids.  Is there such a mother?  Maybe I don't want to know.

Anyway, to get back on task, I am sticking with the plan today.  We are going back to Day 1.  I am adding in a lesson on how to put books on a bookshelf.  We are going to be practicing that.

I only had to remind one kid one time to hang up a towel, and one other kid to flush.  After each offense, we just sang our song and practiced some more.  When I am focused on the training the kids do so much better.  If I get distracted and start doing something else, they are off as well and it is hard to bring them back.

So, LittleK is feeling better, and I'm just tired, but today is full of the Lords favor and blessing and presence.  I am going to walk in that!  Have a great day!