A winning way to reward kids this summer (and always)

20140606-170322-61402813.jpg
Standard

Everyone likes to be noticed.

Especially kids.

Especially when they do something right.

20140606-165240-60760753.jpg20140606-165240-60760208.jpg

20140606-165240-60760931.jpg

20140606-165241-60761117.jpg

20140606-165240-60760576.jpg

20140606-165240-60760401.jpg

Each day, the kids do checklists. Checklists keep this momma sane.

When they finish their checklist- they get tickets. Finish first? You get the most tickets. Finish last? You get the last, lonely ticket.

If I catch them loving – I notice.

“Judah, that was very kind… go get a ticket.”

If I see they picked something up in the yard or off the floor– just to be a help.

I notice.

You get the picture.

We never, ever take tickets away.

We draw a winner each Sunday afternoon.

There is a grand prize winner box and then the five remaining children have numbers drawn and get to choose from the runner up prize box.

The grand prize winner throws all of that weeks tickets away and we start new on Monday.

It’s fantastic.

You know what? (you’re fantastic too!)

Loves,

Kati

PS: A special thanks to all of you who have contacted me about my dad and his fight for life as mentioned in this post. Strangers and friends alike, you have blessed my life by your sweet words and prayers. He is still fighting.

Slow down, your kids are watching. A 13 year old’s view of a busy mom.

20140528-073031-27031920.jpg
Standard

A few months back, I was drowning.

There I was. A wife to one, mom to six. Between homeschooling, work, several different kid activities a husband in full time school–I felt the world closing in around me.

I never knew she was watching.

At the peak of my despair (can we call it that?) I felt the lord gently telling me [well, actually more like, scream at me] “Let it all go, live simple, love big and sit more.”

So, I did it. We stopped swim-team, stopped packing the days full of activities, I made a better shopping schedule — to keep from spending all week in the car running back and forth to the store; and we even sold the puppy.

I started sitting more. I started saying no. I looked at my phone less. I stepped away from social media. I stopped trying to be everyone’s savior.

A few weeks after this change had become the new “me”, my Alli, just a teenager read me a poem she just so happened to have laid on her heard during the night.


Slow Down, Your Kids Are Watching

Why is life so busy?
People to see, places to go,
Someone to call, to text.
Gotta update my Facebook status,
I should Tweet  that.
Why are my kids always
Asking for food?!
Homework, bills,
Deposits, withdrawals,
My boss is mad again.
She just had a baby,
What should I cook for her?
I need to get them a wedding gift and
Wish them a happy honeymoon!
Happy Birthday to you,
Here’s a card.
Sorry about my handwriting,
I was in a hurry.
My husband and his job,
He’s never home anymore.
Prom, seriously?
Time to mow again,
Should probably water my garden
it’s close to dying.
My glasses broke,
She needs braces?!?!
Summer’s almost over,
School starts soon… school supplies.
New shoes! Guess it’s time.
I need groceries!
Soccer, football, basketball practice.
Doctor’s appointments on Monday.
Please feed your fish.
When does church end again?
The crock pot beans should be done soon
I have an email to send before three.
Library visit, okay!
Almost out of gas.
Sick? Wash your hands!
Go take a shower now.
Did you brush you teeth?
Are you ok?
Get well soon!
Remember the old days when life wasn’t as crazy as this?

~Alli Gibson

20140528-073033-27033877.jpg 20140528-073035-27035858.jpg 20140528-073032-27032995.jpg

Wow. Only God knew she saw my good intentions as just another stressed out momma.

A good little reminder maybe? A reminder to live simple, love big and sit more. We only have this life, and they are watching.

From one busy momma to another,

Kati

Fellowship with daughters: the very best thing I do with my girls.

IMG_1619
Standard

Remember when you were young and passed notes to your best girlfriends?

I do that with my girls. =)

Those girls of mine, all crazy four of them– they need love. They all need loved in different ways too, and that can be tricky.

I have one who speaks the least but feels the most. She loves words like me. We talk about everything from Jesus to dresses. Another of mine, she’s one for attention– she always wants to know when we’re going somewhere again. Then there’s this one who is new to the whole mom thing and she’s just happy to write. Then Emmyn, my littlest, little? Well, she makes pretty drawings. =)

In order to keep up with all of their girly goodness, we have momma journals. Each one have a decorated journal that is between just she and I. When they feel they need to talk, they pass the journal my way.

Sometimes, it’s on the stand next to my bed– other times, it’s lying on my desk. I’ve even found it next to the kitchen sink.

A cutie-pie picture from when my little Jordi pie started her journal a few years back?

It’s a place where we can be total cheese heads, encourage each other, love each other with our words, and it’s all right there, in the book– a book we can keep forever.

{ ok, ok, and it helps with handwriting practice ; ) }

Simple & silly love, today and always~

Kati 

***********

Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

photo


Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that. 

It’s monday, again. And things aren’t going so great.

photo 5
Standard

The baby didn’t sleep and the toilet didn’t work. The friend didn’t call and the raise didn’t come. The car didn’t start and the bills didn’t get paid. The church didn’t work out and the kids fought all day. The school work didn’t get planned, the lunches didn’t get made.

The weather wasn’t agreeable, the grocery store- too full. The oil didn’t get changed and the trees didn’t get planted. The sun didn’t shine on winters chill and the toys are still strewn all over the yard. The mother didn’t care and the son didn’t call. The little one felt hot to the touch and you don’t feel so good. The chemo didn’t work, the big break didn’t come, the prayer wasn’t answered.

The laundry’s still waiting and it wasn’t even your day to put it all away.

The letter didn’t get written, the book didn’t get read. The cake wasn’t baked and the memory wasn’t made. The grocery list was never started and the coupons never clipped. The jog never happened and the cupcake tasted so good. The husband didn’t say sorry; in fact he didn’t even care.

But you know what? The Father, yeah that one they call King, Savior, Adonai? The I Am, the Alpha the Omega the one who touched the dirty and loved the crippled? He saw it all. He sees it all.

And He is always there.

photo 2

Of this I am reminded once again~

It isn’t what happens to me that defines who I am — it is how I react to it that determines whose I am.


Hebrews 12: 1-2 NLT “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne…

[... watching you, smiling at you, finding joy in you sweet friend.]

Monday, Tuesday- whatever day. May your heart be full of faith as you conquer the darkness that tries to capture the joy from our days. May your mind be focused on the I Am because we know we cannot conquer this day without the One who created it. May you lean solely on The One and Only. May the creator of the universe, the painter of the sky; the designer of the honey bee and the intricate flower it draws its strength from- may THIS God be ever evident in your day as you trust in him. As the honey bee must have the beautiful flower to begin it’s journey to honey- may you start your everything by the strength of our father.

Loves,

Kati 

Whatever you do- don’t ever homeschool.

20140115-093039.jpg
Standard

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die is a process of learning.”  J Krishnamurti

disclaimer:  please, just continue on your happy way today if you are one to be sensitive to a certain type of school- be it homeschool, unschool, public school, any type of school– as I do not intend to offend ; )

I only intend to take one, maybe two of you? on a tip-toe journey through a crazy thing called:

this.right here… this girl. THIS homeschool mommas real “live”  life.

20140115-092701.jpg

Here i am. Standing amongst all things we call, in our home, opportunities of learning- strewn out all over once again as I tackle a school room move.

20140115-092722.jpg

Yup, there it is- all behind me, around me, and almost on top of me and I am wondering, for the one millionth time… why did I decide to move the school room again and where in the world am I going to put all of this stuff?

20140115-092733.jpg

oh my goodenss… HA!! hilarious. ( i know)

Caution, it’s a goofy post today.

20140115-092743.jpg

It’s a crazy life here because there are lego creations all around.

20140115-092757.jpg

And my two little boys? Well, they aren’t your typical “classical homeschool boys” who like only Swiss Family Robinson, stories of Civil War, and knights of old. They also take to ‘the liberal likings’ of Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

20140115-092811.jpg

Because there are years, upon years, upon years of old school work I just can’t bring myself to part with and every time someone says to me, “So… what do you guys actually do all day?” I want to say: “Come sit with me over coffee and conversation for several weeks and we’ll pour over old studies of birds, creation, elements and body parts. Come read the stories we’ve written. Please, come and listen to my stores of tears shed over multiplication facts and hard division- heck, even two plus two on some days.”

20140115-092822.jpg

Because we don’t really take art in a fashionable way. We just sit with our granny, listen to her stories of girlhood, and paint along side her and somehow? Somehow we learn how to paint by just sitting with her.

20140115-092836.jpg

You see, we have books upon books that occupy our shelves.

20140115-092847.jpg

And lessons upon lessons just waiting for us to get to.

20140115-092902.jpg

But often times? Often times we find…

Life. Happens.

20140115-092913.jpg

And while life is happening and we are learning- those kids of mine grow bigger than weeds.

So when she says to me “I think I want to be a doctor, mom. I want to learn medicine and the healing power of Gods design for the body and take it to another world.”

I start to break a sweat and think, How in the world am I ever going to prepare her for that? Because we take lego breaks, and we aren’t always in workbooks, and we cry over math, and sometimes we have to go to the grocery store during the day?

How do I live life and raise a up a doctor?

And then, of course, as I type these quick words- there are two more of my precious girls who are placing bandages on their dogs and cat in the make-believe veterinary office that has overtaken their once bedroom. One does the diagnosis, the other takes care of the animal. They take turns checking people in because their office is so busy. I hear one say- “I think it’s a thorn in her hind leg causing the pain.”

One little boy just finished language and asked me if he could start painting.

20140115-092922.jpg

Oh no, what will I have to help him become?

20140115-092933.jpg

20140115-092946.jpg

20140115-092955.jpg

20140115-093005.jpg

20140115-093016.jpg

Here’s the scoop.

I’ll finish up these words– grab a book and snuggle with my girls. We’ll pour over language lessons, history, math, and even talk about the vet office. That little man of mine will paint whatever his little imagination can put on paper. I’ll correct one, two, or all six of them at some point today.

I’ll help them all with something they’re struggling with. Maybe it will be educational, however most times it turns out to be character. I’ll struggle with patience and feeling like I’m getting it all wrong. again. Then, tonight we’ll make dinner, we’ll all work together to set the table- someone will do something rude and I’ll have to bend low and re-direct them into love a.g.a.i.n.

All the while… really, I am the one being re-directed by having to love them over and over again. I am the one learning the lesson. Then we will sit. We will sit and enjoy our meal together talking about our day.

20140115-093027.jpg

20140115-093056.jpg

20140115-093106.jpg

They’re learning.  Because love is the best form of teaching.

Take it from a momma who struggles to love through lenses of self-imposed perfection.

It works.

Love. always. works.

Sitting with them while they cry over hard math and backwards letters; all while somehow remaining calm– is working. They’re learning.

Pouring over new lessons and figuring out how to better teach that certain subject- it’s worth it. They’re learning.

Helping their words be kind, reaction come slow, and ears be open big- it’s worth it. They’re learning.

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.” John Holt

And so am I– right there along side of them.

My method? never homeschool. Just live. love. and laugh realllly big every day.

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Crazy & always learning, (hard lessons!)

Loves this day and always,
~Kati

no tobacco was used in the production of this post.    (HA!)