this helped my children stop complaining.

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It’s the sigh I hate most.

I don’t know why it always grabs me the wrong way, making my tongue want to leap out of my mouth like a snake–

When they complain.

It’s the fastest ticket to this mommas nerves. I don’t know why. Sometimes I think it’s because I have a go-getter attitude, “get it all done yesterday” =) Or perhaps because I’m an adult and I see a need and meet it.

However, as sure as the sun is rising this morning my little heart whispers to me, yet again:

“It’s your flesh”

Ah, yes. That sneaky ‘ol thing again– trying to ruin the sweet fellowship between me and my kiddos.

Sometimes it’s a quick trip to the table for sentences. Right now, it’s the complaining jar.

As soon as that sigh or words of complaint come from those sweet lips of theirs– my tongue doesn’t have to whip out like a snake, I have a plan.

A solution.

I think as a parent, most of my frustrations, doubts, and sleepless nights come from having no plan– no solution. So then, I am left to worry and parent out of fear, rather than love. Fear of what consequences they will face as a result of their choices. Such as, complaining when someone askes for their help.

Now, I know your children don’t struggle with this, they do twirls and sing hymns while they gladly help with everything you ask.  And my kids do that too– when we’re on our way to get ice-cream 😉

For when we are at home and I’ve asked maybe one too many things– when they give me the sigh, (my littles mostly) I simply reply:

“Oh, you just complained, I’m sorry– you have to go to the complaining jar.”

And then this little momma has to follow through with the consequences =(

 

But when they choose Grace–oh happy day!

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One day, it will all be just a memory.

Breathe deep today, mommas. Remember, they’re all here now.

And they’re watching you. =)

Holding my tongue daily,

Kati

Have you heard how to trick your kids into love? Oh yes! It works too!


 

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.

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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.

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

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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

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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

sometimes dreams just don’t come true.

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I wrote this story a few years back after a trip to town with my littles. Today, while a repair man was here at the house– he overheard the lesson I was teaching the kids during homeschooling. Each day, I give the kids a “quote to ponder”;  the quote to ponder today was:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

The repair man, in the other room, calls out “Amen to that! I’m in the middle of that lesson right now.”

His remark reminded me of this story- May it be an encouragement to you today as you chase those great big dreams of yours.

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We’ve always liked to pack up and head somewhere “special” to learn little things– create a memory.

In Missouri, it was books and cookies at the library coffee shop {yes, it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g} sometimes, it was books and donuts early in the morning at the local donut shop. Then of course, there’s always the park.

I think school at the park is Chapter One in The “Typical Homeschool Trends” handbook; along with baby carriers and long skirts, ha!  (That book doesn’t really exist)  🙂

Typical or not, it’s what we do.  Sometimes it’s history, sometimes is devotion, sometimes it’s just a silly book that makes us all laugh loud and heads turn. This week, it was The Tale of Three Trees.

It starts with loading cups into bags and books into hands. Yes, always take your own cup, refills are around 59cents compared to $1.40 for a drink in their plain ‘ol not special at all  their cup.  We’re mug people around here, everyone has their favorite.

Then we head out. No big deal right?

Today, I walked into our towns little grocery store with no kiddos, a rare thing indeed (ooh, maybe Daniel is my secret servant this week?) I was all alone, in my own little world, price comparing and trying to get the best deal on chicken.

Greeting the clerk a friendly, “Hi how are you today”, then moving my stare past her onto my items,  watching those sought after good deals move across the scanner, wondering if the clerk would see the $2 off instant coupon on my smart chicken… the check out girl, a senior in high school, says to me–

“I saw you the other day, are those your kids?”

Totally confused, I ask “You saw me? Where?”

“At the store, reading to your kids.”

“Oh, yeah” I reply,  “Those are my kids. Wait, Unless they were bad then they aren’t mine” I said, with a silly smile.

She continues, “Yeah, I heard you reading to them.” 

Sliding my chicken across the scanner, removing my coupon, she goes on to tell me how she heard me asking the kids what their dreams were for when they were grown and she listened as Judah told me he wanted to be an NBA Player. Continuing to listen, she heard me bring it back to the book, where the three trees had big dreams but God used them to fulfill those dreams in His way, not looking exactly the way they had planned.

She says, “I heard you ask him,

What if God has a different plan for you?”

Then she heard his reply,

“Oh, he would never do that to me, it’s my dream and he’s given me the skills to do it.” 

Telling me my total and reaching her hand out for the money, her eyes tear up and she turns her elbow towards me to see her scar.

“That was my dream too and it seemed so reachable, until I fell and broke my arm just this year before my senior year of high school. I can’t play like I use to and now no schools will choose me.”

She smiles real big, tears still welling and says,

“I don’t know why it wasn’t His plan but I know somehow, it’s all going to be used to give Him glory–  I know he has a plan.”
 

Slipping into my van, chicken loaded carefully in the trunk, I see the book there on my dash. I walk back in and say, “I still had the book, why don’t you read it.” 

She smiles that real big Jesus smile and says–

“Oh wow, thanks!”  

For everything there is a season,
      a time for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

Oh, NBA seems like a big unreachable dream, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve had dreams both big and small that never happened. Hopes, dreams, goals, and wonders that at this time in my life, God just didn’t answer.

No matter the size of your dream- it’s yours. And if it doesn’t happen– it hurts.

My prayer for us is this: May we find grace and give glory in each season, my friend. May we live today with the crazy peace and comfort that only our great big God can give.

May you find comfort today in knowing- God’s really big and He’s got this.


May Mercy, Peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2

Dreaming Big, 

Kati

 

yeah… if there’s 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.

Whatever you do- don’t ever homeschool.

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“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.

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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.

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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?

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

Caution, it’s a goofy post today.

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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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

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

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But often times? Often times we find…

Life. Happens.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!)

how to trick your kids into love

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There’s this little thing we do.

and it’s kind of a secret ; )

It all starts around the table. That place we gather most. Sometimes it’s over piles of pancakes before the day begins; other times it’s after a day full of hard work and heaping potatoes. In our home, we like to refer to it as, Secret Servant.

We all get to pick someone to serve, but it’s all a big, fun secret.

Daddy writes individual names on the back of post it notes and sticks them on the wall in the hallway. One by one, we leave the table, walk into the hall, and walk back with a sly smile on our face… Judah always has the biggest smile. =)

You dare not tell who you’re serving and you try real hard to catch who are serving you throughout the week. Last week, our oldest, Alli whose 12 admits:

“I like to serve everyone here and there,
making sure they see me;
just to throw them off.”

At the end of the week, we gather again guessing who might have served us and then the truth comes out.

“i.served.triston”

“i.served.mom.”

“i.served.jordan.”

… and the list goes on.

The little ones usually put away shoes from the front door, that’s a simple job for them. So, If your shoes have mysteriously found a way to tip toe into your closet,  Judah or Emmyn probably have your name. If your laundry was washed and put away– or the house vacuumed for no reason; Alli or Jordan probably have your name. If the kids were put to bed while you sat a little longer to read a book, that man of yours probably has your name.

; )

They’re looking for ways to serve.

And.it’s.working. 

So, I breathe deep and smile little sly smiles when I come out of the hallway each week.

…OK, and I do a little happy dance, too… he, he.

Big or small, large or tall- any family can gently learn the heart of service. All in fun.Image

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa

Tricking those kids into love daily,  ; )

Kati.–