Friday, October 31, 2008
MY...how they've grown!
My little tootsie roll isn't a tootsie roll anymore =)
p.s. I'll be posting pictures of this years costumes later tonight!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I have made dinner every night.
Now, that's normal enough in and of itself...but, I have made "new" dinners this week. I like to cook...at least when I'm not rushing it or when there aren't 2 toddlers underfoot whining about being hungry...but I have been feeling stuck in a rut lately. Just kinda repeating the same 7-10 dinners over and over.
Anyone else get like that?
Well, I have broken out the cookbooks and my creative juices and forced myself to not make any of those same 7-10 dinners this week...and it's been a great change of pace for all of us. My favorite meal of the week was a big pot of vegetable soup with biscuits and homemade apple butter. The soup even had green beans (gasp!) in it! (For those of you that don't know me...I HATE green beans!) You know its bad when your kids ask you "what's this Mom" for a green bean =) I really need to work on that.
I'd love to hear where you get your inspirations for dinners when you get stuck!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
to make big pots of warm soup...
to add extra blankets to the beds...
to fight off static cling...
to start thinking about which side we are going to for which holiday on what day for how long...
to remember where I hid the winter coats?...
to set aside the flip-flops and pull out the socks...
to stock up on cough drops and cold medicines...
Yep, it is quickly moving past fall here...straight into winter.
All I can say is I hope we get lots of snow this year!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I even toyed with the idea of just skipping costumes altogether (I know...gasp!) but Grey Stone does a HUGE fall festival event...and, well...I admit, I don't want my kids to be the only ones there not in costume.
Now I consider myself a creative person and I love to sew...so it would seem that costumes would be no big deal for me. Negative. I hate it! I am way too cheap (ahem...frugal!) and refuse to spend money on an already made one and I just don't like thinking up costume ideas.
After procrastinating for several weeks, I finally had a breakthrough today!
My costume breakthrough consisted of :
1) Coming up with a doable idea...whew, that was a biggie!
2) Making it out to the store today and collecting everything I needed
now if only I can actually make it all come together!
Am I the only mom to feel this "costume-anxiety?"
Monday, October 27, 2008
I Timothy 6:18
"Command them (those that are rich in this present world vs. 17) to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
After reading back through all my posts, I felt the need to make sure I clarified that I am not advocating not praising your children.
Scripture is clear that we are not to "withhold good from those who deserve it" (Proverbs 3:26) and there is a time and a place to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of your child!
I certainly plan on continuing to encourage Ella and Ezra...I just want to be more aware of the impact of my words and not be lazy with just throwing out a "good job" when there might be other more effective ways of letting them know I am proud of them.
So, what can you say if your kids just do something worth recognizing?
Here are some suggestions from Alfie Kohn (author of "Five Reasons to Stop Saying Good Job):
* Say nothing.
* Say what you saw. A simple statement ("You put your shoes on by yourself" or even just "You did it") tells your child that you noticed. It also lets her take pride in what she did. In other cases, a more elaborate description may make sense. If your child draws a picture, you might provide feedback – not judgment – about what you noticed: "This mountain is huge!" "Boy, you sure used a lot of purple today!"
If a child does something caring or generous, you might gently draw his attention to the effect of his action on the other person: "Look at Abigail’s face! She seems pretty happy now that you gave her some of your snack." This is completely different from praise, where the emphasis is on how you feel about her sharing
* Talk less, ask more. Even better than descriptions are questions. Why tell him what part of his drawing impressed you when you can ask him what he likes best about it? Asking "What was the hardest part to draw?" or "How did you figure out how to make the feet the right size?" is likely to nourish his interest in drawing.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
"Good painting!" may get children to keep painting for as long as we keep watching and praising. But, warns Lilian Katz, an early childhood educator "once attention is withdrawn, many kids won’t touch the activity again." Now the point isn’t to draw, to read, to think, to create – the point is to get the goody, whether it’s an ice cream, a sticker, or a "Good job!
These actions come to be seen not as something valuable and fun in their own right but as something they had to do to get that reaction again from an adult.
Today is another story though =)
Yes, I am struggling. Maybe its because its a Saturday? Maybe its because of the rain? Maybe its because I am itching to do some Christmas shopping? Maybe its a combination of all the above =)
Just keeping it real...
On Thursday morning we heading to Hill Ridge Farms for some family togetherness that included...family, pumpkins, a hay ride, sliding down the 60 ft slide, a huge corn house, hay mazes, a picnic lunch, and Ella's 1st introduction to a port-o-potty. She told me "this is cool Mom" when we were squeezed in there =)
Friday, October 24, 2008
2) I don't want to steal their pleasure
As my children grow and become more independent, I want them to be able to take delight in their accomplishments and to feel pride in what they’ve learned how to do.
Yesterday Ella was working really hard on un-zipping a zipper on her lunch box. It was stuck and she truly was working hard on it. After struggling for a few minutes she finally got it open. I had to bite back the “good job” that was forming on my lips and instead I didn’t say anything. She looked at me and exclaimed “I did it!” I then just smiled and said, “yes you did!” and shared in her sense of accomplishment.
I cherish the occasions when my children manage to do something for the first time, or accomplish something that was hard for them, or do something better than they’ve ever done it before. I hope I can resist the urge to always knee-jerk a “good job” off…simply because I don’t want to dilute their joy. I want them to share their pleasure with me, not look to me for a verdict.
I want the “I did it” exclaimed, not the “Was that good?” asked uncertainly.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Ezra got in a fight with a yellow jacket today at the pumpkin patch...
and the yellow jacket won =(
He got stung on his lower lip, which promptly swelled up into a nice imitation of Angelina Jolie.
Thankfully we found some benadryl at a store right down the road and the swelling is on its way down to normal size.
That’s my favorite picture ever!
It was so nice of you to share with so and so!
You are such a great jumper!
As parents we can get somewhat addicted to praising our kids. Jeremiah and I jokingly laugh about how tunnel-visioned we can become in thinking our kids are the best…”That Ezra is so smart, you put food in his mouth and he eats it!” Just joking there, but I think you get the point.
When I applaud my child for things that aren't true achievements (she goes down the slide or puts her shoes on without my help), she might begin to expect praise all the time, which diminishes its meaning. I don’t want Ella and Ezra to become so dependent on my evaluations that they lose their ability to form their own judgments. Overpraising can lead them to measure their worth in terms of what will bring me to smile or dole out another accolade.
Also, if my compliments tend to be about me ("I think you did a great job") rather than about my child ("I'll bet you're proud of yourself"), I think they might start to look to me for my approval whenever they do something.
"Overpraising a child can get her hooked on success and celebration instead of being satisfied by her own accomplishment," says Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, author of Praising Boys Well and Praising Girls Well.
Mary Budd Rowe, a researcher at the University of Florida, discovered that students who were praised lavishly by their teachers were more tentative in their responses, more apt to answer in a questioning tone of voice ("Um, seven?"). They tended to back off from an idea they had proposed as soon as an adult disagreed with them. And they were less likely to persist with difficult tasks or share their ideas with other students.
In short, a knee jerk “good job” on my part doesn’t really do much to reassure or encourage my children. It might create a cycle where the more I slather on the praise, the more my children seem to need it, and so I praise them some more. Will they grow up only able to evaluate their accomplishments based on the approval or disapproval of others?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Fast forward a few years later...
As a mom of two I've replaced my backpack with a diaper bag and my textbook highlighters with washable markers...and the "good job" phrase can escape my lips on many occasions throughout the day.
And so, I recently came across another article in one of my Parents magazines that re-introduced the idea that as parents, we should be cautious with our use of "good job".
It got me thinking...and reading some more...
and I thought I would share what I have learned in a series over the next few days.
Let me preface this by stating that I in no way diminishing the need for us as parents to encourage and support our children. I am just trying to evaluate the way I sometimes go about this...and does it line up with what my kids really need or what scripture says?
I'd love to hear your opinions on this subject over the next few days...
Here are the details:
1) Memorize Hebrews 13:5 (click here to read it)
2) Not spend any money outside of gas and groceries or other absolute necessities.
We aren't doing this because we don't have any money nor do we think that there is anything wrong with enjoying the good things the Lord blesses us with. Instead, our motivation is to be more intentional in our commitment to contentment.
Or as Pastor Clay put it, we are determining to be content.
Sounds simple enough.
After all, I am a frugal-meister and Jeremiah is not too far behind me.
I certainly don't look to things for my happiness or fulfillment.
I'll be keeping up with how things are going...
Harder. Keep looking...
Yes, the letter h is missing!
Several months ago Ezra decided that it looked rather tasty...
and it just hasn't been the same ever since. To read the full story click here.
It finally bit the dust for good this week. Perhaps if it had been the letter q or z or x it wouldn't have been such a big deal...but, as I found out in this post, it is kind of an important letter!
Never fear. My wonderful fix-it husband saved the day...
Can you tell what he did?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I just finished writing in the last page of my journal this morning.
I started this one on Saturday, February 23rd of this year...
We were in the throes of selling the house,
Ezra was just a baby-baby,
and the Elevation service loomed far off in the future.
I love looking through a completed journal...
Remembering where I was at the time I wrote an entry,
Prayer requests that were on my heart,
Praises for something the Lord had worked out,
Reading of my failures and struggles,
and seeing the truths of his Word that were burrowing deeper into my heart.
I am always comforted in the tangible reminder of the Lord's faithfulness that my finished journal brings. I might have been in want, but never in need. I might have cried and despaired, but always returned to joy and thankfulness within a few days.
Now comes the excitement of writing the first entry in a new book...
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Snuggles with Gramma...
The finished products...
We were sad to see them go and HATE how far apart we live...but are so thankful for the fun times we always have when we are together!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
After looking up an ariel view of the farms property they realized that they "might" be able to get to it =)
They took off on one of the trails behind the pond about 30 minutes ago...
Will they come back triumphant explorers?
Muddy, cold, and defeated?
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Me: Yes, we are very beautiful =)
Ella: Is Ezra beautiful?
Me: Ezra is handsome!
Ella: Is Daddy medium?
And this is where I snorted my water out of my nose because I was laughing so hard =)
In grade school I remember writing out the reasons I love my mom. I'm pretty sure they were your typical 9 year old reasons...
She's a good cook
She loves me
She takes care of me
Now that I have entered into adulthood (at least some of the time!) and am a mother, the depth of my understanding and reasons for my love have changed a little bit...
Without further ado,
Some reasons Why I love my mom:
- Her love and compassion for the underdog (or ANY stray, wounded, or disadvantaged person or animal she comes in contact with).
- Her passion and fierceness in protecting the people she loves and the convictions she believes.
- Her excessive collection of buckets, bowls, baskets, or containers of any sort =)
- Her excessive collection of children needing the aforementioned love and compassion.
- Her deep down devotion to my Dad. She may want to "just shoot him" at times, but I ALWAYS knew and know of her love for him.
- Her love of reading and books which she passed (and is passing) onto her children.
- Her miraculous green thumb. I have never seen anything like it!
- Her energy and tirelessness. The woman can run circles around anyone!
- Her creativity. She could entertain any 4 year old with a string of floss for hours at end =)
- The realness of her faith and love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ - Not tied to a tradition or denomination...she is just faithfully living out that love and giving feet to her faith.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Whenever I get "into" a book I feel as if I am in a zone...
Dishes piling up in the sink? They can wait...
Laundry to switch? I'll get it after the next chapter...
I really need to go to bed...
Lunch time for the kids? They can hold off a few more minutes...
Ok, so maybe it's not that bad...but you get the point.
My latest read is Sinner by Ted Dekker
Pretty much incredible.
(His Circle Trilogy is one of my all time favorites and I highly recommend them)
I think my kids, my husband, and my to do list will be glad when I finish this one and they get me back =)
8months passed, 9 months passed, 10 months passed, 11 months passed, 1st birthday...
still no progress...
(I know you aren't supposed to compare your children...but it is hard when Ella was signing proficiently at this time and it was wonderful to be able to communicate with her beyond her limited verbal vocabulary.)
Yesterday, something must have finally clicked because he started doing "all done" and "more" !
Monday, October 13, 2008
Not only did she graduate...but she did it with a 4.0 and as valedictorian of her class!
Those Hambrick kids sure are smart cookies =)
She is now working on studying for her state boards and looking for a job in the Ob/Gyn field.
We are very proud of her and all her hard work!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We all know about the financial meltdown that is happening in our country...you can't watch the news or read a paper without hearing about it. Even if you haven't lost money in the stock market or lost your job...gas is high, groceries are going up, and all of us are impacted in some way.
During a conversation with my mom today we were discussing this "crisis" and she reminded me of the importance of keeping perspective during this time...
Below is an excerpt from a recent post of hers:
(to read the whole thing click here)
- Twenty percent of the world lives on one dollar a day.
- Another 20 percent live on two dollars a day.
- Twenty percent of us live on more than seventy dollars a day.
- The combined income of the 447 wealthiest people in the world is more money than the combined income of 50 percent of the world's population.
- Americans make up 5 percent of the world, but we consume 50 percent of the world's resources.
- One of every 4 children in the world has to work instead of going to school.
- Eight percent of the people of the world own a car.
Are we really in need? Are we really hungry?
In comparison to the majority of the population... um...no.
I'm not trying to diminish the financial challenges facing us today. We should be wise stewards and prepare for the future...but...it is all about perspective and remembering who it is that is ultimately your provider.
It's about serving and loving others with eyes wide open. It is about living with a peace that surpasses all understanding and worldly knowledge. It is putting my trust in a "living" God.... not one you just read about or hear of. It is experiencing a life giving breath of air in this very stale and stagnate world of ours that may be dealing with an economic crisis like we never have before... it is mostly knowing in my deepest "knower" that I am loved and cared for and forgiven and will be provided for... even if I lose "everything".
Yes, we should be wise stewards, prepare for the future, live within our means, etc.
But...we should be different from those who don't know Christ, we should be living with HOPE, and we should be speaking out on the reason for our hope...
We know who our provider is and we know who is in control!
I Timothy 6:17
Do not trust in uncertain riches...but in the living God.