Few Favorites Friday: October 21st

1. Picnics

With the much cooler weather we have been enjoying going to the park and that typically includes bringing a picnic lunch. This week we met friends. It was so sweet to see 6 little boys sitting on a picnic blanket sharing food and conversation.

What I typically pack for lunch for my 3 boys and myself: 4 sandwiches (usu. PB&J) in a large Tupperware container; a bag of chips; either a Ziploc with grapes or some peaches/apples; 3 juice boxes & a Diet Dr. Pepper for me; plastic plates; paper towels; a blanket.

This past week we also had a surprise nighttime picnic when Bruce’s car got a flat tire and he had to pull over in a random medical clinic parking lot. While he waited for the tow truck, we picked up Panera and brought it over to him and ate in the dusk on the grass of the parking lot. (of course the second we got all the food set up the tow truck showed up…so it was a quick picnic).

2. Block of ice snack

After watching a Sid the Science Kid episode on “reversible change” the boys decided they wanted to freeze some fruit and water. I was pleasantly surprised how engaged all three boys were in this activity.

They kept checking the freezer that day to see if the water was frozen yet. Finally that afternoon we checked and it was frozen! We popped the block of ice out of the Tupperware onto a jelly roll pan.

We pulled out a bunch of “tools” from my kitchen for them to break out the peaches for a nice cool snack. We soon took the tray outside as the ice began to fly…

3. Twitter

With all the changes going on with Facebook, I am finding myself checking Facebook less & less. Instead I find myself on Twitter more and more. Here is my simple guide to Twitter (once you set up a free account):

  • Choose who you would like to “follow” by searching for friends or looking at the people a like-minded person follows
  • Make sure you have a thorough profile summary…those you follow will only accept you if they see you aren’t a “spammer” (learned that the hard way…thanks @mommakristi).
  • “@” is used before the person’s account name. This notifies them that you are mentioning them in a tweet.
  • “#” designates a topic stream that your tweet will be organized under. People can search topics and what people are saying about the #worldseries…for example.
  • You can Direct Message (DM) people you follow who also follow you…it’s a private message that no one else can see.

Reasons I love twitter:

  • Interact with like-minded people
  • Accountability for waking up to my children and spending time with God (#hellomornings stream)
  • Engaging conversation about God’s word (#abidingfruit stream)–check out this post: http://donotdepart.com/abiding-fruit-twitter-style-2
  • Chance to connect with someone who sold me her #Relevant11 conference ticket
  • Met a kindred spirit who is now in Bible study with me and my roommate for Relevant (@stefanieybrown)
  • Great links to blog posts I may not have known about.
  • You can tweet pics from instagram or twitpic

If all the above is gibberish to you, check it out and give it a try for awhile (to accumulate followers, etc) and you will be hooked as well. I’d love to chat with you there… my personal twitter account is: @hmacmomma and my blog account is: @GodCenteredMom

4. Father/Son Campout

This past weekend my oldest son went on his first real camping trip with my husband. It was an Indian guide trip with all the boys in his grade and their dads. They had such a great time. Hamburgers, s’mores, sleeping on the hard ground in a tent, ropes course, climbing wall, fishing, exploring.

Loved the confidence it gave my oldest son. He was able to run around and be a boy. He attempted to climb this wall the first day and was unsuccessful…but he went for it again the second day and made it to the top to ring the bell!!

5. Joshua Dickinson Design

Very thankful for Joshua Dickinson and his wonderful photography and design. He helped me this week design the header for this blog and my business card for Relevant. He is wonderful to work with, a big picture thinker, great communicator, gifted artistic eye, patient spirit, fellow Believer and Taylor University Alum. Send me an email or comment below and I’ll send you his info.  Thanks Josh!

 How has God blessed you this past week? What have been some of your favorites (experiences, food, activities, etc)?

Linking up with:

friday favorite things | finding joy

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the one…

This is the one that God chose to knit together in my womb (Ps 139). He chose this child to be my 4th. We have been blessed with a healthy baby…

(wait for it…)

… BOY!!!

Because of my little gender prediction test results I’ve been able to process my feelings regarding the potential fourth boy. Due to the advice of one reader (Liberty from http://www.youngmightymenofgod.blogspot.com/I sought God for a vision for this child.

My boys have been really curious & interested in knowing everything about David in the Bible.  Through reading out of every children’s and adult Bible we have I was giving my vision for this fourth child if it was a boy…coming from when Samuel is told by God to find a replacement for King Saul:

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

   “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

   Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

 12So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

   Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him;                                         this is the one.”    (1 Samuel 16:7-12)

David was not the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th son. He was the youngest son with at least 7 older brothers. He was chosen by the Lord to be king. He was the one. He was a man after God’s own heart.

My prayer and vision for this child is that he would stand out among his brothers (who are already amazing!) and he would serve God faithfully & be a man after God’s own heart.

(Thank you already to all my sweet friends & family who have reminded me this morning of God’s faithfulness & blessing. I am honored and humbled to have so many wonderful godly friendships in my life.)

Waving the White Flag

 Guest post by Brooke McGlothlin, Co-Founder of “MOB Society”

Are you the mother of boys who often finds herself ready to wave the white flag in defeat?

Do they drain you, overwhelm you, steal your heart, break your heart and cause you more anxiety than you ever dreamed possible?

Maybe you only have one boy amongst a sea of estrogen and you just can’t figure out how to respond to him in a way that affirms all that is good about his masculinity.

You’re not alone.

Last May, over 1300 women and a few dads in SEVEN different countries joined together to pray purposefully and passionately for the hearts of their sons in a challenge called 21 Days of Prayer for Sons. 21 Days is based on the best-selling eBook Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most.

Even our best parenting efforts don’t come with a guarantee. As much as we might wish we could change their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), we can’t. But we serve a God who can. Knowing this, it becomes quite clear that there is only one thing we can do…

Plead with God.

Pray.

“The fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:17.

It’s our hope.

The next 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge starts September 6 and ends September 26, 2011. How can you participate? Easy!

  1. Purchase your own copy of Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most (just $5.97 as a PDF download or on Amazon Kindle!) You could, in theory, participate in the challenge without a personal copy, but your experience will be much deeper and richer with it.
  2. Commit to praying for your son(s) or grandsons 10 times a day for 21 days straight. This is a huge commitment, so if you feel God leading you to participate, pray and ask Him to give you the strength and endurance you need.
  3. Consider leading your own group on your blog or in your community!
  4. Sign-up HERE!

Get inspired by recent participants!

“This challenge…has given me my joy back in mothering” ~LaToya

“Thank you for giving me a tangible method for transformation in my family!!” ~Anne

“Thanks, Brooke for your help. I’ve always known that God was listening; I just didn’t know what to say!” ~Laurel

“So many heart changes are going on in our home and I’m just so thankful…” ~Ashley

************************

Brooke is a mom of two young boys who leave her desperate for God’s grace. Her pursuit of being a better mom has left her at the foot of the cross, knowing that if God doesn’t show up … nothing happens. This dependence upon God to turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh leads her to her knees in prayer. She’s the author of the best-selling eBook Warrior Prayers: Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most, creator of the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge and co-founder of the well-loved online community for mothers of boys, the M.O.B. Society. She offers hope for change to the hearts of women at her main blog, A Life in Need of Change.

Boys and Aggression: What’s a mom to do?

My post on my boys and their tendency to harm others and it’s humbling effects  spurred some great discussion and questions among my mommy friends. I thought I would continue the conversation on my blog.

Here are variety of situations in which my boys may hurt someone else and how I would handle each situation…to the best of my ability. May you be encouraged to know that I have experienced the embarrassment of my children hurting other children on many occasions and in many locations. You are not alone!

photo credit: momommy

situation #1: Your son hits or hurts a stranger                     in a public place.

The boy in our family most likely to hurt a stranger is my youngest son (the 2 yr old).  He has the least inhibition, the least amount of “training”, least ability to communicate and is developmentally in an aggressive stage.  The older two at this point understand that you don’t hit, push, or hurt kids you don’t know. My youngest sees every child as an equal opportunity victim. If I see him hurt someone, then I will use the opportunity to train by:

  1. removing him from the situation
  2. instructing him gently that we do not hurt others and that we need to be kind 
  3. walking him over to the “victim” and have him apologize
  4. sitting with me for a few minutes to calm down. 

Because I have 3 children and/or may be in a conversation with another mom, I may not see every instance when my son hurts another. Most likely the injured child will either tell me, “your baby hit me” or I will hear the crying child and see them point at my son (that’s one of my favorites…not!).  I prefer to discipline only when I have seen my child make a wrong choice.

However, in those situations where I did not see the assault but the accuser looks trustworthy and my child looks guilty, I remove my child from that area and again have him take a break. I may even ask him if he hurt the child. If he says, “yes”, then I will have him go apologize and work it out.

Situation #2:  Your child hurts his brother or a friend’s child in public.

I feel that when we are out in a public place all acts of aggression need to be addressed as best as possible (same steps as mentioned above).  When we are at home and it is just my boys, we have plenty of opportunities to learn how to treat others, how to apologize, and make mistakes.  If appropriate training occurs at home then the test is when we are in public.  (Training at home can also include reading books like “Hands are not for hitting” or create your own social stories of appropriate behavior).

My older boys know how they are supposed to behave when they are in public. The level of self control needs to be raised.  They know those are not the times to lash out at your sibling. Because I have these higher standards, I try not to have them out in public for an entire day. That’s too much to require of a little boy with hormones flowing.

Situation #3: Your child hurts a friend at a playdate.

photo credit: maalivahti

The boys that my boys play with have been lifetime friends. Their moms are my friends. We have been friends since our boys were first born. Therefore, when we have friends over to play it’s like having extended family over. There are still expectations: no hitting, no biting, sharing toys, and speaking kind words. My friends have taught their children the same thing.

When we are together I don’t want to have to micromanage every interaction between my sons and their children. I want to give my sons an ability to learn from natural consequences that if he treats his friends poorly they will not want to play with him. That’s the best part about playdates…a confined period of time, with good friends, to learn social and play skills.

I can tell when one of my sons is not himself during a playdate. If he is being overly aggressive, unreasonable, purposefully inconsiderate, then I will have him spend some time in his room until he is ready to play well with his friends. But in general, I like to allow them to work out most play interactions. If a friend tries to talk to me about a frustration, I respond with, “have you talked to ______ about it yet? why don’t you tell him how you feel?”. It is how we are commanded to handle conflict Biblically, so we might as well enforce it when they are young.

Real life example yesterday:

We were at a community pool and my oldest son (almost 6 yrs old) and his best friend (calls him his “brother”) were having a battle with pool noodles. His mother and I agreed that we would let them battle. They were playing well together, having fun being boys and they weren’t hurting anyone else at the pool (off to the side). However, the battle escalated, they entered the pool and they each went too far.  Leading to tears on both sides. Each mom took her son to let them cool down. We gave them their space and after awhile they talked it over, apologized and were already scheduling their next play date. Success!

How do you handle fights between your child and another child? What strategies do you use? Any good resources to share?

* I have so many more things I want to say on this topic. may need to turn it into a series! Next installment: Giving boys words to use.

MOB Society BlogHop 2011

Mothers of Boys Today Mothers of Boys (MOB) Society  is having a Blog Hop. If you have clicked over here from the “hop”…Welcome to God-Centered Mom!

My name is Heather and I’m the mother of 3 young boys: 5, 3 & 2. I’ve been married 12 years to the most amazing man…he supports me in all my endeavors, loves me unconditionally, feeds the boys breakfast (so I can have quiet time) and puts them to bed each night. I am a speech-language pathologist but haven’t had any formal clients for almost 3 years. For the past 4 years I’ve been blogging about my boys over at www.themacboys.wordpress.com.

 This June I launched www.godcenteredmom.com . Here is the reason I started it:

I had been humbled many times since having my first son, 5 years ago. The most recent and profound humbling experience was the birth of our third son…born while my oldest was still 3! I could no longer control and apologize my children’s behavior. I had to depend on God and serve Him. It was no longer possible to serve myself. These three little guys needed me constantly and if they didn’t their dad did. After crying embarrassingly at a fancy Christmas party when simply asked, “So how is it having 3 boys?,” I found that unless God was at the center I was not going to survive this mothering adventure without a lot of humbling.

The reason mothering is so humbling is because the opposite of humility is pride. Pride by definition is a focus on self, desire to control and to use all things for self. When you get married you begin to realize how selfish you are. When you have your first child you recognize that you are completely self-centered. When you have multiple children you are either humbled on a moment to moment basis OR you have to completely surrender your life and place God in the center.

This blog is my way to encourage mothers to chose to keep God center in the day to day. These are a few of my regular “series”:

  • Symptoms of Self: addressing each symptom that manifests itself when the disease of pride is present
  • Hear the Whisper Wednesday: examples of others who have been humbled, so that we can hear the whisper of their experience instead of feeling the whip and being humbled ourselves
  • Few Favorites Friday: a sample of things the Lord has blessed me with that week
  • She speaks with wisdom…: advice I have received from God-centered mentors in my life.

My boys:

The Entertaining Orator (5)-Since he wanted to have a “James Polk” birthday party when he was 3 years old, we think politics may be in this little guys’ future. He is most comfortable with an audience.  His favorite books right now: anything Curious George, Max Lucado’s books (“You are Special”, “You are Mine”) & “Mr Popper’s Penguins”

The Fearless Sweatheart (3)-He has kept me on my toes ever since he started moving. He knows no fear and feels no pain. He has the best heart and is quick to serve others.  His favorites: any book with monsters in it (“monsters don’t eat broccoli” & “Ten Little monsters”), “The Story of Ferdinand”.

The Cuddly Giant (2)-My biggest boy so far. This guy is sugar incarnate. He loves to cuddle and just let you hold him in your arms or lap. Those big blue eyes. those plump lips. sold. He is my biggest book fan. Loves the Usborne “That’s not my…” series, picture books by DK and you may even find him flipping through a Lego magazine every now and then.

Thanks for stopping by! See the side bar to get godcenteredmom directly to your email or RSS subscription.  Oh and check out the post I did earlier today on male aggression…i’m sure i’m not the only one who deals with this!!