Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcoming Fall

Fall and spring are my favorite seasons. After a long hot summer, I am so ready for the cooler weather and the changing leaves. I've been checking out the Fall Foliage Report and I think we will probably go over to Hot Springs to drive around in the Ouachita Mountains next month. Until then I wanted to add a touch of fall to my house. On the cover of the Better Homes and Gardens they have this picture of a gourd filled with flowers. I attempted to replicate this, but I'm afraid I didn't quite measure up to BHG standards. We are also planting more mums and I want to make a gourd wreath. What are y'alls plans to welcome fall? I'll try and post pictures of our fall family fun, including Ladybug cheering in the Fall Fest parade, visiting the pumpkin patch, the corn maze and our trip to see the fall foliage.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Intentional Parenting

I hear my husband complain all the time about how his employees don't show up for work. I watch on the news as the crime rates rise. I see a society that has become overly permissive . I am not a conservative, but I am not okay with my children being exposed to all of the unhealthy influences out there. If you shrug your shoulders and say, that is just the way things are these days, then you should stop reading right now. A pastor at a church we attended in Arkansas did a series entitled

What if you were meant to change the world?

One week, a staff member went around with a video camera asking people in the community "How would you change the world?" Many of the people interviewed said things like stop world hunger, world peace and the like. Not that those aren't notable aspirations, but maybe we need to start a bit smaller and closer to home. We looked at how we could change the world in our own homes. Our pastor borrowed the title

Raising G-Rated Children in an X-Rated World

He said that if we, as parents, do everything right, our children still have free will just like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. He suggest that we start by looking at the end product. What do we want our kids to be when they are adults? Do we want them to be well-adjusted? Is being well-adjusted in an x-rated world a good thing? Do we want them to be normal? With the divorce rate being what it is, is normal a good thing? Do we want our children to be popular like Lindsay Loham? The answer to those question is a resounding no for me.

If we want our children to be loving, honest, caring, Christians, we need to ask ourselves what God calls us to be. We need to have a regular dialogue with our children about faith. By God's design, we as parents have the greatest impact upon our children. Ask yourself if your speech is pure? Do the movies you watch, the music you listen to exemplify that of a Godly person? Do you lie? Do you confess your sins? Do you say and do one thing on Sunday and something completely different Monday-Saturday? Having that vision of what the finished products looks like, you can then figure out what it is that you, the parent, need to do in order to reach that goal.

Children do not naturally know right from wrong. As parents we are responsible to guide the family, don't let the children lead. The children will end up mirroring the culture in which they live. What you do, where you go, how the money is spent is the parents responsibility. We as parents need to take back the leadership role. We need to set appropriate boundaries. We also need to examine what values we are imposing when we let the children lead the family? Our pastor suggest that we start listening to the music our children are listen to, read their books, and watch their movies. How are we supposed to know our children, guide them, when we 'respect their privacy?' Remember that our values/choices get distorted by sin. To let a child do as he pleases is not love. Teach your child that bad choices have bad consequences.

We are also called to be thoughtful with our discipline. The purpose of discipline is not only to punish, but it is also to guide. It's not the child that is bad, it's his behavior, his choices. My son asked me one time why he was always getting grounded. I reminded him what choices he had made that caused him to get punished. We never tell our children that they are bad. Not only are we supposed to impress upon our children our values, we are also called to set the standards for fun. There should activities that you do as a family that are fun. Your child should have a belly ache from laughter in your the home.

Are you raising your kids to be the adults you want them to be?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Old Fashion Fair

As a child I remember getting ready and going to the state fair in Jackson, Mississippi. I loved looking at all the bright lights and colors on the midway. My favorite ride was the tilt-a-whirl. I couldn't wait to ride it with my dad. My mom usually stood and watched as we rode the fast spinning rides. She was more the ferris wheel type. I never under stood that until I turned green while riding the tilt-a-whirl with my daughter. Now I watch as my husband rides the fast rides with the kids, I'm more the ferris wheel type these days.

This week is the county fair. County fairs are really the perfect place to show off what you've been doing and to have a good time. That is unless a hurricane has dumped copious amount of rain on your partially paved fair grounds.

This is our second year to enter chickens in the fair. Last year the kids entered four of our original six barnyard chickens. This year they entered six of the new girls. My darling daughter entered a Dominique, a Barred Rock and an Americana. My sweet boyd entered a Buff Brahma, a Production Red and a Golden Laced Wyandot. They won three blue ribbons and three red ribbons.

The kids also entered some of the canned goods, dried peppers and eggs winning a total of seven blue ribbons and three second place ribbons. My husband won blue ribbons on his banana peppers and chili peppers. I was lucky enough to get a blue ribbon on my okra and a second place ribbon on my beans. I also entered some photos. I won one blue ribbon, three second place and one third place ribbon. Obviously everyone wins something.

My son not only won a blue ribbon with Disco (the Buff Brahma), but he won grand champion. We are all so happy for him.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” mahatma gandhi