Sunday, February 5, 2017

Chores For Kids

It's official.

I am a mom of a large family.

I guess it depends on who you ask when you try to judge whether you have a large family or not.

I go by whether or not my whole family can fit in a four-door sedan.
That ended when baby number four entered the picture.

Of course, if I could have found a sedan with three seats in the front instead of a goofy cup holder in the middle...
they just don't make cars like they used to.

Once the sedan was out, we could choose between a van or one of those really cool Volvo station wagons with the seats in the trunk that fold up and face backwards. Super fun, but impractical when it comes to grocery shopping or packing for family vacations to the beach.

So, here we are. A family of six with another on the way so when planning ahead I need to remember we will be a family of seven!

Considering I grew up with only one sibling, in my mind, yes, we are a large family.

I am reminded of this constantly in several areas of my life but two seem to stand out above the rest.

1- When I am Shopping. For food. Or clothes for the kids. Or anything really.

2- When Doing Laundry. Especially when I am pregnant. Sick and exhausted and the piles pretty much reach the ceiling!

Since these two chores, shopping and laundry, seem to stress me out more than the rest, I learned to have these chores set as first priority with not only myself, but the children.

Each week a child has a different "zone" or section of the home that they are responsible for. If it is the "kitchen zone" then they are in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher once a day, putting away the leftovers and wiping down the counters. This teaches them responsibility while not putting the entire load on them. Sometimes we need to run the dishwasher more than once a day so they aren't responsible for every single load. They also aren't expected to scrub the pots and pans. This system works well for us and helps things run smoothly in our home.

Another zone is the "laundry zone." When a child has this job they are responsible for putting a load in the wash and dryer once a day. I do the folding and wash delicate items and cloth diapers but my three older children (ages 6-10) all know how to run a washer and dryer. The laundry has already been separated into lights, darks and towels and they have learned which setting each load needs to be washed on.  

If you are wondering what jobs your child can handle, you are asking yourself the wrong question. Ask what needs to be done and figure out how they can help in that area. They might not be able to deep clean a bathroom but they can wipe down the sink. Be creative and give them responsibilities they can feel good about. Ones that will make them feel like they are a part of the family and helping the good of the whole. The younger you start them out, the less complaining you'll see as they get older!

Need Some Motivating Resources?
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Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center.
Image courtesy of Tuomas_Lehtinen at

Friday, January 6, 2017

Travel The World Through Literature

Some people are addicted to their smart phones. Others, it's video games. Some, it's binge watching their favorite shows online. Me? I'll admit it, my addiction is traveling. Maybe not so much anymore but there certainly was a time where I had the bug, to go, go, go. After I had traveled once, I was hooked, and wanted more. By the time I had graduated High School I had already crossed the pond three times to visit Europe, once I hit college it was several more. Needless to say, once I was out of school any chance that I had to travel, I took it.

As a homeschool mom, it is my desire to instill this love for other cultures and people within my children. Yes, America is a wonderful and blessed nation and I am thankful for American citizenship and what that means but I never want me or my family to be so self-centered that we think that because we are American we are better than anyone else. Having that mentality is harmful when reaching out to anyone, especially those in cultures that you might not understand.

Sharing literature with my children that highlight other nations and cultures is a powerful way to open up a whole new world to them. It allows them to see the world through someone else's eyes. It helps them to see that there are both similarities and differences between the children on these cultures and their own lives.

Here is a list of some books that you can introduce to your children that will get them excited about other cultures!

Tales From Africa
Mary Slessor: Courage in Africa
Answering The Call
Beduins Gazelle
With Kitchener in the Soudan

Penguins and Antarctica (Magic Tree House Guide)
Arctic and Antarctica
Antarctica (Rookie Read-About Geography)

Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes
Hidden Army: Clay Soldiers of Ancient China
Echoes of the White Giraffe


Switherby Pilgrims: Tale of the Australian Bush
Battle Order 204
Red Sand, Blue Sky

The Wheel on the School
St. George for England
The Glorious Flight

Great Kapok Tree: Instructional Guides for Literature
Out of Many Waters
A Way Beyond Death
Adventures of Don Quixote

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Rainbow Resource Center. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Countdown To Christmas

It's only 20 days until Christmas. But who's counting? Well, if kids are present in your home, then you probably are. Out of desperation, I finally gave my daughter some green and red construction paper and taught her how to make a paper chain for her to use to countdown until Christmas. I figured it would be a fun visual for her to use to see how many days until Christmas. She loves tearing one chain off each night before going to bed. She also likes secretly counting how many links are left when she is wondering how much longer she has to wait!

While waiting for the day in which we celebrate the Lord Jesus' birth, I love to provide fun activities, both big and small to partake in. It gets the kids excited and draws us closer as a family. We focus on each other, the needy, and of course, the reason for the season, Jesus. Here is a list of different activities that we either plan to do in the days leading up to Christmas or ones that we have done in the past. I like to switch things up a bit each year but some activities are repeat because the kids like them so much. We try to do one activity a day in December leading up to Christmas. Sometimes we skip the weekends, other times we don't. Some activities are super simple while others are a bit more involved. Needless to say, the kids look forward to our activities this time of year.

~ Have A Family Sleepover In The Living Room

~ Read Your Favorite Christmas Book

~  Make Paper Snowflakes

~ Go To A Local Christmas Parade

~ Donate Old Toys To Charity

~ Make Gingerbread Houses

~ Go Outside. Sled, Ice-Skate, Or Ride A Bike

~ Have Hot Cocoa With Marshmallows

~ Visit A Local Museum

~ Volunteer Somewhere For A Day (Warming Shelter, Soup Kitchen, etc.)

~ Act Out The Story Of The Birth Of Jesus

~ Go Christmas Caroling

~ Make and Send Out Christmas Cards

~ Drive Around And Look At Christmas Lights

~ Bake Christmas Cookies

~ Watch A Christmas Movie Together As A Family

~ Make Homemade Gifts For One Another

~ Make Your Own Pizza Night

~ Perform A Random Act Of Kindness

~ Have A Family Game Night

~ Find A Fun Christmas Craft

~ Make Christmas Ornaments

~ Create Christmas Themed Creations Out Of Legos

~ Make Popcorn Balls

What Traditions Do You Have For The Season?

Disclaimer: This Post Is Brought To You By Rainbow Resource Center.
All opinons stated here are my own.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hello, Bicycle {Review}

Hello, Bicycle: An Inspired Guide To The Two-Wheeled Life takes you on a whimsical tour of the world of a bike owner. More than just your everyday manual, this book is filled with both inspiration and information that will 'wow' even the most experienced rider. Whether you are buying this book for a beginner or an expert they will have hours of fun paging through innovative ideas and trends that they can incorporate into their everyday life.

I'll be honest, what drew me to this book was the cover. It's quirky, bright, fun and shouts, "read me!" The content is just as enticing within the following six sections:

~ Why Bicycles?
~ What Do I Need To Know To Ride?
~ Taking Care Of Your Bicycle
~ Biking For All Activities
~ Essential Provisions
~ More Than Just A Ride

Not only will you find useful information about taking care of your bike and bike safety but there are many fun activities, recipes, projects and ideas that any bike enthusiast would be excited to try. Yes, I said recipes. If you are going to take biking seriously then knowing both how to pack food and which foods to pack are important and this book teaches you both.

I was planning on giving this to my son who adores biking and can't wait for the day when he can have more freedom riding around his bike. I wasn't sure if this book would be kid-friendly, it certainly is a cute book but the beer reference makes me uncertain that I want to gift this to a child.
Overall, this book has fun pictures, ideas and information and would make a wonderful gift this holiday season or anytime throughout the year.

Disclaimer: This book was provided free in exchange for my review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Prayer Journal For Young Girls {Review}

Journaling was a favorite pastime of mine as a young girl. Whatever happened during the day, would eventually be found in my journal. As I grew up a bit the topics would change from which boy I had a crush on to more spiritual matters. This Journal for kids would make a perfect gift for that young lady in your life who may be seeking the things of the Lord or wondering if God hears her when she prays. This sweet gift comes in an adorable, glittery cover. It holds two small books. One for prayers and one for answered prayers. The topics touch the hearts of young girls all across the board. Girls can fill in which countries they hope to visit someday, people in their life that are sick who need prayer. The colors and fun drawings are captivating for young girls making it enticing to go back to this journal over and over again. I highly recommend this book for any young girl in your life!

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Little Book of God's Love {Review}

What a sweet book! This tiny little board book is filled from cover to cover with heart warming poems on the topic of love. The Precious Moments illustrations captivate a child's attention bringing them into a world of joy and happiness. I remember loving Precious Moments when I was young and now my daughter has the same appreciation for it in her childhood. A wonderful tradition to pass on. In addition to the adorable imagery, the poem selection is over the top wonderful. You'll find some familiar poems such as Jesus Loves Me, Skidamarink and Oh How I Love Jesus. The new ones introduced are just as sweet, including, Inside My Heart, A Happy Heart, and A Mealtime Prayer. You and your little one will enjoy paging through this book,reading the poems and enjoying the pictures time and time again!

Disclaimer: This book was provided free. All opinions stated here are my own.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Radical Book For Kids {Review}

The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer's guide to the Bible, church history, and life for boys and girls age 8 and up. Along with examining some of the most exciting realities in the universe, the handbook is vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas. Deep truths are communicated to elementary and middle-school aged kids while stimulating their curiosity and sense of adventure within a gospel-centered framework.

This power-packed
book is "radical" in more ways than you might think! It is "radical" in the sense of the original meaning of the word, "going to the root or origin." The Radical Book for Kids will take children on a fascinating journey into the ancient roots of the Christian faith. But it's also "radical" in the more modern sense of being revolutionary. Kids read about men and women who learned to trust Jesus and stand for him---displaying radical faith---even when everything seemed against them.

The Radical Book for Kids is also "radical"- meaning fun or cool- in the eyes of a child. Kids read about ancient weapons (and how to make one), learn about jewels, create pottery, discover ancient languages, use secret codes, locate stars, tell time using the sun, play a board game that's 3,000 years old-and more.

Check out the table of contents, skip around, or read straight through. However a child chooses to explore it,
The Radical Book for Kids will open new vistas for their imagination and help to make straight paths for their feet.
Purchase A Copy:

My Thoughts

This book is jam packed with important church history facts for tweens or early teens. It presents information that I never was exposed to until my college years. Yet for kids, it is presented in bite sized, easy to swallow portions. The cover is impressive with a hard, sturdy, thick binding. The tree and children's silhouette image is eye-catching. The way the facts are presented on each page is fun and quirky with animated text fonts, colorful images and fun facts.

Your child can learn Latin phrases, have a lesson on how to properly clean their room or play fun Bible times games. I was truly excited about getting this book since my oldest son loves informative books such as this.

Unfortunately, after reading through some of the sidebar quotes I quickly found out that this book is not for my family. Trust me, you most likely will like it but our family doesn't allow CS Lewis or JRR Tolkien to be read in our house. Strict, I know. If you want to know our reasoning in more detail, feel free to email me at the address on my contact page. That said, I need to be consistent with what I allow in my home, and even though most biblical scholars quote CS Lewis, and this shouldn't be a deal breaker, for me, it is.

About The Author

Champ Thornton grew up in the Carolinas. He is presently an associate pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware. Beginning in 2003, he pastored in South Carolina and later served as director of SOMA, a ministry training school in Columbus, Ohio. Champ is also the author of God's Love: A Bible Storybook, and of Bible curriculum for early and upper elementary-aged children.

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by Litfuse who provided me with a free copy of this book. All opinions stated here are my own.