It’s that time again! Our local weather keeps teasing us with hot days that make it clear that summer is just around the corner! I’m depending on my Summer Bucket List more than ever this year, as my children have reached a whole new level of fighting that I am certain will send me to the loony-bin if I don’t have a clear plan of attack. That clear plan of attack comes in the form of my Refreshing Summer Bucket List. Continue reading
Huzzah! Remember my last post? How I said I had three items on my Task List that I had begun to ignore, as they had been on there for so long? Well, guess what? I did one of them this week! I was so thrilled with finally accomplishing it that I’m sharing it as my First Friday Find! A while ago, I saw this idea for a chore board for kids presented in different ways on Pinterest, and I finally got around to completing my version!
Let me start by saying, I hesitate to give my children money for chores. Both my husband and I try to instill in our children that they are not entitled to any money by helping around the home. We want our children to know that some things get done simply out of respect for their living area and things. So, making any sort of system that created an allowance based on chores was a hard sell for us. However, I can understand how they might like opportunities to make money. That is why I created a chore board for them that includes tasks above and beyond the other chores that are expected of them as part of our family. As their part in sharing the load in our home, my two eldest are responsible for doing the following without rewards: clearing the table, sweeping under the table, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, cleaning up toys/books/clothes/crafts/etc, bringing laundry down, putting laundry away, and more. As my boys grows older, their load of responsibilities will increase. I may ask more or less of my children than most, I don’t know. But, for now, this is working in our home.
With my daughters getting older though, their abilities to help around the home have increased. As a result, our chore board for kids is FINALLY going to come to pass. I have 8 clothespins on our chore board. The current list of chores include: dusting upstairs ($.50), dusting downstairs ($.50), vacuuming upstairs ($1), vacuuming downstairs ($1), cleaning downstairs bathroom ($1), cleaning upstairs bathroom ($1), washing windows in our TV room ($1), and parent’s choice ($1). I put cleaning specifications on the chore tags to avoid any shortcuts being taken. I also noted that on “parent’s choice” it may involve more than one chore to earn $1. This may not seem like much money, but, again, they have a responsibility to be a contributing part of our family first and foremost.
In an effort to keep some sort of order to this system, I have a few plans in mind. First, they will need my approval of their work before they receive the money. Second, I am going to ask that they write their name on the back of the paper so that I can keep track over a longer period of who is doing what in our home. If it turns out that washing the windows is the coveted chore, I don’t want to find that one of my daughters is always snagging that chore first. So, to be fair, they can’t do the same chore twice in a row. Lastly, I plan to refill the money in the chart every two weeks. This will slow down the rate at which they try to earn money and keep my husband and I from going broke. I can see my second oldest dusting every single day, if it meant more money. She actually enjoys that chore.
As for the making of the chore board for kids, it was really quite simple. I picked up a decorative piece of wood at Hobby Lobby and used some paint, clothespins, and tacky glue that I had from home and VOILA! I wanted to come up with a catchy title at the top, as I still regretted not putting “Seeking Sole Mate” at the top of my Lost Socks craft. So, while many other websites called their system “Work for Hire,” I settled on, “Earn more by doing a chore.” I love how my eldest questioned where I got the line from, not believing that I was capable of such creativity. I managed to paint the letters freehand with the printed version as my guide. You can see by the picture that I had a change of heart during my creation from sizing down on WAY TOO big a font to switching out the word “make” for “earn.”
Once the craft itself was complete, I picked up Sawtooth Hangers from Hobby Lobby, snack size bags from Target, grabbed some small bills, and typed up the chores on card-stock paper for durability. Once I finished it, I couldn’t wait to hang it in our laundry room/mudroom over their filing bin. That hanging filing bin was another lifesaver in our home. I was so sick of seeing the girls papers and random drawings on scrap papers, that I finally made them in charge of deciding what papers and drawings were worth keeping in their designated space. That may sound heartless, but my second eldest is notorious for writing made-up song lyrics, menu items, directions for x-y-z, and more. The clutter adds up fast.
So, there you have it! This month’s First Friday Find is a combination of finding a morsel of my mojo and sharing a crafty find I stumbled upon years ago, but only recently made a reality. I know my kids are especially grateful that the chore board for kids is complete, and not just something I keep promising them will be implemented at an undetermined date. Here’s to my hired help making my life a little easier.
It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time for me to share something cool that I’ve discovered that can benefit the lives of others! The moment I learned about this site, I knew it had to be my First Friday Find for December, the month of giving. I want to share this First Friday Find: JustServe.org for a two-fold purpose. Awareness of this site provides opportunities for non-profit organizations to be served and the community to be of service. First, let me explain a little more about what First Friday Find: JustServe.org is all about.
The About Us page on JustServe.org can give you more information, but the gist of the site’s purpose is simple, “JustServe.org links you to service opportunities in your community so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want to serve.” When you arrive at the Home page, you can enter your zip code to find service opportunities that have been posted in your area. For example, in my area there are currently 11 opportunities to serve. Projects posted include helping the Ronald McDonald House Charities, a ride match program to provide rides for disabled or low-income individuals, opportunities for teens to teach seniors how to become tech savvy, and more. There is a chance that this website has not expanded to your community as of yet, but if it has made it to our neck of the woods, the likelihood is that it’s made it to yours as well.
As I mentioned, there are 11 opportunities posted in the area for our community, but I know there are more opportunities to serve that have not been posted. That’s why I want more people to be made aware of this site, particularly those who are in need of service. From what I have read, whatever project you need assistance with does need to be submitted for approval first. I don’t know how extensive the process is, as I do not have a company myself. However, I do have a house that’s in need of cleaning. If only…nope. This site is for legit service needs, but it cannot help an organization if they don’t even know the site exists. Help me get the word out there for companies in need of helping hands.
Being that I do not have a legit need for service, my love of this site comes from the opposite end. Not only do I want to serve my community, but I want my children to understand how important it is to look beyond themselves. One of the cool features that the site offers is having a little icon on projects that indicate if a project is friendly for all ages. For example, our city’s beautification program and local cat rescue can use helping hands of all sizes. What a great chance to offer your kids (and yourself) the joy of service.
During this month where we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, what a wonderful gift we can give by following His counsel to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” First Friday Find: JustServe.org is a helpful tool to make serving easier and more custom-fit to your family’s abilities.
I truly enjoy reading books with my children. This should come as no surprise after my Read to Your Child post. Picture books with a good message are my weakness. One of my favorites is a Cautionary Tale of Flattery called The Spider and the Fly. On my last trip to the library, I had the pleasure of finding Elephant in the Dark. Prior to reading it, I knew nothing of this book nor the story it was based on, which is commonly called “Blind men and an elephant.” It’s truly a fascinating perspective, and ironically, once I explain the gist of the story, it has several different interpretations.
There are several variations of the story, as I’ve learned from my Google research. Seeing as how the version of Elephant in the Dark by Mina Javaherbin is the one that piqued my interest, I’ll summarize her version the best I can. The story begins with Merchant Ahmad, who brings a mysterious creature back from India. The news spreads in the village and everybody wants to see the creature, but Ahmad is too tired from his journey, and explains that it is too dark in his barn to see the animal at this time. The villagers, not taking no for an answer, decide to sneak into the barn and take a look for themselves. One by one, they go in, and each of them touches a different part of the elephant (a tail, a tusk, a trunk, etc.). Since they each only touched one part of it, they come back out reporting the creature was like something completely different from what another person had declared. Then it reads, “All day long they called each other names and fought to prove each other wrong. Into the night no one listened, but everyone shouted and shoved.” Then, the next day Ahmad awakes and takes the creature to the river, which we now see is an elephant, but the villagers are still too busy fighting to see the creature appear. The last line reads, “And no one noticed they each knew only a small piece of the truth.”
As I finished reading Elephant in the Dark, I concluded that every adult needs to read this book. My Facebook has become so cluttered with who’s right and who’s wrong, that it’s disheartening. I realize you already heard my rant on this topic in Accentuate the Positive, but this book just brought it to the forefront of my mind again. It also reminded me of this quote I read by the US Secretary of Agriculture and 13th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ezra Taft Benson. He said, “Pride does not look up to God and care about what is right. It looks sideways to man and argues who is right.” Religious or not, the idea that being right is more important than the whole truth gets us nowhere as a society.
Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t have an adamant opinion on all things. Starting this blog made that more evident in my life. I knew if I had a more extreme opinion on a matter, I could draw a larger audience. Shock factor sells, right? At first I thought I was just too ignorant to form an opinion on hot topics. Then I realized, it’s that I can see where others are coming from, for the most part. I’m not perfect in this way by any means. But I would like to believe that I don’t just go into the barn, feel one part of the mysterious creature, and assume I know all based on that single instance. I have opinions on all sorts of things, don’t get me wrong, but I also understand that it’s my opinion. Some of my opinions have facts to back them up, some don’t. The last thing I want to do though is ever express my opinion in such a way that demeans somebody else’s viewpoint. I don’t want to fight about who is right. I’m okay with learning more about the whole creature. But, I’m also okay with being considered wrong in someone else’s eyes. On that same note, I’m also okay being wrong in my own eyes. For me, it’s not about who is right, but what is right. Because of that thinking process, I’m not afraid to learn more. I want to understand the whole creature. Period.
I love one of the interpretations of this story, made into a poem by Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet,which Elephant in the Dark is based on. Rumi’s poem ends with, “If each had a candle and they went in together the differences would disappear.” I think of that line and wonder what our world would look like under those circumstances. I imagine, as it pertains to this story, we would all be unified in understanding it was an elephant, but we would still have our opinions on the creature. Perhaps one person would find the elephant ugly, and another would find it breath-taking, but both would agree it was an elephant. Neither person needs to be wrong in their feelings towards the elephant. We can respect differing interpretations of the creature, while simultaneously agreeing that there is a greater truth that there is no disputing.
Oh, how I hope I was able to express my feelings on Elephant in the Dark and it’s greater meaning. The concept was over my toddler’s head, as I read the book to him. But, I’ve found myself reading it over and over on my own. There is much to take away and ponder about this story. Take a moment and reflect on the story, if you have some time. I would love to hear other’s feelings on the matter.
One of the biggest reasons I started this blog was to keep things real. That being said, I’m really not feeling positive these days. I’ve actually been hitting up old journals with therapy notes and re-reading my own posts for some inspiration and pick-me-up. Maybe the change that comes from a move is affecting me? Perhaps it’s the sadness of knowing that another one of my littles is off at school a couple of times a week? Or possibly I am entering the lovely world of lows that come with Bipolar II? Who really knows? Regardless, it seems foolish for me to write something upbeat, when I’m hardly feeling that way. I’m not going to get all Debbie Downer on you, but no real words of encouragement this week. Nope. Today is a simple reminder about the importance of reading to your kids!
At the end of the day in our home, my three oldest kiddos get to have down time while I put my baby to sleep. Customarily, this equates to TV time where they argue over whose pick it is to choose the show. Last night, my second-grader said she didn’t want to watch TV and that she wanted to snuggle with me instead. What mom can say no to that?! Then she asked if I would read books with and to her? Even better! She is so good about reading on her own and already reads so much for her school reading log that I forget to take a moment and read to her anymore, it seems. So, we snuggled up and read books together taking turns reading out loud. My other two littles had just reached the end of their show and bedtime was nearing. However, my daughter and I were still in the middle of a book, Mr. Pine’s Purple House, and I was just as excited to finish reading it as she was. Soon my toddler and nine-year-old huddled around my daughter and I. I continued reading on, not before noting the beauty of the moment I was in. Here I was a mother of four, with one baby peacefully sleeping, and three beautiful children sitting around me all listening as I read about Mr. Pine’s desire to simply have his home stand out among the other fifty white homes on his street. Those are the moments I cherish. Those are the moments that make me realize that perhaps my life isn’t really all that boring, but merely simple.
Earlier in the day I had already done a bit of reading with my toddler so that we could fill up his reading chart, and my girls had all met their reading quotas and then some. There has been an increase of reading in our home since school started back up, and I’m loving it! The greatest part is that my baby, well 15-month-old, has a love for books already also. One of his first words was “book,” and I couldn’t be happier!
I’m reminded of the picture I saw on Facebook posted by Southport Branch Library that read, “There is no app to replace your lap. Read to your child.” Reading to my nine-year-old, as I did last night, has become more rare as she develops as a reader. But, I truly believe that all of those many years that she sat on my lap as I read to her have helped her love for reading blossom. And now, four kids later, I’m realizing that no matter how busy life can get, the time spent reading to my children lifts each of us up in so many ways. There really is no app to replace my lap, and how grateful I am for that!
Lately, the amount of negativity in the world has left me unsettled. Social media and the news being the biggest irritants on the matter. Surprisingly, neither of those were the source, when I became truly fed up with this issue. The other day, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Not a Liberal.” Simple statement, right? Not much worth fussing over. However, I was struck by the verbiage of that remark. Why say, “Not a Liberal?” Why not state that you are conservative? My takeaway was that this driver is so against being liberal, that he would rather state how much he is not liberal, rather than celebrate what he is supporting of in life. I see no benefit in shaming another point of view to state the beauty of your own. This is the way life seems to be delivered to us now. We’re given news through a series of one liner blurbs that either leave one feeling great about who they are or shaming them for their opinion on a matter. Why can’t we simply “accentuate the positive,” as Gordon B. Hinckley states in his book, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes? As much as I would like to copy and paste the entire chapter, Optimism in the Face of Cynicism, from this book, I will refrain. But, oh, what beautiful things we would see in our world, if people took the time to nurture the ten neglected virtues mentioned.
The concept of focusing on the positive first struck me when I was kneeling in prayer with my husband years ago. He was saying the prayer and asked that our children be protected from harm. Perfectly normal thing to pray for and I echoed his words in my heart. However, I began to realize that when he asked that they be protected from harm, my mind drifted off to the terrible harms that could potentially come their way. When it was my night to pray, I began to switch around the wording to ask that our Heavenly Father watch over our children or keep them safe. Omitting the word “harm” kept my mind in a more positive place. I do the same with my children now, as we kneel in family prayer and it’s my turn to say the prayer. I ask that they all have sweet dreams and get a good night’s rest. Whereas, when my children pray, they ask that they not have any nightmares. We want the same thing, but the manner in which we present it makes a difference, I believe. One of my daughters will sometimes even pray that, “no fires will burn our house down and no bad guys will steal [them].” I want to be fire free and kidnap free even more than she does, but those words trigger dark images in my mind. Our words have a great impact on our attitudes and outlook. Such a simple change in verbiage can either lead me to greater peace or greater anxiety.
This topic of optimism is so far-reaching that I don’t intend to wrap all my thoughts into one post. Tonight, I simply wanted to encourage us all to contemplate how we are approaching our daily activities and experiences. Are we expressing ourselves in a negative manner or potentially conjuring up negative thoughts by the words we use? Are we stating who we are by stating who we’re not? I’m a Christian woman with the understanding that we have a Father in Heaven, a Savior, the Holy Ghost, and then Lucifer standing on the opposing side. I don’t give Lucifer the privilege of crediting his name by saying, “I’m not with Satan.” Instead, I say, “I know my Savior lives and loves me.”
A relevant and real life example of the change we can make in our approach is how the city of Roseburg, OR handled the recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College (UCC). The community asked that the gunman remain anonymous. Instead, the focus was shifted to Chris Mintz who was noted as a hero for having been shot seven times, as he was rushing the UCC shooter. This is a tragic event that I cannot comprehend enduring nor do I intend to discuss further. I simply find the action of accentuating the positive virtues of one man, in the face of calamity, as admirable and inspiring.
I’ve learned that changing the wording of my prayers has brought me greater peace. I no longer use verbiage that amps my anxiety or lets my fears take over. Now the goal for me is to understand where else in my life I may be expressing myself in a negative fashion. As I sit here contemplating where I can improve on this matter, I’m reminded of the quote by Tom Peters that I shared in Musings of a Mom, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Perhaps it’s time that I see how I can uplift my children more by accentuating the positive rather than focusing on the negative?
As I mentioned, this topic of optimism could infiltrate so many aspects of our lives, and tonight is not the time for that. Tonight, I close with a plea for each of us to accentuate the positive! If you have an experience where you made this shift in your own life, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
I was helping my second grader with her reading homework the other day. I was assisting more with her understanding the meaning of a verb, rather than intervening. It’s important for a child to do their own work and come to their own conclusions. Of course, it’s tough for me not to swoop in and direct her to the right answer, but that doesn’t allow her to learn and grow. Plus, it gives me no indication of where she is academically, if I’m doing it for her. And, I’m so glad that I got to listen to her thought process as it pertained to the open-ended questions. Her assignment was based on Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare. A common one for sure, with a moral that “slow and steady wins the race.” However, that was not how my daughter saw it.
After she found her verbs and circled her adjectives, she came to the open-ended questions. The first question was, “What did you learn from this fable?” She was quick to answer with, “Never give up.” I thought about trying to have her think more about the story, but then I realized the question wasn’t, “What do you think Aesop meant for the moral of the story to be?” It was, “What did you learn from this fable?” And she learned a powerful message.
It got me thinking how both the tortoise and the hare finished the race. They had different approaches and there was only one “winner,” but they both finished. The Hare didn’t wake up and say, “Screw it. I already lost.” Neither of them gave up.
Now let me add, before we focus too much on the word never, that I know it’s not right to speak in absolutes, such as always and never. There are things in life that may seem to be giving up (such as divorce), but may instead be one or both of the people deciding to not give up on themselves. Not that I am pro-divorce. I am simply stating that I recognize that there are instances when “giving up” is a healthier solution. It’s these instances that I am not speaking about today.
Today I am speaking about never giving up on yourself. Having experienced multiple times when giving up on life sounded like the optimal solution (a post for another day), and seeing what blessings have transpired after those dark and dreadful moments, I feel confident on this matter. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter if I’m the Tortoise or the Hare, as long as I finish the race by crossing the proper finish line versus creating my finish line.
On a much less depressing note, I am learning to never give up on other matters in my life that could use a little extra focus, love, and appreciation. This blog is one example of that. I have wanted to throw in the towel in regards to this blog more times than I can count. While there may come a time when that is what is best for myself and our family, today is not that day. So, stay tuned, and never give up!
As Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, it seems so has our Summer. School starts this week for us and, as a result, we have been busily finishing up our 50 Fabulous Summer Bucket List Items. We recently completed our “Day of Service” item. Since I had put a bit of time researching just the right opportunities for my kids (ages 1 through 9) to spread kindness, and it turned out so well, I thought I would share my 8 fun ways for kids to serve! We didn’t have a chance to do all eight of these ideas, but the ones we did do had some surprising results.
Take cards to the assisted living home.
We have done this a few times now and my kids are getting more comfortable at going up to the residents and delivering their handmade cards. Sometimes it is difficult for young kids to feel comfortable walking up to strangers, let alone strangers who may have disabilities or ailments that may make children uncomfortable from their lack of understanding. I admit, when I was a teenager and served in our school Community Service Club, visiting the local retirement home gave me anxiety. I digress, as this post is not about me and my insecurities.
We usually invite other families to join us so that we can have a card making party and be armed with more cards to give out when we arrive at the assisted living home. I’ve learned that the best time to arrive is around lunch or dinner time, to deliver cards while they are all gathered for meals. On times when we have arrived outside of these hours, we have merely placed the cards on the tables for the residents to see when they arrive. Our cards usually include little notes wishing them a nice day with a drawing and some stickers. I think it’s fun to include the ages of the kids who are creating the cards, to personalize the experience a little more for the recipient.
Leave “lucky pennies” for children to find.
When I was a little girl, my Mom used to say, “Heads up, pick it up. Give it away, have luck all day.” I’ve heard variations on that, but the common thread is that a penny with its head facing up is considered good luck. But, let’s be honest, a kid doesn’t care what way a penny is facing. A penny, in their minds, is as good as gold. My friend and I sent our kids out, with pennies in hand, to go place “lucky pennies” along the pathway where we were eating our lunch picnic during this year’s Day of Service. As soon as the kids were done eating their lunches, they all ran off to check the status of the pennies they had placed. Such a fun and simple way to spread joy!
Deliver baked goods to your local fire station.
This one is ALWAYS the highlight of my kids’ Day of Service. It’s probably because the fire fighters in our town are all too willing to give them a tour of their vehicles, particularly their engine. What child doesn’t love getting up in a fire engine? I feel like we’re on the recipient side of this act of service, as they seem to stop everything to teach our children and let them explore. The best part is, as an adult, I actually learn new stuff about their role in our community every time we go.
Attach a bag of coins to a vending machine.
After our assisted living home stop, lunch break, and fire station exploration, we headed over to our local hospital to do two more acts of service. Before heading out for our Day of Service, we had placed a dollar worth of coins into six separate baggies with a note that read, “Spreading random acts of kindness. Enjoy a treat on us!” Upon arriving to the hospital, we sought out the vending machines and taped the baggies to the machines with packing tape. Since we had six bags and there were only two vending machines, we ended up taping four and delivering two to patients waiting in the Emergency Department.
Place coloring books and crayons in hospital waiting areas.
This was our second act of service within the hospital, and the most surprising one to me. Being that we were two women with eight kids between us, I don’t imagine we appeared dangerous, yet some adults and kids were quick to refuse our offer of crayons and coloring sheets. I was shocked by a mom who sharply declined our act of kindness and kids who seemed confused by our offer. In fact, nobody would take any from us. We ended up placing the items on tables near the waiting families and informing them that they were theirs for the taking, should they change their mind. Some kids quickly went for the coloring pages once they were laying out. I suppose many of us have come accustomed to believing that there is always some sort of catch to something being “free.”
The three remaining items for 8 fun ways for kids to serve were not done during our Day of Service, but I had intentions of doing these as well. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to do them for one reason or another.
Leave positive messages with sidewalk chalk along walkways.
I really wanted to do this one, but I forgot to buy the sidewalk chalk. My hope was to have the kids leave smiley faces along sidewalks or perhaps little messages that just said, “Have a good day,” or “You’re beautiful.” Sidewalk chalk messages and drawings seem to easily catch the attention of others. How fun would it be to know that others might be lifted up by such a simple message for days to follow?
Return shopping carts to their stalls.
This was another way that I thought my kids would have fun serving. However, after further thought, I realized that my kids are a bit too young to be gathering shopping carts and pushing them through busy parking lots. Plus, my kids kept worrying that if we did this task, then we would end up putting the workers who normally do this undertaking out of a job. I imagine once they’re a little older, they’ll understand that the “shopping cart retrievers” have other responsibilities to ensure job security. Perhaps then we can give this act of service a go?
Leave a small present or a note of appreciation in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
My Mom used to give the garbage man, the mail carrier, our dry cleaners’ owners, and our gardeners a box of See’s Candies for Christmas, as a sign of our appreciation. I always thought it such a nice gesture. While I don’t have the ability to give such generous tokens, I thought it might be nice to drop a note of gratitude or perhaps grab a candy bar and leave it in our mailbox for our mail carrier.
::COMMERCIAL BREAK:: You may notice that I am being very PC in referring to our mail carrier. This is because I once addressed a card to my BFF that said, “Dear Mailman, Please deliver this card to the best friend in the whole wide world.” When the card arrived, the mail carrier had left a note on the front of the card, slashing out the word “man” portion of Mailman and putting “woman” instead. Since then, I’ve tried to be more considerate about the gender of a mail carrier. Normally, I’m not very PC, but if I’m going to show my appreciation, I certainly want to be sensitive to their feelings. ::NOW BACK TO YOUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING::
All of these 8 fun ways for kids to serve almost seem too easy. By the time we had done five of these eight acts of kindness, it seemed like we had hardly done anything at all. But who is to say how far these acts may go? They weren’t big at all in the grand scheme of things, but if they changed the outlook of even one person’s day, then I think we’ve had a success. Heck, I even got a little happy when my daughter delivered a card to an elderly gentleman playing the piano at the assisted living home, and he noticed her name on the card and said that it was also his sister’s name. Perhaps just triggering the memory of a loved one brought joy to him? I know remembering my mom can be bittersweet, but each memory is a reminder that she lives on in me.
As parents, we have the responsibility to teach our children so many things; at times it feels overwhelming. However, teaching my children to look beyond themselves is towards the top of my list. As a Christian woman, my focus is to teach my children of Jesus Christ. What better way to teach of Him, than to teach them how to be charitable, which is the pure love of Christ? I hope they remember these days that we set aside every so often to serve, and seek out their own ways to lift others through their daily activities.
I’ve felt a bit blue recently. I am not sure what to attribute it to in my life. Things are all going well in our world, so it’s definitely something that is coming from within. I could chalk it up to the mental illness I battle, but that doesn’t make it any easier to face it. In trying to figure out what positive insight I could share this week, I decided I needed my own inspiration and hit my Worth Remembering board on Pinterest. The quote that hit the spot was the one that reads, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” You may have noticed that I did not credit anyone as having said that. That’s because, there is debate on who was quoted as saying this line. You’ll see credit given to C.S. Lewis and John Trainer, M.D.. C.S. Lewis fans say that he was never quoted as saying this, so I guess that leaves it to John Trainer, M.D. Regardless of its origin, it was what I needed to read. The one thing I have been trying my best to do this past week is make the most of the last days of my children’s Summer. While I feel like I’m failing in many ways, I have focused on the most important work, which is my children. I need to remember this, because usually I feel like a failure in the department of parenting as well. I’m not claiming to feel superior as a parent, but I’m feeling more confident than usual as I place my focus more fully on them.
With that being said, I’m keeping this short and sweet. My week has been filled with loads of fun memories being made with my kids. As a result, many other things got pushed to the back burner, and that’s okay. This time in our lives will end all too soon. Now is the time for my children to be my most important work and, may I add, my most important play. So, work and play we shall do!
How quickly the first Friday of the month sneaks up on me. I was at a blank as to what to share when I remembered this website that is super fun that I came across years ago. So, it’s more of an old find. First Friday Find: Free Rice helps those in need. Free Rice has two goals: provide education to everyone for free and help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. Free Rice is a non-profit website that is owned by and supports the United Nations World Food Programme.
It’s a simple and fun concept. You go to Free Rice, you answer questions, and every correct answer donates 10 grains of rice to feed the hungry. There are different levels of ease and different subjects to choose from. So, you could sit your little kid down and get them working on saving the world one grain of rice at a time. WARNING: the site can be rather addicting; as you see your bowl of rice fill up and realize that every answer feeds more, you can’t help but keep playing.
It’s really that simple. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.