Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Review - "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman

I just finished an excellent parenting/disciplining/discipling children book!  I highly recommend it!  I thought I might just give you some things that I thought were important take aways for me anyways!

She said instead of just punishing or disciplining our children, we need to provide them away of escape - a way out of a sin or misbehavior.  Telling them or showing the right way/choice and having them repeat it back or role play it back (what should they have said or done).  For example, when my child whines when asking for something, not just telling him not to whine, but telling him how I would like him to ask for something:  "Mommy, may I please have a drink".  She said if we just punish and don't show them the correct way to act and have them practice it, anger and frustration will build up in them.  She gave an example of how we train our dogs to go potty outside...we don't just swat them, we put them outside to show them where to go.  This lead me to try something with my dog...

If any of you have been to my house, you know that upon leaving, my dog barks in a circle at your feet.  He has done this since he was 6 months old.  We use to spank him for it...we have yelled at him, put him in other rooms when we left (to avoid the behavior), etc (sound familiar parents of children?)...and nothing has worked.  He's 7 now so I have just given up thinking he would always be that way.  But I realized after reading that, that I was never giving him an escape - showing him another way to act.  So I tried it...upon leaving one morning, he did his normal follow me to the door growling at my feet.  I turned around calmly and looked at him and said "no bark...go lay in your bed".  And he did it!  I about fell over...couldn't believe how easy it was.  Now, just like a child, he hasn't been so obedient every single time, but we are working on him...after all this is a 7 year old habit!  His way out, is his bed.

She also says to tell them what the bible says about each behavior and not use different words - use what the bible actually says.  Don't say "you are acting ugly"...say you are acting foolish and give bible verses to go along.  She gave a nice chart to show different misbehaviors and what verses you can use (Child's behavior; Heart probing question; reproof - put off; encourangement - put on; and verses).  She does it in a way that doesn't sound "lectur-y" but loving.  Like "I love you too much to allow to disobey and for sin to grow in your heart".  Just an example.  She gives alot of examples of real life like sibling rivalry and other things that we deal with as parents on a daily basis.  This whole concept has really shown me that I don't know the bible as well as I thought I did.  I have a lot of studying to do to be able to really understand and speak scripture to my children.  It also showed me how difficult and time consuming parenting really is.  So if you don't have children, you might want to reconsider having them...nah...just kidding.  Just know that it is more work than one might think.  Maybe I was just naive but I seriously didn't think it would be this hard.  No wonder people give up, make excuses, give in to their's exhausting and truly a JOB!!!

Here are some benefits Ginger gives of teaching in the context of the moment (don't wait til later):
1. Children learn how to become "doers" of the Word and not "hearers"
2.  Children comprehend better when they learn in a hands-on situation
3.  Children gain the skills of fleshing out God's Word in daily life
4.  Children are better equipped to obey God's word

She also gives parents these nice and convicting responsibilities:
~To use every opportunity to point children to their need for Christ
~To train them to obey God by honoring and obeying their parents.  She says "If we fail to require obedience from our children, we become a stumbling block for them.  Luke 17:2 explains that it would be better for us to drown in a sea with a millstone tied around our necks than to cause a child to stumble.  We are robbing our children of the blessings that God intends for them when we fail to require obedience."
~To teach them wisdom for daily life
~To train them in righteousness.  "Paul told Timothy in 1 Timonthy 4:7-8 to 'have nothing to do with goldess myths and old wives tales, rather, train yourself to be goldy.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness have value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come'.  It is important that our children are in the habit of thinking and acting right.
~To pray for them
~ To be a godly example

She has 6 guidelines for verbal correction which are very good also but I won't get into those here. (read the book)  She also give the biblical meaning/use of the "rod" in discipline (spanking)....(again, read the book)
She has a section on worldy methods that we use in an attempt to obtain obedience - which don't work because they are worldly and not godly...these were very convicting because I think I have done every single one of them.  One in particular that I saw just this weekend and know I have done before is bribing.  She says that bribing is not training for obedience; it's rewarding the child for stubbornness.  You can have dessert if you eat can have a sucker if you are good at the store.    "Children should be taught to obey because it is right and because it pleases God, not to get a reward.  Giving them a reward in order to get them to obey encourages them in selfishness...their motive for obeying is, "i'll obey for what I can get out of it".  This seems like a no brainor but we can easily get wrapped into not wanting to deal with a tantrum or a fit and so we give in to things just to avoid that. It is better to talk through it and explain and teach then to give in...even if the item under discussion is only $1. 
She also talks about how we threaten when we should just expect obedience the first time they are asked.  We are working on this one.  I ask once and if obedience doesn't happen, a consequence does.  Wow, that's hard.  She says the reward for this is that they will be obedient to God the first time if they are use to being obedient to us (the parents) the first, we all want to achieve that, don't we??
I also loved how she talked about how we manipulate their environment to keep them from being disobedient.  This goes back to when they first start crawling and they get into our things.  Instead of telling them no or slapping their hand, we move our stuff around (usually up higher) so that they won't get into it.  We say things like "he doesn't know any better" or "he's just curious" but this does not teach him self control or obedience, it says "If you can reach it, its yours to play with".  Excellent glad I already did that one when my kids were little.  We didn't move any of our things!  It makes me feel better after I heard other people tell me "just move it", "she doesn't know any better".  She says that parents will say how smart their 9 month old is when it comes to language and how much they understand, but when it comes to something like their environment, then they aren't "smart enough" to understand what they can touch and what they can't...just doesn't make sense!

Okay...well, I think I am done on my soap's an excellent book and a short read (150 pages).  I highly recommend it.  Start while they are young (below 2 if possible)...this will help you on the parenting end and help them in the long run too.  If you haven't been doing this, she says its not too late to start and discusses ways to start.  Get the the book...I want this for my own kids as much as I want it for yours!  I want it for me as much as I want it for you!  Good luck!!

Update 3 on Doula-hood, Costa Rica, Nursing school

There isn't much new on this topic.  I have a new client who I have been working with for the past month.  She is due May 18th and is hoping for a water birth.  I am very excited for this experience and this young couple expecting their first baby!  And the gender is a surprise so this will be so much fun.  We are going out of town on May 8-10th so I am really praying I don't miss it.  I do have a back up in this case and the client knew this going into it. My class is paid off and I am just waiting for my certificate!  Hooray!  Still thinking on the name and the business cards and website are waiting on that also.  Today I did put an ad on Craigslist and got 2 hits within the 1/2 hour.  We'll see!

Costa Rica
I sent out support letters at the beginning of the month and have maybe gotten a quarter of them back.  I have already raised enough money to cover my trip and any other money will be going to those who are having trouble raising money for their trip and for other needs/supplies for our trip.  We are also raising money to build a wall (costs 10,000-20,000) around LaFinca.  Extra money will also be going towards this.  I have had many donations towards the wall as well.  Feeling very blessed by the donations from our friends and family!!! 

We have had a couple of meetings to plan the trip.  We'll be conducting an eye clinic for three days.  We will be heading into a couple of different schools and pulling classrooms of kids out at a time for them to get their eyes checked - most of them for the first time!  The eye doctor who is going with us said he should be able to see one child per minute just because of the tools he has (they are not even reading charts)!  This is amazing.  So we will see over 600 kids and probably half that in adults.  We have some "gospel-gearing" crafts to do while the kids wait for their eye appointment. 

In addition to helping with the eye clinic, I am in charge of coordinating a ladies luncheon.  There will be a lot of ladies attending who need to hear the gospel.  We are looking for a speaker (possibly me??!! but praying about who the Lord has already chosen) and I'll probably be helping with the special music (probably duet with another girl on the team) can't believe I am writing it and sort of setting it in stone.  SCARY!

I got my shots a couple of weeks ago, so now we are just planning and preparing to leave on June 10th.

Nursing School
Here's the big one.  I have been praying over and researching options and things for nursing school.  When I first started looking into it, I was probably 99% sure I was going for it.  But as I sat and prayed over it the past few weeks, I gradually became 99% sure that I wasn't going to do it.  It was one day last week, while I was driving (I think...yes, scary) that the answer for the Lord came at me like a ton of bricks.  The answer is no...I will not be enrolling in nursing school at this time.  When the answer came, I can't even explain the weight and burden was lifted from me and what a peace came over me.  That tells me the answer is from Him.  For selfish reasons, I wanted to enroll...and for selfish reasons, I didn't want to.  But I truly wanted the answer to be from the Lord.  And it truly was.  Man, do I feel good about it!  It's not to say I'll never do it, but it's definitley not the time for me.  God showed me during this time that my heart is really at home and needs to be at home.  My relationship with my God, my husband, and my children depend on me being at home.  And in fact, God showed me other areas in my life that I need to cut back and prioritize.  I am currently praying over those areas and trying to decide, with God's help, what should stay and what should go.  As much as I am sort of sad about not enrolling, I am more happy that I am not.  God revealed to me so many things that I would be missing out on if I did (time with Him, time with family, time with friends...TIME was a theme - and it's short).  He was so precious to me during this time.  I know what rewards and blessings will come out of me not doing something that I selfishly wanted to...this is going to be WAY better because it's His plan for me and not my own. 

I am also praising God that I don't HAVE to work and that I have a supportive husband who wants me to stay home.  Going through this process allowed conversations for Brock and I to have that wouldn't have taken place otherwise. Knowing how his role will change in his job and how supportive he is of me being home with our children is just the reassurance I needed!  It seems like such a small decision - go back to school or not? - but look what kind of BIG things God showed me through that small decision process.  Never think that decisions are too small to NOT seek God first...your life is too important for that!!


Easter's hard to get the boy to take pictures these days.  Reece loves the camera and Brody runs from it.  He is pushing his sister away as she trying to get him to pose for a picture.
 We got the kids a wheelbarrow for Easter full of sand tools.  I figure they get enough candy and I don't want their teeth rotting.  Plus we are doing some landscaping and lots of yard work so I figured they would enjoy helping me!  At least in theory... :)

 Easter Egg hunt at Mimis


Reecey's Hello Kitty B-day party

Reecey had her Hello Kitty party over Easter weekend.  She shared the birthday spotlight with her two girl cousins who are also born in April - Kennedy and Gracie.

We made these fun flower for center pieces and we pretended to be part of the decorations with silly flower headbands.

 Hello Kitty Cake and favors
 The big 4!  She was so excited to finally have a party after waiting 3 weeks from her actual b-day
 Present time with Gracie
 Gracie (2), Kennedy (4), Reecey (4) - singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles.
 Most of the cousins (not pictured: Brody and Gracie who were hovering over Tate's Tow-Mater chocolate cake)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meijer secret coupon deal?

I am not sure if this is a secret or if it is even "legal" in the coupon biz but I found a deal at Meijer that was too good not to share.  I believe it is only good through tomorrow so if you plan to do Meijer shopping tomorrow, you might want to add this to the list.  Unilever had a deal where if you spend $15 on Axe, Dove, Degree, Suave or Vaseline products (look for yellow or white little signs by qualifying items - not all qualify) then you get $5 off at the register.  In addition there is a Dove catalina where if you spend $10 on Dove products, you get $3 back in the form of a catalina.  I tried them in combination to see if I would get both deals and it worked!  Here are the things I purchased because these are what we needed and would use:

2 Axe Shower gels 12oz @ 3.84 each
Use B1G1 from 3/27 RP

1 Dove Body Wash @ 5.29
1/1 from 3/27 RP

1 Dove Soap 6pk @ 5.29
1/1 from 3/27 RP

Total = 18.26
minus coupons = 12.42
minus $5 off instantly Unilever deal = 7.42
+ get 3 Dove Catalina = 4.42 for all 4 products (approx 1.10 each)! 

You may want to check Mperks too and see if you have addional coupons for those items.  I found Disney gummies vitamins for 50% off and I had a $1.00 mperk coupon and 2 $1 off coupons found in the paper.  So I got one for .74 and the other one for 1.74.  They are normally 5.50 a piece!

To see further coupon deals for Meijer see Bargains to Bounty