Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SIBLING RIVALRY AND BICKERING: PART I


This is part one of two posts. Sibling rivalry and bickering.....ain't it fun? Not! Yet, if you have more than one child, chances are you've faced it at one time or another.

My boys are four years apart and are 17 and 21. They get along really well and enjoy spending time together. In fact, they have pretty much always got along well. I think that that four year age gap helped!

I'm not saying there weren't moments that the younger didn't do something to annoy the older, or the older didn't do something to annoy his younger brother, but it hasn't affected their relationship long term.

Just as we want to teach our children to get along with others, we also want them to learn to get along with their siblings. Here are some things that we did and some other ideas which may help.

We did not allow them to get away with hitting one another. At some point, most children are going to hit, and now you as a parent have a choice to make. Are you going to tell them that hitting is wrong, and encourage them to use their words to communicate, instead of their fists? Are you going to make the decision that this can't be prevented and therefore do nothing to discourage it?

I think if we expect that to be the "norm," then it will be. If we just accept that our children will get in fist fights, etc., then I imagine they will. While it is likely that some, if not most, children will hit at one time or another, that doesn't mean we need to encourage it or say it's o.k.

We also discouraged our children from wrestling for the most part, as it's been my experience that wrestling often leads to fighting or someone accidentally getting hurt (not to mention one son got his tooth broken in half by his friend's wayward foot while wrestling). Wrestling with daddy was encouraged, but wrestling with one another was discouraged.

When one of the children has a friend over, we did not force him to include his sibling in their play. Sometimes the older offered to include his younger brother, but it was not required. When I was twelve, we always had to play with my best friend's five year old sister. I rarely got to play with my friend alone, as her mom always made her include her sister. It was not fun as her sister was very difficult to play with and always insisted on having her way.

I know that some people require that the siblings be included when a child has a friend over. I'm just saying that we didn't do that. Each child was allowed to have their own friendships without being forced to include their brother. However many times they did, and they still do today.

Build on their friendship. When the kids were about seven and eleven, the age gap began to grow wider. I set aside 30 minutes a day in which they were required to play together. Yes, required. They took turns choosing games each day and for a half hour they played and talked and laughed. Our desire was that they build on their relationship, and a relationship is hard to build when you aren't ever together.

Do not allow name calling. I know that this is another thing that many children do, but it doesn't mean that it has to be acceptable in our homes. Words can hurt, especially from someone you love. Would you go around calling your child a brat every time he acted up? No, you wouldn't as that would hurt him as well as begin to label him a brat in your own mind. We want to discourage our children from speaking hurtful words to one another.

Please click here for part two! 

Kristen of We Are That Family is hosting Works-For-Me-Wednesday again! Please go here for more Works For Me Wednesday!

GRAVITY SCHMAVITY

I hesitate to even mention that I am posting at the Five Mom's today, because I think that if you pop over there and see the post and look at the picture, you may think I have lost my mind.

However, in my defense, I have been on medication for my back injury, and I think you already know that I am one french fry short of a Happy Meal.

"A I get older, it has come to my attention that something isn't the same as it used to be. Or at least in the same place. My face seems to be.....um......slipping." So if you want to read more and aren't afraid to see the scary picture, please pop over and visit me for it's my turn to blog at Five Mom's today!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: HOME SWEET HOME

Making your home sing Mondays




Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

When we moved into our current home, I was so excited. I even told someone it was my "dream" home. It was twice as big as our previous home, had many extras that I loved, the laundry room was not a dungeon, and the house was 100% finished, unlike our old home.

In fact, when we moved in we didn't have enough furniture to fill the rooms, so some of the rooms looked rather empty. But that was o.k., I loved it anyway.

Now fast forward to all these years later, and suddenly we have more furniture than I know what to do with (especially after my mom moved in with us) and the home that seemed so big when the kids were little seems smaller now. Over the years we managed to collect a lot of "things."

You know, it's so easy to look at the negatives in the home you are living in. It's so easy to get frustrated and wonder who designed that kitchen and what were they thinking??????

It's just so easy to want to look at moving as a "cure-all" and be frustrated when circumstances are such that you can't move.

I can't tell you the number of times that I have heard about people who don't fix their homes up until they are ready to sell the place. People just live with the colors or things that they don't like, until they decide to fix the place up so they can move. In our old home, we lived with a bedroom color that we couldn't stand and never bothered repainting, until we decided to move.

We can cause ourselves to have a spirit of discontent, and to make ourselves miserable (and others) by our constant complaining about this or that that we have to put up with in our homes.

Right now there are people out there who are losing their homes to foreclosure. Our neighbor up the street was one of them. We have friends who may be facing the same situation. Home takes on a whole new meaning when you are faced with the possibility of losing it and wondering where you are going to live and how you will pay for it.

Are you thankful for your home today? Maybe it doesn't have as many bathrooms or bedrooms as you'd like, but are you thankful for it?

Do you have so much "stuff" that it is crowding you out? Declutter! Does the color of your kitchen bring you down, or do you have wallpaper you can't stand? Paint is cheap! Instead of dwelling on the negatives, think about what the positives are and make them work for you.

You can make anything into a home, when you put YOU into it. Be thankful for your home this week, put a little beauty into it whether it is decluttering, playing music, lighting candles, cleaning, or just the sound of joyous laughter and thankfulness to God. Make your home sing this week!


Friday, June 25, 2010

UP OR DOWN? THAT IS THE QUESTION....

O.k., this will probably open a can of worms and you may hate me but there are some things that need to be talked about, and I just gotta know. I mean, I really, really, really gotta know!

Keep in mind that your answer could have huge ramifications and life as you now know it may change forever. But if you like to live a little on the wild side then read on......

Now for the big question:

Do you put your toilet seat lid down in your bathroom or do you leave it up?

Not the toilet seat itself but the lid. Do you put the lid down?

I absolutely have to leave the lid down. Sorry, but it's a pet peeve of mine. I mean, it seems a bit pointless to have a nice clean bathroom and leave the lid up and then have a gaping, yawning hole like that. What a view!

To me, the bathroom just doesn't seem "finished" unless the lid is down.

I have seen pictures of bathroom remodels on the internet and many times the people leave the lid up. I just think the bathroom would look more attractive with the lid down. Otherwise, it almost looks like its "in use."

It's like how making your bed just seems to make the whole bedroom look neat and clean and "finished." Putting the toilet lid down just seems to make the bathroom look neat and clean to me.

So next time you go into your bathroom, take a look at the toilet lid. Is it up or down? Do you find it more attractive to look at a closed lid or at a hole? Do you feel like you have to keep it up because your dogs use your toilet as an alternate watering source? Do you wish you'd never come onto my blog today?

Told you it was a can of worms.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

JUST AN ACCIDENT LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HAPPEN

Hi y'all! Today I'm gonna shake things up a bit, and I'm going to let you come right into the middle of a blog post.

I pile a laundry basket about five feet high and then try to carry the thing down the stairs, carefully feeling for each step in front of me as I can't see where I'm going.....I am just an accident looking for a place to happen.

I take it as a personal insult if the phone rings more than once. I like to see how quickly I can answer the phone, even if it means I have to bodily launch myself into the air, leaping over dogs and people alike to get to it. Because I have to answer it first, of course.......

.............for the beginning and the end of the rest of this post please pop over to the Five Mom's as it's my day to blog there!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING:PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE

Making your home sing Mondays




Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

When was the last time you smiled? When was the last time you laughed? When was the last time you frowned or grumbled or complained as you went about your home duties? Are people surprised when they see a frown on your face? Are they surprised when they see a smile?

As a wife and a mom, I know that sometimes we can take our home duties so seriously. Sometimes we can be so "job" oriented that we forget to be "wife" or "mom" oriented. We can get all stressed about getting things done that we forget about who we're doing it for. We forget to enjoy our homes and our families.

Are your words seasoned with love or do you mostly snap and grumble at your family? Do you complain about all the laundry they make or the fact that you have to make dinner again? Do you find yourself whining and nagging and complaining more than you'd like?

Have you ever timed yourself doing a much disliked chore? Some people can't stand emptying the dishwasher. Have you ever timed that? It's a piece of cake time-wise! You can stand anything for that length of time, can't you?

Do you think your attitude is important? Do you think your attitude affects how you view things? Does your attitude affect your actions? We can choose our attitude, you know. We can choose to be happy, and we can choose contentment. It's not easy, but it's a choice we can make.

There is always that one child who is prone to spilling their milk at dinner time (*cough* that was me *cough). They are a milk magnet. There is always that child who tracks in dirt right after you mopped the floor. There is always that husband who will forget to call you when they're going to be late.

We don't have to let the unexpected ruin our entire day. We don't have to approach each day so seriously that we take all the joy out of it for everyone, including ourselves. We don't have to take every snag or interruption so personally.

Let's take joy in our home and our families. Put a smile on your face. If you don't feel it, do it anyway. Fake it till you make it. Smile at your husband, at your children, at your coworkers, at your boss. Put a smile in your voice, in your eyes, in your heart and make your home sing this week!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

OOOPS I DROPPED IT AGAIN

I'm still here, hanging in there and getting better. I might even be back to blogging by next week.

Tonight I was taking my allergy pill and I somehow managed to drop it. My oldest was sitting nearby and I hollered that I had dropped my pill.

Ordinarily this would not be an event. For one thing, I am always dropping things. I have dropped things since I was a little girl and I imagine I will continue to drop things as I get older. The only thing I hate to drop is the subject when I am upset about something, and the other thing that is even harder to drop is weight.

So I hollered at my son to come help. As I've said, I hurt my back and am having physical therapy and am supposed to be careful about bending and such. I was also concerned about the dogs eating my allergy pill, however I did think it might help clear their sinuses.

So my son was moving around on the floor trying to find this ridiculously small allergy pill. Now, I understand why they make pills small. It's so that you can swallow them. I get that.

But trying to find a little tiny pill on a floor can be hard. Those suckers move! We finally found it under the hutch where it had rolled. He gave it to me and I proceeded to dust it off and take it (hey, anything to save money and a little dirt never hurt anyone) when I accidentally dropped it again.

Have you ever tried to take a little tiny pill and dust it off on your shirt? Well, don't. It's hard to hold onto. This time we found that sucker about five feet away.....around the corner.....where it had rolled.

So, I have come to the conclusion that apparently I should not be trusted to carry anything. I did, however, manage to carry both my children for nine months without dropping them. Of course, they were safely inside at the time.

I have also come to the conclusion that pills have a run-for-your-life mentality. That is the only possible reason that mine rolled so far away. They were fighting to survive.

So, please don't ask me to hold anything for you, unless you don't mind my dropping it. That I can do.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER

Making your home sing Mondays




Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Oh the lazy days of summer. I don't know about you but my summers aren't usually lazy. I cram as much into them as I can, but also try to manage to sneak in some relaxation, BBQ's, family, friends and fun time too!

I love the long summer days, I love the beach and the cool breeze that comes off the water, I love the fact that it stays light for so long. I love the fact that, although I am busy, I don't have a "schedule" like I do during the homeschool year. I do sort of have a summer schedule, but it has a lot more freedom to it.

So far my summer is starting out with lots of lazy days until my back gets better. I was lying there last night wishing I could be "productive."

I love to be productive and get things done. That's not to say that I don't like to relax every now and then, because I do (even though my mom says I don't, lol!). But I just like "accomplishing" things.

So last night I was wondering about what I could do to make my home sing this week. My family has been so helpful around here, but I've been making little messes since I'm lying around so much. I have several books and dvd's lying around and there are newspapers scattered all over.

I have not been doing my pickup habit, and it's starting to look like it. So I was thinking that I can start by picking up after myself, as it's good for me to get up and walk around. I was also thinking that I have some old magazines that I can go through.

If I like something in a magazine I tear out the article and file it, then I toss the magazine. I haven't done this for awhile so I have a neat little stack waiting for me. This will help pass the time, plus I will actually accomplish something productive!

I also have some laundry that needs to be folded. My family has offered to do stuff like that but sometimes I get bored and it just gives me something to do, you know? Besides, like I said my PT wants me to get up and move around ever so often. So this is how I'll make my home sing this week.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday MckLinky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: WHEN YOU'VE BEEN BENCHED

Making your home sing Mondays




Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Do you guys ever find yourself not mentioning things on your blog because you feel like people won't believe you and that you're just making stuff up for attention?

I mean, I know that you would believe me, but sometimes I just don't mention ongoing stuff because, you know, you have a stressful week and it sounds as if your life is a soap opera? I'll bet you all have days or weeks like that, right? And also, if you do complain it does sound like you want attention.

So I'm not complaining and I don't want your sympathy as things are o.k., but I will tell you two things that are going on to explain my absence.

First, my mom has been ill and has been in and out of the hospital lately. She is back in the hospital again. I am concerned about her but know she is in God's hands and she is breathing soooo much better now. However, I would love your prayers as she seems to be in and out of it every few weeks lately.

Also, I injured my back last week. I think I did it by an evil exercise or by lifting a heavy item improperly. Yes, I knew I should have waited for someone else, and I know I should have bent with the knees but I didn't want to.

By Wednesday I was in severe pain and throwing up because it hurt so bad. I couldn't stand, walk or sit without pain, and was having some muscle spasms. Thank the Lord for pain killers (and doctors)! I have a severely sprained back muscle and muscle spasms that pushed my spine into a curve (or something like that the doctor said). The doctor said it'll straighten back out again so no big deal.

Anyway, it's no big deal except that I am on "light activity" and having to have therapy for the next 4-6 weeks. I am hoping that maybe they'll teach me what to do and let me do it at home, instead of going to a doctor's office a couple of times a week.

So, consequently I really haven't felt much like blogging. When the pain meds kick in I am feeling less pain but kind of tired and in a fog. When the pain meds are wearing off, I don't feel like blogging.

So, this is my life as of today. I have been "benched" and can't play in the game for a bit.

I am having to easy up on my summer cleaning frenzy as I am not supposed to do heavy lifting or bending or twisting for a bit.

However, there are lots of things I can do! So, I plan on making my home sing this week by making some menu plans, and doing some light cleaning so that things don't fall apart around here. I am also aware that God is in this, and that for now He is telling me to slow down. I also have a family that is more than willing to bend, twist or lift for me!

There are lots of people out there that live in constant pain, whether it's physical or emotional. This is just a temporary setback for me and I'll be back to "normal" soon. But there are many people out there who have to live with chronic pain and they need our prayer and our support. If you know someone who is, I encourage you to give them a call or send a card today and make their heart sing this week just by letting them know that you care.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday MckLinky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!