Pinch Me!

This day went like most others…not really anything to write home about.

Kids played, they did school, they played some more, they ran errands with Daddy, they made lunch, we all ate dinner together, they argued, they laughed they cried. They spent some time in time out. All normal things in the course of the day.

And then something amazing happened. Just amazing. This happened:

Maddux

Boy child decided that he really wanted to vacuum. In fact, he didn’t even come right out and tell us. I found him playing with baby girl’s Minnie Mouse play vacuum, just humming the motor sounds as he moved methodically back and forth.

I saw his technique and the dedication to his craft so I asked him, “Boy child, would you like to use the real vacuum and vacuum the family room floor?”

Oh, the joy in his eyes! He couldn’t nod his head quickly or harshly enough to convey how much “yes” he wanted to.

Never one to miss an opportunity to bribe my children, I told boy child to go brush his teeth and get his jammies on. If his teeth were sparkly and his jammies on, I would get the vacuum for him to use.

I have never seen such efficiency. Or quality of work. Or enthusiasm for cleaning. Pinch me! I have a child who wants to clean!!

Who is this boy? And what is going on?? You know what- doesn’t matter. He wants to vacuum, who am I to stand in his way?!

So I plug the vacuum in, and he insists on stepping on the release to bring the body of the vacuum down and he gets started. Man, he’s good. He’s got the wire in his grip so he doesn’t accidentally run over the cord and suck it up.

And then…he did something that made me speechless.

He started moving things around so he could vacuum underneath! Praise God, my boy is thorough!! He did a phenomenal job and his heart was full of clean, vacuuming joy! That is until he got to the best part…

Stepping on the lever that automatically winds up the long, twisted cord back into the hungry belly of the vacuum cleaner.

The smile on boy child’s face and his tip-toeing around his own handiwork was a sight to behold.

And just like that, he was off to something else he wanted to do.

 

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It’s not a threat. It’s just physics.

Untitled designSomething happened to me today on the way in to work that stirred something inside of me and took me down the path of figuring out why and what happened. Along my route is a school zone and the road is a two lane with a center turn lane. The road isn’t very busy, despite the elementary school being right on it and the bustle of parents and school buses dropping off kids.

Speed limit is 30mph. A school zone.

And yet, this extremely important lady decided that she was above the rules and passed me in the turn lane to zip on down the road, completely disregarding the school zone and consequently the very reason it exists.

Sadly, I met her at the red light at the end of the road so her expeditiousness and law breaking saved her no time whatsoever. And she didn’t appear to be in distress, in labor, or otherwise stressed. In fact, she was checking her phone, probably for her important messages and texts. So important.

So she potentially endangered walking children, other drivers, buses, school personnel for literally no reason.

What made her do this?!

What made this selfish woman think that the rules didn’t apply to her?

And this is where my mind went…because I think it’s been a ticking time bomb that’s based on the “you are important” mentality we are mistakenly instilling in our children. That we have been instilling in our children for quite a while now. Let’s all enjoy the fruits of this mistaken approach to encouragement.

In order to live in a society together, there must be order, rules, boundaries, etc. We cannot live only for ourselves or we will cause each other physical harm. If I made decisions just for me, without any regard for the people around me, someone will get hurt. I don’t care for red lights but if I didn’t care ABOUT red lights, someone’s gonna get creamed.

It’s not a threat, it’s just physics.

People a long time ago were put in place to determine things like road rules, ordinances, methods of decision-making, orders, etc. In addition, people were put into positions to represent the masses on the forward movement of the society that ensures the benefit of as many as possible. Heck, we even had the forethought to put in place a mechanism that allowed for the change of people if those said people were not performing on our behalf in the best way possible. How lucky for us!

Long story short…the rules are there to keep everyone safe.

Which leads me to this…and it might sting.

You are not important.

Well, you are important…of course you are, bless your heart you sweet thing.

But seriously, you aren’t important. You are unique…just like everyone else. There are many of us…and there are many more to come.

Parents are telling their children “You are a leader!”, “You are a strong, independent person…you will go far!”, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something!”.

You realize kids take this crap literally, right?? Where is the talk about when things don’t go your way?

“Hey, sometimes you will be on the bottom of the totem pole” or “Hey, sometimes you will have to clean the toilet”

It’s why they suck at being friends, getting along, enjoying each other’s company, generally socializing with other people, etc. And don’t tell me that’s not true. Kids today are snarky, rude, selfish, lazy…and we’ve been telling them they are special and important. They believed us!! It’s not their fault!

Sometimes you aren’t the leader…that negates the idea of teamwork when your mentality is built on always being the leader.

Sometimes you aren’t a strong, independent person… we actually aren’t all good at everything and each of us possess specific skills and abilities that should complement each other.

Sometimes you can’t do something…there, I said it. Sometimes you just can’t and that’s actually ok because sometimes someone else can. I can’t build a car engine, but by golly my brother could do it easily with his eyes closed!

Sometimes you will have to clean the toilet. Just a fact.

I feel like some mothers are putting this crap in their kids’ heads now to prep for the day they envision when their grown child is standing in front of the press giving credit to their success (and obvious subsequent wealth) and that child says, “I owe everything to my mom because she always told me I could be anything I wanted”. And that’s selfish.

We cannot be a society of leaders. An upside down pyramid does nothing to move society forward. Every hive needs worker bees and being a worker bee is not a bad thing. It’s honorable. It says you care about others in addition to caring about yourself.

So…in conclusion:

Don’t pass me in the turn lane of a school zone!!!

Child-noise

D587DC83-B949-418C-BA27-739E486E4AEFIt happened one day that our first child came into the world. Soon after another child and then a third child. So our hearts were filled with love and our home filled with child-noise…a special noise that is many things all at once. Lovely and irritating. Joyful and frustrating. Amazing and exhausting.

So many things all balled up into the experience of having little ones and if you blink you could miss it.

Of course that’s what everyone tells you and of course you think you heed the warning but I have been almost scared to find that it’s actually true. Where did all the time go?

A few weeks ago we were begging for a night without a crying baby.

Last week we watched our little one take her first steps.

Three days ago, he begged us for his paci because we were weaning him off. “I na ma paci!!! I na ma PAAAACCCCIIIII!!!”

Just yesterday, she stopped needing pull-ups.

Now our kids are still on the young side but they are growing fast and furious and I’m starting to be concerned at how unprepared I am for them to grow all the way up.

Sometimes I look at girl child and think that in the same amount of time that’s already passed, she will be driving a car. She won’t need her friend Teddy anymore.

I look at boy child and think that someday, even though he’s not interested at all right now, there’s a girl who’s going to be more important to him than his Momma.

With Baby girl, I think, “You’re already so strong and determined. Am I ready for the firecracker you are going to be in your teen years?”

It didn’t occur to me that the babies we wanted so desperately and finally received would eventually grow up and start their own lives and now that I see them starting to grow more independent, it’s hit me that there’s an end to our little family under our roof.

They’re gonna stop wanting to snuggle up. These babies are learning how to leave me and I guess that’s part of the joy of parenting…teaching your children how to get along without you.

Yeah I’m not prepared for that at all.

I’m kind of a thief!

9eea464898656e7fa5931defa7e5cfc610ff95dcThat’s right…a thief.

Well, thief is a really strong word. Actually, I collect my payment without bothering the debtor with the details of repayment specifics.

See, it’s much easier to just quietly collect my payment than to go back and forth on negotiation and who said what and terms of agreement. Let’s not get caught up in the details.

Of course, my little debtors don’t really know they are indebted to me. But they are. Oh, they owe me big time! But that’s ok…I collect when I can and they are generally none the wiser.

I’m kind of like a repo lady but I only repo perishable goods.

I think you know where I’m going with this…are you with me?? I go through my kids candy stash like it was my own. Of course, I leave the super awesome candy that the kids have already inventoried, bar coded and sorted. And I apply a percentage-type fee. So baby girl’s stash is a little less picked through than boy & girl child’s stashes.

There are three generally lucrative times in which I collect payment from my unsuspecting brood: Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

I do not apologize for this method of payment. I stand by my actions and I believe there are more out there like me! Which leads me to the following:

Our Best- Vol 1, Issue 3

the (4)I’m a day late and a dollar short…well two days late, but who’s counting!

Today, this regular Tuesday, I think I just want to say this to you and hope that this falls on the right “ears” because it was said last week in a meeting I attended and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

You should never be bitter in the work you are doing. Do all things the very best that you can. And along the way, look for and find your purpose and calling in God’s design for your life.

If you don’t know what your purpose and calling is or don’t know where to look, ask God to help you find it. Specifically ask Him to help you find your purpose and calling in His design your your life.

Here’s the other part…listen and wait on Him. (The waiting is the hardest part, right?)

Be encouraged this week and know that God’s got great things in store for YOU!

Heather,
The Best For Our Family

Our Best- Vol 1, Issue 2

Well, friends, here we are on the cusp of the next week. On the eve of the next thing that needs to be done, the item to cross off the list, or the project that needs to be finished.

Take a moment just now and breathe. Enjoy the moment you are in right now. It’s precious. The coming week is bound to have many things in it. What do you plan to focus on?

The joy, laughter, pride, and peace?

Or the difficulties, stress, sadness, disappointment?

Pick what you want to focus on. I guarantee you’ll want to look for the good. Below is a free printable note card that you can tape to your mirror, attach to your computer…put wherever you need the reminder.

Look for the good in your day…it’s there, I promise!

Be good!

Heather,
The Best For Our Family

Look for the good

Printer-friendly version: Look for the good

The irony of me

FullSizeRender.jpg-1Last night I got to do something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.

I got to play in the yard with my kids. And get this…my cell phone? In the house somewhere!! I know, right?

We had three kids, two soccer balls and a frisbee and a lot of laughter. It was so nice and I didn’t realize how much I missed being able to just be with the kids.

I wasn’t correcting anyone, I wasn’t scolding anyone…no one went to time out. No one was upset. The world fell away and for about a half an hour after dinner, I had the fun of just being with my kids.

The older two had their “world championship” soccer match in the cul-de-sac. They stretched before-hand and discussed strategy. It was a big deal. I have no idea who won or what the parameters were but they did and the game worked beautifully in their eyes.

My extra special treat was to actually play “kick the ball” with baby girl and she was in heaven to have my complete attention. And little did I know, she can actually kick the ball really good! She’s got some skill apparently.

As with all good things, this time came to an end and the kids scampered into the house- out of breath, cheeks rosy and hair stuck to their faces with hard-earned sweat. Today I sit all day, alone, doing mandatory grown-up things and think that I would so much rather be home actually playing with my kids.

It was just a typical evening of fun for them but it was so important to me. They won’t even know or understand the irony of what it is to be me. I leave them everyday, all day, to make a living- for them. I work and work to be able to give them what they need.

You know what they keep telling me that they need? Me.

Does this describe you at all? Tell me in the comments!

Baby laughter…the best medicine!

Check out some other Quotes, Truths and bits of Wisdom here!

Get your kids working!

Raise your hands if you think many hands make for light work! Now it’s time to get the kids involved in helping out around the house and this chore list is just the ticket to get them motivated! My kids love a list they can cross off…I can get more cooperation out of them if I hand them a list.

So, in the spirit of manipulating your kids…I present this free printable chores list AND it comes with a few blank lines so go ahead mom and dad, add a few extra things to the list.

Chores Listfor
Our kids love a chore chart they can mark with check marks when they complete the tasks!

Printer-friendly version: Chores List
We also have other kid-friendly, kid-centered free printables that you can check out here: Free Fun for Little Kids

Our Best- Vol 1, Issue 1

Our first newsletter…we promise we’ll keep it short!

Sometimes the beginning of a week can be daunting. There’s so much on the horizon that needs to get done and often times, it’s only you that can get it done. From laundry, checkbook matters, bathing little children, appointments, traffic, weekly activities…it can all be so overwhelming.

Many times, the feeling of being overwhelmed is enough to reduce the quality of what we do. And that’s when we must remember why we do what we do. This is the maintenance of the family. It’s God-honored work and it’s always going to bear fruit. Try to find joy in what you’re tasked to do for the week. Fill your lungs with fresh air and organize your tasks and responsibilities. Then, complete them one by one.

In the days of smartphones and technology, paper seems so antiquated. But nothing beats seeing my tasks spelled out in front of me and the feeling of accomplishment I have when I see those items crossed off or checked off the list.

We are giving away this free printable to help you stay organized for the week.

It's all gotta get done!(Click link for printer-friendly version: It’s all gotta get done!)

So, get going on your week…write it down and watch the items get accomplished. You can do it!

Heather,
The Best for Our Family
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Kid-Approved Recipes

Ok, so these recipes may not win on Top Chef and they certainly aren’t complicated. But you know what? They budget-friendly, time-friendly, kid-friendly and dear God that means they are awesome!

I can’t stand a long drive home to only have starving family waiting to see what I’m gonna fix for dinner when some of them have the patience of a fruit fly (ahem, baby girl:”why is this taking forever, I’m starving!!) Wait, I take that back…you know what’s worse? To go through hours and hours of traffic (I wish I was kidding), come home and spend time making a meal only to have the littlest critics turn their noses up to what I’ve served.

Pardon me for messing with your delicate palette, sweet young ones!

So…these recipes have been tested in The Best for our Family kitchen and have passed muster with our kids.

Check back often because we will keep adding on to the list! Click the link below:

Kid-Approved Recipes

They hate the tire shop

Every so often, the cars need to go to the tire shop for tire rotation and, if necessary, an alignment. This is a task usually completed by dear husband with three children in tow. Since the kids are homeschooled, we have the ability to move the schedule around and take advantage of shorter lines during the day. Probably one of the best side-benefits of homeschooling…outside of the excellent education the kids receive, of course!

So the first time they all went, the kids were really excited to see the tire shop and how the cars were magically lifted into the air. They were beside themselves to see big stacks of rubbery-smelling tires on display and even more so, with shiny humongous rims!

DB9968E6-0CFB-44EF-AB34-C64E80F6DDDC.JPGHowever, this excitement soon (so very soon) wore off and it is now gone forever.

No longer is there excitement over going to the tire shop. Cars lifted magically in the air? Eh. Big stacks of tires? Who cares…they smell funny. Shiny humongous rims? Not interested.

You know tire shops are no fun…and you also know tire shop trips are usually not quick ones.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that most tire shops do not cater to children?

Task number one is to assess the attention of other patrons as it relates to the Maury Povich episode currently playing on the old box TV that still for some reason has actual rabbit ear antennae poking out from behind it. Thanks to smartphones, no one is usually paying attention to the idiot box so the next task is to secure the remote and change the channel.

A cursory request if anyone minds a change of the channel to Clifford the Big Red Dog usually results in others’ obliging. Perhaps some even…dare I say…start to watch old Clifford? No judgment, though, it’s a great show!

And so begins the wait….and wait….and wait…for the car…to be finished…

After that first trip, the mention of the tire shop elicited loud groaning and general objection from the kids. That is, until dear husband found a tire shop he likes which sits just a few doors down from a Chick-fil-a!!! With an indoor playground!!!

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So, a trip to the tire shop?? Score!! All that’s needed is to drop off the car and take a short walk down the street.

 

Lunch and playground time is a much better way to pass the time at the tire shop.

It smells much better at Chick-fil-a, too!

Are there any errands you have to run that you know you’re kids are going to hassle you about because they have to tag along? Tell me in the comments!