Newsletter

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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Children, Garden/ Food

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

Children, Family

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!!!

15C300B8-2783-4A87-B487-3FC13AC74867.JPG

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!

 

Children, Family, Printables!

Prayer Request Cards for Kids!

Here’s an adorable, FREE Prayer Request Card printable for you to use with your little kids. You can print these out as many times as you want…no limit. You can find this by clicking here: My Prayer Requests!)

Have you child fill out a card- maybe at dinner or after brushing teeth and putting on pajamas. Prompt him or her to think about specific things to pray about to encourage this kind of thinking on his or her own. Doing this will help establish good prayer habits while children are young. It spurs them to think of others, to think of ways they can lean into God and to trust in Him.

Bonus…parents, you get the sweetest responses written in your child’s handwriting and you’ll most likely melt into a puddle of goo.

You’re welcome!

Let me know what you think of these and please feel free to share!

Children, Family

Meet Arby’s

IMG_1154This is Arby’s.

Arby’s is a little white-tail fawn. Adopted by boy child during a family trip to the mountains, this little deer is one of many special little friends in boy child’s crew.

So, the name? Three guesses.

It’s funny how boy child finds names for his little critters. And he’s not one to flip flop on the name, with it changing each time you ask what the name is. He names his friend and that’s it’s name, end of story.

So, among others, he has Mavis the turtle, Frankie Jr., the little whale shark (not to be confused with Frank, the big whale shark), Pleasant the pheasant, Beluga (the beluga), Hootie the barn owl, Snakie…the snake. Ok, I know some of these names aren’t all that creative. But by golly, you better not call them by another name.

And then there’s Arby’s.

Arby’s…not Arby. Arby’s…like the restaurant.

Because that’s where we ate right after “adopting” the little deer. And it was good. Boy child remembers this meal because he got to have a warm salty caramel chocolate cookie as a special treat since we were on vacation. He also remembers the restaurant and every time we head back to the mountains, he is forever connected to Arby’s- the deer and the eatery! So he has all the components to remind him of this happy memory he will never forget.

Regardless of what friend boy child has chosen to bring with him on any given travel in the car whether near or far, what tickles him and the girls is that every once in a while one of his little friends gets to drive the car!!!

It takes a bit of serendipity…dropping the animal in Daddy’s seat of the car, Daddy being in a playful mood, whether the animal wants to drive, whether we are running late, traffic in general, and if everyone is paying attention to the driver when it happens.

Imagine the sight of Arby’s plowing down the highway without a care in the world and feeling the wind in his fur. And the kids are in heaven with giggles and laughter!

What do your kids name their stuffed animals?

 

Children, Family

Yeah, that’s a chicken on my head!

img_7226Are you able to laugh at yourself?

Or are you one of those people who gets really uncomfortable and then angry or embarrassed when something happens that causes other people to laugh at you?

I’m not talking about bullying or taunting at your expense, I’m talking about when you do or say something you have no one to blame but yourself.

Like if you accidentally pass gas while someone is praying…I don’t care how old you are, that is funny and I’m not going to able to keep from giggling.

I’ll tell you one thing we are trying so hard to instill in our children is their ability to laugh at themselves.

Their favorite joke to tell each other as young children is: “(Insert name here)! You belong in a tree because you’re a nut!” (compliments of Family Guy- which they absolutely DO NOT watch) They go bonkers with laughter when they say that to each other. And it’s always well placed because whoever is being accused of being a nut is, in fact, being a nut at that moment!

Not only does laughing at ourselves reduce the amount of bickering and arguing sessions that we have to settle, but it also gives the kids reminders that life is fun, sometimes funny things happen, no one’s perfect, don’t take everything so seriously, see the humor in things, laughing at each other isn’t the same as making fun of someone, don’t sweat the little things…the list goes on and on.

Humor is so necessary because this world is really stinky these days! It needs more laughter- it sure does a body good.

As a kid, I struggled to laugh at myself. I was always embarrassed and that really sucked. I feel like I missed out on some fun because I was so busy being irritated or embarrassed at any attention thrown my direction.

Once dear husband taught me how to really laugh at myself, I saw how liberating it really is. It’s diffusing. It’s fun. It makes awesome memories and great stories. I hope one day when the kids are grown and we are all sitting around the table, they remember some great stories and we all reminisce about how much we all enjoyed those times.

Children, Family

Cleared for take-off

13880276_10210554468605916_4196458609370190689_nThis boy.

I’m amazed at where his brain takes him…what adventures he creates. So the day he got an airplane was a big day indeed.

Now to you, this is a dollar store toy. A cheap, styrofoam toy…a tad bit big and bothersome in terms of clutter in the house. Because this toy is going to be all over the house for the next few days. On the kitchen table, in the bathroom, possibly hanging from the hallway light (you read that right), in the middle of the floor of the family room, stuck in a bush in the yard…

But to boy child, this is a complex adventure.

First there is, of course, the test flight. This is the first flight of the airplane once boy child has leapt out of the car, ripped open the plastic covering, slipped the wings through the center slot and inserted the rudder in the back. This flight is a bit wonky…obviously there is a nuance to flying such an aircraft that has yet to be learned, but it’ll come with time.

13924929_10210554468205906_5785743377515524949_nDuring this test flight sequence, boy child decides that the airplane is missing something…but what? Ah yes, it needs color. So the next step is the design of the airplane paint scheme, if you will. Though it may look like scribbling, a lot of time is going into how the color is applied and what colors are being used.

This decision does not come lightly.

Once the paint is applied, flight can resume. Of course, this is if playtime outside hasn’t ended. You know what, come to think of it, it doesn’t matter. Airplanes fly inside just as good as they do outside! Hence the airplane’s many locations indoors over the next few days.

13934577_10210554468485913_1108394360469103248_nThough boy child is perfectly willing to risk consequences of flying his airplane indoors, it is outside where his adventure really takes flight. His airplane gets a flight plan, gets cleared for take-off and soars to it’s next location…

Someplace exotic like the Bradford pear tree in the side yard.

 

 

 

Children, Family

Let’s cook up some trouble!

img_9324These kids…man they can cook up some trouble!

It’s almost as if they brainstorm on how to get the biggest bang for their buck on getting into trouble. For instance, they could get in trouble for having an untidy room…OR…they could tie all the belts and towels and jump ropes together, attach them to the bunk beds in such a way that they make a swing!

If you’re gonna get in trouble, might as well go big, right?

So that’s what we are blessed with…three children who collectively decide to make it count. Make it big. Make it awesome. Make it fun. Make it break. Make it fall. Make it whatever.

Example: one typical afternoon, we were enjoying the peace and quiet of our dear children quietly playing together…

“It’s amazing how well they are playing together. I mean, we haven’t heard a thing in awhile…no screaming, no tattling. We have the best children.

Others would be jealous of our enlightened parenting skills.

Hmm…it’s quiet. It’s too quiet. Let us go check on our brood to see how their creativity is blossoming, shall we?”

What do we come upon? The children have made a carnival swing for their animals out of the ceiling fan. Four helpless critters were tied in some fashion using socks, string, pipe cleaners and other random materials. As we were walking upon this scene, they were adjusting the speed of the fan so the animals could have a fun ride.

Oh. My. Word.

I can’t even tell you how hard it is to not giggle at the sight of stuffed animals who I swear have the look in their eye that this is how it’s gonna end for them. And to see three kids who suddenly, for the first time, are realizing that maybe this wasn’t the best idea after all.

In this instance, silence is best. It’s actually the best way to keep a straight face. If either of us were to saying anything in this moment, the very act of speaking would cause the facial expressions to uncontrollably turn into laughter, which then would negate the atmosphere of “you’re in so much trouble!” we have barely been able to create.

I gotta hand it to these kids…when it comes down to it, they sure are creative and boy do they get their money’s worth out of getting into trouble!

 

 

 

Children, Family

I am tired.

img_2741Sometimes I am tired.

I am tired of cooking. I am tired of being a referee.

I am tired of excuses.

I am tired of cleaning. I am tired of the mess. I am tired of stepping on toys.

I am tired of the fighting. I am tired of the schedules. I am tired of the waiting.

I am tired of working. I am tired of pretending that people aren’t irritating the ever-loving crap out of me.

I am tired of being judged. I am tired of others’ expectations. I am tired of obligations.

I am tired of being taken advantage of. I am tired of being overlooked. I am tired of being disappointed. I am tired of failure.

I am tired of being tired.

But I keep on…because they are worth it all.

 

 

Are you tired? What do you do to recharge your batteries?