Rick tried to read to our kids most nights as they were growing up. These books I’m sharing with you today were all-time favorites. I know some of my kids have done the same with their kids, too.
What better Christmas gift could you give than books you can read together as a family?
1. The Little House Books- The Early Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder- Ok, I guess this first favorite isn’t just 1 book. It’s a whole series of 9 books!We have spent many pleasant hours as a family reading through the “Laura books” and reading them over again. The stories are wonderful classics of years-gone- by and the strong bond of a loving family through the good and bad times- perfect to read aloud as a family.
2. James Herriot Treasury for Children– Another family favorite has been the James Herriot books. Rick has read selected stories from these books to the family. We were glad to see a children’s version come available. Sweet, heart-warming stories based on the vet’s experience in the Yorkshire hills. Some are hilariously funny and others sweet.
Through the years, we‘ve chosen to keepour children in church with us rather than sending them off to age- graded groups. It’s a decision we can say we‘ve been glad we made and stuck by even though others often misunderstood our intentions.
We felt it was important for our children to be together as a family while we worshiped the Lord. We found that they absorbed a lot more from being in the adult service than we ever expected, even as very young children.
We always saw the family as the primary place for spiritual training, and as such, was the place wechose to teach our children Scripture memory, doctrine and character building, instead of delegating that task to children’s programs. We would gear their memory verses to character needs we saw in their own lives as individuals.
In an airport recently I happened to see the final seconds of a televised basketball game. Because our family doesn’t have TV at home, it isn’t often that I see the mass hysteria that accompanies a close athletic contest. This particular game was a cliffhanger and the crowd was frantic as the seconds ticked off the clock and the buzzer sounded the climax. Then the field house erupted with noise as the clock decided the hard-fought contest. The fans were on their feet screaming, and the cheerleaders were leaping and doing handsprings at the edge of the court.
I remarked to Marilyn later what strange creatures we humans are. Two teams of five men each, selected from the best of the best and prepared by thousands of hours of training, throw an air-filled ball around a gym and through a net hanging from a metal hoop. All the while, thousands look on as though the fate of the world was being decided on the polished hardwood floor in front of them. We do love our play.
I have no quarrel with those who like to play. I like to play myself, and when work permits I’m always ready for a good time. Nobody denies that there is time in a Christian’s life for rest and recreation. Still, it seems that we’ve overdone it a bit. Isn’t there something wrong with a society in which professional game-players are worshiped while accomplishments of eternal importance go unnoticed?
As a parent advocate, I’d like to see more cheering for parents. I think what moms and dads do is worthy of some applause. In fact, a whole lot of applause. After all, which is more important—throwing balls through hoops or forming little souls who will live forever? Where are the cheerleaders who do handsprings when a frazzled young mom puts her preferred activity on the back burner for the umpteenth time in a day in order to read a story to a three-year-old child?
Who’s waving the pom-poms for the dad who works long hours at a job that’s not all that much fun, in order to provide a home for his wife and little ones? Not to deny the hard work and sacrifice it takes to excel at sports, but what group is more important and less appreciated than parents?
Question: I have 4 kids- ages 8, 7, 6, and 5. The 7 and 5 year old are constantly fighting, butting heads. I just don’t know what to do. Can you help?~ Charity
Answer: Charity, We have found Scripture to be the ONLY thing that addressed the negative behaviors we saw in our children. We had our kids learn Scripture verses according to whatever they happened to be struggling with at the time. For instance, maybe it was whining, or arguing, getting angry, speaking unkindly, etc.
The first step is for them to learn the Scripture in their minds so they can repeat it. Then we talk about it. We constantly (it seems) remind them of the Word, and eventually it makes it’s way down to their hearts where it begins to change the way they live their lives.
(Note: I actually wrote this article 6 years ago. So much has changed in that short time. Kids have grown up, and moved out. More grand babies have been born. Rick’s work schedule has changed. But, I thought it might be more helpful for you to still hear it this way- the way that life was for me when I wrote it- rather than tell you what it’s like now with only 3 kids still at home, and only 1 still homeschooling. Seasons change so quickly. If you feel overwhelmed at the season you are in now, hang on. A few years bring with them many changes.)
I dream of a capacious house full of rooms and lots of storage places. Central in that dream is my “quiet room”- a room with thick insulation and a skylight under which is a big comfy recliner just waiting for me to plunk down in it and read my Bible, pray and meditate, uninterrupted. As I look up through the skylight, I view the puffy cumulus clouds drifting by in the midst of a beautiful blue sky- a perfect scenario for meditating on the riches of God’s inexhaustible Word. Nearby is my bookcase, full of study books and concordances and a spacious desk on which I can leave my books spread out when not in use and ready to pick up again where I left off.
That’s my dream, but it’s not a reality-not in this season of my life! I’m a mom of 14 blessings… yes, blessings! I wouldn’t trade any one of them for all the solitude in the world, but I must confess, there are times I would like to experience, as the song goes “Blessed Quietness”! It happens only at very unusual times in my bustling household-like maybe after 11pm or midnight???
Laundry is a job that is never done, and often it can be a thankless job. I’m sure you understand! Just when you’re (finally) caught up, everyone comes home, takes a shower, and boom- the laundry room is full again!
However, it must be tackled. So, here are just a few simple tips that worked for me; maybe they will help you too!
–Sock bags- Why is it that it seem like the washer must eat socks? When you go to pair them up, there is so often one that is missing! I bought each child a mesh “sock bag”. When their socks were dirty they would put them in the sock bag. When it begins to fill up, they drop it down the laundry chute and all their socks get washed up at once. As long as they manage to get them into the sock bag when they take them off, they don’t get lost.