The Cow (or dog) Paths

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Springtime is here! And, oh, how I love spring!

Time to get out and work in the yard and garden and just to be in the warm sunshine after the long winter.

I was trying to evaluate what I need to work on outside when I encountered a valuable object lesson. I have a yellow lab named Mosby.

I couldn’t ask for a better dog. He would NEVER hurt one of my many grand kids (unless he whacked them with his giant tail by mistake). He’s a great dog- protects the family, absolutely loves , quiet in temperament, obedient (usually), but there’s just one thing I don’t suppose I’ll ever break him of…..

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What Would You Do? Preparing Your Kids for Life Situations

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What Would You Do?

That’s a question we asked our kids often during their growing up years.

We made it into a little game that the kids begged to play. It was fun.

  • You are with a friend and he is about to pick the neighbor’s raspberries without permission. He wants you to join him. What should you do?
  • You hear of an elderly man at church who is recovering from surgery. You wonder if there are things he might need done around his home. What should you do?
  •  Your baby sister grabbed your Bible and tore out several pages while you were out of the room. What should you do?

We would think of situations of temptation that we were pretty sure our kids would have to deal with in whatever stage of life they were experiencing. Then for family time, we asked our kids, “What would you do if…..”.

This exercise served two purposes:

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Part 2- How to Use God’s Word to Address Character Issues in Your Home

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Character is so lacking in our culture today. Really, it’s more important to train your children in godly character than in any of the academic subjects. It is, in fact, a solid cornerstone for life. God seems to make a way for those who have learned to intentionally strive to build godly disciplines into their lives. Knowledge alone ‘puffeth’ up. (1 Cor. 8:1) Character, unfortunately, doesn’t just happen. It must be taught and cultivated. Children need to learn practical handles to apply it to situations they face day to day.

For years I have been distributing a handout called Identifying and Dealing with Offenses to moms wherever I speak. It is a list I made from observing the negative character traits in my own 14 kid’s lives. As I would see a problem area crop up, I went to the Scripture to see what the Word had to say about it, and then I made up short answer questions for the kids to use to help dig out the treasures of God’s Word concerning each issue.

Through the years, moms asked me to develop a study to make it easier for them to use, hence—Growing in Wisdom.

Continue reading Part 2- How to Use God’s Word to Address Character Issues in Your Home

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Empty Tomb Cookies

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These cookies are an excellent activity to make with your children as your family prepares for Easter. We’ve given you a recipe before for Resurrection Rolls. This one is similar- Empty Tomb Cookies. I recently made them with 5 of my grandkids! Thanks to Faithful Provisions blog for the fun and excellent idea.

This activity involves making special cookies- where each ingredient and step is a representation of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Have your Bible with you as you make them! There are passages to read and thoughts to discuss as you make the cookies. It’s really a neat experience.

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Part 1- How to Use God’s Word to Address Character Issues in Your Home

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Do you grow weary of hearing your kids complain or argue with you or their brothers and sisters? How can you control their outbursts of anger? Did you know that God’s Word has a LOT to say about those issues and so many more? In fact, the heart of every problem you encounter with your kids is addressed in the Word, and He gives us the wisdom for knowing how to deal with it.

Consider Ephesians 4:

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind…..  But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

We learn here 3 commands :

  • We are to lay aside or PUT OFF the old self. Romans 6 tells us that our old life has been buried with Christ and we are now dead to sin. However, we must present our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. “But now you also, put them all asideanger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices” \
  • We are to be RENEWED IN OUR MINDS – We renew our minds by memorizing and meditating on Scripture, by learning what God’s Word says and acting upon it daily. Joshua 1:8 tells us “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”  We are promised success if we meditate on God’s Word.
  • We are to PUT ON our new self. Colossians 3 tells us “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity”  We are to actively strive to cultivate these qualities in our life. The Holy Spirit is there to guide and help us.

Continue reading Part 1- How to Use God’s Word to Address Character Issues in Your Home

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Teach Your Kids to Choose Their Words Wisely

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Words can be so damaging or so uplifting. Words can tear down or build up.  Words can discourage or encourage. We are doing our kids a huge favor if we teach them Biblical guidelines for choosing wise words; AND it will eliminate LOTS of problems in our homes, too.

Scripture has so much to say about our words. One Scripture we used in our home as a good guide for choosing your words was Ephesians 4: 29 ” Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

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The Irritation List (or Keeping Your Sanity)

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Here’s a little project that really helped me focus years ago.

I remember Rick coming home one evening. I had several kids at the time- probably 5 or 6. He asked how my day had been and I told him not so good.  It seemed like a thousand things went wrong. When he asked me what they were, I couldn’t really focus on what they had actually been– there were just a lot of them.

So he told me the following day, whenever I was irritated by something, to write it down in a notebook. I thought, “ok, but I’ll be writing all day long!”  What I actually discovered the next day was that it was only a few things that were frustrating me, but they kept happening again and again.

These were some of my irritations:

1-One of my sons, not intending to cause problems at all, would fling the door open and holler, “MOM” so he could discern where I was. It was not only irritating to be hollered at, but sometimes it woke the baby who had been difficult to get to sleep in the first place.

2- Also, when putting the laundry away, I reached up to put jeans on the stack on the closet shelf and the whole tippy stack came falling down on my face.

3- After school I told the kids to put their books away. Everyone seemed to need help because the bookcase was crammed with books and they wouldn’t just go in easily. The pages were getting bent, too.

4- Another of my sons seemed to think it was his place in life to irritate the others, and he was good at it. I’d hear his name whined out loudly by the toddler multiple times during the day.

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Teaching Your Kids To Care: Part 4

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This time I’ll share some ideas that older kids ages 6 and up can do. Don’t hesitate to let little kids be a part of ministry even if there is not as much they can physically do. They are learning the life-style by being with you.

Being involved in the lives of others is the perfect antidote to kids who don’t care. Don’t be discouraged if they are uncomfortable when you start ministering to others. That’s normal. When I took Luke to visit a boy with a brain tumor, he told me he was a bit scared on the way there. I told him I was too. I hadn’t ever met the people either. We took him some audio books as a gift and nerf guns. He and Luke started playing with the nerf guns, and when I told him it was time to go, he was begging me to stay longer. It’s all about getting out of our comfort zones, and yes, it’s ok if they are hesitant to do that. Me too! But aren’t we glad when we do!!

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids To Care: Part 4

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 3

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I hope to give a vision through these posts that learning to invest in the lives of others isn’t a complicated, difficult task. Families with little ones can be a part of ministering to others. This post will give you ideas if you are a family with only little people. Next time, I’ll talk about things families with older kids can undertake.

Learning by example is a powerful way to learn. As you take your little ones by the hand and seek to be a blessing to those around you, believe me, those little people are taking it all in. I raised 14 kids. I understand your time is limited. Some things you just have to say “NO” to and wait for a different season of life, but teaching kids to be servant-hearted is something that shouldn’t wait. It’s what you’re supposed to be doing and it’s SO much more important than teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s foundational.

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 3

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Our Story Part 3- “Through the Years”

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As I said in Part 2 of this series, homeschooling really took off and began to grow. We had a meeting in our basement helping others get started, but all over the country the same thing was happening. It wasn’t long before groups formed and homeschooling conventions, though really small at first started to spring up.

We had a lot of people asking us questions. We began to get some speaking engagements. People wanted to know why we focused on character building in training our kids and how we did it. “What about socialization?” was a big concern for many. We tried to answer questions, but soon forgot what we had told to who. Hence, our first book was The Socialization Trap.  We wrote it because of the growing concern in the country.

State homeschooling groups continued to emerge, and we started getting more requests for speaking. It wasn’t easy to travel with so many little ones still at home and more on the way, but we really felt God was calling us to encourage other parents. Hence, The Learning Parent was born- our ministry of parent encouragement.

We told others how we taught our kids, and as the years went by people asked if we could make materials available so they could glean from our experience and teach character to their kids as well. So we began producing character curriculum. Now, The Learning Parent, has produced a whole line of character curriculum and we call ourselves Character Concepts and provide curriculum from preschool through high school.

Anyway, I thought it might be kind of fun to give you a visual picture of how things developed through the years through a timeline.

I’m sure I’ll leave out some important details, but I hope you enjoy taking a peak at the Boyer family – then and now.

So here we go…..

Continue reading Our Story Part 3- “Through the Years”

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