Monthly Archives: May 2009

Children in Public Places

I found this link to a great post over at The Common Room on Children in Public Spaces. Years ago one of my friends recommended that I read Parenting in the Pew, but it was out of print and almost impossible to find.

I noticed that Amazon has an updated version available now so I thought I’d pass the info along.

I love that her approach to having your child with you in church isn’t just about getting them to sit there quietly or keeping them busy with coloring books, it’s about teaching your child (and the parent) how to listen and participate in an age-appropriate way.

And really the same concepts can be applied whether you’re attending a play, a wedding, lunch, or some other type of meeting. With some practice ahead of time, and some good clues on what to listen for and expect, most kids can actually participate appropriately with the adults and be a blessing to the people around them rather than a distraction.

The other day I realized that I still needed to do some more work in this area. We went to a cousin’s choir performance and my youngest was really, really restless. And even though he was quiet about it, anybody there could have told that he couldn’t care less about what was happening on the stage and that he was just biding his time until it was over and he could play with his cousin.

I should have prepared him better for how long it was going to be and engaged him more with what was going on. It really does go back to the Golden Rule and thinking of others more highly than ourselves. The kids on stage had worked hard and deserved a good audience and the people around us didn’t need to hear repeated whispers of, "How much longer is it?". Plus, he could have learned a lot from the musical if he hadn’t tuned it out.

It has been a blessing to see each of my boys grow in self-control (Jon did sit much more quietly than he would have a year ago), but it’s still  nice to be encouraged that we can keep working on these things. I really do think that most children appreciate being taught how to behave in public. It’s so much nicer to get positive attention rather than negative attention. It just takes a little more work.

Have a great week y’all!

Birthdays are fun.

Tony turned 40 today and we had a lot of fun celebrating with him and just plain ol’ celebrating him. Tony and I first met in 1987 (when we were both just young whipersnappers) so we’ve known each other for almost 22 years now.

I knew he was a special guy right from the first time we met as friends. Even when my mother met him as she and I shopped in Wal-Mart one day, she commented on how nice he was.

Back in those days, people were buying cassette tapes of their favorite groups.
Today he got his first Ipod.
We’re on the cutting edge of technology around here you know.

But anyway, I’m glad that my mom and I were right about him being a nice guy being as how I married him and all. Cuz we’ve got these three boys and wow are they like him.

He practically shares a brain with this one.

This one has his make-everybody-laugh personality.

And this one has his heart.

Anyway, we wanted to make him feel extra special so we made him a card and wrote 40 things that we love about him in it and took him out to eat at a Japanese steakhouse.

Whoa baby, that was some yummy teppanyaki. (My friend Mel taught me that word.) Our chef quickly spied Jon as the one to impress and had lots of fun wowing him with twirling spatula, egg tricks, cool fires, and the flaming onion. If you haven’t ever been to a Japanese steak house, this YouTube video shows kind of what it’s like. It was an awesome night of doing something new and fun together.

And a great way of celebrating just how much Tony means to all of us!

The Blessing of Boys

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Here’s a little something I wrote for The Homeschool Minute back in December 2006.

The Blessing of Boys

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. Psalms 127: 3-5

Boys. Men-in-training. I’m blessed to be the mother to three of them. And I do truly mean blessed. Through these three young men, I have been privileged to watch a bit of God’s finest handiwork. I mean they just start out as these precious little babies and then they go through this really messy, loud stage. Then they get a little older and the next thing you know they are carrying all the heavy stuff, fixing things around the house, holding doors open for women, and learning what it really means to be a man.

Of course in the middle of all that, they can just about give you a heart attack. Boys aren’t content to just ride bikes – no – they have to "do tricks". They like to climb as high as they can in trees. They tear things up and get things dirty. They like to fish and hunt and want you to "ooh and ahhh" over the things they bring home. And all of it is part of the learning process. Learning to be a man. And as a mom, learning to let go. Learning to let them be men.

God has created them to be strong arrows – arrows that can contend with enemies at the gate. God tells us that they are a blessing to us and as we aim them in the right direction, they will go on to bless many others. Just keep reminding yourself of that during the messy loud years and enjoy the blessing of boys.