PAINTING THE DECK OR DRIVEWAY:
Need: sponge paint brush
pail with a handle
Fill the pail with water and show your child how water paints the deck, chair, or tree. Talk about how some things change color and some do not. You can also put colored construction paper taped down on a cookie sheet with a lip if you want to do the same thing inside on a rainy day without any mess.
Need: foam pool noodles
beach ball or other light weight ball
Put a few simple obstacles out or just use flower beds or pots as obstacles. Have your child hit the ball with the noodle around the obstacle or just hit it to the other side of the yard. If the noodle is too long for the child just cut it in half. This is one you can do with your 2 or 3 year old as well as your older children.
Enjoy fun with those babies while they still want you to. As a mom of young adults, believe me when I say THAT time comes much too soon! You may have regrets in life, but spending fun time with them when they're little won't be one of them.
(Ideas from "Hello Darling - This is Motherhood")
As moms it’s easy to dive into an undertow and swirl around in worries that defeat us and damage our joy. What we feel are imperfections in ourselves like shyness, a less than perfect body, a bombed birthday party for little Johnny, or even a feeling of unworthiness can cripple a happy, productive life and can even be transferred to our children.
During youth outings, life group socials, and even in my own family, I’ve found that the moments that sometimes help me step out of my own "dropped head syndrome" is to see the beauty in others through the gift of affirmation.
When they were little my children would sometimes ask, “You love me the most don’t you?”
I would respond with a big hug and say to whichever child was asking, “You know what I love about you? I love the way you sometimes take my hand and want me to run with you to discover something exciting. I love the way you always want me to watch you when you learn a new soccer trick. I love the way (and just know I'm not clueless to what you're doing) you smile and rub my shoulder to calm me down when I get mad at you. I even love the way you take my breath away when I see you doing something daring and maybe even a little dangerous. I love you for being exactly the person you are.
At night during youth mission trips, we would sometimes get in our pajamas, form a circle with the girls, and would take turns telling the person to our left what we had observed during the day that made us respect and love that person even more. Everyone always had a turn. We would also anonymously send "Encourage-a-Grams" to each other. Those positive statements did three things: allowed each person to see their positive attributes instead of the negative ones, made us more caring and sensitive to each other, and caused us to work harder on showing the love of Christ. Needless to say, those times of sharing bonded us together. On more than one occasion we shared tears of thankfulness for the group and what had been shared. It was such a sweet time of fellowship.
“Elizabeth is beautiful because she is incredibly accepting and welcoming of others. She listens to me, REALLY listens. Her big heart even out glows her beautiful smile.”
“Carly has the most exciting sense of adventure. I smile every time I see her have ‘that look’ of trying something new and fun!”
“Mrs. Jane is beautiful because she has generously touched so many lives. She has taught so many life lessons to me and all those around her. She is the strongest woman I know. She reflects the love of Christ.”
My own son once told me, “Mom, you are Godly but still cool.” (You have to know my son to know that was the ultimate compliment from him at that stage in his young life. Obviously, we were having a good day! I just melted and broke down in happy tears.)
A gift of affirmation and compliments from one person to another can have such depth that it can change a relationship for life. Just knowing someone else sees beauty and significance in me can cause my feelings of self worth to bloom. What a true gift to give! What an easy gift to give!
After 16 years I still remember the beautiful gift of affirmation my son gave me. He says he doesn’t remember it, but I do…
I pray you will take a moment to throw another mom or child a life preserver amidst their undertow and make them feel valued and beautiful today.
This morning I sat here at my computer really thinking about what to blog this week. I felt stuck and honestly uninspired when I was stopped by a phone call from my husband. “Have you talked to Preston?”
“No, what’s wrong?” (You know a mom’s intuition)
“Brendan, Lauren and Harper have been in a wreck.”
“Are they okay?”
“I think so, just a little banged up.”
You know how slow motion sounds on television? Well, it seemed like the “I think so” response came in garbled, slow motion just like that.
“What do you mean ‘you think so’? Do you KNOW they are okay?”
They had been visiting our other son and daughter-in-love in Ft. Lauderdale and had a wonderful weekend of sunshine and fun. Today though, they had been on the road headed back toward Charleston about 20 minutes when Brendan had to stop suddenly in traffic. As he stopped, the SUV behind them plowed into their rear pushing them into the car in front of them. They were sandwiched in between. Brendan said that after he could shake the initial shock away his first thought, of course, was his wife and their 7 month old in the back seat. He smelled something like smoke and knew he had to get everyone out. For the most part they were okay… shaken but knowing and thankful that God had been with them.
As a family what do we take away from this?
Brendan and Lauren take away that they are all blessed to be okay, that God stopped the SUV before it reached little Harper. They are grateful to everyone that helped them be able to get back on the road toward home with only minor injuries and a small amount of anxiety.
Lauren’s mom has been praying for our children since first news of the accident (and if I know her like I think I do, she had already been in prayer for them just as her daily routine). She just wants to get her arms around her sweet daughter and family to comfort them in any way she can. A mom just wants to mother and make everything alright. It’s a God-given part of us.
As for me, well I just keep visualizing “God’s angel army” and though I would love to just see their faces and love on them I KNOW God has them in his care and has his protection around them. I sit here praying for travel mercies for the remainder of their 10 hour journey, but most of all I will continuously be on my knees in prayer for them just as I was the first day they arrived on this earth.
Thank you God for showing yourself in protection for our precious children today. This day was on your radar long before those faces were ever seen by us as parents. If events of the day had turned out differently, I pray we would have trusted you anyway. Thank you for every day in which you know our children and seek to draw them closer to you. May we never forget your mercies and may every mother reading this be wearing the skin raw on her knees in prayer for her precious ones. Please use them and us to honor you as we walk through life with the testimony of how much you love us always on our lips. Amen.
Mom 2 Mom
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