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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Praying For Your Toddler From Head To Toe

Author's Note:  I know I am performing "easegesis" rather than "exegesis" with the verses I mention. It is meant for comedic relief.

A few weeks back, I came across this wonderful list of how to pray for your child from head to toe. 

I loved it!  That day, after bath time, I was cuddling Aidan, with my nose on the top of his head, and I went through, and prayer those beautiful words over him.  It was a perfect moment.  That was Sunday night.
But Monday always comes after Sunday.  And this one was a particularly “Monday-esque” Monday.  I got a note home saying he had bitten another kid, and during the day, I could hear his teacher saying his name, because he had let go of the rope thing they’re all supposed to hold onto, and had run ahead.  And fallen.  And hit his head.  Again.  So that night, as we cuddled, and I tried to stuff my working-mommy-guilt as far down as I could, and tried to balance my anger/frustration with grace… I started to pray over him again.  But as I prayed, I found that the words I was saying started to change.  And I felt that there MUST be other moms of toddlers out there who feel the same way.  So, for the days that you really want to run and hide, but are STILL trying to be the mommy God called you to be, here is:

Praying for your TODDLER from head to toe

Pray for Their Head
Pray that they will stop running into, diving off of, and tripping over things headfirst.  They say brain cells don’t grow back, and it would really be a shame to lose them at such a young age.  Plus, having three bruises on your forehead gets mommy really weird looks at Target.  Psalm 145:14: “The Lord helps the fallen.”

    2. Pray for Their Eyes
Ask God to help them have a good, full night’s sleep.  One without crying, bad dreams, blow-outs, or loud cars outside their windows.  For we just KNOW that our little dictators will wake up in a better mood.  Psalm 30:5: “For his anger lasts only a moment… but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

    3. Pray for Their Ears
Pray that they would LISTEN!  That’s it.  Proverbs 6:20: “My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”  BOOM!!!

    4. Pray for Their Mouths
Ask God to help them keep their teeth to themselves, and somehow, miraculously shut their mouths like the lions’ in the story of Daniel.  Also, if we could tone down the screaming “mine” phase, that would be an added bonus.  Daniel 6:22 (paraphrased): “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouth of ______________________ (insert name).”

    5. Pray for Their Heart
This one can absolutely stay the same.  “Ask God to give your children a happy, cheerful heart.  Pray that they’d come to faith early and would trust easily and completely in Him. Proverbs 15:13a: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful.”  Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”

    6. Pray for Their Hands
Pray that they would hold your hand when crossing the street, wouldn’t take things out of other children’s hands, and wouldn’t push others.  Psalm 118:13: “I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.”

    7. Pray for Their Legs
Pray that they wouldn’t run away from the teacher, and wouldn’t kick their friends under the table during lunch.   Psalm 119:32: “I shall run the way of Your commandments.”

    8. Pray for Their Feet
Ask God to help them keep their shoes on their feet, and not grow out of them so fast.  Also, back to the tripping and falling.  God, please help him to look where he’s going.  Proverbs 4:26: “Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.”

And you know what???  It was still a beautiful moment.  Because at the end of the day, I was praying over my toddler.  And when he thinks, even for a second, that I might be leaving his room, he whispers “Hug?”  The other stuff will come and go.  My prayers will change depending on what he is going through, but at least I’m praying.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Working Through The Grumpiness - Learning WITH Your Toddler

The lazy emotion we get onto our kids about.
And yet, I find myself falling into it with greater ease than I would like to admit.  So, what can be done when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, we've had a lousy day, spilled our coffee, the kids are whining, and your initial instinct is to lash out at the closest person near you?
Not surprisingly, the same things we tell our students/kids work for us too.  We just have to have the self-awareness to recognize our own need for them.  We all have bad days.  What's important is learning how to overcome them, and not let it define who we are.  Aidan being a toddler, gets grumpy on a regular basis.  Through helping him gain the tools to deal with his grumpiness in a constructive way, I've also been reminded of how important it is for us, adults to practice disciple in this area as well.  So, these tips are for you, and the little person in your life.

1. Find An Outlet
Find a healthy way to express your negative emotions, and channel it into something physical.  Some things we've tried (and by we, I really mean "we") are:

a) Going outside and throwing oranges - our house has an orange tree in the back, and like with any fruit tree, some fall off the tree before they're ripe.  We have been known to use them for our grumpiness-remedy!


b) Going for a tricycle ride - Aidan got a tricycle for Christmas from some friends, and he LOVES it!  We both came home the other day in REALLY BAD moods.  So, I suggested we take that thing out, and give it whirl.  His feet don't quite touch the pedals, which actually worked out perfectly.  I sat on the back, and pushed him along.  It was a great work-out, and the fresh air did us wonders!

Whatever you find around you to do, we've found that having it involve actual physical exertion seems to help.

2. Take a minute
Sometimes, we need to just take a minute, remove ourselves from the situation, and breathe.  All on his own, the other day Aidan started going into his room when we get home, shutting the door, and being very, very quiet.  This was new, and out of the ordinary, so I went to check on him, and he said, "no mama, my door!  My room!"  So I turned his baby monitor camera to where he was sitting, told him I love him, and that it's okay to need some space sometimes, and left him alone.  This was so foreign to me, but he has always been a good self-soother, and I thought this might be an extension of that.  I also came to the realization, that he has to be "on" all day, from 8 am to usually 5 pm, he is forced to share, vie for his teacher's attention, follow classroom directions, etc.  I know how tired I am by the end of the day, and can't even IMAGINE how tired my little nearly-two-year old boy is.  So, I've been letting him go to his room in the afternoons for a while.  After about 10 minutes, he sweetly says, "Mommy!  Com'ere!", and I join him, sit on the floor, and join in what he is doing.


(Note the same outfit as the last post.  Yeah, it was a rough day.  Also, that is an "Anger" Tsum Tsum from Inside Out.  Not accidental.)

3. Be Goofy
When you're in the middle of feeling sorry for yourself, and letting it all "hang out", to the outsider, there really is an element of humor.  It's not usually as bad as it seems.  In moments like this, it's important to take a step back, and let your "Goofball Island" out.

4. Take A Bath
I don't know what it is about people and bath time, but it doesn't seem to matter what your age is, a bath is always a good idea.  So, when grumpy Gus gets to be too much for this mama, I shout, "BATH TIME!"  You've never seen a little boy try to get out of his clothes so fast! Of course, then there's the tears when you turn the water off, or he can't find his favorite toys, or he keeps telling the mama turtle that the babies are "my babies", and she's "not nice", because she "won't share", but at least he's contained!  I find for myself too, that taking an extra 20-30 minutes at the end of the day to relax really helps me sleep and wake up in a better mood the next day.


5. Mamas, Take Some Time For Yourself
If you're grumpy, it'll inevitably trickle down to your kids.  I find this in my classroom, as well as at home.  I decided that I needed to make a change, and for me that was asking for a Journaling Bible for my birthday.  Honestly, I've always struggled with making time to read God's Word, but I feel like I've found something that will help me (not that God's Word needs help to be interesting -it's a self-discipline issue).  I've been making an effort to honestly meditate on a couple verses at a time, and instead of hurrying through a certain passage, take my time, and let it seep into my heart.  This way I'm reminded of a specific thought throughout the day.

I can only pour into Aidan if I am not running on empty.  I can't teach him to love the Word of God, if I don't.  He has a Storybook Bible that he loves to read together.  He knows some of the story titles, and says, "Jesus" and "cross", which makes this mama's heart very happy!

I know I'm not saying anything new, or monumental, but sometimes it's good to be reminded that being grumpy is a choice, although we don't like to admit it.  And in the same way we try to give our children to tools to cope with them, we should also take on the responsibility of doing so ourselves.

Friday, January 8, 2016

DIY Modge-Podge Wood Ornament

Happy New Year!
As I'm sure many of you have been as busy, if not more busy than we have been!  BUT I did want to share this year's family ornament with you.
I make an ornament every year for my family.  Last year when we were all together, we had family pictures taken, which was wonderful!  It's always nice to have good family pictures, and one of the perks is that it's the gift that keeps on giving.  When we took the pictures, we got one of our feet, with shells in the middle that wrote out "2015", that I intended to use for the ornament.

Here's what you'll need:
- Printer
- Tissue paper
- Double-sided tape
- Drill
- White painted 3.5 inch wood round
- Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue
- Paint brush
- Twine
- Nail file

1. I watched a video on on how to print on tissue paper.  Basically, I cut it to an A4 size, and stuck it to the regular printer with double-sided tape at the two shortest ends.

2. When printing the pictures, in my printer setting I chose 3.5 x 3.5.  4 pictures fit on each side.

3. Trace the wood ring on the back of the pictures, and very carefully cut them out.

4. Using the paint brush, evenly distribute glue on the wood ring.  Then gently place the picture on the round.  The reason you need to be careful, is because once it's stuck down, it's really hard to get it back up nicely. (I originally used mode-podge, but for some reason it started turning the picture yellow, but the gel clear glue worked great.)


5. After it dries (make sure it dries), go over it again with the clear glue on top.  If you do it before it dries, it'll come up.  

6. I wanted it to look a little more worn, so I ran a nail file along the edges.  

7. Then Dan drilled a hole at the top of each, I strung twine through it, and voila!


Happy crafting!