Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Works for me Wednesday

I've been lurking around for awhile over at Rock in my Dryer and I have finally decided to add my own "Works for me Wednesday" tip. Go check it out for more great tips!

I was thinking the other day about how much I hated changing the crib sheets, because it kills my back, and wrestling with the bumper pad is a real pain. Trivial, I know, when you put it into perspective, but none the less, it's like I'm fighting with something that has no arms, and it's beating me.

So, what I have done, ever since the 6 year old was a baby, is to put a sheet on the crib, and then I put the baby quilt or a crib-sized blanket on top of that. I then tuck the sides in and that is what the child actually sleeps on. Then all I have to do when I'm ready to wash sheets is pull up the blanket. It's so much easier!

I still do pull up the bottom sheet occasionally and wash it, but not on the weekly basis as the other sheets. The only thing I recommend is that you DO NOT do this with very young infants. Only do this with older babies who can lift their heads, roll over, sit up, etc.

So, maybe this will save your back-works for me!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

To my two-year-old: 10 Things I Love About You

10. I love your cute little two-year-old words, like oh-tay (okay), ah yah you (I love you), and day-doo (thank you).

9. Your a faithful companion. You will go to the bathroom with me EVERY TIME I go, because you know I don't want to be alone. You sit on the little step stool in there and say "Done?" over and over again, and even clap your hands and cheer for me sometimes.

8. You can sing songs now. You sing with confidence; and even though I can't understand a single word you said, I can recognize the tune.

7. You love to help. You're always willing to go and get things for me, and pick up what that I've dropped, and even take things to the trash. You don't mind at all that I'm being too lazy to do it myself.

6. Reading books to you is still fun. I don't even mind if you pick out the longest book on the shelf, because you never correct me or notice when I've skipped a couple of pageswords.

5. We can still cuddle. You're still young enough for me to hold you and rock you at night before you go to bed; yet, you're old enough to not wake up in the middle of the night with the need to be fed.

4. You're still sleeping in your crib. Even though you can climb out of it, you still like the safety of the bars surrounding you, and for that, I am grateful.

3. You're learning to take care of your baby dolls. I love watching you attempt to bounce, shush, and even nurse your babies :). It tells me that you have compassion and gentleness for little ones.

2. You can eat by yourself (when you want to!)and even get dressed sometimes. You readily let me know you can by saying "I DO IT!" or "NO, ME DO IT!"

And the number one thing I love about you:

1. You are genuinely happy to see me, quick to forgive, and give me the biggest hugs and kisses, no matter how terrible of a mother I've been that day. You bless my heart.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Worship services with children

I borrowing a post today from Aaron's blog. He wrote it a few days ago on what to do with children during church services, so I thought I'd post it over here to give my "mom" readers some ideas.

I thought I'd share a simple idea we use with our 6 year old to make the most of his time during the preaching service of our church. I've designed a sheet in MS Excel with blanks for the sermon notes - things such as Sermon Title, Preacher, Date, etc. (most of this info is found in our church bulletin). Then, I list 20 blanks for 20 words or phrases that he is to write down during the sermon.

Here's a sample:

The notes above are for a sermon that our pastor preached from Romans 12:4-8 (listen here, search by date or text). We try to discourage him from writing words like "the" or "he" or "God" - you know, frequent words; but rather to listen for key words or phrases. He's still not catching all the "key" words just yet, but this is a start.

Speaking of starts...we didn't start with 20 words. Here's how it progressed for us: at the age of 4, our church no longer offers child care during the evening service. So, at least twice a month, Aaron Job would sit with us during the evening service (on 2nd & 4th Sundays, we meet in small groups around our city). This is a good & gradual adjustment to "big church". We have our 4 year old daughter coming in on Sunday evenings now as well. For Sunday morning worship, five years is the transition age from children's worship to "big church". So when he turned five, he began attending the main worship service with us each week. We also will bring some of our children in during special services - missions, choir concerts, etc. as another way of slowly getting them accustomed to sitting with adults (our children's worship is also designed to prepare the children for this transition).

Once Aaron Job began to learn to write (I think it was when he was five...that's something my wife would remember) I would make a simple list of just five blanks for him to write words. Soon it grew to 10 words, then 15, and finally 20 (you should've seen the faces he made each time I'd increase the number of words!). Gradually, I hope to train him to listen for outline points and other key words & phrases.

Here's a list of 18 characteristics of a godly man found in Proverbs 16:16-33. The list was easy to follow, so I had Aaron Job listen for the 18 characteristics. He got them all (with a little help from mom & dad) and even included two extra at the end.

Of course, in his mind, the goal is to finish as soon as he can, so he can work on what he hopes will become blog fodder.

To get you started, you can download my form here for your own use. Of course you can customize your list to meet the needs of your children.