We have been having some challenges with behaviour lately and it has been absolutely draining. If you have children, you know what I mean. I feel like I have tried everything without success. Raising children is not easy, and God knows that, so He gave us a book with all the answers!
All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
~2 Tim 3:16
We needed to decide what we were going to focus on. I have been trying to deal with everything all at once and, of course, the result is frustration. The thing I have struggled to handle the most is the arguing, complaining, answering back. So I made a chart. Across the top I wrote:
Do all things without complaining or arguing.
The bottom section is divided into a 5 x 2 grid. When asked to do something, the children would get a mark in the happy face section when they did it cheerfully, but if they grumbled about it, they got a mark in the sad face section. We started this yesterday and what a great day we had! Our 4 year old (the biggest arguer of all) was actually asking me to get him to do something just so he could gain a happy face mark.
They had lots of opportunities. If they began to complain or argue, but then changed their attitude after being reminded, they still got a happy face mark. Give them as many opportunities to succeed as possible, I say!
We have been repeating the scripture throughout yesterday and today, and most of the children know it now. I will continue with the chart for a couple of days and then take it away, but still expect cheerfullness. After all, we want to obey God's word because we love Him; not for happy face marks!
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where theives do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Here is a picture of our chart at the end of yesterday:
Looks good, huh?
I laminated the sheet after writing the scripture and drawing up the grid so it's reusable. I'm sure I will need to pull it out again. ;) I'm thinking I may make up a generic one, so I can simply write in the scripture we are working on at the time.
Our first week back at school went well. I am playing with the routine a bit to see what works best for us. I'm sure it will all come together in the next few weeks.
Through our work as distributors with HomeCARE we have met a number of lovely people in our area. One gentleman, Mr Barber, owns a Hypsilurus spinipes (Southern Angle-Headed Dragon). He graciously allowed us to bring all our young tribe into his home to meet it.
Mr. Barber sharing information
Bethany wasn't too keen on holding it, but Naomi did very well
Enjoying one of Mr. Barber's reptile books
Can you find it?
Our new friend
I had planned on having worksheets and a little study about reptiles etc, but I still haven't managed to get it together. Hopefully the children will remember when I get it all ready - probably not until next week. The photos will certainly jog their memories, and we will take a trip to the library to find a book. I must get more organised!
As an aside, here are the dedication photos I promised:
Pastor Miranda speaking...and Mama trying to keep the children together ;)
Praying for Elijah
Praying for Jeremiah
Praying for Bethany
Praying for Naomi
Praying for Abigail
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ~ Joshua 24:15b
The left flap has a "Cross Addition" file folder game (slightly modified ;) ). The right flap has 2 easter word searches.
I added two extra flaps on the top and bottom. The one that folds from the bottom has a maze on one side and John 11:25 trace work on the other. The flap that folds from the top has a "He is Risen" craft on one side and an Easter sudoku on the other.
The centre has an Easter song accordian book, a mini book of 2 Corinthians 5:17, our Resurrection Eggs folder art and an easter version of the wordless book.
The last five days have been a flurry of various outings and trying behaviours. The children thrive on routine, and when there is a change, things can become difficult. The school routine has stopped for holidays, but I think I will structure the rest of the year to continue on steadily all the way through; taking a break here and there when we need it. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things when term 2 starts on Monday. We are beginning a new math program that I am excited about!
On Saturday Elijah was excited to see his picture and name in the newspaper. He was one of the children carrying the cross during the Good Friday Prayer Walk and was in the photo the journalist took for the local newspaper.
Easter Sunday was an important and exciting day for us. We not only celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, we also dedicated all of our children! It was a precious time - although one of the trying times I mentioned. I often find that Sunday mornings can be stressful. Getting out the door to church can be one of the most frustrating times of the week. How the devil loves to try and prevent us from fellowship! However, Easter Sunday was different. Everything went smoothly and we were out the door with plenty of time to spare. Ashlee had even done an easter egg hunt with the children! Come time for the dedications however, the children were restless and noisy. And Mama was getting stressed.
Do you ever find that? Does satan try and get to you via your children? A very wise woman once stated "We must stay on the same team with our children. We have an enemy, but it is not one another. : )" This statement has helped me on numerous occassions. It is easy to see our children as 'the enemy' some days. But they are precious gifts from God - given to us to train in the ways of the Lord. It is not an easy task, but definintely a rewarding one!
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates" Deuteronomy 11:18-20
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
I will try and post some photos of the dedications when we receive them. I attempted to get some photos before church, but it wasn't easy. These are the best of the ones that were taken:
Our church also had some visiting ministry on Easter Sunday - Wally and Diane Anchen. So, after the dedications, we sat back and enjoyed "The Hat Parade to Heaven". It was a fun time and the children soaked it up!
On Tuesday, Mandy arrived. She is visiting with us until Saturday. The children are so excited to have their big sister here! I'm sure the excitement will increase toward the end of the week. Their other big sister is arriving on Friday night and staying until Sunday. Ashlee is still with us until Wednesday. I think our house will seem empty at the end of next week!
Oh, we also finished our Easter lapbook. I'll post about that next time.
Today we participated in the local combined churches prayer walk for Good Friday. This annual event is great! All the churches in the area gather together and walk and pray for our city. Awesome! This year it was especially wonderful to see the children becoming more involved. A number of children shared in the carrying of the cross. Here are a couple of pictures from the event:
Children leading the way
Gathering together at the eastern park, Lake Pertobe
Naomi and Jeremiah listening to a Bible reading
Singing with one accord at another stop
Our church provided the music - 3 of our music team, including my wonderful husband, Michael, in the blue & orange ;)
For the next couple of weeks, we have a special visitor in our home - our dear friend Ashlee. We always look forward to her visits. It means adult conversation for me (yay!) and fun for the children. The other day, Ashlee gathered them together to make Easter baskets for a special hunt that is to happen soon!
Hard at work
Yesterday, we made Banana and Blueberry Bread. Nothing at all like a seder meal, but we learnt a lot just the same. It's a definite favourite in our home and doesn't last very long at all!