A new kind of Christmas present

I don’t know about your house, but mine has too many toys. We have a lot of great ones, like a big train set, duplo, kitchen stuff, tools, costumes, instruments, and of course the obligatory bucket of random stuff. I don’t really want to get rid of any of it because it all serves a purpose, but nor do I think we need any more toys in our house! Let’s just say cleaning is not my spiritual gift. But I do have difficulty settling down to play with the boys when there are things to do. You know the list, it’s probably the same as the mental one you have going right now. All the things you should be doing instead of hanging out online, right? 😉 So I really want to get away from the to-do list and spend more time with the boys, but buying them more toys … Read More

The wise men go a-traveling!

Today, Christmas Day, our wise men are starting their journey, following the star! Last year I did it before Christmas, but after I did some research, I realized that the journey of the wise men is traditionally celebrated for the 12 days following Christmas – hence the 12 days of Christmas! This year I thought we’d extend the Christmas fun and try just that! Every day the boys are going to find the wise men looking in unusual places for baby Jesus. Following the twelve days of Christmas is a celebration called Twelfth Night, at which point we’ll celebrate the arrival of the wise men with a special dinner. The early North American colonists brought their version of the Twelve Days of Christmas over from England, and adapted them to their new country, adding their own variations over the year. For example, the modern-day Christmas wreath may have originated with … Read More

Trying to give back…

How do you teach your kids to give back? To be generous? I had a revelation recently – all of the things we were doing to “give back” were things we did on our own time, with our own money. Our children don’t know about the school supplies I packed in September or the donations we give to various organizations. And if they don’t see us doing it, how can they learn it? So in an effort to teach by example, we’re trying a few new things this Christmas. In November we packed up some Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I had my kids pick a few things of their own that they had never used, and we put them in the boxes. (I know they say they can’t take used items, but I’m not sure how they’d ever know these weren’t right off the shelf!) I had them each pick … Read More

A tale of two pigs…er, mothers

This morning was the worst morning ever. No, not because I felt sick, or worried, or exhausted. I was tired, since the baby had been up crying a lot in the night, but I’ve felt worse. Much worse. This morning was the worst morning ever because I acted like it was the worst morning ever. When the boys woke up, I sent them downstairs. They came back up. They were noisy and the baby was actually sleeping, so I hissed at them. They disappointedly went back down. It felt like every thing they did pissed me off, and so I snapped and hissed like a rattlesnake about to kill its innocent prey with its venomous bite. And my prey was innocent. Now, I’ve had times where I’ve snapped and hissed, and it usually doesn’t last long. I snap out of the funk and apologize. But this time it almost felt … Read More

Why a balanced heart is better than a balanced life

A balanced heart

It’s been a long time since I listened to a sermon. In between leading the children’s ministry, spending time in the mother’s room with one of my three babies, and just being my usual distractible self, it’s not very often I have the time or the presence of mind to sit and actually learn from a sermon. Today I found myself in the rare position of not having something on my mind, not having any children around, and not teaching. It’s like all the circles in my life’s venn diagram suddenly intersected and my brain actually felt like cooperating. The pastor asked a question: “What do you think Jesus would say if you asked him how he was doing?”  He concluded that it’s very unlikely he would say “I’m SO busy!” Ask me the same question. Or I’ll ask you. But yes, yes, I know, I know, we’re all busy … Read More

Saving Opa

This week’s devotions have been about Noah. This evening we were wondering why God chose Noah, and then we wondered, if we chose to flood the world, who would we save? E answered: All the good people. O’s answer? Opa. Why? Because he’s funny. And that, my friends, is two little guys engaging in the Bible in their own special way! “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you.” God’s covenant promise with Noah, Genesis 9:9

Christmas is coming!

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat! Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you! Remember that song? It’s been running through my head all day. It probably doesn’t have much to do with kids other than that it was on a tape I used to own of John Denver and the Muppets. But the truth is, Christmas IS coming. And I think as Christian parents we often struggle with Christmas. It was such a magical time when we were kids, but then we discovered that it’s not supposed to be about the presents, and we started to resent Christmas, just a bit. We were told that it wasn’t supposed to be about the presents, but Jesus’ birth didn’t seem like a terribly exciting occasion, having learned about it every … Read More