Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Breci

Calvin received a wonderful gift in the mail this afternoon: tattoos and stickers! He stopped just long enough for us to snap a photo of his 'tattooed' body. Calvin wanted to say thank you Mr. and Mrs. Breci!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Pumpkin Pictures

Pumpkin Carving

Today, we had planned to drive to southern Indiana with our Sunday school class and go to Huber Farms. But the boys and I woke up sick with colds, so we stayed home. We had already hyped up the farm, though, so after a day of resting, we did a little farm activity of our own. We went to a "pumpkin farm" (a nearby fruit market) and bought two pumpkins to carve. Ken roasted the pumkin seeds, and we are enjoying them right now before bedtime.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Without Complaining

This morning at breakfast, I told Calvin that we would be going grocery shopping at Meijer today, to buy food for our family. As I looked at his face, I could see it sink in: this was shopping day. I braced myself for whining and complaining. There has been a lot of whining and complaining coming from his mouth lately, so I've been teaching him Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without complaining." To my delight and complete surprise, he said, "I would love to go to Meijer today." Wow.

Training Calvin to do everything without complaining has been convicting for me. Do I model for him what it looks like not to complain about work, chores, tiredness, people? Sometimes. Sometimes not.

Friday, October 19, 2007


In our home, the word "treats" produces squeals of delight. Calvin loves treats. We really try to make them special. For example, Kim and Calvin have a special date every once in while in which they go to the muffin store. Anytime momma is at school, Calvin and daddy have popcorn and watch football (we had to adjust last night and watch baseball). We've had a few special treats in the last couple of days. Jonathan and Yvonne Caldwell and their children Abigail, Annalise and Andrew stopped in Louisville for a day on their way home from a children's ministry conference in Nashville. We had a great time swimming, playing and chatting. This was our first treat. This afternoon momma made a special treat for her boys. Asian Chicken Mushroom soup for daddy, caramel apples for Calvin (mom and dad might have had some too...), and caramel for Teddy Dean! We love treats!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Training Children To Be Responsible

I have been thinking lately about the ways Calvin is becoming more responsible and how I can challenge him with even greater responsibility. Calvin is currently expected to:

  • Take his dishes to the sink after meals and snacks
  • Put his dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Do his potty routine completely
  • Pick up his toys at the end of the day
  • Respect his library materials
  • Put his shoes away when we come home from outings
  • Make things right when he has been disobedient, sinned against a friend or brother, or hurt someone

The challenge I'm giving him this week is dressing and undressing himself. He is able to do it, and has done it many times. But he wants me to do it for him. I'm encouraging him to do it all the way by himself, to embrace responsibility and reject laziness. A big concept for a two-year-old, I know, but I am always amazed what he can learn if I take the time to teach.

I have been using a prayer calendar called, "A Parent's Prayer Program" by Bob Hostetler. Today's prayer, providentially, was for responsibility. It reads, "Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load.' (Galatians 6:5)." My desire is that my sons will grow to be men who take responsibility for their own work, their manners, tongues, relationships, time, commitments, and who take responsibility for their own sin. That they would be men who follow through and whose word means something because they are responsible. Praying Galatians 6:5 for my boys has encouraged me to persevere in teaching them responsibility, for it is important and God-honoring.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Don't Make Me Count to Three!

I recently read "Don't Make Me Count to Three!" A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Ginger Plowman. This book is very much influenced by Tedd Tripp's well-known book, Shepherding A Child's Heart. Both books present the same parenting philosophy: effective, biblical parenting is not just correcting outward behavior, but reaching and shaping your child's heart. But where Tripp's book is heavy on theory, Ginger Plowman gets much more practical. She gives words to say for specific situations, ideas of scriptures to memorize and use when correcting and training, and a chart of heart probing questions to ask your child.

Her chapter, "Training Children in Righteousness," was especially helpful to me. It is based on Ephesians 4:22-24, which says, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Plowman's point in this chapter is that we can't just tell our children that their behavior is bad, they shouldn't do it, and give them some form of punishment. We also need to train them how to "put on the new self." We need to show them what they should do just as much as we need to tell them what they shouldn't do.

This morning I had an opportunity to put this into practice. Calvin was on the floor reading a book when Teddy crawled over and started grabbing at it. Calvin yelled at Teddy and pushed him away. Teddy, of course, cried. I told Calvin that he was not to push his brother, and in doing so he was thinking only of himself ("put off your old self"). Calvin apologized to Teddy and asked for forgiveness. Then, I told Calvin, "Teddy wants to read also. You can be kind to him by finding him some board books. And you can sit on the couch, out of his way, where you won't be tempting him to grab your book." (this is how he can "put on the new self").

Many of you seasoned parents already know this concept and have practiced it for years, I'm sure. I'm new at this and at times feel that it takes more patience, wisdom, and creativity than I possess. But I am grateful for the wise, biblical advice of Ginger Plowman, and would highly recommend this book.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Training My Children

I've been learning more lately about training my children, and I don't just mean potty training. I mean bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). The rules for Teddy at this point are simple: don't touch the houseplants, don't touch electrical cords, and don't swat at the spoon when I'm feeding you. But his rules and boundaries will soon become more complex, just as Calvin's have. Ken and I, when we correct and instruct Calvin, are doing our best to train his heart. It's difficult, challenging, exhausting, and rewarding. I have a lot of learning and growing to do in effectively reaching the hearts of my children. One section of my Essentials I class for the Seminary Wives Institute addressed biblical parenting. That certainly got my brain thinking about what it means to teach and train, correct and rebuke my children. Mrs. Mohler also spoke to us about praying for our children, and gave us some wonderful ideas and resources. I also just read a great book about biblical parenting. Over the next few days, I plan to blog about the subject and unpack some of what I've learned.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Teen or Two?

Is Calvin two or is he fifteen? On mornings like this, it's hard to tell. I went into his room at 8 a.m. to wake him. He pulled his blanket over his head and said, "I want ten more minutes!"

At other times, however, he talks much more like a two-year-old. He favors "f" sounds in his speech. For example, "Mama, I'm firsty. May I have a fink of water?"

Ken taught Calvin how to thank me for making meals. Cal does it often, and not just right after a meal. When he gets up from a nap, or as we're climbing out of the van, or after we read a story, I'll hear, "Thank you for the wonderful dinner, Mama." That is always nice to hear, no matter what time it is.

Meanwhile, Teddy is enjoying a rich environment on a shoestring budget. This morning he played with a flashlight while Calvin and I sang, "This Little Light of Mine." Later, while I was preparing a meal, Teddy made music with some pots and a wooden spoon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Kissing Bandit

Well, Teddy Dean has officially become 'The Kissing Bandit.' He loves to kiss his momma. When she is holding him he will look her in the eyes and plant a long, open-mouthed kiss right on her lips. Teddy Dean also kisses me, but not as much as he does with momma. Can you blame him?

Daddy's Little Football Players

Notice the end-zone dance he is already practicing.

Here are my football players. They are naturals. Calvin loves to run me over with the ball, he is looking like a fullback in a tailback's body.

Teddy Dean loves to go after the ball as it rolls around on the floor. He's got a nose for the football, looks like a defensive lineman to me.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Day Off

Ken gave me a wonderful gift today...a day off! I left home just as the boys were waking up, before all the morning diapers, potty-ing, breakfast, and dressing took place. I came home for lunch, but left before it was time to do the dishes and the next round of diapers and potty-ing. And then I stayed away until after nap time. Amazing!

I used the day to take a prayer walk, have extended time with the Lord, and to finish reading a book about parenting. It was refreshing and restful. A side benefit of this day, which I pretty much spent in silence and solitude, was that I could rest my voice (I lost it three days ago).

Have I mentioned that I have the best husband in the whole world?

Date night!

Last night was date night. The reason this was such a special date night is because it was our first in Louisville. One of our friends, Kelly, blessed us by offering to watch the boys. Calvin and Teddy Dean were thrilled that Mrs. Kantorski was coming over to play with them. To say that Calvin has a crush on Mrs. Kantorski would be an understatement. He adores her.

We spent the evening on Bardstown Road. This is the area of Louisville that is quite eclectic, resembling Grand Avenue in St. Paul and Uptown in Minneapolis. We walked up and down the road taking in all the shops and sidewalk restaurants. We had been advised to have a pizza from Wicks. Wicks is known for its 10 pound 'Big Wick' Pizza! No, we did not have the 'Big Wick', but we did enjoy a fantastic Italian sausage and green olive pizza pie. After that we walked the road again and I had a cup of coffee from Highland Coffee shop. It was the best cup of coffee I have had since coming to Louisville. I still miss Caribou though.

The great thing about date night is spending time together. We just love being together. Isn't it great that God gave us the gift of marriage.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Calvin & Mr. Toby

A while ago, we blogged about Calvin's fascination with bowties. The reason he loves bowties is because Mr. Toby wears bowties. We had Mr. Toby (Toby Jennings) over for lunch after church on Sunday. Calvin was thrilled! Here is a picture of Calvin and Mr. Toby reading after lunch.

Mama's little helper

Teddy loves to help with dishes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Watching The Wiggles

My boys sat together yesterday and watched the Wiggles for a few minutes. It's delightful to see them play together and want to be near one another.