Clue the Card Game

As family board games go Clue is a classic, but it can also grow tedious as you constantly roll and never get quite the right roll to make it to the room you want.

Enter Clue the Card Game.

Clue the card game

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What’s different about Clue the Card game?

Clue the card game

There’s no board, so that removes a large part of the randomness of Clue that drove me crazy.  Instead the same 6 suspects have stolen something, and are heading to a famous landmark in the United States to escape.  You have to figure out who did it, how they’re escaping, and where they’re going.

It’s also more portable because there is no board to worry about.

Clue the Card game strategy

In Clue the Card Game* you are playing the cards you’ve drawn to get your information, there are cards based on types of information and for specific people.

Clue the card game

So, you might be able to get everyone to show you a specific vehicle type (land) or location (Northeast), or have one person show you all of their location types.  And of course there’s the usual method of “I think Professor Plum escaped in a hot air balloon to the Lincoln Monument, can you prove me wrong?”

Clue the card game

 

Just like in the original Clue board game, it’s worth writing down who you showed information to, and what questions were asked.  Jeff writes down everything and as a consequence wins a large majority of the time when we play together.

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Similar games to Clue the Card Game

sadly it looks like Clue the Card game is out of print, or the one dealer selling it on Amazon has a SUPER high price, so here’s some similar games you might enjoy:

I survived Rock the Rock!

Yes I did!  It’s a minor miracle.  I don’t have all that many pictures because I don’t want to share lots of pictures of other people’s kids and I was working in pre-k.   My big plans of doing some fun-schooling was derailed by sheer exhaustion.

Brain Chase play

But, the kids did have some fun going on Brain Chase and working on solving everything for that.

Rocket launch

We attempted to and failed to launch a rocket.  I have a few theories on why, but not many.  I need to do some research.  The launcher is functioning and it’s getting electricity, so there’s some disconnect between the launcher and the rocket.

Civitas card game

We played Civitas card game (affiliate link, it’s only available for pre-order, GET IT!), you’ll be hearing more about that soon, it’s a really fun way to learn how different government styles work.

But really, this week was all about Rock the Rock.  We served at a morning club, and it was hard work.

Rock the Rock prep

On Monday we went around inviting kids to come join us at the clubs, which was a lot of fun, and I was so proud of the kids taking the iniviative and talking to people.  Then Tuesday through Friday was the actual clubs and the kids were such a big help.  You can see my boys helping carry the blower to inflate the bouncy house, they helped carry, and move things around.  Princess helped me set-up the Pre-K area.

Rock the Rock

On the subject of the Pre-K area, so we have set up under a giant live oak tree for the past few years, it’s a great area, it gets shade, there’s a bit of a breeze sometimes, so we set up there again this year.

Then we noticed fire ants all over the place, they were supposed to treat for them, but they didn’t.  So we moved it further away, and set up again.  Then we noticed there were still fire ants crawling all over us, and our materials.  So we LIFTED the pre-k fencing over the kids and then pulled the tarp with all of the toys over there.  It was quite…. interesting.

And a similar thing happened the next day only slightly different location.

Summerpfest Fun

We finished up the week over at Summerpfest at my Mom’s church.  It’s a free carnival (with the exception of some food items), and the kids played on bouncy houses, did carnival games, and generally had lots and lots of fun.  They were exhausted by the time I got them home on Friday night.

What I read as I brainlessly stared at the computer this week

I will hopefully be less brain dead in the coming week.  I’m gonna skip our constellations week and go straight to a week of Castles and Medeival times because I’m more interested in that, besides I can use one of the activities from our Middle Ages England study to gather materials for constellations week.

Fun and easy Moon Unit for kids

You know what’s great about homeschool science?  It doesn’t matter how many times people have written about oreo cookie moons as part of their moon unit, my kids haven’t seen it.  So, it’s awesome and new to them.  But, I still added in a few more ideas for our moon unit, just to make it extra fun.

moon unit

Moon unit supplies

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Oreo Double Stuff* (because if you’re going to use Oreos, why not go for broke?), CD (you know those things we used to listen to music on), flashlight* (we bought multiple just like this for our entire family, they fit very well in your pocket), flour in a large bowl, toys to drop

 

Moon unit activity 1: how does the moon get light?

Moon unit light reflection activity

Techinically the moon doesn’t have its own light, technically it reflects the light from the sun.  Of course we don’t say that because that is boring, and nowhere near as interesting as “look how bright the moon is shining tonight.”

Okay, back to the actual post, and not my random tangent.

To demonstrate this we took a CD and a flashlight, better add that to the supply list, and headed into my rather dark closet.

Then we shone the flashlight onto the CD and we could see the light that reflected off of the CD onto our hands.  It made for a rather great demonstration.

And because that’s the kind of teacher I am I then drew a parallel to God.  How we are supposed to reflect God’s light just like the moon reflects the sun (Sneak in a bit of family discipleship in the middle of our science lesson, go team me!).

 

Moon unit activity 2: Oreo cookie moons

moon unit for elementary school

Most everyone has seen this activity, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it, besides to say it’s an awesome excuse to eat lots of Oreo cookies.

Awesome excuse.

moon unit eating oreos makes happy kids

The kids had lots of fun arranging their cookies to create the waxing and waning cycle of the moon in the frosting with their Oreos, so it was a good addition to our moon unit.

 

Moon unit activity 3: creating craters

This last activity in our moon unit is actually one we’d done before, so we made reference to it.

Mercury activity process

We simulated making craters on the moon using random objects dropped into flour.  It helps explain the way the moon looks and why there are so many craters, and besides it’s fun to do.
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Moon unit resources

10 Things Every Homeschool Mom Needs

A few years ago I wrote our a post called Our must have hands on learning supplies, and I wanted to revisit the idea of homeschool supplies, but our needs in that area haven’t changed at all.  But, I’ve learned over the past couple of years there are some things every homeschool Mom needs.

These are listed in no particular order, except for the last one.

What every homeschool Mom needs whether she knows it or not

What every homeschool Mom needs

 

1.  Every homeschool Mom needs a friend she can complain to.

Dear graduate, find good friends

We have all had those days, where you’re seriously considering putting your kids into public school OR putting them up for adoption.  You doubt your abilities as a mother, and you’re about to go crazy.  That’s when you pick up the phone and call your friend.  Sometimes it’s a fellow homeschooling Mom, sometimes it’s just a friend you’ve known for years.  I have been very blessed by God two have two friends for years (that unfortunately moved) I could pick up the phone and call and say “I need to rant for a few minutes.” I’m also very blessed to have new friends I’ve made that still live here I can call them and say, “You need to take my kids or they will not live the day.”

 

2.  Every homeschool Mom needs a drink to relax.

tea-cup-ready-to-decorate.jpg

This is going to look different for each Mom.  I love to drink tea, I’ve filled my facebook feed with jokes about drinking tea.  I also love Dr Pepper.  I’d drink it a lot more if it weren’t so bad for me, but I love it.  It helps me relax after a busy day, or gets me the energy to confront the day when I haven’t slept well.

 

3.  Every homeschool Mom needs a plan

Illuminations grows with my kids

I don’t know about you, but if I have no plan for the day, I look up and it’s 3:00 and I have no idea what I’ve done that day.  For us, Illuminations* is the key to having a plan.  It’s not a schedule, because we don’t keep schedules, but if I have a list of goals for the day I’m much more likely to achieve everything that way.  Find the plan that works for you.

 

4.  Every homeschool Mom needs a library card.

shelf-marker-at-the-library.jpg

You will go broke without a library card.  You will go slightly less broke with a library card.  We visit our library regularly to get books for the kids to read, supplemental reading for our history and science lessons, and don’t forget the books on CD.  My boys are addicted to audiobooks.  Addicted.

 

5.  Every homeschool Mom needs time alone.

every homeschool mom needs time alone

We love our kids, we would not homeschool our kids if we didn’t love them, but that doesn’t mean we need to BE with them 24/7.  As a matter of fact it is not good for us to do that.  We need a break from each other, and it’s good for our kids to learn from another person from time to time.

 

6.  Every homeschool Mom needs a hobby.

sewing week

And this needs to be something that recharges you, not something you find stressful.  Homeschooling, like any full time job (and it is a job, just a non-profit one) can be stressful.  What helps you recharge.  Is it sewing?  Is it drawing, reading, scrapbooking?  Find something to recharge you.

 

7.  Every homeschool Mom needs a working printer

Mybestfriendtheprinterscanner.jpg

I don’t know about you, but the day my printer runs out of ink is a sad day, and a day that immediately needs to be remedied by going to get more.  While we don’t do a lot of worksheets, I still use my printer a lot, for Mystery of history 1 notebooking pages*, or science notebooking pages, or a coloring page to illustrate clothing choices in the 1500s, I print a lot.

 

8.  Every homeschool Mom needs a clipboard.

For me it’s a clipboard, actually it’s THE Plastic Storage Clipboard* and between this and Illuminations it’s all that keeps me organized.  I put all my papers for the week inside of it, and it’s wonderful.  Find the organization item that keeps you functioning.  Is it a milk crate to carry stuff around in, is it a file folder box, what helps you function?

 

9.  Every homeschool Mom needs Pinterest.

 Visit Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s profile on Pinterest.

I meant to say this one earlier, but I got distracted thinking about time alone and support from friends, but this is a great time-saver.  You’re looking for how to explain the Battle of Hastings, and you search Pinterest or go to your Mystery of History 2 board (yes, I’ve broken history down according to our history book) and find ideas.  It’s wonderful how much time it saves me.  But, it’s a double-edged sword and it can also be a huge time sink for me.  HUGE time sink.

 

10.  Every homeschool Mom needs support from their family

roleplayingwithfamily.jpg

Unfortunately this is not one every homeschool Mom gets.  But, homeschooling is infinitely easier if you have support from your husband and family, but especially your husband if you’re married.

 

Bonus #11.  Every homeschool Mom needs prayer.

family discipleship requires prayer

I couldn’t do this without the support and confidence I get from praying.  I know not every homeschooler is a Christian, and not every homeschooler even believes in God, but having prayer makes life so much calmer and less stressful for me I cannot imagine trying to go without it.

 

What every homeschool Mom needs

Not everyone agrees with me on the necessities, so check out other homeschool Mom’s ideas of homeschool needs.

Why are summers so busy?

Actually, I know the answer to this question, but it seems like every summer I have grand plans, and every summer they get put to the side as we buckle in for a roller-coaster of a busy season.

 

summer mess

So far our summer has been filled with messy fun.  This started off with the kids happily playing with some leftover oobleck from a project.  Then it deteriorated into a big huge mess.  A HUGE MESS, that I think they had almost as much fun cleaning up as they did making it.

epic sand castle building

Epic sand castle building.  My kids and a friend spent two hours building a sand castle village.  It had fortifications, tunnels, moats, it was epic.

rock the rock prep 1

We have started the great preparations for Rock the Rock, that’s our church’s version of VBS.  It starts on Tuesday if you’re in the area and looking for a fun VBS.  I was in charge of pre-K again, this picture is part of our epic craft preparations, and it was EPIC!  Of course that consumed most of June so far.  While the boys were at camp Princess and I spent hours putting together the final bits and pieces.

space discovery week

We had an epic space discovery week, we created rockets, landing systems, rover retrieval systems, explored oobleck oceans, and so many more fun activities.  Of course this is what led to the mess I mentioned up above……

epic dining room

I did an epic dining room rearrangement, and now my boys are very excited to have limited access to all of their Uncle Sam’s figures from MageKnight.  Yes all of those drawers are filled with small gaming figures, and some not so small.  EPIC!

boys camp

We dropped the boys off at camp and picked them up a week later absolutely filthy.  They were somewhat orangeish because the dirt has a slight red tint.  They were also about two shades darker because of how much sun they got.  I’m also exceptionally proud of them because they memorized ALL TEN BIBLE VERSES THAT WEEK.  And their team came in first for the Iron Cabin competition, which encompasses attitude, sportsmanship, and so many other things, it was awesome!

Princess and I all week long

In my week of being an only child parent I was exceptionally busy.  We went to two of her favorite movies, watched a couple more at home, did some crafts together, had a tea party, had a friend over, AND finished all of the Rock the Rock stuff (that alone was over 15 hours of work this week).  It’s been a very busy week.

And next week will probably be just as busy because next week we have Rock the Rock, and it’s going to be awesome.  Tiring, but awesome.  So, if you’re wondering where I disappeared to, I’m probalby collapsed from exhaustion.  I’ve got a few posts I’m trying to get out, but right now I’m thinking I’ll be lucky to survive to Friday.

Lunches kids can make

A few years ago I wrote a post on easy homeschool lunches, and it was quite popular.  As a homeschool Mom I’m always looking for easy ways to solve the “what do we eat?” question.

lunches kids can make from preschool on up

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Lunches kids can make (no cooking involved)

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches- my kids love to make their own variations on these sandwiches: smooth/crunchy or jelly/honey, or just peanut butter, they all have their own favorites

making and eating muppet sandiwches

Muppet Sandwiches– this is a special treat, but they love these, probably because of the large amounts of sugar.  Yes that is my daughter making one at 4 years old.

Cheese and crackers- if you buy pre-sliced cheese this doesn’t even involve a knife.  Or you can buy a Cheese Slicer* (I love this one, and need to buy a new one, after 5 years of hard use it broke), and always get cheese the same width.

Cereal- Batman loves to eat cereal whenever he is hungry.  He’ll just pour himself a bowl and be good to go.

Lunches kids can make, some cooking involved

Fish sticks- my kids recently discovered fish sticks, and you can cook them in the microwave (which tastes horrible to my mind) OR in the oven.

Scrambled eggs- my kids are big fans of breakfast any time of day, which also leads to….

Oatmeal- Superman is my big breakfast chef.  He makes the scrambled eggs, and the oatmeal.  Princess makes toast, and a few other things.

lunches kids can make with a little cooking

Salad- my kids love to make their own salads with bits and pieces of other items added in (usually it’s leftover chicken or Italian sausage).

Toasted bagel with cream cheese- my daughter loves this one, my boys don’t.  It’s as simple as that.

 

Lunches kids can make with a lot of cooking

These meals require a bit more prep-work, OR require you to be willing to let your kids use sharp knives, both of which will depend on your kids’ maturity.  All of these are relatively simple to make and don’t have lots of steps

Chicken- my son has learned how to cut chicken into bite-size pieces and cook it in a little bit of butter with garlic salt, and it’s delicious.

Bacon- this is more of a side item, but Batman has learned how to cook it and is quite proud of his skill, so I had to mention it.

Spaghetti– While I make the sauce, my kids are perfectly capable of cooking the noodles and reheating the sauce I’ve jarred up. Princess has even done this, though I help her drain the noodles.

lunches kids can make with a little cooking

this would be 100% a lunch my kid made, including the picture, blurry as it is

Now all of the items I’ve mentioned so far are main dishes, if you notice in that blurry picture up above we use a traditional lunch tray*, and that’s because it forces me to come up with a few side dishes. If you’re like me and struggle with this, here’s my short list of ideas:

pretzel sticks, strawberries, grapes, apple slices, watermelon, pineapple, their favorite chips (this is a rare treat), Pringles (also rare treat, if we buy them Jeff and I are likely to finish the bag, which we don’t need to do), teddy grahams, or a dessert.

Oh, and if you noticed I only have pictures of the boys cooking, that’s because one of my goals for this year for them is to learn to cook simple meals, which they have taken on with a passion.

lunch kids can make

Paul and the Philippians Jailer

This Sunday School lesson actually happens before the other ones I’ve written recently.  I’d lost the pictures for this one, so it happens right after Pauls’ first missionary trip, and before Paul’s visit to Corinth.

Paul and the Philippians jailer lesson

Lessons from Paul and the Philippians jailer

There are so many lessons we can take from this story:

  • trusting God in adversity
  • praising God in times of trouble
  • having joy in times of persecution
  • God’s providence

But, after Anne-Marie over at Future Flying Saucers gave me some inspiration for our activity, I concentrated on bondage.

Paul and the Philippians jailer what holds you in bondage

We all have things that hold us in bondage.  Focusing on things for adults: work (either working too hard, not enough, or not having work), food (there are many people who ruin their life with their obsession with food), friendship/love…….  And in almost every case you can ruin it with an excess or a poverty of that thing.  It amazed me as I thought it through, I’ve known people who ruined their lives because they were so focused on what they deserved in work, they didn’t see what they had.  I’ve also seen people so obsessed with their job, they lost their families.

The kids focused on things they could think of.  What they’d heard in Bible stories, or what they’d seen in other ways.  Princess started thinking of all the things she might obsess over: looks, singing, achievement.  The list could go on forever.

Paul and the Philippians jailer what holds you in bondage

But, in the end, we are set free by Christ, big dramatic expressions and all.  God has the ability to take away that addiction or that focus if we give Him the chance.  All too often I know I say, “But God, I need this.”  I know better, but that doesn’t change my reactions.

 

Paul and the Philippians jailer activity

Paul and the Philippians jailer activity

We made chains, and as we formed the chains we wrote and drew what people are enslaved to.  It was really eye-opening for me what the kids thought of.

It was also amusing to see them trading their strips to get the colors they wanted.

Paul and the Philippians jailer activity

And after they’d drawn out their examples, and I’d taken pictures.

Paul and the Philippians jailer activity song

Including this one by my little blogger wanna-be, carefully arranged just the way she wants it.

Paul and the Philippians jailer freed from bondage

We all took turns breaking our chains of sin.  It’s very dramatic.

 

Follow Paul’s next steps in missionary tales as we see Paul in Corinth.  All of my Acts lessons are on the Acts of the Apostles activities for kids.

Paul and the Philippians jailer lesson

Paul and the Philippians jailer resources

Gandhi lesson plan

Gandhi is a huge figure in India, and throughout the world, and you can’t teach India for kids without talking about him, and it’s a vital history lesson for kids.

Gandhi lesson plan for elementary kids

I found a wonderful book written in conjunction with Gandhi’s grandson, Grandfather Gandhi*, a story he remembers about his grandfather, perfect for this Gandhi lesson.

Gandhi lesson plan: comparing lightning and electricity

One day Gandhi’s grandson loses his temper and runs and hides away from everyone, there he runs into his grandfather.  Gandhi told his grandson anger can be like lightning or like electricity.  Lightning destroys, and electricity can create great things.  My kids were very intrigued by this, so we made a simple comparison chart of the two.  Sadly all pictures of my kids writing this out, are missing, but you can print out your own copy of our chart to use with your kids: India for kids printable.

Gandhi lesson plan: spinning yarn

India for kids Gandhi lesson

One of the central features in this story is Gandhi spinning yarn, and I’ve had a drop spindle kit sitting in my supplies stowed away for a future history lesson, but this was the excuse I was looking for, and we worked at spinning yarn like Gandhi was doing.  We all quickly discovered we do not have that skill, and it’s going to take a lot more work than we’re willing to put into it right now.

Gandhi lesson

I was intrigued to learn spinning experienced a revival in India because of Gandhi’s interest in it, there is now a cottage industry of women spinning in their homes and selling the yarn.

While the activity was short and to the point, there was a lot more we could do, but this served the purposes of this lesson.  We aren’t covering an in-depth view of the times right now, but getting a general ideas of who Gandhi is with this lesson.
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Other Gandhi lesson resources

  • Gandhi: A March to the Sea (I have this picture book somewhere, but couldn’t find it, it’s also going to be used when we’re teaching about Martin Luther King jr. as there’s a nice parallel to this story)
  • I’m still looking for more, so if you’ve got one to suggest I’d love to hear about it.  There’s not a lot I could find.

 

Gandhi pictures and spinning wheel pictures found here and here and used with permission

Cookie Fossil Dig

We picked back up our geography for kids with a cookie fossil dig in Colorado.  I know this is also a science for kids activity, but we did it as part of learning about Colorado.

Excavate the cookie fossil dig

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First we read Dinosaur Mountain: Digging into the Jurassic Age*, before starting our study up of Colorado again I hadn’t known the state was known for a large dinosaur dig in the late 1800s, when the huge dinosaur craze was going on.  There’s a series of canyons stretching from Utah to Colorado that have large number of fossils.

dinosaur dig at the park

We’ve previously done a couple of dinosaur excavations (dinosaur dig at the park, dinosaur excavation kit, and pasta dinosaur dig), and I wanted to come up with a slightly different variation, so we had a cookie fossil dig.

Cookie fossil dig supplies

excavate the dinosaur cookie fossil dig set up

chocolate chip or M&M cookie (we chose M&M), toothpicks* (I like these because I won’t crush the box and have them all over the drawer the next day) or Bamboo Skewers* (which is what I discovered I actually had in the house, sigh)

 

Cookie fossil dig procedure

Dinosaur cookie fossil dig

I stressed to the kids the importance of recording their findings as they dig up their fossils.  I also stressed the importance of being slow with your work.

cookie fossil dig

So they set to it, slowly breaking apart bits and pieces of the cookies, and finding the all important M&Ms.  Then they recorded what they found with where it was in the cookie, how many there were, and any other details they found important.

dinosaur cookie fossil dig excavation

As a final step they were to write what they thought they found.  Paleontologists in the early days knew nothing about what they were finding, and were making it up as they went along, so my kids made up the answers too based on the theories they created.

 

And of course in the end we ate some of the leftover cookies, a tough job, but someone had to do it.

 

Check out All Things Beautiful for more great science or history ideas (depending on which one I feel like linking it up to).

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Moms need to constantly pray

Usually I shared Sunday School lessons aimed for kids, but every now and then I have a family discipleship topic I want to share, that isn’t for Sunday School, but home.

Give your children grace

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I’ve been reading Give Them Grace* as part of a Facebook book club (come join me, I’m learning so much), and been struggling through the first few chapters because I kept losing my book (seriously how can I lose one book so often in such a short period of time).

Back to the point, last night I read chapter 5, and I think I heard the light bulb click on, and I knew I needed this printed and pasted all over my house.

 

MOMS NEED TO CONSTANTLY PRAY

That needs to be in capital letters, because it’s that important.

One thing they’ve emphasized throughout the book is the importance of prayer for your kids.  Pray they understand God’s grace, pray they respond to Him, pray they grow up strong.  Today, they gave us a framework, and some specific goals.  It’s also a handy mnemonic for our tools, which I needed a printable to truly get it down.

 

Management- Basic instruction for daily living

This is just common instructions, that we all need to survive:

  • Don’t hit someone when you’re angry.
  • Follow directions.
  • Congratulate the winner of the game.

Regardless of your belief systems, everyone is teaching their kids this, and in the day to day moments, this is the most common parenting  This can frequently lead to other things.  It’s also most common with younger kids, because by the time they’re 10 and older, they most of these things and you’re working on the polishing up.

 

Nurturing- feeding their souls with grace

Encouragement when their day is hard, or when they’re going to sleep and they are feeling down.  I struggled with how to apply this until I read one of the verses she cited.

Psalms 78:4

No matter what at the end of the day God loves my child more than I can say.  If I can communicate that, it’s been a good day.

Training- what Jesus has done and why it matters

I think we often can tell our kids the what, but we don’t tell them the why.  And without the why, it’s all words.

Philippians 2:5-11 Moms need to constantly pray

Do you see the example Jesus set in these verses?  And the reason why He did?  It’s a great example to strive for.

Correction- correcting him when he doubts or forgets

Just to clear something up, our children are not being punished for doubting or forgetting, but they are being corrected.  At first when I read the chapter and saw doubts in there I thought “really, you’ll punish someone for questions?” but that wasn’t the point.  The point was to provide correction, just as when a child gets the wrong answer you correct the wrong information.

Mom needs to constantly pray reminder

Are you seeing, why I’ve put reminders up for myself all throughout the house.  It’s to remind ME “Moms need to constantly pray,” because otherwise I will respond incorrectly in a selfish manner.

Promises- teach her God’s promises

If you look through the Bible, and you look at why God has all of the festivals in the Old Testament and why there are the “sacraments” in the New Testament, it’s to remind us of God’s promises.  We are forgetful people, and if we as adults who supposedly know better forget, imagine how much more our kids do…

So I need to take the time to remind myself and remind the kids of God’s promises.

Moms need to constantly pray

And that’s why I’ve taped this up to my rather dirty bathroom mirror, and why I’m writing this post because I need reminders, and I need accountability.  It’s much easier, so much easier to just parent with rules.  You did this thing wrong, so you are in trouble, and this is the response.

Instead, I’m trying to remember to always respond with Grace, and with love.  And it’s so hard, so incredibly hard, and that’s when I need to give myself grace.

I figure there’s more than one Mom out there beyond me who needs this reminder, so if you want your own Moms need to constantly pray printable, just click on that link right there, and you can print off as many as you need.  Each sheet has 4 copies, so you can print one sheet and find the four places you most need it.

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