Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

Today, Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller is finally AVAILABLE!

I've been a huge fan of Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller's parenting books for several years now. When I was given the opportunity to participate on their launch team for Motivate Your Child, I was over-the-moon! I have been struggling these last few months with figuring out how to motivate my children. When Lexie and Ashlyn were younger, they both had a strong drive to "do it myself" that kept them self-motivated. But as they've gotten older, that hasn't seemed to work as well. They still enjoy learning new things, but I've noticed a couple challenges. One is a lack of motivation once they have mastered a skill. The other, that I've seen in their schoolwork, is giving up easily when something is hard.

Meanwhile, as Little Bit (5) gets older, I'm realizing that she doesn't have that same "do it myself" attitude that her older sisters had, and that, combined with hearing her sisters complain about chores, has led to a lack of motivation on her part as well.

So, this book came to me at the PERFECT TIME (God is soo cool!)! Normally I love ebooks, but I have to admit, as I started reading my (advance) .pdf copy of this book, I found myself anxiously looking forward to the print copy so I could make notes and underline as I went. So I was especially excited when my copy of the book came!

And yes, I've been scribbling all over it, and loving every minute. As happens so often, when I review a "how to" type book, I found that I wanted to take it slow with actually implementing, and I needed to read it in a certain time frame. So I chose to read it, and mark it up, during the review period. I've been praying and mulling over the ideas and keeping them in mind, but now I want to go back through and read this book one chapter at a time and really pray about, and discuss with my children, and focus on the ideas in that chapter, and then move forward.

As you can tell from the title, Motivate Your Child explains how to build internal motivation in your child(ren) so that they choose to do what's right for the right reasons! This book gives practical ideas and real-life examples from the authors' counseling experience. The first part of the book focuses on moral development and the second part focuses on spiritual development. Both are sooooo important to raising our children!

This isn't a "quick fix" kind of thing. It's about building relationships and changing ourselves and our children's hearts. I can't tell you that, after reading this book, my children are perfectly motivated to do what's right in every situation, but I CAN tell you that reading this book has given me so much HOPE for something that I have felt very discouraged about! I feel like now I at least know a direction to go, and how to move forward in helping my children, both the tweens and the 5 year old, want to do what's right, and even more importantly, to lead them in their spiritual development.

This is a book that I recommend to parents of children of all ages!

Other products that I have reviewed for the National Center for Biblical Parenting:

   Christian Parenting Handbook
   A Family Toolbox

affiliate links may be used in this post

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wrapping Up the Week of January 18-24

It's a good thing we made our trip to Mama and Papa's when we did, because apparently WINTER is here!

We came home from my parents' house on Sunday, in rain that kept threatening to change to freezing rain. Thankfully, we got home without any icy spots.

Lexie's been having fun with the sourdough starter. She made bread, cinnamon rolls (that she baked with apples on Sabbath morning, YUMMY!!!) , tortillas . . .

Our read aloud times this week were full of paper snowflake making, in preparation for the church social Saturday night. The girls had a blast, and made some BEAUTIFUL snowflakes. The floor of the school room now looks like it snowed in there, but such is life . . .

Otherwise it was a pretty quiet week. I like quiet weeks. . . we did school, we even got some cleaning done . . . it was good.

Friday, Little Bit realized that her hair is now short, and therefore can't be braided like Anna's (for the Frozen-themed church social Saturday night). When we had been shopping for the fabric to make the cape, we'd seen a brown fleece winter hat with the sides braided kind of like hair. Lexie and I had pointed out to Little Bit that the hat would look like Anna's hair, but at the time Little Bit didn't like it. NOW, the day before the party, she decided she HAD to have that hat. So, after making sure she knew that there were NO guarantees they'd still have the hats, I went and got her the hat LOL.

Friday night it started snowing . . . Sabbath morning we woke up to a winter wonderland!  Needless to say, church was cancelled. The snow was soft and pack-able and it wasn't too terribly cold outside. So, the girls headed out to build a fort and pull Little Bit around on the sled and generally revel in the winter wonderland!

By afternoon the roads were clear and we headed to the church social. The girls had made the snowflakes to hang from the ceiling, so we went early to help set up.

Obviously Little Bit went dressed head-to-toe Anna and joined Elsa, already there. They were SOOOOO cute running around together, I think everyone there asked them to pose in front of the winter background for pictures. They insisted that Lexie and Ashlyn call them Elsa and Anna . . . it was adorable, and they had a blast.

Of course by the time it was actually time for the social to start, both of them had decided they were too hot (honestly, Little Bit kept hers on a LOT longer than I expected her to) and both of them changed out of their costumes and into Frozen t-shirts and pants. Still cute, and by then another friend had gotten there.

While they were waiting for the social to start they settled themselves on a cart, out of the way, with their goldfish crackers and chattered away. It was adorable!

And to add to the adorable factor, today when Lexie and Ashlyn asked Little Bit what they were talking about her response was "I don't remember, that was YESTERDAY!"

The social was great. Yummy food, a pinata, fun games, some for the kids, some for the adults, one for the kids, but the adults kind of took over . . . an indoor snowball fight LOL. I think everyone had a good time.

By the time we helped clean up and came home, it was bedtime and another week was history.

Lexie at the church social

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pictures with Friends

My friend M, sent me some pictures from our day at their house last Thursday. Since I didn't get them in time to include in the Weekly Wrap-up, I'm sharing them here :)

I love this shot, of everyone sprawled all over the family room working on various craft projects. Lexie was there too, she just didn't make it into the picture. M had a book that showed how to draw all kinds of animal pictures from tracing your hand(s).

Later in the day, Lexie taught M to knit. He already knows how to crochet, so picked up the basics pretty quickly. When I walked by while they were both knitting, Lexie grinned at me and said "we're talking and knitting, 2 of my favorite things!" LOL.  Meanwhile, Ashlyn and N were crocheting, but not talking much, in the next room. And Little Bit and younger M were chasing each other in a big circle through both rooms, and the kitchen, so everyone was having a great time :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wrapping Up The Week of January 11 - 17

Whew! I think I'm still catching my breath from this week . . . on Sunday my parents came up and we went to Longwood Gardens. It was cold, but beautiful!  Little Bit had fun with the "seek and find" they had there, and it kept her hunting everywhere we went. 
Lexie and Ashlyn had been there earlier, with a friend, but they had fun being our "tour guides", and generously let Little Bit be the "tour guide in training" so we were well guided. 
After dark, Little Bit was FASCINATED with the lights that looked like "flower bushes" if she'd had her way, we'd have stopped to look at every. single. one . . . but that would have taken forever! The fountain that danced to music was a big hit too! 
Mom and Dad's plan was to head home by noon on Monday, grabbing a break between Monday morning's freezing rain and Monday evening's freezing temperatures, that would turn the wet pavement back into ice. BUT Lexie wanted Mama to help her sew an Anna (from Frozen) cape for Little Bit for her birthday. Originally, that seemed simple enough, her birthday isn't until the end of March . . . then last week, she found out that our church's January social will have a Frozen theme, and the kids are invited to dress-up. So OF COURSE both Lexie and Little Bit decided that she NEEDED an Anna cape (she got the Anna dress for Christmas) for that party! 

Our hope was that on Mama could get Lexie STARTED on Monday morning, enough that she could do the rest on her own (with my help, but I can only do basic sewing). But when Mom looked at it, she said the part that Lexie was going to need help with was the LAST part. . . so THEN we decided to kidnap Mama and keep her at our house, then bring her home later in the week (Papa needed to be back by Tuesday morning, but Mama didn't). Monday afternoon we went into town to get the pom pom trim that I hadn't found at the store where we got everything else, but 3 stores in town didn't have it either, sigh . . . 

SO we changed plans AGAIN, and Tuesday morning, we headed to Mama and Papa's house, stopping at a store en route that I figured would have it (it did!).  In between the sewing, all 3 girls worked together to write, direct, and perform a play for Mama and me. Lexie directed, Little Bit was the princess, and Ashlyn was . . . everything else :) It was quite creative :) 

Lexie and Mama spent Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday sewing while Ashlyn did school and helped Papa with projects. Little Bit played with the dollhouse, and other toys at Mama and Papa's house (a current favorite is a bunch of dry split peas that she drives my brother's old hot wheels through and uses as the "mulch" in the Little People playground. 
By Thursday morning, the cape, and matching hat, were DONE! We visited our friends in Berkeley Springs on Thursday and Little Bit had to wear her costume LOL. As always we had a blast. The kids played together inside and out. Little Bit and 7 yr old, M, played tag and chased each other for HOURS, needless to say she fell asleep quickly that night! The big kids all sat around crocheting and knitting and talking for awhile, and all the kids did various crafts. You can see a couple pictures of our day here.
Friday we just hung out at Mama and Papa's house for the day. Mama and the girls made homemade pizza for supper.

We finished our week of with a trip to the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space in DC.  I realized that we haven't been there since the twins were toddlers, and decided we were well overdo. I think Little Bit's favorite thing was riding the "escagator" (and my favorite thing might be that she calls it an escagator LOL). Mama humored her and they rode it over and over and over . . . The big girls were horrified at the requirements to be a stewardess in the 50's (height, weight and age requirements, plus their weight had to be "proportional" and they had to send in a full length picture with their application). Lexie also wondered why their nails had to be trimmed and polished when they also had to wear white gloves . . . the next horrifying site was the styles the stewardesses wore in the 70s LOL. 

I'll wrap up this post (ha ha) with a few more pictures from the museum:

"Flying" an airplane

Learning about torque

I'm not sure why, but the dog statue was under the table in the "ship" part of the "time" exhibit. Little Bit loved it!

While Little Bit played with the dog, her sisters were learning how a sextant works (but someone else came and kind of pushed in, so they gave up . . .we'll go back sometime when it's less crowded)

I was amused that they both were playing on "computers" . . . but they were "running" a space mission or something so it's all good. Also thought this picture did a good job of showing how LONG Ashlyn's hair has gotten!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Motivate Your Child GIVEAWAY!!!!!

One of our current parenting challenges is getting children take responsibility for their chores, schoolwork, etc.. I've been praying that God would show me how to get them to take responsibility on their own, not just because I've offered some type of reward or consequence.  So it was an answer to prayer to learn about Scott and Joanne's new book, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told, and to be chosen as a member of the Launch Team. I'm and learning so much from this book!

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told,  members of the Launch Team are sharing a wonderful giveaway filled with a Go Pro Camera, $50 Mardel Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and book bundles from both the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Thomas Nelson Publishing! Three winners will win prizes with a total value of nearly $800!

  motivate your child giveaway

Here’s what you could win: 

GRAND PRIZE  ($500+ value)

Go Pro HERO3+ Silver Camera ($300 value)

HERO3+ Silver captures gorgeous, professional-quality 1080p60 video and 10MP photos at speeds of up to 10 frames per second. Built-in Wi-Fi enables you to use the GoPro App to control the camera remotely, preview shots and share your favorites on Facebook, Twitter and more. Compatible with all GoPro mounts, you can wear it or attach it to your gear for immersive POV footage of your favorite activities. It’s waterproof to 131’ (40m) and built tough for all of life’s adventures. Combined with stunning low-light performance, high-performance audio and an ultra wide-angle glass lens, HERO3+ Silver makes capturing and sharing your life easier than ever.  

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

 The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God's Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children's Curriculum


Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill 


FIRST PRIZE ($165 value)

$50 Mardel Gift Card


NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God's Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children's Curriculum


SECOND PRIZE ($115 value)

$25 Amazon Gift Card


Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway dates: January 12, 2015 @12:00am ET through January 28, 2015 @ 11:59pm ET Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wrapping Up the Week of January 4-10

Another quieter week. I could get used to this . . . :) 

We've slowly continued working on cleaning and rearranging the girls' room, and school room. . . as long as there's progress, I'm happy :)

I finally got around to growing a sourdough starter. Once it was ready to use, Lexie happily dug into my sourdough book . . . she made bread on Wednesday, challah bread (sort of, we cheated . . . just used our regular bread recipe and braided it. certainly nothing like store-bought challah bread (a while flour, sweet egg dough vs a simple whole wheat sourdough), but it's an easy recipe and gave us a chance to tweak that regular recipe to improve it from Wednesday's bread), and also on Friday, she made cinnamon rolls for Sabbath's breakfast. Again, some tweaking is needed, but they turned out great for a first attempt, and she's excited to keep playing with the recipe.

Ashlyn and Daddy are getting more serious about garden plans. . . still in the planning phase, but Ashlyn's been happily researching and reading and trying to pin Daddy down on what, exactly they're going to plant.

We finished our week on a cold, but satisfying note. The second Sabbath of the month is "Jean Sabbath" at our church. People come in jeans and church logo t-shirts and after (and before) church do various community service projects (breakfast at a soup kitchen, play games with kids at a children's home, etc). We usually join a group that goes downtown and passes out soup, sack lunches, etc to those in need. A couple months ago someone had donated some jackets and thermal shirts and people were soo appreciative. The girls and I decided to knit some scarves to pass out another time. We got several done, but they wouldn't have gone far if a friend hadn't heard what we were doing and asked if we'd also take donations of gently used items. She gave us bags and bags of scarves, gloves, hats, etc. that she'd accumulated over the years. So we sorted everything into boxes and took it downtown. Someone else had made a huge pot of vegetable soup and buttered bread to go with it. Other people had made sack lunches. It was COLD, I think the high was around 20 degrees. We could have given away soo many more pairs of gloves than we had, and everything went fast. I wasn't sure we'd give away all the scarves (besides the ones the girls and I had made, we had a BUNCH of donated ones) but they all went, and people asked for more. Lexie and Ashlyn spent most of their time passing out soup and bread, or a sack lunch to people. Little Bit was helping with the bread until she got too cold! I finally had her and Daddy go hang out in the warm car.  It was soo sad to see so many people in need, and soo appreciative of the little bit we were doing. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Don't Forget PE!!!

I'm blogging today about including excercise in your homeschool day over at the SDA Homeschool Blog, come check it out!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up for the Week of December 28

Ahhhh . . . after the busyness of December, this past week was a very welcome week of relaxing . . .

New Years just isn't something we bother to make a big deal of in our house, we took down the Christmas and Hanukkah decorations, we fell back into our normal school routine . . . it was nice :)

The girls had decided, in the midst of the busyness of December, that they wanted to rearrange their bedroom. For awhile now, Ashlyn has craved a more "just my own" space. Lexie and Little Bit continue to be happy sharing a bed (I must admit, I hope they continue to be ok with that until we do the new addition (hopefully in a few years), because the space fits a double bed better than 2 more twin beds, and the sloped ceilings don't allow for bunk beds). So they got out the tape measure and figured out exactly how they want things. But . . . first there was/is LOTS of cleaning up to be done. That was one of this week's projects. They still have lots to do, but we managed to clear out the area that Ashlyn wanted for her bed, which included rearranging the schoolroom to make room for the sewing stuff in there. And, much to Ashlyn's excitement, by the end of the week she was all settled in her nook.

 One side of their bedroom had a closet built into one side and then, the previous owners, planning to use that entire room as a "dressing room/closet" had put closet rods across the rest of that side of the room. They're easily removeable but we've left them so far and Ashlyn chose that space as her nook, and hung curtains (that we had on their windows at the old house) on the outer rod to separate it from the rest of the room.

She decided awhile ago, that she'd rather sleep on the floor, instead of having a trundle bed under the double bed, so that made this move easier :)

She got the feather bed topper back out (that's what she used instead of a mattress at our old house) to use as a mattress, but during the day she kind of scrunches it up into the corner as a "chair" of sorts, giving her a place to sit, and the rest of the floor space free (otherwise the featherbed takes up the whole space).

There's no light in that space, so when we were using it for sewing, we had clamped a desk lamp onto one of the "closet rods", so she just continued with that, as lighting in her space.

The wall at the "foot of the bed" is for storage. She packed up the legos that were in a plastic drawer unit. Now she's using that as her dresser, and Lexie and Little Bit continue to use the shared dresser, which we moved closer to their bed.

When we shifted things around in the school room to make room for the sewing stuff, I had some "milk crates" that there wasn't really room for, so she took those to use as additional shelf space in her nook as well.

So that was the big project. It's still very much in progress, we need to do a bunch more rearranging and decluttering in the school room and the rest of their bedroom to get things to the place that we can try moving Lexie and Lina's bed the way they want it, and finish the rearranging, but Ashlyn's very happy.

And interestingly, at least for now, this change has brought her and Little Bit "closer". Little Bit is so excited that Ashlyn "invites her" into her space, and reciprocates by "inviting" Ashlyn to play with her on the bed.

In homeschool news we're back Bible Road Trip for Bible, the girls were concerned about remembering memory verses after taking December off to do Jotham's Journey, but with a few reminders, they're doing fine. We've been using Simply Charlotte Mason's suggested approach to memory verses for the past year plus, so we've accumulated quite a collection. Except I have them all nicely organized in an Evernote notebook instead of keeping track of index cards.

History's been all about the crusades, and Robin Hood. Lots of interesting books and videos about that time period, I'm enjoying learning right along with the kids.

Spelling Wisdom continues to be a good fit for us for language arts. Little Bit continues to enjoy writing, but shows no interest in reading, so we're going with that for now. I think she's starting to read bits and pieces without really realizing it, so time will tell, if she ever has to officially "learn to read" or if, as I suspect, she'll learn to read by writing :)

With such a nasty flu season going on right now, our science has focused on herbal cold and flu prevention, and care. Thankfully, so far, other than some minor sniffles over the holidays, we've not had to put any of the actual care ideas into practice. As we get more fully back into our normal school mode, we'll re-add astronomy back into the rotation. Lexie got tired of waiting for the rest of us to find time, and is reading Signs and Seasons at her own pace (it's looking like 2015 might be the year of her shifting almost entirely to independent work, choosing to read things to herself even if I'm reading them to Ashlyn and Little Bit).

So that's at least some of what's been going on around here.

Motivate Your Child!!!

$150 preorder

I am excited to share with you about a new book I’m reading this month -- Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Isn't that what you want for your kids? This is an area that's been heavy on my heart lately, so this book couldn't come at a better time for me!
God's Word gives us a better way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. Motivate Your Child is a practical book that explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.
This is the newest book by parenting experts, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN from the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), also authors of The Christian Parenting Handbook.  In order to motivate parents to Pre-Order the book, the NCBP is offering a $150 package of resources for FREE! There are video, audio and print items that can be used on a variety of devices. You can learn more on the Book Website. You can Pre-Order the book now from any retailer, and then follow the instructions below.

INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the book. Email the receipt to gift@biblicalparenting.org. The NCBP will send you the link and a special code to access these downloadable products. This offer is good until January 31, 2015.