Potty training

Hi! Today I am going to diverge off my normal path. I recently had one of the young mom’s God has placed in my life ask me about potty training.  So I gave her my tried and true used on every child tips and I thought it would be a good blog post.   I have no desire to tell you how to do it but just share what I have done and what always worked and what did not. Potty training is a big job and with our busy schedules these days it can be a real challenge to get it done. It is wonderful when they are trained so I was always a proponent of the earlier the better. There are so many techniques but you really have to put it before God and do what will work best for you and your child, each individual one.  You need to know what you will and won’t stick with because consistency with potty training is the key.

1. Kids are able to be potty trained earlier than you think.

2. When their diapers are dry for longer periods now is a good time to start taking trips to the potty.

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3. NEVER ask them (especially boys) if they need to go. When they start they will almost always say no. Once they get in the routine of potty training and as they get a little older in the process, they WILL say no. No doesn’t mean they don’t have to go just that they don’t want to.

4. When you go to the potty see how long they are willing to sit there and then make it a little longer. If they dictate when they get off the potty training process will be really long.

5. When I knew my kids were ready I took them once every hour to just sit on the potty for a period of time. (sit them backwards it feel more stable) Little separate potties never worked for us. I was thankful because cleaning those was worse than a diaper.

6. The reward that worked best for us was a sticker chart right by the potty. Little presents for big achievements I would not have kept up with and candy was a no when you have 5 kids under 7. I did not need to deal with that energy boost. They got a sticker on the chart when they went on the potty. Once the chart was full they got a small toy or treat.

7. Deal with wet pants sometimes. Underwear works way better at training than pull ups. In fact I think pull ups are a deception they feel independent but they an pee when they want to if they want to no consequence. Besides it costs more.

8.  I would take them potty when they went to bed. Then I would get up early and check for a dry diaper, if it was dry, off to the potty we went.  I would begin to learn what time this was for each child.  Here is where you see what is important to you.  This is not a have to but I was motivated to get it done so I did this and it always worked.

9. In the potty training years I did not do the drink of water before bed.

There you have it my most tried and true worked with everyone tips.  I hope something resonates with you.

Online Dating

God does not leave things a mystery when we are constantly petitioning Him about our children I have learned this again and again

Recently we dropped our son off at the airport, he was heading to England.  He started on a journey a year and half ago that culminated in him flying to another continent and country.  There are so many thoughts and feelings that go with this adventure as his parent.  Parenting adults as you will hear me say often is so full of ups and downs.2017-01-16-15-44-45  Sometimes God is using them in such amazing ways and doing such amazing things. They are making choices that make you stand back and say oh wow that is my child. Then there are other times when you are asking yourself “Wait what? Where is that coming from?” In this case six months ago we learned that our son had a relationship with a girl he had met online.  Now let me be clear there are many types of online relationships and I will speak to others in a later post but for now this was a regular girl he had met while in a book discussion forum on a website.

God does not leave things a mystery when we are constantly petitioning Him about our children I have learned this again and again.  This was made clear again in this situation as well. God allowed us to be in the dark about our son as long as He wanted and then He brought it to light.  Our son left up a Skype ID we were unfamiliar with and the story unfolded.  There are so many clues the Spirit gives about  where a heart is at if you are seeking Him. I think often times  in these situations where a hidden aspect of our child comes to light, we can be either hurt or use something like this to bring some legal point home that has nothing to do with the path God has for that particular child.  I found both of these to be true with my first child, poor girl.  We can get so caught up in what we think is the overall right choice in a decision our child makes. Our son’s demeanor was not angry or defensive about our finding out about the girl, he was just not sure how we would feel. Essentially he had not told us because he thought we would not approve of the online aspect of their relationship.

I don’t think before this I could have articulated how I felt about this as I had nothing to go on prior to this occurring, but on discussing this with him I really had a peace about it. I felt like the Spirit was telling me to be open.  We spoke to her that first night and she was so sweet.  We have spoken to her several times over the last 6 months and she is a sweet girl.  I let him know he had a responsibility to go and meet her in person so he booked the tickets he just used.  This has been such an unexpected turn of events and I as always love watching God at work.

I have been watching this open my son back up, he had been hurt by another girl a few years back. It also is getting him to travel and step out in a way I don’t know that he would have prior to this.  I have seen nothing but growth in good ways in him.  So I am excited to see what God has planned for this journey he has embarked on!  The key in these kinds of things especially with our kids, but in everything really is staying open to what God wants to show you not being stuck on what you think should happen.  We all or at least I do, have a tendency to predetermine what we would like to happen, see, or learn in the situations He puts in our life.  I have found that when I define things myself I have a hard time seeing what He is actually doing.

As different family members have approached me it has been from the perspective that I am worried but I cannot go there in my mind.  I cannot let my mind wander down these paths and give power to fear and doubt.  So instead I have just been praying for growth and wisdom.  I have been encouraging my son to look at God and move forward.  It has been so different from how I handled my first just one more reason to have more than one child if you can.

So there you have it my son went off to England to see a girl he has been communicating with for lengthy amounts of time daily for over a year. He was so joyful while he was there, his best self really. This relationship is bringing out his strengths. So while it is unorthodox and we are in unknown territory I am excited to watch God work in this area as well.  Stay tuned and I will keep you posted as to where God leads all of us on this new path.  Stay open and be amazed as God works in your children’s lives and the way He gets their attention.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Today was unusual but in such a normal and uneventful way.  I am probably confusing you at this point. Today our whole family was at home but not because of a holiday or celebration.The normalcy made it unusual.2016-07-19-22-15-33

We sat on the couch on the floor wherever we fit in the living room like we always have watching home movies.  It was amazing to have us all home spending time together that wasn’t a holiday or a special occasion. Just the day before I had been writing about standing on the mountain top and looking out at the landscape of my life. Now here I was with my mostly grown family watching it in real-time on a tv screen, watching the changes happen.  As I watched I could see it is true that each child is fearfully and wonderfully made who they are from birth.  I watched as they handled situations, and how similar it is to how they handle things as adults and it was eye-opening.  My son who is serious and analytical was like this as a child, he would pick apart the games they played and analyze the best way to do it.  My dramatic daughter was oh so comical I wish I could post a piece for you!  It was one of those moments when the light turns on and you see everything so clearly and it makes you excited to move forward, to keep going. Thank you Jesus for the light!

God just used this night to spur me on! It has been a long road and the twenties have been a little rough I have to admit. Things have been leveling out as my oldest closes in on 25 and gets more and more perspective into adulthood.  Kind of like going from that screaming, crying phase to when they start to communicate in small ways; you begin to see the light.  He spurred me on by showing me how He created my kids from the beginning and how He is using these things in their lives and the lives of those around them.  What an incredible journey it has been to see beyond the fear of their weaknesses to the victory of their strengths which are so integrally tied together.  This is a statement the Holy Spirit taught me early on;our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.

As I watched these movies I was reminded about what affects my kids.  I was reminded on a deeper level how they were created and how I could build them up in that.  My dramatic daughter is also my peacemaker, joyful girl.  My son who can be fearful is also my most outward, people oriented child. My mommy’s girl is my caregiver, my most articulate girl is opening up and sharing her quiet gifts. I could go on and on but I will leave it there. I so often in my kids childhood got caught up in my children’s weaknesses and wanting to fix them so they would not be hurt or affected by them. What I am learning now is to turn to God and learn their strengths and build them up in them.

What stage are you at?  What challenges are you facing? 

Comment below, I would love to be praying for you!

Mountain Top Views

2015-08-13-16-11-40Hello everyone! Of adventures and journeys I could write a book.  Is life a road I am on or an exciting trip!  How would I characterize it?  Even as I write this my mind is wandering in and out of the valleys and up to the tops of the mountains I have traveled. It is all too much for one blog post; a blog post that is the beginning of a new adventure!

I am sitting on the top of a mountain, a landscape of mountains, valleys and roads behind me and I am excited!  Excited because as I look behind me from the mountain top I am gazing over all the places I have been and the memories I carry are cradled deep within me.  I am excited because as I started each new moment I am looking back upon, I had no idea what the map would look like,  I just knew the path I was called down.

So here I stand ready to embark again on a new journey, this time into the world of blogging. The time has come for me to bring others along for the adventure.  What does 26 years of marriage look like?  We rock and roll over here and there is never a dull moment! There are six children still at ho2015-08-13-13-23-20me here 4 of them adults, you want to get a glimpse, stay tuned.  God created so many plants around us that heal and build and I love to explore and experiment with what He placed around me.  On this note I will take you on my journey to stay healthy and strong.  For me this journey now includes Hashimotos so I will bring you along from time to time as I try to overcome the new challenges this has placed in my life. (They are good by the way.) What does homeschooling look like after 23 years and 5 graduates?

 

 

Will I woo you with sweet words of beauty? My intial thought is no, life is messy and I am truth speaker, but I have been made Fully Free. So what you will find here more than anything is gratitude. Jesus has freed me from the opinions and circumstances that surround me and left me free to see what God truly intends. Walk with me on this new path as I gaze back upon the what is behind me or look forward at the unknowns in front of me. Hopefully I will bring a smile to your face from time to time and maybe the Spirit will touch you in a place you need some healing or freedom from time to time.  So come along on this journey with me and let’s learn together!