Advent Ideas! How About An Advent Tree

I love love love our Advent Tree! This is a fairly new tradition that we started about two years ago. In addition to our real tree in the house, we have an additional tree on the porch that reminds us each day when we enter and leave our home why we we’re celebrating Christmas. This tree doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it has little pockets with numbers on them for each day leading up to Christmas. Inside those pockets are scriptures that we bring into the house to read during our lighting the Advent candles.

If you want to try this fun tradition, I suggest buying an inexpensive artificial tree big or small that you can put somewhere in your home. Let the kids find the scriptures and write the book of the Bible and verse on a slip of paper to put in little envelopes around the tree. I found my pockets at Michaels, but you can easily create them yourself. Every day let one of the kids pull out the scripture to bring into read for breakfast or dinner.

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Advent Ideas! Try These DIY Advent Boxes

One of our Advent traditions is me hiding these Advent boxes I made for Anya a few years back. Basically, these were just different cardboard shaped boxes I got from Michaels that I painted red and green. Then I cut out Christmas scrap book paper and pasted it on top with stick on numbers and Christmas embellishments. She loves them! I put little trinkets in them and hide them around the house every day until Christmas!

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Tips on Beating Those Co-Parenting Holiday Blues for Single Moms

Do you share holidays? Feeling lost without the kids? I’ll be giving you suggestions on how to handle those  tough holidays when the kids are with the other parent. Don’t worry your momma heart will get through it!

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Guest Post! Summertime Safety: “Keeping Kids Out Of Harm’s Way During Outdoor Activities,” By Sean Morris

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Kids look forward to summertime all year, waiting for the day when they can say goodbye to school routines and sleep in a little later, take vacations, and leave homework worries behind. But any parent knows that with the long, warm days also come activities that can present hazards to little ones, so it’s important to keep in mind a few safety measures that will keep accidents and worry at bay.

Bike rides, trips to the park, and fishing at the lake are all great examples of summertime fun that come with risk. Here are some tips on how to ensure your child is safe while he or she is having a blast.

Know the environment

If your child loves to play outside, chances are you’ll see some bug bites at the end of the day. Some kids aren’t bothered much by mosquitoes and other biting pests, but others are highly allergic and break out in large, itchy welts. You can protect your kiddo by having them avoid using scented perfumes or lotions, which attract many types of bugs, and spraying their skin with a safe insect repellent before they go out to play. In areas with high grass and brush, it’s a good idea to have them wear long pants tucked into boots to keep ticks at bay.

Use safety equipment

For bikers, skateboarders, and kids who ride scooters, it’s important to find the right safety gear. Helmets, knee and elbow pads, and even mouth guards are recommended depending on the child’s age, and finding the right fit is imperative. Let your child know that using equipment without being properly suited up is dangerous and that sometimes, borrowing items from friends won’t do any good because the fit will be off.

For many kids, these methods of transportation are essential in the summertime for getting around the neighborhood, but accidents can happen. Make sure your child knows what to do in the event of a spill, and it’s always a good idea to keep a first-aid kit around for scrapes and cuts. For mouth injuries, sometimes there’s nothing to do but call the dentist immediately.

Take extra precaution in the water

Water safety is something that should be taken very seriously no matter what the child’s age or experience level is. Whether they’re in an inflatable pool or at the lake, adult supervision is always recommended. Keep in mind that younger children can drown in mere inches of water, and that swimming pool rules–such as no running or diving–must be obeyed by everyone. Make sure life vests are in good shape and fit well. Teach your child the do’s and don’ts of swim safety well before they go into the water, then help them enforce the rules by being present without distractions.

Don’t rely on someone else supervising, especially at a crowded beach or pool. Even lifeguards can’t watch everyone at all times. As always when a child is outside, make sure they are well protected with sunblock, and don’t forget to keep them hydrated.

Make rest a priority

It’s also a good idea to make sure your child is well-rested before they play in the water, which can be tiring. Staying up late when school is out is part of the fun of summer break, but it can be dangerous when they need to focus. Making sure they put down their phone or laptop at least an hour before bed is a great start; studies show that this helps with a good night’s sleep.

Be careful when cooking outdoors

Many families enjoy fire pits, bonfires, and grilling during the summer, so it’s important to teach children how to be safe around all those flames. Keep grills well away from the house and out of heavily-trafficked areas. Always supervise cooking over an open flame; making s’mores can be great fun on a camping trip, but little ones should have help from an adult. If you use a gas grill, it can be helpful to set a timer–perhaps on your phone–to remind you to check and make sure it’s turned all the way off after cooking is finished.

Summertime is full of adventures for kids, and while some of them can include a bit of risk, it can be a relatively stress-free time for you if you plan accordingly.

About the Author

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.

 

 

 

 

Would You Rather…. A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Kid Better

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My little one isn’t so little anymore! She is 10! I’ve had the pleasure of being in the company of this amazing, incredible and beautiful human being for a decade. Wow a decade flew by! It makes me really cognizant of how quickly she’s growing. Right now she still enjoys being around me and is somewhat of an open book so I’m taking advantage of it before those teen years roll around.

One fun way to get to know your kid is by playing the game, “Would You Rather?” I started playing this in the car on the way home from school. Basically, I ask her questions like, “Would you rather eat salmon or chicken?” or “ Would you rather visit California or NY?” or you can get silly and ask questions like,” Would you rather eat a worm or an ant?” It is just a fun way to keep the lines of communication open and find out some pretty interesting things about how their minds work. She also asks me questions as well and finds out stuff about her momma too!

A Special Code Just For You to Get 15% Off ALL Graham Blanchard Products Until April 30th!

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On February 2nd Graham Blanchard released the “Knowing my God Series Starter Set,” which includes three titles: Jesus Invites Me, based on Matthew 11:28 – 30, Jesus Shows Me, based on John 15: 9 – 14. and Jesus Saves Me, based on John 10: 14 – 16. I love that Graham Blanchard’s books aim to help kids make a personal connection with the words of Jesus, even from infancy. This makes a lovely gift for your children, grandchildren, friends, or even as a gift to your church’s children ministry. If you haven’t had a chance check out all of  the books from Graham Blanchard they are truly a delight!

Here’s the good news! When you use this Code SCM15 you’ll receive 15% off of ALL PRODUCTS!!! Including “Knowing my God Series Starter Set,” until April 30th! This code is for all you wonderful readers so please take advantage of it!

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The Hardest Part of a Child’s Faith… Read What These Moms Say

Read the Newest Post, “The Hardest Part of A Child’s Faith.” From The Mom Mentors (one of them is me :) at Graham Blanchard!

Mom Mentors discuss the biggest challenges they face with their children with faith

Anya's Spiritual Journal

Anya’s Spiritual Journal

Thursday’s Daily Dose of Scripture-Deuteronomy 11:18-19 Give Your Children The Gift That Matters Most

Deuteronomy 11:18-19″Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Moms, God has given us a serious responsibility when he blessed us with our children. We not only have the duty of putting a roof over their heads, clothing them or feeding them, but we are to teach them the Gospel. Nothing you give your child can compare to the foundation and blessing you give them when teaching them God’s word. We are told to talk about God’s word with our children when we are home, outside, in the evening and in the morning. Why? Because the world is trying to teach them the exact opposite. We only have a short amount of time with them before they are out on their own, facing decisions and dealing with the pressure that our culture puts on them. So we have to equip them with the truth! We need to be in the word with them and not just a prayer before bed time. But, we need to lay down the spiritual foundation that is built scripture by scripture, prayer by prayer, deed by deed, and we must show them how to stand firm in this foundation when the world wants them to fall into it’s snares. The Word needs to be fixed in our own heart and mind so that we can lead our children, otherwise we can’t teach them. We all should ask ourselves if we are consistently practicing this scripture in our homes or is the busyness of life getting in the way? The importance of a good education, the exposure to extracurricular activities and anything else we may feel pressured to supply our children with all pales in comparison to the mighty responsibility we have in instilling the word of God in our children’s minds and hearts. Will they always follow it? I pray they do, but even when they don’t, you laid the spiritual foundation which is powerful and is the best gift you can ever give to this little person that God so graciously gave you to guide, love and teach him about his love.

Give Your Child The Gift That Keeps Giving

Give Your Child The Gift That Keeps Giving