It’s been so sad to not post like I hoped to.  I am still working on the Love Dare with my kids, and I wish I would have done regular updates however it’s been so crazy around here.  I am also doing a study at church on parenting teens (oldest is a pre-teen).  But this study is really for all parents.  Terrific!!!!

One of the thoughts that has struck me while doing both of these things is that, as Christian Parents, we are not to be ‘A’shamed or ‘D’issapointed with our childrens behavior. 

Now here me out if this sounds wrong to you.  God is not disappointed with us.  He disciplines us to get us where he wants us to be but He is never shocked, dissapointed, ashamed, etc!  So if we take on His traits as a Christian, shouldn’t we be the same way?

I always thought that a certain amount of shame, like a Moms look, you know “The Look”, was ok.; we joke about it don’t we?  Really it’s not part of building a child up with unconditional love (agape love).  That doesn’t mean that we won’t discipline a child or let them experience natural consequences, but that there is no shame in screwing up.  And if we all think about it, haven’t we screwed up a time or two ourselves?  So why would we be surprised they do?  Disappointed and shame is just a way of saying I am shocked that you did that cause I never have or would.

Have a “Shockless” Day!

(*Added on 11/6  – After you have read about the contest, please go to my home page to see the current question and info on prizes.  From there you can scroll down and see pics of the prizes and other info.  Just click on Real World Martha or Home at the top…thanks.)

Here are the details regarding my month long November contest : “Tis Better To Give Than To Receive

Each day I will feature a product.  Most of the products are handmade which I LOVE to support.  Then, at the end of that week I will pick a winner for that weeks prizes.  You will win the entire weeks features.  Isn’t that GREAT?

To win:

Each week will have it’s own question.  You will need to answer the question in the comments (any day) and post/link my contest on your blogPlease leave me your link that directly shows the post/link for my contest on your blog.  And remember there is only one entry per day.

Here’s the breakdown:

Week 1

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

November 1st – Julesmaeclothing/ Hairband

November 2nd – Key of Kellie/ Key Chain

November 3rd- Izznit /Fabric Grocery Bag

November 4th – Knitsational / Little Notebook

November 5th –  Donna Smalin Kuper /Book

November 6th – Nancomfortfoods

November 7th – Crunchy Clean/ Non-Toxic Detergent

November 8th – Sweetgracieforme – Whipped Body Butter

Drawing will be held for all these items on November 9th

Week 2

Question for Week 2 – Has you done a random act of kindness in the last year or has someone done one for you?  Please share about it in the comments and don’t forget to link the contest on your blog.

November 9th – BethMane10 /Holiday Tags

November 10th – Zadyball

November 11th – Under Her Charm / Necklace

November 12th – Brainscan / Coffee

November 13th – Laurenmc18/ Magnet Set and 20% for any customer that orders that mentions this contest and my blog

November 14th – Gifts of Creation/ Set of Notecards

November 15th – Marianne Richmond / Book

The winner for this weeks prizes will be drawn on November 16th

Week 3

Question for Week 3 – Since this is my Birthday week tell me something that you have done on someone else’s birthday that was really special.  Did you make a cake when you usually buy one?  Or what about making a scrapbook for 6 months?

November 16th – Elly Nelly / Wall Graphic

November 17th –  Tricia Goyer / Books Generation NeXt Marriage and A Valley of Betrayal

November 18th –  The Golden Goat / Hair Soap

November 19th – Busy Little Elf / Playdough Kit

November 20th – The Simple Wife / Book

November 21st – Smart Mom Jewelery / Pendant/Bangle Set

November 22nd – Boyfrog/ Bath Salts

The winner will be drawn on November 23rd

Week 4

Question for Week 4 – What ThanksGIVING traditions do you have?  Does your family do something special that gives to others for this Holiday? 

November 23rd – Tate’s Bake Shop / Cookie Gift Pack

November 24th – Chris Sligh CD 

November 25th – Discovery Denim / Little Heroes Cape

November 26th – Hickchicks Soap Barn/  Soap and matching lotion bar

November 29th – Karen Hossink /Book

Drawing will be on November 30th

Whew!!!!  How about that?  Are you ready to get some presents for yourself or to give as gifts?  I am so excited so let’s the word out!!!

Have a Giving Day!

Jen from Mythbuster Beauty (http://mythbusterbeauty.com/) tagged me with a super nifty way to find out what I really “need.”  Just Google search your name with the word “needs” and list the top five answers.

  1. A Saddle.  (For all the horseback riding I do…or maybe to put on the kids and try to ride them…as they are wild you know.)
  2. I need to look behind her.  But my kids will tell you I already do.  I have eyes in the back of my head you know.
  3. A man…I don’t think so!  My man is the only one for me!
  4. I need a prayer.  Well who doesn’t?
  5. And finally I need to “police this forum to keep it a troll-free zone.”  Whatever that means.

Here are a few that I will tag to play along…

Laura
http://flippingpages1.blogspot.com/

momlovesbeingathome
http://momlovesbeingathome.wordpress.com/

Renee
http://rmyers.wordpress.com/

missy
http://molivo.wordpress.com

Kirstin
http://www.troyerslovinglife.blogspot.com

Have a “Just What You Need” kind of Day!

Hey I got featured on 5 Minutes for Mom.  If you want to check out the interview here it is:

http://www.5minutesformom.com/our-readers-blogs/634/realworldmartha/

I have struggled with the fact that my blog is not just about one subject.  I am not a cooking, beauty, adoption, Christian, Mom, home-school, shopping, frugal, volunteerism, children, homemaking, travel, crafts, children, entertaining, relationships, environmental, well you get the idea, blog.  All these subjects are due to my multiple personalities. 🙂

To combat all this I wanted to try a schedule of different subjects.

Monday – “Just for Fun or Blessings All Around” Jokes and humor to start the week off right or a time to be thankful.

Tuesday – “Hearts and Home” Household hints and tips, homeschooling, relationship posts, as well as Mom stuff.

Wednesday – “Giving Back” We can talk about ways to help others.

Thursday -“Potluck Thursday” will be whatever comes up.  Basically your at my mercy on this day. 

Friday – “It is Easy to Be Green” addressing environmental solutions.  But this could also be money discussions as well.  You will just have to come by to see which it will be.   🙂

Saturday – “Here’s to You” posts on health, fitness, well-being, beauty, and nutrition.

Sunday – “Reflections” will dig deep into some faith lessons.

We’ll see how it goes.  I will start this next week.  Please be sure to let me know what you think.

Disclaimer – Management has the right to change this policy at anytime.

Some of us are more apt to saying yes than others.  If you are a “Yes Person” than this is for you.  Just a simple reminder from one “Ok, I’ll do it” to another..

  • First go in prayer.  It’s ok to tell someone wait.  God tells us that often.  We are so fast paced that we think there needs to be an answer now.  Most cases it can wait. 
  • If you don’t feel this is meant for you then PROUDLY say no because that is the Lord’s answer not yours.
  • Remember that when you are saying no, you are giving another person an opportunity to say yes.  It might be just the right fit for them.  Don’t rob them of that opportunity.

There are lots of demands on your time so use it wisely and productively.  This is helpful not only during the holidays but anytime of the year.

  I loved this article from Hearts to Home.  I believe children need to be involved in all of what we do! ..Debbie

Let Children Help with Holidays
by Holly Schurter

Holly Schurter

Whether you are going over the river and through the woods to someone else’s house or hosting the Thanksgiving feast yourself, one of the secrets to a happy holiday is involving your children in getting ready for the celebration.

Kids gain a necessary sense of competency when they are able to offer real help preparing for a family event. They are less likely to disrupt plans they’ve helped arrange and carry out. And helping get ready makes a child feel like a real part of the celebration.

Inviting younger members of the family to help prepare for the feast is a win-win situation for everyone, as long as you remember to:

– Choose tasks that are age-appropriate, (you want this to be something your child can enjoy and complete successfully).

– Offer clear, courteous instruction and encouragement, especially to children trying something new.

– Allow enough time to practice a bit, then to accomplish the task.

– Say “thank you” and “well done” when the task is finished.

If your family plans to travel over the holiday, your child can help you get ready. Ask your child to:

– Help make sure all the clothes you need to pack for her are clean, or ready to be laundered.

– Lay out personal things he will need so you can check to be sure he has everything: toothbrush, hairbrush, pajamas, etc.

– Help prepare a travel bag filled with travel-appropriate books, games and snacks.

– Help get the car ready for a trip: empty trash, vacuum, clean windows.

– Be sure you have things you want to take along: maps, gifts, covered dishes, etc.

If the celebration is in your home, consider what is age-appropriate, then invite your child to help:

– Bake pies, make stuffing or mash potatoes. (If necessary, practice before the big meal.) Copy the recipes you use on a recipe card, note the occasion, and give her a copy to keep.

– Choose and display old family photographs as part of your holiday decorations. (Old family photographs are effective conversation starters.)

– Make place cards and/or simple table decorations.

– Set the table. Show your child how to do this task correctly, then let her finish.

– Assist you with a last-minute pick-up of the house before guests arrive.

– Greet guests as they arrive. Practice how to offer a gracious welcome (including making introductions) before guests arrive, if necessary.

– Hang up hats and coats.

– Visit with guests for a specified period of time. Talk with your child ahead of time about how to have a good conversation. Give her some helpful background about guests and relatives she might not know well.

– Prepare relish plates or pass hors d’oevres.

– Think of things to be thankful for, and ways to express thanksgiving to God during the celebration.

– Act as official photographer for the day. Use a disposable camera for younger children. Be sure to give clear instructions about how to take photographs without offending people, as well as any particular photographs you might want. Once the photographs are developed, let your child help decide how best to share or display them.

– Entertain younger guests. Prepare a “Pin the feathers on the turkey” game, or “how many cranberries in the jar?” and let him be in charge.

– Clear the table and help with clean-up in the kitchen.

– Put chairs and tables away.

– Say a gracious good-bye as guests leave.

As you work with your child, talk with her about the holiday. Ask what she is thankful for, and share what you are thankful for. Talk about the Pilgrims and why they came here. Discuss how the Indians helped the Pilgrims, and what happened next to the Indians. Tell her how President Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving celebration in the midst of the Civil War.

Share your good memories of family Thanksgiving celebrations, and tell him positive stories about your extended family. Pass on the heritage that makes this Thanksgiving celebration meaningful, both as an American and in your own family.

Don’t miss the opportunity to let your kids participate in making the holiday happen. It will be one more thing for which you all can be thankful!

About the Author:
Holly Schurter is the wife of John, the mom of eight, and the grandmother of nine, as well as a Hearts at Home volunteer.