Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Finds

This series of posts on training our children has been fun. I encourage you to take the time to read through the comments from the last two weeks....there's a wealth of information in them!


My s-i-l, Alexander is writing about his and Katie's travels in Jerusalem. Very interesting information. Check it out! Soon he'll be telling about Galilee, Jordan, and Egypt!

Yesterday, May 29, was Erin and Jon's 10th wedding anniversary! Wow! Ten years goes fast! Jacob was 3 years old at that wedding! He was supposed to carry the ring with Kody, 5, then go sit with my sister. He didn't. He got to the front of the aisle, saw me, and then sat on my lap the entire wedding asking loudly, "Can we go to Taco Bell?"


We're keeping Kaden and Will overnight. Here's why 50 year olds shouldn't have small children of their own....we forget to keep an eye on them!

Dirk and I were talking at the table toward the end of dinner. Everyone else had left the kitchen, but Will, who was still sitting at the bar. The bowl in front of him had been full of corn-on-the-cob. He helped himself to 3 more pieces, munched on each one, and decorated one of them with corn holders. ; ) He sure is cute!

What's your weekend hold? Our boys have a micro-mission all day Saturday, we have a wedding on Saturday night, and Lifestock (Lifechurch at a local theme park for an all day party and baptism bash!) on Sunday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Choices and Consequences

The loss of privileges and reaping consequences is usually an effective method of training. After all, life is a series of choices, and those choices come with blessings or consequences.

Effective consequences are those that make a child re-evaluate their behavioral choices. It’s got to hit their passions hard enough that they decide making a good choice is a much better alternative. When we choose consequences for our child’s wrong choices, we need to make sure the consequence matches the offense and is of a reasonable time-frame.

Just today I grounded one of my boys from his X-box. He was playing it when I discovered his closet was a disaster. He knows we (should) choose taking care of our responsibilities before we do anything for entertainment. He has lost the privilege for a week.

We’ve had quite a variety of consequences with raising seven kiddos.

I remember one time telling Erin her loss would be reading. Yep. It was her passion. She was the child who would answer a doorbell, her eyes never leaving the page she was reading.

Our children have had to miss youth church on Wednesday nights. They’ve missed birthday parties for friends. They’ve missed dance lessons, guitar lessons and drum lessons. They’ve had their instruments taken away.

They’ve gotten extra chore duty for not doing the job the right way, or for whining and complaining.

Yeah, we’re mean parents. We want our kids to get the message that obedience and good attitude is more important than the things they love most.

What are some effective consequences or loss of privileges you’ve used in your home or even remember as a kid?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Who's the Boss?

You have Miss Bossypants at your house? Or Mr. Know-it-All? Listen to his bossiness carefully. You have an opportunity to learn about your child’s spiritual giftings!

You may discover responsibility, administration, prophecy, discernment, leadership, or exhortation. The list could go on. And, right now those very giftings are immature and untrained. They may be showing themselves as manipulation, controlling, pushiness, anger, or judgementalism.

So, how do we help our children turn those weaknesses into strengths?

Here are a few things that might help:

Continually establish the authority roles in your home
Have your child listen to his tone of voice (sometimes, it’s not the words as much as the tone—true for us as well!)
Have him “practice” the word exchange again, the right way.
Continually encourage personal responsibility
Teach him about his giftings and using them correctly
Teach God’s Word, reading lots of scriptures about the tongue and the words of our mouth
Pray, pray and pray some more

Again, this is not something that will go away after a few reprimands. It will be an on-going process as long as you are responsible for your child’s training. Take heart! God has a mighty plan for that bossy little one. Ask me how I know! ; )

What ways do you deal with your bossy ones?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


It starts with picking. It moves on to bickering. From there, with the right buttons pushed, mom has been brought in on the scene.

If you have more than one child, you recognize this as…..dun---ta-dun-dun…. sibling rivalry. It’s the source of many hair-pulling days. Left unattended, it can become the ending to one of your child’s best lifetime friendships.

In our home, with so many children, this sort of behavior came often. One day, I decided to lighten the mood a bit, and try to teach something at the same time. After too many warnings, I tied Andrew and Erin together, wrist-to-wrist. I told them they would have to learn to cooperate together and when they were getting along and choosing to love one another, I would release their bonds. They were probably around 8 and 10.

At first, they would just sit down. But, soon, they would decide to try something together. Then, it became a game.

If you ask them, they’ll tell you they just pretended to cooperate and get along so I'd untie them. But, I knew when they had gotten past their bickering. Their smiles had returned.

I used this technique with several other sibling pairs. Sometimes, it was over quickly. Others, depending on their stubbornness level, took several hours.

Overcoming sibling rivalry takes work and more work, prayer and more prayer. It is only ended when each child has a change of heart and chooses to love. (hang in there) ; )

What are your techniques for dealing with sibling rivalry?

Tomorrow, we’ll deal with bossing other siblings.

What are some other parenting issues you’d like to see discussed here?

Monday, May 26, 2008

It Was a Blast!


There's nothing much better for

food, fun, family, fishing

mud, marshmallows, motorcycles

love, laughter, LIFE!

Who went: Dirk, Robin, Kody, Jacob, Erin, Jon, Kaden, Will, Andrew, Abbi, Anna, Cody, Brittney, Jessica and Lee.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Finds

One of the most heart-warming stories I've ever read. Read it! You won't be disappointed.


My youngest daughter, Katie just finished her first semester of nursing school with a 4.0!


Katie and Alexander will be traveling for 8 weeks this summer. They left Canada today, heading to Chicago, and will leave Monday for Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. Follow their travels! Alexander loves history, so you're sure to learn a bit too.

The ManyMeadowsPlus will be camping this weekend. There will be 15 of us! This time we're taking 3 brand new campers. I bet Abbi, Jessica and Brittney will have new stories to tell.

Have any special plans for the extended weekend?


Since we've been talking about behavior this week, I couldn't resist sharing this picture I took at Easter. Sadie, our youngest granddaughter sitting in "time-out" for saying "Mo!" (no) to her mom, Ali. I'm afraid I wasn't much help on the discipline....she was just so cute!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Sassing. Talking-back. Back-talkin’. Mouthing off. We’ve done it, we’ve experienced it.

It’s a behavior that needs to be stopped quickly and it starts way earlier than you’d ever think! (My baby’s mouth just said, “No”? No way!)

It’s something you’ll begin with instructing your precious ones, “we don’t talk back to mommy”, and, as they grow, develops into instructions in respect, authority and the tongue.

When our children are young, they may need many reminders.

My friend, Amy has a suggestion. Being concerned about her daughter’s sassiness, and after much prayer and searching of scriptures, she and her husband came up with “Sassy Sauce” – apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle! A little unconventional, but it works for her.

“Madison is almost 5 and Jonathan is 2 (and very good at it). We started with one spray for saying "no" or "but", two sprays for any complaining or arguing. I try and give one warning but I don't threaten all day long. It's easier for me to spray it, talk to her about controlling her tongue, and then reap the benefits from the action the rest of the day.

She knows that if she doesn't take the vinegar then she gets a spanking and then STILL has to take the vinegar so she stands there and opens her mouth.

Our son is the same way. He stands there and just cries. Time outs are pretty effective with him so we typically only spray him when his little tongue is completely out of control.
When I look around I am so glad that I am working with them in this crucial area. For this is something that I have to work on in my own life at 28. So in essence WE as a family are working on not arguing and complaining TOGETHER.

Geez....guess I should give myself the sassy sauce sometimes: )”

The important thing is making sure you begin to see progress in your child’s response to you. Be sure your child understands your expectations, then figure out something that “works”.

What happens at your house when your child talks back or has a sassy mouth? Remember to list their ages.

We’ll come back to “What Works” on Tuesday of next week. Then, we’ll talk about sibling rivalry and picking on each other. Them, not us... ; )

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm Tellin'....

A tattle-tale shares information that is not his to share, or sets himself up to police a situation. For us big kids, it’s called gossiping and being a busybody. It can lead to all kinds of relational problems and is something we tried to keep under control.

At our home, the girls seemed to be bigger tattle-tales than the guys. Or maybe it was only the order our children were born. We had Erin, then Andrew, and then 3 more girls before our last two, boys

I remember telling my kids that unless someone was bleeding profusely or dead, I didn’t really want to know the “information” about what their sibling was or wasn’t doing. ; )

Our little Katie (now 19, a nursing student, and married) was our most memorable tattler. Part of it was because of her personality and giftings. She is very much a take-charge girl and has the gift of discernment. However, it was a gifting that needed some directing and harnessing.

One day, in my frustration with the continued tattling, an idea came to me (I’m sure it was direct from heaven! ). I attached a tail to her backside. A tattle-tail to wear all day. She was about 4 or 5. It was just a sash, really, but it was a little embarrassing to her and I only remember using it twice.

Have any tattlers at your house? What have you found to cur-“tail” the behavior? Do tell. (Be sure to give your children’s ages).

? How about talking back or being sassy? Oh, you’ve never experienced that one, huh? ; )

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thou Shall Not Whine

Thanks for your comments yesterday. They were written with passion and great understanding. Take the time to read them. This is an issue near and dear to most of us. It’s where we live! (FYI: Erin and Ali are two of my daughters—I love hearing their perspective on parenting! It makes me smile!)

Today, we’ll take up the issue of whining.

I remember whining well….too well. It’s something that we, as moms, can become immune to hearing. It may happen so often that we don’t even notice it anymore! But, it’s an annoying tone of voice in our children (and hopefully not in ourselves!) that if left unchecked will become a habit that we’ve allowed.

When our children (around the ages of 3-9) would whine, we would remove them from the rest of the family (by sending them to sit on a sofa in our bedroom).We explained to them that whining is complaining and not acceptable behavior, and they were to stay in the bedroom until they were ready to come speak in a normal tone of voice, with instructions to return with an apology. It usually worked without having to take further steps. (Though, sometimes, they were sent back to the bedroom a second time to try again for a better tone.) Soon, they learned that using a whiny tone of voice was not acceptable without consequences.

So, what are your suggestions for ending the whineys? What has worked for you?

Tell us your children’s ages, the method(s) you’ve tried and found to work. (and if you already told us yesterday, tell us again about how you handle whining.) Like some of you said, what works for one of your children may not work for another personality or situation. Maybe we’ll all get some good suggestions. This will be fun and enlightening!

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about tattling! But, don’t go tellin’ anyone ; ).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Does it Work?

Recently at a parenting class I attended, there was some discussion on discipline methods and “what works”. So, we defined “works” in reference to changing a child’s behavior. I don’t remember the exact definition my friend, Cheryl said, but it was something along the lines of:

It’s where good attitude and proper behavior meet; a heart change in your child. It's establishing the boundaries necessary for peace in your home. It's training in righteousness.

Too many times we find ourselves corralling, controlling, or simply enduring our child’s behavior, hoping it will pass, or not even knowing how to deal with it.

And when we do find something that “works’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that particular behavior will never creep in or happen again. It might. It probably will. And we press on.

So, this week I want us to discuss some methods you’ve used to change your child’s behavior. Things that have “worked” in regard to talking back, lying, being a tattle-tale, not following through, whining, and others.

Do you have a definition of what “works”?

What are some particular areas you struggle with in correcting your child’s behavior?

Come back tomorrow….we’ll begin then with whining. Got some good suggestions?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Finds

Check out one of my favorite girls, Abbi. She's willing to make you a customized cake for the price of ingredients ! (But, may I suggest a really good tip, too) ; ). She's a confectionary artist! Her designs are not only beautiful, they're YUMMY! Ask her for a picture of the guitar cake she made!

Check this out! A-MAY-zing!!


Leaves of Three:
These we want
Green Beans

These we don't
Poison Ivy (for Cindy)


Weekend plans? Graduation party for us, still working on the deck, opening the pool, and Kody is playing with the Switch Youth Band at the Edmond weekend experiences! Don't miss it.....LOADS of praise and worship energy!

NOTE: As in all things Lifechurch (and life in general) there has been a change....the youth band is NOT playing this weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Do You Think?

"The devil aims high."

Do you agree?

What does that statement mean to you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Leave it With Him

From Streams in the Desert

I need oil," said an ancient monk; so he planted an olive sapling.
"Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers.
"Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray Thee."

And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds.
"Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues," cried the monk.

And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.

Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience.

"I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! it thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. 'Lord, send what it needs,' I prayed, 'storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.'"

Which tree are you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He Loves Me

My husband came home last week and said with a smile, “I got you something”. He went back out to his truck and came inside and presented this:

And some of you girls only get flowers…. ; )

(If you know me very well at all, you know this is a very special gift. It’s right up there with used Starbucks coffee grounds that my newest s-i-l, Alexander brought me for my compost.)

Is there a gift you received that was odd, but meaningful?

Monday, May 12, 2008

What I Always Wanted to Be

Yesterday was another delightfully crazy, loud and boisterous day at The Meadows’.

Mother’s Day.

I know most of you moms did your usual things yesterday on your “special” day. ;) Early in the day I vacuumed, mopped, gardened, ran the dishwasher and washing machine, cleaned bathrooms.

While I was vacuuming I was thinking, “Hmmm…vacuuming on Mother’s Day.” Then, I thought, “You know, it’s what I do…..and I love it”. I really love my job. I’m a mom. I take care of things. It’s what I was created to do and to be.

I’m satisfied and blessed.

If you’re a mom, I hope today finds you satisfied and blessed too. (And even if you’re not a mom, I still hope you are satisfied and blessed!)
Me with my mom and sister, Cristi

Me with my girls and some more of my girls

PS - I had lots of help from my sons yesterday. Andrew did the cooking, Jacob washed windows, and Kody helped Dirk on the new deck. But I didn't get any pictures with them!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Finds

Internet issues at the ManyMeadows. We've been without for TWO WHOLE DAYS! ; )--the storm knocked out our Wi-Fi.


Check out my friend Elizabeth's new book find...or maybe you've already read it. Either way, she's got a good idea about brushing your daughters' hair.


Miss Creative, Kim is back with some cute lunch ideas. Make some for your kids....or just for yourself! ; )


This stop needs to be part of your daily Bible study. Get your coffee---it'll take you a bit. But, I guarantee you, you won't be disappointed!!


Lettuce update:


Weekend plans? We'll have the whole family here on Sunday afternoon. Still working on the deck around the pool too. It's going to be great to have this year!

What about you? Doing anything fun and eventful?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What Do You Think?

One of the comments from yesterday's post was from my friend Deleise. She asked:

"Where is the line between control and self-control?

How much does He want us to rely on Him and how much does He want us to muster up from inside ourselves?"

Come her out. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Control-Part 3

Back to that control issue.

If you think about it, anytime we try to take control of any situation, we open the door for sin. We eat that fruit all over again. So much for doing better than Eve.

Check out this scripture. I Samuel 15:23: For rebellion (taking control) is like the sin of divination (witchcraft).

Man! God doesn’t take this lightly, does He?

We start taking the reigns, we think we’re in charge, but guess who we’ve invited on the scene? Yep. The one behind the spirit of witchcraft and sorcery. We’ve put out the welcome mat. Wow! That’s a hard thing to think about. We would never intentionally invite satan into our homes, into the lives of our friends or family members, or into our own hearts. But, when we step in the way of Jesus, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Jesus is a gentleman. He’ll never push His way beyond our choices. So when we usher Him out of the way, there’s someone ever-ready to take over. And we’ve allowed it by giving in to our nature. By thinking that we know what is best.

And if we don’t recognize it and stop it, we’ll be headed for a fall.

Overcoming it? It’s really no different than any other sin in our lives. The solution is the daily choosing to give complete control of our hearts and minds over to the power of the Holy Spirit. Asking Him to show us in his gentle way when we have moved into His rightful place. Having a willing spirit and a desire to overcome our natural tendencies.

God will always meet a willing spirit.

Ready to trade in that controlling nature for a willing heart? I am!

E-mail me if you would like me to pray for you specifically in this area. Manymeadows @ (no spaces)

Do you see control as a sin? Or is it only a personality trait?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Control-Part 2

Our nature is to control. Married, unmarried. It’s mostly a woman thing.

I would suggest that our motivation to control is divine; even holy. After all, we’ve been made in God’s image. And we want people to do well. We want our families to be safe. We’re fearful of what might happen, or what has happened in the past. We want our husbands to succeed. We want….. We want….

However, I think it’s our method where the problems arise.

-We use things like emotions, manipulation, and many, many words to control.
-We justify.
-We get in the big middle of things.
-We’re afraid what might happen if we do this, or don’t do that.
-We misuse our power of influence, and rather than taking everything to Christ, we want to help make it “better”, fix it; stop the problems before they arise.

You see? Those problems will likely be our problems and we don’t like problems, so we’ll just make sure they don’t ever happen…and…and... And we end up making a mess and alienating our husbands, our families, our friends, our God. We wonder why our husbands shut down and won’t talk anymore. We wonder why God seems so far away. We’re actually setting ourselves up for a fall.

Hard words, I know.

But, I challenge us all to be aware of our nature. To allow this knowledge to cause us to stop and think before we use our God-given giftings and abilities to do anything more than taking our thoughts to Jesus in prayer and supplication. Does the Creator of the Universe really need our help?

I’m thinking He can do a much better job than me! Maybe I just need to get out of the way.

Do you have some control issues?
What areas in your life and heart do you need to relinquish?
Think about it….pray about it. Ask Him. He’ll tell you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Control-Part 1

You know the scripture. You’ve probably heard it taught a million times. Genesis 3:16. “To the woman He said, …yet your desire shall be for your husband”.

That word “desire” is from a Hebrew word, pronounced tesh-oo-kwah, meaning longing, craving, like a beast wanting to devour. (whew!) It comes from a root word meaning overflowing, like non-stop liquid continually being poured into a glass. It seems to be a much different definition than the meaning we usually apply to the word “desire”.

Yes. Our desire is for him…to control him. It’s a curse from our mother, Eve. (Thanks, Eve—do you ever find yourself thinkin’, man, wish that’d been me there with Adam. I never would have eaten that fruit! Just put me in that garden. I know how to handle it! See? We are controllers! )

And it’s not just to control our husbands, but everything, and everyone, whether we’re married or not. It’s our nature. And, well… we have good ideas about how things should go, right? And if things go our way, then life is not so scary.

Do you agree or disagree with the interpretation of this word “desire”?

What teachings have you heard on Genesis 3:16?

Is controlling part of our natural nature?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Finds

Yeah, Robin is bragging on one of her kids again…
So, go check out Anna’s marathon pictures from last Sunday. She came in 39th of 500 something runners! And had only trained for a couple of weeks.
Cute blog of a friend of mine- moms will understand
Just released last week. Marcy Priest’s new CD! Marcy is an annointed worship leader and just a fun girl! (come see her at the Edmond campus). Order her CD today….you won’t be disappointed. Her songs are original, fresh, and compelling, expressing her passionate heart and love for Jesus.

Coming next week. A series on CONTROL….ooooo…I know it gives you the chills just thinking about it! ; )

Dad's home...ahh...contentment.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Dirk and I each grew up with one sibling. In our homes, things were usually evenly divided between each child. If one of us got new clothes, then you could be sure that the other one would have something new as well. We alternated turns sitting in the front seat. If there was one piece of pie left, it was easily divided into halves.

With the addition of each child in our family, evenly dividing things became more difficult. It gave us the opportunity to teach them important lessons on sharing, preferring, and realizing that we all have differing needs.

I’m sure my children have been stretched in this area. My younger boys have many more opportunities than their older siblings. My older kids did without a lot of things, like vacations, and music lessons, and new clothes.

It’s been a lesson for Dirk and I, knowing that we couldn’t provide for them all the same way. And we’ve had to trust that God knew that when He allowed us to care for them. It’s also reminded me that our Father isn’t fair either. (Thankfully!) He is a just God. He gives us each what we need and a lot of times even what we want. I’m really good with that.

How about you? Did you grow up in a family where everything had to be equal? Do you have a hard time when things aren’t fair or equal?