Family Bible Reading

Since we’re half way thru the year, I feel I might be qualified to offer some tips should you try the same journey with your family.So here you go -

Tip#1:  Do not start reading Ecclesiastes as a family after having one of the best days of summer thus far.

With each book of the Bible, I’ve had an idea of how my kids will most likely react, like moms do for most things.  Let’s just say they reacted exactly OPPOSITE of how I thought they would.

Ecc. 1:2 “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’”

GIGGLES erupted from each child.

This didn’t bode well since we were only on verse 2!

We try to press on.  When the kids start to realize a  pattern, namely that after describing friendship, of money, or wisdom, that Solomon then writes, “This too is meaningless” the kids kept cracking up!

“It sounds like Snape’s diary,” Katarina quipped.

By then they were all in gut-belly laugh mode.

“If everything is meaningless then why are we reading it?” Sam asked, still laughing.

Oh dear.  It’s hard to get the writer’s intent when you’re so happy.

Nostalgia Hoops

Does your kid know how to hula hoop?  If so, there are a variety of tricks to teach them available online – like hula hooping and turning around while keeping it going, or lifting up and over your head while keeping it moving…

But if they don’t know how to hula hoop, or aren’t very good (read: me), then this summer is the perfect time to try!

Our research gave the hint that if you put one foot in front of another so that you’re going in more of a front-back motion that it would be easier to keep the hoop up and the momentum going.

But since none of us have mastered it yet, this is still theory.  Any tips from expert hula hoopers out there?

Getting a workout trying . . .

And if we never figure it out, at least there’s always a good game of Quidditch!

Summer Homework

I just read an article about giving the kids homework in the summer to keep them from slipping behind.  Teachers dealing with how much ground they’ve lost over the summer break.

Enter my kiddos.

For the two weeks before the last day of school, and for the two weeks AFTER the last day of school, they hear my chant: “Summer break is a break from school NOT a break from work.”  Meaning, Hey! You still need to help around the house – when I ask you to pick up your mess, do not tell me that you’re on break!

So, if I dared try homework at this point, after drilling this chant in their head, I’d have better success using my head as a hammer trying to hang up photos on my walls.  (Have I mentioned that I just moved?)

Instead, with a little creativity I believe keeping the kids up to date on their schoolwork can be done WITHOUT handing them worksheets and the like.  It just takes some creativity… and a little planning.

Scenario #1:

Sam wants to make some no bake cookies.

A perfect summertime treat, by the way!

Now your part — make sure that all measuring spoons that directly correlate to the recipe are dirty and in the BACK of the dishwasher.

So, 4T of cocoa?  “Sam, looks like the only clean measuring spoon I have is this 1/2T.”

Sam: “Oh, well, okay, that’s 8 spoonfuls.”

Granted a bit easy but you get the idea.

Also, you can try this trick that my kids taught me!

When they are doing their homework they ask me, “Hey, mom!  How do you spell ‘Copious’?

Without hesitation I spell it, then realize he’s doing his spelling homework when he giggles hysterically.

So, spin that – at the table while writing something, anything, look up and say, “Hey, help your mother out – how do you spell ‘obscure’?”

Add  some wickedly cool science experiments for fun, a library reading program, and homework is not homework!


Summer Survival Kit: Parents Edition

It’s the first day of summer: celebrate!  But if you’re like most parents, you’ve already had your kids out of school for two weeks or more, so you might be feeling a little, well, maxed out.

During those two weeks you’ve, no doubt, mediated between sibling squabbles, planned outings to places your kids would love to go and not necessarily somewhere you wanted to go. And if you’re like me, if you moved during those first two weeks of summer you probably feel frazzled.

So, on the first day of summer, after we all did chores and hit the neighborhood water park, we came home tired.  And the kids started bickering alternating with a lot of chatter and requests.

Hence, the inspiration for the Summer Survival Kit: Parents Edition.

Here’s what you’ll need:

a Shoebox

a folding deck chair

a glass

a tasty to-go soda, tea, drink, or even water bottle

a snack

a book or magazine

Put a baggie over the glass.  You’ll understand why later.

If you have a big closet, this is a perfect place to store your kit.

And your chair.

No lock?  If you have older kids this is no worry, because if they knock and you say, “Don’t come in.” they’ll naturally assume you’re dressing and run the other way.

No walk-in closet? No problem if you have a bathroom closet…

I fully remember the days when a locked door in the bathroom was the only privacy I got.  This is the reason you might want a bag over  your glass.  Yes, it’s stored away, but it’s still the bathroom!

And if you don’t have a big enough bathroom, I did discover that in a pinch this might do:

After all, behind the shower curtain is still one of the best hide-and-seek places there are.

Oops, almost forgot – better add a timer or clock to your kit.  After all, it is an emergency survival kit to be used responsibly.  Cheers!

(Most of you who know me know I’m kidding…sort of.)