Sunday, December 30, 2012


Go to
to get FREE 3 page Download
Happy New Year!

I love New Years because it is a wonderful time to start FRESH.
It doesn't matter how bad we messed up in 2012. That is all behind us now.
Tell God (and whoever else you need to) you are sorry, and you are ready to do better.
It is now time for the new you that is FAITHFUL in all things. You can do all things through Christ!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
 The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!" - II Corinthians 5:17

This month's character focus is on FAITHFULNESS.

Go to to get your FREE 3 page download packed full of family traditions, stories, snacks, Scriptures, activities, and more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Character Mom and family!
I am taking a break from the computer to celebrate this wonderful season with my family.
Let me encourage you to do the same and to remember to
keep Christ in Christmas as you celebrate!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our Favorite Christmas Tradition! - FREE advent activity calendar

Christmas can be overwhelming! Don't go crazy trying to do every activity under the sun with your kids. Just pick a few of your favorites and make them memorable.

The best traditions are fun, simple, purposeful and can be enjoyed by kids of all ages year after year.

My kid's favorite is the Advent Box because daily they get to open a little door that reveals a tiny surprise!

(It's not too late to start, you may find advent boxes on sale at this time of year:))

I love it because it helps me to remember to do something simple daily to prepare my children and my own heart to be loving, kind, and generous during the Christmas season.

My sister makes her Advent Box super simple by just putting candy (Ande's mints are my favorite) in every box and using that moment to talk about the wonders of Christmas.

Since this is the main tradition we have, I have tried to make our Advent Box a little more purposeful by filling each box with an item that leads us to an activity or object that teaches us more about the reason for the season - Christ!

All I did was look for tiny Christmas objects that I already had or were easy to purchase (check out oriental trading) such as magnets, felt crafts, tiny ornaments, or printable cutouts off Pinterest. Then thought about what we can learn from these objects.

For example:
  1. Stars/Candle - Daniel 12:3 - Shine for Jesus! Go star gazing.
  2. Coin - Acts 20:35 - Is Christmas all about money? It is more blessed to give than to receive.
  3. Bells -  Psalm 95: 2 - Make a joyful noise with music and praise! Play musical chairs.
  4. Angel - Luke 2:14 - Messenger of God. Make an angel craft.
  5. Wisemen (and any or all of their gifts) - Matt. 2:1-12 - Wisemen still seek Him. Scavenger Hunt.
  6. Heart - John 3:16 - For God so loved the world...
  7. Cross - John 3:16 - What does the cross have to do with Christmas?
  8. Candy Cane - Luke 2:8 - What can we learn from Shepherds? Pretend play shepherd and sheep.
  9. Tiny Present - John 10:10 &11 - What is the best gift anyone has ever gotten?
  10. Tiny manger or basket - Luke 2:1-20 - Place baby doll in empty basket or manger that has been under the tree since beginning of December.

You get the idea. I think you can take it from here. Get creative. Make it personal with photos of your family or homemade items by your kids.  Let the kids come up with things to put in the boxes, or see the free advent calendar below for more ideas.

Get a free advent calendar from

What is one of your family's favorite Christmas traditions?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

$100 to Your Charity of Choice - Encouraging Character

We have so very much to be thankful for and to give to others. Sometimes during the holidays we get too busy with our own families to reach out to others, or sometimes we just can't think of a good family-friendly place to help.

This season, I would like to offer you a little incentive to share your ideas of how you get your family involved in showing God's love and generosity during the holidays.

I am going to mail a $100 check to someone made out to their favorite charity! It could be you!

All you have to do for your chance to win is:
1. Go to the comment section on my website ( within the next two weeks.
2. Post a picture of your child or the charity that your family likes to help with or give to.
3. Write a brief comment explaining why or how you like to help this charity.

Deadline for posting is Wednesday, Dec. 4.
I will announce the winner on Monday, Dec. 10th!
(You will have until the following Monday to claim your prize.)

I have posted the first one to give you an example. Watch a short video about the Kingdom Kids Christmas where my family and I have already given to this year.
Thanks for sharing about how you like to share God's love in a practical way during the holidays!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Give Thanks in ALL Things? Really? - Thanksgiving

Are we really supposed to be thankful in ALL things? Seriously?

God's Word says,
"Give thanks IN ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."             - I Thessalonians 5:18

So does this mean when we go around the table at Thanksgiving, instead of saying we are thankful for our family, friends, food, health, etc.; We should say, "This year I am thankful for natural disasters, orphans in Africa, and suicide bombers?" 

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, this week I was feeling guilty for not feeling very grateful for ALL things including lice, throw-up, and seizures. Then I realized that God's will for me was just to have a grateful heart IN all circumstances not FOR all circumstances.

Last Thanksgiving, I remember being surprised when my sister, Mandy, said she was thankful for her eyesight. This was an odd answer since it was not a typical Thanksgiving answer, and since Mandy had recently lost her peripheral vision.

Here, Mandy was perfectly demonstrating how to, "Give Thanks in ALL circumstances."
1. She was trusting in Christ that He had a purpose in this new difficulty she was facing.
2. Also, instead of focusing on the negative that she had lost sight,
    she found a new appreciation and gratefulness for the sight that she still had left.  
    She has always reminded me a little bit of Polly Anna
     (- finding the good in bad situations and a little bit of a goody-two-shoes:))

A few weeks after Thanksgiving last year, Mandy gave birth to her seventh child, and we found out that Mandy's eyesight problems were caused by a tumor behind her eye, which led to brain surgery in January, which led to a damaging stroke and almost death, which led to a very difficult year for us here on "The Compound".

However, looking back, for every extreme difficulty, I can see:
1. not only God's hand of Providence (He is in perfect control with a purpose for all things), but also
2. an opportunity for a renewed thankfulness for many blessings that we sometimes take for granted.

When overwhelmed with daily difficulties,
 it is hard to find ways to truly be thankful IN ALL circumstances. 

If you are having trouble, try:

1.  Prayer,
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4: 6 & 7. 

2.  Playing "The Glad Game" - Putting a Positive Spin on your Problems.
Help your kids practice the essential skill of being thankful IN ALL things by using Pollyanna and her "Glad Game".  I was pleasantly surprised at how good my kids were at finding something good at just about any situation I could throw at them. (You can watch the whole 1960 classic on YouTube to learn more about the Glad Game.)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Try to surprise your family and friends by being GLAD about something different or difficult at your Thanksgiving table. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

3 Easy Steps, Once a Month - We Choose Virtues Review

I was extremely delighted to stumble upon the We Choose Virtues resources on Pinterest.
The creator of We Choose Virtues, Heather McMillan, not only provides beautifully designed professional quality resources to teach your kids character; but she is a kindred soul who organizes her Pinterest boards by character quality just like me (- making it easy to find topical resources.) Follow her on Pinterest at

My favorite We Choose Virtues resources, is the Virtues Kid's Kit or the Parenting Flashcards ($30.00). They make it easy for my kids to learn and remember specific character qualities using memorable catch phrases and an adorable cartoon character complete with rhyming names, short story, Bible verses, coloring book, and more to illustrate each quality.

Heather recommends a more wholistic approach to using her resources daily. However, since I am so easily overwhelmed, I find it more realistic for me to use her great resources to teach one quality a month in 3 easy steps. Each month:

1. Resource from We Choose Virtues - Hang up the Focus Flashcard on the Fridge -As I hang it up, I read the cute short story on the back that introduces the cartoon character to your kids. If you have the kid's kit, have your child color the character as well.

2. Reward - Offer some kind of incentive for when you catch your kids displaying this focus quality - a sticker (sold at We Choose Virtues), marble in a jar for big prize at the end of the month, etc.

3. Reinforce - Use my FREE holiday downloads, to compliment this resource with fun and simple games, activities, crafts, holiday traditions, etc. that also teach the same focus quality. Find these at ( ). (Heather does offer a few teaching ideas on the back of her Parenting Flashcards, but hers seem to be more learning focused while I try to make mine more fun, family-friendly, and holiday tradition focused. I of course, am naturally more partial to my own ideas. Try them both and see which ones work best for your family.)

Don't worry if $30.00 is too pricey for you. Check out We Choose Virtues website or facebook page for regular deals and giveaways from Heather and other bloggers!

Monday, November 12, 2012

FREE Adventures in Odyssey Episodes! - A Weapon for a Veteran Mom

Happy Veteran's Day!

To become a veteran mom, one weapon that will help bring peace to chaotic car rides is one of my all time favorite resources - Adventures in Odyssey from Focus on the Family!

These entertaining episodes of stories on CD will not only give you the gift of quiet car rides (I know you are skeptical but it is true.), but they are also packed full of lessons about:
Christian character,
how to show God's love in practical ways,
Christian World View,
true historical events, and more.

To celebrate Veteran's Day, listen to this FREE Adventures in Odyssey episode at In this episode, fictional character Jimmy Barclay becomes a veteran in several different wars while he believes he is in the "Imagination Station" invented by Mr. Whitacker. The Imagination Station is a place where kids can pretend to experience time travel. Really, Jimmy was experiencing something incredibly different. You will have to listen to find out what. (The idea behind this episode was even purchased as a spec for the famous show The Twilight Zone!)

Also, to get ready for Thanksgiving, order the Adventures in Odyssey album "The Truth Chronicles", This 4 CD set has eleven stories on the Power of God's Truth including the true stories of the Pilgrims called the "Stepping Stones".  You can buy the complete set from me for $24.99 (just e-mail me at ) or download just the two episode about the Pilgrims straight from for $2.00 each.

To get a MULTITUDE of MORE FREE episodes, go to! 

Do you know any great freebee sites like this one?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote Your Values - Teachable MOMent #9

Cliff Notes on the Candidates
Freedom of Religion, Family, Sanctity of Human Life.... the list goes on and on. There are so many lessons you can teach your kids during this election.  
Just because our kids are too young to vote, does not mean they are too young to learn about the importance of voting and the issues different candidates represent.

People are talking about it everywhere, some schools are even having mock elections. Your kids probably have questions.

Go to this link to print of this Cliff Notes chart from Family Research Council that shows where both Romney and Obama stand on important issues.
Go to for more info.

Look over this printout with your kid, and ask them which President they would vote for according to their values.

Pray that mighty men and women of God go out and vote their values tomorrow!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Get Ready to Be Grateful - Free Thankfulness Download

My monthly fun and simple download is finally ready! to print & view

Get Ready to be Grateful!

Get my monthly download and weekly encouragements the second I publish right in your inbox, by sending me your e-mail address or following me at my real website.

Just click on the cute little frame at the top of the page at

Your friend and fellow character mom, Sarah

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stretching the Truth - Character MOMent #8

"When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback." ~Bill Copeland
Teachable MOMent #8  - Write the word TRUTH on a wide rubber band, and your child put it on as a bracelet. Ask them, "What happens when you stretch 'the TRUTH'?" To find out, have them slightly pull on their bracelet enough for it to snapback.

Stretching the truth causes pain and problems. Satan, The Father of Lies, is extra active at this time of year trying to convince us to ignore the dangers of "stretching the truth" through little "white lies" and "half truths". Have your kids give you examples of each of these.

A half truth is a whole lie. What should we do if we are not sure if something is completely true or not? Check the source.

The Scriptures are our source for absolute truth.  Before the invention of the printing press and multiple translations of the Bible, the common man was not as blessed as we are with easy access to God's Word.  Therefore, there was some confusion in the church about what God expected from believers.  The church had started "stretching the truth". They said such things as,

Truth - You need to ask God to forgive you of sin. (Rm 3:23)
Stretching Truth - You have to pay "indulgences" (money to the church)
      in order to gain forgiveness for you or your family's sin. (Acts 10:43)

After studying the Scriptures,  Martin Luther found 95 things like this that the church was doing that stretched the TRUTH of God's Word! So on October 31st, 1517, Luther posted 95 Theses on the door of his church for all to see -beginning the Reformation! 

This took extreme faith and courage!
Encourage  your kids not to stretch the TRUTH,
but instead stand up for absolute TRUTH the way Luther did
and to have a Happy Reformation Day on Wednesday!

How are you going to watch out for half truths and white lies this week?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do you get the Monday "Blahs"? Truth or Dare #1

I like to pretend I have it all together most of the time, but here is the Truth:

I am not sure if it is my hormones, my season of life, or just plain Satan; but lately I have been overtaken by "THE BLAHS" way to often.

"The Blahs" is when you feel down, but don't have a super great reason to feel down except just the drudgery of daily life.

You can make a choice.  Usually, "The Blahs"

  1. ) Get worse if you sit around and mope or worry about your sad feelings or whatever you think is making you feel sad - like all that you have to get done but will "never" be able to accomplish, or
  2.) Can easily be solved by taking simply positive actions such as:
        a. Doing something you enjoy - for example: playing with your children.
        b. Making a to-do list and doing a few things on your list.
        c. Talking to someone about your feelings.
        d. Thinking positive.
        e. Expressing gratitude.
        f. Praying.

"Rejoice in the Lord always... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things... Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
                  - Phillipians 4: 4-9

Are you going to choose #1 or #2 today?
What simple actions do you find helpful for overcoming "the blahs"?

Monday, October 15, 2012

What to Wear for Halloween?

Dorothy is surprised and upset just like me!
It upsets me that it is okay for public school teachers to teach my impressionable children about witches and other scary evil things at Halloween when prayer, God, and definitely Jesus have been banned!!!!! This is very upsetting but not too surprising.

Here is something that is surprising and even more upsetting to me:

Growing up all things associated with Halloween was banned and despised, so I am not quite that strict. I love to dress-up, and we let our kids dress up for their class Halloween parties at school (although we do tell them that we are celebrating Reformation Day instead of Halloween). I think you can have fun without the fright during this season.

However, I don't understand how real believers in Jesus Christ can embrace the witches and goblins and evil things associated with Halloween - even dressing their children as witches and other innapropriate evil creatures - when the Bible is clear about the seriousness of sin - especially of witchcraft!

Galatians 5:19-21 says, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft..... I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Growing up in a secular society desensitizes our kids to the seriousness of sin. Christian Moms and teachers, let me encourage you to please stand strong and do not let your children be even more desensitized against sin and encourage other moms to do the same.

Be discerning. My mom had a great rule for dress-up: "Don't dress up like anything that you should not be in real life."

Witches are not cute little girls in pointy hats. They are real people who practice magic using the power of the devil! Is this what you want your kid to pretend to be? How about a mass murderer? How about a psychopath?

Come on guys, this is not rocket science. A rocket scientist would be a great costume!

Do you have any other great costume ideas? Maybe a super hero or a great story book character? I would loooooove to see your pictures.

Do you have any ideas for having fun without the fright this fall?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Moldy Moment - Teachable MOMent #7

Read and Share this "Simple MOMent" about MOLD!

The mold is growing in my shower, as I am writing this. The next time you are feeling down while cleaning your shower or that unidentifiable moldy leftover container, remind yourself that as a mom, God has created you for one of the most important jobs there is – MOLDING young lives.
Put down your scrub brush for a few minutes, and do some fun MOLDING with your children. Get out the playdo, clay, jello, or make popsicles in fun shapes and talk about how God has made us individually wonderful and unique.
? - Ask your kids how and if they think God continues to mold us daily (for example, through God's Word, parents, role models, circumstances, etc.)
Philippians chapter one tells about how God is not finished with us yet. Verse 6 says, "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
? - Ask your kids and yourself, "How are you going to respond to God's molding?
Moms, how are you responding to God's call to mold young lives? I hope it is not with the same attitude you have for that leftovers container?  Make sure you are seeking God's strength and direction to purposefully and positively MOLD your youngsters while they are still wet cement. As time goes by, the tougher the molding becomes.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Turn up the Music - Teachable MOMent #6/God's Girlz #2

Music influences and speaks loudly to our children. Talk to your kids about the music they like. No matter what you are listening to, there is almost always something that you can teach from the lyrics of songs - what to do or what not to do.  Remember to take advantage of that car time, or turn up the music and dance as you are cleaning up the house.

Peers are going to flood your youth with inappropriate music. Give your kids an arsonal of fun appropriate music to help them combat the world.

For Young Kids - When you are still picking the music out for your kids, it is easy.
          I play Cedarmont Kids, Seeds Family Worship, Steve Green, WOW, Character Builders, etc.

For Older Kids - As they get older, it is harder to find appropriate music with appropriate messages that your kids enjoy especially if you are musically challenged like myself.  I had to enlist a good friend to recommend some good albums, and make us a mix CD including some great Christian artists like TobyMac as well a some party classics like YMCA and the Chicken Dance.

Attached is my girl's new favorite song - God's Girl by Jamie Grace.
I would love to hear about who your kid's favorite Christian music artist is.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Download - Truth
Happy October to You!
To go along with this month's festivities we are going to focus on Truth!

I have so much to say and share about the importance of teaching our kids truthfulness especially with Halloween coming up and the public schools trying to keep the truth of Christ out.
Enjoy this free 3 page download Entitled "Truthful Fall Festivities" packed full of fun family activities, until I have time to share more.

I would love to hear any of your great ideas about teaching truth in the meantime as well.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Clothe Yourself With... - God's Girl #1

You are God's Girl!

My daughters and I are attending a special "God's Girl" event that I organized tomorrow night. I will tell you more about that and how it goes later, but I wanted to encourage you with this verse today!

Colossians 3 tells us that we are chosen, holy (set aside for God's service or sacrificially pure), and dearly loved by God!

Verse 12 reads, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Read the rest of this encouraging chapter about how we are to act as God's Girls.
Print this sketch I drew called "Clothe yourself with..." from my downloads page on my website at  and share it with your daughter or hang it in your closet!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Wisest Words on Friendship - Wise Friends #3

We are on a countdown.
Last week we talked about (#3 )Purposefully Planning Playdates and Parties to help our kids choose friends wisely.
#2 on my list is... 

Teaching your kids what the Bible says about friendship is one of the best ways to help them choose friends wisely.

Below I have listed a few of my favorite friendship verses for your convenience.
* I Samuel 18: 1-3;20:17/II Samuel 1:23 - The example of David and Jonathan
* Proverbs 13: 20 -" Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise."
* Proverbs 17: 17 - "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
* Proverbs 18:24 - "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
* Proverbs 27: 6-10 - "Faithful are the wounds of a friend...the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel..."
* Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - "Two are better than one...for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to pick him up....and though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
* John 15: 13-15 - "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends..."
* Philippians 2:19-23- Timothy's example of genuine concern for the welfare of others over himself
* James 4:4 - "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

Are you looking for some simple and creative ways to explain or teach a few of these Scriptures to your kids, check out Teachable MOMent #5 - Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!

I would love to hear your great ideas about ways to help our kids choose friends wisely or how to hide these verses in our kids hearts!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Purposeful Playdates to Parties - Wise Friends #2

"The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are." ― C.S. Lewis

My last post ("Don't Hang out with the Kool-aid Drinkers "  was about how it is easier to encourage your child to hang out with wise friends than it is for your child to make wise choices while surrounded by negative peers.
So I thought it would be helpful now, to share three ways to help your child choose wise friends.

My #3 way for helping your kids choose wise friends is - Purposefully Plan Playdates and Parties!

You are your child's agent. You plan their calendar and schedule - who they will and will not see for appointments. Be purposeful about planning playdates, sleepovers, family dinners, etc. with the type of children that you want your child to be influenced by.

Start now! The older your kid gets, the less and less influence you will have in this area. Do what you can at each stage in your childs life to encourage the right friendships. For example:

-When your child is young this may mean building bonds with families who have the same belief system you do,
-Then you start scheduling playdates,
- Then you go to events where you know the kids you like will be
- Then you invite kids from church over for campouts or sleepovers
- Then you host parties at your home
- Then you take hand picked groups of kids on outings, etc. etc.

You get the idea. Your kids will inevitably make friends with some kids you don't like. But the idea here is to say yes less to them hanging out with these friends, and pack their calendar with events where the kids you like will be.

Use your expert Party Planning skills to help your child pick some great friends! Don't waste any time! Invite a great family over for dinner this weekend! Have fun!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't hang out with the Kool-aid Drinkers! - Wise Friends #1/ Teachable MOMent #4

    Most of us were just toddlers when the cult leader Jim Jones convinced 913 of his 1100 followers to commit group suicide by drinking poison kool-aid. Yet, we still have heard the saying, "Don't drink the kool-aid!"

    Our kids probably haven't heard this, and most of them are too young to even get what this saying means.  However, it is at this young age that they are going to start building friendships that are going to impact their life choices now and in the future. Get involved with helping your child choose good friends.

     Only 17% of the people at what is commonly referred to as the Jonestown Massacre mentioned above did not drink the kool-aid. That was some serious peer pressure! I would like to suggest that it may be easier to teach your kids not to hang out with the kool-aid drinkers than it is to teach them to have the strength and decision making skills to "not drink the kool-aid" when 83% of the people they are around are drinking the kool-aid.

      Proverbs 13:20 teaches us, "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."

     Our kids are old enough to understand the principle that if you hang out with someone long enough, they will start to rub off on you. Use kool-aid or any sugar free drink mix (Wal-mart's version of Crystal Light's Raspberry Ice is my favorite yummy and very staining drink.) to illustrate this. It stains everything. We took this picture to left on Sunday night and they still had a subtle mustache on their way to school on Monday.

     Sometimes the things our friends convince us to do have silly, temporary affects like our lips, tongue, and red mustache. Unfortunately, some consequences of unwise decisions have more permanent consequences such as your favorite shirt will never look the same, your teeth will become cavity-filled down a sugar-filled drink everyday,  or as serious as the kool-aid drinkers at the Jamestown Massacre.

Do whatever you can to help your kids build relationships with positive peers who are "non-kool-aid drinkers." Do you have any ideas about how we can help our kids make friends with positive peers?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Soccer Goals - Teachable MOMent #3

Soccer season is officially kicked off!

You can learn an abundance of lessons from sports such as as endurance, perseverance, patience, sportsmanship, patience, dealing with dissappointment, etc.. Ask your kids what they can learn from soccer.

The soccer lesson that may stick in your kids head the best is probably from Philippians 3:14. Write this out on a note card for your kid to keep in their soccer bag or in the car.

"I press on toward the GOAL to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward." - Phil. 3:14

1. What are goals? Ask your kids what they think this verse means.
If we are going to get anywhere in life, it helps to have GOALS!
What is our GOAL in soccer? How do we get there?

2. Share life goals - Let everyone share what some of their LIFE goals may be? For example, my daughter Jolie would probably say her goals are, "Be on America's Funniest Home Videos, go to Disney World, learn to play the guitar, or be an artist when she grows up."
3. How do we achieve goals? Look at the SMART chart to the right.
    Talk about ways they can get closer to the goals they listed above.

4. Apply to the Christian life - What should our GOAL as Christians be? (Be more like Christ.)   What kind of things can we do to get us closer or farther away from our GOAL of being more like Christ? What is our prize in soccer? What is our prize as Christians?

While you are on the sidelines Mom, are you pointing others to the right GOAL of being more Christ-like? What kind of goals can you set for yourself in this area?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Don't Feel Fun Anymore - Kindness Finale

God knows that kindness is important and that we struggle with it. That is why it made his top lists:

-Top 7 list of what older women should teach young women (see verses below)
-Top 9 list of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22&23)

-Top 8 list in II Peter 1: 4-8 of qualities needed to keep us from being ineffective in our witness and walk with Christ.

Titus 2:4-5 says, "Then they (the older women) may encourage the young women to:
1. love their husbands,
2. to love their children,
3. to be sensible,
4. pure,
5. workers at home,
6. to be  KIND
7. being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."

You are probably familiar with this passage of Scripture in Titus. Before we get married and have kids, we never think we are ever going to have trouble being kind or loving to our families. However, that is not reality. Carolyn Mahaney in her superb book Feminine Appeal says,
"Along with the many delights of marriage and motherhood comes a myriad of temptations to unkindness that we often do not anticipate."
I know I sometimes wonder what happened to that fun-loving girl with the infectious laughter and love for her husband sparkling in her eyes. Do you give kind service with a smile like this silly photo above, or help with a huffy attitude like I have been doing lately? It is easy to let the daily worries of life weigh down your heart and walk with God. When I try to do everything in my own strength, I usually forget to be that tiny word--KIND--that has a big impact on my family.

This month, I am striving to seek God's power and wisdom to overcome my unkind feelings. Stay tuned to hear about how we are going to overcome our weighed down hearts with God's wisdom and wise choices.

Do you have any words of wisdom for me?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Working Toward Wisdom - Happy Labor Day

Hello Friends!

I hope you enjoy this free three page download packed full of fun and simple ways to teach your kids wisdom on Labor Day and throughout the year.

Click here to go to my free downloads page at and then click on Working Toward Wisdom.

I would love to hear any ideas you have about teaching wisdom.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Car Question: Do Beetles have Bras? - Teachable MOMent #2

'Tis the season to be in the car – driving to and from school, practice, etc.. Sadly, my natural instinct when we pile in the car is to distract my children with snacks and eletronic devices to keep the quarreling and the bombardment of questioning to a minimum.
While there is nothing wrong with taking a break occasionally, let me encourage you and myself to fight the temptation to make this the travel habit. Instead, take advantage of the fact that your car is one of the few places where your children are your captive audience!
Car time is a great time to get to know your kids better and talk about life lessons!

Open up the lines of communication. Ask them questions. For some kids this will require a pry bar and for others it will require a time limit so that everyone gets a turn to share.

After School - "Tell me three good things and on bad thing about your day."
For Labor Day - "What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?
For Toddlers - "What animals do you like? Why?"
For Teaching - "What is kindness (or any other character quality)? How do you show it?
                         Do you know anyone who is kind? What does Jesus tell us about kindness?
Get ready to field a few questions from them as well. I am so glad that my toddler and I have been talking instead of vegging out in the car lately, or else I would have missed some great questions she has for me. For example,

"Where are chicken's shoulders?" and

"Do beetles have bras (this is the word my girls use for boobs)?" My initial reaction was, "I don't think so." However, after we examined the beetle that she had found and brought with her into the car, we both realized that it really did look like it had bras where it's middle legs were connected to its body. Also, as you can see from the picture above, Volkswagon Beetles also have bras. So, I was surprised to realize the anwer is: YES!

You learn something everyday - especially if you use car time to talk to your kids.

Have your kids asked you any great questions lately?
What questions do you like to ask your kids to open up the lines of communication or teach while you have a captive audience?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Always be Kinder than you Feel

Wake up and face the Monday Moms!

Today I would like to encourage you to do something that my husband and wish I was better at. I am not sure why I woke up in such a funk today, but I am still not up to par. It may have something to do with the thunderstorm that kept me and two of my girls awake most of the night, but there is really no excuse.

These feelings reminded me of some good advice I found from

She says her marriage is helped by her following this simple rule:

The real beauty of kindness is when we:
(1)ask God to help us and
(2)actually take action to be kinder than we feel, we almost always will then
(3) begin to feel kinder as well.

 Can you think of a time when this was true for you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SUPER Simple Teachable MOMents - Teachable MOMents #1

First day of school 2012
To kick off the official first day of a new busy school year, I wanted to start a new weekly event called - Teachable MOMents.

Now that summer is over, I know your schedule is getting busier than ever. With all the busyness, we don't have time to plan and prepare character lessons for our kids.

Hopefully these fun and  SUPER simple ideas using objects and activities that you are already doing, will help you diligently teach your children while you "sit in your house, walk by the way, lie down, and rise-up" (Deuteronomy 6:7).  Here goes:

Teachable MOMent #1 - "Create in Me a Clean Heart"

Activity: Bathtime with kids

Lesson: Just like we clean our bodies regularly because we get dirty, we should also clean our hearts regularly because daily sin makes our hearts dirty.

Talking Points:
     1. Discuss what kinds of sins you or they may do on a regular basis or did that day.
     2. Discuss how to clean our hearts. It's as simple as asking God to forgive us.

Scripture: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10-12

For Fun: The bathtub has great accustics. Sing along with Kieth Green to his great song - "Create in Me a Clean Heart". I like this YouTube version from TheSongsofWorship because Kieth helps the younger kids by saying what words come next part of the time.

What is your favorite fun or teachable idea for bathtime?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Are You or Your Kids Worried? - Back to School #4

I have one child who gets anxious often especially when we start talking about school.  However, the other two are usually just fine until they see me trying to pretend that I am not worried while I talk about reasons why we shouldn't worry. Then they start thinking, "Should I be worried about something?" That is when I generally become a human tree with three little worried monkeys attached to me somewhere.
Our children can sense our fears. Spend some time in prayer over the next few days to prepare yourself for sending your kids to school. The more we trust in Christ as moms, the less anxious we will all be. If we show confidence in our kids and in Christ, it is easier for them to do the same.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my favorite secular magazine published "prayer" as one of the solutions in their First Day Jitters article. Go to their sight or my favorite Christian magazine  for more ideas for easing anxiety on the first day of school.

I would love to hear about any of your ideas for ways you help your kids have confidence in themselves and in Christ. We will talk more about this on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do Unto "Otters"... - Back to School #3

Watch this 8 minute video of this super-cute book reading of Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller, for a fun and quick lesson on manners, the Golden Rule, and kindness.

A lesson in kindness is one of the best ways to prepare our students for back to school and all the fun times, peer pressure, hurt feelings, and anxiety that happen inside and out of the classroom. Becoming others (or "otters")- focused will help your child become less focused on their own anxieties and make them a welcomed friend and a better student. 

 "To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own." - Abraham Lincoln

 (Thanks to Sarahken100 on YouTube for this video. Search "Do Unto Otters" on YouTube if you can't get this video to work here.)
 For more fun and simple ideas for teaching kindness and helping your child become "otters"-focused, see the "Who will Teach your Kid Kindness" download listed under Free Downloads at Your child’s teacher will thank you for it.
It really doesn't take much to brighten someone else's day. What are the little things that you and your kids do to brighten other's day and help teach your kids to be "Otters" focused? "Otter" moms would love to get some great ideas. Please post them in the comment area.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What Does Your Kid's Hair and Clothes Say about You?- Back to School #2

Get your cameras ready and make a plan for your first day back at school pics.
1. You can make a cute frame for them to hold (thanks to James N' Mel Z on Pinterest)
2. Make a sign for your kid to hold saying what grade They are in.
3. Make a short video, and ask your child what a few of their favorite things are or what they want to learn more about.
4. Or just take photos on the front porch super casual like I do.
Whatever you do, you don't want to miss documenting your child's first day back at school in some way.

I love seeing how my kids change year after year, and looking back at these photos helped me notice not only how much they had changed, but how I have changed as well. Notice how cute and well put together my girls are in the first photo on the right (2 years ago PreK and K5). Then take a look at the second photo below on the left (1 year ago K5 and 1st).  They are still cute of course, but it does not take a well trained eye to notice that these girls are not quite as well groomed.

The funny part is that this really is one of their good days. Typically their hair and clothes are crazier than this. So what do these two photos tell me about myself? I admit at first, I was a little embarrassed and thought twice about posting this, because I thought this second picture said I wasn't being a very good mom.  Then I realized that I am still a work in progress, and this picture actually says to me that I am an even better mom now than I was a year ago because it shows that I am doing a better job at working toward:
1. Caring less of what other people think of me because of how my kids look and more about my accountability to God for raising my kids the way He wants me to.
2. Stopping being such a control freak about appearances and other things, and letting them become more independent and responsible for dressing and grooming themselves.
3. Being a more laid back fun mom with Godly priorities, and less picky perfectionist mom.

I am still a work in progress and so are they. Don't judge me because of how my kids look and I will try to give you the benefit of the doubt as well.

Here is this years photo. (Jolie in 3rd, Summer in 2nd, Kyah age 3).  I would looooooooooooove to see your kids first day photo.

Go to my website - and use the handy tool on the blog to post your photo as your comment!

How have you and your kids changed this year?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Clever Encouragement - Back to School #1

I just can't get enough of all the clever ideas that you wonderful moms pin on Pinterest.  Check out my Back to School Board for more clever ideas to encourage your kiddos, their friends, and their teachers the first week of school. Here are my favorites from each category:

 7-up FOR MY KIDS  - I love this 7-Up bottle idea because using Scripture is one of the best ways to encourage anyone, and my kids get super excited when they get to drink any kind of soda! (from

 Chocolate Mints FOR THE TEACHER - In the one in a million chance your teacher does not like Andes mint's, these are still great for her to pass out to the class or keep on her desk for others. I also love the idea that everything is "Mint" to be because our heavenly Father is in control of all things - big and small. Make sure you talk to your kids about this big concept called - God's Providence. (from

Cookies FOR FRIENDS - You can make cookies or buy them. Either way, your kids and their friends will be sure to enjoy these.(from

How do you like to encourage your kids as they go back to school?

If you love Pinterest, too. I would love to add you onto my group board The Character Mom's Pintentional Parenting Board.
Follow my board, and I will invite you to pin.
(Contact me if you don't get an invite within 24 hours.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympics Splink! - Welcome Wednesday

I wanted to share this great resource as well as these great ideas about learning faithfulness through the olympics with you. Don't miss the website at the end with stories about God-glorifying athletes.

Splink is a great family fun resource from D6 (Deuteronomy 6) Ministries. I would highly recommend signing up for this free weekly           service at

August 5 - 11
Finishing Well
Pick a job or chore the whole family can do together; one you may have been putting off all summer (clean garage, organize family room, clean a closet and get rid of clothes that don't fit, wash the deck, etc.). Work together until the job is done and then reward yourselves. Go out for lunch or for ice cream, go on a picnic, play mini-golf; do whatever your family enjoys.
Talk about it:
How do you feel now that the big job is completed?
How did you feel while we were still working?
Why is it important to keep going, to stay with a job until it is done? (It will never get finished if we quit; it feels good to be faithful even if it is not easy, etc.)
Why is it important to stay faithful to God? (He deserves our best, He is faithful to us, it feels good to know that we are pleasing Him, He will reward us someday, etc.)
Staying the Course

Invite the neighbor kids or friends to have an Olympics celebration.
Play some of the following games:
Discus throw--–see how far you can throw a paper plate or Frisbee
  • Trike race—line up at a starting point and see who can cross the finish line first
  • Races—three legged, egg and spoon, relay races, etc.
  • High jump or long jump
  • Javelin throw—with pool noodles
  • Hit the ball—put a tennis ball in the toe of a sock or pair of tights, attach it to a kid's belt or waist and run a relay to see how quickly the team can make the ball in a sock swing (without using hands) to hit a second ball toward the finish line
  • Hockey—choose two teams and try to be the first team to hit the potato with the hockey stick to a designated point and back
  • Swimming activities if a pool is available  

Don't forget to make or buy some medals. Make a winner's grandstand and give out the medals.
A healthy snack idea: make barbells by sticking grapes (if you have older kids) or marshmallows on each end of pretzel sticks. Have plenty of water or juice on hand.
In order to win, one has to stay the course—stay faithful. One cannot win by quitting. Cheer each other on to stay with it!

A Medal of Worth
Watch the Olympic events together, and talk about athletes that are faithful to God. Share the stories of some of the Christian athletes. Look for more stories at
Sanya Richards-Ross, a Christian athlete who may be the fastest female runner in the world, is representing the United States for a second time in the 2012 Olympics. Sanya became a Christian when she was 12 years old. She desires to be faithful to God and she recently committed to reading through the entire Bible. One verse she says frequently to herself is, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
She says that her faith encourages her to give her best. She says, "I know that my talent is God's gift to me, and how I use it is my gift to Him."
What do you think athletes need to do to compete in the Olympics? (Talent, work hard, and to stick with it even when they don't feel like it)
Many Olympic athletes practice all day every day so they will be ready to compete. They give their best to win a medal.
Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
Why do athletes run or compete? (To get a prize that will eventually fade away)
What qualities do athletes need to win? (Self-control, determination, willingness to practice and work hard, etc.)
What do we need as we live for Jesus? (Self-control, determination to do what is right, faithfulness to follow Him, etc.)
Paul says we should run the Christian life with the same determination and self-control an athlete has when he or she competes for a medal that fades away. We will receive a reward from God some day if we are faithful to do what He has asked us to do.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What Can You Learn from Your 3 year old?

Today my daughter, Kyah, turns three! Happy B-day Kyah!
We can learn so much from 3 year olds for instance:
  •  how to thoroughly enjoy life. 
  • They live in the moment never
            worried about tomorrow. 
  • They are little sponges excitely
             soaking up all the new things
             around them with a teachable
             and humble heart.  
  • They are generally happy since
             they are silliness experts
             (see my last blog about how
             silliness ability is important
              to your happiness).
 Yet today, I was surprised to realize that Kyah can even teach me about the two greatest commandments - Love God and Love others more.

1. Love Others - Kyah never says to me, "You are in my personal space." Physical affection is never awkward or uncool at her age. Kyah loves me, her Big Daddy, and sisters no matter what and always wants to spend time with us no matter how we are acting or feeling. We are her world. She is never too busy to drop what she is doing to spend time with one of us. One of her great hugs and a sweet smile can brighten our day like nothing else. I wish I was better at making people feel loved and special the way Kyah does.

2. Love God - Kyah has a true child-like faith, where she trusts and believes without doubt whatever I say. However, that is not how I want to be more like her.  I want to love my Heavenly Father, the way she loves her Daddy. He is definitely her favorite. She is her Daddy's girl! She even has a favorite shirt that says, "My heart belongs to Daddy." She follows him around outside "helping" him with his chores.  But her favorite time is when they just sit and talk. I love to watch her and her Daddy as she soaks up every word he says, and enjoys sharing with him the new things she has learned or experienced that day. This is what my daily quiet time with God should look like. I do an okay job of walking with God throughout my daily activies, but I really need to work on sitting quietly to spend quality time reading His Word and praying on a consistent basis.
The name Kyah means diamond in the sky, so I call her My Shining Star. She has her dramatic moments of sadness, selfishness, and stubborness as any diva does, but generally "My Little Star" truly brightens my life and our home like no one else can with her enjoyment for life and love.

How can you love God and others more? What can you learn from your kids?