Daniel Tiger and Moral Behaviorism

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 30•14

 

Daniel Tiger

The only show that my toddlers watch 5-7 days out of the week is Daniel Tiger.  We only have Netflix so I can just put one on in the morning as I’m cleaning up from breakfast before we go out to do any errands or go to Bible study.  Both of my little boys love it.

I do believe my older son’s first sentence was (in his own language) “Daniel Tiger rides a school bus”.  School bus is his term for anything that moves that’s big.  And my younger son does The Twist when the theme music begins.

I love that the show is based on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which I loved as a child.  Teaches good things to kids and helps them learn social behavior that is acceptable.  My mister even was telling me the other night that he was able to put a Daniel Tiger song into practice during a conversation with some co-workers.

And I write this blog  post from a stand point of a Mom who is in the throws of trying to get my two year old to behave.  I’m trying to teach him about authority and what is right and wrong.  When not to run away, why shoving his brother is wrong, how to share toys, why we don’t spit out food onto the table, why we don’t pitch fits when we leave time with Daddy at his store, why we don’t scream in the car long enough to make his brother cry.

Daniel Tiger is great at teaching what to do and how to be nice while doing it – playing nicely with others.  Obeying your parents, giving hugs, etc.  But, if that is all we teach our children as Christian parents, than we are missing the (gospel) boat entirely.

When my son disobeys, like he is right now because I’ve asked him to be quiet and play in his room or take a nap and he is singing and talking at the top of his lungs, I have trouble because I go to him and I say “I love you, E, BUT I really want you to obey Mommy.”  When I should be saying “I love you E AND I really want you to obey Mommy.  Here are some truths I’m learning about this way of parenting:

1.  My love for my sons should not be conditional upon their obedience.  I remember asking my Mom one time decades ago what she would do if I or my brother killed someone.  She said I’d still love you, pray for you, and I’d turn you in.  Good job, Mom!  They should not have to work for my love or my snuggles.  The Bible is very clear on this in Romans 5.10

2.  Our children should learn how to have good behavior.  Not by bribing, not by rewarding, not be yelling – but just because that is what is expected of them as one of our children. I don’t want to raise two little Pharisees, I want to raise little boys who see their need for a Savior.  My Mister and I have been talking about this, especially now that our older one has gotten to a point where he completely understands what we are saying when we are trying to get him to obey.  A sweet friend who is years ahead of me in parenting told me that these early years are for your children to learn that the parents are the authority.  If they don’t learn that, they will have a harder time learning God’s authority.  And that is where we definitely want to point them.  One key Scripture is Ephesians 6:1-4

3.  The main point of the Gospel is not so we will be better Christians.  The Gospel is not there to tell us how to be good.  It is actually the opposite.  The Gospel tells us that we can’t be good and we can’t obey. The sin nature living in us makes us want to do our own things.  Only turning our lives over to Jesus and relying on the Holy Spirit to shape us and live through us will work.  Believing through faith is salvation.  That faith is given to us.  Out of a heart that has been changed will come right obedience.  See Romans 6-8 and Ephesians 2.

4.  We have to discipline, love and teach the Bible to our children through the eyes of the Gospel.  We can’t teach them Bible stories that will lead them to share better, be kind more, or obey.  We need to teach discipline, love, and teach them so they see Jesus in EVERYTHING.  We must be the ones who share the Gospel with our children.

After all, that is our biggest job as Christian parents.  Show the Gospel to our children.  And pray the Holy Spirit will turn their little hearts.

 

Grace and Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 29•14

grace peanut butter and chocolate

I’ve already reviewed this book for Crossway and I stand behind everything I say.  But, in this post I want to encourage (mostly Moms) yall from some of the highlights that I read.  I’m grateful for Gloria’s writing, examples, and Christ-centered encouragement to other moms in the world.  Many things I could relate to – and no matter what stage of mothering you are in, I’m sure you can to.

“It’s tempting to view everyday life merely as a monotonous cycle of making the beds on to be in them again.” (63)

Don’t let life be mundane to you.  I know we have to clean and cook dinner and change diapers and run car pool.  But, don’t be ok with that.  That is when life gets boring and we get discouraged.  Make fun things happen, change your attitude – don’t live there.

“Controlling my circumstances wouldn’t fill the void in my soul.  You can’t organize your way into communion with God.” (78)

I see this in myself a lot today.  My littler toddler is sick.  I can’t take them anywhere I normally go because he would be around children and I don’t want him to get others sick.  So we are at home.  In a small townhome, all day.  Well, I can’t control that.  Now I can either apply the gospel or live in a bad mood the rest of the day until they go to bed?  It is choice!

“God is greater, more powerful, and more mysterious than we could ever dream, and it will take an eternity for him to reveal to us his magnificence.” (92)

God is our reward – not the perfection of heaven.  He is infinite and no matter how much we seek to know him on this side of his presence – we will never know him fully – because He is inexhaustible.

“Our craving for admiration is diluted and the praise of others is muffled as we serve with the strength God supplies.  Why would we take credit for the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives?” (105)

This is an area of biggest struggle for me.  God is the one who does the work and needs to get all the praise for it.

“I need God’s grace and something baked with peanut butter and chocolate.” (138)

Perhaps my favorite line in the book!

“I forget that homemaking is not primarily about my personality; it is primarily to adorn the gospel because the grace of God has appeared.” (155)

Another one of those needed statements that I will need to think through.

This book is highly marked up and I’m shipping it out today to a friend who will also love this book.  There are many other things I highlighted that I’ve talked about with friends or my husband because they bring up too much hurt from past relationships.

Mom – keep pursuing the gospel in your parenting!  God has got this!  Be encouraged!

 

Soft and Chunky Oreo Peanut Butter Cookies

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 28•14

 

Soft and Chunky Oreo Peanut Butter Cookies

Here are two disclaimers for this recipe post about a delicious cookie:

1.  I am a purist when it comes to Oreo Cookies.  None of these fancy seasonal flavors or even the double stuff or reduced-fat. No, give me the original!

2.  I wouldn’t say that peanut butter cookies are my favorite.  There are plenty in front of it.

So, when I passed by the Peanut Butter Oreos in the Wal-Mart aisle today, it could only be my creative streak and giving into my son when he said “cookie” that made me want to whip up a batch of these.

Elijah's first baking

But how would Oreos and Reece’s Pieces (E. T. Phone Home – my husband’s favorite childhood flick) go together.  I guess there was only one way to find out!

Reece's Pieces

Bake!

These cookies were like pillow-soft.  I loved that about them.  Perfect texture.  I loved the chewiness with the texture from the Oreo pieces and candy coating from the Reece’s.  My husband said he wouldn’t change a thing. I’m glad. I adore these cookies.

And the colors work perfectly for the Fall.

Soft and Chunky Oreo Peanut Butter Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: cookies
Cuisine: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-24
 
Soft, chewy, chunky, peanut butter cookies - easy to munch on all night!
Ingredients
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup regular sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup crushed Oreos (but not too fine)
  • 1 cup mini Reece's Pieces
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add peanut butter, egg, and vanilla - mix for another 5.
  3. Add in dry ingredients
  4. Fold in Oreos and Reece's.
  5. Spray 3 cookies sheets with cooking spray.
  6. Preheat oven to 350
  7. Spoon out onto sheet pans and bake for 10-12 minutes or until set - but don't overcook.
  8. Let cool.
  9. Devour

 

Prayer Journaling in Your Bible (ESV Journaling Bible Giveaway)

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 28•14

 

ESV Bible Giveaway

We all look back at different periods in our lives and see them as pivotal points in our lives.  There are two in my life that pertain to this blog post:

College.  Most people would probably say college, but I don’t say college for the same reason as many would.  I loved college – don’t get me wrong.  But, the best thing I got out of college was not a degree – but was a dear friendship with my mentor.  She taught me – more than anything else – how to believe the Word of God for the hope of the ones that she loves. She prays all the time for her family members (and me, and others).  I’ve seen the fruit of years of prayer that God has faithfully answered.

Louisville.  For almost three years I lived and worked in Louisville, KY.  I worked for SBTS and enjoyed my time assisting one of the Deans there.  It was not only great for my personal life, but also for my spiritual life.  During that time I was introduced to the ESV Journaling Bible and started using it for my note taking – and I was taught how Christ is in ALL the Scriptures.  Basically – what it means to live a gospel-centered life and how all of the Bible points to Christ.  This time in Louisville greatly impacted my life, writing, and now even my parenting and marriage.

Since I’ve gotten married, I’ve started writing prayer journals for my husband.  But, I don’t just pray random prayers – though I do.  I pray through books of the Bible for him.  You can find the one for Ephesians on Amazon and the one for Nehemiah on the blog.  Colossians will be out in early 2015 with Philippians to follow.  I love reading through a particular book of the Bible and systematically praying for my husband.

I’ve also been praying in similar ways for my boys.  I usually pray through parenting books for them, but also want to start journaling in a Bible for them – so they can see the prayers I prayed for them when they get older, or even after I’m in the presence of Jesus.  To have that legacy, a failed legacy many times, but one were I strive to pray for them daily.

And I’m writing prayers for myself and other moms – prayers that point us to the hope of the Gospel in this very hard task that we seek to accomplish every day.  Those will be coming out late 2015.

That’s why I love the ESV Journaling Bible.  I’ve given one of my old ones to each of my sons – so they can have my handwritten notes later on in their lives.  I got that idea from my friend Daniel Renstrom.  (Thanks, D.)

But, now, if I had my dream world: I would have four journaling Bibles – all different so I could keep track of which is which.  I would want one for my husband, one for each of my boys, and one for myself.  That is how I take sermon notes and journal through Bible studies.  Next year I’m studying Deuteronomy and what the Bible has to say about Family – while also keeping up with She Reads Truth.

So, how can you use a journaling Bible to aid in your prayers for your friends and family – or even for yourself:

1.  Read the Bible systematically.  I love working through a particular book of the Bible.  As my pastor says – it helps you love that particular book.  He just preached through Daniel. As I look in my journaling Bible, I see that I know more about Christ and the book/times of Daniel than I did before.  My notes are right there – application points and everything.

2.  Mark it up!  That’s what it is there. I’ve not found any writing instrument except a pencil that won’t show through at all.  I don’t use any that bleed through, but I can tell that I’ve written something.  I use Micron pens 005 and 01 for most of my writing in my Bible.  I love being able to see what the Lord has taught me through the Holy Spirit and the depth of His Word.  Encouragement comes to us through the Word (Romans 15)

Through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have HOPE! – Romans 15.4

3.  Always have it with you.  My bag I carry with my most of the time (not a diaper bag) has my journaling Bible in it and blank notecards.  The blank notecards are for my doodling and drawing and lettering.  The journaling Bible is for my digging into the Word.  In Sunday School one of the ways I keep my mind from wandering is by doing application in my head with the verses that are being studied that day.  In my morning quiet time, I jot down things that I’ve learned – or even re-writes the studied verse in the margin (that’s what I love the ESV Journaling Bible).  Writing out Scripture is for me – the best way to learn it.  I love having write the Word parties in my home.  It is a great way to connect and share with ladies over the Word of God.

4.  Love the Word.  One of the ways I know I love a certain portion of Scripture is (yes, by knowing it) by seeing how much it is marked up in my Journaling Bible.  Colossians, Psalms, Philippians, Hebrews, James – just to name a few. I can’t wait to see all the marks in Deuteronomy at the end of 2015.

God, through the Holy Spirit, speaks life-changing hope and freedom through His Word.  And by using the ESV Journaling Bible, taking notes, marking it up, praying for your loved ones, you will leave a written legacy of how the Spirit changed your heart and transformed you into HIS likeness for the generations to come – so that they might know him.

That the next generation might know them (the teachings), the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God. – Psalm 78.6-7

Thanks to the kind people at Crossway, they’ve given me a Bible (the red Journaling Bible) to giveaway.  Here are a couple ways to enter:

1.  Leave a comment here.

2.  Share this post on FB, IG, Pinterest, Twitter.

3.  Leave a comment on one of my posts about this blog post.

Drawing will be when I go to bed late on Halloween night! (that’s Friday night).

 

Fall Bucket List with Toddlers

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 27•14

Fall Bucket List for Toddlers

I feel like my life as a SAHM of two little toddler boys is always crazy.  Whether we are sliding down slides, playing in mall play yards, eating junior frosties, donuts, or mandarin oranges, or anxiously awaiting Daddy’s arrival from work each day – every day holds smiles, tears (of course), and hand holding.

The Fall, being that it is my favorite season, holds more planned activities for my littles.  So, I’ve wanted to come up with a bucket list.  Some of which we have already done, some which we will save for when Oma and Granddad arrive around Thanksgiving, and some which we might not get to get this year.

Savor every moment.

Bake Pumpkin Cookies or muffins or cake – just bake with pumpkin!

Pick apples (and eat them).  This year we won’t get to an apple orchard, but it is a fun activity and I’m sure the boys will love it in years to come. They do love to eat the apples we get from Trader Joes.

apple picking

Paint pumpkins (or other fall vegetables)

Painting Squash

Play in piles of raked leaves (we don’t really have a yard, so this may have to wait until another year or two as well)

Take Pumpkin photos

Elijah at Kinsey Family Farm

Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  A must! (Which first aired today in 1966, shortly after my Mom graduated high school)

Make Thanksgiving garland (we started this last year – adding a leaf a day in November)

Send TY notes to the pastors of your church (October is Pastor Appreciation month)

Watch Luther (ok, this may not happen for a while, but they need to learn about this great man of God and what he did for all of Christianity in the 1500s.

Go on a hayride.  We did this with Elijah during his first fall and missed our opportunity by mere minutes this year, but will certainly aim to do it again in later years.

Hayride in North Little Rock

Boo at the Zoo.  This was incredibly packed but also fun.  Our family doesn’t really participate in Halloween, but it was fun to go see all the cute costumes and get their first Halloween candy this year.  No costume needed and completely safe.  And this is held at most zoos.

What is a part of your Fall Bucket List for your little ones?

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 27•14

Orange Bowl - Little Rock

We are at the end of another month.  Fall is slipping quickly away from us.  The nights and mornings are darker and chillier.  Here is what is taking place in our kitchen this week:

Pasta Bake (from my freezer night with friends)

Asparagus Ham Swiss Quiche

Chicken Sausages from TJ

Corn Waffles

Pumpkin Pancakes

Cream Toffee Dip for our Bstudy ladies on Wednesday morning

Lentil Chard Soup that I made over the weekend.

Lots of oats and scrambled eggs and grilled chicken on spinach for me!

 

31 Hymns: The Authority of Christ

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 24•14

The Authority of Christ

Since I’ve been doing old school hymns, thought I would switch it up today.  One of the ways I care for my soul is by listening to Sojourn’s Songs from the Book of Luke CD (and really any of their music).  This particular hymn is written by a friend of the Mister’s who is at a church in Nashville – always gospel stuff from him.

This first song on the aforementioned album is stellar.  I love it and sing it at the top of my lungs (in the car) when I hear it.

Oh that we might live with the same understanding and practice of the authority of Christ in our lives:

And because of this song – I love the person of Simeon – wow – what privilege (just a side note)

 

Teaching Children to be Readers

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 23•14

Teaching Children to Read

Being a parent is amazing and hard and always full of new moments.  But, this moment we are in right now is something I’ve waited for. “Mommy” then I get a little pat on my leg and I see my older toddler standing there in front of me with a book in his tiny hands.  Begging for me to read to him.  So, I do. Over and over again.

There is a certain train book from Usborne books (gift from Oma) that he has carried everywhere – coffee shops, hikes, car trips, gym kid’s club – and Daddy has even had to tape it up.  It came with a little train – sometimes we can find it sometimes we can’t.  But, no matter – he has other cars that will work on its tracks – or at least work for him.

Elijah and the Train book

One of the things I want to instill most in my kids (besides a love for God) is a love of reading.  I love to read and I know how books take you to other places, teach you so much more than you could ever learn, and also put a desire in you to see the world around you.  C S Lewis and L. M. Montgomery are two of those authors for me.  I have a feeling the boys will love L. A. Wilder, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Andrew Peterson.  We shall see.  Can’t wait to actually read chapter books with them at night.  But, that is a moment in time later to come.

How can you instill a love of reading in children?

1.  Use the library.  We go to the library some for story time.  My boys are harder to sit still than some others but we still attempt it and its good song and play time too.  The public libraries, especially in bigger cities, are great resources (and free)!

2.  Buy them books.  Buy them at thrift stores, online book clubs, ask for them for presents.

3.  Read to them.  Use some time before bed, or after breakfast to read to them.  It teaches them to pay attention and sit still but also helps stir up an amazing appetite to read.

4.  Be patient with them as they learn to read.  My boys aren’t to that stage yet, but I have to be willing as their Mommy to be patient, let them stumble over words, help them when I need to, and listen to them.

5.  Encourage them to write their own stories.  This time will come too.  I still have the first book I wrote in 4th grade – all about animals.  I can’t wait to show it to our boys.  I hope they will love it and not laugh!

6.  Read different genres.  As a gospel Christian, I do like to read boys about Jesus to them.  But…I love to read them other books about the world God created and things that happen in it and teach them about a Christian worldview – seeing everything through the lens of the Gospel.  That is so important to teach to our children early in their learning adventure.

My friend Leah is an Usborne consultant.  They have delightful and interactive books for children of all reading levels.  Here is a link to an online party I am hosting for her.  I have been pleased with the Train book so far – and so has our toddler.  I’m sure you will find some your children like as well.

What are your favorite books to read to your children?

 

Read This: Women of the Word (Jen Wilkin/Crossway)

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 22•14

Women of the Word

Our days are so full!

As a Mom of two toddlers – and very active boys at that – I know what full days are.  They are fun, encouraging, eventful, demanding, and days filled with laughter.  We are always on the go, exploring new parts of our city or heading out to hang out with some friends or go see Daddy at work, or walk along the river or see animals at the zoo.  I love cherishing times with my sweet boys.

But, something else I highly look forward to is either the days when they sleep in late and I get up to get some time in the Word in early – or their nap times – so I can again get encouraged by being in the Word.

The new(ish) book by Jen Wilkin, who serves at The Village Church in Texas, helps women with their understanding of how to better study – and fall in love with – the Bible (and more importantly, it’s Author).

I’m thankful for Jen’s organization, gospel-driven remarks, personal history with the Word, and imploring her readers to invest their time in the study of the Word – not just the glancing at it as you go along.

One of the hardest chapters for me to impliment on a daily basis if praying and the word.  I love the pray – and have written journals for wives to pray for their husbands, working on a prayer journal for moms to pray for themselves as moms, but really to engage in the word – before, during, and after – by praying.  Usually, I approach the Word quickly and haughtily and just start reading.  I’m thankful that Jen included this in her book.

“Ask him to make his word come alive for you in such a way that you

know him better and see your own needs of him more clearly.

 – Jen Wlkin

If you are looking for a way to learn how to study the book, or need encouragement in how to love the Word – turn to Jen’s book.  It is for women, new believers and the believers who’ve known Jesus a while.

 

31 Hymns: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 22•14

When I Survey

This is bar far one of my husband’s favorite hymns. It tells a story of his conversion and his growing in Christ while in high school.  I love hearing him tell how Christ saved him.

And one of the stanzas coincides nicely with a Pauline theme that was found in Philippians 3 this morning in our small group study of it at church.  Always love how God gets your attention over and over again.  He is ever gracious and patient with us (as I also was reminded of again in my reading in 2 Peter via She Reads Truth.)

He is good to remind us of our need and gift of the Gospel.