living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Confessions of a Mommy Blogger

The other day in our mom’s group, one of the moms, (just for fun) wrote a status called “Confessions.” One mom mentioned she had a pile of clean laundry on her couch for over two weeks, while another confessed her struggles to clean and yet another admitted her dislike of and struggle in the schooling of her child.

The replies went on and on! It made me feel good just reading them all. It was oddly encouraging to know that all of us moms struggle. It could appear that I, as a blogger, have it all together. You might think that I’m organized, creative, a super mom and spiritually mature. You might be very wrong!

Paul said it best when he said “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – I Timothy 1:15

I feel like this verse pretty much sums up my life. I am the chief sinner.  I struggle with my feelings, my responses, my mouth. Ihave too many battles that I need to/ would love to win!

Organized?  BWAHAHAHAHA!  Ok, sorry, I had to have a good laugh there. You should ask my mom. Girl, I am a mess! I “try” to be organized to keep sane. I have to prepare on Friday, for Sundays. I literally write out times to play with my kids and times to clean the house so I  make sure I can get it all done. Even with the lists & schedules, my life is crazy!

Super mom? …more like sinking mom. . 🙂

Ladies, moms, friends, please know I am just like you. We, mommy bloggers, are just like you. We blog because we are learning and we are so excited about our journey that we want to share it with you.

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I hope that you will see through this screen to a humble wife and mother whose laundry is not done, whose child’s room has the smell of potty-training, whose dinner did NOT turn out once again, whose son had 3 meltdowns at church tonight and who finally was able to take a shower at 4:30 today.

I learn and I teach what I learn. More times then not, my teaching comes from studying either the Bible or reading someone else’s life/blog.  So it’s not original with me and, I suspect, it’s not always original with them.

We mommies all have our confessions. We bloggers are just like you. We are not perfect, just sharing our life with you.

Some closing thoughts–

Do you know what? I only need to be awesome to God and my family. YES MA’AM.

The Bible gives me some very simple principles concerning my family.   “… to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” – Titus 2:4

I just have to love my husband and love my children. That may look different in your life than it does in mine. Different families, different husbands and different children have different love languages.

Find out what makes your family members feel loved.   Ask each individual. Then do what it takes to make them feel loved. That may mean that your laundry gets left for a week, or that you don’t get to clean out your frig. It may mean that your child gets some cuddle action while he is watching Veggie Tales or it may mean that you need to put ___________ on hold so that _______________ can be carried out.  (Fill in the blanks.)

Each of our lives are going to look different. We are all going to have rough days and we are all going to have amazing days. So, the next time your friend posts a message about her amazing day, be happy for her, learn from her life lessons and just know that her laundry probably needs to be put away and her dinner might be burning on the stove.

Rejoicing,

Joy T

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Reward and Reproof for the Little Things

One of the most important aspects of parenting is training. Many verses in the Bible talk about instructing your children. But sometimes it is hard to know how to discipline the little things your kids do wrong or how to meaningfully reward the good things that they do right. I’m sure there are lots of ways to accomplish this, but I have found one that has worked so well that I want to share it with all of you.

564A1233One day I was at a store and I saw a shelf with “Admit One” tickets. I decided to buy four different colors for my four older kids. Thus began our ticket system. Every week the kids hang a chain of 10 tickets on the refrigerator. At the end of the week they get to keep their chains and use the tickets to “purchase” items from our treasure box, or they may trade them in for cash…we do 10 tickets = $1.

 

 

However, through the week, I may have them remove tickets from their chain for small infractions…the things that tend to be rooted in carelessness rather than defiance but still need to be addressed. For example, I may say, “You forgot to replace the trash bag when you did your chores this morning. Please take one ticket off your chain.” Or, “Your dresser drawers were left open again. Please go close them, then throw away one ticket.”  When they have all 10 tickets at the end of the week they are very excited!!

So that’s the gist. Here are some other benefits, uses, and suggestions for this ticket system:

Focus Areas

I especially like using tickets for areas that we are focusing on. For example, being a homeschooling family, our classroom gets very messy very fast! So we might have a classroom campaign where I train them on my expectations. And while we’re focusing on that area, I’ll take away tickets at the end of the school day if they don’t pass inspection. Other areas I have focused on are responding correctly when spoken to (“Ok, mommy” or “Yes m’am”), putting dirty laundry in the hamper, and completing chores thoroughly.

Stewardship

Because the tickets are exchangeable for money, they give the kids opportunity to learn fin564A1247ancial responsibility. If the tickets are lost, they are null and void. We have our kids determine a specific place that they plan to keep their tickets…a drawer, a coin purse, a pencil box, etc. They may receive a penalty if I find them laying around because I want the kids to learn to be faithful stewards.

Different Colors

Having a different color for each kid will eliminate the problem of arguing over whose tickets were found under the couch cushion. Just sayin’…

Ticket Jobs

The kids can ask to do “ticket jobs” during their free time. I have a list of household jobs beyond their regular chores like cleaning out the microwave, dusting, cleaning the mirrors, wiping crayon off the walls with a magic eraser (I have two toddlers!), wiping down blinds, air vents, baseboards, etc. We decided not to give them a regular allowance, so this gives them (especially the older kids) an opportunity to earn extra money by working around the house. A few months ago a family at our church was raising money for an adoption; my kids worked hard doing ticket jobs so they could fill a baby bottle with coins. It blessed me greatly to see them working so hard to help this family. (And big bonus, the house was really clean!!)

Appropriate for Ages 3-12

In the years that I have used this system my kids have ranged from 3 to 11. It has been very effective for all of them. My current 3 yr old loves getting stickers, little trinkets, and sometimes candy from our treasure box.  I recently got a roll for my 2 yr old so he wouldn’t feel left out. He doesn’t really understand it yet, but the tickets are fun to push around in his dump truck, and apparently they taste good too. 😉564A1244

Bonus Tickets

This is one of my favorite things! Sometimes if a child has victory in an area they have struggled in or do something helpful without being asked, I like to randomly give them tickets that they don’t expect. For example, “Wow, you did such a good job cleaning up your room, and I didn’t even have to ask you to do it!  Why don’t you go get two bonus tickets.” These are also in addition to the ones hanging on the fridge. This is a tangible, visible way of reinforcing their good choices, and the kids just glow when they get bonus tickets!

Below is a link to a helpful companion resource.  It’s called the “If-Then” Chart, and it helps parents pre-determine consequences for various infractions. If you and your husband and the kids know ahead of time what course of action you will take for their disobedience or carelessness, it keeps you from having to think on your feet, which is especially difficult in a moment of frustration. Hope this helps!!

http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=14

“For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:12

-Teresa ❤


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Simple Sanity Savers #1

Every once in a while, I have one of those “aha” moments when it comes to keeping the house organized.

So, I’m going to share a few with you over the next couple of weeks. These are super simple, and won’t change your life! But they might take care of a tiny problem for you, and save you a little stress.

Simple Sanity Saver #1

Threat to my sanity: Messy Movies!

If you’re like us, the movies are never, ever in their cases. We had a larger entertainment center with lots of shelving. It always drove me nuts. No one put movies back into their cases except me. So, there was always at least one huge stack of DVDs on the entertainment center.(There were usually stacks on all of the 6 shelves, plus a pile behind the center, and under it…you get the picture!) It was so time consuming to keep them organized.

Sanity Saver:

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We tossed all our cases and bought some of these CD/DVD holders for 3-ring binders. We have 3-ring binders all over the place, so this was a pretty inexpensive fix to my stress! You can get them in the electronic section of Walmart. Now, it’s easy to just stick the movies back in our movie book. The kids can do it without having to find the proper case. Ahhhh… peace!

At first, I was hesitant to throw away the cases, but I’m so over it! Having the chaos reigned in is completely worth it. We did keep our nicer boxed sets like Andy Griffith, and Little House on the Prairie, because it’s difficult to know which episodes are on which disc without the boxes. Other than that, this sweet little movie book has saved me from huffing and puffing, being mad at my family for not putting them in their cases!

I hope this can help reduce the house-stress in your life!

❤ Joy