living on pb & j

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


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.


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!!

“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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Do You Know Your Homemaking Strengths?


homemaking (2)

I love being a “keeper at home.” On top of it being my part of my calling from the Lord, it’s a great creative outlet and opportunity to express myself. I am not only the “housekeeper”, I am the interior decorator, the chef, the seamstress, the custodian, the personal shopper, and much more. I’m sure you could add your own titles to your homemaking resume. Being a homemaker can be a rewarding job, but it’s also a challenging one.

If we are going to find joy and fulfillment in our role as keepers at home, one thing we need to do is to find and realize our strengths and be aware of our weaknesses.

I. Realize the Strength of Your Place

By this I mean, do not diminish the importance of the role you have. God has commanded us to be “keepers at home” (Tit. 2:5), and instructed us to “guide the house” (I Tim. 5:14). This is no small responsibility. The world may not view our jobs as glamorous, or even worthy; but if we see our place and our purpose in our homes as something that is important and precious to God, we will realize that it is not only a duty, but a joy to seek to fulfill it.

II. Realize the Strength of Your Personality

Every personality has strengths and weaknesses. We need to learn to incorporate and make the most of our strengths in every area of our lives, including our homes. We then need to ask God to help us in our weak areas. The wonderful thing is that He tells us that His “strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Cor. 12:9).

Let’s look at some examples. Maybe you’re an organizer and a perfectionist by nature. This can be a great strength. You may excel in the cleaning of your home, and the organization of your family. Your weakness may be that you tend to expect perfection, and feel frustrated and disappointed because it’s always just out of reach. Make the most of your strength! Use your organization and detail skills to keep your home at its best. Then ask the Lord to help you give your expectations to Him, and to enable you to relax enough to enjoy your family.

Another example may be the opposite of this. Maybe you’re a very laid-back, relaxed personality. Your strength may be in the ability to be flexible and creative. You probably take the time to go outside and play with your kids, and not worry so much about the house being perfect. What a gift that is! On the other hand, you may need to ask the Lord to help you to not be so relaxed and fun-loving that you neglect the tasks of keeping your home “clean enough to be healthy”.

Maybe you fall somewhere in between these two examples. The key here is to find your personal strengths, and make the most of the gifts God has given you. Then, be honest with yourself, and seek God’s help in your areas of weakness, and know that He is able and willing to give it.

III. Realize the Strength of Your “Palace”

Part of the joy of being a homemaker is learning to enjoy our home. If you’re expecting to have your “dream house”, you may live in a world of disappointment. It is easy to focus on the problems and shortcomings of our homes, instead of maximizing their potential.

My house is an older home. Now, I love old homes, and when we first looked at our house, it wasn’t in bad condition, but it really needed some love! It has been a lot of fun to fix it up, and make it reflect our personalities and lifestyle. It has also been a lot of work! Be willing to invest in your home, not only financially, but with love and creativity.

If you’re on a budget (and who’s not?!), don’t use that as an excuse to do nothing. Instead, use that as inspiration to get creative. Go to your library, or get on Pinterest, and find looks that reflect styles you like, and get ideas. Then, adapt them to your home and budget. Will it take some effort? Sure. But is it worth it? Absolutely!

View your home as your own personal “palace”, a gift from the Lord. Realize the strength of a welcoming home, not only to serve your family, but to serve the Lord. Use it as a place of hospitality. Your home is a reflection of you. So as you look around today, are you pleased with that reflection? More importantly, is the Lord pleased? If not, begin to make some changes.

I am still working on this constantly in my own life.  How has the Lord challenged and helped you in surrendering your strengths, and overcoming your weaknesses as a homemaker?  I’d love to hear from you!

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Snack Attack Remedy

Brenda's Snack Attack Remedy

Do you ever have family members with multiple snack attacks in one day? From my experience in homeschooling several children, I know that home schooling is not just schooling. It includes preparing meals and cleaning more often than if you were not living in the house all day, and much more. Snack attacks can become overwhelming to mom with several people having them at any given time. =)

In our relocation, the Lord gave me a friend – who loves the Lord – who is the wife of a police officer – who home schools several children – who understands – who is real life – who has been there – who IS there – who is dedicated to the task – who is creative – who makes me laugh – who encourages – who is pretty amazing! Her name is Brenda. She shared this creative idea recently of keeping snacks in individual jars for each child. This saves time, sanity, and lets the children see and know what the snack options are and when the snacks are available during the day. Each jar is decorated individually. What person doesn’t love personalized items? Brenda graciously let me share her “Mom Tip” with you – which could be applied no matter where your children are educated. It might work for us moms, too! 😉 Get prepared for family winter snack attacks!

♥ Jeri Lynn

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” -I Corinthians 14:40