Mommy Monday

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Hey y’all! Halloween is officially over so we can now start focusing on Christmas!

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Oh wait. We still have to do Thanksgiving. My bad.

Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving is an okay holiday…but its not my favorite. Honestly, I just see the third Thursday in November as a hurdle to Christmas. But, I DO like how I can weave in little lessons here and there during the Thanksgiving season to help my kiddos (and myself) grasp the concept of thankfulness and having a grateful heart. Need some help in how you can teach your kiddos thankfulness this season? I gotchu, girl. Or should I say, Pinterest has you, girl.

 

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Coffee Cups and Crayons has a great printable you can download to have your older kids (and you and your hubby!) fill out every day in November to help you remember that even the simplest of things can be appreciated! By day ten, you typically have to start really looking at the little things in your life that you can be grateful for!

 

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Not Consumed Ministries has compiled a list of children’s books that help teach thankfulness! You can see the list here!

 

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The Fervent Mama offers a printable pack full of thankfulness activities for kids including memory verses about gratitude!

 

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Another site full of book recommendations about gratitude is Babies to Bookworms!

 

What is one of your family’s favorite thankfulness activities? How do you teach gratefulness to your children? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Halloween is in two days, witches! Are you ready? Got your kids’ costumes all done? Ready to pilfer through their treats to find the stuff YOU want?

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Some people may think that taking candy from your kids’ Halloween bucket is wrong. I think its a great way to teach your kids about LIFE. The folks over at The Holderness Family Vlog feel me!

 

Hashtag Mommy Tax All Day.

 

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Mommy Monday

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As moms, we sacrifice a lot. We go without so our children can have and sometimes its hard to see the things we gain because we’re so focused on what we’ve lost. I saw a video the other day that really hit home and helped me examine my heart and priorities. Take a watch, Mommas, and remember that you’ve gained SO. VERY. MUCH.

 

Mommy Monday

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Its October, y’all! I freaking LOVE fall. I love the cooler temps, the festive food, college football, and the fact that I can wear a hoodie without a bra and no one would know!

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But, along with fall comes something I detest.

Halloween.

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Okay, before you freak out, let me explain. I absolutely LOVE dressing up and the glorious candy-splosion that happens on October 31st. What I can’t stand are Halloween decorations.

But Jessica! That’s part of the fun. 

Not if you’re a parent its not.

Why? Because going to the store to pick up milk or toilet paper, or cereal isn’t an easy(ish) task anymore when its fall and you have kids. The geniuses at Walmart and Target and pretty much every other store think it is a smart move to put crap like this throughout their stores:

 

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And what happens when a child and toddler sees these hideous balloons that are not only terrifying but also make a loud noise due to the fan that keeps them inflated?

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Then, instead of going about our merry way and getting what we came for, I have to spend the next twenty minutes calming down two frantic kids who are acting like they are undergoing an exorcism.

Why don’t you just go a different route to get the things you need? 

I do.

But again, the folks who have set up these things so intelligently placed them IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING STORE.

So while most of the world sees Halloween decor and celebrates…

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…I brace myself for the oncoming storm.

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Mommy Monday

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Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind, being a mom of littles. But then I see people with tweens and teens and praise God that I’m still in the “toddler/little kid” phase of child-rearing. Why am I so glad that I have ankle-biters instead of angsty, pre-pubescent young adults? One reason: FLOSSING.

Y’all. I just can’t with this dance. Before this ridiculous trend there was The Dab. That too, irked me beyond all measure. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I’m really just a grumpy old man in a 33-year-old’s body.

 

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But seriously. I’m over it. Flossing needs to be filed under “Trends To Disappear in 2018” along with LOL Surprises, Fortnite, and political posts on Facebook. I know for a fact I’m not the only parent out there that feels this way. The Holderness Family did a video about it!

 

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Mommy Monday

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The other day, I read a great article about praying for your child as they head back to school. Which I feel is very important. As parents, we should constantly be covering our children in our prayers (and not just in a “Lord, help me not smack this child” kind of way–ha!). I also think its very important to cover your child’s teacher in prayer.

Teaching is a very noble and draining profession. I don’t just mean physically draining, I mean draining in every area of life: emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially. With educators in my family and having many friends who teach, I see first-hand the effects (both good and bad) teaching can have on a person. If you’re wondering how to pray for your child’s teacher, I have a few starting points for you!

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Their Mental Health 

“…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Ephesians 4:23 

In a 2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey in which over 5,000 teachers from all over the country were polled, teacher’s reported poor health. To elaborate, this was pulled from the poll’s website: “Sixty-one percent of the teachers said their work was always or often stressful. Over half agreed that they didn’t feel the same enthusiasm as when they started teaching. They reported experiencing poor health and being bullied at work — by superiors, colleagues, students, or parents — at rates far higher than are reported for other professions. And the vast majority said they are sleep-deprived.” 

You may say, “Yeah, well, my job is stressful too.” And I get that. However, these men and women are literally working to prepare your child for the world and they are getting push back from a myriad of places–their superiors, the district, students, and parents. Not only that, but teachers are having to fight for attention from their classes–many of which are way overcrowded. With social media, YouTube, and gaming right at students’ fingertips, its difficult for teachers to cut through the noise and cell phone usage to actually teach the 30+ students in their classrooms!

What to pray: Pray for your child’s teacher(s) to get adequate rest, to be surrounded by encouraging and uplifting administrators and peers, for a stable and peaceful home life, and that they practice self-care, helping them de-stress. Pray for them to be filled with joy, hope, and renewed zest for their job.

 

Their Financial Situation

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

A study by by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that the national average of  a first-year teacher is $30,377. Not only was teaching found to be one of the lowest paid professions, but the study also concluded that the more years a person taught, the more the wage gap grew.

Some people think, “They knew what they were getting into when they started teaching.” My response to that is quoting Marie Madison from a piece in Tulsa World: “The problem with the phrase “They knew what they were getting into” is that it ignores and dampens hope. It assumes that because we knew we were walking into a difficult situation, we shouldn’t have hoped that we could improve it; that we shouldn’t have hoped that our state would see its children struggling and decide to do something at last.”Our teachers are counting on politicians to make good on promises to fund education, thereby improving their working conditions (i.e., giving them what they actually need to do their job) as well as improve their pay. Something I learned from the teacher walkout earlier this year is that educators would rather have fully funded schools with the resources their students need than get paid more. Teachers around the nation spend an average of $500-$1,000 out of their own pockets to supply their classrooms with basic needs such as pencils, paper, notebooks, and erasers. So not only are teachers paid the bare minimum they also have to buy the basic necessities they need to perform their job. Don’t you think that would add some stress and worry to their day?

What to pray: Pray for the local and federal legislatures to fund education, increase teacher pay, and hire more teachers, creating smaller class sizes. Pray for financial wisdom for your children’s teachers, for donations to be made to their classroom (perhaps that’s something YOU can do), and that the teachers would be blessed financially.

 

Their Physical Safety and Health 

“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Psalm 57:1b 

We face a sad reality: school shootings have become more and more present. With a sister who teaches and a mother who works in a school office, I’m always full of worry for their safety. I never thought I would have to worry about my family being shot because they worked at a school. I know this is a fear of many educators but I also know that every single one of them would put their lives on the line for the safety of every child in their room. The chances are slim, I know, but it is still a reality in which we find ourselves living.

What to pray: Pray for the safety and security of your child’s teacher(s) and school. Pray for teachers and students to be attentive and aware of any potential dangers and for them to speak up if anything seems “off”. Pray for security measures to be put in place at your child’s school to ensure the highest level of safety (another area in which you could volunteer!) and for your child’s teacher(s) to be physically healthy and take care of themselves by staying hydrated, physically active, and eating healthily.

 

What are some prayers you would add to the list?

Mommy Monday

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Hey, Momma! Looking for something to do with the kiddos this Independence Day that isn’t popping fireworks? I’ve rounded up some awesome American-themed activities (thanks, Pinterest!) to keep your kiddos busy and in the patriotic spirit!

Playdough to Plato has an amazing exploding pop rocket activity that’s not only fun, but also educational!

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I know some moms are 110% done with making slime, but for those of you that aren’t, check out this Star Spangled Slime from I Can Teach My Child!

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Summer is great time to do messy crafts outdoors! The kids get to go crazy and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after them! This shaving cream firework craft (also from I Can Teach My Child) can be done in the backyard and then cleaned up with a run through the sprinkler! Everybody wins!

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Learning 4 Kids has an awesome way for kiddos that may not like the sound of firecrackers to still get in on the fun! Plus, you probably have all the necessary items already!

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Would you rather keep the festivities simple? Babies to Bookworms has a great list of Fourth of July books that will keep your kid’s attention and let them learn!

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Have you done any of these crafts? What’s your favorite way to spend the Fourth? Share in the comments below!