Category Archives: Family

How To Wake Your Kids Up In The Morning

As parents, we set the tone for the whole day, good or bad, starting with how we wake our kids up.
It is never easy getting kids up in the mornings, especially on school days, if you hope to do it without making them grumpy in the process.
At the end of this article I share a method for waking my kids up that Becky and I have found to be most effective, but first I want to share with you what I have learned NOT to do.

Do not SING
This one was doomed to work from the start because I am a horrible singer.
And to make things worse, my choice of songs were not always the best, like…

“Get up, Get up, get busy, busy…Get up and move that body! Get up, get up get busy, now the night is over”
“Rise and shine, and give God the glory , glory”, clapping my hands loudly as I sing of course.
“It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, its Monday morrrrrrrrrrrrrning”. I think I made this one up myself.

For some reason, when I sang, they just pulled the covers over their heads and screamed “STOP!”
Stay away from singing.

Do not YELL
Yelling is typically not intentional, but on occasion it has been what I thought was the only way to get their attention.
Normally, it’s because we’re running behind, got up late or we thought the kids were up, only to find out 10 minutes before it’s time to go that they never got up in the first place. Now everyone is in a frantic rush and it’s next to impossible to have a good start to the day with this scenario.
Yelling doesn’t put anyone in a good mood.

Do not TURN ON THE LIGHTS
I’ve tried this a few times and although it does wake them up, they instantly pull the covers over their head and just scream.
This doesn’t seem to get them in the best of moods either for some reason. Let them turn their own lights on.

Do not BLARE MUSIC in their ears
Somehow, I really thought that this method would be fun. Who doesn’t like music right?
I even went as far as to download a song on my phone just for the purpose of waking them up.
You know the song from the movie Madagascar….”I like to move it move it”?
Who doesn’t like that song? It was the perfect song to get up to, so I thought.
WRONG! For some reason hearing this song blaring in your ear first thing in the morning is not how my kids like to be woke up.
I have to admit, that I thought it was kind of fun at first, but it didn’t last long once I realized that they were not enjoying it as much as I did.
Maybe a softer, more gentle, song choice would have been wiser.

After all this experimenting, there is one method that we have settled on and determined to work the best.

How to wake them up in a good mood…

  1. First, wake yourself up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than normal. You want to be up and ready ahead of the kids so that you can put your full focus into them. If you get up late yourself then you almost have to revert to the “Yelling” or “Turn the Lights On” method and that is never, ever fun.
  2. About 15 minutes prior to the time that you really need the kids to get up, turn a light on that is near their room, but not the one in their room. The hallway, bathroom or closet light should work. Go into their rooms, gently touch them on the shoulder and, with the softest voice that you have, simply say, “Good Morning”. They should at least shuffle under the covers a little or turn over.
  3. Now just walk away. They will not get up yet, but that’s ok. This is Stage 1 and the point is just to get them stirring.
  4. Now, go spend some time packing their lunches or getting breakfast going.
  5. Stage 2: Come back to them after about 15 minutes. This time speak to them in a normal voice, letting them know that it is time to get up. Stick around until you see them actually get out of the bed. Don’t say anything else, just stand there for a minute. Most of the time they will sense that you are there and know you mean business. Don’t let them drag things out; give them a minute at the most. If you walk away without seeing them out of bed and moving, you could come back later only to find that they have fallen back to sleep. Then you have to revert to yelling and the whole day gets off track.

This method may not work to perfection at first, but if you do it every day they will eventually get used to the routine.  You may even be pleasantly surprised on occasion and find them already up before you make it back for the second wake up call.

Think about how you woke your kids up when they were a newborn and simply continue to treat them the same as they get older.

Determine in your minds today that every day will be a good day and it all starts with me.
Make it your purpose to start the day off right, by waking the kids up gently and in a good mood.

I would love to hear from you.
How has your experience been in waking your kids up? Good or bad?
Do you have another method that seems to work well?

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How to Deal with an Argumentative Teen

The next time you’re teen wants to get argumentative with you, ask them this question before proceeding to have a conversation with them.
“Am I dealing with a 34-year-old or a 4-year-old?”. Then treat them accordingly.
@DaveRamsey


It’s OK To Say “No”

Don’t be afraid to tell your teen No.
Although they may not outwardly express it, there may be times when they actually want you to say “No”, so that they can in turn use you as an excuse to then tell their friends, “No”.


Family Time

When is the last time you sat down at the dinner table and played a board game with your family?
Try entertaining each other instead of being entertained by Hollywood.


Teens and Boundaries

Teens need boundaries. Boundaries, like a fence, keep them from getting into trouble and trouble from getting in.


Teens and Freedom

Teens like freedom, but freedom must be earned by showing responsibility.


Good Parenting Tip

Teach your kids good habits.
Be intentional about spending time with them in prayer each day this year.


Parenting 2014: Our Story

Our parenting journey began with the birth of Collin in October 1998. Becky and I were still young at the time, in our lower 20s. Both of our careers were still developing, but we decided that it would be best if she quit her job to stay at home with the kids. Those early years don’t last long and they are so critical in a childs’ development.

Connor was born 15 months after Collin and then Colton about 3.5 years after him. That allowed Becky 8 or 9 years to be at home with the kids before they were all in school. She continued her education while she was at home though and became an RN so that she would have something to do when the kids reached school age. We do not regret the decision for her to be at home with the kids one bit. Our kids received a lot of one on one time and that has helped them tremendously in more ways than we probably know of.

During their early years Becky and I read to them a lot and just simply spent time playing with them. I remember being on the floor a lot, letting them roll me around like a log. Blue Clues, Dora and the Wiggles were popular then as well. Collin learned to write by mimicking Steve and his Handy Dandy Notebook with a Magna Doodle that we had bought him and still to this day, I find myself singing songs like “Big Red Car” and “Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy”. Dora was a step ahead of Dave Ramsey, by saying, “Swiper, No swiping.” We took lots of pictures and videos and had a blast while they were young.

As the kids grew older we started them off in T-ball for a couple of years and dabbled in gymnastics, but one day Collin came home from school with a martial arts book and expressed interest in trying that out. We researched a couple options and decided to go with TKD (Tae Down Do). After Collin started, Connor got in it, then Colton and I joined. Martial arts became a family thing that we did together for about 6 or 7 years. It was a large commitment, because we were at the school for several days a week, but we all eventually met our goal and became black belts. Collin and Connor even earned their second degree.

During this time we also were introduced to a ministry called Bible Quizzing at our church and have since committed our lives to that. Bible Quizzing is a program that is meant to give kids motivation, through competition, for learning scriptures from the Bible, but we are not just talking a few scriptures. Our kids learned 300 to 500 verses each year depending on the age division they are in. We spend an hour or so each evening memorizing and reviewing scriptures together. They must know them to the point that given a unique word they can tell you what verse that word is found in and then quote the scripture word for word. I take them and other quizzers to local and national tournaments to quiz against other teams on what they have learned. Bible quizzing has changed our lives forever. If you are interested in learning more about it check out http://www.seniorbiblequizzing.com or http://www.upcquiz.com.

Even with Bible Quizzing as our main focus, the kids still love to do things many other kids do. Connor made the middle school basketball team this year and Colton plays Upward basketball, a christian based basketball league sponsored by a local church.
Collin started piano when he was 10 and has excelled at that. He performs multiple recitals each year and has joined the music ministry at the church, playing for the youth services as well as subbing in when needed for the main services. Collin has also become infatuated with the Rubix cube. He has spent countless hours mastering it to the point that he can now solve it in under 20 seconds average, with his best time so far being 12 seconds. Connor and Colton have recently began music lessons as well. One is learning guitar and the other drums. I play the bass, so my dream is that one day we can all play together as a family band.

I share all of this with you so that as I write on parenting in 2014 you will know that we are just a typical American family, but we are also rooted and grounded in our christian faith. We love God and we love family and our main goal as parents is to make those things the foundation upon which our kids are raised.

I look forward to writing on parenting this year. As we get deeper into the teenage years, I am realizing that we have a lot of learning to do if we are to stay on top of things and help our kids become what God has intended for them to be.

May God bless you in 2014


Parenting in 2014

This year I plan to focus my writing for this blog on parenting.

God has blessed Becky and I with 3 boys. At this moment 2 of them are teenagers and one of them will be there soon.
Collin is 15, Connor is 13, (soon to be 14) and Colton is 10.
Our kids are not prefect and Becky and I are no where near perfect parents, but to this point we believe that we have done as good of a job as we knew how at raising great kids.
Now, as they are getting older, our focus is not going to be so much on raising great kids, but raising kids to be great adults.

In the next post I hope to provide some credibility by sharing with you our story in raising our kids to this point.
Going forward I’ll be sharing both our successes and failures in parenting, with the goal of providing some value that you can take and use or learn from.

Parenting can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging as well, especially with teenagers.
We have been given an enormous responsibility. Our kids are the future and they will make an impact on society as adults, positively or negatively. We have the power to make this world a better place to live and it all starts with how good of a job that we do as parents.

My kids are waking up right now or need to be woke up and I need to turn my attention to them for a while, but I can’t wait to start by writing our story to share it with you.
If you have kids or even grandkids please enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right.
Doing so will ensure that any future articles that I write will be delivered directly to you.
I want to learn from you as well and the best way to do that is to make this interactive in the comments section of each post.
Together we can help each other in the challenging role of parenting.

Have a very Happy New Year!


The Christmas Story

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Amongst all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, we must remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Take some time to sit down with your family and read them the Christmas story.
(I apologize ahead of time if you find any spelling errors. I typed all this manually so that I could soak it all in one word at a time)

Luke 1: 26-38
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, The Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing is impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of The Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Matthew 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of The Lord appeared unto him in a dream , saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and though shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of The Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanual, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of The Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
And knew her not til she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Luke 2:1-21
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said on to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Matthew 2:1-12
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, in Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of these shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, til it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Here are some other scriptures pertaining to the birth of Jesus…

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that they world through him might be saved.

Have a very merry Christmas!


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