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Don't forget to make some memories!

Bless the Teachers

Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

Open House just ended. Your child’s teacher is wiped out and sprawled on her sofa after meeting a bazillion parents and students—who think she will remember each of you and all the information on those sheets you placed in her hands. She was already tired from preparing each little detail to beautify the classroom your child will inhabit. Compilation of curriculum, handouts, materials, and gathering of supplies—many of them paid for with her own money—is done. Lesson plans are thoughtfully made, probably worked on over the summer while you hung out at the pool. She’s exhausted tonight, but also has that exhilarating excitement building that will keep her from sleeping well before the first day of class. She gets up extra early, ready to be there with a sunshiny attitude to greet your student each morning. She often stays...

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Just 18 Summers … Done

Posted by on Aug 20, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

Yes, it’s over. Our eighteenth summer. Well, her eighteenth summer. We were unable to share our black haired, almond-eyed beauty’s first summer as she was tucked away in an orphanage in China, but we’ve sure made up for it every summer since. That baby who had cheeks for days and a beauty queen wave as we walked to the front of her Pastor Daddy’s church the first Sunday after her arrival in America, just a few months ago walked across the stage of that very same church to be recognized as a high school senior. It’s true what they say, “Before you know it, she’ll be heading off to college.” We’re there. We marked off milestones one by one. College choice made. Orientation a breeze. Housing assignment received. Roommate announced. First payment paid. Classes scheduled. Move in is next....

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Fill the Bucket

Posted by on Aug 17, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

My house has been struggling lately. It’s August, patience is running thin, and school is starting soon. The days are long, nights too short, and mom guilt is setting in. I’m feeling guilty for the summer workbooks we didn’t complete, the reading minutes we didn’t quite finish, and the time I worried about laundry instead of loving. I have no doubt my children know they are loved, but I often feel guilty about the times I say “no” or “in just a minute” and I wonder how often I’m poking holes in their bucket opposed to filling it. My children and I read the book, How Full is Your Bucket? The book describes each person as having a bucket that you have the opportunity to fill or deplete with your actions. We use the analogy often in our home....

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Sunday Wiggles

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

In retrospect, we shouldn’t have been running late to the evening service. And we probably shouldn’t have squeezed a family of five onto an already tight pew near the back of the church. But the early summer day had been pure magic—mild, sunny, and a glorious playground for the afternoon. The girls had expressed reluctance to end their time of play and to prepare for the late worship hour. But mom and dad had insisted, and here we were. Mid-way through the sermon, I’d had enough. With an official mom-look, I dared them to fidget in their seats—again. More than once, I placed a hand on a shoulder or touched my foot to theirs. Lord, if they would just be still and quiet. A few minutes later, one daughter did get still and quiet—and nodded off, hitting her head on...

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Made in His Image

Posted by on Aug 13, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

I tilted the bag upside down and watched as the potting soil tumbled into the large plastic container. As the mound of dirt grew higher, my children’s eyes grew wider. My 14-month-old gasped in delight and my three-year-old began a dance not unlike the I’ve-really-gotta-go dance. Back and forth, left foot, right foot. The kind of dance that takes over when you can barely contain your excitement for what’s ahead. I dropped a shovel and a few cups into the container and was nearly bowled over by the two little stallions chomping at their bits. I backed away and watched, amused, as they both sank their hands into the dirt and filled their tiny fists, letting it sift between their fingers, smiles plastered on their faces. I settled onto our porch swing and leaned into the familiar, creaky rhythm....

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Three Essential Communication Tools with Our Children

Posted by on Aug 10, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

I remember telling someone, “I can’t control my kids, especially my seven-year-old. I have to get after him all the time. He doesn’t listen to me. Every morning before school, he starts to play and I have to talk to him three or four times. Then I threaten that he’ll be punished, but he doesn’t care. I get so mad because I have to talk to him over and over again.” I knew I had a communication problem but I didn’t know what to do. I was talking, but my son wasn’t listening. Because he wasn’t listening, he wasn’t obeying. Obedience always starts with communication. As I made changes, I evaluated the words I used. I remembered a well-worn story which was also powerful. A father and his small daughter were walking through the woods. The father said, “Stay...

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