Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How My Children Are Becoming Avid Readers ~ A List of Ten

It makes me a tad nervous to write this post. I have little ones, and the jury is still out on how avid their reading will become. But I have received the question from a reader on how my children have come to be avid readers. It's an excellent question, and I thought it was a good time for an update.



I love lists almost as much as I love reading, so I made a list of how we have encouraged our children to become readers. J

1. My husband and I both value reading and model that to the children. We always have a book we're reading {sometimes more than one!}. The children see us reading, and we talk about what we're reading with the children.

2. My three oldest children are avid readers, so the Littles see them reading and want to emulate them.

3. Our primary decoration in our home is bookshelves filled with books. It's what the children see all the time, not a big-screen television or a bunch of babbling battery-operated toys or a stack of video games. The children have bookshelves in their rooms, we have large bookshelves in the living room, and we have an upstairs library with two more bookcases.



Lots of schoolbooks and children's classics in the upstairs library.

4. We encourage the reading. I go to special effort to find books I think they'll like, keep up with how much they are reading, encourage them to read, and then talk about it with them in an animated conversation. I focus my attention on them and the book, not multitasking.

5. I write. Remember Under Duress, my Love Inspired Suspense novel coming out in February, 2016?
J I also talk about what I write. I ask my children to brainstorm with me, and that shows them the value of story and the written word.


A portion of the shelves in the boys' room.

6. My husband and I read {and the Bigs read} to the Littles, copiously. With voices.

7. Birthdays and Christmas always include gifts of books.

8. We visit the library once each week where we check out many, many more books than movies.


One set of shelves in the girls' room.

9. We participate in summer reading programs, including our local library and Half-Price Books. We also participate in the winter reading program at our local library. The prize offers an extra incentive, especially when it's a packet of food coupons to go out to eat.

10. I pray for my children to love reading and learning.


A few shelves in the office.

Now, the $60,000 question ~ which of these work the best? I have no idea, but prayer is always worth it.

Happy reading!









How do you encourage your children to read?


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Finding White Space ~ #FiveMinuteFriday

Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung, sounds like so much fun that I decided to take up the challenge to write for five minutes without editing. Every Thursday evening, Kate posts the topic of the week, and the community then free writes. In her words, this means “no editing, no over-thinking, and no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” See? A challenge for this perfectionist! J

This week’s word is FIND.

Ready? Here we go.


I’m really not sure how it happened. What switch got flipped or what finally clicked.
But my husband finally agreed to declutter. In fact, he’s leading the charge.

It’s been nearly twenty-three years of marriage and six children. Add in to that my mother who claims shopping as her number one hobby and a mother-in-law who passes along a few things now and then, and we were bursting at the seams. I’d gotten rid of a few things here and there, but it was never enough.

Perhaps our move to the new house was the tipping point. As we unpacked, we surveyed our domain and what filled it. We found a bunch of stuff that fit one of three categories ~ we either didn’t use it, didn’t need it, or didn’t like it.

The bigger question was why did we keep all of it?





Some of it was to appease extended family. They gave it to us and expected us to love it and maintain it. We’ve reached our breaking point. No more!

Some of it was the what-if-we-need-it-later mentality. But we’ve had a humidifier for our fifteen-plus years of parenting and only used it once. Time for it to go!

And all those papers? Well, the scanner’s been going nearly non-stop since it arrived on the big brown truck, and I can see the desk again. In fact, I’m not even sure I need a desk anymore. J




Underneath all that stuff and paper, you know what I found?

My sanity.



Stop.









Are you decluttered? How do you find the white space in your life?


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Vintage Look for our Bible Bee National Qualifier ~ #TwirlyTuesday

Are you up for another Twirly Tuesday? We haven’t been shopping or putting together anything new and different recently, so there hasn’t seemed to be a reason. But when the 15yo put on this new-to-her dress last Sunday, I immediately thought of y’all.

You’ve probably noticed that I don’t know very much about style. J We just wear what we like. But the rage these days is vintage, and with the roses on the dress and the style of the shoes, that’s the word that popped into my mind. I wish I had the know-how to make her hair into those vintage-style head-hugging waves. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

Did you notice the title of the post? The four oldest children took the local Bible Bee test on August 1, and they all did well. It thrills this mama's heart just to see them study and memorize the Word. The 13yo and the 11yo came close to qualifying, and the 15yo ranked in the top 120. That means she gets to compete in November at the National Bible Bee. She’s in the senior division this year, so not only will she be studying a different book of the Bible for the written exam, but she’ll be memorizing 200 passages. Some passages can be as long as twenty to thirty-some verses. That deserves a few exclamation points!!!!!



What the 15yo wore ~

Dress ~ hand-me-down
Cardigan ~ Kohl’s sale with extra percentage off
Shoes ~ hand-me-down


Lilla Rose flexi ~ half-up with extra-small Open Flower


Little brother photo bomb!









Do you like vintage style? Is this it? J



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