Category Archives: parneting

How I taught my kids to swim….

Found my small underwater video camera the other day while cleaning up my office. Shame it has been neglected for years :-\ – figured I may as well break it out at the pool and let the boys enjoy. It was fun… the kids loved watching themselves on camera swim under the water. Even baby Reed.

So I crammed the videos all together into one for you all to see. Warning. I talk in my weird some what annoying baby voice a lot in this video. Ignore it. Its just what I do :) – I have no control over it hah….

Before getting to the video though.

I thought I would talk a little bit about swimming… and teaching children to swim without the need for swim lessons.

Disclaimer: I am no swim expert. I have nothing against swim teachers. Swim lessons… or parents who choose to do swim classes. NO HARM IN THOSE THINGS at all. In fact, I am pretty sure my mom took my brother and I to swim lessons :) – and I at one point was on a swim team. So yea. No hate here. For us though, we chose not to do swim lessons…. for one simple reason “We couldn’t justify the cost… and really couldn’t afford it.” So -we made do with our own pool times and I taught the boys to swim on my own.

One thing I have always tried to encourage with our boys, is to be brave… and try. There is nothing wrong with being afraid of something… but even if you are afraid, I try to teach my boys, to at least give it a go… rather than to run the other way.

Caleb was probably my most fearful of water. I think because he was the 1st born… so he just didn’t really have the exposure to water like his younger siblings did. I think Caleb began swimming “well” around age 5 or 6. My other children though could fully swim by age 4.

Taite was swimming and diving in the water as early as 2, with help.

By far my earliest swimmer though, has been baby Reed. He is very fearless when it comes to water… and grasped the understanding of holding ones breathe, fast. The way I introduce my babies to holding their breathe, was to always count down. Look at them, 1, 2, 3…. and dunk them down. I didn’t do the whole breathing in their face either… that never worked for us. It seemed to just confuse them.

After a few goes, they got it.

I also am a HUGE fan of the Puddle Jumper Floats. Target sells them! By far the best pool purchase you can make. They last years and do not pop ;-) – you can even wash them if they get smelly.

So I suppose, how I taught my kids to swim.





Lots of trips to the pool :)

and… more encouragement. Kids love being praised… I also did simple lessons on kicking in the water and teaching them how to float on their back once they got comfortable with things. The rest comes naturally.

Now… onto the video..

Pleasing Mom… not Peers

Well, I may fuel a fire here today and loose a reader or two but I just can’t help but speak up about this.

So yesterday I got a comment on the post I wrote about Caleb wanting to keep Reed through the night… and how we let him…etc..etc… you can read it HERE.

I knew there would be someone(or more) who thought we weren’t “right” in allowing our son to watch his baby brother during the night… but in all honesty it surprises me a bit that someone would think we are SELFISH for doing this.

Heres the comment:

“You know, I just don’t think this is right. You are the parent, not your son. It’s great that he’s so interested but he needs to be a boy – not take on any of the responsibilities for an infant. You and your husband are being selfish. I think there are many reasons he may be asking to help out as much as he does, perhaps because he has seen you struggling which worries him so he feels like he needs to take some of your burdens to ease his fears? Either way, I don’t think it’s right. I appreciate that this is your family and that you’re making decisions you think are right for you – but you put it out there and I have been feeling very strongly about how much you rely on Caleb that I thought I’d comment.”

Now everyone is welcome to their opinion…. but I am just as welcome to “comment back” on them here.

… I was going to go through a VERY long list of “how we are so ‘NOT’ selfish” as parents but I don’t feel the need to defend myself in that way. I know very well the many sacrifices I’ve made for my children and I know I am far from “selfish” in regards to being their mother.

.. but what struck me so much in this comment more than the selfish remark.. was the remark on how we should let Caleb be, A BOY… and how he should not have to take on ANY responsibility for an infant.”

…. now maybe Im just different in my thinking here… but whats more important… teaching a child to grow up and play and do what “they want to.”…. or teaching a child to serve? and even more so, serve willingly!

That being said, Caleb obviously is aware that his mother struggles some days. Especially the 1st few months of Reed’s life, we were very open with our children in letting them know mommy was extremely tired… and was having a hard time. I for one am not one to “put up a face” just for the sake of “pretending im ok.” – We dont want our children to know “everything” and they dont… but I so desire for our children to realize the world does not revolve around “them” and that they need to give too.

For weeks now Caleb has been begging to keep Reed at night. We obviously did not allow this because we knew that Caleb needed his rest and that it was more important for him to sleep, than to help in this area, even though he wanted to do it.

Each passing week though he’d ask again… and again..

“Pleaseeee can I pleaseeee sleep with baby Reed?”

He truly desired to do this and he was elated and so so excited when we finally gave in and said “Sure, why not.”

He grinned from ear to ear and could not wait for bed time that evening. Most night times Caleb protest bed time, wanting to “stay up a little later.” Not this particular night :) – he was eager and ready to sleep in Reed’s room.

We never asked Caleb to do this.

We never forced it on him.

If anything we discouraged it. :)

… but to me, why not let your child who truly desires to “try” something, try it… there is no harm in it at all… and the outcome of him doing it resulted in Caleb being filled with a sense of accomplishment and joy. He was so excited to talk about his “night with Reed.”

I loved hearing about it and seeing him so happy to serve.

Now, in case some “thought” I was going to go with what Caleb wanted… we will not “go on a rotation” haha… While Id love full nights of sleep, I realize Caleb is only 8 years old and his body is growing and he needs rest. If a few weeks pass by and he wants to do it again, ill let him. It will have to happen on nights he doesn’t have school the following day :) – but either way, I am not going to discourage my child from wanting to serve and help out, especially when he truly loves too.

To me our society is so bent on “doing” for their children and forget that children need to be trained and taught to “do” as well…

I am very proud of Caleb.

He is 8 years old and he can do more than most kids his age. So often I see children his age who care about nothing but themselves and what THEY want…. what will benefit them and they could honestly care less to help, unless “helping” results in “a prize” or “payment.”

Thankful he is turning out to be such an honorable young man.

Mark 10:44-45
….and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45

Gaskets blown

This is a venter post, just to warn :)
Nothing more than my blurbing out thoughts.

I’ve just been really battling my kids lately in obedience.
They aren’t BAD but they are in this rut of “trying to debate” their way out of a situation… or “waiting” way to long to follow through with something.

Heres a great example from wednesday…

~ “Time to go”
– “Can I stay with them?”
~ “No, lets go.”
– “… but we’ve watched so and so’s kid before and brought them home for them. So can they keep me?”
~ “No, lets go.”
– “Can they keep me please?”
~ ::the wrath of mama is coming::(Picture a pregnant mom wearing a bathing suit, ratty hair, about to let all sanity loose – I restrained myself…. barely) “GET OUT NOW”

This kind of behavior FIRES MY BLOOD so bad.
I really can feel my blood pressure ticking. It takes every fiber I have to not go to far with my words…

I wish I could say the day got better yesterday but it really didn’t. From simple things like “Go upstairs and wait for me” – yet moments later distracted kids playing and then someone getting hurt because they weren’t paying attention. Had they obeyed in the 1st place it would of never happened.

Yet in public places I find it so hard to discipline and I know by the time I get home, I am so OVER – and just tired, that I just want them in bed. When in all honesty there should always be a punishment to this behavior, ALWAYS…

So yea, my fault, their fault, combination of everything = bleh.

Today wasn’t as bad but just moments ago I told the kids “go get in the van” to go to the pool, yet they wander around like they have no clue what I said, resulting in Owen falling on the porch, no one being buckled…. and me lugging the gigantic pool bag, with no one ready.

The result.


Then tears from Taite.
Owen totally clueless.

Its 4:33 and their father will be home soon. I think its a “serious father talk” moment right now… so once he gets home I am hoping he can talk to them and lay it out.

Your moms pregnant.

Your moms tired.

You aren’t listening.

You aren’t honoring Christ by not listening OR your mom and dad.



Ok Im joking.



All that being said.

I am blessed.

In so many ways.

Don’t take my ranting moments, as ever wishing my life were different. I don’t. Im so thankful for my children. With children though comes lots of trials like this… and I know im not the only one dealing with them… so if anything, this helps others know they aren’t alone & gives me an outlet to let it loose, properly? :) I hope. I love my boys and they really are good children. Caleb can be so helpful helping with Owen. Taite is just the funniest kid ever, so bright and so darn cute! – Owen melts anyones heart, even the lady in target, whos butt he decided to slap (out of pure innocence’s *no butts were harmed in the slapping of the Owster*)

… but there are days I feel such frustration. I can be so far from “a great mom” – and very impatient. I do lots of apologizing to my kids… but if anything, maybe them seeing mommy’s imperfections and failures… yet willingness to say “Im sorry…” – will impact them.

To those wondering where the belly photo for this week is.

It was never taken.

The last 2 days have proven difficult enough, I really didn’t want to fiddle with a tripod :)
Plus my blog was down… so why stress it. I will have a photo for week 25 coming up ;-)

I will say, I went to the Dr. this AM and all is well.

Baby sounds awesome.
My weight gain is “tolerable” ;-)
Belly is bigger, baby is moving A TON!
All in all things look perfectly normal and good to go.

Next up on the apt list.
Glucose test in 4 weeks – goodie! ::gag::

Travis just pulled up – off to deal with the situation… and maybe, just maybe we will get to the pool and enjoy a calm evening out. Did I mention its suppose to be 107 this saturday. Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Got to love GA heat!

Preparing our hearts

My husband and I both started reading a book 1st of the year called Parenting in the Pew.
He is done with it, I however am still on Chapter 5… I had to start another book for the ladies bible study im taking part in now… so thats slowed me up on the other book.

However, what I have read is amazing!! and it inspired us to start a family tradition in our home.

We are teaching our children the importance of preparing our hearts for Sunday Worship.
… and this preparation starts on saturday!

The book goes into detail about why this is important… and it all made such sense…

Theres way to much to get into here, so just buy the book :)

To those curious what we do however… we start with making sure our home is in pretty good shape. Obviously it wont be perfect… thats impossible with young kids ;-) – so ive experienced… but things like laundry should be mostly done, kitchen tidied, clothes put away…

I try to do this throughout the week, so that saturday isnt spent cleaning all day.

special sat night dinner to prepare for worshipSaturday evening after naps, I serve up a nice meal. Doesnt have to be anything specific, but something good.
We have a large white plate that we are using to serve the special meal on – and we also let the kids use the “nice dishes” – so its extra special.

On our table we also light candles.. one in representation of Christ, and then 5 small candles representing each one of us. This might seem a bit cheesy, and I thought it was at 1st (when My husband showed me his idea) – but our boys have LOVED IT, and think its so cool to light all these candles on the table.

We enjoy our saturday evenings with a meal together… and after the meal I serve up a yummy special dessert – and after dessert Travis then reads to the kids a bible story… we then end by singing & prayer.

Once this time is over, I clean up the kitchen while Travis gets the kids cleaned up – we then have the boys pick their sunday morning outfits! Setting them out so they are ready (I will set out Owens) – I then pack the diaper bag for Sunday, as well as the boys “big church bags” – making sure everything is prepared and ready to go.

We have successfully done this since the new year… and Im excited to continue our tradition from here on out.

And why?

Because sundays shouldn’t be spent rushing … finding socks… and stressing over what isnt done.

Instead we enjoy our sunday mornings listening to praise and worship…
taking it easy… and not stressing.

Doing these things on saturday prepares not only our homes… our list – but also our hearts.

Again, I strongly encourage anyone interested in learning more about this to check out the book Parenting in the Pew.

We have loved it!

Not perfect but cannot imagine …

I must admit… this week we have faced some discipline issues in our home.
Both our boys have been rising really early in the morning (no matter what we do)… and refuse to nap some days… which results in very easily frustrated children, cranky, tired and down right RUDE behavior. There have been times I lost my cool. Its hard not to sometimes… when time and time again your child disobeys, when you KNOW they know what they are doing is wrong… and you feel like your efforts to correct this behavior is for a loss cause… when time and time again it keeps happening, over… and over again. Sound familiar to anyone?

Over all though my children are really well behaved, I think. They arent perfect. My boys are both very strong willed.. both of them VERY animated and outspoken. They realize though that there is discipline and consequences… the key for us is to remain constant and not to ignore behavior just because we dont want to deal with it.

Parenting is hard!
To those who do not have kids yet… and think “oh my kid wont be like that…” bite your tongue :) because you have NO IDEA LOL. I use to think that very same thing… when I was pregnant with Caleb and I would see toddlers and children misbehave… I use to think to myself “well.. they just don’t know how to discipline obviously… cause my kid will not act that way at that age.” HAH!


Now that my boys are 5 and almost 3… I have experienced my share of those “behaviors” I remember watching other kids do… and thinking mine would never do. Children are going to misbehave… they will disobey… Its just another evidence of how we are all born sinners.

I think as parents though we have to learn to correct those behaviors… and direct our children. They need discipline.

Tonight while my husband studied… and worked on church stuff… I rested in the bedroom and watched Super Nanny on Hulu. I’m not sure if this episode is old or not :) but it was about a family with TWO sets of twins. Ages 6 and 4. Two boys, two girls.

I was just amazed at how these kids treated their parents….

I mean their 4 yr old was KICKING HIS MOTHER IN THE FACE at one point…. I cannot imagine my child doing that… Caleb may hit his brother occasionally *mostly in play*… but I have never had him try to purposely kick me out of anger… that alone should wake a family up.

Super Nanny I think has some good methods… although many times I think they are way to “reserved” … and not strict enough… but thats just me :)

It makes me sad however when I see shows like this… where the parents cant even enjoy their children because there is no structure… or discipline in the home.

Children are suppose to be a blessing!! Not a burden and pain… Sure there will be times you just want a break… and time alone… even with the best behaved children, those times come for all parents. But to get up and face what those parents were facing… I just cannot imagine. How can you enjoy your kids when they act that way?

It does encourage me with how we are raising our children… although learn daily mistakes we make as parents… we are flawed in so many ways… Just like our children we are just as sinful and full of error… and need correction ourselves. I believe we are doing exactly as the Word teaches us though… and that with prayer and consistence our children will grow up to be respectful young men. I am thankful the Lord has shown us through his word and given us the foundation to parent.

Note: BTW the photo of Taite above was taken at the parade on thursday :) he was upset because I took his spider man toy. Can you hear his scream? :) He quickly calmed down however. Made for a great picture I think LOL