Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Caroline earns her movie!

A few weeks ago, Brian started a new allowance program. Hope, who typically really likes money, has been unmotivated to earn hers. Caroline, on the other hand, has even earned extra. All because of the latest TinkerBell movie. She saved for 3 weeks and between allowance and Tooth Fairy money, she purchased her movie on Friday night.

I'm sure the cashier at Walmart was a bit tired of her counting out almost $14 worth of quarters, but he was patient. So cute! She was so stinkin proud of her movie and excited to have her OWN receipt.

It's so funny to watch how Caroline spends her money. She makes her decision very quickly and never looks back--like the time she chose a Chicken Webkinz, bought him a tuxedo and named him "Docter." I am amazed at how goal-oriented she is. She filled up more sticker mats in her preschool class than any other child her teacher had ever seen.

At my baby shower for her, someone prayed for her to be a "light" and that is exactly what she is. She has such passion and loves those around her with her whole heart. She is confident in who she is and always wants to help make things easier for those she loves.

What a child! I absolutely adore this little girl and love watching her grow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rowing in the same direction

Patrick Lencioni has a saying that paraphrased says, "If you could get a group of people all rowing in the same direction, you could accomplish huge things." Just getting a team or family to row in the same direction is not enough.

In our family, I have no doubt we are headed in the same direction. While Hope's goal is to have a ranch and that might not be the end that we come to, we do still all want the same basic things.

The main rowing is going to depend on Brian and I--and we can choose to put all of our effort into rowing and miss the trip down the lake, or we can choose to follow HIS current and let Him lead us where we need to go. There will be times He asks us to row against what seems to be the right course.

Also, as parents, we have a choice. We can row for our kids or allow them to be a part of the experience with us and pick up a paddle themselves. If they decide to row with us (which is what I hope happens) then Brian and I have to make a conscious choice to change the way we row. If we continue to do big stokes, their little arms will not be able to keep up. If we put them on one side of the boat and us on the other, we may end up spinning in circles. Both have huge consequences.

If we do not allow them to row, we rob them of the satisfaction of knowing they had a part in the journey. Also, it doesn't ensure that we get to our destination quicker--if they are not engaged, chances are they will find things to do that distract us (and them) and create chaos in our boat.

So, God, please guide our little boat. Give us oars of discernment and love as we move along in Your currents, guided by Your landmarks and blow gently in the direction we need to go. Remind us of the beauty along the way and keep us excited about the destination.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Motivation and a 7 year old

So, I have this incredible 7 1/2 year old daughter. She's one of those kids that you look at and are amazed. She is a talented soccer player, a skilled artist, a smart student and to top it all off, she is a born leader.

Most things come easy to her--she doesn't have to work very hard to be one of the best at whatever she is doing. Therein lies the challenge. Because she is so good at things, she has learned that she doesn't have to apply herself very much in order to do enough to get by.

As a parent, I want her to strive to do her best--if that is a "B," then I'm truly okay with that. But a "B" is not her best--in most cases. She has an excuse for everything, and while I don't want to brow-beat her, I want her to live up to her potential. This has been a learning process for me--I used to want the best kid. Now I just want my kid to do her best.

So how do we motivate her to want to do her best? We pray for her and with her. She sees both Brian and I striving to do our best. We don't put unrealistic expectations on her. So what else is there? How do you motivate a child without tearing down or inflating her self-esteem?

If it truly does take a village to raise a child, then we have an advantage--the DFW area is a bit bigger than a village. What do you do to motivate your child? What would you do if your child were like mine? I'd love your thoughts...