Friday, February 22, 2013

Free Online Devotional Book for Lent/Easter

Ann Voskamp is one of my favorite authors and she offers some amazing free tools for the spiritual walk on her website.  Go here to download her free online devotional book for Lent/Easter.  You can print it off to have a hard copy or read it on your computer or other device.  Blessings to you on your Lenten journey!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

1. Beginning to have a 2-3 days at a time without throwing up
2. The "clothes fairy" delivering Spring/Summer hand-me-downs for the boys
3. My friend Meredith's baby finally arrived (about 9 days late)
4. Sunshine & birds chirping, a nice reprieve from all the gloom & rain
5. Wonderful people who love us bringing us meals since I've been sick

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

1.  Him who would hold my hair and rub my back while I'm throwing up (if I would let him)
2. Who is doing my share of the parenting and housekeeping as well as his
3. (and doing it all with a cheerful heart)
4. Who leaves a homemade Valentine for me to find this morning
5. Who is the only one I would want to go through Morning Sickness Misery with (TWICE!)

I love you, Valentine.

Monday, February 4, 2013

How To Talk to Kids About Race

I believe no topic should be off-limits with kids (obviously with the exception of inappropriate/adult topics of conversation).  If we don't talk to them about it, someone will and that someone may not have the best information to give our kids.  The important thing is to take their lead so you do not expose them to ideas they are not yet ready for or go over their head and lose them.

A great way to start the conversation by is reading picture books or doing activities together to open up conversation.  Then you can answer your child's specific questions and/or ask them questions based on their own life experiences.  You don't need to have all the answers.  You can always put the question back on your child if you're at a loss for words: "Well, what do you think?" If that doesn't answer the question, look it up together.

Here is a teacher's blogpost about some activities to promote discussion about race.  I really like the idea of cracking open a brown egg and a white egg to show they are the same inside.

This blogpost by an adoptive mama has some more great ideas for activities, such as making different shades of chocolate milk!

We make a point to have books that have a variety of ethnicities in them.  It's important for children to see a variety of ethnicities, in books and in real life.  Children only become racist when they are taught to be, but that does not mean they are colorblind.  Nor should they be.  We teach them to sort and organize, to learn their colors - we cannot very well expect them not to notice the differences in the people around them, too.  A lack of exposure to people who are different can lead to an unhealthy fear of those who are different, as well as a tendency to believe the stereotypes about other races, rather than learning to get to know each individual person for who they are.

Some examples of picture books that can help you broach the subject of race are The Skin You Live InShades of People, and The Colors of Us.

Although race should not be an off-limits topic, it should also be made clear we never say hurtful things about the way people look.  In our home, Shep will point out from time to time the difference in our skin and hair colors.  We talk about it in a simple and matter-of-fact way, i.e. "Yes, that's right.  Liam has brown skin and you have light tan skin and Mama's is a little darker tan.  Daddy's has lots of freckles.  God made us all different."  When he occasionally calls Liam black (not sure where he hears this phrase because we don't use it), I correct him because Liam is actually brown and the politically correct term in America is African-American, not black.  Particularly in the sometimes racist South, it is important that we teach our children appropriate language for race because it's only a matter of time before they hear the inappropriate and slang terms when they are out and about.

We are shaping a future generation, hopefully one in which each person will be seen for who they are, not the color of their skin.  God created us all in His image and said, "It is good."  And, indeed, it is.  May we teach our kids to be leaders among their peers, promoting equality and appreciation for all.