Chase Fireflies

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15 Ways to Raise Children Sensitive to the Needs of Others


The little boy bows his head and prays.  Every time, he remembers her name.  And hers.  And his.  And if I am negligent, he remembers.  Their hurts are his.  Carried on the shoulders of a four year old. 

I have much to learn from him. 

So how do you grow that sensitivity from four to fourteen to forty?  How does it mature and how do you balance it with strength? 

These are some questions that I’ve been asking myself. 
I don’t know the answers yet, but this is what we’re learning so far: 

15 Ways to Raise Children Sensitive to the Needs of Others 

1.  Model sensitivity yourself.  Look for needs in the grocery store, next door, and within your own family.  Respond.
2.  Be intentional.  Beyond ballet and basketball, look for ways to get children involved in serving at a young age. 
3.  Do not give into fear.  Look to God for faith.
4.  Visit those who are sick or elderly.  Sit with them and talk.  Sing songs.  Listen a lot and learn.  Laugh together.
5.  Host an Open House for someone in recovery.  Invite friends and family to encourage. 
6.  Bring Joy.  Make silly cards to make someone smile.  Take funny photographs.  Be ridiculous.
7.  Pray. 
8.  Learn God’s Word together.
  Refer to it often.
9.  Go!   Take your children on a missions trip. 
10.  Do not shelter them.  Allow them to see needs.  Talk about what you’ve seen. 
11.  Sponsor a child from Compassion.
12.  Give.  Go on a shopping spree for Operation Christmas Child, a food bank, a friend.  Give anonymously. 
13.  Allow them to experience diverse settings. 
14.  Encourage thankfulness. 
15.  Cook together. 
Make your favorite recipe for someone who could use a night off from cooking – a single mom, a new mom, a widow, a college student, etc. 

Now it’s your turn.  What do you do in your family to grow senstivity?  I would love any suggestions or personal stories that you may have.  Thanks so much!  We are a work, very much in progress. 

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Brownie Waffles: Kids in the Kitchen

If A is for Acorn, B is for Brownie.  Adden loves the idea of eating through the alphabet.  I love that he’s learning initial consonant sounds. 

I first heard of Brownie Waffles through a comment on Taste of Home.  I had no idea if they were going to work or not, but the crew was willing to give them a try. 

We whipped up a box of brownie mix, sprayed our waffle iron with non-stick spray, and poured batter in. 

For immediate soft gooey brownies, take the waffles out immediately (ours were much like soft brownie crumble).  With vanilla ice cream and whipped topping, they were awesome. 

For true brownie waffles that retain their form, let the brownies cool on the iron.  With plenty of non-stick spray, they will come out perfectly, but taste more like a brownie cookie. 

Let me know if you give them a try!

For other B words to eat, try baseball biscuits, bananas, blueberries, bread and butter, broccoli, bagels, etc. 

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Apple Smile Snacks (Easing Anxiety for the 1st Dentist Visit)

Does this picture completely freak you out?  Cause I’ll admit that it gives me the creeps.  But somehow, these Apple Smile Snacks took the fear out of a dentist visit for our kids. 

As you can see, it’s apple slices with peanut butter (as the adhesive) and mini marshmallows.  Super easy.  Super fun.  We made them the morning of our dentist appointment.  I found the idea listed as a Halloween treat here.   

Here’s the Little Man trying to hold it all together.  For the most part, he did great;  faring better than the hygienist actually.  (He grit his teeth, locking her fingers inside.)

All in all, the Apple Smile snack worked.  Not one tear was shed.  Neither child bolted.  And the hygenist managed to keep all of her fingers.  We were all much more relieved to be walking out, rather than in. 

In addition to the apple snack, these books are also helpful to reduce initial anxiety. 

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31 Things To Do this Fall with Kids

This smile and these red cheeks.  In our backyard oak;  just yesterday and yet two years ago.  We laughed in the shade and the sun filtered in and he fell over and over again.  It never got old. 

Life to our kids is just this.  Celebrating.  Every.  Ordinary.  Day. 

31 Things to Do this Fall with the Kids

1.  Make Pumpkin Spice Latte for me and hot chocolate for the kids. 
2.  Make and decorate caramel apples.
3.  Worship around a bonfire.

4.  Decorate pumpkins. 
5.  Give thanks everyday. 
6.  Jump in leaves.
7.  Make smores. 

8.  Attend a high school football game and cheer for our incredible students.
9.  Visit a corn maze. 
10.  Plant bulbs that will grow in the spring.
11.  Bake Stacey Boyd’s famous apple cake. 

12.  Go on a hayride.
13.  Serve at the food pantry.
14.  Play a game with candy corn.
15.  Play football or postseason baseball in the yard.
16.  Visit an elderly person to encourage. 

17.  Get together with an old friend.
18.  Make this soup and this one and this one.
19.  Visit the zoo.
20.  Make a corn husk doll with Selah.

21.  Go trick or treating and get to know our community.
22.  Read Charlotte’s Web and make a spider craft or dessert.
23.  Teach the kids how to popcorn pray.
24.  Spend time at a farm, helping and learning.
25.  Play this game (minus the darts:) with our kids and nephews. 

26.  Hold onto one another tightly.
27.  Memorize Psalm 100
28.  Go to a fall festival. 
29.  Tell our families how much we love them.
30.  Pick up fresh fruits, vegies, and goodies at a local Farmer’s Market.
31.  Take an autumn hike.

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate fall with your family?  Looking for some ideas, crafts, recipes, activities, anything!


An ABC Treasure Hunt

It started out as a treasure hunt for signs of fall. 
I found pumpkins, red leaves, and my toes frozen in flipflops. 

She found an “L.” 

 A “P” for Park.

An “S” for Selah.

A “Y” for her most frequently asked question.

And a little brother pitching a pinecone no hitter in the post season. 

(I like their imagination much better.)

***On a side note, the ABC Treasure Hunt makes me think of Alphabet City, by Stephen Johnson – a favorite!  ***