Monday, May 4, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan - Giveaway!

I wanted to share that I'm part of a group that is reviewing a book called Motivate Your Child Action Plan. I wrote a review on Motivate Your Child earlier this year and was so very excited to see that there is a plan to put all of these good ideas into practice! I know that I need help with how to do that and thought some of the rest of you might too. I know that I am struggling with some parenting issues now and am thankful for this tool to help me get to the heart of the matter and guide in a way that is Biblical. I've just started and hopefully will be able to post more on this soon. In the meantime though, there is a giveaway that you might be interested in being a part of! There are LOTS of great prizes! Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350! Here's what you could win: 

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)  

  • In the Box - iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.  
  • iOS 6 features - Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

 Because you'll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value) 

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.  The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God's Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You'll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you'll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:  Seeing Is Believing  Playing for Keeps  Running the Race Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. a Rafflecopter giveaway Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party! 

Action Plan Facebook Party

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Big Day

Wow!  Where do I even start?!  It has been so amazing to watch this all unfold.  Having our oldest son Christopher come to Roger and I and tell us that he was ready to ask Emily to marry him and then see him plan and orchestrate all of the details of this special day has been such a blessing.  Seeing his heart for the woman he loves and wanting this day to overwhelm her with happiness and joy has been a sweet gift to this mama's heart as well.

From seeing the notes he was making about the timeline of the day to hearing all of the minute by minute details as he planned and prepared, it was all so very thoughtful.  I loved that he involved family and friends in this very special day.  That was a gift to all of us!

I have lots of friends that have asked for details and I want to share some of that sweet day here.  First Christopher went to a lot of work to plan an "alibi" for himself and being out of town working on this week-end.  From posting on the work website to texts from the camp he was working on that day - all to prevent her from suspecting anything.  To keep her busy while he was gone, another sweet friend set up a friends photo shoot.  (This was a sweet way to have her dressed and looking cute for the day!)

The photo shoot was to be held at a local park.  Thankfully, the weather was sunny and beautiful!
 Not nearly as cold as I thought it would be either.  It was a gorgeous day!


Friends and family arrived at the park early to set up and figure out what we were doing.

We had a practice run for all of us and I especially wanted Eliana to know what she was doing.
We all had signs.  (The girls are missing in this picture as they are waiting to meet Emily).




When they arrived at the park, Emily was told that there wasn't going to be a photo shoot and that she was going for a walk instead.  She walked with 7 friends who spent the time sharing, encouraging her and praying with her.  :)  The last friend brought her to an amphitheater and told her to go read the journal in the middle of it.

The rest of us were eagerly waiting nearby - but not able to see anything.

Emily went to read a letter that Christopher had written to her.  When she finished, she looked up and Christopher came out of hiding to meet her.  He then got on one knee and asked her to marry him.

And posted by Christopher on facebook:

On Saturday I got down on one knee and asked my best friend to marry me! I'm so very blessed and thankful for all of the amazing friends and family that, helped, loved on and celebrated with Emily and I on this special day! It's been an exciting whirlwind of a weekend, filled with joy, love, laughter, tears, and the biggest, happiest smile I've ever seen on Emily's face! ‪#‎shesaidYES


There was a group of family and friends hiding (and out of view of all of this).  We waited for a cue from one of the photographers and then to music, we all came walking out in pairs holding signs.


 Each pair of signs was an event and a date - the timeline of some significant events in their relationship.  :)  We lined up around the amphitheater until the last sign was presented.



Eliana brought the last sign which said ... Engaged!


We waited a moment before going down to join them, hug and them and take lots of photos.
Is this not a precious picture of Emily with her Dad

Ficken and Nelsen families
Fun shot of Emily with her girlfriends
Leslie, Emily, Christopher and Roger
Emily and Christopher with the guys
Me and my girls!
Eliana and her buddy Jim who was a great help in keeping her doing her job!
Afterwards, we went back to Emily's family home for dinner.  The decorations were all so amazing!


Love the sign!
 And my camera ended up being full while we were here so I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked.  But just look at the fun we were having here!  This was obviously all a surprise to Emily too!

Nelsen Family
Ficken Family
Friends picture
Delicious dinner!
After eating and playing games, it was time to leave.  What Emily didn't know was that when they returned to Christopher's quiet and darkened house, was that another party was waiting to happen.  Surprise!  More friends and food and fellowship and fun!

The last surprise of the day was waiting for Emily when she returned to her apartment.  Her room was filled with balloons.  This was something that Christopher did for her birthday just before they started dating.  :)

This was an amazing day.  So many moments of God's goodness and grace.  Joy, laughter and love.  Celebration and excitement.


We could not be any more excited for Christopher and Emily!  Their relationship is a beautiful reflection of God at work in their lives.  I am praying for you both daily and love you both so very much!

With a full heart,
Leslie

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Motivate your Child Review

I'm very excited about this new book that I'm reading and wanted to share it with you.  Its called Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  (And I want to share that I received this book in exchange for my honest review which is written below.)

Parenting.  Its the hardest and also the most wonderful job I've ever had.  If you have children, I'm sure you can relate.  I'm so very thankful to have 6 amazing children.  Each of them a gift with their own strengths, weaknesses and challenges.  Roger and I have learned so much from them - and from trying to teach, train, discipline and disciple them over the years.  And while we have been at this for some time, I find that we are always facing new challenges and trying to figure out how to deal with new or different problems/issues that arise.

Lately, we have really been struggling with some things at our house.  I feel like I spend more time nagging/reminding than I want to.  I want our kids to be motivated to do the right things.  I've been praying and seeking God's help and guidance and I do believe that this book is part of the answer to my prayers.

The subtitle of this book is "A Christian parent's guide to raising kids who do what they need to do without being told right".  This sounds great doesn't it?  This book gives great insight in how to accomplish that.

I love that this book gives a lot of concrete examples of parents who are struggling with various behaviors and how applying the things taught in this book can help initiate positive change.  I find that I learn a lot from hearing about what others are struggling with and how they handled a situation.  Its also helpful to know that we aren't the only ones struggling.  Can anyone relate?

         Parenting experts Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller demonstrate how God's Word gives us the          best way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children.  When parents      
        change the way they  parent, kids change the way they lives.  This practical book explores a 
        theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for 
        life.  

I appreciate that the book starts by helping us to understand the conscience and how it works.  Its explores the various levels of conscience and how to get our children to move beyond just thinking about themselves to thinking about others.  This is not something that happens naturally, but something that we can train our children to do.  Knowing more about the conscience gives parents a whole new set of tools to use with their children.

I also appreciate that this book is for parents of children of all ages from preschooler to teen.  There is no time limit on learning how to be a better parent and how to encourage your child to be all that she/he is designed to be!  

One example of parenting that I know that I've fallen into is behavior modification.  If you do this, then you will receive that.  After reading the examples in the book, I very clearly recognized myself in this.  (And I also hear my children doing it with their siblings too.)  This is not a method that is good for long as it just doesn't keep working.  Or it requires bigger and bigger rewards.  All of us clearly want our kids to be internally motivated, but just how do we do that?

Parenting requires strategy.  One of the strategies shared involved the power of your voice.  This includes not only what we say but also the tone that we use.

What parents say leaves a marked impression on their children's hearts.  Unfortunately, many parents spend too much time talking about what children are doing wrong and not what they need to do right instead.  They say things like, "Would you cut it out!", "Stop it!" "When are you going to get it right?"  "You're making me upset over here."  

Rather parents would do much better thinking about what they want their children to say in their hearts and then using their own statements to their children to coach them to that end.  

Did anyone else think "ouch"?  They shared several examples of parents choosing positive statements which children could replay in their heads.  I've started using one statement with my children and its to encourage them to "be a blessing".  So often, I've encouraged them to "have fun" and realize that the goal needs to be bigger than that.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this might change their behavior.



I am also thankful for the many Bible references that are shared that undergird their teaching.  They look to God as the one that teaches us how to live our lives.  This is not a book of formulas but is rather a method of parenting the hearts of our children.

I am very excited about this book and strongly encourage you to get a copy for yourself!  You can find it here and if you order by Jan 31, you will receive other free resources!  You can also order it from Amazon or other book sellers.

Sometimes reading books or articles about parenting can leave you feeling deflated and like you have somehow missed the boat.  This book is not one of those.  Instead I find myself encouraged and energized to tackle some of the problems that we have been dealing with head on.


I hope this post is an encouragement to someone.

Blessings
Leslie



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