Never Say Never…

The end of summer and beginning of fall/homeschool has proven to be a very busy time for me this year.  I haven’t had nearly the amount of time (or energy) I hoped to keep up with this new blog.  But as school has started in our house, and the season of baking and hearty cooking has arrived, I decided it was time to make time to sit and write so I can capture some of our homeschool moments and of course, some yummy recipes.  Hopefully this post will get me back into the habit of writing…

Speaking of habits… as a parent, how do you change a nasty habit you are noticing in your child or children?  And what do you do when you know that particular bad habit probably came from you?  (Denial comes to mind.)  Training our children in the way they should go is certainly not a piece of cake.  You may not know this about me (because I know I’m really subtle about it) but I have a flare for the dramatic. 😉 And yes, so does my daughter.  And I’ve never disliked this about myself more.

The particular dramatic habit of our darling daughter that Randy and I are trying to combat is something I like to call, “Prophesying the ‘Nevers.'” The minute something doesn’t seem right, a disappointment is realized, or (Heaven forbid) she has to WAIT for something, our daughter declares in an outburst, “I guess I’m NEVER doing… xyz!!!” (Fill in the blank with literally anything.)  One night, we had a bad bunch of corn on the cob and she proclaimed that we should NEVER buy corn again.  I’m sure it sounds silly, but when the “nevers” are declared everyday, multiple times a day, coupled with a sad puppy-dog droopy face, it gets old fast.

My inclination is to punish the behavior.  (“The next time you say ‘never’, I’m taking away a chapstick!”)  But I know this doesn’t tackle the heart of the behavior.  This is a far more difficult task.  I know she struggles greatly with disappointment and rolling with the punches.  And it doesn’t take a second look to tell that these are qualities she inherited from her mother.  I can relate to her, and I believe I understand what she is thinking and feeling when she acts dramatic or makes such a negative declaration.  But I still can’t excuse it.  The Bible warns us in Matthew and again in the book of James not to make oaths.  I believe that “prophesying a never” falls into this category.  Randy and I read the Bible to our children and we want them to know what God expects of us.  So part of my plan is to share these verses with her.

But more than telling her how God DOESN’T want us to act, I believe in teaching in the positive and emphasizing what we SHOULD be doing.  For this, I am turning to the fruits of the Spirit.  We’ve studied them in the past, but right now I want to put a special emphasis on them.  I want my children to know that if they fill themselves with the fruits of the Spirit, there won’t be room for the negative feelings to take over so much.  One of my favorite bloggers put together some crafty lessons for each of the fruits of the Spirit, driven by the desire to teach her own kids how to be patient, gentle, kind, and exhibit self control (among the rest).  I can’t wait to start using them!

Because this week is already jam-packed with our regular school, playdates, and getting ready for Abby’s big 5th birthday party (which I will definitely blog about–the theme is Candy Land!), I plan to start our Fruits of the Spirit study next week.  I will blog about our journey as we go.  In the meantime, if you want to check out Amanda’s Fruits of the Spirit projects, you can find them here http://ohamanda.com/fruit-of-the-spirit-activities/.  Wish me luck as I plan our new unit!

So because I feel weird ending a post without a recipe of some sort, I wanted to share what I like to do towards the end of the summer with our herb abundance in our garden.  If you find yourself wondering how you can use extra herbs you have in your garden before the season is over, try making a few herb butters.  I mentioned this in my last post but didn’t have a picture to go along with it.  You can experiment with different herb combinations.  Chop them up nice and fine, and mix them with softened salted butter (or add salt yourself).  Roll the butter into a log with wax paper and then freeze or refrigerate.  Voila!  What a yummy and simple way to add some sophistication to your everyday bread and butter dinner side…

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