With two little girls growing up at our house, I’ve come to know a lot about princesses. God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible by Sheila Walsh is a devotional book for young girls that highlights character traits a true princess would have and connects them to a Bible character or passage.
Growing up,we didn’t go out to eat a whole lot – certainly not as much as we do with our children. There were four of us kids, so even a fast-food meal wasn’t exactly cheap. I believe we were headed somewhere on a trip and had gone through the drive-through at McDonald’s to get lunch, my dad placing the order for all of us. We pulled over into a parking space to divvy up the food before continuing down the road. Somehow the food I received wasn’t what I had ordered. I mentioned that I had gotten the wrong sandwich and, while it wasn’t what I had wanted, I could have eaten it. However, I remember my dad taking the time to get out of the car, walk back into the restaurant, stand in line and get the food I had requested.
The neatest thing is to see that same quality in my husband when he deals with our girls. Last night, our eight-year-old had left some books in the car and headed out to the garage to get them. I was busy in the kitchen when she came right back in saying it was too dark and she didn’t want to go out there by herself. My answer was to tell her to go on out there and just turn on the light and get her books. Yet her dad, overhearing the conversation, walked out there with her and turned the light on for her. Such a small thing, but he took the time to stop what he was doing and help her out.
Both stories are about a dad showing his love for his daughter by doing something that may seem insignificant at the time, yet cultivates that special father-daughter relationship, which is a finer thing indeed!
Most of my Teaching Tuesday’s for the summer will revolve around what the girls and I are doing in our self-developed summer learning program. You can read here about what I have planned out for us to do each week. My younger daughter wants to call this “school” while the older one prefers the “summer learning” term.
Last week I posted a schedule of weekly themes and activities that I’m hoping to do with the girls this summer. Since then, I have been trying to work out a daily schedule for us to follow. Here is what I’ve put together for my girls so far.
Is it because, in a sense, she’s a firstborn that she is like me (also a firstborn) in her perfectionistic tendencies, her desire to please those in authority, her love of order and organization? The old “nature versus nurture” debate rages on.
Yet as much of myself as I see in her, there are parts of her daddy present, too. For starters, she looks much more like him. She can run fast and tans beautifully – two traits she unquestionably inherited from father!
She has handled well the pressures of being the oldest, having parents who want to do their best expecting much from her, while perhaps unconsciously relaxing a little more with the younger one.
I am overwhelmingly thankful for this long-awaited child, the answer to years of prayers, the entry to parenthood we desired. The door to parenthood had been barely nudged ajar by the brief life of our Angel; this daughter flung it wide open.
The days and weeks seem to be going by faster now. May I treasure the moments to be with her, to grow to know and understand her better as we journey together into uncharted waters.
After all, I’ve never been the mom of a third grader before.
Since this is the last week of school here, I decided it was time to get myself in gear for the summer. While I like to take it easy during these months, I also know that the girls still need a bit of structure to their days. When we have at least a general plan of things to do, it keeps both them and myself more focused and under control. Since swimming lessons aren’t being offered at our normal location this summer, the next few months are pretty low-key as far as activities go.
I wanted to do a theme for each week of the summer and plan our reading and other activities around it. Monday will be our library day. I plan to go online and reserve some titles ahead of time, but will also browse through the shelves while we’re there to get a good selection of books. If there is a related video or dvd to go along with our theme, we’ll check that out as well. Since my girls are six and eight, we will choose materials that they can mostly read by themselves.
The outings I’ve chosen each week are free or relatively inexpensive. For the few that cost a bit more, we will use the money we had set aside for those swimming lessons to cover the expense. I also have included a Bible verse for them to memorize each week that goes along with the theme we’ll be discussing. Again, they are old enough to read through the verse on their own and can practice it together.
The order of the weeks may change as we go along, depending on what other items are added to our schedule. Here’s the plan I’m starting with for now.
Week 1 Theme – Countries
Books: Each girl can choose five countries to read about
Outing: Grocery store (Since we will have just returned from our vacation, our outing will be to the grocery store where the girls can help me choose ingredients to make meals from some of the countries they choose to read about.)
Bible verse: Acts 1:8
Week 2 Theme – Ocean
Books: Ocean/Ocean Life/Sea Animals
Verse: Psalm 139:9-10
Week 3 Theme – Animals
Books: Each girl chooses five animals to read about
Verse: Psalm 104:24
Week 4 Theme – History
Books: Each girl will choose one time period from world history and one from American history to read about
Outing: Fort Moultrie, SC
Verse: Psalm 77:11-12
Week 5 Theme – Flowers & Trees
Books: Encyclopedia or overview books about various types of flowers and trees
Outing: Middleton Place Gardens
Verse: Matthew 6:28-29
Week 6 Theme – Sports
Books: Three sports each
Outing: Bowling and/or minor league baseball game
Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Week 7 Theme – Famous Americans
Books: Five for each girl – biographies or autobiographies (to include one native South Carolinian each)
Outing: Downtown Charleston, SC
Verse: Hebrews 12:1
Week 8 Theme – Missionaries
Books: Three for each girl – biographies or autobiographies
Outing: Service project (I would like to find some service project we can do as a family)
Verse: Matthew 28:19-20
Week 9 Theme – Health/Our Bodies
Books: Anatomy/Exercise/Healthy Eating
Outing: Local park (hiking trail) and/or farmers market to choose new fruit or vegetable to try
Verse: Psalm 139:14
Next week I plan to share what our daily schedule will look like. I will update throughout the summer as to what is (and what isn’t!) working for us!
photo courtesy Public Domain Pictures
Today marks a special occasion in our family.
At our church on Wednesday night, my eight-year-old daughter played the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross for the offertory.
It is amazing to watch her and see how much she has grown and progressed over the last couple of years. She sits and plays very calmly, while my stomach is churning.
Afterwards, she told me that she thinks about the words of the song while she is playing – and I hope that those words are sinking into her heart. This is why we budget that chunk of money for a piano teacher, drive her to weekly lessons and make sure that she practices her twenty minutes every day – so that she might learn to love and enjoy music and use it as a way to worship and serve God by ministering to and blessing others.
As I mentioned in a post last week, our family has discovered a new book that we are using for our family devotional time.
I realize that families study the Bible together in different ways. What currently works for us is setting aside a few minutes after we are finished eating supper to have a devotional time.
We have done different things over the years – read from Bible story books, examined Bible characters, read brief biographies on various missionaries, studied character traits, and discussed particular Bible passages.
While researching some books that a friend recommended, I came across a book entitled Wisdom and the Millers. It is written by Mildred A. Martin and published by Green Pastures Press. We are so thoroughly enjoying this book!
The Miller family includes Dad, Mom and their four children. Each of the chapters tells a short story of an event that happens in the family which illustrates a verse from Proverbs.
One of my favorites so far is entitled “The Multitude of Words” and is based on Proverbs 10:19, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” In the story, Sharon, the oldest daughter, encounters several difficulties throughout her day because of her inconsiderate words and thoughtless speech. At the end of the day, her mom sits down with her and they figure out the root of the problem and its’ solution.
Most nights we do a brief review of one of our previous stories, and the girls remember well the lessons that were taught. I was out on the night my husband did the chapter on having a froward mouth, but the girls were able to fill me in on the whole thing!
I would highly recommend this book either for reading together as a family or for your child to read for themselves. It has been a great find for us!
Here are other books in the Miller Family Series.
- School Days with the Millers
- Storytime with the Millers
- Prudence and the Millers
- Missionary Stories with the Millers
- Growing with the Millers
We are always looking for books or ideas for our family Bible time. If you have suggestions or resources that you enjoy, please let me know in the comments section.
We started bedtime routines with our daughters when they were infants. Thanks to my reading the book Babywise when I was expecting, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted our evenings to look. Obviously that has changed somewhat as our girls have grown, but I have kept things in the same general order. So, with girls that are ages eight and six, who get up in the mornings at 6:25 A.M. to get ready for school, here is what our nights look like leading up to bedtime.