Parenting an Out of the Box Child – Intro

When you first become a parent, it is natural to have hopes and dreams for your child.  Some of those hopes and dreams guide decisions and choices as a parent, and some of those hopes and dreams fade away.

Once we get to know that tiny bundle that comes home with us – hopefully, we learn how to adapt our personalities, bents, and inclinations to the personalities, bents, and inclinations God has given our children.

Being a parent is hard.  Parenting an Out of the Box Child, though, can present a whole different horizon than ever imagined.

An Out of the Box Child, for my intent and purposes, includes a child who might:

  • Be labeled “Strong Willed” or a “Discipline problem”
  • Be Diagnosed with a neurological condition such as ADHD, Asperger’s or Autism
  • Have a physical condition which presents challenges in the regular activities of daily living
  • Just like to dance on the outside of any regular or “normal” lines that are deemed acceptable in general

An Out of the Box Child may or may not have any specific condition, but may just flutter or charge through life with an outlook that completely puzzles, overwhelms, or mystifies his/her parents, teachers, siblings, and others.

God has created a whole wide range of personalities.  I’ve seen them categorized into 4 broad generalizations (choleric, sanguine, melancholy, and phlegmatic, for example).  I’ve also seen them arranged in a more detailed list including up to 16 psychological types (In this case, I am an ENFP).  Even this is just a reflection of parts of me, and does not define me as an individual…

The idea is that we are each individuals with strengths and weaknesses, flaws and virtues, styles and preferences.  When we marry, it can be a challenge to meld those individuals together in a peaceful life of harmony.  And when those two individuals are blessed with a child – who looks like one and acts “just like” the other (or both), it becomes a whole different challenge to parent that child well.

With love and fairness. Without unrealistic expectations or unfair demands.  With a desire to train them to know and love God, while understanding the individual personality and responding accordingly.

That would explain the thousands upon thousands of books with parenting advice, parenting plans, parenting styles, and stories of parenting “failures” and “successes.”  But I am still early on in my journey and although I have learned a lot – I still have so much to learn.

Parenting is about being who I am and becoming who I need to be in relationship to each child God gives me.  Parenting is about each individual God has blessed me with to raise – as both an opportunity to bless and be blessed in this relationship.  And to bring blessing to the world.

I was inspired to write about this topic by reading Sarah Mae’s Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe again.  And then after I wrote this (but before this post was actually published), I read Sally Clarkson’s blog post about her son Nathan and smiled because it is exactly WHY I am writing this…

I will have more posts on this topic next THIS week.  (Really.  They are written.  And scheduled).  And will continue to write about this subject because it is part of the journey God has led me on, and I know I am not alone…

Would you Sponsor Me in the Walk for Life?

As you may already know, I work part-time for a non-profit pregnancy center.  In fact, the organization I work for operates 3 pregnancy centers in 3 different counties in Ohio.   Because we are non-profit, the organization receives NO government money.  On occasion, we are able to apply for and receive grants from local businesses – but more than 98% of our funding comes from individuals, businesses, and churches.

This Saturday, we are holding our Walk for Life event in 2 counties.  (Last weekend, we held the first annual 5K Run/Walk in 1 county). Because I am an employee, I will not actually be walking the event, but will help host and operate the event in 1 of our locations.

Would you Sponsor Me in the Walk for Life?

I won’t be actually walking, but I will be attending and helping run the Walk.  We often have members of local churches, local pro-life groups, and other people who are passionate about encouraging women to consider the option of LIFE for an unplanned pregnancy.

Here’s a little about what we do:

We offer pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds (both free of charge), pregnancy education and support, parenting education and support, a boutique for obtaining needed items like diapers, wipes, and formula (again, free of charge), and a clothing closet.  This summer, we will have a post-abortion Bible study.  We offer many opportunities for clients to learn about God and faith in Him, but do not force any of our clients to participate in any faith-based activity if they are opposed.  Instead, we pray for them and with them and for their family.  Many of our families live in poverty.  Some of them don’t.  Some of them come in just long enough to get an item they need, and some have been coming for a year.

In fact, ALL of our services are free of charge.

In exchange for a commitment to pursue education (video-based), our clients are able to learn how to take better care of themselves and their children, and they are able to “shop” in our boutique and get the items they need to help care for their children.

We are able to do this because of donors who support us in one way or another.  We have those who donate money on a monthly basis, and those who donate one time per year.  We have various fundraiser events where local supporters can participate, including the Walk for Life and our Baby Bottle Campaigns.

If you already support a local pregnancy center, that is wonderful and I hope you continue to do so!

If you don’t, would you consider sponsoring me in the Walk for Life?

You can donate in a few different ways:

Online Gift

You can pay by electronic check or credit card online.  (Click the “Make a Difference Give Now” button.  Select “Other” and type in “Walk for Life – Debbie” to designate a sponsorship for me.)

Mailed Gift

You can also mail a check to – Voice of Hope, 1199 Delaware Ave  Ste 110A, Marion, OH  43302  – and designate “Walk for Life – Debbie” in the memo field or in a note.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work for a pro-life organization that offers tangible help to families in need, along with the opportunity to learn about God and His love for them.

As always, you can pray for organizations who support life!

Lunch Box Inspiration for Your Kids and You

Packing lunches can get pretty boring pretty quickly.  My husband can eat the same thing every day he works for 2 weeks in a row – and the thought of that makes me want to gag!  He can eat the same kind of sandwich, sides & snacks every day.  I can’t eat like that.  My kids are not the same kind of eaters, either, but when they do eat lunch, they need some variety!  I’ve been watching bloggers write up some ideas and found several things on Pinterest and thought I’d share my favorites Lunch Box Inspirations with you here:

  • iPackLunch –  I kinda liked a lot of what she had to say so I marked this site for reference.  Some posts include pictures only, but some include pictures and explanations of what is shown.  I like both!
  • What’s for Lunch? – from Finding BonggaMom has a GREAT list and pictures of examples for a kids’ lunch.  While my children beg for food every 15 minutes when they are home, during lunch they only eat a few bites of anything.  (I know this ONLY because I visited them a couple of times last year for lunch!)
  • What’s for Lunch – from Chalk One Up for the Teacher has printables listing food categories and suggestions for each category.  One is prefilled and one is blank for you to use to keep your menu fresh!  She also has a couple of links to check out for more lunchbox ideas, including glutenfree.
  • Back to School Lunch Ideas from The Scrapbooking Housewife is a FUN post to read!  She includes a Chocolate Banana Bread recipe, a pretty printable with lunch ideas, AND cute lunch box notes.
  • 500+ School Lunch Ideas is jam-packed with pictures and lists that link to the suggestions, ideas, and recipes.

I am definitely looking at these and gearing up to plan lunches in creative and fun ways without throwing all the food away.  Plus, I think Roy & I could enjoy a BUNCH of these lunch ideas and make our lunches more enjoyable.  What do YOU think?

Do you usually pack a lunch?  How do you keep it interesting?

Got Fleas?

So just a few weeks ago, we had the dreaded “a case of lice in your child’s classroom” letter come home.

ewwwwww! {shudder} I can handle a ton of gross & disgusting things – but bugs on the body – just the thought makes me hyperventilate.

Ticks. Spiders. Leeches. lice. ACK! “Monsters Inside Me” is like my very worst nightmare.

So I had to check the girls heads for a couple of days, then again more recently because there is a rebound effect. 10 days or so. So I checked again and thankfully so far it’s all clear. Which is good because Curly has a very thick head of hair plus a tender scalp. It makes for difficult hair care already. Checking for lice just kicks it up a notch.
Continue reading “Got Fleas?”

Mothers and Daughters

I have been concerned about my girls lately. Their health is fine – and really, they are doing great in school. They are growing well (other than they are growing TOO FAST for my comfort) and I am amazed by and so thankful for them.

Until an ugly attitude rears it’s er, ugly head, and then I tend to react. I tend to find the need to bang a lesson into their brain. I want to instruct them in righteousness, but the reaction I typically model is anything BUT righteous.
Continue reading “Mothers and Daughters”