Hidden Art Friday

tea and crumpetsTea and crumpets.  For an anglophile like me, they’re the ultimate comfort combo.  In times of stress, I decompress by baking, so I decided to try to make my own crumpets.  This week, I tried this NY Times recipe for whole wheat crumpets because they sounded, well, healthier than the white ones you can buy at the grocery store.  The first time, they didn’t bubble the way storebought crumpets do, so I thought maybe I did something wrong.  The kids and I loved the taste so much that I tried again with the same recipe and let the batter rise longer.  They still didn’t bubble as desired, but they sure are tasty with butter and honey spread on top.  I have several other recipes pinned, so we’ll be trying again over the next few weeks.  Have any of you ever tried to make your own?  Have a fail-safe recipe?  Think I’m crazy to even attempt this?  Do share.

I don’t often mention my kids’ milestones on here, but yesterday morning I went in to get Baby J out of her crib, and she clearly pointed at my mug and said, “Tea!”  That’s my girl.

Is anyone else dreading the daylight savings time change this weekend?  Falling back is awful when you have kids, right?!  I’m kind of still in denial, but I’m going to try to use the misfortune of my kids waking up an hour earlier to establish a new quiet time routine.  If you’re looking for inspiration for devotions, Anna talked about them this summer, and my dear mentor friend Brenda guest blogged about them this spring.

May your weekend be blessed!

Posted in Hidden Art Fridays | 2 Comments

So….yelling.

Yelling gets a lot of press these days. Understandably. It’s a nasty way to talk to a child, and yelling can quickly cross over into the boundaries of emotional abuse. Yelling something cruel at a child is a memory that they will live with for a long time. I’ve mentioned to you before that yelling is something I struggle with, but today I want to talk more in depth about it.

In secular parenting circles, I think that yelling accomplishes for many moms what spanking used to. It’s no longer politically correct to train and discipline our children through spanking, and after that, our only recourse for naughty children is to yell at them. It gets their attention quickly, and unless your child is particularly hardened, usually produces the desired result.

I do find it a little ironic that in a culture that so highly values politically correct speech for politically correct things, yelling at children is considered an acceptable parenting strategy.

In Christian parenting circles, though, yelling in universally condemned. For good reasons. There are countless books on Christian parenting that will tell you that you should never yell at your child. Instead, we need to be patient with them, correcting them kindly, and dealing with the situation with love.

I agree with all that.

But I think, in the pendulum swing away from abusing our children and calling it physical discipline, we have swung too far to the other side. So many nice Christian parents know that they should never yell at their children, and so their yelling becomes a furtive act of desperation for when nobody is looking and mom has absolutely had it with the patient, loving attempt to reign her little monsters in. Can anybody relate?

So where is the middle ground? Well, it starts with actually disciplining and training our children. The details of that are something you should ask your pastor (or an older mom in your church who has raised her children well) about. But I’m not sure that yelling is completely excluded from that equation. There are times when it could be completely appropriate. Running in front of oncoming traffic is an obvious example. When you walk into the dining room to find the children using the forbidden sharpies on the walls, yelling is an excellent way to make everybody stop what they are doing, immediately. Riding in the car in stop-and-go traffic with fighting kids in the back seat is another good example. Infrequent yelling, in this way, immediately gets kids’ attention. Our children should never get to the point that when they are disobeying us, they are not afraid of us. Yelling in necessary circumstances is a great way to remind them that they are out of line, that you are in charge, and that sometimes, you can be scary. That’s ok–Mom should be scary sometimes.

And now, for the necessary caveat: there are many kinds of yelling that are not ok, and require you to repent and ask your children for forgiveness if you have yelled at them in this way. For example, belittling a child is never ok. Attacking a child is never ok.

Another kind of yelling that is not ok is the kind that happens frequently because you refuse to give instructions and have concrete consequences for those instructions; in short, to discipline your child. If your kids are so out-of-control that you find yourself constantly yelling at them just to maintain some sort of order, your discipline of them is inadequate. If you find your children not scared by your yelling, or immediately stopping whatever they’re doing in their tracks, this is another good indicator that your discipline is inadequate. If this is where you find yourself, go talk to a pastor or older woman in the church.

And just in case you think I’ve completely lost it and gone over to the dark side, here’s a great post from Like Mother Like Daughter about making sure your children obey you. Hint: yelling is allowed. As a side note, if you’re ever looking for some wonderful parenting advice, just head over to LMLD and read anything Auntie Leila has written on parenting. The authors are Catholic, and while I disagree with their theology, the practical parenting advice is wonderful.

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The Mom God Chose

So the blog has been silent for a week, and it’s partially because my family has been grieving the death of my niece. Doubtless many of you readers know someone who has endured such heartbreaking loss, and I encourage you to pray for them today.

Anyone who has lost a child at any stage knows how tempting it is to go down the road of “what ifs”…and as moms, some of us are really susceptible to lies about our worthiness to even be mothers.  I’m not thin enough, organized enough, clean enough, healthy enough, artistic enough, fun enough, and the list could go on and on. I compare my weaknesses to my friends’ strengths and always find myself lacking. A very wise mentor caught me going down this mental path several years ago and said, “But remember, God knows everything about you, and YOU are the mom that He chose for your kids.

I try to remember that on days when my son cuts his thumb open, my big girls are fighting over doll clothes, and the baby has to be taken to the ER. Or when my daughter can’t find her soccer uniform (because it’s still unwashed from last week), I burn dinner, and no one is in bed on time.  I hear the voice of the evil one accusing me: “Bad mom! Bad mom!” But I have to choose to remember that imperfect as I am, I am the mom that God chose for my kids. With all my failings, He has still given me the task of bearing five immortal souls in my body, and raising four of them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He began a good work in me when I asked Him into my heart over a quarter century ago. He has promised to bring His good work to completion, and my motherhood is part of that process.

This past month, our family has been memorizing the hymn, “O Worship the King.”  Whether you’re a mom with children in your arms, out of the house, in heaven, or in the womb, may you find encouragement in the verse we memorized last week:

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

Posted in For New Moms, Hymns, Parenting | Leave a comment

Hidden Art Friday

Happy Friday, everybody!

I’m a little late getting this posted today, so hopefully you’re not all gone for the weekend! As you may have noticed, we needed to have a chill week here at the e2s blog. Some weeks are just like that. We hope you’ll stay tuned, though, because we have the best intentions to get back at it on Monday!

The past few weeks have been my family’s annual apple processing weeks (remember my applesauce post from last year?). We have an orchard in Pennsylvania we go to every year, and since we’ve been four years in a row now, the owner knows me and knows what type of apples I like. The apple harvest was a little scanty this year, but I still came home with 13 bushels total–10 Jonagold, and 3 Cortland. That’s a lot of apples.

So, besides canning over 150 quarts of applesauce, we’ve been eating a lot of them as snacks, and trying out a few other things, too.

AppleCiderVinegar

As appetizing as this looks, I’m hoping that it’s the beginning of some apple cider vinegar! I took the parts of the cooked apples that my KitchenAid applesauce attachment spits out, put them in a mason jar, and covered them with water and a loose lid. It’s been sitting in a dark cupboard for almost a week now, and I’m supposed to let it sit for another three or four. While I am excited to see how it turns out, my husband is a little more skeptical :)

AppleCrisp

We’ve also been using the apples for baking! This apple crisp recipe was the first one we tried, and after eating it, my kids decided we didn’t need to try any other recipes. We have, however, made this one about four times.

Around the web this week, here’s a great article on whether or not egg freezing lets women have it all. Back in the very early days at e2s, Bethany did a post on the trend of egg freezing, so I was happy to see a piece so similar over at National Review.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Posted in Hidden Art Fridays | 1 Comment
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