Friday, September 10, 2010

"One Hand, Two Hands" by Max Lucado (Children's Book review)

"One Hand, Two Hands" by Max Lucado (Children's Book review)

From "Written in rhyming text and illustrated with the charming art of Gaby Hansen, this simple message of God's blessing of hands not only entertains . . . as it teaches what wonderful things our hands can do from scratching, latching, and petting a pup to washing dishes with mommy and putting toys in a box . . . but it also conveys the important message: We can use God's gift of hands to show our love for Him by helping others. The book ends tenderly with a prayer of thanks to God for hands and asks Him to use them again:

One hand, two hands,
Five fingers, ten.
God, thanks, for my hands.
Please, use them again."

My Review:
A very simple cute book for the little ones. Pros are that it has adorable illustrations that my kids loved, and enforces the idea that our hands are for doing good things. Cons are that the book really only mentions God at the end there as quoted in the Amazon writeup and the book is a bit long for the attention spans of the intellectual level that would get the most out of the simple rhyming text. I think that my almost 4 year old will after a few readings begin to grasp that the book is saying we should use our hands to do good and kind things, without further explanation. She might need help connecting the one mention of God using our hands to the reason why we do good things with them, simply because God is so obscure in the book. But then again maybe not... kids pick up on things sometimes that we wouldn't think they would. My 2 year old however will probably not grasp this concept right away even with further explanation. I will have to own this book longer, I think, to be able to see what their little minds do with it. :) And every child is different so perhaps what is not immediately obvious to my tots will be to yours, or vice versa.
Over all a good sweet simple book. I enjoy reading it with my littles. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars - not 5 simply because I'd like God to be a little more obvious in the text but other than that it's great!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My water broke!

So my water broke this morning! Yay finally something's going on! :D I hope. I've only had 4 contractions since it broke at 7:30am which was 2 1/2 hours ago so not really going anywhere yet.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Keeping them innocent just a little longer...

**This post is for ADULTS ONLY**
We explain to Chicklet when we encounter something immoral or inappropriate that this is not something we do, but in this day and age there are unfortunately too many things that cross the line and while we as a society are becoming numb to the perversion that is so prevalent, our little ones are becoming innocent victims. Think about it, how many times do you notice what's happening in the commercials when you're watching tv that's supposed to be "family friendly" in the evenings? Honestly it's hard to pay attention isn't it? Your show goes to commercial and you turn to the hubby to discuss what you think is going to happen next, and meanwhile the kids are playing on the floor nearby and look up just in time to catch a crude remark, nude shot, or a dirty teaser for that show you swore you'd never ever let cross the airwaves into your home. I will admit that I've heard and looked up just a little too late one too many times. Well one time IS too many IMO. My kids don't need to see an ad complete with a shot of Shakira's crotch spread in wide view in a bikini during American Idol. Hmph even *I* do not want to be subjected to that! Eww! Very eww. I'd personally rather just not have the TV at all. Okay maybe just set up for DVD's so I can watch Christy and Anne of Green Gables when the mood strikes. ;) But I could do without the Shakira crotch aD or Lady Gaga's sex dance in the middle of a show that's not supposed to be risque'!
And so can my kids! They can do without the constant barrage of filth streaming in from every venue outside our doors, coming in through the tv, radio, books, magazines, etc.
Mamas, we're the GATEKEEPERS. When we're admonished in the Bible to be keepers of the home, the original word was a cross between a word meaning to work in the home and a word that was used to refer to a guard or gatekeeper who would prevent the enemy from entering the city. We are to keep our homes in more than one way- we are to work at taking care of the home and those in it, and we are to GUARD our homes from the enemy. Oh mamas, we have SUCH an important job! Our children's minds are the future and our job is to guard what enters them. This is something that should be near and dear to every mother's heart: to protect their child from the advances of the enemy. For now they are our babies but someday, if we keep them from being broken down before they grow up strong in The Lord, they will grown into strong straight arrows for God!
Now, I don't think I can totally sheild my kids from all the mess that is the culture we live in, but you can bet I'll do my best to protect them from things that will weaken them as much as I, in God's strength, can do so. So if we're in the checkout line and Chicklet, whom I've begin to teach to read, sees "57 s** positions that'll blow his mind" on the cover of a magazine, she's not going to know the meaning of that word and she's going to ask about it and 3-4 years old is too young for that much discloseure. It will not strengthen her to know about s** at age 4. Or 5. or 6... It will just serve to open a mental door of curiousity that is like a magnet. Ever notice that as soon as you buy a certain kind of car you start seeing them everywhere and think to yourself, "Huh! I never noticed that many of these around before!"? This is because the brain has a magnet in it for things you are interested. Once that door of the knowlege of the existence of something is opened in a mind, especially a child's mind, their brain finds little tidbits about that subject everywhere. In everything. Things that would be overlooked before are taken in like a flashing neon sign. Once your child notices magazine covers have things on them that they don't know about, their brains are on high alert for new magazine covers or any other media that will fill in the blanks. Especially if they know that these things are not for little eyes and ears. Just like your toddler wants to eat off YOUR plate the same food that is on his plate because it's just better when it belongs to a grown-up, for a child hearing that ___ is a grown-up topic and they will learn more when they are older, their brains are in seek-mode trying to figure out the missing bits. And a little curiousity can lead to finding out things that are too heavy for their little minds and hearts to fight against. Why do so many 12 year olds get pregnant and have abortions? Why do so many 10 and 11 year olds sleep with their boyfriends or become addicted to pornography? Why do so many 8 year olds think they need to wear a tube top to the mall and a string bikini to the pool? They see; they are smart enough to decypher the message that pop culture is sending out: 'less modesty/purity makes you more desireable and being desireable is EVERYTHING in life.' Everywhere they go your kids are seeing skanky women in their undies on magazine covers and tv screens and billboards. I want my daughter to be who she is, who God made her to be, without being innundated with constant pop culture, KWIM? Even if that pop culture is "no that bad" it still entices my chid to pay attention to pop culture - that open door magnet thing. Just look around and who do 6 year olds want to be? Hannah Montanna? They want to be someone from pop culture. They don't want to be Florence Nightingale or Gladys Aylward, the door is opened to pop culture and next thing you know they want to grow up to be Lady Gaga. And the brainwashing starts from the cradle as they are seeing the advertisements on TV and in the checkout line and everywhere we go.
So how are we supposed to combat that? What is the next step? I think that daily taking our mission as gatekeeper seriously by being in prayer about everything we allow into our homes is a great start. We can't prevent them from being exposed to anything impure, but we can innoculate them with a firm foundation in the Bible and pray over them constantly. And we can take little and big steps whenever the opportunity to do so arises to preserve their innocence.

HERE's a post by a concerned mom of mostly boys with a terrific idea! I hope you will take a moment to check it out and consider taking a stand in this manner also. I plan to next time I'm in WalMart. Just remember that you catch more flies with honey... ;)
Making a family friendly checkout line will not prevent my daughter (or subsequent children) from growing up in "the real world" as much as I WISH it could, but it would help to protect a little bit of her sweet little girl innocence for just a little longer and I'd stand in line an extra hour for that. ;)