Monday, November 28, 2011

Ways to Encourage #1

The dreams we have while we’re sleeping are usually pretty strange. But, I do believe there are times when we can learn something from our dreams. For example, a couple of months ago, I had a dream that gave me an idea to share.

In the dream, my family and I were sitting at our dining room table, passing around several pieces of paper. At the top of each paper was a name or a photo of one member of our family. For example, there was one paper for me, one for my husband, and one for each child. The papers went around the table and each of us took turns writing out something encouraging for the person on the paper.

A couple of weeks later, I decided to give this a try with our two children for a “creative writing” assignment. Our daughter was given a paper with her brother’s name on it, and vise versa for our son. Let me share with you what they both wrote:

Our 8-year-old son wrote:

I like [my sister] because... She loves dogs, and she loves me to play dogs with her, and she loves me too.

Our 13-year-old autistic daughter wrote:
I like [my brother] because... I love him. I like to play with him. We can play catch with a ball. We can play with stuffed dogs. We can play tag.
These are very simple sentences they each wrote, but special in many ways. They will be kept in a 3-ring binder and treasured to look back on. It is always nice to look at encouraging thoughts someone has written about you.

We haven’t done this activity with the entire family yet, but might do it soon. I’m sure it would be a good activity to do during the Christmas season. I encourage you to try it with your own family, and maybe even make a yearly tradition of it.

This suggestion will be the first out of a series called “Ways to Encourage.” Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing ten different ways we can bring encouragement to our family and friends, or even to a complete stranger. They will be simple things we can do to bring a smile to someone’s face.

If you choose to try one of the suggestions I mention, please share it in the comments section below (or send me an E-MAIL and I can share it for you.)

Also, if you have a story to share about how someone encouraged YOU in a special way, please share that as well.

Have fun with encouragement!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure (Review)

I am generally a quiet person, rather reserved and not wanting to draw much attention to myself. However, in my own home, where I am most comfortable, I have been known to “let loose.” I have danced around the kitchen with my family, tickled my children ‘til they can’t stand it anymore, chased them up the stairs, sang with them at the top of my lungs, and even laughed at noisy bodily functions.

Those are all "fun" things but, although I hate to admit it, I have also "let loose" by raising my voice at the children in a not so friendly way. In other words, I have "yelled" at them. Sometimes, I felt as if they deserved it, but most of the time they didn’t. That just goes to show, as much as I would like it to be, I’m not a perfect mom.

I also know I’m not alone with taking part in this negative response of yelling. Are there any perfect moms out there who have never raised their voice to their children? I honestly don’t know of one single mother who has never done that– not even Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement Magazine! She is the first to admit she has yelled at her children, and she has received many letters from other mothers who have done the same, asking for help. So, Lorrie wrote an eBook about it, called, “Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure.”

In this 21-page eBook, Lorrie encourages us to figure out what our “triggers” are. She also gives helpful ideas on how to plan ahead for those triggers, in order to eliminate them, or to respond appropriately to them. Yelling is not responding appropriately - to ANY misdemeanor. We expect our children to be respectful of us and to talk to us using a proper tone of voice. But, then, its okay for us to yell at them? What is this teaching them?

Lorrie says, “Look at it this way, if it isn’t life-threatening, if the house is not ablaze, if it is not time to call 911, or if the child you are yelling at is not half a mile away, then yelling is the wrong choice and not worth the cost.”

Lorrie can help you make a better choice through her “11-step stop yelling plan,” which is found in the “Yelling” eBook mentioned above. Order your own copy today at

I received “Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure” as an official member of THE GABBY MOMS blogging program. I received it free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inexpensive Ways to Spend Time With Your Family

You can spend time with your family, and you can do it very inexpensively. The following list has something for everyone - families with children, families without children, families with grown children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc...
Play a board game or card game.

Play “I Spy” (The object is to have someone choose an item in the room, within eyeshot of everyone. Then, each person takes turns asking questions about it until they figure it out.)

Play Hangman or Tic Tac Toe.

Ask each person 20 questions about themselves to get to know them better.

Play 20 questions, where someone thinks of an object and writes it down, then everyone asks questions to see if they can figure out what it is.

Draw pictures together. One of my family’s favorite games is to have one person draw one thing, then the next person adds something to it, then continues on until you all agree that the picture is done. My dad did this with us when I was growing up, and now he is doing it with his grandchildren as well. We call it the “Drawing Game.”

Tell stories to each other, or with each other. Just like the “Drawing Game,” telling stories works the same way. Someone begins, then the next one continues, until everyone has had at least one chance.

Bake together and share some with your friends and neighbors.

Have a family movie night with pizza and popcorn.

Have an ice cream sundae bar where everyone can add their own toppings.

Listen to music and dance around the room.

Sing with each other.

Rub each other’s feet and shoulders while watching TV or listening to music.

Exercise together.

Have a scavenger hunt.

Have an indoor picnic.

Do a craft together.

Do a service project together.

Play with playdough.

Learn about a specific kind of pet, then go pick one out together.

Go on a nature hike, or just a walk around the neighborhood.

Sit on the porch swing and watch the birds.

Go to the park.

Go swimming together.

Rake leaves together, then jump in them.

Play in the snow or go sledding.

Go camping.

Ride bikes.

Fly a kite.
Play a game of tag or hide and seek.

The list goes on...

What are some of your favorite inexpensive things to do as a family? Please share...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy 50th Anniversary to TWO Special Couples!

I just wanted to share the amazing milestones of two wonderful couples in my life...

Within the past couple of months, both sets of our parents (David's and mine) have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries.

In September, we celebrated with
David's parents, John & Sharon

This past weekend, we celebrated with
my parents, James & Carolyn 

Both sets of parents are such wonderful examples of what it means to follow through on a commitment. Through good times and bad, they have stayed together, and have promised to remain committed to each other until the Lord calls them home. It is a blessing to know these two couples.

Congratulations to both couples, and may the Lord continue to bless you in the years to come!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Homeschool Blog Awards Nominee

This blog (He Holds My Right Hand) has been nominated for the Homeschool Blog Awards, under the category of "Most Encouraging." If you feel this blog is worthy of winning this award, please go to THE HOMESCHOOL POST and place your vote. Thanks!