Car Convos

When my oldest son started PreK4, it was the first time that he was at a school where I would not also be there.

It was harder on me than it was on him.

By this time, our bedtime routine was also getting harder. Making sure that I tucked in both boys, and listen to their stories from the day…or whatever they wanted to tell me…on top of bathtime, and brushing teeth…made for a verrry long bedtime routine. So, I was looking for ways to make our routine shorter. I started singing to them and stopped asking about their day at bedtime…and started asking about their day in the car.

For 2-3 years, it got increasingly harder to get my oldest to talk to me…about anything. This little 4-7 year old.

Then, I remembered an article I had read a couple of years before.

It talked about instead of asking “How was your day? What did you learn today?”

To ask this list of other questions.

So…I did that. For months, it felt like pulling teeth, getting him to talk to me.

He is a car rider, so every day, when he got in the car, I’d ask him “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Then, one day…I purposefully didn’t ask. He would screech, cry, not want to answer…so, one day…I just let it be…

(In a whiny voice) “Mom. You forgot to ask me about my day!”

We were half way home.

“No, son. Every day, you get upset with me when I ask…so, today I decided to take a break. Do you want to tell me about your day?”

“Yes”

“Ok. What was your favorite part of your day?”

That day unlocked a little piece of his heart.

He needed to know that I cared about his day, and he had grown accustomed to me asking.

So, for three years, every day, in the car, I’d ask. Some days, I’d get an answer. Some days, I’d get the dreaded screeches and whining. But, most days our car convos would branch into other things he would want to talk to me about.

Then we moved schools. And that felt like another unlocking moment. He loved where he was at, and he was a completely different kid.

Now, I greet him and his brother, every afternoon with “What was your favorite part of today?”

They love it. It’s something that has brought them closer. And it even gets them talking about their day to each other…

I just have to make sure they have a snack, first….because, you know….#hangry runs in the family.

Our Journey Through Life May Look Different Than We Plan

Today, my younger son asked me for “oils”.

We were reading a story, and his arm was itching on a scab on his arm. I asked him what he needed, and he told me he wanted oils.

It’s funny.

5 years ago, I stopped buying essential oils for our family. My husband and I were in Discipleship School at our church. At the time, I felt like I need to stop buying them, to make room in our budget to help pay for D-school, our trip that was associated with that, and our daughter would be arriving shortly after.

I had a huge inventory for our home, so I was ok with setting aside purchasing any more for a short amount of time.

Well- that short amount of time ended up being five whole years. We are finally nearing the bottom of our inventory. . . and it’s made me reflective of the past five years.

From 2014-2017, I was consistently using essential oils and natural remedies to support my family’s wellness.

But, when I set them aside, so to speak, I have noticed that my family asks for them more when I ask them “what do you need?”

This really made me think. . .

Because, I’ve noticed that a lot of things that I thought were going to “breakthrough” for our family while we were traveling- I didn’t actually see progress on until these past few months, since we have been home.

My kids encouraging each other. My oldest taking responsibility for chores, without being asked. My kids being excited about Church and open to bible stories.

Time and time again, since February, all the things I thought would happen ( because I planned it that way, so of course it’s going to happen that way) while we were traveling, only started happening all this time later. . .

After two years of consistency and space.

I know that some of these things may seem very small or trivial.

However, it just really highlighted for me- that we are all on our own time table in our journeys through life. No matter what that looks like.

We can’t expect things to happen a certain way, on our journey, let alone other people’s.

Life happens, there are ups and downs, curve-balls are thrown.

No matter what it is that you are waiting on, things will come together in due time- whether it looks like you thought it would, or not.

Progress

Today, progress looks like my kids playing bookstore!

They set up stations: a bookstore and a restaurants.

Now, they are taking turns visiting each establishment.

Free/pretend play is so important for kids to explore their creativity. To explore social interactions. To understand the world around them.

Last week, we started limiting technology time.

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been in transition after transition both physically (which is to be expected when you travel full-time), and in regards to finding employment opportunities that help us live this lifestyle. During this time, we have relied a little more on technology than we would have normally.

Sometimes, we have periods of more technology than other times. I’m learning to accept that’s ok! However, it’s important to notice when technology is interrupting healthy day-to-day functioning!

So, when the kids were throwing fits and having meltdowns, we knew it was time to adjust our schedule, and re-focus them on how to handle situations.

Today is a small victory! Our house feels peaceful, once again- as my kids are exploring free/pretend play, while getting along, and treating each other with kindness!

Advent Calendar and Plan

Ya’ll- I.am.so.excited.

For the first time, I got us “all the things” to lead up to Christmas Day.

I can not wait until December 1st.

Tomorrow, I’ll go live over on my Facebook page to share what I got and where! And also, go over what we will be reading each day from the Bible.

If you haven’t already go like and follow Rooted Mama- and I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow!

Family Encouragement and Edification

A lot of things that we do in our family have resulted, because of some sort of tension. There’s a problem that isn’t working anymore, and so we’ve had to come up with a new solution.

One week, my boys were constantly fighting…saying not nice things to each other, and would not apologize and forgive each other.

One tip I had read about was how this one family edifies each other. They go around in a circle, and they say something nice about each person.

So, that’s what we did one day.

The boys were fighting, extra that day.

So, I stopped them. Walked them through the problem. Had them apologize and work on forgiving each other.

Then, I said: “Ok, ya’ll are going to look at each other. Hold hands. And, ya’ll are going to say 3 things nice to each other. (And then I gave examples).

So, my youngest son went first. Did his thing, and was waiting for his brother.

And then it was my oldest son’s turn.

He absolutely would not say even one thing nice. He cried. He threw a fit. And he would not say anything.

So, I had my youngest go play, while I had a talk with my oldest.

“Get a piece of paper out. We are going to sit here, and you are going to think of 10 nice things to say about your brother.”

“I don’t want to. Other families don’t do this. I’m too big for this.”

“No sir. You are not. Other families do this. People do this at their jobs, and you are going to think of nice things to say about your brother.”

So, I pulled up a list of characteristics.

And we went through several. I would say “What about ______ is your brother _____?”

“Yes”

Give me an example of a time when he was _____.

1-10.

And we finally got them. Then, I had his brother come back. They sat back down, held hands, again, and he read his list off to his brother.

The next day, we went around the table at supper. We all took time to say something nice, or that we noticed about each other that day.

We did that for a week, or so, until the atmosphere in our house changed.

Now, we don’t always do it every night. But, we still do it. And they love it.

Family Encouragement and Edification has become a special part of our days.

Car Convos

When my oldest son started PreK4, it was the first time that he was at a school where I would not also be there.

It was harder on me than it was on him.

By this time, our bedtime routine was also getting harder. Making sure that I tucked in both boys, and listen to their stories from the day…or whatever they wanted to tell me…on top of bathtime, and brushing teeth…made for a verrry long bedtime routine. So, I was looking for ways to make our routine shorter. I started singing to them and stopped asking about their day at bedtime…and started asking about their day in the car.

For 2-3 years, it got increasingly harder to get my oldest to talk to me…about anything. This little 4-7 year old.

Then, I remembered an article I had read a couple of years before.

It talked about instead of asking “How was your day? What did you learn today?”

To ask this list of other questions.

So…I did that. For months, it felt like pulling teeth, getting him to talk to me.

He is a car rider, so every day, when he got in the car, I’d ask him “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Then, one day…I purposefully didn’t ask. He would screech, cry, not want to answer…so, one day…I just let it be…

(In a whiny voice) “Mom. You forgot to ask me about my day!”

We were half way home.

“No, son. Every day, you get upset with me when I ask…so, today I decided to take a break. Do you want to tell me about your day?”

“Yes”

“Ok. What was your favorite part of your day?”

That day unlocked a little piece of his heart.

He needed to know that I cared about his day, and he had grown accustomed to me asking.

So, for three years, every day, in the car, I’d ask. Some days, I’d get an answer. Some days, I’d get the dreaded screeches and whining. But, most days our car convos would branch into other things he would want to talk to me about.

Then we moved schools. And that felt like another unlocking moment. He loved where he was at, and he was a completely different kid.

Now, I greet him and his brother, every afternoon with “What was your favorite part of today?”

They love it. It’s something that has brought them closer. And it even gets them talking about their day to each other…

I just have to make sure they have a snack, first….because, you know….#hangry runs in the family.