16Jul

When I say I’m a #boymom

How my use of the boy mom hashtag has nothing to do with gender inequality. #Boymom

Image Credit: Pixabay

I usually don’t write reactionary articles, but I read this post  and it is just really bugging me today. In it, Mandi  shares that she is offended and annoyed by the #boymom hashtag.

To be honest, I was quite surprised to learn that calling myself a boy mom could possibly be offensive.

I don’t have any girls. I am a mother of boys, hence the #boymom hashtag you might find on some of my tweets, and instagram pics…(when I remember to post there, that is).

Mandi, however, finds this hashtag offensive.

Here is what she has to say about it (condensed for space):

Our girls are about frills and fashion, but they’re also rough and tumble…So when I see one of these activities labeled with the #boymom hashtag — as if they’re things that only boys do — I get more than a little annoyed… the #boymom hashtag is used liberally for activities that plenty of girls enjoy.

Here’s the thing…My days look a lot like this:  swinging on the swingset, baking with my boys, playing legos, playing with hot wheels, dinosuars, and other toys, homeschooling, playing in the mud…and lots of jumping, climbing, and being rough. Some days, like today, it also includes sewing up pink-eared stuffed animals.

Some of the things my boys do are typically considered “boy” things and some are typically considered “girl” things. While I believe that gender differences are real, I also believe that no one fits perfectly into any little box. And that’s okay.

Because I grew up a little girl, I know that my days could look very similar if I were a mom of girls.

But I’m not. I am a mom of boys.

I think the biggest problem here is our society’s fascination with taking a positive statement and implying a negative.

When I tag something with #boymom, it doesn’t mean, as Mandi implies, that girls can’t or shouldn’t do those same activities. It doesn’t even mean all boys do them. It means that my boy does. Plain and simple. It means this is a little glimpse of my life as a boy mom. 

So lets make a deal? When you share a picture of your little girl donning her apron in the kitchen and tag it #girlmom, I’ll just comment about how cute she is. I won’t think that the fact that your girl enjoys baking somehow means my boys can’t.

And when I share a picture of my boys doing something, please don’t twist that around to mean that your girl can’t or shouldn’t do that thing. It doesn’t mean that at all. And to be honest, I think the whole idea is a bit absurd.

But, the truth is Mandi has the right to read whatever negative connotation into my celebration of motherhood that she chooses. Jon Acuff wrote a great post a while back about how I can write what I write, but I can’t control how someone else chooses to read it.

But, isn’t it exhausting to be looking for offense in everything?

Motherhood is hard enough. Life is hard enough. And the mommy wars have been raging for far too long about far too many things for us to be inventing insult and offense where none was intended.

I agree with her that we should let our kids be who they are.  I’m just confused about how my sharing about my boys doing that somehow prevents her girls from doing the same. When I browse through the #girlmom and #boymom hashtags, I don’t see moms who are trying to somehow oppress the opposite gender. I see moms who are celebrating their children and motherhood.

Let’s just all agree to enjoy and celebrate our kids…and let others do the same.

15Jul

When Life Feels Like a Struggle {With a Free Printable Verse}

When Life is a Struggle

Sometimes, life just feels like a struggle.

Some struggles are bigger than others, but the ones we are in the midst of can feel overwhelming to us, regardless of what they look like to other people.

Maybe you feel like you’re bending under the weight of financial struggles. Or maybe it’s some sort of addiction. Or problems in your marriage.

Maybe you are like me and struggling with food addiction, weight problems, depression and anxiety.

Maybe you’re like my friend and suffering through a broken marriage. Or my other friend who just lost her dad.  Maybe cancer is your battle.

Whatever the battle…sometimes it just feels too big.

There are literally hundreds, thousands of positive, encouraging, and empowering verses full of life and promise in God’s word. A couple of weeks ago, a reader shared this one with me and it really spoke to me.

Therefore, I will look to the Lord.
I will look to the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy.
When I fall, I will rise.
When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
-Micah 7:7-8

These verses are so powerful!

You see, while these verses are talking about a different enemy, you and I have an enemy as well. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He is prowling around like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is ruthless.

And he rejoices over us when he sees us in that pit of despair. When he sees us looking around at our circumstances and feeling downtrodden, he knows in that moment, he is winning. He may not have our soul, but he is robbing us of the abundant life Christ has to offer us.

These verses have become a bit of a battle cry for me.

I told you I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred video, and one of the cardio exercises on level 1 (yes, I’m still on level 1) is punches. I have this passage up on the wall, and it’s a reminder to me. It’s my mantra as I’m pushing myself through the workout.

Punch.

Do not rejoice over me, Satan.

Punch.

You won’t win this battle.

Punch.

When I fall, I will arise. Not by my strength but because of the Lord almighty whom I serve.

Punch.

When I sit in darkness…When you think you’ve won because despair threatens to overtake me…Don’t you celebrate too early. Because the Lord will be a light to me even then.

Punch.

He will not win.

No matter what your situation is today, I pray that you can grasp on to these words of power, truth, and hope. Look to the Lord and He will hear you. When you fall, he will raise you back up. And when you sit in darkness, He will be a light to you.

This has been such an encouragement to me as I have memorized this passage, that I created this printable for you as well. This will print as an 8 x 10 picture.

Click here to download your Free Printable

Micah 7 250px

 

14Jul

Will an Egg Float? (Dead Sea Experiment)

Dead Sea Experiment

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Summer Reading at the library, and learned all about viscosity, and the dead sea. The dead sea is such an interesting place, and this little experiment helped to solidify some of those neat facts for my boys. They were excitedly telling their daddy all about the dead sea, days later.

So, I decided to recreate the experiment and share with you all. The best thing is that this experiment uses basic household supplies that you most likely have in your pantry right now.

Materials Needed

  • A clear glass–deep enough for the egg to sink or float. I used a pyrex measuring cup because I wasn’t sure how much salt I would need for greater amounts of water. I used about a cup of water.
  • Water–deep enough to clearly tell if the egg is sinking or floating
  • 1 egg
  • Salt–we used, maybe, a few tablespoons
  • Measuring spoon
  • Stirring spoon

(The lego guy is totally optional ;) My 4-year old snuck him in there right as I was getting ready to take this picture.)

Will the Egg Float?

Ask your children if they think the egg will float. Demonstrate that it sinks (make sure the egg isn’t bad! lol…apparently bad eggs can float, but that’s not really what we’re going for here).

No bad eggs here, ours sank right to the bottom.

Dead Sea Experiment Sinking Egg

At this point, we talked a bit about the dead sea and it’s salt content, and how people can easily float on the dead sea because of this. Then I asked them if there is anything we might be able to do to our water to get the egg to float.

Answer…add salt.

We added a scoop of salt

Dead Sea Experiment Add Salt

And stirred it in

Dead Sea Experiment Stir

At this point, the egg still sank. So, we added more salt, one scoop at a time. And eventually…

Dead Sea Experiment Floating Egg

It’s kind of hard to tell from this picture, but my 4-year-old’s excited face gives it away…yes, the egg is floating at this point. Now, they got to have some fun with it.

Dead Sea Experiment Bobbing egg

Push the egg down to the bottom, and what happens?

Dead Sea Experiment Bobbing Egg 2

It bobs right back up. Both boys loved that.

I had intended for this to be a more “scientific” experiment (i.e. how much salt must we add to 1 cup of water to make it dense enough for the egg to float.). However, this didn’t exactly work out for us because (a) I was holding the camera and they were too excited to keep track of the scoops added in, so we didn’t count very well, and (b) they didn’t stir very well either, so there was a lot of loose salt at the bottom not mixed in.

However, this could be a fun little experiment to allow your children to make some educated guesses, or hypotheses, about whether or not the egg will float and/or how many teaspoons of salt it might take before that happens.

Have you tried this experiment? Did your kiddos enjoy it?

 

 

 

13Jul

Celebration fun–At Gattitown!

Disclosure: My family received a complimentary buffet and game card so that I could offer an honest review on the facilities. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Fun Gattitown

A few weeks ago, we traveled back home to take care of some business, and to get back to Eastern KY, we drive right through Lexington. So, I was very excited when the opportunity arose for us to visit Gattitown there! He’s excited as well…

G Smiles

My boys absolutely loved everything, from the pizza buffet to the games and prizes.

Gattitown is a member of the Mr. Gatti’s franchise, and is a 30,000 square foot family entertainment center. We went for a family outing, but they also offer other types of visits, such as:

  • Birthday Parties
  • School Field Trips
  • School/Organizational Fundraisers
  • Several Meeting Rooms to accomodate groups of all different sizes

Our Visit

We started out eating from the buffet, and chose to sit in the area with the huge screen TV, which plays family friendly movies. There are several other seating areas as well.

After we’d eaten, we headed off to the games. I was worried that the games would be pricey, but the were very reasonable. Our family shared a $50 game card, and we played games for over an hour on that amount of money…mom and dad even got in on some of the games, and the boys each did a couple of the higher priced activities as well, such as the “drop” ride and the bumper cars.

I don’t know who’s having more fun here…

G dad

While playing games, we were earning tickets the entire time. The card readers at each game gave new balances each time the card was swiped, and let you know how many tickets you’d won after each game. Then the tickets were automatically added to our card, so that we could go to the prize room. We ended up with around 450 tickets to “spend.”

The prize room was so huge, I was concerned my indecisive boys might be a little overwhelmed! They have tons of prizes, big and small for nearly every amount.

G Prize Room

Here they are, showing off some of their loot. They also won a stuffed animal at one of the games in the game room.

g Prizes

We all enjoyed it–especially the boys, and they already can’t wait to go back again one day :)

 

10Jul

Great Gifts for Less than $10 with DaySpring’s 25% off Sale!!!

Disclosure: I am a member of Dayspring’s Affiliate program. I only recommend products I personally use and love, if there is any exception to that, it will be notated (i.e. those on my wishlist). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Day Spring Customer Appreciation Sale! 25% off ENTIRE PURCHASE, including clearance items! Great gifts under $10

I always look forward to this sale!!! I love Dayspring products, and it’s even better when I can get them for an amazing price. Right now they are having their Customer Appreciation Sale, and you can get 25% off your your entire purchase with the code THANKS25. And, as always, with qualifying purchases, you can get FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more.

The sale expires 7/18/2014.

My favorite clearance deals, for less than $10!

1. Christmas Apron. I love aprons, and this one is very cute and serviceable all in one. The regular price is $29.99, but by combining the clearance sale and coupon, you can get it for just $7.49!

Dayspring Apron

 

2. Card Organizer with 40 all-occasion cardsThis is a great bargain! It is a part of the summer stock up sale on cards. Regularly $40, you can get it now with the sale and 25% off code for just $9.74! There are also lots of other card packs on sale, for as low as $2.25 per pack!

dayspring cards

 

3. Redeemed Grace Necklace. This is a beautiful necklace and a great daily reminder of the beauty of grace. The regular price was $19.99, but with sale + coupon, you can get it now for just $3.74.

dayspring necklace

4. Redeemed Medallion Necklaces. While you’re at it, you can also get any of these Redeemed Medallion Necklaces for just $3.74 also (regular price $16.99). Pictured is the “chosen” one, but you can also get “wonderfully made,” “joy,” and “grace & peace.” Again, great time to stock up on gifts!

dayspring necklace 2

5. Hope is Unfailing Love Oil Cloth Tote. I have one of these totes (of a different design), and I just love it! It is big enough to put several notebooks in, and it’s very sturdy. I use it as my blogging bag to take my writing work with me to DQ when I work :) I’ve also used it to take coloring books, etc. to church with us, etc. It’s a great bag! Originally $24.99, but with sale + coupon, you can get it now for $9.37

dayspring tote

6. Life Collection 12″ Dinner Plate. I love this plate. However, I have to make a little confession. We have a very tight budget. We couldn’t afford even the sale price for these plate for every day use. However, for us, this makes a beautiful serving plate for cookies, etc. Love it. Regularly $19.99, but you can get it for $7.49 with the coupon code.

dayspring plate

7. Glow in the Dark Wall Art. This is perfect for my boys’ room! So cute! Regularly $12.99, but you can get it for $7.31 during this sale.

5763100359

8. Beautiful Padfolio. I have been eyeing this for a while, but the regular price of $24.99 is just out of my price range. Right now, you can get it for just $7.49! My friend Christin has shared a lot that she loves hers.

Beautiful Padfolio

9. One Thousand Gifts Book & Calendar SetThis book from Ann Voskamp has been hugely popular and I have only heard great things about it! Now is your chance to get it as a part of a great gift set. Regular price is $27.98, but the price with this sale is just $9.29 for both.

dayspring ann voskamp

10. (In)RL Tee. If you participated (or plan to in the future) in an (in)couragers (in)RL event, now is your chance to get a great price on the t-shirt. You can get one now for just $6.37.

dayspring IRL

What is your favorite thing at Dayspring?

 

 

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