Stuff About Stuff (Raising Responsible Kids Who Value People Above Things)

Y’all, I’m sitting here basking under a very sunny window and listening to the wind whipping and howling outside. I guess it’s supposed to snow again tomorrow. I’m grateful to at least have sun today, but we absolutely have to make it into town before the weekend (or else delay Cuddle Bug and Tiny Dancer’s fifth birthday!). Papa Bear and I have to find a babysitter in order to go shopping together, though, because our brand new (to us) Durango is in the shop, and we’re driving a cute but compact rental car.

Why, you might wonder, is our new car in the shop? Oh, that would be because someone backed smack dab into it…while it was parked in an almost empty church parking lot.

“Someone just backed into the Durango!” Papa Bear called me from work.

“Oh, I hope you were nice!!” I said, cringing over his possible reaction. You see, just a few months ago we witnessed a fender bender in a parking lot. The injured [materially] party was not exactly gracious, and my heart went out to the depth-perception-impaired driver of the offending car.

“I wish someone would run into us!” I said in a fit of mercy. We were still driving our minivan at the time, though, and with the amount of dings and scratches it had, one more couldn’t possibly make a difference. Now someone had damaged something new and shiny, and I hoped we’d look like Jesus in the wake.

A few days after the accident, I was in the kitchen occupied with soapy water and a sponge. The kids were eating a real lunch…the kind requiring a fork…and I looked up just in time to witness destruction. Lil Prince stuck his fork in a groove of the table, and (not intentionally, but as if suffering from a surge of testosterone) twisted it to pop out a thin sliver of wood. “Whaaaaaa….” I began to correct him, and then about a million thoughts ran through my head.

I dried my hands and sat down with the kids for a round table discussion. “Is stuff important?” I asked.

They immediately, and enthusiastically, agreed that stuff was not important. “But is it important to take care of our stuff?” I quizzed again.

I’ve worked so hard at immunizing my kids against materialism that I might not being teaching them enough about stewardship. Or, I wasn’t, we’ve been working on it every day since.

I’d really like to hear from all of you on this one….how do you* handle the topic of stewardship in your home? Specifically, do you have different consequences for reckless accidents than you do for purposed destruction? Do you apply consequences for accidents at all? And, what do you teach your children to do (if anything) when someone breaks something that they love?

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Okie Dokie…and Some Cryptic News

Wow, I can’t believe that the Love-a-thon is really over! Thanks for making it successful and so much fun (so much that I’ve started the ball rolling for next month!).

You should have received a personal thank you from me by now, but if not (I’ve missed a few of you, I know), you’ll be hearing from me soon. For now, I’d also like to publicly thank:

Jannelle Moseman
Angela McMillan
Rebecca Campbell
Jennifer Taylor
Krista Frederico
Claire Smith
Angela Platt
Ileana Segui
Heather Mays
Elizabeth M Wagner
Holly Jennings
Christina Martin
Amy Bree
Kelly Corbin
Pooja Rao
Alisha Westby
Brett McKee
Lisa M Spradlin
Barry Dean Plowman
David Wells
Renee Chinchilla Porras
Amy Standfest
Leah Wentzel
Carolyn Cox
Kathleen Burns
Suki Lehman-Becker
Kathryn Decker
Tyler Rowan
Anne Sveen
Shelley James
Julia Glover
Brittany Clarke
Angie Boschee
Emily May
Jacqueline Flett
Kari Carpenter
Stacy Love
Jacqueline Lavine
Taralee Delozier
Natalie Steindl
Kristi Fox
Katherine Fausett
Jennifer Lokken
Ana Fitzgerald
Jennifer Uribe
Randi Stewart
Katrina Taiaroa
Rachel Andersen
Amanda Crawford
Heather Cavanah

I am completely blown away!

Now, some of you are anxiously awaiting news of the lucky winners. Did you win two copies (one to keep and one to give) of Jared Anderson‘s latest CD?!

If you’re Alisha or Maysclan, you did!!!!


I cannot tell you (yet) what cause I have in mind for next month, but it is definitely another lady worth supporting. If you would be interested in donating prizes for April’s Love-a-thon (whether you’d like to see them featured on my blog or separately offer them on yours), please e-mail me in the next couple of days to let me know!

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Prepare to Forgive

Bay Bit is lying here next to me right now. She fell asleep late in the evening and so was not able to fall asleep with the others tonight.

“Mama, you’re sweet,” she bribed.

“Bay Bit, you’re sweet,” I played along.

“Did you know that?” she asked.

“Did you know that?” I answered with a question.

She nodded, “And you’re beautiful. And funny. And I love you.”

“And you’re beautiful. And funny. And I love you,” I replied.

“I forgive you,” she said bluntly. Her words surprised me and cut deep.

“For what, sweetie? What did I do?” I was eager to receive absolution.

“We had a bad day,” she said.

“We did?” I asked, wondering why.

“You had a bad day and I had a bad day and Daddy had a bad day and everyone had a bad day,” she explained.

“Today?” I asked, feeling certain that today had been fairly ordinary.

“No, tomowwow,” she said. Then she laughed.

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On Greener Grass

Right now, while I’m sitting here working on a freelance project and obviously taking a break to blog, my kids are out back enjoying what little snow we have left life. I looked outside and I thought, “Blech, spring is still a season, right?” They looked outside with excitement. “How can we have fun with what we have today?!”

Is it just me, or are children often a source of conviction? How have yours taught you lately?

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