Gratefulness Prayer Song for Your Family

Happy Thanksgiving!

When our kids were growing up, dinner time was a crucial time of day for us–so much so that we made a protocol of “family all home together at least four nights per week”! Yes, it was that important to us.

Prayer before meals, reading Scriptures and devotionals, and having meaningful conversation at the table were highlights of our day. We often had specific questions set to ask the kids so we would have meaningful conversation. We sometimes had “affirmation” meals–where we went around the table and said affirming things about each other and to each other.

(And yes, we also had toddlers throwing down food, children who had to be removed and sent to bed, and cranky parents! But those things never stopped us!)

One of the things we loved to do at dinner or during family worship after dinner (before fun and games or just before bed!) was singing Scripture songs. To this day, our kids can sing dozens of Scriptures from our time together as a family singing the Bible.

One of those songs (though not-Scripture per se) was a prayer song. It began with the chorus of a popular song forty years ago, “Thank-You, Lord, for Saving My Soul.” From there, I added another verse to make it a mealtime prayer song.

I love this little prayer song! It brings back so many good memories–and there are times in the morning when I first wake up when I begin singing gratefulness songs before my eyes are fully open–and this little prayer song springs forth.

So I wanted to share it for this holiday season. It’s a powerful chorus to sing together before meals. It is also a reminder to our children that everything we have comes from God.

And…It is actually a really cool tool to use in situations with unbelievers as well. Even if our extended family members didn’t want to pray, they were delighted for our kids to sing this prayer song before we ate.

So here is the graphic–and below that is the link to the PDF so you can print it off for all of your guests or family members to sing together! And keep it handy for family meals after Thanksgiving too! It is simple to memorize and can become a wonderful family tradition in your home as well! It isn’t just a holiday prayer!

 

 

Click HERE for PDF download

Love and hope,

Donna…

…who is immensely grateful that God sought me and saved me 42 years ago when I was seventeen–and gave me children to raise for Him!

P.S. If you’re too busy right now, pin this for later here!

Video: Finding Encouragement Through Prioritizing

 

I was recently asked to write a guest post on Kathie Morrisey’s Character Corner blog about encouragement. (You can read that article here on the blog!) When I sat out to write encouraging words, I came back to what I always come back to–prioritizing leads to encouragement. I can encourage myself by setting my priorities and following through on them. It’s true….it has happened to me countless times during my thirty-two years of homeschooling and continues to happen to me now as an entrepreneur and online teacher. So I wrote my article for Character Corner–and decided to make a video to follow it up. I hope that this prioritizing help encourages you as much as it has me throughout my parenting years.

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Putting My Productivity Trainings in an Order to Help You the Most!

Hello Busy Friend,

I’m sure you are busy, busy, busy….

School starting is just around the corner for most of us, and some have already begun! (Cheers to you!)

In my Sunday Snippets this summer, I have been sharing productivity and organization links with you to help you make this your best school year ever! (My best years were always my most organized years!)

But someone commented that they wished they were all in one place and in order so they would know which things to focus on first, etc.

So…..that is what this Tuesday Tips is going to do!

I’m going to put the videos and articles that I think will help you the most to have an organized, productive year in order, so you can have your own little “mini conference”! And you can do it at your own pace as you implement each step.

I’m passionate about productivity and organization because I know they made all the difference for me in my 32 years of homeschooling–and they continue to serve me every single day in all of my entrepreneur journey!

Blessings to you for an amazing, organized, productive school year….I want so much wonderfulness for you!

Love and hope,

Donna

 

Step 1: Create Your Daily Lists and Do Nothing But These!

I created a video about my experience in creating dailies–and how I had to give up the grandiose in order to do the dailies…and how those dailies made me a successful homeschooler and confident parent! Watch this first! 🙂

Step 2: Learn to Delight in the Dailies

Dailies can be a drag. There’s nothing grandiose. Nothing exciting. Nothing remarkable happening right away as a result of them. So it can be hard to delight in them. I wrote two articles about this (part I and part II) that will help anyone who gets bored with the dailies. (Please believe me when I say the dailies are everything at first!)

Step 3: Follow Through on the Dailies

It’s one thing to create a dailies list. It’s another thing to follow through on them. Since I know how hard it is to follow through on them, I created a video about that!

Step 4: Systematize Everything

After you get the dailies down pat (or during possibly), you will be amazed at your productivity when you systematize everything you can! This is so important in homeschooling. You want some things in your day to just run “like a well-oiled machine”! Systematizing will help you!

Step 5: Use 1 to 2% of Your Day to Make the Other 98% Run Smoothly

Each day has its own happenings. Some times we have enough time for the Dailies only. Other times we can do some weeklies. Some times we can even do “extras.” Use my 14 Minute Productivity Hack to look at the day and see what all you can put in it. This realistic look at your day will leave you way less frustrated!

Step 6: Each Day Plan Your First Five and Fast Five

During my 14 Minute Productivity Hack, if I look at my calendar and I have time to do more than the Dailies, I put in my First Five tasks (the first five things I will do after my Dailies) and my Fast Five (five quick tasks I can do while coffee is brewing or toddler is not pottying but is sitting on the potty! lol). On extra busy days, I don’t get to the First Five or Fast Five…but I always know what they are each day.

EXTRAS

There are other habits and productivity considerations when creating your ideal day….so I am putting these here.

a. Diligence—

We talk all the time about how to help our kids become more diligent. But I found out long ago that I have to do everything myself before I can teach things to my kids. Wowsie…was that ever hard. So I taught myself to be diligent first…then teaching them was much easier! This video details how I evaluated my diligence and improved it.

b. Prioritizing

So how do you know what you should do after your Dailies? How can you determine which things are the most important things to focus on? I have some thoughts about prioritizing on this video!

c. Taming the To-Do List

It’s one thing to create a to do list; it’s another thing to have systems in place to do the tasks on the to-do list. This video helps with the taming of that all-elusive to-do list!

d. Procrastination

Procrastination is a real issue for any of us who are our own bosses—homeschoolers, entrepreneurs, parents of littles, small business owners, etc. I love giving tips—and I have several in this video to beat procrastination!

10 Tips to Help Babies and Toddlers Happily Play

10 Tips to Help Babies and Toddlers Happily Play

My daughter who has a two year old and three month old asked me the other day what the tips were that I gave her to teach Sophi (her two year old) to play happily when she was six to eight months old, and I told her a few things I remembered, but I thought more about it and remembered the rest–so I decided to make a video of these tips!

I have a detailed outline (of course!). It has links in it to other videos, podcasts, and articles that I have done on related topics that I think mamas of toddlers will find helpful.

If you have many kiddos and are trying to get some concentrated teaching time, I think this video will help! These tips really helped me.

Love and hope,

Donna

A. Why Does It Matter

1. Contentment is the first character quality that we have the opportunity to build into children’s lives
2. Contentment starts in babyhood/toddlerhood when wants and needs start to diverge http://characterinkblog.com/podcast-faith-character-building-littles/ 
3. Playing as a baby/toddler is the beginning of life-long learning
4. What you give a baby/toddler a taste for will likely stay with them
5. Play time is developmental time for babies

a. Fine motor skills
b. Large motor skills
c. Cause and effect
d. Problem solving

6. We want to teach kids to be happy in a variety of situations—not just always having attention
7. Crucial for older kids’ relationships with littles
8. Doesn’t detract from your spending time with baby/toddler or lessen your impact—it enhances it as you watch your baby and toddler do things independently and as you start to be able to get things done etc.

 

B. Tips and Tricks

1. Do all of your responsibilities first—we can’t solve any behavior problems or add new elements to our kids’ lives/days until we have done everything we should do to make them successful—our responsibilities come first

a. Not keeping them up late then being upset that they’re grouchy the next day
b. Not running around when they’re tired and being surprised that they’re not cooperating

2. Mommy time with baby first
3. Toys in basket in corner of bed upon waking
4. Don’t try to teach playtime when baby is tired or hungry or grouchy
5. If needed, start with ten minute intervals and switch positions/alternate time with you; make playtime within view of you and
6. Rotate baskets and tubs of toys only for playtime
7. Schedule playtime, storytime, mommy time, naptime as it emerges and seems to work—toddlers and preschoolers thrive on routine and knowing expectations (work towards this)
8. Schedule electronics

a. Use them as part of your overall parenting strategy, not as a last ditch effort at peace
b. Schedule Bible story in morning before nap and story book character in afternoon/evening during “witching hour,” etc.

9. Use short playpen times as needed
10. Collect amazing toys and various book types (plastic, interactive, soft, felt, cardboard, sounds, etc.) https://characterinkblog.com/day-one-hundred-one-links-and-ideas-for-activities-for-room-time-for-preschoolers/ 

 

C. Links and More Info

1. More babies and toddlers

a. What to Do With Wonderful One Year Old Part I: http://characterinkblog.com/wondering-wednesday-q-a-what-to-do-with-a-wonderful-one-year-old/ 
b. What to Do With Wonderful One Year Old Part II: http://characterinkblog.com/wondering-wednesday-q-a-what-to-do-with-a-wonderful-one-year-old-part-ii/ 
c. Playtime/room time activities lists: https://characterinkblog.com/day-one-hundred-one-links-and-ideas-for-activities-for-room-time-for-preschoolers/ 

2. From Toddlers to Preschoolers

a. Room time podcast: https://characterinkblog.com/podcast-rerun-room-time-toddlers-preschoolers/ 
b. Toddlers and bedtime video: https://characterinkblog.com/video-toddlers-bedtime/ 
c. Toddler chore poster: https://characterinkblog.com/age-appropriate-chores-for-toddlers/ 
d. Toddlers’ simple tastes: https://characterinkblog.com/character-training-for-toddlers-and-preschoolers-boundaries-simple-tastes-and-more-partial-reprint/ 
e. Character training with toddlers: https://characterinkblog.com/character-q-a-how-can-i-start-character-training-with-my-toddler/ 
f. Kindness in toddlers: https://characterinkblog.com/q-is-for-quit-fighting-setting-toddlers-tastes-for-kindness/ 

3. Subscribe for family and language arts/writing help at https://characterinkblog.com  

5 Key Times to Talk to Your Kids (Mama Monday Video)

5 Key Times to Talk to Your Kids (Mama Monday Video)

“Penny for Your Thoughts”

“What ya thinkin’?”

“Tell me everything…..”

“Let’s twalk!”

 

“Talk to me; show me that you care. Talk to me…I’ll listen to the words you say….You know I love you when I talk to you!”

Those were sayings/songs/sentiments I would say to my kids to get them to talk. They were used to me saying them….I had said them forever.

They usually WANTED to talk….

In part because we started when they were very young…

And in part because I was AVAILABLE! Always available….

(No television, computers, internet, smart phones, etc. for twenty-five years gives you a lot more time…oh to go back to “the good old days”!)

I did a Donna Daily video on Mama Monday about talking….

5 Key Times to be exact.

Here’s the video…and, of course, the outline! I’d love to hear your favorite talk times….email me or message me and tell me!

Love and hope, 

Donna

 

P.S. Be sure you get my Kids’ Faves freebie to find out your kids’ favorite things!

A. Start Now—Regardless of Where You Are!

1. Don’t think littles are too young

a. If you make talking a normal thing to them, they will always seek you out, always answer your questions, and always want your input.
b. Talk to them now—they’ll talk to you later!

2. Don’t think it’s too late

a. Might take more time, work, effort, and “detective work”—but still worth it.
b. Take different approaches

B. Five Key Times to Talk

1. Tucking in

a. “Malachi Time”
b. You tuck them in when they’re little; they’ll tuck you in when they’re older
c. Don’t be glad your teen went to their room early!
d. If they know they’ll have this time with you, they will save up things they need to discuss.

2. In the vehicle

a. “Who has their shoes on?”
b. Be careful using drive time for podcasts and phone calls
c. Be careful allowing kids to be on devices during drive time
d. Call it something “Talk and Drive” or “Road Talks” or something that indicates you are available when you’re in the vehicle with them

3. Table Talk

a. Have dinner together “more often than not” 
b. Make it a tech free time
c. Have talking prompts

i. Two roses and one thorn
ii. One great and one bad
iii. Good character I saw today
iv. Cards you draw
v. Read a quote or verse and discuss
vi. Question that gets answered by everyone around the table
vii. Use kids’ faves to ask favorites questions

4. “My Day” or “Day Away”

a. Kids remember to this day!
b. Let them choose what to do
c. Let them know you are available
d. Talk, talk, talk! And don’t put down or reprimand
e. One on one with both parents idea/spin off of this: Half birthday celebrations at restaurants with just the three of you

5. Activities Together

a. Art, cooking, exercising
b. Magazine Moments With Mom (MMM) 😊
c. Use little snatches of meal prep, grilling together, biking together, etc.
d. Driver’s training

C. Availability—Your Secret Parenting Weapon!

1. Make yourself available
2. Change your schedule
3. Drop the busy-ness!
4. Implement heart-focused parenting that is needed to raise kids today!

D. Resources

1. Podcast: Ways to Spend More Time With Your Kids http://characterinkblog.com/podcast-ways-to-spend-more-time-with-your-kids/ 
2. Podcast:Tips for Staying Close to Kids During Intense Training Times: http://characterinkblog.com/podcast-ten-tips-for-staying-close-during-intense-training-times/ 
3. Article: Four Things Teens and Young Adults Need: https://characterinkblog.com/?s=Four+things+teens+and+young+adults+need 
4. Article: Teaching Kids to Ask Questions: https://characterinkblog.com/52-weeks-of-talking-to-our-kids-when-its-time-to-ask-questions/ 
5. Video: Affirmation Cards: https://characterinkblog.com/52-ways-say-triff-affirmation-cards-families/ 
6. Keep Kids Close Cards: https://characterinkstore.com/product/keep-close-coupons/ 

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