Archive for May 2012

Organizing Kids’ Keepsakes

It’s nearing the end of the school year,  and if you’re like me, you have a deep pile of your kids’ papers that you’ve saved.
What does one do with all that?  Here are a couple of solutions I’ve found to work well.

First of all, have a tucked away place where you can make a pile of papers, art, certificates, etc. as they come in throughout the year.    The basket is this year’s stuff and the underneath pile is last year’s.  I’m a year behind because of our move last summer.  I used to have separate piles for each of my kids but the move threw that off.


I find it’s easier to make decisions of what to keep when time has given some distance and I can compare their importance to other things in the pile.  At some point during the summer, I sit down with the pile and decide what the keepers are.

I started with this as a file system –
pic 1

This idea was from Family Fun magazine and the boxes are from  It looks like they’ve changed the sizes since I ordered.  Mine are a bit different at 19 1/2 x 12 x 3 inches.  Also, be careful not to lose the pack of handles that comes with the boxes like I did!  I loved the suggestion of putting one of the small school photos on the outside along with the child’s name and date.  In the case of filing multiple years in one box, I taped together long sheets of colored cardstock and laid them flat as separators between the piles.  I even use the boxes for storing keepsakes for me and my hubbie.  That’s the T & K box.  🙂

Then, my aunt gave us these!

pic 2
This file system is the “My Keepsake Portfolio” from Lakeshore Learning:


I love these bepic 3cause they don’t seem to take up as much room as the boxes (though they won’t hold as much).  And, they are easier to pull out and enjoy going through than the boxes.

This summer, I’ll have fun spending some time walking down memory lane and picking the highlights to save.

We moms of today certainly aren’t Mary, contemplating her  miraculous son Jesus.  However, we are familiar with treasuring up things about our children and pondering them in our hearts (Luke 2:19).

If you have any ideas or systems that have worked for you, please share!
Happy organizing!

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The perfect book at the perfect time!

Have you ever been reading a parenting book and been so grateful for it that you could just cry?  That’s the way I felt recently with Christian writer, Robin Jones Gunn’s Gentle Passages:  Guiding Your Daughter into Womanhood.  I stumbled upon this gem a couple of years ago when I was searching online for a new read from Robin’s fabulous Sisterchick series.  I ordered it to help me get to my Amazon free shipping minimum and tucked it away to read later.  Later came last week.  As I sat on the porch, I literally had tears in my eyes as I began soaking up the ideas.  That’s saying quite a bit because I am not typically a very emotional person.  However, my daughter is turning double digits (10!) this summer and my picking up the book could not have been more well timed…Thank you, Lord!  As my little girl heads into her pre-teen/teen years, I had been wondering how to help her transition.  This book has beautiful ideas for how to make passages into womanhood, such as body changes, a celebration rather than dreaded event.  With my pen in hand, I marked up the book with notes and dates for when to implement some of the ideas.  I’m going to mark them on my calendar too so I won’t regret these letting these precious years pass by without having been deliberate in blessing her with “gentle passages.”  If your daughter is anywhere between 6 and 12, I highly recommend this book.  Click on the link below if you are inspired to add it to your Amazon cart as I thankfully was years ago!

We have a young sister. . . What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for?  Song of Solomon 8:8

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“School’s Out!” Traditions

Last year I stumbled upon a snow cone maker at Bed Bath & Beyond and decided to get it as a “school’s out” surprise!  Was it a hit!  We definitely got our money’s worth through last summer with our record breaking Dallas heat!  This year’s surprise was the card game Pit.  We’re off to a great start of the summer with some family card game fun!  Daddy also treated the kiddos to a cookie cake on the last day of school!  These are becoming our “school’s out” traditions!  I read somewhere that traditions are what your kids most remember when they are grown up and think back over their lives.  I’m hoping to create, continue, and share some fun and meaningful traditions so that all of our children will have special memories.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging some fun and creative ways that you can do some summer parenting with Scripture.  Stay tuned.

Schools Out Cookies


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Need a reminder to parent with Scripture?

Try these free wallpaper/screensaver downloads of 2 Timothy 3:16 and Deuteronomy 32:2. Click on the picture below or go to the “Download” tab on

2 Tim 3:16



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Parenting with Scripture – Worry

I love reminding my kids that we never outgrow God’s Word.  What better way to help them understand that than by our children seeing us apply Scripture to our own lives.   Here’s a recent example from my life.  My 7-year-old son and I have a chance each week to enjoy some time together while my daughter is at her piano lesson.  It was a beautiful spring day, so we decided to take a stroll through the piano teacher’s neighborhood.  We chatted as we walked hand-in-hand…what mommy doesn’t love that?!   As I listened to him jabber away, my mind was distracted by worries.  I knew what I needed to do and realized that to include him in on it would be a great teachable moment.  I shared with him how I was quite nervous about an upcoming radio interview for Parenting with Scripture.  We talked about 1 Peter 5:7 and how one way we can “cast our anxiety on Him” is to pray.  As we continued to walk, my sweet little guy and I prayed over that interview as I gave those worries to my heavenly Father.

Though the details are different in each of our lives, the general principle remains the same.  Be on the lookout for using yourself as a teachable moment!

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.   Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7


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Stop, Look, and Listen

Stop, look, and listen is another thing my mom did well when I had something to tell her.  Whether as a child or an adult, I can remember her often stopping what she was doing so she could give me her full attention.  Admittedly, this is not easy for me to do as a mom.  I’m a busy body and very task oriented, so it’s difficult for me to stop in the middle of something and switch gears.  However, if I know I can’t take time right then to listen adequately, I try to stop long enough to give eye contact and give my child a specific time when I will be able to listen.  Then, the trick is remembering to follow-up!  Another thing I have to work at being conscious of is that what may be important in a child’s world is not always the same as what I think is important.  For example, I couldn’t care less about Star Wars, but that’s one of my son’s current love languages.  🙂  Not that I haven’t nodded and said “hm….interesting” my fair share.  But, I’ve also noticed it brings him joy when I stop what I’m doing, look at him, and listen to his stories of other galaxies.

“It’s up to each parent to use eye contact to convey unconditional love.”  Dr. Ross Campbell in How to Really Love Your Child
This book has two great chapters called “How to Show Love through Eye Contact” and “How to Show Love through Focused Attention” that detail just how powerful the act of  stopping, looking, and listening can be in parenting.

“My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  James 1:19


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Preschool Boredom Busters! My Mother’s Day Gift to You!

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!
I have compiled a list of Preschool Boredom Busters that I hope will be helpful to those of you who have little ones in your lives.  Click on the picture below (or go to the “Download” section of and download/print four pages full of PWS Boredom Buster sample-topic pws_15_fab_verses_outlines1fun and easy ideas!

Boreden Busterom

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Thank your mom for those words of wisdom!

It’s been a joy to reflect on all those things that I heard growing up that are now coming out of my mouth!
I hope it’s caused you to think of a few gems of your own.  If you did, take a moment to tell your mom how thankful you are for those sayings that you are passing along to your children.  I don’t mean to be dramatic, but do this today while you are thinking about it.  I say that because my precious mom went to be with the Lord a couple of years ago.  I wish with all my heart that I could call her up and thank her specifically for these things I’ve been blogging about.  So, for those of you who are blessed to still have your moms around, take this opportunity to share with her how those little phrases stuck with you and how you are now driving your kids crazy with them!  Oops, did I say that?  I meant to say “share how you are now imparting the same wise word on them.”  😉

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3 

 Mother's day

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Balloon Prayers

I am of the opinion that every close friend or family needs a cheery mylar balloon if he or she is in the hospital.  Flowers are great, but people can be sensitive to certain types.  Flowers can also get expensive if you do this often.  So, my pick for a hospital room is always a single mylar balloon with an encouraging note attached.  I keep the note short and sweet because if I’m not delivering the balloon myself, I’m having to dictate the message to the employee by phone.  It usually goes something like, “Happy Baby Days! or Get Well!   Love, hugs, and prayers!  The Durbins”  Most hospital flower shops will stock mylar balloons and deliver them to the rooms, same day for free.   Balloons are a fun way to let people know you care and inexpensive way to brighten up an impersonal hospital room.

To extend this idea and help your family remember to pray for the recipient of the hospital balloon, blow up a latex balloon (keep a stash for this purpose), write the person’s name on it, and keep it somewhere where in the house where it will be seen frequently.  Encourage your family members to lift up a prayer for the hospital friend every time they catch sight of the balloon.  Though this balloon is not helium, it can be symbolic of lifting up someone in prayer.
Tip – Use a dry erase marker to write on the balloon instead of a permanent marker.  Believe it or not, it will be less likely to smudge off when the balloon starts shrinking!  We learned this fun fact from a balloon artist.

“Pray continually.”   1 Thessalonians 5:17 

Get Well Soon Balloon

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