Category Archives: life skills

Life Skills – painting

after painting

Life skills need to be taught. These can run the gamut, from cooking to laundry to maintenance to upkeep. We have finally tackled the painting of the kitchen after a leak last fall that required a new roof.

We involved our girls in most of the work and decisions, so that they will gain the life skills they will need later on.

When we were talking about paint colors, they we there and gave their input. We chose white for the walls. Cabinet color is still being decided on because we can’t paint those yet. But they see the samples up and add their two cents when we decide to remove one of them that doesn’t seem to be working.

They helped prep the walls and ceiling, from clearing out to cleaning and dusting to taping off.

They painted. And painted.

before painting

They helped choose light fixtures and then learned a bit about how to change out a light fixture, including where the breaker box is and what the switches in it mean.

light fixture work

They helped clean up and put things back into the kitchen.

And they accompanied us on fact-finding missions to the paint stores while we were figuring out how to do the cabinets when we have warm enough weather to be able to open windows while working or keep the garage door open while dealing with the cabinet doors out there. They will be a part of the cabinet work, also.

Do you include your children in learning life skills? What have they learned recently?

One of the events in the Lads to Leaders program is about home skills. For the girls, it is called Keepers (as in keepers of the home). For the boys, it is titled Providers. There are wonderful, necessary skills taught in each on, as well as the idea of serving others with these skills. I really like this program and all it is teaching. My girls worked on Keepers this year and did the section about food preservation. They had to get and put up 10 containers of a food, including giving one to someone who might need it – a widow or widower, a family who is struggling financially, a single person who might need it, etc. I wonder if painting would have fit under part of the Providers program (they can do one Providers activity, as well).

We will have time for that, though, as all three girls would like to update their rooms. One of the girls is going to downsize her items significantly so we can put a larger bed in her room and it can serve as a guest room as needed. Lots of painting will probably happen soon. So the life skills they learned will be coming in handy.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

Cultivating An Attitude

cultivating an attitude

So often we talk of cultivating a garden. Have you ever intentionally and with purpose cultivated an attitude? I am working on a plan for this year that will cultivate an attitude of appreciation. Or gratitude. Or gratefulness.

I chose the word cultivate because I want to be intentional about this. I don’t want it to be haphazard. I don’t want it to be something I think about once in a while. I want it to be something I try hard to do each day. Cultivate implies that you are conscientious about what is being done and working hard at it. When you cultivate something, it flourishes, grows, and becomes something that benefits everything around it.

So, I want to cultivate an attitude.

The attitude I want to cultivate is one that can have so many names – gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness. There are probably more. These are the ones that came to mind while I was writing this.

A sermon I was blessed by at the beginning of the year mentioned a 1902 essay by William George Jordan. He wrote “Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good.” This is in an essay titled “The Power of Truth: Individual Problems and Possibilities.” You can find it through The Project Gutenberg.

The first part of my plan is to read this essay fully. I am also going to listen to some podcasts based on this essay. This quote struck me. It is so easy to think that I am not harming anyone when I don’t show appreciation or gratefulness but really, I am discounting what that person has done for me. When I do not intentionally show gratefulness, it is hurtful, even when I don’t intend for it to be so. And when I show gratefulness that someone is not expecting, that blesses the person doubly. Why wouldn’t I want that to be what happens daily?

The next part includes writing out passages from the Bible each day this year. I am starting in the beginning of Psalm for now but I do expect that will change after a bit. I have a goal of six verses a day.

I was blessed by a basket from the blog The Sparrow’s Home. I am going to use the note cards, pens, and pretty basket as a place to keep my materials so that I can write more notes of thanks this year. I have a goal of four a month, or one per week.

The final part of this cultivation, for now, is that I am going to be praying specific prayers of thanks. I am going to find something in particular each day for the purpose of giving thanks.

My hope is that I will see more of the good in everything. I also hope it will rub off some on those around me. But really, I hope it changes my heart in ways I cannot imagine.

So this is my “word” for the year. I am cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

Linking up with the Homeschool Review Crew and their Word for the Year Ahead link-up.

Cupcakes For Everyone

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Miss L has been going to town with her cupcake maker. She has enjoyed having her own small kitchen appliances and the cupcake maker has been lots of fun.

She has made cupcakes several time. We have enjoyed them as a family and she has given them to others. She even designed a desert based off of the cupcakes that didn’t taste quite like she expected them to. (You know – when you forget to check if there is molasses in the cupboard and have to make a substitution that didn’t quite work? What do you do? You add ice cream!)

Her cupcake creations have benefited her in a number of ways –

  • She has kept herself from boredom by creating in the kitchen.
  • She has brought smiles to many people’s faces with her cupcakes.
  • She has learned adjustments on the fly and how to modify recipes.
  • She has learned independence in the kitchen (and to check for ingredients before starting).
  • She has learned to clean up more thoroughly and to be more careful in her cooking.
  • She has learned to read a recipe and how to measure ingredients.

These are just a few of the ways that learning to cook benefits her. Learning to cook, no matter what it is they are cooking, is a skill all children need to learn. And for her to tackle it in this way is great. She is thrilled to be able to bring treats to others. And it is all of her own doing.

What has been created in your kitchen lately?

Blessings,
At Home.

Spiral Cookies

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Miss J loves cookbooks. She takes after me in this regard. I enjoy reading cookbooks and looking at all the beautiful creations. Recently, she checked out several cookbooks from the library. One of them was a cookbook on holiday cookies. She found several recipes to try and when the opportunity came up to bake cookies for a church youth group function, she jumped for joy. Almost literally!

The cookies she chose were a fun spiral cookie. It turned out to be a fairly basic sugar cookie recipe. After making the dough, she colored it three different colors. Well, two – she left one the original whitish dough color. She made the others pink and purple. Totally girly, isn’t it? But cute.

She refrigerated that for a bit and then she rolled them out and stacked them. Pressing them down with a rolling pin, she got her layers to stick together. Then, she created a rolled up log with all three colors and stuck it in the fridge overnight. The next day, they were ready to cut and bake.

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I did the slicing for her so that the cookies were thin enough to bake properly. She placed each slice on the baking tray and sprinkled pink sugar over them. Then she put them in the over and set the timer.

The cookies were perfect and were gobbled up at the youth devo. Several people complimented her on the cookies and told her what a good job she did. I was really proud to be able to say that she made them. I really didn’t help much; I supervised.

If I am not careful, these girls will take over the kitchen! Of course, that is a good thing, isn’t it?

Blessings,
At Home.

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