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For Truth with a Texas Twang, join Fireside Talk Radio, the show where women ponder the things we store in our hearts. Host Cathy Krafve invites experts to share their personal stories and talk openly about all the things women care about. You name it, we talk about it.

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Veterans Day: The Busy Mom’s Guide with Anna Krafve Pierce

Art supplies for creating patriotic Veterans Day banners.Creating a teaching moment about sacrifice is as easy as turning kids lose with a few art supplies and some good ideas.

If you’re wondering what you’re going to do for Veterans Day, Anna says no need to panic. You can walk in the door and have your kids laughing and creating within minutes tonight! All the while, you can transfer your respect for sacrifice to them without missing a beat.

Recycle Old Magazines into Kid-friendly Veterans Day Art

“Who doesn’t have a pen and old magazine,” laughs Anna. “Junk mail was made for collaging,” laughs Anna. Collages are a simple two-step process and tons of fun!

1) First, have the kids go through the magazine and tear out all the pages that have blue in them. 

2) Next, tear up all the little blue pieces and glue them down in the shape of a star. 

Toddlers to teenagers love collages. Anna suggests printing out quotes from George Washington or family quotes from veterans. 

“The reason teenagers love collages is you can hide things in them,” Anna says, adding, “if you really are driving home tonight and need a patriotic activity, there you go!”

I included two of my favorite George Washington quotes below. Of course, if the first one seems too self-serving for a mom to suggest (wink) then there’s the next one.

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”― George Washington

“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”― George Washington  (For more  George Washington quotes, click here.)

Patriotic Banners

Set out paper, ribbon, scissors and glue to help your kids make patriotic banners, a historical  decoration tradition for our country. If you made star collages, you can string them together. We love banners!

Stars on banners represented the number of people serving in the military in your household, during WWII. Yellow ribbons say welcome home. Plus, yellow ribbons represent the longing we feel when our heroes are away. But, if anything seems overwhelming, keep it easy!

“Even red, white, and blue streamers over a table are so happy and festive,” Anna says. And simple for Mom!

Read About American Patriots

Since she loves books, Anna suggests collecting books on American heroes, like George Washington. No time to shop for a book? No worries! She suggests searching for kid friendly articles. (Searching for kid-friendly articles about George Washington, I found Facts for Kids, here.) You can even read to your kids out loud while they create banners.

Don’t forget, the Library of Congress offers videos of American patriots telling their true stories, here.)

Punch Bowl Patriotism

Giving a whole new meaning to filling the punchbowl, Anna suggests filling a large glass bowl with pictures of military pictures in past generations of your family. Or, collect pictures of veteran heroes in your neighborhood or of heroes currently serving. Kids love to pull snapshots out and look through them. Remember to pray for each one as you consider their sacrifice.

To hear our whole conversation about teaching kiddos to respect sacrifice, click above.

Real Sacrifice

Sometimes, we say we’re making sacrifices when we really mean we’re trying to get ahead in our career. Of course, there’s a time and place for work sacrifices. But Anna points out when we honor the real sacrifices our veterans made, we call attention to those who sacrifice for the purpose of serving others, even at the risk of their own life. (For a teacher’s toolkit about he Vietnam War, click here.)

If Veterans Day snuck up on you this year, no worries. Next week, I pulled together Anna’s terrific tips for how we all—especially grandparents—can help teach kids to respect sacrifice every day of the year. With the holidays, many families will love her easy ideas to fold teaching moments into your normal holiday traditions!

As we honor our veteran heroes, those who have already served, our family keeps in our hearts and prayers the men and women who serve presently. May God bless you and bring you home to your family safely. 

May we pray together?

Dear Father, all over this country are men and women who have followed your Son in acts of sacrifice. Like Jesus, they willingly offered their lives for the freedom and lives of others. Today, as we pray, there are those who continue this tradition of making sacrifices for others. Bless them now, O Lord. As Americans who enjoy more freedom than ever in history, may we cherish the sacrifices made by our heroes. May they and their families enjoy respect for their courage and sacrifices throughout this nation. Give us the courage we need to preserve freedom and pass it on to another generation. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

In what ways are you teaching the next generation to respect sacrifice? As a child, what memories do you have of honoring veterans? Which veterans’ stories have impacted your heart?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Cheap and Easy Homemade Costumes with Anna Krafve Pierce

Thinking about cheap and easy homemade costumes for your kids this year? Anna Krafve Pierce brainstorms some fun, cheap and easy homemade costumes for us.

Plus, she added some incredibly worthwhile ideas about sparking up your child’s imagination! Dreams for the future? A love of history? All that and more wrapped up in hilarious, easy costumes!

Cheap and Easy Homemade Costumes_CathyKrafve.com
A bride and a cowgirl: fun memories all dressed up!

 

Imagining a Bright Future

Pirates or princesses? Fire fighters or fall fairies? Soldiers or super heroes? Anna claims dressing up can be a significant part of helping your children imagine their future. Plus, cheap and easy homemade costumes are tons of fun!

“As little kids part of dressing up is you get to try on who you want to be when you grow up,” she says. “Kids need to imagine the grown up world and think about being responsible adults and interacting with other adults in ways that are healthy.”

For instance, Anna sites a recent experience with her niece who quickly learned to pretend. “Like my sweet little niece coming over and pulling out one of her diapers out of her diaper bag and trying to put it on the baby doll. She was adorable. She just pulled my children right in. They wanted to do it too.”

Even if pretending is healthy for kids, let's face it. Of course, planning costumes can be burdensome for mom. Naturally, we all want more time for fun! So we came up with some easy ideas to simplify your life! 

First, cheap and easy homemade costumes get your kids creative juices flowing. Second, some of these ideas are so easy, you can even turn your kids loose to create their own costumes!

Cheap and Easy Homemade Costumes For Princesses

Of course, the genius of our family’s cheap and easy homemade costumes philosophy is we always use what we have on hand. If you’ve worn out the Disney princess costumes at your house, here are some wonderful ways to free your child’s inner princess. Obviously, it's all about your child's imagination. So, no Hollywood necessary!

A Woodland Princess—

First, hot glue and fall leaves combine into a festive headband. Next, hang fluttery leaves from orange and yellow ribbons attached to a vintage apron. Easy-smeasy!

Indian (Native American) Princess—

For this one, fringe the sleeves and hem of a brown t-shirt. Then, turn your children loose with a harvest of felt, ribbon, and feathers to create belts, headbands, and jewelry. Voila!

Bride Princess—

For our daughters, my grandmother’s 1940s nighties layered on piles of lace for wedding dresses and veils. Fondly, Anna remembers serving with her sister as a flower girl in their aunt and uncle’s wedding. Afterwards--inspired--the little girls went everywhere in cheap and easy homemade costumes! Yes, they transformed into princess brides, sporting way too much antique lace everywhere we went!

“As a little kid, I thought my aunt was the star,” chuckles Anna.

Unicorn Fairy Princess—

Okay, my granddaughter thought this one up herself.

“It’s like Walmart highjacked Pinterest in the best way possible,” laughs Anna, “She had on a unicorn horn, fairy wings, a crown, and this shiny necklace. It’s like someone took a picture of the Queen of England’s necklace and made it out of gaudy rhinestones and plastic.” Certainly, if there is any way to add wings or capes to a costume, the Krafve children and grandchildren will find it!

“My daughter carries on that tradition in a fine way,” laughs Anna. On a more serious note, “It may be instinctively we want to be God’s children, so as little girls we make everything about being a princess,” she adds. 

Sparking an Interest in History

According to Anna, cheap and easy homemade costumes can also help kids appreciate history and culture. “Now we’re talking about two of my favorite things, costumes and education! I guess my three favorite things, costumes, creativity, and education!”

For instance, dressed as Native Americans or Indian Princesses, children can easily imagine living in tents, hunting for food, and cooking over an open fire. Clearly, such pretending encourages children to think through how brave people overcome hardships and enjoy being in touch with their natural settings.

What’s another big benefit for Native American costumes? You can wear them all year round. “We wore those at Halloween and at Thanksgiving. We wore them to run around and play in the woods.” In March, for Texas History Week, our Native American costumes made another encore.

More Year Round Fun

For more inexpensive year round cheap and easy homemade costumes fun, Anna recommends catching fall sales on wings, swords, and other fun accessories. (Since she shared more about how to repurpose stuff you have around your house into costumes, listen in above. Or, click here to find more podcasts with Anna on Fireside Talk Radio.)

“Every year, our kids get plastic swords in their stockings because I buy them for fifty cents after Halloween,” she says. By the way, we love the way sword play can teach kids about chivalry and our nation’s history of defending freedom.

What About Scary Costumes?

For some Christians, Halloween celebrates evil. Certainly, garish and scary costumes tend to frighten small children. For our family, we focus on positive imagination and happy costumes year round. 

Because fear worries me (get it?) I asked Anna if she thinks it’s okay for parents to go along with a little adrenaline rush this time of year? With clarity, she emphasized that parents know their kids. Then, she gave a great example of how she decides when her kids have maxed out on scariness. 

“Pay attention to what triggers fear or nightmares for your child,” she says, since each child may express fear uniquely. “Or, she may say she doesn’t like the dark.”

Adrenaline-Laced Fun

Still, even if you try to emphasize the positive, kids tend to invent adrenaline-laced games out of their imagination naturally, according to Anna. At her house, they pretend to be dinosaurs.

“I know it's scary because one of them will be chasing the other one through the house growling and roaring. They’ll be pretending and having fun,” Anna says. “Then, next thing you know it becomes real to them because they’re clinging to me and hiding behind me and shaking like it’s real.” Dinosaurs are a fun way to get an adrenaline rush with some added benefits, according to Anna. 

“Dinosaurs are cool and there’s a whole field your kids can study later,” she laughs. “I like to point them to the things that God made. If you need something that’s a little scary, go for that!” 

Costumes Create Fun and Credibility

All three of our kids worked as wranglers throughout high school and college. Each work day, they wore full cowboy ensembles: boots, hat, chaps, big belt buckle, bandanas. Even though it was real work and real gear, their western attire looked fresh off a movie set. 

“We’d wrap the bandana around the lower half of our faces almost like bandits when it got dusty on horse back.” (Oh, how their mom remembers those loads of laundry!)

“They were costumes because they lent us credibility when we were teaching children, and even adults, about horses and what to do on horseback,” says Anna. At the barn, our kids learned many crucial life lessons, including how dressing the part stimulates the imagination of those you want to teach.

Real Life Costumes

Just like in real life, if you’re a wrangler, a nurse, a firefighter, a teacher, or work in a bank, our daily attire helps people visualize our purpose, Anna points out. In the same way, Anna created cheap and easy homemade costumes for teaching art. Now, she uses her artist costumes to communicate her authority and expertise.

"I throw my hair up on top of my head in a French twist and stick twenty paint brushes in it. Next, I put on the brightest purple lipstick I own and whatever painted up clothing I have. Then, I carry a paint palette I have for this purpose.”

For example, whenever she’s in charge of art at Vacation Bible School or any kids’ camps, she shows up dressed in one of her cheap and easy homemade costumes because dressing the part gives her a platform. “I’m obviously the person in charge of art!”

Annie Get Your Gun!

Whether you're playing around with your kids or teaching a class, cheap and easy homemade costumes spark imagination! Happily, costumes can establish credibility, engage, and entertain. Cheap and easy homemade costumes creating fun memories for everyone! As an example, Anna shared a story from her childhood about how costumes can inspire a great memory. (For more family stories and ideas about raising creative kids, click here.)

“It was probably the first time I ever had to teach a class of kids something,” Anna laughs about a project assigned to each of her fellow fifth graders. “We had to read a book about a real person, dress like them, and give a book report.” She chose a book about Annie Oakley.

Before class, her teacher secretly placed a playing card, with hole conveniently pre-burned into it, on a shelf at the back of the room. 

As Anna spoke, all attention was focused up front on her. For her grand finale, she quickly turned around and shot her toy rifle over her shoulder with a loud “Pop!” Suddenly, all the kids noticed the card with the burned hole in the center as if she really shot it. Ah, what special affects!

Long live imagination and fun costumes!

Shout Outs to Fellow Creatives

In addition, Anna and I want to give a shout out to Lisa Rachel Horlander, our friend and talented artist whose hubby helped us produce the podcast that goes with today’s blog. (For direct access to our latest conversational adventures and blog, click here.)

While we’re shouting out to talented fellow creatives, check out some of our favorite stuff on raising creative kiddos: Liberty Loving Kids, Plus Lathan Watt’s Top Books for Fostering Religious LibertyRaising Creative Kids: The Art of Glowing in the Dark with Neita Fran WardFamily Thanksgiving with Anna Krafve Pierce, or Musically-Challenged Mommy? Inspiration for Music Loving Kids.

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, deliver us from evil as the scary stuff flowing out of Halloween surrounds us this time of year. Give our families courage as we look for ways to communicate positive ideas as we stand against fear. Thank you for the imagination you created in each one of us. Most importantly, O Lord, let us be careful stewards of the beautiful imagination you’ve provided in the hearts of our kids and grandkids. As we trust you, help us inspire them to dream of a bright future as they respect history. For any young mom planning costumes for her family, please give her inspiration. Help her find the perfect cheap and easy supplies to spark up her kids’ imagination with lots of homemade fun. We pray in Jesus’s name. Amen. 

We love to hear from you!

What is your favorite costume memory? Which important lesson did you learn while in costume? When you create costumes at your house, what’s your favorite trick?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Liberty Loving Kids, Plus Lathan Watt’s Top Books for Fostering Religious Liberty, Part 1

First Liberty's Lathan Watts joins us on Fireside talk Radio.

Defending religious liberty all the way to the Supreme Court takes up a ton of Lathan Watts’s mental energy. An attorney with First Liberty, one of the nation’s foremost defender of religious liberty, Lathan joined me recently on Fireside Talk Radio. Of course, he shared a ton of stuff on instilling a love of religious liberty in the younger generations.

You’ll love his passion and sense of humor. Plus, he sports an insider’s view of where the battle lines are drawn on the issue of religious liberty.

Lathan’s Book List for Educating Young Patriots

With a constitutional scholar and history lover on the show, I couldn’t resist asking for a book list. Here’s Lathan’s top picks for raising liberty loving young Americans.

  • His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis
  • American Creation by Joseph J. Ellis
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis
  • The Federalist Papers, which Lathan describes as “some of the best writing about the Constitution by the men who wrote the Constitution” 
  • Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World by Daniel Hannon, which makes the case our Founding Fathers were simply claiming the rights they enjoyed as true British subjects. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble thinking of myself as a subject, rather than a citizen. My, how far we’ve come!
  • The 5,000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen
  • 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D.
  • 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read: Plus Four Not to Miss and One Imposter, by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D, Robertson Dean, et al 

Respect for Religious Liberty

Honestly, I just wanted a book list for kids. But leave it to Lathan to get to the heart of the matter—what adults don’t know. Seriously, Lathan caught me flat footed. Especially since the only thing on his list I’ve actually read myself was the Federalist Papers. Ouch! 

Still, he gave me a GREAT excuse to order books promptly! In my world, the only thing better than chocolate is a good book! Actually, chocolate plus reading out loud to our grandkids ranks as the BEST! (Soon, Anna and I plan upcoming episodes devoted to fun ways to instill a love of reading in your creative children. Stay tuned!)

“You can’t go wrong starting with the reading the Constitution and the Federalist Papers,” adds Lathan. (For more on raising kids with a love for liberty: Independence Day: How to Foster Independence in Kids and Country .)

Passing on Passion for Civics 

As a father himself, Lathan appreciates just how hard it is to raise children.

“Well, my parents did their best to raise me right, I guess,” he laughs, describing himself as “that weird kid in grade school who watched the news.” He adds, “I just couldn’t wait to vote and all that.” As a little boy of four or five his dad was his hero. 

“I have a memory of being over at my grandparents’ house and my dad pulling me over and sitting me in his lap. He said, ‘I need you to be quiet because I want to hear what this man has to say.’”

The man was Ronald Reagan. 

A Love of Learning

Clearly, many parents want to raise kids with a passion for history and a love of country. So, Lathan encourages parents to stay alert when it comes to their kids’ education. (For more about how religious liberty secures families from the effects of anarchy, click here.)

“I think a big mistake that some parents make, and it’s easy to do, is assuming their kids are going to be taught history and a love of country in school. In many places they’re not.”

According to Lathan, parents must be intentional. He suggests opening up daily conversations about what they’re learning in school. “They (his own kids) know Daddy was a history major,” he laughs, “So everything they learn in history class they want to talk about with me. I ask them, what did you talk about in history today.” Plus, he pays attention for normal opportunities to observe and think.

“It’s taking the opportunity to discuss things when they’re current. One thing that is seriously missing in education is critical thinking.” In order to get his own kids thinking, he asks good questions. “Did you hear the way the newscaster introduced that story? Does that sound objective to you?”

One Interest Leads to Another

In his own life, his initial interest in President Reagan led to a fascination with American history. That bloomed into his passion for religious liberty. 

“Whether it’s a political figure or a band I like, I want to know who they’re interested in.”

From Reagan, Lathan discovered Calvin Coolidge. Then, because Reagan often quoted American patriots, Lathan’s interests expanded to include Alexander Pain, Thomas Jefferson George Washington and so many others.

“I wanted to know who were the men they believed in,” Lathan says. Naturally, his self-education expanded to include more historic figures. “Who were the Founders reading?” he asks, answering John Locke, for one. 

A Texan By Marriage

“I’m a Texan by marriage,” laughs Lathan who thanks his wife for bringing him to Texas. “I was raised in a small town, went to school in small towns. When I moved to the Dallas area, this was the biggest city I’d ever lived in.” 

As a young man, he served on his first political campaign. His goals included using his legal training locally in a less traditional way. Soon, he discovered an innate gut instinct for civics.

Raised in the church, his sought his own personal calling to service. With his background, he began to realize his passion for the American self-governing process.  

“Other than being a full time minister, I saw no other opportunity where you could impact more people’s lives than having an influence in our government.”

To understand more about some current Supreme Court cases and how they impact our lives, find more of our interview and another podcast, here. For more about how Lathan and his colleagues at First Liberty champion the cause of religious liberty—they specifically request prayer—click here.

May I pray for you?

Father in heaven, we are grateful for the way You established freedom and free will for us all. We’re amazed at Your willingness to send Your Son. When we were enslaved to sin, You bought our freedom with His life, if we but choose it. How grateful we are for the choices we get to make daily! Grant us now wisdom to choose companionship with You and freedom.

Bless those who fight–those protecting our liberty–to keep us a free people. Today, specifically, we thank you for the attorneys across this nation who study the U. S. Constitution. Give them wisdom as they present cases to our courts to protect our religious liberty. Thank You for our Founding Fathers who–at their own personal expense and sacrifice–stepped into the destiny You created for them. Dear Lord, thank You for the opportunity to follow our own hearts today, devoting our lives to worshipping You. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What teacher inspired your love of history? How do you open up fun conversations with your kids and grandkids? What’s your favorite book about American history?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Suddenly Single Mom Jeanette Hanscome Shares Tips

Jeanette Hanscome and I pose for our listening friends!I waited two years to interview Jeanette Hanscome, author of Suddenly Single Mom. Believe me, it was worth the wait! Experiencing divorce? Or, someone you know? Jeanette offers comfort and power in the authentic stuff she shares in our podcasts for Fireside Talk Radio. 

Jeanette writes for publishers like Focus on the Family, The Upper Room, Standard Publishing, Walk Thru the Bible, LifeWay, and Guideposts. We took this quick video recently as we plotted the ways she could encourage you! I hope you love this courageous leader as much as I do!

 

 

 

Is Divorce an Option?

People say, “Divorce is not an option.” Sadly, though divorce is an option, even in the church. In fact, sometimes divorce remains the last, best option. For followers of Jesus, we need to talk about divorce in an open way, preparing us to care for the wounded.

Fortunately, my friend Jeanette transformed her experience with divorce into a book. Oh, the tender, authentic way she writes in short chapters perfect for the reader overwhelmed by divorce! If you’re suddenly single or love someone going through divorce, you are going to thank me for passing along her message.

The Shock of Being Suddenly Single 

Here’s her wisdom. (Plus, she shared her story in a podcast here.)

 

Tips For the Suddenly Single

Kindly, Jeanette offered a bunch of great insight from her own experience with navigating a messy divorce. (She shared a bunch more, so click here to find more podcasts.) Here are a few of her thoughts—

#1 You can do this.

“We all have something in our lives that causes us to believe, ‘I can’t do this,’” Jeanette says, “For me, it was facing life as a single mom who had low vision. For others, it might be something else.” No matter the case, Jeanette offers plenty of practical advice. How do you ask for help? Why does recording the blessings God sends your way help? Fortunately, she answers these questions and a bunch more in our podcasts, so click above.

#2 Others should assume they don’t know the whole story.

For Jeanette, separation from her husband involved a one year process of “trying to work through some serious issues I purposely didn’t put in the book.” Of course, with young sons, she simply could not share every detail, a common experience for people going through divorce. 

Fortunately for Jeanette, her church stepped up with help, no questions asked. (For more about how the church should handle those who hurt, check out what Dana Goodrum had to say.)

#3 Sometimes the worst thing that could ever happen to us turns out to be the best thing.

“I had to hold on to the knowledge that God would use what I was going through. As a writer, everything in my life becomes material,” she laughs, “I kept that in my mind, God is going to use this for someone else.”

#4 Your life will be good again. 

“I never expected this, but I can honestly say that my life is not only good, it is actually better,” Jeanette says. Today, she is amazed at all the doors her life experiences have opened, including ministering to many who have struggled with divorce.

Kids are More Resilient Than We Think

“I was really afraid that my boys would feel maybe ostracized or that they maybe had something to be ashamed of because their parents were divorced,” Jeanette shares tenderly. Surprisingly for her, a turning point came when her youngest son won an award at his school. As she watched him interact with his friends, enjoying the moment, her heart lit up with gratitude.  

“I marveled at how messed up he wasn’t,” she laughs now about what turned out to be a healthy trend, adding, “Kids are resilient. We don’t give them enough credit. I’ve seen that our attitudes really do make a difference in the experience they have.”

Single and Strong

When Jeanette was a child, her parents heard a lot of negative predictions of what would happen to her, as a visually impaired youngster. For instance, people said she would never be able to make it through a public school. Or, she’d never go to college.

“God reminded me when I was young I was the first visually impaired student at pretty much every school I attended. I went to school at a time when they just didn’t know what to do with the visually impaired kids yet,” she chuckles. Instead of caving in to the negative predictions, she accomplished them all!

“I remember thinking, I bet surviving as a single mom never occurred to them!”  

Practical and Down to Earth

Well, you can see for yourself how practical and down to earth this dear lady is! Not to mention funny. I find her stuff encouraging on so many levels. (To find more terrific interviews about being your family’s champion, scroll back to our interviews with Sandra Beck or Darlene Marshalhere. Both women are impacting our world in a big way post-divorce, so they offer tested Biblical insight and experience. Plus, some great stories!) 

In addition to her own writing, Jeanette also offers coaching for fellow writers, along with many other services. If, like me, you can’t get enough of Jeanette’s writing, you can sign up for her blog, here, in the left hand column of her website.

Help for Homeschoolers

Speaking of friends who write great stuff, as many of you know, we’re pro-education at Camp Krafve–all forms of it! Plus, every now and then, I scan my friends websites for stuff I can get excited about. Boy, did I hit the jack pot this week! I’m not getting paid to advertise here, I just like Susan Stewart’s website.

Just in time for fall, I found Susan’s class on creating clear purpose for your homeschool! Wow! This is exactly what I needed to keep us on track when I homeschooled along the way. (Especially since I really like to have fun rather than study!) Called, Why Am I Doing This? Seven Steps to an Educational Philosophy, Susan nails all the important points step by step to focus and personalize your homeschool plan.

May I pray for you?

Dear Father, see our friends, Your children, who are struggling with divorce. Surround these friends with compassionate people who will minister kindly with practical help. Give sisters and brothers in the church wisdom and tenderness to understand there’s so much we don’t know. Protect any children affected by divorce and comfort their souls. Strengthen this family to come out of this crisis with courage and dignity. Give this dear one strength to be the family champion You designed! Thank you for my friend Jeanette, who wrote courageously and authentically about divorce as a blessing for all of us. And as our children and grandchildren return to their studies, thank You Lord for all the religious and educational liberty we enjoy in this country. We are grateful. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What has helped you in a crisis situation? When have you felt like your life was unraveling? How has a “no questions asked” policy provided privacy and compassion in your life?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Tea Time Anytime: Raising Confident Girls with Anna Krafve Pierce

Could raising confident girls be as easy as planning a tea time anytime? Yes! According to Anna enjoying a hot cup of tea with your daughter is one of the BEST ways to create confidence in her heart. And who doesn’t love any excuse for a hot beverage?

Tea Time Anytime: Raising Confident Girls   CathyKrafve.com

Anytime is the perfect time to serve tea and create memories!

Tea Time Anytime

As a mommy and a teacher, Anna stumbled over this tea-time-anytime truth recently as she observed the dynamics in her own home. This week, she joined me to share what she’s learning about teaching her young daughter to be comfortable in ALL social settings.

 

The Benefits of Tea Time Anytime

What a happy coincidence: to share something as fun as tea time and know in your heart you are simultaneously serving your daughter and her friends! 

“So many tea parties were a part of our pretend world,” laughs Anna, remembering happy pretend parties with her grandmothers, “By the time we graduated to having people over for tea or ice cream socials, where I was sitting at the table with my grandmother and her friends, it was a seamless transition. We had practiced with my stuffed animals!”

Undoubtedly, parenting doesn’t get any better than that! (To hear Anna’s story about her kindergarten teacher’s tea party, click on the above podcast.) Keep reading for Anna’s list of tea time benefits.

#1 Learning to Honor Others

Not only does tea time introduce young girls to the concept of polite conversation, according to Anna. Simultaneously, the rhythm of tea time helps little girls feel good about the way kind women engage with each other.

“We are a very casual culture and in a way that is a good thing,” Anna says, “The down side is our culture has forgotten how to ask polite questions, while respecting the other person’s perspective.” Fortunately, tea parties can teach your daughter to cross cultural lines with confidence because she feels good about herself and what she offers to a conversation, adds Anna.

#2 Sharing the Joy of Initiating Friendships

Sadly, all kids inevitably face rejection, especially at school. (For Anna’s thoughts about Back to School success, click here. For powerful information about bullying at school, click here or go to theMegan Meier Foundation.) However, the confidence they gain from practicing proper etiquette and learning to initiate healthy friendships can actually insulate your daughter’s heart. Recently, taking the initiative, Anna’s daughter invited her mommy, her brother and all her stuffed animals to tea time.

“She initiated it. It was an honest to goodness invitation, ‘Would you come to tea?’” laughs Anna. (For more insight on why initiating is important please listen to the full podcast above or look for more ideas here.)

“What was so cute is about half way through, her brother decides he wants to do the same thing. Because he had been invited, he wanted to try that out himself,” Anna adds. Spontaneously, he invited his sister and his mommy to go hunting.

As soon as tea time finished, the hunt began. Together, the children snuck around the house hunting the stuffed animals Anna quickly hid.

#3 Appreciating the Trust Produced by Good Manners

Surprisingly simple things like what to wear and when to bring a hostess gift can teach youngsters confidence about how to honor others.

“I was sitting at a tea party recently with my mother-in-law, my daughter, and my niece,” Anna shares, “My mother-in-law and I were both in our shiniest dresses because the girls had picked them out.” The words prom dresses might have come up in our conversation! Instinctively, the little girls felt so special, Anna reports.

“Grandy, please pass the cookies,” each girl said in her most elegant voice. Crystal and silver serving trays were arrayed in a dazzling menu, including rainbow colored marshmallows, squirt can whip cream, and peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches.

“Everything was covered in sprinkles,” laughs Anna, adding “I was just doing it because it was fun and my niece was so excited. Until I sat there with my mother-in-law, I didn’t think through the fact that what we were doing was important not just fun!”

Learning a structure for honoring others builds a kind of confidence that comes from knowing society’s rules and being able to navigate them successfully. Rules are not to restrict people, but to free us so we can focus on what’s really important, other people.

#4 Uniting Women is Powerful

Anna makes a good case for the universal appeal of women gathered around a table together, enjoying a snack and a hot beverage. She says tea time experience at home trains our daughters to be comfortable with women anywhere in the world, simply because we recognize the ritual of tea time.

“I don’t remember ever sitting down at a table with women where I felt awkward, in lots of different contexts, in lots of different places and cultures,” Anna explains, almost reverently. “If I’m in a group of women, I feel pretty confident about how to be kind. Truthfully, the focus on how to be kind is definitely part of it.”

When you teach a kid how to be the hostess, Anna explains, you coach them on how to respect  the needs of others. Specifically, planning ahead to make everyone else comfortable, becoming alert to the relationship dynamics, learning to relax, and enjoy others develops deep confidence in a girls’ heart.

And I Thought Tea Time Was All About the Fun!

Honestly, I was astonished when Anna told me she thought tea time was a powerful tool for raising confident daughters. I just thought tea time was fun. (Anna shared more about how her grown up friends schedule tea time to get a break in their mommy jobs. To listen to our whole conversation, check out the above podcast or click here for more podcasts.)

Since everyone wants to raise confident girls, she had my undivided attention and I scheduled the show. Could confidence develop out of something as easy as hosting a tea party? Now I know.

Don’t forget: tea time is a great way for grandmothers to jump in and support the raising of confident girls. (In the above podcast, Anna honored the three generations of women in a beloved family we know. I hope you’ll listen in for how one family’s tea time tradition of is still impacting our family into the fourth generation.)

Raising Confident Boys? Oh my!

Consequently, this topic of how tea time can be a tool for raising confident daughters, got us thinking. How do we raise confident sons? Is there an activity that mommies can start early with their little boys? Fishing? Hiking? Sports? Hmm.…

The answer isn’t obvious to Anna and me. Therefore, we hope you’ll chime in with your thoughts. Soon we’d really like to do a show about raising confident boys. But we could really use your help. (To sign up for free weekly ideas about creating life-long companionship in your family, click here.)

Including Others

Certainly, the formality of tea party sets your sons up for success just like your daughters, if you can only get a son to sit still for a minute! Because she believes they make everyone feel more comfortable, Anna advocates enthusiastically for good manners. Of course, as much as she loves chatting over a cup of tea with other women, she thinks tea time is best when everyone feels included. 

“It’s a way of being inclusive. Just like my sweet little daughter set off a domino affect with her brother when she invited us.”

Many times, the formality of being specific about inviting others, honors guests by respecting their free will. For instance, asking for the honor of another person’s company means letting the other person decide. Then, they get to choose to accept or decline your invitation. Tea time is gracious in that way.

Whether your next team time gathering is formal or casual, Anna suggests kindness translates into easy confidence in your child’s heart.

May I pray for you?

Dear Good Father, You want the best for Your daughters just like we do. It’s hard to imagine being so loved by You. Yet, each day You send tender, gentle proof of Your love in the chirping of a bird, the caress of a pet, or the comfort of a good friend. Today, O Lord, grant us Your favor as we try to instill wholeheartedness into the spirit of our daughters and granddaughters. Surround us trustworthy women who can comfort and strengthen our hearts as we pour out love on our families. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We love to hear from you!

What is your favorite treat to serve with tea? (Yes, and feel free to send us recipes, dear one!) When have you been invited to tea and what made the invitation special? What is your favorite childhood memory of playing tea party?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

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