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Posts Tagged ‘sisters’

My children have a special tradition that they do with their Grandma every time that a new baby is born into our family. They bake “baby brownies”! All of the children from the oldest to the youngest get to help prepare and decorate brownies to be enjoyed when Mommy, Daddy, and the new baby come home from the hospital. This allows the children the chance to make wonderful memories with their Grandmother while she is caring for them, and teaches them that babies being born is something to celebrate and look forward to!

This is the third time that they have made “baby brownies”, and let me tell you,they keep on getting even tastier every time. After all, they are made with more and more love each time, as another little set of hands gets their turn to help!

Aprons on! Everyone is ready to get started!

Kassidy has got the right idea!

 

Kaitlyn adds some oil.

Here comes Kourtney with the eggs!

Time to start the mixing!

More mixing with Kyle.

Kassidy keeps it going.

Kourtney gets her chance to mix it up.

Okay, time to bring in the big muscles with Kory!

Time for the yummy chocolate frosting!

Kyle is the official frosting-tester…now that is a great job to have!

Ah! The finishing touch…rainbow sprinkles!!!

Here is the final product…delicious!! These did not last long, let me tell you!

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I know that it has been a while since I updated here. But I have a good reason. No, really, I have a GREAT reason!!

THIS is why I have been MIA for a little while:

Kolby Bradford was born on August 12th, 2008 at 5:51am!

He weighed 4 pounds and 15 ounces, and was 18 inches long.

Isn’t he just a sweetheart?

Everyone is just loving him and enjoying him so much!

Big sister Kaitlyn was the first sibling to hold him.

Next it was big brother Kyle’s turn.

Big sister Kourtney gets her chance.

Big sister Kassidy has been waiting patiently to hold her new brother.

Kory is a big brother now!

Welcome home baby Kolby!!! We love you!

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Kaitlyn

 

Kyle

Kourtney

Kassidy

 

Kory

 

Thank you Jesus for the gift of our children!

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I have posted entries on this blog previously about how important I think that sibling relationships are, and how we need to foster them as best as we can. The friends we make in this life, some will come, and some will go. But the friendships that we help develop among our children, will serve them for their whole lives, most likely long after we are gone from this earth. They will have each other to lean upon, to collaborate with, and to love.

Here are two poems that speak about brothers and sisters and different ways that they can impact each other’s lives in a positive way. It is worth it to push through the petty fighting and arguing to reach the lovely connection they can have to one another!

TO A SPECIAL SISTER
A sister is one of the nicest things
that can happen to anyone.

She is someone to laugh with and share with,
to work with and join in the fun.

She is someone who helps in the rough times
and knows when you need a warm smile.

She is someone who will quietly listen
when you just want to talk for awhile.

A sister is dear to you always,
for she is someone who is always a part

of all the favorite memories
that you keep very close to your heart.

~ Author Unknown ~

 
A LITTLE BROTHER FOLLOWS ME
A careful boy I want to be; a little brother follows me.

I do not dare to go astray for fear he’ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes; whate’er he see me do, he tries.

Like me he says he’s going to be- that little brother following me.

He thinks that I am good and fine; believes in every word of mine.

The bad in me he must not see- that little brother following me.

I must remember as I go through summer’s sun and winter’s snow

I’m building for the years to be that little brother following me.

~ Author Unknown ~

 

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Here are some pictures of my little ones having fun together. It is great to always have a friend available to play with! These are older pictures from back before our youngest was born, so they are only of our oldest 4. When I transfer more pictures over to this computer I will post some more pictures of all 5 of them together.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kassidy hanging out in the tree-house.
Kyle and Kassidy having some park fun.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney in the weather exhibit at the Children’s Museum.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney playing in the pioneer gallery of the Children’s Museum.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney having an indoor picnic together for their snack.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, and Kourtney enjoy the butterfly garden at the zoo.
Kaitlyn, Kyle, Kourtney, and Kassidy are all ready for a nice summer walk!

Kourtney gives Kyle a helpful push in the swing.

Kyle and Kassidy blasting off to space in a rocket!

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My last entry was a picture of all 5 of our children sitting together smiling on our couch, with words describing that it is possible for brothers and sisters to be friends-best friends in fact. A new reader, Jana, asked me how to make siblings friends and said that she is facing sibling rivalry at the moment. So, I decided to respond to this question in a new entry. Now, before I begin, please know that things are not perfect around here. We still deal with the typical day-to-day interactions just like everyone else does, some pleasant and some not. But I like to think that we have been able to foster an attitude in our children to regard one another much differently than they are encouraged to in society and culture these days. So, here are some things that have worked for us.

  •  We have spoken to each child about their siblings from an early age-when they were still babies. From the very beginning, we have told them that their brothers and sisters will be their best friends. Simply verbalizing this really does make a difference. It is so different from what they many times here from other children. It flies directly in the face of the usual “I HATE my little brother”.Or, “My sister is SUCH a pest”.  For us, it is not just, Mommy is having a new baby. It is, Mommy is having a new play-mate. Mommy is having a new friend to join in the fun when he/she is old enough to. The older children are encouraged to be involved in each new little one’s life from the start. They are not disappointed either. It goes from a baby who adores them, to a toddler who adores them, to children who have only grown up knowing a deep and profound love for each other. Now THAT is a bond!
  • We teach a servant’s heart. This can be revealed even in the small things, like sharing. It is not always easy, especially in the beginning, but the older children almost always think of how they can share something with each other before indulging. Perhaps they are given a treat by someone. You are more likely to see them deliberating over how to break a candy bar up into the appropriate number of pieces so everyone gets some, than fighting over it. My two oldest children participate in Bible Quizzing. This year, the leadership gave each child a piece of candy for every Bible Verse they memorized. Both of them deliberately selected some candy that they enjoy, and some special pieces that they knew the younger children would like. I did not ask them to do this. It brings them joy to do so.
  • We practice the “buddy system” around here. This couples well with developing a servant’s heart. We pair an older child with a younger to be special buddies. Not to the exclusion of others, just to foster a special relationship. Mom and Dad are the authority figures, but an older buddy helps a younger when possible. Maybe helping with getting shoes on/off, filling a sippy cup, looking out for them when playing. Just yesterday, we went to a park to have a picnic lunch after Church. My oldest child was following our one year old around while he explored. She is deathly afraid of bees and a couple of bumblebees started buzzing around in their area. Well, she started to cry, but she stayed right with the little one until I got there to “rescue” them. To me, that kind of commitment is a big deal for an 8 year-old, and we made sure that her selfless love did not go un-noticed. All of our children learned a lesson from that incident.
  • We tend to limit peer influence. Our children play with other children. Our children make friends with them as well. We think that this is good and important. However, we keep it on our terms. One thing we NEVER allow is for peer friendship to usurp our authority or to trump a sibling relationship. None of this, “Let’s go over here to get away from your sister so we don’t have to include her” kind of thing. Some people think that kind of singular relationship is necessary, we do not. If we do not allow it now, it is a lot less likely to become a problem in the future.
  • We encourage the children to share interests. We all have things that excite us or that we like to do. Those things are not always the same as what others like. Knowing this, we try to help the children share interests. A simple example. One of our children adores frogs. All things frogs, especially tree frogs. Who knows why. She just does. Her brothers and sisters go out of their way to find books, stuffed animals, pictures, you name it, for her, about frogs. They don’t care about frogs that much. It is enough that it brings her such happiness. We all want to feel special. Making others feel special is a fast-track to a great relationship.
  • We want our children to encourage each other. I mentioned earlier that my two oldest are in Bible Quizzing. This is a competition based program, and this year was the second year of participation for my oldest, and the first for my second-born. At their first quiz of the year, my second-oldest did better than the oldest, even though it was his very first quiz. I did not know how that would play out, but I was happy to see my oldest jumping up and down cheering for her brother for his achievement, even when it took the spotlight away from her.
  • We expect more from an apology than just saying “Sorry”. Around here, if you offend or hurt another, you must apologize, identify what you did wrong, and ask how you can make it better. This may simply mean a hug or pat on the back. Or it may mean, some special time is needed to re-build connection, like playing a game of the offended’s choice or helping with a chore. The words “I’m sorry” mean nothing if they are just empty, solitary words. Apologies and writing wrongs can be surprisingly good relationship builders. Especially if the one in the wrong can put themself in the place of the one who was hurt. Great lessons learned to carry throughout life!

These are a few examples of things that we do that I think make a difference in the relationships our children have with one another. The fact that we homeschool is an added benefit because they get a lot more time to practice what we teach them, being together pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I want our children to have lasting memories of a happy home life filled with a safety net of people who care. Brothers and sisters are an important part of this!

For more information and some great practical advice, I recomment checking out the book “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally. It is a book you can read-aloud with your children and show them a clear vision of what you want their relationship with each other to be! You can find out more about this book here: http://www.visionforum.com/search/productdetail.aspx?search=mally&productid=83524 . It is well worth a look!

 

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