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Merry Merry Christmas Break!

I will be taking a break from posting to spend the Christmas break with my family. Normal posting will resume on Monday, January 2. Have a Merry Christmas a fabulous New Year!

For your Christmas enjoyment, check out my cousin Artie Hemphill singing this original song. I promise you will love it (if you love country music--if not, you might love it :) ). Artie is my cousin's husband, but married her when I was  young enough it is like he has always been there. He is such a great guy. He is humble and kind and very talented. He sings at family functions whenever he is around (because we make him), and he also sang at my wedding. Enjoy!

eBook Winner!

The winner of the  Live in Harmony With First-Time Obedience: How to Use Love, Authority and
Consistency to Teach Your Child to Obey the First Time, Every Time eBook is...

Please email me at to claim your prize! You have one week or another winner will be chosen.


10 min or less
  30 (17%)
15 min
  43 (24%)
20 min
  25 (14%)
25 min
  22 (12%)
30 min
  16 (9%)
35 min
  11 (6%)
40 min
  15 (8%)
45 min
  8 (4%)
50 min
  1 (0%)
60 min or more
  5 (2%)

Votes so far: 176
Poll closed 


Reminder: You can leave comments on poll results posts if you would like to add to the poll after it has closed. This would be helpful for those who have more than one child, those whose children have reached certain ages after a poll closed, and those who didn't visit the blog while that poll was open. To find closed polls, click on the poll results link above

Social Networking With This Blog

I thought I would break down the social icons here on the blog a bit in case you just can't get enough :)

The social icons are found on the right side of the page under the tabs and above the welcome message. 

First is Facebook. This will take you to the Facebook page for this blog. On this page, you can ask questions. When you "like" the page, you will get notifications of posts in your feed. I don't always do this every day, but I will remind you about polls on the blog and giveaways on the blog. I do try to share the post of the day each day, but it doesn't always happen.

I have 9 admins that help monitor this page. If you ask a question, either one of them will answer, a fellow "liker" of the page will answer, or I will answer. I do move these questions into my regular rotation of questions on the blog. Asking a question on Facebook will not get your question answered by me faster than it would on the blog, but it should get it answered by others faster than I do on the blog.

Next is Twitter. This is following me on Twitter. I tweet either good quotes I find pertinent to parenthood or quotes from the post of the day with a link to the post. 

Next is Twitter, but following Babywise. This account is not run by me, but is run by Hank Osborne, who works for the Ezzos. He does link my post each day, along with anything else he finds pertinent to Babywise followers.

The next button will take you to the Google Group for this blog. This is a large group of followers of this blog who offer each other advice, support, and friendship. I have over 20 admins in this group who help answer questions. I answer questions if I see a need for me to answer it or if it is a topic I have some knowledge with but haven't covered it on the blog. There are fabulous people in the group with a collective experience that covers almost anything you can imagine.

The final button is my Pinterest account. This is just for fun if you want to follow me on Pinterest.

Please note that I do not have email included up there. I have increasingly been getting more and more emails sent to me that are asking me questions. Most of the time, these emails get lost in my inbox. I literally get hundreds of emails each day, and I have no way to filter these emails to catch them anywhere. If they do not get lost, I add them to my normal rotation for answering questions on the blog, so emailing me a question will not get your question answered any sooner. I ask that you ask your questions on the blog, on the Facebook page, or in the Google Group. Those are the best ways to ensure an answer, plus it helps other people because they see the question and answers too. If you have a question you feel is quite personal, go ahead and email me and hopefully I will catch it :) Thanks so much!

Avoid Legalism

Moral precept number six in On Becoming Childwise is to Avoid Legalism When Giving Instructions. Let's start with an explanation of what Legalism is.

Legalism is viewing everything as either black or white. "Legalism elevates method over moral principle to create prohibitions" (page 85). This means that you value the rule more than any virtue that might require you to break that rule. 

There are many examples of being legalistic in the scriptures. Pharisees and the Sadducees attempted to catch Jesus Christ in an act of breaking the law in some way. If he healed on Sunday, they accused Him of breaking the Sabbath. They tried to create situations to cause him to break some law--like bringing the adulteress woman before him. The lessons learned from these stories in the scriptures are that we should follow the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. Sometimes the ox is in the mire, and given the context of that situation, we do some labor on the Sabbath day. 

Legalists do not consider context when making decisions. As we discussed last time, context is an important factor to consider when giving and following instructions. 

We need to be careful about legalism because a child tends to think very legalistically. When you say, "Don't throw the ball in the house" the child might jump to "I can never throw balls!" When you say, "Do not yell inside" the child will hesitate to yell even if yelling could save someone from harm. 

The child things in black and white terms, so we need to be careful that we do not teach legalistically. Avoid the words "never" or "always." Remember to teach why and explain the context of a rule. 

Avoid legalism in your own mind. When your child breaks a rule, think before you respond. Did your child get out of bed even though you have a rule to stay in bed? Before you respond with a consequence, inquire as to the reason your child got out of bed. Perhaps your child needs to use the restroom or maybe your child feels sick. Wait for an explanation before you jump to your own legalistic conclusion. 

Remember, we don't want our children to just act morally, we want them to think morally and to be moral. It will take time and teaching, but you will get there. 

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Giveaway: Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience eBook

Maureen generously wanted to give you all a chance to win a copy of her book! I always like to read as many discipline books as possible so I can have as many tools in my tool box as possible. This post is written by Maureen. Read on to learn more and to enter to win!

Live in Harmony With First-Time Obedience: How to Use Love, Authority and
Consistency to Teach Your Child to Obey the First Time, Every Time, offers 112 pages of
a detailed, step-by-step approach to creating an environment of peace, obedience and
contentment in your home.

Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience helps you achieve not just obedience for
today, but also a future filled with the promise of children who are kind, courteous,
respectful, confident, sensitive to others, and fun to be with at any age. What we learn
is that by teaching obedience in the short-term, we are instilling long-term values that
will lead them to success for the rest of their lives.

The contents of the eBook are as follows:
  • Introduction: My Story and Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1: What Is First-Time Obedience?
  • Chapter 2: Ezzo Fundamentals: First Things First
  • Chapter 3: Preparing for First-Time Obedience Training
  • Chapter 4: Training Your Child in First-Time Obedience
  • Chapter 5: FTO Bootcamp
  • Chapter 6: Correction and Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 7: Special Circumstances
  • Conclusion: Obedience Is Just the Beginning
  • Appendices: Forms and Checklists

Gary Ezzo himself has endorsed the eBook:

“One of the most important parenting tasks is helping children learn to obey. This eBook
offers practical advice for parents in the throes of obedience training and is high on my
recommended reading list.” ~ Gary Ezzo

The eBook regularly sells for $9.99 but is available for $6.99 until January 9, 2012.

Enter for your free copy as many as seven times:

For Your First Entry:

Become a follower of this blog. Then leave a comment. If you are already a follower (the
thing where your cute face pops up with all the other cute faces of people following),
comment telling me so.

Sample Entry
I am a follower of Chronicles of a Babywise Mom!

For Your Second Entry:
Become an email or RSS subscriber of Then leave a comment. If you
are already a subscriber, leave a comment saying so.

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For Your Third Entry:
Like Chronicles of a Babywise Mom on Facebook. Already do? Tell me so. Comment saying you like it.

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Follow Chronicles of a Babywise Mom or Childwise Chat on Twitter.

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For Your Sixth Entry:
Share your thoughts about first-time obedience on your blog, Twitter or Facebook. Comment saying you did.

Sample Tweet
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For Your Seventh Entry:
Become an affiliate of Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience. Doing so will allow
you to earn a portion of the proceeds when someone you refer buys the eBook. Post the
eBook link and/or graphic on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or email to friends.

Sample Entry
I’m an affiliate, and I shared the link!

Entry Rules
  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry. This is not so I can get lots of comments--it is because it makes it a million times easier to choose a winner. It takes less time, and less time is good. Plus, it makes sure I don't miss an entry.
  • You don't have to do all seven entries...for example, if you just want to follow this blog, you can just do entry one.
  • One entry per comment.
  • Up to seven entries per person.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, December 21 when I choose the winner.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at
  • The winner will be announced Wednesday, December 21.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Saturday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!

Shoe Buddies Winner!

The winner of the Shoe Buddies 1-2-3 is...

Elizabeth B

Please email me at with your mailing address. You have one week or another winner will be chosen. Congrats! 

If you are not Elizabeth B and wanted to win, I have great news! They are offering you readers FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in the US when you use the code BABYWISE. This offer expires December 24. Great stocking stuffer idea! 

How I Do It Series: What I Learned From You!

Through this series, many of you have offered your own advice in various topics, and I wanted to share some things I have tried and have loved!

So many of you recommended Jillian Michaels DVDs, so I got one. I LOVE it! I can't believe how much stronger I am already after doing it for about 6 weeks. She is definitely killer. Good killer--effective killer. Thank you for your suggestions (even though I often curse Jillian's name--just like she wants me to).

Reader Charity shared her mantra: "No Bible, no breakfast." Catchy right? That can help us all remember to read our scriptures before we start our day!

Getting Ready:
Several of you wondered how to wash less often with fine hair, and reader Jess suggested Dry Shampoo. Reader MotherofPearl told us that there are two kinds, spray or sprinkle. For those who use the shampoo, is one better than the other?

I tried the Dry Shampoo and I actually don't love it. My hair is not fine. It also doesn't get really greasy. It was effective in that it removed any grease that was there, but it weighed my hair down a lot--that is why I didn't like it. I don't really like stuff in my hair--I even don't like thermal protectants because they weigh my hair down so much. Anyway, my mother-in-law loves dry shampoo and has more fine hair, so I wonder if it is more of a hair-type thing? I got the spray kind--I wonder if the powder would be less heavy?

Getting Kids Ready: 
Reader Cozy shared a post she had written for getting kids ready quickly in the morning. One thing she share was to have children with long hair sleep with a braid. This has been fabulous for us! Kaitlyn has long hair and it was often a mess in the morning, but when we braid it, she has no snarls. So thanks Cozy!

Reader Summer said I did my errands quickly and she wondered how.

I thoroughly plan out my errand trip before I go. I makes lists of everything I need. I mentally visualize the best order to go to stores to be the fastest--the most efficient. I am loyal to stores that I like, so I know where everything is and I also know trends of when it is busier and when it is slower. I keep McKenna in a cart if the store has it--it might seem like a trivial tip, but I can move much faster if I am moving at my pace instead of hers.

I put my list into Cozi, and you can reorder your list after you have made it, so for grocery shopping, I put the food in the order of the store so I don't get to the end and realize I forgot something on aisle two.

You also need to get good at picking the right line, right? You pay attention to which checkers and baggers are good. You also look at what kind of load is in front of you. I definitely don't always call it right, but calling it right can be the difference in 10-15 minutes. 

If you have any tips for getting in and out of stores quickly, please share!

This post was just a question to you all and you gave me some great tips! I want to get a pedicure soon. Everyone raves about them. I think I have a problem with feet; I wouldn't want to touch some stranger's foot, so I don't want to make some stranger touch mine. I need to get over it :)

Learning Time:
Reader Kristy had a great tip for another reader on how to occupy baby during toddler's learning time. Keep a toy (or toys) that are only brought out during learning time. Novelty is always effective, so I wanted to share that with you all in case you have a similar question!

Something I do is make a learning activity that is age-appropriate for the baby. OR I do learning time while baby is sleeping :) If you check out The Siblings' Busy Book, they have a baby, toddler, and older child version of each activity. It really helps you figure out how to tailor activities so baby can participate. 

This concludes our "How I Do It" series. Thank you for all of your suggestions and please keep them coming! I love to try out new ideas!


image source

Good hearing is very beneficial to the development of language. Baby Body Signs states, "...babies learn to speak...almost effortlessly if all the components of hearing...are in place" (page 78). The ears aren't only about hearing, though. Let's discuss some key things to watch for with baby ears. These are just points I found most important to highlight from this book--there is more that I do not discuss.

The thing to really take note of is that if your baby has an ear abnormality, there is a chance she will also have kidney problems since they form at the same time. If your baby has abnormalities to her ear, bring it up to her pedi. Baby Body Signs states a baby with ear abnormalities should also have an ultrasound to check kidneys.

Parents are typically the ones to first notice a hearing problem with their child. Just because a child responds to sound doesn't mean there are no hearing issues. Sometimes a child is responding to a noise he can hear, vibrations, or movement. 

If your baby doesn't seem to respond to your voice or is having difficulty learning to talk, you might want to have it looked at. "...early recognition of a hearing problem can lead to effective treatment" (page 83). My cousin has a boy 6 weeks younger than Brayden. He is her fifth child. I can't remember the exact age---I think it was about two--they realized he had some hearing problems. Up to that point, he did not talk and he apparently threw a lot of tantrums. They were able to correct the problems and he quickly caught up and today you would never know there was ever an issue. 

Most hearing problems are present at birth, but there are many children who have an infection or injury that lead to hearing loss. Even some toys can cause hearing loss (see page 86).

Ear infections can lead to hearing loss, but they aren't gauranteed to do so. Some children are obvious that they have ear infections, and others are not. Did you know that only half of ear infections cause fever? Here are some signs:
  • fussiness
  • inconsolable crying
  • rubbing or pulling on ears
  • difficulty falling asleep
  • not eating
  • trouble with balance
  • yellowish or reddish discharge from ear or eye
  • fever
  • hearing loss
McKenna has had two double ear infections back to back in the last two months. The first time, it got very bad before I realized what it was. She was fussy. She had trouble with balance (which I only realized after reading this book--I just thought she was being clumsy). The thing that got me to act was she was not eating and she woke up crying in the night. We took her to the doctor and got her some antibiotics and she was back to her old self. 

A few weeks later, she suddenly started getting fussy--grumpy and impatient. She didn't have any other signs, but I was being hyper vigilant and took her right to the doctor and yes, she had a double ear infection again. 

If your child has repeat ear infections, your doctor might suggest tubes. Tomorrow, McKenna will be checked to see if she has an infection again as a precaution. If she does, we will explore tubes. My doctor recommends tubes if your child has three infections in three months. This book doesn't talk about it, but here is what I understand so far.

The tube is put in to help prevent infection. It is does in an out-patient surgery under general anesthesia. While tubes are in, you need to limit water in ears. Tubes stay in the ears for 6-12 months and usually fall out on their own. 

Some children stuff things in ears. Some things will come out on their own, but you should not try to remove it yourself. See a doctor for help. You don't wan to damage ear tissue. 

  • Sudden loss of hearing
  • Something stuck in ear
  • Serious injury or blow to ear
  • Bloody discharge or clear fluid coming from ear
page 89

Memorizing Scriptures

I recently read a talk about the power of memorizing scriptures. There were so many valuable nuggets in it.

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."

I know I feel that way. Our world is so full of difficulties. I don't want to be all doom and gloom--there are without doubt just as many wonderful blessings in our world as difficulties. When those difficulties arise, however, it can be hard to hold fast to those good things we have experienced. 

Scriptures can really help with that--the can "illuminate our minds." Despite the availability of smart phones and apps with the scriptures on them, we can't always have our scriptures right with us, and our children definitely don't. So memorizing scriptures is a powerful tool.

"A memorized scriptures becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time."

"Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one's ability to overcome the challenges of life."

I have found this to be true. I have found so much comfort in scriptures at various times, and I love how a particular verse might have meant nothing to me the 20 other times I have read it, but that one time it was just what I needed. 

"Scriptures can communicate different meanings at different times in our life, according to our needs." 

If you feel the same way about scriptures as I do, you will probably have an interest in helping your children memorize scriptures (if you don't already).

Each morning as we do our learning poster and calendar time, we work on our current scripture to memorize. 

For McKenna (two), I don't shoot for full memorization. I am happy to have a scripture read to her over and over. Each day we talk about the meaning of it. My hope is that maybe some phrase will really stick out to her at some point and she will remember those words in a moment of need.

When Brayden was barely four, our primary at church issued a challenge to memorize a scripture a week for the 13 weeks of summer. We did it! He was able to easily memorize each scripture. So a four year old can do it if you put the effort into it.

I imagine that each person does best with memorization differently. I will share how we do it, but Brayden and McKenna have very similar thought processes as I do, so it is easy for me to teach them things like that. Kaitlyn has an amazing ability to memorize things--she can often tell you the author of any given book if she has been told a few times. So this is how we do it.
  1. We start with me reading the scripture. Then we talk about it. I find that if I pay attention to whatever I am trying to memorize actually means, it is easier for my brain to hold on to it.
  2. Then I read a phrase and pause and they recite. 
  3. At some point, we switch to working on memorizing. I say a phrase and we repeat that phrase over and over and over again. Once that is memorized, we do another phrase and do it over and over and over again. Then we say the two phrases together over and over and over again. And so forth until the scripture is memorized.
  4. The key is really repetition. McKenna can talk along with a book on tape she has heard 10 times, so if they hear it often enough, they will remember it.
My hope is that the scriptures they know can be of comfort to them in a time of need. I think we all have those times of need throughout our lives. Maybe even throughout our days.

So if you do this with your children, how do you do it? What is your process?

And here are some scriptures I think are very beneficial to memorize:
  • Exodus 20:3-17--the Ten Commandments
  • Leviticus 19:18--Love thy neighbor
  • Joshua 1: 8--Meditate on the scriptures
  • Joshua 24:15--We will serve the Lord
  • 1 Samuel 16:7--The Lord looketh on the heart
  • Job 19:25-26--I know my Redeemer lives
  • Psalm 24:3-4--Clean hands and pure heart
  • Psalm 31:23--Love the Lord
  • Psalm 32:4--Word of Lord is right
  • Psalm 116:5--Gracious is the Lord
  • Proverbs 3:5-6--Trust in the Lord
  • Isaiah 54:13--Teach children of Lord
  • Matthew 5: 14-16--Light of the world
  • Matthew 16: 15-19--Thou art the Christ
  • Matthew 22:37-40--Great commandments
  • Matthew 25:40--Serving the least of these
  • John 7: 17--Do God's will
  • John 14:15--If ye love me
  • Romans 1:16--Not ashamed of the Gospel
  • James 1:5-6--If ye lack wisdom, ask God
I would love to hear your favorite scriptures to memorize and how you go about memorizing!

Chore Wheel

This is my latest addition to our chore process at our house. I made this back in August, so we have been using it for almost four months now. It has been, and still is, very effective. I love the addition it has made to the home.

We use this chore wheel for a certain chore a family member is in charge of for one week. We do these chores right around dinner time. Some might be before dinner, some might be after. Our kitchen/formal living room area was often times cluttered with random things from family members. I made this wheel for everyone to have a contribution to keeping the area clean. I knew that once they started contributing to keeping it clean, they would be more conscious of the mess they were making. Let's break this down some.

We chose to do each chore for one week at a time. The reason for this is so that if one person slacked on their chore one day, the next person wouldn't be doing double duty the next. You have your chore for one week, and before we switch, you make sure your chore is caught up. So if you were on dishes, you make sure that all dishes are done before passing the job on to the next person. One week is long enough to have time to learn how to do a chore without getting totally sick of it.

Our first round of chores was as you see. Office, dishes, sweep, great room, stairs, and feed the pet. 

Our second round of chores was set table, dishes, clear table, great room, help make dinner, and feed the pet. 

Most of these chores are things most of the children need help with. 

Brayden (six) can do these on his own:
  • Pick up a room
  • Sweep
  • Feed pet
  • Set table
  • Clear table
He needs help with these:
  • Dishes
  • Help make dinner
Kaitlyn (four) can do these on her own:
  • Pick up a room
  • Sweep
  • Clear table
She needs moderate help with:
  • Feed pet (for one of our pets, she needs mild help)
  • Set table (we have to get a lot of the things out for her because she can't reach them)
She needs help with:
  • Dishes
  • Help make dinner
McKenna (two) can do these on her own:
  • Pick up a room (though she needs direction sometimes)
  • Sweep (but she can't do a thorough job by herself)
She needs moderate help with:
  • Feed pet
She needs help with:
  • Set table
  • Clear table
  • Dishes
  • Help make dinner
Chore Breakdown
Several of the chores are simply to pick up items that don't belong there and put those items away.

I think sweeping, setting table, clearing table, and feeding the pet are all pretty self-explanatory.

For dishes, we have the child help put away what he or she can. For McKenna, that is basically silverware and a few things down low. Then the child helps load the dishwasher. All three of the kids love being on this chore.

For dinner, I let the child choose the menu for the week, then we make our grocery list. Then each night, we decide what to make from our planned menu and the child helps me make it. 

Bonus Chore
You might have noticed we have a bonus chore each week. It was easier for me to make the pie wheel with 6 slots than with 5, so one was assigned as bonus. If you do your chore, you can then do the bonus chore and get a special surprise. It might be a treat, a high five...anything small. 

We did our first chore wheel rotation for 12 weeks before we were bored with it and needed to change some chores. 

  1. Create a pie chart in Microsoft Word. 
  2. Create a circle shape that is slightly smaller than the pie wheel. Put this shape on top of the pie wheel you made. This creates the bottom circle where you put names.
  3. Create another pie wheel that is the same size as your circle. 
  4. Print these items.
  5. Laminate items if desired.
  6. Use a fine-point permanent marker to write names and chores. Names go on the large pie, chores go on the small pie. When it is time to change the chores, you can use finger nail polish remover and a cotton ball to remove the marker (thank you to reader Robyn for suggesting this to me on the Emergency Preparedness Binder post! I never would have thought of it). 
  7. Use a pin (tack, safety pin, straight pin, etc.) to poke a hole in the center of each circle. 
  8. Place the small circle on top of the large circle. Use as brad to fasten them together.
I have added a file to my Google documents: Chore Wheel Gray-scale version and Chore Wheel Color (this is like mine).

This is a great tool to have in the chore toolbox. Let me know if you have any questions!

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