Our first year with a Christmas Critter was a huge success, so we couldn't stop there! Our second year (The Christmas Critter Pack 2) proved to be even more amazing. We went on a hunt to find a new Christmas Critter to adopt into our family. That year we named our Critter Oliver. Oliver was perfect for our family. That's the beauty of choosing your own Critter instead of getting a prepackaged character. It'ss like adopting a member of the family. On this pack, you even get to choose the name. (Be ready for a family vote... it took us a while!)
In The Christmas Critter Pack 2, your Critter will focus on character traits and putting those traits into action... with several crazy twists! The final emphasis is on wisdom from God's Word and the Gospel.
Clyde was our first Christmas Critter ever adopted. He was born out of necessity. in 2012, our family moved to southern Asia. Though we enjoyed our new adventure, and we definitely enjoyed serving the Lord, holidays were tough at first. We were mission familiar sights, smells, sounds, and traditions of Christmas. Rather than sulk in our losses, our family chose to start new traditions and new adventures. And so, The Christmas Critter Character Building Series was created.
Each family shops for and chooses a personal "Critter" to adopt as their family Christmas Critter. Then for each day in December leading up to Christmas, this Critter is used for a new activity. Children wake up each morning to find the Critter has done something crazy overnight. (The scene is set up by the parent following the simple instructions given in each pack.) Each day they also find a letter beside the scene explaining the situation. The letters are included with the instructions in the pack. The activities have been kept simple using supplies that are easily accessible in most places. The packs were designed with missionaries on foreign fields in mind who often have limited access to materials. The activities were also kept simple because... well... the author is a mom! Mom's are busy people... We need simple!
They are amazing kids.
Some days I just watch them and think how blessed I am to be their Mom.
And I want to do it right. There is a deep longing in my heart to be the kind of mom God wants me to be.
That kind of parenting doesn't come naturally.
That kind of parenting comes from being trained... changed... shaped by the Lord.
It comes through much labor and submission.
It comes through study and inspection and growth and conviction and learning.
It's work and it's tough.
I love resources that help me in this journey of motherhood.
Recently I came across a resource that I invested in. Someone had recommended a book to me.
The book? Passionate Parenting by Cary Schmidt.
I read it... well, actually I DEVOURED it!
It was that good!
The book is often directed toward parents of preteens and teens, but covers the whole spectrum of parenting in some fashion. It even covers parenting adult children, too.
My favorite things about the book?
Practical. The book isn't just happy fluff, but it gets down to business of how to put into practice bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
This book isn't about changing our children. It's about training parents to be what God has called them to be.
Cary Schmidt did a wonderful job in helping me to understand my children better... my ten year old... my almost teenage girl... and my college kid.
Not only that, but he presented ways to help me improve parenting each of the ages of children who call me Mom.
The book helped me understand myself, too.
All of this from biblical perspective.
It isn't too much longer and I will be having a Mommy/Daughter getaway to talk about "growing up" things with my girl.
This book had a whole section covering those discussions. Like I said-- practical.
Usually when I do a book review, I like to give the good side and the bad side. But honestly, this book impacted me as a parent greatly.
I really cannot think of a negative. I will be reading it again...
Best parenting book I have ever read by far.