Monday, January 31, 2011

Bringing Up Girls

January is ending, and I can check another thing off my to-do list... reading Bringing Up Girls, by Dr. James Dobson. The thing about reading Dobson's books is that it leads you to read another, and another...darn him!

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed it and he managed to "put the fear of God" in me about those teenage years -which is a big focus of the book, but I'm doing my homework now. I think alot of parents assume that by high school their children are well, no longer "children" but he has sufficient evidence how much they still need us. I have to admit, I'm re-thinking returning to work (as assumed I would when the kids were older). It sounds like the teen years are alot like the toddler years, lol.

Of course his assessment of how very important fathers are to girls is no surprise. Having grown up with a predominantly absent father myself, I can attest to how that relationship defines a girl...and later a woman. I am so thankful my daughter has a father (and grandfather) who adore her. For the rest of us, we have our Heavenly Father.

I especially enjoyed the chapter "Why she is who she is" which explains the female brain. Did you know that in females mutual facial gazing will increase by over 400% in the first 3 months of life, whereas this response will not increase at all in boys during this time? Girls are just natural communicators. I guess this explains why I pick my daughter up from school and she starts to tell me all about her day before we even reach the car...then I pick up my son, ask him about his day and he replies "I played".

Although I will probably never send my daughter to finishing school, I agree manners are important. The conversation game was a neat exercise. Our culture would have us believe that "good girls" are scared & shy instead of modern ladies confident in their faith. A personal pet peeve of mine are shirts, wall hangings or anything else bragging qualities like "Diva", "Spoiled" or anything else meant to dumb down our girls...are these really traits to be proud of? Not in my house.

And I loved the charm bracelet story, in which a girl was presented with a bracelet dangling with tiny jewels and instructed that she could date anyone she wanted BUT there was a catch: she had to give the corresponding charm (pink quartz, ruby, sapphire, diamond) to the first boy who held her hand, her first kiss, her first boyfriend, etc. Her response? "These are insanely expensive! I can't just give them away!" Perfect symbolism.

Thumbs up, Dr. Dobson!

The best advice I can pass onto Brinley on dating...
"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her"
~ Max Lucado


Friday, January 28, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011


"We're not climbers....we're adventurers!"
~ Ben

The 60 degree Saturday called for an impromptu family photo,
even if our appearance didn't :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Raising a girl

This list of proverbs was compiled/written by Harry Harrison and included in Dr. Dobson's book "Bringing up Girls". It takes up a whole chapter of the book, and is aimed toward Dads - of course I was all teary by the end.

But for the sake of time, I'm just sharing my personal favorites:
  • Relish the moments when she toddles up and for no reason at all throws her arms around your neck. Resist the urge to buy her the world.
  • Let her see, by the way you treat your wife, the way a man is supposed to treat a women.
  • Make her a Valentine's Day card - every year.
  • Never, ever, make fun of her.
  • Encourage her to be kind... even to the girl nobody likes.
  • Don't tolerate her temper tantrums. Not now. Not when she's 15. Your home will be more peaceful for this.
  • Take long walks with her. If you listen, she'll eventually tell you everything that's on her mind.
  • Teach her that if she acts stupid to attract boys, she'll attract stupid boys.
  • Drag her to church...every week. She may not share your enthusiasm but after 18 years, the message will have sunk in.
  • Remember you're her definition of a man. If you drink, smoke, take drugs, chances are the men in her life will too.
  • Society is teaching her its values 24/7. You need to be more determined to teach her yours.
  • Remember if her home life is crazy, the rest of her life will be too.
  • Don't miss a recital, concert, play or any other performance of hers. Not now. Not until she graduates.
  • Tell her she is the daughter you always dreamed about.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Children are like snowflakes...

no two...

or three...
are the same!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Bringing Up Boys

Another one of my goals was to read more and although I love fiction, it just seems more justifiable if I read something that would enrich my life.
The first time I heard of "Bringing Up Boys" was from my old (and favorite) boss, years before I had children. My goal was to read it over our Christmas break, but it took me a little longer and I finished it last night. Tears in my eyes, of course.

I really enjoyed it. It seemed a little "preachy" sometimes but probably because I am so guilty. Most of the advice was common sense, Christian parenting 101.

Some things I had already come to a conclusion on, like school. I honestly don't believe I can home school my children without doing a disservice to them academically. I am not a teacher.
But, after having my children attend both public school & Christian school, I just decided I would prefer (when we can fund it) they be educated at a private Christian school. My son is in kindergarten so it didn't take me long to see the difference. Having my children celebrate at their "Winter" parties, without even mentioning Christ's birth just seemed detrimental to their little souls! We cannot compartmentalize our faith and leave it at the schoolhouse doors.

One of the most eye-opening views of Dr. Dobson was his on the Feminist Movement. As a female (raised by a single mother) it's hard to see woman's liberation as a negative thing. It just is. But the correlation of divorce rates (and therefore, disintegration of the American family) does shed a different light on it. I'm thankful that I (and my daughter!) have a choice to stay home, or pursue a career...or both. Unfortunately, the hardcore feminist got it wrong. Our society needs men. Our boys need fathers - plain & simple. A unisex world was not God's design.

Anyway, stepping down off my soapbox...I definitely recommend the book. It shed a little bit of light on what to expect as my children grow. How to keep our family tight and how monumentally important that is.
Sometimes when you feel life is out of control, as Dr. Dobson says it's time to "get back to the basics" - faith & family. Thanks for the reminder.

Now, onto "Bringing up Girls".


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to the Weasley's

This is what I spent a good chunk of my day building...
"The Burrow" aka the Weasley's happy home.
It's part of Ben's Harry Potter Lego ensemble.
Ben enjoys helping for about 10 minutes....then he takes the characters & splits!

Why would I do this?
Because, after play quidditch all day, Lego Harry needs a place to sleep!
Tedious, yes.
Those are little frying pans hanging on the wall!
The windows open, the chairs swivel, there's bread in the oven, socks in his locker & a quidditch poster on his wall.
And did you see the "Daily Prophet" on the table? adorable.
I'm not letting the kids touch it.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011


"Mommy, with my hair spiked and my teeth missing..I look fierce!"
~ Ben


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Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Look

One of my goals for 2011 was to update my blog.
I mean, c'mon, the old Bowen character was an infant swaddled in a blanket! So after a couple of hours I ended up with this look and even learned to design my own "signature" but it may still need some work. Let me know what you think!


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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Hello 2011
We're expecting great things from you!

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