A Babysitting Co-op!

Do you value some dependable time each week away from your children to devote to your marriage, house-cleaning, errands, or time with friends? Our marriages are the next most important relationship outside of Christ. Your investment in your marriage models to your children that you value your spouse. This enables them to experience security and love from a unified front of parents. Are you strapped for cash for such endeavors? I have a solution for you!

A babysitting Co-op! Here are the basic details in an original blogpost I wrote here. You can include two families, three families, or even four families in this type of swap depending on how many children are included between the bunch and what you deem is appropriate for all involved!

Having been involved in several of these type of coops, I thought I might also include some extra details (READ: LOADS OF DETAILS!) that really help one of these systems to flow smoothly. These are some ‘ground rules’ that worked for us you may also want to consider:

-Three hours is a great slot of time. Not too much, not too little.
-Once a week is really ideal, but you can also swap every other week if that is better for each family.
-Generally, a day of week is easier than a weekend for swapping. But to each his own!
-4pm-7pm or 4:30pm-7:30pm is a great time frame. It enables children to be ready for bed by the time their parents pick them up, but not over-tired.
-It is ideal to swap with your neighbors, but if not, try to pick families SUPER local to you.
-Each family brings their own diapers/wipes/dinner/snacks/
juice/sleeping arrangements/clothes for their OWN kids. Ideally, it would be nice if the host could provide a paper towel or a paper plate for the children. Though, sippy cups should be brought by each family. Dishes ARE NOT required to be returned washed :)
-You host all the kids at your home once a month (if you need the help of your husband, then plan for that). The other three thursdays (or whichever day you choose!) of the month you get time to yourself or with your husband or really whatever you want to do. (clean, grocery shop, meet a friend, read a book). You can also double date with other families in the co-op! the possibilities are endless!
-For families with smaller children. Please either email the host in advance or write on a notecard instructions that are more specific so that the host is not overwhelmed trying to remember various details for different babies (i.e. Jimmy needs 5oz of milk at 5:30, he will sleep after that, etc).
-If you cannot host the event that you are assigned, please swap with another family and notify everyone else in the swap accordingly.
-if you cannot make the swap in which you are provided a date, please… get over it ;). We will not reschedule the swap for a family that cannot attend being babysat unless two or more families cannot make that particular date night.
-Each family is responsible to drop off and pick up their own kids at the location designated each week. It is ok if you drop your children off late to the co-op, but please ensure you are not late to pick them up so as to honor everyone’s time. Please be prepared to have your house ready to accept children five minutes prior to the start of coop, so that each family can utilize the full three hours!
-Unfortunately, I’m not making the number of kids a factor in our coop swap as far as equal proportion of time per child. Some families may have one kid, other families two kids, and others three or four kids but every family gets the designated three hour slot each week. Obviously, it is best to pick families to join your coop in which all families have roughly the same number of children.
-If you need more time than the three hour slot- feel free to arrange a swap with another family in the co-op (or a babysitter) if you want them to watch your children before/after.
-Discipline: I think it goes without saying that we are all in agreement about honoring the Lord with our children and as well as helping the children we are watching pursue righteousness. If it is not too much trouble, please answer the following questionnaire each time you host for each child participating in the co-op in order to honestly evaluate our children’s obedience/disobedience as they learn to respect differing authority. For example, if I hosted the co-op one week, I’d send a separate email to family A, family B, and family C at the end of the session and communicate how her children did/did not obey so that their parents can further praise/train their child for the next session. (Questionnaire: _______honored Christ this co-op session through…. _______did not honor Christ this co-op session by…. Other thoughts: ….). Aside from this, let’s avoid spanking other children altogether and use time outs or natural consequences when necessary. Let me know if you have any problems with this/further ideas to consider.
-Other house rules
: I do not allow my children in the road, and unless an adult is in the road, I’d like this to be upheld for my child. Consider asking if there are any other rules like this you need the group to follow. I think it would be wise to ask all the children to stay at the host home unless they quickly need to run back to their house to get something else to play with.
-After the one month time frame, we can all either meet together to discuss what you liked/didn’t like or email about such things and decide whether to continue to stop.

The General Set-up: In the past we have separated out the three hour slot for similarly so the children know what to expect at each household. The children seemed to thrive off of order/consistency. So, do not feel pressured to do this, but it is worth considering.
4:30-5:30: Big energy time, play outside, crafts (we have found this to be extremely fun and successful in the past if you want to attempt it!), running, jumping, games (red light/green light; red rover; hide and go seek; etc) get all their energy out!
5:30-6pm: Eat Dinner
6pm-6:15(ish)pm- Clean up host’s home
6:15-7:15 watch movie
7:15-7:30 get on socks/shoes/gather bags to get ready to go back home!

Example Schedule:

Nov 7th- Family A
Nov 14th- Family B
Nov 21ts- Family C
Nov 28th- Family D

OK! whew! You stuck with me! Loads of details, I warned you!! But I do hope that this will bring about an easy way for you to plow into serving your community as well as enjoying some time away from your lovely children.

The end. :)

A Tribute to Pat Davis

This past week Shaun’s grandmother went to be with her Savior. Patsy Davis was like a mother to Shaun and she raised him as one of her own. She immensely loved my babies and I’ll never forget her for it.
We affectionately called her ‘Mema’ and I’m so thankful for the legacy she left behind. She loved Jesus and exhibited that love to so many others around her. Throughout the funeral, visitation, home visits, and phone calls to the family, I have learned what an impact someone can have on a community through ministering Christ in practical ways. She cared for the sick, fed the homeless, listened to the broken-hearted, and was a genuinely joyful person to encounter despite her own physical pain and ailments. She didn’t boast in her achievements or complain about her less than ideal circumstances of physical limitation. She was full of laughter and cheerfulness.
I have so many precious memories of her dear character. I’ll never forget the time she mailed me home-made pumpkin bread all the way to Scotland just because she knew I liked it (though we all had a good laugh when it arrived smelling like mold and vinegar!). Or the countless times she held one of my children insisting I take a shower or sleep later. Or the many phone-calls & cards she sent, the tea parties with Jane, the peek-a-boo kisses to baby Hugh, feeding the dog & riding the four wheeler with Augustine. We could always count on a massive breakfast when we stayed at her home and she went out of her way to love us well. I had no clue that the love we experienced from her was also being poured out to hundreds and hundreds of other people she encountered. She didn’t know a stranger. We even continued to receive her love after her death as we opened christmas presents she was unable to give in person. She loved Christmas. She loved to give. Her generosity was fitting to each person as she carefully selected gifts she knew they would enjoy. Christmas will not be the same without her thoughtfulness and cherished traditions.
She taught me how to love my husband well. This year would have been her 55th wedding anniversary and she spoke of Papa with utmost respect and affection. They talked to each other for hours every evening before bed and modeled a close companionship. She married him a month shy of her 15th birthday and had her first child in their first year of marriage. She modeled self-discipline and a hard work ethic in the way she learned to raise a family. Her aged hands showed it. I also loved watching her cook. She cooked with such ease as combing your hair or brushing your teeth. She knew the exact ingredients and timing to make a perfect southern meal. Yet, I don’t know if she loved watching people eat good food more than she loved eating good food herself. She could tear up a heaping bowl of neapolitan ice-cream. And I loved hearing her repeated comment on the tastiness of her meal.
I mostly enjoyed hearing her talk about Jesus. She loved going to church and fellowshipping with the body of Christ. She loved listening to the choir sing familiar hymns. She often talked about the sermon. She had comforting security about the way she described her relationship with her Father. She knew she was a sinner, and she knew the beauty of the cross. She was looking forward to seeing Him soon and longed for all of her family to know Him in the same way. I could tell a hundred more stories to communicate the loss of her presence. It’s been hard this week to say goodbye to such a sweet and kind friend, and I only knew her for a few years. (Which is why I know Papa, Shaun, and others grieve much more deeply than I). But it is an unexpected relief to know she is in heaven, without any pain, and living life at its fullest.
Patsy Ann Rouse Davis lived well, and she died well because she knew her Jesus well. March 9th, 1944 – December 29, 2013.

Merry Christmas from the Prices


Dearest Friends and Family,

We are so thankful for each of you and blessed with another full year of activities and experiences to report. Our God is faithful and we praise Him for continued provision and guidance throughout a transitional season of moving back to America from our home of 3.5 years in Aberdeen, Scotland UK.
Hugh William Price was born on April 22nd, and he is such a gift. He is full of smiles, giggles, and utter joy. We frequently comment on how unreal it is to have such a laid back child who can so easily accommodate to various surroundings and circumstances. He sleeps and eats well, and we could not be more satisfied with his presence.
Audrey Jane is full of life. She turned two in june and adores all things feminine. From tea parties, to babies, to painted toenails, to the color pink, Jane delights our hearts with her squeals and brings much vibrancy to our home. She has taken to ballet and we love watching her twirl around our living room.
Augustine turned four in July and is quickly becoming a young gentleman. He is a great helper around the home and completed his first term of homeschooling. We are proud of him for easily making new friends and for his continued prayers for fond friends he left abroad. He enjoys racing play cars outside and helping mom bake goodies in the kitchen.
Joy is in her second year of working part time on a PhD in Philosophy which focuses on Thomas Aquinas’ use of the goodness of God. She has faced a challenging year leaving behind lifestyle and a community of friends in Aberdeen, but has tried to make new roots
in Wake Forest by participating in various bible study groups in the area. She took a bread making class this year and has started making bread from freshly ground grains.
We praise the Lord for Shaun’s completion of a PhD in Practical Theology from the University of Aberdeen! He has also agreed to publish his thesis with Paternoster Press. He is working very hard teaching adjunctively at Louisburg College, Johnston Community College, and Southeastern College. We are praying for a full time position for him in the year of 2014. He has become proficient tickle monster and a most requested bedtime story reader.

We feel very humbled to have the Saviour of the world come to earth for this human race, and pray that as you reflect on his gift to us you will be find peace and comfort for your homes. Please let us know how you are doing by writing or emailing [email protected]

Warmly yours,
The Prices










The greatest gift we can give our kids…

We live in a busy, pragmatic society driven by performance and activity. In the realm of parenting, this is a particular influence as we moms feel the pressure to provide the best education, the best lessons, and the best meals. We want our kids to have character, we want them to clean their rooms, and we want them never to be lonely and to have all the music lessons and activities that they want. But the thing your child needs most in the world is a heart that knows the love of his or her Creator. The greatest gift you can give your kids, a gift they will carry with them into each relationship and situation of their lives, is a heart deeply centered on loving God and a life formed by the habits of faith.

~Sally Clarkson ’10 Gifts of Wisdom’

Funny Phrases

Jane likes calling her headband her husband. Thus we get comments like, “My husband’s downstairs.” “Like my husband!”
Augustine just finished calling the kitchen the chicken. So we get things like, “lets have dinner in the chicken.” And logical ones like, “eggs are in the chicken”.
Jane also says we are super cool. And Augustine regularly says he “got for” something in place for forgot.
Moments I don’t want to forget.

Hugh is 4 months old today!


Hugh turned 4 months old today, and he is absolutely dreamy. i love him so much. I really and truly feel that The Lord gave him to me to brighten my spirits in a season of transition. He is the sweetest gift, and we truly do not deserve him. His disposition is so sweet and joyful most all the time. When I’m prone to be weary, I just give him a quick glance and he just smiles and laughs. I’m so thankful for him.
He can half-way roll on his side. and loves his siblings. His hair is growing super fast, and he is learning to jump and stand up in his jumperoo thingy.
He did get his first little sniffle yesterday. He’s had his first runny nose, fever, and cough today. Poor wee soul. I hope he is on the mend soon.

Father, we praise you for giving us the gift of Hugh. We truly believe he is just that- a blessing from you for our joy and delight. We are in love with him. Thank you. Please help us to raise him well and have him come to know you at an early age. May his passion for you increase as he gets older. Amen


How Do I Scrub those Floors?!

Question: My problem is that there’s no obvious answer to what you’re meant to do with the toddlers when you’re scrubbing the floor! Answers anyone? [or more literally, how do we entertain our kids while other chores require our attention so that we cannot directly entertain them?]

Answer: This is a great question! (and one I constantly have to work and re-evaluate as the kids change in their development and ability to help!). You may already do a lot of these things as I know Johnny is really good at cleaning up after himself and playing with one or two toys at a time.
Thus, this may or may not be helpful for you (or what you were thinking of in the question), but if we are on the same page, I have several thoughts for how I’ve personally decided to deal with this
-First, pray and ask for wisdom. The Lord gives generously without reproach and I know he wants to help you in this situation of training your children and nurturing the peacefulness of your home. Also, find some women you admire and ask their wisdom. I’ve personally asked older, more experienced women whom I admire their thoughts on this topic and I think whenever we imitate others who have already succeeded, then it wonderfully eliminates us using trial and error on our own. ☺
-Second, I think it’s good to develop a realistic perspective of cleaning house and training our children. I think i sinfully made an idol (and still do at times) of wanting my house to be perfectly clean. I wanted people to think i had it all together. However, in this season of nurturing young children, it probably isn’t the time where things will be spotless ( or to set our expectations of it to be) and people can pop in unannounced and see a sparkly clean home. That’s not realistic or helpful. I read this post this morning and think it helps to clarify our expectation as mums of young children. It is a bit more blunt, but clarifies what we have been called to serve in our role with younger children: http://www.feminagirls.com/2013/03/19/march-15-running-the-race/
-Third, Consider fun ways to get your child involved. Augustine loves running the clothes to me from the laundry basket and throwing it in the washer. We make it a game and see how fast he can do it- Jane even likes to participate. Augustine can help “wash” the windows with baby wipes while I vacuum the room in which he is working on the windows. Sometimes I let him attempt to vacuum too. The more we make the tasks fun and continue to patiently teach them how to do it, the more likely they are to do it on their own in due time. Here’s a chart that might be helpful to evaluate what age appropriate chores they can help you with:
-Fourth, Consider directing your children to play in specific fun new areas which will distract them longer and enable you to work better.
I.e. My kids both love the bath, so I give them popsicles, then at a different stage I pour oatmeal in the bathtub and ask them to make porridge with bowls and spoons, or give them raisins and watch the raisins get bigger from the water, or cups of hot cocoa. Each of these separate activities enables me more time to fold a load of clothes or tidy up in the living room while they are delightfully amused with a new area of entertainment.
This is a blogpost I wrote with more details:
-Fifth, know your free times- i.e. when Augustine goes to playgroup, when Jane has a naptime, or when the kids sleep in the evenings are a lot of the times that I try to utilize the tasks that are much more difficult to complete when they are awake and requiring my attention.
-Sixth, try to cut corners to make tasks easier: use the slow cooker so you don’t have to prep for dinner during the witching hour, use paper products to cut down on your dish washing time, etc.
-Seventh, during overwhelming times, pay for someone to come in and help. We’ve done this on occasion when Shaun and I both have impending deadlines. If your financial budget is tighter, try to find a student at your church who may needs some extra funds for a one-off task to help do various chores around your home or talk with your husband about household tasks you need may need him to take on for a season while you are unable to get it done.
-Eighth- continue to remind yourself of the gospel. God loves us on account of Christ’s righteousness, not our attempts to have a clean home or be perfect at our parenting. Even our best attempts at parenting are seen as filthy rags next to the righteousness of Christ. May the joy of the Lord be our strength when we face various weaknesses. He is glorified when depend on Him. Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

I know this was super long-winded, but it is a topic that I constantly have to evaluate– so I hope you can find some of these resources helpful towards your desire to glorify God in this task!

Chores for Children

392848_450218901714909_462102904_nA friend shared this with me and I found it to be really helpful for encouraging my little ones to share in the chores of the home. She also suggested the book, “Managers of Their Chores” by Teri Maxwell of Titus 2 Ministries- clarifying the biblical importance of chores/work starting at an early age. Has anyone read this book? I’m interested to hear about it! Any other age appropriate chores your children utilize outside of this list?

Tea Pops! (Popsicles for Bathtime fun!)


If you know me very well at all, you know I love tea. So I recently brewed some Royal Bouquet tea (can be purchased online [like here] or at MacBeans in Aberdeen) and then used the leftovers for popsicle treats for the kids. This can virtually work with any fruit tea and since fruit is naturally sweet, you don’t need to add any additional sugar to give your children a fun wholesome snack to enjoy (and utilize leftovers from your teapot!). Since it’s so cold here, having popsicles outdoors wasn’t the best option for us, so we enjoyed them in the bathtub and the kids were super siked!


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