I have no idea how to make this a cohesive post, but I have a few things that have been making my life easier lately. Since I know many of the folks that read this have small children and grandchildren, I thought I'd share.
1. A few weeks ago during my post about teaching grace at a young age, I received a few recommendations for The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones. We have several different storybook Bibles at our house, but this one surpasses them all. The illustrations are really cool and the Bible stories are engaging even for 3 year olds. Best of all, they start telling the story of Jesus from the very beginning. We read a different story each night before bed and all three children sit still to enjoy this book. (A rarity!) If you do not own this, I recommend it. It would also make a terrific gift.
2. If you are looking for something new for quiet times, I just found this at my local Barnes & Noble (although the price on Amazon.com is much better). This new 90 day devotional by Beth Moore is a beautiful, sturdy book with torn edge pages that BEG to be written in. Each day's devotion can truly be done in 10 minutes or so. There is a David version and a Jesus version. Another great gift idea!
(I am glad I made this a to list because this transition will be terrible.)
3. For those of you with little people who potty a lot, I wanted to pass on a tip. I keep a little potty chair in the back of my car with a stash of used grocery sacks, toilet paper, Purell and old diapers. Because I am a self-avowed public bathroom hater, we use this a lot. To keep clean up simple, I put a grocery sack in the potty as a liner with a diaper in the bottom for absorbency. After our potty break, the whole bag can be tied up and disposed of without messy clean up. Hope that helps someone!
4. Finally, if you are looking for a great challenge this week, I encourage you to read Ann's post about SMILING at your children more often. I was so struck by the powerful simplicity of this challenge. We do a lot of things as Moms (some intentional and many reactionary). I started trying to make intentionally smiling at my children a part of my day last week--and it is truly making a difference--in their attitude and mine. Try it!