Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fun 14 Item End-of-the-Year "Employee" Evaluation for Your Kids

End of the Year Evaluation for Your Kids!

My husband and I always set goals with our kids.  As we were discussing their goals as a family during lunch today, my husband and I started joking around about how funny it would be to evaluate our kids.  So, we created an "employee" evaluation for them.  It was all fun and games until we realized just how much more "job training" was needed in the Leeb household for 2015!  :-)  
Enjoy!  And please let me know what you would add to this list in the comment section! 

1=Unsatisfactory        2=Needs Improvement           3=Meets                      4=Exceeds


1.  ______________ Morning wake up time

 2.  ______________Overall ability to eat provided breakfast

                                    A. ___________Neatness

                                    B. ___________Complaining

                                    C. ___________Table manners

                                    D. ___________Completion of the meal

                                    E. ___________Number of requests during the meal

                                    F. ___________Ability to accept variety

                                    G. ___________Pace of consumption


3.  ______________Overall bathroom habits

A.  Making bathroom notifications with sufficient notice before it’s too   late!

                                    B.  Aim and accuracy

                                    C.  Honesty and ability to admit that the “Pee pee dance” is actually a “Pee Pee

                                    D.  Clean wiping and toilet paper usage

                                    E.  Hand-washing

                                    F.  Flushing

                                    G.  Flushing BEFORE hand-washing


4.  ______________ Getting dressed

                                    A.  Fashion sense

                                    B.  Speed

                                    C.  Accuracy—especially with getting shoes on the right feet


5.  ______________ Playtime

                                    A.  Sharing

                                    B.  Taking turns

                                    C.  Kindness to siblings/friends

                                    D.  Independence

                                    E.  Inventory Control (not losing their toys)

                                    F.  Proper clean-up methods (not putting dolls in the dryer)


6.  ______________Overall ability to eat provided lunch  (every meal in our house different!)

                                    A. ___________Neatness

                                    B. ___________Complaining

                                    C. ___________Table manners

                                    D. ___________Completion of the meal

                                    E. ___________Number of requests during the meal

                                    F. ___________Ability to accept variety

                                    G. ___________Pace of consumption


7. ______________ Getting Out of the House

                                    A.  Length of time to gather and put on all necessary items

                                    B.  Number of times you need to be told to gather and put on all necessary

                                    C.  Going to the bathroom before putting on all necessary items which need to
                                          be removed before going to the bathroom and then put back on!


8. ______________Overall ability to eat provided dinner  (every meal in our house different-especially dinner!)

                                    A. ___________Neatness

                                    B. ___________Complaining

                                    C. ___________Table manners

                                    D. ___________Completion of the meal

                                    E. ___________Number of requests during the meal

                                    F. ___________Ability to accept variety

                                    G. ___________Pace of consumption


9.______________Bathtime/Bedtime Routine

                                    A.  Splash control

                                    B.  Thorough cleaning

                                    C.  Getting out of the bath the first time asked

                                    D.  Teeth-brushing

                                    E.  Length of time to get pajamas on

                                    F.  Number of story time interruptions

                                    G.  Getting tucked in

                                    H.  Not getting back up out of bed for any reason (other than another hug!)  ie-
                                         another drink of water, sudden need to pee pee, an invisible owie that needs
                                         a band-aid, etc.

                                    I.  Staying in bed all night--in your OWN bed!


10. _____________ Behavior and Self-Control

                                    A.  In restaurants

                                    B.  In grocery stores

                                    C.  In church

                                    D.  In car

E.  When told “No”

F.  When asked to do something

G.  Length of pout

H.  Sassiness

11. ______________ Overall cuteness
12. ______________Overall snuggly-ness

 13. ______________Overall creativity

 14. ______________Overall attitude


What areas need to be improved the most for next year?

 What can our family do to encourage one another in 2015?

What would you add to this list?

For a PDF copy, visit the 4Real Moms website ( or click on this link: Fun 14 Item End-of-the-Year "Employee" Evaluation for Your Kids

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Number One Way to Enjoy Your Christmas More

"Be still and know that I am God." 
Psalm 46:10
Yeah still.  It's Christmas!  I've got to wrap presents, get the stocking stuffers ready, make some toffee bars, prepare some spinach dip, make sure our clothes are all laid out, get our donations boxed up, and before I even get started on anything tonight, I have to clean up after a day spent with my three messy kids!!!
Be still.  I wish!
"No really", God says, "be still."
And so I do.  I walked into our living room and I sat down just for a minute and stared at our Christmas tree.  It was beautiful.  I sat in the silence surrounded by a big, giant mess and I was at peace--which is unusual for me.  I stared at each light.  I looked at every ornament and smiled thinking of a fun memory of either my grandma, my parents, my childhood, or my own children giggling as they hung them on the tree just a few weeks ago. 
I breathed.  I was thankful for those giggles.  I was thankful for my children and my husband and the mess that surrounded me.  I was thankful for this season to celebrate the birth of our King! 
And in that still moment, I felt the Lord asking me to wrap less and laugh prepare less and give complain less and help be less worried about all the little details and be more focused on being grateful to have such a wonderful family and a loving God. 
And now I'm ready to enjoy my Christmas more...all because I took some time to be still. 
Do you want to enjoy your Christmas more too? 
I encourage you, dear mom, to take some time to be still in your mess.  Be still and just breathe for a minute.  Be still and enjoy the silence.  Be still and forget about your to-do list.  Be still and just be.  Be still in the presence of our Lord and know that He is your God who loves you. 
Be still.
Merry Christmas, moms, from my "be still" moment to yours!
Now go be still and tell me what the Lord reveals to you...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Our Traditions: 4 Simple Ways toTeach Kids to Give

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.
Deuteronomy 16:17

My son, Ben, has always had difficulty giving.  Even when he was a baby, he struggled to share and take turns.  Pretty typical, I know, but now that he's six, he still has difficulty sharing sometimes, and asking him to give something away has been frustrating. 

Even toys he hasn't played with in years all of the sudden become the "it" toys when we suggest he give them away.  He wants to keep every toy or book he ever received.  He never wants to give anything away.  He struggles to give. 

So how do we teach our kids to give? 

Even though Ben doesn't love to give--yet, he has learned to give. 

God calls us to give as we are able, and so my husband and I have always wanted to plant the seed of giving in our children from a very early age.  So, where did we begin?  We realized that it had to start with us...with the expectations we had...with the traditions we created.  We decided to be very intentional about setting an example of giving in our house year-round, and especially during the Christmas Season. 

And our kids are catching on. 

Isn't that how it works?  Kids do what they see?

With the little seeds that we've planted, we've seen Ben grow in the area of giving.  Seedlings of compassion have begun to sprout in him.  He's wanting to help others often.  He talks about how sad he is for people without homes, and just the other day, Ben willingly gave away his first book!  I know that may not sound like a big deal, but it was. I was so proud of him. 

The "giving traditions" that we've started with our kids are small and simple, but, like a seed, we know it will continue to grow, take root in our kids' hearts, and become something that flourishes in their lives and in the lives of others. 

Giving will become something that they just naturally do because it's something they've always done.

It is my prayer that the giving that my kids will do in this world will show God's love and beauty.  The giving my kids will do in this world will become gardens of love and hope...peace and joy. 

Do you want to teach your kids to give more? 
I hope you will join me on this mission to raise kids that give!

Here are the 4 simple ways we've taught our kids to give:  

1.  Santa Gifts:    We have each of our kids pick out a toy to leave for Santa to take to a boy or girl who doesn't have any toys.  The kids help pick out the gift, wrap it, and write Santa a little note along with his milk and cookies. 


2.  Cash Stash:  Before I go anywhere this time of year, I always make sure I have plenty of one dollar bills to give to those dedicated bell ringers who brave the wind and the cold to collect money for the Salvation Army.  I have my kids put the money in the container and explain what the money is for.  Now that they are older, I'm going to have them bring a little bit of their own money to give as well.

3.  Adopt a Family:  Adopting a family is one of my favorite ways to give.  I've always taken the kids with me to shop for the families.  This year was especially fun as I allowed them to help me pick some things out for the two little boys in the family.  We had so much fun buying toys and discussing what the boys would enjoy playing with. 

4.  The Giving Box:  This is our newest tradition.  This year the kids will pick out two toys to give--one for Santa to take and one for The Giving Box which we will drop off at our local shelter for women and children.   The Giving Box has now become our newest addition to our home as well.  The Giving Box is now going to have a permanent place where we can all put things that we would like to give away to someone in need all throughout the year.  This was where Ben put his first book to give away!  I know this will be one of many things Ben will give away from now on!

Father, help me to instill a spirit of giving in my children.  Provide ideas and opportunities to give to others to set an example of Your love.  You give so much to us, Father.  Allow me and my family to give to Your precious people in need.  Open our eyes and hearts this Christmas season to see how blessed we are and how much more we can always be giving to others.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

What are ways that you teach your kids to give?