Saturday, January 2, 2010


This is a test of the Peterson Posting System. Please ignore... :)

Rerun: Loving Those Tomatoes

This was originally posted last year. I thought it was good advice to start our year out right... I'll be posting some of these re-runs throughout the next few weeks as I move everything over to this site...


I see many families living in chaos. They want to have a better family, a more organized home, and a more peaceful life. They just don’t know how to do it. Over the next several weeks I will be giving tips to help you gain control of your family (whether large or small) so your days are more peaceful, and so that in a few decades we don’t wish we had done things differently.

The first place to start organizing your family is in training your children. Many people want obedient children they enjoy being around, but don’t want to invest the time and energy to get them to obey. Trust me — it takes lots of time and energy. The results are worth it, though. The ability to have children we enjoy being around is wonderful!

51DtJZbo7gL. SL160  Loving Those TomatoesThere are a plethora of good resources to help you. I have read many books, and have at least ten on my shelf waiting to be read. I am sure I will pass the good ones on to you as I finish them this year. Hands down, the best child training book I have ever read is Raising Godly Tomatoes by Elizabeth Krueger. Comparing our children to tomatoes is a bit weird, don’t you think? The concept is simple, and one that in real life I have experienced.

See, last summer I had my first garden. I knew you needed to stake the tomatoes, so I drove a tobacco stake into the ground and we tied the stalks with yarn. Seemed like a great idea to me! Those of you who are experienced gardeners are now laughing, for you already know what happened. When the fruit ripened, it was too heavy for the string, and the stalks drooped to the ground, making it hard for us to pick. The branches grew wild, and any attempt to train them and tie them back to the stakes broke the stalks. The fruit which was on the ground had the tendency to rot since it was on the damp earth.

Row3Best Loving Those Tomatoes

Mental note for next year: Stake the tomatoes better. Create the stage where they can grow strong and bear the fruit they were created to bear. Each of us — each of our children — are created to bear good fruit in our lives! Weak, wild, undisciplined children grow up into weak, wild, undisciplined adults who cannot bear up under the fruit. We see examples of this every day.

How does this apply to children? To create the right environment for my tomatoes this summer, I will need to plan ahead. I will need to train the branches to grow the right way, so they will be strong. I will need to fertilize correctly so they can have the best tasting fruit.

IMG 4728 Loving Those Tomatoes

Our children are the same. They must be trained so they can bear up to the weight of their fruit. We cannot let them grow wild! It is unfair to punish when they do exactly what we have let them do! We need to train them to be the people we know they should be. When we just punish after they have pushed all our buttons, we punish out of anger.

Tomato Staking keeps your children near you as they are growing. That way you are able to catch the behaviors and attitudes before they grow into a branch which is strongly grown the wrong direction. We all know how hard it is to change bad habits.

As the children become stronger and more trustworthy, they get to experience more freedom. Read what Elizabeth Krueger writes on her website:

“Tomato Staking is a powerful tool that enables preemptive parenting. When you Tomato Stake, you can anticipate wrong attitudes and misbehaviors and nip things in the bud before they become ingrained habits. You are right there to encourage right behavior as well. And, of course, it’s easy to get to know your child when you spend time with him. And the better you know him, the more likely it is that you will develop a close, loving relationship, and will remain close throughout life. Tomato Staking provides you with the avenue to be a teacher, mentor, friend and more to your child.”

She has a great website explaining how it all works. And the book is the best $15 you’ll ever spend in child training. Head over to her site and browse around. You’ll be motivated to spend some time training your children so they can bear the fruit they are meant to!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Myth Debunked.

When people hear I have 10 children, their first comment, after they catch their breath from the huge gasp, is, "How do you do it all?"

My response is that I certainly DON'T do it all. Not even close. And here's proof.

If you spend much time at all browsing blogs, you will see ample photos... those beautiful ones where the children are matching and all are smiling and exposed to perfection.

Yeah- I read those too.

Anyway. I have found several photos that I love, and want to try to replicate at my house. Like one where the 8 female siblings loved crazy socks, and put their feet in a circle and took a picture. So when Grama gave the kids all new socks, what better time to do that photo?

Yeah. Right. First they lined up. In a straight line.

CIRCLE, guys. With your feet in the middle. (Not a homeschooling mom's finest moment.)

This is what I got. See Emma pushing Matt's feet to the side. She didn't want them touching her. See Bethany being held in a headlock? She didn't want a photo taken at all. Oh yeah - and there are only 8 pairs of feet. Where are the other two?

So we found Sam, and tried to get Mercy to cooperate. No luck. We couldn't even FIND one of her brand new, really cute socks.

So I gave up.

A couple days later I was trying to get Christmas photos with everyone. I tried to get Mercy and Josiah together. I thought it would be great to try to get Mercy to kiss her big brother she loves so much.

Forget that... let's get them all together. Not too hard right? Wrong.

I believe the words, "You don't have to like this. Just PRETEND you like it. Big kids, DON'T LOOK ANYWHERE EXCEPT THE CAMERA! And smile, darn it," came out of my mouth.

So there you have it. Whatever "it" is. It's certainly not at the Peterson house.

And if you see me in real life, please feel free to wipe the spit up off my back.


Head over to I Heart Faces to see other people's photos which haven't turned out exactly right...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve Morning

My Christmas Eve Morning Gift from God...

A beautiful sunrise...

A cup of coffee at the perfect temperature...

And the kids all slept in.

Close to a perfect beginning of the day in my book.
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Is this, or is this not one seriously cute baby boy?

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