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Christ's Haven Blog

  • Helping your child have a productive school year

    Returning to school can be a stressful and anxiety provoking time for children and adolescents.  Attitudes about returning to school range from excited to dread.  Some may feel thrilled about getting to see all their friends again while others are nervous about being picked on by bullies.  Some kids are excited to meet their new teacher while others worry that their labels from the previous year will follow them.  Some feel accomplished for being promoted to the next grade and a new school such as middle school or high school while others are fearful about their ability to complete a more difficult level of work.  Many children experience some degree of anxiety about returning to school.  Based on your child’s outlook and educational experience this stress can be minimal or significant. 

    There are many things that parents can do to help their child or adolescent decrease school related anxiety.  First, ensure that your child has a nutritious breakfast thus stabilizing their morning blood sugar levels.  Research shows that brain healthy foods such as fruit, yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, or grain cereal boost children’s morning energy and increases the ability to concentrate and retain information.  Avoid sugary breakfast food.  A second, thing parents can do to decrease school related anxiety is encourage your child to talk to you about their day.  Listen empathetically as they describe positive and negative things that happened and let your child talk freely.  Do not try to solve their problem, help your child come up with a solution and above all do not tell your child that their worries are insignificant.  When necessary speak with your child’s teacher or principal about difficulties your child is experiencing.  A third thing parents can do to decrease school related anxiety is provide a structured time for your child to complete homework.  Be available during this time to assist your child, if needed, with their assignment.  It is recommended that children have a healthy snack before beginning homework in order to increase their ability to recall what they learned during class.  Structured homework time provides consistency and a routine which increases the completion of homework and decreases procrastination of projects.  If needed help your child with their assignment but do not complete the assignment for them.   Encourage your child to take a ten minute break from homework if they become frustrated with their assignment.  These simple steps can help your child have a happier and more productive school year.

  • Note from a House Dad

    Lucretia and I have a very stressful "job" - raising 7, sometimes 8, kids can be a challenge at best. Often I just argue and grumble (Philippians 2-14). Is this how I should repay the Father. (Deuteronomy 32.5) God has given us the task of building an Ark to ensure helpless children can weather their storms, lead them through their desert place and split the sea of a horrible world to make a path, show them they are protected from a lions den of torment. Why would I ever grumble when I have been given this honor. Psalm 111-2 Great are the works or the Lord, they are pondered by those who delight in them.

  • A Note from a House Mom

    We experienced a brown out last night from about 8:30pm to about 9:00pm. We had a house full of stinky, sticky, restless boys... it was right at shower time. We missed our electricity big time, but it taught us to be thankful for what we have. I wish we had some type of a warning, but of course no one knew it was coming.

    We have a new teen boy at our house; he is talkative, outgoing, and athletic. One of the best things is that he is very interested in learning more about a personal relationship with Jesus. He says he already feels at home with his 'brothers' here and asked if he could call us Mom and Dad. He came with only expired medication, two pairs of shoes, two pairs of jeans (one pair didn’t even fit), a few shirts, and a couple other items. He definitely had very little. Mary Lauren, Director of Children’s Services, gave me gift cards to take him shopping. He feels so grateful to now have nice clothes that actually fit him.

    I also want to commend the second oldest boy in our house. He is stepping up as a servant leader and mentor to the other boys in house; he is such a blessing. He wants to start an I Am Second Bible study group with his peers. He has also offered to host the group Fellowship of Christian Athletes at our home. It is great because he takes the initiative to read the Bible everyday.

    Last Sunday at The Hills Church of Christ we saw 3 of our former foster children at the church service. There are no words to describe the joy it brings me to see them worshiping God and learning more about Him. I'm so proud of them! Thank you, Lord.

    Now we are preparing to head back to school. I can't believe it's already here. We have seven kids going to FIVE different schools this year. The kids are looking forward to going back, especially to see their friends. Even though it has been an extremely hot summer, we thank the Lord each day for the blessings He bestows.

  • Summer Fun for Our Kids!

    Each summer we try to ensure that the kids are able to have fun while still maintaining structure in their lives. We also make sure that God is a priority in their daily lives. The Lord is, as always our main focus along with the children.

    This summer each Monday through Friday is set up as a day camp experience. Monday, Wednesday and Friday the kids stay on campus and do different activities. In the morning they assemble, have prayer, play in the gym, and work in the computer-learning lab. Next they have lunch. Once finished, the students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves.

    In the afternoons they do arts and crafts, then move to the Lounge where they watch TV or play games. After this they head back to their cottages where they resume the normal nightly routines of each family unit.

    On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s the kids take field trips. They go to places like Six Flags, parks, public pools, etc. This gives them the opportunity to spend time off campus, while still being in a safe environment.

    On occasional weekends, some of our gracious donors offer the children opportunities to attend special events. They have already been to the Texas Ballet Theater to see "Don Quixote” and to a Rangers Baseball game.

  • Charles is Second

    One of our Christ’s Haven teenagers, Charles, will be a senior next year and wants to be a firefighter after he graduates. Charles is a huge fan of Josh Hamilton, a Texas Rangers outfielder. Mr. Hamilton is very active with I am Second. I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Last week Charles made a kind gesture and bought I am Second bracelets for his entire household.

    It is amazing to see the kids taking initiative to spread the word of God and help others do the same. It is times like these that help us see that what we are doing matters. We would not be able to continue this work if not for the kindness and generosity of our supporters. Whether you are able to support us financially or by volunteering it all means so much to us.

  • Abby's Generous Spirit

    Recently, while taking Abby to a doctor’s appointment, we were stopped at a red light and saw a homeless man holding a cardboard sign asking for money to buy food. We quickly drove past him. 

    When we left the doctor’s office and were driving back to Christ's Haven, Abby asked if I remembered the homeless man we had seen earlier and went on to say "you know most people don't make eye contact with homeless people, they drive right past them and don't even think about them." She continued "the next time we are here, can I bring some of my money to give to that homeless man?" 

    I praised her and then we talked about one of the ways to show God's love is to be kind and generous towards others. We talked about the effects of being kind to one person and how it makes them want to show kindness to others. Toward the end of our conversation I told Abby that most children don't have compassion for the homeless and that I admire her. I then had to explain what admire means.

    Abby's eyes lit up when she realized that I think highly of her. Looking back I realize that I was humbled by Abby's generous spirit. I was one of the people who did not make eye contact with the homeless man and drove on by, but Abby wanted to help, she wanted to change a life. I want to be more like this child.

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