Slugs & Bugs & Haven Today

HavenGuys

Recently I got together with the kindhearted folks of Haven Today – a radio program helmed by Charles Morris and broadcast to over 600 stations around the world! We talked about Jesus and parenting and our Sing the Bible CD. They were gracious and friendly folks, and they fit right in at the Rabbit Room where we did the interview.

Check out the video on their site, and from there it’s easy to find the entire interview – just released this week!.

http://www.haventoday.org/all-about-jesus-blog/helping-kids-know-bible-194.html#.VTcPTKZahzf

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, click here.STBcover

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)

A Birthday and a Song

BirthdaySale

Today is a big day for Slugs & Bugs.

On April 22, 2010 Slugs & Bugs Family Music became an official entity. I performed a Slugs & Bugs concert in St. Peters, Missouri that month and in every month ever since (except January, 2013).

We’ve been celebrating all week long with this HUGE sale (see above image) – every Slugs & Bugs CD download is 50% off. Basically, you get the entire 70+ song Slugs & Bugs collection for $20. CRAZY! We also released chord charts and performance tracks for Sing the Bible, and Sing the Bible on iTunes.

Today the big news is the song creation on Periscope. It’s happening tonight at 7pm Central Time – but here’s a little back story. Slugs & Bugs fans from all over the world have weighed in on our facebook page, voting on the Scripture verse they’d most like to see made into a song. And tonight, I’m going to write a melody for the winning verse while folks look on and give feedback in real time on Periscope. Follow me at @randallgoodgame (If you can’t make it at 7, follow my Periscope profile and watch the recorded feed anytime in the following 24 hrs).

What is Periscope? Periscope is a free, live streaming app. If you’ve got an Apple Device, you can get it. I don’t think other devices work with it. But I’ve been wrong once or twice before.

I hope you can come check out the songwriting session. I may play a couple of new songs while I’m there, we’ll see. You can pop in or out anytime. It’s definitely going to be an experiment, but whatever I come up with, I’ll record and post as a video on Thursday morning.

Till then, thanks for listening and helping spread the word!

Randall

 

 

Birthday is Coming!

Birthday is ComingWednesday marks the official 5 year mark for Slugs & Bugs Family Music!

Woohoo!

We’re doing all sorts of stuff this week to celebrate our birthday. Starting yesterday we’re having a RIDICULOUS sale (50% off!) for downloads through Friday!  We’re releasing Sing the Bible chord charts, performance tracks, writing new songs, and releasing new videos, and now you can even get Sing the Bible on iTunes! 

One other cool thing happening is kind of an experiment. I thought it would be cool to celebrate our birthday by giving birth to a new song. So, tomorrow, April 22., at 7 pm central time, I’m going to log on to Periscope (a live streaming site) and write a Scripture song for Sing the Bible Vol 2.  If you can log into Periscope (I think it may only be for Apple/iTunes devices so far…) you can witness the creation of the song in real time!  From wherever you are! What a crazy world.

If you can’t watch on Periscope, you can still participate by helping me pick out the Scripture verse. Make a suggestion on our facebook page! Find the recent post with a list of Scripture verses, make your suggestions and like others. Tomorrow night I’ll write a melody for the verse that is liked the most!

If you do want to follow along at 7pm CT next Wednesday, just get the Periscope app and follow me @randallgoodgame – I’ll go live at 7pm Central Time and I’ll post the new song Thursday morning on the Slugs & Bugs facebook page.

So, to recap, here’s how you can help us celebrate…

1) Spread the word about the huge 50% off discount to all your friends and loved ones.

2) Go to our facebook page (like it!), find yesterday’s post about Scripture songs, and choose 3 scripture verses (in the post) that you’d like to see turned into a song!

3) If possible for you, download the Periscope app (free) and join in the songwriting experiment on Wednesday

4) Share this blog post!

Thanks so much everyone! It’s going to be a great week for Slugs & Bugs Fans!

I Saw Imba Means Sing… and Wow.

The Goodgames with Erin Bernhardt, Producer of Imba Means Sing
The Goodgames with Erin Bernhardt, Producer of Imba Means Sing

Last night, I took my family to the Nashville Film Festival. We drove in to see Imba Means Singa documentary about the African Children’s Choir. I’ve been posting about Imba for the last year and a half, while the film finished shooting, production, editing and fundraising (all the profits go to the African Children’s Choir).

Incredibly, the kids in the movie are the very same kids that sang on our Sing the Bible CD. It shares their incredible story, so of course I’m excited. Over three days of recording, I fell in love with these Ugandan children that I now know by name.

So I’ve finally seen it, and what I really want to do is START TYPING IN ALL CAPS. THE DOCUMENTARY IS SO BRILLIANT! I was blown away. It was powerful and beautiful storytelling, without a whiff of sentimentality or emotional manipulation – when the content (poor orphan kids from Africa come to rich America to sing for their education funds) could have easily dipped its little toe into that dirty water. If it comes to your town, please, please, go. You will thank me. You know the small African voice that reads Galatians 5:1 on Sing the Bible track 1 (Freedom)? That’s little Moses, one of the central figures in the film.

If you are in Nashville, and can somehow make it to the noon showing on Tuesday, that’s the last time it will be available here. Go, go, go. Man… I wish I could drag everyone I know. I’m going again on Tuesday, let me know if you are coming and I’ll meet you there. We’ll see if you can spot the back of my head – it shows up for about two seconds half-way through the movie.

Here’s the link http://imbafilm.com – check it out and if you’re in Tennessee, click “screenings” for Tuesday’s showing details.

Here’s a short clip of our recording sessions in Nashville and North Carolina. These kids are the stars of Imba Means Sing!

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, click here.STBcover

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)

10 Tools for Weary Parents

spilt coffeeThis Saturday, I am co-leading a 4:00 seminar on parenting with Laura Magevney for St. Marks Episcopal Church’s Faith & Family Conference in Jacksonville FL. Precisely two hours later there will be a Slugs & Bugs concert. Woohoo!

In anticipation of the Conference, I leafed through some old parenting notes, and revamped my old “Top 15″ into a “Top 10″ list of parenting tools. Some have changed, some are brand new, but we still parent with every one of these tools.

#10 – Go Tell Your Brother (or sister)

This one really saves some breath.  Here’s the gist of # 10  -When a kid comes to tattle, we used to ask, “Did you tell him you didn’t like that and not to do it again?” But now we just say, “Go tell your brother (or sister) how that made you feel.”  Usually, the ‘crime’ is so inconsequential that I never hear anything else about it. Also, the offending sibling has learned by now this is their one chance to keep the parents out of it.  All they have to do is sincerely say, “I’m sorry.”

#9 – The Do-Over

The Do-Over comes in handy whenever there is back-talk or generally disrespectful communication.  We don’t have too much of this, but when it does happen, we say, “Hoooold it right there. I don’t think you said quite what you meant to say. Why don’t you try again.”

#8 – The Pre-Empt

We started using The Pre-Empt when our biggest were 2 and 4 years old.  It started because they would go absolutely berserk whenever Amy would take them inside the grocery store.  One day, Amy (my wife) parked the mini-van, turned around and calmly explained what was about to happen, and what she expected from them.  I’m not kidding, she will tell you the difference was immediate and we’ve done it ever since. Our kids are 7, 12 and 14 now, and we still Pre-Empt before restaurants, sometimes before church, basically anytime we really want them to not act like a small troop of baboons. 

#7 – The Apology & The Second Apology

 When you apologize to your kids, you teach them how to do it (for better or worse). Also, when I really screw up and hurt someone’s feelings, I am a fan of the second apology.   Sure, I apologize right away, but when it’s bad I owe them the right to feel hurt for a minute.   I may take a minute and pray, reckon things with the Lord, and come back to apologize again with new humility. This second apology can give everyone a chance to talk it out more dispassionately. 

#6 – The Nap

Take a stinking nap. Sometimes even let the one-eyed babysitter do you a favor.  It does not make you a bad person, and it might make you a better parent for the rest of that day.

#5 –  The Sticky Note

This one has two uses. First, if your child can read, use sticky notes to remind her to brush her teeth or feed the dog or take a bath. We’ve put sticky notes on books, doors, even a glass of milk. It is a refreshing alternative to repeating yourself yet again..

The second use is more subtle. When I realize I need to have a talk to one of our kids about a bad habit or behavior, sometimes the worst time to bring it up is that instant. So I’ll make a note and put it on my dresser. Usually I’ll bring it up at bedtime, which brings me to…

#4 – The Bedtime Convo

There’s too much to try and say about this one. Our kids like to stay up as long as they can, so it’s often the one time I can get them talking at length about their lives or their feelings. I’ve stayed in there for hours before.  It’s priceless, and I could easily miss it in my hurry to catch a few extra minutes of down time with Amy before we both collapse.  Sometimes you have to cut it short, of course. Parents need time too. But you neglect the Bedtime Convo at your own peril. 

#3 – The Conference (for olderish kids… maybe twice a year?)

At first glance the conference seems like it’s all about behavior modification. But it’s actually about relationship. The conference has three parts: before, during, and after. Before, you are making notes. You are writing down all the things you love about your kids, all of the ways they make you proud. Then you write down specific examples of habitual bad behaviors that need to change. Then you pray for wisdom!

During the conference, we start with three directives. 1) Trust Us  2) No Excuses  3) No apologies (that’s because one of our kids has an apology tic). Then we get out our notes and begin to praise specific actions we’ve seen, proclaiming our pride and joy at the people they are becoming. We then refer to our job description (train up a child) and explain they need some help with a few things. We give specific examples and calmly share our concern for them, because these behaviors will be ultimately be harmful or embarrassing  for them. We refer to our own humility before Jesus and our need of grace from him, and we ask them to consider the same things.

Afterwards, we make sure they are ok, we reiterate our joy at being their parents and how thankful we are for all the ways they bless us.  And then we apply tool #2.

#2 – A Hug

Sometimes, when a kid is acting sour, they may just need a hug.  I always try to let them be the first to let go.  Sometimes they surprise me with how long they are willing to hold on.  It’s like they can’t get enough.  Hmmmmm.

#1 – The Yes

The Yes (still) claims the top spot in the parenting tool box.  If you are already a “yes” parent, you may need to work on your “no.”  I’m a recovering “no” parent, so for us, yes says, “I believe in you.”  Yes says, “You are awesome and I want you to be happy.”  Yes says, “I trust you,” and “Surprise!” and “I love you.” all at the same time. Yes claims the #1 spot because of how often we must say “no.”  No you can’t play in the parking lot. No you can’t eat till you’ve washed your hands. No you can’t stay up 5 more minutes. No you can’t watch a movie, No you can’t have an iPhone, No you can’t spend the night out tonight. Kids ask and ask and ask, and they force us to say no over and over.

Thankfully my kids have learned that I like to say yes, so when I say no it’s easier for them to take (sometimes).  I look for surprising opportunities to say yes, even if it inconveniences me or changes my day around, but usually it doesn’t.  One night I said “Yes, you can have another cookie” every time they asked until all the Oreo’s were gone and they were all laughing out loud at the giant stacks of cookies on their plate.  Every yes is a gift, and after all, it is better to give than to receive. 

*Bonus Tool – Grace

For you and for your kids. Don’t forget, nobody gets everything right. Don’t focus on the ways you (and your kids) fail. You’re doing a great job in so many ways.

**Portions of this post were originally published on Feb 11, 2013. I posted today in anticipation of the parenting seminar I’ll be leading this weekend with Laura Magevney at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, FL

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs, click here.STBcover

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)

When Your Kids Act Like You

Son, you don't have to smile.  They can't see your mouth.Sure, you may not still pee in your pants or pick your nose (in public), but many of the things that drive you nuts about your kids – especially the older they get – they get from you… just like you got them from your parents.

Too many times this fact has left me with a parenting brainlock.  How do I look my kids in the eye and tell them not to lose their temper, or leave their shoes in the den when they’ve seen me do both?  Surprisingly, that awkward impasse is actually a great gift, because it revives humility in my parenting.

Our children need us to be humble before God as we wield the authority he has given us.  This does not mean relaxing in discipline, but it does mean remembering that we are very often just as lost and misguided as they are.  Being humbled means remembering my need for the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.  And this realization inspires a whole different kind of parenting conversation.

Instead of “Change your behavior!” – I can say… “It sure is hard to change your behavior, isn’t it?”And before I know it I’m relating to my kid about drawing from the deep well of the Holy Spirit for my life.  And if you’re not actively drinking from that fountain every day, well, join the club. Let those interactions with your kids remind you of your need for Jesus like they remind me (on my best days), and take those opportunities to return to The Well That Never Runs Dry.

Of course, sometimes our kids don’t need “a talking to”… they just need to zip their lip or pick up their socks and put ’em in the stinking hamper.  Still, humility in parenting moves me from a mindset of untouchable judgement to a mindset of love and encouragement.  And that’s a mindset I’d love to see pass down from generation to generation.

This post was originally published on June 3, 2011. I reposted it today in anticipation of the parenting seminar I’ll be leading this weekend with Laura Magevney at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, FL. 

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)

Cellphone Jones (at Story Warren)

(This full post appears today, April 10, at StoryWarren.com)

I started writing  songs about family life when my kids were tiny. The first songs were lullabies and odes to diaper changes. Then came Slugs & Bugs and songs about lost pajamas, ninjas, and swinging on the swing set. Now, with kids at 14, 12 and almost 8, the content has morphed again.

Cell Phone Jones is our first Slugs & Bugs song about technology. Click on over to today’s post at Story Warren to check it out, and while you are there, browse around. Story Warren provides rich, valuable content for families every week. And they’re just really fun, cool people.

(here’s the full link) http://www.storywarren.com/cellphone-jones-a-new-unreleased-slugs-bugs-song/

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Looking for some awesome music to listen to with your family? Cool. We’ve got some. 

To purchase our word-for-word Scripture CD, Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs (click here)

Subscribe to our mailing list (to get discount coupon codes and FREE coloring pages!) (click here)