Dec 18, 2013

Dance Party!

This year I started a new tradition!  I got the stellar idea from here (at IHeartOrganizing).  I wanted to do it last year...but of course....I got too busy and put it aside for another year.  Well this is the year I finally started it.  I printed off her cute FREE printables because I loved ALL of her activity ideas.  The other night was "Pajama Dance Party".  To make it even more fun for the kids, I turned out the lights and busted out the glow sticks.  The kiddies LOVED it and didn't want to stop.  We had so much fun!  Another plus, the kids were out like a light once bedtime rolled around!   

Even baby Jax got excited!  He was shrieking with delight!

 Okay, and these pics have nothing to do with the dance party....but I had to add them in!  Look at my little troll!  He's so cute!  This is what happens when Jax feeds himself (which is ALWAYS nowadays because he can't stand it if he isn't holding the spoon).  I have to wipe his head down with a wet cloth to remove most of the chunks before throwing him in the bath!  Enter: CRAZY hair!

I have to say, this whole activity advent thing has been a LOT of fun, and not too much work.  We have skipped a few days here and there when it gets too busy, but the activities are simple, which makes it completely do-able for me! :)  I need easy, or I get overwhelmed, and don't do any of it.

What about you?  Do you have any fun traditions?  Do share!


Dec 12, 2013

Magical Moment

A little miracle occurred tonight!  I have to blog about it!  So in my previous post, I had mentioned that I have been struggling with my skills as a mother.  So of course, I find a book to tell me how to be better.  No joke.  I love reading, and I also read a lot about ways to improve myself.  You know....self help books.
Well, I'm reading a very interesting book right now, called "Christlike Parenting" by Dr. Glenn Latham.  It started off a little crazy.  One of the scenarios blew my mind.  Near the beginning of the book, I was on the fence about his ideas of how to parent an unruly child.  But the deeper I delve into the book....the more I am on board with his ideas.  Basically, his whole premise, is to parent like Christ does....with love.  Only with love.  You are never to yell, say hurtful things or show anger.  You are to stay in control at all times.  Now before you stop reading right here and now....listen to this scenario that just occurred.  Miracle I tell you!!!
I took my kids out to a big birthday party at a roller skating rink.  When it was time to go, my daughter (6 yrs old) had a meltdown.  Crying hysterically.  She wanted to stay and skate longer with her friend, but I needed to get the boys home to bed.  So, I finally made it out to our car, and started driving home.  My daughter did not stop crying the WHOLE 15 minute drive home.  She went on and on about how unfair it was that she had to leave, and how she never gets to do anything she wants.  She continued on with things like, "no one ever loves me, no one cares about me, I hate myself".  By this point I knew she had all out lost it and had no control over her emotions.  My first initial impulse was to start arguing with her, and harping on her about how she was being over dramatic and ridiculous.  My blood was starting to boil, and I could feel myself starting to get angry and frustrated.  In times like these, as of late, I've been known to go off on a tangent about how ridiculous she sounded and to stop crying right this instant!  In that moment, I decided to try and apply one of the skills taught in my book.
I kept my mouth shut.  I did not want to lose control of my emotions.  So I didn't say anything at all.  There were many different times in that 15 minutes that I wanted to start in on her, and tell her to be quiet.  I spoke maybe once or twice....when I knew I had complete composure, softly explaining that she needed to stop crying and that I wouldn't be talking to her until she was in control of her emotions.  She tried many times to engage me, by saying ridiculous things, just to get a response from me.  But I stayed quiet (that in itself is an amazing feat!).
But the miracle occurred once we got home.  As I was standing in the kitchen I felt a tight hug from behind.  At first, I thought it was my son Lincoln, because he is a doll like that.  Giving hugs for no reason.  But upon closer inspection, I realized it was my daughter.  Just like that, she had stopped crying, and she said, "I love you mom.  I'm sorry I said all of those things".  WHAT?!  In total shock here, people.  My daughter felt remorse, and realized that she was in the wrong.  I sat her down on my lap and squeezed her tightly, right there on the kitchen floor.  I told her how much her apology meant to me, and told her how much I loved her.

This was a magical moment.  Now, if only I can do this ALL of the time. 

P.S.  As a side note, I read something about a woman trying to go 365 days without yelling at her children.  She is now on day 400 and something....I think.  Wouldn't that be an interesting experiment.  I'm considering it.

What do you think about that?  Do you think it's possible to go without yelling?  Also, do you agree with the concept of parenting with love, and never using anger either physically or verbally? 



Recently I read a post from a blog I just started reading about women/mothers being AMAZING.  I loved the post.  It is truth.
Then today, I went out for lunch with a neighbor, and she half jokingly said that I was her "idol" as a mom.  "HUH!  WHAT on earth are you SMOKING?", was my first thought.
Funny thing is, I've been struggling lately with my role as mother, and feeling extremely bad about my mothering skills! 
I remember when I was a new mother, and I would go walking with a group of mothers in the morning for exercise.  I remember listening to them talk about how bad they felt as a mother and how guilty they always felt.  I thought it strange, since I had never encountered that feeling as a mother (my baby was about 6 or 8 months old).  At that time in my life, I felt like I gave EVERYTHING up, and gave, and gave and gave some more.  There was nothing left to give, so I couldn't comprehend how these mothers could even say they felt guilty.  It was beyond me. 
But I GET IT now!  It seems the older the children get, the guiltier I feel.  My weaknesses and shortcomings are more and more apparent.  I often get fearful that I am ruining my children with my crappy communication skills, and lack of patience.
Being a mother is definitely a journey.  It is helping me grow in ways I never knew possible.  I think we get better with time, all of us!  We learn new skills, and improve our whole life because of it.  I think that is one of the reasons why God intended for us to be that we could grow and learn and improve ourselves.
It's easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others.  It seems we base our weaknesses off of other people's strengths.  In my case, I do it with my mothering skills (and I'm sure MANY other areas of my life...HA!).  I see these unbelievably patient mothers, and wish so badly I could have that kind of patience.  I see other mothers who keep their home immaculate, and wish that could be me every single minute of the day.  I see other families praying and reading scriptures every. single. night, without fail, and wish I could keep to that schedule.  Basically, there are a lot of things I wish I could be better at.  And I really do believe that one day.....I any area I put my focus in.  Thank goodness I don't have to be perfect now.  All I can do is try. 
And like this post states, we are AMAZING, because we keep trying.  We keep going and we don't give up, no matter what!
These children are worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. 


Dec 5, 2013

5 Acres and a Dream


I've mentioned before that I'm very interested in learning and acquiring skills to become more self-sufficient.  One of the first blogs that I started reading was 5 Acres and a Dream.  I LOVE her (Leigh's) site.  She is an amazing writer, and has lots of useful information to help anyone interested in homesteading.  Well, it just so happens that she just published her first book, all about her homesteading successes and failures......AND she is offering a FREE copy of her book, to one lucky winner. 

If you are interested in entering, go here.  I promise, you won't be disappointed!