Sunday, April 7, 2013

Never tell a child what they can't achieve

I am sure so many of you now know the aspirations of my sweet lil girl.  But I still feel the need to put it to words.

Mostly because I believe my sweet 7 year old is wise beyond MY years!

It all started a little around Christmas time.  Alia had been particularly crabby.  I didn't think much of it other than to call her a 7 year old going on 17.  But that all came to a shocking light the night of her little sisters birthday.

we had just enjoyed a wonderful day at the aquarium for Alyssa's birthday.  That evening something seemed particularly bug Alia.  When I asked her what was up, she finally put to words what she had been feeling.  "Mommy, how can I be happy on birthdays?"  she asked.

"What do you mean?" I answered.  "Well," she began, "how can I be happy when I know there are children out there celebrating their birthdays and they don't even have enough clothing to wear"

I was stunned with her answer.  I really had no idea she was so burdened by this.  I asked a dear friend who works with a local shelter to help me out.  So she took her under her wing a bit and gave her thoughts direction.

On her own Alia created "Simply 7" that very next day.

"Well mom, it is because I am 7.  I want to hand out 7 birthday bags EVERY month, AND I want to ask/tell 7 people EACH month to do the same thing.  If I do that lots of kids will have happier birthdays and know they are loved by someone"

how could I say no to this dream?  So instead I took the mom approach.  Ok honey I answered.  I said she could earn allowance from me (something I haven't done thus far) and I would help her put some bags together each month.  And the asking part, that was her own to do.  It was a sweet lil arrangement.

That is until the next week when I went out with this same dear friend and Alia overheard us talking and heard that for Easter there were going to be 80 or so children at a park event.  The next day she decided "I want to give EVERY child a bag there too!"

I told her ok, but this one I was not going to fund.  She needed to write her own letter and pass it out and ask all on her own.  She got right to work (this was about 3 weeks before the event) and handed letters out.  She received lots of oh how sweet, sure I will see if I can do something.

but as a wise adult I advised her to not be disappointed with her results.  That most likely she was just going to receive like 10 maybe 20 sets to create bags.

Little did I know that God had a MUCH GREATER plan.  He was going to use "the faith like a child" to bless beyond measure.  Bless the children in need, bless their parents, bless us adults, bless me.

Her goal was reached....and exceeded...she was able to hand bags to every child she could find there, and has half left over!!
Some of her grand totals (which are short because I found several items I forgot to include later, when I was counting)

          101 KIDS shampoos
          154 Boys and girls socks
          172 KIDS toothbrushes
          138 KIDS toothpaste
          100 mini beanie toys
          181 snacks
          1 large blanket made by kindergartners
          48 single packs of Kleenex
          27 additional toys
          3 undershirts
          3 underpants
          80 adult toothbrushes
          80 adult toothpaste
          10 boxes of Ziploc bags (to fill)

Like I said even these numbers are short, they are just an estimate...

Pretty amazing.  I figured however, after all this she would be tired, bored and frankly not want to do it anymore.  And I told her that was ok because she had done so much already.

Not so.  Simply 7 was truly born.  She informed me that was her original plan and she was sticking to it, this was just extra.

The even more amazing part.  With her recent "fame" with the new article and a soon to be print article she was VERY concerned.  You might wonder with what, since being "famous" might be fun for a kid.  Well it is fun, but she asked me tonight; "Mom are you sure I should do all this?"  Why not I asked.  "Because I want to be really sure everyone knows it is NOT me.  I want them to know it is God"

Amazing.  Simply stated.  Faith like a child.
Wise.  Very very wise.

So in case you want to help, do your own, or just simply follow her story..........she now has a blog, I will write and she also wants to write her own stuff.

We will track as other people in other states partake, and use Simply 7, so she/you can see just how many states, just how far, one little girls dream of "making a child smile: can go!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Raising Daughters

As my girls are growing I am finding that raising them can be hard.  It just isn't as clear cut as you were thinking when they were in the womb.

There is esteem, even though you give your daughter every affirmation that she is great, even if you do everything right, there is this thing, their God given personality.  And there is Satan.  And to us they are both very real, and can get in the way of that perfect plan you have.

My middle girl is my little girl.  She is such a sweetheart and full of cuddles and love.  She is also my spirited child who has a fire about her.  But beneath that, at JUST 6 years old, she has expressed some self confidence issues.

This is REALLY hard as a mom to deal with.  Because all I see is beauty, love, light, fire, strength, and a fun loving girl.  But she felt something else.  She didn't love what she saw in the mirror.  i know she had expressed it before, but I would shift the conversation a new direction after a quick  affirmation.

I feel that wasnt' enough as she expressed how she hated her looks.

I am a FIRM believer of it is the heart that matters, and not letting little girls change themselves.  that being said, I learned a lesson.  Sometimes a little love on the outside does wonders on the inside.

It is just like us moms, who need pampering and we feel like a million bucks, there is nothing wrong with letting your daughter give herself a little love as long as you enforce the beauty God blessed her with on the inside, and that the two together are what make up beauty.

Alyssa hated her hair, I had always cut her bangs, and I will admit they weren't even or cut correctly.  so we had a Lissa day. We went to a professional, not a kiddie place, but a big girl place, and had the stylist cut her hair.  All she did was redo her bangs, cut a few long layers, and blow her hair straight and gave her own bottle of little shine stuff.

Then we went to the mall and my girl helped me pick out some stuff for her sisters and she got a new outfit.  Even better, we just had a girls afternoon.  I am mom 99.9% of the time, and I believe this is how it should be.  However, just for a brief moment in time, I feel just being their friend can reap its rewards in gold!

Let me tell you, girls are girls are girls.  know how a new shirt, hair do, makeup, nail polish, shoes, anything, makes you feel on fire?  Well a little lovin like that gave her such confidence that even her teacher said this week she has seen a confidence and ability to express her own feelings like she hasn't witnessed before!

So here is what I am saying.  Remind your girl that she is a child of God.  That He created her in His image and that means she is beautiful.  That those voices in her head that put her down are NOT of him.  That you and everyone think she is beautiful.  Tell her why, pick one physical feature...say her eyes.  Then follow up that compliment with two inner beauty compliments.  Say, I love how you always think of the shyest person in your class, that is SO beautiful of you to do, and I also love how you always give mommy the snuggliest biggest hugs.  It always makes me smile.

Once you have done these things, if she is in need of a little boost, ask her what she would like.  And wit in reason try with all your might to make that small thing happen in the next week or so.  Make it more about the time you are spending with her and less about what you are doing.  This way she gets the boost from what she wants/needs, but she sees the time as the important part. Ii promise you it will lift both your spirits up.  It is never too late to start spending a little more time with your girl!!  She will be a woman before you know it!

Any questions?  Really, about raising girls?  Please ask me, mine are still young, but man am I learning fast what it means to raise three daughters of God.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Love affirmation seriec ~ Affirmation Door

Love Affirmation Mini Series

So as we chatted about the other day, you don't need a major holiday to show your family you love them.  I know I know you are thinking you're the CEO of your house, you are mom.  That is showing them love daily.

True.  Very very true.  However, I believe very strongly in the book "The Five Love Languages".  If you haven't read it, you can get it here on amazon, for your kindle or this is the hard copy version.  I HIGHLY suggest reading it, if you or your spouse doesn't feel totally "fulfilled".  It is how we each give and receive love differently and sometimes, we give how WE would like to be loved, not necessarily how THEY like to be loved.  There are also love languages of children, and this is what this project is for...

My kiddos are very different, while they have some similarities my middle girl especially loves to be told what is lovable about her.  It is another "words of affirmation".

So in the spirit of carrying on this series, I am going to show you what I did for Valentines day for them.  My Affirmation Door

 I plan on doing it every year, however I also plan on carrying it out in future years, all of February, I mean it IS the shortest month of the year!!  And my girls woke with a bound each morning!

The best part, you don't need any fancy tools, though they are fun.  I did use my Silhouette Cameo for this, but you can just as simply cut your own hearts out.

I would suggest taking one night and cutting out ALL your hearts, so you aren't like me scrambling each night to make em .  It really will save you some time!  But I took a heart for each girl and every night I would write things I love about them on it.  I would title their mane and what day number they were on.

They LOVED hunting for their new heart each morning.  

My oldest asked that I don't throw them away, so at the end of the month, I plan on taking them and putting a hole punch in the top and taking just a small ring, the cheap kind you get at Hobby Lobby in the jewelry making section...and putting it through so they have a little book to look at through the year with everything I love about her/them.

Go ahead, try it for just two weeks, and see how it fills your child's love tank up!!

Let me know what you find :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Love affirmation series ~ Love jar

Love Affirmation Mini Series

I am going to kick off a two series of posts that were originally geared toward my family for Valentines day.  But I am a VERY firm believer that you need to show you love ESPECIALLY on the non holidays.  The just because occasions.  You don't need Valentines day to show your love...

I mean think about it.   How often do you wish you got something small.  Just because.  No reason.  Other than you are awesome.  Or your loved one is awesome for giving it to you.

This first one is for the hubby.  You could adapt for buddy is adapting for his wife..really you could even do your kiddos, but I say hubby because a lot of men out there, whether we like to admit it or not aren't necessarily a gifting person.

They like to be affirmed.  They like to hear how awesome they are and what they mean to you.  They work hard for the family and it is in their make-up to want to provide the best for their families.  But for some reasons it is so hard to tell them this on a consistent basis.  Whether it is because we expect what we expect from them, life, marriage, or because it isn't "our love language" it's still a very important aspect of a fulfilled marriage.

This little gift is actually pretty darn simple and very inexpensive.  Find a bag of Hershey kisses...a cute jar, some sticker paper, and a 3/4 " punch and you are done!  Cost me a total of about $6.

Its my "Things I love about you" jar.

He even took it to work.  My hubby is NOT a gifts guy, but he loved this one, because it was useful, he can eat it!, and it wasn't costly, and most of all it hit his pride button  :)

So I have included the sheet I used to punch out for you to download if you want.  Otherwise you can make your own....just make a 3/4" circle and put whatever you want in it.

Print it out on a single sheet of sticker paper.

Use your punch and cut it out and stick to bottom of the kiss.

Present to your love as a gift of honest expression.

If you decide to do this, please please let me know what you did and how it turned out!! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekend Review ~ Read and Build Books By Lego

So I am back with my reviews, I know I love knowing what I am getting into, so I feel it is an important part of my blog.  Is there a product you want a review on?  I probably have it.   Especially if it is a little girls product! I swear I have every thing for girls known to woman!  So ask away, and I will review it if I have it!!  Or maybe I'll buy it  :)  I seem to always have one girl or another with a want or need. 

I would like to come back every weekend and do this, so let me know if you find it helpful!!?? 

Today I"d love to introduce you to 
 the Read and Build books from Lego

They were pretty new on the market and I was curious because my youngest LOVES books, and she loves creative things.  So she got one for Christmas and one for her birthday a few weeks later.  And let me tell you she LOVES them!!  She constantly wants to play with them, she creates her own things with them but her favorite part is following the book along.  Then after the build and story she plays with them as a toy and the story has sparked her imagination. 

The book actually has incredibly clear pictures showing each step of the way how to add another piece on.  And with each step is a cute little story. 

Even my older girls love it, though I would not recommend it for much older than 5ish.  I will say tho my 5 year old gets a new sense of fun with it as she is learning to read, because instead of just making the toy, she can now read the story on her own as she builds, it gives her a new sense of confidence.

There you have it...
All and all i would say go out and buy every one because they are well worth their money!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AND the FINAL days of Christmas were...

OKOK I guess I can be thankful I have so many good friends who actually read this!  THANK you.

I do have a journal of posts I wanna make, and I am going to try to organize how I do this so maybe it becomes much more steady!! 

With out further adoo, the final days of Christmas were............a shock.  And the BIGGEST blessing of all!!

With day 10 we got a note saying that dinner was coming the next night at 6...
There was only one problem with this.  we were going on the Polar Express and weren't going to be home.  So, it was so sweet, I left a note, as did Alia, saying how much she loved our named "secret Santa" and I left a cooler asking for it to be put there.  I also had mentioned we were flying out Christmas Eve.

When we got home and there was nothing there I wasn't sure what to think.  Dinner was meant for the 24?  Or they just didn't do anything.  I was stumped.

Either way, we were getting ready for bed...I had a TON to do before leaving at 8am the next morning for our flight.  The night was already looking so short for me, as it was 8pm. 

All of a sudden I heard a knock at the door.  Something we had become accustomed to I sharply told Alia and Alyssa that NO it was just our secret people and to not go look and not answer it!  I mean it!!  But Alia in a pleading tone says "No mommy it's Santa."  I responded with "yes Alia I know they have been doing this every night"

Alia throws back "NO MOMMY, it REALLY is SANTA!!!!!"

Brandon gets up from his chair and sure enough, there was SANTA at our door.  And more so, he was waiting to come in!!  So we let him in and the girls can barely contain their shrieks of excitement. 

Behind Santa, was our piping hot Pizzas.  Which proved to be a GREAT midnight snack for us that night.

Now for the best gift of it wasn't the black garbage bag full of presents just waiting for us to open was how Santa talked to the girls.  He KNEW Alia was in Jazz dance, and Alyssa gymnastics, and even KK was potty training...and when he mentioned it to her, she gave him full detail of how she poops in the potty and when she does she wipes the front and mommy wipes her butt and so on and so on.  Sliiiightly embarrassing!  Anyhow, when he asked Alia about her dancing, he sealed a deal.  And a very important one at that!  One that was slowly unraveling at our household.  She believed, but with skepticism since some of the kids in her class no longer believe.  But after this, that PURE and SWEET innocence that is a child and their faith.  It was ALL hers again.  And for that I will be FOREVER thankful.  If we didn't get a single one of the things we were blessed with through this journey, that would have been enough!!!

But....................we did get presents....12 for the TWELVE days...and it was TONS of fun opening them there under our tree with the girls, some that night and the rest that morning before we left. 

All from our Secret Santa

It truly was, for me, like Santa came. 

The girls got wonderful gifts, ballerina princesses, crowns, crafts, and MY favorite for Brandon and I (maybe it was the family) was Twister.  It is a game we actually don't have, and well, we played it the week we came back and Brandon and I laughed and connected like we haven't since long before the strokes. 

It was a BLAST!  And little giggling in the background was the perfect music!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Days 7, 8, 9, and 10 of my Days of Christmas

As Christmas neared things became a blur.  But one thing stood steady.  My secret Santa and delivering a surprise each morning.

Well sometimes it was at night, and two of those times they down right scared us!  But in a good way.  But we were well into our nighttime routine and then there would be this BOOM BOOM BOOM.that you woulda thought we were prepared for.  But each time it came as a new surprise. 

sometimes the girls would RUN to the window trying to "catch" him.  All but one time they never saw a thing, and even that one time it was just a blurr of a kid running away. 

And when they would ask to open the door, I would shout NO (yes admittedly maybe a little to zealously) that they had to wait till the morning.  It was so cute to see Alia wake each morning just anticipating and guessing what Secret had left us this time.

Day 7 was a neat one they still adore....7 Swans a swimming turned into the Swan Princess movie.  And they have only watched it a little under 100 times!!

Day 8 was another hit, especially with my two youngest.  8 Maids a Milking.  And for that one we got a gallon of Chocolate milk.  SCORE another "breakfastish" item I didn't have to worry about. 

Mom and Dad made sure to each have a TALL glass ourselves too!!  The pre-made kind just isn't something we buy often...see even made a fun treat for all the kids I was watching that Friday :)

And day 9.  Girls got to open a pretty black and white present.  It was 9 Ladies the ball...

Upon opening it, they immediately started playing with it, families can always use a strong well made ball, however this one is now waiting till spring where it can show its true colors  :)

And lastly, and I think I forgot a picture of this one!!  Is 10 Lords a Leaping.  Or in this case, leapfrogging.  A game that is now our in the car travel game that can be taken anywhere.  :)

SO STAY TUNED!!  I have to tell you about our last two days,especially the last one!  There is even a story to go with it, and if it is all I got all season, this was the most precious gift of all!!