Learning to be Thankful ~~~~ A Challenge

Are you truly thankful for what you have in this life? Do you show gratitude in all that you do? Are you an example for others in your gratitude?

Living your life full of gratitude is a great way to be happier with your life. Unfortunately in this day and age of Me Me Me! It is hard and harder to do. We are constantly bombarded with new fancier gadgets, and trinkets. The commercialism in everyday life is overwhelming. As adults we have more of a choice in the matter, but the children fall most greatly to all this pressure. I often see one of two situations, children asking and getting or children asking and getting yelled at. Neither of these methods tech children gratitude. Now a days children have just about no concept of money and how people go about getting it.

Now there are some people who say that children are ungrateful little mongrels, always whining and demanding. I simply don’t believe this is the case, mainly because these behaviors are taught.  If we want our children to have an attitude of gratitude, then we need to have one ourselves.

I know for me sometimes it is hard. Some people seem to have an easier time just being thankful where they are in life. I always want something better. I’m not super materialistic, it’s not stuff for me( all the time) but it’s places and doing things with the kids. I know I am plagued at times with thoughts of  “if we had more money….” This is not good thoughts to have. You don’t need more money, stuff or time. You need to be thankful for what you have. Yes we all need more money and time! But if we are thankful for what we have, the other stuff will come.

Express appreciation to people when they help you. This is more than just a simple thank you, sometimes it is actively acknowledging what it is that you are thankful for. Look at people and smile when you express your thankfulness.

Try this. For one month take each day to really be thankful for something. Be specific and genuine. Follow through on your gratitude. If you are thankful for someone, let them know. People do like to know that they are appreciated for the hard work the do. You children will see this, they are surprisingly observant.

Now I’m not saying be dramatically thankful, be genuine. Give it a real effort and see what happens.

Are you up for the Challenge?


Learning to Navigate

We recently went on a little adventure,  A friend told me about Wolf Camp down in Sumas WA. She has boys right around Damian and Ainsley’s age, so when she tells me about things my ears perk up.They have a homeschooling classes every few month, which is neat so there is a larger range of kids. I love getting together with different ages of children who are homeschooled!

So we went and it worked out that grandparents were in town so I just took Damian. I was nice to have a few hours just us 🙂

It was a great class. He learned how to properly use a compass, and so did I! that way we can come back to it. Learned about directions, sun time and different way to orienteer and navigate. We both had fun and learned something. It was a very engaging teacher and he worked really well with the kids. I was very happy and definitely plan on going back again. they have classes on Edible plants, survival and animal tracking coming up. So much fun for a little boy who wants to learn all about nature!

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies ~~~~ Gluten and Dairy Free

sorry for the blurry picture these were the last ones
Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies
 ~~~~ Gluten, Dairy & Egg Free ~~~~

1 cup coconut butter
1 ripe banana
1 apple made into apple sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa ( good quality)
2 1/2 cup Almond Flour (meal)
1/2 cup chocolate morsels ( dairy free)
1/2 cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend the coconut butter, banana and apple sauce still smooth. Add sugar, honey and vanilla. Once it is all blended add the cocoa till all moist. Add the almond flour, if the consistency doesn’t seem quite right add another half cup of almond flour. once it is all mixed together add chocolate morsels and cherries. you can either spoon and drop the cookies or roll into balls and press flat. cook for about 12-15 minutes in the oven. Yields approximately 3 dozen

More then just a bracelet and a doodle

Currently right now I have on a yarn bracelet on one wrist and a henna drawing on my other hand. To any passing person they mean absolutely nothing. They may look at the henna and think it is pretty. It is highly unlikely I will pass by a person who knows what the yarn is for. I wont even go into detail as to why I have them, but I will tell you why they mean even more to me then what their intended symbolism holds.

To me they mean I belong somewhere. That there is a group of amazing powerful women who we share a connection. There is one woman who has brought us together. Right now we stand in solidarity for her. This woman is an inspiration in my life. I don’t know if she even knew how much she meant to me up until a few weeks ago when I told her. I felt silly, telling her this, but I felt it needed to be said.

Knowing that I do belong in a circle of women who are strong and amazing, is such a wonderful feeling. Women who lift other women up and inspire them to be the best they can be. Women who want other women to know that they have a choice and they have rights. Women you believe that you are infact a wonderful amazing being who is designed to do wonderful and amazing things. Women who believe in other women. It has been a wonderful and amazing time. Something I hope continues to grow.

Right now to some I have a piece of yarn and a doodle, to me I have a community and amazing women who I can call my friends.

Facebook has been wonderful for connecting me with some of these people before but to actually meet them in person has been an honor. 

Tools to Succeed in Life

Have you ever been completely frustrated with your child because they just can’t seem to behave….ever?

I know I used to feel this way about my children. Then I had “lightbulb” moment. I realized it wasn’t that my children were awful, they are wonderful unique individuals. I  simply was not giving them the tools to succeed in the situations that we were in. I would take them to places where I had unrealistic expectations of them. I learned that I had to realize what my children were able to do and how long they would be able to do it for.

The world has unrealistic expectations of children. They are expected to sit and behave at all times. Heck I don’t like to sit and behave at all times. Sometimes I like to stand or walk, sometimes I have an opinion about what is going on. Though very often we do not allow children the same courtesy we give other adults. Far too often children are seen as a nuisance and a problem. This falls greatly into the language you use with your children. Letting your child know that they are a problem in your life through your language, can in fact make them a problem. Now let’s sit down , take notes and see if you have an ah ha moment too!

Your children need tools to succeed. Being successful in life can do wonders for self esteem and self motivation. If they are regularly put into situations where they will likely fail the expectations set before them, it can have major damaging effects. Have you ever had a meeting or something to do and you just knew you were not at your best, so you cancelled your event? I know I have. There are just some days when you know you just can’t deal with a certain situation. When we are adults, we have an easier time conveying that we can’t handle things. We know our limits and when we have reached them other adults tend to respect our personal limits. For children they don’t always have the language to convey what is going on. Often they can be tired or hungry. These are usually quick fixes. There are time though when it is more then that. They could be utterly bored with what is going on, they could be feeling stressed about the situation they could possibly not even understand what is going on.

Children are not little demons out to ruin your life. They do not start out as manipulative little beings trying to bend your will. They are people who in their most primal and smallest from are trying to make it in a big world, that for the most part doesn’t want them. Children very often are seen as disruptive  loud, messy, whiny little beings. For the most part it is true. When put into situation that are hard for them they are, especially when they do not have the tools to succeed. There are many ways that we can help out our children to succeed in these situations, we just have to be aware.

Now what do I mean about being aware? Generally speaking you know your child better than anyone. You know their signs for tired and hunger. You know triggers for their behavior, like food or certain environments. There may be some people who don’t know these things about their children and that is what I am talking about, being aware. You need to be aware of your child’s needs. If you don’t want to go out for lunch then feed them before or bring snacks with you. Kids tend to eat more often and while out they tend to be bombarded with food, all of which look so much yummier then what they have at home. I know for my boys feeding them good real food can be a major change in their behavior . Making sure they have napped and completed their nap also goes a long way in having children who are capable of dealing with situations.

As parents and caregivers we need to set up an environment for our children that they can be successful. That is not saying that everything has to work in their favor. Though you need to be aware of the situation and if you are intentionally putting your child in a situation that is going to cause issues and you know it, you should take responsibility. Yes children will eventually need to learn how to control themselves, but they need to learn in small successful doses. This is key and very important!. In small doses it is easier for children to learn what is expected and succeed at it.  Even if it just means giving your child a break in the middle of a busy day to get their wiggles out. Take them somewhere where they are allowed to run and play, or have a rest.  A carefully planned out day with children should involve breaks for them, something that they are going to enjoy and build up your relationship.

Your child’s best tool for success if you. How do you view your child? are they amazing and wonderful? or are they awful little brats you can’t wait to get away from?  Give your child a chance to show you how wonderful they are. They are truly wonderful if you allow them the ability to show you. Allow them to be themselves and stop trying to turn them into the story book fantasy you want.

Now my children are not perfect, and I don’t want them to be. I want them to be happy free thinking individuals who enjoy life. I have expectations of them, and they are fair and reasonable. They have responsibilities, but their biggest responsibility is to have fun and be a child. I take them on errands with me , though I avoid doing many things in one day. Most things can wait, and the stuff that can’t I get done first. I make sure they are fed and rested. Once again most things can wait a day or a few hours. I also talk to my children the day before if we have plans for time out. That way they have an awareness of what is going on in their lives. they should be allowed just as much input into their daily lives as you and your partner does. While yes some things are non negotiable there are many things that are.

The biggest key thing to remember that your child is a person just like you. They are not lesser in anyway and they deserve the same amount of respect as you do.

Homemade Almond MIlk

Most people I know are always looking for dairy alternatives and ways to save money.

I have found that making my own almond milk is so easy and super beneficial

Home made Almond Milk
1 cup of almonds
5 cups of filtered water
 2 tsp maple syrup or vanilla
nut bag or cheese cloth
Take the cup of almonds and soak them for 12 – 24 hours preferred  if you need them sooner try to go at least 4 .  Then strain them to get the soaking water off and rinse them. In a blender place 5 cups of filtered water, add the almond and maple syrup or vanilla. blend until there are not chunks of almonds and everything looks smooth. Pour into either a nut bag or a strainer with a cheese cloth, straining the milk into a bowl. Keep the almond meal ! you can dry it out.  Separate into bottles and refrigerate. makes about 1 liter.
Take your Almond meal and place in on a stone or parchment lined pan and place it in a low over. ( 200) for a good 4-5 hours till it dries out. Makes for a wonderful flour substitution in many baked goods.
my jar of Almond meal

On a side note I know some people blanch their almonds first so that is an option but I don’t. Don’t even know how to