Away he went…..

Did you ever go to summer camp? My first time was when I was 13. I spent most of my youth going between parents homes in my summers and camping. But as a child I never went to summer camp. This year after much discussion and pondering, we decided that Damian could go to camp. He will be 8 this year and we found a camp that a friend of mine had been attending her whole life. Plus she was going to be there the week that D was able to go so he would have a familiar face. ( and someone for mommy to check in with, on stealth mode)

D at Camp

 

The camp he went to was a small non denominational Christian based camp. Both of these things were important to us. It is a small camp with a great staff to camper ratio, 1:3. They keeps the kids so busy with activities, theme nights and lots of personal building. The have a chapel time where they can keep things focused on the saviour, but not too much that the kids are bored with it. Activities include archery, rock climbing, skateboarding. They have a challenge rope course, they do drama times, campfires, water activities. I’m sure there is more that D didn’t tell me about that they did in his 6 days of extreme fun.

I loved when we picked him up that other staff members knew who he was and said bye to him by name. When I checked him out his cabin leader told me that he had some wonderful scripture based talks with Damian. It filled my heart with immense joy that I sent my son somewhere that he was loved and cared for, for the week. While I missed my biggest boy so much that week I know it really was a great choice for us to have sent him to camp.

 

 

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Does post Christmas get you down?

The presents are opened. Thank yous are exchanged. The turkey dinner is done. The friends and family have gone home There should be a feeling of peace and happiness from everyone. Tis the season of good tiddings and all!

But there isn’t     😦

The phenomenon that I have heard referred to as  “The Christmas Letdown”

There is so much build up to Christmas months of prep hours shopping. Time spent decorating and planning, all leading up to one day. The when it is done….. now what?

Often I heard people say “never again”. Though the reality is we are creatures of habit, we’ll do it again just like last year and the year before.

Why do we have this desire to have one day of the year filled with presents and glitz and so much stuff? Does it make us happier? Maybe for the day but how long does it last? Far too many people have stuff of Christmas day then run out boxing day and buy more stuff. Or exchange what you didn’t like to get something better.

Then you have stuff. Does the stuff make you happy? Does it fill you life with joy? Maybe it does for for now but in a week will it still be the best thing ever?

Small and simple Christmas

We really worked hard on decreasing the stuff this year. We didn’t make a big deal over Christmas stuff we focused on what was important, FAMILY. It may have been just us but it was one of the best days we have had in awhile. I didn’t stress over a fancy dinner, we had meatloaf.

We kept gifts to a minimum and they were mostly useful gifts, books, watches, blankets, PJ’s and a few small toys. Honestly unwrapping was done in like 45 minutes. The kids were happy they got what they had wanted. I suppose I’m lucky that they didn’t want much. ( definitely an advantage to no TV and homeschooling 🙂 )
We are fortunate that our families are very understanding about our desire to keep the stuff to a minimum. They understand our desire for memories and quality over quantity. 🙂

Do I feel a sadness that Christmas is over? No. Why not? Because other then a few extra presents, snow and Christmas carols, and a tree we didn’t do really anything major. Christmas will come again and I will continue to keep it stress free.

Time spent together is better then money spent on each other

Maybe next year there will be a big dinner but I don’t get stressed about having people over either. I enjoy good tidings and fun.

Avoid the Christmas let down by keeping things normal and keep your focus on what is important. The stuff isn’t, the people and memories are!

The Rights of a Child

Today is National Child Day. Today we celebrate the rights of children.

Canada’s national “Child Day” is held November 20th each year as enacted in Bill C-371, otherwise known as the  Child Day Act, by the Parliament of Canada in 1993.
It commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerned with the human rights of all children and youths.
On “Child Day”, Canadians honour our children and The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of The Child  on November 20th, 1959, and the The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child  on November 20th, 1989.
The Convention spells out the basic human rights to which children (under the age of 18) everywhere are entitled.
The purpose of Child Day is to promote awareness about the Convention to Canadians .
It is also a day to support Canadian children’s rights by voicing your concerns about Canadian children’s rights violations to the politicians of Canada and to educate our children about their rights and responsibilities.
All children have rights. More then just basic rights of food, water and shelter. Children have  the right to being cared for in a loving and understanding home, whether that be with the parents or another designated home. They have the right to social security, to grow and develop in health. I love that there are so many rights put out for our children to keep them safe and equal human beings in this world.
I feel that there are a few things more for me personally that children have rights to!
I believe all children have the right to the best food for their health, even in infancy. Yes I mean human milk, if you can’t produce it there are other ways. I believe that a child owns their body, all of it even from the time they are born, they have a right to not have their bodies modified, unless truly medically necessary  I believe children have a right to be equal with all other human beings, they are not less because they are little. I believe that children have the right to be children. That means they can play, laugh, climb trees and snuggle. They have the right to learn their emotions, it is a big job and they need your loving kindness. 
Children are wonderful little gifts.  They are innocent precious souls. How you treat them will form how the new generation will be. While you must fill their rights laid out by the UN, remember to fill their rights are a person, as you expect your right to be filled.
  

Judge me not ~ Love me always

Have you ever been judged harshly for doing what you love? Doing something important? Something you believe in? All of us have been judged in one way or another. It saddens me the way we judge our fellow humans for the choices they make just because they are different from ours. I think what saddens me more is we so very often do it in the name of GOD. People who say they are Christians far too often are some of the most judgmental people I know.

Photo Credit

I love this quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorft of the First Presidency in the LDS Church. 

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!
It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”


That was from the April 2012 General Conference. I have found that this simple text seems to have resonated with many people not just of the LDS affiliation. It is simple and to the point. If you are Christian and say you follow the teaching of the Father and Son, then stop hating and judging. 

We all have a place in our lives where we can improve. We all have places where we fail in our day to day lives. We are an imperfect people, there is no perfect person. Anyone who says differently is lying and that there is their sin.

Whatever it is that you don’t agree with then don’t engage in that activity for yourself. No one is making you gay, black, christian or whatever. That is the beauty of this world we live in. You have a choice! You get to make your choices every single day. You can choose what to eat, what to wear and what to believe. You even in the free world the the freedom to choose what you say. Sometimes what you say will hold consequences for you, because some one will judge you, whether they should or not. Right now even what you put on social media will have repercussions.  
Simply if you claim to be of Christian values, then hold true Christian values. Jesus loved everyone, he hung out with the outcasts, he sat with the poor and wealthy alike. If you follow his teachings then truly follow them. Stop judging others because they hold different values than you. 
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. … Luke 16:27-36
 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”   John 13:34-35

A few simple verses from the Bible where Christian get their teachings from. I don’t care to hear about how there is scriptural verse against whatever sin you are against because first and foremost we are instructed to love. With the same unconditional love that given to just by Heavenly Father and Jesus. The sin is to be judged at the end of days. Now you can live your life with standards and if you chose to not have certain people in your life that is your choice but you still can love them and treat them with respect. I choose to keep people in my life who enrich my life. Their affiliations whether sexual or religious do not need to matter, it is the person I see. If they are good people who stand up and live their lives with integrity and decency, who they go to bed with or what God they believe in or don’t is not how I chose my friends. I don’t interview every person I meet before I decide if I will be nice to them. I try not to pass judgement on someone before I smile and say hello. I do fail at this sometimes but the point is I try to emulate the teachings that I believe in.

I am for LOVE ALWAYS!
I am for FREEDOM!

Love yourself today, you’ll thank yourself tomorrow

I have heard time and time again that the best person qualified to love you, is you. This is really true for everyone but I think really needs to ring louder for women. Living in the mommy world has shown me mommy guilt. It is a rampant disease that affects most mom’s, at least the ones I know and interact with.

GUILT a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime,wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

Now imagined is a big one with mom’s I think. We moms constantly compare themselves to our friends and other moms. There is always something about our lives that we want to change and it seems like so many other have it together. Now who knows maybe I’m the only one who feels this way and because I feel this way I’m projecting my thoughts on to others, but I kinda doubt it.

Now to see where I am going with this you know that friend of yours, who’s life is perfect. She always has the best clothes her hair is perfect she has time to work out and see friends. She is never covered in puke snot or poop. She could probably walk a mile in those heels and still look amazing. Or the one whose kids are angles who sit when they are told and play quietly and nicely where you are out. She never has to raise her voice at her perfect angels. Or what about the one with the perfectly cleaned house, there is never a speck of dust and everything looks like it came out a a magazine. Or, or, or I could go one for awhile. I bet you are thinking about her and how lovely that life sounds. STOP IT!!!!!

That is her reality, sure it sounds nice but you have no idea what she has had to do to get there. Maybe she has something else going on behind the scenes. Heck maybe she desperately wants to be comfortable just like you wearing the same shirt as yesterday, yes we noticed you are wearing the exact same thing and we know it’s not because you love that outfit and you did all your laundry last night. It’s because that was the cleanest thing in the house at the moment. That is okay though, you have different priorities.

Us women need to stop wishing for someone elses life. Now I’m not saying don’t aspire to something different. Don’t try and make your lives better. What we need to do is stop beating ourselves up because we are not as good as………. Some of us are better house keepers, some of us a fashionistas, some of us have more patience and are better with kids.

We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. We need to forgive ourselves for our failings, and love ourselves in spite of them. We are each beautiful women in all our glories. Most of us aspire to be the best parent for our children. Some days the dishes pile up and the dust gathers in the corners, other days the house is clean. Some days you look and feel like a garbage truck ran over you, other days you look like a sexy hot mama. It’s all a balance, it’s all about being happy with you. You are the best you you can be.

Now if you don’t like where you are then change it. Take some time and set a goal. Look for people around you who inspire you. Shut down the negativity in your brain of “I can’t do it”. One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Ford.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

Henry Ford

It’s your life you can change it but change it for you, for once. Now don’t stop thinking about others, but allow yourself to be important as well.

The imagined mommy guilt needs to stop. You are not a bad mom because you don’t make smiley bacon and egg breakfasts fro your family every morning with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. You did at least make sure that there was cereal and milk, right? That counts. Just because the mom down the street has colour coordinated lunches for what their children are wearing does not mean you should. Heck I wouldn’t advise it. That sounds like a lot of work. I tell my friends that as long as my kids are happy fed and enjoying life the dirty floor can wait. The dishes can wait until the kids are in bed. My babies are only little for so long, and I’m going to enjoy it. I don’t want my dying regrets to be I wish I spent more time with my kids. So this is me going out and making and effort to stop feeling guilty embracing my choices and spend more time focused on us and our lives and less about why I’m not the perfect mom. I’m a work in progress!