Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Single Mom's Crazy Rantings: Faith or Fate?


fate  (ft)
n.
1.
a. The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.
b. The inevitable events predestined by this force.
2. A final result or consequence; an outcome.
3. Unfavorable destiny; doom.
 
faith  (fth)
n.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief or trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.
 
June 10th, 2013
Someone asked me today if Christ was in my life. Yes, Christ as in the Lord, God, Jesus...Christ. I have never been asked this question straight forward with someone expecting an honest answer. It was very refreshing to be asked a question bluntly like that as well.
I can be very blunt and honest when I talk with people. I usually keep it wound down to a minimum when I first meet someone. It's only when I am comfortable with you that I then feel comfortable with being myself. I'm not sure exactly where this comes from (my blunt, honesty) , I'm sure it has to do with so many years of not saying anything and keeping to myself. Or so many years as a different person than who I truly was. But so far everyone I know appreciates it, thinks its hilarious and doesn't have a problem with it. I'm not one of those rude blunt people but I'm the one that will make you spit out your milk with the crazy things that can come out of my mouth....sometimes at inappropriate times. Teehehehee!
I was taken off guard with this question though and answered honestly.
"I'm not sure I guess. There are things I would love to believe in but there are other things that I don't or have a hard time believing in."
Don't get me wrong...I have nothing against any religion or religious people I have just always believed in my own values.
But believing in my own values is where the catch is. The person whom asked me this question was surprised by my answer. Surprised that with everything I've gone through, the values I have, my positive outlook and the way I live my life day to day are very similar to someone who would believe in Christ. Since then I have turned this question over and over many times in my head. Do I really believe in God or a higher power?
I find myself looking back on situations. Every time I needed something it has always worked out. Anytime I needed money, needed help, a sign, a path, a choice and hoped and yearned for an answer, a solution (someone religious might say pray) it has worked out. Every time I've needed something, every time something gives and I've been "blessed".
I blindingly believe in Karma, this I think is very similar to "The Golden Rule". I completely believe and put faith into Karma. What goes around comes around. Do good and good will come to you. Do bad and well...Karma's a b**ch. But Karma is also just a thought, an ideal. It's not something I can hold, something I can physically hold accountable. God is also not someone I can physically meet, see of touch. So is there a difference??
There's also my morals, values and how I carry myself that I can now see why someone would think I was religious.
I believe in "everything happens for a reason" but couldn't that be what a Christian would say is God's pre destine path he has laid out for me??
I believe in "Karma" or Christians "Golden Rule"
My children are a true blessing to me, a miracle from Jesus is how a Christian would see it.
I live my life and unknowingly follow the seven deadly sins; PRIDE, ENVY, GLUTTONY, ANGER, SLOTH, GREED, LUST. Not because of the wrath from the lord but because it's the right thing to live by.
But is there a line in the sand separating the two ways I see it or are they really the same?
This I don't know.
This is what I can't wrap my head around.

Is there really a difference in fate and faith. I'm not so sure anymore.
The last thing that throws me with this battle is if there came a time, hopefully never, where my children were in harms way or ill. You could bet I would do anything, bow down, pray to anyone for their health and well being.
But even with that there is still a lot to consider. Is there really someone watching over us, someone who just one day "created" us...everything. So much to think of.

One thing that can be said, I've never had anyone make me think of something more beyond what I already knew or believed in. Not forced me to think that way but actually challenge the way I though. Had me mulling it over in my own mind. It takes a special kind of crazy to make ME reconsider things ;)

Always true to myself~
Bree
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LBB: 10 Random Household Tips

 

And WHY didn't I think of this stuff!?!?! LOL!
 
 Fix your broken powder make up!
 
 Make your own non slip hangers!
 
 Get rid of those carpet divots with ice!
 
 No more paint splatters and drips!
 
 Use a can opener to open those difficult sealed plastic packages!!
 
For these genius ideas and more including:
Quick scan WiFi password
Secret to spotless baseboards all the time
Towel rack to hanging storage
PLUS MANY MORE!!!
Follow this link:
 
 
So random...so fun...so genius~
Bree and J
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guns and God in School

Friday morning the word began to spread about the unthinkable horror unfolding in Connecticut. A man walked into an elementary school where he murdered 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 adults.

By the time afternoon arrived many parents had rushed to pull their kids out early from school. Simply to give them hugs and take their precious babies home.

Monday came around and most parents had a hard time sending their kids to school. Just the thought that this could happen anywhere, to anyone, at anytime has hit home. It is literally unbelievable that anyone could do such a thing to children, to babies. These were someones little angels, their joy in life and so young...its heart breaking.

Of coarse it makes you think..."What can be done?" "What could we do to keep our kids safe?" School is supposed to be one of the safest places for children to go, yet school shootings happen more and more each year.

I agree that there should be something done but I do not agree with the ideas people are tossing around.
Here are the most popular, radical options you can choose from.

Bring guns into schools
or
Bring God into schools

I'm sorry but neither of these are a solution. Not even close!

Guns~
I am or was (depending on if I need to renew) a member of the NRA. I also have a concealed weapons permit. I know how to correctly operate a firearm. I treat any firearm with the deepest, up most respect. I believe in the rights to own and bare arms.
But I think it's ludicrous to think sending guns INTO school is a good idea. Not only is it a horrible idea but its almost as if your asking for another school shooting to occur!
First, I do not know one single teacher, aid, or administrator that would carry a gun at school. Think of a teacher. (usually) they are sweet, warm, good tempered, kind and helpful. Its not in a teachers nature to bring a gun into their classroom. I am not speaking for all teachers, I'm sure there are plenty that would carry a firearm at school. I'm just saying that with as many teachers that would carry a gun there would be 3x as many that would not.
Oh yes, lets ask our underpaid teachers to now add in more training and classes outside of work, as well as more expenses out of their owns pockets. Because if you want to be realistic there would need to be lots of strings attached. Each gun toting adult would need to be properly trained, and keep up on their certifications. Most likely have to attend more specialized classes. File and pay for a concealed weapons permit. Purchase a handgun. And require regular shooting practice, taking more of there non-existent spare time, in which they would then need a membership at a gun club. The list could go on.
Second, bringing guns INTO our schools is almost asking for a school shooting. But now lets give the suspect and endless amount of weapons and ammo. Walk into a new classroom, get a new gun! Genius! Come on, this will now also give that troubled student or adult the means to get a gun if they didn't have means before.
I also truly believe you would see an increase in the rate of school shootings. Most, if not all are premeditated. Could you imagine that student or adult being at school, already on the edge...something or someone setting them off, heck there's already a gun in the classroom, Furious and mad, who knows what they'd do. Crime of passion. No time for any logic to sink in or for any warning signs to alert people.
Remember I am pro guns! But this "solution" is just asking for it it to happen. You walk into a classroom and you would know where to get it and who had it. You might as well just leave it on the desk.

God~
I will just come right out and say it. I am not religious. Do I have a problem with religion or what an individual chooses to believe in? No. To each his own. I have been educated and I very knowledgeable on Christianity in fact. But do I believe bringing God into schools will stop these horrible acts of violence? NO!
I actually believe bringing any religion into schools and teaching it would make the situation a whole lot worse.
Lets force something so touchy as religion onto our children and teens and watch them rebel more. In today's society people are more free to be true to themselves and believe in what they want. Religion is no longer required or scared into you. Most people I know who were forced into religion hate it now.
I do understand the point made by someone where they would say "if you look back in the day when religion was taught in schools there were no school shootings" I see your point, but that was a very long time ago. The same point could be made with abstinence and drugs, but its no longer realistic.
What is realistic is embracing change and individuality. For example, teaching abstinence is not realistic, you adapt and teach safe sex and give logical advice to protect our teens from things. But they will inevitably make their own choices and sometimes pregnancy and disease still happen.
I also understand that someone who believes in god will not understand why someone wouldn't. For anyone religious or non religious they believe that what they know and believe in is the truth and others are wrong. So how can we even make this argument when there would be so many others to consider. God is not the only thing people have the option to believe in. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Spiritual, Hinduism, etc...so why we would automatically choose, especially in today's diverse world, that one specific or more swayed religion be brought into our schools.

I do have a lot of opinions but what are my answers? I'm not sure there is one clear answer. In some cases better parenting was the solution, in others putting a stop to bullying would have been the answer, mental health is a huge factor, the list could go on. In the specific shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary we may never know. But I do feel a huge effort needs to be focused on bullying in schools and getting more resources, help and aid to those whom have mental health issues.

Arguing about Guns and God are not helpful or even a solution. I understand many people want something done or want to use energy and resources into an answer but we all have to understand that there is no clear or right one. Be aware, educate yourself and your children and have a plan for any shooting scenario and love your family, friends and kids every chance you get!

Inform your kids to contact a teacher or administrator if they see bullying at school or may possibly need mental health help, tell them it's "ok to ask for help!" There are also plenty of resources online and in schools!
Resource to help stop bullying: Stopbullying.gov

Resource for mental health issues: Mentalhealth.net

A came across a blog post via Facebook that was really helpful in understanding mental health and the effects that it could very likely have on people unaffected by it. Please read and share, it's really a great article.
Thinking the Unthinkable 

Love your children everyday and always kiss them goodnight~
Tonight I will also be signing my name only, seeing as these are my personal feelings and views. Thank you all and have a good night, hopefully I didn't piss too many people off ;)~
Bree

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

alittle more LOVE

I was catching up on a few of my "summer" shows and the end of an episode of "America's Got Talent" completely blew me away and brought me to tears. 
Not only was this an amazing performance but an amazing moment for this contestant as well. It made me think back to a few people I didn't know but knew of going through high school and it made me feel sad. 
Sad that we can judge so early and so terribly. 
We as people all judge...especially us parents. Driving into Seattle I lock the car doors because the people around me I'm judging to be bad. This is all by looks. I don't know these people. But I will still to this day do the same thing because I'm a parent and I now worry about my children over myself. 
But because I am a parent I will make sure my children don't judge someone terribly wrong...like this young man was and is. We are all different, individuals, with unique tastes and likes. Whats interests me doesn't necessarily interest you. That's what makes us individuals. I feel very sad because I've seen young people like this boy being teased and judged. It makes me feel sad because it's wrong and hurtful and uncalled for.
 I think we all need to give and show alittle more LOVE. 
As parents it starts with us and I hope that everyone can agree. 

This is absolutely beautiful and takes my breathe away....enjoy...

To watch any of "America's Got Talent" episode or this one in it's entirety follow the link to NBC.com America's Got Talent.

All we need is LOVE~
Bree and J Pin It

Friday, May 11, 2012

People are GREAT!

Ok you'll cry...but LOVE this video! And  LOVE the Hospital!
And LOVE how everyone is having a GREAT time!
You GO kids!



The hemoncology floor of Seattle Children's Hospital performs 

Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger"




<3 Kelly Clarkson THANKS the kids of Seattle Children's <3




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Honor A Mom: Friday

Honor A Mom: Friday
Shay Ramos

Wife, friend, volunteer, woman, extraordinaire......a MOM. Does this sound familiar? Every mom is a teacher, doctor, super hero, nurse, child herder, chef, chauffeur, referee, entertainer, maid, event coordinator, councilor, snot rag, etc but very rarely do they need the thanks or get the thanks for all they do. 
ABC.com released their take on how much a stay at home mom SHOULD make...any guesses???
$138, 646.00 Annually!!!!!!!
There are ALOT of amazing moms out there, with different tricks and tools to SURVIVE out there with our cave children.....and we sure love doing it! I would have to say and know all those "SAHM's" out there would agree...BEST JOB EVER!

One stay at home mom that I look up to and would like to shine alittle recognition on is a local mom. She has an older son, twin boys AND then a baby girl.....YES she IS busy! 

Let me introduce you to Shay Ramos (an interview):
Shay: I met my husband, Casey, through his younger brother when I was a freshman in high school. We remained friends for a few years, mainly because he was too old for me at the time. We got engaged when Rylan was 6 months old, the day we moved into our brand new house in Orting and then we had our wedding at the Pickering Barn in Issaquah, June 2nd, 2007. We are about to celebrate our 5 year anniversary! Our kiddos are Rylan (6 1/2), Colton and Easton (2 1/2), and Avalyn (9 months today!). I am definitely a perfectionist and a go-go-go type. I love to be busy, which is a good thing, considering the amount of children I have! I love cooking and crafts and gardening, although I find myself with less and less time for these activities these days. :)

DAILY LIFE


Whats your morning routine?
Shay: I get up at about 5:40 and make lunches for my oldest and Husband. Then I try to tackle a few chores and jump in the shower before the little kids wake up. Then we have breakfast and get everyone ready to head out the door!
So what's your daily routine like? 
Shay: We get up and get my oldest out the door first and foremost. The twins go to a co-op preschool two days a week, which means I am helping in the classroom a lot of the time and not just dropping them off so that fills up several of our mornings. On the other days, we are usually doing chores or appointments in the morning. We have lunch around 12:00 and nap after. Then we pick up Rylan from school at 3:30, come home and make dinner. In the evenings we usually have sports and then we start the bedtime routine. It happens in the blink of an eye!
How do you handle getting off schedule or "running late"?
Shay: These days, it seems like we are always running late when it comes to getting where we need to go. It is just so time consuming strapping three into car seats and making sure all three diapers are clean. As far as getting of schedule, I am not super strict about the particular time naps and such happen. I plan each day differently according to what is going on. I know it's unrealistic for everyone to get to nap by 12:30 on preschool days, but on days when we are home, I might put them down earlier. I make a little game plan in my head each morning.
How in the world do you find time for chores and what would be your best advise for doing household chores with kiddos running around? 
Shay: I am pretty particular about the house. As much as I would like to let it go a little, I just can't! I am constantly doing chores. While the kids are eating, while they are napping, before they wake up and after they go to bed. I have to utilize every possible second in order to keep everything up! As for advise, I usually do things like dusting, vacuuming, and organizing when they are awake, because they can sort of help but things like cleaning with any chemicals or laundry I save for when they are sleeping. Without a good sleep schedule, you can get behind very quickly!
And what's your laundry routine? 
Shay: Routine? It's constant! You must do at least one load of laundry every single day in this house. I prioritize washing over folding, because it is rare to have every bit of it completely done. Especially because I tend to do it at naptime and I can't wake the little ones to put their items away so it tends to pile up, honestly!
Do you cook dinner before your husband gets home? If yes, how to you juggle all the kids while cooking dinner? 
Shay: This has really varied depending on what activities are going on, what my husband's work schedule has been. Normally I have it started and am just putting the finishing touches on everything as he shows up. The key to keeping the kids busy is to allow about twice as much time as you THINK you need, because there will always be interruptions! Lately, the twins have been wanting to use the potty which takes a lot of time. The baby is at the age where she can snack in her high chair while I cook, which makes it much easier! On rough days, I may resort to some Umizoomi to entertain the twins!
So now it's bedtime what is your bed time routine? 
ShayThankfully, Rylan is becoming quite self sufficient and can shower in the morning before school and brush his teeth at night all on his own. For bedtime with the little ones, my Husband is key. It is much faster if we team up. We normally throw the twins into the shower one at a time. I will dry and dress one while he washes the second one. If things are going smoothly, I will bathe the baby in the bathtub while they are in the shower(in the same room) but if the twins are really tired, I wait until we have them down. Then we brush teeth, read a story and tuck them in. That is the easy part. It is AFTER they are in bed that the chaos ensues! Two tired two year olds in the same room is a recipe for disaster! 
What usually happens? 
Shay:The twins just love to play around. They look out the curtains, they giggle, they get out of their beds, they play silly pretend together and they would get into things if there were anything left in their room for them to get into! Also, Easton loves to be naked, which has resulted in many, many pee and/or poop incidents. I actually have to use a clothing tagging gun and "tag" his footie jammies shut before bed. We normally give them a warning once (or twice) and then end up moving the "offender" into a pack and play for the night.

CHALLENGES, FINANCES & GROCERY SHOPPING


What has been the biggest challenge raising your kids? 
Shay: Probably finances. It is so hard to give your kids everything you want to on only one income, yet I imagine leaving them each day and juggling a career would be twice as hard!
Any suggestions for other families or what works best to "make 1 income work" for your large family?
Shay: Geez, I wish there was an answer. You really have to sacrifice the extras for yourself. My husband and I put the kids' wants and needs before our own. Not eating out is a big one. I think it helps to look into every option and make sure you aren't wasting money paying more for ANYTHING. I've switched car insurance, internet, where we buy diapers, anything possible to save a bit on the big bills and then I am very careful with our spending on everything else. You have to be realistic and realize that you can't have it all. Luckily, with four kids, trips to make purchases are difficult.
SO.. grocery shopping...do you have lots of help or do you tackle grocery shopping with the kids
How often and where do you do most of your grocery shopping? 
Shay: Ugh, grocery shopping. :) I actually take my kids with me when I shop. I don't get any extra help for things like that. The little ones and I will do a Costco run every 2-3 weeks for the big items and then 1-2 times a week we go to Safeway, Fred Meyer or Winco for all of the filler items. I always try to make sure the kids aren't hungry or bring them granola bars or snacks to eat while we go through the store to keep them occupied. Like me, they get grumpy when they're hungry. We try to plan what we are going to eat for the week so that we eliminate the extra trips. If I do forget something, Casey will often pick it up on his way home.
So if you grocery shop with the twins and your daughter where do you put everyone? As far as the cart goes?
Shay: If we go to Costco, I put Avalyn in the top seat with Easton and Colton walks. In the normal grocery stores, I will put Avalyn in the seat and then the twins will ride in the basket part if we are just picking up a few things. Or they will walk. They also love to hang onto the side of the cart when we're moving. I always hear, "my goodness, you have your hands full".
Any money saving advice for shopping for a family of 6? Or a large family? 
Shay: Hmm, I wish I had the answer to that! Couponing for food is too time consuming for me, although I always use coupons for restaurants and any large purchases or clothing. I have a little organizer I use for those. No matter what you do, it is EXPENSIVE! :) 
If you could, what would be your most "drool worthy" thing your waiting to get (jewelry, clothes, appliance, new gadget, etc)?
Shay: I'd love a new vacuum or washer and dryer! :) Jewelry is always nice too!
Dream family vacation?
Shay: I love the beach, but I am dying to get my kids to Disneyland. My husband and I haven't been, so when we go as a family it's going to be awesome!

CHILDREN & DISCIPLINE


What are your childrens personalities? 
Shay: My oldest, Rylan, is very mature, incredibly smart and creative, but also smart enough to know he can get away with things. Colton is very sweet and affectionate and excitable, but can also be mischievous and when he does lose his temper, he really snaps. Easton has a mind of his own. He likes to hold his ground and doesn't like to be told what to do. He's probably the whiniest but is a little comedian and can be sweet when he has decided to do so. He has a soft spot for animals. And Avalyn is a total sweetie. She is always patient and happy, but she hates to miss a thing and doesn't sleep as much as most babies!
I always hear this question "which is worse, the terrible 2's or 3's?"
Shay: I really think it depends on the child! My oldest was hard at 3, and the twins are hard now (at 2). We will have to see how they are at 3!
When your twins are crying, your oldest is needing attention and the baby is fussing/crying how do you prioritize handling it all or who do you help first? 
Shay: You really just have to assess the situation and see what is most important. If the twins are crying, it is normally because they need help or are fighting, so it usually helps to settle them before changing diapers, helping Rylan, etc. My oldest is a great help and understands that we have to calm everyone before we can attempt to do anything. I always explain to them why I can't tend to them at the moment so they understand.
How do you discipline
Shay: We use the time out method, like most folks. With the oldest, we make him stand in the corner. Time outs can be a challenge when you have a lot of other kids in the room, so that's why we implemented the corner facing technique with him. am very strict and when I see that the kids are testing me on something, I make sure to catch it before it gets out of hand. 
Here's a scenario: Your in the other room, something happens how do you figure out what happened or who's at fault?  
Shay: Most of the time the twins are pretty honest. They communicate well, and can usually tell me what happened. I've worked with them to tell me what happened as opposed to just screaming. When the 6 year old is involved, I sometimes work out a punishment for everyone if I can't determine what actually happened. I pretty much just have to go with my gut.
When my kids throw a fit its difficult but when my older one does its...well its bad. What do you do when your oldest child throws a fit? 
Shay: I am very firm with him. He will be sent to time out, or even for a nap and will lose a privilege. He is expected to set a good example, but of course has his moments as well.
Do your kids get sibling jealousy? How do you handle it? 
Shay: Oh yes! The twins are even saying, "no fair!" now! It's adorable. Teaching them fairness and kindness is the best way to deal with jealousy. Just explaining to them why things are different for them than their siblings helps a lot.
How do you entertain your kids while on the road? 
Shay: Like many kids these days, mine have discovered that movies are available during long trips! :) During short trips, they are pretty content just looking out the window. I allow them to pick one (or two, depending on where we are going) small toys to bring along, which helps. And if we are going longer distances, I always bring snacks!
Do you have picky eaters? How do you handle it?
ShayAll of my kids seem to go through picky phases, although none of them are terrible. I honestly end up resorting to the bribery method most of the time - not giving them more of one thing until they eat some of their less favorite foods. It's really funny, because I despise wasting food. Normally one of the twins will like one thing and the other will like what the first one didn't care for, so I will often swap their food around so that they eat more and less goes to waste. Sometimes they will eat it just so someone else doesn't. That works too!
It's so difficult when your child stay's the night somewhere, especially the first time. Have your kids gone to stay over night? What ages and how did you handle it? 
Shay: Rylan has stayed with all of his Grandmas since he was about a year old. Being the first, everyone was dying to have him! The twins have only stayed one time, just recently, with their Grandma and it went great! I will try to do it again soon because it is good for everyone to learn to spend a night apart occasionally.
Was there an instance, a situation or anytime where you could have just crawled into the closet and cried? LOL. 
Shay: Oh, most definitely! There have been several instances where my husband and I have just laughed together as I recap the events I have endured during the day. Sometimes things go so badly it's just humorous! 


ON MORE CHILDREN


Was it worse going from 1 kid to...well 3 or 3 to 4? 
Shay: Definitely 1 to 3! The twins really threw everyone for a loop!
Was it a shock to find out you were carrying twins? Do they run in the family?
Shay: It was definitely a shock! A moment that I will never forget for sure! I have a twin brother, so yes, they do, although I never expected to have them.
What made you decide to have more children, after the 1st?  
Shay: After Rylan, we were so content. We really couldn't imagine anything better and didn't feel we needed any more. But we were sitting on the patio watching him play one day and my Husband said, "This almost makes me want another one." So we ended up with the twins. :)
And after the twins? 
Shay: Then after the twins, I really wanted to be able to have just one baby individually. I didn't feel ready to be done with babies (I love infants) and I still hoped to have a daughter so eventually I talked my husband into it. I couldn't imagine life without any of them.
Here's a big question...are you done having children? What made you decide? (either way) 
Shay: We ARE done now. We both knew after the last one that our family was complete. We are very content with how it is now. Plus, I mentioned that kids are EXPENSIVE! :) We want to be able to give our kids everything that they need.


MARRIAGE & HERSELF


Was their a moment you knew your husband was "the one"? 
Shay: Not a moment, necessarily, but when I realized that I couldn't imagine NOT having him. And watching him as a father to our son was the icing on the cake!
How do you keep up your marriage/relationship with your husband still thriving while raising all your kids, him working, school activities and extra activities? 

Shay: We are always sure to keep an open line of communication. The second something is bugging us, we immediately discuss it instead of letting things bottle up. We also try to spend time together on the weekends, after the kids are in bed. We don't get a lot of time out of the house together, but we do try to watch a movie or cook dinner together or little things like that.
How do you fit in ME time? 
Shay: Haha! :) Once in a while, I will try to sneak out with a friend after the kids are in bed or run to the store alone on the weekends when my Husband is home.
Do you work out regularly? How do you fit that in?
Shay: I think life IS my workout! :) I try to get to yoga on Sunday mornings, but sometimes I don't even get that in. I try to go on walks with the kids or  during the summer, we ride bikes with the kids too. I would like to work on getting a more consistent workout routine!
Whats your favorite thing to do for yourself? 
Shay: Hmm, that's a hard one. Pretty much anything I do for myself is enjoyed! Getting my hair done is always a perk. :)
Favorite coffee drink? 
Shay: Anything with caffeine! lol I like blended vanilla coffees for a treat, or pumpkin spice lattes during the fall and winter months.
Most useful mother's day gift received? 
Shay: Definitely my camera! Gift cards to the Windmill Gardens are a close second!

MUST HAVE'S & ADVICE


What is your must have kid gear? Feel free to elaborate on different ages and must have for that age. Shay: High chairs are a must for babies when you have older siblings. I have always entertained the babies/toddlers with food while I tend to the other kiddos or cook meals. Bouncers, ERGO carriers, and exersaucers are great for keeping babies occupied, too! And pacifiers! :) Video monitors save trips to check on and possibly wake up kids. For sleep, my last three all loved swaddlers, especially the Woombie swaddler. I'm also a fan of the Boppy for breastfeeding and the EZ-2-Nurse Twins Pillow for tandem nursing twins!
What would your best advice be to a mom with one child? 
Shay: Really enjoy that one on one time! The time with your first born is such a special time. Get out and do as much together as you can! 
Best advice with a couple children (not multiples)? 
Shay: Everyone says this, but it is important to try to spend time with the children individually. If you can't get away, make sure to tell the children how special they are to you and praise them individually for something positive they have done.
And whats your best advice for a mom with multiples? 
Shay: Don't be afraid to admit that it's hard. Ask for help if you have to! It IS hard and you won't be able to do it all perfectly!
Ohh Potty Training (sigh)...Whats your most useful potty training trick? 
Shay: Wait until they are ready! You cannot force a child to potty train. They will do it when they make up their mind to do it!

LAST QUESTION


When your children are older and are asked "what their favorite thing/memory about their mom was", what do you want them to say?
Shay: I just hope they remember laughing together.

Happy Mother's Day Shay Hope it's a GREAT one~
Bree and J
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Honor a Mom: Thursday

Honor A Mom: Thursday
Mary Olsen
I just wanted to share a special mom with you today.  My dear friend and mentor, Mary Olsen!  She has spent the last 25 years with Camp Fire and is retiring this June, *sob* but I know she'll continues to inspire me to be the best person I can be.  She has practically held my hand through all the events I've planned and volunteer for during the last 5 years that I've been involved with Camp Fire.  Her voice is in my head when I see good deeds that need doing!  She's the best at resolving issues and keeping with tradition all the while keeping everyone's feeling safe.  Her camp name is M.O.M., for Mother of Many and has been mine for the better part of my adult childhood.  There is always room in her heart, even though she is a mom herself and a very busy woman, she still has time to help less privilaged children enjoy Camp Fire, helping more than 100 people become involved where normally they could not afford to!  She shares the best stories and has the largest of hearts.  You'd think I would have pictures of her but of course like most mothers, she's behing the camera!  So instead I'll include pictures of Camp Sealth!
Color Guard retiring the flag.
From the beach looking south-ish.
From the beach looking north-ish.
Making S'mores!
Inside Rounds Hall
Close up look at the shields.
  For more information on our Council, Click Here!
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Honor A Mom: Tuesday

Honor A Mom: Tuesday

Michelle Obama

Besides being the wife of the United States of America's 44th President and having 2 daughters of her own, Michelle Obama is a huge advocate...especially on Childhood Obesity. 
And political views aside I think we can all agree that her "Let's Move" campaign is a long time coming and a top priority for all families.....as well as a good ol'.....FANTASTIC idea!
Her efforts in the fight against childhood obesity is why we honor Mrs. Michelle Obama this week for Mother's Day.

What is "Let's Move"?


Let's Move! 
"is a campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States. The campaign was started by First Lady Michelle Obama. The initiative has the initially stated goal of "solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight." Wikipedia "Let's Move"

The Let's Move initiative is focused towards the health of children. It helps provided schools, communities and families the tools they need to help kids be more active, eat better and get healthy.
Let's Move's Four Key Components:
  1. Making Healthy Choices
  2. Healthier Food in School
  3. Access to Healthy Affordable Food
  4. Increasing Physical Activity and Education
Michelle and "Let's Move" have been working in communities to create healthy kid friendly recipes, show families and children how to plant, grow and harvest their own garden and the importance of why.
How to portion control in a kid friendly way with "MyPlate"
She also made a very special appearance on The Biggest Loser, worked out with the biggest loser and their families and issued a challenge to all Americans. 

Why is all this important? Here's the facts...
"Obesity by the numbers
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If we don't solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma."~Let's Move

Do we really want that for our CHILDREN?? I sure don't! If you want to do something to help this epidemic, learn more, or get some great ideas for your family please follow this link to Let's Move.Gov for more info!

Michelle even teamed up with Beyonce Knowles and Swizz Beatz to create a song to help promote the "Lets Move Flash Workout" in hopes to get kids dancing and moving. There was even a music video released:

~Love a mom whos trying to keep ALL our kiddos healthy~
Bree and J Pin It

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sisterly Conversation...

Question:
"What age should your children not see you naked anymore?"


I know there are ALOT of variables....
Genders, Beliefs, How you were raised, number of kids, etc....
We asked this question on facebook and below are the responses we received.


Personally I feel that the age cut off should be between 4 and 5...depending on child/gender. I have 2 boys, 4 1/2 & 2, and a baby girl, 10 months. My oldest son at the age of 4 seemed very intersted in what was what on our bodies. It was then that i started to tell him that mommy needed her privacy while changing because I was a girl and he was a boy. He will still barge in and I try not to make a HUGE fuss about it because I feel it will just draw more atttention to it and he'll want to look even more. When I get in the shower i fore warn him so he wont barge in...we only have one bathroom so if he needs to go potty before I get in I give him that chance. The only thing that gets int he way is I have more children besides just him. So if I changing or "indecent" in some way and immediate attention calls to me I run out to where I'm needed sometimes half naked with him right there. In this aspect it can be very difficult to keep our "privacy".
My husband on the other hand will still take the boys into the shower with him if needed but with them being all boys we dont see this as much of problem as the opposite gender. Will will probably stop this by the age of 5. Bradley can basically take a shower by himself now with minimal help with soap, by the age of 5 he should be pretty self sufficuiant in the shower. 
We also have started to tell the boy's what private areas are called. Calling the area where underwear covers your "privacy's" while using the correct termonlogy for the specifics. This has been quiet  interesting. Bradley will use the word penis on a daily basis...."I almost hit my PEEEENIS!" or "mommy Braeden is playing with his penis...eeeeww" I try my hardest to dont fuss or make a big deal over the free use of the word throughout the day...no matter HOW EMBARRASSING but for my boys if I make a big deal about something the more they want to do it/say it! The WORST one was when I had to not laugh my butt off when Bradley began making up a song including the word vagina but switching the V for an F..."FFFFFFAgiiiiiiina FFFFFFAgiiiiiiina...." It's in these moments that all I can do is hold it together and laugh behind closed doors!
We have also dicussed with Bradley that we don't show, look or touch anyone elses "privacy's" which has not been a problem but I'm sure it will come up so we are hoping to be ahead of THAT one! ANd hopfully we wont get any angry mommy or DADDY's coming to our door step cause Bradley decided to flash their little girl. IT HAPPENS!
~Bree


I would say probably school age for the opposite sex. Evie will be 5 in July. She doesn't really see my husband naked now. At least not on purpose lol. I'm ok with her seeing me forever.
We are a underwear and t shirt around the house in the morning kind of family. Our curtains are closed don't worry lol. But for girls seeing girls and boys seeing boys I don't feel it's a big deal...I mean don't be STARING or anything! I've seen most of the girls in my family naked.
We would never be naked around other people or their kids though either....don't want you to think we are hosting a nudist colony or something! Yaaa....everyone come on over! LOL!  We are a family of three, just Evie. When Jack and Ally first started coming over, Jack was still in diapers so the girls were interested in seeing him during changes.  I let them see a little until they got too giggly and then had to explain needing privacy in the bathroom.  Mostly they give each  private time in the bathroom.  If they are all in there, they usually are getting in trouble.  We call the private areas "Privates".  We talk about how swimsuits cover your "privates" and nobody should be looking or touching those places. Also, we say "boobies" instead of breasts.
~Jessi

Other answers from other mom's:


Jennifer:
I am a mom of four, 3 boys and 1 girl. I do believe once they turn 3 or 4 it is time for privacy. When you teach them how to wash themselves and you notice them looking at you and noticing a difference. That's when they leave the "baby stage" and grow to be toddlers. I don't think a toddler should see their parents naked anymore.


Holly:
About 2 years old. Once they start being overly interested we stop. Once they are past the baby stage and start asking questions we answer them with age acceptable answers and cover up. We have 4 kids 6, 4, 2 and 10 months. 3 boys and one girl.


Carlene:
Well depends boys with moms I say 3 or 4 boys with dads 7 or 8. Girls with moms well mine still see me they barge right in and girls with dads I think our girls where around 5 but I would say again 3 or 4.


Sarah:
Mine for my son Zach it was about 4 because he started staring at me weird. Naomi was 4 also cuz she started staring lol I actually don't even let them see me in my undies anymore either. I figure if they are noticing different parts its time ti cover up so if I'm private about my body they will treat theirs the same :)  Kids are now 7 &5.


Deszirae:
My girls are 5 1/2 & 3 1/2.Since I have both girls, they can see me naked whenever, doesn't matter how old they are (vise versa for boys). As for the girls with their dad, he is modest. Once they started noticing parts is when he kept private when dressing, showering, etc. When they were a lot younger he would cover himself as well when they looked. That is what he felt most comfortable with. We teach the girls to be modest. In the world we live in today we feel it is better to teach modesty. With the same sex (child to parent) it is important for the child to learn about themselves. They are curious, that is completely normal. My girls ask my why my breasts are big and theirs are small. I tell them when a mommy has children that God will put milk in them for the babies so that they can eat. My daughters also believe that God puts the baby into mommies to grow. When baby is done growing God takes baby out and gives it to mommy and daddy.


Julie:
I would say around 4 or 5 for boys. But by 4 my boys never saw me nude from the waist down. They do still see me in underwear and a tshirt (we all sleep that way so it's nothing different). Kailey will probably be around the same age for seeing me completely naked. None of my children see my husband naked. Although James has watched him pee standing up so he can learn how to be a big boy. Hope this helps!


Shay:
Around 5ish I started telling Rylan I needed privacy when I was in the shower and whatnot. He's almost 7 now and won't stare or anything but we don't make a huge fuss either. He understands the need for privacy and wants privacy himself too. But I'm really pretty relaxed about it. I mean, there are times I have to change or shower and I have kids all over the place that need supervision so it is what it is. The twins still shower with me occasionally (they're 2.5)I never cover up when breast feeding either. The kids know what I'm doing and I don't see any problem with them knowing about it. I only cover up if they have friends over.



Some.....interesting moments for a laugh:

Bradley-"where does my pee come from...what does it dome out of?"
Me-"...that would be called...your penis..."
Bradley-"a (teeheehee) PEE- NAS....(teeheehee) thats a silly word...Pee comes out of my penis! Pee comes out of my penis!"

While in the shower with their daddy (i heard this all while rolling on the floor with laughter)
Braeden-"whats that?" 
Bradley-"eeeewwww...is that POOP?"
Brock-"..ehhh.....no....that....is.....ummmmm....my testicles...."
Braeden-"Tesicows?" (teeeheheehhe)
Bradley-" NO Braeden...TEST-STIC-CALS Braeden....say it with me....Test...Tic....Cals...."

And the WORST one of all...right before Bradley was 4 and we knew it was "time"
Bradley walked in while I was going potty
Bradley-"Mommy...why do you have a butt privacy?"
........HOW do you answer THAT one????........
Once Evie asked her Dad if she could watch him pee because she wanted to see the "dirty bubbles". She doesn't get to be in the bathroom with him anymore lol.


From Tara:
When your daughter tells your husband in the shower "ooooo dad, I like your tail" and gives it a tap....that would be age 3....true story!

From Patti:
When you boobs have gone south with your face and ankles are swollen... etc...

Hope this answers some your"privacy's" questions~
Bree and J
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