Saturday, March 31, 2012

Simple Hands

I am a simple Woman, I have simple plans.
I want to heal the world, with my simple hands.
Did they serve you well my Lord?
Is what I plan to say.
Did they touch your heart my son, or did they go astray?
Are they on the narrow path headed for the light?
Will my hands be strong enough to overtake the night?
I will be victorious is what I have to say,
I will choose to live & fight another faithful day.
I am only here because of you and that's to serve you well.
I am only here until you feel it's time to ring that bell.
I will be carried home one day to my father above,
but until that day...
my simple hands must serve him with my love.

PS. Thank-you God for my hands.
Love. Tanya

Friday, March 30, 2012

{This Moment}

Joining Amanda & friends in  {this moment}

  A Friday ritual.

  capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

A Dinner Table Filled With Happy Children Eating
(& a Cutie-Pie Dog cleaning up the scraps!)

 Have a wonderful weekend friends!

PS. Thank-you God for all of my "AH HA!" Moments.

Love: Tanya

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ding Dong The Time Out's Gone!

I totally had an epiphany about time outs and why they just don't work for us in our house.

Top 5 reason's why they don't work in our house:

1) I (wearing my parenting cap) find that it is totally mindless to send them on a time out.
2) I am only sending the children there because I am annoyed & I need to cool down.
3) I don't think anyone is really clear on what merits a time out?
4) I am never consistent with them!
5) & Last but certainly NOT least what are my children learning while on these "time outs"?

So while conducting a week of gratitude (& talking to my Aunt on the phone) I had an epiphany, which I'm sure I've read in some sort of parenting book/advice column or other... what are my children learning on "time outs"?

During this week of gratitude when children acted out in some form or another showing a lack of gratitude we would send them off to a quiet spot & they would have to list 10 things that they are most thankful for. I think at one point I actually heard Tyson saying to William "don't say that out loud Will or you'll have to list things you're thankful for" 

Thank-you week of gratitude & thank-you Mr. Tyson for giving me an "Ah ha! Moment".
What is it that I would like to accomplish while placing them on a time out? & then I began to think, which really hurts sometimes when you're really busy and tired! But I really gave it some thought, and low and behold there it was staring me in the face the entire time...I want my children to be more thoughtful & more mindful of how they treat each other and how they conduct themselves in the world...hence, I have birthed the reflection spot (which my Mother is responsible for naming) So instead of being placed on another "go sit on time out! you do NOT hit your brother!"...

You will now be asked to go upstairs & reflect by drawing a picture of a favorite time or memory spent together & listing a few reasons why:
  • You Love your siblings
  • You are thankful
  • You should tell the truth
  • You should treat people with love, kindness & respect
  • What you are good at
  • Why you need to listen to your parents
  • I'm sure this list will grow & transform over time so we'll add new ones when necessary (depending on the "crime")
We've done this for the past couple of days now and I am so pleased with the results. Our children are responding really well. I find that this time is now spent focusing their energy on being creative and thoughtful.

I actually over heard William tell Sonny "it's fun cause you get to draw". William had been sent to the reflection spot because he got upset with Sonny & called him an "ijiot!". I asked William to draw a picture of a good memory he has of him & Sonny playing together. When he was finished his masterpiece I asked him to go to Sonny with the picture and tell him what it's about.

William: Sonny member when we pwayed pirates togeder? I had so much fun, didn't you?
Sonny: Yeah.
Me: What do you want to tell Sonny?
William: I'm sorry Sonny for calling you an ijiot.
Sonny: I forgive you.

Here are some more bonus's for kicking "time out's" to the curb:
  • Your children are being mindful & creative
  • They are actually enjoying the process & we all know that if you are  enjoying something you are more inclined to learn from it
  • You are teaching your children to express themselves in a positive manner
  • You get to save these learning moments, I've been putting them on the fridge as reminders
To set up your own reflection spot you will need:
  • A quiet/peaceful area in your home
  • Crayons/pencils/pencil crayons & markers
  • White/colored paper
  • Different types of reading materials (sometimes it's just good to go and have some quiet reading time to yourself)
  • A loving and nurturing attitude toward the reflection spot. It will only work if you are able to stay calm and go through the process with your little one(s) & help motivate them to understand that this is a "good space" NOT "a bad space"
Again it's only been a few days, perhaps I've jumped the gun on sharing. But such is life when you find something good you want to share it with everyone!

If you give this a try please feel free to tell me about it or perhaps you have some great suggestions to add! It's all about sharing our parenting tips & ideas, I find it's what gets me through the "phases of parenting"

In closing my week of gratitude, I just wanted to give a BIG thank-you to ALL of the parents who have shared their light & love with me over the years. I am a better person for knowing you!

PS. Thank-you God without you NONE of this would be possible!
Love: Tanya

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good Parenting Days

We've all had bad parenting days (or at least I have) you know the ones that I'm talking about.
I think that there have been moments on those bad parenting days that I am cringing on the inside because I am not parenting with any consistency & for some strange reason, I can't seem to find my inside voice! These days go down as dismal failures & I try my hardest to redeem them by giving into my guilt & taking everyone to McDonald's PlayLand. Poor little souls!

It's hard being a parent & if I'm going to be completely honest there are times that I feel the weight of the overwhelming importance of my role in these little people's lives & it all becomes a little too much for me. Who am I? How do they see me? Who will I be when they've all grown up & are off leading their own lives?
On these bad parenting days my selfishness overtakes me, I give in, I snap like a twig & then I quickly ask for forgiveness. I think we also have to forgive ourselves for these unsightly moments, we are teaching our little ones that we're not perfect, sometimes life is hard & unpleasant. On these bad parenting days we are also teaching our children about forgiveness.We are role modeling good & bad behavior, if they never see us having a bad day, aren't we somehow telling them that there's something wrong with them when they have unsightly moments?

I'm all about keeping the scales balanced, I think that if our good parenting days outweigh our bad parenting days then we are doing just fine as far as parenting goes. It's hard being parents because it's hard being people & it's even harder to raise "good people".

Anyhow...Today, today was a good parenting day. We've all had these days (or at least I hope so), you know the ones I'm talking about. Consistency: check! Patience: check! Inside voice: check!
We feel elated because we are saying & doing all of the "right" things. I patiently placed you on time outs & was actually consistent all day long. I wasn't distracted by my own selfishness, I stayed focused and engaged. I'm going to brag a little because I am quite proud of this one.

Sonny: I can't find my stupid baseball glove & it's not in my stupid room & it's probably because my stupid brother lost it.

Me: Sonny, it hurts me when you say those unkind things.

Sonny: I don't care!

Me: Sonny I think you need to take a few minutes of quiet time in your room & write out 10 things that you are most thankful for (it's a week of gratitude in our home right now)


Me: I'm not asking.


 I am thankful for:

1) my hamster
2) my family
3) my friends
4) my house
5) my dog
6) my toys
7) my school
8) my bedroom
9) my teacher
10) myself

Me: Sonny do you feel better now?

Sonny: Thank-you Mommy.

So today I wore my good parenting cap with pride. I will flaunt my good parenting & wave it around like a big banner...because such as life good things just don't last forever. I really cherish my good parenting days, I think we have to be thankful for them because how else could we be thankful for them if we didn't have the bad parenting days?

If you are having a bad parenting day, please know that tomorrow is a new day. You can always start fresh in the morning, you can even be thankful for the bad days so that you will cherish the good days.

Love to all of the parents out there!

PS. Thank-you God for the good & bad of life & parenting, it truly makes me appreciate when things are good.

Love: Tanya

Monday, March 26, 2012

Motivational Mondays

Let us move forward this week giving thanks for all we have. Recently I had this Woman come through my check out at work. She was dressed to the nines, not a hair out of place, she was esthetically perfect! She looked glamorous, fresh & crisp. (I'm ashamed to say that I felt a little small in her presence) She just smelled so good & I felt so dumpy & lumpy! I smiled & asked her if she was enjoying all of this beautiful weather we've been having and to my surprise (because she did look like a beautiful Spring Day!) She scoffed and said "It's supposed to rain & go down to 10 degrees!" We've all been there, we've all made these ungrateful comments at one time or another (I'm not judging her for that) I've been guilty of these same comments.
However I did judge her, I looked her over & assumed that because she looked & smelled like a beautiful spring flower that she was going to respond like one as well. I was wrong...AGAIN! 
I am reading this fabulous book called 1000 Gifts,
written by Ann Voskamp & she summed it up the best for me, when we are not thankful in the moment for what we have, while we have it, we are nothing more than ungrateful children who don't deserve to have any more.  
Give thanks for EVERYTHING, for when we don't we are saying that life just isn't good enough. I have found that God lives in giving thanks, joy grows in my heart every time I give thanks. Love grows in my heart every time I give thanks. I know that I will forget this (just as the beautiful spring flower did) like a mirror image (except I'm not quite as pretty) that Woman showed me just how ugly we all look when we aren't thankful. Even if you are going through something very difficult or painful right now, start with something small to focus your gratitude on ("I am thankful for the sunshine") Say to your broken heart: "heart I love you enough to piece you back together, one piece at a time starting with today".
Hearts break & that's just a normal part of life, because life is hard & doesn't make sense all of the time. We may not understand everything but we can choose to give thanks for the little things.
Finding thanks in everything is my mantra...
Give it a try this week, I promise you that if you move forward making a concerted effort to give thanks for everything you have in each moment you have it, you will have a fabulous week ahead of you. I PROMISE!

PS. Thank-you God for all of your children EVERY single one of them has a valuable lesson to teach me!
Love: Tanya

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inspirational Sundays

Here we go again...
Every now & then I need a good dose of inspiration to carry me forward.
No words necessary just watch & hopefully this video clip will inspire & motivate us to fill our lives with gratitude for the simple things.
I pray that this clip will touch our hearts & move us all to become better people!
PS. Thank-you God for showing us REAL GRATITUDE. Thank-you to Nick for sharing his light & love with the world.
Love: So very much Tanya

Friday, March 23, 2012

{This Moment}

Joining Amanda & friends in  {this moment}

  A Friday ritual.

  capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wishing Everyone a peaceful weekend!

PS. Thank-you God for life.

Love: Tanya   

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today we...

Had a really slow moving morning. One of those days that just seemed to go down as an after thought. Everything we tried to do seemed as though the universe nicely closed the door on us & said "I'm so sorry my Dear but today you're just not welcome", well that's how it felt anyway. I didn't plan ahead...AGAIN! & by the time I had called anybody to go anywhere, they were smart enough to have seized the day, made a plan & got out to enjoy this beautiful weather. So I decided (by 10am) that we should go to the Central Hamilton Library & then go to the Farmer's Market & pick up some dinner. I packed up the kiddies, gave them little change purses with a few dollars so that they too could buy themselves a treat from the very fab Farmer's Market! We headed out (now 11am) I didn't feed the little ones snacks, thinking we'll just get some from the very fab Farmer's Market (see how this Farmer's Market is a HUGE part of our outing???) We parked the car downtown in front of my Girlfriends place & walked to the Library (which is quite a trek for under fed children)...who griped & complained the entire time about being "HUNGRY!" Did I pack any snacks??? NO why would I, when we are going to stop by the Farmer's Market?! I ask you all this question...Was the Farmer's Market open on Wednesdays??? NO it's NOT. So we got to the Library, which I now felt as though I was forcing my children to go to. The huge let down of NO little change purses being used to buy treats was all too much for my 2 little hungry ones to bare. At one point William who was "VERY hungry!" had said "I can't see any books", so I quickly got some books (waited in a long line because I lost my library card!) Little Jackie got shhh'ed! by the Librarian, while William twirled around in circles & hit an old lady who was standing behind us & then she gave me a dirty look! Any how we high-tailed it out of the Library & I quickly realized that there was NO way that these 2 were going to make the trek back to the car on empty bellies so we stopped & had a bite to eat WHEW! Fed children are happy children! So I just felt like ALL day I jumped through one hoop after another & yada, yada, yada...I'm really tired now! The shenanigans didn't stop there I can assure you of that, but as I'm writing this I'm going to kindly tell myself to zip it! because I've gone on WAY TOO LONG! So here are some highlights of our hoop jumping day!
* Happy Faces? (check!) * Excited to go to the Farmer's Market? (check!)
* Back packs? (check!) * Change Purses for treats? (check!)

(Say Farmer's Market Treats!)

Still being adorable even though they were SO HUNGRY!

William was able to ignore his hunger pangs long enough to use the computer

This was the highlight of our day!

 PS. Thank-you God for ALL of the blessings we have in our lives. If these were our complaints of the day, how blessed are we???
Love: Tanya

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Little Spring Chickens

This past week I have felt the scales tipping, this tends to happen in life from time to time. But today peace & balance have been restored. It's amazing how nature, sunshine & friends can heal & replenish the soul.Today I really felt peace restored in my heart. 
Thank-you friends for sharing such a beautiful first day of spring with us. Our little spring chickens just marveled & relished in the sunshine & literally sprung about on a trampoline (which I think was the highlight of their day!) We got to take our springy little spring chickens to a fantastic farm called a Simpler Thyme. Simplicity for me is BLISS, I adore being in the fresh air, surrounded by animals, nature & sunshine. I honestly think that if I'm ever (oops! not if) WHEN I'm feeling unbalanced again I MUST always remember 
NATURE + SUNSHINE = PEACE. Happy first day of Spring everyone! Oh & thank-you to our little Spring chickens for being so delightful & adorable!

Our Little Spring Chickens

Everything in Bloom

It's hilarious how many snacking pit stops must be made on a 
2 minute hike

Our Springy Little Spring Chickens!

Good afternoon to you Sir!

Little Laura Ingles (actually quite terrified of the cows!)

Oh so very scary!

Okay...This melts my heart!

A much needed refreshment to be had after jumping so vigorously!

Goodbye first day of Spring, we truly loved you!

PS. Thank-you God for blessing our day with peace, joy, friends & sunshine!
Love: Tanya

Right now...

~ I don't know what to do with the clump of oatmeal that is stuck to the bottom of my saucepan that has been sitting on the stove for hours?
~ My cat seems to be in some sort of "Spring Heat" & is driving us all NUTS! (she's been fixed for 10 years, SO KINDLY SHUT UP!)
~ My 8 year old is whining because his class project is due tomorrow so I "have to go now & get his pictures developed!"
~ My 6 year old is fighting with my 5 year old over who could beat the Super Mario game faster.
~ My 3 year old is yelling "STOP FIGHTING!"
~ I am trying desperately to tune EVERYONE out so that I can have a moment to write about the goings on in our NOT SO PEACEFUL HOME!