Tag Archive | Cheezies

30 Days of Self Discovery

NOTE: this would have been recent had not the Thanksgiving and Christmas season kicked my crafting butt! Anyway, now those who missed my time on Facebook and Instagram can finally get a peek at my month of introspection. 

I recently finished a 30 day journey I suddenly decided to take in the beginning days of October (2018). See, I realized that I really am being hard on myself for the sake of an ideal I am not sure is relevant or even the real me. This started me on the thought that maybe each day I should stop and listen just a little more closely to myself and my needs.  In response to this I started actually responding to those needs with actions that I decided should NOT be mired in guilt or embarrassment.

How best to do this? Why, share on my social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), of course. So for many people this is a rehash or at the very least, a consolidation of something they have followed along with for 30 days. So sit back and enjoy my collection of introspective posts and the photos I included with them. Well, the first 15 days (half of it).

Day 1IMG_20181005_124153_475

Day 2 of being kinder to myself… Took Sink Kitty’s example and ran a bath, told the kids they could have an ice cream if they let me forget about parenting for 30 min. Breaks are important. How can my kids learn how to take one if I penalize myself for self care moments?IMG_20181005_124223_648

Day 3 of listening more closely to my entire being without harsh judgement. After running errands I made a pillow nest… Turned on background tv on the iPad to cancel out the kids’ gaming, and took a nap. We really punish our entire self with lack of sleep.

What about you?? Did you do something you normally would have felt guilt over but is a good thing today?IMG_20181006_202700_977

Day 4 of sensitivity to self training… I made my mom’s dip, went to R.I.P.P.E.D class and celebrated Thanksgiving. The day was good!20181007_182803

Day 5unknown

Day 6 of contemplating need… Slightly ill kid so I set an example. 3pm afterschool nap together. I am seeing a trend. I need to release the guilt I feel when I take an afternoon nap. One hour does not make my day a failure. You??IMG_20181009_223715_463

Day 7 of being better to myself for the betterment of myself… I went to one of my favourite places, did one of my favourite activities and then surrounded myself with some of my favourite things.

For those of curious minds…

YMCA (duh)
Worked out (surprised myself how much I have grown to love and need this nearly daily)
And now for the hidden picture/can you spot list: Cheezies, crochet, good book, documentary, tall glass of water and even a few friends (not pictured)

How about you???IMG_20181010_195454_365

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Day 8 of self examination I examined deeply how truly privileged my position in life is even by my location of birth. It is not an easy watch… It really shouldn’t be… And not for young kids but City of Joy is an amazing documentary about the plight of women in Congo.

Have you watched this? Would you watch this? Want to talk about it with me?IMG_20181011_191141_885

Day 9 of listening to myself actually required ignoring myself (well a noisy portion).

With no license getting to things is work. Tonight I ignored that part of me that whined about cold and dark and effort and geared up 3 of my kids for the 2 mile walk to the YMCA.

We walked there in light and home in dusk. We didn’t miss dance class and I threw myself whole heartedly into R.I.P.P.E.D class.

We succeeded because I ignored my feeling of can’t to acknowledge that I truly don’t know what I can do until I try… And wear the appropriate warm gear to do so.

How about you? Do you have to silence that voice of inability sometimes? Do you stretch your limits and learn more about what you CAN instead of accept you maybe can’t?IMG_20181012_200412_235

Day 10 of looking within had me making a different kind of nest.

There is nothing so renewing than surrounding yourself in your favourite hobby. Especially when it includes soft fluffy yarn. Throw in a virtual tour of a bff’s new digs (love you Karyn, so happy for you) and a furry companion and my soul is both less homesick and feeling warm and fuzzy. I even assembled 3 amigurumi and am well on my way to finishing the main portion of a hat.

How about you? What activity brings you joy? Are you at peace in place or an active hobbyist???IMG_20181013_182411_957

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Day 11 of making time to really realize what I need and I actually continued a pattern I set in place well over a year ago.

I am a huge advocate for working towards a healthy mind AND body. It isn’t easy, results are not instant or even visually obvious but the effects ripple out like a stone dropped in a still pond.

This is the face of a post R.I.P.P.E.D class sweaty and exhausted me. My instructors at my local YMCA are inspiring and the people in my class a joy.

Have you found an activity that gets you moving? Tests your limits? Makes you work? Wanna join me Friday or Sunday at 5pm or Monday at 7pm? I have guest passes!!!IMG_20181014_210649_167

Day 12 of my challenge to listen better to myself actually required me to listen to a very intelligent friend. (Love you Karyn) She reminded me that while it is all fine and good to save things it is actually often better to savour them properly now.

How many things do I save for the perfect time? Agonize over when I should open this treat or use that special paper? Is it not more of a proper thank you to someone when they gift me something special (see image below) to enjoy the moment of use more than worry about its perfection?

How much of my life gets tied up in the hunt for the perfect moment to do or use xyz? Life is full of opportunity. Time for me to take the opportunity to enjoy the gifts and love I am given. After all that enjoyment is rather perfect in and of itself!

How about you? A candle you never burn gathering dust? A snack uneaten risking expiration? Want to join me and take a moment to enjoy them properly?IMG_20181015_144959_405

Day 13 of listening to myself has been a day of acknowledgement.

How many times a day do you take a feeling or a thought and shove it aside? Push it away or refuse to actually take the time to examine, accept and acknowledge it?

Today I sat down and thought about how I do often feel like I am out of the loop with things. One of the natural consequences to not living in the thick of friends and family. This time I made time to actually ruminate. (Not wallow, mind you) I bet there are people in my life who feel that way about me… I had to accept that I am also responsible for that emotional distance (2 way street right?).

Today I gave myself a moment to be a little sad that I am not back home helping a dear friend move. To realize that someday in the future I will be at her door with a housewarming gift and a hug.

I acknowledged the good too, we dropped everything and took in fall in Minnesota with a walk and some leaf raking. I made time to balance out my acknowledgments of feelings and thoughts that may not be the most uplifting with a moment of sunshine and colour.

I didn’t change anything but my way of thinking. It always amazes me how in some cases that is enough to lift my spirits and give me some perspective.

What about you??IMG_20181016_150105_137

Day 14 of listening closer to myself… Today I remember and appreciate.

Today – October 17th, marks 3 yrs since the passing of a fellow twin mom. 3 years of life where her kids are being raised by others. Her babies will have to depend on pictures and videos and stories told by others to supplement their memories of their mom.

So today I appreciate… I appreciate that I am privileged to raise my 5 children. I appreciate that I am given the opportunity to receive the hugs and kisses as well as discipline and challenge my babies.

I think I lose that appreciation sometimes in daily life. When I am exhausted from playing referee or frustrated after a day of slogging through difficult schooling I forget. I forget how amazing the fact that I have these 5 beings to help mold and to love can be.

So today I remember and appreciate. This house is full and I wouldn’t have it any other way.IMG_20181017_165627_877

Day 15 of looking within to improve the whole and today I created.

And to make it all sweeter I created and completed for others. I special 4 piece commission had the final end tied today. Last night a prayer shawl for the Catholic church had its ends woven in.

The ability to give back and to help others. To make someone smile by simply using a skill I learned and honed. That reads success to me.

Tonight I move onto other projects… Christmas is coming and I really should start some gifts.

Do you have a hobby that brings you a sense of fulfilment and joy?? I would love to hear about it!IMG_20181018_155044_459

 Check back soon for the second half of my journey! I promise NOT to take a month to post it!

Happy Canada Day 2016

149 years young our home country was on the 1st of July of this year. Next year is a big one, who knows we may even find our way back up north to celebrate? But no promises. But displaced Canadians or not, we celebrated as best we could a weekday that meant nothing so spectacular as being the birthday of a nation. It was hard to make a Friday more than a Friday here in Minnesota. Poor Echo wished strangers a Happy Canada on our walk back from a park date and got no response. But she had a blast sharing her celebration with the world so it was a win!20160701_101114_HDR

Anyway. We skipped Cluby that morning as I demanded a day where we DIDN’T walk 2 miles two ways and instead filled our mosquito tent with festive red balloons and colouring pages and GLITTER GLUE! Win win right?20160701_102631

20160701_14435320160701_144349We decorated the front yard a little… I am always hoping to add to our Canada stash but it is rough going when you live in the middle of the States. Thankfully Karyn is always keeping an eye peeled for some Dollarama wares.20160701_101448

Of course we did our usual pictures… which are always a lot of fun. Karyn brought us all brand new shirts on her visit this summer. Talk about a well dressed group! Though I have to say, Gavin’s eh? shirt was my favourite.20160701_101358

IMG_20160701_103808Even our hammock was the appropriate colour.20160701_102710

IMG_20160701_192614IMG_20160701_192646We did our favourite fireworks activity.20160701_111613

And had a red and white lunch with Canadian snacks straight from CANADA!20160701_115242

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I even had my own Canada in a cup thanks to Karyn and Lauralee at the suggestion of fellow Canadian abroad Caroline.20160701_114918

We snuck in a playdate at the park with our American homeschool buddies who got a kick out of our duds and helped us put a huge smile on our day of Canada-centric joy. Sadly no pictures but Echo did wish random strangers a HAPPY CANADA on our walk and was a little put out that they did not respond in kind. This was corrected on Sunday when Wes our favourite lifeguard called Echo over to wish her a BELATED happy Canada Day after he and I sat and chatted and he realized the event had passed. She had a huge smile and gave him a Happy Canada Day right back! Man do I love the people at the YMCA. Enjoy a favourite rant/commercial.

We also played the national anthem and sang along and of course enjoyed a rendition of the Log Driver’s Waltz… I still know all the words and found a subtitled version for the kids to sing along! Check it out. Well worth the listen.. the tune is so catchy.

I made sure to have a family picture taken – well the natural born CANADIAN family picture. Ken said no to being included as he felt that he was better suited to TAKE this photo than to be in it. Silly man. Of course the kids told him he is just as Canadian as they are since he married me and is such a nice man (ok so maybe they are a wee bit delusional but they really love their dad).IMG_20160701_172830

So since it was a week day it wasn’t a fancy celebration. We had fun, ate out, celebrated loudly and plan to make it even more exuberant next year when our special day falls on a weekend. Now, sit back and enjoy the red, white and no blue images that we took to top off our day of all things Canadian…. eh.IMG_20160701_145132
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(Gavin middle)

(Gavin middle)

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Reaching a New Routine

January 22-23

Two more days and the kids are still settling into the routine of Daddy leaving each day and this is him leaving around lunchtime. The following week is going to take further adjustment! But it is a good adjustment.

We get creative to fill the time! I think those are zombies and ghosts on there???

So in the meantime I am packing our days with learning… and while the kids are not always on board we are seeing progress in many things. Just need to get science pushed on into our weekly schedule on a more regular basis. I cannot wait until it is warm enough to order our ants. We did get our time in on a special two part Wild Kratts. Dolphins AND Blowfish. I think we all learned a bit!

Blowfish

Dolphins

There was some spontaneous paper crafting with all 4 of our big kids… they made crowns!

Zander and Gavin

Emanuel

Trinity

And then Trinity and Emanuel took the stickers Aunty Karyn brought for us from Dollarama and made special space pictures…

Space… the final frontier

Add in the boardgames and we played our way to education.

Candyland for 2

Oh and the progress on Gavin’s Lego hour creation!!!

Legoland Gavin style

I treated myself to another snack thanks to Karyn – beloved Cheezies… bliss!!!!

CHEEZIES

On Wednesday we celebrated another month of reading… Emanuel got his first pizza coupon for working each day on sounding out and writing out a new word. I am so proud of their progress! This Pizza Hut sponsored program is great!!

NOM NOM

But before that lovely dinner we had a few things to accomplish… Starting with a more simplified how to from Art for Kids – a ladybug, note Zander’s hand holding his!

Lovely scene!

Gavin spent some quality time with his baby sister playing HER version of Skylanders… some sort of weird noised back and forth with various figures that would then end up in the line again!

So sweet with her big brother

And then there is our scissors practice – Trinity is getting rather pro with her S snake from Activity Village!!

All by herself!

And to round off our creativity Zander made a rather amazing sailing pirate ship out of Legos!

VERY yellow

It feels good to see them independently create a little more! And to see some passion in our work.

Daddy and his little darling