Hooray! Happy Father’s Day!

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A day to celebrate fatherhood, Father’s Day is observed on the third Sunday in the month of June in most countries around the world. The occasion gives an opportunity to express love and affection to all fathers and fatherly figures.

Today Is Father’s Day Are You Ready? Have You Been So Busy That You Do Not Have Anything For Dad?

If you are still scrabbling for something to get Dad Let me help with a few ideas I found…..

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Easy Father’s Day Gift Idea that is Super easy, Quick To Make With Wordle, and Will Be Loved By Any Man Lucky Enough To Receive One

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You Could Make a Shirt Pocket Card from Holiday Crafts and Creations (Free Printable) and Put a Gift Card In The Pocket Dad Will Love.

 

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Father’s Day “Tee-rrific” Gift Idea! {and Free Printable} by Lindsey From Inspiring Creations at Tatertots & Jello.

Father’s Day "Tee-rrific" Gift Idea! {and free printable} by Lindsey from Inspiring Creations at Tatertots & Jello

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How About A Father’s Day Gift {Treat Jar} + Printable from My Sister’s Suitcase.

Father's Day Gift {Treat Jar} + Printable from My Sister's Suitcase

 

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I Love This Video….Dad, You’re My Hero – Tribute from a daughter to her father.

 

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Every Dad Would Love a Little Pot Of Candy And You Can’t Forget The Tie!

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Give Dad a Photo Puzzle, Which Makes a Great Visual Reminder Of The Kids He Loves….via eHow.

Father's Day Photo Gift Idea from eHow

 

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With this caramel crunch brownie recipe from Bakerella, you’ll have Dad raving on the first bite. 

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Fill pages of a this FUN Coupon Book with gifts of thing dad likes to do. Dad will appreciate all of the thoughtful ideas.  Turn the Page and check out We R Memory Keepers to learn how to make one.
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I hope this has helped you with some ideas you can still do to make this Father’s Day more special for Dad. 

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Enjoy the Day, Show someone some Love…. If your Dad is looking down from Heaven upon you his child, (mine is) after you have taken the time to Thank him, look for a Dad that is need of a friendly voice a hug a kind gesture and pass that Love along… heart - Hooray! Happy Father’s Day!
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Affordable Ways To Say I Love You On Valentine’s Day

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 Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Love comes in many forms… Appreciation, Admiration, and Friendship, Let me share a few ideas I have found to make this Valentine’s Day Even More Special. ❤ ❤

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Spread Valentine Love With 28 Acts Of Kindness via Craft Create Cook. ❤

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Make a Valentine Tree….To make this a meaningful family activity, each family member could decorate a heart or write a love note....via Simply Kierste.com ❤

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Easy Valentines Day Table Runner and New Sew Too!  (via H2OBungalow) ❤

Easy Valenines Day table runner takes no time at all to whip up and stores easily by rolling up until next year. www.H2OBungalow.com #valentinesday

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These DIY Valentine Stamps will help your kids create loads of Valentine Cards.  (Via Fuzzy Mama) ❤

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Anniversary

 

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Make Some Love Bug Oreo Cookies – Delish Hot & Spicy Cinnamon Oreos dressed to impress for Valentine’s Day.

(via Sarah’s Cake Studio) ❤

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“Our Friendship Rocks” – what more is there to say? Gorgeous Fingerprint Heart Rocks for Valentines. The perfect Classroom Valentines Gift to make with kids…via Red Ted Art. ❤

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Store-Bought Chocolate Repackaged in a Homemade Wrapper — the underside of which reveals a handwritten love note — tastes doubly delicious.  (via Martha Stewart) ❤

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Help your Kids Create a Beautiful Bracelet to Give to all of their Best Friends. The Simple Bracelet is made using Twine and Beads with Heart Drawings.  (via Moms and Crafters) ❤

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Strawberry Cheesecake Lasagna – You love lasagna as a main dish, so why dessert too? Layers of Fresh strawberries, Sweet Cream, and Graham Crackers! (via Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts) ❤

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Bliss Gardens Air Plant Terrarium Kit , $23.95, Amazon.com  …..Don’t get her a dozen roses this year, make her a Customized Terrarium. This kit that includes a glass vessel, pebbles, an amethyst crystal, a dried thistle and an air plant. Since air plants only need to be watered once a week, they’re super easy to care for so she can keep her mini-garden thriving with ease — even if she doesn’t have a green thumb. ❤

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This easy recipe for a Valentine’s Day Cookie Cake, stuffed with white chocolate chips and an abundance of sprinkles, is sure to be a crowdpleaser! (via Bake du Jour) ❤

 

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Have a Wonderful Valentine’s Day and Remember to say, “I love you To Everyone In Your Family!” ❤

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A Story Of Christmas Back In 1881

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Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

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It was Christmas Eve, 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside.

I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.
But I  knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.
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Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy.

When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?

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Finally I said something. “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?” “You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow
Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what?

Yeah,” I said, “Why?”

“I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.

Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. Shoes, they’re out of shoes.

Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”

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We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.

We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt… could we come in for a bit?”

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Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out, one pair at a time.

There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best… shoes that would last. I watched her carefully.
She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.”

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I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but  after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord, that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. … They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if  has to eat turkey for too many meals.

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We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest… my two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, may the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”

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Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough.Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square.
Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny
sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”I understood alright… and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.
Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensen’s, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
Merry Christmas and God bless you!
Unknown Author
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Celebrate The Grandparents We Love

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In 1970, a West Virginia housewife, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set aside a special day just for Grandparents. The first Grandparents Day was proclaimed in 1973 in West Virginia by Governor Arch Moore.

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In 1978, five years after its West Virginia inception, the United StatesCongress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.

The proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter. (September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the “Autumn Years” of life.)

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According to the National Grandparents Day Council, Grandparents Day has a threefold purpose:

  • To honor grandparents
  • To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  • To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

I Am a Lucky Grandma. I Have 19 Of The Most BEAUTIFUL GRANDKIDS! The best gifts I love to get on Grandparent’s Day are Hugs, Pictures, More Hugs, Laughter, Stories, and Pictures!

Grandchildren Fill That Empty Space In Our Heart.

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So How Can We Make Our Grandparents Feel Really Special? I Have Found a Few Ideas I Think You Will Like…..

Send FREE Grandparents Day ecards at Americangreetings.com in minutes! 

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Trace Your Arms and Mail A Hug to your Grandparents!

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DIY Sharpie Mugs {Oh Honestly} – this cup will be Grandma’s new favorite. All it takes is some plain white mugs  and Sharpies!

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Interview Them….

Ask about places they lived, work they did, favorite childhood memories, people who influenced them, and what they like best about the time they grew up in.

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If you need a little help coming up with questions IMOM has a wonderful tool for family

Send Flowers….

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Send your Grandparents a  fresh, bright bouquet of flowers, edible arrangements, a book, or gift cards or something you know they would enjoy. 

Have Story Time….

Grandkids will remember how special these times were.

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Gather the family around and encourage your Grandparents to share some old stories from throughout their life.

Ask them about trips they took, their first date, silly memories from when your Mom or Dad were young.

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Grandparents will love having a print from each of their Grandchildren to display. Learn how from the  Gallary Art of Handprints.

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Color Together…..

Coloring is not just for kids anymore. Buy some Coloring Books you can leave at their house, and let Grandkids make more memories everytime they visit.

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If your  Grandparents live far away make  time for Skype or Phone Chat with the Grandkids.

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Make a Special Card From Thirty Handmade Days

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After you print out this Grandparent’s Day Card, the Grandkids will get to fill it out with why their grateful for their grandparent, what they like most about them, what their favorite memory of them is, and a drawing of the two of them.

The Best Gift….Give Them The Gift Of Time.

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I think the most Wonderful  Gift For Grandparents is the Gift Of Your Time, and there are many ways you can spend quality time together.

Arrange for a once-a-month lunch date.

Help with house or yard work.

Involve yourself in their interests.

No Matter what you Plan on Doing, just Remember to have Fun with it and make Memories For Years To Come.

“Love Is The Greatest Gift That One Generation Can Leave To Another.” (Via Richard Garnett)

Have a Wonderful Grandparents Day.

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Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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Saying Thank You To Mom

Personalized Mother's Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is a special day where mothers all around the world are recognized and celebrated. The celebration takes many forms from house to house, and country to country, but for the most part it is a day where mothers get the chance to put their feet up and be well and truly spoiled!

I just came from visiting my dear mom who is now 86 and so bent over and almost blind. She is still trying to be so independent and wishes she could be years younger. It is an honor to be able to take care of her as she ages.

I have learned so much from her in her later years and she is a Wonderful Mother. Tell your MOM this year how much she means to you.

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If you wrote your mother a message… Would she be able to find it?

 

Top reasons to celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day.

She wore your macaroni necklaces with pride to work, the grocery store and the mall.

She had a knack for finding missing objects such as your blankie, pet frog, retainer, lucky marble, homework, or belly button lint collection. Unfortunately she is still looking for the remnants of her mind, memory, and body that once fit into size 4 jeans.

She willingly baked five dozen cupcakes for the bake sale you “volunteered” her for, and which you told her about at 8pm the night before.

She is a human calendar, keeping track of every doctor appointment, birthday, anniversary, parent-teacher conference, field trip, play date, spelling bee contest, lesson, team practice, first word or bowel movement anyone in the family has ever had.

She put up with your “self-expression” years whereby you dyed your hair, pierced body parts, tattooed strange things upon your skin, wore strange clothing and makeup, and used the word “righteous” ad nauseam.

She sacrificed going back to work just so she’d have time to be your Girl Scout Leader, PTA president, field trip chaperone, and chauffeur to every sporting event or karate lesson you ever took.

Even when you were too upset to verbalize what was bothering you, she always knew exactly what was wrong based on the volume and urgency of your heavy sobs or the amount of boogers that ran from your nose.

She loved you even when you flushed her earrings down the toilet, set the living room rug on fire, practiced writing your letters in red marker on the living room couch, or used the contents of your diaper for wall art.

She has spent the majority of her adult years in two places: the kitchen and the laundry room.

She has never had a vacation, comp time, sick day or other “break” from motherhood, and even if she were given the opportunity for one, probably would never take one.

Remember to thank your Mom on Mother’s Day. There is no love that goes deeper or which transcends time and space more than a mother’s love.

(Via celebrations.com)

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You Need To Spoil Mom On Mother’s Day With a Special Breakfast…..

These Handmade Vases will bring smiles to moms & grandmoms on their special day!

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Strawberry Pancakes With Cream Will Put a Smile On Her Face.   (via Thrifty Jinxy)

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Bacon Egg & Cheese Casserole…..via Six-Dollar Family.

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Moms Will Love One Of These…….10 Free Printable Cards for Mother’s Day via CountryLiving.

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Print kids’ Artwork on Photo Magnets as a Gift Grandma Will Cherish. Pick Up The Same Day!

 

 

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How to make an essential oils perfume locket. (via Glamour and Grace)

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If Mom isn’t one for full-on spa treatments, then a simple homemade body scrub is still a nice gesture, and something she’ll appreciate for a long bath. This Homemade Citrus Scrub is light, refreshing and perfect for spring.

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For anyone who has a mixed family or has ever asked the question, “How will I leave a legacy for my children?” this movie StepMom  is emotional, funny and tugs at the heart in a way that everyone can relate to.

 

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DIY These Pretty Coasters Instead Of Buying Flowers For Mom. (via .brit.co)

 

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Give Mom a Coloring Book…….From beloved author and Hallmark Channel favorite Debbie Macomber, this special adult coloring book features forty-five original illustrations depicting scenes from the Rose Harbor and Blossom Street series. Unplug and let the creativity flow!

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How To Crochet Washcloths…Awesome Mother’s Day Gift Idea.

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All Natural Mists…..A refreshing spritz of fragrant water is a great way for mom to  keep cool this summer. To create sprays, simply fill mist bottles with water and a few strips of julienned cucumber or sprigs of lavender and mint.

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Mother’s Day Handprint Board Is One of My Favorite Gifts! (via LollyJane)

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Create a Gardening Bucket For Mom Via iHeartNaptime.

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Make Sure You Bake Up a Delicious Dessert For Mom and I Have One That Is Easy and She Will Love It…Turtle Cheesecake Pie. (via hoosierhomemade)

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A Mother’s Day Playlist…20 Songs For Mom

 

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Have a Fantastic Mother’s Day,

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Home is a Place in Your Heart

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“Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.” – Vernon Baker

 What is home? A building with four walls and a roof? Or a place where you grow up among your loving family?  More than the walls and the interiors of a home, it is the spirit of those who reside in and the bonding that makes it a beautiful place to live in.

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We’ll always remember our childhood home and the vast memories of the times that shaped us. There, we were molded into who we are today. Our more recent decisions and defining moments are influenced by moments from our childhood. What ever it is, I return to where I grew up time and again.

Although home could represent an exact place or time in our lives, past or present, you will always return home. While your dreams and passions will lift you to new destinations, you will always come back to where you started. If you haven’t, think about and consider it. If not for you, then for your children.

Often translated “Family is where the heart is”, the original proverb identifies that with where there is love and acceptance, is also your home. Your home is wherever or whatever place you long to be—a place where there is no judgment, only solace. This really encompasses home as the place you love most whether it’s with one’s embrace, in your current domain or in your collective memory.

Home is where we can truly be ourselves. Where we don’t have to hide anything about who we are, how we are feeling or what we are thinking. Home is where we can put down the roles that we sometimes play and just let everything go.

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{Blurb allows you to make beautiful photo books for any occasion. You can put all of your Instagram Pictures in a Hardbook Cover in less than an Hour.  How about a Facebook Gift for your Best Friend?}

What will you create?

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“Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest” – Robert Montgomery

“The spot of earth supremely blest”. . .what a great description. By gathering with our friends or family, home_is_where_the_heart_is_smalland building up a collection of cherished memories and experiences, we bless the space around our homes. We create a space that is powerful – one that can carry us through anything.

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than any magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” -Charles Dickens

There is, I think, something magical about home. Whether you are a kid finding the best places to hide your Star Wars collection, or an adult putting the key into the lock after a long day, there is something about coming home that is somewhat magical. You walk in the door and things feel a little bit lighter. You settle into your favorite chair for the night and your home embraces you; it makes you feel supported, taken care of, and at peace.

Home to us is a place that we can come back to and feel safe, secure and loved.
It’s a place where friends are always welcome.
It’s kids artwork hanging on the walls and school notes on the fridge.
It’s laughter and squealing. It’s intimate chats as secrets are shared.
It’s comfortable.

Home is a tiny word but a powerful one and one so rich in meaning.  It is more than a physical place it is is an idea, a feeling, a vision.  It is something that we carry with us as we journey through life; it is not just something that we seek.

 

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIsThere’s No Place Like Home by by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Mom and Dad are moving.

There. I said it.

After 42 years, my parents are leaving the 110-year-old, three-story house that served as the backdrop for my growing-up life – a silent witness to my first teetering steps, first fumbling prayers, first teenage crushes. I remember standing at the top of those wide wooden stairs at age five, in pajamas on Christmas morning; at age 18, with a mortar board bobby-pinned to my hair; at 23, dressed in white satin.

The old place knew all of my first loves because their pictures were taped to the walls: Scott Baio, Michael Jackson, Donny Osmond … and E.T.

It also knew every misdeed: the time my brother John and I decapitated the Barbies and hid them behind the radiator; Christmas Eve of 1975 when I devoured a whole plateful of Spritz cookies in the pantry; when my sisters and I composed typewritten letters by a ghost named The Draft – we slipped the notes under the bedroom door of our brother, who was convinced that a specter haunted the darkened hallways of our home.

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In that old house on West Athens Street – where lilacs blossomed every spring and mums bloomed every fall – I learned what it meant to laugh and love and live as family.

And now, I’m trying to figure out how to say goodbye.

That house and I were playmates, and we knew each other’s secrets. The wooden banister was my first slide. Dad in his recliner, my first see-saw. The basement storeroom, my first roller-rink. On summer afternoons, I shimmied up the evergreen spires to climb onto the roof of a friend. Up there, sprawled out on her gigantic shingled lap, I would stare at the sky and daydream. She never seemed to mind if I didn’t feel like talking.

This morning, I pick up the phone to dial the numbers that connect me to home, digits I memorized back in preschool. It hits me: By June, I’ll never again dial that phone number.

Mom answers on the third ring with a sunny hello. She recites the list of things to sell, to give away, to box up. Even if her four grown children aren’t ready, she is. Or, at least, it sounds like she’s ready. I hear the resolve in her voice. Then again, I wonder if she hears the same thing in my voice – cheery and affirming – when she reminds me that the movers will come soon.

And just like that, our life stage will be emptied of its props and actors.

We’re 100 miles apart, Mom and I, but if I squint the mind’s eye, I can see her standing in the laundry room. Her bare feet are anchored, almost seamlessly, to that cool, cracked cement floor. The house has become such a part of our family that I can barely distinguish the structure from the inhabitants.

HM016-mThe house feels like a second skin. I know every wrinkle, bruise, scar and age-spot. I even know the bones that creak loudest – third stair from the top. I knew to skip that step when I came home past curfew.

We were tight, that old house and I. Look at that, would you? I’m already talking about her in the past-tense.

But it’s time. It really is. Mom and Dad are in their 70s, and old knees fare better with one-level living.

Still. Goodbyes are hard, aren’t they?

In the home where I live now, we’re passing a legacy of rootedness to my own children. When we built this house nine years ago, we made room for a built-in bench by the kitchen table – just like the bench on which I ate every meal growing up. We also installed a stained-glass window, a replica of the one that stretches across the wall back home.

In this house – my house – I set a wooden plaque on the laundry-room windowsill that reads: “My home isn’t a place. It’s people.”

I get that. I really do. But I’m still going to grieve a while longer. For I’m going to miss that splendidly creaky home that will always whisper bits of our life-story in every cobwebbed corner.

“Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes.”

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 In Chris Daughtry’s Home  “…I’m going to a place where love and feeling good don’t ever cost a thing … Im going home back to a place where I belong and where your love has always been enough for me … ” Even after succeeding in his dream (and getting more than he wished for), there is no place where he can substitute the love he identified with where you know people who will always believe in you.

 

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What does the phrase home is where the heart is mean………………….

Your true home is with the person or the place you love the most
It mean it’s where your life is…. That’s where the love is. the home is usually where you base your life from…. and your body runs centrally from you heart.
It means that one might go to work, to lunch, to dinner, to a movie or play, to parties,  to a fine restaurant, but that when all that is over, your own home is where your love, activities, best things you have–all these things are where your heart is.

Our homes are a reflection of who we are.
They are one huge canvas that each of us chooses how to decorate.
They are our personal space in this huge universe.
They evolve and change just as we do.

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We fill them with people and things we treasure and love.
Their walls hold our treasured memories, and so much that we hold dear.
They become our safe havens, our respite from the rest of the world
And that is what I believe makes a house a home.
Trust me, walls do talk !
A home tells a lot about the person living there.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

Our Family 2 Yours

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The Fine Print

This policy is valid from 19 February 2010

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by us. For questions about this blog, please contact Dennis and Barbara Harnsberger at ourfamily2yours.com.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

 

 

An Adoption Journey

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How is a family created?….. Often, we think of families being made when a woman gives birth to a child. But adoption is another way families are created. Adoption means a legal process that allows someone to become the parent of a child, even though the parent and child are not related by blood.

Adopting a child is a long-term decision; there really is no going back. You  have to understand the impact that it may have on your life and the sacrifices  that may be necessary.

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You may need to move, change jobs or give up a  substantial part of your social life. The adoption process can take years, so  you need to think long and hard about whether you’re willing to wait for  approval and for a suitable child to become available.

Reasons to Adopt a Child….
It is the desire of every married couple to have children and experience the joy of raising them together.

But in some cases, there can be issues that might prevent the couple from having children.

But if you really want the love of a child, and also want to help someone, a good decision would be to adopt a child. The points listed below are the common reasons for child adoption.

  • Fertility problems, trouble in conceiving due to a late marriage are problems that might hinder begetting. For this reason many couples adopt a child.
  • Increased focus on work is making people marry late and this, to a certain extent, affects the ability to conceive. It is quite common to see couples who marry late, adopt a child.
  • Married couples also prefer adopting a child if either partner has problems in conceiving. There are also some medical conditions that can mar the ability of the person to give birth.
  • A couple suffering from genetic diseases can prefer child adoption than opting for a biological kid. The reason being – genetic diseases can be passed to kids from parents.
  • It is not uncommon to see married couples adopting a child even if their biological clock is ticking. This generally has selfless reasons, as in this case the reason is providing a homely atmosphere, along with love and care to the child.
  • There is nothing better than raising a child and then see him/her as a grownup after some years. It will give you a sense of responsibility along with a feel-good feeling.
  • Adoption of older children is observed in married couples who do not want to go through the phase of raising kids, as it might hinder their career and family life.
  • Couples, who have one biological kid might prefer adopting another.
  • Labor can be quite painful for women and can also have serious complications in some cases, so to counter it some couples take to adoption, just for a painless experience of having a child.

There are many other good reasons that people adopt a child. Sometimes, it is the sheer love for children that makes singles adopt children.

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Telling The Truth……

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  A treasure to enjoy before the cold weather sets in.  Early fall, the sun was shining, the leaves just starting to turn orange, red and yellow. 

We ran around as a family; cleaning the garage, cheering at soccer games, friends stopped by, the boys looked for frogs and played wiffle ball in the backyard. In the afternoon, my husband piled as many boys as he could fit in his car and took them out to lunch.

I took Eliza, my four year old in my car. She wanted McDonalds (sorry health nuts), or Old McDonalds, as she calls it, so we went to get her Happy Meal, and I got the requisite boring mom salad.  We whipped through the drive thru and brought our lunch home to enjoy outside on the porch.

The house was momentarily still, as the boys were away and it was just my daughter and I enjoying our picnic.  We sat outside munching away, the leaves falling around us, and high above a plane flew quietly overhead.

“Look, Eliza a plane,” I said.

article-1359902-0D537149000005DC-400_634x354Planes play a significant, symbolic role in our little lives. At bedtime, I often tell Eliza a short story of her adoption. She will whisper to me, “Tell me the baby Eliza story.” And I will whisper back in the dark about the baby that needed a family, and the family that needed a baby.

About how her dad and I got on a plane that flew high across the ocean to get her. We wrapped her in a soft, pink blanket and took turns holding her the whole way back on the plane. 

When we got home, there was a big party for everyone to meet her, and her brothers and sister had made a beautiful Welcome Home sign that spread across the whole front porch.

It’s a soothing ritual and a way for her to always know a piece of her story. Just a piece.  I have never ventured far outside of the story. I have never explained what “adoption” means. It is just a word she knows.  It has been enough, for now.

But as we sat out there on the porch, looking at the blue sky and the plane sailing smoothly across, I thought, I should start telling her now.  So she will always know. 

Not just that adoption means love forever, but the nitty-gritty physical part of the adoption; that another woman gave birth to her, that she was not created in my body, as her siblings were, but that another mom and dad created her…that whole piece I have left out. 

I felt like I should introduce the concept soon, she is almost school age, she sees other women who are pregnant and is starting to ask, “Why is her tummy so big?” Soon she will say, “I was in your tummy too once, right?” With my biological kids it was easy, “Yes you were! I remember you kicking me!” But now… what do I say?

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It’s easy to tell her a bedtime story about a plane and wrapping her in a blanket of love…it’s not so easy to look beyond that. So, I thought I will tell her gently, slowly and we can talk about it in pieces, as kids thankfully do.

I want her to always know so it is never a surprise, just a natural part of who she is… but I guess I also want her to know to make it easier for me. 

So she doesn’t turn to me in public and say, “I was in your tummy too, right?” So we can have our own discussions, on our own terms and then she can say just as proudly as any child, “I was born in someone else’s tummy and in my mom’s heart!”

So on a splendid fall day, in a moment of quiet and sharing, I thought, “Here I go.”

“You know what?” I said, cheerfully.

She turned and looked at me. A chicken nugget in one hand. Her eyes big and brown, her long hair tousled, her sparkly shoes always on the wrong feet, glimmering in the sun.

“What mom?”

And in a sudden unexpected rush, I felt my throat close. Tears appeared out of nowhere. I couldn’t say it. I choked.  Because the truth is, I want her to be from my tummy. I want to be the one that felt her kick.

That pushed her out into her dad’s waiting arms. I want to avoid the questions that will surely come, the possible pain she may have. I don’t ever want her to ever feel “less than” or unwanted. She is so not that.

“That plane sure is beautiful,” I said.

“Yeah!” she said. “I came on a plane, and you and daddy!”

“We sure did,” I said. “Come on, want me to push you on the swing?”

Written by: Anne Cavanaugh-Sawan

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Types of Adoption
Open Adoption…. In this process, the birth parents and the adoptive parents can share their information with each other.It’s a great way for adoptive children to know their biological parents. However, after the process of adoption is complete, both the birth and adoptive parents can choose to stay in contact with each other.
Semi-open Adoption…. Here, the birth and adoptive parents meet and exchange information, which is initiated by the adoption institute. Once the child grows up, he has a choice to contact his biological parents and develop a relationship with them.
Semi-closed Adoption… This is a great way for the biological parents to maintain their privacy. They can contact the couple who are interested in adoption or choose not to remain in touch with adoptive parents at all.

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Closed Adoption…. In this adoption, the birth parents hand over their babies to an adoption agency. The parents who are willing to adopt the child or baby do not meet the biological parents but the medical information is often shared with the adoptive parents.
Independent Adoption…. There is no role of any adoption agency in this particular adoption. This process of adoption takes place very rarely and happens when the biological parents and the adoptive parents know each other and make an agreement to adopt the child.
Another way of adoption is where the birth mother selects the family for a baby while she is pregnant. During this period, the birth mother might choose to bond with the family and get to know the parents better.

In these cases, the birth mother is either unmarried, a single mother or it’s an unwanted pregnancy and thus, she chooses to put the baby for adoption.

The Child Welfare League of America offers the following tips for adoptive parents:

* Start the process by doing your homework. Learn all you can about how adoption works in your state. Seek the advice and services of the state or county child welfare agency or an established, licensed adoption organization in your community.

* Ask for all the information that can legally be provided about your child and his or her birth family; this information will be invaluable to them later in life.

* Be open and honest about everything from the very beginning. Tell your child he is adopted; tell the child what you know of his birth family. It’s much easier to tell the truth than to try to work through lack of trust later.

* The child’s desire to know his or her birth parents is natural and has nothing to do with their relationship with you. Remember a child cannot be loved by too many people — the birth parent is not your enemy.

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* Treat the adopted child the same as you would a birth child by providing the same expectations, the same nurturing and support.

* Assure the child that that you will always be there for him.

* Adolescence is difficult for most children and their parents, but can be especially troubling for some adopted families. Find other adoptive parents to spend time with, at least until your child is grown. They will be a source of strength, support and wisdom.

* Continue to attend training related to adoption issues. You may find some answers, or you may be able to help other adoptive parents with your insight and solutions.

* Spend special time with your spouse, significant other, or best friends. Give the kids and yourself a break!

* Remember to keep an open mind and heart — your child is depending on you.

Adoption can bring all kinds of rewards, not just to the new parents, but to the extended family as well. Right now, there are hundreds of children in your community just waiting to become part of a family.

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Getting ready for the adoption home study can be a much easier process if you:

  •  Make a list of everything that needs to be done. This may include remodeling a bedroom for your child, clearing out anything that is cluttering your home, etc.
  • Assign yourself a task to spend an hour completing each day. Take on one room at a time. On Monday you may want to spend time getting rid of clutter, Tuesday can be laundry day, Wednesday can be spent dusting and vacuuming, etc.
  • Use the correct tools for the job you are doing. Getting something done is so much easier if you have the proper tools to do the job. For instance, it is much easier to get something done quickly if you have a container to hold your cleaning materials. This way you will be able to take them with you from room to room instead of running back and forth to get what you need.
  • Get rid of the junk. This may sound simple, but some people find this very hard to do. Make it a rule that if it is not something that you absolutely love, has sentimental value, or is something that is used, it is junk and needs to be disposed of or donated to charity.
  • Make it fun. Instead of looking at it as work, make it more enjoyable by involving the whole family. Work together and add some upbeat music; before long you will be surprised at just how much cleaning you were able to get done.
  • Don’t let anything distract you. This means no TV or visiting on the telephone.
  • If it is a nice day, take your work outside. Yard work can be enjoyable on a sunshiny day. This not only gets the outside of your house ready, but will be helpful in lifting your spirits too.
  • Remember that deep cleaning involves organizing the closets, cupboards, attic, and basement as well.
  • Open up your doors and windows. You will be amazed at how something as little as opening up windows and doors to let in some fresh air and sunshine in is able to bring a clean and fresh atmosphere to your home. As long as the weather is pleasant, let in lots of fresh air.

Make this project a family affair and look at is as not so much a job, but one more step in bringing your child home through adoption.

With Blurb You Can Make a Memory Book from Day One of your Adoption Journey. It is so easy!  Do not miss one any  of the special Moments Bringing Your Child Home!

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Through the Eyes of a Grandma…..

It was with mounting excitement that I waited for the arrival of my family. The welcoming banners, decorations, streamers and colored balloons had been strung up. The table had been set with brightly multi- colored plates, cups and napkins. There was a wide selection of cookies, candies and chocolates waiting for my new granddaughter.

Thinking-of-Adopting-a-ToddlerMy daughter, Lynn, her husband, Eran, and my grandson, Travis had traveled to the Ukraine  from Israel to adopt a sister for Travis. Travis was 5 years old at this time and extremely excited at the prospect of having a younger sister to love, share his toys with and with whom he would play.

At last the intercom rang and I dashed out to open the gate and meet the new addition to the family unit, for the first time. There she was, this little 2 year old girl who looked the size of a 9-month-old baby.

She had hardly any hair. Her tummy was distended. She was clinging to her new Papa, as she called him. That was the pattern of behavior for the first 2 days at home. She hardly left her Papa’s side. If she ventured off to play, she would stay within eye contact distance of Eran.

We noticed that Sasha would often fall and that when she fell, she would pick herself up and continue on her way. She never cried when she fell or hurt herself.

At mealtimes she ate all the food that she was able to consume at one sitting. Then Sasha would stuff food into her mouth and store food in her cheeks. This was obviously a survival technique acquired when she was living with a limited food intake. While eating, she would pick up every crumb dropped on the floor and consume it.

Gradually, however, change was taking place. Sasha discovered whom to trust and to love. She cried when she fell and went to a family member to be comforted. She stopped looking for a hat to cover her head. Sasha started to speak. She grew 6 inches within the first year and gained weight. At last she could walk without falling. She formed a bond with the two pets in the house. Sasha no longer ate food off the floor or stored food in her mouth.  She learned  about sharing and the meaning of “yours” and “mine”.

The Sasha of today is a well adjusted, happy 3 year old who speaks 3 languages, Hebrew, English and Russian. Sasha stacks_image_962_1has a great sense of humor. She is musical and sings many songs. She is strong willed, extremely independent and has retained her sense of curiosity.

As a grandmother, I found that Sasha opened my eyes to the wonders of the world all over again. I started appreciating and discovering all the marvelous creations around me that I had taken for granted or forgotten had existed. What a pleasure it was for me to watch her very first venture out into the hot, Israeli sun. She stripped off all her clothes and ran around, laughing, falling and enjoying the feel of the warmth on her skin. She ran to look at a butterfly or ants crawling past. Sasha loved the birds and what excitement at any new discovery, a flower or a leaf.

Through Sasha, life has not only been a new voyage of discovery but an adventure. Just watching my granddaughter enjoy the daily acts we adults take for granted has been one of my greatest thrills.

When my daughter invited me to accompany her and Travis, on their trip to the Ukraine in August this year, I jumped at the chance. To actually see the orphanage, Antoshka, where my granddaughter had spent the first 2 years of her life would be a wonderful experience. I hadn’t realized that it would be so emotional.

The Antoshka orphanage, is situated in the city of Kramatorsk, Ukraine, and is run by a very charming, old fashioned gentleman by the name of Anatoly. Anatoly, the Director, is assisted in his duties by his very capable and friendly wife.

The orphanage, a large, rambling, old building is situated in expansive grounds. On entering, it felt as if we were in another world. We had stepped into a Charles Dickens novel. The interior was shabby, dark but very neat and scrupulously clean. After our warm welcome, we were invited to tea and cake in the office cum lounge.

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for. We were taken to see the room where Sasha slept and the adjoining section where she played and ate her meals. We walked into the bedroom. It was badly lit and crammed with cots that were standing side by side, with not an inch of space between them.

We asked them to identify Sasha’s cot and we stood looking at the bare mattress. Now we understood why, at first, Sasha did not know how to use a blanket or other covering when she went to sleep, or why she would not stay in her room alone, but would slip into her parents’ or brother’s room during the night so as not to be alone.

We stood, in silence, each with our own thoughts and feelings. My heart ached at the thought of Sasha being given up at birth.

attitudeWe proceeded to the play section where about 10 children aged 1-2 years were in a large playpen. Lynn had sent boxes of toys to the orphanage and it was so strange but comforting to see some of my grandson’s toys being used so constructively and enjoyably.

Once again, we stood deep in thought. Travis kept saying how much he loved the babies and he spent the time happily playing with the group. Soon he had a “favorite” and of course he wanted to take him home to join the family unit. We saw the table where Sasha ate her meals.

Now the photograph we have of her sitting there takes on new meaning. One of the most touching moments was when we saw Travis’s baby feeding bottles standing, filled and ready for feeding the babies.

How many times had we used those bottles, washed them, filled them? It was wonderful to see how much all the donations were being utilized and appreciated.

I returned with a new appreciation of the desperate needs of the orphanages and of the immense appreciation shown by the Directors and staff. We all have belongings that we take for granted. Yet these articles mean so much to the children who are denied even necessary basics due to their plight. I therefore admire and thank all those people who are contributing to the needs of these orphans but most of all, I thank all the men and women who have adopted an orphan  and given them a new life.

Yes, my granddaughter is a very lucky little girl to have a mother, father and brother who wanted her so much and have given her a loving, caring home.

Where Are Children Adopted From?

Children are adopted from all over the world. Recently, many people have noticed the celebrity trend of adopting children from third world countries and from overseas. This is popular since there are many adoption centers overflowing with children that cannot be properly cared for by their biological parents.

Many celebrities and individuals who choose to adopt from overseas hope that they can provide a better life for these children as opposed to what they would have received in their home country. However, there are many children available for adoption in the United States as well as overseas and in third world countries.

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Where a couple chooses to adopt their child from is a personal preference and should not be based on Hollywood trends. Adopting from overseas can either be more of less expensive than adopting a child domestically, depending on the adoption gift and the cost of flights and other expenses.

There are also Christian adoption agency locations around the world in addition to other religious denominations that look for homes for children that are otherwise without a family.

Most foreign-born children who are available for adoption live in orphanages or with foster families and may have been relinquished at birth or at a few months of age.

Often, nothing or little is known about their birth parents, the medical and social background of their birth family, or the quality of the birth mother’s prenatal care.

What’s more, children who live in orphanages may have emotional and/or developmental delays, which can be temporary or long term, depending on the length of time they’ve spent in an institution and the quality of care.

Before you choose a particular country to adopt from, research different programs, and ask your agency, facilitator, and other adoptive parents about the general health and welfare of the children.

Be prepared to take a qualified risk, and know that most children who are placed for adoption overcome minor delays and illnesses with the proper love, nutrition, attention, and medical care.

Get ready for a great adventure. Even with all its inherent risks and uncertainties, international adoption remains a viable and rewarding option for thousands of American couples and singles each year.

Adoptive-family

 

In fact, adopting a foreign-born child offers unique opportunities to travel to a child’s birth country, learn about a second culture, and integrate it into your family life.

In short, prospective parents have the chance to become a bi-cultural family, which, in and of itself, can be a wonderfully enriching experience.

It is vital to allow the child plenty of time to adjust to his new life, and don’t expect too much, too soon. The good news is that adopted children, more often than not, not only adjust well to their new environment, but also thrive there.  

Children grow best in families. 

Remember to enjoy the journey to your child through adoption. Learning is fun — enjoy the process. Relax with this knowledge. Moving closer to your dream of a successful adoption and parenting is possible and attainable.

Start today, you’ll never regret the experience.

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http://www.adoptionservices.org/

http://www.chsfs.org/?q=plan/adoption-process

http://forums.adoption.com/parenting-after-35/

http://www.adoptionservices.org/international_adoption/international_adoption_china.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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A Priceless Gift Called Gratitude

Home School Guitar Learning System

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Parents know what they have to teach children. They teach them manners, and how to use the potty. They teach them how to eat at the table, how to get dressed in the morning, and eventually, how to tie their own shoes. Sadly, one of the forgotten teachings of parenthood is teaching children how to be grateful. When is the last time you taught your child to be grateful. As a parent, it is immensely important for children, even very young ones – to realize that a grateful heart can lead to great things in life.

Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to our children.  It is learned. So, as parents, “Teaching our Children Gratitude” should be at the top of our parental-to-do-list.

Happiness is a skill that parents can teach their children and the relationship between gratitudegratitude2-1 and happiness is really strong. People who spend more time doing things that express their gratitude tend to be considerably happier than people who don’t.Children who express gratitude are kinder, more appreciative, more empathetic, happier and more enthusiastic. Grateful children understand that other people have needs and they look outside themselves. They are more polite, usually better behaved and generally more pleasant to be around.

LIVE WITH AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Imagine for a moment one of those nights when you just can’t fall asleep and you have to get up early the next morning for a very important meeting of which you are the keynote speaker. Your alarm clock goes off early in the morning waking you from what little sleep you had. You stumble out of bed, have a quick shower, grab a coffee and some toast, and off you go to fight the traffic on the way to work.

Does that sound like the start of a terrible day? Most would answer ‘yes’. Few people however, would answer, ‘no’. These are the people, who are in my opinion blessed with a gift. A gift that determines how they view their life. These people live with ‘an attitude of gratitude’. For them, the situation described could be worse. Much worse. For example, think of the man who doesn’t have a bed, let alone a roof to over his head. When he is awoken from what little sleep he is able to get, it is by the rain falling on his cold body. He too stumbles to his feet and begins his journey to work in his bare feet. His work is in the field of survival. He searches though garbage cans for scraps of half-rotten food to eat and odd bits of clothes to keep him warm.

gratitudeThe purpose of this example is to illustrate that we all have so much to be grateful for. Even in times when it seems that nothing could be worse, there is always a reason to be grateful. And when you feel a sense of gratitude, you feel a sense of happiness and content. My challenge to you today is to learn to look for the good in every situation and live with ‘an attitude of gratitude’.

I assure you, if you were the fellow searching for food in garbage cans you too could find things to be grateful for. You just have to look hard enough and ‘open your eyes’ to what is around you. You have to focus on what’s good in your life, not what’s bad.

“I once was distraught because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” – Unknown

Life works in mysterious ways. Time and time again there have been stories of people who are in a dire strait yet they are found helping others who are experiencing greater turmoil. This is because once you have helped someone in greater need than yourself, you always feel better. You feel better because you have helped another human being, and this forces you to change your mindset from focusing on your problems to focusing on their solutions.

3601243290_ba8443f6ecAlways focus on the solution, not the problem and live with an attitude of gratitude! Mother Teresa was a primary example of this phenomenon. Her entire life revolved around helping others in need. As a result she experienced a great deal of love and self-satisfaction in her life.

I challenge you now to take a moment to think of five things in your life that you are grateful for today. For example, your friends, your family, your job, your sense of smell, touch, sight, and sound. The list can go on and on. Imagine what your life would be like without these things. Write them down on a piece of paper and really think about the things you are grateful for. You will be amazed at how great you will feel!

Gratitude is such a brilliant gift that has been bestowed upon us if we choose it. The sophistication of this gift is simple. It is a choice. Be thankful for what you have, who you are and who you can be. It’s all about perception. It doesn’t matter what societal status you come from, what your wallet has in it or how you were culturally raised. Be thankful for what you have and feel right now in this exact moment in time. Hard times and good times. These are all opportunities to acknowledge gratitude. To give a shout out to gratitude. As we teach our children to witness this invisible mind thought, the concept emerges within them just as easy as they learn how to brush their teeth, their ABC’s or how to tie their shoes. These are life skills they will use through-out their whole life.  Gratitude can be a wholesome part of your healthy intentional conscious parenting routine.

Recognizing The Good

Musician playing the violin

There is a story — maybe an urban legend, but full of truth nonetheless — concerning the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman.

As a child he had been stricken with polio and getting on stage is no small feat for him. He wears braces on both thank-you-quoteslegs and uses crutches. One evening, Perlman was in New York to give a concert. Perlman crossed the stage slowly until he reached the chair,  seated himself, and signaled to the conductor to begin.

No sooner had he finished the first few bars then one of the strings on his violin snapped, echoing loudly through the theatre like a gunshot. Perlman was at the beginning of the piece and it would have been reasonable to bring the concert to a halt while he replaced the string to begin again. But that’s not what he did. He waited a moment and signaled the conductor to pick up just where they had left off.

Perlman had only three strings on which to play his soloist part. He was able to find some of the missing notes on adjoining strings, but where that wasn’t possible, he had to spontaneously reorganize the music so that it all still held together.

He played with passion and artistry, instinctively rearranging the symphony right through to the end. When he finally rested his bow, the audience sat for a moment in stunned silence. Then, rising to their feet, they gave a standing ovation. Each person in the audience knew they had been witness to an extraordinary display of human skill and ingenuity.

Perlman raised his bow to signal for quiet. “You know,” he said, “sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much beautiful music you can still make with what you have left.”

We have to wonder, was he speaking of his violin strings or his crippled body?

gratitude-3-tpl-bkgdCircumstances can throw us off our game or they can strengthen our determination and desire to create a positive outcome. The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, “recognizing the good.” Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good that is already in our lives. With a daily practice of giving thanks, our perspective shifts.  Gratitude is a powerful perspective that energizes positive action, and therefore creates a more fulfilling life.

If we thought about it, we would find that we don’t give or hear expressions of gratitude as often as we should. If you feel this way you are certainly not alone. Remembering to Express Gratitude can help us and our family members. Gratitude is more than an inner feeling. When good things are happening around us, when we’re with those we love and we’re grateful and we’re expressing it, the feeling of love and tenderness grows.  Gratitude can bring a calming feeling.

 
(In April of 2005, a young mom was confronted with a diaper rash that just wouldn’t quit. The rash needed some fresh air to heal, but she was also concerned about keeping her daughter warm. In a moment of inspiration, she snipped the feet off of a pair of socks and fitted her daughter from hip to ankle with a cool set of leg warmers. These leg warmers not only kept her daughter warm, but also protected her from the elements, made diaper changing and potty training easier, and protected her soft knees while crawling. With some fun designs and some grassroots marketing support, the functional and fashionable leg warmers that began as a solution to keep little legs warm quickly became much more.)

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So what is gratitude, really? It includes saying “thank you” and being polite. But it is more than that. Expressing Gratitude is the beginning of courtesy, generosity, concern and appreciation for family members and others.

A deeply felt and fully expressed gratitude is an effective way to positively influence attitudes and behavior, our own and that of others. Learning to feel and express gratitude can have a significant effect on the happiness and success of every family member.

gratitude-300x300“A frustrated mother once complained to her neighbor that no one in her family seemed to appreciate what she did. They never commented on how much effort she spent cleaning the house, decorating their home for holidays, and keeping their clothes clean and pressed. They never thanked her for the good meals she prepared or for taking them to school or to work. … She was annoyed that they took her for granted.

“Her neighbor replied, ‘Marianne, you have a clean and attractively kept house. Your children go to school and to their meetings clean and neat. You are an excellent cook, and I can’t think of anyone who is more faithful than you are about doing your Church callings.

“ ‘I suspect that your husband and children recognize your efforts as being praiseworthy. It is possible that other members of your family feel the same discouragement as you do because it just isn’t the practice at your home to express appreciation’ ”

  • • What did the neighbor bring to Marianne’s attention?

In order to develop and teach gratitude to those in our families we must first awaken within ourselves the attitude of being appreciative. “It is as important for our families to learn to express gratitude to one another as it is to receive it from one another. If we don’t teach others to express their appreciation by our example and by our instruction, they may not learn this important courtesy. … If we want others to continue doing what they are doing, the best thing we can do is to let them know how much we appreciate it”

It is one thing to teach your child how to say thank you. It is something entirely different to teach them how to feel it.

So how do we help our families learn Gratitude?  Let me share these 10 ways to help make that happen……….

1.album-gratitude Keep a Gratitude Journal. Establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. Setting aside time on a daily basis to recall moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable life theme of gratefulness.

2. Remember the Bad. To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.

3. Ask Yourself Three Questions. Utilize the meditation technique known as Naikan, which involves reflecting on three questions: “What have I received from __?”, “What have I given to __?”, and “What troubles and difficulty have

4. Learn Prayers of Gratitude. In many spiritual traditions, prayers of gratitude are considered to be the most powerful form of prayer, because through these prayers people recognize the ultimate source of all they are and all they will ever be.I caused?”

5. Come to Your Senses. Through our senses—the ability to touch, see, smell, taste, and hear—we gain an appreciation of what it means to be human and of what an incredible miracle it is to be alive. Seen through the lens of gratitude, the human body is not only a miraculous construction, but also a gift.

6. Use Visual Reminders. Because the two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of gratitudemindful awareness, visual reminders can serve as cues to trigger thoughts of gratitude. Often times, the best visual reminders are other people.

7. Make a Vow to Practice Gratitude. Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Therefore, write your own gratitude vow, which could be as simple as “I vow to count my blessings each day,” and post it somewhere where you will be reminded of it every day.

8. Watch your Language. Grateful people have a particular linguistic style that uses the language of gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. In gratitude, you should not focus on how inherently good you are, but rather on the inherently good things that others have done on your behalf.

9. Go Through the Motions. If you go through grateful motions, the emotion of gratitude should be triggered. Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude.

10. Think Outside the Box. If you want to make the most out of opportunities to flex your gratitude muscles, you must creatively look for new situations and circumstances in which to feel grateful.

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., (who wrote these steps to Gratitude) is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Heart of Gratitude…

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said :  ‘ I am blind, please help.’  There were only a few coins in the hat.A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write? ”
The man said, ” I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.”
I wrote : ‘ Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.’
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? Be thankful for what you have.  Be Creative.  Be innovative. Think differently and positively..

 

 

(EASY TO MAKE BOOKS WITH  SO MANY MEMORIES!)

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Enjoy your day with a heart of gratitude. 🙂

To teach our children the value of gratefulness, we want to be sure to role model grateful behavior:

Children need to see us being grateful for what we have. That might mean not running out to by the latest pocketbook and newest electronic gadget.

Let them see you saying thank you to the postman, the store clerk, and your friends.

Tell them, “I am so grateful to have you in my life.” If that is too corny for you, you can say, (when they come home from school), “It is good to see you.”

Let them see you and your spouse thank each other. Thank your spouse for making dinner, for taking out the garbage, cleaning a clogged drain or for making the phone call to Aunt Ethel, something you really didn’t want to do.

Don’t complain about all the things you don’t have.

Write a gratitude journal and tell them about it in a non-confrontational, friendly way.

Enjoy the beauty around you and point it out to your children. Sunsets, the sun shining on the snow, laughing babies and blossoming trees.

Understanding child/teen development and their limitations gives us insights into their frustrating but necessary behavior. Being grateful for what we have is one of the secrets of successful living. Fostering gratefulness in ourselves will enhance our family life and give our children the direction they need to cultivate their own happiness.

gratitude quote small-762658Choosing Gratitude

“If you look to others for fulfillment
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
You will never be happy with yourself
Be content with what you have;
Rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
The whole world belongs to you
.”
~Lao Tzu

Gratitude is more than an attitude, more than polite manners and positive thinking. It is a way of life and a magnificent legacy to leave our children. So, don’t think about how to instill gratitude in children, instead start taking these steps to instill this significant attitude in your family today, for a better tomorrow.

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.  ~Robert Brault

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Our Family 2 Yours

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The Fine Print

This policy is valid from 19 February 2010

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by us. For questions about this blog, please contact Dennis and Barbara Harnsberger at ourfamily2yours.com.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Made With Love To Mom

LoveBook Mothers Day

Mother’s Day Is Just A Few Days Away and We Need To Celebrate Our Mom’s! All Mom Needs Is a Gentle Touch, a Kind Word, and An Act Of Remembrance To Make Her Day Even More Special.

What Is A Mom? She’s a Teller Of Bedtime Stories, a Packer Of Lunches, A Dispenser Of Wisdom and a Dryer Of Tears. From Bandaging Skinned Elbows To Helping Out With Homework, Nobody Does It Like Mom.

My Mom Will Be 86 Years Old This Year and I Do Not Know How Much Longer She Might Be With Us.  I Am Looking Forward To Being With Her This Year!

Make this Mother’s Day Memorable With a Unique DIY Gift That You Can Make With Your Own Two Hands. Let’s get Started!

Gardening Basket

You can simply put together a gardening basket for Mom, which is great if she loves gardening.

 

 

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Thumbprint Necklace

This is a good project for new Moms or grandmothers. The necklace holds a thumbprint of baby which is a great keepsake and this one is really easy and inexpensive.   37-thumb

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Strawberry Lemonade Mix

 

Give Mom a little something sweet with some homemade strawberry lemonade mix. You can mix this and store in a small Mason jar for giving or you can create an entire basket of homemade goodies and add this to it.

 

 

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A Very Special Mother’s Day Free Coloring Page.

 

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Rope Hammock DIY

 If You Have a Practical Mom You Will Need Some Time To Make This But Mom Would Love It!     mothers_day_23

 

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Diy Cintronella Candles  Make A Few To Have Around That Hammock.

 

 

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DIY Herb Garden & Plant Markers.

I Love This! 287 copy

 

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Here Is a Simple and Quick Gift You Can Make For The Moms In Your Life, a Mother’s Day Kisses Jar Gift.

 

 

 

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How To Make Jam Butter. How Perfect To Just Put These In Mason Jars For a Homemade Mother’s Day Gift.

 

 

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image - Made With Love To Mom

Poster For Mom Personalize and Print...A Very Unique and Special Gift For Mom She Will Cherish!
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 “10 Things I Love About You Jar” This Is So Beautiful and All  Moms Would Absolutely Love It!!
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DAYDREAM banner 728x90 v1 - Made With Love To Mom

Give Mom A Special Treat With Mixed Berry Breakfast Pizza.
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The best gift you can give your mom is a heart-warming embrace, a kiss on her cheek, and a meaningful touch on the hand. Let’s not forget the three golden words to melt her heart―Mom, I love you― said with an equally loving gaze coming from the depths of your heart.

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

― Washington Irving

Happy Mothers Day!

 

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Talk Soon,

 

D5BFC8BF0F49F9788FCD5FF467E943A4

 

 

 

 

 

The Fine Print This policy is valid from 19 February 2010 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by us. For questions about this blog, please contact Dennis and Barbara Harnsberger at OurFamily2Yours.com.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog.
That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics.
Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

 

What is a Dad………….Lessons From The Delivery Room

JuiceBeauty.com

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Not all men who have fathered a child are dads. Being a dad—an honest to goodness, authentic, true and bonafide  dad—means much more than genetic parentage.

thumbnail.aspxIn the first place, a dad is a friend—even when it’s not convenient. For instance, one morning I went down to the lake near my home to watch the fishermen. There, fishing along the rocky bank, were old men with skinny, hairless legs protruding from faded denim pants; young boys with their shirts off, laughing, casting their lines frequently; large women, patiently engulfing their small wicker chairs; all types and sizes of outdoorsmen.

Among them sat a large and muscular man. And straddling his massive knee with spindly legs was a small girl, dishwater pigtails falling from under a straw hat. The girl had both hands wrapped around a long cane pole. One of his hands covered both of hers, while the other rested on his knee. The two of them sat there quietly, watching a red and white bubble bob in the water a few feet from shore.

His open tackle box displayed the gear of an experienced fisherman: flies and plugs for bass, trolling gear for lake trout, and a large assortment of streamers to lure the wily German Brown.

But today it was mudcats.

That large man with the little girl on his lap was a dad. He cared enough about his daughter to spend time with her on her terms, not his. He didn’t take her fishing so he could go fishing; he went fishing so he could be with her, to do something she would enjoy doing.

That’s one way to separate the fathers-in-name-only from the dads. Too many men are willing to be a dad only when the children are going an adult direction or when they share the same interests, hobbies, or skills. But a true dad builds a relationship that includes the child’s own interests and level of understanding.

One father I know used to spend an hour a day with his boy, playing basketball. On the surface that fathers-day-poem-daughterseems admirable—until you realize that it was the father, not the son, who loved the sport. This father’s childhood dream was to be a basketball star. He never made it. And so, because he wanted his boy to succeed where he had failed, they drilled on the basketball court every day.

The son did become a star—a high school all-star and a college hero. But while gaining a star, the father lost a son. Instead of building a healthy relationship, their time together actually drove father and son further apart.

The quality of the time parents spend with their children is as important as the time itself. When parents become rigid or demanding in order to gratify their own egos, or for any selfish motive, they destroy the very relationship they are trying to build. And being a friend to children doesn’t mean, of course, that dads need to be silly or immature. Children must also learn to respect their parents as the competent adults they have become.

Another requirement of dad-hood is that quality which blends authority and unconditional love to make dad both a respected authority and a loved companion to youth. Most fathers do all right on the stern side of this balance. Of course, it takes a little sternness at times to preside over frolicking pre-adolescents and presumptuous teenagers. But real dads realize that rules are made for the benefit and progress of the children, not for their condemnation. There is a time to be stern and a time to show love, perhaps even a time to bend the rules once the lesson is learned.

10359Take, for example, one situation I remember where a dad—call him Bob—had to have an especially large amount of wisdom. Larry, Bob’s oldest boy, had just obtained a driver’s license. Bob had established rules for the use of the family car, such as obeying the law, driving safely, and returning home on time. Disobedience meant forfeiture of the car’s use for two weeks.

The week of the junior prom, however, Larry received a ticket for speeding. There was a decision to be made, and not an easy one. Would Larry remember the lesson better if he were denied the use of the car for the prom? Would he become more responsible if he had to pay such a high price for disobedience? Or would he become resentful and rebellious, thus defeating the purpose of the rule?

Bob struggled with the dilemma for a couple of days. And then from somewhere way back in his own memory he recalled the significance of driving your own car to the junior prom. He postponed the start of the two-week penalty until the day after the dance.

Bob bent the rule, a rule that he himself had made. But by being flexible he established something greater than fear and power—love and respect.

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True dads must also be an ideal for children to look up to. In a society where drugs sometimes have become a _65521179_man_holding_new-born_baby-splsubstitute for character, where some politicians seem to be bought and sold on a daily basis, and where a father’s role in the family has been eroded, children need, more than ever, a solid example of male virtue and honor. A father whose example is consistent with the precepts he teaches can do more to influence the lives of youngsters than almost any other factor.

To a boy, a dad should be a goal, a potential achievement. And to a girl, a dad should be the hope of things to come, the model for a future dad for her own children.

It’s not easy to be a dad. It requires the dedication and fortitude of an army general and the patience of a saint. You’ll find dads splashing around in the baby pool at the city park, throwing a dollar’s worth of Ping Pong balls to win a twenty-five cent goldfish at the carnival, and poised on hard chairs at piano recitals. You will even discover them changing a diaper, or telling soothing stories during a midnight thunderstorm.

And when the chips are down, you’ll see them with an arm around the hunched shoulders of a boy who sat out the whole game on the bench, or sitting in the ice cream parlor over chocolate sundaes with a girl just a little too young to accept a date to the school dance.

Whatever the price, there is no glory, no distinction, no award that will ever dethrone the title of Dad. When a man becomes a dad, he has already received one of the highest honors bestowed on man.

 

 

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Let Me Share The Following  by Scott Greer

Reasons I Love Being A Dad. . .

__________________

I love loving their mother and learning to love her more day after day, year after year.

I love the home movies I experience. The live ones. The in house “reality shows” if you please. Kids raggin’ on each other, telling mom and dad stories one more time, hugs at the door, serious discussions begun spontaneously, phone calls to say “Hi, I love you, ” and small hands pressed on a glass door to see the wonder of all wonders: the neighbor’s black cat.

I love happy birthday songs: songs sung and received in love.

I love watching my kids love their kids.

I love the smiles of children and grandchildren.

CB003629I love good memories, family pictures on the walls, and cards from “Father’s Days past. “

I love the never ending pilgrimage of learning, growing and developing with my children.

I love helping when I can and hurting when I can’t. No, I don’t enjoy the pain. It’s the honor of trying to help because “I’m a dad” that I enjoy

I love hearing “Mamma” sing songs to her grandchildren or read to them. I love sensing her joy as she interacts with them and relates to me one more among many, scenes in the stories of their lives.

I love being called “Pap. “

I love sharing the lives of the kids with their mother and sharing their mother as she walks with them during each phase of the varied journeys of their lives.

I love watching the joy in the eyes of my wife as she talks on the phone with her children. (A *very* frequent event in our home I might add!)

I love giving the grandkids back to my kids just about the moment I think I’m going under (or moments thereafter!).

I love hearing the laughter of family in the other room: always, always a very special delight!

I love hearing my wife pray for the family she loves so dearly and serves so faithfully.

I love being a friend as well as being a dad.

I love being a father-in-law and being friends before the term “father in law” becomes a reality.

I love memories of my dad loving me.

3283266057_d472c57859_zJust think of the changes there have been for parents  over the last 100  years. History tells us that fathers, whatever their stations in life, were not in the past involved with their newborn infants. The picture of the father pacing the floor – well away from the mother in labor – was a common one. The new baby, neatly wrapped up, was shown to him, and out came the cigars or beer. The baby was then returned to the women to be cared for.
The children as they grew up were very much ‘women’s work’ and even in the thirties or forties people marveled at the father who took time to have a game with his child or showed a son how some piece of machinery worked. Dads could be there for a bit of rough and tumble, but anything bordering on feelings or emotions or physical care was strictly taboo This division of childcare continued until the women’s movement began to take hold and, in one way or another, to filter into different areas of family life. But as women – many of whom would have been astounded to be thought of as Feminist – began to view their life differently, then the men were necessarily affected, and changes came about. Even if not into the ‘bra burning’ rebelliousness of the sixties, many women did begin to shift their opinions about what dad should or shouldn’t do with the kids. Childcare was never to be seen in the same way again.

    • thumbnail.aspxWith two caring parents there is not one right way and one wrong way, but two different ways.
    • How you act when you are with your children teaches them how to act when they grow up.
    • Share your ideas about parenting with your children’s mother if possible. Listen to her ideas.
    • Fathers can show their sons how to grow up to be loving and caring and able to get on well with others.
    • Girls and boys both need time with their fathers.
    • Show your children that men can be gentle in a tough world.
    • Fathers have an important role in teaching their children that it is all right for men to cry or to ask for help.
    • When fathers are involved in daily care of their babies it builds special bonds that are important to children.
    • As they get older children need to know that you like them, even if they choose different ways of doing things from you.
    • Even if you don’t see your children a lot, you can still build happy memories in the time you have with them.
    • Children need love – love to children means time and attention.

 

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This is a guest post from Leo Babauta of  Zen Habits  a father of six children.

Being a father can be a wonderful thing, once you get past all the gross stuff, all the stressful events, the loss of privacy, and the bewildering numbers of ways you can screw it up.

But other than those few things, fatherhood is wonderful.

Every dad has fears that he won’t be a great dad, that he’ll mess up, that he’ll be a failure. It comes with the job.

Unfortunately, what doesn’t come with the job is a simple set of instructions. As guys, we often will skip the manual, figuring we can wing it but when things go wrong, it’s nice to have that manual to go back to. Fatherhood needs that manual.

thumbnail.aspxAnd while, as the father of six children, you might say that I’m qualified to write such a manual, it’s not true — I’m winging it like everyone else. However, I’ve been a father for more than 15 years, and with six kids I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, what’s important and what you can safely ignore (unlike that odd grating sound coming from your engine).

What follows are the fatherhood tips I wish they’d passed out to me upon the delivery of my first child. It would have helped a ton. I hope they’ll help you become an even more awesome dad than you already are — feel free to refer back to them as a cheat sheet, anytime you need some help.

 

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The Awesome Dad Cheat Sheet……18 Fatherhood tips They Should’ve Handed Out At The Delivery Room

 

  1. Cherish your time with them. One thing that will amaze you is how quickly the years will fly. My oldest daughter is 15, which means I have three short years with her before she leaves the nest. That’s not enough time! The time you have with them is short and precious — make the most of it. Spend as much time as you can with them, and make it quality, loving time. Try to be present as much as possible while you’re with them too — don’t let your mind drift away, as they can sense that.
  2. thumbnail.aspxIt gets easier. Others may have different experiences, but I’ve always found the first couple of months the most difficult, when the baby is brand new and wants to feed at all hours of the night and you often have sleepless nights and walk around all day like zombies. It gets easier, as they get a regular sleeping pattern. The first couple of years are also a lot more demanding than later years, and as they hit middle school they become almost functioning, independent adults. It gets easier, trust me.
  3. Don’t look at anything as “mom” duties — share responsibilities. While there are a lot of good things from our grandparents’ day that we should bring back, the traditional dad/mom split of parenting duties isn’t one of them. Some men still look at certain duties as “mom” duties, but don’t be one of those dads. Get involved in everything, and share the load with your baby mama. Changing diapers, giving baths, getting them dressed, even feeding them (you can give them breast milk in a bottle).
  4. Love conquers all. This one sounds corny, but it should be at the center of your dad operating philosophy: above all, show your children love. When you’re upset, instead of yelling, show them love. When they are thumbnail.aspxupset, show them love. When they least expect it, show them love. Everything else is just details.
  5. Kids like making decisions. While it is easier to be an authoritarian parent, what you’re teaching your child is to submit to orders no matter what. Instead, teach your child to make decisions, and he’ll grow up much more capable — and happier. Kids like freedom and decisions, just like any other human beings. Your job is to allow them to make decisions, but within the parameters that you set. Give them a choice between two healthy breakfasts, for example, rather than allowing them to eat a bowl of sugar if they choose to.
  6. A little patience goes a long way. As a parent, I know as well as anyone how easy it is to lose your patience and temper. However, allowing yourself to react in anger or frustration is not the best thing for your child, and you must remember that. That means you need to take a deep breath, or a walk, when you start to lose your patience. Practice patience with your child and your relationship, and your child, will benefit over the long run.
  7. Sense of humor required. There will be times when your child does something that might make you blow your lid — writing in crayon all over the walls is a good one, as is dumping some kind of liquid on your couch, or sneaking out and taking your car to meet up with friends. While you need to teach your child not to do these things, it’s better to just laugh at the humor in the situation. I’ve learned to do this more often, and it helps me keep my sanity.
  8. Read to them, often. Whether you’re a reader or not, reading to your children (from the time they’re babies onward) is crucial. It gets them in the habit of reading, and prepares them for a lifetime of learning. It gives you some special time together, and become a tradition your child will cherish. I read with all my children, from my 2-year-old and my 15-year-old, and love every word we read together.
  9. boy_dad_fixDon’t be the absent dad. The biggest mistake that dads make are not being there for their children. Always, always set aside time each day and each week for your children. Don’t let anything violate this sacred time. And at those big moments in your child’s life — a soccer game, a music recital, a science fair — do you very best to be there. It means the world.
  10. Let them play. Kids really develop through playing — and while it might seem obvious, you should allow them as much free play as possible. That’s aside from TV and video games (see below), aside from reading, aside from anything structured or educational. Just let them play, and make things up, and have fun.
  11. Spark their imagination. Free play, mentioned above, is the best way to develop the imagination, but sometimes you can provide a little spark. Play with your kids, creating forts, dressing up as ninjas, role playing, imagining you’re explorers or characters in a movie or book … the possibilities are endless, and you’ll have as much fun as they will.
  12. Limit TV and video games. I’m not saying you have to be Amish or anything, but too much of this type of entertainment keeps them from doing more imaginative playing, from reading, from getting outside to exercise. I recommend an hour a day of “media time”, but you can find the amount that works for you and your family.dad
  13. Learn the “firm no”. While I’m all for giving kids the freedom to choose, and for free play, and lots of other freedoms, there should be limits. Parents who don’t set boundaries are going to have children with behavior problems, who have problems when they grow up. And if it’s not good to always say “yes”, it’s also not good for the child to say “no” at first … and then cave in when they throw a temper tantrum or beg and plead. Teach them that your “no” is firm, but only say “no” when you really feel that it’s a boundary you need to set.
  14. Model good behavior. It’s one thing to tell you child what she should do, but to say one thing and do another just ruins the message. In fact, the real lesson your child will learn is what you do. Your child is always watching you, to learn appropriate behavior. Excessive drinking or smoking or drug use by parents, for example, will become ingrained in the child’s head. Bad manners, inconsiderate behavior, sloppy habits, anger and a negative attitude, laziness and greed … all these behaviors will rub off on your child. Instead, model the behavior you’d like your child to learn.
  15. thumbnail.aspxTreat their mother with respect, always. Some fathers can be abusive toward their spouse, and that will lead to a cycle of abuse when the child grows up. But beyond physical or verbal abuse, there’s the milder sin against the child’s mother: disrespectful behavior. If you treat your child’s mother with disrespect, your child will not only learn that behavior, but grow up with insecurities and other emotional problems. Treat your child’s mother with respect at all times.
  16. Let them be themselves. Many parents try to mold their child into the person they want their child to be … even if the child’s personality doesn’t fit that mold. Instead, instill good behaviors and values in your child, but give your child freedom to be himself. Children, like all humans, have quirks and different personalities. Let those personalities flourish. Love your child for who he is, not who you want him to be.
  17. Teach them independence. From an early age, teach your children to do things for themselves, gradually letting them be more independent as they grow older. While it may seem difficult and time-consuming to teach your child to do something that you could do much faster yourself, it’s worth it in the long run, for the child’s self-confidence and also in terms of how much you have to do. For example, my kids know how to wash their own dishes, help clean the house, clean their rooms, fold and put away laundry, shower, groom and dress themselves, and much more — saving a lot of time and work for me. Even my 2-year-old knows how to pick things up when she’s told to do so.
  18. Stand together with mom. It’s no good to have one parent say one thing, just to have the other contradict that parent. Instead, you and mom should be working together as a parenting team, and should stand by each other’s decisions. That said, it’s important that you talk out these decisions beforehand, so that you don’t end up having to support a decision you strongly disagree with.

 

 

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What was the most memorable moment you have of your father? As you sit  pondering the issue, think about  how does one go about picking out the most memorable moment out of so many that have gone before? Would the most memorable one be that one instance that is difficult to erase from one’s memory bank? The one some one one can freeze in a memory bubble, and take it out and view it every time one thinks of his or her father?

Is it recalling the first time this most important man in one’s life held you, tickled you, tucked you in, or gave you a welcoming smile after returning home from that first day of school?

Most kids  wish their fathers knew more   about them: their Challenges, their Emotions, their Lives. With that feedback, what follows are the ten things that teenagers with their fathers knew about teenagers.

1.29352pcn-selena56-thumb “I am not a child anymore.” Almost more than anything, teens want respect for their status as maturing young adults. Continuing to be treated as a child feels demeaning. Fathers recognize, however, that teens come in varying stages of maturity, and it is important to tailor your reactions to your teen’s level. As they reach early teen-hood, try to be aware of their situation and work at treating them a little more at an adult level.

2. “I act like I’m ready to be an adult, but I am scared to death of becoming one.” Whether or not your teen is ready to be treated like an adult, he or she is typically overwhelmed with that impending responsibility. Recognize that for all the bravado a teenager can muster, there is significant fear of the unknown. Dads who are able to blend a little respect with a little sensitivity for their situation can be a great resource for their teens.

3. “Friends are becoming more important to me.” Part of the transition process through which teens progress is moving from dependence on parents to independence. It is a process that we support and are excited about as fathers—after all, we want our children to become responsible, independent adults at some point. Part of that process involves a gradual separation from parents to others, including friends. This is natural, expected and appropriate. So don’t be too concerned or get hurt feelings when your teens would rather “hang out” with friends than stay home and play games with the family.

4. “I question lots of things that I didn’t used to question.” A big part of the maturation process is learning to think and feel for one’s self. Teens who were very obedient children may start questioning why they do things that you tell them to do. They may question your judgment. They may question basic beliefs and values that your family has embraced. This questioning process is healthy and normal. Try to stay available to help them through some of that questioning process if the opportunity presents itself.

5. “My hormones are doing weird things to me, and I can’t tell you why. We have noticed with our sons that when they become teens, they become short-tempered and tend to raise their voices a lot, especially when they are under stress. They may start feeling uncomfortable around friends of the opposite sex, even when they have been friends for years. They may want posters on the wall of which you do not approve. But mostly, they just feel—they don’t necessarily understand why. Recognize that hormones may be at the root of some uncomfortable teenage behaviors. However, don’t let them use it as an excuse. Teach them that even though it is hard, hormones and “flash points” can be controlled.

6. “I hate ‘THE LOOK.” Moms and dads develop over time what teenagers know as THE LOOK. This may be expressed in il_fullxfull.269595596a stare, glare or grimace that lets them know they are in trouble. Keeping the lines of communication open can minimize the times you use THE LOOK and can help them identify other ways of knowing that they are causing you stress.

7. “Sometimes, I just need to be alone. Teens have a tendency to withdraw a little while they are figuring out their world. They may be pretty chatty with their friends, but may retreat into their own space when at home. This tendency is also natural and for the most part should not be alarming. If it becomes extreme, then you should be concerned.

8. “Sometimes, I just want you to listen.” Dads often tend to want to be problem-solvers and jump right into a conversation with advice. Resist that temptation and try from time to time to just listen. Many times conversations between parents and teenagers is a chance for a teen to “work it out on their own” with you listening in. Give them that chance to learn to deal with life’s issues rationally and reasonably without you jumping in to solve the issues.

9familyLLS11. “I need you to be consistent.” While teens often rebel at parental authority, they expect and feel most comfortable when parents stick by rule and behave consistently. Don’t constantly change curfews—have a rule and stick with it. The consistency will help give your teen something to rely on—an anchor in the storm of life.

10. “Walk your talk.” Teens get frustrated when parents say one thing and do another. Keep your commitments—they would rather have no promise than a broken one. If we have a family rule about television or video games, mom and dad should live by the rule as well. Set a good example and keep your commitments, and your teen will have greater respect for you.

~Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.  ~

 

 

Thank you Dad for all the memories, but most of all, thank you for being there.

Our Family 2 Yours

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