Be Thankful! (Gratitude Journal)

In life, it’s so easy to focus on what we don’t have, that we often forget to think of the things that we are blessed with. We forget how important the people we have are, how amazing and rich our life really is, and how much worse things could be.

how keeping a gratitude journal has changed myperspective

My grandmother always told me, “No matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse.”

When we start focusing on the negatives instead of the positives, our entire perspective changes. Suddenly, it becomes very difficult to even find the positives in our lives. The same goes in the other direction though, when we focus on the positives instead of the negatives, everything suddenly seems brighter, and even the negatives don’t seem so bad.

A few months ago, I realized just how negative I had been. In fact, I noticed that it was even rubbing off on my children! That’s not the behaviour or mindset I wanted them to learn from me. So I made a conscious decision to change it.

I started keeping a list, which I add to daily, of all of the good things in my life. Whether it be something good that happened, a person whose been on my mind, something we did as a family, a trait I admire in my children- whatever is making me feel the most grateful at that moment. I write it down.

gratitude journal

Eventually, I bought this cute little notebook, but prior I had a log page in my bullet journal.

Since starting, I have found myself actually being happier and more content with the things I have! And when I’m having a particularly bad day (you know, where all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Netflix with an entire chocolate cake..), I make myself go back and read through them!

Next step: Implement gratitude journals with my children!

Do you keep a gratitude journal?

Kid’s August Reading Log

Printable August Reading Log

In my opinion, reading is one of the most important loves we can instill in our children. And some children don’t need much prodding to develop that love, but some do. I have one of each. Most days, I can hardly drag my son away from his books (unless of course it’s to play with his legos). My daughter on the other hand, would rather scrub toilets. Literally.

She also struggles with reading more than my son does, so it is even more vital for her to get in that practice. She’s a very visual person, so I thought she would enjoy a visual way to track her reading.

And guess what? It worked! In the past month I’ve seen my struggling reader plow through 3 chapter books! And on our last trip to the library she chose a Harry Potter novel! Have you seen the size of those books? And she is determined to finish it!

I’m sure there are others out there with the same issue, so I’ve decided to share our visual tracker for August with you!

August Reading Log

August Reading Log

Since my kids are reading chapter books, they color in one star for every 20 minutes spent reading, but for younger kids you could do per story book, per chapter, whatever works for your family!

Canada Day Round-Up!

CANADADAY

Up here in the Great White North, it’s almost Canada Day! It’s a big day in my house because we’re not only a patriotic bunch, it’s also one of my girl’s birthdays!

Needless to say, I’ve found myself on Pinterest (a lot)- so I put together this list of my 15 favorite recipes, crafts, décor ideas, printables, etc!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

chocolate covered pretzels
Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Little Miss Kate & Co.

fruit kabobs
Canada Day Fruit Kabobs from Frugal Mom Eh?

red velvet
Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling from Your Cup of Cake

cherry cheesecake
No Bake Cherry Cheesecake from Love, Create, Celebrate

poke cake
Great Canadian Poke Cake from Tasty Kitchen

canada day cracker
Canada Day Crackers from We Love Crafty Tracey

cupcake toppers
Canada Day Cupcake Toppers (+lots more printables!) by WC Design Studios

mason jar
Mason Jar Lids, also by We Love Crafty Tracey

mason jar centerpiece
Canada Day Centerpiece, also by Love, Create, Celebrate (Can you tell I have a thing for mason jars?..)

button art
True North Strong & Free Button Art by Frugal Mom Eh

Canada flag pallet
Canada Flat Pallet Sign from The Happy Housie
Canada Day Printable Package by A Little Pixel
canada day printable pkg

Canada Day Mantle Décor from A Little Something in the Meantime
mantle decor

Printable Canada Day Party Pack by Botanical Paperworks
canada party pack

Canada Day Project Life Printable by Just Rhonda
canada day project life

This Moment Only Comes Once

THIS MOMENT ONLY COMES

This day, every single day, only comes once. Just let that sink in for a minute.

That cute thing your kid did today, that adorable expression, that milestone they hit- you may never see it again, at least not in the same way.

The next time it could be changed, even slightly. Maybe they start calling you Mommy instead of Mama. Maybe that cute mispronounced word is pronounced correctly. Maybe they don’t stumble when they walk anymore. Whatever it is, it really could change overnight.

And trust me, you’ll miss it.

This was an a-ha moment for me just the other day.

Because, well, this happened..

20160607_181119_resized

My second youngest daughter graduated Preschool and is gearing up to start Kindergarten in September.

Sitting there during the ceremony I realized, she’s really not a baby anymore. I also realized that as of this time next year, that will be my youngest receiving her Preschool diploma. In a mere 14 months, all four of my children will be in school.

My house will be empty of the pitter patter of little feet for nearly 8 hours almost every day. The complaints I have now- “Can you wait until Mommy is done her coffee?” or “Can I just get a shower in peace?”, I’ll no longer have.

And truthfully, honestly, I’m going to miss it.

 

Your Kid Is NOT Perfect

Your Child

Okay Moms and Dads, sit down and get ready because I have some serious news that may be shocking to some of you- your child, your pride and joy- is NOT perfect. I repeat, they’re not perfect!

And guess what? Neither are mine!

In fact, they’re all far from perfect. So are you, so am I.

When your child pushes my child on the playground, it is not instantly my child’s fault. And, furthermore, I promise that if my child is being the jerk, I won’t blame your child either. Even when you’re child jumps back up and pushes my little darling back. Chances are, unless things get out of hand, I won’t even intervene. And chances are even better that our children will be the best of friends again in 3.2 seconds flat.

When my child doesn’t pass in an assignment on time, I won’t rush to the school and blame the teacher. Instead, I will sit my child down and have a discussion on responsibility. I am THAT Mom.

When my son forgets his Ninja Turtle lunch bag at school, I won’t call the janitor and beg him or her to let me in to get it. Instead, my child will take a brown paper bag tomorrow, and the next day, until he finally remembers to bring his lunch bag home.

When my daughter is grounded from her xbox because she grabbed the controller and smacked her younger sister, I won’t cave just because of a forced apology and an adorable set of puppy dog eyes. Instead, she will watch her younger siblings play for a few days while being reminded of why she cannot.

On the other hand, when my child finally loses their cool and, after many weeks of asking them to stop, finally retaliates against the bully that has so kindly chosen her as their target- I will not punish her. The school may, but I will not.

I see so many parents coddling to their little prince or princess, and I cringe each and every time. I’m not one to judge another parent, and I’m not, but I worry for the child.

For the child whose parent is at the school daily because their child received a low mark, or was rightfully punished. What a laugh their university professor will have years down the road.

For the child who cannot wash their own work uniform, because hey, Mom always did he laundry and never taught me how.

For the child who is in mountains of debt because they never knew money wasn’t endless, afterall, they got everything they wanted as a child.

For the child who is crushed when they face their first rejection, because in school “fair play” meant everyone made the team!

We are so sensitive, too sensitive, around and towards our children- and the only people who will suffer for it in the end are our children.