April 19, 2013

5 Things To Make Sure Your Daughters Know

1. You are beautiful
Out of the blue. At any random moment. Just look at your daughter and make it known that you find her beautiful.
When they don't feel beautiful, remind them. When they compare themselves to others, remind them.
When I need to get my girls to do something regarding personal hygiene, I find myself often telling my kids you are too beautiful to ________ .
-You are too cute to not have clean teeth.
-You are too beautiful and sweet to stink.
-Your face is too pretty to be dirty.
-You are too beautiful to have snarly, messy hair.
They in turn hear positive reinforcement. Instead of nagging, nagging, nagging, they hear I need to do these things because 'I am beautiful'. Not that these things make them beautiful. They are already beautiful which is WHY they need to take care of themselves. We take good care of already beautiful things.
2. You are a nice girl
"Because you are such a nice girl I know that you will reach out to that child at school who was sitting all alone".
"That was not very nice, and you are a nice girl. Nice girls do such & such."
"You are way too sweet to speak so meanly"
"Oh my goodness, you are way too nice to have such a temper"
Again, I am learning to focus on the positive. Because you are already sweet you should do these things.
3. What you say is important
You have all of my attention. Undivided. Not in the middle of all of my doings. I will stop what I am doing and take the time to listen to you. Even if you ramble on and on, even if it doesn't seem important to me. I will ask questions and look you in the eyes so you know I am listening.
4. I just adore you
This speaks such measures to a child. Adoration. To be adored. It encompasses so much of who they are.
5. You can be yourself
I will not compare you to others. God made you you for a reason. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all make mistakes. You are awesome just the way you are. You don't need to be anyone but you. You don't need to be like your siblings. Each of you are loved. Just the way you are.
When your daughter hears that she is beautiful, nice, adored, loved for who she is and knows that what she says is of value, you will begin to build a self esteem and confidence that females can so lack as they grow older. You will instill a greater love and appreciation of oneself. And when they can see themselves this way they in turn see others this way and treat others as such.

April 16, 2013

Some of My Favorite Books

 This is a memoir written by a woman who survived the horrific holocaust. 
This is such an amazing story, so perfectly written. 

This is BY far THE absolute best book that I have ever read. There is nothing else to say about it other than that! Every Francine Rivers book truly is a must read!

1920's Hollywood 

This is another Wow! Captures you right away in the first couple of pages and you cannot put it down. 

Another historical fiction book that sets you in the midst of WWII

 This book will forever change you. You will have such a desire and yearning to love and pray for the women of Afghanistan after reading this.

From start to finish. You have to press through with this one. When you finish you will have an in awe moment. Complete story package.

There is a movie based on this book too, which was fun to watch and see how they adapted it to film.

Must read Orphan Train. It's SO good!

The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers is excellent!

The Help is a must read and then the movie is a must see!

Another excellent read!

April 11, 2013

Ode to My Siblings

They say yesterday was apparently 'Sibling Day', which I never actually knew was such a day. Though these days there is a day for everything and anything so I am not surprised.

Being that it was Sibling Day, the timing for this post is perfect. And one I have been wanting to write since last week.

Recently, I had an interview with our licensing worker for foster care. The questions mainly had to do with my upbringing and home life as a kid. Although, not perfect by any means, I had such pride in my family and where I come from after we were done. Our worker was in awe over a lot of the things I told her. I find myself a little embarrassed it took a totally unbiased person to help me see the awesome upbringing I had.

I've always loved having a big family. Coming from a home that was filled with love, chaos, constant noise, fun, etc. My family is so giving, loving, pro-children, hardworking, strong, non-judgmental, kind-hearted, accepting and inclusive of all walks of life. Coming from a large family I have desired such for my own children. And I cannot wait to walk out the foster care process and eventually adopt children. Coming from a blended family is amazing and opens your heart to love and acceptance beyond anything else.

I couldn't imagine not having my 7 siblings! And yes, they are my REAL siblings. And No there are not steps or halves, we are all siblings. Brothers & Sisters.

So, we're going to start down the line.

This is my big brother Mike.
 Mike is a hilarious, sarcastic, hard working, extremely intelligent man, with a very big heart he pretends is more like the grinch or scrooge, but that is all a front.

 This is our entire family in the 80's. I was in 3rd grade when we got this taken in the WI Dells during a vacation. This is all of us minus my youngest brother who wasn't born yet.

This is Maria. Maria is as sweet as they come. Gentle, kind hearted. A wonderful, godly, faithful wife & mother.

This is David. He is really a big kid at heart. He loves the outdoors. He also has a huge heart. He is very sensitive, a big teddy bear, very funny, and one of the most forgiving people I have ever known. And very handsome!! 

 This is Jenny. She is Superwoman. Seriously. 9 kids. Beat cancer. All while going through nursing school and working her butt off. She is such an amazing mom.

 This is Stephanie. She is a wonderful mother. Very giving & big hearted to those in need. A great baker!!!

And I would be next as #6 of 8 kids...

 This is Anne. A very kind hearted person, good to everyone, accepting of others, & friendly to all.

This is my baby brother Andy. He is a walking miracle. He is very witty and funny. Nice to everyone.

 The 80's were so awesome!

 My handsome big brothers and Anne sneaking in.

 My sisters!!! The BEST sisters in the world.

An incomplete 7 of us. Missing David...

 Anne & me I was about 2 1/2 and she was under one.

 Our amazing miracle Andy shortly after waking from his coma. Touched by God. Saved through prayers from literally all over the world.

 I really really love my siblings.

All of my siblings are just flat out nice people. Our parents instilled that kindness in us.

This is all of us in 2006 at my Dad's 70th birthday party. My older brothers came into town to surprise him. It was so awesome!

5 of us with my Mom