Relishing Life

Focusing on the Blessings in My Life

Happiness March 7, 2009

Filed under: family,habits,Homemaking,marriage,musing,nature,raising children — Relishing Life @ 12:02 am

What is your definition of happiness?

When you have more than enough money to fulfill your needs?
When your soul mate smiles at you?
When your child tells you that he loves you?
When an friend calls to just to say “hi?”
When your pet cuddles with you?
When you are traveling?
When you curled up with a good book?
When you receive a hand-written letter in the mail?
When the traffic was light on the way to work?
When you nailed the presentation?

There are so many aspects of life which we can base our happiness upon. Yet, it is a choice as to what we allow to affect our moods. We all have things go wrong during our day:

We just can’t get up when the alarm buzzes the first time putting us behind for the ENTIRE DAY…
Traffic was horrid making us irritable…
The boss picks the other guy for the special project…
The kids make a mess and are fussing about everything…
Our spouse had a bad day and all household tasks are left for us to handle…
The cat threw up on the carpet AGAIN…

The list goes on and on. But are these really reasons not to be happy? Yes, they put a damper on that moment, but happiness is a state of mind. One which we have control over. We can choose to let these things bring us down for the rest of the day OR we can focus on the blessings of the situation or other blessings in our life.

Many – okay, most – of my days are rout with minor irritants that dampen my mood:

The kids don’t want to get dressed…
Now, they want to get dressed, but refuse to actually put the cloths on their bodies or let me do so…
The boys are arguing over a toy…
The house is a mess…
The ability to put DH’s dirty cloths in the hamper has eluded him – although our 2 year old and 4 year old do so without prompting…
The cat has thrown up on the carpet AGAIN…
It is five o’clock and I still haven’t even considered what to make for supper…
DH is irritable after a long day of work and traffic…
Did I mention that the cat has thrown up yet again???

But, these things are only minor nuisances. They might cause me a bit of additional work and definitely help me to develop more patience and tolerance, but they aren’t life-threatening although our attitudes can be. So, when something annoys me, I try my best – which quite often is not good enough – to remain calm and focus the blessings:

The kids are learning to assert their independence…
The boys are learning the art of negotiation…
We are blessed with an abundance of earthly things…
The boys love being Mommy’s helper and taking care of Daddy’s cloths for him…
Our purring cats…
McD’s is on DH way home from work (LOL!)…
DH comes home to be with us most every night and enjoys his work…

Happiness is a conglomeration of all of the little blessings in life that we choose to focus on.  As I continue on my journey, I work on my patience and understanding. I try not to become angered by the little ones’ blatant disobedience (most often failing). I try not to impose my expectations on others (DH) unduly. And, each night I pray that God will grant me the patience and skills to be the best mom and wife I can be. It is a blessing to know that I don’t have to be perfect!  With God’s help and my determination to try to choose to be happy as much as I can by recalling my blessings and the small joys that bring me so much pleasure instead of fixating on the nuisances, I am beginning to be a much happier person!  Please remind me of that it is up to me to remember my blessing the next time I start focusing on the negative, okay?

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Recovering February 19, 2009

Filed under: family,raising children — Relishing Life @ 10:27 pm

The little ones have been ill for the past week now. I have been a bit under the weather, but the poor boys have been in hit pretty hard. It turns out that our older son is fighting (with the help of antibiotics) a double ear infection as well as the flu while our younger son is combating the flu alone. This is actually the second round in our house since last Friday which began with the younger one and has come back around again. I feel so sorry for them. The blessing is that everyone seems to be on the up-swing of it all (and they could have been inflected with much worse – a HUGE blessing as that was not the case!) and hopefully not be sharing it again. The second blessing is that our oldest can blow his own nose. Now, I just have to convince Mr. You-Need-to-Do-Everything-For-Me-Unless-I-WANT-to-Do-It that he is quite capable of accomplishing this task on his own as well. LOL! But, it is nice to be needed even if it is to wipe slime off.

 

A Day of Growth February 13, 2009

Filed under: raising children — Relishing Life @ 12:01 am

Growing my resolve that I will not give into the bad behavior of my toddler who keep openly defying me.
Growing patience as I repeatedly put K back in the corner as he refused to “do his time.”
Growing a deeper gratitude for the time and effort that my mom put into my “child training” helping me to be one of those children that parents comment on their good behavior (at least that is how I remember it…).
Growing my repertoire of skills which to use in my child training.
Growing a greater appreciation of my husband’s ability to handle the children’s misbehavior in a manner that gets results without the backtalk. There is something about Daddy that just makes them straighten up.

 

The Best Brownies EVER! February 12, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,raising children — Relishing Life @ 10:01 am

J loves baking with me. His favorite thing to make? BROWNIES! J is a very picky eater – but he loves brownies and really enjoys baking them. J and I have the recipe for the best brownies ever!!

Best Brownies EVER

2 boxes of your favorite brownie mix
Ingredients to add to the mix per directions on the box
Shortening
Huge bowl for mixing
9 x 13 glass baking dish
1 sandwich baggie
1 wooden spoon
1 bowl scrapper
Lots of love
2 dish rags
1 towel

1. Preheat the oven as directed by the instructions on the back of the brownie mix.
2. Using the sandwich baggie as a glove, Little Person greases the baking dish with the shortening. Mommy discards baggie after “touching up” the dish to ensure complete coverage of grease.
3. With a little assistance from Mommy, Little Person adds the brownie mix and all required ingredients listed on the box into a huge bowl. Don’t worry about the brownie mix that gets split on the counter – there will be more added to it shortly!
4. Using the wooden spoon, Little Person *gently* stirs the ingredients until he tires and turns this task over to Mommy. Note: Little ones are still learning about the physical sciences and the fact that while mixing batter the resistance level does not remain constant. He is trying to stir gently! Refrain from becoming upset or cleaning up just yet.
5. Mommy finishes mixing the brownie batter.
6. Mommy pours the batter into the grease baking dish – not scrapping out the bowl well – while Little Person tries to patiently wait until he can use the bowl scrapper. Mommy spreads the batter in the dish and places in the oven allowing them to bake for somewhere around one hour.
7. Little Person now uses the bowl scrapper to scrap out the yummy raw brownie batter and licks off the scrapper. Mommy gets to us the wooden spoon to scrap brownie batter out for herself as this allows Little Person a chance at getting a good share on his much larger bowl scrapper. Remember to let other little people have a lick also.
8. Use one dish rag to clean brownie batter off the faces and fronts of Little Person and yourself. Use second dish rag to clean the counters, back splash, floor, cabinets, etc.
9. Let brownies cool and enjoy your yummy creation of love!

 

A Fresh Start February 9, 2009

Filed under: habits,Homemaking,musing,raising children — Relishing Life @ 8:12 pm
A fresh start, a new beginning
Past mistakes erased, poor choices forgiven
A chance to thrive under new circumstances
The opportunity to become who you were meant to be

When blessed with a fresh start, make the most of it! Every moment is a fresh start to some degree. Make the conscience decision to make better decisions every moment from here on out. All decisions won’t be the best, we are human.

Here are some of the things that I am going to concentrate on (and it will take ALOT of work on my part and ALOT of help from God to even begin to make improvements in these areas!) as I step forward from this point:

  • Providing more “child training” for my little ones
  • Being more soft-spoken to my family
  • Taking more care in my household tasks as they are a reflection of my love of my family
  • Making better choices with how I spend my time (i.e., less time on the internet)
  • Giving others the benefit of the doubt
  • Reach out in friendship to others more
 

Let Them Play February 2, 2009

Filed under: education,musing,raising children — Relishing Life @ 6:47 pm

If we all wish for the days of our childhood when we were free of adult responsibilities, why are we pushing our children to grow up so fast by taking away their free time and instituting formal education at a younger and younger age? Why is it that we wish to be carefree and playful like children yet we are always telling our children to be quiet, “act your age” (which is another way of saying “you aren’t behaving like a miniature adult), and quit goofing off? Is it because we are jealous at their ability to truly enjoy life to the fullest while we are weighted down by the responsibilities of adulthood?

I am going to try harder to let my children be children. It is hard to just let them be kids sometimes, but that is what their job is – to be kids! They make messes. They investigate things. They are exuberant. They are God’s blessings to us. Lets delight in them enjoying the world!

 

My Helpful Little One January 28, 2009

Filed under: raising children — Relishing Life @ 3:16 am

Ahh… the blessings of an intelligent child! How is it that we so excited that our child is bright, yet when they do something that is “helpful” they are being naughty and we find ourselves exasperated?!?! Sunday was one of those days! Actually, it was mostly amusing, but at the same time I had this sinking “we are in deep shit!” feeling about J, our 4-1/2 year old son.

J was able to accomplish 3 “helpful” tasks within an hour! Quite the resourceful little chap. The morning started off like any other morning. DH ran an errand for me while the boys and I stayed home. While we were upstairs, I was in our bedroom talking to DH on the phone (he had called to verify what it was that he was suppose to be purchasing for us) when I heard banging coming from the boys’ room. As I was occupied on the phone and it sounded like a plastic toy being banged on something, I wasn’t too concerned. So, upon completely my conversation with DH, I went to see what the noise had been. Well, my considerate son, J, had decided to move a plaque that was hanging over his bed to over his bother’s bed so that when K wakes up in the morning he could see it. At least that is what he told me upon questioning him as to his intentions. It was a very nice thought as the plaque is K’s and I simply hadn’t gotten around to moving it when we had them switch beds. However…. this entailed J taking the ceramic plaque off the wall, taking the nail out of the hole, going over to K’s bed and using his plastic toy hammer (thus the plastic banging) to hammer the nail into the wall where J thought it should go and then hanging the ceramic plaque on it – just as I walked in to see what he was doing….. UGH!! But, he was able to complete the task all by himself without any damage being done.

Then, J went downstairs to fix a piece of his Hot Wheels track. He decided that he would use Elmer’s glue (thank God he decided on the Elmer’s glue instead of the super glue!!) to repair a piece of his track that was coming off. Luckily, I intervened before he had opened the glue.

Not 30 minutes later, I hear K fussing at J to stop cutting K’s hair. I didn’t give this too much thought either – BIG MISTAKE – as they have several pairs of toy scissors that don’t cut anything and they have being enjoy playing barber with them quite a bit lately. But, K kept on fussing and ran into the kitchen crying. I started fussing at J as I was trying to calm K down. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “J, were you cutting K’s hair?”
J: “Yes, but I was using my scissors.”
Me: “You better have been using play scissors and not real scissors!”
J: “I wasn’t using ‘real’ scissors. I was using MY scissors. And, I cut my hair, too.” (I had over-heard the discussion between the two of them that J had already cut his own hair so it was K’s turn.)
Then, I notice a small tuff of hair on the kitchen floor!!
Me: “You did too use real scissors!! You know better than that!!”
J: “No, I didn’t use ‘real’ scissors. I used MY scissors.”
The “my scissors” that Julian had been referring to blunt-end child-sized Fiskers! I keep them in an upper-drawer of our hutch. Julian had pulled a chair over to reach them.
Me: “Why did you do that?”
J: “I needed my hair cut and wanted to save you from having to take me to the place to get my hair cut.” Awww… how thoughtful! Luckily, you couldn’t really tell on either of the boys where J had cut their hair.

About an hour later, I cut J’s hair myself. It turned out pretty good. DH even thought so. 🙂

So, with all of this “helping” – and the scary thing is that he really was trying to help each time!! – I don’t have any idea how I am going to keep up with J, let alone stay one step ahead! LOL!! Ahh, the blessing of children!! I wouldn’t miss it for the world!! And, it sure does make me smile thinking about it – heck, you just have to giggle about it – he was just trying to help!