Sunday, May 27

Mommy's Manners Make Me Happy

Recently, I was walking through a hotel I happened to notice a mom and small child who were walking in front of us. A stranger held the door for them and the mother thanked him. Just a moment later the child opened another door for his mom, who passed through the door with out so much as a, "thanks."
Sometimes we as moms can forget that a simple thank you can go a long way. Please and thank you are not just for our kids, they are for us, they are for grand parents, brothers and sisters, and kind strangers too. We are constantly reminding our littles to use their manners, but when they do something for us, or we ask them to do something, please don't forget those 2 extra words that mean so much.
And while please and thank you go a long way, it helps to take the time to acknowledge our baby's hard work, effort, and just plain kindness. My littles are still at the age where they love to help me, but I can't help wondering if maybe using my manners won't make that stage stick around just that much longer?
What about our spouses?
Yes, spouses need to feel appreciated also. WHen your love hands you a glass of water, fixes that broken sink, or brings home your favorite candy bar; thank them. When yu ask for something say please, and for goodness sake, guys when your wife does a good job (even if it's just that she tried hard) at something, gals if your husband does a good job (even if he just tried hard), praise your love for doing their best.
Manners, praise, and just plain appreciation can make a world of difference when it comes to a whole lot of things. how do you show your littles or your love your appreciation? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time my friends, God bless & Make it a great day!

Saturday, May 19

Half Full Or Half Empty

Every once in a while, life will throw us curve balls that have the potential to knock us six ways from Sunday. I mean those moments when it seems like nothing is what it should be, everything is going wrong, and on top of that you still have your everyday tasks to attend to.
Staying positive: OUr attitude and how we perceive things can make all the difference in the world. We've all heard the old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In other words, it's your decision to see this cup half full or to see it half empty.
People can be mean and realize it or not. No matter what we do, so keep your head up despite what words are thrown in your direction; with the knowledge in your heart that you either did nothing wrong or you are doing your best to correct your mistake. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. And killing them with kindness is a great way to deal with mean or unpleasant people.
Finances are one of the top reasons marriages fall apart. Don't let this happen to yours. Folks please remember that money is _not everything, and your spouse is priceless. When you cut expenses, make changes, and work together; you both can make it work.
When the past comes back up to bring you down, the best thing to do is to forgive, and let go. While this is so much easier said than done, it feels so wonderful when you finally get there; but it has to be a conscious decision on your part.
Most of all, remember that you are on this earth for a reason, God Has a plan, and He loves you.
(how I talk myself out of negativity,: "When I am down and oh my soul's so weary, when trouble comes and my heart burdened be. Then I am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit a while with me."
When a person struggles with depression negativity tends to rear it's ugly head. Sometimes at the absolute worst possible moments. And it is during these times that a person has to really work hard to fight these thoughts and keep on going. Sometimes I have days like the aforementioned example. It's not fun, and it's even harder to explain to the people who love you. so take a step back for a moment to take a breath, say a prayer, and then find 10 things to be grateful for. There are days I have to begin with the air I breathe and the floor under my feet then go on to my family and so forth. But that is the most effective technique I've found, thanking God for all His blessings, takes my focus off the things I am having a hard time with. The next prayer I say is to ask God for his guidance with whatever situations are in my immediate care. Sometimes we just have to let go and let God.
, and what to do when you can't.): And then, there's the moment when we've exhausted all of our options and we're waiting for God to answer our prayers. Sometimes our emotions just need an outlet. Yes my strong male friends; you too need an emotional outlet. Take a moment to sit and let yourself feel; feel sad, feel angry, feel frustrated, and then let it out. Cry, punch that pillow, screen into your pillow or bed. Another very effective way I found to let my feelings go is to write a letter to whomever (even if it just says "dear Whoever,") talk about your feelings, why you feel that way, or even what you wish you could do; take that letter and rip it, smash it, and throw it away. The writing will get your feelings out, the ripping and smashing will give you a way to channel that energy, and to throw it away can give you a sense of closure. It's ok to be sad, angry, etc. if you have a reason. Letting it out healthily is a necessity all humans have. Please do not take your anger out on the ones who love you, or yourself, because that is not healthy for anyone, and if you find that you are having a particularly hard time dealing with something in your life; please do not hesitate to ask for the help you need. Love yourself and those around you enough to ask for that help.
My friends, we all reach points in our lives when things don't go our way, but it's what you do during that time that matters. Whether you are there now, have been there before, or haven't been there yet; I hope this stays with you and that you will remember these techniques but most of all that when you are at the bottom of the barrel the only way to look is up to God.
Until next time, God bless and Make it a great day!

Friday, May 18

Old Lessons - "Please Pass The Potatos?"

With such busy schedules most families face today; dinner as a family is something that requires a conscious effort. But that effort is crucial to the morality and family bond. THe lessons our children learn from something as simple as setting a table, the etiquette, and presentation of a formal dinner meal is something that is quickly being lost in modern society. Even if it's not _every day, it's important to share that time with our children.
I recently spoke to a friend of mine who mentioned life when we were kids. and She told me that she appreciated the way I served breakfast the last time she and her daughter came to visit. I made a simple meal of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. I put each item in a dish and set them in the middle of the table. We ha d nice meal together and clean up was only a couple of extra dishes. I particularly like the fact that I can sit down and enjoy a meal with out having to get up to serve seconds, or worry about kids carrying plates from the kitchen to the dining area. While I set out 3 different forks or spoons, nor do I give my children knives, I do set a napkin with a fork and a spoon on the right side of each plate and I set a cup at 1 o'clock. It's easy to do and fun to be able to enjoy my children in this way.
It doesn't have to be a fancy meal (see breakfast above) or even a fancy setting, just as long as you remember to enjoy the food you eat and the time you have together.
Until next time my friends. God bless, and Make it a great day!

Mommy And Me Manicure and Tea

Mommy, put your hands like this so I can see them? Momm, it's time" Daughter says smiling as she squeezes my index fingernail between her tiny index and thumb.
"Time for what?" I say taking the bate.
"let's paint your nails!" she happily whispers in my face.
I set up a TV tray in front of the couch while she gets the manicure box (an old wipes box) from my room.
This box contains nail polish remover, clear coats, a few polish colors, and some cotton balls. It's not a whole lot, but it serves us well.
She paints my nails and does and awesome job at it too. I don't say that because she is my daughter, i say that because she truly is good at it. (I wish I had a picture to post.)
Then she paints her own nails. I put some water to boil and ready the tea set. While the water boils we clear the tray table away and then sit at the dining table. I make the tea and we wait for it to steep. We chat about colors, drying polish until it's time to pour. She puts oreos on napkins. We sip our tea and eat cookies. We pray for our food, talk about her day and mine, and then a little about when the time comes for her to have tea with her daughter/s. I love to hear her ideas, her thoughts, and the way they grow and change. my 6 year old will grow up all too soon and I hope that she will grow with fond memories of her "mommy".
I can't always be the fun one, I have to set rules and boundaries since that's my job as a mother; but that doesn't mean I can't have fun with an enjoy my daughter's company.
What special thing do you do with your child/ren to build your relationship? I'd love to hear from you.
Until Next time my friends. God bless and Make it a great day!

I never Knew

"wow, I never knew the back of my car looked like this," my mother said to me recently as I was helping her clean out her van.
Those words sparked a thought I hadn't considered before.
"Think of all the things we miss because of the idea that we're grown now."
The backseat of a van, the bottom or top bunk, sitting on the floor. These are all things our children do on a regular basis. Yet we don't do anymore. And then we wonder to ourselves what our kids are thinking.
How can we understand our children's point of view if we don't view things from their points? I realized that we as parents or "grownups" have the best of both worlds. YOu see, we can sit on the floor, watch cartoons, and eat PB&J. We can also reach that cookie jar, know where all the goodies are hidden, and push those buttons on "mommy and daddy's computer".
Taking the time to visit our kids in their world gives us a better understanding of what they feel, how they think, and ultimately who they are. Our children are more than diaper changes, juice boxes, homework, and video games. They are little people with minds, feelings, and interest all their own.
So, I urge you to take time and visit the world we once knew as ours, the world of toys, games, and unwanted nap times. Or if you have teens, play a video game or two, watch a tv show or share a book with your child. You know they grow up way too fast, so enjoy their company and share a moment that neither you or your child will soon forget.
Until Next time, GOd bless, & as always; Make it a great day!

Why We Sign & - APD And ASL

ASL stands for american Sign Language.
"Ok, so what do these things have to do with each other?"
I've written before about our struggles with my son's APD and how long it has taken to get a written diagnosis. Even with out the written diagnosis and through all of that time we were told that he needed visual clues such as pictures, or written word. (my son doesn't read fluently yet) I found that I could call his name and he would respond but couldn't follow my instructions.
During the summer 2010 we had gone to the library to check out books and I had remembered seeing Signing Time (a show from 2 Little Hands Productions) on TV and asked if the children's library carried DVD's. So, we checked out and returned the series all that summer.
Jump ahead to 2012 and after discovering that the signs we remembered from that summer passed are effective in helping son communicate and learn; we decided that would learn and use ASL as a tool for him.
So far; it works wonderfully. We have had success over the past few months and since we've started using ASL our lives have been much easier. And despite my blindness, we make it work. I speak and sign to him, and he talks to me. If we need to he can sign in my hands and has even been known to help a stranger communicate in a pinch.
If you have a child with APD or any other language or speech delays, I urge you to give ASL a try. I know I sound like a commercial but I promise I am speaking from the heart, I'm not paid to write this, (I may even get in trouble for mentioning the show) but I know what worked for us and I don't think that is coincidence. I love Signing Time because it makes learning fun for people of all ages and abilities and I love the songs Rachel Coleman uses to make the lessons easy to remember. However, there are plenty of books and other ASL resources you can check out at the library or contact your local hearing and speech center.
I know how much help this has been for us, and i hope it is just as helpful to you and your family.
Until Next time. God bless, and Make it a great day!

A Little Elbow Grease Can Save a Lot Of Money

By making your own things, up cycling or repurposing used containers, and cooking from scratch; a family can really save a pretty penny. I buy what i need in bulk put it together and store it as best I can in the space I have. An added bonus is that bread or cookie mixes, spice combinations, pasta and dry ingredients, etc. placed in pretty containers (even up cycled containers) make great gifts.
Here then are a few things I either up cycled or repurposed recently
1. An old face cleanser pump bottle: I took the label off using baby oil to clean away the sticky residue and filled it with my dish soap. It sits on my sink ready to dispense the right amount of soap and is much more pleasing to the eye than a big bulky gallon bottle.
2. old candle jar: I've done this one several times before and it's always a success. I take a jar cantle that no longer has a wick or is out of wax, and set it in a sauce pan filled with water about half way to the top of the jar, then I heat it until the wax becomes liquid. I pour the wax on to a paper plate or into a smaller jar (a wick can be added to create another smaller candle), wipe the rest of the wax away with a paper towel, and wash with dish soap. these jars make great candy dishes, pencil holders, hair tie holders, or you can even set small flowers and colored rocks or water in them to decorate a room or office.
3. Toilet paper rolls: Once the toilet paper has been removed completely, I do 1 of 3 things, I have the kids color them and write their name and year or date on them, then they select a few paintings or other papers to keep, we roll them up and slide them in the roll for safe storage. I slip hair ties around the outside and place a brush in the middle to keep my or my daughter's hair items organized. Last but not least; I cut the roll in to several 1inch rings, decorate them and use them as napkin rings for a special event such as a theme birthday party.
4. clothing: There are a large number of options for clothing. Here are just a few. Cut linen or T-shirts with pinking sheers (this prevents fraying) in to squares and add solution to make wipes (i.e. Cleaning wipes, baby wipes, hand and face wipes) these can be washed and reused over and over again. Jeans make great purses, coin purses, or even water bottle cases. Use a pillow case to make an apron or dress for your little ones. The possibilities are truly endless.
5. Cereal boxes: If you cut a cereal box from the top diagonally leaving 2inches from the bottom, cover it with either fabric or paper, and add embellishments; you have a place to store homework papers, books, or office documents to be attended to on your desk. Use smaller boxes such as gelatin boxes for things like paper clips, macaroni boxes for envelopes, or a square shaped box for pencils and scissors. YOu can leave them as individual holders or tape them together to create an all-in-one organizer. empty food cans make great organizers as well, just remember to place a strip of thick tape over the opening to cover any sharp edges. A tuna can for small items, soup cans make great pencil holders, and papers can fit in a large coffee can; don't forget to tape or paper the bottom as well so as not to scratch a desk or other surface.
These are just some of many different things you can do to upcycle or repurpose the "would be garbage" in our houses. But there is another often over looked benefit to these projects. I have to say that elbow grease makes
a great confidence booster. If you teach your babies to do things like cook, sew, and even household tasks; they will take pride in having worked to accomplish these things, and that skill will be something they take with them when they inevitably leave the nest. And these projects are a great way to teach resourcefulness and build great memories as well.
What lessons do you make an extra effort to teach your babies? I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time my friends. God bless and Make it a great day!

A Word Is Like a Latter

On a daily basis I sit with my 2nd oldest son and listen as he does his best to read the books on our shelf. For a long time, I'd have him spell a word he was stuck on and then give him the answer. Until I figured out the easiest way to explain the process of sounding out a word.
"remember, a word is like a latter. you have to step on every rung of a latter to get to the top. Likewise you must use every written letter to sound a word out properly. Even if that letter is silent or blended, it still counts for something."
These words proved to be gold for him. He now understands and practices his phonics much better than he had in the past.
Teaching my son to read has proven to be a bit of a challenge but I know with time and diligence we will get there sooner rather than later.
Learning to work with APD, is a slow process but with God's blessing, we are making progress everyday. I hope this helps you and if you have any other ideas for teaching and learning with APD I'd really love to hear from you.
Until Next time, take care, God bless, & as always; Make it a great day!

Back online

Hello Friends,
This is just a quick note to say a big thank you to John over at Apple support. In February My sweet hubby bought me a new mac computer and Up until now I had been struggling with the site I use for this blog. Not because they did something, but because I couldn't get my new screen reader to work with the programing. So, anyway, I am back and this next few hours I will be posting all the blog entries I hadn't been able to post since then.
Thanks for your patience and I apologize for the inconvenience.
And as always, God bless and make it a great day!

Unschooling our way

Have you ever wanted to spend a day at the beach, in the park, or just watching TV?
I think we all have days like that. but what if days like that could be center of your child's education?
In September I posted an article about our homeschool schedule, but since things have been so hectic around these parts lately; I have sort of dispensed with the schedule and watched what happens.
WHat happened truly was a surprise.. My children continued to learn, grow, and they actually enjoyed it. Instead of setting times and tasks (which meant fighting to keep everyone's attention), I simply put on educational videos, set out art supplies, and even some story books. I can't even tell you how shocked I was to see them all playing with the same playdough
set, listening as "big Brother" read a story, and discussing amongst themselves just exactly how it was that an egg is like the layers of the planet Earth.
I am hearing that there is a name for this; it's called unschooling? I don't know if this type of learning falls in that category, but it is working for my bunch of babies.
In my opinion, they just seem to learn better when they take an interest in what is around them. Even the times when I start a project I'm almost certain they won't care about, the cherubs are eager to help mom and they learn a skill or 2 in the process.
"How do you teach the basic academic skills then?"
After phonics and basic addition, subtraction multiplication and division facts are memorized (usually via flash cards) I don't have to. THe basics come from reading labels, signs, and even captions from the TV. *Close caption or subtitles are a huge help* Math comes from working out everyday problems, such as grocery shopping, table setting, recipe measuring, and household inventory. History comes from discussion, film, and book reading (silent or listening). Field trips such as, zoo, museum, and other places after time spent on a particular subject give the kiddos a great memory to go with the spark of interest that started it all.
Now, don't think I just let it go and let them wander free. i set out materials according to what they need to learn, and let them discover them for themselves. They just don't know that part. lol
WHile this may not be ideal for every family, it's what works for mine. And if you happen to spark an idea from it; then my job was done right today. :)
I hope this post has helped you in some way, but now I have to go feed some hungry tummies.
So until next time, as always; Take care, God bless, and Make it a great day!

Back burner blog

Hello again friends,
Over the passed few months this blog baby of mine, has been set on the back burner to make way for Birthdays, broken bones, and blessed holidays. After that, surgery, recovery, and that has lead the Pineda family 5 right in to the final week of the 1st quarter of 2012.
While all this has gone on I've not had much of a chance to keep in touch with friends or extended family, to do what I had planned for the "new" year, or even to keep up with house chores and other obligations. It's been a bit of a roler coaster ladies and gents. But, over the passed week, things have finally come together. And I am caught up (ok, for the most part) with my house work.
I successfully decluttered my kitchen, bedroom, living room, and even my linen closet.
*I'm so proud of me. :)
I am a beginner bloger I don't have give-aways, advertising competition, or even readers that comment on my posts; but I write from the heart, and from my life. No, my grammar isn't perfect, my wording isn't always right, but I share my stories, experiences, and knowledge with those who are interested in the hope of offering some person out in weby land a sense of "someone else' has been there too."
so, here I am, on this Sunday Afternoon, writing my 27th post, and I wanted it to be a better one than just me raving on about these passed couple of months. So, what i will share with you today is; How I Decluttered Our 2 Bedroom Apartment after my recovery.
To begin my tale of tasks unwanted, I had some complications at the beginning of this year that lead to an operation in the 3rd week of February. Supposably it was only going to be 2 weeks recovery but when all was said and done, it was a full month before I felt myself again. This meant that I had laid/sat on my bum for 4 straight weeks. This also meant that my house basically sat on it's bum for the same amount of time; except for hubby's help with laundry and dishes. *can we say ugh?
So, as you can probably imagine; it was going to be no spring picnic to get us ship shape again.
I began with what was around me and just had 2 containers, a find a place, and a trash container. What ever didn't belong where i was got tossed in either one of these receptacles. Once they were full, they got emptied. Trash of course went in the trash, and other stuff found it's proper place. If it didn't have a place, it went in a "bye-bye" bag. (This has yet to be taken to the local church but is in the works)
And, so has been my passed week, but over all it had to get done, and it did.
Confession: I've never been a super cleaner, I always just did what I could get done perfectly with the time and energy that I had, (a mistake as I would learn because to quote the FlyLady, "even housework done incorrectly blesses your family") but more importantly I learned a valuable lesson; that less really _is more. The less I have to pick up, fix, or just deal with; the more time I have to spend with my family. And kids _really _do grow up way too fast.
On a personal note; I learned another very valuable lesson, and that is in all the years I've been married, my husband has given me everything in his power, and what he asked of me I had completely missed. I had asked him many many times what it was he wanted most, and each time he had no materialistic want to be fulfilled, but almost everyday he would ask me to clean our room/kitchen/etc, and I would find some reason not do what he asked of me. Now, I see that his desire isn't the hottest app, the newest big screen, or even the smallest camera; it's a clean and comfortable home. What I don't know is why it took me so long to see what I should have known from the beginning.
The only answer I have at all is, that God moves in His own time. Thanks my sweet hubby for being so patient with me through all these years.
Well folks, I've shared what I have for this week, and God willing I'll be back next week to share something else with you.
Until next time, God bless & Make it a great day!