Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

This time of year I tend to be more "thankful" but I am trying to change my thinking so that this mindset is year round. We are so blessed in SO many ways but I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts....It helps me to remember the "good" things when I tend to feel down and complain about stupid things.

*I am so grateful to have the most amazing husband, ( who by the way thinks I don't do enough blogging about "him" so I hope to change that!) provider, and father to our 2 children. He works countless hours, goes on MANY business trips to Texas, yet still helps around the house when he can. He helps with our nightly bath time and takes Brayden in the late evenings so I can relax, watch TV, read or spend time on the computer. It helps my mindset and gives me a much needed break.

*We have been blessed with 2 amazing children who are bright, so full of life and love to smile and laugh. Yes, they have the typical red-headed personality but life would be REALLY boring without them. :) They keep me on my toes during the day and their faces light up when "daddy" comes home from work.

*I have to say something about the family I married in to. Yes, I was warned- in fact I laugh every time I think about that. A lot of people cannot stand their in-laws, but I happen to be very fond of mine as well as my two sister-in-laws and their families. I do not have sisters so Nikki and Holli are about as close as I'll ever get! Even though we are all spread far apart ( from 1 coast to the other) we still find time for Holsan family gatherings and next year it will be Holli's wedding! I love Holli's finance Pete. He is the nicest guy and the kids all love him, he'll be a great addition to the family.

*I am so fortunate to have my own supportive parents who are still living and together after many many years. My mother is my rock, my sounding board, my best friend and I don't know what I would do without her! My dad cracks me up with his funny emails and "mellow" personality. He doesn't let much phase him since retirement. I keep a special place in my heart for my brother and his family.

* I am very appreciative and blessed to live in such a wonderful neighborhood and have such great neighbors. We live on a street with lots of young families and kids. It is so fun to see them all out playing, riding their bikes, or digging for worms, bugs and anything else they can find. This is the first neighborhood that we've lived in, where I feel totally comfortable, supported, and most importantly safe.

* Finally I am thankful for my own health and well being and that I've been blessed enough to become a stay at home mom. It is the HARDEST job in the world but I wouldn't take a second back for anything. This season I am trying hard to simplify things and really remember why we celebrate the holidays. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peek-A-Boo Look What I Can Do!!

Today was a BIG day for Brayden! We had to finally bust out the "cage" because he is everywhere and into everything! Brayden has played in it a lot today with his favorite toys and as you can tell from the pictures, has learned to pull himself up to a stand! Not bad for 7 1/2 months! I rejoice at all his recent accomplishments- crawling, sitting on his knees and now standing- but where did the time go? My baby is turning into a mobile, slobbery, devious little boy! In one of the pictures he has this "look" about him that says " I am trouble!!" The last picture really reflects his personality. HA! I don't think we're prepared for this. Oh well, I guess I'm just happy to have something to blog about!






Friday, November 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been "tagged" by my good friend Audrey, whom I met in Kansas, but now lives in Oklahoma with her hubby and two boys and one on the way!

Rules:
1) Post the rules on your blog
2) Write 6 random things about yourself
3) Tag 6 other people at the end of your post

1) I drink a lot of coffee every morning loaded with flavored creamer! My holiday picks are peppermint mocha and carmel apple. I love Starbucks and my favorite drinks are "white chocolate mocha" and "carmel macchiato." Love 'em sweet and rich!

2) I am STILL in transition from working to being a stay at home mom. I can't decide which is more work. I love the social life of working but wouldn't miss being with my kids for anything!

3) I need more sleep. I require at least 8 hours a night and I can't remember the last time I slept through the night! My son is not a very good sleeper like his sister was, so we are still in a daze over this one!

4)I have joined a Wed. night book club and I love it! There are lots of women with young children with a lot in common- my cup of tea! Right now we are studying "Living Simply" by Joanne Heim. It is the BEST book ever and for you Christian moms out there it is a MUST READ!!!

5)I love the Pacific Northwest! I like to find cool places to hike, trails to walk, and paths to explore with my daughter. I love the sunny days even more and the glorious mornings after a solid week of dark and rain! The wine here is plentiful and I love living near water, hills, Mt. Hood and St. Helen's! Sure beats Kansas!

6) Last but not least, I am trying to simplify the holidays through cooking less, shopping less, eating less and spending more time as a family, praying, sleeping, reading, walking and chatting with friends on facebook! ( can't forget that one- I'm hooked!)

People I tag:
Sarah
Rachel
Amoreena
Erica
Jennifer
Kelly

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can We Praise Children Too Much?

This seems to be the topic of the day for the Holsan household. I quickly found out at the bus stop today that we are not the only parents that ponder this question. I have learned a very humbling lesson today through dealing with my daughter who got in trouble for the first time today in her class. I began to wonder if we praise her too much for everything she accomplishes. After all, we are only trying to build her self esteem and make her feel good about herself. I also wonder if some of these issues stem from my childhood, but that is another story for another day... So I quickly googled, as I often do and came across an interesting article that I'd like to share with all of you. It made a lot of sense to me as I had an "ah ha" moment to myself. So here it goes....

This exerpt is taken directly from the article- good old copy and paste method. Not attempting to plagerize just really tired and don't feel like putting it into my own words :)

We’re often told that when we praise a child, we’re boosting their self-esteem, helping them become more confident and increasing their happiness. But now it appears that all types of praise are not equal, and some forms of praise may be detrimental to children. A 2007 article by Po Bronson, featured in New York Magazine, titled “How not to Talk to your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise,” references a study conducted by psychologist Carol Dweck.

Dweck’s study of 400 fifth graders revealed some interesting details about what occurs when we praise a child for being intelligent. From the study, Dweck discovered that telling a child “You’re smart,” corresponds to underachievement in the classroom. Conversely, if we praise a child by emphasizing that their work is helping them to “grow their brain muscle,” or to amass greater intelligence, they are more likely to have higher achievement in school. Students who were acquainted with the concept that attaining intelligence was a process, instead of the concept that they were naturally smart, tended to be more inclined to take on harder work. Some students in Dweck’s study group were told that the brain was like any muscle. It developed more the harder it was worked, and many responded accordingly even choosing to work on more difficult material so they could “develop” the brain muscle.

Children who were considered “smart” or who were praised for their intelligence tended to have two responses to this information. When work appeared hard, they generally didn’t want to do it, and typically underachieved in the classroom. They made the logical leap that work should be easy because they were smart, and when it wasn’t they became easily frustrated. They also, given a choice, chose easier work so they could showcase and prove that they were smart.


So I am going to reword/rethink my praise and see what happens. Emily is generally a very good student and well liked by her peers and teacher so you can imagine my horror/dismay/upset/dumbfoundedness when her teacher let me know about today's situation! I guess in a weird way I needed this to happen so I can learn and grow from the situation to become a better parent!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Crazy Cat!

This morning Emily was playing with Taz, our male Seal Point Siamese cat, and when I checked on her, this is what I found! Taz LOVES Emily's soft dog and likes to lie in laundry baskets, so he was in Heaven! Taz is the most lovable male siamese cat and he's SO good with the kids. He's like a big teddy bear and I don't know what we'd do without him. He's 8 years old and shares the house with his half sister, Keisha, who is a Blue Point Siamese. Keisha is a typical spastic female but we love her none the less!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Brayden's New Toy

While my mom was here, she did her Christmas shopping for Brayden and Emily. Brayden got to have his early because he REALLY needed it now. :) Besides, at 7 months old, who is counting? (Emily of course. To help with that my mom gave her some pj's early.) He loves to jump and goes nuts over the lights and toys. It's amazing how far he's come in a month. He rolls all over the place and is up on all fours rocking back and forth. He gets his legs going and tries to move his hands, but his torsoe falls. Quite humorous to watch! He looks like a little frog. His two bottom teeth popped through and I can tell more are coming! Never a dull moment....

Emily's Big Day

This past Sunday Emily had a VERY big day! She lost BOTH her teeth. One in the afternoon and one after dinner. She pulled them both out. They needed to come out so bad because as you can tell from the picture, her new teeth were very much in! She was so brave through it all and the tooth fairy came Sunday and Monday night taking 1 tooth at a time. :) She was proud to put $4.00 in her kitty bank. My baby is growing up!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Inspirational Evening

My mom is in town for a week to visit and last Wednesday we went to a lecture and saw the renound psychic Sylvia Browne. Many of you may not even know who she is, some may know a little and some of you may be fans of her work. What made this evening so special is that my mother and I share a belief in her work and spiritual philosophy. I have read many of her books and agree with most of it, but have adopted the philosophy about life " take what you want/need and leave the rest." I'm trying to encorporate this in every aspect of my life.

Some of you have asked what we learned, what she predicted, or what her philosophies are. My mom and I put together the following categories for easy reference. The lecture was good, very humorous, and she answered a lot of questions. So, here is my recap....

THE OTHER SIDE:
This is what Syliva refers to as "Heaven". The Other Side is very real and a place most of us visit eventually, except for Dark Entities, which I will get into later. The Other Side is 3 feet above our ground level, which is why when you see spirits or ghosts, they float and appear to not have feet. We are all age 30 on the Other Side and are more "solid" than here on earth. When we pass we do go through a tunnel with a white light and all our loved ones greet us INCLUDING pets, yes they too go to the Other Side. They usually are the first ones to greet us. In her book "Temples on the Other Side" she describes various "Halls" that we go to upon entering and furthering our beings and the first is the "Temple of Wisdom" where we view our entire life. If you are interested in more, the book is really good.

RELIGION:
She talked a lot about the meaning of Christmas, really celebrating in these hard times and it would be great if we could give our children oranges and they'd be happy because it's about the meaning of Christmas and the thought that counts. She talked about people's perception of Jesus and that he really is very dark olive complected with dark eyes and hair, unlike what people have created. She talked about the Father God and Mother God and the trinity. Do you know we are the only ones in the world that don't believe there is a Mother God or female entity to the trinity? Something to think about. She said that whenever she prays to Mother God, she always gets answers and help with whatever troubles her. The best part is, she believes that spirituality is about finding your OWN truth, not someone elses. It doesn't matter where you meet or even if you meet anywhere to worship.

PREDICTIONS:
Sylvia touched on this a little bit. The economy will get better by next Summer, gas prices will go down. She believes that the Earth will slowly lose population in the next 95 years. Infertility is on the uprise and it is because fewer spirits are coming to Earth, they are done and want to stay where they are. So, the biggest one was that OBAMA will win the election, that she wasn't happy with either candidate, but that it couldn't get much worse. She made a few political jokes that were quite humorous and well fitting for the Portland audience that she had. I felt right at home:)

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS:
This was by far the most useful to me. She said resolutions are useless because we break them and then feel guilty and we don't need to. She said instead, take a piece of paper and on the left side, write down everyone you know. Then on the right side, write down 1 word to describe them. Then look at your list. If you have any negative words, get rid of that person in your life, they are a dark entity. Dark entities are people who feel they are always right, and you are always wrong. That their truth is the only truth. Most often described for reference as sociopaths but some not so severe. Dark Entities do not go to the Other Side, but rather reincarnate right away again after they die into another life. They cycle through this again and again, where as non dark entities, complete a life, spend some time on the Other Side and then reincarnate again if they choose, or if they want to accomplish more on Earth. Reincarnation is another story for another day...if you want to read about it, she covers it in most of her books.

So, there you have it. Now you know some of what I believe. I'm completely open to everyone's philosphies and have adapted them to fit into my own spiritual journey. I'm on the fence about organized religion because I believe in finding my own truth and not being told how to live or what to think. I'm about to enbark on a new book study group and continue to go to a bible study every week where I am learning how to appreciate the bible more as well as make new friendships. It's all about gathering information to find my own truth. Hope you've enjoyed reading what I wrote and maybe it will get you thinking outside the box.
Books I recommend to help with that--" The Mystical Life Of Jesus", "Prophecy" and "Temples on the Other Side."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Yesterday was full of fun! In the morning we had our friend Molly over for some crafts, UNO, snacks and of course play time! The girls had a blast and loved showing off their hair pretties that matched. Too cute!

Later we got all dressed up for trick-or treating! Emily was a witch and Brayden a pumpkin. Emily and I went out trick-or-treating for 2 hours and it was INSANE! SO many kids and fog all over to boot. Made for an "eerie" evening. Grandma Jewell had fun tending to Brayden while Jade handed out candy. We almost ran out! It was a fun evening.