Celebrate Ordinary Moments With Kids

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson # 26
There are no ordinary moments.

How many of us take the time to celebrate our everyday moments? How many of us do this with our children? Kids grow fast just yesterday I remember the day my son Parker was born, and that was 14 years ago. Time has flown by, and one thing I realized is that life is short and time does not stand still so it is essential to celebrate the most ordinary things and take time to slow down because one day they will be gone. Here are some ways to celebrate everyday moments with your kids.

1. Compliment Kids on the Small Things
What seems so small to us can be significant accomplishments for our children. I remember when my daughter Emma figured out how to tie her shoes and rather than the way we all were taught she came up with her idea, and the look on her face was priceless. She thought she had conquered the world not only tying them but finding a way that worked that was not ordinary. These are the moments that will build who our children are and give them the confidence to move forward.

2. Positive Words and Phrases
Positive words go further when dealing with kids than the negative. I remember growing up sometimes my dad would use negative phrases toward us as were growing up and I think that stuck with me the most. I never remember him congratulating us but only a handful of times and all the rest was a joke, or we were just dumb. I made it a mission when I had my kids was to break this cycle because it did affect how I felt and that I did not think I was capable of doing anything. Fixing this logic took many years and lots of self-exploration to teach myself that I could do whatever I put my mind too, and I am better off than I was years ago. Words can build, or they can destroy and be able to remember this will help you and your child’s relationship in the future.

Here are some phrases to use with your kids
I love seeing you…
I am proud of…
I love you
I am happy that you…

3. Hugs, Notes, and Time
Kids thrive on attention. It doesn’t have to be much and sometimes our lives can get very busy. I try to devote some time throughout the day to both of my kids. When they were younger I left notes in their lunch boxes, and they loved it and if I forgot I was sure to be reminded the next day. Both of my kids love hugs and always have. They need to have some contact at least once a day. When they were younger, it was more than that but as they have grown into teenagers if they get a hug or two that is fine with them. When Emma was younger she loved Play Do and would make food out of play-doh and serve it to my husband and I this was her favorite activity and we always made sure that we took the time to play along.  My kids also love to play board games, and we do try to fit this activity in as much as we can. Since I homeschool game time is part of our curriculum, and they thoroughly enjoy it.  The card game Uno is a family favorite and the kids never get tired of playing.  Spending a little quality time never hurts and doing what works best for your family will build a stronger bond
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4. Acknowledgment of the Good That is Done Today
Whether it be an A on a test or that they did all of their chores kids love support for the things they have done.
When teaching my kids if they are on a subject that is not their particular favorite I make sure to give them positive reinforcement when they have completed what they have done. It is hard to achieve something that is not your most favorite and letting them know that you are proud of them finishing the job will help them to be responsible.

Raising kids can be quite an adventure. Time does not stand still, and before you know it, they are taller than you, looking for work, and living on their own. Take the days you have with them and cherish every one. Create memories and help build them to be the people you want them to be. Even the little things can mean the most when it comes to our children. Giving positive words and phrases will build them into healthy individuals that can conquer the world. Spending time with them lets them know that you are making them a priority. Acknowledging the good that they work on helps them to become responsible adults. Just like when we plant a seed, we need to care for it to grow and the same goes for our children.

 

How to be an Outstanding Achiever

Fortune Cookie Life Lessons #25
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.

Do you have high hopes? I do, and I have most of my life. Some of my dreams have come true, and most are still on the bucket list of life. Whatever we desire to do with ourselves whether it is in a career, relationships, or a personal journey for ourselves we want to be able to achieve these hopes for the future. Try these daily habits of high achievers to help you get your high expectations done.

 

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1. Get Out of Bed
It is time to get out of bed sleepy head. Those of us that work to achieve what we want usually are out of bed bright and early to get things done. Getting out of bed and getting on with your day will give you a feeling of accomplishment not to mention more time to get those critical to do lists done.

 

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2. Read to Succeed
Reading is knowledge and so get as much as you can. Reading can teach, inspire, and motivate us to do the things we want and reading is good for our brains. The more we read, the more our minds can strike up creative ways for us to make goals happen.

 

3. Routines are Trendy
I love routines and have one that I do every day. I am a person of habit and find that if I have a method, I do better throughout the day and get more done rather than fly by the seat of my pants. Routines can also help by keeping our habits organized and keeps us focused on the goal in mind. I always do better and get more done by having my morning routine of working with my kids, doing the housework, doing any tasks that need to be handled for my husband’s side business. Then by the time afternoon rolls around that is my time to focus on what I need to do with a book or the blog. I find that if I keep this routine going smoothly, it doesn’t throw me off of what I want to get done that day.

 

4. Have a Vision Keep a Vision
Don’t lose sight of your vision. Losing vision can happen easily especially if things are not going as fast as you would like them. If you find your idea dwindling, take a fresh new look at it and see if you can add some new goals, or take a look at your outline so that you can achieve more and keep the vision you have active.

 

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5. Prioritize
Priorities are essential, and if you can’t prioritize what you want, then you might end up stuck. Look at what is important to you and focus on how these things are going to get done. Right now in my life, my kids are my priority and their education is essential. I love my blog, and I love to write, but I homeschool, and so this oversteps my blogging life. It doesn’t mean I have to stop blogging or stop pursuing what I want I need to take care of my kiddos first. Once my kiddos can head on out on their own in a few years I will then continue to move forward with my writing dreams and will be able to give more time to my writer’s vision. Until then I am building and learning with any extra time that I have during the day. Take a look at the critical tasks that you need to handle and prioritize them to fit the life you are living.

Aiming high for your dreams is not something that is unachievable. Get up and ready for the day so that you can conquer all the task that needs to be done to get you closer to what you want. Read about what you want to accomplish and gain an understanding of how to get there. Make a daily routine and follow it. Keep your vision active and don’t give up on what you want to accomplish. Make sure you know what is essential and prioritize so that you can achieve your dream.

How to Make a Habit of Being Grateful in Everyday Life

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #23

They will be grateful that you cared enough to make it.

I feel like being grateful does not come quickly. I feel like you have to learn a few things to appreciate what being grateful is like. I only learned the true meaning of this word a few years ago when I was battling one of my life’s most significant storms, and my gratitude for what I had was what was holding me together. Before my struggle, I was pretty carefree and did not take the time to recognize the things that were in my life that I was lucky to have. I wish that I would have learned this lesson way before I had hit rock bottom, but there is always a time and place for lessons especially those that involve life. Here are some techniques that I have learned to be grateful and keep gratitude in my daily life so that I don’t take what I have for granted.

1. Commit to Being Grateful

When you commit, you are taking the time to take part in the activity, and it will hold you accountable to finish. Taking the time to write down what you are grateful for will help you to stop and think about these things in your life. Taking the time to stop, write it down, and look at these things gives you time to focus and appreciate them for what they are. Writing what you are grateful for is also putting your priorities in perspective and if you are feeling down about what is happening at this point in your life pull out your list to give you a gratitude reminder.
When I journal I sit and try to focus on one thing that I am grateful for in my life. I can be thankful for anything whether it is being in good health or sunshine whatever it is I take the time to write down how it makes me feel and why I am grateful for this.

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Lots of people love to journal. I consider my blog a journal and love to write about all my life lesson’s here.
Many times keeping a journal can help you achieve goals that you would like to accomplish in your life. Writing a recorded document will also keep your memories in a unique spot, and you can always reminisce. Writing is also an excellent way to relieve stress. Putting your feelings on paper is an excellent way to get whatever is inside out in a healthy manner. If you are looking to start a journal for recording your gratitude this Minimalism Journal from Amazon is very affordable and come in a variety of nice bright colors.

 

 

3. Slow Down to Acknowledge What it is You Grateful For.

Life is fast-paced, and it is time that you slow down and focus on the things that make you grateful. Slowing down lets you enjoy life’s little blessings. Taking each day at a time lets us become more aware and appreciative of the things we have encountered. I genuinely think that slowing things down makes us more aware of those around us and we then began to be better toward one another. There is nothing better for the soul than the genuine feeling of gratitude, and we want to go out in the world and do better. I experienced this a 14 years ago. I lived the majority of my life not knowing how to be grateful and taking life for granted up until I had my oldest son. Parker was born a month early, and I will say he did not come into this world easily. I was experiencing severe hypertension, and unfortunately, we had the earlier delivery. Even with an early birth, I was not worried my doctor told me these things happen and it will be fine. That was until I had delivered him. I held him for maybe a minute, and they rushed him off without any explanation. It wasn’t until the next morning that I found out our son was barely breathing and had caught a staph infection that was causing his lungs to backfire on him. We immediately flew flight for life to a Children’s Hospital where we lived for over a month, and the first year was filled with ER visits and another flight for life after getting RSV. That first year of Parker’s experience taught me a lot about life’s little blessings and that I should enjoy and appreciate every moment of every day. I woke up that day and realized that there was more to life than what I initially thought and this baby boy showed me a way to never take anything for granted. I am proud to say that after his first year of life Parker is now 14 and is a perfectly healthy teenager. If anything has given me the tools to be grateful, it has been my kids. They teach me the most, and I am genuinely thankful for them.

 

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I have compiled a list of 30 things to write about for the things to be grateful for that you can write about in your journal one for each day. I suggest if you can to write on each subject 30 minutes a day that way it gives you an adequate time to slow down and appreciate each one. I challenge you to take a 30-day Gratitude Challenge and slow down a little to focus on the things that you may not typically recognize. I can attest to learning the lesson of being grateful and how it can make your life seem better than you realize. Enjoy this challenge and let me know how it worked for you.

30-Day Gratitude Writing Challenge
1. Good Health
2. Your Family
3. Your pets
4. Your friends
5. Where you live
6. The Weather
7. A hobby you enjoy
8. Your neighbors
9. Your Job
10. Your values
11. You knowledge
12. What you have eaten today
13. Where you sleep
14. The ability to do what you want
15. Your Freedom
16. Your Life Experiences
17. Your Failures
18. Your necessities such as water and electricity
19. What you have learned from others
20. The Holidays
21. The stars at night
22. Your favorite place
23. Your favorite childhood memory
24. The weekend
25. Nature
26. Your Talents
27. For the little things
28. Your body
29. Your abilities
30. The challenges you face

How to Stand Your Ground When no One Stands With You

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #22

When both feet are planted firmly, nothing can shake you.

Sometimes it can be tough to stand your ground when there are opposing sides coming at you. I am a passionate person and when I have chosen to stand my ground the consequences of my choice to stand firm has affected certain relationships. The decisions I made were based mainly on the safety of my family and myself, and I felt that there was no budging. The result has led me to cut ties with some of my family members. I will be honest I don’t regret the decisions I have made and wished those that do not agree the very best. Even though our differences have kept us apart, I am still compassionate towards them. I still hope that one day we may also meet on good terms and be able to build the relationships we once had. A person can hold steadfast in what they believe and still be compassionate to the others that don’t agree. The reason I chose to separate myself was based purely on the fact that I was tired of being a doormat and I felt that my family was feeling the repercussions. Here are five ways that I stood my ground and can still make peace with my decision.

1. Be Compassionate

When I first had to learn to do this, it was hard for me to wrap my head around this concept. The people I had to stand my ground with were my family, and I had grown up with these individuals my whole life. I remember when I was an adult, and the situation became extremely dramatic; I wanted to blame the family that was involved. I was mad and hurt that they did not have faith in me and my life choices. After a while, the blame game gets pretty old, and with that, I started to feel sympathy for these people involved. It made me sad that they would not be able to watch my kids grow up and have a relationship with them. They would miss any of my husband’s and mine accomplishments and celebrate with us. My anger changed to sadness not so much for myself but for those that would lose these life moments. I am sure you may be curious about what I decided to walk away from that would cause me to choose to separate myself from family. My reason to stand my ground was alcoholism, and it takes a lot for someone who is dealing with addiction to gain compassion for those that suffer. It took me many years to gain an understanding of my family that struggles with this. Instead of being angry I decided to be more sympathetic although all of these feelings have to be done from a distance. It helps heal my spirit to be compassionate to the people I love and gives me comfort in my decision.

2. Learn to Have the Right Attitude

Having a bad attitude has never worked for anyone wanting to move forward. Sometimes taking a stand for what we believe in means we need to stay positive about what is confronting us. Even when there are those around us that want to try to change who we are we still need to be respectful of their beliefs and opinions. Sometimes standing our ground can get us ridiculed and we need to be able to be confident in what we are standing for. I am a homeschool mom of two children, and I have run into this in the past where I have had to stand up for my belief in teaching my children. I have had many different conversations where people believe that this can not be a good fit for a child socially and from an educational standpoint. I respect them for their belief, but it is not going to change the way my family lives their lives. Many times after these individuals have met my children and spent time with them the opinion they once had has now changed. Having the right attitude when it comes to dealing with those awkward situations can have a more significant effect on the situation instead of handling it negatively.

3. Don’t be a Pushover be Assertive

Being a pushover never got me anywhere. I began to realize early when needing to stand my ground that if I did not, I dealt with the most disrespect. Just because these individuals may be close does not mean you have to bend your rules. When dealing with my kids and their friends, I have a rule in my house that when you are in my house, you need to follow my rules. I recognize that other people have other rules in their homes and I support their rules when I am in their homes. I expect the same thing when others are in my house. Being assertive is not a bad thing and shows that you are confident in what you want for your life. It keeps those that want to use you as a doormat at a comfortable distance. When you are assertive it lets, people know that you deserve to be respected.

4. Prioritize the Things in Your Life

What is important to you? What things hold special meaning? My priorities in my life are my husband and my kids. When these things get disrupted, that is when I take a stand and don’t budge. When addiction was affecting my family, I chose to separate myself to keep my family safe and healthy. The things you prioritize in life are the things that you value most, and you don’t want those things to be affected negatively. My family is something that I have worked hard for, and it is not something I am willing to negotiate with when the negotiation may cause pain to them in the end.

4. Keep your Vision

Don’t lose sight of what you have worked so hard for. Even when there is an opposition that you must face know that you can still keep your head high and be comfortable where you stand. Keeping your vision helps you stay on your path even when a deterrent hits. It helps you work toward your primary goal and gives you a light at the end of a tunnel. If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything.

5. You do not Have to Give a Reason for Your Stance

Your reasons are your reasons and no one else’s. People should not have to explain why they decided the way they did; it is their business. Never let anyone make you second guess what you firmly believe in your way of thinking is precisely that your way. Giving reasons also shows that you may not be as set as you thought and can show a sign of weakness. If people see a flaw, they may also see an opportunity to use that against you.

Standing our ground can be difficult at times, but it is very beneficial for us to do so. While we do need to be firm, we also must show compassion for the opposite side and understand where they are coming from. Having a right attitude when dealing with a situation that questions our ideas gets us a lot farther than one that is more combative. Remember to stay strong and don’t let others push you around. By being assertive and confident, this will less likely try to force their views on you, and respect what you have to offer. Prioritize the things in your life that you treasure you will work harder and you will value them more and expect others to appreciate them in return. Never lose sight of the vision you want for your life. Keeping your idea keeps you on the path to attaining the ultimate goal. Never feel like you have to explain to others why you do things a certain way. Everyone has the freedom of choice and telling others why you choose to do things a certain way is not allowing you to have that freedom. Never feel like your less than just because you may do things differently than others, embrace the individuality that lies within you.

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How to Use Charm to Benefit You at Your Next Party

Be a master of the social game.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #21

You will always possess a charm and sense of humor that attracts others.

Do charming people have more carefree times in social settings? Thinking about this question gets me thinking how I socialize in specific environments. For the most part, I feel that I am warm and comfortable to communicate with and don’t see myself struggling in this area. I was a personal trainer for nine years and gave seminars where I needed to speak to an audience, and when I first started I was shy and many times would get the butterfly feeling in the pit of my gut before I was to speak. As the years gone by and I kept giving seminars, teaching classes, and working with new people these insecurities disappeared. The one talent I do wish I had more of was that of being charming. What is so wonderful about being charming? I feel that being lovely with those around us can benefit us much especially when it comes to critical social settings such as business meetings. Being charming can bring positive attention to you. This behavior can help make connections that may not have been made otherwise, and will even build one’s self-confidence. Sometimes when I try, I can be a bit socially awkward, and this is something that I know I could benefit from doing in social settings. Here are four ways that I plan on becoming more charming to those around me.

1. Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Why must we always step out of the comfort zone to get anything done? If we are comfortable, we won’t try as hard to get what we want. People like to associate with others who think outside the box. Think about the times you have conversations and who you like to talk with, are they boring or are they interesting to you? What makes them that way? Being creative in your discussions brings a little spice of life to the party, and you will get more people interested. Think of fun and creative ways that you can communicate with those around you. If you are at an office party, don’t start the conversation off about work instead find some common interest outside of work to discuss. Talking about hiking on the weekends will be far more interesting than the spreadsheets you look at every day.

2. Listen

Please be a good listener. Listening to those around us can be a hard one to follow and if you are like me and always thinking about what to say next. I have had to practice this one in the last few years and can say that I am grasping at this concept. I never knew how annoying this could be to be in a conversation and not listen till I started catching myself in this dangerous behavior. You will make more friends by lending an ear instead of a mouth. People love those that listen and pay attention to what they are talking about. Many times people don’t listen, and it is scarce to find a good listener. Remember when in a conversation don’t keep thinking about what you are going to say next, you won’t be listening, and that can get you into trouble. Recieve their message in full so that you can give a response that is meaningful to another person.

3. Focus on the Emotions

Make sure to check those emotions at the door. Making sure my feelings didn’t get the best of me was the lesson I learned when I was a trainer. It doesn’t matter what people think of me I can’t be shy and nervous when I needed to be confident and motivating. I would have never kept a client being shy and timid. I had to suck it up buttercup and put on that confident face to get through many of my seminars and sessions. After they were done and I had positive feedback it gave me the confidence to do the next one and pretty soon I no longer needed to check my emotions at the door. Give yourself a break and relax. Being able to relax and not worry about what and how you are going to start a conversation makes communication with others so much more comfortable. Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun in whatever setting you are involved with. If you are fumbling for your words and awkward, this will be a no-win situation for you, and you will inevitably crash and burn.

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4. Body Language Says More than you Think

Body language says a lot in a conversation and how you hold yourself will tell others quite a bit about you, and you want to make a good impression. If you stand tall, you are showing confidence. When we stand slouched and hunched over, we may give off the idea there is a weakness. Giving eye contact shows that you are listening and interested in what the other person is saying. Often matching the way others in the conversation are holding their body language will make you and them comfortable.

Everyone can have a certain amount of charm, and it takes a little practice to master the skill. Make sure to get outside of your box and be creative when engaging in a social conversation. Listening to those around us and paying attention to what is being said will make us valuable to those that are telling the story. Make sure to keep those emotions where they need to be and that it is better to be relaxed and confident then it is to be awkward and nervous. Take your body language and make it work for any social situation. Practicing these qualities will bring us closer to being the charming individuals we have always wanted to be.