Simple Holidays

November 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Holidays, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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It’s the afternoon of Fabulous Friday. Known by many as Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving.


I start my winter routine today.  There’s no shopping or long weekend for me.  No hanging around and eating leftovers or going for casual walks.


It’s get the kids up and ready for skiing.  It’s more than simply training to be good at something.  Ski racing is a whole lifestyle for a minimum of four months a year.  And this starts when most people think they are already too busy to cope with and handle the stress and pressure of the holiday season.


But we who have children who are passionate about something and support their passion must do things that are beyond what others think of as a possibility.


That’s what I am trying to help you do.  I want you to be the parent who can get past the ordinary, know that the extraordinary really is something that is for your family.


This extraordinary is not in the size of your house, the kind of car you drive, the grades your kids get in school, or how many Christmas presents you have already bought. 


This extraordinary is the twinkle in your child’s eyes when they wake up in the morning.  The giggle when they are playing happily.  Even the tantrum they have when they are sure they have been slighted.  And that glow when they have achieved some seemingly immeasurable proficiency.


As you finish your formal, annual Thanksgiving and begin the slide or jump into the next holiday, give yourself the freedom to know that it’s the love behind the holiday, the gift, the whole shebang that matters.  No one really cares if you and your family have any particular objects.  What makes it all worthwhile is the love and only the love.


Just like the Beatles said 40 years ago, “You can’t buy me love.” 


As you get ready for the next holiday, focus on love not quantity or volume.


Love the season and your children with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,


Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2008 at 7:05 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving.

Today is the day of Thanksgiving in America.  My joy and thanks are lifted even higher as I grieve for those in India.  When I think of how lucky I am to be here in this great country, with all the little trivial problems we have, I know I have so much to be thankful for. 


Yes there are plenty of individuals, even groups of people who are suffering in our nation. But on the whole, we are up beat, intelligent people who strive for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Have a great day, remember to enjoy yourself and your family. And

Have your Thanksgiving with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,


Join Gold Membership of GEM Parenting

November 26, 2008 at 9:11 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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This is an invitation to join the Gold Membership of GEM Parenting that I sent out to my Pearl Members, but I wanted to extend the invitation to you.


Pearl Members Only.


I have been thinking about how much I appreciate you. Thank you for allowing me into your life and allowing me to share about GEM Parenting with you. As a Thank You, I have a gift for you. How would you like to experience My Gold Membership for 30 days risk free?

Some of the benefits of upgrading:

1. Still receive your daily support emails

2. Be able to participate in Parenting Treasures each Monday

3. Receive weekly expert articles by me and other experts sent out Tuesdays

4. Receive a weekly podcast sent on Thursdays

5. Be part of the weekly question and answer email Fridays

…as well as numerous other benefits. These additional gems are an experience. So, I am offering you a full month risk f*ree money back no questions asked quarantee. Sign up for the Gold Membership by midnight December 1st and you will have until December 31 at midnight to unsubscribe and request a refund. I am confident you will want to keep the membership because of the extraordinary benefits, additional resources, and so much more.

I am even including another Thank You gift to you for continuing your GOLD Membership. On January 5th, 2009 Gold Members will recieve another gift to start your New Year. I will be sharing more about the additional gift in my New Years letter. Thank You so much. You can sign up for the Gold Membership by clicking this link: Scroll down the yellow box just past the Pearl membership.

Thanks for be a part of GEM Parenting and spend this day with passion, purpose, and integrity,


P.S.You may forward this message to anyone as long as you forward the complete letter.

P.S.S. This offer is for Pearl Members only SO… if you have received this message from a friend and are not a Pearl Member, you must sign up for the free Pearl Membership First!

How is Food is the beginning of Thankfulness?

November 26, 2008 at 7:40 am | Posted in attitudes, Families, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Wonderful Wednesday | Leave a comment
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It’s Wonderful Wednesday.  And this is such a special day because, as you know, it is the day before Thanksgiving.


I have been having you focus on one thing to be thankful for this week.  To really get involved with why that particular thing is worth being thankful for.  How this thing is connected to your whole life.  Not just fulfilling the basic need you have been taught to think about, but how this thing is a true part of your ability to live with passion, purpose, and integrity.


Mine has been food.  Of course food is necessary to live.  No one can live without food forever. Even Mahatma Gandhi had to eat after three weeks.  But we in our lives are not suffering from horrible cultural norms, devastating political outbursts, or even true financial disasters, and although there are natural disasters, we have a very strong support system to help our citizens get back on their feet.


So how is food connected to more than my ability to stay alive?  How does food connect to every aspect of my life?  Food is a huge process.  It is a daily task.  Food is a way for my family and friends to be together.  I still have at least two meals a day together as a family.  At the time of preparation there is usually one child who is miserable about something.  That child comes to me in the kitchen and whines, complains, shouts, cries, or stands around with the silent treatment.  The kicking has pretty much stopped.


And while I prepare the meal, I can help that child learn and understand how to cope with such atrocities as a sister taking back her favorite shirt, being pushed over out of spite, or just being grumpy for no reason.  I am sure that without meal prep I would still have children who needed support and guidance, but it is during meal prep that some of my most nurturing moments occur.


The meals themselves are filled with conversations.  You can imagine with the age spread of aged 8 to 16 at home full time, and having guests regularly. Over the 24 years I have been a parent those conversations have changed, mutated, and developed.  Some themes continue, others come and go.  Many of my fondest memories are when we have been eating.  Memories are a vital part of my spiritual well-being.  When I am stressed, down, overwhelmed I can find a memory to bring me back into perspective. 


And there is the clean up time.  This is the never-ending scourge of my life.  There are always dirty dishes, counters, tabletops… I can go about the clean up process with anger and bitterness that I am still stuck with doing it or must nag and constantly remind my kids to do their part.  But I can get past that.  I can see that all this mess is a product of abundance.  And this abundance is not just the quantity of food and dishes we have, but the abundance of living we have.  My family does everything with real gusto.  It comes from our souls and spirits., and the food mess is daily evidence of this.


The process of getting Thanksgiving dinner on our table began on Monday.  We made our menu. Yesterday we went shopping.  Today we do prep for many dishes and help my mom with her pies. (She will make four from scratch- crust and all and her 80th b-day is tomorrow.)


Now you really know how I have taken food and looked to its roots as to why I am thankful for it.  It is not only my nourishment for my body; it is the nourishment for my values and morals.  Food is more than a simple grab it and eat it thing for me.  It is a process that brings my most sacred and special feelings and emotions out in the open. 


Being thankful, living with true integrity to your values and morals is a process.  It cannot be done in one quick instance.  It takes your heart and soul, your actions, and your mind set.

If you haven’t set this process in motion, start now.  Let yourself grow with your thankfulness.  Be the most thankful person you can be, but start with only one thing to be thankful for.

Be thankful with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,


Rejuvenate Yourself this Thanksgiving

November 25, 2008 at 10:50 am | Posted in Families, Holidays, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Terrific Tuesday | Leave a comment
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Good Morning 


It is Terrific Tuesday.  Two days before Thanksgiving.

Are you focusing on your thankful thought?

Have you had a chance to see how this one thing is connected to your soul and spirit?  As you go through the readying for our national sacred holiday, it is important to allow yourself to have the joy of being alive, of being a parent, to step out of the box and let the confines that have help you to a life with anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm to melt away.


Every culture, civilization, and religion has a structured period of time for giving thanks.  This process of giving thanks is an integral part of being human.  We are hard wired to give thanks.  The funny thing is that without the structure of holidays and formal routines many of us let go of giving thanks. 


This year put all your energy into giving thanks.  When you give thanks from your deepest emotions to your lightest thoughts to your fleeting insights, you rejuvenate yourself.   That’s a big part of what this whole Thanksgiving thing is about-rejuvenation.


Today my family is going shopping for food, and if you were able to read yesterday’s email you will know that food is my focus this year.  As we get each item I will give thanks for our food.  I will use the symbols of food, and the dishes we make, to bring me in connection with my true thankfulness.  I will regain my own perspective of why I live and parent with the intensity I do.  I will let the overwhelm, anxiety, and stress of the year gently float off my back.


I want you to use the process of Thanksgiving to rejuvenate yourself.  Let your tensions go.  Know who you are.  Rejoice and give thanks.  Allow the love and support from yourself and others to permeate you this Thanksgiving.


Have terrific Tuesday,


Parent with Passion, purpose, and Integrity,




New Way to be Thankful

November 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Posted in Health, Holidays, Self Esteem, spirituality | Leave a comment
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Once again it’s Motivational Monday.  And this is such a special Monday because it is just before Thanksgiving.  As I always do before Thanksgiving, I get pretty emotional about all that I have to be thankful for.  And this is no different this year than other years.

 Recently our country’s economic stability flew out the window.  We are all feeling the pressures of financial instability.  And this was warping my ability to be thankful.  But yesterday I had an epiphany. 

 I realized that as an adult I have been poor, then I was poorer, then I had a decent living, then I actually was in the upper middle class economically, and now I am back to having a decent living.  Most of these changes came about because I had done things to foster them.  So when my economic standing reversed simply because of general economics I felt I was in a terrible state. 

But here is my epiphany: I am still just as wonderful now as when I was poor or sort of rich.  My values have not changed due to going up or down the economic ladder.  I have held onto my morals very tightly through theses changes.  As a matter of fact, these changes have allowed me to really know that who I am, what I do, whom I am friends with, what I do for leisure are my values and morals.

It’s kind of like being grounded again.  Not what some parents to do punish their kids, but that spiritual kind of grounding; that way of being at peace with your surroundings, your soul, really at peace with yourself. 

When you allow the outside circumstances to guide and force your core to change then you are setting yourself up for constant disappointment.  You actually lower your self-esteem.  You are a puppet to your surroundings, everything from your kids, spouse, childhood family, neighbors, and the mass media.

I want you to start today and think about what you are truly thankful for.  Start with just one thing.  Keep it simple.  This one thing can be anything.  It can be the most important thing OR it can be the simplest thing, OR it can be the first thing that comes to mind. Focus on that one thing.  Pay complete attention to one thing you are thankful for.  Do that today.  This one thing will sprout into other things. 

Only let those thoughts that you know are completely a part of your soul and spirit, your core values and morals to get attention.  In other words, there are the regular things-family, clothing, shelter, job, friendship- that we are thankful for, and as you focus on the one thing you have chosen, let your thoughts and feelings understand why this is so special.

Here is how being thankful for food spreads for me.  Food alone is rather basic, but food spreads to the ability to nurture and be nurtured.  Food spreads to my interest in health and physical achievements.  Food is intricately connected with my belief in being the best I can be-I am the food I take in and give to my family.  Food is basic to my soul.  Without food my spirit would wither.  I connect my values and morals to food.  Food alone and especially all its attachments are a necessary part of what I am thankful for.

You see how something so basic actually has such deep and far reaching tentacles.  Food is a part of my soul as well as being necessary to live.  By being thankful this way you put a purpose to the process.

Today as you begin your thankful thinking be simple, yet focus on what is deep and spiritual to you.  Give yourself permission to be thankful outside the box.  Be passionate about what you are thankful for. 

And of course have integrity about your thankfulness.  Be true to your values and morals.  Learn about what they are through this process.

Have fun with your thanks and Parent and live with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity


PS: I do have a very nice podcast at called Thanksgiving the Gentle Holiday.  You might really like to listen to it.  You need to scroll down a ways to get to it.

Can You Share Your Self-Nurturing?

November 21, 2008 at 11:56 am | Posted in well being | Leave a comment
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Today is Friendly Friday.

And we are involved with Nurture Yourself this week.  As a parent and a person this is one of the most important areas you can work on.  You do need to deeply nurture yourself.  Find the 15 minutes to give yourself the attention and nurturing that will rejuvenate you.

And today I want you to spread the wealth.  Invite someone to join you.  It can be one of your children, it can be a neighbor, it can be your pet, and it can be me or another on-line buddy.  Just invite them. 

But you are saying, ‘Grace, what am I inviting them to?”  You are inviting them to self-nurture with you.  This week two of my daughters and I had a round-robin foot massage with peppermint foot scrub.  It took about 20 minutes.  We laughed, tickled each other’s feet, and also relaxed together.  It was a great way for me to share my Self Nurturing.

I have also been twittering (more on what that another time) with a friend, @GypseyOwl, when and what we are doing for self-nurturing.  We have been together, although virtually.  It’s been great fun.

When you take the time to make a date to self-nurture you are letting yourself know that you are worthy of attention.  This attention that you give yourself allows you to rebuild the leaks and holes that have been sinking your ship.  You know what I mean.  When you are so low on energy you can hardly figure out if you really do love your children: Or if there is any pasta for dinner. 

Your ship, your ability to parent with your strength, requires maintenance.  This is self-nurturing.  Unfortunately, there are many of us who were neither allowed nor taught how to self-nurture.

There are pretty much two upbringings that disregard self-nurturing.  Either you were brought up to think it was a waste of time, selfish, immature, and something you were not worthy of.  Or you were brought up to scoff at those who took time to nurture themselves.  They were rich, didn’t care for their children, and didn’t have a real life anyway.

Now you can find a new way to look at self-nurturing.  First and foremost-YOU are worth it.  Almost every study and discussion on good health for centuries espouses the need for rest and respite, just other names for self-nurturing.  Next ,it is as essential as getting your car oil changed, cleaning your oven, and taking out the trash.  Like or not you do these things.  Why not nurture yourself?

And when you invite a friend along you do two things.  You commit yourself to your self-nurturing and you give the gift to someone else. So whom will you invite to be your self-nurture buddy?

Have a great weekend.

Up here in the mountains of NH, our local ski area is opening.  I’m going to ski in just a day.  That will definitely be self-nurturing for me.

As you and your buddy self-nurture, remember to do it with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity.


How to Start to Self Nurture

November 20, 2008 at 7:48 am | Posted in Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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Today is Thoughtful Thursday.  I want you to think today.  Be aware of how you talk to yourself.  Remember this is Nurture Yourself week.

I want you to keep tabs on two kinds of self-thoughts.  The first are your negative self-thoughts.  The others are your encouraging positive self-thoughts.  On a slip of paper that you can carry around with you for the day, have two columns.

On the left put a check next to each time you think negatively about yourself, speak negatively to yourself, talk negatively about yourself to others, or agree with others (silently or verbally) when they speak about you or treat you negatively.  Just a check.  Nothing else.

On the right, I want you to have a column for the opposite.  Each time you think positively about yourself, speak positively to yourself, talk positively about yourself to others, or agree with others (silently or verbally) when they speak about you or treat you positively.  Only on this column I want you to put a star for each of these entries.  I want you to pay just a bit of attention to these.  Let them sink in and feel good.  Let them be a gentle hug and a warm cloak.  Wear them well.

I want you to be aware of the negatives and focus on the positives.  I know I said to do this for today, but you will have a real benefit if you do this for a week.  If you do this for a week, you may see a trend of when you are more negative- it might be around certain times, it might be around certain functions and activities, it might be connected to certain people.

When you see the pattern then you can begin to adjust your negative thinking and actions.  You can replace and redo these thoughts.  But it is best to have a plan and a way to actually know what you are doing.

Start with this plan.  Keep the checks and stars going for a week.  As you get better at it you can put down time/location/activity with them.  But keep all this very simple and succinct or you will never do it.

Take the time right now to set up your slip of paper, start your checks and stars.  Carry it with you today.  And please think of this as a light and easy exercise.

By giving yourself this attention and nurturing, you begin the process to be able to find your triggers, both negative and positive.  This beginning will allow you to be able to find the confidence to trust yourself, know how to deal with life’s ups and downs.  You will begin to change from one without strength to one with a strong and comfortable self-esteem.  

Enjoy your day and

Parent and live with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,



Can You Nurture Yourself?

November 17, 2008 at 7:44 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Good Morning,

It’s motivational Monday again, already. Can you believe it?  I hope you have had a great week.  I sure did. If you did hold onto the energy from it.

But if you are coming from a stressful, over loaded week, then right this minute,as you read this, shake off the stress.  Let that energy go away from you.

One really great way to do this is literally shake your arms and legs, your head.  While you’re at it get up and shake your whole self. I just did it. It feels great.  Now if you really did it great, if not do it now. Don’t worry about what they think.

But that’s not the real motivation. The real motivation for today is to nurture yourself.  I know you are simply too busy to think about or actually nurture yourself in much.  So now I want you to think of one thing you can do, doesn’t cost money, and doesn’t take more than 15 minutes, But you love to do it.  And it is simple to do.

Just to let you know:  Here are the things I do for self-nurturing:  Each morning I take from 30 minutes to an hour to do yoga, meditation, and Reiki. I have lunch w/ my kids, And each evening I have story time w/kids, it can be short.  But usually we spend an hour reading at night.

I also go outdoors everyday for at least 30 minutes. I walk, hike, ski, and whenever possible, I camp.  And swim in the summer.

I have just a couple more things I do to nurture myself-I eat healthy, have good friends, and enjoy whatever I am doing.I talk on the phone each day with my children who are not at home, and my mother, father, and sister. I read, sew and do crafts when time permits.

I basically live with passion, purpose, and integrity with everything I do.

Oh yes, I have all the regular stuff; bills, laundry, errands, groceries, cooking, cleaning, my least favorite-clutter control.  And I home school. And I have an Olympic training athlete. And I have four kids. And of course, I have you. 

I tell you this because I want you to know you can both find the time and take the time to give yourself 15 minutes of self-nurturing. 

It is not selfish, irresponsible, or lazy.  It is healthy, relaxing, and necessary.  It is soul reviving.  It is spiritual.  If you can’t do it for yourself,  then nurture yourself for your kids.  They deserve to have a parent who can let stress go. Who lives by their values. Your kids deserve to know you-At your best, everyday!

I motivate you to take 15 minutes to nurture yourself each day this week.  Please let me know what you plan to do.  Just hit comments at the top of this section, and put down your self-nurturing for this week.

And as I always say: Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

PS, I haven’t heard if the audio link works.
Is no news good news?
Do you like having the audio?
Or have you just not even bothered to check it out?

Be friendly to Your Kids

November 14, 2008 at 7:51 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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New feature today-

Audio so you can listen instead of read.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Copy and paste to be able to hear.

 Today is Friendly Friday.

Put energy into being friendly today.  Smile when you notice you aren’t.  Say hi to everyone you can.

Be friendly.


I want you to be this way with your kids as well as people you know and see outside your home.

 We often forget to be cordial and friendly to our kids. We are with them all the time.  We want to just relax at home.  We are just too busy to bother with being friendly- school buses, work, dishes, homework, activities-they all get in the way.

So today (even if you don’t read this till Saturday or Monday) get friendly.  Smile. Say hi as though you are glad to see you kids.  When they wake up, when they come into the room or you go into the room they are in.


Feel silly doing that?  Then ham it up. Go ahead, its OK, your kids will either think you’re silly or you have lost it.  What ever they think, they will like you being friendly.

Now this does not mean giving up on being the parent, and being their pal or equal. 


  • It means giving them respect. 
  • It means giving them kindness.
  • It means giving them appreciation.

Basically it means being friendly. And when you, as a parent are friendly you give your children the opportunity to grow with self respect, self kindness, and self appreciation.

Guess what all these are part of?  Self Esteem.  Yep.  That’s all there is to it for today.

Be friendly.

Oh, and I found the name of the young man in the video that was banned from youtube.  It is Nick Vujicic, and his site is His is a must see!

So have a friendly Friday,  And of course

Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,


PS. If you donate to life without limbs I will send you a GEMParenting podcast.

You just have to let me know you donated. Not the amount, just the action of doing it.


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