Picking a new family car- thinking about your athletes

April 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Posted in moms, travel | Leave a comment
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It’s so crazy to be a mom of athletes who have lives and me still having my own life.  And when my car’s power steering broke- well time to add new car to my activity list.

This morning the girls and I went to check out a car.  The one I’ve been driving is a 2002 with 230K+ miles on it.  It’s white dodge caravan- Now a toasted marshmallow- because of the rust spots.

The new one?  Chevy Traverse.  Why?

The girls want to have bench rows, not bucket seats- First and foremost when gong on long trips they can stretch out and sleep better in rows.   They can sort of pile up on each other for comfort and warmth.

Also the bench rows fold down- all or part- So if we want to put in some skis we can with out losing too much passenger space.

Another thing about not having bucket seats- with bucket seats if you want to put anything in the car you have to lift it over the side seats and stuff it in the middle- I know for my family this would be crazy!  And things would get in that middle and stay for indefinite periods of time.

Another thing is the comfort of the third row- It feels like real seats.  With real legroom.  Critical question- Is it more comfortable than an airplane seat?  YES was the immediate response.

Cup holders are also a necessity- We eat and drink regularly in the car.  So a place to keep the food is pretty important.

Being that the girls are teenagers (or almost) -sound is critical, as well as hands free phone- √ Talking while driving can be done safely and tunes can amp up the drive.

Of course tons of airbags are a great thing no matter what.

And the cargo space in the back- behind the third seat- the kind that sort of vanishes in many of this sized cars- well it’s there- with room for a full hockey bag and one on top of it!  If you know hockey bags you know this means SPACE.

Color is fun- but can get pricey so I went with silver or white-

I prefer cloth seats- comfy in cold or heat.  No need to have a heater for the seats in the winter.  And no sweating and sticking in the summer- I can’t stand to be all sweaty from running and sit on sticky leather seats in my shorts the summer.  Or to scorch myself because they’re burning hot.

We’re pretty excited- I think that the girls will love the new ride and I will too!

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Mom’s Job When Kid Is Named Captain

November 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Posted in moms, Moms of talented teens, peer pressure, Self Esteem, sports | 2 Comments
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She’s the captain of her ice hockey team at ten!  What an honor and accomplishment.  She called all her relatives as soon as she found out.

What about me, her mom?  How do I react to this?  What is my responsibility?  What do I do about her sisters?  None of them were ever captains in any sport.

Of course there’s a bit of history here.  Jilly was invited to play up for the peewee team, not based on skills but more because the team needed a few more players.  I told the coaches of both teams I would decide which team based soley on what I thought was most important for my child.   I would not, under any circumstances, put my daughter on a team just to make it happen.

Of course Jilly was all swaggery when she got the news. She was oh so cool!  She was going to play up.   But the moment I had her alone in the car the first thing I said was, “I alone will make thie decision based on what is best for you.  I’ll listen to your ideas, but you will not make the decision.  I think at ten you’re too young to figure this all out.”

Since we already have a great relationship based on trust and respect she knew I was going to do what was best for her, not what was seem by others as cool or being above others. Cause what they think just doesn’t matter!

It was clear to me that giving Jilly another year as a squirt would give her more time to get basic skills, she loved working with the coaches of squirts, and she could really use a year as being one of the best.  Even if she didn’t have all her sisters with all their accomplishments, it’s so important to have a time when you are the best.  When the others look up to you. When you can help out and be a leader.

So squirts it was.  Until I heard from Jilly that they, the kids, would be picking captains the next week.  Then my head reeled. I’d been through this too many times.  Captains at ten chosen by teammates has had more negative effect than no captains.  My personal opinion is to have captains for each week.  They lead the warm ups for practices and game, shake hands with the refs, lead the pregame cheer, and lead the hand slap at the end of the game.  It’s a learning experience for each kid.

But to be captain for the season- now that’s a true honor and responsibility.  One not to be given hastily or lightly. One that most nine and ten year olds just don’t have the capacity to truly understand.  If there are going to be captains, the coaches need to be very able to choose based on the true value of the player, with complete open minds.

I talked with the coaches.  Explained my personal concern about kids choosing their captains.  And then dropped the bomb. I told the coaches that I couldn’t let Jilly participate if the captains were chosen by the teammates.  They nodded, said, “Hmmm, hadn’t really thought about that.”  Then I never mentioned captains again to the coaches or Jilly.

This past weekend was the third weekend of games.  I could tell the moment I saw the team come out of the locker room that Jilly had been chosen captain.  She had this look of control and determination on her face. She was in charge and going to make it happen!

I was certain when she and another player went over to the refs and shook hands.  And guess what – me who opposed captains- had a SURGE of pride.  That was my little girl who was captain.  And I truly believe she deserved to be chosen captain.

So what is my responsibility?  Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be writing about?  Well my responsibility is to help Jilly understand the honor and responsibility of being chosen captain.  That being captain is partly about being a great player, but more importantly about being a leader. About the team moral and focus.  It’s about good sportsmanship, paying attention to the coaches, guiding the other kids to do their best. When the game is tough and they are loosing it’s about keeping the spirit up and still trying their hardest.

Being captain doesn’t mean to fake energy or excitement.  It doesn’t mean to suck up to the coaches.  It means to have pride, respect, and leadership.  Being a skilled player helps, but it’s not what a captain is all about.  Even Mia Hamm or Kristine Lilly weren’t the captains of the US soccer team.

How We Celebrate Spring and Still Have a Ski Race

April 9, 2009 at 7:00 am | Posted in children, Families, Holidays, moms, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Thoughtful Thursday | Leave a comment

It is Thoughtful Thursday and

I am with my children at the last
of the ski racing events of the year!

It is a CanAm and only

  • 30 US girls and 30 Canadian girls
  • 30 US boys and 30 Canadian boys
  • aged 11 and 12

Kind of a special and elite group of skiers!  I am one proud mama for sure!

Anyhow….

Yes, in April here we are while
many of you are celebrating
spring and Easter, we are
still in the last throws of
ski racing.

SO what does that do for our celebrating spring?
Celebrating Easter?

Its really easy,
we celebrate spring by
breathing the spring air,
feeling the sun on our faces
with different energy.
WE watch the snow go with sadness
that our wonderful snow sports life MUST
come to an end.
And with excitement that we will
be on our bikes, hiking
and swimming outside soon.

And Easter, that is easy for us as well.
Since the early Christians had
no real date and they borrowed some other
holidays to fill the day,
We have begun to celebrate on the
Greek Orthodox Easter.

It is 6 weeks later- allowing us
to be fully with the holiday.

These ways of alternating our
lifestyles to fit the needs and
desires of our family,
yet staying with our
morals and values
gives my family AND me
the ability to live and breath
with our spirit, soul, self esteem
soaring.

My children
are able to be confident,
yet relaxed.
capable yet not pushy
confident yet not arrogant,
respectful of themselves and others.

My kids are not special.  Yours can be
the same way.

As you go through your days,
weeks, months,
find what fits with your family.
believe your values and morals
are the best for your family.
And let others have their
values and morals.

Have a great day,
and of course
parent with passion, purpose and integrity,

Grace

PS I really have enjoyed that
some of you are putting comments on the blog.
It really energizes me and I know
it energize others as well.

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.

Hi,

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: http://www.gemparenting.com/store.htm 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,

Grace

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!

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,

Grace
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.

http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WymjBmf4

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 http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/ His is a must see!

So have a friendly Friday,  And of course

Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

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.

 

Concentrate on the Small Wonders

November 12, 2008 at 7:43 am | Posted in dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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Good Morning. It is Wonderful Wednesday. That means you get to MAKE it full of wonder. Concentrate on the small wonders, appreciate them

 

These small wonders may be your children, or they may be your toes.  You know without your toes it is much harder to walk and balance? Of course it can be done.  You can get on without much.

 

Check this video out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0DRk8dFjI

 

I had tears.

I had inspiration.

I am humbled.

 

Have a wonderful day and

Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

 

Grace

Change This Afternoon w/out Stress

November 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Posted in dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Today I spent a great deal of the day picking up the mess.  As you know I have been incredibly busy the past few weeks.  So there was plenty of mess today.

 

But rather than looking at this as an over whelming task, as a thing that was some sort of growing monster I had no control over, I simply put everything I wanted in one pile in the floor.  Threw away the rest.  Then I sorted and put away.  Finally I vacuumed.  And I was done. 

 

It was a task.  It had to be done.  And it would have been easy to have felt it was just too much to get through.  Procrastination would have been simple.  So why did I do this?

 

What happened that allowed me to get through this without stress, overwhelm and anxiety?

 

I did it.  I did not think about it.  I did not analyze it.  And I did not let all the other “fun” things get in the way.

 

And now I get to look at my nice clean house, and it only took me a couple of hours.

 

So this afternoon find a moment to stop procrastinating.  It might be in your decluttering, it might be in your making phone calls, doing research, or changing your parenting.

 

What ever it is make a change.  Don’t think.  Throw your anxieties in the trash.  Put your overwhelm down the garbage disposal. 

 

Let others know what you change you made today.  Leave your comments

 

And no matter what parent with passion, purpose, and integrity.

 

Grace

 

Great Weekend Celebrating 80 years-

November 10, 2008 at 11:04 am | Posted in dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Happy Motivational Monday,

 

It’s been one terrific week for me.  The first thing I want to do is thank everyone who sent a birthday wish to my mother.  She was so honored by your responses.

 

Second I want to share what a week it has been. 

 

On Monday my 16 yo started her winter training.  This means she had to be in a number of places over the course of the day, but we were never quite sure where and when.

And the regular stuff of schooling my other girls, my work, and dance and hockey in the afternoon.

 

Tuesday brought on all of the Monday stuff and the addition of my eldest flying in from CA.  The airport is a 3+hr roundtrip.  Of course there was the election and results, which we all stayed up till 1 am to watch.

 

On Wednesday we had all that I have said going on + my eldest applying for jobs in NH.  (Which means she is serious about coming home to live.)

 

And during all this time I was making costumes for the relatives who were not so creative or handy or had enough time.  (That was the big laugh because I certainly don’t ever have time).  And getting messages from my sister about what we still needed to do for the party once we got to Plymouth, Mass.

 

Then came Thursday- First thing we (all of us) were off to the physical therapist to be sure my back would be OK for the weekend.  And as we went the car decided to go no faster than 45 mph.  I knew the car was a bit off.  I have gone 160,000 in it.  So after physical therapy we took it to the shop.  And had to find a ride home- 10 miles. 

 

In the afternoon it was confirmed the transmission was blown.  So added to everything was renting a vehicle. 

 

We rented a pick up.  My eldest was offered 4 positions in her field.  Everyone got to their programs and training.  My 16 yo got packed for her training out west.  Just the costumes didn’t get done.  And I was WAY over stressed.

 

Friday I worked on the costumes, while my 12 yo organized and packed the truck- we not only had our party stuff, weekend stuff, but both my eldest daughter’s traveling stuff, and we had my mother’s 80 years worth of pictures.  The pictures of course got to be in the cab.  But it was just ready to rain.  So the stress didn’t slide off as we went south.  After 2 hrs the rain came.  Not too bad, but enough to have to stop and get the 2 backpacks in the cab.  Now everyone but me had their knees in their ears to travel.  But we only had one more hr to go.

 

And when we got there everything was wonderful.  We had the pre-party at the hotel, where we all ate, took pictures of costumes, and talked, talked, talked. 

 

The real party was at the Plimouth Plantation itself.  My family went a little early.  We got the pictures set up; the tables decorated, and were ready when everyone arrived. 

 

After the dinner we had the skits and songs.  Lots of laughter, lots of memories, and lots of love.

 

And my mother blew out ALL 80 candles in one breath!  Yes she is very strong.

 

Saturday we toured the plantation, had lunch together and went on board the Mayflower II.  After all that I had to take my 16 yo to Boston airport to go out west for training.  I got back in time to join my mother, her 2 daughters (me being one of them), her 2 son-in-laws and all her five grandchildren went out to eat- just her immediate family. 

 

After dinner the 2 eldest grandchildren and my sister and brother-in-law went out dancing, while the rest of us went back to the hotel.

 

Sunday I had to take my eldest to the airport, and I drove back to NH with my two youngest.  Guess what?  I went to sleep just as soon as we got home. 

 

This morning I am thrilled to be able to remind you that you are just as amazing as my mother is.  You see, in her 80 years everything was not all roses.  She had so many downs you might think that she would have lost heart.  But she knew better.  Each time she fell off her horse, she jumped on another one.  She learned each time how to ride just a bit better, how to let go when necessary, but how to hold on to what was necessary.  Her life was a prime candidate for depression, remorse, whining, and complaining.  Boy, could she have been “the victim.”   She made the choice every time. 

 

So if you are off your horse today, out of sorts, not quite in gear, go get another horse.  Walk a while if you need to.  Keep your head up and love each of your children.  Someday they will be grown up and on their own.  

 

Choose this day so when you are 80, you and your family will rejoice and celebrate.

 

Take your time to parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity today,

 

Grace

Results will Change Your Self-Esteem and Parenting

November 5, 2008 at 8:26 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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This is Wonderful Wednesday, and for the Obama followers and me it is.  As you know I have kept quiet about my personal opinion about the election.  But now it is over and I am thrilled.

 

One thing I am excited about is change.  As a nation we are slow to try new things, new ideas.  But we were fed up with the old and ready to try on the new.

 

Another thing I am thrilled about is that our president elect has the ability to communicate enthusiasm.  We need to step out as a nation from our apathetic approach to light ourselves on fire again.  Our forefathers set up our constitution and our nation to be one of action, pride, and self-respect.

 

You see in blogging, coaching, even old stand-by’s like newspapers, people are ready and invigorated to change from the laissez faire attitude that has become so pervasive over the past ten years.

 

We are ready to step out and dance.  Try on new shoes and think new thoughts.

 

We are an amazing nation and it is time to restock ourselves.

 

And what does this have to do with parenting?  Everything.  By having new energy as a nation we can revamp how we do things not only as a nation, but as individuals.  We can find new paths, travel new journeys.  We can feel good about ourselves again.

 

When the nation gets in a slump so do the individuals.  Parents struggle to stay afloat both emotionally and financially, but with the new energy you can sop it up.  Use it for yourself.  Redefine how you parent, what your morals and values are.  You can change, add or delete goals.

 

This is your time as a nation and your time as an individual to rebuild. I have been saying for ten years that the self-esteem of our nation has been collapsing.  This means you as individuals have been suffering.  With this new change, new energy, we as a nation have stated loud and clear we are ready to pull ourselves up from the bootstraps. 

 

You can and will have a better ability to live and parent.  It might come from changes in government, but more than likely it will come from the change in energy that spread over us last night. 

 

I celebrate our national changes and I celebrate each and every single individual change that occurred to make the national change.  Now take that energy and live with it everyday.  Use this energy to change yourself, your parenting, and touch the world.

 

And of course

Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity

Grace

PS: As always any comments are welcome.  Just hit the word comment on the top where the other tags are.

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