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.

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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!

Swing Your Arms And Get Happy

October 29, 2008 at 7:12 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 4 Comments
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If you are one of the 100 or so people to stop by today, please leave your comment as to why you came and what you want.

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Feature Article

Swing Your Arms and Get Happy

 

As a parent we get so stuck in our routine, our anxiety, our super frustration, it is imperative to bust out of it.  Sometimes you need some new thinking, sometimes you need some new ways of raising your children.  Sometimes you need to be different.

 

Today I am going to have you be different, but just barely.  This won’t really wake up your foot.  (See Yesterday’s entry)  But it will have an effect on you.

 

You have heard plenty of times to breath slowly and deeply, have a yoga breath.  You have heard about meditating.  You have heard about walking.  And you can do all of these to help your moods and tension.

 

Today, I am adding swing your arms.   You can stand still.  You can walk.  You can jump.  You can run.  Guess what?  You can even sit.

 

When you swing your arms you will activate some endorphins.  These are the happy hormones.  And happy hormones push tension, anxiety, and frustration out the door.

 

How should you swing your arms?  Well, you can swing them from hanging down, across at shoulder level, and you can do circles.  The important thing is to do large sweeping motions.  Not too fast, not short and jerky. 

 

The most important thing is to really get into it.  Obviously, don’t swing so hard you hurt yourself.  But have energy and spunk in it.

 

And go ahead and get silly.  You can play games with your kids (or just play them in your head).  You can swim the ocean of life.  Whack all the jungle out of the way.  Fly like your favorite bird. Make whirl winds of energy (The energy can either be your frustrations or tensions escaping, or excited free energy.)

 

There are times when the deep breath and meditation are perfect.  But there are times when we must move.  As a parent you need to do things to be the best you can be and releasing tension is one great thing you can do.

 

When you have endorphins floating around rather than negative hormones you brain can actually think more clearly.  You body uses less energy.  You won’t feel as tired.  And strangely, when you are less stressed your body can let go of the extra weight it is saving for that perpetual emergency you are creating with your tension.

 

So today swing your arms.  Do it as much as you can.  And put in a silly twist -if you can.

 

You will be such a better parent and person with this small little life change.

 

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I want to thank those of you who have taken the effort to refer GEM Parenting to your friends.  And remember if you get 5 friends to sign up for the Pearl Membership I will have a teleclass for you, at no cast.

 

But I am wondering if anyone has even tried to get a podcast, because not one has been purchased.  Are they just totally not interesting to you?  Is six dollars truly too expensive?  If I am going to be able to continue with GEM Parenting I need your support.  I want to give.  Let tell you, I really do.  But living in our culture costs money.  And I simply have to make some.

 

If what I have to offer isn’t appealing for money I will have ot go do something else,  This means of cours my time will spent at that, not helping you.

 

So if you are at all interested in having support from GEM Parenting I need your support now.  Please go and purchase a podcast.

http://www.GEMParenting.com/store.htm

 

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On the opposite side,  if you have the intention to change your parenting, and want to talk, dump your frustration, be anonymous, join Donna L. Johnson and me.  We are going to have a teleconference this Monday at 12 noon EST, 11CST, 10 MCT and 9 PST.  We will talk about your issues, your dilemmas, your problems as a parent, a mom, a woman.

 

This is an open discussion for you.  We will be there to support and guide you.  We will help you bring your spirit and soul into action.  We want to get your sprit and soul out of the box you have been storing them in.  It is a simple phone call for you.

 

It is back to my favorite way of doing things.  Helping you, guiding you and at no cost.

Phone details coming. 

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Do You Have Courage To Stop Your Parenting Worries?

July 10, 2008 at 7:36 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Do You Have Courage Stop Your Parenting Worries?

Because you have put serenity and acceptance into your life, you now have the ability to add courage.  In the Serenity Prayer this is the “courage to change the things I can.” 

It makes perfect sense.  What do you need courage for except to change things that you can?  But that puts you back in that whole space of anxiety doesn’t it?  What can you change and how can you change it?  How can you make everything work out right?  You are back with all the overwhelming choices you had before.

You are now saying, “Grace, couldn’t we have just stayed with the serenity and acceptance part?”

I wish we could have, but parenting just isn’t like that.  Parenting has hills to climb, views to see, hills to go down, and valleys to visit.

You can look at each part of this journey as a hard and arduous.  The climb can be so difficult you are spent and huffing and puffing the whole way, you have no energy to notice the view.  Or you may have brought clouds with you and can’t find anything to see anyway.  You may be frightened going down.  And you may think of the valley as gloomy.

When you put serenity with acceptance that you cannot change some things, you give yourself the courage to change what you can. 

Parenting is a journey and there is nothing you can do about it!  But you can change how you parent and your attitude about your children.  You can change your values and morals. 

You can take a beautiful hike up the hill, and even if there are clouds at the top, you can always find something magnificent at the top.  It may be so small you have to really stop and wait for your eyes to adjust, but you can and will find wonder every step of the way.  On the way down you can completely change your attitude that down is equivalent to bad.  Why not think of down as a kid?  They love to roll down, or slide down in the winter.  Or on a trail they skip and jump.  And rather than think the valley is a place of gloom and despair, regard it as your sanctity.  The valley is your resting and refueling place.

 

When I go for hikes with my children, we go on the hike knowing there will parts that are hard.  On the way up we rest and have a bit of a snack about every hour-and I have been known to stop every twenty steps when its too difficult.  We do things to entertain ourselves.  We play rocks and roots.  We can only step on rocks and roots.  And the weather in the mountains can and does change, with our view being obliterated at times when we get to the top.  When this happens we rest, and my kids still find wonder and joy at being on the top.  The view is not the only thing up there for them.  The hike down is always filled with songs and more rocks and roots.  Often we are exhausted, holding hands and supporting each other.  But when we get to the bottom we are always glad to have gone on the journey.

Each and every part of the journey of parenting can be that way for you.  You can take the courage to bring strength, vitality, and passion to your parenting.

And the funny thing is, it is only you who can bring your courage to parenting.  Without your courage to change, you have to go on the same way you are now.

 

Take your courage today.  Know you have every right and privilege to be courageous.  If you have been courageous, please take a moment to give courage to others and write a comment.

Can You Accept Being a Great Parent Without Control?

July 9, 2008 at 7:13 am | Posted in attitudes, children, dads, Families, GEM Parenting Secrets, moms, Mothers, parents, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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As a parent you need to understand that you are in control of your child and at the exact same time you are as far removed from your child as an elephant in Africa. 

You have an obligation as a parent to set up the most caring home you can:  A home filled with love, positive guidance, and morals and values that you believe in.  But as you know, this is a task that causes great anxiety.  You are so stretched to your limits of parenting that some times you lose sight of how to create this home. And you trudge along hoping everything will be good in the end.

The saddest part of this picture is that often things turn out fine in the end.  But the journey has been so difficult and so arduous that it hardly seems to matte any way.

What you want is to find a way to know the end of the journey is going to be good and at the same time to enjoy and relish your time as a parent.

Yesterday we talked about being granted serenity.  If you have not reached any moments of serenity then you need to think of how you are trying to get it.  If there is any begging, neediness, or whining for it, you are can try being more gentle with yourself and with your eternal energy.

Today we are going to talk about “accepting the things I cannot change.”  Every moment that we are alive we are out of control.  We cannot truly control anything or anyone. 

When you look at life this way you can let go of the things that bug you, drive you crazy, and keep you up at night.  Know that you can not actually change things.  Know that change happens, and reactions happen to what you do. 

How does this kind of thinking change your parenting?  As a parent you may have been trying to set everything up to be just perfect, or even as nearly perfect, as you are humanly capable of doing for your family.  This of course is well and good. 

The problem comes because of all the glitches.  And these glitches, large and miniscule, gnaw at your insides, put overwhelm in everything you do- from breathing to actually reading a story to your children.

When you “accept the things I cannot change” you no longer have to be in control.  You now have the privilege to see yourself as one who influences, who guides, and can set things in motion.  But the weight of perfection is gone.

You are a wonderful parent filled with love and caring.  Remember you have serenity.  Now with accepting that which you cannot change, you have freedom to truly love and cherish your children. 

Loving and cherishing your children is the number one best thing you can do to set the motion for your children live the most fantastic life they can.  And it starts today!

Accept the things you cannot change.  Put serenity into its proper place in your parenting.  And see how the nagging, headache causing stresses that surround you and your children begin to evaporate.

You are welcome to share your acceptance of the things you cannot change and how that freed you to love and cherish your children. 

If you have a major acceptance please share, and if you have something that is so trivial and insignificant please share that as well. 

Everyone needs to hear how you are able to use this information.

As always, Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity.

Grace

 

What’s the Big 4th of July Party About Anyway?

July 3, 2008 at 6:22 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents | Leave a comment
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Independence day is all about the big party.  And just what is the big party all about?  Summer fun, being together as a family, watching the fireworks, and all those good barbeque happenings. 

 But why and when did this big party really start?  Well, it wasn’t when they signed the Declaration of Independence.  It was after a bunch of wars and restarts to our government. 

 It was after a long time and lots of hard changes of how people thought about themselves.  Two hundred years ago most people were not able to understand that they were truly entitled to freedom.  That the pursuit of happiness was everyone’s right.  They believed that they were in this life and station by birth.  That there were not many options available to them or most anyone they knew. 

 We have come such a long way.  Now it seems most natural that we can pursue happiness and of course we are entitled to our freedom.

 Unfortunately, we have gone too far.  We now think we are entitled to happiness, and freedom is a basic need, like food, water, and shelter.

 These are not basic to being alive.  It is your privilege and responsibility to own these rights that are ours as Americans. 

 You have two ways to do this:

 First, with your kids, teach and guide them to cherish their independence and ability to pursue their happiness.  This is such a great treasure we often over look it as parents. 

 Second, no matter what your political views are, take the weekend to honor your country.  Let your heart and mind find the joy of being an American.  Fill your soul with replenishing freedom. 

 And then when you are involved with the big birthday party you can really understand and celebrate with your whole self.

 Have a great weekend.

 Grace

Terrific Tuesday

June 24, 2008 at 10:02 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, Terrific Tuesday, Tweens | 2 Comments
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Terrific Tuesday

 When you are confused as to what and why you do things with your kids you are very likely to be caught in the product side of parenting.  You are trying to figure out what will be the best thing for your kid in the long run.  You are so confused with all the offerings that are available.  You really can’t figure out what to do.  Except try and see what others are doing and hope that since so many others are doing something that it must a good thing.  But will it really be the right thing for your kids?

 Just writing about this makes me dizzy.  And for you who is in the muddle of it all- Please notice muddle is on purpose- you are more than dizzy.  You are up at nights wondering and worrying if you have it right.  What can you do better.  Which choice should you make?  What is the best for your family?

 

Well, rather than get in this ridiculous bind you are in, step out.  You are in the product mode. You are looking at parenting as a mode to get a result, a product. When you switch to the process mode the answers are easy.  The time in the process is enlightening, and although there are still many challenges in front of you, the challenges are invigorating rather than energy depleting.

Enough of that and onto some of my own personal real life examples of using process rather than product parenting. 

 

One of my daughters is a dancer.  She dances four days a week in lessons and many days out of lessons.  And I have two daughters who love to dance, but not quite to the same extent.  This past weekend we just had their recital. 

 The dancers from age three to twenty were instructed in the joy and beauty of dance through out the year.  The actual practice of the recital dances began in early April for some and not until May for others.  The studio chooses to teach dance rather than recital performance. 

 

 As the classes get done learning their recital dances each class and all parents, siblings, and whoever else is around watches the dances.  This is great fun.  The girls love to watch the other dancers and they love to dance for each other. 

 

 Yes, this takes some time away from the “instruction.”  But it also prepares everyone for the actual show. 

 

 When the actual show happens there is one dress rehearsal on the stage the evening before the recital.  And for the past three years that I have been part of this, the whole time is spent in the splendor of being dancers rather than showing a product that is being performed. 

 

 From the director to the babies, there is an atmosphere of pleasure, excitement, and the love of doing ones best, and of course dancing.

 

 Oh, I completely forgot the costumes.  Each dancer gets a T-shirt.  It is a coveted shirt, with a simple design on it.   The colors have been magenta, teal blue, and this year black.  Yep.  Everyone has the same basic costume.  Then they elaborate with old-fashioned dress ups!!! Or maybe simple home made tie die shirts.

 

 And you know what happens?  The dancers are dancers.  They are not a part of the show.  The dancers are the show.  It seems weird for many of you that not having glitzy costumes and practicing for months on a single performance piece would create anything but second rate dancers. 

 

But let me tell you otherwise.  I have been involved with dance studios as a mother for about twenty years.  And as a dancer myself for about ten years.  That makes thirty years of connections with dance studios.  And this is the dance studio that children- boys and girls- can love to dance.

 

 Why? They teach dancing through the process.  The product of a “show” is not the integral or even important part of the studio ethics.  They teach and dance for the sheer joy of teaching and dancing. 

 

 Although the studio’s main concern is not about the future of the dancers, their desire is to have the dancers love to dance, every year there are seniors who go ff to college majoring in dance, kids who spend the summer at highly coveted places such as The Boston Ballet, The Philadelphia Ballet, and Steps on Broadway.

 

The result of process teaching is to have kids love doing what they are doing AND the result turns out to be wonderful.  Even though t is not the actual goal.

Take the step out and use process for your parenting.  The result, product, will happen anyway, so why not enjoy the journey?  Have peace and know that you are giving your children the special gift of living and loving the moment- With that they will live a life with high self-esteem void of the panic and worry that you have.

 

 Grace

 

 PS the studio is called Ninth State Dance Studio

You can check them out at theninthstate.com

 

I would love to hear about something in your parenting that is process rather than product oriented.  it really helps others when you share!

 

Creative Crayon Club: Christmas Crafts

December 8, 2007 at 11:59 pm | Posted in children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Holidays, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to the Creative Crayon Club!

There are three wonderful Christmas craft ideas here to give you some much needed time with your family and relieve the stress of Christmas!  Enjoy.

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Hanger and Christmas Cloth Wreath

You need:

  • Wire coat hanger
  • Yard of Christmas cloth
  • Bag to keep cloth strips in
  • Scissors

To do:
Tear the cloth in strips about 2 inches wide.  This is great fun for little hands.  You can start the tears and then you child can rip the rest.  Or you can each pull from different sides.

  • Save one strip to be long.
  • Cut or tear the strips to be about 4 inches long. 
  • Put them in the bag right now.
  • Bend the coat hanger into a circle.
  • Take the long strip and cover the hook.
  • You may need to do this with little ones. 
  • To secure hold the strip over the end of the hook. 
  • Wrap the strip around the end and work back to the circle part of the hanger.
  • To secure the other end tie small strips over this end.
  • Tie each small cloth strip around the coat hanger
  • Do this until there is no space left to tie strips.

You can do this just about anywhere.  If you are going to do this out and about use a cloth bag so the hanger won’t split the plastic or paper.

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Hand Print Christmas Tree

You need:

  • Poster Board
  • Green paint
  • Red Paint
  • Large paint brush
  • Christmas Stickers and star stickers
  • Paper towels
  • Newspaper

To do:

  • Have poster board flat on paper towels where it can stay for a few hours.
  • Paint your child’s hands.
  • Place the painted hands to make prints.
  • Start at the top with one print and work down making it wider with each row.  You know the shape of a Christmas tree

Use the red paint to write Merry Christmas

Use the paper towels to dry hands before leaving work area.

Let tree dry completely
Add stickers for tree decorations and presents under the tree.

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Clove Orange and Apple

You need:

  • One naval orange or Macintosh apple
  • Several bottles of whole cloves
  • Yard of Christmas ribbon

To do:

  • Cut ribbon in half
  • Tie two pieces together in middle
  • Tie ribbon around orange/apple so it has not at bottom and not at top with loose ends to hang it with.
  • Push cloves in the arrange/apple
  • Keep them slightly apart. 
  • As the orange/apple dries out it will shrink

Hang –it will smell wonderful!

If you have a favorite Christmas activity that you do with your children and family, then please share with us!

For more information about how to use holidays to boost natural self-esteem or to learn about natural self-esteem go to feel free to contact Grace E. Mauzy at grace@gemparenting.com.

Thoughtful Thursday: Don’t Get Snowballed by Christmas

December 6, 2007 at 11:42 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, Thoughtful Thursday, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday!

Todays Thoughtful Thursday podcast “Don’t Get Snowballed by Christmas” is about how to have joy for the Christmas Season while keeping your wallet intact, your waist line the same, and having simple fun that leads to building high self-esteem in your family.  

Preview of the Thoughtful Thursday audio release at Thoughtful Thursday:  Don’t Get Snowballed by Christmas.

Get your copy of “Don’t Get Snowballed by Christmas” today and enjoy the joy of the Christmas season again!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Crayon Color Club: Advent Calendars for Gifts!

December 1, 2007 at 4:06 am | Posted in Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, relationships, Self Esteem, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Two Advent Calendars to start your Christmas season.  Here is a printable copy of this activity:  Advent Calendars!

1.  Advent calendars.  I have two fun ides.  The first is great if you have some candy around (especially old Halloween candy)

  • You need two pieces of heavy paper, green markers or crayons, 24 candies for each child, tape or glue gun
  • Cut the papers in the shape of a Christmas tree
  • Color one green.
  • On the green paper cut 24 window flaps.  ONLY CUT THREE SIDES. 
  • Number each window with 1-24. So it shows on the green side
  • Now place this over the other paper.
  • Mark where the windows are with light pencil on the plain tree. 
  • Glue or tape the candies on each marked place on the plain tree. 
  • Place the green tree over the plain tree.
  • Tape the edges of the two papers together.

There you have your own advent calendar.  (You open each window everyday before Christmas ending on Dec 24.)

If you want to get a bit fancier you can add some lines of the story of Christmas to this.

  • Before you start the trees with your kids write or copy a short story of Jesus’ birth with each line separate from each other.  You can only have twenty-four lines. 
  • Number the lines in order. Cut these out and fold them up. 
  • Tape them to the candies. 
  • Proceed with the directions above. When you open each window you have the story. 
  • Have another piece of paper to tape these lines to so you can soave the sory and read the whole thing Christmas eve.

One more idea you can have these lines NOT in order and have your children put them in order as they get a new one each day. 

If you have more than one child you can have the story lines be in multiples of 24.  And spread the story between your children.  Have a large piece of paper where you can tape the story lines as you go.  If the lines are not in order you may want to keep them in an envelope to put together on Christmas Eve

2.  The other Advent Calendar is a paper chain.  It is simple to make and especially helps younger children to understand how long it is till Christmas comes.  The simplest way is to have red and green paper.  Cut these into 24 strips total.  Make a chain using tape or glue sticks.  Each day tear off a loop of the chain.

For older children they can add decorations to the chain.

For a more elaborate idea write the title of a Christmas song on each loop and when you remove the loop sing the song.  This is really FUN.  You can repeat the songs if you don’t know 24.  And if you have more than one child you can put the same songs on all the loops.  This makes for some fun Christmas caroling.

For more information about how to use holidays to boost natural self-esteem or to learn about natural self-esteem go to feel free to contact Grace E. Mauzy at grace@gemparenting.com.

Focused Fridays: Sister Competition

November 30, 2007 at 11:23 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Holidays, moms, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Focused Friday Question:

I understand that Christmas is supposed to be about joy and Jesus and all that, but I really have a hard time getting past the present giving stuff.  I have two kids and my sister has two kids.  They are all about the same age.  She goes out and gets all kinds of fantastic things.  And lots of them.  There wouldn’t be anything wrong with that except that she makes sure we count how many presents we are giving to each of our children and how much we spend.  If I get less or spend less then she makes comments like, “I guess you just don’t really care about my kids since you are getting less for them than I am for yours.”  I would like to get her kids presents that I think are special for them.  I don’t want to be in this seeming contest.  But I don’t know how to get out.  This is my Christmas Crunch– Keeping up with my sister.

GEM Parenting Answer: 

Thanks so much for this question.  For many there is some under lying need to be sure that gift giving is reciprocated equally.  This means, “I get as much as I give.”  And that defeats a basic concept of high self-esteem.  To help you with your situation of the gift giving competition I have three suggestions.  But first I want to let you know about my sister.  She is the most generous person I know.  I am blessed with her.  For every present I give her family she probably gives my family four or ten.  No joke!  But the difference between my sister and yours is that my sister has never made me feel like we are in a competition.  And I want to let you know how you can get out of the competition and enjoy your sister’s generosity.

  • The first thing to do is to change your own mindset.  If you think of this as a competition it will be.  It is that simple.  If instead you decide to think of your sister differently, the competition will end.  Your sister cannot compete with you if you do not compete with her.
  • The second thing I want you to do is also a mindset change, but with some action added.  Each time your sister gives you the guilt trip about not being as good as she is change that around.  First, in your thoughts, decide that your sister is generous.  As you receive gifts for your family imagine she has done it for the love that she has for your children.  Then tell her how wonderful she is and you are always blown away by her generosity. 
  • The third thing is to allow yourself to be yourself.  I know this sounds funny, but for your own self-esteem I want you to give yourself the gift you deserve and want.  Choose the presents for your sister’s children with all the care and selectivity you want.  Be thrilled that you can give them what you do.  And every time your sister starts in with a competition you are now ready with three ways to step out of the way. 

When you change your mindset and actions to display gratitude for the gifts and appreciation of your sister you raise your own self-esteem.  You no longer need to worry about how you compare to others.  You are just fine as you are.  Not only do help yourself but also you help your children understand that gift giving and receiving is a process. And to give and receive with pleasure is the best way.

Now have fun getting the presents you want to get.  Enjoy the generosity of your sister.  And have a wonderful holiday.

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