3 Ways to Make Your Children Feel Special

Welcome Christmas season!

Welcome Christmas season!

Hello friends! I hope you haven’t missed me too much this past week but I am still here and there are even some exciting announcements on the horizon! No spoilers yet, but stay tuned for details. 🙂

Here at the Rising Eden homestead we are enjoying some well deserved play time with great interest-driven activities for the kid’s learning, as well as some great crafty time for me. I really wanted to spend some time this holiday season actually enjoying my favorite little people instead of just gearing up for a holiday race. I have also been thinking about how I can, and do, try to make each of my children feel special and loved.

My little monkey!

My little monkey!

There are so many things you can do to make children feel special. The great thing is that they don’t usually need much. So how do we do it here? Here are 3 little ways that weave through our days.

1. Each child has an animal nickname.

Somehow we often connect with cute, fuzzy animals right? Perhaps that seems silly but with each baby’s birth there seemed to be an animal personality that seemed to fit. So when we are feeling cuddly with our small people we can call them by their own animal name and they know it is only for them. Daddy particularly uses this one. They truly appreciate the uniqueness of it and it gives us another way to bond. (And in case you were wondering, we have a monkey, bunny, moose, kangaroo, and koala!)

Oh those cheeks!

Oh those cheeks!

2. Each child has a “love sign” with Mama.

I’m not really sure how this one started but it just kind of snowballed. 🙂 Each child has a little touch or tweak that silently shows them that I love them. One gets a tug on a lock of hair while another gets a wiggle on his chin, and so on. It’s only for that child. Each one is different and I never mix them up. It is a good way to be able to send them a silent message from across the room too. I just do the sign to myself: like run my finger across my cheek in a certain way and only that child knows that I just told them that I love them and think they are great. What’s sweet is that they all expect it when they get tucked in at night. Ok, so maybe my oldest doesn’t get tucked in at night mostly, but even he will give our sign occasionally when he gives me a hug.

The crook of Daddy's arm is the best place to be.

The crook of Daddy’s arm is the best place to be.

3. Having  a “special plate”.

We have a single plate that is different from any other. It has flowers and butterflies and it is plastic so we don’t have to worry about it getting dropped. It isn’t used everyday but every so often I will pull it out and serve one child’s dinner on it for that night. The special plate is used when someone has been unusually well-behaved, or achieved some goal, or maybe when they were ‘caught’ being very kind. It is served silently and then the good reason is shared with the rest of the family. My children really love it when they see me take it out of the cabinet and they all hope to get it. Now, of course this only works if I make sure that each of them gets it reasonably often, but it is also motivation for some thoughtful behavior. Besides, there’s always plenty to praise if you look hard enough!

Rockin' the hand crafted hat! (Thanks Auntie!)

Rockin’ the hand crafted hat! (Thanks Auntie!)

Well there you have it friends – 3 ways to make the child in your life feel special! How do you make the little ones in your life feel special? Do you have children, students, nieces or nephews? We all have the ability to improve someone’s life. Try out these tips or create your own – but spread some love and kindness. And if you wouldn’t mind, share with us so we can all have a few more ideas in our own back pockets. 🙂

I'm a big boy on the playground!

I’m a big boy on the playground!

peace and health,

Jennifer

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Personal Paradise Tuesday~ How to banish the grumps on a gloomy day

 

 

My personal paradise!

My personal paradise!

 

I missed being here on Saturday! I love chatting in my “cafe” here but I was busy getting ready for, and then participating in a fun day with my big boy. We had a great trip with the scouts taking a long hike to Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia and then enjoyed the fascinating historical experience they have there.

 

Mr B and I at Mount Vernon!

Mr B and I at Mount Vernon!

 

What a great day! My Personal Paradise moment would have to be the weather. Now for those of you who might not be up to speed with how the Personal Paradise works, let me catch you up. The idea is to take an everyday event or a moment that might not stand out as spectacular and recognize the beauty, or peace, or fulfillment in it and let this help you live your dream life.

 

 

The historic camp on tje lawn.

The historic camp on the lawn.

 

So on our trip we were wary of the weather that was coming our way. We had grey skies with the threat of rain the whole time. It did finally rain but only for the last mile or so of our hike.

 

On the bank of the Potomic River.

On the bank of the Potomac River.

 

 

 

The question is: why would this weather make me happy when I am sick of rain and am desperate for sunshine?

 

The dark steely river ripples look so cold!

The dark steely river ripples look so cold!

 

 

 

I enjoyed it because it gave me a chance to play with some different lighting while taking pictures. Some of them were nice, some not so great, and a few beautiful shots. It was a fun way to keep from getting as dreary as the day looked.

 

 

A wintry, stark feeling.

A wintry, stark feeling.

The best part of the day was finishing with the  touring of Mount Vernon. If you haven’t been, and ever have the chance,  jump on it!

 

 

 

Our first full view from the path.

Our first full view from the path.

 

 

It is a fantastic place filled with beauty and history.

 

A carriage fit for the President?

A carriage fit for the President?

 

 

I could spend a week here just walking around learning, seeing, smelling, and immersing myself in the experience.

 

 

George Washington' s kitchen!

George Washington’ s kitchen!

Have any of you been to Mount Vernon? Or maybe you have another favorite historical site? Share with me what you really like – I’d love to hear!

 

A very regal statue!

A very regal statue!

 

 

Peace and health,
Jennifer

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Is anyone home? Only the dinosaurs!

Look out!

Look out!

 

Ah, Facebook. I have a love/hate relationship with it. But sometimes it is so worth having. Recently I was out at night and for some reason was checking Facebook on my phone – which I actually don’t often do.

But I digress.

Anyway, thank goodness I didn’t have a drink that I was just sipping at that moment because if I had been, the mouthful would have been sprayed all over my phone. Mr Hubby had just posted the following status from home:

Me (meaning Mr Hubby): “Will you calm down in there?”

3-year-old: “I’m not here right now. I am a dinosaur.”

Now perhaps you might not think this as funny as I do but if you knew the fireball of a personality that our Mr T has you would probably be just as amused as I was. Mr T is very petite but has a personality the size of Godzilla! I could just picture the matter-of-fact way that this was said but also the intense dinosaur behavior that was occurring around this statement.

 

My little beastie dinosaur moves too fast for focus!

My little beastie dinosaur moves too fast for focus!

 

 

I swear that these children of mine drive me crazy but make me laugh and keep my happier than I could ever have imagined.

I love my crazy dinosaur boy!

 

This inspires my mama heart :)

This inspires my mama heart 🙂

 

What do your loved one’s do to make you smile or laugh out loud?

Peace and health,

Jennifer

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Something Old…Something New…

this beauty is in the bushes outside of Mr. T's preschool

this beauty is in the bushes outside of Mr. T’s preschool

 

Good morning! I’m back for another installment of unexpected blessings. This also fits in so well with my personal paradise theme. I recently took myself out on a date. My wardrobe was sorely depleted and need attention desperately. So my wonderful Mr. Hubby let me abandon the family for a few hours to do some clothes shopping. I found some really great deals and some adorable pieces to compliment my sparsely populated closet.

 

My pretty new wallet. I won't scare you with  a picture of the old ratty one!

My pretty new wallet. I won’t scare you with a picture of the old ratty one!

 

But that is not my blessing today.

The new clothes certainly helped flesh out my wardrobe but I do have some awesome elements that are still wonderfully useful that I didn’t get new.

My unexpected blessing today is my local thrift shops. I don’t go to the thrift shops often but sometimes it is incredible what lovely, almost brand new items you can find! And they are so frugal!

 

My favorite pair of jeans and a delicate lacy new shirt.

My favorite pair of jeans and a delicate lacy new shirt.

 

So here are some of my finds that patience in recent months have afforded me: amazing  high quality brand cycling pants – $10, normally at least $45; Under Armour shirt for my boys – $3, normally around $25; A beautiful, stylish, and warm winter coat from Talbots for Miss S – $9, normally around $35; jeans for me that fit and flatter – $6, normally around $32; and a sweater dress that will make Miss S feel like a fashion plate – $4, normally around $20. Spending $32 instead of around $160? I’ll take it!

 

How cute is this?! Miss S loves this unicorn shirt.

How cute is this?! Miss S loves this unicorn shirt.

What a gift to give new life and love to an item that is no longer useful or wanted by someone else. And what better way to treat our world gently than to reuse items that could otherwise end up clogging the dumps and landfills.

 

This dress is so pretty - I wish it was in my size!

This dress is so pretty – I wish it was in my size!

 

What blessing have you been surprised by recently? I’d love to hear about it!

Peace and Health,

Jennifer

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Sunset Café Saturday – One Small Book to Change Your Life

fall foliage

 

 

Come and sip a drink with me. 🙂 Today I would like to share a tip with you. After getting through the wind up activities this week for the holidays I am really appreciating the practicality of my daily journal. Many of you might use some kind of a planner or date book. For some people a digital option really works, while others use a more tried and true paper version with calendars and checklists included. I have tried many versions over the years with varying success.

 

So many planners!

So many planners!

 

 

I’m happy to say that now I am really sticking with the newest experience. It is called the bullet journal and it sounds deceptively simple but it is nothing short of incredible! You can use any type of regular notebook and it becomes a one stop shop for everything you need – to do lists, calendars, project ideas, you name it!

 

These are the two journals Ive used so far this year. I filled the floral one and now Im using the blue one.

These are the two journals Ive used so far this year. I filled the floral one and now Im using the blue one.

 

 

It enables me to keep track of things and stay organized in addition to allowing me to explore new ideas and projects without feeling so overwhelmed. It also serves as a great record of the things I have seen and done in my days which can help immensely with feeling accomplished and/or grateful with my life.

I could go on and on with descriptions and explanations but I will just share the link to the awesome website that explains the bullet journal.

Go. Check it out. I just might change your life!

Peace and health,

Jennifer

Posted in home skills, Learning activies, organization, sunset café | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish all of you the best day of peace and enjoyment. I hope you have family or friends to celebrate with. I hope you will be enjoying some really yummy food. I hope you find gratefullness in your heart for any blessings you have. And if you have worries or troubles I will hold you in my heart today and pray that your circumstances will improve swiftly.

Peace and health,

Jennifer

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Take It Easy Thanksgiving!

Get ready for some baking!

Get ready for some baking!

 

Hello Friends! Here come the holidays! I hope you are all having some time to plan the impending celebrations without too much stress or dread. I know it is so easy to slip into the mode of expecting too much of ourselves. How quickly we slide down the tunnel of Pinterest wehnever these times come along to tempt us with home made treats and extravaganzas of seasonally appropriate decorations.

 

Are you stressed out?

Are you stressed out?

 

 

I’d like to encourage you to stop and take a slow breath, then ask yourself what is one thing you could drop that will lighten the load for this week? I am personally choosing not to do one of the crafts that I planned for the kids. I think it might be frustrating for them and I want to spend my time enjoying them not struggling with them for a product that will not enhance our lives that much. We will have so many other ways to have fun!

 

Our thankful tree this year so far

Our thankful tree this year so far

 

I also have had a list running for days now. It is written down in my daily journal so I won’t forget it or lose it. It is a list of things that I want/need to take to my family’s house on thrusday. This way I can just check it off and not have to worry about it. And even if I do forget anything, at least I did my best to remember.

My lists :)

My lists 🙂

So share with me what you like about Thanksgiving and how are you going to reduce stress and enjoy life on Thursday?

Peace and health,

Jennifer

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