100 Things I want to Teach My Daughter…#98 Life is Not a Race

#98. Life Is Not A Race 

My dear girl…PLEASE always remember this, it has taken me a long time to get my mind around this one~
Never compare yourself to where others are around you. Your plan is different from everyone else. It has been through experiences with your brother that I have come to calm down with “keeping up” with others. I suppose the best test for me related to you was to agree to you not heading off to University this coming September. It was very difficult for me to come to terms with initially as I felt it was more important for you to go straight into University right out of highschool
Realistically I know, you WILL go to school…its not a question of will you go, its just a question of when. I am more than pleased with your choice to wait another year, its not a race my baby. You will get to where you want to be when YOU are ready…not when others are. It doesn’t mean you are any less a student, any less a mature than the person who has chosen to move ahead in their plan..it means you are mature enough to know YOU are not  and that is perfectly fine.
Always remember that their will always be people who want to live their lives on a “schedule”…they want to be maarried by 25 years old, children by 30, career stable by 35yrs…if you have a plan or a schedule in mind and things don’t work out the way you had hoped, promise me..you’ll be ok with that. But always work hard, and never give up on any dream or milestone you hope to achieve. Its not about how fast you get there….it’s just that you do. Life is NOT a race, do not compare yourself to others and do not EVER let someone tell you, you are doing something wrong. It’s YOUR journey….don’t hurry along, enjoy the ride…all the ups, all the downs, the turns and even the stall’s. Live in the moment~ THAT’s important.~

100 Things to Teach Your Son

#98. Learn to cook a good breakfast

For many reasons son, my advice to cook a good breakfast is of importance. Women like a man who can cook. There is nothing more wonderful than after a night spent with their man…he getting up to cook a well deserved breakfast. Very romantic..while dating anyways, however very pracitcal when married with children. I mean if you are not helping with the children on a Sunday morning then you better be getting breakfast started. Let’s not forget the most important meal of the day is breakfast…its the fuel to start your day 🙂 (Sorry…i know you have been hearing that for year’s, but its time to start listening too it!)
You are on your way son, you have mastered the grill and only good things to come. Keep working hard, your eggs are great too…well done!!  Your future love interest is going to be one lucky young lady~

A letter to a sibling of a special needs child.

My dear friend, if you are reading this and you happen to be a sibling to a special needs sibling then this post is just for you~
Whether your own parents have expressed this or not I have something to say to you and I think its important for you too hear this.
I can’t voice enough how wonderful and amazing you are, you probably don’t even know it. 
I know how difficult and challenging your life has been through the years, I know you have witnessed some of your friends living lives that maybe you have envied. Trips, snowmobiling, hiking, childhood camps, family snorkling trips, rock climbing, white water rafting and many other adventurous activities that you may have missed out on as a family. People may not have known how difficult it would be for you and your family to attend a catamaran snorkeling trip In the Bahama’s. 
Even though you may have missed out on so many things, please know that all the while you were being raised to become one of the most remarkable person anyone could know. You may have missed out on some parts of your childhood, however you will have had more life experience than many of your peers. 

Let me share with you how I know this;
I know you deal with more than your share. There are many times when your parents have to spend a lot of time away from you. 
You know and understand that they need to take your sibling to a doctor appt. Maybe your sibling has been admitted to the hospital and your parents have to be there for them. That leaves you in the hand of others, probably frightened, confused and nervous. 
I also know that parents spend countless hours on the phone, figuring out issues about your sibling. Or maybe your parents are busy throughout the day caring for your sibling physically, and I know my friend you see this more often than not. 

Your role maybe at times is to stand back, sadly that happens far too often as well. But what I do know is that while you are watching during the chaos you are seeing the love your parents have for your sibling. Unconditional love is being embedded in your heart.

You see the patience your parents have for the situations that are thrown at them daily and that my friend is being planted in your soul.

 

You witness first hand the fighting your parents take on to get everything your special siblings needs, you notice the tears, anger and frustration and there again my love its being ingrained into your mind.

You may not know this but all these little traits are molding you into a pretty amazing person.
I am sure you are aware of how hard your parents are working themselves to be sure you and your sibling are well taken care of. Even though the demand of your sibling takes away much of their time and attention, they are never forgetting you. In all honesty it is you who keeps them going. Its you they see when they get off the phone from a frustrating phone call and when they see you, a wave of love and relief washes over them. Once again they are reminded, to take a deep breath and smile. 

 

Your presence is never not noticed, and even when you are not around at the hospital or in the home your parents are yearning for you. It hurts them to have you gone, its painful when the home is upside down and they are missing you.
I am certain that being a sibling to a differently able brother or sister is a struggle. I am sure there are times your heart stings of jealousy. When you are worried sick over your sibling. I know you have those times when you are angry because you are missing a friends party or we have had to cancel a holiday or trip. All those feelings are completely validated and you have that right to upset every now and then.
What I will say is this, you will never find a closer family then the one you share with your special sibling. The closeness you have with your family is admirable and in all honesty in less you live it, you won’t understand. There are no secrets, everyone works as a unit and the support shared between one another is solid. We spend copious amounts of time together not because we have too but because we want too. Your family knows what’s important in life and they take nothing for granted. Family time is what is most important, nothing comes before that….each one of you knows how quickly something can change.
The bond you share with your sibling is like no other, you will always have eachother. Your sibling relies on you, cherishes you and admires you, where ever you go in life you’ll always have a cheerleader. 
Think of how it feels when you get to watch your sibling reach a milestone or over come a very difficult and challenging goal. Not everyone takes the time out of their lives to be available to their sibling, you on the other had would never miss it.
Your friendship with your sibling is indescribable, you are their protector, encourager and family.
At times when the house is quiet with worry, we see you walk by your sibling and touch a shoulder or smile while sharing a look between the two of you that only you will understand. Trust me when I say you are envied. 
 
People are so jealous of the relationship you share.
It does not go unnoticed, your parents are watching your interactions daily and it makes their heart burst with pride. They see everything you do for your brother or sister and they especially love seeing when you stick up for your sibling, and when you go out of your way to make sure he/she is included in everything. 

Parents are very aware of your efforts in helping with your siblings medical treatments, physical and occupational therapies. How you quietly hold hands with your sibling during any procedures or quickly place an oxygen mask back in the right place. 
It has always been a comfort having you available to place yourself in a room and watch intently waiting for direction on how to assist with care. You do such a wonderfully grown up job of lending a hand or heart where needed. 
I am sure your parents have expressed in their way how thankful they are for you, and if by chance its not a routine thing for them please know they think of you all day every day. You have not gone forgotten. 
Most importantly my lovely, the reason you are going to rock this thing we call life is because you
know unconditional love, you know true heart ache and you know what’s truly important.
You have lived a life that takes a strong heart and a stronger mind, and because of that you will mature much faster than your school mates, you will exhibit more compassion than many acquire in a life time. You will know more about health care than 95% of the adults you pass on the street and you will have a sense of humor that can destroy any rock thrown in your path of life. 
When you first experienced the reality that your sibling had special needs, it was then your destiny was imprinted in the stars. From then you were chosen to stand tall, stand proud and stand together.
You are going to be an awesome human being,  you are going to change lives…all because you were the sibling of a special needs brother~

*Although I have shared with you my own family photo’s, I want to make it clear that this letter is for Kailey (sister too a special needs brother) but not necessarily TO Kailey. I am writing this letter for anyone who has grown up with a special sibling. If/when I do write a personal letter to Kail, it will be for her where all things referenced will be about her and the love she has for her brother (written with a grin*). But in all seriousness…I know she can relate deeply to this letter, and for that my darling we are so proud~

100 Things I Want To Teach My Son~Those who are able to laugh at themselves and at the rest of the world equally outlive us all.

As I said in the previous post, I am doing the same idea for Braden as I am for Kailey. I am doing 100 posts on 100 things I want to teach each of my children. Naturally, I want to teach both of them the same important facts of life. But for the sake of this blog I will mix it up a bit and leave each of them with similiar yet different pieces of advice. 

100. Those who are able to laugh at themselves and at the rest of the world equally outlive us all.
Pretty self explanitory I think. One of the most important lesson’s I actually have been teaching Braden since the day he could understand the relevance of laughter. 
Being able to laugh at yourself show’s the maturity of that individual. We started teaching Braden this lesson WAY back. Right back to the beginning, when he stared his very first physiotherapy program when he left the hospital. I remember wanting to send Braden to SickChildren’s Hospital, once he was diagnosed with the Spinal Cord Injury I wanted him to go where I felt he would best be looked after. I kinda figured, Sick Kids was my hospital..they did a great job with me, maybe Braden would be better off there. 
The medical staff reassurred me that Braden would be a big fish in this little pond at MacMaster and if sent to Sick Kids he would be a little fish in a big pond. Meaning…they have seen all kinds of things at Sick Kids and that Braden’s needs wouldn’t be necessarily a top priority. NOT that Sick Kids wouldn’t have done a wonderful job cause in my eyes they are the best…but I did understand what MacMaster was saying and we then agreed to keep him right where he was.
With being in a smaller hospital…it left Paul and I with the chance to be more involved with Braden’s care. We had to dive in and get hands on really quick. We became part of his rehabilitation routines, working with all the medical staff to help get our son healthy again. 
Well…the best way to get a 2 year old to do something they don’t want to do..is with laugher. We broke out all the funnies we could. Talk about becoming comedians…quick work on our end. 
It really wasn’t easy, he was 2…and he didn’t want us telling him what to do, not alone tell him to do things that were NOT fun in any way. 
Challenge, is one word that described a good 3 years…
I will have to say it was probably my dad who stared the “sillies” in the hospital room. For whatever reason Braden really responded to someone inflicting pain on themselves. Slapstick humor. My dad would literally “pretend” to bang his head on things in the room and Braden would die with laughter. He LOVED it. 
Braden would mimic papa and pretend to do the same kind of “physical harm” joking…sounds sick, I know, but we’d all laugh and pretend he was hilarious(well in all honesty, we didn’t need to pretend, cause he was funny. His laugh alone made us beam with pride and laugh with love). This then taught him to laugh at himself, he loved to make us laugh and our reaction fired him up. I do remember wondering if all this was healthy and of course through the years we banged into those idiots who “looked” to deeply into this humor and felt it was inappropriate…lol…whatever!
Anyways, thats how we managed to get Braden to learn how to laugh at himself. We’d make his “workout” fun. There was a fine line between laughing with him, or laughing at him (something we NEVER did)…
So when you are trying to get a young child of 2 to understand that his left arm isn’t fuctioning normally but keep trying to “make it work”, the best way to do that is through humor. We named his left hand “baby hand” and his right hand “dinosaur hand”..well actully Braden named them that, baby hand didn’t work so it was like a baby. Dinosaur hand did work and it had more power..therefore a dinosaur. We made fun games with those, and when baby hand didn’t “work” we learned to laugh at some situations related to “baby hand”….Braden had fun with it as well…it was our beginning to teaching him its ok to laugh at yourself, don’t take things so seriously. 
We have had ups and downs in this department. He natually went through difficult stages in different times in his life and sometimes laughter wasn’t appropriate. SO we laughed at others…and that too is another story..and probably one that once again my dad started~

I love us….I really do*

100 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter #55 A Person who does kind acts is not always a kind person~

I know there is probably one other million things I could choose to write about. I suspect I wont be able to cover all my advice to you in just a short 100 blogs. BUT…I do believe this topic is of importance. It’s something that I have taken some time in life to learn. A good hearted person can be hard to find. So many people portray themselves in lights that make them appear much brighter to other people.

Sometimes people will only do good if credit is given, or unless they get recognition. Look for the people who do good but remain silent. Those are the ones doing it for the right reason. It is ok to be thanked when you do good, I’m not suggesting that people don’t deserve to be acknowledged. I only mean watch for the ones who do good and then broadcast it continuously. It can be hard to understand someone’s intentions, most times its for all the right reasons.

For me, there has been times when I have done an act of kindness and I may have facebooked it, or shared my story with others. I suppose at times everyone likes the attention from others, there is something nice about feeling good when others lift you up. Most times people share in their good deeds to encourage others, you hope kindness becomes contagious.

I suppose my point Is simple, don’t mistake someone’s true character just because they “appear” to be kind. I know Fox that sounds so very pessimistic, thats not truly my intentions. But I do want you to learn quickly that just cause someone will help an old lady across the street, doesn’t mean they don’t have their hand in her purse trying to steal her money. Eeeeekkk that sound so horrible. I’m embarrassed to speak like this, but its the truth. I do believe most kindness comes from a good place. Please always look through your lenses with nothing but happiness, don’t become an angry, bitter person always looking for the negative. Just don’t be naive to the cruelties of others. Just because someone is “helping, being courteous or kind”, certainly doesn’t mean they are not capable of having bad intentions. Eyes open always~

Well my lovelies, until next time good day and god bless~

Orange Scones by Joanna Gaines~

So I got this new cook book, Magnolia Table a collection of recipes for gatherings. My neighbour has it, and when I was cat sitting for her I took a peek through it. I liked it. The recipes all seemed easy enough to follow, and most of the meals presented were ones I would definitely make.

The very first recipe I followed was the Orange Scones, and my goodness they are truly amazing! We love them, and we are all enjoying them.

If you’d like to try the recipe I’ll leave it here:

2 cups of all purpose flour, plus more for forming the scones

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp of baking Soda

1/2 tsp of kosher salt

1 large egg

3/4 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tsp grated orange zest

12 tbsp of unsalted butter cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen

Maple Orange Glaze

1 1/2 cups of powder sugar

1 tsp of grated orange zest

3 tblsp unsalted butter, melted

3 tblsp of fresh orange juice

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking Soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside.

In another small bowl, place the sugar and orange zest. Using the back of a spoon , work the zest into the sugar until well combined. Stir the sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Add the frozen butter and, using your fingers or pastry blender, blend until the mixture is pebble like. Stir in the egg/sour cream mixture until the dough Forms a ball. Divide the dough in half.

Place one dough portion on a lightly floured surface and press it into a 6-inch round. (It should be about 1 inch think) Cut the round into 6 wedges. Arrange the wedges 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough portion.

Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the scones to a wire rack set on a baking sheet.

Meanwhile make the maple-orange glaze: In a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and orange zest. Stir in the melted butter, orange juice, vanilla and maple syrup, mixing until smooth.

Spoon the glaze over the scones. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature. Once glazed,the scones are best eaten the same day. Store unglazed leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days~

There you have it, so simple but so delicious. I’m looking forward to trying more of these fantastic recipes..

Well my lovelies, thanks for reading. Until next time good day and god bless~

Dutch Oven Irish Soda Bread~

I have really been enjoying the Williams Sonoma Instagram page. Some of the recipes have been really good. I decided to try this bread recipe. It’s called Dutch Oven Irish Soda Bread, it was easy and it was sooooo good. It was almost like a large raisin tea biscuit.

Here is what you need:

4 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking Soda

1 tsp of salt

1/2 cup of butter, cold/ 1 stick

2 large eggs

1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk

1 cup of dried currents

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking Soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Cut cold butter into thin slices and add into flour-sugar mixture.

Mix the butter into the flour~ it will be slightly lumpy, with a similar coarse consistency to cornmeal.

Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs into a small mixing bowl

Gradually mix the egg and buttermilk into the flour

Mix until all liquid is absorbed. The dough will be slightly wet and not smooth.

Mix the currants into the dough by hand.

On a lightly floured surface or piece of parchment paper, shape dough into a large round ball shape.

Place the ball of dough into a greased Dutch oven with lid on.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes until baked through.

Allow to cool slightly before removing from the Dutch oven by flipping over onto a plate.

Best served warm (with Irish coffee) but will keep well for if wrapped.

Enjoy~

100 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter #56 The worst separation of all is that which occurs between a person’s income and their lifestyle~

OHHH Fox! This is so very important, especially with your generation in which everyone want something “RIGHT NOW”. You are so use to getting things almost immediately and without seeing the consequences of those actions. Take for example Amazon and/or online shopping. You easily registrar a credit card to shopping accounts and shop away. Not seeing the damage for a whole month. That my friend is dangerous.

It’s also very challenging to stay in your own lane when wanting to “keep up with the Jones.” As you get older you will see what I mean. I suspect things are changing in our society. It’s a lot harder for your generation to buy homes now. So you may see less and less of that kind of behaviour. Many more couples are renting or buying townhouses and or condo’s. Single detached homes are not near as important as they had been at my time.

Keep your income and lifestyle within its means. Trust me when I say this. Don’t become consumed with “wanting” things. Enjoy the things you earn, take pride in your hard work and rewards. If I could give you any advice fox it would be to put your money in to travel. While you are young and figuring out life, travel.

Dad and I have been downsizing this past year. It’s so overwhelming to see where we have put much of our money. We’ve overspent on “things”….stuff that I no longer want, need or desire. What a waste. So all that money is now being taken to second hand stores and given away. Each season I would buy more and more stuff to accent our home, our pets and even you children. Don’t get me wrong, i loved it! I LOVED having our home decorated at Christmas, Easter, Halloween and birthdays…but what I am saying is if you can’t afford those things..don’t go into debt trying too.

Sometimes Less is More…and as i am getting older I am learning this. So take it from me now….don’t put money into things that don’t bring you a feeling that lasts longer than a season. Put that money towards things that benefit you and your family in the long run.

The same applies to the opposite of this, if you have a substantial income don’t live life too frugally. Enjoy your money. Don’t just buy things that make you happy, DO things that make your happier. Trips, travel, donating, volunteer your time, take days off work, rest and pamper yourself.

If I were to start out living my life in todays world, and if I knew what I know now. I would do things a little different. Like I said, I would buy less stuff for the house. I would spend more money of travel, education and taking care of myself. I would buy you less but take you out more. Maybe put more money into activities? Maybe more art classes or music lessons? I’m not sure, you really did have all that. But you also had a ton of toys that you didn’t really play much with. Listen to your children, watch what they play with..even if it’s something you don’t feel is worth it. I just bought you things to fill your play room, I bought things that other little girls were playing with. Somethings you never even opened. MY bad.

Always remember your money is hard earned. It is something to not be taken lightly. Be resourceful, attentive and protecting of it. Be generous, kind and willing to be open minded to change.

I hope this brings you some insight. Sometimes I have a hard time thinking of you as a full grown adult with children. I know the day will come eventually. And I hope all these little words of wisdom can be of service. Love you girl~

Mom ~

February 28th~

100 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter..#84 You are no less a woman when you’re in sweat pants….

#84 You are no less a woman when you’re in sweat pants and hoody than a woman in stilettos and a leather skirt.

Although I believe you must learn to wear some sexy stiletto’s, on a really important night  a gorgeous pair can make you feel amazing. 

With that said my darling, wearing a comfy pair of Roots track pants, over sized hoody and a pair of Tom’s should never make you feel any less a woman. Be confident enough to walk proud throughout town sporting a comfy cozy outfit and not be embarrassed to be seen. 

You are beautiful, you are stunning in all the things you wear. 

Remember this when you do find yourself standing beside the stiletto wearing, sexy lady in a 7/11 buying a package of cigarettes while paying for her gas. She is having her moment, let her have it. This is her time to shine, her time to feel sexy. Empower her, lift her up for she may be hiding the most insecure thoughts going on in her own mind at that moment. Find the ability in  yourself to compliment her, as hard as it may be in that time, think of her…even though you may be in your gym clothes or track pants and sweat shirt. Tell her you love her shoes…make her feel confident, and I promise my baby girl you will come away feeling so much better about yourself. This is a gift to not only give to her, but it will make you feel even taller than she is standing beside you sporting those heels. 

and smile~

Always smile, it lets her know you’ve got her back. We need to encourage one another as woman, not discourage eachother. 

Most importantly K always remember it doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as you feel confident and comfortable with who you are…no shoes can change that. 

I mean seriously fox, when you look like this beauty…you can wear anything and feel smashing~

Happiest girls are the prettiest~
Audrey Hepburn

Well my lovelies, until tomorrow good night and god bless! xo

February 27~ My uncle passed away

It is actually my birthday today, I turned 48 years old. Sadly my uncle died today. He had cancer. He was given the fatal diagnosis Dec 25th, were he was told he had 6-12 weeks.

He died February 27th, 8 weeks was what he had. He had his siblings with him till the very end. He was so blessed to have them. He will be missed dearly, my dad is going to feel such a loss. They were best friends.

Until next time, good night and god bless~