#traditional wedding shot
#traditional wedding shot
“Sometimes the strongest of people need to be held together”
Definitely want this up in my house
Up on my wall! Handprints of my godchildren and little cousins! Soooo cute
Be a Gratitude Role Model. When you spend every night writing all your blessings into a journal, you’re bound to pass along the gratitude basket to your children. Saying these blessings out loud to them only reinforces this type of modeling. “I’m so happy you are in my life.” “I’m so honored to have good friends.” “Your Dad is the best Dad in the world.” “I am so grateful to get to spend my day with you.”
Simplicity matters. Keep things simple and children are bound to start noticing the little things in life. We don’t have a lot of fancy things. We only just got our first big-screen TV this year and that was a really big deal. When we bought our newish minivan, it was another really big deal. We aren’t splashy. We aren’t contrived. We just live and try to make a difference in our community every day. The rest is a bonus. We are passing this along to our children delicately while also helping them achieve their own dreams.
Talk about the world. Talk about how the rain is important to the flowers. Talk about how we get our food. Talk about the importance of Sunday morning pancakes. Talk about what matters to your children. Help them see the world from a different perspective. Help him understand that things on the other side aren’t always how they appear and that we must be thankful for what we have and not yearn for what others have. Help your children see life from all sides. Be grateful for it all.
Teach actions. Saying thank you is fine. It is. But in these busy, crazy times of social networking and little connection to real people, it’s important to teach children to SHOW UP and give thanks. Have them write out their thank yous daily in a journal. Call instead of emailing. Give cookies to the school janitor.
Give thanks. For all children, writing or drawing a picture of the things they are thankful for is a great way to get them thinking about being thankful. For the ones not quite ready for that kind of daily devotion, a simple bedtime ritual works wonders. Ask your child what she is grateful for today? Share your own idea or two with her as well.
Make cards. Every now and then, I buy blank cards and let the girls go crazy with decorating them anyway they want. We send those cards to the people in our life that need a lift. Thank you cards are a lost art that some of us really wish we could get people to spend more time on. Make a card. Give thanks daily. Spread joy weekly.
CALL TO ACTION: Work with your children on a daily gratitude journal. Take a photo and upload their drawings to my Facebook page. Or, post them on your own blog
This reminds me of my lulu! She is so confident and never afraid to be herself!
1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.
2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.
3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.
4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.
5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.
7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.
8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.
9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.
11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”
12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.
14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.
Photo Credit :: Danielle Rocke Toews
15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.
16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.
17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.
20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.
21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.
22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.
23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.
24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.
25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.
26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.
27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.
28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.
29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.
30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.
31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.
32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.
33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.
34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.
35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.
36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.
37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.
38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.
39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.
40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.
41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.
42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.
43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.
44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.
46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.
47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.
49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.
50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.
I just spent the weekend in fouriesburg, a little town just before lesotho border. What a weekend i had, it was so special. It was exactly what i needed from life right now, part reality check and part silence.
I needed the silence to understand what a groove i had gotten myself into- i had gotten so used to stressing so hard about everything - it hampered my abilty to enjoy the simple pleasures. Cars break down all the time challenges come and go but enjoy the moments that lead up to the end is what im focusing on from now on. I think i just work so hard sometimes it gets to much, and the OCD over everything starts.
Im so thankful for this little town. A small town literally one main road and two little supermarkets, a PEP and a taxi rank that consists of 5 taxis. Life is simple isn’t it ? No tv and tried my best to stay away from the social networks. Learnt how to boil water on a fire (to enhance my experience the electricity also cut out). It was great really. It snowed, well kinda, it frosted more ;D Supermarkets consisted of simple stuff - onions, potatoes and tomatoes (in bags of 3/4). We took a drive and i got to see the Maluti Mountains, from a far but i saw them. Made me think of dee, i miss her so much. Miss TDK! We also drove down to Clarens on Saturday; was beautiful! Similar to Franschhoek, both towns remind me of France - just not European. The plan was to horseback ride through the golden gate, but we were too late ;( did have my camera close to the horsies ;D I really enjoyed it so did my camera.
I missed my mom, sisters and my godchildren. Couldn’t wait to have them near again. They are definitely my heart and soul. Now that i am revitalized and ready to take on life and myself in the process i can enjoy them ten times more.
P.S will post pics soon.