Beauty

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I told my daughter today that she had a beautiful heart.

This comment left confusion on her face.

“But you cant’ see my heart Mamma, how do you know it is beautiful?”

I told her that beauty is not always the things we see.

Beauty is the things we feel, the nice gestures we do for others, and  the gentle way in which we talk to, or treat other people.

Having a beautiful heart and soul simply means that you are a lovely person.

To yourself and to others.

This made her smile, and she went on to tell me a story in which she shared her book at school with a class mate who did not have one.

She told me how happy this made him, and how she felt good to help someone else and share.

I was pretty proud that my little girl had got the concept of having a beautiful heart.

The whole topic of Beauty, and how it is perceived by various people has been on the forefront of my mind, after I listened to some random woman ring into the radio station yesterday and remark that she is so gorgeous that she can never find any men to date whom are in the same league of looks as her.

I was really saddened by her comment.

In looking at the cover, or shell of people, and in making such a huge emphasizes on looks, she was missing out on interacting with so many potentially amazing people.

I think she is probably also missing out on experiencing real life.

While self confidence is awesome,

Being full of yourself most certainly isn’t.

Once again I am brought back to my sisters favorite saying, which is inscribed on her headstone:

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Such simple, yet such true words.

As always, one simple topic left my mind whirling in many directions and many thoughts.

I thought about what beauty really is, and how society puts such a huge emphasis on looks rather than what is inside.

I wondered what a list of beautiful qualities would be.

There are many.

I came up with some:

I think a person who gives unconditional love is beautiful,

Someone who is generous and kind,

Gentle with others hearts and feelings, yet not allowing people to walk over them.

A person who will lend an ear when another needs someone to listen.

A person who sees the good things in the world, even when the hard times are happening.

I do not think a beautiful person is perfect- no one is.

I do think that imperfections and experiences in life add to a persons internal beauty.

A smile that has struggled through tears is beautiful.

Courage in the face of fear.

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I think of all the people who many think that their beauty has somewhat been tarnished by life.

Those with internal scars of heart break and loss,

Of hurt and despair,

And those who have been disfigured or marked in some way by either an accident or disease.

So many people think these marks that life has left on them or in their souls makes them less beautiful.

So many people think that these moments or experiences have simply left them scarred.

I look at people whom have come out the other side of adversity,

Who have fought and won a huge battle.

So many people are made to feel that they are full of scars.

I stopped for  a moment in my deep circle of thoughts and came to the realization:

These are not scars

They are beauty marks.

The Reward Chart

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Being a parent is one huge roller coaster.

You think you have one area done and dusted: the sleepless nights, the teething, the toileting, a fear,a goal, and then BAM! another hurdle pops up in your way.

I have found Motherhood about learning and changing as my kids also learn and grow.

To be honest, at times it is bloody exhausting!

Of late my two have been bickering and fighting so much it has almost driven me insane!

That on top of the normal hurdles such as getting ready in time in the morning, or getting them to have a bath, brush their teeth, get ready for bed without asking a million times.

I am putting my hand up to say that parenting is damm tough at times.

It does not help when others try and tell you what you are doing wrong, rather than support you.

It was time to introduce a rewards chart into our home- we have had many before, and I have to be honest in saying they have just ended up falling to the wayside, or not working due to me not being so consistent, lets be honest, it adds another thing into the mix of modern day juggling.

Something had to happen though, and I was over losing my shit, so I decided to implement a behavior chart into our home again, but do it different this time.

Previously the kids would just get random ticks for great behavior, and when they collected a certain amount of ticks, they could pick something out of the rewards box.

On looking back at their completed charts, they could not remember exactly what the ticks were rewarded for, and purchasing enough rewards to fill a box ended up getting expensive, and most of it was crap that just broke anyhow.

So I decided to make it more clear and concise.

I found a great site with many templates here.

For my 7 year old daughter, I used the Hello Kitty template, and for my 4 year old son, we went with Spiderman.

I chose the template with 5 sections, and I broke them up in the link  below:

RESPECT:        * Respect for other people

                           * Respect for belongings

                           * Respect for different opinions

 

ACTION:           Doing all the daily actions I need to get organised eg: getting ready, brushing teeth, making bed, having meals, unpacking school bag, ready for dinner, bath time, bed time etc.

 

HELPING:      Helping Mum and Dad with chores

Such as cleaning up dishes, sweeping floor, hanging

out washing , getting van ready.

 

KINDNESS:        To myself and each other:

Understanding the we each make mistakes and be

Able to support each other and our differences.

 

BONUS!:    Get a tick for doing something awesome! 

reward chart guidelines

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Image from here

With 5 sections over 7 days, the kids have the opportunity to earn up to 35 ticks a week.

I have set out a goal of 25 ticks, and if they get to that goal, they can choose a coupon.

These include:

A trip to the park /beach/creek

A family picnic

A tea party

Make a cake

Arts and Crafts morning

Movie night

Half and hour of uninterrupted parent time with parent of choice

Lunch out

I have done up approximately 20 different coupons, and will be sure to change them up and add more as time goes on.

Different families would have different ideas for coupons.

I realize that I have been making too many empty threats.

We do go to the park and creek a bit, but now I am telling the kids they need to get their point in order to do this, and in some cases, they can use their coupons together for something extra fun, like a trip to the beach followed by lunch, or a tea party followed by a movie night.

We started the chart this week, and not once have we been late for school.

Teeth are cleaned before I have to ask twice.

The kids are running to get into bed on time for a bonus point,

And the school bags are being unpacked with lunch boxes put on the sink without asking!

I am hanging onto this for as long as it works, and I aim to be more consistent this time.

I feel less stressed, and the kids are enjoying working towards goals and cheer when they get points.

There is still fights – kids will be kids, but they are not enough to make me want to run away.

As I said, we are still in early days, but even if it only gives me a week reprieve, it is worth it!

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Added Note: Week 1 of the Reward Chart was completed today.

We have wiped off a few points over the week for some bad behavior, but I am proud to say both kids have earned at least 25 points each!

As a celebration for an awesome week one, I took the family out for morning tea.

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We still have loads to work on, and as we all know, no one is ever perfect, but the increase in great behavior in our house and the smiles on our kids faces for positive reinforcement has been great.

Fingers crossed now we continue on this path.

Have an awesome weekend all!

Alicia

Getting My Grateful Groove On.

So I have been a bit up and down of late, been sick, been over thinking, letting other peoples stupid opinions get to me.

I have been spending a bit too much time thinking about what is going wrong, rather than celebrating what is going right, so it is time to get that Gratitude Groove On again!

I think it is time to make this a weekly event, don’t really have the time to go back to posting daily like I did in my 365 Gratitude Project, but think it is important to keep the great stuff on the front of our minds. (Feel free to share yours with me too please!)

So here goes:

I am grateful that it looks like our foster cat Amber has found a wonderful forever home.

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I am Grateful to witness Noah seeing a cane harvester up close, which was wonderfully organized by a friend.

Noah wants nothing more then to have a job driving cane harvesters when he grows up, and as you can see the smile on his face was amazing- and boy those machines are HUGE!

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I am grateful for experiencing new, fun things with the kids.

We got to go riding on a Biscuit on the back of a friends ski boat on the weekend.

I was so proud of how brave and adventurous both kids were, I admire them for that, as I remember how new things always scared me as a kid, and I was often left wishing I had participated rather then letting fear take over.

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I am grateful to live in an awesome part of the world, even if it is heating up this time of the year, and will only get hotter from here on in.

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I am Grateful that the kids are helping out more, whether it be with dinner preparation, or odd jobs for our little business, each little bit counts.

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I am grateful for escaping it all and going camping with my family and friends on the weekend.

While there is no chance to fully switch off completely when you have kids to supervise, I did find myself just sitting and taking it all in, not feeling the need to do anything other than that, it was a nice feeling to just be still for once.

(The Baileys around the campfire were rather nice too!)

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I am grateful for the gorgeous bunch of flowers a beautiful friend gave me.

My favorite  flower- Sunflower, and for over a week they made me smile whenever I walked past them.

The kind gesture in itself touched my heart too- Thanks beautiful Kel xoxo

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I am also very thankful for the beautiful little package that arrived in the mail today from the lovely Angie from Ramblings of A Mamma Just Tryin To Find  her Groove. She made me the most gorgeous cross stitch Fairy, and I am bummed that the photo will not upload for me, so I will have to share it with you next week, but I do have to say that getting a package from the other side of the world and sent with such love and care made my day- Thank you Angie xoox

I am also Grateful for the hard work and dedication my husband Jamie does for our new little business.

It has been a full on whirlwind 5 months with that, and he has worked his heart and soul out in it, giving 100% every day, and while in the interest of being honest, we have had our fair share of work place dramas, it has been great seeing our hard work and determination pay off together, and creating something of our own.

I am also very thankful for his new routine this week of making me a fresh Mocha and the kids a hot chocolate each from our Coffee Van before he sets off for the early morning run- it is an awesome start to the day.

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I am grateful for Friends who become Family, and Family who are Friends,

I am Grateful for making our own path,

For Believing in what seems the impossible.

I am Grateful for Courage, for Strength, and for recognizing the difference between a bad day and a bad life.

I am Grateful for making yummy fruit  slushy’s  at home, and finding them refreshing AND healthy on a hot, sweaty day.

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And lastly, I am Grateful for you readers, whom, despite me not being around as much, you still tune in and stick around and understand that life is busy.

I hope each and every one of you has at least 10 things you can be grateful for in the past week, and if you are willing to, I would love if you could share them with me 🙂