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Decorating Your Home for the Holidays on a Budget by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Wow, the holiday season is fast approaching! We’ve barely put away the dishes for Thanksgiving and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.  With these tough economic times anything we can do to save money is a bonus.  It is possible to decorate your home for the holidays on a budget while keeping the kids busy and enjoying a little family togetherness. That’s what the season is all about, celebrating with family and friends.

A pack of construction paper in different colors, some ribbon, scissors, and glue can go a long way in creating decorations for your home.  Old holiday cards can be recycled into decorations by cutting out pictures on the front of the cards and pasting them on a background of colored construction paper.  These can be used as decorations for your Christmas tree or placed on your mantel or walls to create some holiday spirit.

Your children’s wallet size school pictures or even 3 X 5 photos can be mounted on a piece of construction paper or placed in a frame of popsicle sticks with a ribbon attached—you can even add a handwritten message like Christmas 2009 at the bottom.  These are great for your home or even as a gift for family, especially grandparents. 

Snowflakes, draedels, menorahs, or Kwanza candelabras can be cut out of construction paper to decorate your home or windows.

Be creative!  These are simple ways to get the whole family involved, keep your kids busy, and get your house decorated without breaking the bank.

Good luck and Happy Holidays from Motherhood Incorporated!

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Creating a Memorable Thanksgiving by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Thanksgiving is a holiday with many family traditions ranging from Grandpa at the head of the table carving the turkey to Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie.  It is a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks for the many blessings they have had throughout the year.

You can start your own new traditions as well and involve your children in the preparations.  If you have an older child that is able to write, have them create placecards for everyone at the table.  They can decorate these as well.  Placemats can also be created for everyone as well and younger children can be involved in this craft as well. These can be simply a piece of construction paper with drawings by each of your children.  If you are feeling really creative have your children make a handprint with paint on each placemat to make the feathers of the turkey and then cut out construction paper in the shape of a bowling pin for the body of the turkey.  You can add googly eyes  etc. as you see fit.

You and your family can write down all of the things you are thankful for (little ones can dictate these to you).  Make a paper flower  for each of these things you are thankful for and attach it to wooden kabob sticks or popsicle sticks and place them in a vase for a simple yet meaningful centerpiece for the table.

By involving the whole family in creating these thanksgiving mementoes you are creating your own Thanksgiving memories as well.

We at Motherhood Incorporated wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving !

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Critical Factors for Raising an Empowered Child: Teaching Children About Death by Susan Haid, Lilys Truth

By Susan Haid

swingTeaching children about death depends of course on what you believe about death yourself. This article is based on my own personal experience with death and how I have handled the subject with my own children. These recommendations are for parents and caregivers who believe in the eternal nature of the soul. These recommendations are for those who want to change the old viewpoint of death replacing it with a new and enlightened understanding of what death really is. Ultimately, this is a gift to our children because they will have the opportunity to live, and die, peacefully without fear.
As the teachers of our children, death is something we must come to understand ourselves. It is critical that we move beyond the domain of “beliefs” into the realm of experience. We can teach our children what we believe or we can teach our children from the standpoint of our experience. There is no finer teacher than experience itself. All we ever really need is an open mind to receive pure, unadulterated knowledge.
Now, here we could get into a lengthy conversation about “consciousness” and how it is NOT confined by the human body. Consciousness can travel anywhere at any time and knows no limits. This can be experienced by anyone and everyone in a body or not in a body. So, what does this tell you about death? Maybe it implies that death is simply a change of focus so to speak. Now, some would say that the experience of consciousness is just product of the imagination. But for those of us who have played with journeys in consciousness, well, our experiences simply cannot be explained away. Our experiences go far beyond the realm of the imagination and are powerful lessons in the true nature of the soul. So, because of my own vast experience over the past 25 years, I laugh at the limited and controlled point-of-view that leads some people to deny the unlimited nature of our being. And if you need your own proof, I encourage you to seek and you will find.
This brings us back to the very basic lessons we give our children about death. Based on this very brief conversation, this is what we can teach our kids:

Lesson Number 1: Death is not an end to life, it is a continuation of life. As all scientists know, energy never dies it simply changes form. We never die, we simply change form.

Lesson Number 2: We are not just human beings, we are Consciousness Beings. Consciousness is not confined to the human body. It can move anywhere at any time. Death is a release of Consciousness from the human body only. This is all death really is…much like taking off your heavy winter coat and walking from one room to another. And remember that Consciousness is Unlimited. There are many amazing implications to being an Unlimited Being. Children are not yet locked down within the trap of limited belief systems…let them live freely and openly with very simple information that supports the truth of their existence and life experience. There is just no need for oppressing, complex teachings.

Lesson Number 3: Our reality is defined by our beliefs. Let us give our children the greatest gift of all by releasing all fear teachings about judgment and condemnation associated with death. These are very old beliefs that are based upon control. In my humble opinion, it is a violation of the pureness of a child to impose fear, judgment and condemnation into the heart of a child. And how can any person die in peace with any dignity whatsoever when they are filled with guilt, fear and shame? For many of us, COMPASSION is the single most important teaching we can engender in our children. When compassion is rooted firmly in the heart of any person, there is truly no need for teachings based upon fear, shame, guilt and control. I have three loving, kind and generous children. I speak from experience.

Death is a part of life. In our family, we have experienced the transition of those who were very, very old and those who where very, very young. Death is never an easy event to face. But death is something we can experience through new eyes in a new way. Death can be experienced with dignity, honor and sweet celebration of the life lived. What is never to be forgotten is that death in not a final goodbye, it is simply a change of residence.

For more exciting information about raising empowered children, Lily’s Truth, or Susan A. Haid, visit www.lilystruth.com. What’s Your Truth? Take the journey…

Mother 2 Mother: A Perspective on Role Reversal by Robin Boyd, Motherhood Incorporated

By Robin Boyd

violetsIt never occurred to me that there could be more to being a mother than nurturing and caring for my children. I loved having little children around, toys about, someone always in need of something. Amidst all that growing up, it never crossed my mind that someone else would come to need me.

My mother was just embracing her independence after my dad died and, without any warning, had a stroke. Her limitations at that time were less significant, but it was evident that she would need care. I had a full time job, two kids, a husband and our house. We had to make some decisions.

Our choice to move in with her was emotional for the kids, as moving is to any child. But it was also emotional for me. This wasn’t in my plan – my vision of happily-ever-after. I thought my husband and I would see the kids off to colleges, have our second honeymoon and take up golf. Who shuffled those cards, anyway??

Not everyone would have made the choice we did, and I will say right up front that it is not the right choice for everyone. If Mom was in Nevada and we were in New Hampshire, sure this would have been a different scenario. However, this was feasible, logical, and deep in my heart, was right for us. We certainly have had our issues and disagreements. The good, however, has outweighed the bad and this journey has brought me to an awareness that those cards were shuffled this way for a reason.

Fourteen years later, we still have Mom with us, and in those years our roles have certainly changed. Here was a vibrant, feisty adult in her “day” who now is reliant on a wheelchair and Depends. Here is a mother whose hand was quick to grab mine when crossing a street and now is holding mine to help her get dressed. Here is a woman who defied her own mother to marry my father, and now will defy me on occasion because she is not ready for me to lift her off the commode. As my children changed from those little people into independent adults, this woman changed from my authoritarian to my ward.

My thoughts may hit home to many of you, and may linger for others who may come to this point in your future. I no longer work out of the house so my daily routine revolves around what Mom needs. I have to keep this in mind, though, that this is a finite time in our lives. I know Mom is content in her home, content to have her family around her, and with people in and out all the time, keeping her mind stimulated. We, too, are rewarded with the joys of a multi-generational family sharing life.

Being a caregiver sure is a balancing act. A caregiver needs to remember that while we are missing our original plan in life, this elder is very much missing their old life and independence. You find things to laugh about, things to reminisce about, and savor moments that will be fond memories in your heart.

· Remember that an elder needs to maintain as much independence as they can while keeping them safe. Work out daily routines and keep them “in the loop” of their care as much as possible.
· Help your family member stay in touch with others, by phone, email, sending pictures, etc. They need to feel they are still a part of life.
· Find something in your life that keeps you renewed. For me it is being involved in Girl Scouts, albeit an administrative role. Kids are refreshing. I find time to get to church every week because it’s my one hour to reboot my soul.
· Utilize resources when you need to, either through your state, what insurance will provide, or resources that are pertinent to your elder’s affliction. (for example, Alzheimer’s care).
· The web is filled with resources and support. (www.caring.com is one example) If you need help, find support. Your family will be the better for it.
· Become a partner with your elder’s physician or medical team. You will work with them to make this time as enriching as possible for your elder.
· Share a recreation with them – jigsaw puzzles, crafts, etc., and share feelings. Say I love you.

Whatever your decision may be if you find yourself having this choice, carefully explore your options, and explore your inner self. Find the right path for your family and literally make the very best of it.

Cards anyone? My deal.