Tag Archive | birthday

Birthdays

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We celebrated my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday and my brother’s upcoming birthday this weekend.

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Her celebration comes shortly after the Christmas where we celebrated the birth of our savior.

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Last October, we celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday.  That’s a big one!

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Truth be told though, birthdays have always been a bit awkward for me.  Since they are a gift from God, I am learning to embrace them.

How do you and yours celebrate birthdays?

Blessings, Rebecca

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Reminiscing

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Have you ever listened to a song from the past or looked at an old photo album reminiscing about the good ol’ days? Well, this past weekend we dusted off some of our family DVDs of days gone by.

We watched Randy and I get married. It was fun to see how it all played out 17 years ago. Our teens understood the significance of our vows, asked a lot of questions and thought about some things they would like at their wedding.

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We watched Alicia coo with her chubby cheeks and bright eyes as she played with her grab toys. As she grew, we saw her sing and dance.

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Alicia with Nani

We watched Austin sing his ABCs, play the drums and play little league baseball.

We enjoyed the various special activities such as birthday parties, Easter egg hunts and opening Christmas presents.

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We laughed and cried at our family memories and look forward to making many more.

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Christmas tree hunt

Do you have a special memory you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Birthday

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This day in 1965, my in-laws welcomed my husband into the world.  Happy Birthday Randy!

Birthdays can be bittersweet in that we celebrate our family and friends’ special day. Yet, for some, it is a somber day of reflection for the loss of a loved one. In our case, we lost a baby in between Austin and Alicia for which I am gently reminded each November.

My husband shares his birth day with my step-mom who is celebrating a very special birthday as she is undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer. I am thankful she is still with us and doing extremely well under the circumstances.

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Our family celebrates birthdays in a variety of ways. Sometimes, we throw parties. Sometimes, we simply share a family dinner. We have fun picking out cute birthday cards and gifts for one another.

How do you celebrate birthdays?

Blessings, Rebecca

The Birthday Wish

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This week, I wanted to share a story with you about a time God blessed my mother’s heart.

Blessings, Rebecca

My five-year-old daughter, Alicia, nudged her tiny face next to mine. “Mom, can you buy me a Barbie RV and Play Kitchen for my birthday, pleazzzeee?”

I gazed into her penetrating blue eyes and ran my fingers through her soft blonde pigtails. “We’ll see Sweetheart.”

A few days later, I drove to the toy store, and wove my way to the Barbie section. Great there’s one RV in stock!  I reached for the box and glared at the price tag. “One hundred and nine dollars!”  I ambled to the Play Kitchen, and scanned the price. “One hundred and ninety nine dollars!” I took a deep breath, and slowly released it.

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As much as I wanted to purchase these items for my daughter, I couldn’t. My high tech management job moved overseas two years earlier, and my husband ran a struggling business. We simply couldn’t afford them.

Alicia didn’t throw tantrums if she didn’t get what she wanted. She often donated outfits and toys to needy children at a clothing exchange program I created, as well as her Dad distribute supplies to local homeless men and women he established. I hoped that if I didn’t get her those gifts, she’d still be fine. I loved my daughter, and wanted to bless her.

Crushed, I lingered in the toy aisle and prayed. “Father, please somehow make a way to fulfill Alicia’s birthday wish, or help me find the words to tell her we can’t afford them right now.”

I meandered to my car and sank into the driver’s seat.

My mind drifted back to our recent family reunion in Oregon and how Alicia enjoyed  playing with her cousin, Audrey.

Alicia squealed, “Look Mom” as she pressed a bright pink Barbie RV steering wheel. It “beeped.”

Audrey summoned Alicia over to her Play Kitchen. “Help me cook something yummy for your momma.”

Alicia jumped up, pulled out the pots and pans, set the table with miniature dishes. Then Alicia draped a white dish towel over her arm and asked, “Ma’am, what would you like to eat?”

I leaned forward, “I’ll take one large cheese pizza, please.”

“One cheese pizza coming up,” she giggled and skipped off.

When I returned home, I received a temporary teaching assignment on my answering machine. I thanked God I had an opportunity to work at my children’s school, yet wasn’t enough to cover the gifts.

One of the teachers, Mrs. Kim, approached me. “Rebecca, do you think Alicia would like a Barbie RV? My daughter has outgrown hers, and I’d like to find a good home for it.”

I fought back my tears, “Absolutely. I wanted to get her one for her birthday but —.”

She placed her hand on my shoulder, “I understand. It’s hers.”

My voice cracked, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”

The following day, she walked me to her car, opened the hatch and handed me a sparkly pink Barbie RV.

“Here you go. I hope she enjoys it.”

“Thank you so much. She’ll be surprised.”

I placed it in my trunk., turned around and she proceeded to hand me a purple box brimming with accessories.

“I thought Alicia could use these as well.”

I grabbed the handle, “I don’t know what to say – Thank you.”

At the end of my shift, I rummaged through the box and it was packed with new and gently used RV gadgets, Barbies and doll clothes. This is awesome!

A day or two later, our family picked up two of Alicia’s friends and headed to the beach for her sixth birthday party.

After a perfect outing, we drove her friends home. Their mother opened her screen door and stepped onto the porch carrying a little girl on her hip.

“Rebecca, I wasn’t able to buy Alicia a present today, because I had to babysit my niece. I’ll run to the store later.”

I brushed her niece’s golden hair, “Don’t worry about it.”

She pointed to the backyard, “do you think she’d  like a Play Kitchen? My girls no longer use it and you’re welcome to have it.”

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I moved towards it, “Yes, she’d love it.” It’s perfect; pink and comes with miniature dishes and food.

 She pivoted, “Does she want a Play Makeup Station too?”

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“Are you kidding? Alicia plays dress-up all the time. Yes, I’ll take it.” This is unbelieveable. The Lord blessed Alicia with a RV, Play Kitchen and Play Makeup Station. Wow!

As I drove home with a truckload full of toys,  my eyes moistened. I whispered, “God, You are so good! Thank You for granting my little girl’s birthday wish, and for answering a mother’s desperate prayer.”

We pulled into our driveway and Alicia crawled onto my lap. I nuzzled my nose next to hers and looked deep into her eyes.

“Sweetie, I believe God  has blessed your faithfulness. He loves you so much!”

She wrapped her arms around me. “I know Mom that Jesus loves us.”

“Happy Birthday Sweetheart!”

Delight yourself in the Lord;

And He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4

Do you have a tender moment you’d like to share with us? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Guest Blog from Catherine McMullen

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Catherin hales from Davison, Michigan. She’s worked in early childhood education for 16 years; the last 9 at  Head Start agency. She worked her way up from a Lead Teacher to a Home Visitor and now an Education Coordinator. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She has a three -year-old Boston Terrier named Jagger. She is also an avid runner! She’s included some helpful parenting links for you at the end of her blog. Please welcome Catherine McMullen!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Parent/Child insight-Catherine McMullen

First I think it is important to note that parental insight differs, sometimes greatly from child insight. Naturally parents see or internalize situations from a different perspective than children. So, that makes it easy to understand why these two parties are usually at opposite ends. However, closing this gap as much as we can will strengthen the parent-child relationship, further supporting a positive bond between the two.

This subject was a topic of conversation for me this past weekend. Over a lunch with a good friend of mine who also works in the field of education with me. We discussed a recent child’s birthday party that I attended.

I recalled how much fun it was. I mean the parent’s had it on a sunny and hot Saturday in July. It was perfect! It was so beautiful outside. They had the pool open and clean, filled with toys and kids! We grilled out with yummy food. Everybody seemed happy visiting and socializing. I remember thinking, Wow this mom and dad really put a lot of thought, energy, and work into making this a great day.  This is an act of love for sure. The birthday boy was turning nine He had a blast playing with his friends in his pool! He seemed to be having a great day, a spectacular birthday party filled with love and excitement.

Keep this in mind: when I first arrived a young boy who was already in the pool sprayed unsuspecting victims with a squirt gun. This is unsurprising child play, right?!! Yes, but to those who did not want to get wet, it was not seen as fun nor welcoming.

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So back to the party. It was now toward the end of my venture at this wild and crazy party. I was standing outside of the pool area preparing to say, “Goodbye” When out of the pool came that little trigger happy boy. He was tattling on the birthday boy. It seemed has if he was having a change of heart about that fun pool play. Now, I am not exact on what he tattled or what the birthday boy may or may not have done. It doesn’t matter.

This is where parental insight needs to try all it’s might and match the child’s insight.

The mom, like many, walked over to the pool. I’m sure had a discussion with him about the accusations, and met with opposition. Not surprising! He’s a 9 year-old boy, who was surrounded by friends and fun.

I am not sure how he displayed his opposition. That doesn’t matter either.

What does matter is to know and keep in the forefront of our minds that parental reaction or “insight” into a situation, is so much more advanced. We, as adults, have the luxury of being able to use our developed brain and think through problems and situations before we respond.

This doesn’t happen enough.

Instead of taking the time to fully and appropriately understand the birthday boy’s perspective on the situation, his mom engaged in the infamous power struggle. She pulled him out of the water, forcefully pushed him to sit in an outlying lawn chair, and continued to yell her frustrations at him.

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This is a classic example of how the gap between parent and child insight can directly lead to the malfuncion and deterioration of discipline and other strategies are used. This is what my point was while discussing this over lunch. The differing of insights on this particular situation allowed for an ineffective discipline method.

The child’s brain is not as mature as adult’s. They are emotional creatures meaning, and tend to be run by their feelings. They cannot easily detach as we can from an emotional situation and gain logical perspective. We, as adults, are more able to know if we are heading into a power struggle we can make choices to step away from the situation to gain some distance to allow our rational thinking to kick in.

In my line of work I see many parents unable to do this or simply not taking the time to process situations this way to gain the proper insight. Which leads to ineffective strategies and frustrations on all parenting fronts.

So, she saw this as removing him from a situation where he was misbehaving (or was he defending himself?) by taking him to a secluded place to get her point across.

However, a further differing insight of this situation was, she pulled him out of the pool in front of all his friends, grabbed his arm pushing him across the yard further humiliating him for everybody to see, and then continued to disrespect him by yelling her words at him.

I’m sure in the heat of the moment, she didn’t see it at all this way. In her mind, she’s solving a problem. But,in the birthday boy’s mind, further problems were being made.

These different perspectives are not conducive for parent-child relationships. Children do not learn anything from this situation, because they stay in the emotional part of their brain, which does not allow for proper and successful processing to further allow meaningful learning from the situation.

This shows us how important it is for us as adults to detach from emotional power struggles with children, in order to close the gap between the two insights to progress in positive and meaningful relationships.

http://consciousdiscipline.com/about/conscious-discipline-for-parents.asp

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/docs/parent-child-relationships.pdf

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

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