Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 tips for raising chickens

We are a chicken family.
We have seven cherubs and six chickens.

I have seven kids following me inside the house and
six chickens following me outside the house making me...
one serious mother hen!

We decided to get the chickens to save money.
This all started when we began cooking scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Our family loves scrambled eggs.

A normal breakfast of scrambled eggs in our house uses up 16 eggs!
Insane! Insane I tell you!

So we did our research and got ourselves a chicken coop and chickens.

So today I thought I would share with you our tips for raising chickens to 
help you get 'value for money'

Raising and keeping chickens at home in the backyard is an easy, economical way to get fresh eggs and save money. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain and to raise, and you are guaranteed to have fresh eggs that are chemical and hormone free. 

Up close and personal with some of the girls.
Let me introduce the girls:
Penny, Pecker, Rainbow, Skywalker, Buck Buck and Poop!

So here are our top 10 tips for raising chickens:

1. Choose the best chicken coop or house for your space. If you have a small space in your yard make sure you have a coop that can comfortably fit in that area. Also consider how much space each chicken needs in order to avoid squashing them too close together. When purchasing a coop talk to whoever you are buying it from about how many chickens you plan to raise.

2. Create a safe area for your chickens. Protect them against outside predators and make sure they cannot escape themselves. We have learned that chickens like to jump and can cleverly get over high fences even with clipped wings. See example below:


3. Provide ample space for chickens to roam. Chickens cooped up in one small area are generally stressed and unhappy. Giving them some free grass time brings great benefits of better eggs and improved diet.

4. Pick the best possible food for your chickens. There are many organic food options available which provide your flock with the best nutrients and do not contain nasty pesticides or chemicals found in cheaper alternatives. Provide them with plenty of food scraps and add variety to their diet. Our chickens love yogurt, oatmeal and chocolate cake!

5. Provide plenty of attention to your chickens. They can be happy left alone but they love to receive some attention and love. Our children have enjoyed carrying them around, talking to them and running after them in the back yard.

6. Chickens need to be checked on regularly to ensure their health and happiness. Clip the wings, keep the chicken coop clean and treat for bugs and other insects.

7. Decide what age you want to own chickens from. We have had some chickens from when they were a couple of days old and the children have loved watching them grow into laying hens. This was very exciting for the children to own baby chicks but be prepared to wait a while before eggs start to appear. We have also had chickens from the 'point of lay' age and it has been hard to blend them in with the existing chickens we already have. Be prepared for some chicken fighting but the eggs come faster and things settle down.


8. Protect your garden. If you have a vegetable garden or like growing your garden, be prepared to have it attacked by chickens. Many chickens like to nibble on fresh grown vegetables or flowers. They are wonderful at getting rid of pests and bugs but can destroy a garden in seconds.

9. Be careful with young children. Young children are naturally curious and need to be reminded about being gentle if you have baby chicks. As the chickens get older they can peck in the face and go for anything that sparkles. This can result in pecking on clothing and jewelery. We have lost several earrings from our chickens! That being said, when using caution and safety practices, raising chickens can be a fun and exciting task for young children.

10. Chickens are actually quite friendly animals and provide a great way to teach children about responsibility and how to care for living things. They also provide a source of pride for those who raise them, and give people experience in small animal farming and egg hatching. Some people raise chickens in their backyards to raise money. We have delighted in our abundance of fresh eggs and love to share our bounty with friends when we have spare.

We love our chickens and appreciate the gift they provide for us with wonderful eggs.

Does anyone else have great tips for raising chickens???

Sunday, November 28, 2010

creative writing blog hop...hop...hop...

Every so often I come up with great ideas.
Not very often but sometimes....

My latest idea involves creative writing and blogging.

I love to make up stories for my kids at bedtime. I start off the story and every so often I stop and let them finish the rest of the sentence. Then I carry on with my story telling ~ just like they do in the movie 'Bedtime stories'. We were so excited when it came out because that is what we have been doing for in our home for years.

I also love starting a story and letting my kids finish off the rest of it. I love to listen to how creative they can be and to see their minds ticking over as they try to come up with the craziest ideas that they can.

This led me to wonder if I could do the same type of thing with blogging. I know we have blog hops where you can link up blog posts on a main site and can get the code to link them all to your blog page but I wanted to actually have a story where you hop from one blog to another.

I know this will take a little organisation and co-ordination between bloggers so that the story can be posted on the same day on all of our blogs but I thought it might super fun and a great way to participate in some creative, expressive writing.

Also, of course an excellent way promote each others blogs!

An example would be like this:

Once upon a time....blah blah blah.....to view the next part of the story click HERE.
Then click on the link and you get the next paragraph on another blog site which might say...
the whole family developed the chicken pox....blah blah blah....to view the next part of the story click HERE...
and so on and so on!

So if you are interested in a little creative writing challenge and want to participate:
Email me at sevencherubs@gmail.com

Friday, November 26, 2010

love story part 1

Something I really enjoy reading about on other blogs are love stories.
I just adore it.

It fascinates me how couples end up together and I love to find out what event or who it was that made the difference in the connection happening.

So to celebrate this I have decided to share a little of my own love story.
It is not the most romantic event but it is mine and I treasure it!

It involves me and my handsome spunky husband, who I adore.
Yes, people's prepare yourself for some serious loving!

I first met Matt when I was 20 years old.
It was at a church dance {not the slow dancing, waltzing type of dance but, the loud pop music shake your booty type of dance} and I said 'hello' and 'goodbye' in my first sentence.

It was the last church dance I was going to before I went away for 18 months. I was leaving to go on a full-time service mission for my church to New Zealand and the Cook Islands. To serve in the community and to talk to people about Jesus Christ.

So we spoke very briefly. We said hello and I told him I was leaving that week.
He wished me good luck and we parted our separate ways.

Matt was 22 years old and I was 20 years old.
He was a full-time student studying to be a teacher.
I was a full-time student studying Literary studies with one subject left to finish my degree.

We did not met again until I was 23 years old and he was 25 years old.
There were no sparks and no fireworks, just conversation.

He really was not my type.
I liked guys with dark hair and brown eyes.
He had blonde hair and blue-grey eyes.

Our conversation was polite and normal.
He seemed like a lovely guy, friendly and nice.
It was hard to tell with a conversation that only lasted 5 minutes.

I had no idea that in the future he was going to be the man of my dreams and sweep me off my feet!
That we would share a union of great love and have seven cherbus together!

I think I will leave it there for now and update you on Part 2 another time....
Anyone else want to share how they met???

Thursday, November 25, 2010

motherhood: be your own hero

This post is inspired by Felicity over at Gifts of serendipity who is for the month of November writing some extremely uplifting blog posts about being the best you can be.
As mothers we generally have other women that we look up to who are our motherhood heroes. Women that we admire and respect that have influenced and helped to shape our mothering techniques, traditions and thoughts.

These women might be our own family members such as a mother, grandmother, auntie, sister or even a cousin. Often these family members are the best and most consistent example of learning the joys of homemaking and mothering. Not always but mostly. These are treasured relationships that are connected through heart strings that are unbreakable by time or distance.

Or they could be family friends or acquaintances who are talented and motivated in being the best mother they can be. No matter where your mother hero comes from, they have helped shape you into the mother you are today.

I have many women that I admire and have helped me be the type of mother I am today. Many of them I have never even met. As I pour my way through parenting books and blogs searching for techniques and ideas to implement into our family that I know will be best suited to our situation, I come across some amazing mothers.

Women who are sensitive to children's needs, who plan mothering experiences, who take time for themselves, who appreciate the blessing it is to be a mother and who most of all are being a great mum and keeping it real in the meantime. Reading these books and words have brought me hope, comfort and peace to know that I am not alone in my worries, motherhood desires, unique family situation and challenges.

I really want to be a great mother. I believe it is possible.
For me, it does not matter what anyone else thinks, it only matters what my children think.
Some days they are hard to impress, they know no different, I am all they have known.

I have hope. I have patience and I have faith that one day they will know how much I care.

Having done a lot of reading on motherhood and having progressed from the child~bearing stage to the child~rearing stage and now that I am a mother with four daughters and three sons I can see I need to be my own hero.

I need to speak positively about motherhood and be an example to my daughters of what an awesome mother can be. I need to be an example to my sons of what a future wife and mother to their children could be. I know ~ intense pressure!!!

No wonder some days I just want to fall in a heap!

To me this means sharing the good and the bad of being a mother. It really is hard work.
I want them to dream about it but also be prepared for it.
I tell my children when I am really tired, I tell them when I can't take any more, I tell them I adore them and I tell them I love being a mother.

I have heard and read about women who speak of their mothers who loved motherhood.
Who told them many times every day how much they treasured being a mother and homemaker and then lived those words in every action. They were women who emanated the spirit of a joyful mother and in turn the children felt it and knew they wanted the same in their own lives.

The example they set taught them daily.

I want to be one of those mothers.
I am finding it is hard to do.

Some days it is a struggle to speak positively, to look for my blessings and to be happy at home surrounded by my cherubs. On difficult days like this, I get down on the kids level. I sit on the floor so I can look at them eye to eye. I start to see things as they do and it changes my perspective.

They hug me more, they love me more and we connect with each other.
I then have delightful mummy moments where I feel like I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing and I start to feel happier about my purpose.

I even have small moments where I feel like I am my cherubs hero.
I treasure those moments.

So today I just wanted to say that I think you are all heroes.
You have become heroes to me.

Since starting this blog I have learnt so much from you and appreciate you dropping by and linking up with your 'mother heart' posts. I love your comments, I love your words and I love your hearts.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas tradition: best brownie recipes, value for money

Sponsored by Nuffnang

One of my Christmas traditions involves making and baking to save some money.

I love to give gifts and with seven cherubs the budget just does not allow for that much expensive sharing and caring around Christmas time. So what I have started to do over the past couple of years is to give away a plate of some of my favourite brownies.

Often I have been asked what the recipes are for these brownies so I thought this year I would help you get a little 'value for money' too and share with you my best brownie recipes. Maybe even help you start a new Christmas tradition in your family!

Warning: if you are on a Christmas diet - Leave immediately!

Super Chocolate Brilliant Brownie 
{Sugar loaded version}

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, melted
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of flour

Mixture:

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C. Grease a 20cm x 30cm base baking pan.
Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. In a bowl mix butter, cocoa and sugar.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
4. Stir in flour.
5. Spread into prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Let cool completely, sprinkle with icing sugar and then cut into delicious pieces and enjoy!


Caramel brownies
(a serious family favourite)

Ingredients:

375g Dark Chocolate Melts
200g butter, chopped
3/4 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup white chocolate bits
380g can top 'n' fill caramel

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C. Grease a 21cm x 31cm base baking pan.
Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at long ends.
2. Place dark chocolate melts and butter in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on medium for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon or until melted and smooth.
3. Stir castor sugar into chocolate mixture. Stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each additon. Stir in flour.
4. Fold through which chocolate bits and top 'n' fill.
5. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out with crumbs clinging. Set aside in pan to cool completely.
6. You can use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut stars from the brownie. Serve.


Double-choc Marble Swirl Brownies

Ingredients:

250g butter
430g (2 cups) caster sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g dark chocolate bits
1/3 cup cocoa powder
100g white chocolate bits
Icing sugar to dust

Method:

1. preheat oven to 180 °C. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking pan with non-stick baking paper.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and stir until mixture is thick and glossy.
3. Sift the flour over the egg mixture. Stir until well combined. Stir in vanilla.
4. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls.
5. Add the dark chocolate bits and sift the cocoa powder into 1 portion of mixture. Stir until well combined. Stir the white chocolate bits into the remaining portion.
6. Spoon the dark and white chocolate mixtures alternately over the base of the prepared pan. Use a flat-bladed knife to create a swirled effect.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Cut into pieces and dust with icing sugar.


I know you want to do some baking now after reading this. But, first tell me:
What Christmas traditions do you do in your family to get value for money???

This post was sponsored by KIA. To celebrate the great value of KIA's new Cerato Hatch, a website has been launched so you and your family can get some great value offers and deals. Check out my favourite deal for this week: Free 1 week trial pass to Fitness First for yourself and a friend at www.getmorevalue.com.au

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

cheap christmas crafts, value for money

Sponsored by Nuffnang

The time of year is fast approaching where we all go a little crazy with spending money. 
Yes, I am talking about the silly season - Christmas.

We shop, we scan the catalogue's, we research, we plan and we spend.
Any savings we can make during this season enables us to make our Christmas much more enjoyable.

As part of Kia's new value for money website, here at Seven Cherubs we are sharing some great ideas on how to save a few extra dollars and to get more value for your money. 

One of the things our children love to do is craft. They love to make, create and paint.
This can get quite expensive with many children and I am always on the lookout for fresh, cheap ideas.

As Christmas as my inspiration here are five of my recent finds:

Stocking Countdown calendar

Give the traditional advent calendar a creative kick by turning it into a festive garland that reuses your kids' colorful socks. Tuck inside notes, games, and goodies for kids to receive ~ one sock for each day leading up to Christmas day.

Materials needed:
25 socks to hang up
Marker to number the pegs
25 mini clothespins (available at craft supply stores) to secure the socks
Something to secure the cord or string with to hanging area
2 meters of cord, string, or ribbon

Helping hands wreath


Celebrate the gift of giving with this hand wreath. Write one good deed or simple service project on the back of each hand and set them aside in a basket. Each day, pick a hand from the basket, perform the deed or service, and add it to the wreath. You can stick each hand together to make the wreath with different adhesives to give it more texture.

Materials:
Paper plate
Green paint or markers
Green construction paper

Instructions:
To make the base of the wreath, cut out the middle of a paper plate.
Color the remaining circle green with markers or paint.
Trace your child's hand on card stock to create a pattern.
Using the pattern, cut out hands from green construction paper (make enough hands to equal the number of countdown days).

Bead Wreath

The wreath can symbolize the circle of friendship, which makes this decorative sun catcher just the gift for almost anyone on your family's list. Children will love putting this together and you will love how simple it is to make.

Materials:
silver-colored craft wire
Wire cutters
Translucent plastic beads (with center holes large enough to thread the wire through)
Ribbon
Fishing line

Instructions:
Cut the wire to a length that will form a loop the size of the wreath you plan to make plus a little extra Curl one end to keep the beads from sliding off, then thread on the beads from the opposite end.
Twist the wire ends together to close the circle and wrap the loose ends around the wire between the beads.
Tie on a ribbon and a loop of fishing line for a hanger.

Candy Sleigh

Looking for a way to sweeten the wait for Santa's sleigh? This little item should help.

Materials:
Square tissue or cracker box
Candy canes
red tape or paint
Candy or lollies

Instructions:
Cut off and discard the top of the box. Trim the cut edge of the box so that it resembles a sleigh.
Cover the sleigh with red tape or paint, or leave it if you like the pattern already printed on it.
Cut holes in the lower corners of the sleigh and insert candy canes "runners."
Fill the sleigh with candy.

Bag it!

Perhaps the most instant and inexpensive of gift wraps is in your kitchen drawer: a recycled bakery bag or a brown paper lunch bag. Not only can it make a stylish package for treats like flavored popcorn or gourmet biscuits, but also it is great for disguising CDs, cassette tapes or other distinctively shaped objects.

Instructions:
Fold down the top of the bag about 8cm or so from the edge.
With a hole punch, make a hole through all the layers of the folded portion about 4cm down from the crease.
Make a matching hole on the opposite side of the bag.
Open the bag and insert the gift (wrap food in plastic first).
Then refold the top, thread ribbon through the holes and tie a fancy bow.
Finally, slip a candy cane or lollipop between the bow and the bag.

This post was sponsored by KIA. To celebrate the great value of KIA's new cars – such as the Cerato Hatch, a website has been launched so you and your family can get some great value offers and deals. Check out my favourite deal for this week: Buy any Panasonic Lumix Camera from Digi Direct.com. au and receive a 4GB Bonus Memory Card and Case FREE at www.getmorevalue.com.au

all image are from http://familyfun.go.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

what is a mother?


What is going on with motherhood these days? It seems like everyone is talking about it and writing about it. Even blogging about it...{which is great in my opinion}...myself included of course!

However, I feel in many ways the role of mother is under greater attack.

Everyone has an opinion about how it should be done.
{so of course I have to share mine now! ha!}

To me they are fighting and pushing for the right way to mother, to help them feel better about themselves and to get support for the way they think mothering should be done.

I see it as pushing for a certain type of 'mother program' and forgetting about the 'mother people' who are actually doing the mothering.

It makes me a little frustrated.
Alright, really frustrated as I feel there is NO PERFECT WAY TO BE A MOTHER!

 {insert less than perfect family and totally less than perfect mother.
everyone can dress up and look good.... it is what goes on inside
the walls of our home that tells the real story}

This type of thinking puts pressure on mothers {who I see are already trying hard to be everything, do everything and keep up with everything that motherhood brings), to try to live up to a certain unrealistic expectation and it makes them feel even more guilty than they already are.

I love this quote by M. Russell Ballard:

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time mums,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and...prioritises them..." 

We are all unique and have different children, situations and upbringings and opinions on what is best for us and our families/children. We should be celebrating this, sharing this in a loving way and helping each other to be the best mother we can be for ourselves and for our children we are blessed to care for.

I am not saying we cannot vent our frustrations, share our struggles or babble on about those days when we can't take it any more {I sure have had plenty of those!} and everything has to be all fairyland like - motherhood is not like that at all! It is hard work, demanding and exhausting.

I just get a little fired up about people adding pressure to mothers who are already doing such a great work ~ raising cherubs to be the happiest little people they can be.

I don't know about you...but, I am starting to feel better now!

Anyway, I am currently writing a talk to present this weekend at church.
Part of the title is: Am I the woman I think I am, the woman I want to be?
I know...........deep.

In pondering this question and looking at my life, I have done a lot of thinking about what takes up most of my time in my life ~ being a mother. It is my chosen career and this has led me to ask myself -

What really is a mother? and am I being the mother I want to be?

In exploring this question my first source of wisdom is always a dictionary.

Actually, Matt and I love them so much that when Chelsea (our oldest child) turned one we asked a grandparent to give her a large Macquarie dictionary as her birthday present to help her (and us) throughout her life. It has been great!

So this is what my research came up with:
*mother*

dictionary:
noun
a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.
a person who provides the care and affection normally associated with a female parent

 thesaurus:
noun
female parent, matriarch; mom, mommy, ma, mama, mummy; old lady, old woman; 
source, origin, genesis, fountainhead, inspiration, stimulus; literary wellspring

verb
look after, care for, take care of, nurse, protect, tend, raise, rear; pamper, coddle, cosset, 
fuss over, give birth to, have, bear, produce, birth
For me when I think about mothering, I think about nurturing.
To nurture is to care for and encourage the growth or development of someone or something.
In this case children.

It also can mean to cherish - to hope, to believe and desire to achieve something.

Mothers have a sacred role to nurture. It does not come to all of us naturally (myself included) and it takes time, practice and great patience to develop the basic skills to feel like we are making a difference.

But what a difference we can make, we can change lives and change hearts.
We can help ourselves and change our own hearts as we help raise our cherubs.

{most days I feel like my kids are raising me instead of me raising them!}

Generally though, I am happy with the way I am mothering. I know I am trying my best and trying to be fully committed to motherhood. To put my children on the top of my to-do list and to be there for them. I am really good at getting distracted and over scheduling myself though. Every so often {when I feel like I am going to collapse} I take stock and remember to cut back, to relax and to let go of all the extra activities and to plan some uninterrupted family time. For me and for them.

I still have a lot to learn and more qualities to develop which I have shared here.

Motherhood comes in many shapes and forms. I am not just talking about body shape here ladies! Relationships are complicated and plans don't always work out.

Here are a few of my thoughts for mothers ~ whatever role you are in:

To single mums ~ you are amazing. you are strong and courageous. you know much of loneliness and sorrow. you face great anxiety and worry over your role. you are doing a great work. an exhausting, demanding work. you are making great contributions toward your children. you are achieving the impossible. you have the strength within you to overcome every obstacle placed in your path. be patient. be confident. all you do is worth it. nurture yourself.

To step mums ~  you have the wonderful opportunity to share love. many of you have had this role thrust upon you and given children to love immediately. what wonderful hearts you have. keep them open and soft. be brave. be strong. listen to your children. get to know them. stand up for what you know to be right. foster healthy relationships. be kind. trust your instincts. you are a mother. you are a blessing. your heart will never be the same.

To maternal mothers ~ you have given birth and treasured your child from that moment. you have rejoiced over your children and sorrowed over them too. they have brought you happiness like no~one else could. you are influencing them in ways you cannot imagine. express love to your children. you are doing a tremendous work. they are your flesh. they are part of you. teach and train. you are appreciated. you know what is best for your family. fight for it. believe in yourself. nurture yourself. forgive yourself. you are powerful. you are successful. release yourself from guilt. have fun. be happy.

To those who do not have children (and want children) ~ your desire and heart are pure. you know much of weariness and struggle. you are acquainted with sorrow and grief. you face many difficult decisions. you are important. you are courageous. you are not alone. you have a mother heart. you are of great worth. be gentle to yourself. be kind to yourself. find worthy purposes in life. serve and uplift others. you are needed. you are loved.

please do not take offense to this quote but I love it for many reasons:

“You need not possess children to love them. 
Loving is not synonymous with possessing, and possessing is not necessarily loving. 
The world is filled with people to be loved, guided, taught, lifted, and inspired.”    
                                       Ardeth G. Kapp

To all the mother hearts - you are just wonderful and I draw so much inspiration from you to help me be better and to keep going. I love reading about how you are mothering and caring. It touches my heart and nurtures me.

Final say ~ a mother: nurtures.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

blogging snapshot, mother heart

Snap shot: a shot from a firearm that is aimed and fired quickly.

This is the type of blogger and writer I am.
I am time poor and therefore have to think on my feet.

Most of my blog posts are written in about 15 minutes. Can't you tell?
I sit down at the computer - spew forth words, have a quick read over it and hit the publish button.

I often walk away wondering if any of it made sense.
From your lovely comments, a message seems to be getting through - thanks for your kindness :)

Today I am thinking about how blogs are just a little snapshot into our lives. It can be easy to forget that sometimes as we read each others blogs and judge each other as mothers and writers.

It is hard as a blogger to keep it real and to keep life in perspective when you are trying your best to be positive and to uplift others. I do like to keep it real but my main focus is on trying to remember and share the joyful parts of my day and life.

The following is an example.

Sometimes on my blog I share a picture like this:

Photobucket 

A gorgeous, little cherub who has fallen asleep on the couch and is innocent and sweet as she peacefully dreams away. I write about how I kissed that warm cheek, stroked that soft skin and just felt so thankful to have her in my life. Which I did do and is how I do feel towards her.

Of course what I fail to mention is that this sight also makes me as mad as anything because she has actually fallen asleep at 4:30pm whilst I am cooking dinner and it now means that I am going to be up all night trying to get her to sleep. Leaving me feeling frustrated because there goes any plans I had for catching up on things!!!

So that picture is a little snapshot into my life. What I also fail to show you is this:

Photobucket 

Six other kids hanging out in our rumpus room who know I don't like it when she falls asleep at this time and just sat there and let her! I also fail to mention that these six kids are supposed to be doing homework, housework and many other fun activities instead of watching tv.

By the way, did you notice my four older kids all have their hands in their mouths!
We do feed them here - I promise.

So as we open our hearts and share our thoughts and feelings, remember that our blogs are just a 'shapshot' into what is really going on. I love seeing into your life and am so thankful you are interested in mine too!

For my 'Mother Heart' Linky I am looking for posts (old posts or new posts) that relate to mothering and motherhood. Experiences, tips, adventures, feelings and challenges that will help us feel connected and supported in our heart as we mother our cherubs.

You are welcome to grab my button, to spread the word and the love.
Please take the time to read what others have written and leave some bloggy love with a comment.


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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

motherhood: follow your passion

Today I am linking up with Felicity from Gifts of serendipity who is writing about some great thoughts and quotes during her Now!vember month. Drop on in and have a look!


The quote for today is:

Follow Your Passion It Knows Where You Should Go

Mothering has always been one of my passions.
I dreamed of it, planned for it and waited for the opportunity to come my way.

As I was waiting for the right timing to have children and to find my prince charming, I keep myself busy. I did not allow myself to let go of my dream or to waver from the path I set out for myself. I stayed focused and determined that motherhood would be part of my life.

Taking this path was not easy and I am not saying everyone else should do the same as I sure had days where I felt depressed and lonely. Days where I did not know if my dream of being a mother would come true and it all felt like it was a hopeless wish and desire.

During this time to keep myself busy, I put myself through university, finished my degree. Worked lots of different jobs. Went on a full-time mission for my church to New Zealand and the Cook Islands and met as many people and families as I could.

I kept myself focused on my dream by studying families. When I went into the home of a family, I watched them. I picked out aspects of their family life that I liked and disliked. I recorded the good parts and thought about how I would like to implement it into my future family I dreamed of.

I was blessed to have my prince charming sweep me off my feet and to have many cherubs come into my home. Having many children has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. This might sound weird but...I knew having a large family would be a lot of work and I would have to make sacrifices but...I really had no idea just how exhausted and emotionally spent I would feel some days.

On these days I rely on my passion of mothering to get me through. I think about what I believe in, what I hope to achieve and what my dreams are for my family. It helps me to know where I should go as a mother, what changes I need to make and what direction I should take in planning and preparing my cherubs to be the best they can be.

I have a set list of what I feel passionate about as a mother. As my children grow older I am finding my list sometimes changes. It seems to flow with the family and with what our needs are at the time.

Here is my current list of what I am passionate about:

* teaching my children to be independent
* teaching my children to work hard
* showing kindness to others and ourselves
* finding joy and happiness in life
* planning family fun
* honesty and respect
* individual creativeness
* gratefulness and thankfulness
* unity and manners
* expressing love
* having uplifting conversations
* family dinners
* teaching self worth
* getting a good education
* healthy eating

As a mother I find if I stick to my passions, I feel secure, I feel at peace. I know what I need to do, where my time should be spent and where I should go with leading and directing our family. Right now...I have lots of work to do and I am so thankful for the opportunity to teach my cherubs and to mother them the way I want.

So what about you? What do you feel passionate about?