Category Archives: Living Intentionally

B.M.W.B #52 – Getting Uncomfortable

Wow! I can’t believe 52 Becoming The Mama I Want to Be posts – of all the things I’ve done this year this has been the best one, the most significant and in many ways the easiest. It’s actually rather easy to enjoy special time with my boys.

This week we got up with the boys (6.30am!!!!) and watched a Christmas movie together. Our boys go to bed really early so a movie after tea is not an option. So instead I got uncomfortable – I hauled myself out of bed when I could have slept in (hello holidays!) and instead of them watching it alone we watched together and then afterwards we talked about what we liked and what made us laugh.

I acted excited to get out of bed when they came in all excited and shiny eyed in the morning…. and actually I enjoyed myself! Sometimes for me the barrier is my own laziness and when I get over this I am always the better for it.

Being together on a special occasion creates such a sense of team and love. It’s never a waste of time. Never.( I didn’t take photos you really don’t need to see me at this time of the day!)

I have so enjoyed this series this year and you have no idea how much your encouragement has meant to me. I have such a passion for people and families to love and enjoy each other and the thought that someone else might find this space helps/encourages them to do the same gives me such joy.

In 2013 I will continue this series on a Monday – including a linky so that you can help me to encourage, be encouraged and resource each other. I would love to have your input too.

And I have made a button – cue huge gasp! With help and direction and here it is :o)

 

Create Hope Inspire

So if you would like to join in with these posts anytime please grab the code on the right.

I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

B.M.W.B # 48 – Building Traditions

This year for the first time I feel really excited by Advent (rather than swamped by good intentions and no time to execute them!). I think the boys are at an age where they can fully participate with it and engage in the excitement as well understanding the deeper meaning of it all.

For the first time this year I have made an advent calendar for the boys and filled with an activity for every day of advent.

Some are Christmassy and some are just about being together as a family.

Here is our list. This one was mainly inspired by Treena-Marie and there are some other excellent lists I’ve seen around too.

1. Decorate the tree

2. Family Christmas celebration with some other families

3. Make Cards for the teachers

4. Sing carols together as a family (with the help of You Tube!)  Changed to making woolly sheep from our advent swap parcel

5. Have a pancake breakfast

6. Make snowflakes to hang around the house

7. Have hot chocolates and read Christmas stories before bed

8. Go to the supermarket and each choose something for the Christmas food bank

9. Plant something together  Make the gingerbread house we got given all the pieces for

10. Play board games together before bed

11. Make ‘Christmas Puddings’ (mallow puffs with white chocolate, jaffas and spearmint leaves)

12. Read Luke 1 – maybe act it out?

13. Make Reindeer noses for friends (these are the ones we did last year https://makeitgiveit.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/hello-friday/ )

14. Mum’s Shop the Christmas version (the boys come and shop for each other – this is what my mum’s shop thing is all about – http://createhopeinspire.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/bmwb-36-mums-shop.html )

15. Family bike ride – flip a coin at each corner to see which way to turn

16. Make Christmas crackers together

17. Read Luke 2

18. Listen to Christmas music

19. Do some baking together to give way

20. Watch a Christmas movie together

21. Wrap up gifts with mum (stuff they bought at Mum’s shop)

22. Go to a friend’s house and sing them some carols (The Atlas will hate this one!!)

23. Make North Pole cupcakes these are ours from last year https://makeitgiveit.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/make-my-week-44-christmassy-edibles/

24. Go to the Christmas eve service

This week the boys and I spent Friday afternoon putting the tree up together. This is a reasonably (for my skills!) complex task and there were times I wanted to just shoo them away so I could do it quickly. But I stopped and intentionally reminded myself I want this to be special for all of us, we are in no hurry, this is supposed to be fun – it made all the difference.

Then while they were in bed I put up the Advent Calendars, got the nativity out, positioned the wise men (they are making their way to Bethlehem and the boys have to fund them every day), and put up the wreath. I also wrapped the Christmas Books we were giving them and made and wrapped a handmade ornament for them both (a yearly tradition).

So on Saturday (my birthday) we spent a beautiful morning as a family decorating our tree. I love the sense of decorating together. The anticipation of many shared family activities and the conversations that arise. We talked about the Christmas Tree and how it is ‘ever-green’ and how that reminds me that God’s love for all of us is also ever green – it never changes, it never runs out, it never dies.

 

I have so enjoyed doing this series. I know it has really grown me as a Mama.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

 also in keeping with the Christmas theme I’m linking in here

The Golden Adventures of 

and here

B.M.W.B #48 – Without Technology

I think sometimes that technology is the greatest barrier to good parenting and its greatest inspiration.

The lure of the quick email check, the scintillating blog post that distracts and I’m not even on facebook or twitter!

But then there is the inspiration, the solidarity, the sharing of the joy in the journey, the ease of finding tips, party plans, reward charts….. the ease of sharing photos…. it’s not all bad.

On Sunday The Atlas was away and I had promised the boys we would bike to the dairy to spend some pocket-money. For more on how we do pocket-money see here.

As we left I said ‘we could go to the dairy you suggested or we could bike down to the one by school and stop for a play on the playground’. Unanimously accepted the alternative!

So we biked in the sun with no hurry. We stopped and ate ice-blocks and played on the playground. I had no camera (the photo is an old one), no phone, no book to read, no other adult to chat with – just 2 boys to enjoy. We were very thankful for the open toilets… possibly accidental …. but when it was number 2s we needed to do I’m sure the caretaker was pleased too.

I even played tree tag and I’m not usually a tag player. The Atlas is naturally good at these things – being present, playing tag, not hurrying…. I am learning them and without him there I had the choice of stepping up. I’m pleased I did.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

And happy anniversary to The Atlas – man of my life. So thrilled to have spent the last 13 years playing wife to you. xxxx

B.M.W.B#47 – Commentary

On Sunday evening we had dinner early and went for a walk together. Usually the boys would have headed off and done this while I made tea and I wouldn’t have minded but I am being more mindful these days. More intentional to be involved to include myself in the adventure.

Having boys makes me acutely aware that if I don’t choose to hang out there will be a time that they stop remembering to ask me.

While we were there I did some commentary on what they were doing. It is just as it sounds – being like a sports commentator and describing with enthusiasm all that they are doing.

The boys love this so, so much. Of course it shows that you are really paying attention – you can’t make a comment on the moment they swerve to the side when you aren’t watching.

I love watching them grow, seeing their delight. I love the special moments The Atlas and I share when we see them doing something that is as sweet as all the good things we know rolled up into one moment.

I do love these boys, unashamedly – they are my delight.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

 Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

 If you haven’t entered my giveaway yet please do.

 

B.M.W.B #44 Little Things

It was Monday afternoon and I was aware I really had nothing to talk about this week and so I thanked my internet accountability team (that’s you, you are my unpaid staff!) and we made chalk paint.

I found this on pinterest (surprise, surprise!)

equal measures of cornflour and water – I used 1/3 of a cup of each and mix.

I poured them into teeny muffin tins and let the boys colour their own

Then we went and painted with them on the driveway.

Dinner was baking in the oven and the sun was shining.

It didn’t take all afternoon but it was restful and focussed and we chatted and listened to Bounce as he sang with delight.

The liquid changes to a chalky powder as it dries and it lasts for ages (especially when you can only find super fine brushes!!)

Having dinner organised in the middle of the day and an attitude that the afternoon is for the boys with me made Monday afternoon beautiful. (and with a 5am start it could have been otherwise!!)

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

B.M.W.B # 43 – Team Work

This week I want to talk about being the kind of team I hope to be. As you’ll know I’ve just had an extended weekend with The Atlas in Melbourne, and while who would turn down a wonderful city break it is much more than that to me.

As a mama of boys I am very aware that they are watching me all the time. Seeing how I talk to The Atlas, how I talk about him, the tone, the volume the words. I am showing them what they will grow up to expect from a wife (and I do hope they have one, one day a long, long time away!!!). I am setting the tone for their understanding of how women feel, behave and think about and towards men.

While in some ways this freaks me out I also think this is something I need to take seriously. The Atlas is an amazing man and a man very deserving of my honour, support, love and delight.

Sometimes he comes home to a grumpy, huffy person I am ashamed to say, and it’s not just him I let down by that I also let my boys down.

Getting away together for special couple time is such a treat for our relationship but it is also about being the mama I want to be. A mama who loves her man and puts that relationship first.

When Mama and Papa are on the same team, hand in hand, back to back and laughing together then we are giving our boys a wonderful launching pad and a safe landing-place.

This week being the best mama I can be has meant taking time to delight in the relationship that made this possible and the relationship that will, I hope and pray, continue in a healthy, happy way long after our babies have flown the nest.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

(I realise it is probably very unfashionable and very unPC to talk about being a ‘good’ wife but actually I just think that is a shameful measure of our culture. I have married a good man and I want to be a good woman to match.)

B.M.W.B #42 -Practical Generosity

As a parent I think a bit about what kind of boys I hope my sons will be when they are adults.

At the moment the main words I think about are – strength, compassion, gentleness and generosity. The thing is though these things are kind of hard to measure so I am trying to get them to practice these things now at their own age level.

We have just finished putting together our Operation Christmas Child boxes which we have done together for the last 2 years. I love the way you can watch videos of children receiving their gifts, read stories that make you realise your impact and how the boys can pick stuff they would love to get.

This weekend we also shared a stall at a local crafty market. Jamie (another chch blogger) and her daughter generously said we could have half their table. So during the week we made treat-y foods and Flip spent time studying the Gifts For Life catalogue, because I promised them for every thing they made at the market they could choose gifts from the brochure to buy. I love that they were happy and excited about that. It didn’t occur to them that they should be making money for themselves.

The market itself didn’t offer the best weather (check out the little faces above!) – by 10am this is what we were like to shelter from the rain and the wind was blowing all our little signs around. Some other lovely stall-holders bought some bits from the boys which they loved.

We came home cold and wet but happy we had just stocked up the firewood!! Then Ma and Aunty N came round and we made them a stall and they bought some more things as well. (I think they were especially keen given the sweet nature of the stall holders and the slow sales they had had!!)

Then in the afternoon on a trip to see friends we also packed up a bag of cupcakes and gave them away – because all generous behaviour is good.

Do you think much about the kind of adults you are hoping to raise?

What characteristics do you most hope for?

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. 

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

B.M.W.B#38 – For All the Family

I’m sure many of you will have seen the crayon-art craze sweeping the internets.

Not content to do it just the way other’s have (and due to the fact we have white walls) I decided to go for a black canvas.

I did all the lining up and gluing while the boys were in bed then on Sunday afternoon we all, even The Atlas, turned our hand at crayon melting. We used the hairdryer for a while then swapped to my heat embossing gun (still in the packet 2 years on – ahem!) which was much faster. The hairdryer did work – even the teeny one we have.

 

 

After we finished it we signed the sides and let the boys choose which way up to hang the picture – taking after their mama wanting to be different perhaps??

It was so fun to spring an unexpected art activity on them. Afterwards Flip suggested some ‘octopus’ so we delayed dinner for 10minutes and played together outside.

It made a slightly crazy, ‘everyone in different directions’ day so special for all of us.

I do love doing special things with my boys.

Cost – Black Canvas $13.99 and crayons cheapie ones box of 64 $4.49 all from The Warehouse. Crayons attached with a hot glue gun but my friend Cat did hers with double-sided tape.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other. 

B.M.W.B # 31 – Watch Me Grow

Blogging has meant I have taken a lot more photos of my boys but taking up this challenge – becoming the mama I want to be has made me watch them more. There is a difference between snapping photos and actually watching. There are photos to record and there are photos to add significance to the person being photographed – you are important and I want to capture this special time together.

Watching without a cell phone in hand, or dinner on the stove, or over my shoulder from the computer (these things still happen in my house more than I’d like them to) isn’t the kind of watcher I want to be. I want to be good at real watching.

So this weekend I accepted the invitation to ‘come and watch me mama‘ as this little one played and played making the rocket launch. I was invited many times and when I went to watch I intentionally watched. At his level. Talking to him. Making enthusiastic comments.

I’m far from perfect but I am so loving that this special project is making a difference to the people who matter most. Are you a focussed watcher or do you find yourself easily distracted?

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other.
Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

B.M.W.B #30 – Saying Yes to Life

Last week we spent a beautiful week in Tekapo as a family.

We spent some time at Roundhill Ski Field. The Atlas used to be a snow boarder and Flip has had a couple of lessons in the past on skis. The Atlas took up skiing because he has this beautiful thought that he wants to develop things that he can grow with in terms of hobbies with the boys. He and my mama have been gently encouraging me to maybe have a go myself.

Several years ago I had (under duress) a snow boarding lesson in Austria – let’s just say it wasn’t successful and the board may have got broken (by accident not in anger I must point out!). I don’t love snow – wearing all those clothes (no I’m not a nudist! I just don’t like all those sticky plastic layers!!), being too hot on the inside and cold and wet on the outside… stuff. We had good weather – This year I said Yes.

As much as you read a lot about how much we mama’s need to learn to say No. I most often need to learn to say ‘Yes’. I can be too passive, it’s easy to say ‘not now’ or ‘Nah not my scene’ (especially for me and sport). I’m not all there yet I want to say ‘yes’ more. Yes to trying new things that I can do with my boys, yes to going to the park, yes to another story, yes to jumping on the tramp.

I don’t need to learn to say No. I need to learn to  say yes.

So I said yes. I had a skiing lesson. I liked it. I liked how happy The Atlas was to see me doing something sporty with a smile on my face. I liked being part of it instead of an observer.

Sometimes being a good mama is about learning lessons myself rather than doing more exciting things with my boys. What lessons are you trying to learn?

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other.

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.