Higher Power

Photo cred

my friend jen

Ponder moment! What are you currently doing in your life that involves a higher power? Just take a few seconds to think about it....

It's a powerful list when you realize what you are involved in. Are you taking care of someone? Are you taking care of lots of people? Are you increasing your knowledge? Are you helping others around you, in this life? Are you helping those who have passed? Are you teaching? Mentoring? Are you trying to influence those around you for good? In what ways are you growing and recognizing life lessons? Are you connecting with yourself?

I feel like making this list helps us to realize the things that we are doing in our lives that really matter and when we recognize this we can live life with more purpose. Most likely you are already doing these things, recognizing them brings reverence, love and purpose into your heart.

We all need purpose, every human being. We need to know why we wake up in the morning. It might be a life that you are already living but by taking just a minute to recognize what is at your fingertips, and what is within your power by involving a higher power, makes you wake up just a little differently, with more desire to do and understand and to give love to this world and those in your path. Contemplation is a powerful thing. It only takes a sec.

Trampolines, Encouraging Natural Play

Parents, remember the days of your youth?

When your summer or days after school were filled with running through the neighborhood, playing in backyards and parks, and gathering friends for night games? I watched The Andy Griffiths Show with my kids the other day, no joke! I like to show them a different pace of life. A time when life was slower, not really less productive, but slower. I said to my seven year old who loves to fish, “Tyce, can you imagine running with bare feet from your house to the river to fish?” It is sort of an untouchable world for us and for most people that live in modern times. Fishing happens when we camp. Bare feet only really happens in our backyard. Times are different. 

Growing up,

my backyard was filled with a playhouse, swings, a slide, some simulated cars, a tram; which is a tire swing on a cable that went across my backyard. We had tons of grass and sometimes my parents would park the camper near the backyard. In it we would play house, with going in and out of the “house” and out into the “real world” which was the backyard. We had a fantastic hill that would have been great for a slip & slide. We didn't have one so we tried to make one out of trash bags! It never really worked, but we had a blast in the creating of it. I have fond memories of sitting on the top of the shed after gathering cupfuls of maple seeds. I would throw them from the top of the shed one at a time and watch them spin like a helicopter all the way down to the grass. It was in those quiet times that I thought everyone should be able to play like that so I started selling the seeds for 10 cents a piece at school! 

My kids definitely have a little different life. The outside time is still present but a lot of it is us seeking it. Today we have the battle of pulling our kids away from the electronics to expose them to outdoor play. 

I love this quote by Richard Louv in his fantastic book, Last Child in the Woods, “Natural play strengthens children's self-confidence and arouses their senses—their awareness of the world and all that moves in it, seen and unseen.”

Natural play...

Its not really that much different for adults, there are many things competing for our attention. Natural play and being in nature feed us in so many ways. I feel in my gut that it is so vital to expose ourselves to only a little electronic time. I glory when we leave it all behind and go to places with no electricity or cell service. It is time that is precious and time that feeds our souls. For me it is therapy.  So at our house my quest is to create things my kids want to do where they won’t notice the struggle between natural play and electronic time. To create things for them in their own backyard that bring that therapy to them in small doses on an everyday basis. This is the reason that I have loved creating a backyard space that is inviting. We have hung swings, placed soccer nets, added hammocks and outdoor games, and our latest addition has been adding a trampoline. My kids via for it. They run to it. They play together more. They play alone more. They are creative with it. They think of new games. They add water when they are hot. Their Dad goes out to “play” with them more.

Richard Louv also states, “Parents are told to turn off the TV and restrict video game time, but we hear little about what the kids should do physically during their non-electronic time. The usual suggestion is organized sports. But consider this: The obesity epidemic coincides with the greatest increase in organized children's sports in history.”

In my opinion kids have to learn how to be active through their own desire not only because they are part of a team. We have to teach them how to be creative, how to play, how to glory in the words, “i’m bored!”

Nature is out there.

There may be less of it than when I was growing up but all the same it is there. Encouraging kids towards natural play allows children to let go of the control that is placed upon them in the environments they are in. Coupling natural play with nature will feed their soul. Plus it reminds them how to play and crave nature even as they go into their teenage years which is hopefully a habit that will stay with them throughout their life. 

I love the addition of our trampoline. I love the memories, the bonding and healthy habits it will create and probably my favorite of all, will be simply laying on it gazing at the stars with my children. 

Check out the trampoline we choose and the reasons why….

License Plate Race

I have some pretty great sisters. The kind that are like second moms to my kiddos. They have always made life just a little dreamy for my boys. Not only do they play with them & spoil them but they are always doing super random things with them that are the kind of activities that stimulate their brains. They are those wholesome kind of things you know?? I guess it helps balance out the spoiling! 

My sister Shelly is the one who put this fun one together. She printed a sheet of all the license plates. You can find it for your clan below by clicking on "PRINT." Get this, she printed one for my kids, one for her and one for my sister April. She told them it's a race and the winner gets a prize. Knowing her they will all go for ice cream or something fun, and my kids know that but they want to win all the same!

So it has ignited eyes on the road. More desire to join me if I am running errands. Driving through hotel parking lots to see who is visiting our city. Conversations about how long that person must have been driving! It has promoted awareness for my kids paying attention to their world and at the same time distraction at just the right time, say during a fight on the road and a call to check out that license plate! LOL!! OH it has also provoked lots of texting with Aunts showing off the license plates they got and receiving similar texts back leaving my kids saying, "dang we have got to find Alaska!" 

Here is their progress or "bragging rights" so far.... My sisters are good sports, they have had this picture, with a growing number of purple x"s, text to them so many times!! 😂 

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Print yours and make it fun. Use it as a summer theme or as a game for a long road trip. Get into it and have fun!

Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

5 to 6 zucchini

1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage (if you use the sausage lessen the seasonings)

4 cloves garlic

1/2 onion

4 large tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh basil

2 tea oregano

2 tea onion powder

2 1/2 tea garlic salt

1 1/2 tea nutritional yeast

Parmasean cheese

Brown ground beef / sausage. Rinse and drain. 

Wash zucchini and cut length wise. Spoon out the insides of zucchini. Crush garlic. Chop onion, tomatoes, basil and the insides from the zucchini.

Mist boats with a little olive oil and put on the grill with zucchini inside down for about 4 minutes. Take off the grill and wait for the filling to be done.

In a large frying pan, begin to sauté garlic and onion in a little olive oil.  After about 2 minutes add tomatoes, zucchini, spices and nutritional yeast. After another 2 minutes add ground beef and basil, stir until warm. At this point do a taste test just because if all smells so good!

Fill the zucchini boats and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place back on the grill for about another 4 minutes. Now enjoy! 

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

 

 

Video: Yoga Hesitations

This is for you if you want to do yoga, like in your heart you picture yourself doing yoga but you have hesitations. Hopefully this video will help you process those fears and stop giving energy to them. Yoga is a fantastic path, jump on!!!

Awesome Yard Game: Kubb

Our family loves yard games! Seriously we own about every lawn and catch & release game you can think of. We love ladder golf, bocce ball, badminton, croquet and the like! This one, Kubb, is going down in the books as an top favorite. It was a hit and all ages and activity levels can play.

The object is to take out the king in the middle, but you can't do that until you knock down all the kubbs on the opposite side. As the game goes on they move and switch sides for various reasons. It's pretty fantastic. 

We had a little debate on how to say the name. Is it cube, cub, cubee? We don't know but we love it! Think horshoes in the level of activity but there is more involved with strategy and a larger playing area plus you can play with 2-6 players. We actually had 9 so we made 3 teams of three and rotated through while the off team sat on the side lines and cheered. Seriously it is a great find! Plus it would make a great gift if you are looking for one!

 

You can get it at Amazon, surprise! Here is the link wink

Balance

Photo cred

my friend malea

Life is a complete balancing act, am I right? Balancing activities, thoughts, feelings, play time, productive time, spiritual time, eating habits, clean/indulging, self care, home care, all these types of things and then, through in kids, family and work! Yeah, life is a complete balancing act. 

In yoga there is some talk of staying present in the moment. On my side of the mat, this is the largest contributor to my balance in a pose. The minute my mind goes somewhere else it is a high possibility that I fall.  

In life when I am overwhelmed with so many things I find myself crippled. Stopped. Falling. You know what I am talking about? Yeah, I despise that feeling. What really happens, usually, is that I default to doing something that accomplishes none of the above! 

Taking a minute to pinpoint the top priority helps me realign and focus!  If I can get present and focused on that task then I have a clear mind to work on what is in my path. Living in our day we will continue to be absolutely bombarded by many tasks and distractions. Sometimes I think I wouldn't mind some Little House on the Prairie action! I love the practice of yoga and the way it reminds me to, go to a place free of distractions in my mind and the way that practice helps me focus in modern-day life. Give me some more of where that comes from!

Breathe & Let Go

be hot toe hold.jpg

This week in yoga I got in trouble. When I say trouble, I mean, more so, being called out. And it wasn't just me, yoga teachers wouldn't do that, it was our whole class. Our yoga teacher had been paying attention to our breath and we were not breathing. So she called us out! 

Breath in yoga is deep. It is audible. It is a form of release, releasing what is going on in the body. It is also an emotional release. 

When we hold onto breath it is a representation of what we do with stress. Like in real life do webreath through the stress or do we hold it all in? 

In class when I began to breathe, audibly, I felt a release. I was grateful for the reminder to let go of holding onto unnecessary things in yoga and in life. 

It reminded me of the quote by Mark Twain, "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."

Here is to letting go of unnecessary things!

Video: Good Vibes! SUP Yoga

Bug Bites!

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Summer is here and with it comes all sorts of bugs! 🐞 🐛 🐜 I have used Stings and Bites on bee stings and mosquito bites. It works like a charm. My kids all self treat, especially my middle that seems to have really sweet blood that mosquitos love! When we were at the lake my nephew was stung by a bee. The stinger was not left in his skin and he was in a lot of pain. We immediately put Stings and Bites on it and he did not experience extended pain or swelling! Also a friend of mine used it on a scorpion sting and she also experienced relief. Hallelujah!

So glad to know of this stuff and to keep it in my repertoire! It does need to be refrigerated after you open it, so we take a trial size with us in our cooler when we travel or head to the hills. Seriously you will be so happy to pull this stuff out and have relief from tiny pests! 

Here is a link to get it on Amazon. It is a little cheaper here than at my health food store.