Another one bites the dust

The night is dark, the ghosts are out! Children love this night of dressing up and of course going door to door and collecting evil, sticky, sugary, candy!!! This year Zoe being obsessed with Harry Potter was Hermione and Owen was Batman.  I swear he was nearly flying from house to house he was running so fast.  We trick or treated with friends in our neighborhood and it was so much fun.  I have such fond memories of trick or treating as a kid and love living these moments with my own children.  It seems like others share the joy of watching kids be kids as we met up with many smiling faces this evening.  It's great to see all the houses all decked out and in their horrific glory, goblins, skeletons, cobwebs and spooky, wooky stuff everywhere! Here are glimpses of our week in hallowe'en preparation.
Happy Hallowe'en  Moooahahahahah!  Boo!


Hold onto your Kids

At a certain point in my parenting world I had read so many books on the subject of discipline, potty training, raising girls, raising boys that I became confused.  A lot of it made sense on paper and yet when I applied myself towards these philosophies I always seemed to come up short.  In my confusion and feelings of failure I put the books down and decided that my best was good enough.  

After a parenting book vacation of a couple of years I recently picked up "Hold On To Your Children - Why parents Matter" by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.  I devoured it and will be reading it again.  It is by far the best parenting book I have read.  It does not depict how to discipline children but goes deeper and talks about when children are well attached to their parents they will automatically fall into good behavior and want to emulate the parent.  In our society we have set things up where children are raising children.  Children have become "peer oriented" and tend to look at their peers for direction, right and wrong values and code of behavior. 

What children need are strong adult relationships so they can emulate mature adults.  This is not to say that children are not to play with other children but that we often put our children in situations where children are raising children.  I see it in my own children.  Last year I was wondering what was going on with my Zoe. She would come home from school with attitude I had never seen on a little 7 year old.  She was rude and acted like a different person.  Reading this book I had an aha moment.  She was emulating her friends, feeling more connected to her friends than she was with me and she was pushing me away.  I am now concentrating on building my relationship with both Zoe and Owen so that we build strong attachments and strong relationships.  It is amazing what is happening with us.  They are more affectionate with me and I am more gentle and nurturing with them.  Discipline has also gotten easier.

Another light bulb moment this book brought was the realization that I was a total peer oriented child.  My parents had no control over me and I had no desire to stick around home. Come grade 9 I was out of there, gone most days and evenings and moved out at the age of 17.  Another belief we have is that this is common teenage behavior when in fact teenagers who have healthy, mature attachments to their parents want to hang out with them. In reading this and reflecting on my own adolescent behavior something within me healed which has allowed to me to be more present towards my children.  As I realize that being a parent requires more than being physically there it hinges on being "emotionally" here.
 I recommend this book to every parent. Here is a a little taste of what you will find.
Hold On To Your Children - Why Parents Matter by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate
"Of course, it is self-fulfilling that when a child replaces parents with peers, friends become more important than family.  We declare that this must be normal and then take the irrational leap of assuming that this must also be natural. We then go out of our way to make sure that our children have "friends" putting at risk the relatiohshiop with the family.  Peers displace parents ever further and the downward spiral perpetuates itself.

One more word about friendship. Developmentally, children have a much greater need for a relationship with themselves than for relationship with peers. This requires a separation between sense of self and inner experience......


A Walk in the Woods

 Yesterday was a beautiful day as we gathered with friends under the blue sky and roaming white clouds.  The wind was brisk and our faces shined with bright smiles!  We walked through the well trodden trail of the Gatineau Park information center.  The leaves have left us early this year leaving the trees naked and a reminder of King Winter's pending arrival. 
 Our adventure brought us to a fallen tree which made  for a  perfect balance beam.  Adults helped children across with a  helping hand and an encouraging smile.

We found the perfect climbing trees. I often found myself holding my breath as the children climbed higher and higher.  As the darkness of winter comes down upon us I commit to making an effort in connecting to the people that grace my life.  Through their smiles and joys I will find light in the dark corners :)


Ball Felting Workshop

Felting is a joy for everyone. This morning we needle felted some balls and had great fun.  Even the small children participated. I love giving these workshops.  It's inspiring for me to watch people fall in love with felting, just like I did 4 years ago.  My first workshop was a doll making workshop and I loved the working with the wool so much that, that following week felting 10 dolls!!!

The ball above became a pin cushion for my sister an avid sewer.  She makes beautiful quilts. You can check out her blog at this site


A Wise Old Owl
A wise old owl sat on an oak, 
The more he heard, the less he spoke,
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why aren't we all like that wise bird?



 Giving gratitude for what we have gives us a sense of well being, of satisfaction and peace. When we live in gratitude we no longer wish for things we don't have and we no longer mourn past mistakes.  Through gratitude we are able to feel complete in this very moment, we are able to appreciate the people in our lives, appreciate our life experiences that allow us to grow. In gratitude we are able to recognize that we have all that we need.  In my life I strive to practice daily gratitude.  I strive to tell the people around me how much I appreciate them and love them.  I stop to see the beauty that surrounds me. In this way happiness finds me and life is good.

 I've been very busy this last month and dedicated this weekend to slowing down.  I took long walks in the woods, did yoga, felted and just took things easy. 
 Here are some balls that I made in getting ready for my upcoming shows in November.  I am having so much fun creating and making things happen :)   I am living my promise of living life with creative passion! I hope you are living your dream :)


Mortimer the Mouse

There is something about felting that fascinates children and adults alike.  Last week in celebration of fall we made a big mouse with great, big ears.  We passed the project around and took turns felting our friend. As we worked together with a common goal, we made our mouse come to life by giving him a name and spun a tale of Mortimer the mouse whose favorite colour was grey.  Everytime Mortimer saw something grey he would smile.  One sunny day he went for a walk in the woods which he loved to do.  On his walk he met a butterfly and the butterfly was grey.  The grey coloured butterfly made Mortimer smile.  The butterfly noticed how friendly Mortimer was and asked him to play with him and on the story went.  We brought our creature through many adventures as we felted him into existence.  Once our story and mouse was finished the children very invested in their new friend.  They care for him with great care.  I believe that making toys meaningful to children is of great importance especially in these days where everything is so accessible.

Meet Mortimer :)