Is the Child Free to Think?

Are you ever reminded of a time in the past that you wish you had handled differently?

When it comes to relationships I often am.  Today while shopping for a few miscellaneous things in Walmart a small child was slapped by the man pushing her cart.  She was whining a little, trying to say something she was interested in.  Kids are always wanting something when they are paraded through the aisles of a store, that’s human nature.  This particular child wasn’t even obnoxious as many I have heard tend to get when wanting something. He was loud, forceful, and totally rude.  He certainly stopped her from asking for whatever it was and there was no more whining, just a low, pitiful cry from her tiny voice.

This pushed me into instant depression, despite my efforts to let it go in my head.  When I get depressed I often revert back to all the things I’ve done wrong in my life.  I become full of regret, mostly regarding my children.

On my drive home, trying to pull myself away from dwelling in regret, I wanted to share my wisdom with someone in the hopes of lessening their potential for future regret.  It’s like that with any knowledge I get, I always think of who I want to share it with.  I had hit on this thought of a parent listening to what their child thinks without blowing them off or telling them they shouldn’t think like that, no matter what.

Since Leia is the “wind beneath my wings” I thought of things I wanted to say to her mother.  This little girl is often the reason I stay afloat some days.  If she is sad, I feel her devastation most deeply.  When she is happy and delighted about something I, too, am all smiles.

Here is what I wish I had done with my children: Listen to what they are feeling without adding judgment.  This is critical to get them to trust us with their whole being.  As it is, it seems they are only free to tell us what they think we want to hear.  What if we let them tell us about the negative thoughts, also?  Unfortunately, a parent wants to squelch that negative notion, and thereby banishing their fears.  That doesn’t seem to be working out well.  Telling a 5 year old not to have negative thoughts – how is that working out?

It’s not just about any negative thought the child has, they may have a variety of likes and dislikes they are told to forget, to keep to themselves.  Shouldn’t we try to understand all those thoughts our child has?  If we do we may better understand what makes them function as they do – sweet or naughty.

Getting a child to feel comfortable revealing anything to the parent allows for much better communication between the two.  I wish I had done that so maybe my children would have come to me with what was bothering them, with what they perceived was troubling in their life.  It is human nature to seek comfort and relief in some form or another, unfortunately, that avenue could be self-destructive.  Or, at the minimum, they can choose to distance themselves from us and we will never really know them at the heart.

What should we do then, just let them have negative thoughts?  No, we don’t want that.  What we should want if for the child to be comfortable with telling us everything because this is a test of what kind of relationship bond the two are to have later on.  We listen first and when the child is ready to hear a solution then we offer one.  I don’t believe we help them over their fear by simply telling them to “get over it”.

Here is a simplified example of an exchange.

Mom: Please go pick out your jammies, its bath time.

Child: I can’t.

Parent: Why not?

Child: My room is dark.

Parent: Well, turn on the light!

Child: I’m scared of the dark.

This is where the parent may resort to yelling at the child to get over it, right?

What if we opened up a dialogue with the child to discover what was really going on.  Maybe the child is apprehensive about what might be in the dark, or struggles to reach the right spot for the light, or doesn’t want to get the jammies because it means bath time which inevitable means bed time and wants to procrastinate against that.  It doesn’t matter what, it is a chance to explore what is going on in the child’s mind.  If it is just the fear of the dark, perhaps the child can wait for a moment and the parent will accompany the child so they both can check out what waits in the dark.  Soon enough the child lets go of the fear because so far there wasn’t anything to be afraid of for sure.  As for the rest of the reasons, the parent has honestly listened to and acknowledged the child, and moves on in the natural order of events.  Even if the child didn’t get her way, she got herself heard, and there is quite some satisfaction in that.

It doesn’t have to be complicated if we just pause before spouting out what they “should” think.  We should never tell them they are stupid for thinking that or feeling that way. They can’t help what they think at a tender age, they need to be guided by someone they can trust to understand, no matter what.

One of my biggest fears today is that I will not be understood and accepted for who I really am.  Relationships are still very hard for me, I can’t open up and share my true feelings.  It takes a good amount of openness for strong relationships with others to develop.

Let’s listen to what someone thinks, without being judgmental. Our little ones need to know that what they think just is and can be dealt with without judgment against their person, and is not something to be hushed and buried.

Hello My Lovely

The September “Scrap-lift” challenge is up and I got Michele’s gallery to choose from. She has a Lea France page so I had to do that page.  Her page is of her baby granddaughter and all pink with a patterned (striped) base page.  She has lots of small photos which I rarely have so mine is different.

My pics are random shots of Leia, some of which I could cut down a little to fit in this Stain Glass Lea France stencil.  I’ve added a few stamped embellishments that DD colored up with Copics for me.  Using my Stamp-a-ma-jig I added the sentiments on the crumb cake card stock.  I have a little pink glitter paper in there too.  This very old pattern paper is SU and I like the girly look it gives with these photos. Although the pattern next to the photos isn’t solid, it sort of reads as solid.  Kristy commented that I seem to use a lot of glitter paper with my stencil pages.  Perhaps it is my way of adding some “bling” and still keeping it simple.  I decided on small words that I printed and encircled with a gel pen to help tie in the variety of photos, uniting the collection.

Each photo for me is a delightful memory of time spent with my little precious.  Most photos are from early April and the bottom two are early May.  I cherish my time with her and now that she is so far away it will be unlikely I’ll see her much. We do get the have some “Face time” on the phone though.

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Sweet Dreams Layout

Created with the Fan-tasy Lea France stencil:

After selecting this stencil because of the ovals I was able to whip it out last night rather quickly.  Following lunch I spent a happy afternoon yesterday showing a friend how to use these Lea France stencils.  It wasn’t until the evening came that I couldn’t get the urge out of my system to make myself a page so I pulled this batch of photos out and played.

My granddaughter set up this photo shoot on her bed, mainly to get a photo to share with the ladies who gave the blanket to them.  The ladies who make and give baby blankets to the military families in their area request one thing in return – a photo of baby with the blanket if possible.  So, the photo session was staged with my two great grand babies.

Not needing the full shot of the blanket, I focused here on the precious baby boy by showcasing him in the ovals.  I think the two accent pics create a nice balance showing them together.  The title was cut with the Cricut, using “Cuttin Up” cartridge.  The sub-title came from a sticker sheet.  As soon as this title had come to me I know just the embellishment that I needed.  I stamped the cute sheep with the same ink color (Huckleberry Fusion) as the darker card stock.  Some glitter paper and hand doodling and I called it done.

Outside the Professional’s Studio

While waiting for the photographer we took some shots of our own.  Here are some scrapbook pages made with those photos.

This was a quick and easy page because I followed a layout from Splitcoast Stampers.  The papers and ribbon are from Fun Stampers Journey – gotta love the quality of their CS and DSP.

A smaller format here, 6 X 8, is for the Simple Stories album. I pulled some chipboard out for the embellishments and title.  Using this small format is more challenging for two photos.  The princess anticipated the flash, she nearly closed her eyes before the lens did its job.  I do love the shot of them smiling at each other.

The center photo shows how the photographer was posing our baby boy in the studio, I just had to sneak a shot myself.  The other two were taken back home in the den with his long pants off.  He is just so cuddly looking, makes me want to pick him up and hug him!  As for the building of the page, I followed a challenge from Splitcoast stampers again, this time to create the bars on the sides and have everything at the top – raising the bar, so to speak.  I cut 2 inch red strips, scored them, ran liner tape and added glitter.  The eagle is a digi from TLC that I printed with blue ink and then used a red gel pen on the inside, mounted on a circle of red.  I looked for quotes and found this one by Perciles.  “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”  Whether our little man follows his father into the Navy or not isn’t important, what is important is that he understands his choice to honor and protect freedom.

Many words have been written about the concept of what freedom means.  It isn’t just about the military who stand for the freedom of a country.  What does it take for one to be truly free?  It all starts from inside the individual.  My struggle has been to be free from the sadness in my life.  How many of us run around seeking happiness only to find we never quite achieve it or it all too swiftly vanishes?  The freedom to be happy is right here in this moment if we just stop and let it be!  All the good there is to be found is already ours, right within each of us, waiting to be accepted.  Let go of the past – it’s gone, over, done with, and can’t be changed.  That’s a hard one, for sure, and I will admit I struggle still, but when I stop fretting and just “be” I find the peace and joy I seek.  How can that be ?  Sounds too easy.  It isn’t easy to stop thinking about the past and future, it’s necessary to be free, though.  I forget, sometimes, that I have a helper within, a source of strength, the giver of freedom to just be.  The truth is within each of us because God, the Creator of everything, the Source, if you will, built it in us.  It’s helpful if you study the wise words of the Bible and learn the teachings of Jesus to understand how we already have the ultimate power to be free right here within us.  I’m going to throw this pitch for attending Church regularly out there.  Really.  It will help.  It helps me stay focused on the now.  There is something to be said for how freeing your own happiness can be when you are involved in helping someone else in need.  That’s what a good church group can do for you, give you the field in which to work for the greater good.  That’s one of our freedoms in the USA.  We should be thankful for it.  Some say they can do good for others on their own, I say “good for them”, not everyone can.  I work better when I’m focused on the Source of the power that is in me.  Sunday morning is my recharging station, my one on one with God.  So, I hope you will find your happiness and protect the freedom of others with the help of the power of our Creator in you.  It’s really okay to stop and just be, just to feel the freedom from worry, stress and fear.  You are not alone.

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Taking a Hike

My granddaughter and great granddaughter were in the habit of taking exercise just about everyday.  Some walks were shorter, but most were rather hearty.  There is a nice part down the road from their apartment complex.  She said it’s about a mile or so.  By the time one winds their way out of the complex I suspect it is certainly well into the “so” portion of the estimation.  The next day after I arrived I gladly joined the walks.

To my surprise Tiny Tot rides her bicycle.  I feared one of us would be pushing the bike home while the other carried the little one.  Not so!  She is a tuffy for sure.

There were talks about nature as we went along and several stops to pick a wildflower.  Soon, though, she had to be convinced to stop and look, but leave them,  She realized they were always withered by the end of the walk when she picked them and placed them in her basket.

Here is a layout I did with those first photos.

It went quickly because I was lifting a page done by a scrapper on Splitcoast stampers a while back.  I selected papers from my scrap bin for the squares.  Before placing anything, though, I spattered ink with a toothbrush.  Digging into the stash bags I found the word pieces and tags.  The yellow strips are K&Co I think.  It’s all a hodge podge of companies.  I did do some stamping.  The bottom left panel is a Fun Stampers Journey stamp, so is the little yellow saying near the top (which is hard to see-should have used a darker ink).  The bottom tag says “19 days to “D” day”, meaning until baby will be born.  She stayed healthy by walking, eating right, even going to the gym a couple times a week.  She is one awesome young lady, I’m very proud of my granddaughter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay happy by staying crafty!

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Head Start on 6 x 8 Layouts

In anticipation of the July 1st release of the new catalogue where I can order the new Simple Stories binder I created my first layout.  The sketch on Splitcoaststampers.com had a nice one photo design so I adjusted the size and made it my own.

6x8_1706Mustash

Our cutie patootie with her cardboard mustache was too adorable not to scrap.  This measure 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall.  Cutting down the photo worked well, sometimes there isn’t enough room around the edges.  I pulled out the Fun Stampers Journey patterned paper scraps.  The mustache stamps made cute embellishments.

Turning everyday photos into scrapped memories makes me happy!

The pages that go with this new album will be so much fun to fill with the different sizes.  Never having gotten into the Project Life craze, I still see the fun in it and look forward to stamping accent cards and embellishments, along with journaling cards for photos!  I sure have lots of photos now of Tiny Top and her new baby brother over these past two months.

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A New Month

June is here.  Life takes a turn with new happenings in my life.

First and foremost, I have another great-grand child.  A baby brother for Tiny Tot!

Apr30_1610_edited-1 The month of April and part of May was spent with my granddaughter.  She had asked me to stay until their apartment was packed up so I could drive back here in her vehicle.  Here we are, until mid June, when hubby finishes his school before heading to his new assignment.Fan-tasy 1 Joyce I certainly have lots and lots of new photographs for scrapbooking.  I managed to get a few pages completed once I got back home.  This one is using a new Lea France stencil.  I also came home to the latest Take Ten Magazine.  It is my advance copy since I have 3 cards published in it.

So, here is a card I made today using a sketch I found on a blog.  I liked that it gave lots of room to do coloring. I stamped the roses using a mask to give them depth.J_1685_Roses

I am entering this in Lemon Shortbread challenge and Melonheadz Friends challenge.  I invite you to check out these blogs and play along.

The stamps used are from Fun Stampers Journey: The flowers – Glass Blooms; The girl – Birthday Girls; Happy birthday – Sentimental Prints.  I used pencils to color, Red ribbon is FSJ.

Thanks for stopping in,  I trust you have yourself a crafty day and please leave me a message.

Hugs, Joyce Ann

Two Layouts for Challenges

On this “Dance” page I wanted to use a Prima Julie Nutting doll stamp.  It is a photo from a night at Friday-fest with Leia dancing in the street.  It was also a challenge to use various items and the technique of coloring the texture paste with gelatos which I used over a lacy stencil under the doll.  After pasting the ribbon down I also ran a few zig-zag stitches with my machine.  It was also a chance to pull out lots of flowers and try to use them on a layout.  I used a Sizzix die cut, the Hello Kitty Font Cricut cartridge for the title.  The journaling was created on the computer.  Finally some tiny pearls and Candy Dots were added to the layout.

Next is a layout finished for a challenge I was sorry I had entered.  I knew it would be a music challenge but I didn’t think the theme was going to be love songs until I was signed up.  The way it worked was the next person who signs up has to pick a love song for the person just above, so the person under me picked a song by Chicago.  I copied the lyrics and found some lines I thought would work and went with the love theme.  After all, I do so love my little Leia. This layout was also a “scraplift I did of a digital page on Splitcoast.  Going from Digital to real paper is always a challenge.

A Christmas Card from Tiny Tot

Just love this!

So precious!

Card from Leia3403_

Card from Leia3404InsideReceiving this in the mail yesterday was a most precious greeting from my granddaughter.  She helped my little 4 year old great granddaughter create this card for us using her prints – foot for Rudolph and fingers for the string of lights.

DGD has been mentioning they have gone to Michael’s a couple of times and let me tell you, that is music to a crafting Granny’s ears.  When I still lived up there she would occasionally come into my craft room to make a card to give to her friend.  So she has the “gene” in there!

The Moments that Matter Most

The other day Kara texted this photo to us.  It spoke to me immediately. I knew I wanted to do a scrapbook page right away.  A weird thing happened when I got the photo copy from Walgreens, I lost it.  Really couldn’t find it anywhere and I know I had left the store with it.  So I ordered another.  This morning, once the page was complete, I found the photo.  Isn’t that how it always is?  I opened the passenger door to my car and there it was, fallen between the seat and door, impossible to be seen without opening the door, which I obviously hadn’t done.  All is good in the end, I still think this is a precious photo and it will likely be used again in something, somewhere.

For the base I used a sheet of beautiful pattern paper from the “Vintage Paris” collection by Fun Stampers Journey.  It is a most dreamy collection of soft colors and delicate patterns.  This page is the product of an inspiration layout for a challenge on Splitcoast Stampers site where we had to choose one from all the past uploads for the Virtual Scrapbook Night challenge.  There were lots and lots of pages to go through.  As soon as I spotted Sharon’s page here: I knew that I wanted to use the photo that I did.  For my background I added some rubber stamping.  I used pink SU embossing powder with the Fun Stampers Journey background Basics stamp.(SS-0008 from rep #96). Moments close up 1

 

 

Here is a close up of the background stamp, just soft and  subtle.  Not that this intricate design on the paper really needed it, I still think it adds a bit more charm with it’s texture and color.  You can also see the letters I made with the Cricut cartridge Hello Kitty Fonts.  For my flourish, Sharon has a large one, I cut two from the Tim Holts Elegant Flourishes die from some scraps of Pink SU solid cs.Moments Close up 2

Although Sharon did not do this, I added a smaller strip to the larger gray of pattern paper that I had dry embossed with a Cuddlebug script folder.   Added a bit of interest, I hope.  Each of the edges have been distressed, as well as the delicate floral print under the photo.  I had wrote the sub-title and the journaling.

Tiny Top is now in ballot and gymnastics, and her Gigi is certainly looking forward to more photos to play with in scrapbooking.