|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (5)|
by: Rev Dr. Stephanie McEndree
In my experience, it’s always better to write your very own vows. I’ve said vows to my husband three times; once at our wedding where they were bits and pieces of vows I read online I felt I related to. The second, at our handfasting where my husband and I read the traditional celtic vows. And finally, just today where I wrote my very own vows that came from the heart. It’s only with the vows from today that I cried saying them, and that they felt truly 100% right. My husband wrote his very own with no pre-written guides at the wedding, and he cried, and never regretted them. I therefore stand strong in my opinion: always go with your very own vows, straight from the heart.
Now some people aren’t the best writers, and that’s okay. There are many tips that can be used to make your words into beautiful vows, or even just say them the way they are. Here are some tips to help you write vows from your own very heart.
Listen to other people’s vows. Choose the style you like the most, and what you love most about what was said. Was it when the bride reminisced about when they first met? Was it when she described their first I love you’s? Was it when she described the very essence and depth she feels her partner’s love?
Use your own words. This is very important to make them your very own. For example, my cousin’s vows to her wife were ”You are in my bones Heather Dawn.” and her wife’s words were ”You are in my bones, the tips of my toes to the tips of my fingers.” So I went with the parts of me that I felt my husband’s love…I said ”You are in my heart, my mind, my soul, and my womb where our child will grow, Bart Alan.” You see, I described where he was in my being, which turns out were very different places, and had very different meanings. You can do something similar in your vows.
Get fancy. If vocabulary isn’t your forte, look up the adjective you want to use on the thesaurus website and search for synonyms of the word you want to say. For example, if you want to say your husband is good to you but want a fancier word…you can use sweet, kind, generous, understanding, compassionate, etc. Go deeper than a general word if you can. Just exactly HOW is he good to you? What does he do that makes your heart sing?
Choose difining moments. When was the time you knew she was the one? When did you have your first adventure together? How did you feel when she proposed to you? These and many more you can use in your vows, and bringing you back to those magical moments on your wedding day, with your future spouse in front of you looking your best in front of all your friends and family, will make your heart burst with joy.
Include your culture. If you want, you can include aspects of yours and your fiancee’s cultures. You can speak about the times you first read the Torah together, or how special it was having your fiance at Temple with you. If your spouse converted to marry you, that is also something you can bring up to show how moved you were at their dedication. You can include your spiritual journey together, or quotes such as ”couples that pray together stay together.”
Following these tips, you are sure to create a masterpiece. Feel free to write many different drafts, even combine them and make something truly unique.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 22, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (5)|
Translated from french
A dad comes home after an exhausting day at work. He just wants to watch his soccer game without having to endure the cries of the kids or take care of the housework. But that day, his wife couldn't take it anymore and left him. Her world breaks down when she leaves him alone with her children. Here are these words:
" My love,
two days ago we had a big fight. I came home tired from work. It was 8:00 pm and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch to watch the game.
When I saw you, you were exhausted and in a bad mood. The kids were bickering and the baby was crying while you tried to put him to bed.
I turned up the volume on the TV.
‘Would you mind giving a hand and getting involved in your children's education?’ You said to me upset by turning down the TV.
Exasperated, I replied: ‘I spent my day at work so that you could spend yours at home playing dolls.’
The tone is raised. You cried because you were angry and tired. I told you cruel things. You shouted, saying you couldn't take it anymore. You left the house crying and left me alone with the children.
I had to feed them and put them to bed. The next day, you didn't come back and I had to ask my boss to have a day off to take care of the little ones.
I became aware of the whims and tears.
I realized what it was like to be everywhere at the same time, all day long, without having a free moment even to take a bath.
I realized what it was like to heat the milk, prepare a child and put the kitchen away, all at the same time.
I realized what it was like to be stuck all day without talking to someone over the age of 10.
I realized what it was like not to be sitting comfortably at the table, enjoying a quiet lunch on my break time, because you have to run after the kids.
I was so mentally and physically tired that the only thing I wanted was to sleep for 20 hours straight. But I had to wake up after 3 hours because the baby was crying.
I experienced two days and two nights in your own skin and I can tell you, I understand.
I understood your fatigue.
I understood that being a mom is a perpetual sacrifice.
I understood that it was more tiring than sitting in my chair for 10 hours or making financial decisions.
I understood your frustration at having abandoned your career and your financial independence so that you could raise our children.
I understood your doubts that our economic security no longer depends on you, but on your partner.
I understood the sacrifices you made by never going out with your friends, forgetting your exercises or not sleeping an entire night.
I understood how difficult it was to be trapped and to have to watch the children when you missed what was going on outside.
I also understood why you were susceptible when my mother criticized the way you raise our children, because no one knows better than a mother what is good for them.
I understood that becoming a mother means occupying one of the most important roles in our society. What no one recognizes, appreciates or remunerates.
I am writing this letter not only to tell you that I miss you, but also because I do not want to spend another day without telling you that:
"You are very brave, you do it perfectly and I admire you."
This very moving letter was shared more than 110,000 times on Facebook. To all the moms who have cared for or are still caring for us and who do so much for us, so much so that we take it for granted, this letter is for you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (5)|
By: Dr. Stephanie McEndree
We all have had at least one child who would rather be naked or in their underwear or diaper all day, every day! It makes it easier for them to lift up their knees as high as they can, do jumping jacks, or whatever else they have set their minds to do. However, there are times where kids have to suck it up and put some clothes on, especially in NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO SERVICE places. Unfortunately, trying to get them dressed is a whole other story. Meltdowns happen, tantrums are thrown, and kids refuse to clothe themselves. It can take forever to get your children finally dressed, and at that point they are kicking and screaming, or peeling their clothes right back off. So how can you get your kids clothed when the just do not want to be? Read on to learn more.
Here are some tips that my husband has come up with to help get kids dressed.
Help them. Even if they do not need the help, sometimes it will be enough to see you involved and willing to help, that they will cooperate. Put the shirt over their heads and help them put their arms through the sleeves. Place the shoes at their feet and hold them so they can balance as they slip their feet in. Open the waistband of pants so they can slip their legs in easier. Whatever it is, in my experience, they should cooperate.
Do not announce. Depending on the child, if you announce it is time for them to get themselves dressed, they will bolt. My girls love to run away and hide if we tell them that it is time to get dressed. In our cases and cases like this, it is best not to annouce that it is time to get dressed, or that they have to dress themselves. It works better for us if we say in the beginning of the day that they will need to get dressed later today.
Involve them. Include them in the decision making process. Bring two different shirts and ask them to pick one. Do the same with pants and shoes. This is especially important when kids are at those ages that they are becoming more independent and assertive. They will not want to follow directions because they want to be their own person and lead their own life. So treat them like a big kid and let them choose what they would like to wear between two options.
Offer their favorites. Find their favorite outfit, or clothes in their favorite color, or favorite shoes. Kids are more likely to get dressed (even by themselves if they can) if you offer them their favorite outfit. I always get a big grin and gleeful shouts when I find my kids favorite outfits. What my kids hold very precious is their dresses, but especially ones that I make for them myself. Maybe your girls love a dress their grandma got for them.
Check the temperature. If it is hot outside and also too hot in your house, it is normal that the kids do not want to get dressed. They do not want to overheat. Turn down the thermostat and turn on a fan or the air conditioning. This way, if the room is comfortable enough the kids will not feel like they will overheat if they get dressed. If it is winter outside with snow out, simply point out to the window and show your kids that it is cold outside, so they will need to get dressed to stay warm.
Keep in mind that these tips may not work for every child. These tips work great for my kids, and they may work for yours as well. If you have any more tips to add, comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 14, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (5)|
by: Dr. Stephanie McEndree
It's important that kids learn at a young age where food comes from. This allows them to learn early what is edible, where to get fresh foods (such as a farm, orchard, or marketplace), and how to grow your own food. It's an important step to future self-sufficiency, and allows your children many years to perfect their green thumb and learn as much as they can. It's also the perfect way to get them to interact with nature, teaches them teamwork with you and their siblings, and teaches them patience to wait for the crops to grow.
Bring them to the store. Whether at a farmer's market, the dollar store or the grocery store, take your kids with you to purchase seeds. Show them the packages that show photos of the crops. Ask them what they would like to grow in the garden. Definitly pick up some radish seeds, as these can grow and be ready in as little as 3 weeks. Pick up some seeds of veggies and fruits that your kids enjoy and that you know you could use in your meals.
Re-use leftovers. You can plant an onion, potato, lettuce, chives, celery and garlic back into the ground. Simply soak them in water until they begin to sprout, then plant them in your garden. You won't have to buy these vegetables ever again. Show your kids how to do this and have them help you. Stumps won't ever go to waste and they will know how these foods are renewable and can be harvested many times.
Keep the seeds. For fruits such as tomatoes, apples, oranges, peaches and plums, you can save the seeds after you've eaten the fruit. Dry them out in the sun for a few days and plant them in your yard where you could use a tree. In about 5 years, the tree should bear fruit. A single tree can produce hundreds of fruit, so be sure to plant what you have an appetite for. If you live on a ranch or a farm or have a good amount of land, consider planting your very own orchard. It can even be a source of income if you advertise yourself as an orchard and pickers pay per pound. If the seeds aren't cooked, you can even plant nuts to grow nut trees.
Give a science lesson. If you want to go all out, get a soil testing kid and test the soil. Do this with your kids and show them what the results mean, and what other possible results mean. If your soil is deficient, buy the nutrients necessary and put them in the soil with your kids. Be sure to weed your garden to give ample space for your crops. If weeds are persistant and you don't mind these chemicals possibly getting into your food, you can buy some weed killers in a spray form that should kill the weed down to the root. It won't come back, but you do need to cut down some weeds as soon as they appear, such as dandelions with flowers, before the seeds get all over your garden and they keep your food from getting the sun, nutrients and water that they need to thrive. Show your kids a world map color-coded according to the zones. Show them which zone you're in and teach them the crops that are best planted in that zone. If the list is too long, tell them what won't thrive in your region.
Teach about edibles. Unless your kids have already been in the boy scouts and know how to identify leaves, show your kids which foods are edible. You can plant some herbs such as sage, basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, parsley, etc. and show your children that they are in fact edible. You can also plant lettuce, even different kinds of lettuce, to teach your kids that these are fine to eat and how to grow them. My kids just rip off a leaf or two when they are hungry and lettuce is growing in our backyard. You can also show them that dandelion leaves are also edible and can be harvested. You can also grow rhubarb and teach them that those leaves are not to be eaten, just the stalks.
Plant together. After you've weeded your chosen spot for the garden, you'll need to get rid of grass if any. Sometimes, especially around trees, some grass dies and doesn't grow back. You can transplant the grass over to those areas. Be sure to water it, as it will get some transplant shock. The reason the previous grass may have died is that the tree absorbs all the water there, so keep watering it to keep it alive. Once the grass is cleared, rake the soil. Dig the appropriate sized holes needed for the different types of seeds, and plant them with your kids. Bury them, and have your kids help with the watering. It can be added to their chores, but this chore comes with a tasty reward at the end. It also teaches them about concequences; if your kids don't water the crops appropriately, the plants will die. If they take good care of it, they will thrive. It also rewards hard work, dedication and patience, especially when it's the foods that kids like.
Harvest together. Reap what you sow together. For underground plants such as potatoes, carrots and radishes, dig around the plant to reveal to your kids the tasty treats underneath. Then, dig out the veggies and give your kids a taste. They should be very proud of their harvest. Then, rinse your bounty and cut away the bits you don't need, and plan a meal with it. Your whole family can enjoy the harvest and celebrate it's success. As for fruit, you can pick them when they are ready. I have found that birds, squirrels and other rodents seem to enjoy the fruits such as strawberries and raspberries and they eat them sometimes before they are ripe. I would suggest putting chicken wire over at least the strawberries so no one can get to them, or keeping one strawberry plant in a pot you put outside during the day and inside at night. Also, while you're at it: teach your kids how to prepare them, and some meals you can cook with what you harvested.
Plant perennials. You will only have to plant them once, and harvest them for a lifetime. I live in a 4b region, so I would suggest: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apple trees, plum trees, rhubarb, mint and chives. All of these grow very well and have come back every year (of course the tree itself stays year round). You can always do some research on which perennials are the best for your region and are easiest to plant and care for the first year.
Got any more suggestions? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 3, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (5)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
This is a perfect tank top for beginners to make that want to start making interesting patterns and want to start getting into more complex pieces. You must know how to knit in garter stitch, stockinette stitch, how to cast on, cast off and sew. You can use a tapestry or yarn needle to weave in ends. This tank top fits a child who wears size 5-6.
Size: Child 5-6
- Size 11 single-point knitting needles
- Red Heart Comfort 100g yarn in green
- US size 7 crochet needle
- Stitch holder or another single-point knitting needle
- Cast on 40 stitches. Knit in garter stitch for 12 rows.
- Knit in stockinette stitch for 2 rows.
- Knit in garter stitch for 12 rows.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until piece measures 13 inches, ending on garter stitch.
- Knit 13 stitches in garter stitch and put them on a stitch holder.
- Cast off 14 stitches. Knit last 13 stitches in garter stitch.
- Knit in garter stitch until strap measures 1 inch. Cast off.
- Remove stitch holder on future strap. Cut yarn, join it to the other 13 stitches.
- Knit in garter stitch until the strap measures 1 inch.
- Bind off, weave in ends.
- Repeat steps 1 to 10.
- Press two pieces together so the patterns are facing one another.
- Sew the shoulder straps together.
- Sew the sides, leaving 4 inches for the arm holes.
- Weave in ends. Turn inside out. Your tank top is done!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 26, 2020 at 9:20 AM||comments (2)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
This knitting pattern can either be a size L-XL dress for a child, or a size XS-S tank top for adults. In order to do this pattern, you will need to know the garter stitch, the stockinette stitch, how to cast on, how to cast off, and how to weave in ends. You can use a tapestry or yarn needle to weave in ends, but I tend to use a crochet needle since that's what I have on hand. You can make both sides of this piece the same length so the collar is the same, or you can make one side longer to make the front or back collar more low-cut. This piece is best worn loose, so you can knit it a size up to make it nice and airy during the summer. It's also completely reversible, so you can wear a striped tank or a garter stitch tank all in one piece.
Size: Adult XS or children's L-XL
Guage: 5 stitches = 1 inch
Red Heart Comfort Yarn 1000g in red
Size 11 single point knitting needles
US size 7 crochet needle
Stitch holder or another single point knitting needle
- Cast on 50 stitches.
- Knit in garter stitch for 6 rows.
- Knit in stockinette stitch for 6 rows.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until piece measures about 15 inches, ending on stockinette stitch.
- Knit in garter stitch for about 5 inches, or until piece measures 20 inches.
- Knit 15 stitches. Place them in a stitch holder or another knitting needle.
- Cast off 20 stitches.
- Knit remaining 15 stitches in garter stitch.
- Continue knitting until strap measures 4 inches.
- Cut off the yarn so it measures 5 inches. Weave it in with the crochet needle.
- Remove stitch holder and place it on the strap. Join yarn with the future 2nd strap.
- Place the knitting needle on the other 15 stitches and stitck in garter stitch for 4 inches.
- Knit the 15 stitches of the strap. Cast on 20 stitches.
- Remove the stitch holder and place your free needle through the first strap's stitches. Knit them in garter stitch.
- Knit in garter stitch for about 5 inches.
- Knit in stockinette stitch for 6 rows.
- Knit in garter stitch for 6 rows.
- Repeat steps 16 and 17 until that side of the piece measures 23 inches.
- Bind off. Flip inside out so the striped pattern is facing inwards.
- Match up the hem. Sew in the sides, leaving a 4 inch (for a child's dress) to 7 inch hole (for adult tank top) for the arms.
- Weave in the ends. Turn inside-out, and your piece is done.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 19, 2020 at 9:10 AM||comments (5)|
Write it out. Write a letter about your favorite moments of your first year of marriage. Trade each other's letters and read them.
Renew your vows. Have a small self-officiated ceremony in your backyard, or even in your home. Recite your wedding vows together and add in some new ones. You can even throw in some humorous vows in there such as, you promise to help him look for things that are right in front of him. Have a good laugh together and make it your own.
Make love. Bust out some massage oil, sprinkle rose petals on the bed and in the bath, have a bubble bath together, play some sensual music, light scented candles and make sweet love.
Stay the night at a hotel. Often, brides and grooms stay at a hotel the night of the wedding, or the night before. Go back to that hotel and stay there again to reminisce. If you didn't like that hotel, choose one in town and make it a staycation. Relax, let the staff clean your room for you, and order in some room service and have some spa services if they're available. If you have the cash to spend, splurge for a 5 star hotel with a jaccuzi, hot tub, pool, sauna, gym, fancy restaurant and massage therapy.
Got more ideas? Post them below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 12, 2020 at 9:15 AM||comments (1)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
Wondering how you can celebrate your birthday during a lockdown complete with social distancing? Are these times with the coronavirus making you wonder how you can still have a nice birthday? Are you wanting to celebrate your birthday without putting your health or anyone else's health at risk? You've come to the right place! Here we explore different ways you can still have a great time while also keeping everyone healthy and safe. If you are someone planning a birthday for your loved one during the pandemic, here are some good ideas for you as well.
Have a video call conference. Call all your friends and family into one place, or one at a time. They are sure to sing you happy birthday, wish you happy birthday and want to celebrate. Reminisce over the old times and walk down memory lane. Talk about your favorite moments together.
Get some balloons. If you want, have some balloons you can blow up or get some already filled up. It will give your place some ambiance and help you get into the headspace that this is a celebration. Turn on your favorite music if you like.
Bake a cake. Get some ingredients together or even just a cake mix, and bake a birthday cake of your choice. Don't feel like baking? Get one at the grocery store that's already pre-made. Get your favorite flavor, and make it festive with sprinkles and candles. Blow them out and make a wish!
Spend time with your housemates. Whether you live with family or friends, now is the time to take advantage of their presence. Cuddle with your significant other, play with your kids, enjoy time with your friends. Play board games, watch tv, go for a walk.
Go to a drive-through. Get some takeout or go to a drive-through so you can get some hot food. Eat your favorites! Some places even offer free dessert if it's your birthday. Just show them your ID! Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you go out just to be safe.
Go to a drive-in movie. You can go to a drive-in movie if they are open where you live. Stay cozy in your vehicle and watch a good movie outside. You can also put camping chairs outside and bring some popcorn and soda and some blankets.
Have a picnic. Go in your front or backyard or even in the living room. Place a blanket on the ground and have a nice picnic. You can have some grapes, cheese and crackers with some deli meats or have some sandwiches, salad, whatever you like.
Look at the stars. Lay on a blanket or in a sleeping bag and watch the stars. In August, there are even shooting stars and if you live up north you can admire the northern lights. You can look up constellations first, then try to find them in the sky. There are even some apps that help you identify and locate them.
Got any more ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 5, 2020 at 9:15 AM||comments (5)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
This piece is perfect for beginners wanting to make their first dress. It's not as large as it would be for an adult, so it's a perfect way to start and it's not too much work to where you get discouraged. You need to know how to cast on, bind off, the garter stitch, the stockinette stitch and how to sew. This piece is knit flat, which is also ideal for beginners. Stockinette stitch gives this piece a thinner feel and look, and without sleeves makes it suitible for summer wear. With how loose it is and oversized, it allows the dress to be airy and doesn't let the kids be too hot in it.
Size: 6-7 years, oversized
-Size 11 single point knitting needles
-Red Heart Comfort 1000g yarn in red, 1 skein
-US size 7 crochet needle
- Cast on 50 stitches
- Knit rows 1-10 in garter stitch
- Knit in stockinette stitch until piece measures about 18 inches
- Knit next 10 rows in garter stitch. Piece should measure about 20 inches.
- Bind off, cut the yarn with the scissors 5 inches from the piece. The piece will be used to sew in shoulder strap.
- Repeat steps 1-5 with 2nd piece.
- Turn piece so that the garter stitch sides are facing outwards, and the pattern inwards.
- Sew the seams together at the shoulders, at least 4 inches from each side.
- Leaving a 4 inch hold from the shoulders for the arms, sew the sides together with a crochet needle. Tie off.
- Cut the end of the string about 5 inches from the piece. Sew in ends with a crochet needle.
- Turn the piece inside-out, and you have your finished piece.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on June 1, 2020 at 8:05 AM||comments (4)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
I can't imagine what mothers of children of color are feeling right now. Can you imagine being afraid every day for your child to die? Can you fathom a world where unarmed people of color are shot and killed in their own homes? Can you imagine that the very people you call to help you, those who are supposed to serve and protect you from harm, end up killing you, a family member, a friend? Can you imagine hundreds of years of racism, and even during these times where people are realizing they were wrong in different aspects of prejudice, people of color are still facing racism so bad it's deadly? Can you imagine seeing the police as judge, jury and executioner as they gun down innocent black chilldren, men and women? Can you imagine these people being put on paid leave and temporary suspension, if any? This is the world we live in.
The only way I can possibly relate is to try to imagine what mothers of color are going through. But the fact of the matter is, I will never understand. No white person ever will, because we are born with a privilege. It's not right, and it's not fair. However, we need to use this privilege to stand up for and protect for our black brothers and sisters. We need to speak up because their voices aren't being listened to. We need to make sure their voices are heard. We need to do absolutely everything we can to protect them.
Here is what you can do to help. Please add to this list in the comments if I have forgotten anything.
Join the protests. Peacefully join protests. Carry signs, join chants, walk. Stand in protest. Show you support the black community. Show that you are not okay with the deaths of innocent black children and adults. Show you are against police brutality.
Assist them. Form a human chain around them with others. Protect people of color. Especially during the protests, stand between them and the police. Do not let any harm come to them. The police will not use accessive force against you, especially if you are unarmed.
Record it. If you see a person of color being mistreated, pull out your phone and start recording. Yell at the police officer or whoever is attacking them, to stop. Call attention to this mistreatment. Don't let them get away with it. File a complaint. Even if the cops tell you to stop recording and are being forceful, keep recording. You can pretend to stop recording and put your camera down, but have it still pointing to the abuse if you can. If not, at least keep it going so sound is still recorded.
Protests have been the peaceful way for centuries to show opposition against unfair policies. One of the most famous ones are the Boston Tea Party, and also Martin Luther King Jr's marches, and Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man.
To every person of color out there, I am with you. I support you. None of you deserve to die. What happened was wrong. I stand with you.