Recently my husband sent me a link to this article about 10 skills you should practise everyday. The top 2 were Practise Gratitude and Keep a Positive Mindset. This is something we have been focusing on in our family, particularly for my teenage son. It is very easy for him to see the bad and not the good, especially when it comes to school.
A few years ago I read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to live fully right where you are, a book about counting your blessings. I have been trying to notice goodness since reading this book and some articles on Ann’s blog. There is so much research that shows that Gratitude is good for us physically, psychologically & socially. This article shows that even just practicing gratitude for 2 weeks can make a difference in teenagers.
So what do we do to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I often ask my son to look for the highs or good things in his day. Often when I ask something like “What was the best thing about school today?”, he will still generally answer “lunch” or “the end of school” but we are trying. I often talk to him about perspective and that if you think things are going to bad then they will be bad and vice versa. Still working on helping him have a positive mindset.
A few times a week after dinner we read a Bible passage using either the YouVersion Bible app or the daily reading from our Church App. We then use Ann’s Joy Dare which I printed a few years ago. Sometimes we use the joy dare for the day or from a few days ago that we might not have done. Now my husband often asks”What are you grateful for, it doesn’t have to be from the joy dare?”. I think after reading the article he sent me he has got it more as well. Then we finish with prayer. There is usually lots of other conversation and going off on tangents during this time but hopefully my family is developing more of an attitude of gratitude. Occasionally, I even remember to write down what I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal.
There are many ways to practice gratitude, I’ve just shared what we do. I also like this idea of taking a photo a day of something you are grateful for. My daughter was given a photo a day journal for her birthday and is trying to take a photo a day to help her record what she has done.
How are you helping your children have an attitude of gratitude?
This week I tried a new seed & nut sandwich bread recipe. I enjoyed it fresh on the first day and then toasted most days since. I had heard about things with sunflower seeds going green but hadn’t seen it myself until I made this bread.
I thought I would share about the decor & games we had at my daughters recent Pirate & Fairy Themed Party.
We did parts of the decor fairy and parts pirate themed. Fortunately my niece had a Fairy Ballerina themed party for her 5th birthday so we were able to borrow lots of fairy themed decor and my sister-in-law also helped set up the decor. We had the main food table like a ship, thanks to my husband. The drinks table was very much following the fairy theme. Upon arrival we had dotted lines drawn on the paths to follow to the ‘x’ where the treasure box and the party was. The treasure box was filled with prizes for the games. We actually forgot to do the best dressed prize but there were many beautiful fairies and pirates who attended the party.
The Ship food table.
Decorating the fairy tree.
Handing out the party bags.
The games table & fairy corner.
The helium balloon.
The party bags had a pirate skull & cross bone on one side with a fairy wand on the other. Printed in black & white and stuck onto brown paper bags with a name tag added. Each bag contained:
- 1 pirate pencil
- 1 coloured pacer pencil
- chocolate coins
- sticker sheet
- whistle blower
- party popper
- parachute man
- fairy dust (sherbet) straws
cutting out the toadstools
making the toadstools
The treasure box of prizes.
Pass the Parcel
Monte Carlo – choosing the card
Pin the wand on the fairy.
Pinning the wand.
Games to match the theme included:
- Pass the Parcel (2 parcels – 1 with a fairy prize & 1 with a pirate prize)
- Treasure Hunt (we were able to borrow about 150 gold painted rocks which were hidden and the person who found the most had first pick at the prize box.)
- Musical Toadstools (round circles cut from plastic table cloth, with white paper spots glued on)
- Monte Carlo with a fairy or pirate picture in each corner
- Pin the Wand on the Fairy
- Man the Lifeboats (relay race involving inner tubes)
- A Treasurebox Pinata
My daughter recently turned 18. She decided to have a Pirate & Fairy kids themed birthday party complete with party games. We held it during the day and about 20 of her friends came. I think partly because both her brother & father both have multiple food intolerances she wanted to cater for everyone’s dietary needs.
Therefore we needed to cater for vegetarian, pescetarian, coeliac, no pork, peanut allergy and a couple of people with multiple food intolerances. We made different options so that there was something for everyone. Everything was labelled so people could easily tell what they could eat. The birthday cake was the trickiest part. We made 2 types of cakes. The largest was just a 3 packet mixes that most people could eat but the other double layer cake needed to be gluten, dairy, egg, cocoa & certain colours free so that the coeliac and those with multiple food intolerances could eat it.
The finished cake
The cake on the desert table
The cake with candles lit.
Cutting the cake.
My go to gluten, dairy & egg free cake has cocoa in it so we needed to adapt the recipe. Continue reading