In my quest for Balance this year, I'm focusing on my parenting skills (once again)...I've been honored with this calling for over 21 years and I have at least 16 more years of hands-on experience to go.
I listen to Oprah and Friends on XM Satellite Radio every day and Rabbi Shmuley (host of Shalom in the Home on TLC) is one of the latest friends and I have a lot of things in common with this funny practicing Orthodox Jewish Rabbi raising 9 children. What I most respect about him is the fact that he is so counter-cultural. He is not afraid to speak the TRUTH. If you haven't heard his show, figure out how you can get podcasts and hear for yourself what I mean.
Jerry and I had the opportunity to hear him speak live tonight and even though we were the only African-Americans in the Jewish temple (an event sponsored by Acaje), we had everything in common with the parents who came to sharpen their skills. My biggest thrill was to meet his wife Debbie and share with her some of their parenting techniques & spiritual beliefs that I'm already employing in our home. She doesn't travel with him often so I was really blessed to meet her, the phenomenal woman behind the amazing man.
Check back often for updates on my new-found parenting insights as I read through two of his books.
In my effort to bring more balance to my life, I’ve been scrapbooking less and trying to inspire more.Joseph (age 4) has been having a good time with his watercolor painting, pretty much on a daily basis.
Jonathan’s (age 7) spark for creative artistic realization started at Easter when we were dyeing eggs…he seems very fascinated with color.He is also taking note of my artistic pursuits and calling them as such.
Leah (age 9) has been busy making cards for different teachers and aides using any products at her fingertips. How could I forget the wonderful die-cut flowered card she made me for mother’s day.
Tavien…well upon his visit with us this weekend, he perched right up to the art table and resumed his artistic endeavors too.It was sweet watching him be so diligent about his coloring…but’s it thoroughly in his blood, both his mamma and daddy are creative and artistic souls, into color, graphics, drawings & a bit a of drama too if ya know what I mean.
I owe my creative pursuits mostly to my father who crafted with me my whole life.
How were you inspired during your childhood? What do you do now as an adult to nurture your creativity (or the right hemisphere of your brain)?
Two things struck me when I first saw the cover of this book.One, was “Wow I thought it would be much bigger” and two, “Hey that’s us!”The reason for my first reaction is because I look at too many 12x12 scrapbook pages on line and I just assumed this square book was that large…you see my perspective was skewed.My second reaction was because so many people say those very words to me about my family.
Unfortunately, I didn’t buy this book, I borrowed it from my friend Chela because I couldn't wait for it to come in the mail.She was hesitant to loan it to me, being new and all, but I promised to return it in two days and that I did.I really enjoyed the format of the book, especially the small chunks of easy reading, with just enough photography and how-to instructions to keep my interest.
I found many of the arts and craft ideas a bit retro, but that just means they are good solid activities that can span multiple generations.I also had to keep reminding myself that Amanda is a young mother and although I have four kids under the age of 12, I’ve got a lot of these crafts under my belt having done most of them at least 2-3 times in my life already since my oldest is 21 years old.
Other reviewers seemed to enjoy her idea of a nature table, I took that a step further years ago and actually made a sand box area in my basement laundry room a number of years back complete with the shells and beach toys (we live over 200 miles from the beach).One “nature table” I have created with my daughter, is by putting her beach finds in a hurricane candle holder, that way “nature” is contained, but visible.
After reading the book over two days I was inspired to pull out all of those crafts I was saving, old scrapbook tools and supplies and droves of paper that I was hoarding and create an art basket for the kids.I realized that I hadn’t really nurtured the artistic side of Joseph, my four year old and I set up the basket on Sunday night and on Monday morning instead of the usual routine of watching Sesame Street, Barney & the Back Yardigans, I introduced him to the basket and he hasn’t turned on the television since.
Reading through Amanda’s book I started to jot down all of the creative things we have done in our family and you never know, they may make quite a series of articles in the near future.In the end, I felt very inspired and plan to incorporate a daily “art hour” into our schedule this summer.
I highly recommend reading this book especially if you are striving for more balance in your life...nurturing your creative soul is so necessary for a healthy balance.
Mine was memorable, but not so much in a good way...life with a pre-teen can be pretty miserable, but I did have a few noteworthy surprises on Sunday. I got a number of e-mail, voice-mail and text messages from family and friends that were very thoughtful. I got a very beautifully crafted card from Fred...with some genuine thoughts that made me feel really special, thanks Fred.
Jonathan and Leah made really nice cards that made me smile. Jonathan's is the pop-up one (a new trend in cards on the market), but his was extra special because he went into my scrapbook supply stash and really embellished it up with theme appropriate stickers...love that boy's artistic mind. Leah's card was very specific about who I am and what I like to do and what she doesn't like about me...that was interesting. Joseph...well he made a card for Daddy.
Last week I had the privilege to attend a briefing on Capitol Hill to hear the results of a three year study on Women of Color Business Owners presented by the Center for Women’s Business Research.I was interested in this two day event for a number of reasons, one, because I am an independent book publisher and two because it’s part of the work I do for my firm’s supplier diversity program.What I found most fascinating was that these statistics had never been gathered before.I was a part of history on Capitol Hill that day.It boggles my kid’s mind that they live in a day in age where we still participate in Black History “firsts.
It was very disheartening to hear that the AVERAGE annual revenue for African-American business owners was only $38,000.
Special thanks to the elected officials that took the time to actually walk down the hall and meet with us personally, Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick and Congressman Mike Honda (totally funny guy)
Hearing the testimony of women of color business owners was very enlightening.A few threads that I caught throughout the conference was that they were expected to “out perform” other women in terms of proving themselves worthy of credit and capital, they gave up marriages in many cases, they started business that were not far from their former careers.
I was really touched to hear some powerful and moving stories of true grit.All of the speakers were inspiring.I especially enjoyed the words of the great-great-granddaughter Madame C.J.Walker.I was impressed to see how the legacy of Madame Walker was alive right before my eyes, to empower women to start businesses and simultaneously give back to the community.
I’ve been tagged at least three times in the last month or so to share seven facts about myself. So for this year’s annual tag I’ll share seven things.
1.I’m a pen junkie – I love writing with pens, felt tips with a slightly rounded tip puts a smile on my face. American Craft pens are my favorite right now, although for work I love the Sanford uniball penJ
2.I prefer function over form when it comes to furniture.
3.The next book I’d like to write will be about tea, I hope.
4.I am known to buy the same cd twice so that I have it in multiple places.
5.One of the highlights of living in Washington, D.C. has been meeting James and Shirley Dobson on the National Day of Prayer a number of years ago.
6.I do NOT scrapbook every day. Usually once or twice a month if that.