Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On hiatus

Green Grandma is taking a brief hiatus. May your holiday season be bright and merry.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Are you raising charitable kids?

Below is a part of an article I wrote that appeared this month in the Las Vegas ZIPCODE magazine.

Giving Hearts
Raising Charitable Kids

By Hana Haatainen-Caye

It's that time of year when television commercials are screaming for your kids' attention. In turn, your children scream back -- at you -- to buy them every hot toy and accessory on some imaginary Christmas must-have list. What's a parent to do?

It's hard to turn your back on the cries of a child in such desperate "need." Smart advertisers work hard to convince them that life is barely worth living if they don't add this or that to their growing collection of things. As a parent, it's your job to override the wrong messages programmed into your children's brains and reprogram them to listen to their hearts instead; hearts that connect with giving rather than always getting.

The holiday season is the perfect time to start redirecting your children's focus toward charity. If done correctly, you will undoubtedly reshape their hears. Before long, it will be second nature for them to spot a need and want to fill it.

Talk the Talk

Children are innately curious beings. They want to know the hows and whys. Just telling them to do something "because it's the right thing to do" won't accomplish the transformation of their hearts. When taught to obey "because I told you so," kids may well perform as instructed, but that's not the kind of robotic obedience you're looking for, especially when it comes to teaching your children to give.

Six-year-old Laura badly wanted a stuffed rabbit she saw in a store. When her grandma wouldn't let her have it, she sulked. After they left the toy store, they passed a Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell Ringer. Laura asked what the man was doing. Her mother explained, "He's collecting money for people who don't have enough to buy food or toys for Christmas. There are some families who just can't afford to make Christmas special. But when others put money in the kettle, The Salvation Army can buy things for those families so they'll have a good Christmas after all."

Laura thought for a moment and then reached into her pocket and pulled out the five-dollar bill she was going to use to buy something for herself. Walking over to the man ringing the bell, she handed it to him and smiled. Her step was lighter as she skipped back to her mother, and the lesson stayed with her as she continued to give to others in need in the years to follow. All it took was an explanation.

Walk the Walk

Naturally, children want to emulate their parents. If you tell them to be charitable without extending your own hand of giving, all the talking in the world is not going to change their hearts. They need to see you giving as well. That means you don't ignore the Red Kettle Bell Ringers every time you pass them. Make sure your kids see you cheerfully slip some bills or change into the kettles from time to time.

But remember that giving doesn't always require money. Consider volunteering at one of the many local organizations working to brighten the holidays for others. Perhaps you can become a Red Kettle Bell Ringer yourself and inspire your children to give of their time as well.

A Guiding Hand

As your children start to understand the value of giving, they need your guidance to know what they can do. From donating money to buying toys or food to volunteering, fostering this spirit of charity can be a family affair. 

The Salvation Army offers programs and services that change lives. All the donations raised by the Red Kettle Bell Ringers stay in your community. The Red Kettle campaign has been around since 1891 and 82 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to those in need.

A Change of Heart

While getting involved in a local or national organization is invaluable, sometimes the best way to serve others is right in your own neighborhood. Children need to learn that giving can happen anytime and anywhere. Delivering a plate of homemade cookies or a warm tureen of soup to elderly neighbors or taking a poinsettia to someone who was recently widowed can help brighten the holiday season for them. And your children will experience what their parents learned long ago -- that seeing someone's face light up with gratitude is thanks enough. Kids who learn the joy of giving when they're young will grow up to be generous and thoughtful adults who truly embrace a lifestyle where kindness matters. And they'll understand, deep in their hearts, it really is more blessed to give than to receive.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cosatto Supa Dupa Double Stroller Giveaway!


Offering awesome giveaways is just one of the ways I can show you how thankful I am to have you as part of the Green Grandma community. And this one's a doozy. 

Cosatto's coolest stroller is now available in the US - the Supa Dupa (a double folding umbrella stroller)! This is not your average stroller. It boasts features like an iPad holder, a speaker for your iPod and muff to keep you child's feet warm in the colder weather. No feature was overlooked with this stunning, state-of-the-art stroller. 

Check out MamatheFox's full review for more details and information.

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligation

Nature's Bakery Prize Pack Giveaway! 4 Winners! $532 TRV

Sponsored By: Nature's Bakery

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

4 Winners Will Receive A: 

Nature's Bakery Prize Pack Bundle! A $133 RV!

Prize Pack Includes: 

84 bars of Non-GMO Project Verified product! All 8 flavors of our Whole Wheat Fig Bars and 4 flavors for our Double Chocolate Brownies. (In 6 pack boxes)
(1) Nature’s Bakery Big Truck Hat
(1) Nature’s Bakery Camelbak Waterbottle
(1) Nature’s Bakery Lanyard

Total Value: $133 per winner!

A grand total giveaway worth $532!

Open to the US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 11/23 12:01 AM EST through 12/7 11:59 PM EST 

Good luck!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy is not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received nominal monetary compensation to host this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It is still a beautiful world

Despite all the tension and trouble in the world, I am really hoping that my American community members can pause and find reasons to be thankful on Thursday. I pray you can set aside differences, rest your minds from turmoil, and enjoy... really enjoy... your family for the day. 

Yes, it is difficult in this current political climate.

Yes, it is difficult as we are bombarded with negativity.

Yes, it is difficult as we continue to see the way the native Americans are being treated by the government.

Yes, it is difficult as we are faced with racism and prejudices of all sorts. 

Yes, it is difficult.

But I, for one, while not "burying my head in the sand" as some would accuse me of, am choosing gratitude. Thankfulness. Joy, even.

I am going to try to do my best to encourage, lift up, and bless those around me -- family, friends, and even strangers. It's all I can do, really, to influence change in this difficult (there's that word again) climate.

Does that mean I'm getting along with everyone and spreading only sunshine? Of course not. There are some, including family members, who I've chosen to walk away from simply because I no longer will tolerate their negativity and drama. Sometimes that's the best thing we can do for our own sake and the sake of remaining family members, especially the children. 

I encourage you to seek the higher ground. To find joy amidst difficulty and sorrow. To be thankful, truly thankful, for the blessings around you. They are bountiful, even if you don't acknowledge them. Be grateful. Be loving. And be well, my friends.

I leave you with the wise and gentle words of Max Ehrmann in his piece, Desiderata:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

* * *

Happy Thanksgiving.

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