Finding Mommy...a quest to find myself

Finding Mommy....a quest to find myself

Over the last 5 years I have gone from being a stay at home supermom to a homeschooling mom, to a preschool teacher mom, to a business owner, to a career woman and entrepreneur.  My husband was the sole bread winner and I was his number one cheerleader.  This past year he quit his full time job to come be my partner and help build our business.  Don't get me wrong I love the journey my life has been on and it has been fast and exciting.  However, somewhere amongst all the chaos and the noise I lost myself.

I hadn't realized this until I was getting ready for a trip and was at a magazine stand with my dear friend Melissa.  I wanted to pick up a magazine for the plane ride.  I looked at every magazine on the rack and couldn't find one that I wanted to read.  This hit me like an avalanche.  It was at that moment that I discovered that I had become a person whom I didn't know.  I don't know what kind of magazine I want because these days all I have been doing is working and treading water at home barely staying afloat.  This made me sad and made me realize that I needed to use this year with God's help to go on a quest to find myself.  Find out who this new mommy was.  The one who didn't change diapers or run for PTA or sew Halloween costumes anymore.  It has been a bit of a grieving process for me because as much as I love my job and business I miss the mommy who stayed at home and made sure her family looked good, ate good and had fun all the time!

 I thrive in a creative environment.  When I stayed home I was always making projects with the kids and things for my home, when I was in the classroom full time I was always coming up with creative new ways to make learning fun and ways to enhance our school.  This year  I am mostly an administrator and with that comes a lot of rules, regulations, policies, procedures and RED TAPE!!!  Although I know these things are a necessary evil in business and life but I miss the days when I got to create and play all day.

I don't know where my path will lead me this year but I am excited to begin.  I feel somewhat like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride where she needed to discover how she liked her eggs cooked and everything that went along with that.
I am happy to say that I am in a good place in my life.  I have a job that I love, I work with my best friends, my kids are happy and healthy and we are at a place where we can save some money for the future.
I wrote this post to let all the mommies out there know that change is OK and sometimes you need to take a timeout and with God's guidance rediscover yourselves again.  If you want to document this journey with me on instagram and facebook put a picture of yourself enjoying a new thing and your road to discovery with #findingmommy

How to teach children to be thankful

How to teach preschoolers to be thankful.

What does it mean to be thankful?  That is a big word for preschoolers.  How do we teach them to say thank you, show thankfulness and mean it?  From the time that children can speak we teach them to say thank you.  It becomes expected and automatic but does it mean anything?
I think that in order to teach children to be grateful we have to model it.  Just like everything else in their world they have to see it to believe it.

November is a great time to teach gratefulness.  Here are a few practical steps to teach your young children.
1.  Give to others often.  Find out who is in need and what they need, involve your children in blessing a family.  Make cards and gifts that do not cost any money.  Allow your children to give the cards and gifts to the family.  Reflect with your children on how it made them feel to bless others and how they thought that family felt to receive those blessings.
2.  Model gratitude in your everyday life.  When you are at the grocery store, a restaurant, with your spouse.  Let your children hear your say thank you and why you are thankful.  Then talk about it with them.  Say things such as:  "wasn't that nice of the grocer to bag our groceries for us and help us load the cart?" or "Didn't that waitress have such nice manners when she brought us our food"  Remember our children are always watching and learning from us.  If we have an ungrateful attitude they will pick up on that.
3.  Teach them how to express their gratitude.  In the hustle of life I have failed to do this lately.  I haven't taught my own children the importance of thank you cards and notes.  I haven't taken the time to sit down and model being thankful in this way.  I think this is a skill that is slowly dying today and needs to be revisited.  Who doesn't love to receive a thank you note?  It makes what you did seem like that much more of a blessing.  Even small toddlers can draw a picture or scribble some lines to show their thanks.
4.  Talk about your blessings.  Sometimes children forget all that they have to be thankful for.  They are born very self centered and we need to teach them to look outside of themselves to see all that they have to be thankful for.  This is also an area that you can model for them.  We have a thankful tree every November and we write on leaves the things that we are thankful for.  It starts out
 generic but as the month goes on it becomes much more specific and thoughtful.  We also have love letters in February.  Each of my children has a mailbox by their door.  Through out the month we write love letters to each other and put it in their boxes.  The letters start out with I love you because.... It is a fun way to show why we appreciate each other.
5.  Honor and love your family!  This is a biggie for me.  I feel like today with our busy schedules and all of our activities that we forget to stop and honor our family.  We need to visit our loved ones, call them, skype, facetime.  Whatever you need to do and teach our children to do the same.  Our family is what makes us who we are and we need to remember that and stay in touch.

I hope these simple steps to gratitude will help you focus on what is important this year and maybe remember it for years to come.  Have a blessed holiday with your families and friends!

Rachel Supalla

Kid's Party Themes:Star Wars Black Light Party part one

I am sorry it has been awhile!  To make my blogging quest more fun and interesting I decided to do a series on kid's parties.  I have done so many that I am going to start showcasing one a week.  I am also going to use this as a platform for guest right?!  This week I am going to kick off my new series with a Star Wars Party.  I hope you can use some of these ideas for your kid's parties, I also used this same theme as one of our summer camp themes so double duty!

For the Birthday party I wanted to make the setting in the dark to have black light activities.  We bought our black light from and our lava lamp also.  I got a lot of my black light ideas from and my sister from Appleby Party Designs.  This part of the party was super fun to plan with my kids.  We did experiments to see what did and didn't glow before the party to make sure it was all going to work.  We made glow bottles, I will list what was in each bottle.
1. Tonic Water, snakes and marbles
2. yellow Glow water (see below for instructions)
3. Orange glow water with Marbles and pom poms
To make glow water you just take the inside ink compartment out of a highlighter and soak it in water.  Seriously it is that easy!  After you make glow water you can use it for all sorts of things!
We had a table set up for the kids to choose a Jedi Name and write it with a highlighter on white paper.  We tried black paper and that did not work.
We sprayed a HUGE bowl of mini marshmallows with glow paint and hid glow in the dark stars in it for a sensory box. I found florescent play dough that also glowed in the dark.  We made a water table with glow water, glow in the dark stars, marbles and glow in the dark beads from oriental trading.

 The kids were all asked to come dressed as a star wars character and we made each kid a light saber out of pool noodles, those things are so resourceful!  We cut them in thirds and added black and silver duct tape stripes and a red square for the button.  As soon as everyone arrived my husband was upstairs getting ready for the big surprise!!  My two girls and their cousins began Jedi training with the kids which is similar to the one they do at Disneyland.  They had it all choreographed.  When Jedi Training was just about done the music turned to the dark side and Darth Maul entered through fog (my awesome husband).
 The kids used their Jedi Training to fight Darth Maul!  It was amazing!  After we fought Darth Maul we had our Snacks, our cake and punch.  The kids ended by playing with all the black light centers.