The Blog

healthy part 2 and a new pattern


introducing my newest pattern “The Abby Bag” due to come out next week.
please pre order you pattern here

first 15 people to order will get the pattern half off. and the rest will get a 15% discount till the pattern is released which i will then be put back to full price.
(discount will be refunded later on in the day after your purchase.)
*edited: first 15 have been had, and due to the excitement of the bag (in purchases!) i’m going to up the discount to 20% till monday when i release the pattern. i’ve changed the price so you receive the discount at purchase. after spending half the night individually refunding each buyer, and then hating myself in the morning when my kids got up at butt crack of dawn, it had to be done.
thanks to all of you who have already purchased!

i’m really excited about this bag! i’m planning on taking it to spring quilt market which is being held in SLC in may. i’m super excited to go and i’m super excited to see everyone! if you are coming to utah and want to meet up there’s a blogger’s meet up hosted by amy smart of diary of a quilter. i’ll be there!

okay so now moving on to healthy part 2.
healthy to me envelops mind, body and soul. i’ve already mentioned that i’ve been working on the body aspect and will continue to. but part of having a healthy soul means working on having healthy relationships. mainly with those who are family, and then it encompasses out into your friendships, and then in your community.

if you are a long time reader you know that while my husband was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan we started to implement the token system to help my oldest (then 8) son. it helped our family tremendously. things got better with his behavior and the other children loved the token system as well. we as a family, even though we were struggling in so many ways (especially with the oldest son’s issues at school and at home, his inability to handle jake’s deployment well, and his displaced anger at me for his dad not being around) we actually saw hints of normalcy and peace here and there, and when jake came home from his deployment, it just kept getting a little better with him every day.
we did the token system for a couple of years.
he started to do better in school, started to develop friendships, and home life started to look pretty good. so with his starting to do better, we started to back off the token system.

and we started to go back to defiance, and to the old struggles.

there is nothing more horrible thus far that has been given to me in this life than to watch one of my children suffer.

i’m a fixer.
i tried to help with homework, i tried to help with school work, i tried to help with social situations, i would talk to his teachers,i would talk with his principle, i would try to talk to him about everything…and my relationship with him started to deteriorate. explosions would happen on a daily basis, i would walk away frustrated, sad, angry at myself, defeated, depressed, and very VERY tired. oh so tired. i backed off of blogging, i felt like i lost all my “funny”, i backed off of outside relationships, i started to build a wall because i was so tired, and i didn’t want to cry in front of people anymore as i watched my son sabotage his friendships, his relationships with teachers, his relationships with his siblings, and with any person he would come in contact with.

he was basically failing in everything in his life and i’m not just talking about grades. as my husband mentioned to me “when you realize that people are just going to be mad at you anyways…might as well do it on purpose so you can control the situation even if it’s for a negative effect.”
now i do also need to explain, that things aren’t and weren’t always bad and with tension, we still had times of happiness and we still had time of peace, it was mainly only when we asked him to do homework, or when we asked him to do “work” that we would have harder times. he’s a good kid, and he struggles but he’s also a very loving kid that feels bad for how he reacts.

we, the husband and i talked about trying to create situations where my son would succeed in things. and we decided that we wanted to implement the token system again. it’s what works best with him, and it’s what helps him see “small successes” in each action he does.
i then told him about this site:
he looked it over and said “yeah i think this will be good for him.”

yes, my husband’s profile picture is the angry chirstmas tree. he’s funny like that.

now the site is mainly to help kids in teaching them responsibilities, and to award their hard work with points that can be spent on just about anything.
some of the things on there to earn points are:
*cleaning bedroom
*feeding pets
*doing homework
*writing grandma a letter
*going to bed when told.
*brushing teeth
*extra jobs
of course brushing teeth wont award you as many points as homework will, you can adjust how much points each thing will be, or you can use the suggested points as well. we wanted homework to be the biggest point winner, so that way it would be more enticing for him to do.

you can also adjust and add things like we added:
*getting dressed by 7:30 am
*being honest
and others i can’t remember right now.
you can spend your points on things like:
*spending time with dad
*going shopping with mom
* half hour of TV time
*half hour of video game time
*ice cream
and you can customize it where you can place rewards that cost money
and customize it to your children and what toys they would like, and the cool thing is that it has all the links through amazon so you can easily get the reward when they cash in.
your child puts in the points and when they want to cash something in it will alert you in an email. this site definitely makes both kids and parents responsible on making sure that points are earned and that rewards are given.

now i’m not here to tell you everything has magically made itself right. no, that would be a lie. i’m also not here to tell you that my oldest had a great attitude about doing this again. he like the first time defiantly said “i’m not doing it.” but eventually started to warm up to it. but the other kids were very excited (including the 4 year old that now makes her bed and brushes her teeth without much prodding every morning to earn her points.) but i am here to tell you that i’ve back off from trying to push him on doing homework (which he is always needing to catch up on, but still getting okay grades on) and that i’ve backed off of telling him he has to work around the house like the rest of us. (which yesterday he decided he wanted to work on the yard with my husband and got awarded “overtime points”). things are starting to turn for the upswing again just like it did with the token system. he’s having small successes at home, and it’s effects are starting to trickle into his school work, and outside of our home.

i’m also here to tell you, that it’s hard to take council from your therapist husband who says “you need to let the points do the talking. let him see that if he chooses not to do work, no points will be awarded, much like if he doesn’t do school he will not advance, or if he doesn’t work at a job, he will be let go and no money will be earned. let him see that now with these simple things in life so he wont have to learn that last one later on in life. you also need to quit beating yourself down, and we need to make home a safe base meaning, no need to get after him, just gentle reminders that is all.”

and i am trying.
my biggest fears of him failing out of school, have not come true,(he actually came home with a couple of 100% and 85% on tests), my fears of him not getting up in time for school didn’t come true (he actually gets up and is ready for school every third day or so before 7:30 and the other days he’s rushing, but he makes it on time without my yelling at him) he still struggles with the friendships, and not having any.
and my biggest reward is that my relationship with him has become a smidge less tiring. “i’m sorry” is said often,by both of us, because we’re both trying, and i’ve realized that in the end it is his choice whether or not he will choose right from wrong, and it is my duty and my honor to love him.

no i’m not here to tell you that we are always “normal” or “better than normal”. but i’m also not here to say that we are always struggling with him. we just hope to help his life take on a more balanced state as time goes on, and this is one of the many reasons why i chose healthy as my word of the year.

also, i need to warn you, that there are some really cool things you can earn on amazon (you can pick whatever you want) soo cool, that your husband as he’s setting up the rewards might come out and say “i want to try to earn points to get thaaaaaaaat!!!” to which you will roll your eyes, and say a little prayer of thanks that you decided to marry that boy long ago that sometimes can still turn into a boy.

have a good weekend. i’m hoping for good weather to pull out a few weeds and to work together as a family in the new to us yard.

we’ll talk more next week.
once again thanks for listening.

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