Wednesday WOW: Goodbye Christmas,hello Kwanzaa

kwanzaaKwanzaa

is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and African American culture that is celebrated annually from December 26 through January 1. As far as holidays go, Kwanzaa is the new kid on the block. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a way to help Africans and African-Americans honor family, community and culture. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but to many African-American families it is just as important as one. Kwanzaa is a celebration of traditions and heritage and a chance to  wrap up the year and reflect on important values so they can start the new year off with a sense of family, responsibility, self-respect and community. It’s also a lot of fun- seven days of food,music, dancing, creativity and family time! Join my family this years as we celebrate Kwanzaa. I’ve been waiting on this  ALL YEAR LONG!!!

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY- UMOJA.

UMOJA means Unity and it is my favorite day because it is simple.  Gather together and rejoice, remember, and recommit yourself to your ancestors, friends, family and community.  There are four posts highlighting this principle of unity on several levels from the very intimate to mass organizing.  They demonstrate the power of unity to change our world and our-selves. I’m so excited to share it with Noah, as this will be his very 1st Kwanzaa.

dancers

KUJICHAGULIA means self-determine/self determination and this is my second favorite day (you will start to see a pattern) because I love saying koo-jee-jha-koo-lee-ah.  I also love it because I believe that is the greatest gift of motherhood.  I’ve learned the importance of naming/defining oneself and the power of determining your path for yourself.  Although my oldest son is far away in college, I hope that he joins us via Skype in reaffirming this principle.

kuj

The highest form of Ignorance is when you reject something you do not understand

UJIMA is really my favorite because I am a fan of collaboration and service in all areas of life.  It means “collective work and responsibility” and this is something we, my family and moms group truly believe in.  It is not enough to think about change, we must act! Whether is it recognizing the importance of care/self-care, the necessity of organizing, all of our responsibility to support mothers (parents) in childcare, or fighting to defend our right to exist—we must Act!

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These will take us to Friday- On Friday Fours post I’ll share what my family and I will do for the remainder of Kwanzaa, even our last day, Imani. Our feast will be GRAND!  Many people want to know about Kwanzaa. Thank you all for sharing the information and for practicing Umoja today. We also need to teach the new generation. To get daily event on what we’re doing during the week visit us on facebook. I’ll post our calender there. I hope that you can join us!

Till next time, QC Supermomallo

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Holiday Herbalife Nutrition Club Meeting

Who starts a lifestyle change in the middle of the holidays? I mean really who does that? …..I’ll wait for the answer. But for now, let me tell you about the meeting that I attended last night.  It was the open house for a new Herbalife nutrition club. It turned out to be loads of fun and very informative!

If you have never heard of Herbalife, click here!

I already have a goal in mind to lose 50lbs. by this summer.  I know that I can do it. Shucks, I’ve done it before. It’s not that hard to do. I just failed at maintaining the lost pounds. I know, as busy as I am…..Yes. I drive alot. I walk alot, but not enough to loose weight.  I want to use supplements along with “real” exercise to lose the weight. For maintence, I’ll use my YMCA membership. I hope my plan works. Keep your fingers crossed and please give support.  Ask me how it’s going everyonce in a while, ok?

Nutrition Club

Here’s the center I attended & will visit again:

-Esperanza Grimaldo Wellness Center-

Healthy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

10823 John Price Road Unit C

Charlotte, NC 28273

 HERE’S THE SLIDESHOW!

(It’s right down the street from Carowinds. Near the S.Tryon intersection) If you go, tell Javier I said hello!

Friday Four: The Parental Guidance Review

“Not Today Sir” that’s my 6 year olds favorite part in the movie. We went to see PARENTAL GUAIDANCE last night and loved it!

Well most of us. pg

It seems that my daughters best part was when Carl’s “friend” got ran over by the massively apologetic asian man.

I was super suprised to hear my college son pick up on the color words used after the spympony scene by the grandfather/ VooDoo Man. I didn’t even know what colorful words meant. They are still tryng to explain it to me.  My college son also thought that the parents were to soft and bland on the kids. “Come on mom, the black eye will go down. He should get that bully again!”he added.

I will say this, all of them agreed that the were the best grandparents ever!   It was great to see a mom that reminded me of myself. I loved the grandmom, Diane. She encouraged her daughter to be a wife.  When she got snazzy with the red haired music teacher with the strong accent, for yelling at her granddaughter. Artie, the grandfather was adorable. I could relate to him as well. He kept it simple, as you’ll see even in the sence where he covers the toilet seat with tissue before his grandson sits for a song and plop.

Anything he starts, you can finish-believe in yourself.”- Artie, the Grandfather   pg1

Here’s my 4 tips to consider when you go watch it on Christmas day.

1.  Take a family member that  needs a positive, funny, how-to rebuilding kit.  This movie was great in identifying the family weaknesses in a comical way and rebuilding. To me it said…..It’s never too late! In the movie it was reassuring to see that the problems the father and daughter had were repaired and proved to be a stronger latter than prior.

2. If you ever attend an event where Tony Hawk is attending never allow your lil ones to urinate on the rink. It will be on the news.

3. Listen to the gentle, short parenting tips well placed in the  different  scenes. From Say No more often to the proclainmation that there is such thing as a perfect parent.

4. Find out about sensible eating and exerciseing in the movie. This family showed how to play “Kick the Can”,  Yogurt is not like Ice Cream and that  tofu dogs isn’t just for humans.

Friends, make sure you go andwatch it on Christmas Day. It’s a wonderful and funny family bonding movie. Well till next time- QC Supermom

I waste less-I compost Black Gold!

Compost is a soil conditioner, mulch and fertilizer all wrapped into one. It feeds the soil microorganisms that help plants stay healthy,  adds nutrients to the soil, and helps clay soil drain better and sandy soil  retain water. Plus, composting reduces your contribution to the waste stream by  recycling yard and kitchen waste into the world’s best soil amendment.  My Wipe Out Friend, Nadine once said-  Just dig a one-foot hole  in the yard and cover it with a board or bricks until it is full of organic waste. Once your hole is full, bury it with soil, and dig another one to keep composting all winter long. But it wasn’t tht simple. at least not for me it wasn’t.

I tried composting before. My husband idn’t appreciate it much. Everytime I collectedwhat I thought was a good supply, he threw it away. I got crush in spirit, but would keep trying, hoping that the next batch would be a winner. But they all would have the same results….in the trash!  finsi waste

See, we had a garden and I really wanted something good and affrodableto ensure our lots growth without any chemicals. As new family farmers we didn’t know much. I remeber hearing about compost and seeing these dirty looking bins at other gardeners lot at the community garden. Then I seen a posting for a free composting class and quickly secured my spot. I figured if I learned to do it the right way, maybe he wouldn’t trash my stash. Ok….fast forwarding to last weekend. Mary Kay and Shelly came to my house and  gave me the greatest gift ever; knowledge!

 

See what we did-1 5 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Built the composting bin.

For a compost system to work, it needs a healthy mix of browns and greens, moisture, oxygen, heat, and an assortment of decomposers which will turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient rich compost.

Winter composting also pays off by having a supply of organic material ready to  use for spring planting.
Position the compost station in the best possible place.  The sun and its warmth  are crucial to the composting process. Choose a place that allows the compost  station to catch full sun for as long as possible.

The two basic elements that make up compost are green garden debris (grass  clippings or old annuals) and brown garden derbis (dry leaves). Green  ingredients are high in nitrogen and brown materials are high in carbon. Adding  too many greens can make the pile smell bad. Do not add animal waste, meats,  oils, dairy, diseased plants, weeds that have gone to seed, or plants treated  with pesticides or herbicides to your compost.

Collect stuff: leaves and compost waste lie raw food. Not blood or oil based items.Over time, the materials in our compost bin will naturally degrade.

As you can see, everyone helped! We asked questions & listen to the answers and enjoyed the hands on workshop!

1. Should I cover it at all as it get cooler? I just read that -Insulate the compost bin.  This can be done easily by either gluing or stapling  insulating material to the inside of the bin.  An inexpensive insulator can be  made by simply using foam wrapped in black plastic.  The black plastic will heat up and the foam will hold the heat.

2.  When do I add soil to my compost pile?

Read more HERE!

Ever heard of a counter top compost column? I think it’s a great starter for kids.

and here –Nine Ways to Get Plants and Trees for Free.

 

finished-compost-02

OK  ya’ll till next time!    …..looking for the STEAM!  QC Supermom

Friday Four:Madison Saints Paradise South

I love senior citizens! They have so many treasures to share that only someone that has been here longer than I have can only know. Madison1

My most favorite thing is having my children serve them.  Doing so has so many benefits. First off they get to see another phase in life. Aging is a beautiful thing. I want them to see that. I also appreciate the  history they have within. There are things that will never be placed in books that took place.

I grew up with my grandmom just a few miles away. Things she did with us, I’ll never forget. Madison4Even when she was on her way to glory I learned from her. I became the helper and she the receiver. At first I didn’t like the new position, but as I got older, way after she passed, I realised how fortunate I was to have her to teach me how to knit, mix herbs, treat the Earth, and even smile for no reason. In the south, we had to work in tmy grand parents garden, to collect our fresh veggies for our house. (Only now in hindsight am I gratful for those life lessons)! Madison3

Today my kids have it so easy! When we go out to visit our wise friends at the nursing home, all the have to do is bring them goodies, serve them, entertain them, and everyonce in a while play games with them. It’s not much, but it’s certainly done from the heart. We love our mature friends. If you don’t have one or two in your phone’s contact list. Do yourself a favor and make a wise friend today! ……..Enjoy these 4 pictures.

Madison2

 

Till Next time, QC Supermom

Wednesday Wow! DIY birthday party

eaim e4 e3 e2 e1 e5 e6 e7 e8 e9 e10 e11 e12We spent $80.00 on my son’s 6th birthday party

this past Saturday!

It was the BEST Party EVER!

e

As a parent, we want our child to have great childhood memories. Sometimes the biggest issue in securing it is the cost. In my family, my husband is the penny pincher & I’m the spender. This year, we decided together not to spend over a certain amout for each child birthday. With 6 children in the house it would require much creativity, but we did it.

eaim

I called and confirmed the space at Chic Fil A. It was free!  They can jump, play & run as much as they please. I decided to provide a dessert bar & purchase ice cream  for each child.  After all most kids eat dinner before 6pm. I didn’t think anyone would come hungry.

We gathered everything locally. We shopped the Dollar Store, Hobby Lobby and Micheals, from the table, and wall decor to the  birthday boy supplementals must haves! It was worth the time spent in color cordinating.

Cassie, of Cassie’z Sweets donated yummy cake pops, cookies and we threw in beef jerkies, fruit kabobs. EvERyONE helped!  My girl friend helped in staying in budget and Deanna, The Big Sister, enjoyed making the fruity treats.

 

So on the day of his birthday,

it happened to also be  the day of the birthday party, he threw on his custom shirt, his big brother gave him and the day began. Eaim had a private parade to wake him up outside our front door!  They were awesome. Then hours later, it was party time! The kids came, played ate & went home. I gave them cute lil flashlights, tattoos and pencils from The Rise Of The Gardians as party favors. (I got those from a promoter, they were leftovers)

We didn’t spend much. Didn’t ask for anything other than playmates & everyone had a great time. Our goals were accomplished! We stuck to our budget & our son was happy!  Till next time! e4

We love Monkey Joes!

Amen LOVES Monkey Joe’s!  He should be their spokes person! Go ahead & strat making the call into their head quarters! 🙂GE DIGITAL CAMERA

That says alot for a lil fella that used to go crazy if I’m not with in eye shot of him. Monkey Joes help get him past that stage. I remember it as if it was yesterday.

Now, the minute we step into the play area, he is GONE! And I don’t  worry the least bit about him, here’s why?

1.  They tag each person upon entry. They can’t leave without me, and no one can take him. As attached as my lil Amen is, I wasn’t ever too worried about anyone taking him.

2. The staff ROCKS! They really like their job!!! What more can you ask for????? They will jump in a play with your lil one at the drop of a dime. On a higher level, they are very community connected. They arealways looking for ways to support charities and children!

3.  Monkey Joes is Super-De Duper  clean & safe. Hand sanitizing pods are all through there. The bathrooms have lowered toliet bowels and steps to help lil ones reach the sinks.  Every few minutes comes a pin stripped friend with a broom & stick tray to pick up behind the lil crumb droppers.

4. They always have something going on. Right now they are offering Name Your Price Monday. So here’s what that means. You can take your children. I took all 6 of mine. Think of what you can afford per child*. I  paid $3/child. Then enjoy yourself. We usually stay for 4 hours.  It helps get all of the play out of them. I love it!

Now that it’s cooler out, I plan on hanging out there EVERY Monday! Just can’t beat that with a stick! Well till next time; take care! – QC Supermom

Friday Four:Growing hair with food

foodI keep my hair two strand twisted so much I forget to look at it between washes. Then one day after a good washing, my husband walks in the bathroom and says, “girl you put weave in your hair?” It was then that I really looked at my hair and noticed how thick it had gotten. Ya’ll that made my day. Not only that he notice enough to say something, but because it was true. I didn’t buy any tablets for it either, I have been eating better since on the 10 day Clean eating challenge.  I was inspired by Lisa Leeke. ( Don’t know her? Google the name)

Have you ever heard of the saying     “You are what you eat”? Did you know that the foods you eat play a major role in the health of your natural hair? In order to be and look healthy on the outside, you must first be healthy on the inside. Improve the glow of your skin, the strength of your nails, and the shine of your natural hair by improving your diet. I am going to challenge myself  by practicing better eating habits. What can I say, every girl wants to be beautiful. Check out the natural hair diet to give your natural hair a boost. If you can’t imagine eating  them, try making smoothies.

Eat this, to get that:

Natural Hair Power-Food #1: Salmon

Fish, specifically salmon, is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which support scalp health. You’ll get a good dose of protein along with B vitamins including B12 and other vitamins and minerals.

Natural Hair Power-Food #2: Olive Oil
Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants keep your immune system strong, and assists in hair and scalp health.

Natural Hair Power-Food #3: Nuts
Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and Brazil nuts are a great source of zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, and selenium. A zinc deficiency can cause hair shedding and selenium is a mineral that contributes to the health of your scalp.

Natural Hair Power-Food #4: Edamame (Dry Roasted Soybeans)
Beans and legumes provide protein to promote growth, which is what your hair is made of, as well as, biotin, iron, and zinc. Dry roasted soybeans known as edamame pack a powerful punch and are highest in protein.
simple right

Natural Hair Power-Food #5: Field Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, Romaine lettuce, kale, are excellent sources of minerals, Vitamin K, C and A, which stimulates hair follicles and helps your body to produce sebum. Sebum is your hair’s natural oil. Dryness is a major contributor to hair breakage.

Natural Hair Power-Food #6: Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein, sulfur, and B12. They are also a great hair treatment.

Natural Hair Power-Food #7: Carrots
Carrots are loaded with nutrition such as, Vitamin A, B-3 and Vitamin C. They provide complete nutrition for the body. So they’re not only good for the eyes, they’re good for the hair too. Vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen, which is required to keep your body’s tissues, including your hair, skin, and nails strong.

Natural Hair Power-Food #8: Chicken Breast
Meat is the primary source of protein. Chicken and turkey are the most common types of poultry with considerable amounts of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B-6 and B12.
foodrink
Natural Hair Power-Food #9: Peanut or Almond Butter
Peanuts, peanut butter, almonds and almond butter are high in Biotin, a B vitamin. Your body make its own biotin and deficiency is rare but a deficiency in biotin can cause hair loss.

Natural Hair Power-Food #10: Whole Grain Pasta
Whole grains, which can include whole grain bread and pasta includes inositol. Inositol is a less common vitamin that promotes healthy hair at the cellular level.

Natural Hair Power-Food Bonus: Avocado
Avocados can benefit natural hair by preventing hair loss, promoting hair growth, and acting as a moisturizer for dry or damaged hair. This power food includes vitamins B and E, which work at the cellular level to protect and strengthen hair and vitamin E which helps repair scalp damage, which can slow or prevent hair growth.

Natural Hair Power-Food Bonus: Papaya
Papaya along with many other fruits such as provide an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, and C. Papayas, an overgrown herb, have more Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and potassium than oranges and apples and they aid in digestion. The papaya fruit is considered a “nutritional masterpiece”.
Give it a try. The first 3 days are the hardest I found.

Till next time, QC Supermom

Wednesday Wow: The Power of a real Mama,Willie Maxine Perry

There’s power in motherhood, Willie Maxine Perry, a preschool teacher at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center is a perfect example.madea

She went through alot of abuse in front of her children and sometimes watching them get  the abuse too. To protect them she would sometimes take them with her to run all of her mama errands. They would end up in hair salons, department stores, anywhere to have a safe, and quiet moment. Emmitt Perry Jr once said, “I always thought I would die before I grew up,” as he recounted details of his troubled childhood, including how his mother tried and failed to leave his abusive father,Emmett R. Perry Sr.,

TylerPerrymother_articleWEB“[My father] couldn’t get the bolts off because they were rusted. He looked up at me, and there was a smirk on my   face. All I remember is him tackling me, and I remember holding onto a   chain-link fence so tight, my hands are bloody and he’s hitting me … I feel like I died as a child.”came home, mad at the world,” he continued to write. “He was drunk, as he was most of the time. He got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back.”

Perry goes on to relate accounts of being seduced by a friend’s mother at age 10, to being molested by another friend’s father, to finding out that his own father was molesting a friend. And he tells of how his grandmother made a bizarre attempt to rid him of his allergies.

“She said she was going to kill these germs on me once and for all,” he says. “She gave me a bath in ammonia.”
He said that he never felt safe as a child. After another vicious beating from his father, Tyler says he  blacked out for three days. Every day, he lived in fear that something would set his  father off. It got so bad, he took drastic measures by trying to slit his wrists to commit suicide.

Today, this child is living a life most would dream of with money, fame and seemly happiness. The ironic part of it is he made it by creating/acting the role he wished his mom would have in his life. Being vocal,bold, inspiring, a warrior, a protector , comforter and then sharing other traits in humor, ole school wisdom,tacky attire and a bit of “I don’t give a rats behind abut the law!” Could it be her way of saying, I’m sorry for never leaving the abuse? Maybe she’s leading him into a situuation in hopes that he’ll always have her & and  the life she wanted to give him?

 “My tears were tears of joy, being thankful that I made it. I know that there are a lot of people out there with stories far worse than mine but you, too, can make it. To those of you who have, welcome to life. I celebrate you.” 

tyler-perry

 

Maybe it’s me but, I don’t believe that ANYTHING just happens.  Willie Maxine Perry was abused, yet her son is “ok”. It doesn’t always happen this way,  as we have learned time after time.  Being a mom is a powerful thing.  She birthed a son that brought ‘laughter’ to a sad sad world. Never under estimate your strength as a mom. If you are in an abusive relationship……..Leave now. Release yourself & child of the toxic environment…..the hardest part is to walk.

 

Till next time, QCSupermom

The Anti-Santa Claus family

It’s the question every parent dreads: Is Santa Claus real? The bombshell can drop at age 6, or 7, or 8, even older, but no matter what the child’s age, it can “mark the end of a certain kind of innocence for the child…..but should it?

04

Santa’s message

A man in a red suit coming from the sky, sliding his fat ass down your chimney, while you’re sleeping, placing

02

gifts under your Christmas tree, eating your cookies, then managing to slide back up the chimney, getting into a sled and flying off into the sky with reindeer who have glowing red noses may seem like an enchanting story – but it’s crazy.

Think about the image this places in kids minds. “Someone is coming to give me gifts because I behaved.” “I made it on the nice list, so where’s my reward?” “I hope I get what I want.”

If left unchecked, kids are taught that human action is only about personal gain.

We talked about this in my moms  group. One mom said: They should believe for as long as possible. My daughter who is 10 now we had to tell the truth to her at 8 years old and she was really disappointed but a bully was teasing her constantly about her believing in Santa. We sat her down and let her know that the legend of Santa is true as many many years ago a nice old man use to give out toys to the less fortunate and the spirit of giving is still alive in all of us so we as parents continue the spirit of Santa when we give them gifts at Christmas. My family is catholic so we also have the reason we celebrate Christmas is because we are celebrating Jesus’ birth and the three wise-men came to bear gift to Jesus at the stable where he was born. The tradition of gift giving continues today as we celebrate Christ’s Mass ( Christmas). We told her we want her to keep the spirit of Santa alive so if there are smaller kids around she should tell them she still believes so they continue to believe for as long as possible.

Another mom said:  03

We play Santa at our house. We love him and enjoy him and talk about him and sing songs about him. We watch tv shows about him and talk about our gifts from him. We sometimes take our children to see the Santa at the mall and have their pictures taken with him.

But we do not lie about him.

My kids know that Santa is a legend, and they love the legend. It’s fun and (generally) benevolent.

And who doesn’t love presents on Christmas?

I know some parents pretend Santa is real and then let their kids figure out the mystery. I don’t do that because it would involve lying to my children, and lying only for the reason of tricking them so I can watch them think Santa is real. It seems unkind, and runs contrary to my policy of modeling the virtue of honesty for my kids by being honest with them.

There is lots of fun in Santa, and letting kids in on the truth doesn’t make it any less fun for them. The magic of Santa is still there, even if you acknowledge that it is indeed . . . only magic. I thought that was cute, but still way too much for our family.  We told our children at very tender ages. I mean VERY tender. Our 5 year old was told last year, but he got off track when we seen Santa at Imagion downtown. My husband though that he was hearing things. “You sat on whose laps & he said what?

Atheist aren’t much different. The mom in our group told us that they broke the news to their 0610 year old last night as a matter if fact. His answer was “I knew it was you guys, elves don’t build  WII games.”

The best kind of beliefs are the ones that are grounded in reality.

One small way to get started is to tell your kids the truth about Santa. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it can be.

Growing up my parents never told me that Santa existed and they never told me that he didn’t either. I guess I found out by watching tv or was it a sibling, adult, or classmates, I’m not completely sure.

The problem with Santa.

Letting your kids believe in Santa may seem harmless. But like I said, you want to raise adults who are grounded in reality and it all starts when they’re kids. You have to understand the difference between having an imagination and living in a fantasy world.

Imagination gives you what you need to create wonderful things in the world like art, new technologies, bridges, space ships, books, and endless other things we all enjoy today. That’s what imagination and creativity are all about. Fantasy is a totally different thing.

Fantasy is believing in unicorns, tooth fairies, easter bunnies and santa. If you really want to foster a healthy imagination, maybe you should start exposing your kids to science instead of fairy tales.

You have to ground your kids.

 

How to tell your kids

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First you have to get your mind right about Santa. Get rid of the notion that not believing in Santa will stifle a child’s creativity when they are older. Do you think Einstein believed in Santa? How about Edison? I guess maybe they did because there’s no way they could have come up with the theory of relativity and the light bulb if they didn’t!

  1. The next step is to not pretend or imply with your actions that Santa is real. Don’t leave cookies on the table and don’t tell your kids that if they get on the nice list this year, Santa will leave them a gift. Just treat it like another day which is what it really is.
  2. Wait for them to ask if Santa is real or not. Don’t bring up the conversation on your own. Let their curiosity entice them to ask. Who knows, maybe they’ll never ask. Maybe they don’t even care. But chances are if they ask you, it means they’re probably ready for whatever answer you give them.
  3. If they do happen to ask and you do tell them the truth, then ask them not to mention it to their friends at school. It’s just a courtesy to parents who choose to raise their kids differently. Don’t have them go to the schoolyard and give a sermon about how Santa is the devil.

Till next time, QC Supermom

 

Santa who?