Philanthropists are Amazing People.

Only a few people in the world have enough money to be philanthropists and only a very small percentage of those live a life of philanthropy. I admire those that are so grateful for the blessings God has bestowed on them they rise up and make the world a better place. Many rich people give to charity for the tax credits and boost to their image, but these people are not who I am talking about. Don't get me wrong the money these people give is valuable to the world but I'm talking about the rich who walk the walk everyday.

Bono is an example of a celebrity who utilizes his blessings to help those in desperate need. His voice for change has become part of his personal brand, his image, what he is known for. It is his actions that inspire others to change, to rethink what they give and up the anti.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pit live a life of philanthropy by where they go, what they give, and the organizations they set up. Their everyday lives are incorporating giving and making a difference. They do more then just open their cheque book at a benefit dinner, they show up, they speak out and they give.

There are people out there who gave up the benefits of western living and have gone out to work daily at making a better life for others. These people should be our celebrities. These people should be our role models. These people should grace the covers of magazines and top news stories.

The Internet has provided the public with access to the good works other people do. It has enabled those of us stuck in the traps of the western lifestyle to feel good by giving a few dollars to help them. What it should be doing is celebrating them, raising them up and inspiring us to do more, be more, and strive to be better.

Some sites to check out:

TV Show : The philanthropist is a TV show about a rich playboy who becomes a philanthropist - he goes out into the world and helps to raise people up out of poverty. He runs into obstacles and corruption but that doesn't stop him, it only inspires him to do more.

(Click to watch episodes)

The Guy Behind the Story : The TV show is based on a real person.... OK so not exactly, but Bobby Sager and his family are out there living the philanthropic lifestyle and helping others help themselves.

Hand up not Hand Out

Gates Foundation


Getting Involved - Teaching Our Children How to Be Better Global Citizens

The Free the Children organization has developed a way for families, schools, and individuals to get involved in changing the world for the better. Their programs are designed to help kids become global citizens and look beyond themselves to those children in need elsewhere.

Their 10 by 10 project asks people to list 10 ways they are going to change the world. Just by listing your 10 ideas you will start to take steps at being a global citizen. In return a $10.00 donation will be made by Aviva to help 10 children.

Their family programs provide ideas and support for families to work together to do something to help others in adopted villages. The kids and I will be discussing what we want to do to change the world.

The school programs are the most extensive programs they have. They offer resources for the classroom, speakers for assemblies, and mentors for the children.

I know that my kids teachers have already planned out their curriculum but I want to ask them to look into this program for the kids. Even if its an extra curricular activity for those students that are interested. I am hoping that my son will take up the cause and help to make it a reality in their school. It is a leadership opportunity for him that will teach him more then any book can.

The school is amazing at teaching the kids about being stewards and taking action for others. So far this year they have partnered with Artist's Response Team to teach stewardship for the environment; with Right to Play to teach stewardship for children in the 3rd world who don't have sports equipment; with a local women's shelter at Christmas to teach giving; and with an organization that is helping Haiti to teach them about responding to an emergency. All these programs effect the children and help them become better caring citizens.

Charity and giving make a lasting impression in children, especially when their parents are a part of it. A few weeks ago my daughter (7 yrs) and I had a special mom and daughter day in Vancouver. It was filled with amazing moments and fabulous memories but the one that my daughter kept talking about was when she gave. After lunch we left the restaurant with a full doggy bag of a meal not touched. We passed a homeless man and I stopped and asked if she would give the man our doggy bag. She lit up and as she offered it to him so did he. Everyone standing around waiting for a bus had huge smiles for her - I asked her how she felt and she was "happy." The feeling of giving, of doing something for someone else is something every child should experience.

Practical Ideas for You to Help the Homeless

Why I'm a Terrible Housewife

I can't focus. I have a lot to do but everytime I clean, do laundry, or whatever my mind wonders and I start thinking about other things. Once I start thinking about other things I stop what I'm doing and do something else. I forget to go back to the original task or I miss a lot. I won't see the dirt or I'll clean the fridge but forget about cleaning the door of the fridge. I'll wash socks but forget to put them into the dryer.

Menial household tasks do not engage my mind enough for me to stay focused or on task. Multi tasking has become an excuse for not completing everything I start.

Tasks that engage my mind keep me focused and engaged until I'm finished but there are few household duties that do. When I don't use my mind regularly I get lazy and can't seem to get it together. When this happens I don't know where to start or what to do, I put off things over and over because they bore me.

The times I am productive are the days I start out creating a list of tasks that need to get done and then stay focused on doing them. I fill my day with things to do and goals to meet. However after days of being home alone doing boring thoughtless tasks I loose my focus, my lists, and my goals. I need to feel productive and that what I am doing has a purpose, somehow I haven't found that in cleaning toilets over and over again.

I want to be able to have a showhome type attitude to my daily cleaning and tidying up but I get to a certain point and can't get any further. "That's good enough" has become a mantra that I don't like to have. When I'm at work outside the house I always go above and beyond with little or no effort but at home it takes lots of effort just to get to good enough.

If my brain would stop while I worked and I could stay on task while tidying up the kids rooms for the umpteenth time I could do it. I wouldn't miss the big blob of dried on jam on the bottom shelf of the fridge. I'd be able to get at all the dust in every corner of every room without a problem. If my brain would just stop thinking for an hour I'd get so much more done.

Things Are Finally Coming Together

Not sure how it happened but everything is finally coming together. Knock on Wood. Life has been so up in the air that I couldn't plan one day to the next - now each month has a focus and by the end of it everything should be set.

February - I have registered for a challenge at hot yoga and am focusing on improving my health.

March - We are moving into our new home so I'll be focused on moving and setting up the house.

April - I am enrolled in a program to help me focus on finding the best job for me. So by May I can focus on finding a job.

It took almost a year but I can now see the end of the upheavel this relocation has caused in my life. I am so looking forward to feeling settled and in a regular routine, which is odd for me because I hate routine.

Grandparents .... How Involved Are Your Parents?

Last night my parents had their oldest friends over and their family, the difference between the two sets of grandparents in the room was blatantly obvious. My parents live in another part of the province from us and their friends live minutes from their grandchildren. Guess which set is more involved in their grand kids lives?

My parents want us to move closer to them, that's all I've heard for the last 10 years. However, if we lived closer then they wouldn't have a life outside their grand kids and like their other friends they would talk incessantly about every little detail of their grand kids lives.

Not sure which I would prefer, my parents to be so involved their lives revolve around the kids or the way things are, where they flit in and out every other month for a few days.

9 years ago a friend of mine had their first child and she was upset because the grandparents were too involved. They had converted a bedroom into a nursery and planned on babysitting all the time. I lived 8 hours from my parents and going to visit was a huge undertaking because their was no nursery, I couldn't even leave a play pen or high chair behind for the next trip. I had to take everything with me every time I went to visit - which was about every 4-6 weeks. I remember being envious of her.

Last night the daughter was telling me that her parents are too involved. I couldn't help wondering if that was possible. My parents are down for 2 days on their way to the states for a 2 month vacation, I offered to keep the kids out of school so they could have more time with them but they had coffee plans with my aunt. The Olympic Torch is going through town today and tomorrow morning really early... they could come with the kids to watch the kids enjoy it.... but 'no' they saw the torch when it went through their town and they didn't want to stand in a crowd to see it again. So we have to go really early in the morning because they want to see the kids after school today.

I know my friends have it easier because they have built in babysitters and we rarely if ever go out without the kids. However I don't think I'd want my parents to be a second set of parents to my kids. To see them almost everyday, to be obligated to go to dinner every week. I love my parents - but I've always been the independent type - the go my own way - "do it my way" type. My daughter's first sentence was "do it self" - that's our motto! Sometimes I wish they lived just down the street, but I'm selfish and I want my kids for myself not over at grandma's all the time.

My parents see my kids on their terms, on their timetable. They have a separate life outside of their grand kids and enjoy it immensely. They earned the right to be just grandparents and not a second set of parents for my kids. My grandparents weren't overly involved in my life. I prefer it this way. I don't think I'd like my parents to be a daily fixture in the kids lives, I get enough "advice" from them already. The time they do have with them is special, if fleeting and the kids look forward to their visits. I definitely prefer it the way it is, sorry mom we won't be moving closer anytime soon. Good thing my brother moved closer.... now he just has to have some kids.

Video Games, Video Games, Video Games

I might as well throw away all their toys since all they want to do is play video games. The only time they argue is when they are playing a video game and my son is kickin' my daughter's butt. I'm torn regarding the kids playing video games.

They are time consuming and keep the kids too inactive physically but mentally active. They play games that engage them in problem solving situations. They are always trying to figure out the next step or the next puzzle. They play games together learning about team work and working together towards a common goal.

Video games consume time and before they know it hours have passed and they haven't done anything. Then again what are they suppose to be doing - playing and having fun. They can't run around the house and get physical exercise when its raining outside, which during the winter months in Vancouver is everyday.

My son plays video games with his friend in Calgary over the phone and internet. They work together and help each other get to the next level. They are communicating and using social skills and since they are 12 hours away from each other it's the only way they can play together.

Getting them to turn off the games and do someting else turns into a fight and tears. Then choas and noise for the house and they bug me for stuff. I hoave a love hate relationship with video games, on one hand I see how they benefit the kid's development and on the other I know that too many video games is not a good thing to do all the time.

Hot Yoga Challenge Starts Today

I signed up for a challenge at the yoga studio - 5 classes a week for a month - can't miss one. Why? The prize is 2 months free membership.... not a bad deal. The only hitch, the most I've done is 4 in a week and was so wiped I couldn't do more then 3 easier classes the next.

Since the pounds aren't coming off I have to focus on the other benefits as the goal. Focus on the increase in flexibility, strength, and energy. If I don't ignore the scale I'd quit. It's been almost 3 months of hot yoga and I weigh the same ... most sane people would have tried something else by now.

Hot Yoga must be the latest in pick up joints. I'm surrounded by both male and female 20 somethings strutting their stuff, especially in the evening classes. I am the token fat lady that most take pity on and keep encouraging me to keep going. This in itself is enough to make me want to head home after hitting the grocery store for junk food and sweet desserts from the bakery section. But I don't, I keep at it and try to ignore the young girls all around me with their toned bodies.

I am getting stronger, I managed to briefly hold a plank pose a number of times and get my hips up for a side plank.... This is new for me and quite the feat. If the doctor thinks I'm not lifting weights doing this he should try to hold up my weight in a pose or two. So although the scale remains the same and my pants aren't looser in the waist I keep going. I've measured the different areas of my body so that I can compare inches lost in lieu of pounds, since the pounds want to hang on. So hopefully the inches will start to decrease.

I know the doctor said that yoga wasn't going to help me loose weight and that I needed to join a gym instead but I already sign up for the challenge. Am I going to be able to handle adding cardio and strength training to the hot yoga challenge?

I'm still amazed at how much the heat takes out of me. How much the heat drains my energy and leaves me wiped.

Doctor's Orders

I just got back from a day at the doctor's office. I was waiting to get my blood test results, which came back negative - no diabetes or thyroid issues for this girl. After 3 hours in the waiting room I finally got to see the doc for my clean bill of health. So why can't I loose weight?

Hot Yoga isn't the right exercise for loosing weight according to the doc. He perscribed cardio, weights, a personal trainer and a friend to exercise with. Money and friends.... two things I'm a little short on at the moment.

My UI cheques are just covering the kids activities, school and grocery bills. Being new to the area, I haven't met too many people yet and those that I have I don't feel close enough to ask them to join a gym with me. Not many stay at home mom's have cash kicking around for extras like gym memberships - or the time to go for that matter.

I think there must be more to it though. Everytime I start loosing or start getting on track my husband or mother will say something to push me on or encourage me to step it up more and I stop dead in my tracks. I'll eat good for a few days then its nothing but junk food for a day then back to eating well for a couple days.

What I can't understand is why do I want to be fat? What is it about a size 18 body that has me so comfortable I keep choosing to keep it? Why am I scared of the image I have of myself thin and confident? Why does the idea of being thin and going back to work wear me down to fatigue? If I figure out that then maybe just maybe I can back into a size 10.


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