The Blended Tribe

The Reasons Why We See a Marriage Counselor

Do we see a Marriage Counselor? Hell YES, we do!
Why? Well, Why not?!?

Marriage counselor

We started seeing one because we felt it would be beneficial for us to have a non-bias person mediating some of our concerns especially when it comes to the kiddos. We got a referral from somebody we trust and low and behold; she’s a step-mama too!! There are so many positive reasons to go to counseling with your spouse. It will improve relationship satisfaction, and you gain a better understanding of how your spouse feels, it promotes positive ways to resolve conflict, and much more.
With this being both of our second marriage, we have a lot going against us statistically. Neither of us wants to be another statistic when it comes to our marriage and our family. We’re doing everything possible to avoid it from happening again. Hopefully, our determination and love will prevent that from happening a second time, but God only knows that people can drastically change and you have no control over another person thoughts or feelings.
We’re going as a preventative, and so far I think we both are amazed at how much we’ve benefited from it. It’s important to find the right counselor for you and your spouse, so keep looking until you find the right fit. Be selective about who you take advice from; you’re not going to receive marriage advice from somebody who’s been divorced a couple of times and not married, right?!?  Be selective.
If you need a recommendation for counselors in the Five Cities, then hit me up @ brilee4@gmail.com.              ♥ The Blended Tribe

 


 

I ♥ My Tribe

Love my tribe

My life didn’t turn out at all how I expected it, and for that, I am so grateful. I wouldn’t want to do life with anyone else. It’s not always easy, but I love my tribe ♥

 


 

Why We Should Teach Our Kids Manners

Manners
Money can’t buy you these things

From the day my kids started talking I made sure always to have them say please, thank you, eat with their mouth closed, use table manners, these are all the basics that get you through life….right?!? Yeah, not everybody teaches their kids these things.  Basic manners are not something that’s just going to come to your kids, you have to instill it in them and the younger, the better. Honestly, I started teaching them this in the beginning just because that’s the way my parents raised me, and now more and more I hear from people how polite my children are, and I’m so proud when I hear this. I don’t care about having a straight-A kid. A’s do nothing for me, don’t get me wrong, I do expect my kids to get decent grades, but I don’t need honor roll students. I’m proud of my kids when they’ve done something kind for somebody else, or get a good report about something reflecting their character.
It’s never too late to start teaching your kids manners!! If this is something that’s fallen at the waist side for whatever reason, that’s ok, but start TODAY!!

Teach your kid’s table manners: Eating with their mouth closed, not talking when foods in their mouth, not passing gas at the table. I mean this is not crazy stuff right?!?

Teach your kids to say hello when they are out and see somebody they know along with looking people in the eyes when they are talking to them.

Teach your kids ALWAYS to say please, thank you and excuse me.

Teach your little girls to be ladies and your little guy how to be a gentleman.  Chivalry is dead these days.  Teach your sons to be courteous to others.

please and thank you

These are fundamental tools that I believe we should be instilling in our kids from the beginning. It’s not too early, and it’s never too late to start! So start today! It’s sad, but at this time in age teaching your kids these skills will make them stand out from the rest. And if you’re already showing your kids these things, then THANK YOU!! We all appreciate it!

Three Simple Ways To Put Your Spouse First

 

remarried
Jon & I

Who comes first in a blended family? Your spouse always comes first right?! Spouse before kids can get a little tricky after getting remarried. Parents have a lot of guilt when it comes to their kids and having gone through a divorce. For some period after your divorce, it’s just you and your kids; your kids move to your top priority.  You then bring another person into the mix, and sometimes they bring kids with them…..things can get complicated, and the kids that were once number one are supposed to be number two.  Doesn’t seem like an uncomplicated task right? HA!  Children are a temporary assignment, but your spouse is supposed to be with you a lifetime.

spouse first
Spouse is number one

Spouse is number one!
Marriage first has taken some getting used to for us. The first year was a learning period where we were trying to help the kids adjust the best way possible along with us getting used to this new family we created. Going into year two we slowly figured out that to make this entire thing work, Jon and I need to be number one in each other’s lives. Forget the guilt, forget the kids thinking it’s unfair, forget the negative comments from the kids. This thought was a little foreign to both of us, so we started off slowly, and it seems to get better and better each day.

Here’s what we started doing to put our marriage first:

1. Check in with each other before making big decisions when it comes to the kids. Whether it’s my kids or his, we connect first to make sure we’re on the same page or to discuss why we aren’t on the same page.
2. We try to take a walk each evening just the two of us and connect on our day and what’s going on without the nosey kids listening in or interrupting. The kids will ask to go, and we tell them NO!! If we have to do a separate walk with them we will, but they are coming to terms with this is our daily time to connect, and we need that time. Our walk time has been one of the most beneficial things we started doing. Getting the fresh air and getting away for a brief moment, does a world of good for us.
3. Pray together!! If you’re religious, take the time to pray with your spouse. It takes you to a deeper level with your partner and with God, it’s called spiritual intimacy. I can’t stress this enough. We pray every night together and just started praying in the morning as well. It’s awkward at first, but fight through it, it’s so worth it!

Doing little things in your marriage like these will be a good start in putting your spouse first. These tips apply to all married couples, not just remarried couples in a blended family. The best example you can give your kids is showing them a loving, caring, union between you and your spouse. It gives them security, and it shows them the way that they are supposed to treat their partner when they are older and what they should expect in return.
Also, you don’t have to be perfect in front of your kids. You can argue and disagree in front of them, but make sure you are showing them the proper way to handle the situation and that it’s ok to disagree and still love one another, it’s a good thing for them to witness this as well.

♥ The Blended Tribe


**photo credit: www.weddedfilms.com

New Year, New Menu.

My friend (you know who you are) gave me the idea of sticking to a weekly menu. So, for an entire month, we are going to make the same meal on the designated day each week. For example, every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday, and every Wednesday is pasta night. She was explaining that this will cut out the hassle of menu planning each week and it saves money. We are giving this one a try for these main reasons: I don’t have to figure out a weekly menu and shop for it, the food is the same for the entire month….easy! Also, the kids have been begging us to let them cook more. Cooking this way is the perfect opportunity for them to make a meal four weeks in a row and actually learn how to make the meal instead of cooking it once and forgetting. They should be pros by the fourth time making it.
The kids aren’t thrilled about this idea at all, but I’m excited to give this a try and see how it works for us.

 We’ve been putting them to work!

Here are some photos of them in action

kids in the kitchen
camp cooking

teaching kids to cook

 

WEEK 1 UPDATE: We got through a full week of trying this out, and it was AMAZING!! Takes all the thought out of what’s for dinner tonight and made things ridiculously easy for all of us, now on to week 2.

 

 

Misery Won’t Be Getting My Company!

Not going to bring me down
Dealing with miserable people can be a challenge. They try to bring you down with them. Stay positive, keep your head up and forward on! Know that for somebody to be so angry and hateful towards you, means that they have a whole lot going on internally that will not be fixed until they choose to fix it.
Life is too short to be hating people and holding a grudge towards somebody. I think the most important thing is to communicate. I’ve seen one too many families and friendships destroyed by people being afraid to talk their crap out. The funny thing is, a lot of time what is perceived to have happened or been said, it not at all the case. So friendships and families go on with being broken over lack of communication.

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Also, know when it’s time to move on…..you’re not going to get along with every person, and that’s ok. Know when to let go, and be at peace that not everybody is going to like you. I’m to the point in my life where I love people, I love my friends, and I love my family. I’m going to move on being happy and being me so if you want to be apart of that then great, and if not, that’s ok too. I’m at peace with it, and I try to not to give a lot of thought into what other people are thinking.

First Family Trip of 2018.

Knott's Berry Farm

We were given Season Passes to Knott’s Berry Farm at Christmas time and since the kids are out of school, what better time to take advantage of our passes.  We took a day trip yesterday, and it was a huge success!  The kids had a great time, and us parents had a blast. Being around crowds isn’t as easy for me as it used to be.  Disneyland makes me want to lose my mind.  Knott’s is a lot less crowded, and the rides aren’t as babyish in my opinion.  It’s something different, and I’m really looking forward to going back with the kids and staying the night next time.

Here are some tips and tricks we did to get us through our day trip to Knott’s Berry Farm.

1)  My kids are used to road trips and traveling since they had to do it a ridiculous amount when they were younger.  They travel well, but we have a setup and a routine.  We pack them little caddies with all their snacks and drinks for the car ride.  We have a trash can (cereal container) in the back where all the trash goes so were not cleaning it up for days afterward.  The only time the kids are allowed to eat in our car is during road trips.  These caddies prevent the continual asking for food.  They know what they have in there, and that’s what they can have.

2)  We bought each kid a day pass souvenir cup that they can use all day to keep refilling their drinks.  I believe these were $10.99 each.  They can use these cups all of 2018, and it’s only $1.00 a refill each time.

3)  We bought three all-day dining plans for $31.99 each.  You get a wristband that you can use to order food every 90 minutes.  We got our monies worth out of this!!  With four kids that like to eat nonstop, they are always hungry, and the portion sizes are so big that it was plenty of food for all of us.  Not one of the kids or us went hungry yesterday.   The food wasn’t that great (the kids loved it) and having to wait in line for the food felt like a waste of time because we would rather be going on the rides.  Knott’s lets you bring food in, so I think next time we will pack our backpacks full of food that we can eat while waiting in line for rides.  Bringing our food will be a much healthier and more time efficient option for us.  We can then plan on having a good dinner somewhere and spend around the same amount as we did for all the wristbands.

4)  The last tip…if you ever go at Christmas time, you have to go see “MERRY CHRISTMAS, SNOOPY” on Ice!!  It was amazing, and we all really enjoyed it.  From it “snowing” inside to the performers, it was a must-see show.

That’s all the tips I have for now.  I’m sure there will be more after our next visit.  I will keep you updated.  Here are some pictures from our day.

 

I Still Struggle With This.

The lonely road to dropping the kids off this Christmas morning, it was a ghost town out there.

Dealing with divorce

We had an entire day planned today, but our day didn’t go as planned.

I was going to write another post today and share all of our Christmas pictures from the last few days. We did have a great Christmas this year. That changed quickly though……the one part of the divorce that I will NEVER get used to is having to share my kids during the Holidays. It’s not natural to not share these special days with the ones you love most, and who do you care for more than your children?!? I’m not saying that I don’t want my kids to be with their Dad for Christmas because that’s not it! I just don’t want to be without them! It was a long forty-five-minute drive dropping them off this morning. A little too much time to think. The kids will be with their Dad for a week. I had posted earlier about kids maybe needing time to adjust when getting home after being with their other parents, well I think I need an adjustment period when they are going to be away from me for so long.

Here are the only helpful tips I can give you if you’re going through a similar situation:
1) Give yourself a little time if you need it. Not too much time though. Your kids are alive, and this is your hang up, so you need to quickly move on.
2) After you’re done taking the time you need, keep yourself busy, busy, busy! Hang out with friends, get those extra chores around the house done, go shopping, take that yoga class. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself busy.
3) Stay positive! I was telling Jon that having to split the Holidays will have us ready for sharing Holidays when the kids are grown and they have families of their own. We’re one step ahead.  Try finding the positive in the situation no matter what it is.

That’s all I got….

Merry Christmas!!

 

merry-christmas

We’ve had a great Christmas so far. The last four days have been full of festivities. We’ve celebrated a Birthday, went Christmas light browsing, a couple of game nights and stayed in our PJ’s all day on Saturday enjoying our gifts. We celebrated our Christmas with my side of the family on Saturday, and then last night we celebrated with my in-laws. We drop off two of the kids at eight this morning and drop the other two off at noon. Since we already did our Christmas, I felt that this morning would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the real reason for the season….JESUS!! Kids each have a new Bible sitting under the tree, we decorated with balloons and made a special cake in His honor. I figure they will be celebrating the rest of the day with presents, so let’s start this day off right with what matters most.  Merry Christmas everybody!! I will be posting lots of pics and a post later on today.  We are going to go wake up the kids…….

bibles 3

Together Again

After being apart for five days, all the kids are back and up to the same old shenanigans. You never know what you’re going to get after they have been apart so many days. The first day back together can be a little nerve-racking. You don’t know what the past days have been like for the kids when they are with their other parents. You don’t know how much sleep they’ve gotten, how much activity they’ve had. Moods and emotions can be high during the adjustment period. When you get everybody back together, and all are in good spirits, it’s a relief.
Tonight was a good night. This picture is what dinner looks like at our house almost every night with all the kids.

IMG_0023 (1)

Lots of talk and craziness, all four kids trying to talk and get our attention all at the same time.

We try our best to eat at home and have dinner together every night. We feel it’s important to share this time each evening that we’re all together. It’s essential for us to take the time to catch up on the day and connect. The kids look forward to it, and so do we.

—>Love this. We need to buy new dining room chairs right now… instead of looking at it as a pain and expense, I need to appreciate the fact that they’ve been well used. I can’t wait to wear out the new chairs we get<—

seats

Let me make it clear that this house is nowhere near perfect, but when all four kids(two of them being pre-teens) are happy and in a good mood, it feels pretty darn close to perfect 🙂

 

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