Archive for the ‘children’ Tag

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess! Read Across America   16 comments


READ ACROSS AMERICA
 

On March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult.

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss‘s birthday than reading to a child? On the evening of March 2nd (Dr. Seuss’s birthday), Random House and the National Education Association (NEA) urge you to participate in the annual Read Across America and read to a child.

WHY CELEBRATE DR. SEUSS?

What other writer was born in the early 1900’s, wrote best selling children’s books in the 1950’s and who’s work probably is represented in your very own library right this minute? I can only think of one author that fits that bill! Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss epitomizes a love of children and learning. Also, his use of rhyme makes his books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful. When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a clear message to America’s children that reading is fun and important.

Picture a world with no technology, art, and even words. That would be a boring world. Dr. Seuss made hilarious books, and if it wasn’t for him, we may not even have children books that teach kids how to rhyme. He may not seem like much of a hero but he didn’t have a very good childhood and still became a great writer and cartoonist. He worked hard toward his dream and he finally accomplished it.

Theodor Geisel was born March 2, 1904 and died on September 24, 1991. That was a day to be sad. In 2002, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden opened in his birthplace of Springfield Massachusetts. It features sculptures of Dr. Seuss and of many of his characters. More than 200 million of Dr. Seuss’s books have been bartered in more than 15 different languages all over the world.

Dr. Seuss’s contributions were amazing. He grew up from a child and he worked for his dreams, and they came true. If it wasn’t for Dr. Seuss children may not have enjoyed reading as much. Dr. Seuss taught kids that reading is fun. They learned about Sneetches and Grinches, and earned a big imagination.
Many schools celebrated his 100th birthday on March 2, 2004. They realized Dr. Seuss’s talent in art, so did many other people. I guess that all that Ted did helped him become the man that he grew up to be. Thank you for Dr. Seuss.

from:
http://www.seussville.com/author.html

http://www.nea.org/readacross

http://www.readingrockets.org/
http://www.squidoo.com/thebestofdrsuess
http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-dr-seuss

Another great Dr. Seuss idea from a friend of mine: Christy Jordan
http://www.southernplate.com/2009/03/dr-seuss-wocket-in-my-pocket-cupcakes.html
Dr. Seuss Wocket In My Pocket Cupcakes! *Wocket Cupcake Printable*
Click the Share button below to got to Christy’s blog. There you will find instructions on how to make these adorable cupcakes and the links to print out the toppers! Thanks Christy!!!! (the photo below is her’s also)

Also from Christy’s blog….”
And here is a special poem I found on the NEA website!

Read Across America Poem
~Courtesy of the NEA

You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild,
To pick up a book and read with a child.
You’re never too busy, too cool, or too hot,
To pick up a book and share what you’ve got.

In schools and communities,
Let’s gather around,
Let’s pick up a book,
Let’s pass it around.

There are kids all around you,
Kids who will need
Someone to hug,
Someone to read.

Come join us March 2nd
Your own special way
And make this America’s
Read to Kids Day.”

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Navy Wife…Toughest Job in the Navy!   Leave a comment

  In a previous life, I was a Naval Officer’s wife….and all that comes with that. I was in my early 20’s the first time I experienced this thing they call deployment. Now I was no “Mama’s or Daddy’s girl”. Far from it. I had been involved in a scouting program from age 15 in national leadership which took me from my Georgia home to locations all over the US. So by age 19, when I met this charming and charismatic Navel Officer 8 years my senior, I was smitten! He was like no man I had ever met (and remains the holder of that title to this day). We met actually during a state-wide conference that I was running where he was there representing the US Navy in his job as a recruiter. What can I say about him… Funny… Sweet…and very unlike the “good ‘ol boys” that I was typically around in Macon. GA. So within 3 months of meeting and beginning to date, we were engaged. I know that seems quick! Realize that it was 1975 and the world spun a bit slower back then. Or so I’d like to think. Three months later we were married on a HOT Georgia August day with not a cloud in the sky. There I was in my pretty white puffy wedding dress, you probably know the style if you lived during that era! And there was my groom… in his white “Mess Dress” Naval Officer’s uniform with his gold Navy wings, all his “dangle metals” ,with his sword at his side and those Paul Newman blue eyes. Who would not have swooned?

As we made our way in life we continued to live another 2 years or so in Georgia and then one day, as it is inevitable, the detailer called! That is the person who is in charge of determining your destiny as I quickly learned. They assigned him to report to an air carrier for what they call a disassociated tour of duty. Basically as a P3 aviator, with the rank of LCDR, there is no place for you in a squadron. So they place you on a carrier…. Yeah a BIG ship that is gone more than it’s home! In the process of preparing for his tour of duty on CV 63 USS Kitty Hawk, there were interim schools to attend to prepare him for his work and ship life. We were headed to San Diego but not before a 3 month intermediate stop in Virginia Beach for training. Life is an adventure in the Navy. My husband went to Virginia a few weeks before me and I will never forget the look on my sweet dearly departed Mother’s face as she watched me pack my 1976 Audi Fox to the brim with a microwave, linens, all the household items I could muster, my clothes, his clothes and 2 blonde cocker spaniels. It was a 12 hour drive and I was doing it all by myself. She thought I was CRAZY! It was definitely the longest journey I had ever made by myself but as I would come to find out as a Navy wife…by no means my last! Three months came and went very fast. He was to meet the ship on deployment in progress right after Christmas. We drove cross-country to California and left the car with his best friend for the duration of the cruise. Then it was time to say goodbye. If you are a service wife you know how this goes…the sadness is just too much so you typically pick a fight the day before thus making the departure actually a relief! Well you may not actually do that by design, but more times than not, it works out that way. It’s a form of survival I suppose. I headed back to Georgia where I lived  for about 5 months until it became time to pack up and move…. to San Diego. You know how most couples who are moving to a new city go on a home searching trip together and determine where they collectively would like to live? Well, no can do in the Navy. I flew to San Diego where I stayed with Navy friends of my husband’s whom I had never met and proceeded to pick out our new place. A few days later it was done. New condo, new address, new friends and new life.  Then the day arrived. Now I was raised in the South and not on the ocean so I had never witnessed a Navy ship come home from deployment. I hope I can do it justice and describe the scene in case you haven’t ever experienced it yourself either.

Cool, crisp, salty sea air. San Diego’s majestic views. Excitement that you can feel in the air. Coming over the Coronado Bay Bridge that early morning in May with my loved ones that had joined me for his arrival… so early that ship was not in sight yet! Good …. we had time to get to the pier and post our signs and wait…. and wait… and wait…with about 5,000 other family members! As the carrier came in sight the crowd became joyous with excitement. Jubilant anticipation!  Remembering that my wait had been about half as long as most of the wives with my husband’s joining the cruise in progress. I marveled at the fortitude that it takes to endure 10+ months without your partner. It is something most civilians will never have to experience and may not comprehend. There were newborn babies whose lives had begun since their dads left many months previous. There were reunions of the sweetest kind just getting ready to unfold with Daddies meeting their babies for the very first time! Get out the kleenex! As the ship drew nearer…. the faint outline of sailors on the deck came into focus. They were positioned all around the rail of the flight deck at parade rest… it was a sight to behold. These men (in those days only men on the ship) were so glad to be coming home after so many months of service. There were officers and enlisted men alike.  The one thing that tied them all together was that ship, that deployment and that homecoming! It takes literally HOURS for a ship of this magnitude to dock. Then the moment arrives… the first men disembark. You’d think the Captain of the ship might be first off…. Not so. There is a special line for “First Time Dads” and the men who had not had the pleasure of holding their precious little ones are the first off…. then the tears start to fall! There are over 5,000 men in ship’s company. You can imagine the sea of happy reunions going on around you as each sailor finds his special ones that have been waiting on his arrival! By the time my husband disembarked and got to me I had cried off all the makeup that I put on that morning. That was a wonderful feeling to have him back home! Indescribable really. A feeling that is tough to explain but something I can remember vividly even 35 + years later!

During subsequent deployments I learned these truths: Your toilet only backs up when the husband is gone. The car is fine until the ship pulls out at which time there is something so wrong with it that they send a mechanic to Sweden to learn how to repair it! Meanwhile it stays in the shop for 6 months gathering dust! Washing machine repairs go up exponentially during deployment.  Maytag loves that! Basically if it has moving parts it will either break or disintegrate while the husband is on deployment. This is Murphy’s law at it’s best! Being a Navy Wife was both frustrating and rewarding. This is why I say “Navy Wife….Toughest Job in the Navy”! My hat is off to all of you ladies who are out there standing that watch! I say press on and know that this Ex-Navy wife respects and applauds you!  

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)

Photo by https://www.navypictures.net/products/CV_63_USS_Kitty_Hawk_Photograph_2-2395-63.html

Info on the USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) Contribution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kitty_Hawk_(CV-63)

Other Navy Wife  related blogs to visit:

http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2013/06/navy-wife-with-a-happy-life.html

http://www.navywifediary.com/

http://mycrazylifeasanavywife.blogspot.com/

http://withlovedarlene.blogspot.com/

http://lifeofatravelingnavywife.blogspot.com/

http://www.dyanwittphotography.com/supporting-our-troops/

Cute ideas for the little one’s Halloween!   3 comments

Happy Halloween!

I invite you to read my post from last Halloween as I celebrate my one year in blogging!

 https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/happy-halloween-superheros/

 This Halloween spend some special time with the little one. Here’s some ideas on how to make your holiday a little more fun!

 

1.  Carve some pumpkins

I have listed some links below that have free pumpkin carving templates. Just practice safe knife skills while watching little fingers! Also tips on toasting the seeds are also available online. This teaches resourcefulness to kids and gives you a treat to eat!

2. Decorate some mini “pumpkins”

Here’s a simple trick if carving is not possible. A visit to the grocery store then the fabric shop for a few ribbons …

a little glue and you have your decorations (which will keep til Thanksgiving!)

33. Let them help you decorate a table

See this quick and easy tablescape above using the same cute “pumpkins” and some hurricane globes with pins to hold in place. These items can easily be found at many local craft store!

4.  Go candy shopping

Find some coupons for Halloween candy in your local paper (lots of them this time of year) and look at the store ads… like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid. Then match them to your coupons for the most bang for your buck! Let the kids help scout for the bargains. You have to buy candy if you are going to participate in “Trick or Treat” so you might as well make it a fun experience while saving money and teaching the little ones to save too! 

Whatever you do… have fun and be safe! These meaningful times together will never be recreated so please spend it wisely!

Some articles I like!

http://theresjustonemommy.com/?p=1413

http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/beginner-halloween-pumpkin-carving-templates/pictures/index.html

http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/beginner-halloween-pumpkin-carving-templates/pictures/index.html

http://halloweencoloringpages.blogspot.com/2011/07/halloween-party-coloring-pages.html

http://halloweencoloringpages.blogspot.com/2011/07/charlie-brown-halloween-coloring-pages.html

Where were you on 9-11-2001? Ten years in retrospect.   7 comments

Two years have come and gone since I first posted this article. I have a deep feeling of sadness today on this anniversary and wish to honor the memory of those who died on that tragic September morning now 12 years ago. God will find a way to use each life lost as a testimony. Long live their memories and legacies.

There is so little left unsaid regarding the tragic events of 9-11-01… But I feel that my heart still weeps and wants to be heard. As I watch this video that is a daughter’s tribute to her father lost on that day, I cry for her and for the times of her life that he missed. It is touching and sweet. I too lost my father this year and can certainly identify with a daughter’s pain and the immense loss (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/holding-daddys-hand-forever/). But this loss was so diverse… so widespread. It was personal for so many yet so public. The morning of September 11. 2001 I lived in Northern California and woke abruptly as if someone was shaking me…but I was alone. My mind said “turn on the TV!” Almost like a scream in my head. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I watched as the second tower imploded. It was as if I was watching a movie instead of a live feed on the morning news! I was paralyzed with grief… for the people involved, for our brave firefighters and police and really for our country. Was this deliberate? What was next? Who would be the next target? I quickly called my daughter who was in college in San Diego. Admittedly she let the phone ring many times before she answered it…. she knew it was just “Mother”…. what now Mom? She said I “always” called. That morning was different. I told her quickly “turn on the news”…. She was a horrified as I was to see what was unfolding. In retrospect… I’m sure there are many 20 year olds that wish their parents could have called them that morning! We share a deep bond regarding the events of that day and talk about how it changed us.

I walked around in a daze for days. Unable to put the events into anything that I could get my head around. So senseless. So tragic. I was left with a feeling of helplessness like I am sure so many fellow Americans were. And ten years later I really am not sure I have yet come to grips with the enormity of it all. I still cry when I see the images and the touching tributes. Just last night I watched the movie “Remember Me” and wept. Please take time to watch this movie… then go and hug your kids and tell them you love them! We have today…and tomorrow is not promised. If the events of September 11, 2001 taught us anything… it taught us that one fact!

“Attitude”… No! “At-TWO-tude”   3 comments

 

“Attitude”… No! “At-TWO-tude”

On living with a two-year-old…. “Gee Gee…. dolly, wankie, piggie!” she said this morning. “Okay Marissa, you carry them downstairs and I will carry you” I replied. “No Gee Gee!” as she layed on the floor in defiance. I stood at the top of the stairs waiting for Marissa to comply with my request. And I waited! And I waited! Then the threats started… “One….Two….Three” (to which she replied “four”. Then I said “Do you want to go to timeout?”…. That was the only thing that seemed to have any influence on her….. At-TWO-tude I tell you!

Funny how time heals the jagged memories of such things. About 29 years ago I had a two-year-old. My now 31 year old daughter has my two and a half year old granddaughter. I will admit that being a grandmother is very different than I thought it would be… in a good way. I have this amazing connection to her and now “get” the whole “GRAND”child thing that all my friends would talk about- make that RAVE about. I suppose the independence that she is showing which creates this whole “at-TWO-tude” should be celebrated. It means that she is thinking for herself and trying to make some of the little life decisions.  I will celebrate that and remind myself that they grow up far too soon and the “at-TWO-tude” that she displays today will quickly get better as she learns to navigate this life… And I will be helping her to pack for college next week, or so it will seem!

What are we teaching our kids…. Graciousness or Entitlement?   1 comment

Now that Christmas is over and a New Year has begun… I think it is a good time to ask “What are we teaching our kids about giving and receiving?”

When it came to your kids  requests this year, was it: Thoughtful Requests or Wretched Excess?

Are we teaching them to be gracious in both the giving and receiving of gifts or is there a sense of entitlement? Graciousness is an often overlooked value in this day and time. With the economy such that it is one would think that a paring down of excessive gift-giving would have occurred. But did it? Did you honor your kids request for an elaborate gift on their list and prehaps cut corners somewhere else? I realize that the sad shape of the economy cannot be fully understood by the youngest members of the household but let’s face it, it does affect everyone. The realities of less money, job loss, inflation and rising costs weighs heavily on each of us… especially at Christmas time! If the effects of the economy crunch put a kibosh on many of our “would-be” purchases… maybe that is a good thing.

So my solution, in simplified terms is to teach our children, at any age, to think carefully and thoughtfully about their requested list next year and in years to follow. And after they receive a gift, teach them to be gracious and write a thank you note or letter for the gift. This can be something as simple as an email but a handwritten note is nice as the note itself becomes a “gift” to the giver.

In years past, I have seen lists are scattered with items ranging from expensive “smart phones”, iPods, iPads, designer bags, and expensive gaming systems to outrageous requests for cars for which even a college graduate cannot qualify. Ask yourself…..What are we teaching our kids when we provide for them these luxury items at such a young age?

In future posts I will offer suggestions of opportunities to give back through volunteerism. Stay tuned!

Food for though! I would love to hear your comments…..

 

12 answers for the question “What can I do for free with my kids this weekend?”   2 comments

What can you do for free with your kids this weekend?

  

Now that Fall is here you might be looking for a way to spend some quaility time with the kiddos… but since it’s the end of the month (and the month ALWAYS seems to last longer than the money) I thought you might enjoy knowing about some free things to do together! 

 

1. Build something with your kid!

This Saturday (9/24) take the kids to Lowe’s! No they aren’t paying me to say this…. 😉  They are offering a free “Build and Grow” workshop where your kids can build a firetruck! All supplies are free and kids get an apron, goggles and a completion patch at the end of the workshop… only catch… you have to register! So go HERE and get them on the list for this fabulous free even! 

 

https://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/

(If you miss this week… check the schedule at your local store! They offer these free events almost every month! Other home centers do as well….) 

 

2. Take a walk!

 

A walk is free and priceless at the same time. It is a perfect time to walk and pick up beautiful leaves which could open up all types of topics. You might ask (unless they ask first) “How do the leaves turn all these colors?” or “Can you name the colors you see?” My daughter used to love to collect leaves in the fall and we would press them between wax paper to preserve them. She is 30 now and I swear I believe I STILL have some of those leaves!

 

3. Teach your kids to use a camera!

 

 I recently heard of an idea where your child is asked to find something to photograph that begins with the letter A, B … and so on. If this idea initiates a conversation then I say give it a try. Otherwise, with todays digital technology… they might just like to go out and  take pictures of things that they like. Again you might be amazed at what they find interesting and you might just have a budding photographer on your hands!

 

4. Let’s have a cooking lesson!

 

Photo Credit: http://cooking724.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/kids-cooking/

Pick one fall treat that you enjoyed as a kid (mine is homemade popcorn balls….yummy) and teach your kids to make it. Or let them suggest something that they want to learn how to make. You may be surprised at how creative they can be! 

 

5. Involve them in your football watching!

Whether it be your favorite college team on Saturday or your NFL Fav on Sunday… let the little ones get involved too! This is a great time to answer questions about sportsmanship and how to be a team player.  Please remember to be patient and watch the explatives … they are little carbon copies of you!

 

6. Teach them one thing that you learned from your Grandparent!

Photo Credit: http://www.lilsugar.com/Family-Ties-What-Call-Grandparents-1134034

In my most recent blog post I wrote about my Grandmama Bessie (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/on-being-a-mother-and-even-better-a-grandmother/). She taught me some amazing “lost arts” like sewing and cooking. What type of things did you Grandparents teach you? How to whittle? Make a bird house? Master the yo-yo? 

 

7. If you blog, ask each of them to write a guest post

 If  they aren’t old enough ask them to draw a picture which you can feature on your “guest blogger’s” day! This will bring them such joy to be “published” and who knows what budding writers we have hidden in our own families!

 

8. Storytime at your local bookstore!

 

Check out the scheduled free storytimes at your local bookstore. Doesn’t cost a thing and they may just fall in love with reading!

 

9. Check your local museums for their “free” day!

We are so fortunate in Memphis to have an array of fabulous Museums available and many of them have free or greatly reduced days for kids! So while you may not have the Cotton Museum (shown above), the Civil Rights Museum or even the home of Elvis in your city… There are wonderful museums everywhere just waiting for you and the kids to explore! *Ask them about a yearly family pass to save money all year long.

 

10. Google your city then go explore a site that you have not visited yet!

http://www.memphisloveskids.com/

 

Find out what untapped resources you have in your city. In Memphis we have trolleys to ride and Beale Street to see. Do some digging on the computer and see what your city has that could be fun for a free fall afternoon!

 

11. Farmer’s Market exploration!

Photo Credit: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/836245/things-your-kids-can-learn-at-the-farmers-market

The Farmer’s Market is a wonderful place to share your knowledge of different types of fruits and veggies. How many vegetables can they find? Make a game of trying to fill in the blank A-Z. Then let them pick one vegetable that looks interesting to them that they have never tried. Who knows, maybe their involvement will make them more interesting in eating it.

 

12. Check out your local “Kids eat FREE or CHEAP” for Saturday and Sunday

In Memphis the following restaurants offer cool deals for kids and parents on weekends!

Texas Roadhouse, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Firehouse Subs… just to make a few! Check out your local area online to see what you are missing!

 

 

 

 

 

Please remember that the meaningful conversations… the ones that lead to stories and lessons of life… often come from the small quiet times that we spend with our kids one-on-one! Doesn’t have to be an elaborate day out or an expensive event… just you and them sharing life and making lasting memories! 

 

Related Articles:

http://www.shesaved.com/2011/09/free-lowes-fire-truck-workshop-for-kids-this-weekend.html

http://www.techlicious.com/guide/the-most-and-least-reliable-digital-camera-brands/

http://www.myrecipes.com/kids/cooking-with-kids-recipes-and-ideas-10000001814441/

http://cooking724.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/kids-cooking/

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/836245/things-your-kids-can-learn-at-the-farmers-market

http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/greenscene/2009/11/raking-and-composting-leaves.html