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Archive for May 23rd, 2013

Jamie Hawkins

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I frequently think about what I’m going to name my children. I don’t want them to end up with a name like “Sarah” or “Taylor”, where every time they hear it, they’ll turn around and think they’re being spoken to. With a name like Jamie, I’m pretty familiar with this situation, and it’s rather distracting. The only reason I don’t want to change my name now because I feel like it’s a pretty significant part of my identity, though it wouldn’t have hurt for my parents to be a bit more creative. I have a friend who wants to change her name of “Magdalene” as soon as she’s of age. If her parents would have named her something more original, she’d never feel the need to do such a thing. I’m just saying.

Every now and then, I’ll watch a movie, or read a book, and think a character with a…

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Nice.

superaalifragilistic

rowboatYesterday, as I was listening to my mentor GD share his increasingly clear experience of the entire field of consciousness as a dream, I remembered an old nursery rhyme. Repeating the lines one by one, I was stunned that there was such precise spiritual guidance encoded in four lines:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

We are conditioned to believe in hard work, control and struggle as the way to go up (stream) in life. The first two sentences offer a kinder suggestion of gently guiding your boat downstream to the goodness and perfection that Life already has in store for you. In two simple lines, the verse captures the essence of what we now know as ‘the law of attraction’.

As long as one believes one is the ‘doer’ of life, the best advice is to row

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Held

Lovely poem.

elizabeth w. marshall

 

mom holding rose FAVE

Held

the night you wept
the day you ran
the time you fell
the forenoon you loved
the moment you bled
the morning you curled
the twilight you danced
the dawn you dripped
the evening you twinkled
the hour you trembled
the sun-up you questioned
the mid-day you doubted
the second you shook
the afternoon you belly-laughed
the late-night you broke
the instant you sparkled
the split-second you were placed in my womb
the occasion you knew you were loved by Him

and all the times in the in-between,

I held you.

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eating xxxx

Don’t underestimate the importance of good manners. Your children will grow up to be kinder and more considerate of others if you teach them how to be that way when they’re young. You can do that by setting a good example. You must always say “please” and “thank you” to your kids. Even when you are saying, “Please get your bicycle off my foot,” or “Thank you for the dead slug.”

And don’t forget good table manners. Everyone tends to be a little too relaxed at the dinner table when it comes to proper behavior. Maybe you think it’s funny when Daddy balances a spoon on the end of his nose or one of the kids makes a hat out of his napkin and wears it on his head all during dinner. If you don’t mind this kind of monkeying around, even when you’re dining out, ignore this advice. But, if you don’t think it’s appropriate to do this kind of stuff in public, then teach your kids what you think is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable, and then make sure that you’re consistent about the rules.

Kids have a hard enough time remembering household rules. They have an even harder time remembering rules for dinner at home and rules for dinner out, when those sets of rules aren’t the same. Some general table manners include no gross jokes, no throwing food, no leaning back while sitting in the chairs, no talking with food in your mouth (including no “see food” jokes) — and definitely no loud belching or passing wind.

Yes, in some cultures belching after a meal is acceptable and even encouraged. However, don’t let someone’s excuse about practicing multiculturalism sway you. If belching isn’t allowed in your family’s culture, don’t allow it at the table. And if you do happen to burp (and who doesn’t?), say, “Excuse me.” If you laugh about burping, you’ve created a family precedent, and your kids will belch and laugh about it the first time they have dinner at a friend’s house.

Good manners that you can teach your children include not interrupting people while they talk and not shoving their way in front of others to always be first, two things that kids are infamous for doing.

Other manners you can teach your children include how to

  • Write thank-you notes
  • Make get-well cards for sick relatives
  • Say please and thank you
  • Acknowledge when someone is talking
  • Say good-bye to someone who is leaving
  • Share cookies with a friend
  • Always give their parents the green M&Ms

A growing problem in schools is the lack of good manners from children. Children don’t treat teachers, staff, or classmates with respect. So schools now are teaching good manners and respect in addition to conflict management. And yet, good manners still begin at home and should be taught by parents.

Here are some guidelines that you can use at home:

  • Be kind to others. Telling kids, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” doesn’t really mean anything to them. Instead, stress the importance of treating others the same way they’d like to be treated, especially when you see them doing something that you know they themselves don’t like. For example, if your son hates to be interrupted and yet he interrupts people, then remind him, “Jonah, you really don’t like it when people interrupt you, so please don’t do that to Jeremiah.”
  • Understand their actions. Help your children understand the harm they can cause by doing or saying thoughtless and unkind things. Ask them, “How would you feel if someone pointed at you, and started to laugh?” In the beginning, you may simply be doing damage control, but eventually you’ll be helping them to avoid harmful words or actions.
  • Show them the way. Children do whatever they have to do to express themselves. Sometimes that comes off looking and sounding pretty bad. Playing a role reversal game with your child can help show them how to handle situations. Let them ask the question or behave a certain way, and you respond by showing them how their behavior should appear.
  • Be a good role model. “Do as I say, but not as I do” is a joke. Your kids probably want to respond with, “Yeah, like you’d catch me playing bridge with a bunch of 50-year-old women!” When you want your child to show good manners and respect, you must also practice good manners and respect. Say please and thank you, admit your mistakes, apologize, and treat people, in general, with kindness and respect. The reward of this behavior is that your children will grow up having many friends and a family that loves being around her.
  • Share. Share with your children so they understand the importance of sharing with others. Compliment them when you see them sharing with others.
  • Keep kids healthy. Children tend to behave badly when they’re tired or hungry. Kids need sleep and nutritious foods to survive. It’s that simple.
  • Practice family politeness. Everyone in the family must practice “please” and “thank-you” policy in which, for example, no request is considered unless the person asking says “please.” When one of your children forgets, just give him or her a look that says, “I’m waiting.” They soon catch on. Use the same approach for saying “thank you.”
  • Thank-you notes. Teach your children the importance of thanking people for gifts. Show them how to write notes and make sure that they are sent promptly after receiving gifts.
  • Praise good behavior. Praise is a wonderful teacher. Tell your children how proud you are when you notice them being polite and following the “please” and “thank-you” guidelines that you’ve set.

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kids_on_log

With summer fast approacing, and seemingly endless days ahead, many parents fear the dreaded words from their children: “I’m bored!” Here are 20 activities to help keep boredom at bay:1) Fingerpaint with shaving cream on colored construction paper.2) Decorate a clay pot and plant a flower, herb, or tomato plant. Nurture it and watch it grow.

3) Draw a picture and mail it to Grandma and Grandpa. Or have them mail themselves a letter and see how long it takes to get back to them.

4) Decorate rocks with tempera paint. Add eyes to make them into insects or animals, or start a rock garden by filling a decorated shoe box with soil and placing the rocks in it.

5) Play with a magnet. Learn what it will and will not pick up. Attach it to string and tie it to a stick. Go fishing for paperclips.

6) Spray paint 2 liter bottles and use them as bowling pins.

7) Make a bird feeder by rolling a pinecone in peanut butter, then in bird seed. Hang it from a tree with string.

8) Have your kids design their own placemats. Help them cover their art work with clear contact paper.

9) Hide an object in a room and have your kids hunt for it. Tell them if they are “hot” when they get close to it or “cold” if they move away from it.

10) Have your kids help you wash the car. Spray them when they are not looking, and be prepared for a water fight. Have fun and plan to get really wet!

11) Make macaroni jewelry. You can color the macaroni by mixing one tablespoon food coloring with two tablespoons rubbing alcohol and stirring in the dry noodles. Make several colors.

12) Put a sheet over a table to create a tent and have a picnic lunch inside.

13) Read and act out one of your child’s favorite stories.

14) Go on a nature walk and study birds, leaves, and wild flowers. Try to identify them. Make a notebook of everything you learned about.

15) Use craft paints to decorate an old t-shirt.

16) Soak a cut celery stalk in a jar or glass of water tinted with food coloring. Watch what happens to it the next day.

17) Have a Hula Hoop contest.

18) Make a cake and let your children help you decorate it with colored frosting and candies.

19) Have a sock war. Designate an area free of breakables, set boundaries, and divide into two teams. Start firing!

20) Start a “summer journal”. Help your kids write about the things you did each day and let them illustrate it. Keep these to look back on as they get older.

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