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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

where_do_babies_come_from_by_hotamr-d4m0a0y

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into hooks and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs’ wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here

~George MacDonald

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time flies by

I cant believe how quick you’ve grown
These last three months have really flown,
Suddenly you are smiling away
Making the sun shine day by day,
The sleepless nights have been so tough 
Each morning spent feeling rather rough,
But now you look up at me and you smile
I know each night has been worth while,
You are slowly growing, changing all the time,
I’m just so glad you’re ours, you’re mine
Your personality is now shinning through,
We are now getting to know the real little you
You love a big cuddle and a great big kiss
As you get older, this I will miss,
I cherish each and every day we have
As I know it will all fly by so fast.

Abbe Cutfroth

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DOGGGGGGGGGGGGGMy dog has got no manners.

I think he’s very rude.
He always whines at dinnertime
while we are eating food.
And when he’s feeling thirsty
and wants to take a drink,
he takes it from the toilet
instead of from the sink.

He never wears a pair of pants.
He doesn’t wear a shirt.
But worse, he will not shower
to wash away the dirt.

He’s not polite to strangers.
He bites them on the rear.
And when I’m on the telephone,
he barks so I can’t hear.

When I complained to Mommy,
she said, “I thought you knew:
the reason that his manners stink—
he learns by watching you

by Bruce Lansky 

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SUNMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Staying cool during a long, hot summer can be pricey. But before you turn on the A/C, read these tips on ways to keep costs down during a heatwave.

Beating the heat doesn’t have to mean cranking the A/C — air conditioning is really hard on the budget, not to mention the power grid. This summer, consider these 12 frugal tips to keep you cool in the hot weather — they’ll not only save you money, but will make your home greener too.

1. Get grilling
When it’s hot outside, using your oven or stovetop can make your house even hotter. Stop sweating in the kitchen and make use of your barbecue whenever you can. You can use the grill for everything — even pizza. 
2. Adjust your thermostat
Try not to leave the AC running when you’re not home. There are other ways to keep your house from heating up too much (see below). Also, consider saving the air conditioning for the very hottest days of summer — and use it sparingly, such as turning it off when you’re sleeping.

3. Change your filters
If you have central air, make sure you give your system a once-over and change the filters so that it runs more efficiently and pumps clean air through your home.

4. Keep the curtains closed
Keep your windows curtained or shuttered during the heat of the day — that will also help the air stay cooler when the sunshine is at its peak.

5. Use fans
Ceiling fans and portable fans will keep the air circulating through your home so that it stays cooler and fresher.

6. Cover the vents
If you are running AC, make sure you cover the vents in rooms you don’t use to push the cold air where you want it — especially at night. Covering the downstairs vents can make your upper floors cooler when you’re sleeping.

7. Camp out
Hot nights can be the hardest part of summer, so why not get out of your upstairs bedroom and sleep somewhere cooler? Set up camp in the backyard or in the basement — if you have young kids, you can also make it fun by pitching a tent and making it like a camping trip.

8. Use cold showers
Bring down your body temperature before bed by taking a cold shower or bath. It will help make you more comfortable and help you get to sleep even on the hottest nights. To get super cool before bed, stand in front of a fan to dry off instead of using a towel — that gives your body an extra chill that will keep you cooler for longer.

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9. Peg out
Your dryer makes your home even hotter, so use your clothesline instead. Pegging out can also help cut your electricity bill. And you get an added bonus — clothes dried outside smell so much better.

10. Get a pool (kiddie that is)
Every kid on my block had a Mr. Turtle Pool when I was growing up — kid-sized pools are a great way for your little ones to keep cool. Adults and pets can also cool their heels in the cold water when they need it. If your kids are too small to play safely in a kiddie pool, then turn on the sprinkler to cool them down.

11. Have lots of cold ones…
Keep yourself well hydrated with cold, icy beverages, preferably non-alcoholic — while a cold beer or two goes down smoothly on a hot day, the alcohol can leave you dehydrated and feeling even worse.

12. Make homemade popsicles with the kids
Packaged popsicles and ice creams are expensive — enlist your kids in helping you make popsicles of their own. You can also make your own cones and drumsticks — they taste better than the ones you buy at the store.

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A lot of work goes into making a good sand sculpture. Sculptors need patience and endurance to create their masterpieces from thousands of tonnes of sand.  They can take up to two months to build and span up to 10 metres in height.

Sculptors use a special kind of sand that is also used on building sites and was most likely used in the foundations of your home. It is called heavy sand and is different to the sand you see on the beach because each grain is square, which means it sticks together better, like building blocks.  The sand on the beach is smoother and rounder so it doesn’t stay together quite as well.  Some beaches are located near the mouths of rivers have better sand for sculpting as it isn’t worn down by the surf.

The most important part of making a sand sculpture is the preparation, or what sculptors call “pound up”.  Pound up involves building wooden walls in a square or rectangle shape.  These walls are called “forms” and are about two feet tall.  After the forms are built they are filled with sand, like a giant sandpit, right to the top.  When the forms are full, sculptors set to work making sure that the sand is pounded down as hard as possible by whacking it, jumping on it and watering it.

Water is REALLY important; the water helps the sand stick together and helps it to set hard as it dries out.  Successive forms are built on top of the first and compacted down so that eventually you have what looks a bit like a wooden pyramid of forms, as high as is required, all filled to the brim with sand that has been pushed down into them.  When pounding up a couple of thousand tonnes of sand, this process can take weeks but care is very important because if the sand isn’t compacted hard enough the sculpture might collapse later.  After the sand has had time to set the sculptors climb up, take off the top form, and begin to carve into the sand block left behind.

When you are on the beach this summer you might not have the time (or equipment!) to make forms but a bucket is the next best thing.  Fill your bucket with sand that is damp, not too wet and not too dry but somewhere in between is best, then push the sand down as hard as you can into the bucket.  Be careful of the strength of your bucket because too much pressure can crack it just as forms sometimes do when too much pressure is exerted on them.  Once you are happy with your pound up, find a good spot on the beach, flip your bucket over and very carefully remove it, leaving the sand behind on the ground.  Now you have the beginnings of your sculpture.  If you want to go the extra step ask your parents if they have an old bucket that they can cut the bottom out of, that way you can start with your bucket upside down and fill the sand in from the top.  This allows you to build up on top of each layer that you pound up with cups and containers like the professionals do with their smaller forms.

Now the fun part – carving.  Carving gives the sculpture all of its detail and character.  You can use almost anything to carve and most of the professional sculptors actually use cooking and dental utensils.  You better ask your parents before you start using their icing scraper at the beach though.  There are loads of tools you can use to help you carve out a work of art from icy-pole sticks to house keys (again you better ask before you try that one) and even water pistols can be used to cut a hole through the middle of your pile.  Try to visualise what you want to carve out before you get started and then go wild!

If you can get one, a water spray bottle is a great idea to have handy while you are carving to keep the sand damp.  Every once in a while, give your sculpture a couple of sprays so it doesn’t dry out. The rest is up to you.  Try using stuff you find on the beach like sea shells and sea weed.

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teddy_bears_picnic11

 
 
 
 

 Teddy Bear’s Picnic

 And if you’re planning on going down to the woods today for a picnic, why not plan a big family surprise picnic that will have the kids super-excited or at the very list, have your teens in stitches at the silliness of it all!

 

 

  1. 1

    Find your favorite teddy bears.

    Find your favorite teddy bears.

    Find your favorite teddy bears. Spruce them up in readiness for attending the picnic:

  2. 2

    Prepare the food.

    Prepare the food.

    Prepare the food. No Teddy Bear’s picnic would be complete without the right food. Don’t forget that bears love honey and other things sweet! Some ideas of what to make or buy include:

  3. 3
    Pack everything needed into an old-fashioned picnic basket.

     
     
     
     

     Pack everything needed into an old-fashioned picnic basket.

    Pack everything needed into an old-fashionedpicnic basket. Make sure to include plates, cups, utensils and picnic rugs to sit on.

     
  4. 4

    Play teddy bear games and hold bear competitions.

    Play teddy bear games and hold bear competitions.

    Play teddy bear games and hold bear competitions. Even the adults can have some fun but it’s mainly for the kids, so have some little “bear prizes” ready for the winners:

    • Hold a competition for the best-dressed bear.
    • Hold a competition for the smallest and tallest bears.
    • Hold a competition for best-named bear.
    • Play hide and seek with the bears. The rules are up to you!
    • Have the kids play act being a bear.
    • Play Look Out for the Bear.
  5. 5

    Hold some teddy bear activities.

    Hold some teddy bear activities.

    Hold some teddy bear activities.

  6. 6
    Tell the children it's the teddy bear's bedtime when it's time to wrap the picnic.

     
     
     
     

                                                       Tell the children it’s the teddy bear’s bedtime when it’s time to wrap the picnic.

    tedIT’S BED TIME

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cartoon_man_relaxing_while_on_vacation_at_the_beach_0515-1011-1516-2024_SMU

7 Tips for Keeping Your Things Safe and Secure at the Beach

To keep your things safe and secure at the beach, make use of a waterproof backpack, use waterproof cases to protect your gadgets, limit the items you bring to the beach, bring only the things you are willing to lose and break, use a water-wallet to take valuable items with you, put your valuables in unattractive bags or containers, and take safety precautions.

How do you keep your valuables protected from the water, as well as from possible theft amidst the crowd at the beach? A wonderful adventure at the beach can turn sour when you damage lose your something important. Here are some smart tips that will help you keep your valuables protected, minimize your stress, and let you simply enjoy your stay at the beach:

Use a waterproof backpack

To keep your belongings from getting wet during a beach outing, carry a waterproof beach bag or backpack. These types of bags will keep your things dry while you are on the beach. Some specialty waterproof beach bags are even 100 percent waterproof and will keep your items totally dry. They also float in the water in case you drop them while boating or fishing.

Use waterproof cases to protect your gadgets

Cellphones, cameras, and other gadgets you bring to the beach must also be protected in waterproof cases, such as those from aquapac. Not only will these cases avoid damaging your gadgets if they get wet, but also prevent exposure to the sand. There are a variety of waterproof cases you can find in specialty shops for gadgets of all sorts.

Limit the items you bring to the beach

Aside from damaging your things, you might also be worried about losing your belongings thieves among the crowd. To minimize such risk, limit what you bring, especially if you are not going to the beach with a group. the less you bring, the less important it is to keep an eye on your stuff. If you are staying at a hotel near the beach, leave your valuables in your room or hotel safe.

Bring only what you are willing to lose or break

If you are going to the beach alone or with a partner, no one will be able to look after your belongings while you go swimming. In this case, it would be better not to bring your valuables. It is better to take with you only what you are willing to lose or break.

Use a water-wallet to take valuable things with you

A handy solution that allows you to take your valuables with you to the beach is a water-wallet. You can hold your mobile phone, money, credit cards, driver’s license, and car key in this waterproof wallet which usually comes with a neck or waist strap for more convenience. They are reusable and a great investment if you are an adventurer or a frequent traveler.

Put your valuables in unattractive bags or containers

Another way to avoid losing your stuff at the beach is to put your valuables in unattractive bags and containers. Putting your stuff in containers, such as cartoon character-themed bags and food containers, will lead people to think that items inside  are for kids or are food. Furthermore, avoid bags which are bright and attractive to deter the attention of thieves.

Take safety precautions

The best way to protect your belongings from theft while at the beach is to take precautionary measures. As much as possible, take turns when swimming. Make sure your stuff is within your line of sight so you can regularly check on them.

Breaking or losing your stuff at the beach need not be a distressing concern. As long as you know how and where to keep your valuables and the important safety measures to take, your beach outing will surely be enjoyable and stress-free.

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Come along, come with me,
Take a dive in the deep blue sea.

Put on your gear, let’s explore
All the way to the ocean floor!

See that snail wrapped in curls?
Look! An oyster wearing pearls!
Watch the octopus oh so dark,
But don’t you dare to pet the shark!

Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!
Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!

Now we’re very far below,
The lantern fish are all aglow.
Is that a tiny shock you feel?
You just met an electric eel!

Giant blue whales start to stir,
Bigger than dinosaurs ever were!
Wave good-bye to the squid and sponge,
This is the end of our deep-sea plunge!

Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!
Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!

by Meish Goldish

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110751

 

The sun is couched, the sea-fowl gone to rest, 
And the wild storm hath somewhere found a nest; 
Air slumbers–wave with wave no longer strives, 
Only a heaving of the deep survives, 
A tell-tale motion! soon will it be laid, 
And by the tide alone the water swayed. 
Stealthy withdrawings, interminglings mild 
Of light with shade in beauty reconciled– 
Such is the prospect far as sight can range, 
The soothing recompence, the welcome change. 
Where, now, the ships that drove before the blast, 
Threatened by angry breakers as they passed; 
And by a train of flying clouds bemocked; 
Or, in the hollow surge, at anchor rocked 
As on a bed of death? Some lodge in peace, 
Saved by His care who bade the tempest cease; 
And some, too heedless of past danger, court 
Fresh gales to waft them to the far-off port 
But near, or hanging sea and sky between, 
Not one of all those winged powers is seen, 
Seen in her course, nor ‘mid this quiet heard; 
Yet oh! how gladly would the air be stirred 
By some acknowledgment of thanks and praise, 
Soft in its temper as those vesper lays 
Sung to the Virgin while accordant oars 
Urge the slow bark along Calabrian shores; 
A sea-born service through the mountains felt 
Till into one loved vision all things melt: 
Or like those hymns that soothe with graver sound 
The gulfy coast of Norway iron-bound; 
And, from the wide and open Baltic, rise 
With punctual care, Lutherian harmonies. 
Hush, not a voice is here! but why repine, 
Now when the star of eve comes forth to shine 
On British waters with that look benign? 
Ye mariners, that plough your onward way, 
Or in the haven rest, or sheltering bay, 
May silent thanks at least to God be given 
With a full heart; “our thoughts are ‘heard’ in heaven.” 

William Wordsworth

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sunshine

A hint of sunshine and the kids are off like a shot, but catch them with the sun-cream to keep that sensitive skin safe from UV damage.

Why sunscreen matters

One hint of sunshine and we’ll bet your kids are stripped off and gone, leaving you waving a sun-cream bottle and bleating for them to ‘come back right now!’. Sound familiar? It’s enough to make you wonder whether it’s worth the effort. It is. A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s, so they are at greater risk of suffering damage from exposure to UV radiation, says Melanie Anglesey.

The four hours either side of midday are the times at which you should take the greatest care in the sun. Avoid long periods of exposure to your skin between 10am and 3pm. Children should wear protective clothing, preferably with a high ultraviolet protection factor – UPF factor. The areas to keep covered are the neck, legs and arms. Opt for a wide brimmed or legionnaires hat (with UPF) and sunglasses (with an environmental protection factor – EPF) to protect the eyes.

Children’s skin needs high protection. Use sunscreen with a high SPF factor to protect exposed areas and choose hypoallergenic sun creams or those for children’s sensitive skin, as the chemicals in some sun creams can irritate children’s skin.

Remember that skin can burn even on cloudy days and prolonged exposure to the heat can lead to heat stroke, so take regular breaks in the shade and offer children plenty of water to drink.

Sun safety tips

  • Babies and infants should be kept out of the sun at all times.
  • Always put a broad-brimmed hat on children – a flap down the back gives added protection.
  • Invest in some sun-protection clothing or, at a pinch, dress them in cool, light-coloured clothes
  • Apply sunscreen half an hour before going outside to allow absorption, then reapply regularly, especially after swimming or towel-drying.
  • Apply sunscreen generously and use a minimum SPF15 on kids (lighter skins burn more easily so higher ratings required). Make sure sunscreen offers UVB and UVA protection.
  • Use a waterproof sunscreen (SPF15) for children when swimming or playing outdoors with water, and reapply regularly.
  • Use 100 per cent UV-blocking sunglasses with wrap-around protection.
  • Plan trips and garden play that avoids 11am to 3pm peak intensity.
  • Encourage children to play in the shade.

Find out more

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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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Tabulampot

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