Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Year that was, 2010

The new header reflects what I experienced last year. Well, selective experiences anyways. Don't need to show unemployment do I? I spent a week in 100F+ weather in Tucson, AZ in July so have that wonderful shot of a storm either starting or ending and cactus. I got a kick out of one of their main streets being called "Canada". There is Ty Pennington's autograph and a letter from my Grandparent's MP congratulating them on their 50th Wedding Anniversary and two winter scenes, one from our master bedroom to our backyard (the baseball field isn't ours, it belongs to the Catholic school) and a rural road on January 1, 2010.

I look forward to 2011 and what photos I'll be able to take to record experiences. Though I think it isn't kosher to bring a camera along to a job interview. I'll have better things happening other than that. Like my birthday and the possibility of my husband convocating with his doctorate in July (which will bring a trip to Virginia I believe is where it is this year).

AND the biggest thing to end this year is the imminent arrival of my DH's Christmas gift for me...a Silhouette cutting machine! According to Canada Post's tracking thingabopper it is in the delivery stage! woot! woot!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Claus: a bold face lie?

Santa isn't real??? When did this happen??? Then who gave me the microscope kit when I was 10? My parent's said they'd never get me one so it had to be Santa. Then there was the year when I was a teenager and I hear the hooves on our roof top. And NORAD always tracks his progress!

There has been talk lately on the web and on my local talk radio station about "lying to children about Santa Claus".  I've never thought of the Santa Claus coming down the chimney as a lie but as something fun to do. That is how I approached it with my children as did my friends. I wonder how serious parents make it, like it is the gospel truth or something. I believed until I was 5-6 yrs. It just seemed a natural thing not to, and it was so much fun being Santa for my younger sister! (replicating what St. Nicholas did, giving to others).

Gosh, I see it as something fun to do and didn't go overboard on the Santa thing with my kids. Before we open our gifts DH reads from Luke and we have always had Nativity sets within the kid's reach. I just got to watch my grandson put out milk & cookies for Santa and be a Santa's helper filling the stockings with his mom. He was so thrilled/excited to be doing this. Tomorrow morning he'll be using the Little People's nativity scene while his Grampa does the reading.

Santa was a real person, St. Nicholas who gave gifts to the poor. So when my kids asked I told them about St. Nicholas and something about the three wise men and gifts to our Saviour.

Is it deception or is it about imagination, giving to others, doing the lord's work through the people around us and/or just plain fun?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Twas a week before Christmas and not a creature was stirring...

not even me. Dispite having a living room that resembles an average teenagers bedroom and  I'm sure there's a dinning table under the sewing machines and baked goods, I'm lounging on the only empty seating space. On the positive side, all the packages are mailed! And here's hoping they'll arrive by next Friday! Please Mr. (Canada) Postman please deliver them so my nieces and nephews can open their gifts on Christmas Day. If not, it won't be the first Christmas that they had gifts to open just before New Years Day.

The tree is trimmed, the nativity sets are on display and even the piano top is tidy! I just remembered that there are some missing stockings, guess I just have to whip up some more! I actually like making stockings. I grew up with only one but I'd make a new one for each person every 2nd year or so if I knew what to do with the previous ones.

Dispite ESPing my place to tidy itself for years, it won't clean itself up. Gone are the days were I could say "babies don't keep and dust bunnies will always be there". Well, the babies are adults and those dust bunnies have multiplied. I'd love to blame those former babies because three of them are still here, but the stuff is mine. Crafts are invasive and I think if left to roam freely would crush the dust bunnies. hmmm, there's a thought.

Favourite Christmas song line: "Christmas is coming, how joyful it will be. The family will gather 'round the Christmas tree"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Children have the right to play

It is so sad that there are children who are not allowed to play freely. In western society many children (too many) are denied the opportunity to discover the joy of just playing. In schools recesses are being cut or cancelled then parents/caregivers are picking up the children from the school sidewalks and often driving them to organized sporting teams. One could argue that competing on those team sports is playing, yes, it is, but it is directed by adults and rules are enforced by adults. What are the kids learning? That adults make the rules and that they (the children) can follow directions. While many good things are learned and experienced through organized sports, that shouldn't be the only exposure to play that a child should have.
When children organize their own games they learn co-operation, negotiation, compromise, leadership skills, organizational skills and having fun for the sake of having fun without an adult telling them what to do, or hovering. Hmmm sounds like the same skills that organized sports boast, yet for less money and travel time!
I can't remember which group did this experiment but it was fascinating. They took a group of kids who were members of a organized basketball team and had them organize themselves on the official court inside the gym and then outside on the asphalt play area. Inside, the leader  was the team captain and the boys played their usual spots. Outside, they organized themselves differently. The ones who took charge were the ones who were quiet followers. This shows that if a child has only one type of play activity there are children who would lose out on opportunities that could develop leadership associated skills. Sooooo, let children organize themselves, let them make mistakes. It isn't like they're going to ruin their chances to be a successful athlete if they don't practice, practice, practice in only official situations.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rememberance Day, November 11, 2010

I like to change things around so my header is for Remembrance Day. The photos are special to me because they are of my relatives. The left one is my dad in his Royal Canadian Air Force uniform, it must be around 1942ish. I don't know when he actually joined up but he was 20 in '42 so I'm going from there. I suppose I should just ask him when he joined! I should actually do that. Anyways, the centre photo is my Great Uncle Lewis (far left-the tall dude) at Shorncliff, England in 1917. The right one is my Great Uncle William Clifford Ernest Law in his WWI uniform. He is Lewis' younger brother. He died November 6, 1918, yes, 5 days before the Armistice was signed. He was ill and is buried at Somme, France. He was 21 years old. He also was with the Fort Garry Horse.

Lewis lived to the 1970's, but was always affected by the Mustard gas he ingested and died from it's effects.

Obviously my dad lived (I was born well after the photo), but then, he was one of many who fought the war on North American soil. He helped build the Alaskan Highway and built a jeep from scratch (so says my mom and Dad didn't dispute it). He wanted to fly but because of his eyesight (you needed 20/20 back then) he was grounded.

Let's remember all who fought, past or present so we could be free to praise or complain about our governments. That is truely a blessing because there are still places in this world where that is not allowed whatsoever.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hallowe'en isn't just playtime for kids...

I've always been a 'crafty' person, especially when the kids were little (seems most crafty blogs are by moms of young children...wonder why that is?) so seeing all these projects got my juices revived after a 3 year hiatus...exams and work got into the way...I created a wreath for Hallowe'en!
Thanks to all those who showed off their creations, I would never have thought to do one for Hallowe'en.
During the creation process I discovered a couple of things, one, Superglue is no replacement for a glue gun (I now own 3 of them since two are MIA) and feather boas molt and Superglue DOES stick to feathers (but not plastic skulls onto wood).

So, I bought only from two local dollar stores (Silver Dollar & Dollarama) and the grape wreath was collecting dust on the basement fireplace mantle. Spent about $4 on the Superglue that didn't work and $5 on a new glue gun. The skulls were one package for $1, the boa $1, the skeleton was a package of 4 for $1 and the two spiders were bought at a dollar store about 5 years ago when I taught Sunday School to 3yr. olds and we were doing "I am thankful for insects" (yeah, I know technically spiders aren't insects, but gosh, they're funky and the kids loved them!). 

Next is an advent calendar for Christmas...looking for ideas....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Too many blogs not enough time

I've spent the last few weeks either reading blogs or books on play...mostly blogs I must confess. Craft blogs. Lots of them. I even made a Hallowe'en wreath! I'll post it soon. I think there is a linky party that inspired me to do it. I owned 2 glue guns and couldn't find even one of them! This time I found the glue sticks, or rather one bag of them. I'm sure I have a larger bag hiding out somewhere. I tried using SuperGlue but it really isn't a suitable substitute, so I bought yet another mini-craft glue gun. So now I own 3 glue guns. Hopefully I'll be able to keep track of this one. That would mean not putting it into "a safe place".
My hubby was very gracious and shared whatever bug he caught in the plane from Anaheim. It hit Friday. Sore throat etc. but I actually don't feel yucky, just tired a bit. This messed up my plans for yesterday and I didn't get more done on the play process. The books are due back on Tuesday so I'll see what I can get done tomorrow after the two classes I'm taking.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The monetary price of having children

While there are many cost analysis' of raising children there is one that is different because it breaks down that big number into a refreshing and surprising cost. Now instead of thinking we've spent an outrageous amount of money on our 4 kids, I've discovered that it really is a pittance. The dividends though are tremendous though! There is one 'payment' that they don't mention but I find that it has kept me going for months. An unexpected kiss on the cheek from my undemonstrative son! Usually I have to point out that I get a 'birthday kiss' or 'Mother's Day kiss" and point to my cheek. He groans and obliges his mommy. He's 30yrs. old and isn't as reluctant now. I think it is because he's a dad now and I see him hugging and snuggling his two wee ones. And the tree branches...

It is a slide show that I did have up here but it slows the loading of the page. If it doesn't work just cut & paste, it is worth it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Little boys' imagination and the joy of being their leader

I taught a portion of the Cub's First Aid badge this morning at our Stake Cuberee. It went rather well considering I've known for sure about it for a few days yet choose to wait until last night to prepare and haphazardly at that. Went to bed at 2:30am and up at 7am, well, 7:45am, to the church library to photocopy the rescue breathing direction sheet from St. John Ambulance's "We Can Help" booklet (instructor's book). Thankfully I'm a 'librarian' for our Ward so I had a key. Was still early enough to set up.
The best question of the day was when we (ok, me) were talking about animal/human bites a Cub asked "what if a shark was biting me?". This is funny because Alberta is land locked and the only lakes in Calgary are man-made. Being the (ahem) sensitive child friendly person that I am, I replied "well, because you're not that big, you'd be only a snack so really you won't have to worry about the bites" (let him figure out on his own he'd be dead). I also told them that if they were bitten by a shark in Calgary then it was because they stuck their hand into someone's aquarium. I love the senarios they come up shows they have imaginations. Another one (different group) was what if you swallowed a octopus. I told him that he had bigger problems than the octopus stuck in his throat. Never did really answer either, but really, did I need to?
I was talking with some of the leaders and they expressed their joy at being a Cub leader. One said he threatened to become inactive if the church leaders asked him to do something else. I didn't think of using that when I was asked to switch to teaching the 3-4 yr.olds. It was for the best because I was doing my degree and ended up taking a couple of evening courses in order to finish in the four years.
I was quite thrilled last February at the Early Childhood conference I attended that there is hard research showing that boys need their own organizations in order to learn and grow up. This supports my church's stand on non-co-ed child and youth groups. I'll post later the evidence and rationales supporting gender specific groups.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I am a woman...therefore I do laundry

While I'm trying to figure out how I can bring all the research that I've discovered about raising literate children and other things, here is a clip about doing laundry sung to "Climb Every Mountain". It is quite funny. Though I haven't done the red/pink whites for a while, mine was drying my 100% wool sweater.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tread softly on dreams

The TED talk beside this discusses our education model and attitudes toward students. One thing he says is "a three year old is not half a six year old". and to tread softly on the children's dreams. He quoted Yeats' poem to his 'love' and said that he threw his dreams down and she walked on them.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Directions to go--where though?

I've been looking for employment for the past few months with only two interviews and wonder why because I have great qualifications. I wonder if it is agism (not a spring chicken anymore-more like mid-to-late summer) or I'm just looking at the wrong areas. Could be a combination of both. Over the past five years I've been lead into a certain direction that I have resisted and really should just embrace and follow that route. The Lord knows where I am needed so I should relax and go down that road. Preschools perhaps? We'll see if those leads bring me anything. Sometimes it takes a proverbial 2X4 to the head to get my attention. It would address my interest in early intervention, literacy and play. A development centre or high risk preschools that know that free play is the real key to academic and social success and not focused on inundating wee ones with academic rote work.
On a different note (musically speaking) the link to the right is a beautiful young lady with a beautiful voice. I don't know if her work is available other than through links. She's the daughter of a school friend from Jr./Sr. High. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A new beginning

The title of this blog came from a book "Why Does My Mother's Day Potted Plan Always Die?" by Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard (Deseret Books). It's about motherhood and travels through four seasons of a year of being a mother. Funny and heartwarming-things I can't seem to do when writing about mothering.
I do have a theory about the dead plant though, it is symbolic of motherhood, sometimes things just don't work out no matter how much care you give. Children will go their own way and sometimes it isn't the same road they were raised on. Other times it just that non-essentials are not addressed, like being busy playing with the children trumps watering a plant.
I've started re-reading it...she has reminded me of what I believed about motherhood when I had the wee ones running around. She talks about having children when people contend that having them restricts us as women and self-indulgent. I like her thought "Yes, my family takes up my space. Yes, it takes up my time. But it is also my family that has given me everything to feel and something to say" (1988, p.29). I think that is what this blog is for, families, children and being a mom and a person.