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Don't forget to make some memories!

When the Playground Competes with Projects

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

As the temperatures increase and spring asserts itself, many of us will land outdoors. With warmer weather comes greater interest in outdoor activity, especially with our children. From parks and playgrounds to hiking trails and hot dogs at the baseball park, the opportunities to become one with nature and move around in a childlike fashion are numerous. But sometimes the desire to be outside trumps the desire to be indoors, seated at the kitchen table, completing homework and school assigned projects. Playing hide and go seek is simply a lot more fun than practicing spelling words, and fun times outdoors can lead to disinterest in academic tasks. These dueling interests can unfortunately also lead to parent-child disagreements in which it feels like you’re pulling teeth to get your child to focus on the school work. So, what’s a parent...

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Family Fun for Summer

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Smarts-n-Crafts | 0 comments

Welcome to Smarts-n-crafts, where you’ll find smart activities to do with your children–no matter what age—and fun craft projects and games for gobs of giggles. You’ll be provided with step-by-step instructions, a variety of use ideas, approximate time of activity, and an age-tested skill level. Let’s get started! We’ve got just 18 summers to create lots of memories with our loved ones. This month’s craft is not only a craft, but a game: See how many splat balls you can catch in your catch basket from tosses by your team mate. Made with throw-aways, it’s uber-cool to recycle! What you’ll need: 4 empty gallon milk jugs cleaned/labels removed (they peel fairly easy, don’t worry about leftover glue) Two 1-¼ inch dowels, 2 inches long each Duct tape Permanent markers ¼ – ½ inch wide elastic Hole puncher Splat balls...

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Praying for My Child’s Enemy

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

This one’s tough. I think of myself as fairly level-headed. I don’t take offense too easily, and I’m quick to forgive. However, when someone messes with my children, that description is no longer accurate. Things that would be easily forgiven when aimed at me, become huge stumbling blocks when they’re aimed at my babies. The only way I’ve found to curb this momma-bear tendency is prayer. Not prayer for me or my child—although those are always good. No the prayers that make a difference are those I voice for the one who instigated the hurt. I know it goes against every ounce of how I’m feeling, but that’s what makes it work one-hundred-per-cent of the time. It takes the hurt out of my heart and puts it at the foot of the cross. That’s the place where I find...

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Soak it Up

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

Soggy sand oozed between the ten little piggies of my son’s toes. A ragged edge of transparent water, clear and cold rippled toward where we stood. Justin screamed a delightful two-year-old mix of happy-scared. I scooped him up against me, his knees bent into my stomach. I watched the water foam up around my ankles, held his little person above the water, his high-pitched screams of delight were drowned by the immense voice of the sea. Then I plopped his feet back into the receding wave. Transparent water vanished into the sand. Justin, mesmerized, watched his toes wiggle and dig into the disappearing wetness. I looked out to the horizon of blue on blue. A long shore on either side embraced the ocean as it came and went. The spectacular view poured into my spirit like life giving drink...

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Filling the Gaps

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Recently our family was watching a game show. The contest was based on contestants guessing names of famous people. The players knew rappers, TV roles, and all the current and former partners of something called a “Kardasian.” One name they needed to guess was Abraham Lincoln.  The host began the clues: “A very famous president” “President during the American Civil War” “Was assassinated” “Gave the Gettysburg Address” “On the penny” They could not guess it. Eventually he had to make up a silly name to form a final clue.  “His name sounds like Brabraham Plinkon.” That is when one contestant buzzed in and hesitantly gave the answer. She was still obviously unsure of the answer. Later in the show the name was Harry Truman, the lack of responses were worse. My boys were as amazed as I was and...

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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

My grandson Micah, age 22 months, loves to play copycat. The other day, for example, he watched his four older siblings position their kid-size plastic lawn chairs within inches of their backyard sprinkler. Then they sat on their chairs, squirming and squealing with delight each time the water sprayed them. Not to be outdone, Micah picked up his chair—which nearly equaled his size—and half-carried half-wrestled it to the same place. He plopped it down, climbed aboard, and mimicked everything they did and said. Micah copycats his mom and dad, too. If they put ketchup on their hotdog, he insists on the same. If they drink from a water bottle, he wants to drink from a water bottle, too. If they fold their hands and bow their heads to say grace, he does the same. Watching Micah play copycat makes...

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