20 Reasons why children should be loved.

Children are our greatest asset, let me share some quotes on children… short phrases that make us think. Enjoy.

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
  — John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.”
  — Franklin P. Jones, American humorist

“Children see magic because they look for it.”
  ― Christopher Moore, writer

“Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.”
  — Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author

“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”
  — Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali polymath

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
  ― Carl Sandburg, American poet

“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
  — Dwight L. Moody, evangelist

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”
  — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

“While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.”
  — Angela Schwindt, home schooling mom

“Hugs can do great amounts of good, especially for children.”
  — Diana, Princess of Wales

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.”
  — Oliver Wendell Holmes, author and poet

“Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.”
  —Author unknown

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
  — Robert Fulghum, author”Old men can make war, but it is children who will make history.”
  — Ray Merritt, author

“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.”
  — Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist

“A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.”
  — Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

“Children are a great comfort to us in our old age, and they help us reach it faster too.”
  — Author unknown

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
  — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

“A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn’t act that way very often.”
  — Author unknown

“I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.”
  — Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States

Love your children.

Jackie

Being a Grand Parent…Its about to happen.

 

 

Waiting… Waiting… Waiting… we have been waiting for a week and still no baby. What a long week. The excitement is building.

Any one else have a story to share?

I am so excited about becoming a Grand Parent… all the fun and half the responsibility.

I can’t wait to meet this new beautiful little person that will be a part of my life that has my DNA. Children are a great joy and our greatest achievement.

I am reflecting on this poem.. isn’t it lovely.

Grandchild’s Hand

The promise of tomorrow
And the hope of dreams come true…
A reminder of the childhood
That’s still a part of you…

 

The wonder of a miracle

From which this love began…

There is so much found in the touch

Of holding a grandchild’s hand.

Author: unknown

NEWS FLASH

I am a Nana very thrilled, a little girl. So exciting, loving this new addition to my life.

Let me know how you feel about being a Grand parent, I have learnt things have changed since I had my babies. Fabulous time.

Best wishes to you, where ever you may be.

Jackie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful babies… just laughing…


Lots of babies laughing

There is just no substitute for the simple pleasure of hearing a baby laugh, it is just pure joy. No games, no hidden agendas or planning, just laughing for the sake of it. Our world needs lots of impromptu pleasures. I cannot stop playing these videos. So incredibly cute.

Its not all laughter but…

I am going to be a Nana this year and I am really excited, I think having children enriches your life in ways that you never thought possible. All those sleepless nights, unless nappy changes, watching them start to sit, to walk, to run, to go to school…suddenly they are finishing school, at Uni, got a job. They are constructive members of society, Wow… how lucky am I and then they come and tell you they are getting married or having a baby. It is the icing on the cake.

For all the heart ache one goes through as a parent, I know I would not change it for the world. I am so privileged to be watching my children become parents and supporting them in their new role.

So yes, it is not all laughter, but “oh,” does laughter help on the journey!

I have become so aware as I get older of the eternal cycle of being human. Thinking about your own mortality makes you assess the life you have lived and are living.

Still laughing

We all need to be grateful every day for family, for living, for loving and for laughing, aren’t we lucky to witness our kids growing up, our grand children being born and their developmental stages. I am so excited to be part of my grandchildren’s life. Their birth is such a verification of life and the magnificent things on offer.

As I sit and ponder feeling a deep concern for our world, war, famine, misery, illness, homelessness and just the endless extremes of the human condition. I have to keep my life in perspective and give thanks for honesty, loyalty, integrity and the pure joy of beautiful babies…just laughing.

Always love hearing from you.

Please feel free to leave me a message.

Take care and laugh a lot.

Jackie

Kids Healthy Eating

 

My grandmother was one of eleven and was bought up on a farm. The rituals of preparing good quality food and sitting down around the table together are strong and I have a hard time understanding those people that don’t use the family meal as a time to share and chat to each other.

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When my kids were growing up I banned TV during the week and made that time every night, family time. Sitting around the family table is to me, so important and kids like the routine. It’s a time to chat about your day and engage in conversation. It is something now I think parents have to fight for, digital media is so intrusive  and I think families need to decide on some rules of engagement when it comes to family meals. Think about how you and your family get together and how often.

What is your child eating at school?

 

Providing a routine of regular meals for your children is necessary for good health and helps them to thrive. Well nourished kids function better at school. Here are a few ideas for the lunch box. There has been the Healthways campaign in Australia that encourages eating five veg and two fruit a day, probably not a bad thing.

http://www.foodtolove.com.au/recipes/collections/12-delicious-dinners-your-kids-will-love?

Jamie Oliver has done a great deal to improve the quality of school lunches in the UK. He also tried in the US but sadly was not well received, I have lived in the US and as much as I love the people and the place, I found the cheap bread and bright yellow cheese on offer in the super markets a challenge to buy. Cheap… but.. poor quality. I looked around for good quality bread and cheese and found it at a much higher price, but available. Sad that food has been processed so much that it makes it cheap but worthless nutritionally. This was back in the 1980’s, I hope this is still not the case!

 

Variety is the spice of life.

Offering  a variety of food I believe is a good thing for children. Teaching them to try new things is important. I know they will have their favourites, but there are so many types of food to try and many children go to schools that have children from a variety of cultures.

On a daily basis different food is often being eaten around them and days like Harmony Day encourage children to see how food is prepared and they have the opportunity to try something different.

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Just a spoon full of sugar…

In the movie Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews sings the song “Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.” I don’t think the song is suggesting that we eat three teaspoons of sugar to eat a muesli bar or 6 spoons of sugar when we drink a glass or orange juice! But that is what we are doing!! Sugar has been added to every thing we buy, peanut butter, tomato sauce to name a few things, and yes, it might enhance flavour but was not meant to be  added to everything we eat.

The song from Mary Poppins suggests that it used to mask the taste of a yucky medicine, in the days the song was written it was a good idea… sugar was a treat… now it seems it has become a necessity!!! Really…. I was horrified when I saw the movie ” That Sugar Movie” if you haven’t seen it, it is a must see.

Sugar has been placed in just about everything you can buy in a can or a bottle… in the super market. The over introduction of sugar has been a clever surreptitious invasion of our food and I was totally sucked in too. I was horrified and had no idea my health was so effected. I have not eaten much processed sugar since.

 

Keeping a balance

I think it is important to keep a balance, everything in moderation, but as parents we now to not only  watch our children’s screen time and internet use, and now the amount of sugar we give our children!!! A parents job is not easy. Fresh meat fruit and veggies are the key.

I am a great fan of Jamie Oliver and this is the mission statement of Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation.

Our mission is to shape the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and contribute to a healthier world, by providing better access to food education for everyone.

We work in schools, where our Kitchen Garden Project resources educate primary school children about the joys of growing and cooking from scratch; in communities, where our Ministry of Food programme inspires people of all ages to get in the kitchen and give cooking a go; and with disengaged young people, where our Fifteen Apprentice Programme provides inspiration and support to those pursuing a career in the food industry.

For further information check out The Food Foundation Website.

http://www.jamieoliverfoodfoundation.org.uk/#our-mission

Keep caring about what you put in your mouth and what your give your kids to eat.

Good luck and thanks for visiting.

Jackie

Ten Funny Quotes

Every family have their own sayings quotes or quips that are pasted down through the generations. I love reflecting on other people’s sayings and I just had to share a few. I hope you enjoy these ones and that they might strike a chord with you.

An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.

Agatha Christie

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.
Audrey Hepburn

 

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!
Charlie Chaplin

 

It’s better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression that you’re stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. Rami Belson

No one will win the battle of the sexes, there is too much flirting with the enemy.

Henry Kissinger

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

 

Sometimes my mind wanders; other times it leaves completely.

 Unknown

“If you’re sad, add more lip stick, and attack.” Coco Chanel

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. Mark Twain

 

A good laugh is sunshine in the house.
William Makepeace Thackeray

 

Please let me know your favourite quote.

Thanks for dropping by.

Best wishes,

Jackie

Kids Laughing while Learning

Three Children Sitting In Wheelbarrow

Keeping your sense of humour is such a great way to survive life’s hardships. Also using laughter as a teaching tool often defuses anxiety, fear and barriers that children/adults sometimes feel and have to overcome to achieve their potential.

Laughter is a great way to just make you feel good.

Words such a chuckle, smirk, smile, grin, snicker, giggle, chortle, laugh, cackle, guffaw, howl, shriek, roar, convulse and die laughing are all ways to describe laughing. Everyone of us has our own version of what makes us laugh…in short we have our own sense of humour and react to situations differently. Laughter is spontaneous so one person might see the funny side of a situation and another is not amused at all. This ‘human reaction thing” can some times be a challenge for an educator. Being able to read the audience is very helpful when passing on information. There are people called comedians who make their living out of making people laugh. There is nothing like having a good laugh.

So how much should you use humour while giving a lesson?

I think it depends on the situation, the topic and the students. If you are dealing with fire safety for example and the lessons to be learnt are concerning life and death situations then using humour may be not appropriate. However when considering the fire safety example, you might want to use humour  subtly,  as an ice breaker. Making some flippant comment about a piece of equipment used incorrectly or something not life threatening. In doing so the tension people feel when they first come into a room and don’t know what to expect is released and the use of humour then focuses the group immediately on to the serious nature of the topic.

On the other hand, one might find ones self presenting a topic that is not life treating but the lesson requires people to join in with you and not feel uncomfortable doing so. Making a joke perhaps against your self can support people to feel they can join in. Or breaking down the skills needed into achievable chunks, presented with gentle humour can be a very productive way to pass on information.

What can make us laugh

  • to laugh at ourselves
  • to see the funny side of a situation
  • tell a funny story or movie
  • clever use of language alliteration, rhyming..
  • someone else laughing can be infectious
  • something ridiculous that crops up

How Laughter helps us

  • relaxes and releases emotions
  • expands the lungs
  • stretches muscles
  • releases endorphines
  • the stress hormone cortisol is reduced
  • a simple smile shared can improve well being
  • boosts the immune system

Using humour while passing on information is a useful tool to aid learning. Laughing is a part of what we do as humans and without it we would have a barren existence.

Laughter for life

“The ability to laugh, play, and have fun with others not only makes life more enjoyable but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and be more creative. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships.

Life brings challenges that can either get the best of you or become playthings for your imagination. When you “become the problem” and take yourself too seriously, it can be hard to think outside the box and find new solutions. But when you play with the problem, you can often transform it into an opportunity for creative learning.

Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. When they are confused or afraid, they make their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with others in playful ways helps you retain this creative ability.” This is a direct quote from this web site www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional…/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.ht..

Laugh every day and enjoy your family.

Best wishes,

Jackie

 

 

 

 

 

St Patrick’s Day Fun for Kids

What is St Patrick’s Day?

“Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.” Google.

The colour green is associated with St Patrick’s Day.

I remember when I was living in Chicago in the 1980’s St Patricks day was a huge occasion. Chicago has a large Irish population. The Chicago River was coloured green. Everyone walked around the city wearing green clothes and there was much drinking and merriment in the local Irish Pubs and Bars.

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So HOW did the colour green become to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day?

Apparently the colour green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. Since at least the 1680s green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St Patrick’s Day since at least the 1680s. Green was adopted as the colour of the Friendly Brothers of St Patrick, an Irish fraternity founded in about 1750.

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“In the 1790s, green became associated with Irish nationalism when it was used by the United Irishmen. This was a republican organisation—led mostly by Protestants but with many Catholic members—who launched a rebellion in 1798 against British rule. The phrase “wearing of the green” comes from a song of the same name, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day grew.” Wikipedia

Here is a Utube video,  Wolfe Tones singing the Wearing of the Green incase you have not heard the song.

Most countries of the world have a National Day, some we don’t know about and some are embraced by the countries that have large immigrant populations living away from their homeland. Such as the Irish who settled all around the world with large populations being in countries like the  US, Australia and NZ. St Patrick’s Day has been adopted in these countries. There is not a public holiday as there is in Ireland, but the festivities continue on never the less.

Ten ways to enjoy St Patrick’s Day with your child

  • Dress in green clothes, explore your wardrobe and have some fun, wigs socks and so forth. Many schools have a green dress up day for St Patricks Day.
  • Prepare a green lunch with celery, lettuce, green tomatoes, pickles… green what ever you can think of! Shopping for these items can be a wonderful way to engage your children in the festivities. Or eat traditional Irish food like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie,potato bread and black pudding. Drink green cordial.
  • Write in a green pencil for the day, this might need to be discussed with the school and they may embrace it.
  • Find all the songs you can that mention green, songs such as The Green Hills of Home, a Scottish folk song and Emmylou Harris – The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia. It is interesting for children to understand the strong connections people have to their home lands and how that love for country is expressed in song.
  • Look at  film clips of Riverdance and or listen to Irish music.Traditional Irish dancing historically uses a very straight body, hands straight down the body, with great attention to the foot work. My understanding is this practise developed in the days when the English banned the Irish culture and people meet in their houses and there was not a great deal of room to move and they had to keep their movements low to avoid being caught.
  • Make a leprechaun costume with a green top hat, orange beard, white long socks and black shoes.
  • Spray your hair green, coloured hair spray can be bought from Party Shops.
  • Create some activities around the Irish shamrock, make cards with green paper to give to friends or decorate wrapping paper, laced with green glitter and green confetti or create a beautiful picture for the wall.
  • Check out activityvillage.co.uk  and find the St Patrick’s Day craft ideas, and worksheets, if you are stuck in the snow!
  • If you live in a warmer climate think about green pavement drawings with chalk.. could create a fun drawing competition in your  neighbourhood.

Enjoy… have a wonderful St Patrick’s Day and remember… The Irish Blessing.

Would love to hear how you spent your St Patrick’s Day.

Thanks for dropping by. Best wishes

Jackie

 

How to make a Strawbo

 

This instrument is also known as a Straw Oboe.

There is nothing like creating sound with your children, this is a wonderful simple instrument, easy to make, using a straw. This is an instrument I learnt to make from Mark Cain.

The humble straw.

From the humble straw…

Mark is a wonderful instrument maker and musician based in Fremantle, Perth Western Australia. Check out his website http://www.markcain.com.au/bio

What you will need.

A pair of sharp scissors

A packet of straws any size will do.

How to make the strawbo.

1. Flatten the straw.

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Make sure you have flattened the straw well below the cut as this is where the sound comes from.

2. Cut one side.

IMG_0122Make sure that you leave enough straw in the cut to leave a point at the top of the straw when you cut the other side.

 

3. Cut the other side.

 

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How to play the strawbo.

Your instrument is ready to play, place between your lips, do not use your teeth. Relax the mouth and blow. You may need to work out where the right spot is to get a sound.

Do you want to know some of the educational benefits of making this instrument?

From being involved in this activity your children are learning a great deal about sound. This simple instrument is exposing your child to the production of sound without realising it.

  • They are learning to blow and isolate sound.
  • They are learning to manipulate their lips, tongue and mouth.
  • They are exposed to a double reed…such as the reed used by the Oboe in the Orchestra.
  • Develop discussions about other wind instruments.
  • They are developing an understanding of breath control.
  • Cutting the straws different lengths exposed children to higher and lower sounds.
  • Exploring long and short sounds.

When working with children I am always surprised how many children cannot whistle, simple actions like whistling and blowing are important to support vocal articulation and production of vowels and consonants in speech. It is interesting to note that behind this play, lessons useful to your child’s life experiences, are being assimilated.

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For further information

Check out the Teacher’s Notes in the post The Reluctant Recorder Player on this web site.

Let me know how your straw oboe turned out.

Have fun with your children.

Thanks for dropping by.

best wishes,

 

Jackie

 

 

 

 

 

Our Inner Voice

Our inner voice

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‘The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.’ Peggy O’Mara

Have you ever stopped to think about how we got our inner voice? How it might be attached to our self esteem. Why do we see the world the way we do? How come we we work for a salary? Did our Dad work for a salary? Is there a reason why we stay in our home town all our life? What did you learn from your parents? Did you listen to what they told you? Did you observe their behaviour? What part of your upbringing had the greatest influence on you? Is this why we do the things we do? Think about it. What do you tell your self? Do you have positive or negative self esteem?

I found this quote on face book and wondered who Peggy O’Mara was and I found out she was the former editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine.

Check her out, here is the link to her latest video and website.

http://www.peggyomara.com/2013/08/19/peggy-omaras-new-website/

Thinking about our inner voice.

It got me thinking about our inner voice and the effect it may have on us… the conversations we have with ourselves.

First of all let’s be straight: I am not giving parents a hard time here, we are all human with our discrepancies and imperfections. There are no degree’s at our universities that train us to be the perfect parent! We do tend to parent as we were parented and many of us might either learn from the examples we experienced and parent differently or follow the same path. There are no rules and most parents try to do their best with the tools they have. I am a parent, I am sure my children have both positive and negative things to say about their upbringing!

 

In music we talk about inner hearing, giving ourselves time to hear inside our head a part of the music we have heard before, which might aid, with either memorising a part of a melody or giving a moment of silence to the music. Our inner voice, I think works a bit like that too, but it is not the music you memorise. It is the talk around us that is assimilated, over time and it would seem there are inner voice repercussions for us as we are nurtured through this growing process. The effects of this family scripting mould us into the people we are today, they become a part of our DNA… part of the family tradition. There is nothing wrong with that. It is what we choose to do with the person we are, having experienced these influences, that is interesting.

Should we change our inner voice?

We all have this inner voice. We can either move through life unaware of the family scripting we have experienced and live our life accordingly accepting both the positive and negative or we become aware and decide what we will keep and what we will change.  This is a conscious decision and can be very confronting, it takes courage to tackle that little voice within and say.. enough. I am not listening to you any more and I am going to change.

A positive and negative inner voice.

For me, the biggest challenge was that little voice that said.. I wasn’t good enough… any one else had that? Boy… have I worked on that one. Read books, gone to workshops, listened to tapes, meditated, even gone to India to an ayurvedic treatment centre. Of course it was not just for that little voice inside… but to explore “me” as a person too. There is so much to learn, not just about the lessons from school but who we are as “ourself.” I am not sure that we often give ourselves the opportunity to explore those personal possibilities. Should this become a lesson in the classroom, in our schools? Should our well being… our self esteem…what our inner voice tells us, be discussed? (Actually, I know there are programs in schools addressing these issues more and more.) Still we can ponder… What is the inner voice in our head telling us? Should be talk about it? Do we need to be ready to listen to change? There are lots of questions. What do you think?

Be kind to your self.

Life is about taking what we have and building on it and you are never too old to learn. My father always said that you must teach your children to be independent and I would add,to know your self as well. That is a life long journey.

Just a few thoughts. Be kind to your self.

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Please leave a comment.

Thanks so much for dropping by.
best wishes,

Jackie

Giant Family Fun

 

Every now and then something extraordinary comes along and yesterday was that day, as part of the Festival of Perth, I went to see the Giants. They are not a foot ball team!!! They are Giant puppets. Royal De Luxe are world leaders in large-scale street theatre and story telling. Founded in 1979, based in Nantes, France they are recognised internationally for their extraordinary events. The magical, poetic and epic nature of their work is something to behold.

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If you ever get a chance to see them, take the opportunity, I was enthralled by the puppeteering…a team of 70 people work to manipulate these giant puppets. It was very hot work and so synchronised. The movement started in one part of town at 9.30am and we were waiting on the streets for two hours, it took all that time for the entourage  to pass by. It was very worth the wait, I just began to appreciated the enormous amount of planning on so many levels that must have gone into bringing this wonderful experience to Perth Western Australia.

The whole experience lasts over three days and tells a story that commemorates the centenary of ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Army Corps –a day we commemorate fallen soldiers in Australia and New Zealand).

A wonderful public event for families and friends to get together have fun and enjoy street theatre at its best. If they come to your city do not miss them.

Let me know if you saw them too.

Would love to hear from you, thanks for dropping by.

Best wishes,

Jackie