Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Fun Series

Summer is rolling in faster than the tide.  Are you ready?

We are busy preparing for all the fun that comes with the summer heat!  We are looking forward to some learning, adventures and just plain silliness in the months to come.  Each week, I will post activities to help fill those hot summer days and savor the star-filled nights until the school bell rings again!  Keep an eye out for free fun, creative interludes and abundant learning for all.

Share your ideas as we keep cool and play safe this summer!

A few of the  not-to-miss "Summer Fun" posts:

Goals and Schedules
Summer Learning Station:  The Map
Summer Learning Station:  The Activities
Free Bowling
Playground Fitness
Storytime Crafts

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Boat That Wouldn't Sink

My angel still likes Sesame Street and, honestly speaking, do we really ever outgrow it?  On one of the Sesame Street episodes, Murray has the children build a boat from aluminum foil.  A tub is filled water and boat is floated on top.  The children then place large washers in the boat, one washer at a time, to see how many washers the boat will hold before it sinks.  The experiment sounded like so much fun that we decided to try it at home.

We pulled off a 10 inch piece of aluminum foil and filled a tub with water.  Everyone built their boat but... we didn't have any washers.  So, we emptied our piggy banks and decided that quarters would work.  And, so it did.  Until... the boat that wouldn't sink!

We placed all of our quarters in the boat.  We added our dollar coins, then our pennies... this boat WOULD NOT SINK!  Finally, we added every coin that we had and this boat still would not go down. 

So... we took out the coins and sent our Barbie for a ride!

Fun experiment.  We decided that the flat bottoms and the high sides helped our best boats float.  Have you tried this experiment?  How did it work for you?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Gift

"This is the day that the Lord has made.  
I will rejoice and be glad in it!"   
Psalm 118:24

Why is it when our children are young, we only wish for a "break"?  A little time kid-free, uninterrupted sleep, a moment in the bathroom - by ourselves.... 

BUT - when our children are older, all we want is a day with the family all together.  We wish our children would spend the day at home; they would want to do something, even something simple, with mom.  We long for our kids to be at our side doing anything but arguing.

As Mother's Day approached this year, I realized what a funny holiday this is indeed.  A day when mom should have what she wants regardless....  But, can we really have it all?  Can we hide away on this day when the kids are young then expect them to run home and celebrate the holiday when they are older?

I don't have an answer to that question but I do know that our sacrifices now are our blessings later.  If we put down our phones and listen to our kids today, then our kids will talk to us tomorrow.  If we sit on the floor and play the games that they love now, then they will join us for the games that we love later.  And, it only seems to reason that if we stay home with our kids while they are young then they will come home to us when they are older.

I am not delusional and I know that life is not as simple as a formula.  But, I do know that our kids pick up on the small things.  They can feel our desires and, when they are young, they thrive on time with us.  So, on a special day like today, do we run to the spa or have daddy take the kids away for the day?  Or, do we celebrate this moment with our children and our spouses?  Do we sacrifice our secret desires today so that we may enjoy the blessings of our children in years to come?  For me, the answer is simple:  

Our angels are blessings, today and tomorrow.  
Rejoice.  Be glad.  The Lord has blessed you.  
Enjoy this blessing now and forever more.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Children's Day, May 5th

While the Mexico and parts of the US celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5th, South Korea is having a celebration of its is Children's Day!  This holiday is a bigger deal than Christmas and Easter for the kids of South Korea.  In fact, for many children, this day probably rivels their birthday for the "Best Day Ever" award.

Children's Day has been observed for almost 100 years, although not always in May and excepting a number of years when it was known as "Boys' Day".  Not until the addition of the children's welfare law of 1961 was Children's Day observed as a national holiday on May 5th.  This holiday is day when parents are encouraged to celebrate their children.  They are given the day off from work as a reminder that children require and deserve our love, care, and respect.  On this day throughout Korea, parks are filled with families, children's workers are honored, and free activites abound for all.  Children are given gifts, fed their favorite foods and games are played.  It is truly a fun day for all!

However, as a westerner looking in, I have always wondered why there is a need for such a holiday.  After all, in the US, we have Christmas and Easter which are almost entirely devoted to the fun of children.  For a while, I thought that Children's Day was Korea's version of these Christian holidays, minus the elf and bunny of course!  But, now, I truly believe that this holiday is much more.  Yes, it is important for all of us to remember that our children deserved to be treated with dignity and kindness, but I actually believe that this holiday holds a greater importance which may not even be noticed by Koreans.  In a culture where at least one parent works long days and probably even countless nights, this is a day that reminds children that they are what matter most in our lives.  When work demands our attention or chores keep us from laughing enough, Koreans stop ..... just for a day..... and remember what matters most - children.  Children are what matter and the precious time that we give them.  Those few minutes that we stop what matter most to us to give our children what matters most to them; we give them our time.

Today, I will stop .....  I will give my angel time.  I will take a moment to listen, to follow, and to cherish what matters most - my time.