Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First of its Kind

Although it’s not the first ever to be held in the United States, it is the first to be held in the small town of Great Bend, Kansas.
On September 19, 2009 the American Legion, Post 180, and the American Legion Riders held a ceremony in honor of the remembrance of American POW/MIA (Prisoner of War and Missing In Action) Soldiers. There have been POW/MIA Ceremony’s held all over the United States since 1979. Many have been held at the Pentagon and other locations within Washington D.C.
The ceremony was held at Jack Kilby Square in Great Bend. There were 500 programs printed off and not a single program was left after the ceremony. They had a wonderful turnout for this being the first year.
This day was celebrated by having special guests who served in our Military Forces; among those guests were Mayor of Great Bend, Mike Allison who was a Veteran. John Murphy, who was held captive for more than a year in Laos during the Vietnam War, among other POW’s, gave speeches. Mayor Allison made September 19, 2009, the official POW/MIA day for Great Bend, Kansas.
A single table sat with an empty chair represents those who have not come home! The table is very symbolic to those that have served and those still serving.
This table set for one is small... it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors. The table cloth is white... it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return. The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing. A slice of lemon is on the bread plate... to remind us of their bitter fate. There is salt upon the bread plate... symbolic of the family's tears as they wait. The glass is inverted... they cannot toast with us tonight. The chair is empty... they are not here.
Among the American Legion Riders, many veterans from all branches were there to celebrate this day. As well as the veterans there were girl scouts, boy scouts, Soldiers from DET 2, 129th Transportation Company, as well as Cadets from Saint John Military Academy, the Military School in Salina.
The POW/MIA Ceremony was not only held to honor those who have not come home but to also show and educate the younger generations what our veterans stand for; along with teaching them the respect of the flag and proper retirement of an American Flag and a POW/MIA Flag.
At the end of the ceremony a Legion Rider, boy scouts and girl scouts disassembled an American Flag by cutting each of the strips off and placing them in the retirement barrel. John Murphy, SSG Rocky Cauthon and PV2 Michael Rapp had the honor of retiring the POW/MIA flag. Families dedicated flags to those who have served to be retired.
When the ceremony had ended, the Boy Scouts helped retire many battered and torn flags dedicated by the audience to someone who had served or was still serving.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spell My Name Mom

As my four year old and three year old adventure into preschool. Their little minds have taken flight to letters and numbers and what they look like together as they make words. Often they bring me a pen and paper or their little magna doodles, as they hand it to me they say spell my name mom! As I make the letters with the pen I say the letters out loud. Their eyes light up with delight as they see the letters come together to make their special name.
There are several things you can do to encourage your child to learn how to spell their name on their own.
There are many websites that you can search to find traceable name papers. The one I use the most is http://www.kidzone.ws/tracers/index.htm. Once I have made my name pages I laminate them. So you only have to make one so there isn't any waste in paper. Once laminated the child or children can use washable markers to trace their names.

For the younger children you may just want to start with the first letter of their name and then slowly work in putting more together. I also use other identifiers for their names such as my oldest name is Jakeb. I tell him his name starts with a J or a fish hook. His name also starts with the same letter as the words Jacket, Jump, Jet, etc.

These are just a few helpful hints I have learned along the way.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Winter Frinzy

BRRRR its cold outside. The wind is blowing in the cold snow. The snow is piling high as the kids gather around the windows watching flake by flake as the chance of their outdoor adventure is canceled.
As stay at home moms most of us understand that winter and rainy days are hard on kids that are very hyper active and love being outside.
We can keep them busy with fun activities.
marshmallows are always tons of fun they can be used to paint with or be painted on. As well as a good snack while having fun. just don't eat the ones you use in paint. Marshmallow come in lots of sizes and even smells and taste. Which helps keep smaller children interested in the project.
Get some small paper plates, a bowl of misc marshmallow, Elmer's glue(or any glue), paints(preferably washable) and construction paper oh and paint brushes!

One can use the marshmallow to put in the paint and press down to make shapes or smear them across to make designs. They can glue or put paint on the bottom of the marshmallow and place them on the paper to build forts or igloos. Once the paint dries it usually holds the marshmallow to the paper or to the other marshmallow.

Place a little paint or glue on the bottom of a marshmallow's and place it on the paper, grab a second marshmallow, paint the bottom of that one and place the painted part on the first marshmallow. Find a smaller marshmallow for the third part and paint the bottom then place it on the top of the second marshmallow. use a small paint brush to draw his face.

If you don't have marshmallows you can use cotton balls and Q-tips. The cotton balls are a little harder to keep together if you build forts or other objects out of them. Let your children use their imaginations.
For fun affects you can put glitter in the paint.

Fall Fun

As the leaves begin to fall and the wind begins to blow cool and crisp. Our time outside is limited. While outside during your play time. Have a small hunt for fun items. Such as different size of leaves, rocks, grass/weeds and anything else that maybe fascinating to a child's eyes and imagination.

Once you have a small or large collection of items take them inside.
Sort them out into categories. You could start out with sorting by look a likes. ex: leaves with leaves, rocks with rocks etc.

Once sorted place a few leaves under a white piece of construction paper or printer paper. use a crayon or several colors of crayons. Color over the white paper and see the imprint of the leaves on the paper. Since you probably cant place the rocks under the paper unless they are small and flat. place them on top of the paper and have them trace it. then make funny faces inside the shapes.
The children can describe the shapes and sizes of the leaves and rocks and weeds/grass. Also talk about the textures. Smooth, soft, prickly, ruff etc.

Let your child use their imagination. They may even use the rocks and other materials found to making other shapes and rock people.

Monday, September 28, 2009

How old tell you start chores!

To many families the question to when is the appropriate age for young child(ren) to start taking the responsibilities of chores.

If one really sits and thinks about chores and what they are, it all boils down to its ones responsibilities. Once a child learns how to do day to day task on their own, then that becomes their chore. Chores should be age appropriate and not over whelming

I have three children aging from a little over 4 1/2 to 1 years of age. My 4 year old has 8 chores where as my 1 year old has 3 and the child in between those two have 5 maybe 6.
One may ask, what chores can a 1 year old do? She is expected to put her shoes in their rightful place, she picks up her toys (yes she gets help but she still has to do it) and she uses a wipe or wash cloth to wash off her high chair after each meal. This gives her not only the sense of responsibility but also the sense of being helpful. She doesn't see it as work!

Using chore charts and small rewards is very helpful for older children. To see that they have succeeded in accomplishing a goal or a task. Allowing them to put the stickers on or filling in the boxes with crayons or markers helps them understand accomplishment. I suggest lamenting the chore charts and then using washable markers on the sheet then you can wash it and start over each week.

I suggest doing a choir chart that is weekly. It shows a long time goal yet it also shows a daily goal. Monthly chore charts I personally would only use with children 10 and up. As most would guess as the child gets older and becomes more responsible a new chore chart may need to be made with more chores and the rewards being bigger.

Starting chores early in life will help when a child becomes a junior high student and is asked to do something to help out around the house. If they already know that they are expected to help out with chores around the house. I believe you will have less of a hassle. We all know that once you reach the age of 12, you become rebellious and questioning of others authority. When children know what is being asked of them and that in the end they are rewarded for their good behavior. They seem more willing to be helpful.

Below are several websites that have helpful charts and other fun activities for children. You can also google chore charts and it can direct you to many other links as well.




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

yep its cold

Wow! The last week has really taken a tole on us outdoor loving people. As the late Septemeber comes so does the cool weather. We have been stuck inside most of our days and what time we spend outside is filled with jackets and sniffly noses.

The last week has been very cloudy. Has sprinkled most everyday. We have done a few acivities inside. We are working on the basement and making it a more friendly place for adults and the upstairs a more kid friendly place.
Moving boxes and totes from under the basement stairs is a big job but it is well worth it. soon things will be cleared out and organization will be in affect! Or at least thats my hopes!

These cold days have really put a damper on our jeeping at the river adventures. Hoping it warms up some soon so we can go for one last adventure to the river! Before the snow falls!