My blogging has been sporadic, and I have decided that it is time to tell you all why.
A major thing has happened in the past few months. I had to leave my apartment because the ceiling was beginning to fall through. I can't go into much detail, but this is a picture of my upstairs bathtub which you can see into the downstairs living room. I had to move as a result. Unfortunately, there are no available places in the area I live. I have begun searching outside my county. This means I do not have regular access to my computer.
I am hoping to find a place very soon, but until then, I wanted you all to know that, while I may not update my blog as often as I would like (once or twice a week) I have not forgotten about it. I will try to update my blog as often as I can. I am really sad about that. :'(
All of my social media channels will still be as active as they have been. Blogging is the biggest issue right now since it is difficult to blog with only a cell phone. Below are links to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please follow me and like my page for continued updates on my move, my blog and all other things I am doing.
I recently watched “Kids React To Kids Are Lit” by The Fine Bros (linked below). After watching these videos, and a few others, I have some things to say. First, let me clarify, for the most part, I think the spread of these videos is great. Many of them are amazing to watch and fun to make, I am sure. But I really can’t ignore the elephant in the room…
Watch any number of these tiny dancers and you will find that the sexualization of these young children is hard to avoid. This is not going to be a post purely about the ‘oversexualization of children.’ The problem I have with them is that these videos are online for the whole world to see, forever. These kids are too often dressing in provocative ways and making some very obscene signals. Most of these signals they are not old enough to really understand. If for some reason they do, that brings up a whole other set of concerns.
So many people say “these are just kids doing a DANCE.” Fine, then how about we keep these types of dances in the DANCE community and not plastered all over the world. Never mind the argument of whether it is moral or not. Let’s just focus on its safety.
You and I (I hope, at least) may not see these children and think ‘sexy’ or any sexual thoughts, but there are people out in the world who do. Those people could very easily find such routines on the internet and, well, think about them in sexual ways. They could photoshop screenshots and post them to pornographic websites. They could even go as far as become obsessed and search out that particular child, or a similar- looking child. Such dances posted so publicly is so dangerous and can have severe, even deadly consequences in their worst cases.
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If you feel it's okay for your child to dance in such a way that it can be seen as sexual (no judgment, I understand within the confines of the dance community), please refrain from posting it online. Even if you think the odds of such a thing happening are low, they are odds that could very quickly affect any child who looks remotely like yours.
*Note- I will not be linking to any of these 'Kids are lit' videos as I do not want to share them. If you want to know to what I am referring, google it.
I was a bit late planning my Christmas family fun, and since I can't be the only one, I have noted some of the best crafts, games and gift ideas I have found to help out my readers, as well.
I know that everyone will be needing lots of Christmas crafts to do this weekend, so I have made a list of my absolute favorite crafts for kids.
By Lishie and Family (Just found this one. Will watch many more)
It's time for all the relatives to get together for some Christmas cheer. Try these Christmas games for families when things get slow. A cool thing is that most of them take no preparation, so you can try them without any extra planning!
Need a last- minute Christmas gift? Try these. Even the newest member of the family can get in the giving spirit.
It may be late in the game, but that doesn't mean you can't create some AWESOME Christmas fun with these games for families, crafts for kids and DIY gifts for all!
Art makes us think more deeply, strive more intently, and feel joy more profoundly. ~Unknown
Art is at least as important as advanced math so why is the art program one of the first to be eliminated when our schools have budget issues? We use art every day even when we don’t realize it. Our clothes, furniture and even the design of our homes are all forms of art. Many schools say we are required to take Algebra 2 and 3 so we can have more options for our career choice. If they want us to have the most options, then why isn’t the art program considered just as important. Some may say that it is a bit of a stretch for me to say that art is at least as important as math or science. I think art is more important than advanced math and science. Look at your typical day. We have already established that the design of your clothes, house and decor are all forms of art, but what about the little things we do every day that are enhanced by art.
First, art teaches creative thinking, in other words, creative problem solving. Have you ever had a problem that seemed impossible to solve? We all have! Art creates an environment for us to explore and try new things. The best way to solve a challenging problem is to look for a solution you haven’t tried before. Art helps us see things around us in new ways, which helps train our brains to think in new ways.
Art brings people with common interests and goals together. Art often starts important conversations and debates that often lead to a better world. Franz Kafka, author of ‘ once said “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” Books have ignited conversations for social change for generations. ‘The Holy Bible’ has brought devout Christians together with the goal to spread the gospel, for example. But, books are not just the only type of art that has brought people together. Autism Speaks used the art of event planning to bring more Autism education to the world through their walks and fundraisers.
Art teaches us to slow down. It is often said that art teaches us to ‘stop to smell the roses’ so- to- speak. Imagine you are walking down a busy street and you see a mural on a wall that is just a bunch of colorful shapes. The colors catch your eye, so you stop to admire it. You have slowed down. As you look, you start to see what that the lines and shapes almost look like a very colorful cat with lots of bright blues, reds, pinks and yellows. You have totally stopped your busy life for this piece of art.
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With all these great uses for art, why have we decided that it should be the first thing to go in our schools? Of all those who have changed our world, can you think of anyone who did not use art or creative thinking to do it? Of course not! So let’s get our priorities straight and put art at the top of our educational musts, again.
Today, we talked about the Fall weather. We talked about how the leaves change colors and fall to the ground. We also spoke about how it rains more in the fall, and how the pine cones fall to the ground. We even did a fall craft project and read a book about the seasons.
Our Book: “God Made the Seasons” (from The Dollar Tree)
Fall Scavenger Hunt
Time: 30 minutes
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Art Project: Crayon Rubbings
Time: 15 minutes
Tips and Tricks
When I was a child, my mom used to say that 'bored' means 'lack of thought.' If I said I was bored, I was essentially saying I am not thinking. She told me that one time, the second time (and all the rest of the times) she would put me to work. I had to do chores right on the spot because I wasn't thinking and that wasn't good. So how do you raise kids who never get bored? I've got three steps to help you help your child stop being bored.
Step One- Education
The more your child knows, the more creatively he can think. Spend lots of time, at first, helping your child develop talents and hone all sorts of skills. Teach him to sew, draw, paint, dance, create videos and digital artwork, or anything to expand his view of the world and himself.
My mom used to tell me to learn at least one new skill or hobby every year, and in a very short time, I would have so many things I like to do, that I would no longer get bored. So far, her advice has held true. I am skilled in so many craft and art mediums that I do not remember the last time I truly felt bored.
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Step Two- Reminders
Remind your child that bored means lack of thought and that he isn't bored, he just needs to find what he wants to do. When your child is not bored, help him make a list of things he likes to do and hang it on his bedroom wall. Remind him of all the things he likes to do and help him create new ways of doing some of them.
It is okay to say what you feel, but saying out loud that you are bored just perpetuates that feeling. Also, you may have noticed, from being a kid and caring for lots of kids, it's not that they don't have anything to do, but it's that they don't want to do any of the things they have to do.
Step Three- Follow- Through
This is an EXTREMELY important step. When you say you will put him to work if you hear him say he is bored, do it! If he says he is bored after one warning, he clearly is desperate to think again, so give him an age- appropriate job to "get his brain going, again."
I once told my mom I was bored, and she had an extreme reaction. She dramatically said "Oh no! You're bored, that means you are not thinking, we'd better do something quick!" Then she made me help her clean the whole house for about 2 hours. Needless to say, I never expressed my boredom again.
Being raised in a household where expressing boredom was not allowed, It is sometimes difficult to hear kids whine "I'm bored..." five seconds after we've stopped an activity. I start telling them that you do not allow kids to tell you they are bored. Say, "You can ask me for help deciding what to do, sometimes, but boredom means lack of thought. If you are not thinking, we will have to get to work to get your brain thinking, again." No child will tell you they are bored more than two or three times.
Young children, especially preschoolers, ask a lot of questions, and one of my goals is to help them learn how to ask and answer questions on own their own. The question board is a great way to teach kids how to ask questions effectively, create a guess about the question, and then how to research the answer or test their theory.
Make the Board
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What Do We Do All Day?
How to use the board
I try to use the time we are walking to various activities (parks, the library etc) to bring up topics that will encourage the kids to ask more questions and answer them. Sometimes we talk about random trivia, like US history or what constitutes a berry. Sometimes we talk about things that are happening in the child's life and how it makes them feel or think. But these talks always end with at least one question for the question board. And the more we did it, the more the kids wanted to learn.
When the kids ask a question that they don't need to know right away and they can research on their own, I tell them we will put it on the question board. When we are about to go to the library, I remind the kids to pick one or two questions from the question board to answer. We also look some of the answers up online. With the older kids (6+), I talk to them about how to tell if a book or website is a reliable source.
Tips and Tricks
Curiosity is an important part of discovery, development and problem solving. I like this board because it helps us all keep track of our questions and answers and encourages a healthy interest in the world around the kids. We could easily just look up all the questions on the internet, but I like to take the kids to the library at least once a week and help them look up some of the answers in books and the reference section. Knowing how to do research from a variety of media sources is a very useful skill to have.
"All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.." -Romans 8:28
"Take great joy when you face trials of many kinds..." -James 1:2
THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL AND IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN!
When I was three years old, I was molested by six men over the course of seven years. This is a little part of my story and a message to the families of the child molesters.
I am only going to tell of the most traumatic incidents since the others were by separate men who didn't know each other. They were mild in comparison. When I was three, a man lived with our family and helped care for my baby brother and I. But he had a problem with alcohol and drugs. He would get drunk at night, wake me up with the bath water running and make me take a bath with him. He used to touch me, make me touch him and sometimes I had to do oral things, if you know what I mean. He told me that my mom said it was okay and that if I told her, she would be mad at me for complaining. The only time he didn't come in at night was when my brother was sleeping in the room and we were sleeping on the floor.
I didn't remember very much for years. I just stopped thinking about it and convinced myself it never actually happened. But I still needed my mom to be no more than 10 feet away from the bathroom door with the door open when I showered. I couldn't even handle getting dressed in the bathroom. I would get sick and dizzy, irritable and cry a lot after a shower, which is the reason I could only handle one or two a week.
I was just talking with my mom and the woman we call my second mom one day when I was 19 years old and it suddenly hit me the gravity of what had happened and I couldn't hold it in anymore. I just started crying. It took almost a year for me to be able to eat a hot dog or pickle or anything that shape. I felt like 'damaged goods.' I had been saving myself for marriage, but I felt like I wasn't worthy of a good man or a good life, and that if I married someone who was good, I would ruin their life and bring them down. So I gave up on saving myself. To this day, I have those thoughts, sometimes. But now I know that it wasn't my fault, and that I am not 'damaged.' I still have to remind myself of that from time- to- time.
So to the families and victims of sexual abuse, know that you are not damaged. You deserve a spouse who will treat you like the king or queen that you are. You deserve to be with someone who isn't abusive at all. And when it is the right person, sex won't be as hard. And if it is, the RIGHT person will love you through it and won't pressure you. YOU ARE NOT DAMAGED GOODS!
To the families of molesters, know that YOU didn't do anything wrong. You were NOT the one who hurt someone. Also, as controversial as it sounds, it is OKAY to continue loving and having a relationship with your relative. Just don't enable that person. Think of it like this; your family member might be able to get some help, now. Yes, it changes things, but this just might be the a new beginning.
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
I wasn't going to talk about this at all because it makes me so sad and brings back a lot of hard memories. But, it has been 15 years since the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.
I remember that day vividly. I was 10 years old, and in the 5th grade. I had never even heard of the Twin Towers. I got to school before the doors were even open, just like I had every morning that year. I had decided I was mature and needed to be extra early to school. When I got to the door, a few other kids in my grade were also waiting. One of them told me that the Twin Towers in New York had been bombed and that that was probably the reason so many teachers were not at school yet.
They finally opened the doors and there was a heaviness in the school. I live all the way across the country, so I knew that it had to be really, really bad for all the teachers and many students to be so glum and robotic. When I got to class, the teachers said we be starting our day very differently. They all explained what had happened. At that point, no one knew for sure what happened, why or by whom.
The teachers put on a news program with the attacks coverage and we watched the explosion, the plane crash and footage of all the chaos going on in New York. It felt like a dream. I kept thinking that this really can't be that bad. Then, President Bush called for a nationwide time of silence and prayer. The news shut off and the principal of our school came on over the loudspeaker and said to be silent or pray if we do that. It was the most sorrowful silence I have ever heard or felt.
We finished out the school day, but didn't do much in terms of education. I walked home in disbelief, still unsure of how bad what had happened really was. When I got home, Mom was watching the attack on the news again and crying. She had her hand over her mouth. She prayed and cried for what seemed like an hour. When I saw my mother cry like that about something that happened thousands of miles away, it really hit me just how bad this was.
In the coming months, our country changed so drastically, so quickly, that I felt like all the adults were in a whirlwind. There was a lot of controversy and debate about things that never seemed to be an issue before. It has been 15 years, and I will never forget that day. I know that no one will.
I don't have much to say other than we did it America! We survived the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history and we are still standing. If we can work together to survive this attack, we can work together to survive anything life in our country throws at us. Instead of tearing our own country down with riots and shootings, lets remember 9/11 by looking forward and stopping all this violence. We all had different opinions about 9/11, and we still worked together. I'd really like to see us do that again.
We do a lot of fun things together when I come to babysit. Many of the little things we do, and stories we tell can not be made into its own blog post. So I thought I'd just show you some of the little things we do to have fun. You might even find something you want to do with your kids.
Those are just a few examples of the things we do when I come over to play! We also do messy things, sometimes. We paint (paper and ourselves). We label random things just because we feel like it. Don't worry, there IS a method to my madness, though. The best part is that Mom and Dad still come home to a house that is just the way they left it. They'll never even know... Mwahahaha! Just kidding.
***If you are in the Goldendale, WA area and need a sitter, email me here. I have great references, and I am well- known and trusted in Goldendale. I am available for part- time, occasional, date night and overnight.***
I was a nanny for over ten years. Now, I make homemade toys and write full time. Occasionally, I work at my local schools and provide back- up child care for some parents I used to work for and for my church's nursery. I am multi-talented and loves to paint, draw, crochet, write and sew.