Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year Joy and Challenges

  As the New Year starts I am having a lot of fun reviewing the greatness of 2013 with family members and getting excited about what 2014 will bring. We always take any bad things that happened and write them down on a piece of paper then bury the paper in a snow drift. As the snow melts in the spring the paper will disintegrate emphasizing that we need to discard the bad and carry forward the good.

  The new year is a time for planning the future. What are we going to accomplish and learn?  I was taught an important lesson at Christmas time. Never underestimate the learning curve on a young child. My granddaughter is just 3 years old and most of the family thought she was not going to be able to operate a computer, even though she has played on the iPad for several years. I bought her the internet course ABCMouse. She was a little confused when I set my computer in front of her and handed her the mouse. The very first lesson was in how to use the mouse and she flew through it. For the next hour she played and learned at a rate that I was in awe of.  My first worry was that she would become glued to the screen but that proved groundless as her natural desire to play physical games had her jumping out of the chair. No, I do not earn anything from the program, just desire to share a positive fairly inexpensive resource with all of you. Will be interesting to see what she does with it in the next few months.

  What are your educational challenges this year? Mine have traditionally been to stay out of my children's way and just try to help them find resources as they became interested. As a parent and grandparent I continue to stretch my brain by taking computer programing classes, even though I am not very good yet. Are you continuing to stretch your mind?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Celebrating the Season

  I have many friends of different faiths and I find it fun to learn about how they celebrate the season.  Have your children explored their views? Take some time to encourage an understanding and it will benefit them for many years to come!

  Exploring others point of views can foster the ability to value people for who they are. Jesus said to forgive.  He valued people for who they were, not for what color of skin they wore. He welcomed people to learn and love. What have you done? Have you reached out to others in a nonjudgmental way?  Are you teaching your children to know people?

  I find it sad that many people will ignore or actively work against others because they look or believe differently.  We are in the season of love. Are you sharing the love with others? Do our children understand that physical differences are not what we are judged on when we leave this life?  Time for all of us to take a look at our daily lives and decide how we want to answer questions when we pass on.

 I hope that your Season is sprinkled with laughter and love. May you have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Perfect Christmas

  Many years ago I was blessed by knowing a very awesome family. Thirteen children in one family and a wonderful mother and father celebrated Christmas time in a very unusual way. The father worked on the fishing boats and during the winter months money was short. They enjoyed the Christmas season more than any family I have ever known.  Each person in the family reached out to someone in need and did a unanimous chore or gift for them. Side walks were miraculous cleared of ice and snow. Cookies showed up on doorsteps and handmade toys were placed where children could find them always from Santa and Jesus. Homeless people found warm clothing and sleeping bags.  The giving was endless and cost very little money however, the joy in that family was boundless!  Giggles and laughter were in constant supply as they planned each gift.

  How do most of us celebrate Christmas? Do we buy expensive useless gifts that will be put on a shelf and never used?  One of the Christmas's that my children remember the most is when the whole family was going through a rough time and no one was able to buy things. So we made them. Cookies, scarfs, toys all appeared under the tree with very little  money being spent. My daughter still has the wooden doll her father made for her, and that was 25 years ago.

  That very blessed family from the past also had a time of sharing gifts. On the 4th of July the father was working full time and was able to supply gifts. However, I think they enjoyed the Christmas season more.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blessings and Miracles

  Over the Thanksgiving weekend I actually had time to think in a quiet atmosphere for a few minutes. The Blessing of having a daughter and grandchild with us plus her friends made me contemplate the idea that others are not so fortunate.  Our sons were only a phone call away and while we missed them it was good to hear them and know that all was right in their lives.

  For so many people this season is filled with pain and depression. Look around you. Are there people you know who have lost loved ones this year? Have they lost jobs and are having problems keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads? This is the season of giving. Not the giving of diamonds and expensive toys but the true gift should be the gift of self.  Bake a few extra cookies to give to a grandmother who cannot buy flour and sugar she can share them with her grandchildren. Cut and deliver some firewood to a family that has no heat. Slip a $20 bill into an envelope and leave it in a mail box. Those are not big expensive things, but they are gifts of the heart to someone in need.

  Does your food bank have enough supplies to last through the winter? A few bags of noodles and cans of soup will feed a family for several days. An inexpensive doll, coloring books and crayons, a train set, all of these may be the only toys a child receives, you can make their Christmas morning wonderful.

  It is time that we all step up. Be part of the Miracle of the season!