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This Circle of Life…Personal

 

Tears leak from my eyes

as I watch your broken heart bleed

from the news that we all dread to receive

that a beloved one has passed on

 

I have no words enough to offer

that will mend the deep ache that you suffer

but I know that with time its sharpness will dull

with time you will smile again through the tears

 

In this circle of life, we dance in

never knowing whose turn to return it might be

but memories we gather of each other

to remind us when one is no longer there

 

My dearest Father-in-law just passed on, my husband aches.

I’m sharply reminded that our time apportioned to sojourn here is short. We must not tarry in seeking our purpose, finding peace, making beautiful memories and in living a life that would leave wonderful, indelible marks in the hearts of those who we love.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. Thomas Campbell

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Everyday Ways To Teach Your Kids To Be Responsible

If you don’t start teaching your children responsibility from a young age, when they grow up and get out into the real world, they’re going to struggle. Every parent knows that it’s important and there are all sorts of ways people try to teach them, like getting them to join a sports team or get a summer job. These are great, but if you want to encourage them to be responsible in all areas of their life, you need to be doing small things every day. Here are just some of the ways that you can teach your kids to be responsible every single day.

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Buy Them Nice Things

Before we get into how this teaches responsibility, remember not to go overboard and spoil your children because it will have the opposite effect. If you occasionally buy your children nice clothes from somewhere like Nicki’s fashion for children or buy them a new phone, it’s a good opportunity to teach them to value their possessions and not be careless with them. But this only works if you don’t do it too often. If you buy them something anytime they ask for it, they won’t bother looking after things because they know they can just get another one.

Send Them To The Shop

When I was younger, my parents would always send me around the corner to the shop if we needed milk. It was only a tiny thing but it felt like a big responsibility as a kid. I was eager to make sure that I didn’t make a mistake and so I acted responsibly. Sending them out to do small errands on their own is the perfect way to create a family that all works together to help out around the house. Just remember, wait until they’re old enough to be walking around on their own, and don’t start asking them to do the weekly shop for everybody.

Pay Them For Chores

Before they’re old enough to go out and get a proper job of their own, you can still teach them a good work ethic by paying them to do small chores around the house. Washing the car or raking the leaves in the garden are both good options. It teaches them the importance of working and you can start them off on managing a little of their own money. The key to making this effective is to only pay them for certain chores. They should still help around the house regardless, otherwise, they could get lazy.

Practice What You Preach

You can easily undo all of your good work if you don’t practice what you preach. If you’re constantly telling your kids to pick up after themselves yet they see you being messy, you’re sending mixed signals and they won’t listen to you. Always be aware of how you’re acting when they’re about and make sure you follow your own rules.

There’s no one way to teach your kids responsibility, you have to introduce it to every aspect of their life.  

This is a collaborative post.

Excitement In The Outdoors This Christmas

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Christmas is a truly wonderful time of year. With the world taking on a breathtaking hue of white, the temperature dropping very fast, and loads of little jobs to do, going outside will often be one of peoples’ least likely choices. Of course, though, this isn’t how the kids will feel. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the ways you can add some excitement to your child’s outdoors this holiday season. These can either be as Christmas gifts or as something fun in the run-up.

Sledging: When it starts to snow, a lot of people have an excellent opportunity. It’s unlikely that you live somewhere completely flat, giving you the chance to find some nice, slippery hills to send the kids flying down. Sledging has been a very popular winter pastime for hundreds of years. This makes it nice and easy to find all of the gear you’ll need, and it will just be a matter of doing some research to get all of the safety tips you might need.

Quad biking: Of course, in some cases, you might not be in a place where it snows, and this will make sledging impossible. Thankfully, though, you have an alternative; ATVs. Finding recommended 4-wheelers for kids will take some research. But, with your findings, it should be nice and easy to get started on your next adventure. Like sledging, you will need to adopt some safety methods before you get started with this sort of fun with your children. Along with this, it could also be worth looking for helmets and pads to keep everyone uninjured.

Snowball Fighting: Going back to snow, it’s time to think about another classic. Snowball fighting has been around for a very long time and is a great way to get the kids out for free. As long as everyone has a good pair of waterproof gloves, you will be able to handle the snow for hours at a time, and the kids will have loads of fun. You’ll just have to make sure to set up some rules before you get started.

A New Friend: Finally, as the last idea on this list, you could think of something much more long-term. A dog will live for many years, requiring walking throughout the course of its life. This sort of addition to your family will go down very well with children. With the right preparation, you could have this be the best gift of the year, arriving on the day itself. Of course, though, this is a very big decision to make.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working on some ideas to get your kids outside this holiday season. It can feel very uninspiring to go out when the weather is bad, and a lot of families will spend most of the season indoors. While there are no problems with this, it could be much more exciting to do some outdoor activities, as well.

11 Great Ways to Reduce Stress on a Family Day Out

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If you’ve got kids, you probably dream of lovely days out as a family. Where everyone is having fun and laughing, learning together and enjoying their day. You see other families having these fairy tale days out where everything is wonderful, and everyone is happy and long for the day that you can do the same. Before we have kids, we imagine that this is what all of our family days out will be like. Lovely and carefree. Then, we have them and start going out together.

We quickly realize that that perfect family day out is nothing but a pipedream and suspect that those families who appear to be having the perfect day are heavily bribing their children.

Family days out are stressful. Sometimes to the point of not being worth it at all. The children whine and moan, even if it’s a destination they have chosen. The food is rubbish, the journey is long and boring, and the entertainment or attraction is never quite how it looks online. By the end of the day, everyone is upset, tired and hungry and you’ve had to deal with 8034 toddler tantrums.

But, does it have to be this way? Is bribery the only way to have a stress-free day out with your family? Surely not. Here are some great tips to reduce all of the stress so you can all enjoy your day.

Plan

Planning your day out in plenty of time gives you a chance to save lots of money, get cheaper transport tickets and prepare an itinerary to make everything as easy as possible. Write lots of lists and make sure you know exactly what you are doing and when. Brief the rest of your party too, and then repeat yourself on the morning of the event.

Don’t Plan

All that said, sometimes it’s best not to plan. When you plan a perfect day out, it often leads to chaos and an immense pressure to have a great time. It can be hard to live up to your expectations. If something comes up and you are free, or you spot something that your family will love last minute, go with it. Sometimes the spontaneous days out with absolutely no preparation and planning are the most fun and the ones that you remember in years to come. Don’t get too hung up on the planning.

Let the Kids Help

When the kids get a little older, they can resent being dragged around with their parents and younger siblings. To be fair, even 6 or 7-year-olds would often rather be at home on their tablets. So, let them help you arrange their perfect day out. Sit together and look at some great family days out online and try to find something that everyone will enjoy. Encourage them to think of not only their needs but of those of the rest of the group, especially any younger children.

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A visit to an aquarium such as SeaQuest can be the perfect solution. Younger children and even babies can enjoy watching the colourful fish swimming around, and older kids and adults can make the most of the interactive displays and learning opportunities. Other great options include farms, zoos and fun, family-friendly museums.

Give Older Children Responsibility

Another way to keep older children happy on a family day out is by making them feel needed and appreciated. Give them a job, such as looking after the map and checking things off your to-do list and tell them how important this is and that they are doing you a huge favor. Keep an eye on their progress and encourage and praise them throughout the day. Tell them that everyone is having a much better day because of their help.

Get an Early Night

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The last thing you want on the morning of your big day out is tired and agitated kids or adults for that matter. If the children know that something fun is happening the next day they might find it hard to sleep if they are excited. So, try to keep their routine normal and put them to bed a little earlier. Then, get some rest yourself. Big family days out can be long and tiring, so make sure you are starting on top form.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Get up a little early than usual too to give yourself plenty of time to make sure you’ve got everything you need for the day. Then, leave early enough that you aren’t having to rush whether you’re driving or using public transport. Make sure you’ve got enough time for an emergency stop.

Plan Activities for the Journey

You don’t want to be stressed out before you arrive. But children can be hard to entertain on a long journey. So, plan some activities. Think of some games you can play together and take a few small books or toys. You could even let them take their tablets or other devices just for the journey if it keeps everyone happy.

Pack Snacks

Even if the journey is short, you may find you have to spend some of your days in queues or waiting for shows. Kids tend not to be very good at waiting, so healthy snacks are a must. Just make sure you also take a bag for rubbish and some baby wipes for sticky fingers.

Keep the Kids Safe

As a parent, your biggest fear on family days out is always that one of the children will get lost. Even when they start getting older, it’s something that worries us. Temporary ID tattoos with a parent’s name and contact number are a great idea to help keep them safe. You should also make sure they know your real name and that there is a landmark nearby they recognize if they need help.

Remember, it’s Their Day Out Too

It can be easy to get hung up on our children’s behavior, but on a day out it’s important to relax a little. Remember, it’s their day out too, they are excited and might be a little louder than usual. It’s ok to let things slide a little for the good of the day.

Know When to Give Up

However, sometimes, it can seem like everything is against you. The weather is awful; things are closed, the car stops working, your picnic gets ruined or worse. Things happen. Instead of trying to force everyone to have a good time sometimes it’s ok to give it up, go home and watch a DVD together. There’ll be other days.

This is a collaborative post.

Candle Lit – Word Wednesday

I can barely find the words to express how touched and happy I felt when my ten-year-old son offered to take care of me and make me something to eat last night as an effort to ease my stress.

Several packs of tagliatelle, cheese, carrots, tomatoes, ketchup, fish-fingers, all my spices and a messy kitchen, the young man whipped up a candle-lit dinner.

The food tasted better than any that I’d had in ages. It could have done with a little more simmering to soften the tagliatelle, but it was just perfect.

There was oodles of love, a dash of care and sprinkles of appreciation washed down with a cold glass of orange juice 🙂

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Transform Your Kids Into Pagemasters

You might be thinking about trying to get your kids more interested in reading. There are plenty of kids who just aren’t interested in reading at an early age and have to be encouraged at a far later stage usually, in teenage years. Of course, we teach our kids the basics but once they have grasped this many only read when they are forced to, rather than in their spare time. That said there are many benefits of encouraging your kids to read in their spare time.

First, research shows that reading boosts a child’s vocabulary as well as their general level of intellect. Reading may also lead to improvements in memory and general cognitive performance. Through reading, some children may also be encouraged to write in their spare time, finding a passion for creative writing that could serve them well over the next few years. You might think that it’s too late to get your kids interested in reading, but it’s never too late. Some people find a love for reading well into adult life and become people who can’t go through a week without picking up a good book. But how do you get your kids interested in reading?

Passive Reading

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You might struggle to get your kids to pick up a book or download one, but how about listening to a book? There are some fantastic audio books out there that kids will love. For instance, you can pick up the Harry Potter books read by famous British comedian Stephen Fry. The man reads with such expression and adds his own unique magical wonder to this truly fantastic book series. You might think that passive reading isn’t as beneficial for children as picking up a book. It’s true that some of the words will wash over them, but others will stay in their mind. They might even hear a word that they don’t understand and look it up later.

Find A Book They Love

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The problem that most people find when trying to get their kids to read is that they push the classics into their hand. The Call Of The Wild is a brilliant book, and some kids are going to find the novel from a dog’s perspective enthralling. Others, however, will be completely bored. They might be more interested in a novel series such as Alex Rider. This book series is based on the adventures of a teenage spy and is just one in a sea of similar books in the genre. However, the brilliance of this particular trilogy is that it’s written by a prestigious murder mystery writer who has worked on classic shows like Foyle’s War and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. As such, the books have such pulse pounding tension that kids find them hard to put down. The books also have a fairly loyal adult following.

Introduce Them To The Digital World Of Books

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If you really want to get your kids into reading, you might want to think about buying them a Kindle. This will allow them to read and download as many books as they want without buying each individual hard copy. This gives kids a lot of freedom to let them read what they want, how they want. You probably already have a Kindle yourself. If you do, you’ll know one of the major benefits is that there are a lot of free books available by great authors that are slightly less well known. If you’re wondering where to get free Kindle e-books, there are lots of different options, with some even recognized and recommended by popular published authors. This allows kids to go off the beaten path a little more and find writing that they have probably never heard of before. Don’t worry, kids won’t be able to read whatever they want on their Kindle. There are parental controls to ensure you are still in control of their reading.

Family Reading

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Finally, if you have younger children, you may want to try family reading times. Family reading works a lot like reading in school. The children get to pick the book to read, and you all take turns reading it out loud as a family. It’s a great way to share reading together, and kids often love hearing the expression that their parents put into it when it’s their turn to take a chapter.

I hope you use these tips to get your kids a little more involved in reading, outside the typical books that they will usually find in school. It can bring fantastic benefits.

Dressing Up For The First Time.

Of course, I knew that she would grow up, I watched her do so right under my eyes’ but I didn’t expect it so soon. I can still remember our toddling days with amazing clarity.

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Yet, nothing really prepares you for the teenage years and seeing your baby girl all dressed up, sparkling in a teenage fashion dinner dress topped off with beautiful inexpensive fashion jewelry has a way of bringing a lump to your throat.

My rough and tumble tomboy has turned into a princess. The old gives way to the young and the circle of life continues.

We chose a simple off-shoulder blue-black ball gown that is not overwhelming and the fashion jewelry of shiny stones and sterling silver.

Quick tips for choosing jewellery.

Keep it simple. Don’t go over the top looking for prestigious names.

Silver is in and has a way of blending with anything.

Check the mark and look for products marked sterling silver, which is 92.5 percent silver. Avoid Nickel and German silver. They don’t really have silver in them and some tend to irritate the skin especially if they are not hypoallergenic.

Enjoy the shopping experience. Find laughter and fun. These are memories that would last a lifetime.

P.S. I chose not to put her full photo.