April 2, 2009
Here are coloring sheets for you to print so your kids can decorate for Easter. The icons on these Easter printables are large. They are great for pre-school kids. Again… I have included pre-colored sheets… for the kids who just want to cut them out.
The kids can make their own Easter egg gathering basket by cutting out their artwork and gluing it onto the side of a paper bag. Punch a couple of holes in the top of the bag.. and string a bit of ribbon for a handle. Waaaaaa Laaaaa. Ready to go.
Here are the three Easter designs to choose from.
Print these off for you kids or grands. They’ll have a good time getting ready for Easter
P.S. I’m printing up a bunch of the Easter coloring sheets for my grands. They’re coming this week-end and it’s going to be cold outside. They’ll need something to keep themselves busy.
March 27, 2009
Claire celebrated her fifth birthday on the March 24th. It was a quiet celebration…just with her family. I was lucky enough to be invited to join them at Denny’s for dinner…. the restaurant of her choice.
Now don’t let this serene photo fool you…. This little child is full of surprises. Yep… she sure surprised us.
When she was a baby, she so was so quite… so good… so relaxed. That lasted for about a year… and then she grew way beyond her years over night. One day she was serene and the next day she was… well, curious, on the go, independent and had all of the confidence of an adult. In fact… there is no adult that she’s not comfortable with. She’s will strike up a conversation with anyone… and everyone is her friend. She keeps us in stitches all the time… she is one funny girl.
Now if there is any photo in the world that takes on the personality of the child… this is it. An all time favorite of mine.
Back to the birthday party. Here’s Miss Confidence… picking out her food fare.
The decision has been made.
The Birthday song has been sung… and now it’s time to blow out the candles. She didn’t want to get too close for fear her hair would catch on fire.
Now comes the fun part… the birthday gifts… and boy did she clean up… dance leotard, roller skates, watch, and DVD’s.
The Birthday cake was delicious…. I’ll get Katie to share this recipe with us. It’s certainly one we need to have in our recipe boxes.
Bet ya can’t guess. Yep… it’s the decorative art of Miss Claire Benson…. Called “Inside The Cake Mixing Bowl” Looks like there’s another artist in the family.>
Happy Birthday dear Claire… you make my heart happy.
P.S. This ends our big March Birthday Month. Thanks for celebrating with us. Did you get your free Birthday Note cards? Get them HERE, at the first of the month celebrations. See our middle of the month celebration HERE.
March 23, 2009
Norah celebrated her birthday by inviting 7 little girls to a Victorian Tea Party…. and what a celebration it was. I found it amusing that little girls so young could play their part so well. They were charming little ladies…. exhibiting perfect tea party etiquette the entire time.
Martha, Norah’s mom made sure this party would be one the girls wold remember for a long time. I’ll say… it sure made a lasting impression on me.
Large tissues paper balls framed a crystal chandelier.
A beautiful floral arrangement graced the center of the table.
The table was set with linen and a colleague of Victorian plates. Milk glass cups and saucer adorned every place setting. The tea party favors were colorful headbands and were placed in the center of each plate.
What to serve at a tea party? Well here ya go… couldn’t get any fancier than this.
Grilled ham and turkey sandwiches were stack on pedestal milk glass trays. Notice … no crusts.
Homemade Oreo Cookies, stacked high, were the real thing… made from an original recipe.
Look at these red velvet cupcakes…. adorned with fresh raspberries. I don’t think I’ve every seen a white raspberry.
Tea party etiquette at it’s best.
The girls loved playing musical chairs… and played it more than once.
Of course… opening presents is one of the highlights of every party.
At the end of the tea party… they entertain themselves and us… in Norah’s dad music room. Brad set up three mics and the girls danced and sang and had a good old time.
Happy Birthday sweet Norah.
P.S. Do you think mom’s and grandma’s are too old to have a Victorian Tea Party?
March 18, 2009
Norah Corrina Griffiths celebrated her sixth birthday on March sixteenth. It was also the anniversary date of my dad’s death 23 years ago. Six years ago, I can just see my father kissing little Norah good-bye and gently nudging her off a cloud. Her soul danced her way into our lives after a difficult delivery. Without going into details… Norah arrived under adverse circumstances… and if she had been born in a previous age… we wouldn’t have Norah, nor her mom, Martha. What a marvelous day and age to be living.
Grandma and Grandpa Wright… and I were invited to a private event.. a cake and ice cream party. The real birthday party comes on Saturday… with a girlie Tea Party event. If you want to see plans in the making… take a look here. Wow!
The right side of Norah’s brain runs her life. If she had it her way… she would dance and sing through life…only stopping long enough to paint and draw a picture. (Nana is busting her buttons… Look’s like we have another artist in the family.) This is “Sleeping Beauty” … a Pacasso if I ever saw one.
Aren’t blowing out the candles just the best… You never get to old to enjoy that moment. Well…..unless there’s too many candles… or your wind has dissipated to a breeze.
Yep… Here she is… in her new Cheer Leading out fit. A real show woman here.
Happy Birthday Norah. Nana loves you much.
P.S. Birthday celebrations have a down side too. They are gentle reminders that we are all getting ….. What? Old?
P.P.S. March is a big birthday month in our family. If you haven’t received your free birthday gift…. go here and get it now.
March 13, 2009
More Saint Patrick’s Day coloring pages are coming your way. Keep your kids busy this week-end with new free printables .
As a child, I rarely wore the color green. I think it was because my skin tone is so olive, Mom chose not to accentuate the color. Anyway, I was one of those kids that got pinched frequently because my little green bow attached to my dress wasn’t as visible as Shirleen Hunter’s bright Kelly green dress. It went with her flowing blond hair so beautifully. I have a “thing” about pinching.
So… I’ve made some fun “No Pinching” coloring sheets for those kids who prefer not to come home black and blue. They can color their St. Patrick Day coloring sheets to help ward off those eager pinchers in the class.
Again… you get a choice between black and white coloring sheets… or the full color sheets the kids can just cut out.
Now if you kids don’t have green clothing…. I’m arming them with a little tag they can color, cut out and pin on their dress or shirt.
If you missed out on the free St. Paddy’s day coloring printables last week… you welcome to get them here.
There you go… keep those kids busy this week-end arming themselves with St. Paddy protection.
P.S. If you think your kids teacher would enjoy these Saint Patricks Day coloring sheets… send her to insightfulnana.com so she can print up a bunch for her students.
March 6, 2009
According to Ph. D. Sir Ken Robinson, schools are not allowing our children to be creative. In fact, according to Professor Robinson, the present school system…world wide… stifles or kills creativity.
In is new book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, he explores the need for more creativity in our in our school systems in order to prepare our children to meet the challenges they face in the next 20 years. According to Robinson… present education is not preparing our children for their future. Times have changed… and education has not kept up with present needs… let alone future demands.
For a long time, I have keenly felt the importance of parents and educators helping children discover and fulfill their dreams. I devoted an entire chapter of my book, 5 Power Tips Moms Us For Raising Fantastic Kids, to the subject. I share ways you can discover, very early, what your child’s dreams and passions are.
Professor Robinson spoke at a Ted conference that was promoting creativity. This information is so important, his 20 minute talk is included here. You must take a few minutes to view his presentation. You will clearly see why present education policies, and sometimes parents, are killing creativity in our kids.
By the time you finish looking at this video, you will be convinced how important it is for us to revamp our present education systems to allow for more creative expression so our kids can discover and follow their own dreams and passion. Their future and ours depends upon it.
P.S. In the second grade, I had one defining moment when, I knew I was going to be an artist. In my book, I share that moment with you.
P.P.S. Click on the books and get further information about Sir Ken Robinson
February 3, 2009
When do kids choices really count? Or more importantly…do we as parents, teachers and guardians recognize kids choices really count? So often, we adults set up scenarios for our kids to make choices… and when they do… their choices are discounted or invalidated.
Hang in there and I’ll explain, using the following example.
Each student, in my grandson Glade’s third grade class, was ask to choose and report on their “Super Hero.” The report would included a bio, an oral report, and the portrayal of their “Super Hero” in a Wax Museum. Glade was delighted to share his excitement about his “Super Hero”….. Rocky Balboa.
Now, you have to understand, this boy is pretty intense when it comes to his “Super Heroes.” When he was 4, his hero was Spiderman. He wore a Spiderman costume all through the heat of summer.. until it became shreds and fell apart.
Then, he turned to Superman. He zoomed around the house for months with his cape flying from behind. He was disappointed that his hair was blond and not black. A couple of years ago, Rocky came on the scene and has remained a constant. Glade often does daily routines… which sometimes includes… lifting the end of the couch in order to better define his “six pack.”
Last year, for Christmas, he received a much wanted leather jacket. He even tucked it under his arm when he slept at night. Emily, his mom, supports Glade and has the Rocky music theme on her phone. When it rings… she knows who’s calling.
So… when Glade came home and told his mom that his teacher said that “Rocky” wasn’t good enough to be his “Super Hero” … the war was on. “Rocky” became an issue for debate between the Emily and the teacher.
We, adults, often stand in the way of our children’s self-reliance and creativity by supervising, restricting, directing, and over parenting. We call this behavior, guidance and then wonder why our kids can’t make wise decisions when we’re not around.
The issue here is… the children were ask to select their own “Super Hero.” If the teacher had something more specific in mind… it should have been expressed in the beginning, rather than invalidate Glades choice after his decision was made.
Constant invalidation is one behavior that will eventually destroy the the best of relationships. However, It has become a common practice to use this conduct to nullify each other… just watch the behavior on sitcoms. It’s especially detrimental when it’s constantly used to control children.
To make a long story short… a compromise was made and Glade was Sylvester Stallone…. even though “Rocky Balboa” has his own web site…stands as a statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has his foot prints in gold on the stairs leading to the museum, and thousands climb the steps and strike a Rocky-like pose as a symbol of guts and fortitude. City Commerce Director Dick Doran said Rocky had done more for the city’s image “than anyone since Ben Franklin.”
Whether you agree that Stallone is a “Super Hero” or not…. is not the point. The issues is… he is Glade’s choice.
I attended the Wax Museum presentation and was impressed with the clever creativity and care that went into the costumes. There were over 100 participants and the kids were so careful to pose and be still. Quite a feat for a third grader. Way to go Harvest Hill’s third graders! Here are a few shots I thought you would enjoy.
Is this little girl gorgeous or what? I don’t know where they got this costume.. but it’s beautiful. Well done Cleo!
This young man’s mom said she had to really talk him into wearing the wig. She said, “With that wig on, no one will recognize you anyway.” Thanks Columbus… for your contribution to America!
This little beauty is Diana. When I approached her with my camera in hand… She gave me this striking Diana pose.
I kept my eye on this fellow… and he held that pose for a long long time before putting his arm down to rest. He did Steve Young proud.
Isn’t this the sweetest face. I thought she actually looked like Ameila Earhert’s photos. She was another one who stood so still she really could have been wax.
This handsome fellow was one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because Gandhi is one of my “Super Heroes.” I remember seeing the real Gandhi in the newsreels at the movie theater… but that was probably before your time.
This little sweetie saw me coming with my camera and struck this precious pose long before I got to her. I kept watching her as I moved up the isle and she didn’t move. Sacajawea is another hero if mine. Have you read the book Sacajawea by Anna L Waldo? If you haven’t … it’s a worthwhile read.
Look at the photo of Teddy Roosevelt and compare. What a great costume and likeness. In my book, this fellow gets an “A.”
There were lots of portrayals of Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan… but I thought these costumes were the best. These gals were so patient and held so still while I fiddled with my camera. I had to take their photo 4 times to get the light just right.
Last but not least… my number one hero, Glade Neff….Slyvester Stallone. Way to go bud. Hang in there… you make me proud.
P.S. When do kids choices really count? They always count. Perhaps the real question is… how do they determine the choices they make?
P.P.S. In my book…Raising Fantastic Kids, I explore in depth ways you can positively help your kids to make good choices.
January 27, 2009
Should I purchase a cool-mist humidifier, a steam vaporizer or an air purifier for my home? This question is frequently ask by many moms during the height of the cold and flu season. There are drawback to each of these systems that you should consider before making an investment.
Humidifier: A cool-mist humidifier pumps moisture into the air that will help break up congestion. To be the most effective, it should be used in a small room. Because it dispenses cool air, there is no risk of your child being burned.
However, cool water is a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Some of the problems of breathing mold spores are: respiratory infections, headaches, redden eyes, memory impairment, just to name a few. The machine can also disperse the minerals in tap water into the air, which can also cause health problems.
Make sure you wash the humidifier on a daily basis with soap and water. A small amount of bleach in the soapy water can be helpful Also, use distilled water to reduce the dispersing of minerals.
Steam Vaporizer: A steam vaporizer also emits moisture into the air and is less likely to produce mold and bacteria because it’s a hot air machine. Minerals are not dispersed into the air as in the case of cool-mist machines, so you can use tap water. However, there is a danger of your child being burned by the hot steam, so it shouldn’t be used for younger children.
Air Purifier: An air purifier generally does not dispense moisture in the air. It’s purpose is to clean the air of impurities such as smoke and allergens. Larger machines can be attached to the furnace. Make sure and clean the filter on a regular basis. Some air purifies emit moisture too. Read the manufactures instructions to learn how to avoid mold and bacteria.
My 88 year old mom, who has respiratory difficulties, was running a cool-mist machine during the day thinking it would be helpful for her lungs. The problem was, it was not cleaned on a regular basis, let alone daily. Her home began to smell like mold and we found her humidifier was one of the culprits. Upon learning about the dangers of mold, we removed the machine promptly.
P.S. If you’re going to use the machine for a short period of time… a couple of days to help a child breath better, my preference is a cool-mist home humidifier. Just remember to clean it daily with a bit of soapy bleach water and rinse well.
January 11, 2009
Charity Kids birthday parties have recently been brought to may attention Over the past several weeks, I have repeatedly heard about kids birthday celebrations called “Charity Birthday Parties. I first heard of this concept while listening to the “Glenn Beck” show on the radio.
At first, I thought he was making a joke… but soon realized he was serious. A child 6 year old child was having a birthday party and his parents were asking the guests not to bring gifts to the party… but to donated to a political cause in the name of “Birthday Child.”
The idea is… we live so abundantly… and a child already has so much… why not teach the child to be sharing and giving and donate his gifts or the money that would be spent on his gifts to a charity. It could even be a charity of the child’s choosing.
It was brought to my attention again when Vanessa, of I Never Grew Up, posted a poll on her blog asking parents if they thought it was a good idea or not. I was surprised at the results. 79% thought it was a great idea and 21% thought it was a poor idea. I was part of the 21%.
After I picked myself up from the floor… I made a comment on her blog… I’m afraid it was a bit stinging… and I would like to clarify my point of view here.
1. I remember a program on TV years ago, called Queen For A Day. It was a day they honored one lady from the audience by showering her with gifts etc. For that woman…it was a magical day… a day she would never forget. Our children deserved to be honored on their birthday. It’s a day that we take delight in them for coming into the world and into our lives. Let them be King or Queen for a day.
2. The magic of childhood is short. We as parents and grand parents can get caught up in pushing children into adulthood too soon. T.V. does not supported kids being kids… and I think we can be hoodwinked into the same thinking. Birthdays are part of childhood magic. Kids shouldn’t be short changed by forcing adult concepts too early… especially on their special day.
3. You can’t tell me, that in the child’s heart, he wouldn’t feel some resentment… and sadness if denied gifts on his birthday. He may not have the courage to stand up against such a “lofty” concept as a “Charity Birthday,” especially if he knew he was going to be made to feel wrong or shamed if he objected to the idea.
4. I know that kids have an abundance of toys… my grands are a testimony of that. But… who’s fault is that. I’m guilty! Their parents are guilty! Every time we go into a store, they want something… and for the most part we succumb to their whining.
We might not purchase the $15.00 new toy they want… but we appease them with a little purchase at the cash register. Marketers claim, they make a killing on purchases made for kids under $5.00. I don’t know about you… but I’m tired of the “trash toys” that are placed in the “kids meals” at the fast food restaurants. But… that doesn’t stop me from purchasing the “kids meal.” Junk… Junk… Junk. I know I’m part of the problem.
My point is… if we want to cut back on the amount of junk that is filling the kids closets, we need to control our own spending for them during the year. But, let’s not take that leap on their birthday.
5. It’s great to teach kids to be charitable and giving. We can be examples of that when we clean out our own closets. Perhaps when we are packing up our things, we could ask them if they would like to contribute something from their closet. When it’s time to drop off our bundle at the “Thrift Store”, we can take them with us. It would be a great time to discuss what we are doing and why.
6. There is a “time and season” for all things. Studies have shown that children under 3 don’t have the mental ability to understand there is another world outside of themselves…. thus the “terrible two.” A child’s reasoning capacity does not fully develop until around the age of 8 or 9. To force concepts that are too mature for their reasoning is unfair.
7. Besides… how would you feel if someone said to you, “You have too many things and you need to learn to share. So, for your birthday… I’m doing to donate the money I was going to spend on your birthday gift and give it to the Blaa Blaa Blaa?” I for one… would resent it…. in fact… I would be hopping mad.
My suggestion: Celebrate your kids birthdays by showering them with lots of love, fun, and a few gifts. Give them their special day… and teach giving, sacrifice and charity on another day.
P.S. Have your kids been invited to “Charity Birthday Parties?” What’s your point of view? Talk to me.
December 15, 2008
These free Christmas Printables will keep your kids busy for a few hours while you wrap gifts or do a bit of last miunte cooking. Santas and Snowmen are the most popular icons for Christmas… and kids love them. Again, I’m offer you two options… black and white (coloring sheets) and full color copies (for those who what to just cut and paste.)
My two grandsons, Randall and Glade did a nice job on their project. They took their artwork home to hang on their bedroom wall. Pssst… do you think Randall is thinking he would like to color a Santa too? Who knows! I love these kids.
If you miss the last free Christmas printables for kids …download them now to go along with the new coloring printables.
Have a great pre-holiday with your kids.
P.S. You can use these free Christmas Printables for gift wrap decor. Just cut the icons out and glue the to a paper bag…. insert the gift… tie it up with a bow and Waaa Laaa. Great way to wrap a teacher or grandma gift.