The Simple Life
The waves crashed against the beach. My cousin was taking her
granddaughter, 6 year old Emerald, for a walk on the sand while at a
weekend wedding. Emmy had been begging to go to the beach, as all
kids do. Finally the moment had arrived. In her beautiful dress,
little 6-year-old Emmy simply ran for the water and dove right in,
dress and all! Who needs to change, right? She was so excited to be
at the lake that she just went for it! Now Grandma was slightly
chagrined, but there were extra clothes to put on. We all had a good
laugh over it, but I was impressed by Emmy's exuberance.
I had to wonder where has my exuberance and enthusiasm gone?
Where have most adults lost their little child excitement? Maybe
that's why God created the wonder of little children, to remind us
about those moments when we are just simply so excited about life
that we just dive right in clothes and all. Have we all been
told "be careful, be careful!" too much to take the risk of living
in the moment? Do we always have to stop and think, weigh and
measure, plan and process?
I think we need a new national holiday called "Take the Leap!"
We don't need to risk life and limb, but to jump into life with both
feet. How about a water balloon fight? Take up a new sport or do
something new for the first time. I'm convinced that we are letting
life pass us by because we are to "adult". What new thing has your
family done lately? Surprise someone - be spontaneous! Maybe every
one in the family could take a turn thinking up a new family
activity once or twice a week. Visit a free museum. Study a
historical event. Walk around a cemetery and find the oldest
grave. There is so much to learn from, to experience. Maybe, like
my little cousin Emmy, we need to just dive in with our clothes on
once in a while!
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"Perhaps parents would enjoy their children more if they stopped to
realize that the film of childhood can never be run through for a
second showing. " ~~ Evelyn Nown
"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right
belongs to us by the laws of God and nature." ~~ Benjamin Franklin
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Good Stain Remover
Here is a mix that is not harmful (WARNING: be careful mixing
chemicals! Do not mix bleach and ammonia!) and works on the typical
stains, such as dirt, grass, ink, and food.
Mix the following in an old spray bottle.
1/3rd rubbing alcohol
1/3rd hydrogen peroxide
1/6th Dawn dish liquid
The dollar store always has the items in stock. Spray the stains and
brush the mixture in with an old toothbrush before washing. Keep a
stock of the supplies on hand, which saves time and prevents running
* * *
In a Feb. 17, 1984, letter to Dr. Dobson, who served on several
White House commissions and often consulted with the president on
family issues, Reagan wrote enthusiastically of legislative progress
on a proposed constitutional amendment to permit voluntary school
"Most of us would agree that God should never have been
expelled from our children's classrooms," Reagan wrote. "We are a
nation under God. And as George Washington said, 'Of all the
dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion
and morality are indispensable supports.' "
Although the school-prayer amendment never passed, Dobson said
Reagan was a true friend to the defenders of traditional values.
"He talked often about America being a 'shining city upon a
hill' -- a reference to Jesus' words in Matthew 5," Dobson
recalled. "President Reagan's values were often rooted in the
timeless truths of Scripture.
"May we never forget the contributions this great man made to
* * *
Simple Parenting -
A young couple was about to leave their older friends' home. As
they were about to leave, the four-year-old jumped onto the driver's
seat of the van. The mother mentioned what a
challenge young Adam is becoming and mentioned that trying to get
him out of the driver's seat will be a real chore.
The older man suggested to her that every time she tried to
make him do something or stop doing something, he would resist and
that her most successful approach would be one that does not involve
coercion. I suggested that every time she tells him to do something,
he will interpret it as an attempt to control him and that she will
be creating a challenge for herself. Sharing (rather than telling),
asking a reflective question, or challenging him are options that
will be more effective.
To demonstrate the option the older man leaned towards Adam and
said, "My wife and I have just made a bet. She said it would take
you two minutes to get into the back seat and buckle your seat belt.
I told her that I bet you could do it in one minute."
Little Adam jumped out of the driver's seat and almost knocked
my wife over as he ran around the van, climbed into his seat, and
buckled his seat belt. The man told him how surprised and amazed he
was that he could do it--and even in less time than he thought he
The youngster knew where to sit. Having him demonstrate
responsible behavior merely took some thinking, what could his
parents say or do to prompt him--something that he would not
interpret as coercive?
More information on responsible parenting and teaching found at
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Keeping Summer Simple,