Sunday, August 29, 2010

Children: The Spark of Life

The Tire Swing Crew: 
sister Steph, brother Mark and husband Bob

My mother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease and confined to a wheelchair. The one thing that brings a spark to her life is having her great grandkids around. She comes alive with smiles and giggles, finding words to say... even complete sentences, albiet short ones.

"Aren't they cute!" Mom would say as she watched Drew (3) and Kenan (2) greet each other with a hug.

Our traditional Saturday morning coffee extends three generations now with many of our kids married and having their own children. One Saturday a month, we pick up our coffee drinks and breakfast of choice and meet at the nursing home where Mom lives. Since breakfast for the nursing residents is done, we wheel Mom to the dining room and have it all to ourselves.

Drew and Kenan Enjoying a Swing on the Tire

Last weekend we arranged for a medi-van to transport Mom to my brother's for a family BBQ. It had been two years since Mom left the nursing home except for trips by ambulance to the hospital. Her five children, six of her eight grandchildren (all adults), and five of her great grandkids were there to spark up her life.

The highlight of the day and the delight of Mom centered on the installation and enjoyment of a tire swing. Imagine Mom's amusement as she watched her kids and great grandkids tackle the tire swing.

Feeding Grass to Dolly, the Miniature Horse Next Door

Enjoy the humorous videos and photos of the afternoon. Although the memory for Mom likely won't "stick," it made for a memorable event for the rest of us.
Feeding the Fish in the Backyard Fountain

Monday, August 16, 2010

Children's Action Song: Cabin by the Woods

This summer at Vacation Bible School we learned a fun action song the kids loved to sing and act out. I call it Cabin by the Woods. Watch the video and see why the kids asked to sing it everyday. Here are the words and actions so you can learn it too:

In a Cabin by the Woods
In a cabin by the woods, (draw a square in the air)
Little man by the window stood. (shade eyes and scan around)
Saw a rabbit hopping by (make paws and hop across)
Knocking at my door. (knocking gesture)
"Help me! Help me, sir!" he said (throw arms up in the air)
"Or the hunter will BOP me on the head." (slap end of fist)
"Come along and live with me."("come here" motion)
"Happy we will be." (make rabbit ears and stroke forearm)

Now comes the fun part. Sing the song again dropping the words from the first line—only do the actions. Keep dropping a line each time through, doing only the actions until you get to the last line. Then sing the last line with actions, drawing it out for a perfect ending.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Why I Write for Children

I am passionate about writing for children. They are our future. It is our job to nurture them to become independent, caring and productive adults. Writing books for children is one way I can have an impact on the growth and character of children.

Those of you who follow my blog will remember my grand-nephew Drew. I featured Drew in my post Precious Moments of Independence. His mom recently bought him "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. After a few readings by mom and dad, Drew could read for himself... with a smidge of help. Drew is a very bright four-year-old despite his autism. A diagnosis of autism does not preclude a child from learning. Check out his "reading" skills on the video.

Reading to children is the best way to get your child to be a good reader. It opens up new worlds and experiences for their growing minds to soak up.


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