PromiseLand PromiseLand  en Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:35:37 GMT Sun, 18 Feb 2018 07:09:26 GMT 60 Stressed! <p> Several years ago I was given a notepad with the printed heading, “Stressed!&nbsp; It’s just desserts spelled backwards.”&nbsp; I enjoyed the quote and passed it on to friends, then forgot about it and eventually the pad ended up in the drawer of my desk.&nbsp; You know the kind of drawer – the one full of stuff you know you will need “some time.”&nbsp; Well, my life has been pretty stressful recently and that reminded me of the note pad.&nbsp; I pulled it out, looked at it, and thought about it.&nbsp; It didn’t help.&nbsp; I’m still stressed (but I’m enjoying a very delicious quinoa and chocolate granola bar at the same time).</p> <p> Change is always stressful and this is a change time of year.&nbsp; School starts tomorrow and parents everywhere are preparing to turn their clocks to “school time.”&nbsp; Parents of kindergarteners and college freshmen and watching their babies begin a new phase of their lives.&nbsp; My mother-in-law is also beginning a new phase of her life.&nbsp; At 97 she is finally giving up her independence to live in an assisted living facility.&nbsp; It was her choice, but it is a big change to her and her family.</p> <p> There are all types of changes that occur during our lifetimes and change frequently produces stress.&nbsp; There’s a feeling that you have lost control.&nbsp; If not dealt with it can lead to serious illness.&nbsp; Parents and caregivers know that change is a fact of life, so the trick is to find a way to deal with it, move past it, and move on.&nbsp; After doing some research on the subject, I found the following list of suggestions on how to deal with stress:</p> <h2> <em>Tips for dealing with stress&nbsp;</em><em>(from&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>)</em></h2> <ul> <li> <em>Don't worry about things you can't control, such as the weather.</em></li> <li> <em>Solve the little problems. This can help you gain a feeling of control.</em></li> <li> <em>Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful, such as a job interview.</em></li> <li> <em>Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not as a threat.</em></li> <li> <em>Work to resolve conflicts with other people.</em></li> <li> <em>Talk with a trusted friend, family member or counselor.</em></li> <li> <em>Set realistic goals at home and at work. Avoid over-scheduling.</em></li> <li> <em>Exercise on a regular basis.</em></li> <li> <em>Eat regular, well-balanced meals and get enough sleep.</em></li> <li> <em>Meditate.</em></li> <li> <em>Participate in something you don't find stressful, such as sports, social events or hobbies.</em></li> </ul> <p> I’m going to try the suggestions on the list, starting with working to solve my littler problems.&nbsp; I’ll talk to family and friends, try to get more rest – and maybe I’ll even start exercising.&nbsp; Until then I’ll just dance with the children in the center.&nbsp; That’s a big time stress buster!</p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:00:04 GMT 2e8061bf-1886-4eaa-b096-e8a66b6c16db Supporting Resilience in Children <p> (from “Exchange Every Day”)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As Parents and caregivers, we try to keep children safe by protecting them from stress and trauma.&nbsp; Unfortunately, it’s not always possible.&nbsp; Adults can, however, promote resilience in children by fostering protective factors that can ease the negative effects of stress and trauma.&nbsp; The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as “the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress.”&nbsp; "Resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change, bounce back, and overcome the odds," write Nefertiti Bruce and Karen Cairone, in “<strong><a href="" title=""><strong>Socially Strong and Emotionally Secure</strong></a></strong>.” They describe these protective factors that help strengthen resilience in young children:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Attachment</strong>: "The mutual, strong, long-lasting relationships between a child and significant adults...The attachment bonds that children form in these early years often predict the quality of relationships they will have throughout life.”<br> <br> <strong>Initiative</strong>: "The child's ability to use independent thought and action to meet his or her needs....Strong initiative in the early years prepares children to safely, actively, and eagerly explore their worlds.”<br> <br> <strong>Self-control:</strong> "The child's ability to experience a range of feelings and express them using the words and actions that society considers appropriate....Children with healthy self-control in the preschool years typically have strong interpersonal qualities such as self-confidence and self-esteem."</p> <p> Children need high-quality care, opportunities for developing and maintaining relationships, adequate nutrition, and support from families, educators, and communities. When these and other protective factors are in place, children experience positive development and have the internal adaptive resources to cope with any trauma and stress they may encounter.</p> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:21:41 GMT 1f272102-b0fb-4ca5-8204-ecf4b5609844 Joy! <p> <strong>Yesterday I put a turkey hat on my head and walked into the 3 year olds’ classroom, while they were sitting down to eat lunch.&nbsp; Now this is not my typical headgear; the hat consists of a turkey head on a long neck, with two dangling long skinny legs hanging from either side.&nbsp; The hat had been donated and it just seemed like the thing to do at that moment.&nbsp; The results were priceless:&nbsp; “Miss Cindy has a chicken on her head!”&nbsp; The children dissolved in giggles.&nbsp; I don’t know who enjoyed the moment more, the children or me.&nbsp; After a long morning of preparing lunch, dealing with paperwork, answering the phone, and all the myriad details of a typical child care Monday morning, suddenly there was joy.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>“Joy” is on my mind today.&nbsp; One of our pastors is leading a book study called, “Choosing Joy,” and that is her topic for her sermon this week.&nbsp; I have not had the opportunity to join the group or read the book, but in creating a children’s lesson and bulletin for the Sunday service, I’ve done some reading on the topic.&nbsp; In that reading I came upon a quote:&nbsp; <em>“Joy springs from within; no one makes you joyous; you choose joyfulness” (author unknown).</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>One of the websites I discovered is called, “Spirituality &amp; Practice – Resources for Spiritual Journeys.”&nbsp; On the site I found the following:</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>“</strong><strong>Joy</strong>&nbsp;is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve others and be glad for their good fortune.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Invite joy into your life by staging celebrations. Toast moments of happiness you notice as you go through your day. Dance — jump for joy — as often as possible. Life is not meant to be endured; it is to be enjoyed.”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, I’m not suggesting you walk around with a “chicken” on your head everyday (although it might be interesting).&nbsp; What I am planning to do is make “choosing joy” a daily gift to myself.&nbsp; So now I will ignore the rain falling outside my window and focus on the laughter of the children down the hall.&nbsp; And I will find ways to “<em>Scatter joy</em>” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) as I go through my day.&nbsp; I hope you can find a way to dance through your day (and the Lee Ann Womack song and video might help!) and that you find and choose joy.</p> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:19:05 GMT c5c7da75-e14a-42eb-82ef-d2a8dfe5e1d1 Kids and Eating Healthy <p> One of the joys of working as a child care director is dealing with the regular influx of new rules and regulations set forth by the great state of New York.&nbsp; Many of them make sense and all of them are geared towards ensuring that children in child care are kept safe.&nbsp; But, there are so many!&nbsp; It can get overwhelming.&nbsp; One new emphasis of the child care world is healthy eating for children – and that is something I am happy to work with.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I have never met a parent who has never had any eating issues with his or her child.&nbsp; It’s the nature of children to test, question, and push limits and food they have some control over.&nbsp; So the potential for disputes exists.&nbsp; You may have heard some of these phrases, or even used them yourself:&nbsp; “If you don’t eat one more bite you are going to be in trouble;” “See, that didn’t taste so bad, did it;” or, “stop crying and I will give you a cookie.”&nbsp; The problem is that each of those phrases can have a big negative impact on developing a child’s healthy eating habits.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> One way to increase a child’s willingness to try something new is by using positive language as it is introduced.&nbsp; Use phrases that point out the sensory qualities of the food:&nbsp; “This is a kiwi – it tastes sweet, like a strawberry.”&nbsp; Help children recognize when they are hungry or full:&nbsp; “Is your stomach telling you that you are full?”&nbsp; Give your child the feeling that he or she is making the choice:&nbsp; “Which one is your favorite?”&nbsp; “Everybody likes different foods, don’t they?”&nbsp; An important factor is removing food as a reward.&nbsp; Using a cookie as a treat when a child eats his or her vegetables makes some foods seem better than others.&nbsp; Reward your child with attention and kind words, hugs and talks.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Child care programs in New York State are now required to “be in compliance with the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program meal patterns.”&nbsp; Our program is now distributing pamphlets called “Together We Can Raise Healthy Children,” to each of our families.&nbsp; Our parent’s bulletin board contains a number of informative articles and ideas for families of young children, relating to health and good nutrition.&nbsp; To learn more about the CACFP, check out their web site at; PromiseLand will also begin offering a “recipe of the week” on our Facebook page.&nbsp; Check out the recipe for our child-friendly “Super Smoothie.”&nbsp; It’s simple and delicious and perfect for a hot summer day!</p> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 17:55:06 GMT aca6866b-abc4-4497-97ee-2c05a4ab59a5 Getting the Bugs Out <p> It’s definitely summer – hot, sticky, and buggy!&nbsp; Many of the children at the center are apparently delicious, at least to bugs, as a lot of them are sporting a variety of bug bites.&nbsp; There are over the counter sprays you can purchase, but most of them are not good either for children or the environment.&nbsp; A PromiseLand parent / board member just sent me a link to a site with some recipes for homemade bug spray, using items you may already have at home.&nbsp; They look simple, sound like they would smell pretty good and, according to my “source,” are working for her daughter: she doesn’t mind wearing it and she has fewer bites – so, the link and recipes are printed below!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <u>Essential Oil Bug Spray</u></h2> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank">Essential oils</a>: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="" target="_blank">Natural Witch Hazel</a></p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Distilled or boiled Water</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Vegetable glycerin (optional)</p> <h3> How to Make Homemade Bug Spray with Essential Oils</h3> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. My personal favorite mix is: Rosemary, Clove, “Cajeput,” Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus… it works great and smells good too!</p> <h3> <u>Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray Ingredients</u></h3> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Distilled water</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Witch hazel or rubbing alcohol</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> ·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dried herbs: peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, etc. I recommend using at least one herb from the mint family. Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes and I’ve used fresh basil leaves in the garden with great success before!</p> <h3> How to Make Bug Spray from Fresh or Dried Herbs</h3> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Boil 1 cup of water and add 3-4 TBSP of dried herbs total in any combination from the above. I use 1 TBSP each of peppermint, spearmint, catnip and lavender, and also throw in a couple of dried cloves.</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mix well, cover and let cool (covering is important to keep the volatile oils in!)</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Strain herbs out and mix water with 1 cup of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Store in a spray bottle in a cool place (fridge is great because then its nice and cool!)</p> <p style="margin-left:30pt;"> 4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Use as needed. Added bonus: it smells great and is very refreshing to the skin!</p> <p style="margin-left:12pt;"> <em>(Thank you to</em></p> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 20:02:15 GMT d33bc79e-c851-47d9-9594-30d8da9c1f75 Summertime Mondays <p> By now the novelty of summer is starting to get a little “old,” and the kids are starting to run out of ideas for things to do.&nbsp; Here are a couple of projects from the <u>Family Fun</u> magazine I just received in the mail.&nbsp; Enjoy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Printing with Solar Power:&nbsp; </em>&nbsp;Use loops of tape on the back side of a piece of construction paper to attach it to a table in a sunny spot outdoors.&nbsp; Have your child choose some small fun objects to lay on the paper.&nbsp; You can secure lightweight items with more tape loops.&nbsp; Leave the paper with the objects in place for 4 to 5 hours, checking occasionally to remove any blown grass or leaves.&nbsp; Try not to move the objects; by examining the paper you’ll be able to see when the print is sharp and finished.</p> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <em>What’s happening?&nbsp; The same rays of sunlight that can burn skin is causing a chemical reaction in the paper’s colored dye.&nbsp; The reaction causes the dye to break down and fades its brightness.</em></p> <p> <em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What to print?&nbsp; Letter magnets, nature finds, school supplies, action figures, kitchen tools.&nbsp; Let your child’s imagination run wild!</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Marshmallow Delights – without the need for a campfire:&nbsp; </em></p> <p> 1.&nbsp; Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl (check the package for directions).&nbsp; Place ½ cup crushed graham crackers in another bowl.&nbsp; Line a tray with parchment paper.&nbsp; Quickly dip one marshmallow at a time in the chocolate then in the cracker crumbs and let them cool on the tray.&nbsp; You should have enough for 12 treats.</p> <p> 2.&nbsp; Teddy Bear Crunch:&nbsp; Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.&nbsp; Mix 2 cups chocolate Teddy Grahams with ¾ cup mini marshmallows and spread out on the tray.&nbsp; Melt ½ cup white chocolate chips and drizzle over the other ingredients.&nbsp; Let cool, then break into pieces before serving.</p> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:02:53 GMT 1bd8e6ec-2a08-4075-ad3e-f4c5bb8c03d0 Something to Think About <p> This past Sunday my husband and I walked into church and the first thing we saw in the lobby was a chalkboard.&nbsp; That is unusual in itself, but printed at the top in large letters was a question:&nbsp; “Before I die _____________.&nbsp; Below that were blank lines for people to fill in their response.&nbsp; Well – that made me stop and think.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I didn’t write anything on the board and didn’t see anyone else write on it either, although it was certainly making people stop and look.&nbsp; Off and on during church I thought about the question and at one point my husband and I questioned each other on what our possible responses might be.&nbsp; Even when our pastor talked about the board and the issue during her sermon, I still did not have an answer.&nbsp; She read off wonderful things from her personal list and while I agreed they were all worth doing, none of them touched my heart as being the THING I wanted to be sure I did before I died.&nbsp; We both left without putting our responses on the board.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Monday morning I walked into work.&nbsp; To get to my office I walk directly through the church lobby.&nbsp; The chalk board was still there and every blank space was filled with wonderful thoughts and hopes for the future.&nbsp; I could squeeze on my answer, but I haven’t completely thought it out yet.&nbsp; What I know is that my job gives me an incredible gift as well as an incredible responsibility.&nbsp; I touch the lives of children every day and have done so in this place for almost 20 years.&nbsp; What I want is the opportunity to continue to do that for as long as I can – and to do it even better.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So, I guess that would be my response if I was going to write one (but I’m not going to).&nbsp; I am, however, grateful for the question and the opportunity it gave me to think about my life and my future.&nbsp; Children are such an incredible gift.&nbsp; Each one of God’s children deserves to be surrounded by love.&nbsp; I am incredibly blessed to have been given the chance to be a part of the world of children.&nbsp; And now I’m going to leave my office, find some children, and play a rousing game of “Ring around the Rosie.” &nbsp;</p> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 19:27:02 GMT 21557088-52d5-445a-b686-bf1222c798e6 Geocaching, Combining Technology with the Great Outdoors <p> <em>Child Care Council Article by Pam Patrick</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As a child I loved to play Hide and Seek.&nbsp; I don’t know if it was the thrill of hiding and waiting to be found, or the excitement of trying to find whoever was hiding.&nbsp; It was great fun back in the days before technology took over almost every aspect of our daily lives.&nbsp; Today’s children are so engrossed in technology that many don’t get the outdoor exposure that we had a s children.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> A great way to combine the technology that kids are so fond of with the great outdoors is to go “<strong>Geocaching!</strong>”&nbsp; All you need is a computer at home and a handheld GPS or mobile phone with downloading capabilities.&nbsp; A geocache is a hidden container which can be any size, hidden anywhere outside, and containing a logbook of some sort.&nbsp; Players register at for free and can search for geocaches by location via the website.&nbsp; Download the coordinates to your GPS and it will point you in the direction of the cache.&nbsp; Then, you follow your compass to look for the cache.&nbsp; Once you find it, simply sign your name in the logbook, replace the cache as you found it, and then log it as found on the website.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> My family has found caches as small as the tip of a finger, high up in trees, under fallen logs, in the woods, and in very public areas.&nbsp; The thrill is in finding them, wherever they may be.&nbsp; It’s a great family and kid-friendly activity and a fun way to get outside, get some fresh air, and get everyone moving!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For more information, go to; You can sign up for free and get started right away!&nbsp; For more information visit <strong></strong> or <strong></strong>.</p> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 17:55:20 GMT 80a2bb33-6b85-4338-9847-edd49ff8bb77 Helping Children Cope with Change <p> Children love routines and rituals.&nbsp; They like knowing what to do, where to go and what to expect.&nbsp; But things in life change and that can be upsetting, especially for children.&nbsp; I don’t like change, either, and PromiseLand is going through some changes.&nbsp; A much-loved staff member is leaving.&nbsp; One new staff person has been hired and we will soon add another new person, also.&nbsp; There are many changes children go through:&nbsp; moving to a new home, a new baby in the house, starting kindergarten.&nbsp; We can’t avoid change, but we can help the children in our lives deal with it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Prepare them in advance:&nbsp; </strong>Talk with your child about the changes that are going to happen.&nbsp; Listen to them and let them know that their feelings are important to you.&nbsp; Reassure your child that even though things change they will still be loved and safe.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Listen to their concerns:&nbsp; </strong>Talk to your child about how they are feeling about the change, sympathize, and say that it’s okay to be a bit nervous or worried.&nbsp; Put yourself in their position and consider how it might affect them.&nbsp; Make yourself available to talk over their concerns and try not to play down their worries.&nbsp; They will then be more likely to confide in your about how they are feeling.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Reassurance:&nbsp; </strong>Reassure your child that he or she isn’t making the change alone and they will always have you to support them.&nbsp; Their life experiences are limited compared to yours and this change could feel overwhelming for them.&nbsp; Sit down with your child; ask how he or she is feeling, and talk about things you can do to help.&nbsp; Don’t ignore their worries.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>It takes time:&nbsp; </strong>Once the change has been made it may take a while for your child to get used to new routines and ways of doing it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Help them see it as an opportunity:&nbsp; </strong>If you present the change in a positive way it can help your child see the change in a better light.&nbsp; Get some paper and make two headings, good and bad, and write down with your child what you think are the negative and positive aspects to the change so they know that it’s not all bad.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>How children might react to change:&nbsp; </strong>Children may react to the change by becoming withdrawn or uncooperative. There may be tears and tantrums. Changes can result in disturbed&nbsp;sleep patterns, a loss of confidence, subtle changes in behavior, a loss of attention or a reduction in academic performance.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Try to teach your children that change is a part of life. Some things change all the time, like the sky, and others never change, like their date of birth, but even the most unwelcome changes have positives.</p> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:24:07 GMT 6215234d-e5b5-41dc-93a8-e8e0479b0b88 Summer Vacation <p> Today is the first day of summer vacation for the children in our school district, as well as many others in the area.&nbsp; One of the children in our program attended kindergarten this past year, so this is his first taste of “summer vacation.”&nbsp; He is so excited!&nbsp; My granddaughter just completed 1<sup>st</sup> grade and she too is excited about this taste of freedom.&nbsp; Having been through this once before, she is now an “expert” on the subject of what summer vacation is and what it should be used for.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As an adult who is long past that period of my life, I find myself envious of their freedom.&nbsp; I do NOT want to go back to my childhood and do it all over again, but the idea of weeks of unscheduled time is incredibly appealing.&nbsp; But we adults are all too ready to fill up the hours of vacation our children face.&nbsp; So we schedule them for camps and lessons and sports and the two months of summer race by and are gone.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I have discovered that the older I get the faster time passes.&nbsp; A day seemed to last forever when I was young, but not anymore.&nbsp; Those of us who are adults, and have the great good fortune to spend time with children, need to allow those children the luxury of time to just “be.”&nbsp; A child finds it easy to stop, look, and watch a snail oozing its way down a sidewalk.&nbsp; We need to stop, too, whether we are with a child or alone.&nbsp; It’s summer.&nbsp; I love the music of <u>Porgy and Bess</u>.&nbsp; A song from that musical, “Summertime,” illustrates the wonder of summer beautifully:&nbsp; “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”&nbsp; The music is slow and drawn out.&nbsp; You can feel the warm breeze and the heat of the sun as you listen to it.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So on this first day of “summer vacation,” find the time to take a vacation each day.&nbsp; If you can find a child to do it with, that’s great, but you don’t need one.&nbsp; Just stop what you’re doing, get a cold glass of something wet and delicious, lean back in a chair, and just feel God’s world around you.&nbsp; Happy vacationing!</p> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:32:19 GMT 092d6036-1af6-45e2-98cf-adf50960f36c