Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Bugs

Today, December 29th, means the New Year is just around the corner. So what are we going to do about it? Seems like this is an eternal question - how to embrace the opportunity for a new beginning - how to start - where to go?

As I was pondering this question, the bugs came to mind. For me a bug is something that gets in my way emotionally, personally, maybe even spiritually. It isn't always as cute as this little lady bug, but it offers a chance to scrutinize some part of life that isn't working smoothly. When I am brave I can even call the little bug a gift, as she nudges me to work through an issue that I want to ignore. Even though many of the bugs are small, they cause me to stumble and not move through life as gracefully as I would like.

I am going to figure out which bug needs attention before January 1 and plan to do some work on it. When that bug moves on, there will probably be another one to take her place. Imagine how lovely life will be by 2011 if I can systematically tackle my bug problems through this year.

Identifying one of them and working on it seems doable. Looking at the whole nest of them is overwhelming. Picking one at a time is a task I can handle.

Do you have any bugs in your life?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday theme - Snowflakes

December 15 is already here and I am just beginning to think about the holidays. I think I am behind because we are leaving town to be with our children - a first for us - so the decorating frenzy and cookie making seems off the radar.

I was thinking about what I would do to make the holiday interesting for me IF I did something special. What came to mind is to pick a theme for the year. Perhaps a color - have everything red. Perhaps a plant - decorate with holly. Perhaps an animal - reindeer.
I was thinking about snowflakes myself. We have had such a cold spell here in the NW that snowflakes are appropriate this year. I would make snowflake cookies. Snowflake stencils on the windows. Use snowflake paper for wrapping. Wear snowflake earrings. Kids can cut them out of paper. Make sure there are snowflakes on the Christmas tree. Get some of the new snowflakes lights. When you start to think about it, there are lots of snowflake possibilities out there.

This isn't an earth shaking idea. It simply focuses energy and ideas in a playful and creative way for the season. I tend to be a bit intense, so this is a lightening up place for me to be. One can use the idea for other holidays as well. Green Valentines. Peppermint shamrocks. Easter fish. Halloween frogs. Whatever tickles your fancy. If you have some interesting ideas, please let us all know on the comments. Relax and have fun.
Happy holidays to you all.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Birthday Activity

I want to share this story because I feel the parents invented age appropriate activities for a birthday party that were unique and fun for three year olds. By taking time to think about the child, her age, the house where the party was going to be held, the season of the year, the party ideas emerged and flowed into a memorable day for all involved.

Six children arrived at ten in the morning, when all the kids were fresh for the day. Mom set up four activity stations. First they went to a table where each child had a visor to decorate with stickers. They donned their visors and went downstairs to another station where another adult helped them pick out some sparkling temporary tattoos for their hands. They then went upstairs to a box full of pom poms. They danced around yelling and shaking the pompoms until they moved to the garage where a pinata was waiting - the pinata was made ahead by grandma and the birthday girl. Everyone had fun trying to bust open the pinata and see what was inside.

These simple activities gave the children something active and interactive to do. At age three kids need adult supervision so there were grown ups around to help at the various stations. The photo shows the birthday girl working on her visor and you can see her concentration as she is works on it.

Because each situation is different, it is important to clearly look at ideas and details ahead of time before making a plan. Some parties may be out side because it is summer. Some kids may like a pool party. Your child might love animals. Themes and activities help mark the moment. These events need not be expensive - use your creative juices to make your plan, then sit back and enjoy.