Memo From a Kid

When I was a Kid…. Oh what a time it was. I would get up early on a summer morning with nothing to do. I had more toys to play with than all the kids on the block I lived on.

But I still went out to the  kitchen and  complained . “Mom, I’m bored, what should I do?” She  would say. “Well, eat your breakfast, get dressed and go outside to play.” was her reply. “But it’s too hot outside!” I  whined.

Well, when I was a kid, you were expected to be outside all day long in the hot sun. We didn’t even have a cell phone for mom to check up on us when I went out to play when I was a kid.

When I was a kid, I wondered when i blew a kiss, if it reached its destination. Now, I still blow a second quiet kiss- willing it to go the distance.

When I was a kid, I waited for mommy or daddy to kiss me goodnight, to tuck me into bed. Now I help them to shut off the light and get to bed.

When I was a kid, I once wrote on the wall the word ‘CAT’, and then blamed it on my three year old sister. Now, I help my brother and sister write on things with chalk- to make a crazy and pretty pictures.

When I was a kidI grew excited to hear my Grandmother’s stories, she had special ones for each of us. Now, I ask my Gram to repeat those stories on occasions- when the younger ones aren’t keeping her busy.

 

When I was a kid, my cousins were my best friends, two in-particular. Now, I have too many friends to keep up with-
and I miss my best friends.

When I was a kid, I fell asleep to the rhythm of a back-rub, my Grandparents knew just how to give  me. Now, I quietly day- dream myself to sleep-creating my own imaginative stories. 

When I was a kid,  I couldn’t understand why teenagers got so caught up in friends and activities, I thought they must hate being at home.

Now, I survive from filling my schedule so full I barely have time to breathe- but all the while all I want is to be home.

When I was a kid, Home was with the sweet melodies of  family bliss, Where people knew you best. Now, Home is in my heart- with the people that I love and the things that I miss.

Gee I loved being a kid. Living for the moment, laughing for the sheer joy of doing so, letting my imagination run wild, not trying to be someone I wasn’t, saying “yes I can do that” to everything I wanted to try, even if I wasn’t any good at it. I didn’t have to worry about getting a job, a relationship, or pay off a mortgage.

Nor did I realize that, while I was playing, I was also learning all the basics of life – how to talk, read, write, make my arms, legs and eyes work together, play by the rules that my friends and I made up on the spot and – best of all – negotiation skills, learned by convincing my parents to buy sweets and toys.

Problems were resolved by a motherly kiss or going without dessert. Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end.

But they did.Life became serious. Parents, friends and teachers carefully taught me what I had to do to succeed in the harsh world of reality. Having fun became a waste of time that could be much more usefully put into earning serious money.

I was told to forget silly kid stuff, like jumping, drawing, singing, acting and doing roly-polies down a grassy hill. Instead, look around at what the adults are doing… copy them…don’t be different or people will think you’re dumb. Get a real job.

Become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer – anything that makes people look at you in awe. So I did.

I started taking courses I didn’t want to do. I did degrees that were going to take me somewhere, but got me nowhere. I started getting assessed – for the right school, right friends, right sport, right university, right job, right partner…the right path to whatever other people told me would take me down that glorious road to success, fulfillment and happiness.

And no, I didn’t always get chosen. I often wasn’t good enough, qualified enough, wealthy enough, talented enough, dressed well enough, intelligent enough, or trained enough.

Then I started to see the light.

What I was getting enough of was stressed, pressured, changed, controlled, confused, uncertain and misguided. The one life I had was slipping by fast. I was reaching each of “the big 0’s” faster and faster. Finally I hit the big 6-0 – when bosses tell you: “you’re too old to work anymore. Go find a nice pasture. Book into God’s waiting room where you can pass the time until you die”.

That’s when I exploded.

“Enough is enough is enough!!!” It’s time for me to be me – the me I always wanted to be when I was a child.It hit me that life in my 60’s had much in common with life in my childhood. I didn’t have to worry about a job (though I could work if I wanted to), or a mortgage (it was under control) or even a relationship (I was happily married).

I could do anything I felt like doing – even if I wasn’t any good at it. I could become a kid again. And this time it could be even better. I now had the benefit of a lifetime of experiences – good and bad – and even a little money on which to build my childhood dreams, skills, fun, interests and plans.

So I have become a kid again.

I am free to do as I please, when I want, with whom I want, for as long as I wish and at the pace I like. I don’t have to be good at what I do. I just lose myself in the joy of the moment, laughing for the sheer pleasure of doing so, letting my imagination run wild, being the me I always wanted to be.

I love it. I am learning, growing and blossoming into a truly successful person. I now know happiness is the journey, not the end and life is what you make of it, right this minute.

Image result for pictures of older people playing

 

You wanna come out and play?

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Eggs-tra Special Easter Egg Hunts

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Do you love Easter egg hunts? Me Too. If you are hosting an Easter get-together this year with your family, friends, or neighbors, here are some great Easter egg hunt ideas and steps to help you plan a successful hunt!

 

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Easter Egg Hunting began in America when German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. The festivity soon spread across the nation, and baskets replaced nests. Eventually, the game evolved into a treasure hunt, and the prizes expanded from just hard-boiled eggs to include chocolate, candy, toys and coins. In many families, the Easter Bunny leaves a basket filled with gifts, not just eggs to find.

2661421a1d29d481ac18bcbbd14a7365Jump up and down and shout hip hop hooray!
It’s time to hunt without further delay!
Go out the place where you play in the sun,
that’s where you’ll find all the Easter fun.
Then like you always do, just like is you habit,
put all the pieces together and you get to keep this cute pink chocolate bunny rabbit!
Hoppy Hunting,
The Easter Bunny

 

 To avoid jealousy and hard feelings at an Easter Egg hunt for your kids or grandkids, use the same color eggs for each person. Example…..blue for Todd, pink for Addie, yellow, green and purple for other kids, etc. 

Then take one egg of each color and put the same thing in each.  Continue until all the eggs are filled.  For the hunt, tell each kid what color is theirs and to only pick up eggs of that color. That way everyone has the same amount of eggs and the same amount of “goodies”.  No one gets their feeling hurt.

Leave Tell Tale Prints….. Make bunny footprints near each hidden Easter egg to give the kids some easy hints as to where the eggs are hidden.

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You can also try making the footprints out of plain paper or even sprinkle some talcum powder and put a bunny paw print in it with your fingers.

 

Confetti Eggs

Mix a few of these in with the regular eggs for a fun surprise at the end of the hunt.
See it here on Oh Happy Day.
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Personalized Eggs….Older kids often grab all the treats because they are faster at finding eggs and small prizes. In this hunt, each person has to look for a specific color egg or a prize with their initial on it. Letter stickers from a crafts store are easy to stick on and make each egg unique. Not only does this equal out the distribution of candy and gifts but it allows you to give specific treats to kids based on their interests.
Tips: Have fun with what you put in the eggs. Small games, fortunes, pennies, photographs, and special notes are all great alternatives to jelly beans.
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The Bunny Treasure Map….In this hunt, the Easter Bunny has left a map to the prizes but the kids will have to put together all of the pieces to find the hiding spot. Draw a map or write a clue on colored card stock or a pre-cut blank puzzle. One side should be brightly colored and the map should be drawn on the back. Cut the map in pieces and hide it around the house. When all the pieces are found, kids must try to assemble the map that will lead them to their Easter basket treat.
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Tips: Count how many pieces you have so you’ll know when it is time for the kids to start assembling the puzzle. You can also number each piece so kids know how many pieces they are trying to find.
Golden and Sliver Egg Hunt: Place a golden and a silver egg in a hard to find spot with money in it.
420 golden egg istockphotoSuper Secret Message Egg…..Hide a little message in each egg. It is just like a fortune cookie…only with eggs!
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 Easter Egg Eggstravaganza …...Fill each of the eggs with a slip of paper with a task that the finder has to  complete such as a sing “Itsy Bity Spider,” name three fruits that are red, or do a handstand. This is an Easter egg hunt so make them fun. Once the finder does the task, they can pick out a piece of candy or a toy.
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Night time Egg Hunt….Kids need to have adults with them and do it in a safe place. Grab a flash light and go on a hunt to find the eggs under the moon and stars. Place glow sticks in the eggs.

 
“Find Your Name” Egg Hunt….Before the hunt, write each child’s name on an egg. The child that finds the egg with their name on it first wins a prize.
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Make sure every last egg is found by tipping off the kids with this cute printable clue cards.
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Along with plastic Easter Eggs there are other things you can hide.  You can wrap bigger items in plastic wrap or cellophane and tie with a bow. Some ideas are…
 Chocolate Bunny
 Easter Stuffed Animals: Bunnies, Chicks, LambsBunch-of-Bunnies-coming-out-of-an-Egg-
Jump Ropes and other outside toys
Large Container Bubbles
Dolls
Action Figures
Crayons with Coloring Book
Socks cute Easter socks fit in the larger eggs and are fun for the kids.
Tattoos – gives the kids something to do.
Gift Certificates – maybe for McDonald’s or your local frozen yogurt shop
Small whistles – if you are brave!
Glow in the dark star stickers for the ceiling
Lego mini building set – spread the pieces over a few eggs
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Indoor Hunt….Don’t let a rainy day spoil the Easter Egg Hunt—an inside hunt can be as fun.  Designate which rooms will be part of the hunt.  The difficulty can be based on the age of the kids.  You can even designate rooms for different age groups. You can even designate rooms for different age groups.  For younger kids, hide the eggs in places they are visible.  For older kids and teens, you can really bury those eggs.
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Make a More Challenging Egg Hunt……There are several things you can do to make a traditional egg hunt more challenging for older kids.

Find creative places to hide the eggs to give an egg hunt more appeal. If you can, hide the eggs in an unfamiliar location. Hide them in the woods or a park. Pick a place that has a lot of nooks and crannies. Make the hunt boundaries large to increase the places they can be hidden.

These are good idea for groups that also have younger children. The older kids can look for the more complex hiding spots while the younger kids can find easily hidden eggs.

Ice Cream Hunt–Hunting for ice cream?….. In each egg, put ice cream toppings. Some examples could be jelly beans, sprinkles, M&M’s, marshmallows, butterscotch chips, and anything else that would fir in those little plastic refillable eggs are found, each hunter will make their own ice cream in a bag! This works well outside on a nice day. You can google “ice cream in a bag” and get a zillions recipes like this one.
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One tip, though, have your baggies made up ahead of time so as soon as the egg hunting is done, the kids can immediately start making their ice cream. You will also want to have gloves or socks handy because the bags get really cold!
Once the ice cream is made, they can add all the toppings to their bag of ice cream!
coins-in-easter-eggEgg Puzzle…..Tell your children the Easter Bunny left them a puzzle, and they have to locate all of the puzzle pieces to find out what the grand finale prize is. To set up the puzzle, on a large sheet of paper, write a message to your children. Then, divide up the paper to look like puzzle pieces and cut out the individual pieces. Hide each piece in an egg. Once the kids have found all the puzzle pieces they can lay them out on the floor to read their special message and find the big prize the Easter Bunny left for them.
 
Creative Egg Stuffers….Mix it up this year and take the candy out of Easter. Yup, you read that right–ditch the sugar. The kids are already “hopped” up enough on their natural energy anyway. Fill the eggs with fun surprises the children will never expect.
Some Ideas are…..
Money
Movie Tickets
Stickers
Gum
IOU notes (example….One Large Banana Split to make up for all sugar lost on Easter!)
 
The Easter Challenge……The Easter challenge is a fun party game version of an Easter egg hunt that older children and adults will love. Instead of hiding candy eggs, you would hide small plastic eggs. Inside each egg would be a task that has to be completed.
Sing a song, recite a verse from memory, jump on one foot for  10 seconds, draw a picture, etc. After each task is completed, the child receives another treat for their basket.  Make sure to keep a camera on hand to capture all the fun!
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Story Egg Hunt
Create or find an Easter story. (This is a good hunt to include the religious meaning and story of Easter). Print it out and then cut it apart into strips. Number the strips in order and place them in eggs for the hunt. After the hunt – have the hunters sit in a circle and take turns reading the parts of the story form their eggs in orde
Read more at http://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=121&sid=24303244#85r3HGJjpQoAl2Vl.99

 Story Egg Hunt……Create or find an Easter Story. (This is a good hunt to include the religious meaning and story of Easter.)
 Print it out and then cut it apart into strips. Number the strips in order and place them in the eggs for the hunt.  After the hunt–have the hunters sit in a circle and take turns reading the parts of the story from the eggs in order.

Find an organized Easter egg hunt in your area……

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Just because a get-together is called an Easter egg hunt does not mean other activities cannot be going on besides the hunt. Plenty of spring activities can be done at Easter. Set up stations of activities that kids can do either by themselves, or have a grown-up rotate in to help their kids. Stations might include:

The ideas mentioned above not only make the Easter special, but memorable too. In fact, using a bit of creativity, anybody can come up with such fun ideas. So, what are you waiting for?
There are so many ways to make the tradition of an Easter egg hunt fun!

Happy Easter Egg hunting!

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Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Home is a Place in Your Heart

“Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.” – Vernon Baker

 What is home? A building with four walls and a roof? Or a place where you grow up among your loving family?  More than the walls and the interiors of a home, it is the spirit of those who reside in and the bonding that makes it a beautiful place to live in.

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We’ll always remember our childhood home and the vast memories of the times that shaped us. There, we were molded into who we are today. Our more recent decisions and defining moments are influenced by moments from our childhood. What ever it is, I return to where I grew up time and again.

Although home could represent an exact place or time in our lives, past or present, you will always return home. While your dreams and passions will lift you to new destinations, you will always come back to where you started. If you haven’t, think about and consider it. If not for you, then for your children.

Often translated “Family is where the heart is”, the original proverb identifies that with where there is love and acceptance, is also your home. Your home is wherever or whatever place you long to be—a place where there is no judgment, only solace. This really encompasses home as the place you love most whether it’s with one’s embrace, in your current domain or in your collective memory.

Home is where we can truly be ourselves. Where we don’t have to hide anything about who we are, how we are feeling or what we are thinking. Home is where we can put down the roles that we sometimes play and just let everything go.

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What will you create?

 

“Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest” – Robert Montgomery

“The spot of earth supremely blest”. . .what a great description. By gathering with our friends or family, home_is_where_the_heart_is_smalland building up a collection of cherished memories and experiences, we bless the space around our homes. We create a space that is powerful – one that can carry us through anything.

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than any magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” -Charles Dickens

There is, I think, something magical about home. Whether you are a kid finding the best places to hide your Star Wars collection, or an adult putting the key into the lock after a long day, there is something about coming home that is somewhat magical. You walk in the door and things feel a little bit lighter. You settle into your favorite chair for the night and your home embraces you; it makes you feel supported, taken care of, and at peace.

Home to us is a place that we can come back to and feel safe, secure and loved.
It’s a place where friends are always welcome.
It’s kids artwork hanging on the walls and school notes on the fridge.
It’s laughter and squealing. It’s intimate chats as secrets are shared.
It’s comfortable.

Home is a tiny word but a powerful one and one so rich in meaning.  It is more than a physical place it is is an idea, a feeling, a vision.  It is something that we carry with us as we journey through life; it is not just something that we seek.

 

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIsThere’s No Place Like Home by by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Mom and Dad are moving.

There. I said it.

After 42 years, my parents are leaving the 110-year-old, three-story house that served as the backdrop for my growing-up life – a silent witness to my first teetering steps, first fumbling prayers, first teenage crushes. I remember standing at the top of those wide wooden stairs at age five, in pajamas on Christmas morning; at age 18, with a mortar board bobby-pinned to my hair; at 23, dressed in white satin.

The old place knew all of my first loves because their pictures were taped to the walls: Scott Baio, Michael Jackson, Donny Osmond … and E.T.

It also knew every misdeed: the time my brother John and I decapitated the Barbies and hid them behind the radiator; Christmas Eve of 1975 when I devoured a whole plateful of Spritz cookies in the pantry; when my sisters and I composed typewritten letters by a ghost named The Draft – we slipped the notes under the bedroom door of our brother, who was convinced that a specter haunted the darkened hallways of our home.

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In that old house on West Athens Street – where lilacs blossomed every spring and mums bloomed every fall – I learned what it meant to laugh and love and live as family.

And now, I’m trying to figure out how to say goodbye.

That house and I were playmates, and we knew each other’s secrets. The wooden banister was my first slide. Dad in his recliner, my first see-saw. The basement storeroom, my first roller-rink. On summer afternoons, I shimmied up the evergreen spires to climb onto the roof of a friend. Up there, sprawled out on her gigantic shingled lap, I would stare at the sky and daydream. She never seemed to mind if I didn’t feel like talking.

This morning, I pick up the phone to dial the numbers that connect me to home, digits I memorized back in preschool. It hits me: By June, I’ll never again dial that phone number.

Mom answers on the third ring with a sunny hello. She recites the list of things to sell, to give away, to box up. Even if her four grown children aren’t ready, she is. Or, at least, it sounds like she’s ready. I hear the resolve in her voice. Then again, I wonder if she hears the same thing in my voice – cheery and affirming – when she reminds me that the movers will come soon.

And just like that, our life stage will be emptied of its props and actors.

We’re 100 miles apart, Mom and I, but if I squint the mind’s eye, I can see her standing in the laundry room. Her bare feet are anchored, almost seamlessly, to that cool, cracked cement floor. The house has become such a part of our family that I can barely distinguish the structure from the inhabitants.

HM016-mThe house feels like a second skin. I know every wrinkle, bruise, scar and age-spot. I even know the bones that creak loudest – third stair from the top. I knew to skip that step when I came home past curfew.

We were tight, that old house and I. Look at that, would you? I’m already talking about her in the past-tense.

But it’s time. It really is. Mom and Dad are in their 70s, and old knees fare better with one-level living.

Still. Goodbyes are hard, aren’t they?

In the home where I live now, we’re passing a legacy of rootedness to my own children. When we built this house nine years ago, we made room for a built-in bench by the kitchen table – just like the bench on which I ate every meal growing up. We also installed a stained-glass window, a replica of the one that stretches across the wall back home.

In this house – my house – I set a wooden plaque on the laundry-room windowsill that reads: “My home isn’t a place. It’s people.”

I get that. I really do. But I’m still going to grieve a while longer. For I’m going to miss that splendidly creaky home that will always whisper bits of our life-story in every cobwebbed corner.

“Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes.”

Maxwells Attic

 

 In Chris Daughtry’s Home  “…I’m going to a place where love and feeling good don’t ever cost a thing … Im going home back to a place where I belong and where your love has always been enough for me … ” Even after succeeding in his dream (and getting more than he wished for), there is no place where he can substitute the love he identified with where you know people who will always believe in you.

 

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What does the phrase home is where the heart is mean………………….

Your true home is with the person or the place you love the most
It mean it’s where your life is…. That’s where the love is. the home is usually where you base your life from…. and your body runs centrally from you heart.
It means that one might go to work, to lunch, to dinner, to a movie or play, to parties,  to a fine restaurant, but that when all that is over, your own home is where your love, activities, best things you have–all these things are where your heart is.

Our homes are a reflection of who we are.
They are one huge canvas that each of us chooses how to decorate.
They are our personal space in this huge universe.
They evolve and change just as we do.

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We fill them with people and things we treasure and love.
Their walls hold our treasured memories, and so much that we hold dear.
They become our safe havens, our respite from the rest of the world
And that is what I believe makes a house a home.
Trust me, walls do talk !
A home tells a lot about the person living there.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

Our Family 2 Yours

 

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