I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Thoughts from yesterday

little girl in pinkYesterday my thoughts went back to the time when I was a Girl Guide Leader and Commissioner.   I had started volunteering as a helper when my oldest daughter became a Girl Guide and became so involved that I soon opened my own Guide group, then a Sparks group and a Guide Commissioner.  During that 10 year period, I was very busy getting weekly meeting prepared, organizing group activities, planning camps and going to meetings.  It was a lot of work but great fun and I immensely enjoyed the experience.

I remember one particular overnight camp that I planned for my Sparks group, a lively bunch of 5 year olds.   When I requested permission to have this camp-over, I was initially turned down.  Sparks were fairly new and there had never been any overnight camping for that age group.  I was told that it would be a waste of time and that it would never work out.  For several years, I had been part of camping experiences for Brownies, Girl Guides and Pathfinders and I wanted to share this exciting adventure with my 12 Sparks.

Being a persistent person, I was not ready to give up.   I was certain that the camp-over would work and it was being held on my own property where I had full control of the situation.   At that time, I lived in the country where there was plenty of room to have outdoor activities and room inside for meals and crafts.   They weren’t expected to put up tents and sleep outside like the older girls.  Instead they would be comfortable and safe in our carpeted rec room.

I won the battle and the sleepover was planned.   Comments were made from other leaders about how the girls would probably all start crying at bed time and want to go home.   I didn’t believe this, but of course, we would all know in time.

Twelve sweet little angels came over Friday night with their little backpacks and sleeping bags.  The mothers all gave me their phone numbers and told me to call if there were any problems.  I already had all this information, but it seemed to comfort them.  After hundreds of hugs, kisses and good-byes, we started our program which would end the next day at noon.  First we played some outdoor games, then we came inside for some crafts.  After that was snack time, movie time and a sing-song.   Then then got into their cute little pajamas and laid out their sleeping bags all over the floor.   When the lights went out, all you could hear was talking and giggling.

When I fell asleep, I was at the far end of my rec room where I could see twelve little bodies covering the floor right over to the other side of the room where my youngest daughter was sleeping on the sofa.  In the morning, I opened my eyes when the sun came through the window and I was alone in my corner.  Startled for a moment, I tried to separate the shapes I could see piled at the other end of the room beside the sofa.  I crawled out of my sleeping bag and as I got up, I could see all twelve girls sleeping as tightly as possible to where my daughter was lying and in fact, one little girl was laying beside her on the sofa.  I’m sure if there had been more room, they would all have been up there with her.

My daughter loved working with the girls.  She had been through Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and earned her Canada Cord just as my other daughter had done.  Now she was helping out as a Junior Leader and the Sparks just loved her.  It would have been a great picture if there had been cell phones back them, but the picture will always be in my memory.

When the girls got up, we had breakfast, played more games and did another craft, then it was time to go home.  All the parents were astounded at the fact they hadn’t been called to pick them up.  I knew the camp-over would be a success because the Sparks all enjoyed being together as a group and we provided them with what they needed – love, encouragement and actively participating with them in fun activities.  We were helping them build confidence and increase their self-esteem.  What child wouldn’t want to be with people who love and care about them?  Do you show love and appreciation for the children around you?


I want it NOW!

In the movie ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’  a selfish little girl sings the song, ‘I want it now’  She makes several demands and when she doesn’t get what she wants, she proceeds to knock things down and destroy what is around her.

This little girl is like many people today.  We want instant gratification.  We want life to provide us with everything we want IMMEDIATELY.   We don’t want to wait.  We want it to happen today – NOW!

Society teaches us to be selfish and keeps reinforcing this bad habit every day through programs and ads.    People are brainwashed to believe that ‘stuff’ will bring us friends, happiness and success.  If we just have more of this and more of that, we think our lives will be perfect!  In our impatience to find that perfect life, we rush out and spend money on worthless products and services just to have our happiness short-lived when the initial excitement wears off.

We need to take the time and consider what is valuable and worthwhile in our lives.  Is that new outfit going to win new friends?  If we lose weight are we going to get a better job?  If we buy that expensive car, will all our problems go away?

Building good relationships takes time but this is far more important than quickly building a pile of possessions.   This is something important that we can teach our children so they will grow up to be responsible adults who make good choices instead of being selfish and demanding.

So what is it that you want NOW?  Will it really make you happy and for how long?  Try thinking about what you need in the future and work on being patient.  Don’t let the world pressure you into man with moneywasting your time and money.

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Friendships are important

friends1We all need to have friends and this is especially important for children and teens.  Friends help children build confidence and develop their esteem.  Friends allow us to have better emotional, spiritual and physical health.  Friends teach us how to build good relationships and learn how to deal effectively with life situations.

Friends really matter, but it is also very important that we choose the right friends.  A good friend will help you but a bad friend will hurt you.  We all want people to like us and today with all the social media, it is easy to build a list of friends.  However, in our eagerness to have lots of friends, are we building friendships or potential problems?  It is better to have just 1 good friend, than to have 25 bad friends.

What is a good friend?  Think about each of your friends and ask the following 10 questions:

  1. Does your friend make you feel good about yourself?
  2. Can you trust your friend with your utmost secrets?
  3. Do you enjoy spending time with your friend?
  4. Does your friend encourage and support you?
  5. Does your friend talk with you and listen even when you don’t agree?
  6. Is your friend happy when something good happens to you?
  7. Does your friend stick up for you when other people are putting you down?
  8. Does your friend like you no matter what your weaknesses are?
  9. Is your friend there for you when you need help?
  10. You know that your friend never gossips about you?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all the questions, then you probably have a good friend that you should keep.  If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions, then you should really consider whether or not to continue on with the friendship.  Do this for each of your friends and it will help you determine whether they are a good friend or a bad friend.

Now, try this again by asking yourself the same questions.   Are you a good friend?   It works both ways in a friendship.  It is important that you have good friends, but you also must be a good friend.

It is important to be surrounded by positive people who lift you up, encourage you and support you.   Never surround yourself with negative people who pull you down, discourage you and make you feel bad.  Try working hard on developing a positive perspective by building your esteem and then you can be a positive influence on people who are struggling with negativity.

We should all be a good example to those around us by being a good friend to others and choosing good friends.   We should always treat each other with kindness and expect that others treat us the same way.

Do you have good friends?  Are you a good friend?  Are you teaching your children how to choose good friends?


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Pet Smiles

These pet pics are so cute so I decided to share. Enjoy!

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What are you thankful for?

In our busy lives, we don’t always stop to think about what we should be thankful for, especially if we are having difficulties in our lives.  However, there is always something that we can be thankful for if we look hard enough.    Many people are so focused on their problems that they don’t see the good things in life and they miss out on some great experiences.  I began to realize this in my own life and now I try to start every day thinking about what I have to be thankful for.  This is a great way to focus on being positive about life.  I wrote a list of things that I’m thankful for and I hope it gets your mind working.

  1. God’s love
  2. my family
  3. a hug
  4. eating pizza
  5. watching a good movie
  6. taking a walk
  7. reading a good book
  8. calling a friend
  9. a child’s laughter
  10. running water
  11. a gentle rain
  12. a rainbow
  13. getting a card
  14. looking at pictures
  15. nice clothes
  16. giving a gift
  17. getting a gift
  18. reaching a goal
  19. a friendly smile
  20. watching a sunrise or sunset
  21. feeling loved by someone
  22. good health
  23. the warmth of the sun
  24. a home

So now I ask you…..what are YOU thankful for?  little girl thinking

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Smartphones can be dangerous

There have been numerous incidents with people using phones while driving and in many places, using handheld devices behind the wheel is banned.  It has also been proven that using hands-free phones cause problems as they create a distraction for the driver who often drives slower, changes speed or drives aggressively depending on how deeply they are immersed in their conversation.

I just read an article today that states there is also a risk for people using phones as they are walking.   Pedestrians have walked into door, lampposts, fallen down stairs and tripped while using their phones, being hurt in the process.  Some towns have actually started fining pedestrians who use smartphones while they are walking.

Cell phones are even causing problems for children being hurt in playgrounds because their parents are not paying attention while they are talking on their phones and I’m sure there are unnecessary accidents happening right at home with those parents who are obsessed about being connected to others all the time.

In this article  it states how a teen was hit by a train and killed while crossing tracks and kids on cell phonestexting friends.  How horrible is that!

We need to be responsible in everything we do in life and be a good example to those around us.   Technology is great when used properly, but being obsessed leads to potential problems.  Build strong personal relationships with people instead of your cell phone or computer and teach your children how to be responsible.  This will increase confidence and self-esteem.

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Do you ever feel like this picture – that everyone and everything in life is against you? Some of us feel that life is always beating us up and rightly so. The world is a negative place and people are naturally negative and self-centered – we are born this way. Unless we are taught to be positive, kind and caring, we will grow up to be adults who look at life with a negative perspective, have a bad attitude and treat ourselves and other people with disrespect. When we have been hurt, abused, ignored or treated badly we will treat other people in the same way because we don’t know anything different. Hurting people hurt people. So we end up like this pictures. We are being hurt or we are hurting others. If we want to stop this from happening, we have to develop a positive attitude and strong esteem so we can deal with situations in a positive way and not allow people to hurt or disrespect us. Let’s all do our part to be nice to each other and ourselves by being kind and showing love. Hurting each other is wrong and nobody wins.

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Failure only happens when you quit trying

Nobody likes to fail, but failure is inevitable since we are all human and we make mistakes.  Failure is a normal part of life and can be an excellent learning process.  Failures can actually motivate us to work harder towards our goals and make necessary changes in our lives.

Life will always test us and sometimes we will fail the test, but we should never give up on ourselves.  Nobody else can succeed for us and we need to learn how to fail successfully.   Most successful people have failed many times before they ever reached success, but they kept on trying.

When you fail, what action do you take.  Do you keep going and work harder or do you blame others, give up or make excuses?

Have you ever said to yourself?

  • It’s just too hard
  • I can’t succeed
  • It’s my husband’s/wife’s/friend’s fault
  • I grew up in an abusive home
  • I didn’t go to college
  • The government doesn’t help people like me
  • My boss holds me back
  • I don’t have the time or money

I’ve used some of these excuses and heard others from people I know.  The problem with excuses and blaming someone else is that you don’t get anywhere.  You stay stuck in the midst of your problems and don’t move ahead in life.

Failure is not a problem in life unless you dwell on it and stop growing.  Learn from your failures and try not to make the same mistake again.  There is a lesson to be learned in everything we do in life.#1 ribbon

Failure only happens when you quit trying.   Always remember that you must keep going in order to succeed.

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Did you put a deposit in your emotional bank account today?

piggy bankWhen we put money in our bank account, it increases and we feel secure and confident that our finances are healthy.  When we take money out of our bank account, it decreases and we feel insecure and lack confidence because our finances are not healthy.

The same goes for our emotional bank account.  When we deposit healthy emotions in our emotional bank account, it makes us feel secure and confidence in ourselves.  When we take these healthy emotions out of our bank account or put in unhealthy ones, it makes us feel insecure and we will lack confidence in ourselves.

Every day we need to keep depositing healthy emotions in our own emotional bank account and also into the emotional bank account of others so we can help each other feel confident and keep our esteem strong.

Have  you made a deposit today?  Was it love?  What about appreciation?  A kind word?  A thoughtful deed?  Keep making those deposits and watch the benefits grow!


Remember the emotional bank account—similar to a bank account, you can make deposits or withdrawals from each of your family relationships. Make a conscious effort to make meaningful deposits in your relationships. When you make a withdrawal, apologize and correct the mistake.   ~Steven Covey

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Love really does make the world go round

Smiling Family Posing on BenchHappy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day was started in the United States in the early 1920’s to celebrate fatherhood, due to the success of Mother’s Day.   Different countries celebrate Father’s Day in almost every month of the year from February right through to December.

Father’s Day here in Niagara Canada started off as a rainy, gloomy day.  However, despite the weather, we were able to enjoy some awesome guest speakers at church.  One of these was Michael Skupin, a contestant on “Survivor: Australia” and “Survivor:  Philippines.   Michael shared some interesting stories about miracles that happened while filming the series and also on how important love is to our survival.  This love comes from our heavenly Father, our families and our friends.  When we feel loved, we can then love ourselves and pass on this love to other people.

Michael told how frustrating it was throughout the filming where it was every man/woman for themselves and they would hurt anyone who got in their way.  Contestants had to endure about 30 days of feeling isolated until they finally got to see a loved one and then it was an emotionally overwhelming experience.

Love is so important to human survival.  Without love you can EXIST but you cannot LIVE.  Love really does make the world go round!

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