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.

Back from vacation

Had a great vacation.   Missed my computer and blogging but I really needed a break.  My vacation was both exciting and relaxing.  Going to the Joyce Meyer Conference in Toronto was exciting and going to the Sandbanks Provincial Park for a family camping adventure was relaxing.

The Joyce Meyer conference was awesome.  The music rocked and Joyce gave some really inspiring messages.  We got great seats for all 3 days but I can’t believe that I got front row seats for the Friday morning event.  My friends and I sat part way up the side and then an usher asked if we wanted to sit right on the floor up front where most of the seats are reserved for special guests.   Of course we did and we settled into some chairs at the end of the second row.  Then a short while later, they told us to move right along to the middle chairs.  I ended up sitting in the second row behind an empty seat directly in front of Joyce Meyer and a few seats down from her husband, Dave Meyer.   I’m anxious to see the conference when they show it on TV in about 4-6 months!

Camping was fun.  The Sandbanks is an awesome campground.  It is one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in Ontario and also has the world’s largest fresh water sand bar and dune system.  When our children were young, we used to live in Trenton which is less than an hour from the Sandbanks and we camped there often until we moved to Niagara Canada.   It wasn’t until 2 years ago that we returned to the campground with our children, their husbands and our grandson.  We all had such great fun that we returned again this year and plan on doing so again.  The days were spent boating, fishing, swimming, biking and relaxing.   I would highly recommend this campground to anyone who enjoys camping.  Here is a beautiful picture of the beach at twilight that was taken by my son-in-law.

sandbanks at night

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What does that label say?

dumb labelDo you ever read the labels on the products you buy?  Manufacturers are so afraid of being sued that they are putting the stupidest information on their labels.   Here are some that I found amusing.   Enjoy!

  • On a package of nuts:  “May contain nuts.”
  • On a hair dryer:  “Do not use in the shower.”
  • On a package of matches:  “Warning.  Contents may be flammable.”
  • On a package of roasted chickpeas:  “Ingredients – chickpeas.  Allergy warning – contains chickpeas.”
  • On deodorant (roll-on):  “Do not spray in eyes.”
  • On a pizza box:  “Caution.  Contents hot.
  • On a cardboard sunshield for front car window:  “Do not drive with sunshield in place.”
  • On a toner cartridge for a printer:  “Do not eat toner.”
  • On a wheelbarrow wheel:   “Not intended for highway use.”
  • On a set of knives:  “Warning.  Knives are sharp.”
  • On a box of rat poison:  “Warning.  Contents found to cause cancer in mice.”
  • On a stroller:  “Warning.  Remove child before folding.”
  • On an iron:  “Do not iron clothes on body.”
  • On Christmas lights:  “For indoor or outdoor use only.”
  • On the bottom of a dessert box:  “Do not turn upside down.”
  • On a bottle of sleeping pills:  “Warning.  May cause drowsiness.”
  • On a 6 inch by 10 inch inflatable picture frame:  “Do not use as a personal flotation device.”
  • On a package of airline peanuts:  “Open packet.  Eat contents.”
  • On a bottle of child’s cough medicine:  “Do not drive or operate machinery after taking this medicine.”
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The farmers almanac

The Farmers Almanac is a North American publication that has been around since 1818.  It is famous for its long-range weather predictions as well as interesting trivia, humour and advice on various topics.  Here is one of my favourite predictions……

farmers almanac HUMOUR


A Canadian Thanksgiving

family thanksgivingTomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada.  This is a national holiday where families gather to give thanks for our blessings.  In other countries, such as United States, Germany and Japan, Thanksgiving is celebrated on various dates in October and November.

The Thanksgiving tradition has its roots in England during the Reformation where they held special Thanksgiving religious services.  The first Canadian Thanksgiving is traced back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher, an explorer, held a Thanksgiving celebration to thank God for allowing him to survive the long, difficult journey from England.  The early French settlers also celebrated Thanksgiving for their successful harvests.   As more settlers came to Canada, Thanksgiving celebrations became very common in the late autumn.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is a statutory holiday (except for the maritime provinces).  Many families and friends gather together to share a special meal or take part in a family tradition which could include sports or a short vacation before winter sets in.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to give thanks for all the blessings we have.  There are so many people in the world that don’t have a house to live in, enough food to eat, nice clothing to wear, a bed to sleep in or even clean, running water.   Even if we are lacking in some area, there is always something we can be thankful for.   I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my good health, my ability to write and things as simple as being able to see, hear and smell.

What are you thankful for today?

Here is an awesome video by Josh Groban called Thankful.  Enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving!


10 things that small children teach us

little girl in redSmall children are in many ways wiser than most adults.  They see life through eyes that are innocent, trusting and uncomplicated.  Children don’t have all the baggage that we collect as we go through life.  If we start teaching them proper values right from the day they are born and continue to reinforce these values by being a positive role model, they will grow up to be responsible, caring adults.    Small children can actually teach adults some valuable lessons.  Here are just a few:

1) How to express feelings – You can just look at a child’s face and know whether they are happy, sad, upset or angry.  They don’t hide their feelings like many adults do.

2) How to fail successfully – Watch a child who is learning to walk.  They fall, get up, fall again, get up, fall again……. They don’t beat themselves up for failing and they don’t care what you think.  They just keep trying until they are successful.

3) How to forgive – Fighting over toys is a common occurrence but it doesn’t take long before long they are playing happily together again.  They don’t hold grudges.Boys Laughing with Video Game

4) How to enjoy life – Young children enjoy having fun and don’t care if there is always a purpose to what they are doing.

5) How to be a good friend – Having friends is important to our happiness.  Children are never too busy to spend time with their friends.

6) How to be open-minded – Trying new things is easy for young children as they haven’t set any habits, good or bad.  They ask lots of questions because they are eager to learn.

boy with binoculars

7) How to focus on one thing – Young children concentrate on doing just one thing.  They don’t get all stressed out by trying to multi-task.

8) How to use imagination – Our dreams and goals are fuelled by our imagination.  Children use this ability to discover new and exciting things.

9) How to exercise – Young children are always on the go.  They love playing games, running, jumping and anything else that involves body movement.  Exercise is fun!

10) How to love others – Love is the most important thing and children just naturally love those around them.   They don’t know anything about hate until they see it demonstrated by those around them.

What have you learned from your children or the children you are in contact with?


If anything can go wrong, it will…..

Most of us have heard the phrase, ‘If anything can go wrong, it will.”   This statement is commonly referred to as Murphy’s Law which has been around for a long time and also referred to as Sod’s Law.  The exact origin of this statement is not certain, however it is often attributed to Edward A. Murphy, who was an engineer working on an Air Force project.  One day he discovered a problem with some wiring and being upset with the technician, he said, “If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.”  The project manager kept a list of ‘laws’ and added this new statement which he called Murphy’s Law.

I can certainly coin this phrase when I refer to my recent two-day vacation.  Shortly after we left our house on Thursday morning, things started going wrong and continued on for the rest of the day.  We had packed up our food, clothing, camping equipment and bikes, loading them all in our truck and small fishing boat.  Everything was secured and we drove off with one our dogs (no, we didn’t leave our other dog at home alone, it was staying at our daughter’s house because they don’t always behave when they are together).  It was great just listening to the music and anticipating a couple of relaxing days.

About 20 minutes after leaving, my husband said to me, “Did you bring the tent?”  I looked at him and replied, “No, I got all the inside stuff ready, I thought you were getting all the outside stuff ready.”  I was thinking, “Are you kidding me?  I packed all the clothes, the food, the cooler, the bedding, the cooking stuff and you are asking me about the tent?  Would that not be in the same location as the camp chairs, the tarps and the boat?”  Needless to say, we had to backtrack and pick up the tent.  Oh well, at least we weren’t far from home.  You have to look at things with a positive perspective and no point blaming anyone.  We should have both thought about it.

We got to the campsite with the boat and wouldn’t you know it – there was no boat launch at this campsite.  I just assumed it would have one because it was right on Lake Erie.  We could have travelled 10 minutes to the next town and launched it from there, but we decided not to bother.  We still could ride around on the bikes or walk to the beach.

The campsite was large and had lots of trees.  It didn’t take long to set up the tent and get things organized.  Then we sat in our comfy camp chairs and relaxed.  After reading for a while, it was time to make supper, so we brought out the stove to cook some hamburgers.  I’m nervous cooking with gas, so I asked my husband to lit the burner.  He asked for the matches and guess what?  I forgot to bring any.  Good thing there was a camp store.

After eating our yummy hamburgers, we took a walk with our dog.  Then it was time for a campfire.  The day had been tiring and we soon decided to make it a day and turn in for the night.   We got the dog settled in her bed, put on our pajamas and went to bed ourselves.  The night had been getting cooler and as I was drifting off to sleep, I didn’t feel very warm.  The summer nights had been warm so I only brought a set of sheets and one comforter.   Oh well, if I felt cold, I could always put on my sweatshirt.

One problem that I have every night is waking up at least once or twice to use the bathroom and this night was no exception.  It was probably about midnight and I felt very uncomfortable.  As I turned over, my bottom hit the cold, hard floor.   Had I rolled off the air mattress?  Quickly I realized that the air had deflated.  My husband tried to blow it up, but there was obviously a leak.  We tried to go back to sleep, but we were both freezing at that point.  No, one comforter was definitely not enough.  The temperature had dropped considerably.  We both put on sweatshirts and socks.  It helped, but it was a very long and uncomfortable night.

The next day we took a drive into the town close by and bought a couple of warm sleeping bags and fixed the leak in the air mattress.  Thankfully, the second day went well and we were both warm and comfy at night.  As we campingheaded home on Saturday morning, I reflected on the past couple of day and decided that it had been a good vacation after all.  Next month we plan on taking another mini-vacation but this time I will be more prepared.

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two people in tentYeah!  Going camping today!  Just for a couple of days, but a much needed vacation.

When our kids were small, we went camping almost every weekend and then as they got older and started leaving home, we only went once in a while and I sure miss going.  Camping is awesome.  I love sitting in the woods, enjoying the beautiful scenery and the peaceful calmness away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

We’ve been to many campgrounds, mostly in Southern Ontario, but have also camped in the Maritimes and in Disneyworld.  Every different place is an adventure in itself.

My favourite campground is the Sandbanks Provincial Park which is close to Trenton, Ontario where we lived for a few years, but it is a 4 hour drive, so we’ve chosen a closer campground.  We’re going to Rock Point Provincial Park, just an hour away and on Lake Erie.   I’m sure it will be great fun.


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What are your children doing this summer?

Couple Walking on the Beach with Their Three Daughters and DogSummer can be a difficult time for families especially when parents are working and the children are left on their own.  This can be a time to create fond memories and experience exciting adventures.  However, if you and your children are not prepared to fill the days with meaningful activities, summer vacation can become a nightmare.

If you are working parents with older children that will be left alone for extended periods of time, it is extremely important that you make some definite plans and not just allow your child to do whatever they please.  Most children will sleep late, watch TV, play on their computer and hang out with friends.  This is not healthy and they will spend the summer bored or getting into some kind of trouble.

Make sure you have a plan of action that includes fun activities for your children and also for the family.  Working parents need to make sure that they still take the time to do family activities together so their children will feel loved and valued.   Time is an important commodity in a child’s life and when parents spend time with their children they are sending out the message that they are important and this will help them build strong esteem.

Plan some (age-appropriate) activities that your children can do on their own and also some family activities and then sit down with your children and go over your ideas.  Ask them if they have any suggestions and let them get actively involved in making any plans and helping with preparations.  Here are some ideas:

  • plan a family picnic or bbq
  • go to a park or petting zoo
  • go to a swimming pool or beach
  • check out activities at the local library and make a weekly visit to pick up some books or videos for your child to read and look at during the week
  • check with local organizations and churches for organized group activities and summer camps.  Many have free programs or ones with minimal cost.
  • enroll your child in a summer sports activity
  • plan a family camping trip or do a backyard campout and invite some of your children’s friends to come
  • on a rainy day, do some cooking or baking or play some board games
  • plan some arts and crafts – prepare kits for your child to work on some fun projects
  • clean out the basement or garage as a family – play music, dance and have some fun
  • watch some great family movies, eat popcorn and laugh a lot!
  • find out about a summer volunteer job – this is a healthy way to keep your child busy and help them build esteem

I hope you and your family have a great summer vacation!!

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Pet Smiles

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

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Kids do the darndest things

eating burger - grey sweaterIn February 1995, there was a special program aired on CBS that was hosted by Bill Cosby called, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”  It ran as a full season from January 1998 to June 2000 and it was a collection of questions and answers by children from ages 3 to 8.  Kids do say the darndest things and they also do the darndest things, especially when they are very young.

My 22 month old grandson is no exception.  He is always getting himself into the strangest situations that continue to amuse and confuse us.  Yesterday we took him for lunch at MacDonald’s which doesn’t happen very often because it isn’t the most nutritious meal, although he does get milk and yogurt along with his hamburger and fries.  At least when we take him out to eat, he doesn’t try to feed his food to our dogs and some actually does get into his mouth.  His mother is worried that he doesn’t eat enough but this will likely change in the not too distant future.

After lunch, we took him for a few rides on the horse, boat and cars.  I remember when it cost 10 cents or a quarter for a ride, but now it is a dollar!   I thought about 3 rides would be great, but Grandpa is a soft touch and my grandson got 7 rides!  Good thing we don’t have him every day or Grandpa would be broke.   Actually I would love to have him every day!

There is a machine at the mall where we went that is for a charity.  It probably has a name, but I don’t know what you call it.  You put a coin in a slot at the side and it falls down and rolls around and around a cone-like base a few times, picking up speed and then dropping into the hole at the bottom.   Depending on how the coin is put in, it can just drop right into the hole immediately.  My grandson put in a couple and they spun around, then the third one dropped right in without spinning.  Before I could react, he bent over the machine and reached down into the hole with his behind sticking up and almost fell right in.  I grabbed him and pulled him out.  He was upset and wanted the money back.  It would have made a cute picture.  The caption could read – Toddler tries to steal money from charity machine!   After all that excitement, we went home and took a nap.  It was a great day!

I’m certainly enjoying the time we spend with our grandson.  When our girls were small, we didn’t spend nearly as much time with them, as we were both working and doing so many other things.   I know now the importance of spending time with our children and I wish I could rewind time but since that isn’t possible, all I can do is try to be a better mother than I was and the best grandmother that I can be.

You can spend all the money in the world on your children, but that isn’t nearly as important as spending time with them.  If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or even if you don’t have children, find a way to spend time with the children you know and be a positive role model for them.  It will make all the difference in their world and it will bring you lots of rewards.



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