In the mid-nineties I purchased as a Christmas gift for my preschool-aged daughter the popular battery-operated game Lucky Ducks. I’ve kept the game, along with many other vintage toys and games, in my basement all these long years. So, it made sense to bring the game out for granddaughter Olivia on one of her early visits to my house. Unbelievably, the original batteries still worked.
Olivia, then aged 18 months, was drawn to the game, until we turned it on. Lucky Ducks features a revolving base upon which twelve plastic ducks go around in circles squawking loudly. Four players receive color-coded cards, and then start claiming random ducks with color-coded stickers that can’t be seen while the ducks are circling in the “pond.” If the selected duck doesn’t match the player’s card, they must put the duck back. The first player to claim three same-colored ducks wins. Continue reading
American Heritage Girls, Inc. (AHG) is rolling out its new Girl Handbooks – updated with a fresh look, and personalized elements to enhance each girl’s AHG journey. The new Girl Handbook will be available for Girl Members to purchase at the ministry’s 25th Anniversary Convention in July and via the AHGstore the first week of August.
“We are excited to have created Handbooks that not only take a girl through her AHG journey but also serve as a treasured keepsake for the rest of her life,” said Patti Garibay, AHG’s Founder & Executive Director.
AHG’s new Girl Handbooks are designed as a comprehensive, age-appropriate guide for Girl Members to read, journal, and enjoy as they progress through each Program level. Girl Handbooks are a valuable tool for understanding the core Emphases and components of the American Heritage Girls Program. Continue reading
A fresh start implies change and can be, frankly, scary. It is usually forced upon us by an event – more often than not, an emotional event; in my case, the unexpected death of my husband. I won’t drag you through it – however I will share observations. A comparable situation might be the necessary uprooting of a family and making a move you wish was not necessary. In a situation that makes one feel upside down, the natural desire is to work hard to “right” oneself. Not an easy task.
Others close to the situation are trying to do the same thing, and so one may feel the need to make life right for them also. There is always one person hit harder than anyone else. Often it can be the youngest member in the family. It might also be someone who’s never experienced such an event. What I will tell you is that a consistency of effort can provide unexpected comfort. With comfort comes the desired ability to move mentally to a place—any place—approximating happiness. Believe it or not, it is happiness we seek. To admit this is not shallow, it is in a word “truth.” Continue reading
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and when I visit with friends, we tend to compare all the great variety of problems in our lives. Some problems are yesterday’s news, but others are definitely current and usually “economy” related.
Some problems are virtually unsolvable due to their nature versus ours. Other problems are beyond our solving but are greatly affecting none the less. So I suggest a little tactic I have often employed called “boiling it down.” Here’s an example: I am heading out the driveway for my walk and I cast my eyes to heaven and say silently to God, “Please don’t let me see any road kill today. Let me find and save a wooly bear caterpillar. Let the squirrels make it across the road and please God, no more dead goldfinches.” These may seem rather incongruous to some readers but let me tell you it is not fun to lose it over a hit-and-run cat, sit on the curb, and cry your eyes out!
At our house, prior to Thanksgiving dinner, I usually say a “grace.” On occasion, however, I have foisted it onto my son or daughter – for fear of breaking down. Continue reading
Fall is the season where we harvest the fruition of what was planted in Spring and Summer. We gather in the fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, and all the abundance of Fall vegetables. We turn to inward thoughts, our homes, and our families. We take quiet walks to enjoy the coloring of the leaves. We rest more to keep that immune system in tip-top shape. The Days of Thanks (which should actually be every day) are a good time to do a little Fall cleanse of our digestive system in which you might include the juices of beets, celery, carrots, parsley, zucchini and such though always diluted with water, or apple, grape, or pear juices. Continue reading
A travesty of immense proportions is being played out in the eyes of the nation in the supposedly conservative state of Texas. There, seven-year-old James Younger is being forced by his mother to “transition” into a girl named Luna. The mother is threatening to have the boy’s penis cut off and flood his young male body with hormonal puberty blockers when he turns eight.
The boy is perfectly happy with his male identity when he is in his father’s home. He dresses as a boy, acts as a boy, plays as a boy, and engages eagerly in athletics. He doesn’t show any preference for girls’ toys, and refuses to wear girls’ clothes or engage in typical girls’ play. He always dresses in boys’ clothes when his dad comes to pick him up. In other words, when he is with his father, there is no trace of “gender dysphoria.” Continue reading
With school starting I want to help our kids and grandkids focus. For that matter many of us adults could use some help in this matter as well. Though changing what you eat, or what your kids eat, may not be easy it’s certainly worth the effort—especially if you want them (and you) to focus and think.
I’ve been writing these columns for nearly twenty years now (!) so long-time readers know that I don’t like the word “diet.” So let me start with calling it the Ketogenic Food Plan. The Ketogenic Plan has grown out of the Paleo style of eating which is what out ancestors did–from early humans up to about 100 years ago. Then things changed. Face it; our grandparents ate simple, home-grown, home-prepared food. Not the overly preserved, packaged stuff that dazzles the eye in modern supermarkets and big box stores. Continue reading
National Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September after Labor Day in the United States—this year that will be September 10th.
Many people honor their grandparents through a range of activities such as gift-giving, card-giving, and for children to invite their grandparents to school for a day where they participate in special lessons or special assembly programs. Many school students take part in story-telling activities that relate to their grandparents, as well as art or poster competitions where children often use a story about their grandparents in their artwork.
The official flower to commemorate this day is the “forget-me-not.” Continue reading
I enjoy watching videos of mountain goats running up and down sheer mountainsides. They make it look so easy, and they never give any indication of fear. It doesn’t matter whether they are standing on a precipice high above the ocean or on the side of a mountain hundreds of feet up, they walk around like it’s a leisurely stroll down the street. Even in these precarious positions, they can walk backwards or turn completely around without any problems.
The mountain goat is another animal that is a problem for evolution to explain. It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like for the cliff-walkers before they possessed special hooves. Before evolution “happened to develop by chance,” these animals must have Continue reading
She is 12 years old and waits, hidden by the curtains, to play her music. She watches her friend who is poised, pretty, and makes no mistakes. What would that be like? The sheets of music in her hands wrinkle slightly from the moisture, which is part nerves, part adolescence. She loves her white blouse and her black circle skirt. She imagines she is quite beautiful. It doesn’t help. When she sits down neatly on the piano bench, she turns to smile at the audience. Why must there always be an audience?
She plays “Moonlight on the Terrace.” She imagines she is the beautiful woman on the cover of the sheet music. The woman, so slender in a long gown, is looking up at a handsome man. The young girl is sure they are deeply and forever in love. She makes no mistakes, her fingers perfectly curved. “The Saber Dance” doesn’t go as well. Large circles of sweat form under the sleeves of the Gibson Girl blouse. Finally, she rises, smiles at the audience and walks off the stage. Continue reading