“Are you scared of stink bugs?”

A preschooler was crying inconsolably at the park as a stink bug walked past. I asked, “Are you scared of stink bugs?” She sobbed, “I only have one place on my body that stinks and I NEVER want a bug there!”

Brown marmorated stink bug at a playground

Stink bugs in my area are prevalent. They are near playgrounds, near my garden and now that it is Fall, they are sneaking in my house. When I was a preschooler, I never saw a stink bug. That is because they did not come to the United States until 1998. They snuck into  Pennsylvania from China or Japan and have been quickly spreading to other states.

Stink bugs cause destruction to apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, corn, grapes, lima beans, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, and soybeans.[33] This makes them extremely versatile, as they do not require a specific plant on which to feed. To obtain their food, stink bugs use their stylets to pierce the plant tissue to extract the plant fluids.[34] In doing so, the plant loses necessary fluids, which can lead to deformation of seeds, destruction of seeds, destruction of fruiting structures, delayed plant maturation, and increased vulnerability to harmful pathogens.[34] While harvesting the plant’s juices, the stink bug injects saliva into the plant, creating a dimpling of the fruit’s surface and rotting of the material underneath.

We cannot give a stink bug any pesticide because that can hurt the foods they too are eating. Scientists are trying to create traps that will smell like food they like. To protect themselves, the stink bug can release an order similar to coriander. “They stink” is the familiar preschool term.

Luckily for us, stink bugs do not bite people. They are not attracted to us and only give out odor if we touch them. Bad for us, they love to sneak into our houses right now. We need to diligently get rid of them so more don’t breed around us. The same is true with bad habits in our lives, they can sneak in, make us become repugnant to others.

The preschooler at the playground knew where her vulnerable repugnant areas were, When you look at your life, can you detect where yours are?

  • What areas of your life really stink right now?
  • Have you had a time in your life when you were attracted to a repugnant habit?
  • Think of something really good in your life that you do not want ruined? Will you bravely guard it?

“What are you doing on the chalkboard?”

I watched a preschooler draw a chalk drawing and then get out the eraser. I asked, “What are you doing on the chalkboard?” He said, “I am hiding my picture! Now it is only in my head!”

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When we erase things on the chalkboard, we think they are gone. We like seeing things disappear ready for a new creation. However, some things really do not just disappear even though we can’t see them.

Memories can be strong. They can hold things that no chalkboard will ever hold. Memories can bring back emotions, smells, textures and words that are brighter than any chalkboard could retrieve. We all need to try to live our lives so that even when the outward signs of our lives are erased, the inward memories remain positive things to hold onto.

  • Do you have a memory you would like to erase?
  • What is a memory you hope will never fade?
  • What things could you do to help use all of your memories to work together to create a collectively good picture?

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“Did you hear what I said?”

In the middle of a large toy aisle, I  heard a mother ask, “Did you hear what I said?!” The preschooler looked up and said, “I didn’t hear you, but I know what you will say next. You will say, ‘Don’t make me count to three’!”

Parenting can be hard. To rephrase that, parenting IS hard. There is a lot involved in raising and disciplining children. Sometimes we feel like we are broken records in what we say to our children. However, there is safety in loving consistency. Children build trust with parents who are consistent. It is a parent’s role to find consistent patterns that are loving and not harmful.

I have a friend whose parent consistently told him he was lazy and good for nothing. The child grew up with that truth and is still trying to undo it as an adult. I have another friend whose parent consistently told her she was kind and thoughtful. The child grew up with that truth and is the first to help those she sees in need. Parent’s words are powerful.

As we get ready to start a new school year, I am hoping all the parents will find consistency in their loving words and actions.

  • What is something you remember your parent saying to you over and over?
  • What is something you wish you had heard over and over?
  • What things would you like to consistently be remembered for?

“Are you celebrating the 4th of July?”

I asked a preschooler, “Are you celebrating the 4th of July?” He exclaimed, ” Of course I am! I am 4 years old and I like to have a party every month that has  a 4 in it!”

Do you celebrate with Fireworks?

Do you celebrate with Fireworks?

Independence Day is celebrated each year in the United States on July 4th to commemorate our breaking free from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to his wife Abigail wrote, “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” It seems that is one part of our American history we have gotten good at remembering. Each year the United States is left with the decision of how to best celebrate our holiday.  The fourth of July link here will show some beautiful pictures from our country’s previous celebration. Our country is full of beautiful fireworks, parades and picnics.

The 4th of July only comes once a year. However, my preschool friend is right. There are more months with the number 4 in them. We can choose to celebrate more often if we desire. Fireworks and parades may not be practical each month. However, Thomas Jefferson did have another sentence to his wife before he shared his big party vision. He said, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

A solemn act of devotion to God Almighty is something we just may be able to pull off each month. It does not have to cost anything. It can be an individual choice what that looks like to each individual. If our country could remain grateful as we think of others, that could be a true celebration. It could be a celebration that lasts from this time forward forever more.

  •  How are you celebrating the 4th of July?
  • Who are you dependant on?
  • What acts of devotion could you do the other 4ths of the months?
  • For those who do not believe in the God Almighty that Thomas Jefferson spoke of, what ways could you still see a need for remaining grateful as you think of others from this time forward forever more?

Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependant on one another, every soul of us on earth.”  George Bernard Shaw.

The power of a preschooler can change your life…if you let it.

What is prayer like?

I shared with a group of preschoolers that talking to God is like talking to someone you can’t see but can still talk back to you. A boy quickly said, “Oh that is just like Alexa!” A teacher asked if Alexa was a friend of his and he said, “No, Alexa lives in the cloud.” This preschooler was explaining the Amazon device that can communicate with you from an unseen cloud.

Prayer to many adults is so hard to understand. We speak to someone we can’t see and have to decipher what answers we hear from an inaudible voice. A preschooler can make this so much more simpler. Talking to God can be as comfortable as talking to Alexa. We can ask God anything. There is nothing that God does not know, it is just up to us to understand him.

  • Alexa lives in a cloud, where would you say God lives?
  • If you could ask God anything, what would you ask?
  • What stops you from trying to talk to God?

 

Which mommy is the prettiest?

My preschool has a full wall of hand drawn mothers by preschoolers, and I asked,  “Which mommy is the prettiest?” One boy ran to the pictures and said, “My mom is the prettiest in the whole world!” Just then another boy ran over and said, “My mom is better than the world and is prettiest all the way to God.” Not to be outdone, the first child said, “We can just let God decide and since you didn’t talk to him today, I may just win.”IMG_3574

Mothers and beauty go together. It is wonderful to see each preschooler loving their mother and knowing she is the most beautiful person they could know. Each mother is beautiful yet no two are alike. Isn’t that the most beautiful thought? Every mother needs no one else to compare themselves to.

In my preschool, we have a set of identical twins. They look alike, and we need to look closely at their actions to determine who is who. However, when they drew their beautiful mommy, they both were very different. An outsider never would see the pictures as the same mother. As the one true mother looked at the entire class, she immediately picked out her son’s picture of her. Then in looking at the others, she was also able to pick out the other picture of her drawn by her other son. There is something about a mother that knows her children well enough that even when identical on the outside, the inside is still very distinguishable.

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If we could all know people well enough on the inside and not care as much what their outside looks like, we would be on the road to being as smart as a mommy.

  • What parts of your mother are different from all other mothers?
  • What parts of your own mother do you think are beautiful?
  • When you see a mother this week, will you find some way of letting her know she is beautiful?

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mommies in the world!

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“Are you sure you were not there?”

I told the Easter story to a group of preschoolers and several wanted to see pictures of what the real event looked like. My storybook had hand drawn pictures, but they wanted a more realistic view of Jesus’ crucifixion. I got out my phone and quickly found a “child friendly” picture of a terrible scene on good Friday. The children all gathered around in awe of the picture. One child paused and asked, “Where did you take that picture?”I tried to explain that I really did not take a picture of the death of Jesus. I told them I was not there when it happened, and a child asked, “Are you SURE you were not there?”

I am FULLY sure that I was not physically near the foot of the cross while Jesus was pierced for our transgressions. However, as I think about the innocence of that question, as believers in Christ, we were all there at the foot of that cross. The God who knew us before we were born was thinking of us as he hung on that cross. All of mankind, past, present and future was on the mind of the Holy One on that cross.

There were no iPhones capturing the first Easter story, but the people there recorded enough information that is still being passed onto new generations. I asked my preschool friends if they can believe something that no one in the room ever really saw or took a picture of. A child quickly answered, “Watch me! I can close my eyes, I cannot see anybody, but I know you are here. That is an easy trick. Of course I can believe Jesus is real when I can’t see him. Doesn’t everyone know how to do that?”

  • What parts of the Easter story are hard for you to believe without a photo to prove it?
  • If a preschooler can believe in what they do not see, what can help an adult do the same?
  • When thinking of the foot of the cross, can you imagine being there? If not, are you SURE you were not there?

 

“Can you love one another?”

I asked a preschooler, “Can you love one another?” and she said, “I am working on loving my brother right now, that guy named ‘Oneanother’ is going to have to wait.”

Love one another....

Love one another….

Loving one another is a hard commandment to do. Our family can have a lot of differences. Brothers can annoy us. Sisters can be difficult to work with. Mothers can sound like they complain too much, and dads can be overbearing. Living in a family where you need to share, cooperate, show tolerance and love is always a challenge. Some families make it look easy, but in reality all families have struggles with showing real love each day.

People in your family will make mistakes. They will forget things. They will have different opinions, and you may need to choose to agree to disagree. Some family members will leave their socks on the floor, and even though they say it is not to annoy you, you feel deep down that they do things just to drive you crazy. They may forget to give you a Valentine card even though they love you. The Post-it note that says, “Happy VD day,” may not be as endearing as the sender thought. However, we keep trying.

Just about the time we realize that loving our brother in our family is a hard and fairly impossible job, we do need to realize that everyone is our brother. “One another” can be interchanged with “our brother.” Sometimes Valentine’s Day is seen as THE day to show love. Today might be THE day for you. However, any tomorrows of your life are also a great day to love one another. There are a LOT of “oneanothers” out in the world just waiting to meet you.

  • When you think of loving “one another”, who comes to your mind?
  • What challenges do you have in loving family and all the others that encompass “one another”? 
  • Will you challenge yourself to meet someone new and actively show them what love may look like?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

May this sentiment be for everyone.

May this sentiment be for everyone.

 

What will you do this New Year?

I asked a preschooler, “What will you do this New Year?” He said, “I don’t think I am done getting old yet so I really should not get new.”

Hope you can piece together your new year to make it what you want.

Hoping you can piece together your new year to make it what you want….

2018 is a new opportunity for everyone. We make resolutions, we look for new beginnings and we hope our past failures will not follow us. Out with the old and in with the new is a common thought as we declutter not only our physical spaces but our internal souls. As we look at starting fresh and imagining who we want to be, it is not wrong to embrace the past and not rush into making changes where they don’t belong.

Some of us don’t need a lot of new in our lives. We like many aspects of our lives and don’t want to have a new microwave oven with so many buttons that we can’t remember which one to push. We don’t desire a computer that keeps asking us to update its operating system. However, the world moves fast. There is now smart clothing we can wear that will tell us which muscles we are using and how efficient our movements are. There are outlets that monitor our electricity usage and allows us to shut things off from across the country with a phone. We can even feed our dog with an iPhone app. If you are not good at throwing with accuracy, there has been a garbage can invented that will move to match the trajectory of what you throw at it. New inventions to solve problems are something we will always have.

The trick is to figure out what in our life is really a problem that needs a change and what is something that is old and working just fine. A new year does not need to be a time to do everything new. It can be a time to be grateful for the old. The balance between the two is what we all need to find.

  • What is something from your past that you don’t want ever to change?
  • What is something that you would like to change in this next year?
  • How can you find peace when what you don’t want to change actually does change and what you want to change just does not happen?

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
Hal Borland

 

Which one would you pick?

                                              Which one you YOU pick?

This year our preschool with Santa’s help had stuffed animals for all of the children. The children got to pick out the stuffed animal that they felt could be their prayer buddy. We have never done this before, and I was worried about tears from children who may want an animal someone else took or what may happen if they don’t see an animal they like.

A sweet little four year old went right to a fluffy dog as her first choice. Then she noticed the leg had a big rip in it. Trying to avoid tears, I said, “You can pick another one. You don’t have to have the broken one.” She looked at me with big eyes and a broad smile and said, “This dog is PERFECT for me! I have two grandmas that know how to sew, and I can have them help me.”

 

What my adult brain feared would induce tears, a preschool brain saw with compassion and the ability to use others when we are in need. Just because something is broken does not mean we cannot love it. That is the whole meaning of Christmas. Our broken world needed someone who could love us no matter what faults we have. We all need to be loved just like we are. Sometimes we may need the help of others to help heal our loved ones, and that too is okay. Never be too fearful to ask for help for those you love.

Merry Christmas from the heart of a preschooler.

  • What would YOU do if you received a broken gift?
  • Who in your life is broken and you need to love more deeply instead of discarding them?
  • What things do you need a bandage for, and who can help you heal?

Can you bring your happy face to school?

I asked a preschooler, “Can you bring your happy face for our school pictures?” He shared, “I can bring any face you need!”

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As adults we are asked to do a lot of things. We often have job descriptions. We have commitments and responsibilities. We have friends and family that rely on us, and we have an entire world that seems to have needs we can fill. It seems we cannot get through a week without some political call coming to collect information and donations from us. “Can you, can you, can you” is a common start to a sentence.

There are times we give grudgingly. We really don’t want to buy wrapping paper from the middle school neighbor, but we do. There are other times we give out of responsibility. We help a friend move and pack boxes as we change our schedules to accommodate this project. A stranger needs help alongside the roadside, and we call for help We give of our time knowing we will never see the stranger again. A spouse needs help and even though you absolutely hate laundry, you fold his or her socks.

Adults give because of so many reasons. A preschool child is not complicated by all the adult trappings. When you ask a preschooler to do something, they either will or they won’t. They have no strings attached and no guilt when they give. They are cheerful givers. Sometimes unexpectedly they can give beyond the adult imagination.

If you are in need of anything right now, it would be a great gift to find someone who says, “I can bring anything you need.” That would be a school picture worth a thousand words.

  • How do you feel when someone asks you to give something?
  • What is a time you may have wanted to give but did not?
  • When is a time you gave more than what was expected?
  • Can you make a point to surprise someone this week by giving them the unexpected?Unknown

“Do you know what we do on 9/11?

‎I asked a preschooler “Do you know what we do on 9/11?” He thought for a bit and said, “Yes, we look for number 10.”

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The preschoolers in my school were not alive when 9/11 happened. Many of their parents were not even married at that time. 9/11 is something that is hard for a preschooler to understand. It is hard for adults as well to understand.

The nation often takes a moment of silence on this day to reflect and think about what 9/11 really means. Maybe as we are thinking, we can do what my preschool friend suggested and look for number 10.

May we embrace the end of Psalm 10 that says, ” You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.”

In 2013, 47 million people used 9/11 as a day of service to do good deeds. My own preschoolers are partnering with an agency to bring food to the elderly to honor this day.

Will you too consider doing an act of service for someone else?

Instead of the usual reflection questions offered in these posts, we may all do well to be silent and look for number 10…….

” You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.” Psalm 10:17-18

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10

 

 

 

Wow, you have beautiful shoes!

A preschooler was proudly wearing her new shoes. I said, “Wow, you have beautiful new shoes!” She smiled broadly, and her mother quickly said, “What do you say?” The preschooler kept smiling and said, “Yea. I DO have beautiful new shoes!”

Sometimes telling the truth is just as important as being polite and thanking someone for a compliment. Starting a new school year requires confidence. It requires pride in your work and delight in your surroundings.

As adults we may not be starting a new school year in a classroom, but we are encountering new activities and challenges no matter where life leads us. We need to bring out our bold confidence and be proud of what we do and who we are. We need to take the confidence of a preschooler and remain humble while still exuding  joy in our choices.

  • What shoes do you own that make you really smile?
  • What would you like others to notice about you?
  • What about yourself brings you joy?
  • What would happen if you boldly followed your dreams without fear?

“What do you think freedom is?”

I asked a preschooler, “What do you think freedom is?” He replied, “My dad tells my mom to go have some freedom when she goes shopping. My dad thinks shopping is dumb, but getting things free is good”

Every parade can be a reason to celebrate our freedom.

Every parade can be a reason to celebrate our freedom.

Freedom in the United States is often taken for granted since we have so much of it. We have free enterprise, and free trade and a free market economy. However, all our freedoms in this country do have a price. There have been so many people in our past that have given their lives in the name of the freedom we have today.

There are also current military families that are sacrificing daily in order for the general population to live in a free country. On this day that we celebrate the beginning of our country with fireworks, parades and picnics with family and friends, let us all take a moment to also be thankful. We have a lot of wonderful things available to us in the stores all over the nation. People from other countries are amazed that anything you need is available here.

However, just for a moment, maybe it is good to think of shopping as dumb yet getting to live in the land of the free is good…..

  • What is the last thing you remember getting for free?
  • What things do we get free in this country that we are apt to take for granted?
  • Will you take a moment today and thank someone for their service? Whether it is a military person, a police officer, a clerk in a store or a neighbor who keeps their yard looking nice, everyone enjoys a word of encouragement for their acts of service. 

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Ronald Reagan

 

“Can you tell me about your mom?”

I asked a preschooler, “Can you tell me about your mom?” Here is what he shared:

My mom is 14,7 years old. She weighs 16 pounds. She is 100 inches tall. She has a little bit shiny hair. She has greenish eyes. She likes to watch the weatherman on T.V.. She likes to eat cocoa wheats and peanuts. She does not like to eat poop. She doesn’t like to climb a climbing tree and hates noise. She likes to teach me.  If I could give her anything, I would give her her own bedroom. She looks pretty when she wears nothing. Oh, I mean I don’t know what she looks pretty in. Oops!

I love her because I do.”

My mom

My mom

Asking children about their mommies has always been a fun thing to do. You never know what they may say, and you never know what you can fully believe. Just as you are thinking they are so insightful, they throw you off by telling you something you just cannot fully understand.

With a child, it is hard to tell lying from embellishing to misunderstanding to just not being developmentally ready to understand the truth. Judging people as adults, we can run into the same problems. We may like to think we know people and can understand their motives and personalities, but we really can’t.

Everyone has the ability to judge others and form opinions about who they are and what they enjoy. Everyone also has the ability to be wrong a lot.

That mommy that was described as 14, 7 years old is actually me almost twenty years ago. Some of the observations of my preschool son were not the wording I would have chosen to describe myself, yet I loved them because I do.

I want to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day! May all of you reflect on what you would like to be remembered for and what you can do to make that memory a reality.

  • If someone were to describe you, what do you think would be the first things they would say?
  • What are the first things you would prefer they say?
  • What can you do to make impressions of you more what you would like reflected?
  • Will you take the time this week to talk to either your mother or another mother and tell them they are loved even if they are not fully understood?

“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.”
Erma Bombeck

 

Which is your favorite Easter Egg?

I asked a preschooler, “Which is your favorite Easter Egg?” He quickly looked at the basket, and said, “My favorite one is not there. It is the chocolate one I sneaked out of my brother’s basket.”Which Easter Egg is Your Favorite?Preschoolers are impulsive. If they see something they want, they are often tempted to act on that feeling. A chocolate Easter egg in another person’s basket may just wind up in a preschooler’s stomach. Preschoolers can be very selfish.

However, that is not what happened in this case. The preschooler went on to share that he hid his brother’s chocolate egg, and he is going to let him find it on Easter. His favorite egg will be the one he will help a brother find.

We often make assumptions. We often look at someone’s actions and think we know their motives. We often are wrong. We are not perfect. We make mistakes.

The story of Easter is full of assumptions. Jesus was a liar. Jesus was trying to overthrow Jerusalem. Jesus was a good guy with good stories, but certainly nothing else. Jesus came to this earth to start a new religion. Jesus could not really have power or he would have not allowed someone to kill him. If Jesus was really the son of God, God must be terrible to allow death. Jesus has no relevance for me in my life. I don’t need an invisible spirit to be involved with me.

Many people spend their whole life with assumptions that may or may not be true. Seeing the bigger picture is something we might not see. We might not get to see a preschooler offering candy to a brother. We might end the story at looking at a thief who had no good thoughts. The end of stories are up to us. Easter is never the end. It is only the beginning of a journey that will take you to places you may never knew existed.

  • What kind of Easter egg is your favorite?
  • What is an assumption you have made or someone has made about you that was wrong?
  • What is the best way we can live our life without letting assumptions control our thoughts?

Q: What do Easter bunnies get for making two baskets?

A: Two points, just like everyone else!

(Can I assume you didn’t see that one coming? 🙂 )

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates that holiday!

Do you see any four-leaf clovers?

When we were outside, I asked a preschooler,  “Do you see any four- leaf clovers?” She looked at the clover plants and replied, “I don’t know how to count, but I can look for things that are beautiful. Beautiful things are easy to find.”

Looking for beauty

Looking for beauty

 

According to tradition, a four-leaf clover brings good luck. Luck may not have as much importance as beauty to a preschooler. “Lucky” is an abstract concept that is foreign to a preschooler. Beauty is something that comes quite early to a preschooler’s concepts. This may suite adults well too.

Too many of us look for luck to change our lives. We feel if we only had that “lucky break” we would be happy. We often feel ourselves or others don’t deserve the bad or good luck they have.  Some of us look to lucky charms to help ward off bad things that may come our way.

The leaves from a clover plant are believed to represent different things. The first leaf represents faith. The second represents hope, and the third represents love. If you find a fourth leaf, it represents luck. If you look at faith, hope and love, maybe we really don’t need luck. Just maybe that preschooler is correct. If we look for beauty instead of luck, we will have the full benefits of faith, hope and love.

  • What is your opinion about “luck”?
  • What do you do when you have “bad luck”?
  • If you stopped thinking about being lucky or unlucky and searched for beauty, how could that change your life?
  • Will you take a moment today and look for beauty? (You may just be lucky enough to find some!)

“If a man cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?” Stanislaw J. Lec

The Power of Preschoolers will change your mind…. if you let it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! The picture was taken last March 17th.  We are not “lucky enough” here in Illinois this year to see green clovers yet with this winter, but soon!

 

Will the groundhog see his shadow?

I asked a preschooler, “Will the groundhog see his shadow?” He said his mommy is always telling his dog to “Stay on the ground”. He shared maybe if he stays on the ground, he will be closer to his shadow to see it.

Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Preschoolers can really make you think. They take something obvious and make it new. They can turn a dark day into a bright one.

In Illinois we have had a lot of cloudy weather lately. Our weather calendars have really been waiting patiently for some sunshine. Sunshine just makes it seem like a happier time. While clouds can cover our sun, our humans spirit has the ability to bring light and love into even the darkest situation. Even if we are close to the ground.

  • How has the climate been in your life recently?                                                    –more sunny or more cloudy?
  • If the groundhog predicts 6 more weeks of winter, what would you like to see happen in the next six weeks?
  • What can you do to make that a reality?
  • When clouds cover your days, what can you do to bring your own sunshine to the world?

“What does your daddy want for Christmas?”

I asked a preschooler, “What does your daddy want for Christmas?” She smiled and said, “He wants to buy me a Tinkerbell and an Elsa dress and a Snow Globe Elsa doll, but it’s a secret so don’t tell him”

What is on your Christmas list?

What is on your Christmas list?

It is easy to think of children as greedy during the holiday season. There is a lot of “I want” and “I have to have” type phrases that come from their mouths. We try to share that it is better to give than to receive, but that is a hard concept for young children.

As much as I do a lot of servant oriented learning and helping preschoolers think beyond just themselves, this little girl’s request for her daddy for Christmas just had to make me smile. Fathers in their purest form are altruistic and generous beyond measure. They provide what a child needs without question. They allow a child to form a level of trust that helps them build toward self actualization so that other healthy needs are met. Without a foundation of trust, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can lead to despair and depression all through adulthood.

A child who can trust her father and know him well enough that he will provide for her needs is a fortunate child. (Now the difference between needs and wants is a whole other blog entry. What do you really need for Christmas?   🙂 )

For those who celebrate Christmas, we have the opportunity to look at the most generous father in the universe. The creator of the universe is someone who gave the entire world his most prized asset as he sent his son as a baby. Earthly fathers do not always provide every need, but a heavenly father can give without ceasing. Kings love making little girls feel like a princess.

  •  How can we ask for our desires without sounding like we are selfish? (Desires do not have to be kept a secret.)
  • Who do you put your most trust in?
  • What do you think your heavenly father wants to give you for Christmas? 
  • What is something you could offer back in return for your daily gift of life?

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

What does the “W” flag at the Cub’s game mean?

I asked a Preschooler, “What does the “W” flag at the Cub’s game mean?” He paused and said, “It means WHOOOOA We Love the Cubs!”

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The Chicago Cubs could use as much love as possible since their last time in the world series was 71 years ago with the last official winning title 108 years ago. Whoa…….That is a long time. There are no parents of preschoolers who have ever seen the Cubs win a pennant. The last time the Cubs won the world series there was no television for us to watch it on. Think about no computer or smart phone to check a score, no television to see a game with a stat tracker on the corner of the screen. There were no cork centers to balls. It was the first year a pitcher could not soil the ball before he threw it. Shinguards became part of the uniform. Whoa………The most popular Musical hit of 1908 was “Take me out to the Ballgame” and “Billy Murray and the Haydn Quartet” has the most popular recording of that song. If you watched the Chicago Cubs in their first home game of the 2016 World series, you would have seen Bill Murray’s Daffy Duck version being sung. Two Bill Murray’s now famous……images

The blue W on a white banner actually stands for Win. The flag was added above the scoreboard at Wrigley Field in 1937, as a signal for fans coming home from work on the El. According to Wikipedia, the Cubs Win flag is a victory flag that is referred to by approximately a dozen names, combining; either Cubs or Chicago Cubs; Win, W, White, White W, or W Win; and flag, banner or banner flag. Other common names for the symbol include Chicago Cubs W Win Flag and Chicago Cubs Win Banner Flag. It has become an important symbol for fans that one retailer describes as a fan banner instead of flag, or banner flag. In addition, days when the win flag is flown are known as “White Flag Days”.

No where does Wikipedia share that WHOOOOOA we love the Cubs, but love them we do. Even people who do not enjoy baseball or are “Southsiders” and love their White Sox can still appreciate a group of people never giving up. Everyone has challenges and dreams that do not come true, but we can learn a lesson from the Cubs. We can train in the spring, play in the summer and not let our dreams die in the fall as we move on to another season. Whether we win or loose with our dreams, we will move forward.

  • What is something that you have wanted to happen for a very long time?
  • What techniques have you found that work when you find yourself getting impatient and feeling hopeless?
  • What is something you could say, “Whoooooa, I really love________?” unknownAs this is being written, we don’t know the outcome of the 2016 World Series. We do know we like to be happy. Let’s all choose to be happy in all circumstances.”Holy Cow” that may be some good advice…..

UPDATE: As of November 2, 2016, the W also stands for World Champions! Whoa!