Tag Archives: children

Believing Something Great Is Out There

Did everyone see the brilliant full moon last evening? All in my house went to bed while it hung directly out our east facing window and woke with it directly out the one facing west. This amazed my children. While we lie sleeping, the earth was revolving around the sun as the moon revolved around the earth; they know this fact. Yet, it was still an altogether beautiful discovery this morning.

They gazed at the morning moon through a telescope received for Christmas from cousins in America. A treasured new gadget for their curiosity toolbox. An extension of their eye and of their imagination that gives a view to endless possibilities. They can’t get enough of it. Outside, inside, upstairs and down. ‘Are there stars out tonight?’ Sadly most nights have been cloudy so they’re practising patience while anticipation is building. This is a good thing.

Yesterday we had a light brushing of snow. I honestly saw none remaining on the ground within fifteen minutes of it falling for it was washed away by the drizzle that immediately followed. Don’t you know, hours after the snowfall when my children returned home from school, it took them no time at all to pack a half dozen large ziplock bags full for storing in one of our chest freezers.

I asked them why they wanted to save it. Aside from it ‘being cool’ it was also ‘to help us remember’. The last time we had any significant snowfall on the island was seven years ago so most of my children have little or no memory of it. At their current ages, they’ll surely never forget this adventure. But lest they forget the emotion of that afternoon’s mudlarking (or should I say snowlarking), they’ve bags of frozen-fingered memories at the ready.

Earlier tonight, while clipping my son’s fingernails and listening to him explain how he was writing a new season to the Lego Ninjago cartoon series, I praised him saying ‘The skies the limit!’ His reply? ‘No, it’s not Mom. There is no limit.’ Well, he certainly set me straight didn’t he?!

january-2017-great-perhaps-rainbow

This photograph of a rainbow over our next door neighbour’s house was taken this afternoon from an upstairs window of my own home. I was thinking to frame it (sans quote) and gift it to them. What do you think of that idea?

Our Children’s Chores

Several years back I read a couple great books by Robert Kiyosaki.   In one there was a quote about not giving children an allowance because it teaches them to work for money rather than learning to create money.  It made a bit of immediate sense and was worthy of more deliberate consideration.  In the end, Johnny and I decided to do both, give allowance earning opportunities as well as instruct in ways to create money for themselves.

We have five children aged six to twelve years, two girls and three boys.  Most of their chore doing is for no other reason than because we’re a family.  There’s no list of what they earn for which job so the lines are blurred between doing for the family and doing for allowance. They know we give them money in order to teach them how to manage and understand it.  It’s nominal, between 1€ and 2€ each per week.  We also give them €5 per week for depositing into their savings accounts and the majority of gifted money goes in there also.

Continue reading

eat fish pie as dusk dusts over the days end

Not too long ago we spent a beautiful few days and evenings with the visiting family of some island living friends.

Amazing weather makes amazing memories and on this night the swimming, dining, and fishing all at the Kilronan pier offered some fine photo opportunities.  Click on any picture to start a wee slideshow.

eat fish pie

as dusk dusts over

the days end

I think any of the pictures could represent this week’s photo word ‘strength’ for many different reasons.  Does one say ‘strong’ more than the others to you?

Haiku fun brought to us by Ronovan Writes, thanking him for the two cool words, ‘pie and dust’.

I hope all who read this are well and so are those you love.

Melissa Xx

Children’s Sewing Day Camps on Inis Mor

 

Sewing is very much like engineering: you’re building something. You have to plan ahead, visualize the finished project, and understand how each step creates the foundation for the next one.

It’s also good for children’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but the mental exercises are just as valuable.  Problem-solving, perseverance and patience can all be learned from sewing. Following instructions and organizing abilities are also gained.

Each day camp teaches beginner sewing skills to children and is suitable for ages 6 years and up, boys and girls.

They’ll be taught to operate a basic sewing machine and use sewing tools as they complete a project each day.

Camps are held July 25-28, August 1-4. Each single day camp is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A single day is €30 and any additional days are €25 each.  Children bring a bag lunch and everything else is provided.

There are 7 projects in total with loads of boys & girls fabric choices for each.

20150806_140431July 25– Pillow with two front pockets— Great for first time sewists, the pillow has one clear vinyl photo pocket over a second felt pocket.

July 26– Lunch bag with waterproof, washable, breathable, and mildew proof lining.  Features fold top with velcro closure. Has a clear vinyl window to personalize.

July 27– Waterproof drawstring backpack with inside pocket.  Great for swim lessons.

20150805_145524 (4)July 28– Reversible A5 book cover with pen holder and bookmark.  Book and pen included.

Aug 1– Sew then colour your own tote bag.  Includes a set of ten colourful permanent markers.  Strap colours include pink, orange, yellow, red, blue, and black.

Aug 2– Set of three fabric nesting storage boxes. A great beginner project

Aug 3– Half-fold wallet with zipper closure for coins and bills, three 20150727_140340card pockets, clear vinyl photo holder, and velcro tabs to keep securely closed.

Aug 4– Waterproof drawstring backpack with inside pocket.

To register, check for availability, or to get more information, contact me here, call or text me at 087 315 2279, or send me an email at aranislandgirl@yahoo.com.    Cheers, Melissa

click on any photo to start a slide show…

It’s a Good Day to Have a Good Day

Every day won’t be the best ever, but there’s a best part to each and every day.  It may not be what you hope or expect.  In fact, better on these less than best (hard) days to stop expecting and instead wait with optimistic anticipation for the completely unexpected joys that appear out of seemingly nowhere from unlikely people, places, and things.

If there’s something ostensibly big keeping you from your joy, focus your attention on something small.  There are little miracles everywhere in nature just waiting to distract us from our thoughts of ourselves and our worries…

💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛 Continue reading

Deliberate Trailblazing 🔀

I started stitching this ‘crazy quilt’ years ago.  All the fabrics are recycled from working as a seamstress back in the States.  Most are scraps I collected from my client’s clothing and home decorating projects.  There’s a pair of my own repurposed jeans in there too.  It was set aside in the busyness of starting a family, though, ironically, it was inspired by those same events as a tribute to the life Johnny and I had started together. 

stars and hearts stitched to

honour children and true love

on their special days

When the idea was conceived, I imagined it like a map of our family with significant moments plotted out in embroidered calendar dates, with plentiful zig-zags and curves, stops and starts, flowers, fireworks, hearts, and stars that represent the highlights and unexpected twists and turns of travelling through life.  Our wedding anniversary, the children’s birthdays, our trans-Atlantic crossing, moving into our home– they’re intentionally not being placed on the quilt in chronological order.  While it is our history, I don’t want it to read like a timeline.  It’s just not the reality of travelling through life.  Or reading a map.  Rarely does one travel in a straight line for very long.  And, honestly, it seemed a bit boring to do it that way.  Since taking it out of storage, I’ve added it to my list of 16 things to do in 2016— that is, to embroider more of the patches. Continue reading

Equally Unique & Special

 

immense balance and

concentration clearly guides

young attention span

Fun and games.

Has anyone else modified the traditional egg and spoon race to potato and spoon?  That’s how we do it here on the island; a very Irish substitute indeed.

Does it matter that one child might have a smaller-than-other’s potato which is easier to balance on a larger-than-other’s spoon? Continue reading

Autumn school tour & pumpkin harvest

Just in time for Halloween, the students of my children’s school visited our garden to harvest their pumpkins.  On their first trip to us back in April they sowed the seeds in pots and returned in June to plant them out in the earth.

Aside from collecting their pumpkins, they also got to help unearth some of the potatoes they sowed on their first visit.

In the house, we enjoyed some pumpkin pancakes with blackberry sauce and warm Maine maple syrup, and then we demonstrated a bit of seed saving. Continue reading

Come Out Of Your Shell

20150930_163053

Johnny and I had the last week of September planned for some time now, anticipating the spring tides that were going to be both exceptionally high and low because of the alignment of the earth, the sun, and the moon.

For us, this meant three days of foraging for clams, just in time for winter storage.

 

spring tide, the time for

gathering the fleshy clams

to eat through winter

Though the spring tide comes monthly, it’s not always low enough to make a trip to the shore worthwhile and the weather and timing are not always ideal either.  It was great this week though and we even went out on Monday evening from half 11 until nearly 1 in the morning.  After two days of fun, we decided to keep the children home from school so they could join us.  No regrets as we had a great morning together picking blackberries and then we were at the beach from noon on.

The tide chart that our week was planned around. 

…spring tides, a common historical term that has nothing to do with the season of spring. Rather, the term is derived from the concept of the tide “springing forth.” Spring tides occur twice each lunar month all year long, without regard to the season.”

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The otter clams have to be dug out of the sand but the razor clams are acquired by a different method which I wrote about last February here.

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