Posts Tagged "kids"


I know. Those of you who know me well are thinking,”Why in the world would SHE be talking about clutter? She doesn’t know how to deal with it herself?” And, it’s true. you could say that I am a failure in this area but, I don’t really feel like a failure…I keep things that I need, and I keep things that I may need, and I keep things that I’ll never need, but it makes me feel good to know it’s there…just in case I do. I have been wrong before. If your mind doesn’t work like mine…you probably can not understand this. If you can throw away things without batting an eye…then I know you think I’m a sad, sad girl. Even though I can live easily with clutter, I must go on to say that in the past few years I have gotten much better at letting go …but sometimes I still find myself keeping what I shouldn’t. That and Don would not let me move to The Creek House with him if I brought everything with me! HOWEVER…even though I do have this ‘pack rat’ mentality, at times…let me tell you what I did get right!

If you are a mom of a child in school…especially preschool and the early grades…you are most likely overwhelmed by the amount of ‘take home’ papers that come to your house each week. I remember those times. I remember, too, that my boys wanted every.single. one. of those masterpieces to go on the fridge …and stay there for the next year! And, because buying refrigerator magnets was cheap and quick to buy as souvenirs when we travelled, we had magnets out the wazoo! There were plenty of magnets for whatever artist was showing that week on the Owens’ Family Fridge!

Really, we could have covered the whole refrigerator with just magnets! And, I tried to carve out just a little corner of space to use for Dr. appt or dental reminders. How unfair of me. Artwork, field trip reminders, homework to be redone, parts to learn from school…….and from church a Noah’s Ark from Sunday morning’s lesson, and a Daniel in the Lion’s Den from the Sunday night lesson, and a lovely song to memorize the words to from choir on Wednesday nights. All this x 3!! Oh! and the list of things to bring to Missions to be sent off to the missionaries in darkest Africa. Toothpaste and toothbrushes and lotion and shampoo…you know the things they need to live a better life in the jungle. Oh, I’m just kidding. I take missions very seriously.

Fortunately, some of the choicest items would spill over to Grandma’s or Granny and Pop’s house to brighten up their kitchen! I must be honest…I love children’s artwork. I love the colors and the ideas behind their works. I do not, however, like coloring pages of any kind. And, I do not like for every child in the class to make a red flower with a green stem and 1 leaf on the right and 1 leaf on the left and a blue sky above. This shows no creativity…only the ability to follow directions. Which is, I agree, a most valuable lesson to be learned, but it contributes nothing to the inner artist that every child has inside. I have worked with young children in some capacity for 30 or more years and never used pre printed pages. But, I know everyone does not feel the same way I do about that subject. These are just my views. And, through the years, we had coloring books in our house. But, in a teaching capacity, I would always choose clean, white paper.

So. What to do with that plethora of paper? First of all, some of it accidentally fell on the floor and got swept into the trash. But, I bought some of those cardboard boxes you get at the office supply stores, and folded them together and gave one to each boy. This is where we would put the papers he wanted to keep. I also let each of them use the doors to their rooms as their own personal show off space. At the end of the year, we would go through the boxes and keep only the art that really meant something to them. The rest got trashed.

As I got older I came upon other good ideas of things to do with the artwork.

One idea, if your child wants to keep quite a bit, is to take it to a color copier and reduce all the pages down to a 4X6 size. Then, buy one of those inexpensive photo albums from the Dollar Store and put all the pictures in his own album. Then he can sit and show it to everyone who ever comes to your house to visit. Or take it to school and show it off to the envy of all his friends.

You can take any artwork and copy it on a regular copy machine or even you printer with your computer. Take it to a window and use a transfer pen to go over the lines your child has drawn…you are drawing on the back…which is why you need to be at the window. you can see the lines through the paper. Then you can take that picture and put it on fabric of any kind. You will heat set it with an iron. Canvas bags, muslin to make into pillows, pillowcases, t-shirts, etc. You can buy the transfer pens at any craft store.

It will be in black and white. But then, using washable markers, your child can have the fun of coloring his work again. Wash it and the color comes out…to be colored again. Or use permanent markers if this is a one time fun time. Use permanent markers at your own risk. They will not come out…of clothes, carpet, or any type of fabric. One year, while teaching Sunday School, I had the children draw me a picture of their Mom. I then transferred each child’s pic on to a canvas tote bag. I and the other teachers sat close by while they colored these with permanent markers. We wrapped them and gave them to their Moms for Mother’s Day. They loved it! We did the same thing on another year with plastic plates! We purchased an easel for the plate to be displayed on. Another hit!

There are several other things you can do, as well. Shrink the work down very small and use it to make a magnet—for the fridge, of course!!!! You can buy magnets of any size in the craft store. Most of these come with a sticky back to adhere the picture. Hang a line low enough that he can hang his own work with clothespins. Or hang several frames in his room and have a rotating gallery of favorite work!

And, old artwork makes delightful wrapping paper! Grandparents love it especially!

I hope this gives you some ideas to tame that slew of art work. And, just one more word…if you will permit. OK…2 words. #1. I encourage you to give your child or grandchild plain white paper and crayons for drawing. Let the artwork be totally his. Coloring what someone else has drawn is just that-coloring what someone else has drawn! Not much creativity there. See? if he draws the lines…he doesn’t have to stay in the lines of another’s work. Maybe he thinks the bug should be bigger, or the car should be taller! FOSTER CREATIVITY ! #2. A child knows exactly what he has drawn. And, you should know what it is, too—in his mind. So if you ask him, “What is that?”…he can not understand why you do not know. I mean, you ARE the Mommy or Grandmother, and you’re supposed to know everything! A much gentler way of finding out what those ‘oh, so strange’ markings are all over the paper is to say, “Tell me about your picture.” Oh, how that will open up a wonderful dialogue between the two of you. He loves to talk about what he drew. And, no one will ever have to know that you didn’t have a clue!


I ran across an article today that I found very interesting. It was from a Time Magazine article, dated 8/19/10/, titled : TEN THINGS TODAY’S KIDS WILL NEVER EXPERIENCE

1. Camera film…..2. Land line Phones…..3. Real Books……4. Being Lost…..5. Music Videos on MTV…..6. Walkmans…..7. The Glory Days of Nick at Night…..8. Czechoslovakia…..9. Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator…..10. Tan M & M’s.

Most of these made sense to me, but I called on my resident ‘Expert on Current Affairs’, AKA Alex, to help me understand the list a little better. Some didn’t make sense to him, either. So, maybe they will to some of you.

1. Camera Film…..Now, here’s one I do get. I have always loved making pictures. And, have always had a camera at my disposal. But, I wish I had a $ for every time I put a roll in the camera and it didn’t roll onto those teeny, tiny, little bumps that the squares on the edge of the film were supposed to catch on! Then, what to do? Do you risk opening up the camera to carefully try to slide them on without letting too much light into the camera? Or, roll all the film on through and just throw the whole roll away? Or trust that it’s in place and make a whole roll of the beauties of St. Thomas, or your newborn, or a mission trip to New Orleans? And, it’s not…in place…and the whole roll comes back with just a black box on each pic. And, you still have to pay for the processing. BIG BUMMER! And, just so you know, the newer ones that said all you had to do was stick the roll in the back and it would do it automatically…didn’t. So, I, for one, am forever thankful for digital cameras…where you can make all the pics you want and delete the ones you don’t, you just have to be careful not to drop it. Because that will kill it…every time you drop it…even on different brands of cameras. I’m just saying….

2..Land line phones…..a few, like us, still have them. But, more and more are giving them up. I remember my cutest ever Pink Princess Phone…rotary dial of course, that I had when I was a girl. Many an important life decision was made while talking on it! Or so I thought! Now, they are all punch numbers, but maybe they will pass away to never never land, too. I remember, too, when the first answering machines came about. Do you?

3. Real Books…..I just don’t think so. Remember, this is their list, not mine. But, I do not think real books will ever go out of style. At least, I hope not. I have a Kindle, and I like it OK…but it in no way compares to a book! The feel of a book, the turning of the pages, the smell of the print and the dust, the yellowing of the edges on older ones…you just can’t get all that in a piece of plastic with words that scroll on a screen! Long Live Books…in their original form!

4. Being Lost…..The GPS has taken care of that! Don has one that is built into his truck, I have a portable one, and now my new phone has one built into it! I guess if you are techno savvy enough, you’ll have it made. I have no illusions that I will ever be techno savvy…..and am sure I will forever rely on the kindness of my children! Now, Alex did something to my phone, so he could tell where I am at any time. His phone, which is just like mine, will tell him and even show him on a map where I am!!!!! I left and went to my friend Bonnie’s house and he said he could follow me on the map the whole way! I’m not sure if I like that or not. Sometimes, it’s nice to just get lost and nobody know where you are for a few hours, don’t ya think? I wonder if I turn my phone off if I could disappear…just don’t think I like being tracked. When you think about it…(and I know Alex was just playing with it)…that could be quite scary. But, having the GPS in the phone is a nice feature.

5. Music Videos on MTV…..Alex answered this one for me. He says you can only watch the videos on there late at night or early in the morning. The programming is mostly taken up by reality shows and the like. According to Alex, Fuse is the place to watch music videos. I never heard of it, either. The singers still make the videos, he says. And, you can also see them on the Internet anytime you like.

6. Walkmans…..Oh, yes, I know I bought a many of these for my 3 boys! How great it was to be able to carry your music around with you! You just HAD to have one, with a certain kind of earphones that gave the best sound. And, to be honest, I had one, too. But, these are gone, too, and the cute little cassette tapes with them. What do you do with all those cassette tapes that had such wonderful music on them? And, I have several that were recordings of my children. Sad, a little.

7. The Glory Days of Nick at Night…Alex got the biggest smile on his face when I read this one to him. “Those were the best times,” he said, “me and Ian and Adam would watch all those old shows.” I asked him which ones he remembered. “Get Smart was the best, but it came on at 8:00,and that’s when my bedtime was. I would always try to sneak into you and Daddy’s bedroom and watch it real quiet.” I asked if I ever caught him. “Sometimes”, he said. He told me they also loved to watch the original Batman with Adam West, and Green Acres. What fun and innocent shows to watch. Compared to the filth on now, it’s enough to make you want to throw your TV out the window! I would hate to have little ones watching what is on these days.

8. Czechoslovakia….. Czechoslovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe, which existed from October 1918, until 1992. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Oh, well…it was a hard word to say AND spell, anyway!

9 Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator…..I don’t get this one. Why can’t they watch the old movies? Alex said he thought it may be because Arnold can’t make any more new ones…he’s too old! His words…not mine!

10. Tan M & M’s…..In 1995, the candy head honchos ran a promotion to let the consumer vote on which color would replace ‘Tan’. The choices were Blue…Pink…or Purple. ‘Blue’ was the winner and ‘Tan’ faded away as ‘Blue’ came to the forefront! As I was checking this one out, I saw that there are petitions and FB pages in place in an attempt to ‘Bring Back Tan’.

They went on on to add ‘watches’, ‘writing in cursive’, and ‘the awesomness that was Nirvana’…that was a rock band…and I knew that….Curt Cobain and Courtney Love.

Well, that’s it. That’s their list. What would you add to the list? Here’s a few of the things I remember coming into the marketplace…and leaving.

These are some of the things I remember at their beginning. I can vividly remember getting our first color TV. I do not remember the year, but it was before 1963, because we moved from that house about then. I recall that Joy and I were disappointed that all the programs were not in color! The first color TV system began commercial broadcasting in 1953…the year I was born! And, actually, the cable TV programs began the same year. Then came a product called ‘Lazy Bones’ in 1956. Can you guess what it was? That’s right…the remote control! But, it is very much still in use!

I had my own transistor radio when I was a school girl. As did most of my little friends. I do remember how disappointed I was when I realized that it would not run forever, due to a dumb thing called ‘batteries’! And, I felt even worse when Pop told me that I had to buy the new batteries with MY allowance! I ask you, is that fair???? 🙂 A few years later, I had an 8 track tape player put into my car. Then came the cassette tapes, and they are about gone now.

I don’t know if this is still done in other places, but it has ceased here….Home milk delivery. I can barely remember Mom having me to put the empty bottles on the front porch, and bringing the milk inside the next morning.

I recall when we bought Adam an Atari, one of the first video gaming systems. He was 5 or 6. And, I also remember when the talk started going around about the World Wide Web…not that I understood it, just remember folks talking about it.

Oh, time passes and the things we think are so important come and go, fade out and something else,in, and we so quickly forget what was and look ahead to the next new thing. And, I suppose there always will be that…the next new thing. As long as God allows this world to continue and smart men and women dream. Dedicated scientists and doctors spend their lives trying to rid the world of diseases and illness. I pray so often for someone to discover a way to help those who suffer with cerebellar atrophy, like Alex. And you have diseases that are more real to you that you want to see eradicated. Other scientists look for ways to bring food and water to the millions who will die of starvation, if someone doesn’t help. Tiny babies with swollen stomachs and sad eyes never learn to smile, for their lives on this earth are so miserable. So many inquisitive minds full of great intelligence will never learn any more than the ways of their elders because there is no one to go to their village and teach. No one to open up the wonders of this world to those who want so badly to know.

God help the great minds today use their gifts for the greater good of all people. To serve those with little chance of a better life if they don’t. Help me remember that I have a part to play in the global community, as well. I must pray…daily…for these. I must contribute my monies to programs that promote the right things. Help us to all be more mindful. Amen.

EDITTED: You have added typewriters, and ice trays! Also carbon paper and mimeograph copies.What else can you think of? Here’s some more: home hair dryers, Cracker Jacks with a REAL prize, Magic Decoder Ring, Cartoons and Serials at the movies, joy ar receiving a quarter, playing outside after dark till parents called you in! Sending in box tops for a prize….I actually remember sending in actual box tops. Now there is a tiny little square on the box that you send in…and they still call it a box top!

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