Ruth and Naomi

The Bible story “Ruth and Naomi” is taken from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling Bible Storybook.

Theme:  Kindness Towards One Another Counts

Breathwork:  Back-to-Back Breathing as found in Lisa Flynn’s Yoga for Children and Feel the Vibration as found in Lisa Roberts’ Breathe, Chill

Warm-up: 

Make New Friends, and Keep the Old” Girl Scout song

Begin in Easy Pose

Make new friends- Seated Gentle Twist Right

and keep the old- Seated Gentle Twist Left

one is silver-Lying Spinal Twist Right

one is gold- Lying Spinal Twist Left

a circle is round, and has no end- Wheel

that’s how long I want to be your friend- Child’s Pose

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Candle Pose- Twin Flames*

Pose Series:

Here, I am having students work in pairs to reinforce the theme of Kindness Counts Towards One Another.

Candle Pose- Twin Flames*

Corpse Pose

Partner Sailboat

SeeSaw

Huddle Pose

Owl Friends

Twin Dragons

Puppy Friends

Tic Tac Toe

Create-a-Pose

Cool Down:

Legs up Wall

Human Zipper

Resting: 

Mantra:  I am breathing in God’s love.  I am breathing out God’s kindness.

Additional Options: 

Make Friendship Bracelets

Host a Friendship Potluck

Circle Squeeze- Students sit in a circle in Easy Pose.  With arms crossed in front of chests, they hold hands with neighbors on either side.  One person begins by squeezing the hand of another.  They then pass the squeeze around the circle.

Write positive notes to his/her yoga partner.

Trust Circle as found in Lisa Flynn’s Yoga for Children

I Notice How AWESOME You Are

Despite the saying, words do hurt.  Believe me;  I know.  Unkind words hurt adults just as they can truly damage a child’s self-esteem.  For me, I am a lover of words, font, text, etc., especially when they are placed together in such a manner with the goal of improving someone’s day.

The other day while celebrating a dear friend’s fortieth birthday, we were perusing a local independent bookstore.  While there, I came across some business cards with the saying, “I Notice How AWESOME You Are.”  This, of course, brought to mind a business card I once received in my mailbox which was attached to some Girl Scout papers which I needed to process for our troop, not one of my favorite jobs.  Yet, I sat at my kitchen table that evening working on those papers with the hugest grin on my face.  That card with those words had made all the difference.  Such a simple ripple can result in quite a tidal wave of happiness.

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Last night, volleyball practice began for my second through fourth-grade players.  Club Serve at Troy United Methodist Church teaches volleyball skills, but also focuses on serving others.  Each practice ends with a homework assignment in the form  of  a service project, one which is geared towards the age of the child.  I laminated homemade business cards with the saying, “I Notice How AWESOME You Are.”  After giving each player a praise card due to his/her amazing participation, effort, and encouragement of one another, I handed out an identical card.  This card is meant to be distributed by the player to someone he/she finds “awesome.”  I offered suggestions:  a sibling, teacher, coach, Grandma, etc.  I added it was okay to leave the card anonymously.  Immediately hands were raised asking some truly thought-provoking questions:

Is it okay to give it to my best friend?  Yes!

What if I took it in my lunch box and gave it to someone at recess?  Yes, as long as it’s okay with your teacher.

Which card should I keep, and which card should I give away?  You choose.

Can we give it to someone right here, on our team?  Yes!

Not ever knowing if an activity is going to be a keeper or a bust, I was thrilled to file this one under “keep.”  I’m looking forward to hearing to whom each player gave a card (part of the homework).  In fact, I was so encouraged by the players’ reaction that I decided to give an employee working in the drive-thru a card this morning while I was purchasing water bottles I had forgotten to pack this morning.  My daughter’s friend giggled and said, “That’s weird.”  You know what?  I’ll take weird.  Weird is good.

Five Minute Friday: Family

The other day my sister from another mister gave my daughter’s Girl Scout troop the assignment of writing a haiku, a three-line poem which comprises five syllables in the first line, three syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the concluding line.  She so enjoyed this assignment that I thought I would give it a try for this week’s Five Minute Friday with the prompt, Family.

Family

Therefore encourage

each other

. . . build each other up.

-1 Thessalonians 5:11

A favorite Bible verse of a dear friend and the current Beth Moore Bible study at our church, I believe 1 Thessalonians 5:11 defines Family in a nutshell.  These people whom encourage and build others up are the people I call Family in my own life.

superpower
Image found at ispygod.net. What a cool super power for which to strive.

Does Anyone Revise Anymore?

I read a lot of books and magazines, many of which are self-published.  As I have always told my students and my own children, you can always glean something from a work, even one in which you do not particularly care for, one which does not immediately engross you and cause you to stay up at all  hours of the night.

You are probably thinking, “Why would I continue reading said work which does not capture my attention?”  The answer is simple . . . a reader, in my opinion, learns more about himself or herself by acknowledging what calls to him or her within the pages and, in the same manner, what deters one’s reading.

For me, spelling errors and grammatical errors make me wince which, in turn, leads to heart palpitations.  The rules set in place for proper grammar and spelling are black and white much like mathematics.  So, if in doubt, simply check the rule out . . .  Years ago, I would say, “Look it up in a dictionary, make use of a thesaurus, have a quality grammar book handy (I still have the edition my dad used years ago as a young student), and most importantly, revise.”  Now I say, “Google it!”  At the very least and for the love of humanity, “Google it already!”

So, with the ease of the use of Google, why don’t people take the time to revise in order to present the cleanest copy possible?  I find myself often curled into a metaphorical fetal position asking the question, “Why?” over and over again, much like Nancy Kerrigan did after being struck in the knee by a tire iron, after reading an error-riddled work.

I recently purchased Life’s 100 Women Who Changed the World.  Thinking this would be an excellent resource for use with my Girl Scouts promoting the ideal Girls Can Do Anything, I was anxious to preview this work and had high expectations based on the reputation of the magazine alone.

Thus, I was horrified to read about Impressionist painter Mary Cassat’s “1800 self-portrait” (35) when she was not born until 1844.  In addition, I was surprised to learn Amelia Earhart disappeared “July 3, 1937 . . . over the Pacific” (59), but according to Life did not die until 1939.  How is this possible?  Did someone (gasp) fail to revise?

What I do know is that I will continue to revise and continue advocating for revision in all writing, a feat which can be accomplished by all.  We may not all have the physical capabilities to be a professional basketball player or the intellectual prowess to research a cure for cancer, but every one of us has within us the power to revise.

The Brownies and Their Pow Wow at Cahokia Mounds

Looking for a three-hour plus educational adventure for your Girl Scout?  Look no further than a field trip to Cahokia Mounds, designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

IMG_1691Beginning with an engaging performance by The Kahok Dancers, the Brownies not only watched The Pipe Dance and The Eagle Dance, they participated.  Quite the workout if I do say so myself . . .

From there, our group, Arrowhead, headed to our crafts/games session.  The girls began by rubbing copper-colored tin wrapped around tiles with Native American imagery.  The completed rubbing was then transformed into a necklace.  Once this was finished, girls then used their hands to form clay into a bowl similar to those seen in the museum.

The games portion consisted of learning how to throw spears using two different devices.  One of our Brownies, Miss G., found her calling as a future javelin thrower as she was able to throw further than any other adult or child in our group.

Next, girls watched the award-winning movie, Cahokia:  City of the Sun and then explored the museum.

IMG_1726Storytelling with Marilyn Kinsella followed with her telling the legend of the origins of light and darkness.  Not a peep was heard until after she concluded her time with instructions on how to make a bracelet out of jute.

Our final session involved our returning to the auditorium where an archaeologist showed us various Native American tools, how they were crafted and where they were found.  Learning soil color and striations matter when excavating, the girls put this knowledge to the test with their snack.  Girls created their own “soil” layers with chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, cookie crumbles, Gushers as “evidence,” chocolate sprinkles, and a gummy worm on top.

Given new energy, the girls then drove (me) or walked (others) across the street to Monks Mound and climbed the stairs, some more than once (not I).

This is most definitely a field trip worth taking, and one I think our Brownies will remember for a long time to come.

The Girl Scouts Take on The Magic House and Win*

Interested in four hours of nonstop playful learning for your third grader (or Brownie or Junior Girl Scout) followed by a slumber party?  Then, a Wintertime Blues Camp-In is just right for you.

Arriving at 8 p.m. at The Magic House in Kirkwood, Missouri, our Brownie troop checked in, dropped off our gear of sleeping bags and pillows, and were then let loose in The Magic House for an hour of free play.

Think the Kracken with an endless supply of energy unleashed x10.  Yes, young girls given free reign in this 55,000 square foot children’s museum.  The result . . . laughter, wide eyes, perspiration, hurried movements, and exploration due to such activities as fishing, cracking bank vaults, rocking babies, shopping for groceries, and climbing the beanstalk over and over and over and over again.  Time out . . .  I need a minute to catch my breath.

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After an hour passed, stinky bodies (okay, my stinky body) gathered in the legislative branch to hear our instructions for the evening from our young, energetic facilitators.  Directed to our snack of pizza and beverage, we were then assigned our Scavenger Hunt to complete as a team for a special prize.  Passing this task on to our former Cookie Queen, Miss Toni guided the girls from room to room in order to discover answers to such questions as, “How many yellow balloons are in the Conservatory?”  When all questions were completed, the girls hustled to the front desk so that their answers could be graded for completion.  Discovering an incomplete response, the girls hustled back downstairs in search of the correct answer.  I, on the other hand, decided to hold down the fort right where I was.  With another climbing of the bean stalk under their belts, the girls returned to the front desk in order to retrieve their prize, a colored pin of their choosing with The Magic House logo.

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Allotted further free time to play before our assigned Art Class at 10:30 p.m., the girls spent a great deal of time in the special exhibit, Magic Tree House, based on the children’s book series by Mary Pope Osborne.

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By the time Art Class rolled around, I was beat.  Finding a place on the carpet, I rested my head on my Rapunzel backpack while instructors led the girls in Simon Says before leading them in a stamping project.

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Once again granted free play until our 11:30 p.m. settle down and make camp time, the Brownies played in frenzied delight while I found a chair with a back in a corner of the bank where I observed robberies, deposits, and overall Magic House mayhem.

Grateful when it was time to roll out the sleeping bags, my squirt staked claim on a closet for us to sleep in our designated area (insert forced “Woo!” here).  With the sound of steady snores and gregarious giggles in the background, I actually drifted off to sleep until close to our 7 a.m. wake time.  With a doughnut in each of our bellies, we exited the building with our much deserved patch in hand (it’s hard work earning a fun patch) and our carelessly folded baggage under our arms.

Silence ensued on the ride home as I dreamt of an actual bed in which to rest my weary forty-three-year-old body whereas, I am sure, my squirt and her fellow Girl Scouts remembered fondly, then and for a long time to come, the previous night’s events at this house filled with much magic.

Sassy!
Sassy!

*This post is dedicated to the fearless Mommas who survived a night at the museum.

Sunday/Monday Thanks: Cards

One of my sweet Daisies, Miss Hailey, from my Girl Scout troop surprised me with the most beautiful box of cards for Christmas. I do not know how she knew, but this is one of my favorite ways to spend my downtime, writing cards and sending them to others.

To me (and my squirts), opening this box is like opening a box of possibilities.  My oldest daughter has created a book out of the beautiful cards.  My youngest squirt created surprise notes of love hidden beneath my hub’s pillow and my own pillow.

I have used the cards to thank the Daisy, thank some teachers, thank a Girl Scout leader, surprise my hub with a love letter, thank my friend who controls the bush growing on my head, thank a woman blessing who listened when I needed someone to listen, thank a woman blessing who offered to take my youngest squirt to school when my oldest was sick, and send to the women blessings on my #fmfpartysnailmail list.

I also plan to visit The Word Needs More Love Letters to see who else I can send a  card.

So, grab that box of cards gathering dust in the back of your drawer, and use your words to change a person’s life if only for the time it takes for him/her to read the card.  Every minute counts . . .

Who do you plan on sending a card to today?

Daisies Donate to the Dogs (and Cats) of MEHS

As a requirement for earning the 3 Cheers for Animals Girl Scout journey patch, Daisy Troop #48 donated items to our local animal shelter.  With a trunk full of dog food, paper towels, and bleach, we headed to The Metro East Humane Society (MEHS) located in Edwardsville, IL.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a friendly, informed young man who brought a cart to our trunk in order to ease the unloading.  Once inside, he suggested a picture be taken with our donations.  Three Daisies, Miss Ava, Miss Piper, and Miss Colette, and assorted siblings gladly smiled for this photo opportunity.  We were then granted full access to the kennels housing the dogs in need of adoption as well as the cats and kittens.

Not a dry eye was had by any one of the mommas on the tour.  The sight of animals desperate for loving homes definitely pulled at our heart strings.  Personally, I lingered in front of Chloe, a lab mix, far too long (according to the hub’s head shakes) to the point where I imagined she would make an ideal playmate for our Daisy. . .

Before exiting we asked the two workers specifics regarding the animals at this no-kill shelter.  Thrilled not only with the cleanliness of the facility, I was relieved to learn canines are walked and given time for play on a daily basis.

If pet adoption is on your mind, consider an animal rescue where furry friends need love.  If feeling the urge to volunteer, consider an animal rescue which is always in need of volunteer walkers.  If looking to donate, please consider an animal rescue.  You will be glad you did.