Explore and Experience

It was Visakha Bucha,  a Buddhist holiday where Thais visit temples to pray, when we decided to visit Nakhon Sri Thammarat, the largest city in the South of Thailand. This one day trip had been educational since our kids hadn’t only gotten to experience a Buddhist religious practice, they also explored some ancient artifacts in the temple’s museum dating back to Bangkok period.

This is Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, the main and oldest buddhist temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.  Directly in front of the temple’s right wing entrance is the museum.  Inside, you’ll find three large chambers where ancient artifacts that date back to Bangkok period were exhibited. There were hand painted metal cabinets of varying sizes, brasswares,  copperwares, glasswares, and chinas.  Aside from these, there were weapons,  textiles, a few preserved sea creatures, and numerous sea shells.  It is a great place to explore and a good reinforcement for kids studying history and marine life. Taking of photos are not allowed here.

This was taken just outside the museum.  A row of sitting,  golden Buddhas outlined the entire length of this side of the temple. On the same chamber,  were displays of huge whale remains and other marine life.

Summer and Derick offered incense and flowers, and said their prayers.

 

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, exploring Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawin was a great experience.

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Life Starts At 40

There’s some truth in “Life starts at 40”.

A relatively healthy person frequents clinics or hospitals during his 30’s.  Pains and sickness seem to appear out of nowhere during this time. If these symptoms are left unattended could complicate into something serious, as often told by doctors to patients.  Our body is like a car.  After the warranted years, bolts loosen up and parts wore off.  As we near our 40’s, people start thinking of lifestyle change such as quit smoking, limit alcohol in-take, engaging oneself in a regular exercise, and eating healthy.  Reasons vary.

For us, we want to live long enough to see our kids grow and attain stability in life, and if our bodies permit maybe meet our grandchildren.

Among the lifestyle changes mentioned above, the latter two are the most challenging for us.  But since we need to start afresh on our 40’s we have to take on the needed changes.

  • Exercise your way to a healthy you.  We are home buddies and a bit of couch potatoes, sadly.  Up until this time we haven’t settle on a regular exercise routine.  Aside from this, we also found our super structured schedule 24/7 a great hindrance. We hope to get our acts together on this ASAP.
  • You are what you eat, so eat healthy.  We LOVE to eat. The health issues we are facing at the moment is food related. So this is definitely the first thing in the MUST Change List.

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Structured Busy Lifestyle vs. Child’s Play Time

“To a child playing is learning.” ∼ MitchRyan

Play is one of the most important factors for normal developmental growth in any child. It is a child’s world, as a matter of fact it could be the only world for them. In this world a child learns to solve problems, learn things around them like color, shapes, learn to do things like grasp, crawl, balance, and understand the concept of cooperation, negotiation, and give and take.  These in effect lead to the development of more sophisticated cognitive, affective, and psychomotor tasks along the way.
Modern times, however, has curtailed child’s play time to almost nothing. Our lifestyle is so structured towards getting things done that 24 hours is not enough. People are busy making a living leaving no moments for play and relaxation. Why is this? It’s because doing so is a waste of time. It seems like these days are all about competition, profit, and innovation. Although these are excellent goals, these on the other are all result oriented. Hence the process leading to the result is given the least priority which thwarts a child’s normal developmental growth. As parents if we want to see our children grow to become great individuals who have achieved their fullest potential then we must start looking into the process of making great individuals.

Now, here are practices which I think puts child’s play time to a minimum.

  • Kids taking up too many after school classes and/or lessons on the weekends
  • Too much screen time
  • Obsession on having high scores (mostly parents)
  • Class ranking and competition especially during the early years
  • Early school years inappropriate curriculum. For example, some schools give emphasis on writing and listening, thus, the series of writing books, long hours of sitting. Kids are reprimanded for not holding pens properly and are branded having ADHD because they could not sit for long hours.
  • Too many homework

Reality bites! The degree may vary from one culture to the other but sadly these are true. These and many other practices run havoc on our child’s play time which, to reiterate, is one sure process for children to engage in a meaningful learning. Play should be treated as a form of lifestyle for children.

Playing is a child’s lifestyle.∼ MitchRyan

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What Happens When Mood Swinger Mom Meets Drama Queen Daughter?

 

The struggle is real, believe me.  The result depends on what side of the mood spectrum is Mom at that moment.

From experience a drama queen is always a drama queen at all times, may she be dealing with simple or complicated things.

The gravity of the impact lies on the mood of the moment.  When Mom is in the mood, circumstances are dealt with calmly, patiently, and even humorously. However when Mom is in a dark mood, a petty circumstance could mushroom into an atomic bomb within seconds.

As a Mom, this is a great parenting concern.  I’ve realized and seen the negative effects of my blurting out and “mismanagement” during those times when I’m in a lighter mood. But like what I’ve mentioned, it is  a tremendous task. It is a struggle that up until now is unresolved.

Moms out there who might be in the same boat as I am or if you happen to know of someone who was able to successfully overcome this, please do share your thoughts below.  It’d be deeply appreciated.

 

Old Calendars for Something Educational

Don’t throw old calendars, re-use them for something educational.
Alphabet flashcards may not be that expensive, but then why buy when you can do it yourself, right? Coloring them is fun and relaxing. I enjoyed it. Besides I get to showoff my coloring skills to my daughter who is into drawing. She likes the way I do it and so she’s trying to imitate it.  Now, she’s good at it.
So what I did here was printed out free printable alphabet from the internet (What2Learn.com). Although you can print them out in colored ink, I chose black and white. It’s no fun if all you need to do is print, cut, and paste. Go the extra miles, color them yourselves and bring out the artist in you. Your kids can help out too. It’s a good way to teach coloring techniques and color combination and mixture. Anyway, after that I glued them onto old, hard paper calendars like these.
And voila!
As I was looking at the finish product, I thought, it would have been better if I colored the letters with a similar color. That way, they would have aesthetically “jot” out instead of getting lost in the riot of colors in the background.
What do you think?

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DIY Gift Wrapping

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My daughter loves to draw. She started to show interest at a very young age.  I saw how her drawings improve through the years.  She is very proud of her drawings, and we have always made sure she gets all the encouragement and praises she needs to go on.  She draws anytime and every time an idea sparks and she does this wherever she is at that moment.

One instance, we have to attend a birthday party of one of her friends. Although we were informed days before, I was too busy that I forgot to prepare for it.  So on the said day, I hurriedly bought a gift for the little girl but forgot to buy a gift wrap.  I was a bit panicking since there were still other things to do. Good thing, my daughter had a great idea, DIY gift wrapping.

On a paper she drew a family, wrote a greeting, and added some designs. She used this to wrap the gift. She recycled a ribbon, and voila.

DIY Gift Wrapping
DIY Gift Wrapping

What do you think?

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BEST TIPS TO CONTROL DUST MITES

Dust mites love to breed in moist areas like your bed. You could be sleeping in with possibly thousands or even millions of dust mites lurking in your bed. Experts say that there are approximately up to 2,000 microscopic cousins to spider in just an ounce of mattress dust.

Crazy!

And that could lead to a lot of health problems such as skin allergy and asthma. Dust mites can be pretty hard to eliminate, but if you take small effective steps constantly, this can help reduce their numbers in time.

Here are some easy tips to help you.

1) Deprive Mites of Moisture

Dust mites die when there is insufficient moisture in the air. So always keep humidity levels low. You can use a dehumidifier to maintain your room’s humidity level to something in between 30 to 50 percent. Another great way is to use waterproof mattress pad to cover vinyl mattress, and a vinyl covered pillow with zipper to seal and protect your pillows.

2) Keep your room cool

Dust mites do not just live with moisture but also thrive in warm weather. To fight back and reduce dust mites, one way is to keep your room temperature low. Open your windows to get some fresh air and cool down your room.

3) Wash bedding weekly, in hot water

Wash your mattress pads, blanket and duvets for at least once a month, pillow cases and sheets at least weekly in hot water above 130 degrees. A temperature of 130 degrees and F are what kills dust mites.

 4) Flip and Vacuum regularly

Your mattress should also be flipped regularly, recommended every time your season changes. You also have to clean your mattress regularly by vacuuming. Regular vacuuming will keep your mattress clean and sanitized. Remove all the bedding and sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and essential oil. This removes odor, dust and bacteria on your mattress. Vacuum your mattresses every time you flip them. If you have some extra budget, invest in a vacuum with HEPA (high efficiency particular air) filter which is designed specifically to suck up allergens.

5) Buy washable toys

Even if how cute they are, stuffed toys can accumulate dust quickly and is not recommended to sit on your bed. But if you insist, opt for toys made of plastic or those washable toys that you can wash regularly together with your beddings.

6) Use allergen blocking covers

Protect yourself from allergens by encasing your mattress and pillows with allergen blocking covers.  These covers prevent dust mites from making your bed their real estate.

7) Use Protection

Stains can be pretty hard to remove so definitely, avoid messy mishaps to your mattress. But it is quite inevitable to not mess your mattress no matter how keen you are to avoid staining it. So a great way to protect your mattress is by using mattress pads. Mattress pads shield your mattress from food spill over, blood, urine, sweat and other possible stains.

8) Clean stains

In the event that you forgot to put on a mattress pad and you spill over some coffee, make sure to clean them right away. You can use an upholstery shampoo or dry suds to remove them. Dry suds are an alternative way of cleaning stains. This is made by mixing a quarter of detergent liquid and a few teaspoons of water.

Bed bugs and dust mites are some of the leading causes of asthma and other allergies. And these allergens are mostly found in our beds. It’s the time to fight back. Use these great tips to reduce stubborn allergy causing substances in your bed. And you should be able to relax and sleep at ease knowing that you have a clean and healthy bed to sleep with!

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Protect Me, Mom and Dad….

cyber world

Modernization is just another jungle closing in. – Evelyn Waughn

Whether we like it or not, this jungle called modernization is unavoidable. Its influence on our children is unfathomable.  A family may prohibit or delay the use of internet at home, but let’s face it, everywhere else it is accessible.  Unless we want to seclude our family into the most isolated corner of the world, which is quite impossible, we have to deal with the dangers head on and face the responsibility affiliated with being parents in this era. One of the significant features of this era is the cyber world.

                Cyber bullying is right up there together with other pressing problems. It has evolved along with technology. Bullies going to Facebook walls calling people names and or posting humiliating photos and the likes. A long time ago bullying was a huge school problem, well it is still now, only colossal in magnitude.  In our age of electronic gadgetries bullying has transcended into the cyber world. It has become more of a difficult job of looking after our kids compared to just visiting them at school or keeping watch over them in the school playground or yard.

Let us protect our children from this with familoop safeguard.

                Now, with the advent of I-pads and i-phones and androids and all of these modern gadgets our kids bring, it is just impossible to be keeping track of who they are talking to or who they meet and what they are watching.  It definitely is a whole new level. While this modernization has tons of positive attributes it also comes with it a huge responsibility for us parents to be looking after our kids as there are dangers that lurk with every website that they click to. Children as early as two years old or even younger already know how to use a cellphone, an Ipad, or a tablet.  The ubiquiousity of these seem to permit an earlier cognitive, psychomotor, and affective consciousness in children. Familoop parental control helps parents monitor and control children’s activities online.

                Pornography, perhaps, is the most common problem that we parents want to steer our kids away from. Pedophilia is not that far behind. Pedophiles have found their perfect instrument by browsing and surfing the internet looking at children photos all they want. Sexting is also a thing with phones nowadays where they send salacious messages be it through text or photos over the internet. Online safety for kids is of utmost importance to protect children and youth from these monstrosities.

What online precautionary measures do you  have at home?

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“Talking Back” Is Actually A Good Thing

Do you agree?

Lately, this has been a source of stress for us. Our 6 year old has been “talking back” every time she does not get what she wants.  As parents we want our kids to grow with a great sense of individuality. We dream for them to become adults of sound values, independent, and incredulous to the trickeries of this world.  With this in heart, but confronted with this bitter reality gave us a sense of not being in control of the whole thing.  Most of the time the more we demand to be followed, the more rebellious kids become, and at the end of the day if feels like the whole situation is getting out of hand.

An article from Yahoo Parenting “Kids Who Talk Back Becomes More Successful Adults”, caught my attention. The article explained that the “talking back” should be treated more of an important training ground than a nuisance. This is their way of exerting a sense of self control over their lives.  By curtailing them from reasoning out or negotiating with us, we are actually molding them to become submissive, insecure individuals who might be prone to bullying and the likes in the future.

Well, this is good, right? It means parents can still turn the table around and make things right. But I personally think that the manner of “talking back” is of utmost importance. Screaming and yelling, finger-pointing, and name calling should be avoided.  If the “talking back” is done in a manner other than these, even parents who grew up in a conservative family or in a  “talking back is plainly not possible or else” kind of family, will understand and compromise sooner or later.

Our parenting style is, often than not, a reflection of the family environment we grew up with. In the natural course of events, parents kind of naturally adopt whatever they are used to and whatever they themselves were exposed to. So, if ones family background is anything but “open, free to talk, children have a voice” environment, then to change something that is almost like a second skin is ultimately a tremendous challenge. Nevertheless, a change we need to take, right?

Do you agree?

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KidsEmail Review and Giveaway: Safe Communication

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Communication is as essential as all other family matters and issues.  With the advancement of technology, communication has become easy, inexpensive, and definitely accessible by virtually everyone.  Along with this, are dangers of all sort lurking in every corners of the internet.  But it has become part of the household, and not hooking up seems impossible…. most especially the teens and even the children.

The next best thing we parents can do is to make sure our children are safe.

Among the amazing, dynamic, and significant features of KidsEmail which I mentioned in my previous review, these are the ultimate important ones.  First, these are the primary reasons why parents should get their children KidsEmail.  Second, these are effective ways to insure kids safety and security in the internet, except if you prohibit your children from using it which is quite difficult to implement nowadays.  Third, these features are not offered in mainstream email providers. Sure they are free, but as parents there are things that we should not compromise because doing so could mean risk and danger, and of course that’s the last thing we want.

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Here are 5 features parents should look for in any email for kids.

  • Mail Monitoring.  KidsEmail provides parents an excellent way to supervise their child’s email correspondence.  This enables parents to have a copy of all incoming and outgoing emails sent to or from your child’s KidsEmail account.  This can be enabled/disabled anytime.
  • Mail queue.  This feature allows parents to intercept emails that failed the safety rules you have set. You can then approve or deny and remove the email from the mail queue.
  • Remove links and images, control attachment types, offensive word filter, and spam filtering are some of the safety parameters parents could enable to assure their child’s safety.
  • Block senders. If you allow your child to receive emails to anyone, you can still block specific people by adding then to a custom blacklist.
  • No ads.  Kidsemail does not offer advertising, so children will never see anything inappropriate.

Our children’s safety should come first.  It is better to wrapped them up in cotton wool than be sorry later.

Get a KidsEmail now, or you may also have it for FREE.

Join KIDSEMAIL GIVEAWAY, and be one of the 3 lucky winners of FREE one year KidsEmail Subscription. Please click on the rafflecopter below. Winners will be notified through email. Enjoy the giveaway!

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