Summer Reading Programs

girl reading

Summer reading programs have been a part of my life since I was able to sign up for my first library card at the age of six. Setting goals on how much to read, picking out books, reading every day, and charting progress teaches children valuable life skills.

The American Library Association has listed some benefits of summer reading programs:

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The Value of Wondering…an Alternative Approach to Exploring Bible Stories with Children

imagesAs a Primary school teacher in England, my lessons were target driven and goal oriented. I had specific objectives that were measurable: Did the child know the letter A and the sound it made? If they did, we moved on to letter B. I had a sense of satisfaction and security because I could easily measure what the child had learned. This approach spilled over into my Sunday school lessons… Continue reading

Write What You Know

Image may contain: plant and foodAre your children having trouble thinking of something to write? Writing isn’t always words. Who wants to read a book with an unattractive cover? Why not design the cover or make a few illustrations first, then write. This might be especially helpful for children writing nonfiction. It may also be helpful to spend time observing or creating something to write about. Continue reading

Memorial Day

American-Flag-300pxI grew up taking part in a special service followed by a parade and a picnic on Memorial Day. We always listened to the words of the Gettysburg address and other words about freedom.

It’s also called Decoration Day because people place flowers and flags on the graves of soldiers.  It honors people who gave their lives serving our country in the military. It started after the Civil War and began with placing flowers on graves of soldiers. Th Civil War had more American deaths (620,000) than any other war. In WW2, the second highest number of deaths, we lost 415,000 Americans. Continue reading

Vegas: Not Just “Sin City”

Vegas For Families

Vegas For Families

Recently, my husband and I, along with a few of our friends, went to Las Vegas for a long weekend. Before the trip, several acquaintances looked at me in shock when I told them I was going to “Sin City.” What many people do not realize is that, although there are many venues in Las Vegas that rightfully give it the infamous nickname of “Sin City,” most attractions in Las Vegas are actually family friendly.

We attended the “Michael Jackson One Cirque du Soleil” show, which is playing at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Resort. It was amazing! The show features all the hits of Michael Jackson, with acrobats, dancers, and even a Michael Jackson look-a-like who has Michael’s dance moves down perfectly. A screening of the “Thriller” music video had the audience on their toes. The most memorable part of the show, though, was when Michael appeared “on stage” as a hologram dancing with the other dancers. It was eerie but amazing nonetheless.

There are many other attractions in Las Vegas that I’d recommend for families, such as the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, the VooDoo Zipline Package, any Laser Tag and 3D Mini Golf venues, and of course, Madame Tussaud’s. The newest attraction is the High Roller Observation Wheel, which offers a 360-degree view of Las Vegas. At 550 feet, it is taller than the London Eye. You step into an air-conditioned pod that can hold 40 people, but on average, there are only about 12 people per pod!

To the surprise of most, Las Vegas probably has more PG-rated entertainment than any other city except Orlando. In fact, the hotels often cater to children. The Golden Nugget hotel has a three-story waterslide that runs through a shark tank. The New York New York Hotel has a 67-mph roller coaster that takes off from the lobby and rockets around the hotel. This hotel further boasts that it has one of the biggest arcades in the city. Meanwhile, the Excalibur Hotel, although it is showing its age, offers many fun activities for children, including the Fun Dungeon and Tournament of Kings. Parents will also appreciate that this hotel is friendlier on the wallet than most other hotels.

The only downfall for me in visiting Las Vegas is the flight time from Florida. It’s a five and a half hour flight, and I don’t fly well. But other than that, I always have a great time and enjoy seeing the many families who are visiting the city with their young children in tow. Las Vegas really is a magical place; it just depends on what you are looking for there.

Isaiah 61:3 describes how we will one day receive a crown of beauty instead of ashes. However, we should also recognize that there is often beauty among the ashes here on earth. We simply need to look for it.

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