Making Memories That Will Last Forever

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Have you ever looked at your children when they are teenagers – or beyond – and wished you could go back in time to enjoy a day when they were little? I certainly have.

Children grow up so incredibly fast! It’s almost like you blink and they are grown. All the way through childhood they are making firsts: Their first word, their first steps, their first day of school. There is so much to relish and celebrate about these milestones that you almost forget about the time whizzing past.

Kids need a solid grounding and good examples to learn from, therefore conscientious parents want their kids to remember their childhood fondly, and with love. Their formative years are important because they’re going to remember certain things forever, so if you do fun things together as a family, they will remember these events fondly for the rest of their days. Here are some ideas on how to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Play with paint

It’s a great idea to teach a child creativity from a very young age. If they learn not to be afraid of a blank page, they will probably go on to create great things. (As a writer, I have faced that blank page many times.) One of the most imaginative and artistic things you can do with your children is to create and paint together. Let them go wild with crayons, colouring pencils, acrylic and water paint, and glue. They will feel proud of their results in the moment, and it will be fun to look back on their creations together in the future.

Pose for a picture

The wonderful thing about smartphones is that you have a camera almost always at hand. This give you the chance to capture as many candid photos of your children as possible. And don’t forget taking videos of them. If you would like something a bit more professional, a photographer can give you great results. A professional family photo is something that everyone loves to look back on because it perfectly captures a moment in time you can cherish forever. Not only will you have the physical photos, but you’ll have great memories of the actual day as well.

Read stories together

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My girl’s favourite: The Owl & The Pussycat

This was a big one for me when I raised my kids. When your children are little, it’s a great idea to get into the habit of reading them a book every evening. This not only calms them before they sleep, but it also helps them learn. The stories that you first read them will probably stay with them forever. Almost everyone can remember the first book that they loved to have read to them. It’s a child’s way of really using their imagination to form the pictures in their mind. Keep a couple of their favorite books for you to show them when they are grown up.

Cook together

If you can teach your children a family recipe that has been passed down through the ages, they’ll remember it forever. A cherished recipe can be pulled out and enjoyed again and again, and it will strengthen the memory for your child of when you first made it together. 

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Our boy making muffins!

Notice the recurring theme here? Creative endeavors seem to be the best way to make memories for you and your family!

What do you and your children do to make memories that will last a lifetime?

Fun, Sun, Sand and Smiles

After nine days, the children have gone home.

Our house yawns astonishingly quiet and empty. The beaches here on Sandy-Feet Avenue and Perry’s Point look abandoned, lonely and forlorn; bereft of the three little beach bums that ran across them countless times a day.

A myriad of reminders surround me: empty sand pails, tiny mementos in the form of sea glass and shells from the beach, our grandson’s toy army tank left behind, a day pass from Windmill Bight Park, a box of our granddaughter’s favourite crackers in the cupboard, a candy wrapper under the bed. There is even a folder of GoPro videos they made saved on my PC desktop.

And I’m amazed at how much longer it takes for the dishwasher and the washing machine to fill up in their absence.

We miss our two grandchildren – plus one little friend – but we had an incredible time together filled with sweet summer memories and photos to look back on.

And there is always next year, God willing!

Here are a few captures from last week.

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Searching for starfish, hermit crabs and other treasures
“Wanna go clam-digging again?”

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The weather was beautiful nearly every day!

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Our girl having fun at the nearby playground
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Zip-lining!

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Waiting to dine on ‘Surf ‘n Turf’ at the local restaurant*

During one of these lazy afternoons, our girl decided she wanted to write a story. So while her friend and our boy continued playing on the beach, she sat down nearby with a pad of lined paper and a pencil. When I asked her what her story was about, she said with a shy grin, “Cats.”

I guess the (grand)apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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*All photos taken with iPhone 6

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

Warm Welcome

 

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Someone was overjoyed last night to have her mom home again. 🙂
#holding hands #love my cat #home sweet home
❤ ❤

Never Again

“Daily Post Prompt: Never Again – Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.”

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“Copying pans*” in Tilting, NL – Newfoundland Webbers Facebook Page -photo credit: Paddy Barry

On Saturday, I saw this photo on Facebook that brought back a memory for me. Also on that day, I read the above prompt from the Daily Post. So I couldn’t resist sharing said event from my childhood.

My friend Nancy, my younger sister Lynn and I were walking home from school one late afternoon in St. John’s, when we noticed from the Boulevard the many ice pans on the surface of Quidi Vidi Lake. I think it might have been spring thaw.

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Quidi Vidi in summer
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…and winter

 

 

 

 

 

Quicker than you can say “last one in is a rotten egg,” the three of us ran down to the lake’s edge, dropped our book-bags on the shore, and proceeded to jump from ice pan to ice pan across the surface of the deep water. Not once did either of us think anything could go wrong. I guess we were so young and naive, we had no fear of the risk we were taking.

Luckily, Nancy’s father happened to drive along the Boulevard while we were playing there. Before we knew it, we were swiftly ordered into his car and driven home. At the time, we didn’t feel so lucky, but I shudder at the thought of what could have gone down if he hadn’t. Perhaps all of us!

Of course, our parents were outraged and we all received our punishment. The next time I saw my friend Nancy, she told me that her father gave her a good spanking.

“And that was it?” I asked, incredulous. My parents didn’t give spankings as discipline. They knew what really hurt: grounding my sister and me for a full week. No outdoors for seven days except to go to school.

I remember thinking at the time that Nancy had gotten off easy compared to us. Yes, she’d endured a spanking, but at least her suffering was “behind” her. 😉

Now I realize Mom and Dad had wanted us to appreciate how dangerous our activity was, by giving us a whole week to think about it. Never again did we dare to risk drowning by “copying pans.”

*copy:   To jump from one floating pan of ice to another in a children’s game of following or copying a leader when the ice is breaking up in spring in a cove or harbour. A game of follow-my-leader over the broken ice, every cake of which, it may be, sinks under the weight of a lad. It is a training for the perilous work of seal hunting, which came later in the life of  Newfoundlanders. You will see the merry young lads ‘copying’ as they call it—jumping from pan to pan till far out in the Cove in fearless rivalry. ~ Dictionary of Newfoundland English

Did you ever jump on ice pans when you were a kid?

Have you ever done something new and regretted it?

Kids Say the Darndest Things – 2

My granddaughter is ten years old now, though in some ways she will always be my baby girl. DSC04825

When she was three and her brother was one, I took care of them for about a year and a half when my daughter returned to her nursing position at the Janeway Children’s Hospital. This was just before Paul and I moved to Newtown.

During the routine of caring for them, I would jot down anything our little girl said that made me smile.

At three years old:

“Nanny, I’m ‘boring’!”
“Oh, you are, are you? How about we go for a walk then?”
“Can’t we do something ‘funner’?”

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Padmé was the name of her first cat. While she stroked her head gently: “I love       Padmé even when she scratches me.”

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While we were making cookies: “You’re going to Lead Cove this weekend, are you?”
“Yes, Nanny, so you’re going to miss us for a while.”

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Her baby brother fell, bumped his head and cried. When he finally calmed down, she       looked at me sadly and said, “I don’t like when that happens to my brother. It makes       me scared.” (How well she articulates her feelings at such a tender age.)

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“Nanny, it’s raining. Can I go outdoors with my ‘amp-brella’?”

“Your mac and cheese is ready, sweetie.”
“How come you didn’t say ‘roni’, Nanny?”

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“I don’t want to grow up, Nanny.”
“Everybody grows up, honey. Why don’t you want to grow up?”
“Because I want you to always babysit me.”

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She and her brother were fighting over something. “I’m so disappointed in him!”

(And continuing to build her vocabulary:) “This is so frustrating!”

(In reply to something I said to her:) “Apparently!”

This one floored me: “Oh, Nanny, I don’t know what to do with my life!”

Feeding her baby like Mommy does :)
Feeding her baby like Mommy does 🙂

She was telling me that she saw a cowboy when she was out with her mommy.
“He had a real cowboy hat and cowboy boots!”
“Where did you see him?”
“At the booze store.”

“When I grow up, I’m going to get married.”
“And who are you going to marry?”
Matter-of-factly, she said, “My brother.”

Playing dress-up in Mommy's wedding dress
Playing dress-up in Mommy’s wedding dress

Four years old:

Holding her brother’s face in her hands: “His eyes are so beautiful, I could cry!”

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Talking about her bad dream from the night before: “My dreams are broken.”

“What did you dream about last night, Nanny?” (I think she’s the only person who             ever asked me that!)

“Nanny, you’re so sweet.”
“Why am I sweet?”
“Because you do so many things for us.”

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She was telling me about the dead, mangled shrew that her cat Ginger had brought          home recently. “Nanny, you could see inside it. It looked like old wires, like inside my      very old couch.”

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I commented on the cut on her leg.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she said fearfully. The next day she announced out of        the blue: “I’m ready to talk about my ‘owie’ now.”

We were out for a walk around the block when she pointed at a little girl across the           street. “That’s my friend!”
“What is her name?”
“I don’t know…”

She told me about one day when another relative came to babysit. “When I saw it              wasn’t you, I screeched!”
“Why, sweetheart?”
“I wanted you, Nanny, because I love you so much. I’ll love you till the stars fall from      the sky…but that will never happen, so I’ll always love you.”

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*Only last three photos were taken by yours truly. All others taken by the children’s Mommy and Daddy.

What cute things did your children or grandchildren say?
Please share below!

Further Reading: Kids Do Say The Darndest Things

The Best Gifts

2009
Christmas 2009

Dear Santa:

Just a little message
it’s the same one every year
I do not yearn for presents
as Christmas Day draws near

what I wish for yuletide
is not inside your sack
I have been blessed already
there’s nothing that I lack

because on Christmas morning
 when we gather ’round the tree
to see these little faces
is the only gift I need.

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I’m taking a short break from blogging until after the New Year.
Wishing one and all a happy and healthy Holiday season!

Further Reading from Jennifer’s Journal:
Christmas Renewed

No Tricks, Only Treats

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When Menchies opened in St. John’s a few years back,
it was an instant hit with my grandchildren.

Not actually ice cream but frozen yogurt, it still makes for terrific sundaes.

As if you couldn’t tell by those mega-watt smiles! Ha ha 😀

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Ice cream is happiness condensed. – Jessi Lane Adams

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not! – Anonymous

The best way to teach children about taxes is to eat 30% of their ice cream.
– Bill Murray

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What’s your favourite treat when you like to reward yourself?

This Week’s Photo Challenge: Treats
Three Day Quote Challenge

Times Change: My Boy & Me

As promised, here is Part Two of yesterday’s post, where I continue down memory lane, this time with my son Brian. Unfortunately, most of the photos from his childhood do not include me (I was holding the camera), so I filled in with other loved ones.

My Mom & Dad with Brian
 Brian with his Nanny & Poppy Kelland
Isn't he cute? <3
In the bathtub. Isn’t he cute?
First Birthday - with Corina & Denise
First Birthday – with Corina & Denise
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There you are, Mommy, to clean up my mess – or to feed me cake crumbs 🙂
An oldie but goodie - making bread
An oldie but goodie – making bread
Handsome little Man
Handsome little Man
with Nan & Pop again
with Nan & Pop again
Celebrating Grad Day
Celebrating Grad Day
How big you've grown, my boy!
How big you’ve grown, my boy

~ So ends this two-part series of my Blast From the Past. ~

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

What does change mean to you?

Times Change: My Girl & Me

 I’m changing things up a bit today with a Blast from the Past:

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Me as a new mom with Denise 
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She’s growing!
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…and growing
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Baby no more
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Lots of mileage on the girl on the right 😉
Me & Denise with her own family
Me & Denise with her own family

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

~ Stay tuned tomorrow for: My Boy & Me ~

What does change mean to you?

So Long, Summer

Although the calendar tells me it is now officially fall, I am enchanted by these last few days of beautiful temperate weather we are enjoying in Newfoundland. Paul and I even had a chance to lie in the sun and read yesterday evening. It was so gorgeous on our deck that we didn’t want to go inside for supper until the sun sank low on the horizon.

As much as I love the summer temperatures, it’s nearly time to say good-bye.
Happily, I have a nostalgic affection for fall and everything it brings.

Here are a couple of pics I snapped of ripening apples
on our recent trip to Springdale in Green Bay:
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The view beyond the apple trees:

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We stayed overnight in nearby King’s Point.
Here is the view from our room the next morning:

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King’s Point Pottery

Before leaving, I made sure to visit the pottery and craft store to browse and to buy a few things:
012If you ever get the opportunity to visit the area, do stop in here. You won’t be sorry.

One of the perks of my husband’s job is joining him on these road trips.
We love any opportunity to visit the many corners of our island.

***
Two evenings ago, I had to run for my camera again.
The sunset on Perry’s Point was so stunning,
I think Maisie and Vivian were even spellbound:
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107After the sun disappeared, the sky took on a strikingly different quality:
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Another good-bye…
That same evening, I received a call from my sister.
My beloved aunt in the U.S. had passed away suddenly.

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I am inclined to let imagination take hold,
to fancy that as she went to join my dad (her brother),
she painted that sky as a farewell to her loved ones here at home.

Rest easy, Aunt Irene. All is well.