The Person Who Care For Your Child Deserves and Earns Your Appreciation Today! A Big Thank You To Military Spouses and MUCH More!

May 10th

Childcare Provider Appreciation Day  – This has to be one of the most under appreciated jobs in the world.  No, I am not a childcare provider, but I was raised in an in-home daycare, and my Mom is the most AMAZING childcare provider in the history of childcare providers.  And no, I’m not exaggerating!  From the time I was quite young we had other people’s children in our home.  At first it was just a couple here and there to help out someone at church, or a friend.  Little by little people learned that my Mom was there, at home, was wonderful with even the most difficult of children, and worked at far below the pay level that she was worth.  She’s always had a very difficult time standing up for herself when it comes to pay, so when I say she was seriously underpaid. . . well, let’s just say that that is a drastic understatement. Gradually she had enough people who wanted her to watch their kids that it became necessary to apply for her childcare license.  Suddenly we had LOTS of children coming and going in our house every day.  Not all at once, but throughout the day, some before school, then more after the first shift got onto the bus, then a switch with kindergarten kids coming and going, followed by an influx of after school chaos.  I’d say, during the summer, up to 20 kids a day.  And Mom was absolutely in control of it all.  Not a sticky face or fingers escaped her notice.  Games and crafts were organized, picnics in the yard routine, laughter, hugs, ouchies lovingly tended, and nutritious (mostly) snacks dispensed with order and it was a common thing to have an wiggly line of children jumping happily through the sprinkler in the yard, sometimes fully clothed rather than in bathing suits, with the giggles ringing out to spread the joy to anyone who heard.  Oh sure, there were squabbles, messes, the occasional pushing match between some of the more boisterous of the kids, but all it took was a firm word from Mom, with perhaps a bit of a glower from my usually grumpy Dad, combined with bit of time to think in the time-out corner, to straighten everything out.  She has been to the graduations, marriages, baby showers and other life events of these children, all of them knowing that she was just like a 2nd mother, and eventually a grandmother to them.  She had kids from the time they were a few months old until well after they no longer actually needed a provider any more.  Nobody really liked to let her go . . . she was THAT good.  Over time having all of those children at the house was just too much, so she made the switch to private Nanny.  She’s nearly 70 now, and due to some health issues, she’s likely retired from even that, but the memories live on, the kids still call and check in with her, and she has 100’s and 1000’s of photographs of all of these children taken over all of these years that she takes out and enjoys, chuckling over this one or that one.  Appreciate your children’s caregiver.  They are the most valuable people you will EVER have in your life and the most precious.  Paying for quality for someone who will help raise them, who will be a HUGE influence on their minds and spirits, is worth it.  Scrimp on which brand of detergent you buy, not the person caring for your children.  And to my Mom – watching you with all of those kids for all those years taught me two things . . . how to be a good Mom, and that I knew I would NEVER have a daycare of my own.  I just couldn’t be you and anything less would be doing those children a horrible disservice.

Clean Up Your Room Day –  This one brings back memories, both of my own childhood, and of my own children.  I’d like to think that if we had known there was a day such as this that, at least once a year, I could have been guaranteed that their rooms would be clean.  Sadly I must admit it likely wouldn’t have made a difference.  This is a day though, if the kids know about it, that they very probably dread.  Growing up, as long as we could close the door to our rooms, there wasn’t dirty laundry hanging out in there, and there weren’t any dishes taken in there that would begin to grow science experiments, Mom didn’t make us keep our rooms pristine.  I think its safe to say that we had more clutter issues than anything.  My own kids?  Well, I tried to pass along that whole relaxed attitude my Mom did with me and my brother, but it sort of backfired.  Their rooms were a vast wasteland of horror – the conditions enough to make me run and hide.  Every conceivable corner, nook or cranny was stuffed to capacity with the hoards of toys, clothes, junk and general debris that could only happen in the rooms of children who have 2 sets of Grandparents who weren’t afraid to bring gifts at all times of the year.  Once in awhile I’d have a meltdown . . . literally . . . no seriously, a complete falling apart at the seams, nagging at top volume, threatening the very safety of every item in those rooms, whirling dervish of hurricane force anger at the mountain of debris that was my children’s bedrooms.  This was following days of orders to clean it, followed by days of orders to clean it combined with punishments that grew more harsh and dreaded by the day.  Nothing worked.  Finally, as the top blew off of the volcano of my limited stores of dubious patience, I would lose it, banish the kids to separate corners to contemplate the spot where the walls joined up close and personal, while I began to clean their rooms.  The journey to the corners was made with pleading, tears and begging for me to give them ONE MORE CHANCE!!!!! WE’LL CLEAN IT UP! (insert sound effects of sobs, hysteria and the sight of big blue eyes, filled and overflowing with more waterworks than Niagara Falls) Then the cleaning would commence.  HOURS it took to put everything they owned – except clothing and their Bibles – into garbage bags and haul them to the garage to wait it out until the day came when, one at a time, they could be earned back.  By the time I was finished you’d think these children didn’t own one single item by looking at their rooms.  And that was OK by me.   I’d finish, exhausted, as angry at myself as I was at them . . . and more so at their dad for mysteriously disappearing from the premises during these emotion filled days . . . determined that it would never happen again.  It always did.  Somehow though, they grew up and moved out, and now my son is nearly fanatical about keeping his house clean  (wish I could say that about his teen years when we had to put up a HAZARDOUS WASTE symbol sign on his bathroom door), and my daughter has turned into a minimalist who tosses everything not nailed down if she doesn’t use it at least once in a couple months – unless its clothing or shoes – those have an entire room of their own.  What happened to the kids that had me in tears at least once every few months while I disposed of their belongings?  I must have done something right, and now I pass the torch to them. Someday when they have kids I bequeath to them the wish that they have children JUST like they were . . . payback will make me giggle and it’ll be my turn to spoil them rotten and watch the games begin. 

Fintastic Friday – Giving Sharks a Voice Day – People kill as many as 100 million sharks every year – many of those just for their fins!  Shark populations have plummeted 75% to 90% in many ecosystems.  Worldwide, they have little or not protection.  Well, WhaleTimes has teamed up with the scientists at the Shark Research Institute (SRI) to raise awareness of the plight of sharks through a new holiday event – Fintastic Friday.  Think about this number – its staggering – about 11,415 sharks die . . . EVERY HOUR!  Help ‘Save the Sharks’ by raising awareness and appreciation for this incredible predator, sign a petition for “No Finning” efforts, and anything else you can think of to do.  The sharks need you! They may appear to be scary and face it, sometimes they are! But they are so important to the ecosystem, and to allow them to be endangered is unacceptable.  I saw a special on sharks once that haunted me with its message.  The people who want the sharks for their fins, for a supplement that isn’t even proven to do anything, catch the sharks, cut off their fins, and release them back to the ocean, alive, suffering and dying a painful, horrible death.  This truly is a heinous crime against a magnificent creature, so please, help raise awareness today for this good cause.  Go to www.whaletimes.org to see many ways you can help in these efforts.

National Lupus Day – The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that there are 1.5 million women in the U.S living with lupus. While it’s unknown what exactly causes the disease, experts say that it is more common in women than men, and mostly in women ages 15-40.   What exactly is lupus though?  I know that I’ve heard the name many times, but didn’t have any idea what it was.  Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that attacks the body’s own healthy tissues and organs.  It can damage the joints, skin, kidneys and other parts of the body.  There are three types of lupus:

Systemic Lupus erythematosus: The most serious form of lupus. This type harms the skin, mouth, kidneys, brain, lungs and heart.
Discoid lupus: Lupus that mainly affects the skin.
Drug-induced lupus: This type of Lupus is caused by medications, but goes away when you stop taking your prescribed medication.

Lupus symptoms are not always the same in every person, but  here are some common symptoms:

Joint pain and stiffness, with or without swelling
Muscle aches and pains
Fever with no known cause
Feeling very tired
Skin rashes
Anemia
Trouble thinking, memory problems, confusion
Kidney problems with no known cause
Chest pain when taking a deep breath
Butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks
Sun or light sensitivity
Hair loss

It’s important to note that in some cases lupus can go into remission, and in other cases the disease flares up. There are different forms of treatment for lupus, yet which treatment you take depends on your symptoms and its severity of the disease.  There is some good news though.  If you do have lupus, there are some steps that you can take to lessen the incidence of flare-ups. Mayo Clinic suggests:  Get adequate rest because with lupus comes extreme fatigue. Take naps often and get plenty of rest.  Use sunscreen and cover up your skin, because ultraviolet light can trigger a flare-up.  Exercise regularly because it can help you recover from a flare-up.  Stop smoking because smoking can worsen the effects of lupus on your heart and blood vessels.  Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

 

Military Spouses Day is held on the Friday before Mother’s Day .  It is a day to recognize and honor the real backbone of the military . . . the wives and husbands of our soldiers.  The majority of military spouses are women – this isn’t in any way meant to diminish the contributions of military husbands, but it is a fact of life that most of the spouses waiting at home are the wives.  I’ve known many military wives and their contributions to the spirit and well being of our soldiers it unparalleled.  This goes to the wives/husbands of the wounded veterans as well.  They are still military spouses and deserve to be recognized for all they do.  My daughter is the wife of a WIA veteran – and for every heroic thing he did for our nation, we are proud and grateful – but she is there with him, every step of the way, helping him through the aftermath of what he suffered for his service to our country.  So to each and every one of you who support our men and women in the military from the home front – we thank you and we stand humbled by your service to your country.
Windmill Day – Have you ever been driving through the country side and there ahead of you, stretching as far as you can see, is a windmill farm?  It’s pretty impressive, and these are the new variety.  Windmills are in no way a new technology though.  Since ancient times man has harnessed the power of the wind to provide power for transportation, grinding grain, pumping water, etc.  The exact beginnings of the first windmill is unknown, though it is thought to be of Persian origin, from where the knowledge spread back into Northern Europe as a result of the Crusades.  The earliest windmills were far different from the days, but the concept was similar.  Today we celebrate this rich history, and the beauty of the early windmills.  Modern ones are interesting, but the older ones with the large sails are gorgeous.  The picture attached is one I felt was particularly stunning.  Someday I’d love to actually see one in person for myself.  Please take some time and do a bit of searching for some of the beautiful, historical windmills and appreciate their amazing abilities in a way that I just can’t fit in here in one entry.  It is a fascinating bit of history that is still so useful today.  “Green” energy isn’t new, it’s just updated.   

Food Celebration of the Day –

National Shrimp DayAmericans eat more shrimp than any other seafood, beating out even salmon and canned tuna in popularity.  I wish now I’d looked ahead in the calendar! We had shrimp salad for National Salad Day yesterday! Geesh!  Here are a few recipes, thanks to the folks at www.food.com to help you celebrate this day.  Enjoy!  (The Coconut Shrimp looks particularly delicious.)

Thanks for going with me on my walks down memory lane on a couple of these celebrations.  Some of the topics give me a rush of thoughts that I just have to share!  There’s a lot to celebrate today, and every day, so please enjoy your Friday, have some fun with these and know you made it through another week!  God Bless You – I’ll see you tomorrow!

 

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