Giving you ONE hour

I was joking with some folks Saturday afternoon about what they were going to do with their extra hour yesterday. The clocks rolled back an hour for daylight savings time at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning giving us an extra hour in our day.

It’s like a gift. How many times do you find yourself saying, “If I only hand more hours in a day.” Well, yesterday you did. Sixty whole minutes. Yes, initially those minutes came in the middle of the night; so most people say their time was used sleeping. Given that my Sunday morning routine was pretty normal, I didn’t feel the extra hour until last night when it got dark at 7:00 p.m. I was starting to get that “it’s time to settle in feeling.” I did get one chore done that has been nagging at me for months so I’ll give credit to having an extra hour in my day.

mertle cartoonI’m not sure if daylight savings time begins or ends in the fall. If it’s ending in fall, are we getting the hour back we gave last spring or are we being given an hour on loan from next spring when we will be forced to give it back. Why doesn’t the time change get confused when during a leap year when we have an entire day added to our calendar? These and others are the questions that confound me about time. It’s like trying to grasp water.

Some fun facts about daylight savings – Some historical leaders are credited with creating daylight savings time to conserve candles and fuels for creating light during war times. In the early part of the century it was said that daylight savings time benefited the farmers as well as summer recreation such as ballgames. Today daylight savings time is used in 70 countries around the world. Most of the US participates in daylight savings time except for Hawaii and parts of Arizona.

What did you do with your extra hour yesterday?

KK

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.

                — Benjamin Franklin

Advertisements

The Thrill of Delivery

Today is October 30, 2014.

My first email this morning was amazing. It was from the Franklin Covey Company informing me that my 2015 planner had been shipped!! [Please note, I will not be running down the street in Steve Martin new-telephone-book-style when it arrives, but I might just do the Snoopy dance in my foyer.] This along with the fact that I have to go to Staples today for some paper clips, ink and envelopes makes me smile. It’s like back to school day for a forty-something year old!! Of course, knowing my new planner is on its way and that it’s the end of the month moved me to examine the current state of the 2014 planner.

snoopy dance

The fourth quarter pages were inserted with the previous months being removed. Then I ventured to review my 2014 goals pages. Not too shabby. Several items checked off while others will move forward into 2015.

This all may sound juvenile to some, but come on, we are all grown up and completely responsible for our commitments to raising a family and bringing home the funds to care for them. We must have those moments in day, week or month that just let us experience child-like excitement.

What stirs your child-like thrill? Don’t have one? Go find one, they can be located on the playgrounds or neighborhoods when the ice cream truck music wafts through the air. Or when the first snowflakes fall and the snow day announcement comes. This high level thrill can also be found when that ONE gift is opened at Christmas or birthday; the thing they never thought would arrive. Or find yourself outside a school on the last day at the last bell. You’ll see the excitement that drifts from our scheduled behavior somewhere in our mid-twenties.

Give it a listen and let me know if you don’t find yourself a little happier in your heart.

 Linus and Lucy piano Peanuts theme song Vince Guaraldi

All the best,

KK

1461 days

There are approximately 1461 days from the time our students walk in to high school at age 14 or 15 and when they graduate at age 18 or 19. Over teen 2half of those days are spent in school being educated academically and socially. Being able to navigate academics and the social setting are critical to their success in college and beyond. The teachers and educators need to do their job in the classroom, but we need to do ours in the home.

As I see it (note that I’ve only raised a child to age 14 so far), over the next four years parenting is a process of letting go; giving our children rules or guard rails and then letting them navigate. We need to lifeguard them through these waters. There will be times when it feels like a tug-of-war – they want more freedom than you are willing to give and you don’t know how much to give. If we do this correctly, our kids will have just enough freedom so that when they mess up we can help make the correction. And when they do well, we can recognize their good judgment.

Academics

teen 3There are over 700 days of high school learning. This level of academics should not only teach facts and figures, but also how to think critically. The classes our students take should help them as they begin to figure out are they more science and math oriented or arts and literature minded. These small decisions will begin to lead them toward their next level of education – college or trade school. Guiding a student toward their natural aptitude isn’t just the teacher’s task; this is part of parenting. A young person can change a lot in four years. Parents need to allow them to grow up and grow out of childish things. Parents need to allow them to change. Take time and an interest in guiding your child to learn more about what they like to do. Volunteering is a great way to give a young person experience in an area they may love. Volunteering is also a great precursor to a first job.

Social

A young person’s social life and experiences become very important during high school. It is important that they find friends who are encouraging and fun. This is a great time for parents to help foster good friend choices. Help the high school student understand that who they hang out with archiesays something about themselves. Being affiliated with the wrong people can lead to trouble. This can include who they choose to date. Boyfriends and girlfriends can have too much power over the thoughts and actions of the other. This is an area that parents need to stay engaged. Know who your child’s friends are. Do you call to confirm parties will be chaperoned? Do you read your student’s texts?

This may frustrate your high schooler, but who cares? Oh, you do and that is why you read their texts and call to make sure all is right with the party or event they have been invited to. Reading text messages provides parents with the opportunity to not only learn about their own children, but also about the friend group. The key to this is for the parent to not over-react. I speak from experience on this one. Remember no matter what you read, that the only person in the text conversation you are responsible for is your own child. My rule is that I won’t say anything about what the friends’ text unless it’s something dangerous or illegal. This opens the door to talk about social media and remembering that anything texted, emailed or posted can come back to haunt.

On the party front, one way to not sound like all you are doing is checking up is to call the parent of the student having the party and confirm the time and location and then ask if you can send something – cookies, soda etc. This will open a conversation about the evening and makes it easier to ask about chaperones.

Spiritual

When a young person graduates from high school and goes off to college, work, military or trade school, it is absolutely critical they have a firm spiritual foundation. It’s in those first few years out of high school that if a young person doesn’t stand for something, they will fall for anything. The world can be a scary place for a young person who isn’t grounded in their faith. The mistakes they make at this level can have consequences that are steeper and harder to correct. Academics and social are important, but the choices that will make can be made with much more maturity and wisdom if they have a confidence in their faith.

 

While high school is a time to begin cutting the apron strings, the strings should still be attached. Parents need to remember that a high school teenstudent should be given the freedom to make some of their own decisions; knowing as parents, we are their safety net. We are available to lovingly guide the teenager through the successes and consequences of their choices. Parents, we are still in charge of these young people. Don’t let go too early. What appears to be a mature young man or lady, is really a child who just taller than we are. Inside they are screaming for us to be in charge and help them.

Let me challenge you to do 3 things each day for 1461 days: pray for your children, hug them and tell them they are loved. If you are reading this and have no children of your own, go ahead and do this for a niece or nephew or some other close young person in your life. Pray for their parents as well.-

A teenager who knows they are loved and has someone in their corner will make better choices in friends and activities.

Just a thought,

KK

Being Crafty

craft itemsA couple of weeks ago I went to a well-known craft store (the mecca of crafters in the Louisville area).  I am not a crafter, but I recognize the value of this store.  We needed a piece of black photo matting and spray adhesive for a project my son was working on.

As I walked in a whoosh of the aroma of glue sticks, paint and artificial flowers overcame me.  Having shopped in this store I knew the direct path to the photo/framing area.   A sales lady greeted me and wanted to help me quickly (20 minutes to closing).  There was little chit-chat.  She understood what I was looking for, but kept trying to sell me far more of the mat board than I wanted.  This would have saved her from having to custom cut a piece.  Nonetheless, she finally relented and understood that for my purposes, a custom piece was the best buy.  She went to make the cuts.

Prior to her exit, I asked where I could find spray adhesive.  Remember I’m a stranger in this land of craft supplies.  Her answer taught me just how much I didn’t know about where I was.   She said, “Follow this aisle at the back of the store past the craft items; it will be down the aisle on the left.”   While I listened to all of the directions, when I turned to follow the back aisle, it occurred to me that in my inexperienced mind, ALL of the aisles were craft items.  I didn’t realize there were sub-categories of craft items.  I had to wonder, are there other things I needed to know, like the language and crafting etiquette? Watch your manners…

Having only five minutes left in store hours according to the overhead speaker, I began the journey looking down EVERY aisle.  Before I got too far off the one aisle I knew would lead me back to my custom cut board, a friendly clerk asked to help and led me directly to adhesive spray and even made a suggestion.craft items 2

True confession:  going to a craft supply store makes me want to buy, take up a craft and create something.

Store was closing – whew – bought only what I needed and left.  No new hobbies.  To my friends who are crafters, you have my admiration and appreciation for your talents.

What are your hobbies?

All the best,

KK

Tis the Season

For the last eight years February was the beginning, March was the get ready and April was GO! The ritual hasn’t changed come rain, sleet, snow and sunshine, THIS is the start of the big season. Over the years the prep time has grown to the point of not really feeling like the season ever ends. Are we finishing that one or getting ready for this one? And over the years, while still full of hustle and bustle, the season has become more enjoyable; so much so that even I am looking forward to getting things going.

We’ve made our annual pilgrimage that feels (and costs) a lot like buying school supplies, to the sporting goods store. We’ve checked the list and made sure the supplies are ready…

Pants, check. Socks and belt, check. Cup, check. Water bottle, check. Stadium seats, check. Sunflower seeds, check. Camera, check. Clothing for any and all kinds of weather, check. Hand warmers, check.

The season of which I’m referring and currently planning for is none other than youth baseball season! You were thinking that, right?

This will be the first year for metal cleats. That’s my boy behind the plate, don’t you slide into home and into his pretty face with those spikes! Thinking it, not saying it…I learned several years ago the best position for me to play during the game; number one fan! I’m at just about every game in the stands and cheering our team on. Win or lose, good game or bad, I’m proud of my player and his team for preparing and showing up to play their best on the field.

Little league and now collegiate baseball is amazing. We watch our kids grow from picking flowers in the outfield when they are five years old to being young men who play their position with skill and precision. They stand tall and are proud of the team they represent. Win or lose they show the character of the men they are becoming when they encourage the opposing team.

The coaches, us parents don’t always understand their game strategy, but we trust them with our boys not only because of baseball 1their knowledge of the game, but because they will help us show our sons what it is to be a man with values and integrity. Our boys need good coaches and we have been so blessed to have many. Some of the parents get a little weird and a little over the top when the umpire is having a bad day. But within minutes after the final run is scored, it’s the boys who are bugging around talking highlights, tossing a ball around having already forgotten the bad calls.

I do love all the things that make youth baseball great: the game strategies, being outside on a sunny day watching our boys play with absolutely nothing electronic but the scoreboard, the crack of the bat or the whap when the ball hits the catcher’s mitt and the excitement when the perfect play is made.

With the final flakes of snow melting away, our team will take the field this weekend having shaken the dust off their bats, grown in maturity, taller in stature, and better in skill. I can’t wait to see what happens! Win or lose, it will be a good season.

All the best,
KK