Hope Remains

By: Sandy Churchill

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Amid political conventions and daily scandals circling the upcoming presidential election, it seems tough to find good news and maintain optimism. “He said/she said” accusations, press bias, cynicism, and lack of character fill the airwaves and conversations seem dotted with dejected spirits and disbelief on the state of our country and its future leadership. It is in this climate that I recently heard wisdom from a five-year-old child.

The scene was a week-long Vacation Bible School—where music, faith, crafts, games, and inspiration filled five mornings with fun, friendship, and daily lessons on character, prayer, and God’s love. My daughter and I volunteered to run the pre-school area of the Bible camp while my 11 year-old son attended camp with the elementary school students.

The weather was 90 degrees + every single day and most of the church space is not air-conditioned. Cool breaks outside in the shade and popsicle time took the edge off the heat, but our quest was non-stop caring, teaching, and guiding the little ones each morning. While early-to-bed, early-to-rise should have been the daily prescription for energy this week, I confess I stayed up too late following the conventions and letting my blood pressure rise in the face of gloomy political scandals and lies, lies, lies. My faith in human nature—like many in our country—is uncharacteristically shaken and my usual optimistic spirit is sadly negative and brooding.

So it is in this climate that a sweet, bright-eyed kindergartener cheered me with his morning announcement that “Jesus gives us hope!” Though he was repeating the daily lesson from the prior Bible camp day, his words stirred in me a quiver of –dare I say it—hope. For me, this faith in God is a key reminder that human frailties are not front and center. I need not worry constantly about ISIS, crime, a crippled economy, tight finances, dishonest government, duplicitous leadership, and so on and so on. I have faith. I can pray.

Children have a way of simplifying things and trusting in the bigger picture. Sometimes, we adults over-complicate things. I can still have hope. I have faith. I can commit my time, energy, love, attention, and spirit to family, friends, working hard, volunteering, and making a daily difference one kind word, one kind act at a time.

So thank you five-year-old Benjamin. You restored my faith in the future. Jesus, indeed, gives us hope.

 

 

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Easy Olympics Craft

By: Kathy Trainor

The Olympics are very popular in my house. We watch the opening night every year, summer and winter. This year, my niece will join me. It is easy for the boys to do crafts since they are older, but for a 2-year-old, it is hard.Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 6.34.49 PM

We did a simple craft she can use in her hair. 

Supplies

Hair Tie

Yarn cut into 3-4 inch strands

Instructions

Take the first piece of yarn and tie onto the hair tie.  Make a double knot

Repeat with multiple pieces of yarn.

As you progress, keep the tied yarn together as pieces can get in the way.

When you think you have enough pieces, it is ready to wear!

Posted in arts & crafts, fuggs and foach, Kathy Trainor, Olympics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calling ALL Women with Children

June Cleaver.jpgWe’re still looking for more ladies to join our Signature Moms blog team!

You don’t need to be June Cleaver to write for the Signature Moms blog! (But if you are, enter the contest because we want all sorts of ladies for the blog.)

You don’t have to be a “traditional mom” to join our team. We are also looking for sisters, aunts, grandmothers, stepmoms, foster and adoptive moms, or any other woman who is the primary caretaker for a child.

Are you a mom with grown children? How has your parenting perspective changed?

Are you pregnant with your first child? Share the journey with us!

Grandmothers, what is it like to see your children with children? How has your parenting style changed from when you were raising your kids?

Are you a sister or aunt that has had to step in and take care of a child?

To enter the contest, visit Signature Healthcare’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/MySignatureCare and become a fan by clicking the Like button. Upload a video or post a short essay on why you’d be a great blogger. If your post is persuasive – whether it’s funny, touching or engaging, you could be one of five area women selected for a $300 prize and the opportunity to become a Signature Moms blogger!

 

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My Southern 4th of July

By: Carolyn Coleman

Growing up, my July 4th was hot and extremely humid, but most of all filled with lots of family fun.

In my hometown of New Orleans, LA, July 4th was a day to eat lots of grilled food, hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs. In New Orleans, it was also a tradition to have boiled seafood, which consisted of jumbo shrimp, crawfish, crabs, corn, red potatoes and sweet sausage.

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New Orleans is listed as one of eight best US cities to celebrate the 4th of July, with all the excitement of the French Quarter activities, where you can also walk around in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying food and drinks.

Celebrating the 4th of July at home always provided something for the whole family to enjoy. There were times when we would take our cookouts to one of the local parks; what’s more fun for a kid than to just be in the park all day.bbq.png

It did not matter what you did all day, you always ended the day at the fireworks celebration on the banks of the Mississippi with the annual Go Fourth on the River extravaganza. The celebration is filled with a fireworks show to the tune of patriotic music; it’s an amazing and spectacular show.

Boston also has a great 4th of July celebration, filled with celebrations on the Esplanade, the fireworks on the Charles River.

What are you most memorable 4th of July celebrations?

 

 

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Let the Games Begin!

By: Sandy Churchillsettlers-of-catan-2-1192459.jpg

Upon returning from a recent game conference in Columbus, Ohio, our family was encouraged and recharged from life’s stresses—thanks to three and a half days of games, games, and more games. These are not video games—nor are they the simple-stream variety of Monopoly, Checkers, or Candyland. They are European-style board games of strategysome competitive, some collaborative—where a ten-year-old can play a 70-something opponent and delve into the fun and challenge of brain-teasing entertainment.

Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Ascension, Settlers of Catan, Splendor, and other games topped the “Board Room” tables, while Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, and Dungeons & Dragons filled the schedule of events and tournaments. Inventors showcased beta models of their latest game ideas, and authors conducted workshops and signed books.

But amid all of the chaos of wandering the show floor, glimpsing jeweled dice and painting miniature game figures, the best moment of the show weekend happened the last night we attended. A gentleman in the Rio Grande (game company) room who had shown us several games over the past couple days was on his way out of the conference center when he bumped into us near midnight. We thanked him for his hospitality and the fantastic weekend of learning games, meeting travelers from all over the country, and engaging in wonderful strategy, as we mastered the latest versions of some family favorites. During the conversation, he halted us with a blunt question; he asked us if we were Christians. We responded yes, we were, but asked how he knew. Aside from my husband’s spiritually themed t-shirts, he said he could tell by how we treated each other. Stunned, we were touched by his directness and observation. The conversation turned to society today, the tough election news blasting the airways, and the lack of family time in an often stressed-out culture with little direction or focus. He commented that in this difficult society, we can only do the best we can, spend time with our families, raise children and grandchildren, and play some games along the way.

tikal-1469963.jpgHis philosophy of living the best lives we can, trying to be good people, and putting our efforts into raising good families was his simple way of reminding me to not to worry too much about circumstances beyond our control. Essentially, “have faith” was the message. This was a needed reminder that living in the moment is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a shallow thing. Living in the moment, focusing on your loved ones, and embracing today can be the best antidote to anxiety and callousness in the world in which we reside. And the fun in the message? We cultivate gratitude with those we love, and play a few games along the way.

Posted in Board Games, Family, Games, Mommy Advice, Parenting Advice, Sandy Churchill | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Become A Signature Moms Featured Blogger!

We’re excited to announce that we’re sponsoring another Signature Moms Blog Contest! All mothers, grandmothers and aunts in the South Shore area of Massachusetts are invited to enter from June 20, 2016 to July 26, 2016. The contest will culminate with five women winning $300 each. The selected ladies will join Sandy Churchill, Tanya Pimental, Signature Moms.jpgMartianne Stanger, and Kathy Trainor as featured bloggers on the Signature Moms Blog.

The Signature Moms Blog has an active subscriber base of more than 2,700 followers, and in just over five years has seen over 170,000 visitors checking out local, mom-specific posts from featured area bloggers selected from similar contests. In that time, the blog received several awards from leading healthcare organizations such as the New England Society for Healthcare Communications and the Healthcare Advertising Awards.

To enter the contest, visit Signature Healthcare’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/MySignatureCare and become a fan by clicking the Like button. Upload a video or post a short essay on why you’d be a great blogger. If your post is persuasive – whether it’s funny, touching or engaging, you could be one of five area women selected for a $300 prize and the opportunity to become a Signature Moms featured blogger.

Each featured blogger will be asked to write one post per month. The topics will vary greatly, depending on the personalities of the bloggers and their range of daily experiences in the community. Some of their blog posts will come in the form of video posts. The bloggers will meet in person quarterly at ‘blogger brunches’ to share ideas and brainstorm upcoming topics.

Make sure to visit us on our Facebook page and leave us a message on the Wall stating why you think you’d be a terrific blogger – and you could win!

Posted in Aunt, Blog Contest, blogging, Grandparents, Mommy Blog Contest, Signature Moms Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Dye Tie Dye

By: Kathy Trainor

No Dye Tie Dye is something that has you wondering, what am I talking about now? Tie Dye you always need Dye! Well, after much preschool debate on our school playground amongst the teachers, we found out that we DON’T need Tie Dye at all. Tie Dye is costly, messy and you need a great deal of equipment to to do the event. This also means children may not fully be able to participate. Most often the adults end up doing a great deal of the work. Not really a child-friendly summer craft is it?

This is where No Dye Tie Dye comes in. It is a low cost art activity that any child can do.

You simply can have a child color a shirt and use rubbing alcohol to make the colors bleed and blend. It is suggested to use a light color shirt, though we found to complete the No Dye Tie Dye you should be using a white shirt to have the best effect of the colors bleeding.

No Dye Tie Dye is also recommended to be used with permanent markers for bright vibrant colors. You can use washable colors for the No Dye Tie Dye but you will want to set this with vinegar to allow the washable makers not to wash out. This also means this activity can be done with children ages 1-101. Just make sure to use care with smaller children.

What do you need for No Dye Tie Dye?

  • Markers ( we like permanent )
  • White T-shirt or any light colored shirt. 
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Medication Dropper
  • Cup or Cans  (optional if you want a Tie Dye look)
  • Rubber Bands (optimal if you want a Tie Dye Look)

Choose a spot to start and put your cup right side up and secure a rubber band around the cup rim, holding the shirt tightly in place.Screen-Shot-2015-05-10-at-3.27.19-PM1.png

Pick your colors and create a small design in the center of the stretched circle. We kept our designs to about the size of a 20 ounce cup because the alcohol will make the colors spread out a lot.

Once the child is done the No Dye Tie Dye starts.  Using your dropper, drip approximately 10 drops of rubbing alcohol in the center of your design and watch the colors spread and bleed.Screen-Shot-2015-05-10-at-3.27.49-PM1.png

Posted in arts & crafts, Children's activities, Crafts, Kathy Trainor, Summer DIY Projects | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment