Minggu, 06 Juli 2008

My First 4th of July

by Allen Harp

I remember my first 4th of July, as a small boy, perhaps 6 or 7 years old. My Mom and Dad's friends had come to our house to play cards and shoot off some sky rockets. I was kinda bored, waiting for dark and the fireworks to begin. I decided to go into the basement and play. There in the middle of the basement floor set all the things my dad was going to take to summer camp in a couple weeks. He spent his two week summer training at Camp Ripley, Mn. In later years, as a teen, I would accompany Dad to summer camp and work in the mess hall as a helper while he trained.

My dad was my hero, through and through. I always loved looking at his military gear. Most of all I was always intrigued by his footlocker. His name, rank and service number stenciled on the side in dark green paint. It made it seem so official and yet so mysterious. I wanted to get a closer look at this big mysterious box. There was a large lock on the hasp but it was hanging open. As I gingerly peeked inside I saw the usual socks, underwear, hankies, belts, a deck of cards, a couple packs of Raleigh unfiltered cigarettes. He told me in later years he liked to stock up on them at camp because they were so cheap. This was in 1954 or 1055, so I doubt they were much more than $1.50 to $1.75 a carton.

Anyway, as I continued looking around I noticed that the top display section lifted our. I grabbed it and lifted it gently out of the footlocker and sat it on the floor. There were shirts and slacks, khakis and fatigues. Under the top shirts, there in the corner was something shiny. It looked like leather. What treasure was this? I picked it up and looked closely at it. I didn't recognize it. I had never seen it. Wait, there is a flap with a snap on it. I wondered what treasure could possible be tucked inside there.

I lifted it up to get a better look at it and the snap must have been open. As soon as I lifted it up a big black metal thud hit the floor. About the same time it hit the floor, Dad came down the basement steps to check on me. He surveyed the situation and yelled at me..."Allen, get back. Don't touch that! It can hurt you!" He rushed over, picked it up, put it back in the leather pouch, stuck it back in the footlocker, closed the lid and locked the lock.

He looked sternly at me and asked me if I was OK. I answered "Yes Daddy. I'm OK. Why what's the matter?" By this time his eyes were a little moist and he had a strange look on his face. He didn't answer me. I asked him, "Daddy, what was that thing?" This time he answered me..."a gun". "A gun? I asked, "like they kill people with Daddy?" "Yes, Allen." "Daddy, did you ever kill anyone with your gun?" His reply was a muffled sound I could not make out. In later years I found out his answer was "More than I wanted to..."

As I grew into a teen, my father and I talked of his service in WWII. He was stationed in the Philippines. Later on, when the conflict in Korea broke out he went back in and spent time there as well. We often talked of going back to the Philippines for my graduation. We were going to retrace his steps. He always wanted to show me how beautiful he thought the country could be without the war and the pain.

As I grew into a young man, I spent my time in the service, from 1968 to 1977. I was one of the lucky few that received a good assignment. But during those nine years, I learned what that expression was on my father's face that night in the basement. It was the same expression you have when you watch your best buddy suddenly go limp as he is hit with a stinging round. It is the same expression you have when a casket is closed for the last time. It is the expression you have when death stares you in the face and snatches something important away from you...and you know there is absolutely nothing you can do...it is too late to stop it...you can only pray.

My father and I grew much closer as adults. We often talked about the military, politics, the stock market, anything serious. He taught me a lot about life. Some of it I didn't like, but it was the truth. Sometimes the truth isn't always likeable, but you can't change it, so you learn to accept it.

When he died, he had a military funeral. As I stood before his casket, at graveside, the rifles fired their salute and taps played, I raised my hand to salute him. That night in the bedroom is my earliest memory of my dad and his funeral is the last. This highly decorated hero of WWII and Korea had carried a lot of burden throughout his life. I think it was responsible for a lot of the phases in his life, good and bad. But he was my hero. His valor and courage carried him through combat as surely as they carried him through life.

My father was only one of millions of men, and women, who gave their all for their country, without question but carried a painful burden when they returned home. I will certainly remember him and all the rest this Independence Day. They paid for our freedom. Let us not forget them.

About the Author

Allen Harp is founder of American-Valor.com, a loving tribute to all the men and women who serve in the military to protect our freedom.

Accelerate Your Childs Brain Development with Flash Cards

by Donna P.

Studies have shown that the use of flash cards not only helps children's ability to remember vocabulary and math lessons, but the positive effects flash cards may have on the brain can be quite significant.

Flash cards can stimulate the brain with:

PATTERN RECOGNITION
Flash cards that show different patterns stimulate the frontal lobes of the brain which controls emotions, organizing, problem solving and our personality.

DOT PATTERNS
Flash cards that show different patterns of dots help develop the right brain, which improves children's ability to solve math problems.

LETTERS
Letter on flash cards can help develop children's speech development, reading and vocabulary skills.

SEQUENCES
Sequential patterns can positively stimulate a childs brain by using critical thinking, reading comprehension, predicting outcomes and conclusions.

NUMBERS
Flash cards that show numbers and math problems can improve memory and improve mathematics skills.

These are just a few ways that the use of flash cards can build essential brain skills especially in children. Children can especially benefit from these techniques because every day new brain cells are constantly being formed.

For more ways to accelerate your child's brain development see How to Develop Your Childs Genius

About the Author

D Pullen is the owner ofeBookTopChart.com EBookTopChart.com lists some of the bestselling and most recommended eBooks available online. Every eBook reviewed has been tested and recommended. This guide serves those of us who are looking for honest information by weeding out some of the garbage out there. We hope this helps in your search for the truth.

Bath Toys

by Anoop Kumar

Bath toys are important part of baby's bath routine. Bath toys will make your baby enjoy their bathing. There are different types of bath toys available in the toys shops. So it will be a tough task to select the best one for your baby. As these toys are handled daily by your kids, it requires careful observation from parent's side while purchasing toys.

Purchase bath toys that are long lasting and are made up of durable materials as there are chances for the toy to get scattered around while your kid is playing. Buy toys preferably made up of soft materials like clothes, rubber.... etc. Otherwise it will hurt your kid in case the toy accidentally hit him. Also make sure that the toy does not have any sharp or pointy edges.

When you are going to buy bath toys, go with your kids; this will help you to understand their interests also. If the toy is not interesting, it will hold kid's attention only for a few seconds, so consider their interests as well. Select a toy that is fun for your kid and make them play and get entertained with the toys while bathing. Choose toys that are not only fun to play with, but also motivate your kid's mind.

Try to clean the bath toys regularly. Even though the toy is getting daily bath with your kids, it does not mean that the toy is always clean. Remove the soap residue from the toy. After cleaning with water or other material, dry the toys under the sun or use any other option.

So make a better selection of bath toys for your kids and fill their bathing time with fun.

About the Author

http://www.swimbabes.co.uk/

Thinking Of The Children Who Suffer From The Effects Of Divorce

by Britney Smith

Divorce is a devastating process for all parties involved. However, the people that the effects of divorce can be the most devastating for is the children from the marriage. Children might have several feelings about divorce, depending on how young they are. They might not understand what's going on, or they might feel forced to take sides. Whatever the case, one of the most important parts of the divorce process is ensuring that the effects of the divorce on the children are as smooth and seamless as possible.

The Young 'Uns

Young children feel the effects of divorce because oftentimes, they do not understand what exactly is happening. Children five, six, and seven years old cannot make rhyme or reason about why their parents don't love each other anymore. And while they do not need to be told in detail the reasons behind the divorce, they should be told that the divorce is not their fault. The effect of divorce on many young children is the tendency to think that it is somehow their own fault�"and it is up to the parents to tell them that this is not true.

Acting Out

Another common effect of divorce on children is that the children begin to act out, in school and at home. Divorces can be long, time consuming processes�"and many times, the kids get lost in the shuffle. Children will often act out in order to get their parent's attention. It is important that parents in the process of getting a divorce continue to devote time to their children.

Dealing With Devastation

Many marriages end on good terms. However, other marriages end in divorce as the result of a disaster�"an affair, or a history of domestic violence. While getting a divorce is the first step toward eliminating the effect of these two monstrosities on the children involved, it is not the last step. Domestic violence and infidelity can leave long lasting effects on children, even after the divorce. Some children might have trouble trusting the opposite sex, and some may have relationship problems later on. Providing counseling for children if needed is important in order to help them handle the effects of divorce.

Parental Responsibilities

Though a divorce is caused by the problems between parents, the effects of the divorce on the children of the marriage are greater than those on others. These effects should be the primary concern of the parents�"after all, handling them falls under basic parental responsibilities.

About the Author

Britney Smith is an Internet Marketer that writes articles on various resources. She shares her thoughts on Woman and Men Relationship Problem invites you to her website to Discover The Magic of Making up which can solve your relationship

How Freelancing Changed My Family

by Tisha A. Kulak

When my only child was born, I was able to stay home with her until the age of eight months. After that, it became necessary that I leave home life and join back into the working world, which meant daycare and even more expenses. I know that daycare did help to make my daughter more socially active and perceptive, leaving her there 5 full days a week quite frankly sucked. Plus, the added expense almost made it counterproductive to even go back to work to make money. Until my daughter was 5, I worked full time jobs for people who could have cared less about me, my family, or my obligations to that family. My husband worked full time on swing shift hours and never had weekends off. Basically, during those years we all just coexisted.

I already knew I wanted to work for myself since graduating high school, but it was many years before I would eventually do just that. As the start of kindergarten approached, my husband transferred positions within his company and landed a Monday-Friday schedule. It was time to do something. I finally made the leap the February before the start of a new school year. I had one client I worked with doing marketing work. The money was better than the job I had just quit so it seemed like things were worth the risk... until the rug was pulled out from under me and I lost the client due to his lack of money six months later. I freaked out and scoured the internet for a new client with no success. That is, until I answered a craigslist ad for an administrative assistant and my life and the life of my family changed for the good in a way I didn’t think was possible.

I met Debbie Dragon who quickly surmised being an administrative person was essentially “beneath me” because I was a great writer. I already kinda’ knew that but had no idea I could make a living writing. But she not only proved herself to me in no time at all, she proved to me that there was a ton of opportunity and money in the online writing world. Lo and behold, her coaching me actually evolved into a full blown class for other people called Make Money From Writing- because of my success and because she was constantly getting hounded by strangers asking her for advice.

My family’s life has changed immensely for the positive. My daughter went off to kindergarten as excited as could be and was even happier to find me waiting for her bus when she returned home, as I was able to do everyday for the entire school year. Even though I was really business in just a few short months and making sufficient money, I still had complete control over my life and my schedule. Of course, time management isn’t always a piece of cake but I finally feel that I truly have my family back. I may be on the laptop when they want to talk to me but at least I am here for them in the same room. We can finally take impromptu road trips to go camping or visiting. We can eat dinner that I finally have time to make each night as a family. Both my daughter and husband respect my time when I am working on most days and benefit the most from my career change.

Personally, the freedom gained has only encouraged me to go farther. To take it all behind anything I could have imagined and surprisingly, not only am I doing that, but I am finding it easier and easier since making that initial jump. Even if writing is not your cup of tea, just going after your own passion can improve the quality of your life a hundred times over. It makes everything seem so much more wonderful because I know that while sometimes I may be chained to a laptop, it is MY laptop and I am working for only me and those that I love. No longer am I having to fake a commitment to someone I loathe! What freedom! If you have the dreams and the desire to change your life, just do it.

About the Author

Tisha Kulak is a freelance writer and the first student of the MakeMoneyFromWriting.com freelance writing program that teaches writers how to earn a consistent income from their efforts. Tisha is a work at home mom, enjoying the benefits of writing for pay.

Baby Product Review

by Katie Byrd

After all the drama with the 9-month pregnancy period comes the aftermath, the raising of the baby. Now, most parents would be well equipped with the baby's necessities be it from shopping or stuff given by friends and family.

The baby product industry has always been around producing products that range from clothing and baby cribs to baby bottles and toys.

Any parent would want to shower their children with a lot of love and one of the ways would be spending on the baby for the very best products.

Just because babies are tiny and their products comes in small packages, it does not necessarily mean that it is cheap. The prices of commercialised baby products has sky rocketted to the point that not all parents can afford to buy known household names. Just like how the media made skinny the new black, our generation has come to adore and worship branded products. Some parents are pressured into buying all these brands to keep up with other parents.

Parents should make good judgment about the products they buy and not be influenced into going out of their financial way to keep up with peer pressure.

About the Author

Would you like to have the insights on information about pregnancy? We have information from the early signs of pregnancy all the way through breastfeeding, we'll give you tips and resources for a great pregnancy!

Introducing Your Toddler To Music

by Janice Tuck

If you have a toddler who just can't wait to play the piano, here are some ideas that require no previous experience in playing.

Through my experience with working with toddlers, I have found that they are usually not able to cope with sitting at the piano for long periods of time. They tend to show tones of curiosity in the anticipation of playing and then it disappears quickly when it's time for a turn. It is quite normal at this age to have less than two minutes playing the piano, before you move on to something else. If your toddler doesn't play for long, it is not an indication that they are not enjoying the activity or music, it's just being a toddler!

Here are two playing ideas and tips for the first sessions together with your child.

You may not need all the activities that I have written down in the exact order, so feel free to use the ones that suit you best in any order that suits your children and change and adapt the ideas as you need.

Idea 1. Little Bear, Big Bear and Mummy Bear.

Toddlers just can't wait to play and sometimes they need to just get it out of their system. This idea lets a toddler do that, but in a controlled way so that they understand some boundaries about playing the instrument.

Step 1: Sit on the piano seat closely together as if you are about to read a book together, and just have a little tinkle, positively reinforcing all of the sounds that your child makes. Loads of children are naturally worried to hear themselves make a sound on the piano at first until they know its alright. If your child gets too heavy, just show them how to play a note gently and just say "gently" as you show him/her.

Step 2: Once you know that your child is playing gently, you may enjoy making up a little story. You could call all the high top notes "Little Bear" all the bottom notes "Big Bear" and all the middle notes "Mummy Bear". (Calling all the top notes "High Notes", all the bottom notes "Low notes" and all the middle ones"Middle Notes" also works well.)

Step 3: Children love their independence. Sometimes they will make a gesture to move off the seat or will tell you. Just move away from your child a little, but still encourage gentle and positive playing. If you want to keep your child playing for longer, just sing along a favorite song as they play. Any favorite nursery rhyme will work well and children love it when you sing along.

Toddler can enjoy this activity on the piano for many sessions. In fact encouraging this as part of a regular routine can really build their confidence and self esteem.

Idea 2. The Wheels on the Bus

This song lends itself to being a great first song on the piano and children usually already know the words and actions, which makes it easier for them to play.

Here are some easy steps to follow to help you get a toddler to play it.

Step 1. Do the actions to the music. You probably already know how the song starts. It's like this:

Verse 1 The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, The wheels on the bus go round and round all day long

Verse 2 The horn on the bus goes Beep Beep Beep, Beep Beep Beep, Beep Beep Beep, The horn on the bus goes Beep Beep Beep all day long

I've included only two verses because these are the most important ones use in order to play the piece. Verse 2 is the is best suited to use in order to help children to play it. The children play on the beeps.

You could practice playing at the right time by singing the verses and clapping your hands or use an instrument like a maraca or drum to play on the beeps. This helps children achieve the rhythm and timing without the distraction all those keys on the piano.

Step 2. Getting your fingers ready. The fingers you need to use for the song are your pointer finger and middle finger of your right hand and you play them at the same time. When you play my recorded version, you'll hear the beeps played on the piano. This confirms to a toddler when to play and gets them used to hearing the sound.

Practice it initially by using the correct fingers, but playing away from the piano. Toddlers get overwhelmed if they go up to the piano too quickly and make a mistake.

Step 3.Finding the notes and playing along on the piano. You'll see groups of 2 black notes together and then groups of 3 black notes together. Find the two black keys closest to the center of the piano.Help your child find the notes and sing along and play together.

About the Author

Janice Tuck is a mother, music educator and co founder of the Fun Music Company. She and her husband Kevin are committed in providing the best in fun educational resources and information for parents and teachers who want to make learning music fun for their children. To obtain a free play along audio recording of the piano materials mentioned in this article, just visit http://www.parentsmusicguide.com