Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Mother's Prayer - (Hannah's Song) by Rachel Aldous

A beautiful prayer set to piano music for children

Psalms 127:3, Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cooking Up Memories: Mother's Apron Poem

I have fond memories of cooking in the kitchen as a child... I'd wear my mother's apron. My favorite apron was white and had a picture of Little Sprout, the child of the Jolly Green Giant, on it. I befriended the little girl who lived next door, and we took turns baking--in our imaginations, the kitchen turned into the pink Barbie house, where the sun always shone through the windows, and our pink corvette was parked in the driveway. We started baking cookies then became more adventurous with cinnamon sticky buns and German cookies with a name we could not pronounce. My neighbor was such a bubbly, energetic little girl. She mad everything fun, even doing the pile of dishes we dirtied! 

My Mom is an artist, and her Christmas sugar cookies are not only delicious but so beautiful they deserve to be in the Louvre Museum with other art masterpieces. The taste of those cookies was so buttery, and soft, golden on the edge with a rounded middle. She would make homemade frosting in a rainbow of colors then decorate each cookie special-- Bells trimmed with sugary pink lace. Tiny people with candy buttons and colorful hats and scarves. Reindeer with hot cinnamon noses. Golden stars covered in gooey frosting. Mom would not stop with sugar cookies--she made almond bark bars, spritz cookies and wreaths too.

When Mom stopped baking Christmas cookies, she went on to make the most amazing Christmas house with real moving parts, and decorated with miniatures she collected all year long. 

My daughter also seems to have picked up the skill of cooking.. here she is, at age six, making dinner. It's a delicious mix of cocoa crunch cereal, canned corn, parmesan cheese, beef broth and spices! Yum!

-- Daylen Swift, August 2014

To Bear and Nora, I love 1,222,222,222,000 +0= U! Tu eres mi corazon. I thank God for you every day! ~ Mommy. P.S. CJ says hi and he misses you. LOL* And the Winnie-the-Pooh story...pfffph!

The Benefits of a Mother's Love and Nurturing

A recent study reveals the benefits of a mother's love and nurturing on her children...

"Children who are given love and affection from their mothers early in life are smarter with a better ability to learn.

The study by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found school-aged children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.

The new research is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing, reports." ("A mother's love can boost brain power, study shows" by Daily Mail Reporter, 1-31-2012). 

The way a mother nurtures and loves her child actually begins before birth. Not only does a mother's body biologically support the baby growing inside her, but most mothers facilitate a bond with their baby before birth-- praying for the baby or participating in religious ceremonies, hugging or caressing her growing belly, talking or singing to baby, sharing the pregnancy with family and friends and joining mother's groups or classes are all common ways the mother-child bond begins before birth. At as early as 20 weeks, an unborn baby can recognize his mother's voice and after birth, will prefer her voice (and her smell) to any other

After birth the bonding continues between mother and child, it is recognized that skin-to-skin contact between mother and child is immensely beneficial to newborns. Breastfeeding also increases that bond, mothers who bottle feed also benefit from holding or cuddling their babies. What babies learn about the world, begins first at home. 

Babies prefer the music their mother listened to when pregnant over any other music, they also recognize the smell of the mother's body and the sound of her voice. As young as 6 months old, babies learn to communicate by lip reading--and learn emotion from watching the faces of mother, and other adults important in their lives.

Although a mother has a special role in the lives of her children, researchers say that the effects of nurturing on the children are also beneficial from others providing care including fathers, siblings, grandparents or adoptive parents. Perhaps if we as individuals and members of a larger society, realized what power there is in demonstrating love and care for other people, the world would be a better place? We only need to look to our loving mothers to know this is possible. 

A mother's love can boost a child's brainpower, study shows

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pictures of Jesus and Children

The first Bible verse my daughter learned at age 4, she would say this all the time in her adorable toddler lisp, "Let the little children come to Me!"

Project Inspired has a beautiful page with images of Jesus and children: Jesus and His Children

The pictures remind us of the great love and tenderness of Jesus... Enjoy!

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3)

”The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” ( Jeremiah 31:3)

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)

Teen Driving Inspires Mom's Memories

My teenage son Bear is dreaming about the day he can get a license and drive a car... I remember the days he drove his walker, his fat 'lil feet slapping against the floor as he took off in search of adventure, or trouble!

Bear was not like other babies, he is very mechanical minded; he could take apart or dismantle anything. He would figure out how to get past obstacles even if it meant climbing, tearing down baby gates or busting barriers meant to protect him. The baby locks used to keep babies out of drawers and cabinets--easily defeated. Bungee cords to hold closets shut, also over come. Bear would run across the house in his walker then ram the baby gate to knock it down, and happily wander through the house or raid the fridge. He would climb dressers, chairs and boxes to get into things. He would climb out of his crib (while the cat slept happily inside). 

Once Bear broke down a baby gate, somehow climbed down the basement stairs, crawled across the floor and scaled up a ladder... when I found Bear, he was climbing through the cat door with his head, chest and arms fully outside and his feet dangling in the air!

My other favorite memory of Bear is when he was about 9 months old. He must have been studying the wood trim nailed to the wall for quite some time, determining its weak spots. I left the room briefly to get a drink from the fridge, Bear was laying on an oriental rug as if, I thought asleep. When I came back into the room, Bear had pried the wooden trim off the wall and was dragging a board at least 5 feet long across the floor!

Now that Bear is a teenager... I know with that kind of determination, it will not be long before he gets his license. All I have to say to those on the road is... watch out! Kidding! LOL. If anything, Bear will be adventurous, exploring hidden dirt roads, and venturing to weird tourist sites. He dreams about strapping a car seat in the back, and taking his little brother CJ for a ride. He will tinker with the mechanics, my friend has promised to show Bear how to do repairs. 

And finally, his freedom will have been won--no baby gates, no obstacles, just a set of keys and an open road.

Bear said he would like to drive so he can come see me... son, you are welcome home anytime. I keep you and your sister in my prayers, and in my heart. Tu eres mi corazon. 

~ Daylen Swift, August '14