Angelic News :: 2011-12
Let’s Bee Fit!
“And I’ll strengthen my spirit by keeping in mind
I’m wonderfully made and I’m one of a kind.
Yes, I’ll run the good race—I won’t falter or quit.
I’ll just do what it takes…to be physically fit.”
…that’s our “bee-attitude” for this month! We’ll be teaching children that being in good physical shape is a great way to be! Fitness assists us in all that we do! Being fit requires changes in the way that we look at the choices we make each and every day; healthy foods, exercise or play each day and taking time to rest are all essential choices we make in order to be fit. It takes a healthy body and mind and heart to run in this “race of life”.
In the Bible the book of Hebrews talks about the “race of life” or how to be “spiritually fit”. Life is like a race that has been set before us—more like an obstacle race I should say! Will we see suffering? Experience difficult times? Will people treat us unfairly? Will problems come our way? Will we trip and fall? Will loved ones die? Yes, yes, and yes! The Bible says, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” It’s telling us to focus on Jesus. He knows how we feel - He’s been there. He ran the race set out before Him and He persevered through incredible suffering. God is training us to be champions; to be like Jesus. I once heard this quote; “A champion is one who gets up when he can’t.” A champion is determined; he never gives up.
Little children are just entering the race of life and they need all the cheerleaders they can get! Perhaps you are in the middle of your race, or maybe you are nearing the end. But you understand this “race of life”; you’ve climbed mountains, you’ve been in the dark valleys, you’ve walked along the cool waters. You are becoming God’s champion. Enjoy His training - make a continuous effort to be strong in the Lord. Stay close to Him and be faithful and one of these days you’ll cross the finish line! In the meantime won’t you join me in being a cheerleader for all the little ones who are just beginning their journey in faith and cheer them on to victory!
Kathy Stinson, Director
LOVE IS NOT RUDE!
“Being polite is the right way to be.
It blesses my friends and my whole family!
Yes, I choose to use manners as the very best way
to honor the friendships that God sends my way.
So whenever I’m wondering which choices are right,
the handiest answer is… JUST BE POLITE!
From the book Let’s Be Polite by P.K. Hallinan
Let’s “bee” polite! That’s our “bee attitude” that we are working on this month at preschool. The Bible tells us that LOVE is not ill-mannered or rude. LOVE is polite, thoughtful, caring, respectful and thoughtful. Jesus said,”…I am gentle and humble in heart…” He deals with us graciously and respectfully. He’s not harsh or overbearing. Jesus is our perfect example of politeness. He is LOVE and love and rudeness just don’t intermingle. The Bible tells us to treat everyone with dignity and respect—even our enemies. That’s a tough order!
It’s one of those times when we have to stop, take a deep breath and think before we say or do anything. A discourteous person doesn’t care about the feelings of other people. At preschool we make every effort to teach the children to care about each other’s feelings. We reinforce politeness and the importance of good manners every day. It is our hope to partner with parents in training the children to be well-mannered, socially competent and polite. What a wonderful world it would be if we all could really make an extreme effort to be just a bit more mindful about being polite and respectful in our words and our actions even if when we don’t feel like it!
Pastor Jon spoke to us about glowing for and like Jesus in a sermon a few weeks ago and that thought has stuck with me ever since. (That’s a good thing!) Let’s all step out into this self-centered world and glow with gentle hearts and humble spirits… “cause the toughest problem some children face is that of learning good manners without seeing any!”
Jesus said, “Remember Me.” This month we asked the children what they remembered about Jesus from our chapel lessons. I’d like to share some of their responses with you.
“Jesus is in your heart.” “Jesus will always be here for us.” “Jesus loves all of us.” “Jesus loves me!” “He came out as a baby.” “He grew really big.” “Jesus protects us.” “He’s my best friend.” “He made everything in the whole world.” “He made every single planet and the astronauts.” “He made the sun.” “He made all the people, even strangers.” “He lives in our hearts and He loves us.” “He died for us on the cross before Easter.” “Jesus came alive on Easter Day.” “Jesus lives for us!”
Yes, JESUS IS ALIVE! What a cause for celebration every day!
“Don’t Be in Such a Hurry!”
I believe it’s probably harder than any other time in history for folks to be patient. We live in a world where most things are only a few clicks or a push of the button away. Fast food! One hour cleaners! Instant messages! Speed reading! Fastrak! Everything seems to have become so quick and easy! We are all tuned in to finding quick fixes for just about everything!
The definition of patience is “the ability to put up with pain, troubles, delays, difficulties, and hardship without complaint or ill temper.” I consider myself a patient person. But as I sit here writing this article and I think about the definition of patience I have to ask my self; “Kathy, how do you respond to and tolerate the events that unfold in front of you? How do you react to situations that disturb you? How do you deal with hardship and suffering in your life? No complaining? No ill temper?” Oops . . . guess I’m not so patient after all.
At preschool this month we are teaching the children to “bee patient”. Exactly how do we do that in this world of ours that shouts “hurry!” Here are a few ideas:
- As I’ve said before, children are great imitators so we’ve got to model patience over and over and over again to them! And sometimes, they need to see us when we are impatient. They need to know that it happens – it’s natural. It’s what we do with our impatience that matters. They can learn positive coping skills by watching us.
- Take time to reward patience. For instance, when children are waiting quietly in line, let them know that you noticed. Reinforced “good behavior” empowers a child to know that they are capable of being patient.
- Don’t reward and feed those temper tantrums, meltdowns, and outbursts that are a result of a child’s impatience! Be firm and calm and let the child know that they can not always have their way.
- Play games and do projects together that take a good amount of patience. Explain to them that not everything happens at the push of a button. Try puzzles, games, art projects, and quiet activities that don’t plug in, have flashing lights or loud noises!
- SLOW DOWN! We can be in charge of the number of activities children are involved in. Children (and adults) need quiet calming down time to remain patient and kind in our fast paced world! Patience is easy to lose when we stretch ourselves to thin!
- Remember what a friend we have in Jesus! He can help us with our patience…follow His example; be an imitator of the One who knows best!
In closing I would like to share a fitting quote for my topic:
“Years ago, Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham,
saw a sign by the road:
“End of construction - thank you for your patience.”
Smiling, she remarked that she wanted those words on her gravestone!”
-- Our Daily Bread, September 14, 2008
And so I say to you also . . . thank you for your patience!
Kathy Stinson, Director
“Let’s Be Honest”
“I try to be honest in every way,
from the things that I do
to the things that I say!
When I’m honest with others,
it’s easy to see,
they tend to be friendly and honest with me.”
-- P.K. Hallinan
This month at preschool our “bee-attitude” is “Let’s Bee Honest!” The dictionary defines honesty as “The quality, condition or characteristic of being fair, truthful, and morally upright.” Wow! It’s not all that easy to be an honest person. Honesty is a direct mirror image of our inner character, our integrity and our sincerity. It’s the stuff we’re made of!
I believe it takes a sizeable amount of courage to be honest. It is most often the things we fear the most that cause us to s - t - r - e - t - c - h the truth. It is difficult for us when we fear being rejected, humiliated, disapproved of, or ashamed so we make up little white lies, exaggerate, or tell half-truths. I guess it comes down to courage and confronting what we fear head on.
Teaching a child to be courageous is one of the best gifts we can give them. It’s a grown-up’s job to teach children to be brave enough to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth no matter what the circumstances. When fear is absent it is much easier for a child (or a grown-up) to be honest. Tactics like making children feel guilty, or to scare, or to shame them into being honest do not work.
Those strategies just make them afraid to tell the truth. If you make it safe for them to be truth-tellers that’s exactly what they will be! Be gentle, be kind, be compassionate, be tender but be consistent and clear about your family’s values and the importance you place on integrity.
Next time I so curtly say things like . . .
“I promise.” “It will only take a minute of your time.”
“I’ll call you back tomorrow.” “This is going to hurt me more than you.”
“The check is in the mail.” “Trust me.”
“I’m praying for you.” “I mean this sincerely.”
“I’ll read a book to you later.”
I will do my best to guard my integrity and follow through with my words!
“Honesty is the best policy - but not the cheapest . . .
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
-- Mark Twain
Jesus Took A Trip!
For some reason, I had a difficult time coming up with an exceptional idea for my December Heart Matters article…until today that is. Once again, God sent me some shining inspiration from one of my little preschool buddies. He and I were having a conversation about Jesus. I opened the door to the church and the little boy softly said, “Is Jesus in there?” I said, “Yes, but we can’t see Him -- He is always with us. He is everywhere.” (I was thinking, “Keep it simple, Kathy, he’s only 4 years old.”) Then the little guy said, “Well, you remember once Jesus took a trip and now He’s back home.” I agreed. I then asked him what Jesus was doing there. His reply was, “Well, He’s taking care of His babies.” I said, “You are so right! He did take a trip and He is taking care of His babies everyday!”… and that was the end of the conversation.
My buddy probably didn’t think about it for another second. I, on the other hand, went back to my office and began to think about the exchange of words he and I had just shared. A trip? Christmas is all about a trip Jesus lovingly took from heaven to earth. Yes, it’s true, just as my little friend said; Jesus did take an incredible “rescue” journey. The trip had been planned centuries before He was born. It was a very long trip -- the longest anyone else has ever taken. The mighty God humbled Himself into being a helpless baby, depending on the ones He created for His basic needs.
He grew in wisdom and stature during His 33 year trip. He went through it all -- infancy, childhood, teenage years and manhood. It was all part of the traveling plans. He proclaimed that He was the Savior and rescuer of the world. And He was. And when it was time, He told His people that He would be taking His trip back home to His Father in heaven. And he did. And now, as my little friend told me, “Jesus is taking care of His babies.”
What a comforting thought that is. When we are infants we are helpless. We are totally dependant on those that take care of us. Babies are comforted, reassured, encouraged, consoled, nurtured, free of worry and loved to pieces! Their needs are met. They are never alone. My friend is right. Jesus is taking care of His babies…that’s us…anyone who believes in Him and understands His incredible Christmas journey and all that it means for a sinful world.
“For anyone who says yes to Jesus, for anyone who believes what Jesus said, for anyone who will just reach out to take it, then God will give them this wonderful gift: to be born into a whole New Life; to be who they really are, who God made them to be -- their own true selves -- God’s dear Child! “
Paraphrase of John 1:12-13 from the Jesus Storybook Bible
I can just hear Jesus softly and tenderly saying, “Kathy, you are my child, my baby and I LOVE YOU!” How about you…do you hear Him too?
Thanks to my little friend I know Christmas for me will be just a little more special this year.
Let’s “Bee” Thankful!
“I like to be thankful for all I receive, from the tiniest seashell…
to the mightiest breeze. For when I am thankful, it’s easy to see
I tend to spend life, living more joyfully!”
Our “buzz” word around Littlest Angels this month is “Let’s “bee” thankful!” We’ll be helping the children develop a thankful attitude. I think more than any other feeling, an attitude of gratitude helps us feel better about our lives. It focuses our minds on our blessings rather than our problems. It makes our hearts joyful for what we’ve been given instead of miserable about what we don’t have.
Gratitude can transform an ordinary meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend. I just recently read that there are studies that show that thankful people have higher vitality, more optimism and less stress and depression than the population as a whole. Now those are some delightful reasons to live out that attitude of gratitude! Being grateful is a work in progress…it’s remembering to be thankful for the little things like the smell of flowers, the beauty of a sunset, clean water to drink, the sound of children’s laughter, or for warm cozy pajamas!
I’d like to share a thought-provoking quote with you written by H.H. Westermayer; “The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” Perhaps many of us find it difficult to be grateful in a world filled with trouble and anxiety, poor health, a failing economy, broken relationships and …the list goes on and on. The Bible gives us a remedy for those difficult times—Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.
Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about it.” The pilgrims got it! In the midst of all their heartaches and tribulations they thought about everything that was good and they were thankful!
“…But mostly I’m thankful for my family and friends
who make me so happy…whose love never ends.
And when all’s said and done, it seems very clear…
I’d like to be thankful for just being here!”
This month may God bless your attitude . . . your gratitude attitude that is!
Kathy Stinson, Director
LET’S “BEE” KIND!
Let’s Be Kind
“I’m kind to the lonely, the hurting, the lost.
I’m kind without minding, whatever the cost.
For God blesses kindness in so many ways,
That the kindness I give out is always repaid!
So this much is certain: I know I will find
The happiest life…by just being kind.”
by P.K. Hallinan
Dream with me. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a KIND world? A place where there was no bullying, people were always polite, random acts of kindness were rampant and everyone continually said sweet and supportive words. We all know that infants and small children are self-centered; their world revolves around their needs and desires. That’s normal and the good news is that it isn’t difficult to teach children to be kind. Kindness begins at home. The best way to teach a child kindness is not by explaining; it’s by doing. Your actions are your voice to young children—they often don’t understand the words we say. Families need to be kind to one another if they are going to carry on the behavior outside the home. What most inspires a child to grow up being a kind and caring person is the care and nurturing they receive; as your child observes your treatment of others within and outside your family they will learn to be kind themselves. Here are few suggestions on how to bring more kindness into your “dream world”.
* Catch children being kind! Acknowledge and praise the great choices they make and for taking the opportunity to be kind.
* Let your children help you. It gives them the feeling that –“Hey, I’m important. My Mom (or Dad) needs me!”
* Point out acts of kindness in books and media.
* Look at your child and really listen when they are talking to you.
* Focus on feelings. Help your children understand how others feel. Children need to know that their actions and words can make a person feel happy or sad.
* Find small ways for children to help others with kind acts; homemade cards, a hot meal, cookies for the neighbors, visits to a shut-in.
Finally, the whole point of being kind is to make our “dream” world (or at least, our little corner of the world!) a reality. It can happen and the best thing is that the kindness we give away is always repaid! This month at Littlest Angels we have the joy of helping our 166 little ones to “bee kind”. Why don’t you try being a kid again and open a pack of cupcakes and give one to a friend even though you wanted both of them for yourself! That’s being KIND!
God will bless our efforts!
Kathy Stinson, Director
“Let’s Bee Friends!”
In the 2011 – 12 school year at Littlest Angels, we will be chatting about the beatitudes and where true happiness comes from. Last month I shared some ideas with you on how to be happy. I’m wondering if you’ve been buzzing around during the month of August trying some of them out. This month we will be talking about what it means to “Bee” a friend. What is a friend? Here are a few quotes I found that try to answer that question:
“Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself.”
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another,
‘What! You, too? I thought I was the only one.’ ” -- C.S. Lewis
A small boy said, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same.”
“A friend is the first person that comes in when the world goes out.”
In John 15 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Wow! Here’s a story I read on the internet.
When eight-year old Joey’s little sister had an operation, it turned out that she had lost so much blood that she was in need of an immediate transfusion. Joey’s blood was a match. “Will you give your sister some of your blood?” asked the doctor. Joey paused for a long time before he agreed. The boy tried to be brave as the blood was being drawn from his veins, but the doctor noticed that he was growing paler and paler. When the blood draw was complete, Joey looked up at the doctor and timidly asked, “I was wondering how long it will be before I die?” The doctor looked down at Joey and said, ”Do you think people die when they give blood?” “Well, yes sir.” replied Joey. “And you were willing to die for your sister?” “Yes, sir.” he said quietly.
Wow again! That little guy thought he was going to die for his sister, that’s sacrificial love. That’s the love Jesus is talking about. Here at Littlest Angels we have the joy of teaching young children how to become friends. It takes lots of practice you know! We tell them that friends are very special people. We care about their feelings. We listen to them. We use hands for helping not hurting. We use I Care Language. We model these things. Children learn best by observing the grown-ups in their lives. We teachers (that’s all of us right?) will first become the child’s trusted friend. Then soon we will see their friendships blossom and grow too.
I know God will bless us with a “bee”autiful 2011 -12 school year! He’s given us 165 precious little ones to nurture and love. I can’t wait for the new school year to start so I can make some new friends and see some of my old ones again too! The enthusiasm and joyfulness of the kids is contagious…that’s part of why I love my job! I get to be a kid again (or at least pretend to be!). Why don’t you try being a kid again too and….whatever you’re doing, stop once in a while for a recess!
See you later friends!
Kathy Stinson, Director
The “Bee-happy Attitudes”
It’s difficult to believe that it’s soon back to school time again! Here at Littlest Angels we are still enjoying lots of summer fun during our “summer camps” even as we prepare for the fall and our “fresh start-up time of year”!
In the 2011-12 school year, we will chat about the beatitudes and where true happiness comes from with the children. These are not the exact words Jesus used in His Sermon on the Mount but they are child-friendly. Jesus said things like:
“Be happy when you are poor in spirit,
because then you will find that your riches are in the kingdom of heaven.
Be happy when you feel you have lost what is most dear to you,
because it is then that you will feel the love of the One who is the most dear to you.
Be happy with what you have,
because then you will find that your heavenly Father provides you
with everything that you need.
Be happy when you are hungry for the things of God,
because then you will find that only He can satisfy.
Be happy when you are caring for others,
because it is in caring for others that you will find that you have a heavenly Father
who cares for you.
Be happy when your heart is right with God,
because then you will see that God is at work in the world around you.
Be happy when you help others to get along peacefully with one another,
because it is then that you will know the peace that comes from being
a part of the family of God.
Be happy when others treat you badly
because you follow Me and your reward will be great in heaven!”
Happiness is an attitude that we have because of what we have in our hearts; JESUS! Need some ideas on how to train yourself to be happy? Here’s a few things to “buzz” around and try!
Do a kindness (and forget it)
Give thanks (a thousand times a day is not often enough)
Pray (or you’ll lose the way)
Work (with gusto)
Plan as though you’ll live forever (because you will)
Live as though you’ll die tomorrow (because you will on some tomorrow!)
Take time to talk to someone who needs some encouragement
Meet with your Best Friend, Jesus, daily
-- Author Unknown
I wish you all the happiness that comes from having Jesus in your heart!
Kathy Stinson, Director
P.S. We still have some openings for the fall in our 2’s and 3’s program. If you know of someone who is searching for a happy and nurturing preschool, please send them our way!