June Belt Testing

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This was one of the best belt test. Everyone did a great job. I have posted all of the photos I have at this time and they are available for you to see by clicking on the link below. If anyone has any other photos that you took and would like to share them with us please do so. These are great memories for us all. I think about Jackson C. who just moved to Maine. His mom brought us some photos in, including the one of him getting his white belt over 3 years ago, and it just made all of us think about all the progress he had made. Think what it will be like as our students grow and one day when they earn their black belt and we have photos of them when they were 6 years old – doing there best!!
Click on photo to see the whole album of photos.

Baltimore Farmers Market

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From Baltimore Far…

It was 2 Sundays ago my wife and I went up to the Baltimore Farmers market. The photo here was one of the more early popular farm stands. This family had fresh peas, coolers filled with them, and a long line to get some of them. If you go to the photo album you will see photos of some of the stands and the people we met. I will try to introduce some of them to you over the next few weeks along with other markets.
One I would like to highlight now is Gloria. You will see my son Sean with her. She is an artist who makes paintings and art work out of ‘makeup’. It is beautiful. More interesting her marketing plan is that nothing is priced that is on her table. If you want a piece of art you may have it for a contribution of what you choose to contribute. She only wants to provide art as a way to promote peace.
This is a great family trip for an early Sunday morning. Give it a try one weekend!

Teaching children to tell the truth

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We are never ready for the first time or really anytime that our children look at us and tell us a lie. It hurts and so it is important for us to think about how are we or should we react. Our child development specialist gave us these 7 points.

  1. Keep your cool. Use the moment as a teaching moment.
  2. Don’t set traps. You do not want to pile lies on top of lies.
  3. Avoid labels. Children will live up to the label.
  4. Give them a chance for a do-over. They need to learn that they can make a mistake and make things right.
  5. Praise truth telling.
  6. Find out why they are lying. ( see step 1)
  7. Set a good example. Children see and hear and know more about us than we think they do. We are either all about honesty or we are not. Children will notice.

So there you are. I have a few more things that I will be writing about this in the next few days and we will be discussing who and what we can believe to be true this week with our students. Included in this will be some discussion about commercials and all those marketers out there trying to sell our kids “stuff”.

Fathers Day thought

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Your dad is a very special person.  It was something that I did not really have in my life.  My father passed away when I was 14 and had been sick and bed ridden from the time I was about 5 or 6 years old.  There was no ball playing or him attending any of the activities I was involved in.  In fact there were very few activities for me.  My time was spent as a young person when not in school as a caretaker and a baby sitter, even when I was very young.
Having said all of that though, and after watching the reports on TV about the passing of  Tim Russert there are a couple of thoughts that come to mind.  I hear too many children of all ages, including Tim, that report that their dad was not one to tell their children that they love them, to actually use those words.  I have that memory too.  Now I am not sure how true it is, but I would think that my own children would probably say that too.  As a dad I am going to make a commitment to myself to not just demonstrate love in what and how I do things with the kids, but actually say the words – not in passing – but in a meaningful way, often.
Fathers Day is a special day for telling dad you love him, but maybe it can be a day for dad to think about how we as fathers interact with our loved ones and especially our children.  HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Six benefits for being honest

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Here is a list of six benefits for being honest. I will only list them at this time, with additional comments to be made later and hopefully some thoughts from you.

  1. Peace of mind
  2. Character and reputation
  3. Relationships
  4. Feeling complete or whole
  5. Mental and physical health
  6. Respect for ourselves

There is a need for honesty, not because of what might happen to us if we are not, but because of what happens to us when we are. Take a moment to consider the 6 ways honesty can make our life richer and comment on them here. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this and I will share mine in the near future.

Honesty creates confidence

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It is very sad but true that we are surrounded by all forms of dishonesty and for everyone honesty is or can be a struggle. All of us are caught in a daily battle between right and wrong, making choices that have an effect on us in the present and future, and on those around us like our children who are very aware of our practices.
I was recently reading about a autobiography that was written some 1600 years ago, Confessions by St. Augustine, who explains how he moved up the social ladder by deceiving and manipulating others. One day when he saw a beggar on the side of the road, he wondered why it was that he was so discontented and this man who had nothing was so cheerful. That is when he realized that the beggar was true to himself; the great scholar Augustine was not.
He had become “utterly wretched” as a result of his constant phoniness. If we play a role too long, we lose ourselves in it. This sort of dishonest way of life becomes a ‘habit’ that has costly effects on us. Being honest about ourselves has a powerful effect on our psyche, creating a confidence that can only be had when we are honest.