Wednesday, 16 December 2015

All I Ever Needed to Know …

All I ever needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten, from my mum, from God…and from Dr. Seuss.(Dr. Seuss quotes are in blue)
If  leaders of countries  and the  heads of corporations practiced what they learned as small children, the world would be happier, healthier and more peaceful. Perhaps people in power should listen as Dr. Seuss and I talk to my children.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Share and others will share with you.

More toys won’t make you happier.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Always say please and thank-you.
When you are grateful and thankful for  even the smallest things, you will be happy.
Don’t take offense quickly or every insult  and slight personally; sometimes other people simply are having a bad day and take it out on you.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
You can.create something beautiful today out of nothing when you are creative.
Pick up after yourself., don’t leave a mess.
Always do your best.
Don’t give up but finish what you started.
Think left and think right and think low and think high.Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!
Always take the smaller portion when you are offered a treat.
Admit when you are wrong.
You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Ask questions if you don’t understand.

Don’t brag.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Today you are you!That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Say your prayers every night to reconnect to life, light and joy.
Remember that friends might come and go but family will always be there for each other.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened
Try something new a few times before you decide you don’t like it.
Don’t pick fights or act like a bully just because you are bigger.Maybe Christmas … doesn’t come from a store.
Learn something new today.

Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not.
A person’s a person, no matter how small
Always give others the benefit of the doubt.
Wash your hands before you eat and brush your teeth afterwards.
Being crazy isn’t enough.
Mean what you say and say what you mean
You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.

Go play and have fun.
Forgive other people because you make mistakes too.
From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
When we try to control people we steal their identity so quit being so bossy.
Cover your mouth when you cough, and don’t spread germs.
Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.
Tell the truth.
One lie will lead to another
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
Have a bath every night
Laugh lots.
“I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you.” 
Get enough rest so you won’t be cranky.
Don’t be afraid to try something new.
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
Eat healthy snacks.
Live in the present moment
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
 The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
Take off your dung-coloured glasses and look at the world clearly.
Look for people’s good qualities and not pointing out their faults.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Don’t Let the Dog In and Don’t Let Daniel Out

Life was especially chaotic after the birth of our eighth and ninth children because everyone was still fourteen and under. It was difficult to keep a sharp eye out for my new bundle of energy, Daniel.
As our second youngest, Daniel's basic character has always been pleasant and easy-going. His eyes are still twinkling and a slight smile graces his face. Most troubles seem to just roll off his back and his small smile often changes into a mischievous grin as he sits back on the fringes of our family stage and observes the emotional drama of his six sisters unfold. Teenage Daniel has learned a lot from observing teenage sisters.
One year, a high school religion teacher noticed Daniel's deep grasp of the feminine mind. During class discussions, after a few male students stumbled out vague answers to her inquiries  the teacher would turn to the class authority on girls,
"Daniel", she'd call out," You had six sisters; what do you say?"
Invariably, as my son started giving his opinion, all the girls would slowly nod their heads in agreement.
However, this agreeable, laid-back young man, was a real handful as a baby and little kid. With his little eyebrows lifted up in surprise, his eyes wide open, making sure he didn't miss anything and with his tiny, wiry body, squirming with energy, he was definitely alive. As Daniel peered over my shoulder one afternoon, staring at a friend of Michael's, the 'stranger' blurted out,
"Boy, is that baby ever awake! "
That short statement basically sums up baby Daniel's personality.
Once he learned to crawl, he was into everything and made sure that he reached his destination with great speed. Sometimes, after running to grab and scoop up this little bundle of happy energy, before he could dive into trouble, I would realize that Daniel's hands and feet would be still moving, as if he was trying to crawl in the air.
The pivotal point, where his crawling speed accelerated dramatically, was when he discovered the bowl of dog food. If the dog, Leisha, didn't come to eat right away or left food in his dish, Daniel was immediately crawling over to it as fast as his hands and knees would move. He'd grab a chunk of dried food in his hand and start gnawing on it.
Was he using it to teeth on?
Did I not feed that baby enough?
Did little Daniel actually like the gritty, hard, dry dog food?
I don't know.
All I do know is that when we moved the dog dish and huge bag of food to the back entrance, trying to hide it from this baby, he still found the dog food. When he reached the dog dish, he dove into it, chomping with gusto. That spot became Daniel's destination every morning while I was trying to get six kids feed, dressed decently, with notes signed, homework done, lunches made and packed and hair brushed and braided.

Finally, I reached my limit. We decided to move the dog dish and food right out of the house to the wood shed, even if it meant that feeding the dog became more complicated.
Did that stop the baby crawling cruiser? Not after he was out one day and saw the kids feeding Leisha.
The kids had barely turned away from the shed when the speedy crawler made a beeline to the dog dish.
From that moment on, I'd yell from the kitchen, as the kids headed for the front door,
"Don't let the dog in and don't let Daniel out!!"
Some mornings, as older children struggled to keep happy, eager Leisha from bounding energetically through the door, Daniel would crawl as fast as he could, duck through everyone's' legs and try to squirm out the door. Then kids would call out,
"Daniel's headed for the dog food again!"

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


If only adults could apply lessons learned when they were still preschoolers, our world would be a better place. Think about the basic lessons we teach our little ones so  the family runs smoothly.

listen to others respectfully
pick up after yourself
wait for your turn
you can't always get your own way
sometimes you have to wait
ask for help when you need it
treat others the way you want to be treated.
Why  there would be a world revolution  if big business and government actually lived by kindergarten rules.
Granted, life is messy and family life is especially messy because we "let our hair down" in our own homes. Yet it is in our chaotic  homes where we learn to see and love each other when we are not wearing our masks.  In family, divergent personalities learn to live under the same roof.
Each member is unique.
Often at odds.
Still part of the same family.
These skills are essential for our families to live in love but even more so for society to thrive.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Humourous Survival Tips From Mother of Nine9

The following quotes, written by Melanie Jean Juneau, are child proof, child tested and  guaranteed  to turn any child created disaster into a comedy in minutes.

Useful  tips for every mum, dad, uncle, aunt, grandma, grandpa and godparents, houseguest, friends….

Kids need time to be bored; that is how creativity is born.”
Ignore the bad and praise the good.
The only thing that could kill you as a mother of nine is pairing socks.

“Never let little ones become over tired and never let them become too hungry. If you do, you will create a clinging wimp, or a raving monster.
Babies are pre-verbal, not idiots.
Children help you forget what is not important.
My ceiling is my children’s floor.
Don’t get upset over messes. It is just part of the normal routine.
More children are easier than less. If you have one or two kids you ave to be everything for them but with three, community starts.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


Raising children is definitely not a default chore for women
who were not successful in the world of business, power and wealth.
Exactly how society forms the next generation
will directly influence
the kind of society they turn create.
Do we want a world focused
only on the accumulation of wealth?
Are we  creating a race of humans
who are becoming increasingly
cold and
about relationships, family and love?
A  smile
for the wisdom of mothers
for the suffering
necessary to acquire
not knowledge.
Painful regret
for this hectic modern society
scrambling after glitter
success while pushing the wisdom of mothers
to the fringes of influence.
Joyful hope
that mothers will reveal their unique
to a jaded cynical world,
which has forgotten all is fleeting
except Love.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Words of Wisdom From J.R. Tolkien

J.R. Tolkien was a respected scholar, professor, devout Catholic, and author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This genius created a complex world with a history, geography and many realistic languages. Yes, Tolkien's Middle Earth is a fantasy world but not an insipid, fluffy world for little girls. No, he wrote profound literature, filled with complex characters and plots, universal themes, and symbolism with layers of meaning. I have dug up some of his quotes from his books which have something to say to us about life.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Chaining Kids With Fear

Childhood should be a time to play in freedom and joy.

When my oldest children started school in the mid to late eighty's, they played marbles, bounced tennis balls off the school wall and could bring real baseballs and basketballs to school. In short, they played like children have played for generations. By the time they were in grade eight, the principals had banned marbles and real balls from the schoolyard. Why? They were too dangerous!
My oldest daughter drew a picture entitled "Recess at St. Mike's" that shows a girl, standing frozen in place, with a ball and chain around her ankle. Quite revealing, isn't it?
When I was a child, we hopped on bikes without helmets, only wore sunscreen at the beach and ate peanut butter sandwiches. I that the world has changed but along with new, necessary safety measures this generation has put into place, society has burdened children with fear
Childhood is a time to play freedom and joy, freedom to lose themselves in the sheer joy of the present moment, without nagging regret about the past or fear of the future. My family was and is fortunate to live in the country, where my children roamed safely, caught frogs, built forts, explored a creek and created wonderful imaginative games.
One example stands out in my mind. I had gathered everyone for dinner but we were waiting for Anthony. Someone spotted him out the window and called the rest of us over to see him. There was Anthony on the platform of our large wooden play structure, wearing his usual uniform consisting of a black cape, black barn boots and grey felt hat, engaged in a fierce sword fight with an imaginary enemy. Suddenly he clutched his chest and staggered over to lean on the railing. Then rallying his draining energy and stamina, he suddenly rose up and with a courageous flourish thrust his sword into his evil opponent and collapsed in exhaustion and agony.
We were all delighted with his imaginary drama.
Children need free, unstructured time to let their imaginations fly.
This can only happen if we refuse to allow our own fears to burden our children and if we give them the time and space to simply be children.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happy Canada Day, eh?

Maclean's Magazine published a Canada vs. America issue proclaiming "99 Reasons Why it's Better to Be Canadian: We're happier, fitter and richer and our kids are smarter too." You can read all the statistics in a July 8, 2013, edition of Maclean's.

Of course, I read this issue with glee. I am not competitive in my personal life, choosing to also praise and exhort others, but I have an ingrained, historically rooted compulsion to challenge the powerful country to the south of me. Perhaps it is a David and Goliath syndrome. Here is a list of why I love Canada. Some of  the stats come from Maclean's.
As Canada Day celebrates its 148th birthday, I celebrate Canada's triumphs. Next to the United States we might seem insignificant but remember,  looks are deceiving.

Lyrics O Canada (English version)

O Canada!Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
We are more popular than Americans; wearing a maple leaf on your backpack means people treat you well in other countries.
We say, "eh" at the end of sentences. This is a word which reaches out in agreement while the American word huh tacked on sentences sounds like the speaker is a dimwitted.
                                                                                                              capital hill
Canada has one square kilometre of land for every three people
We are funnier; many comedians are Canadian such as Wayne and Schuster, Lorne Michaels, John Candy, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Catherine O'Hara, Seth Rogen Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera....
Our banks are better- 4 of the top ten in the world are Canadian, the top U.S. bank is ranked 9th- the Citigroup
For our population, we break more Guinness world records.
Our government does not kill people; capital punishment was abolished in 1776 and no one has been executed since 1961. The States has 3,125 prisoners on death row.
Maple syrup
We are more fit with 35.9 Americans are obese and only 24.5 OF Canadians are overweight.
We live longer- an average of 3 years longer than Americans
Americans always make fun of us because we are polite; we always say. "I'm sorry" but researchers at the University of Waterloo say good manners boost happiness. Apologizing to the police for speeding results in an average drop of $51 in fines.
The wilderness -- we still have lots of it.
Our lobster tastes better.

Our roads are safer.
Fewer homicides per person and mass murders are rare
Our national animal, the beaver, is industrious and rugged
The salmon run
We lead in quantum computing.
Our judges are appointed not voted in.
We can read the cereal box and road signs in two different languages.
                                                    the east coast- the Maritimes
There is a whole T.V. channel dedicated to politicians bickering.
Place Names that come from Aboriginal languages
We have better skiing with more ski trails, longer runs and more snow on Canada's Whistler Mountain compared to America's Vail
We dominate hockey; it is Canada's game
We get more paid holidays. 23% of Americans get no paid time off. ALL Canadian workers get at least 2 weeks paid vacation + 9 paid public holidays
Newfies - I love their accent and sense of humour. They are the salt of the earth
The north is a land of untouched beauty
Easy geography classes: we only have ten provinces and three territories
Excellent education system; our 15 year-olds score in the top 10 of 65 countries. American kids are #17.
Northwest Territories
Lots of immigrants -- this is the place people from all over the world want to come to!
Our Government apologizes for past mistakes!
The Queen and other Royals visit us
Our corporate taxes are lower
An almost peaceful history
Intelligent population
When spring comes, we appreciate it
We know how to make good, strong, HOT tea
The weather is a legitimate topic of conversation and we ALWAYS talk about the weather
Coffee Crisp ... Only available in Canada!
the Rocky Mountains in the West
Affordable university tuition
Lots of fresh water!
We're less pushy than some other countries
We let everyone come here, and do their thing. Even if they wouldn't do the same for us.
Ketchup chips ... only in Canada.
Moose, Elk, Deer
Brown Bears, Polar Bears
So many rivers and lakes- I live in South- Eastern Ontario which is called the land of a thousand islands.
Great fishing, especially indownload (4) fly-in camps up north
Majestic mountains
We have coasts on three oceans
Second largest country in the world
Largest prosperous country in the world
Aboriginal people who have fought in all the wars, with an astounding war record
Official recognition of rights of Aboriginal Nations embedded in our national constitution
No one ever won between the French and the English: we just compromised!
Every landscape imaginable, all in one magnificent country
Enormous National Parks
Anne of Green Gables
Lots of hockey rinks, great outdoor skating rinks in almost every village, town and city. We even have one and our population isn't even posted
Car heaters that plug-in when it's cold. Even store parking lots provide plug-ins
Icicles- some extend for 3 to 4 feet from our roof.
Skating and hot chocolate
Beaver Tails224834a50d6cd49cc0b64dd74a46c988
The longest skating rink in the world on Ottawa's canal
Sound of crickets
The sound of Canada Geese flying back from their holiday in the South
We spell colour and neighbourhood the right way
We are proud of our British roots
Aurora Borealis called the Northern Lights.
We love to make fun of ourselves
We love to make fun of people who don't know anything about us, especially Americans
Terry Fox was one of us
Gordon Lightfoot
Lenard Cohen
Arctic Rangers
The change of seasons
Incredible beauty
The tundra
Best opera house in North America is Toronto's Four seasons Centre built by Jack Diamond who built Mariinsky 11 theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia by invitation of Valery Gergiev
TIM HORTON'S makes the best coffee