Squatter or Blogtrotter?

Get out of your own blog much?

Does that stifled feeling leave you dreaming of taking off in search of sensational content from exotic locations, poems from the most gifted souls, meaningful musings from passionate writers and some of the funniest bloggers you’ll find on this planet?

blogtrotter wordpress challenge best blogs awesome increase views

They’re all right here waiting for you to come over.

Please accept this invitation to become a blogtrotter and the opportunity for unique expeditions will surround you.

6 months have passed since Free little Words began it’s journey here on WordPress. In the beginning, I planned to post every single day. At times, this was difficult and I definitely lost sleep over what I wanted to write. After the 5 month mark, came a wall. The realisation that publishing a post just to honour the commitment I made to myself became glaringly obvious. Quality was not the main focus anymore and it became increasingly difficult to keep up with the reader, comments and housekeeping.

Daily prompts passed by without a glimpse, serial ‘liking’ happened more often than not and time constraints stopped me from responding in kind to awards. The most difficult part was making time to discover new blogs, particularly the blogs of those people who had found mine. Some are following Free Little Words, others have commented but return visits haven’t eventuated. Added to this was the determination to have my first manuscript out the door which was accomplished.

So, now a change of scenery is being demanded. There are awesome blogs just waiting to be delved into. Becoming a blogtrotter and uncovering some awesome new blogs is a priority. I feel the need to be inspired: to find the funny, unique, positive, thoughtful and thought provoking blogs that will stretch an atrophied mind, allow it to be drenched in sunlight and be open to accepting new challenges.

There are other reading challenges on WordPress but most come with a set of rules and while conforming to a certain way of doing things is normally right up my alley, I want to fly by the seat of my pants this time round and do exactly as I please. No rules. Oh boy!

As a result there won’t be much going on within these walls for the next few weeks. Unearthing at least one new blog a day is going to be the main focus. When a blog is worth a shout out you’ll be the first to know. Featuring some old bloggerellies with the new is part of the overall plan. By highlighting your blog, the aim is to connect you with new followers.

The WordPress Blogtrotter badge is yours to do with as you wish. No strings. No fine print.

Continue to write as you always have. There may be many ‘someones’ about to discover you through your next post.

Love your work!

Kelly.

I Love You Tonight

Post-it note under my son's pillow before he went to bed

Today I stuck a post-it note under my son’s pillow before he went to bed. Kids look so peaceful when they’re asleep. We say ‘sweet dreams’ and ‘I love you’ to each other every night. I love him when he’s sleeping.

 

Footnote: This was my very first post back on January 1st this year. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed by this post. In reflection, I can’t believe I had so little to say. Like learning to run I guess I had to walk first. A distinct memory is etched in my brain of the very first person to like this post and of how excited I was. That blogger, who has not been seen since, will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope you don’t mind bearing with me as I revert to baby steps while revisiting old posts while my attention is focussed elsewhere.

 

 

Peepshow Love

boy peeking boy bathroom door toddler peeking peekThere’s an open door policy here. It exists for a number of reasons. Some of which may become clear by the time this gal comes clean.

Shower time for me is a crap shoot. It is a futile exercise at times. I am damned one way or the other.

That darn bathroom door needs to stay open for the moment otherwise I may exit to find any number of catastrophes have occurred while I’ve enjoyed the steamy fog that surrounds me as I exit the shower and try and find the mirror. In the process of having to leave the door open I submit myself to the cold air whooshing past my ankles and up around my mid-section as I try to towel off in 1 1/2 seconds flat.

So that door stays open while I try to get some time to attend to parts of my anatomy that haven’t seen some care in quite some time.

Last Saturday I found myself in the midst of a peepshow.

Thankfully I wasn’t the main attraction. My wrinkly and jiggly bits are not worth a look-see.

I was treated to a peepshow by my little peeps.

As I exfoliated, my little dudes cruised past the door with workmen’s hardhats on. A drill and saw completed the look along with a hi-vis vest on one. Giggles rang out as they raced out of the room and down the hallway.

The pitter patter of mini elephants announced their return. A dinosaur and a cat had taken centre stage. With a roar and a meow they were off again.

The third pass was heralded by sword-wielding, mask-wearing superheroes who treated me to a duel to the death. After a miraculous recovery by the slain victim they charged off to fight the baddies.

Earlier days came to mind when I used to prop each son in their rocker just outside the bathroom door. Back then I provided the show and they were the ever captive audience. I’d play peek-a-boo and delight in their belly laughs while trying to clean up my act in the process.

While the peek-a-boo days are coming to a close it got me thinking about how to help them unlearn this behaviour. You see, I am concerned. We spend the first few years playing this wonderful game with our babies and they are always overjoyed to see what is underneath the hands. As they get older they pull the hands away. Then there’s hiding under sheets and blankets and surprising the unsuspecting passer-by who may do a very good job of acting shocked.

We play hide and seek and like to uncover things. Kids try to sneak a peak at their Christmas presents, lifting that corner of sticky tape and replacing it perfectly back on the pattern of the wrapping paper so nobody will be none-the-wiser. We like to uncover and look. Under things, through holes, carefully pulling back the curtain of life to peek at the goings on of the neighbours hoping not to get caught in the process.

Advertisers prey on our desire to have just a little peek. There’s sneak previews of upcoming TV shows and sneak-peaks at products that are yet to become available. Be the first to sneak a peek at something;makes us feel special. That we’ve had the chance to see something that others have not. Our interest is piqued. We want to peek just a little more.

There must be something about looking without getting caught. Spying, yes that’s probably what it’s called. I’d like my cool cats not to be killed by curiosity. I’d like them to have a healthy respect for other people’s business and keep their noses where they belong (inside a book would be great)! So unless they’re invited, I’d prefer them to keep a safe distance.

peek

I definitely don’t want them to be the ogling type who can’t look someone in the eye. Their eyes should not wander below their belts. But they are boys who will grow into men.

Am I expecting to much of my men-in-the-making? Take a peek back here in a decade or two and all will be revealed, except for me. I’ll be in the bathroom with the door locked.

building site

A Whole Lotta Love on a Friday -Encore Performance

The crowd are chanting and stomping their feet in a demanding way. There’s no time to catch your breath. Get out there and pelt out a couple more tunes. You will go down in history as legends. Of that, I am sure.

wonderful-team-membership-award

This is the final set and Charles is first to take to the stage. He is a true legend in every sense of the word and can rock this joint all on his own. I’ll let him take the mic now; that is if all the Windemere characters will let him get a word in.

The rules are as follows;

1.The Nominee of the Wonderful Team member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog.
2.The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little.
3.The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during 7 days.

Over a period of 7 days (1 week), the Nominee shall nominate a number of readers that he or she appreciates – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be all on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, as most convenient to the Nominee.

The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.

(I’ll do my nominations at the end of this post).

sunshineI am sure the spotlight will love Kimberly as much as she used to love being in it. She’s all pumped waiting in the wings so without further adieu I’ll let her strut her stuff. She might perform a tanka or a haiku tonight. She makes music with her words and paints pictures with her poems.

Patty is ready to make magic with her poetrics and the image and light show to go with it will astound you.

Thanks so much for this award. I need some sunshine right now as we head into Winter. As I’ve already received this award please check out Words for JP if you need the award rules.

super sweetIt will be a bittersweet ending as the night comes to a close. There’s two more fabulously awesome people doing a duet for the last tune of the night. Time to raise those lighters high into the air as John and Kira close out this cast of brilliant artists.

The words will flow and the clarity of the message in this song will speak for itself. All you need to do is listen to the words from within.

The Rules:

  • Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
  • Answer five Super Sweet questions. (see below)
  • Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post.
  • Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions:

        1. Cookies or Cake? Mmmmm Cookies. Num, num, num, num.
        2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocaholic
        3. Favorite Sweet Treat? Fudge, that’s a hard choice.
        4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Right before bed which is a no-go.
        5. Sweet Nick Name? Telly.

And the nominees are:

Get Me Rewrite

 Kori Miller

 Sonya Monica

  J T Weaver

  Naomi Whitacre

 Sterling Arthur Leva

 Emma Newman

Victoriablt

 Discovering Dimes

 Starlarosa

 The Jogging Dad

  Urban Wallart

Reaching Utopia

Phew! That was phenomenal.

Ok guys. I think that’s the end. It was absolutely mind-blowing. I think I’m all rocked out. Please don’t invite me to another concert for a while. I’m afraid I’m getting too old for this.

Kelly ♥

Top 10 Words That Contain Love

Love.

scrabble

4 letters.

Words can evoke love in the form of a letter.

A sentence can express love’s sentiments.

Stories can warm the heart and fill it with love.

A personally written poem or verse can mean the world.

 

How many words in the English language contain the letters L, O, V and E? I haven’t a clue but here’s 10 of the best.

  1. Vowel- love wouldn’t be love without them.
  2. Clover- you might need the luck of the Irish when it comes to love.
  3. Solve- all the pieces fit when you find love.
  4. Hovel- the place one resides might resemble that of a Hobbit but is also most likely filled with love.
  5. Grovel- learned at an early age, the promise of love comes with strings attached.
  6. Novel- most who produce one of these have put their heart, soul and a ton of love into them.
  7. Shovel- for those who love getting dirty, talking to plants and all things garden related.
  8. Violet- song sung by Courtney Love and also a line in the poem ‘Roses are Red’.
  9. Evolve- love will continue to evolve just as humanity does.
  10. Envelope- love arrives safely in its protective layer.

Have another one to add? Love-related words will be graciously received below.

Image from: here.

Addicted to Love

‘Might as well face it, You’re addicted to love.’

‘Ok, Robert. Maybe just a smidge.’

While Palmer’s lyrics play on repeat in my head, the image of his sleek ladies in their figure-hugging dresses dance in my mind.

I imagine you all in a karaoke bar kicking back and singing with gusto into the microphones and I can’t be there to join you.

Earlier I wrote about an upcoming event that would take me away from the Reader for a while. At this moment I am still 3 days behind being caught up.

The desire in me to not miss one of your wonderful posts has me reading anywhere and everywhere I can.

Tonight I scrolled and read while getting my mop in order. I read when making breakfast for my munchkins. In the line at the supermarket. Last thing at night. In the shower. Yes I’ll admit, I even read on the thunderbox.

I am going to steam roll all the blogs I follow in the morning. I’ll be pressing that like button like there’s no tomorrow. It feels dastardly to not be leaving my thoughts behind and hearing your response but it’s the only way I’m going to make it.

So please know that my clicking of that like icon really means love from me for the next few days. I’m addicted and I can’t miss a moment of one single post of the wonderful people who populate my Reader. Because I can’t just dish out the love on my blog and leave it there. I need to see you and hear your voices singing up a storm. That’s the love you all provide for me.

‘Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love.’

I love you all.

Top 10 Faux Pas of Kids’ Writing

Kids make people laugh on a daily basis. They’re witty without understanding why which makes it all the more thigh-slappingly humorous. Faux pas and writing gaffes by younger students are, by far, the most hilarious.

faux pas

The Top 10 list includes innocent misspellings of everyday words that turn sentences into somewhat inappropriate expressions. All words have been spelt correctly except the funny word so you won’t need a translator. The italicised sentence are my thoughts upon reading these beauties.

  1. The hores galloped through the rain. (horses) I hope they’re wearing their wellies.
  2. When we were driving we had to follow the sins. (signs) Are you driving to hell?
  3. We had to wait for three nits. (nights) I wouldn’t wait for ONE.
  4. My tits got a hole in them when I fell over. (tights) Do new ones cost a lot?
  5. I shared my Cock with my friend, Samantha. (Coke) Not touching this one, other than to say it was a gorgeous girl of 5 who wrote this one.
  6. Daddy’s shit was blue and white striped. (shirt) Did it come out like toothpaste?
  7. My mum is not a moaning person. (morning) Maybe she prefers sleep ins.
  8. The race cars went fart around the track. (fast) That would make them noisy and smelly.
  9. The lion was really big butt I wasn’t scared. (but) It’s not that end that scares me. It’s the other one.
  10. Two great examples for the same word that I could not separate :

Dad likes eating penus. (peanuts) I need penise. (pennies). No comment needed as they are rib ticklers all on their own.

Teaching children aged between 4 and 13 for near-on two decades has taught me a thing or two.

  • The English language is far too complicated for any one system to work in assisting students to learn how to read and write.
  • When reading back what a young student has written it pays to have them by your side to decipher. This ensures you avoid any… ehem….’misunderstanding’.
  • Practising and perfecting a poker face is essential.
  • Kids always know exactly what it is they are trying to say/write even if the listener/reader hasn’t a clue.
  • Universities should provide, as part of teacher training, a crash course in translation of kid-speak.

If you’ve any other doozies to share please add them below for other readers to giggle over.

A big shout out to Stuff Kids Write for providing me with laughs.

Kelly ♥

© 2013 Kelly Hibbert, all rights reserved.

Image from: here.

I’d Love to be a Treehugger

treeHug a tree for love.

Surrounding our home like sentries are gum trees, some of which would be 80′ high. The backyard features a ‘mother’ gum which is heritage listed, meaning approval is required before any part can be removed. The house was built around her. She’s the pinnacle of the ship.

Turning off the TV and the kids means nature’s soundtrack plays from dawn until dusk. Rainbow Lorikeets twitter and play in the lower branches and entertain with their antics in the bird boxes nailed to her trunk. Possums disembark from her to our roof before daybreak and reunite in the higher regions when the moon is full. The local koala takes his overnight stay on a fork wide enough to comfortably hold his weight. On still Summer days he stays low to the ground, easy for us to watch. Rosellas, kookaburras, honeyeaters and finches all delight in the bird bath under the shadow of her outstretched arms. The hoot of a Tawny Frogmouth owl can be heard after dusk. The Black Cockatoos chew on her looking for grubs and branches are shed which fall to the ground. I am in awe of her but that’s tinged with fear. Many a night has passed where I lay and wonder whether she’ll survive the storm unscathed.

She provides shade for picnics, is wide enough to hide behind and will most likely have the boys high amongst her leaves when they are a bit older. She is the heart of our yard.

Do my kids see me as the tree of our home? Sure they’ve nestled in my arms many-a-time and Just 3 gives the best leg hugs and I do call him tree hugger when he’s latched onto my thigh. I stand firm and weather most fronts. I go through the seasonal changes. Bunkering down for the long haul of winter, the focus is remaining stalwart through the rain, hail and wind. I’m always there. Strong and sturdy but fragile all the same-providing refuge, standing tall, always watching over but who watches over me?

I envy my saplings, for I once was one too. But now it’s their turn and I’ll try to ensure they’ll each grow to become the tree I see they’ll be.

It’s a mother’s nature to love.

Image from: here.

Loveabubble

I’d love a bubble, yes I would

I’d live inside it if I could

I’d drift through life, safe inside

For all to see, nothing to hide.

My special bubble would be airtight

To let nothing in but beautiful light

The whole spectrum of colours bright

Floating along, what a wonderful sight.

This bubble of mine would be safe and sound

Hovering high above the ground

It’d be the most splendiferous way

gliding free, throughout the days.

I’d make bubbles for me and mine

And so that way we’d all be fine

Buoyant, happy, with no troubles

Unless someone dare pop those bubbles.

To protect my bubbles would be my aim

So inside they’d feel no pain

But we would not be able to touch

Hugs and kisses I love so much.

On second thoughts I don’t think I care

I much prefer the love we share

I’d be lonely in my bubble for one

Being carried away towards the sun.

It might be fun for one single day

To have our cares just blown away

To live a life worry and carefree

I’d loveabubble for you and me.

bubble
© 2013 Kelly Hibbert, all rights reserved.

Image from: here.

Top 10 Tips for Showing Love

love is a verbShow me the love!

The words ‘I love you’ are easy for most parents to say to their child. It is a little more difficult with the fast pace of day-to-day life to find time to show kids the kind of love they will most remember you for.

When I think back to my own childhood the fondest memories I have are of the things we did not words that were said. I knew my parents loved me because of their actions not from a single spoken, ‘I love you’ even though it’s lovely to hear and I heard it often.

So here’s the Top 10 Tips that can help create memories of love that will last a lifetime:

          1. Show and tell. In our home we have an unwritten policy that means we try and express our love in as many ways as possible. Children can learn how to sign ‘I love you’ from quite a young age. Another way is just to point to your eye, your own heart and then point to the person you’re aiming your love at. Both of my boys love having their back tickled before being tucked in at night. So after sharing a story, I will tickle their back and write, ‘I love you’ with my finger.
          2. ‘I love you because…..’ Simply stating ‘I love you’ can be wonderful to hear. It has even more meaning when there is a connecting reason given to the receiver. The end of the sentence could convey how you feel, ‘I love you because I feel so lucky to have you as my son/daughter.’ You may choose to say something about the child’s appearance, ‘I love you because when you smile it lights up your whole face.’ Receiving compliments can be difficult for adults who have never learned to graciously accept them as children. This one is then two-fold-a compliment and an expression of how you feel all rolled into one.
          3. Little things impress little people. Sticky-notes in lunchboxes, sandwiches cut into shapes or heading to the playground straight after school are all little things that are a big deal to kids. Think of something you know your child will appreciate and it doesn’t have to cost a cent to be meaningful.
          4. Spend time wisely. Everyone knows childhood is gone in an instant. Blink once and they’re walking. Blink twice and they’re at school. Blink again and they’re getting their license. I know I want my children to enter adulthood with the recollection that I had time for them. That I wanted to spend time with them, share it with them and try as I might, make it stand still. Capture moments, get lost in the moment but don’t miss the moments of time you could have spent with them.
          5. Do things as a family. Family time is hard to find for some but so important. There are times when we need to divide and conquer to achieve tasks but ensuring your family has together time is essential. It might be as simple as an adventure in the backyard or as complex as going on a day trip with a picnic lunch.
          6. Lend a hand and let them help. Helping children shows your willingness to engage in what’s important to them. Like any relationship it needs to be reciprocal. Allowing them to help you with tasks or involving them in your interests shows them that you care what they think and feel and that yo appreciate their willingness.
          7. Model love. Children learn their cues from adults. Demonstrated love will allow them to see how it’s done and put it into practise.
          8. Actions speak louder than words. Cuddles, kisses and hugs and lots of them. As human beings we crave touch-the feel of a warm embrace, a kiss from a loved one or to cuddle up together without a care in the world. Not a day should go by when your children don’t feel the warmth of your heart beating next to theirs.
          9. Greet and farewell them like a long lost friend. Having children understand that you miss them when they’re gone but be so happy to see them again later helps them to understand that they are important people in your life. Sharing the day’s events when together again is a great way to connect with kids.
          10. Remind them constantly. A day without love is like a day without sunshine.

Most certainly, there are many other ways to express love through actions. If you have a way of showing love you’d love to share I welcome contributions.

Kelly ♥

© 2013 Kelly Hibbert, all rights reserved.

Image from: here.

Play. Date. Love.

‘I’d love to play. It’s a date!’

There is something to be said about the simplicity with which a child forms a friendship. The ritual is brief: play (sometimes names are not even exchanged), date (find out about each other’s likes and dislikes) and love (blissfully spend the rest of their time together with an occasional disagreement or two).

I have watched my boys, 6 and 3, meet new children at gatherings, celebrations and even at playgrounds. There is an unwritten creed in existence for children. The same cannot be said for most adults. At which point in life is it that we unlearn how to make the acquaintance of new people or do we not seek out new relationships to remain in our zone of contentment? Developing a new relationship takes time. It takes effort. There is an investment from each side.

I was faced with this predicament recently: to go beyond the, ‘Hi, how are you?’ or “How’s your day been?’ while waiting for the bell to ring to signal the end of the school day. My son was asked on a play date.

I knew that it was inevitable. The day had come. This was territory I had never ventured into.

I find making someone’s acquaintance a daunting prospect yet I would be forced to. My son is following in my footsteps, for the time being, and requested that I chaperone the ‘date’. There would be no ‘drop and run’ which the mother of the other child was expecting. See a play date for most is the opportunity to dispose of said child for a while and, maybe, get a manicure or indulge in a coffee that won’t go cold before you drain the cup.

So on this day I found myself in the relative comfort of someone else’s comfort zone where I was not comfortable at all. I had to take both boys as it was during the day while Dad was at work. I spent two excruciating hours there. In that time I worried about my boys waking the sleeping baby (not the proverbial baby-playdatethere really was one sleeping upstairs) or Just 3 being unable to successfully navigate the narrow stairway with two-way traffic. I wiped crumbs from chairs when the kids (5 in total) ate the home made fresh-out-the-oven cookies I had proffered on my arrival. I fussed over the fact that this home had no fences and at one stage Just 3 ended up at the top of the driveway near the road. The older children spent considerable time running away from Just 3 who, of course, chased them wanting to join in but inadvertently continued the game. I spent nearly 15 minutes in the downstairs ensuite bathroom, which was not much larger than the size of a public cubicle, when my boys decided to do their synchronised number two’s routine. Just 3 needed a change of bottom half clothes for….well I’m sure you can figure it out. Doors were being used like revolving ones, there were toy guns and swords that made noise and had strobe lights and I thought there’d be flashing lights coming to get me if I didn’t get out of there fast. Throughout all of this I attempted to hold an adult conversation with a woman who could not be any more polar opposite to me if she was floating in the water off the coast of Bermuda. She filled space with words: not of light conversations about the weather and what you like doing when you have spare time, but her life. Almost from start to finish. I, who am known to be able to hold my own in a verbal exchange, could hardly get a word in. So I listened and nodded and uh huh’ed in the appropriate places all while keeping Just 3 in my sights. The mother, either blissfully unaware or taking some time to rest while the baby was asleep, seemed to take it all in her stride. Toys being strewn across the path of anyone who dare enter did nothing to change her resolve. She was softly spoken even as a door was slammed for the 15th time and she politely asked her son to close it carefully as he dashed off and her words drifted in the air like dust.

As we made our way to the car I was composed, outwardly centred. Inside I was screaming, all muscles tense.

I had white knuckle fever on the journey home. It took 5 minutes but it felt as if I was on an exercise bike and wasn’t getting anywhere fast. My answer? A glass of red wine at 3:30 in the afternoon-something I have NEVER done before. This was my second option by a narrow margin to going out into the backyard and letting off the biggest scream I could create. The first option may have attracted unwarranted concern from my neighbours so I sucked it up. The. Whole. Glass.

In reflection, I did wonder whether that mum opened her own bottle after we left. Did she, like me, seek to quell the rising tension by forcing it back down again with her own medicinal glass? Maybe we weren’t as opposite as I had first thought. Perhaps adults need more than one ‘date’ to suss each other and decide if a friendship can be born. Maybe that’s why she handed me her card before we left. ‘Ben’s had such a wonderful time today. Give me a call and Ben could come to your place next time.’

‘The kids had a ball,’ I thought to myself. They were completely unaware of the cracks that formed in my veneer. It is all about the kids after all. I could hide a glass in the fridge if I wasn’t comfortable in my comfort zone. I wondered what we would talk about next time. Would she turn to me and say, ‘Well you heard all about me last time. Tell me all about you.’ Then it dawned- there would be no next time. She had expected me to ‘drop and go’ and that’s exactly what she planned to do on the reciprocal ‘date’. I wouldn’t need my secret weapon.

That’s why you’ll find me hanging with the kids next time. It’s so much simpler in their world. Play. Date. Love.

And the other mother can have her manicure and coffee too!

Image from: here.

Top 10 Tips to Help Children Love Reading

reading

My children love books and they love reading.

This Top 10 list looks at what parents can do to foster a love of reading from birth. The right start can make all the difference.

  1. Start reading with babies right from birth. Get comfortable and read aloud every day for 10-15 minutes. This will help develop a routine for reading enjoyment.
  2. Read several different books at times throughout the day or the same book multiple times. Hearing a thousand stories will help a child begin to learn to read.
  3. Use your eyes, voice and body to bring a story to life. Using a flat, monotone voice will not convey your excitement.
  4. Read the same stories time and time again. Use the same pattern or rhythm each time. In time, children will be able to retell the story to you.
  5. Interaction with the story is key. Look at and talk about pictures, connect the story to a rhyme or song and answer any questions children ask. A book does not need to be read cover to cover without stopping to enjoy the pages within.
  6. Point to words, pick out letters, think of rhyming words when reading. Whatever you do should be fun and not remotely resemble teaching.
  7. Use the three R’s when choosing books for young children. Rhythm, rhyme and repetition are an awesome combination.
  8.  Read aloud to kids even when they can read themselves. Tell stories, make up stories together or sing nonsense rhymes-all of which are language-rich activities.
  9. Be a good reading role model. Read books, newspapers or magazines for enjoyment.
  10. Read, read, read, read and read.

I love reading. My kids love reading too. Whether that is inherent or not, I have no way of knowing. I do know that I have read with my children right from birth. Over the past 6 years I have read thousands of books to Almost 6 and Just 3.

I am a mum who loves to read. My teaching career has spanned nearly two decades during which time I have had the privilege of reading thousands of stories. I majored in children’s literature and I write picture books for fun in my spare time. This top 10 is by no means exhaustive. There is so much you can do with your children and a good book. If you have a book but no child, borrow one from a friend or relative. Reading with a child is magic and they’re the most captive audience you’ll ever have.

♥ Kelly

Image from: here.

My Dream Lover

Sweet dreams, my love.

Dreams can be fun. They can also be heart-pounding scary. Others are hallucinations of sorts. Dreams where you are falling are supposed to be dreamsbad. Some are a wake up call and others should be given no heed at all. The worst is when you’re in the middle of a really good one………..BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Time to wake up.

I have had a dream. It wasn’t as awe-inspiring as Martin Luther King’s (whose speech I love and I wasn’t even born when he delivered it). On Saturday night I dreamt that Steve, my husband of 7 years, was gone. Not gone as in ‘not here anymore’ but gone as in ‘had left me’. Now I’m not a big dream analyst and I haven’t even Googled it to see what it might have meant (dreams are sometimes really not about what they’re about at all). To me it was clear that my subconscious was sending me a message through a megaphone.

This, combined with reaching a milestone got my brain ticking in overdrive.

It ticked right back to the beginning of this adventure. Not my journey through life. I love to talk but not that much. But here’s just a little history to unveil the mystery of me:

  • I am an almost-40 wife and mother of two boys. I am a teacher, sister and aunty.
  • I am a recovering perfectionist, perpetual clean freak and don’t like hats but wear many virtual ones.
  • My home is in South Australia and I love where I live.
  • I’m an ideas person until I pick the crap out of them and realise it won’t/can’t work long-term.
  • I suffer from the S.A.D.S (seasonal affective disorder/syndrome). Winter gives me the shits. I am a heat seeker that must have a vitamin D deficiency.
  • I LOVE to laugh and do nowhere near enough of it.
  • I stay away from bad news on TV. I’m a fairweather friend of news reports who finds it difficult to process all the bad things in the world that I can’t fix.

I am also a lover of words. English, specialising in children’s literature, was my major at University. I.T was my minor. I crave to write like a druggie craves the next fix.

I am a visual person too. My first love was Art, particularly Design. I wanted to ‘be a Graphic Designer’. Teaching was my second choice (yeah, I know-‘those who can’t do, teach’).

So I packed my bindle and off I set. I know it’s not a big deal but I am autodidactic by nature. Someone who seeks out new things to teach themselves. Free Little Words began on January 1st this year after I’d thought about starting one for nearly 12 months. It has been awesome, to say the least. I have learnt bucket loads and it won’t stop here (this isn’t a goodbye speech).

nightmareI am coming full-circle back to the dream nightmare now. Change is called for by me (these next two paragraphs are a bit whingey if you’d like to skip them). This blogging stuff takes a lot of time. We all know that. Anything worth doing can’t be completed in a jiffy. For me, I know I need to streamline the way I do things to ensure it takes as little time as possible while still doing a fantastic job. I don’t start something and not finish it to the best of my ability.

I don’t want to lose my husband (he assures me he’s not going anywhere) and I don’t want to take time away from my kids (after their bed time is the usual time reserved for all things bloggable). The other day I spent six hours looking for the right image for a post. I know, six hours. Ridiculous! Did I find it? No, because it didn’t exist. So I made it myself because it had to be right (I did say I was a recovering perfectionist). When I started my blog I did all my images myself. That was the time consuming part. Here’s the perfect example. I used to let the image do the talking as I wasn’t sure what to say. I pumped out 54 words on that post. Like when meeting a new friend, I was shy and hung back. Now I find it hard to keep under 400 words. All of my images have come from the internet now for quite some time but I have lost that sense of uniqueness. And all of that is just to complete my post. One must not forget the importance of the Reader, commenting, replying to comments, finding the next awesome blogger you wanna hang out with and please don’t let a negative word escape my lips about the time taken to complete awards.

So I’m going to go back to where I started, where the enjoyment was. The only difference this time is I’ll be drawing them not photographing. I love taking a line for a walk as you never know where it will take you. I’m going to take baby steps and do one a week.

I’ve got other plans I want to implement but I’ve word bashed everyone enough for now so I’ll leave it there.

 P.S Heartfelt thanks to Teacher 2 Mum who should understand why and Making It Through Monday who made my Monday Tuesday.

Dream a little dream of love.

Images from: here and here.

Love in Da Club

blog

I’m feelin’ the love in the club tonight.

200 followers b

The night club days might be over but this club I’ve joined doesn’t involve a hangover in the morning. For the bloggers who know the ‘me’ I have revealed here on WP the love for my boys will be back soon. Just for a short while it’s going to be all about me and you. If you’ve stopped in here for the first time I’d like if you’d check out a couple of older posts to see what normally goes on around these parts.

I was excited to join the ‘200 club’ this week thanks to those individuals recognising that I have/had written something worthy of reading. It left me posing more questions than having answers though. Soon after reaching this milestone I began thinking about the next one. How many followers would I like before I was happy? Then I read this post called The More at Linda G Hill’s blog. Reading this and other ‘direction arrows’ had me driving to an unknown destination and got me thinking….

ChangesToday I felt as if I was following the ‘signs’ but I didn’t know where I headed. I did a lot of thinking today, not much reading and no writing until now. I had to get a handle on all the new stuff that was going on in my head. Then Kira at Wrestling Life reminded me of another reason why I’m here. In her post about a type of Welsh poetry, I commented, ‘Words that don’t come out through my fingers end up coming out of my mouth. They’re the ones that get me in more trouble. That’s one of the reasons why I write.’

And finally there was this post from The Evolving Dad where he talked about not trying so hard and that some of the best posts are the best just because. The flow from the fingers and don’t involve as much thought and planning. I know someone who does this amazingly well. Her name is Kimberly and she was one of my first followers. Her poetry paints pictures, neither of which I can do. Words for JP is where she resides if you’d like to join her there.

And finally for tonight is a plea to all the you Fantasy readers out there. Charles over at Legends of Windemere has his first book on Amazon. You could go and have a look at his site first or go straight here to buy the book for Kindle or in paperback.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another post that is off-topic but is something I need to do before I can choose where it is I am going from here. thanks

Once again I would like to send a big thankyou to each and every blogger who works tirelessly to ensure that their content is king (I’d send flowers but unlike a ‘thank you’ they would end up in the bin).

I’ll be playing catch up tomorrow on my reader and comments. I haven’t forgotten you!

Blogging love to all.

Kelly

Images from: here, here and here.