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Saturday

Proud Parent

Proud Parent

Can there be a prouder moment for a parent than to watch a child become a young adult and march across the platform to receive a high school diploma?

Photo c2009 by Nickers and Ink.
All rights reserved.

Congratulations, my dear. I am so proud of you. I love you big time, and I pray God's best for you, as always.

Monday

Memorial Day


Burning in Our Hearts
We will not forget the courage and sacrifice of the firefighters and other rescuers who lost their lives in the tragic terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. This rhymed poem offers a tribute to the fallen.

Memorial Day Poems - Dress Blues

Memorial Day Poems - A Rhyme Embossed with Freedom's Cost.
On Memorial Day, we honor our fallen soldiers from present days and days gone by. Liberty comes at a dear price, particularly when that cost becomes personal.
(Is it ever not personal?)

No Picnic - Remembering Memorial Day
On Memorial Day, especially, may we remember our veterans and those who gave their lives for freedom. Even as we plan Memorial Day picnics and festivities, let us not forget the price they paid.

The Postcard: a Late Arrival and Love's Revival
What happens when a postcard is mailed, but it arrives many years too late?

Wave of Glory - a Poetic Manner on the American Banner
Hands upon our hearts, we stand, As you fly, so bold and grand, What a lovely sight, on view, America's red, white and blue.

Great Graduations


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Great Graduations
For many students and teachers, the school year is coming to a close. We have reached the final stretch. The finish line is in sight. The class of 2009 has been measured for caps and gowns, and they are lining up for graduation rehearsals in school gymnasiums and auditoriums everywhere.

Parent and teacher associations and school booster clubs are preparing platters of cookies and punches for commencement celebrations. Caterers are cooking up a storm, and greeting card manufacturers are shipping extra graduation cards to retailers.

The excitement has begun.

Do you have a graduate this year?

My oldest will graduate from high school next week.

I am beginning to understand the proverbial flight of time. In a wink, she has gone from diapers to a diploma. Before we could blink, she went from the pram to the prom and from rattles to class rings.

Photo c1990 by Nickers and Ink.
All rights reserved.

Where did the years go?

Graduation parties and celebrations fill our family calendar. Perhaps these laudatory events fill yours as well.

Congratulations, Class of 2009.

You may find these links useful, if you are celebrating the preschool, kindergarten, junior high, high school, college or university graduation of someone you love.

Diplomas with Diplomacy

Commencement ceremonies begin. Parents clutch graduation programs, scanning for their child's name and waiting for their turn to cheer proudly for their own graduate. A parent is, after all, a graduate's top fan forever.

Do-It-Yourself Home Schooling

Is distance learning a solid option for today’s graduates? How does distance learning work, and how does it stack up against in-person college or university studies?

Great Graduation Coloring Pages for Kids

As commencement celebrations begin, be sure to check out our top ten picks for free graduation coloring pages for kids. These printable coloring pages are sure to earn A+ grades with young coloring enthusiasts. May the creative coloring commence.

High School Graduation: Ten Basic Skills You Will Need for Adulthood

Looking forward to high school graduation? Are you ready? In addition to your high school's graduation requirements, do you possess the basic skills you will need for the next step? Here are ten basic skills you will need for adult life.

Ironing Out the Issues of Graduation Attire

How can you remove the wrinkles from a graduation gown? Try these practical pointers, so your graduate will look picture-perfect in his or her commencement cap and gown.

Make Your Own Great Graduation Banners and Party Decorations

Make your graduation celebration festive with a bold banner to proclaim the great news. Do-it-yourself graduation banners are simple and fun to make. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to making your own graduation banners and party decorations.

Memorable Graduation Quotes for High School Commencement Speeches

High school commencement speakers may be challenged to come up with memorable oratory to hold the attention of enthusiastic graduates. What are the top ten most memorable and significant graduation quotes for commencement speakers?

Popular Christian High School Graduation Songs

Each May, Christian high schools plan commencement ceremonies to celebrate the academic achievements of their senior class students. What popular songs might be appropriate for graduation at a Christian high school? Here are our top ten favorites.

Summer Jobs and Career Choices

No matter what field of study or profession a graduate may select, those early summer jobs can truly count. Here’s how to build solid work experience, right from the start.

Teen Internships – Planning and Preparing

What comes after graduation? How will the graduating senior spend his or her summer vacation this year?

Top Ten American Idol Alumni Hits for High School Graduation 2009

What tunes can build the soundtrack for high school graduation? Create a music mix, combining top American Idol stars with your own favorite brand-new high school alums? Here are our top ten American Idol star hits for high school graduation 2009.

Top 10 Funny Graduation Quotes

Humor and Levity for Commencement Cards and Ceremonies - What are the top ten funny graduation quotes for commencement ceremonies, speeches and greetings? Here are our favorite commencement quips.

Top 10 Graduation Bible Verses for Cards and Letters

How can we make graduation cards and letters more memorable? What can we include, to make graduation salutations more special? How about selecting a Bible verse or two to fit the proud graduation occasion?

Top Ten Terrific Graduation Gifts for Last-Minute Shoppers

A graduation is a salutatory occasion. What great last-minute gifts are appropriate for a high school or university graduate? Check out our top ten terrific graduation gifts for last-minute shoppers, arranged in ascending order by probable pricing.

Top Ten Trendy Songs for a Kindergarten Graduation

What are the makings of a super soundtrack for a kindergarten graduation? What tunes are ideal for a great children's party to mark the completion of kindergarten? Try our top ten trendy songs for a kindergarten graduation.

Upgrades and Accolades

A graduation celebration is a proud moment for students and parents alike, capping off many years of commitment and perseverance. Still, as a graduation marks the end of one chapter in a young person's life, it also opens a brand-new beginning.
Congratulations, graduates!

Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink.

Throughout 2009, please join us at The Heart of a Ready Writer, a Bible reading and devotional blog, as we read through the Bible in chronological order.


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Thursday

Reality Check - 41 Questions for Real Grownups


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Reality Check -
41 Questions for Real Grownups
(image snatched from Christine Stoddard)
Tired of all of those silly surveys made up by underage web surfers? Here's a list of questions for those of us who are a bit older.

Feel free to copy and paste the questions into your own blog entry. Tag your friends. Be sure to leave a comment here (at Practically at Home) with a hyperlink to your post.

I’m listing the questions in bold type, with my answers in plain type.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Over the past couple of years, the gas bill (for the car) has peeved me a bit. Gasoline prices fluctuate so frequently. 

2. Do you miss being a child? Not really. I believe childishness and childlikeness are two very different characteristics. Although I would contend that I left childishness behind a long time ago, I hope to hold onto childlikeness forever.

3. Chore you hate the most?
Laundry is not really my cup of tea. I never minded washing clothes much until I had teenagers . . . and horses. Such laundry can get a little gamey. In fact, we once overflowed an industrial-sized washing machine at a local Laundromat, just washing horse blankets.

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner? Gee, that’s a tough one. It may have been a Valentine’s Day dinner, several years ago.

5. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?
Lately, I’ve been sorting through old photographs. I would surely change some of those dreadful hairstyles. Did we really think we looked stylish and attractive? Also, I would probably try to give myself a better break in the self-perception department. 

6. Name of your first grade teacher?
I think my first grade teacher was Miss Boreham. Now that I think of it, she was fortunate to teach first grade, rather than middle school. Just think what preteens could do with that name. “Miss Boredom! The dog ate my homework.” 

7. What do you really want to be doing right now?
Right now, I’d love to be digging in my garden, but I overdid it a few days ago, pulling weeds. This morning, I can hardly move. 

8. What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a writer.

9. How many colleges did you attend? I attended college and graduate school.

10. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
This tee shirt has a photo of a running horse that looks amazingly like my beloved mare.

11. What are your thoughts on gas prices? See #1.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning? I don’t use an alarm clock. My own circadian rhythms police that pretty well.

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night? “Thank You, God, for another day.”

14. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? I plead the 5th here.

15. Have you ever crashed your vehicle? No.

16. If you didn't have to work, would you volunteer? I already do volunteer.

17. Get up early or sleep in?

In earlier years, I loved to sleep in, but this is truly challenging in adulthood. Between kids and pets and a devotional blog, I am usually up pretty early each day. (CTRL-click here to visit Heart of a Ready Writer.)


18. Who is your favorite cartoon character? Not sure.

19. Favorite thing to do at night?
I love to crawl into bed with a good book.

20. When did you first start feeling old? This spring, my oldest will graduate from high school. That pretty much says it. 

21. Favorite lunch meat Pass the peanut butter and jelly, please. (See #2.)

22. What do you get every time you go to Wal-Mart? Besides hot flashes in the long checkout lines?

23. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? Nope. Ask me in another 23 years.

24. Favorite movie you wouldn't want anyone to find out about?
Is this a trick question?

25. What's your favorite drink? Iced tea with lemon.

26. Who[m] from high school would you like to run in to? “The Scouts.” (Nope, we were not official scouts. This was altogether different.)

27. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now? KLOVE – Christian and family radio

28. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives? How about House or Cold Case?

29. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back? I plead the 5th again.

30. Do you like the person that sits directly across from you at work? Gee, tough one. I am self-employed.

31. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes? Yes.

32. Last book you finished reading? Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen.

33. Do you have a teddy bear? No, but I have horses. Does that count?

34. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth? I once brushed my teeth in a bathroom of a truck stop in Nebraska, on a youth group bus trip to Colorado. Fuzzy morning teeth are a pet peeve, so I carried by toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse.

35. Do you go to church? Yes. I love our church!

36. How old are you? Old enough to plead the 5th again.

37. Has your life turned out the way you thought it would? Absolutely not. Actually, that may be a good thing.

38. What age are you looking forward to? The end of the age.

39. What is the coolest thing about your life right now? Seeing my kids growing and gaining confidence, character and capabilities.

Riding my young horses for the first time. 

40. What friend have you had the longest? Not sure.

41. What do you hope changes in the next phase of your life? Waiting for divine healing or a cure.

Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink.

Throughout 2009, please join us at The Heart of a Ready Writer, a Bible reading and devotional blog, as we read through theBible in chronological order.


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Saturday

Happy Mother's Day!


Click the Mother's Day card (above) to find several poems, articles and other related items - all about mothers and Mother's Day.

Monday

Countdown to Summer Vacation

We have nearly made it through another school year. How the months have flown. It's almost time to toss those weekly planners and stash those books for another year.

Teachers, students and parents - get set to celebrate!

Celebrate summer!

How will you spend the summer? Are you planning a family vacation? Will you go to summer camp, attend summer school, play summer sports or get a summer job? How about summer theater, art classes, team sports or vacation Bible school?

What hobbies or crafts have you wanted to practice or pursue all year long? Do you have a summer reading list or a pile of fascinating books you have planned to read this summer?

Are you simply itching to start digging in your garden?

Will you take a trip to Europe, Australia, Hawaii or another exotic spot? Walk on the Great Wall of China or the French Riviera? Will you visit Cape Cod, Door County, the Jersey Shore or the Pacific Coast?

What are your summer plans?

Countdown Clock by Zoodu.com

Related Items of Interest:

Summer Jobs for Teens - Camp Counselors
Summer is coming, and teens seek summer jobs. What can parents do to help teenagers prepare and qualify for summer camp counselor positions?

Super Summer Fashion Trends: Must-Haves for Women
Take a look at our top 10 summer fashion must-have items for women. This summer, smart women are returning to figure-flattering fashion styles. Summer fashions call for a fun forecast, featuring classic styles in bright and bold basic colors.

Swimwear for Summer 2009: Top 5 Swim Shorts Sites for Women
Surfers, sunbathers and beach strollers are snatching up swim shorts for coverage and comfort. Trendy swim shorts fashions may be found in swim and surfer shops, but more mature women may enjoy slightly more modest styles. Check out these options.

Four-Season Acrostic - Summer
Acrostic poem - reflecting on the summer season

Glad Tidings for Summer - Caring for Gladioli, the Joys of the Garden
How to select, plant, and care for Gladioli. These elegant, showy flowers produce a brilliant display of glorious color in the home garden and serve as excellent cut flowers too!

The Family Staycation: Saving Money and Sanity in a Struggling Economy
Seeking a stress-buster without breaking the budget, we will embark on a different sort of family adventure this year. We have planned a remarkable recreational week without sacrificing memory-making. We will have a stay-cation, vacationing at home.

Vacation Crafts: Simple Sand Candles
Going on vacation to the beach? Why not make your own sandy souvenirs while you are there? Enlist the children, and have fun in the sun together with this delightful beach candle-making craft!

Horseback Riding Basics: Have You Got What it Takes?
Going horseback riding on vacation or nearby? What equipment and supplies will you need for a basic ride? Here's a simple checklist for occasional equestrians.

Beach Volleyball
A Spiked Retort on Olympic Sport- "They spike and set out in the sand; The Californians say it's grand...."

Our Sandy Surprise
Even during family gatherings at the beach, natural consequences may teach children important lessons of life. What happens when kids do not listen to adult instruction? Things can get a little scratchy.

Swimwear is Life - a Rhymed Retort to Suits We Sport
First toddling with a padded seat To catch the items we excrete, We graduate to ruffled skirts, As we delight in sand and dirt.

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