child

Strawberry Fun

One of Liam’s Valentine’s Day presents this year was a strawberry seed planting kit.  He was super excited about it and pretty much demanded that we plant them right away.  He just loves digging in the dirt, and actually has a pretty steady hand so there isn’t usually too much of a mess for me to clean up afterwards.  This was definitely a group activity though.  Strawberry seeds are far too small for a 22 month old to be able to actually plant (and not lose).  So Liam put the dirt in his can, and then he held my hands as we carefully put the seeds in and he sprinkled the seed covering on himself. Today, after a couple of weeks of careful watering, we woke up to little green shoots starting to come up.  Liam was very excited!  We are both looking forward to watching the plants grow, especially since it makes it feel like spring might actually come someday when the snow outside is STILL higher than our fence!

Somersworth Children’s Festival

So I am a little behind in keeping up with the blog.. I blame the awesomely hot weather (and my subsequent desire to spend my life in the splash pool with the toddlers).

I also am prepping to head back to school in a big way next week after taking the spring semester off (it was so nice!).  I have a year left of classes, and a year left of an internship before I can take my administrator boards, so it is all serious all the time starting next week.  It really is a shame I can’t (safely) bring the laptop into the splash pool with me.  That would be some amazing multitasking.

This group of pictures is from the annual International Children’s Festival in Somersworth NH that we went to with a pretty big group of the family a few weeks ago.   It was an absolute blast and if you are in the seacoast NH region on the 3rd Saturday in June you should definitely make plans to bring your family!  The activities there were definitely geared to the 10 an under crowd, but even the 1 year olds had a blast dancing and hanging out with the animals at the miniature petting zoo.  As a parent the events on the various stages kept me entertained as well, and it was so much fun to see the kids enjoying themselves.  I think this is going to be a yearly trip for us.

Want more information about the festival?  Visit the website for the Somersworth Festival Association.

And without further adieu… pictures!

 

First stop for us was the Wildlife Encounters area.  There were animals and a mini petting zoo for the kids.. a hit with all of them.  The folks over at wildlife encounters were super busy, but also super nice.  they do Birthday Parties in the area and my sister-in-law who works at a local day care center said that their visits to the daycare are always a kid/parent favorite.  Personally I loved the staffing ratio they had, despite all of the kids that were milling around they were able to keep everything well organized, the animals not overcrowded, and everyone happy and safe.

After the animals we had some fun on the playground, drawing pictures in the shade, and then cooled off with the splash pool that was set up before taking a long walk down to the second site of the festival (note* there was a trolley that we did not know about that would have taken us down minus the hike… good to know for next year!)

Next up for us was a nice cold drink and snack time while we watched a Jamaican band and then the TaeKwon Do demo put on by Mr. B’s school.  The older kids were fascinated, the toddlers wanted to risk life and limb to run out among all the kicking and punching people.  Apparently it looked like fun!

The second site had all the normal fair like activities, including rides, face painting, games, fair food and balloon animals.  There also was a pretty cool craft fair inside the school and a tented area that highlighted the cultural trends of different nationalities.

This is where Liam passed out (literally, while walking), so Conan and I trudged back to the car and went to go pick up pizza while everyone else got to enjoy a lovely trolley ride and some more fun!

Striving For Virtue, why modern attitudes towards virtue are detrimental (and frustrating)

Virtue.

It is such as short and simple word, but is so full of meaning in today’s society. It brings to mind people who are too good to be true, angelic almost, or without fault. A state that every person, even the most saintly among us, would find difficult at best to achieve. In society today being a virtuous person often has negative undertones.

Yet I believe that everyone should strive to be a virtuous person.

When I say that I refer to the meaning of virtue from the times if the great Greek philosophers. In the time of Socrates the word virtue had no negative connotations like it can carry today. To be a virtuous person was simply to be a person who strived for excellence in everything they do on a regular basis. This state is achieved through the creation of good habits, proper choices, and the development of good character.

A person of virtue is a person who holds themselves accountable, strives to do their best every day, actively participates in life and learning, and does not allow themselves to become victims to the circumstance they are born into, instead choosing to develop a good character despite any road blocks in their way.

One thing that absolutely baffles me about modern attitudes toward character is the thought that it is something that people are born with and cannot be changed. With all of the research regarding nature versus nurture over the years that has repetitively shown that neither nature nor nurture is the sole answer for what determines personality, how is it that society still thinks of character as something that is solely determined by nature?

This common attitude is crippling our society. It creates too many convenient excuses for people and throws personal accountability out the door. The “he can’t help it, he was born this way attitude” is a great contributor to the “affluenza” afflicted youth we are seeing come of age at this time. It is the type of attitude that teaches our children that personal growth is not a possibility for them, so they really shouldn’t bother to try.

I propose that instead of teaching our children that living a life of virtue is an impossibility and boring (because nobody wants to be a goody two shoes) we should educate them on the old meaning of the word. Virtuosity is not something we should be ashamed of; it is something every person should strive for. Imagine all of the good we could do as a society if every person strived for excellency on a daily basis? Imagine if every person had a sense of personal accountability for their actions and always strived to do what was best not only for themselves, but also for their community?

It would be amazing.