“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
As teachers, parents and students, August seems to slip in with rainy days called “Dog Days”, but to this month also seems to be a peaceful and quiet month as we prepare for the busyness of school. We try to savor each moment of summer with the beautiful sunsets, summertime swimming, picnics and those lazy, hazy days of summer as we embark in hope on a brand new school year.
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 4 and we celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Chocolate chip cookies are enjoyed on hot or cold days. Bring your young cooks into the kitchen to help you read the recipe, measure, pour, stir and bake a delicious batch of chocolate chip cookies. This is a wonderful hands-on math lesson before school starts. No time to cook? Just stop at the bakery to pick up cookies to share with others in the neighborhood or work. Guide your children to understand that it is important to share with others. Not only is it a blessing to the recipient but it is a blessing to the giver too.
A bit of history as you munch on your chocolate chip cookie: Our favorite cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield. She and her husband ran the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. So this is where “Toll House” Cookies originated from.
Don’t we all love to laugh? This week, Aug. 1-7 is International Clown Week in which we celebrate those who have been called to be clowns and make us laugh and smile. I love how the young and old are brightened up by a clown.
Even though Water Melon Day is celebrated on Aug. 3, we celebrate this delicious big and juicy classed fruit and veggie all summer long! A bit of science here, watermelons are classed as a fruit because it grows from a seed and is a melon which contains a juicy, cool, refreshing flavor. Our popular watermelon is also in the same family as the squash, cucumber and pumpkin which puts it in the vegetable family. Also, we notice watermelons are picked and harvested from vines, which is the same as other growing vegetables.
Young children love the cold juicy taste of watermelon. With children, remember to remove the seeds as well as cutting up melon pieces in eatable chunks. Have the children count the seeds as a math lesson, then even plant the seeds as a science lesson.
Another special day which we celebrate every day is National Friendship Day on Aug. 1. Teaching your children that friends are a blessing is the very best life lesson you can share with your children. I have been taught this summer when I have gone through some health problems that friends don’t ask what they can do, they come in and do what needs to be done. I have a very special friend who is truly a practical servant in helping others in need. She has gone with me to doctors’ appointments, shopped for my weekly groceries and provided me JOY rides. Teaching children that actions speak louder than words in making friends and helping others is truly a valuable life lesson. We can read many Bible verses on friendship. Children love to sing this Bible verse from John 15:12-13, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Tomorrow, Aug. 5, is “Work Like a Dog Day”. As families get ready for this school year, we know there are days that you just have to work hard. We notice that some dogs dig , dig, dig and don’t give up until the job is done. This day is to honor the hardest working folks among us whether it be in your family or at work.
After working so hard another holiday that is observed and celebrated is “Wiggle Your Toes Day”. Children love to do rhymes with their toes. We all remember “This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed at home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had non, and this little piggy went wee, wee, all the way home” using all five toes on each foot starting with the largest and ending with the smallest. I love the way preschool teachers do toe and foot art with paints and tracing. I know in the heat of this summer the best place to wiggle your toes is in a cool pool.
Aug. 7 is National Lighthouse Day. You do not have to travel outside of our beautiful state to see lighthouses. Like some folks are storm chasers when it comes to weather, my husband was a lighthouse chaser when it came to going to lighthouses for history interest. Carl loved to canoe. We lived in Mobile, Alabama, and he loved to canoe to the Middle Bay Lighthouse in Mobile Bay.
The Middle Bay Lighthouse is a hexagonal-shaped cottage style screw-pile lighthouse. The lighthouse is located offshore from Mobile, Alabama. This lighthouse has so much warm history from its activation in 1885. According to the Alabama Lighthouse Association, in 1916 the keepers’ wife gave birth to a baby that summer. The keeper brought a dairy cow to the station and corralled it on a section of the lower deck because his wife was unable to nurse the newborn baby.
Sand Island Lighthouse is a decommissioned lighthouse located at the southernmost point of the state of Alabama near Dauphin Island.
Battery Gladden Lighthouse in Mobile Bay at one time marked a turn in the old ship channel. It was deactivated in 1913.
Mobile Point range Lights were a series of lights at the entrance of Mobile Bay. They served as range lights during the American Civil War. Another lighthouse in Alabama on Mobile Bay was Choctaw Point Lighthouse.
At times the stream, rivers and waves of life flow smoothly but there are times in our lives when there are rocks, shoals, shallows when we are faced with disappointments, losses, uncertain futures and just don’t know what to do. This is where God provides a lighthouse for us. Lighthouses not only warn us of impending dangers when we see the full beams of light in the darkness but it gives us hope and encouragement of being guided in the right way. The beacon of light God uses is the Bible is, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). God gives us this light in order to live our lives.
Beth Pinyerd, Classroom Observer