The little Philanthropist

IN TODAY’S AGE OF…

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“AND I WANT A BUNCH OF IT!”

Let us explore children’s birthdays:

When I was a child, birthdays were a fun-filled, family event.

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You could count on a delicious cake, handmade with love.

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And a nifty present or two.

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Well, in case it’s been a while since you’ve attended a good, old fashion children’s birthday party…

things have changed just a bit.

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Nifty gifts have changed just a bit…

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And that handmade cake...FUHGEDDABOUDIT!!!

Get yourself on Pinterest baby, because this is what is expected of you today!

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But…every once in a blue moon, someone different appears out of nowhere, reminding us all of what is really important…other than chocolate, that is.

MEET SARA HAYS:  THE LITTLE PHILANTHROPIST

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Name:  Sara Hays

Age:  9

Home State:  Georgia

Interests:  Sara Hays is an extremely active girl.  She loves to play soccer, jump on the trampoline, do gymnastics, swim and ride horses.  She’s also a very social and well-rounded young lady.  She grew tomatoes and peppers in her own garden this summer.  She enjoys playing the piano, having tea parties, playing with her American Girl Dolls, and being active in her Church.  It should, however, be noted that she does not like to clean her room.

I caught wind that Sara Hays was planning something a little different for her 9th birthday on Facebook.  Sara Hays and her big brother, Jackson (age  11), were planning to run a 5k called “Race for the Orphans.”

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Instead of birthday presents, she was asking friends and family to donate money to the cause.  Sara Hays’s family said the idea was her own…which really left me wondering:

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Seriously???  A nine year-old who would rather raise money for orphans than receive birthday presents?  And this was her own idea?  How could this be?  I had to find out more.  So I dug a bit.  What exactly IS “Race for the Orphans?”  This is what I discovered:


RACE FOR THE ORPHANS 5K

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More than 360 runners and walkers participated in the inaugural RACE for the Orphans in 2013, an event that successfully helped raise necessary funds to bring a little girl from China home to her Newnan, Georgia family. The ongoing mission of RACE for the Orphans is Raising Awareness, Compassion, and Education about the needs of orphans around the world.  Each annual event is a fundraiser to help other local families who also have a heart to adopt and love an orphan.  The RACE atmosphere provides an exciting and family-friendly time of healthy competition. More importantly, though, the adoption momentum grows when a community comes together for the united objective of helping to reduce the world’s 150+ million orphan population…even if by just one child at a time.

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INTERVIEW WITH SARA HAYS AND JACKSON
NANNY:  “How did you first hear about this event?”
SARA HAYS:  “My mommy took pictures for it the past few years.
NANNY:  “What gave you the idea to do this?”
SARA HAYS:  “I saw some other kids donate money to an animal shelter at their birthday parties.”
NANNY:  “Why do you feel like this is an important thing to do?”
SARA HAYS:  “Because I love kids, and this will help someone to adopt a kid.”
JACKSON:  “This money will help little kids find a home.”
NANNY:  “You two had to run a long way for this event.  Did you have to train or anything?”
SARA HAYS:  “I used an App called  “Couch to 5k” that trains a person gradually, week by week.”
JACKSON:   “I actually found the app on the iPhone.”
NANNY:  “Was running the race harder than you thought it would be?”
SARA HAYS:   “It was harder than I thought it was going to be.  Way longer.”
JACKSON:  “It was a good time of year to do the race . . . not too hot, but not cold either.”
NANNY:  “How did it feel when you finished?”
SARA HAYS:  “It felt really, really good.”
JACKSON:  “Sara Hays might be an inspiration to me to donate my birthday money this coming December.”
NANNY:  “When your birthday was over, did you feel sad at all that you had given away your birthday money?”
SARA HAYS:  “NO!  It feels good to give to other people.”
NANNY:  “What would you say to other kids about choosing to do something different on their birthdays or for Christmas?”
SARA HAYS:  “It’s a good thing to do because there are so many good causes needing money.”
NANNY:  “Is there anything else you would like to say about the event?”
JACKSON:  “We know a family that actually benefitted from this money.   This family has inspired their friends and fellow church members to participate in this event.  It has become an annual event and gets bigger every year.   There were over 450 participants this year with many being children along with their parents.”
So…Children giving for the sake of giving…could this could catch on?
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TAKE THE SARA HAYS AND JACKSON CHALLENGE!!!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Read this post to your children and discuss creative ways that they can give to others.
Email me pictures and stories that I can post, as your children work to become a
generation of more grateful and generous people.
 erkenly@gmail.com

Then who knows?  Perhaps the world will be a better place…
One child at a time.

Meet Sam – Ninja Ballerina

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EVERY GIRL WANT’S A MAN WHO CAN GET HIS GROOVE ON.  

BOYS…HERE’S WHERE IT STARTS!


NAME:  Samunnamed

AGE:  2

HOME STATE:  North Carolina

INTERESTS:  Cars, trucks, trains, helicopters, airplanes…anything with wheels.  Movies, art, dogs, contact sports, running, anything that requires a bat, anything that makes you dirty, eating, foraging for snacks, playing with friends (especially best friend, Naomi), hugging friends, holding hands with friends, and…

BALLET!


WHEN YOU THINK OF BOYS IN BALLET…WHAT IMAGES COME TO MIND?

Are those regulation pointe shoes?

Are those regulation pointe shoes?

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No comment necessary

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I’m absolutely speechless


If you have concocted a picture that is in any way related to the photo’s above, let’s just say you might be just slightly out-of-touch with the reality of  boys in ballet today.  For example, take a look at these two good looking fellows…

Jacob and Will Black

Jacob and Will Ingle

These are definitely some big, strapping bucks!  They are both D-1 Football Scholarship Athletes.  One can bench 500lbs.  One is a music major.  Both took ballet/tap/acrobatics.

The reality is…real men can lift weights, AND women!  


And now back to two year old Sam, The Ninja Ballerina

Sam and his beloved ballet teacher, Miss Kim www.misskimdance.com www.burlingtondance.com

Sam and his beloved ballet teacher, Miss Kim
http://www.misskimdance.com
http://www.burlingtondance.com

As anyone can clearly surmise by the nature of his list of interests,  Sam is all boy.  He is constantly in motion, regularly into areas marked “OFF LIMITS”, habitually handling breakable items, frequently covered in unidentified sticky substances and sporadically in trouble for thumping someone over the head with a blunt object.

Sam’s mom thought he might benefit from something more physical than the “mommy & me” music class the two took together.  After asking around and doing a bit of research, she signed him up for a ballet class with his best friend, Naomi…although she had no idea how the experiment would end.  Knowing Sam, she thought it could go any of the following ways (or a fun combination of several):

•  Tackle Ballet

•  Use of hula-hoops and ribbon handles as Ninja weapons

•  Kissing and hugging girls in the class for a solid hour, every week

•  Active participation

Sam and Naomi

Sam and Naomi



On the first day of class, Sam’s teacher, Miss Kim, says that he marched into the room, grabbed some ribbons and asked if he could hear “Frozen”.  Miss Kim knew Sam was going to be successful.

In the end, this class HAS been a fun mix of Sam-specific elements.  He actively participates.  He tackles…but only when absolutely necessary in order to chase down a reluctant hug.  He might thump a fellow dancer with a Ninja weapon…but only when one comes too close during his special pirouette combinations, and he kisses the girls in his class at will.

A look at Sam in action – Performing one of his not-so-rare Pirouette Combinations:


IN SAM’S OWN WORDS

“I like ballet.”

“I like Naomi.”

“I like to play with my friends.”

“I like Miss Kim.”

“Can I have a snack?”

…AND THERE YOU HAVE IT.  ANY QUESTIONS?

Class is over...I'll miss you, Naomi!

Class is over…”I’ll miss you so much, Naomi!”

Words from Kim Black of Burlington Dance Center:

My approach to teaching young dancers is through imagination. I love using imagination, creating stories, and watching young children fall in love with learning to dance. By using this approach, I can take a rowdy class of 3-year olds, capture their attention and engage them with my stories – they will begin learning through imagination, walking in lines, forming circles, and doing basic tap and ballet movements when they don’t even know it. The parents are amazed when their child walks out with a new found confidence, a sure sign that they just had a great time and learned dance too! The best compliment to me is when a little one asks, as I am hugging him or her goodbye and giving him/her a sticker, “Can I come back and play?

For more information on Kim Black:  Www.misskimdance.com
For more information on Burlington Dance Center:  Www.burlingtondance.com


Nanny’s Notes:  I had the opportunity to view much of this class on video, and absolutely giggled my way through it.  These are the cutest kids!  I so wish I could sign up.  I was as enthralled with the stories as the children were.  I found myself wanting to “cook biscuits” (sit on your buns), “pop popcorn” (learn to skip), pretend to be dragonflies in the dark, take off like rocket ships, twirl like helicopters and go on a bear hunt right along with them.  However, my favorite part would have to be Sam’s special Pirouette Combinations.  Strong work Sam!  Hope to see you and Naomi in “The Nutcracker” in the near future.  Thanks so much for sharing your talent and your adorable face with us.

Meet Nora – The Little Maestro

IMG-20150419-WA0003 Name:  Nora

Age:  7

Home State:  North Carolina

Interests:  Nora loves to play the violin.  She also enjoys reading and hunting for bugs outside.  Nora’s mom says she is a collector of all things.  Mostly things found in nature.  There are jars, baskets, boxes and piles of Nora’s collectables in every corner of the house.  These collections include, but are not limited to: acorn caps, birds nests, feathers, rusty metal, and all kinds of live and dead bugs.

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IN NORA’S OWN WORDS

“Well, uhm…I started playing when I was 6 or so.  I wanted to play the violin because I really liked classical music…like cello, harp and piano and stuff.  But then I started liking fiddle tunes too, like “Dawning of the Day” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhody.”  At first I wanted to play the piano, but I thought the violin would be easier, and I thought it would be cool to like play in an orchestra type thing.”

“Anyway, when I was 6, I took lessons for a looooooong time, and now I am almost at the end of book one!  There are nine books.  It’s called the Suzuki method.  You start with a cardboard violin and learn how to like hold it and take care of it and stuff before you get a real violin.”

“The most exciting thing happened on St. Paddy’s Day!  My mom and dad’s friends have a band called “Moonlight Ale.”  We went to South Carolina, and I got to play two songs with them, “Dawning of the Day” and “Britches Full of Stitches.”  Now I’m an honorary member of the band, which I think means I can play with them sometimes…I don’t really know.  I never get nervous when I play in front of people, I just feel excited, and stuff.  I don’t know why.”


NORA SHOWS THE PARTS OF HER VIOLIN

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STRINGS

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BOW

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BRIDGE

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SCROLL

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FINE TUNERS

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TUNING PEGS


“When a person gets big and plays the violin, they are called a “Violinist” and that is what I want to be.  But I’m also interested in being a science teacher, because I like nature and bugs and stuff.  I like to catch caterpillars and put them in my habitat and set them free when they turn into butterflies. “I have a recital coming soon and am playing a song called, “Little Black Dog Waltz.”  Here is a video for you.”

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Nanny’s Note:  Thank you so much, Nora, for sharing your wonderful talent with us.  I love how beautiful you are in your lovely dress and bare feet, but are not afraid to hunt down and collect some bugs, dead or alive.  Go-Go-Girl-Power!  It’s amazing to me that you are not nervous at all to play in front of an audience.  Most people feel like they might just throw up their morning cereal.  I’m very impressed with you.  You are certainly the coolest Barefooted, Scientific, Violinist I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

Meet Chef Jack

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Name:  Jack

Home:  North Carolina

Age:  5

Interests:  Jack loves to invent recipes and cook for his family.  His family agrees to at least taste Jack’s creations.  He also enjoys reading books and “creating things.”

JACK’S EVERYTHING CAKE

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Uhm…Yikes!

I call this my “everything cake” because I put EVERYTHING in it I can find on that day.  I like to cook for my family, but I don’t make, like chicken and stuff…only cakes.  They eat some pretty much every time, and sometimes they even like it.  This one is  my “Apple Everything Cake” cause I put a few pieces of apple in there.  My family didn’t eat this one because it tasted gross, but some taste good.


Recipe:

– 1 egg

– 1 granola bar

– 1 cup ginger dressing (my mom made for a salad)

– 2 scoops oatmeal

– 1 package of Swedish Fish

– 2 glasses of water

– 1 squirt of honey

– 2 dumps of cinnamon (my mom says it was about 10 teaspoons)


I do this part all by myself and mix it together for a long time and stuff.  Then my mom has to put it in the oven, cause it’s hot and she says I might spill it.

When it’s all done, I taste it.

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It really tasted nasty.  I think next time, I will add salt and flour.  It might taste better.

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Nanny’s Note:  Thank you, Jack, for this incredibly unique dessert recipe.  I will keep it in mind for my next dinner party.  I find it fascinating, however, that there are no apples in your “Apple Everything Cake” recipe.  I must assume they are optional…good thinking!  Jack’s mom reports that he was “disappointed, but not defeated.”  I would love to receive an update, with a photo of the entire family tasting one of Jack’s culinary masterpieces.  What a cute kid!