Imagine... a weekend created just for moms and
their daughters to have fun together, explore, play, laugh, and
build life-long memories together, all in God's beautiful creation!
If this sounds fun, we have good news: we're here to make it
happen! We're excited to announce our first-ever mom and daughter
weekend at Camp Ghormley, the weekend of April 28-30!
What is Mother Daughter Weekend all about?
It's a weekend for mothers and daughters to spend intentional
time with each other to have fun, learn, make friends, and further
develop their relationships with God and each other.
What kind of activities will happen during the weekend?
There will be a speaker, worship time, crafts, games, good food,
and lots of other fun activities designed for moms and daughters to
connect and make memories!
Who is eligible to come to this event?
This weekend is for girls in K-12th Grade, and their mothers,
grandmothers, aunts, etc.
Learn more or register
It is pretty common to hear people
talking about family/relationship drama with babies or young
children involved, "It was lucky it happened when the baby was so
young" or "Oh he was just a baby, he doesn't know what
happened' Well, folks, I got some good news and some bad
news. Which one do you want first? Never mind, I will pick for
SURPRISE! The baby knows-ish. How did the child
development specialist figure this out? Little kids on a
psychologist couch, "Tell me about your mother'? Funny, but no.
What they did do was to look at how the infant brain develops and
observe how children act as they get older. By older, in this case,
I am talking about the years leading up to kindergarten.
How it sort- of works
I want you to imagine a funnel, you heard that correctly, a
basic kitchen funnel. If we hold the funnel upright the big open
part is on top and a narrow tube is at the bottom. This is the
basic shape of your brain. Typically, we pour fluid in the wide,
open hole on the top of the funnel and it travels down and out the
narrow tube at the bottom. Right now, I want you to imagine the
flow in reverse. The fluid will start at the narrow bottom part and
move upward into the bigger top part. Now close your eyes for a
second and get that picture in your head: FUNNEL. But first promise
me you will open your eyes and keep reading!
Back to the brain (Again, apologies in advance to all super
smart neuro-behavioral-psycho-scientist people) and into the
STEP ONE: It all starts at the bottom of the funnel. The first
part of the brain starts at the spinal cord. This is called the
medulla. The medulla must be working for a baby to stay alive! It
is the part in charge of beating hearts, pumping lungs, blood
sugar- the big stuff. This area is designed for getting the body up
STEP TWO: Just above the medulla, stacked on top is the part of
the brain called the pons. The pons is all about reflexes and
primitive responses. It's job is to make sure the baby can survive.
When we talk about rooting and grasping reflexes we are talking
about pons based responses. If the baby's cheek gets touched, the
baby turns towards where it was touched. That reflex is to help the
baby eat. When the infant clasps her little hand around your finger
and grabs on, that reflex part of eating as well. Even basic vision
is part of this too. Infant vision is best up to about 16 inches
away from the baby. Ta-dah! This is the typical distance between a
breastfeeding baby and mother's face. (awwww…they thought of
everything!) There are other primitive reflexes which are designed
to get the baby moving and to keep it safe. Now here is an
important fact: the pons brain does not use language to
communicate. It only knows responses. Things are either good or
things are bad. The pons part of the brain is made to fix the
following: THIS IS BAD! FEAR! DANGER! SAVE ME! In fact, (bonus nerd
points) the infant "vital cry" at this stage is so specific to
survival that world-wide caregivers feel driven to respond (as
evidenced by brain imaging which shows the area of the brain lights
up!) And this my good friend is how attachment is started!!! Boom!
Drop the mic!!!
If the infant's 'vital cries' is met in a timely, appropriate
and consistent way the infant feels safe, cared for, comforted…the
pons says (without words) "Ahhhhh life is good, I am cared for, I
like it here, I belong! I am loved!" This safe and secure
feeling translates to attachment and bonding with primary
If the infant 'vital cries' are not met, this non-verbal part of
the brain goes into 'FIGHT OR FLIGHT". Fight or flight causes the
brain chemical release of well-known stress hormones like cortisol,
epinephrine and adrenaline. These brain chemicals are made so
humans can respond to danger as fast as possible. Since the baby
cannot strap on his own diaper, grab a bottle and march out to the
kitchen and TCOB, the stress hormones continue to get poured out,
the stress alarm keeps getting pressed, more hormones get poured
out…and now we have a tiny human being who has a pons that believes
"No one cares for me, I am alone, I am not safe, this place is bad,
I don't belong". How sad right?
Time to picture the funnel again. Step one and two happen in the
'tube like portion' of the funnel. Right now, we are at the
junction between the tube and the ever-widening cup portion.
This is where the basic needs and response start to hook up the
part of the brain that thinks.
STEP THREE: The midbrain. The midbrain sort of stretches from
basic response to basic thought. It is like an adaptor plug that
makes a two-pronged plug work in a three-pronged outlet. It
connects to make pathways hook up to the more advanced technology
that has language. The responses learned in the pons now becomes
hard wired thoughts which will impact this infant well into
adulthood! Serious! Whatever is experienced becomes the truth. Even
more alarming is that once that pathway is set, it is really-
really -really- really -really- hard to change. The stress
chemicals? They literally change the way the brain gets set up-it
works differently than a secure and attached brain! So that even if
the baby's needs start to get met, the brain will continue to
respond like it is still threatened.
All this to say: The moral of the story is:
YOU CAN NOT SPOIL YOUR BABY DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF HIS
LIFE! THE BABY NEEDS ALL OF YOUR LOVE, COMFORT AND UNDERSTANDING
The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
recently published a summary of the past ten years studying the
growth and development from before birth to young children. One of
the main things observed was that even if an infant lives with
things like neglect (BTW the most common form of child abuse) and
poverty there are ways to cut down on the negative impact.
"…Supportive caregivers, strengthening stable and responsive
relationships in the earliest years of life can literally block
excessive activation of stress hormones and protect children from
potentially damaging effects" (from Best Practices to Breakthrough
Impacts pg 11). This could be inside the home or outside the home.
This could be a parent or a relative this could be the babysitter
or the day care worker but the infant-child needs at least one
attentive, responsive and caring adult! Maybe that's you?
The latest issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover
MOM, Bri Butler. Plus inspiring birthday party ideas, authentic St.
Patrick's Day recipes and more. Click on the image below to view
Okay, we just made it through an election and
good or bad, it is over. The whole election business brought up all
kinds of issues about society, employment, jobs and personal
rights. A lot of us felt powerless to make any real change for the
good no matter what we did.
Well right now, we are taking a stand! A stand to do good for
our families and our country! And we are going to do this by (drum
roll please) PLAYING!!!
It has been said that play is the work of children. It has even
been labeled a "right of children to play" by the United Nations
High Commission for Human Rights! Play is an important part of a
child's growth and healthy brain development. Play supports the
growth of basic social skills like learning how to act, learning
what to do in different social situations and how other people may
feel. Play helps bodies and brains grow up to be healthy and
strong. (Remember our last conversation? The more positive
experiences a child has the more connections a brain makes. The
more brain connections there are, the better the brain works!).
The war on play
I believe we are in a constant battle for time and resources. We
are working full time, swing shifts, taking care of aging parents.
We might feel it is not safe for our kids to play outside, we may
not trust neighbors or those people at the park. We may be trying
to run a household with three little kids under 5 with the
expectation that what kids needed to learn in Kindergarten is now
expected to be known by 3 years of age.
We want to spend time with our
children but they sort of become accessories in our lives: We carry
them around with us everywhere, we get them where they need to go,
find things for them to do and we keep them busy so we can get
things done and our kids can become faster, better, stronger! We
respond to heavily marketed messages that good parents need to
provide learning games for all ages so we provide hand held
devices, phones apps, cars with game systems, tablets, pads… Time
is not stopping and we don't have time for play! But the truth is,
our kids need to experience safe, child-driven, unstructured, age
level interactions with people and objects (otherwise known as
playing with family, friends and toys).
So what is play anyway?
Play is actually pretty hard to define (but you know it when you
see it!) and there are many different kinds of play. The kind
of play I am talking about is child-driven- free-exploratory play
with no ulterior motive except to experience. This kind of play
requires free time and other kids. This type of play is not made to
take time away from structured activities and the other wonderful
enhancement programs we provide for our children. This type of play
needs to be given back to our children for better balanced and less
The American Academy of Pediatrics wrote a clinical report
called "The importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child
Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds". In it, they
list a wide variety of benefits when kids play with other kids and
caring adults. Here are the highlights:
I admit, I take this play business seriously, but we are talking
about the future people! Literally, children are future people!
(Come on, admit it that was a nice little word play!)
Check out the latest issue of MOM Magazine with Cover MOM, Rosa
Fernandez. Plus our annual Holiday Gift Guide, Gingerbread recipes
and tips for sticking to your New Year's resolutions (spoiler
alert: don't make any).
Click on the image below or here to view the full issue.
The October/November issue is here featuring Cover MOM: Amanda
Click on the image below or here to view the full issue.
Simple Actions # 2: Pay Attention!
These days, there is a lot of research going on in the area of
baby brain development and Nerd-moms like me tend to get pretty
excited about it! I want to read about it and talk about it with
anyone within a few feet of me. With that said, I will try to
contain my enthusiasm and attempt to briefly hit some highlights of
the amazing developing brain. As a side note, I would like to
apologize up front to all the researchers who put countless hours
and detail into their life's work to have them summed up like this,
With school supplies on sale at stores everywhere, it's hard to
avoid the sad truth. Summer is half over. Some folks love the
coming sweater weather and the colors of fall… At Columbia Industries we
look forward to the arrival of fall and new students who joins us
when they go back to school. To celebrate Back to School, we'd like
to share a couple student success stories to warm the heart.
Clients at CI
assemble lanterns for Railtek,
a Whidby island company.
Finished lanterns are shipped to
customers across the country.
Ricardo started at Columbia Industries in 2003 as a high school
student. He received training at CI Solutions
and at CI's laundry facility. When he graduated from high
school, Ricardo continued his job training at CI Solutions.
He learned how to make Trainman Lanterns, manufacture hoods for the
U.S. Navy, type, prepare mailers, and complete light janitorial
tasks. Ricardo also learned skills to help him manage
stressful situations. Recently, Ricardo made the choice to
transition from Pre-Vocational training to Individual
Employment. He will now work with a job coach to find and
maintain competitive employment. The staff at CI Solutions
are very proud of Ricardo for taking that next step into Community
Employment and wish him well on his new venture.
Aaron also started at Columbia Industries as a student, in
2013. He was able to transition to Pre-Vocational services at
graduation. After three years of job training, Aaron decided
that employment was not what he wanted. During a meeting with
Aaron and his family, CI staff explained all the options available
to Aaron, both in employment and in recreation. Aaron's
family encouraged him to choose the service that would make him
happy. Aaron chose to leave employment services and engage in
recreational activities and volunteer work. CI Staff were
excited by the way Aaron chose his own life path once he knew what
options were available for him.
At Columbia Industries, our mission is
to help people with disabilities and other barriers achieve
personal success. Our student programs are just a couple of the
ways we reach out to the community. Columbia Industries also
Community Center, a safe, creative and supervised place for
people with disabilities. Regardless of the level of employment,
many clients and former clients enjoy being members of CI Community
Center, where they can socialize, learn life skills and explore our
community in an entirely different setting.
Members at CI Community Center enjoy the opportunity to
socialize and build relationships in a safe and fun
Click on the image above or here to view the current issue.
Click on the stories below to read more:
Cover MOM: Kelsey Shay
Because I said so: A message from MOM
Think outside the lunch box: back-to-school
Safety first: When are your kids old
Let's do lunch: school lunch made easy
SuperDad: Efren Hernandez is SuperDad
Click on the stories below to read more.
Cover MOM: Cathy Manderbach
Because I said so! A message from MOM
Get moving: Tips to crush your workouts
Olympic Trivia: Get ready for Rio
Camping 2.0: Taking the edge off of the
Berry Goodness: Sweet berry recipes
From trash to treasure: One mom's trailer
SuperDad: Sean McClintock is SuperDad
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