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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Creating Memories

Many of us have heard the childhood lullaby "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."  In fact, it sounds a little something like this:

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again

I've often wondered why the itsy bits spider climbed up the spout again, but that is for a different blog on a different day.  

Recently, the kids and I visited our local library and we were excited to find arts and crafts were underway.  Representatives from were on hand to assist the children with a cute activity which turned egg cartons and pipe cleaners into itsy bitsy spiders.  

As I watched my little ones complete the guided tasks, I was struck by the importance of arts and crafts.  Not only were the children enhancing their creative abilities but they were also building memories.   

I personally happen to LOVE arts and crafts.  I think pouring oneself into an activity that produces a beautiful piece of art as an end result is peace in itself.  So it is only natural for me to engage our children (and any who visit our home) in some type of arts and crafts.  

The most recent craft created in our home was a vision book, where the kids cut out images from magazines to highlight items they would like to have sometime in the future.  They selected images of homes, vehicles, types of food as well as activities such as playing professional sports.   They were encouraged to share the contents of their books with each other and we displayed them proudly in our home for several weeks for visitors to view.  

They also made flowers to welcome their older sister home from college.  Tissue paper was carefully selected, folded and scented to give the appearance of a bouquet.  The vision books and flowers, like the itsy bitsy spiders they recently created, will contribute to loving  childhood memories.

Wikipedia describes memory as, 
"Among its other roles, memory functions to guide present behaviour and to predict future outcomes. Memory in childhood is qualitatively and quantitatively different from the memories formed and retrieved in late adolescence and the adult years."

I want to impact the memories upon which my children will draw in as many positive ways as possible.  Research shows that positive memories are directly linked to positive emotions and positive thinking.  An article appearing in the Harvard Health Publishing states "There is power in positive thinking. Positive emotions are linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being."

How awesome is it that creating itsy bits spiders will lead to a memory which will foster a greater well-being for my children!  With the amount of negativity that is prevalent in our world today, as parents we must be intentional about exposing our children to positive experiences and people, even if it is as simple as taking a trip to the library.  

Ask yourself, when was the last time you created something that allowed you to push pause on the busy demands of life?  When was the last time you created a positive memory?  Make it a point to take advantage of your creative side and create a long-lasting positive memory.  Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Parents!  Are you looking for a creative activity to do with your children?  Check out this special activity provided for our readers by, a resource our family uses regularly. 


Make a Patterned Story

Kindergarten Reading & Writing Activities: Make a Patterned Story

What You Need:

  • Digital camera
  • Scissors
  • glue or tape
  • blank paper
  • stapler
  • pencil

What You Do:

  1. Choose a favorite patterned story (one with repeated text on each page) that your child has enjoyed reading in the past, such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Jr. or the always popular Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Re-read it with your child and invite her to join in. Be sure she is comfortable with the pattern of the story.
  2. Invite her to take the same pattern from the story, and replace some words to make it a new story. For example, try inserting family member’s names into the text. In a story like Brown Bear, it might sound like this: “Mommy, Mommy, what do you see?” Practice this out loud with her to see what fun ideas she can come up with.
  3. After she has an idea for her story, provide her with blank paper and a pencil, and invite her to begin writing her story. Encourage her not to worry too much about spelling, but to get the words down on paper. Continue in this manner, until she is satisfied that the text of the story is done.
  4. Now assist her in taking digital pictures of the family to match the text. Have fun! The whole family gets to be actors and play out each scene in order to help her get just the right photos! Print and crop the pictures as needed, and glue or tape them onto the pages.
  5. Finally, have her read her new version to a younger sibling, a relative, or a friend. Don't be surprised if her friend joins in on the reading fun, too!

Shatanese is a business owner and author of future books who resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  She enjoys walks on the beach and colorful sunrises.  Shatanese's goal is to find the extraordinary in every day moments.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Finding the Extraordinary in Every Day Moments

It has been a month since I launched my new business and I am learning a great deal about myself as well as learning about being a business owner. Tasks such as establishing structure in an unstructured environment and having accountability partners have been crucial for my early beginnings. I will expound on those topics in a later post. Today, I want to talk about why I began my own business and how you can find the extraordinary in every day moments.
Are you enjoying your professional life? There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. How much of that time are you doing exactly what you truly enjoy doing? I have always been a firm believer of encouraging others to operate in their gifts and their passion and I realized awhile ago that I was not using my gifts to their fullest potential.
You may be wondering why the title "Super Extra Ordinary Mom" and does she know that extra ordinary is actually spelled as one word? And how exactly does Super Extra Ordinary Mom tie in with HR consulting?   
Well, here’s the story. Years ago, I decided I needed a method to express what I was experiencing as a working mother. I wanted to write a book. Mommy guilt and the stress of building a career while managing a family were very real for me.  My children were giving me regular topics as material to share and discuss. Especially, my youngest daughter, Nina Sophia. (Nina Sophia is our spirited 4 year old who stretches my husband and me as parents). :-)  I was on a quest to find the extraordinary in every day moments. Therefore, in 2015 "My Life as a Super Extra Ordinary Mom" blog was born. I thank my colleague Jowanna Tillman for the recommendation of using the blog as a way to get my voice out there and heard.
From a professional perspective, throughout my career with each position that I took on, I felt as if there was something more and I realized that I couldn't force myself to fit into either a square peg or a round hole. For example, have you ever purchased an article of clothing and on the store rack it looked fantastic but then when you got it home it felt a little snug or it was altogether too big? Or better yet, if I may borrow the words of my instructor from the Bronner Business Institute who said recently, "I couldn't make myself small enough to fit into those roles." 
There were certainly aspects of every role that I enjoyed but I started thinking there's got to be something more. I am destined for something more. I asked, What is my purpose? Why am I here on this earth? My husband will tell you that we talked about this, to his chagrin, often. 
Of course I'm here to serve as a wife and a mother but I also felt a calling to do something else. And so I began thinking and thinking and thinking about starting my own business. I talked to people who had their own businesses. I watched webinar after webinar after webinar about starting out on my own. And I prayed about my purpose and timing. 
I recall one day I was standing in my corporate job’s office looking out the window, watching Atlanta traffic pass by. (If Atlanta traffic doesn't cause you to rethink your life, then I do not know what will!). I thought…. the time is now.
I have wanted to be a public speaker, author and business owner for quite some time. The minute I made the decision that it was time to pursue my dream it seemed as if the universe said, "FINALLY we have been waiting for you all this time to take the first step!"
Now don't get me wrong that first step was extremely scary. My husband and I had to weigh all of the costs. Some might call us crazy for putting it all on the line. Our faith, however, is bigger than our fear. Plus, it truly seems as if things have been falling into place since I made up my mind. Admittedly, I was someone who lived and operated in fear for a very long time. I finally decided to just do it. I also feel that deep down inside, we are already wildly successful.
The timing has extra significance because a year ago I was recovering from a double mastectomy. Guess what-I’ve still got some fight left in me.
I want to share some encouragement with you today if you are in a place in life where you are asking for more.
#1-Consider the costs. Of course I am talking about considering the costs to your family and finances when you are on the brink of making a life altering decision. But I am also talking about considering the costs if you do not do it. Will you have a sense of regret? Will you look back over your life and wonder, “What if?” A recent Gallup poll states 68% of American employees are disengaged at work. Meaning only 32% are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. That means 68% have mentally checked out. Are you one of those individuals? Make the decision today to make some changes.
#2-Secondly, I encourage you to Live Every Moment. What I mean is for you to be present. My cancer diagnosis brought me to my knees-literally and figuratively. When faced with challenges, I began asking myself what really matters? In the big scheme of things, how important is this issue? Being present also means having an attitude of gratitude. My colleague Monica McCoy challenges her clients to approach their day with an attitude of gratitude and to express thankfulness for at least three things. How is your mental being when you wake up? Live every moment.
#3-Lastly, Just Do It. We have all heard the sayings that “time flies” and “tomorrow is not promised.” This is never more true than it is today. Especially in light of recent social unrest and weather tragedies. Are you living your best life? Perhaps you are waiting to launch your business. Or waiting to visit the doctor for that full report. Or waiting to take that big trip overseas. Or maybe you’ve been sitting on that book idea for years. Just do it. I guarantee you once you have made the decision in your heart and begin to take active steps towards that goal, you invoke positive vibes and will begin to attract momentum.
In closing, I hope reading this entry has ignited a fire which will allow you to consider the costs, live every moment and to just do it. Ask yourself the question, "If money is not an object, what work would I do and would not care that I am not being compensated for doing it?" That is when life becomes extraordinary. 
Super Extra Ordinary Mom, LLC is a HR consultancy that focuses on leadership development and diversity and inclusion topics. Our signature presentation will help companies assess training needs and enable us to deliver customized training to address those needs. 
The next time you hear a colleague say “Gee, I wish I knew someone who could train on diversity and inclusion or on leadership development," think of Super Extra Ordinary Mom, LLC. 
My name is Shatanese Reese and I'm a super extraordinary mom!  I encourage you to find the extraordinary in every day moments.