How to Respect the Stars and Stripes: Flag Etiquette

The American flag is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated as a symbol of a living country. When we respect the flag, we respect the sacrifices men and women made to build and establish freedoms that we enjoy to this day. Here are a few tips on how to care for your beloved symbol of patriotism.

When displaying the flag:

  • The flag must be displayed from sunrise to sunset. The flag may be displayed at all times if it is properly illuminated in darkness.
  • When the flag is displayed on a single staff or lanyard, it must be displayed above all other flags.
  • If the flag is displayed in a row with other flags, it must be the first flag to the observers left. Flags of other nations may be at the same height, but typically state flags or other associations flags are displayed lower.
  • If the flag is used in a marching band or parade with other flags, the flag must be displayed to the observers’ left.
  • On special days, the flag may be flown at half staff. On Memorial Day, the flag is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.
  • If the flag is displayed at half-staff, it must first be raised completely for an instant and then lowered to half. When it is lowered for the day from half-staff it must first be raised to the peak.
  • When the flag is displayed over the middle of a street, it should be suspended vertically with the union (blue field of stars) to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
  • If the flag is placed on a stage or podium, it must be displayed to the speaker’s right. Other flags may be placed to the speaker’s left.
  • When the flag is displayed against a wall or flat surface, the union (blue field of stars) must always be uppermost and to the observer’s left.
  • When displayed in a window, the union should always be uppermost and to the observer looking in to the window’s left.
  • When displayed on a car, the staff must be affixed firmly to either the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
  • When the flag is used to cover a casket, the union should be placed at the head and over the left shoulder. Also, the flag should never be lowered into the grave or touch the ground.

When saluting the flag:

  • Everyone present who is dressed in uniform must render the military salute. Armed forces members or veterans who are present but not in uniform may also render the military salute.
  • Everyone present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over their heart. If they  are wearing a hat, they must remove it and place it over their left shoulder, so that their hand covers their heart.

When stowing or disposing of the flag: Flag3

  • Fold into the traditional triangle; never wad up the flag.
  • If the flag must be disposed of, it must be folded appropriately before it is burned.
    • Ensure that the fire is sufficient to completely burn the flag.
    • After the folded triangle is placed in the fire, the individual(s) may salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and observe a brief moment of silence.
    • After the flag is completely consumed, the fire must be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

Always Remember:Flag4

  • Do not let the flag touch the ground.
  • The flag should only be flown upside down if there is an emergency.
  • Do not store the flag where it can get dirty.
  • Do not use the flag as clothing, a cover, or to carry things.
  • The flag should never be drawn on or marked upon.
  • Always allow the flag to fly free; do not tie it back.
  • Do not dip the U.S. flag for any person, flag, or vessel.
  • The flag is not intended for decoration. Use a bunting with blue on top, followed by white and red for patriotic decor.

JM Cremp’s wishes you a wonderful 4th of July holiday, and wants to thank all past, present, and future service members and their families.

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The Ultimate S’mores for Adventurous Peeps

What’s better than s’mores in the summer?  S’mores at Easter are as long as they are made with Peeps!  This no-fuss treat is a fun way to use up those colored marshmallow treats that tend to be all the rage this time of year.  To get started, gather what you’ll need:

1 package of Peeps (4)
4 – 1 oz squares of semi-sweet chocolate
4 graham crackers

Now let’s get started!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) while you break each graham cracker in half and place them on a cookie sheet.
Step 1:  Preheat your oven to 350°F while you break each graham cracker in half and place them on a cookie sheet.

 

Step 2: Place a piece (or more) of chocolate on top of each cracker.
Step 2:  Place a piece (or more if you’d like) of chocolate on top of each cracker.

 

Step 3: Place one Peep on top of each chocolate piece.
Step 3: Place one Peep on top of each chocolate piece.

 

Step 4: Cover the S’more with the remaining piece of graham cracker to form a chocolate and Peep sandwich.
Step 4: Cover the S’more with the remaining piece of graham cracker to form a chocolate and Peep sandwich.

 

Step 5: Bake the S'mores for 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 5:  Bake the S’mores for 3 to 5 minutes

 

Step 6: Remove the cookie tray from the oven and use a spatula to remove the treats from the baking sheet.
Step 6: Remove the cookie tray from the oven and use a spatula to remove the treats from the baking sheet.

 

Let the Peeps cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Let the Peeps cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

 

 The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Easter S’mores Using Peeps  Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

 

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Many of us have very specific Christmas traditions that we celebrate with our families.  What is interesting is how these traditions vary around the world.  Let’s take a short trip around the world and see how different some of these traditions are.

Finland:  ‘HYVÄÄ JOULUA!’
Christmas is a magical time in Finland.  Families gather together and celebrate with traditional Finnish foods.  Most families will visit the Sauna (properly pronounced as sow-na), exchange gifts, and sings Christmas hymns.  It is also customary to visit the gravesides of departed family members.

A Christmas Tree in Berlin Germany.
A Christmas Tree in Berlin Germany.

Germany: ‘FROEHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN!’
The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree began in Germany during the 17th century.  As such, the Christmas holiday is a widely and beautifully celebrated holiday in Germany.  German children follow their advent calendar closely, and instead of Santa filling their stocking, he fills a shoe that has been left out for him to fill!

Australia:  ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’
Christmas falls in the middle of summer in Australia so for many Australian families, Christmas means beach days and barb-b-ques!

Ukraine:  ‘SROZHDESTVOM KRISTOVYM!’
In the Ukraine, the youngest child in the family watches out the window for the evening star to appear in the sky.  This is the signal that the traditional 12-course Christmas meal can begin!

For many children, a Christmas tradition other than their own can be hard to imagine.  That’s why it is fun to discuss other countries and families holiday celebrations.  It can even be fun to incorporate a part of a another country’s tradition into your own family gathering.

Merry Christmas from the JM Cremp’s family!

An Interactive History of D-Day

June 6 marks the anniversary of that fated day that began the campaign of the liberation of Nazi-controlled Europe and brought the long-planned Operation Overlord into play.  It also marked the beginning of the end of the war that started for most Americans with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  The Allied invasion of the beaches of Normandy in France was the largest seaborne invasion in history and came to be known as D-Day.  Planning for this operation began the year before and proved to be the crucial turning point in the war in Europe.  Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”  Although victory did not come easy, nor did it come without significant cost, it did eventually come.

The naval invasion fleet included 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels.  More than 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion including over 2,200 British and American bombers.  Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on that fateful day with over 10,000 casualties logged and 4,414 brave men and boys having given their lives.

This important day in history is memorialized in an informative and interactive way online by visiting the US Army’s official D-Day website.  You can listen to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech to the troops reminding them that, “The eyes of the world are upon you,” before they embarked on ” a great crusade.”  You can also learn what the “D” in D-Day stands for.

normandyFor the younger generation, the book Normandy, A Graphic History of D-Day tells the intricate story of the planning and execution of Operation Overlord from the invasion of five D-Day beaches (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) on June 6, 1944, to the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944. In between, Vansant paints a portrait of the campaign’s vicious and unforgiving fighting, including the Allies’ capture of Cherbourg, the deadly battles in hedgerow country, the Allied struggle for Caen, the breakout of Patton’s Third Amy, and the eventual defeat of Axis forces in the Falaise Pocket. It was the Allied success in Normandy that hastened the beginning of the end for the Nazis.

However you choose to teach your children about this day isn’t as important as the fact that you are teaching them about this very important day.  It is a day in the history of the world where men and women of many nations, religions, and races came together with a single-minded purpose to defeat a common enemy.  It is the story of good vs. evil and triumph over tragedy.  It is a story that must be told for many generations to come.

 

10 Ways You Can Tell You’re A Mother of Boys

You know you’re the mother of boys when:

Adventure for Boys1. You buy enough groceries in a week to feed an army platoon, but yet your fridge is never full.

2. No one in your house ever notices that you got your haircut.

3. Socks are disposable and pairs are a myth.

4. You actually know what a front end loader is.

5. You gave up on the concept of “Don’t throw that in the house”, and have modified it to “Don’t throw that so hard in the house!”

6. You panic when it’s silent.

7. You have a special night time walk that is designed to minimize the pain of stepping on a loose lego piece.

8. You’ve lovingly received (and probably saved) a bouquet of half drooping weeds.

9. You’ve come to realize holes in pants don’t only appear in the knees – they’ll appear in the hips, the seat, the calves, the ankles, and surely the belt loops.

10. You for sure know you’re the mother of boys when you get a dirty, sloppy and sometimes smelly hug, but you wouldn’t trade it for the world.

At JM Cremp’s, we know a thing or two about raising boys.  We love our boys, and are always looking for ways to encourage them as they grown and become men.  Our JM Cremp’s Adventure Catalog is filled with hands-on activities to encourage active learning, toys and games that enhance the imagination, and parenting resources that make raising boys a the pleasure that God intended it to be.  Get yours today.

3 Simple Tips to Break Your Boy’s Technology Addiction

Are you part of the generation that remembers when a few old blankets were the makings of a perfect hideout, and the most drama you had to deal with was whether to play army or cowboys?  If you are, then it can be quite a challenge to see your perfectly healthy son curled up on his bed with his iPod in hand in the middle of a beautiful summer afternoon.  Believe me, I feel your pain!

A 2010 Kaiser Foundation Study found that children and teens on average spend almost 8 hours each day on entertainment media.  The naked truth is that technology is here for the long haul, and your child’s love of it isn’t going to go away anytime soon.  Fortunately, there are some simple things that you can do to break your boy’s addiction to electronics and rekindle their adventurous spirit.

First, encourage them to explore those things that interest them, and to do so in a hands-on manner.  If your child loves science, then get him an simple science experiment kit, and let him learn first hand.  If he loves bugs, get him a bug magnifying glass and let him get down and dirty in the mud.  If it’s a fascination with the outdoors, then a basic survival book and a Pocket Tool will be the beginning of a life-long love of the outdoors.   It’s been proven that on the whole boys thrive when they can learn by “doing”, and there’s no better time to start than when they are young and full of curiousity.

The second thing you can do to inspire your child’s love of learning and adventure through stories.  Inspiring true stories such as Eyewitness: The American Revolution or The Civil War Graphic Novel 2-Book Set can inspire your children to do and achieve more than they ever thought possible.  Fictional stories about heroes and warriors can broaden teach them to dream big and reach for their goals.

Third, be a good example.  Be active yourself so the next time you encourage your couch potato to get outside and explore the world they live it they can’t say, “But you never do!” Better yet, be active and learn together as a family.  Take the time for a family hike or an afternoon together at your local historical society.  Whatever your chosen activity, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow together as a family.  A love of adventure may start when you are young, but a true adventurous spirit never withers.

To find thousands of ways to inspire a passion for learning and to ignite an adventurous spirit within your boys, visit www.jmcremps.com.  Request their FREE Adventure Guide Catalog today, and you’ll discover why over 100,000 families rely on JM Cremp’s as their go-to resource for hands-on activites for busy boys, ideas & toys to enhance active imaginations, fun gear for outdoor adventures, parenting resources, and educational tools for creative learning.

Book Review – Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

Parenting books are a dime a dozen, but good parenting books are a rare find.  This one is a true gem and is a must read for parents raising boys.  This book is written by acclaimed author and pediatric doctor, Meg Meeker M.D.  Dr. Meeker is the author of several books on parenting and parent/child relationships.  Her books have been highly acclaimed by parents the world over. Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Meg Meeker, MD

In Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, Dr. Meeker reminds parents that there is no greater blessing (or responsibility) than raising strong and healthy young men.  This book helps parents enable today’s boys to become mature, confident, and thoughtful men of tomorrow. In the book, we are reminded that boys will always be boys.  That means that they are rambunctious, adventurous and curious.  They climb trees, build forts, playing tackle football, and push their growing bodies to the limit as part of the rite of passage into manhood.  However, in today’s society our sons face an increasingly hostile world that doesn’t value the high-spirited, magical nature of boys.

In a collective call to let our boys be boys, Dr. Meg Meeker explores the secrets to boyhood, including
• why rules and boundaries are crucial– and why boys feel lost without them
• how the outdoors is still the best playground, offering the sense of adventure that only Mother Nature can provide
• the essential ways to preserve a boy’s innocence (and help him grow up)
• the pitfalls moms and dads face when talking to their sons
• why moody and rebellious boys are not normal– and how to address such behavior
• how and when the “big”questions in life should be discussed: why he is here, what his purpose is, and why he is important.

Parents are blessed with intuition and heart, but raising sons is a daunting responsibility. This uplifting guide makes the job a little easier.  Get your copy today and pass it on!

 

How to Help Your Child Get Organized

When your child is old enough to start cleaning their room or begin attending school, organization skills can be crucial in helping them succeed in school and in their careers later on in life. To help your child get organized, you can develop a daily routine that teaches them how to maintain the order of their room and how to complete certain tasks on time, such as their homework. Continue reading this guide to learn about the many ways in which you can teach your child skills that will help them become more organized.

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Maintain an organized household with belongings in their place. When you have a designated place for each belonging, your child can become accustomed to the same type of organization.

  • Consistently put your belongings back into their designated spaces; such as placing shoes back into the coat closet, placing clean dishes in the kitchen cabinets, and putting books back onto the bookshelf.
  • Remind your children to do the same.  Even though many times it is easier to just pick up after them, resist the urge to do so.

670px-Help-Your-Child-Get-Organized-Step-2

Develop a routine that requires your child to clean their room regularly. This will help teach your child the habit for keeping their personal space organized.

  • Tell your child to clean their room nightly before bedtime by having them place their toys and belongings in the appropriate spots.

670px-Help-Your-Child-Get-Organized-Step-3

Develop a list of basic organization guidelines your child can follow. Since children may have their own idea of how to keep things organized, a basic to-do list will help enforce a sense of organization in your child.

  • Place basic tasks on the to-do list; such as making their bed, picking up toys from the floor, and separating clean clothes from dirty clothes, then allow your child to complete these tasks in their own way.
  • Allow your child to organize their room according to their personal preference. This will help instill motivation and a positive attitude in your child in regards to staying organized.

Teach your child time management skills. When your child knows they must complete tasks within a specific timeframe, they will learn how to develop organized methods for completing those tasks.

  • Give your child a specific time frame in which they must clean their rooms or finish their schoolwork.
  • Remind your child when tasks are to be completed or when appointments must be met. For example, inform your child they must finish cleaning their room within 15 minutes of dinner being ready.

670px-Help-Your-Child-Get-Organized-Step-5

Help your child make lists of tasks that must be completed. Lists can help your child get organized for large-scale projects or tasks. For example, if they must create a diorama for school, have them make a list of steps that need be done in order, such as obtaining a box for the diorama in step 1.

  • Show your child how to cross off completed steps from the checklist so they feel a sense of accomplishment when tasks are finished.

670px-Skip-Homework-Step-6

Perform certain activities at the same time on a daily basis. This will teach your child how to stay organized in regards to developing routines or rituals.

  • Have your child perform their homework daily after school has ended while sitting at their desk in their bedroom.
  • Eat dinner with your family at the same time every night, and send your child to bed within a specific timeframe on a nightly basis.

670px-Stimulate-Children's-Self-Confidence-Step-2

Praise your child when they are staying organized. Positive compliments and praise will encourage your child to continue staying organized.

For other excellent parenting tips for both moms and dads, check out JM Cremp’s Parenting Resources page.

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual – How to Help Your Child Get Organized. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Children Learn What They Live

In 1954, American writer and family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wrote a poem on child rearing for the Torrance Herald.  The poem was titled “Children Learn What They Live”.  The poem resonated with parents so much that it was even distributed to millions of new parents by a baby formula company.  The popularity of that poem hasn’t died away, and for very good reason.  The words and message are as relevant today as they ever were, and they serve as a good reminder to us all on how to lead by example.

Children are what they learn, so a little love and patience goes a long way!
Children are what they learn, so a little love and patience goes a long way!

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.

If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.

-Dorothy Law Nolte

4 Ways to Help Your Kids Beat Summer Brain Drain

Beat Summer "Brain Drain" with a simple summer building project for kids.
Beat Summer “Brain Drain” with a simple summer building project for kids.

Just because summer is here doesn’t mean your kids need to suffer from “summer brain drain”.  After all, you don’t want all of last year’s hard fought educational nuggets to disappear completely.  However, summer is meant for fun, and your kids need a break as much as you do.  As a homeschooling Mom, I’ve learned to (dare I say it?) “trick” my kids into keeping their brain sharp during the summer break.

Fortunately for us parents, it’s pretty easy to incorporate learning into the summer once you get the concept.  I do so by picking several fun activities and using those as a hands-on experience that is similar to a project they’d do in class or a field trip.   This process is very similar to how children learned “in the old days”, and it’s based around experience. Here are few brain-drain busting ideas to get you started.

Science:
Use an enjoyable summer activity as an excuse for a science lesson.  For example, if your family is into fishing, use your next fishing trip as a way to explain more about the biology and natural habitat of the fish in your area.   If you fish on the ocean, use the opportunity to explain the tides, the pull of the moon, and the effects of gravity.  If you fish at night, take a star chart with you and discuss the placement of the planets, constellations, or ancient navigation techniques.

Math:
In our family, my boys get the opportunity to build things with Grandpa.  These summer building projects have kept their math skills sharp while helping to translate those abstract math problems into real world applications.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate building project, a simple bird feeder or DIY home improvement project is enough.  Remember, the point is to keep them sharp, not to make them engineers in the course of one summer.

Agriculture:
Plant a family garden!  This one is easy to do if you are a gardener, and it is a great one to do with younger children.  The process of planting, weeding, and harvesting offers an abundance of opportunities for lessons in agriculture, weather, biology, and home economics.  The process of planting a seed, nurturing it through to maturity, harvesting it, and then consuming it, is a valuable lesson your children will not forget.

History:
Short, small history lessons are also easy to incorporate into a summer lesson.  The next time you drive through your town, look around for old buildings, train depots that are no longer in use, or railroad tracks that lead to nowhere.  Often times it only takes a bit of research to learn that what looks like an overlooked, abandoned brick building was once an orphanage from the late 1800’s.  Or better yet, that old derelict building with the lion carvings on the top was once a beautiful opera house that hosted some of the world’s greatest performers during the early 1900’s.  History doesn’t have to be grand, and it doesn’t have to be in a history book to be exciting.  As a matter of fact, bringing history down to the local level can help to make it more real for your kids.

At the end of the day, learning should be fun.  At JM Cremp’s, we focus our efforts on helping families to promote learning through hands-on experience and adventure.