Don’t Jump! You CAN Stage The Ultimate Children’s Party!

underneath the christmas tree
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Organising a kids party is great fun!

No, wait! Come back! I’ll explain…

How many times have you dropped your kids off at a party, only to witness chaos as soon as the door is opened by a hassled mother whose eyes are begging you to take her away from all of this and put her out of her misery?

Behind her, two kids are swinging from the light fittings; another pair are tearing up the carpet, presumably trying to find a hidden entrance to the magical world of Narnia; and the rest are deeply engrossed in a who-can-stuff-the-most-hamsters-into-your-mouth contest.

It needn’t be like that…

The only reason that kids parties dissolve into little sessions of anarchy is boredom – and that, dear parent, is all down to you.

“But, I tried so hard!”, I hear you cry. Yes, you probably did: lots of crisps, a big cake, and plenty of balloons.

The thing is, you broke the number one rule of kids parties. The rule that you must obey at all costs, unless you want your house destroyed by a legion of little monsters…

NEVER, EVER PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS!

Here’s a secret: kids hate the game. Even if they once enjoyed it, they’ve played it at every birthday, Christmas and end of school party they’ve ever been to.

Plus, you’re the one who has to cope with a dozen or more bored kids careering round the edges of the room while two determined finalists battle is out for that final seat.

That leads me nicely to rule number two:

NEVER PLAY ANY GAME THAT INVOLVE KIDS BEING ‘OUT’

If you play games that keep all the kids involved from start to finish, you’ve got their attention – and when you’ve got their attention, they aren’t scratching their name into the varnish of your dining table. Simple, really.

Here are a few more tried and tested party laws:

GET RID OF THE PARENTS

Aside from the ones that are there to help, parents get in the way. Plus, their kids won’t really start to enjoy themselves until their figure of authority has gone.

GIVE EACH KID A NAME STICKER

Not only will you remember who everyone is, they also help quieter children to break the ice, and you can write everything from parent’s mobile phone numbers to special dietary requirements on them, thus avoiding needless stress.

See how easy it can be?

ALWAYS HAVE A PARTY THEME

It’s the 21st century. A few party poppers and re-lighting candles just don’t do it anymore. A party theme gets the kids excited from the moment they receive their invitation, and gives you something to do on the big day as they start to arrive. The early kids can make extra bits of costume or help with last minute decorations while they’re waiting for their friends to turn up.

Then, run the party in this order:

GAMES – FOOD – PRESENTS

It may seem cruel to the party child, but always leave the opening of the presents to the end of the party to avoid gifts getting broken or lost in the fun. And if you get the kids running wild after they’ve had food, you’re just asking for trouble!

That’s all there is to it. Follow those six simple rules, and you’ll enjoy the party almost as much as your kids. Plus, you’ll be considered a hero at the school gates on Monday morning!

And remember to have fun! It is a party after all!

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Beneath the Armor of The Iron Man


Heroes are often defined and made what they are by two things: the villains they face and the burdens they carry.
Superman carries the burden of fear and anxiety, living a life afraid of breaking something, of killing someone should be be careless with his power. In some ways, Spider-man fought off depression after the death of his Uncle Ben by turning to crime-fighting. Batman turned his fear and anxiety into a weapon in his personal war, fueling his lone crusade against crime. However, in very few heroes is the relationship between burden and heroism as blatant and as prominent as in Tony Stark, the Iron Man.

The armor worn by the Iron Man, unlike the costumes of so many other heroes, is more than a mere tool for fighting crime. The armor also bears several components designed to help him cope with his physical ailments. Tony Stark’s heart was compromised in Vietnam, such that the armor’s primary purpose was to sustain him – keep him alive and moving – long enough to get proper medical care. In many ways, the early years of his career was marked with mild hints of depression. The armor was less of a tool in his eyes, and more a reminder of the frailty of his condition. The fact that the chronic pain he felt was alleviated better by the armor than by medication only added to his problems.

Still, despite the frailties, the Iron Man continued to do what he felt needed to be done. More so than any other hero, he risks his life whenever he engages his enemies in battle. The slightest malfunction or damage to his armor could prove fatal for him. The slightest disruption in the systems could cause the systems to go berserk and take many innocent civilians along with him. The burden has, at certain times, been too great for the character to bear. In a contrast to many other superheroes around him, Tony Stark tried to fight his depression and the pressures of his life in a very human way: alcohol.

Of course the decision to make him an alcoholic was controversial, but then, Marvel Comics has always pushed the line that way. Harry Osborne had been a drug user in an even more sensational storyline from the Spider-man comics. However, the difference here was that, unlike Osborne, Stark was a hero. As a hero, he was supposed to be above the petty squabbles and flaws of ordinary human beings. He eventually recovered, but not before his alcoholism caused great turmoil among his teammates and pushed his already strained relationships to near-breaking point.

The Iron Man character is often overlooked in the long list of superheroes that have become more human over the years. This is probably due to the fact that Tony Stark isn’t quite as fitting into the comic book niche-worlds that others seem designed for. Spider-man is the everyman of the superhero world, designed so that anyone who reads his comic can find something about him that they can relate to. Superman is the vision of an ideal, a dream given form and power. The Batman represents the darkness in everyone, honed and shaped into an overwhelming power. It is arguable, but there are some that would say Tony Stark is more human than any of the above. The armor may make him seem invincible, but like a turtle, underneath the shell is something soft and vulnerable.

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Why Virtual is Better

We all enjoy sending and receiving greeting cards from friends, family and loved ones. But sometimes our lives are so busy that we don’t think about little things like greeting cards and remembering to buy stamps. Sending a greeting card requires going to the post office, and buying the card from a store, then getting stamps and mailing it off. These things may seem simple, but many people don’t send greeting cards as often as they would like for these simple reasons.

That is where virtual greeting cards come in. Virtual greeting cards are easy to find, easy to send, and cost next to nothing, or sometimes are even free. Whenever you think about sending someone a greeting card, you simply go online, create a virtual greeting card, and send it off via email.

There are many different types of virtual greeting cards. Some virtual greeting cards are free to create and send. These are the best type of virtual greeting card, because it only takes minutes to create and email off, there is no travel required, and best of all it doesn’t cost you anything!

Other virtual greeting cards cost a minimal amount, such as ten or twenty-five cents each, or you can purchase memberships to virtual greeting card sites for a few dollars a month. The price is so low it might as well be free, and it is certainly cheaper than a stamp! Signup is usually quick and painless as well as secure, and within minutes you’re ready to send virtual greeting cards to everyone on your list! A few minutes of personalization, and you’re ready to go!

Virtual greeting cards are great not only because of the minimal cost, but because they are more personalized than a greeting card you buy in the stores. Virtual greeting cards can be personalized with a special message, names, music, graphics, animations, and many other features that lets your special someone know that you know what they like. Personalize a virtual valentine’s card with a poem you wrote yourself, and accent it with “your song.”

Virtual greeting cards are also great for birthdays and anniversaries, because you can choose the subject matter, the message, and customize the virtual card to show the age or number of the birthday or anniversary. Virtual greeting cards are also good for Christmas card lists, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Thanksgiving.

One of the best features of a virtual greeting card is that they can often be saved to your computer or on disk. This way, even if something were to happen such as a fire, tornado, or other disaster, the cherished memory of celebration and caring is still there in your virtual greeting card. Nothing can take away that precious and personalized virtual greeting card because it’s not on paper that can be easily lost or destroyed.

With the ability to personalize, the flexibility of time and effort, and the low cost, there is no doubt that virtual greeting cards are much better than paper.

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Daddy the Superhero

Value: Honor your Father and Mother

Brandon and Sean loved superheroes. They loved Superman and Batman and the Fantastic Four and dozens and dozens more. They rooms were overflowing with action figures and comic books of all of the most amazing super heroes in the imaginary world and they knew their names and their stories to the tiniest little detail.

“Tell me the favorite thing you like about a superhero.” Mommy aced them as they settled in for their evening devotionals.

“Well,” Sean started. “They always defeat evil. Evil monsters and people who want to hurt innocent people are always wiped out by superheroes when they use their superhuman powers.” He said making punching thrusts into the air sitting on the couch with mommy in his footy pajamas.

“What I like is that superheroes are never afraid and always know what to do.” Brandon added looking into space like he could see his favorite superhero right there in front of him.

“Well I am going to tell you of a real superhero that you live with. We will call him SUPERDADDY.” Mommy said happily.

The boys burst into laughter. They thought of their daddy as someone who sat at his computer working, a shy gentle man with his hair starting to go away. “Daddy isn’t a superhero!” They said together.

“Well right after you boys were born, daddy and I received Jesus and now Jesus is in our hearts. You know that don’t you.” Mommy said and both boys nodded.

“Well Satan didn’t want us to have wonderful boys like you who would be raised to serve god. One day, daddy got up and in his spiritual eyes, he saw the house was full of evil creatures lurking around trying to find ways to stop God from doing His will in our lives. Suddenly from far away, daddy heard the trumpet call coming from heaven that was going to have war with Satan and his demons to defeat them.

Right away daddy put on his superhero armor. He used the sword of the word of God. And the breastplate of righteousness. Our living room was changed into a huge battleground between Satan and God’s servants. Your daddy led the attack charging forward shouting the battle cry. “IN THE NAME OF JESUS.”

The enemy tired to attack. They swarmed around him. Oh, they were nasty and ugly little evil things. They were angels who fell with Satan and demons and evil spirits like Jesus cast out of people in the Bible.”

“Oh mommy, I would be so scared to see demons like that.” Sean said his voice quivering thinking of how brave SUPERDADDY must have been.

“Well SUPERDADDY was filled with the Holy Spirit so he had the boldness of God in him.” Mommy continued. “He stabbed with the word of God’s word sending the demons howling from the battle. Once an army of evil things tried to attack our family and daddy used the super weapon of praise. Raising his mighty sword into the air, he sang the praises of Jesus and the evil spirits ran in fear form him. The fire of the Holy Spirit like we read about in Acts was shooting from daddy’s sword and the ends of his fingers because he was full of God’s power and anointing to fight evil. Finally, SUPERDADDY stood face to face with the prince of all that was evil himself.

“The devil himself? How could daddy fight him?” Brandon said very frightened thinking of the daddy he loved facing the most evil thing in the universe.

“Well that’s because your daddy is not only brave and strong and full of the superpowers of the Holy Spirit but he also knows who he serves. He knew he could count on his Lord to back him up. He pulled the sword of the word out and declared. “AT THE NAME OF JESUS, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW.”

“Just then daddy stepped aside and knelt putting his head covered with his helmet to his sword. From behind him Jesus stepped up and cast Satan away. Jesus spoke the word of God and banished the evil one from the battle and from our home forever. Then he put a barrier of protection around us so we can live here in peace and worship God and so daddy and I can raise you little stinkers to become mighty men of God just like daddy.” Mommy finished the story tickling Brandon and Sean and making them giggle.

“Oh now, you telling that old story of the battle with Satan again?” Daddy said walking through and smiling seeing his family playing together.

“Daddy we want to be superheroes just like you!” Sean shouted jumping up to him for a hug.

“You learn the Bible and how to pray and all the lessons you will learn at church and Sunday School and Jesus will use you boys to battle evil too. Just you wait and see.” Daddy said hugging them goodnight. The boys watched daddy the superhero walk away. To their eyes, he was just a regular dad, but even then, as he walked off, they thought they saw small flames shoot from his fingers.

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16 Tips For Offline Marketing

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1. Answering Machine – This one is easy for offline marketing, just be sure to include your URL, dot.com in your answering machine messages!

2. Address Labels – Again easy all your outgoing mail for everything use your address labels for more offline marketing of your business and website!

3. Business Cards – Definitely use them, get in the habit of carrying them with you and pass them out “It Works”, you can even get you cards done on cd-roms!

4. Company vehicles – We all see vehicles with company names and telephone numbers on them driving our streets and motorways. This is a great idea as it gives potential customers the chance while out and about to learn about the company and also learn about how to contact them should they need the service or product they offer at some stage in the future. I often wonder why more websites aren’t promoted in this way by simply adding the company website URL also, you definitely should do this as part of your Offline Marketing!

5. Flyers – Post flyers on free local bulletin boards (grocery stores, discount chain stores, shopping malls, laundromats, dry cleaners, etc.) print a flyer on bright yellow paper detailing your web address and your company. BE SURE to include your email address, URL as well as your telephone number! Tack the flyer to bulletin boards all over your town. Keep a supply in your car for handy offline marketing!

6. Freebies & Giveaways – This method is a personal favorite of mine. It involves purchasing and distributing items such as pencils, pens, t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, calendars, key-chains, bumper stickers, refrigerator magnets and the like. All these items will have your URL, Logo, or Email address located somewhere on them helping to market offline and attract people to your website.

7. Christmas Cards – Use your Christmas cards to all your customers also for offline marketing with all your info URL, email and phone numbers!

8. Checks & Coupons – Again use all your information when using coupons and have your company checks printed with this information!

9. Web decals – are a new, inexpensive and fun way to use offline marketing and attract attention to your website. People absolutely love them, and they are very simple to use. Web decals are made of high quality vinyl and printed with state of the art digital equipment. Display your website address and more in bold white or black & white letters. People stick them everywhere. In your car windows, store, office and home windows, any place with glass!

10. Word of Mouth – easiest and a very viral form of offline marketing, your happy customers and friends just pass it on!

11. Fax cover sheets – (many people forget this one for offline marketing!)

12. Personal brochures – about you and your company!

13. Printed Material – Print your URL (Web site address) everywhere you print your business name. Including business cards, fliers, signage, ads, product tags, labels, craft show directories (in shows you may be attending) and anywhere else your business name is printed!

14. Newspapers, classifieds and related magazines – The print media which includes newspapers, journals and magazines is another avenue where your can have your URL exposed for everyone to see. It’s best first to start advertising your products, services and URL in local newspapers and then if successful continue onto regional and national publications. If you can’t afford the common graphical advertisement as seen throughout newspapers and journals related to your industry don’t worry as most of these publications have classified ad sections. Classified ads allow you to reach a targeted audience very cheaply with a simple short message and of course your URL is included in there somewhere too again a great source of offline marketing for your business!

15. Press releases – Press releases using them for offline marketing and promotion. Press releases or news releases as they’re sometimes known are newsworthy stories about your business that you send to various sections of the media. These sections of the media must be related to your industry for you to have any chance of success. Newsworthy stories are stories which readers of the media publications you submit to might be interested in.

If the journalist reads it and likes it he or she may publish it or some of its contents in his or her publication, if this happens you’re on to a winner because the public in general are much more responsive to a news story than a plain old hyped up advertisement. This could mean they’ll enquire about or even purchase your products or services.

Using press releases for offline marketing of your website uses the same principals, if it’s newsworthy release it. Newsworthy events for websites include website launches, website re launches and new online services among other items. Also don’t forget online press releases!

16. I. ID-It Plates – These Elegant mini-Billboards promote YOU 365 days a year, enhance the appearance of your vehicles, last for years and most important, give you literally Millions of Impressions and affordable offline marketing over their lifetime.

Conclusion – Even if your business only exits in the virtual world you must realize ALL your customers live and always will live in the physical world and therefore can be reached much better from the physical world. The moral of the story is never ever forget about the offline marketing and promotion of your website. Your success or failure could depend on it!

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