Three Effective Ways How to Teach Kids and Teens About Mandalas



Mandalas are geometric patterns starting from a central dot, working outward in repetitive patterns, often integrating symbols and vibrant colour. Mandalas remind us of our relation to the infinite world both beyond and within our minds and bodies.

There are numerous ways to teach kids and teens about the beauty, complexity, universal nature and healing powers of mandalas. Three of which will be discussed here along with specific examples and applications.

Explore Mandalas in Nature

Increasing awareness of the many manifestations of mandalas in nature can begin by examining an atom. On a grander scale the universe with the rotation of the planets around the sun or the shape of the galaxies and other cosmic manifestations demonstrate mandalas as a fundamental form. Becoming aware of their ever present nature allows individuals to find mandalas in previously unrecognized locations.

Examine the Universal Cultural Use of Mandalas

From Tibetan monks who create sand mandalas as a form of devotion, to Navajo sand painting used during complex healing ceremonies, mandalas are present in nearly every culture and religion. Two easy ways to teach the use of mandalas by different groups include:

Research Project: Providing a list of cultures/religions (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Celtic, MesoAmerican, Aboriginal, etc), allow children to search for the yoga store use of mandalas by that culture/religion. This is highly effective in partners or small groups where each group is assigned one culture and then asked to present their findings to the class.
Matching Game: Using photos of various mandalas and a world map, match the mandala with its geographic location, include a discussion on the differences and similarities.
Create Personal Mandalas
Once kids and teens have a basic understanding of mandalas, creating their own mandala allows for ownership and integration of the principles being taught.

Personal Mandalas: Often personal mandalas are used as a form of meditation or colour therapy and assist in calming the mind and nourishing the soul. It is important to maintain the shape and repetitive geometric patterns classic to mandalas.

Group Mandalas: Similarly group mandalas offer many personal rewards but also incorporate cooperation and teamwork. These are wonderful expressions to celebrate workshops, events or special celebrations. Connections are strengthened and the use of symbolism explored as a group works together to create a representation of their time together.

Mandalas are powerful. Their presence throughout nature and use by many cultures demonstrate their connection with humanity and the universe. Teaching kids and teens about mandalas helps them to more fully understand the world and themselves.


From Tibetan monks who create sand mandalas as a form of devotion, to Navajo sand painting used during complex healing ceremonies, mandalas are present in nearly every culture and religion. Two easy ways to teach the use of mandalas by different groups include:

Personal Mandalas: Often personal mandalas are used as a form of meditation or colour therapy and assist in calming the mind and nourishing the soul. Group Mandalas: Similarly group mandalas offer many personal rewards but also incorporate cooperation and teamwork. Teaching kids and teens about mandalas helps them to more fully understand the world and themselves.

Outdoor Fun With Inflatable Bounce Houses



With summer around the corner it's time for parents to start thinking about ways to get their kids away from the TV and computer and outside for fresh air, exercise and fun. Unless your kids have a reason to venture outside they probably won't, preferring to idle the hours away with television re-runs, video games and social networking. If there is a giant, colorful bounce house in the front or back yard you may want to stay clear of the door as they rush to the carnival like amusement toy.

Bounce houses, also known as jumpers or combo jumpers are safe inflatable structures that provide hours of fun for kids of all ages. Available in a wide variety of themes and with options for obstacle courses, race courses and even water slides inflatable jumpers are one of the best outdoor toys you can find for occupying a young child's imagination.

Bounce houses and jumper combos are designed to withstand heavy use and the materials used are commercial grade and puncture proof so even big kids and adults can get in on the fun. Most bounce houses inflate in just a few minutes with a strong UL blower that can be placed at a safe distance from the structure with a long fill tube so it doesn't interfere with the action.

Large pillars are conveniently placed in strategic areas of the inflatable house structure to provide a durable and sturdy frame that won't collapse under pressure or weight. Many inflatable jumpers and combo jumpers come with instructions for assembly and even repair kits to do minor patch repairs on your own.

Inflatable jumpers are great for large families and any kid party celebration. Unlike swing sets, trampolines and other outdoor activity sets that need constant adult supervision to prevent injury bounce houses are much safer and when you keep the number of kids in the structure to a safe maximum there is very little you have to worry about in terms of accidents and injuries. Many bounce house sets feature high quality safety netting in open obstacle course cincinnati areas to prevent falls and the amount of air blown into to the structure is sufficient to prevent anyone from hitting the ground.

Bounce houses can be rented for day parties or purchased so you have a full-time indoor and outdoor play set for your kids. No matter what your kids are in to you'll have no trouble finding an inflatable jumper theme to match their interests including pirate ships, castles, jungle safaris, monster trucks, sports arenas and much more.

For great deals on bounce houses, inflatable jumpers and other fun kid party games go to Inflatable 2000 and get ready to let the good times roll.


If there is a giant, colorful bounce house in the front or back yard you may want to stay clear of the door as they rush to the carnival like amusement toy.

Unlike swing sets, trampolines and other outdoor activity sets that need constant adult supervision to prevent injury bounce houses are much safer and when you keep the number of kids in the structure to a safe maximum there is very little you have to worry about in terms of injuries and accidents. Many bounce house sets feature high quality safety netting in open areas to prevent falls and the amount of air blown into to the structure is sufficient to prevent anyone from hitting the ground.

Defining Managed IT Services



Managed services is a broad term for outsourcing many functions in business. Medium and small business owners will find that IT companies offer varying descriptions of what they consider managed IT service packages.

Managed Services Defined

Wikipedia defines managed services as "the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, production support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities."

Over at the MSP Alliance, they describe it as "the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades."

Gartner defines a MSP as a company that "delivers network, e-management, system and application services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a "pay as you go" pricing model. A "pure play" MSP focuses on management services as its core offering. In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

Basically, the industry defines managed IT services as a program in which some portion of IT service is done proactively and with some sort of monthly fee. The process and results may vary depending on how the individual company approaches their support package.

Many IT support companies simply add some sort of service with a monitoring package for a nominal fee and call it managed services. On the other end of the spectrum, a full-time Managed Service Provider or MSP, will have an end-to-end platform in which they take responsibility for their clients' technology and a laser-like focus on improving the overall client experience and their technology results.

The Theory and Purpose

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes costly and cumbersome. Some companies begin looking to have some proactive IT management mixed into their current strategy.

Alternatively, some companies opt to hire an internal IT person. Managed services, when done properly, should offer companies a cost effective solution that reduces reactive problems and helps the client plan for future issues and business changes. Using economies of scale and through best practices refined and developed across a base of clients, a good managed services approach should certainly be more cost effective than hiring internally and deliver better results.

Variations of Managed Services

While the definition can be somewhat vague, the variations are also sometimes confusing. Listed below are some of the more common "managed services" offering that a person may come across. While some would argue that the most basic offerings are not managed services at all, they are included if only to illustrate how much variation exists.

Monitoring Only

A monitoring only package is the least expensive and least effective of any managed services approach. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost.

Limited Response

The next step for many companies, this approach allows for some issue remediation. The boundaries are usually specific and somewhat restrictive. This approach may offer a set amount of hours for reactive network support per a time period or include limited response for specific server, computer or other technical issues. Any problems that fall outside of the defined perimeters incur a service fee.

Hybrid Approach

Typically, using this approach, the internal person can focus on his or her specific function and allow the managed services company handle the issues that occur outside of those perimeters. Using this model, the managed services company should be able to implement their process to positively affect the client's business while the employee is then not burdened by unnecessary distractions.

Note: Many companies feel the need to have an on-site person to more quickly respond to employee issues. This approach is usually costly and is generally not necessary. When done properly, the managed services approach should focus on minimizing the need for a reactive response by avoiding most day-to-day issues, negating the need for an on-site technician. In fact, remote response can many times be faster check here than waiting for a person to respond, even if they are in the same building. In the rare occurrence of an issue that requires on-site personnel, an MSP should be well-equipped to respond appropriately.

Remote-Only Help Desk Support

Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. This model can be very effective for companies that require little on-site response or have a dispersed workforce. Most companies that use remote-only support can benefit from the higher level of service and results that a good MSP delivers and only pay for on-site response as needed.

Full IT Department

The full IT department package places all of the responsibility for the client's technology results in the hands of the MSP. When done properly, the MSP can utilize tools, technology, best practices and a well-developed process to:

Drive down reactive issues
Increase client productivity
Consult on technology decisions
Provide a multi-year budget
Reduce the client's overall business risk of data loss and downtime.
When a reputable managed service provider engages a client using this approach, they are committing to provide a positive result for a set monthly fee.

What Do You Need?

With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models. When pricing between companies can differ by large dollar amounts, this can be especially daunting. Business owners can sometimes lump all IT companies into the same category, but usually there are large disparities in approach, expectations and methods.

When evaluating a managed service provider to maintain your company's technology, focus on the results that the MSP promises. Managed service providers offering to partially manage your network are usually hoping for the big payday that comes when something equally big goes wrong.


In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes cumbersome and costly. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models.

Roofing - Under the Shingles - What's Under the Asphalt, Metal, Wood, Rubber Or Clay Tiles on a Roof



Imagine, you're standing on the sidewalk, looking at an average house. You see the siding, the windows, the front door, and way up above, you see the roof. Does the roof have asphalt shingles? Wood shakes perhaps? Maybe it's made of metal or rubber tiles? What you see is where the focus goes, but it's what you don't see that really matters. There's more to roofing than meets the eye. So let's talk about what goes on, under the shingles.

The Roof Deck

Your wood roof deck is comparable to an automobiles metal body. Without a roof deck installed on your house, there would be nowhere to install your Shingles. And of course without the shingles, your roof deck would rot away due to exposure to the sun, snow, rain and ice and etc.

On Newer Houses, sheets of plywood or OSB boards are fastened on top of wooden trusses in your attic to form the roof deck. When the time comes for you to replace your Roof System, remember to have your Calgary Roofing Contractor replace any and all damaged wood.

Remember, if your roof deck is rotting or damaged in any way, people walking on your roof could potentially break or crack through the wood, causing further damage to the roof system, such as to the shingles ... and to the person who walked on it! However, most roof decks can withstand a little bit of exposure to water or ice before it needs to be replaced.

Metal: Drip Edge and Rake Edge

Drip edge and Rake edge is the first part of the Roof System to be installed. It is a narrow and long piece of metal which is installed along each end of your Roof Deck, ie: along the eaves trough and along the gable ends.

Some area local building codes require the installation of Drip Edge and Rake Edge and other building codes do not. Check with your local city building offices to find out. In Alberta for example, the Building Code does not require the installation of Drip edge or Rake edge. Therefore many new homes and/or low budget roof systems do not have drip edge installed in order to allow for more affordable roof prices. We recommend however that Drip edge and Rake edge be installed on every Roof System, no exceptions.

Drip and Rake edge is available in a variety of different colors and sizes and can be custom built for the needs of your roof system. Installing an appropriate drip edge often saves hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars when your roof system needs replaced.

If your Roof System does not currently have drip or rake edge installed, do not panic, you'll survive well enough. Just be aware that when your roof needs to be replaced, the Roofing Contractor you may need to replace some of your wood Roof Deck on an as needed basis.

Metal: Skylights and chimneys

Arguably the most important part of every complete roof system. The metal installed in the chimneys, skylights and valleys take the brunt of water flow on every roof. Poorly installed, a brand new roof system can make a waterfall out of your living room.

Every chimney and skylight needs what is referred to as "a back pan", which consists of sheet metal folded at around a 90 degree angle (depending on the slope of your roof) and tucks under the shingles and up under the counter, siding or stucco flashing on the chimney or skylight. Every back pan needs a small 2" section of metal sticking out 1" or more from either side of the chimney or skylight to divert water away from the corners. Water should hit the metal back pan and be directed away on either side where it can continue its run into the eaves trough.

Metal: Valleys

In the same way water runs along the valleys between two mountains, water runs along the valleys on your roof peaks. Valleys generally receive the highest concentration of water flowing through them, therefore installing them correctly is extremely important!

As mentioned in the Leak Barrier section, valleys have leak barriers installed underneath them. Even though some Building Codes do not require such a leak barrier to be installed, we recommend installing one always in every valley.

A word of caution: Many roofing contractors install valleys in a style referred to as 'closed'. Ask your Roofing Contractor to use the 'open' style of installation for your roofs valleys, this could save you from having to replace your roof system prematurely and also can avoid headaches in the long run. This metal can be ordered in any color to match the shingles on your roof system.

Leak Barrier

Think of a leak barrier as a "second layer" of protection for your Roof Deck. A backup plan, if you will, and also a protection against moisture build up. Leak barriers are nearly always installed on top of the Drip Edge and Rake Edge metal along eaves trough areas, gable areas and valleys because of the risk these areas pose for leaks, ice build up, shingle deterioration and water back flow.

If you've ever looked at your roof during winter, you'll notice how ice and snow builds up along the length of your eaves troughs and inside the roof valleys. As an optional upgrade, some high end roof systems even have leak barriers installed on top of the entire Roof Deck (as opposed to only along the special areas we just mentioned) where normally a standard Roof Deck Protection would normally have been installed.

Virtually all roofs in Calgary, Alberta have leak barriers installed, and many different types of leak barriers are available in today's market, each offering a different level of warrantee, functionality and reliability and produced by many different manufacturers.

Choosing an appropriate Leak Barrier and installing it properly is an important step in every Roof System. Speak with your Roofing Contractor to learn more about leak barriers, how to choose the right one and how to choose a Professional Roofing Contractor to install it.

Roof Deck Protection

Roof Deck Protection is very similar to a Leak Barrier. The difference is that Roof Deck Protection is installed on the entire Roof Deck area instead of only on "special areas" as we mention in the Leak Barrier section.

Typically, Roof Deck Protection is a step lower in quality than a Leak Barrier. As with Leak Barriers however, there are many different types of Roof Deck Protection available to choose from ranging from basic felt/tar paper to advanced plastic woven sheets of rip and wrinkle proof material. Choosing a reliable Roof Deck Protection is an important part of a quality Roof System.

A word of caution; most roofing companies use felt paper as Roof Deck Protection. Although using felt paper is a standard and acceptable practice, some issues can arise if the felt paper becomes wet during or after the installation. Ever notice how paper tends to curl when it dries after it was wet? In a similar way, felt paper can curl if water or excess moisture touches it. For this reason, and because the cost is quite small, we recommend installing a higher quality Roof Deck Protection such as a GAF/ELK Deck Armour. For a relatively small additional cost, you'll be rewarded with a much more reliable Roof Deck Protection.

Ask your local trusted Roofing Contractor about which under-layer would be best for your Roof System any why.

Conclusion

There it is, life beneath the shingles. Professional roofing contractors know this stuff inside and out and can help immensely in ensuring a roof system is reliable for many years.

All the best with your roofing project, and remember, be proactive, make educated decisions.

This article is written by Eric Gilbert-Williams, owner of The Roof Hospital located in Calgary Alberta.

Visit the Calgary Roofing Contractors website

The Roof Hospital is a Calgary Roofing Contractor Company focused exclusively on roof repairs and replacements.

With 24/hr 7/day service, lifetime guarantee's on workmanship and with a deep understanding of the complete roof system, The Roof Hospital is a reliable and safe for Calgary roofing projects.

If you would like to learn more about A Complete Roof System, visit this Calgary Roofing Contractors website

The Roof Hospital also serves the Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotokes, Chestermere and Langdon area.

Be Proactive. Choose a reliable roofing contractor for your project, work with them to select quality products and back yourself with a strong warranty.


Many new homes and/or low budget roof systems do not have drip edge installed in order to allow for more affordable roof prices. Ask your Roofing Contractor to use the 'open' style of installation for your roofs valleys, this could save you from having to replace your roof system prematurely and also can avoid headaches in the long run. If you've ever looked at your roof during winter, you'll notice how ice and snow builds up along the length of your eaves troughs and inside the roof valleys. As an optional upgrade, some high end roof systems even have leak barriers installed on top of the entire Roof Deck (as opposed to only along the special Roofing Companies in Regina areas we just mentioned) where normally a standard Roof Deck Protection would normally have been installed.

Choosing a reliable Roof Deck Protection is an important part of a quality Roof System.

Understanding Window Replacement Benefits


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Generally, window confers life to a home and makes it great. It allows ventilation and external view. As such, window replacement services are a kind of service homeowners want to be done right and perfect. In recent times, window replacement has increasingly become a common home remodeling service simply because of the arrival of the latest windows (energy star) which better insulate home and reduce cooling and heating costs. Replacing old or damaged windows will not only reduce the energy expenses but it will also increase the home value. Selecting windows that go with your home is quite an arduous task that entails various criteria. This piece of article talks about the possible window replacement services.

Before replacing old or damaged windows or even getting windows for your new home, it is pretty much necessary to analyze the available types of window, the materials utilized and the energy effectiveness involved with the various windows. Some people might take enough time to decide the replacement service they are going to use. As hi-tech windows play an important role in almost every home, someone that is stuck with the wooden window idea will not take interest to understand the importance of the new windows. The new windows provide all the possible benefits like energy design, quality and effectiveness.

Prior to the advent of internet people do find window replacement services via referrals from family and friends or in the phone book. Although the referrals will definitely provide you with lots of information regarding the professionalism and steadfastness of the replacement service than the phone book, but the internet will assist you in fleshing out average costs and extra information. Customer sites will offer you a wider range of reviews that can assist you to go for the best window replacement services in your locale.

You can ask the company about your particular window replacement issues whether it is for poorly insulated windows, cracked/damaged windows or simply outdated windows. Aside the window quality, style and framework, take some time to list out other services that fulfill your requirement and choose the best service for your need. Only engage a window replacement service when you are completely contended with the company's professionalism, cleanliness, licensing, timeliness and insurance.

However, you have to check out if the window replacement can be done by yourself or if it will require Ramen Kortrijk an expert help. If you are not one of those high-tech individuals that are good at getting things done by their own hands, it is advisable that you seek out for an expert. Professionals that proffer window replacement services can simply promote your home to their level best. These services could be a large cost, but it is an essential process for your home which could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.


In recent times, window replacement has increasingly become a common home remodeling service simply because of the arrival of the latest windows (energy star) which better insulate home and reduce cooling and heating costs. Before replacing old or damaged windows or even getting windows for your new home, it is pretty much necessary to analyze the available types of window, the materials utilized and the energy effectiveness involved with the various windows. As hi-tech windows play an important role in almost every home, someone that is stuck with the wooden window idea will not take interest to understand the importance of the new windows. You can ask the company about your particular window replacement issues whether it is for poorly insulated windows, cracked/damaged windows or simply outdated windows.

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