Monday, April 30, 2012

The Presidents Challenge

For those of you that don't know, I am a Biggest Loser fan.  A couple weeks ago on the biggest loser the contestants were able to meet Michelle Obama at the White House.  I thought it was pretty cool.  The first lady is way into physical fitness and has an initiative to fight childhood obesity.  Part of her initiative it called, "Let's Move."  She is encouraging all of us to get more physically active.  The Presidents Challenge is for anyone who is would like to get healthier through exercise and eating more healthy.  The website that's listed below has amazing resources for families, teachers, and individuals to be successful.  This would be a great challenge to embark for you and all your school age children who will be home this summer.  To participate in the Presidents Challenge click on the link below and get started on a healthier you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fascinating Womanhood

Yes, this is an old book.  The book was first published in 1962 and were inspired by booklets that were published in the 1920's.  I actually borrowed it from my mom's book shelf and was "Fascinated" by it's title... Fascinating Womanhood  After I started reading it I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the book and found it very enlightening and applicable to my own life and relationship with my husband.  I was looking for things about the book online and found really negative things written about the book.  It encourages woman to stay at home and be mothers and put your husband and family first instead of career and this gets all kinds of women upset.  She uses many quotes from the bible in reference to woman's role.  I found it interesting that you can still take classes.  It looks like now all classes are taught online.    This may be a hard book to get your hands on, if you have trouble you may want to check your mom's or grandma's book shelves.  This is what the book on the back cover says this book will tell you:

  •  How to become an ideal woman
  • What men find fascinating in women
  • How to understand men
  • How to bring out the best in your husband
  • How to react when a man is thoughtless, unfair or negligent
  • How to arouse his deepest feelings of love and tenderness
  • How to gain true happiness in marriage

Some pretty big ideals but the thing I learned most from this book is that this doesn't come from changes you hope your spouse will make, it all starts with you.  That's really where you can only start is if you want change it's got to start with yourself.  Just like many self help book, I didn't agree with every part of this book but I found it very interesting and I could see things that I could do better to respond better when I'm upset with my husband.  Some of my favorite parts were the many testimonials of woman who had used some of the ideas to improve their relationship.  Most I found very enlightening.  I will warn you, there are some very old fashioned ideas in this book but you see, I think in spirit, I'm a bit old fashioned too.

Here are a few quotes from the book.

A man wants a woman who will place him at the top of her priority list--not second, but first.  Being placed in an inferior position can cause the man to form bitter resentments towards his wife and even his children.

Accept your husband at face value and admire his masculinity.  Although admiration is all important to a man, it will not be appreciated unless it is accompanied by acceptance.  If you admire him in some ways but are critical of him in others, it will be like serving him a piece of moldy pie and trying to disguise it by putting whipped cream on top.  You will have to accept the total man before your admiration will be well received.  

The greatest joy in a man is in being a hero to the woman he loves.  This is all important to him in so much that if he does not receive her praise, he can be painfully disappointed.  And yet how many heroes have been honored everywhere except at home?  A man may work for years to earn an educational degree only to have his wife fail to comment, or if she does, it is more with the attitude "it's about time"  Or, if she receives the news that her husband has received an award for meritorious service, she acts as though any other man could have done as well.  Or imagine how painful for her to esteem some other man as a hero such as a brother, father, or man in the community.  Although modest comments about other men are proper, it would be a mistake for a woman to be overly enthusiastic about another man's accomplishments.

Inner happiness is a quality of spirit which must be earned by a victory over our weaknesses and an upward reach for the perfection of our character.  It is like swimming upstream.  It is found in the great efforts and achievements of life and in faithful devotion to duty.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

100 Day Contest

Do you have a habit that you would like to make?  Try starting a 100 day contest.  We were challenged by two of our music teachers to practice instruments for 100 days without missing one day.  This was tried last year but we missed a day and didn't get to the 100 days.  This year all the kids decided they wanted to make it.  This required much work from both kids and mom!  One night we got home late from visiting family and remembered we hadn't practiced so we did it before bed.  What made this successful?

1.  Had a great reward at the end of the contest
2.  All the kids wanted to do it and when they didn't want to practice we just had to remind them of how far they had come and what was at the end of the days
3.  Made a chart for them to track their progress
4.  Had a daily reminder on my calendar so it was on the fore front of my mind.
5.  Sunday's -we took a little break by doing recitals instead of full practice sessions

You could apply this to any habit you want your child to get better at such as:

  • Scripture Study
  • Prayer
  • Cleaning your Room
  • Brush Teeth

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Children's Vitamins-Do they really need these?

We have been going through some major struggles over taking our vitamins in the morning.  The kids love their Fluoride pills but loath taking their multi-vitamins.  I find them in the garbage, hidden under the table, or just left on their plates.  All of my children hate taking them because they are "gross."  So I've been wondering if they really need them?
I have always thought that taking vitamins is really good and healthy so that's what I've done.  After reading some articles I have seen online (links are within), I'm wondering if it's all that necessary.  A study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, suggests that many parents may believe that multivitamins provide children with extra nutrients they might not be getting in their everyday diets. However, there is no solid evidence that taking a multivitamin improves a child's health.
The consensus I hear is if your child is getting a balanced diet there is no need for a multivitamin.  Children don't really need large amounts of vitamins and minerals.   Their are so many foods now that are already supplemented with extra vitamins like milk, cereal, orange juice, fruit snacks, etc. that these can help.  I can see if your child is extremely picky but if they are growing and are healthy they may not have nutritional deficiencies.

I guess I don't want the battle in the morning so I'm leaning towards getting rid of the vitamins.  I also hate to buy something if it's not doing that much good anyway.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Words of Wisdom from Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

I just finished a wonderful novel.   This was a pure luxury when I could sit down and read this book.  Here is a couple quotes that I really loved.
  • That's what friends should do. cherish the good and pretend not to notice the harmless rest.
  • Life don't wait for nobody, and even as special as you are, it ain't gonna wait for you, neither. So it's time to make up your mind that you're gonna join it.
  • Don't grow up to fast, darling. Age is inevitable, but if you nurture a childlike heart, you'll never ever grow old.
  • People is wise cause they get out in the world and live.  Wisdom comes from experience--from knowin' each day is a gift and accepting it with gladness.  You read a whole lot of books, and readin' sure has made you smart, but ain't no book in the world gonna make you wise.
  •  Don't go wastin' all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hangin' on to what happened yesterday.  Let go, child.  Just breathe out and let go.
  • It's how we survive the hurts in life that brings us strength and gives us our beauty. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Online Preschool-Utah Upstart

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." -Victor Hugo

So I've posted about this before but I'm excited it about it again so I'm going to do anyway.  Pumpkin, who is now in Kindergarten participated in the Upstart program last year and it was wonderful!  They give you a jump drive for your computer that you take home and then you connect with it and online.  The preschool program is tailored to the ability of your child.  As your child progresses, so does the level of the material given.  Your child, identifies their name, letters, numbers, and progresses to eventually sounding out words.  The music in the program is wonderful!  I have sung along and even have taken some of the song I learned and have used them in my preschool.  I got a call to see if we were still interested in the program for Peanut.  And I was surprised and excited!  I explained to them that I teach preschool here in my home but this didn't matter.  If you do not have a computer they will loan computers to families for the year.
The requirement to participate is you

  • Commit to have your child sit down and play on the program for 15 minutes a day/5 days a week 
  • You need to live in Utah.  
  • Your child needs to be one year away from starting Kindergarten

We got a few calls when we didn't do so well in getting on the computer.  You can play with your child but I recommend you let your child do it all on their own.  This way it won't but you if they keep getting something wrong.  They do learn and even the computer skills they learn is so great. If you have a preschool child or will in the next few years I would highly recommend pre-enrolling.  You can also call 1–800–669–4533 if you have any questions or would like to pre-register on the phone.  There are a limited number of slots still open for fall 2012 program so pre-enroll today!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Utah Shakeout-Be Ready

Tuesday Morning 04/17/2012 at 10:15 thousands of Utah's will Drop, Cover, and hold on.  Because many of your own children will be participating with this at their schools, daycares, and preschools it would be a good idea to talk about it as a family.  Utah has been over due to have an earthquake for years.  Experts say it's not a matter of "if" but "when" an earthquake will happen.  Utah gives great information about the Shakeout drill plus simple things families and work places can do to keep safe in an emergency.  On the site their is a audio recording of the drill that you can play so you can practice.  One thing they recommend doing is making a Grab and Go kit that has survival items and food.  To get a list of recommended items visit Be Ready Utah.   If we are prepared we won't be as scared and this can also save a child if they know what to do.  I think it's a wonderful idea so spread the word and Be Ready for an earthquake!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Healthy ways to deal with Stress

So I don't drink, smoke, or drink caffine so what can I do to help me deal with the stress of life?  I had a friend ask me this the other day and it got me thinking.  Being a mom can be very stressful.  It's important to deal with the stress but in a healthy way so we can be on top of our game.  If we aren't then we aren't being the best for our kids. The hardest thing is to have the time to take to de-stress when you need it.  I know what I do but I would love some help here.  Please comment and share what you do to help when you are stressed.   I like this quote and completely agree.  You are never strong enough that you don't need help. –Cesar Chavez

  • Deep Breathing --This really works for me, just taking a few minutes to stop and think about your breath slows your heart rate and increases oxygen and can help you cope with what's going on right now
  • Music Listening
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Massage-Even better if you give one to your spouse or child and then receive one back 
  • Hot Bath
  • Music Making-One of my favorite things to do is sit and play my favorite songs on the piano or guitar
  • Physical Exercise-Just taking a walk can really clear my head
  • Going outside-this can combine a few things listed above but sometimes just getting outside will help my mood
  • Doing something I enjoy like, reading a good book, watching a favorite show
  • Help someone else-service will help keep your mind off your own problems and lift your spirits
  • Pray
  • Read the Scriptures  
  • Take a Nap-Just a short nap can really help me
  • Call a friend
I found a really great article that if you would like to read more about dealing with stress in a healthy way click here.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homemade Lego Table

My boys are constantly playing with Lego's and they want to keep there creations in a place that won't be ruined so after seeing my brother in laws table they made for their son, we thought this would be a perfect birthday present.  This is easy to make and affordable!

1 used coffee table
4 large green base plates (10 inches by 10 inches)
Gorilla Glue

Directions:  Find a used table.  We got a used table from our local thrift store which cost us $15.  This was a really sturdy table with a few scratches.  Then I went to the store and bought four large green base plates which were 4.99 each.  I cleaned the table off, which included scraping off gum which had been stuck to the bottom of the table.  Yuck!  Then I glued with regular wood glue which worked but I think gorilla glue would work because it's much thicker.  Be sure not to put too much glue which will seep around the edges and sides.  Wallah there you have a table which will be used over and over.  My boys have a labyrinth maze they created yesterday that they were pretty excited about.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finding Time to Exercise

As a busy mom it can be really challenging to find time and energy to exercise.  Now that the weather where I live is getting nicer it's even easier to work in exercise time during the day.  Here is some things I have done to fit it in a busy schedule.

  • Going to the library, church, visiting a neighbor, keep the car in park and walk with your kids.  If you aren't going more then a mile this is easily done and a great way to get out and even save gas money
  • Going to Ball Practice for the kids?  If possible you could Bike or walk to practice and then once there,  walk around the park while they practice
  • Need to visit with a friend, suggest you take a walk while you talk
  • Got little ones that take naps?  Exercise while they are sleeping
  • Playing at the park with your kids, don't just sit there, get up and play with them
  • Got a long car drive, you can do Kegel exercises and stomach flexing while you drive (do it to the music you are listening to!
  • Shopping?  Don't take the closest parking spot, park as far as you can to get some extra steps in
  • Take the stairs (unless you have a stroller, that would be tricky =))
  • Want to watch your favorite TV show, set it up so you can walk or jog on your treadmill at the same time
  • Instead of movie night with the kids, go swimming with them, or play whiffle ball outside, or jump on the tramp with them.  
  • Do some dancing to music with the kids, use them as weights to lift while you lie on the floor
  • Use your spouse or friend as an exercise partner, it's so much more fun and motivating to do it with someone
  • Track your progress-This helps you be accountable.  You can track your weight, or/and how long you exercise everyday.  I notice when I stop tracking it, I get really lax.
  • Be patient with yourself and be creative in finding ways to add activity to your life

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kindergarten and Preschool Registration Time

This is the time to register for Kindergarten and Preschool.  I'm sure most of you are already on the ball and have done this already.  Because there are so many choices now, the decision can be hard.  Do I put my child in the closest public school, a charter school, private school, or do I want to home school?  My personal thought is you really should visit the schools in your area and weigh your options.  Ask if you can see a kindergarten class and also visit a 3rd or 4th grade class to get an idea of the education at that school.  Ultimately you should choose the school that is best for you and your child.
I believe preschool is so important.  Which is probably why I enjoy teaching it so much.  To have a set time to work on reading, writing, numbers, and letters helps your child get ready for Kindergarten.  Preschool can be such a fun time!  To have the opportunity to play and learn with other children their own age without mom and dad right there is very helpful for their social development.  It also is important for them to learn to listen and learn from a teacher.   The best preschools are going to fill up fast so looking now for preschool is better then in the summer when many already have full classes.

Here are some questions you may want to ask a potential preschool.
What is their Daily Activities like?
You want to hear them list a variety of things they do.  Preschools needs to have a variety of experiences that teach a child with all of their senses.  When a child can see, hear, touch, feel, taste something the brain connections it creates will help a child better learn and remember something.
Where do they hold preschool?
Do they teach only in one area of the room or do they do activities outside, inside, in the kitchen, on the floor, on a chair.  Again having a variety of places they can experience with give your child the best learning atmosphere.
Do they have free time where they can choose their own activity to play?
Free time is crucial for children to have a time to have independent creative play.  This shouldn't be all a preschool does for sure but at least 15-30 minutes of free time or some may call it recess is very beneficial.
How many teachers do they have per student?
If your child doesn't have any 1:1 time in preschool they may not get the help they need.  I think a good ratio is not more than 1 teacher for 10 students.  I like to have in my preschool only 8 students and this seems to work for me but I'm sure in other cases someone might be able to work with more.
Can my child and I come visit your school?
I encourage all my prospective students and parents to come at least once to see how our school is run.  This will give you a good idea of your teachers personality and style of teaching.  This will help you know if your child will thrive in this school.

What if you can't afford to send your child to preschool?  There are other options available so that everyone can participate in preschool.  Start with Head Start and see if you qualify.  Find your closest Head Start program by clicking here.  (If this doesn't work for you, do a google search for Head Start and then your city)  If you don't qualify you may need to get creative and do your own preschool.  Find other mom's in your neighborhood in your same situations and set up your own neighborhood preschool.  You can rotate homes so your child gets an experience learning from someone other then mom.  You can also it yourself.  You will need to be very motivated to do it the same time and day each week.  Decide what you will teach and write it down on a calendar.  You can get lots of fun ideas online.  If you are structured and motivated enough this can also be a good option for you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Preparing for a New Baby

Preparing for a New Baby

Many mothers begin preparing for their babies soon after conception. The first few weeks are often filled with blissful daydreams of a precious babe sleeping soundly in his or her mother's arms. Soon after, reality sets in and moms start thinking about baby gear. After all the gear has been purchased, set up, washed and readied, many moms move on to other practical preparations. It's a good thing nature gives mothers nine months to prepare for a baby, because it gives mom plenty of time to get everything in order to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home.

Before Baby

Before the baby arrives, it's important to think about who will help during the first few weeks. Newborn babies need lots of attention, even though they spend most of their time eating and sleeping. That means other children, meals, cleaning, and other commitments take a back burner to the newborn. Extra help within the house is very helpful. New moms shouldn’t say no if a friend or family member wants to come over to help take care of the home; it will allow mother to rest and bond with the new baby.

Eating healthy throughout the pregnancy is always focused on, but it is also important to continue those eating habits post-delivery. To do this, it is helpful to prepare several meals before the baby is born. Prepare casseroles or soups in bulk then freeze them for easy, fresh meals during the baby's first few weeks. It's important for breastfeeding moms especially to eat healthy foods to ensure proper milk supply.

Expectant mothers must also remember to relax before the birth. Having a baby brings big changes to the world of a mother. Take time before the baby comes to relax or do some favorite activities, because it might be a while before a new mother gets to do them again.

After the Birth

There are a few things mom can plan for immediately following delivery. If a woman plans on breastfeeding their newborn, attending a breastfeeding class and speaking to a lactation consultant are helpful to learn the finer points. If a mother is expecting a son, she may consider talking to her doctor about circumcision to see if it is something that she would like to have performed. Immediately following delivery, some mothers choose to have the umbilical cord blood collected for cord blood banking. Cord blood banking allows families to store their baby’s cord blood at a private facility, ultimately having access to a related source of stem cells.

Moms also need to make sure they have packed all the things the baby will need for the ride home. Items include a warm sleeper, car seat, and blanket or car seat cover. Depending on the season and the climate, moms should make sure they have everything necessary for a comfortable ride home.

New mothers should also think about themselves for that car ride home. Pack comfortable, loose clothing, and other toiletry items you might need during your brief hospital stay. It's normal to feel worn out after giving birth, and sometimes a little makeup and a cute shirt go a long way toward feeling "normal" again.

Most importantly, mom need to remember to take care of herself once the baby comes along; schedule time for a long bath, or quiet time alone for a few minutes each day. Giving birth takes its toll on a woman's body, causing great hormonal shifts as well as physical changes. Women need to treat themselves kindly for several days after giving birth. They should sleep often, rest, eat and, most importantly, bond with their newborn.  
"This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26."