How To Help Your Child Overcome Fear Of Thunderstorms

I’ll never forget that day.  I was pretty young, with my dad, in Indiana.  We were at a wedding, although I have no idea whose wedding it was.  I just remember it was an outdoor celebration.  Or at least it was until the tornado sirens started blaring.   I recall watching the dark sky above, my heart beating fast with fear, and seeing people running for shelter into a nearby basement.

That vivid memory burned into my mind and left me with a nasty fear of severe weather, particularly thunderstorms and tornadoes.  Thankfully, living in Southern California, severe weather wasn’t really an issue, as we got maybe one mild thunderstorm a year.

Okay, well there was that one random day when I was driving home from work and watched the line of cars in front of me on the highway come to a sudden stop as a tornado in a nearby field crossed the road.  That was a pretty freaky and bizarre moment.  I’ll admit I put the pedal to the medal to get home once the traffic started moving again.

Continue reading

The All Too Tattered, Well-Used Rocking Chair

One of my favorite things about being a mom has been soaking up those precious moments snuggling with my daughters in the all too tattered and well-used rocking chair.

With a six-year-old and a three-year-old, our moments spent together in this chair are happening less often.  Yet my husband and I still can’t bring ourselves to remove this piece of furniture from our home or our lives.

When we moved Abby from her crib to a big girl bed, we were forced to move the rocking chair out of her room.  There just wasn’t enough space for it there.  Now it sits in our living room near my computer desk.

From time to time, my husband will plop down and rock, chatting with me while I’m typing away.  And every once in a while I will sit there alone in my thoughts and sway comfortably in the sun that’s shining through the window over the cozy, torn cushions.

Continue reading

Great Arts and Crafts Supplies for in the Classroom or Rainy Day Fun

Whether for use in the classroom or at home to help complete homework and various other projects parents often find themselves looking for good arts and crafts supplies for their kids. It is not just for school purposes either.

 

Many of us can remember whiling away a rainy day making all kinds of things with our own arts and crafts supplies. It helps to keep a basic supply of arts and crafts supplies on hand, but what should that basic supply consist of? Here are some ideas:

Paper – You will, of course, need a good supply of basic drawing paper for which inexpensive copy paper is usually fine. Construction paper in various colors is another must for your arts and crafts supply list. Many stores sell construction paper in large pads rather than single sheets which can make things a little easier to organize. You may also want to purchase some tracing paper and if you have a good printer some t-shirt transfer paper will be a lot of fun for kids to create tither own fashion designs with as well.

Continue reading

Where to Find Free and Affordable Homeschooling Supplies

Homeschooling is an option that is open to parents in all states and one that is being utilized more frequently these days. To undertake to homeschool a child is a huge commitment, not only of time but of resources as well. All of the supplies that might usually be provided for a student by their school have to be purchased by the parents, which is often a more expensive undertaking than they may have thought.

Homeschooling supplies include textbooks, basics like pens, pencils, and notebooks and often various other extras that help parents fulfill the curriculum requirements that the states set for children who are being homeschooled.

Saving Money on Homeschooling Supplies

Since there are more and more children being educated outside of a traditional classroom setting,  a number of companies sell homeschool supplies at a discount offering a break to parents who have to make these investments.

Continue reading

Home Schooling; A Viable Alternative to Conventional Education

Statistics show that elementary homeschooling is the ideal time to start a homeschooling program for a child. Children who enter homeschooling during the elementary years are the students that tend to succeed the most.

Throughout the course of their homeschooling, these children will reach the highest level of academics when compared to the national average.

Additionally, students who start young, often find themselves three to four grade levels above that of their public school peers.

On the other hand, high school homeschooling can be extremely challenging. By the time a child reaches this level of education, they may be far too advanced in their educational needs to be taught by you.

If that is the case, it will be necessary to seek out various resources that are available for homeschooling, including preparing for the GED certificate as an alternative to the HS diploma.

Online resources that provide both curriculums and textbooks are available, which will allow a child to learn through the web.

Classes can be held in a virtual classroom, students can use a webcam to participate, or they can be simply assessing lecture-based courses online as well.

Continue reading

What is the Utah School Voucher Program

Let’s talk about the school voucher programs in general.
These programs allow parents to use public funding allocated for their child’s education toward tuition at a private school of their choice.

Parents might choose to homeschool their kids and take the GED online instruction, such as offered by the website BestGEDClasses.org.

Some states offer tax credits to entice businesses or individuals to donate to a scholarship granting organization

In Utah, it works differently, on February 12, 2007, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman signed into law a bill that will give up to $3,000 for any public-school student whose parents wish to send the boy or girl to a Christian madrassa.

What makes Utah’s new law so notable is its universality. Unlike other states’ voucher programs, Utah’s isn’t limited to poor families or underperforming schools—everyone is eligible. This is certain to have a devastating effect on the state’s public-school system in the long run.

Continue reading

Stress can put on pounds

Bob Dembicki, 57, of New York City, has always loved to eat, but he never knew how much comfort he got from food until after Sept. 11.

Dembicki managed the nursing staff at the surgical trauma unit and burn center at New York Presbyterian Hospital, which treated 22 badly burned victims from the World Trade Center towers.

For several weeks after the tragedy, he raced around the hospital working 16-hour days, and when he had a few minutes, he’d wolf down some of the high-fat fare brought in for the staff. At night when he was home alone in his apartment, he’d watch the TV news, cry in disbelief and console himself with big feasts of takeout food from local diners and delis: macaroni and cheese, chicken and mashed potatoes, burgers and fries, ice cream with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

One evening, he remembers thinking: “Why am I eating this large container of macaroni and cheese?” And his answer was simply: “Because it feels good, and nothing feels good right now.”

By Thanksgiving, he had packed an extra 16 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame, and he knew it was time to get back in shape and in control of his eating.

Continue reading

How {not} To Take Your Kid to College

TeenOne and I have been friends a long time – 19 years, in fact.

  • Mistake #1:   Don’t think your kid is your BFF, she’s not.  She’s your kid.  You’re the grown up.

Since we’re such close friends, there was some kind of subconscious me that didn’t think she’d ever leave.  But this thing called an Acceptance Letter came for a visit and never left.  Annoying.

So there we were, barreling down the highway toward “college,” but we treated it more like a road trip.  You can call it denial, I called it, “taking quirky Instagram pictures whilst out-of-town.

After about five hours of beautiful coastline (yawn), we pulled up to her vacation destination college. Continue reading

Checking in with {the littles} and {the middle}

I was going through photos yesterday and realized life had gotten way too Senior Ball/Graduation/College Searchy.  I decided I needed new pics of the Littles and the Middle — especially the Middle, because I rarely take photos of him or TeenTwo.

That’s Little in the top photo.  We’re in her Gramma’s backyard and she’s seething under that smile because she’s wearing that denim dress and would much rather be wearing some sort of t-shirt and Aerosmith-tight black leggings.  She’s also unaccustomed to hair styles, but TeenOne got her mitts on her and made a sweet braided ponytail.  Isn’t wearing an uncomfortable get up to your Grandparents’ house sort of a rite of passage?  I feel like I was helping her in some way.  Or, you know…  making the photo better?  I love the way you can see her new freckles.

Next we have Littlest.  That is the most photographed kid in the county, I follow him around like I’m filming a documentary for PBS.  The thing I love about this photo is his genuine desire for me to GO AWAY.  He usually loves hamming it up, but the comic was apparently more entertaining than I thought.  He has some new permanent front teeth and they make him look awkward and growny.  So, I’m OK with the comic-as-shield for this one. Continue reading

#100 Days of Salad {Oy.}

“I am doing a new thing.”

Catchy, right?  My new things have included wearing all black (too hot), giving up sugar (too delicious), riding my bike everywhere (too many hills), running (blew my knee), going without all social media (um, hello, I have a blog), veganism (no cheese/no way), vegetarianism (they don’t eat meat?!)…  Lots of ‘isms.

After losing 40 pounds and then regaining 10 15 20 an undisclosed amount of weight, it was time for a new, “new thing.”

That’s how the #100daysofsalad thing was born.  So, I said it:

I’m doing a new thing where I only eat salad for 100 days.

Continue reading