Friday, September 30, 2016

Fun Friday: The Periodic Table of Elements

In the past year, I've noticed a lot of T shirts that use the element symbols to spell words. Here are a few:

What can you think of to spell with them?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cuteness Alert

The fun part of a baby's first year is that he or she gains so many new skills. From a helpless newborn to rolling, creeping, crawling and eventually walking. From bottle/breast to food. From passively watching to playing and interacting.

River is doing so much now. And she's a much happier baby now that she is mobile and playing. And that makes all of us happy too!

Day she came home from the hospital

Learning to smile


Rolling over

Standing holding on



Just being cute

Making faces!

What a long way she has come! She will be 9 months old on the 30th.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fun Friday: Can You Do It?

How easily can you say the color, not the word?

Are you more left brained or right brained?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Help Your Preteen Resist Peer Pressure

Help Your Preteen Resist Peer Pressure

     School age children gradually become conscious of how their peers view them. By the late elementary years, group opinion is very important. Standing against the group means loss of friends and popularity. It is easier to compromise than risk losing friends. You can help your preteen learn to handle this peer pressure in a positive way.

     Set limits ahead of time. Help your child list areas where he won't compromise such as smoking, drugs, and inappropriate behavior with the opposite sex. Set rules to help your child avoid tempting situations such as not visitng a friend’s house when his parents aren't home or not staying out past 9:00 on a school night. Help your child understand the importance of boundaries.
     Place the responsibility on your child. Make him accountable for his behavior.  Let him face the consequences of broken rules. Some wrong doings have natural consequences--if he listens to music instead of studying for a test, he won't do well on the test. You may set additional consequences such as restricted activities and more study time.
     Give in when it doesn't matter. Some things are a matter of  opinion rather than conviction. When it comes to taste in clothes and music you don't care for but are harmless, give in. Avoid saying "no" without reason or without giving it thought. Giving in on the little things will make it easier when you do have to say no.
     Support going against the crowd. Applaud your child for standing up for your family's values Praise can soften the hurt inflicted by the crowd. Point out to your child things that you do or don't do that go against the norm such as not making illegal copies of movies you rent although no one would ever know.
    Look for positive alternatives. When your child faces a situation in which he must say no, help find an alternative. If he must decline a party at a friend's house because it's too late at night, poorly chaperoned, or for other reason, suggest taking your child and several friends out for pizza instead. Offer to rent movies and provide snacks in place of an inappropriate activity.
     Inform your child. Refusing to discuss sex or drugs with your child doesn’t shield him from those things. He will find out from another source. Provide your child with age appropriate information and good moral values. Being informed will help him make the right choices when confronted with the issues.

     Children face peer pressure from the moment they begin to play with other children. By the late elementary years the in-crowd rules. Help your child learn to stand up for what he believes now and it will help him throughout the rest of his life.

Chapters 10 and 11 of The Middle School Survival Manual talk about standing up to negative peer pressure and applying positive peer pressure. You can order it at your local Christian bookstore or through
Quiz 1 talks about being real, quiz 19 talks about handling peer pressure and quiz 20 talks about choosing activities. You can order it at your local Christian bookstore or through

Why not order a copy today/ (They also make great gifts, stocking stuffers and an alternative to Halloween treats)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Quick Tips: How To Make Your Words Matter

Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, writing coach, and Certified Personality Trainer who believes in the importance of communication. Today she shares three tips for making your words matter. 

Communication among families and friends has taken a turn toward short and sweet. Emoticons and texting shorthand have changed the way we write to each other and eliminated much of the use of verbal communication.

So what can we do about it? Become intentional with your spoken words, especially to your children. When you send them off to school (or to anywhere for that matter), be intentional about what you say to your children. Your words will linger and you can make their days brighter or ruin it altogether. Here's how:

  •          Choose your words carefully. They won’t be forgotten.
  •          Make sure they are positive. They will have maximum impact throughout the day.
  •          Match your body language to your words. An “I love you” backed up by a smile and      a hug will be remembered in many ways.

Effective encouragement often comes in the form of words—words once spoken that can’t be taken back. So choose your words carefully. Let your words that echo in the minds of your children each day be uplifting and ones that spur them on to have the best day ever!

Check out Linda's creative devotion book in which each week's devotions center around one word. You can order it here.

Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, writing coach, and Certified Personality Trainer. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, Personality Perspectives – Clues to Building Better Relationships, Called to Write, and many ghostwritten books. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, she is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. She speaks nationally many times throughout the year, is a frequent radio and television guest, and welcomes the opportunity to help others become better communicators.

You can connect with Linda through her web page

Don't miss these other Quick Tips:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fun Friday: What's It Called?

That carbonated beverage that comes from a can--what generic name do you call it by? It varies by region. I grew up in northern Indiana calling it "pop." I move to Jacksonville, FL and it was all "cokes." It was frustrating to ask for a Coke and have someone say, "What kind of coke?" Now I call it "soda." What do you call it?

Below are two different maps to show how it varies by regions of the United States. And if you don't live in the United States, what do you call it and does it change regionally in your country?

Do you agree with the above map? It show Jacksonville as calling it soda and that wasn't what I found to be true, and it has our part of FL calling it Coke.

The bottom map is much more detailed, although I don't know how accurate it is. What do you think?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fun Friday: How Many Countries of the World Can You Name?

I thought I was doing well to name 99 countries. But there are 196 total. So I got barely 50% How many can you name? Spelling counts on this quiz. Click the link to take it. Countries of the World Quiz. Leave a comment below with your score.

Feel free to use the map above to cheat : )

If this is too hard, go to my girls' blog to try the states and capitals quiz HERE.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Have You Weighed Your Child's Backpack?

Backpacks are part of the back-to-school supplies for nearly every child from preschool to graduate school. But with them come neck, back and shoulder pain, according to Barbara Kornblau, Professor of Occupational Therapy and Public Health at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale.
Backpacks should not exceed more than 15% of the wearer's body weight. That means if your preteen weighs 100 pounds, the backpack shouldn't weigh more than 15 pounds--unless the backpack is on wheels, not on the user's back. Many students won't use backpacks on wheels because they aren't considered cool. Some schools have banned rolling backpacks due to the extra room they take up and accidents caused by students pulling backpacks.

Kornblau finds that the "cool factor" often outweighs safety when it comes to wearing a backpack. "The trend in many school is to wear the backpack on just one shoulder. The weight causes the student to lean to the side, curving the spine and causing discomfort."
The proper way to wear a backpack is on both shoulders with straps adjusted so it fits snuggly on the back with the bottom against the curve of the back. Wearing the pack too low or loose can pull a child backward and cause muscle strain. A waist strap is a plus, too, as it helps distribute the weight. Wearing the backpack like this might not be cool, but it's the only way to avoid strains and injuries.

Another thing Kornblau suggest is pulling out extra items in already overloaded backpacks. "It's not just the heavy books causing the problem," Kornblau says. "You'll find iPods, cell phones, water bottles--even laptops in backpacks." The ideal solution would be for textbook publishers to make books that weigh less, perhaps divide the book into two or three smaller books, but until that happens, students should be encouraged to leave books at school that they don't need and pack the rest so that the weight is evenly distributed.
Take time to check your child's backpack today.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fun Friday: How Many States Have You Visited?

How many states have you visited? Follow the link to create your map, then tell us in the comments how many states you've visited.

Map here

Here's mine. I didn't include states where I have only been in the airport (Alaska and California) or ones I just drove through but didn't stop to do anything or just drove through a corner of it.
 I am missing the West Coast, East Coast and New England states. Rick and I are talking about where to go for our 30th anniversary in 2018. Maybe the New England states. Or East Coast. Not sure. We will only a few days and a limited budget. We'd talked about a cruise since you get everything included in one price as far as meals and a place to sleep, but I'd like to see some of our country I haven't seen before.

I am posting this same thing on all four of my blogs.