Saturday, May 06, 2006

How to Become a Better Neighbor - Family Circle Magazine

These days many of us don't know our neighbors let alone socialize with them. A few years ago, we had a picnic, at a lake and invited many of our neighbors and friends. We had fishing, horseshoes and bike riding for adults and kids. We gave the kids goodie bags, that included a disposible camera. Everyone had a terrific time!

Read this article, at Family Circle magazine website for ways to get to know your neighbors. You may find some fun and entertaining ways to stay connected.

Stop by 'Marcus and Me' Blog at -

Read about Marcus and Me blog April's drawing winner drewfamilytx. An article that discuss the ways to avoid work at home scams. There are various contests that you can enter too.

This blog is where you read about kid, family and teen news, contests and activites. I also share local happenings. Enjoy!

Friday, May 05, 2006

'Will Your Teen Make Money this Summer?' by Joelle Davidson

Visit for several lesson plans that will benefit your teen with writing resumes, interviewing skills, filling out an application and a W-4. Then head to Parenting Teens to particpate in the poll. Will your teen have a full or part time job this summer?

Summer is coming. Most teens start thinking about earning extra money during the months between school terms. Is your teen looking for a J-O-B or is he or she thinking of starting a business?

Let’s look at the benefits of each to help you and him decide which way to go.

1. Income Potential
JOB: You’re guaranteed a set hourly income and only the amount of hours offered by the company.

Own Business: You earn money based upon your hard work, creativity and innovation. It is not guaranteed, but there is potential for more money if you work harder.

2. Schedule
JOB: Your boss determines your schedule. He or she may be flexible. Or not.

Own Business: You schedule your own hours. This may mean working more or less than an hourly job. You can work around your life schedule.

3. Pay scale
JOB: You can earn your hourly rate and not much more. The potential to earn more is dependent on whether or not the boss can give you more hours.

Own Business: You determine the value of the work you're doing and your asking price. You often can earn more money with fewer hours.

4. People
JOB: You may have a great boss and co-workers who you enjoy. Or not.

Own Business: You deal directly with your customers. You choose whom you do business with. Because your livelihood depends on it, you need to learn how to work with people well, even if you may not like them.

5. Experience
JOB: You get trained on the job.

Own Business: You teach yourself. The more you commit yourself to learning, the more your business will grow and develop.

It’s a tough choice. If your teen isn’t ready for starting a business completely on his own, then work together with him to make a family business a success. The key, however, is that he has to want it, or you'll be fighting a losing battle. Start the discussion with him now and see if his own business might be the right choice this summer.

Article by:

Joelle Davisdon welcomes you to where you’ll find plenty of free information to help your kids start their own businesses.

Museum Lover's Day is May 5

I love to visit our local museums. Last Saturday, we took a tour of the
Timken Museum of Art Museum. The museum houses the Putnam Foundation Collection of European old masters American art, and Russian icons.

Artworks in the collection range from 13th-century altarpieces through 18th-century portraits to 19th-century still lifes. Represented are the works of Dutch, Flemish, French, and Italian painters, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Petrus Christus, Fragonard, Jacques-Louis David, and Veronese, as well as American artists such as John Singleton Copley and Eastman Johnson. It's a beautiful museum.

Stop by and read, 'Raising a Cultured Kid'. The article explains the benefits of introducing your children to museums and other cultured events. Take advantage of the museum literature, family and kid programs and audio tours.

Even though the article is geared to grade school kids, teens will also enjoy today's museums and performing arts centers. We usually tie a museum visit into his curriculum or a current event. A visit to the San Diego Automotive Museum to show the timeline of the bicycle is a must. The visit also makes a great writing prompt.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

'Everybody Loves Raymond' - Borrow From Your Local Library

Recently our local public library has acquired the DVD season series,
'Everybody Loves Raymond'. We've been having such fun watching season one, two and three. In season four, I loved it when Raymond thought that Debra had breast surgery. He couldn't make it up the stairs fast enough!

If your public library isn't carrying TV series DVDs consider requesting them. It benefits the library by increased visits.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rona's Favorite Recipe - Quick Vegetable Soup

I used fresh cauliflower and added more water. My husband and I just loved this soup. It truly is easy and quick to make! Enjoy! Stop by Martha for more 'Everyday Food' recipes.

Quick Vegetable Soup

Serves 2; Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 20 minutes

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup ditalini (or other short tubular pasta)

5 ounces frozen cauliflower (half a 10-ounce package)

1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add pasta and boil 5 minutes; stir in cauliflower, zucchini, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve.

Per serving: 280 calories; 5.8 grams fat; 10.1 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 6.5 grams fiber

Note: To make ahead, cool soup completely before dividing between two airtight containers; refrigerate up to overnight. Reheat over low. Add water as needed to adjust consistency.

The Joy Factor Seven Steps to Joyful Living by Denise Torgerson

In the hustle and bustle of life, we lose track of the things that make it worth living. It seems that our culture has been so busy trying to get ahead, that we have become numb to the feeling of joy.
Joy is all around us, we just haven’t noticed it, our minds our too preoccupied with other things.
Here are seven steps that will help to take the numbness away, to give feeling back to our joy muscles.

1. Be Grateful.
Just for fun, spend a week counting how many times you get to say thank you, or feel grateful. It will amaze you. We don’t pay attention to the small things. For some reason we think it is in the big things that gratitude happens. For one week pay attention to detail. Gratitude happens in the details- the absolute bliss of wrapping yourself in a warm towel after a bath, the conversation that you had in the grocery store, that moment just before you fall off to sleep, the fabulous meal you ate that day. The list could go on and on. Take delight in the small things. This will attract more joy into your life.

2. Treat yourself with the Highest of Regard.
You are at least as important as everyone in your environments. Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get some sleep.
It sounds so simple, but we do tend to put our needs at the bottom of the list. Take time to look at places in your life that you can change that. You might have to learn to say no more often.
You matter! Don’t loose sight of that – you matter!

3. Go within.
Take time every day to connect with the Universe. Silence really is golden. Meditation does work. If you can quiet your mind, for even five minutes a day you will experience a sense of calmness. The struggles and inner conflicts around your goals will dissipate. Letting go of the stress is mandatory for making room in your life for joy.
Throughout your day….breathe… focus on your breath. This is a quick fix for stress.

4. Acknowledge yourself.
Congratulate yourself on your wins and accomplishments. Do you have a to do list? Instead of looking at all of the things that didn’t get crossed off of it in a day, look at all the things that did.
Acknowledge yourself for the intangibles too. Did you take ownership for your choices today? Bravo! Did you communicate well? Yahoo. Did you laugh out loud today? Did you focus on your goal rather than the things that get in the way of your goal? Bravo!

5. Eliminate Tolerations.
Tolerations are circumstances or conditions that drain us of our energy. Simply put, they are things that bug us, but we continue to put up with them. They can range from a dripping faucet to an intolerable work environment. Some tolerations can be fixed – quite easily in fact, but we let them lay there. Take time to eliminate the small tolerations from your life. Tolerations cost you. A leaky faucet will take up brain space, fix it and you will have more room for joy in your mind. Clutter makes you feel closed in and unorganized, it can waste time. Get organized, put things away. Having a sense of space in your physical environment will help to create a sense of space in your intangible environment. This is where joy lives.

6. Stay Connected
We tend to forget to spend time with the people who support us or love us. Stay connected with people who make you smile. It adds pleasure to life. Take time for conversations with people that we admire. There is much joy here. Sometimes you have to let the shoulds go to make the time. This will add depth to your life. Take time also, to connect with people you don’t know. Smile at the person passing you on the street, chat in the grocery line up.
Healthy relationships will enhance the level of joy in your life.
Sometimes in order to stay connected we have to create boundaries for ourselves. That’s okay. By creating boundaries we let people know who we are and what we will accept. This simple step will do wonders in helping you attract like- minded people in your lives, it will also help you to ascertain whether or not some of the people in your lives should go. This will free up more space for joy.

7. Every day spend time doing things that you are good at. I call it a Right Room experience. By spending time doing things that you are good at, you become more confident.
We tend to spend a lot of time trying to get better at a whole bunch of things we are not good at. While, I realize that this is sometimes necessary, it is a lot easier to tackle the challenges when you carry confidence with you. That feeling of constant inadequacy will fade.
(A hint) Usually the things we are good at are things that we love and are passionate about. Don’t disregard these gifts, they can inspire you, and inspiration is a wonderful way to keep the joy alive.

Think of Joy as a “come from”. What would your life look like if you made a commitment to come from a place of Joy? What kind of choices would you make? How would your world change if you made room in your life for Joy?
These seven steps are not meant to be used linearly, although you can do it that way if you choose. They are simply small steps towards a richer life. Use them, play with them and above all enjoy them.
I wish you all much Joy!

Article by:

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens -

As a mom of a teenage son I recognize that he needs lots of sleep, it's difficult to get him up in the morning and he would like to stay up late. My husband says he's never seen anyone sleep so hard. iVillage Parenting site has a terrific article, 'Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens'. Did you know that most teens need 8.5 to 9.5 hours a sleep? Wow! This can be a challenge when they have a part time job, sports, school, friends and extra curricular activities.

Consider stopping by today and sharing this article with your teen.

Learning to Knit Online

Would you like to learn to knit but just don't have the time? How about taking an online knitting class? Fiber Art Store and Learning Center website offers video knitting classes for $35 yearly fee. You'll have unlimited use of the video library, as well as a instructional printout.

Don't forget to try out the sample video, for free, today!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Creative Kids: Simple Science Fun - Homeschool eStore

You and your kids will be introduced to easy, fun and educational science projects through this ebook, 'Creative Kids: Simple Science Fun', at Homeschool eStore, for only $15.99.

They'll learn many things including how a volcano erupts, experiment with air pressure, gravity and water to discover the principles of physical science.

This book is geared towards preschool students. And remember with Homeschool eStore, there's no shipping. Your book is available right after purchase, so you can print and start using it. Visit the online store for more information.

Mom is Back to School ! I Passed My Test!

After much delay, I decided to go back to college and get my AA in Paralegal Studies. Due to my extremely busy schedule and my chronic neck and back pain I'm not able to attend traditional college. Thanks goodness for online colleges!

My husband and son have been very supportive. They reminded me to take advantage of small amounts of time for studying. My son even helped me with verifying my answers before submitting my online test. When I received my score he was very proud.

There's a TV show on ABC Family Channel called 'Back on Campus'. Parents and kids go to college, sharing the same dorm room and experiences. I've even joked with our son that we would go with him to college. Now we have our own experience, right at home!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

National Oatmeal Cookie Day - Let's Get Baking

It's National Oatmeal Cookie Day so let's get the bowls, spatula, ingredients and the kids together and start baking.

Visit for your pick of 20+ oatmeal cookie recipes. I really like this site with it's comments and ratings. You have an idea if this recipe is for you before selecting it.

Family Labels - Personalize Your Address Labels and More

I've been purchasing our return address labels from Family for more than 10 years. Over the years, our 'faces' have changed. (especially our son's) I love that they offer different skin color, Aisan eyes, facial hair, as well as glasses. You can add your pets too! After all, they're family.

The peel and stick return address labels can be customized to announce birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or a new home.

Family also sells notepads, luggage tags, and birth announcements. Stop by their website to place an order or request their catalog.

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