Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Summer School Program: Does Your Teen Need One? By Linda Hinkle

As each school year comes to a close in the spring, most parents of teens experience mixed feelings about the upcoming summer months. There is usually some little voice back there somewhere wondering if some kind of summer school program should be considered. But parents also want to enjoy some relief from the constant battle to make sure homework is done, grades are good, and all is well in the academic world.

Eventually, most parents come to realize that the looming summer vacation from school should be more than just ‘fun in the sun’ for teens. Statistics show that the summer months are a more dangerous time for teens with regard to drugs, alcohol, and getting in trouble. And those same statistics tell us that a significant amount of learning is lost if teens don’t stay mentally active.

Did you know that when school starts back in the fall each year, teachers typically spend up to six weeks teaching lessons that were taught the previous year? It’s true, and it happens because of a phenomenon known as the “summer brain drain” or the “summer slide.” Those terms refer to the loss of learning that students suffer during the summer due to not participating in educational activities.

Suffice it to say that a good amount of research has been done on this loss of learning that occurs during the hiatus from school. Some sources say that students average 2.6 months of math learning loss over the summer. That equals almost one third of the school year! A slightly lesser amount of reading loss occurs. As a teacher of high school mathematics for many years, I can attest to the reality of these statistics.

What’s the best solution that a parent can offer in helping their teen stay educationally “fit” during the summer months? Start by making the decision to promote some kind of learning, whether it is a structured summer school program or something a bit more relaxed.

While taking a summer class or two in a good school sponsored program is an excellent way to exercise the brain, learning can also occur by utilizing other local resources such as museums, the zoo, and the library. Keeping a journal about some of these types of activities will utilize important writing skills. Some informal tutoring sessions in an identified weak area might be considered. Reading is vitally important to all disciplines and should be highly encouraged during the summer. Any reading that a teen does during this time will be extremely beneficial in battling the “brain drain.”

So does your teen need a summer learning program? The answer is definitely yes, but as I’ve pointed out, the nature of the program can take many forms. The most important thing is to incorporate some learning into your teen’s summer schedule. Anything that keeps that bright young mind active, thinking, and engaged will reap big rewards when school resumes in the fall.

Article by:

Linda Hinkle is an educator and advocate for parents of high school students. Learn more about how to keep your teen safe, active, and engaged during the summer by visiting

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens at

As a mom of a teenage son, I recognize that he needs lots of sleep, that 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.

Listen to Mom on the Go Radio! Second Segment on Marriage - Intimacy in Your Marriage After Having Children

Taiha Wagner and Maura Steblay, Mom on the Go Radio, continue their topic, Marriage, with Intimacy in Your Marriage After Having Children.

Tips for me: Take a nap and take a relaxing shower with body wash - it's amazing how much energy this gives me.

*Warning: You should listen to this one without the kids around

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mother's Day Giveaway at 5 Minutes for Mom

5 Minutes for Mom blog is starting off with a bang – the first contest is for Best Buy’s Special Mother’s Day Apple iPod Nano and Chocolate Gift Set! YES – you heard me right! They're giving away a 4GB Apple iPod Nano!

The second contest is for a beautifully handmade Mei Tai baby carrier made by Jenn from All Natural Mommies.

Deadline is May 13, 2007!

Tasty Thursdays and Slow Cooking Thursdays - Beef in Red Wine

Join the fun on Tasty Thursdays and Slow Cooking Thursdays!

olive oil cooking spray
3 slices nonfat turkey bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 pound piece rump roast
1 large onion, peeled, stuck with 4 whole cloves
2 ounces grated carrot
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pound green beans, ends snipped
refrigerated butter flavored refrigerated cooking spray
8 ounces mushrooms
freshly ground pepper

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add the turkey bacon and sauté until it begins to crisp. Add the beef, and brown on all sides.
Transfer turkey bacon and beef to a 3 1/2-quart or larger crockery slow cooker. Add onion, grated carrot, garlic, wine, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 minutes.

When beef is almost done, cook potatoes in boiling water to cover until almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add carrots and green beans. Continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Drain vegetables and keep warm.

Meanwhile, lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat until mushrooms are tender and all liquid is absorbed.

Transfer beef to a carving board and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into thin, against the grain, slices. Arrange beef slices on a heated serving platter. Discard clove-stuck onion, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs.

Stir cooked vegetables and mushrooms into pan juice of the slow cooker to warm. Spoon the vegetables and pan juices over the beef. Season to taste with pepper. Serve immediately.

What Is a SAHM Worth at

Have you tried your hand at figuring your yearly paycheck yet? I did and I actually would get an increase this year. How's $293,082 grab you.

Well, after all it's just for fun. And my two guys don't take me for granted. Marcus actually informed me this week, that I do work harder than Charles. After all, I have to deal with him most of the day. And he really does appreciate it.

The hubby, well he actually tells me to cutback on all the stuff I do around the house. That he rather have me resting, taking breaks and that he'll make dinner. And after all I do deal with Marcus most of the day.

Oh, I have to go now. I have to get French Toast on the table. (it's Marcus' alarm clock) Drive Charles to work and Marcus to study group. So, the work whistle has blown and breaktime is over!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Baskin Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night Tonight - 5 pm to 10 pm

Stop by your Baskin Robbins Ice Cream location tonight, between 5 pm to 10 pm, for 31 Cent Scoop Night! Any 2.5 scoop is just 31 cents. No coupon needed! This is honor of The National Fallen Firefighters Association.

'Zits' - Our Family Story Revealed

'Zits' comic strip is about teenage son, Jeremy, his parents and friends. My husband actually reads this strip daily. He says there are cameras in our home. I have to agree. There are many times that the strip reflects the latest happenings in our home.

I even get an email from husband stating, "You've got to read Zits today!" It's great to have a strip that our family can enjoy together!

Works-For-Me Wednesday - American

This week's theme, at Works-For-Me Wednesday, is Birthdays. Stop by Rocks In My Dryer to join in the fun!

American offers
Create-Print Cards service, for a yearly fee. You can pick the type of card, personalize it and than print it! It's that easy!

The service offers a wide variety, of birthdays, anniversaries and special days. You'll not only save money but you won't be in a bind when you need a card!

You'll also find projects, such as bookmarks, gift card holders, frame mats and gift bags! Stop by now and sign up for their free trial!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

De-Lurking Monthly Drawing at 'BerryMorins Bits and Tips and 'Marcus and Me' Blog Winners

When you leave a comment(s) at 'Marcus and Me' or 'BerryMorins Bits and Tips', you will be entered into a monthly drawing, for a Greeting Cake, from Sweet Little Thoughts. These cakes make great gifts for give to someone or yourself, to make a special occasion.

I'll be selecting a name on the beginning of each month. So, even if it's just to say 'Hello' you'll be enter.

April's winners have been notified! Congratulations Psychology of Motherhood and CarpeBanana!

School's Out! Plan The Perfect Teen Summer Seminar at Parenting Your Teen - May 16 and 17

The 'School's Out! Plan The Perfect Teen Summer' seminar will be a 2-day event, May 16 and 17, featuring 4 experts to talk to you about all the many positive things that you and your teen can be focusing on this summer. Things like: Education, money, staying out of trouble.

As soon as you sign up and pay $19.95, for the class you will receive your 10-week plan right away so you can begin to think about what you'll want to put into action. You'll also get full access to every Expert Session where you'll get lots of tips and advice on keeping your teen active and occupied this summer.

During the question and answer sessions you'll have a change to ask your burning questions and after the seminar it will all be wrapped up in an audio package for you to keep!

Click here for more details and to sign up today. Time is running out!

Urban Phone Seminar - April 18, Wednesday

Sue Gregg, Christian Cookbook author, has inspired me, educated me, and blessed me with a wealth of knowledge and delicious recipes over the last fifteen years. Please join us Thursday night as we will talk about whole grains and much more.

Contact Information:

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2007

Time: 9:00 PM EST (8:00 CST, 7:00 MST, 6:00 PST) Adjust for your time zone!

Dial In Number: 1-620-782-8800
Participant Code: 754073

If you have never participated in a phone seminar before, here is how it works:

1. Dial in the phone number above to the seminar. (You pay only for the phone call.)
2. Key in the seminar access code.
3. Introduce yourself, it you wish
4. Bring a notebook to take notes, a cup of tea, and have your questions ready.
5. Don't worry about background noise, we will mute that out!

Monday, April 30, 2007

BerryMorins Bits and Tips Recommend Weekly Blog - The ParTea Planner

Now, here's a new blogger that has a fresh twist to bringing traffic to her blog...Throw a tea party! You'll find a beautifully designed blog, with a focus on tea related products and parties.

Risa, The ParTea Planner, actually owns a tea party business, she's married has two kids and a very busy life. Can you relate?

Please stop by for more details on her Mother's Day Giveaway. Deadline is April 30, 2007, so hurry!

Menu Plan Monday - April 30

This week, our teen is testing out of the 9th grade. It's a yearly event, at our homebased learning group, with sleepy eyes kids heading to our campus for testing. He's only there for two classes, English and Geometry, so don't feel too bad for Marcus. One large Cafe Mocha with Whip Cream and he'll be alright!

We went to a College Fair at Point Loma Nazarene College, this weekend. It's a gorgeous college, located on the coastline. Marcus got lots of freebies. Hubby and I picked up lots of brochures, ect. Feel free to read my post at Marcus and Me. Many of the schools are offering classes to high school Freshman, with college credits.

Oh, I was asked what the hubby and I did on our anniversary. Well, we stayed up late making Deviled Eggs for his work potluck. Now, that's marriage!

And last thing...I promise. Today is the Deadline for The ParTea Planner Mother's Day Giveaway so hurry and sign up!

40 Garlic Clove Chicken


Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, Romaine Salad

Chicken Tacos, Charles' Homemade Guac and Chips

Plenty of Leftovers!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saving Money on Groceries with Golden Share

In our area, we have a food program called Golden Share. When purchasing their food boxes, a family or person can save 50% or more, on their food bill. The organization also promotes volunterism. Usually it's just 2 hours a month. Our's doesn't require documentation of your hours so check your Share program in your area.

Box choices include Vegetarian, Meat and Family Boxes. They even offer a Monthly Special Box, for example, May's Theme Box is offering a Father's Day theme. It contains 4 lbs of Whole Rack of Pork Short Ribs, 2 lbs of Beef Sirloin Tri-tip Roast, 4 lg Baking Potatoes, 1 basket of Strawberries and 1 bag of Salad Mix for just $25!

Many sites are offering online payment, as well as the monthly list of products being offered for sale. Our's even offer an Aftersale event, for additional savings on food products! After you made your payment, no later than the scheduled date, you than pick up your box(es) at the Distribution sites, on the pickup dates, before the cutoff time. It's really that simple!

It's a good idea to have a cooler to place your perishable items in, if making a long trip back home. And some sites to ask that you pay a nominal fuel charge, $1-2.

Visit the website to see if there's a Share in your area. Just click on Links. If there's not one, check outAngel Ministries. They offer the same type of service under a different name.

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Family Summer Book Club

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