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Friday, September 28, 2012
Halloween tends to be the time of year for candy, but if you are looking for a nice treat that you can cook at home this recipe from the Idea Room could be great! The monster cookie recipe is something that your kids could help you decorate in the kitchen once you make the dough. You can let them put as many candy eyes as they would like on each cookie! The recipe is simple and delicious!

You can find the Monster Cookie recipe here

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The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Mahatma Gandhi

My penance after reconciliation was to pray for the person I was having issues with. I like that the priests I go to now give prayer or some sort of action as a penance rather than, say, ten Hail Mary's. However sometimes the ten Hail Mary's would be easier to do than to pray for someone I am angry with.

But I guess that is the point. The more I pray for someone the less I hold onto my anger towards them. And it was suggested that I pray that they will get all that I want. Funny at first I thought that meant a new car or the awesome boots at Nordstroms.

Why should we pray for someone else? Jesus is asked in Matthew 18: 21-35 by Peter, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Then he tells the parable of the king who wishes to settle old accounts with his slaves. When one is brought before the king he does not have the money to pay him back so the king orders that he and his family be sold as repayment. The slave falls to the ground and prostrates himself before the king and begs for mercy. The king is moved with pity and forgives him his debt. As the slave was leaving he sees a man who owes him money and he grabs him around the neck, demanding repayment. When the man couldn't pay he has him arrested. The other slaves who saw this report it to the king. The king is very angry and said to him, "why shouldn't you show mercy to your fellow slave like I had mercy on you". He then had that slave imprisoned and tortured until he could repay his debt.

To me this story says that I need to forgive as the Father has forgiven me. God is above all and He sent his only Son to pay for our sins. I need to forgive others in gratitude for what has been given to me. The irony is when I let go of my anger and pray for that person, I am happier. The juxtaposition between letting go of anger and being happy through prayer is amazing.  I will realize after a little bit of time that the anger is dissipating. It really is a miracle but you have to work at it. Even if it is through gritted teeth at first.

What does being angry really get you but a headache and anxiety anyways? Ninety-nine percent of the time the other person has moved on and doesn't even know your upset. Anger is like drinking poison then waiting for the other person to die. Once you can give that over to God in prayer it is freeing. Trust me I know.

Therefore "Pray without ceasing", 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Now I pray that they get all that I want, which is happiness, forgiveness, love of family and friends, and most importantly to feel God's love.

God Bless!

 




As if your son or daughter getting their drivers license wasn't stressful enough, now they want a car of their own. Surely this will help you because it means you won't have to take them places all of the time, but buying a first car for your teen can be stressful. Here are some things to consider that were brought up in a blog post on Mommy Bunch. It is a tough call when deciding whether to get your teen a brand new car or a beater for their first car. Older cars will obviously be a cheaper option to consider, however they will always be less reliable than something brand new. Make sure you get the car's history before you buy any older vehicle. If the car is less expensive it will be better to take little dings and nicks a new driver might give it, and if, God forbid, your new driver gets in a wreck it wouldn't be as big a deal as wrecking a brand new car. New drivers are highly prone to accidents. That is an issue with getting a newer car for your teen because their insurance for driving a brand new car will be sky high. However, newer cars are safer in the event that they do get into an accident. There are many things to consider when getting your new driver their first car.

Read the original article here: Buying a Car for Your Teen: New vs Old Cars

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Okay let's face it, while everybody loves doing things for their kids and seeing them happy it can be a truly terrifying experience to throw a birthday party for your child. The overwhelming experience can be made a little easier if you keep in mind these tips from Samantha over at Multiple Mayhem Mamma. First of all make sure that you set the stage appropriately for the party, meaning explaining to your child exactly what the party is going to be all about. This will put you both on the same page. Make sure you go into the planning mode with a game plan and a budget to make use of. Have a backup plan in case something unforeseen comes up to ruin plans. Figure out what kind of cake your child would like for their party, and obviously get them a nice gift! If you can manage to get a few friends to help supervise the party, it will only make your life that much easier. Make certain that you have a camera to take pictures of the party! Lastly, if your child is attending a party, please don't be the parent who shows up late to pick their kid up. The last thing any parent wants after throwing a birthday party is a few straggler kids who are waiting for a parent.

Read the original piece here: Children's Birthday Party Tips

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The fall season brings ideas for so many fun crafts, its just great! This family craft idea would be terrific for Halloween! They explain step by step how to make these vampire pumpkins over at The Crafty Blog Stalker. The only items you will need to purchase are cheap plastic pumpkins and plastic vampire teeth. The finished products will make awesome decorations for around the house and your kids will love doing this craft!

Get instructions here: Vampire Pumpkins

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If you have realized you are spending valuable time from your days because you are stressed out from over worrying or fear, then the following tips could really help you. Rosann from Christian SuperMom recently blogged about different tips you can use to overcome to burdens of fear and worrying, which are problems everybody has dealt with during their life. A good way to deal with something you fear is to face it head on. This is obviously a straight forward approach and if you are looking to just forget about a fear maybe keeping busy would suit you better? Sometimes writing your fear down can help you work out why you are so fearful of whatever it may be. Talking about your fear to a friend could also help, and when all else fails just going to sleep is also helpful. These are all useful ways to cope with stress from fear.

Read the original piece here: 7 Ways to Overcome Fear and Worry

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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Sometimes the simplest advice can be the best kind. Tanya Weitzel from Catholic Mom recently blogged about her three year old who gives her advice sometimes. This comical and eye-opening post stood out to me and was inspiring. Tanya has noticed that her son often tells her, "its okay", in regards to a plethora of daily life nuisances. Taking this advice into the larger picture has made her realize that if she keeps her faith, this advice might just be wise. Everything will be okay in the end.

Read the original piece here

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Don't you wish you could be more efficient on an every day basis? Of course, we all wish we could get more done with the daily time we are allotted. However, this cannot be done without taking some steps towards efficiency. This means following some simple rules that

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Looking for unique ways to decorate your pumpkins this fall? Your kids will be sure to love this fun idea from Sweet Rose Studio. This article will show you step by step how to make your own mini monster pumpkins! This is an easy activity that requires minimal supplies and not too much time. You will be a hit for showing this to your kids!

Learn how to make the mini monster pumpkins here.

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When you went through the naming process for your child, did you have those annoying people who suggested name after name to you all the time? Nobody wants to be that guy, so just stop! This post from How to Be a Dad opened my eyes to this issue. Sometimes when a person suggests a name for your baby, it completely ruins that name for you inadvertently. I'm pretty sure that people don't want somebody else to name their baby for them, so let the parents think of an original name all on their own. Stop badgering them for their ideas and thoughts and just let it all happen. 

To read the full article go here: Ruining Baby Names, One Suggestion at a Time

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As we shared a post from Shopaholic Mommy yesterday about buying the right pair of boots for your children we figured sharing her subsequent post about finding the right winter coat would be smart as well. Some qualities to look for in the perfect winter coat are warmth, style, and what it is intended for. Warmth is something you need to keep in mind obviously and it goes hand in hand with what it is intended for. Is your winter coat for snowboarding or are you wearing it over a suit to the office every day? Depending on your answer to that question the coat you pick will be drastically different. This brings style into the equation as well because a water proof ski jacket isn't going to look as good with a suit as a pea coat. The opposite of that is true as well; hitting the slopes in a pea coat would make for a sopping wet miserable day. Hopefully these points help you make the right decision when buying your new winter coat.

Read the original article here: Choosing a Winter Coat

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Every parent has done it at some point before, however excessively bribing your children to behave can be very detrimental to their development as a person. A recent post on Authentic Parenting pointed out some negative results that come from constant bribing. Many children who are bribed to often have self-discipline issues down the road. If there is nobody there bribing them to do simple daily tasks like brushing their teeth, than they have no interest or motivation to do it. The bribes will also cause children to think in a manner that promotes expecting something from everything they cooperate in. This makes for some selfish and self-centered people. The bribes also rob children of the life experience of feeling emotions. If you give your children a treat or toy every time they are sad or upset, they will never learn how to cope with their emotions correctly. Bribing happens sometimes that is a fact of parenting, but don't make a habit out of it.

Read the original piece here: Sugar Coated Punishments: The Problem with Bribes

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Childhood obesity is a huge issue in the US and it is something that parents should be proactively monitoring in their children. September is National Childhood Obesity Month and Ashley from Shopaholic Mommy blogged recently about some things that parents can do to help prevent issues with their child's weight. Her advice is logical and not extreme, and it is something most parents should take a look at. After all, raising healthy children is something all parents want to do!

Read the article here: September is National Childhood Obesity Month 

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This quick and easy craft can become a Halloween decoration that your family loves. Kaboose recently shared an article that lays out step by step how to make yarn spiders. These things are really easy to make, so you can make a lot of them to decorate all over your home! This craft is definitely easy enough for children to do, so you can lead the way on one and then let them make all the rest. Of course as always supervision is encouraged, but this craft isn't anything your children will struggle to make on their own.

Learn how to make your own yarn spiders here: Yarn Spider Craft

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Amanda from Mommy of Two Little Monkeys makes her case for why Halloween is the best holiday of the year. She lists her favorite Halloween ideas and talks all about why she loves the holiday so much. If you're looking for some different ways to make your Halloween great check out her post.

Read the full article at: Best Holiday of the Year!

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While most of a typical mother's daily routine is centered around other people and their needs, every once in a while moms should make a little time to take care of themselves too. A recent post from Mom Life Today echoes just this sentiment. Blogger Kennisha Hill recently wrote about a scare she had with her blood pressure. She ended up making a trip to the emergency room out of concern and found that she was mildly dehydrated. So obviously good news for Kennisha that it wasn't anything super serious or threatening. However, it raises the question that many moms could probably ask themselves, "Do I spend enough time on myself?". This is not meant in a selfish manner at all, but most moms likely would answer that with a no. Taking care of others is something mothers take pride in, however many moms should also take pride in taking care of themselves. This means mentally and physically. Being a mom is a difficult task so make sure you are giving yourself the mental and physical nourishment that you need on a daily basis. This post by Kennisha was wonderfully written and brought up a point that often goes without saying.

Read the original article here: Mom, Be Intentional About Your Health

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Feeling proactive about making sure your baby is safe in your home? I commend your concern and hope the following tips can be of some use to you. Mommy of Two Little Monkeys recently blogged about creative ways to baby proof your house. Her tips were quite creative and intelligent. The kitchen can be a big area of concern for your baby's safety. A quick way to keep your toddler or baby out of the fridge is to put a piece of packing tape from the door to the fridge itself. This will allow you and any older members of the family easy access to the fridge by just peeling the tape back, and be too strong for your young one to pull apart. Also putting duct tape over any electrical outlets is a smart move. Rubber bands or hair ties can keep cabinet doors off limits for the little ones too. Moving too the bathroom, another packing tape solution can be found. The toilet can be packing taped down like the fridge so it can easily be pulled up, but not opened by your baby for exploration. Foam pool noodles can be cut up and taped onto table edges that present danger to your baby, and hair ties and rubber bands can again be used to rope up and excess electrical wiring. These are some really economical solutions to your baby's curious nature.

Read the original piece here: 6 Creative Ways to Baby Proof Your Home With Common Objects

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Sure it is only September, but winter will be here before too long! And depending on where you live, that could be here a lot sooner. Shopaholic Mommy recently featured an article on how you should buy winter boots for your kids. First off, it may be early but in terms of shopping early in the season is better for deals. Shopping now for winter apparel is still early enough to get out of season rates, and the next opportunity for that won't be until the winter season is winding down. You need to keep in mind what kind of beating these boots will be taking daily in the winter months. Is it wet and snowy often or will a pair of non-waterproof boots be just fine? You should always shop around, and end up going with something in the middle of the price range you find yourself shopping in. While there certainly isn't a need to break the bank and get a pair of boots your kid will grow out of by next year; it may be smart to not buy the cheapest pair out there either. You do get what you pay for after all. 

Read the original article here: Buying Winter Boots for Kids

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Teaching manners to their child is certainly something that all parents aspire to do. It is an important part of parenting because manners are a life long technique that a person needs to function and make friends. Parenting Magazine recently featured an article about teaching kids manners and what you can expect at different ages from them. Younger children are obviously not capable of being as well mannered as a young adult or teen might be, however this doesn't mean you should not be instilling the ideas in the their mind. The main idea to give to your children is that the root of manners is caring for your fellow person. Teach them examples of this that you see throughout daily activities. Younger children may need extra reinforcement or encouragement to develop proper manners, and this is something that parents should be actively doing for their child. As your child grows up less reinforcement will be needed and they will hopefully begin to have good manners on their own because of the way you taught them when they were younger.

Read the original piece here: Guide to Learning Manners

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
This post featured on Playground Dad was written by Kristopher Klauer. The article discusses a common issue that many parents have which is what to do when their child wants to play with their computer. This problem is inevitable because computers look really fun even to toddlers, and they also want to do everything that their parents do. A solution to this problem, as stated by Kristopher is that you can download Baby Smash for free! The program locks the keyboard and permits children to sort of smash away at it without repercussions. The program makes shapes, letters, and numbers come up on the screen as well, so that your child can feel like they are doing something. This is a wonderful idea to a common parenting issue.

Read more here: BabySmash!

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Are you looking for some great ways to spend time with your kids this fall? I'm sure that you are, and no matter what their age may be I'm sure they'd like to do something fun with you as well! However, coming up with ideas for these fun filled days may be a roadblock for some parents. Not to fear, below I'm going to list (in no particular order) several fun ideas that you and your child could do this fall. Also, I have made a point to include ideas for all age groups.

1.) For those of you with younger children, you might want to consider taking them to a local pumpkin patch. Taking your kids to a pumpkin patch can make for a fun filled morning or afternoon. Make a game out of searching through the pumpkins and encourage them to find their favorite one! You can also turn this into a full day affair by taking them home to decorate the pumpkins that they chose.

2.) This idea is for the slightly older age group, but not the teens. You could make a visit to a haunted house or haunted hayride! Depending of course, on how your child would take to these ideas respectively it could be really fun and exciting. There are all sorts of these houses/rides as well so look into it a little bit if your child (or you!) is easily scared.

3.) For your teen you could make a trip to a soccer, baseball, or football game! There are plenty of professional and college sports going on at this time of year. This can be an exciting event to bond over if you share the same favorite professional or college sports team. You can truly make a day out of a game by tailgating the experience. Fire up the grill and hang out for an hour or two before the game even starts.

4.) Also for your teen who doesn't like sports, you could take them shopping to their favorite stores. Sometimes shopping gets a bad reputation with kids because they are always being dragged to your favorite stores, however you can turn the tables on them with this one and go wherever they want to shop.

5.) Finally, for younger kids you can make a game out of raking up the leaves in the yard. I know, sneaky way to kill two birds with one stone! Most kids love the idea of raking up the leaves to play in though, and will be more than willing to help out with the work first.

So whether you take some of my advice or not, make sure to spend time with your kids this fall! Its a beautiful time of year and you should take advantage of it!

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This article featured on Shopaholic Mommy covers the topic of teaching good manners to your children. Teaching your children manners is obviously something that all parents aspire to do. The first step to doing this effectively is easily discernible and should go without saying, but you have to present a good example of manners for your children. If you do not have manners yourself how can you expect your children to have any? When your child has a lapse or is just plain rude do not punish them or yell. Make sure that they know what your expect of them and ask them to do it next time. Remember not to be condescending to your older children as well because this can be embarrassing to them and cause resent. Taking these steps can make a change in your child's manners in a short amount of time, just be patient with them!

Read the full text: Tricks for Teaching Good Manners

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Ashley from Shopaholic Mommy knows that it can be difficult to plan quality time with your teen. She offers a few great ideas about how you can spend this quality time with your teen this fall. Any parent who could use a little help planning time with their son or daughter should check out this article. 

Read the full article here: Fall Fun With Teens 

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This article featured in Parenting Magazine gauges when you might be feeding your children too much. While every child is different, these signs are telltale of overfeeding. Also I know that nobody wants their children to be hungry all the time, however getting your child used to a normal eating schedule is an important thing to instill upon them. Some of the signs that the article includes are when your child gets angry or upset if the first thing you jump to is to offer a snack. If your child isn't hungry at a normal meal time or doesn't finish their food you can assume they might have eaten too much at their previous meal. Also, if your child is receiving meal portions as big as your own that is a mistake, children need smaller amounts of food than adults do. The most obvious sign is if their clothes are beginning not to fit around them, but the length is still alright. This last sign could be used by adults as well!

Read the full text here: 5 Signs You Could Be Feeding Your Kids Too Much

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This post was featured on Mom Life Today and written by Crystal Paine. It deals with a common topic in parenting today, which is how is dinner going  to get on the table. Whether it be mom or dad who prepares it a lot can go into this task, and sometimes dinner time can sneak up without much time to get anything ready. Crystal offers the solution of "freezer cooking". "Freezer cooking" is less expensive and healthier than ordering take out, and doesn't take much longer if done correctly. If you can find some extra time on less busy days, maybe thirty minutes to one hour, make some easily defrosted meals and store them in the freezer. This way when you're in a pinch you can pull them out and dinner is served in a half hour! This idea can save you some time personally, can save your family money, and can help keep your family healthier all at the same time!

Read the full text here: Stock Your Freezer With Delicious Food in Just an Hour Each Week

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This article featured on Grandparenting Through Obstacles contains some facts that may surprise you about grandparents in the US. Grandparents often fit into a stereotype, however this information somewhat breaks the mold as far as grandparents are concerned. You should read this article and become more informed about what grandparents in the country really are about.

Read more here: Ten Fun Facts About Grandparents

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Monday, September 24, 2012
This article found on Positive Parenting Solutions is an article that many parents should read immediately! The article is based off the old saying, “you get more flies with honey than vinegar” and applied to parenting. A lot of times parents will demand or order children to do chores or behave a certain way. It is helpful to think how this would make you feel to be ordered around and told what to do. A way to gain more cooperation from your children is to invite cooperation. Another method is making observations, such as merely pointing out the fact that something hasn't been done yet. Using notes and telling your children how you feel when they don't complete certain tasks are other ways to get their attention without being demanding.

Read the full text here: 4 Ways to Invite Cooperation Without Back Talk, Attitude. or Tantrums

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This post was found on Playground Dad and written by Andrew Hoongwai. The article deals with the parenting issue of getting your toddler to walk. Andrew found that he was having an issue because everything his toddler fell he was rushing over to pick them up and comfort them. This is something all parents are inclined to do and isn't wrong. However, Andrew was facing a dilemma because every fall even minor ones, were causing tears and a need for attention. So the next time his toddler fell, Andrew decided to encourage him to get back up and try walking again. After one day of practicing his son had made a great improvement all on his own! This article can teach parents a lot about where to draw the line when comforting their children.

Read the full text here: Danger or Opportunity? Learning How to Let My Son Learn to Walk

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This post was written by Anne at Whatever Works Mom. The article is about how her Christmas gift from last year to her husband has been working out. The gift was an envelope filled with monthly date night plans for the two of them. This idea has worked out really well for Anne and her husband is something that a lot of parents may want to try out. Since the ideas were already planned it was easy to do whatever the date involved because it took no last second planning. Any married couple who is looking for ways to get out more by themselves should read this article because it is a really cool concept!

Read the full text at: A Year Full of Date Nights

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This article was featured on Catholic Mom and written by Kelly Wahlquist. It talks about how parents are always exclaiming, "This is the greatest age!" when good moments are happening in their child's life. The point of the article is to give off a feel good vibe about parenting in general because it ends with the author telling you why it feels as though it is always "the greatest age!". It is because parenting is truly a gift from God.

 Check out the full text here: The Greatest Age!

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This article featured on Playground Dad is about remaining calm in tough parenting situations and how it can help your well being and also your child's. Children do learn by example and if a traumatic experience is occurring and if you handle it poorly, they will likely follow suit. If parents project a strong and calm demeanor in the face of a tough experience, their child will be more calm and also try to mimic their parents' actions. You can follow some simple steps to try and keep your cool which include stopping your actions, breathing deeply, taking in the situation at hand, and calmly responding with the most logical action. This type of reaction makes for better parents and in turn better children.

Read the full text here: Managing Children, Managing Ourselves

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This post found on Dad Blunders is about a dad realizing a bad habit in his son. The dad offers his son and a friend a snack, and the son's friend wants pickles. The dad knows his son doesn't like pickles so he asks him what else he would like to eat, and his son demands pickles as well. While the dad tries to talk his son out of the pickles, the son demands more and more that he wants the pickles for a snack. When the pickles are brought out the son hesitates and does not really enjoy eating the pickles. The son makes faces while forcing himself to eat the pickles, and gives the last one to his playmate. The moral of the story is that the dad realizes his son's behavior, and while the faces he made were comical it made the dad see a bigger issue. His son was being extremely stubborn, which many young children do on a regular basis. The dad thinks his behavior may have influence his son's stubborn ways though, and I think more parents should step back and realize things like this on a daily basis.

Read the full text here: Bad Habits and Dad

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Saturday, September 22, 2012
This post found on Playground Dad talks about a topic that is really common in the world today. That topic is parents judging one another for their different methods of raising children. It is seriously unbelievable sometimes how judgmental these parents can be, and we are all guilty of participating in this sort of behavior. The list of things parents judge each other on includes kid's eating habits, breastfeeding age, stroller age, names, toys, screen time, interaction with other children, and activities children are participants in. The list certainly goes on from their but all of the things described on this list are things that parents love to pick on each other for.

Read the full article at: Live and Let Live? 10 Things Parents are Constantly Judging Each Other On

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Friday, September 21, 2012
This post featured on Playground Dad covers a common topic when it comes to sports and homes. A married couple often have different sports teams that they support depending on where they grew up. This presents the problem of, who do the kids root for? This is obviously not an earth-shattering decision, however bonding with your son or daughter over a sports team can prove to be a quality way to spend time together. The easiest way to deal with this is to just let your kids decide who they like, and honestly until they are older they could probably like both of your teams.

Read the full article at: Mommy, Why Doesn't Daddy Love Our Team

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This article found on Authentic Parenting deals with a topic that many parents struggle with, which is how to take their toddler on a car ride. The article knows how difficult this seemingly simply task should be and gives a handful of tips to readers about how they can make it easier. First off, they make the point that you need to find a comfortable car seat for your toddler. If they are at least comfortable in the seat, they may not be so rambunctious in the car. Attempting to explain to them the issue of their safety and the need for a car seat might not be a bad idea either. You should always wear your own seat belt as well, and set a good example for your children. This article is full of good ideas to help your car rides become more smooth and enjoyable for the entire family.

Read the full text at: Make Car Rides Easy with a Toddler

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“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” 
― C.S. Lewis

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis and I think it goes nicely with today's scripture, which is one of my favorite gospel readings, Matthew 9:9-13. 

This story is when Jesus encounters Matthew, a tax collector, and says "Follow me". The Pharisee's question his disciples why Jesus would hang out with "sinners and tax collectors". Jesus knows what they are saying and states "those who are well don't need a physician but those who are sick do". Then he says the quote that brings me the greatest comfort..."I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

I have met people who feel they cannot be forgiven because of past wrongs. But throughout the New Testament Jesus tells how God is love. And that the Son of Man will be sacrificed for our sins. My dearest friend Joanne, who is my God Mother and spiritual leader, once told me that if we doubt God forgives us then Jesus died on the cross in vain. Powerful words that really made me think. 

Believe me; I had a pretty sinful life prior to my conversion four years ago. I knew of God but farther than that I didn't give Him much thought. After an awesome spiritual experience in Rome, at St. Peter's Basilica (so appropriate for me!), I knew God spoke directly to me. And at that moment I wanted to turn my life over to Him. Now the guilt and shame of my past came flooding in. Back in the states, I spoke to the priest, Father John, at the only Catholic Church in my small home town. He was so kind and accepted me with open arms and told me God has forgiven me. Then he gave me some scriptures to look up and read. Truly they all spoke to me however one stood out. I love the story about Jesus and the woman brought before him for adultery. He tells her, "Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more." This after her accusers put down their rocks because they, too, were not without sin. To me that simple statement, "go and sin no more", made it perfectly clear. 

We are forgiven for are past, now go forward and try to sin no more. I say try because we are human after all. That is all God asks of us; is to try to do our best. That doesn't mean we can commit a sin intentionally then ask for forgiveness. But it does mean when we make a slip, and usually I know right away when I do, ask His forgiveness. Then go to Reconciliation. This is a wonderful resource we Catholic's have and should use constantly. Shame and guilt weigh us down, to share it and bring it into light diminishes the hold it has on us. It is truly freeing and a gift. 

God loves us. He is our physician. He heals us because He loves us. So simple and yet so comforting.

God Bless!




This post was found on Mom Life Today and written by Susan Yates. The topic of the post was the situation Susan found herself in recently with her children all reaching the age where they are no longer home regularly. This is a difficult situation to cope with for a lot of moms out there, and everybody will handle it differently. Susan's outlook on the situation is fantastic though. While she was sad to see her twins go away to college, and different ones mind you, she remained hopeful that a new chapter of her life will unfold. God's plan will guide her through a sad time she is dealing with.

Read the full text here: Is Your Nest Emptying?

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This post from Authentic Parenting is all about the new online world that kids are being born into now. The obvious influence the internet has on children's lives in today's world has grown to large levels. The article expresses the belief that parents should be showing their children what good behavior in the online world looks like. This means doing things such as browsing the web together and also discussing the repercussions that bad online behavior can cause. Also limiting the amount of time that your children can spend online is a good way to make sure they are not becoming addicted to the internet, as it seems a large proportion of America's youth is. Being a role model for your son or daughter when using social media sites is a good way to teach them as well. Don't act inappropriately because kids learn by example.

Read the full text at: Modeling Good Online Behavior for Kids

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Thursday, September 20, 2012
This post found on Authentic Parenting is all about the desire that many parents have to control their children. Parents only want the best for their children and think that by controlling their actions or correcting their mistakes they are doing this. However, children also sometimes act before a parent can advise them otherwise or stop their behavior. The article stresses that at this point what's done is done and that children should be encouraged to behave well. Encouragement is a better way to build up your children's confidence constructively, while criticizing behavior that has already occurred is negative.

Read the full article at: Can We Move Away From Controlling Our Children?

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This article found on The Awakened Parent and written by Clare Kirkpatrick. It addresses a situation that we have probably all dealt with before, which is not knowing when to tell another adult how to treat your child. This obviously isn't meant in the sense of somebody who is wronging or being hurtful to your child. It deals with situations such as when your spouse tells your child not to talk to you in a certain tone, which can be a truly delicate situation to handle. I think that most parents could learn something important from this post and that it is worth reading.

Read more at: When Your Child Clashes with Another Adult and You're Not in a Position to Undermine That Adult

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This awesome post can be found on Parent Palace. Tired of making the same old treats or just resorting to candy around the Halloween time of year? This post compiled 25 new ideas that you should try making for the Halloween season! It includes recipes from all different websites so you can pick and choose which ones you like!

Read more at: 25 Halloween Treats

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This post found on Our Family World gives some quick tips for simple breakfasts your kids will love! Most parents find it difficult to get their kids to eat something before heading out to school for the day, however its a crucial meal that you and your children need daily. Check out this post for some great tips!

Read more at: Four Easy Breakfast Ideas to Kick Off School Day

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This article found on Creative in Chicago is a step by step tutorial on how to make yourself an acorn vase. This could be a potentially fun activity to do with your children. The article gives instructions that are easy to follow and you end up with something decorative and fun! Check this out if you are looking for some different fall time activities to do with your family.

Read more at: An Acorn Vase

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This article featured on Multiple Mayhem Mamma is quite useful. It deals with the topic of getting your children to eat breakfast on a daily basis, which we all know is important. Breakfast is a meal that children need before going off to school for the day. The article gives five tips about how to make sure your kids are eating their breakfast. The tips include making it simple for them, giving them options to choose from, making sure the food can be eaten quickly, make it fun, and hide the healthy food within appetizing food. These tips all make sense especially the final tip. If you can find ways to sneak a few veggies into an omelette in the morning do it! Overall this article is useful if you are struggling, as many do, to get their children to eat some breakfast before school each day!

Read the full text at: How to Get Kids to Eat Their Breakfast

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012
This post featured on Grandparenting Through Obstacles deals with a topic that many grandparents struggle with. They want to help their children be good parents, but don't know how much that involves. Sometimes it can be small like lending some help and watching the grandkids for a day, but it isn't always that simple. Partnering up with your grandchildren's parents can also mean making big life changes, like perhaps taking your grandchildren in for a while. No matter what the form of partnering up may be, it is done for the good of the grandchildren and that is what truly matters the most.

Read the full article at: How Grandparents Can Partner with Their Grandkids' Parents

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This post was found on Impact Parenting Blog and it is all about using chores to set up a structured life for your child. The video included makes a few good points about how to set up a good routine including yourself, your child, and fun. This is the foundation for the rest of their life as far as chores and responsibility are concerned. This video is something that all parents should watch.

See the video here at: How to Use Chores to Raise a Responsible Adult

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This post featured on The Country Chic Cottage gives a great idea that you and your children can have some fun with this fall! The craft they describe is a a paper mache pumpkin that your kids can decorate with paint any way they want to. The idea is so great because it spares the inside of the house from actual carved pumpkins which can attract bugs and other pests. You should take a look at the step by step procedure and make plans to do this with your kids!

Read more at: Kid's Art Pumpkin

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This post featured on The Real Matt Daddy is all about a recent Yoplait commercial that you may have encountered on television. The commercial shows a dad packing up his kids lunches as the only parent in the commercial. It is interesting because it shows something rarely displayed in advertising which is the single dad. The article has a lot to say about the positives to take away from this commercial.

Read more at: Dadvertising: Yoplait's Go-Gurt Gets it Mostly Right

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This feature post from Dad Blunders presents an interesting scenario. The author Aaron was put in the situation of having to care for his son by himself following his wife having surgery. I think, as does the author, that I have always respected what single parents do, but it seems as though the situation Aaron was put into gave him an even greater appreciation for them. Usually simple tasks such as preparing dinner suddenly became more difficult because it involved watching a child and making a dinner. Bed time and bath time also became much more taxing as well. Tips are given for keeping your mind in a healthy state while constantly being under pressure to do things for your child while also doing your usual daily routine. This is a great article that I think any parent should read! It furthered the respect that I already had for single parents.

Read the full article at: Single Parent Blues

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This post from Mom's at Work will be sure to make you laugh. The post is centered around small frustrations that mothers have with their toddlers. The idea of the post is derived from a 19 Surprising Facts about Toddlers post that many moms have been reading lately. It describes scenarios that have occurred at home, and some of  them are pretty funny. Examples include, "Did you know that your toddler will exhibit the culinary tastes of a gourmand one day and then insist on eating only goldfish crackers the next day, frustrating your attempts to make sure she eats a balanced daily diet?" and "Did you know that if a toddler said that Oscar bit her at daycare, and he did, but only once, still, even weeks after the Oscar-biting incident, every boo-boo is now blamed on Oscar, including bug bites, even when Oscar is nowhere near where you live?" This post is really easy to relate to for any parent out there.

Read the full article here: Did You Know That Your Toddler...?

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
This post featured on Lil Kid Things is a pretty funny one that any parent should be able to relate to. All kids reach that curious age where it seems like no matter what you are talking about they need to know why. This article goes into a particular scenario with a father and his daughter and the explanation of why the sidewalk is wet, and where rain comes from. The different scenarios in the questioning that occur are titled and are really funny. They include "Cause and Effect", "Chain Reactions", "Basic Human Needs", "Simple Science", "Real Science", "Mythical Stuff", "Terrible Things Will Happen to Inquisitive Children", and "Spousal Privilege". All of the titles describe a different way the question presented was seemingly answered, only to be questioned further.

Read the full article here: Toddlers and the 7 Levels of Why

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This article was featured on Playground Dad and written by Ellie Perico. The article informs parents about the need to set their children up with healthy eating habits from an early age. Some ways that this should be done include making sure your child eats three major food groups at each meal, making sure that they get a variety of different healthy foods, and making sure that your child slowly learns to eat independently. Also an effort should be made to not say negative things about foods in front of your children because it will have an effect on what they think of the food before they eat it. As a parent you should also look for hunger cues and fullness cues so that you know when to feed your child and also when they have had enough. These are things that toddlers cannot do for themselves and parents need to keep a close eye on. This article is worth a read for any parent who is looking to raise a healthy child!

Read the full article at: Feeding Your Toddler: Building Lifelong Eating Habits

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This post from Grandparenting With a Purpose is a prayer written by Grandpa Penner. The prayer is something that he wrote with his grandsons in mind, however it can easily be adapted to be prayed for granddaughters as well. The prayer is not very long or difficult to remember and is highly appropriate to pray on a daily basis.

Read more at: A Prayer for My Grandsons

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This post featured on We Made That gives a great craft idea for you to do with your kids coming up on the fall season! This one is a Halloween idea and teaches you step by step how to make a cool and inexpensive Halloween wreath. Your kids will definitely enjoy doing this craft and it is laid out step by step so it will be easy and fun!

Read more at: Halloween Wreath

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This article was featured in Grand Magazine and written by Remy Agee and Blair Selby. It is interesting because Remy and Blair go back and forth, one being a grandmother and one being a mother currently. They give their opinions about the differences between the modern uses of foul language and how it used to be. Mainly what acceptable substitute word choices would be okay for children to be taught and how to react when children slip up and use bad words. Both Remy and Blair give their opinions on what is okay in their respective opinions and they end up teaching each other a very good amount. This was a great post to read and can be enjoyed by parents and grandparents alike.

Read the full text at : The Issue: To Say or Not To Say

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This article featured in Grand Magazine was written by Dr. Kaylene Henderson. It gives some advice about what to do when your grandchild is upset about something. The article tells grandparents how to handle the situation and make them feel better! This is a great read for any grandparent and parents could take something away from this as well!

Read more at: What to Do When Your Grandchild is Hurt or Upset

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Monday, September 17, 2012
Have you ever thought of the implications using a certain phrase around your children can have? Children repeat a lot of what they hear their parents saying, so this article featured on Empowering Parents looked closer into the overused, "shut up". This article goes over how the phrase becomes a common place in the household and how it can be stopped. I particularly enjoyed the part about how to deal with when your child says this to you. It is a careful approach so you do not empower the phrase by having a poor reaction to it, however it still enforces the fact that it is wrong and will make a child think again about saying it. You should let your child know immediately not to speak to you in that manner because you do not like it and leave, according to the article. Afterwards you should find your child and let them know the punishment for speaking to you in that way in a calm and collected manner. The article also covers why you should never say the phrase, "shut up" to your kids. Like stated previously, kids learn by example and this is setting a bad example for your children.

Read the article at : Eliminate "Shut Up!" from Your Family's Vocabulary

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This article from Parents Magazine was written by Nick Shell. He thinks that if you're looking for some quality time with your child, the answer may be to introduce them to the game of chess. As a relatively inexpensive and easy to learn game, chess could quickly become a favorite of your kids! They can pick up valuable skills from the game and you will also be spending time together!

Read more at: 5 Reasons to Play Chess With Your Child

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Sometimes you have to realize when you are doing too much in the ways of entertaining your children. This post featured on Mom Life Today discusses the growing belief amongst parents that they must entertain their children constantly. While entertaining your kids is not a bad thing at all, it is something that shouldn't be done all the time so I agree with the sentiment of this post. This does not mean that mothers and fathers should ignore the basic daily needs of their children, however once in a while they are going to have to develop some imagination and find something to do on their own. If they don't develop skills like learning how to structure their own activities sometimes, they will struggle growing up and become overly dependent on others to tell them what to do. I think this is a post that many parents could benefit from reading!

Read the article here : I Am Not Here to Entertain My Children

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This post from Mom Life Today written by Jenae Jacobson gives good advice to mothers who are trying to deal with the daily stress of their life. Jenae gives ten insightful tips for mothers who have been struggling to keep their composure. Mother's often have to handle delicate situations and these tips can definitely help when in a pinch!

Read more at: 10 Ways to Keep Your Cool as a Mom

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Have you decided to take your child to a Major League Baseball game yet? If you can find the right day/night to do so I highly suggest doing it as soon as possible. It can be a great bonding experience if done correctly. The Real Matt Daddy recently posted about his successful trip to Camden Yards with his daughter, and I was able to take away some great tips from his post. Some ways to ensure that your child has a good first experience at the ballpark include everything from being able to locate the team mascot once at the stadium to bringing ample snacks in with you, if allowed! Plan ahead if  you and your child will be sitting in the sun all day at the game and bring hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen! Bring another adult with you so that they can look after your child when you go to grab snacks or take a bathroom break. Sure you're there to see a ballgame, but keep in mind the age of the child you are bringing. If there is a section of the ballpark for kids, as there typically will be, make sure that you at least visit the area for a bit. There will without a doubt be some sort of relatively inexpensive souvenir you can buy for your child and trust me they will cherish this small gift forever. I still have a souvenir plastic helmet from my first baseball game! Most of all be willing to leave early if and when it becomes necessary.

Read the first hand experience here at: Taking My Daughter to Her First Orioles Game

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Sunday, September 16, 2012
This article written by Ellie Perico was featured over at Playground Dad recently. In the post Ellie provides several steps to take that will encourage your toddler to begin speaking as soon as possible. The most important of all the steps is to not give up on your encouragement because every child goes at their own pace. This article would be a great one to read for parents looking to help their toddler speak soon.

Read more at: Encouraging Your Toddler to Speak

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This post was featured on Playground Dad and written by Rick Shurtz. The article is about when moms and dads don't see eye to eye on a parenting issue. It gives two nice examples of situations just like that and how they played out in the long run. The conclusion of the article is spot on and I think that any parent could stand to learn a lesson from this post.

Read more at: When Parents Differ

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

This article was featured on The Real Matt Daddy. It begins with a relevant tidbit about Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger telling the media that he will not be missing the birth of his son regardless of whether the Steelers have a game that day or not. The post then goes into detail about how the NFL and its players have become more family oriented and open to missing games for good family reasons like that. If you are a football fan and a parent this is an interesting read!

Read more at: The Changing View of Fatherhood in the NFL

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This post was featured over at Razing Mayhem and written by Monique the mom who runs that blog. The post is all about a new idea Monique has introduced to her family called the "Responsibility Jar". The jar contains different strips of paper with chores on them, and Monique has found it is a wonderful way to get her children used to doing some smaller chores around her home. Any parent who needs an idea to get their kids to help around the house should check out this post!

Read more at: The Responsibility Jar

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This video was shared over at Impact Parenting. It is a video that teaches parents how use of their eyes in different situations can be just as effective as words. The video is only a few minutes long, but properly explains how parents can use eye contact to help them parent their children. Any parent looking for a new technique to help them raise their children may want to at least give this video a view.

 See the video here: Eye-Contact Parenting

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Friday, September 14, 2012
This article was written by Ellie Perico and featured on Playground Dad. It is pretty true to its title and explains why your children should be eating a nutritious and balanced breakfast each and every morning. The article lists five different ways that eating a good breakfast will benefit your child throughout their day. Any parent who has let their child skip breakfast before school before should read this article and at least consider the points that it makes!

Read more at: Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day 

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This post featured on Life Lessons From a Mom of Five is about the dangers of bullying and what the terrible problems it can create. Specifically a local teenage child whom the author was familiar with took his own life as a result of some bullying he had been dealing with. She mainly sends her condolences to the family and speaks about teaching your children how bullying can really hurt people. I think all parents should read this article and make sure to teach their children how much pain can come from things like bullying.

Read more at: Bullying is Real...NOT a Joke

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I was looking forward to morning Mass today because I knew the kids from St. Peter's school would be in attendance as a celebration for the beginning of the school year. Also today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Two great reasons to be at church. Usually I like to sit up front but it was packed so I took a seat towards the back.

This turned out to be the best seat in the house. Sitting in back I got to see all the little heads of the kids, up front were the kindergartners going back to eighth grade. I was impressed  at how well behaved they all were and the teachers all looked very calm. If a child did get out of turn just a quick glance and a "shh" from the teacher and all was well again.

There was a guitarist to lead us in song who is wonderful, both in his playing and singing. I decided not to belt out the different responses and prayers so I could really hear the kids. What a gift that decision turned out to be. Up front somewhere was a little voice who was one note ahead, proudly saying Our Father without worrying about looking silly because  they were loud or off a beat. And the voices as they all sang together was beautiful! I reminded myself that God is with us now and this must be what the angels sound like in heaven. They were all singing to the Lord, loudly, unabashedly, looking straight ahead at the altar. Even the older kids towards the back, were it may have been uncool to be seen singing, were participating. It truly was a breathtaking scene that made me tear up at the sheer joy I felt watching what was going on around me.

Father Bob gave a wonderful homily that the children could relate to. In a nutshell he stated that Jesus was Crucified because the people didn't like what He had to say, that all we need is love and forgiveness to have true happiness and the kingdom of heaven. But that it wasn't a sad ending, because Jesus overcame death and rose again to reiterate to us all that all we need is to believe that His love and grace is sufficient for us.

Time came to go to the alter to receive the Eucharist. As I walked toward the altar the kids were all  quite and respectful. Some little faces turned towards me; and I swear I saw the face of God in their faces and at that point I did cry. Tears of joy and gratefulness that I got to be a part of the celebration and be part of the Catholic community that I love so much. Back at my pew as I was kneeling in prayer I did thank God for all the gifts He has given to me. Sometimes I need to remember to thank Him for the small things. These things are everyday graces that I can, and do, take for granted.

After Mass I walked outside the church with the other members of my beloved community to sunshine and warm good-bye's. I can say I am happy because I do know that all I need is God, He is sufficient for me.




Thursday, September 13, 2012
Have you ever found yourself instinctively judging somebody else who you do not know at all? We've all done it at one point or another and this article featured on MomLife Today touches on the topic. The article's writer Julia DesCarpentrie openly admits to doing what all of us have before, being judgmental. She has recently made an effort to change her ways though and I think there is a lot to be learned from what she is doing.

Read more at: A New Set of Eyes

 

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Children can sometimes be very bossy without realizing what they are doing. This article goes over just that topic and also gives some good advice on how to deal with this problem. Teaching your child to play nicely with others and understand they cannot always have their way is an important life step. If you are struggling to teach your child these lessons this article is for you! Dr. Lynne Kenney from The Family Coach wrote this wonderful piece.

Read more at: Little Miss Bossy - Come Over Here

 

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This article talks about how children learn directly from their parents. It is mainly concerned with parents who sometimes forget that their child is watching their every move, and inadvertently teach their child poor behavior because of that mental lapse. Parents need to give their child undivided attention and not ignore them because this behavior will me mimicked by their child otherwise. This article was written by Tanya Weitzel and is a must read for any parent.

Read more at: They Are Watching You

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This article is really well written and easy to relate to! It can be found in its full text here on Mom Life Today and is titled, "A Strong-Willed Child and a Single Mom". This article by Sue Birdseye describes a regular mom who is learning that her children may not always want to do things her way, but she knows that through Christ she will find the strength to be the best possible mom!

"I learned a valuable lesson this week – I learned that my strong-willed daughter likes to do things her way.  I know, I know… duh!   She’s number 5 so you’d think I’d have at least some of the obvious parenting things worked out.  Alas, each child stretches me more and more … and more.

It is almost funny to look at how I viewed each of my children as strong-willed now that I have an actual, honest-to-goodness strong-willed child.  Boy was I naïve!  And I’ll tell you that training and disciplining a strong-willed child could be an Olympic sport!

My daughter could test the mettle of any warrior … exhaust the most seasoned marathoner … twist any gymnast up in knots … and throw any diver into a tailspin.  She is challenging beyond anything I could have imagined … and I love her fiercely!

I have learned that fewer words are necessary with her … actually fewer words are imperative.  Shutting my mouth is SO difficult!  I just want to make sure she understands.  I feel the need to explain everything, remind, cajole, beg, and basically make her give up simply from the weight of all my words.

Actually none of my children need the number of words I tend to use with them.  I know that from the glazed expressions.  There is a verse, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”  (Proverbs 10:19)  I’d prefer to be wise rather than sinful any day.  Unfortunately, my natural tendency is NOT to bridle my tongue.

Many of us have read the account of the Proverbs 31 woman … and been terribly dismayed by our lack of ability to fulfill that role.  I am learning to take great delight in the possibility that with Christ I can indeed be like this amazing woman … or at least headed in the right direction.  This week I believe I’m to focus on, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”  (Proverbs 31:26)"

Again you can find this well written piece over at Mom Life Today by clicking here

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This helpful article from Parenting magazine can be found in full here.The article is titled, "When Your Kid Asks, 'Am I Fat?'", and deals with how to manage that difficult and sensitive topic in a loving manner. It even includes real answers that parents gave to their children as examples.

"Be honest: “Say ‘Well, according to your doctor, your body is overweight. He told us that it isn't healthy, so we need to work together to help you,’” says Garry Sigman, M.D., director of the pediatric weight management program at Loyola University Chicago. But also emphasize the bright side: “For some children you can say ‘Because you're still growing, it won't be hard—you won't have to lose weight, just be more careful about how much you are gaining,’” he advises.
How it played out in real families:
“I told my daughter, ‘No, you're adorable!’ Later, I talked to her about being healthy—what is good and bad for our bodies. I am trying to educate her on eating right. It's so important to be supportive and loving to our girls at this precious age!”
—Cari Andreani
Jacksonville, FL
“When I saw how upset my daughter was when her physician expressed concern about her weight, I told her, ‘Yes, you're overweight, and you're also very beautiful! You can be both!’ I also told her that if she wanted me to help her lose weight at some point, I would. Meanwhile, we go swimming together almost every day.”
—Robert Epstein
San Diego
“My daughter, who's a healthy weight, became worried after a school test mistakenly said her BMI [body mass index] was too high. I told her that her body is going through a lot of changes, and dieting would be very unhealthy. I said I'd buy her any healthy foods she wanted to eat, though, and she should keep exercising.”
—Laurie Gray
Fort Wayne, IN"

Again you can read the full text version of this article from Parenting Magazine by clicking here





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Friday, September 7, 2012
Have you ever felt the need to defend your Catholic faith? Yesterday I was invited by my friend to attend a bible study at her church. She is Presbyterian.

After singing and praising God we broke up into small discussion groups. I was talking to someone beside me when I over hear some talk about Catholic schools. So I eavesdrop.

The gist of the conversation was my friend saying her nieces didn't believe in God because of their Catholic upbringing and schooling. The other two woman agreed and one even stated there are people who say "I am a recovering Catholic".

Instead of speaking up, I tried not to cry and passed when it was my time to share. Afterwards my friend could tell I was upset and asked me what was wrong. I start to cry. Why do my emotions always deceive me?! Then I fessed up. She truly felt bad and  apologized.

However I know she has some negative feelings about the Catholic church. As do a lot of people.

My problem is I take it very personally. I feel this need to come to the churches defense. But lets face it the church has survived for over two thousand years without my help.

There have been many scandals throughout the years and yet the Holy Church has persevered. Why? Because God is always the center. He is our rock and refuge. Evil will try to penetrate were it can. And the church is run by man, who is fallible. God is not.

Jesus said to Peter-  "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  Matt. 16: 18.

 The churches survival reminds me of the parable about the seed sower in Matthew 13: 3-8,

“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

My actions will speak volumes, not necessarily my words. Basically all I need to do is stay strong in my faith, pray daily, and turn my will and my life over to the care of God. Everything else will take care of itself.

God Bless!