Friday, June 24, 2016

How to keep your kids learning and growing during the summer.

A lot of kids are now out for the summer and they are easily bored.  We want our children to keep learning and growing during the summer months so they are ready when school starts back in the fall.
Summer vacation affords us a lot of non-traditional ways of stimulating our kids intellectually.   Below you will find some tried and true methods and others that will give your kids a wealth of information they can use and also introduce to their friends.

The public library:  A lot of us use our computer but we forget what the library has to offer.  You can take your kids and they can read and learn about things of the past and the future.  You can truly educate yourself by going to the library and search for any subject that you want.  You can teach your kids about studying in a nice quiet environment.  A lot of libraries have a movie night and arts and crafts.  The library, in my opinion, is a free, public educational institution where you can learn any subject at your own pace.

A Museum:  This is another wonderful place to take your children so that they can see paintings and sculptures from the past and it is a great place to go and spend time with your children and teach them about art and its beauty.

The Zoo:  The zoo is such a wonderful and fun place to take your kids to learn about different animals.  It exposes them to animals that they would never see in their ordinary environment.   Kids who love animals are usually more friendly and tolerant.

Money management:  We can let our kids make a list of things that they want from the store.  Tell them that you will get coupons for the items.  Give them a budget or make them pay for these things from their allowance.  Teach them to calculate to the penny how much they need and add in taxes and they will learn that they have to learn how to save and budget for the things that they want.  Get the Sunday paper and show them how to clip out coupons.

Play Monopoly: Monopoly is a good game that will teach your children about money in a fun way.  We all have played and loved this game but this is a way to teach kids in an entertaining manner.

Day trips:  Take your kids for a drive through the most disadvantaged areas in your state and then have a discussion with your children on ways you can end up living in these areas.  Such as poverty, drug abuse, drinking alcohol or not doing well in school . The next day drive through wealthy areas in your state and have the same conversation on ways you can improve your odds of living in these areas and living the best life possible.  Tell them about living a clean life, excelling in school, staying drug and alcohol-free and staying out of jail.

Cooking:  Get your children together and let them participate in preparing meals for the family.  This activity is good for both boys and girls.  This is a skill that they will always have and they could also make a career out of it.

Teach your kids about exercising:  I wish I had embraced this concept earlier in my life but it is never too late.  I know a lot of people go to the gym to do exercise and there is nothing wrong with that but, I think that you can get fit by running in the park. walking, exercising at home and if you start your children early, they will never have to shell out a lot of money to keep fit.

Start a container garden:  Take your kids to a store such as; Home Depot and get some seeds and containers and watch some YouTube to learn how to garden.  Let your kids start this and let them enjoy the "fruits of their labor" when the plants or vegetables start growing.
I hope you all enjoyed these tips.  Happy Summer!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Great GoFundMe Debate (Commentary)

When I first heard of the website I was thrilled to hear that ordinary citizens could have a chance to access a way to get help with a crisis such as; medical, dental, fires and disasters.

I have recently heard a lot of  coverage about Gofundme in the news media and the stories have been quite negative because of the fact that many people are using this resource as a way to scam ordinary citizens out of their hard-earned money.

It is such a shame that people would use this as a way to prey on the kindness of others in order to get over and obtain money that they are not rightfully entitled to.

Many years ago there were a lot of programs to help people, who had hit a rough patch in their lives and one of these programs was called Manpower, it used to assist people to get free training and a stipend, so you could get a good job and provide for your family.

Another resource was and still is, the Catholic Church.  The major governmental programs used to make people jump through a lot of hoops and have to deal with red tape in order to get any help.

What happened to some of these programs was a governmental waste, because some folks were using these programs to get the stipend and didn't intend on using them to get on their feet, so, a lot of programs disappeared.

I often hear people say, "No One Will Help Me!"  Well, blame the people who took advantage of these programs and then the government shut them down.

I honestly believe that Gofundme is needed and it is needed for people who have sick or disabled  children  in their families and every other legitimate emergency that exists.   I have major medical issues and I don't feel that Gofundme is beneath me but I will not use it as a cash cow to scam and get over.

I hope you all know that there is a possibility that this resource may go away one day if it continues to be abused.

Recently, I heard on the news about a horrible fire in my area and the people involved lost many family members.  A Gofundme page was set up and I am so glad that this family will get the help and assistance that they need.

I am going to donate to Gofundme because I think that it is a quick and easy way to give to our communities that need help.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Finding Your Happy Sweet Spot In Your Life.

I decided to touch on this subject because I had a conversation with my daughter a few months ago and she asked me " What age were you the happiest?".   I told her that I was my happiest at age 40.  She looked very puzzled and she said " Why age Forty?".  Carefully I explained to her that it was the age that I started to fully embrace myself.  I had raised her into adulthood and it was the time that I could truly live my life and do the things that I wanted to do.

It was a time that I was no longer responsible for another person.  When you are forty you have gone through the times in your life when you were totally insecure with yourself due to weight gain or maybe other flaws that you have.   Forty is the age that you can look back and perhaps see the mistakes that you have made and truly thank God for his protection and seeing how you made it through.  You see, life is not perfect or easy but the way you deal with things makes all the difference.

My twenties was not easy at all and you would think that being young would present me with more opportunities and happy experiences.   The road to my forties gave me a chance for forgiveness, and it gave me the wisdom to speak to another young person and tell them that if you persevere, you will be alright.

I am so much calmer now and when things go wrong I know that there will be a way of escape and know to pray for God's guidance.

Through hard times, The Lord showed me how to be resourceful and now I count it as the many gifts that I have.  Happiness starts with self acceptance.  We have all seen the person who the world may see as unattractive but this person thinks they are the most beautiful person in the world and it seems to draw people and make other people think this person is beautiful too.  Deep down this person may know that they are unattractive but the positive image that they project is charismatic.   This shows that you can draw positive things into your life, if you just believe.

If you are young and short on money; buy yourself little small gifts that makes you happy and project a positive image to the world.  I promise that one day you will tell your own story of how you found your happiness in life.  Many years ago when I would be short on cash, I would go to a discount store and buy nail polish that cost $1.00 and keep my nails beautifully polished everyday.  This made me feel happy.  You can find beauty and solace in simplicity.

There is an old saying "Paint a picture of what you want to be."   Project happiness into the world and that is what you will get back.