Archives for July 2013

How to Raise a Natural Baby in a Toxic World

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This goes along with Grandmothers and Grandparenting Tips as well 😉 There are many grandmothers who are raising their grandkids these days.

So this useful article By Carrie Lauth reaches out to Grandmoms too!

By: Carrie Lauth

Every day we hear of more things in our environment that can harm us. From drugs in our water and hormones in our food to toxins in our cleaning products, it seems that everything causes cancer. When it comes to our babies, we moms sometimes wish we could keep them in a bubble for the first few years of their lives. What can we realistically do to raise a natural baby in a toxic world?


1) Breastfeed
Breastfeeding gives both baby and mom many health advantages. For the purpose of this article, I’ll mention just a few, like the fact that breastfed babies are less harmed by pesticide exposure. They also fare better if you choose to vaccinate, suffering fewer reactions. Even though sometimes the media reports on environmental toxins found in mom’s milk, what is often left out of the picture is that the same toxins are found in cow’s milk, from which formula is made. And since breastfed children enjoy greater health even in adulthood, breast is still – and always will be – best.

Once baby is using a cup or if you’re pumping and offering bottles, be sure to use glass or BPA free bottles and cups. Bisphenol-A is a plastic additive that has been linked to cancers and other serious health issues. While we can’t avoid plastics entirely in our modern world, reducing the cumulative exposure is important. You can thankfully find BPA free bottles and other feeding products by doing just a little digging.

2) Cloth Diaper
Grandma was right – cloth diapers really are better for your baby. They mean less diaper rash, less allergy, and more money in baby’s college savings fund. Cloth diapers are much more fun nowadays. They’re made from modern fabrics that wick moisture away from baby, have waterproof covers, and are darn cute to boot! An added plus is that cloth diapered babies tend to potty train several months earlier.

3) Natural Skin Care
Who doesn’t love that new baby smell? Of course, we need to be careful about what we put on our baby’s sensitive skin. Since the skin absorbs what we slather on it, if we wouldn’t eat it, we probably shouldn’t put it on our baby’s skin. Some ingredients to avoid are: parabens, synthetic perfumes, talc and SLS (sodium laurel sulfate).

Your baby really doesn’t need much on his skin, but if you can’t resist, try the Earth Mama Angel Baby, Weleda or California Baby product lines for safer alternatives.

Taking care of what goes in and on your precious baby is important since it can impact his health for the rest of his life. Instead of worrying about what you can’t change about the world we live in, focus on what you can change for the better.

Don’t sweat it. Find natural baby information, product reviews and resources at www.NaturalBabyWorld.com.

Complicated Mess To Semi-Super Organized

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Happy Friday to you all! 🙂

I finally actually took the time to clean and semi-super organize my home office. It was a huge job! lol

When I say “semi-super” organize, it’s not a perfectly organized office…even after the clean up. However, it was good enough for me. I’m certainly not a super organized person. Having said that, I admit to letting piles (of just stuff) get so bad that I get to the point where I can’t take it anymore. I’m definitely not a filthy-dirty person…just not as organized as I’d like to be for sure! lol

With growing older, I’d like to see this change in myself!

I have Pics throughout the process!
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A Little More Organized!
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Need To Get Cheyanne Up On The Wall So I Can Look at Her Too!
🙂

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Don’t Mess With Me When I’m Tired!!
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Am I still organized?? “Somewhat” However, I know where everything is, and that’s the main thing for me! 🙂

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Some Of My INSPIRATION – MY DAD IN CUBICLE BY THE LAMP 🙂 🙂

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21 New Prayers From “My Prayers” App On iPad

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I love the My Prayers app on my iPad! 🙂

I sincerely hope you get inspired with these prayers, just like I did! =)

Keep Thy hand upon me, O Lord, and let not the evil one cause me pain.

Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things!

Lord, please lead me right now into the path everlasting.

Thank You, Lord for the beauty I see all around me.

Keep me close to Your heart, Jesus.

O Jesus, in the most holy Sacrament, have mercy on us.

Dear Lord, help me to continue to be that greater light in such a dark world.

Dear Lord, I thank You for the chance to make a new beginning.

Dear Lord, drive away my fears and fill me with light.

Forgive me, God, for being so immersed in my own work that I had no time to give anyone else a helping hand.

Dear God, lead me according to Your will.

Lord Jesus, help me to accept Your love.

Draw me nearer to You, Lord Jesus.


Lord, help me to know that when I criticize others I condemn myself.

God of my life, I welcome this new day.

It is Your gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection.

Dear Lord, grant me the strength to understand that not my will, but Yours be done.

Tender and compassionate God, You are our steadfast companion in the joyous times of our lives.

Fill me with Your Spirit, O God.

Lord, help me to lay my life on the line for Your will, ways and word.

O Lord, let me feel Your presence. Teach me faith, O God, and grant me hope.

Hope you all have a blessed week and keep the faith!

livelaughlove

New Grandbaby Pics

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Say CHEESE!!! Grandma has been taking photos again! I took some really good ones 🙂

 

 

 

Daddy and Baby…Aww!!

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She is not crying, she’s yawning!! lol

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Me

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Weight Loss Update – Good News and Not So Good News

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Yeah….Finally lost 30 pounds!! I’m feeling so much better too. 🙂

My last doctor’s appointment, I was taken off my blood pressure meds. I sure didn’t think I’d ever stop taking those1 LESS pill I have to take daily.

 
 
 
Read My Original Nutrisystem Post and Review Here

The Weight Loss Has Seemed So VERY Slow For Me!

However, my doctor said it is NOT! I’ve maintained a loss of 1 pound per week and that’s actually quite healthy.

Ok, I thought, well that’s great news! lol

Some Unexpected Health Stats Though


My cholesterol has been slightly elevated! 🙁 Wow!! The doc wants to check it again in January and to limit my fat intake and keep working out.

I was not giving a second thought about cholesterol on the labels, I was always checking the fat, calories, protein etc…!!

So then I began checking all the labels for cholesterol…and sure enough, most of the pasta food items had 25 to 30 MG of cholesterol. And I was of course eating a lot of their pastas. I also checked their other food items (that were not pasta items) and a lot of them had the same high cholesterol. 😮

The food is really good, don’t get me wrong!

However, I’m on my last batch of the food items and eating it every other day; and for the days I don’t eat the NS food, I have been eating healthy meals, fruits and veggies throughout the day.

Honestly, all the NS plan has really taught me was “PORTION CONTROL” and eating the small meals/snacks throughout the day…which IS good, and I’ve lost the 30 pounds. The plan has also gotten me super motivated! Another plus 🙂 🙂

I’m so determined to get this weight off, that I’ve saved some of the bars (which they are NOT high in cholesterol) and will be taking them with me on our upcoming vacation. I will eat those for lunch along with a small salad wherever we go. Also, where we are staying will have some walking trails, (that I will be checking out)! :p

So, all in all…it’s good news and some NOT SO good news here today for my weight loss update…

High motivation for getting healthier here for sure!

livelaughlove

Find Ways to Contribute, Even in Retirement

One of the first challenges newly retired individuals face is the struggle with a diminished sense of self-worth. The end of a person’s professional career also brings an end to decades of work and personal investment. Between the lack of a structured schedule, the reduced responsibilities and the abrupt halt of your career, adjusting to the next phase of life often comes with a great deal of difficulty. Unfortunately, too many retired individuals wind up resigning themselves to a reduced value and role in society.

But there’s a flawed logic in thinking that retirement equates decreased value. Even when individuals say goodbye to their day job, they’re still fully functioning members of society and equipped with skills that can make meaningful contributions. In fact, the opened up free time of no longer having a job creates plenty of opportunity to make yourself useful in ways not possible when you were fully employed. With a slight change of perspective, you can find plenty of ways to remain active and involved well into your retirement.

Get a hobby job


Many new retirees miss the productivity and routine of having a job. For them, there’s great news: You can easily get another job in retirement. But instead of a career-track position, consider taking a position at a place that you will enjoy while still being challenged. Seek out jobs that align with your hobbies and/or passions, whether that’s woodworking or simply talking to others. You can even settle on a part-time job with flexible hours to retain the benefits of retired life.

Volunteer your time to a local organization

If a second job isn’t of any interest, consider volunteering at a local organization you are passionate about. Historical societies, museums, non-profits and other organizations are always in need of helping hands across a wide range of tasks. If you’re committed to this type of work, your societal value in retirement could actually exceed what you experienced as a career worker.

Take, for example, Betty Ruth Kemp of Norman, Oklahoma. As a member of the Chickasaw Nation, which refers to itself as “unconquered and unconquerable,” Kemp spent her life protecting tribal archives for the Chickasaw while serving for a variety of historical organizations. As a tribute to her service, Kemp was voted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Such achievements aren’t unthinkable for other retirees. If you find an organization you are passionate about, there’s nothing that says you can’t become an integral contributor in your golden years.

Continue learning

It’s becoming increasingly common for retirees to go back to school. Whether it’s taking classes at the university level or simply learning new skills and crafts through community colleges or local community centers, learning keeps your brain sharp and busy. Many people find significant personal satisfaction in undertaking education later in life.

It’s natural for big life transitions to come with some struggle. The important thing to remember in the days and weeks following your retirement is that your days can still be filled with meaning and purpose, even if that purpose is changed. Remember that the change is an opportunity to put your efforts toward something you are passionate about. That’s one of the best parts of the retirement years, and it will keep you highly valued in the eyes of others.

About the author: Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses. In her spare time, she formally studies marketing at The Kelley School of Business and informally studies the Chickasaw Nation and other Native American tribes.

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Staying Fit with Your Grandkids

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Recently I read a study that said that kids who are around their grandparents a lot tend to be overweight! Why that is true is easy to understand. Grandparents typically give their grandkids snacks and treats parents would avoid and also are less active around their grandchildren. However you can change this alarming trend by encouraging your grandkids to stay fit right along with you. Here are some easy ideas for you and your grandkids to stay fit and healthy, no matter what your age is:

Healthy Snacking – While it is natural to want to give your grandkids fun treats you should try to avoid giving in to requests for candy and fast food. Instead, make eating right fun and tasty. Be sure to stock your refrigerator with kid friendly snacks like apple slices, fruit ice pops, crackers and cheese. For dessert offer to take the kids to get frozen yogurt instead of ice cream or cake. Or make oatmeal cookies with applesauce to cut down on the fat. There are lots of easy ways to make your home a healthy place to eat.


Exploring – Kids love to explore new places and see new things. Even a walk around your neighborhood can be an adventure if you look at it the right way. When your grandchildren come to visit why not take them for a walk? Go as slow as you need to. It is better to be moving then sitting still, no matter what speed that moving may be. As you walk point out interesting things. Teach your grandkids the names of flowers and how they grow. Talk about how big the trees are or what color the houses are. Keep an eye out for frogs and lizards. Talk about how ants work or bees. Discuss cloud formations, how you know a storm is coming, or what the wind smells like.

By sharing your knowledge with your grandkids you can help them better understand the world around them and still be active doing it. If you need to take a break sit down on a bench and send them on a scavenger hunt. They can stay in your view as they search for a purple leaf, a pink flower, a ladybug, something yellow or whatever idea you can come up with. You can even offer to time them as they race from one tree to another, see how long it takes then to do twenty jumping jacks or other active activities.

Bike Rides – A great low impact exercise, bike riding helps keep you fit and allows you to keep up with the grandkids. Kids love to go for bike rides. If you can, try to pick a route with few cars so you don’t have to worry about that. Parks and hike and bike trails make fun places for kids to ride. As you take it easy they can roar through puddles, jump over hills, and skid to a stop. Or go long distance and turn it into an expedition. If you give kids a fun destination to shoot for, like the yogurt shop or the playground, they will go further than you think without complaining. You can even bike to the zoo or the children’s museum if you are close enough.

Stretching – Being active does not have to mean being outside. Sometimes the weather just does not cooperate with you. However if you are stuck indoors that does not mean you have to spend your day in front of the television. Stretching and yoga can be a fun way for you and your grandkids to work out together. Even kids need to work on their flexibility or they will lose it. Help them to stay calm and focused as they hold the stretches. If giving directions is not your forte, pop in a tape or download one that shows you both how to do it the right way. You can laugh and have fun as you strain, balance, and tangle yourselves up trying to reach those ‘easy’ positions.

You can also go back to the basics by teaching them how to do sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, and other simple floor exercises. Count how many you can both do and turn it into a game.

Active Games – Speaking of games, there are tons of active games that you can play with your grandkids. Think about your childhood. You didn’t spend hours sitting in front of the computer or television. You were always up and active. What did you like to do for fun? Play catch, hopscotch, Simon Says, Red Light- Green Light, badminton, croquet, darts, basketball, kickball, jump rope, kick the can, hula hoop and much more. There are so many old games that you can play with practically nothing but imagination. If you don’t have a ball to play with then wad up a piece of paper. No dartboard? Draw one and throw sharpened pencils at an empty box. No jump rope? Any rope will do.

Even running around trying to keep a balloon from touching the ground is an active game that kids love. Volleyball, table tennis, horseshoes, bowling and more can be done with things just lying around the house. Make up ‘fair’ games with empty canned goods. Set up a shooting gallery with a water gun and paper cutouts. Whatever you do stay moving and active.

Make Believe – Kids love stories and they love them even more when they can be involved. One way to get kids active and moving is to play Army. Maybe you were in the military or maybe you just watched a lot of war movies but you are sure to impress your grandkids as you train them in Grandparent Bootcamp! Pretend that you are a Sargent training a new recruit. Stand up tall, put your hands behind your back and start barking orders.

Make sure the kids know you are just playing by giving them a smile or wink every once in a while. Insist they say “yes, sir” and salute when you give an order. Have them crawl through obstacle courses like your kitchen table and chairs, scout out the enemy (your neighbor’s cat), make up camp with a sheet and some clothespins, and march in time to a song. You can even put them to work if you would like. Have them rake the leaves (looking for mines) or wash the dishes (KP duty). Together you can go on a march (take a walk) and keep a lookout for suspicious activity and signs of the enemy. A broken branch, a ripped leaf and a lost shoe can all be signs the enemy is near. Let the kids have fun playing soldier and making everything an adventure.

These are just a few of the fun ways you and your grandkids can stay active and healthy together. Staying fit does not mean you have to run on a treadmill or hit the gym. Instead take little steps towards a healthier lifestyle and make it fun. You and the kids are much more likely to keep it up if you both enjoy it.

Author Byline:

Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com. She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmailDOTcom

Grandma Was In The Fields

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It was just a typical Saturday, I took the guys (my hubby and my son) some lunch; as they were in the fields harvesting wheat. My son was doing the actual cutting/combining and hubby was hauling to the mill. 🙂 Poor guys, when they are in harvest, they work 12+ hours a day (except for rain days) until harvest is complete.

Well, Saturday my son asked if I would like to ride in the combine. My thought was…”Sure, I have nothing better to do!” (I was really working this past weekend…shhhh) lol

Anyway, it was somewhat of a challenge climbing the steep ladder getting up into the combine – LOL. Once I was in, (a whole other world, with the AC and radio) was awesome! Ahh, the life of a farmer. 🙂

My Son…

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Hubby Getting The Truck Filled To Go To The Mill…

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I had taken some pics of the combine doing its job, however my cell phone wouldn’t cooperate this morning while attempting to upload. 🙁

It’s a huge fine machine!! LOL

Looks something like this and BRAND NEW and all computerized. Makes you think back to the old horse and plow days…AND ALL BY HAND!

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It was an experience, I’ve never been inside one before! 🙂


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30 Blogs with the Best Tips on Helping Your Child Prepare for Standardized Testing

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Shared From National Nannies.com

Standardized testing can be difficult for children, especially those who don’t test well. Every child is presented with the same test, so there’s no allowance for level of understanding or aptitude to the subject matter. As a parent, obviously you want your child to receive the best possible education, which includes scoring well on standardized tests. With these 30 blogs, you can help ensure that your child is fully prepared for any standardized test.

Understanding Standardized Testing

The first step towards excelling in standardized tests is understanding how they work. Although the word “standardized” suggests that every test is the same, there are a number of important differences in the tests that you and your child should be aware of. These five blogs will give your child an idea of what to expect, as well as provide them with a number of useful preparation strategies.

SSAT, SAT and ACT Testing: Preparing Students for Success
Co-Teaching and State Testing
Dealing with Test Anxiety: Part 1


How to Study for the SAT Subject Tests
What Do the Tests Test?

Getting in the Zone

As with any test, being in the right frame of mind can make all the difference in your child’s results. All the studying and practice in the world won’t do your child…

Read The Rest Of This Post Here

Picking a Retirement Home: 10 Questions to Ask

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If you are a senior, an older grandmother or mother, father, grandparent…the thought of a retirement home has crossed your mind a time or two. I appreciate this entry by Danielle and some of the most asked questions and issues that arise when deciding on a retirement home. 🙂

Perhaps when you were younger, you never imagined relocating to a retirement home. However, now that the time has come, are you ready for senior community living? Chances are you probably haven’t given it much thought until now. To help you pick a retirement home that best fits your needs, ask the following questions.


What is the city like?

When picking a retirement home, it’s wise to look beyond the facility itself. What are the surroundings like? Do you have access to activities and opportunities you need to feel engaged? Consider cultural offerings in the place you settle down. Concerts, museums, art shows and other events are excellent ways to pass the time.

What amenities are offered?

Get as complete of a list as possible. Think about everything you’ll want close by: barber/hair dresser, fitness rooms, pools, personal trainers, clubhouses, biking/walking paths, cultural centers, art classes and much more keep you entertained, happy and well cared for.

Will grandchildren and other family members feel welcome?

If you want your family to visit, make sure the retirement home provides amenities that make them feel welcome. A playground, for example, is great for grandkids. Check with potential retirement homes about their visitor policies to make sure they coincide with your expectations.

Does the retirement home have you covered for years to come?

You can’t plan for today and ignore tomorrow. Instead, choose a retirement home that lets you age in place by providing more advanced assistance. Even if you don’t need it yet, the time may come when you appreciate free transportation, onsite medical services and a central dining room where you take your meals.

What recreational programs are offered?

From tennis, golf and Pilates classes to knitting, bridge and Mahjong games, find a retirement community that offers recreational programs that interest you.

What security measures keep residents safe?

Your old home may have featured the latest anti-burglar measures; how does the retirement community compare? Find out what security measures are taken to protect residents night and day.

Is the facility clean and well staffed?

The only way to know for sure is to visit the retirement homes you’re considering. Scrutinize the grounds, lobby and living areas. Talk to staff members to see if they appear competent, caring and respectful of residents.

Are the residents happy?

During your visit, talk to current residents. Ask what they like about the facility and what could be better. These honest inside opinions can be very enlightening, for better or worse.

What do the finances entail?

Retirement is all about living on a fixed income. You must know the bottom line before you relocate to one community or another. Ask upfront about specific costs and make sure you can afford the retirement home you settle on.

What types of assistance programs are offered?

If you’re a member of a minority group, such as the Chickasaw people, you can apply for an Assisted Living Benefit Program that provides up to $2,500 a month for Chickasaw elders to live in a state licensed assisted-living facility. If you have Chickasaw heritage, are 60 years or older and have financial need, you may qualify.

By doing your research ahead of time, you’ll find the perfect retirement home for your needs.

About the Author:

Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses. She recently helped her grandmother find the perfect retirement home complete with a swimming pool and a very liberal pet policy. She visits her every Sunday afternoon to attend arts and crafts together.