Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Traditions are a great way to remember and celebrate family and togetherness. Also, going back to this post.. children love familiarity. Family traditions are not only easy to do, but bring comfort and security to our little ones!

This year, we are going to start a new tradition for Thanksgiving (the only thing you need is a plain table cloth and a permanent marker). Every Thanksgiving each member of the family is going to write down what we are most thankful for and the date on the tablecloth. Even if your children can not write yet, you can write it down for them! (i.e. Maybe your 1 year old is thankful for bananas... Or your 3 year old is thankful for her teddy bear!) This tradition not only cultivates a heart of thankfulness in our children (and us!)... but will be a keepsake for years to come!

Whether it's the tablecloth or some other tradition, what a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving... to give thanks to our Father in heaven who has poured out His blessings upon us!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Humidifiers 101

Humidifiers are mom's best friend.

I never thought I would own a humidifier.... never even knew how valuable this little appliance would be in my life until I had a baby...

-Humidifiers add moisture to the air which helps with keeping your baby's (and your) skin, nose, and throat from getting dry. This is especially helpful during the winter time when the heater is on and the air gets extremely dry.

-Humidifiers are crucial (doctors recommend this) when your child has a cold. Increasing the air moisture is a common way to help your child feel better when he is congested and for other cold symptoms (such as cough and sore throat).

-Some humidifiers are loud enough that they work as "white noise" and help your baby to sleep better and longer.

The down side to using a humidifier is that they need to be cleaned out regularly because of white dust and mold build up. Also, most humidifiers often need their filers replaced which add to the cost. All in all, they are a great investment (or must have) especially if you have little ones.

I have had to purchase several humidifiers before finding one that doesn't leak, get the floor wet from too much vapor, and/or produce get moldy easily.... Here's one by Crane that has been the best machine so far (and they have such cute designs!)... but if you have any recommendations, please do let me know! I'm always on a search for a great humidifier!

Another one that was recommended by a friend is this one by Kaz.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Five Herbs For Winter

Herbal medicine works on colds and flu in two ways: 1) by building the immune system, and 2) fighting the virus. Below are five herbs that can help boost your immune system's cold-fighting power this winter season according to Dr. Iman Bar. Dr. Bar recommends using organic herbs and boil the water (to make tea) in stainless steel pots and not aluminum. These are all great herbs to help you and your little one stay healthy naturally!


The elderberry flower is prescribed in some countries to treat fevers and increase bronchial secretions associated with colds.


Juniper contains a potent antiviral compound that seems to inhibit many different viruses. Many herbalists recommend it as a cure for flu.


Lemon balm is one of the most traditional herbal cures for flu and has been used for centuries. It relieves many of symptoms of flu, bringing relaxing sleep, relieving cramps and gas, stopping spasms, and relieving pain.


Licorice is a powerful antiviral. It is used for treating symptoms of flu, including sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and arthritis. Licorice is widely available but limit your intake. And do not take licorice if you are pregnant- it has been associated with premature births.


Ginger contains ten antiviral compounds. It reduces pain and fever, acts as a cough suppressant and is "warming"- it can help heat the body up, helping you to "sweat it out".

To read more on this topic go here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Passing on the Faith

Three things that will help pass on your faith to your children... and to your grandchildren...

1) Have dinner as a family minimum 3-4 days/week.
2) Father should be involved spiritually outside the home (i.e. Get involved at church, serve in a ministry, etc. Not just pray for your children at home).
3) Attend church as a family.

-Kenton Beshore

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Non-violent Kids

I was reading this article by a Christian author, professor, and clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Dr. Linda Mintle. The article is titled Raising Nonviolent Teens, and I thought it had very interesting principles that parents of young children, as early as preschoolers, can apply now.

Raising Nonviolent Kids

By Dr. Linda Mintle

If you watch the news each night, you understand what a violent society we live in today. There are things you can do, however, to raise children who are peaceful, loving, and kind.

Take a moment and evaluate how well your family is doing in several significant areas:

  • Be Stress-free

Is our family life full of stress? We all have stress. But too much stress over long periods of time depletes our abilities to cope. People reach a breaking point and sometimes act out in violent and aggressive ways. Are our stress levels manageable?
  • Family Support

Do family members support one another? People do better at coping with stress when they have support. Everyone needs love, caring, affirmation and regular support. Do we provide support for each other?

  • Mind Your Kids

Are we vigilant when it comes to monitoring our kids? There are simply too many dangerous influences in the culture. We have to keep on top of what kids are exposed to and what they bring into our homes. Privacy, in my opinion, is overrated in most households. There has to be supervision and screening of media. Kids and teens are not mini adults. They need guidance. You can’t guide when you don’t know what is going on or are too busy.

  • Talk About It

How well do we communicate? Without communication, you won’t know what is going on in the minds and hearts of your kids. You need to ask because they won’t always volunteer information.

  • Resolve Conflicts Well

Do we have healthy ways to resolve conflicts? Are we modeling and teaching anger control and nonviolent ways to handle life problems? Are we teaching problem-solving skills, conflict resolution and patience?

  • Discipline Your Kids

Do we have appropriate and effective discipline in our home? Do we provide consequences for problems behaviors? Are we consistent and predictable? Not too rigid or not too lenient?

  • Right vs. Wrong

Do our children know what is right and wrong? It is our job to train up our children. Have we provided a strong spiritual and moral framework for living? Does our family understand how to employ nonviolence?

  • Show Them Love

Do we show family members unconditional love? We need to discipline and correct children but our love is unconditional. Does everyone feel loved no matter what? This is God’s way.

  • Develop Your Relationship

Do we have strong and meaningful relationships with our children? This is the number one protection for any teen risk behavior.

  • Model Nonviolence

Are we prepared to model nonviolence? Jesus was nonviolent. He showed great compassion for people. He stood His ground but did not become aggressive, violent, foul-mouthed, disrespectful and hurtful to others. His Gospel is radical in that it teaches us to love our enemies, pray for those who use us, bless those who curse us and turn the other cheek.


"We need to be more concerned about others needs and our character,
than others character and our needs."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Does Poison Ivy Look Like?

Here are a few helpful sites that talk about Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac. Thes sites give a description of what they look like, possible skin reactions after touching these plants, and medicinal & home remedies: Information Center and WebMD. I have heard the phrase, "Leaves of three, let it be." However, I didn't know there were so many variations. Here are just a few pictures.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Power of Touch

I got some great advice from my mother growing up, in all stages of my life. Being a Christian Psychiatrist, she goes to conferences and is always doing research to keep up with the latest in medicine and the human psyche, so she knows a thing or two about people. When I got married, she told me that a key element in marriage is touch. “Make sure to touch your husband at least ten times each day.” As a newlywed, I used to think one hundred touches a day was hardly enough!

Well, 5 years and 2 children later . . . I am beginning to see what my mother was talking about. I give a brief hug and kiss to welcome my husband home, quickly give updates about the kids’ day, make sure dinner’s ready and everyone eats, have my husband fix the broken lamp, remind him that garbage day is tomorrow, get the kids bathed and teeth brushed, finish house clean-up and then bed.

So, in my experience, in the hurriedness of each day, it’s easy to overlook the simple gestures of showing love and support through affection. I think I would even add to the ten-touch rule that eye contact is very important too. And on top of that, I would also add that our children would benefit from this rule if we gave them more hugs and nurturing pats on the back each day.

Make a conscious effort to show love and support to your family members with a soft squeeze on the arm, nurturing pats on the back and LOTS of hugs! It will help you slow down and appreciate a little more the people you love each day.