Jul 05 2010

Staycation Ideas

You don't have to have lots of money or time or even go far to have a great vacation.  This summer, maybe try a "staycation".  Here are some fun staycation ideas, courtesy of imom.com.  Got a great staycation idea?  Let us know ...

1) Visit a nature center, or wildlife rescue or refuge center.

2) Camp out – you can do this at a campsite in your own area, or you can even have a camp out in your backyard. 

3) Sign up for a workshop or activity you can do as a family.  Look into cooking lessons, tennis lessons, or walking tours.

4) Let your kids choose their dream destination and then go there – without leaving home.  Decorate a room in the style of that country or city.  Watch a movie shot on location.  Eat the food of that locale.  Try to learn a bit of the language.

5) If you have friends who are also taking staycations, see about trading houses with them for the weekend.

6) Enlist the help of grandparents and other relatives.  Let your children spend a few days away from home, and see if you can join them on the weekend.

7) Join a country club or community pool.  Some clubs in smaller cities offer membership for as little as $50 a month.   Consider it an investment in keeping your kids active, this summer.  Call around to see if you can find "summer only" specials.

8) Take the train.  Many railway carriers offer short trips of an hour or two.  Pack a lunch and enjoy the scenery with your kids.

9) If you have a beach, lake or river nearby, check the paper or internet for bargains on rentals.   Since fewer people are traveling this summer, you might be able to get a great deal. 

10) Visit a local art museum with your kids. Once they've seen the paintings, sculpture, photography and other creative works, give them some drawing paper, some modeling clay or a camera and let them recreate their own favorites at home. Then create a gallery in your family room, featuring their finished works of art.

Jul 02 2010

Fireworks Moms - Fireworks Safety

This weekend an estimated 7,000 people will be treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. Wow!  We'd rather you not be one of them, so here are some basic fireworks safety tips ...

Before you begin, make sure you have:

  • A bucket of water or hose. Water is important for cooling off spent sparklers, fully extinguishing fireworks, and in case of fire.
  • A clear, flat area away from houses, spectators, leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Closed-toed shoes.
  • Safety glasses for the person igniting the fireworks.

    Sparkler Tips

    • While many consider sparklers to be safe, it's important to remember that you are, in fact, playing with fire: Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000 degrees F, and caused an estimated 800 injuries in 2008.
    • Don't allow children under the age of 12 to handle sparklers.
    • Show older children how to hold sparklers at arm's length, and don't let them run with or wave the sparklers.
    • Stand at least six feet away from another person while using sparklers.
    • To hand a sparkler to another person, give him or her an unlit sparkler and then light it.
    • Don't hold a child in your arms while holding a sparkler.
    • Drop spent sparklers into a bucket of water.

    Other Fireworks Tips

    • Always read and follow the directions.
    • Never relight a failed firework — wait 20 minutes before placing it in a bucket of water.
    • Onlookers must keep a safe distance from the person igniting the fireworks.
    • Children should not play with or ignite fireworks.


Jun 18 2010

Father's Day Quotes

"Fathers are the great gift-givers of the world!"
- Mrs. John Bruce Dodd, founder of Father’s Day

"One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters."
- George Herbert

The father of a couple of teenagers called the telephone company and announced, "I want to report an obscene phone bill."
- Vern McLellan

Father to teenage son: "No, you can’t use the car—but please feel free to use the lawnmower."
- Vern McLellan

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
- Theodore Hesburgh

"My father didn’t tell me how to life; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
- Clarence Budington Kelland

"You don’t raise heroes; you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes."
- Walter Schirra Sr.

My father always told me, "Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life."
- Jim Fox

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
- Shakespeare

"God is the Father who is always home."
- Unknown

"Of all nature’s gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?"
- Cicero

"The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering-galleries, they are clearly heard at the end and by posterity."
- Jean Paul Richter

"It has been said that paternity is a career imposed on you without any inquiry into your fitness for it. That is why there are so many fathers who have children, but so few children who have fathers."
- Adlai Stevenson

"A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be."
- Frank A. Clark

Small boy’s definition of Father’s Day: It’s just like Mother’s Day only you don’t spend so much.
- Unknown

Jim Bishop describes the feeling a father had when his daughter became engaged: "This is the third of four daughters. Every time it happens, I’m obsessed with the feeling I’m giving a million-dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla."

Jun 17 2010

All Pro Dad - Mark Merrill

Mark Merrill, founder of Family First and All Pro Dad - a ministry geared to help men be better fathers, joined us this morning.  Mark shared these tips ...

10 Ways to know you are being a good father:

1. When your calendar is full of things to do with your children

2. When you admit when you are wrong and ask your children to forgive you

3. When you take an interest in their friends and know their names

4. When you eat together with your children

5. When you take an interest in what they enjoy doing

6. When you show affection to your wife in front of them

7. When you advocate that they speak to you and each other respectfully

8. When your son or daughter comes running to you when they get hurt

9. When you calmly and gently discipline your children without yelling or screaming

10. When you tuck your children into bed at night and tell them “I love you”


Some cool ideas for Father's Day gifts (courtesy of All Pro Dad's partner site iMom)

What do Dads really want for Father's Day?  Well, even more than the dream gifts like boats, cars, and iPhones, they really want their children's love.

To help your children convey their feelings, video them saying why they love their dad; here's a sample video, to give you some ideas.   If you prefer lower tech options, have your kids write out their top 10 reasons here, then present them creatively,
like this.