Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2001


Today is a solemn day. It's amazing that even after so many years seeing footage of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 brings me right back to the day.

There are so many stories surrounding that day. I've heard so many as I'm sure you have and may have your own.

It will always be a reminder to us that Evil is real and alive in this world we live in. It is something we should never take for granted and is something we should always be working to eradicate.
We've forgotten the lesson we learned that day and have become too complacent and too accepting.
We've taken things for granted like our Freedom and safety.

Now even some of our own in this country think that this Evil is attractive, enough to board planes and fly to foreign lands to join in its efforts.

Let's never forget the lessons of that day, and the lives that were lost.
And how it united us as a country and brought out the best in us.

Summer's Over


So Summer is finally over...at least school has begun and all things autumn are in full swing.
I'm sad to see summer end but I do love all the things Fall brings such as the change in weather, the beautiful foliage, and the apple cider and harvest festivals. 

One thing that is also in full swing is the busyness of school schedules and school year activities. 
If you have children you know what I'm talking about.

One thing to remember is not to get overwhelmed (reminder to self!). Don't over book yourself and your children for too many activities. Don't volunteer for too many things at once.
We quickly forget and end up burnt out, tired, and unhappy people.
Of course, this leaves us unable to enjoy life and our loved ones, and we don't get the time to actually enjoy the season.
Just a reminder! Hope you're enjoying your Fall season!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last Minute Summer Fun Ideas



Summer is is full swing and will be over before you know it. If you're like me you are trying to find some fun things to do last minute with the kids to finish out their summer fun before school begins.

Here are a few last minute and cheap ideas:

Pool Fun- If you don't already have one in your backyard you can usually find a public one nearby.
Going to the pool is always a fun way to spend the day. Pack some lunch and make it a full day activity.

Day Camp- There are still many day camps in operation (city/YMCA for example) that take kids week by week. Enroll your kid in a week or two for a change of pace this summer.

Public Park- Public parks, playgrounds, trails or also a good way to pass some hours during a not so Hot summer day. Some parks also have boats you can rent to go out on a lake.

Movies- Some movie theaters as well as parks show free movies throughout the summer. Check out the listings and websites for theaters/parks & recreation in your town.

Town Fairs- This is always a fun way to spend the afternoon. Maybe not cheap but fun!

VBS (Vacation Bible School)- These are awesome and provided free (most of the time) by local churches. They may run during the day, evening, or weekend and serve as a sort of short summer camp with lots of entertainment, games, and activities with a Biblical background for school age kids. To find these you'll need to check out the websites of local churches near you.

Kid's Museums- I have a favorite kid's museum we've frequented a lot this summer. We purchased a membership and have gotten more than our money's worth back because we go so often. Many kid's museums also have free days or afternoons every week.

Free Kids Concerts- Again, if you're willing to do the research there are many awesome and free to low cost activities offered during the summer at local parks and theaters.

You'll have to get out your calendar, sit at the computer, and plan out a few days a week. Before you know it you'll have too much to do, but just take it a day at a time and enjoy!






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Summer!



It's been a while since I've last posted on Blabla Mama! It's been a busy but fun summer so far.

My main priorities now:
Preparing for the upcoming school season
Getting in some last minute summer fun for the kids
Keeping up an exercise routine
Tightening and shaping up the household budget

All easier said than done!
Hope you're enjoying your summer to the fullest!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Awesome Valentine's Cake

    Once in a while I stumble upon Pinterest and find some really great ideas. I try not to go there too often (can become addicting :)

This one idea for a Valentine's cake is a great baking activity for you and the kids!

The Awesome thing about it is you don't need to purchase any heart shaped cake bins if you don't have any already. All you need is a square baking dish and a round one. Then you can bake and build your cake, sealing it together with icing!

I will be trying this one with the kids : ) Yum Yum!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chick-Fil-A Values


The NY Post had a great article on Chic-Fil-A this week entitled Chic-Fil-A values. The owners of Chick-Fil-A in Birmingham, Alabama decided to lend a helping hand and a few hundred Free sandwiches and biscuits, as well as open their doors as a warm place to stay to stranded motorists during last week's ice storm.

Their stance has always been that their values are basically based on Biblical values. Pretty simple and straightforward if you ask me. It doesn't seem like such a bad thing...Helping your fellow human being, treating others with care and kindness, putting it above making a dollar...

We could all use a reminder of basic kindness and concern for our fellow man in a society that focuses so much on selfishness and the 'me, me, me' mentality.

Hearing stories like this are a breathe of fresh air in an otherwise suffocating world. These are the stories you have to seek out because the majority of mainstream media won't carry them.

It's a shame, because we need to be reminded of one of the reasons we are all here for in the first place...to help one another.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How Many Kids Should You Have?



I wish there was a magic formula for answering just how many kids you should have, but there's none.
It really is just up to you, your spouse, and your situation. There is such a great debate between moms over how many children is the perfect number.

People write articles at great length as to why they believe they know what the perfect number of children is. Others write at great length justifying why they personally had one, two, three, or more children like they feel they have to explain it to everyone. Are you kidding me?!

Ignore anyone and everyone who feels they can tell you how many children you should have.

No one can accurately predict or tell you what the perfect number of children is for you and your family. No one has the right to make you feel guilty for not having more kids or for having 'too many'.
And we, as mothers, need to stop beating each other up over this topic and just understand that what is good for me is not necessarily good for you.

Now that I've said all that, I will tell you exactly how many kids are good for you to have...just kidding.

If you look around your home at your kids and you feel like there should be more, have more. If you look around and feel 'OMGosh...this is it', then maybe that's it for you.

I had four kids and I feel we have a pretty full home. Some days I long for the quiet of the days when I had just one or two, but when I think of not having them all it makes me very sad. If you told me years ago that I would have four kids, I would have called you crazy. I feel very blessed (overwhelmed) and blessed.

You know when you're family feels complete. Block out all the outside voices and listen to yourself. That way you'll never look back and regret your decision and you'll be the parent your kid/kids need.

Minimalist Living Vs. Food Hoarding


Do you ever watch those 'reality' shows about people buying tons of stuff and paying very little because of all the coupons they use? I find it amazing and tiring all at the same time.

I do admire their food pantries though. It is amazing how much food they have stashed away! They could feed their families for more than a year! Some may laugh at this, I used to myself, but now I wonder if that isn't such a bad idea. If you're going to hoard anything, it might as well be food.

My philosophy on living has always been along the lines of a simple, minimalistic life. One very much like the type of living Joshua Becker speaks of at Becoming Minimalist. I like to keep very little junk and clutter around the house. The idea of hoarding anything really bothers me, but lately I've seriously been considering putting away a little food and supplies in case of an emergency.

I think everyone with kids should have extra food and water put away in case of emergency or disaster.
Think about it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What Do You Do When a Gunman Enters Where You Work or Shop



Today's unfortunate events at a Baltimore mall bring an important issue to mind...Our safety in public places. Do you know what to do if a gunman enters a place where you are shopping, a movie theater, or your office?

I wish this was something we didn't have to ever think about, but with the realities in today's society it's something we need to have a plan for.

So how do we increase our chances of survival in a situation like this?

According to Matt Maasdam, a former Navy Seal and CEO of Move2Safety, your chances of survival are greatly increased if you do the following:

Exit the Area if you can- As soon as you hear or see something going down do not hesitate. Get out of the premises and away from the danger as fast as you can. If you are only near a window and no doors, break the glass and get out of there.

Move Toward Exits as low as you possibly can- Crouch down and run out. Standing up will only make you more of an easy target.

Do not hide- If you can get out, get out. Hiding when you can escape just makes you an easy target. If you have no exit and are trapped in an area and can lock a door, do so. Turn off lights, silence phone ringers if you can.

If you are trapped- If you are trapped somewhere and can't get out/or are hiding, be ready to confront the gunman if you are found. Get anything you can find (a heavy object, pencils, staplers, boxes) that you can throw in the gunman's face if confronted. Those few seconds of distraction can give you enough time to run for it and save your life.

Hopefully no one reading this will ever be in this situation, but now you can feel a little better having a plan.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Face of Child Sexual Abuse Is Not What You Think


Recently a young woman summoned up the courage to call her teacher on the phone and confront her for allegedly sexually abusing her when she was just 12 years old. This was a very brave move on her part. According to the young woman, she was aware that due to the statute of limitations her time had run out to press charges on her alleged abuser, so the only way for her to seek justice was to expose her abuser on the internet.

This is, unfortunately, the sad reality for many in this country. Often child sexual abuse victims don't get the chance to seek justice and abusers are left to abuse many more victims and destroy many more lives. Many child abuse victims are now adults who never got an opportunity to report their abuser.

Why?

When children are sexually abused they are usually brainwashed, threatened, or frightened into silence. For many it is so traumatic that their only coping mechanism at such a young age is to push the memories to the back of their heads. These memories can stay dormant for years until something later on in their lives (usually adult life) triggers it and brings it back.

By the time child victims of sexual abuse have the courage enough to speak about what happened to them and seek justice they are usually much older and the American Justice system tells them they are out of time.

This has to change. Some states are considering the Child Victims Act which allows victims to pursue justice against past abusers beyond the statute of limitations deadline of two years. It has already passed in Minnesota state. It should have passed in all 50 states by now.

Please educate yourself on it and support it in your state. Maybe we can then drop the child sexual abuse rate from 1 in 5 children to 0 in 5 children.




8 Ways People With Small Kids are Just Like Drugged-Out Rockstars

The other day as I looked at myself in the mirror at about 3 in the afternoon I made a stunning realization. With my crazy hair, dark circles under eyes, and spent look I felt just like a Rock star...a drugged-out rock star to be exact.

Here are a few ways we parents with small kids and drugged-out rockstars are so similar:



1) We sport the same hair. Yes, we all have at one time or another had this very same hair style. Some of us have this All the time.

2) We dress the same. Yes, sometimes all you have time for is a scarf.


3) We hear our name screamed out a thousand times a day. Just like we're on stage at a rock concert.          Except you're not at a concert.




4) We don't know what day of the week it is...or even what time of day it is.

5) We look like we haven't slept in months, maybe years.


6) We spend a lot of time covered in puke.  

7) We wear lots of makeup and dark sunglasses to cover up the red eyes, dark circles, and bags.


8) As soon as the money comes in, it's going out. 


Yeah, cause, you know, we always have plenty cash.

See, we have so much in common!












Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why I Love Tabloid Magazines


Shame, shame on the fashion magazine industry.
A big thing in the news lately has been how drastically women (and men's) bodies are altered for magazines and advertisements.


As a teen, growing up comparing myself to the model's and celebrities' perfect bodies on their covers, I thought I'd never measure up.
I was an avid athlete and pretty thin and tall, but then not knowing that much about how they altered photos, couldn't quite figure out how they got their bodies to look soooo perfect.



The so-called American ideal of beauty is based on trickery and make belief.
This is why I love tabloids. Not the tabloids that spew a bunch of lies but the ones that show lots of photos. Lots of real, untampered photos of what the people who grace the covers of magazines really look like.

On the other hand, I guess if one of our photos was going to be in front of millions of eyes we wouldn't mind them making a little cellulite disappear either. Even high schoolers can have their yearbook photos touched up if they want to. Unfortunately, the entertainment and fashion industry does take it a step too far.

So moms, do your daughters (and your sons) a favor...when they're old enough to start admiring or comparing themselves to the photos in magazines or ads, educate them on the magic of photoshop, airbrush, or whatever else they use now to alter pictures of real people.



...And while you're at it grab a tabloid mag and show them what real celebrities and models actually look like : )

Monday, January 13, 2014

Look Who Showed Up for Work...


This is a story about a school in Queens, NY.
A school where kids go to watch TV and movies all day instead of learning reading, writing, and math. A school where kids don't have gym or art at all.
A school where the no substitutes are hired and kids are divided up between other classes and room for learning is so scarce that kindergardeners are herded into rat infested trailers outside for classrooms.
There are no sufficient school supplies, teachers end up spending their own out-of-pocket money if they choose to do so.
A school where the principal has a No Show record that everyone knows about and not until recently, after The New York Post did a story which Finally started a City investigation, she finally (today) showed up on time for her job.

What a travesty, right? How can this be?- You may be asking yourself these questions, but yet this is the story of many schools around our country. Institutions that we trust to educate our children and prepare them for their future. Government run institutions responsible for preparing, and educating the future of our country.

Schools like this are basically a subpar, free form of babysitting. It's ironic to me that the same government and current administration that wants so much control over our lives and children, can't even handle caring for them properly.

It's no wonder many in America are now Homeschooling, or scraping together funds to place their kids in private schools.

By the way, the picture in the upper left hand corner is the principal who finally showed up for work on time today. We should have a hall of shame for these people.