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Little Loves: What Makes A Grandparent?

Little Loves: What Makes A Grandparent?

Oct 16, 2014

By Mo Breden I’m NOT a Grandma. I may never be.  I have made my peace with it, and I sincerely am ok with it.   One of my most ardent desires in life was to be a mother, and I was blessed twice in that regard. I will always count those two relationships, with my daughter and my son, as the most cherished in my life. One of the reasons I have easily made peace with it is because of the “little loves” that have come into my life and have remained.  Most prominently, my great niece and nephew and the two daughters of my daughter’s best friend.  I know I don’t see them as often as a grandmother would, but when I do, it’s all about love and fun and conversations that put me over the moon.   I’m so grateful for these little loves, and I couldn’t love them more if I was their Grandma. In the past few days my great niece had to be hospitalized, I couldn’t be there, but I was there, texting, driving my niece crazy with questions, suggestions, and more questions.  I lay awake last night waiting to hear word about the opinions of the doctors and I’m happy to say, she’s doing much better today. Her symptoms have lessened and she is more back to herself.  I couldn’t have been more concerned, or more scared last night, if I was her Grandma. So, the question begs, what makes a Grandma, or Grandpa, or Mother or Father, for that matter?  It is not solely a matter of genetics, it is a stirring in the soul, it is a spiritual attachment to a child that you love and care about.   These little loves that come into our lives, captivate and stay with us, near or far, and they do not have to be blood relationships. Life frequently does not give us what we want, or what we think we want.  Life surprises you with unexpected gifts in unexpected places and with little loves.   There is, for sure, a lesson in this.  When I don’t get what I want or what I think I should get, I have my little...

Too Old To Trick-Or-Treat? Here’s An Alternative

Too Old To Trick-Or-Treat? Here’s An Alternative

Oct 15, 2014

How old is “too old” to trick-or-treat? According to a poll taken by Today.com, most people think that kids are too old by age 12. Really? Twelve-year-olds are still babies! I get it though. As a person who is less and less inclined to open her door (on a regular day), I don’t enjoy the late-night knocks on Halloween. Never mind the fact that most teens barely attempt a costume, there should be no one ringing doorbells past 8:30 p.m. Once, my friend and I opened the door to a woman carrying a new born. We gave her the candy. She must have needed it. But 12…? Who can even tell anymore? There are 5th graders taller than me! I feel bad that the “cut-off” for children’s activities seems to be getting earlier and earlier. They already grow up so fast. Here are some ideas  if you find your children in the “tween” stages where they still want to go around to houses (but worry about them getingt the cold shoulder): 1. Go with them! It’s still OK to go around with your children and look on as they go up to the door. Seeing a parent at the end of the drive puts people at ease. Make sure your children put some effort into a costume. Dress up with them (at least a little). This is probably the last time trick0-or-treating for your tween, why not make it an event. 2. Throw a fun party at your house. Your tween doesn’t need something elaborate. Have him invite a few of his friends, order some pizza, and put on a a scary(or not so scary) movie. Alexandra always has tons of great movie ideas here and here and here. Everyone can participate in passing out candy to the little ones that come by. Depending on your child, you can have a few pumpkins for carving too. Even though you might get an eye roll, tweens still love those kinds of activities deep down. 3. Tail gate in your driveway. Grab the opportunity for togetherness and have a haunted tail gate. Set out some chairs, play Halloween tunes, and watch the festivities. You can even grill! Some families go...

31 Movie Bad Girls for Halloween Part 3: Kid’s Edition

31 Movie Bad Girls for Halloween Part 3: Kid’s Edition

Oct 14, 2014

With Halloween on a Friday this year the kids deserve to stay up a little later than usual. Have a movie night and give your children a ghoulish treat on the scariest night of the year. I have some movies listed and I will break it down by age groups. Of course as a parent it is up to you to determine which movies are appropriate for your kids. So here are some fun ideas and some movies to go with it to make it a special and  spooky Halloween night. Sometimes the best Halloween night can be in the safety of a home and it can still be creepy fun so we’re gonna make it extra special. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week! For the younger ones (10 and under) Plan to have a special Halloween with the kids. Get together with some other parents and have a progressive evening. At one location feed the kids an early dinner. Sandwiches and chips would be fine. Then off to the next location for a costume party. Have the classic games like bobbing for apples. Then take the kids out trick-or-treating as a group. When the kids are done trick-or-treating then they can go to another of the homes to check their candy and trade back and forth. With that done go to the final location for a very special treat…a Halloween movie party (this can be a sleep over if the parent doesn’t mind) to end an evening full of fun. Make sure to have plenty of popcorn and soda on hand. Movie Suggestions (I am still using dates here to make sure I list 31 movies this month but these movies are meant for Halloween night) October 17 “Casper” (1995) Stars: Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman and Cathy Moriarty Rated: PG for mild language, mild violence and some frightening images. Dr. James Harvey and his daughter Kat are moving into Whipstaff Manor for a brief period at the urging of the  owner Carrigan Crittenden. Dr. Harvey specializes in ghosts and believes he can help them take care of unfinished business and cross over and it just so happens that  Whipstaff Manor is haunted....

Staying Healthy While Navigating Change

Staying Healthy While Navigating Change

Oct 9, 2014

By Jen Kahn You’ve got it all covered. You get up early to go to the gym before work, eat balanced and nutritious meals, meditate daily, and follow your doctor’s recommendations for your age group…but what happens when you go on vacation, get busy at work, move house, have a major life event, or plain old need a change of schedule? Perhaps this isn’t you – you’d like to increase your energy and decrease your risk of health issues, but you don’t know what changes to make, and have trouble getting motivated. Where should you start? Or, you deal with a chronic or serious illness on a daily basis, that requires doctor’s visits, medications, strict dietary guidelines, supportive therapies, and sometimes you need a break from the full-time job you have managing your health. How do you orchestrate that without with compromising your health further? I have a solution for you! This strategy is one I use in my own life, previously informally, until I thought, “Hey, wait a minute, You! “Perhaps others could benefit from this idea. Let’s get it down on paper”…and Health points were born. Health points is not a system where you get points and when you get a lot, you win. Sorry. Health points are the specific points, or health intervention strategies, that you can not compromise on. They are the ones that recharge your batteries and keep you functioning. Have you ever gotten sick the first day of vacation, or the day after handing in a big project at work? If you have, then you were missing some of your health points and probably compromised your immune system a little bit. Have you ever started a new diet or exercise routine and felt like you were doing great, only to completely abandon it almost accidentally, or start back-sliding on your progress? Health points! Missing your health points means getting depleted, it means not spending energy on your highest priorities, and can make a big (negative) impact to your health. The name comes from a term “pain points” which is used in marketing. If you didn’t already know this, many successful marketers start there when putting together language about how...

Interview with Water Bearer Foundation’s CEO, Kimberly Evans

Interview with Water Bearer Foundation’s CEO, Kimberly Evans

Oct 8, 2014

The Water Bearer Foundation raises money to fund scholarships in marine biology, raise awareness about conservation, and educate people about marine life. The founder and CEO, Kimberly Evans, took time out of her busy schedule to talk with the Work Life Balance Protection Agency about her mission. WLBPA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. I think what you are doing is fantastic. I’m curious, what was it that motivated you to start this foundation? KE: The idea actually came from my then 13yr old son,  Demitris. We both have a love for the ocean and marine life. We were having a discussion about college. He wants to do something with the ocean or become a marine biologist. He asked me, “How people become them?” I informed him that college was necessary to go into this field. Which lead him to ask me how will he get into college?  I told him “I was saving for his college through a college savings plan and that he was very lucky to have a grandma that would help as well.” We had a long talk about the usual way of one gets into a college or university. We talked about getting good grades, volunteering, and parents saving for their child’s college funds. Which lead him to ask “What if a person isn’t lucky enough to have a parent to pay for their college?” This is where I explained well there are two other options scholarships/grants or them having to work and pay for it themselves. He then said “Well can everyone get a scholarship? “I told him” No, they have to qualify and there are only so many for different areas.” He goes on to say, “Well that’s not fair! What if someone has the answer to helping our oceans and because they are poor or aren’t lucky enough to get picked, we miss out on their help! We need to help them.” I laughed at him and said “Are you crazy? How in the world can you and I help other people afford college? That is a nice idea but, I am far from rich! “  My son Demitris tells me, “Well there must...

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