Wednesday, May 27, 2009


1. FREE MOVIES: Many local theatres offer free family friendly movies once or twice a week. Call your local theatre. Also, many communities show free family movies outdoors!

2. THINK LIBRARY: It's not only cool, it's air-conditioned! Most libraries hold summer reading programs. Libraries also have CD's and DVD's that can be checked out.

3. DAY TRIPS: Check out what is available within a short drive. Museums, aquariums, zoos, outdoor theatre and historical attractions can often be educational as well as fun!

4. CRAFTS: Many craft stores will offer special craft days for kids where kids can go in and create on a Saturday morning. Give the store a call or check their website for schedule information. Hardware stores also offer free how-to sessions for kids.

5. GARDEN: Let the kids have their own garden. Let them plant what they want.

6. EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS: Hikes, bike rides, fishing, tubing, parks and swimming are all great summer activities.

7. CAMP: There are many camps that only last a week or two. The local YMCA is a great source for these. If a sleep away camp is not possible/affordable-do a family weekend camping trip or even backyard camping complete with s'mores!

8. INCLUDE THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Help the kids plan a neighborhood event. Ideas include a water baseball game, water balloon war, scavenger hunt, night flashlight hunting for frogs, etc.

9. SPORTS & LESSONS: Summer is a good time to sign up for sports activities, music lessons and/or dance/gym/martial arts classes. Reward the kids with a trip to a minor league game or local dance recital.

10. HOBBIES & COLLECTING: Support a hobby or collection interest or help start a new one. There are many hobby kits available for purchase or you can create your own. Learning to cook simple recipes, treasure hunting, flower/leaf pressing, collecting baseball cards, coins, or animal bones, etc.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday, May 14, 2009

A dear friend of mine sent this to me and it's a great read for Thoughtful Thursday--

Our Greatest Need

"A few years ago, I was surprised by a longtime client of mine who, out of the blue, remarked that he felt that his life was a failure. His tone was reflective and melancholic, and I could tell that he had given a lot of thought to this feeling before sharing it with me.
A retired, church-going real estate broker, he was in his 80's with two grown children and five grandchildren, all well educated and healthy. His wife of more than 60 years was still by his side, and he was financially secure in his retirement.
So why did he feel like his life was a failure?
He couldn't ignore the cold reality that no one deeply cared about him. He knew in his heart that even his wife and children didn't truly respect, trust, and love him. Sure, his family did what they had to do on special occasions, but the big elephant in the room was the undeniable truth that those closest to him didn't enjoy who he was.
He easily talked about the importance of being loving, humble, forgiving, and compassionate. But several quiet and lonely years of retirement gave him enough time to realize that over the years, for the most part, he didn't really spend too much energy thinking about those around him.
He cared mostly about his socioeconomic status, being respected as a highly educated man, having people treat him like he was someone special, and enjoying his hobbies.
It's hard to forget the sad, defeated look that was on this man's face as he voiced these thoughts. He realized quite late in his life that he had spent most of his adulthood focusing on things that ultimately left him feeling sad and lonely.
I would suggest that our greatest need in life is to feel cared about. We can give lip service to being independent of the opinions of others, but at the end of the day, my belief is that nothing fills us up like knowing - really knowing - that we have the respect and even reverence of those who we deeply love among our family members and friends.
When we know that we have not earned the love of those we love, it's near impossible to experience an emotionally balanced life that has us accessing our best potential in many areas, including our health.
Some might say that we should just be true to ourselves, and that authentic love is unconditional - that if our family members and those close to us don't love us because of our behavior, then those people should just bug off. I, too, would have said just this several years ago.
But the older I get, the more I feel that there is very little unconditional love in our world. For the most part, the love that others feel for us is dependent on how we behave, more specifically, how we treat them.
Put another way, how much we love others depends on how they behave, and how much others love us depends on how we behave. It's the law of reaping what we sow in action at a most basic level.
Unconditional love does exist, as most parents can attest to. For example, if your own child purposefully hurts you or misbehaves in a big way, though it's possible to experience intense anger in the moment, love for your own child doesn't easily shatter and dissolve away.
But with most people, love is fickle in that it's only as strong as the efforts that are exerted to be thoughtful and generous. And perhaps rightly so.
What if you can identify with the retired real estate broker mentioned above? What if you feel some sadness in knowing that your behavior at times in the past has resulted in few people genuinely caring about you?
Be encouraged by just being aware of these realities (should they apply to you). Without awareness of how your behavior has shaped how others feel about you, it's near impossible to improve the quality of your most important relationships."

By Dr. Ben Kim on May 11, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Constipation as described by a 4-year-old

While enjoying a lovely evening and a tasty $5 steak at one of my favorite Clear Lake spots, my son loudly proclaims he needs "to go poo poo." I scanned the tables within ear-shot, gave them apologetic eyes, and promptly took my son to the bathroom.
He told me no poo poo was coming as he patiently sat on the toilet. He looked perplexed. My son then looked up at me and said, "Bum aches are not awesome."
(to which a couple of ladies in the restroom chuckled with agreement)

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Our thoughts should be about MOTHER'S and MOTHER'S DAY!!!

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."- Famous Tenneva Jordan

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." - Inspirational sayings by Washington Irving


- Gift Hampers and Baskets When you wish to pamper your mothers with loads of gifts on the special occasion of Mothers Day, gift baskets make an excellent gift idea. And today you do not need to go shopping for all the goodies one by one as there are several attractive Mothers Day Gift Baskets available in any gift store around you. I SUGGEST FILLING ONE WITH SOME OF YOUR MOM’S FAVORTIES-or theme gift baskets-such as all the fixin's for 17 bean soup, movie night, spa time, etc. One of the best and cheapest baskets I created was using sample perfume bottles I collected from all the perfume counters at Macy's!

- Recipe Book A recipe book is perhaps one of the most adorable gift ideas to try this Mother's Day.

- Mother's Day Gift Flowers As flowers are one of the most popular Mother Day gift, florists come up with a huge range of Mothers Day Flower and Bouquet. Buy the beautiful flowers for mothers day. This would not just reflect your love for your mother but it would also show that you care for her likes and dislikes. Most Popular Flowers: Carnations, Daffodils, Roses, Tulips, Freesia, Pot chrysanthemums, Mixed bouquets.

- Perfume - Perfumes along with flowers are an instant hit with the ladies of all age. Make sure to keep your mothers choice in mind while you shop for Mother Day Perfume. Think about what kind of fragrance she prefers.

- Free coupons Free gift coupons are a well tried gift idea, so pamper her with movie tickets or spa coupons. Gift certificates also form a good idea - let your mom decide what she wants and she can go on a shopping spree.

- Accessories Watches and handbags. You may also gift her suitable folders and file-cabinets/caddies/organizing baskets, etc. to help her keep her items/papers in place.

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