Not a Religion, A Relationship

Tracey Heslip

Tracey Heslip

I’ve been thinking about this month’s blog for the last week. I always pray about what topic I’m going to write about and this is what the Lord has laid on my heart. Here it goes…

There are four mommy bloggers and if you have been following us you have learned a little about us. We are all happily married, we all have children, and we all have faith. We have all shared stories about our families, saving tips, and how we manage our children.  You may think we paint a rosy picture of the perfect housewife and mother, and it may be hard for some of you to take us seriously because of where you are at in your life.

You may be a single mother, or you are in a bad marriage, or perhaps you have teenagers that you find very hard to love. I would like to offer you encouragement. I don’t have all the answers to what you may be going through; however, I would like to tell you that you are not alone. I would say to you, think positive and surround yourself with positive people.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to others that may be able to help you. There are people in the community that would love to help. If you were to ask anyone of us mommy bloggers we would tell you that we draw a lot of our personal strength from our faith. Owosso has a lot of wonderful churches.

I’ve heard people say many times that they don’t want to go to church because of all the hypocrites there. I’m not saying because I believe in God that makes me perfect, far from it. What I am saying is that church gives you a sense of belonging. Churches have outreach programs that may fulfill a need in your family.

Give it a try!!! There may be a lonely grandmotherly lady that would love to adopt a family, or a gentleman who was a “wild child” in his youth that would love to take your teenage son under his wing and show him the error of his ways.

When it seems that you have nowhere else to turn, try church. Find a place where you feel comfortable and at home. The saying in my family is: It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products, or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Blissful Bedtimes and Catching Some Zzzzzzzs

Marianne Stuart

I want to talk about our kids and sleep. Sleep is highly underrated. Ask any exhausted mom. I have a few suggestions that can make your evenings and nights more enjoyable.

Nighttime Newborns
I have had many moms ask me how to get their newborns on a better sleep schedule. I think we all might have had a baby that gets its days and nights mixed up. My mother, who raised 14 children, gave me some great advice years ago.

 

  • Daytime naps should be in a common room and well lit. A darkened, quiet room is more conducive for longer periods of sleep which we want to encourage at night.
  • Now this next tip is the most important thing I am going to tell you. Do not make eye contact or talk to your baby during a night waking. I don’t care how cute they are, they ARE super cute, but they can drive you to insanity if they won’t sleep. Talk and eye contact are very stimulating for a baby and now you might have a wide awake baby that wants to be up for long while.
  • Another thing I am learning about babies is that it is a good thing to lay them down drowsy and not totally asleep. This allows them to go to sleep without you, a bottle or pacifier being a crutch that is needed every time in order to fall asleep. I heard an analogy that made so much sense: If a baby needs to be nursed to sleep always then when they wake up in the night they don’t know how to fall back to sleep except by nursing to sleep. The same applies to bottles, pacifiers, etc. It is like you falling asleep with a pillow and then waking up without it. Imagine how hard it would be to have your pillow taken away.

Toddlers and Routines
Toddlers thrive on routine. In our home we have an evening routine. We have the younger kids get ready for bed and then call everyone into the family room for prayers. This takes about five minutes. Nightly kisses are given out and the younger children know they have to go to bed. If we skip prayers then we have little ones that keep coming into our room because they don’t remember if they kissed us goodnight. Other routines can be a bath, pajamas, teeth brushed and then having a story read to them. I would like to tuck them in and see them in the morning. It isn’t always this easy for some little ones. They might want to get out of bed many times. I recommend keeping them in their crib until they start climbing out. Sure, the toddler beds are cute, but now you have a child that can get out many times before they fall asleep. I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day I am so ready to have some down time with my husband. Once they are in a big bed that they can crawl out of bedtime gets more challenging. If they climb out, just take them back and tell them that it’s time for bed. Don’t elaborate, less words are better. Do this until they fall asleep, even if it takes 20 times. Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart and this is one of the big challenges. Win this battle! Don’t let that little one win or you might find yourself losing bigger battles.

Elementary Age
I find grade school children an easier age group but they do need some unwind time. My kids love to read in bed with a book light. Some of our children went through spells and didn’t want to stay in bed. We would hear the patter of feet running down the hall to climb into bed with a sibling. One of us, usually Daddy, would camp out in the hallway and send them back to bed when they tried to sneak out. After a few nights they got the idea.

Tired Teens
Teens are wired more like night owls. Unfortunately, school starts too early for most of them to keep such late hours. One advantage we have found with homeschooling is that online classes don’t usually start until after 9:00am. There are a few things we can do to help our teens get more sleep. Dimming the lighting and some nighttime tea are helpful. Limiting computer and tv a few hours before bedtime also helps. I encourage them to read in bed or work on a craft project. My girls are really enjoying knitting and crocheting. When the opportunity arises I will let my teens sleep in, but not so late that they miss a meal. I still have a teenager that fights me on this one but I am working to win this battle! =======================================================================
Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Fight Those Seasonal Bugs with Fowl Brew

Tracey Heslip

by Tracey Heslip

This is the time of year that people are fighting the cold and flu. One home remedy that has been a favorite of mine is homemade chicken soup. It has the ability to just make you feel better.

Anytime you have chicken or turkey as a meal you can save the carcass. I put them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. When I have someone in the house with the sniffles, I pull out a couple of carcasses, put them in a big stock pot with some onions and celery, add a few seasonings, and boil it. As the water evaporates I’ll add more. You can use your own judgment on how long you boil it down. Some days I simmer all day or other days I will boil for an hour. This boiling process pulls all the vitamins and flavor out of the bones.

After you remove the bones, the possibilities are endless. You can just add noodles and seasoning to taste or use the broth for rice dishes, potato soup, bean soup, etc. — I could go on and on.

So never throw away your carcasses…make “fowl brew!”

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products, or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

 

Keep Those Lines of Communication Open With Your Children

Laura Jafri

by Laura Jafri

There are so many challenges to being a parent and raising children, especially in today’s society. It’s so important to keep communication lines open with our children.  Growing up in present times is so different from the days when I was a child.

There is so much out there available to our children. The internet is a wonderful creation but it can be a curse too. I can think of so many times that I have Googled something and a million options pop up. A very innocent search can invite a number of unwanted answers.  I cringe to think of how many
times that may happen to my children.  It takes a lot of supervision to raise a responsible child.  

My friend, Marianne, touched on this wonderfully in her last blog.  At our house, computers are not allowed in our children’s bedrooms.  Video game systems also must be in a common area of the house.  My kids always have to ask if they want to use the computer or play a game.  My oldest son has a television in his room.  We put it there because my elderly mother stays in his room when she comes to visit.  She likes a TV in there in case she has trouble sleeping at night. My son is not allowed to watch TV in his room unless he asks.  He rarely does because my kids really only use their rooms to sleep in.  We also have a block on all our televisions in the home. If the program exceeds a TV14 rating, it requires my husband or myself to punch in a code.

So how does this all relate to talking to our kids?  I want my kids to always feel that they can talk to me about anything.  I’m not stupid.  I know that there will always be things that my kids don’t tell me or ask me.  However, I want them to know that they can always come to me.  They should feel that they can talk to me or ask me anything.  My children are still young.  I know that the tougher days are ahead of me.  I have tried to lay down a foundation so that when the day comes, they will come to me.  I am starting to see the benefits of this with my oldest child.  He is a teenager now and the difficult questions in life are starting to surface.  I don’t want my kids to learn about life from the World Wide Web.  I definitely don’t want them to learn from their friends.  I think that it is great to have friends to talk to, but I have no idea what values have been instilled in them, so why would I want my kids to learn from other people’s parenting?

I have always told my kids that it is so important to talk about their feelings. Even my 9-year-old approaches me sometimes and says, “You know how you said I can talk to you about anything?” I even got to use that line on him this week when he did something I didn’t appreciate.  

I hope I’m doing the right thing.  I’m learning as I go along this parenting journey.  I guess I figure it can’t be too bad to take the time to talk to, and truly listen to, our children.  I learn just as much from them as they learn from me.

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

10 Fun Ways To De-Stress After The Holidays

Lori Vacek

by Lori Vacek

I don’t know about you, but most of my life is about taking care of everyone else’s needs. And this Christmas season was especially busy and stressful. I find myself feeling neglected and frazzled. Fun and relaxation are the best ways for me to recharge.

  1. Eat a whole box of Andes Creme De Menthe candies all yourself! Hide them on your dresser and eat them when the kids aren’t looking. Sharing is prohibited! There are 12 in a box, so if you make quick work of it you can do it in 24 hours easily!
  2. Let your 12-year old put feather extensions in your hair! At 48, I feel too old for this fad, but hey, why not! (We put a kit together for Carman for do-it-yourself feather extensions for Christmas.)
  3. Take lots of naps. Take naps in the mid-morning, afternoon, and even before dinner!
  4. Watch an hour or so of Kandee Johnson make up tutorials on YouTube. She is bubbly, upbeat, and delightful to watch. And I have a great time trying her tips!    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQoEv__ovAk.
  5. Take a long, luxurious bath. Sometimes it’s hard to even find the time to do it, but make time. Use a fantastic smelling body soothing additive. I love one with all natural ingredients. Eucalyptus is known for its excellent de-stressing properties. Use extra hot water and bring a pumice stone, shaver, body brush, extra conditioning hair mask, a scented candle, soft music and an extra soft towel. Then give yourself the full treatment head-to-toe! I did this yesterday and I feel fantastic!
  6. Watch a romantic period movie or PBS series. I love Jane Austen or Bronte sisters movies. And I was delighted with the PBS miniseries, Cranford.
  7. Read a classic novel you have never read before. I buy condensed kid-version novels from the 1970s and have read about 30 of them from Robinson Caruso, to Withering Heights, to Moby Dick. My favorite is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I have always wanted to read the classics and this has given me a lot of fulfillment. I also love American Girl mysteries. What I like is I can read these in a day or so and go on with my work. (These short easy-to-read versions give me kind of snippets of time, which is about all I can manage sometimes.)
  8. Girlfriend time! I love talking to my dear gal in North Dakota; hangin’ with Marianne Stuart and enjoying a good micro-brew; Monday nights with good friends; and crying and laughing with my daughters, Megan, Carman, Erica.
  9. Write a blog. One of the ways I de-stress is by writing my blog for Memorial Healthcare.
  10. Spend time with those you love. I love spending leisurely time with my Jim, the dearest husband ever. We love an afternoon of errands, thrift stores or estate sales, lunch then home for a nap till kids get home from school.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

Get Up Off The Couch Parenting

 

Marianne Stuart

Sometimes it isn’t convenient being a parent, but convenient or not, there is work involved in raising our children. Years ago my husband, Guy, and I went to a seminar about parenting. The woman talking was raising eight of her own kids. Some were old enough to date and some were still little. We are now in the same boat. Our children are from 14 months to 19 years old. After hearing her talk, we gathered our children and had a meeting with them.

 

He Picked You

God made us the parents of our children. He picked US to raise them. This is what we told our kids when we had our family meeting the day after our seminar. From now on when we asked a child to do something, we expected it to be done right away.  We call this “Right Away Obedience.”  We don’t give three tries like one popular parenting method calls for. We expect our request to be done the FIRST time. If obedience can be achieved the third time it can happen the first time. How novel.

The picture is from our recent to trip to Rome for my brother's ordination. He was ordained a Catholic priest on Dec. 12. in Rome, Italy. It was an amazing experience! I am so glad we were able to take the kids even though it was a lot of work.

Inconvenience Yourself

We have all been there. We are sitting down enjoying a movie or a conversation and something happens that requires our attention. We can sit and ignore it or get up and handle the situation. I call this “Get Up Off the Couch Parenting.” You might have to pause your movie, ask your friend if you can call them back, or put your coffee down, but good parenting requires us to inconvenience ourselves and put in the work needed for our children to become enjoyable creatures.  

Now Go do Your Job

This parenting technique might involve more than physically getting up to handle our duties. It might mean checking our kids email, phones, texts, social media, and talking with their teachers. We can’t expect others to raise our children for us. God picked us to be their parents, now go do your job.

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

 

What’s Your New Year’s Resolution

By: Tracey Heslip
Memorial Mommy Blogger

This is the time of season when people start to think about the New Year.  What kind of commitments or resolutions are they going to make?  I would like to share some helpful tips and links to help you with one of the most common New Year’s resolution, weight loss.

This past August I was really not feeling well and went to the doctor. After several tests, we found out that my gall bladder doesn’t work.  During a consult with Dr. Nathan Tomita, we decided that I would keep my gall bladder but change my diet to see if the pain I was having would go away.  After one week on a very low-fat diet, I could tell a major difference.  Not only were my food choices low-fat, I was also eating less.

Two years ago I had given up fast food and I had already felt that my food choices were good.  I wasn’t eating a lot of processed food or dairy. Now when I say fat-free, I’m not talking about going shopping and buying everything you normally would just in the fat-free option.  I’m talking about cutting way back on portion sizes and reading labels. You’d be surprised at what the fat content is in some of your favorite foods.

Almond milk has been a huge help in transitioning to my new way of eating and is my new favorite food.  It has a lot of vitamins and comes in dark chocolate.  My family can sit down and eat a bowl of ice cream at night and I can get a glass of almond milk and not feel deprived.  If you’d rather try rice milk or soy those are options also.

Another huge help has been myfitnesspal.com. It works like Facebook where you can add friends and encourage each other.  There are different privacy settings that you can choose if you want people to be able to view your food diary or not.  My name on fitness pal is jtheslip.  Feel free to ask to be my friend so we can encourage each other throughout the year. The thing I like most about myfitnesspal.com is the food diary. It automatically figures your daily target calorie intake by using your height and weight measurements.  You fill in your food diary and it gives you a complete breakdown of fats, sugar, carbs, sodium, and protein. This will totally amaze you!!! It also has an exercise log and it will calculate how many calories you’ve burned.

I’ve lost over 20 pounds and I feel great! I’m not done losing; I have a long way to go. This is only the beginning. The year 2012 will be the year of exercise for me as I plan to supplement my healthy eating with keeping my body in motion.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What will your New Year’s resolution be?

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Disclaimer
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products, or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.