Category Archives: Family

10 Summer Activities For the whole family

If your family is going to stay in the city for the summer, do not despair, as you can come up with a number of fun family activities. In today’s post, we will offer you 10 family outdoor activities. As a parent, you may also want to take a look at this post, which talks about how to spend time with benefits for your child’s studies.

  1. Learning something new

In summer, there is a lot of activities to do with kids, which you can do in a fun way. If your son or daughter has never ridden a bike in their life – it’s time to learn how to do this. One of the best bits of parenting advice is to arrange a family outing and call it a learning day. Think of the prizes that will reward the child for success.

You may also teach your child to skate, skateboard, play badminton, frisbee, throw a boomerang, run kites – these sports not only help to have a good time for the entire family, but also contribute to the development of communication skills. Many children are keen on such sports, and this will allow your child to make new friends.

  1. Building a hut

An apartment is not among the fun places for family vacation during the summer heat! Go to the park or, better still, to the countryside, where you can build a new “home”. Recall how in the childhood you would build a hut with the help of rugs and a table, pressing them by means of books to the table top and apply these skills when coming up with weekend activities.

In the park or other family fun places, you may find dry sticks for the frame and roof. As a covering, it is possible to use foliage, a fern, and branches of trees. Be sure to prepare sandwiches and sweets to have some rest after building a hut and spend your first dinner in the new house with your whole family.

  1. Film a movie or a cartoon

Looking for fun activity ideas? Grab the camera and go videotape! However, you may want to come up with a script in advance: you may write it yourself, or you may take a favorite movie as a basis.

Gather the child’s friends, let them distribute the roles, come up with the scenery, find a place to shoot – this will be among the best family recreational activities. You may act as an assistant in their work being a cameraman. This way your entire family can have fun, and the child, in particular, will get the opportunity to do as much work themselves as possible.

If the idea with shooting a movie activity for kids is too complex, you may film a continuation of your favorite TV series or a cartoon, reshoot Harry Potter, or just shoot a video diary, where you and your child talk about things. In a few years, you will find this tape, and it will put a smile on your face.

  1. Stage a show outdoors

In need of some outdoor family activities? It is time to get out! Your family may come up with a play or a sketch: choose music, costumes, scenery and, of course, the play itself. Rehearse in the park, in the yard, in the country – do not stay at home. When you are ready for the public, you will need to take your disused sheets, paint them and make a curtain, draw posters, invite friends and neighbors – long live the street art!

If things go well, the performance can be held several times if you have enough strength and imagination for such family activities. In addition, in summer all local theaters will be on vacation, which means that the competition is minimal.

  1. Treasure search

Take a metal box and put in it your family “valuables” – these can be small toys, letters, coins, clippings from magazines etc. Find fun places to go with family in the yard or city where you can dig up treasures. Then draw up a map and search for treasure!

  1. Go to open concerts and dances

In summer, in any city, there are a lot of different events that take place outdoors which can remedy if you are looking for stuff to do with kids. Such places are concerts, dance lessons, yoga, games. If you lead an active lifestyle, you can attend such events.

  1. Arrange a water battle

What could be more pleasant than pouring water on each other in the heat when it comes to kids activities this weekend? Especially if the sea or any other waterbody is too far away from you. All you have to do is buy a water gun and let the water war begin!

You can also invite the child’s friends over and call their parents if tasked with the “things to do with family” question. Let them get wet through and have fun. We do not doubt that your family will remember such a day for a long time.

  1. Spend the night under the stars

Here are some family night ideas. Everyone knows that a child must go to bed on time. However, sometimes you can make an exception, especially in August, when almost every night, stars fall with dawns coming so early. Get a tent, dry rations, barbecue grill, warm clothes and a couple of sleeping bags and observe the nightly beauty! Spending a night under the sky is also among the top fun activities for students, as they can learn about stars firsthand.

  1. Handmade fair

Think of a task that your child can do. This can be baking a pie, cooking soap or creating pictures and collages, to name just a few fun activities to do. Try to arrange an auction or a fair where you can sell your own things. Money received can be given to your child as their first salary, which they then can use to buy something important and desirable.

  1. Make a photo album and write a book

Teach your child how to take pictures. Let them inseparably walk with the camera and take pictures of everything that seems interesting to them and symbolizes the summer. Every week, you can come up with new tasks. For example, “My City Tour”, “The Cats of Our Yard”, “My Friends”, “The Most Beloved Things”, “How I See My Future” and so on.

It is even more interesting if your entire family takes pictures and then have those printed out. This will give you all the opportunity to sign each picture and make the experience more memorable.

Parenting Tips: 10 Tips For First Time Parents

Raising your own little human is a breathtaking, rewarding, and completely overwhelming task. So if you’re expecting a baby for the first time, you’re probably searching for advice everywhere you can find it. Check out our list of Best Pregnancy Apps in 2018 for help with everything from staying healthy during pregnancy to choosing a name. For help after the baby comes, we’ve rounded up a list of tips for first time parents.

Sleep When The Baby Sleeps (But Don’t Stress If It Doesn’t Work Out)

This is perhaps some of the most common advice for first time parents, and for good reason. The sleep deprivation that can come with parenting a newborn can be quite the challenge. And if you plan on having more kids, this may be one of the few chances you’ll have to sleep when your newborn baby sleeps. Next time around, you’ll have another little one to look after at the same time. So take the chance if you can, but don’t beat yourself up if some days you’d rather get the house in order, take a breather, or just stare at your sweet new bundle.

Never Put Anything In Your Baby’s Crib

Though it’s tempting for new parents to decorate their baby’s crib or bassinet with pillows and stuffed animals to keep the baby company, resist the urge. Studies show that having anything in the baby’s sleep space can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since newborns don’t have the strength to turn themselves over for several months, they need to sleep on their back and have a clear sleep space to keep them safe.

Go Minimalist On The Baby Gear

One of the biggest first-time parenting mistakes is going totally overboard on baby gear, only to find that you don’t need or use half of it. Save the time and money by buying necessities only when the baby first comes. You can always buy things as the need comes up, and it’s better to wait until you’re sure you’ll use the item.

Borrow Baby Gear When Possible

Along with the idea of going minimalist on the baby gear, remember that you can always borrow baby gear instead of buying it brand new. Many baby items will only be used for a few months at best, so you can save a lot of money by borrowing gear from a friend. Baby chairs, jumpers, and activity centers are great examples of items that take up a lot of space, are expensive, and could easily be borrowed from someone you know.

Freezer Meals Are Your Friend

With the hectic schedule (or lack of schedule) that comes with a newborn, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour in the kitchen prepping dinner and doing dishes. Save yourself some grief by prepping freezer meals in advance. Then you’ll only have to exert energy to heat the meal and you’ll still be eating well. And if you really want to operate like a parenting pro, use paper plates and plastic utensils to save yourself from dish duty.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

The newborn stage only lasts for a few months, and every parent who’s been there will remind you to soak up every moment you can. To do so, try not to sweat the small stuff. Let your house get messy. Don’t stress when you’re late to a social outing. By giving yourself permission to not sweat the small stuff, you’ll have a much happier transition into parenthood.

Accept Help

As simple as it sounds, accepting help is one of the best ways to ease into your new life with a newborn. Friends and family will certainly want to offer a helping hand, so when they ask what they can do, don’t be shy about giving them some real suggestions.

Get Dressed And Out Of The House

When you’re in the grind of newborn life, it can be easy to become a homebody without any motivation to get out and about. Though there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, most people feel better if they have some structure to their days. Try to shower, get dressed, and get out of the house most days, even if it’s just for a walk to the park.

Carve Out Alone Time

With the arrival of a new baby, your personal space and alone time goes out the window. Even if you’re loving every moment with your new little sidekick, it’s important to carve out some alone time for self-care. Ask your partner to watch the baby while you take a relaxing bath, or have family watch the baby for an hour while you go out with friends. You’ll feel invigorated and refreshed, and come home loving your baby more than ever.

Track Your Baby’s Milestones

It’s easy to get in the grind of parenthood and only think about surviving, but one of our biggest parenting tips is to record all of your baby’s milestones so you stop to savor the moment. You may think you’ll always remember when your baby first smiled, cooed, or crawled, but almost any parent will tell you how quickly you can forget.

By taking these ten helpful tips for first-time parents into account, you’ll be well on your way to being a parenting whiz. Just remember that above all else, following your intuition and doing what works for you and your baby is most important.

If you’re interested in learning more baby health tips, check out the Owlet blog here.

 

5 Common Health Issues of Elderly Family Members

With age comes wisdom, but unfortunately it also brings some health issues you never had to worry before. Your face gets more wrinkly, your hair becomes grey and you forget things you never used to have trouble remembering. Due to the longer life expectancy, the number of seniors (people over 65) is actually increasing, which is causing a shift in the mindset of the population as more care and attention is focused on the elderly.

And while we cannot stop the process of aging, it is possible to significantly improve the quality of life for senior citizens by understanding the challenges they are faced with, such as the common health issues they suffer from as well as their treatment and potential pain management. Here we are listing the top five most common health issues that affect the senior population.

Arthritis

This the most common health problem experienced by people over 65 with nearly half the population being affected by it in some way. Arthritis is a chronic condition that occurs when the cartilage that covers the ends of bones gets worn out over time, which leads to the bones rubbing together causing pain, inflammation and even swelling of the joint. The joints most often affected are knees, hips, hands and spine. Because of this, a lot of older people are discouraged from being active, but it is important to develop an activity and pain management plan with their doctor and avoid the numerous health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of the age of 65. In addition to the changes in the heart muscle that occur naturally with age, such as the degeneration of muscle cells and blood vessels, there are a number of risk factors that contribute to this condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, use of alcohol and tobacco and insufficient sleep. Fortunately, most of these risks can be reduced with a healthy and balanced diet, regular activity and a good night’s sleep. But when one of these risks factors does manifest, it’s crucial to regularly monitor it and keep in under control, either through a change of behavior or prescribed medications.

Osteoporosis

However, being active at an older age carries the risk of fall-related fractures due to osteoporosis, which is the deterioration of bones because of reduced bone mass and loss of bone tissue. This condition causes the bones to become fragile and brittle, which in turn means they are much more susceptible to fractures, especially of the wrists, hips and spine. These fractures are also more complex and severe than those of healthy bones and require constant care during recovery to make the person comfortable and avoid further injury, so a reliable home doctor is a great idea in case no family members are available. Since there are no symptoms prior to a potential injury, it’s very important to schedule an exam to check if you are at risk before an accident happens.

Cancer

The risk of developing cancer significantly increases with old age for a number of reasons, such as long-term exposure to environmental carcinogens, the fact that cells are more likely to undergo mutations over a longer period of time as well as other elderly health issues masking the symptoms of cancer and preventing a timely diagnosis. Regular prostate exams, mammograms, skin checks and other similar procedures are the key in detecting cancer in the early stages when it can be treated much easily than in the later stages. Additionally, medical advances such as non-invasive treatments have been made that allow for a much higher quality of life for senior citizens living with cancer.

Mental health issues

There are a number of various mental health issues that affect the older population in particular. Depression is one of the most common ones, often due to a perceived lack of purpose after retirement, loss of loved ones, declining health and isolation. Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses that present dementia-like symptoms have a very negative impact on senior’s lives, in some cases leaving them unable to care for themselves. This is why it is important that senior citizens have someone who will check up on them regularly, whether it’s a family member, friend or medical professional, and help them in case they are suffering from any of these conditions.

Seniors will make up 22% of the population by 2050, so it is important to raise awareness about the health issues they are facing so they can enjoy their twilight years in peace. After all, we will all grow old at one point, so creating an environment where senior citizens are supported and taken care of is beneficial for everyone.

Home Alone for the First Time? How to Help Your Child Feel Safe

Before you decide to leave your child unattended, make sure that they’re ready for the responsibility. They may be feeling a little nervous about it even though they tell you that they’re ready. Here are some of the things that you should do to help your child feel a little safer.

Post Contact Numbers

Having someone that they can reach out to can help to quiet some of their fears. They may never actually have to use these contacts, but having them there can make all the difference. Have your work and cell phone numbers on this list as well as someone in the neighborhood that you trust. You may also want to consider posting poison control, the doctor’s office, and 911. Let your kids know that it’s okay to call these numbers if they have a real problem (you may need to define what type of issues that would entail).

Develop a Safety Plan

Have a plan in place for any type of emergency. Practice with your kids what they need to do in the event of a fire or another emergency. You want it to become second nature if something occurs when they’re alone. Seconds count if there is a fire in your home. This can mean the difference between your child getting out in time. Another thing that most people don’t consider is what to do if someone breaks into your home. Talk about this scenario so that everyone is prepared.

Set Guidelines

Have rules about what your child is allowed to do while they’re alone. This may include restricting access to certain areas of your home. Lock up any medications or guns so that your child doesn’t get into them. Stock up on easily ready snacks so that you can limit your child having to cook. Teach your kids not to open the door for strangers. Determine if there are any other things that you don’t want your child doing while you’re out of the house.

Invest in Security

Teach your kids to always lock the door behind them. This can prevent someone from gaining entry into your home. Another thing that you may want to invest in is a home security system, such as those from All Pro Security. This can give everyone a little bit of peace of mind knowing that there is some measure of protection. Some of these systems give you the capability to check up on your kids when you’re not around. Have your kids let you know when they get home from school.

It may be more nerve racking for you the first time that your child is home alone. Develop a plan so that everyone is prepared and can feel good about the situation.

4 House Rules to Keep Your Kids from Literally Ruining Everything

Kids have a way of making the biggest messes in the shortest amount of time. What was once your nicely decorated home now looks like a scene from a horror movie. Here are some ground rules to help you keep your house from being completely destroyed.

Crayons & Markers Are for Paper Only

This is something that you have to strictly enforce. Younger children are notorious for wanting to express themselves on your walls, TV, or anything that’s convenient. There are products that only work on special paper if this continues to be a problem in your home. You might want to consider keeping these implements under lock and key unless you can supervise your little artists. It can be extremely difficult to clean some types of crayons and markers from your walls without having to repaint.

One thing that might help with this rule is to have a designated art area. You can set up a table that has paper and coloring supplies. You can then let your child know that they should leave the supplies there and not take them elsewhere.

No Throwing Things Around the House

Having a no throwing things inside or around the outside of your home policy, can help save you a lot of money from having to replace whatever ends up broken as a result of things being thrown around. If a baseball is carelessly thrown, for example, it could hit a window and break it. This would make it so that you’d have to get a replacement window. A few other things that could easily be broken as well include light fixtures and picture frames.

To help your kids follow this rule, you should keep all balls outside. Not only that, but it might be beneficial to use a consequence system to help your kids to develop a habit of having respect for the home by not throwing things. For example, you could make it so that any toys that are thrown inside are taken away for the rest of the day.

Put Your Things Away

Toys, dirty clothes, backpacks, and shoes can make your home look like a disaster area. Create a place for all of your kids’ things to be stored. This will encourage them to put their things away without you having to threaten to throw it away. Many parents make the mistake of looking the other way when it comes to their kids’ rooms. However, bins, hooks, and cubbies that are the right height for your kids can make it easier for you to teach them this skill.

Furniture Is Not for Jumping On

Your kids may find your furniture to be an enticing place to practice their acrobatic skills. Although it may be a cute thing for them to do at first, don’t encourage it. It can lead to your furniture being broken or even your kids getting hurt. Even the best behaved kids will sometimes forget about not being allowed to jump on your furniture. You may hear the bed rails crack next time your child decides to bounce on the bed. Remind him or her that jumping should be reserved to the trampoline or some other approved method.

Having kids can leave your home a little the worse for wear. You can mitigate some of the destruction by creating rules and creating a child-friendly play area.

Get Going! 4 Benefits Your Family Will Get From Traveling This Summer

Going on a family vacation can be a fun adventure. There are many different ways to incorporate the whole family in every aspect—including the planning and initiating of various activities. Families who vacation together will remember the experience for many years to come. It is a great opportunity to put aside work, school, and other such cares of the world to focus on each other and your relationships. Focusing on that and more, here are four benefits that your family will get from traveling together this summer.

Grow Closer Together in Your Family Relationships

As mentioned above, taking a trip together is a great way to work on your relationships. Parents can take the opportunity to see the world through their children’s eyes as they show them new things to experience. Siblings can grow closer together as they run together on the beach, hike together or do whatever your traveling adventure entails. Bonding together can be difficult for some siblings. This is especially true if there is an age gap. A family vacation, however, solves that issue as your family participates in activities that children of any age could enjoy.

Help Everyone to Learn Planning Skills

There are a lot of things involved when it comes to planning a trip. You have to know where you’re going, how much you will spend, and build an itinerary of the things that your family would like to do on the various days that you’ll be traveling. You can turn this into an educational experience by giving one of your older children the responsibility of planning one of the vacation days. Give them a budget for that day and have them figure out where you all will be eating at and what activities you’ll be participating in under that budget.

When it comes to planning, you’ll also need to figure out where you will be staying. If you’re in New York, for example, you may want to look at places to stay in the Hamptons. If you’re elsewhere, you can look for other unique places to stay the night at. Of course, you don’t always need to go for the most luxurious venue, but it can be fun to do so if you’re celebrating a special occasion while traveling—such as a holiday or birthday.

Get a Mental Health Break

Everyone needs a break. We’re not all robots, after all. If the cares of the world—work, school, and family responsibilities—seem to consume you in a way that take a toll on your mental health, then listen up! It is time for you to take a break. Sure, traveling can be stressful in itself, but it’s a different type of stress. It will still feel good to take a break from the type of stress that you face every single day.

Let the kids take a break from homework and soccer practice. As a parent, you’ll be able to take a break from juggling everyone’s schedules and getting everyone to wherever they need to be. While vacationing as a family, you’ll all be on the same schedule.

Also, this is a great opportunity to leave work behind—especially if you’re the type of person who has a hard time leaving it at the office. Turn off your work phone, put your email app on your phone to sleep for a few days, and let work stay at work. Just enjoy your family and the peace and comfort that comes from knowing that you’re surrounded by people you love and who love you in return.

The Opportunity to Make Memories Together

With all the planning and vacationing, your family will be making beautiful memories. Make the memories last by having each member of the family make a drawing of their favorite experiences during your travels. You can keep these in a journal or scrapbook. Along with that, you may also choose to have each person write about their favorite part of the trip. This way, you will be able to look back on the wonderful time you had on vacation for years to come.

As you can see, there are benefits of traveling together with your family. A few other benefits include learning experiences, seeing places you’ve never seen, and broadening your worldview. Honestly, the list of benefits is probably endless. As you plan your travels with your family, talk about what you want to get out of the trip. As you consider the benefits that you’d like to glean, you’ll be better able to plan the most perfect vacation for your family this summer.

How to Make Every Day a Family Day

If you’ve ever attended a new year’s party, chances are good you’ve heard the phrase ‘new year, new you.’ While most people set up audacious goals, I like to try keeping mine realistic, specific and manageable. One thought that came to mind was finding a few unique ways to spend time with my family. Here are some ideas to spend time together:

Volunteer more

Volunteering as a family teaches your children the importance of giving back and helping others. Inspiring them to do so also helps your family appreciate your own blessings and increases your child’s primitive empathy. This increases social and emotional self-awareness to build better relationships. Working together as a family is the perfect way to bond and create lasting memories, and there are so many opportunities to get involved in your own community! Start here and get inspired to make a difference!

Have a family night

I know I’ve mentioned this idea before, but it’s one that never gets old. Bring out the board games, make some snacks and watch movies! I know it can sometimes be difficult to find options for all ages in your family. Pure Flix offers a wide selection of wholesome, family-friendly movies everyone can enjoy. They even offer free homeschooling resources such as documentaries and cool science shows.

Spend more time outside

There are so many ways to have fun outdoors for a family day. Plan a picnic, even if it’s just in your backyard! Let everyone pick their favorite dish and make it together beforehand. For some fresh air, enjoy it at the park or the beach. Let the kids run around and play tag or start a game of ‘I Spy’ to keep them entertained.

Let your kids pick what you do

Whether it’s going to the zoo or a museum – your kids are sure to pick something fun! Look for fun things to do around town, set a budget and then hand them the reins. Allow them to plan the entire day by picking out places to eat and where to visit. Giving them some control empowers your children to feel independent, proud, and helps them cultivate leadership skills. Who knows, they might even pick something you would never have thought of doing!

Get moving

Get your bodies moving and sign-up for a Family Fun Run! Whether it’s a 1k, 5k, or 10k – get a group together and work toward the goal. It doesn’t have to be competitive either because the main goal is to finish together! The distances set up for these races are generally appropriate for kids and many encourage walking. Achieving a goal together as a family will boost your kid’s willingness to tag along for future activities.

Look at old photo albums together

This is a fun way to reflect on all the memories you’ve made together as a family. Laugh at old, embarrassing pictures, see how much you’ve grown and how things have changed. It’s important to remind your family to count their blessings and be thankful for one another. This is also a great time to break out the camera and take a few new family photos together! Whether it’s at the dinner table or at a park – dress up and take as many as you want. The best part is you can pick and choose which pictures to get developed, making sure to preserve your favorite moments for years to come.

Make a bucket list

This idea is totally customizable and easy for the whole family to participate in for a long time. Create a bucket list everyone can agree on and then set aside a day to knock a few activities off the list. Whether it’s visiting all the U.S. National State Parks or riding in a hot air balloon, write down things you’ve always wanted to do and check them off. They don’t all have to be extravagant so categorizing might be helpful. A new year is a time to make goals together and there’s no better way than making a plan of action.

Create a Time Capsule

Get crafty and create a time capsule filled with memories picked out by your family. A box filled with mementos is perfect for opening years from now. You can put pictures, written letters, advice, receipts, old toys, report cards, certificates, tickets, and other knick-knacks that’ll be a surprise to open up. A fun idea is to write a questionnaire for each family member to answer! Once you’re done, seal it up and put it somewhere safe and dry…and where you won’t forget about it!

Allocating a day just for the family is a great excuse to spend even more time with those you hold closest. Life gets busy at times, but occasionally you need to take a deep breath and take a step back. Whatever plans you have, make sure to take a day for family and work together to make it a great year full of memories! If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my family outings ideas for 2018.

Learning from TV: 4 Valuable Lessons “This Is Us” Teaches Families

The NBC series This Is Us is currently one of the top TV series being watched right now. The show follows two generations of the Pearson family as they go through a multitude of life challenges: adoption, race, a devastating past, a complex family dynamic, etc. Fans are drawn to its realistic, sensitive portrayal of relationships that real people experience every day. Beyond its feel-good message, though, the show has more than a few teaching moments for its viewers. Here are just a few of those lessons

Mental Health Is Important

Perhaps the biggest examples of this comes from Randall’s story lines. As a newborn, he was left abandoned at the fire station by his drug-addled father. Although he was adopted by the Pearsons, Randall still has problems opening up to others and struggles with being a perfectionist. Both of these issues have impacted Randall’s relationship with his brother Kevin. Randall feels mounting pressure as season one progresses. It beings to seem like his whole life is falling apart. He finally suffers a breakdown in his office. Touchingly, Kevin sets aside his own work to support Randall.

Randall’s collapse is handled with incredible care. By not writing it off, This Is Us demonstrates that helping a loved one with mental health concerns is simply the loving thing to do. In our hardest times, it is those we love the most who we should lean on for support.

Dieting Isn’t Always the Answer

Kate Pearson has had a lifelong struggle with her negative body image. It’s rooted in her tendency to compare herself with her mom Rebecca. She begins attending a weight loss support group where she ends up meeting her boyfriend Toby, a man who loves her for who she is in ways that she has yet to learn how to love herself.

Through her experiences, the show explores the emotional relationship to food that many obese people struggle with. Yet, it doesn’t present the idea that dieting is a cure-all, much less a quick fix. Instead, for Kate, the solution is learning to communicate her needs and knowing her triggers. This develops her self-confidence and, ultimately, helps her to accept herself—heavy weight and all. Of course, that’s not something that happens overnight and isn’t a stable concept. For Kate, accepting herself is something that she has to struggle through and learn how to do every day. With that, there are triumphs and setbacks—just like people in the real world.

Preserve Family Memories

The show’s flashback style illustrates how the past can affect current and future relationships. The Pearson children are always learning more about their parents’ lives. Whether it’s a photo album or asking a tough question, these siblings know that understanding their family history brings them closer together. As they learn more about where they come from, they learn more about who they are and why they are the way that they are. Learning about the past then helps them to conquer the struggles that they face on a daily basis.

Don’t Ignore Fire Safety

In season three, the show finally answered one lingering question. Viewers learned that Jack Pearson died from health complications after a house fire. The most tragic thing, however, was that his death could have been prevented. It turns out that the Pearson family had been using an old crock pot with defective wiring. Not only that, they kept forgetting to replace the batteries in their fire alarms. This dramatic example is sure to encourage the audience to double-check their own homes.

Yet, that fire isn’t what killed Jack entirely. When Kate started screaming for her beloved dog, Jack felt the fatherly need to make his daughter happy. He had never been able to bear the idea of Kate hurting, and so he braved the fire and ran back in. He ended up saving the dog, but the extra inhalation of smoke ended up leading to a widow-maker’s heart attack. Because of that, Kate will always live with the guilt that she may have been the cause of her father’s death on that Super Bowl Sunday.

As you watch the Pearson family’s lives develop and story unfold, you become engrossed in their lives. The show is not only fun, but it is educational and teaches us real life lessons about how our past, present and future connect and impact who we are as well as the relationships that we invest in.

Ultimate Coffee Date

Hello friends!

So, it being Saturday, it’s time for a quiet cup of coffee with some friends. Get your cup and sit down for a few minutes.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how happy I was to just be out of the house and having coffee with a friend. I’ve been really sick for the last two weeks. After catching the flu that was going around, I thought I was better. Then I came down with a secondary infection of every kind – sinus, ears, bronchitis, it covered all the areas.

Even a few days of steroid treatment thrown in. Oh, and then after a few days on one antibiotic, I got switched up to something more serious because the first one wasn’t working. I really don’t ever remember being this sick and exhausted and completely out of it.

I’m thankful that while my entire family got the flu, I am the only one that got beaten to a pulp. They all had 2-3 days of fever and a lingering cough, still not fun. It did give me time to collect and publish my favorite food memes though.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if the germs have been staying away from you this winter. I certainly hope so, it was horrible.

I would tell you that my family is starting to plan our summer vacation. It seems like a good time to do it, when it is cold and miserable out, and because we were all sick, it gives us something nice to think about.

We are thinking about a road trip, to Oregon, just checking out the scenery and we want to do it in an RV, so we will rent one and just live on the road! I’m pretty excited. Think we might try to go river rafting too. Something pretty mild, we aren’t super crazy adventure types. But if any of you have any must-see places in Oregon for us, please let me know.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you enjoy yoga as much as I do, as I find it to be a really nice balance to the other exercise I do, I particularly like it when I am stressed, or can’t get out to run. It firms muscles and relaxes me at the same time, and loosens up all my muscles, as well. It’s the perfect exercise.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that tomorrow is my Moms Run 5K/10K race. We are all meeting near the beach for our run. I will tell you that I have no business even walking a 5K right now after being so sick, but I did sign up for the run and I’m going to go and cheer on all my lovely lady runner friends. I’ll take some pictures and get some fresh air, it’ll be the first time in 2 weeks.

If you are reading this from my area, I hope to see you there.

Until our next coffee break.

 

 

9 Ways to Enhance Family Love

These days, it seems like everyone in the family is busy with something. After school activities, extra hours at work or maybe just that next game of Candy Crush. And while we’re together, are any of us really embracing quality time anymore? When I noticed last year that my family was all in the same room physically, but on completely different planets mentally, I knew something had to give. So, we stepped up our game with a few key changes.

  1. Technology-free Dinner!

Often, families gather around the TV, plates in hand, with hardly a word passed between them the whole mealtime. As simple as it sounds, having your family sit around the table at dinnertime – sans phones – is an amazing way to connect after a long day. Your kids may be reluctant at first, but opening up by just talking about your day, sharing things with them, and taking a genuine interest in their lives, can go a long way.

  1. Asking Open-Ended Questions

Think about it. When you ask someone if they had a good day at work or school, you’re inviting one of two answers: yes or no. What if, instead, you asked them, “What happened at school today?” Asking questions in this open way invites their opinions, observations, and reactions to the day’s events. You’d be surprised how much open-ended questions improve all of your relationships, which brings me to my next point…

  1. Ask Three Key Questions Before Bed

For years, my family and I have asked each other the following three questions before bed:

  • What went well for you today?
  • What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  • What do you want to dream about tonight?

Asking these three questions each night has brought me closer to my family in ways I didn’t anticipate. Encouraging this exchange is not only a great way to reflect on the day, it also provides fantastic insight into what’s going on in someone’s life. Sometimes, the only good part of your kid’s day could be getting off the bus and coming home. And that’s okay. Checking in like this each night is an excellent exercise in gratitude that will give you a glance into what your teenager, husband, or elementary-schooler is thinking.

  1. Remember – You Were a Kid Once, Too!

As adults, it’s all too easy to forget that we once made the same impulsive choices, had the same overflow of feelings, and thought seemingly inane things were the end of the world. Take a step back. If your child or teen seems distraught, don’t roll your eyes at what they’re experiencing. Instead, recognize that – although something is no big deal to you – it is meaningful to them. Use those open-ended questions to help them navigate what they’re going through. While you’re remembering that you were a kid once, too…

  1. Share Stories with your Family

One of the best ways to remind your kids that you are, after all, a human being is to share honest stories of your childhood/teen years with them. Growing up, my mom always shared stories – embarrassing, painful, or hilarious – with me about her own life when she was my age. Hearing these stories made it easier for me to see her as a human being, and easier to trust her when it came time for me to seek advice about the big stuff. Letting your kids in on your own flaws makes it easier for them to share their own mistakes with you, too.

  1. Give Genuine Compliments

Acknowledging what your family does that brings joy to your life is one of the simplest things you can do to make the people you love happy. Has your husband been picking up his old guitar more recently? Is your daughter always telling jokes that crack you up? Let them know. Something as simple as telling your daughter she’s funny can go a long way. And who knows? Maybe telling your husband you enjoy hearing him play will inspire him to go to an open mic night and share what he loves doing with others.

  1. Learn About What Interests Each Other

An easy, but often-overlooked, way to promote love is through being interested in what interests your family. If your children have been hooked on a certain musician, ask them to send you some songs. Read an article about what they’re into, or watch TV shows that they’ve been watching. Too often, children’s and teens’ interests aren’t validated by their parents. Letting them know that what interests them is important to you can empower them and encourage them to share. Growing up, I was always encouraged to share music with my parents, and in return, I was receptive to their music. It was one of our best topics of conversation, and I am grateful for continuing this tradition with my own family today.

  1. Stay Open Minded

Being open to whatever new idea, political thought, or perspective your children bring to the table is the best way to foster communication, trust, and love. Listen to your children. You may be surprised, inspired, and moved by what they have to say.

  1. Say “I Love You”

The simplest, easiest way to promote love is just by saying it! Let your family know you love them. Tell them why. And – most importantly – say it when there’s nothing big going on. Not to end an argument, or to give reasoning for something. Tell your husband that as he makes pizza sauce. Tell your daughter that when she’s doing her homework. Those three words hold more power than any other in the English language.

Now, I’m curious about what you do to encourage your family to love each other. What ideas do you have for promoting family love? Let me know in the comments below!