special tricks and treats …

Tonight, a lot of creatures will visit your door.  Be open minded.

The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills.  The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues.  The child who does not say “trick or treat” or “thank you” might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute…. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech.  The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have a life-threatening allergy.  The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism.

Know that they are thankful in their hearts and minds.

Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It’s everyone’s Halloween.

Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child.

Here’s a great tip before you venture out with your little spook: (via)

Practice trick or treating with your child ahead of time at your own door.  Take your child to the Halloween section of a store and explain that people wear all kinds of costumes.  Talk about the kinds of scary or funny costumes you might see.  If you think your child might be afraid during trick or treating, try making a game of it (e.g. Let’s see how many witches we’ll see today). This will help keep your child’s mind off the scary faces.

And a HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL Y’ALL!!!!!

kooky cucumbers…

Aaahhh….who doesn’t love the crisp cucumber?  Ok, maybe you are out there somewhere, but there are some interesting benefits of this delish vegetable fruit!  (scientifically it’s a fruit, but it really doesn’t matter now, does it?  Can’t we all just get along?)

Here are a few benefits! (via)

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns just like aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.  Though don’t expect a wig overnight…

4. Fight cancers – Cucumbers are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol.  (Aren’t those big words?) These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up.  Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache…or just don’t drink too much the night before and have them in a salad.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain –Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

When buying cucumbers, choose the ones that are firm to touch and dark green in color. Do not buy overly matured or yellow colored as they are prone to contain more insoluble fiber and mature seeds. Go for organically grown cucumbers to get a rich taste and nutritients content.

How about a facial cleanser that is great for delicate or sensitive skin?  (adapted from Natural Beauty for All Seasons)

 Refreshing Cucumber and Chamomile Cleanser

2 Tbls. fresh cucumber juice (see note below)

1 cup chamomile tea

1 Tbls. glycerine

1 Tbls. aloe vera gel

Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea using distilled water.  Let cool.  Once cool, mix together the cucumber juice, chamomile tea, glycerin and aloe vera gel.

TO USE:  Saturate clean cotton ball with the cleanser and smooth over your skin.  Repeat if necessary.  You may rinse with cool water and use a light moisturizer.  Store in the fridge because the cucumber juice will spoil easily.

NOTE:  To make fresh cucumber juice, puree a fresh cucumber in a blender or food processor and strain the green juice.

See??  They’re not just for salads anymore!!

your kid’s lunchbox…what’s inside?

Little Bobby backed up?  Well, with school starting up for most kids in  AZ, we need to be sure that we have lots of fiber in his lunchbox!

So one of the best ways to keep your child regular and promote his digestive health is to feed him plenty of fiber. Instead of sitting him down at the counter with a big bowl of sugary cereal, try these dietitian-approved, kid-friendly snacks and lunch items that will go down easy in every way. ( via WebMD)

Homemade Trail Mix

Help kids make their own trail mix by putting out bowls of dried fruit, nuts, or seeds along with a higher-fiber cereal, and mixing them up into to-go containers or plastic bags, recommends Louise Goldberg, RD, LD, owner of An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting in Houston, Texas, and formerly a dietitian at the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Houston Medical Center. (Just be sure to minimize the sugary “treat” ingredients, like chocolate chips or other candies.)

Flavorful Fruits and Veggies

Many fruits and vegetables are high in fiber –particularly with the skin on. If your child resists them, try making them fun by spearing fruit and veggie slices onto a kebab, or making a face with sliced-up fruits and veggies, suggests Beth Pinkos, MS, RD, LDN, a dietitian for the department of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition, and liver diseases at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island.

“You can use raisins for eyes, baby carrots for a nose, and celery for eyebrows, and an apple slice for a smile,” she says.

Remember not to give carrots to children younger than 3 or raisins to kids younger than 4 as they can be a choking hazard.

Creamy Dips

Kids who resist fiber-rich fruits and veggies may also be more adventurous if they can dip them in something first — like yogurt, peanut butter, salad dressing, or hummus.

Mixed-Up Cereals

Having trouble getting your child to try that whole-wheat fiber cereal? Try mixing up a couple of high-fiber cereals with a small amount of one of the less good-for-you options that your child may be drawn to in the cereal aisle.

“Kids like to mix and match cereals like little chemists,” says Pinkos. “Look for a high-fiber cereal that has 3 to 5 grams of fiber per serving, and then let them mix it up with just a little bit of one of the junkier ones.”

Sandwich in Some Fiber

Just as with cereal, the whole-grain breads or wraps you’re using for your kids’ sandwiches should have at least three grams of fiber per serving.

“Check the package — just because it’s called ‘whole grain,’ that doesn’t always translate to fiber,” says Goldberg. “And don’t be fooled by red- and green-colored wraps — that doesn’t necessarily translate to fiber either.”

Add Color With Berries

In addition to being colorful and sweet, “berries with seeds are very high in fiber, and kids usually love them,” says Goldberg.

Perhaps the highest-fiber berry is the little raspberry. They can be expensive, but it doesn’t take much to amp up the fiber. “Just a quarter cup has about the same amount of fiber as almost an entire apple,” she says.

Grab Some Granola

The granola bar aisle at your local supermarket is probably packed with high-fiber bars. They’re easy to pack and often appealing to kids.

“Kids really like some of the flavors they have now,” says Pinkos. But take care if your child starts treating the bars like candy. “Don’t let them go crazy and go from eating a low-fiber diet to three high-fiber bars a day, because they’ll become gassy and uncomfortable.”

‘Secret’ Ingredients

Some kids may not mind — they may even enjoy it — if you stir some high-fiber granola into their yogurt. Others may rebel against the unexpected crunch. But Goldberg says you can often sneak a little flaxseed into yogurt, applesauce, or a smoothie without your child noticing.

Pop Some Popcorn

What kid doesn’t like popcorn? It’s rich in fiber, and as long as you avoid the heavily salted and buttered varieties, it’s pretty healthy in general as well. “You can also try making popcorn balls with dried fruits and nuts, assuming your child is old enough for these,” says Pinkos.

3 Snacks to Skip

There are some foods that tend to cause, rather than ease, constipation in children. Two particularly “binding” snacks that are often a big hit among kids are bananas and cheese. There’s no problem with either in moderation, but if your child is having trouble in the bathroom these days, you might try cutting back on the cheese sticks.

Another barrier to good digestive health: heavily processed foods. “For good digestive health, minimize your reliance on refined foods like white sugar, white flour, and white breads and pastas,” advises Goldberg.

oh no…you’re DOING it wrong…

Who doesn’t love a newborn baby?  Yes, it’s true, they ARE sweet and smell good….however; do you know how to handle a baby?

I didn’t think so.

Thankfully the internet has provided us with some practical tips.  Please take note.

This WILL be on the test.

(via Pinterest and icanhasinternets.com)

fireworks in CA…

We just got back from a COOL  (in more ways than one) vacay in lovely San Diego!  Yep, we were there for the big 15 second fireworks show!  We thought it was a great beginning….only to find out that it was  also the end!  Oh well…..

The temperature was unbearable in Arizona, and with the fourth of July being a holiday….and the fifth of July being a birthday… we loaded up a few of our favorite things…

And drove to Coronado Island!!!  All of our grown kids, and two grandkids got to share the weekend with us!  And I must tell you….the youngest is 27 and the oldest is 33 years……..and they are absolutely hysterical.  We spent the weekend laughing and enjoying the weather with most of it being around the pool!!

Hello, girls!!!! 

Later the girls wanted mama to take them to the water….to play their guitars, of course..

   

These are true soul surfers…..(just ask them)

So while the fireworks show was a BUST……..the weekend with the family was absolutely PRICELESS!!!!

Cloning Frankenbaby?

Ok, you might remember a couple of posts I did about GMO‘s (genetically modified organisms) that are in our food.  This is a new technology where genes from one species is forced into DNA of another.  There are many, many reasons why we don’t need GMO’s in our food and you can get a whole bevy of answers HERE.

But guess what is going on now?  This is crazy!!  Now scientists are messing with CHILDREN!  YES!!  Check this out:

(NaturalNews) US fertility researchers from the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas in New Jersey have created 30  healthy babies who have been genetically altered. It has been confirmed that two  of these children have the DNA of three parents.

The babies were created  when women were treated for infertility by Professor Jacques Cohen and his team.  Their eggs had defects in tiny structures in their egg cells called  mitochondria. They had mitochondria from donor eggs inserted into these eggs, as  well as DNA from sperm cells. The mitochondria contain DNA and therefore have  carried the donor DNA into the egg. The babies will now pass on this genetic  change to their children down the maternal line when they reproduce.

Are you kidding me? I don’t care how brilliant or ‘ahead of his time’  Professor Cohen has been described, this is wrong and it’s not happening in a foreign country….it’s in New Jersey.  There are medical, social, ethical and many, many more issues that are being raised.

‘The majority of published research shows that death or mutilation of the clone are the most likely outcomes of mammalian cloning’ said John Kilner, president of the Centre for Bioethics and Human Dignity in the United States.

People, we’re messing with some dangerous stuff here.  You can read more about this on these sites:

1.  http://www.naturalnews.com/036372_genetically_modified_human_babies.html

2.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/254843-what-are-the-risks-of-cloning/

3.  http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/tech/cloning/cloningrisks/

What do you think about this?  Do you think we should be cloning babies?

lost and found…

A couple of years ago, we embarked on a trip to the self-declared  “happiest place on earth“.  No, ladies, not Nordstrom, but almost as magical;  Disneyland!

All the fam got together and we headed out to the crazy, expensive theme park.  Who doesn’t love forking over $100 to walk around a crowded area just to be reminded of the obesity statistics?  Nevertheless,  we were here for a good time and a good time we were going to have!

Until…

Until we lost sight of our grandaughter, and had a heart-stopping experience for what seemed like a lifetime.  It’s a take your breath away moment that is still hard for this Nani to talk about.  And it’s happened before…

Luke 2:41-47 “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.  When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.  After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.  His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers.  But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for Him there.  Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions.”  (NLT)

Ok, let that sink in for a moment.  Joseph and Mary have their party shoes on and are going to a Festival!  They head out with their neighbors, friends and family and begin their journey.  Once they reached Jerusalem the party started.  Not like a fraternity party, but more of a remembering party … remembering their bondage in Egypt and how God brought them out of that bondage.  Once the festival was over, they started back home to Nazareth, which was about 68 miles or roughly a 4 day journey.

Here’s the kicker.  Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem while Mary, Joseph and the neighborhood started home!  And even more surprising is that they didn’t even miss Him until the day was over and Jesus was no where to be found!  Yikes!

Oh, mom’s and dad’s, can you imagine what they were going through?  Hoping that He was with the neighbors or back at the end of the pack, yet not to be found?  If you listen closely you can hear Mary desperately calling out, “Jesus!  Jesus!  Jesus!”  As they frantically run in and out of the caravan, calling out His name,  no one can remember seeing Jesus join the group for the trek home.   Mary and Joseph must have felt such confusion and unbelievable fear.

The scriptures say that three days later they found him in the temple” (vs. 46)  THREE DAYS LATER!  Our little angel was missing for maybe 3 minutes!  Three days must have been heart wrenching!

Once we all split up in the theme park, I was the fortunate one to find her, standing in the middle of a crowd, crying and so very frightened.  I rushed to her and picked her up and we both just stood there weak and crying.  I was whispering in her ear, “Nani will always find you” and it took us a moment before the rest of the family found us and we all kept a much closer eye on her after that!

However, Jesus had been missing for three days and was eventually found by his parents in the temple.  He was sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions.  The group of men sitting and listening to him were mesmerized  at his questions and his answers.  I can picture his parents flinging open the door (if there was a door to fling) and having every emotion available to them, expel at once!

Luke 2:48-50 “His parents didn’t know what to think.  “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us?  Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”  “But why did you search?” he asked.  “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 

Ok.  So not only was he safe and not running around willy-nilly, but he was in CHURCH….ASKING QUESTIONS AND GIVING ANSWERS ABOUT GOD.

This might have upset me a bit because you want to be mad.  You need to be mad, to get your point across.  It was as if Jesus had the power….he had hand“…. (sorry in advance for the example of ‘hand’ but it was all I could think of at the time).  And Jesus says, “Didn’t you know that I had to be here, in my Father’s house?” 

Wow.  Jesus had hand.  The child was teaching the parents. I think we can figure out the tone that Mary used when she confronted her son after not finding him for three days.   And it was uncommon for  jewish women in that day to confront the son, that was the job of the jewish father.  But his answer was interesting.  Jesus stated that he must be in his father’s house!  Jesus is compelled as the Son of God to be in His Father’s house and gives the title Father (quite appropriately) to His heavenly Father, and not his human father.

Mary and Joseph did not have the luxury of reading about their lives in the Bible.  They couldn’t look forward in the next few chapters and know the reality of who Jesus was and what was about to take place.  They reacted as human parents would act.  Fear, frustration, anger and relief.

I am sure that this was not the only lesson Jesus taught his parents.  The next verse says that Jesus went home with his parents and was obedient to them.  I’m glad that was told to us.  It might have seemed that Jesus was being disobedient, but Jesus was going about His Father’s business…..and HE is the Master Teacher because He perfectly embodies the truth He taught.

Jesus has the power.  He has hand.

I am thankful for His power and His hands  in my life.

to my darling child…

Letter from a Mother to her child:

“My dear child, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad  and don’t embarrass me.  Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a little one?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way…remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day…

The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.  If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant.

Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared.

With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling child. ”