Archives for February 2013

8 Ways to Get Grandkids to Call More Often by Lambeth Hochwald

This article gives us 8 ways to get grandkids to call more often.

Do you wish your grandkids would just pick up the phone and call you all the time? Follow these simple tips, and they just might.

Pick up the phone, please!

In this era of quick chatter—texting, sharing, and email—there’s still nothing like a good old phone call. In fact, in a recent survey, we found that 77 percent of you prefer a phone chat over communicating electronically. So how do you get your grandkids to dial you up, and like talking to you on the phone? It’s as easy as following our easy how-tos >>

#1. Talk to your kids

Be very direct about wanting your grandkids to call you. Sometimes you don’t want to step on toes, but in this case, speak up. “If you want your grandkids to call you on the phone, you need to spell out the fact to their parents that you look forward to hearing from them and that the best mode of communication is the phone,” suggests Susan Kuczmarksi, EdD, author of two parenting books, including The Family Bond: Inspiring Tips for Creating a Closer Family. “By discussing this with your adult children, you’re showing them respect and being clear on your expectations


10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit by Sara Schwartz

This article tells us 10 necessities for our car emergency kit that is a necessary.

Stuck on the side of the road? You’ll be ready for most anything, if you’ve got a duffel bag-full of these must-haves from automotive experts.

Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables

Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the former hosts of NPR’s top-rated show, Car Talk, put high-quality jumper cables at the top of their list. “In our humble opinion, most jumper cables stink,” they say. “They’re either too short, too thin, or won’t stay flexible in the cold — which is when you really need them.”
Experts recommend choosing cables that are at 10 to 20 feet long, 4- to 10-gauge, and made of copper.

Fluids (for your car)

The Department of Motor Vehicles recommends storing common car fluids in your emergency kit, including:

  • 2 quarts of motor oil
  • brake fluid
  • power-steering fluid (if applicable)
  • automatic transmission fluid (if applicable)
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 gallon of antifreeze
Do yourself a favor and throw in a funnel, as well. It can be hard to have a steady hand in an emergency.



Never underestimate the value of a good flashlight. Every car expert under the sun (err, moon?) recommends packing a reliable flashlight in your emergency kit, in case of a breakdown at night. Plus, it can be hard to see what’s going on under a car hood, even in the daytime, without flashlight assistance.
Tip: Always store flashlights and new batteries separately — when pre-loaded in a device, batteries can corrode and will definitely loose their juice over time. Put a couple packs of the right-size batteries next to the flashlight in your kit.


A Man, His Mother, His Wife: In-Law Conflict

This article helps us navigate through in-law conflict.

Learning to create emotional ‘safety’ is skill to continue building and refining
in all our relationships, especially those most important to us.
So how do you create more ‘safety’ in these man, mother, wife hurts, fears and
frustrations? While it may vary from situation to situation, I think there are
some basic suggestions that can help:

1.When you find yourself hurt or frustrated with your mother-in-law, first look at
what that is really about for you. What is the message the
mother-in-law’s behavior communicates to you (even if she doesn’t mean it?)
(Examples: you aren’t good enough, you are not important, what you need doesn’t matter, etc.).                            She has probably accidentally bumped into one of your emotional buttons–most likely because of
her own fears. (More on that in another blog post!). So one explanation might be
that your initial interpretation is true. But maybe that is not at all her
intent and what you tell yourself about her words or behavior is more about you.
What is another possible explanation for her behavior that comes from a neutral
or even positive motive on her part — even if it is to protect

2. Remind yourself that you have
choice in terms of your response, even if it bumped into your button.
Stephen Covey says “Between the stimulus and the
response is your greatest power–you have the freedom to choose your response.
one of the most important things you choose is what you say.” How can you
respond more from your core values, from the kind of human being you want to be?
How can you respond in the most constructive and sensitive way possible, while
still being able to express your concerns?


10 Easy-To-Forget Cleaning Chores

The basics might be easy.  You manage to get the obvious dirt removed from your home.  But how are you doing on these hidden cleaning chores?

1. Under the Washer and Dryer

When we replaced our washing machine and dryer, I was shocked by the amount of stuff that had accumulated underneath the machines. I had neglected that area, focusing on the parts of the floor that could be seen. Honestly, depending on the amount of use your washing area receives, you’ll only need to move the washing machine and dryer 2-3 times a year unless an obvious spill happens. Get help to move these items, since this is frequently a two person job. Be careful not to damage the floor by moving the machines improperly. Remove anything that has fallen behind and underneath the machines. Sweep and mop the floor before replacing the machines. Doing this every 4-5 months will keep the floor from being ruined and alert you to any leaking or spill issues.

2. Under and On Top of the Refrigerator

We remember to clean it out, because the smell and stickiness alerts us whenever we open the doors to the refrigerator. But what about on top and underneath that same refrigerator? The top of the refrigerator accumulates dust that won’t be easily visible unless you are very tall. Behind and underneath the refrigerator can accumulate the same dust and food residue that is normally found on the kitchen floor. All it takes is a quick wiped down to clean the top. To clean underneath and behind, you may need help to move the refrigerator without damaging yourself or your floor. Once the refrigerator is moved, sweep and mop. Finally, replace the refrigerator. Repeat these steps every 3 months or as needed.

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Top Ten: Tips For Dealing With Father-in-law

Traveling-with-the-Inlaws-can-be-Stressful We all know what it is like to meet the parents for the first time. At the best of times, it can  be nerve-racking, as these strangers will certainly pass judgment on whether you  are a suitable candidate for their daughter. But occasionally, what is usually a  painless, if slightly uncomfortable, experience becomes an ordeal that would  perhaps border on the UN’s definition of torture. And the reason?  Often,  it boils down to the man of the house. Her dad. He who becomes inquisitor  general, although usually without the thumbscrews. A man who seems determined to  hate you for even daring to think of his daughter in that way.

So if that single meeting is bad enough, imagine what it’s like when that man  becomes a permanent part of your family. If that woman is indeed special  enough to become your wife and to start a family with, then there really is no  avoiding him. Eventually, your paths will cross, and he may continue to lament  the absence of thumbscrews. But there are a few things you can do to try to thaw  this particular Cold War. These tips will hopefully show this man that if he  can’t like you, then he will at least respect you.

No.10 Spin conversations toward your strong points

The art of conversation is a useful skill in  any arena, and being able to turn conversations to show you in your best light  can be invaluable in winning over a cold father-in-law. This must not, however,  be confused with bragging — arrogance and ego will not sit well. But artfully  making him realize that you are a man with a string of achievements behind you  or alluding to that time you went backpacking across Africa will tell him that  you are someone who should be taken seriously (and may even impress him a tiny  bit).

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Childhood Fears by Colleen Shemeley

Childhood Fears by Colleen Shemeley

Just as your children grow and change, so do their fears. Monsters under the bed, thunderstorms or loud noises probably no longer cause your child to need your reassuring words and hugs. Fourth and fifth graders’ most common anxieties are being kidnapped, parents divorcing, someone dying, fires, burglars, school failure and being a social outcast.

Psychologists have discovered that distinguishing between fear and anxiety is often difficult in children. Fear is a response to a situation (a neighbor’s dog), while anxiety is being worried about something that hasn’t happened yet (a shot at the doctor’s office). Once parents realize this difference, they can better help their child cope.

  • The first and most important thing is to believe your child’s fear. Talking about and affirming the existence of her fear will help your child. But be careful not to overtalk the fear or express your own fears. If your child doesn’t want to discuss it, encourage her to write a fictional story about another person with the same fears or draw a picture of what could happen.
  • Fears can often be removed or reasoned through to a logical conclusion after evaluating reality. Make a plan of action if a mean dog comes too close. Practice on dolls the day before a visit to the dentist. Memorize certain Bible verses that fit your child’s fear (check out Psalm 27:1, Psalm 31:24 and John 14:27). The more independent your child feels, the smaller the fear can become.
  • Try to recognize your child’s signs of anxiety in order to quickly help. Some children may become introverted. Others will misbehave, and still others will have sleeping problems, headaches or stomachaches.

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