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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Happy Resurrection Sunday

Do You celebrate Resurrection Sunday or do you celebrate Easter? What does Easter mean to you? Is it about taking your children to Easter Egg Hunts? Possibly you do not celebrate this day at all. Or is it about celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus?  Are you aware that Friday, April 19, 2019, is Good Friday, but also it is the Passover?  Yes both are occurring on the same day.  

 
Passover


1. Resurrection Sunday

Christians celebrate Resurrection Sunday two days after Good Friday. Christians believe that Jesus rose on the 3rd day after being crucified.  Passover is the most important Jewish Festival also celebrated by Christians as well to remember the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.


There are some churches that refer to Easter Sunday as Resurrection Sunday, putting more emphasis on the resurrection of Jesus who died for our sins.

1st Corinthians 15:3-8 For What I received I passed on to you as of first important: that Christ died. for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.


2. Easter

According to History.com the celebration of Easter goes back as far as the 2nd Century. They further add that this popular secular holiday was celebrated by early Christians who adopted adopted Easter from a Pagan festival that celebrated the goddess associated with fertility. 


The retailers have taken advantage of this day by advertising great sales on clothing, candies, eggs, and much more.


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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Are You Prepared for an Empty Nest?

* * Empty Next Syndrome * * *
Do you have a child preparing to leave for college, acquiring their first apartment, or getting married? If you are not prepared, you possibly might suffer from empty nest syndrome. There is a solution for that.  There is no need to continue feeling depressed and sad about it. Instead be glad, happy, and encouraging.

The Empty Nest

* * * Remember this is Your Time to Soar Like an Eagle Don’t Be Sad * * *
1. Sadness
According to Irene McGee at fyiliving.com, the spiral of sad emotions that a parent may feel when a child goes off to college can lead some parents to severe clinical depression. The feelings that they feel are definitely real and painful. I have felt the pain from the empty nest syndrome. It is no joke.

I went through the empty nest syndrome with my younger sister. She lived with me after our mother died. Even though, I had several younger children when she got her first apartment, I felt a void in my life. I did not see it coming and was not ready at all. It felt like a brick hit me. I vowed to not go through that with my other children. This was a learning lesson for me. After going through it, I prepared myself with my other children.
2. Empty Nest
The syndrome takes its name from young birds flying out of their nests once old enough to fly, leaving their parents behind.
Some women may experience grief when that child goes off to college. However, the husband may think, “Finally 1 down and 3 more to go.” He is just elated to get the children out of the house.

Your attitude about the empty nest is important too. According to Tara Parker-Pope of nytimes.com, a lesson learned from the empty nest is that parents may need to carve out more stress-free time together. Sounds like parents need to change their way of thinking. What do you think?
3. What Can You Do?
A few tips that helped me through the empty nest syndrome:
A.
I recall Volunteering for the Adult Illiteracy Coalition. That was one of the most rewarding experience for me. It was just awesome. My pastor often said that a great way to help yourself when you are going through some things is to help others, and then you have less time to have a pity-party for yourself. I know that is true. I really cared and became concerned about those that I was helping. I had no time to feel sad or even depressed.
B.
The volunteer experience of teaching someone to read was incredible . Surprisingly, many adults do not know how to read. I recall an older gentleman at my church that went back to school to learn to read. I asked him why he wanted to go back. It is simple for him. He stated, “I want to read to my grandchildren and I want to know how to read my bible scriptures correctly.” I thought that is as good a reason as any. This also was an excellent example for others to let them know it is not too late to learn to read. This type of attitude is very impressive.
* * * * What I Learned From Volunteering* * *
C.
When I volunteered, I learned some things too. I learned that those adults that are not able to read will compensate by being able to make good conversation.


D.
I also, learned that many will carry a newspaper and even hold it and pretend that they are reading.
E.
When in a bind, I have learned there are those that will actually lie and say that they forgot their glasses. Then they will ask someone to please read a certain sentence for them.
F.
I discovered those that cannot read will use a variety of tricks so as not to let anyone know that they can’t read. Some told me they do this out of shame. Others told me that they thought it was too late and that they were too old to learn to read. I responded to them by saying the biggest mistake they or anyone can make is to not do anything? I would constantly emphasize to never give up. I have even taught those that have beautiful singing voices. Those that sing in choirs and other places, but unfortunately , they could not read.
4. What I Did
G. Back to School

I went back to school to get my Bachelor degree. That really kept me busy. I had 2 in college at the same time while I attempted that. I recall not knowing how to use a mouse or a computer. I seemingly just could not get the hang of it. When my daughter came home for the weekend I asked her to help me learn.
She told me, “Mama you cannot learn it all in one day.” But I felt I needed to learn as soon as possible, because I had many papers that were due and little time to do it. I knew how to use a typewriter, but a computer was new for me. It was like learning a foreign language. I even know of those today that still have the old flip cellphone, because they claim they do not understand the new Iphone.
To my surprise when I did get my degree, my children were very supportive of me in my attempt. They gave me overwhelming support. I will never forget my graduation. The weather was very bad, almost like a blizzard and it was a very bitter cold, but the auditorium was packed full of those that came to support the graduates. That was a very good feeling. I was so busy with papers and speeches for class; I had no time for any pity-parties. It was an even better feeling when I walked across the stage and got my degree.
According to the Mayo Clinic, It might be difficult to suddenly have no children at home who need your care. I know if you have never gone through it or even anticipated it; it is a rude awakening for you.
Possible interests or hobbies for you might include, blogging, freelance writing, crafts, flower arranging, school volunteering, animal shelter volunteer, crocheting hats for cancer victims, making quilts for cancer victims, helping veterans, etc. , and much more.
Now if you find yourself suffering from empty nest syndrome, know that you can do something about it. Most importantly, find interests that are of importance to you and keep busy accomplishing those interests and deferred dreams. What have you done to avoid the empty nest syndrome?  Will You Share With Us Today?


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Friday, April 5, 2019

5 Awesome Tips to Encourage Young Readers

There are various ways to encourage your young children to read. One of those ways is to present books that they are interested in. Think about it, people will read what is of most interest to them.

Reading Strategies


Think about it. Just as you have favorite types of books you like to read, so does your young ones. You just need to find out what it is they like.
1. Interests
First of all you need to find out what are their interests. Some children in kindergarten like soccer, dolls, crafts, animals, the doghouse, kickball, karate, or comics. When you discover your kindergartners unique likes, you can then go to the library, online, or purchase those types of book. It is very encouraging to take your kindergartners to the library and allow them to browse in that area and then they can pick out the books that he likes. I like that this is a free service. I recall taking my children to the library as toddlers, they loved to pick their own books and to just explore the library.  They always acted as if it were a treat for them.  
2. Books Around the House
Reading can be more fun, when reading about something that is of interest to you. I have also found that leaving books everywhere throughout the house is encouraging too. I leave books on the kitchen table, in the bathroom, front room, and nearly everywhere. I really encourage reading of books while sitting on the toilet for any length of time. Don’t forget keeping books in the car while you are traveling to the store, school, or church.
3. Reading to Them
Did you know that your young children love for you to read to them? Some of the elementary schools allow the older students to read to the kindergartners. That is a great ideas, because the kindergartners can relate to another child.
4. Sensory Books for Kids
According to 25 Sensory books.com some children love to touch and feel. Some sensory books such as Peekaboo Forest, Touch and Feel Farm, and Noisy Farms are ideal for that child.
I have observed that children will pick out a variety of books. They really seem to like the book Ten Little ladybugs. One kindergartner picked that book out. I found out that I even liked it, because it included math in the book and the colors on the lady bug were raised on the book and felt smooth like a marble. Books like those give children a hand on approach to reading as well.
I have found very good reading books for kindergartners at the dollar store. I especially like the biblical books and books that are in hard cover. These are great for preschoolers.  . Also, the hard covers do not tear up easily.

5. E-Kindle easy reader
According to Annie Murphy Paul, a study by the National Academies of Science, reported that extra-large spacing between letters on an E-Kindle easy reader allowed a group of dyslexic children to read text faster and with fewer than half as many errors. I think this is just awesome. Be sure to do something every day to encourage your kindergartner to read.
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How to Ask Open-Ended Questions to your Children

How good are your communication skills?  You always want to keep the line of communication open with your children, but sometimes as children start reaching adolescent and teenage years, it may become somewhat more difficult. Have you asked yourself if you are asking the right questions?

verbal and nonverbal communication


Communication is an art form. There is a reason for open-ended questions.   This communication is to gain a better understanding and comprehension. Have you ever talked to your children and observed after asking a question the answer was just “yes” or “no.” Possibly you wanted to hear more than that. Maybe if you ask the right questions, you will hear more.

1. “Tell Me About”

This open-ended question can open up an entire field of communication. They love the empowerment of knowing something that you might not know. They may be more than willing to tell you their perspective. This is not only a good question for your children, but for adults as well. Example, you might ask your child, “”Tell me about the class that you said you really liked.”


2. Feelings

When a child tells you something good or bad, you might ask, “How does that make you feel?” I like that question because there are times children may not be aware of their feelings at the time. It does not hurt to discuss whether they are feeling angry, anxious, sad, or good.

3. Different

Another good question is, “What would you have done differently?” That is a question that I even sometimes ask myself. This question starts your child to thinking. We all know there may be several options or alternatives to problems. Sometimes it is great to just explore those alternatives.

4. Favorite

“What is your favorite class?” This question will start your children to thinking what subject they like or dislike most of all. In fact many of these open-end questions are good for adults as well.

What open-ended questions do you ask your children?

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Incredible Sleep Tips for You

* * * 7 Things you Should Know * * *

Did you know that sleep is vital to maintain your body? Lack of sleep can be harmful to your health causing irritability, hallucinations, lack of focus, stress, and hormonal problems as well. Here are a few tips to help you get better sleep.


Reading


1.Snack.

Although a light snack is okay, try not to eat a large meal before bedtime. Also, limit your liquid intake so you are not constantly getting up through the night to use the bathroom. Bananas or a small bowl of low-sugar cereal is helpful to induce sleep. Pretzels are a low-calorie, source of carbohydrates, that will make you feel sleepy, and they taste good too. Also, popcorn about a half an hour before going to bed. The carbs will cause your body to produce serotonin, a petrochemical that will relax you. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks.


2.Warm Milk.

Trying drinking warm milk or warm cocoa before bedtime. This can be soothing and relaxing. The milk has Tryptophan an amino acid that aides in relaxation resulting in natural sleep. I have tried this and it definitely works for me.

3.Bedtime.

A. Try to make bedtime about the same time every night, so that there is a regular routine. Try not to indulge in a lot of activity before bedtime.

B. Put away that cellphone, iPad, television, and computer. Remember you may need time to wind down. I recall having to wind down at least an hour before bedtime. I also discovered some cellphone apps would really activate my brain and I would be thinking of so many different things that I wanted to do in the future. 

C. Have you tried a warm shower or warm bath?

D. Do you have a favorite book you like to read? This might be a good time to read it.

4. Your Bedroom

Attempt to make the bedroom conducive for sleep by making sure your room is dark. Make sure the television is not on.




5. Soft Music

Depending on the type of music you prefer, soft music can be relaxing. I recall there were times I would listen to smooth jazz before bedtime.

6. Temperature

Make sure the temperature in the room is adequate. Some people cannot tolerate too much heat. Usually temperatures of 68-72 degrees are good. If you and your spouse differ regarding temperatures, you may try a heating blanket for the one of you that is not warm enough. Also, now there are some mattresses that will adjust temperatures for you and your spouse individually. That is just awesome.

7. Exercise

Be sure that you get enough exercise during the day. When weather permit’s the outdoors is perfect, because you will know that you are getting fresh air. Even though you work daily, find a time to exercise. Make it a priority at least once or twice a week. I still emphasize walking as one of the best exercise and it is free. It does not cost you anything. If you are walking outside you are sure to get plenty of fresh air too.

What do you do to help you sleep? Please share with us.

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Bloggers Meet and Greet April 2019- Dr. Gladys West

* * *Have Yo Heard About the woman behind GPS Technology?* * * 

Although Black History Month was celebrated in February, it is never too late to celebrate an awesome person. We should celebrate their greatness year round. At today's Meet and Greet we are celebrating Dr. Gladys West.




Dr. Gladys West


When you use your GPS (Global Positioning System) daily, do you ever think about who was instrumental in starting this system? I sure wish it was around when I first started driving. I remember my husband nor myself had driven on the highway. We were only 19 -years-old. So we looked at a map to determine our travel to Kentucky to see his mother and other siblings. We traveled I-75. As we approached the Mackinaw Bridge, I told my husband I think we are going the wrong direction. Kentucky is not near this bridge. We sure could have used a GPS system then, because that was really a long trip.


Dr. Gladys West, a black woman from Virginia, knew at an early age that she did not want to work in the fields picking cotton as her parents did. She worked at Grenada for 42 years. Her contributions to GPS were uncovered when a member of West’s sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, read a short biography West submitted for an alumni function.


She said, “When you’re working every day, you’re not thinking, “What impact is this going to have on the world?’ You’re thinking, “I’ve got to get this right.” I could not agree with her more.


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* * *If you believe others will enjoy this, please feel free to share with your friends and on social media.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

How Stress and Depression Affects Your Brain

* * * How to Fight Depression * * *

There are those that are convinced that stress affects your emotional and your physical well-being. In fact, there are those that state depression actually shrinks the brain.

Signs of depression


Did you know that God does not want you stressed out. God always gives us a way out. He has said in 1Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. You will see much negativity in the world. Therefore it is important for Christians to renew our minds daily. Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


1. What You Can Do

According to Melanie Greenberg, PH.D of Psychology today, major life events such as job loss or sexual abuse damage the mood center, thus decreasing the brain so it does not bounce back as readily. In addition, she suggests that Yoga, meditation or prayer can activate your relaxation response, which will lower your heart rate and blood pressure. I personally know that prayer can be very relaxing for me.

Can you think of life events that you have faced throughout your life? Some events I can readily think of might include problems with finances, retirement, going back to school, a divorce, loss of a loved one, major illness, loss of a job, and I also know there are many more that are not on this list. One thing I know about praying, is that you can pray just about any time. You do not need an appointment to pray. So often, we take for granted the power of prayer. I recall asking a dear friend to pray with me as we walked in the parking lot of her workplace. To my amazement she stopped right in the middle of the parking lot and prayed. I will never forget that moment, because many times you may tell others you will pray and you may forget to do so.

2. Stress shrinks the brain

I can easily see why stress or depression could shrink the brain. According to news.menshealth.com, researchers have found stress causes the release of cortisol the stress hormone. They further add over a period of time high levels of this hormone reduce the volume of the brain, affecting the hippocampus which plays a central role in learning and memory.


I can easily see this causing brain overload and shrinking of that brain. The brain can only take so much, it is not a machine. It needs to rest. I have often heard this. 



3. After Depression and Stress


CNN talks about a lady that was treated with electrodes inside of the brain for her depression. Afterwards, she described her mood as seeing the room and colors brighter. I have talked to others that were being treated for depression. Some of them described that same feeling as they started to feel better. In fact, one patient was taking Wellbutrin. He referred to his Wellbutrin pill as the “happy pill.”




4. Other Alternatives to alleviate stress and depression

Start relieving your stress, by exercise, getting plenty of rest, laughing, talking to someone about it, seeking professional help, and making a conscious effort to eat nutritional food.

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