explorernews.com on Facebook
- Video Gallery
- Special Sections
(Family Features) Nothing says fall better than delicious, savory comfort foods and particularly those that are a snap to prepare. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American spends about one hour per day engaged in meal preparation and cleanup. Want to beat the clock? Check out these solutions for busy families facing the time crunch.
(BPT) - Helping your child ease into the school year sets them up to succeed both academically and socially. But making the transition from the lazy days of summer to the hectic pace of back to school can be overwhelming, for you and your kids. Between school supply shopping, extracurricular activities, homework, and the daily lunch box routine - where’s a busy parent to start?
(BPT) - Between sports gear, homework assignments, mobile device chargers and social media contacts, kids have a lot to keep track of these days – just like grown-ups. While few kids seem to be born with the ability to be organized, most learn organizational skills over time. Parents are the key to instilling these practices. With the right tools, creating good organization habits in the spaces kids use the most, is easy and can help prepare them to be more independent later in life.
(BPT) - Your closets may be a bastion of neatness and your pantry a model of the philosophy “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Still, no home is truly in order if the people who live in it are disorganized.
In 2008, native Tucsonan Chase Hoyt and his dad, Robert, sat down to enjoy an old bottle of wine that they had recently opened.
(Family Features) Your home can say a lot about you. A state-of-the-art kitchen outfitted with a double oven likely means you enjoy cooking and entertaining friends and family. Likewise, a backyard complete with play sets, a treehouse or a basketball hoop is a sure sign your house is also a hangout for the neighborhood kids.
There was a lawsuit making the national headlines through much of March. In involved a teenager from New Jersey who was suing her parents for—among other things—access to a college fund. The litigious young lady was one Rachel Canning, 18. As it turns out, young Miss Canning eventually dropped the case voluntarily, and has since returned home. I suppose that is a tidy end to the court case, but I can’t help but pick my jaw up off the floor when I read related news stories.
My daughter is going to prom this weekend. She has everything she needs: a dress, heels and a hair appointment. She is going with is a young man I very much approve of; the two of them have been dating for over six months (which is an eternity in high school time). The other day she mentioned something about driving to his house before prom and—without even a pause—she went right on with whatever it was she was saying. I can’t tell you what that was because I lost focus on that part when she mentioned driving herself over to the young man’s house.
I was sitting at my laptop, writing a blog post when my 19-year-old daughter spoke up from the next room. “Justin Bieber got arrested,” she said.
On New Year’s Day my husband and I went to the movies. As is the case with most any holiday, the theater was packed. We stepped foot into the auditorium a full 40 minutes prior to show time, but still the middle and aisle seats were all accounted for. It was a holiday; the crowds were to be expected. Which, I might add, is why my husband and I made sure to arrive early. Carefully, we chose from the remaining seats. We don’t go to the movies terribly frequently, but we’ve been often enough to know that the dark blue seats are the ones that recline. We chose those. So, too, did we very purposefully avoid sitting directly adjacent to two heavily-perfumed women in the row because the smell of heavy perfume tends to render both my husband and me nauseous. We chose seats that were between the heavily-perfumed women and a family with young children. A family with young children who were apparently recovering from a cold, I might add. As the commercials rolled, we listened as the adjacent children coughed and hacked and practically hawked up a lung. Being slightly germaphobic, we considered moving, but chose not to, based on the fact that indeed we had insulated ourselves with a buffer zone of empty seats on either side.
It’s official: the elf is back. Yes, ours is one of those households tormented by the infamous elf on the shelf. For those of you who don’t know the premise, the elf on the shelf is a cute little stuffed elf who is reported to spy for Santa, keeping a close eye on who is naughty and who is nice. Ours happens to be a household in which Santa is known to be a fictional character, but still we enjoy the whimsy our elf, Doogan, brings to the household each year. More than just a jolly decoration that sits stagnant on the shelf, Doogan is known to move to a different spot overnight. The kids have fun seeking out his new hiding place each morning.
My dad is turning sixty this year. He wears it well. Whenever he comes to visit, he gives my six-year-old son a run for his money in their running races. Dad still wins. To be fair, though, I should note that he cheats. “Look at that,” he says, pointing to a passing car or a blue-bellied lizard or a rock, if all else fails. And my son? He falls for it every time. The second he turns his head my dad is off like a flash of lightning—gone long before my son has the chance to shout an exasperated, “hey!”
I am about to write an article that will likely alienate approximately 50% of you. It is with that understanding in place that I have decided to write it anyway because a) even the alienated ones might find it somewhat entertaining and b) I’ve never been one to shy away from the truth in the name of diplomacy.
I have a pet peeve. Who am I kidding? I have many of them, actually, but today I’m focusing on just the one. It pertains to my children. Here’s the scoop: I’m really fed up with people offering food to my children (pun totally intended). It happens all of the time. At church, for example. My children attend Sunday School while my husband and I are in the congregation at church. The service—and subsequently, Sunday School lessons—last an hour. One hour. The 10:30 a.m hour, at that. On any given Sunday, my family will typically enjoy a fairly hearty weekend treat of a breakfast. Waffles or pancakes or biscuits and eggs. By the time we drop the kids off in their respective Sunday School classrooms, scarcely an hour has passed since my family sat down for breakfast. Yet, when we pick them up from Sunday School, we hear reports of snacks that were given out. And I’m not talking about something healthy like a handful of grapes or a segment of orange. I’m talking about powdered donuts or cookies or packaged cereal bars—food imposters laden with sugar and preservatives.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a rather humorous conversation that I recently had with a long-distance friend via text (with her permission). I hope you find it as entertaining as I do. While the names have been changed to protect anonymity, the story is completely true.
It’s no secret that our teenage daughters are under stress to look a certain way, dress a certain way, wear a certain amount of makeup and given societal pressures, be obsessed with weight.
My husband and I are very much one of those “opposites attract” kind of couples. It’s apparent in many ways, but none more so than our opinions of air travel. Whereas he appreciates the hands-off approach to letting someone else do the navigating, I’d much rather go by car and retain the ability to stop when and where I want to.
Growing up, there were some things my mom was not good at. To her, anything that came from a box and had to be mixed at home qualified as “from scratch” cooking or baking. My brothers and I grew up thinking it was perfectly normal to eat cold cereal for dinner. What? Is it not?
Another week into this journey. I was sore again this week and could not walk without feeling pain in every muscle in my legs-for 3 days! The day after my tough workout session with Zach, I was getting ready to go into the gym and my son asked, "Mom, how are you going to do the elliptical if you can't even walk?!" I thought"good question! I have no idea!" But somehow my body managed and I did it.
After one gets past the initial shock of, “You are riding your bike around the world?” people understand, warm up to her, and become inspired by Christine Farrugia’s current adventure.
As I write this column, our legislature just adjourned. In the closing hours of the session, Republicans experienced a rare moment of sanity and reversed some of their worst, most ideologically driven decisions.