Tips for Coping with Politics on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be stressful all by itself. Things can get even worse when a presidential election happens a few weeks before Thanksgiving day. Some of your relatives might want to talk about politics. Here are some tips for coping with political discussions on Thanksgiving. Make a conscious effort not to talk about the election at Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t ask your relatives who they voted for. Stay away from topics that were especially controversial during the election. Thanksgiving dinner is not the time to wear a political t-shirt, button, or hat that came from the campaign of the candidate you voted … Continue reading

Be a Better Parent in the New Year

What’s your New Years Resolution? Many people choose something related to weight loss, or money, or productivity. This year, why not pick a resolution that will be much more meaningful? Resolve to take steps to be a better parent in the new year. Parenting can be as rewarding as it is difficult. It is easy to see why parents often make mistakes. Everyone does it – nobody is perfect! Ideally, people learn from those mistakes so they do not repeat them. What I’m trying to say is that parenting is a skill that can always be improved upon. It is … Continue reading

The Family Dinner Project Promotes Family Unity

Does your family sit down together every night for dinner? Many families are in the habit of parking themselves in front of the TV as they eat dinner. Those families are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with each other. The Family Dinner Project has some excellent advice about why eating dinner together as a family is so important. The About Page at The Family Dinner Project has an summary of why families really need to have dinner together. It says: Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing … Continue reading

What the 50s Housewife Knew

I’ve been reading a lot lately about 50’s era housewives, including a couple of blogs that feature modern women who take on living as though they were still in that era: creating elaborate dinners that often feature gelatin and liver, getting dressed up complete with lipstick before they greet their husband’s good morning, and boiling laundry at the kitchen sink. While I am not quite ready to give up my modern appliances or attitude, there is one thing that I do appreciate about that time period. Everything got used and only disposed of when absolutely necessary. For example, a 50’s … Continue reading

Holiday Jollies

  The best part of the holiday season is getting together with family and friends to share a few laughs.  Or, in some case, huge belly busters that have you rolling on the floor gasping for air. One of the simplest ways to share a seasonal smile is to tell a Christmas joke.  Kids and adults alike appreciate a good holiday riddle.  What’s more, clean, seasonal funnies can be added to Christmas cards, family newsletters or used as an ice breaker at a company party or family get-together.  If you are entertaining kids this month, consider printing out the following … Continue reading

Laid-Back Anniversaries

It’s our fourth anniversary today. I know that’s not really a milestone (insofar as any year’s anniversary is one); that’ll come next year, with our fifth. But I don’t see us doing anything bigger next year than we’ll do this year. Like with everything else, Jon and I don’t make that big of a deal of our anniversary. We don’t even get each other gifts. That’s something we stopped doing before we were even married. The first year or two we were dating we got each other anniversary presents, but that ceased by the time we graduated from college. I … Continue reading

Help Your Child Relax

In a recent study researchers found that over half of 7 to 9 year olds were feeling stressed. Those with divorced parents experience additional stress as they are going between homes and trying to balance all of the other little things in their young lives. As parents we want our children to be happy and enjoy life without getting bogged down by the pressures of everyday life. We need to create an atmosphere in our home that encourages our children to relax and enjoy being little. Don’t overschedule your children. While you want your children to stay busy and be … Continue reading

Passion’s Place in A Marriage

Maybe I should stop expecting television to accurately portray life or romance, but I can’t help it. Media has a subtle yet powerful influence on our thinking, especially on younger folks, that just makes me want to address the issues it raises. Fox’s trendy new sitcom “New Girl,” starring Zooey Deschanel, just wrapped up its freshman season. In the last few episodes Deschanel’s character Jess breaks up with her boyfriend after having dinner with him and his ex-wife (something that was a bad idea in the first place). At the dinner she observed the formerly-married couple at each other’s throats, … Continue reading

Friendship: the Foundation of Marriage

Last week my husband and I made cookies for breakfast. It is supposed to be healthier to eat a batch of cookies, or really any dessert, early in the morning rather than later at night. This way we have more time to burn off those extra calories. That’s not why we made them, though. We made them because the night before I’d experimented with making Pasta Puttanesca (not bad, though I think in the future I’d just swap the anchovies for tuna), and its smell still hung around the kitchen. I figured the best way to get rid of it … Continue reading

Creating a Fitness Journal – Part 1

Sometimes we need to see things in black and white. This way we can’t deny the truth, whether it is the amount of exercise we are getting or the types of foods that we are eating. If you really want to be successful in developing and maintaining a fit lifestyle, I strongly suggest putting together a fitness journal. You can make this as simple or as fancy as you like. You can use a spiral notebook, your computer, a binder, whatever works best for you. Before you put together a fitness journal however, we need to think about the key … Continue reading