Childhood Obesity What can you Do?

Childhood obesity is a significant public health problem. Almost 1/3 of all children in the United States ages 2-19 are overweight or at risk to become overweight. Extra pounds can lead to lifelong health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The National Institutes of Health established We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) in June 2005 to help prevent childhood obesity. The science-based national education program brings families and communities together to promote healthy weight in children ages 8 through 13 through improved food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced screen time. Now Subway has partnered with the NIH’s We Can! program to spread the healthy message.

We Can! ambassadors Jared Fogle and Laila Ali are working with Subway to share with kids and families how to be healthier.
[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Check out the We Can! website to learn more about the program and how you can get involved.

Preacher Creature Book Review and Giveaway

Mike Thaler has written more than 200 books for children, including Scholastic’s bestselling “Black Lagoon” series, which introduced “monster teacher” Mrs Green in The Teacher from the Black Lagoon 20 years ago.

Mike is also the creator of “The Letterman” from PBS’ longtime educational show “Electric Company”. Mr Thaler is known as “America’s Riddle King” and travels to classrooms worldwide helping children and teachers create their own stories riddles and books.

Eleven years ago, at age 60, Thaler devoted his life to Jesus Christ and he says, “life has gone from black and white to glorious Technicolor.” Today he uses his imaginative storytelling and passion for Christ in his new series “Tales from the Back Pew”. He says it’s “Black Lagoon goes to church.” These books are published by ZonderKids and are for ages 6-9.

I have read one book in the series, Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday, and I have shared it with a few children of varying ages. This is a great book for kids who have never been to church or who are maybe moving to a new church. Thaler does a good job of expressing a child’s fear of the unknown and what the child may have heard about church.

There are very long songs with a thousand verses, and just when you think you’re done, they go back to the beginning and start all over again. And you have to stand the whole time. It’s sort of like the Pledge of Allegiance…only longer. And then, instead of paying you for singing, they collect money.

Of course in the end the child enjoys church and can’t wait to go back next Sunday. The illustrations in the books are beautiful and imaginative. Jared Lee is the illustrator and he has worked with Thaler for over 30 years.This would be a great book for a child new to a Protestant, main stream denominational church setting, similar to what I grew up in. The children I know and shared this book with come from either an Assemblies of God or non-denominational/Pentecostal background and they were unable to relate the church experiences in this book. We all enjoyed the way the child in book shared the Old Testament stories of Moses, Noah, and Jonah.

You can enter to win the book:

How to Enter:
For your first entry:Since Mr Thaler is known as “America’s Riddle King” you must leave me a comment with a riddle and it’s answer. You must also follow or subscribe to this blog and leave a comment here telling me that you have done this Please leave a valid e-mail address or twitter name so that I can notify if you win. **You must do all of this to be entered.

If you would like extra entries you can earn them for doing any or all of the following:

* tweet this contest and post the url of the tweet as a separate comment (you can do this 1x per day each day of the contest-just post each tweet url in a separate comment)
* blog about this contest and link to this post (not just a link to the contest) then leave me a link to your post in a separate comment
* stumble this post with a review and link it here in separate comment

The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, April 21st at 8:00pm. Good Luck!!

Monday Motivation 4.13

I’ve just finished reading the Sunrise series of books by Karen Kingsbury. I love her novels and this series was wonderful as always. I love the way she uses real life situations and walks her characters through these situations while focusing on their faith in God. Her characters are in no way perfect, that wouldn’t be any fun to read. Her characters are very much like real people. In the last book in the series the Scripture theme is from Psalm 130:7 NIV “Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”

If that verse doesn’t bless you and give you hope-I don’t know what will. Have a wonderful week!

Tips for a Successful Parent-Coach Relationship

It’s a common scene that happens in youth baseball leagues in towns across the country. A parent is unhappy that his or her child is not in the starting lineup, batting in a certain spot in the order, playing a certain position, or perhaps that parent is displeased about another issue. The parent directs that anger towards the coach, an argument ensues and tension is created for the rest of the season.

Jack Perconte understands the challenge a coach faces with parents of players. After a 12-year professional baseball career that includes seven seasons in the majors, Perconte retired in 1987 and opened a baseball training academy in Naperville, Illinois. He estimates that he has given more than 60,000 hitting lessons. Perconte’s book, “The Making of a Hitter: A Proven and Practical Step-by-Step Baseball Guide” (, details how parents can teach hitting to their children, and coaches can teach it to their young players. It also educates coaches about how to effectively communicate with the parents of his team’s players so everyone can enjoy the entire season.

“The key to a successful parent-coach relationship is having a mandatory pre-season meeting between parents and coaches,” Perconte said. “Encourage both parents to attend.

“In the invitation, let the parents know that invitation that attending the meeting is important because it will give them the opportunity to learn about your philosophies and guidelines, and it will give them to chance to ask questions,” Perconte added. “At the meeting, try to address every issue you can think of that could possibly lead to friction as the season progresses.”

Here are Perconte’s suggestions for a thorough and successful parent-coach meeting:

1. Give the parents background information about the coaches, especially about their playing and/or coaching experience related to the game. Be honest about your background.
2. Express your philosophy of coaching. The three ultimate objectives are winning, player development and fun. I suggest a 30, 30, 30 split on these objectives and applying the remaining 10 percent for the area most needed. This 10 percent will be determined by the competitiveness of the team and the league. At the meeting, clearly state the goals of the season. I believe it is alright to play to win even at a young level, as long as it is kept in perspective. Remember, you want the children to develop their skills and have fun.
3. Discuss your philosophy about playing time, batting order and positions played. Let the parents know how you plan to run the team. For example, do players have to earn their position on the field or in the batting order, or will you rotate the players? Give parents a chance to ask questions, and make sure your answers are clearly understood. Be sure to recognize and discuss the objectives of the league and level at which the team is playing.
4. Discuss when and how the coaches can be approached during the season so there are no confrontations. Set up a system where conversations are held away from the players, other parents and the crowds. There will be issues that arise from time to time, but let parents know that disagreements will be handled in a civil way away from the players.
5. Effective communication is the key to averting problems. Make sure parents also reiterate the coaches’ philosophies to the children. Most of the time, players are happy and content with playing and being around their friends. Troubles start to when parents start to grumble at home to the players about the coach. Insist to the parents that they approach you before getting upset and expressing that displeasure to their children.
6. Most issues arise because the parent does not think the coach is being fair. It is important that the coach fulfill his or her philosophies detailed in the pre-season meeting. If you change your philosophy in the middle of the season, then problems can arise.
7. Just as hitters are made, coaches are also made. Coaches should be a role model and a teacher to their players. It is easier to help children develop their baseball skills and enjoy the game when the parents understand the reasoning behind the coaches’ philosophies.

Jack Perconte played 12 years of professional baseball, including seven in the majors for the Dodgers, Indians, Mariners and White Sox, posting a career .270 average in the majors and a .311 mark in the minors. He was a 16th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1976 and made his big league debut with the Dodgers in 1980. After retiring from professional baseball in 1987, Perconte opened a baseball training academy in Naperville, Ill. The hitting drills, mental training and coaching tips found in “The Making of a Hitter” ( were culled from the 60,000 hitting lessons Perconte estimates he gave while operating the academy.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School

If you have a son or daughter in high school then I have a great book for you! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School: 101 Stories of Life, Love, and Learning for Older Teens is another phenomenal book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. This time readers are reminded that even though high school has its blemishes, you aren’t alone, other teens are going through what you are going through-and they have survived to write about it!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School: 101 Stories of Life, Love, and Learning for Older Teens is here to help with a variety of all new stories about real-life from teens dealing with regrets and lessons learned, self-image and self-acceptance, family relationships and more. As part of the all new Chicken Soup for the Soul ® teen series, it is specifically designed with high school students in mind. With topics ranging from “Not Like in the Movies” to “A Hard Lesson,” Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School inspires and supports teen readers as they struggle with fitting in, finding friends and whatever else comes with the high school years. It also helps parents prepare conversations with their children, on everything from divorce, to illness and death, dating and sex.

Inside Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School, you’ll also read about:

* How Michelle Vanderwist survived the emotional abuse from her boyfriend
* How Amy Anderson confronted an eating disorder, and took steps to heal
* How Cristy Trandahl didn’t make the high school cheerleading squad, became a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader, then quit in the middle of the season – more content than ever
* How Bryonna Garcia deals with being a teen parent

You can win it from the Mommy Babble!
How to Enter:
**Mandatory** In your comment tell me what issue about raising teens you would like me to talk about on Mommy Babble. You must also follow or subscribe to this blog and leave a comment here telling me that you have done this Please leave a valid e-mail address or twitter name so that I can notify if you win. **You must do all of this to be entered.**

If you would like extra entries you can earn them for doing any or all of the following after completing the above requirements:

* tweet this contest and post the url of the tweet as a separate comment (you can do this 1x per day each day of the contest-just post each tweet url in a separate comment)
* blog about this contest and link to this post (not just a link to the contest) then leave me a link to your post in a separate comment
* Fave this blog on Mom Faves
* stumble this post with a review and link it here in separate comment

This giveaway ends Tuesday 4/14/09 at 10pm and is open to US residents only. I reserve the right to disqualify any entry that doesn’t follow the above guidelines. Good Luck!

6 Ways to Keep Christ in Your Easter Celebration

Back at Christmas I did a series of posts on keeping Christ in Christmas. Today I am going to share with you 6 ways to keep Christ in Easter. Without Jesus Christ there would be no Resurrection Sunday or Easter celebration, as we in the Christian faith celebrate it. Unfortunately, Easter has become synonymous with spring, eggs and bunnies instead of Jesus, Resurrection and Salvation. Here are just a few ways you can keep Christ in your Easter celebration.

  1. Instead of filling Easter baskets with just candy and trinkets add something to enhance your child’s spiritual education. A new Bible, devotional, prayer journal, cross necklace, or Scripture bookmark are just a few ideas of gifts you could include.
  2. Focus on reaching out to an unchurched neighbor, friend or family member. Invite another family to attend church with you on Easter Sunday. Also invite them to your home for dinner afterwards. Tangibly share the love of Christ.
  3. Get some colored cellophane or plastic wrap, a few bags of jelly beans, some cardstock and ribbon and make gifts for neighbors, shut-ins, and friends. Here is the poem to put on the cardstock.
  4. Watch the movie “An Easter Carol” by Veggie Tales
  5. Review the Easter story and then use Resurrection Eggs to see if the children can recall the story. You can buy the Resurrection Eggs at your local christian bookstore or here is a link to a website that tells you how to make your own. Home made Resurrection Eggs.
  6. Make Resurrection Cookies (these are so cool)
    Tools & Ingredients

1- cup whole pecans
1-teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch of salt
1-cup sugar
a zipper baggie
a wooden spoon
a Bible
Preheat the oven to 300 (this is important-don’t wait ’til you’re half-done with the recipe)

1. Place the pecans in the baggie and let the kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3
2. Put the vinegar into a mixing bowl. Let each child smell the vinegar. Explain that when Jesus was on the cross and He became thirsty, He was offered vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30
3. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. The eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life so that we could have life.
Read John 10:10-11
4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand and let them taste it. Put the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27
5. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
6. Beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa.1:18 and John 3:1-3
7. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus body was laid to rest.
Read Matt. 27:57-60
8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off.
9. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the door. Explain that Jesus tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66
10. Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight and that Jesus followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20-22
11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. the cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find His tomb empty.
Read Matt. 28: 1-9
recipe by Wanda Long originally published in Home Life Magazine
Have a Jesus filled Easter!

Monday Motivation 4-6-09

I know Monday is almost over, I’m sorry. But, here is your Monday motivation, a quote from Ann Landers.

“In the final analysis, it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

Look Great and Save Money

I love a sale! I hate to pay full price for anything. Today I want to share with you about 2 great products and some coupon codes to help you get them each for 20% off!

The first product is PZI JEANS. I am a hard to fit woman when it comes to jeans. My waist is much smaller than my hips and behind. I hate when my pants get that gap in the back of the waist band. But, to eleviate the gap, I often have to get elastic waist pants and jeans and let’s just be honest, those don’t flatter anyone  D.  PZI JEANS are designed to fit the woman with a streamlined waist, fuller hips, and curvy bottom the ability to enjoy her figure by providing stylish jeans with comfort.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, PZI Jeans was established in 2002 with the goal of providing a previously underserved population – curvy but slim women – with jeans that fit them. They strive to provide high quality, trend conscious jeans and related apparel designed to fit the sophisticated woman with “hourglass curves”, full hips and a fashionable demeanor at an accessible price. Women of all ages, ethnicities and lifestyles who struggle to find well-fitting denim now gravitate to PZI JEANS. They are thrilled to have found their true jean size in the line designed to eliminate the need to wear ill-fitting jeans that, despite a smaller waist, must accommodate a curvier set of hips and rear. Visit and use discount code PZIAPRIL09 at checkout to receive your 20% discount.

The second product is TRES SLEEK the first ever arm shapewear for women. TRES SLEEK was founded in August of 2008 and rolled out its line of products in early 2009. Most women have trouble with their tricep area. This makes it hard to wear tops and blouses that are more form fitting. The answer to this problem is TRES SLEEK. The nylon/spandex material provides compressions and is proven to reduce the circumference  of the tricep area anywhere from 1-3 1/2 inches. TRES SLEEK has 4 styles one for short or 3/4 length sleeves, one for long sleeves and the amazing Veston which is a bolero type vest that you can wear over your strapless, sleeveles or spaghetti strapped tops and dresses. The fourth style is a body slimmer. Visit and use dicount code TresSleekApril09 at checkout to receive your 20% discount.

Random Picture Challenge 3.29

This week’s Random Picture Challenge:

27th Folder or December 2007 Folder

27th Picture

This picture is of Derek and Julianne Hough from Dancing with the Stars.

It was taken infront of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, December 1, 2007.

We were blessed to receive tickets to the taping of the 2007 Walt Disney World Christmas Parade-stage performances. It was a dreary, damp day and the opening number was a huge Dancing with the Stars production number with a lot of the pros and their partners. The stage was wet and they had to keep coming out and drying off the stage and making sure it was safe. It took 1 1/2 hours to tape the 4 minute dance.

We got to see pros Derek Hough, Tony Dovolani, Edyta Sliwinska,  Julianne Hough, Alec Mazo, Cheryl Burke, Kym Johnson, and Mark Ballas.

We also got to see stars Joey Fatone, Helio Castronevas, Sabrina Bryan and Drew Lachey.

They all danced to a Christmas medley performed by John Secada.