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05/07/2010
IconGrocery Savings Made Easy By Tawra Kellam www.livingonadime.com For many people, making the decision to switch from two incomes to one can be a scary experience. They know they're spending too much, but don't know where to begin to cut back. Most people don't think they can live the frugal life and still be comfortable. I feed my family of 5 on $175 month. In 5 years my husband earned an average of $22,000 per year. In those 5years we paid off $20,000 debt. There are countless ways you can cut, but if you are a frugal beginner, try these simple suggestions from Not Just Beans for saving on your food bill first. Before you shop, take a tour through your pantry and your refrigerator. Be organized! Don't buy what's already hiding in your kitchen.If you're a fan of coupons, remember this: It#146;s not what you save, it#146;s what you spend. If you save 30 cents on something you wouldn#146;t ordinarily buy anyway, you haven#146;t really saved anything. A typical fruit item is significantly larger than one serving. Most people would be just ashappy eating a small apple as eating a large one so buy smaller fruits! This month, try two meatless meals a week (or one, if you're a diehard meat fan). Use meat as an ingredient instead of a main dish. A good recipe for this is Green Chile. It uses only frac12;-1 pound of pork. Cut back on the juice and milk. Use the money you've saved from eating less meat and drinking less juice and buy something that's on sale. Those sale items will help you cut back even further next month. In staying at home, it's the little things that add up so start small! Green Chile frac12; 1 lb. pork roast, or chops cubed into small pieces 10 frac12; oz. chicken broth 1 onion, finely chopped frac14; #150; frac12; tsp. garlic powder 1 can (7 oz.) green chiles, diced frac14; jalapeno, finely chopped 1 tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. flour, dissolved in water white flour tortillas Toppings cheddar cheese, gratedlettuce, shreddedtomato, sour cream Simmer pork in broth on low for 10 minutes. Add all other ingredients except flour and simmer 45 minutes. Thicken with flour so it is like a thick soup. Spoon about 1/4 cup into the center of a flour tortilla. Roll up tortilla and top with more green chile. Sprinkle with cheese, lettuce and tomato. Top with sour cream if desired. This green chile freezes really well. Steak and Mushroom Gravy 1 Tbsp. margarine frac12; onion, chopped 5 Tbsp. flour salt and pepper (to taste) 5 Tbsp. dry milk 2 cups water 1 2 cups leftover beef 1 small can mushroom pieces 1 tsp. beef bouillon powder Melt margarine in a large skillet and sauteacute; onion. Mix flour, salt and pepper and dry milk in a jar. Add water and shake. Stir into onions until simmering and thickened. Add beef, bouillon powder and drained mushrooms. Reduce the heat. Simmer, stirring constantly, until heated through. Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes or toast. Serves 4. Tawra Kellam is the author of the frugal cookbook " Not Just Beans: 50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites ." "Not Just Beans" is a frugal cookbook which has over 540 recipes and 400 tips. For more free tips and recipes visit her web site at www.LivingOnADime.com . In 5 years, Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 personal debt on an average income of $22,000 per year. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"America#146;s Heart Soul" - Disney Documentary Review The Movie Reporter By Philip Boatwright www.moviereporter.com Director - Louis Schwartzberg Opens 7/2/04 #147;The most joyous filmgoing-experience I can remember.#148; Phil Boatwright, The Movie Reporter It#146;s Friday night, you#146;re looking through the entertainment section of the paper, searching for a film the whole family can enjoy. You spot the ad for #147;America#146;s Heart Soul.#148; You#146;ve heard of it. But, someone says, #147;It#146;s a documentary.#148; #147;A documentary!#148; you exclaim. #147;Who wants to see a documentary on a Friday night?#148; So you pass onto the next advertisement. Big mistake. Huge mistake. At the press screening, I turned to a friend about midway through the film and told her, #147;I don#146;t want this to end.#148; That#146;s something I have never said about a movie. Funny, moving, insightful, breathtaking, inspiring, it#146;s everything you want in a movie-going experience. Best of all, it#146;s a wonderful example of how film can unite people. A gifted documentarian, Louis Schwartzberg has packed up his camera and hit the road, with a goal of capturing both the unparalleled beauty of the U.S. and the incomparable spirit of its people. Unobtrusively, the filmmaker delves into the lives of ordinary Americans, who just so happen to have extraordinary stories, seamlessly blending their values, dreams, and passions into a spirited and well-paced film-event. In an era of #147;reality#148; programming that generally focuses on the negative and cynical, #147;America#146;s Heart Soul#148; gives us a positive and powerful glimpse into the diversity of our country#146;s citizenry. It celebrates our commonality #150; our innermost need to dream and to find our place. Some of the vignettes will cause your sides to ache from laugher, while others will bring a tear to your eye. Just to spotlight a very few: There#146;s the aged gospel singer who joyfully proclaims, #147;I#146;m a child of the King,#148; as she prances across the stage, defying her years; the Appalachian woman who profoundly, and rather poetically, analyzes the human experience; the father/son team who enter a marathon, the younger man suffering from ALS, the father professing, #147;I#146;m the legs, he#146;s the heart#148;; the sculptor who collects junk, calling it #147;rusty gold#148; and finding love and respect through his art; the blind mountain climber who has a grateful appreciation for what he has; and the salsa dancers who evidence the skill and interpretation of dance. The documentary also pays homage to our nation#146;s religious beliefs, paying close attention to uplifting gospel music and several visuals that spotlight the Christian faith, while still other portions examine the eccentric, the inspiring and the emotional traits that make up the mutt-like pedigree that is uniquely American. I#146;d suggest sharing this cinematic treasure with friends, half the fun being the appreciative discussion during the drive home. PG (I found nothing objectionable or exploitive. The intent of the filmmaker is to present a positive view of what America is and what it can become.) For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Kids are coming, the kids are coming#133;. Tracy Lyn Moland www.TracyLynMoland.com The countdown is on #150; only 42 more days of school. The kids are ecstatic and the parents in fear. We all have different summer memories #150; great times, boring times, and traveling. Summer is a wonderful time but it can certainly come with some challenges. Our children are out of school and that can mean some interesting scheduling. Unfortunately, the working world does not generally allow for holidays that mirror the local school systems. However, with a bit of advance planning parents can ensure that they avoid bored kids and maintain their own sanity. The following tips can be very helpful in staying sane with the kids out of school: Plan ahead #150; Look closely at your schedule now. Are there certain days or events that pop out for you? Do you have some important meetings, guests or travel for work? Is there certain events that take place in your city? Do you have company coming? Mark these events on a main calendar so you can plan around them. Ask your children what they want to do #150; Last summer I had all these things that I thought we would do. My children had other plans. With over 15 children living on our cul de sac they were content to hang out here and play outside with their friends. If your children do want to take certain programs, you may need to book now. Research your city #150; Many cities offer a lot of interesting programs during the summer. These can range from free to paid programs. There may be park programs, day camps, summer camps, festivals, or shows. Your church, community center or school may run programs. The more you are aware of the more options available to you. Chose and commit to a few events #150; Coordinate your schedule and the events in your city. If you have a busy work week this may be the perfect week to enroll your children in a bible camp or a sports camp. If there is a fun festival, maybe you can take a day or 2 off work and hang out with your children. Enlist help #150; Find out what your children#146;s friends are up to for the summer. Our children miss their friends so see if you can alternate some childcare. Have your children#146;s friends over one week and then send your children to their house the next week. Visit family #150; I have more time off than my husband so often I will head out to visit friends and family in other cities. We also will invite family to come visit us. We may all head into the mountains for the day or just stay home and let the kids play and adults relax and visit. Take a road trip #150; head out of town for a day or two. There is often some pretty neat stuff in close driving distance that you never have time to get to. Learn the history of your area, see the sites or relax on a beach. Act like a tourist #150; what do tourists do in your city? Where do you send your company? Pretend you are visiting and do these things. Get to know your community and explore. Alter your schedule #150; In the hot summer months, move the children#146;s rooms to the basement. Allow your children to share a room, sleep in or stay up later. Changes in routine and schedule can be a fun way to add variety to the summer! Allow Imaginations to Soar #150; By adding a few new ideas and events into your summer months you can avoid boredom for the children and frustration for you. However don#146;t forget that sometimes in the summer the most fun comes from the fact that we can do nothing at all. Children create amazing games with their friends while playing outside or watching the clouds. Free Events Playground programs, wading pools. splash parks, bible schools, nature trails, hiking, lakes/rivers/beaches, biking, rollerblading, library programs Paid Ideas sport camps, animal camps/zoo events, imagination/science/fantasy camps, movies, festivals, amusement parks, swimming lessons, waterparks Summer is truly a special time. Take advantage of all that is available to you and your family and have fun! Tracy Lyn Moland is an author, speaker and consultant specializing in improving the lifestyle of Mothers by providing solutions to them and to those that sell to them. She is the author of the best selling, Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else (tgot, 2003). For more information visit, www.TracyLynMoland.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"The Notebook" Movie Review The Movie Reporter By Philip Boatwright www.moviereporter.com Starring: Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowlands, Rachel McAdams, Joan Allen, James Garner. New Line. Drama, romance. W-Jeremy Levin, based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. D-Nick Cassavetes. It#146;s the type of drama/romance/life-lesson one expects from Hallmark Hall of Fame, but seldom finds at the local cineplex. And although it has two fresh faces in the lead roles, it also has some well-seasoned ones with nearly as much screen time. It#146;s a love story we might have seen back in Hollywood#146;s Golden Era. What#146;s more, it#146;s good. The cynical side of me wonders, however, what kind of reception it will receive from those who think, #147;It ain#146;t a movie if something doesn#146;t explode!#148; The story concerns an elderly man (Garner) who reads from a faded notebook to the Alzheimer#146;s-suffering woman (Rowlands) he regularly visits at a nursing home. As he recites from the diary, we are taken back in time to a quiet town and the beginnings of true love between a young couple (Gosling and McAdams). They are a sweet pair who obviously belong together, but not unlike Romeo and Juliet, have interfering parents ready to douse our young lovers with a cold pale of water at just the right moment. Along with over-protective folks, the couple is further separated by misunderstanding and the battle cry of World War II. But as Garner continues to read to Rowlands, whose character only has brief moments of lucidity, we continue with our trek back in time to see the sweethearts passionately reunite 14 years later after their lives have taken different paths. My favorite TV show of all time is the #145;90s English situation comedy #147;As Time Goes By,#148; starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. That series concerned a couple separated by misunderstanding and time, only to find one another thirty-some years later. #147;The Notebook#148; borrows freely from this concept, perhaps not quite as satisfyingly, but with the same tenderness and regard for amore. Definitely a date flick, #147;The Notebook#148; is an involving tale of love lost and found, of new beginnings and second chances. #147;It is a story of unconditional love. They love each other through everything that comes up. And it#146;s probably the most passionate display of young love I#146;ve ever seen in a movie. By that I mean the intensity of the feelings,#148; says author Nicholas Sparks (#147;Time In A Bottle,#148; #147;A Walk To Remember#148;), whose novel the film is based upon. Indeed, the story deals with themes seldom seen in movies these days, that of lifelong commitment and the sanctity of the marriage covenant. #147;The film is the closest adaptation of one of my works. I was so pleased with the outcome, I agreed to do the DVD commentary and I#146;ll be doing all sorts of promotion for the film,#148; Sparks adds. While the film does contain brief content that may raise the eyebrows of some Sunday school teachers, nothing is done of an exploitive manner. Nor is the film done to titillate. It is about romance and love, not bedroom gymnastics. Although we are never privy to the religious beliefs of the couple, the film#146;s main characters are believers in the marriage contract #150; for better or worse, in sickness and in health. The narrative gently pays homage to those who seek a soul mate and cherish one true and lasting love. While Mr. Gosling is not all that charismatic, his costar holds our attention every time she appears in a scene. Ms. McAdams gives a standout performance that ranges from humorous to heart wrenching, as do her elder costars, James Garner and Gena Rowlands. New Line Cinema should be congratulated for the courage of incorporating a positive message concerning marriage and giving us a movie where nothing explodes. Good luck, New Line. PG-13: (3 misuses of God#146;s name; 3 obscenities and several minor expletives; some drinking; brief wartime violence; there is some sensuality as the young couple are drawn together, but any scene dealing with sex is handled with discretion, cutting away before becoming graphic; it is implied that the male lead sleeps with a woman outside marriage during the years he is separated from his true love; the main couple does eventually sleep together before marriage, their years of pent-up passion needing release, but even these scenes are devoted more to their abiding love than mere sexuality; as I say, there is some sexuality, but the point of the story is the covenant between two people who were fortunate enough to find each other - twice). Video Alternative: If the content prohibits you from viewing this film allow me to suggest the following: #147;C.S. Lewis Through The Shadowlands.#148; Not to be confused with the Anthony Hopkins/Debra Winger version, this English film stars Josh Ackland and Clair Bloom. A lovely film about the renown author#146;s friendship and eventual marriage to a woman who discovers she is dying. DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"Two Brothers" Movie Review The Movie Reporter By Philip Boatwright www.moviereporter.com Starring: Guy Pierce, Christian Clavier. Universal. Family live-action adventure. W- Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard. D- Jean-Jacques Annaud. In 1989, #147;The Bear,#148; a captivating movie about the adventures of an orphaned bear cub and its protector, a giant Kodiak, caused me to exclaim, #147;Wow, what a great film-going experience.#148; The makers of that adventure have just completed #147;Two Brothers,#148; a Rudyard Kipling-ish fable concerning twin tigers whose idyllic life is interrupted by plundering white hunters. Once again, I say, #147;Wow, what a great film-going experience!#148; Bravo to writer/director Jean-Jacques Annaud, who maintains that the greatest special effect is still the process of storytelling. Set in the jungles of Southeast Asia, it quickly becomes apparent that the film is a parable dealing with friendship and the bond between brothers. The two tiger cubs #150; one shy, the other bold #150; are cruelly separated by fate. The bold brother is sold off to a circus, where homesickness and living in a cage rob him of his spirit. The shy cub becomes the beloved companion for the governor#146;s lonely young son, until the child is forced to give him away to a man resolved to break his gentle nature and turn him into a fighter for sport. A year passes and the brothers find themselves reunited #150; but as forced enemies pitted against each other. The often-breathtaking cinematography, the exotic locations filmed around the temples of Angkor near the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, the director#146;s energized pacing, and the actors, especially Guy Pearce (#147;Memento,#148; #147;L.A. Confidential#148;), who seems genuinely simpatico with his feline costars, each blend together, giving viewers a colorful, enchanting tale. Then there are the animals. As cubs the expressive tigers continually garner awes and giggles from the audience. Later, fully grown, they generate a mix of wonder and respect. And thankfully these cats don#146;t talk. Oh, they communicate. Very clearly. But director Annaud and associates wisely eschew conventional voice-over narration and there#146;s no cutesy dialogue uttered by the likes of Gilbert Gottfried. Like people, animals have personality. The fact that the animals#146; persona has been captured on film reflects the regard -- and patience -- the filmmakers have for their subjects. Even more powerful than the tigers, however, is the story itself. It has, dare I say this, an old-fashioned quality. Before special-effects departments became the stars of movies, emphasis was placed on storytelling. Occasionally, as in the case of this film, we see a moviemaker return to the spinning of yarns. As moviegoers have been overdosed on computer gimmickry, the old scenario has become new again. Although Annaud wisely chooses to put his social commentary second to the entertainment value, he does address contemporary issues such as the conservation of nature and the preservation of culture within his morality play. What#146;s more, whether intentional or not, there are striking similarities to several biblical parables about overcoming evil and hatred. The filmmaker captivates with a strong narrative, proving that a witty, well-told yarn is ultimately more satisfying than attacking computer-generated Trojans or Harry Potter wand-pointing wizardry. Annaud gives us an exciting action adventure for the whole family, one with soul, charm and intrigue. PG (Toward the beginning, we see two tigers copulating, resulting in the birth of the film#146;s central figures. But this sequence is handled with discretion. Indeed, the production is careful not to overwhelm or exploit. We see some violence, including the hunting and shooting of tigers, a brief battle between the two brothers, and the animals defending themselves against harsh humans, but gore and excess have been carefully avoided. The film shows how cruel man can be, but also gives examples of his ability to better himself. That said, one scene needs to be pointed out. At one point, a brave boy approaches a grown tiger that he raised. Parents should point out that this is just a movie #150; not real life #150; and that children should not approach wild animals.) DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSummer Vacation: Things to do When Traveling by Car By Jodie Lynn www.ParentToParent.com "Mom, Trey hit me," screamed Gabbie. "You grabbed my headphones first and popped me in the ear," shouted Trey. It#146;s one thing when kids are in the house while arguing; you can separate them and put them in their own rooms. But there, inside the car as you try to squeeze all of the different personalities into one small space, tempers are bound to flair, and flair and flair. Especially with these competitive twins. This is the time of year when families begin to plan for their vacations. Due to the uncertainty of overcrowding airplanes and high prices of tickets, when you have four or more kids, many will be taking to the roads via automobiles and need help in trying to make it a good experience. Why do vacations seem more like work than, well, vacations? Some pointers that other kind families have shared are listed below. It#146;s great because through trial and error, these parents have found that they really do work. Plan ahead and get the kids involved in the planning the trip along with a map or road atlas. Discuss what you will see and perhaps get a video of where you are going. Check out possible points of interest along the route and stop there for meals or a stretch. Kids enjoy talking into a tape recorder to "report" what is out the window or other momentary facts. Borrow great classics on tape from the library. Use cassette recorder to play "The Borrowers" and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Bring along a bag of distractions. Hand them out only as a last resort. Buy things ahead of time by doing shopping on a weekly basis. This will help to spread out the cost and to consider taking things back if you find something you think they might like better. Start your trip early around 3:00 a.m. so the kids will still want to sleep through the morning, make frequent stops to use the bathroom, eat light snacks, run around, stretch at the rest stops and do not let the kids drink caffeine. When traveling with twins, or any kids, get things for them to share and things just for each child. LeapFrog has all kinds of travel kits as well as those that are off brands but are just as entertaining. "Trouble-Free Travel With Children" by Vicki Lansky, (Book Peddlers, $9.95) has tons of things to do with your children as well as plenty of ideas to do before you get started to ensure it is the best one yet. The "Everything Kids Travel Activity Book," by Erik Hansen (Adams Media Corporation, $6.95) has many choices for kids in the age range of 8 to 12. Think about buying music that everyone in the car will enjoy like "The Trees of Life," by Steve Schuch, (Night Heron Music, $15.00) which is now available at www.nightheron.com and "Kids Rock #145;n Roll Party," by ROSENSHONTZ - Gary Rosen and Bill Shontz of Teddy Bears#146; Picnic - (Lightyear Entertainment, $6.95) has cool rock #145;n roll tunes from the 70#146;s in today#146;s kids#146; words and themes. "Dad, I hate to always have to sit by Aunt Martha. She kisses me too much and asks me stupid questions," says Karen. Dad looked at Karen and quietly replied, "Well, you can always sit by your twin sister." "No way, I#146;m not sitting by her! When we pick up Aunt Martha, I will just ask her to listen to my new CD for a while." Dad gave mom a knowing look like, "I told you I could keep things running smooth." Mom glanced at the clock on the dash board, gazed out the window and silently thought, "Yes, as usual, you were right honey, and I can#146;t wait to see how the other fifteen hours go." Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press . (It's not just for moms!) Please see www.ParentToParent.com for more details. We now have new Mommy, CEO merchandise and logo! copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconSwimming Safety New Research Shows Nearly 9 Out of 10 of Children Who Drowned Were Being Supervised U.S. Surgeon General, Olympic Swimmer Join The National SAFE KIDS Campaign To Educate The Nation about Drowning Prevention April 28, 2004 (NEW YORK) New research revealed today by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and Johnson Johnson shows that 88 percent of children who drowned were under the supervision of another person, usually a family member. Supervision was defined as being in the care of another individual, not necessarily in their direct line of sight. While better quality supervision is critical, the study also found that many adults were not properly fencing pools, requiring use of personal flotation devices (PFDs), or teaching their children how to swim. Additionally, SAFE KIDS found that the majority (55 percent) of parents say they are "not at all worried" or "not very worried" about their child drowning. Drowning remains the second leading injury-related killer of children ages 1-14, claiming more than 900 children's lives each year. It is a complex issue with no single safety device that works in all cases. Water safety entails the understanding and practice of four water safety wisdoms supervision, environment, gear and education. The report, Clear Danger: A National Study of Childhood Drowning and Related Attitudes and Behaviors, examined the circumstances of drowning deaths occurring in 2000 and 2001 among 496 children using data from Child Death Review Teams in 17 states. SAFE KIDS also commissioned nationally representative surveys of parents (of children 14 and under) and children ages 8 through 12 to determine knowledge, attitudes and behaviors concerning water safety. The research was released today by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, Olympic gold medalist Jenny Thompson and pediatric trauma surgeon Dr. Martin Eichelberger to launch National SAFE KIDS Week May 1 through 8, 2004 a week-long, nationwide, public education campaign. "Adults need to actively supervise children around water. This means watching and listening at all times and staying close enough to intervene in an emergency," says Dr. Eichelberger, director of Emergency Trauma Services at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and CEO of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. "We know that parents are well-meaning and don't want to put their children at risk." "We want kids to be active and enjoy swimming but we want them to do it safely," adds Dr. Carmona. "Drowning is a silent killer that can strike even older, more experienced child swimmers." Study Results Supervision More than half (55 percent) of parents say there are some circumstances where it is acceptable for a child to swim unsupervised. Even when parents say they are supervising, many are participating in a variety of distracting behaviors including talking to others (38 percent), reading (18 percent), eating (17 percent) and talking on the phone (11 percent). SAFE KIDS recommends adults take turns serving as the "water watcher" whose sole responsibility is to constantly observe children in or near the water. Environments While 98 percent of pool- or spa-owning parents report they have taken adequate steps to ensure children's safety, most have not made the necessary environmental changes. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of pool or spa-owning parents do not have isolation fencing around their pools or spas, and 43 percent have no self-closing and self-latching gate. Installation and proper use of four-sided isolation fencing could prevent 50-90 percent of residential pool drownings. Gear Many tweens (kids aged 8 to 12) admit they never wear a life jacket when riding on a personal watercraft (50 percent), participating in water sports (37 percent) or on a boat (16 percent). One in five parents (19 percent) mistakenly believes that air-filled water wings can protect their child from drowning. It is estimated that 85 percent of boat-related drownings could be prevented if all passengers were wearing properly fitting life vests. Education Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of drowning victims studied did not know how to swim. Seventy-three percent of victims ages five to nine and 30 percent of victims ages 10 to 14 were non-swimmers. Although the majority of parents agree that all children should have swimming instruction by the age of 8, 37 percent of parents report that their child has never taken lessons. SAFE KIDS recommends that children should be enrolled in swimming lessons with a certified instructor by the age of eight. Splash Into Safety Throughout SAFE KIDS Week hundreds of SAFE KIDS coalitions and chapters will conduct safety fairs and community events all across the nation to teach families how to prevent recreational water injuries and save lives. As part of this initiative, the Johnson Johnson family of companies has created an informative Water Safety Checklist (in English and Spanish) to help parents determine their own level of knowledge of water injury prevention for their children. The test is being distributed at community events and through retail stores along with safety information and a free-standing insert of coupons to 45 million households across the nation. Johnson Johnson also is supporting SAFE KIDS Week with a national advertising campaign and a donation of 2,000 personal flotation devices to SAFE KIDS coalitions across the country. Johnson Johnson has developed a marketing partnership with Turner Broadcasting to distribute public education advertorials supporting SAFE KIDS Week 2004. For more information or for a free copy of the SAFE KIDS/Johnson Johnson Clear Danger: A National Study of Childhood Drowning and Related Attitudes and Behaviors, contact the National SAFE KIDS Campaign at (202) 662-0600 or visit www.safekids.org . The National SAFE KIDS Campaign is the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury the number one killer of children ages 14 and under. More than 300 state and local SAFE KIDS coalitions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico comprise the Campaign. Johnson Johnson, with approximately 110,600 employees, is the world's most comprehensive and broadly-based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics markets. Johnson Johnson has more than 200 operating companies in 57 countries around the world, selling products in more than 175 countries. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
Icon"Laws of Attraction" Movie Review The Movie Reporter Films Reviews from a Family Perspective by Phil Boatwright With the synopsis and content, you can decide if the new films are suitable for your viewing. Video alternatives contain the same theme, but lack the offensive material. Laws of Attraction Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Michael Sheen, Nora Dunn, Frances Fisher; New Line Cinema. Romantic comedy Two hotshot divorce lawyers find themselves attracted to one another despite their differences: he's a laid-back Oscar, she's an uptight Felix. Pitted against each other over the divorce settlement of a rock star and his fashion designer wife, the attorneys travel to Ireland to obtain separate depositions, go to a Guinness-fueled festival, let down their hair, get drunk, and wind up in bed, discovering the next morning that they're married! Sound like a Doris Day/Rock Hudson farce? Well, for those of us who remember the screen dynamic between Day and Hudson ("Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back"), this new romantic comedy will seem like a fond salute to those klutzy comedies of the early 1960s. For those of us, however, who also like watching Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy on the late, late show, "Laws of Attraction" will seem like a carbon copy; it's good, just not as good. If unfamiliar with the writing skills of Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin ("Adam's Rib," "Pat Mike"), or the directing touches of George Cukor ("Adam's Rib," "Born Yesterday," "The Philadelphia Story," "The Women") or Howard Hawks ("Bringing Up Baby," "His Girl Friday," "I Was A Male War Bride"), you may be satisfied with this endeavor. And certainly those involved deserve a B+ for attempting to revive grown-up banter and sophisticated predicaments on the silver screen. Skipping the critical kibitzing, did I like it? Well, despite its flaws and failings, yes, I did. Alas, I think I liked it more for what it was trying to be than for what it actually was. Mainly, I appreciated it for being a film aimed at those of us no longer challenged by oily skin and changing voices. It's an intelligent comedy for the moviegoers often ignored in studio boardrooms these days - adults. It's a pleasure to watch good-looking movie stars who weren't embryos just last week. And get this: None of the humor is based on flatulence jokes or other anatomically embarrassing shtick. Topping it off, the film is pro marriage. Make that pro-marriage between a man and a woman. Ain't that a kick? Unfortunately, movie dialogue for emancipated women has grown harsher than in the days of Rosalind Russell and Irene Dunn. Today, you just can't find a film that refuses to abandon profanity all together. Here we hear God's name followed by a curse on two occasions, one each from the female leads. Besides the biblical instruction against such usage, the incorporating of profanity by the female star deconstructs the classiness both director and star have worked so diligently to achieve. Suddenly the lead is more Tanya Harding than Greer Garson. Also disappointing both creatively and socially is the fact that the leads wind up in the sack, twice, both times unaware of how they got there. True, the one occasion sets up the story's premise. Two times, however, just makes them look like they share a drinking problem. The earlier situation is structurally unsound, surpassing an edgy tension that would have added more dimension to their relationship, and causing the pivotal moment, when they discover they have bonded in wedlock, to be rather anticlimactic. Some Christian filmgoers will be frustrated with the excessive drinking, the several objectionable words and the air of promiscuity. If able to adjust to the unnecessary content, they may appreciate the seldom-filmed pro-marriage scenario, along with the fact that it is rare to find a movie tailored for the over-25 set, and the fact that the film takes a profound stance, a clear defense if you will, for lasting commitments. In a culture that promotes the quick disposal of friendships and marriages at the first hint of dissatisfaction, here is a movie that declares love is worth fighting for.Readers must decide for themselves if the content is a deterrent. For me, the message was uplifting, and the performances delightful, especially the scene-stealing Frances Fisher as the audacious mother of the prim and proper lady lawyer. When this character, who spends her life fighting off old age, is asked, "Are you really 56," she quickly retorts, "Parts of me." Ya gotta love that. PG-13 (2 profanities, 6 obscenities, several minor expletives, the expression "oh my God is used three times, and one obscene gesture; a couple of sexual innuendoes, a few crude remarks, and the couple awaken in the same bed after a night of drunkenness - twice; lots of drinking; adult subject matter). Vid. Alt. Adam's Rib. It's got some age on it, but if you can abort a prejudice for black white movies, you'll find it a literate and funny battle-of-the-sexes comedy with man and wife attorneys (Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn) facing off in an attempted murder trial. DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children Download Boatwright#146;s book #147;How To Choose A Good Video Every Time!#148; FREE when you subscribe to his weekly film guide. For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconMy Eggs Are Frozen by Cheryl Demas No, I'm not participating in a fertility study. My husband did the grocery shopping last night. That's right, grocery shopping. So this morning I went to the refrigerator to make omelets for the girls, and found no eggs. I phoned my husband, and he was positive that he had purchased eggs. "I know I bought eggs, they're there someplace. Keep looking." They're there someplace. Now that's a scary thought. Somewhere in the house lurked a dozen eggs, and if I didn't find them we would all be sorry. So I started searching the various places where my husband might have put the eggs. I checked the cupboards and the car and finally the freezer. There they were, frozen solid. Eggs don't freeze well, so we were stuck with a dozen rock-hard eggs and no omelets. My husband isn't usually this absentminded; it's just that when he's in the kitchen his mind is usually on more important things, like cheese. And ham. We all have times when we need help. And there are times when outside help isn't that much "help" at all. This was one of those times. You will often hear that to run a successful business you have to surround yourself with a good team of helpers and advisors. Since I work at home, my business team includes my family. My girls have been involved with my home business since the beginning and my husband is a wonderful advisor. He's the first person I turn to when I need advice. But sometimes I recognize when there are things that are best left for me to do for myself. I have certain ways that I like to have things done, and I can't expect anyone else to read my mind and do things exactly as I would. That's fine, if I can live with their style, I delegate the task, if not, I happily do it myself. Make a list of your daily chores and business tasks. Which items can someone else do? Which items do you want to do yourself? I know some women who love filing and organizing their paperwork, others adore making phone calls and following up on sales leads. Find a balance and use your team. You will get so much more accomplished. I'm happy with my extended business team and my family members contribute so much as well. So I'm willing to overlook a few (or twelve) frozen eggs. By the way, frozen eggs make excellent flying projectiles. I know from experience. Cheryl is the founder and publisher of WAHM.com . She lives and works at her home in California with her husband and two daughters. She is also the author of "It's a Jungle Out There and a Zoo in Here/Run Your Home Business Without Letting it Overrun You" Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconDo Teen-agers Have To Be So Expensive? By Jonni McCoy www.miserlymoms.com Question: I have three teens living in my home and there are cost issues that need to be addressed. We have problems with their clothing expenses, car insurance and snack foods. They don't like the fashions at Wal-Mart, their jobs don't pay enough to pay for their own car insurance, and they are picky eaters that are never full! Can you help? Jonni's response: There is no doubt about it - teen-agers are expensive. But there are some ways to make a dent into how expensive they are. Let's take clothes first. What seems to work the best for our family is to give the teen what you have allotted for their clothing budget. It should be enough to cover them with normal clothes (not stylish or brand name) that you could buy on sale at the department stores. If they want to spend more than that amount on stylish or name-brand clothes, then they will have to make up the difference with their own money. This has been tried and works well. They make mistakes at first, like blowing the entire wad on one jacket. But after a few months of wearing the same clothes, they learn from it. These are the years where they have to learn to make choices with their money and should not expect to have everything that they want. As for the car insurance, make sure to investigate the discounts that are available to you (good-student, multi-policy, etc.) Make sure you are getting other discounts on your own coverage to reduce the overall cost (non-smoker, middle-age, anti-theft-devices, low mileage, etc.). We have also found it cheaper to keep them on our policy than to have them on their own policy. Ask your insurance agent for suggestions as well. You should also shop around for quotes from different insurance carriers. Insurance rates very considerably between companies. Just make sure that the company is reputable - cheapest is not always the best. To check a company's rating, visit www.insure.com/ratings/ . I recommend that you make them be responsible for their own insurance. If they still cannot afford the insurance, then perhaps they shouldn't have the privilege to drive. Your last area of concern was food. Snacks are what eat up a family's budget, whether it's because of teens or not. Snacks are handy and usually taste better than "staple" food. So we need to be careful in this area. If the family had a choice, they would make snacks their meals. At our house, we budget for a certain amount of store-bought snacks, and if they eat them all in one day, that's their loss. The snacks don't get replenished until the next week's shopping. But they won't starve, because we have a supply of homemade snacks on hand: banana bread, cookies, muffins, popcorn, etc. Homemade snacks cost a fraction of the cost of store-bought. We cook them in bulk and keep them on hand. I even taught my teenage son how to cook his favorites so he can feed himself :-) Jonni McCoy and her family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is the author of Miserly Moms, Frugal Families - Making the Most of Your Hard-Earned Money, and Miserly Meals. You can visit her website at www.miserlymoms.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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