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Saturday, July 23, 2016

It won't be long now before the kiddos head back to school, start this school year off right with these 6 things most parents/guardians need to NOT DO this school year.


1. Your kid's homework ~ Oh yes, it's a familiar scene: your little one at the kitchen table, frustrated and unfocused on their math assignment that they just caaaan't figure out, Mom. Or their reading project that is SO BORING, Dad. It's all too easy as parents to want to jump in, give the answers, finish things on your kid's behalf because let's be honest - it's quick. It's easy enough for you. It's a way to stop the complaining, and then your kid will get a good grade, right? This year, I encourage you to stop doing your kid's homework. What will happen if you don't? Maybe they won't finish it, and they get to learn a lesson in responsibility when their teacher confronts them. Maybe they'll figure it out on their own, and that's exactly what they should be doing. Or maybe they'll get the answers wrong and have a little learning to do. Lend a helping hand to encourage them in the right direction once in a while, but put the Number 2 pencil down, parents! You've already been through school.

2. Over-enrolling in sports/activities ~ Got a little dude who loves baseball and soccer? Great, sign him up for both if he's truly dedicated and interested in both sports. But I urge you not to fill up your kids' schedules with every activity and sport available just for the sake of enriching their lives. It's good to get them interested in a variety of things, but kids can also be overwhelmed with a full calendar of things to do with little downtime to just BE. Besides, all of that running around after school can be really stressful for you too as a parent. Stick with a couple of activities your kids truly love and devote your time to those, and don't collect guilt from other overplanning parents because little Audrey isn't in gymnastics AND Tae Kwon Do AND the math club AND drama AND ballet like little Jessica next door. Jessica sounds like she needs a nap.

3. Obsessively emailing the teacher ~ These days, it's way too easy to shoot off a quick email to your kid's teacher about this or that. Is Jack doing ok today with his social skills? Can he be seated further away from Ian because they just talk all day and you KNOW Jack just isn't paying attention. Did he finish his lunch today or did he trade it for a Twinkie? Yeah. I get it, I've done it, too! But step away from the laptop, keyboard crusaders! Your kid is fine and their fully capable teacher will let you know if there's anything she feels you should be aware of in class that day. Remember back when we were kids? No email. How often do you think our parents were sending hand-written notes to the teacher? Let's let the teachers do their jobs and focus on the kids, not their email inbox.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Well I hate to admit it but it's right around the corner....Back To School time! Here are 8 Modern Back-to-School Items ~ send your kids back to the classroom with these cool updates on old-school favorites.

Herschel Settlement Backpack ~ A basic book bag with a twist. This single front pocket pack is equipped with an electronics sleeve and is available in nine color and pattern options. To buy: $55, shop.herschelsupply.com.

Urbio Magnetic Modular System ~ If you’re short on desk space, use a bare wall for organizing the office essentials. From spiral notebooks to slim highlighters, this modern 11-pocket modular storage unit can handle items of all shapes and sizes. To buy: Starting at $15, containerstore.com.

Purple Kaleidoscope Composition Book ~ Bye-bye, black-and-white marble notebook. Your little student can take serious notes in a cool bound notebook that’s filled with 160 lined pages. To buy: $5, poppin.com.

Color Reference Drawers ~ Conquer clutter with a color-coded mini filing cabinet, which is ideal for storing notes from a BFF or ribbons for art projects. To buy: $109, landofnod.com.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Water the Right Seeds

“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:8

It is so important to have a disciplined thought life. When somebody calls you something, either good or bad, that seed is planted in the soil of your mind. However, you get to determine whether or not that seed takes root and grows. When you dwell on what was said, you are watering the seed, you’re giving it a right to become a reality.It’s great when people tell you, “You’re blessed. You’re talented. You’re going to do great things.” Water those seeds. Meditate on those thoughts throughout the day. That’s what you want to become a reality.

Too often, we water the wrong seeds and dwell on what the negative people say. The naysayers can’t make a seed take root in your life, all they can do is sow the seed. You have complete control over what seeds are going to take root and grow in your own soil.

Maybe you need to uproot some wrong seeds spoken over you ~ let go of the negative and choose to dwell on the good. Dwell on what God says about you and on His word. Water the right seeds and receive the fruit of His blessing!

Father, today I choose to focus on the good in my life. I choose to water the right seeds planted in the soil of my mind. I ask for Your grace and wisdom daily as I set my heart and mind on You in Jesus’ name! Amen.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Student Loan Forgiveness: 9 Things You Should Know ~ As we head into fall and the start of another school year please research the heck out of student loan debt before taking on any loans!


Two-thirds of students who receive bachelor's degrees leave college with debt in tow. Depending on the amount owed (the average among borrowers is $26,600), it can take decades to pay off the outstanding balance.

For help with paying down your student loans more aggressively, consider the many programs that reduce your debt in exchange for relocating to specific regions and/or providing needed services in underserved communities. From Kansas to Chad, and in fields from nursing to teaching, there are programs to help graduates slash college debt. But the programs aren’t always easy to get into -- nor easy to stick with. Here are nine things you should know: