Friday, May 29, 2020

Three Ways to Ignite Your Child's Love for Learning

Children are little sponges, soaking up anything and everything. And while the time you spend with your child is something that nothing can compare to, they will also benefit from time away from home and interacting with others. Here are three ways you can open your child's life to that enrichment.

Choose a Program

Your choice of schooling will likely be dictated by your family's overall situation. But it's important to understand the types of early childhood education, and how they're different. There are wonderful programs that educate without it really feeling like school, such as the Montessori approach. Checking out options for preschool Redmond Wa can give you an idea of what to expect from this type of learning environment.

Head to the Library

Chances are you have a local library that does a regular weekly storytime for children. Have you made that part of your routine yet? If not, you should! It's a great way not only to interact with others, but to learn basic social skills such as sitting quietly, following directions and waiting patiently. A trip to the library also means checking out books — and lots of different books at home encourages a love for reading early on.

Let Kids be Kids

It can be helpful to schedule activities and plan out each day, especially if you have a young child. But sometimes the opposite is more beneficial. During a playdate, do you sit back and let it flow, or do you become a third wheel? Children thrive on independence and can learn a whole lot just on their own. Encouraging that is important. Know when to step back and just enjoy watching your child self direct.

Throughout your parenting journey, remember that this classic saying rings true. "It takes a village to raise a child."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Preparing for Your First Indoor Rock Climbing Adventure

The earth is full of stunning landscapes, so why not view them from new heights? Rock climbing is a popular and exhilarating activity in the Colorado area and in all mountainous regions of the world, and you can learn how to safely and effectively climb in an indoor gym before approaching rocky terrain. Prepare for your first “climb on” with these tips:

Learn the Be-Lay of the Land

OK, the “land” here refers to exploring indoor rock climbing Denver from the comfort of the gym. Before you start climbing, you will learn how to safely belay a climbing partner, and your partner will learn to secure you on the rope as you ascend.

A climbing facility is surrounded by various walls and routes for climbers to tackle; these typically include high walls for top rope (the typical “climb up and reach the top” activity) and lead climbing (more advanced, clipping in your own rope as you climb), and walls for bouldering, which may not require a harness or safety rope. Bouldering incorporates a certain route outlined to challenge the technique of the climber, scaling shorter formations up to 6 meters high, with safety mats below to cushion any falls.

Grip Some Gear

A climbing gym typically has rentable equipment available for your use. Indoor shoes should feel snug on your feet with no socks on, so you may have to ask for a lower size than your normal shoe. The tight fit with no extra room at the tip of your toes can help you grip the footholds with all sides of your feet, or “edging.” Adjust your safety harness (or ask for help from an employee) so it fits your waist, hips, and legs properly. You can also ask for a chalk bag, which can connect to your harness, so you can apply the dust to your palms to reduce the chance of a sweaty slip of your grip!

Elevate Your Fitness

Great climbers must possess strength, endurance, and flexibility to be able to effectively scale steep, challenging mountains and walls. You can prepare for a successful first wall-scaling experience by trying exercises recommended for rock climbing. Mental clarity is also vital, as you need to think through difficult holds and bouldering sequences and concentrate on engaging the right muscle groups. Successful indoor rock climbing is a perfect mixture of technique and athletic ability.
Now that you have taken steps to prepare for your climbing experience, you can visit your local facility to practice, practice, practice! Soon enough, you will be ready to ascend the great rock formations around Denver and beyond. Whether indoors or out in the nature, get ready for an adventure that truly rocks!

A Review of Hard Financial Moments

Throughout history there have always been good times and bad times. This is true for the country as a whole and for individuals. When the country faces tough times that means many people are struggling. Right now the financial picture is cloudy for many, but this is not all that unusual. Here are some of the toughest moments the country has faced when it comes to economic turmoil.
  • The Great Depression
  • The OPEC oil embargo of 1973
  • The early 1980s recession
  • The Black Monday stock market crash of 1987
  • The crash of 2001
  • The Great Recession of 2008
These moments tested both the country and the resilience of individuals and families. Though each situation was different, people were looking for solutions to alleviate financial uncertainty.

The Power of Choice

In tough times, people can make use of creative options to pay the rent or to put food on the table. Short term loans Mississippi provide another choice to come up with much needed cash. Payday loans can be used to pay a utility to prevent the shutting down of water or heat. The process is simple. The needed money is given to the customer, who writes a check for that amount and gives it to the lender. When a paycheck is received the money is repaid to the lender and the check is returned to the customer. Installment lending is also an option for quick cash and often uses the value of a vehicle for collateral.

The Power of Hope

No matter how tough the situation seems, things always get better. The Great Depression finally ended, though it took several years. The Great Recession saw a quicker recovery. The stock market has always rebounded after big losses. The oil embargo ended and soon the world had plenty of oil. The future is uncertain but there is always hope.

3 Tips to Stay Comfortable When Traveling

black leather airplane seat beside window

Traveling anywhere is an exciting opportunity for you to create some fantastic memories with your family, snap some photos, and expand your horizons. But, if you want the very best travel experience possible, you’ve got to make sure you are comfortable. Sure, you want to wear your very best outfit for your trip across the country or the world, but when you consider the length of the journey, is this always the best idea?

It really, really isn’t. With this in mind, it’s essential to understand how to make your trip as comfortable as possible, so you can arrive at your destination feeling fresh and ready for an adventure. 

Wear the Right Clothes

Whether it’s a set of baggy sweatpants, scrunchy leggings, breathable socks, or your favorite sweater, the right clothes are crucial to being comfortable when traveling. 

These clothes may not be your very best, but people are unlikely to care, and there’s no chance about them judging you at the airport or bus station. The clothes you wear will prevent overheating, or even feeling too cold, on transport that doesn’t regulate the temperature correctly. It can also provide you the freedom and mobility you need to get into a comfortable position. 

Bring Plenty of Refreshments

You know how dreadful the experience can be if you’ve ever taken a trip without snacks or water. Sure, too much water may result in you needing to stop for a bathroom break more frequently than you’d like, but this is better than getting dehydrated along the way. 

Dehydration and hunger are never pleasant, but they are even worse when you feel trapped in a rapidly moving vehicle. It would be best if you gave yourself the chance to stay refreshed and well-fed so that you don’t suffer from a rumbling stomach or even headaches. 

If you fail to stay adequately hydrated and refreshed, you risk ruining your first day, and if you’ve only got a short break, this could disrupt all of your plans and enjoyment. 

Bring Something To Distract Yourself

From that new book that you’ve been dying to read to stocking up on True Crime podcasts (or whatever type of podcasts tickle you fancy), having something to distract yourself on long journeys will make the whole thing go by much quicker. This is especially true if you’re taking a plane, as there isn’t the option to stare out of the window at the passing scenery. There’s only so long you can look at clouds, after all. 

With these distractions, you can pass the time with ease. It’s also handy to take a range of different options because even your most enthralling novel will get tiresome after a few hours.

Comfort On the Road

Being uncomfortable when traveling to your destination, whether by plane, train, or automobile, can make you irritable, and it could even ruin your trip before it’s even begun. By ensuring that you are prepared for your journey with comfortable clothes, ample refreshments, and something to distract you, there will be no doubt you get to your destination feeling fresh and ready. 

Focusing On Your Health to Have a Happier Life

We can sometimes look to external things for our happiness, such as material goods, travel adventures, and even other people. But these should be considered extras that put the cherry on top of our happiness; they’re not the primary source. Happiness can only come from within. While it’ll consist of various aspects, perhaps the most pressing will be your health. If this is in tip-top condition, then you’ll find it much easier to be at your brilliant best. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the key matters to focus on that’ll have the biggest impact on your life.

Pexels - CC0 Licence

How to Relax

We’re a pretty stressed society. And is it any surprise? We’re all working more than ever before, there are global concerns, and sometimes even our version of fun can cause us to feel more stressed, such as in the case of smartphone use. One of the best ways to improve your health and be happy is to learn how to relax. This might seem difficult to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but there are some tried and tested ways to make it much easier. For example, you can try meditation, listening to music, and just sitting still and watching the trees sway in the wind. Even ten minutes of these activities can help. 

Eating Well

The stomach is the gateway to happiness, and to a healthy body. It really is worthwhile figuring out your relationship with food. Are you, for example, eating as well as you could do? Are you giving your body all that it needs? There’s a big difference between eating well and eating junk food. You’ll find it hard to maintain your body weight, for starters, but the bigger issue is that unhealthy eating can cause so many other problems further on down the line, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Handling Problems

While there are some health issues that we can all keep at bay through eating well, exercising, and so on, there are some others that are more specific to us, and which may require medical intervention. If you’ve got a problem that’s disrupting your enjoyment of life, then it’s recommended that you take steps to correct the issue. There’s nearly always a solution. If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding during your period, for example, then myolysis could be the right treatment solution. It’s not always convenient, having to treat professional help for medical issues, but it is worth it in the long run because of the positive impact it’ll have on your lifestyle. 

Spending Time Outdoors

Finally, it’s recommended that you build in some good habits into your lifestyle, ones that can significantly boost your health and happiness. One of the more underrated -- yet effective -- things to do is to spend time in the outdoors. The natural world can bring a whole host of benefits to your life, including giving your mood a boost and helping you to get fitter. Indeed, just two hours in nature each week can significantly decrease anxiety and boost happiness. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One

Death isn’t something that we want to focus on or talk about. It’s a grim subject. It can be a scary subject. It can make us feel lost, confused and nervous. But, unfortunately, it’s a sad reality of life and the loss of a loved one is something that all of us are going to have to face at some point or another. Now, more than ever, we’re more aware of loss. We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and, on top of the usual tragedies that happen on a daily basis, we’re being faced with an unprecedented number of deaths at the hands of coronavirus and Covid-19. Considering this, now might be a good time to consider how to deal with the loss of a loved one. Hopefully, you won’t have to use any of this information. But understanding some of the steps around the process could help you to help someone else or is simply good to be aware of and have in the back of your mind.


Grief can be a long and difficult process. The pain of the loss of someone close to you can be extremely overwhelming and can pass through multiple stages until you feel ready to face the world again. Here are some of the basics of grief to help you understand.

What Is Grief?

Grief is an entirely natural response to loss and many people will go through it at some point or another in their lives. There are various forms of loss, ranging from divorce to the loss of health, the loss of a pet, a miscarriage, retirement or the loss of any other thing that feels important in your life. But the most common form of grief that springs to mind when the word is mentioned tends to be the most severe - the loss of a loved one. Grief comes hand in hand with sentiments of emotional suffering but you may feel a much wider array of emotions than sadness alone. You may find that your grief consists of shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, profound sadness and much more. Sometimes, the emotional aspects of grief aren’t all. You may suffer from physical symptoms too, such as an inability to focus, an inability to sleep, a lack of appetite or a lack of energy, for example.

The Grieving Process

When it comes down to it, there’s absolutely no right or wrong way to grieve. This is a profoundly individual experience and experiences of grief will be unique to every individual. The ways in which you grieve can vary according to your circumstances and other factors, such as your personality, your coping style, your life experience, your faith and how significant the loss was to you. One thing that tends to hold true to most experiences of grief is that recovering from grief is generally a long and slow process. It takes time to heal from this kind of hurt and you can’t force or rush the process. For some people, grief will last for weeks. For others, feelings of grief will be overwhelming for months or even years. The most important thing to try to do is practice patience with yourself and to allow your grief to unfold naturally.


There is, of course, plenty of support out there for anyone suffering from grief. Where you seek support will depend entirely on you as an individual. Some will seek support from friends, family and other loved ones. Some will want to speak to a doctor about their grief. Some will want to talk to a therapist. Some will reach out to helplines. Some will attend support groups. What best suits you will be entirely down to what happens to make you feel better at the time.

Planning the Funeral

Of course, when someone passes, someone will have to take on responsibility for organising the funeral. This can be a difficult process to carry out, but it’s often an essential one and, generally speaking, funeral directors are well experienced in the area and can often take a whole lot of the weight off your shoulders.

Dealing with Funeral Costs

When arranging a funeral through a funeral director, it’s important to bear in mind that you will be responsible for the costs incurred. It’s important to ask for a price list before arranging the funeral so you know what can be afforded in a budget that you should set out in advance. There are various ways to pay for a funeral. Sometimes, the person who has passed will have already taken out a funeral plan, which will cover the costs. This may be mentioned in a will or they may have mentioned this to close friends or family. If not, you may have to find a way to pay for the funeral yourself. It’s important to get a written estimate with a breakdown of all costs incurred to ensure that you are charged correctly.

Services to Consider

Funeral services can vary drastically based on budget. A basic funeral will generally require:

  • A plain, lined coffin
  • Transport of the body of the person who has died to the funeral director's premises
  • The care of the person who has died until the funeral
  • A hearse to take the body to the nearest crematorium or burial ground
  • Providing the necessary people to carry the coffin
Further services you might want to consider could include:
  • Flowers
  • A more expensive coffin and fittings
  • An organist
  • Fees for religious services
  • A burial or crematorium fee. The burial fee will usually include the costs of preparing the grave
  • Extra cars
  • A memorial, such as a gravestone or flat grass grave markers
Helping Others to Grieve

Of course, it’s important to be able to help others while they grieve too. If someone you know is suffering from a loss, it’s absolutely essential that you help them in any way you can. You can help them through the grieving process and provide them with much needed support at what can be the hardest time of many people’s lives. Here are some ways to help someone else grieve.

Offer Your Condolences

It’s important to let your loved one know that you are there for them through this awful time. Let them know how sorry you are for their loss and how you’re there for them if they need anything at all. Generally speaking, many people will send cards or flowers with a note to express this. You can also check in with a text message or call. Have patience if you don’t hear straight back from this person. As long as you know they’re physically okay, you need to practice patience and allow them to reach back out to you in their own time. It could take a while until they feel up to speaking to anybody.


If they do reach out in response, listen to them. Let them talk. Share in their grief. They may simply want to remember memories with the person they’ve lost. They might want to talk about what happened. What’s most important is that you let them talk and that you encourage them to share how they’re feeling.

Of course, this isn't the most positive subject matter. But it’s important to know what to do if tragedy does ever strike. Hopefully, some of the above information will help you through this difficult process and these trying times.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Summer Reading Update #1 2020

Happy Memorial Day! I couldn't sleep last night, so I was up at 2 a.m. reading Little Fires Everywhere. It's one of the books on my Summer Reading List 2020 (click link to check it out).

Here's my Goodreads profile, if you'd like to follow me and check out my progress and notes (and reviews) on each of the books I'm reading.

I'm doing additional "updates" posts here on the blog because things change fast around here, plus books I'm reading to my kids are not on the original list. We read year-round here at my house, and I wanted to share some of what we're loving (or not).

You'll find over on Goodreads that we're reading:

Little Fires Everywhere for fiction fun that makes me think, touches a nerve here and there, makes me want to write fiction because it's so well-done.

The War of Art to help kick my butt into some creative and life action.

Junior Great Books Series 5 Second Semester is what I'm reading to my three youngest kids (ages 10, 12 and 15) for the rich short stories, including Shirley Jackson's Charles. I may have bought 6 more of these books since we love them so much. These are also going to translate into a fabulous class at our homeschool co-op, pretty much from grades K-6+.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman is what I plan to start on with my teen boys this week when they're not working or busy (ages 17 and 18).

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford is what I'm reading to my 15-year-old daughter. It's the follow-up to Greenglass House, which we loved.

Hope you're gearing up for a wonderful summer! I'd love to hear what you're reading this summer!

(I'm already preparing a Fall Reading List!)

Here's a post I wrote on Goodreads: I love being a homeschooling mom of 5, which means we are always reading lots of different things. I'm usually working on a fiction and a nonfiction for myself, then we love read-alouds at my house, so I might be reading something different to each of my kids, who are ages 10, 12, 15, 17 and almost 19 :-) It's such a great bonding activity and a chance to talk about different issues.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

What You Need To Know About Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of those things that we all need to think about at some point or another. When it is approached in the right way, it can be a hugely important and useful resource for many people, and it’s something that you should not simply ignore. However, if you are thinking about getting life insurance, you need to make sure that you are going to be aware of what you need to do here, and that means knowing about some of the most important concerns when it comes to life insurance. In this article, we will take a look at some of those important things so that you can make the right decision about it in the future.

The Two Main Types

There are two main types of life insurance, and it’s good to know about both of them so that you can make your decision about which to get. The first is term life insurance, which is where the policy runs for a fixed amount of time, the term, and then the money is paid out if and when you die during the policy. If you die after the end of the policy, you will generally not have any money paid out. On the other hand, a whole of life policy will pay out whenever you die, as long as you have made sure to keep up with the premium payments regularly. It’s important to decide carefully between these two major types when you are on the market for life insurance.

Condition-Specific Policies

As well as those two main types, it is also perfectly possible to get hold of some condition-specific policies, and these are worth looking into if you have some condition and you think it might affect your life insurance. For instance, if you have Asperger’s, then you are going to want to look into getting life insurance with Asperger’s Syndrome specifically. Looking for that is going to mean that you are much more likely to get the policy that is right for you. You should consider this for any other condition you might have too, as there is always a chance that you can find one that is perfectly suitable to your situation.

The Four Roles In Life Insurance

It’s also useful to know about the main players in any life insurance policy. The more you know about this, the more you can approach it with a good frame of mind and get the right policy. The four roles are the insurer, the owner, the insured, and the beneficiary. The insurer is who sets out and sells the policy, the owner is the person responsible for paying the premiums, the insured is the person named in the policy whose life is being insured, and the beneficiary is the person who gets the payout upon the insured person’s death. You need to make sure that you are aware of these details if you are going to get a life insurance policy.


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