Archive for March, 2012

Did you ever fight physically with your siblings?

Henry County police are investigating if a 14-year-old girl stabbed and killed her 13-year-old brother in self defense.

Here is the latest on the story from the AJC:

“Malachi Andrews’ older sister told police she was protecting herself when she fatally stabbed him in the leg, police say.”

” ‘She told investigators it was in self defense,’ Henry County Police spokesman Maj. Jason Bolton said.”

“Andrews, 13,  and his 14-year-old sister were at  home alone on March 14, when a dispute between them turned deadly, police said.”

“The older sibling grabbed a knife and stabbed her brother, then called 9-1-1, Bolton said.”

“The wounded teen, a student at Union Grove Middle School, was taken to DeKalb Medical Center where he died two days later.”

“Authorities still have not determined whether to press charges against the sister, whom police are not identifying.”

” ‘We’re just gathering all the information that we can,’ Bolton said. ‘The [Henry County] …

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Three weeks until my 40th birthday and 7 pounds to lose!

I have about three weeks until I turn 40, and I set a goal in October to lose 20 pounds by my birthday.

Year to date, I have lost about 18 pounds. (However I think that first five pounds was muscle when I stopped doing weights as much.) Since I started Weight Watchers in October I have dropped around 12/13 pounds depending on the day. I have about 7 or 8 pounds to go to hit the 20 I wanted to lose before my birthday.

I have lost more than 3 inches around my waist and in my bust. And 2 inches around my hips. I need to buy new pants but I want to wait until I am done losing and feel comfortable that it’s going to stay off.

I am writing this with the hopes it will help me be vigilant for the next three weeks and help me reach my birthday goal. I do think it’s possible.

In October I dropped 8 pounds in the first three weeks but I was following all the rules of Weight Watchers. Measuring all the food, eating fruit before anything else, filling in the chart religiously and …

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Slow cooker meals that will be ready after kids’ practices

Swim team is starting this week for Rose and two days a week her practices hit when I would usually be getting dinner ready. (During her practice, I try to swim with the other kids in the smaller pool to get them exercise as well.) We also have church on Wednesday afternoons, which makes preparing dinner that day tough too. I am turning to my slow cooker on those busy days so dinner will greet us when we get home from our activities.

In the past, I haven’t had a lot of luck with slow cooker recipes. They seem to cook too fast and dry out. I think the slow cooker wasn’t full enough and so it was cooking faster than expected.

We had a super busy week about two weeks ago and out of desperation I tried the slow cooker twice that week. The dishes turned out well, and it was so nice to walk in and smell dinner ready and waiting.

So on Saturday, I went through cookbooks and websites searching for more slow cooker recipes. Some of you asked for me to share my menus when I had them …

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Does March Madness mean it’s time for vasectomies?

Men, want to sit in front of your TV for four days straight and watch the NCAA Tournament in peace? Then get a vasectomy!

A urology clinic in Ohio, the Cleveland Clinic, says it’s a trend for men to schedule their vasectomies during March Madness so they can watch and recover without complaint from the wives.

From The Detroit Free Press:

“According to the esteemed medical center, men are scheduling vasectomies so they can recover — it’s usually just a day or so of resting and ice packs — in front of the television, watching March Madness.”

“ ‘I’m doing them every 15 minutes tomorrow with no holes. It usually won’t be that full,” Dr. J. Stephen Jones, chairman of the department of regional urology at Cleveland Clinic, said Thursday. He said he noticed a couple years ago that vasectomies increased up to 50% during the NCAA basketball tournament.”

“He added that about half the patients he sees say they’ve timed their procedures to college …

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Is video gambling worth funding HOPE college scholarships?

The Georgia Lottery officials have been studying using video gambling to help make up shortfalls in the state’s HOPE college scholarship program.

From Sunday’s AJC story:

“Georgia Lottery officials in recent months have quietly explored how to roll out video gambling in the state if the idea ever gains political backing, documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show.”

“Their interest comes as projected revenue shortfalls force cutbacks in the lottery-funded HOPE college scholarship program — and as developers of gambling venues pitch their operations as sources of fresh funding. One recent proposal calls for a sprawling entertainment-video gambling complex in Gwinnett County.”

“The lottery last year commissioned a study showing that video lottery terminals at three venues could generate nearly $1 billion annually. An AJC open records request this month revealed that the lottery also hired a firm to report on details of introducing video gambling …

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Too much pressure for Girl Scouts to sell, sell, sell?

A mom sent me a note about selling Girl Scout cookies. Apparently she’s getting some pressure (I’m not sure from whom) that she is not pushing the girls to sell enough cookies.

She writes: “Should people buy them if it’s the parents/leaders doing it all?? Should some girls be made to feel ‘bad’ about not selling a billion?”

Our leader was always very relaxed about it, and I appreciated that. We went out and sold, but we weren’t going to make ourselves crazy to sell another 100 boxes. We did booth sells at Discover Mills one time and the girls all seemed to enjoy it and were excited to be there. I don’t think our leader would have done it if they weren’t having fun.

I actually felt more pressure to sell the Boy Scout popcorn than I did the cookies. Maybe because I was less excited to sell that. I just don’t think people want the popcorn as much as they want the cookies.

So what do you think? Have you experienced pressure to sell Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout …

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Chemical Cuisine: App tells you what that additive really is

I was recently buying some fish sticks to have in the house for Lent. I never buy fish sticks so I wanted to see how “bad” they truly were.  So I pulled out my phone and shot the barcode with my Fooducate app (that I wrote about recently) and found out they were graded a B but had a questionable petroleum by-product used in it. The app didn’t have any other information about that particular chemical additive. (It didn’t sound good though. I didn’t buy them.)

However, there is app that probably could have told me more.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released last year Chemical Cuisine, an app for Android and iPhones. While it currently doesn’t have the capability to read the barcode, it does have impressive data about more than 120 food additives.

From Forbes magazine:

“ ‘There is a lot of misinformation and conspiracy theorizing on the Internet about different food additives like high fructose corn syrup or aspartame,’ says Jeff Cronin …

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Awesome preschool ideas to raise money and have fun

The big event at Transporation Day is the medivac helicopter that lands. The kids get to climb in and explore.

The big event at Transporation Day is the medivac helicopter that lands. The kids get to climb in and explore.

I wanted to share a couple of awesome ideas that our preschool has done lately. One is a fundraiser for the school and the other was just a super fun and educational day for the kids.

Every year our preschool does Transportation Day, and it has become a huge community event. They ask businesses to bring in different types of transportation to the school parking lot for the community families to explore. So they had basic things like a school bus, ambulance and fire truck. But they also had a cable truck with the bucket lift, a boat, jet skis, a moving van and crazy collectible cars.

The highlight of Transportation Day is a medivac helicopter that lands at the school in the morning. The kids all get there early to see it land. Then they get to sit in it and have their pictures taken wearing the flight helmet. (Let’s hope no one had lice.)

So all of that part is free …

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Moms treat yourself: 50 percent off spa treatments

With the bad economy you may not be treating yourself to spa treatments. (I know I’m not.) However, during Wellness Week, sponsored by Spa Finder and other companies, many spas are offering massages, facials and other services for up to 50 percent off.

Now the catch as we’ve talked about before is you have to give up that email address.

The website also has an interesting wellness pledge and talks a lot bout how to find peace and center yourself.

Here’s the pledge:

I pledge to:

Change my breakfast: I will kick off my day with a healthy meal that includes foods like oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, seeds, nuts and whole-grain cereals and toast.

Choose to move: I will walk more by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further from the store or taking a desk break to go for a five-minute stroll.

Hydrate: I will drink a glass of water before breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Connect with nature: I will walk outside, breathe more deeply and enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes …

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What do you tell your kids about another family’s trouble?

I was talking with a mom the other day about a situation she had recently encountered in her neighborhood.

Her son was playing with another little guy down the street and the kid basically said so did you hear why so and so had to move? They are poor now. My mom told me.

The family was foreclosed on and moved to a different house in the area. I believe the family is still in the same elementary school and still running in the same social circles.

The mom that I was talking to was outraged. She didn’t feel like that mom had any right to tell her child what was happening with their friend’s family. She didn’t want the friend’s children embarrassed at school, and she just thought it was poor form by the other mom.

Now obviously in this economic environment, parents may be told or are going to figure out when a family is in economic trouble, especially if they are foreclosed on and have to move. But is it appropriate to tell your children what is happening to another …

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