Archive for April, 2012

Nominate outstanding teens for volunteer work

One of our advertisers wants to recognize teens who volunteer in the community. They are sponsoring a Young Leadership Award, and four winners will get $500.  If you know a teen doing great work, nominate him or her today.

•Nominee must be a high school student (grades 9-12) and enrolled in a public or private school program in Metro Atlanta.

•Nominee must be a Georgia resident and reside in Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Waltom.

•Nomination must be for actively volunteering with a non-profit organization or church program, or for an accomplished feat of community service which is voluntary and does not involve academic credit or financial remuneration.

•Nomination must be made by an adult – parent, teacher, guidance counselor, school administrator, church or …

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Is 40 still old? Do kids age you more than passing years?

I distinctly remember my father’s 40th birthday.

My mom invited the whole neighborhood to surprise him. They had a rocking chair set up in the backyard and they gave him a cane. They had all these maudlin, black over-the-hill balloons and gifts. He was officially old.

Almost 30 years later, I am turning 40 this weekend, and I definitely don’t feel old. In fact I feel better about myself than I have in years. I’ve lost a bunch of weight. I have several interesting jobs, and I will finally have all three kids in school next year. I feel like in my 40s I will be able to focus more on me, my career and my time with Michael.

I think having kids ages you more than just the passing of years. First off the obvious changes to your body ages you. Boobs that used to be perky are droopy after pregnancy whether you’re in your 20s or 30s. Tummies and butts that used to be tight are fleshy. Even your hair can change from having a baby.

Your priorities obviously change when you bring …

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Are ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ moms being judged for being ‘white trash’ or for the pageant circuit?

TLC’s controversial show “Toddlers and Tiaras” premieres tonight to what I am sure will be a judgmental audience. But one writer on Slate.com wonders if the moms on “Toddlers” aren’t being judged for being on the pageant circuit but instead for being “white trash?” She wonders if these moms are really all that different from Tiger Moms pushing their kids academically or with activities, such as playing the piano. But the Tiger Moms aren’t judged as harshly.

From Slate:

“While not uniform among the pageant families, many featured on Toddlers and Tiaras are from poor, rural, Southern areas, which the show highlights with stark establishing shots of sparse and depressed towns. The “white trash” markers of the mothers—strong accents, ungrammatical speech, obesity—are also highlighted on the show, providing a classist subtext to the media’s judgment of parenting. It’s not whether waxing your young daughter’s eyebrows or depriving her of dinner is …

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What are your tips for blowing out Easter eggs? What are your favorite ways to decorate the eggs?

My 5-year-old talked me into buying three different sets of Easter egg dye. One has glitter, the other a Christian theme and the last one is just a basic set. But I am worried about eating all the eggs after we dye them. I am the only one in the house who will eat hard-boiled eggs and I don’t think eating three dozen eggs in a week would be good for me.

So my solution is to blow out some of the eggs and that way I can use them for scrambling or in recipes. (Or even freeze them if I get totally desperate.) The catch here is I don’t know how to do it.

I vaguely remember doing this with my mother as a child. My mother is a very careful and precise woman. I am not. So I am worried that this is not going to go well.

What is your advice to successfully blow out Easter eggs before you dye them? What do you use to make a clean hole? Do you blow directly into the egg or use a straw of some kind? Do you let the kids try to blow or is there too much fear of salmonella? (Although I do …

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Do you want a tax refund or just to come out even?

Our accountant called yesterday. I asked her how things were looking and if she thought we would be getting any money back. She said at that point she thought not much – maybe $100.

I was really disappointed.

I know that all getting a tax refund means is that you’ve overpaid on your taxes and you basically gave the government a free loan for the year. But somehow it’s so nice to be handed this large check in one shot that you could use for savings, for home repair or taking a vacation and not feel like you’re hurting your checking account.

A couple of hours later, the accountant emailed me. She had something on the wrong line and the computer wasn’t recognizing all the home interest we had paid, and we would be getting money back! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Again, I know I have just let the government use my money for free for the year. However, now I can get some bookshelves built in these odd recessed spaces in the family room, take an inexpensive beach trip and still …

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Should a mother go to jail for baptizing kids against the dad’s wishes?

A Tennessee mom is facing contempt-of-court charges and possible jail time for baptizing her two children without her ex-husband’s consent.

The parents are both Christians but disagreed on the proper age to baptize the children.

So here is the question: Is this a private family matter for the parents to work out or does it become contempt of court because the court had ordered that major decisions regarding the religious upbringing should be made jointly? Here’s the whole story. See what you think.

From The Associated Press:

“This week the Tennessee Court of Appeals said Lauren Jarrell must face a criminal contempt hearing for violating a court order that said major decisions regarding the religious upbringing of her two children should be made jointly with the children’s father.”

“… Emmett Blake Jarrell, the father, is a member of the United Methodist Church, and she’s a Presbyterian.”

“The father, according to court records, thought the children should be …

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