Archive for June, 2013

Does Hamilton Mill UMC have the largest VBS in Georgia?

A friend posted a  few weeks ago on Facebook that her church – Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church — was looking for more helpers at their Vacation Bible School because they were expecting more than 800 kids!  I’ve taught at VBS programs since I was a teenager, and I couldn’t even fathom a VBS program being that large. So of course I wanted more info. Here’s what my friend wrote about her church’s program:

“We had 850 kids, 170 Youth volunteers (7th -12th grade), 150 adult volunteers, and 86 6th graders who did community service activities outside the church during the VBS time. They were all done at the same time. The have a planned drop off that all the children are dropped off from 8:30 to 9am. In a carpool line and the youth take them to their leaders in one of two rooms. The children have on a name tag with their group for example KA which is Kindergarten group A. Then the children have rooms to go to or centers (snack, arts and crafts, music and two big …

Continue reading Does Hamilton Mill UMC have the largest VBS in Georgia? »

Our gift ideas for Father’s Day — but I need to get on it!

Father’s Day is this Sunday so I wanted to share with you a few ideas that we have.

Lilina said we should buy a red and black ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. (I’m totally doing this. He loves their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and cake and of course the red and black are for UGA!)

She also thinks we should get red and black balloons.

Here are some possible gift ideas that I need to pick two or so and run with it!

A new electric toothbrush – he used to have one but it finally died. I think he would like that.

A new UGA shirt for game days.

Two new Georgia collapsible chairs to take camping with us so people know who we support! (Go Dogs!) .

A wireless speaker for his iPhone to use on trips or out back.

A utility “knife” for electronic gear – charge connectors for anything you need to plug into your computer to charge. I think this would also convenient for  a trip.

My last idea is to hire a pool guy for the summer. Poor Michael spends so much time …

Continue reading Our gift ideas for Father’s Day — but I need to get on it! »

Report: 70 percent African-American kids can’t swim; often fear passed down by parents

The New York Times has some stunning statistics about how many African-American kids cannot swim but the even more shocking part is why.

From The New York Times:

“According to the USA Swimming Foundation, about 70 percent of African-American children, 60 percent of Latino children and 40 percent of white children are nonswimmers. Lack of access and financial constraints account only partly for these numbers. Fear, cultural factors and even cosmetic issues play a role as well.”

“Before the Civil War, more blacks than whites could swim,” Lynn Sherr, the author of “Swim: Why We Love the Water,” said in an interview. “There are many stories of shipwrecks in which black slaves rescued their owners.”

But as Ms. Sherr learned from Bruce Wigo of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, segregation destroyed the aquatic culture of the black community. “Once whites discovered swimming, blacks were increasingly excluded from public pools and lifeguarded beaches,” Mr. …

Continue reading Report: 70 percent African-American kids can’t swim; often fear passed down by parents »

Great family fun: Why did drive-ins die out?

So for the first movie, the backseat flipped up so the bottom part supported your back. We swapped places and passed around popcorn and candy.

So for the first movie, the backseat flipped up so the bottom part supported your back. We swapped places and passed around popcorn and candy.

For the second movie, we flipped the seats under the and kids used the floor like a bed. Lilina played on the iPad for a while and then fell asleep. She didn't like the "Star Trek" feature.

For the second movie, we flipped the seats under the and kids used the floor like a bed. Lilina played on the iPad for a while and then fell asleep. She didn't like the "Star Trek" feature.

We visited San Diego last week for a few days at the beach and ended up going to a double feature at a local drive-in theater one night. The kids had never been to a drive-in before, and we had a great time.

They were showing “Epic” around 8:30 p.m. as the early show and then “Star Trek Into the Darkness” at 10:25 p.m. Walsh really wanted to see the new “Star Trek” movie and we figured the 6-year-old would fall asleep during it and wouldn’t be scared. (I liked “Star Trek” even better at the drive-in than I did at the IMAX 3D.)

So we saw two movies for $23. (Adults were $7 a person and it was $3 each for the kids.) We brought in …

Continue reading Great family fun: Why did drive-ins die out? »

What are your favorite travel car games?

Two summers ago we started a new car game when we travel: Choose the hot song of the summer.

When we first start a road trip each family member chooses the song that they think will be played the most that summer. We base it on the songs being played on SiriusXM Hits 1 Channel 2, which are mostly pop. Then you sit back and count the number of times that each song is played. The winner is whoever picks song that is played the most. The game continues over each car trip. The kids can pick a new song or stick with their original choice.

Rose has already claimed “Love It” by Icona Pop and Walsh has chosen “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line. I’m not sure what song I am going to choose this year. The key is to pick one that is not too old, and it’s got to have a good hook and be light and poppy.

Last year Walsh won with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”  Rose came in second place with Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.” I was third with One Direction’s “What …

Continue reading What are your favorite travel car games? »

How long did your divorce take?

The woman from the earlier post  told me that her lawyer said she could have a divorce in approximately a month as long as nothing was contested.  I had no idea a divorce could happen that quickly. That doesn’t even seem like it’s long enough for everyone to process what is happening.

Is that normal? How long do divorces normally take? How long did your divorce take?

Continue reading How long did your divorce take? »

When do you tell the kids you’re getting divorced? How do you frame it?

A woman I know has told her husband she wants a divorce. She has filed for a divorce, but they haven’t told the kids.

Her current plan is to tell the kids after the divorce is already final and on the day their Dad is moving out.

I personally think this is a bad plan. I have never had to give kids this type of information, and I hope I to God I never have to. However, I think kids need a little time to get used to the idea of the divorce and of Dad moving out before he actually moves out. I think that would be terribly upsetting to be told and then have Dad move out that day.

She is also wondering what reason to give the kids. Friends have suggested to say that they fell out of love, but she doesn’t think that’s a good enough reason to get divorced. Also she doesn’t want the kids to worry that they will fall out of love with them.

She’s learning toward saying that mommy and daddy are no longer a good team. She thinks that would be understandable to the kids.

Is it …

Continue reading When do you tell the kids you’re getting divorced? How do you frame it? »

Nets, pads don’t make trampolines significantly safer

I was thinking about getting a trampoline for the kids, and I thought that the nets placed around the sides had made them relatively safe. But then I ran across a surprising statistic in a magazine (that I later found online as well):

Seventy-five percent of injuries on trampolines occur from multiple people jumping at the same time.  The American Academy of Pediatrics contends that nets and pads do not significantly reduce the risk of injury.

From Parenting.com:

“In light of approximately 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the U.S. each year, the American Academy of Pediatrics is advising against playing on home trampolines. Although injuries have been on a downward trend for the last few years, trampolines still led to about 31,000 hospitalizations in 2009–and injuries tend to happen most frequently in kids under 5.”

“Think you’ve safety-proofed your trampoline with nets and pads? Think again. “Families need to know that many injuries occur on the mat itself, …

Continue reading Nets, pads don’t make trampolines significantly safer »

Study suggests obesity surgery can break cycle in kids

A small Canadian study suggests that women who have obesity surgery can break the cycle of obesity in kids that are born to the women after the surgery. The researchers studied siblings – some born before surgery and some born after – to study the affects of the surgery.

From The Associated Press:

“WASHINGTON (AP) – Obese mothers tend to have kids who become obese. Now provocative research suggests weight-loss surgery may help break that unhealthy cycle in an unexpected way – by affecting how their children’s genes behave.

“In a first-of-a-kind study, Canadian researchers tested children born to obese women, plus their brothers and sisters who were conceived after the mother had obesity surgery. Youngsters born after mom lost lots of weight were slimmer than their siblings. They also had fewer risk factors for diabetes or heart disease later in life.

“More intriguing, the researchers discovered that numerous genes linked to obesity-related health problems worked …

Continue reading Study suggests obesity surgery can break cycle in kids »

Is helping an old lady stranger danger? How do kids know?

Our friend’s seventh-grade son had an interesting ethical/safety dilemma and she wrote about it for The New York Time’s Motherlode.

Her son was walking home from school with a friend. An elderly woman standing on her stoop asked the boys to give her hand a moving a box inside her house. At first the boys politely declined but then she asked again. The son’s friend went up to help. She then asked him to move some recyclable containers. All turned out fine and they were on their way.

However, the event lead to an interesting discussion at our friend’s home that night – when is it safe to help someone and how do you know? Should there be just a standard answer of “no” and stay away from any strangers or should the child try to weigh how safe the situation is?

Our friend, Lisa Flam, called some experts for advice. From The New York Times:

“For Nancy McBride, safety director for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the situation was clear-cut. …

Continue reading Is helping an old lady stranger danger? How do kids know? »