Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dar Helps to Dispel the Myth....Older Adults Really ARE Returning to School More Than Ever!

I recently returned to college after 35 years, as an Online Student. I am enjoying the experience so much as I continue caring for Mom. The Online option gives me the opportunity to go to class anytime I want! I really wasn't sure if the online experience would be for me as I love interacting directly with people, but it has been great! My professors have been very encouraging and when the students want to speak directly to each other rather than online, we just call each other. I am meeting people from all over the world. My newest friend is a native of Alaska. I have now added Alaska to my Dream Trips list. If it has been your dream to return to college to complete a degree, obtain another degree or just to gain additional knowledge, now is the time! Literally, I was thinking of going back to college one day and was in college the next. You will find the following article full of great information. There are so many options. There is no need for one to to wait or feel embarrassed because of age! My daughter, Shae, said, "Just do it Mom." And I'm so glad that I took her advice. If you are interested in returning to college and wish to try the online experience, please contact Sam Thomeier
Argosy University Online Programs American School of Professional Psychology
Assistant Director of Admissions
Toll Free: 866.427.4679 ext.6267
Phone: 412.395.8267
Fax: 412.995.6091sthomeier@argosy.edu

Seniors Returning to School: Six Myths About Older Adult ...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mom Squad Contest!!

Fall is here! That means our favorite comfort foods and famous family recipes. The Mom Squad wants your favorite fall recipe and you could win tickets to see Mercy Me, Johnny Diaz and dinner!
Just send us your favorite fall food. Whether it's sweet squash soup, pumpkin roll, apple crisp or your own creation. E-mail us your recipe and we will post them on the Mom Squad blog. The Mom Squad panel will choose 3 finalists, make the recipe, and choose the winner on a live taste-test during the Family Friendly Morning Show.

Send your recipe to
Brooke@955thefish.com by this Friday, October 2.

Good luck!!

Decluttter - Kitchen drawers

Part 6 of the Series

Last week my friend and I took all of her dishes, cups, saucers, bowls and miscellaneous items out of her glass cupboards. We sorted, tossed, donated and threw out. Then washed up the items being kept and put them in an arrangement that made sense for ease of use and decorative appeal. This week it was the drawers. She has five that are attached to the sink. As you will see, we took everything out of each drawer and reused the boxes labeled REPAIR, DONATE, SELL and ASK. We did a lot of throwing out and donating.

Two questions that helped keep the focus as – DO I REALLY NEED THAT? And HOW MANY OF THESE DO I TRULY NEED?

In the silverware drawer there were a great many mismatched items. For her eclectic tastes, I suggested that she keep only items that created sets of a knife, fork and spoon for table settings. Anything else she should donate or sell.

When it was time to tackle the cooking utensils we looked at having both a metal and plastic set. We added 2 questions to the ones listed above – DO I USE THIS ITEM EVEN ONE TIME PER YEAR? And IS IT UNBROKEN OR UNCHARRED? (Is this even a word?) I myself have left a plastic piece a bit too close to the flame.
Look at your kitchen towels, oven mitts and aprons. HOW MANY OF THESE DO I TRULY NEED? Would some of them be better used as rags?

One of the questions my friend said was …… What if I need this? I know that as soon as I throw it out, I will end up needing it. I used to ask myself that same question. It is a good one. The answer is……if you haven’t used it or missed it in the menagerie of items in a drawer then you probably didn’t and won’t need it. We spent a great deal chuckling over her saying….”I wondered where that was” or “I have been looking everywhere for this.”

We reused the last two drawers for her aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap and baggies. We needed to occupy two drawers…..one for those that had yet to be opened and one for those already in use. By the time we collected all of these from everywhere in the kitchen, she realized there won’t be any of those purchases until mid 2010.

Depending on your budget and drawer types, you can get all types of organizing items to help keep things in order. The important thing is don’t over pack your drawers. This will allow you to find what you need without hunting. It also is easier and more inviting to put things away.

Next week we will set up a pantry for her cereals, etc. Join us then.

Warning....2010 Census

The Mom Squad isn't telling you not to participate in the census. We do want you to be careful about fraud and misuse.

According to the Constitution you are not required to give a census worker more than general information. You only have to give your name, address and how many people are in your house. If you don't feel comfortable with other information you "may" be able to refrain. Check with your local representative or attorney.

I have my own concerns about anyone having information like my religious preference, financial details, what time I leave for work and when I'll be home and other personal information that if stolen could be used to cause harm. I received the following e-mail and I believe it's good to begin thinking about your responses to anyone wanting to know more about your household than necessary.

2010 Census Cautions

Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers. With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country.

Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data. The big question is - How do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a Con Artist?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following advice:

If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have the following:

1. a badge

2. a hand held device

3. a Census Bureau canvas bag

4. a confidentiality notice.

Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home. Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information.

Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, they will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that is supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

1. Census workers will carry a badge, a hand held device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. MAKE SURE TO ASK THEM FOR THEIR BADGE AND IDENTIFICATION BEFORE TALKING TO THEM!

2. Census workers will NOT ask for Social Security numbers, Bank Account Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, or any specific account information!

3. Census workers will NOT solicit for donations – do not give anyone any money!

4. Census Workers will NOT contact you by email – do not respond to anyone claiming to be with the US Census by email!
5. Don't invite them into your homes!!

Be safe!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Winter is Coming - Moisturizing is the thing to do, Ladies!

Beautiful skin comes in many tones. But it takes a bit of work to keep it beautiful. There are many new products on the market, some with sunscreen, that will help us keep our skin fresh and renewed during the harsh winter months. We all need to moisturize regardless of skin type. You can try small amounts of Olive Oil...even Olive Oil mixed with sugar makes a great exfoliator. Try Olive Oil or Vaseline on your skin after a shower or bath for some intense moisturizing. If you have really dry hands and/or feet, soak in warm water, exfoliate, then add Vaseline at night and sleep in cotton gloves or cotton socks. You will notice a remarkable difference in just a few days. Adding Avon's Skin So Soft to your bath water will make your skin feel amazing, plus it smells so great. Patting yourself dry instead of rubbing yourself dry, then adding Neutrogena's After Bath products is wonderful too. We get so busy and give so much of ourselves to our families, we don't take care of ourselves at times. So take a Moisture Break. Tell the hubby and the kids you need a bit of "Me Time". Turn off the cell and hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the bathroom door and moisturize from head to toe several times a week. You'll glow and it will definitely show. Check out these websites http://www.vaseline.com/, http://www.neutrogena.com/, http://www.avon.com/.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pictures help you remember the joy

Several people have asked me about the price of pictures and the quality of a photographer. I think Jamie covered that in his interview with the Fish, but I'll post it here for a reference.

In this tough economy it's hard to think of spending a lot of money on school pictures, senior pictures, family portraits or even weddings. Yet, if something happened to my home there's only two things I would grab. My purse and my pictures.

At any special event, the cake is totally eaten, the music fades away, the laughter spins into smiles and the touch of a hand lingers but for a moment. Days, weeks, months and years later we are able to recall the smells, laughter and touch through the pictures we see.

The brain hides memories. We pack them away in deep memory cells. Under hypnosis we can recall the smell of bread or even the full name of someone we met for only a moment. In normal situations, memories will surface when we find a bit of lace or touch a well used Bible. How wonderful when the memories of our lives spring into full bloom when we see a picture. It brings back all the life we felt at that moment.

I used to have a cake decorating business. I also directed many weddings. When young brides would ask about how much to spend on the cake, I'd always say...."I'll do a lovely cake no matter what size. And Aunt Suzie can bring sheet cakes to feed everyone that your smaller cake won't accommodate. The most important thing at your wedding is the photos. They will be around hopefully for decades."

When my son was at college and having a difficult time, I made him a scrapbook of photos from his childhood. I remember running my fingers over every smile and every picture. I could still feel the love and joy of those moments. When he received the book he called me crying. "Thanks mom. It's nice to remember that I really did have a great life!"

As we all struggle to make every penny count, don't scrimp on the one thing that will bring you great joy - now and for many years to come. You can't go back and redo those moments. Even when things were bad I tried to put aside enough money for school pictures, family portraits and special occasion pictures.

I had very little money when my daughter was married and I choose a cheaper photographer. It was a disaster. The pictures were out of focus and he didn't stick around to do special shots I had requested. I was terribly disappointed and wished I had taken my own advice. I spent months crying over the waste on bad photos and the loss of special moments. If you want to truly give your child a keepsake at their wedding, hire the best photographer you can.

And I hope you will do as I've tried to do. I recognize that there is an art to photography. The men and women that work to perfect that art deserve to make a decent living. I don't copy and steal their work. I don't want to know that because I copied some one's work, they won't be able to make their mortgage payment. Most photographers are willing to sell you the files if you'll only ask. Then you can print them without putting them into bankruptcy.

The Mom Squad had a great time doing photos with Jamie Jansen. Call him and he'll do everything he can to make your experience a great one not only during the photo shoot, but for years to come. 330-313-1514 http://www.jamiejansenphoto.com/

Our new logo was created by Jamie Jansen of Jamie Jansen Photography. It was his idea and we had a lot of fun doing the shoot. Jamie did all of our photos in the sidebar. I hope you've enjoyed the out takes included in this post.

Jamie also did the picture for the cover of Rebecca St. James new movie Sarah's Choice. How cool that her hands are in the shape of a heart.

To see his article on "10 tips on getting a good photographer" use the following link.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Words of Wisdom....

This wonderful info was written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer newspaper. It was her intent to celebrate growing older and it has been her most requested article. There are 44 points so it will be divided to make several posts. Keep checking the Mom Squad Blog for more pearls of wisdom.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pray for this family....please.

If you have AOL, you may have seen this story. Anthony and Lisa Demaree were allowing their three children to enjoy bath time together. "It was a sweet innocent time." They took some pictures for their scrapbook. One picture involved the three children laying on a towel together.

When I read this story I thought of all the black and white photos that many of us have of our grandparents laying on a fuzzy rug or a pretty blanket. But...in today's world, no child is considered innocent.

When the pictures were taken to Wal-Mart, a photo-clerk vigilante (who may have issues of his/her own) called the police. Eight photos prompted a home search and the children were taken away and placed in foster care for over a month, Mom was suspended from her job for a year and both -- Anthony and Lisa Demaree -- were added to a list of sex offenders.

The judge in the case said the pix were harmless."I don't understand it at all," Anthony Demaree told GMA, with his wife by his side. "Ninety, 95 percent of the families out there in America have these exact same photos."

They are suing Wal-mart and the police force. I keep wondering what has happened to common sense in America. Wasn't there anyone at Wal-mart or the police force that was smart enough to handle this another way or to see what the Judge saw?


Oh Baby!

What a story! God does have a sense of humor.:)

Pregnancies like hers have been called one in a million. But an Arkansas woman and her husband are the exception. The local couple was surprised to learn they were having two babies, but that was just the beginning.The Grovenberg's had been praying for a baby. But Julia and Todd didn't want to try fertility treatment, so instead they were considering adoption. When Julia became pregnant, they were thrilled, but the news that came next nearly knocked them off their feet.

The couple knew they were pregnant when they went for the first doctor's visit. The surprise didn't come until an ultrasound the second time around."She's [the technician] just like well how far along do you think you are, and I said, well I know I'm 8.5 weeks along because I've had a cycle and she's like 'No, this baby is 11 weeks and one day.'" Julia says she argued with the technician at first but eventually agreed.And then, came the baby bombshell. Number two has a healthy heartbeat! That baby was 8.5 weeks. The two are 2.5 weeks apart and not technically twins. Although it's something their doctors haven't seen, Julia and Todd Grovenberg are convinced the only explanation is super fetation. The simple definition is this: to conceive while already pregnant.Even though they're weeks apart, doctors are hoping that Hudson catches up to older sister Jillian before birth. There was some concern that he might have holes in his heart, but a recent report from Children's Hospital says both babies are healthy.

The babies are expected to be born sometime around the first of December.Sunday night at 10, we'll bring you the doctor's statement on this strange situation. Plus, the proud parents talk about their initial reaction to the news and how they feel about the family's future today.

Click here for the full story.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Local Libraries Are A Great Source for Job Hunting

Many times we exhaust ourselves utilizing periodicals, job search engines and headhunters, but your local library has some wonderful resources to help you network, learn job skills and find out about unconventional opportunities. The Cuyahoga County Library System alone has 28 branches. The Maple Heights Library, for example, has a section of computers designated just for job searching and resume preparation allowing you a 1 hour usage segment. These libraries offer nationally certified and licensed career counselors that can help you via Career Workshops and Job Clubs and can assist those just entering the job market, those looking to change careers or re-enter the market. It is a great way to meet new people and build relationships with those in the know and share info with other seekers. Some of the Career Workshop programs are, Basic Computer For Job Hunters, Behavior-Based Interviewing, Career Planning, Over 50 & Out of Work, just to name a few. There are Teen Workshops as well and College & Career Planning. So check out your local library. It's more than just books! www.cuyahogalibrary.org

Friday, September 18, 2009

3 Free Things for Your Weekend!

Step back in time at the amazing "Cedar Valley Settlers Celebration and Music Festival" at the Rocky River Reservation. Visitors can relive the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Ohio's frontier days with pioneer crafts like candlestick dipping, basket weaving, playing with pioneer toys, rug weaving, Dutch oven cooking, butter churning, working the two-man saw, and more! Sample traditional foods, such as fire–roasted turkey, biscuits with freshly-churned butter, and apple cider. Don't miss the storytelling, toe-tapping music ! This Sunday from 11-5:30. Find out more at http://www.clemetparks.com/

Saturday Explore with "CANOE THE SOLAR SYSTEM!" Experience the distance between planets as a canoe becomes an imaginary spaceship. Navigate by compass to find the planets and obtain vital information for a mission report upon your return. Beginning at 8pm on Saturday. For ages 10 and up. Set up registration and find out more at

Gather 'round for a family campfire — The Stark County Park District is holding a family campfire at 6 p.m. at the Canal Fulton Canalway Center SATURDAY Call for reservations. 330-477-3552

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What a great Father!

This video is priceless. Notice how genuine Dad's smile is. He's not angry at his baby girl. After all, like the commentator said - she was only doing what everyone on the field was doing.

Emily Monforto was the 3-year-old who threw the ball back after her dad caught a faul-ball at the Phillies game. The front-office staff was thrilled to give this cutie a new ball. Steve Monforto captured parent's hearts when he hugged his baby girl rather than being upset.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chilly Baby Casserole

Hopefully we will have some days when Indian Summer warms our soul. But, as the days grow cooler our children will return from school and want a supper that warms them all over. Try this recipe for a little fun and a lot of comfort.

Chilly Baby Casserole

4 tbls. butter
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
6 ounces Hillshire Farm Lit'l smokies (every kids favorite!)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
Bread crumbs
Cheddar Cheese
Slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 275 F.

Melt 2 tbls. butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute until cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and cut into bite-size pieces.

Place rice on bottom of medium casserole; add chicken, Lit'l Smokies, soups, water, mushrooms, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake, covered, 2 1/2 hours. Top casserole with bread crumbs, cheese and almonds. Broil until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Makes 6-8 servings


I'm going to try this in my crockpot. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Amazing - Never give up hope!

I am amazed at this video. Gina Incandela of Orlando was diagnosed as autistic. She was not able to speak. Her parents continued to work with her. When she heard the national anthem something clicked within her. She began to sing. Now, she stands before thousands in a sports arena (and many other places) and sings from her heart.

The way God uses the weak totally amazes me. Never give up hope that God will take the weakest part of you and use it for His glory!

God loves us all so much.....Debbie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Declutter - The Journey begins


I was talking with one of the loveliest people you could possibly meet. She is compassionate with people in her job, loving with her family and thoroughly hard working at two jobs just to make ends meet.

When I stepped into her home for our initial interview, she apologized profusely. She told me that she was embarrassed and felt helpless. However, when she comes home at the end of the day, the last thing she can muster is energy to handle her home. It crept up on her until it overtook everything and became the monster that was hard to control.

I encourage you to follow the photo’s of the home we are going to de-clutter. We are going to help her create a space that will help her feel calm at home. The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. We are going to start with the kitchen. It is the largest room in her home and when it is done will make a great place to be able to shift boxes from her other rooms without ruining the feel.

Here are photos of her home. Remember, whether yours is better or worse, it does not matter. What does matter is that we begin.

Pray for her during our journey. She is a lovely lady who will be able to take control of her home once again.Have a great day everyone. Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that He will.

** Note from Debbie, Mom Squad panel and family specialist. **

I am so proud of the person that is willing to allow us to follow her journey to declutter. She is brave and God will bless her for her transparency. I know God will use her journey to help many people.

I've counseled with a lot of people on both sides. People who are perfectionist, those who can't sleep until everything is in it's place, and those like me who qualify for the messy of the year award.

There are problems with every personality type. Those who can't stop cleaning wish they could relax and rest. They feel overworked and tired most of the time. For them, life can be a burden of cleaning and stress. For those who can leave it alone and get some sleep, they often feel guilty and withdraw from having friends come into their homes.

I don't believe any of us should feel guilty. Yes, we should all try to solve any problem in our lives. But...sometimes, life can become so crazy that it's more important to take care of what's needed for the day than to scrub the floor until you can see yourself in the shine. When I had twins and then my third child, there were some days when I went to bed praying that we didn't have an emergency during the night. If the police or fire department came in my house I was sure they would put me in jail for endangering my children.

If you've felt that way....(and truth is we all have on varying degrees)....let's pray that God will use Joan and her precious friend to show us how to maintain control. God Bless!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's a Great Time for Apple Recipes! - Enjoy Apple Butter Spice Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup apple butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp. allspice

Preheat oven to 450. Grease 9x5 loaf pan. Beat butter and sugar untl creamy; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside. Sift and mix flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and allspice. Add to cream mixture, alternate apple butter and stir in nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove bread from pan and cool thoroughly. Makes approximately 10 servings.

Feel free to add chopped raisins, toasted coconut or dates and/or to top with a mixture of apple butter and cream cheese.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 Free Things

It's going to be a beautiful weekend here in Ohio! Enjoy these events with the family at no cost. Here are some of our favorite weekend events that won't cost you a penny!

Come experience: CLEVELAND METROPARKS "MONARCH MAGIC" Saturday. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including monarch banding, a butterfly net tent including live caterpillars and monarchs, hikes, puppet shows, guest speaker, movie, children’s crafts and activities, and more! Also, browse the great merchandise selections of EarthWords Nature Shop, and enjoy the refreshment area. Log on to www.clemetparks.com for directions.

It's the 5TH ANNUAL PERRY FALL FESTIVAL all weekend! Enjoy a good ole' hometown type festival, inflatable's, games, vendors, concession, crafters, hay rides and free entertainment throughout the weekend. Noon-8:00pm on Saturday and Noon-5:00pm on Sunday. Call 40-259-5140for more details.

It's the 21ST ANNUAL BUG DAY on Sunday. ,Bring the whole swarm out for a fun afternoon of live bugs, buggy games, activities and adventure. Ride on miniature trains provided by the Lake Shore Live Steamers 1:00pm-3:00pm, weather permitting. Penitentiary Glen Reservation, in Kirtland. www.lakemetroparks.com.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Photography tips by Jamie Jansen

10 tips on how to hire a great photographer

1. You must like him/her. A good, comfortable relationship is key. If there’s not a level of trust and respect, it’s going to show in the photos.

2. Look for a knowledgeable photographer. This is tough to do. With the current technology, anyone can buy a $500 camera and take some great pictures. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can duplicate the same result with any consistency. It’s easy to get started, but it takes a lot of study and practice to be professional able to deliver every time. Photographers are artists and the camera is their brush. It’s a must they really know how to use it.

3. Check their Portfolio and ask to see several different examples of their work. A photographer should have many different pieces to show you. If not, it usually means one of two things. A). They’re very inexperienced and don’t have much work to show or B). They are only showing their very best but the bulk of their work might not be up to the same standard. I have literally thousands of examples of work on my website.

4. Research. I recommend that my clients check out other photographers before they decide to hire me. That way they can make an informed decision.

5. Style is important. Every photographer develops their own style over time. Make sure their style is the style you want. Don’t assume they can achieve something that may be out of their comfort zone. You’re bound to be disappointed. Their style needs to be your style.

6. Talk about expectations. Make sure the photographer knows what you want from him and that you understand exactly what he’s going to give you.

7. Think long term. Most people only hire photographers for very specific, important times in their life; new births, weddings, graduations. These photos will be around for the rest of your life and probably be the only ones you share with others. Don’t you want them to be good?

8. Price is a factor. I understand everyone is looking for a great deal, but that shouldn’t be the only consideration. A photography studio is very expensive to own and operate, so look at what you’re getting in return. A photographer may be more expensive but has the means to deliver a superior product. If these photos are going to be around, isn’t it worth it to have the best.

9. Be prepared. The more effort you put into your clothing and appearance, the better the photos will be.

10. Have fun! These are once in a lifetime moments. You should enjoy them from beginning to end.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Perfect Brownie

I was so impressed by the advertising of this product, I just had to share. Check it out for yourself. If this products works as well as it claims, it will not only be a hot item in homes everywhere it will also make a great gift! I bet a Mom created it....



Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Organizing your Home Part Four

I am so enjoying these posts. Thanks Joan. If you missed the first three you can catch up here...


How To Analyze Your Type

Part 2

I finished showering in the basement bathroom. Upon coming out to put my towel in the hamper, I noticed that once again, my son did not put his towel or clothes in the there but ON the basement floor right NEXT to it. He’s in his early 20’s and knows better.

Instead of fussing, yelling or just picking it up, I asked, “Ryan, are you okay? Is your arm hurt from baseball?”

“No, Mom. Why?” he replied.

“Well I figured your arm was hurt because you weren’t able to ACTUALLY throw your clothes IN the hamper.” He got the hint.

The point is sometimes it’s not only your habits that need changing; however, it’s the best and only place to start.

If you were not able to identify with last weeks types, you should be able to find something in these that you associate with. You may be a combination.

4. SENTIMENTAL: Every rock picked up at the beach since your children could walk, every picture they ever drew, duplicate photos….. I need to keep it all because it is important.

5. CLEAN ONLY: If it’s clean it won’t matter where they are piled. One the couch, chair, bed, table. If the outside of the big boxes along the wall are packed, dusted and visible who cares. As long as it is clean, it never needs to be put away.

6. SAFETY: I don’t refuse to wash or polish floors because they might be too slippery. Why would I bother to put that away? If I put those papers in the drawers they may become too heavy and when I open them they will fall over.

7. GREAT INTENTIONS: This is on sale, it’s cute and would look good in the Living Room Corner and when I get everything straightened up, I will put it there. Problem is if you looked in the basement, you would see that you bought something for that corner 5 months ago with great intentions that also did not get used.

8. FUTURE NEEDS: I realize that I have 4 sets of measuring cups, 3 dog bowls and one dog, 2 sets of encyclopedia’s but what if I am cooking for a neighborhood and if one of the dogs bowls break and if the Internet is down and both of my children want to use the "Q" volumn of the encyclopedia. I might need these things.

9. IDEALISTIC: I’ll do this and this and this. Great thoughts, however, Ben Franklin said it best, “Well done is better than well said.”

It is so important to realize that life circumstances get in the way of great goals. Depression, Illness and the list could go on. It is important to remember that no matter what Type you relate to that you need only do one thing at a time. I don’t know who said this but it makes great sense…..”How do you eat an elephant?...One bite at a time.” That belongs to our goals also.

God bless you all this week.

The Best Meatballs Ever!

I got this recipe from the Kraft food & family magazine. I made these last night, they turned out great, and I even managed to freeze quite a few for later.
Prep: 20 min. Total time 38 min. Makes 8 servings. 4 meatballs each

2 lb ground beef
1 pkg (6oz) Stove Top Stuffing mix for chicken ( i had pork on hand and used it and it worked great)
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400, Line 2 (15x10x1-inch) pans with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix ingredients until blended; shape into 32 (1 1/2 inch) balls using 1/4 cup for each.
2. Place 16 meatballs in each prepared pan. Bake 16 to 18 min. or until done.
3. Use what you need for dinner and freeze the rest. (Tip for freezing: Loosely pack cooled meatballs in freezer weight resealable plastic bags. Lay bags flat in the freezer so meatballs freeze individually. Store up to three months. Thaw in refrigerator several hours before using as desired)

Sauce recipes to try:
Tomato-basil cream sauce - Mix 1 jar (14oz) spaghetti sauce, 2 oz cubed Philadelphia Cream cheese and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil in large skillet; cook on medium, low heat 3 min or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 16 hot meatballs; stir to evenly coat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Kraft grated Parmesan Cheese before serving.

Creamy Brown Gravy - Mix 1 jar (12oz) beef gravy, 1/2 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen Sour Cream and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley in large skillet; cook on medium low heat 3 min or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 16 hot meatballs; stir to evenly coat.