Thursday, November 24, 2011

World Vision Gifts Keep Giving and Giving!

Tonight as people are camped out overnight in anticipation of the biggest shopping event of the year, I am snuggled up on my couch, flipping through my World Vision gift catalog, trying to decide if I want a goat or ten chickens.  That's right.  You read it right.  You see, every year my husband's side of the family has a Secret Santa gift exchange for the adults, and we all submit a "wish list" ahead of time. Goat or chickens?  Either way, I am thrilled to ask for my gift to come from a catalog where gifts change lives.

I look around my living room as I relax against my fluffy pillows, tummy filled with the bounty of the Thanksgiving feast, and I am overflowing with thanks.  I feel truly rich.  How can I not when I see these lovely faces in the magazine and the joy that comes from providing the most basic necessities for their very livelihood.  Basic.  Food, shelter, clean water, education, protection.  Livelihood.

We live in a culture where the latest and greatest rule, yet we all sincerely want to make a difference.  Don't we?  This year when you are looking for a unique gift for your loved ones, consider a gift that will keep giving long after the season. It could save someone's life!  And THAT is the true joy of giving.

So please go to to shop the catalog.  Give a donation and receive a lovely bracelet or scarf for your mom, a Veggie Tales video for your kids, or stainless steel mug for yourself.  Your budget may be tight, but even the smallest gift goes a long way.

Here's to changing a life!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Great American Smokeout Day!

Do you have a loved one who smokes?  Are you a smoker but you want to be a non-smoker?  November 17th is the Great American Smokeout day.  Let's encourage our loved ones to quit smoking....not tomorrow, not the next day...right now!  Smoking is an incredibly powerful addiction.  I've watched more than one family member suffer from chronic illnesses related to cigarette smoking.  Chances are, you have seen the same.

For tips on how to quit smoking you can go to

Here's to a smoke free world!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Healthy Sleep Habits

Where have I been?  Can I call myself a serious blogger if I haven't been here in months?  Was I ever a "serious" blogger?  LOL.

I'm nesting....still. Well, kind of.  Our son is now nine and a half months old, and truth be told, I thought I would be blogging more regularly by now.  The thing is, this baby time goes by so quickly.  I don't want to miss a thing.  And I really don't want to miss out on sleep! With a bouncing baby boy and a vibrant five-year-old girl who is home schooling, I'm ready to turn in quite early these days. This is a healthy living blog after all, and I have written about the importance of sleep before.  Sleep is vital to our health and so often we sacrifice sleep to stay up on our computers or watch T.V.  Or sometimes to get the laundry done!

Life is demanding.  Sleep is a necessary component for meeting those daily demands.  As parents, we can help instill good sleep habits in our children early on.  Many times parents aren't sure how many hours of sleep their kids need.  When I became a parent I was totally smitten with my new baby girl.  Weeks after her arrival, I was wishing she had come with a set of instructions.  I went with my instincts and watched for signs of hunger, but sleepy signs were a bit confusing to me.

Then a friend gave me a book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Mark Weissbluth.  Early on in my pregnancy I was told to beware of sleep-training books because they encourage parents to let a child "cry it out".  So I was a bit skeptical about the book.  But when I began to read it, everything just made sense.  The book gives parents information to help them understanding the importance of sleep, how sleep habits develop in young children, and a step-by-step guide to help children get the sleep they need for happy, healthy development.  And it offers methods that are simple to implement for both families who co-sleep or sleep in separate beds.

What really made a lasting impression on me was the research that shows a definite correlation between the sleep habits of an individual in childhood and then into their adult years.  In other words, helping a child learn healthy sleep habits is a gift that will last them their entire life.  Like any book, some tips may suit some parents more than others.  Every child is different and there are special circumstances to consider. That being said, I highly recommend this book. My daughter had reflux, which of course made sleep more difficult for her, but thanks to the book I had a better understanding of how to begin implementing a nap time and bed time routine, despite our struggles.  And having reviewed the book after my son was born, healthy habits were established early on.

I love the philosophy is this book about healthy sleep habits leading to healthy lives.  I couldn't agree more....Good night!

Here's to healthy sleep habits and here's to your health!