Natalie Grants in the Hospital

Hey everyone – it’s Bernie, Natalie’s husband. She is awake and her surgeon said everything went perfectly. Hallelujah! God is faithful and kind. Thx for your prayers.
We are so grateful for your love and support. We will update with news as we receive it.

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

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Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year. It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness. It is a favorite day for many, as people everywhere are enjoying doing these acts of kindness. Not only is it positive for the receiver, but for the giver, too!

“I was a recipient of the kindness but more glad to be a contributor!” (Unknown)

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness. Random Acts of Kindness Website

Stress Relief for BUSY Women

simple stress reliefStress Relief for BUSY Women

  • Start and Finish the Day in Peace – Try to set aside even just a few minutes of quiet time in your own little corner of your home at the beginning and end of each day.
    Go for a Lunchtime Walk or Workout –Exercise is a major stress-buster and mood-lifter, but moms are too busy to hit the gym when the kids are around. If you work outside the home, use your lunch break to fit in a workout or a brisk walk with a colleague. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, take your little one out for fresh air in the stroller or baby jogger, or do an exercise video when your tot is napping
  • Indulge in a Bit of Beauty – Busy women/moms deserve at least a little treat, such as a monthly manicure or a 15-minute chair massage.
  • Day Off – Whether you stay at home or work outside the home, when is the last time you took a mental health day? Leave the kids with a relative or sitter for the day or take a personal day from work – you never get time to yourself. Scout out a shoe sale, see a chick flick alone, buy yourself fresh flowers, or even take a nap – make your day off really count!
  • Parent Support  – Other moms can relate to your madness! Look for opportunities to meet other parents, such as “Mommy and Me” classes at the YMCA, story time at the library, or support groups in your area if you’re a single mom or have a child with special needs. Online message boards are also a good resource.
  • Escape in a Book – A good read is a great escape. Try to read even just a few pages at bedtime. It’s much more relaxing to end the day with an intriguing story than with a diaper change, dish washing, or drafting the next day’s to-do list.
  • Plan a Girls’ Night Out – Time with your girlfriends is a major stress-busting treat. A night on the town without kids or spouses can be tough to arrange but is well worth the effort.
  • Treat Yourself to Bath Time – Put away the kids’ squirty toys. Take a soothing bubble bath after everyone else has gone to bed. No time for bath time? Buy a pretty-smelling face wash to use at the end of every day. Water can help wash away a stressful day.

Read more on Family Education

Focus on the Family with Dr. Lehmann Program on Stress Relief for Busy Moms

Guide to Blended Families

blended familiesGuide to Blended Families / How to Bond with Stepchildren & Deal with Step-family Issues

While changes to family structure require adjustment time for everyone involved, these guidelines can help blended families work out their growing pains and live together successfully.

Planning a blended family…     Too many changes at once can unsettle children. Blended families have the highest success rate if the couple waits two years or more after a divorce to remarry.

  • Make parenting changes before you marry. Agree with your new partner how you intend to parent together, and then make any necessary adjustments to your parenting styles before you remarry. It’ll make for a smoother transition and your kids won’t become angry at your new spouse for initiating changes.
  • Don’t allow ultimatums. Your kids or new partner may put you in a situation where you feel you have to choose between them. Remind them that you want both sets of people in your life.

The basic elements that make a successful blended family:

  • Solid marriage. You’ll have to grow and mature into the marriage while parenting.
  • All relationships are respectful. This is not just referring to the kids’ behavior toward the adults.

Bonding with your new blended family  Children want to feel:

  • Safe and secure. Children want to be able to count on parents and step-parents.
  • Loved. Kids like to see and feel your affection, although it should be a gradual process.
  • Appreciated and encouraged. Children of all ages respond to praise and encouragement and like to feel appreciated for their contributions.

An important part of building trust in a family has to do with discipline. Couples should discuss the role each step-parent will play in raising their respective children, as well as changes in household rules.  The following tips can help make this difficult transition a bit smoother:

  • Establish the step-parent as more of a friend or counselor rather than a disciplinarian.
  • Let the biological parent remain primarily responsible for discipline until the step-parent has developed solid bonds with the kids.
  • Create a list of family rules. Discuss the rules with the children and post them in a prominent place.

Tips for a healthy blended family

  • All brothers and sisters “fall out”, so don’t assume all family arguments are the result of living in a blended family.
  • Beware of favoritism. Be fair. Don’t overcompensate by favoring your stepchildren. This is a common mistake, made with best intentions, in an attempt to avoid indulging your biological children.
  • Find support.  You can learn how other blended families address some of the challenges of blended families.
    Spend time every day with your child. Try to spend at least one “quiet time” period with your child (or children) daily. Even in the best of blended families, children still need to enjoy some “alone time” with each parent.
  • Set aside time as a couple by making regular dates or meeting for lunch or coffee during school time.
  • Present a unified parenting approach to the children – arguing or disagreeing in front of them may encourage them to try to come between you.

Are You Holding Someone Up or Is Someone Holding You Up?

Look around you. Within your community, whose arms are you holding up? Who is holding up yours? Consider your role in both scenarios; aim to be a great supporter while also graciously appreciating those holding you up.(thedailyverse.com)

But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. Exodus 17:12

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