White Lily is the symbol of the purity of JesusTo Christians, Easter is much more than Easter bunnies and eggs: it is the most significant day in the year as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. While Jesus should always be the focal point of Easter, many of these more commercial elements of Easter can symbolize parts of the Easter story. While they may have had different meanings at other times in history, now they help us remember our new lives in Christ.
Rabbits
The rabbit was a symbol of fertility in ancient times. Now, rabbits represent the abundant new life available to us through Jesus.

Eggs and chicks
Eggs appear lifeless, but life is inside an egg and can break forth, just as Jesus did in the tomb. The egg itself can also represent the stone that was rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb.
The first Easter eggs were painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring. One legend theories that Simon of Cyrene, who carried Jesus’ cross for him, was an egg merchant. When he retrieved his basket of eggs after carrying the cross, he found that all the eggs were miraculously colored and decorated.
Chicks are also symbols of new life and re-birth.READ More on Symbols of Easter

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by Jeanelle Lanham

Teenage years, the time most parents are unsure about, when it should be one of the best times for parents as well as teens. Its the time when parents can talk to their teens in a manner that’s mature, a time when parents can have a conversation with their teens and know that to some extent what has been said was understood. It’s a time when teens should be able to talk to their parents about any and every thing; they should be able to talk about things that are hard to talk about. I know that can and will be a scary thing to do but you can do and there's an easy way to implement it into you daily lives. There is a method out that allows you to talk with your teenager confidently knowing change will occur for the betterment of both the teen and parent. The P.A.U.S.E. method helps parents by sharing 5 tips on how to show love to their teens in practical ways. Theses 5 tips can be implemented into your day to day life as they were created to add to your life!

Step 1 – P. = Parenting

Parenting can be tricky, every single one of us has been raised differently and we have our own views and beliefs of what is the “proper” way of parenting a teenager. I remember as a teenager when my mother would parent me and I would say “when I am a parent I will not do my kids like this!” I am not sure if any of you felt that way as a teenager but I did and I made a point to stick to that statement. Parenting is remembering when you were their age; its remembering that being a teenager is a difficult time. Being a teenager has changed from when we were teenagers, its gotten worse. The challenges and temptations are everywhere and we as parents must remember that teens are not trying to disrespect us when asking a question. Parenting is teaching them things that will empower them to excel; teach them the things we learned as teenagers. We must parent by passing on our knowledge.READ More on Parenting: P.A.U.S.E – Show Your Teen(s) Love

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Surviving Spring Break with Your Sanity in Tact by Joy Belle

Young Family enjoying Spring Break Together

Young Family enjoying Spring Break Together

Spring break is almost upon us. No doubt your kids are excited about it but as parents, you may not have quite the enthusiasm. Spring is in the air, kids are antsy, and now they are going to be home from school for an entire week. What can you do to survive, with your sanity in tact at that? Here is a look at some great tips, ideas, and activities that you can use and you may just come out alive.

Great Activities for Kids to Enjoy on Spring Break (Keeping Them Busy is Half the Battle)

With some activities on hand, you'll keep kids busy and keep them from getting bored, which is important to your survival. Others you'll be dealing with those yells for "MOM" about every 10 minutes. Plan ahead and get together some fun activities.

One idea is to let kids make some colorful butterfly mobiles, which is great for younger kids and even preteens. Get some colored paper, some markets, some string, and get to it. You can use stencils to draw butterflies or let them get creative and draw their own. Then cut them out, decorate them, and attach them to the string for colorful and spring themed mobiles.READ More on Parenting Tips for Surviving Spring Break with Young Kids!

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by Jennifer Shakeel

Parenting is hard enough, and trying to be a friend to your child at the same time can be like walking a tight rope. However, the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. As long as you are a parent first, it is possible to be friends with your child. As long as your children stay within the boundaries that are set for them, you can learn to be more than parents to your kids. The first step to being your child’s friend is to determine what the phrase “being friends” means. This is the initial key to become friends with your child while maintaining your parental status with them. There must be boundaries set and your child needs to understand them so that your relationship with them can be an enjoyable one for the both of you. You as a parent also need to respect your child in many ways.

Your child is looking for advice and guidance from you and you are, in a way, their role model whether they want to admit it or not. The key to being a parent and a friend is to know that it’s OK to say no. Parents cannot be afraid to say it to their kid. It is important to know where to draw the line and know where to be a parent and not to please them because you do not want them upset or angry at you.READ More on Being a Parent and a Friend to Your Child

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by Jennifer Shakeel

I write this and laugh. I am a mom that has been there done that… and did I mention I am doing it again. I have a 15 year old, a 12 year old and a 15 month old. Still to this day I have separation anxiety with my oldest! I guess I just don’t like being away from my children… especially for extended periods of time. I miss them. Of course I am not here to talk about parental separation anxiety… though I wonder why no one does that. Here we are going to talk about separation anxiety from the child’s stand point and how you can make it easier.

Separation anxiety is when a child has anxiety from being separated from the caregiver, which is usually the mother. This is a very stressful stage for both parent and child as the parent feels guilty, and the child is scared and experiences anxiety.

From the time a child reaches eight months to the time they are about fourteen months, they get nervous and even frightened when they see new people or are in new places. They see their parents as familiar and safe. When they get separated from their parents, they feel threatened and unsafe. This is a normal stage of development and usually ends when the child is two years old.

How Do Children Get Over Separation Anxiety?

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Here are some tips to save on School Supplies from More4kids:

little girl with her school supplies getting ready for school Follow these tips to keep more of your money in your wallet as your kids head back to school:
Plan ahead
Get the list of school supplies as soon as possible. If a list isn’t sent home with your child’s last report card at the end of the school year, see if a list is posted on the school’s website. That way, you can be on the lookout for sale items all through the summer.

School Supplies: Stock up during the sales

What other time of year can you find boxes of crayons for a dime or reams of paper for a quarter? Stock up during the sales so you can replenish your kids’ school supplies during the year and maybe even have some items left over for next year.
To save yourself the hassle of running around to different stores to buy stuff on sale, try to find one store that will meet the sale price of other stores. All you usually have to do is show them the ad with the cheaper price.
Divide and conquer
Everyone in your school supposed to provide a box of tissues? Buy a big carton of boxes at your local warehouse store and split the cost among your friends.
Reuse and recycle
My kids think they need a new lunchbox and backpack each year. Ummm – no. Unless what they have is really falling apart, they can use it a little while longer. And to save the “But I don’t like Hello Kitty anymore” arguments, buy generic lunchboxes and backpacks to begin with.
You can also try looking for backpacks and lunchboxes at consignment shops and garage sales.READ More on School Supplies On A Budget

by Jennifer Shakeel

Recently I was speaking with a family friend, whose daughter is one of the cheerleaders for my son’s football team. Her daughter is having a rough time with another little girl on the team who seems determined to make my friend’s daughters life miserable. There has yet to be one game all season long that she has not left the game crying. The little girl picks on her at school as well. I have been trying to offer ideas to my friend to help her daughter. I have even talked to her daughter.

It isn’t that her daughter is weak, or a push over… she is just a nice person. Her parents have done an excellent job on raising her and teaching her that it is better to take the high road. That just because someone is being nasty to you does not mean that you need to be nasty back to them. I completely agree with this, we have done the same with our children. Though we have also tried to instill upon them that taking the high road does not mean that you become someone’s doormat. Today I am offering several parenting tips on how you can help your child stand up for themselves.

Parenting Tip One:  Return an Insult with a Compliment

Granted this is going to depend on the situation. In the case of my friend’s daughter it is just a taunting little girl and they are 11 years old. It is important to realize that the bully in this case gets satisfaction over making the “victim” feel terrible. They want to see the person they are tormenting upset, for them it is a matter of putting that person in their place which is beneath the bully. To which I advised that she look at this other little girl when she is being mean and say, “You’re the best xxxx,” with a smile and turn and walk away. Don’t give the tormentor the satisfaction of making you feel like crap, let them know that what they are saying doesn’t bother you.

Parenting Tip Two:  Call the Bully Out

Sometimes taking the high road is not about not succumbing to being nasty, it is about calling the bully out for what they are doing. For the daughter of our friend, I advised that she look at her “team mate” and say, “I thought we were a team. Teammates support each other. We don’t have to like each other, but we do need to support one another.” Many times, especially with younger kids, the fact that the bully has never been called on the carpet for their behavior encourages the behavior. So when one person stands up to them and points out what they are doing is wrong it will stop the bullying.READ More on Bullying: Encouraging Children to Stand Up For Themselves

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