By Julie Baumgardner

Family Time FunJulie and Steve Barringer have two children, both of whom attend different schools and are very active in extracurricular activities. Caitlin and Webb are involved in softball, basketball, youth handbells, Chattanooga Boys Choir, music and Boy Scouts.
A typical day for the Barringers begins with Julie and Caitlin getting up at 6:15 a.m. They leave for school and work at 7:15 a.m., which is when Steve and Webb get up and get ready. They are off to school by 8:15 a.m. The children have activities in the evening Monday through Wednesday. Steve and Julie rely on their mothers to help them out with transportation for the kids.
“Monday through Wednesday are our busiest days,” said Julie. “Without the help of our parents it would be impossible for the kids to participate in all that they do.” Monday through Friday Caitlin has sports practice. She is also on a select traveling softball team that practices year round and currently practices on the weekend.
“Most nights we are all home by 6:30 or 7 p.m. and that is when homework begins. Everybody eats when they get hungry. Bedtime is at 10:00 p.m. Between 9 and 10 is the time that we connect with our kids.” READ More on Reclaiming Family Time

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happy little gift with easter bunny earsDidn't we all love Easter when we were kids? It was especially fun not only coloring Easter eggs but hunting for them in the morning. Mom always found neat places to hide them. While coloring Easter eggs has taken on a similar but new art form, here are are few inexpensive gift ideas kids and parents will surely enjoy.

  • One idea is to purchase inexpensive bunny ears for your kids to wear. While they are trying to find their Easter eggs they can hop around. Make a game of it!
  •  Another favorite treat for kids is the very popular marshmallow chicks. These have been around since we were kids, and these are sure to be a hit with yours, too! You can add these to a small basket; take different colored tissue paper and cut them into strips to make a nest; line the basket; add the chicks along with a small bag of jelly beans, and some chocolate Easter eggs.READ More on Looking For Inexpensive Easter Gift Ideas?

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Happy Little Toddler Saving Her MoneyAs Parents it is up to us to help provide financial prowess in teaching kids how to handle money. We are our childs first teachers. Here are some tips on how to accomplish this difficult process.

Kids learn by example. If you are in debt, odds are they will be too. You need to teach fiscal responsibility at an early stage. The earlier you discuss money with your kids, the better prepared they will become. Open up a savings account with your kids; allow them to deposit and make withdrawals. Give them the option to use the account in whichever way they decide. By allowing them this freedom to choose, you are also giving them the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Always be there in case they need your advice in this regard. READ More on Parenting And Teaching Your Child The Value Of Money

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Hillary Clinton and Rep. John Dingell today introduced the Childrens First Health Act. If passed. it will make health care for children more affordable and help plug the whole of some 9 million children in the US that do not have health insurance. Politically I have not made any decisions yet for president and I know health care is reform is widely debated. I look at this issue not only from a parent but also from a child who had chronic health issues, was hospitalized, and visited the emergency room many many times. To me its a crime so many parents in the U.S. have to skimp on their childrens health care because of rising costs or just not being able to pay for it. Our children are our future. I don't feel its a matter of whether we can afford it or not, its more of a matter that we can no longer afford not to.

Here is Hillary's video where she explains her proposal and justification for the Children's First Health Act. 

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Grandmother and Grandchild spending quality time togetherNational Grandparents Day 2015!!

For all those grandparents reading this article know that we love you very much. There are many things to enjoy about the wonderful world of grandparenting. You have the exciting opportunity to see the world through a child’s eyes all over again – without the stress of juggling the many activities and obligations that parents have today. Grandparents have the luxury of an afternoon of board games or an evening movie marathon, much to the grandchildren’s delight. READ More on The Wonderful World Of Grandparenting

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If you live in the Chattanooga Tennessee and have a family you are very lucky. My wife and I moved here 3 years ago and love it. It is a great place to live and raise a family. Recently we found out about a great local organization and want to help spread the word. This organization is dedicated to building a stronger community by building stronger families. In 1997 a group of civic leaders banded together with that realization. They realized the future of our community here in the Chattanooga area lies in the health and vitality of the family unit. They formed First Things First, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a better community by supporting and helping keep families together though education, collaboration and mobilization.READ More on Building Stronger Families And Marriages In Chattanooga Tennessee

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Saint Patricks Day is almost here. Here are some fun recipes that are sure to delight the whole family: Shamrock Cookes, Green Magical Cookies and a Shamrock Shake. Shamrock Cookies.

Use your heart-shaped cookie cutter to make Shamrock Cookies for St. Patrick's Day.

Here's how:

Time needed from start to finish, including time to put icing on the cookies, 2 to 2.5 hours.

Yield: 2 dozen large shamrock cookies READ More on Saint Patty's Day Recipes: Shamrock Cookies, Green Magical Cookies and Shamrock Shake

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