Bell County Family- August 2011
Bell County Family Magazine
Bell County FAMILY FREE PREMIERE ISSUE - AUGUST 2011 FUN Y L I FAMLENDAR CA ! E D I S IN Mariah Wilde with Family Link Kids finding "forever homes" for children BACK TO SCHOOL Steps to BACKPACK SAFETY 7 TIPS For Packing Likeable LUNCHES SENDING OFF A SOLIDER A MOTHER'S STORY ON THE COVER 08/11 Mariah Wilde with Family Link Kids contents in this issue 5 Born Leaders...NOT! 6 Take Time to Be a Dad Today 7 Mother, May I? 11 The Family Universe 12 The Simple Life 13 No Oven Needed 19 Give Yourself an Energy Boost... 14 Naturally! 20 The Best Way to Ensure Good Skin 22 10 Things to Love About August special features 8 Itâ€™s In the Bag: 7 Packing Healthy School Lunches 9 5 Steps to Back Pack Safety 10 Preparing for Middle School 14 Forever Family, Forever Home 18 Saying Goodbye 21 Back to School Already? Teaching Your Children Manners 8 7 Tips for Packing Healthy School Lunches in every issue 16 Bell County Family Fun Calendar 18 Saying Goodbye: A Mother's Story 19 Boosting Your Energy Naturally! Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 3 Bell County FAMILY Publisher Amanda Eddins Amanda@BellCountyFamily.com 254-624-1213 Associate Publisher Miranda Bradley Miranda@BellCountyFamily.com 512-924-3911 Editor Amanda Eddins Amanda@BellCountyFamily.com Art Director Abby Pound Abby@BellCountyFamily.com Advertising Sales Steve Barrett | 254-702-3369 Steve@BellCountyFamily.com Miranda Bradley | 512.924.3911 Miranda@BellCountyFamily.com Rene Dorsey | 512.573.5532 Rene@BellCountyFamily.com Susan Stern | 512.773.3240 Susan@BellCountyFamily.com Contributing Writers Marcy Lytle, Trent Peng, Kie Bowman, John Pound, Erin Osborn, Georganne Schuch, David & Lynn Cherry, Rene Dorsey, Paul Tsui, and Miranda Bradley Editor's Note W Introducing... e are so excited to be part of the growth that Bell County has seen over the past few years. From growing economics to growing families, Bell County has it all! We at Bell County Family are happy to part of it by bringing the first family resource filled with many useful and informative articles. After months of hard work, sweat, and sacrifice, we have created a great magazine that I am sure that you all will enjoy. As the summer is coming to an end and the new school year begins, we want you to utilize us a resource for your family, after all, that’s what we’re here for. Let us help you in your “school year resolutions”. Read “It’s In The Bag: Packing Healthy School Lunches” for new and easy ideas to help ease the rush of your mornings. Once you’ve made all those lunches grab the Calgon, pour a hot bath and learn how to maintain energy during the day by reading “Give Yourself an Energy Boost, Naturally”. If the energy you do have is spent being just as nervous as your tween about starting middle school take some tips from Dr. Jones and read “Preparing For Middle School”. Our cover story is one that you won’t soon forget. If you have ever considered fostering a child, you are sure to revisit the idea after reading “Forever Family”. Mariah Wilde has dedicated her life to helping these children. She is an inspiration to us all. Take the last few weeks of summer as time to enjoy your family, get out of the house and have some fun. We are sure you can find plenty to do in our Bell County Community Calendar. Sit back, relax and enjoy… Amanda Eddins Editor, Bell County Family Amanda@BellCountyFamily.com Bell County Family is committed to encouraging individuals in their daily lives by presenting faith, family and health articles. Views expressed in Bell County Family do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by the Bell County Family staff to ensure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information, nor the absences of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be , or is assumed . All Rights Reserved. Bell County Family PO Box 2496 Round Rock, TX 78680 254-624-1213 (P) 512.501.6760 (F) Bell County Family is published monthly and is available at high traffic locations throughout the metropolitan area. Copies are also available by subscription, $35 for one year. Single issues available for $3 an issue. Volume 1, Issue 1 4 Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com Born Leaders...NOT! of my pet peeves is that only the mattress, sheets, pillows, and bedspread belong on the bed. They seem to think that anything that doesn't go on the floor must go on the bed. A good leader knows the limitations of the people he leads. Kids are kids. My children can do some chores exceptionally well, and I expect them to complete these chores to that level of excellence. Other chores are more of a challenge. For those assignments, I expect them to do their best, but do not require perfection while they are learning and honing their abilities. Expect great things, but don't require them. L eaders are made, not born. Someone important said that, but I don't know who. I do know it's true. Sure, some people have a natural panache that makes others want to follow them. Others have to learn to be leaders, usually the hard way. I, myself, don't have the panache, but I have learned a few things about leadership from being a mom. The first requirement for being a leader is to have someone to lead. A small, but vital, detail. Having a child makes a parent a leader by default. If and how a parent leads is a choice. A good leader should expect and require obedience with a nononsense, but gentle, approach. If obeying is just part of the routine and not a throw down for only big issues, resistance is less likely to fully develop. I impress on my children the importance of working as a team. If we all work together, we have time to have fun. What does a leader do besides lead? Bark orders, of course. Okay, so I don't bark, but I do assign tasks. Why should I have all the fun? All of my children are assigned chores as soon as they are capable of understanding and completing basic instructions. The first chore is to throw away your own diaper. I wish I could say it hastens potty training, but that has not been my experience. It does teach basic obedience, though. From there, each child learns new assignments as she is able to complete them. I bought a little 99-cent feather duster and my twoyear-old's chore is to dust the baseboards. They don't always need dusting, nor does she do the best job, but it's an assignment she can do while she learns how to dust without fear of breaking anything. One (of many) mistakes I made early on was to send one of my children to complete a task without teaching how to do it. Sure, it sounds simple enough to tell someone to pick up the wet towels off the bathroom floor. I wonder why this isn't as obvious to them as it is to me. But, I think a child hears Charlie Brown's teacher when I send them to do something without explicit instructions and at least one demonstration. So, I periodically have cleaning tutorials with each child. We go into a room and talk about what needs to be done. Trash goes in the trash can (it's hard to resist a â€œduhâ€? here), clothes go in the laundry hamper, toys go in the toy box, books go on the bookshelf. One Even an imperfect leader, like me, can successfully raise reasonably well-behaved, responsible children. When my first child was born, it was all kisses and giggles for a while. Then, it wasn't. As I recall, she threw plastic containers on the floor and refused to pick them up. This was a line in the sand. I could require her to obey now, when it wouldn't take a lot of effort or pain for either of us, or I could show her that following a leader wasn't important and set her up for a lifetime of frustration, not to mention the gazillion times I would have to pick up after her. Sounds overblown, but it's not. Habits and attitudes start young. After about fifteen minutes of wailing, she picked up the containers and turned back into my sweet angel again. Unfortunately, one battle did not win the war, but over the years the resistance has mellowed. I now have a pre-teen daughter who is an efficient helper and who realizes work has to be done, regardless of feelings. As a parent you are more than an ATM or a chauffeur. Donâ€™t get lost in the busyness of life. You are the leader of your family. Teach and train them. Love them and expect great things. Georganne Schuch Meet BCF's SALES REP! Rene Dorsey'sales experience is quite extensive spanning over 30 years from Real Estate to the Medical Industry. Her vast knowledge is invaluable to her clients as she knows how to Rene Dorsey best market their specific industries. She loves helping people and is very involved with the homeless community. Her highest achievement is raising three children, one of whom is currently serving in Iraq. Call her and let her help you take your business to the next level. firstname.lastname@example.org Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 5 Y ouâ€™ve seen the ads... A father shows up at his home exhausted, his only desire is to unwind after a long day at work, and he sees his children jumping rope outside. His first inclination is to continue up the stairs, kiss his wife, and sit down in front of the television. But instead, he puts his briefcase down and jumps in with the kids. How about the father who is having a tea party with his daughter? The footage starts off panning an arm riddled with tattoos and grime. The camera continues up his arm and to his fingers where they are being painted red by the tiniest of hands. The shot pulls back to unfold the image of a father, sitting with his princess-like child giving him a manicure while they dine with a tea set. Both of these ads conclude with the simple and somewhat poignant statement that we started this article with: Take time to Be a Dad. Research shows that 34% of American children live without their biological fathers. Did you catch that? I'll state it again, but this time with a dramatic pause... a little over one third of our children live without one out of only two people that gave them life. The effects of an absentee father can 6 marijuana and hard drugs. It doesn't take long to realize that fathers play a preeminent role in raising their kids, and this role can and should be one that provides meaning for children. translate into hurdles for the rest of adolescence and beyond. For instance, studies have proven that children raised in fatherless homes are five times more likely to be poor. Studies also suggest that "father closeness" serves as a protective factor against the use and abuse of alcohol, cigarettes, If there is a young person in your life that calls you Dad, and you believe you could adjust the way you are instructing and raising them without resentment, you have the ability to right this wrong. You. Not your wife, not your pastor, not your child's youth pastor, not their teacher or coach. You have the ability to steer this proverbial parenting ship in the right direction. The onus is on you, fathers! If you find yourself as a father that is present in the home and taking an active role in your child's life, please keep doing what you're doing. But know that you cannot remain static as a father; you should always strive to grow, learn and better yourself as a parent. Joshua Myers Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com Mother, May I? I ’ll never forget the look on my grandmother’s face last summer when my then 6-year-old asked if he could be excused from the table. Was it shock? Was it admiration? I’m sure this was an astonishing moment for my grandmother who witnessed many of my manner indiscretions as a child. And I must admit, I relished the moment, basking in the warm feeling spreading through my body. I, surprisingly enough, had done something right (well, at least for that five minutes anyway). However, I’ll also admit that “warm feeling” is not the norm. I’m surrounded by testosterone times three in my house, day in and day out. I can’t tell you the number of burps, farts, throw up noises (fake, thank goodness), booger jokes and potty words thrown around my dinner table on any given evening. So, when I occasionally accomplish the rare “May I please be excused?” question pouring out of the same lips that just told the latest “Pull my finger” joke, then I certainly take it in. Now that the boys are 3 and 7, I’ve made it my mission to tackle the manners monster and subdue it. I. Will. Win. By golly! But where to begin? I turned to a few of my closest confidants (Google included) to find a few tips and tricks to start with: suggest holding a family meeting where these rules are agreed upon and written down. Then post them in a place where everyone can see. It might bode well for everyone if these rules were revisited before mealtime each day for a week while the family is getting used to them. Practice What You Preach It’s no secret that kids will mirror what they see in us. That’s why as parents it’s important for us to model exceptional manners in hopes that our children will follow suit. Now, of course this means I have to speak to my husband about not laughing at the booger jokes, but still, it’s a place to start. Make It A Game This especially works well in female households. Locate articles or books on etiquette and pull out bits and pieces to use as a trivia game at the table. You might even add an incentive to the pot, such as extra dessert or a particular privilege children can earn if they get the answers right or exhibit exceptional manners. more time, and with such a rushed schedule, it may be difficult for most families to do this every night. At our house, we pick Sunday dinner to practice this. Serving dinner family style teaches kids respect and consideration. They are more outwardly focused on serving others around them. This instills a greater sense of community as well, and encourages the use of manners more readily. Most of this article centers around table manners. But, we have been instilling conversational manners in our children as well. We regularly encourage the use of “Please” and “Thank you.” Now, my son says, “Pull my finger … please.” It’s not much, but it’s progress. If I could only get them to say “Excuse me” after the “Pull my finger” punch line, then we’d be in business. Family Fact: Studies show that children who spend time eating with their families are more likely to succeed in school, and have more confidence throughout their lives. Miranda Bradley Pass the Peas Lay the Ground Rules Sounds simple enough, right? But how quickly we (meaning my children) forget rules. The experts Pull out a page from your grandmother’s recipe book and serve dinner family style with side dishes and main course on the table. This takes a little Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 7 I IT'S IN THE BAG PACKING HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCHES f you’re like me, the mornings can be hectic. I’m guilty of slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, tossing it in a paper bag with some chips, and calling it lunch. And, while that’s not terrible on occasion, it’s certainly not the healthy meal I had planned for my child when I decided to forgo the usually fatty cafeteria lunch for “homemade.” That’s why I started researching ideas early. I stumbled over a few really nice ideas that I plan to keep stuck on my refrigerator for those days when I feel less than motivated to provide the healthier alternative. These are easy, healthy options for kids of all ages. 1. Keep It Simple, Silly – In searching for other choices besides PB&J, I often find that I am overdoing it just a little. I seem to gravitate to one extreme or the other – either overly simple or overly complicated. Somewhere in between is just fine for my 7-year old, and my 3-year old toddler. So, moms, keep it simple but interesting, and you’ll do just fine! 2. Protein-Packed – Because I have two boys, I know how much energy they burn. They need to have options besides the old peanut butter standby to give them the kind of stamina they need throughout the day. Try a cheese stick with a small cup of tuna salad. Or sliced meat and veggies in a pita pocket is a quick and tasty sandwich alternative. If you have to use peanut butter, do so as a dipping sauce for apples, or even celery. Quick. Easy. And simple! 3. Planning Ahead – This is where I fail miserably. I just can’t seem to tear myself away from Modern Family long enough to focus the five minutes it takes to prepare my kids’ meals ahead of time. But if I do, then I save myself a lot of headaches and trouble in the mornings. Not to mention, I have more time to spend loving on the little cherubs before they head out the door. So, I’m vowing to make a change. This year I will make Sunday my preparation days. Filling plastic containers with yogurt and fruit takes just a snap, and I can store these in the fridge. Each day, one container makes it into the lunchbox with very little hassle. Another idea is to pack and freeze peas, green beans, or corn in small containers. These will thaw in time to make a healthful, not to mention delightful, snack. 8 4. Heat ‘n Serve – It’s hard to imagine in the thick of summer’s heat, but the cold days are coming. For those, I plan to make enough dinner on Sunday to separate into lunch leftovers for the kids. These can be heated quickly in the morning and placed in a thermos so they are ready when my kids are. Some thermos containers are now made like bowls with a hidden spoon compartment so everything is easily accessible and packs away nicely. 5. Viva Veggies – Luckily, my kids both love carrots with Ranch dressing. Packing these together along with my yogurt selections varies the menu a bit, but allows for ease of packing. Pick your child’s favorite vegetable and pair it with dressing. Just a hint: everything goes with Ranch! 6. Chill Out – Since we will be suffering with more hot days well into October, let’s make sure we have some cold options on hand. A smoothie in a thermos makes for a delicious lunchtime treat. Pair it with wheat crackers, sliced cheese, turkey, and a small dessert item, and we’ve got one heck of a meal! 7. Fast Fix – While all of these ideas don’t take too much time or effort, you always need those uber-quick fixes. Save these for Fridays. Make them fun. If you have pizza on Thursday, save a slice and put it in your child’s lunch. Pasta in fun shapes makes for an easy meal, especially if paired with a yummy dressing for dipping. Preparing healthy lunches for your school-age child doesn’t have to be grueling or even time consuming. With a few helpful ideas in your back pocket, you’ll be the star of the lunchroom, or, at least your child will be. And the best part? You don’t have to give up your PB&J standby altogether. Miranda Bradley Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com 5 Steps to Backpack Safety F inding each pesky item on that school supply list can be a chore and sometimes a challenge. But perhaps the most important, and most used, school supply can also be the most dangerous to your child’s long-term health. It’s the backpack. More than 10,000 children per year suffer from back injuries due to backpacks, mostly attributed to back sprains and spinal injuries, according to Backpack Safety America. The problem comes when children lean forward to compensate for the weight pulling them backward by a heavy backpack. This causes the vertebrae in the child’s spine to compress unnaturally. Children carrying a backpack on one shoulder (usually because it looks cooler) can end up leaning to the side to compensate for the weight, which causes lower and upper back pain while also straining their shoulders and neck. Younger students and females are at risk for more health problems due to their smaller build. Heavier loads are even more disproportionate to their size, making it a tougher strain on the back, neck and shoulder area. To aid Bell County families in putting safety first when selecting this year’s must-have school supply-slash-accessory, we have put together a helpful guide. 1. Picking Your Pack Although most kids want a cool-looking backpack, it’s more important that the pack be a functional tool for their daily use. Instead of flimsy straps, look for wide padded straps. Also, check that the backpack has a waist strap. This can aid in weight distribution if the child has to carry a heavier load. Backpacks on wheels can sometimes be a good option for kids needing to lug around large books and heavier equipment. However, keep in mind these can be difficult to maneuver up stairs. Also, many schools will not allow rolling backpacks because they can pose a tripping risk in hallways. So, check with your school before selecting this option. 2. Weighing In Probably the most overlooked aspect of backpacking is weight distribution. Doctors and physical therapists recommend carrying no more than 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight. If you aren’t sure what this feels like, use the bathroom scale. Have your child bring home their books and pack it different ways, weighing the pack between each. This will give your child a good idea of how much he or she can safely carry in their backpack throughout the day. A child weighing 80 pounds shouldn’t carry a pack weighing more than 8 to 10 pounds. 3. Lifting the Load 5. Danger Signs Keep a watchful eye on your child’s posture. If they seem to hunch more when they walk without a backpack or if they begin complaining of back pain, tingling in their arms and legs or neck pain, you will want to talk to your pediatrician. These could be early signs of major health concerns. Experts say children can begin showing signs of back strain within three months. The greatest advocate for your child’s longterm health is you. Talk to your school on how to lessen the risks of back strain on kids. Besides requesting extra time between classes, you may also talk to the school about e-mailing homework assignments or placing some work on CD. In the end, the backpack can be a useful tool if properly selected and utilized. Miranda Bradley We don’t think about the proper way to pick up a backpack. But, picking up a loaded pack correctly can save your child years of pain and suffering. Bend at the knees, lifting the pack with both hands while facing the pack. Slip on one shoulder strap at a time to ensure proper weight distribution. When packing the bag, make sure to place heavier items closest to the child’s back. Encourage your child to use their lockers between classes to store unneeded books and supplies. If time is an issue, it may be a good opportunity to discuss the issue with the principal of the school to ensure kids have ample time between classes. Also, make sure you find a pack with a padded body. Thin canvas bags are not only hold less, they also can allow for your child to be poked by pens and notebook wires as the canvas begins to wear down over time. 4. Size Matters Look for multiple compartments. While different age groups will require different tools, having multiple compartments will help to distribute the weight of the pack more evenly. Also, be sure the backpack is centered on the child’s back so it sits two inches above the waist. Make sure the backpack is no wider or longer than the child’s torso. When preparing your child for their first day back to campus, be sure to take a moment to check the child’s backpack placement. Tighten straps so they fit snuggly to the child’s body. Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 9 Preparing for Middle School Shop Together Include your tween in back to school shopping trips. Allowing them choices in schools supplies and new school clothes helps them feel more independent. You can use shopping for school as a teachable moment regarding money. If there is a set amount of money that can be spent on new school clothes, you can help them make wise choices that fit your budget. F or the pre-teen or tween, the idea of moving from elementary school to middle school is filled with excitement, fear, and many mixed emotions. As a parent, you can help your tween prepare for the challenges of the middle school change. Address Your Childâ€™s Fears about Middle School Talk with your tween about middle school and the new school year with enthusiasm and excitement. The fears that they face may seem insignificant to you, but they are very real to them. They worry about finding their classes, opening their locker, dressing in gym class, and new school rules. Allow them the opportunity to express what they are feeling. Discuss many of the changes that come with middle school, as peer pressure, homework, and responsibilities all increase. Visit the School Most schools are open for several weeks prior to the start of the school year. Take time to contact the school for a tour. You and a staff member 10 can show your tween the classrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, restrooms, etc. If your childâ€™s schedule is available, you can tour the school by walking through their day. If your tween walks or rides the bus to school, make sure they are comfortable with the route and know how to contact someone for help in the case of an emergency. Establish a Routine A week or so before school starts reestablish set curfews and bedtimes. Although your child is growing older, he or she still needs between 9 and 10 hours of sleep a night. Adequate sleep increases ability to focus during the day. Help your tween become more organized with the upcoming school routine by establishing a family calendar. A detailed calendar that includes the times for school, homework, and activities will help with decision making. Show them how to use a day planner to track homework assignments. Remember to also allow time for independence, relaxation, and friends. It is also helpful to purchase extra school supplies to use throughout the year. This can prevent the late evening run to the store when they need a poster board or markers for a project due the next morning. Talk About Bullying Bullying tends to peak in the sixth grade. Take time to talk to your tween about bullying. Reassure them that telling you or a teacher if they are being bullied is OK. As a parent, learn the signs of bullying so that if necessary, you can quickly take action. With some planning, clear communication, and enthusiasm, your tween will be well prepared when the first bell rings. Al Jones, Ph.D. Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com The family is built on the foundation of His love. It is strengthened when we follow His design. We make it a point to tell our boys that it is in their best interest that Dad and Mom are deeply connected. We also offer our future baby-sitting assistance when our sons become the parents needing to get away! Shooting Stars P lanet earth rotates around the sun, an established fact of astronomy. But in 1633 Italian scientist Galileo was labeled a heretic for his support of the sun-centered model. In fact, he spent his last years under house arrest for challenging the earth-centered world of Aristotle. We have some earth shaking news for your family universe. As much as it appears to be so, the family does not revolve around the children. Your marriage is central to the health of the family. The Black Hole There is a vacuum, more powerful than any black hole at the center of your family. If you do not give priority to your marriage, something else will take that place. It could be a career, or accumulation, but most often it will be the children. I admit it feels noble. I remember as a new mom thinking, “My baby is helpless, completely dependent on me, and my husband is a grown up. He is perfectly capable of fixing his own dinner.” It sounded right. It made sense. But left uncontested, this mindset will truly warp the family as God designed it. If adjustments are not made, Mom and Dad will soon be living in parallel, but separate worlds. Little Suns Granted, when a child is first born into a family, he/she takes on a prominent role. Children are a gift. God calls them a reward (Psalm 127:3). As infants, those sweet gifts require much of our energy and focus. We wouldn’t have it any other way. But there comes a day when we need to break free of their orbit! Honestly, I think this may be easier for husbands. Perhaps the nurturing nucleus of a woman pulls her like gravity toward a child-centered life. Society doesn’t help much. No one praises the parents who choose date night over dance lessons. We celebrate, commend, and create three minute video clips for parents who stay up all night cleaning bathrooms and sleeping in the van while their future Olympian is at the gym. I always feel like a pathetic parent during the Olympics…but then I wonder…do gold medal hopes sustain a marriage? A Strong Core In Ephesians 5 we read about the importance of marital unity. Two do not become one without great intention. Later Paul instructs children to obey and honor their parents. It’s easy to see God’s chain of command. Of course in chapter 1 we read that WE are God’s children…adopted as his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ. In Kid CEO, Ed Young defines parenting as “the process of teaching and training your children to leave.” Our goal is to equip them for life on their own. We wonder how many empty-nesters struggle to get reacquainted after 20 years of kid-centered living. Imagine a couple driving home from dropping their baby off at college with nothing to say to each other. We hope to avoid those awkward silences. We want to celebrate our children launching into the world without wondering what we’ll have in common when they’re gone. We know that now is the time to build a life that we will enjoy sharing for generations to come. It’s easy to love our children. We have this innate ability to welcome them into our world. We choose to love our mate and we honor that choice by valuing our marriage as the central relationship of the family universe. We secure the future of our family when we invest in our marriage. Try this: · Take a brutal analysis of your schedule. Are the kids’ activities taking over any hope of time together? Prioritize your marriage on the family calendar. · Build a shared life outside of parenting by trying new things together, just the two of you! · With all this talk about the universe, black holes and stars…call a babysitter, pack a picnic and plan a cheap date stargazing! Download a monthly guide at skymaps.com. David & Lynn Cherry Meet BCF's SALES REP! Do you own a local business? Let our ad sales rep Susan Stern help you get your company's message out to thousands of Bell County families! Susan Stern Susan has an Advertising degree from UT Austin and 15 years of experience in agency advertising, broadcast media, and publishing. Susan loves boating, hiking, and spending time with her husband and daughter. email@example.com Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 11 I The Simple Life ’ve spent a good portion of my life savings this summer on sunblock and Aloe Vera lotion, as a lot of my time was spent at the pool or lake. It’s these numerous low-key outings that add up to a memorable summer. Straw-spberry Bread Spread 1 lb. fresh Strawberries 1 pint of fresh Raspberries Juice of 1 Lemon 1 Tbsp. Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar Directions: In a large saucepan, mash together strawberries, raspberries, lemon juice and vinegar. Cook over high heat until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve over grilled or toasted bread and in desserts, or use to layer yogurt parfaits. 12 Last summer, however, was kind of dull for me. Neither of my jobs was too exciting and I knew they would not last long. I didn’t have many friends because I didn’t put much effort in finding any. But to make sure it appeared as though I was making an effort, I took online classes towards a degree I wasn’t even sure I wanted to pursue anymore. I made myself believe that I would drone on through nothing more than a mediocre life. I did what I could to get by, nothing more. My idea of the simple life was skewed. I was so wrapped up in taking it easy that I became so bored with myself. The simple life is simply living while doing the things you enjoy. Being employed full time makes it easy to live the simple life according to my own definition. Down time is coveted and even in that time, I believe in being productive. Some call it being a workaholic, but that implies that someone gets left behind. Surround yourself with people to come alongside you. Take the time to see them and their potential. Hebrews 3:13 says “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” Like this recipe, life doesn’t have to be complicated. It only takes a couple ingredients to create something that can be used in many different ways. Find your recipe for a simple life and then simply live to be an encouragement to a couple of fruits…I mean friends. Erin Osborn Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com No Oven Needed S hould we talk about the weather? It is almost too hot to cook! Almost every woman I have spoken to lately says, “No way, I’m not turning on my oven, no- way, no- how. “ Well, I agree. That’s why we are only going to open cans and use plenty of prewashed baby greens to fill us up. You can make chicken salad, tuna salad, pimento cheese, and pasta salad to keep in the fridge for a cool quick meal. Mind you, your husband may want you to pick up BBQ or fried chicken before long! Husbands can only eat so many salads before they put their foot down or, should I say, their forks down. Thank heavens for the drive-through; you can leave the air conditioner on high while you place your order. I know, I know, with all the media talking about being obese, this may be the last thing I should be advising you to do. Too late! I just did. If you must, you can make smart choices. Nevertheless, let us make something cool to eat! Chicken Salad • • • • • • • • • 2 large cans of chunk white chicken, drained (give the juice to your cats or dogs) 1/2 cup of low-fat mayo (or more if you prefer) 1/2 cup of celery finely chopped 1/2 cup of grapes cut in half 1 tsp sweet or dill pickle relish, whichever you prefer (I use sweet). 1/4 tsp dried dill 1/4 tsp of parsley Salt and white pepper to taste 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds Mix all together, and serve over baby greens, then garnish with a few toasted almonds. Pimento Cheese: • • • 16 oz of 2% sharp cheddar cheese (hand-grated is how my granddaughter Jina prefers it) 4 oz jar of pimentos (drained & chopped) 3/4 cup of mayonnaise Mix well and chill. You may need to add mayonnaise after it sits a while. Lemon-Lime Daiquiri Layered Dessert Tuna Salad 2 large cans of tuna in water, drained well. (If you don’t have pets - shame on you.) 1 hardboiled egg 1/4 cup chopped onion (I like green onions) 1/4-cup sweet or sour pickle relish 1/4-cup mustard 3/4 cup of mayonnaise Mix well and chill Tuna served inside a large tomato can be simply beautiful and tasty. You know how important that will be to your spouse. 2 cups of lemon-lime sherbet (or your favorite flavor is great) 1 8oz package of cream cheese 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 8oz tub Cool Whip 1/2 cup lemon juice Line a 9x5-in loaf pan with foil. Spoon 2 cups of lemon-lime sherbet into the pan, freeze 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese until fluffy; gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Stir in Cool Whip. Spread mixture over sherbet. Freeze overnight. You can turn it upside down and place on a serving place for a nice presentation, then cut into 1” slices. It is pretty and delicious! For the kids, please have plenty of other pops, Italian ice pops, and fruit pops in your freezer. You can send the kids outside while they enjoy the cold treat. In addition, when they finish the first one, just give them another, and another. It will keep them cool and help them get fluids while they’re enjoying the pops! This month's tip: My kids always enjoyed frozen grapes in the summertime. Sandra Alton Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 13 “M om, did you know there are children who don’t have homes?” This question came from the heart of a teenager who knew what the term “foster child” meant at an early age. Her parents tried to adopt a young girl when Mariah was five years old, and this birthed a desire in her that has grown and flourished into a ministry to the most “vulnerable children in our society.” Mariah Wilde, Executive Director/Founder of FamilyLink Foster Care and Adoption Agency, an organization that connects families with displaced children, states that when it comes to the question of helping children by loving them, fostering them, adopting them, or whatever – God says “Yes!” and “Now is the time.” Chris and Mariah said, “Yes!” and became foster and adoptive parents in their early 20’s to hurting children. Many years ago, Mariah read a book by her hero Heidi Baker, ”There is Always Enough,” that states we can have lives that go from the “ordinary to the extraordinary” when answering God’s call to the “least of these.” She and her husband started FamilyLink, were licensed about five years ago, and have placed over 900 children in homes in that short amount of time. In June 2010 alone, they placed 48 children in homes. Sometimes FamilyLink receives calls for up to 25 children a day who have been left alone for days, starved or beaten, in need of safe haven with a loving family. Many people who consider adoption have misconceptions about the length of time to adopt, as well as the cost. Mariah says the licensing process can only take a few months (less than the nine months it takes to give birth) and adoption is usually free! FamilyLink finds foster and adoptive parents for babies, children and teens, licenses them, trains them, oversees them, and supports them throughout the child’s life. Free training classes are offered for those wishing to become foster and adoptive parents and volunteers. Private adoptions, where the birth parents choose adoption, do cost. However, most children that have been “rescued” or taken from homes because of neglect or other types of abuse are waiting to 14 Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com be adopted for free and they receive insurance, subsidy, and college tuition. Familylink is looking for foster and adoptive parents for siblings that will be separated if a family isn’t found soon, and also older children who are worried that their time is running out and they might spend the rest of their life without a family. Another misconception is that the children who need homes are often misbehaved and full of trouble, so would-be parents are fearful about taking this kind of child into their home. Mariah states that “our children are wonderful” and they are just children in need of healing and love, which quickly becomes their lifeline. Some children, of course, are more hurt and withdrawn, and have challenges but Mariah comments, “We see miracles in every child,” because once a child knows they are in a “forever home” and “part of a family,” incredible healing begins to take place. FamilyLink also provides every resource available to help parents in the transition process of adding a new child to the home. There are many other ways to help children, besides adopting or fostering. Mariah states that mentoring is a great way to connect with and bless children. Mentors meet with a child, a couple of times a month, and offer extra support to a family who is fostering that child. This can be as simple as a day at the park or a trip to the zoo. Volunteering is another way to be involved including fundraising and advocacy! Also, once a month there are Retreat Days, where families all get together for a play day, support, and training. Volunteers are welcome to attend and love on the children. Legacy Ranch, a multi-generational Camp and Community, is in the works for Mariah and her organization. Large sibling groups in need of a family are often separated and that causes so much heartbreak! This ranch will keep these children together, so that entire families don’t have to be pulled apart. It will also be a life supporting home to pregnant and parenting teens giving them a great family so they can learn to be great parents themselves. One unique aspect of this community is that it will also house the elderly, those who perhaps also don’t have families, but who still have so much to give. The older generation will connect with the younger generation by offering wisdom, gardening, or baking cookies together. It will also be a place for Texas foster families and children for training and retreats! At this current time, fundraising is taking place for this dream to become a reality. Visit www.familylinkkids. com to donate. Legacy Ranch will be created by builders and contractors who believe in the vision and want to make a difference by donating their services, much like Extreme Home Makeover! Who do you know that would want to join the Legacy Ranch Building or Fundraising Team? Once a child knows they are in a "forever home" and part of a "forever family," incredible healing begins to take place. I wanted to hear more from Mariah. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and it was obvious that her heart and soul were completely taken by children in need. She had stories to tell of children, now in homes, safe and secure. One such story was of the Clements family. A couple showed up wanting to adopt, when two little boys ages 4 and 5 became available. They had been displaced from the Katrina Hurricane catastrophe. Later, this same couple took in the older brother of the two young boys, and even later adopted four siblings waiting for a home! So now they are a family with seven children, a “forever family.” At a recent party, the Clements commented, “Tell people it’s not as hard as they think!” Mariah states that there are many more children like these who need a miracle rescue; a loving healing family who will “impart to them their incredible destiny.” Through her radio show “Life Matters” Mariah hopes to inspire people to live out their great destiny, “keep the fire going” for those families already connected with their new children, to “ignite the fire” for those considering fostering or adopting, and for those who have no idea about this wonderful opportunity, to show them “easy ways” to connect. The saddest thing is to turn children away, so her goal is to bring the Father’s heart into the ears of her listeners each night of the week. As our interview concluded, I asked Mariah how she keeps from getting discouraged because of the need being so great, and the families being so few. Her answer was this: “I stay solution focused – not problem focused. Anywhere I’m asked to go, I’ll go. We believe these kids are worth it. Everything we’ve got.” I also asked Mariah what she liked to do in her “spare” time if she ever gets any. Her answer was indicative of her whole life’s purpose. “I like to spend time with my kids having fun, at the lake or playing, including our Familylink kids.” This is the message Mariah and FamilyLink is sending to everyone who will hear, “Include a hurting child in your life.” Kids are waiting to be in a home feeling secure and “wanted”. Being home with a forever family is a dream for these children. Will you say, “Yes, come be a part of my family – take my name?” For more information on FamilyLink Kids, or for opportunities to volunteer, mentor, or give, visit www.familylinkkids.com and to be inspired to make a difference listen to Life Matters with Mariah 7:30-8:30pm online www.klgo.net and around Austin 98.5/99.3 FM! Marcy Lytle Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 15 Bell County Family Fun Calendar August 2011 Monday, August 1 Zumba Gold - It's the latest fitness craze and it's only offered here! Zumba Gold fitness uses upbeat Latin music together with cardiovascular exercise to create fun aerobic dance. The traditional Zumba formula is modified, adapting the dance moves and the pace to the needs of the acitve, older participant; as well as those just starting their journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle. Instructor: Jeanette Free, Certified Zumba Gold Instructor. 2:15 to 3 p.m., Sammons Community Center, 2220 W. Avenue D, Temple. For more information, call (254) 298-5403. Cost: $30 per month. Lap Sit – Newborns through 18-month-old babies and their parents are invited to work and play together with a variety of stories, songs and much more! 10 to 11 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at jmadden@ ci.harker-heights.ci.tx.us. Cost: Free. Thursday, August 4 Toddler Time – Special storytime for toddlers involving a variety of stories, songs, dance, puppets, fingerplays and more for children ages 3 and under. 9 to 10 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at jmadden@ ci.harker-heights.ci.tx.us. Cost: Free. Saturday, August 6 National Night Out 5K Fugitive Fun Run - Race Starts at 7 a.m. On-site registration 6 - 6:30 a.m., start and end at Carl Levin park, 400 Miller’s Crossing, Harker Heights. Register at the Harker Heights Recreation Center. For more information, call (254) 953-5657. Cost: On or before August 3 - $20.00; after August 3 and the day of the race $25.00. Back 2 School Skate Jam - Here’s your opportunity to show off your “best trick” at the Back 2 School Skate Jam. Bring your board, bring your fans, and land your most difficult trick to earn prizes in the following age groups: 15 and under, 16 and over. Each competitor will be allowed 20 minutes to showcase their skills. The most difficult tricks will be chosen by the judges, and the 1st to 3rd place prizes will be awarded. 11 a.m., Skate Park, S. 7th Avenue and W. Avenue B, Temple. For more information, call Tracy Klusacek (254) 298-5582. Cost: Free. Washer Pitchin’ Tournament - Sign you and your partner up today. The tournament will be double elimination and best 2 of 3 to 21. Scoring will be 1, 16 3, 5 format, other rules include skunks, no busts, washers provided. Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place. Water and food will be available. 9 a.m., lower pavilion, Lions Park, 4320 Lions Park Road, Temple. For more information, contact Brock Boone at (254) 298-5740. Cost: $15. Farmers Market – Gather at the Harker Heights Farmers Market to shop for fresh fruits, veggies and more. 7 a.m. to noon or until sold out, Carl Levin Park, 400 Millers Crossing, Harker Heights. For more information, call (254) 953-5493. Cost: Free. (Cash sales only). City Wide Garage Sale - Bring your trash, treasures and everything in between. Must be registered to participate. Permits will be issued. Sunrise to sunset, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information and to receive a permit, call (254) 953-5600 or visit www.ci.harker-heights. tx.us/preview.aspx?name=pr.accenter. Caribbean Afr’am Festival - Songhai Bamboo Roots will host the 2nd Caribbean Afr'am Festival. The event will feature culture of the African Americans within the Diaspora, West Indies, and Africans Abroad, The genre of music will be Reggae, Ska, Punta, Roots & Culture, Old School R& B, Jazz, and Zydeco. Songhai Children drummers will perform along side Princess Twirler. Our aim is to showcase the cultural richness through song, dance, live entertainment, cultural exhibitions, vendors, food and more. Noon to 11 p.m., Killeen Ampitheatre, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., Killeen. For more information, visit www.sbrca.org. Cost: Free. Sunday, August 7 Bicycling Buddies – Silverstone Park Trail - Take advantage of the beautiful trails that Temple has to offer while bicycling with a group of newfound friends. Every other Sunday evening we will meet at a different trail for leisure enjoyment. 6 p.m., Silverstone Park Parking Lot, 404 Waters Dairy, Temple. For more information, call Brock Boone at (254) 298-5740. Cost: Free. Monday, August 8 “Cinderella” Auditions – Missoulla Children’s Theater encourages children in 1st through 12th grades to audition for this wonderful production. Those auditioning should arrive around 9:45 a.m. and plan to stay for the full two hours. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for a rehearsal immediately following auditions. 10 a.m. to noon, 3011 North 3rd Street, Temple. For more information, call (254) 773-9926. Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com For calendar submissions please email Miranda@bellcountyfamily.com by the 15th of the preceeding month. Volleyball Camp – Children ages 10 to 14 are invited to learn how to sharpen their volleying skills at this sports camp. 9 to 11:30 a.m., Clarence Martin Gymnasium, Temple. For more information, call (254) 298-5470 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. tx.us. Cost: $35. Lap Sit – Newborns through 18-month-old babies and their parents are invited to work and play together with a variety of stories, songs and much more! 10 to 11 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at email@example.com. Cost: Free. Wednesday, August 10 Big Trucks and More – Join us for games, big trucks and much more in celebration of the end of the Summer Reading Club. Pick up your reading club certificates anytime in August. 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. Cost: Free. Thursday, August 11 Country & Western Dance - Live, local Country & Western bands play 2nd and 4th Thursday evening of each month. Bring a light finger food to share at intermission. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sammons Community Center, 2220 W. Avenue D, Temple. For more information, contact Lisa Potts at (254) 298-5403. Cost: $4 each at the door. Toddler Time – Special storytime for toddlers involving a variety of stories, songs, dance, puppets, fingerplays and more for children ages 3 and under. 9 to 10 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: Free. Friday, August 12 “In the Mood” for a Prom? - Come on out and make your own Prom at In The Mood Ballroom. Dress up, grab a friend, and get ready to dance the night away! You could be named Prom King or Queen. It will be an unforgettable evening. In The Mood Ballroom is an exhilarating smokefree environment where individuals, couples and groups can get together to enjoy the thrill of dance. Soda, juice and water are sold at In The Mood Ballroom though you are welcome to BYOB. 8 to 11 p.m., In the Mood Ballroom, 13 South Main Street, Temple. For more information, call (254) 773-7088 or e-mail email@example.com. Cost: $5 per person. Family Dive-Ins – Come join us for an extended evening of fun in the water! 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. Carl Levin Pool, 400 Miller’s Crossing, Harker Heights. Cost: Pool Admission. (Swim passes not allowed). Saturday, August 13 Missoula International Children’s Theater Tour – Come join us as we watch this delightful band of children deliver their special brand of musical theater magic in one week of workshops, rehearsals and a musical show. 3 p.m., Vive Les Arts Theater, 3401 South WS Young Drive, Killeen. For more information, call (245) 526-9090 or visit www.vlatheater.com. Cost: $8 to $10. Back to School with God (Bible, Burger, and Blessings) – Food, arts and crafts, singing, dancing and bands will perform. All are invited. Bring chairs. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Yetti Polk Park, 101 S. Davis St., Belton. For more information or to perform, contact Tahji Jackson at (254) 394-6423. Cost: Free. Camp Geek Science Saturday – Held the 2nd Saturday of each month, camp geek encourages young minds to think differently. Open to children ages 5 to 9. Walk-ins are welcome and can pay at the door. 1 to 4 p.m., 6200 West Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights. For more information, call (254) 526-1586 or visit www.ctcd. edu/ce/college_kids/campgeek.html. Cost: $29 per child ($26 for planetarium members). Sunday, August 14 Temple Triathlon - The race begins with a 450yard swim, followed by a 9.2-mile bike ride taking you from TISD along a scenic view through the Industrial District and ends with a 2.5-mile run. The event is sanctioned with USA Triathlon and requires a membership or the purchase of a one day license, not included in the entry price. Awards are given to the overall male and female finishers as well as the top three finishers in each age group. 7 a.m., Temple High School, 200 N. 23rd Street, Temple. For more information, contact Tracy Klusacek (254) 298-5582. Cost: $55 Thursday, August 18 Toddler Time – Special storytime for toddlers involving a variety of stories, songs, dance, puppets, fingerplays and more for children ages 3 and under. 9 to 10 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: Free. Saturday, August 21 Memories of WWII at the Bell County Museum – 126 photos from all theaters of the war and the home front, ranging from AP photographer Joe Rosenthal’s classic Iwo Jima flag raising in 1945 to scores of pictures not seen in decades, will be on display. Noon to 5 p.m., Bell County Museum, 201 N. Main St., Belton. For more information, call (254) 933-5243 or visit www.bellcountytx.com. Cost: Free. Bicycling Buddies – Wilson Park Trail - Take advantage of the beautiful trails that Temple has to offer while bicycling with a group of newfound friends. Every other Sunday evening we will meet at a different trail for leisure enjoyment. 6 p.m., Wilson Park Recreation Center parking lot, 2205 Curtis B. Elliott Drive, Temple. For more information, contact Brock Boone (254) 298-5740. Cost: Free. Saturday, August 20 Belton Market Days – Garage Sale to upscale, it’s all for sale at Market Days! 8 a.m. to Sundown, Central Avenue in Historic Downtown Belton between the parking lot at City Hall to the square on Main Street. For more information, call (254) 933-8424 or e-mail email@example.com. Cost: Free. Monday, August 22 Lap Sit – Newborns through 18-month-old babies and their parents are invited to work and play together with a variety of stories, songs and much more! 10 to 11 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: Free. Thursday, August 25 Country & Western Dance - Live, local Country & Western bands play 2nd and 4th Thursday evening of each month. Bring a light finger food to share at intermission. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sammons Community Center, 2220 W. Avenue D, Temple. For more information, contact Lisa Potts (254) 298-5403. Cost: $4 each at the door. Home School Back To School Day Camp – Home schooling parents and children are welcome to join us for a fun celebration to mark the upcoming school year. Open to children ages 5 to 14. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wilson Park Recreation Center, Temple. For more information, call (254) 298-5740 or e-mail email@example.com. Cost: $12. Toddler Time – Special storytime for toddlers involving a variety of stories, songs, dance, puppets, fingerplays and more for children ages 3 and under. 9 to 10 a.m., Harker Heights Public Library, 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights. For more information, contact Jeanine Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: Free. Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 17 Saying Goodbye I am the mom of an amazing Army Medic who just deployed for his second tour in Iraq from Ft. Hood. Now any of you who have had a family member or have one deploying soon, can relate to the anticipation of the day when the one you love has to say good-bye. I have had to do it twice now and I assure you it does not get any easier. We spend the first part of their lives protecting them from anything that can harm them and teach them life lessons that will keep them safe only to send them to hostile countries where you can do nothing for them. The stress on the families is incredible. Those wives left at home with the children to fill in a role only a father was meant to do, the mothers who carried those children in their bellies and watched them grow up and love them in ways they could never love another human being, the fathers who have spent week nights and weekends at the little league ball parks for hours being their sons number one fan. Waiting and wondering when the next call will be, the next email, a text. Itâ€™s amazing how quickly we become technologically intelligent just to get a glimpse, some how for just a moment, of our families, just to know they are all right and we have another day with them. Our soldiers make a great sacrifice to leave their families and no matter where they are stationed, they give up the comforts of their home and their families, friends and all the things they have become familiar with to see things we would never dream they would be exposed to. I can say 18 I would not make such a sacrifice myself. I could not say I would freely put myself in the dangerous situations these incredible men and women are directly exposed to. I do pray for them every morning and trust that God has him in the palm of his hands and I believe that is what gets me through each day. I had the wonderful opportunity to have several of these young men in my home every weekend because I live very close to Ft. Hood. My son brought them here just so they would have a home to come to. They allowed me to cook for them, hug them, do their laundry. They shared their lives with my family and I feel so very blessed to have had that experience. I grew to love every one as if they were my own and saying good-bye to all of them was so hard. The last time my son left, we would hear a song on the radio that would remind us of him. It would suddenly get very quiet in the car as to take a moment of silence to breath in every ounce of memory we could get out of that song. My daughter used to take in a handkerchief to his favorite cologne store and ask the sweet lady if she would freshen it with his favorite spray so that she could breathe him in. For a year and a half, the sales lady so sweetly accommodated her. They grew to be quite close over that time and when my son came back home, my daughter took him in that store and introduced him to this wonderful lady. The sales lady told him that she knew it was him because she could smell him. She had purchased a bottle of cologne for him so he could have it when he came back. She felt like she knew him already. I can not wait for they day when I watch him walk off that plane. The anticipation of the bus pulling up with our families on them and we get to hold them once again. My son has taught me so much about not taking my days for granted. I have learned to live each day with my family to the fullest, to give everyday all my heart has in it and to love everyday the best I know how. I know even as an Army mom myself what some of these families are going through and I want to encourage you by saying that what your family members are doing is an honorable and incredible sacrifice and I am proud of all of them that serve and the families that support them. You are amazing! Rene Dorsey Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com Give Yourself an Energy Boost... Naturally! W hat is the #1 health complaint you hear from your friends and co-workers? I most frequently hear patients say that they are stressed and tired. While it’s true that we all can be dragged down by the complexities of life, it does not mean we simply cannot live with more vitality and vigor. Relying on shortterm solutions such as coffee is basically ignoring why we are tired. I am going to point out certain factors, other than our work or children that can cause fatigue, and suggest ways to cope. As a side note, this author opines that there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking coffee; its only harm being a diuretic, which drains precious water and minerals out from your body. So be sure to drink two glasses of water for each cup of coffee. 1) Blood sugar issues – blood sugar, and insulin, has a significant relationship with the adrenal gland, a hormonal gland which controls stress adaptation and energy. What that means is when you don’t have a steady blood sugar level it will drag the adrenal gland function, and subsequently your energy level, downward. Remember the energy drink commercial, which talks about fatigue around 2:30 pm? That is a sure sign of blood sugar imbalance. And the solution is not donuts and coffee. The key is to not skip meals, and maintain a low carbohydrate diet full of good fats, such as olive oil and omega-3 rich fish oil. 2) As mentioned above, the adrenal gland is responsible for handling stress as well as energy, secondarily. When people think about stress, they usually refer to emotional stress. However, stress can also be biochemical (i.e. blood sugar!), physical (body ailments), and even thermal (think of heat stroke). Therefore, minimizing stress in your life can be beneficial in reducing this chronic drain of energy. Do you wake up with aches and pains? Maybe it is time to change your mattress or visit a Chiropractor/massage therapist (physical stress). Don’t work in an environment that is too cold or too hot for a prolonged period of time (thermal stress). Reading a new book, exercise, and regular fellowship with God and church members (emotional stress) can all improve your energy level. mechanism. Vitamin B complex is essential as the catalyst in the metabolic pathway of turning simple sugars (glucose) into ATPs, which are basic units of energy the human body uses. Therefore, it is no secret that Vitamin B complex can help produce the energy that you need, and excessive sugar intake can deplete your body’s own reserve of Vitamin B. Ginseng is simply wonderful. The components of ginseng support and balance the adrenal gland. When a person is overactive (wired), ginseng calms the body; when the adrenal gland is overused and fatigued (stressed and tired), ginseng strengthens it. Ginseng is also a good immune system booster, so with changing seasons it can be very protective. The use of ginseng is popular in Korean culture, and Koreans will often cook with ginseng, drink ginseng tea, and even chew on slices of ginseng during the day. Energy drinks often contain minute amounts of ginseng, but also loads of sugar (again, short-term solution but causing blood sugar fluctuations and long-term energy problems), so consumption of such beverages should be avoided. If you’d rather not chew on ginseng roots, pick ginseng pills from reputable herbal companies to ensure highest quality. Finally, people with high blood pressure should not take Asian or Korean ginseng without medical supervision. The above suggestions are just a few tips that can help restore your energy level, but the most important factor is still your diet and lifestyle. Do you have sufficient, quality sleep? Is exercise a regular part of your life? Does your dietary habit involve lots of sugary foods? Are your meals frequent and regular? Do you find ways to adapt to stressful situations? These factors need to be addressed to ensure long-term energy sufficiency. Dr. Trent Peng 3) Ginseng and Vitamin B complex: A lot of folks know that Vitamin B complex can help increase energy level, but don’t know the exact Meet BCF's SALES REP! Miranda Bradley is the author of Blessed Are the Jesus Chicks (Smyth & Helwys), a practical guide for the working Christian mom. She also owns BCreative, a communications consulting Miranda Bradley firm focused on marketing for nonprofits and small businesses. She lives in Georgetown, TX with her husband and two (stinky but sweet) boys. If you'd like to find out more about advertising your business in BCF, send Miranda an email and she'll be glad to help you! email@example.com Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 19 R The Best Way to Ensure Good Skin ecently some patients, especially women, have asked me what products are good for a younger, wrinkle-free skin. Although not a super-expert in this particular field, I can offer some suggestions and tips on natural ways to protect and enhance your skin while dispelling some common misconceptions. First of all, I want to emphasize that applying beauty products topically to enhance your skin is NOT the optimal way to do it. I am not saying that these products will not work, as I have witnessed many women that defy age with topical products. However, you should orally intake foods and nutrients that metabolically affect your complexion, in addition to the topical products. Many products claim to contain beneficial nutrients, but those products also contain fillers, artificial chemicals, and the nutrients might not absorb well through skin. When nutrients are coming in both inside and out, optimal results can be obtained. There is a lot of talk recently about collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein that occurs in many 20 tissues, but particularly connective tissues. It does work with the elastin in the skin to ensure strength and flexibility in the skin. What I want to emphasize is that collagen is a PROTEIN. Therefore, the most important idea to ensure good skin is a good DIET. The American diet contains food with sufficient calories but not in the right proportion. The overabundance of carbohydrates in the American diet is obvious, and can result in many chronic health problems, including skin issues. The proper ratio of carbohydrates to protein to fats should be 40:30:30. That means one-third of your plate every meal should contain proteins. This is the long-term health and skin enhancement idea that should be implemented TODAY. We cannot forget about Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential component in every step of collagen synthesis. We learned about vitamin C from sailors with bleeding gums - a connective tissue breakdown - who were deficient in Vitamin C in their diet. We all should add vegetables to our diet or take oral collagen-vitamin C supplements to enhance our skin. Finally, another essential nutrient for good skin is vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that, working alongside Vitamin C, protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. Texans are too frequently exposed to the sun, so this is a must. Natural forms of Vitamin E supplements should be used instead of artificial ones that contain only a fraction of the Vitamin E complex. One of the richest sources of biologically active Vitamin E is wheat germ oil. Preserving our skin is commendable, but inside beauty does wonders for the outside appearance! Dr. Trent Peng Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com Back to School Already? S i m p l e W e l l n e ss P r e pa r at i o n T i p s J Some may ask, “Are you talking about the oily sausages, processed hams, and bacon?” If you mean from a processed package of feedlot cow/ pork raised on commercial feed, the answer is NO – simply because of their final “denatured” state and the harmful additives in them. However, if it is organic, or preferably “grass fed” animals, they are not only pure and nutritious, they are delicious. ust the thought of going back to school can give you a headache as parents. I know, because I am one. Your child’s health should rightfully be a top priority, hence the timing of this article - to help you and your kids get ahead of the game. Get Back To Routine – One of the fun parts of the summer is to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle and spontaneity, with watermelon, barbeque, and ice-cream. But once school starts, tight structure and time constraints come into play. This imposes stress on every member of the family. A transition period with a gradual increase in structure and routine a couple of weeks before the actual class start date can help everyone to ease into the school routine. Rest Well –A lack of sleep can affect brain activity, impair motor skills, decrease performance and even alter emotions. Insufficient rest disrupts the hormones that regulate glucose metabolism and appetite. Without sleep, healing is slowed, immunity is impaired, energy is drained, and mental fatigue and depression begin to set in. A 2006 study of 1,600 adolescents found that one in four high school students falls asleep in class at least once a week. Children ages 5 to 12 should sleep for 10 to 11 hours a night, adolescents 9 to 10 hours, and a solid 7 to 8 hours for adults. No supplement, stimulant, or diet will make up for lack of sleep. It would be wise to have schoolbound children establish their school-day sleep routine at least one week before classes start. If you are tired but having trouble sleeping consider Herbal Sleep, 5-HTP, or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula Nervous Fatigue. When protein from animal sources is not a desirable option, there are plenty of excellent botanical alternatives that are great for breakfast. Spirulina, chlorella, or blue-green algae supplements found individually or together in the Super Algae product are excellent for breakfast. Protein powders from the whey, soy, rice, or other sources all may work as well. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast – While carbohydrates are a part of the nutrients we need, donuts, white bread, many boxed cereals, juices, and even coffee, will not do the job. Protein needs to be a major key component of your breakfast, because it breaks down to amino acids which your brain uses as neurotransmitters. Additionally, proteins are a great source of energy that lasts much longer than simple carbohydrates. Protein is best taken at breakfast, because your stomach’s hydrochloric acid is highest to help digestion. Have Healthy Snacks –Young children have small stomachs. As a result, they cannot get all the nutrients they need through regular meals alone. Snacks therefore do play a role in healthy eating. A study published in Health Affairs on March, 2010 showed that up to 27% of children’s daily calories come from snacks. They concluded that our children are snacking not for satiety’s sake but because the snacks are abundantly available everywhere. The same study showed children are consuming less fruit and more salty snacks, candies, juice and soft drinks – essentially junk food – with little to no nutrient value. Is it any wonder that childhood obesity is at an epidemical and alarming level? Avoid soda drinks and salty, high-calorie prepackaged snack foods. Replace milk or juice with servings of fresh fruit or vegetables, and grains and nuts instead. Finally, as parents, model good snacking behavior for your children by helping yourself to healthy food and snacks daily! Paul Tsui, N.D. Bell County www.BellCountyFamily.com FAMILY 21 10 Things to Love About August A ugust is pretty much my least favorite month of the year. It’s been hot now for too long, my plants and flowers are wilted and scorched, the water bill is enormous, and visions of cold fronts on the weather map are dancing in my head. However, I know that vision won’t become a reality for another two months. There just has to be something to love about August. In fact, I’ve come up with ten things to love about this month. Air-conditioning. Clearance racks. Since winter in Bell County is relatively mild, those solid-colored summer t-shirts that are now marked down to $2-$3 can be purchased and stored for layering in the coming months. Make it a point to shop only the sales racks and see what you can find. It’s the 8th month. By now, you’ve come to be very grateful for AC in your home, in your car, and in your place of business. Instead of grumbling when the electric bill arrives in the mailbox, give thanks that cool air is flowing, and you are comfortable. Soon your AC bill will decline and you’ll be able to open your windows…maybe. Baths. There’s still four months until Christmas, so don’t panic. You still have time to make your lists, plan those crafts you’ve been meaning to make all summer, and even though you’ve now missed the “Christmas in July” sales, you’ve got several months to spruce up your home for the coming holiday season. By now, you’re probably taking a bath twice a day, just to clean the perspiration from your body. Going outside in the heat to run to the grocery store has left you sticky, hot, and exhausted. So you bathe. But to save energy, you try to sleep under a thin sheet, only to wake up sticky, hot, and exhausted again. So you bathe. Midnight. School. If your kids have said “I’m bored” all summer long, you can sigh for a bit of relief is coming soon. The bell will ring and your kids will be out the door to school…only to begin complaining, “I hate homework.” At least they won’t be bored. Ice cream. Swimsuit season is about to end, so why not indulge yourself? Add in some strawberries, pecans and chocolate chips, and savor each bite. However, make sure you eat inside, in the AC, so the ice cream doesn’t melt before you take that first bite. By now it’s cooled off to a low 90 degrees. You’re still up watching The Food Network to see who the next Top Chef will be, and your AC is still running, so you can finally fall asleep to the noise of the condensing unit buzz. Ceiling fans. Naps. Since you’re exhausted from the heat of the day, a 15-minute nap is welcome. Just a chance to sit on your sofa, or at your desk, put your head back, and doze off, can rejuvenate your spirit to get up and face the rest of the day. Who in Central Texas doesn’t have ceiling fans? They run constantly, and they give the air a swirl so that you can actually feel a cool breeze in any room in your house. And…you don’t have to dust them in August, because they don’t stay still enough for any dirt to land! Morning weddings. If you happen to be “fortunate” enough to be invited to an outside wedding in the month of August, give thanks if it’s in the morning. Wear that sundress one more time, and sip a cool glass of iced tea. However, if you’re invited to an evening wedding in the month of August, send a polite declining RSVP and send a gift instead. That couple is crazy! Whatever month of the year, whatever season of life, there are always at least ten things for which to give thanks. And by the way, sarcasm can lighten the mood on a hot day, any time of the year! Here’s to cooler days ahead… Marcy Lytle 22 Bell County FAMILY www.BellCountyFamily.com 24 AUSTIN Faith&Family Strength for the Family, Hope for the City Visit Our Advertisers!