Page 1

IDAHO

Operation

FREE

february 2017

MAGAZINE

Homefront Serving military families

What’s A

doula?

Childbirth support

Exercise for free

Burn those calories

Sleep better Bedroom tweaks help

Local children Judah and Selah enjoy some snowtime (photo by Marlena Watson) Want your child’s photo on next month’s cover?

Check inside for details!


IDAHO

Contents February 2017

MAGAZINE

Features Columns 8

Irene’s Insights:

Master bedrooms

6

Manic Mothering:

So over snow-whatever

Operation Homefront:

4 15 moMENts: Surviving clarinet practice

Free exercise:

7

Service to military families • Cost-effective fitness • Burn those calories

Departments 16 Crafts

on a Dime:

Routine time:

17

Heart garland

Doulas:

18 5

Wednesday’s Child:

Getting back on schedule Childbirth support

Skin care:

21

A parent’s voice:

22

New faces:

23

A teen’s advice Use it wisely

Leaving the comfort zone

In Each Edition Editor’s Intro Messages from fathers

Meet Camden & Maddie

10-12

Family Events Calendar: Family friendly activities & events for February & Early March!

3

Spring Break 13-14 Camps List 2017  February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Volume 5, Number 2 Publisher Sterling Media Ltd. Cover Photo Marlena Watson Editor Gaye Bunderson gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com 208-639-8301 Sales & Marketing Kimberly McMullen kim@sterlingmedialtd.com 208-854-8347 Graphic Design Glen Bruderer & Matthew Sanchez Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Genny Heikka, Patrick Hempfing, Beth Markley, Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel, Kathleen McGrath, Pam Molnar, Samantha Stillman and Irene Woodworth Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services

Idaho Family Magazine, published monthly by Sterling Media Ltd., is committed to providing readers with informative and entertaining information to help them in maintaining healthy families and positive lifestyles. It is distributed throughout the valley as a free publication. Idaho Family Magazine does not assume responsibility for statements or opinions expressed by editorial contributors or advertisers. The acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services or information. Idaho Family Magazine does not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without express written consent of the publisher. Reader correspondence and editorial submissions are welcome. Idaho Family Magazine reserves the right to edit or reject all materials submitted. All rights reserved. Copyright 2017 by Sterling Media Ltd.

www.idahofamilymagazine.com


EDITOR’S Intro

Messages and memories from our dads “I am strong.” “I am beautiful.” “I am respectful.” “I am not better than anyone.” “No one is better than me.”

T

hose words are from an African-American father who lovingly places his little girl in front of the mirror every day and gently has her repeat after him those words of self-affirmation and encouragement. If you haven’t seen the video, you can find it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNtPVgblzWY. It’ll warm your heart. Do we sometimes give ‘short shrift’ to our fathers? I know in this column I’ve written about my mother a number of times but have said very little about my dad. I’m sure of this: I loved him and miss him. He passed away 11½ years ago from emphysema. I recently uncovered a baseball glove he bought me decades back, and it took this long for me to realize the deeper significance of it. Because he had two daughters, and like most men wanted a son, my dad took great pleasure in anything athletic my sister and I did. When we were in our teens and playing on a softball team, he came to every game. He enjoyed watching us, and he took it very seriously. It was a sport, after all, and all sports were dear to his heart. For him, as for a lot of men, sports weren’t just games; they were victory over defeat, skill over ineptitude. I played first base on our softball team and needed a glove, so Dad went to the store and bought me one. No big deal, right? My father bought me a baseball glove. Well, when I saw that glove in a box recently, it got me thinking. My dad was a terrible gift-buyer. I’m pretty sure he never picked out a Christmas present for me without some nudging from my mother. It wasn’t his thing, shopping and buying stuff for his wife and daughters. Nothing personal; just not something he enjoyed or wanted to do. But that baseball glove was something else. He didn’t hesitate to go to the store and pick one up for me. Why? I realized it’s because things like baseball gloves fell within the realm of his expertise. He completely understood all things sports. I imagine he probably thought a lot about that purchase and put some effort into buying me the best glove possible. So I picture him picking it up, trying it on and taking some time before he walked up to the cash register and paid for it.

Perfume and jewelry no doubt baffled him. And forget dresses and skirts or anything like that. For one Christmas, he gave me a cassette tape of music by a band named Heart. I liked it. The next year I got the exact same tape. I didn’t like it THAT much. He didn’t mean to buy me the same gift two years in a row. It was just that as he meandered through the store looking for something to give me for Christmas the following year, something about that Heart cassette resonated in his memory. Do fathers sometimes need to be reminded of how much their kids need and love them? I think so. I like those dad commercials on TV — you know, “It only takes a moment to make a moment. Take time to be a dad today.” My favorites include the father who tells his baby boy they’re going to run out in the rain; so they run out in the rain, get a little bit wet, and then run back into the garage. And the kid loves it, and the dad clearly loves making his baby boy happy. There’s also the one where the father is giving his daughters ponytails using the vacuum cleaner! Those commercials are the product of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. (For more information, go to fatherhood.gov.) The NRFC teamed up with the WWE (World Wresting Entertainment), and some of the men shown in those commercials are wrestling superstars. They’re there to convey the message that tough guys can be soft and sweet with their little ones and still be cool. (And they are!) Dads, like moms, have a lot on their plates. Most fathers head off to work every day so they can provide for their families — no small responsibility. I only have myself to feed and clothe, and it feels like climbing a mountain sometimes. Good fathers also help their wives around the house and take on such things as fix-it projects, car maintenance and lawn care. My dad never did all the honey-do’s Mom had in mind for him. He hated lawn mowing; and he was, as mentioned, completely inept at buying gifts. But he was always present, always with us. We all enjoyed playing games together, including Dad, and this past Christmas we did impersonations of him and the funny things he would say when the game wasn’t going well for him. It was great fun remembering him in that way. There’s lots of good information on the fatherhood.gov site for men who want to make the most of their “dadness.” We all need our dads to be there for us, and they need to know how highly we regard them for being our trustworthy, fun fathers. I may never play softball again, but I’m sure glad I kept that glove. n

— Gaye Bunderson, editor FREE

FEBRUARY

Children’s Photos Wanted Idaho Family Magazine would love to put your child or children on our cover. All photos should be high quality, sharp and clear, and high resolution of around 300 dpi. Color photos are preferred, and all photos need to be vertical not horizontal. Please identify the children in the photos, the children’s ages, and what Treasure Valley community they reside in. (If chosen for the cover, their last names will not be used.) Send the photos to gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com.

On the Cover:

Local children Judah and Selah enjoy some snowtime (photo by Marlena Watson)

2017

OPERATI

HomefroON nt

Serving milit ary families

WHAT’S

A

doula? Childbirth support

SLEEP better

Bedroom

tweaks help

EXERCISE for free

Burn thos e calories

Local child ren Judah and Selah enjoy some snowtime (photo by Marlena Wats Want your on) child’s photo on next month ’s cover?

Check inside

www.idahofamilymagazine.com

for details!

Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 


Operation Homefront

Helping soldiers and their families back home By Gaye Bunderson

A

merica’s wars are fought by its armed services members, but their families, though they remain at home, sacrifice for the nation’s good right along with them. Because those families frequently need help during a loved one’s deployment, an organization called Operation Homefront steps in to assist them. Operation Homefront was born in post-9/11 America, when members of the National Guard were called to Afghanistan and, later, to Iraq. The organization’s mission statement reads: “Operation Homefront builds strong, stable, and secure families so they can thrive — not simply get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.” The Boise-based executive director for Operation Homefront is Mark Davison. Davison was previously an Americorps volunteer at the Idaho One of the many programs offered by Operation Homefront is the fall Back-to-School Brigade, helping the children of members of the military get the backpacks and school Department of Labor, where, as a veteran himself, he helped supplies they need. Operation Homefront’s entire mission is taking care of soldiers and other men and women who had completed their military service reintegrate into civilian life. He helped them write resumes, their families. (Photo provided by Operation Homefront) hone interview skills and, in general, do whatever was necessary members or their expecting family members; includes corporate doto find post-military employment. Part of his time was spent nations of baby products, as well as new-parent education programs combing the internet for programs that would assist them. What • Homes on the Homefront: provides mortgage-free homes to he found was a lot of dead links to websites that no longer existed, veterans and their families (3 Idaho families have benefited) because many veterans’ services-based programs had shut down. • Homefront Celebrations: honors military spouses and helps Then, his research led him to Operation Homefront. “When I found out there was no representative here, I asked about them connect with one another for support • Back-to-School Brigade: provides backpacks and school supbecoming one and was sent a packet of information on how to get plies for the children of members of the military started,” Davison said. • Holiday Toy Drive The local branch originally launched as the Volunteer Community • Holiday Meals for Military Team in November of 2010 but evolved to become the Mountain Nationally, said Davison, Operation Homefront has helped 45,000 West Office of Operation Homefront. military members and their families since its inception following “It became one of the first field offices when it opened in May of 9/11, including people in the Gem State. 2012,” Davison said. Because help is provided to ex-soldiers dealing with physical and The Mountain West Office covers Idaho, Montana and Utah. emotional injuries, Operation Homefront is sometimes mistaken for Operation Homefront is not affiliated with either the government the Wounded Warriors Project. or the military. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that functions completely “We are not Wounded Warriors,” Davison said, “but we do colon corporate, foundation and individual donations. It offers emerlaborate with them. We work with them hand in hand.” gency financial assistance for food, utilities, rent and mortgage, auto PTSD is also considered a wound, he said, explaining help is given and insurance payments, travel and transportation, auto and home to anyone suffering from war-related issues. PTSD sufferers are a repairs, moving and relocation, essential home items, vision and “huge, growing population,” according to Davison. dental care, and necessary baby items. National corporate sponsors for Operation Homefront include A statement from the nonprofit reads: “Emergency financial asGenentech, ESPN, La Quinta, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Dolsistance to the families of deployed and injured service members is the core of Operation Homefront’s mission. When service members lar Tree, the Home Depot Foundation, and others. Davison said many donors are willing to step up and contribute are deployed or recovering from serious injuries, they deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing their families won’t have to once they learn of Operation Homefront and its good work. “We don’t advertise,” he said, “so many people are unaware of us. weather financial crises alone.” When people find out what we do and all the programs we offer for Military families apply for assistance by going online to Operafamilies, they are very forthcoming.” tionHomefront.net and clicking on the Get Help Now link. Priority Operation Homefront has received high ratings from Charityis given to the families of junior- and mid-grade enlisted service members deployed to combat zones and to post-9/11 service-related Watch and similar watchdog groups that hold charities accountable. There are many opportunities to volunteer with Operation Homewounded, ill or injured personnel and their dependents. front, if people are unable to give financially. Davison is the only Financial needs are validated before support is given; assistance is paid staff member in the Mountain West Office, but 27 volunteers provided in the form of grants rather than loans; and the grants are help him help families. n paid directly to service providers rather than directly to the family. Other programs offered by Operation Homefront include: Information about donating, volunteering or receiving aid is all available • Hearts of Valor: peer-to-peer support for family caregivers of at Operation Homefront.net, by calling Davison at (208) 881-3092 or wounded soldiers (888) 305-1486, or by emailing mountainwest@operationhomefront.net. • Star-Spangled Babies: baby showers for expecting service

 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

www.idahofamilymagazine.com


Wednesday’s Child

Meet brother and sister, Camden and Maddie Each month, Idaho Family Magazine, in conjunction with the Idaho Wednesday’s Child program, will feature a child or children in need of a family willing to provide them with a chance to learn, play and grow in a warm, nurturing environment. The information below is provided by Wednesday’s Child.

About Camden

Camden is a sweet, 11-year-old boy who loves playing sports. He also likes watching movies and sometimes playing board/card games and video games. He likes playing Airsoft Wars and spending time with cousins. He likes pizza and burgers but isn’t as fond of salads. In school, Camden works hard. He likes and does really well in math. English is not as much a favorite, but he is still getting good grades in it. Camden does best with structure that has some flexibility to it, where he can have the ability to negotiate and have some choices. Camden is very good with and protective of his little sister, Madalynn, who is 2 years old, and an infant sister. (Please note, at this time, the infant is not legally free for adoption, but priority is to keep all three siblings together, so a prospective family must be willing to be a placement for the infant as well if she becomes legally free for adoption.) It is very apparent that they have a special bond and are very important to each other. Camden wants a family that will love him and his sisters. He wants a family he can trust.

About Madalynn

2-2017

Maddie is a happy little girl with a bubbly personality. She loves her “big foster sisters” and is eager to keep up with the “big girl things” they can do like climbing the swing set rock

wall and building with Legos or sitting still to get her hair done and listening to stories. She has an infectious laugh and lights up the room when she enters. She has a large vocabulary for her age and always has something to tell you. She can take a minute to warm up to new people, but once she loves you she will give you snuggles and bring you toys to play with her. Maddie is a great big sister to the baby (her infant sister) and loves to “help” feed her and wash her and sing to her. She calls her “my baby” and makes sure everyone knows that she is the big sister. Maddie loves baby dolls, play phones, coloring, stories, and bedtime. She doesn’t love vegetables or getting her hair washed in the bath. Maddie will do well with a family that is affectionate and structured — she responds well to consistency and understands how to follow instructions and rules. The permanency team is looking for a family that can provide structure and stability for Camden and Maddie. The family needs to be caring and able to follow through with reasonable consequences. It would be ideal for this family to be located in the Boise area, so that Camden and Maddie can continue to be in contact with family and other important people in their lives. If a family lives in the Pacific Northwest and is willing to facilitate contact with family, then that may also be considered. For more information about Camden and Maddie, or the Wednesday’s Child Program in Idaho, go to idahowednesdayschild.org, or contact Recruitment Coordinator Shannon Foust at sfoust@ewu.edu or (208) 488-8989. n

www.idahofamilymagazine.com

Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 


Manic Mothering

Snow-whatever: It stopped being cute By Beth Markley Editor’s note: This column was written early in January. After it was written, the valley continued to get even more snow later on in the month.

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irst, let’s just get this out of the way: there are too many made up words with which one can describe what was going on around here at the start of 2017. To wit: Beth Markley Snowpocalypse, Snowtastrophe, Snowstruction, Snowmageddon, Snowlamity, Snowlocaust, Snowfandango. Maybe some of those were cute after the snow started coming. But then it kept coming and then started breaking off gutters and marooning cars. Then there were at least three days of no school, and on January 7 there were five more inches of the white stuff and then freezing rain, and there’s no way any of that was cute any more. None of it. I actually love the snow. I do. Sure it’s inconvenient and messy, but this year it came right before Christmas and you’d have to be a sour pit of misery not to notice when your neighborhood looks like it’s auditioning for a Hallmark Hall of Fame special about dogooders and miracles and fa-la-la-la-la. But, as of January we were socked in and preparing for power outages and trees falling and ice dams, and wondering whether we’re insured for flooding. Okay, we’re weather lightweights, but whatever. In addition to the wordplay and insurance policies and stuff giving me a headache, there were a few lessons to be learned from that weather pattern: Number one: I’m apparently married to the master of disaster preparedness, which is something I didn’t know. Before I was out of bed, he was looking up FEMA sites online and had a list of supplies as long as my arm. We now have plastic sheeting, duct tape, propane, batteries, bottled water, baby wipes, candles, and 16 different types of canned meat. Who even knew they made 16 different types of canned meat? I’m not the canned meat demographic, I guess. He got kind of excited, then, looking at the array of supplies on our counter. Clearly, this was more than just a weather event for some people. “Dude, we’re ready! We should see how long we can go without a trip to the store.” He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. Nothing like a disaster to make a grown man gleeful. But then he reconsidered. “Okay that’s stupid. We’re going to run out of beer. Did you know a kegerator is not on any FEMA list?” Number two on our list of good things to know: Disaster preparedness experts put painfully little consideration into the amount of beer one needs to get through a weather event. Number three is the fact that there are people out there saying all kinds of condescending baloney on social media who really should just freaking stop. It doesn’t help anybody to know if you’re in Hawaii or Mexico through all of this. Please refrain from posting that crap for a couple of days. Go enjoy your mojito on the beach or whatever and upload your photos later, and we’ll

 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

be able to get through this without wanting to punch you in the throat. Number four: Snow days aren’t so bad if your kid is a slug. Snow days used to be much, much harder. The boys would be up at the crack of nothing to sled down the driveway until it was a smooth sheet of ice. Then they’d build a snow fort and throw snowballs until their faces were blue, and come in demanding hot cocoa and snacks, strewing wet gear all over kingdom come. Then the whole cycle would start all over again. That sounds cute and wholesome and HallmarkHall-of-Fame-y, but mind you this cycle would repeat itself no fewer than 37 times a day. There is not enough snow gear or cocoa in all of Christendom to accommodate that nonsense. But, no more. We have just the one teenager at home right now, and he sleeps like he’s hibernating, rolling out of bed only when he’s hungry. So it’s all good. Speaking of snow days, I’m not really sure I’m glad I subscribed to our school district’s text alert system. Somewhere along the line, I must have done so twice, because I started getting two of every notice of school closures, and notices about athletic events being cancelled, and this one repeated text we kept getting that they’d canceled something called “Parent’s Math Night Out” for 5th and 6th grade. This is a problem on a couple levels. First, the term “Parent’s Math Night Out” makes math sound weirdly worthy of celebration, which is a sad lie. Second, I have an 8th grader, so I kind of felt like they were dangling something in my face that I couldn’t have had anyway and now it was canceled. I’m still kind of processing how I feel about that. Back to my list. Number, um, whatever has to do with my neighbors. I’d read that Meals on Wheels deliveries were going to be cancelled for the day, which made me feel bad for all the people who were expecting deliveries, which made me think about our neighbors. We live in empty-nester-land, and half my neighbors are single, retired ladies who drive teensy cars. I called one to see if she needed anything at the store. “Oh honey, well, aren’t you sweet, but no, I’m all stocked up from a trip two days ago.” So then I called the one across the street from her. She was good, too, had a posse of kids shovel her driveway the other night and was just tickled about that. Kept me on the phone another 20 minutes to tell me about her 95-year-old mother’s macular degeneration, poor thing, and then suggest I call our other neighbor, Dory. Turns out Dory orders her groceries off the internet and has them delivered, so Dory was good and also thought I was sweet. So, rather than having to make a trip to the store, I got good chits for offering, without any work. And it turns out my little, old lady neighbors can probably weather this stuff better than I can. Anyway, I’m looking forward to summer, by which time all this will be a memory and most of it will probably also be the stuff of legend. Or, you know, snowpocryphal. n

Beth Markley is a humor writer and fundraising consultant who lives in Boise with her husband and two sons. She publishes weekly stories about her misadventures in parenting in her blog, Manic Mumblings of a Mediocre Mom at www.manicmumbling.com.

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Don’t spend a dime

A dozen ways to exercise for free By Pam Molnar

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athing suit season will be here before you know it, so many people are beginning to re-evaluate their exercise routine. Is it time to step it up? Should you join a gym? According to Statistic Brain, the average cost of a monthly gym membership is 58 dollars, yet 67 percent of people with gym memberships never use them. If you are looking to save a little money and still feel comfortable in your bathing suit this coming summer, check out these exercise options that won’t cost you a dime. 1. Borrow workout DVDs – Whether you enjoy the calming stretches of yoga or the more intense workouts of P90, your local library carries a variety of exercise videos for all skill levels. Most rental periods are one week for videos, giving you the opportunity to try a lot of different exercise routines. 2. Tune into YouTube – Discover thousands of cardio, fat burning, dance, yoga, and general fitness videos. With YouTube available on so many devices, there is no excuse for not finding a time and place to exercise. Head to the park, close your office door or work out in the privacy of your own home. 3. Window shop at the mall – That’s right! Lace up your shoes and head to the mall for some free indoor exercise. Walking at 3 mph can burn over 200 calories per hour. Download the Map My Run app and set your activity to walk. This free app will track your pace, time, distance and calorie burn. Walk with a friend, push a stroller or simply wander the mall and peopale watch. 4. Do the stairs – Head to a nearby hotel or office building and take the stairs. Set the timer on your phone or simply count the number of flights you take. Can’t get away from home? If you have stairs in your house, turn on some music and start climbing. Want to get outside? Try the bleachers at the local high school.

5. Jump rope – Every garage has an old jump rope or tie down rope. Get out in the sun and start jumping. This is an easy activity to involve your older kids. Try making it a competition — the one who jumps the least times has to do the dishes. 6. Go old school – Remember middle school gym class? Put on a t-shirt and shorts and start with the basics. Try jumping jacks, push-ups, situps, squats and lunges. Structured workout suggestions can be found on Pinterest or by googling “calisthenics routines.” 7. Dance – Invite your girlfriends to come over and crank up the tunes for a kitchen dance party. If your kids have a game console, ask them to play Just Dance with you. Don’t have the game? Borrow it from a friend. 8. Get outside and run – You see joggers everywhere — on trails, city streets or in local parks. For motivation, sign up to do a local 5K with your friend or spouse. 9. Use what you have – Make your own weights by filling empty water bottles and milk jugs with water or sand. Place on a scale and mark the weight on the bottle. Look online for exercise routines that use kitchen chairs, walls or stairs. 10. Do some spring cleaning – Now is the perfect time to clean out the attic, crawlspace or basement. Lifting boxes, moving furniture and heavy cleaning can burn up to 400 calories per hour. 11. Play sports at the local park – Pull out the soccer ball, tennis rackets or basketball for a quick pickup game with family or friends. For added exercise, bike or walk to the park. 12. Hike at the state park – State parks have free admission and are open year round. Stop in the information center for a trail map and enjoy the outdoors while hiking through nature. Many parks allow dogs on their leashes so bring your four-legged friend for some exercise, too. n

Pam Molnar is one of the 67 percent who underutilizes her gym membership. With college on the horizon for her three children, she plans to try a more budget-friendly exercise routine in 2017.

Burn Calories

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average woman is 63.8” tall and weighs 166.2 lbs. With that in mind, the chart below shows how many calories the average woman can burn without having to pay for a monthly gym membership. Want to find the calorie burn for your own weight and height? Check out HealthStatus. com.

Cleaning the house

Dusting (15 minutes) – 45 calories Mopping (15 minutes) – 85 calories Washing dishes (15 minutes) – 42 calories

Calisthenics

Jumping jacks (10 minutes) – 56 calories Push-ups (5 minutes) – 32 calories Sit-ups (5 minutes) – 28 calories Jumping rope (10 minutes) – 126 calories

Going places

Running 6 mph (30 minutes) – 378 calories Walking 3 mph (30 minutes) – 164 calories Hiking (30 minutes) – 224 calories Stairs (30 minutes) – 304 calories

Playing sports

Frisbee (20 minutes) – 76 calories Tennis (singles, 30 minutes) – 229 calories Soccer (casual, 30 minutes) – 264 calories Dancing (30 minutes) – 224 calories Jump on trampoline (15 minutes) – 70 calories

Nancy Keeton M.Ed., LCPC

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Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 


Irene’s Insights

How to create a relaxing master bedroom By Irene Woodworth

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How about changing that and creating a real oasis for yourself and your hubby, if you have one? Here are some tips that will help you accomplish this goal. 1. Your bed needs to be the center of this room and the most comfortable bed possible. Isn’t it great when you go to a five-star hotel and stay in the rooms? It is a luxurious feeling to say the least. You just feel comfortable and pampered. The bedding is incredible. Invest in yourself by buying a good bed for your home. Get an extra padded comforter cover and/or a bed foam topper that will add more luxury to your mattresses. Of course if you are in need of getting a new mattress, it might be time to do that since most mattresses last usually 8 to 10 years. Make sure to try the mattress out in the store; lay on it to

re you having any sleeping problems or a hard time relaxing in your master bedroom? Since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, it is amazing how many articles are written about the importance of getting a good night’s rest and the positive effects it has on our lives. The amazing benefits include helping you achieve better health, becoming more focused, increasing a more positive mood, and being more successful in losing weight. How do you do that? Did you know that one in three adults is sleepdeprived? Irene Woodworth “As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” see how it feels. said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Popula2. Make sure to make your bed every day. I know some people tion Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same feel, “Why make it if you have to undo it again at night?” Howtime each night; rising at the same time each morning; and ever, in the world of challenges and chaos that we live in, it is turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices comforting and relaxing walking into your bedroom and your bed from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they is made. It gives you more peace and a sense of calm. It really need.” does help. The word “relax” means “to make or become less tense or 3. Make sure you get rid of the clutter. This needs to be your anxious.” sanctuary, so all the extra items like paper, bills and kid stuff do It is easy to ignore the importance of the room where you not belong in there. Can you really relax if you have your bills sleep in your home. Women in particular are very visual and do in there? I certainly cannot. A good idea for reducing clutter is not do well in cluttered rooms, with toys left from the kids, papers, bills or miscellaneous items left on beds or sitting areas. Do storing items in decorative baskets. You can make some fun and decorative labels on them and it visually gives you a more cohesive yourself a favor: stand at the door of your master bedroom and and organized look and feel to your room. ask yourself what you feel when you look into the room? If you 4. Find pieces of furniture that will work and possibly do double feel anxious or overwhelmed, then we have some work to do. duty. If you need a foot bench for dressing or sitting, perhaps it can have a place to store items, such as an extra blanket. If you have nightstands, do they meet your needs? If you like to read, perhaps you can get a basket or use a drawer to put your latest book or magazine in to help you relax before going to sleep. 5. Lighting needs to be subdued and not too bright to help you relax. I suggest a dimmer switch on your overhead light. Good table lamps for reading and seeing are essential for nighttime. You can convert your lamp to a touch-controlled lamp that has two or three settings that change when you tap it. One style is a small box that plugs into the wall and the lamp plugs into it. Another style screws between the bulb and the lamp. They are available at most home improvement stores and usually run about 10 dollars. My son found one of these at the thrift store and made my lamp a touch lamp. I love it. Another great idea is to use wall-mounted lamps that give you more space on your nightstands. 6. Is your paint color soothing? Perhaps it is time to give your room an update with some color. More subdued colors like tans, grays and pastels help you relax visually. Remember that the sheen of the paint is just as important. Do not use a semi-gloss in your bedroom because that will reflect the light like crazy on A master bedroom needs to be specially decorated to enhance a person’s ability to relax and get a good your walls. It is best to use a paint finish sheen like night’s sleep in the room. The effects of sleeping well can outweigh the costs of making a few needed changes that lead to a more calming, sleep-friendly atmosphere. (Photo contributed by Irene Woodworth) satin or pearl. Also, a flat finish on a paint color can

 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

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the ocean waves or birds singing in the rain forest. These small devices can be purchased at various stores, such as Bed Bath and Beyond. 10. Use décor that reflects both of your personalities. Since my husband was born in Hawaii and lived his earlier life near the beach, and I grew up in Southern California, I have always loved the sight of the beach in our bedroom pictures, and reflecting that in our room’s décor. When we look at the various ocean pictures, in spite of our eclectic, white, simple, upcycled, mid century-style furniture, it helps us to relax in our master bedroom. Why do I know so much about this? I have sleep apnea and I have been a light sleeper most of my life — until I started making some major changes. It is getting better and better. I know how fragmented you can feel when you do not get enough restful sleep and can’t relax in your bedroom. If you are not able to apply all of these tips, start by doing them one at a time bi-weekly or monthly. You will be amazed what a few simple changes can do to help you relax in your bedroom. Mention this article and I will give you a 15 percent discount on any of our redesign or color consultation services to help you achieve your desired look. Contact me at Irene@RedesignBoise. com or (208) 450-2178. n

Irene Woodworth is known as “Idaho’s Color Lady” and is founder and CEO of Redesign Boise. She is a national redesign award winner, motivational speaker, certified redesigner and color consultant, and instructor on redesign and color. She has a degree in education and interior design and has taught various decorating and color classes throughout the country. For more information, visit RedesignBoise.com.

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show oily handprints on your walls. Who has the time to retouch the walls over and over? 7. You need a refreshing scent in your bedroom. Smell makes a difference. You can use a linen air freshener or lavender scent on your pillows or as spray in your room. It has a tendency to relax you and help you get a better night’s sleep. Live plants release oxygen into the room and purify the air, helping you sleep better. According to the Daily Health Post, “Stress and anxiety cause most sleep-related issues. Many studies show that being surrounded by nature helps lower cortisol level and blood pressure. It also boosts immune function and triggers relaxation. In addition, plants purify the air by absorbing odors and moulds that can impact breathing and lung health.” (NASA recommends between 15-18 air purifying plants for an 1,800square-foot home. Make sure to place a few in each bedroom.) If you do not have room for anything too big, you can always put some plants in a corner on a plant stand and allow them to grow vertically. The best types of plants for this are jasmine, lavender, snake plant, aloe vera, gardenia, spider plant, valerian, English ivy, peace lily and golden pothos. 8. Turn all electronic devices off at least an hour before going to bed. You need to unplug so your brain is not stimulated and prevents you from sleeping. I know from experience that looking at my cell phone caused my brain to take at least one to two hours for calming and shutting down to sleep! 9. How is the sound in your room? One thing I have really enjoyed is downloading my Wholetones instrumental music that helps my husband and I relax. When my husband used to work nights, we used a sound machine. That is also something that can help you go to sleep by listening to the sounds of a waterfall,

Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 


IDAHO

MAGAZINE

CALENDAR

Free Parent Education Seminar

classes. Attend a free preview class and experience the delight of making music together while opening doors to creativity, exploration, friendship and joy in learning. Register for the preview class at dunkleymusic.kindermusik.com, or by calling the store at 342-5549 and asking for Jane. Classes are available at 10 a.m. Mondays. Dunkley Music is located at 3410 N. Eagle Rd., Ste. 150, in Meridian.

First & Third Thursday

Brain Balance Achievement Center at 3210 E. Chinden Blvd., #113, in Eagle holds a Free Parent Education Seminar from 7 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Dr. Ray Booth, clinical psychologist, presents information on the topic, “Why Your Child Is Struggling” and answers questions. For more information, contact Executive Director Dawna Booth at 938-1312 or dbooth@brainbalancecenters.com.

Creativity Unleashed Wednesdays

Teens are invited to come create a new thing each week using found objects, art supplies, words, and ideas to make crafts, stories and art of all kinds. Creativity Unleashed is held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian library. For more information, call 888-4451, or go to mld.org.

Family Art Saturday Last Saturday

Children accompanied by their adult friends may drop into the Boise Art Museum between noon and 3 p.m. on the last Saturday of the month for a hands-on art workshop. The program is recommended for children ages 12 and under, with an adult. Go to boiseartmuseum.org.

A T.Rex Named Sue Various Dates

The current exhibit at the Discovery Center of Idaho features Sue, a tyrannosaurus rex that roamed North America roughly 67 million years ago. Visit Sue at DCI from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. DCI is located at 131 W. Myrtle St. in Boise. Go to dcidaho.org for costs and other information.

Ice Skating at the Village at Meridian Daily

Ice skating hours at the Village at Meridian are as follows: 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Cost is $3 for children 12 and under; $5 for anyone 13 and older; and $2 for ice skate rentals. Because of the high volume, skate time may be limited to 30 minutes.

Reading at the Refuge First and Third Monday

Preschoolers, kindergartners and their families are invited to Reading at the Refuge every first and third Monday, with the exception of federal holidays, at 10 a.m. and repeating at 2 p.m. at the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center near Lake Lowell in Nampa. There will be a wildlife-related story, craft-making, and exploring the Visitor Center and trails at the refuge. For more information, go to fws.gov/deerflat, email deerflat@fws.gov or call 467-9278.

Kindermusik classes Mondays

Kindermusik at Dunkley Music is enrolling students ages 0-7 for music

10 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Superbowling Party

February 5

Pinz Bowling Center in Meridian will hold a family-friendly Superbowling Party from 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday, February 5. The party will include pizza, games, and the Super Bowl on 10 big screens. Go to pinzbowlingidaho.com.

Nampa Library Programs Various Dates

Family programs at Nampa Public Library include: Build with a Buddy, 3:45 to 6 p.m., Monday, February 6; Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th Birthday Party, 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, February 7; and Reading Tails, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 14. Sensory storytimes are set for 4:15 to 5 p.m. Mondays, February 13 and 27. Baby/toddler storytimes will be held from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21 and 28. Preschool storytimes will be held from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, February 8, 15 and 22, and Fridays, February 10, 17 and 24. Right on Target is set for 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, February 18. A tween program is scheduled for 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, February 9; and Teen Trivia Club will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 23. Go to nampalibrary.org.

Linocut Valentine Cards February 7 & 9

Cassandra Schiffler will lead a fun-filled linocut workshop for adults from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, and from 7:30 to 9 Thursday, February 9, at the College of Idaho on Cleveland Boulevard in Caldwell. Participants will explore the art of relief printmaking by cutting into a linoleum block, inking it, and printing it, using a press onto several cards. Cost of the class is $45. For more information, visit the College of Idaho website at collegeofidaho.edu or call 459-5188.

Harlem Globetrotters February 9

The Harlem Globetrotters will come to the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa on Thursday, February 9, at 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Go to fordidahocenter.com.

Youth Empowerment Clinic February 9

Idaho Legal Aid Services’ attorneys will offer short-term legal advice from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, February 9, at the main branch of Boise Public Library. The clinic is free and open to the public, and topics to be covered include student suspension, expulsion and school disciplinary issues; Individual Education Programs (IEPs); and expungement of juvenile criminal records. This ongoing program is held on the second Thursday of every month; check-in is by 4 p.m. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.

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of Events

Month of February & Early March Please send family-related calendar items to gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com.

Canyon County Home and Garden Show February 10-12

This annual event will be held at the Ford Idaho Center from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, February 10; from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, February 11; and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, February 12. Admission is $3 for adults, with children 12 and under free. Parking is also free. Go to fordidahocenter.com.

Ballet Idaho: Winter Repertory February 10-11

This family-friendly show will begin at 8 p.m. February 10-11 at the Morrison Center. Among other highlights, the program will include music by Bach and choreography by the late George Balanchine. For tickets, go to http:// www.ticketmaster.com/event/1E0050B3E20F205B?brand=morrisoncenter.

Love Is in the Air at Kleiner Park February 11

For a fun Valentine-related outing, stop by the Center at the Park, 1920 N. Records Way in Meridian (behind The Village), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 11. The whole family is welcome; admission is free, and there will be food and treats, fresh roses, Valentine gift options, and live music.

Mighty Girls Book Club February 11

This book club is for girls ages 11-14 who want to read books featuring strong female characters. It meets from 10:30 to 11 a.m. one Saturday a month at the Silverstone branch of the Meridian library. The book featured on February 11 will be “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. For more information, contact Paige at pbeach@mld.org or 884-2616.

Run 4 Luv February 11

This family-friendly event features a half marathon, 10k and 5k and will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 11, in Boise’s Ann Morrison Park. Valentine’s Day costumes are encouraged by the organizers. Go to http://run4luv.com.

Woo at the Zoo February 11

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even snow leopards do it! Come to Zoo Boise at 4 p.m. Saturday, February 11, to learn how animals woo each other. The event is open to both singles and sweethearts 18 and older, and the Valentine’s Day-themed program will reveal the intimate secrets of exotic animal mating and dating. Enjoy a guided stroll through the zoo to learn about animal amore. There will also be a pasta dinner, with dessert, drinks, and photo opportunities with sweethearts (plus take-home chocolate). Space is limited, and interested people must register as soon as possible at zooboise.org. Cost is $40 for Boise residents and Friends of Zoo Boise members, and $45 for all others.

Foothills Family Day February 11

Dr. Jesse Barber of Boise State will talk about the complicated predator-

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prey interactions between bats and moths at Foothills Family Day, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 11, at Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Rd. in Boise. Attend the free, no-registration program and learn about bats’ echolocation abilities and what moths do to avoid being eaten. There will also be crafts and activities to celebrate the strange-winged creatures and their adaptive skills. Go to bee.cityofboise.org.

Free crafts for kids February 11 & 25

Lakeshore Learning Store, 417 N. Milwaukee in Boise, holds a free craft program for children ages 3 and up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. On February 11, children are welcome to come celebrate Valentine’s Day and create a Valentine Mailbox and a Kindness Catcher, write a personalized book about kindness, and listen to stories on acceptance, respect, and caring. On February 25, a Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash is planned, and children will have the opportunity to hop, craft and rhyme. Call 3771855 for more information.

Daddy-Daughter Date Night February 11

This annual event for fathers and their daughters ages 3-13 will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 11, at the Nampa Rec Center. The evening is highlighted by entertainment, fun and refreshments. Cost is $9 per person for Rec Center members and $11 per person for nonmembers. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Birthday Celebration February 11

The main branch of Boise Public Library will mark Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th birthday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 11. The special day is for people of all ages and will include historical schoolroom activities, pioneer crafts, a historical fashion show, coloring activities, and presentations by people knowledgeable about the revered writer of the “Little House on the Prairie” books. There will also be birthday cake for everyone. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.

Happier Today, Happier Tomorrow Workshops February 12-March 7

Rose Edvalson will present a workshop based on the works of Dr. Martin Seligman, known as the founder of modern day positivity, and Dr. Terry Warner, known for his development of a transformative way of repairing troubled relationships. The four weekly workshops will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. February 12-March 7 at Nampa Public Library. The workshops are free, with no associated costs. Contact Edvalson at BestSelfForward@outlook.com.

The Magic of Disney Love Songs February 12 & 25

Nampa Civic Center programs for February include Alexis Cole singing “The Magic of Disney Love Songs” at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 12, and a performance by Ballet Idaho at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 25. The Nampa Civic Center is located at 311 3rd St. S., and the NCC box office may be reached at 468-5555. For more information about these and other performances, go to nampaciviccenter.com.

More Events on Page 12 Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 11


CALENDAR of Events

Continued from page 11

Dinner and a Movie: Roman Holiday

School Break Mini Zoo Camp

Experience a “Night in Italy” for Valentine’s Day as Caldwell Fine Arts presents Dinner and a Movie: Roman Holiday on Tuesday, February 14, at the Langroise Center on the College of Idaho campus. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., with the movie starting at 7:30. Dinner costs $25, the movie is $10, and wine with dinner is $8. For tickets go to caldwellfinearts.org or call 459-5275. CFA will present Rachel Barton Pine with the Boise Baroque Orchestra on March 4. Visit the CFA website for more information.

A program of Africa Adventures, for children in grades 1-5, will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, February 20, at Zoo Boise. Travel to Africa without leaving Idaho, and let giraffes, lions, hyenas, cranes and other African animals be your guides. Explore African cultures through art and storytelling, and discover how visiting the Zoo plays a part in restoring African wildlife in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Cost is $45 for Boise residents and Friends of Zoo Boise members, and $50 for non-residents or nonmembers. Go to zooboise.org.

February 14

Bowling & Bubbly February 14

February 20

President’s Day Bowling

Patrons will receive a free glass of champagne or sparkling cider while they bowl on Valentine’s Day, February 14, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Pinz Bowling Center in Meridian. (One glass per person while supplies last.) Go to pinzbowlingidaho.com.

February 20

Refugees Tell Their Stories

Button Making

Join the Idaho Office for Refugees in celebrating the diversity in our community through the power of storytelling. The program, for people of all ages, is set for 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 15, at the Library! at Hillcrest in Boise. Come hear trained refugee storytellers share their experiences and learn what makes us all Idahoans. A moderated Q&A with the audience will follow. For more information, call 972-8340.

Teens are welcome to bring 1-inch pictures or choose from the library’s pictures to make pins with a buttom maker. The program will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, February 24, at the Library! at Cole & Ustick. Call 972-8300 for more information.

February 15

Hulls Gulch Reserve Hike February 16

Get to know your hometown backyard as the Foothills Learning Center teams with the Idaho Conservation League to offer a Hulls Gulch Reserve short hiking tour beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, February 16. This event is part of a Hiking Series presented year-round on the third Thursday of the month. All hikes are no more than 3 miles long, and are free and familyfriendly. Pre-registration is required by calling 345-6933, ext. 16. Go to bee. cityofboise.org/foothills.

31st Annual Idaho City Chili Cook-Off February 18

Try some of the best chili in Idaho during the annual Idaho City Chili Cook-Off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 18. There will be live music, and families are invited to explore the sites and shops of the historical community. Also, grab a bite to eat (along with the chili), warm up with a warm drink, or cool down with ice cream. Go to idahocitychamber.org for more information.

Meet the Artists February 18

The Boise WaterShed will host a “meet the artists” event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, February 18, in the Council Chambers at Boise City Hall. Karen Bubb with the City of Boise Arts & History Department will lead an exploration of the artists and their works, highlighting the WaterShed and its soon-to-open River Campus. (The Boise WaterShed will have the largest collection of public art in the state but is presently closed through February for interior upgrades. Go to bee.cityofboise.org/watershed.)

Capitol Rotunda Art Show February 19 - March 5

The Idaho Watercolor Society, a statewide organization, will feature an exhibit of work from 95 artists from around Idaho from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, February 19 through March 5 on the fourth floor of the Capitol Rotunda. Admission is free. Call 853-0955 for more information.

12 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Pinz Bowling Center in Meridian will offer a family-friendly bowling special from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20. Go to pinzbowlingidaho.com.

February 24

Kids Fair 2017 February 25

This all-things-kids event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at Expo Idaho (Center and North Expo buildings). Admission is $5. Go to http://www.kidsfairboise.com.

Idaho Gem and Mineral Show February 25 & 26

This family-fun Gem and Mineral Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 25, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, February 26, in the South Expo Building at Expo Idaho on Glenwood Street in Boise. Admission is $4, with children 12 and under free.

BCT Children’s Reading Series February 26

Boise Contemporary Theater is continuing its 2017 Children’s Reading Series through March. The series allows children to “hear a play,” as professional actors bring engaging tales to life. All stories in the series are perfect for children ages 6 and up. The story for February is to be announced. More information about the series schedule, descriptions of the stories, and purchasing tickets may be found online at BCTheater.org or by calling 331-9224. The February tale will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 26, at 854 Fulton St. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.

Ignite Youth February 27

This free event featuring local teens with inspiring ideas will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, February 27, at the Idaho Party Barn, 1345 W. Overland Rd. in Meridian.

Annual Firefighters Chili Cook-Off March 4

The Meridian Firefighters’ Annual Chili Cook-Off is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the Meridian Dairy Barn, 335 S. Main St. near the Speedway. Go to meridiancity.org.

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SPRING BREAK Camps 2017 Below are listed a number of spring break camp options for kids. Other activities are available at libraries and recreation and community centers in the valley. If your family isn’t planning a spring break vacation, make sure the kids avail themselves of local activities for learning and having fun.

Program: Let’s Move! Outside, March 27-31. From 10 a.m. to noon each day, YMCA Outdoor Education staff will lead children in outdoor activities at the new River Campus. Inside, participants may enjoy hands-on activities such as exploring a stream table and creating crafts in the new exhibit hall. For more information, visit http://bee.cityofboise.org/watershed.

BAM Media Madness — Boise Art Museum will hold a Media Madness Camp for kids ages 7-12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 27-31. In this week-long camp, students will explore a variety of media from painting and sculture to textile and fiber art. They will visit exhibitions such as Geraldine Ondrizek: Chromosome Painting, 2017 Idaho Triennial, and Tall Tales for inspiration. Cost is $150 for BAM members and $180 for non-members. Pre-registration deadline is March 24. Visit boiseartmuseum.org.

Idaho IceWorld — It’s Great To Skate Spring Break Camp for kids ages 5-12 will be held from 9 a.m. to noon March 27-31 at Idaho IceWorld. Skating camp offers beginners an opportunity to learn basic skating skills taught by professional, certified coaches. Camp includes snacks, games, friendship and fun in a secure and family-friendly environment. Cost is $125 per person and includes rental skates if needed. Campers will show off their skills at the end of the week. Space is limited. Register online at idahoiceworld.com. A Spring Break Hockey Camp will also be offered. Visit the website for more information.

Boise Contemporary Theater — BCT offers two fun options for Spring Break Theater Camp. One is for 6- to 9-year-olds, and the other is for 9- to 12-year-olds. (If your child is 9, you may decide if they’d be happier with the younger or older group.) The schedule for the camp, which runs March 27-31, is as follows: ages 6-9 will meet from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday; ages 9-12 will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Participants will join forces with like-minded kids and collaboratively conceive, write, design and perform a brand new, 10-minute play in a week. Cost is $250, and financial aid is available. For more information or to register, visit bctheater.org. Boise Parks & Recreation — Boise Parks & Recreation will hold a number of spring break camps March 27-31, including Youth Mountain Biking Rocket Riders, Rock Climbing Camp, Rec ‘Em, and Mountain Discovery...in the Snow, and art camps. For more information, go to parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7680. Boise WaterShed — The Boise WaterShed will hold a Spring Break Drop-In

Meridian Parks & Recreation — Young people may enjoy a week of wellsupervised fun, friendship and adventure March 27-31 at Spring Break Camp Mer-IDA-Moo. Activities will include arts and crafts, sports and games, reading time, park visits, a science project, special guests, field trips, and more. Camp staff members are selected from recreation and education professionals, as well as local college students. Campers must be at least 6, and have completed kindergarten, up to 11 years of age. Camp Mer-IDA-Moo will take place at the Meridian Community Center, 201 E. Idaho Ave. in downtown Meridian. There are full-day and half-day options as follows: • Full day: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., $99 • Half day: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $79 For additional information and registration instructions, go to www. meridiancity.org/activityguide or call 888-3579.

More Events on Page 14

Pediatric Specialists in: 2-2017

Physical Therapy Occupational Therapy

13895 W. Wainwright Drive • Boise, ID Located in the Alpine Pointe business park off of Eagle Road P: 208-939-3334 • F: 208-939-3341 www.idahofamilymagazine.com

2-2017

Speech Language Pathology

Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 13


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SPRING BREAK Camps 2017 Treasure Valley Children’s Theater — A Spring Break Journey to Africa Camp for actors ages 6-9 will be held from 9 a.m. to noon March 27-31. Students will dive into “The Lion King, Jr. Experience,” complete with songs, dances, scenes and crafts straight from one of their favorite Disney musicals. Campers will prepare a lively performance to share with an invited audience on the last day of camp. Cost is $150. To register, and for more information, go to treasurevalleychildrenstheater.com. Treasure Valley YMCA — The Treasure Valley YMCA invites youngsters to come find new talents, try new activities, gain independence and make lasting memories during the Y’s Spring Break Day Camps March 27-31. Camps include Enrichment Camps and Sports & Recreation Camps. For more information or to register, go to ymcatvidaho.org/programs/youthprograms/spring-break-day-camps.

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Zoo Boise — Zoo Boise youth camps include guided tours of the zoo, classroom lessons, demonstrations and experiments, exploration of animal biofacts, daily

animal encounters and enrichment, arts and crafts projects, educational videos, zookeeper talks, ecologyfocused games, and more. Cost per person per series is $190 for Friends of Zoo Boise passholders and City of Boise residents, and $215 for nonresidents. Camps will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 27-31 and include the following: • Animals in Action (grades 2-6) Participants will help keep Zoo Boise animals in tip-top shape, investigate how and why animals act the way they do, and learn how zookeepers use enrichment to keep animals thinking and moving. • Zoo Careers (grades 7-10) Participants in this program will meet the people responsible for running the zoo, including members of the animal care team, and perform some of their daily responsibilities and chores. They will meet veterinarian staff and zookeepers, clean an exhibit, create animal diets, conduct DNA extraction, learn how genetics play a role in captive breeding, and explore wildlife conservation projects funded by the Zoo Boise community. Go to zooboise.org for more information.

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Feb 2nd & 16th, Mar 2nd & 16th

FREE Parent Ed Seminar by Ray Booth, Ph D call to register (or RSVP please) Individual results may vary. Our advertising features actual parent testimonials.

14 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

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moMENts

Clarinet practice tests dad’s patience

L

ove you, Daddy.” My 12-year-old daughter, Jessie, slammed the car door and off to school she went, toting her book bag, lunchbox, and clarinet. I drove out of the school parking lot happy. Each day, parents experience numerous joys and challenges. In my 12 years as a stay-at-home dad, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Patrick Hempfing “Love you, Daddy” provides a perfect example of the good. I never get tired of hearing those words. We experienced the bad earlier this year when Jessie had pneumonia. Any time Jessie is crying is also bad, which happened a good bit this year because my wife, Mattie, took a new job in another state and Jessie had to leave her friends. Then there’s the ugly — Jessie learning to play the clarinet fits that bill. Early last August, Mattie and I registered Jessie for sixth grade. The middle school receptionist handed us a course selection form and said to number the electives in order of our preference. Jessie wanted to take Drama I. Since she already excels in “daily drama,” I didn’t see the need for this course. In fact, I think she could teach it. However, Mattie and I approved Jessie selecting it number one on her list of electives. With Jessie’s first preferred elective checked off, we went through the rest of the options. Robotics, no problem. Art, great idea. Beginning Band? Mattie wanted Jessie to learn to read music and play an instrument. Jessie had no interest in taking Beginning Band. I could have gone either way. It’s amazing how three people in the same family can think so differently. Sadly for Jessie, she didn’t get into Drama I, her top choice. Beginning Band, however, would be her first class each day. Little did I realize, things would only get more complicated when the band teacher invited parents to his classroom to discuss instrument options. The band director felt that Jessie’s mouth shape made the clarinet a good choice for her. That worked fine for me. I just didn’t want Jessie beating away on drums or clanging cymbals. Mattie envisioned her daughter playing the flute. Jessie didn’t care. We watched online videos of both instruments. Although the flute makes beautiful sounds in the hands of a skilled musician, videos of students making high-pitched squeals on the flute convinced us to choose the clarinet. Next, Jessie had to learn to play it. I’ve helped Jessie with her homework throughout her school years, but never before have I had to wear earplugs. As it turns out, the clarinet can also make high-pitched squealing sounds. We had just moved into an apartment and I didn’t want to force our neighbors, or our dog, to listen to clarinet practice. So I took Jessie, along with my earplugs, to our pickup truck to complete her band homework. The first week, Jessie blew into the mouthpiece, attached only to the barrel (not the rest of the clarinet), for as long as she could — 5, 7, 10 seconds and more — emitting a loud, unpleasant sound. I sat beside

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her in the truck, timing her as she repeated this exercise to improve her lung capacity and mouth position. I doubted that Jessie needed practice for her lung capacity as she can speak paragraphs without taking a breath. As Jessie practiced, I squinted my eyes, cupped my hands over my plugged ears … and thought about the advantages of Drama I. Speed ahead to the winter concert. A proud dad, not wearing earplugs, sat in the school auditorium. The band director, with his little white baton, led the class of more than 100 students in an impressive performance. Four months earlier, most of them couldn’t even name their instruments. This leads me to two key takeaways. First, I need to get myself one of those little white batons. They apparently convey special powers to get kids to obey instructions. Second, something might start out bad or ugly but not stay that way. Jessie recovered from her pneumonia and loves living in her new home state. There were times I thought about hiding Jessie’s clarinet. However, just by hanging on — and sometimes inserting earplugs — the clarinet turned out to be good, too. Until next month, remember to cherish the moments … and take out the earplugs to hear “I love you.” Happy Valentine’s Day! n

Patrick Hempfing had a 20-year professional career in banking, accounting, and auditing before he became a father at age 44. He is now a full-time husband, stay-at-home dad, and writer. Follow him at www. facebook.com/patricklhempfing and on Twitter @PatrickHempfing. His first book, “MoMENts: A Dad Holds On,” compiles favorite stories and new material and is available at Amazon.com.

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By Patrick Hempfing

Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 15


CRAFTS On A Dime

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Homemade heart garland adds pop of color By Samantha Stillman

A

s Valentine’s Day approaches, I noticed how little décor I had for the holiday. With all this snow, this craft ended up being a great one to do with my little guy. I coated the strings and let him place them in the hearts. This cute garland made for a cute pop of color on my walls. Enjoy! n

1

Supplies needed: Picture 1 Yarn or twine Aluminum foil Parchment paper Mixing bowl ½-cup measuring cup Tape Flour Red acrylic paint Water

3 2

Samantha Stillman is a Treasure Valley crafts instructor and freelance writer. She may be reached at craftsonadime10@gmail.com.

Instructions:

1. Unroll and cut a roughly 12-inch by 8-inch sheet of foil. Then, starting with a 1-inch fold, fold it lengthwise a few times. It should end up looking like a 1-inch by 12-inch strip. Fold each strip in half to make a crease for the top of the heart. Slowly bring the ends down and round out the top of the heart. Tape the ends together with a small piece of tape and shape your heart as needed. Make as many hearts as you want on your garland. For my example, I made six. Place your hearts on a pan covered with parchment paper. Picture 2 2. Mix ½ cup of flour and ½ cup of water in a mixing bowl.

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Add enough red acrylic paint to create the desired color for your hearts. 3. Cut 18 36-inch (3 feet) pieces of string. You will end up with 3 strings per heart. Smaller pieces are easier to coat and place without too many knots. Coat each string in your flour mix and run your fingers down each string to take out any excess mix. Place your strings in the heart and shape them around the edges to form your heart shape. Picture 3 4. Preheat the oven to 200°. Bake the hearts for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow them to cool in the oven. After they are fully cooled, gently remove them from the foil and then you can string them together to make your garland. Picture 4 n

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Back to the routine

Pre-holiday rules must be applied again By Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel

N

ow that the holidays are over, how do we get our children back into the pre-holiday routine? It is best to get children back on school sleep hours, cut the amount of sugar they are eating, and begin re-establishing some sort of routine. Given it might be too late for that if you continue to delay, the sooner you get started, the easier children will fall back into a routine.

Bedtime is first

Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel

One of several issues child advocates are concerned about these days is that children are not getting enough sleep at night. A regular bedtime is essential to the health and growth of your child. If 8 p.m. is the child’s bedtime, it is made clear that there is no room service or further negotiating after 8. You may tell them: “I am done with my mothering/fathering for today. Your job is to get some sleep. Once I leave the room, any requests, complaints or fooling around noises will cost you 15 minutes off of when you go to bed tomorrow night. Two complaints means you go to bed tomorrow night at 7:30. It is time to sleep. I will be glad to see you tomorrow.” Hugs and kisses are given and the line drawn in the sand — no more communication. Prior to drawing the line in the sand, I am a huge advocate of reading to or with a child each night. Children begin to learn vocabulary words through the repetition of seeing them. As important as learning a vital skill is the connection that cuddling, lack of media or other distractions, and sharing provide to enhance the child’s sense of connectedness. A parent can read one paragraph, the child reads the next one. Doing so breaks up the tediousness for children who are learning to read. Reading with animated voices can be fun. Interact with the child by asking, “Where is the butterfly?” or “What color is the moon?” Interaction keeps the child engaged and stimulates the child’s brain.

Study time

1. Children need a regular study time each day. This is sometimes difficult with the multiple interruptions provided by the after-school

extracurricular schedule. To the extent the time is regular, the child will be able to adapt to doing the work at hand. 2. With a child who has trouble focusing, it is best to have the child show you what the homework is and then show you what he/she has accomplished at the end of the homework period. Tell the child up front that work must be legible (their teacher will love you for this one), and the work must be completed. Work that is not legible will be redone. 3. Keep an eye on your child’s progress. Too many children flounder in school, drown and then don’t have the initiative or skills to catch up again. Ask the teachers for a grade report long before the school schedule provides one. Let the teachers know you will support them, and that you want to know if your child slips behind. A letter to the teacher might say, “Thank you for choosing to teach school. We want our son/daughter to be successful this semester and request that you let us know if he/she begins to fall behind, not do homework or otherwise fail to do his/her job in school. Thank you for your time and caring.” 4. Help your child and do not do for your child what he/she needs to learn to do for self. As a former classroom teacher, I can tell you that it is easy to spot work that is done by a parent, not a child. This is especially true with projects. When one California mission is crudely glued together with popsicle sticks and another one has architectural design involved, a teacher knows that the parent probably took over the project. Working together on a project is great fun, and it is important not to take the “child” out of the project. A good grade is not as important as a sense of doing something yourself. And, if the child puts off a project let him/her fail. Failing is an important lesson that inspires a child to make better choices. Rescuing a child does not teach responsibility. 5. It is important to regulate how much TV/computer/media time a child has each day. Give a child 4-8 squares of colored paper. Each square is worth 15 minutes. Tell the child, “Spend your colored squares, and you are done with media for the day!” Some children thrive and do well in school. Other children struggle. “Always do your best!” is a great goal for children and adults. No one can be asked to do more. n

For 54 years, Sandy McDaniel has been an international speaker and recognized authority on families and children. Author of five books, columnist, founder of parentingsos.com, she is a resident of Meridian and loves spending time with her three Idaho grandchicks. Semi-retired, she speaks to schools, churches, and MOPS groups and provides parent coaching sessions in person and on the phone.

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Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 17


Doulas

Supporting women through childbirth

Triennial, and Tall Tales for inspiration.

“Many women don’t know their options and feel unsupported,” Zablan said. “A doula can help clients explore various options and offer support at all stages (of the pregnancy).” Doulas often advance in their training to provide a variety of specialized services. For example, Baby Bump & Co. doulas offer maternity consulting, placenta encapsulation, and postpartum belly binding (3). Idaho native Trisha Blizzard now runs a successful doula practice in Fort Worth, Texas, and said, “My typical doula/client relationship can be different depending on what the family needs. A first-time mother might need more support prior to birth. For example, she might want to know where to read up on delayed cord clamping (4) or pain management options. I provide her with resources so that she can get the evidenced-based information she is looking for. “The internet has a lot of misinformation so I like to guide them in the right direction. I also have a lending library of books and DVDs they can borrow. On the day of her birth I might spend time talking to her on the phone, encouraging her and providing helpful tips and tricks that might help her rest and get ready for the next phase of labor. She calls me when she is ready for me to be by her side, wherever that may be (sometimes it is at her home, or at the place where she will be giving birth). I’m there to help her and her partner get through the birth however they’d like.” Doulas also help fathers during the birthing process. “It’s hard on Dad when he is trying to do counterpressure, while trying to grab cold washcloths, fan (the mother’s) face and maybe apply lip balm to her lips all

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negative feelings about childbirth, and their chances of having a cesarean were reduced. he word In addition, their labors “doula” is a were shorter, and Pitocin Greek word augmentation (1) was meaning used less. Babies also fare “women’s servant.” better, having better ApA doula is trained in gar scores (2) at birth and childbirth to provide less risk of needing to go emotional and physical to the NICU (Hodnett et support, as well as to help al, 2012). educate mothers, before, Treasure Valley doula during and after childbirth. Jessica Zablan of Baby For centuries woman Bump & Co was able to have served one another Jessica Zablan elaborate on what kind of through childbirth, so services a doula provides. this is not a new concept. The hope of a “A birth doula helps you feel prepared, doula is to contribute to a safer and more empowering birth experience, and studies informed, and supported about your upcoming birth,” she said. “She is a proshow that is exactly what they are doing. Studies have shown women who receive fessional that is attuned to you and your family’s wishes. The doula doesn’t have continuous support from a doula are personal opinions about natural vs. medimore likely to have spontaneous vaginal cated births. She (he) is trained to support births, less likely to have pain medicafamilies in different birth settings and has tion, vacuum- or forceps-assisted births, experience to ease labor with different comfort measures.” Although a doula is present throughout the entire birth, he or she is not a medical professional and does not perform any clinical tasks, prescribe medication, or SPRING BREAK CAMP give medical advice, according to Zablan, who added, “Doulas offer a helping hand Media Madness and evidence-based information, never for students ages 7-12 their personal opinions. Prenatally or during the early days of parenthood, the March 27 – March 31, 2017 doula will help address any concerns you 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. may have, and together you will create In this week-long camp, students will explore a personalized plan that fits everyone’s a variety of media—from painting and needs.” sculpture to textile and fiber art. Students She believes a good doula is not there to will visit exhibitions like Geraldine Ondrizek: “replace anyone in the support team, but Chromosome Painting, The 2017 Idaho to empower and contribute to it.” By Kimberly McMullen

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Definitions:

1. Pitocin augmentation: medicine for stimulating a stalled labor 2. Apgar scores: a measure of the physical condition of a newborn infant 3. Postpartum belly binding: the practice of tying a long strip of cloth around the abdomen during the postpartum recovery period to ensure a strong support to the womb after childbirth 4. Delayed cord clamping: a birth practice where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut until the pulsations have ceased, or until the placenta is delivered A doula provides support to a birthing mom, as well as to her partner.

www.idahofamilymagazine.com

desired, regardless of what else was going on in the room. I have learned that I love hands-on support during labor, and a doula was able to provide me exactly that.” So why can’t your mother or partner “be the doula” and do the same thing? Well, those studies were done, and for some reason the studies did not find the same outcomes. In fact best results occurred when women had continuous support from someone NOT from the mother’s social network or even provided by the hospital staff (Rosen, 2004; Sakala, Declercq, & Corry, 2002; Sauls, 2002). The bottom line is doulas know birth. To quote the late pediatrician, Dr. John H. Kennell: “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” n

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Idaho resident Jenny Fagan utilized a doula for two of her three births. She plans on having one present at her fourth birth as well. She explained: “My experience using a doula was nothing but positive. In both instances I was able to contact my doula any time I had questions or concerns, and the response time was almost always faster than that of my main care provider. The relationship between a doula and a client is intensely personal, and I felt like I could let my guard down if I was scared or needed to just complain. I also loved the benefit of having someone attend my birth who was solely there for me. A midwife’s (or OB/GYN’s) job is to deliver the baby, and even if they are able to offer pain management support, when push comes to shove (no pun intended) the job they must complete is the delivery. A doula gave me the constant support I

2-2017

at the same time. I work seamlessly with the partner to help provide cohesive labor support,” Blizzard said. A doula’s work isn’t necessarily done after the birth has taken place. Post-birth assistance is also available. “Once the birth is over, if the mother wants to breastfeed, I can help get her baby to latch, and answer any last-minute questions before I leave,” said Blizzard. “I do a follow-up visit in their home a few days after the birth. New parents often have questions about baby care, while a seasoned parent just wants someone to listen to their struggles of juggling a newborn, sleep and other siblings. From start to finish, I walk them through the entire process.” Parents who have had children before also benefit from a doula. “I get a lot of repeat clients who just want help with comfort measures. Mainly, my repeat clients just want to make it to their birth place on time,” Blizzard said.

Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 19


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20 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

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Look refreshed

Skin care advice from a teenager By Kathleen McGrath

M

Kathleen McGrath is an eighth grader at Lowell Scott Middle School. Her hobbies include soccer, walking the dog, and cooking.

2-2017

any people have told me how my skin looks good and that I look refreshed. My acne has gotten so much better, except for the occasional breakouts. Over the summer last year, I started to get into skin care. I watched YouTube videos on it. So, I decided to tell you my 10 tips for great skin. Tip 1: Always wash your face twice a day with face wash or cleansing wipes. This is so important because it keeps your skin clean and fresh. It’s also important to find the right face wash for your skin type. Tip 2: Use a serum, retinol, and moisturizer. A serum is a skin care product with a light consistency. It helps prevent blemishes and can help clear them. It helps with redness and discoloration; it also helps with sun damage. A retinol is great for scarring and dry patches. Moisturizer is great for dry and damaged skin. It helps replenish the skin. Even if you have oily skin, you should still use moisturizer because it helps with all the oils on your face, and it helps with clogged pores. Tip 3: Use eye cream. Eye cream is a lotion-like substance you put under your eyes to even out the skin, prevent wrinkles, help with puffiness, and clear out dark circles. Tip 4: Drink plenty of water. Water is great for your skin because

it hydrates the skin and keeps the skin looking nice and fresh. Tip 5: Exfoliate once a week. This is very important. Many people either exfoliate too much or not enough. Exfoliating basically means clearing your skin of the week’s buildup. There are two types of exfoliation. One kind is physical. That would be using something like a clarisonic (a skin care tool found at specialty beauty stores), and the other kind is an enzyme. This would be something that sits on the skin and, as it sits, removes buildup. Tip 6: Use a pore strip once a week. Pore strips are great because they remove all those yucky blackheads and whiteheads. And with the blackheads and whiteheads gone, it’s easier to apply makeup. Tip 7: Use toner. I can’t stress enough how important toner is. If you have oily skin, you are going to love toner. Toner is a gentle way to remove oil. It takes all the oil you don’t want off. Because it’s so gentle you can use it every day. Tip 8: Use masks. Masks are a fun and easy way to keep the skin fresh. There is a mask for every skin type and every impurity. Tip 9: Use neck cream. Another thing I can’t stress enough is neck cream. The neck is just as important as the face. It keeps your skin looking young. Neck cream prevents wrinkles, as well as large pores. Tip 10: Use sunscreen. Many people don’t know how important sunscreen is. Sunscreen prevents sun damage and wrinkles. These 10 tips are the best way to get great looking skin! n

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Idaho Family Magazine | February 2017 21


A parent’s voice

Using your grown-up power for good By Daniel Bobinski

decades, and with good reason. For example, John Gottman, author of “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child,” says, “Researchers have found that even more than IQ , your emotional awareness and ability to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.”

While at the mall recently I walked past several groups of people speaking other languages. One group spoke in an Eastern European language. Another group sounded Spanish. I couldn’t understand either language, but I did hear the voice tones being The EQ model has four basic steps: used, which told me a lot about each person 1. Self Awareness (know thyself) talking. 2. Self Management (work management) In one group, the person doing most of the 3. Social Awareness (know others) talking spoke with a gentle softness. In the 4. Relationship Management (move toward team other group, the person doing most of the goals) talking sounded angry and condescending. I To increase our EQ , we start by becoming vividly would not have wanted to be on the receiving aware of our own tendencies. Four basic questions end of that person’s words! Daniel Bobinski are a good starting point: When do you tend to disPerhaps you’ve heard the proverb that says, play anger? When and with whom do you display optimism? If “A soft answer turns away wrath.” In other words, tact is just as important as truth. It’s a fact that a percentage of the population you are stoic, how and why does that happen? And under what circumstances do you show apprehension? There are no right, doesn’t see it that way. They think, “It’s the truth. Deal with it.” But to quote another popular axiom, “You catch more flies with wrong, good, or bad answers to these questions, but if you don’t know the answers then it becomes rather difficult to create plans honey than with vinegar.” for what to do when you sense one of those emotions rising up People who tell the truth too bluntly comprise one set of to interfere with your communications. people, but there’s also another set. Some people normally take I’ll never forget a time when my daughter was 7 years old others’ feelings into account, but stress, deadlines, or other pressures can overcrowd their circuits and they end up being short or and she knocked over a glass jar I was planning to use, breaking it. I remember expressing my anger, after which I watched terse. my daughter withdraw emotionally. Replacing that specific jar Perhaps you know what I’m talking about. Imagine that your would cost some time and a few dollars, but expressing myself youngest child is crying and you can’t figure out why, your dog the way I did certainly wasn’t worth the distance I created bejust ran out the front door and down the street, you catch a tween my daughter and me. whiff of a burning smell coming from the pot you forgot about The axiom that comes to mind is from the late poet, Maya on the stove, and your phone starts ringing, when suddenly Angelou: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people another child asks if it’s okay to watch a movie — a movie you will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made really don’t like. them feel. If you have the patience of Job, this might not be a problem. Angelou’s statement isn’t quite accurate, because we can’t But if your auto mechanic called earlier in the day with some make people feel anything. But we do create environments in expensive bad news or you just realized your haircut appointwhich people are likely to feel certain things. With this in mind, ment is in 10 minutes, then it’s possible that what comes out of I’m a strong advocate of developing plans for what to do when your mouth isn’t necessarily conducive to fostering a healthy we think our emotions might get the better of us. In other relationship. words, if we tend to have a short fuse when too much is going Been there, done that? on around us, we can think ahead: What can we do to maintain As parents, we blow it from time to time, but here’s what I’ve open and flowing communication channels with others when we learned: Every conversation we have with someone can be sense we’re about to pop a cork? equated to the placing of a brick. We either use that brick to Conversely, if you’re a bubbly, optimistic person, it’s important strengthen the bridge between us, or we place that brick in a to know that being overly optimistic can actually build a wall bewall that separates us. And where we place each brick is always tween you and people who are quiet and analytical. Not always, our choice. but sometimes that happens. What can you do differently to As humans, we are limited in our bandwidth for coping with prevent that from happening? Creating a plan of action up front stress, and sometimes we say things we don’t mean, or we use a for these situations makes it much easier to act appropriately. If voice tone that has a negative impact. Such statements from us we wait until the emotion is already causing problems, we’re too can build walls in our family relationships. late. So what to do when we blow it? First, know that apologies Bottom line, it’s not what we say, it’s how we say something go a long way. They can’t completely erase a verbally inflicted that makes a difference. n wound, but, like a triple antibiotic ointment, apologies can prevent infections which might otherwise fester into resentment. Daniel Bobinski is Director of Family Experience, LLC and is co-author Something else we can do is become a student of emotional of the award-winning Become a Student of Your Students, written with intelligence. Whether it’s learning that tact is just as important as his wife, Jeralynne. Daniel speaks at business and parenting conferences truth, or having strategies for being rational in times of heavy and trains internationally on the subject of emotional intelligence. Reach stress, emotional intelligence (EQ) is a powerful ally. him at (208) 375-5048 or at daniel@eqfactor.net. Much has been written about emotional intelligence in recent

22 February 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

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New faces

When women leave their comfort zones

W

2-2017

e sat there, laughing and nodding as we shared our stories and experiences around the long table. The warmth of the restaurant and the evening lights matched the glow in the conversation taking place. We started out with generalities and small talk, but quickly, our voices turned to the significant and meaningful. And before dinner was even served, we were leaning in close and talking about challenges we’ve faced as writers and women, failures we’ve known, issues we grapple with, and stories from our lives. A few of us knew each other from writers’ meetings, but mostly the table was filled with new names and faces of women none of us had met until now. Still, there was that connection. So as we ate (and long after, actually), we talked and encouraged and supported and laughed. We took interest in each other’s projects. We listened to each other’s ideas. We rallied around each other’s causes. And as the night passed over minutes and hours, the connection deepened. Because that’s what happens when women are brave. When they say yes to things like showing up to a dinner with people they don’t

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really know, so they can gather together in community. That’s what happens when women are open about their lives and experiences (failures included), and are willing to be real and reachable. That’s what happens when women intentionally step out of their routines and their inner circles to touch and be touched by the lives of others. It can be easy to get caught up in our schedules. We’re busy. We have a lot on our plate. We don’t have a minute to spare. Or do we? What would happen if we raised our eyes and saw things differently this year? What would happen if we intentionally got out of our comfort zones to spend time with or serve and encourage others? What would happen if we bravely said yes to something we might normally say no to? (It may be something as simple as going to dinner with strangers!) Lives would be enriched, people would be encouraged, friendships would be formed. Because usually, a yes to community leads to something much bigger. And much, much better. n

Genny Heikka is a mom, author, speaker and coffee lover. Stop by her blog at gennyheikka.com and share a cup or connect with her on Twitter at @GennyHeikka.

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