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MC: Mothers Connect

MC Times Painting: Turquoise flowers by Raluca

Back to School Tips:  Take baths or showers at night  Pick out clothing the night before  Have them do homework as soon as they get home from school  Home-schooled kids: form a study group for subject matters and special projects  Get your kids to school early enough to get settled in class and to have time to chat with friends

August 2012

Volume 1, Issue 3

Back to School It’s 6:30 am and the alarm rings. You wake up, take a shower, and a bagel along with your morning cup of coffee. Now that you have woken up it is time to wake up the kids. You get them up, feed them breakfast, and for those who didn’t do it at night you make sure they are bathed. Then they get dressed, brush their teeth, gather multiple bags of supplies, and head to the car. What is going on? It is the first day back to school and you want to make sure that your kids are ready for the start of yet another school year. It is also the day that many parents have been waiting for since the last few weeks of summer. Kids

all across the country will line the halls of elementary, middle, and high schools eager to learn. The first day of school can be scary; especially if you are starting a new school or going to school for the first time. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know if you will have any friends, but it is all a part of the growing process for a child. As parents we are there to help ease their fears and to get them on the right track from the start and stay there. It is ok to be vulnerable with your children. Let them know what it was like for you when you started a new school and how the first day going back was. Being able to relate to

your children and showing them that you were once in their shoes can help to cement your bond. It shows that you are not are human. It shows that you are not their best friend, but their parent and you are there with them through thick and thin. You are there to love them on the first day of school and till the end.

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. ~George Bernard Shaw

Inside this issue: Packing a Healthy Lunch


Supply Recycling


Summer Wrap-up


Inspirational Poem


What does it mean to be a mom?


School Holidays Each school year a calendar is produced that let’s parents and students know when the holidays are for the year. For college students it is broken up into fall, spring, and summer term holidays. For primary and secondary school children it is on a yearly basis, but many still think of it in two terms; the fall term which is the first two 9 weeks and the spring term which is the second two nine weeks. For those who actually review the school calendar have you ever noticed that there are more holidays in the

fall then there are in the spring? You have Labor Day almost as soon as school starts and then there is Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In addition to federal holidays there are teacher work days and other district related holidays. For example, some districts that have a major university in them will give their students a half-day or even a full-day off to take part in a college homecoming parade and other festivities. Having more holidays could explain why it feels like the fall goes by so fast and

the spring just drags on. Think about how many holidays are in the spring. There is Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday and Spring Break. Outside of that what is there? When I was in school we used to have President’s day off, but that is no more. It is celebrated in school with fun educational activities; as it should be. Whether there are two or more holidays in a semester it is a time for celebration, remembrance, and good old fashioned family fun. Enjoy those days off because one day they may not be there.

MC Times

Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch! By: Dr. Asha Fields Brewer

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” -Virginia Woolf

“Make a lunch you would be proud to eat yourself.”

Back to school means early to bed, early to rise, and of course, lunch box madness. Oftentimes, we’ll go for quick items like prepared lunches and prewrapped snacks. However, they are high in sodium and sugar; which can lead to a plethora of health concerns in the future. Instead, think FRESH…the less processing and manufacturing, the better. Here are some ways to prepare a lunch that saves time, saves money, and is healthy for the kids. Grocery Shopping “An apple a day keeps the

1. Plan before you shop. doctor away.” Have an idea of the types of items you want to buy; like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and so on. When you get your grocer’s circular, use the weekly sales to narrow in on specific items. Base your grocery list off of what is budget -friendly and healthy. 2. Select foods with their own wrapper. Pick up items like apples, oranges, bananas, plums, nectarines, etc., where nature has already done the wrapping for you! These are a good snack to round out lunch, eat after sports practice, or snack on before catching the bus home. 3. Bag, cut, and prepare as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Take 10 minutes to rinse off your fresh items, and place them in single serving bags or containers. If your children are old enough, have them help out too. A little extra time here means a little less time panicking in the morning. 4. Beyond the fruit cups and crackers. We know chips aren’t good for us, so we load up on fruit cups and crackers instead. However, these are processed with lots of sugars as well, and aren’t as helpful as we think they are. Consider replacement snacks, such as apples instead of applesauce, whole fruit instead of canned fruit, fresh granola or nuts instead of crackers, and even cucumber salad instead of salt and vinegar chips. Search the web for ideas and don’t be afraid to experiment. Packing It Up 5. Pack water. Most children do not get enough water throughout the day, because it’s not readily available, and it’s not a priority. Help them out by putting water in their lunchbox. Save the juice and other drinks for when they get home. (Get the kids involved by allowing them to design their own bottles with paint pens. Refillable bottles save your money and the environment). 6. Fruit as dessert. What? No Little Debbie® snacks?!!! That’s right. Why…because you love them. Pack extra fruit as dessert instead. Help your children make healthier decisions by presenting them with better options. Look into sprucing up this dessert once a week by adding a bit of honey or agave for them to dip the fruit in. 7. Don’t forget the “Mom Note”! After you’ve packed such a nutritious meal, you want to make sure your child can digest it well. A surprise “Mom Note” can help ease stress levels, leading to better digestion and a reminder that you’re in their corner. Overall, the key is to think FRESH! Little tweaks can have a HUGE impact on the health of your children and your family. Make a lunch you would be proud to eat yourself.

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"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." -Brillat-Savarin

Volume 1, Issue 3

Supply Recycling Before the start of each school year parents with school-aged children will rush to stores like WalMart and Target to fill the list of school supplies that their child’s school states is needed in order to make it through the school year. These supplies can include crayons and glue sticks for younger grades and binders and notebooks for older grades. In elementary school it is common for a pencil box to be on the supply list and every kid will need a backpack and some will want a lunchbox.

what about pencil boxes; is the one that your child brought home from Kindergarten really in such bad condition that it can’t be cleaned and used again for 1st grade? Some will say that by not buying these items brand new that a parent is being cheap, but that is just not the case. True these items really don’t cost all that much money, but it is the principle of not being wasteful and using what you have. Just because we are parents does not mean that we have to buy into the world of commercialism. Being a parent doesn’t mean that we have to always buy the newest and best thing out there. Being a parent is about imparting lessons onto our children, and that includes the lesson of not being wasteful. It is wasteful to buy something brand new when you already have something that can be used. And, if you do choose to buy something brand new and the item you are replacing is still in good condition, then you can still impart a good lesson onto your child by donating the item that was previously used to someone who may need it.

As parents have you ever stopped to ask yourself, are all of these supplies really needed? Or, is it really necessary to buy everything all new? There are some items that commercials and other forms of advertisements will tell us we need to buy each year, and they include the backpacks, lunchboxes, and other items. But, if you want to save a little money there are some things that can be recycled. For example, if your child’s backpack from the previous year is in good condition then what is wrong with them using it again, If there lunchbox looks new or has no serious defects that is another item that a parent can save money on. And

It is absolutely understandable that a child would need paper and pencils each year. And if their previous back-

pack has a whole in it or their lunchbox is so stained that it can’t be cleaned then of course you should replace it. But don’t replace something just for the sake of having something new. Don’t buy something new simply because a child sees something flashy that they want or because the industry says you should get the newest thing. Don’t ever be wasteful and be sure to recycle items, even school supply items, if you can. Can you recycle markers and glue sticks? No...but you can do it with well kept items like backpacks, lunchboxes, and pencil cases. No amount of savings is too small. Waste not and save. It is a lesson your children will treasure for years to come.

something new just because a child sees something flashy they want or because Check out the article entitled Making Old New Again: Recycling School Supplies:

Summer is a time when kids and parents can bond with one

another and take family vacations. Summer is a time when teachers and all school person-

nel have an opportunity to rejuvenate themselves and prepare for the upcoming year.

the industry says you should get the newest thing.”

Summer Wrap-up Summer is coming to a close for many kids and for some it has already ended. What did you and your kids do this past summer? That is a questions that many will be talking about when school starts back this fall. Some will have stories of amazing travels across the U.S. and even the world. Others will have tales of adventurous escapades that happened locally or right in their own backyard.

“Don’t buy

For all intensive purposes summer is now over and while I can not speak for everyone, I can speak for myself and say it was GREAT!! Now that it is over it is time to get back into the normal school year routine; which includes waking up early, sitting in the parent line at school, and possibly even some homework that you may not understand. Yes summer was a great time, but now the excitement of fall awaits!!

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You're a dependable source of comfort; You're my cushion when I fall. You help in times of trouble; You support me whenever I call. I love you more than you know; You have my total respect. If I had my choice of mothers, You'd be the one I'd select!

By Joanna Fuchs


This is a group for mothers from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter what race you are, where you live, if you are rich or poor, young or old, working or staying at home; we are all mothers and we all have stories to share.

What Does It Mean To Be A Mom? What does it meant to be a mom? This is a question women have been asking for centuries. Everyone has their own idea of how to answer this question. For me being a mom means that you are agreeing to take responsibility for someone else’s life. It means that you are willing to wake up early in the morning and go to bed late at night. It means that you have enough courage to say no when you need to, be carefree at times, but also be strict when the situation calls for it. Being a mom can mean any number of things, and what it means to me is completely different then what it means to

someone else. It is a role in life that is defined by you and the children that you will be caring for. You will not always know what to do and being a mom means that you are willing to accept that you are not perfect. In order to accept the fact that you are not perfect it also means that you will have to accept the fact that as a mom you will make mistakes. For some that mistake may be holding on to tightly to the reigns and never giving your child any freedom. For others that may be giving your child too much freedom. There are so many different ways to define the word mother and there are thousands of things

Dictionary Definition of Mother: a female person who is pregnant with or gives birth to a child. (

that could be said about what it means to be a mom. What really matters is how you choose to define your role as a mother and what you feel that role means to you. Then and only then can you truly live your life as the mother that you want to be.

MC Times Volume 1 - Issue 3  

This is the third edition of the Mothers Connect newsletter MC Times. This edition was dedicated to back to school.

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