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Create Your Own Ecosystem

Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:09
A small-scale ecosystem can have a big effect on how your family sees the environment. Sunday is Earth Day. Create the self-containing ecosystem out of recycled materials, and see a little piece of the Earth evolve right before your eyes. Read more...

Springtime Resolution: Keep the Car Clean

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:49
The floor of your car is a crumb-dirt-McDonald's straw paradise, and oh! What's that! The flip flop that disappeared last Fourth of July! Before you start feeling affectionate for the dust bunnies living under your passenger seat, take one woman's advice–vacuum. Stephanie TeSlaa has a strong dislike for messes and the way they make her feel claustrophobic and disorganized, especially inside her car. With four kids, she has enough on her plate without having to carry in armfuls of stuff from her Suburban each day. So she's enforcing new rules for her family in hopes that the thorough cleaning she… Read more...
Egg hunts, and visits to see a giant bunny. Jelly beans before breakfest, and a ham as big as your head. What defines Easter for your family? This year, start a new, eco-friendly tradition. Try these crafts using recylced items to add a little Easter Bunny charm to your house this spring. Read more...

Rainy Day Fun: Make Your Own Flubber

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 16:38
In just three steps, you'll have an afternoon of family fun. Bounce it, stretch it, smash it, make it! Your kids will love this rainy day activity. Step one: Combine 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 2 cups of Elmer's glue, and food coloring of your choice. Step two: In a separate bowl, combine 3 teaspoons of Borax and 1 cups of warm water. Step three: Mix ingredients from both bowls together. A blob of ingredients will combine together with stirring. This takes about three minutes. Squish the final product together in your hands. It will be wet at first… Read more...

Are Your Children in Good Hands?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:14
Children are like treasures, precious and vulnerable, and as parents, women want to protect their gems as much as possible. Make sure your children are in good hands when you leave them with a babysitter. Interview caretakers and introduce your children to them before you leave home. Parents looking for a babysitter are essentially bosses looking for a new employee. As such, require references and a resume from potential babysitters, and review it before you call them to watch your kids on a Friday night. Resumes will outline your babysitter’s education, and what experience the babysitter has with childcare and… Read more...

Tip the Scales in Your Favor

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 16:13
Many women struggle to keep the scales of family and career balanced, and the weekend is hardly enough time to catch up on chores, rest, and parenting/spouse time, not to mention alone time. But it is possible to find that elusive equilibrium by deciding which tasks, no matter how big or small, are most important to you. First thing's first, set your priorities. If spending time with girlfriends is a priority, put it on your calendar. If making it to every one of your child's sporting events, plays, competitions, etc. is essential for you, schedule it. Whatever is highest on… Read more...

Single Mom Maximizes Time

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 15:14
Take it from a mom who knows, being a single parent isn't the easiest thing in the world. Balancing work, being a mom, and alone time can be tough, but there are ups in the rollercoaster of single parenthood. The first and most important thing to do is to make one-on-one time with the parent and kids, says Mona Buskirk, an interior designer from East Grand Rapids. Mona has a 9-year-old daughter, and she tries to make the most of every minute they have together. "My biggest struggle is finding that concrete quality time with her. The best time for… Read more...
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages one to four, and ten to fourteen, according to 2011 statistics. More than 4,000 children drowned in 2010, and 65 percent of those children drowned in a backyard pool. These devastating statistics are exactly why Kendra Reinoehl and Matt Watson are looking to bring more water safety education to the West Michigan area. The pair is opening a Goldfish Swim School in Grand Rapids this spring. "It's a life skill for all children in a water-based community like West Michigan. It's even more imperative that they learn how… Read more...

An Adoptive Family's Love Spans 7,000 Miles

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 11:11
Standing in the middle of a country with people who speak a different language, eat a different food, where things smell different, feel different, sound different, Laurel Shippert didn't know much, nothing in fact, except that the baby in her arms was hers, forever. Laurel and her husband Philip didn't expect to adopt three children from China. They expected, like most young couples, to create a family without paperwork, and the Chinese Consulate. But life has a funny way of rerouting plans, which shaped the Shippert home three fold. Laurel and Philip started the adoption process in 1997 after what… Read more...

Call Your Family Meeting to Order

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:27
Organizations from corporations to the school board to the neighborhood association schedule meetings to provide updates, gather new ideas, and discuss hurdles. Why not implement this on a weekly basis for your family? Spend a little time around the dining room table or curled up on the couch communicating with your spouse and children, and allowing them to share their ideas, too.Hold family meetings consistently at the same time each week. By scheduling the meeting beforehand, it will come as no surprise to family members to allot that time to family each week. Establishing the routine and sticking with it… Read more...
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