Category: Family

I Could Not Live Without My Family Cell Phone Plan

I am a divorced single mother of three daughters and I work and go to school so alot of time I am not home. I didn't use to believe in the whole cell phone craze until one day my daughters got out of school early because of snow and I wasn't home I was at work but at lunch so there was no way for them to contact me I didn't actually know they would be home early until 1pm and they were letting out of school at 12:45 pm when I heard the message I panicked because neither of them had a key and I had no way of telling them to go to a neighbor so I left work to rush home the whole time I pictured them stand outside our home in the snow freezing. I must say that was the most horrible day of my life. When I got home at 1:45 pm the girls were standing out side cold and upset they had to wait and my one twin daughter says to me " Mommy why can't we be like everyone else and get cell phones, if we had a cell phone we could have called you or you could have called us to tell us to go to the neighbors house to wait?"

It was then I realized as a newly single mother I needed to get with the times and break down and buy cell phones for the family so that if there was an emergency I could contact them or they could contact me. It was a sort of epiphany for me because I didn't believe cell phones were necessary thinking it was for those vain people that just always wanted to stay connected and that I didn't need it because I had a home phone that was all I needed but when I actually bought the phones for the family on a family plan with Cingular Wireless I started thinking why didn't I do that sooner. It was amazing the uses you could get from having a Cell phone on you at all times. One example was when I sent my 14 year old twin daughters to the store for snack for them on a Sunday and they were walking home and a man approached them asking them what they were looking at when they glanced at his car they both became very scared and called me on their cell phone upset and I told them to stay on the phone with me and walk faster even run if they have to I wanted to stay on the phone so that I could hear something if he tried to take them or approach them.

After that day I always make sure that they have their cell phones when they walk out the door in the mornings to go to school or even going to the store or a friends house it has become an important of of my life and a single mother with no one that I can really depend on to be there when I am not able to rush to them. I make my daughters memorize my cell phone number in case they are in trouble or even if the school calls the home and I am not there or I'm not at work at the time of the call they can call my cell phone to reach me in case the children are sick. You can say the cell phone I have are my other eyes and ears to protect my daughters and know where they are when I am not with them. I think the cell phones are also a good way for my daughters to contact their fathers to have one on one time to talk to them when I am not around that is important to me that their fathers know that I am trying to give the their space to have alone time with their fathers.

Some people still think cell phones are a waste of time and money but it isn't it is good for people to have a back up when they are alone or on the road in case an accident happens they can easily call 911 or if they run out of gas or have mechanical problems they can call AAA or someone to come out to help them so they are not stranded or have to walk a far distance to get help. Everyone should at least give having a cell phone a try they will realize that they should have gotten one much sooner than they did it will change your whole outlook on life and being away from family. it will put your mind at ease that no matter what the situation they are prepared to contact who they need to contact.

How to Plan a Family Reunion

Planning a family reunion requires inspiration and some original ideas. This can be done on a budget but also very expensive. Your expectations are important and probably you want to invite more people when you are going to marry or to celebrate your 50th anniversary of your wedding than in case you want to plan a birthday party.

Some kinds of family reunions are:
– New Year or
– Birthday parties
– A yearly happy together with the family
– A wedding
– A golden jubilee

Other important things you need to consider:
– Which is the budget that you can afford?
– Do you have a small or a large family?
– Do the most of your family members live in the same city and country or not?
– Do you want to pay all the expenses or can you distribute the expenses?

If you have an answer for all these questions you can start with the real planning of your family reunion.

THE PLANNING OF THE DATE

If the reunion is only with a few members of the family the invitations can be done by phone or email. If the group is larger it will take some time and you need to send the invitations surely a few months before the reunion. It is necessary that you do some research of the addresses of the family members and determinate a date for registration. It is necessary that you know who will come to order the food and other arrangements what concerns the transport, hotel and some other accommodation.

LOCATION

Search for a good location where you can bring the family together and choose for a good meal. Delicious food is important for an enjoyable family reunion.

PLANNING OF THE ACTIVITIES

A family reunion is a happy together with many members of the family and they look forward to this day. Of course it is important that you plan some activities. Knowing the interests of your family members is very important. Some suggestions are sport activities, dancing, a show with a singer or a theater act.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Are you going to pay all the expenses by yourself or does everyone to share in the expenses? In most cases you will pay the expenses by yourself and you make a list of ideas for some presents. If everyone will need to pay by subscription don’t make it too expensive.

EVALUATION

It is important that you evaluate the positive and negative aspects of the family reunion. It is the best manner to improve a family reunion in the future.

Enjoy your family reunion!

Focus on the Family with Family Time Management

In the not too distant past, the average family had 2 children and one parent who was the primary income earner, and another who looked after the children and the home.

However, times have changed. Families are under increasing time and money pressure and kids have greater levels of distractions than ever before.

In most circumstances, both parents work and also have to find time to do the daily chores and drop their kids at school of after school activities.

Not surprisingly do people report being under so much pressure.

So how do you balance work and family life. There are two key factors that will help you to do this. The first involves having a setting goals and the second is ensuring that your time is spent effectively on these goals.

  1.  Set family goals

Having a long-term perspective on where you want to go helps to inform on your decisions today.

With no goals is like setting off on a road trip without a map of where you want to go. What do you want from your career and your family life? What are your aspirations?

In this time on great uncertainty, having a clear vision that you feel in control of can greatly help to reduce your stress.

When setting family goals it is important to get the family involved in the goal setting process. However, it is important that the parents discuss before they set out involving the children.

Some of these questions may involve – Do you want to concentrate more on school or will the demands of school change? What about your job? Do you want you and your family to have plenty of free time or do you want to fill it up you time with many activities?

What are the needs of the different family members?

  1.  Set a timetable.

Having a clear vision of what you and your family members want and then spending your time on these things is effective. I find it useful to create a family timetable.

On this family timetable I put the different members of the family and break their time into half hourly increments.

Once I have done this, I can then identify pockets of time where I pursue my family goals – such as helping my children with homework or spending time with my partner.

I find that this also alert me to how I am actually spending my time.

For example, when I first did this I found that I was watching too much television. Then I got thinking that this is not really aligned with my family goals. As a result I am spending more quality time with my children and partner.

Conclusion

Time management for the family starts not just at the home but also at work. By effectively using your time at work you are able to spend more time with the people that matter most to you.

Time management can help you to improve the quality of the time that you spend with your family.

Plan a Family Reunion

Family reunions can be quite the ordeal when it comes to planning and reaching out to relatives you have not seen in ages. There are many challenges to putting such an event together. This is a tremendous task that will require enlisting the help of a few more individuals so do not hesitate to reach out to siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. With such planning comes the initial decision of the location of the family reunion. Do you want to host the event in the middle of the country or at the location of the family's eldest member? Other items to consider for such gatherings include time of year, accommodations, venues, games, and budget.

Time of year

Planning the family event can be complicated when trying to decide what time of the year to hold the family reunion. The season and climate play a large role in deciding the time of year to host the gathering. If you want to promote outdoor activities you may decide to host in spring, summer or fall, though you can accomplish this objective in the winter if the event location is in a southern state such as Florida. The other deciding factor is to avoid critical times of the year that hover around holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. These times of the year usually accompany weeklong family vacations that you do not want to interrupt.

Accommodations.

When it is decided that you want to move forward with planning a family reunion, it is imperative to start contacting hotels at least a year before the event. Such advanced notice will provide the hotel staff enough time to reserve your request and be able to hopefully provide you with group rate. The hotel will also begin sending you brochures on area activities of which you can begin working on a family itinerary. Depending on your gathering size, try securing more than one hotel or inn to allow your long distant relatives some flexibility with hotel costs.

Where to Meet

The hotel that is housing your family members may have such amenities as conference facilities, but that is not the only option to your grand gathering. People may wish to meet in outdoor venues as forest preserves, outdoor pavilions, amusement parks, zoos, etc. Some may prefer to meet at national geographic wonders as the Grand Canyon National Park or notable historic landmarks located in the Washington D.C. area.

Games

There are a number of games to play with the extended family. Such games can be divided by age groups from little children up through the seniors. Children may benefit from a family soccer game to such field games as capture the flag or "steal the bacon". Adults and seniors may find fun games such as family trivia that pose such questions about different members of the clan. It is also ideal to enlist a couple of relatives to gather family pictures and put together a scrap book for everyone to peruse and sign as soon as the arrive at the event.

Costs

The cost of hosting such event varies. The cost can be relatively low if you are hosting the event with inexpensive accommodations and hosting the meeting at a lecture hall or outdoor pavilion. However the amount of money spent can be extremely high if everyone decides that they want to hold their meeting at Disney World or in Hawaii. It all depends on everyone's budget. Typically it is recommended to keep the costs down low as to avoid putting people on the spot for committing to such high prices.

Planning a Great Family Trip to Pennsylvania

There are so many great places to . Many of these places are learning experiences. You can take as little as a week, and fit in a multitude of sight-seeing adventures!

AMISH COUNTRY
This is a great learning experience for kids to teach them about different cultures. Amish Country is very peaceful and productive with miles of cornfields, cows and covered buggies about. There are tours you can take of Amish school houses, houses, farms and learn about the Amish Customs and way of life. You can also just drive around Amish country and see first hand the big old houses, buggies, farmers working in the field with their kids and old fashioned clothing. We stopped to ask directions at one Amish person’s farmhouse and he was so friendly, he talked with us a while and invited us into his barn. He had rows of cows and 3 boys who were dirty from working and playing in the fields. It’s great for kids to see first hand how the Amish don’t use electricity, grow their own food and dress modestly as to not draw attention to themselves. One you’re finished touring Amish Country, it’s great to stop at one of their restaurants. We stopped at a Amish Restaurant which was on our path and it was very modestly decorated, with great homemade food! It was also a way to interact with Amish folks. I especially loved the prayer table matts set at each table. Such a different culture from our own, so peaceful and such a great learning experience!

PHILADELPHIA
Philadelphia was also a great learning experience for the kids and a lot of fun for everyone. Everyone took away something else from this great City. My husband loved the Rocky steps, and how the streets were laid out so easily for driving. I loved the artistic side roads with amazing graffiti filled walls and amazing mosaics about. The kids loved riding on the top of the bus for the bus tours and the LOVE sign at night! You can also visit the Liberty Bell, which is quite a photo opportunity, as well as another great learning experience! Across the road from the Liberty Bell is the room where the Declaration of Independence was Signed. Only a short while away from these great historical locations is where Betsy Ross lived. Ben Franklin is also mentioned frequently on the tour as it was his hometown. Lots of history, culture, art and great food! A definite stop on your Pennsylvania tour!

GETTYSBURG
Gettysburg is a place my parents had taken me when I was a kid and on my family Pennsylvania trip, I made this a stop. I definitely wanted my kids to know the history of this place. Gettysburg is very haunting with so much history involving the Civil War. There are numerous tours you can take, seeing firsthand civil war clothing, guns, and soldier belongings. You can also visit the Gettysburg National Cemetary and see where President Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. Great history lessons about for the kids and very interesting for the parents alike. I took such beautiful pictures of the kids in this historical and beautiful graveyard and caught them being mesmerized by the sights! Amazing stuff and definitely a stop I would recommend.

HERSHEY PARK/SESAME PLACE
Hershey Park I would suggest more for older kids. I went with kids and the youngest wasn’t able to go on a lot of rides. We actually went around separately, so we could go on the kiddie rides, while the older kids went with my husband and went on the older kids rides. When we had to meet up again, we actually lost them & it was quite frightening. This park is HUGE, keep this in mind. It’s a lot of fun if your kids are close in age and there are a ton of rides. You can also go to the Chocolate factory and get a tour of the place they make Hershey Chocolate and get the history of the company. This was a lot of fun for the kids and there was a lot to see here. Overall, a good experience, minus the difficulties for the younger age child set. If you have younger kids you can go to Sesame Place, which was also a lot of fun for us all and even the older kids enjoyed this park. It’s also very crowded here. This park is broken up into a water park and a ride park. These parks are a lot of fun for the kids and a real highlight for them. I would recommend them as it is a little different from all the historical tours.

There are even more places to visit in Pennsylvania, but I tried to highlight the places I knew of and hope it can help you plan a terrific and memorable trip for your family! Truly it was one of the most memorable and fun trips my family has ever been on.

Top Family Game of All Time: Cranium's Whoonu

My family just loves playing Cranium's Whoonu! The Game can be played with three to six players. The recommended ages for this game are eight to adult. However, my six year old son, who can read, is able to play this game without any trouble.

The object of the game is to win the most points by accurately guessing your fellow players' favorite things. Every player gets a turn to take center stage as the Whoozit. The other players have to guess what will be the Whoozit's favorite things.

Set-up for the game is simple. Tokens are used to keep score. The number of tokens used depends on the number of players. The first Whoozit gets the Whoonu envelope. The other players get four cards. The players are allowed to look at their own cards, but are not suppose to reveal them to anyone else.

You guess the Whoozit's favorite things in each round. Everyone but the Whoozit picks what they think the Whoozit will like best from the cards in their hand. Players then put those two cards (three – four players) or one card (5 – 6 players) in the Whoonu envelope. Then the Whoozit looks at the cards from the Whoonu envelope and puts them in order from least favorite to most favorite. The Whoozit then places each card face down in front of the tokens. The least favorite thing is worth one point, so it goes in fornt of the one token. There are a lot of surprises as the Whoozit reveals their least favorite thing to their most favorite. The player who chsoe the card then takes the corresponding token.

Play continues until everyone has been the Whoozit and all the tokens are used. The player with the highest number of points win .

Whoonu is the perfect family game for several reasons. First, the game is always different and fresh. The game isn't too long. It usually only takes ten to twenty minutes to play the entire game. Everyone has a chance to win this game – whether they are young or old. This game can be very surprising and funny. You really learn a lot about your family members' interests and tastes.

So, if your family game nights have turned stale and boring, give Whoonu a try! This game is sure to liven up your next family game night! Whoonu retails for approximately $15 and is well worth the money! To learn more about Whoonu, check out www.cranium..com.

How to Plan a Fantastic Family Adventure Near Twin Falls, Idaho

Read? Set? It's time to go on summer vacation. This year plan an outdoor adventure near Twin Falls that your whole family will enjoy.

Step One: Learn About Twin Falls, Idaho

Twin Falls, Idaho has a population of around 36,742 people. It is the home of the College of Southern Idaho, the Evel Knievel Canyon Jumpsite, and the Shoshone Water Falls. If you will be visiting Twin Falls in May then you should expect temperatures to range between 43 degrees and 71 degrees. In June you can expect temperatures to warm up to nearly 80 degrees in Twin Falls. July and August are the hottest months of the year with temperatures reaching into the 90s. The wettest summer month is May with an average rain fall of 1.14 inches. The driest summer month is July. It has an average rain fall average of about .22 inches.

Step Two: Lodging Options

If you have kids with you and you don't want to camp out on your vacation then you can always book a room at one of the local hotels. However, because Twin Falls is a smaller city you will want to make sure that you book your rooms early to make sure that there is one available during the dates you plan to visit the city. Some of the hotels that are located in Twin Falls include: Ameritel Inn Twin Falls, Comfort Inn Twin Falls, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Super 8 Motel, and the Red Lion Canyon Spring Hotel.

If this is the year that you introduce your kids to camping then you have a lot of great campgrounds that you can stay at. If you are looking for campgrounds that are really close to Twin Falls then you should consider Anderson's Camp, Point – Sawtooth National Forest, Alturas Picnic Area, Blue Lakes Mobile Court, or Boulder View Campground. Other campgrounds that are located within 10 miles of Twin Falls include: Oregon Trail Campground, Outlet Campground, Sheep Trail Campground, and Trap Creek Campground.

Step Three: Plan Family Fun

One of the easiest outdoor adventures that you can plan for a family vacation is a hike along a trail system. If you plan on hiking on a trail system then you will need to drive at least 41 miles. Emigrant Trail is the closest trail system and it is located 41 miles away. The California Trail system is also within an hour's drive of Twin Falls.

Paddle your day away! If your family likes to spend time in the water then you will want to plan a day on the Snake River, the Big Wood River, or the Wilson River. The gentlest river route that you can find near Twin Falls is on the Snake River about 28 miles from town. This route is rated as a class I-II river and it stretches 7.3 miles between the Milner Power Plant and Star Falls. If you have older kids then you may want to try the more challenging class II-III routes found on the Sake River between Crystal Springs and Upper Salmon Falls Reservoir and between Highway 75 and Little Wood River.

If you don't think that your family can handle whitewater rafting yet, but you still want to spend time playing in the water then you will want to plan a day trip to one or more of the nearby lakes. There are three lakes located within four miles of Twin Falls including: Bass Lake, Blue Lakes, and Mary Alice Lake. The other lakes that are near Twin Falls are Cedar Draw Lake, Dierkes Lake, and Echo Lake.

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