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Archive for October, 2009

The Meaning Of Christmas

I stumbled across this on the internet today and I thought it would be nice to share with everyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room, and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. “What are you doing?” I started to ask him.

The words choked in my throat, as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement, TEACH THE CHILDREN! I was puzzled: What did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.

As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that a now-a-day Christmas has forgotten!

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it on the mantle. Teach the Children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning
toward heaven.

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. Teach the Children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of that promise.

He then reached into the bag and pulled out a CANDLE. Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.

Once again he reached into his bag and then removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. Teach the Children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.

He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.

He reached in again and pulled out a HOLLY LEAF. Teach the Children the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled out a GIFT from the bag and said, “Teach the Children that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Teach the Children that the wise men bowed before the holy babe and presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We should give gifts in the same spirit as the wise men.”

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. Teach the Children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the shepherd’s staff helps bring back strayed sheep from the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. Teach the Children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. The angels sang ‘Glory to God in the highest, on earth, peace and good will.’

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. Teach the Children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of a bell, it should bring people to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked at the tree and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, “Remember, teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas, and not to put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One who is, and I bow down and worship Him, our Lord, our God.”

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Britax Frontier combination Harness-2-booster seat

Britax Frontier combination Harness-2-booster seat


Our son has been in a Britax Boulevard since he was around 1 year of age. He is on the smaller side so he could technically still be using the Boulevard, but at 6 and in First Grade we thought he might like to be in something a little older.

As soon as I mentioned Booster Seat my husband started panicking and asking hundreds of questions. So I began to research the options available. There are a few seats available that have a 5 point harness for children up to 80 lbs.

We decided on the Frontier because we know and trust Britax safety standards. We also liked a lot of the features including:

  • movable arm rests
  • retractable cup holders
  • 5 point harness to 80 lbs
  • seat positioning booster to over 100 lbs
  • latch and tether available (check with vehicle manufacturer for latch limits)
  • Side impact protection
  • 9 yr expiration date
  • The seat can be used for children over 100 lbs. as long as the vehicle shoulder belt guide places the belt in the proper position for the child, and the top of the child’s ears are below the top of the head restraint, and the child physically fits in the seat, and is not being used beyond its expiration date (9 years from date of manufacture).

    If you are looking for a car seat for a child who is at least 2 and 25 lbs then I would strongly recommend this seat. For a more detailed description of the Frontiers features and for testimonials visit Britax.

    I believe that all children should be in a 5-point harness car seat as long as possible. If you have a child who you think is ready for a booster seat and the car seat belt please read this Is My Child Ready for a Booster Seat first.

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    Arbonne RE9 Body Serum and Body Lotion

    Arbonne RE9 Body Serum and Body Lotion

    I have been fortunate this week to have a savvy business woman from Connect2Mums review 2 body products from Arbonne’s line. As an Independent Consultant with Arbonne I personally love these products, but it is always nice to hear how much others enjoy the products also.

    Here is the review as it appears on Connect2Mums
     

    Arbonne NutriminC RE9 Body Serum & Body Lotion
    review by Monique Nickalls

    For the last week or two I have been using the Arbonne REactivating Body Serum and the Arbonne REfinish Hydrating Body Lotion as part of my daily body skincare routine – these beautifully presented products are available online from Arbonne Independent Consultant Rebecca Doll at www.try.myarbonne.com 

    The first thing I noticed about these products was the lovely light orange scent. It is not overpowering or overwhelming, and it still allows the wearing of perfume without clashing (which is brilliant, I find creams that have a strong scent hard to wear as I like to use my favourite perfume in the day, and I don’t like any strong scents at night).

    Following the product instructions, the Body Serum is used first. A quick couple of pumps and it takes just seconds to smooth over a little of the Body Serum. The Serum is absorbed super quick and feels quite refreshing and silky.

    Next is the application of the Body Lotion. Because of using the Serum first, I found I only needed to use a tiny bit of the Lotion. It is very rich and creamy (but not at all greasy), and soaks in quickly so you don’t have to stand there for ages trying to rub it in. Using the cream each day has left my skin feeling very hydrated and smooth – even my husband has commented how soft my skin feels! And its great to use on feet too!

    Even though you use the Serum and the Lotion as a 2-step product, I have found

    it is just as quick to use as other creams, which I was a little surprised about. Even though my skincare routines are practically non-existent being busy with children and businesses, I didn’t mind using these at all – in fact they brought a little luxury into my day using such gorgeous products each morning.

    Overall, I found the Arbonne Body Serum and Body Lotion to be luxurious and effective products. The set would be a perfect treat for yourself if you need a body cream, or it would make a fantastic gift for a Mum or Mother In Law!

    Visit www.try.myarbonne.com

    to read more about these lovely skincare products.

    I am honoured to be conducting this review as part of the “Product Review Team” at CONNECT 2 MUMS.

    Monique can be found at her site packed with unique handcrafted gifts for bubs, toddlers & Mums, www.YourCheekyMonkey.com.au

     

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    We live in one of the 5 most expensive cities in America

    Having travelled around America and after talking to friends and family in other parts of the country, I have always thought it was much more expensive to live in Thousand Oaks, CA. Well this week it was confirmed in an article by Francesca Levy for Forbes.com

    It appears out town is number 3 with the median monthly housing costs at $1,780.

    Personally I would be ecstatic if that was our total monthly housing costs. You would be hard pressed in Thousand Oaks to rent for under $2,000 per month and with average home prices still at around $550,000 it could easily be closer to $3,000 per month.

    You can read more about where Americans Pay Most to Live here

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    Is there anything I can do about dangerous Teen driving?

    Until recently I didn’t think that there was much that could be done about dangerous teen driving, other than call the local police station and report local hot spots.

    Tonight I discovered an organisation in our area called STTOP (Sherrif’s Teen Traffic Offender Program). STTOP is an innovative intervention program developed by the Lost Hills/Malibu Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, to educate young drivers and their parents.

    It is reckless behavior and other bad driving practices that STTOP hopes to correct. The program is designed to intervene when a young driver displays poor judgment or dangerous driving behavior. Aside from following up on collision reports and citations issued, STTOP encourages citizens to call in (or log on) and report dangerous teen drivers.

    How does it work?
    STTOP will take the information provided about the driver, his vehicle and the dangerous driving behavior and attempt to identify the offender. After locating the driver, a Sheriff’s Deputy conducts an intervention with the driver and his/her parents. The programs’ intent is not to prosecute, but to correct and educate the offender and his parents. Getting parents involved is the key. Young drivers do their best to impress parents with their safe driving. The parents can’t always be there and peer pressure, or simply wanting to impress friends, often leads to deadly consequences. The goal of STTOP is to make teens better, safer drivers, which in turn benefits all drivers on the roadways.

    Unlike some private organizations, there are no additional fees charged to parents of teens, to put a bumper sticker with a “toll free number” on a car (which can be easily removed). No additional taxes are levied on citizens. A postcard or letter isn’t sent with a one-size-fits-all message, which can be easily lost in the mail, or thrown away by the teen. An experienced, uniformed law enforcement officer from the community visits the home, unannounced, to talk to the parents and teen. The impact this has is unrivaled.

    What cities are currently participating?
    There are many cities that already participate in STTOP, with more in the planning stages to join.

    STTOP was created over 4 years ago, and has grown faster than anyone imagined. The following Los Angeles and Ventura County cities currently participate in STTOP:

    Agoura Hills
    Calabasas
    City of Camarillo
    Cresenta Valley Communities
    Fillmore
    Hidden Hills
    Malibu
    Moorpark
    Oak Park
    Ojai
    Santa Clarita
    Santa Paula
    Simi Valley
    Thousand Oaks
    Westlake Village

    Let’s all help keep teens safe!

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    Celebrating 8 years already!

    This week JD and I celebrated our 8th Wedding Anniversary.

    It was a low key celebration but we actually managed to get out for the night without the kids thanks to my mother in law. She happened to be in town this week and was available to watch the kids whilst we got to enjoy a peaceful dinner and then a movie together.

    JD was a trooper as I dragged him to see Julie & Julia, as there was nothing else on that I wanted to see.

    The kids proved that they are very good at keeping a secret. They were with me when I purchased JD’s gift about two weeks prior and they did not let the cat out of the bag. I am so proud of the both of them. The look on JD’s face when he opened his present and saw the Wii was priceless. He thought I had been researching them for the kids for Xmas…

    I don’t know who is more excited about the Wii, JD or the kids. Everyone has had a turn playing Wii sports and it seems the kids like Bowling as much as daddy, so I think it is time for us to hit a real bowling alley.

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    Peter Potty - the world's only flushable toddler urinal

    Peter Potty – the world’s only flushable toddler urinal

    If you have ever struggled with potty training a boy, then you need to take a look at this product.

    When I found the Peter Potty I had been battling with an almost 3 year old who was either OK with being wet or wanted to stand like daddy and just wasn’t tall enough.

    I needed him to be potty trained for preschool and I really wanted him to be succesful at staying dry for longer periods of time.

    What the manufacturer has to say about the product:

    • No more training your little man to sit first and stand later
    • Start him out right – teach him to stand from the beginning
    • Little girls need to sit, but with the new Peter Potty, little boys can stand like Daddy

     

    Benefits

    • Allows child to urinate by himself
    • Sized to fit and grow with your little boy
    • Can be wall mounted, free standing on supplied base or placed directly on floor

    Our son loved this product and I finally convinced him he no longer needed it after about 18 months. It really helped him feel like he was accomplishing something special by being able to stand up like daddy. Being able to flush the urinal was very novel as well.

    We used it with the base, and adjusted the height as our son got taller.

    With a RRP of $39.95 in the US I think it is a wonderful option that is practical and easy to clean for parents potty training little boys.

    If you are in Australia and looking for the Peter Potty you should stop by my friend Pam’s Baby Indulgences store.

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