Friday, April 29, 2016

Put a Smile on Your Face with Better Dental Care

What puts a smile on your face these days?
For millions of people, having healthy and attractive looking teeth does just that.
For millions of others, getting to the pointy of having healthy and attractive looking teeth can prove quite a challenge.

Whether it is lack of care, lack of money or health insurance, even a lack of good genetics passed along from one generation of a family to another, many individuals battle with dental care on a regular basis.

So, are you ready to better your smile with better dental care?

Checkups and Great Brushing Habits Truly Matter

If you’ve been struggling with getting and maintaining good teeth, there are ways for you to change all that.

Among the ways:

·         See your dentist regularly – No matter how much you try at home to care for your teeth, seeing your dentist regularly is an absolute if you want healthy teeth for the long run. Whether you see a family dentist in Flagstaff (Arizona) or somewhere closer to home, make it a priority to get with them once, preferably twice a year. He or she can diagnose issues you may be having with your teeth that you could easily miss. They also can take X-rays, a procedure that can assist them in finding cavities or other dental issues the naked eye may miss. Lastly, they can provide you with different brushing and flossing tips, making your fight against tooth decay, gingivitis and other dental problems easier.

·         Don’t skip regular brushing – It can be very easy to pass on brushing your teeth. You might be away from home and not be able to brush following a meal or two. There are also the times when you are hurrying around the house and don’t get time or forget to brush before heading out the door. Remember, the standard “brush three times a day” is always a good rule to follow.

·         Spend some money now rather than lots more down the road – While financial times are tough for many people these days, always note that spending a little money now on your teeth is better than getting hit with more problems and bigger expenses down the road. Yes, some people do not have dental insurance or limited coverage at best. That said it is better to catch and fix dental problems sooner rather than later. Taking care of a cavity now is much more preferable than waiting until it becomes a possible root canal in the future. Not only would you save money now handling the problem, but also pain and more dental visits later.

·         Take the show on the road – As mentioned earlier, you can’t always brush when you want to. Given that issue, your teeth still need to be cared for several times a day. Be sure to carry floss with you while out on the road, along with having water with you at all times. Along with the other positives that come with drinking water multiple times a day, it helps remove food particles, sugary acids etc. that accumulate on your teeth during and after eating. By swishing some water around in your mouth after eating or drinking a soda, you help to lessen the impact both have on your teeth.

·         Start the kids out early – For parents out there, getting your child or children to pick up good dental habits at an early age is crucial. Make sure you teach them the value of brushing regularly, flossing, eating healthy foods, avoiding an abundance of sugary drinks, and taking care of their teeth when out playing (use mouth guards for organized sports etc.). When kids learn at an early age the importance of good dental hygiene, they are more likely to carry such practices through into adulthood.

Taking care of your teeth doesn’t have to be a chore. 

Brushing regularly, avoiding foods and drinks that can damage your teeth, and of course making regular visits to the dentist’s office will all point you in the right direction of good dental health.

At the end of the day (and hopefully the end of your life), you will look back with a smile on your face.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Even Smart Kids Struggle with Reading #ilovebooks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

Smart Kid, Can’t Read: Reading Expert Offers Sage Advice for Parents and Others Entrusted with Helping Children Who Struggle to Read

One third of U.S. school children have problems reading.  It’s easy to think of low literacy as someone else’s problem—until it’s your child about to be sentenced to a lifetime of difficulties.  Public school systems, unfortunately, are ill-equipped to help.  Getting your child reading assistance that results in meaningful improvement requires that you advocate for your child.  Fortunately, there’s help out there.
Dr. Lorna Kaufman’s important new book, Smart Kid, Can’t Read: Five Steps Any Parent Can Take to Get Help (Ash Point, paper, $14.95), offers step-by-step real-world advice for anyone trying to navigate the hurdles of getting a child the help he or she needs—a task that can be amazingly daunting.
“Most reading problems can be prevented,” explains Kaufman, a developmental psychologist, reading expert, and past president of the Massachusetts Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.  “We’re spending billions of dollars on a problem we know how to prevent.”  The problem is inertia on the part of the very people who are supposed to be solving this problem: school systems and the colleges of education training our teachers.  The good news: armed with the information Dr. Kaufman provides, children can get the help they need before it’s too late.

Smart Kid, Can’t Read offers parents—and grandparents—everything they could possibly need to help them become effective advocates for their children.

Kaufman, who has worked with parents and school systems for thirty years, draws upon a career’s worth of experience and smarts to create a guide full of step-by-step advice.   From red flags for reading problems to why schools don’t act soon enough—and how to get them to—is laid out cleanly and clearly in language accessible enough that anyone can follow.  “Over the years parents of children I’ve worked with have urged me to write this book,” says Kaufman, who speaks regularly on efforts for improving reading instruction in the nation’s schools. “I know the ins and outs of the reading remediation system very, very, well.   Let’s just say I’ve been in the trenches.”

Smart Kid, Can’t Read distills Dr. Kaufman’s considerable expertise into five critical steps for parents to take in order to get their kids the help they need:

Step 1: Trust your judgment and act as soon you suspect there’s a problem with your child’s reading.  Don’t wait. Catching and fixing reading problems early is the key.
Step 2: Find out precisely what your child needs. Make sure to get an independent expert diagnosis.
Step 3: Learn as much as you can about the reading the process. The more you know about The ABCs of reading, the more powerful an advocate you’ll be for your child.
Step 4: Know your legal rights. You’d be surprised how effective you can be when you know the special education laws that are on your side.
Step 5:  Advocate for your child. From networking with other parents to organizing a team, Smart Kid, Can’t Read shows you what you must do and when you must do it.
Dr. Kaufman’s book offers easy-to-administer tests that parents can give their children to help decide whether a reading evaluation is warranted.

“Most reading problems can be prevented with explicit, systematic, phonics-based instruction in the early grades, says Kaufman.  “The tragedy is what happens if the problems aren’t fixed in time.” 
Fixing them in time is what Smart Kid, Can’t Read is all about.  “Children whose parents advocate on their behalf receive more help and better quality help than children whose parents do not advocate on their behalf.” When you’re fighting for your child, it’s good to have a reading expert on your side.
About the author

Lorna Kaufman, PhD is a Boston-based developmental psychologist specializing in the psychological and educational evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults.   She has taught in the Graduate Language and Literacy Program at Simmons College and in the School of Education at Wheelock College.

Dr. Kaufman has worked in leading clinics including Boston Children’s Hospital, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, and the Learning Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In addition to her private practice, she writes and lectures regularly on reading and reading disorders.

Dr. Kaufman and her colleagues, Sandra Doran, EdD and Leigh Leveen, are cofounders of, which provides training and resources leading to successful reading experiences for all children.

A Lesson in Parenting Through Adversity By Charles G. Hanna

My daughter is finishing grade 6 and everyone in her class had to apply to an intermediate school. The selection process is quite grueling but I was very confident that she would be accepted in one or both of the schools she applied to. As the announcement date approached, the stress experienced by these children became more and more evident.

That morning, I received an email from the first school indicating that she was not selected and placed on a Wait List due to space constraints. I was stunned. It was the easier of the two schools and she did not make it to that. Never did I consider such a possibility. I was with her throughout the process and thought she did exemplary. A million questions started to fill my mind, starting with Why? Why? Why? Five minutes later, she ran into my room and in a very excited voice asked me if I heard from the schools yet. I was not ready to deliver the bad news, so despite my somber state I put on a happy face and said not yet. Later that afternoon I got the bad news from the second school.

On my way to pick her up from school I was tormented the whole way asking myself, Is she not good enough? What did I miss? Was it my fault that I did not get her tutors or assist her more with the application process? When she saw me she came running with great excitement and her first words were "Daddy, did you hear from the schools?" I was still not at all ready and said no, and instead I asked her what her friends heard. She told me that all her best friends got into the schools of their choice. That night I could not sleep and kept thinking She will be left behind. How will she take the news? Is this going to destroy her self-esteem? How can I protect her from this cruel turn of events?

The next day I told her about the first school and she was shaken. Then she asked me suspiciously about the second school and I had to tell her that too. As soon as I did she started to cry. It felt like a knife was cutting through my heart. I composed myself as much as I could and told her that bad things sometimes happen but always for a good reason. She countered by saying "that is not true!" I said, "Yes even if we cannot see at the time."

The next day I started to reflect on my belief that things always work out for the best. I reminded myself that this was not about me – It’s about my young daughter who has to learn a hard lesson so early in life. How can I help her deal with this without emotional scarring? I am aware that my perception can cause me to view situations like this with fear and shame and I learned to correct that perception, but in this case it was my daughter's emotions that I was worried about.

That was the moment I got my clarity. I suddenly realized that it is I who needs to deal with this, not her. I asked myself if I truly and completely believed that this is for the best? My answer was a resounding yes! Well then, what was the problem? There was none! What became clear is that it is I who felt the anguish and fear and shame. It is I who needs to process these negative feelings not her. She does not even have these feelings and I was about to inadvertently instill my own prejudices and negative perception onto her and then try to fix her, like breaking a glass and then trying to put it back together. I realized that if I was at peace with the outcome she would be too, and I could then focus on guiding her positively through it. What an awakening!

The next few days we found another great school and even a shot at her favorite one in another month although she was already happy with one we selected. My daughter continued to be as happy and cheerful as usual. The point is that while this story has a happy ending, the real gift is that I did not pass my self-centered fears to her and instead helped her see the good within adversity that would guide her for better serenity in life.

Here are four ways to apply this lesson when your child or any loved one faces a difficult situation:

1.     Stay in the moment and be focused because they need you right now.
2.     Make sure that you are totally without any negative feelings with their situation. True positive serenity is the best support that you can give to them.
3.     Guide them to see the positive that could come out of it.
4.     Help them avoid making decisions based on negative emotions that they may still have.

Charles G. Hanna is the author of Higher: Awaken to a More Fulfilling Life and a devoted father of three children. For more information, please visit

Hallmark Channels TV Show: When Calls The Heart Troubled Hearts A DVD Review (Season 3 Episode 2) SPOIILER ALERT

Big revelations are in store for Hope Valley as Elizabeth moves into her own rowhouse, dismaying Jack, who has been planning to build a new home for the both of them. Rosemary discovers that Lee has taken out a loan and worries that he is in financial difficulties. And Jesse, the young drifter who works in Abigail's kitchen, has information that could ruin Pastor Frank’s good standing in Hope Valley, and begins his plan to extort the pastor with an old "Wanted", poster… 

The 411:

As usual the show has so many lovable characters that there is so much to cover. So if you don't want to know what happens, stop reading and move down to the To Purchase link.


Having a romantic evening in Hope Valley will always be interrupted.

Elizabeth decides it is time to put roots down and wants to rent Abigail’s Old House.
 Jesse’s job takes him to Abigail's where he hopes to run into Clara more often, as does she. Who worries about what they will be wearing while serving the customers? A woman interested, that's who.
Mayor is considering selling his share of Abigail's to Mr. Humphreys; a crotchety business man who wants to change the way Abigail does things. She is none too happy.
After Dot’s husband is murdered Bill tells her he will be looking into his death. While everyone knows her husband wasn't an innocent man, he didn't deserve what he got.
Rosemary is helping with the Mill and Lee will need to show patience like never before as she takes over and liberties with his new office
Jesse tries to get Pastor back into the “club” or aka the GARRISON GANG
Abigail and Elizabeth nicely, butt heads when it comes to Cody and his school work
Cody isn’t making friends and is feeling left out at school.
Cody gets some baseball advice from Bill who shows him just how to throw a baseball.
Jack breaks up a fight between Cody and another student named Robert. Cody doesn’t like being called an orphan.
Jake and  Sonny are waiting in Jesse’s room to check up on a deal they made prior to Hope Valley.
Lee become a silent partner at Abigail’s which may work for the both of them in the long run.
Cody has a breakdown after breaking a vase Elizabeth received as a house warming gift from Jack.  Jack runs after a tortured Cody. He explains that he understands the hurt and loss he is suffering.
When a wanted poster for Pastor Hogan shows up with the name Matt Landry on Abigails door the women are confused until Jack explains that it is an old poster and that Matt did his time already. Frank Hogan explains his past and how he found the “Good Book” while in prison and longs to lives his life the right way.
Dotty meets with man to discuss her husband’s life insurance policy. He tells her it will take 6-8 months but if she really needs the money now he can offer her a lessor settlement in cash. Fortunately Lee is persuasive and a friend of hers making sure the shady, lying insurance dude pays up.
Jesse rides out to meet the Garrison Gang and discuss Frank’s possibility of being kicked out of town.
Jack and Elizabeth take the students on a camp out. Where they each get to use their skills to calm the fears of their charges for the night before kissing by a campfire.
When Abigail learns that Frank is leaving she heads to the church to give him a good old Abigail speech and tell him that she will stand with him to change the opinion of the town
Elizabeth demands that the Mayor had no right to decide that the town didn’t need to vote in the decision to ask for the resignation of the pastor.
Abigail heads out into the woods to find Frank Hogan and convince him to return to the town, apologize for deceiving them and let them decide as a town if he should leave.
The town accepts the pastor's apology.
And we end with an uninterrupted romantic dinner.

That about wraps it up. Our gang is currently happy and all seems well until the next time.

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. My reviews are 100% honest and true based on my personal opinion not on a company’s description or request. No monetary compensation was received.

Hallmark Channels TV Show: When Calls The Heart It Begins With Heart A DVD Review (Season 3 Episode 1) SPOIILER ALERT


In the days before the big New Year’s Eve celebration, Hope Valley sees some unpredictable resolutions. For instance, Abigail sets out to catch whoever’s been stealing from her kitchen: and finds herself in charge of two orphans in the process. Elizabeth resolves to take charge of Jack’s dog, Rip, in an attempt to remedy Rip’s apparent jealousy of their relationship. Rosemary is determined to win a San Francisco Herald essay contest about a "real frontier family",… and has to pose as Lee’s wife when a reporter from the paper shows up. And Bill Avery tries his best to convince Jack that he’s not the one who should be behind bars for counterfeiting. Meanwhile, two visitors in town ponder sticking around and causing trouble for both Jack and Pastor Frank!

The 411:

There is so much going on in this episode which is book ended with Elizabeth writing about the New Year's Eve celebration in her journal.


Jack overhears a marriage proposal to Elizabeth that disappoints and confuses him.

A young runaway named Cody has been spotted stealing firewood, while food and milk also go missing.  Cody and his sick sister Becky have been camping in the woods after the death of their parents. Abigail takes them in and provides Cody with the mothering he has been craving and getting a doctor for his sister. 

Rosemary is planning a huge New Year’s Eve bash that will put Hope valley on the map with reporters and a story in the news papers showing people that life on the frontier is where they should be.

When he overhears a Doc Burns mention sending them to a home once Becky is better Cody decides they need to run away again.

Elizabeth is trying to get Jack's dog Rip to fall in love with her but his jealousy is making it difficult. 

Bill is reinstated as inspector after being proven innocent. For now!

Lee is super busy trying to handle life and Rosemary’s demands for the New Year’s Bash. 

Elizabeth worries about her student Laura who has been taking on all her mom’s chores after her passing leaving her no time for drawing. 

A young man named Jesse comes into town looking for Matt Landry, (someone no one has heard of). It turns out that the new Pastor has a past (interesting) that he wanted to run away from and Jesse may make things a little difficult for him.

Clara runs into Jesse whose compliments send her away smiling.

Nora and Bill decide to forgive each other and start over.

The ladies of the town find out that Rosemary has lied a bit to get people to know about Hope Valley but the idea of no one being alone for the New Year has them going along with it.

Cody prays with Pastor Hogan for the health of his sister.

In the end the residents of Hope Valley break into Amazing Grace led by Cody with even Becky showing up for a New Year Miracle. Becky begs Abigail to take care of Cody while she gets better. The town experiences their first real New Year’s countdown with Laura and Jack sharing a very public midnight kiss.

If you love shows like Highway to Heaven, Little House and the Prairie and even Downtown Abbey you will love this show. It is a reminder of a time when community mattered and helping others took precedence over having everything for yourself. A time when life meant hard work and diligence. Friends and family. A time before the internet took over our lives and keeps us from getting together in person with the people that matter to us most. 

The actors are wonderful in their character roles, the set and clothes are perfect and even the new characters fit in beautifully with the addition of Cody played by Carter Ryan Evanic a little Macaulay Caulkin look alike without the precocious attitude. 

This show has a lot of familiar faces, check it out! You won't be disappointed.

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. My reviews are 100% honest and true based on my personal opinion not on a company’s description or request. No monetary compensation was received.

My P's And It's Not What You Think

ABC Wednesday
Piggy (our Guinea Pig Stormy)

Park Fun
Panda Planter (Hopefully growing basil)
Painting Class with my daughter
Present attitude
She had to wait all day for Daddy to come home so she could open her presents. It was hours! She finally got to open her gifts at 7:30. Turning 11 is hard. Too old to throw a tantrum and too young to make demands.

Five Tips on How to Successfully Read to Your Child

Did you know?
  • More than half the children in the country will not hear a bedtime story tonight
  • Some children begin kindergarten having been read to as few as 25 hours
  • By age four, low-income children have heard an average 32 million fewer words than their peers
If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of the first grade, then there is an 88% probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade.

1. GET COMFORTABLE. Stories have been told and read for me immemorial because they are pleasurable and because sharing them draws people together. This is not necessarily obvious to children. At home, it’s good to mix reading with warmth and affection. I try to express that in the way I sit. We tuck in on the couch or in a comfy chair. I try to snuggle with my little one, and even with my older ones, ages 13 and 11. Or we lie on the living room floor, all of us, while I read aloud. Even if your child is behind in reading and there’s pressure to make progress, try to make reading time feel comfortable and caring.

2. READ SLOWLY. I like to stop for a couple of seconds about every half page or so when I‘m reading, especially to my youngest. The words and the story are more complex than she is used to. I want to give her me to absorb it. Sometimes I stop and look at her and smile when we’re reading. Sometimes she doesn’t say anything to me when I smile, and that’s fine. Sometimes she smiles back. And sometimes she makes a little comment. “Mrs. Frisby is afraid, I think,” she’ll say. I don’t have to do much to show her she’s doing well when she does that. Sometimes I’ll just nod and smile or kiss the top of her head. And then I keep reading. I read slowly too. Nice and steady to let the words sink in. There’s no rush.
3. GIVE THEM A FEW WORDS TOO. My kids loves it when I say, “And the next chapter is called...” and they get to read the title of the chapter to me. Look for little moments when your child can help you read a more advanced book and see that it’s within his or her range someday. Even if it’s just reading the word ‘I’ or ‘and,’ it helps. “See, you’re on your way!” is a powerful message.

4. EXPRESS YOURSELF (as much as you can). The power of reading aloud for kids is in developing their ear for language, for what words sound like and how sentences work. Capturing that is key and it’s simpler than it might sound. You don’t have to act out the roles and make it theater, you just have to capture the sound of language and the cadence of words—which ones run together, which ones get a bit of emphasis.

5. DON’T FREAK OUT. Ok maybe you’re great at reading aloud. But maybe you’re not. Maybe you fear it. Is it ok if you’re not confident in your own reading? Yes. But more important than telling you it’s okay I want to suggest a way to make you feel more confident and therefore more likely to read to your kids: preview the section you are going to read. The night before you read to your child, take the book to bed and read the part you’ll read the next night. If you’ve read it through beforehand, you’ll remember even if you don’t realize it. Please know that I do this all the time, even though I am a former English teacher and principal. I like to know where the book is going and to be ready for tough spots or content that’s challenging. It just makes me feel confident to know where things are going. If you’re nervous about reading, it will help you as well. As will starting simply. I know—I said read challenging books. But you can always build up to them. Reading to your child is a marathon not a sprint so it’s fine if you need some me to build your own comfort and skill. Just please don’t let that fear stand between your child and what will help them most.

BY: Doug Lemov (with co-authors Colleen Driggs and Erica Woolway) is the author of Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy. For more information, please visit, and connect with Doug on Twitter, @doug_lemov