Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Father's Day is just around the corner. This time last year, my husband and I were stressing (as we do with most special events and holidays) as we had to plan, and ultimately choose, which family we would celebrate with. I know it's completely possible to celebrate one the day before or after, but it seems that someone's feelings always end up being hurt. For my husband and I, holidays have tended to be a time of dread as we feel like we're treading on eggshells in an attempt to keep both sides happy.
The worst part is both of our families are in the same city ... it's not as though we have the option of actually leaving to visit the other in an attempt to keep everything "fair".
And so, as I'm sure it is with many couples, weekends that should be filled with laughter and memories have also included a bit of bitterness and resentment ... until Mother's Day '09.
We had decided to join my family for Mother's Day this year since my grandma was going to be around. Once again we were preparing to drop the news to the other side of the family, when something life-changing (perhaps even a miracle) happened.
With one quick phone call, our two families merged for an incredible afternoon. And in that moment a new tradition was born.
And so this Father's Day, rather then facing Sunday with dread, it will be a day we're ALL looking forward to, as once again the two families will join to celebrate together.
No more choosing sides for my husband and I, because really, we're all on the same side ... are we not?
I often comment on how lucky I am to have such incredible in-laws. I get along with them so well. I now get to comment on how lucky I am to have such incredible parents on both sides! Holidays and special events are now all-inclusive, rather then exclusive.
And I’m looking forward to what Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and so on, will bring as we unite rather then divide.
To all my juggling, struggling-to-balance-the-families friends out there ... if it's possible, just make it happen! Why not invite everyone over to your place? If the expense of hosting the family is a burden, make it a potluck celebration.
Start a new tradition and enjoy creating new memories!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Upon hearing that sentence last night at 7pm – as I was preparing to meet a Wolseley friend for dinner – my blood began to boil. Instantly, I had images of the other mothers’ baking. I saw it in beautifully packaged containers with the ingredients label written in swirly script, surrounded by hand-drawn butterflies and all that other 'fluffy' stuff. I visualized kids arriving at school waving goodbye to their mothers and skipping into the classroom with their freshly baked goods. I stopped myself and continued to focus on the task at hand, which was applying my mascara, however I was feeling the pressure. How was I going to get those cookies baked? When was I going to make them? Did he really volunteer or are they kidding me?
We headed out for dinner and I displayed confidence, promising my children that they would have something home-made for the bake sale. What that would be, I had no idea. Our dinner ended late, too late to begin baking, so instead I headed for bed determined to wake up early and start cooking. Sadly, neither my internal nor external alarm went off … isn't that always the way. At 7:05am (I usually wake at 6 or 6:15am) I jumped out of bed, splashed some water on my face, woke the kids and raced to the pantry to figure out what I was going to do. I switched on the light and there standing tall in confidence and glory was a product that doesn't usually find its way into my pantry simply because I'm the “home-made, from scratch girl”. The answer to my dilemma was indeed DUNCAN HINES. At that point, my thoughts of the packaging, the “not quite sure what's in it” and the cardboard taste were all erased. Just seeing those red letters screaming out DUNCAN HINES was enough to bring this mother of three, a grown woman, to tears. Goodbye three dozen cookies – hello 24 cupcakes!!
I quickly ripped open the box, grabbed a bowl, the oil, the eggs and the water and began to bake. Having been awake for less than five minutes, my reading skills weren't exactly sharp. Unfortunately, I mixed up the oil and water quantities ~ whoops. Thankfully, my son had made his way downstairs in record time and was able to respond to me yelling, “Grab me a spoon. I've put way too much oil in. Help, help, help.” The oil was quickly redistributed into a waiting coffee cup and the baking continued. Needless to say, with the extra oil, our cupcakes ended up being extremely moist and almost melt in your mouth delicious :)
Writing this today, I shared my story with my sister and she recalled a similar experience. Her youngest reminded her, on the way to school, that she was meant to bring in baking that day for a special event. Armed with this new information, my sister scoured Safeway’s baking section for the product that looked most home-made. After a successful purchase, she arrived at school to be greeted by a very organised, swirly writing mother who said, "home-baking I see".
So friends, sometimes you just need to switch into overdrive, do what it takes, remain calm and pull out maybe not your best baking results, but your best YOU results. Let frustration and a possible panic attack remain yours to deal with and do what you know to do. Bake, sew or glue and allow your kids to remain in the group that is skipping happily towards the school doors. Home-made, semi home-made or otherwise.
Susan J Sohn
Monday, June 08, 2009
So friends, enjoy – and make sure you send this link http://www.susanjsohn.com/thefamilyroom to your family and friends.
Pregnancy Q & A and more!
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labour, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labour?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.
10 ways to know if you have oestrogen issues
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelette.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You 're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: 'How's my driving-call 1- 800-'.
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from 'outer space.'
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.
Top ten things only women understand
10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colours.
8. Why beansprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
AND, the Number One thing only women understand:
1. OTHER WOMEN
Sunday, May 31, 2009
In the good old days, my husband and I would have gone on a date once a month; sometimes to dinner or to the movies or to see a show. These days, it’s out of the question. By the time we’ve paid for a babysitter and dinner, we’ve forked out $100+ … money we don’t have.
Consequently, our Saturday nights have been dateless for sometime. Instead, we feed the kids, eat off our laps and watch whatever happens to be on TV – which most recently has been Wife Swap, not exactly wholesome viewing. Sometimes our nights look like this: Scotty plays on the computer, I watch TV and we retire an hour apart. Wa wah wah waaaaaah!!!!!
Last Saturday night, in our quest to rekindle the romance, I fed the kids early, put on a video (for them) and set the coffee table in the lounge room. Yes, the lounge room! Alternatively, we could have eaten outside (bit cold), moved our dining table or put a rug on the lawn to have a picnic.
Reliving our fine dining moments, I put a couple of candles on the table, dimmed the lights, cranked up Celine and poured a glass of red wine for me (red cordial for my tee-total husband).
For the next hour, we ate (left-overs on toast – keeping with the budget) and talked (a rarity considering the busy-ness of our lives). We connected again. It became a very special night.
My plan is to make every second Saturday night a date night – for us this might mean dinner in the lounge room again, a picnic in the garden or simply just watching a video in our bedroom. My advice to others: make it a priority and be creative ... it’s important!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Without going into too much detail, as the media has already done that, the woman supposedly agreed to have sex with two football players, but somehow, and this is where the truth blurs, other team members decided to get in on the action.
Depending on whose side of the story you believe, the woman was in agreement with this and, according to former work colleagues, she boasted of this interlude the next day.
It’s worth mentioning that she was 19 years old at the time and, it would not be unreasonable to assume, very naïve. Five days later she went to the police to inform them she had been sexually assaulted.
This is not the first time such events have occurred in Australia with rugby league teams.
Sadly, the governing body that oversees the sport, the NRL, has been unable to prevent these types of events from transpiring time and time again; some would say they haven’t taken a hard enough line with players who choose to conduct themselves in this manner.
In response to the story, the NRL has gone to great lengths to inform the public of its endeavours to train players in the way they behave in public and with members of the opposite sex and therein lies the problem.
How have we as a society come to the point where adults need special classes in how to treat members of the opposite sex. Isn’t this something that we should learn as we are growing up? I’m sure the vast majority of men reading this article would not even consider treating a woman in such a demeaning and degrading way.
Sadly, the men involved in this story didn’t think this way and were happy to indulge their fantasies. Those that didn’t were happy to stand by and watch, happy to treat this girl, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, as nothing more than a plaything. They didn’t even know her name.
Having friends who were professional athletes, I know there are woman who will throw themselves at sports stars in some vain attempt to connect with celebrity. One player interviewed this week told how, within 30 minutes of walking into a bar, he had offers of sex from three different women.
Society today has an unhealthy obsession with celebrity. There are people, especially young women, who constantly endeavour to emulate their favourite celebrity. Some celebrities are good role models but sadly most are not. Do you really want your daughter to follow in the footsteps of Paris, Britney or Lindsay, or your son to grow up emulating some of the extracurricular activities of their favourite sport stars and entertainers?
Forgive me if it appears I have mounted my moral high horse to judge celebrities, I have no idea of the issues and challenges that they have to confront on a daily basis, living with constant media scrutiny on every aspect of their lives. It must be daunting to say the least, and the vast majority of us should share the blame when these people fall as we are happy to indulge in the continual barrage of shows and gossip magazines the media presents to us.
As parents, we have a responsibility to our children not only to educate them and give them the skills to live their lives as healthy and well-adjusted adults, but to instil morals, values and a depth of character in them. Our daughters need to know their self-worth is not dependant on who they know and who they look like. Our sons need to show proper respect for women and the courage to stand up to those who don’t.
Last year, our police commissioner was asked what he regarded as the biggest problem facing our society today. The answer was simple – RESPECT. We as a society no longer seem to respect our police, each other or even ourselves, he said.
So there is the challenge for each of us entrusted with the privilege of raising our next generation. I absolutely believe that if we don’t like the way our society is moving we, as parents, can bring about change one child at a time.
Remember, you control what is being taught in your home!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
One loves movies, video games and footy. He enjoys to just hang out in his room in his own world. My other son, the 12-year-old, loves skateboarding, skateboarding and skateboarding. He adores being around his friends all the time. Sometimes my husband and I feel at a loss trying to keep one step ahead of them – we are learning as well.
Recently, my two boys attended a footy training event. It had been raining for several days prior, so the ground was wet and muddy, just wonderful for them to play in. I had also booked movie tickets for the boys and their two friends that afternoon and when I arrived to pick them all up, I just had to laugh out loud. They were absolutely filthy but looked totally happy.
I was so pleased to see them smiling and having a ball. It made me wonder if boys these days don’t get the chance to do this kind of thing often enough. I didn’t even mind having to dash home for them to shower before the movies.
I love my two boys so much and I realise they are very different young men with different likes and dislikes. It is amazing to watch them grow and I am looking forward to seeing them become the best young men they can be. There is so much potential in them both to be great husbands and fathers.
I am just as much to blame as other mums for not letting my boys get stuck into things as much as they might like. Maybe it’s because of the washing, or not wanting them to get hurt, but let your boys be boys. Let them get down and dirty, they love it! Boys need this stuff in their lives. It’s a crucial part of their development.
I have a 10-year-old daughter and she would also love to get out there in the mud. Girls need this stuff too.
So today, let me encourage you to let your kids be kids. The mud and the grass stains will wash away, but the fun they experience and the memories you create will stay with them forever.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Just wanted to let you know about a little, no cost, no time way that
I was able to make a difference this week.
The other day, I went to fill up the tank with petrol (or gas if you're in America) and as soon as I walked into the service station, my eyes were met by large, bikini-clad breasts on the cover of a magazine, directly at a child's eye level. My soon-to-be 12-year-old daughter and I recently had a talk about porn and she said she had been aware of magazine porn in particular since she was about 8.
So, I asked the guy serving me if he was the manager. He wasn't, so I told him to please relay to the manager that I would never bring my children inside this petrol station for a drink or an ice-block while filling up because I found his display of magazines offensive. He said nervously (the poor guy was young) that he would pass on the message.
This morning, when I returned to fill my tank again, I noticed the display had changed. The same guy was working and before I even made it to the counter, he was beaming at me saying that his manager had been very sorry about the incident and had promised to hide the magazines nearer the back of the shop. I thanked him and asked him to relay my appreciation to his manager.
I know we can't stop our kids from being exposed to this stuff, but maybe we can limit it. Maybe if we all said something to our local newsagent or petrol station we could make a difference. Also, I encourage you to talk to your kids about it. They are seeing it, processing it and outworking it without us even being aware. Keep the
lines of communication open!
Use your voice this week and see if you can make a difference in
Thursday, May 07, 2009
My mother means everything to me. She always believes the best & loves selflessly. She's my hero. I love & miss her so much.
I am very grateful for the time that her and I had together near the end. I value the lessons learned from her and hope that I have passed them on to my children.
She raised eight children on her own after my father died. My oldest brother was 19 years old and the youngest was three. I still marvel at how she was able to take care of all of us on her own. I would ask her about it sometimes and she would just smile and say that she just did what she had to do........a lot of hard work and sometimes a big stick! HA HA HA I don't ever recall hearing Mom complain about the cards life dealt her. She is one of the strongest women that I knew.
When Mom came to live at the Nursing Home in my town I was able to go and visit her everyday after work. I always tried to be cheerful when I went to see her even if some days I was not necessarily feeling that way. I figured that she did not need to hear about my tough days at work. She had always been such an independant woman all her life and now she was totally dependant on others to help her with everything from her personal care to feeding her. It was very difficult for her to deal with. But no matter how hard I tried to hide my feelings from her she always knew when I had had a bad day. Mom could not speak very well due to the stroke but she spoke volumns with her beautiful blue eyes. On my bad days she would reach out and pull my head down onto her lap and stroke my hair so gently. Of course I always felt better after....what child wouldn't after feeling their mothers loving touch. I learned that you are never to old to need your mother.
Anyway Susan I could go on for pages talking about what a great woman my Mom was. She was loving, kind, considerate, funny...the list goes on and on. Feel free to edit out what ever you want. I know I can get carried away when I start writing.
Have a great show and I look forward to listening to it tomorrow night.
My mum (Betty) is unbelievably strong despite a significant physical disability and being restricted by pain all the time, never complains. She has always had such a heart for the underdog and the downtrodden and is an activist at 75!! I like to think that I am a little like her in this way....there is a pretty constant undercurrent of tension between us as there can be between mothers and daughters, but when I choose not to irritated by the petty stupid things and be the bigger person, she is an inspiration!
One thing I have always loved about my mum (Pam) is the wonderful feeling that when my kids are with her, I know they are safe. There is no baby sitter like your Mum. Also, I am forever grateful for her prayers and her commitment to her children.
We would love to hear about your mum. Send us a comment and share her with us and join us as we celebrate Mother's everywhere.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Susan J Sohn
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
hey friends here's a recipe you will want to make it comes from my brother Robert. he makes this for every family gathering. mainly because we all crave it and he makes it so well and he knows it's always a hit. seriously it is the one thing that is gobbled up and we can always be found searching for more when the bowl is empty.
this recipe serves 4 however my suggestion and my brother's would be to make a double batch when entertaining. trust us, there won't be any left. also, our suggestion would be to use mortar and pestle to grind everything together. the flavor is amazing that way. if you don't have one a fork and bowl work just fine.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
2 tbsp. finely chopped white onion
1. Grind 1 tbsp. of the onions, 1 tbsp. of the cilantro, jalapeño, and salt together in a mortar and pestle until all the ingredients are well ground. (Alternatively, use a fork to mash the ingredients to a paste in a wide bowl.)
2. Cut avocados (about 8 ounces each) in half. Twist the halves to separate them and remove the pit with the tip of the knife. Place an avocado half, cut side up, in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through its flesh down to the skin, without cutting through the skin. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same fashion.
3. Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the mortar. Repeat with remaining avocado halves. Gently fold the avocado into the chile–onion paste, keeping the avocado pieces fairly intact.
4. Add tomatoes, remaining 2 tbsp. of the cilantro, and remaining 1 tbsp. of the onions.
5. Fold together all the ingredients. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
6. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
enjoy friends. let us know if you make it and how your family and friends enjoyed.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
One of the greatest treasures in life is being able to bring a child into this world. Seeing my baby girl for the first time was a breath-taking moment, one that I will never forget. I remember thinking after labour how fortune I was to have my husband and mum with me through this experience, but my mind couldn’t help but turn to the many single mums out there who have to go through this experience alone. They are heroes, strong women for whom I have a lot of respect.
It made me appreciate even more my mum’s presence with me in that season. She made it her mission to take care of me so that I could take care of my daughter. After my mum left, I remember feeling very unsure of what to do and in those times I would read. It could get pretty overwhelming, but I am thankful for the great books on parenting out there. When those feelings flooded in, I would remember something I had read which would help me make the right choice.
Mercy was very colicky for her first two months. Once, when she was crying, I was so tired that I didn’t know what else to do to console her. I walked into her room and felt so helpless that I walked right out again. I cried, calmed myself down, then walked back in and picked her up and rocked her until she fell asleep. Sometimes, as new mums we need to walk away and collect our thoughts, then go back in with a right frame of mind.
Sleep is still minimal and as a new mum I quickly learned that the saying “sleep when baby is sleeping” was not just a nice suggestion but a survival tool. Time is another challenge. Before Mercy, life was very busy – we were always doing something, going somewhere. With her in the picture, we’ve had to adapt our busy schedule.
I am still on a journey of learning how to balance everything that is required of me, but I am thankful for the women in my life who offer support and words of wisdom as I navigate this season.
Being new parents, we realise the privilege we have of being a part of this precious life from the beginning. We share new experiences like her first feed, bath, diaper change and her first smile. The first time she discovered her lips and in more recent times her first tooth.
There is no feeling like that of being a parent. The love you experience for this tiny life is truly out of this world. We are so grateful for our precious gift, Mercy Evangeline Gasper. She is our joy.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It might surprise you, therefore, to learn that across the world today more than 27 million people are living in slavery, and human trafficking, or people smuggling, has become one of the most profitable forms of organised crime, up there with arms and drugs dealing.
And I know you're now thinking I must be talking about impoverished
people groups and war-torn or under-developed nations. Well, those sectors of society are certainly extremely vulnerable, but the truth is that, according to the United Nations, every single country on the planet is affected in some way by human trafficking.
Some nations are targeted as a source for slaves, some are destinations, others serve as a crossroads, which victims transit through. Some countries figure in all three roles.
The networks controlling this modern-day slavery are vast and menacing. They operate in the shadows and every year they smuggle hundreds of thousands of victims across international borders and into a life of cruelty and bondage.
Forget those old images of shackles and chains, modern-day slavery takes many forms. It includes women and children being kidnapped and forced into prostitution, it encompasses forced labour in sweatshops and factories, it involves the tragedy of child soldiers made to fight an adult war and it extends to domestic helpers living in the unpaid service of ruthless and violent households. It may shock you to know that Europe and North America are major trafficking destinations.
Such is the reach of this crime, that the United Nations this year produced a global report examining every country's efforts in tackling it. Some are doing better than others. Many have developed special government and police task forces to focus on the problem and have welcomed the help of charities and independent organisations in rescuing and supporting victims.
Others treat the victims as criminals, labelling them illegal immigrants and charging them with crimes like prostitution. Often, the public imagine these victims have chosen their own path in life, we enjoy such freedom that it’s hard for us to believe and accept that slavery exists. But would a 10 or 12-year-old girl really choose a life in the sex trade? Would a mother really cut off ties with her family to toil in a sweatshop earning a pittance – wages which are often taken straight back by her employer as payment towards some imaginary debt?
But there is some good news in all this. The United Nations considers that
raising public awareness about human trafficking is its number one weapon in fighting this escalating crime. And that's why we're telling you about it today.
Don’t be fooled, this does happen in our own backyards, but by increasing our knowledge about it, we can be the key which sets these prisoners free.
The information we've shared here today only scratches the surface. If you want to know more, there are stacks of websites you can visit. Some of the leading ones are:
The scale of this problem can feel overwhelming, but don’t be discouraged. If our heightened awareness ultimately keeps just one vulnerable person safe, it will have been worth it.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
In celebration of the season, Easter Sunday lunch was always a grand affair. Family and friends gathered for the traditional roast which, without exception, was a mouth-watering leg of lamb accompanied by mint sauce and all the trimmings.
These days, I live in the southern hemisphere, where Easter brings a welcome chill to the air after a sweltering summer, and Sydney’s spectacular blue skies provide a beautiful backdrop to the browns, reds and golds of autumn.
Australian chef Bill Granger’s slow-cooked Greek lamb is a favourite in our family and a perfect celebration dish whatever the season. Its long, slow cooking time fills the house with delightful aromas and the meat is so tender it virtually melts in your mouth.
It does take a very long time to cook, but the end result is worth the wait. We usually leave out the olives and serve the dish with a crisp Greek salad or extra roasted veggies, depending on the weather.
2kg leg of lamb on the bone, trimmed
Freshly ground black pepper
Small handful fresh oregano leaves
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon, quartered
3 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large potatoes (such as desiree), peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup large green olives
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the lamb in a large roasting tin and season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the oregano and pour over the lemon juice and wine. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 20 minutes, or until the lamb is browned.
Add 125 ml (½ cup) of water to the roasting tin and cover the tin with foil. Reduce the oven to 160°C and roast the lamb for another 1½ hours. Arrange the potato and lemon quarters around the lamb and return to the oven for another 2 hours, turning the potatoes at least once during this time and basting the lamb with the pan juices. The lamb should be very tender.
Remove the lamb from the tin and set aside to rest before slicing. Increase the oven to 220°C. Add the olives to the tin with the potatoes and return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden. Serve with the lamb, with some pan juices spooned over the top.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Take care and please remember to jump on and listen to our radio show this week we have GREAT stuff lined up for you. Lastly, don't forget 'to the world you may only be someone, but to someone you may be the world'.
Say hello to your family for me.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
- 24.1% of teens have thought seriously about attempting suicide.
- 17.1% have made specific plans about suicide.
- 8.7% of students have attempted suicide.
- 2.8% have made an attempt that resulted in medical attention.
- *Suicide claims more lives in North America than homicide*
- Teen Suicide is the 6th leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 5-14
- Teen Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 15-24
- Teens having the highest risk include perfectionists or overachievers
- Teens who have been through a life altering event, such as divorce, pregnancy, loss of limbs or sight, or loss of a loved one are also very high risk.
- Teenagers with a conduct disorder, or who have a mental disorder, such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, or eating disorders have a high risk.
- Another high risk group are teens who are victims of bullying or domestic abuse.
- Drug/Alcohol use
- No sense of humour
- Changes in social interactions
- Change in eating and sleeping habits
- Loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed
- Drastic weight loss or gain commonly attributed to specific eating disorders
- Complete or near-complete withdrawal altogether from peers and social contact
- Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
- Mood changes (especially if the teenager acts increasingly angry about life in general)
- Quietness, especially if the teenager used to confide in the parent and suddenly no longer does
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
To jazz up your table, you could light a couple of candles and decorate with green and red chillies, either in decorative bowls or just scattered down the middle of the table. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could buy a few banana leaves from the florist and serve your meal on them rather than plates. Something fun and just a little different.
I have used prawns in this version, however if prawns aren't your thing then substitute with chicken or fish. I have added a number of vegetables to the following recipe as options, but you can keep it simple and serve with just the sauce and rice if that works better for you. I like to use brown rice with this dish ~ it adds that lovely nutty flavour plus gives that great boost of fibre we can all use.
I hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious treat.
Prawns – at least 8-10 per person
1 can baby corn (optional)
½ cup thinly sliced red capsicum (optional)
Handful of green beans (optional – leave the ends on for look)
Green curry paste (you can buy this in the supermarket and it usually has very few additives which is GREAT!)
1 can coconut milk (I use lite)
A dash of fish sauce (if you have it) for taste. If you don't have it, a sprinkle of salt will do
Heat the coconut milk and add the green curry paste. Bring to a rolling boil
Add the baby corn, beans and prawns
Boil gently, the sauce will thicken on its own
Add the red capsicum, serve and enjoy
Monday, March 30, 2009
I considered spending money and buying him something nice, or maybe taking him out for a great meal, just the two of us.
What a dilemma.
Now, those of you who know me are aware that I am not the most romantic woman on this earth. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when my husband Mark and I do get the chance to be romantic with each other, but with three kids and endless weekly activities, we are often too busy. We are continually trying to work out ways of finding more time for each other.
Well, here’s what I did. I decided to write him a letter and print it on nice paper, then put some love hearts on it and so on. My 10-year-old daughter came to the rescue and helped me include some pictures – thank goodness for computer-savvy kids.
Then, I thought about the fact that I really don’t kiss him enough. He is the most loving, caring and affectionate man I know and he deserves so much more from me.
When Valentine’s Day finally came around, the weather was cold and miserable, so we stayed home and enjoyed a wonderful family meal. But I was able to give Mark his letter and I made sure I gave him a huge, sloppy kiss. He just loved it!
So, I’m sharing this story with you all today to encourage couples out there to rekindle the kissing in your marriages. It’s an intimate moment and is guaranteed to bring you much closer together.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Enjoy the journey
Having small children, I enjoy the privilege of experiencing the wonder of childhood almost every day.
Last weekend, I took my kids on the Toronto subway for the very first time. On entering, my seven-year-old could barely contain his excitement at the thought of speeding through an underground tunnel on a train. He clutched his younger sister’s hand on the platform, their eyes glittering in anticipation. We managed to get the front seat next to the conductor. My children sat backwards with their faces plastered against the window, and I couldn’t help compare their wonder with the adult interpretation of the ride: the dull, daily ritual that transports them to and from work each day.
I believe that deep within us all, lies a longing to recapture this innocent celebration of life. I saw glimpses of that desire show itself in the smiles on the faces of nearby passengers as they watched my children marvel in the simplicity of a ride on the subway. Their joy was contagious and many were eager to be part of it.
When we emerged from the subway on the way to the famous Royal Ontario Museum, I wondered what my kids would remember more fondly – the ride on the subway or the visit to the museum itself. As is true with many things, isn’t the journey often more memorable than the destination?