Archives for October 2010

Fun Friday Photo — October 29, 2010

Joshua’s original artwork on a restaurant table … so sweet! 


Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

Fall Festivals & Parties

Last night I had some extra responsibilities to take care of at my church, so I found myself headed home later than usual. As I was driving home, my mind was wandering to what I wanted to do when I got home, which (to be completely honest) was to crash on the couch and watch a little bit of TV before crawling into bed after a long day. Quickly, I reminded myself that there were certain things I had to take care of before I could crash, such as packing lunches and picking out clothes for the next day. That’s when it hit me!! I had completely forgotten that Jack’s mother’s day out class was having their fall fest party today and … I had volunteered to bake brownies! So that’s what I did. I went home and made brownies (with a little help from the Pillsbury dough boy)! Even though it was way past my bedtime, I enjoyed having the chance to make brownies for Jack’s first official class party!

Today, I have found myself thinking about Jack all day, wondering how the party went and if he had fun, how much junk food he ate and what he’ll get in his goodie bag! I can’t wait to go pick him up and hear about his fun day!

SkulleysforBlog,jpgWe have enjoyed fall so much this year! We’ve been to a pumpkin-carving party and have our church’s fall festival to look forward to this weekend! Even though we have not had the opportunity to go yet, I’ve loved checking Facebook to see my friends’ pictures of their trips to local pumpkin patches for corn mazes and hay rides.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year … and it’s even more fun when you have children in your life to enjoy it with!

What has your family done to celebrate fall this year? Do you have big plans for this weekend? Tell us all about your family’s fall fun festivities!

Window Covering Safety Month–and a GIVEAWAY!

** Congratulations to Joanne … the winner of these Kenney Truly CordFree Roman Shades! Thanks to everyone for participating! **


Safety is a concern for everyone, especially parents.  An important part of raising children is careful supervision of their activities in the home.  Parents need to be aware of their children’s surroundings at all times in order to anticipate and prevent potential injury.  One of the most overlooked areas in the home is the window.  Whether open or closed, windows are a potential hazard to the safety and well-being of toddlers and young children. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and independent retailers joined forces to designate October as National Window Covering Safety Month to raise awareness of the dangers posed by window covering cords. CPSC data shows that since 1996, there have been reports of 147 children having died as a result of accidental strangulation from window covering cords.

cordfree-blinds.jpgIn recent years, the window covering industry has redesigned its corded products and developed cord-safety standards.  However, millions of older corded window coverings have not been retrofitted by consumers and many new parents are sometimes unaware of potential cord dangers.

The campaign urges parents and caretakers to replace their blinds with cordless window coverings. We’re here to help you do that!

One lucky winner will receive two Kenney Truly CordFreeTM roman shades, courtesy of Kenney Manufacturing. We had the opportunity to review these roman shades and they look awesome! As a mom of a very active toddler, I (Jessie) am continually worried about the hazard of the old blinds in our house. What a way to relieve one worry of my day.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post sharing one thing you worry about in your home, pertaining to your kids or grandkids. We will select a winner on November 2 from all valid entries. LifeWay employees are not eligible.

Sneak Preview of Our New Design

For years you have trusted ParentLife as the go-to source for Christian parenting advice for families with preschoolers and children. Now the ParentLife team is excited to announce a new and improved ParentLife launching in March. And you can glimpse a preview of the new design today!

Check out our fresh, new March 2011 cover! Featuring a new logo, each cover will feature a moment-caught-in-time photo, real kids in real life moments. We hope each cover will make you smile and draw you inside for more.

March2011_ParentLife_Cover_Small.jpgWe have expanded our long-time favorite "Growth Spurts" section, now including information for expectant parents. Each “Growth Spurt” offers the best developmental advice for the whole child and a ParentLife best product recommendation.

"A Life of Worship," ParentLife’s family worship and devotion department, now moves to the center spread of the magazine so it easily can be pulled out and hung on the refrigerator or somewhere visible in your home. It includes family worship time plans (based on the LifeSpan concept Hear-Know-Do that ties in with Sunday School) as well as a calendar with extra on-the-go, everyday, worship times for families to use throughout the month.

We are continuing our monthly departments "Real Life Solutions" with Dr. Linda Mintle, "Mom’s Life" with new columnist Angie Smith, and "Dad’s Life" with Carey Casey.

We are committed to partnering with parents churches to provide the latest cutting-edge information that you need as you seek to raise your children to the glory of God.

Tell us what you think of the new design!

Make a Difference Day

You may have read about the national movement Make a Difference Day in last Sunday’s USA Weekend. Last year, more than 3 million people joined in community service projects around the nation to celebrate the holiday!

This year’s Make a Difference Day is this Saturday, October 23. USA Weekend has a whole database of local projects to search (for instance, here are the listings for Tennessee). Or connect with your church or another organization you know is making a difference in your community!

Doing service together is a great way to show your kids what is really important and to model Christian life for them.


thegoodfunbook.jpgIn concordance with Make a Difference Day, Blue Marlin Publications is releasing The Good Fun! Book, a handbook of 12 "service parties" that kids can organize and participate in.

"Whether it’s a party to help animals or to collect sports equipment for needy kids, the 12 party plans in this book help elementary school children make a real difference in their neighborhoods – and the world – all year long. Filled with fun ideas that encourage participation and problem-solving, The Good Fun! Book includes themed party ideas, invitation suggestions, craft details, recipes, and even charity profiles."

Are you showing your children how to make a difference? Consider how you could be doing more–and get out and do SOMETHING this weekend!

What Kind of Parent Are You?

In the October issue of ParentLife, our lead feature was "4 Parenting Styles to Avoid" by Dr. Tim Elmore. Here, we supply an easy quiz to figure out if you fit one of these parenting types. For the parenting descriptions, see the article on pages 18-21 of the October issue.

005075230_2010-10_l.jpgRate yourself on a scale of 1 to 8 (1 being “Not True” and 8 being “Very True”) against the following statements.

1. I have a difficult time letting my child fail at a project.    

2. I get worried that my child will one day not like me.      

3. I feel dependent on professionals to help me lead my child.   

4. When I see my child struggle I want to step in and take over.   

5. I tend to want to stay in constant touch with my child.       

6. I love relating to my child and his peers as a friend.       

7. I don’t feel I’m able to handle the pressures of raising my child.  

8. I often get very angry when my child doesn’t perform well.  

9. I have a hard time if I don’t know what my child is doing 24/7.

10. I spend lots of time thinking how I can remain “cool” to my child.   

11. I rely heavily on children’s workers, teachers, or coaches.  

12. I get very upset if someone judges my or my child’s conduct.   

Score: Add up your score and check out the statements below.
If your total was over 15 on questions 1, 5, and 9, you might be a helicopter parent.
If your total was over 15 on questions 2, 6, and 10, you might be a karaoke parent.
If you scored over 15 on questions 3, 7, and 11, you might be a dry cleaner parent.
If your total was over 15 on questions 4, 8, and 12, you might be a volcano parent.


Modeling Friendship for Your Children


The best way you can help your child develop healthy friendship skills is by modeling healthy social skills and friendships. Your child is watching. Here are some quick tips on how to do that.

  • Watch your words. Do not gossip. Do not make disparaging remarks about others.
  • Teach your child how to make friends and what to do when others are unkind. Roleplay common scenarios.
  • Talk about cliques with your child. Acknowledge that your child will not be friends with everyone but can be kind to everyone.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to make new friends in a variety of settings with a variety of peers. Schedule playdates. Head to the park. Get your child involved in the children’s ministry at your church.
  • Praise your child when he is friendly and goes out of his way to include others.
  • Be a good listener. What may seem like unimportant playground drama is significant to your child.

How else can we teach our children to be good friends?

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

Fun Friday Photo — October 15, 2010

Chase is doing what he loves best … relaxing with the fish!


Thanks to Carol R. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

Cold and Flu Myths

From the Vonda Skelton, writer of our October 2010 ParentLife feature "A Healthy Life: Kids, Colds, & Flu;" Dr. Rebecca Woodlief; and, here are some common misconceptions about colds and the flu.

Sick pig. :(

Colds and flu are NOT caused by:

  • Getting chilled
  • Going outside with wet hair
  • Moving from warm to cold environment
  • An uncovered head

Myth: Over-the-counter remedies are good for children. In fact, they can be more harmful than helpful in children under 6, and even older children are at a risk of being overmedicated. "Every year, 7,000 children under the age of 11 are treated in U.S. emergency rooms after taking too much cough or cold medication," cites a BabyCenter article.

Myth: You can catch the flu from a flu shot. You cannot catch a virus from a dead virus. Any reaction is to the shot, not to the deactivated virus. The nasal spray vaccine is a weakened, not dead, virus, however, and therefore should not be given to people with weakened immune systems.

Myth: Kids in daycare catch more colds. This is true only to a point; after the first year of daycare, children are at no more risk for catching colds than those at home. Exposure to infections can also help build the immune systems of children so they catch fewer colds in later years.

Myth: Antibiotics can treat a cold or the flu. Because colds and flus are viral, they cannot be touched by antibiotics, which kill bacteria.

Myth: Green drainage indicates a bacterial infection (not cold or flu). In the past, this was thought to be true; however, "Recent studies have dispelled this old myth showing that viral infections often have colorful mucus and that the majroity of these head colds clear without any antibiotics," writes Dr. Jim Mitterando.  

For more on myths about common colds and flu, this BabyCenter article by Karen Miles has a wealth of information. Also check out this past article on differentiating between allergies, cold, and flu.

Do you spend the whole winter battling colds or is your household relatively healthy? Don’t forget, to enter our monthly giveaway, just leave a comment during the month of October!

Illustration used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons

A Better Parent by Jessie Weaver

I’m pretty sure that those women who say they love being pregnant are lying.

It’s not that I don’t love feeling the baby move (except when, say, he’s sitting on my lungs so I can’t breathe at all). But pregnancy doesn’t agree with me. I do not love it. I love the results.


Most of my current pregnancy has been characterized by intense fatigue. Some days, I can barely make it to the end of the day. Many days, I join my toddler for naptime.

And yet, as a pretty new stay-at-home mom, I feel like I should be getting my daughter out and about all the time. She needs to see the other kids, I tell myself. I sacrifice my sanity to go to playgroups and museums and meetings. We both end up exhausted.

I was really encouraged by several "more experienced" mommas lately. One is author and actress Lisa Whelchel, who gave this interview and advised moms to just be moms. Another friend who came home to be with her son after working full-time experienced the same "have to’s" — have to keep the house perfect, have to be a perfect chef, have to do crafts, have to have the kiddo in every playgroup imaginable. After months of this, she was burnt out and admits the most important thing is being a mommy.

Last week, I backed out of several activities with my local MOMS club. Good things, but not as important as being a good mom. An exhausted woman does not make the best mommy to an insanely active almost 2-year-old. I keep clinging to the fact that these are the last few months I have alone with my Libbie. If making them count means doing puzzles with her on the floor and reading books all day, I am happy with that solution.

Do you struggle with the "have to’s"? I’d be happy to read any pointers from moms — and dads! — with more experience.