Monday, October 19, 2015

Sibling Rivalry!

     The definition of  the nuclear "FAMILY" has certainly changed over the years. Family used to be thought of as a mom, a dad, and their biological children. These days families are more diverse and inclusive than ever-- often made up of two moms, or two dads, biological, adoptive and foster children.

     But some things never change and sibling rivalry is one of them. Brothers and sisters will inevitably find something to disagree about and when there's a mix of adoptive and biological kids it can become even more tense. So to keep the rivalry from getting too rough, remember  a few good rules:

- It's your job to set the tone. If you already have biological children prepare them for the addition of their new sibling(s).
- Many adoptive parents with biological children are proponents of respecting the birth order. While this is indeed a personal decision some families say bringing an adopted or foster child in who is older than the biological children can be disruptive.
- Remember, no two kids are the same but the rules around the house should be the same for everyone.
- Be honest with your children about their origins but let them know they are family and they hold a very special place in their new forever nuclear FAMILY now.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Hurricane Season is Still Here-- So Be Prepared!

    With Hurricane Joaquin barreling down on the Bahamas and heading towards the U.S. Eastern Seaboard it's a good time to remind everyone that we still have another two months of hurricane season to withstand.  Even though it's more than likely Joaquin will miss us and head back out to sea-- we should always be ready.

     Here are some basic tips to being prepared for a hurricane:

     -Have a hurricane plan made up ahead of time that includes knowing your particular evacuation route. Pet owners take your pets with you. If you are in a flood zone have sandbags to protect your property. If you don't have storm shutters have materials on hand to board up your windows. 
     -Stockpile vital supplies including: (Pre-storm) water (1 gallon a day for each family member for at least three days), non-perishable foods, manual can opener, flashlights and batteries, and a battery operated radio or TV. (Post-storm) heavy bottom pots/pans and a grill (only use out of doors) as long as the gas and electric are out.
     -Be sure to have emergency numbers in your fully charged cell-phone and back up all your computer files and photos.

      For more on Hurricane Preparedness go to


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Food For Thought...

     Here are some alarming statistics about hunger in America as of last year:

-15.5 or 21 percent of children in the United States live in poverty.

-15.3 Million children under 18 live in food- insecure homes.  That means homes where kids are not able to consistently have nutritious food needed to maintain a healthy life.

-A lack of nutritious food in childhood can have lasting harmful effects.

-Stats from 2012/2013 indicate that in Central Florida alone, some 10,000 children were homeless for an extended period of time, while more than 200,000 children in Orange County, Florida count on a school lunch program for meals that often exclude meals on the weekend and during some school breaks.

   It's Hunger Action Month.  Take action!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

National Grandparents Day!

    This Sunday is National Grandparents Day. Marian McQuade is credited with founding the day back in 1970, but it was President Jimmy Carter who signed National Grandparents Day into law in 1978 and the first Sunday in September, after Labor Day, has been designated as National Grandparents Day ever since.  While not a federal national holiday, it is a day to be observed in honor of grandparents across the country.

    Our grandparents play many roles in our lives and the lives of our children, and make meaningful contributions to families and society as a whole. So whether your grandparents are blood relatives, adopted or foster family-- this Sunday do something special for the grandparents in your life while remembering all the great "Grands" that were once with us as well.

    For more on National Grandparents Day go to

    Looking for great gift ideas for the grandparents? Check out

    There are many Grandparents Day celebrations in Central Florida including

Friday, September 4, 2015

Donate During Hunger Action Month!

    Hunger in America and right here in Central Florida is a devastating reality, but we can all play a part in alleviating it.  In addition to trying our very best not to waste food, take action and donate whatever you can. Every little bit helps. You can also initiate a food drive, and the best way to do that is in conjunction with your local food bank.

    Just remember to collect only non-perishable items and never collect homemade items because you want to be one hundred percent sure that they are safe. Stay away from glass because it can break. Many food bank networks accept canned goods, fresh produce and dairy and juice with expiration dates.

    Feeding America is a great source of information:

    Here in Central Florida contact Second Harvest Food bank:

    There are also food pantries that appreciate support:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hunger Action Month!

    September is just around the corner and I want to take this opportunity to remind you that the coming month is "Hunger Action Month" and September third is "Hunger Action Day". Started by "Feeding America" in 2008, "Hunger Action Month" is not only an awareness campaign to remind everyone that hunger does indeed exist in the U.S.-- and right here in Central Florida-- but it's also a call to action for everyone to get involved in our community to do whatever possible to eliminate hunger here.

    One of the easiest and quickest ways to help eliminate hunger is to stop wasting food. Did you know Americans waste 40% of the food we produce. That's an astounding number so here are some tips on how you and your family can start to put the brakes on food waste:
-Pay attention to expiration dates but realize the "sell by" date is for stores and is different from the expiration date.
-Buy imperfect produce-- just because some fruits and vegetables are a little bruised doesn't mean they're bad or bad tasting.
-Learn and practice efficient ways to freeze and store foods so that they last longer.

    You can get involved in the fight to end hunger right here in Central Florida through several organizations including Second Harvest Food Bank and Catholic Charities.

    For more tips on how to prevent food waste, check out these sites: