Welcome To Women’s Home Activities

A Great Big Hello from Women’s Home Activities -

Full length portrait of a happy family isolate...

I know that with today’s fast pace living it seems that often family time pays the price. Yet we know that finding family friendly activities is essential for strengthening bonds with our loved ones.

With each new activity posted on Women’s Home Activities comes an opportunity for you to discover a unique family bonding experience. Each category on this site will allow you to explore ways of creating these treasured moments with your family at home. Continue reading Welcome To Women’s Home Activities

A Must Read for Parents and Children

I know many of you have heard about all the recent tragedies that have involved so many young people around the nation lately. I am talking about the suicides and attacks that have been besieging children and young adults brought on by bullying. Each report I hear about has made my heart sink further. I knew that I wanted to write about this but I wasn’t sure just how to go about breaching the subject. Well I read something in my email today that is definitely A Must Read for Parents and Children. I just couldn’t wait any longer to share this important message with you all.

Well known author MJ Ryan sent this out to be passed along. You may remember my introduction of Ms. Ryan from my previous post on Attitudes of Gratitude and 5 Reasons To Be Thankful This Year. I have subscribed to her blog updates and this one I truly felt an overwhelming need to share with you my readers. The post that MJ shared came from Vicky Bell as a letter to her daughter. Please read the entire post by clicking on the following link:

Letter to my daughter (in the wake of senseless tragedy)

This letter is so touching and moving which is why I think that this is a must read for parents and children. I couldn’t have said anything better myself but my feelings towards this subject are the same as Vicky Bell. She has captured in her message what I intend to pass on to my own family and I feel blessed for having read this letter. So I want to thank you Vicky for your truly inspiring letter.

All too often we let things slide until it is too late and a tragic event occurs. We can no longer sit on the sidelines allowing this senselessness to keep reoccurring. Each of us must do our part to prevent these tragedies from happening. Talk with your children and listen to what they are saying. Build up that relationship with your children so that they feel compelled to come to you in their hours of need, or at least seek out help from someone they can trust with what is bothering them. Help them come up with a plan of action if they are faced with bullying.
It is my sincere hope that you not only read this heartfelt message but that you will help to continue to pass the letter along to those that you love and care about. Thank you for your time and please help keep this message circulating.

Learn Something New

Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog a new trick” had it all wrong in my book. The truth of the matter is the dog can be taught, if the dog is willing to learn. Around here hubby and I have a motto, “Any day of Learning is a Good Day”. In fact that is a big part of what this site is all about. I believe that it is good for the mind, body and soul to Learn Something New, and so that is the focus for today’s post.

Studies have shown that the more active we can keep our minds the more likely we are to ward off the effects of aging. Staying mentally sharp has to do with flexing our “mind muscles” daily. Now that hubby and I are gently edging our way into, dare I say, our middle ages we want to make sure that we keep our minds as well as our bodies active and healthy. We know that a proper diet and exercise will help. We also have begun to add vitamins and herbal supplements to our daily routine as a means of bolstering the negative effects that invariably can come about as we get older.

One of the most important factors we consider to assist with anti-aging is to take in as much new information daily as possible. Learning is not just for the young, it should be a lifelong quest that we all want to achieve no matter what our age. Our brains are like a massive computer server that can hold and transpose so much vast information and yet we tend to barely skim the surface of our own capabilities. Why not challenge ourselves to prove that the old dog can still learn a few new tricks?

Ten Ways to Learn Something New

So just how do you go about learning something new? Well, here are a few suggestions for you to try. Go on give it a whirl, you just might find you like it.

  1. Play games – Board games, card games, chess, checkers anything you like. Put together a puzzle. Keep a book of crosswords or word searches handy. These are all good motivators that will kick-start the activation of your thinking process. They are also a great way to interact with your family for special bonding time. Besides that games are fun, and that will release the endorphins in your brain (pleasure filled moments) and help keep the juices flowing for more challenging endeavors.
  2. Read Daily – Read something, anything every day to take in new insights, opinions, and information. Read for pleasure too. If you like romance novels take an hour just for you and indulge. Interested in current events? Grab the newspaper or check online to find out the most recent happenings locally and around the world. Not a good reader, but want to improve your reading skills even as an adult? No need to be embarrassed, there are many adult literacy programs that can help. These adult reading programs are available to you from the comfort of your own home that will allow you to work on reading strategies at your own pace. Maybe you know someone who would benefit from this idea, pass the word on to them.
  3. Take a Lesson – Have you always wanted to play an instrument such as piano or guitar? Maybe you’ve want to learn a new language? Take the lessons you’ve often dreamed about but never achieved. It is never too late to learn something new. Give it a try and pat yourself on the back when you accomplish your goal. Your friends and family members will be amazed at your new found talent.
  4. Visit New Places – Head to your local museums, parks and cultural centers and discover what history and the arts have to offer where you live. You may just find out all sorts of things about your area that you never knew before. Take day trips to surrounding cities or towns close to you. Go online to your state department of tourism and gather information about places to see and things to do that are near you. Want to venture further? There is a whole world of opportunity awaiting you once you seek out the information. Go for it, you’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to learn about.
  5. Talk to your kids and grandkids – Sometimes we as adults forget that the young ones can teach us a thing or too as well. Their eager little minds are full of fresh ideas and creative insights. Find out what they are learning about in the world today. This is a great way of interacting with your family and it makes your children feel important that they have things to share with you as well. Kids are also a wonderful resource for letting us know about new innovations and technology that has come across the pike.
  6. Research – Want to find out about a particular topic? Do the research. Head over to your local library and grab a book on the subject of interest. The internet is an immeasurable way to gather a wealth of information on whatever you could possibly want to learn about.
  7. Speak with your elders – Ask your older relatives to relay family history and tales from the past. Record or video tape these sessions for posterity. This is a wonderful legacy to be passed on to family members. Don’t forget to add all the special occasions from your own immediate family adventures.
  8. Get back to nature – That’s right, go outside and take in all the natural wonders that we are given on this green earth. Really take a look at your surroundings with a fresh eye. Listen to the glorious sounds of the birds chirping, take note of what they look like then find out which species inhabit your back yard. Plant a tree or flowering plants or start an herb garden. Learn about how to care for these new oxygen rich lovelies to help add beauty to your surroundings. Take a nice long walk and drink it all in.
  9. Volunteer – Give your time and services to those in need. Your local schools and charities are always looking for volunteers to help out and you just may learn something about yourself in the process. Share your talents and interests with others and take in what you can learn from them as well. Not only will it make you feel good, you will be adding to the value others which is the right thing to do in my opinion.
  10. Keep a journal – Each day, write down something new that you learned. I know for myself that not a day goes by that I haven’t acquired some wealth of information. Don’t be shy. Share the treasures with those around you. Let them know your latest tidbit of knowledge and ask them what they have learned as well. Take a look back at your journal a year from now and rediscover all the vast amount of new things you’ve acquired. I am sure you will amaze even yourself.

I hope these suggestions will give you an idea of how to get started on your venture to Learn Something New. I welcome other suggestions from you on ways that you have discovered to learn something too. Please share, that way I too will continue to learn something new.

http://athome.readinghorizons.com/cmd.asp?Clk=3557169


Thankful for Home Remedies

You know the old saying, “The old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be”, well this past week Grammie (me) sure fit into that category much to my chagrin. In my mind I still have the vitality of a 20-30 year old but my aging 40-something body has other ideas. Between doing yard work, standing on my feet  for hours canning home jelly, hoisting around our 2 yr. old grandson and other have to be completed chores around here, Grammie over did things a bit and my back and hip let me know about  it. That’s why today’s Thankful Thursday Post is all about being Thankful for Home Remedies.

Usually a nice hot bath to loosen sore muscles up will do the trick but this time it was different. It got so bad for a few days there that it was hard to even bend my leg to put on a pair of shorts. I would even have to literally lift my right leg with my hands to get in our truck all the while grimacing in pain.

That’s it my husband said, I’m taking you to the doctor. I said wait a minute, why don’t we try one of the home remedies you’ve been researching so much on to see if that will work. Now don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of seeing a physician when necessary and I am not abdicating anything to the contrary. I just thought it would be a good idea to try this approach first.

See dear hubby and I realize we are getting older and we do try to stay healthy. I am a firm believer in taking vitamin supplements daily and have been for years which really seem to work well for me. He has been doing a lot of research on herbal medicines and natural cures and is also working on building a website with his findings. (I will put a link to his site in this post and on the right hand side of my blog as soon as it is up and running.) **UPDATE: You can visit his new site here if you would like: The Healing Power of Herbs

It stands to reason in my mind that some of the old home cures had to work because our relatives of the past didn’t have the convenience to run out to the drug store when they got an ailment. A lot of folks lived way out in the country and a doctor was not always close at hand. There was no calling 911 for immediate help on the way. They had to make due with what nature had to offer.

Home Remedies That Work

I decided that I would be a guinea pig for one of the home remedies that he had come up with. I figured why not, I am already in pain and if this didn’t work I would give in and head to the doctor’s office the next day.

Well you know what? It DID work, wonderfully well. The best part is that the treatment was completely painless and what he used came straight out of my kitchen. This home remedy included two common household items, olive oil and cabbage. Yep, you read that right, those two lovely natural ingredients really and miraculously cured what ailed me.

Recipe for Home Remedy

  • Olive Oil – warm about a ½ cup of olive oil in microwave for about 30-45 seconds. It works best if the olive oil is kept warm but not hot enough to burn the skin.
  • Gauze Pad – Dab the affected area with the warm olive oil with a gauze pad and gently massage the sore and stiff area with the oil. I had to lie down on the couch to do this so I covered the couch with a beach towel first to protect it.
  • Cabbage Leaves – After dabbing on the warm olive oil place cabbage leaves on top of the oil and press lightly. I then wrapped the beach towel around me to hold the items in place and not make a mess.
  • Lay still for an hour with the compress in place.
  • Remove after an hour and repeat the steps one more time.

Now this idea may seem crazy to some of you, but let me just tell you that I am living proof that it worked. After the second hour I sat up and was able to cross my legs. I could lift my right leg on my own. WOW! I was truly amazed and relieved from pain. I was also incredibly grateful to my husband for finding this home remedy.

That is why I am so extremely Thankful for Home Remedies. What about you all? Do you have any stories of natural cures that you have tried? Drop me a line and let me know what home remedies that you have used. I’d love to hear from you. Until then, stay happy and healthy. Grammie here will try not to over do things anytime soon, but if I do, I sure know how to treat it now.

Ten Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children

One of the favorite pastimes in our home is reading. My husband and I both love to read. We strive to spread the love of reading to our grandchildren by first modeling. They see Grammie and Poppy reading a lot when they visit our house. We also never turn down an opportunity to read to them. My heart smiles when I hear one of our darlings say, “Read this to me Grammie”. That’s the reason for this post on Ten Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children.

10 Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children

Research has concluded that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity to build knowledge that will lead to future success of a child reading themselves. In no particular order I would like to share with you my own top ten reasons why I am sure reading aloud will benefit your children.

1.    Family Bonding Time – this is a great way to create a special family bonding experience with your child. Cuddle up together and let the child pick the book. Read aloud to your child often, soon they will be asking for more time together reading with you. Most children crave attention and your kids will love the close time you are spending with them. This is a great activity to show them how much you care about what they are interested in. It is time well spent that won’t be soon forgotten.
2.    Promotes Literacy – reading to your children will help them open up to a whole new world of knowledge. You are in the driver seat so take the wheel. Make the characters of the book come alive and see your children become engrossed with what they are experiencing. Build up your home set of books and take your child to the local library so they may chose from a variety of books. Read the recipes aloud while making dinner, it is never too early to start promoting valuable life skills. Tell them about some of your own favorite childhood books
3.    Builds Vocabulary and Comprehension Skills – don’t be afraid to make a pause during the story to ask a few questions so you are sure the child understands what you are reading. Point out familiar objects in the illustrations. Let your child tell you what they think is happening on the page. Even reading the same book over and over will help these vital memory skills to continue to develop.
4.    Helps with Reading Skills – Parents that read aloud to their children will help model good reading practices. Reading aloud will help a child with a better understanding of reading fluency, grammar, and sentence structure. Another advantage is increased language and speech development that children gain from being read to aloud. When children hear the correct way books are to be read the greater their chance of them mimicking the behavior when they begin reading on their own.
5.    Develops Knowledge – reading books aloud will increase a child’s imagination and curiosity. This will also lead to creativity in children. They will become more confident and will express themselves better as a result of having been read to. Learning something new is a gift you are giving your child.
6.    Better School Performance – children that have been exposed to reading aloud are shown to have become successful readers and perform better in learning at school. Their attention spans have been honed which also helps with behavior issues in the classroom.
7.    Life Long Learners – reading aloud to children will encourage idea of becoming life long learner. The more you read to your children the more they will want you to read aloud to them. Each of the pages you turn offers a chance to learn something new and that my friends, is always a good thing. In fact it is one of Grammie and Poppy’s mottos, “Any day of learning is a good day”.
8.    Reading Aloud is Fun – This can be a fun activity to share with your children if you make it so, and not make it drudgery. Make a sort of game of reading aloud.  For older children, leave your kids wanting more the next time. Stop the story at a cliffhanger and they will be begging you to keep reading. Tell them to think about it and try to determine what is about to happen. Before you begin reading again, see what they have come up with as an answer then read the story to determine if their prediction was right. As for the little ones, ask what they think will happen next in the story before you turn a page. You will see the glee in their eyes as they discover new and exciting ways of expressing themselves. The more you “get into” the story with them, the more they will take from the book. This will also lead to them wanting more of the same with the next book the children choose.
9.    Makes Good Sense – Reading aloud to children just makes plain good sense. With the accumulation of all the benefits that have been listed here why wouldn’t you give it a try? Even as an adult I still tend to want to have books read aloud to me and that is why on road trips we sometimes listen to books on tape/cd. You are never too old or young to be read to. That’s why there are book clubs set up all over the place. It’s why libraries and schools use this to intrigue children’s interest in reading. It just makes good sense!
10.    ?

I have purposely left number ten blank because I want to know what you think a benefit of reading aloud to children might be. Make a comment and let me know what the tenth slot should say. This one is totally up to you.

Having Trouble Getting Started Reading Aloud to Children?

Read Aloud Handbook

For those of you that are unsure about how to get started with the process I have come across a valuable resource. Jim Trelease is the author of the bestselling book, “Read Aloud Handbook”. What I like most about this book is that the author not only gives the reader good sound ways to read aloud to children but he also offers a tremendous list of books for children to be read aloud to.

This monumental number of books (almost 1000) includes novels, picture books and anthologies. Wow! I was really taken back by his generous nature in making these recommendations for parents, teachers, and librarians. Anyone who is interested in helping children grow an interest in reading is sure to be pleased and thankful for this source of such viable information. I know I am.

I truly love the motto on the homepage of his website that states, “The goal is to make books into friends, not enemies”. I believe that sums up the caliber of the man. He gives his knowledge so that children will gain a true love of reading. What better gift can we give our children than to become lifelong learners? I for one am adding this to my own personal library of books so that I may spread his message and share with my own grandchildren.

There you have it the Ten Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children. Well, nine for me and one left up to you. Let me know what your tenth benefit is. Hopefully you will decide that this book recommendation is something of interest to you too. Until next time, happy reading aloud.

Setting Up a Reading Challenge with Rewards

Our eldest grandchild has just entered 4th grade; she will soon turn 10 years old. Yikes! That’s double digits, I’m not sure Grammie is ready for time passing so quickly but she is. We don’t reveal our grandchildren’s true names at their parents’ request, which we totally respect so you will see the children’s nicknames in replacement. “Bear”, as she is affectionately known, is growing into a fine young lady. She is beautiful, sensitive, caring and artistic. If I sound like a proud grandparent I am but she truly does possess all of these characteristics.

Bear also has become quite a good reader. In fact she loves to read, much to her Grammie’s delight I might add. I am always seeking creative learning experiences to share with my grandchildren that I then like to pass on to you my readers. Because she is of an age now that her comprehension and reading skills have grown immensely I have come up with a plan for a new learning activity for her and me to venture into. This school year I am Setting Up a Reading Challenge with Rewards for Bear.

While we love being with all of our grandchildren we also like to give each of them individual exclusive time for memorable events with Grammie and Poppy. This idea came to me as a new tradition to start with the grandkids. When the younger two reach the same age, they too will have their chance to share in the fun and adventure.

Reading Challenge with Rewards

So I bet you are wondering just what this reading challenge is all about right? Well let me explain. My husband and I love to take day trips. We like to call them our mini-adventures. We live in an area that is full of cultural and historical events that take place all around us at different times of the year. You may also live near where similar experiences take place. You can find your state’s visitor’s bureau on the web for more information.

This idea came to me after one of our most recent trips. I said to my husband that I would really like to start including the grandkids on our adventures. He thought that was a great idea. So I started scouring for likely sites to visit. While I’ve come up with a few, which I am sure to be writing about soon, one in particular stood out to me.

You see we live in North Alabama, near the city of Tuscumbia. Most of you are familiar with the life of Helen Keller. She is the deaf and blind girl that teacher Anne Sullivan helped to escape from a world of darkness over a century ago. This timeless tale of courage and discovery has been depicted in both a book/play and movie titled “The Miracle Worker”.  It has even been performed on the Broadway stage.
The Miracle Worker (Paperback)

Planning for the reading challenge with rewards:

  1. Purchase a copy of the book – The Miracle Worker
  2. Purchase a copy of the movie – The Miracle Worker
  3. Visit the Birthplace of Helen Keller

This, I thought, would be perfect for Bear’s first reading challenge. Now we are not rushing this challenge. It is meant to be spread throughout this school year because she has homework and other activities that she is involved in. I plan to keep the book at our house so that she and I can read it together. We like to read this way, she takes a turn then I do, we have read numerous books like this it has become quite a nice family bonding time for us.

After we finish reading the book we will have Bear over to spend the night and we will watch the movie together. I am sure that will involve a big bowl of popcorn cuddled up on the couch together as we watch the characters come life on the screen. It will be very interesting to see her reactions and listen to her comments about the book and the movie.
The Miracle Worker (DVD)

Something else that I discovered to add to the list of rewards for this reading challenge was there is a whole festival devoted to Helen Keller in the great town of Tuscumbia that happens during the month of June. That will be perfect timing since she will be out of school for the year. We plan to take Bear with us to visit the birthplace of Helen Keller and see a play that depicts just how the “miracle” took place. I think that she will really enjoy this part of the reward for the reading challenge.

I am really excited about this first experience with Setting Up a Reading Challenge with Rewards and will plan on others too. I can hardly wait to get started on this one. Soon we will be building more memories that will last a lifetime. I am filled with gratitude for being given a chance to share in this special time with our granddaughter. I know it is one that I will continue to treasure.