Family Room Remodeling

If you’re looking for a home remodeling project that is easy to complete and can be as simple or complicated as you like, then consider remodeling your family room. This is often one of the busiest rooms in the house, being used for entertaining family and friends, doubling as a spare bedroom, perhaps an extra dining area and so on. With some imagination and a little bit of effort, you can give your family room a much-needed lift.

Because your family room is so versatile, it’s a good idea to keep the basic design simple. You don’t want to have to shift large amounts of furniture to set up a camp bed, for example. You also need to think about what functions you want the room to have. If you purely intend to use it as an entertainment room, then you don’t need to allow room for a sofa that can be converted into a bed, for example.

One of the best things about a family room is that there are no set design principles you need to think about. Most bathrooms require certain features, for example, such as a toilet and basin. But a family room can be whatever you want it to be. So you’re not limited by necessary design elements.

Once you have a clear idea how you plan to utilize the space in your family room, then you can work out exactly how much remodeling you want to do. It may be as simple as a fresh coat of paint, which you can easily do yourself. On the other hand, if you want to totally make over the room, including new wiring for a home theater or perhaps shifting existing lighting, then you will probably need to get some professional quotes.

Naturally it’s going to be much cheaper to remodel your family room if you don’t need to use professionals, so your budget may have to dictate how much work you can do at this stage. If you’re struggling for ideas, spend some time browsing DIY sites on the Internet, check out remodeling magazines, or perhaps watch some of the home makeover shows on TV.

It also helps to keep in mind a few basic design principles. For example, light wall colors generally make the room seem bigger, whereas deeper tones make the room more intimate. If you have a large space, consider creating zones in your family room using either partitions or furniture to break up the space. It’s best if these divisions are movable, so that you can open up the space again if you need to.

If you’re keen to remodel your home, but don’t have a lot of experience with handyman tasks, then remodeling your family room is a great place to start. You can make a big difference to the whole feel of your home with minimal effort or handyman skills.

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How to Get More Fiber in Your Family’s Diet

We all know that we should have enough fiber in our diet; fiber attracts water and helps to move the food we eat through the digestive tract and out of the body. Without adequate fiber we are more likely to have problems with constipation. Many of us don’t always eat the way we should, for whatever reason. Some folks just don’t have the time to cook, or they don’t have the finances to buy the foods that are good for them.

Precautionary statement: Although most people will benefit from a higher fiber diet, there are some health conditions where a higher fiber diet would not be indicated, such as in gastroparesis, which is a condition in which the stomach doesn’t empty as quickly as it should. Before making any major changes in your eating habits it would be advised to consult your physician. Small children will not require the same amount of fiber as an adult. It is best that you consult your doctor on how much fiber you and your family should consume each day. One of my sources has a list of foods and their fiber content, feel free to look at that source.

How can fiber improve your health?

You and your family can avoid serious health problems by adding enough fiber to your meals. One common problem associated with a lack of fiber is hemorrhoids, which are secondary to constipation. When your child comes to you complaining of a tummy ache, it could be related to being constipated. A lack of fiber in your diet can lead to dry bowel movements, which can cause pain when you are trying to evacuate. Many illnesses start in the gut; it is quite common to have nausea and vomiting when you are constipated also. Sometimes we are tired, and listless. People who suffer from irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) suffer with chronic diarrhea and they may also have periods of constipation. People with IBS often find that their symptoms are relieved when they increase the fiber in their diet. Water is just as important as the fiber. It takes both water and fiber to move the digested food along the digestive tract to be eliminated.

By increasing your fiber intake you are also taking care of your heart and blood pressure. Foods such as oatmeal (the real kind, not the instant), barley, and legumes such as black, red, and kidney beans help to keep your cholesterol in check, so that you don’t run as much risk of heart disease and elevated blood pressure. By keeping your blood pressure within normal limits (below 140/90) you will be decreasing your risk of having a stroke.

It’s never too late to make changes to try and turn your health around. By making changes to your diet by adding more fiber and decreasing your fat intake you can also reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Increased fiber moves the digested food out of the digestive tract so that it doesn’t sit in the colon to ferment and cause irritation, which could lead to poor colon health.

One of the great side effects of having more fiber in your diet each day is that you may find you are losing weight without even trying. Fiber makes you feel full and satisfied. High fiber foods have fewer calories than lower fiber foods. If you really want to lose weight, all you really need to do is change how you think about food.

I changed my thinking, and just by changing the way I was eating I lost 31 pounds without dieting. I am just eating

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Looking for a a Fun, Free, Outdoor Family Hobby?

Are you looking for a family hobby that is free? How about a family hobby that encourages everyone to get outside for exercise and fresh air? Does your family need more quiet time? Would you love to spend time learning with your kids in a fun way?

We’ve found a family hobby that is for the birds. Actually, it was inspired them and the many ways they have fluttered into our lives and offered us unplanned lessons just for being there with our eyes open.

Bird watching is filled with science lessons as kids explore the habits and habitats of birds, notice the changing seasons and learn to identify and classify birds. It’s fun to bird watch and notice which birds prefer which types of trees and to try to investigate their diets.

Math is fun when you’re counting the number of birds you see at a bird feeder or during a walk. In bird watching, counting really counts! Your family can participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count, each February or The Christmas Count, from December 14 to January 5th, annually. These projects are fun, free and require as little or as much time as you want to dedicate. You can visit www.birdsource.org to participate. There is also an “ebird” program that allows you to enter sightings from anywhere, anytime!

Kids are more likely to read about subjects that are interesting to them. Get kids hooked on bird watching and there is a lot of fun reading out there. Your local library will have many bird watching books. Bird Watcher, published by DK can be enjoyed by all ages. Even young children enjoy the awesome photos and short articles in “Birds and Blooms” magazine and websites such as the www.audobon.org are fun filled and informative too. Interesting art and photos that attract readers usually accompany birding publications.

While kids will learn more about the social habits of birds and other wildlife when watching, they’ll also develop some important social skills of their own like patience and respect. Birds reward those who are willing to be still and quiet. Kids can also learn responsibility as they keep hummingbird feeders, bird feeders or birdbaths maintains and the birds always reward those efforts.

Whether they are sketching the birds they watch, photographing them and making a scrapbook or building and painting birdhouses, bird watching offers lots of opportunities for the whole family to use their creativity.

Does everyone in your family have a favorite sports team? How about a favorite movie character? Does each of you have a favorite pizza? Why not spend some time getting to know the native birds in your area and let each family member discover their favorite bird and become that species biggest fan!

Bird watching is great way to get outside and learn together. Most importantly, bird watching offers a fun opportunity to bond with the others from your nest!

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Is Family Outdoor Recreation Facing Legal Harassment?

Now that summertime is here, I am sure you will want to enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors while participating in recreational activities like hiking, fishing and camping. Of course, some of the most popular sites for inexpensive and safe recreation is at state parks. But are state park rangers chasing away the family fun and the families with their zealous show of authority?

Lately, I have realized that there is no freedom even within the confines of the great outdoors. Why? Because responsible adults are being stopped and questioned as if they were low down criminals by park rangers over seemingly pathetic excuses.

For example, one man was stopped today by an old, grouchy-looking ranger at Scioto Trails State Park as his party of seven got into their cars to leave. This man was asked to show identification, explain why his front tag was in the car front window and not attached to the car, apologize for playing “so-called” loud music when entering the park half an hour earlier, and ultimately had to climb into a dumpster to retrieve his empty water bottle. The reason given by the ranger for such interrogation and lectures was that he had seen the young man begin walking the trail with a bottle of water and didn’t see him carry it back out. Fortunately for this young man, he did not litter as he was being accused of doing, but had put the empty bottle into his girlfriend’s bag until she appropriately discarded it.

Another example happened at Pike Lake State Park when a family consisting of two parents and three prepubescent children was skimming rocks across the empty lake surface. A young ranger stopped them and said that they had to stop having old fashioned fun or be fined. The father said he didn’t know and that his family would stop. Then the ranger said that the reason why was that there was going to be a boat dock built there. [uh?] Two summers later, there still hasn’t been any construction.

One family received a fine after driving their car partway into the grass in order to help their disabled, elderly grandmother reach the only free picnic area. Another family received an invitation to leave after being “too loud” at the swimming area. One couple was questioned by a ranger for having their trunk open while sitting in the car. The reason gave by the ranger was that he was on the lookout for people dumping their home trash into a state park dumpster. Luckily, their trunk was open because their teenage children had retrieved the basketball and didn’t shut it before walking off.

This kind of treatment by rangers to visitors is not uncommon, and it is having an impact on family fun. Some say it is not hurting anything for the proper authorities to be overly concerned with the visitors and their movements. But for many people, having their young child watch as a “policeman” harasses them for no apparent reason does hurt their child’s view of them. After all, don’t we teach our children that policemen are there to catch the bad guy? If you are a good, then you have nothing to fear?

This is the reason that some parents of small children reconsider their weekend plans, . The park’s missing profit from those families probably isn’t enough for the park operators to take notice. Possibly, this behavior scares away those that might come in with drugs and alcohol, but this isn’t proven. So who is the real victim of the ranger’s authority? Our most precious resource-

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Current Family Court Laws Harm Parents and Children

Father’s Day is June 18th this year and across the United States, Fathers and children will be celebrating their relationship with each other. For my husband, this is a bittersweet celebration with his kids, since they have to be returned to their mother that evening. We won’t see them again until Wednesday.

We follow a set of guidelines, every other weekend for 48 hours, Wednesdays for 3 hours, alternating holidays, and half of Summer break. Indiana is good enough to lay out their minimum guidelines for divorcing parents. Unfortunately, this is no where near enough time.

My husband is a good father. He tries to get involved in school activities, he goes to see performances when he learns about them, he encourages their interests and he tries hard to help mold them into good people. This is a difficult task for a man who sees his kids, on average, 100 days a year. He is only allowed to see his children for the minimum amount allowed by Indiana because their mother, his ex-wife, feels she should not have to “permit” their father to see them.

She tries to stymie him at every turn, twice keeping the children from programs when she learned he was going to attend. When she learned of his plans to remarry, she made it clear that she was not going to allow the children to attend, despite the children being in the wedding. In the end, their father and I kept the date of our wedding a secret from the kids so that they could attend without fear that their mother was going to keep them away. We paid for it later however. She kept the kids from us for five weeks.

At that point, my husband became fed up and decided to stand up for himself, his kids, and his rights. His initial mistake was a matter of being soft-hearted. He backed away from interactions with his ex-wife because he felt it would be easier on the children. When it became obvious that things weren’t easier on the children and he realized that his ex-wife was taking his distance as an opportunity to tell the children lies and misrepresentations of the truth about their father, he knew it was time to take action. He became informed, he retained a lawyer, and he began to take back his relationship with his children.

In today’s society, almost half of all marriages end in divorce. More and more children come from step-families. However, our court system is still geared towards a time when women stayed at home and cared for the children. They receive more time with the children and they receive a hefty sum of cash. My husband has been ordered to pay over 50% of his salary to his ex-wife in “child support”. And, while I think everyone can agree that money is necessary to raise children, should these children eat at restaurants every week while their father can’t afford food or shelter?

In addition, the child support system is a catch 22. In order to make the money necessary to pay child support, fathers are required to forgo time with their children. This, in turn, raises their child support since they spend less time with the children, requiring them to work even more. In the end, the child support system becomes a punishment for non-custodial parents, relegating them to the status of paycheck instead of parent.

Most mothers will read this and gasp to themselves: “I would never be able to give up custody of my children. I could never spend DAYS away from my

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The Great Outdoors: Family Fun Outdoors

The great outdoors, can hold a different meaning for anyone who thinks about it. It can bring back memories of great fun times with family and friends, or it can bring you back to a time of great solitude and peace. When you think “great outdoors” do your fondest memories take you to a time of childlike simplicities, or maybe the time you planned and trained for the biggest adventure you have experienced to this point in your life?

For most of us “the great outdoors” probably is a combination of both. It can be as simple as our own back yard, or as thrilling as climbing the highest mountain around! There are many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in our country. You can spend a day at a local park picnicking and playing, or you could visit one of many state parks for a time of hiking or fishing. We also have many national parks where you can plan quite a few activities. Whether it is for a day or for many days, I think there are many reasons to get out and enjoy nature. One reason could be for relaxation and peace, another reason could be to challenge yourself to achieve a physical goal. We can also use our great outdoors as an educational experience; this applies no matter what our age might be.

When I think about the many adventures in my life, most of them have involved some kind of outdoor activities. I am very glad that I can say that, because I know that some folks do not get that chance. While there are many memories for me to choose from, I would like to share my memories of an area in Arizona, which is the great state where I live. One of my favorite places to visit is Oak Creek Canyon. While there have been many outings to this place, some of my favorites were when we would take our young daughters for some great family fun. We would of course have to travel some distance to get there, so we would try to enjoy every minute of our time together. Sometimes we would go to a picnic area on the south end of the canyon. There are shaded tables and charcoal grills available to use. There is also a nice grassy area to play tag, or toss a softball around. There are a couple of areas to hike around from this location also.

Another favorite thing to do in Oak Creek Canyon is hunt for blackberries. This is of course limited to the correct time of year. It can be quite a challenge sometimes to beat the crowds. Speaking of crowds the official attraction in Oak Creek Canyon is a place called Slide Rock. This is a natural rock chute that you can slide down in the creek, while very popular, my family and I have never ventured into that part of the canyon.

This leads me to what is probably our favorite activity in Oak Creek Canyon. If you head to the north end of the canyon there are many areas along the creek to hike down and enjoy the kind of peace and beauty that sitting by, or in, a gurgling steam can bring. The sound of the water rustling around the rocks and the wind in the pines has brought many a peaceful moment to our lives. Of course the sound of giggles and laughter from our daughters cannot be beaten.

So if you are looking for a great place to hike, camp, fish, or just relax. I think

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Best Purifiers and Humidifiers for Children – How To Choose

There are different types of purifiers and humidifiers available for your children’s room, each one having its advantages and disadvantages. In order to make the right choice, it is important to understand these differences, to know what you want to achieve and of course, the way your children react to the chosen device.

An air humidifier must be chosen considering the size of the room. Each one of them should come with specifications about a maximum surface it can cover. A humidifier using warm air in a small room will definitely increase the temperature. On the other hand, a low-power device in a room that is too large is inefficient, so it will waste energy for nothing. These are also usually the cheapest, but they can be dangerous for children if they put their hands above the hot air current. If you can put it in a safe place where your child can’t reach it, then you can use it with no worries.

When do I need it?

Specialists claim humidifiers are recommended during the summer and winter and in any moment when the humidity in the air is very low. The device is used to regulate the humidity level in a room, and it is an essential accessory for the room of your child. By filtering the air and regulating the humidity, the environment in the baby’s room is a lot cleaner and the air is fresher.

Benefits of air humidifiers

Main benefit of purifiers and humidifiers is that they can be used both during the winter and summer, without changing the temperature in the room. However, using it continuously during the winter might lead to health problems for children. It is why you need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer about installing and positioning the device, and about setting it up for optimal performance and comfort.

It has been proven that babies staying in rooms where the air is purified with an efficient humidifier breathe and sleep better. Moreover, on the long term, they are protected of allergies and dry skin problems.

It is recommended to use distilled water in any humidifier, as they can disperse impurities from the water in the air, which might irritate the lungs of the baby.

Choose a silenced model, as you will want to use them for the whole duration of the night without affecting the baby’s sleep. Moreover, choose a model that shuts down automatically when the water level is too low. This way, you will avoid unwanted accidents. Don’t use flavored water with humidifiers unless you are sure your child does not have any allergy to the substances used.

The best humidifiers are the ones that are able to measure the humidity in the air. This way, you will always know when the humidifier is required and when you need to turn it off. By using it on the long term, you will observe dusts gathers a lot harder on surfaces in the room, and the better ventilation will increase the state of health and mood of your children.…

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Outdoor Activities for Your Family

The outdoors is a wonderful place to bring your kids. The sunshine alone can put your kids into a better mood. Also it is a great place to wear your kids out. There are so many options to choose from, the choices are endless. You can plan for an outdoor day at a local park or a weekend at a nearby beach. Local parks offer a great deal of entertainment , from simply playing on the equipment that is provided. or you can choose to bring things from home. Parks are wonderful for getting a game of touch football going, or a game of baseball. If you are a dog owner you can play fetch and throw a Frisbee with your canine friend, just remember to keep the park clean and pick up their mess.

If you are looking for a short outdoor trip you can always inhabit the nearest beach for a day of surf, sand and sun. There are all sorts of water activities that you family could engage in from jet skiing to just lying in a raft letting the water fall over you. To finish the day up just pack a picnic basket or order out ahead of time and have dinner by the light of a bonfire. Be sure to pack smores for dessert.

If you are unable to travel to the beach a great option is the nearest water park. These parks always offer a wide variety of family fun options. From floating in a lazy river, baby pools for toddlers, and thrill rides for the ever daring adolescent and every adult that is still a child at heart.

If you want to keep it nature like just hike up to the nearest trail or lake. Be sure to pack bug spray and plenty of water. Kids will love seeing how nature grows and changes. They will be having fun but also getting a little education. Best of all at the end of it they get to take a nice big running jump into the cool water.


For those parents that cannot really get away the back yard can also be a very relaxing outdoor space. Many of the park activities can be accomplished right there in your yard. If relaxing is in your future you could also just be lazy and lay out a blanket and pick out clouds in the sky. So what ever activity you choose to do with your kids, know that there are a wide variety of options available to you and your entire family all you have to do is go out into the great outdoors and enjoy.

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Family Tree (Limerick)


I’m just an old used to be. 
My memories will pass on with me. 
As time fades away, 
And memories decay, 
I’ll be a twig in the old family tree.

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Family Planning – How Many Children Should You Have?

Family planning is something my husband and I have talked about since we first got married in 1999. I always wanted to have a large family because I am the oldest of 8 children. I grew up with my sisters and cousins under one roof. I loved growing up in a big family. At one time I felt a tremendous urge to have as many babies as possible. Yet, I held myself back for quite a few years because I met my husband in the mid 90’s, while we were in high school. When we got married after high school we felt like we were just too young to start a family, and we wanted to enjoy each other for a few years first. We finally had our first son 7 years after we first got married, and we just recently had another baby in January. Now that we have 2 children our dream of having a large family is starting to fade for many reasons. For now we have decided to postpone making the final decision to have more children, for at least a few more years. To us this is such a hard choice to make, and perhaps it is for many people, which is why I decided to write this article.

Our decision is heavily influenced by so many things such as, our financial ability to care for more children, our ability to give our children quality time, and of course my age. I’m not so young any more and the clock is ticking as I will soon to be 30. I have a few short years left in order to be in the safe zone, and even then there are still risks. For instance, I labored with both of my boys, and yet I ended up having a C-section with both of them for two very different reasons.The surgeries were very hard on my body, and I’m not so sure that I want to endure more surgeries physically or emotionally. Surgery is also very risky. I had to search to even find a doctor that would allow me to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). I think if I am to become pregnant again, I will try for a VBAC one more time. If your also having a hard time deciding how large you want your family to be, here a few things to consider, which may help you make the choice that’s best for both you and your partner.

Time

Do you have the time available to give each child quality one on one time? Are you working 2 jobs, and going to school to reach your goals? If you don’t have the time to give your child you may want to wait until things settle down in your life, or change your lifestyle in order to make more time.

Age

Age is always something to consider when you want to have more children. It is much harder going through a pregnancy when you’re in your 30’s as compared to your 20’s. There are also more risks associated with a pregnancy when you’re over 35.

Financial Situation

As the cost of living continues to increase you need to ask yourself what sacrifices you will need to make if you want to have a large family. If you’re financially stable and able to provide, there are less limitations on you when it comes to finances. However, some families are struggling to make ends meet as it is with 2-3 children. In some cases more children might mean giving up some things. Still I have

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