Thursday, January 26, 2017

Are Your Children Safe at Church?

Most people who attend church with children, naturally assume that their kids are completely safe when left in Sunday School classes, or in the church nursery. As in all situations though, parents cannot just blindly trust people that they do not know with their children simply because they are on church grounds. The fact that someone attends church does not miraculously make them people who are safe to leave your child alone with. Just as there are Pediatricians, teachers, and daycare employees who are dangerous to children, there are undoubtedly individuals sprinkled throughout churches in this country who are also dangerous to children. In case there are still parents who exist who have not yet heard the phrase, “Pedophiles go where children congregate”, please consider this fact very seriously now. Pedophiles hang out at places like parks, near schools, playgrounds, public swimming pools, Chuck E. Cheese, Golf’N’Stuff, your local skating rink, video arcades, the toy stores, toy departments, and Disneyland. And of course, church. They enter into professions, vocations, and volunteer opportunities in order to be near children, such as teaching, Boy Scouts, sleepaway camp, and any other place where children gather. And whether you believe it or not, in some churches around the country, pedophiles teach Sunday School.

Of course, we have all heard the news stories of adults now coming forward with their personal accounts of having been sexually abused as children by the priests that their families trusted. However, what many people may not realize, is that the Catholic church is not the only one plagued by this awful trend. And if it isn’t bad enough that these predators are making their way into positions of authority and leadership in churches around the country, abusing, or planning to abuse, the children of church members, what’s worse is that the offending adult is not always turned out by the church when they are caught.

Case in point – several years ago in a Southern California city, a twenty-five year old man was under investigation for the sexual abuse of his biological daughter during a court ordered unsupervised visit. Although the examining physician, child protective services representative, and a court recommended child therapist all agreed that the child had been sexually abused during this visitation, and that the father was either the offender, or had allowed another individual to sexually abuse the little girl, he was not charged with a crime because the child was too young to testify in court. Just weeks before this abuse was found to have occurred, this same man began teaching one of the Sunday School classes at a church he had been attending for just a short time. The class he was allowed to take over, was that of the three and four year old girls. When the Mother of the abused child, feeling it was her responsibility to warn the people of the man’s church so that they could properly protect the children of their church members, it was she who was turned away! Not only did church officials completely ignore the threat to the children of their church, they in fact, fully embraced and supported this pedophile, and assumed he was innocent simply because he said he was! What did they expect him to say? Who knows how many little girls he has victimized over the years? And he has done so, basically with the blessing of church staff and officials! It is highly possible, even probable, that he is also still teaching Sunday School classes, full of tiny little girls, in that same city. Perhaps even in the same church.

For those who entrust their children to Sunday School teachers and nursery supervisors at their own churches, it is absolutely necessary to know for sure that your children are safe when left with them. You can’t just assume because they have been allowed to take over the responsibility of monitoring or teaching tiny children in church, that they are safe individuals. Further, you cannot assume that church staff and officials will dismiss an individual with child sexual abuse allegations against them. In fact, you can’t even be certain that church officials would notify you if they had been given information that your child’s Sunday School teacher had previously sexually abused a child. Are your children safe at church?

Labels: Are Your Children Safe at Church?

Activities for Kids in Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington Indiana is well-known as the home of Indiana University. There is no question that it has many social, educational and sports attractions for college kids. You might be surprised to find out how much there is going on for younger kids too. Read on for my top picks of activities for kids in Bloomington, Indiana.

Play Space and Playgrounds

Bloomington, IN recently received the designation as a Playful City U.SA. by KaBOOM!. It is an organization whose mission is to promote unstructured play. Play for kids, after all, has many health, social, and psychological benefits. You can find a search engine which lists Bloomington’s play spaces at the first link at the end of this article.

Kid City Summer Camps

In June and July, Bloomington hosts summer camps for kids and teens which include a range of activities including sports, camping and arts and media. There is also ‘college for kids’ hosted by Ivy Tech College. To find out more, see the second link at the end of this article.

Bryan Park Pool

If your kids love swimming, check out Bryan Park Pool. It is located at 1100 S. Woodlawn Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana. You can either opt for a low cost daily admission or a family package. See the third link at the end of this article for more information on this Bloomington Indiana activity for kids (and adults too).

Wonderlab Children’s Museum of Science, Health and Technology

This fun museum has tons of interactive exhibits based on learning more about the world around us. There are many special group activities for kids – for instance, on National Dog Day, kids will have the chance to meet retired greyhounds. Activities for kids in Bloomington in Indiana are fun and educational too.


The proximity of Bloomington to Indianapolis also offers a lot options for kids activities. For instance, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum is only a stone’s throw from Bloomington, Indiana.

Other Ideas

Once your family has worked an appetite, you might want to check out Mother Bear’s Pizza, near the Indiana University Campus. It is well-loved in Bloomington for its tasty delicious and affordable fare.

Also, check out the websites below for more inspiration. The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce website is particularly helpful for find out about events and facilities in Bloomington, Indiana.

Labels: Activities for Kids in Bloomington, Indiana

A BJD Career: Making Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls for a Living is My Dream Job

Ball-jointed dolls or (Asian Ball-jointed Dolls) are realistically proportioned dolls, usually manufactured in east Asian countries, mostly in South Korea and Japan. Most are made out of an expensive french resin that looks like porcelain but is more durable. These dolls are fully articulated with ball joints at the appropriate locations on their bodies which helps them to pose in various positions. For me, these unique dolls are nothing like the famous Barbie dolls that almost every girl grows up with. They are like piecs of art, each one customizable to a doll owner’s preferences. Like many dolls they can be dressed up but these dolls can also have their own painted faces, wigs, and eyes. Almost everyday someone new is being sucked into this doll hobby and is looking for their perfect mold.

To make these little resin people would be my dream job. I would have to work on my sculpting skills and use certain expensive materials to be able to accomplish it. But working with these little beauties would be a dream come true. I have also come to know many who enjoy this hobby through the internet. Some of them have also started their own little companies for selling their own self-made dolls. Bringing to life their creations from their imaginations has been a big accomplishment for them and they are happy to give loving homes for them. I truly do envy them.

Selling these dolls may not seem like big money to a person not familiar to the “dollfie” world. But many of the little babes could sell from no less than a hundred to more than a thousand dollars each! There is a forum on the internet that has taught me all about the BJD world and has helped me appreciation for the hobby to grow. In the forum, some people own as little as one or two dolls. Others actually have eight to twenty dolls! Can you imagine the money they must have spent? But it was all out of love for bringing their dearies home. It’s not crazy. It’s called a hobby.

Selling the dolls themselves would bring in good money if they become popular. But making extra cash wouldn’t hurt. If I become good at sewing and have extra materials available, then making clothes and other items would be very profitable. So many owners want to personalize and complete their doll. They want to find the right clothes, wigs, eyes, and accessories to make their perfect character or maybe for the need to just make them pretty. A set of clothes can sell from ten dollars to around a hundred dollars. The quality and material would determine the price.

If I choose to enter this BJD career, it would mean competing with famous companies like Luts, Dream of Doll, and the company who started it all, Volks. These companies are pulling in thousands of dollars everyday. Their names are very well known. I would have to start as a single seller and maker working from home. If I am able to start pulling in my own thousands, then I could have my own website, have my own workplace, hire helpers, and soon be a match for the famous companies. It would all depend on my skills and how people like my dolls. If I was able to do my dream job and not become a success, I would still be happy and enjoy what I am doing.

Labels: A BJD Career: Making Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls for a Living is My Dream Job

Activities for Kids to Beat Boredom

Boredom for kids does set in, sometimes more than we like. It seems they always need something to do! Here are some ideas that have busted my own kids boredom and sometimes mine too!

Driving the Couch

This sounds funny at first but this idea was actually initiated by my 5 year-old daughter. She bounced down on the couch beside me and said, “mom let’s race!”
She wanted to use my head as a steering will but I declined and said she could drive and I would be the passenger. We used a round mixing bowl as the steering wheel instead of my head. We sat aside of each other and I talked to her like I was teaching her to drive. I said things like “watch out for that tree” and she would steer the other way. She came up with: “oh, no there is a cat in the road” and made a hard turn with her bowl. We stopped at stop signs and red lights. We pretended to drive by the mall, grocery store and by the gas station to fill up. We even took scenic drives and made up all the pretty things we saw, such as, a lake with a duck family swimming by or a nice yard with pretty landscape. Sometimes we play for thirty minutes and sometimes for an hour. It all depends on how active we let our imaginations be for that drive on the couch!

Looking Through Family Photo’s

I a day with digital photo’s taking over, most of us don’t have many paper photo’s anymore. There still might be some from before you got your digital camera or you have some from the family before there was a such thing as a digital camera. Bust out those albums and go over them with your kids. Share your stories on the photo’s of when, why and where they were taken. If you have any from when they were a baby, let them ask questions about the photo’s and answer to the best of your memory. Another Idea is to get those small photo albums and let them pick some of their favorite to put in to as their own little photo album. Pictures hold great memories and sharing them with your children can make the memory even fonder.

Get a Great with Laugh with America’s Funniest Home Video’s

We record all of the America’s Funniest Video’s. This started with an interest from my ever comedy searching daughter Katie. She has a great sense of humor and we love it, she has helped us to see humor in everything possible. America’s Funniest Video’s is still on! Bob Saget is no longer the host anymore. The new guy is better in my opinion. It is on on Friday’s at 8pm on ABC here. Check your local listing for your time.
We sit down together and get a good laugh as a family. We debate which was the funniest and who will win. There are times when the kids will watch on their own and they will come running to where ever I am and pull me into watch something that was so really funny! DVR is great. We record all of them and they watch them whenever they are bored or just need to laugh. Don’t be surprised if they want to catch their own funny moments to record!

Going to the Dollar Store.

My kids love going to the Dollar Store! Even with only a dollar or two. When we are getting bored but really don’t have much money to go and do anything big, we go to the Dollar Store as a trip. They get to pick one or two new items. The Dollar Store always has new and interesting little gadgets. Coloring books and books are a favorite of my kids. 95% of their coloring books come from there! Sometimes you have to wait for new ones to arrive. Whatever they fancy on one trip becomes a new idea for something to do at home. Flash cards, jewelry making kits, play dough, puzzles, dress up items and whatever else they can find. They spend thirty minutes looking for their new item to take home and it only cost a dollar(plus 6 cents tax in Pa)!
My one daughter bought the new dress up bears they carry and each time she goes she buys a new accessory or outfit for it. The ideas are endless and not to mention cheap!

What’s in the Bag?

I use a small cloth bag that has a pull tie on it. First, I line the kids and whoever is at the house up on the couch. Second, I leave the room and find an object to put into the bag and tie it up. We start with the first person in the line up and they can feel around the bag for five seconds and try to figure it out. If they don’t get it is is passed on until somebody else gets it. Whoever guesses is the next person to put something in the bag. Everyone loves it and we have gone on for hours already with each person trying to out smart the other.

Finding new and fun ways to break free of boredom takes some imagination and the motivation to want to try new things. Just scope your house and see what can be used as something different than what it is, like the couch as a car. Boredom is only what you make it and if you really don’t want your kids or yourself to be bored, get up and find something to do! Use these ideas and any others you or your kids can imagine up!

Labels: Activities for Kids to Beat Boredom

Accelerating Fat Loss: 3 Delicious Foods for Energy and Appetite

If you’ve ever tried losing weight, you may have heard about “healthy” foods you HAVE to eat for success. The truth is that only a caloric deficit is required for success and no specific food is essential. This article will show you foods that significantly help you to maintain the caloric deficit required for fat loss by keeping you full, satisfied and full of energy.

1) The first food, probably completely unheard of by most, is home-mad green juice. This juice gives you a huge amount of energy, helps satisfy your appetite and is very inexpensive. It requires a blender, water, dark leafy vegetables, and any other vegetables you choose. An example: cucumber, broccoli, spinach and cabbage blended with 2 liters of water. Simply drink a cup or 2 before a meal to make calorie restriction easier and more satisfying. Drinking throughout the day also helps keep you hydrated, energized, and satisfied. Get your vegetable from local Farmer’s Markets right when they begin closing and strike bargains to save money.

2) Green tea helps because it contains water, caffeine and antioxidants. The water curbs hunger by removing thirst from the equation and the confusion occurring between the 2. Caffeine gives you energy and in itself suppresses appetite. I limit my consumption of any form of caffeine to 3 times a week to prevent addiction and keep my tolerance low, even though green tea is quite mild in its caffeine content. The antioxidants within the tea help keep your body functioning optimally and provide energy to prevent stress eating. Staying busy throughout the day also helps by preventing eating for stimulation.

3) Salads made of varying vegetables are phenomenal for fat loss. They add variety and taste while satisfying your stomach and goals. The one problem with most salads are the dressing, people use way too much and one with way too high calories. I recommend using one you’ve made at home from a variety of oils, spices and lower-calorie fruit. A delicious example is lemon, olive oil and salt with some roasted garlic as a dressing for a romaine lettuce, cabbage and cucumber salad. Try a dash of honey, peppers, hummus, ginger, anything that comes to mind. Worst case scenario is you don’t like the taste and create a better recipe the following time in the process.

Labels: Accelerating Fat Loss: 3 Delicious Foods for Energy and Appetite

About Ganglion Cysts

A Ganglion cyst is a tumor or swollen area on top of a joint or covering of a tendon, usually in the wrist area. Ganglion cysts may also be referred to as “Bible cysts” ( because of the old fashioned practice of hitting the cysts with a Bible or other heavy book to rupture them. In today’s modern times, this practice is no longer used for obvious reasons.

Ganglion cysts may appear on the back of the hand, on the wrist joint, and less often, on the palm of the hand. They are not harmful or cancerous but may interfere with the ability to move the wrist properly and may cause pain. The cysts are made up of a sac of liquid that contains thick, sticky, clear, colorless matter of a jellylike consistency. They may feel firm or spongy to the touch. There may be one cyst or several smaller cysts usually connected by a common stalk. They may change in size, appearing smaller, then larger, and may continue repeating this cycle.

Ganglion cysts occur more often in women, with up to 70 percent of cases being with females. They usually occur within the age range of 20-40, with cases of children under age 10 being uncommon. Ironically, my seven year old daughter just had a Ganglion cyst surgically removed from her wrist, as it had grown to a large size that was affecting her ability to grasp with her left hand, and causing her some pain. Many people with Ganglion cysts will experience no symptoms or pain from it. My son developed one in his early 20s and had to have it removed because it was on his writing hand and was causing a lot of pain. I had one in my early 20s, which I believe resulted after a bad sprang on my wrist. Mine was small and hurt a lot, and after several months, went away on it’s own.

Many Ganglion cysts will disappear on their own, never to return again. Some may disappear, only to come back once again, or return several times. Since the actual cause of Ganglion cysts is unknown, this makes methods of prevention nearly impossible. No known cause equals no known way to avoid getting one. Some common forms of treatment are aspiration, where a needle is inserted to draw out the fluid. However, with this method, many cysts return, because the “shell” of the cyst was not removed, allowing the possibility of it re-filling.

Some believe a trauma or injury to the wrist area could be the cause of developing a Ganglion cyst. In my case, I feel that is exactly what happened. Another possible theory is that a flaw in the joint capsule or the covering of the tendon allows the tissue of the joint to bulge.

If you feel you or your child may have a Ganglion cyst, I would strongly recommend seeing your physician to have it checked out.

Labels: About Ganglion Cysts

A Bizarre Twist to Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a Muppet.
Oh no! You sat on Kermit the Frog.
Are you okay Kermit?
“Ah yes, just a little shaky.
It’s not easy being green.”

Labels: A Bizarre Twist to Little Miss Muffet

Alabama State Parks Cabin Camping

The state seal of Alabama, “The Heart of Dixie,” is a map of the state showing all its rivers. And along those rivers stretch many of its State Parks. Since vacations are likely to be the first casualty of our ailing economy, cabin camping in Alabama State Parks may be the answer for Alabamans who can’t afford an RV and don’t want to tackle tent camping.

Eleven of Alabama’s 22 State Parks offer fully equipped modern and rustic cabins, cottages or chalets, available year round for less than or equivalent to what you’d pay for a hotel room. The cabins, cottages and chalets feature fireplaces, bathtub/showers, heating and AC, full kitchens or kitchenettes, and picnic tables and outside grills. Most offer amenities like irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, linens and coffee makers. The kitchens in all but one park are fully stocked with dishes, pots and pans and flatware. Many offer satellite network TV or cable, and DVD players. The Resort State Parks have on-site restaurants and lodges with meeting facilities, hotels and more upscale accommodations, and many of the parks have golf courses.


Cheaha State Park is Alabama’s oldest operating state park. Located in Northeast Alabama, (less than an hour from Talladega), Cheaha’s 2,799 acres stretch across Clay and Cleburne Counties. Encompassed by the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama, 2,407 ft. above sea level, its name appropriately coming from the Creek Indian word “Chaha,” meaning “high place.

Cheaha offers four fully equipped cabin choices — Bluff side, camping, deluxe (honeymoon) and 4-capacity. Spectacular sunsets can be seen from the one-room, two-person Bluff Side Cabins, located on the western bluff of Cheaha Mountain, four of them with open ceilings. The “Camping Cabin” is also called the “museum cabin,” for its historically rustic atmosphere. The two one-room Deluxe or “honeymoon” cabins feature rustic wooden furniture, whirlpool and a screened porch. Daily January to March rates range from $91 to $115. April to September rates range from $114 to $132, and October to December rates range from $120 to $135. For more information, check their Website at


Chewacla State Park is located in Central Alabama’s Lee County, about ten minutes from Auburn. Its proximity to Auburn University explains why Chewacla State Park has “football season rates!” Chewacla’s 696 acres include a modern campground, 26-acre Lake Chewacla, playgrounds, rental boats, hiking trails, waterfalls and newly renovated cabins. Chewacla State Park’s six fully equipped 1930s stone cottages feature hardwood floors, and a stone fireplace. One cabin is handicap accessible. Off season rates are $80 to $110 per night, with a free night if you stay seven days. Football season rates range from $126 to $165 per night, the 7th night free. For more information, check their Website at


Located in DeKalb County (eight miles northeast of Fort Payne) DeSoto State Park sits atop Lookout Mountain, encompassing 3,502 miles of cliffs, waterfalls, wildflowers and mountain overlooks. DeSoto State Park offers a campground, tennis court and swimming pool and a Nature Center with Interpretive programs with live animals. DeSoto features fully equipped rustic cabins, log cabins and A-frame chalets. March to November rates are $85 to $120.00 per night, December to February rates are $97.00 per night. A “Cozy Winter Cabin Special” offer is available at a discounted rate. Check their Website for more details.


Located in southern Baldwin County (an hour from Pensacola), Gulf State Park borders the Gulf of Mexico, and encompasses 6,150 acres. Gulf State Park beaches are home to many species of shorebirds, and alligators inhabit its lakes and wetlands. The park boasts 900-acre freshwater Lake Shelby, and an 18-hole golf course. Within walking distance of the golf course and 2-½ miles from the beach, there are 20 fully equipped modern cabins, with one or two bedrooms and one or two baths, and 11 cottages with three bedrooms and three baths. Four “woods cabins” are located in a pine and palmetto forest. The “lakeside” cabins and cottages are located on Lake Shelby and have fishing piers. In season daily rates for the woods and lakeside cabins are $85 to $160, off-season, $75 to $135. Cottage daily rates are $210 in season, $188.29 off-season. For more information, check their Website at


Joe Wheeler State Park is located near Rogersville in Lauderdale County, less than an hour from Huntsville. Wheeler Lake and Wilson Lake provide fishing, sailing, and boating, and the park sports a marina and 18-hole golf course. Joe Wheeler State Park has fully equipped wooden cabins in the forest and brick cabins lakeside, near Wheeler Dam on the south side of the Tennessee River. The cabins accommodate 4 to 15 people, and run from $65 to $170 daily. Ten newly-constructed two or three bedroom Lakeside Cottages are located in the mouth of First Creek. Daily rates run between $175 and $210. For more information, check their Website at


Lake Guntersville State Park is located in Marshall County in the Tennessee Valley, about an hour from Huntsville. Overlooking 69,000-acre Guntersville Reservoir, Lake Guntersville State Park’s 6,000 acres provide hiking, swimming and boating opportunities, bass fishing, eagle spotting and nature programs. Lake Guntersville State Park has 15 two-bedroom, fully equipped lake-view cottages amidst a pine and hardwood forest near the banks of the Guntersville Reservoir. They sleep 6 and have two baths. On the top of Taylor Mountain are 20 chalets with a spectacular view of the Reservoir from their wraparound porches. Eighteen chalets sleep 6 people, and two handicapped accessible sleep 4. Daily March to October rates are $115 to 125, November to February, $99.00. For more information, check their Website at


Lakepoint Resort State Park is located near Eufaula in Barbour County, on the banks of Lake Eufaula, the “Bass Capital of The World.” The park offers fully equipped cabins and lakeside cottages, as well as a modern campground, marina, and an 18-hole golf course. Lakepoint has 29 cabins in a wooded area, 15 two-bedroom cabins that sleep four, and seven four-bedroom duplexes that sleep eight, as well as eight new upscale Lakeside Cottages. Outside plug-ins for charging boat batteries is also provided. Handicap accessible two- and four-bedroom units are available. Daily cabin and duplex rates range between $110 and $195, with a monthly cabin rate from November to February rate of $750. The Lakeside Cottages range between $125 and $265. For more information, check their Website at


Monte Sano State Park is located in Madison County, overlooking the city of Huntsville. Dubbed “the Showplace of the Tennessee Valley” upon it’s opening in 1938, the park offers 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of mountain-biking trails, that meander along stunning vistas of the valley below. Monte Sano State Park. Monte Sano’s has 14 fully equipped one-room cabins, 11 of them quaint rustic stone cottages dating back to the 1930s, featuring handcrafted stone fireplaces, wood floors and screen porches. Cabins 1 to 11 have working stone fireplaces and one cabin is handicapped accessible. Monday to Thursday rates are $85, weekend rates are $95. For more information, contact their Website at


Oak Mountain State Park is located on the banks of Lake Tranquility in Shelby County, about a half-hour from Birmingham. Oak Mountain’s boasts 9,940 acres of pines and hardwoods and the title of Alabama’s largest state park. Oak Mountain offers camping and hiking, golfing, swimming, boating and fishing, and a horseback demonstration farm and riding facilities. The Lake is home to shoreline and wading birds, as well as migrating waterfowl. Oak Mountain State Park’s ten two-bedroom cabins sleep 6, and boats, paddles and life preservers are also available. Cabin rates Sunday through Thursday are $110 for one night, $200 for two nights, or $660 for six nights. A two-night stay is required on weekends (Friday and Saturday), the weekend rate being $220. For more information, check their Website at


Located in Wilcox County (an hour below Selma), Roland Cooper State Park runs along 236 acres of the Dannelly Reservoir. Roland Cooper boasts a nine-hole golf course with clubhouse and boat launching facilities. Roland Cooper has six fully equipped two-bedroom cabins (one Handicap Accessible). Rates are $80 daily or $480 weekly from March to November, and $70 daily or $420 weekly from December to February. For more information, check their Website at


Wind Creek State Park is located on the shores of Lake Martin in Tallapoosa County (seven miles south of Alexander City). Wind Creek is the largest state operated campground in the entire continental United States, offering swimming, skiing, canoeing and boating, and sport fishing. In recent years, eagle sightings have become common across its 1,445 acres. A new addition to Wind Creek State Park, seven camping cabins with back decks are now open, with three more planned. These cabins are equipped with microwave, sink, coffee maker, toaster and small refrigerator,but you must bring your own linens and cooking and eating utensils. Cabin 2 is handicapped accessible and sleeps 3. The rest of the cabins sleep six. Daily rates for these cabins are $70 year round. For more information, check their Website at


Labels: Alabama State Parks Cabin Camping

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