Thursday, March 31, 2011

God works in mysterious ways doesn’t He?

True story, it happened to me this past Sunday (March 6th, 2011)
Doug Ridener

Early Sunday morning I got a call from my brother and he said he had just heard from our cousin Sherrie who was coming through Birmingham and wanted to see us on her way though. I have not seen Sherrie in about 8 years. Not since she joined the Air Force, so he said to come over and we would take her out for lunch around noon. So I got ready and was out the door in time to get there about 11:30. I am driving up I-59/20 towards Birmingham and as I am passing though Bessemer I notice someone walking along the Interstate (not hitchhiking just walking). As I pass I notice that it is a man in Uniform, the uniform of an American Army soldier. So I pull over and ask if he needs a ride and the first thing he does is reach into his fatigues and produces his honorable discharge papers (DD214) and military I.D. card (he says to put me at ease and to prove that he is who he says he is). So I ask him where he is going. He is on his way to South Carolina .  I load his ruck sack into my car and off we go. I tell him I can give him a ride to Birmingham but I will be going north from there and he will be going east. “Roger that Sir, and thank you for the ride” is the reply I heard. I tell him “first of all I thank you for your service to our country, and second, any man in that uniform no matter what his or her age, does not call me SIR”.

We talk for a while and he tells me his story. This man, “First Sgt. Jeffrey Loving, 10th Mountain div.” has just returned from his 5th tour of duty, two in Iraq and three in Afghanistan . During which time he was wounded multiple times (and he has the scars to prove it, I saw them). He proceeded to tell me that his wife of 17 years was suppose to pick him up at the airport upon his arrival in Jackson, Mississippi and they were to pack up and move back to South Carolina where he was from. She didn’t pick him up. He took a taxi to their apartment and he found out she had cleaned out everything including his bank account, his Harley, and both of his guitars….everything, not even a pair of jeans left! He has no idea where she is, but a neighbor told him, she moved out the night before with her HUSBAND.

(Side note…there is a special place in Hell for people that do this)

He had nothing and only a few dollars to his name and the clothes on his back. (Heck of a note for someone who has just returned from his 5th tour of duty).

I asked him when was the last time you have eaten? “not in the last three days Sir”. I said let’s get you something to eat then. “No sir, not your problem sir”, “uuhhmm, YES IT IS Soldier, I am an American, it’s my family you protect, it’s my country you protect, it’s my way of life you protect, I can get you something to eat!!!!” I look at the next exit and see that all that’s there is a McDonalds’, and ask if that would be ok? “Roger that sir, that would be great, Thank you sir” “Please stop calling me SIR sergeant” however I realize he can’t stop, it’s who he is. I bought him 5 hamburgers, fries, and a coke. He went through 2 burgers, the fries and coke in about 5 minutes, then asked if it would be ok if he saved the other 3 burgers for later? “Son, if you are still hungry you eat them and I will get you more for later”

“I can’t have you do that sir, if it’s ok with you I will just save them”. I then asked how long have you been walking? I started in Jackson , Mississippi five days ago. He walked to the state line and someone picked him up and gave him a ride to Tuscaloosa , Alabama and he has been walking from there to Bessemer , Alabama where I picked him up (for anyone who doesn’t know, that’s about 45-50 miles) and he did this with a 50-60lbs. ruck sack on his back. It was about here where I made the statement that I couldn’t believe that he, in full U.S. Army uniform, had to walk that far without someone stopping to pick him up? You will not believe the reply I got!!!!!

“Sir, this is not anyone’s problem but mine, but since you asked, I will tell you that not only has no one stopped to give me a ride, but I have had beer bottles thrown at me, I have had garbage thrown at me and have been cursed and been called murderer.” “Sir I have never been more ashamed in my life.”

I pulled the car over, because I started to cry. He thought I was going to put him out!!!!!

I told him, son, don’t you EVER feel ashamed to wear that uniform. There may be some in this country that feel that way but son, I am not one of them. It’s me that feels ashamed, for the way you were treated. I told him that my father served in the Navy and had 8 tours to Vietnam , that 5 of his 6 brothers all had numerous tours in Vietnam , that my grandfather was a POW in Germany in WWII. I am the one who is ashamed and you son, hold your head high and don’t ever feel ashamed.

When was the last time you slept and had a hot shower? He dropped his head and told me his last shower was in Afghanistan , and he had not slept in 3 days. I told him I was on my way to see my brother and cousin in Gardendale and there are some hotels there, I will get you a hotel for the night and you can have a shower.

“NO SIR, I’m not your problem, just drop me off and I will keep walking, but thank you Sir” 

“With all due respect son, I am not asking for your permission, I am simply telling you what I am going to do, you can get some sleep and continue in the morning”

“Roger that sir, and thank you Sir”

I got him a room at a Days inn in Fultondale , Alabama . I made the comment that it’s not the Ritz and his reply was priceless…”Sir, for the last 3 months I have slept on the ground in the mountains of Afghanistan where its hot as blazes in the day and freezing cold at night, this is paradise to me SIR, Thank you for your generosity, If you will leave me your name and address, as soon as I get squared way in South Carolina, I will send you money to repay you, I promise.”

“Sergeant, you owe me nothing, I am simply repaying you”.

I got him squared away and was happy I got to help him out, I am sure he was asleep before I got out of the parking lot.

I went to my brothers and my cousin was there and told them of the encounter with 1st Sgt. Loving, my cousin Sherrie (Sgt. U.S. Air Force) asked my brother to look on the internet and see how much it would be for a bus ticket to South Carolina ? we looked and it was about $70.00. So we devised a plan. We went out to eat like we had planned and we ordered WAY more food than we needed and we boxed up everything we didn’t eat (enough to feed 2-3 more people) and as we left the restaurant we went by the hotel to drop in on 1st Sgt. Loving. Sure enough he was dead asleep, we woke him up and to his surprise we gave him more food (so he didn’t have to save the burgers). I introduced him to my brother Steve, his wife Tracey and my cousin Sherrie.  Tears welled up in his eyes and he was telling them of his plight and that I had taken good care of him and they should be proud of me, like I had saved his life or something, then out of the blue, my brother handed him a folded up bill and said for him to put it in his pocket. He refused, “No sir, I am not your problem Sir, I can’t take it, you all have been so nice and I can’t possibly take anything else, but thank you Sir”. Steve told him please take it, it’s not much but it will help some. He took it and unfolded the bill, it was a $100.00. WOW, my brother is amazing. He cried, I cried….well we all did. My cousin asked where he was stationed in Afghanistan ? He told her (I can’t remember the name of the base, wouldn’t you know it, in 3 months that is where Sherrie is going? They both were very excited, he was telling her things she needed to do to prepare for and things she needed to take and what not to do and etc…

The rest of us just sit back and watched the two of them in amazement. He was just what she needed, to prepare for her first trip into a hot zone and I think he felt good in being able to help out a fellow soldier. It was great. This went on for about 5-10 minutes and I hated to break it up, but I told him, that I would be coming back at 6:30 A.M. or so and pick him up to take him to the bus station and get him a ticket to South Carolina. The look on his face was AWESOME. (more crying) lots of hugs, (more crying).
1st Sgt. Loving told my family, that when he came back from Afghanistan and his wife was gone he was in despair, and as he was walking from Tuscaloosa to Bessemer , he had lost his faith in America and was losing his FAITH Period. He told my Family….”that I was his Hero”. (O.K., more crying)

Not sure anyone has ever called me a hero, and coming from Him, I have to tell you it meant something!

So Monday morning, I picked him up some breakfast  and I arrived at the hotel to pick up 1st Sgt. Loving, and he told me, “Sir I wish I could have called you to save you a trip, but, I met the man next door in the hotel and he is a truck driver who happens to be heading to, wait for it…..South Carolina, not only the state, but to his home town in South Carolina. Can you believe it?

God works in mysterious ways doesn’t He?

He told me that he could never repay what we had done for him, but truth be told, he did more for us than you can imagine.

I didn’t write this to pat myself on the back, simply to let everyone know that sometimes a simple ride can be more than a simple ride.

Sunday March 6th, 2011 I met a true American Hero, selfless, kind, dedicated, respectful and humble. A true example of what America is all about.  I promise you I got more from meeting him than he got from meeting me.

God Bless America , and God Bless our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guard and Marines!!!!!

Get your Program Here!

Well - it's really March 31!
Greetings baseball fans where ever you are and regardless of which team or teams you are cheering for.

Today begins a new season, weather may not be friendly is several ballparks at game time: a threat of rain in Washington, DC as the Nationals host the Atlanta Braves; and the NY Yankees will be hosting the Detroit Tigers with the possibility of rain as well.  We are hopeful that mother nature will cooperated and allow these games to be played.  In Cleveland yesterday they had snow flurries.

Enjoy the day Baseball Fan's and may your teams  play well and win !!

Textbooks and Stethoscopes: Opening Day

By: Sunny Hon

             It’s the age-old question of which came first – spring or baseball?  Was baseball created in celebration of the spring season?  Or was spring created as the perfect backdrop for baseball?  Regardless, the two are synonymous with one another just as songbirds and ice cream trucks are to warm weathered months.  More than anything, baseball has long been embedded into the fabric of the American culture.  While the climates of most things continue to change around us, like that of technological trends or global politics, some still maintain certain degrees of nostalgia that are never too wearisome.  The iconic images of fresh cut grass and of ball players in the crisp of early season, or the familiar sounds of the cracks of bats as they make contact with the balls, or the pitch counts from the umpires standing behind home plate, these are the very Technicolor that brings life to this season.     

Baseball has become more about family bonding than it is about the sport itself – fathers teaching their children the culture’s favorite pass time; the passing of old gloves from generations past to the potentials of tomorrow.  Opening day in baseball is a celebration of family.  It is an opportunity for creating a lifetime of memories.  For the sport, the new year brings new hope to a new season.  Powerhouse teams being their paths to the post-season, while the lesser teams get fresh starts to right ships that had gone astray in seasons past.  As Washingtonians, we hope for nothing more than for the young Nationals to take another stride towards pennant glory.  Will Stephen Strasburg come back strong after the Tommy John surgery?  When will we see Bryce Harper in the Majors?  Is Jayson Werth worth the contract?  Most importantly, does the team have the pitching and enough offense to be at least a 0.500 team this season?  Looking at other headlines around the league – Have the Phillies place their on this season already?  Can the Giants repeat?  Will the Yankees’ older roster begin to slow down the team?  How will the Red Sox do this season?  Or the teams in Chicago?  How about the Dodgers?  It is, without a doubt, an exciting new season.  With all this said, there is nothing left to say, but “Play Ball!” 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”~Mark Twain

Why do we love springtime?  What makes this time of the year special for you?  Is it that ole man winter is finally getting ready to leave and warmer weather is coming?  Is it the first sighting of a Robin, looking for worms or something else to eat?  Or is it seeing the Gold Finches returning to the bird feeders?  Might be the buds on your plants or flowers?  Maybe it’s the young chicks squawking at their parents for food?  Or the simple beautify of your surroundings.

"If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment."  O'Keefe, Georgia

Today, our landscaping crew is doing the annual Spring Clean Up – fallen branches from the storms of past, leaves that remain from the fall, picking up the old mulch and replacing it with new.  Giving the plants, shrubs, trees and flowers that little extra TLC so they can grow healthy and true.  I sit in my chair, typing away on this keyboard, knowing they will do a wonderful job, like they always do.  We are so blessed with kindness and beauty this spring.

"Where flowers bloom so does hope."  - Lady Bird Johnson

It is also America’s favorite past time has finally arrived, to call of “Play Ball”, starts again tomorrow afternoon, the crowd cheers as their team takes the field for a fresh new season, full of hope and dreams.  Play ball”.

I cheer for the home teams in our area, we have four in all, two major league and two minor league teams, but to watch a good baseball game is really all that I desire, win, lose or draw – a good game is a good game and you have gotten your money’s worth, enjoyed the day, the fellowship of the fans, those vendors selling popcorn, hot dogs, ice cold drinks, peanuts, cotton candy and a variety of other non-healthy foods.  But really folks, lets face it; a good ballpark dog is part of the show – and hard to repeat their special taste at home.  It is not uncommon to find me parked somewhere watching kids play this game, without a clue who the players are, much less the teams.  For it is the game itself that draws my attention, and perhaps remembering those days, long gone by, that Dad, would be with us, watching games, ours or someone else, just enjoying the game and thankful for sharing it with others who you cared about.

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~ Robin Williams

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.  ~Ruth Stout

Root Canal Awareness Week Part Two


Once upon a time, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called a root canal therapy you may save that tooth. Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.

Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

What is root canal treatment?

Your dentist uses root canal treatment to find the cause and then treat problems of the tooth's soft core (the dental pulp). Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment has given dentists a safe way of saving teeth.

What is the dental pulp?

The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the bone of the jaws.

What happens if the pulp gets injured?

An abscessed (infected) tooth caused by tooth decay. When the pulp is diseased or injured and can't repair itself, it dies. The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity. Both of these problems can let germs (bacteria) enter the pulp. Germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a "pus-pocket" called an abscess. An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth.

Why does the pulp need to be removed?

When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jaw bones. Without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.

What does treatment involve?

Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems of the pulp) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed.

Here's how your tooth is saved through treatment:

  1. First, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth.
  2. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  3. The pulp is then removed. The root canal(s) is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled.
  4. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped
  5. Medications may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help get rid of germs and prevent infection.
  6. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits. Your dentist may leave the tooth open for a few days to drain. You might also be given medicine to help control infection that may have spread beyond the tooth.
  7. The pulp chamber and root canals are filled and sealed.
  8. The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal(s) are cleaned and filled.
  9. In the final step, a gold or porcelain crown is usually placed over the tooth. If an endodontist performs the treatment, he or she will recommend that you return to your family dentist for this final step.
  10. The crown of the tooth is then restored.

How long will the restored tooth last?

Your restored tooth could last a lifetime, if you continue to care for your teeth and gums. However, regular checkups are necessary. As long as the root(s) of a treated tooth are nourished by the tissues around it, your tooth will remain healthy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dreading report card day

by Diane Forrest, RN

This is the first in a series of articles that we will cover and some life lessons to share as well.

Thursday was report card day for my cousin's son.  She had been on pins and needles all week wondering about his grades.  For the last couple of years she has been concerned about his falling grades, particularly in math and science.  She had spoken with other parents and began to wonder if her son was showing symptoms’ of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), defines three attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-compulsive, or combined. Although symptom severity varies, ADHD can be devastating, wreaking havoc with attention and causing irrepressible energy and impulsive behavior that can strain family relationships and impair achievement at school.

Because ADHD symptoms—inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity—affect a child's ability to learn and get along with others, some people think an ADHD child's behavior is caused by a lack of discipline, a chaotic family life, or even too much TV.

Other signs and symptoms are:

·       easily distracted,
·       miss details,
·       forget things,
·       frequently switch from one activity to another
·       have difficulty focusing on one thing
·       become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
·       have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
·       have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
·       not seem to listen when spoken to
·       daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
·       have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others, and
·       struggle to follow instructions.

Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:

·       fidget and squirm in their seats,
·       talk nonstop,
·       dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight,
·       have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time,
·       be constantly in motion, and
·       have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:

·       be very impatient
·       blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
·       have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
·       often interrupt conversations or others' activities.
·       ADHD was first recognized in the 70's.  It is first noticed around the age of 7.  It is diagnosed by a series of tests.  First, the parents are given a test about their child's behavior, then the answers are compared.  Then the child is monitored for 6 months for a trend in continuous behavior.  Physical testing is done such as blood tests and even EEGs.

The cause of ADHD has not been determined. In fact, research suggests that ADHD is largely a genetic disorder.   Some other factors include:

·       exposure to Pesticides,
·       smoking while pregnant,
·       lead exposure,
·       food additives,
· games - those who spent more time in front of a screen had more attention problems than those who did not,
·       bad parenting,
·       brain injury ( not considered a major risk factor),
·       diet ...adolescents with diets high in fat, refined sugar, and sodium were two times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as other kids,
·       genetics,
·       over diagnosis, and
·       sugar - the idea that refined sugar causes ADHD or makes symptoms worse is popular, but more research discounts this theory than supports it.


Individualized treatment program should be developed for children with a goal of:

·       maximizing function to improve relationships and performance at school,
·       decrease disruptive behaviors,
·       promote safety,
·       increase independence and improve self esteem.

Treatment usually begins with therapy, then stimulant drugs such as Ritalin or Allderall, then antidepressants.  The child is then monitored and reevaluated for effectiveness of the plan and any changes made accordingly.

ADD is a chronic condition, meaning it will last a lifetime.  There is no cure.  Medications help with the symptoms.  There are many things that can be done to help the child learn to live with the condition, mainly retraining, making notes, charts, checklists. Keeping a schedule and be organized. There are also support groups.

We just want to have fun...

As for my cousin, her son does not have ADD, he is simply a 14 year old boy who has no interest in math or science.  Hopefully my cousin and her son will make it through his high school years without too much trauma.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Root Canal Awareness Week

While researching the Internet on month, week and day observances I discovered that this week is Root Canal Awareness Week.  Folks, this is one subject that I have lived with for decades.  Why so lucky, well my oldest grandson, Connor, offers this suggestion, that since my birthday is in January, perhaps I was conceived on April 1st.  He's in Orlando working at Disney - a safe distance away - for now - love him just the same.

Depicts Identification and Process

Since the mid-seventies I have had the opportunity to experience several, with a few that still give me nightmares from time to time – but fair readers – I’ll not dwell upon those.  We will however spend the next couple of days reviewing what is a Root Canal, why we get them, how they are treated, how to prevent them, and the significant advances and technology to improve the process and more importantly, helping the patient.

Root canal definitions 

Function: n
1.  The part of the pulp cavity lying in the root of a tooth called also pulp canal 

2. A dental operation to save a tooth by removing the contents of its root canal and filling the cavity with a protective substance (as gutta-percha)
Source - Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc

1. The chamber of the dental pulp lying within the root portion of a tooth. Also called pulp canal .

2. A treatment in which diseased tissue from this part of the tooth is removed and the resulting cavity is filled with an inert material.
Source - The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary

With that as an introduction I'll close out for now and continue getting the next parts ready for posting,  As always, we welcome and look forward to your comments.  Wishing all a wonderful day,
~ Terry

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Special Friends

(Another email arrived today that is worth sharing - enjoy)

I 'm
Sending this to see how
Many actually read their e-mail.
Your response will be interesting.
Pay attention to what you read.

After you have finished reading it, you will know the reason it was
Sent to you..

Here goes:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a
You have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you
Guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a God send and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be..
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire
Fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has
Come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real.. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
Your job is to accept the lesson,
Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other
Relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Send this
To every friend that you have on-line,
Including the person who sent it to you.
0 Replies - you may need to work on your 'people skills'
2 Replies - you are nice but probably need to be more outgoing
4 Replies - you have picked your friends well!
6 Replies - you are downright popular
8 Replies or More - you are totally awesome
(and that's probably why you're on MY list)

I wonder what mine will be.


Forward this message the same day you received it.
It may sound ridiculous, but it is right on time.
We believe that something is about to happen.
Angels exist, only sometimes they haven't got wings and we call them

Friends; you are one of them.

(The email goes on to say:  
Tomorrow at 10.35am
Will address you and tell you
Something you have been waiting to hear.
Please do not break it.
Send it to at least 7 of your friends.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Rainbow Bridge


The Rainbow Bridge
inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Healthy Habits for Kids

by Diane Forrest, RN

Ever hear the expression Monkey See, Monkey do?  Well....the same principle applies to bringing up children in a healthy atmosphere.  In order to instill healthy habits in your kids, you must first examine your own habits.  If you don't eat a nutritionally balanced diet, you can't expect your child to.  If you don't exercise regularly there is a good chance your child won't either.  This isn't a "do as I say, not as I do" situation.  Parents must teach by example.

There are many schools of thought on the diets of kids.  How to "Make" a kid eat better. any parent can tell you, you can't Make a child eat anything they don't want.  You can beg, yell, threaten, trick, or bribe, but in the end, they will eat what they want. 

Pediatricians tell new parents when starting solid foods, begin with vegetables.  They tell you if you start with the fruits, which are sweet, you will never get them to eat other things.  You should also only introduce one new item a day, this will help detect any allergies and dislikes.

The American Heart Association has developed the food pyramid that determines the number of servings a person needs for proper nutrition.  They are as follows:

Toddlers(2-4 years)  1000 calories a day including:
                               2 cups milk
                               2 ounces lean meat or beans
                               1 cup fruit
                               1 cup vegetables
                               3 ounces grains

Children (4-8 years) 1200 calories for girls and 1400 calories for boys including:
                               2 cups milk
                               3 - 4 ounces lean meat or beans
                               1.5 cup fruit
                               1 to 1.5 cups vegetables
                               4 to 5 ounces grains

Tweens ( 9-13 years) 1600 calories for girls, 1800 for boys including:
                               3 cups milk
                               5 ounces lean meat or beans
                               1.5 cup fruit
                               2 to 2.5 cups vegetables
                               5 to 6 ounces grains

If you want your child to eat healthy foods, don't draw attention to it.  Fix a child's plate from the same place that you fix your own.  Sit together, eat, talk and enjoy each other's company.  Meal times should be pleasant, not full of conflict.  If your child doesn't like something on his plate, don't get mad.  Ask questions.  Why don't you like it, is it too hard, too soft, too hot, too cold, too salty, too sweet, too bitter.  Not everyone has the same tastes.  The purpose is to introduce different foods to your child to determine his likes or dislikes.

Some people are fans of hiding vegetables in other foods, such as chocolate cake made with beets, or shredded carrots in hamburgers.  Personally, I disagree with this method.  Your child should be able to trust you and the food you give him.  I have a great recipe for hushpuppies made with squash.  You can make something different out of the vegetables, but don't try to trick them let them know what they are eating. 

Some people try to make toys and games out of food.  Again, I don't think it is a good idea to teach kids that it is ok to play with your food, you also want to teach and encourage good table manners during meal time.  I don't think it's wrong to put a smiley face on a peanut butter sandwich, or make trees out of broccoli, just don't make it a habit.

The most important thing you can do is offer nutritious snacks and meals instead of junk food.  If they start with a good foundation, it is easier to stick with healthy food.  Once they start going to day care, school, friends, you will have no control over what they eat and drink.

In addition to monitoring their food intake at home, also pay attention to their physical appearance.  If their hair is dull or flat, eye are sunken or yellow, skin pale or dull, could all be signs of a vitamin deficiency.  If your child is not receiving the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, you can also provide a multivitamin, however, vitamins are not necessary if they are eating a balanced diet.  Fresh air and sunshine and exercise are  also necessary for healthy children. 

As Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  A good healthy start will help to make a long healthy life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Stay

(Another touching email arrived today worth sharing.  I hope you enjoy.)

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
"Your son is here," she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.
He was heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack; he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength.  Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
"Who was that man?" he asked.
The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.
"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."
"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"
"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here.  When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."  
The next time someone needs you ... just be there.  Stay.

We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.
Have a great day and bless someone else in some little way today!
God is so good, all the time.