Motivate 'Children' to do well in school!
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Fun Recipe to say I love you in the morning

Interesting recipe for expressing ones love - I mean the wife happy.

When is an egg "in the hole" not just an egg "in the hole"? When in the hands of chef Matthew Accarrino! Accarrino, the culinary mastermind behind SPQR's first Michelin star, has elevated this simple breakfast dish into a masterpiece on the plate. Diced rutabaga, foraged mushrooms and rich brown stock take comfort food from homey to gourmet.

Makes: 4 servings

1/2 cup rutabaga, peeled and cut in small dice
Extra virgin olive oil
51/2 ounces (2 cups) mushrooms, preferably hen of the woods (maitake)
Kosher salt
1/4 cup finely diced bacon
3 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup brown stock
4 (3/4-inch thick) slices brioche
About 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to finish
4 eggs
1/2 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
Handful of miner's lettuce or chickweed

*Personally I am not a fan of mushrooms - so I am looking for an alternative or plan to leave it out.

In a small pot of boiling, salted water, blanch diced rutabaga until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain well.

Heat a film of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Scatter mushrooms in an even layer and sear without moving them until they begin to brown, about 1 minute. Turn heat down, give mushrooms a stir, and season with salt. Sauté until mushrooms are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Drain mushrooms on paper towels and return pan to stove over medium heat.

fun food recipe breakfast

Add bacon and cook until fat has nearly fully rendered, about 3 minutes. Stir in rutabaga and cook until bacon is fully rendered and rutabaga edges have started to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Drain bacon and rutabaga on paper towels. Return pan to stove over medium-high heat.

Pour in wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Pour in stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Keep warm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a 2-inch round cutter, punch holes in center of each slice of bread, but keep punched-out pieces in slices.

fun egg recipe for mom

To toast bread, heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. (If skillet can't accommodate all the bread, work in batches.) Add a few pats of butter to pan and swirl until melted. Place bread in pan, pressing down lightly to ensure it browns evenly. Brown one side, about 2 minutes, and flip slices over.

fun recipe egg special breakfast

Remove centers and place in pan to toast alongside slices. Crack eggs and slide one egg into each hole. Cook eggs for a minute to set, then transfer skillet to oven. Bake eggs until whites are fully cooked but yolks are still runny, about 6 minutes. Divide egg toasts among 4 plates.

fun egg recipe for love

Return pan with stock to medium heat. Swirl in shallot and tarragon and stir back in mushrooms, rutabaga and bacon. Season with salt and swirl in a pat of butter. Spoon sauce over eggs, then place a toast round askew over each egg. Garnish each plate with a few pieces of miner's lettuce.

Reprinted with permission from "SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine" by Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino with Kate Leahy, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House Inc.

Better FCAT and school scores for students

Better FCAT and School scores for students

Every parent wants better FCAT scores, better grades and for their child or children to do better in school – at least any concerned caring parent. But the question is – how do you go about it? How do you accomplish this if your child is more into video games than he is about learning?
Every child is different – I should know because my 9 yr. old son is completely the opposite of my 15 yr. old daughter, like day and night. My daughter has always been quiet, reserved, she could be considered to be the epitome of the perfect child (never made a fuss usually did what she was told). When it came to school, she did her work and loved to read. My son, well that was a whole different ball game.

better FCAT and school grades
My son turned out to be a rambunctious tyrant of mischief who loved to get into everything. His idea of fun is playing video games and reenacting video game war battle scenes on my pool table with the hundreds of toy soldiers he has – which he never picks up afterward. Getting him to read a book was like asking him to jump into a vat of acid – it just wasn’t his thing.

While my daughter would read two to three books at a time, my son would read one book in three months. It was becoming an overwhelming challenge to try to motivate this child of mine to be interested in learning. Luckily – just as I was starting to give up and wondering if I should teach him some manual trade he could learn so that he could be a productive member of society – my son a 9yr old third grader comes home with a 99% on his performance matters test, a 5 on his FCAT reading and a 4 on his FCAT math – my response was “what?”

It turns out that in my desperation to motivate my rambunctious child to learn, to be motivated in learning – I implemented some strategies that must have worked. For instance, I threw away the “one fits all” cookie cutter plan and realized that what worked for my daughter was not going to work for my son. I also found that if I incorporated what he liked into how we learned (studied) that he was more inclined to want to learn. Of course I still kept some of the basics of my teaching methods – such as explaining the reason behind learning, the need to desire to learn and my favorite – bribery. Nothing worked better with my son than to explain to him that until he finished his homework (which I checked to make sure it all was correct) and his studies – he could not play any games.

Another tactic I pursued was teaching through playing, such as playing monopoly, the game of life, allowing him to play games that required solving puzzles or problem solving. One particular time my son came home wanting to download a game called Roblox, his friends at school where playing it – after I looked it over I realized this actually might be good for him. The main objective of the game was building and creating – which I found to be creatively stimulating for him. These tactics and also being an example to him, such as children are they love to imitate – so wanting to be like dear old sis and dad he too started showing interest in reading books. Now I never knew if he ever finished the books, it continues to be a chore to get him to read but at least he has the desire to read.

Currently he is interested in playing a game called minecraft? It is pretty much similar to Roblox whereas you build homes, motes, and fortress as you gather food – all while you fight off block shaped monsters and zombies. He surprises me because he goes online and he watches videos on youtube (research) in order to play the game better and to be knowledgeable of the game. He is always proud to show me what he has accomplished and has built in the game. He enjoys telling me about the videos and excitedly tells me about the new tricks he has learned from the video tips.
If there is one thing my son has taught me – it’s to never judge a book by its cover. He was starting to concern me; the future does not look bright for our children – the economy, higher taxes, and so few jobs that do not require higher learning. Not to say that my job as a parent is over – there is still much work to do, but at least I can see that my son – yes, he does have a brain….. (LOL) and my methods to stimulate that brain have been more successful than I thought.

The author of this article also wrote the following two books:
For children how to become Rich Successful and do well in school

You are worth Millions you just don’t know it

Funny: who is up for a burn?

Funny: Who is up for a burn?

funny silly jokes

It’s the week end and it is time to distress, unwind and relax – so what do we do: make plans to get a nice crispy burn. I love making fun of friends and family who come back from frolicking in the sun with a nice reddish crispy look to them. Personally, if you know me – the sun and I are not friends. I hate getting sun burn; I hate it not because of the possibility of skin cancer or all the other health reasons like aging skin. But simply because I dislike being cooked, baked, and that uncomfortable pain one has to endure as you wait to recover from that oh so not nice tan (red burn) people seek after.

Look, I am Hispanic and I am fair skinned and sort of look white (some people say I look jewish, Indian and even Mexican) but me and my self – I am comfortable with my shin, in my skin and I have no desire to be a bronzed god – I mean have the color of a bronze god (..LOL).

So what does the family want to do – go to the beach, get some sun, come home miserable from having been over exposed to the harmful rays of the sun – but hey, I guess people love to suffer.

Recipe: Spanish Pork Burgers - Awesome !

Recipe: Spanish Pork Burgers
Memorial week end or any week end - A great tasting burger is always good to have.
Here is one recipe I plan on having this weekend.


recipe spanish pork burgers
3 cup(s) thinly sliced Spanish onion
3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
1 pound(s) lean ground pork
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped Spanish green olives, such as Manzanilla
2 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
2 teaspoon(s) Pimentón de la Vera (see Shopping Tip) , or Hungarian paprika
1/4 cup(s) reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
Saffron (see Ingredient Note)
1/4 cup(s) shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
2 whole jarred Piquillo peppers (see Shopping Tip) , or jarred pimientos, halved lengthwise

Recipe Directions
1.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Set aside half the onion for topping; finely chop the other half.
2.Preheat grill to medium.
3.Place the chopped onion in a large bowl; add pork, olives, garlic, paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
4.Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, and saffron in a small bowl.
5.Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Top with cheese and cook until it is melted, about 1 minute more.
6.Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with the lemon-saffron mayonnaise, some of the reserved onions and a half a Piquillo (or pimiento) pepper.

Tips & Techniques

Shopping Tip: Spain is known for its superb paprika called Pimentón de la Vera, which has a smoky flavor, and for intensely flavored peppers called Piquillos. Look for these specialty ingredients in well-stocked supermarkets, gourmet-food shops or online at or

Ingredient Note: Literally the stamen from Crocus sativus, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Each crocus produces only 3 stamen, requiring over 75,000 flowers for each pound of saffron. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. It's used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African, and European-inspired foods. Find it in the specialty-herb section of large supermarkets, gourmet-food shops, and Wrapped in foil and placed in a container with a tight-fitting lid, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.

Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Teen's invention recharges cellphones in seconds

Teen's invention recharges cellphones in seconds
Tired of constantly dying batteries, she came up with a device that could revolutionize energy storage -- and won $50,000 from Intel.
By Bruce Kennedy

If you care at all about America's future as a country of ideas and potential, you'll probably agree that this is a cool story.

An 18-year-old high school student has come up with what might be a breakthrough in the field of energy storage. She has invented a device that can, for example, recharge a cellphone in seconds rather than hours.

Eesha Khare, a student at Lynbrook High School in Saratoga, Calif., was one of two runners-up at the annual Intel (INTC -0.87%) International Science and Engineering Fair last week in Phoenix. She beat out more than 1,600 finalists from more than 70 countries.

Khare received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of $50,000. As the company's press release states, "Eesha recognized the crucial need for energy-efficient storage devices. She developed a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds."

When asked by NBC News why she focused on energy storage, the high school senior had a very practical response: "My cellphone battery always dies."

Besides charging very quickly, Khare's supercapacitor can also endure 10,000 recharging cycles, compared with current conventional batteries, which last about 1,000 cycles. She says her work in supercapacitors also allowed her to focus on her interest in nanotechnologies and nanochemistry.

In other words, this young woman has come up with a tiny, solid-state and highly efficient battery that can bend, fold and potentially be used in a variety of applications, from clothing and fabric to car batteries.

Let's not forget the other runner-up at the Intel Young Scientist Award, 17-year-old Henry Lin of Shreveport, La., who also received $50,000 for his simulations of galaxy clusters.

The event's first-prize winner of $75,000 was a 19-year-old student from Romania, Ionut Budisteanu, who created a low-cost, automatically controlled car that uses artificial intelligence to detect traffic lanes, curbs and the vehicle's real-time position.

Khare will use her prize money to attend Harvard, where she plans to pursue a career in research. And she is already being wooed by Google (GOOG -1.04%). Not bad for someone who just attended her high school prom.

Splash-tastic Indoor water parks

Splash-tastic Indoor water parks

Kids and water parks go together like macaroni and cheese. Check out our top picks for your next wet and wild vacation.
Ask any child what he wants to do on vacation, and you'll hear one answer more than any other: swim! So it's no wonder indoor water-park resorts have become one of the hottest new travel trends.

best indoor water park
We're not talking about two-turn slides like the one at the town pool. These places are full-fledged water fantasy lands: Consistently around 82 degrees, with a zero percent chance of rain, they're fail-proof all year.

Great Wolf Lodge
(11 locations around the country, plus one in Niagara Falls, Canada; This log-cabinesque behemoth started the craze. Its range of activities (aquatic and otherwise) makes the resort a crowd-pleaser.

The draw: A four- to eight-story tree house with soakers aplenty; some locations have a funnel slide, called the Howlin' Tornado, that slings the whole crew around on a four-person tube. National Geographic Kids has sponsored a Cub Club for little landlubbers. And for too-cool tweens, there's the gr8_space computers (with Internet access on approved sites only) and Wii games, all to the sounds of a live DJ. Lisa Bain, a mom of two from Rockville Centre, NY, says her 12-year-old and friends found it "way cool."

The lowdown: The rustic, woodsy lodgings are part of the deal -- only those who stay get access to the water park. The prices include passes for every day of your stay, including the days of arrival and departure, so plan accordingly. The onsite food's not the highlight, though, so consider taking advantage of the mini-kitchen in the room.

Key Lime Cove
(Illinois; This 65,000-square-foot island-themed indoor water park is a tropical paradise any time of year.

The draw: The Pineapple Bucket! The ginormous fruit rocks suspensefully and tips when it's full of water, drenching the giggling gaggle of kids below. It was a favorite of Catherine Holecko's then 5-year-old daughter. "I loved seeing her shriek and run away from the cascading water," says the mom of two from Neenah, WI. The Lazy River adds built-in downtime, too.

The lowdown: The park is close to Six Flags and a massive mall, so when you feel like drying out, you're covered.

Wilderness Resorts
(two locations: Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee; Wilderness at the Dells in Wisconsin; These huge resorts offer fun on a (really) large scale, so you'll have more options (and more breathing room).

The draw: At Wilderness at the Dells, four -- yes, four -- indoor parks are included in the price of a room. At Wilderness at the Smokies, you'll find poolside cabanas, the area's only surf-rider, and access to an aquarium (with sharks!) nearby.

The lowdown: Check the family-focused specials on the website, like free kids' meals with adult-meal purchases.

Kalahari Resorts
(locations in Wisconsin and Ohio, and a new park in Virginia is under development; Think of this kitschy African safari-themed adventure palace as the Vegas of indoor water parks (in a good way).

The draw: Your gang will like the Safari Adventures (see ostriches, zebras, and even a giraffe!) at the Ohio locale nearly as much as the water rides. At the Wisconsin park, a six-story indoor Ferris wheel ups the fun factor, too. Colleen Vanier, a mom of two from West Allis, WI, says the dining here is a treat.

The lowdown: We laud the smart design of the resort -- it's spread out, so it's never super loud, a boon if you're trying to get a cranky kid to take a nap.

One of the best times I had with the family was at: CoCo Keys in Florida

Teaching children monopoly for financial future success

Teaching sound financial techniques to children

A while back I wrote a post about teaching my children about money by playing monopoly – it turns out that I am not alone in my way of thinking. It turns out that an entire book has been written on this very same idea – I guess great minds do think alike... Lol

"Monopoly became a part of my life the moment my father, Robert Barton--then president of Parker Brothers--acquired the game in 1935. Now, all these years later, Philip Orbanes reveals what we've all sensed since then--the game is replete with solid financial lessons." -- RANDOLPH P. BARTON, former president of Parker Brothers

It’s no surprise to me – of course you have to play the game seriously if you want to learn anything of beneficial use to you.
Please forgive the video interview - it's a bit drab but I agree with the ideas of the author. To learn more about why and how monopoly is a great way to teach financial knowledge to kids continue to read more below the video.

Originally "Monopoly" came from a game called: The Landlord’s Game. It was created By Elizabeth J. Phillips Magie – it was created first for friends and family and then patented in 1903.

The Landlord's Game is a board game patented in 1904 as U.S. Patent 748,626. It is a realty and taxation game, which is considered to be a direct inspiration for the board game Monopoly. Though many similar home-made games were played at the beginning of the 20th century and some predate The Landlord's Game, it is the first of its kind to have an attested patent.

Magie designed the game to be a "practical demonstration of the present system of land grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences". She based the game on the economic principles of Georgism, a system proposed by Henry George, with the object of demonstrating how rents enrich property owners and impoverish tenants. She knew that some people could find it hard to understand why this happened and what might be done about it, and she thought that if Georgist ideas were put into the concrete form of a game, they might be easier to demonstrate. Magie also hoped that when played by children the game would provoke their natural suspicion of unfairness, and that they might carry this awareness into adulthood.

Financial literacy Hip Hop contest - Boys & Girls club

Good financial advice from young Hip Hop contest winner - this is what we should be looking for in our youth. I am pleased that this medium (hip hop) was used to try to reach the hearts and minds of our youth who need to prepare for their financial future. Like the rapper says "Money runs the world, I can't change that", But how you manage your money - that you can control.


Song by Blake McGuire Produced as Music Video by Multi-Platinum Music Producer Kevin "KHAO" Cates and Featured on First-Ever Financial Literacy-Themed Album
What happens when you couple the musical talent and creativity of today’s youth with one of the most important topics among teens? This year’s Money Matters Music Mogul (M4) Contest, presented by BGCA and Charles Schwab Foundation, generated top talent from across the country and showed teens the power of financial education and knowledge.

Congratulations to Blake McGuire, 15, of Indianapolis who was named the fan favorite and grand prize winner for his song Money All That Matters! Blake has always had a passion for music and started writing poetry at an early age. He quickly turned his passion for writing poems into raps.

Before he joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Blake had a lot of time to make choices that were not the best for him. The Club turned out-of-school time into a positive and fun experience that truly turned his life around. He took the Money Matters program last year and "enjoyed every minute of it." Through the M4 contest Blake was able to combine newfound financial concepts with his love of music.

Blake’s winning song received more than 100,000 votes on from his fellow teens and was featured on the first-ever financial literacy-themed hip hop album. On his trip to Atlanta, Blake visited a swanky studio to professionally record his song with Kevin “KHAO” Cates of Bridge DA Gap and made the trip to a local Atlanta Boys & Girls Club to create his music video. The once-in-a-lifetime experience allowed Blake to travel on an airplane for the first time and live like a rockstar for a weekend. He also received a $1,000 scholarship and matching scholarship for his Club. Read more.

Funny Silly - you have to luagh

You have to laugh I think it's funny.

Life is good, until......

funny life is cruel

May 5, 2013: A great gray owl is photographed just moments before snatching up its prey. The photo is from an extraordinary sequence of images by photographer Tom Samuelson along Lake Superior just south of Two Harbors, Minn.

For get that it's cold. Forget that he is in his underwear. This guy is 77 yrs. old - damn!
funny silly old man

A 77-year-old retired teacher exercises in his underwear in Jilin, China.

Silly funny pictures & funnier thoughts

Funny silly pictures and my funnier thoughts.

I'm too cool Dude.

cool funny silly pictures

May 6, 2013: A man rides his scooter as the street floods from torrential rains in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Personally - I think this one is cool. But still - don't expect a tip.

funny silly cool robots

Robots deliver dishes to customers at a Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China.

Funny silly pictures images- thoughts

Silly thoughts of these interesting funny silly pictures I have run across online.

China, may be a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. Personally, I've also had nightmares about forgetting where I parked my car - but this is worse.

funny silly picture china

May 7, 2013: A resident walks past a car parked amid debris at a site demolished as part of a street broadening project in Taiyuan, China, on May 6. The site used to be a parking lot. The owner of the car could not be reached, so the workers were told to carry on demolition operations around it, according to local media

I have to admit - this is what I call entertainment.

funny silly picture china

Winter swimmers box on the frozen Songhua River during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in China.

7 ways: Motivating learning in young children 3

Part 1
7 ways: Motivating learning in young children  (part 3 )

6.       Risk: believe it or not children need to learn how to take risk – calculated risk. By this I mean that they have to be willing to fail and most importantly – how to deal with and overcome the fear of failure.
It is a basic human nature, to fear failure. Why, because failure means lose, a cost and a price. No one likes to fail – that is just the way it is. But in children, the fear of failure nurtures a desire not to try, to attempt, or to excel.
We all do, adults just like children – we fear failure so we avoid doing anything we think we will fail at. We have to teach children how to learn from mistakes, how to manage mistakes in order not to fear mistakes. There is a saying: it is better to have loved and loss than to have not loved at all. The same goes for life, except we call it missed opportunities; I could have, should have, but I didn’t.

If kernel Sanders of Kentucky fried chicken: if he would have given up after his first failed attempt – he would have never been a success. It is said that he had tried and failed 1009 times before he was able to sell his secret recipe.

7.       Consequence: everything in life has a consequence – good or bad, we only use this word when we relate it to bad outcomes. Good or bad – your actions have consequences, it’s just that simple. Children need to learn that the consequence of doing ‘good’ is a good outcome, a reward, prosperity. The consequence of doing bad, doing wrong, failure to do your best – may and often does result in a price you may not want to pay.
While life has a bad habit of throwing monkey wrenches into the works and making a mess of all our hard work – the principal is still true: there are consequences to your actions.
On average, the person who does the right things, proper things, works hard, saves, plans – that person usually finds good satisfactory results (consequence). On the other hand, the person who waits, procrastinates, fails to plan, doesn’t work, fails to save – that person usually finds that things go wrong (consequence).
Without this knowledge of consequence, it’s hard for a child to desire to do much of any good.

The apostle Paul wrote in the bible: he who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat. We now live in a world that teaches kids that it’s ok to do whatever you want because there is no punishment. You fail a test, fail school - don’t worry. You act crazy, fight, can’t get along with others and lose your job – don’t worry. The response to everything people do is: don’t worry. That could be why so many people simply do not care about anything in life – it’s that ‘don’t worry' attitude.

7 ways: Motivating learning in young children 2

7 ways: Motivating learning in young children
(part 2)

3.       What is value: this may be one of the most difficult things to teach any child. What is value? How do you go about giving value to things and most of all, to one’s self?
Children are surrounded by all sorts of influences, from their parents, teachers, from their school friends and even from that box called the television set (cable, internet, and so forth). The problem is they need to know the value of things: this is important and this is why purpose and understanding comes first before value. When a child has a purpose and they understand the importance of the order of things – they can better understand the value of things and the value of why they need to do things.
Have you ever bought a gift for your child only to have it lost or broken, if you replace it quickly they lose all site of the value of that gift. They leave it about, easily forget it and more. But if you had this same child work several days or weeks of hard manual labor and instilled in them the understanding that if it is lost they will have to redo all the hard work they did to purchase a new one – there is usually a change in how that child cares for that item. This is because they can equate the hard work necessary to obtain the item with the value of the item.
As a side note: value is also important in order to help a child with self worth and self esteem – you decide your worth, no one else.

4.       True reward: what is true reward – it just happens to go with understanding value. In order for a child to seek and desire to learn on his or her own – they need to understand that yes there is a reward at the end of all this hard work. There is nothing more confusing than the educational system – they teach you all these things that to children and even to adults seems to be fruitless, wasteful and most of all you think to yourself “when will I ever need to use this in the real world?”
While there are something’s in life we will learn that we will never again use – the purpose of learning is to broaden your mind and to help you solve problems. This is often the problem with the school system – they teach you how to remember facts but often fail to teach you how to solve problems or how and where to find the solutions to problems.
The reward one receives from learning is that you open your mind to other possibilities and this helps you now and in the future. The light bulb is a very common item now a days, but we forget that it took over six thousand failed attempts before Edison learned how to make the incandescent light bulb to work properly. And in truth, how can you decide what future you want if you don’t learn a little about science, geography, math and so forth. Knowledge itself is its own reward.

5.       Patience: the old saying is – patience is a virtue, too bad so many of use lack patience. We now live in a society where everything is expected to happen now, today. It is an instant gratification type of world our children live in as they slowly progress through school only thinking about – when will summer ever get here.
Children need to learn that life takes time, patience and flexibility. When you plant a seed, you cannot expect to find a plant tomorrow, the next week or even next month. Everything in life takes time, there is a process, steps one must take in order to start and then reach the expected goal. The reason so many children hate learning is because they do not see the expected instant gratification of the work they do. Take for instance a test; a simple spelling word exam is given every Friday. So the student studies every day for four days and then on Friday takes the exam. The problem is the student has to wait the entire week end to receive the result of the exam on Monday – that is if he doesn’t have to wait till next Friday when he takes all his or her paper work home for mom and dad to review. In a society of ‘everything now’ the effects of taking a test and not being rewarded with a good grade now is lost.
What I often do is to have my child study and then take a practice test with me. When he passes our home made test he gets reaffirmation and a simple reward. This also allows for helping my child with any of the words he may have gotten wrong. So when the real test happens my child is better prepared, motivated to do well and can patiently wait for the results to come in. By doing this the child desires to learn because he/she see’s results now, and this allows to build-up momentum in a child’s desire to learn.
With that said, a child needs to understand that what is done today cannot bear fruit today – like building blocks you have to slowly build them up in order to create the master piece you desire (goal you desire).


7 ways: Motivating learning in young children 1

7 ways: Motivating learning in young children

Motivating children to learn is a very difficult thing to accomplish as a parent. It is often very easy for a child to succumb to the ease of asking others for help – who can resist a sweet innocent sad face that politely, ask for help. Or the child can fall into the trap that says “why should I care” school is not important, it does nothing for me now and why should I do all this hard work now when I don’t have to worry about it until I am old.

Motivating a child to learn is like finding the most intricate piece of a jigsaw puzzle, you know what the picture looks like, you have all these pieces before you – but you need that one single piece that will help you start and put it all together: a starting point as you will. Children are all different and they have individual mind sets – it’s not always a one size fits all kind of thing – so my 7 ways of motivating a child to learn will be generalized in order for you to best fit to your individual child.

1.       Purpose: you have to give a child a reason to learn. I am not talking about bribery, which would only create more trouble down the road. What I am talking about is an understanding ( from the child’s point of view ) for why it is necessary to learn and to have a desire to learn. This can be anything from future goals to current standings. The reason I choose the title: for children how to become rich successful & do well in school – is because what child doesn’t openly or secretly want to be rich when they grow up.  So the “how to become rich” is tied into the realization that without the desire to learn – one cannot be successful.
Purpose is a key factor in insuring your child not only learns but desires to learn. When they realize that they have a purpose, a goal, a desire in life – it is easier to translate that purpose into a desire to learn in order to achieve such goal.
I met a young boy in 2012 who was learning to play the guitar; he carried that thing with him as often as he could. He was only 9 yrs old and in fourth grade – but in school, in the school choir or talent show he made sure to play his guitar. At first to hear him play was a bit of a struggle, but just one year later at the local school talent show I watched him play a guitar solo that would put most grown men to shame. Out of the ten kids who played guitars that day – he actually played the guitar. Like I said – he would have put most grown men to shame. But why was his playing so above par to the rest of the kids? I made sure to asked him not when but why did he start playing the guitar and this was his response: I want to be as good as my dad.
The desire, the purpose, the goal is what drives this 9 yr. old to practice his guitar while others go out to play or to give up.  A child needs purpose to learn.

2.       Understanding: a child needs to understand that things do not happen without a cause. It is basically the old but true law of “cause and effect”. You can only get out of something what you put into it. You can only get good grades if you put the effort in to study. You cannot be successful in life if you do not first lay down the correct foundation.
Children are always faced with the idea of: why now can’t it wait until later? It’s an idea we all struggle with but they being so young and are not only told but believe that they have a life time of tomorrows – find it easy to leave things for later. Every parent has heard this phrase from their child: I’ll do it later.
Children need to understand that life is a series of actions, successions and reactions – that the smartest thing any person can do is, to take care of the important things now not later. The reason children leave homework for last is because fun and playing is more important to them. If we as a parent can get them to ‘understand’ that what is most important for them today and for the future is to do what is really important now – then fun can be had later.



Recipe for slow cook short ribs - yum

All things RIBS - it's what I live for. So when I found this recipe I was ecstatic - but as delicious as it sounds I did run into a small snag. But I am going to try it out any way.

recipe slow cook short ribsThe recipe Star: Short Ribs

Hours of cooking melt the fat on this cut of beef, creating an intense meatiness that holds its own with barbecue sauce, Asian spices, or red wine

Basic Method
1. Sprinkle 4 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs with ½ tsp. each salt and pepper. In 12-in. skillet, heat 2 tsp. vegetable oil on med.-high until very hot. In batches, brown short ribs just on meaty sides.
2. Meanwhile, in 6- to 7-qt. slow cooker bowl, whisk together Flavoring Liquids and Seasonings; add Vegetables. Transfer meat to slow cooker bowl.
3. Cover and cook 5 hours on High or 10 hours on Low, or until very tender. Transfer meat to cutting board. Skim and discard fat from cooking liquid.
4. Transfer cooking liquid to 4-qt. saucepot; heat to boiling on med.-high. Boil 5 to 10 min. or until reduced by about half.

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time:
5 hours and 20 minutes on High
10 hours and 20 minutes on Low

I am not a professional cook so step 2 for me gets a bit hazy. Flavoring liquids? Seasonings? Vegetables? It would have been nice if I was provided more specifics. I am to a real cook this is not rocket science and it is all hunky dory… but for me I guess I’ll improvise – hope it works out.

More Fun Food Recipes

Need your help - will you?

Need your Help - will you?

My daughter is a good kid and really smart. I am proud to announce that she has been nominated as a 2014 Florida Ambassador of Music. She has been one of the few invited to go with a band that with go to Europe to play music for people across the world and to see some historical places like Dachau where they will see with their own eyes what they have only read about in passing – the Holocaust.

While I am very proud of her I am also dreading her going. She has quickly asked me for help – in that oh so whinny teen age way “Dad I need money pleeeeeease help me!”

I took the high road and I reminded her that she has to learn how to think for herself and that if she truly wants this – she should work to solve her problem. Not that I am a mean dad, it’s just as I have tried to teach her these many years, is that she has to learn how to succeed on her own. She cannot rely on me and she needs to learn how to plan, create, work, struggle, learn from mistakes and most of all – never give up.

So when she quickly asked me for money – I said “You have to raise it yourself”.
I know it sounds mean and it would have been easy to say I’ll help you and give her all the ideas she needs – but I didn’t want that. I wrote an entire book for her and her brother for this very reason: one day I will not be here and I want her to be able to stand on her own two feet, money wise, success wise and as a whole person.

I am proud to say that after a small amount of whining she disappeared into her room. I say that I am proud because the next day my wife announces to me that my little girl took it upon herself to go online to create a website, opened a paypal account and started working on how to promote her “support Kiki Europe trip” efforts.

Of course I soon found myself helping her in her endeavor which brings me to the rest of this post:

Please Help Kiera, who has been nominated as a 2014 Florida Ambassador of music to reach her goal.

How to help:

This is a once in a life time opportunity and while as a father I dread the idea of my little girl leaving the state much less the country – I would like her to experience this. This is only done every two years and this will be her last chance to go.
Personally I am afraid – but if I want my little girl to succeed in life, I guess I have to swallow my fears and help my little girl to achieve more in life.
Please Help ....
please help band

Margaret Mitchell almost failed: Gone with the wind

Here is a story that typifies why in my book I try very hard to motivate children to understand that they have to believe in themselves and the work they do. I also remind them that work is important and that failure should not be feared – in fact, it should be used as an opportunity to learn and improve. Take for instance the almost didn’t happen – success of “Gone with the Wind”.

margaret mitchell gone with the wind
March 3rd marks the day in 1937 that Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for “Gone with the Wind”.

For nine years, Mitchell, a journalist in Atlanta, Georgia, had secretly struggled to pen the epic, stashing pages in closets, drawers, and bookshelves. One evening, a friend introduced her to publisher Harlold Latham of Macmillan. He said he had heard rumor through a friend that she had a longer project in mind, but Mitchell denied it, embarrassed of what she perceived to be the novel’s poor quality. Only after hearing the catty remark of a frenemy later that evening, “Imagine anyone as silly as Margaret writing a book!” did she track down Latham and send him the manuscript. Seventy-three years later, its sales are second only to the Bible.

“If the novel has a theme, it is that of survival. What makes some people able to come through catastrophes, and others, apparently just as able, strong and brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval…. I only know that the survivors used to call that quality ‘gumption.’ So I wrote about the people who had gumption, and the people who didn’t.” – Margaret Mitchell

Imagine if you will, if she would have continued to fear criticism or if she would have heard the criticism of that so called friend and would have hid her book, her work away never to be seen? The world would have lost a great master piece. And Margaret Mitchell would have wasted nine years of her life and would have never realized a dream or experienced such success.

Just a personal note: I don’t like the ending of the movie when you see her standing there looking over her home – I hate open ended stories where you have to guess what happens. Me, I like to know for sure.
margaret mitchell

The above quote is from: Who the Hell is Pansy O’Hara: The Fascinating Stories behind 50 of the World’s Best Loved Books by Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy.

Are you middle class or Poor? Survey says

If you really want to know how the economy is doing, don't ask an economist. Ask someone who still aspires to be in the middle class. "Over the last four years, Americans' views in this poll have been consistently right about the economy," said Allstate CEO Thomas J. Wilson in a press release "Today, they are sounding the alarm bell that the economy is not on track for sustainable growth."

People surveyed may know more about the economy because they bear the brunt of it. Here's what a few of them said:

"The middle class has become a treading-water position..... Opportunities have been stifled in the past 20 or 30 years." -- Loren Cowdery, a graduate student who delivers pizzas in Bellingham, Wash.

"I feel sorry for my kids -- they're just getting out of college -- because they have nothing to look forward to. They're not going to have the ability in the near future to buy a home. There are thousands of people who are going to be stuck with their student loans." -- Tim Cooper, an equipment salesman who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

"Everything is going up, but wages are staying the same. By the time I retire, I hope I have Social Security, because other than that I've got nothing." -- Dale High, a 54-year-old trucker from Idaho.

The good news, though, is that almost everyone in America can still consider themselves middle class, especially now that they've lowered the bar.

Of those surveyed, 85% said they were at some level in the middle class -- 46% said they were truly in the middle, 26% said they were lower middle class, and 12% said they were upper middle class. Only 2% called themselves "upper class."

In a rare moment of optimism, those surveyed said they believe a typical middle-class family makes about $65,000 per year. Median household income, however, is just a little over $50,000, meaning half of all households make less than that.

Indeed, most surveyed blamed the government for their declining economic plights. According to the survey, 64% believe Congress is making things worse for the middle class and 45% believe President Obama is making things worse.

They also blamed big business, but to a lesser extent: 54% said CEOs of major U.S. corporations are making things worse for the middle class, and 55% said major financial institutions are making things worse.

Only 29% believe the nation is headed in the "right direction," down from 41% just last November. So much for the big vote.

Teach teenagers how to manage money and finances: You are worth millions you just don't know it

Most surveys that measure financial literacy focus on teenagers, and the results are always grim.

In research by the nonprofit Jump$tart Coalition, which promotes personal finance education, the average high school student correctly answered just 48.3% of the questions covering money basics in 2008. That was down from 57.3% a decade earlier, but even that score was hardly distinguishing -- anything less than 60% counts as an F.

A 2005 poll by Harris Interactive for the National Council on Economic Education showed that adults aren't that much savvier.

While teens on average scored a 53 (another F) on a quiz testing knowledge of basic economic and personal-finance concepts, the grownups' average score was just 70 (a C).

In addition:

More than one-quarter of adults failed the quiz.
Women were far more likely to fail than men; 42% scored an F, compared with 15% of men.
Men were much more likely than women to get an A or B on the test (51% compared with 17%).

Order "You are worth millions You just don't know it " @ Amazon, Barns & Noble or

Naked woman with paint is art? DUH

Granted, the skill of the art work is awesome, but lets not forget these people - woman, in oh so awkward positions are buck naked....

All I can say is... Uhm, watch where you put your hands...

It caught me by surprise to ...
I have to say - awesome art though.....
But don't ask me to drop my skivies.
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