In order to keep children safe, you should practice basic stranger-safety procedures with your children and encourage other parents to follow your guidelines:
Tell your children to always walk or play in groups. Predators search for isolated targets such as children who are walking alone or playing alone.
Share this important lesson with other parents.
If you see a friend or neighbor's young child walking alone, make sure to include that particular neighbor in your stranger-danger strategy. For instance, you could suggest a buddy or carpool plan to get neighboring children to and from school.
You should always know where your kids are going, even if they leave the house with another trusted adult.
If your children spend time at their friends' homes, you should discuss a mutual child-watch plan with other parents.
If your children are young, explain to these parents that you do not allow your children to play outside unsupervised. Promise to keep a similar close watch on their children when they play at your house.
If your children walk or ride their bikes to other nearby houses, designate safe places for your child to run if threatened by a stranger.
Keep a list of phone numbers of other nearby parents and offer your numbers to these parents. You can quickly check on the location of your children if needed.
Teach your kids about strangers. Tell them that a stranger is any adult they do not know.
Introduce your children to other parents you trust. Meet the children of these parents, so you will become a familiar face to the kids. Ideally, these children will be able to pick out a few friendly adults in a crowd of strangers.
In addition to other parents, your kids should know which strangers are safe.
Store clerks, police officers, teachers, people who are behind desks in office buildings, mail-carriers and mothers with children are generally safe strangers.
Explain to your children that they can trust these strangers if they ever need help and they cannot locate an adult they recognize.
Teach your children that stores, schools, libraries and restaurants are all safe public places where they can run if they are in jeopardy.
Practice a secret code word with your children. Choose a word that would not be easy for a stranger to guess.
Use this code word when another adult is required to transport your child. Tell your kids they should never get into a car with someone who does not know the code word.
Share the code word with your children and other adults you trust. Change the word as often as needed.
Instruct other parents to develop their own family code words.
Teach your kids about the common lures used by abductors.
Often, a kidnapper appeals to victims by asking the child to help find a lost animal. Sometimes, the stranger will ask a child for directions. Occasionally, abductors know the child's name or the names of the child's parents. Perpetrators attempt to use this knowledge to gain the child's trust.
You should tell your children that adults ask other adults for help when they are truly searching for lost pets, or when they need any other type of assistance.
Also, repeat to your children the importance of the family code word. If a stranger knows the child's name, but does not mention the code word, that stranger is probably a threat.
Practice screaming with your children.
If a stranger attempts to talk to or grab your children, your children should know to shout, "No!" or "Fire!"
Try to recruit the help of other parents. The group of your children can rehearse screaming at strangers by role-playing.
Several websites provide additional resources to help keep your kids safe.
The Polly Klaas Foundation offers a free child safety kit which includes do-it-yourself fingerprint and DNA documentation.
There are a number of helpful child-safety publications, as well as a wealth of other information, on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website.
The United States Department of Justice furnishes a searchable sex-offender database.
You can purchase a stranger safety DVD on The Safe Side website. You will also find family and classroom discussion questions on this site. These questions are free to download. Although there is a cost involved with the DVD, it might be worthwhile to split the purchase with other parents. Plan a night when several families can get together to watch the program. Use the discussion questions in conjunction with the DVD.
If you cannot meet directly with your neighbors, email these stranger-danger safety essentials to other parents.
The Best Months to Buy Things in 2011
You can save a lot of money if you buy things when they're off-season. So if you're planning a big purchase, you might want to hold off for a few months. Here are the best things to buy throughout the year . . .
This month Is a Good Time to Buy . . . Bikes and sporting goods because retailers have to bring in new inventory and slash prices on old stuff.--And it's also a good month to buy an air conditioner, because NO ONE is buying an air conditioner this month.
February Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Digital cameras, because most of the big electronics trade shows will be over by then. That means all the new models will be available in stores, and the old models will cost less.--Chocolate is also cheaper after February 14th . . . for obvious reasons.
March Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Winter clothing, because winter is almost over. And luggage, because it's not a popular time of year for traveling.--Boat show season also ends in March, so if you're in the market for a YACHT, wait a few months.
April is a Good Month to Buy . . . Car parts and sneakers. And vacuum cleaners go on sale because the new models arrive in June.
May is a Good Month to Buy . . . Patio furniture and party supplies. And cookware goes on sale because of all the upcoming graduations and weddings.
June is a Good Month to Buy . . . Gym memberships, because the weather is nice. It's also a good month to buy tools and men's suits, which both go on sale for Father's Day.
--April, May, and June are also good months to find sale prices on TVs that are manufactured in Japan, because the fiscal year for most Japanese companies ends in March.
July Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Furniture, because stores start trying to push their old inventory.
August Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Camping equipment, because it takes up a lot of space, and stores won't have room for it during the holidays.--And laptops, which go on sale in August because that's when recent high school graduates are about to leave for college.
September Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Cars, because you can still find last year's model on the lot, but it'll be a lot cheaper than earlier in the year.
October Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Jeans, because there's always a lot of leftover inventory from the back-to-school sales.
November Is a Good Month to Buy . . . A new TV, because there are good sales leading up to Christmas, and the technology isn't outdated yet.
December Is a Good Month to Buy . . . Anything wedding-related, which is convenient if you're going home for the holidays and want to do some wedding planning with your mom
Totally Trivial Tuesday Q&A's
Q: A month ago You heard a lot about this tradition in a popular Christmas song however, only 6% of Americans have actually ever done it What is it?
A: Roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
Q: 25% of men say seeing this on a woman is a major turn off… What is it?
A: Facial piercings (33% of men can’t stand tattoos on women)
Q:According to a recent survey The top 3 visual turnoffs for a woman are pierced ears, comb- overs and what?
Q: In a new relationship the average woman waits 2 and a half months befor doing this
A: to show their face without makeup
Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and California Lutheran University will hold the second annual Cookie Rally and Bake Off 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at CLU’s Gilbert Sports & Fitness Center.
Local chefs will compete to determine who can create the best dessert using one of the top six most popular Scout Cookie flavors including Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Lemon Chalet Crèmes and Do-si-dos. Tickets are available to sample tastings of the dessert entries and an opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Tickets are $5. A silent auction will offer a variety of items, from dining packages to a cooking with the fireman. Mother-daughter teams will compete in a special division. All girls will receive an award for participating, and their recipes will be part of a cookie cookbook for next year’s event.
Also planned is an activity area for Girl Scouts where they can participate in hands-on activities from the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaching financial literacy, safety, and sales ideas for the coming Cookie Sales Season. For information, call Pattie Mullins at 658-8210, ext. 321, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jan/11/youth-briefs/#ixzz1B1QNp6Ja
"OPERATION: Hearts From Home"
Each day, thousands of American Troops put their lives on the line for us, many of them serving consecutive tours overseas away from family and friends. There aren’t enough words to properly thank them for all that they do for us, but we can let them know that they are in our hearts!
Please join Trace Nealy from The LIVE 105.5 Morning Show and make “Hearts from Home’ Valentines for our troops. Just break out the colored paper, The macaroni & glue and make an extra valentine for a soldier.
Live 105.5 will be collecting your “Hearts from Home” Valentines through February 7th and sending them off to our troops for Valentine’s Day!
Drop off your “Hearts from Home” Valentines through February 7th at: • Live 1055 Radio Station in Ventura - 2284 So. Victoria, Ventura
• County Schools Federal Credit Union at the corner of Market and Eastman in Ventura,
• Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Carpenteria,
• Savory Café Main Street Downtown Ventura
• ANY Jersey Mikes
Bad News: Your Zodiac Sign May've Just Changed
The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was "in" on the day a person was born. During the ensuing millenniums, the moon's gravitational pull has made the Earth "wobble" around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars' alignment.
New Zodiac Signs!!! If you want to believe today's scientists, here's the way that Zodiac signs are ACTUALLY supposed to break down . . .
--Capricorn: January 20th to February 16th.
--Aquarius: February 16th to March 11th.
--Pisces: March 11th to April 18th.
--Aries: April 18th to May 13th.
--Taurus: May 13th to June 21st.
--Gemini: June 21st to July 20th.
--Cancer: July 20th to August 10th.
--Leo: August 10th to September 16th.
--Virgo: September 16th to October 30th.
--Libra: October 30th to November 23rd.
--Scorpio: November 23rd to December 17th.
--Sagittarius: December 17th to January 20th
WHAT NOT TO SAY WHEN A LOVED ONE IS UPSET
Chances are, when a loved one is upset, you chime right in with the absolute wrong thing to say. From Robert Leahy, Director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, here's a handy guide of What Not To Say To an Upset Loved One:
1. Minimizing. This is where you treat your partner's concerns as trivial: "Come on its not that bad …. Why are you making a big deal out of it?"
2. Rationalizing. You try to argue away their concerns. What you're saying is, "Your worring about nothing. Get over it."
3. Competitive complaining. "You think that's bad? Here's what happened to me."
4. Fixing. You jump in to try to solve all the problems, but for some reason the person doesn't buy into your solutions.
5. Defending. You treat your partner's emotions as a personal attack on you. If he is upset, you feel that you are to blame, so you turn it into a trial and start defending yourself.
Here's What You Should Say:
- "I know it must be hard for you feeling this way."
- "I can see that it makes sense that you would feel down, given the way that you are seeing things."
- "A lot of times you may feel that people don't understand how hard it is for you."
- "You must be thinking that this really down feeling is going to last a long time. It must be hard to feel that way."
- "I want you to know that I am always here for you."
- "I don't want to sound like I don't want to hear about your feelings. I do. But if there is anything that I can do to help you feel better, please let me know. Your feelings are really important to me."
New Year New You
Are you pre-obese? Check you're BMI
Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk
Assessment of weight and health risk involves using three key measures:
Body mass index (BMI)
Risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is a useful measure of overweight and obesity. It is calculated from your height and weight. BMI is an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.
BMI Underweight Below 18.5
Obesity 30.0 and Above
Waist Circumference Measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks that come with overweight and obesity. If most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk goes up with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.
New World record! Most quarters in a persons belly button YUCK!
KATY PERRY'S husband, RUSSELL BRAND, posted a pic of Katy bare-faced on Twitter Friday. He ended up taking it down . . . but not before every website in existence could copy and post it. (--Check it out . . .)