Should You Consider Taking a Job As a House Parent Couple?

Are you a strong, patient and loving couple? Do you love children and feel as though you have a gift with kids? If so, sometimes you should consider taking on the role of house parents. As with many couples jobs, this is a live on-site position. Some of the jobs boast great health insurance, a vehicle and separate private housing. These are wonderful benefits, but keep in mind this job does have its challenges.

Many organizations looking for houseparents are ones that help to take care of troubled kids. Usually these are all-boys or all-girls homes and ages of the children can range from young children to young adults. The house parent job requires patience, a very strong couple and the fortitude to deal with young people that have challenges.

Some children (but not all) come from broken homes and need some serious stability in their lives. House parents are able to become strength and security for the children when their world just is not coming together.

The schedule of these positions varies. You will most likely not be working a traditional 9 to 5 work week, but rather a non-traditional work "week" that may run for two weeks straight with a three day week-end. In this case there would be a "stand in" couple that would take over for you during your days off. Another potential possibility is that you apply for the position of a "stand in" or "substitute" couple that floats from one home to another. This is a nice option that brings a change of scenery but of course involves some moving around.

The following is a list that you may find yourself responsible for, should you take on a houseparent couple position:

· Program Development
· Nurturing & Supervision
· Professional Development
· Home Management
· Staff Management

The above are not meant to be a comprehensive list, but a general guideline, and these are really just the "nuts and bolts" of the houseparents job. The most important aspect of this job is developing trust with the children. There will be days in this job when you may question your decision to accept this position. However, it is also possible that the children will become so much a part of you that you will wonder how you would fare without being part of their lives. …

Step 2 Kitchen

Step2 is a company that makes innovative toys and Promotes the encouragement of imaginative, creative play in young children by sharing helpful information on the topic through their blog CreativePlayPlus.

Based in Ohio, Step2 is the world's largest rotational molder of toys and home products like mail boxes and trash cans. It is also the largest American manufacturer of toddler and preschooler toys. Step2 makes a variety of play kitchens for ages 2 to 6.

One of the smaller play kitchens by Step2 is the Custom Kitchen. The appliances have a stainless steel appearance and the counter tops are made to look like granite in your choice of green or maroon. It comes with a 17-piece accessory kit, and has a framed window, plate rack, storage shelf, plus many drawers and cabinets.

Step2 has several medium sized play kitchens, like the Party Time Kitchen. It has access on three sides and comes with a big set of accessories that has everything to "stock" the kitchen with. Like with the Custom Kitchen, the Party Time Kitchen has "stainless steel" appliances, plus electronic microwave, stove top, phone, light, and clock. It requires 5 AA and 5 batteries, not included.

The premium play kitchen from Step2 is the LifeStyle Deluxe kitchen, the largest of the lot. It is very realistic looking and has a lot of storage space to hold all the pieces to the accessory set, which includes pots and pans, baskets, and play food. It has 6 electronic features that make "cooking" sounds, and the kitchen has a framed window complete with overhead light. The sink even has a play pull-out sprayer. This one requires 14 AA batteries to power all the electronics.

Imaginative role play is one of the ways that young children learn about the world and how to get along in it. Step2 kitchens are great for little boys and girls who want to feel like they're using a real kitchen like mom and dad's. …

Top Agents’ Approach To SELLING Houses

There’s no such thing, as a sure – thing, approach, or way, to successfully selling houses. However, when we examine some of the things/ techniques, which have worked, consistently, effectively, by top agents, for a substantial period of time, as well as evolving methodologies, dedicated agents, who focus on listing houses, and representing homeowner – clients, become better capable, of achieving the best, possible results. With this in mind, this article will briefly consider, and review, using the mnemonic approach, some of the approaches/ methods, top agents use, for SELLING houses.

1. Strengths; system; sales/ marketing: From the onset, the agent and homeowner, should agree, what the most relevant strengths, a particular house, possesses! When they are on the same – page, and agree, as to the strategy, responsibilities, etc, results usually benefit! Creating a system, which attracts qualified buyers, and networks effectively with other agents, improves the potential results! It is important to understand and realize, sales and marketing, must work together, hand – in – hand!

2. Emphasis; empathy; enthusiasm/ energy: How a real estate professional, proceeds, and what his emphasis, might be, focuses efforts, in a directed way! Only when an agent proceeds with the highest level of genuine empathy, does he become capable of using quality teamwork, and the most desirable results! When agents possess quality enthusiasm, and an energy, which attracts others, it certainly makes a real difference!

3. Listen: Agents must focus, and effectively listen, to their clients, as well, as what potential buyers say, and the feedback provided! One must be proactive, and address, any area of perceived weakness, etc.

4. Learn: Only if someone goes beyond, merely listening, and learns effectively from every conversation, experience (positive and negative), feedback, etc, can he possibly, get the best positive results!

5. Imagination; ideas: How will someone make a particular property, stand out, in a positive way, from the rest of the pack? How has he enhanced his level of imagination, and created, and used, quality ideas, which bring about desirable results!

6. Needs: Serving a homeowner/ client’s needs, priorities, etc, and articulating/ communicating, to potential buyers, how the property, will meet their needs, should be a top priority!

7. Good teamwork/ plan: When client and agent, remain on the same page, throughout the transaction process, they develop an understanding, of their respective responsibilities, and how they might, best work together. It is, indeed, this quality, good teamwork, which is a major reason, for positive, desirable selling results! There must be an agreed – upon, quality plan!

There is no doubt, the better one’s approaches and techniques, the better, the SELLING results. Doesn’t that make sense?…

Alfalfa Sprouts – Grow in Your Kitchen

Alfalfa has been grown for many civilizations for over five thousand years. Alfalfa was planted in hot, dry regions of Mesopotamia before recorded history. Alfalfa is grown throughout the world under extremely diverse climatic conditions. Alfalfa seeds are in the legume family. The name "alfalfa" means "father of all foods." The saponins in alfalfa sprouts may help to reduce cholesterol. They contain significant dietary sources of phytoestrogens connected with prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Alfalfa sprouts are full of nutrition. Research shows that sprouts are loaded with antioxidants, and are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins and amino acids. Sprouts contain enzymes which digest themselves. They add enzymes that heal the body, aid in digestion and are affordable. Enzymes are considered the key to longevity and are abundant in sprouts. Sprouts have the largest relative content of nutrients per unit of intake of any food known. More nutrients reach the cells with less food. Research has shown sprouts to have high levels of disease preventing phytochemicals. They contribute to better health by prevention to treatment in life threatening diseases.

Sprouts are widely recognized by those who are nutrition conscious and health care professionals as a wonder food. Home sprouting can supply delicious fresh food without the environmental toxins. They require no soil, only water. Sprouts are usually added to other foods. They are completely natural and known for their powerful nutritional and healing properties. Sprouts continue to grow even after you have ate them. Alfalfa is the most famous sprout in the United States. It has a mild flavor, an abundant amount of nutrition, and easy to grow.

Alfalfa sprouts are low in calories, about 10 calories per cup. Other nutritional information include: vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Alfalfa sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges. They also have calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and protein – 35%.

Sprouting Instructions: Yields approximately 2 cups of sprouts. Add 2 tablespoons of seeds to a mason jar with strainer lid. Rinse thoroughly with 60-70 degree water. First day, fill half way with water overnight to soak. Set out of direct sunlight and at room temperature, 70 degrees is optimal. The kitchen counter is fine. Rinse and drain twice a day. At the end of day 5 or the start of day 6 your sprouts will be ready to eat. Refrigerate your sprouts 8-12 hours after the final rinse and drain. Enjoy your sprouts in salads, sandwiches, soups, juices, omelets, slices, pizza, stir fry, casserole, scrambled eggs, wraps, dips, spreads, side dishes or as a topping to any dish.

Seed to sprout: 5 to 6 days, yield: 7 to 1, Sprout shelf life: 2 to 6 weeks,
Sprout seed shelf life at 70 degrees: 3 to 4 years. …

Raised Bed Gardening A Gardening Idea For This Weekend

Raised Bed Gardening What do you mean by raised beds ? A raised bed is a framed planting area which the soil exists above the surrounding ground level. The bed size is anything that enables you to work on without stepping directly onto the bed of soil itself. Why have raised bed gardens ? There are many reasons people decide to make use of raised bed gardens. For example: raised bed gardening gives you much better soil conditions. Pests are far easier to control. If the raised bed is at least 2 feet or 60cm high then you will have a better back with far less bending to dig or harvest crops. And finally you will conserve water as more water reaches the plant roots meaning you use less. Every time you walk up and down a non raised bed garden you typically compress the soil.

Occasionally the earth becomes hard and compacted creating various problems for plant roots, drainage problems and of course future digging difficulties. How do I make a raised bed garden? You can make frames out of old railway sleepers for that chunky look or old floorboard planks. However it is better to use pressure treated timber. As this will last longer and there will be less danger of damage to the crops from using preserving treatments like creosote. Mark out where you would like to place these raised beds by using flour, sand or even lay out a hosepipe. Then knock in some short stakes of 12 inches or 30cms at each corner. Tie string between the stakes to work out your levels.

Then fix the frame to the stakes. Remove any vegetation by digging it out or using sheets of old cardboard. The cardboard can be left in place for a few months and then removed or if it is thin enough it can be left there as it will eventually rot away. The frame can now be filled with soil up to the level edge of the frame.Try not to make the bed more than 4ft or just over a meter in width. Or if you do then you must have a plank of wood to stand on that is long enough to rest on the edges of the frame. You can have the length any with the only limitation being the length of the garden or plot. For low growing crops it is best to have the beds in a north south orientation as this way the plants will get maximum light exposure on both sides of the bed. Taller crops such as runner beans would be better in an east west configuration with ground level crops on the south side.Here is a project for you this weekend. The simple guide to creating a raised bed garden .

The History and Science of House Painting

The purpose of house painting and decorating is to make a house, home or building look better or to protect it from damage by severe or ongoing weather, wind, sunshine, water, rust, corrosion, termites and other insects and/or mold. It feels good to have a good looking house, and it increases its value.

History of House Painting

Not much is known about house painting in the United Kingdom before the late 1200’s, when guilds began coming into existence. Two prominent guilds in particular were the Painters Company and the Stainers Company, which eventually merged with the permission of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in the early 16th century, forming the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.

Tools of the Trade

In our modern era in which we live, paint composition consists mostly of latex formulations used for both exterior and interior use, greatly minimizing painting cleanup, as well as the strong and unhealthy smells normally associated with petroleum and polyester based paints.

Another common, modern house painting invention is the computerized paint scanner that precisely calculates how to get new paint color to match faded paint color on old walls, or to match fabric colors, flowers and other patterns. Paint in our day and age can also be made to smell nice and resist fading, chipping and bacterial growth. Paint can also be made to lay very flat on a surface, resulting in a very smooth look.

When and why should primer be applied? Why not just put paint on and get it over with? Wooden surfaces generally don’t take paint too well, resulting in flaking, due to excessive thickness of the paint. Primer is thinner and so soaks into wood much better, and since it allows the paint to adhere better, it saves you money in allowing for fewer layers of paint and primer to have to be applied.

Many professional house painters offer free consulting services, and additionally save you money by adding 5 to 20-year guarantees of adhesion and water resistance. Professionals are also very good at their use of time when applying tape, sanding surfaces, etc., before the house painting is started.

Another modern house painting tool is the foam brush, which is commonly used for precision work and smoother coats of paint that use less paint and less time to dry. And foam used on a roller can create beautiful patterns in the painted surface. Finally, the spray gun allows for the painting of extremely large surface areas in short amounts of time.

How to Clean and Store Brushes

An older style bristle brush is best to store in a box hanging from a wire within, allowing it to soak in a cleaning solution without being disfigured by having its bristles spread apart.

Paint Surface Preparation

Modern paint-tape prevents damaging the taped surface, having less than half of the adhesive power of masking tape, and thus being able to remain on a surface for up to 30-days without creating damage.

Then versus Now

In …

Doll Furniture Plans for Easy Barbie Furniture Making

There are a lot of woodworkers who are interested in crafting miniature furniture pieces such as dolls. This is the reason why doll furniture plans are made available. Many kinds of furniture plans can be utilized with ease using the Internet. And one of them is the furniture plans for dolls. Most of these plans can be availed in various resources on the worldwide web. No wonder it is much easier and cheaper to purchase a plan and craft your own piece of furniture from scratch than spend thousands of dollars in buying ready-made doll furniture set.

Basically, doll house furniture is built using low-priced materials. This is the reason why most of them are fragile and very delicate. For that reason, you have to use furniture plan that is especially designed for building any furniture. You might notice that the majority of people prefer to use doll furniture plans for the reason that they are not only cost effective, but they also allow you to produce different doll furniture designs depending on their sizes and styles. The good thing about these plans is that you can modify each plan to fit in to your specific needs. Custom-made doll furniture is not only eye-catching but also strong and durable.

Creating your own doll furniture is easy to accomplish with the help of the various furniture plans online. Who says that you need to be a skilled woodworker to build your own kind of doll furniture sets? What you need is a complete and methodical plan to help you make furniture for your favorite doll or Barbie doll set.

When building your own Barbie furniture, you need to be creative enough in designing it. This is very important so as to achieve a successful outcome. But if you are not confident enough to come up with your own furniture for your dolls, then the furniture plans are the best way to go. You can easily find these plans on the Internet. They come in various designs and techniques. It depends on you, which plan you will optimize to carry out your doll furniture building project.…

Decluttering Christmas

It has been said that less is more. This holiday season in the spirit of generally simplifying my life I thought I’d see if that’s true. So what better way than to declutter what for most Americans is the jam-packed pinnacle of all holidays? Christmas.

Christmas in particular can use a lot of decluttering. Two thousand years after the blessed event we celebrate, we’ve managed to turn the season into the Olympics of gifting, baking, mailing, decorating and travel. We’ve made it a month-long sprint of parties, shopping and shipping deadlines. We even kill trees for it. I for one can live without fruitcake, egg nog, and a fresh evergreen in my living room once a year.

Decluttering the holidays means decluttering your life by eliminating excessive or unnecessary holiday activities you have been conditioned to do, and taking more time instead to celebrate the holidays as your heart desires.

But I admit, decluttering Christmas came for me this year out of necessity rather than reflection. Due to a cluster of December business trips – for both my husband and myself – further complicated by a mid-December weekend cruise we’re taking (I just won it and it’s a “use it now or lose it” deal), capped off by the fact that we’d be spending the entire week of Christmas and New Year’s with my husband’s family in a foreign country, I knew back in November there simply would not be time to accomplish all the Christmas and holiday rituals I usually undertake. All told, out of December’s thirty-one days, I would be home for fourteen. And did I mention we have a ten year old daughter (who still believes in Santa) and a dog?

So when contemplating how I would “get it all done”, I quickly realized the limited options available:

1)Don’t sleep and go crazy from sleep deprivation 2)Cut back on sleep, thereby resulting in greatly increased crankiness and diminished holiday enjoyment 3)Try to get it all done but don’t. Feel frustrated and guilty. 4)Do only the holiday things I enjoy and that are important to me, skip or short-cut all the rest, and damn the consequences.

Not liking options one through three, I sanely selected number four. No sooner had I made my choice for happiness over obligation than the universe conspired to help me at every turn. In fact, it conspired so well in my favor that this has been one of the most enjoyable holiday seasons I can remember. Even with limited time I have had enough space to do what I love and enjoy, and then some. And that, more than altruistic intentions or principles, is the main reason I’ll stick with this approach for years to come and am inspired to share it with you.

So here’s what got kicked to the curb, what didn’t, and some tips for how you can do the same:

1.Gift Shopping. I love playing Santa with my own kid and giving presents to the other children in my …

Supporting Loved Ones in Moments of Grief: Now or Later?

The older I get I find myself spending more time at funeral homes. It is inevitable, I suppose, to spend at least some of that time thinking about death and loss. Is there a better time to reflect on such subjects? It is never a comfortable situation albeit necessary. The real angst comes when interacting with other loved ones and especially with those closest to the deceased. There seem to be a few simple ground rules to funeral etiquette and how one should conduct themselves.

Always remember that the bereaved are not thinking about being a good host. Even though families do grieve differently it might be best to try to stay out of the way. A small sincere gesture now will be one among many. During the funeral visitation and service the family will be overwhelmed with support. Probably more than they can handle. If you truly want to support them then allow them to grieve in their own way without being in the way. This is the time when they will have the most amount of support from family and friends. Obviously, if there is a need then be sure to fill it the best you can but if you are not sure of what to say or do then probably it is best to do less.

The time to step up will be later when a majority of family and friends have returned to their usual routines and have faded away. This is not an effort to besmirch people but they have lives and families to return too. It is true that everyone has their own methods to deal with grief but most feel the worst later when the reality of the loss sets in. Little things such as coming home to a dark house or waking up alone could trigger fond memories and the feeling of loneliness. This would be the time to make that small gesture that could be the difference. Weeks later when others have drifted off could be the time to make a phone call and just offer to talk. Say hello and check in. This would be the time to ask if they need anything. This would be the time you could really help and support your family member.

There are many ways to show your support for your loved ones but some things are universal. Sincere and kind words and acts have to be universal. A small gesture at the time of the funeral service or memorial when they are overwhelmed and a small gesture later when they may need to be propped up could mean the world to the bereaved.…