Friday, November 30, 2012

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

Hey Y'all,

In a effort to get my butt into gear for Christmas I looked into the phenomena of The Elf on The Shelf.



I think this is such a cool idea. I would love hiding the elf around the house. It could be our bedtime story for the next 25 day's starting Dec. 1st.

Now here's a problem... I told the children that my husband and I are the Elves. We kinda told them that there is no Santa. Sooooo will this work??? I think they would still enjoy this 'magic' that we'll create for the holiday season. I've been hearing about The Elf on The Shelf for a couple of years now and just didn't bother to look into it. I think I'm going to do it this year!

Check out what some other parents are doing


What is the Elf on a Shelf? 
Elf on a Shelf Ideas
101 Elf on A Shelf Ideas

Are you celebrating with this tradition?

Until next time...
MUAH!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Native American Heritage Month: Don't Say That!

Hey Y'all,

In honor of Native American Heritage month I've really been brushing up on my political correctness.

As a new employee of Indian Country Today Media Network  which Features the world’s most comprehensive and innovative online Native news and entertainment site, serving Native and American Indian tribes nationwide. It features Native American Journalism Association award-winning writers and reporters, and a team of columnists composed of tribal leaders, members of Congress, and the foremost Native thinkers, writers, and artists in Indian Country. ICTMN’s featured articles cover a vast array of subjects such as Native and American Indian opinions, politics, arts, environment, genealogy, and more. Updated many times a day, this site delivers to our audience rich, fascinating articles with captivating pictures and videos and daily late-breaking news alerts featuring the most-up-to-date current events about Native and American Indian culture throughout the web.

It is my job to know and fully understand the Native American culture. That being said I've learned that I've been saying some rather politically incorrect things for many years!

The following terms are derogatory, not welcomed and disliked by the Native community. Please do your best to remove them from your vocabulary lest you be embarrassed.

"Redskin" - My Dad LOVES the football team but did you know that the term redskin is considered by some to be offensive?  The reasoning behind the meaning seems to split into three areas of thought: the skin color of Native Americans, the warpaint Native Americans used before battle, or the bloody scalp remnant resulting from a Native American crossing the path of a bounty hunter. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Adoption Wednesday - Transracial or Transcultural Adoption


Hey y'all:


The Carr family of Iowa
Since today is Wednesday I thought I would tackle the issue of trans racial or trans cultural adoption. We know it's happening. In NYC you can walk down the street any given day and see a Caucasian mommy with a beautiful Asian little boy or girl. When you are involved with non domestic adoptions nine times out of ten you are going to adopt a child that is not the same race or culture as you.


To me this is FINE!


There are plenty of questions I'm sure... but I think they are all answerable. If you are a loving person interested in adopting a child in need of a loving family, the race or culture of the child doesn't matter to me! Now that's just me.... There are people who are totally against it just like those who are against interracial relationships!


Although I am all for adopting out of your race or culture I think it is imperative that you are prepared!


  • If you don't know how to care for a child with hair unlike yours, please be prepared to send her to a salon or learn how to do her hair like this father.

  • If you are adopting a child that speaks a different language be prepared to learn said language and encourage your child to hold on to their biological culture.

  • Be prepared to be the 'different' family. Not only does adoption make your child different but if they are of a different race and culture then you, your entire family is different.

  • Be willing to integrate. If you live in an area that has one predominate race be sure that you involve yourself with activities outside of that environment. It's important for your child to see people just like them.


Adopting outside of your race or culture is really something that involves a lot of thought! It's not something that you just jump into because you want a child. It's something that you have to discuss with your family and close friends. Make sure it's right for you and your lifestyle. If it is, MrsDeveter says 'GO FOR IT!' There is a little one out there just for you!


Until next time...

MUAH!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gluten Free & Diabetes

Hey Y'all,

If you know me you know I don't watch reality shows, but it just so happens that I ended up watching an episode of Tia & Tamera and they were attempting to bake a gluten free cake for Tia's baby boy's first birthday party.



I thought the episode was cute but more so it got me to thinking about gluten free and what it is exactly.
So you know what I did right??? that's right I went to the web in a search for INFORMATION, and here is what I found.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats as well as in all foods made from these grains or flours. It is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis and cancer in people with celiac diseases, headaches and a plethora of other illness.

This is good information from the American Diabetes Association

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder. When someone with celiac disease eats food containing gluten, their body reacts by damaging the small intestine. Uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal pain often occur. The damage to the small intestine also interferes with the body's ability to make use of the nutrients in food.
About 1% of the total population has celiac disease. It is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. An estimated 10% of people with type 1 also have celiac.
The only way to manage celiac disease is to completely avoid all foods that have gluten. Following a gluten-free diet will prevent permanent damage to your body and will help you feel better.
Gluten Intolerance
There are also many people who are said to have a gluten intolerance. When these people eat foods that contain gluten, they also experience uncomfortable symptoms. However, they test negative for celiac disease and actual damage to their small intestine does not occur. More research about gluten intolerance is needed, but avoiding foods with gluten should help to relieve these symptoms. 



I hear that It can be difficult to start eating gluten free but now that it's such a widespread practice, with stores like Shoprite offering gluten free products I think you can do it easily. Check out some of these recipes from All Recipes as well. Be healthy my friends!

Until next time...
MUAH!

Monday, November 26, 2012

OVERWHELMED!

Hey Y'all,


















No better word than the above can express how I feel today. I think definition #4 says it best. I'm feeling loaded, heaped upon and overpowered! Unfortunately it isn't with presents but with responsibility. I don't have a problem with responsibility; in actuality I welcome responsibility, it makes me feel useful but right now I feel put upon (I got that from Thomas and Friends). It feels like things are starting to pile up on me in ways that I didn't ask for. What does one do when she/he feels overwhelmed? I tend to shut down, do whats needed and keep it moving but not with my bubbly disposition. When I'm overwhelmed I tend to forget things and that's not good. I don't like this feeling.

Praying that tomorrow will yield a better result.

Until next time...
MUAH!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

African Native Americans

Hey Y'all,

According to my mother my Grandmother was part Blackfoot and part African American. She was born in Savanna GA to a Native American mother and African father. In honor of Native American Heritage month I had a do a little research on African Native Americans and found a great site. Created by a Eve Winddancer a student at a CUNY school in 1999. The site provided a great deal of information of which I'd like to share.
Please be sure to visit the site for me. African Native Americans: We are still here


Many people believe racial and ethnic groups in North America have always lived as separately as they do now. However, segregation was neither practical nor preferable when people who were not native to this continent began arriving here. Europeans needed Indians as guides, trade partners and military allies. They needed Africans to tend their crops and to build an infrastructure.
Later, as the new American government began to thrive, laws were drafted to protect the land and property the colonists had acquired. These laws strengthened the powers of slave owners, limited the rights of free Africans and barred most Indian rights altogether. Today, black, white and red Americans still feel the aftershock of those laws.
In order to enforce the new laws, Indians and Africans had to be distinguished from Europeans. Government census takers began visiting Indian communities east of the Mississippi River in the late 1700s and continued their task of identifying, categorizing, and counting individuals and "tribes" well into the 20th century. In the earlier days of this process, Native American communities that were found to be harboring escaped African slaves were threatened with loss of their tribal status, thereby nullifying their treaties with the U.S. government and relinquishing all claims to their land.

Until next time...
MUAH!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Thanksgiving Past

Hey y'all,

I pulled these out from the Thanksgiving archives.

The twins first Thanksgiving


Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Diabetes & Older Adults

Hey Y'all,

More diabetes information for you...
Older Adults
From the American Diabetes Association

Diabetes disproportionately affects older adults.
Approximately 25% of Americans over the age of 60 years have diabetes, and aging of the U.S. population is widely acknowledged as one of the drivers of the diabetes epidemic.
Although the burden of diabetes is often described in terms of its impact on working-aged adults, the disease also affects longevity, functional status, and risk of institutionalization for older patients.
Older Adult Outreach Program
To address this need, the American Diabetes Association is developing an older adult outreach program.
Our Senior Signature Series is a new activity targeting older adults across the nation. Our goals are to address the needs of this group of constituents and increase the level of awareness about the high prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes among our seniors.
The Senior Signature Series educates older adults and the general community about:
·         how to reduce the burden of living with diabetes
·         steps to reduce their risk for diabetes and its complications
·         the work of the American Diabetes Association
·         ways people can Share-Act-Learn-Give to help Stop Diabetes.
Each Senior Signature Series event is a half-day educational event inviting individuals age 65 years and older to learn more about diabetes.
Learn more here
Until next time...
MUAH!

Friday, November 16, 2012

New York Cares: Winter Wishes

Hey Y'all,

OK I am not in denial anymore... Christmas is quickly approaching. My children (Erick especially) have already created their massive Christmas wish lists and I'm getting on it by the end of this month!

Now... there are little kids out there who don't have mom's and dad's who can fulfill their Christmas wish lists. Especially after Hurricane Sandy I know that their will be many children that won't have a home to celebrate Christmas in! I went on a search and found New York Cares this organization has been around for a long time and does coat drives and fulfills the wishes of underprivileged children.

From their site...


Children all over the city eagerly await the holiday season. It's a great time to celebrate with friends and family, and of course, to get gifts. Unfortunately for many children in New York, their families simply can't afford holiday gifts. That's what makes the Winter Wishes program so special - you can fulfill the holiday gift requests of children, teens, seniors, and families, to make their season brighter.
This year with your help, we'll makes the wishes of more than 35,000 children teens, and families in-need come true. We collect and screen each letter and gift request, and then send them to volunteers who purchase, wrap, and send gifts to shelters, schools, and community organizations throughout the five boroughs.
We can't do it without you. Create a team of Wish Makers with your company, friends, family, church, or alumni association, or sign up as an individual and commit to transforming the holiday season one New Yorker at a time.



This year I created a group of volunteers that will receive letters from these children and answer them to the best of our ability. Please join me if you can.



Until next time...
MUAH!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving.... Is More than Just Turkey Dinner

Hey Y'all,

My co-worker reminded me yesterday that Thanksgiving is next week! I was in utter shock. I am not prepared for the holiday season. I don't have a turkey, ham, stuffing ingredients or anything. I'm not ready... I think that over the past three weeks the uncertain weather patterns we've experienced in the north east has really thrown me off, (good excuse no?). Any who... Thanksgiving is more than just dinner and football. Thanksgiving is about family and being thankful. Not just thankful for possessions because there are a lot of people who survived Hurricane Sandy who don't have anymore possessions. Their things which included their homes, clothes, and even memories; floated away with the ocean water. However I know there are so many of those very people who are thankful for life, thankful for family, friends and communities that truly care. Thanksgiving is so much more then the start of the holiday season where we spend money we don't have and make promises that we can't keep. It's about love and joy and again gratefulness.

This thanksgiving I'll make turkey cookie hands with the kids (which is our tradition) but we'll also find something charitable to do to show people that we care. If you live in the north east I'm sure you can identify with being grateful... even if you were without lights for weeks and lost all the food that you had stocked up in your refrigeration and deep freezer. There is yet so very much to be thankful for. Here are some organizations that you can share your time with this holiday season, beyond thanksgiving.


Sponsor a needy Family
Family-to-Family.org will connect you with an individual family in need. Your impact will last beyond the holiday, as you'll help provide food, clothing and other necessities throughout the year.

Serve dinner at a homeless shelter
Volunteer at a homeless shelter to prepare and dish up a meal for those without a home this holiday. Find a local directory at The National Coalition for the Homeless.

Deliver a meal 
Volunteer with a local Meals on Wheels Program to bring a hot dinner to those who may not be able to join family or friends.

Support our troops
Demonstrate your thankfulness toward troops who may be away from family this Thanksgiving. Create and send a care package at Anysoldier.com.

Give thanks to a vet
Show your truly personal gratitude by volunteering one-on-one and in-person at a Veterans Center, where you might serve as an escort greeter, transport patients to appointments and perform other duties. See opportunities at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Serve at a Salvation Army
Provide a meal for those in need at your local Salvation Army. Find details and other programs and opportunities to give for the holiday and beyond on the site.

Until next time...
MUAH!

Native American Heritage Month

Hey Y'all:

Until very recently I was ignorant about Native American's. I don't recall learning very much about the first American's in school expect for the delusional Thanksgiving meal that was prepared etc. I never knew about the deaths, stolen land, wars etc that Natives endured and are still living through in this country. I never knew about the inner workings of the Native American culture etc. I was introduced to the rich and often sad history of Native Americans in October when I started working at Indian Country Today Media Network. Indian Country Today Media Network LLC is an internationally-recognized multimedia platform, solely-owned by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, comprised of IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com, a full-service website with mobile optimization, breaking news alerts and This Week from Indian Country Today, a weekly magazine. Both deliver in-depth coverage of Native American News, world news, politics, business, gaming, finance, economic development, environmental issues, education, arts & entertainment, Native American culture, pow wows, health & wellness, travel, genealogy, First Nations of Canada, sports, and veterans’ issues.

November is Native American Heritage Month.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adoption Wednesday: 33,000 Teenagers

Hey Y'all,

This in from the Ad Council...

Today, more than 33,000 teenagers await adoption from the U.S. foster care system. Nearly 50 percent (14,000) are between the ages of 14 and 16. AdoptUSKids continues to remind us that, "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent."






Until next time...
MUAH!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

World Diabetes Day November 14, 2012


Hey Folks,

I'm all about bringing light to awareness' that effect me and the ones I love. Type 2 Diabetes is one of them. Sugar Diabetes as most African American people call it, runs in my family on my Mom's side.  I remember my favorite Aunt injecting insulin into the fatty tissue of her tummy every morning. 


Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African AmericansLatinos,Native Americans, and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.
In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to diabetes complications.
World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day raises global awareness of diabetes - its escalating rates around the world and how to prevent the illness in most cases. Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO, the Day is celebrated on 14 November to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.


Check out International Diabetes Federation site for things to do today! http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/activities 

Until next time...
MUAH!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief On Coney Island (where is it?)

Hey y'all,

Hurricane Sandy hit home. No really it HIT home! I'm a Coney Island Brooklyn girl... born and bred. Growing up I was ALWAYS on the beach from sun up til sun down. I shared Coney Island with my children this summer. Not the Luna Park Coney Island but all the way down to 35th street where I was raised. We walked the beach and enjoyed the last bit of summer fun.

Yesterday evening while heading home I asked my husband if he would stop by my hometown so I could get a look for myself. You hear things but somethings you just want to witness with your own two eyes. Last night I was literally bought to tears. I couldn't take any pictures on my phone because my home town was pitch black.

The only visible light was from the police cars that were parked on every corner. Where were the news vans that were flocking to Sea Gate (a private gated community at the far western end of Coney Island at the southwestern tip of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It contains mostly single-family homes, some directly on Gravesend Bay.) They had to pass the NYCHA houses (where I grew up) to get to Sea Gate. They had to see the buildings in the dark. They had to see the people looking for help and relief.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adoption Wednesday: Wednesday's Child

Hey Y'all,

When I started posting about Adoption and Foster care in 2009 on Wednesday's I didn't realize that meteorologist Janice Huff, hosts a program with Wednesday in the title. Wednesday is the day of the week that some find hopeful by calling it hump day and it's a day for others that could be done without. It's smack dab in the middle of the week and a blockage to the weekend. 

Children who are waiting to be adopted are often forgotten about and ignored. Today I would like to spotlight Wednesday's Child and the Freddie Mac Foundation.

According to NYC.gov In April 1999 the Freddie Mac Foundation teamed up with WNBC 4 and the Administration for Children's Services to bring Wednesday's Child to New York City. Wednesday's Child, an award-winning program with a proven track record of success, began in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in 1992. Its phenomenal success there encouraged the Freddie Mac Foundation to expand the program to other cities around the country. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just In Case...

Hey Y'all,
Just in case you were wondering who I'm voting for tomorrow, let me be very clear.




Until next time...
MUAH! and please vote!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November is....

Hey Y'all,

November doesn't only host my birthday (which is tomorrow 11/2) and Thanksgiving but it also hosts the following observances which I will focus on weekly.

Native American History Month - I'll be on a journey with the IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork to celebrate natives. Every Tuesday I will post about Native American's

National Adoption Month - This is still a passion for me so I'll feature posts about adoption every Wednesday for the month of November.








National Diabetes Awareness Month - My posts will be in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association. This year their campaign is A Day In The Life of Diabetes - They are asking people to upload a picture on their Facebook page and CVS will donate $1 for each picture up to $25,000. Every Thursday I will post something related to diabetes







Until next time...
MUAH!


Hurricane Sandy!

Hi y'all,

I pray that everyone is doing ok during the aftermath of Sandy. The hurricane clean up has began and I know it's going to take a long time for a lot of people to recover.

Thankfully we weren't hit to hard and only went without power for a short period of time. My boss has been very accommodating in allowing me to work from home this week (Thank you Suzanne!) I watched the news this morning and saw the line of folks waiting to get onto buses going into NYC. The line was outrageous. It looked like everyone was being civil and the MTA is being accommodating to all of the strap-hangers.

We are suffering from cabin fever and Halloween was 'canceled' so instead of going out to trick or treat we had a candy hunt in the house and made the best of the situation.

All I know is that it could always be worse. God has been merciful and I'm grateful.

Until next time...
MUAH!