Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

On a recent trip across the country we made a couple of stops that were essentially going to be bathroom breaks. First a quick visit to Old Faithful and then on to Cody Wyoming. The next day we worked our way over to Rapid City South Dakota where we had planned to make a quick stop at Mt. Rushmore.

We picked up a Jr. Ranger handbook at the rangers station and the kids set off in search of the the clues to complete the tasks outlined in the book. They spent hours in the museum and walking along the pathways under the faces. They loved every second of their search. It cooled down pretty quickly as it began to get dark. Fortunately we were ready for that. We bundled up and continued exploring the park. Not long after sunset there was a flag ceremony in the main amphitheater to retire the colors. For several hours it had seemed like it was just us and a dozen or so other people at the park but all of a sudden the seating area was packed with what must have been over 1000 people. I’m not sure where they had all come from but apparently the park is more spread out than I had thought. We sat there and watched as members of the military that were visiting that day walked onto the stage and a troop of Boy Scouts from Minnesota filed in to provide the manpower for the actual lowering and folding of the flag for the evening. A slide show played above the stage and the lights on the faces came began to glow. As the flag was lowered the entire audience joined together in singing the national anthem. There were people there from all over the country and possibly even the world. We had never met. We had never sung together. But on this evening it was one of the most beautiful choruses I had ever heard. I could feel tears start to well up and I almost wasn’t able to sing the whole song because it was so moving.

Later that fall, when my kids, who were 11 and 13 at the time, would tell people about their summer they would talk about their favorite day at Mt. Rushmore. There were no roller coasters, there were no video games, and this was their favorite stop on the trip.

Sometimes we have to remember that one of the best gifts we can give to our kids is the time for us to be together in a place where their imaginations can run wild.

Join the team at TravelingMom.com on Monday October 24 for a twitter party all about meaningful travel. I’ll be there! You can Win an iPad2 and talk meaningful travel on #TMOM Twitter party RSVP HERE http://bit.ly/nwVFbm #TAUCK

I’m looking forward to talking with the folks at Tauck travel and other moms about the Cowboy Country Northbound adventure which covers Yellowstone to Mt. Rushmore. CLICK HERE  for more details.

For more information on Mt. Rushmore visit the National Park Service Page


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I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Feeling a little bit like an old lady. I remember when people used to have the conversation about whether the book was better than the movie or the movie better than the book.

Click on the movie poster for more info on the Three Muskateers.

How do we get our kids excited about great literature when there are so many other books out there for them to read. While the Harry Potter series is a modern classic there are still so many great books out there and great stories that may go unread if we don’t help our kids find them.

So many stories today take their roots from these great classics. Many kids never read these books or even see these movies unless they have a book report to write. And more and more book reports are becoming a thing of the past.

One thing we can do is bring back some great movies based on great classic literature. Maybe this next family movie night watch a classic. Who knows? Perhaps it will inspire your kids to read the book. It might even inspire you to read it with them which would be a double bonus.

CLICK HERE for more info on The Secret Garden

Full Disclosure: Thanks to MoovidaDB for sponsoring today’s discussion. Content and ideas are my own and literacy is an important subject to me so I appreciate MoovidaDB’s support of this conversation to encourage our kids to learn about the great classics through movies.

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If we’re going to freak out let’s freak out


What’s Your Number?

~ By Mary Heston

There’s a new law in  San Francisco today.  The new law requires cell phone retailers in the city to provide radiation information for cell phones and additional information if requested.


In my humble opinion, this is just lazy government and over regulation. Cell phone companies are already required to keep maximum SAR levels under 1.6 watts per kilogram to receive FCC certification to be sold in the US. The FCC already has material that is freely available about what those numbers mean.


I can understand the concern parents have with their children using cell phones and I do not take our children’s health lightly. This is a subject that I watch closely. But why are we picking on cell phones? Why not freak out about the radon in the ground underneath our homes, in the bricks that our homes are made of and out of the granite countertops so many people drool over. What about the machines at the airport?  Or time spent on an airplane for that matter.  What about the naturally occurring radiation from going out in the sun?


Clearly, the argument is that cell phones are optional and so we should be warned about the amounts of radiation we are voluntarily exposing our bodies to. But why not put that exposure into context in relation to all the sources of radiation we encounter daily and what our annual exposure limits are.

A very important number for us to know is our cholesteral level but for the most part no one pays attention to that number until it is a problem. What about our BMI (Body Mass Index) that is an important number.

Hollywood has a movie out right now talking about another number that is important to keep track of.  The audience at the Anderson Cooper show is not convinced people keep accurate numbers.  But that is for another post.

It is, apparently, time we now know our radiation number. But are warning labels going to help?  Or just give us another reason to sue somebody.

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Many parents are concerned about their kids playing violent video games. Video games have really only been around in the home market since the early 90’s and so research on this subject is really very new.

What does the research say about the effect violent video games have on our children and what do we do with that information anyway?

These are just a couple of the questions asked in my new book Violent Games – Violent Children?

Now available on Amazon

Violent Games – Violent Children?

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