Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ten financial principles that will guide you through the Christmas season and throughout your life.

I love the Christmas season and I love the joy it brings through giving.  I believe that most of us have desires to help others and give to those we love and that are in need.  However, during the Christmas season we also need to be careful how we manage our finances and make sure through sound decisions that we don't spend ourselves into a life of financial struggles.

One of my favorite classes I took while at college was called Family Finances.  I loved this class!  The textbook we used for this class was called "For Love and Money, How to Share the Same Checkbook and Still Love Each Other."  (By Bernard E. Poduska)  One of the main concepts I learned from this class is the way we manage our money is usually caused from behavior problems.  The author of this book sets up ten financial principles that will help you to better manage your financial life.  The ten financial principles with scriptural references are:

Principle 1:  Financial problems are usually behavior problems rather than money problems.  (Matthew 25:14-18.)

Principle 2:  If you continue doing what you have been doing, you will continue getting what you have been getting.  (Galatians 6:7.)

Principle 3:  Nothing (no thing) is worth risking the relationship for.  (1 Timothy 6: 7-11.)

Principle 4:  Money spent on things you value usually leads to a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.  Money spent on things you don't value usually leads to a feeling of frustration and futility.  (Matthew 6:24, 31-22.)

Principle 5:  We know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  (Matthew 6: 19-21.)

Principle 6:  You can never get enough of what you don't need, because what you don't need can never satisfy you.  (2 Nephi 9:51.)

Principle 7:  Financial freedom is more often the result of decreased spending than of increased income.  (Proverbs 21:20.)

Principle 8:  Be grateful for what you have.  (Ephesians 5:20.)

Principle 9:  The best things in life are free.  (1 Corinthians 2:12.)

Principle 10:  The value of an individual should never be equated with his or her net worth. (Matthew 16:26.)


I hope all of you have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Cutest little guy ever!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

How do we age well?

One of my favorite classes I took at college was called Adult Development and Aging.  This class required that I would spend 10 hours serving the elderly in a nursing home.  I spent most of my time playing games with those of a feeble mind and body.  Even though this experience was both disturbing and sad to me, it made me realize that I would do everything in my power to take control of my life and learn to age better.

According to Walker, "Arguably the longest and most comprehensive study of human development ever undertaken is just revealing its final results: We are very much in control of our own aging." Walker states that "The Study of Adult Development at Harvard Medical School comprises three projects begun in the 1920s, '30s and '40s... in which 824 men and women [had] been followed from their teens into their 80s [and] over the decades were given psychological tests to evaluate their lives and feelings."

Dr. George E. Vaillant, the study's director, found that "good genes did not account for better aging." Vaillant also debates "that with aging comes decay."  The study showed that "when comparing a 30 year old brain to a 55 year old brain, the older one is better developed."  Also that, "advancing age impairs some motor skills, but maturation can make people sharper at emotional tasks."  Another interesting finding from Vaillant, is that "many people who aged well unconsciously reinterpreted early events in their lives in a more positive light as they grew older.  Those who clung to negative events were less happy adults.  Forever blaming others can impede maturity."

Below, Dr. Vaillant points out seven keys to aging well.  Vaillant states, "that these seven major factors, at 50, predict what life's outcome will be at 80."

1.)  NOT SMOKING OR QUITTING EARLY:  "Those who quit the habit before 50 were, at 70, as healthy as those who had not smoked."  Vaillant states that, "smoking is the most significant factor in terms of health."

2.)  THE ABILITY TO TAKE LIFE'S UPS AND DOWNS IN STRIDE:  "Those who learn early how to roll with the punches are much happier in their later years, despite real problems."  Vaillant said, "Life aint' easy.  Terrible things happen to everyone.  You have to keep your sense of humor, give something of yourself to others, make friends who are younger than you, learn new things and have fun."

3.)  ABSENCE OF ALCOHOL ABUSE:  "Abusing alcohol destroys both your physical and mental health [and] can destroy a marriage."

4.)  HEALTHY WEIGHT:  "Obesity is a risk factor for poor health in later life."

5.)  A SOLID MARRIAGE:  "A good marriage contributes to a long and happy life.  The study also found that, overall, marriages improved with time-if people were willing to work out the bumps. This is important for both physical and psychological health."

6.)  PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:  "The study specified that the Happy-Well usually did 'some exercise.'  The benefits of fitness also extended to mental health."

7.)  YEARS OF EDUCATION:  "The more years of school people have, the more they tend to age successfully.  People seek education because they believe it is possible to control the course of their lives."

The truth is that we don't know how long we're going to live in this life.  If we live to be in our 80s or 90s, we should want to live well.  We need to strive and do all we can to live a happy and healthy life.  Because of my religious beliefs, I do not smoke or drink alcohol.  I'm so grateful that I made the decision to stay completely away from these vices.  I have seen many suffer the abuses and pain that come along with these particular addictions.  We also have to be positive!  My kids think it's crazy at some of the things I have to laugh at so I don't lose my mind.  Just try and have fun in life instead of worrying about EVERYTHING!  Oh, and by the way, having a solid marriage does requires work!  It just seems like more and more married couples give up so easily.  Learn to love and forgive one another.  Just TRY IT!  Physical activity can lead to a healthy weight.  Go on walks or bike rides with your spouse or friends.  Doing some type of exercise is better than nothing!  Finally, whatever it takes, seek out to be educated.  Read good books, research topics that you find interesting, and take a free class at your local library.  Go to bed early and rise early. (I just had to throw that one in.)

Take control of your life and age well!

My favorite four generational picture!
Granny (my mom) Jenna (my daughter) Audrey (my grand daughter) and Me!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I just LOVE my new addition!

It's been awhile since I've written a new blog.  I've been real busy falling in love with my new granddaughter who was born on April 29, 2014.  Her name is Clara Jean Foote.

Of course Clara's two siblings Audrey and Carson love and adore her too!

Carson warming-up to Clara

Dillon, Jenna, (my daughter), Carson, Clara, and Audrey


Monday, April 7, 2014

28 years ago, I witnessed a miracle!

On April 7th, 28 years ago, my twins Joshua and Jenna were born!  I consider their birth a miracle as they were born two months early and survived the ordeal of being preemies.  Even though they are both married and have lives of their own, I still remember the day they were born as if it were yesterday.  Joshua was born first at 10:00 p.m. and Jenna was born seven minutes later at 10:07.  By the way, Josh will always remind you that he was born first.

Jenna Elizabeth Haney
Joshua Alden Haney

Josh and Jenna were born on April 7 1987, at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah.  My husband Brad was finishing up his Accounting degree at BYU.  They were born 10 days before he graduated.  Perfect timing!  My parents were living in Tempe, Arizona and came up to visit their new grand babies.

I LOVE this picture of me and my mom holding Jenna!

Look at this CUTE picture of Brad holding Josh!

I remember after the twins spent three weeks in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit), the nurse told me, "You can come to the hospital and take your babies home!"  I remember feeling a little scared, but knew that this new journey in my life would be exciting, fun, and exhausting!  (Believe me, sleep deprivation was a whole new experience for me!)

My mom would always say, "Time flies by on the wings of lightning."  This statement is so true.  Before you know it, your kids are gone and faded memories become the present.  I feel so blessed to have started the journey of motherhood with TWO!


Josh and Lisa

Carson, Dillon, Clara, Jenna, and Audrey

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Child Who Doesn't Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Over the next few weeks, I want to elaborate on different eating issues that our children might be experiencing.  Even though my mom was the best cook EVER, there were certain foods that I wasn't even going to think about eating.  I will never eat a lima bean or stuffed green pepper. To this day, I would seriously rather do my taxes than eat certain vegetables or fruits.  But that's ok!  Just like most of us, I survived my childhood without eating green peppers and lima beans.

The following research is based from The Ellyn Satter Institute and the information is presented to you unchanged. Hopefully, you will find this information helpful the next time your child secretly feeds their vegetables or fruits to the family dog!

According to the Satter, "Some children don't eat vegetables; others don't eat fruit.  Still others don't eat either!  If your child turns down either, or both, you are likely to be concerned because you have learned that they are important. First of all, relax.  Fruits and vegetables carry the same nutrients, so a child can be well-nourished on either.  Second, back off.  Pressure - even nice pressure such as bribes and cheerleading doesn't help. Your child thinks, "if they have to do all that to get me to eat it, it can't be good."  Third, enjoy the food yourself.  It may take years, but sooner or later, your child will learn to like the foods you enjoy.  Keep in mind the word is enjoy.  If you force food down because it is good for you, your child will know that and not learn to like it.

Get started with family meals, if you aren't having them already.  Maintain a division of responsibility in feeding. (You can learn about division of responsibility in feeding in my prior blog.)

Keep these thoughts and strategies in mind about your child's learning to enjoy vegetables and fruits (as well as other unfamiliar foods):

  • Observe.  Your child sneaks up on new foods:  He looks and helps you cook but doesn't eat, he watches you eat it but doesn't eat it himself, he puts it in his mouth and takes it out again.
  • Interpret.  Your child is learning to like new foods, not turning them down.
  • Persist.  Most children and grownups learn to like new food after they have done the sneaking-up bit 15 or 20 times - or more!  Most cooks give up on a food after three turn-downs.
  • Flavor.  Tone down strong tastes with salt, fat, sauces, bread crumbs, herbs and spices."

Carson eating his favorite banana flavored snow! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why won't my child eat their meals?

We've all been there. Trying to feed a family with five kids is like trying to figure out how to pay off the national debt.  I'm serious.  One of my kids will say, "That's my favorite meal!" and the other will say "I'm really not that hungry."  And it goes on and on!  At times, it can be very frustrating  for a parent to know how much or whether their child will eat food at mealtimes.  As a parent, we want our children to eat healthy and finish all the food we place on their plate.  I think that's also called "wishful thinking."  However, according to Ellen Satter, MS, RD, LCSW, BCD an internationally authority on eating and feeding, we can learn how to feed our infants and children of all ages.  I was amazed while attending college when I first read one of Ellen Satter's research papers.  I was thrilled to know that all those peas and carrots my kids left behind wasn't so bad after all!  According to Satter, I would like to discuss the meaning of  Division of Responsibility in feeding our children.

At times, it can be very frustrating for a parent to know how much or whether their child will eat food at mealtimes.  When it comes to feeding, there is a division of responsibility between the parent and child.  A child will naturally know the right amount of food to eat.  They know how much to eat to grow up and get the body that is right for them, learn to enjoy food their parents eat, and learn to have manners at the dinner table.  However, as parents we must too be responsible to help our child have good eating habits.

To help a child eat well, parents must first decide what a good meal to prepare is.  Preparing meals that you enjoy cooking and that everyone will be pleased with is a good start.  A meal might include four or five food choices that are different in variety, something completely different than you would normally eat, and including a food item that most family members enjoy, such a bread.  Also, don't prepare a second meal if your child does not like the one at hand.  Second, parents need to make sure that their child is eating at the proper time.  If a child becomes hungry between meals, she can have a sit down snack accompanied with water, but an all day access to food is not recommended.  Third, even at the age of 15 months old, a child can know where to sit at the family table and enjoy the company of family and friends.  By seeing her parents or adults eating a variety of tasty foods, she too through examples of others can slowly learn to be an efficient eater and learn how to properly behave and eat. Overall, it is necessary to take responsibility in feeding a child through what, where, and when we feed them.  Through these actions, a child will know how much and whether to eat.

I thought it would be handy if I included an exact outline of Ellen Satter's Division of Responsibility.

According to Satter, "Children develop eating competence step-by-step throughout the growing-up years when they are fed according to a stage-appropriate division of responsibility.  At every stage, parents take leadership with feeding and let the child be self-directed with eating."

The division of responsibility for infants:

  • The parent is responsible for what.
  • The child is responsible for how much (and everything else).
Parents choose breast- or formula-feeding, help the infant be calm and organized, then feed smoothly paying attention to information coming the baby about timing, tempo, frequency, and amounts.

The division of responsibility for older babies making the transition to family food.
  • The parent is still responsible for what, and is becoming responsible for when and where the child is fed.
  • The child is still and always responsible for how much and whether to eat the foods offered by the parent
Based on what the child can do, not how old, s/he is, parents guide the child's transition from nipple feeding through semi-solids, then thick-and-lumpy food, to finger food at family meals.

The division of responsibility for toddlers through adolescents.
  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where.
  • The child is responsible for how much, and whether.
Fundamental to parents' jobs is trusting children to decide how much and whether to eat.  If parents do their jobs with feeding, children do their jobs with eating.

Parents' feeding jobs:
  • Choose and prepare the food
  • Provide regular meals and snacks
  • Make eating times pleasant
  • Show children what they have to learn about food and mealtime behavior
  • Be considerate of children's food inexperience without catering to likes and dislikes
  • Not let children have food or beverages (except for water) between meals and snack times
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them
Children's eating jobs:
  • Children will eat
  • They will eat the amount they need
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat
  • They will grow predictably
  • They will learn to behave well at mealtime.

By following these guidelines, you can learn to RELAX and ENJOY what should be an awesome time of the day.  MEALTIME!  Now let's go and eat some shaved ice!

My grandson eating his favorite flavor of shaved ice!