Friday, September 6, 2019

Back to School & on to a New Routine

As the Mississippi summer heat blankets the last days of August, the 2019-2020 school year is in full swing for students across Mississippi. From preschool to Pre-Med students, the lazy days of summer are long gone and being replaced with busy days of routines, homework and fall activities.

For parents, the daily demands make most of us feel like we are on a hamster wheel of endless spinning from one task to another. Our mornings begin with predawn alarms, followed by cooking breakfast, preparing school lunches, and then on to frenzied morning commute through congested roads to arrive to school and work all before 8:00 a.m. As the day continues, it is full of to-do tasks and routines and it seems finding a balance in the middle of the chaos to enjoy moments in these fleeting days is hard to grasp. Consider these four tips to make this school year more enjoyable and easier for you and your family.

Today’s Tone Started Last Night

We’ve all had those mornings that we thought, “If only I had just one more hour of sleep,” or “I should have done this last night!” It really is true that the actions of last night set the tone for today. Spending extra time preparing in advance for that busy morning routine helps the next day run more smoothly. Take the time to set aside clothes for school and work, have lunch boxes ready and an idea of meals that will be prepared for the next morning. Every extra minute counts in the mornings and the extra work completed the night before gives you that valuable time the next day.

Early to Bed and Early to Rise

A good night’s rest these days seems to be underrated by our busy society. Yes, there are nights when parents have to take care of sick children, catch up on loads of laundry after bedtime, and finish work projects. On those nights when the routine is normal, don’t let the time tick away and waste the potential for a full night’s rest scrolling endlessly on social media or watching a show on Netflix. Decide to change habits that interfere with your rest and will leave you feeling rushed the next morning.

Become intentional in going to bed earlier as well as setting a consistent bedtime for your children to be able to get the recommended amount of sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. How much sleep do you need to bolster your immune system? The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

Learn to Kindly Say No

The fall brings on a barrage of emails for volunteer opportunities at your children’s school, social media posts about the must-do after-school activities, and endless possibilities for weekend events that fill the calendar.

There are plenty of activities and opportunities to say yes to participate in – whether for your children or as parents. Ask yourself, “Is this one extra activity worth the frenzied time in the car to rush my family to and from one activity to the next?” “Is this volunteer opportunity worth my children having to stay often with babysitters?”

The author Lysa TerKeurst stated in her book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.” Her statement is so simple, yet powerfully true.

It is important for us as parents to ask ourselves if the yes is worth what we are saying no to – if that volunteer opportunity means us saying no to homecooked meals for our grade school kids, is it worth it? If that one extra activity means saying no to a relaxed and rested child on school nights, is it worth it?

Reserve your yes for places well spent with your time because your time with your family and loves ones is a commodity that you will never get back. In the long run, squeezing in that extra activity to add to your daily calendar will just drain you and your family and make for grumpy kids and unproductive parents.

Among the Busyness, Find Time for Gratitude

When we really think about it, those loads of laundry, constant grocery store runs, hectic morning commutes, busy afternoons, and early mornings all mean that we have much to be thankful for. We have loved ones that we are able to care for, a job to pay the bills, and a life that we are able to live. In the middle of the chaotic week and clutter at home, think about what it signifies that we have people to love, places that we are needed, and another day to be grateful to live. When you close your eyes tonight for rest, be thankful for this day and grateful that you have life to share love with others and live with gusto!

Jenny Cox Holman of Families First authored this post.  
This post is a paid advertisement by Families First.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS