Last week, more than 60 African-American professionals, ranging from musicians to doctors to lawyers, visited Montclair’s Glenfield Middle School for its annual African-American Career Day. The event was part of the school’s Black History Month celebration.
“I’ve been to Haiti and The Dominican Republic twice now on mission trips,” explains Northeast Elementary School kindergarten teacher Dana Cornwell, left. “Both times, I came home, sat on my couch and cried at how fortunate I am compared to these people who have literally nothing but are the most wonderful human beings I have ever met.”
Cornwell and her family visited these countries to meet their sponsored children through the humanitarian organization World Vision. This year, though, the family teamed up with two dentists to create their own non-profit called Cheerful Heart Dental Mission and will be traveling March 19-24. Cornwell can’t go due to work, so she’s gathering donations for her friends and family to take with them.
The mission needs toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, mouth wash, Tylenol and multivitamins. Items can be dropped off at Northeast’s front office now through March 15. Continue Reading
Spending a few minutes in an ethnic grocery store always inspires me to make something new. The exotic fruits and vegetables and unusual herbs and spices instantly trigger my brain to start thinking in different ways. Take Route 46 west to Patel Brothers in Parsippany on this Flavor Excursions trip where you’ll find a grocery store flaunting the flavors of India. Invite a friend to join you and together you can shop, share ingredients and costs.
That’s exactly what my friend Suzy and I did a few weeks ago.
Tiring of the winter meals we’ve been serving our families week after week, we thought we needed to jazz things up a bit in the dinner department. So, we planned a field trip to Patel Brothers followed by an après-shopping cooking date.
We wandered the aisles of this exceptionally clean and tidy market, marveling at the colorful stacks of spices and a refrigerator full of fresh yogurt and cheese (paneer). There’s also a frozen section with an array of breads and bite sized foods, and a pantry stocked with dried beans and lentils of every size and color and jars and jars of exotic chutneys and sauces. The selection is astounding and truly gets our creativity flowing.
Walter Springer, the Master of Ceremonies, and Garland Thornton, President of the Bulldogs, spoke and handed out awards. Montclair High School Football Coach John Fiore spoke about maintaining good grades on and off the field. He stressed academic success to all of his players. Monclair High School’s own QB, Khalif Herbin, and Stephaun Marshall, running back and linebacker spoke about their success on the field with The Mounties, and also maintaining their 3+ GPA in the classroom.
Former NFL player Bobby Brown was the guest speaker. He emphasized rising above one’s socio-economic lot in life. Bobby grew up in the projects, in a “ghetto,”raised by his mother (his father was incarcerated). Brown pointed out these are not crutches, you can rise above all of this if you pass “the mirror” test. Bobby graduated with a triple major, the first member of his family ever to go to college.
It’s Leap Day and a cause for celebration! After all, this day only comes once every four years.
In case you were wondering what Leap Day was all about, I’ll try to explain. Basically, it takes Earth 365 days AND 6 hours to revolve around the sun. So in four years, we have 24 hours and add the extra day on our calendar to make up for it.
Got it? If you want a much better explanation, watch the video below:
Nuclear Cowboyz is the legend of “two powerful freestyle motocross tribes, whose survival in their futuristic world is told through an action-packed narrative of fearless freestyle aerial feats, gravity defying stunts, and outrageous pyrotechnic displays synchronized to hard rock music.” The show features a cast of freestyle motocross, trials and quad riders, including recent X Games 17 medalists Mike Mason, New Jersey’s Ronnie Faisst and Adam Jones with Taka Higashino, Beau Bamburg, Derek Garland, Nixey Danielson, Brody Wilson, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Dustin Miller, Wes Agee, Geoff Aaron, Keith Wineland, Derek Guetter and brothers Colton and Caleb Moore.
Barista Kids has a Family 4-pack of tickets to Friday night’s show to give away to one lucky reader! Keep reading for details….
Instrumental Dreamland, a collection of soothing tunes from Putumayo Kids just released today, but I was lucky to receive a copy a couple of weeks ago and it has become a family favorite.
Between 4 pm – 6 pm, things get hectic in my home. I get the kids home, there’s homework to do and dinner to make all before 5:45 pm when we can finally sit down to eat and catch up. During that time, I feel a bit frazzled. I’ve been playing Instrumental Dreamland while I cook and even though Putumayo’s best-selling Dreamland series are designed to help lull children to sleep, I think they’re perfect to calm a crazed mom and her kids. We even listen to the CD during dinner. With classics like “Brahms’ Lullaby,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “What a Wonderful World,” played on relaxing instruments such as the harp, piano, acoustic guitar and kora, Instrumental Dreamland is great background music.
Most parents have thought things – or muttered them under their breath – that they’d never dream of sharing with another human being. Yet when some of the most momentarily shocking admissions show up from anonymous strangers in the Scary Mommy Confessional*, soon dozens of fellow parents have clicked “OMG, Me Too!” Suddenly, the confessor feels a little less nuts, and a lot less alone.
* The blog and confessional use salty – even spicy! – language, so be aware of this before sharing it with more sensitive family members or children.
Considering all the “Better than You” parenting out there, it’s a relief to find a site like Scary Mommy. The Scary Mommy Manifesto begins with “I shall maintain a sense of humor about all things motherhood, for without it, I recognize that I may end up institutionalized. Or, at the very least, completely miserable.” And with that promise made, you may enter into an irreverent world that admits foibles and errors and celebrates joys and solidarity.
It’s time for a community call to action regarding underage drinking and drugging. When drugs or alcohol enter the brain, they can interrupt the work and actually change how the brain performs its jobs. These changes are what lead to compulsive drinking and drug use, the hallmark of addiction. The simple fact is, our kid’s brains are actively developing from birth to their early 20’s. The dangerous consequences of underage drinking needs to be put into the forefront and no tolerance rules enforced.
In the aftermath of the Whitney Houston tragedy, addiction and substance abuse is front-page news. Many think that nothing can be done to alter the course of addiction. Is it a mental health issue? Is it a medical disease? Or is it just personal weakness? What can no longer be debated is the impact drugs and alcohol has on brain development and our youth. There are severe consequences to underage drinking. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
(Editor’s note: In honor of National Tooth Fairy Day (yes, you heard me) we’re re-posting this, which originally ran three years ago)
My 5-year-old lost her first tooth over the weekend. It had been loose for two months and we all were super excited when it finally fell out.
When I was a kid, the Tooth Fairy left me a bright shiny quarter for each tooth I left under my pillow, but I hear that kids these days are getting $5 a tooth. That seems like a lot to me. They have 20 teeth to lose and at $5 a pop, we’re talking $100. Parents aren’t making it easier for those of us who think $5 is too much. Kids talk and my daughter knows that what the Tooth Fairy is leaving her friends.