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Get Out And Play; Worldwide Day of Play to turn off the TV and play outside

My family seems to be running around without stopping most of the week.  Enrichment classes, school work, errands, field trips, even violin lessons.  But I try to make sure we exercise all the time. There is an old saying about if the parents read in a household than so will the children.  Well, the same goes for exercise. 

The Clorox 2 Play 2 Day pledge is a perfect intensive for my children to do more outdoors.,

Right now my son is in football. This year is his first in  He has practice three times a week, for two hours each time (and yes, the white jersey and padded shorts are full of grass and dirt stains after every practice) and one game a week.

I am on an adult kickball team, playing on the Mercury league for WAKA.  We have games once a week and practice every Sunday.  Both of my kids help out at practices, running for others, fielding the balls, and we even let them go up to bat.

With these two sports taking up five days a week, my daughter isn’t in any active sports but does practice gymnastics and running (track starts in February) and goes on 2-4 mile walks a few times a week.

With busy lives we have a hard time fitting in some down time but I try to schedule or ‘undschedule’ that as well so we have time to go to the park and play on the jungle gyms.

Exercise is important for everyone in the family.  Not just for someone overweight, not just for the kids.  For everyone.  If the parents are healthy they are setting examples for their children.

In honor of the Clorox2® Play 2Day pledge to play outside  I am going to try to reduce any multi-media in our house for the next month.

This will be hard, since my kids DO play on too many games.  My son has an X-Box, DSi, iPod and laptop.  My daughter  has the same, minus the X-Box.  All of these are a addiction and attraction to them, especially my son.  When we are driving, waiting for an appointment, or not told to go out and play, they are both drawn to these games or the television.    NONE of which are that great for them besides being a babysitter.  I definately notice a correlation between how many hours of multi-media they have had and their attitudes and behavior.

I am going to do a reward chart for hours of exercise, by the 1/2 hr mark with rewards of outdoor toys.  A new Frisbee, balls to play catch with and other items that are attractive and fun in the sporting good section of the stores.  Maybe a big reward is a tether-ball pole!

I’d love ideas other people have to make exercise fun for the whole family and what they do together. 

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Loose Change From The Car

We went to Coin Star this week with a tote bag of loose change that has been accumulating in my car (and from the car before this one). This money was mostly loose change from fast food purchases or anything else I paid cash for and got change back that was coins.

Nest Eggs For Single Moms

I’m not sure about most single parents but if you are like me, you are living month-to-month and barely have anything saved (if anything).  I do not really have a ‘nest egg’ for myself or children at all.  I keep thinking that THAT will happen when I am remarried (when ever that will happen, considering I am single and not even dating anyone right now) and I have most of the same bills (mainly mortgage and utilities) and a dual-income.

When I think of a nest egg, I can see meaning many different things.  Money to be set away for emergencies like unemployment, a disability, exceptionally large auto or hospital bill, etc.   I can also see a nest egg as money that I should have for when I am old and want to retire and can no longer work, or no longer want to work.  Part of that would be some type of retirement money, like a 504 plan or long-term investments.   Finally, I think of a nest egg as money that should be saved ‘just in case.’  I have heard that it is a great plan for people to have three months of their average monthly income in savings.

For me, as a single parent, I have a two main assets my house and my car and a small amount of money saved in an ING account.  I also have some money saved (no not even close to enough) for my children for college.

All of this is something that I need to do soon, now, in the present.  Everyone says the future isn’t certain, but it is certain that if someone is broke their whole like that they shouldn’t be expecting a miracle when they are old and want to retire.

All of this I need to start on now.  It really comes down to saving more money, budgeting more and spending less.  Sounds easy, right?

My year-end goal is to have that three-month egg nest.  With my 2012 tax return I want to pay off my two (and only two) credit cards that I own.  After that….?  Savings for my retirement, childrens’ college and maybe a small fund for a family vacation.

The definition of a nest egg might mean different things to each of us but it all is really about how much money we have set aside.  

It isn’t easy being a single parent but ignoring the future isn’t going to make it go away.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Allstate blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to