Kids Camp



School is out!  Entertain the troops this summer with Kids Camp!  Almost every church has one!  In fact, larger churches, like Bayside in Granite Bay, CA, often have multiple weeks of Kids Camps for elementary aged kids!

When I first moved to Nor Cal with three young kids, I called up every church within 20 miles, and signed up my kiddos for several Kids Camps!  It’s a great way to find a good church, make new friends and have a ton of fun!  Plus, they usually have really great snacks, which was the reason my kids came back for more! :)

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Good Grief!

Well, I don’t have any words of wisdom for this post, just honesty.  This is the first Easter and summer that none of my kids will be coming home for vacation!  One is graduated from college, one is nearly graduated, and one is hankering for an on campus job for the summer, so she can hang with her homies in So Cal.  Can I just say this sucks?

Just when I think I’ve arrived and I’m handling the whole empty nest thing.  Wham!  It’s like another stage of grief all over again.  All I want to know is, does it ever end?

I guess I need to get a life.  Either that or my husband and I need to plan to take a cruise over Spring Break, like in the movie, Christmas with the Kranks.  Hopefully, I won’t whack my head on a tanning bed, OR awkwardly bump into my pastor just outside the tanning salon in a bikini…(me in the bikini, of course, not my pastor) OR get a phone call from my daughter to announce that she’s getting married to Enrique, because she doesn’t even know an Enrique and if she did, he might take her away to Spain and then I’d have to deal with a whole other stage of loss and grief, and then I’d REALLY need a cruise.

It’s a slippery slope, I tell you.  Did I ever mention that I have a dark side?  I guess the secret’s out!  I hope that doesn’t scare off all my fans.  Thank goodness, there are only two of you out there, and you love me anyway…neurosis and all.  Actually, I’ve been told that’s part of my charm and it’s definitely Karen in real life…totally uncensored.  Lucky you.=)

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Little League

ll baseball

It’s baseball season!!! Down at the park, Little League is in full swing!  Some of my fondest memories of my kids were from their Little League days!  Like the time Megan’s t-ball coach handed out the team uniforms and she squealed, “Costumes!!”  Or the time Laura was swinging all cockamamie when it was her turn at bat.  Her t-ball coach ran up to see what the problem was, and she handed him a tiny cricket for safekeeping.

Next season, join the fun and sign your child up for Little League baseball!  It builds hand eye coordination, promotes social skills, and is team building!  Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch some really priceless stories both on and off the field! :)

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Babysitting 101


Is your pre-teen or teenage daughter looking for a summer job? How about an adventure in babysitting? It’s a big responsibility, but it can be tons of fun and lucrative too!  If your daughter is the magic age of 11 years old or older, she can sign up for a Red Cross Babysitting Class and learn Babysitting Basics online, and get Babysitting Training, including Pediatric First Aid/CPR certification through a 6 hr. in-person course at a location near you!  Or she can become a certified Red Cross babysitter through a local city parks and recreation class, like my girls did! :)

For the serious babysitting entrepreneur, purchase a book on starting a babysitting business with one of these fun and informative books!

Babysitters Business Kit (American Girl)

Babysitting 101:  How to Start, Run and Market your own Babysitting Business

What a great way for your pre-teen or teenage girl to learn responsibility, develop important life skills, and make a little (or a lot) of cash for the summer! :)

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Mt. Hermon Family Camps


Do you want to get your family or extended family together for a week long vacation this summer, but you don’t want to spend the whole time in the kitchen?  Let Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center Family Camps do the cooking, including BBQ’s and outdoor Pancake Breakfasts!  They’ll also entertain all age groups with fun activities like hiking, kayaking, archery, swimming, volleyball, and of course, campfires with s’mores! Babysitting is available for the little ones, so you can join the older kids for more daring activities like the ropes course or climbing wall!  For those who like to keep their feet on the ground, there are crafts and a game room!

In the evening, you can enjoy family friendly music and speakers, and then return to your lodge with a private bath and a comfy bed!  It’s like camping, except with a cook, indoor plumbing, and an activities director!  That’s my kind of camping! :)

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Effective Acne Treatment


As if growing up isn’t hard enough, just throw a little acne in the mix to make it 10 times worse!  If your teen has acne, here’s some advice from a parent who’s been around the block a few times!

Usually, a pediatrician wants to try 3 different antibiotics (Minocycline, Doxycycline and Tetracyline) for 3 months each, plus a few topical creams (like Differin and Benzoyl Peroxide), before giving a referral to a dermatologist.  By that time, the acne is usually full blown, and your teen is refusing to show her face in public.

Once the teen finally sees the dermatologist, all they usually have to offer is Accutane, which is not a tame drug.  It used to be effective, back in the day!  Now, they’ve changed it, and all it did was raise my daughter’s cholesterol to 250, and make her complexion even worse!  In addition, if you’re a girl, they want to put you on birth control pills, because it can help clear up hormonal acne, and it helps prevent pregnancy, since the risk of birth defects is high while taking Accutane.

If I had to do it all over again, I’d head straight for Dr. Jacob Rispler’s office in Irvine, CA.  Dr. Rispler is a dermatologist, who uses medication, skin care products and in some cases, lazer light to treat acne.  In desperation, we went to see Dr. Jacob Rispler, after going through years of ineffective acne treatment.  He’s the only dermatologist and lazer surgeon, in our experience, who knows his stuff and gets results!

All of the other pediatricians and dermatologists kept my daughter on topical medications that she was allergic to, prescribed birth control that was later recalled, prescribed medication that wasn’t even approved to treat acne, and continued to place her on higher and higher doses of the new Accutane, even though her complexion was getting worse and her cholesterol was dangerously high.

If you don’t live in southern California, and you can’t see Dr. Rispler, all I have to say, is maybe you should plan a family vacation to Disneyland and schedule a visit to his office in Irvine!  If that’s not in the budget, I’d do my homework, and investigate every medication thoroughly before filling a prescription. If a medication isn’t working or is causing alarming side effects, I’d insist on changing to a different medication right away.  I’d also be wary of putting my teen on a new fangled drug that hasn’t stood the test of time.

Most importantly, I’d spend time networking with friends and scouring the Internet to find a quality dermatologist, who knows his stuff and gets results fast!  It should take months, NOT YEARS, to notice improvement and get your teen’s acne under control!  If your dermatologist isn’t getting results, then it’s time to switch doctors!  If your medical insurance is mediocre, like mine was, it may be worth it to upgrade for a while, so you can choose a reputable dermatologist that specializes in lazer light treatment.  Unfortunately, the old adage seems to be true in this case, “You get what you pay for.” :)

Oh yeah!  There are also lots of skin care products available in stores or online!  Some of them are kinda pricey, but none of them did the job!  Proactiv is an especially popular one, and it may work for some people, but all it did was discolor my new bathroom towels! :(

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Hume Lake Christian Camps

hume lake

If you don’t want to get a “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” letter from Camp Granada this summer, send your little (or big) camper to Hume Lake Christian Camps in sunny California!  With a zip line, ropes course, skate park, paintball, swimming, and boating (in an alligator free lake), you shouldn’t expect to receive any letters from your camper pleading, “Take me home, oh muddah, fadduh!”  If anything, they’ll be asking to stay longer!  In fact, I must warn you, after camping at Hume Lake Christian Camps, everything else looks like Camp Granada!

If you need a laugh, and you have no idea what Camp Granada is, let me expand your musical repertoire with this hilarious rendition of the song, Camp Granada!

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The Story of Jesus for Children

The Passion of the Christ is a great Easter movie, if you’re over 17, but if you’re looking for a PG version for your kids, check out The Story of Jesus for Children at!  You can order a copy for only $5 or watch it online for free!  What’s ever better is that it’s available in almost any language, so whether you habla espanol, parle francais, sprechen Deutsch, or some other language that’s Greek to me, you can enjoy the story of Jesus, including the Easter story in your own mother tongue! :)

Happy Easter!!

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The Easter Story

Give your kids a dozen EGGceptional reasons to remember the Easter story with Resurrection Eggs!  Each plastic egg contains a symbol of Passion Week, like a piece of bread for the Last Supper, a silver coin for Judas’ betrayal, a thorn for the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head, and of course, an empty egg for the empty tomb!  You can purchase Resurrection Eggs online or you can make your own!  It’s one EGGciting way to share the EGGsordinary Easter story with your preschool or elementary age kids!

For the book behind the Resurrection Eggs, read Benjamin’s Box …or go straight to the source in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John’s eyewitness account of the life of Christ found in the Bible! :)   Happy Easter!

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Chick-fil-A 2013 Easter Egg Hunt

Gather up your little chicks and run on over to Chick-fil-A in Roseville, CA for an Easter Egg Hunt on March 30, 2013 from 9:00-11:00 am!  With 30,000 eggs with prizes and 10 different egg hunt times, your little brood is sure to peck a prize or two!

If you don’t live near the Chick-fil-A at Pleasant Grove, check out to find a calendar of events for the Chick-fil-A nearest you!  Your local Chick-fil-A might not host an Easter Egg Hunt, but they may have other EGGciting events worth crossing the road for! :)

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