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Back To School: Extraordinary Teens August 19, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Book Reviews, Books, Feelings, learning, life, School, School Supplies, thoughts.
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With everyone going back to school, it’s so much easier to remember the clothes, school supplies, and even money set out for lunch. But one thing that parents tend to forget: motivation. Since teens are often boggled down with school and extra-curricular activities, it’s quite normal to think “What am I doing this for?”. Believe me- I’ve been there.

But thanks to Chicken Soup for the Soul, your teens can have the motivation they need to go out into the world and do something- if even not everyone agrees with it. If your teen wants to start a business helping people decorate for the Holidays, then this book is for this. Chicken Soup for the Extraordinary Teen is chock full of stories from teens that had no idea what they were doing but succeeded in doing it anyways. There are even stories from some of the most famous teen celebs- Ryan Cabrera, Julie Marie Carrier, and even Mythbuster Kari Byron. All of the stories are heartfelt (which Chicken Soup for the Soul is known for) and so inspirational that no teen will close the book untouched by the stories from these amazing teenagers.

chicken-soup-for-the-soulWhat I loved is that I could remember what it was like at that stage- awkward, uninspired, and just tired of school and nothing to go along with that. I wish I was as creative as the teens in this book. Each story is unique and each story has several sentences bold- true words of wisdom. This guarantees that each and every person that reads it will leave with a little something in their heart that says “I may not be a teen. But I still have plenty of time to do what I want- even if that means starting a business to help people decorate for the Holidays!”. I will warn you about something though. These kids achievements by themselves are staggering so if there are any teens or Moms who are sensitive about their academics, this may not be the book for you. While it it amazing some of the achievements mentioned, sometimes it can get a little overbearing.  But also with that, you can just skip over that box if you wish to read it.

Did I learn anything from it? I may be turning 25 this Winter, but I still learned a lot. I’m not too old to do this or accomplish that. If I can dream it, it can happen. Same goes for everyone who reads this- You’re not too old to do this or accomplish that. If you can dream it, it can happen.

CIJ: Gift Ideas for Kids/Teens July 4, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in children, Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Gift Ideas, gifts, holidays, Movies, music, shopping, Toys.
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Even with children, they seem to be the easiest to shop for. They can be picky, but they also enjoy unwrapping gifts and squealing with delight as they realized that they got something off their Christmas list (even if it isn’t the exact Barbie doll they wanted). I have realized through tons of TV watching and Christmas shopping, Moms and Dads are going towards educational and personalized gifts to give their children. At Happy Kids Personalized, there are a lot of items to choose from, including personalized music CDs, children’s books, and even personalized T-Shirts. With Hannah Montana and Jonas Brother items on the rise, there should be no surprise that their products will end up on Christmas lists all around the world.

While action figures and dolls are envitable as they are synonmous with Christmas gifts, give them the gift of creativity with arts and crafts. At Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, you can usually find craft kits that includes painting, art sand, and even mosiacs. Letting them use their creative noodle not only keeps them occupied, they’ll use that same creativity and imagination later in life. Trust me- I was big on crafts when I was younger.

I know it’s wishful thinking, but I was hoping vintage toys would make a comeback. I remember getting a Furby for Christmas and a LiteBrite one year. While they aren’t what they used to be, they still sell the Mousetrap game and Simon games at Toys R Us.

But if you’re having problems figuring out what to get your teenager, DVDs of their favorite TV shows/artists and electronics are the way to go. As I went into my teens years, it got harder for Mom to shop for Manders and I because we weren’t particular in what we wanted. We were going through that stage so we had made it difficult. iPods, iPod decks, and even Guitar Hero video games seem to be what is currently popular with this age. If you do decide to get them Guitar Hero or Rock Band, I can say that it will pay for itself. As your teen continues playing, they will continue to keep getting better at it and there are other versions of them to buy so they they never have to play the same song month after month after month. If they’re friends receive a Guitar Hero guitar in the same platform, they can play against each other to see who has the highest score! You can also get the a gift card to iTunes so they can download their favorite music to place on an iPod they already have.

I may not have children but I sure do speak from experience!

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