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I'd like to think that I have a pretty decent children's book collection. Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of going to the public library to check out books, but it's important for children to have a couple books to call their own (with their name written on the inside cover). Since it takes repetition to master skills, reading the same book over and over can really enhance a child's memory and knowledge retention. I've always been an avid reader, even as a young child. At the age of five, my mom allowed me to belong to a book club so I would receive books in the mail on a monthly basis. Since then I have kept most of those books, because I have so many great memories reading with my parents and grandparents. Many of those same books have traveled across the U.S. with me, and now I am able to share them with my daughter, Brynn. She has shown a great interest in books and that definitely makes me smile. We read to her daily and she has many board books that she independently... read more

Most Americans live such busy lives, caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern-day survival. After we've worked 40+ hour weeks, finished running errands, taken care of the family, and helped out within the community, it is important to hang up our boots for a couple hours and enjoy the non-materialistic things that we tend to take for granted. As an example, our family makes a full effort to spend some time at a neighborhood park each weekend. We stock up the stroller with ice cold water, a few snacks, sun block, and go! (Thank goodness for strollers, although I'd have biceps of steel if I was forced to haul around a 20 lb. baby and the other items mentioned.) Going to the park is easy, relaxing, and most importantly...free! I challenge you to set aside some time each week for your family. Hang up those workin' boots, put on some Nikes, and give those neurons a break.

My fiance and I have recently began using ASL (American Sign Language) in our home, as a way to communicate with our (almost) one-year-old daughter, Brynn. So far she has mastered "eat", "milk", and "more". It's so amazing how her little mind has already been hard at work for several months, so it only seems fair that she has the opportunity to share her thoughts with us. We want Brynn to grow up knowing that we (her parents) value her thoughts and will continue to encourage her to share them with us. Our ultimate goal is to eventually "sign" songs, since her love for music increases daily. It is important to get those little wheels 'a-turnin' at an early stage. :)

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