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Money saving tips for a family

How many times have you thought of tracking, planning, and budgeting your expenses? We had thought about it many times. In the last few years, we have really started to figure out the areas where we can cut expenses without major changes in lifestyle. Speaking of lifestyle --- priorities have shifted in the last few years. Boosting a college fund for the little one by cutting some expenses is of higher priority than the short term excitement of owning and holding the latest version of iPhone. Speaking of the latest iPhone ... you know how it is. The latest iPhone is exciting till it gets its first scratch. So, why rush getting hold of it? Saving for college fund is more exciting, at least for now. This post lists a number of feasible money saving tips. There are some Amazon ...

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Boosting cellphone signal (without spending money) if you live in a weak signal reception area

Strength of cellphone signal is critical to good communication with friends and family, nowadays. Signal strength at your home depends on how far you are from a cell tower, or if you live near a mountain, or near some interference zone. Our home is a victim of weak cellphone signals. 🙁 We do not have good cellphone reception at home. What is the solution to this problem? This page contains some affiliate links. We will receive an advertising fee for items purchased through any affiliate link on this page with no extra cost at buyer’s end. Having a landline This is a great solution. However, I do not feel good to pay for a landline in this era of smartphones, especially given that we are already paying for two cellphone connections. Is there any other solution? Cell phone signal booster This is the first ...

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How much extra am I paying for my mortgage --- understanding mortgage better

One of the biggest monthly expenditures of most families is mortgage. For many, the minimum payment may not look that big compared to a rental. As a result, putting worries about mortgage aside quickly becomes a convenience. After all, we have many more things to be anxious about in our life including college fund, retirement, health insurance, and above all --- our jobs. If we look carefully, we may notice that our mortgage does not shrink as much with the minimum payment the bank has setup for us. It is said that it is better to pay off mortgage early. Do early payments really help? The answer to this question is simple, although paying off early is quite troublesome. If you find that paying off early is saving you significant amount of money, then yes --- paying off early is worth ...

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How to encourage children's positive eating habits

Children enjoy rules and discipline, as long as these rules are reinforced in a positive way with a smile. Here is my smiley face 🙂 Encourage positive eating habits from day one, with a smiley face. Well ... day one might be a bit early but as soon as your child can use the highchair, it is essential to grow positive eating habits so that the child does not have to struggle with the "rules" when she/he grows up. Children who learn and practice positive eating habits are likely to make healthy choices when they grow up. The question for today is --- how can we strengthen this practice of healthy eating habits? Having meals together Having meals together as a family helps children develop a family spirit. Dinnertime is generally when all family members are present. Make dinner a special event everyday. ...

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Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas! It's the most wonderful time of the year. We wish you the best in this holiday season and also in the rest of the year. What did Santa do today? Santa brought "presends". Dear Son is in the kindergarten. A boy from the third grade sent a letter to Dear Son --- the third grader indicated that if Dear Son "behaves" Santa will give "presends". Yes, that is how I came up with the spelling "presends". Letters from upper division elementary school kids are randomly sent to kids of kinder and pre-k. Isn't that so adorable? Anyway, because Santa may come, Dear Son made sure to clean up all the messes he usually makes around the fireplace. I don't know if a modern day chimney is accessible by Santa anymore (or, if there is a chimney at all, although there ...

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Sight words to develop children's reading skills

Sight words play a major role in developing children's reading skills. It is a common practice that early learning centers, Pre-K, and kindergarten classes give some levels of efforts on teaching sight words to children. We are happy to find that all elementary schools under the El Paso Independent School District stress a lot on sight words in kindergarten. Dear Son is going to one of the elementary schools in this school district. The expectation of how many sight words a child should be familiar with in his/her age varies between school to school. Children can learn many more sight words than the expectations listed by schools, through playful learning. Playful learning is stressless for children as well as parents. This page contains some affiliate links. We will receive an advertising fee for items purchased through any affiliate link on this page ...

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Childhood obesity assessment and prevention

This is one of our awareness posts. This time the topic is --- Childhood obesity and overweight. Childhood obesity between ages 2 to 19 in the United States is concerning. More than 12 million children and teenagers in USA suffer from obesity, which is around 17% of the population between ages 2 and 19. That means, if you go to an elementary, a junior, or a high school, you are highly likely to see one out of five kids with excessive weight. Why is childhood obesity a concern? The answer is simple. Children with overweight are highly likely to remain overweight when they will grow up. Obesity damages physical and emotional health. Some examples are as follows. Hypertension Hypertension is actually high blood pressure. Headache, tension, restlessness are some of the symptoms, whereas hypertension can even go unnoticed. Regular checkup will detect high blood ...

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How to improve reading skills of children

Five foundational reading skills --- phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension --- are known to be crucial in early learning. While daycares, preschools, and kindergarten classes focus a lot on helping children improve reading skills, a major part of this particular development depends on the reading culture of the family. Especially, the fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension aspects of reading skills require practice in a cozy and playful environment at home. https://youtu.be/ffAHBp2W8HU What can we really do to improve reading skills of a child? This is what this post is about --- what can we do to improve reading skills. The post contains Amazon affiliate links. That means, if you purchase anything using any of the links, we will receive an advertising incentive from Amazon, with no additional cost from your side. Start early Introduce your child to alphabets early. Each little one is ...

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Featured posts




Some of our subscribers asked, who among two of us writes the articles. The answer is, both of us write. The way how we manage the writing is as follows: one of us takes the lead of one article and the other spouse provides an extensive review of that article. We select the lead of an article based on our topic of interest. What does our son do? He is basically the inspiration of this family blog!

Settle in El Paso team