Is Your Kid Safe In CyberSpace?


They’re on it every day. They communicate with their friends. They play games, download software, and even talk to strangers… sometimes without knowing any better.

Children are an integral part of our online community. One day the Internet will play as central a role in our children’s lives as the television or telephone does today. There are lots of opportunities for kids online. Learning opportunities, entertainment, and personal growth are all available to those who "surf."

But do you know the risks they put you and themselves into when they sign online? The challenge for parents is to educate themselves and their children about how to use the internet safely. Here are three easy steps and simple resources to make you and your kids "net-wise!"

Take advantage of filtering tools available on most web services and browsers, such as AOL, Prodigy, etc. Three of the most popular tools include CyberPatrol, NetNanny, and SurfWatch. Like the rest of the world, the internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. One way to control what your child can see and do online is go to There you can locate "tools for families" to help filter out the wrong sites.

Have a talk with your children about online safety. Request a free Safe Surfin’ video at Developed in partnership with the National School Boards Association, this video features online safety tips for kids from some of the younger generation’s favorite celebrities.

Learn about your kid’s online world. Do what responsible parents should do: pay attention to your children when they go online. The more involved you are with your children’s online activities, the easier it will be to set limits and give direction. Clearly, there’s no substitute for parents simply getting involved.

As parents, you should get to know your children’s online friends and their favorite online areas, just as you know their physical neighborhood friends, where they go, and what they watch on television.

7 Tips To Save Up To $200  

A Month On Groceries…

Grocery Bag

Want to save some real money? According to the American Express spending index, U.S. households spend an average $3,240 for groceries each year! As you can see, food expenses represent a substantial percentage of household budgets. So here are a few suggestions for saving hundreds on your monthly grocery bill…

Shop for 2 weeks at a time. This will lessen impulse shopping and help stick to your budget. Plan your meals, make a list, and buy accordingly.

Never go food shopping when you’re hungry because you’ll end up buying food that looks tempting.

Stay away from "prepared" foods and avoid the outer isles where these products are featured. You may be paying up to 50% more for those "prepared" meals.

Using coupons can lower your grocery bill by as much as 25%. The best coupons are located in your Sunday paper.

Buy store brands whenever possible. The fancy "brand" names often make the very same food products for the store brands and the only thing you’re paying for is fancy packaging. Buying store brands can also cut your grocery bill by as much as 25%. And that’s big!

Buy extra meat when it’s on sale and store it in your freezer.

Don’t buy toiletries and household cleaners at the grocery store, because they charge between 10% and 15% more than the large discount stores and the "dollar" stores.

Simple Fire Safety Tips  

Save Lives!


A house fire at any time can put the lives of you and your family in jeopardy. Yet, fire experts say you can dramatically reduce the deadly effects of a potential fire with just a few safety tips. Here’s how to make sure you’re prepared in the event disaster does strike:

Make sure your house number is visible from the street so emergency vehicles can find you. Consider using oversized reflective or illuminated numbers at the curb, preferably next to your mail box.

Install smoke detectors in places where they will activate in time for you to save yourself and family. This is usually within a foot of the ceiling. Make sure they are tested monthly by pressing the "test" button, and replace batteries at least once a year. Don’t rely on the alarm to make an intermittent "beep" to change batteries.

Create a fire escape plan with an emergency route for each family member’s bedroom. If bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, purchase a simple chain ladder for escape from windows. Arrange for a safe family meeting place outside the home in the event fire strikes. This way, you’ll know instantly which family members are accounted for.

Place an adequately sized fire extinguisher near the kitchen area of your home. Also place one at the opposite end of the home. Most homes use undersized extinguishers. Even if a small fire breaks out, you’ll want all the suppression you can get.

Remove all weeds, tree branches, leaves and litter away from the perimeter of your home. Put a screen on your fireplace and keep it closed at all times. It’s best to sleep with your bedroom door closed to give yourself more time to escape in case of a fire. And teach your children what to do if their clothes catch fire: Stop, Drop, and Roll.

Real Estate Question Corner…

Question: What is your "Maximum Home Value Audit," and how does it differ from what other agents will offer me?

Answer: If you’re thinking of selling your home in the next year, you need to know about my exclusive "Maximum Home Value Audit." My audit is much more than a simple home valuation you’ll get from another agent. It’s a complete top-to-bottom analysis not just of the value of your home, but EVERY aspect of your home affecting it successful sale.

It’s designed to specifically maximize the money you’ll get selling your home and in a time frame that meets YOUR agenda. And there’s absolutely no obligation for you to list your home with me or any other agent. My audit will show you how to…

Learn not just area values, but total market value so you know how to price your home for top dollar…

Avoid the "7 Costly Mistakes" when selling your home. I’ll give you a free report revealing all of them…

How to dress your home so it shows the best and commands a higher price and faster sale …

My analysis will take only about 45 minutes of your time…time I promise will be well worth it. It’s a special Free service I provide to my clients and close friends. To schedule your Home Audit at a time convenient to you, please call my direct line at 815-394-1823.

A Secret Shutterbug Technique

As you can imagine, professional photographers keep a lot of extra film on hand, and  so do a lot of amateur photo buffs.

But did you know that color print film can go bad quickly?  If not used, the film’s color can deteriorate.

To prevent film deterioration, simply store your film in the freezer.  The freezing will prevent the film deterioration and produce an excellent color.  When ready to use the film, let it fully warm up to room temperature before you load it into your camera.

Easy Energy Saving Tip!

If you have Venetian or other horizontal blinds in your home, did you know that the direction of the blinds can directly affect the heat and energy loss?

Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to slant the blinds during the colder months.

During cold months, the horizontal blind’s slats should be slanted from the indoors to the outdoors (up).  Plus, make sure your horizontal blinds are fully lowered so they touch the windowsill.  Slanting the blinds this way will trap the cool air between the window and the blinds and will your room cooler.  

Do just the opposite for warm months.  Slant the blinds from the outdoors to the indoors (down).

Amazing Facts!

ü       Most lipstick contains fish scales.

ü       The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley’s Gum!

ü       The average person laughs 13 times a day.

ü       Baby Robins eat 13 feet of worms each day!

ü       You’ll blink 10,000,000 times in a year.

ü       Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.

ü       Chewing gum while peeling onions will prevent you from crying!

ü       166,875,000,000 pieces of mail are delivered each year in the U.S. (so that’s how so many get lost!!)

ü       Every human has a distinct tongue print.


A Thought For The Month…

What life means to us is determined not so much by what life brings us as by the attitude we bring to life; not so much by what happens to us as by our reaction to what happens.”

Lewis Dunning

Are Two Really Better Than One?How was your golf game dear?” asked Jack’s wife.  Well, I was hitting it pretty well, but my eyesight’s gotten so bad that I couldn’t see where the ball went.”  You’re seventy-five-years-old,” admonished his wife, “why don’t you take your brother Scott along?  He’s eighty five and doesn’t even play golf,” protested Jack.  But he’s got perfect eyesight and can tell you where the ball went,” his wife pointed out. 

So the next day Jack teed-off with Scott watching.  Jack swung and the ball disappeared down the fairway.  Did you see it?” asked Jack.  Yep,” answered Scott.  Well, where is it?,” yelled Jack peering off into the distance.  I forgot!

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