Everyone who has to pay a power bill should understand that energy usage is a part of daily life, but they should also take into account where that electricity is going. Constant usage units are anything that is always using power. This usually includes anything that’s plugged into an outlet or anything that has to be constantly recharged like cell phones, laptops, and tablets. At first glance people assume that these are the biggest energy users but they are actually the least of your concern. Your constant usage items are roughly only ten to fifteen percent of average total usage.

The next thing people jump to blame for energy use is their lighting. While it is true that paying to light an empty room doesn’t make much sense, it won’t cost you very much in the long run. Light bulbs, fluorescents, and LEDs are constantly improving and using less electricity. Lamps use reasonably small amounts of energy to begin with. Reliant Energy is a solid well known name in Texas Energy.

The major drains on your power are your heating/cooling systems and your larger appliances. Temperature control of your home takes the biggest bite of your energy. These systems need to run almost constantly and the larger the area that they have to control the more power they need. Any brand you choose will need a few thousand Watts to run. It’s much cheaper to use a few hundred Watts with either an electric blanket if you’re cold or a fan if you’re hot.
The kitchen also uses a lot of power. Electric ovens could be an issue if you happen to enjoy baking. Refrigerators can also be a power drain if you keep the doors open too often. They use a surprising amount of power if they always have to run their compressors.

A good rule of thumb is that the larger the item, the more power it needs. A few common sense habits can give you control of your power usage. Also heating and cooling of any kind always requires high amounts of energy. The electrical usage will obviously vary for different tasks and also from specific brand to brand. Lastly it comes down to how much energy we use personally and if that is an appropriate amount.

For foster care families, one of the greatest challenges to overcome can be handling the stereotypes associated with providing care to children in need. Among these stereotypes is the idea that a foster family is only in it for the money or that children in foster care are often neglected. Those who work with foster families know that these stereotypes are just not true and that most children in foster care thrive under the loving guidance of their temporary families. Here, are several ways to get rid of Read the rest of this entry »

If you are thinking about becoming a foster care parent, there are a few things to consider. Keep in mind that foster children are not bad children. They have went through a traumatic event by being taken from their home. These children need special attention and love. When you decide to pursue becoming a foster parent, you will have to attend a few special classes. These classes are designed to help you during the time your Read the rest of this entry »

Aside from adoption, there is another intensive process any potential parent needs to go through and that’s making the home ready for the child. Another way you can look at it is “making room for baby” and there are a lot of different ways you can make the home safe for their arrival.

It’s not presumptuous to be prepared in case everything pans out during the adoption process and you might just want to get a head start. That’s cool too and we’ll help.

First and foremost, you want to look at the overall integrity of the home – in other words the security. Is it structurally sound? Do you feel safe? You’re responsible for bringing this child into the home and security is one of the first things you should look at. Luckily there are tons of sites and services online that can help.

Next, you really want to just get down on all fours (like a baby) and crawl around. Get a feel for what they have access to, what coffee tables they might bump their heads against, and what they can reach.

Finally, make sure you find a way to lockdown those cupboards and cabinets with all the dangerous cleaning supplies. These are relatively inexpensive and are sold at most major retailers.

The type of adoption will determine whether you need an attorney or not. There are a variety of adoptions such as domestic adoption or foster adoption. You also have international adoptions as well as adopting from your own families. Each type of adoption has its own guidelines to follow.

With all adoptions, you will be working with professionals to ensure that all the paper work and legal laws are followed. Your state adoption laws will determine what options Read the rest of this entry »

After reaching a time in my life when my children are getting older and making plans for college, I find myself faced with empty nest syndrome. The thought of a quiet house makes me sad. My home has been filled with the sounds of children for twenty two years. I wake up to the sound of giggles and laughter as they are preparing for school. Although my children are grown and heading out on their own, my home can still be a safe haven for other children who need my nurturing . Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re thinking about taking foster children into your home you’ve likely done your research on state websites and with advocacy groups. Once you’re approved you’ve got a lot to do to get your house ready for children – here are a few things to consider.
Get an Alarm – This may be the perfect time to get a home security system since, depending on the age of your foster children, behavioral issues may be likely. Prevent sneaking out and if they’re young, feel more peace of mind.
Childproof Everything – You’re going to have to get the outlets and the cleaning supplies out of reach if you’re taking in young children and you’ve got to secure any alcohol and weapons if you’re taking on teens. Just make sure you know what’s in your house where – no surprises is a good thing.
Talk to the Neighbors – Let anyone you interact with on a weekly or more often basis know what’s going on – they’ll likely offer help. That way, when they see your foster kids around they’ll be friendly and encourage their children to play, too, without awkward introductions.

Whether you’ve adopted domestically or from another country, there may come a time when it’s necessary for you to access special services for your child. Thankfully, our government has determined that it’s to our country’s benefit to invest in adoption assistance and post adoptive services. After all, children are our most precious resource and it behooves us to give them (and their parents) every tool available to help them become healthy, well adjusted children with well adjusted families.

There’s a vast array of resources and services available to your adoptive child. Read the rest of this entry »

From making the decision to adopt to signing the last piece of paper, adoption is indeed a process. Some people choose to adopt through through foster care. After the child is placed in your home, he or she may become available for adoption if they cannot return home with their mother or father. Others choose to adopt domestically or internationally. If you choose international adoption, the process can take anywhere from one to three years depending on what country you choose to adopt from. If you choose domestic adoption, it can take anywhere from three months to a few years. Whichever way you choose adoption is a special event in the lives of families.
As an adoptive parent you have legal rights when your adoption becomes final.
1. If you are adopting a child in the United States, you should receive all known background information and birth records of the child.
2. You should be informed ahead of time if all information about the birth parents is available.
3. You can also request counseling and advice on which type of adoption is best suited for you.
4. You should expect confidentiality of your personal information not to be disclosed.
5. If you are working with an attorney, you should expect he or she to have experience in adoption cases.
6. Know all the expenses involved up front, such as home study costs, attorney fees, medical care for birth mother.
7. You can find out if the birth parents want to be involved in the child’s life, known as an open adoption. If so, you can ask to meet with them.
There is much to be considered when choosing to adopt. Whether foster care, international adoption, or domestic adoption, make sure and do your research to see which option is best for your family.

Adoption is usually the best option for people who are not emotionally or financially ready for a child. It can be quite heartbreaking to create a child and then have to give him or her up. That is why couples who are considering giving up their child for adoption should take the take the time to think about whether they want an open or closed adoption.

An open adoption is the best option for couples who cannot raise their child, but still want to be involved in his or her life. An open adoption allows the parents to Read the rest of this entry »