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Cheryl Goedeke
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Perkasie, PA   18944
Phone: 267-664-2288
Office Phone: 215-453-7653
Fax: 267-354-6833
email: cheryl@remax440.com
Cheryl Goedeke

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4 Ways Parents Can Promote Positive Behavior in School

September 7, 2015 1:55 am

Word arrives from school that the parent’s child is in trouble. Maybe it was a minor offense and the student simply faced a trip to the office. But maybe a suspension or expulsion is in the near future, leaving the parents wondering whether they could have done something before the situation became so dire.

Before parents beat themselves up too much, though, they should remember that student discipline isn’t always a clear-cut thing, says Renae Azziz, founder and director of Virtuoso Education Consulting, which provides professional development training to teachers and school district leaders.

“The reasons students are sent to the office are not always well defined,” says Azziz, a school psychologist. “So-called problem behaviors are often too subjective, which leads to different teachers having different perceptions and definitions of what a problem behavior is.”

The situation can be especially frustrating for the parents of these students. When there is a mismatch between what the teacher sees as acceptable behavior and the student’s view, problems can surface.

Teachers can learn to account for those cultural differences through explicit and ongoing training focused on culture. But there are also steps all parents can take that will go a long way in helping their children understand the school’s expectations, Azziz says.

She offers these tips:

• Educate yourself.
Parents should read the school’s discipline handbook and become familiar with the expectations for behavior in their child’s school. That way parents will have a clearer understanding of the rules and can discuss them with the child. Handbooks lay out all kinds of information, such as what constitutes bullying or how unexcused absences affect participation in extracurricular activities. “Knowing and talking about the rules can help you head off problems,” Azziz says.

• Offer positive reinforcement at home. Parents can set up positive ways to acknowledge their student for doing the right thing at home that connect to the behavior expectations at school. Children usually respond better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement, so praise at home for correct behavior can translate into good behavior in the classroom.

• Learn the rules face to face.
Early in the school year, parents should meet with their child’s teacher and principal to define and clarify behavior expectations and discuss how you will communicate with each other. Often, email is a good way to communicate with teachers because they can read and respond to the correspondence after class is over for the day. But find out what the teacher prefers. Good communication can help the parent and the teacher work together to make sure behavior expectations are understood and followed.

• Champion the child. A parent should be the child’s advocate. “After all, if you aren’t in your child’s corner, who is?” she asks. But that doesn’t mean taking the attitude: My child is always right. “You will need to be fair and balanced,” Azziz says.

Source: VirtuosoEd.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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10 Tips for Fall Entertaining

September 7, 2015 1:55 am

Looking for some ways to spice up your fall fetes? Then feast your eyes on these 10 great entertaining tips from Carla McDonald, the hostess with the mostest behind The Salonniere, the leading dedicated source of party tips from entertaining experts. As McDonald likes to say, "I feel a party coming on."

Choose a stellar date. There's nothing more festive than an autumn moon, so hold your party on or around an evening when the moon is full and bright. Full moon dates this fall are October 8th and November 6th.

Harvest your guest list. Select your guest list carefully. Have a look through your social media feeds to see who had interesting experiences over the summer that you think others might enjoy hearing about.

Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. Try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree and rosemary.

Prepare a seasonal feast. Serve warm, earthy nibbles with fennel, figs and other fall flavors. Butternut squash soup topped with sage and served in shot glasses is a classic autumnal touch that looks beautiful passed on trays. Garnish your dishes with edible fall leaves.

Fill the air with the sounds of autumn. Create a seasonal playlist. Songs to consider are "Autumn Leaves" by Nat King Cole, "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire and "Forever Autumn" by the Moody Blues.

Bring food to your flowers. Reflect the bounty of fall with floral arrangements that include seasonal vegetables and herbs like chard, beets and purple artichokes.

Sprinkle seasonal touches into your decor. Serve your nibbles on leaf-shaped platters and choose linens in autumnal shades like gold and pumpkin.

Stoke the embers of friendship. Place votive candles in groups on tables to draw people together as though they're gathering around a hearth.

Gather the leaves. As each guest leaves the party, send them home with a thermos filled with warm cider or a classic caramel apple. Nostalgic touches make people smile.

Chill. Remember to relax. If you don't have fun at your autumn fete, your guests won't either.

Source: The Salonniere

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Home Maintenance for New Homeowners

September 7, 2015 1:55 am

If you live in a cold weather climate, fall is when you put in the storm windows. If you live in a warm climate, summer is when you step up the pool maintenance. No matter where you live, however, checking on – and maintaining – 10 areas of your home each year is one good way to ensure your home stays in peak condition.

From the home maintenance consultants at Home Depot, here is where – and how – to begin:

Roof
– In early fall, check around vents, skylights and chimneys for cracks or leaks and repair or replace tiles as necessary.

Gutters
– Clean gutters so leaves won’t clog them, and be sure they drain away from the house.

Fireplace – Clean out any leftover ashes. If heavily used in winter, you may want the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper is closed tightly.

Filters – clean or replace furnace filters once every month or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans regularly.

Safety Equipment
– Be sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working condition. Replace batteries twice a year.

Air Conditioner – In cold climates, put on waterproof covers when you cover or remove outdoor furniture.

Refrigerator
– Test door seals once or twice a year to be sure they are airtight. Test by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the seal may need to be replaced. If you have a coil-back fridge, the coils should be vacuumed twice a year.

Faucets – Check for leaks in kitchen and bathrooms and replace washers as necessary.

Windows and Doors – Replace seals as necessary to keep heat in and drafts out. If you added up all the tiny cracks where heating and cooling escapes, it could be the same as having a window open.

Siding and Paint
– Look for cracks or peeling areas. Repaint or replace caulk as necessary.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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5 Social Media Safety Tips for Teens

September 4, 2015 1:55 am

With most of their everyday happenings documented through social media, teens and tweens may not understand that sharing can compromise safety. “Conversations about social media are never easy because kids often view posts as casual and delete-able,” says Social Sentinel President and CEO Gary Margolis. “Parents need to help their children make smart decisions about what and where they post, explain the potential risks linked with oversharing and encourage their children to speak up if they run across concerning content.”

Margolis recommends parents impart the following safety tips to their children:

1. Make your profile private.
A public profile may lead to more likes, comments and shares – from people you may not know. Strangers can easily gather a lot of information from public posts, including where you live or go to school, what type of car you drive, who your closest friends are and more.

Be sure to log out of all your social media profiles and Google yourself to see how much information pops up. If you don’t like what you see, change your privacy settings.

2. Don’t add anyone that you haven’t met in person.

Online predators often fake profiles to talk with potential victims, but they will make it seem like they’re just making new friends (i.e., “catfishing”).

Go through your friend or follower list and remove anyone you don’t recognize. If you can’t identify where you met a person in real life, they probably aren’t a “friend.”

3. Disable “Check-In” and geo-tagging features.
These features can let online predators know your exact location, down to the street address. Click on the location symbol on your Instagram profile and zoom in – you may be shocked at how accurate it is.

4. Think before you post.
While some apps claim to be anonymous, or that shared content will disappear after a certain amount of time, remember that anything posted online can be screenshot and shared.

Always assume that what you post online will be permanently accessible. Ask yourself: Would I be okay with a parent, teacher or boss eventually seeing this? Am I sharing sensitive information? Scan your profile to see if your posts pass this question test.

5. Speak up if you see something concerning.
Posts about violence, threats, bullying, suicide and abuse are serious. Tell a parent, teacher or other trusted adult if you think someone in your network needs help or may be in trouble.

Source: Social Sentinel

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Just Say No to Used Furniture

September 4, 2015 1:55 am

For college students, the temptation to re-use another’s furniture is considerable – it’s free! But bringing used furniture into your apartment can also invite unwanted guests: bed bugs.

According to Jonathan Boyar, owner of pest management firm Ecologic Entomology, all used furniture is suspect and should be avoided. Bugs can hide in crevices deep inside the furniture that are not easily inspected.

Store-bought insecticides and home remedies, Boyar says, almost never eliminate bed bug infestations in the home or on infested furniture. Those products can actually make the problem worse by spreading the bugs out into areas where they don’t normally exist, making the eventual remedial process even more difficult.

If you suspect a problem in your apartment, contact your landlord as soon as possible to have the issue assessed, advises Boyar. The problem may not be limited to just one apartment and the landlord may need to inspect all abutting units or every unit in the building. Pest control companies need the consent of the property owner to perform treatments in their building.

Source: Ecologic Entomology

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Below 4 Percent

September 4, 2015 1:55 am

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) recently averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.6 point, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The rate, a slight nose up, comes amid volatile market activity and “essentially no new information,” says Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti.

“The 30-year mortgage rate increased 5 basis points, but don’t read too much into that,” Becketti says. “The Fed took great pains at the Jackson Hole conference to keep all their options open and to avoid talking too much – or too little – of the situation in China and the volatility in global equity markets.”

The 15-year FRM averaged 3.09 percent with an average 0.6 point. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent with an average 0.4 point, and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent with an average 0.3 point.

Source: Freddie Mac

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Travel Trends to Expect This Labor Day

September 3, 2015 1:55 am

Leave it to the last minute. According to a recent Expedia.com® report, one-fifth of Labor Day travelers this year booked travel accommodations in July – late by most booking standards. In addition, many travelers, late bookers or not, are headed overseas for a last-weekend-of-summer getaway.

International hot spots for Labor Day include:

• London
• Barcelona
• Florence
• Paris
• Rome

"The favorable exchange rates we've seen this summer are a welcome relief for travelers looking to experience Europe," says Expedia Senior Editor Ingrid Belobradic. "Coupled with the already great promotions available, we're seeing opportunities for strong savings this Labor Day across international and domestic destinations."

Source: Expedia.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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5 Ways to Ready Your Hardscapes for Fall

September 3, 2015 1:55 am

When designing an outdoor space, start from the ground up.

According to the experts at Belgard® Hardscapes, homeowners can enjoy their patio, poolscape or driveway well into the fall season with a few key upgrades:

• Install a fireplace or fire pit as part of a backyard space to serve as a much-loved gathering spot and a complementing, permanent part of an overall outdoor living design.

• Explore large-format pavers for a natural stone look that mimics the appearance and texture of slate, flagstone or hand-chiseled rock.

• Take advantage of modular units like grill islands, brick ovens or wood boxes to create a customized outdoor space.

• Plant fall perennials that bloom during the season, including tall grasses, mums and certain varieties of hydrangeas.

• Define a space and add extra seating with built-in seat walls and add ottomans, throw pillows and stools to create an inviting outdoor setting.

Source: Belgard® Hardscapes

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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6 Fall Lawn Care Tips by Zone

September 3, 2015 1:55 am

As summer transitions to fall, your lawn will begin to store moisture and nutrients in preparation for the upcoming winter. As a homeowner, there are a few steps you can take now to help your lawn in the process, according to Grass Seed USA, a national coalition of academic turf specialists and grass seed farmers.

"September is the best time to prepare your lawn for the dormant winter months," says Grass Seed USA Executive Director Bryan Ostlund. "This time of year, simple lawn care chores such as reseeding, weeding and aerating will help your grass immensely."

The United States can be roughly divided into three grass-growing zones:

• Warm Zone
• Cool Zone
• Transition Zone


If you live in the Warm Zone, few winterization measures are needed and new warm-season lawns are best planted in the late spring or early summer. One option you may want to consider is overseeding, or adding cool-season grass seed over your warm-season turf. The cool-season grass will thrive until the warm-season grass turns green again in the spring, giving you a lush lawn year-round.

Homeowners in the Cool Zone and Transition Zone should take similar steps to prepare their lawns for winter, including:

• Adding seed to thicken an existing lawn;


If your lawn is looking thin or if you need to fill in some bare patches, now is the time to reseed. Talk to a turf specialist at a garden shop or university extension agent to find out what type of seed is best for your lawn conditions. Spread the seed over your existing lawn and then water lightly and regularly, making sure the reseeded areas stay moist until the new grass grows in. Transition Zone homeowners with warm-season grasses also have the option of overseeding their lawns to keep them green through the winter.

• Dethatching;

A certain amount of thatch – the tightly packed layer of organic matter between the grass blades and the soil surface – can benefit your lawn, but if the layer exceeds half an inch, it can keep moisture and oxygen from reaching the soil and can harbor fungus and insect pests. If your lawn needs to be dethatched, you can rent a vertical mower or hire a professional to do the job for you.

• Aerating;

Older or heavily trafficked lawns can suffer from soil compaction. A core aerator with hollow tines will pull small plugs of soil out of the ground, allowing increased movement of water, nutrients and oxygen into the soil. You can rent an aerator or hire a professional to aerate your lawn for you.

• Raising your mower blades;

Let your grass grow a bit taller in the fall, usually between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half inches. If you cut it too short, you'll severely limit its ability to make and store food for growth in the spring. If the grass is too long it can become matted, which leads to problems as well.

• Winterizing your irrigation system.

If you live in an area where the frost level extends below the depth of your irrigation pipes, be sure to shut off the water to the irrigation system and drain all the pipes before the first freeze.

Source: Grass Seed USA

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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8 Ways to Save on Bank Costs

September 2, 2015 1:54 am

Did you know the majority of Americans spend more money on milk than they do on banking? According to a recent American Bankers Association (ABA) survey, nearly three-quarters of bank customers spend $3 or less in monthly banking fees, and approximately 60 percent pay nothing at all for banking services.

“We’ve seen tremendous innovations to bank services over the last decade that have allowed our customers to bank in the way that is most convenient for them and at little or no cost,” says ABA Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Counsel, Consumer Protection and payments Nessa Feddis. “Today’s consumers have become adept at using the many options that may allow them to bank for free, whether it’s maintaining a minimum balance, opting for direct deposit or using ATMs owned by their bank.”

To cut banking costs, the ABA recommends bank customers do the following:

• Utilize free checking and savings accounts. Many banks still offer them, especially if you maintain a minimum balance. Shop your own bank first.

• Utilize direct deposit. Many checking accounts are free when you use direct deposit.

• Keep a minimum balance. Consider keeping a small amount to pad your account. This helps to avoid monthly fees and accidental overdrafts.

• Take advantage of college partnerships with banks. College students may find special checking account deals at banks with which their college has a partnership.

• Keep multiple accounts at your bank. Many banks seek the entire customer relationship and may offer free service if you maintain both checking and savings accounts with them.

• Use your bank’s ATMs and reduce the use of foreign ATMs. Avoid fees by using ATMs owned by or affiliated with your bank. If you must use an ATM not affiliated with your bank, take out larger withdrawals to avoid having to go back multiple times. Consider the cash-back option at the grocery store.

• Don’t spend more money than you have. Keep track of transactions and account balances to avoid overdraft fees, which is easier to do with features such as mobile banking apps.

• Sign up for email or text alerts. Ask for an automatic alert when your balance falls below a certain level.

Source: ABA

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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