Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: "We Lived in Heaven" by Sarah Hinze

A toddler playing with a child that suddenly disappears. Potential parents visited by the spirit of their future child. Children describing long-deceased relatives who escorted them to earth. All are part of pre-birth experiences, or PBEs. These types of experiences are often viewed as personal and sacred. Sarah Hinze has taken the first steps in studying this phenomenon.

By branching out from the subject of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) into an unexplored field, the author has expanded our understanding of the importance of families in Heaven. Spirits wait there for their mortal bodies visiting family members to share important information or impressions. Mothers seem to be especially sensitive to these experiences.

I was very intrigued by the premise behind this book--families visiting with the spirits of their unborn children. I have read a couple of books about near death experiences, but nothing like this. Previous volumes seemed to exploit their topic, or didn't ring true. That's not the case here.

This touching work will leave you inspired and uplifted, but it is more than a collection of stories. Sarah's husband, Brent, has created a closing chapter that sums up and classifies these experiences. You will be intrigued and want to learn more.

You can purchase your own copy here.

Visit Sarah Hinze's website at

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Recognizing Signs of Schizophrenia in Children

Early signs of schizophrenia may show up as long as 35 years before a diagnosis. What signs should be of concern?
  • Emotional highs and lows are not as extreme as those of other children.
  • Reports that the child hears voices.
  • Feels people are spying on them.
  • Antisocial behavior.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Self-harm.
Risk factors include:
  • Family history of a psychiatric disorder.
  • Prenatal risks
    • older father
    • emotional stress or depression in mother during first trimester
    • loss of oxygen at birth
    • birthday in winter
    • prenatal exposure to 'flu or rubella
    • chaotic household
    • physical abuse of mother
  • Family risks
    • migrant family
    • urban household
    • lower socioeconomic status
    • peer bullying
  • Childhood risks
    • physical developmental milestones not met
    • low physical coordination
    • expressionless face
    • prefers playing alone after 4 years of age
  • Adolescent risks
    • uncoordinated
    • fewer than 2 friends
    • low IQ and learning problems
    • social anxiety and withdrawal
    • depression
    • working memory problems
    • antisocial behavior or conduct disorder
    • self-harm
    • early smoking or marijuana use
See your pediatrician if you recognize these signs in your children.

*****All information obtainted from "A Mind in Danger" by Victoria Costello published in Scientific American Mind, March/April 2012*****

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review - RetirementQuest: Make Better Decisions by John Hauserman

Oh, the excitement of that first job. I worked in a Mexican restaurant. I was thrilled to enter through the "Employees Only" door. My mother made a copy of my first paycheck and framed it. What I didn't realize was that I also needed to begin planning for my retirement.

People who wait until middle age or later to plan for the future may not be able to retire. They face the unappealing prospect of dying at their desks rather than doing what they wish in that beach house. Why do we put it off?

I believe the first reason is fear. We fear thinking about our "golden years". We worry our future will be stolen by greedy corporate executives, thanks to those at Enron. Worst of all, we have no clue where to start.

John Hauserman, the chief executive officer of Retirement Journey, LLC, has written a book to guide you through this daunting process. I was interested to read this book because I don’t have a lot of experience with financial planning and am considering my retirement options.

Retirement has changed in recent years. I remember my grandfather retiring at age 65, getting his pension, and spending his time travelling, working in his garden, and building furniture. He had no financial worries. My mother took a lump sum payment when she retired, and how scrimps and lives very simply. I participate in the Texas Teacher Retirement System. Because my pension is in the hands of politicians, I'm assuming it will be bankrupt before I retire.

Few people can now spend their adult life working for a single company and counting on a consistent pension. Many have no clue where to begin retirement planning, and their inattention to this important life event may mean that they have to work for the rest of their lives.

Hauserman teaches you how to set goals, and compute how much money you will need to save. He also details what information you need to gather before beginning to plan. Readers will discover how much investment risk they can tolerate and how to select a professional they can trust.

This book is written in layman’s terms and is easy to read and understand. If you were as confused as I was about financial planning, I can highly recommend this guide. I was especially interested in the sections on risk assessment and was very unsure about how to choose a professional to help with my retirement planning.

Take some time to plan for your future so that beach vacation you're planning doesn't change into a job as a greeter in Walmart.
Need more information to plan your retirement? Visit John Hauserman's website here.

Get your own copy of Retirement Quest here and start working on your financial future!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Science of Laughter :)

Robert Provine is considered to be one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of laughter.
This makes me rethink my major.

Provine has discovered that babies laugh 300 times a day, but adults only 20 times, genes influence our patterns of laughter, and that 90% of giggles follow non-funny remarks.
Why would someone laugh at something that was not amusing? Turns out we use laughter much as some people use alcohol. It allows us to bond together in a shared experience.  That explains why people are 30% more likely to laugh when they are with someone than when they are alone. It also helps us understand why the giggles are so contagious. And why sitcoms have laugh tracks.

Humor does have a dark side. When company leaders belittle their subordinates, this negative behavior is perpetuated throughout the company.
On the other hand, the benefits of laughter have been well documented. Pain has been relieved, depression lifted, and a variety of other ills cured by a regimen of belly laughs.

So grab yourself a funny video, gather some friends, and start smiling!