<![CDATA[Julie Books - The Blog]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 03:00:17 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A Visit With Alex Krasovitsky of Soccer Rockets]]>Sat, 07 Jan 2012 20:26:19 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/a-visit-with-alex-krasovitsky-of-soccer-rocketsI have been aware of Alex Krasovitsky for a few years now. Although we have never met - he is based in New York and I am in Alabama -  I have been impressed with his obvious enthusiasm for his work. His experience is impressive and includes being trained in the Ukraine at the Olympic Reserve School. He has been involved in sports all of his life, participating in national as well as international events. For the past 11 years he has been a teacher and a coach. But, before I start telling his story for him, let’s just move on to the interview! 

Oh, and be sure to visit his site Soccer Rockets

Why did you decide to start Soccer Rockets? How did it all begin?
When our son was 18 months old we took him to a soccer program out on Long island.  The program was good, but it got me to start thinking about having my own program in Queens.  I have been playing soccer all my life (plus other sports) and I wanted to give back to kids.  My wife and I started brainstorming and came up with SoccerRockets and the beginning of a game plan.

How do you decide what is the right activity for a child’s age?
I have been a teacher for 11 years, working for the board of education.  I teach handicapped children ages 4-21.  I have a lot of experience adapting activities to the needs of different types of children, as well as different ages.  I come up with activities that I think will be beneficial and then I adapt them to fit the needs of the children in my program.  Because of this, the program has become very successful.  We watch the progress and continue moving from there.

What has been the best part of working with children?

The best part of working with children is watching their progress and improvement.  A lot of children come into the program with motor skill delays or just not having the experience with sports.  Every week you see improvement in their coordination and overall self esteem and confidence.  Children come to the program who are shy and don't have the social skills.  However, during the course of the program we see them develop these skills and start to interact appropriately with their peers and their confidence levels rise.  This in turn helps their motor skills develop.

What do you do when a child tries to do an exercise but just can’t do it? For instance, they keep getting right and left confused.

We start with very simple activities so everyone feels success. If a child is having a problem with a specific skill then we adapt that skill to fit that child’s needs.  Sometimes a child has a hard time concentrating or following directions.  This is when we as instructors and the parents work together to support the child.  Also, the consistency of the program is very important.  If the child comes to class consistently every week we see definite progress even if it’s baby steps.  We use music during the program that helps the children to stay focused as well.

Childhood obesity is a growing concern. What do you recommend as the best way to prevent it?

Basically the best way to prevent child obesity is to just get children moving.  This can be done in so many ways.  I suggest parents play with their children a little bit every day.  I have a video posted on Youtube that shows a very simple way for parents to work with their kids in any situation.  This specific video demonstrates how I worked with a 3 year old in an apartment setting, just kicking a soccer ball back and forth down the hallway.  There are so many ways to get children to move, but it is up to us as adults to lead so children will follow.

Check out the video at the end of the interview.

What if a child is already obese?
If a child is already obese then I suggest what I stated above.  Get the child off the couch and away from the T.V.  The parents have to set the example.  There are parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, programs, etc., to help to address this issue.  A lot of these resources are free, also.

The Wii video game is supposed to help children be more active. What do you think of it?
I think that the Wii can be a great tool to get children involved with sports and dance.  It is also something that can be done as a family. However, I don't think that it should be the only means of play.  It should be used in moderation and parents should be in control of what and how much it is being used.  It should not be used in place of going outside to play.  Children need to be outside for many reasons, and that should be taken into consideration.

Do you teach only soccer at Soccer Rockets?

No, we teach up to 6 different sports now.  This upcoming winter session we will be teaching soccer, basketball, wiffleball and volleyball.  We started volleyball last session and it was very successful.  In the future I would like to do a triathalon for toddlers.

Earlier you mentioned special needs children. What kind of program do you provide for them?

I teach special needs children for the board of education.  In addition, SoccerRockets provides programs for special needs children as well. The program is integrated, which means that the special needs children in my SoccerRockets program share classes with typical children.  This is beneficial for everyone.  Like I mentioned before, any skill or activity can be adapted to fit the needs of any of the children.

Have you written a book?   No, but I would like to in the future.

What is the best thing that parents can do for their children?

The best thing that parents can do for their children is to get involved in their activities.  Make sure they have a well-rounded range of activities that they do to keep them healthy and motivated.  Parents need to be encouraging but not overwhelming.  They need to praise their achievements and back them up and provide love and guidance when things aren't easy for them.  Parents need to recognize their children for the great beings that they are.

Anything you would like to add?
I would like to add that I love what I do and that makes all the difference in the world.  I think that when you are happy with what you are doing you can be successful at anything.  My own children as well as my students teach me new things everyday.  I take what I learn from them and apply it to my teachings.  I hope I can continue to help children become as great as they can be!

<![CDATA[A New Year, Kid's Fitness, and Itsy Bitsy Spider]]>Mon, 02 Jan 2012 06:00:11 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/a-new-year-kids-fitness-and-itsy-bitsy-spiderThe Fall was quite busy for me: I've gone back to school! Yep, I am now a college student pursuing a bachelor's degree in business with a minor in international business. It keeps me busy, that's for sure!

With the new year and new semester, I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Krasovitski, a children's fitness expert, and will be making that post very soon. Great interview, if I must say so myself!

In the meanwhile, my husband showed me the video below and I wanted to share it with y'all. Martin Tallstrom plays "Itsy Bitsy Spider" like you've never heard it before!

<![CDATA[Punch Recipe!]]>Tue, 26 Jul 2011 20:24:31 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/punch-recipeWhile I was in Nashville, I enjoyed talking with a lady about food. Somehow we wound up talking about punch recipes and I promised her I would post this recipe here on the blog. I hope you all enjoy it; it's always a big hit when it is served at the Gadsden Public Library! Without further delay (presuming  you read this part anyway), here it is:

Gadsden Public Library Punch Recipe

1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 can Cream of Coconut
2 liters Ginger Ale (chilled)
1/2 gallon Pineapple Sherbet

About 30 minutes before serving the punch, set the pineapple sherbet out of the freezer to soften.  The punch should be made as close to serving as possible. Using a whisk, blend together the eagle brand milk and cream of coconut until smooth. Slowly add the ginger ale to the milk mixture, whisking until thoroughly blended. Add the sherbet to the punch.

Hint :  When serving the punch add 1 tablespoon of sherbet to the cup before adding the punch. Serves about 40
<![CDATA[Melissa Goes to Nashville!]]>Sun, 10 Jul 2011 19:52:59 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/melissa-goes-to-nashvilleMelissa and the Green Blanket will be at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention July 14-16. We always have a great time there and look forward to seeing our friends - old and new! If you're in the area, come see us at the Sheraton Music City Hotel. ]]><![CDATA[New "Melissa" Products!]]>Sat, 07 May 2011 22:55:54 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/post-title-click-and-type-to-edit
I am pleased to announce that we now have t-shirts for children! The adorable "Melissa" image above is available through our online store at Zazzle.com. The folks at Zazzle handle the ordering, shipping, and manufacturing of the merchandise. We control the images and the items they are put on. If there is something you would like but we don't have it available, just let us know! We'd love to hear from you. Just click on the baby below and have fun shopping! There are a lot of products available on the site designed by others, so you're bound to find something you'll enjoy.  
<![CDATA[The Best Book About Decorating!]]>Sun, 10 Apr 2011 03:08:07 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/the-best-book-about-decoratingPicture
What Were You Thinking by Howard Wiggins is a great tool for decorating your home. Whether it's a nursery, child's room, family room, or bathroom you will find information you can use. Wiggins explains decorating in a pleasant, conversational tone. His motivation is to help people express their own personalities so they can have a home they love. He gives you the tools for how to shop, making a floor plan, and what to consider depending on your phase of life: college, young family, or empty nester. You don't have to spend a lot of money if you follow his advice - in fact, one of his goals is to help you avoid costly mistakes! I highly recommend this book. 

Howard Wiggins can be contacted at Hearthstone Interior Design in Nashville, Tennessee.

<![CDATA[April 9 Local Author Day 2011 - The List!]]>Wed, 30 Mar 2011 19:36:33 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/april-9-local-author-day-2011-the-listGo to the blog on the library's site to see the list of the authors who will be displaying at Local Author Day 2011. Unfortunatorily, Melissa and the Green Blanket is at the very bottom. However, it's a great looking list (20 authors or so) and an incredibly fun event. Hope to see some of you there!


<![CDATA[Melissa At The Gadsden Public Library]]>Thu, 03 Mar 2011 19:59:41 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/melissa-at-the-gadsden-public-libraryApril 9th is Local Author Day 2011 at the Gadsden Public Library. It's a free event for authors and readers alike, so it's a great opportunity to get to visit with all kinds of folks. About 100 people attended last year, not including the authors. Everyone loved it!

So, here are the specifics:

Gadsden Public Library
Lena Martin Room
254 College Street
Gadsden, AL 35901

2pm to 4pm

If you're in the area, feel free to come by and visit, have a cup of coffee, and maybe a piece of cake if it isn't already eaten up.

Books, authors, and readers all together in one room - it doesn't get any better than that!

<![CDATA[Soup's On!]]>Fri, 04 Feb 2011 02:45:34 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/soups-onWith all of the cold weather we've been experiencing, I thought a couple of soup recipes might be nice to share! They are pretty easy, very tasty, and I stole the recipes from the Gadsden Public Library staff. I hope you enjoy them.

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 16oz can kidney beans
1 11oz can niblet corn
1 10oz can Rotel tomatoes
1 small pkg taco seasoning
1 28oz can Pregresso tomatoes
1 sm can chopped chile peppers
1 16oz can pinto beans
1 sm pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing

Brown the ground beef and drain. Add all other ingredients and stir (do not drain cans before adding). Simmer in Crock Pot on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with taco chips or mexican cornbread.

Potato Soup

1 stick margarine or butter
1 medium onion, chopped*
1 8oz container french onion dip
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans of milk
10 medium potatoes, cubed and boiled*

In a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Add dip, soup and milk. Stir until soup is smooth. Add boiled potatoes. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Can be topped with cheese. Serves 6-8

*may use frozen ]]>
<![CDATA[Life is a Blizzard]]>Sun, 30 Jan 2011 18:05:31 GMThttp://juliebooks.weebly.com/the-blog/life-is-a-blizzardLife has been quite busy, though I don't really have anything to  show it. Being snowed in for a few days was nice and relaxing, but only because we didn't lose any comforts. It was a relief that no one expected me to be anywhere but home.

The snow has long since melted and the pace has cranked up considerably. I'm still writing, promoting, and looking for interesting information to post here. I have some great posts planned for the upcoming months, so I better get to work at making those things happen! I sincerely hope that 2011 treats us all more kindly than the previous year. 

God bless you all,