Build a sturdy deck and you'll get years of enjoyment from it. The elements can be tough on a deck, so maintenance is key. Inspect it once or twice a year and make repairs as soon as you spot damage. This saves time and money in the long run.

How to Enjoy a Family Bedtime Story

Do you sometimes feel guilty because you have too much to do and rarely get to share a bedtime story with the kids? Well, stop feeling guilty because it happens too many. You are not Robinson Crusoe. But imagine if you could hear the story of Robinson Crusoe or some other magnificent character with your kids while you did the washing up, vacuuming, ironing or any of the other multitude of tasks a parent has to do when they work outside the home everyday? This is where audio books become invaluable.

The whole family can listen and the jobs still get done. The kids are simply happy when they get to share time and activities with their parents. And what nicer activity is there than sharing special stories with your kids? Seeing their eye's dance as their imagination is fired. The other good thing about audio books is they not only improve listening skills, they improve vocabulary and grammar.

The listener is forced to form the picture in their mind from their understanding of the spoken words. If a child sits and watches TV, videos or DVD's, all the visual work is done for them by someone else. You deprive the person of forming their own picture story in their heads. Once you start listening to the stories, if you are anything like me who does a lot of reading, you will find out for yourself that you have not used that part of your brain much lately. This came as a real eye-opener to me! I read a lot, watch a lot of training videos with my work and relax with a DVD of my choosing.

But I haven not had to actually form my own pictures in my head myself for a long, long time. So I came to the conclusion I have been depriving myself of something that I once treasured greatly. I had let it slip past me without a whinge or whimper only because I had not realised it was missing. So, are you depriving your kids of a joy that you are not realising is missing too? This is no fairytale but it is my story.

So, I am asking you to share a family bedtime story while you still get everything done that has to be done. Now you get to do it all~ and better still ~ you do it as a family. Or do you sometimes wonder if your teenager in High School studying Shakespeare ever actually reads the books assigned? We have all ploughed through tomes of Shakespearean plays and sonnets.

Struggling so hard to understand the language that often the actual meaning of the words got so lost we barely grasped what the man was trying to convey. Yet when it is read to you as a story, I found that many times I actually enjoyed his work. And obviously many, many others have too through the centuries and that is why it is a classic. Well now these classics are on audio and our kids actually get to ENJOY Shakespeare instead of groaning on hearing the name.

Shakespeares old world English listened to on CD, MP3 or iPod is indeed revolutionary. And so much more enjoyable. Can you remember when our main form of entertainment was the radio? I can and I also still remember some of my favourite serials. I loved Life with Dexter, When a Girl Marries; and there was a space serial that I cannot remember the name of but it terrified me.

The idea of someone drifting eternally in space was a concept to me that was akin to seeing the lamb slaughtered every week. I remember pushing and shoving in school talk-time to be the first so I could get to tell the story of what happened in yesterday afternoons episode of this space serial. This was considered to be the epitome of the lesson and was fought for. The quality of the BBC radio shows now available for downloading to MP3, CDs and iPods is in standing with their well-earned reputation and are of extremely high quality. Listening again to the Spike Milligan show or any number of other speciality productions is pleasurable and eye relaxing. We have all heard of the musical genre easy-listening and if we replace the word music with stories we still have the genre easy-listening.

This enhancement and extension for our auditory pleasure is a gift made available through technological advancements. And there are more than enough other genres available in this easy-listening audio book library to please each generation in the family.

Jan Smith is an ideas person for creative and innovative people. A whole world awaits open minds,curious eyes and eager hands. Find out how you can expand your horizons at or expand your Google Adsense knowledge and Income at


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