Free Trust & Estate Planning Workshops for Parents

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Kids Protection Workshop


This Guest Post Written by Darlynn Morgan
of Morgan Law Group 

Orange County Trust and Estate Planning Attorney

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What would happen to my minor kids if something happened to me and/or my spouse?”

It’s something I’ve talked about many times on this blog, but let’s be frank; most parents have a hard time imagining a scenario when they may unable to raise their own children, whether it’s due to a disability, sickness, incapacity… or worse.

As parents, we certainly have superpowers… but we’re not invincible.

A friend of mine recently made this same mistake. Just a few weeks before her death last month, a loved one was urging her to get serious about creating a will and a trust for the protection of her kids and assets.  Her response?

She told the friend, “I have some time to worry about all of that.  I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m too unorganized right now and just not ready yet.”

A few weeks later, she was unexpectedly killed in a car accident. She left behind a new spouse she married just six months prior and four children, one with autism and a host of other developmental delays.

Mom had no will or trust, and haphazardly named her two older boys as beneficiaries of her life insurance policy. She didn’t want to leave anything to her disabled son (out of fear it will jeopardize his ability to receive Medicaid and other benefits) and she hoped that they would all just evenly split their inheritance if something happened to her.

But now, the middle son is being stingy with the money. He’s into fast things and shiny objects.  Family members worry that he will spend all of his brother’s money on cars, trips and parties.  And legally, he doesn’t have to fork over a penny. A special needs trust, and a revocable trust for the other kids, would have made this a non-issue!

Oh, and new husband? Although he was the love of her life, mom never got around to updating her beneficiary designations to also include new hubby on her life insurance policy and retirement accounts should something happen to her.

He got stuck with all of the funeral costs and debt, but her kids from a previous marriage got everything else. He was completely disinherited and out of luck, all because of a blended family situation.

Here’s the lesson to be learned from this sad, but very true story: just because you talk about your wishes for your kids and your assets, doesn’t mean your family will honor them when you are gone!

When you leave behind assets, minor children, or you’re in a blended family, you MUST have a will or trust to ensure that your family is cared for exactly as you want if the unthinkable happens. When grief, emotions and money are involved, the honor system just doesn’t work!

So if you’ve been putting of your estate planning for any reason, please let this story inspire you to do the right thing for your family and those you would leave behind.

Here’s How To Take Action NOW, While It’s Fresh In Your Mind

Look, it’s vacation season. Chances are you’ll be traveling this spring or summer, either with or without the kids.  Now is the perfect time to think about estate planning for your own family to ensure you are protected, should something happen. Don’t put planning off for another month or year…make it your priority today!

To help you get the ball rolling, I’d like to invite you to join me for a FREE Kids Protection Workshop this month where you’ll learn step-by-step how to put a fortress of protection around the things and people you love:

Pretend City

April 23, 2015 – 6:30pm 

No childcare available for this event – recommended for adults only 

Once Upon a Storybook

April 25 – 11:00 am 

Children Welcome!  Bring the kids while you learn!

This is the perfect opportunity to learn EXACTLY how to get your legal and financial affairs in order, at no-charge!  Children are even welcome at our Once Upon a Storybook event so that they can have fun with adult supervision while you are in the same room, learning everything you need to know about estate planning and protecting the people you love.  What could be better or easier than that?

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll discover at our Workshops:

1. How to choose the RIGHT Guardians for your kids

2. How to keep your family out of probate (which is long, expensive, public and does not pass your assets in a responsible way!)

3. How to prevent a court from having to supervise your children’s inheritance and handing them money at 18!

4. How to leave your loved ones a gift far greater than all the money in the world if the unthinkable happens

5. Why naming guardians is just not enough to keep your children from spending time in foster care

It’s just one hour of your time and one of the best investments you’ll make into the protection and well-being of your family.  Plus, our workshops are engaging, empowering and fun!  If you have minor kids, you won’t want to miss it! To view all of the details and register now for FREE, simply visit

Don’t forget about your friends and loved ones…they have families they need to protect, too!  Share this information and help them out.

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Teachers Pay Teachers

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Teachers Pay Teachers

I was sitting watching my daughters in their Team OC gymnastics class last week when I struck up a conversation with a mom next to me. Her kindergarten aged son was diligently working on worksheets in a binder next to her while we chatted. Being so impressed he was doing doing worksheets and not playing on a device, I took a closer look and noticed the difficulty of the worksheet.

Having a kindergartener myself, and assuming it was his homework, I expressed my shock at the difficulty. She then told me it wasn’t his homework, but Teachers Pay Teachers B.A.T. (Brain’s Always Thinking) Book for 1st grade. Teachers Pay Teachers?

“You haven’t heard of Teachers Pay Teachers?!” she asked as she then professed her love for the site and told me all about it. She herself is a 2nd grade teacher and uses it all the time, professionally and personally.

When means instant blog post for me to share with you.

Teachers Pay Teachers is an educational resource site where teachers have the opportunity to sell their original teaching resources. It is chock full, I mean chock full of the most amazing printables for grades Pre-K through 12th grade.

You can search by grade, subject, Common Core, price, anything. Many downloads have a fee (not huge), but there are also a ton of free educational printables you can find.

If you are on Spring Break this week and have some time to kill, a worksheet or two might come in handy, especially if they don’t think it’s  schoolwork but a fun activity sheet.

And definitely bookmark this site for summer!

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Local Love: Free Estate Planning Seminar

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Years back when I first had children, I would have seen a flyer for a family estate planning seminar and thought, “I don’t need that – I don’t have anything close to what would be considered an ‘estate’!” When I think of the word ‘estate’ I envision a multi-million dollar mansion. But that’s not true! We all have estates, no matter how big or how small.

An estate is considered any money or property you own. If something were to happen to you, I am sure you have opinions on who you would like that to go to, right?

For parents, a family estate plan includes more than just making sure your money and property is protected, it makes sure your most INvaluable things in life are protected, your children. You better believe I have opinions on who I would want my children raised by and living with if something were to happen to me!!

Because if something were to happen to their parents, legal documents need to be in place to make sure they are cared for by who YOU wanted and your money goes to who YOU want.

If you have children and haven’t put together a family estate plan, this upcoming seminar is for you. It’s free. It’s informational. It’s a no pressure event.

So, get a babysitter to watch your kids for a couple hours, come relax (kid free) and learn more. If childcare is an issue for you – please check out her upcoming events in April here when you can bring your kids with you.

OC Estate Planning Seminar

March 21st, 2015
9am – 11am
Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach
(light breakfast will be served)

March 24th, 2015
11:45am – 1:30pm
Morgan Law Group Office Newport Beach
(light refreshments will be served)

Registration Required to Attend

Space is limited, so registration is required. Click here to sign-up!

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Local Love: Fun For You and Your Little Ones!

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Toddler Camp OC_Final [sponsor]

Today, I’m excited to share all about Toddler Camp OC with you – a weekly outing designed specifically for toddlers that provides a themed “adventure” for parents (or caregivers) and their child to experience all the best local spots, entertainment and kid programs.

Toddler Camp OC is a fantastic way to get out with your little ones and enjoy your local community, while meeting new friends (both parents and kids!).

Because as we moms know, it takes a village (right?!), and there is nothing better than meeting other moms who are going through the same stages and phases you are, while letting your kiddos meet other kiddos their own age.  Plus, at Toddler Camp OC, you’ll probably learn about places and programs you didn’t even realize existed.

How It Works

The SoCalMoms Education Director creates developmentally appropriate projects, curriculum, and play opportunities specifically for toddlers.  This is a great way to introduce your toddler to many of the skills they are expected to learn during their first year of preschool.

Arts and crafts or sensory projects are included in each outing, as well as a healthy snack for both parents and children.

Plus, new toddler products, brands and parenting experts and topics will be introduced throughout the session.

Each camp is approximately 8 to 10 weeks long, and meets once a week in the morning from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Toddler Camp OC is now registering for spring and summer sessions.

The “ABCDs” of The Toddler Camp OC Program

Toddler Camp OC believes in these core values and incorporates them into their toddler curriculum and programs:

A.  Positive Early Learning

Toddler Camp provides a positive comprehensive program featuring multiple themed activities, sensory play, and outdoor adventures.

B. Social Development

They offer toddlers a chance to interact, share, and play with other children of similar ages in a variety.

C. Explore & Discover

They motivate families to explore and discover local and regional places, programs, and entertainment designed to stimulate toddler.

 Parenting Resources 

They offer families the opportunity to socialize, and to access the best local parenting experts who host mini-talks.

Here are some great FAQs for further information.

Upcoming Spring Toddler Camp OC 

The Toddler Camp OC spring session will be held from Wednesday, March 18th to Wednesday, May 20th, and is enrollment based.

Their cute spring themes include: music, fitness, nature, colors, spring, cooking, imagination, messy art, family, create & build and carnival and will be held from

You will be asked to register for a specific local group (convenient for you), which meets one day a week for the term of the session (10 weeks).  Or you can choose a six-week package, which can allow you more flexibility.

Once you have registered, you will receive weekly emails with the schedule for the following week – or you can view the weekly Toddler Camp schedule HERE.


The cost of a 10-week session is $250.00 and a six-week session is $150.

You can also purchase series packages with discounted rates.  Occasionally, a weekly drop in rate is available.

Join Toddler Camp OC For An Open House

Join Toddler Camp OC on Wednesday, March 18th at 10 a.m. for their “Open House Creative” kick-off event.   This is your opportunity to get to know the program, plus meet other moms in your local community.  This first day event includes a welcome brunch, interactive arts and crafts, bubbles, balloons, goody bags and more!

This “Open House Creative” will be held at 1602 Babcock St. Costa Mesa, CA 92627.  Join the fun!

A Tiny Oranges Deal!

Toddler Camp OC is offering a discount to all Tiny Oranges readers (yay!).  Use the code “TinyOranges” for 10% off your registration fee!

Contact Us

Toddler Camp OC is based out of central OC.  Click here for more information and to register for their spring session.

Hotline for parents:  1-323-487-CAMP
Email:  info @

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Little Hands, Big Skills

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Ways to practice fine motor skills with kids

My little man is going to be entering kindergarten next year (I can’t believe it!), so kinder prep is definitely on my mind! And as part of kindergarten prep,  I am working with him at home to strengthen certain school skills, including his fine motor skills.  Today I’d like to share my favorite ways to practice fine motor skills with kids…and I’d love to hear yours!

Play Doh and Clay

For my kiddo, Play Doh and clay means fun.  It’s also a great way to have your little ones work with their fingers, learning to shape and mold, while strengthening those their finger and hand muscles.  We like to add toy cars, trucks, planes and boats to the Play Doh fun, and my son builds roads, bridges and swimming pools for them.  He loves it!


My son is obsessed with Legos.  Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover it!  And, I am totally fine with this…because he’s learning to manipulate teeny tiny pieces and fit them together. Especially now, since he’s graduated to the “big kid” Lego sets with those small pieces.  He thinks mom is cool, it’s his “free” play time, and he’s practicing fine motor.  Check, check, and check!

The Coin Game

One of my favorite teachers recommended this game, and my little guy loves it!  Set out a bunch of coins on the table, and have your child practice flipping them over.  That may seem like a simple task, but those little fingers have to work extra hard to pinch and grasp the smaller coins to flip them over.

Bonus: If you’re feeling ambitious, you can practice counting the coins, talking about the different denominations and sorting by size or value.


Again, having your child put together puzzles – especially ones with smaller pieces – is another great way for your kiddo to practice picking up small items, critically thinking about where they go, and work carefully to fit them together.


Also a fun (and messy!) way to help your little one practice their fine motor skills.  Get smaller paint brushes, put little splurts of paint on a paper plate, and ask your child to paint their picture…I usually take a coloring book page or print something off of the Internet.  That way they are trying to carefully stay in the lines.  Their first attempt may be one blob of color, and that’s okay!!  Have them keep at it, and keep practicing!


This includes drawing shapes and letters on blank pieces of paper, doing worksheets…and even iPad apps when we’re on the go!  My son loves tracing letters (and you can get creative here…use pencils, crayons, glitter, Cheerios, etc.), and he also loves tracing lines…think one of those “start here,” and trace to the finish line, worksheets.

My husband also found an app he loaded onto our iPad called, “Little Writer,” which allows a child to trace letters, numbers, shapes and words with their fingers.  I’m sure there are tons of apps that could be helpful – check some out!

Cutting Out Shapes

Like I mentioned above, I have my son either trace…or draw…a shape.  Then, I ask him to cut it out.  And we’re starting with BIG shapes that are easier for him to cut right now.  Holding scissors properly is actually pretty difficult at times for little hands and fingers…and I say, the more practice the better.

Favorite Ways to Practice Fine Motor Skills with Kids

Daily Name Log

Everyday, I ask my son to write his name three times at home.  Just three.  I don’t ask him to sit for an hour practicing his letters (let’s be serious – he’s an active 4.5-year-old boy – just getting him to sit still for 10-15 minutes at a time is a victory!).  But, I find that even this small investment of time and small investment of practice has made a huge difference.  It also gives me the opportunity to see how he is holding his pencil and help correct when needed.

And, here’s what I’m noticing.  There are days he whines about writing his name three times…and we battle.  And, there are days he wants to write his name 10 times, plus asks to do worksheets and art projects.  Progress and baby steps!

Here are some of my favorite fine motor skill activity ideas I got from Pinterest: 

12 Fun Ways to Pratice Handwriting with Preschoolers 

Cutting Practice and Learning Shapes

Fine Motor Activity – Fruit Loop Towers

 Clothes Pins…

Glue Tracing, Pre-Writing Activity

And, don’t forget to ask your child’s teacher for ideas – they always have fun and creative ways to help your child practice their fine motor skills!

Do you have any tips or tricks that work for your kids?  Please share below!


Photo credit:
Flickr, Copyright All rights reserved by Fauxtographical

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