Monday, November 6, 2017

Encouragement For The Week

As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for either you or your family.
Don't dwell on your failures, but think about your successes.

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Toddler Tips: Starting Out The Morning Right

This is another little miracle I found over the years in dealing with toddlers.  Sometimes they can easily react to the busyness of the day beginning-we have an agenda as mothers, especially the mothers of many, of things we want to do that day and things that need to get done.  And routines are so important for ALL of us.  But I found that many grouchy, obstinate, whiny toddlers can quickly change to having a great day if we just slow down, even for a few minutes and hold them, hug them, talk to them, or read to them, or set up some little toy for them---almost like they needed to 'touch home base' (literally connect with us through physical closeness) before they set off on their day.  Suddenly the clinginess can stop, and it changes their whole demeanor.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Fun Family Game

"I won!" 

We've found a new game that our family loves!

This is the kind of game a busy 'non-lover of games' mom can play-it's quick and requires no huge direction reading (we've adapted the way we play it depending on who is playing-and it appeals to ALL ages!)  It's a great boredom buster and would be fun for Thanksgiving Day.

The low down:

Basically as quick as one can, you are matching the quantity, shape or color of the card laid in front of you and try to get rid of your cards as quickly as possible.

I am AWFUL at writing instructions-and like I said, we do it differently depending on how many are playing and their ages (with Janey I just do a slow matching game). Here's the lowdown:

Playing the Game

1. Simultaneously players turn over the card that they placed in the center of the table signaling the beginning of the game.
2. Players race to play cards from their hand on either of the piles. In order for a card to be played it must match at least one of the characteristics, color, shape, or count, of the card on which it is being played. For instance a card with four brown stars could be played on any card with brown (color), or on a card with stars (shape), or on a card with four symbols (count).
3. Players may have up to three cards in their hand at a time and refill their hand by drawing from their draw pile.
4. Play continues until one player is completely out of cards from their hand and draw pile.

Winning the Game

The first player that successfully plays all their cards wins BLINK.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Encouragement For The Week

Somehow, in our hurry to steer our children toward accomplishment and independence we see to have forgotten what childhood is all about.

Preoccupied with managing their lives, and our own, it is is so easy to lose sight of our children-their tenderness ad innocence, their joyousness their capacity of wonder their hunger for enchantment. 

A touch of magic can reawaken the chidlike spirit in all of us allowing us to revisit, for a time, the secret realm of childhood. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Easy Crock Pot Chili

I have been making this once a week-I make a big batch and then freeze smaller meal-sized containers for me for lunch, or a I give a bunch of them to my older two kids so they have a back-up meal in their own freezers.  It's excellent reheated.

It is mild so the kids aren't dying when they're chowing down. If you like SPICY chili, just add some more chili powder!

1 pound of ground beef, browned and drained
1 26 oz. jar of traditional Prego sauce
2 cans of undrained kidney beans
2 cans of chili-seasoned diced tomatoes
(you can use plain diced tomatoes...just add a little more seasoning to chili!)
2 TBS chili powder
2 TBS cumin

Dump all in a crock pot and mix together.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve with chips or crackers, grated cheese and sour cream, sometimes with grilled cheese on the side for non-chili lovers.

PS.  The best thing I ever did was a buy a huge crock pot-well I have every size, but the big one is the one I use the most.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Encouragement For The Week

Our children are fully different creatures than we are, and we are in their lives for a time in order to nurture them, love them, and nudge then in certain directions.

We simply must accept that they are loaned to us for a time and then they are released into adulthood. 

When we believe this, we feel more joy and contentment in parenting them, we simplify our expectations of ourselves regarding parenting, and we experience a welcome levity in our relationships with them.

Meg Meeker

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ten Ways To Raise A Reader

Ten Ways to Raise A Reader
by Gladys Hunt

1. Restrict television watching drastically.

2. Keep the computer under control and where it can be monitored. Don't allow too many hours on the pointless computer games or in chat rooms.

3. Have books and other good reading material within easy reach, an enticement to read.

4. Let your children see you reading.

5. Read books aloud together regardless of age.

6. Talk about books together, play games together.

7. Have well-lit rooms with comfortable chairs that invite reading.

8. Balance activity schedules with reading time. Let your kids know the library is as important as the gymnasium.

9. Encourage reading in bed with good lights to do so.

10.  Visit the library often, and listen to books on tape when traveling. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Encouragement For The Week

It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks,
and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home.

Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Our Favorite Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

3 TBS butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugar together still fluffy.
Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt.
Mix flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture.
Drop tablespoonfulls 3 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake the cookie for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.
Remove warm cookies and transfer to racks.
Let cool completely for at least one half hour, then frost with glaze.

For glaze:
In a medium sauce pan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until bubbly.
Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until slightly thickened.
Beat in the milk.
Blend in confectioner's sugar until the glaze is smooth and spreadable.
Keep the sauce pan over the stove on the lowest possible heat to keep from hardening.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Favorite Autumn Children's Book

Janey and I read this book almost every evening.  I love the message behind it, written in form of a poem,  and the illustrations are beautiful.  (Thanks Mom, the world's best book-picker-outer.:)  It's a message of gratitude, appreciation, prayer, and duty.