Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Monday, April 29, 2013

National Salad Month – 3 ways to get kids to eat salads

photo credit: startcooking.com

Have you heard? May is National Salad Month. I love salads anyway, so this is just another reason for me to try a new salad. Maybe you love salads, but the kids are not so fond of them. How do you get the kids hooked? Get them engaged.
Give the kids a little history about salads and then make an enticing salad. Let’s start with the history of salads. Did you know that those mixed greens that we call salad were first enjoyed ancient Romans and Greeks?
In the late 19th century the United States popularized mixed greens salads. Eventually the Caesar salad came along. The creation of this salad is attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardine, “an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/caesar-salad).”

So, what can you to get kids to eat salads? Here are three things you can try –

1.      Add fruit to your salad – strawberries, apples or even pineapples have worked for my picky eater. Grape halves have also made their way onto a salad at our house. You could experiment with other toppings such almonds, walnut pieces or pecans.

2.      Chicken Caesar Salad – one mom blogger recommended this as a kid friendly salad that her little ones love. The kids can even help sprinkle croutons or other toppings.

3.      Mediterranean Bean Salad – if you have kids who like beans, this may be the salad for them. Create this salad using artichokes, olives, black beans and tomatoes. Toss in red onion, cilantro and caesar dressing. You can serve this over greens or use as an appetizer with Tortilla chips.
It may take time and exposure to get kids to like salads, but there’s no time like the present to get them started. You don’t have to eat salads every day of National Salad month, but will you try a new salad or introduce something new to the kids?

 Here are a couple of my favorite salads.

What is your favorite salad?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fun Friday – What can you do in 60 seconds?

Photo credit: www.engage365.org

It seems that many times as parents we rush through the day trying to accomplish as many things as possible. For me there’s a sense of accomplishment when I can fold clothes, vacuum the floor and load the dish washer…all before leaving the house at 7am. Whew!
I started thinking, “what kind of things do people actually do in 60 seconds?” Here’s the list I came up with…

1.      Put a load of clothes in the wash

2.      Send a text message

3.      Read an email

4.      Brush your teeth

5.      Water the plants

6.      Make a bed

7.      Feed your pet

8.      Make popcorn

9.      Download an app

10.  Pump five gallons of gas

11.  Watch a T.V. commercial

12.  Meditate

13.  Give a hug

14.  Say I love you

15.  Say a prayer

What would you add to this list?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – What’s your fitness philosophy?

Photo credit:  arts.heraldtribune.com

Have you ever tried dance walking?
WARNING:      This video may cause random outbursts of dancing.

What will you do to get your butt in motion?

Monday, April 22, 2013

National Jelly Bean Day – Fun Facts and tips for these sweet treats

Photo credit: earthday2013funphotos.com
Jelly beans were the first candy to ever be sold in bulk. In honor of this sweet treat, National Jelly Bean Day is celebrated on April 22 every ear. If you haven’t enjoyed juicy treat in a while, it’s okay to indulge a little today. Just don’t overdo it (that’s my warning).
How many fun facts do you know about the jelly bean? Here are a few you can share at your next trivia party.

·         “The earliest reference to the jelly bean is associated with Boston candy maker William Schrafft. He urged people to send his jelly beans to Union soldiers fighting in the Civil War (candyfavorites).”

·         Jelly beans became a wide-spread American treat in the early 20th Century.

·         Jelly beans were President Ronald Reagan’s favorite treat. He snacked on them to help him stop smoking his pipe.
What can you do to celebrate National Jelly Bean Day? Try one of these fun activities.

·         Create a sorting/counting game for your child – Have your child sort jelly beans by color, then count the number in each pile. For older kids, make the sorting game a race.

·         Make special drinks – give your favorite drink a twist by adding jelly beans. Drop a few jelly beans in tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

·         Make a jelly bean cake or cupcakes – bake a cake and fill the center with your favorite flavor jelly beans. Make cupcakes and decorate them with a variety of jelly beans.

·         Read a book about jelly beans – The Jelly Bean Principal is a book that’s suitable for 2nd -3rd grade reading level.

What would you add to the list of trivia or ways to celebrate National Jelly Bean Day?



Friday, April 19, 2013

Feel Good Friday – 5 Simple Truths

Photo credit:  smallbiztrends.com

Have you ever heard someone speak or read something that touched you in a special way just when you needed it? A friend shared some quotes with me that I am passing along to you. I’m calling those quotes 5 Simple Truths.

1.      There is no great treasure than a good friend.

2.      Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

3.      Feed your faith and starve your doubts.

4.      Peace starts with a smile.

5.      The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.

What would you add to this list of simple truths?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – The Boston Marathon Tragedy – people coming together to help

Boston Marathon explosion April 5, 2013.
Photo credit:  businessinsider.com

Prayers go out to those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.


How would you discuss this tragic event with your kids?

Blessings to all.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Confessions of a mom who rarely cooks – 3 ways to motivate the non-cook

French style green beans, spaghetti, grilled veggies and Texas toast

French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon - breakfast made simple. 

Chef Boyardee has disappeared, Aunt Millie moved out and Mrs. Dash ran off with Uncle Ben. That leaves me to do the cooking. On those rare occasions when I prepare healthy, well presented meals, the kids don’t want what’s for dinner.

On a recent week night I wanted to make a quick meal so I made spaghetti, Texas toast and French cut green beans. When my 13 year old son looked at the green beans he said, “Why are the green beans broken?”

My son’s statement led me to conclude that I needed to spend more time in the kitchen…and take him with me. What do you do if you’re a “sometime” cook? Change your routine, find ways to motivate you to want to cook. Here are a few ways to get you started.

1.      Purchase something new for the kitchen – It always feels good to get something new. Purchase a new (inexpensive) kitchen gadget. Having the right tools can make cooking a fun and creative experience.

2.      Try a new recipe – If the family gets tired of eating the same meals all the time, chances are you get tired of preparing them. Click here for a Sesame Chicken recipe that I’ve tried and the family asked for it again.

3.      Don’t stress about cooking everyday – cook enough the first day to have leftovers the next day. Add a different vegetable to the meal for a new appeal the next day. Maybe your routine is to prepare a different meal every other day, see what works best for your situation.
My true confession (pause), come a little closer so you can hear it…I like to cook, shhh. However, there are just times when I’d rather do something else.

What advice would you give to someone who rarely cooks?



Friday, April 12, 2013

Fun Friday – Momisms – What did you hear Mama say?

Do you remember growing up listening to mom explain things in her special way? Sometimes it may have been grandma or another family member. These sayings or “Momisms” have been around for a long time. Do any of these look familiar?

·         If your friends jump off a bridge, would you jump too?

·         The early bird gets the worm

·         All shut eyes are not sleep

·         I have eyes in the back of my head

·         Don’t sit too close to the TV, you’ll ruin your eyes

·         This hurts me more than it hurts you

·         Don’t crack your knuckles, you’ll have arthritis when you’re older

·         Do as I say, not as I do

·         Don’t believe everything you hear

·         Pick that up before somebody steps on it and breaks their neck

·         Always wear clean underwear, you might be in an accident

·         If you go outside with wet hair you’ll catch a cold

What would you add to the list of sayings that you have heard?
Here are a couple of videos of things parents say…from a kid’s point of view.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Winning Wednesday – No Excuses: Dream without limits

As parents, educators, writers, students, whatever role we play, we should dream with no limits.

What will you do today to follow your dreams?

Monday, April 8, 2013

National D.E.A.R. Day - Drop Everything And Read

Phtot credit:  www.rpls.ws

It’s coming soon, another national holiday – Drop everything and read day. Did you know that D.E.A.R. is celebrated on April 12th in honor of author Beverly Cleary’s birthday? The goal of this day is to encourage people to make reading a part of their routine.
Get out that you’ve been wanting to read or choose a favorite children’s book to read to your child. Below is a list of childhood favorite books by Beverly Cleary:

The Hullabaloo ABC
Lucky Chuck
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Brave
Henry and the Paper Route
Dear Mr. Henshaw

You can visit the D.E.A.R. website for other favorite books,  printable bookmarks and activity ideas. One activity asked the reader to… “Make a list of 10 things you would drop everything for.” What would you include on your list? Try this activity with your kids or simply choose a book and schedule a family reading time.
Here are some Family Reading Tips provided by the Reading Rockets website:

Designate a special time for family reading. It could be after dinner, before bedtime or reading the morning paper.
Encourage your child’s reading. Reading the cereal box at breakfast or the road signs on the way to school all help encourage reading.
Allow kids to choose books they’re interested in reading or have read aloud.

Register for a library card. If your child already has a library card use it frequently and take advantage of programs offered at the library.

What will you do to celebrate National D.E.A.R. Day.?


Friday, April 5, 2013

The dirty truth - 3 ways to get kids to reuse their bath towels

Photo courtesy:  www.snapsandbits.com

Have you ever experienced a time where it felt like you had mounds of laundry, especially towels to clean and put away? In my house I feel like there needs to be a towel rationing system.
When I walked into my teen sons’ room it looked like a towel parade. There were towels in varying sizes and colors. Some in a heap on the floor. Others thrown over the back of the head board of his bed.

On any given day my son can be seen strutting to his room with one towel around his waist and another around his neck. When I look in the bathroom, none of the towels have made it back to the towel bar. However there is a towel on the bathroom floor. When I asked why the towel was on the floor, my son responded with, “I needed to put my wet feet on something.”

What’s a parent to do? Do you put a limit on the number of towels your child uses each week?

The dirty truth…you may have to trick become very creative to get kids to reuse their towels. So where do you start? Below are a few suggestions to get you started:

1.      Teach the kids to do laundry - Assign one child to wash all of the family towels for two weeks. Remind him that it’s not a punishment, just a learning experience.

2.      Use a little ingenuity – One mom decided to hang her kids used towels across a laundry basket to dry. Once the towels dried, she refolded them and placed them back in the closet. The kids never caught on.

3.      Set house rules for towel usage – identify a set number of towels each child can use each week. Have consequences for over usage – child would have to complete one additional chore during the week. By the same token you can offer rewards for compliance - Child can choose the dinner menu for one night.
What do you do when you feel like you’re ready to “throw in the towel”? What are your suggestions for controlling the over usage of towels?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Celebrate National Poetry Month with Giggle Poetry

Photo Credit: motownwriters.wordpress.com
April is here, it’s time to celebrate National Poetry Month. I told my teen son it’s poetry month and we should create a fun poem. He looked at me, paused and with a shine in his eye said, “Roses are Red Violets are Blue, I’m on spring break and should be too.”

So, I ventured out on my own in search for fun stuff for poetry month. I found a website called Giggle Poetry. If you have young children (younger than teens), you might find a few fun ideas to share with them. There were poetry race tongue twisters, fill in the blank poems and Rhyme Time Riddles.

Below are samples from the website (gigglepoetry).
What would you call a top-notch detective?
A super snooper

Poetry Race – How fast can you say the tongue twister?

Betty Botter bought some butter.
"But," she said, "the butter's bitter.
If I put it in my batter,
it will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter--
that would make my batter better."

So she bought a bit of butter,
better than her bitter butter.
And she put it in her batter,
and the batter was not bitter.

So 'twas better Betty Botter
bought a bit of better butter!

How good a tongue twister are you?
40 seconds and over:
Too slow. Your grandparents could say the poem faster.

30 to 40 seconds:
Not bad. You're probably a faster talker than the President.

20 to 30 seconds:
Pretty good. You've been gifted with a fast pair of lips.
15 to 20 seconds:
Excellent. You can out talk anyone around.

14 seconds or less:
You are a tongue tying champion!

If you prefer something other than riddles and tongue twisters here are four other ways to celebrate poetry month:

1.      Put a poem on the pavement – write a poem in chalk on your sidewalk.

2.      Put poetry in an unexpected place – a poem about dirty clothes can go in the laundry room.

3.      Play hangman with poetry terms for older kids.

4.      Host a “poetry slam” invite other kids or adults to read poems aloud.

For more ways to celebrate poetry month visit www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/94.

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month?