Archive for January, 2012

“Homework”


Homework

With the homework load getting larger on kids these days, how do you help make it fun to do homework and what rewards do you like to give to encourage focus? 🙂

I like to serve a snack, and hot coco if its cold outside. I also put on some of their favorite music during homework sometimes. 

We also play music in the morning while they get ready for school. Theres nothing like some tunes to amp you up for a school day!

Dancing is fun for them, plus it makes us all smile together 🙂

I love it how you don’t even need music to get them to dance. Around my kids all you have to do is start dancing quietly and they join in and seem to hear the song! 🙂 I love it.

Kids live to their own soundtracks. I wish I could hear it sometimes 🙂

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What’s on your mind?


Nature

Okay lets upon up a discussion board today. I encourage and value your input, comments, concerns, topics of interest etc. Anything you would like to talk about or share with us.

I will start 🙂 Let’s see how much we can help each other. Your opinion and knowledge as parents is very valuable and important to me.

How do you appropriately motivate your kids to clean and do their chores? And what praise or reward are they given when they do something out of the blue and unexpected that is not part of their responsibility? 🙂

I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

What’s the age limit?


So here is an interesting topic that I would like to address. What age is too old to tuck your kids in at night?

I remember when I was little my mom used to tuck me in and say goodnight. There are a lot of memories that I have blocked out over the course of my childhood so I am unsure as to when they stopped initially. I do remember that when I was in the 5th grade I was no longer getting tucked in. I would say goodnight to my mom wherever she was in the house and go to bed.

I had a much different childhood than my kids have. It seems like they demand way more of my attention than I ever demanded from my mom. My son is almost 10 and my daughter 7. I still say goodnight to them and listen to them say their prayers, turn out the lights and they go to bed. Praying together is always a positive thing. They were in a bad habit a few months ago, they would yell for me from their rooms after the lights went out because they wanted to say one more thing. I made sure to explain to them that they needed to make sure we talked about everything before the lights went out. Moms need to be able to rest at some point in the night too. 🙂

So my question for you is how do you approach telling them that they need to tuck themselves in without them feeling insecure? How do I address my daughter who is still young and needs a little more attention to her feelings and girl emotions? I feel she still benefits from being tucked in, but is that unfair to my boy if I don’t do that for him? He needs to grow into a confident young man and not be raised like a girl. I don’t wish to raise an insecure boy, however I don’t want to create insecurities along the way. I will never stop praying with my children or being there for them when they need me. I just want to make sure that they are growing up right with the proper attention to all areas.

I feel that taking that time on a daily basis to ask questions and let them know that you are there for them is vital in their growth and security. Communication is key to raising healthy kids both mentally and physically.

It’s a learning curve in being a parent, and I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic.

Please share any advice or stories relating to this. I look forward to hearing from you!

New technique for Paper mache Hands


So I had another go at the paper mache and found that another easy way to get a mold of a hand is to use a latex glove. Take a latex glove and stuff the fingers with cotton, if you would like them to hold a shape us a little tin foil around the cotton to make it movable. Then fill the rest of the hand with paper covered with foil as well. Remember to not pack it too tight or it will be difficult to remove the stuffing later.

Tie the end of the glove to secure the stuffing. I used a diluted Elmer’s Glue and tissue paper squares for the glove and it turned out great. I was able to remove the stuffing and the glove with ease. I am very happy with the result.

Happy creating!! Let me know what crafts you like to do at home.

Paper Mache


When we were young the craft to do in school was paper mache. Covering balloons with sticky paper and using different colors to make an awesome color scheme. Then waiting for that exciting day when you got to pop the balloon and paint your unique creation.

Today I am doing a grown up version!

I covered my hand in two layers of tin foil. This can be tricky and takes a little patience. I suggest Heavy Duty tin foil so it doesn’t bend under the weight of the paper mache. We can’t stuff the hand. If we did we wouldn’t be able to remove it from the dried mache. However, if you are looking for a solid structure cover the tinfoil hand with a layer of glue, using a hot glue gun. Let it dry then paper mache it. That will ensure a nice sturdy form. In this case I am wanting to remove the tin foil so I can attach the paper mache to a canvas.

When the hand is ready for paper mache, I spray it with a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray so it can be remove when it has dried.

After the first layer is thick enough I let it sit for about and hour or two. Than using diluted glue, a paint brush and tissue paper cut into squares, I apply one final layer. This will make it look smooth and ready for paint.

This hand and a mask will be going on a new abstract painting I am working on. I will post a picture of it when it’s done.

For the paper mache, I used a recipe I found on the internet. It is two cups of flour to two cups of water, as simple as that. Shred some newspaper, Dip and start layering your project.

I am definitely going to make a craft with my kids using this tonight. I forgot how much fun it is to play with!

Show me some of your creations with paper mache or suggestions on how to create new different shapes or designs.

Looks like Winter!


Wow! It finally looks like winter out there! I don’t know about you but I am loving this! Granted the roads are not ideal but it sure is beautiful out there. This is the perfect weather to cuddle up and watch a movie with some homemade hot coco or spicy apple cider.  Or if your like me coffee because we thought we could go all day without it :). Wasn’t my brightest moment today.

So far it looks like we have about 3 inches out there and it’s still coming down!

Whats it doing in your area? And how do you like to spend your snow day inside?

I am making home-made chicken noodle soup for dinner, added some shredded cabbage for a fun mix up, and will make some home-made hot chocolate later for the family. For the adults, I like to put a little splash of spiced rum in the hot chocolate. It’s a comfort food and drink night for sure! 

My famous “Home made Hot Chocolate” …..a little sweetness in moderation is always good. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup Chocolate chips (your desired darkness)

1/2 cup Andes Mint chips (regular or peppermint crunch)

1 ounce Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate

1-3 cups Heavy whipping cream (can also use Half & Half or Milk)

whipped cream for topping

You can use a double boiler for this or a large pan filled 1/3 with water and a metal or glass bowl rested on top. Make sure that your water level doesn’t touch the bowl, and the bowl fits slightly snug on the pan. (this will prevent your hands getting steamed)

Fill your pan about 1/3 of the way full with water, place bowl on top, and bring water to a boil.

Add chocolate and let melt, stirring occasionally with a plastic spatula. When the chocolate is completely melted add your desired amount of Cream or milk. Some like their coco with a little more liquid than others, so judge it by eye and taste. 🙂 Whisk the cream and chocolate until it is heated through. Turn heat off, and ladle your chocolate goodness into mugs. Top with your favorite topping and enjoy!

For the adults, spice it up a notch with 1 tablespoon of spiced rum. 

Enjoy your snow day!! Or just enjoy a day of spoiling!

Garlic Fact #1


മലയാളം: Garlic

Here is a fun Garlic fact for you garlic lovers out there from “Nature’s Super 7 Medicines.”

A remarkable woman Abbess Hildegarde of Bingen wrote many medical and theology books. She had over 500 remedies that were tested by professionals and were a success for thousands of patients. 

Hildegarde suggested that chewing one half clove of raw garlic every day would “invigorate the liver and spleen”.

Her standard salad dressing was the following:

1 Tablespoon pure wine vinegar, 3 Tablespoons sunflower oil, a bit of honey, and of course one-quarter crushed garlic clove. Lemon juice and yogurt can be added which improves the flavor and gives somewhat of a modern touch.

I love garlic and think this Abbess had it right.

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