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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Peaceful parenting

I first stumbled upon this parenting coach on Pinterest. The article was about strengthening your relationship with your child. In it, Dr. Laura Markham provides a list of things you can do to connect with like hugging your kid 12 times a day and turning off your technology. My favorite is Show Up. You only have 900 weeks with your kid before they leave the house. Be present, be engaged. Inspired? Read more here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Habit 7 — Sharpen The Saw

Balance Feels Best. What you role model and teachI:  take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school. I find meaningful ways to help others.  All the 7 habits -

Friday, December 6, 2013

Habit 6 — Synergize

Together Is Better

Here's what you teach and role model: I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different than me. I work well in groups. I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with others we can create better solutions than anyone of us can alone. I am humble.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Habit 5 - understand

Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Here's what you role model: I Listen Before I talk. I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.

I am a huge offender of this one. I L O V E to give advice, suggestions...working on pausing and biting my tongue. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Habit 4 — Think Win-Win

Everyone Can Win.
You role model and teach:  I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.

I want most of the girls' toys out of the house. Like now. So I asked the girls to consider some options. They decided on creating two bins: one for charity and one for storage.  Belle wanted one bin but Janae wanted to put some toys in the shed. The deal is if she asks to play with the ones unseen in a year, then they stay, if not, then off to Goodwill. 

Grab the kids and watch this short Wreck it Ralph video on Win-Win thinking. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Habit 3 — Put First Things First.

Habit 3 — Put First Things First.  Here is what you teach and role model:  Work First, Then Play. I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.

ACTION - Have your child make a list of important roles - soccer player, student, member of the family, etc, schedule activities around these roles.
Here are some coloring pages.  You talk, they color. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Habit 2 - Have a plan

7 habits for happy kids by Sean Covey. Habit 2 — Begin with the End in Mind. Here's what you teach and role model:  
Have a Plan. I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Habit 1 for kids - Be proactive

I am officially a facilitator of 7 Habits of highly effectively people. These relevant principles can apply to guiding your kiddies.  Here's habit 1 - Be Proactive. You're in Charge. Here's what you teach and role model:

I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking. Good stuff. More habits coming...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Homemade ice-cream, kiddie style

We have had this Sassafras battery operated ice-cream machine for 3 years. Belle brought it out last night and lucky for her we had the basics: 1 cup milk, 16 ounces condensed milk and 5 tablespoons cocoa.

We mixed it all in a bowl, poured it in the ice-cream maker, pushed the mix button and let it stir for 30 seconds. Then we pushed the freeze button and threw it in the freezer over night. The battery keeps churning the blades while the ice-cream freezes. A little strange but it worked!

Ice-cream for breakfast anyone? 

Buy a Sassafras at 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Making paper

Belle made paper the other day. Not the green stuff but the recycled kind. Here's what you need: scrap paper (various colors), blender, duct tape, 1 cm chicken wire, metal door screen, spoon and cup. Assemble screen. Tear scrap paper into small pieces and put a handful into a blender with 1/3 full of warm water. Blend until scraps break down into small fibers. Spoon pulp onto the surfaceof the frame that is screen side up. Extra water will run off screen. Allow paper to air dry and then peel off. 

Belle decided to do a design on hers with the extra paper scraps. Recyling paper saves over 200 million trees each year. 

We were at a festival and they had taken the dried paper and made really cool paper lanterns with sticks. 

Here's a link to a detailed guide to making paper

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First day pics

Creative School picture ideas for your kiddie from Shutterfly. I'm loving the pic the sign that says "When I grow up, I'm going to be a..."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kiddie car organization

I was riding in a friend's car last week and she had organized her car.  Inspired, I hit up my local Target and dollar store for items to make the kiddie rides to school and long trips easier. I spent about $10 and had some other stuff on hand. Here's what mine contains: scissors, allergy medicine, cough drops, band aids, tissues, wet wipes, granola bars, comb, hair ties, lotion, blank cards, paper envelopes, pens, Chapstick, plastic grocery bag, dental floss,lint roller, and a spray bottle with water. What else would you add?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jiffy cornbread waffles

Here's the scene...8am on Saturday morning and there's no pancake/waffle mix! Not cool. Here's what I did...grabbed a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, added an egg, lil sugar, some milk and oil.  Poured onto a hot waffle iron and 3 minutes later had tasty cornbread waffles. Make organic cornbread waffles with the Arrowhead mix

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Back in the Day by John K Rosemond

Back in the Day by John K Rosemond
   When I was a child, back in the Parenting Stone Age (a.k.a. the Parentocentric Era), your parents were the most important people in the family. They paid the bills, bought your clothes, prepared the food you ate, took care of you when you were sick, drove you to where you needed to be, tucked you in, and kissed you good night. They were essential.
    Your parents acted like they were bigger than you were too, like they knew what they were doing and didn't need your help making decisions. In fact, your opinion really didn't matter much. When they spoke to you, they didn't bend down, grab their knees, and ask for your cooperation in a wheedling tone. They spoke in no uncertain terms, and they thought you were smart, so they only said anything once. The rule was very simple: They told you what to do, and you did it, because they said so.
    Your mom and dad paid more attention to one another than they paid to you. You didn't think about that at all. It was just the way it was. But looking back, you sure are glad you weren't the center of the family universe. You were a satellite, orbiting around their solid presence. They even told you, on occasion, that you were just a little fish in a big pond. You didn't understand what that meant, of course, until you got out in the big pond and began to realize that putting oneself into proper perspective greatly improves one's life and the lives of those around him.
    They bought you very little, so you appreciated everything you had. And you took care of it. When your bike broke, you figured out how to fix it. Or your dad fixed it. In either case, you understood you weren't getting a new one, not any time soon. You loved your mom and dad, but you left home as early as possible because you were absolutely certain you could make a better life for yourself than they were willing to make for you. And you were right!
    Back then, elementary school classes often held more than forty children, most of whom came to first grade not knowing their ABCs. Back then, your mother didn't give you much, if any, help with your homework. Yet at the end of first grade, and every subsequent grade in fact, those kids were outperforming today's kids in every subject, and today's moms think good moms help with homework.
    Today's parents still pay the bills, buy the clothes, prepare the food, and so on, but by some strange twist, they treat their children as if they are the most important people in the family. Parents don't act bigger any more either. When they talk to their children, they get down to their level, like they're petitioning the king, and they whine, as in, "Do you think you can stop what you're doing for a minute and help Mommy carry in the groceries?" The rule seems very simple: Parents ask children to do things, and children take their requests under consideration.
     Today's typical mom and dad pay a lot more attention to the children than they do to one another. They also talk more to them, do more for them, and take more interest in them. It would seem that today's parents are the satellites, orbiting around the children, who are obviously big fish and getting bigger all the time. And so, today's kids leave home later, and many of them come back home (the so-called "boomerang child") because they never learned certain fundamentals, as in don't spend more than you earn.
    Sometimes people accuse me of what's called "Golden Age" thinking. I "idealize" the 1950s, they say. I disagree. I only say what is statistically verifiable: The 1950s was a better time for kids. According to mental health statistics, we were happier than today's kids, by far. In that regard, the latest research finds that obedient children are much happier than disobedient children. The latest research also finds that kids from homes where their parents' marriages are strong do better in school, regardless of IQ.
    There I go again-idealizing common sense.

Read more of John Rosemond's articles here. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easy Bake oven

Every time I make a cake or cupcakes, the girls drag out their
Easy Bake oven. You remember the 60's kiddie oven that cooks your desserts with a light bulb? Today the girls used my leftover batter and made a chocolate with sprinkle disaster cake (see pic). They got pumped up about their little treat, plugged it in, set the microwave timer and then just danced around giddy until it was ready to frost. Don't buy the stingy cake or frosting packages made for the oven just use your leftover cornbread, cookie, cake, pancake batter...easy pleasy. Read more about the new eco-friendly no light bulb snazzy purple one here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

TV - the reward

TV is a reward for start behavior. Today the girls get to watch a show AFTER they put away their laundry, sweep the dining room floor and clean off the table. We are also doing a sticker chart for start behavior. Fill the chart and you get a treat from the dollar store.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Reading 123 Magic again. Remember to time positive behavior/activities (cleaning room, homework) and count down negative behavior (whining, fighting, screaming, fits, not listening).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kid Responsibility

So I was talking to my friend the other day and she has her kid...gasp...make his own breakfast and lunch...breathe...what the? I seriously didn't understand how she was doing it but all the while I'm thinkin'...I have to do some form of now. So... here begins operation  Kid Responsibility. They are never too young to start this! Here's what I am diligently having the girls do each day:  put their dishes in the sink, help make or set table for breakfast, and do a chore each day. Sigh. Keep track of all this with a dry erase/chalk board, piece of a paper or the wall calendar.  Read more on responsibility on John Rosemond's site.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

bento lunches

Bento boxes are a fun way to pack and organize your kiddie's lunches. I bought my BPA-free Sistema lunch boxes at TJ Maxx for $3.99. The built-in compartments separate your food and eliminate the need to use one-use plastic baggies. They also have to go mugs which I have seen at Safeway for about $5. Bonus - My girls actually like packing their lunches now!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

best cookies...ever

I can only take credit for finding them on Pinterest and taking the time to make em. This chocolate chip cookie ingredients are basic but you do interesting things like... browning more than a stick of butter on the stove, adding egg yolk, and stirring the sugar and butter for 30 seconds then waiting 3 minutes and then stirring again. The cookie was perfect. Here's a link to the recipe.  I also threw in peanut butter chips, peanut butter and walnuts to the remaining batter (far right stack of cookies). Another home run!  Let me know if you make these tasty rounds of joy.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

school mornings - part 2

So in this blog entry I shared with you my plan to ease up those nutty school mornings by requiring the kiddies to come dressed to the breakfast table. This has worked OK but the girls had way too much free time after breakfast. So I had to thrown in a few more gritty details: 
  • clothes AND socks on AND hair done before breakfast
  • brushing teeth occurs right after breakfast
  • shoes are on feet immediately following teeth cleaning
  • coat goes on next
  • finally, play time can occur if there is anytime left...
 We actually only missed the bus once this past week! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The ut oh bin

Tired of messy bedrooms?  Through with stepping on toys?  Me too. I found this idea on Pinterest and changed it just a bit to increase the pain. Simple idea. Grab an empty bin and walk around the house and fill that puppy up with everything on the floor. Put a little note on it.  Mine said this:
You left it out.  MOM picked it up. She’s got your stuff and you are out of LUCK. To get it back, you must do a CHORE and again it is yours, just like before. Hurry, don’t be a PILL, on Saturday it goes to GOODWILL!

My girls were pretty darn mad.  On Saturday morning I gave them 1/2 hour to clean and after that anything on the floor was going out the door. They moved fast. Absolute success. Let me know if you try this out!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

school mornings - the easy way

Monday can't come soon enough. Here's my plan to a scream-free, catch the school bus morning - girls only get to eat breakfast after they have their school clothes on and hair done. Very simple concept and will bring gobbles and gobbles of structure to very complex, time-driven hectic morning. Keep you posted. Please share your morning tips!

Quick and easy, eco-friendly Kid Tips for parents. Email your parenting tips and kiddie tips to