Friday, July 29, 2011

27 Ways to Get Your Child Hooked on Books

I got this list from

1. Develop reading readiness by reading to your baby.
2. Introduce your baby to the world through books. (ex. if you are reading a simple book that mentions a banana, show your baby a real banana)
3. Give your child a book box (like a toy box, but for books!)
4. Allow your child to take part in choosing books
5. Show interest in reading.
6. Set aside part of your child's allowance to be spent only on books.
7. Ask relatives and friends who normally give gifts to your children to give them books or magazing subscriptions.
8. Reserve a shelf in your bookcase for your child.
9. Help your children to make their own books.
10. Help your child make colorful bookmarks out of construction paper.
11. Introduce your child to the public library during his or her preschool years.
12. Check with your local libraries and bookstores for dates when children's book authors will be reading or signing their books.
13. Help your child write to a favorite author.
14. Buy a good set of encyclopedias for your child.
15. Also, make sure to have a dictionary in your child's reference library.
16. Make sure your child reads some activity books such as cookbooks or gardening books.
17. Create a reading area for your child.
18. Read and dicuss stories with your children.
19. Get your child involved inthe stories they read. (ask what they would do if they found themselves in a similar situation, etc.)
20. Play reading games. (You know the kind where each person adds a sentence to the story)
21. Limit how much TV your child watches.
22. Evcourage your children to exercise their imaginations by having them draw characters or places they read about in their favorite books.
23. Collect old books your children have outgrown and donate them to book drived held by children's hospitals, churches or other organizations which help the needy.
24. Encourage your child to write often.
25. Help your child keep track of the books he or she has read by keeping a journal with the title, author, and date completed of each book read.
26. Play a game I call "Give-the Story-An-End." Just before the end of a story, ask your children to make up theor own endings.
27. For more information on books for children, visit

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lessons from the ER

Wednesday night we were in the ER with Miss J. She got a spider bite on her face and it was swelling her eyes shut. The ER here is terribly managed we found out. We waited for 4 hours!! Thankfully I had the diaper bag that I take to church still in the car. It was still loaded with books, toys and quiet activities, as well as snacks and drinks (which was good because the water fountain was broken). We were able to keep the kids somewhat under control as well as entertain another little girl who found herself in the unfortunate circumstance of being in this ER for HOURS.

It was such a blessing that I hadn't unpacked it from the car like I usually do. It got me thinking though. We are always told to prepare for an emergency. Get your 72 hour kits together, Prepare an emergency pack for your car in case you break down in the middle of winter, etc. But for this particular emergency, a well-packed diaper bag was exactly what was needed.

When we got in the car and left the house, we weren't headed to the ER. However, after calling the doctor on our way home from Wal-Mart we had a change of plans. We have probably all had instances when a few well-placed supplies for our children would have been heaven sent. I think I am going to keep a bag with some toys and snacks, as well as fresh undies, diapers, and wipes in the car at all times. You just never know when it will come in handy.

What about you? What do you think are some essentials for a Kid emergency pack.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birthday Cake Ideas - Birthday Cakes Recipes for Kids | FamilyFun


Birthday Cake Ideas - Birthday Cakes Recipes for Kids | FamilyFun

I love this website!  This is where I found the instructions for Jane’s birthday cake that looked like a lamb.  Everything turns out looking awesome, but it isn’t super hard, and doesn’t take a cake decorating whiz.  They have all sorts of styles of cake to choose from, it doesn’t have to be birthday cake either!


I made these this last Christmas and they were delectable. They are super light and fluffy with just a hint of lemon. I think they would make a great summertime dessert.


4 egg whites

1 pinch salt

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 tsp grated lemon zest


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large glass or metal bowl whip egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until mixture can hold a soft peak. Gradually add in sugar while continuing to whip mixture to stiff peaks. **This can take a little while, don't give up. Make sure it holds a nice stiff peak, to ensure fluffiness**

3. Fold in lemon zest. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheet.

4. Bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven or until cookies peel off without resistance. Cool on wire racks and then store in an air-tight container at room temp.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Potty Training Poetry

There was a red trike at the store
Miss J wanted to ride out the door.
So we said it was hers,
if she only would first,
Wear underwear forevermore.

Eight hours in no problems yet,
Minnie mouse underwear was a pretty good bet.

One day, no poop yet.
Are those pebbles on the floor?
Poop. Poop. Poop. Darn-it.

To be or not to be potty trained, that is the question.
For whether tis nobler in a day
to suffer the stinks and harrow-ing smells of outrageous diapers,
Or take a stand against late night drinks
And by opposing end them? To cry, to sleep.
No more. and by a sleep to say we end
the cleaning, and the thousand "nature calls"
that toddlers are heir to. 'tis a fantasy
devoutly to be wished. She cries, no sleep.

Today no misses,
My heart flutters with the thought.
Now, just don't jinx it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chicken Thyme Penne

I got this out of my Betty Crocker cookbook. Make this tasty, cook summer dinner in the morning when it is cool. Leave it in the fridge all day and then just pull it out and serve it up!

3 cups uncooked penne pasta (10 oz)
4 cups cubed cooked chicken (cook it however you want)
2 cups red grapes, halved
2 medium stalks celery, sliced
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 TBS olive or vegetable oil
2 TBS chopped fresh or 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1 1/4 cups mayo
1 TBS milk
1 TBS honey
1 TBS ground mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (to toast walnuts put them in the oven at 350 F on an ungreased cookie sheet for 6-10 min, until lightly brown)

1. Cook and drain pasta. Rinse with cold water; drain.

2. In a very large bowl, mix pasta, chicken, grapes, celery and onion. In a small bowl, mix oil and 1 TBS/1 tsp. thyme. Pour oil mixture over chicken mixture; toss to coat.

3. In small bowl, mix mayo, milk, honey, mustard, salt, and remaining thyme. Cover chicken mixture and mayo mixture separately and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

4. Up to 2 hours before serving, toss chicken mixture and mayo mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, stir in 3/4 cup of the walmuts. Sprinkle salad with remaining nuts.

Milk Jug Sprinkler

This is a fun water toy that you can make from an old milk carton (which means you can brag about it being free and green, right?) Fill a clean milk carton up with water. Put the cap on. Turn the milk carton over and punch holes into the bottom. The more holes, the better. I used a teeny, tiny screw driver, a nail or any other sharp object would also work. Empty out enough water so that your child can hold the jug and hald it over. It is a nice sprinkle toy.

Leave the cap off to allow kids to refill the jug themselves, and have twice the pouring action.

Beat the Heat...and Clean!

It's hot outside!! Too hot to be outside for little ones. And inside isn't much better! Get some cleaning done and keep the kids cool at the same time. Sweep up your kitchen and dining room floors nice and spiffy. Then fill up several bowls of nice cool water. Place them around the kitchen and dining room. PUll out your spoons, measuring cups, sponges, water toys etc. Let your kids have at it for as long as they want.

Then simply take a towel and wipe up the water being sure to focus on any sticky parts. You can add soap to the water if you want and if you know your kids won't eat it). It won't be the deepest clean your house has ever seen, but it works! Who doesn't want to kill two birds with one stone?

The Cream Rises

I once heard an experienced mother describe looking back on the memories of her life as a mother. She summed it up with "The cream rises".

As mothers, sometimes we work so hard to make good memories with our children. But, more often than not, things don't always go as planned. Tired toddlers cry through the entire dinner, a whiny child wants you to hold them instead of walk the hike themselves. I've come to realize that while these experiences may not be what we envisioned for a fun family night, when we look back on that night it will be with sweet feelings and memories. Sometimes we don't even remember the annoying parts at all, merely the fact that we were together, doing something as a family. Which leads me to this story.

The heat wave that's sweeping the nation hit us yesterday. It was hot and humid, and our house only has one small window AC unit, only meant to cool about 200 sq. ft. Our family was sitting in front of the tv just melting. Miss J, usually a ball of energy, just slumped in a chair and whined. More out of a worry about overheating than quality family time, I acted. We all went upstairs and turned our large jetted tub into a nice cool pool! I even put on my swimsuit and got in. Suddenly my kids were happy, and laughing. We had a splish-splashy water fight and felt much better.
Later that night when it was bedtime, we moved the AC unit upstairs to our bedroom and laid the kids in our bed. I laid down with them and tried to get them to sleep. But the heat of the day, the change of routine, and the light from outside kept little eyes from closing. At 9, after about a half hour of everyone laying bed staring out the window, I got bored. We all got out of bed, loaded up the car, turned on the AC full blast and went and got ice cream. I was secretly hoping the kiddos would fall asleep in the car...but they didn't. That was ok though, after we ate our ice cream, both kids were ready for bed and fell asleep quickly.
Already my memory of yesterday is sweetening by the minute. I can readily admit that I had been eyeing the clock since 7 just waiting to be able to put those litte babies down. It was hot. Really, really hot! Sticky, sweaty, hot! The kids were so whiny, and crying at the drop of a hat. And yet, when I think about yesterday, I think about splashing in the tub, a late night ice cream trip, and applying a cool wash cloth to Miss J's neck throughout the night.
And that is what I always want to remember. That is why I am writing it down here. I always want to remember my sweet kids yesterday. I want to remember getting creative to beat the heat. I will always look back on this memory and smile. I will always remember that is was hot; but I won't really be thinking about that part.

The cream rises.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back on the World Wide Web!

Well, I am finally back on the internet...with dial-up! Yuck! It is just a short term measure until we can get something a little more up to date. I can't believe how slow it is. How did we ever work with this? haha You other authors on this blog can feel free to write something anytime too!

So what did I learn from the big move? A LOT!

1. Moving is much easier when the grandparents help! Thank you so much.
2. The last little bit of packing and loading up the truck is a pain in the rear. Find a babysitter for the kids for this part if possible.
3. Paper plates, cups and plastic cutlery. Need I say more?
4. For the car trip, invest in some new toys. The really cheap $5 and under Wal-Mart toys work great, and then throw in one or two larger toys. Let each child play with one at a time and rotate them. The newness of the toys interspersed with a portable DVD player really saved our bacon.
5. Learn as many fun songs as you can. Turn around in your seat and sing them over and over and over and over! haha

That's about it. Moving is hard work! I am trying to adjust to "real life", and it hasn't been easy. There are many days where I feel lonely and isolated. Not having internet didn't help any either.

So here is my question. What do you do to fight the isolation and loneliness that can sometimes happen as a stay-at-home mom?