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Thursday, November 27, 2014

What's cooking? Wednesday - Better than Pumpkin Pie!

This is a repost from 2012, back by popular demand  :) 
I'm so excited for Fall!  That means I can make this dessert more often!  It's easy (no making pie crust), and makes you feel like you're eating something healthy because it's pumpkin.  :)  If I had to pick a non-chocolate dessert, this would be first on my list!

Better than Pumpkin Pie 

1 pkg. yellow or white cake mix, dry
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 29 oz. can 100% pure pumpkin
1 c. sugar
4 eggs or 1 c. egg replacer
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1 t. salt

Mix dry cake mix and melted butter together until crumbly. 
Pat 1/2 of the crumbs on bottom of a greased 9X13 pan.
Mix pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and spices with wire whisk until blended.
Pour over crumbs.
Sprinkle remaining crumbs evenly over top.
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
Let cool.  Serve with whipped topping.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A smile for the day :)

While driving through downtown, I saw this sign in the window of a corner restaurant.  Laughed so hard!  A lady in a car saw me taking the picture, gave me the thumbs up sign and smiled.   Hope it makes you smile too  :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Social media tips for moms with teens.

Having raised eight teenagers and lived to tell about it, I'd like to share some tips about social media for moms.

1. When your children are old enough for their own Facebook account, make that privilege conditional upon them "friending" you.  As a parent, you need to have some level of control over what your children are doing and who their friends are.
2. Respect your kids and refrain from commenting regularly on their status messages and friend's updates.  No LOL's please!
3. Don't "friend" their friends.  If their friends "friend" you, accept.
4. Don't embarrass them with baby pictures or unflattering pictures without their permission.
5. Teach your kids about social media safety.  No "friending" strangers or even casual acquaintances.  No giving out personal information like phone numbers and addresses in a general post.  If they need to give someone personal information, tell them to message them privately.
6. Along with #5, don't announce vacations, trips and other reasons the family won't be home to the general public either.
7. Save serious discussions for in person.  Facebook isn't the place to "air dirty laundry".

And just for you moms,
8. Don't "friend" old boyfriends.
9. Don't overwhelm your friends with political posts (especially if you are of a different political party).
10. Respect the opinions of others. 
11. Remember, anyone can see what you post online.  Make sure what you post reflects the best of you. 

It's amazing how many teenagers and adults post things that are dangerous, uncomfortable and/or cringe-worthy.  Be wise!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Do you know what your children are being taught?

Our kids are trusting and impressionable!
When you send your children off to school every day, you trust the teacher to teach the basic educational curriculum that will prepare them to reach their future goals.  You expect them to become proficient in math, the sciences, literacy.  You expect them to be treated with fairness and be protected from harm.  You expect that the things they learn won't clash with your values and standards.

Teachers are wonderful people who devote their lives to teaching and training young minds and should be respected for their dedication to their
profession.  Too often though, teachers have little control over the curriculum they are required to present.  They are required to adhere to the dictates given them by school boards and federal mandates.   These may or may not reflect your standards.

Do you know what your children are being taught?  Don't assume you know.  I strongly recommend that you ask permission to check over the textbooks and other material your children are being taught.  Pay attention to laws passed as they concern education.   Know what your children should be mastering at each grade.  Become involved in their schools.  Volunteer.  Ask for parent/teacher conferences if necessary.  Join the PTA and other organizations.  When parents get involved, change can happen.

There are many options for our children's education that weren't available even a few years ago.  Many schools are willing to work with families.  When that isn't a possibility, there are schools, charter schools and/or homeschool, even a combination of some or all of the above. 

I believe that you have the right to see that your children are taught in accordance with the values you hold as a family.  Your children are impressionable and believe the things they are taught in school.  Be a responsible parent and educate yourself.   Know what they are learning!  Stand up for them and the values you hold dear.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Take control of the holidays!

The scariest part of Halloween is that it signals the beginning of the holiday season.  Sure enough, today while shopping, I heard Christmas songs playing in the stores and was bombarded by endless holiday "sales".  It's enough to make me want to run home and put my pillow over my head!  :)  I'm not ready for winter!  I'm not ready for parties and decorating and buying presents. 

But, it does me no good to fight the less than two months it will be the beginning of a new year.  Christmas IS coming.  Thanksgiving IS coming.  I might as well enjoy it.

Instead of dreading the stress of the holidays, let's try something different this year.  Let's take control of our time and plan things around what WE like!  Gather your family around you sometime this week with a calendar and a good attitude.  Discuss what activities, programs, parties and other obligations you ALL want to participate in.  Mark these on your calendar in pen.  Now, in pencil, write down activities that are specific to certain family members (like school holiday activities and office parties) and which are open to negotiation.  Throw in some special traditions (like looking at Christmas light displays and/or caroling).  Now, very important...schedule in some days that are quiet home days!  Consider those as non-negotiable prior commitments!  Those are the days you can watch favorite holiday movies, make cookies, drink hot chocolate and relax. 

Much of the stress of the holidays is self inflicted.  We choose to say "yes" to too many things.  We forget what the holiday season is most and love and gratitude.  We can take control of our time to make time for those closest to us.  So, dig out those Christmas CD's (my favorite is Handel's Messiah!) and start playing them softly in your home.  Light some sweet smelling candles in the evening (maybe cinnamon?). Decorate when YOU want to, regardless of when everyone else is doing it!  Embrace the things that make you happy.

This season, give your family the gift that money can't buy...a happy, calm, relaxed mother and precious holiday memories.  They will love you for it!