Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Magic Whirlpool

Before this week's Q&A;, I'd like to share something personal with you.

My husband is the greatest, without a doubt!

Yesterday, my 3 year old daughter Maegan was coming up the stairs crying. I called out to her, "Maegan, what's wrong?"

"I fell....." she cried.

I went to the stairs to meet her and started down, carrying the phone and the mail I was reading - without my glasses...

Needless to say, my vision is not what it once was. And, although I terribly need bifocals; I haven't gotten them yet because I'm not even 40!!!

Anyway, not paying close attention, and not wearing my glasses...I misjudged my distance from Maegan and stepped on her foot.

Feeling it, I didn't put my weight down on it. Instead, I slipped off of it like ice. And, not wanting to fall on her, I contorted my body around to miss her!

As you're probably seeing in your mind right now, I had a very long tumble down the stairs. :-)
When I landed at the bottom, I looked up at Maegan still standing there and said, "Are you okay?" And she burst out in tears - not because she was hurt - but because my fall scared her. Bless her heart.

Needless to say, in a few hours, I was so sore I could hardly move.

And, you know what my husband did? He got me a room with a jacuzzi at a hotel and sent me off there for the afternoon and to spend the night.

I practically slept in that magic whirlpool of water....but the relief to my aching body was wonderful!!!!

So, today I sit here sooo much better, and truly blessed to have such a kind, thoughtful man to take care of me!

Oh - it's not my first time down the stairs. My mom and dad are probably laughing because it was a regular occurance in my house when I was a teen to hear the "thump, thump, thump" of my rear end boucing down the hardwood stairs.

That's what I deserved for going down so fast in my socks all the time!! But, you know what? As a teen, I don't remember hurting more than a few minutes.

Of course, I wasn't trying to fall around a three year old! I'm sure most of you have experienced child-dodging down the stairs!

Anyway...on to today's Q&A;:

"Hi! Do you know of a recipe for waffles that can be frozen and then toasted later? Thanks in advance."

L.B.: Everytime I make waffles or pancakes, I make way more batter than I need and go ahead and make a bunch extra. I then let them cool, and place two in a sandwich zipper bag and plop in the freezer. Then in the morning, I take the bag, bread apart the two waffles; and pop them in the toaster. They are absolutely delicious! They only thing you have to remember is to make them a size that will fit in your toaster. They are super quick and easy - and we usually toast the pancakes and spread on some jelly and eat it like toast.

"Hi. I was wondering if you have any suggestions - One of the guys I work with burned a bag of popcorn in the microwave last night. It still smells pretty awful. Can I wash it out with vinegar?"

L.B.: I wouldn't do that. The smell of the vinegar would never go away. I would try to clean it out by putting a bowl of water in the microwave and boiling it. That will loosen stuff for you to clean the inside. If the smell is still there, you might try doing that with some lemon or vanilla in the water. And, I'd leave the microwave open so that it can air out. But, if you have soot where you can't clean, it might just be better to replace the microwave as they don't cost much now-a-days. Laura

"Hi Laura, I'm looking for some "neat" Ocean pictures. I loved the dolphins and the starfish too and will use them for our Ocean Project. Thank's for sending them. Thank You also for the E-Mails too, Jane."

L.B.: Thanks, Jane. The only Ocean pictures I have right now are the ones that you have. But, I'll keep that in mind and add more of them when I come across them! Laura

"Hi. I am a sophomore in high school, and my mother is thinking about homeschooling me. We have never experimented with this type of education before, and therefore know absolutely nothing about it. I accidentally stumbled upon your site, and decided to ask you for any info. you can offer us. Please help us, because we wish to know the requirements of homeschooling in Fla. Thank you very much. Signed, Leecy"

L.B. Hi Leecy. You can have your Mom visit the site where you emailed me from and check out the requirements for the state of Florida:

http://www.homeschoolingrequirements.com/FL.htm

That page also have resources for information and support that you are seeking. Good luck! Laura

"My 6.5 year old son is a very high strung child (like his mother!). When it comes to making the simplest choices he can't make up his mind. For example, at snack time today I gave him the choice of pretzels or popcorn. He couldn't decide and had a meltdown resulting in a timeout. He yells at me, "You HAVE to give me both!!!" He cries and is obviously truly frustrated. I, too, have trouble deciding over two things sometimes. How can I help him not "freak out" when it comes to decisions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!" Michelle in Savannah

L.B.: Michelle, to be perfectly blunt, you are missing out on some very fundamental and basic principles of child-rearing and discipline:

  1. You are an adult. Your son is a child. You are responsible and in control of your child.
  2. Your having problem deciding between two things is really irrelevant due to the fact that you're an adult and have issues and privelages that has nothing to do with rearing a child
  3. Kids need boundaries - they DO NOT NEED CHOICES!!!!! I can't stress that enough. When you feed your child, you give him the food you want, on the plate you want, in the cup you want, and with the snack that you want. You can not give a 6.5 year old the privelages of an adult - they are not designed to handle it...they have not been TRAINED how to handle it.
  4. Your 6.5 year old yells at you????? You better get a serious hold on this situation or in a few years, you'll have a child who will be hitting you.

Here's how you help your child NOT FREAK OUT:

First, don't give him the choice. He doesn't need it. I occasionally give my children a choice, but for the most part, there is no choice and there is no issude to deal with.


Secondly, if he whines and complains about the snack he is given; take it away. If he continues to complain or throws a fit, discipline him. And that's not "talking to him" or "explaining to him". It's setting up a controled, loving punishment that mandates compliance to your rules.

Thirdly, when you have to decide between two things - JUST PICK ONE! What does it matter? If you don't know what you want enough to make an immediate decision, just close you eyes and pick one. That example will go a long way for your child too.


Fourthly, don't make an issue out of something when you don't have to. Why battle over how a child handles making choices? Just take the choice away until they are able to handle it. Doing this in other areas too will make your life a lot easier.


Well, that's enough for today. Actually, I feel pretty worked up about this "choice" thing, so let me end with something positive!!!

"Thanks, Laura! I cook with our kids, too, and it definitely pays off! Have a great week... Pietra Gaebel"

L.B.: Thanks, Pietra! I'm glad you understand and benefit from being a Mom and spending quality time with you kids that also teaches them creative life skills!!!! Laura


Other Comments from the Mail:
"Dear Laura, As the mother of three sons and a daughter I find that your list is fantastic and reminding me of the younger years when my oldest aged ALMOST 12 years , was about 7 and the youngest boy was just a year old. Wow.. And so you know.. laundry baskets also make great forts for a four year old princess who is actually disguising herself to lure the knights over and whack them with the paper towel roll. Thank you so much Laura. Aloha to you and God bless ya. Kisha"

"Laura, Thank you for your concern, but I am in Utah so am safe. Your prayers are very well appreciated because I do have an aunt and cousin in Orlando. Amber"

"Laura, My feelings exactly. I thank you for coming out and saying what is wrong with today's youth. That show was an eye-opener. I had my children sit down and watch the behavior of those kids. I explained to them that this is what happens when you don't spank, as God has instructed us to do. My kids know the reasons behind punishment they receive, and they love us all the more for giving them boundaries for their own safety. Sincerely, Liz"

Have a great weekend!
Laura

P.S. To start quality time with your kids, get your Homeschool Cooking With Kids System in a Box at http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

P.P.S. If you want to start today, you can: get the download and Recipe Archive access this very second at http://www.kidsrecipeclub.com

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Snow Suit Halloween Costumes

Well, in just a few more days, it will be Halloween.

You know, when most people think of halloween, they think of little kids going door to door in costumes...

But NOT here!

It was just over thirteen years ago when I first learned about these snow suit costumes.

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OVER 50 FAST, EASY, FUN, Kid-Friendly HALLOWEEN RECIPES

Want it all? Well, now you can have it all! The Homeschool Cookbook on download with FREE instant access to over 50 Halloween recipes. These recipes are easy and fun - great for a group of a variety of ages - some regular, some cute, and some downright GROSS! Get your complete Cookbook and FREE Halloween Recipes NOW!
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That was the year we moved to Anchorage, Alaska!

Sure 'nuf...in September, the ground was covered in a blanket of snow. And by Halloween, the snow was several feet deep.

But, there they were. The die-hard kids going door to door in their costumes - covered by snow suits!

Yes, there have been a few years when there wasn't snow on the ground - but this year is not one. Isn't that weird? I think it is!!

Have a fun weekend with your family.

P.S. Get your FREE Halloween Recipes and crafts with your membership at http://www.kidsrecipeclub.com

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember this story about a mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor! next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, ' I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.
The sand is everything else-the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important.'

So, pay attention to the things that are most important. Take care of your health - cook with your kids! - spend time with those you love.

There's always time to clean the house - it's a never ending job anyway :-).

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

Wondering what the coffee represents?

No matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend - or a soda if you're like me and don't drink coffee!!

Please share this with someone you care about!!!

P.S. Remember that cooking with your kids is one of the golf balls - one of the important things in life. If you're doing it, CONGRATULATIONS. If you're not, what are you waiting for??? http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

P.P.S. If a friend of family member was thoughtful and forwarded this to you, sign up for your own free daily tips at http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com so that you don't miss out!!

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Spare the Sticker, Spoil the Child

Four weeks ago, I was looking around my living room, disgusted.

I had just come downstairs from spending an almost solid 4 days in bed from being sick.

I was looking at a pig-pen. I couldn't believe my eyes.

I immediately went back upstairs and crawled in bed. At that point, I couldn't even deal with looking at it. I had no energy.

Obviously, my children weren't learning the neatness I was trying to teach them. And I needed to come up with a solution.

A solution without work. A solution without yelling and nagging at the kids.

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COOKING TIP: Easiest Glaze on Earth

Making frosting is pretty easy, but a little messy. Here's a way to get the easy without the messy. Buy a can of prepared buttercream or creamcheese flavored frosting. Microwave it for 20-30 seconds and stir until it is melted enough to pour. Drizzle it over your bundt cake. You can also take some chopped nuts and sprinkle on top or sprinkle on some cinnamon or whatever fits the flavor of your cake.
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So, after much thought - and now 4 weeks of experimentation - I have found the key....mostly stickers, a chart, and a weekly event to look forward to.

I made my little charts and taped them to their bedroom door. Instantaneously, I had three children running around the house to get a sticker.

Amazing, the power of stickers!

If you're a member, you can download your charts at http://www.kidsrecipeclub.com

Now, on to some Q&A;:

Hello,
I would like information on how I can obtain your cooking with kids curriculum. I am currently a teacher in Chicago, I have been teaching 1st-5th graders for the last seven years. I also love to cook and I am in process of opening up a business that would combine my two passions. Thank you. Sincerely, ~Lucia


L.B.: Hi, Lucia. You can purchase online, you can print and mail in or fax the order form, or you can call in your order information to 907-334-8164.

Hi Laura, I'm looking for pages for a 9 year old girl, thank you for replying so quickly. THANKS, Nancy

L.B.: Hi, Nancy. You know, that's the beauty about coloring. It can be enjoyed by so many ages. From a 2 year old scribbles, to the gorgeous entries that we get for the coloring contest. Most of the free coloring pages that are available on my homeschooling library site are for younger children, but there are older pages included on the coloring page e-list. For Christmas, your daughter would enjoy the Giant Coloring Page I had designed by a professional for my children.

I NEED SOME BLANK LESSON PLANS I JUST STARTED MY DAYCARE AND I NEED A FEW DIFF LESSON PLANS IDEAS THANKYOU, TAMI

L.B.: Hi, Tami, congratulations on starting your business! That is really exciting. In our family carpet cleaning business, I have found the most profitable time to be spent in developing systems and products unique to my business - and helped me grow in the process. For new things that come up in my business that I don't know about, I usually hire out to get it done right. Not knowing what you need, here are a few choices:

Hi, I'm trying to find some receipes or ideas of things that I can make for main meals without milk, cheese and eggs because I want to prepare things we all can eat. Most of the receipes I've seen are full of milk and eggs. Any suggestions?? Thanks, Melanie

L.B.: Hi, Melanie. I've not been able to tolerate dairy very well. My Mom says she couldnt' even give it to me as a baby - mayber that's what's wrong with me ;-). No, I'm very sensitive to those like myself that have to select special recipes, so in the members section, I've already placed some free dairy-free recipes and diabetic recipes - check those out at the Kids Recipe Club.


Laura,
I wanted to share this funny comment my 8 year old said today. We were preparing to make a cake from a mix to use as a science project to illustrate how mountains form when the earths plates push together. My toddler woke up early from his nap, so I handed the mix to Jenny and told her to read the directions. She read them outloud to me. We discussed the fraction measurements a little. Then she was quiet for a while. She then asked "What are these high altitude directions for??" I asked "Do you know what high altitude means??" She responded, "Is that when you want to make a really tall cake?!" She was so serious and I was about to burst out laughing. It was such a precious comment...Marianne

L.B. Marianne! That is soooo precious! I just love it. I can just picture that fun and the great laugh the two of you had together. She'll never forget that moment! Way to go!!

Well, there are tons of more emails that there is just not time enough to answer. But, as you may well expect, there were quite a few responses to the "unpatirotic homeschooler" article.

Here are a few:

"Amen girl, I agree with you 100 %. With responsibility comes privilege. Serve God and country, with joy. Wave that banner, our beautiful flag. Never be ashamed of her!!!!!" Nora Shepherd

"Well, then I'm unpatriotic, because as a history teacher and a PhD candidate, I can tell you that the only war in my opinion that was justified in the last 100 years was WW2, so if a draft comes about, I will be moving out of the country with all of my children....GLADLY" (Anonymous)

To read the other positive - and negative - feedback, click here

Well, I hope you are having a blessed Lord's day.

Sincerely,

Laura Banskton

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Cooking with Kids Week

Hey,

Last night I was watching the food network, like I have off and on this week.

Sometimes I like to watch it, most the time I don't. I don't watch a lot of T.V. in the day, obviously, as we homeschool. And in the evening, there's dinner and family time before the kids go to bed, and then I do work.

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COOKING TIP:

For recipes that call for sauteeing and ask for garlic to be added with other items in oil before you start sauteeing, add the garlic last. That will help prevent it from burning and have the best flavor possible.

Cooking tips, tons of recipes, and special recipe downloads, are available 24 hours a day at the Recipe Club website.

If you purchased your Cooking With Kids System with the Recipe Club, your username and password will be emailed to you today - so if you don't get it, let me know.
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So, anyway, I had seen an advertisement that this week was going to be "Cook with Your Kids Week".

It's very interesting to see that they are saying the same things that I've been saying for almost two years now:

  1. Cooking with your kids creates a bond
  2. Cooking with your kids gives them confidence
  3. Cooking with your kids is fun
  4. Cooking with your kids reinforces math skills
  5. Cooking with your kids teaches them a skill that will last a lifetime

Blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, it's great that they are finally giving out, what is in my opinion, the most important aspects of cooking...

BUT IT SHOULD BE FOR MORE THAN 1 WEEK A YEAR!

Sure, it's a reminder, but one week a year of anything is not enough for our kids. They need to be exposed to it week after week, year after year, for it to take hold and become a part of their lives.

And, I'm not talking about the "life skill" part.

I'm talking about the "life-time family connection" part.

Something that they will pass on down to their children.

So, let this week be a reminder of the importance of cooking with our kids. But, let it also be a time to start afresh - to commit to this vital part of parenting.

Sincerely,

Laura Bankston

P.S. Now's the time to start your commitment to consistently cook with your kids. Now's the time to get your Cooking With Kids System in a Box. Click Here now.

P.S. Those of you who are willing to join me in this commitment to our kids will also get a FREE glow stick with bracelet adapter - yes, in addition to all the other FREE bonuses - while supplies last. Only when you order now.

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: “Homeschool Cooking in a Box� and the “Homeschool Cookbook�. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Are you an unpatriotic Homeschooler?

Yesterday, I sat here at my computer and read some emails. And, frankly, I was blown away.

This one emal was from a homeschooling mom.

She was talking about being patriotic. She said that she teaches her children to love her country, but that we are here in this country for freedom. And if we require a citizen to do something (like the draft), then we are violating their rights to freedom.

She said that she is patriotic - but she really doesn't have a clue.

Who said that having freedom meant that you don't have any responsibilities? No one.

In fact, the more freedom and privelage you have, the more individual responsibility you have.
I mean really - if freedom means doing something you don't want to do or not having to do anything - then why have laws? Why have morals?....

Fortunately, our fore-fathers did not feel the same about their country. If none of them were willing to serve their country to protect their freedom, we wouldn't have it today.

And personally, in my opinion, if anyone is not willing to fight for their country when the need desperately exists, they need to move to Canada. Because they don't deserve to be an American.
  1. My kids are taught to be patriotic.
  2. They are taught to love their flag.
  3. They are taught how to properly pledge to their flag.
  4. They are taught what they flag means and represents.
  5. They are taught proper etiquette for care of their flag
  6. They are taught about communities, and freedoms, and responsibilities.
  7. They are taught how and why their father decided to become a member of the military and actively serve his country.
  8. They are taught how to care for property, respect others, and stand for what they believe in

That is being patriotic.


NOT sitting around, saying "I'm in a free country, you don't have to make me do anything I dont' want to."

How completely, utterly selfish.

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: “Homeschool Cooking in a Box� and the “Homeschool Cookbook�. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

What every new mother needs to know about boys

Today a friend sent me an email.

In it, was a list of things that boys are known for. Reading them reminded me of all the things about boys I never knew - things a new mother really ought to know!


1. A VCR does not want to suck on a pacifier. In fact, it gets so mad when you try, it won't give it back.

2. A 7 year old picks the only one second silence in the movie theatre to yell, "It's a frog"

3. A lot of toilet paper may flush, but that doesn't mean a whole roll will.

4. The bottle of Mommy's professional hair salon shampoo is not bubble bath.

5. A bottle of hair conditioner doesn't make bubble bath; but it really makes you slippery!

6. One towel may dry you okay after a bath, but 10 is a whole lot better.

7. Telling your child to "get dressed and ready to go bye-bye" apparently means to just put on your underwear and a coat.

8. No matter how much Elmer's glue you put on a dog, it still won't stick to the fence.

9. The fort platform on the swing set makes a great place to see how far you can pee and what you can hit.

10. There is no such thing as "too loud"

11. "picking up" your room means to shove everything under the bunk bed

12. 23 cents will not buy you a hot wheels car no matter how you arrange it.

13. Pennies shoved in the steering wheel of a car make a rattling noise while driving - and honk the horn when the air is humid.

14. People don't understand why you honk around every corner.

15. A laundry basket is a great place to sleep.

16. A cardboard box provides 100 hours more entertainment than the latest toy.

17. You can dig A LOT of holes in a back yard

18. No matter how long you fill your hole with water, it still won't become a swimming pool.

19. "Water the dog" means to give the dog a bath.

20. The police department REALLY shows up at your door when your child hits the "911" memory dial button without hanging up the receiver.

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: “Homeschool Cooking in a Box� and the “Homeschool Cookbook�. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.