Monday, February 28, 2005

A Can of Green Beans to Make Your Child Feel Important

It never ceases to amaze me...children.

They are such little miracles, and at times I'm just overwhelmed with the responsibility of them.

Tonight as I watched my daughter, Maegan, I was amazed at how excited she was, how important that she felt - all because of a can of green beans.
---------------------ADVERTISEMENT---------------------
Be one of the first 3,000 new or renewing paid subscribers to America’s Most Loved Homeschool Magazine and receive 19 gifts-an almost $300 value absolutely FREE!

As a special bonus with a two-year paid subscription ($39.00) to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine the first 3000 new or renewing subscribers will also receive a third year of the magazine for FREE!Don't miss out!

Visit The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to take advantage of this special offer.
----------------------ADVERTISEMENT----------------------

That's right, a can of green beans.

Today was an extremely busy day, so when we got home at 4:45; the kids were hungry and I was tired. So, I decided to warm a frozen lasagne and have that and green beans.

Three-year-old Maegan wanted to help, and tonight was the perfect night since dinner was going to be so simple.

So first, I put the lasagne in the microwave to cook, set the timer, and let Maegan press the 'start' button. That's great excitement to her, you know. I'm sure you've seen the same thing with your toddlers.

Then we put the lasagne in the oven together to brown. She knows where the light button is on the oven, and she loves to be able to check on her food cooking all by herself.

Just before the lasagne was done, I opened the cans of green beans. I gave her a container and the opened cans. She was so excited to pour the green beans into the dish (and that's also good motor development work). She concentrated so hard to make sure all the beans went into the dish. But, the green beans were in a pile, so she asked for a spoon to 'spread out 'her' green beans.' I let her do that, and then we put them in the microwave - with her pressing the start button of course.

Then she went at sat at the table and beamed. I told her thank you for being such a big help to Mom.

She said, 'I love to be a helper, Mom.'

My heart melted. She was so happy and proud to have made dinner. She was so pleased to play such an important role in making dinner.

And, once again, I was reminded how vital it is to make our kids feel important. It's just as necessary for the development of their self-worth as the activities we are so careful to include to progress their motor development.

It's more than just a can of green beans - it was playing the important role.

P.S. Cooking with preschoolers is good for their motor development and for develolping their independence, self-worth, and confidence. To learn how you can cook with all your kids, from preschool through 3rd grade, visit Homeschool Cookbook

P.P.S. Help your child feel important by allowing them to help with an easy dinner. Read above to learn a fast, simple way to do that.

Feel free to forward this email to any family and friends that might be helped with this story.

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 her website .

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.

Friday, February 04, 2005

What Somebody Said About Mothers

My mother-in-law forwarded this to me, and I just thought it was great and wanted to share it with you!!!

Somebody said that a child is carried in its mother's womb for nine months.
Somebody does not know that a child is carried in its mother's heart forever.

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby. Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, normal is history.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct.
Somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring.
Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good."
Somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices.
Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother.
Somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

Somebody said you can't love the fifth child as much as you love the first.
Somebody doesn't have five children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books. Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery.
Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten.

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back. Somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married.
Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heart strings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home.
Somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her.
Somebody isn't a mother.

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, February 02, 2005

Kraft and Nabisco Label for Special Diets

For those of you on special diets, you know the value of great ingredient labeling! I did hear on the radio that all food companies will be required to list things like gluten, but those regulations will not be totally in effect until 2008!!! Now, how could it possibly take three years to change a label? I don't know, but in the meantime, I've been making a lot of phone calls to manufacturers.

Anyway, I can't have yeast, so I've been using Baking Powder. And, when I was reviewing my list of no-no's, I read that baking powder can have wheat in it! Yikes. I can't have wheat or gluten either.

So, I placed a call to Kraft to make sure there was no gluten.

I must say, they were very helpful.

All Kraft and Nabisco products have accurate labeling. If there is a questionable ingredient, they break it down in parenthesis afterward so that you don't have to worry about "hidden ingredients". And, they informed me that all ingredients listed as natural flavors, food starch, and modified food starch are only from corn, rice, or tapioca.

So, maybe you "seasoned" - pardon the pun :-) - gluten-free individuals already know this, but hopefully it will be helpful to those newbies like myself.

And, hey, even if you don't have special dietary requirements, it's nice to know that Kraft and Nabisco products are so accurate in labeling. And, if you don't normally check ingredient lists, I encourage you to do so. I've been amazed at how the "same" products have different lists!

For example, I was buying some baking chocolate squares to use; and I just assumed they were all the same and picked a box and took it home. Then, when I went to use it, I read the ingredients and found it had milk in it! And, it wasn't even titled milk chocolate like the others that contained milk. So, back to the store. The other baking chocolate was indeed pure, dark chocolate.

Anyway, label checking can be very enlightening as to what you're putting in your body. I can't describe how much my health has improved since going "natural" and "organic" and "soy". It definitely costs more at the grocery store; but hey, who can add up the cost of a Mom fatiqued, irritable, and constantly catching every illness within a two mile radius? I think everyone will agree that a higher grocery bill is well worth it.

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.


Indoor Winter Activities

Last night when my husband got home from work, he told me the temperature was already -12 degrees F. Brrrrr. Today is still super cold, so I think we'll spend the day indoors. Which, of course, means to pull from my repertoire of indoor activities.

So, while I'm thinking what we'll do today to keep the munchkins busy after we do school, I thought I might as well share it with you too!

---------------Advertisement-------------------
RECIPES FOR HEARTWARMING

Yes, at the Kids Recipe Club, you'll find recipes that will literally warm up your innards and recipes that will warm the heart of your Valentine!

Don't miss out: http://www.kidsrecipeclub.com
--------------Advertisement-------------------

So, here's our plan today:

  1. Some Cooking: Start a pot of stew! That way, by this evening, we'll have a nice, comforting meal ready and waiting. My favorite stew recipe is Five Hour Beef Stew found at the Kids Recipe Club . There are also a few other stew recipes. If you have a favorite stew recipe that you'd like to share with the Recipe Club, please do so. Just click "submit your recipe" in the "Kids Recipes" menu box. While we cook, I think today we'll talk about the different nutrients in the vegetables we will be using and why they are important to our diets.
  2. Some Homeschool - we took a day off yesterday because the kids weren't feeling too well, but today is a definite. We will need to burn a little brain power to help deal with cabin fever and built up energy. Don't forget about the Free Math Worksheet (Decoding Fun) and Free Coloring Pages .
  3. Some Lunch - today we will be having sandwiches and home made hot chocolate. I like to do sandwiches with the kids as another way to help develop hand muscles. Slicing (when age appropriate, of course!) and spreading require use of gross and fine motor skills. The homemade hot chocolate creates camaraderie, encourages logical thinking, and is just downright enjoyable on a cold day! Here's where we'll select our beverage recipe .
  4. Some Energy burning - yes, I realize that the hot chocolate sugar is going to escalate things :-), so we'll immeadiately do something very taxing! We'll start with some jumping jacks. The kids love them and that helps with coordination too. Then we'll do a "bear hunt" and walk around the house doing movements for marching, swimming, climbing - hey, we'll probably go up and down the stairs a few times too. That'll give me a nice workout too! And then, to cool down, we'll play a little tug of war with our puppy.
  5. Some quite time - after our physical activity, we'll all sit down on the sofa and I'll read to them. Right now, we are reading two books. And, the one I'm pretty sure they'll want to hear today is some more of Where the Red Fern Grows. I'm just dreading getting to the end!!!
  6. Some cooperative working together - it'll be getting close to dinner time by now. So, as a family, we'll set the table and get everything ready to enjoy our heart-warming stew!

So, if you want, you can follow our plan - or maybe it will spur some ideas of your own "shut-in" day.

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.