Friday, September 19, 2008

Family Friday! The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

How to teach kids about the importance of family

There's nothing more nourishing to one's soul than one's family. Family is the "root" of all that is good in our lives. It is the backbone of our successes in the adult years. The role families play today, are challenged by the changing family patterns in the twenty-first century. However, when parents create the right environment and right combination of simple basics, the family continues to exert a powerful lifelong impact on the children.

Parent's have the unique opportunity to teach their kids the importance and immense value of being an integral part of strong families. Parents can light up and inspire their family with passion, motivation and shared goals. They can cultivate and nurture their family like a garden with tender, loving care. The combination of time, effort and involvement can all go into teaching kids the importance of keeping the family fires glowing.

Here are some of the ways parents can follow to stress the importance of the family to their kids:-

* Setting good examples:

Parents by their own good example can demonstrate to their kids how important the family is to them by putting their family first in all aspects of their lives. They need to demonstrate acts of love and kindness; of thinking fairly and selflessly at all times. They need to respect each child's individuality and give their kids freedom to develop his/her potential to the fullest extent without any undue pressure or suffocating supervision. They need to build up their child's self-esteem with large doses of encouragement.

* Creating a sense of belonging:

Family is the child's first experience at being a member of a social group. It is vital for every member in the family to feel and believe he/she is valuable and respected. This helps to create a sense of belonging. Every child needs to believe that he/she is a contributing member in the family and that others in the family likewise contribute to his/her welfare. By being closely involved in kid's lives, parents can influence their kids to building and maintaining closer family ties.

* Loving unconditionally:

Love is the vital ingredient; the strong foundation on which a child's character can be built. By manifesting unconditional love and trust, parents can infuse feelings of personal worth. Starting a child's day with bouts of encouragement and love and ending it likewise, helps in building the child's self-esteem. Hugs can do a great amount of good, especially in younger children.

This sets a positive chain reaction benefiting the entire family while helping kids to bind closer to each other.

* Spending time together:

Family togetherness in all areas and at every stage of development is beneficial to all its members. Family activities teach life-long lessons. Doing things together, like bowling, biking, hiking; planning family picnics and vacations create some of the most cherished memories. Taking kids camping or a visit to the zoo, museums and theatres, teach children the joys of sharing and giving. Family times spent together eating, reading, singing, dancing, or helping each other in homework and chores around the house, teaches kids the lasting benefits of helping each other in the spirit of true comradeship. By participating in these family activities, children quickly learn all aspects of social inter-action which will have a tremendous impact on how the siblings will behave with each other as adults in later years.

* Communicating family values:

Parents can incorporate the essential values of life into the family lifestyle based on precepts and examples. Character is built by having a good moral compass. By combining faith, hope and love, parents can communicate family values to their kids and raise respectful kids. By setting high standards of behavior, parents can help kids to be meaningful members of the family and the society.

* Family Traditions:

Meaningful family traditions help kids to enjoy a sense of connectivity especially on special Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most families make it a tradition to enjoy doing the same special thing each year like a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Grandparents home or the entire family getting together for Christmas. The essence is in the celebration of family togetherness wherein a child learns the skill of developing a full range of unique individuality traits within the sanctity of the family unit. This is a good time to give opportunities to kids to relate to their extended family members like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousinswhich helps kids to feel proud of their family traditions and cultural heritage.

* In closing

Active parenting is not a burden; it is a reward. What we teach our children is never wasted. Family, is where the diverse chapters of our children's lives, unfold. Ups and downs, crisis and jubilation, tears and laughter, success and failure, all go into the making of family history. The memories created, tie up together to create a lasting impression while teaching our kids the great importance of family.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday!

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Weird! Wednesdays

Weird Wednesdays

Would you look at those cheeks!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tidbit Tuesday

Are you a 80's child? I am and I love 80's music while surfing I came across this site called 80's Music Vids

They have a huge selection of 80's videos to listen to. So go by and check it out and relive the ole' days!

Be sure and pop over to Melinda Zook to what exciting tidbit she has today!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub Make It Yourself Monday

It is time to start thinking fall so to it it off here is a yummy little sugar scrub!


Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of pumpkin seed oil (can use olive oil instead)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (see Pumpkin Puree recipe)
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground allspice
pinch of ground ginger


Mix all ingredients together. Apply generously to clean skin, massaging gently in a circular motion to work well into the skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water, gently pat dry.

Pumpkin Puree

You'll need:

a pie pumpkin* (see notes below)
large sharp serrated knife
ice cream scoop
stick blender


Once you have selected your "pie pumpkin", you'll need to prepare it for use. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water without using soap.

Cut the pumpkin in half with a serrated knife and a sawing motion. I suggest the use of a serrated knife because a smooth knife is more likely to slip and you could hurt yourself.

Scoop out the seends and scrape out the insides. You'll want to get out the stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface. I suggest the use of a heavy ice cream scoop. I find that an ice cream scoop works perfectly for this step.

Remove the stem and put the pumkin into a microwaveable container. You may need to cut the pumpkin further, to make it fit. However, the fewer the number of pieces, the easier it will be to scoop out the cooked pumpkin afterwards. Add a couple of inches of water to the container, cover it, and place in the mircrowave.

Cook the pumpkin on high for 15 minutes then check to see if it is soft. If needed (depending on size and thickness of pumpkin), repeat in smaller increments of time until the pumpkin is soft enough to scoop out. Normally it takes 20 or 30 minutes overall. You can cook the pumpkin on the stovetop, but it will take almost twice as long to do.

Gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin with a tablespoon. The pumpkin should seperate easily and in fairly large sections.

To get pumpkin puree with a nice and smooth consistency, I suggest using a stick blender. The stick blender usually takes only 2 or 3 minutes. However, you can puree the pumpkin with a regular blender or a hand mixer and added patience.

Once done, you should have about 3 cups of pumpkin puree. Your pumpkin puree is now ready to use in your favorite recipes (pie included).

*NOTES: A "pie pumpkin" is smaller and sweeter than the jack-o'-lantern pumpkin. A pie pumpkin's texture is less grainy, as well. A pie pumpkin is only about 8 inches in diameter. When selecting a pie pumpkin, look for one that is firm and has a good orange color. Avoid pumpkins with bruises and soft spots.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Instant Protection Against Dangerous Influences - Family Friday! The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

Family time is a necessity for those wishing to build happy and healthy families. Parents that take time out to eat as a family, play, read, and talk together, teach children that they matter, that relationships are worth nurturing, and that strong family bonds breed success.

Setting aside blocks allocated for family time can be very difficult for busy families. By the time everyone is home from work, school, sports, and other outside activities people are tired, playing a board game seems like the least important item on the to-do list. However, playing a board game, metaphorically, is the most important item to cross off of the list.

Family time is valuable time when parents can take time out to observe their children, follow their children, hug and kiss them, encourage, guide, and laugh. Family time is when children feel comfortable opening up to their parents; this is a time when the mood is relaxed and children feel supported, valued and loved.

Eat together

Studies have shown that the family activity with the greatest positive impact on children, is sitting down together to dinner each evening. Benefits for children include learning patience, (family members should wait for everyone to be served before eating and remain at the table until everyone is through), sitting quietly and calmly to eat, and listening attentively and participating in the conversation. If an evening meal is impossible to schedule, families can find a different meal to gather, a fun idea is to set the table later in the evening when everyone is home, and have dessert together.

Children should be included in meal preparation, setting the table, and clean-up. Although table manners must be taught and reinforced, mealtime should be a pleasant experience with a focus on togetherness. Quick behavioral reminders will reinforce good manners and then conversation can be resumed. Parents should choose to be in a good mood and not let the day’s issues weigh down the meal. After all, this is family time!

Creative planning can make the evening meal easier to put on the table and clean up afterwards. Simple meals, and meals prepared in advance and frozen, are good ways to ease the evening scramble and help keep the focus on family time, not on cooking and cleanup. Instead of spending an hour cleaning the kitchen after the meal, simple meals free up some time in the evening for togetherness.

Shut off the television and the computer

Shutting off the television in the evening helps to place the focus on the people in the house instead of the strangers on the screen. The evening hours spent interacting as a family instead of staring at the television will benefit everyone greatly and will help create warm and lasting memories.

Shutting off the television and the computer eliminates the risk that children will be exposed to damaging levels of violence and sexual content. Experts claim that violence and sexual imagery negatively change the brain chemistry of children, resulting in permanent changes in the brain’s wiring.

Set a relaxed mood

Bathe young children and put them in their pajamas. Put on some light music that isn’t jarring or offensive, this often cues a little impromptu dancing from children, always good for a laugh. No arguing, bickering, or crabbiness. Family time should be warm, joyful and happy. Parents should be demonstrative and giving, snuggle, hug, and kiss the kids and each other. Family time like this is ideal for modeling loving, kind behavior.

Find fun games and activities

The nature of children is to be fun loving and flexible and open to many ideas. Coloring, board games, guessing games, acting, playing with dolls or cars, and reading are all fun things to do together. Allow children to help set the evening agenda. One idea based on the Montessori principal of learning suggests observing the child and leading by following the child.

There are other opportunities during the day for family time

The evening is not the only option for family time. Parents should seek out other times to be together. Take the kids on the morning and afternoon dog walk, invite them to join in on gardening, ask them to help wash the car or help with the laundry. It is probably true that activities will be completed slower with kids as helpers, but their happiness far outweighs the inconvenience.

Parents who zone out each evening in front of the television or computer for hours and hours rob children of the necessary family time that they need. It is stingy of parents to choose to channel or web surf over spending time with their kids. In a blink of an eye the kids will be up and out of the house and parents will have the rest of their lives to stare blankly at a screen, alone.

Making a conscious effort to spend quality family time together is vital to the health and welfare of children. Children do not thrive if parents don’t interact with them daily. When parents choose to have kids, they automatically choose to sacrifice their time to raise their kids. Family time is a parenting tool which helps to regulate the content that children are exposed to and introduce healthier activities. Developing strong relationships with children also will build bonds that last a lifetime.

by: Elena Neitlich

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th, 2001 Remembering

God Bless America!

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