Archive for December, 2009

12/18/09
Amy
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(Living Love) Childhood Traditions


Traditions are important to a child and the warmth of those memories carries far into adulthood. A sound, a taste, a smell…it can take us back in an instant.

Ask your spouse what some of their favorite holiday traditions were as a child. What are the details of that tradition that made it so memorable? Then find a way to work at least one of those treasured traditions into your own family’s holiday activities. It is a unique gift that you can give to both your spouse and your children. The best traditions are those with a story behind them, because it makes us all realize that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Creating new family traditions is an adventure. Carrying on old traditions is enrichment.

12/12/09
Amy

(Parenting) Dollar Store Treasures


The joy found in giving is a life lesson that we all desire to impart to our kids and there is no substitute for first-hand experience. Christmas provides many teaching opportunities, one of which is right under your own Christmas tree.

The joy of giving comes to life in a child’s heart when they are able to give a family member a gift that is from them. One that they picked out, that they wrapped, that they were excited about giving, and that they handed to the eager recipient.

It can be hard, though, on our already tight Christmas budgets to add in another level of gift-giver funding, and depending on the age of the child, unrealistic to expect them to foot the bill. Younger children can also become frustrated by their lack of understanding the impact of price tags in a large store.

Take your child on their own little shopping spree…to the dollar store! Here everything is within budget. Your child can browse the aisles and find gifts for everybody on their list. With the ability to choose anything in the store, they are freed from restrictions and given lease for creativity. It is absolutely wonderful to watch them get excited as they find items that they believe fits what the recipient loves and then eagerly anticipate the giving of the gift. It is a simple opportunity that can bring the joy of giving to life for a child.

Tip: Be sure to choose a dollar store where everything truly is one dollar.

12/11/09
Amy
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(Comic Relief) Boys and Their Toys


Those of you with little boys will appreciate this…

Chistmas Shopping

(Comic copyright Baby Blues Partnership)


Amy
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(Deep Cleaning) Pre-Christmas Toy Purge


The month before Christmas is a perfect time to do a toy purge. The biggest reason is because kids are often more willing to part with their junk old toys when you tell them it is to make room for their new Christmas presents.

So one day this week when you don’t feel like braving the cold or the crowds for last minute shopping, spend a couple of hours doing a toy purge. Have one bag for trash and then another bag for toys to donate. A couple of hours spent now can save your sanity after Christmas.

toybox

Tip: Don’t make your ambitions for this project so great that it is overwhelming and you don’t do it at all. If you only have an hour to spend on the task, then adjust your expectations accordingly. This does not have to be a complete toy organization overhaul. A brief, high-level toy purge can make a HUGE difference.

12/08/09
Amy

(Crafts) Paper Snowflakes


Classic crafts are the best! In addition to personal memories, you also get culture’s history and traditions that brighten the package and reinforce the experience. As a bonus, they are usually some of the easier projects to complete.

Paper snowflakes are among the top classic winter crafts. You see them everywhere during the holidays! Hanging from store ceilings, taped to classroom doors, or adorning Christmas trees. They are magical in their simplicity.

To create a paper snowflake, simply fold a square piece of paper into a triangle. Then fold it into a still smaller triangle, and repeat several times. Cut out triangles, half circles, slits, or whatever shape you dream up, along the edges of the final folded triangle. This is wonderful for young kids whose cuts aren’t “perfect” – it simply adds to the uniqueness of their snowflake. Then unfold! Watch the wonder in your child’s eyes. snowflakes

12/07/09
Amy
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“Not Me” Monday


We all have those days…or weeks. “Not Me” Monday was created by MckMama to give us an outlet to laugh at our own imperfections. Will you join me? When you are done here, you can head over to her blog and read about what everyone else has “not” been doing.

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My husband and I did not make up a batch of brownie mix with the sole intent of eating the batter straight out of the bowl. We always eat properly.

My son knows that you should always pee in the toilet, so it was not me that overheard (too late) my son educating his cousin on the ins-and-outs of peeing in the yard. My son is always the one setting a good example.

And I did not allow the kids to pull out all of our DVDs to keep them occupied while I got something done. My kids do not stay occupied longer with non-toy forms of entertainment.

What did you not do this week?

dvds

12/02/09
Amy
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(Healthy Living) Sugar and the Immune System


sugarIt is a fairly well known fact that sugar weakens the immune system. But did you know that it most strongly weakens your immune system for the first 4-5 hours after eating it?

Sugar is a fun treat in life and I personally cannot imagine life without a little bit of sugary goodness. However, especially during the cold and flu season, be choosy about when you consume sugar. Times when you are around a lot of people or exposed to more germs are some of the worst times to drink a soda or munch on candy. Instead, select a non-sugary drink on the airplane and encourage your kids to have more of their treats at home instead of at school.

Being mindful of your sugar consumption is a significant factor in your health; not just the amount, but also the timing.