Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kid Time

Quality time with your child is very important. I heard that one-on-one time with your child for at least 15 minutes a day does wonders for your child. Reading, walking, eating out, watching a show or just hanging out are some great ways to spend time with your child.

Family time is just as important. Eating one meal a day as a family is one way of spending quality time together. Another way to have family time is having game night. A friend of mine says it's brought her family closer together. After dinner, every night, she and her husband and her 3 boys would gather to play a board game. If your kids are really young, then a matching game, Goldfish, Old Maid or Trouble might be good games to start with. My toddler boys like to do puzzles, so we play 25 or 40 piece puzzles together while listening to fun music.

We've enjoyed this time of laughter and playtime. It's been a blessing to my husband, to me and and to my kids.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cleaning & Scrubbing Can Wait Till Tomorrow

the cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
but children grow up as i've learned to my sorrow.
so quiet down cobwebs; dust go to sleep!
i'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

-Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 Stages in Life

Some say...
there are 3 STAGES in life...
1- You believe in Santa
2- You don't believe in Santa
3- You ARE Santa!!
May your experience as "Santa" this Christmas be pleasant and fun! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jesus is Better than Santa

Heard this cute (and true!) poem the other day... A great poem to read to your kids. :)
JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA
Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year
JESUS is an ever-present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies ALL your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
JESUS stands at your door and knocks..and then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is
"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?"
JESUS knew your name before we did.
Not only does he know our name, He knows your address too.
He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
JESUS has heart full of love.
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree,
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.
It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.
-Anonymous

How To Choose The Best Books For Your Pre-reader

This article on BabyCenter.com had good advice about finding the right books for your child:

Children's sections of libraries and bookstores can be overwhelming, especially when your child is just beginning to show an interest in books. How do you decide which books are best for a pre-reader? Here are [some] suggestions from reading specialists, teachers, and experienced parents:Find rhyming and word pattern books.

Preschoolers love to hear books with rhymes and word patterns, especially ones that are easy to memorize. They love to join in when they know how to finish a sentence: "One fish, two fish, red fish, BLUE fish!" Look for books with short, rhyming sentences and predictable structure: nursery rhymes, counting books, alphabet books, and poetry books. Books by authors such as Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and the poet Shel Silverstein are good choices.

Pick books that fit your child's interest. Choose books about his favorite subjects: cars, trucks, zoo animals — even television characters such as Barney or the Teletubbies. The idea is to develop a love of reading, not a love of reading a certain kind of book. Take your child along with you to the library or bookstore. Don't restrict your child to one age group or subject. With reading, anything (within reason!) goes.

Seek expert advice. Librarians and preschool teachers know from experience what kinds of books preschoolers love. Ask for their recommendations.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stocking Stuffer

SCRIPTURE LULLABIES
A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture

The CD, "Hidden In My Heart" is full of lullabies that sing scripture, word for word.
What a great way for kids to not only learn and memorize scripture..but to really hide God's word in their little hearts.

This CD is not only a wonderful gift for kids but for adults too!!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Card Basket

Community Bible Study (CBS) suggested a great activity to do with your kids.

Keep Christmas cards in a basket; each night (after dinner or at bedtime) pick one, and pray for the family or person who sent the card.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blog It!

In this technical world we live in, journaling our children's milestones is hard to do consistently. Blogging is a super easy alternative, especially now since there is a Blogger application on most phone networks. Download the app, upload a recent pic of your kids from your phone & write a simple one-liner like, "Jake LOVED his first one-on-one date to the movie, Tangled, with his grandma Nana." The memory will be recorded in no time, and you'll be glad to have more memories to relive with your kids when they're older.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Blessing That Comes From a Grateful Heart

Charles Stanley says it best, "When we thank [God] . . . our gaze moves away from self-centered anxiety to genuine contentment."Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Be Thankful!

Even though you're so tired that you can't keep your eyes open,
Be thankful.

I couldn't keep my eyes open today, but I could hear my kids laughing and it made me smile.
I was reminded to be more thankful than tired.

I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for the good times during these holiday seasons.
I am thankful for my most trusted friend and co-writer.
And I am thankful for you -loyal readers of Fearless Mama!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Consider This.

Consider This.

And really take the time to think about it.
You are unique.
There will never be anyone else who can fit into your mold.

And that was on purpose.

Reflect on the detail put into creating your physical body.
Think about the one-of-a-kind way you taste food,
make and grow babies
and see color
and all the complex processes your body carries out every day.

Examine the way your mind works.
Ponder the individual way you experience emotions,
think about complex ideas,
enjoy others and love deeply.

Contemplate what makes you- you.
The combination of your genetics,
life experiences and choices
are exclusive only to you.

And consider that it was all on purpose.
You are uniquely you!
And you are loved for exactly who you are.

-Jackie Alvarez
(MomSense Nov/Dec 2010)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Things to do.. during the holidays..

Here is a great list of things to do with your little ones during the holidays (by Joyce Warman):


· Enjoy how each unique child celebrates

· Have activities ready

· Limit television

· Watch annual Christmas specials (we watched Charlie Brown on Thanksgiving)

· Make or buy an advent calendar

· Play holiday music

· Decorate your child’s room

· Shop with each child

· Have nativity sets for little hands

· Build in margins for health

· Keep up your special times and rituals (naps,story time, library, family night)

· Plan surprises ( seeing lights in nightgowns)

· Live your priorities by giving to others

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good For Your Health

Rick Warren wrote a devotional about good health. A healthy life is balanced with good eating and strong faith. Here's an excerpt from his devotional:

Trusting God is good for your health. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5 NIV). Why is trusting in God good for your health? When you trust Him then you don't worry.
Psalm 116:7 says, "I said to myself, 'Relax, the Lord is going to take care of you'" (NCV). If you really trust in God, you're going to be less stressed.
You have a choice -
You can either worry or worship
You can either pray or panic
The more you'll pray the less you'll panic. Relax, because God will take care of you! The Bible says in Proverbs 14:30, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones" (NIV). It's not just what you eat that matters, it's what eats you. You can have all the right macrobiotics and organic food, but if your body is filled with resentment, worry, fear, lust, guilt, anger bitterness, or any other emotional disease, it's going to shorten your life.

God is sovereign. Replace fear and worry with thoughts of the greatness of God and how much He loves you and wants to take care of you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Traditions. Meals. Travels.


FAMILY TRADITIONS
MEALS TOGETHER
&
TRAVELS
is what keeps a family connected....
-Joyce Warman

Monday, November 8, 2010

Childproofing

This is a great childproofing tool to protect your little toddlers from possible harm. It's removable, reusable putty that strongly secures your valuables. You don't need to live in earthquake territory to use this because shaking can happen in any geography if you have little ones -especially if they decide to climb a showcase with a vase on top, or if they accidentally throw the ball in the wrong direction toward the dresser displaying your framed wedding photos!

For $4.25 at Home Depot, you can reduce a lot of anxiety about your fragile decor.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brilliant.

Ashely Ann is a mommy of 4 kids (3 boys and a girl), and on her recent blog post on Under the Sycamore she wrote about how she is not a fan of cooking... so her and her friends started ONE MONTH COOKING.

She writes:

"How do I get a lot done in a day…I don’t cook everyday. We eat dinner as a family every night, but very rarely am I in the kitchen preparing it that day. A few of my friends and I have started cooking once a month. It is wonderful! We each pick 4 recipes and prepare them to go in the freezer. Then we trade. So we each end up with about 16 different meals and a few sides that are all great in the freezer. In the evenings I just have to pull something out of the freezer, let it thaw overnight and throw it in the oven or crockpot the next day. It makes my afternoons and evenings so much smoother and the amount of money we save is crazy.

There are all kinds of Once a Month cooking websites, recipes, tools online. You can get menus and schedules and be very Type A about it. For my friends, we have similar sized families, and kids that are the same ages…so our recipe choices and sizes are the same. We just pick stuff that will freeze well, make it and pick a week to trade. It makes me happy.

I usually pick one day to do my shopping and cooking. This month I finished all 16 meals (4 recipes x 4) in about 2.5 hours….and after I trade with friends I will have 16 great meals and will have saved a ton of money."


It's actually pretty brilliant. I think I'm going to start praying for mommies to do this with.. :)


You can read more about it here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Do It Afraid"

"Do it afraid."
-Joyce Meyer

I love this quote.
I love it because I am often afraid.
I love it because it encourages me to move forward and to conquer my fears.
I love it because the woman who shared this quote is a Titus 2 woman.
This woman understands that we (moms) are often afraid to say "yes" to new opportunities.
She knows that we are afraid of many things..
of feeling rejected..
of being judged...
of failing..
losing..
and hurting...

but God's word says to "trust in the Lord, and do not be afraid" (Psalm 56:4)
because He has "plans that are good and not evil" (Jeremiah 29:11)...

So..
whatever it is that you are afraid of doing.. even though you know you have to..
"do it afraid"
because God will be with you.. and He will bless you.


A Child's Prayer for Morning

Now, before I run to play,
Let me not forget to pray
To God who kept me through the night
And walked me with the morning light.
Help me, Lord, to love thee more
Than I ever loved before,
In my work and in my play
Be though with me through the day,
Amen,
--Author Unknown

Friday, October 22, 2010

God Loves Us!

The Lord will never be boring or predictable in His loving pursuit of us. He is creative, and willing to meet each of us where we need to be met, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. He will speak to us in ways that will surprise, delight and cause us to realize how much we need Him.

So be listening, watching and anticipating. The Lord is on the move.

-Pastor Ray Bentley

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Proverbs for Parenting

Proverbs for Parenting

Proverbs 2:1 ~ "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you"

Thought:
"If I am to be a wise parent; I accept the Word of God as truth and I memorize it, so that it is in me, becomes part of who I am, transforms my thinking and gives me a godly perspective of everything. Storing God's Word within me does not happen over night, I need to become intentional, I need to do my part, while I am trusting Him, to do His part."

Challenge:
"Choose a verse each week, starting today! Memorize it with my child, so that it is within me and within them."

Prayer:
"Lord, help me to store up your commands, help my mind to retain your Word, keep me disciplined and accountable."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Toys

Two highly recommended educational toys that have won multi-awards are Magna-Tiles and Wedgits. They encourage critical thinking and concentration. Magna-Tiles come in clear or standard colors and are fun for ages 3 and up. To find a store nearest you, go to the Magna-Tiles website by Valtech, and click on Store Locator.


There are Wee Wedgits for 1-3 year olds, Wedgits for 2-10 year olds, and Mini Wedget Building Blocks for 5-12 year olds. Cards are included with colorful configurations that will challenge your child. My son doesn't get tired of spending half an hour on them daily because there are so many fun designs for him to create. They're colorful and rewarding. Find it at Toys "R" Us, Amazon.com, or on the Wedgits website.

Tone It Up!


When people talk about working out, I laugh and think to myself, when would I ever have the time or energy to workout?! If I have any spare time, I would like to rest. Working out is not appealing to me at all. But then I read that women lose muscle mass every year, especially after having children. So I considered some sort of exercise. I've been hearing a lot of good things about this workout video by Jillian Michaels called the 30 Day Shred. I had a friend try it with me, and I was surprised how totally doable it was! There are 3 levels --(I'm still on level 1!) Jillian Michaels begins with warm ups, then cardio, muscle toning and strength. Not bad in 20 minutes. It didn't feel rushed or over the top. Afterwards, I felt light, energized and optimistic. If you'd like to check it out, Target carries the DVD in the sporting goods section for $9.00.

Friday, October 8, 2010

WORDS...

What are some things you remember your mom say when you were growing up? Did she say things like "I love you" or "You can do it!" that made you feel loved? Or did she often say things that discouraged you or made you feel guilty?

We need to be mindful of the words we use when we are speaking to our children AND when we are around them...because words can either hurt or lift them up. I hope and pray that my words would encourage my children.. that they would feel loved whether I am discipling, teaching, or cheering.. Lord, help me to select my words wisely and carefully.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Colossians 1:9-11 is a lovely prayer for the people in your life.

9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

Though the weather is cooler, you can keep your grill hot with my favorite game day snack: bacon wrapped hot dogs.

I found this recipe on my favorite food site, www.zingermans.com.

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog Recipe

Prep
Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog like the stripes on a candy can or barber's pole. Lay the wrapped dogs in a plastic bag or container. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You want the bacon to stiffen up a little bit to hold its shape.
Tip: Thinly sliced bacon is easier to use and adheres to the hot dogs better than thicker cut.

Cooking
I prefer grilling (the traditional approach, since they're street food). The dogs can be cooked on the stove top as well. Place a cooking sheet or aluminum foil on top of the grate and use this as your cooking surface. Lay the dogs on the sheet. Cook for a few minutes on each side until the bacon is as crisp as you'd like it.

Buns & Toppings
The sweeter the bun you can find, the better. If you're lucky enough to have a Mexican bakery in your area, shop there. Bun toasting is optional.

Standard toppings: yellow mustard, ketchup, crema (you can substitute sour cream), chopped jalapeƱos—either roasted or grilled.

Optional toppings used by different vendors: chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, relish, mayonnaise, mango, pineapple, salt.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Poem...

A poem by Ruth Bell Graham


I think it harder

Lord, to cast the cares of those I love

on You,

than to cast mine.

We, growing older,

learn at last

that You

are merciful

and kind.

Not one time

have you failed me,

Lord-

why fear that you’ll

fail mine?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Enjoy Today


This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Psalm 118:24

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Personalized Gifts

Here is a great site, if you're looking to buy personalized gifts...


Like these personalized lunch boxes for back-to-school...






or these storybooks...





and MANY MORE!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dip and Game Night!!

Who said Girls Night Out has to be about a fancy dinner out?! Try a Girls Night Out at your home. Invite the girls over and have them bring their favorite dip (seven-layer, salsa, artichoke, etc.) and host a game night! Outburst and Balderdash are always super fun. You'll get to let loose & relax while getting to know each others' quirkiness and sense of humor!

Recipes

English Muffin Pizza
This recipe saved me one night during an unexpected visit from all the neighborhood kids. They were having such a great time playing, but they got hungry! I opened my trusty Joy of Cooking book (p.182) and found this simple, inexpensive recipe that took a few minutes and fed the whole crew! At the time I didn't have English Muffins, so I substituted tortillas (which were a hit). And later I tried the recipe with english muffins and my kids really enjoyed it!

1 to 2 servings

Spit in half:
1 English muffin

Toast the flat sides under the broiler. Spread the untoasted sides with:
1 tablespoon tomato sauce, chili sauce, or catsup

Sprinkle with:
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Top each with:
1/4 cup grated Cheddar, mozzarella or Swiss

Over all:
1 teaspoon olive oil

Broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

****

My kids love pancakes for breakfast, so I thought I'd surprise them with sweet Crepes.
The kids loved it and so did I! Here's my favorite recipe from The Joy of Cooking (p. 649).

Savory Or Sweet Crepes

Savory Crepes
Combine in a bowl and mix until smooth:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Sweet Crepes
Prepare as above, adding 3 tablespoons sugar and decreasing the salt to 1/8 teaspoon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Safety Rule for 1 Year Olds and Younger

If you're unsure whether a toy can be a choking hazard for your infant, then here's a good rule to remember. If it can fit inside a toilet paper roll, then it's not a good idea.


Simple and safe.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Have A Song In Your Heart

...be filled with the Spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus.

Ephesians 5:17b-20

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ten Things I Love About YOU!

It is so easy for us moms to get caught up in the immediate needs our of children.. we often times forget that our husbands have needs too! They may feel neglected or unloved...

Today, send a note/text/e-mail to your husband with TEN THINGS YOU LOVE/ADORE/APPRECIATE about him! Just because... and just to let him know you still like him A LOT!! :)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Improving Children's Learning

Children absorb knowledge faster and remember it longer when it is taught with love and respect. They will feel good about themselves and what they are learning when they are in a loving environment.

Use eye contact. Children respond with greater attention when parents use plenty of eye contact.

Teach with touch. It makes what they're learning more real to them. For example, if you're teaching your children about flowers, encourage them to touch the flowers.

Teach with loving hugs of affection. Always look for opportunities to encourage and praise your children with warm smiles and hugs. This will affirm them and create a safe and positive environment.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

If you show [children] how much you care and ask questions in a nonthreatening way, you'll be amazed by how much they'll tell you.

Quote by John Maxwell

Friday, August 13, 2010

Release from Relational Bondage

A very subtle issue that is often brought into marriage is emotional baggage. Emotions of guilt, bitterness, and resentment from previous relationships can surface in marriage. It's a form of spiritual and emotional bondage that can distract spouses from being fully committed to each other.

If this is an issue in your marriage, simply ask God to release you from relational bondage. Freedom from the past is possible, and prayer has the power to rid hearts from these distracting emotions.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

YIKES! LICE!

YIKES!! LICE!!

Unfortunately, I've had to learn A LOT about lice during the last 24 hours since discovering one in my daughter's hair. I've never had lice nor have I known anyone that has had lice... so although the possibility of my daughter having lice crossed my mind when I would see her scratching her head... but I was ruling out other possibilities first... sunburn? shampoo? dry scalp? etc.. Well, now that I have plenty of knowledge (again, unfortunately) I would like to inform you as to what you should look out for, and how best to treat it.

Lice eggs look very similar to dandruff... so when we saw these tiny white things in her hair, we (my husband and I) figured they were dandruff from her scratching her scalp so much...

"Nits are often difficult to distinguish from normal dandruff in the hair shaft. One way to tell is that dandruff will easily slide off the hair with your fingers, whereas nits are glued to the hair shaft and are not easily moved." -Dr Sears

So... if you see these stinkers.. you know that the lice has laid eggs and you need to get moving!

Another thing to look for (other than, ITCHY and NITS) are the actual LIVE LYMPHS or ADULT LICE. For some reason, I thought lice were almost microscopic, but they can be easily seen with the naked eye (we found an adult lice and compared it with the photo above).

"Although they may sound gross, lice (the plural of louse) are a very common problem, especially for kids ages 3 years to 12 years (girls more often than boys). Lice aren't dangerous and they don't spread disease, but they are contagious and can just be downright annoying"- Kids Health from Nemours.

Thankfully, lice doesn't survive long once it falls off a person. "Adult lice can only live 1 or 2 days away from a warm body, and the eggs must be close to the warm scalp in order to hatch. They feed on human blood through tiny bites in the skin"-Dr Sears. It's not necessary to spend a great deal of time and money trying to rid the HOUSE of lice, but you still need to wash/clean all clothing, stuffed animals, upholstered furniture, rugs, etc.

TREATMENT:

-Over the counter medicated shampoos that are safe to use on children....see site.
-Homeopathic/non-medicated treatments (olive oil, mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, vinegar) that are messy so may not be suitable for young children.
-Nit removal combs. These are the BEST and NECESSARY to remove all lice and lice eggs from hair.

TRUTH ABOUT LICE & PREVENTION:


There is no real way to prevent your kids from getting lice.. they can easily get it from hanging around other kids at the park, church, etc (it's like catching a cold). This is why it is BEST if you know WHAT to look for, when your child is scratching his/her head (we learned our lesson).

For more information about head lice... check out these two helpful sites:
Dr. Sears-Head Lice
Kids Health- Head Lice