Monday, December 30, 2013

Love and Respect in the Family {Review}

Best new book to start out the year... best, best, best new book to start out the year.

Eggrichs writes this book to families looking for a way to get off the "Family Crazy Cycle" and get on the "Family Energizing Cycle."  With chapters about decoding what your child is really say, encouraging future responses, and disciplining wrong doing, this book is guides parents in understanding their growing children.  And why take the time to understand?  So that parents can get the respect they desire while children receive the love they need.

Other topics in this book include: 
  • Knowing when to give
  • How to instruct
  • Praying for our children
  • Parenting pink and blue
  • Taking responsibility for our responses
The bulk of this book is a great reminder that our response is our response.  We are "raising" children.  They didn't come out of the womb knowing the correct response for each situation.  It's our job to remember that they are kids and how we respond to their immaturity will decide how they respond to us.  What are we modeling for our children?

This book is real, relatable, honest, and quite often funny.  The author shares stories that most parents can relate to... even if we don't always want to admit that we'd like to run from our houses screaming at times.  This was such a good book in fact that my husband and I are going to start reading it together in the new year so we can more effectively parent together.  I can't recommend this one highly enough.  If you have children over the toddler/preschool years, this one is for you.

*Disclaimer:  I received a copy for this book free of charge for review.  All opinions are my own.

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10 Things This Week

So I took the week off last week for Christmas.  I knew that week would be busy and goal filled enough.  But it's back to business and I'm hoping to get a few things done this week.  Kids are still out of school which means I have some time from teaching.  We'll see what we get done and still trying to spend some time just being mom.

Here are my 10 Goals for the Week:

*Take the kids on reward lunch
*Make pizza dough and banana bread together
*Make some homeschool tools

*Finish and review book
*Finish 1-2 unfinished posts

*Try 1-2 new recipes
*Juice and freeze lemon juice
*Hang/change out photos

*Get 8.5 hrs/ sleep at least 4 nights
*Workout 3-4 days

What Goals are You Setting this Week?

Do-It-Yourself: Cough Syrup

*Originally published 1/30/13

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Earlier this month, I shared with all of you my 12 DIY Projects for 2013.  My goal for this month was to create this Herbal Honey.  But after a trip to the grocery store left me lacking for sage (always check your list thoroughly), I decided to go looking for another idea.

And since we were all fighting off colds from the holidays, I figured this Homemade Cough Syrup was worth a try.

Fortunately, most of us where on the mend, but my husband did take it a few times.  He said it was strong with the onion flavor.  But after only two doses, his cough went away.  Although we didn't get to test it as well as I'd like, I've been encouraged by his results and I'm keeping a jar of this in our refrigerator.

1 c. freshly chopped onion
1/2 c. raw honey
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cloves minced garlic

Combine honey and onion in a glass pot and slowly simmer on stove top.  Honey will liquify.  Add herbs and continue to simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  Cover with lid during simmering process, allowing the herbs to steep.  Briefly lift lid and stir occasionally.

Remove from heat and strain herbs.  Store in a covered jar in the fridge.

1 tsp for younger children
up to 1 Tbsp for anyone over 10 years

Can repeat every half hour

Hope this inspires you on building your own natural medicine cabinet!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tangled Party

*originally published 1/21/13

My sweet little Lydia turned 5 years old in December.  Five?!?  How is that even possible?  All of a sudden, she isn't my little baby any more.  Five is just so grown up.  She's growing from my sweet little one into her own personality.  And boy is it large!

Rapunzel has always been one of those movies our whole family has loved.  And in true Creative2xmom fashion, I've been dreaming and planning this party for months.  And if you take a peek at my Pinterest party board, you'll see I've had so much fun in the planning.

1. Invitations--I love doing everything homemade, but when I found these Printable Tangled Invitations, I knew I couldn't pass them up.  How easy is that?  Just add some glitter to highlight and you're done.  I love the towers.

2. The Party Outfit-- Lydia's Nana made this beautiful little Rapunzel dress as part of Lydia's birthday present and purchased the wig she's been saving for as well.  She felt like an absolute princess!

3. The Decorations-- Grandma spent hours working on this birthday banner for Lydia.  Pink, purple, and all girly... it was completely Lydia.  We hung the 5th Birthday sign out front with a cute Rapunzel braid.  So fun!  Since we usually place the food table in front of the window, I wanted to make a balloon backdrop to cut the glare for pictures.  I cut streamers of varying lengths and taped a pink and purple balloon to the end of each.  It cut the glare, added to the party, and looked cute at a minimal cost.

4. The Food-- Since it was a cold December day, I planned a warm homey soup to have simmering on the stove.  Besides the soup, I included some homemade bread and these fun boats to resemble the lantern scene in the movie.  Blue jello, orange slices and some flags... minimal effort, maximum impact.

5. The Games--I wish I would have gotten some better photos for you, but eight girls and a house full of adults... minimal opportunity.  We started off the party doing some art work 'cause Rapunzel loves art.  I had some Rapunzel coloring sheets ready for the kids while we waited for everyone to arrive.  Then we played Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Ryder's nose.  This was hilarious and most of the girls ended up wanting to go twice.  Later on, we decorated wands and crowns as a fun activity and something for the girls to take home.

6. The Cake-- Grandma made a Lydia a fun Rapunzel doll cake.  I love these doll cakes and Lydia lit up when she saw it.  Thanks, Grandma!  I certainly couldn't have pulled this one off.

7. The Pinata-- This pinata took more thought and time that any I've done before.  And I was worried it wouldn't work out.  But making this castle was a lot of fun and then Grandma added the braided yarn Rapunzel braid which was an extra fun touch.  Added bonus... it also ended up being the strongest pinata I've ever made.  And hot pink!  Lydia's favorite.

8. The Goodie Bags-- The girls got to take home their wands and crowns.  Besides their crafts, I tucked in a lip gloss, some bangle bracelets, and one of these Tower Bookmarks.

9. Special Gift from Mommy-- My pictures of this one didn't come out very well, but it snowed on both the party day and her birthday.  Where we live, snow is pretty rare.  So when it snowed on both days, I told her that I ordered it just for her.  She didn't believe me, but I still thought it was pretty special that she got to have snow.  

10. My sweet baby girl growing up.  It amazes me how mature and thought out she is for five years old.  And I'm so blessed to be her Mama and watch her grow.

Hope you enjoyed this peek into our Tangled Celebration and hopefully it will inspire your own creativity in celebrating a little princess you know as well.

*I used this additional sights for inspiration:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours,
We love you!

We love you so much and
are so happy to have you on this journey with us!

May your day be filled with hope,
love, peace, and joy!

All our prayers for a blessed Christmas
and a hope-filled New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lydia!

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Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

We love you!

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: We had a half-day of school yesterday and made Peanut Butter Blossoms.  One of my favorites for the holidays.

What I'm Reading: Bookmarks post went up yesterday and Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson was a huge challenge for me.  I just finished this week.  I want to re-read it though 'cause it had a lot of food for thought.

What I'm Doing:  More baking... more relaxing... we're ready for a homeschool break.  I did a bunch of planning and grading this week so I could just spend the break with family.

What I'm Watching:  I finally caught up on Once Upon a Time.  Love that show.  Other than that, I'm absorbed in Christmas movies.  Can't get enough of them.  Watched White Christmas this week and Rudolph.

What I'm Enjoying:  Being done shopping (other than food), the quiet of my mom's house, and a little free time to do projects with the kids. 

What are you up to?

Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 December Bookmarks

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for December was Raising Grateful Kids by Susie Larson.

These are the books I read this month:

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine-- See my review here.

Home School Your First Grader by Beth Jones-- This is an encouraging, quick read if you're looking into homeschooling for the first time.  Jones outlines the basics of getting started and the factors that you need to consider before starting.  It's a light read, full of encouragement and a good starting place.  Not in-depth, but opens up a lot of questions and supplies lots of hope.

Our suggested reading for December was Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson--  I'm always looking for a light read in December and I thought this was it.  Turns out it wasn't.  Larson takes us on a 16 chapter journey of turning our own hearts toward gratitude.  How can we lead our kids into places that we haven't traveled ourselves?  Each chapter was a challenge to my own thinking.  While full of easy to read stories, the concepts really caused me to pause and challenged what I believe about my own life.  Do I really believe I'm following an extraordinary God?  This book will challenge you, make you question, and ultimately change you if you allow it to.  It's quickly going on my re-read list for 2014.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson.

And be on the lookout for 2014's Bookmark Book List coming soon.  Can't wait to see you then.

*Linked to these Parties

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