With Our Busy Schedules, What Are Your 3 Valid Tips for Getting Dinner Ready in a Flash?

October 6, 2009 at 9:29 am | Posted in 1, Diet / Nutrition, Family Time, How To | Leave a comment
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With Our Busy Schedules, What Are Your 3 Valid Tips for Getting Dinner Ready in a Flash?

You know it is truly a miracle that everyday we can do what we as moms do. Who knew that all these modern conveniences would give us all the freedom to run around like chickens with our heads chopped off.

And now we get to have a contest, http://www.twittermoms.com/forum/topics/samsung-blogging-sweepstakes, to try and help each other out of some major daily hassle.

As for me, the dinner thing comes and goes in cycles. For a while I have it all under control. Then you know what hits the fan.

But all in all here are my three best proven tricks to help lesson the hassle of getting dinner on the table- and BTW I do make almost all dinners by scratch.

Best tip- have a menu for the week. You sit down once a week and get it done. No nonsense! Pick your main course, your veggies, carb, be sure to think about condiments and all that goes with the meal. Then put your grocery list together. And post your menu where EVERYONE can see it. Now follow it.

OK I know this is not exactly simple to get going. There are plenty of hassles that can get in the way. But here is the cool thing to do. My second tip- Find a site that has the recipes and use them.

My other favorite thing to smooth the dinner transition is to have the table set for dinner right after breakfast. No one leaves the house till the dinner table is set. This give everyone, including me, the understanding that dinner is valued in our house.

These are my fav ways to get dinner in the groove. Do you have a fav? I’d love to add them to my personal list. Just put in your comment and lets help each other out.

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Parenting the Hungry Horrors

May 18, 2009 at 6:59 am | Posted in attitudes, Families, Motivational Monday, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Happy Motivational Monday

If you find this interesting
And helpful please
pass it along to your friends.

Again thanks to those who emailed me
with your concerns and issues.

It’s still important to email your concerns-
You joined GEM Parenting because
need help with your parenting.
You want to understand and develop
your parenting, reduce your stress and
overwhelm, and let your kids grow up
with natural high self-esteem.

And you certainly don’t want the national hazard
of having a brat for a kid.

And for some reason that just isn’t so simple.

Post or email your concerns and issues.
Get your guidance.
And help others who are suffering with your issue,
but not quite ready to share.

I will post  a personal response to share.

Of course with your personal stuff removed if you emailed me.
****************************************************
Question:

It seems like I’m my one biggest enemy and I am the one who needs to change in order to become a better parent. And I really struggle w/that. But I do want to be a good mother and I love my children very much. My daughter has a similar personality than I do. Both of my children are very active. We are a creative artistic family.  So organization is not our strength. My dd (6 years old) has a strong will, that can be frustrating. What is the best response when I tell her to do something and she simply refuses? Or she simply says, “No I don’t want to”. I tell her that that is not ok. And she often gets mad when I make her do something. Sure she has a strong will. How can I deal w/that? I started homeschooling her in fall, that goes pretty ok. I don’t know how much hunger and being tired has to do w/ it. Thanks Friederike

Response:

Friederike,
The first and foremost thing to do is not beat yourself up about your parenting.  You are doing the most important thing- loving your children.  I know it seems incomprehensible, but there are some who actually don’t love their children.

Second, because you see yourself that you need to get our of your way, you can actually get going on your positive parenting journey much easier than those who think it is some outside force holing them hostage.

Lets start with the basics- I think hunger and being tired have tons to do with kids (and grown ups) getting mad and exerting their strong will.

In my house we have a term for this:

THE HUNGRY HORRORS

And my youngest (8) and oldest (25) are the worst.  The best way to combat this is to have food like apples, grapes and carrots available at all times.  My kids love the big carrots that aren’t even peeled.  And we eat lots of hummos with our carrots.

Its pretty important to stay away from ANY kind of food
that is processed.  These may abate the hunger for
a short time, but will actually make the Hungry Horrors come back
with more strength and power.

Now we do eat some crap, but NEVER when we are having the hungry horrors.

And yes kids get tired, but just like it can take years to get potty training to
be accident free, it takes kids even more years to regulate getting
enough rest time.  And our culture is really pushing no rest to the limit!

When I was a kid- way back in the last century- it was pretty normal for kids to have a rest time IN SCHOOL with a blanket to lie down on and everything- till about eight years old.  And I was in an innovative- hip school.

We are all so busy now keeping up with all that there is to offer, what with internet, programs, books, electronics, easy connections on all fronts.  So make a rest time- and as a family rest.  Put it as a priority.  The rest does not have to be sleeping- it can be looking at picture books, reading, coloring, listening to music, you reading to the kids, just please no electronics.

Because of the older kids busy schedules my youngest had much less rest time when she was six and seven than any of the others- and it really showed. We put back her rest/quiet time and she is much calmer, less stubborn, and able to hear what is asked of her without flying off the handle- well at least not everytime.

Even with all this, your DD will still be stubborn and willful.  As a general rule give her options.  “You can clean your room now or in 15 minutes.  When do you want to start?”  Then turn the timer on for 15 minutes, as she will most likely think she can get out of it. When the timer goes off, be ready to calmly and continually repeat, “Its your time to clean up now.  This is your choice.”  Be sure to use the word “your” as much as possible.  This gives the ownership and responsibility to her.  And REPEAT with the same words, same calm tone.

I have done this- with my last mind you- for up to thirty minutes.  She would scream, yell, storm out of the house, only to return and have me repeating calmly to her that she had to do what ever it was.

After a few of these sessions, she began to get the picture. She would have to follow through with her choice.

Oh one more thing- when she wised up and said’  “ I don’t want to do either.” I said that wasn’t a choice.  And repeated her choices.

*********************************************************
New section of the Motivational Monday:
On my home front:

Last night my friend invited my girls and me
to join her at a circle dance.
It was an evening full of energy and joy.

Today and tomorrow we will be getting
my 16 DD ready to go to Lake Placid.
She will be training there for about five months.
(with some training trips to snow and a vaca with us
slipped in)

We take her on Wed.
As a mom I am in the complete mix of
total WOW pride
and thrilled that my daughter is
doing this fantastic and amazing thing and
with every breath I am feeling the sadness of her going away.

*************************************************************

Have a great week.
Be a parent with passion, purpose, and integrity,

Grace

PS: If finances are an issue, parenitngpodcasts at
http://GEMParenting.com/store.htm
are $6.

Scroll through and find the one you want.

Parent to parent
I wish you strength and courage.
Now be your best parent with
Passion, Purpose and Integrity.

Grace

How We Celebrate Spring and Still Have a Ski Race

April 9, 2009 at 7:00 am | Posted in children, Families, Holidays, moms, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Thoughtful Thursday | Leave a comment

It is Thoughtful Thursday and

I am with my children at the last
of the ski racing events of the year!

It is a CanAm and only

  • 30 US girls and 30 Canadian girls
  • 30 US boys and 30 Canadian boys
  • aged 11 and 12

Kind of a special and elite group of skiers!  I am one proud mama for sure!

Anyhow….

Yes, in April here we are while
many of you are celebrating
spring and Easter, we are
still in the last throws of
ski racing.

SO what does that do for our celebrating spring?
Celebrating Easter?

Its really easy,
we celebrate spring by
breathing the spring air,
feeling the sun on our faces
with different energy.
WE watch the snow go with sadness
that our wonderful snow sports life MUST
come to an end.
And with excitement that we will
be on our bikes, hiking
and swimming outside soon.

And Easter, that is easy for us as well.
Since the early Christians had
no real date and they borrowed some other
holidays to fill the day,
We have begun to celebrate on the
Greek Orthodox Easter.

It is 6 weeks later- allowing us
to be fully with the holiday.

These ways of alternating our
lifestyles to fit the needs and
desires of our family,
yet staying with our
morals and values
gives my family AND me
the ability to live and breath
with our spirit, soul, self esteem
soaring.

My children
are able to be confident,
yet relaxed.
capable yet not pushy
confident yet not arrogant,
respectful of themselves and others.

My kids are not special.  Yours can be
the same way.

As you go through your days,
weeks, months,
find what fits with your family.
believe your values and morals
are the best for your family.
And let others have their
values and morals.

Have a great day,
and of course
parent with passion, purpose and integrity,

Grace

PS I really have enjoyed that
some of you are putting comments on the blog.
It really energizes me and I know
it energize others as well.

Join Gold Membership of GEM Parenting

November 26, 2008 at 9:11 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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This is an invitation to join the Gold Membership of GEM Parenting that I sent out to my Pearl Members, but I wanted to extend the invitation to you.

*****************************************************************************

Pearl Members Only.

Hi,

I have been thinking about how much I appreciate you. Thank you for allowing me into your life and allowing me to share about GEM Parenting with you. As a Thank You, I have a gift for you. How would you like to experience My Gold Membership for 30 days risk free?

Some of the benefits of upgrading:

1. Still receive your daily support emails

2. Be able to participate in Parenting Treasures each Monday

3. Receive weekly expert articles by me and other experts sent out Tuesdays

4. Receive a weekly podcast sent on Thursdays

5. Be part of the weekly question and answer email Fridays

…as well as numerous other benefits. These additional gems are an experience. So, I am offering you a full month risk f*ree money back no questions asked quarantee. Sign up for the Gold Membership by midnight December 1st and you will have until December 31 at midnight to unsubscribe and request a refund. I am confident you will want to keep the membership because of the extraordinary benefits, additional resources, and so much more.

I am even including another Thank You gift to you for continuing your GOLD Membership. On January 5th, 2009 Gold Members will recieve another gift to start your New Year. I will be sharing more about the additional gift in my New Years letter. Thank You so much. You can sign up for the Gold Membership by clicking this link: http://www.gemparenting.com/store.htm Scroll down the yellow box just past the Pearl membership.

Thanks for be a part of GEM Parenting and spend this day with passion, purpose, and integrity,

Grace

P.S.You may forward this message to anyone as long as you forward the complete letter.

P.S.S. This offer is for Pearl Members only SO… if you have received this message from a friend and are not a Pearl Member, you must sign up for the free Pearl Membership First!

How is Food is the beginning of Thankfulness?

November 26, 2008 at 7:40 am | Posted in attitudes, Families, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Wonderful Wednesday | Leave a comment
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It’s Wonderful Wednesday.  And this is such a special day because, as you know, it is the day before Thanksgiving.

 

I have been having you focus on one thing to be thankful for this week.  To really get involved with why that particular thing is worth being thankful for.  How this thing is connected to your whole life.  Not just fulfilling the basic need you have been taught to think about, but how this thing is a true part of your ability to live with passion, purpose, and integrity.

 

Mine has been food.  Of course food is necessary to live.  No one can live without food forever. Even Mahatma Gandhi had to eat after three weeks.  But we in our lives are not suffering from horrible cultural norms, devastating political outbursts, or even true financial disasters, and although there are natural disasters, we have a very strong support system to help our citizens get back on their feet.

 

So how is food connected to more than my ability to stay alive?  How does food connect to every aspect of my life?  Food is a huge process.  It is a daily task.  Food is a way for my family and friends to be together.  I still have at least two meals a day together as a family.  At the time of preparation there is usually one child who is miserable about something.  That child comes to me in the kitchen and whines, complains, shouts, cries, or stands around with the silent treatment.  The kicking has pretty much stopped.

 

And while I prepare the meal, I can help that child learn and understand how to cope with such atrocities as a sister taking back her favorite shirt, being pushed over out of spite, or just being grumpy for no reason.  I am sure that without meal prep I would still have children who needed support and guidance, but it is during meal prep that some of my most nurturing moments occur.

 

The meals themselves are filled with conversations.  You can imagine with the age spread of aged 8 to 16 at home full time, and having guests regularly. Over the 24 years I have been a parent those conversations have changed, mutated, and developed.  Some themes continue, others come and go.  Many of my fondest memories are when we have been eating.  Memories are a vital part of my spiritual well-being.  When I am stressed, down, overwhelmed I can find a memory to bring me back into perspective. 

 

And there is the clean up time.  This is the never-ending scourge of my life.  There are always dirty dishes, counters, tabletops… I can go about the clean up process with anger and bitterness that I am still stuck with doing it or must nag and constantly remind my kids to do their part.  But I can get past that.  I can see that all this mess is a product of abundance.  And this abundance is not just the quantity of food and dishes we have, but the abundance of living we have.  My family does everything with real gusto.  It comes from our souls and spirits., and the food mess is daily evidence of this.

 

The process of getting Thanksgiving dinner on our table began on Monday.  We made our menu. Yesterday we went shopping.  Today we do prep for many dishes and help my mom with her pies. (She will make four from scratch- crust and all and her 80th b-day is tomorrow.)

 

Now you really know how I have taken food and looked to its roots as to why I am thankful for it.  It is not only my nourishment for my body; it is the nourishment for my values and morals.  Food is more than a simple grab it and eat it thing for me.  It is a process that brings my most sacred and special feelings and emotions out in the open. 

 

Being thankful, living with true integrity to your values and morals is a process.  It cannot be done in one quick instance.  It takes your heart and soul, your actions, and your mind set.

If you haven’t set this process in motion, start now.  Let yourself grow with your thankfulness.  Be the most thankful person you can be, but start with only one thing to be thankful for.

Be thankful with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

Rejuvenate Yourself this Thanksgiving

November 25, 2008 at 10:50 am | Posted in Families, Holidays, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Terrific Tuesday | Leave a comment
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Good Morning 

 

It is Terrific Tuesday.  Two days before Thanksgiving.

Are you focusing on your thankful thought?

Have you had a chance to see how this one thing is connected to your soul and spirit?  As you go through the readying for our national sacred holiday, it is important to allow yourself to have the joy of being alive, of being a parent, to step out of the box and let the confines that have help you to a life with anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm to melt away.

 

Every culture, civilization, and religion has a structured period of time for giving thanks.  This process of giving thanks is an integral part of being human.  We are hard wired to give thanks.  The funny thing is that without the structure of holidays and formal routines many of us let go of giving thanks. 

 

This year put all your energy into giving thanks.  When you give thanks from your deepest emotions to your lightest thoughts to your fleeting insights, you rejuvenate yourself.   That’s a big part of what this whole Thanksgiving thing is about-rejuvenation.

 

Today my family is going shopping for food, and if you were able to read yesterday’s email you will know that food is my focus this year.  As we get each item I will give thanks for our food.  I will use the symbols of food, and the dishes we make, to bring me in connection with my true thankfulness.  I will regain my own perspective of why I live and parent with the intensity I do.  I will let the overwhelm, anxiety, and stress of the year gently float off my back.

 

I want you to use the process of Thanksgiving to rejuvenate yourself.  Let your tensions go.  Know who you are.  Rejoice and give thanks.  Allow the love and support from yourself and others to permeate you this Thanksgiving.

 

Have terrific Tuesday,

And

Parent with Passion, purpose, and Integrity,

 

Grace

 

Can You Nurture Yourself?

November 17, 2008 at 7:44 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Good Morning,

It’s motivational Monday again, already. Can you believe it?  I hope you have had a great week.  I sure did. If you did hold onto the energy from it.

But if you are coming from a stressful, over loaded week, then right this minute,as you read this, shake off the stress.  Let that energy go away from you.

One really great way to do this is literally shake your arms and legs, your head.  While you’re at it get up and shake your whole self. I just did it. It feels great.  Now if you really did it great, if not do it now. Don’t worry about what they think.

But that’s not the real motivation. The real motivation for today is to nurture yourself.  I know you are simply too busy to think about or actually nurture yourself in much.  So now I want you to think of one thing you can do, doesn’t cost money, and doesn’t take more than 15 minutes, But you love to do it.  And it is simple to do.

Just to let you know:  Here are the things I do for self-nurturing:  Each morning I take from 30 minutes to an hour to do yoga, meditation, and Reiki. I have lunch w/ my kids, And each evening I have story time w/kids, it can be short.  But usually we spend an hour reading at night.

I also go outdoors everyday for at least 30 minutes. I walk, hike, ski, and whenever possible, I camp.  And swim in the summer.

I have just a couple more things I do to nurture myself-I eat healthy, have good friends, and enjoy whatever I am doing.I talk on the phone each day with my children who are not at home, and my mother, father, and sister. I read, sew and do crafts when time permits.

I basically live with passion, purpose, and integrity with everything I do.

Oh yes, I have all the regular stuff; bills, laundry, errands, groceries, cooking, cleaning, my least favorite-clutter control.  And I home school. And I have an Olympic training athlete. And I have four kids. And of course, I have you. 

I tell you this because I want you to know you can both find the time and take the time to give yourself 15 minutes of self-nurturing. 

It is not selfish, irresponsible, or lazy.  It is healthy, relaxing, and necessary.  It is soul reviving.  It is spiritual.  If you can’t do it for yourself,  then nurture yourself for your kids.  They deserve to have a parent who can let stress go. Who lives by their values. Your kids deserve to know you-At your best, everyday!

I motivate you to take 15 minutes to nurture yourself each day this week.  Please let me know what you plan to do.  Just hit comments at the top of this section, and put down your self-nurturing for this week.

And as I always say: Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace
PS, I haven’t heard if the audio link works.
Is no news good news?
Do you like having the audio?
Or have you just not even bothered to check it out?

Be friendly to Your Kids

November 14, 2008 at 7:51 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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New feature today-

Audio so you can listen instead of read.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WymjBmf4

Copy and paste to be able to hear.

 Today is Friendly Friday.

Put energy into being friendly today.  Smile when you notice you aren’t.  Say hi to everyone you can.

Be friendly.

 

I want you to be this way with your kids as well as people you know and see outside your home.

 We often forget to be cordial and friendly to our kids. We are with them all the time.  We want to just relax at home.  We are just too busy to bother with being friendly- school buses, work, dishes, homework, activities-they all get in the way.

So today (even if you don’t read this till Saturday or Monday) get friendly.  Smile. Say hi as though you are glad to see you kids.  When they wake up, when they come into the room or you go into the room they are in.

 

Feel silly doing that?  Then ham it up. Go ahead, its OK, your kids will either think you’re silly or you have lost it.  What ever they think, they will like you being friendly.

Now this does not mean giving up on being the parent, and being their pal or equal. 

 

  • It means giving them respect. 
  • It means giving them kindness.
  • It means giving them appreciation.

Basically it means being friendly. And when you, as a parent are friendly you give your children the opportunity to grow with self respect, self kindness, and self appreciation.

Guess what all these are part of?  Self Esteem.  Yep.  That’s all there is to it for today.

Be friendly.

Oh, and I found the name of the young man in the video that was banned from youtube.  It is Nick Vujicic, and his site is http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/ His is a must see!

So have a friendly Friday,  And of course

Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

PS. If you donate to life without limbs I will send you a GEMParenting podcast.

You just have to let me know you donated. Not the amount, just the action of doing it.

 

Concentrate on the Small Wonders

November 12, 2008 at 7:43 am | Posted in dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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Good Morning. It is Wonderful Wednesday. That means you get to MAKE it full of wonder. Concentrate on the small wonders, appreciate them

 

These small wonders may be your children, or they may be your toes.  You know without your toes it is much harder to walk and balance? Of course it can be done.  You can get on without much.

 

Check this video out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0DRk8dFjI

 

I had tears.

I had inspiration.

I am humbled.

 

Have a wonderful day and

Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

 

Grace

Change This Afternoon w/out Stress

November 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Posted in dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Today I spent a great deal of the day picking up the mess.  As you know I have been incredibly busy the past few weeks.  So there was plenty of mess today.

 

But rather than looking at this as an over whelming task, as a thing that was some sort of growing monster I had no control over, I simply put everything I wanted in one pile in the floor.  Threw away the rest.  Then I sorted and put away.  Finally I vacuumed.  And I was done. 

 

It was a task.  It had to be done.  And it would have been easy to have felt it was just too much to get through.  Procrastination would have been simple.  So why did I do this?

 

What happened that allowed me to get through this without stress, overwhelm and anxiety?

 

I did it.  I did not think about it.  I did not analyze it.  And I did not let all the other “fun” things get in the way.

 

And now I get to look at my nice clean house, and it only took me a couple of hours.

 

So this afternoon find a moment to stop procrastinating.  It might be in your decluttering, it might be in your making phone calls, doing research, or changing your parenting.

 

What ever it is make a change.  Don’t think.  Throw your anxieties in the trash.  Put your overwhelm down the garbage disposal. 

 

Let others know what you change you made today.  Leave your comments

 

And no matter what parent with passion, purpose, and integrity.

 

Grace

 

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