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Posts tagged ‘Kids’

Do’s & Don’ts of Cooking


Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fabulous cook. I have never claimed to be. I try though and somehow the boys all seem to be very healthy. Once upon a blue moon, my favorite hang out place was the kitchen. I stayed in there practically all day. If I wasn’t cooking, I was cleaning, or sitting at the table reading or paying bills.

Over the years, I have had some serious fiascoes in the kitchen.  In the past, I would deny my bloopers, but the more I think about them – I think hey why not share? After all, I may not be the only under-achieving cook out there.

Do: Make sure you have all the ingredients before you begin cooking.
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Don’t: neglect this small yet very important 1st step, you may be running out to a close by local small store to buy important items like (cheese, milk, bread, the main ingredient)

Do: Announce to everyone in the house that you need the kitchen all to yourself if you have a small space.

Don’t: Attempt to do the tango with a blazing hot cast iron skillet, a cat underfoot, and kids ducking & weaving in and out of the kitchen. Someone, probably you, will get burnt.

Do: Mix all dry ingredients first

Don’t: Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix on high-speed. (Egg is difficult to remove from the ceiling and dries quickly.)

Do: Clean as you go. Wash your cookware and utensils as you dirty them up.

Don’t: Hope the kids will appreciate the meal so much that they will help with the dishes afterwards. Instead they will have a cut on their hand and therefore be disabled for the evening, have a belly too full to help, start their nap early at the kitchen table, have a game that has been on “pause” too long and just have to go, need an hour-long shower, or some other random excuse.
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Do: Only make portions small enough to fit into your left-over storage containers.

Don’t: Cook a 25lb turkey or ham without enough storage space for left overs!! You’ll end up with the left over meat in every type of container in the refrigerator – Ex: Tupperware, Ziploc bags, Rubbermaid containers, left over butter bowls, Jelly containers, cheese cellophane, Drinking cups with lids, plastic shoe boxes (cleaned of course), sour cream containers, and anything else that has a lid!!  The day after said feast will result in frustration as you cannot find the REAL butter, jelly, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.

Do: Wear an apron or keep a hand towel handy.

Don’t: Forget you are cooking and wipe your hands on your pants.  If you do, you may stick to your chair when you attempt to stand at the end of the meal.

Do: Ensure that any frozen ingredient is not freezer burnt before using.
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Don’t: Attempt to convince the kids that it’s suppose to taste that way!

Do: Check all dates on canned or dry goods that you bought on sale and found in the very back of  your cabinet before using.
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Don’t: Try to convince the kids it’s suppose to taste that way.  (If they’ve fallen for this once, they will be wise to you the 2nd time around!)

Do: Dispose of food packaging in a safe way.

Don’t: Leave a can lid standing erect on a can after opening. Gently push the lid down inside the can. Those things will cut you as you take out the trash.

Do: Remove all decorative stove burner (eye) covers before turning the stove on.

Don’t: Turn on the wrong stove burner element before you remove decorative covers. Those things are totally flammable!

Do: Keep tongs in the kitchen at all times. They prove to be most handy to remove burning element (eye) covers if you should forget to remove them.

Don’t: Make microwavable macaroni and cheese without adding water. It is flammable without water.

Do: Watch boiling noodles on stove top and stir regularly.

Don’t: Walk away from boiling noodles on stove top. Again, those noodles are totally flammable!

Do:  Stay in the kitchen when you cook.

Don’t:  Lay on the couch to take a nap when cooking.

These are just a few helpful do’s and don’ts that may help someone new to cooking. You’d think all these things are common sense, but they aren’t. Some of these were my mistakes when I was very young and others have been made by my kids.

We have a great deal more of these I could share. Let me know if you want to read more 🙂

You let your kids do what?!


There are many things to write about on  my mind and we have had adventures that still have not made their way onto this blog yet. There is one thing that’s just weighing heavy on my mind right now though – Friends & their Mothers.

The boys (all 3 of them) go to friend’s homes and their friends  come here to ours to spend the night or hang out. I love to meet new people and I have a strict policy about meeting people first before my children go off to someone’s house. Maybe it’s how I was raised that has rubbed off on me, but I like to ensure that no one is making meth in their bathtub before I send the kids off packing to stay an evening with them.

I don’t judge, condemn or compare myself to the other parents I meet, but I have met some parents over the past school year that do. Everyone is different. Some of these meetings leave me scratching my head as I left totally speechless.

If you have any children maybe you can relate. If your children are very young, just wait…you’re in for it too.  (No child or parent’s names will be listed and these are in no certain order.) All conversations begin the same way: “Can X spend the night mom?” I reply, “yes, but I need to speak with their mom or dad or whoever they live with first”. Then I usually hear, “Okay, I’ll send you their #. ” I usually start off, “Hi, I’m X’s Mom. He asked me if your son could spend the night and I said that was fine, but wanted to speak with you to make sure you knew and it’s alright.”

Random Kid #1 Experience:  “Uhm, okay. Yeah, thank you for calling. I already told him he could. The boys have already decided everything and made plans between themselves”, is the answer I received.

“So, you’re fine with it?” I ask.

“Yeah”, she replies.

“Do you want to know where we live?” I ask.

As the phone clicks to signify the hang-up, I hear, “No, the boys will work it out.”

**End result: The child was relatively well behaved. I had to make several phone calls to locate the mom in order to take him back home.

Random Kid #2 Experience: “I am so glad you called. I wanted to meet you before sending X over to your house and make plans to pick him up tomorrow.I feel more comfortable talking to you first, seeing if we know any mutual people and such.” (This parent spoke to me for over an hour.)

This child was a handful, but is welcome any time to come back!

So, sometimes the roles are reversed and I am the one calling because my son is asking me to be able to spend the night at another kid’s house. These conversations always start off with, “Hi, my name is Chrissy. I am X’s mom. He has asked me if he could spend the night with your son and I wanted to speak to you, make sure you are aware and okay with it, and will be home with the boys.”

Random Kid #3 Experience:  “Oh yeah, X asked me and I said it was okay.”  Long pause…”Do you know where we live?”

I get the address and then ask what time she would like for me to pick up my son the next day.

“Just …whenever…is …fine …I …guess”,  she answers. “They’ll be shooting each other in the yard most of the day, so just any time should be fine.”

“What!? Did you say they’ll be shooting each other?” I clarify.

“Oh yeah”, she says as she huffs into the phone. “X’s big brother will be there with them overseeing everything to make sure no one gets hurt. They do it all the time. We have extra guns if your son needs to borrow one. Do you need my son’s phone number so you can text him and get all the details?”

“What?! I think I must be hearing you wrong. Did you say they are going to be shooting each other?” I ask again.

“Yes,” she said through a giggle. “They do it all the time. We live on a farm and have several acres. The boys make obstacle courses, wear extra clothing and shoot each other.”

😦 Geez…she wasn’t kidding either!! 😦

Random Kid #4 Experience: “Oh hi! It’s fine for X to come over! I’ve met him and love him! He can stay as long as he likes and I’ll be here with the kids the whole time. They may shoot some basketball, play video games, and watch movies. Does that sound good?”

🙂 I reply, “Yes!!!  That sounds great!! I can pick him up any time you’d like tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet you when I drop him off!”

So come on moms, chime in! Am I alone in this crazy world we live in? Would you let your child go to some of these homes? Some were great, some where not.  Do you call and speak to the parents of the children before your kids go to another’s house? Would you allow your teenager to go to another kid’s house to be shot with or without supervision? Am I paranoid?

Adventure in Snow


Back in December I did not post after the sad circumstances with Nick’s father’s passing. Read more here

But, we did have a few adventures as a family. I feel like enough time had passed that I can reveal the happy time that we all had during the sadness of the month of December.

We took the boys with us to Indiana to attend the funeral. Indiana had a pleasant surprise for the boys – snow! Where we live in Tennessee (all the boys have ever known) it doesn’t snow much and if it should, there are such small amounts of it that it melts away by the next day. Travel may be stopped or slowed for a few hours, but really life simply goes on. When we crossed over the state line into Indiana, the boys looked up from their electronic devices and saw the main highway was covered in a lovely white/muddy substance. Our oldest even commented on the speed we had slowed to and had to receive an explanation about how snow affects driving habits and the dangers we could possibly be facing. Our youngest had one thing on his mind and kept asking if he could play in it when we got to the hotel 🙂

They were so overwhelmed by the white stuff everywhere (snow) that it consumed their every thought and desire. I heard them reminding each other that they should remember that we were heading to a funeral, but the excitement in their voices led me to think that this was going to be an adventure for them for sure!

After the funeral we went back to the hotel and gathered our thoughts. Nick told the boys (still wearing shorts from habit of Tennessee climate) to dress warmly because he was going to take them somewhere.
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We found ourselves at the Circle Center Mall. We walked up and down dizzying heights from bottom floor to top as we marveled at all the stores. The boys tasted their first ever Orange Julius drinks and were mesmerized by the game room on the top level.
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They walked downtown around Monument Circle and looked at the World’s largest Christmas tree.
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On the way home, Nick stopped at a small store and purchased some small sleds for the boys. He took us to Brown County Indiana and selected a hill for the boys to learn how to sled on.
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The youngest loved it!
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Even Nick had some fun 🙂

The oldest set out to build himself a snowman 🙂

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The snow is all they talked about on the long trip back home to Tennessee. They truly had a great experience in their still young teenage lives that many kids have by the time they are 6 or 7 yrs old!

Their adventure was unbelievable wonderful and I know they will never forget it.

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