Sunday Post: Urban Design and 4th of July Reflections

Jake, over at Time after Time, has a Sunday Post Challenge…the theme this past week was Urban Design.

Sunday Post: Urban Design

As I looked at the pictures my daughter sent me from their New England 4th of July celebration, I thought about how our country started out as just a couple of small settlements.

 Sunday Post: Urban Design

Photo courtesy of http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org

A child starts out small and, with the love and care a parent gives, grows to be a strong adult.

This country also started out small…and with the love and care given it by the Founding Fathers (and Mothers), it has grown to be a strong nation. But…  Continue reading

Martha Washington: America’s First First Lady

Happy George Washington’s Birthday, Perfect Picture Book Friday (over at Susanna Leonard Hill) and The Beauty of a Woman Blogfest II (over at August McLaughlin)

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Luckily, I found a book that applies to ALL THREE.

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Martha Washington: America’s First First Lady

Written by Jean Brown Wagoner

Publisher: Aladdin (1986)

Ages: 7 and up

Themes:

Believe in oneself, be yourself, strong girls and women, follow your dreams

Opening Lines:

“The Dandridges had company. There was nothing unusual about that. They often had company, but this was someone special. Mr. Dandridges’ sister, Mary, had come from England. She had sailed across the ocean to visit her brothers in Virginia. In 1738, that was a great adventure.”

Synopsis:

This story gives us a picture of the childhood of Martha Washington, America’s original First Lady. It also gives us a picture of life in the early 18th Century…Martha’s family were wealthy colonists in the New World.

Why  I like this book:

This is a chapter book from the 1980’s. Kids learn about the men who have been president of this country…but not much is taught about their wives. This book gives a wonderful picture of the strong young girl who grew up to be First Lady. Martha Washington was a gracious hostess and, although she objected to the rigid life as wife of the president, she had been raised to fulfill her responsibilities and she stood by his side. She stayed with her husband during the harsh winter at Valley Forge and was credited with keeping up the soldier’s spirits.

The line drawings depict the life of a wealthy family in the colonies…Indian scouts interrupt dinner to relay reports and black slaves keep the plantation running smoothly.

How a parent can use this book:

We need to encourage girls to dream and set goals…whichever ones they wish. These days, girls can set their sights on any job in any sector…they can even think about living in the White House…not as a First Lady, but as the President. The book can also be used to compare life now and then…parent and child can make a list of how things were done then and note how things are different these days.

Related Activities:

MARTHA WASHINGTON COOKIES

What a simple recipe…kids will love to help prepare these yummy cookies!

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Recipe and photo from: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Martha-Washington-Cookies-Allrecipes

You will need: 2 eggs whites, 1 cup pecan halves, 1½ tsp vanilla extract, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, electric mixer, greased cookie sheet.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. Beat egg whites and salt until foamy; gradually add brown sugar and vanilla.
  3. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in pecan halves.
  4. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour.

 

More Martha Washington recipes: http://www.yummly.com/recipes/martha-washington

Some information about Martha Washington: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Washington

More information about Martha Washington: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/1stladywashing/p/biography.htm

For more quick and easy recipes and other activities that kids love to do, please check out my book. Click this link to purchase a copyshow me how build your child's self-esteem, positive parental participation

I also wanted to mention that Marilou, over at Spanish Pinay, did a special post, honoring several mommies with the Positive Parental Participation Blogger’s Award:http://spanishpinaynanay.blogspot.com/2013/02/parenting-blog-award-positive-parental.html

Quotable Timeless Tuesdays: Honesty

Writing the Declaration of Independence 1776 c...

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Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.   Thomas Jefferson (1762-1826) 3rd President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence.

Yesterday was President’s Day.  We honored two of our outstanding presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  One of the most famous stories connected with George Washington is the one about the cherry tree.

Honesty is the best policy.  If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.  William Shakespeare, English playwright.

When asked by his father what happened, young George supposedly replied, “Father, I cannot tell a lie.  It was I who chopped down the cherry tree.”  Although researchers are pretty sure that the story of a young George Washington cutting down a cherry tree in his father’s orchard is false, the message behind it remains true, even today.

  One of the hardest things in the world is to admit you are wrong.  And nothing is more helpful in resolving a situation than its frank admission.  – Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) British Prime Minister.

For me, however, it is really important to look at honesty as it relates to young children. 

We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.  – George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish playwright.

As parents, we want our children to be honest.  We want them to come to us with their problems and concerns.  If we ask them what happened or how they are feeling, we believe they should honestly communicate with us.

Pretty much all the honest truth-telling in the world is done by children.  – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

I think children start out being entirely honest…they don’t know about evasiveness and lying.  When does it start?  How do they learn?  Why do they lose that innocent openness they are born with?

We tell lies when we are afraid…afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us.  But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.  – Tad Williams

We need to be good role models for our children when it comes to honesty.  Equally important, we must encourage our children to come to us by being non-judgmental.

 Does this mean we can allow our children to do as they please?  NO, I don’t think we can!

Should we refrain from disciplining our children when they have misbehaved or acted inappropriately?  NO, I don’t believe we should!

1.     Children need rules…parents, please be consistent.

2.     Children need to have consequences for their actions…parents, please be consistent.

3.     Children need to learn responsibility…parents, please be consistent.

Please stop by tomorrow for WHAT’S IN YOUR CHILD’S BOOKCASE WORDY WEDNESDAY.  I’ll recommend another picture book from SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING.  For the price of a couple of hot dogs and sodas at the ball game, you can own a copy of this unique resource that will help you build your child’s self-esteem and make planning fun craft and cooking activities a snap!  Stop by my website and grab a copy at half-price!

Make-A-Meal Mondays: President’s Day Special

A pair of cherries from the same stalk. Prunus...

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Every four years, the citizens of the United States have the opportunity to choose a new president who will hopefully lead the country on an upward path of economic and social reform, while staying within the budget.

Every day, three times each day, moms (and sometimes dads) have the opportunity to choose a new dish to serve to their families that will hopefully provide good nutrition and good taste, while staying within the budget.

Hmmm…have you also seen the similarity between running the country and running a household? 🙂

It is true, though, that the responsibility of putting high quality, highly nutritious¸ good-tasting, affordable meals on the table is a heavy one.  I thought that since today is President’s Day, I should offer up a recipe that includes CHERRIES as one of the ingredients.

Why cherries you might ask? 

I’m sure most of you know the story of our first president, George Washington, and the incident with the cherry tree.  As it was told when I was in school, young George went out into the garden with a new hatchet and chopped down a young cherry tree.   When questioned by his father as to whether or not he did it, George replied, “I cannot tell a lie.  It was I who chopped down the cherry tree.”   His father, impressed with his young son’s honesty, did not punish him, but praised him for telling the truth.

Of course, the moral of the little tale is that we should always tell the truth…no matter what we have done or what the consequences of our actions might be.  I know this is what we teach our children…and this week I’ll be examining the topic of honesty in many of my posts.  And, if you are looking for any information or resources about President’s Day, hop over to Mirth and Motivation.  The author of that blog is the consummate researcher…a great writer and funny to boot!  And she is having a Mega-Blog Hop…if you join, you will meet a bunch of awesome bloggers!

But for now, I’d like to provide you with a recipe for lovely child-friendly fruit crisp…full of super foods…and with the option of using cherries (sometimes they are available only in season and can be quite expensive) or substituting other fruits.

CHILD-FRIENDLY COLORFUL FRUIT CRISP

You will need: 5 cups mixed fruit, washed and then sliced if necessary (peaches, plums, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples), ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 tsp lemon juice, 3 Tb flour (for the fruit), ¼ cup flour (for the topping), 2 cups rolled oats, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup healthy margarine softened, a greased 9×13 inch pan, and 2 large bowls.

1.     In a large bowl, gently toss fruit with white sugar, orange juice and lemon juice.

2.     Sprinkle with 3 Tb flour, toss gently again and spread in the greased pan.

3.     In another bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and the remaining flour. 

4.     Add the margarine and mix till crumbly.

5.     Sprinkle crumbly mixture over fruit.

6.     Bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown.

7.     Serve warm or at room temperature.

8.     Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.

9.     Serves about 12.

This recipe has so many super foods: oats, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon and all of the fruits…even though it is a dessert, you can rest easy giving it to your family because it is so high in nutrition and fiber while being fairly low in added sugar and fat.  Plus, it is really simple to prepare…your young children will love to help with the measuring and mixing.  It’s only one of the 100 easy-to-make child-friendly healthful recipes you’ll find in my new parenting book, on sale now for a limited time on my website for half price!  Check it out…I think you’ll be glad you did…it takes the hassle out of planning activities with preschoolers.

I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow for Quotable Timeless Tuesdays…for an honest look at honesty.