Easter candy is almost a tradition in most households. little girl eating a chocolate Easter bunnyEvery year moms try to decide what to give their kids for Easter. No doubt the kids would prefer candy and chocolate. However, it is a good idea to include some healhier alternatives. There are many healthy replacements for Easter candy baskets you can try. Here are a few tips and ideas.

Instead of chocolate or marshmallow candy, try filling or including with:

* Fruits and cookies. You can bake natural cookies at home that taste yummy.
* Mini boxes of raisins and low fat candies.
* Stuffed bunny rabbits and jelly beans, which are low in calories.
* A basket of brightly colored plastic eggs; with coins inside each egg.
* Coloring books and crayons.
* Small toys for either girls or boys.
* Peanut butter cookies and mini bran muffins.
READ More on Healthy Easter Candy Alternatives

family-new-years.jpgIt is that time of year when we all look back on the year we have had and get ready to make our lists of promises to ourselves about how we are going to improve in the New Year. Yes, I am talking about New Year’s Resolutions. We all know the old stand-bys such as losing weight or quitting a bad habit. This year I would like to make a proposal, make your New Year’s Resolutions about bringing your family closer.

I know that at this time with our economy as bad as it is, and many of us face the hardest times that we can remember. It is now, at this time of year that we need to look at all we each have to be thankful for and focus on how to make those connections stronger then ever. What are the reasons you get up each and every day and try to do your best? The answer is the family that you have around you. With a strong family bond in place, it makes even the toughest of times easier to get through. Plus you are teaching your children what is really important in life, and it will encourage them to always strive to not just do their best, but to keep them grounded and focused as they grow. I pray that we have done that with our children, as I am sure that you do. READ More on Family New Years Resolutions

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by Stacey Schifferdecker
baby Jesus, Mary and three Wise MenBeyond Santa Claus
All I want for Christmas is… a dancing Elmo and a Kidzoom camera and a Littlest Pet Shop Pet Town and…
It is all too easy during the Christmas season to lose focus on Jesus and concentrate only on gifts, parties, decorations, and fun. If even adults have trouble keeping Christmas as a celebration of Jesus’ birth, how much more difficult it is for children entangled by the excitement and mystery of Santa Claus. But you can help your young children learn the true meaning of Christmas. Incorporate some of these ideas into your Christmas festivities this year–READ More on Teaching Kids The Meaning of Christmas

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kids making Christmas cards with momMost kids love to make stuff and they love to give gifts – why not combine these two interests and let them make Christmas gifts? Think of the advantages of making Christmas gifts with your kids this year:
  • It will probably take less time than a shopping trip to the crowded mall.
  • It will save on your budget.
  • It will give you fun bonding time with your children and good holiday memories.
  • People love to receive items kids have made.
Here are some ideas for simple and easy gifts kids can make. Most will require at least some participation from you, although older children may be able to make some of these items on their own.READ More on Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make

by Stacey Schifferdecker

 


"Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day"
Robert Caspar Lintner
Giving thanks and saying grace before Thanksgiving mealWhen people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I always say Thanksgiving. I don’t know that deep down Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday, but I feel sorry for it. There it is, sandwiched between the candy, costumes, and trick-or-treat of Halloween and the gifts, glitz, and glamour of Christmas. How is a simple, mostly non-commercialized holiday like Thanksgiving supposed to compete?READ More on Teaching Children The Meaning of Thanksgiving

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There are many ways to make Thansgiving fun and special and there are many Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids you can work with on with your child. If you are a parent, teacher, Sunday School teacher, or work around children in any other type of profession, you will be interested to discover that there are a large number of crafts available for all holidays – especially Thanksgiving! You can discover ideas for toddlers, school age children, and even teenagers if you find the right resources. In this helpful and informative guide, you will be introduced to many Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids that both you, and the child or children that you work with will find very entertaining.

Tree of Thanks

One of the most favored Thanksgiving craft ideas of today is creating the ever-popular “Tree of Thanks”. This is a tree that is actually composed of foam. This craft project typically comes in the form of a kit that includes several different colored “fall” leaves, and a tree base. This makes a great craft for children as young as preschool age. All you have to do is provide some markers that the children can use to write down certain things that they are thankful for, or what they considered to be “blessings” in their lives. In most cases, this kit comes with many additional pieces so that more than one project can be completed. This means that there are plenty of pieces for small classes, or groups!

click here to learn how to buy this craft kit READ More on Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids

Words That Empower Our Children

Words That Empower Our Children

Often as parents, words slip out of our mouths before we even think about them. I am no exception and will be the first to admit it. Sometimes we may quickly tell our kids things like "you should be ashamed of yourself" or "I'm going to leave you right here if you don't stop" and don't realize how this actually affects our children in the future. The way that we communicate with our children is so important to their emotional health, their self esteem, and even their personal empowerment. The outcomes and attitudes our kids have are linked to the words that we use as parents. The words that you use can either wound, shame, and bring down or they can nurture, encourage, and empower your child.

So, now that you know how important the things are that you say to your kids, you may be wondering what you shouldn't say and what things you should say. If you're not sure what words to use to help build up and empower your child, here is a look at some of the words that empower and some words that tear down your children. Learn the difference and start changing the way that you speak to your children. You'll be surprised at the difference.

Negative and Dis-empowering Words vs. Positive Empowering Words

"You should"  instead you can say "You could or you can"

"I can't" instead you can say "I'll do my very best"

"Try" instead you can say "Do your very best"

"You must" instead you can say "I'd like for you to"

"Don't forget to" instead you can say "Please make sure you remember"

"Don't drop it" instead you can say "Make sure you carefully hold it"

"That was a bad shot" instead you can say "You can do much better"

"I'm too busy to…"  instead you can say "I'll find some time"

"You're a real pain" instead you can say "You could take better actions"

"You have to" instead you can say "I would like you to"

"It's too hard" instead you can say "Practice will make it easier"

"I'm not good at" instead you can say "I can do better"

"You're being selfish" instead you can say "Try to work on sharing more"

"You're being irritable"  instead you can say "You're a bit sensitive"

"I'm not good…" instead you can say "I need some more practice"

"No one likes me" instead you can say "Making friends takes some time"

"You're naught" instead you can say "You can behave in a better way"READ More on Parenting: Words That Empower

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