Friday, January 29, 2010

Days of Play: Indoor Camping

Take a few chairs and drape a blanket over them to make a tent.

Lay a blanket on the floor to camp on.

Read books, eat a snack, sing campfire songs, and snuggle in your tent.

For Older Children:
I suggest making indoor s'mores with your kiddos.  You can make them in the microwave OR toast the marshmallows over a candle (put them on a skewer first!).  And of course provide supervision!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things I Love--Mary Kay Make-Up

Don't worry--I'm not trying to sell you anything and you are not being invited to a party.

I just have to say that I have not always had the best skin.  And to cover up for my imperfections I've tried various brands of make-up and facial cleansers--Neutrogena, Oil of Olay, Swiss Ivy, Sephora, Clinique ... the list goes on and on.  I figure that if I could have back all the money I've spent on dermatologists and products in the name of getting vibrant healthy skin, I'd probably be able to afford to take Matt on a little romantic getaway to Cozumel (any excuse to dive and see his pecs!).  

A few years ago a friend suggested I try Mary Kay.  I'd always thought it was a gimmick but decided to at least try it when she offered me product at wholesale pricing.  I started with the Miracle Set plus some acne treatment gel. All I can say is HALLELUJAH!  My skin tone is even, my skin looks bright, and I rarely get adult zits (fewer than 3 a year--down from 3 a month!).  Don't even get me started on the fact that I'm not even in the early stages of crow's feet!

Now my vanity drawer looks like a Mary Kay saleswoman vomited pink and black product everywhere.  I use the foundation, the eyeshadow, the lipgloss, the microdermabrasion ... and I love it all.  

If you have skin product you love then you can relate to how great I feel when I put on my Mary Kay.  

My routine:
  • Wash with the 3-in-1 face wash.
  • Put 1/4 inch of acne treatment gel on my pointer finger.  Rub together and slather all over my face (I only do this once a day.  If you have bad acne or super oily skin you can do it morning and night).
  • Put on Day or Night Serum.
  • Mix dab of face lotion with dab of liquid foundation (morning only) and rub into skin.

Spy School #6

Spy School #6

In this challenge you will have your husband pick out outfits for you both AFTER he has learned the latest trends.  Without shopping, he will create 2 up-to-date outfits for you and he to wear.  Reward him by wearing his outfit out to dinner, to brunch, or for a nice in-home date (check out my other date ideas for an in-home date).

You may need to provide him with resources such as Vogue magazine, links to What Not To Wear, etc.

Text or e-mail your hubby the following challenge:

The Challenge 
Bond is a man of fashion.  From his chic swim-trunks to his expensive tuxes, the man can dress!  This challenge, should you choose to accept it, will open your eyes to the world of fashion. 

Your challenge:

  1. Peruse magazines, online sites, etc., and find tips on current MEN and WOMEN’S fashion trends.
  2. Without spending a dime, “shop” in our closets and create an outfit for me to wear and for you to wear.  Dressy?  Sexy? Causal fun?  It’s up to you.  But be prepared to explain what you picked and why you picked it.
  3. We will celebrate your trendy taste by wearing our outfits on a date.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday--What I think about SPANKING

To Spank or Not to Spank?  What a Scary Question

Spanking is a pretty hot topic and I was asked to share my thoughts on the subject by a few moms in North Carolina.   What I put here, of course, is my opinion only and should not be a substitute for prayer and research on your part. 

Let me start by announcing boldly that I am not drawing a line in the sand.  I am not saying it is good or bad to spank.  I’ll probably get hate mail for my refusal to be black or white but you should know that grey is my favorite color and my favorite place to be.

So, here are random ramblings related to spanking.

First and foremost, I know that the AAP, Dr. Phil, and Super Nanny are against spanking. Those experts are speaking to a large demographic and given the prevalence of child abuse, not endorsing corporal punishment makes sense. But I also know that these experts are not your child’s parents and they may not have your belief system.

Biblical References

Corporal punishment is mentioned in the Bible.  Here are some verses to reference:

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him (Proverbs 13:24).

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die (Proverbs 23:13).

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother (Proverbs 29:15)

My Thoughts on These Verses

First, shepherds used rods to guide and direct their sheep.  At times the crook was put around a sheep’s neck to get it out of crags. Other times it was used physically to direct sheep.  The rod is used metaphorically and it is stated, “your rod and your staff comfort me.” Please note that while “rod” can mean corporal punishment, it can also mean guidance. 

In Proverbs 13:24, parents who love their children are “careful” to discipline them.  Think about the word “careful.”  It means intentionally exercising caution.  In my opinion, if you yell or strike out at a child in a fit of wrath and anger, you are not carefully disciplining.     

Proverbs 22:15 talks about disciplining a foolish child.  I caution you to be aware of the difference between rashly acting or being foolish versus being childish.  Your child will do things that will make you angry that are childish, not foolish.  Spilling milk is childish, not foolish.  Do not discipline your child for being childish—correct them.  Guide them.

Proverbs 23:13 and 29:15 encourage parents not to shy away from guiding and disciplining their children.  You are your child’s biblical authority.  Be their loving authority and advocate. You are responsible to train your child, which might include corporal punishment but also means more than spanking.

Given these verses, I do think that corporal punishment is biblically founded and may be useful when used correctly.  When done incorrectly, spanking can cause humiliation, anger, and bitterness in the heart of your child. It can harm children emotionally and physically, and is child abuse.

Spanking is not prohibited and may be encouraged.  However, you must remember that "everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial" (1 Cor 10:23).  There are biblical guidelines on how to discipline a child correctly. If you are not willing to put time and effort into praying and researching how to correctly discipline your child, please do NOT spank them.

Corporal punishment is a heart issue, not a salvation issue; therefore, I can't tell you that you must or must not do it.  Spanking or not does not make you a good, Christian parent.

What We Do
I went into parenting being 100% opposed to spanking; Matt viewed corporal punishment in a more positive light.  Therefore, we researched and prayed and came up with our parenting style. 

We have spanked our daughter a couple of times in response to severe, repeated disobedience. But more often, we’ve used time-outs, natural consequences, and loving guidance and discussion.

In the end, the decision to use or not use corporal punishment can only be made by you and your husband after a time of prayer and research.

If you choose to use corporal punishment, please read Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.  This book will instruct you on spanking in a manner that encourages forgiveness and reconciliation. 

Some basic guidelines:

  • Never spank in anger or out of wrath.  Corporal punishment is not about vindication, retribution, or emotional release.
  • Do not spank your child for being childish.  Being disobedient and being childish are very different issues.
  • Never punish in a manner that embarrasses or humiliates your child.
  • Have a conversation with your child.  Try to find out why the disobedience happened and explain why the action was not correct.  Don’t lecture; listen.
  • If the situation requires a spanking, spank your child only on the bottom.  Use one or two swats that sting.  Test on your thigh first.
  • Show your child that it hurts you to spank them.  Encourage reconciliation and forgiveness.
  • Pray with your child.
  • When the event is done, it is done.  Do not re-hash or bring it up.
  • NEVER allow anyone but you and your spouse to spank your child.

Please remember that corporal punishment should only be a part of your parenting style, if used at all.
Whatever you do, be consistent, loving, and fair.  If you need resources on biblical parenting I strongly recommend Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

Please note that there is research about spanking that is more science-based (as opposed to faith-based).  I've not discussed that and will leave doing that research up to you, though this link to a comment from a reader offers resources.

Scholastic Book Giveaway

Please go to the In the Know Moms site and register to win 50 children's classics on books and DVDs.  This is an amazing giveaway and only takes a second to leave a comment!

Go here if you are interested.

Days of Play--Musical Chairs

Put a chair in the middle of your living room floor (have 1 chair less than the number of people.  3 people=3 chairs).  Play music and move around the chair.  When the music stops, race for the seat.  Whoever sits wins.  Whoever doesn't loses :(

For Younger Children:
Play music and dance.

For Older Children:
Indicate how children move around the chair.  Walk, skip, grapevine, cluck like chickens, waddle like penguins, etc.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip

My sister taught me this trick and it is my favorite.

If you have carpet, get a spay bottle and a bottle of Febreeze-scented Downy fabric softener.

Put the fabric softener in the spay bottle and lightly spray all over your carpet areas.  Allow to dry (roughly 10 minutes).


Enjoy cushy, fluffy carpets that smell delightful.

**Spot test before you spray this everywhere**

Spicy Chicken for 2

When I was pregnant with my daughter I craved Chang's Spicy Chicken.  Unfortunately, I lived too far away from PF Chang's to indulge my cravings.  I found this recipe online and tweaked it to my liking.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 T. olive oil

1 t. minced garlic 
1/4 c. sliced green onion
1 tsp. chili paste
1 oz. chicken broth
1 T. Oyster Sauce
2 t. Sesame Oil
1 oz. vinegar/sugar mixture (1 T white, granulated sugar and the rest rice vinegar)

  1. Fry chicken in olive oil.  Drain and wipe excess oil out of pan and off chicken.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in hot pan. 
  3. Add chicken--sauce should cling to it.

We eat this over brown rice or undon noodles.  If you like a lot of sauce then double the sauce ingredients. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

What cookin' at my house this week?

 I LOVE meal planning!There is something refreshing about not worry about what to have for dinner.

Kaufman Menu
  • Monday--Baked Rotini (I'm not a fan of casseroles but this easy dish is necessary since I have class on Mondays and DH needs to feed the kids and himself after a long day at work).
  • Tuesday--Rueben Soup
  • Wednesday--Cranberry Chicken and Rice
  • Thursday--Beef Enchiladas in white sauce
  • Friday--Sliced sesame chicken on spring greens with Asian dressing

Days of Play--Indoor Snowball Fight

Go through your recycle bin and crunch up paper in to a ball.  Hide behind couches and ambush one another with "snowballs".  End the fun with a cup of hot cocoa!

For younger children
Allow your child to play with and crinkle the paper.  It is wonderfully tactile!  Be care that your little one doesn't eat the paper!