Monday, August 31, 2009

This Week's Menu

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 5:44 PM 1 comments
Monday: Tyson breaded chicken tenders, mixed veggies (steamed), Cheddar/Brocolli rice (Zataran's)

Tuesday: Brown Sugar Pork Chops (ttp://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Brown-Sugar-Chops/Detail.aspx) with potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: spaghetti noodles with meatballs & marinara, salad, garlic toast

Friday: fish (whatever hubby picks up at Costco), plain rice, steamed brocolli

Saturday: leftovers/sandwiches

Sunday: roast, potatoes, carrots, bread

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wisdom and Knowledge

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:03 PM 1 comments
As moms, two things we need most are wisdom and knowledge. There's lots of "knowledge" available today in jsut about every form you can imagine. However, there is only one source for true, unchanging knowledge and wisdom. As I heard Beth Moore say the other day (on Life Today with James and Betty Robison), I'm ready to get desperate for something I can have. From prison Paul wrote to the Colossians that he was praying for them and "asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." (vs. 9) That's what I want! To be FILLED with the KNOWLEDGE of HIS WILL through ALL SPIRITUAL WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING! I'm desperate God. Please fill me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

10 Things You can do While Breastfeeding

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 10:27 AM 0 comments
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-20766-Richmond-Breastfeeding--Examiner~y2009m8d27-10-Things-You-Can-Do-While-Breastfeeding

Friday, August 28, 2009

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 12:31 PM 0 comments
Join me on FaceBook. I have a group called Joyful Moms and a page called The Mommy Answer (go figure.) Join my group and become a fan of my page. I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Get Paid to Write!

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 8:26 PM 0 comments
Through Examiner.com you can get paid to write short articles on line. You have to apply, and if approved they ask that you write 4 short (300 - 500) articles a week. Go to Examiner.com and click to select your city. Topics include: entertainment, business, family and home, life, news and politics, sports and recreation. There's something for everyone. I've posted four articles in my first week and already have 18 hits (check me out - http://www.examiner.com/x-20766-Richmond-Breastfeeding--Examiner~y2009m8d27-10-Things-You-Can-Do-While-Breastfeeding.) If you apply, PLEASE put my name down (Tracy Wainwright) as referring you. I'll get credit, just like you will after your approved and refer others.

Happy Writing!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breastfeeding on Demand

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 10:03 PM 0 comments
Third article on examiner.com

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-20766-Richmond-Breastfeeding--Examiner~y2009m8d26-Breastfeeding-on-Demand

More Farm Fresh Deals

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:04 PM 0 comments
Dole Fruit cups - $2 - $1 coupon doubled = $1 each, must get two
Heluva Good dip - $1.99 - $0.50 coupon doubled = $0.99
Mueller's spaghetti & elbow shells - $1.25 - $0.55 doubled = $0.15
Nabisco Crackerfuls - $2.69 - $1/2 doubled = $1.94 each, must get two
Oreo cakesters - 2.69 - $0.75/2 doubled = $1.94 each, must get two
Reynolds recycled foil $3 - $0.75 doubled = $1.50 each
Van Camp's Baked Beans $0.75 - $0.30/3 doubled = $0.55 each, must get three
Solo cups - $3.00 - $0.75 doubled = $1.50 each

Farm Fresh Deals

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 11:28 AM 0 comments
Initial deals this week at Farm Fresh
Farm Fresh Chicken Breasts - $1.98/lb
Texas Toast - $2.79 - $0.40 coupon doubled = $1.99/box
Plain Cheerios - $2.79 - $1.00/2 coupon doubled = 1.79/box, must get two
Dole Fruit Jars - $2.00 - $0.55 coupon doubled = .$0.90/jar
Kellog's Cereals - 2/$5.00 - $1.00/2 coupon doubled = $1.50/box, must get two
Bob Evan's Sausage- $3.00 - .25 coupon doubled = $2.50/lb

More to come...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Week's To Do List

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:44 PM 0 comments
Monday
work
weekly menu
wash kids clothes
examiner article

Tuesday
finish kids clothes
wash sheets and towels
school
examiner article
submit writing piece to magazine
women's conference proposal to church staff
finish thank-you's
book

Wednesday
school
check Farm Fresh add & coupons
dust upstairs
dust downstairs
vacuum upstairs
go to Farm Fresh

Thursday
Apple Butter & Apple Sauce
Examiner Article

Friday
rest
work on book

This Week's Menu

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:06 AM 0 comments
Monday
baked chicken tenders(dipped in butter, then breadcrumbs, baked on 375 for 20 minutes)
fried rice (plain for the kids, just used soy sauce and an egg for mine, no time for veggies)
steamed brocolli
squash (stir fried on med-hi in olive oil)

Tuesday
leftover day

Wednesday
meatloaf (1lb hamburger, 2/3 c crushed Ritz, bbq sauce, egg, Lipton soup mix - 325 for an hour)
mashed potatoes (cube, boil, add butter, milk, salt & pepper and blend)
green beans (out of the can, boiled on medium 30 minutes with Tbs olive oil)

Thursday
pork chops (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Pork-Chops-with-Balsamic-Caramelized-Pears/Detail.aspx)
noodles (flavored, out of a bag)
mixed vegetables (steamed from frozen - brocolli, cauliflour, squash & carrots)

Friday
curry chicken (brown chicken, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, 1/4 c apple sauce, crushed red pepper & curry powder to taste)
rice
stir fry veggies (from frozen)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom Musings

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:00 PM 0 comments
My recent reading of John Rosemond's "Parenting by the Book" has really helped me to take a step back and evaluate my parenting. Although I believe in and agree with most of what he says, do I practice it? I've even written my chapter for my book on parenting, which says some similar things. But am I following my own beliefs with behaviors?

Yes. And no. As with most things, parenting is a growth process. (I just have to hope my ability to parent grows at a faster rate than my kids!) There are a lot of things I do right, but there are also a lot of areas in which I can improve. One I am constantly working on is correcting and leading my children without emotion. I know that emotion gets in the way of effective parenting, but when I'm tired, hungry, stressed, etc. I parent emotionally.

Tonight one of my children did something that they'd gotten into trouble for numerous times. At first I started getting upset. But then I remembered that getting upset wouldn't change the behavior (it'd already happened) and it would diminish any consequences I doled out. I calmly gave the consequences (despite a very sad face) and remained perfectly calm. And oh, HOW GOOD IT FELT! Better for me. Better for the child in question. Better for the children observing. No guilt for blowing up. No stewing in icky juices. Just consequences and moving on. A good reminder, one more effective practice, and a little growth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Today's To Do List

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 6:30 AM 0 comments
Get up early enough to exercise and Bible Study.
Get kids up, dressed, and fed.
Go to church and worship God!!
Eat lunch at mom's.
Go see a movie with hubby and maybe take in a store or dessert before picking up baby.
Pick up ONLY baby and come home for a quiet evening.
Praise God a little more before falling asleep.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Satrudays

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:16 PM 2 comments
Satrudays are not a day off for mom. Sometimes, however, you do get to sleep in. And hubby is ususally home to help with/do stuff with the kids. And if your kids are in school, you actually get to spend a whole day with them. So, mothering, parenting, taking care of, feeding, still happens, but Saturdays are a nice change of pace. Not the care-free days they used to be, but then they didn't come with the best hugs and kisses in the world, either!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friendships

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 4:47 PM 1 comments
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I am so grateful for the friends that God has placed in my life. At one time I just wanted friends and wasn't interested in good, quality friends. But I learned that those friends don't help you up. They laugh and abandon you when you're down. True friends help you up when you're down physically, spiritually, or emotianally. They encourage. They share. They let you lean on them.

As moms, we need to establish and maintain healthy, equally beneficial relationships. It's not about keeping score, but about loving each other and living the mommy life together. Friends (good, godly friends) make life so much more enjoyable. In our fast-paced, child-centered lives, we often forget to focus on these relationship. However, if we remember that we are women first, and foster these relationships we will be much better moms. I know I am - thanks, ladies: for your love and laughter!

To Do List Update

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:52 AM 0 comments
Made good progress on my list. It's amazing what I can get done when I'm focused and goal-oriented. I even have been able to read almost a whole book (one chapter left - Parenting by the Book: a book EVERY MOM should read!)

What's left to do today: water garden, thank-you notes, work on book, school, and spend time with the fam (hubby's home today!!)

Oh, how much better I feel when I can see what I am getting accomplished (in addition to the daily meals, having kids clean up their toys, emptying the dishwasher, etc.) And when I have the right attitude, it's even a joy to get things done.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Respect and Obedience

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 11:24 AM 1 comments
I'm reading a new book - Parenting by The Book: Biblical Wisdom for Raising Your Child by John Rosemond - and agree with one (a lot, really) of his premises. If your child does not obey you, it's because your child does not respect you. Wow! How powerful is that? If we don't teach our children to respect us, they will not learn to respect others or themselves. This will cause major relationship problems throughout their lives, and make it almost impossible for them to submit to God's authority and have a real relationship with Him. Not a new concept, but a renewed one.

P.S. Thanks to my fabulous, real friend Jennifer for the book. You're the best girl! Thanks for respecting me enough to bless me with this gift.

P.P.S. You can find this book at Amazon for around $6

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Do List

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 11:53 AM 0 comments
Here's what's on the schedule for the next couple of days:

Phone calls to get proposals for Abundant Life Conference for Women (Clarion, Great Wolfe, Eastover)

Wash: colored clothes, white clothes, sheets

Clean toilets
Vacuum downstairs
Mop downstairs

water garden
thank-you notes
work on The Mommy Answer
Excite Articles (first 4)
Excite links
Blog (each day)
Facebook page & Joyful Moms group (each day)
Twitter (can't believe I've started this, too)

Get AlphaBugs curriculum emailed (first 4 weeks)
School (each day)
Bible Study (each day)
Exercise (each day)

We'll see what progress is made by Friday - oh, yeah - and a date with hubby Friday night, which means I have to find child care!

Twitter

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 8:03 AM 0 comments
Ok, I give in. I'm now on twitter - themommyanswer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Author Recommendation

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:46 PM 1 comments
Just finished "Between Sundays" by Karen Kingsbury. Great book, just like all of hers. Check out all her books at http://www.karenkingsbury.com/books/

Life

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 11:44 AM 0 comments
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows.) John 10:10

Words of Jesus. He came that we might have life through Him. It's easy to accept Him, believe in Him, receive salvation and eternal life through Him. It is often much more challenging to accept, believe and receive the gift of enjoying life in abundance on a daily basis. Why is that? Are we missing something? Often, it's the ongoing, in-depth, ever-growing relationship with Him. I was talking with someone yesterday about being able to recognize the differences in my children's personality. She asked if it was difficult as a parent to pick out their uniqueness. For me, no, it's not. But I believe that's because I spend so much time with them. I know them intimately.

The same goes for Jesus. How much time we spend with Him, observing Him through His Word, listening to the quiet whispers He speaks to our hearts, and sharing our thoughts, feelings, hopes, and challenges with Him will have a great affect on how well we know Him. And if and how much we experience the grace, mercy, blessings, and abundant life that He came to give us.

I always know when I'm not spending enough time with Him, because I struggle with the daily challenges of life and motherhood. Fortunately, He reminds me to come sit at His feet and He will take my challenges. I just have to listen and believe. Today I choose to listen and believe.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busy Days

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 5:00 PM 0 comments
Do you ever get to the end of the day and sit down in your chair or lay down in bed and wonder, “What did I do all day?” As you look around (or picture in your head) at all the things that are left to be done, you try to conjure up what in the world it was that you did that day. Although exhausted, and having been busy all day, it seems like there’s more to do than there was at the beginning of the day.
When this happens to me I find, upon reflecting on my day, that I allowed myself to be distracted and start a dozen things, finishing none. A little bit of this and a little bit of that got done, but nothing got completed. Which means that it looks like nothing happened all day except for more mess making. This happens to me in part because I’d much rather take on a project than work on the day-to-day items of running the house. Dust? No, that’ll wait. I’ve got clothes to go through. Toilets? No. Not when there’s an event to plan. And although the clothes do need to be gone through (at some point) and the event needs to be planned (but did I have to take it on?), the daily home-care needs to happen too. And it’s not going to if I don’t get myself organized.
There are bigger projects (like planning my son’s preschool curriculum for the year) that can’t be done in one sitting or one day, but there are many that often linger that should be done more succinctly. For me, I find that writing down what I want to get done helps me prioritize and accomplish more. And if at least one of those things helps improve the looks of my home, all the better. I feel like I’ve accomplished more (no matter what I’ve actually done) if I can visibly see the results. So as I look at the last quarter of my day, I realize that I can complete a task or two and wake up tomorrow with a little less to face, even if there is a baby who’ll probably interrupt me at some point and three other children to feed, spend time with and put to bed. It’ll be worth it when I sit down and can easily and quickly take stock of what got, not just done, but completed today.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Free PreSchool AlphaBugs Curriculum

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 10:30 AM 0 comments
Are you interested in a FREE PreSchool Curriculum? I'm more than willing to share what I have with you. THere are three ways to sign up for monthly emails including everything you need except the books for this Alpha-Bugs Lapbook curriculum. Sign up as a follower of my blog; become a fan of The Mommy Answer on FaceBook, or join my group Joyful Moms on FaceBook. Once you've done one of these three things, email me at themommyanswer@verizon.net and I'll send you four weeks of this fun, adventure-filled, phonics-based curriculum straight to your inbox each month.

Thanks and happy learning!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nothing

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 4:05 PM 0 comments
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-9

How amazing is God's love! NOTHING can seperate us from it. When He doesn't feel near, we are not separated from His love. When we don't understand, we are not separated from His love. When we are hurt, we are not separated from His love. When we sin, we are not separated from His love. He is always there to offer whatever it is that we need. It may not be what we want. But it will always be what we need.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ten Minutes

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:35 AM 0 comments
While five minutes can make a difference in how my day or a situation goes, I find that much of the day gets broken down into ten minute segments. There is often ten minutes of peace in between meals, chores, arguments and needing to feed the baby. There is often a spare ten minutes before needing to leave the house. There is often only ten minutes to get things done before supper’s ready, time to go, bedtime. This time is easily wasted. If there’s only ten minutes to do something, is it really worth even trying? I say yes. And below is a list of things that can be completed in 10 minutes or less that will help move you along the chore list and getting things accomplished.

Make a bed
Shower, dress, brush hair and teeth
Read a magazine article
Eat an apple for a snack
Windex the bathroom mirrors
Pick up toys in a room
Hang up a load of laundry
Unload the dishwasher
Dust a room or two
Clean the toilets
Shoot a quick email to a friend on your mind
Do some stretching (better than no exercise)
Fix breakfast (if it only involves cereal or oatmeal)
Gather things needed for the day and put them in the car
Fix a salad
Vacuum a room or two, or three
Write a note to a friend or family member
Clean off a counter
Balance the checkbook
Drink a cup of coffee
Pray
Read a book to a child

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Five Minutes

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:35 PM 1 comments
In motherhood five minutes can often make the biggest difference. It only takes kids about five minutes to destroy a day’s worth of housework. On a really good day I can shower and get dressed in five minutes. Five minutes of spending time in the Bible really helps my day go better. Five minutes in the middle of a child’s temper tantrum can also make a world of difference. For me, and for that child.
There have been days where I lost my temper along with a child throwing a fit or exhibiting direct defiance. There have been days when I’ve had to hang in there for up to 20 or 30 minutes for a tantrum to be over. But for the most part I have found that within five minutes of a tantrum or incidence of defiance it’s over, and the end result is based on my reaction, or ability not to react. If I can hold on for five minutes (forget counting to five), the storm usually passes without any major damage.
When our children lose it, the thing they need most is for us not to. They need the stability of mom to be the calming, reassuring factor in the situation. They haven’t learned yet to temper their reaction (some more so than others) and need us to show them how to be calm. If we can hold on, just five minutes, and be an anchor that keeps them grounded while a storm of emotions is raging through their little body, they will feel safe and secure when it’s all over. Then we can talk to them about whatever the issue is and come to a resolution or consequence.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Playing Purposefully - part 2

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:16 PM 0 comments
The importance of Play
Although I’ve been focusing on unstructured, creative play, that doesn’t mean that there is no room for structured play as well. Play, in general, is an essential part of children’s lives because it “is the primary path to learning for the first five years or so.”1 Linn states that, “preserving and nurturing children’s capacity to play is essential to all aspects of their mental, social, and emotional development. Play is a fundamental component of a healthy childhood…”2Individual play helps children to develop social skills, the ability to concentrate, stick with tasks, and enjoy alone time. Creative or imaginative play helps children to work through feelings and frustrations, build language skills, practice social skills, express themselves, build self-confidence, and understand and gain a sense of control of the world around them. Interactive play helps children to learn skills such as taking turns, following directions, sharing, dealing with winning and losing, and respecting other’s abilities. Play is also helpful in preparation for formal learning as children work on their gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving, and creativity through play naturally. And in addition to the benefits listed previously, when you as a parent take part in your child’s play it allows you to broach topics that might not come up otherwise and teach behaviors and ideas that are important to you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Playing Purposefully - part 3

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:17 PM 0 comments
What is play?
Play should be fun. It may seem that it’s not necessary to say that play should be fun, but it’s a good reminder. Especially when you look at the definition of fun. According to Webster (II New College Dictionary, 1995) fun means “a source of amusement, enjoyment, or pleasure.” So what does your child find enjoyable? What activities amuse him? And keep in mind that the root word that fun came from meant to act foolish. So it’s okay if the activity requires you to be silly.
Play, in general, should also be voluntary and spontaneous. You may have to pull them away from the TV or computer to get them started, but as soon as you’ve developed a habit of consistent play times (either with you, friends, or alone) they’ll be more likely initiate play more often. You can also give them the opportunity to pick the activity (within limits that encourage unstructured or interactive play) to help encourage play.
Play should also be active. This covers play that requires a lot of physical activity (tag, hide-and-go-seek, basketball) as well as imaginative play (having a tea party, play-dough, building blocks) and interactive play (board games, dominos). Computer games can be considered somewhat interactive, but play with another individual or with the imagination are much more stimulating. Watching television is the opposite of active, and although many find it enjoyable and do it voluntarily, it’s only useful for vegetating.
Lastly, play should at some point include make-believe. Younger children (beginning around age 3) do this very well and more frequently. However, there are many ways to encourage creative play in older children as well. Building things, making up stories, drawing, working on art projects, and reading help children to build on the skills of imaginative play.
So, now that you know all of the advantages of play, that it’s an essential part of development, and what play is, you can determine to make it a part of your lifestyle. You can make it a goal, actually written down or just kept conscious in your mind, to encourage your children to play more. Hopefully you’ll reap all the benefits of playing with your child and maybe you’ll even be reminded that play is an important part of life, even for parents.

Playing Purposefully - part 1

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:16 PM 0 comments
One day recently I sat down on the floor with my 22-month old son (okay I wrote this a couple of years ago, but it’s still true) and just hung out with him while he played. Every once in a while he handed me a toy and engaged me in play, but mostly I was able to just watch him play. I was truly amazed at the things I learned and was reminded of in that brief 30 minutes of down time.
The first thing I realized was how infrequently I just hang out with my children. When my daughter, now almost 4, was one I hung out with her while she played several times a week. Then I was working part time. Now I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom. But having more than one child, and often at least one in addition to my own, I had gotten into the habit of busying myself while the kids played. I would do activities with them, feed them, etc., but I had stopped hanging out with them.
Sitting on the floor of my son’s room I realized all that had been missed by not purposefully taking the time to just be with my children. First, I was missing out on the quality time that happens when we’re present with someone we love with no end or goal in mind. These special times silently build bonds that say, “I’m here. Not for any other reason than I love you.”
I was also missing the chance to glean immeasurable amounts of information. The information that can be gathered during free play include developmental, social and emotional. Often our children grow and develop new skills and abilities right before our eyes. However, because it happens so gradually and we parents tend to be so busy, we miss small developments. We no longer stand by to catch them as they teeteringly try to sit, stand, or walk on their own. In observing free play we have an opportunity to check out whether he is starting to pretend that toys are something else or if she is starting to truly play cooperatively with others.
Another bit of useful information that can be gleaned is about their interests. Is she changing her focus from horses to playing mommy? Does he tend to pick puzzles more of cars? Sometimes children’s interests and preferences are obvious (like my son who eats, sleeps, and breaths trains), but some are a little more subtle.One last piece of information that can be gleaned is what your child is picking up from the world around him. Children are sponges and, especially when they’re young, act as mirrors to their environment. Are there certain behaviors that are being picked up from you or your spouse? (Some of these may reinforce what you’re doing, others may encourage you to examine yourself.) What is your child learning from their peers and teachers? What parts of their favorite tv show is she imitating? All of these questions help you to determine how and what your child learns from his or her environment and may even lead to discussions on a variety of topics.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Random Mommy Tip #5

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 10:06 AM 1 comments
One way we help moms is by sharing recipes. I'm always looking for new, easy, yummy recipes. I'll share one I've been using for years, but just recently started eating again. When used within reason, this is a very balanced, low fat, healthy meal.
Ingredients:
pasta (spaghetti noodles, angel hair, shells, or twists, whatever your favorite is)
grape tomatoes
cucumber
shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar, but any will work)
Italian or Ranch & Vinaigrette (mixed) Dressing

A serving consists of 2/3 - 1 cup of pasta with your desired amount of cut up veggies, cheese and dressing. This dish can be made low fat by using low fat cheese and dressing. It's light, fresh and can be made up in larger portions to be quick. It's balanced because you have your carb, your veggies and your protein.

Do you have a great, quick and/or healthy recipe? Please share with me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 3]

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 11:34 AM 0 comments
Now, consistency does not mean an out-of-balance rigid style of parenting. As important as love is to applying discipline, there also needs to be some flexibility in routine and rules. A child flourishes in a loving environment with consistent boundaries and discipline, but there often occurs situations which call for adapting. For example, if your child is sick, you are probably going to relax the television and eating rules. As our children grow, we must continue to reevaluate their personality and developmental level in order to ensure that boundaries and discipline are appropriate (Holden, 1996.) The results of a 15-year-old living within the limits that were set when they were 5 are disastrous. As observant parents we need to pay attention to what is going on with our children to see if a situation calls for a different reaction. In general, whining is not tolerated in my household, but invariably it shows up increasingly when my daughter is sleepy. Although it is made clear to my daughter that whining is not acceptable, at times it’s more appropriate to talk about her feeling sleepy and how we can express ourselves better, rather than putting her in time out or taking away a prized possession immediately. The rule doesn’t change, but circumstances are taken into consideration, just as they are if your child has a bad day at school or gets hurt.

So, all we’re called to do is to love abundantly, discipline effectively, remain consistent, and be flexible, at the right times. Lest this task seem too daunting, we need to apply all of this information to the knowledge that we are not doing this job of parenting alone or without guidance. All parenting advice and recommendations should be viewed in light of scripture and what God impresses on us through his Holy Spirit as we continue to grow in our relationship with Him. He is our parent, the Ultimate Parent and models perfect parenting for us to flourish in as parents ourselves.

Monday, August 31, 2009

This Week's Menu

Monday: Tyson breaded chicken tenders, mixed veggies (steamed), Cheddar/Brocolli rice (Zataran's)

Tuesday: Brown Sugar Pork Chops (ttp://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Brown-Sugar-Chops/Detail.aspx) with potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: spaghetti noodles with meatballs & marinara, salad, garlic toast

Friday: fish (whatever hubby picks up at Costco), plain rice, steamed brocolli

Saturday: leftovers/sandwiches

Sunday: roast, potatoes, carrots, bread

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wisdom and Knowledge

As moms, two things we need most are wisdom and knowledge. There's lots of "knowledge" available today in jsut about every form you can imagine. However, there is only one source for true, unchanging knowledge and wisdom. As I heard Beth Moore say the other day (on Life Today with James and Betty Robison), I'm ready to get desperate for something I can have. From prison Paul wrote to the Colossians that he was praying for them and "asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." (vs. 9) That's what I want! To be FILLED with the KNOWLEDGE of HIS WILL through ALL SPIRITUAL WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING! I'm desperate God. Please fill me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Join me on FaceBook. I have a group called Joyful Moms and a page called The Mommy Answer (go figure.) Join my group and become a fan of my page. I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Get Paid to Write!

Through Examiner.com you can get paid to write short articles on line. You have to apply, and if approved they ask that you write 4 short (300 - 500) articles a week. Go to Examiner.com and click to select your city. Topics include: entertainment, business, family and home, life, news and politics, sports and recreation. There's something for everyone. I've posted four articles in my first week and already have 18 hits (check me out - http://www.examiner.com/x-20766-Richmond-Breastfeeding--Examiner~y2009m8d27-10-Things-You-Can-Do-While-Breastfeeding.) If you apply, PLEASE put my name down (Tracy Wainwright) as referring you. I'll get credit, just like you will after your approved and refer others.

Happy Writing!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breastfeeding on Demand

Third article on examiner.com

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-20766-Richmond-Breastfeeding--Examiner~y2009m8d26-Breastfeeding-on-Demand

More Farm Fresh Deals

Dole Fruit cups - $2 - $1 coupon doubled = $1 each, must get two
Heluva Good dip - $1.99 - $0.50 coupon doubled = $0.99
Mueller's spaghetti & elbow shells - $1.25 - $0.55 doubled = $0.15
Nabisco Crackerfuls - $2.69 - $1/2 doubled = $1.94 each, must get two
Oreo cakesters - 2.69 - $0.75/2 doubled = $1.94 each, must get two
Reynolds recycled foil $3 - $0.75 doubled = $1.50 each
Van Camp's Baked Beans $0.75 - $0.30/3 doubled = $0.55 each, must get three
Solo cups - $3.00 - $0.75 doubled = $1.50 each

Farm Fresh Deals

Initial deals this week at Farm Fresh
Farm Fresh Chicken Breasts - $1.98/lb
Texas Toast - $2.79 - $0.40 coupon doubled = $1.99/box
Plain Cheerios - $2.79 - $1.00/2 coupon doubled = 1.79/box, must get two
Dole Fruit Jars - $2.00 - $0.55 coupon doubled = .$0.90/jar
Kellog's Cereals - 2/$5.00 - $1.00/2 coupon doubled = $1.50/box, must get two
Bob Evan's Sausage- $3.00 - .25 coupon doubled = $2.50/lb

More to come...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Week's To Do List

Monday
work
weekly menu
wash kids clothes
examiner article

Tuesday
finish kids clothes
wash sheets and towels
school
examiner article
submit writing piece to magazine
women's conference proposal to church staff
finish thank-you's
book

Wednesday
school
check Farm Fresh add & coupons
dust upstairs
dust downstairs
vacuum upstairs
go to Farm Fresh

Thursday
Apple Butter & Apple Sauce
Examiner Article

Friday
rest
work on book

This Week's Menu

Monday
baked chicken tenders(dipped in butter, then breadcrumbs, baked on 375 for 20 minutes)
fried rice (plain for the kids, just used soy sauce and an egg for mine, no time for veggies)
steamed brocolli
squash (stir fried on med-hi in olive oil)

Tuesday
leftover day

Wednesday
meatloaf (1lb hamburger, 2/3 c crushed Ritz, bbq sauce, egg, Lipton soup mix - 325 for an hour)
mashed potatoes (cube, boil, add butter, milk, salt & pepper and blend)
green beans (out of the can, boiled on medium 30 minutes with Tbs olive oil)

Thursday
pork chops (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Pork-Chops-with-Balsamic-Caramelized-Pears/Detail.aspx)
noodles (flavored, out of a bag)
mixed vegetables (steamed from frozen - brocolli, cauliflour, squash & carrots)

Friday
curry chicken (brown chicken, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, 1/4 c apple sauce, crushed red pepper & curry powder to taste)
rice
stir fry veggies (from frozen)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom Musings

My recent reading of John Rosemond's "Parenting by the Book" has really helped me to take a step back and evaluate my parenting. Although I believe in and agree with most of what he says, do I practice it? I've even written my chapter for my book on parenting, which says some similar things. But am I following my own beliefs with behaviors?

Yes. And no. As with most things, parenting is a growth process. (I just have to hope my ability to parent grows at a faster rate than my kids!) There are a lot of things I do right, but there are also a lot of areas in which I can improve. One I am constantly working on is correcting and leading my children without emotion. I know that emotion gets in the way of effective parenting, but when I'm tired, hungry, stressed, etc. I parent emotionally.

Tonight one of my children did something that they'd gotten into trouble for numerous times. At first I started getting upset. But then I remembered that getting upset wouldn't change the behavior (it'd already happened) and it would diminish any consequences I doled out. I calmly gave the consequences (despite a very sad face) and remained perfectly calm. And oh, HOW GOOD IT FELT! Better for me. Better for the child in question. Better for the children observing. No guilt for blowing up. No stewing in icky juices. Just consequences and moving on. A good reminder, one more effective practice, and a little growth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Today's To Do List

Get up early enough to exercise and Bible Study.
Get kids up, dressed, and fed.
Go to church and worship God!!
Eat lunch at mom's.
Go see a movie with hubby and maybe take in a store or dessert before picking up baby.
Pick up ONLY baby and come home for a quiet evening.
Praise God a little more before falling asleep.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Satrudays

Satrudays are not a day off for mom. Sometimes, however, you do get to sleep in. And hubby is ususally home to help with/do stuff with the kids. And if your kids are in school, you actually get to spend a whole day with them. So, mothering, parenting, taking care of, feeding, still happens, but Saturdays are a nice change of pace. Not the care-free days they used to be, but then they didn't come with the best hugs and kisses in the world, either!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friendships

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I am so grateful for the friends that God has placed in my life. At one time I just wanted friends and wasn't interested in good, quality friends. But I learned that those friends don't help you up. They laugh and abandon you when you're down. True friends help you up when you're down physically, spiritually, or emotianally. They encourage. They share. They let you lean on them.

As moms, we need to establish and maintain healthy, equally beneficial relationships. It's not about keeping score, but about loving each other and living the mommy life together. Friends (good, godly friends) make life so much more enjoyable. In our fast-paced, child-centered lives, we often forget to focus on these relationship. However, if we remember that we are women first, and foster these relationships we will be much better moms. I know I am - thanks, ladies: for your love and laughter!

To Do List Update

Made good progress on my list. It's amazing what I can get done when I'm focused and goal-oriented. I even have been able to read almost a whole book (one chapter left - Parenting by the Book: a book EVERY MOM should read!)

What's left to do today: water garden, thank-you notes, work on book, school, and spend time with the fam (hubby's home today!!)

Oh, how much better I feel when I can see what I am getting accomplished (in addition to the daily meals, having kids clean up their toys, emptying the dishwasher, etc.) And when I have the right attitude, it's even a joy to get things done.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Respect and Obedience

I'm reading a new book - Parenting by The Book: Biblical Wisdom for Raising Your Child by John Rosemond - and agree with one (a lot, really) of his premises. If your child does not obey you, it's because your child does not respect you. Wow! How powerful is that? If we don't teach our children to respect us, they will not learn to respect others or themselves. This will cause major relationship problems throughout their lives, and make it almost impossible for them to submit to God's authority and have a real relationship with Him. Not a new concept, but a renewed one.

P.S. Thanks to my fabulous, real friend Jennifer for the book. You're the best girl! Thanks for respecting me enough to bless me with this gift.

P.P.S. You can find this book at Amazon for around $6

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Do List

Here's what's on the schedule for the next couple of days:

Phone calls to get proposals for Abundant Life Conference for Women (Clarion, Great Wolfe, Eastover)

Wash: colored clothes, white clothes, sheets

Clean toilets
Vacuum downstairs
Mop downstairs

water garden
thank-you notes
work on The Mommy Answer
Excite Articles (first 4)
Excite links
Blog (each day)
Facebook page & Joyful Moms group (each day)
Twitter (can't believe I've started this, too)

Get AlphaBugs curriculum emailed (first 4 weeks)
School (each day)
Bible Study (each day)
Exercise (each day)

We'll see what progress is made by Friday - oh, yeah - and a date with hubby Friday night, which means I have to find child care!

Twitter

Ok, I give in. I'm now on twitter - themommyanswer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Author Recommendation

Just finished "Between Sundays" by Karen Kingsbury. Great book, just like all of hers. Check out all her books at http://www.karenkingsbury.com/books/

Life

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows.) John 10:10

Words of Jesus. He came that we might have life through Him. It's easy to accept Him, believe in Him, receive salvation and eternal life through Him. It is often much more challenging to accept, believe and receive the gift of enjoying life in abundance on a daily basis. Why is that? Are we missing something? Often, it's the ongoing, in-depth, ever-growing relationship with Him. I was talking with someone yesterday about being able to recognize the differences in my children's personality. She asked if it was difficult as a parent to pick out their uniqueness. For me, no, it's not. But I believe that's because I spend so much time with them. I know them intimately.

The same goes for Jesus. How much time we spend with Him, observing Him through His Word, listening to the quiet whispers He speaks to our hearts, and sharing our thoughts, feelings, hopes, and challenges with Him will have a great affect on how well we know Him. And if and how much we experience the grace, mercy, blessings, and abundant life that He came to give us.

I always know when I'm not spending enough time with Him, because I struggle with the daily challenges of life and motherhood. Fortunately, He reminds me to come sit at His feet and He will take my challenges. I just have to listen and believe. Today I choose to listen and believe.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busy Days

Do you ever get to the end of the day and sit down in your chair or lay down in bed and wonder, “What did I do all day?” As you look around (or picture in your head) at all the things that are left to be done, you try to conjure up what in the world it was that you did that day. Although exhausted, and having been busy all day, it seems like there’s more to do than there was at the beginning of the day.
When this happens to me I find, upon reflecting on my day, that I allowed myself to be distracted and start a dozen things, finishing none. A little bit of this and a little bit of that got done, but nothing got completed. Which means that it looks like nothing happened all day except for more mess making. This happens to me in part because I’d much rather take on a project than work on the day-to-day items of running the house. Dust? No, that’ll wait. I’ve got clothes to go through. Toilets? No. Not when there’s an event to plan. And although the clothes do need to be gone through (at some point) and the event needs to be planned (but did I have to take it on?), the daily home-care needs to happen too. And it’s not going to if I don’t get myself organized.
There are bigger projects (like planning my son’s preschool curriculum for the year) that can’t be done in one sitting or one day, but there are many that often linger that should be done more succinctly. For me, I find that writing down what I want to get done helps me prioritize and accomplish more. And if at least one of those things helps improve the looks of my home, all the better. I feel like I’ve accomplished more (no matter what I’ve actually done) if I can visibly see the results. So as I look at the last quarter of my day, I realize that I can complete a task or two and wake up tomorrow with a little less to face, even if there is a baby who’ll probably interrupt me at some point and three other children to feed, spend time with and put to bed. It’ll be worth it when I sit down and can easily and quickly take stock of what got, not just done, but completed today.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Free PreSchool AlphaBugs Curriculum

Are you interested in a FREE PreSchool Curriculum? I'm more than willing to share what I have with you. THere are three ways to sign up for monthly emails including everything you need except the books for this Alpha-Bugs Lapbook curriculum. Sign up as a follower of my blog; become a fan of The Mommy Answer on FaceBook, or join my group Joyful Moms on FaceBook. Once you've done one of these three things, email me at themommyanswer@verizon.net and I'll send you four weeks of this fun, adventure-filled, phonics-based curriculum straight to your inbox each month.

Thanks and happy learning!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nothing

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-9

How amazing is God's love! NOTHING can seperate us from it. When He doesn't feel near, we are not separated from His love. When we don't understand, we are not separated from His love. When we are hurt, we are not separated from His love. When we sin, we are not separated from His love. He is always there to offer whatever it is that we need. It may not be what we want. But it will always be what we need.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ten Minutes

While five minutes can make a difference in how my day or a situation goes, I find that much of the day gets broken down into ten minute segments. There is often ten minutes of peace in between meals, chores, arguments and needing to feed the baby. There is often a spare ten minutes before needing to leave the house. There is often only ten minutes to get things done before supper’s ready, time to go, bedtime. This time is easily wasted. If there’s only ten minutes to do something, is it really worth even trying? I say yes. And below is a list of things that can be completed in 10 minutes or less that will help move you along the chore list and getting things accomplished.

Make a bed
Shower, dress, brush hair and teeth
Read a magazine article
Eat an apple for a snack
Windex the bathroom mirrors
Pick up toys in a room
Hang up a load of laundry
Unload the dishwasher
Dust a room or two
Clean the toilets
Shoot a quick email to a friend on your mind
Do some stretching (better than no exercise)
Fix breakfast (if it only involves cereal or oatmeal)
Gather things needed for the day and put them in the car
Fix a salad
Vacuum a room or two, or three
Write a note to a friend or family member
Clean off a counter
Balance the checkbook
Drink a cup of coffee
Pray
Read a book to a child

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Five Minutes

In motherhood five minutes can often make the biggest difference. It only takes kids about five minutes to destroy a day’s worth of housework. On a really good day I can shower and get dressed in five minutes. Five minutes of spending time in the Bible really helps my day go better. Five minutes in the middle of a child’s temper tantrum can also make a world of difference. For me, and for that child.
There have been days where I lost my temper along with a child throwing a fit or exhibiting direct defiance. There have been days when I’ve had to hang in there for up to 20 or 30 minutes for a tantrum to be over. But for the most part I have found that within five minutes of a tantrum or incidence of defiance it’s over, and the end result is based on my reaction, or ability not to react. If I can hold on for five minutes (forget counting to five), the storm usually passes without any major damage.
When our children lose it, the thing they need most is for us not to. They need the stability of mom to be the calming, reassuring factor in the situation. They haven’t learned yet to temper their reaction (some more so than others) and need us to show them how to be calm. If we can hold on, just five minutes, and be an anchor that keeps them grounded while a storm of emotions is raging through their little body, they will feel safe and secure when it’s all over. Then we can talk to them about whatever the issue is and come to a resolution or consequence.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Playing Purposefully - part 2

The importance of Play
Although I’ve been focusing on unstructured, creative play, that doesn’t mean that there is no room for structured play as well. Play, in general, is an essential part of children’s lives because it “is the primary path to learning for the first five years or so.”1 Linn states that, “preserving and nurturing children’s capacity to play is essential to all aspects of their mental, social, and emotional development. Play is a fundamental component of a healthy childhood…”2Individual play helps children to develop social skills, the ability to concentrate, stick with tasks, and enjoy alone time. Creative or imaginative play helps children to work through feelings and frustrations, build language skills, practice social skills, express themselves, build self-confidence, and understand and gain a sense of control of the world around them. Interactive play helps children to learn skills such as taking turns, following directions, sharing, dealing with winning and losing, and respecting other’s abilities. Play is also helpful in preparation for formal learning as children work on their gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving, and creativity through play naturally. And in addition to the benefits listed previously, when you as a parent take part in your child’s play it allows you to broach topics that might not come up otherwise and teach behaviors and ideas that are important to you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Playing Purposefully - part 3

What is play?
Play should be fun. It may seem that it’s not necessary to say that play should be fun, but it’s a good reminder. Especially when you look at the definition of fun. According to Webster (II New College Dictionary, 1995) fun means “a source of amusement, enjoyment, or pleasure.” So what does your child find enjoyable? What activities amuse him? And keep in mind that the root word that fun came from meant to act foolish. So it’s okay if the activity requires you to be silly.
Play, in general, should also be voluntary and spontaneous. You may have to pull them away from the TV or computer to get them started, but as soon as you’ve developed a habit of consistent play times (either with you, friends, or alone) they’ll be more likely initiate play more often. You can also give them the opportunity to pick the activity (within limits that encourage unstructured or interactive play) to help encourage play.
Play should also be active. This covers play that requires a lot of physical activity (tag, hide-and-go-seek, basketball) as well as imaginative play (having a tea party, play-dough, building blocks) and interactive play (board games, dominos). Computer games can be considered somewhat interactive, but play with another individual or with the imagination are much more stimulating. Watching television is the opposite of active, and although many find it enjoyable and do it voluntarily, it’s only useful for vegetating.
Lastly, play should at some point include make-believe. Younger children (beginning around age 3) do this very well and more frequently. However, there are many ways to encourage creative play in older children as well. Building things, making up stories, drawing, working on art projects, and reading help children to build on the skills of imaginative play.
So, now that you know all of the advantages of play, that it’s an essential part of development, and what play is, you can determine to make it a part of your lifestyle. You can make it a goal, actually written down or just kept conscious in your mind, to encourage your children to play more. Hopefully you’ll reap all the benefits of playing with your child and maybe you’ll even be reminded that play is an important part of life, even for parents.

Playing Purposefully - part 1

One day recently I sat down on the floor with my 22-month old son (okay I wrote this a couple of years ago, but it’s still true) and just hung out with him while he played. Every once in a while he handed me a toy and engaged me in play, but mostly I was able to just watch him play. I was truly amazed at the things I learned and was reminded of in that brief 30 minutes of down time.
The first thing I realized was how infrequently I just hang out with my children. When my daughter, now almost 4, was one I hung out with her while she played several times a week. Then I was working part time. Now I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom. But having more than one child, and often at least one in addition to my own, I had gotten into the habit of busying myself while the kids played. I would do activities with them, feed them, etc., but I had stopped hanging out with them.
Sitting on the floor of my son’s room I realized all that had been missed by not purposefully taking the time to just be with my children. First, I was missing out on the quality time that happens when we’re present with someone we love with no end or goal in mind. These special times silently build bonds that say, “I’m here. Not for any other reason than I love you.”
I was also missing the chance to glean immeasurable amounts of information. The information that can be gathered during free play include developmental, social and emotional. Often our children grow and develop new skills and abilities right before our eyes. However, because it happens so gradually and we parents tend to be so busy, we miss small developments. We no longer stand by to catch them as they teeteringly try to sit, stand, or walk on their own. In observing free play we have an opportunity to check out whether he is starting to pretend that toys are something else or if she is starting to truly play cooperatively with others.
Another bit of useful information that can be gleaned is about their interests. Is she changing her focus from horses to playing mommy? Does he tend to pick puzzles more of cars? Sometimes children’s interests and preferences are obvious (like my son who eats, sleeps, and breaths trains), but some are a little more subtle.One last piece of information that can be gleaned is what your child is picking up from the world around him. Children are sponges and, especially when they’re young, act as mirrors to their environment. Are there certain behaviors that are being picked up from you or your spouse? (Some of these may reinforce what you’re doing, others may encourage you to examine yourself.) What is your child learning from their peers and teachers? What parts of their favorite tv show is she imitating? All of these questions help you to determine how and what your child learns from his or her environment and may even lead to discussions on a variety of topics.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Random Mommy Tip #5

One way we help moms is by sharing recipes. I'm always looking for new, easy, yummy recipes. I'll share one I've been using for years, but just recently started eating again. When used within reason, this is a very balanced, low fat, healthy meal.
Ingredients:
pasta (spaghetti noodles, angel hair, shells, or twists, whatever your favorite is)
grape tomatoes
cucumber
shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar, but any will work)
Italian or Ranch & Vinaigrette (mixed) Dressing

A serving consists of 2/3 - 1 cup of pasta with your desired amount of cut up veggies, cheese and dressing. This dish can be made low fat by using low fat cheese and dressing. It's light, fresh and can be made up in larger portions to be quick. It's balanced because you have your carb, your veggies and your protein.

Do you have a great, quick and/or healthy recipe? Please share with me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 3]

Now, consistency does not mean an out-of-balance rigid style of parenting. As important as love is to applying discipline, there also needs to be some flexibility in routine and rules. A child flourishes in a loving environment with consistent boundaries and discipline, but there often occurs situations which call for adapting. For example, if your child is sick, you are probably going to relax the television and eating rules. As our children grow, we must continue to reevaluate their personality and developmental level in order to ensure that boundaries and discipline are appropriate (Holden, 1996.) The results of a 15-year-old living within the limits that were set when they were 5 are disastrous. As observant parents we need to pay attention to what is going on with our children to see if a situation calls for a different reaction. In general, whining is not tolerated in my household, but invariably it shows up increasingly when my daughter is sleepy. Although it is made clear to my daughter that whining is not acceptable, at times it’s more appropriate to talk about her feeling sleepy and how we can express ourselves better, rather than putting her in time out or taking away a prized possession immediately. The rule doesn’t change, but circumstances are taken into consideration, just as they are if your child has a bad day at school or gets hurt.

So, all we’re called to do is to love abundantly, discipline effectively, remain consistent, and be flexible, at the right times. Lest this task seem too daunting, we need to apply all of this information to the knowledge that we are not doing this job of parenting alone or without guidance. All parenting advice and recommendations should be viewed in light of scripture and what God impresses on us through his Holy Spirit as we continue to grow in our relationship with Him. He is our parent, the Ultimate Parent and models perfect parenting for us to flourish in as parents ourselves.
 

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