Saturday morning we tackled a chore I’d been putting off for weeks. The girls’ playroom was quite cluttered and I knew there were a number of things that could be gotten rid of since they hadn’t been played with in awhile.
For me, macaroni and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods. I like it just about any way you can cook it. This particular recipe has become a favorite to take to potlucks or other gatherings since I can put it together beforehand and transport it in the crock pot to keep it warm.
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
8 ounce box of macaroni, cooked and drained
8 ounce can of evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 stick margarine or butter, melted
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
Pepper as desired
Spray crock pot with cooking spray (or use crock pot liner). Mix all ingredients together, except cheese slices, and place in crock pot. Place cheese slices on top of ingredients and sprinkle with additional paprika. Cook on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
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Just a few snapshots from our Easter weekend!
Easter lunch consisted of baked ham, potato casserole, cranberry sauce (yes, I know that’s a Thanksgiving thing, but my girls love it, so I pulled out a can for the occasion) and lima beans with butter cookies and chocolate bunnies for dessert!
“Home is the place where boys and girls first learn how to limit their wishes, abide by rules, and consider the rights and needs of others.“– Sidonie Gruenberg
Today’s Mannerly Monday concerns treating others in our home with courtesy and kindness. We talked earlier about manners in communication, ideas that we should certainly incorporate as we interact with our family.
Here are a few guidelines to help our children learn how to function properly in a family unit.
- If someone is resting or sleeping, be considerate by moving around the house softly and quietly.
- Always knock and receive approval to enter before opening someone’s closed door.
- Get permission before using or borrowing any item from a family member.
- If you see tasks around the house that need to be done, do them without having to be asked. This would include making sure that things are returned to their proper place after you use them and cleaning up any messes you make.
- If you have wronged a person in the family, be willing to admit your mistake, apologize and do whatever is needed to make it right. Do not allow grudges to grow between you and a parent or sibling.
- Learn to answer the phone politely. Take a message if needed and be sure to pass it along to the correct person.
- Never repeat stories of events that happen in the home that would be embarrassing to a family member. Be protective of your siblings.
Above all, be thoughtful and considerate toward those in your family. We are often more gracious to friends, neighbors and acquaintances than we are to those we love and treasure the most.
Do you have other family rules in your home?
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Just the name of this dessert is perfect – I love peanut butter and chocolate together. I’ve made this recipe several times for special occasions and think it would be a wonderful ending to an Easter or other holiday meal.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Trifle
1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package (10 oz) peanut butter chips
4 1/4 cups cold milk, divided
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 packages (5.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 Nestle Crunch candy bars (1.55 oz each), crumbled
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour the batter into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
In a heavy saucepan combine peanut butter chips, 1/4 cup milk and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Place the remaining milk in a mixing bowl; beat in pudding mixes on low speed for 2 minutes.
To assemble, crumble half of the cake in to a a 4-qt trifle bowl or large bowl. Layer with half of the peanut butter sauce, pudding, whipped topping and candy bars. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
Find other great Easter dessert recipes at Life as Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap.
We started bedtime routines with our daughters when they were infants. Thanks to my reading the book Babywise when I was expecting, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted our evenings to look. Obviously that has changed somewhat as our girls have grown, but I have kept things in the same general order. So, with girls that are ages eight and six, who get up in the mornings at 6:25 A.M. to get ready for school, here is what our nights look like leading up to bedtime.
As we continue on with basic math skills, it is important to make sure that our child understands the concept that a numeral represents a number of objects. He/she can memorize counting numbers in order without realizing that a 4 equals an exact amount of something.
You can teach this relatively easily. Use some of the tactile numbers we talked about last week – magnetic, wood or felt ones, even a 3×5 card with a number written on it. Let your child hold the number and then have them count out that many objects (blocks, crayons, goldfish crackers, any manipulatives would work). Help them equate the numeral they are holding with the number of objects they have counted out.
Once they have grasped that principle, you can move on to teaching the idea of more and less. Have your child count out 4 of something and put it into a pile. Then have them count out 7 of the same item and put it into a pile. Compare the two, talking about which pile has more and which pile has less.
From there, when you feel your child is ready, you can begin simple worksheets. Again, you can usually find some printable ones online or purchase an inexpensive workbook. (I have even seen these kind of workbooks at a dollar store from time to time.) The type of papers you would be looking for might have a picture of ten objects and ask the child to circle 6 of them. Alternately, it might show 8 objects and underneath have the numbers 6, 7 and 8 printed and ask your child to circle which numeral shows the correct number of objects.
As I stress all the time – make it as fun and interesting as you can. I’m talking about preschool-age children here and if there is any frustration, put it down and revisit it another day. There will be plenty of time later in life to stress about numbers!!
Hope you’ll join me for more next Tuesday!
From playing Candy Land to organized tee-ball to tag with the neighborhood kids in the back yard, all of our children have opportunities to learn how to be a good sport. It is important that we as parents teach our children how to play fair and how to conduct themselves whether they win or lose.
Most of us have at least a bit of a competitive streak – and it’s always fun to win! Yet learning how to handle the disappointment of losing is part of helping our children mature. Hopefully by working on some basic manners, we can help them (and ourselves) be good sports in whatever game we play, and whether we win or lose.
- Follow the rules of the game. Never take a shortcut or cheat in order to put yourself or your team ahead.
- Play your best for your team. Even if your team is losing by a large margin, never give up or quit participating in the game.
- Refuse to make fun of others who don’t play well or those who are just learning the game. Try to be patient and help them as much as you can.
- Take turns as necessary. Allow others to be first at times and don’t put yourself in front of others who may be waiting to play.
- Respect the coach or instructor. Listen quietly when they are talking and follow the instructions you’re given.
- Should you lose, congratulate the winner with a right attitude.
- If you win, say “Thank you” when congratulated. If others on the opposing team played well, compliment them on their performance.
I’m not as competitive as some people are, but I am amazed at how involved I get when my daughters are playing sports. I have to remember to keep my attitude right so that I don’t set a bad example for them. I hope these few ideas will help us keep our children headed in the right direction when it comes to being a good sport.
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We have lived in our current home for just under two years. It is not our dream house, but is perfect for what we need now and was available for a reasonable price at the time we bought it. Today I wanted to share with you thirteen things that I love in this house.
- Windows. The living area in this house has lots of windows which allows for an abundance of natural light. That is one of my prerequisites for purchasing a home; it must have many windows.
- Print of Rainbow Row by Emerson. This was a present from my husband the first Christmas we were married and hangs in our dining room.
- Books. Our family loves books and I enjoy having them throughout our home.
- Bookcases. When we moved into this house, we actually had enough bookcases to hold all of our books. Alas, that is no longer the case. We have three bookcases in our bedroom, one in the living area, one in the front hallway and two in the girls’ playroom, yet still have some books that are packed away.
- Pictures of the girls. I try to only display my favorites, but there are so many!!
- Fireplace. Our first home had a wood burning fireplace, which I loved. However, when we had a gas fireplace in our second home, I decided that was the way to go – no wood to drag in, no ashes to clean up. Having a gas fireplace is another prerequisite for me in buying a house.
- Plants. I don’t have a very green thumb, but I do have a few houseplants that manage to survive and I enjoy having that bit of nature indoors.
- Buffet table. In our dining room is a buffet table that my husband built several years ago. It has drawers for storing extra linens and is great to use as an extra space for serving dishes.
- Toaster oven. My toaster oven is perfect for heating up small portions of food that I don’t want to microwave or for toasting and broiling everything from toast to bagels to garlic bread. I especially love it in the summer when I don’t have to heat up the big oven for a small task.
- Floral chair. I’m a very fond of neutrals when it comes to furniture and accessories, so choosing a chair with a floral pattern was a big jump for me. However, it matches the rest of the furniture perfectly and is very comfortable.
- Pantry. This is the first house I’ve lived in that has a pantry and I like the feeling of being able to easily see the items I have and what I need to purchase.
- Piano. This was a birthday present from my husband years ago. While I don’t play it often, it’s perfect for our older daughter who’s taking lessons.
- Charleston gate prints. These prints were given to us by friends, which makes them special in their own right. I am not crafty, but switched out the mats and frames to make them match our current decor and was very pleased with the results.
One of our favorite pieces of meat to eat is tenderloin. This particular recipe is for venison, but would work equally well with pork or beef. For a holiday or special occasion meal, such as Easter, I would serve it with homemade scalloped potatoes, a vegetable and rolls.
Moisten meat slightly with olive oil and season to taste with above ingredients. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight, if possible. [I don’t normally measure the seasonings, but just sprinkle them over the surface of all sides of the meat.]
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tbsp steak sauce (like A-1)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce, optional
Melt butter in small saucepan and whisk in remaining ingredients. Using a basting brush, brush meat generously with sauce. Grill over medium heat, turning often with a pair of tongs. Continue to baste meat generously with sauce, until meat reaches desired doneness. [We usually grill ours about 8-10 minutes per side for medium to medium well. This will obviously depend on the thickness of your tenderloin.]
For other great recipes, visit Life as Mom’s Ultimate Recipe Swap.