Friday, June 25, 2010

A New Sewing Project

I LOVE my baby sling (It's a Moby Wrap), BUT it is very hot here just now, and I haven't been able to talk myself into being wrapped in all that excess fabric. So I've been looking for something more simple with less bulk.

Well, today I found a great baby sling pattern tutorial, and I'm thinking I'd like to make one of these simple slings for my new baby!


Doesn't that look easy? I'm getting excited about all the fabric combinations I can try out. Wouldn't this also make a fantastic baby shower gift? FUN!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ten Tips for Mothers

1. Take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of your children, whether they be six or sixteen.

2. Take time to be a real friend to your children.

3. Take time to read to your children. Remember what the poet wrote:"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be— I had a mother who read to me. "

4. Take time to pray with your children.

5. Take time to have a meaningful weekly home evening. Make this one of your great family traditions.

6. Take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible.

7. Take time daily to read the scriptures together as a family.

8. Take time to do things together as a family.

9. Take time to teach your children.

10. Take time to truly love your children. A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christlike love.

Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion, pamphlet, 1987

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Baby!

At 10:19pm on Monday evening, our new baby GIRL swam into the world after a short and wonderful home birth. We're so glad she's here!!!

She weighed 7 pounds and 2 ounces...

And was 20 inches long.

She's getting lots of attention and love.

She's definitely a keeper! :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Teaching Kids Practical Skills: Cooking

The question of how to teach kids to cook family meals came up on an e-mail list I'm on, and I thought I'd cheat a little today, and post parts of my response here. So please forgive me if this is the second time you've read these ideas of mine today! ;-)

I think there needs to be a balance between "Family Work", that everyone does together, and personal responsibility. And it IS a difficult groove to find!

Morganne mending her brother's swimsuit

In our family, we are currently in a place of transition, because we have had a wonderful system that works beautifully (the children do 85% of ALL the cleaning and cooking at my house), BUT our older Scholars now need less housework so they can have more study time. So we have been in process for the last month or so, of assigning stewardships to the biggest two kids, and reducing the number of chores they do for each meal. My oldest daughter now has the stewardship of cooking dinner every weeknight (except mutual night), and my eldest son takes care of ALL the yardwork in the front and back yard.

Southwest Stuffed Braided Bread dinner made by Morganne 

These are bigger responsibilities that they would not be able to handle if it had not been for the training they have received in learning to perform daily chores on their own. We live in the city, and we like it here! There IS still plenty of useful, needed work for my children to do, and I want them to be trained to know how to work and take care of a home and of themselves. Of course there are still reminders, and some objections, but I remind myself that parenting is about TRAINING, not about perfection. Is my house perfectly clean? No way! But everyone knows their duty, everyone has their turn, and they all know how needed their efforts are in order for us to have a home that functions the way we all need it to.

Bonny, age 11, loading the dishwasher

As for cooking, when my children get to the age of nine or so, I start adding them into the cooking rotation on lunches. (easy meal!) In all but one case (I have a 13 year old chef-son) my girls have progressed faster in the cooking arena than the boys. They start asking to bake treats, and I let them. Yes, we've had some FUNNY experiences when kids didn't have their fractions down yet, (11 cups of sugar in cookies once! O_o Still not sure how that one happened! LOL!) but my philosophy has become "Failure is the greatest teacher!" Over time, I add them to the rotation of cooking breakfast, and lastly to dinner. I really try to observe them closely, so that they don't get overwhelmed. Just because they CAN make dinner well, doesn't mean they can handle it more than once or twice a week. But my sixteen year old daughter is now a pro at it-- she can AND she likes to make and plan dinner every night!

Bagels are a quick and easy breakfast-- we do BUY them!

I get kids started cooking by giving them a 3 ring binder to copy down recipes in to when they learn how to cook a certain dish. Over time, after they've got a good grasp on most cooking and baking basics, they start adding recipes they want to try, or have created themselves. It's so fun to see their accomplishments grow as their cook books grow! It's a great indicator of what they know, and what else they need to learn.

For me, I HIGHLY value teaching practical skills-- second only to spiritual training, of course! Academics come, and I have personally seen academic gaps get filled pretty quickly. But life skills and homemaking skills follow the "law of the harvest" very closely. If my kids don't learn how to care for themselves and a household before they leave my home, then I feel I have not done enough.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Breakfast Beyond Cereal

For our family, cereal is a real luxury. It's expensive, and with a family our size, we go through four to five boxes and a gallon of milk per meal! *ouch* As a result, we rarely buy or serve it at our house. (Though I do appreciate having it when we need something quick!)

I had to sit down and go through some cook books and magazines, and then I also asked other moms what they do for breakfast. I thought I'd share some of the ideas I found-- beyond muffins, pancakes, and waffles-- here! :-)

Breakfast Pizzas (Picture Above)
  • Whole grain English muffins
  • Cream cheese (plain or flavored)
  • Fruits in season
  • Chopped nuts (optional)
  • Jam or preserves (optional)
Toast the muffins. Spread cream cheese on each muffin. Thinly slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Top each muffin with fruit and nuts, if desired.

Bacon and Cheese Egg Bake

2 Tbl. butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/3 cup milk or cream
12 large eggs, beaten
1/4 pound shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices crumbled cooked bacon (or diced ham slices)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat skillet on medium heat. Melt butter in hot skillet and sautee' onions until clear. Combine remaining ingredients, add onions and mix well. Pour into a greased 9X13 inch casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. (Sprinkle more cheese to melt on top after baking, if desired.)

Sausage Baked Egg Casserole

1 pound ground pork sausage
1 small finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
12 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic powder in a large skillet over medium heat until the sausage browns. Drain well.

In a large bowl, combine milk, eggs, mustard and salt for one minute. Stir in cheese and sausage. Pour into an ungreased 9X13 pan and bake, uncovered in oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (Can be refrigerated overnight; just add 10 minutes to the baking time.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thank you...

I know that it's Monday, and so I usually blog about marriage today, but I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to those of you who glean something-- even a very little something-- from the Old Fashioned Motherhood blog.

I've been blogging on this subject since 2005, (formerly hosted on Wordpress), and though I am not a great writer, or have anything truly earth-shattering to say, I do feel passionately about getting myself-- and in the process, helping other women-- back to our roots as feminine women and nurturing mothers.

In my mind's eye, I see us all sitting in a parlor or standing out on our front porches, talking, laughing, and crying about the challenges and joys of motherhood and homemaking. I picture us exchanging recipes and bouncing babes in arms. I imagine us all hugging the friend who has had a bad day, or encouraging the young, busy mom who feels overwhelmed by the demands of caring for little ones. I hear us gushing over someone's new apron or haircut.

Old Fashioned Motherhood not only means lifting up and caring for those in our own homes and families, it also means loving and strengthening each other as women. I love you all! Thanks so much for walking on this journey with me! :-)


Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Right Choice

I am so grateful that the world was blessed with the gift of Andrea Bocelli's voice!

The lyrics to the song at the end are:

I want to live like this with the sun on my face, and I sing happily, gracefully. I want to live like this, with the air of the mountains, because this enchantment doesn't cost anything.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This Tuesday's Recipe

I would like to acknowledge upfront that I am a VERY spoiled homemaker. I have two daughters, ages 16 and 11, who love to bake and cook. We are so blessed by their talents!

But then again, I did work hard to train them up to be such good bakers, so I guess I can take some of the credit. ;-)

These wonderful daughters of mine found today's recipe in a magazine, and have turned the baking of these wonderful little muffins into an art! Whenever they bring these warm and sweet muffins to the breakfast table, sighs of ecstasy flow forth... Mmmmmmm!

French Breakfast Muffins

4 c. flour

1 1/3 c. sugar

5 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. nutmeg

2 eggs

2 c. plus 4 Tbl. milk

12 Tbl. melted and slightly cooled butter

2 tsp. vanilla


1 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 Tbl. melted and slightly cooled butter

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter the bottoms only of standard size muffin tins and set aside. (I like to use cupcake papers for easier clean-up.) Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl and combine with a whisk. In another bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Blend in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the batter just until it's evenly blended, then spoon it into muffin tins. Bake on the center rack for 15 minutes.

Then transfer the pan to a wire rack until muffins are cool enough to handle. Before muffins lose their warmth, prepare the topping.--> Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter in a separate bowl. Dip the tops of the muffins in butter and then the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

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