December 7, 2014

Serving Pancakes

You never know where you will learn a life lesson. Sometimes it comes through the simple act of making pancakes for breakfast.

A Lesson In Serving Pancakes

Love-Of-My-Life and Little Britches were hard at work in the classroom this morning. We purchased a new desk and they were working together (kind of) to take apart the old one. Baby Britches kept getting in the way. So he left the room.

I was in the kitchen making pancakes (everyone's favorite breakfast), and noticed that Baby Britches was missing. We found him up behind the new TV, currently on the coffee table since it doesn't fit in our current entertainment center (we have a new one on order). So we had him get down and then he wandered away again.

Recognizing the lack of his voice in the house, I searched for him and discovered him just sitting all alone on my jacuzzi tub steps in my bathroom. He was rather morose and not his usual perky self. So I knelt down and picked him up. As I carried him into the other room I asked him what was wrong several times. "Nuffin!" he kept insisting. But my mommy heart was pretty sure I knew what he wouldn't say or couldn't describe...he was feeling left out.

So I brought him in the kitchen with me. I usually don't like help while I am cooking because...well, I can get it done faster without it. LOL. But I knew that this little one of mine has an inner NEED to be helpful. So I asked him if he'd like to help me cook the pancakes.

And with that one question, I lit a spark. He instantly perked up and was eager to do anything I asked. Yes I was working with things that were messy. Yes he was going to be working by a hot skillet. But this little boy of mine NEEDED to feel useful.

And so the two of us finished the pancakes and I imparted mommy wisdom about using utensils, stove safety, and how to tell when pancakes are ready to turn.

He did touch the handle of the cast iron skillet with his hand, but he was so into helping me, he insisted it didn't hurt. (later he decided it did a little bit and I put some Lavender Essential Oil on it) Perhaps he was worried he'd have to stop helping me.

Never was a little boy so eager to announce that breakfast was ready than when he placed the big pile of pancakes on the table. How excited he was to announce that he had helped mommy and that we even were going to have strawberries and "whooped cream".

We had a delightful breakfast and Baby Britches left the table full physically and emotionally. I had fed his belly AND his inner need to be wanted and helpful.

This taught me a valuable lesson. Even as little children, we crave the need to be useful. Can you think of times when you really wanted to help but were brushed off with a "we got this, no thanks"? What about you? Have you ever quenched someone's need to help--perhaps not even recognizing it was there?

I am absolutely guilty in this.

Perhaps I am the most guilty when it comes to the boys. I am working on making sure that I include them in things that allows them to spend time with me, even when I know it might get done slower, or done in a way that isn't "quite right". They need to feel useful, and they need the mommy time.

So many people have serving hearts--my littlest has a serving heart the size of Texas. Today taught me how badly I need to recognize it and help it to grow. And how much I need to check the status of my own, for to serve is what I as a Christian am called to do.

"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." 
Galatians 5:13 (NKJV)
The next time I am busy doing something--whether decorating at a gathering, putting food out for a potluck, folding clean clothes, or even making pancakes, I will try to remember to look for and feed the serving heart of someone in need.

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November 27, 2014

It is Good to Give Thanks

This year is disappearing so quickly and we'll be changing over to 2015 calendars very soon. It is hard to believe that we have already reached Thanksgiving 2014. Thanksgiving is a day set aside long ago by great leaders of our country--the Pilgrims in 1623, George Washington in 1789, James Madison after the war of 1812, and Abraham Lincoln in 1863--as a day to thank God for freedom, safety and abundance

No matter what craziness is happening around us, we are abundantly blessed beyond measure when compared to the rest of the world. Freedom alone is something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Our family always thanks God for our blessings and for the privilege of living in the United States. We are thankful for the founders of this country who recognized the importance of freedom and justice. 

May you and yours have a most blessed and reflective Thanksgiving 2014. Enjoy the time with your loved ones--cherish every moment and make beautiful memories! 


November 24, 2014

Baking + Books = Kitchen Adventures! {Poppins Book Nook}

Here we are at the end of November. Can you even believe that 2014 is almost gone? Since it is November, it's also the last month of the year for Poppins Book Nook. We finished off a great year with the theme IN THE KITCHEN. This theme is a great one for this time of year, as I know I am in the kitchen much more often. This month we read some great books revolving around the kitchen and I had helpers assisting me bake some yummy things!
in the kitchen with books poppins book nook

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At first I was a bit befuddled as to what books related to the kitchen. But as I started thinking about it, I decided that if the book was about food or the making of it played a dominate role, then it worked. I went to the library and just started browsing titles...there are quite a lot about food in the children's section, did you know that?! LOL! I stayed away from the obvious ones (Green Eggs and Ham and Stone Soup for example) and tried to venture into some new ones. 

Here are the books that we read over the course of the month:
by Patricia Polacco

Grandma consoles her frightened granddaughter by telling her that the dark clouds of the impending storm are nothing more than the ingredients for a Thunder Cake. 

This is a great book to use with a day in the kitchen! The colors of the illustrations are fun and the story is interesting. My boys enjoyed it very much and laughed at some of the unusual ingredients. There is a recipe in the back for making your own Thunder Cake, and there is a great lapbook available for you to use with it.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
by Marjorie Priceman

An apple pie is easy to make...if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. 

We love this book! It is so much fun to travel the globe and seek the different ingredients in this book. The illustrations are so beautiful! We like using our globe and finding the different places that she travels. The favorite though is Sri Lanka. The boys loved learning about cinnamon. It's one of our favorite spices in general. We examined some cinnamon sticks and tried to think of it as bark on trees.

This book is also part of the Five In A Row program which we have done in the past. This means there are a LOT of resources for it, including various lapbooks and activities which you can easily find with a search on Pinterest.

The Gingerbread Man
by Karen Schmidt

Run Run Run, Fast As you Can...Can't Catch Me, I'm the gingerbread man!

Everyone knows this book! But it was a fun one to read to Baby Britches for the first time. He loved being able to sing the chorus with me. We are going to be making some gingerbread men once I have found a good recipe. I really want to have one that works like sugar cookies, but tastes like ginger or molasses. I'm still looking around. If you happen to know of a great one to use, please link it up in the comments for me!

A Tangle of Knots
by Lisa Graff

In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born and it might end in peanut butter cupcakes.

I included this great chapter book because the main character is a hard core baker and spends a lot of the time planning out cakes and cake flavors for people. There is also a secret recipe for the worlds best peanut butter on the loose. I desperately wanted to eat cake after reading this book! There are even cake recipes in the back of the book for some of the fun flavors mentioned in the book.

Cranberry Thanksgiving
by Wendy Devlin

Every year Grandmother invited a guest for Thanksgiving dinner and allowed Maggie to do the same. "Ask someone poor or lonely," she always said. Thanksgiving was Grandmother's favorite day of the year. The cooking was done and her famous cranberry bread was cooling on a wooden board. But she wasn't happy to find out Maggie had invited the unsavory Mr. Whiskers to dinner. Would her secret cranberry bread recipe be safe with him in the house? 

This book is a tradition for us for this time of year. It's just such a fun story and the boys love it while I read it out loud. We did a great cranberry themed unit using the Cranberry Thanksgiving lapbook unit from One of the funnest things is doing bouncing cranberry tests. Have you done those before? We also tasted them. We discovered we aren't huge fans. Reading this book was a great time to re-watch our cranberry farm videos from Curiosity Quest. I think that this week, we will try making some cranberry bread like the book.

We had fun in the kitchen this month making various goodies...Baby Britches helps me more than Little Britches in the kitchen.
biscuits with mommy

baking and books
My best homemade biscuits recipe

The first three layer cake I ever made began here...

And it ended beautifully here
I was tickled to death to have adventures in baking this month. This three layer cake was the best and tasted so incredibly good. It was my biggest baking adventure yet! This cake recipe is the BEST--and I mean THE BEST and very old fashioned in taste.

It's fun to mix books with the kitchen. There are SO many books out there all about food or baking or spending time in the kitchen! I hope you will check out a few of these!

Feed Our Small World:A Cookbook for Kids Giveaway! 

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the book Feed Our Small World: A Cookbook for Kids for the theme of To The Kitchen!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms and conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.

Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The wonderful bloggers that participate in the Poppins Book Nook are:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A Peace of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

Have you written about ways you used books and cooking? Maybe you enjoyed exploring a cookbook with your family? Please feel free to link up this month:

Thanks for joining us this month! We will be taking December off to enjoy more time with our families, but don't forget to join us again in January for a new year and another book club theme!
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