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Rolls in a “Jiffy” August 14, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — bekkilindner @ 2:54 am
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This is my new favorite recipe for homemade rolls. It is quick, relatively easy, and everyone that tries them, loves them (and most ask for the recipe!) They are slightly sweet, with a delicious doughy/yeasty taste. Your guests won’t believe the unique ingredient in this tasty recipe.

Ingredients

3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1 pkg yeast, 1 box Jiffy brand yellow cake mix (You must use Jiffy, as their cake mixes are smaller than the other brands)

Dump all ingredients into your Kitchen Aid mixer. Using your dough hook, “knead” for 15 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size. Take a small scoop of dough and form a ball or roll shape, and place on a greased cookie sheet. * I have found that if you spray the dough with cooking spray after every two or three rolls, the dough will not stick to your hands * Cover the rolls, and let rise until they have doubled in size. Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes, or until they are slightly golden on top. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy!!

 

It Works For Me Tip #1 : The Clutter Box August 13, 2008

Filed under: It Works For Me! — bekkilindner @ 7:18 pm
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What is it? A clutter box is simply a box or basket of some sort, (mine is a canvas covered brown box, that is actually supposed to be used as a magazine rack), that is put at the bottom of the stairs in a two story house, or in a central part of your great room in a one story house.

What can it do for me? The clutter box can save you multiple trips up and down the stairs, or in and out of various rooms of your house. It saves you time, and helps to keep your house a little bit cleaner!

How I use it: In my home, this box sits at the base of my staircase. I use this box to put things like toys from the kids’ rooms, shoes we take off, dirty bibs, books, mail to be filed, etc. in, that need to be put away upstairs. This way, I don’t find myself running upstairs every time there is a piece of clutter to put away!

How do I implement this in my home? To implement the clutter box, simply buy a box, or for many people, dig out one of the many baskets you probably have sitting around your garage, and put it in a place that works for you. Then, don’t allow yourself to run and empty it every time you put an item in it. Wait until the end of the day, and then make one trip upstairs. You will be amazed at how much time you save, and how much stress can be alleviated during the day, as your clutter is out of sight, but in a place where you know it will be taken care of quickly. Try it. It works!

 

Read Between the Lions August 11, 2008

The PBS program, Read Between the Lions is one of my top five favorite shows for children currently on air. This show, seen daily, at 2:00 pm here in the Northwest, focuses on literacy for young children. As a prior kindergarten teacher, I often used this show in my classroom as fun way to review vowel sounds and/or to reinforce phonics lessons. Now as a mother of a toddler, it is one of the few shows I encourage my child to watch. (If my child is going to watch tv, and lets face it, most children do), I want her to be learning.

The show features segments focusing on letter sounds, and building phonological awareness, as well as beginning fluency and comprehension. Geared towards late preschoolers-early second graders, the show reinforces many of the state’s Grade Level Expectations. Here is a link for the Washington State reading GLE’s : reading-grade-level-expectations

Lovable lions and reoccurring characters such as Chicken Jane and Cliffhanger, thrown together with songs, read-along stories, and interactive phonics lessons, not only entertains your child, but helps to build the foundation for a life-long love of literacy.

Check out the Read Between the Lions official site!

 

Weekly Behavior Chart

Filed under: Behavior — bekkilindner @ 7:45 pm
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To help encourage our two year old daughter to become more consistent in several areas of her life, I created a simple, yet toddler friendly weekly behavior chart. What I found when I began looking at pre-created charts on the market, was that many of them were 1) suited for older children, featuring only text and 2) featured many categories and goals which were irrelevant for a young child. Towards this end, I I used Microsoft Word to create a basic table which I was able to customize to fit Hannah’s needs using Google Image to find clip-art my child could relate to and understand. This method can easily be copied and/or modified to suit your child’s needs.

Another feature of my self-created chart is that as Hannah grows and masters the skills on her chart, I can easily go back to my master document and change one or more of the goals, whereas, if you purchase a pre-made chart, you are stuck with the goals the company has decided are right for your child. You can also decide how many goals you want your child to work on weekly. We are currently working on, 1)going potty, 2)eating dinner, 3)clean up our toys, 4)take a nap, and 5)have a happy attitude.

You can of course, use whatever standards you deem appropriate for your own child to decide whether or not they earn a sticker for each category that day. In our home, we use the following standards.

Going potty: Every time Hannah uses the potty chair, she earns a sticker. She can earn unlimited stickers in this category each day.

Eating Dinner: If Hannah eats all or most of her dinner without fussing or being coerced, she will earn a sticker. She can also earn a sticker for eating her lunch, if she does not get to choose what she is having. (At our house, she does not get to choose her own dinner. She eats what we are eating. I will not raise a picky child by fixing her something else.)

Clean up Toys: Everytime Hannah picks up her toys, (a bigger mess, not just one Barbie or 1 book) she can earn a sticker. She does not get a sticker if she has to be coerced to clean.

Take a Nap: Hannah earns a sticker if she takes a nap. Simple as that.

Have a happy attitude: This is the hardest sticker to earn in our house. To earn this sticker, Hannah may not have any fits, or have any time-outs that day.

We do not remove stickers once they are earned. Hannah making a poor choice later in the day does not negate her good work earlier on. Once she has earned them, they are hers.

Hannah gets to select the stickers to put on her chart, and puts them up herself, helping her take ownership of the process and her choices.

At the end of the week, we will count up her stickers earned. Hannah needs 20 stickers to earn a prize. If she just squeaks by, we will take her to the dollar store or another similar retailer to choose a smaller prize. If she goes above and beyond, she can choose a larger prize like a DVD or moderate sized toy. If you wanted to keep the rewards free (or almost free) you could use things like a special trip to the park, getting to choose the family movie or game, or special time with Mom or Dad. However, in our house, the toy reward system is working for us.

Since starting the chart system four weeks ago, Hannah has done really well. She is highly motivated by the stickers, and knows when she has earned them. We are almost ready to change a few of her goals as well. I hope this has helped you!

Below is a link to Hannah’s behavior chart. I’d love to know if you begin using this or one similar, and if it is working for you and your child!!

hannahs-behavior-chart