Monday, February 28, 2011

Celebrating books and Dr. Seuss!

Wednesday March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday. Happy (early) birthday Dr. Seuss!

It's the perfect day to celebrate books and read to your children (or have them read to you)! Here is some great info that CMOTC mom Kathleen P. found to share with everyone. Included below is fun info on the second annual Read Across America event, info on celebrating Dr. Seuss (games, actives, books, etc) and also great suggestions on how to choose books for your kids, as well as some great titles.

Thank you Kathleen for sharing!


"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."

What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday than reading to a child? On the evening of March 2nd (Dr. Seuss's birthday), Random House and the National Education Association (NEA) urge you to participate in the second annual Read Across America and read to a child.

Dr. Seuss epitomizes a love of children and learning. Also, his use of rhyme makes his books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful. When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a clear message to America's children that reading is fun and important.

We've compiled some materials to help you celebrate the day.

Need help finding the right book? You can search our Seussville catalog for your favorite Dr. Seuss story, or browse through our entire library in our

For more information on Read Across America, please visit the NEA's Web site at

PBS will also be running a 2 hour marathon of their new series, The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about that! You can also check out - the site has information about the author, books, games and activities.

Choosing The Best Books For Children

I Love BOOKS! It can touch people in so many ways. Each night we either read to our children, they read to us (telling about the pictures on the page) or just like to look at the pictures quietly. Reading has so many benefits - vocabulary, imagination and the sharing of time together.
So what books are good for children of all ages?

0-3 month
What to look for:
  • Contrasting colors
  • Black-and-white illustrations
  • Books with one word on each page
Title Suggestions:
  • Little Quack Loves Color By Lauren Thompson
  • Baby, Boo! By Beth Hardwood

3-6 month
What to look for:
  • Photos of babies making different expressions
  • Textures
Title Suggestions:
  • My First Taggies Book
  • Pat the Bunny By Dorothy Kunhardt
6-9 month
What to look for:
  • Pictures of everyday objects and familiar objects
  • Lift the flap(though they may pull them off)
Title Suggestions:
  • Good Night Moon By Margaret Wise Brown
  • Author Sandra Boyton series
9-12 month

What to look for:
  • Buttons that make sound
  • Pictures of characters in motion
Title Suggestions :
  • Little People Books By Readers Digest
  • Tiny Fingers: I’m feeling …Teaching
  • Baby Sign Language By Lora Heller
1-2 Years
What to look for:
  • Sturdier books that can be handled and carried
  • Few words on page or simple rhymes
Title Suggestions :
  • Dr. Seuss Series (wide variety for age ranges)
  • Author Eric Carle series
2-3 Years
What to look for:
  • Silly or funny books
  • Subject books (i.e. food, friends, animals)
  • Simple word books

Title Suggestions:

  • Guess How Much I love You By Sam McBratney
  • Llama, Llama Mad at Mamma By Anna Dewdney
  • My Truck is Stuck By Kevin Lewis
3-4 Years
What to look for:
  • Books that tell simple stories with a beginning and an end
  • Stories that relate to real life
  • Information about children’s interests
Title Suggestions:
  • The Napping House By Audrey Wood
  • You give a mouse a Cookie By Laura Joffe Numeroff

5-6 Years
What to look for:
  • Stories and information that encourages children’s imagination and interests
  • Stories about time, feelings, uses their Kindergarten skills
Title Suggestions:
  • I spy series
  • The “I Can Read” series

Give your children the key to adventure; stop by your local library to get them signed up for their own library card and check out story time! Barnes and Noble also offers story time, check with your local store for times and dates.

Half Price Books is another great store to look for classic books at a great price. They also offer a balloon to children and look in their clearance area as books can be priced as low as a $1.00.

Happy Reading!
~Kathleen P.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Carrie's Favorite Finds - Parenting from a Teacher's Perspective

We are very excited to add another great monthly column to the blog - Carrie's Favorite Finds. Carrie H., a CMOTC mom (and also our first CMOTC featured family!!), has recently created a blog, My Favorite Finds, in which she shares with readers her favorite finds that she has found over the years from other websites, blogs and various other resources, as well as just some of her own life lessons. Her favorite finds include recipes and meal planning tools, frugal living and money saving ideas/tips, gift ideas, her own insights and many, many other things. It's a great resource for many useful ideas, which she will also be sharing with us in her new monthly CMOTC blog column.

In her first column post on our blog, she is sharing with us her unique perspective on parenting school age kids from a teacher's perspective.

Thank you Carrie and welcome aboard!

I am working on my ninth year of being in education. For seven years, I taught middle school Language Arts, and for the last two years I've been working as an Instructional Aide. Early on in my career, I learned what kind of parent I wanted to be, and what behaviors I wanted to avoid when it came time for my own children to start school. As we are in the middle of the school year, it isn't too late to better your relationship with your child's teacher and become more supportive. Here are some thoughts:
  1. Be a cheerleader. When it comes to my children's teacher, I am her biggest fan. I make sure to use positive language when referring to her, and talk up the projects or assignments she wants my kids to do. I might not be excited about the project, or I might dread another week of spelling words. However, I don't complain about it in front of the boys.
  2. Your child's teacher spends more time with him or her during the day than you do. If your family is busy like we are, time with your children is precious. Did you ever think that your child is in school for about 7 hours a day? In our house, that means that they spend 7 hours with their teacher, and about 4 or 5 with us. Stark realization-or at least it was for me. That gives me more reasons to respect their teacher, and to support her decisions. I don't think she trumps us as parents, but by this time in the year, she has gotten to know them pretty well.
  3. Don't be afraid to communicate. When I was teaching, I detested it when parents would wait until Parent/Teacher Conferences in November to bring up an issue or a grade they disagreed with back in September. It's not fair to blindside the teacher. I also don't think that "No news is good news". Every two weeks or so, I send a simple email to the boys' teacher just to check up with how they are doing. Just like she wouldn't want to be blindsided by a conflict or issue at conferences, neither do I.
  4. Be polite. That seems so easy, doesn't it? Being polite covers a lot of areas. When you sign up for parent teacher conferences, make sure you're on time. If you can't make it, reschedule as soon as you can. Also, be diligent about signing your child's planner or other papers that are sent home. As soon as the boys get home from school, I go through their papers and weed out what needs to be sent back and I sign off on their planner for the day. Also, I try to not talk to their teacher right before school starts because she already has a million other things on her mind.
  5. Remember that the teacher is a person, too. Your child's teacher has a life outside of school. Isn't it funny how our children are surprised that their teachers actually ventures outside the walls of school to pick up a gallon of milk? Your child's teacher also has his or her own problems to handle with their family, marriage, and other relationships. I try to keep this in mind when talking to their teacher. That helps me to choose my words carefully.

I hope that these ideas will help you either build a better relationship with your child's teacher or make your relationship with him or her even better.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amanda's Saving Money the Homemade Way - Sugar, Sugar and more Sugar!

I bet that title caught your eye, didn't it? Now that I have your attention, I would like you to picture the following scene. It shouldn't be hard- most of us have been there.

Your children have a Valentine's Day/ Christmas/ Halloween/ Whatever Party at school tomorrow. You decide to bring out the supermom within and make your world famous sugar cookies for their classrooms. You spent a lot of time preparing the dough and rolling out and baking them. It is now 9 pm. You have no icing, but you planned on making your yummy home-made icing recipe. You reach for your powdered sugar and find you have about half of what you need. Oh No!! You go next door to your neighbors house hoping she will have some, but she does not. What do you do?? Go to the store to get icing or powdered sugar? Send them un-iced? That would be fine except you know you like them better iced and so will the kids. You really really don't want to go to the store.... what do you do?

Yes- that was my scenario the night before my kids Valentine's day parties. As I pondered the situation, I thought I remembered reading something about how to make your own powdered sugar. Curiosity got the best of me and I researched it and found that it would be quite easy!!!

Powdered Sugar:
Here is how you do it. You need:

1 cup white sugar
2 TBSP Cornstarch

Place in a blender and blend until smooth! It will look like this:
I tried it in a blender and small food processor. It worked better in the blender. The taste was exactly the same as store bought powdered sugar and was so so close to the exact texture. I think it might have been the same texture exactly if the blade in my blender was a little newer/sharper. Some of the reviews I read stated that they used a coffee grinder (which I don't have) and it turned out exactly the same as store bought. Even though mine wasn't totally smooth (thought it was very very close), it worked great in the recipe!!!

The recipe above made about 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar:

Will this save money? Is it cheaper then just buying powdered sugar- quite possibly. Either way though, it definitely will save the time and expense of going to the store late at night when you are in a bind!

Sugar Cookies

So, I thought while I was writing, I would include my recipe for Sugar Cookies. Though I will admit, it isn't "my" recipe- it was passed on to me by a friend. I can say this honestly though: Throw away all your other sugar cookie recipes- this is BY FAR the BEST sugar cookie I have ever tried and it is so easy and does not use too many ingredients.

1 LB. butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla
6 cups sifted flour**
1 tsp baking soda

**make sure to sift the flour before measuring- it keeps the dough light and soft- even after rolling and re-rolling! Also, I have used butter and stick margarine- butter is easier to roll out, but it does work with stick margarine too. Don't use tub margarine.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, mix the sifted flour and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture one cup at a time. When mixed well, divide dough into two sections and wrap cookie dough in waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or over night. Roll out and cut shapes and place on cookie sheet. (If really firm, you can set out at room temp for 20 min or so to make easier to roll out.) Bake at 350 for 10 min. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Ice as desired.

-note- this recipe can be halved- just use two eggs.

How about icing?? Here is a really yummy recipe perfect for these cookies:

Cream Cheese Icing:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick- NOT margarine)-softened
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese- softened
4 cups (or 1 LB) powdered sugar (store bought or homemade!)
1 TBSP milk
a few drops food coloring as desired

Beat together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar. Add milk and beat to desired consistency. Beat in food coloring. Here is a pic:

My icing was a little softer than usual because I used light cream cheese instead of regular, but it still worked great and tasted great! So, if you want a softer icing, use light cream cheese, or for an icing that will stand up a little firmer, use regular.


Do you like to use those sugar sprinkles on your cookies? It is ridiculously expensive to buy those little bottles in the baking aisle. Make it yourself for virtually free! It literally takes just seconds! Simply put a little sugar in a sandwich bag, add a few drops of food coloring, close the bag and smush the sugar around with your fingers on the outside of the bag. In less then a minute, you will have this:

Sprinkle on your cookies and here is the finished product:

After finishing these, you can strap on that "Supermom" cape and wear it with pride! No one even needs to know that your kitchen is a disaster, you were up past midnight, your house is a mess, your husband feels neglected and that your hair sticking out all over your head makes you look a bit scary! All they need to know is you created something wonderful from the most basic cheep ingredients you had around the house and you came through for your kids who carry them proudly into school (hopefully not dropping them....) to share with their classmates.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Random Recipes - Oatmeal in the Crock Pot

With the temperatures taking a dive and the snow/ice falling again, it seems like a good time to post a recipe for a yummy, easy hot breakfast. I have made this many times over the last two months and the kids love it. The recipe I use is from the Weelicious website (though there are many other recipes out there).

Here is the basic recipe (but I have some additions below it):

Oatmeal in the Crock Pot (Serves 4-6)

1 Cup Steel Cut Oats* (you cannot use rolled oats for this)
2 Cups Water
2 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Tsp Cinnamon

Desired accompaniments: honey, maple syrup, walnuts and or raisins

  1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a crock pot and stir to combine.
  2. Cook the oatmeal on low heat for 6-9 hours (the amount of time can vary depending on your crock pot. Some crock pots that don’t have non stick surfaces can get hotter then others).
  3. Stir in desired accompaniments and serve.
On the Weelicious website, there is also a video "how to" on making it - Oatmeal in the Crock Pot Program

*There are many different brands of steel cut oats, which are basically cut oats that are not yet rolled. They are more dense and therefore take longer to cook. You can find these at the grocery store in the oatmeal section. As well, I have seen some brands, like Bob's Red Mill, in the baking section. BTW, Bob's Red Mill also makes a gluten free variety.


I alter the basic recipe a little by adding (or increasing):

1 Tbsp Cinnamon (I increase it to this - but we love cinnamon)
1 Tsp of vanilla
2 Tbsp of ground flax

The other additions I have added were apples and raisins. I peeled and chopped up two apples, which I mixed with about 1/2 cup of raisins. Before adding to the mixture, toss both in cinnamon (refer back to the "we love cinnamon") to coat. I have tried it both at the beginning of the cooking process and an hour or two before it is done. We like it better when the apples and raisins cook overnight. The apples are soft, the raisins are plump and the oatmeal takes on the apple and raisin taste. I also add nuts - chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts.

The best part (for the kids) is getting to pick their own mix-ins - which I do when I just make the basic recipe (and sometimes even with the cinnamon apple and raisin recipe). Along with a little milk, our favorite mix-ins are:

  • Frozen blueberries - these are not only plump from the heat and taste wonderful, but they also act as little ice cubes to cool off the oatmeal. Definitely a HUGE favorite at our house.
  • Other frozen fruit - chopped strawberries, mangos, peaches, raspberries, etc.
  • Nuts - chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.
  • Dried Fruit - raisins, cranberries, cherries, chopped figs, etc.
  • Honey
Sometimes we even top it with a little pure maple syrup.


Cooking: Like noted in the recipe, cooking times will vary. I'll be honest, I have cooked it for many different times, just based on when I went to bed the night before and when we ate it in the morning (and it always turns out fine). I don't think it is an exact science. You can try it and see. If you have a crock pot that you can program to go to warm after a certain amount of time, you might want to try that too.

Clean up: No doubt, unless you have a non-stick crock pot (which we do not), there will be some reside on the sides of your crock pot. I have found that it really isn't that hard to get off. On the Weelicious site in the comments of each of the above posts (recipe and program), you can see various mentions of this and remedies. Some say baking soda and hot water, some say a little oil (or non stick spray) before adding your ingredients, etc. Once we empty ours, we just soak it in hot soapy water for 1/2 hour or so, scrub a little and it's clean.

It's easy, it's healthy and it will keep you and your children fueled throughout the morning.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share? Please send us an email.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Family Spotlight: Featured MoM's Family - Carrie H.

Today we are spotlighting CMOTC MoM Carrie H. and her family of five. Carrie, who finds planning to be her key sanity saver, says that her biggest joy of parenting is "all of it!" Their family enjoys a tradition of pizza/movie night every Friday and her favorite mom moment is a story from when her twins started first grade. Enjoy getting to know more about Carrie's family!

Please tell us about yourself:

I am married to my high school sweetheart. In my former life, I was a Middle School Language Arts teacher, and I taught for 6 years in that realm. I've also taught fourth grade, and I am currently in the position of an Instructional Aide in a junior high school. My favorite hobby is scrapbooking...but I don't get a lot of time to do that. I also LOVE to read, especially historical biographies about Princess Diana and Jackie O and JFK. My mommy time mostly consists of trips to the grocery store or to get a haircut.

What are your children’s names and ages, as well as your spouse’s name?

My children are Matthew and Lucas, who just turned 8, and Natalie who is 15 months. My husband's name is Derrick. We are a family in ministry. He is a pastor, and I try to be an encourager for him and keep things running smoothly at home.

Can you tell us a little about each of your children?

Matthew is our oldest twin. He is intense and particular about almost everything. He loves to be organized and to sort things :). I secretly love that about him. He is a momma's boy, too. He always has been. He is very good at karate, and is very smart in Math. He loves his LEGOS, and is always on the go-playing, creating things, using his imagination.

Lucas is our middle child. He is more laid back. He likes to relax and watch movies-a very stark contrast to his brother who won't sit down for a minute. He LOVES anything cinnamon/sugar. So cute. He is very snuggly-even at 8 years old does he like his snuggle time. He also has an awesome sense of humor and can be very funny.

Natalie...well, she's definitely her own person. She loves attention of any sort, and she thinks her brothers are the funniest people ever. Her new words are "baby, bye, mommy, daddy, nana (banana)". She is quite the toddle bot-moving very quickly from one place to the next. She's a daddy's girl, that's for sure.

Matthew, Lucus and Natalie

Tell us a little about your family:

As a family, we always have a pizza night on Fridays and watch a movie. We also like to play outside together and go swimming in the summer. Bike rides become part of our summer routine, too. If we miss one night of dinner together, that's very rare. We make it a priority to have dinner at home as a family almost every night.

What has been the biggest challenge with having multiples?

The biggest challenge with having multiples was all the attention we got at first-everywhere we went. As they've grown, it's been a challenge for us as parents to treat them as individuals, as well as maintain a sense of fairness. In the past year or so, their individual personalities have really come out, so it's gotten easier in some respects as far as discipline, punishments, rewards. Also, seeing them struggle and their coping mechanisms has been a challenge to observe, too.

What has been your biggest joy in having multiples?

The biggest joy-all of it. I love being a MoM! I love seeing them grow and change. I also love seeing their differences come out. There was a time when I wondered if our parenting was forcing them into sameness. Then when they started school and hit other milestones, I realized that nothing we do can change who God is making them into.

Matthew and Lucus

Do you have any family traditions?

I think our traditions are small, but hopefully significant for our kids. Every birthday they get a mylar balloon that goes along with the theme of their birthday. We are starting dinner out on their birthday-they'll be 8, and this is the first time we've done birthday dinner at a restaurant. Disney World is becoming our traditional vacation spot. Also, we do pizza and a movie at home every Friday.

What is your favorite funny family story or mom moment?

I think the mom moment that sticks out in my mind the most is from first grade and what happened that first week. I was beyond nervous sending the twins to school. But, when Matthew came home he told me about something his teacher had done. Their teacher read them a book called The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. In it the raccoon, Chester, is nervous/sad about leaving his mom on the first day of school. So, she kisses the palm of his hand and he puts it to his cheek throughout the day to comfort him. Everyday for about a week, Matthew asked me to kiss his palm either before bed or before I left in the morning. One day I asked him if he wanted me to kiss his hand, and he said, "No, I still haven't used the one you gave me yesterday."

Do you have a favorite book(s) on children/parenting that you feel other CMOTC MoMs would find beneficial, interesting and/or humorous?

I love the books Parenting Isn't for Cowards, Bringing Up Boys, and Bringing Up Girls. They are all by Dr. James Dobson. Parenting Isn't for Cowards is a good one because he encourages us as parents to be the authority, and that sometimes you just have to get your kids through a stage. He helps identify strong willed children and their personalities, and how to parent them in ways that are productive. Bringing Up Girls and Bringing Up Boys, both address the genders and their development. He talks about the roles of the opposite sex parent in regards to their importance in the lives of the boys and girls we are raising. Also, why boys do what they do and why girls do what they do at different stages is a large part of his books.

Do you have any “sanity saving tips” that work for you in managing those particularly hectic days or moments of parenting and day-to-day life with kids?

Sometimes parenting is the 3 Bs-benadryl, bribery, and brainwashing...just kidding. I think to survive, I have become a planner. I think that being a teacher has given me the midset to always be one step ahead of my students, and I do that with my kids. I know that around 5 pm, the boys turn into I try to suggest an activity to them that they will be engaged in around 4:45 or so..I also plan our meals, set clothes out the night before, and stick with a routine.

Do you have a family or personal blog or website that you would like to share with the group?

I have two blogs and they are both on the CMOTC blog roll - The Hurst Family, and My Favorite Finds.

If you could ask a question to our other CMOTC MoMs about raising multiples (at any age or stage), what would it be?

I would like to know how other families handle discipline and sibling rivalry. I feel like competition between the boys is huge in our house.


If you have advice for Carrie's question, or any comments in general, please leave them below.

If you are interested in having your family featured, please email us!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Announcing: CMOTC Family Spotlights!

We have some exciting news to share: we are launching a new regular blog post which will put the spotlight on our CMOTC families. In these family spotlights, we will learn more about our member MoMs and their families. Given the size of our club, this will be a great way to reach out and get to know each other better.*

The spotlights will include include fun tidbits about the families, such as a little about each person in the family, things they like to do and traditions they might have, as well as greatest joys and challenges of being a MoM. It could also include info that might be useful to all of us, such as their sanity saving tips and favorite parenting/children books.

We will launch our first spotlight very shortly, so stay tuned!

If you are interested in being a featured family in the CMOTC blog Family Spotlight please email us for more information. We are hoping to feature all our families throughout the coming year and beyond.

*Note: we will only use first name and last initials.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nine Easy Ways to Say I Love You

This is a great article by Linda Wilson, which I found here, that talks about simple ways to say I love you not only to your significant other, but also to your children, family members and other loved ones. With Valentine's Day being tomorrow, it seemed even more appropriate to share.


Everyone needs love. From the newborn baby who thrives on being cuddled by his parents to the geriatric in a nursing home who watches the door for a visit from a loved one, and all us in between. We need love. The need for love is instilled in us by our creator and no matter how we may try to deny it, the need is always there. We may try to deny it, we may try to avoid it, but it is always with us and it always will be. From birth to the grave, we need to give and receive love.

The importance of love is even scientific. Scientists know and openly state that being loved and giving love are beneficial to our health. So don't fight it. Accept the love that others offer to you and don't be stingy about giving love. February is known as the month of love; what better time than now to put the practices of giving and receiving love into action?

We live in such a busy society today. Often both spouses work and have little time for each other or their children. Children are being raised in day-care centers, by nannies, etc and have little time with their parents. Children move away to better jobs and hardly see their elderly parents. But that does not mean we can't still let them know how much we love them. Following are some simple ways to stay connected and to let our loved ones know how much we love them. Give some of these suggestions a try. You'll be amazed at how much satisfaction you'll get.
  1. When a loved one leaves the house, give them a kiss or a hug and make it a point to tell them you love them.
  2. Give a simple bouquet of flowers. They don't have to be elaborate to say I love you.
  3. When packing lunches for a spouse or child, put in a one or two line note reminding them of your love. (see links for free lunchbox notes printables below)
  4. Before going to bed, post a note on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator door or other spot where your loved one will find it shortly after they get up the next morning.
  5. Pick up the phone and make a call to that loved one who is away. There's nothing like hearing the voice of loved one. Email and letters are nice but sometimes one just longs to hear a loved one's voice.
  6. Make time for those you love. You may have to schedule it just like a business appointment. Do what ever it takes. Go to a favorite restaurant, the park, settle the family down and watch a movie together, play a game or work a puzzle. Your children just want to spend time with you. They aren't picky about how that time together is spent.
  7. Let your children know they are important to you. Don't get so busy you miss their school programs, sporting events, music recitals or whatever they are involved in. Sometimes actions speak louder than words!
  8. When you are doing something special with your loved ones, keep them the center of your focus. Don't take them to the beach then sit in the shade working on your laptop. They want you to swim with them, build sandcastles and be a part of what they are doing.
  9. Kisses, hugs, longing glances, a wink are all ways a very busy person can silently communicate their love. When you get right down to it, it really is the little things that count.

I saw this little poem once and it has stuck with me. I have no idea who the author is but I feel it is worth sharing:

Hold your loved ones close today, Whisper in their ear. Tell them that you love them And you'll always hold them dear.

For tomorrow is promised to no one, Young and old alike. Today may be your last chance To hold your loved ones tight.

That is good advice. Don't be afraid to let those you love know it. You'll be a happier, healthier person for it and so will they.

Remember the old saying, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today."


You can find free printable lunch box notes for your children's lunch boxes at the following sites:

Alenkas Printables


Family Fun (lunch box jokes)

Kid Printables

The Youth On-line Club

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day cards, crafts and recipes

The Family Fun website always has really neat ideas for all things holiday. If you are looking for ideas, here is a link to all their Valentine's Day ideas.

For Valentine Day's past, we have made the sweet shovel (we filled it with stickers, little raisin boxes and a couple chocolate kisses) and the sweet for the sweet - naturally for my oldest son's friends. Both were a huge success. These are just two, there are many more really cute Valentine card ideas on their site, click here to see them.

In addition to the card ideas, there are also a ton of fun recipes, games and party ideas, which are not only fun for doing at home but also provide great ideas for those room mothers out there who are planning their child's classroom party.

Do you have other great website resources for fun Valentine card, craft and recipe ideas? Please share by commenting below!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reflecting on Your Relationship

CMOTC mom Kathleen P. found this great resource to share with us on rekindling romance with your spouse. With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, what better month to remember why you fell in love? Thank you Kathleen!


Remember those romantic moments with your spouse….screech…open your eyes to the new reality. The hopes and dreams we had at that romantic moment get caught up in the day-to-day life. This February, stop and smell the roses with your spouse, to recall the wonderful journey that got you both to this moment.

Reflect on the Then & Now….

Take a moment for your marriage by finishing the following thoughts. And, also ask your spouse to answer these same questions.

When we met I felt…

I can be a better spouse by…

This year we should…

The past year in my marriage has been…

I fell in love with his/her…

I am going to plan a date for…

As we’ve been married I learned…

I am so blessed by my spouse’s…

I think _________ brings out the best in my relationship.

Remember it’s about love and …

Regard. Do you also include taking in the point of view from your spouse’s perspective.

Engage. How often do you give him/her your undivided attention?

Share. Do you listen to what matters to him/her?

Encourage. How do you show your faith in him/her to within your family?

Couple. When’s the last time you held his hand, rubbed their shoulders, embraced them spontaneously?

Talk. Do you put away mommy voice to talk with them or not?

And for those times that you do argue…
  1. Agree that listening to the other person does not mean you concur with what the other one is saying.

  2. One person talks for as long as necessary. The other partner does not interrupt, no matter how much he or she may disagree or itch to get his or her point in. Instead jot down a key word remembering what was said.

  3. When the speaker is finished, the other person may do the same thing.

How do your kids see…Love? Ask them to explain what love is.


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