Helpful Hints – Hamburger

I like to buy my hamburger in bulk, and then cook it all at once. Then I freeze it into meal portions for easy use on busy nights for things like spaghetti, hamburger helper, or tacos.

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It saves me loads of time when I’m trying to rush that dinner onto the table and it really takes no extra time to do if I’m already cooking burger for a meal.

Kissing Kids

The other day I was kissing each of my kids in the morning on their way to school, and I made a realization. I kiss each of them differently. I had never really thought of it before. As babies I kissed them all the same, on the lips. Somewhere along the journey of their growing up we have personalized the way we kiss.

My oldest son, who is 14, I always kiss on the forehead. It just suited him. This started around when he was in kindergarten. It didn’t embarrass him and honestly it just fit.

My oldest daughter, almost 12, I kiss either on the cheek, or more often on the forehead. She is definitely my child that is most embarrassed by public shows of affection. More often than not it is a quick peck on the forehead as I give her a hug. This started about 2 years ago when she was entering fifth grade.

My middle daughter who is 9 always kisses me on the lips. She is very affectionate and not even slightly embarrassed by public shows of affection; in fact she is usually the initiator.

My youngest daughter is 7 and a silly girl sometimes. So she has a few ways of kissing. Sometimes on the lips, sometimes one cheek, sometimes both cheeks, and occasionally she is embarrassed so it’s the forehead. And when she is being silly she wants me to kiss her nose.

My youngest son is 5 and a story unto himself. He was a drooler, even more than the other kids! He also was constantly dirty. He still is actually. Food, dirt, whatever it somehow ends up on his face! And as fast as you clean him he finds a way to get dirty. So lip kissing just didn’t have a terrific appeal to me! šŸ™‚

He LOVED butterfly kisses (eyelashes on cheek) and eskimo kisses (nose to nose). Where the other kids outgrew these kisses around kindergarten I don’t see that happening in the near future. I preferred these kisses to lip kisses because he was always drooly and dirty. When he was about a year he thought it was hilarious to stick his tongue out when you kissed him. I didn’t find it as amusing. After the first few times I grew tired of it, even though he didn’t. It became a game for me to “french kiss” him by kissing him on both cheeks quickly before he could avert his head and I get his lips (complete with tongue) instead. He still kisses me gently on each cheek. It is the sweetest thing. He grabs my face between each of his hands and gently kisses my cheek, and then he turns my head and does the other cheek. And it is entirely appropriate. So he and I do the 2 cheek kiss, with butterfly kisses and eskimo kisses thrown in frequently too.

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Interesting how our show of affection has adapted differently and uniquely to each of our children.

Fall

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. This being said, I also find it bitter sweet. It means that the hot days of summer are coming to an end, and the cold snowy days of winter are just around the corner. And finally it means that the newness of spring is a lifetime away, or at least by January it’ll seem like that.

However, Fall brings with it a brief glimpse of unabandoned pure beauty. It won’t last long, but while it’s here it’s breathtaking!

About 20 years ago a good friend of mine told the following story on a beautiful Autumn day to her very small children.

God created everything. Every living thing God created. He created everything to worship Him. In Autumn the trees cannot help but worship their creator. They know that their time of giving shade is nearly over and they will soon be going to sleep. That is why they put on their most beautiful clothes and lift their arms towards heaven, for all to see, and worship their Creator without abandon or hesitation. So when you see the beautiful colors of the trees remember God made them and even they cannot help but worship Him.

Now there are some theological and scientific holes in this story, but there are some deep Truths too. And so every year I tell my kids the story (or a version of it), and we talk about worshiping God our creator.

So, when you look at the trees changing color, and the leaves on your lawn waiting to be raked, see them differently. God created them, they are indeed a thing of beauty for our enjoyment. But I also believe that they are a reminder for us to worship Him with reckless abandon. Don’t be embarrassed to lift your hands in worship and acknowledge His perfect creation.

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God didn’t make any mistakes, everything was created for a reason. So every Fall I intentionally remember God created the trees and I thank Him for that and take a few moments to enjoy the creation He made for us!

A Servant’s Heart

There are times in life when I have been pondering something for some time, and all of a sudden the answer just comes to me. Often it seems to hit me unawares, and once it’s there it surprises me with the obviousness of it. It seems like it’s ridiculous I didn’t just know it all along.

I am the fundraising coordinator of the SUTP coupon books at my children’s elementary school. I have done this for several years. SUTP provides a prize as an incentive for selling the coupon books. However a number of years ago we added another 2 prizes. The top seller in the school gets to be principal for the day and the second top seller is vice-principal. This reward is a better motivator than the bike or tablet or wii that SUTP provides.

Last year my daughter was second seller. She however wasn’t interested in either principal or vice-principal. She wanted to be Caretaker. Although I didn’t understand why; I got permission for her to be allowed this position instead. She loved it. Sweeping floors, handing out napkins and silverware, cleaning up spills, emptying trash and recycling, etc. Not my idea of fun, but to each their own. This year she has been bugging me again because she wants to be Caretaker again. Honestly I don’t get it.

So I was thinking about why she would want this position over being a leader in the school and setting rules and having everyone have to listen to you. Especially since you get to make all the announcements over the intercom for the day!

Suddenly, from out of no where it hit me. The truth was so utterly obvious I am amazed it was ever even a question!

She has the gift of a servant’s heart. She loves to help people, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to do it. She has always had a pure heart and a sweet innocence the other kids somehow never quite had. She is emotional to be sure, but the gift in that is she can feel others pain and sorrow. She has a heart to help and the willingness to do it.

That’s why she loves being Caretaker. It’s a tangible way she can help others and see how she’s helping them immediately.

We have striven to teach our children to put others first and serve others however they can. And truthfully all my children have learned this well. This was evident in the Alberta Flood 2013 when my son suggested we donate our old sheets and extra blankets and coats and clothes to flood victims. When my daughters set up a lemonade stand in January (it wasn’t summer anyways!) immediately after the disaster to raise money for victims of the disaster in Haiti a few years ago. When my daughter sat down with her sister to help her with her reading almost everyday for a year on the bus ride to school. When my 5 year old sees someone drop something as they’re walking in the parking lot and must hurry to pick it up and rush it back to them.

I believe that God gives us all gifts he expects us to use for His glory and kingdom. I think for most of my children serving is a way of life, but not necessarily something they are absolutely driven to do. They do it because it’s the right thing to do and in some way it makes them feel good. This is fair, and there’s nothing wrong with this.

However, for this daughter it is her gifting and because of this it is somehow in her DNA. She is driven or compelled to serve. Somehow her very being is tied to it. When she isn’t serving she feels somehow incomplete, unwhole.

I know this because I feel the same way. It isn’t to say that she needs to serve 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That’s not healthy. What it does mean is that she looks for ways to serve others all the time without even knowing she’s doing it. That’s the innocence I was talking about. She’s not doing it to get a reward or a pat on the back, although she likes those things as we all do. She’s just following her heart and doing what she feels God wants her to do. We could all learn something from that!

Purses

This weekend Jason and I went on a date. For the date, as is my tradition, I switch purses and downsize for the outing.

Then today I decided to clean out my everyday purse. For the past year or so I have used a purse. For the 13 or so years before that I had been stuck in the “diaper bag” or my backpack.

I found it really funny what I ACTUALLY carry around every single day.
– blackberry tablet, Sharpie, day planner, nail clippers, purse hanger, camera, bug bite relief, eye cleaning cloth, super hero toy, 2 toy cars, eyeball bouncy ball, 2 cloth sacks, floss, eye glass cleaning cloth, 2 lip gloss, Chapstick, paper and markers and crayons (broken of course!), napkins, coupons, 3 pens, 9 band-aids of various sizes and shapes, broken bead bracelet, 2 hair elastics, hair clip, hair barrette, cell phone, wallet, sunglasses, keys.

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Here is what I take on a date.
-cell phone, wallet, keys, pen

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So the real question is…do I REALLY need all that stuff everyday???

My answer…yes. And I need to find my silicone frisbee to put back!!!

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Found it! It was in the van! I absolutely LOVE this frisbee, it is light weight, indestructible, washes up in water, floats, doesn’t hurt when it hits you, and doesn’t make any noise when it’s dropped! Perfect purse toy!