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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cooking with Kids!

Cooking with kids is a great way to foster life skills. Whether nannying or parenting helping kids make healthy snacks is a plus for teaching them about healthy eating. There are many children who are gluten intolerant and healthy snacks for them require more diligence. So, I chose this recipe to ensure everyone can use It. If the child in your care is allergic to almonds you can use any nut.

One of the best snacks in my opinion must include two of the four food groups three if possible. This dual recipe gets dinner and snacks made at the same time. While  allowing you to teach kids about the advantages and disadvantages of buying convenience foods. What I mean by convenient food is the buying of shredded carrots to make a carrot salad verses buying whole carrots and shredding them yourself.  There is a cost for convenience.

This recipe is spinach and cheddar quiche. You are going to work on making a large one for dinner while the children make mini ones for healthy snacks. Teaching children lessons about how things are priced and what you are really buying when purchasing food can help them better understand how they are spending money. Before you start cooking go buy your ingredients. I want you to buy frozen and fresh spinach, whole almonds and slivered almonds, whole nutmeg and ground  nutmeg, and eight ounces each of whole and shredded Cheddar cheese. Start this activity by asking children to look at the whole objects verses the those which have been made more convenient then ask which they think was less expensive and why? You can discuss this while you prep your ingredients. This way as you cook you can move from one step to the next without having to stop. You will need more preparation as you (nanny or parent) are using the whole ingredients.

While you begin this cooking activity ask kids, what is a healthy snack? Discuss your thoughts as you cook.

 Here is what you will need.

Crusts (divide in half to use for both recipes.)
Six cups of roasted almonds
½ cup of almond meal/flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of melted butter

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor pulse the nuts until you have small pieces. You can have the children do their in batches using a small processor. Put pieces in a bowl and add ½ cup of melted butter, ¼ cup of almond meal and salt. Stir until mixed. Pour into pie tin, kids should use a tablespoon to put into the mini muffin pan. Press nut mixture into the tins forming a crust. Place into oven and  partake for five to six minutes. Remove and let cool.

Filling (divide ingredients in half for both recipes)
8 eggs
2 cups of milk
½  sweet onion
½  teaspoon nutmeg
20  ounces of Spinach
16  ounces cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Light sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion using the food processor. Defrost frozen spinach and wring out excess water. (This is fun for children. It allows them to use their muscles as they prepare a healthy snack. 💪🏽)
(Depending on the age of your children nanny's may want to make the filling on the stove and let children hand them the ingredients to put in the skillet.)

Add  two tablespoon of oil to a nonstick skillet heat over medium heat. Once the oil is warm if using red pepper add first. Then add onion and cook until translucent about three minutes. Add spinach stirring to incorporate onions into spinach (add salt and pepper sparingly as you are also going to salt and pepper the eggs). Let mixture  warm through about five minutes. Set aside to cool. While spinach cools break 4 eggs into a bowl,  add one cup of milk and salt and pepper to taste beat until uniform in color. Set aside.

Put your cooled spinach mixture in the bottom of your crusts. Add a layer of cheddar on top. (save some for the top) Then pour your eggs on top. This activity for kids have them, use a ½ teaspoon of spinach in each mini crust. Then use a spouted cup measure to fill the mini crust with the egg mixture fill the mini cups to just below the cups edge. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. The minis will bake faster so be. Sure to check at 30 minutes. They are done when the eggs have a lightly golden color.

While they bake go ahead and clean up. Take out your receipt from shopping and show the children what you paid.

There are things to think about before doing this healthy snack activity with kids.  For instance, in most cases it is better to buy the whole like with whole verses shredded carrots. However, spinach is an exception. Pound per pound you save over $2.00 buying frozen over fresh. Also, since most spinach is picked, cooked and frozen the same day it is nutritionally richer. So, if you are cooking with spinach it is actually better to buy the frozen. This is also a good time to talk about comparison shopping. (Next time you are running errands with the children pick an item and note what the same item cost in differing places.) We often decide where we are going based on cost and convenience. Think about some examples which fit your lifestyle and local area. This conversation should be a give and take make sure you are asking open-ended questions (questions which have more than one answer or that give children room to think outside of the box-example from earlier. What is a healthy snack?). Then  listen carefully to the answers children can surprise you. I have learned many a thing from the pre-school generation and I expect to continue doing so. Teaching kids life skills while cooking is a great habit to form. Often, children feel more comfortable talking while  cooking. It tends  to be easier  to open up. Parents and Nannies who practice teaching life skills while cooking  with kids often find it is during these times are where children open up  and talk. There are any benefits to teaching children about healthy snacking, it is only limited by the nanny or parent planning the activity with kids. Another article which can offer you some help.   https://learn.sittercycle.com/courses/interacting-with-children-for-everyday-learning

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How to Hear from the Holy Spirit Session One

How to Hear from the Holy Spirit

Session One Notes , Journal, and Exercise

There are many believers who think if they read the Bible they are connecting with God however there is a difference between connecting with the scriptures which is the Word of God and connecting with Jesus who is the God of the Word. The scriptures are given to us to help us understand who He is and what He expects of us. But, knowing and connecting with Him goes beyond the scriptures and into the mystery of a deep communication of the one who created you to not only know and obey what the scriptures teach us; but to know His voice and obey what He wants to tell us beyond what the scriptures tell us.

When I was 22 years old I sat down alone on my college campus between classes and I asked my self this deep and serious question.

“Am I going to follow this God my parents have taught me about? Do I desire to know who He really is and what He has for me to do here? Or am I going to go my own way and just live the life I want?”

I made the deliberate and conscious decision to know and follow God. Thus, January 1, 1988, I went on my first fast. I lasted until dinner. The fried chicken, black eyed peas, and greens were shouting my name! LOL. But, during that afternoon I said something I will never forget. I held up the Bible and I said, I love this book, but this book is not you it only points to you. If I am going to take this journey it has to be me and you together. I am not willing to go on this journey alone.

I know for sure it is this which has made the difference in my walk. I know the Holy Spirit intimately. I do not just know about Him because I read about Him in the scriptures. I know Him as a person. Someone who laughs, teases, instructs, is kind, and firm. There are many who say He is a gentleman and He is but, He is also the person who knocked Paul off his horse. Which is not exactly a gentlemanly thing to do.
He hovers over the Earth and in the hearts of men, and He is the one who will bring the wrath of God down on the disobedient in the last of all days.

The Holy Spirit is part of the great and awesome Godhead. He is loving, kind, fierce, and terrible. Yet, in all things He is my best friend and tells me all I need to know and gives to me everything pertaining to life and godliness; all I need to do is ask.

He wants you to know Him in the same way. In fact, He longs for you to know Him in the same way. I never have to wonder what He is thinking He tells me. I do not mean He gives me a sense of calm and peace. I do not mean He speaks in in still small voice; which I sense deep inside. And I do not mean in a dream or vision although He does still use those from time to time. I mean He uses English and flat out tells me what He thinks. It is not always easy to hear, it is not always fun. But, it is always straight up and straight out in English and clear as a bell.

This is only true because I speak English, if your native tongue is something other than that He will speak to you in your language. Remember the Tower of Babel it was He who confused the languages and separated people out into people groups based on the fact they could understand one another. So, you can be sure that He knows what to say and how to speak directly to you in a clear way.

Each day is a new learning experience. Sometimes, I need t step back and think about how He deals wiith me before I can understand what He is saying. The other day I lost my credit card I knew it was in the house somewhere but, I could not remember where. He told me look on the table. I looked on the table and it was not there. Then I thought wait, many times when He says on He wants me to look under, I moved the chair and found it. I think He does this to show me that I am hearing from Him but, to think about the fact that I am hearing from Him. He does not want me to ever take Him for granted, ever keeping in mind who I am talking to and that He is God and I am human. He loves me but, He is Holy and wants me to ever be reverent and humble as I walk with Him.


Each of these lessons I am going to ask you a question I want you to think about and journal on each day. The purpose of this journal assignment is to get you thinking about this session each day and writing out what you think so you can see it on paper.

As you think about this question I want you to practice a form of prayer called Soaking. Soaking is where you put on instrumental worship music and sit quietly and focus on the Holy Spirit and what He may want to say to you. Here is a Ir’s Supernatural show by Sid Roth regarding this form of prayer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kMX-5nWLfs

Question for Week One:

Do you believe God is always talking, and that He wants to talk to you?

Everyday for the next six days I want you to write in a journal for at least 15 minutes. Explore your thoughts about this question. Write other questions and then write your answers as you go throughout the week. The session before our next class. Write a post about what you have thought about the last few days.  So we can have a discussion about it. Extra Credit: Begin to ask the Holy Spirit  questions you would like answers to, writeh them in yor journal. When you sit down to write look at each of these questions. Have they been answered?


Read John 16:7 in the following translations and write it down three times in each one.

English Standard Version
New American Standard
The Message
New International Version
The Amplified
The Tree of Life

 Look up the words Teacher and Advocate and write down the definitions

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how this scripture applies specifically to you and in your life.
Share an independent post on what you hear.

Things to take from this lesson:

1.The Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an it. He is our teacher,counselor and friend whose job it is to teach us to know God and to live according to the standards of our home the Kingdome of God.
2.He wants us to not only know His voice, but to obey what He says to us.
3.He loves us so much and longs to connect with us regularly.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

C an you Hear the Voice?

The first time I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit I was sure it was just me thinking what He said. Because it was not just an impression, a feeling or a hunch. It was a spoken word the word was NO! I will never forget it. I was in the kitchen, I knew at that time it was going to be a while before He sent my husband. I know He told me to wait. I asked Him to provide me a male friend someone I could do things with, hang out with and who would occasionally kiss me. I got a loud, distinct, and forceful NO! At the rime I was so surprised. ut, I said 'okay but why" The full answer came slowly, but in that instant He said  a kiss is the first place a man take possession of a woman's mind, heart, and body. 
This is why the wedding ceremony ends in a kiss.

I few weeks later I got Dr. Chapman's book for the first time and realized that touch is my love language. The rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. I again heard the Holy Spirit saying you would always be heartbroken.  Then I fully understood. I know there are those people who will tell you God does not talk that much. But, the truth is if you are listening the Holy Spirit is always talking. He cares about everything which concerns us. What we eat. Where we sleep. Who our friends are. What we do for a living. If you listen for His voice He will tell you clearly what to do.

The problem is people do not listen and therefore think He isn't talking. Big mistakes! I was recently speaking with a client who asked me "How do you hear from the Holy Spritt?" I told her I would have to think about it. Once I did I heard the Holy Spirit say; "this is why so many children fall away from the faith in college. They do not know my voice for themselves and therefore do not really know me. I want a generation of children who not only know about me but also know me. Teach parents to hear me sot they can teach the kids, my kids to hear me too."

If you have been following this blog for any time you know I uses Psalms 78:6 as my foundation scripture.

so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,

    and they in turn would tell their children NIV

This scripture speaks of the responsibility one generation has to the next to teach them about God who He is and what He expects. A large part of that is teaching our kids to hear His voice and to obey what they hear.

If you are interested in finding out more. I am inviting you to join us on Tuesday evenings at I pm starting the 15th of January. The first three weeks is a free class on how adults can focus in and hear better from the Holy Spirit. The next class starts February 26th and will be an eight week paid class on teach your kids to hear as well. You are invited to come on the journey!

Believe in Parenting

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Excellence, the Tiger Lady, and a Lovely Couple

This Christmas I received a special and unique gift. My sister took me to Cancun, Mexico. She took me to an all-inclusive resort called Excellence. It is a spectacular place full of great service, mouth watering food, and caters only to adults. We had beautiful skies, warm water and met lots of interesting people from all over the world. I recommend you check out the place. It was the last in luxury, service and relaxation. It definitely lives up to its name!

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I was so excited that on my fifth day there I met the inventor of the most interesting self-defense weapon I have ever heard of. I was water walking in the pool, when I overheard a lady discussing her worries for her college aged daughter who was walking campus at night. Dani one of the wives of the founders and it's spokesperson was saying ,"this is the best thing a women can carty and be both safe and get way from her attacker." I just had to turn around and check out this product. She showed me how to hold it and squeeze, three claws came out. "I excitedly asked is this the Tiger Lady?" All bedlam broke loose. LOL! Apparently, I was the first person to recognize this product when shown what it was. The family was ecstatic to meet someone who recognized their product. Then I met Josh the marketing director for the Tiger Lady. He asked me a lot of questions about where I heard about the product, what I thought of it and would I use it? I answered his questions and told him I would use it and recommend all my fellow visually impaired folks add women use it too. tigerlady.com Afterwards, we talked some more and I found out Josh and his wife Heather were with his family on vacation while their six month old son was back in DC with her parents. I was so pleased for them and I told them so.

I was excited to see a couple take the time for each other especially because they were both so busy with full-time jobs, starting a new business, and being new parents. Josh's Mom told me that he and Heather were sleeping in, getting to the nightclub for dancing, and generally spending good quality time together. I loved hearing that, I told them their relationship is the foundation of their family and taking time to build, preserve, and shore up this relationship was the glue which would hold their family together! 

After thinking about this I asked Josh if I could use he and Heather's Christmas vacay as an example to show other young and even older couples what it can look like to keep your marriage the priority in your lives as a way to do these three things.

  1. Keeping in mind you are a man and a woman, and a husband a a wife before you are parents.
  2. Remind both of you the foundation of your family life is the relationship between the two of you.
  3. Give your kids a living, breathing, vibrant example of what it means to be an energetic, happy, fulfilled couple who love one another deeply and are committed to one another.

I really enjoyed my Christmas vacation the best present ever! I got to go to the beach, meet some interesting people, got a great new self-defense tool, and found a great example of a couple doing it right. I am so grateful to my sister for an amazing trip. I hope your Christmas went as well as mine! I am looking forward to 2018.

Believe in Parenting!

Want more information? ptanda.org

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Use Reading this Holiday to Build Relationships!

     Reading together as a family was very popular a few years ago when families read the Hunger Games together. Moms, Dads, kids, grandparents, aunt, uncles, etc all got to read the story and discuss what was going on in the books. This was a good way to form deeper relationships among family members because it allowed families to discuss, poverty, life, death, what would you do in this case, what do you like or dislike about the character? Also, it puts the family on an even playing field everyone has an opinion no one is right or wrong, everyone can discuss their point of view.

     The holiday season is a great time to build relationships among the family. I suggest doing so by reading together. I suggest picking a classic children's story that has been made into a movie. Spend the week reading the book together. You can actually read it or listen to it via audio book. Then take the time to discuss it together. You can make it a discussion over lunch or dinner. Or you can make it a discussion over snacks and hot cocoa.

     I love this idea because it allows the family to share an experience in this case a story, Then gives them a chance to talk agout what happened how it made you think and feel. It opens lines of communication and when the whole family participates it opens up how each other thinks and feels. This brings people closer to understanding each other. It is this understanding which enriches, deepens, and strengthens relationships When you have read the book together the next step is to watch the movie.

     After you watch the movie, talk about the choices the screenwriter made when editing the book for film, do you like what they did. Do you feel key elements of the story played well to the  people who will never read the book? What in the movie would you keep or eliminate? Here is a list of  book/movies I suggest reading.

The Secret Garden
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Hunger Games 1, 2, or 3
Anne of Green Gables
Little Women
Charlotte's Web
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach

If none of these strike your fancy here is a list of others from wikipedia.

    I hope you take this opportunity to use reading to set an example for your children on the importance of reading and perhaps start a new holiday tradition. Happy Holidays for PT&A and welcome in 2018!

Believe in Parenting

Want More Information? ptanda.org

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Perfection at Christmas? Bah Humbug!

Yay! Christmas is 12 days away and we all know and love the song the 12 Days of Christmas.  A couple of years ago Hallmark Channel did a movie about how w woman who died of cancer sent her husband a Christmas gift where he received these gifts literally. LOL she wanted to remind him that though she was now gone life moves on and is to be celebrated! Hopefully, you do not find yourself in a similar position this year but if you do. I encourage you to just love those around you. Hold them a little tighter and smile. Even when you do not feel like it. Feelings follow actions the more you smile the more you will feel like smiling.

For the rest I want you to relax. There is no such thing as the perfect holiday. The stress and pressure we put on ourselves to strive for the impossible takes all the joy out of it. During these last few days try focusing on what you want others to feel. Happy, safe, comfortable, well, healthy, and loved. If you concentrate on this rather then trying for perfection you and everyone else will be more joyous. Perfection is unattainable, joy, laughter, peace, and goodwill are the hallmarks of this season. Focus on those things and you will find that perfection is over-rated. 

You can not give your child the prefect Christmas. What you can do is focus on giving them all the love, and joy you feel in having them in your life. Celebrating with them the joy, majic, and love this season has to give. 

Believe in Paretning!

want more information ptanda.org

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Being A New Dad!

My cousin Jason just became a Dad earlier this year. I pondered as a parent coach what advice would I give him if he asked. He did not ask and I am grateful because I really had no idea. Now, that I do I thought I would share with all of you new Dads. The first thing I would say is your wife has spent a lot of time pregnant and caring for your child. Sometimes after the baby is born she can get a little selfish and try and push you away from her and the baby. This is just a phase, be sure to push back and remind her it is not her and your child against the world. It is you and she against the world on behalf of your child. Be patient it will pass, but insist on your being a part of both of their lives. Keep in mind she is not rejecting you she is focusing on attaching to your child. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with that responsibility and cannot see clearly. We need you to help us maintain an equilibrium. Do not abandon us to the overwhelming responsibility remind us you share it.

  • Hire a postpartum doula if you think your wife needs support she is not getting. They work with women for three months after the baby comes. Or if she is pregnant now a doula helps with pregnancy and childbirth. Here is an interview I did with 2 douas.
  • Hold and talk to your infant daily.
  • Be a part of daily care: feed, bathe, change diapers
  • Give your wife time to bathe and shower
  • Insist on caring for the baby while she goes out, plan for her sisters and friends to take her out for an evening while you stay home, then plan for the two of you to go out and have someone else care for the baby. She will push back do it anyway.
  • Remind her and yourself that she is a wife first. Sometimes we get bogged down in our role as mother. Remind her in 18 years this child will be leaving buy you both will still be together. You are building a life together. Be gentle do it with cards, flowers, cooking a meal, and being her partner by talking with her.
  • Speak her love language on a consistent basis. If you have not read Dr. Gary Chapman's book on the Five Love Languages do so now and find out your wife's love language and speak it often!
  • Meet with other Dad's who have kids your age and talk about being a husband and a dad. Find out how other guys are handling the issues you face and share. Support each other. Your wife is not a man and contrary to popular opinion you  are not the same. Talk with other men.
  • Read the books the books the  Gift of Honor and The Gift of Blessing
Being a new Dad is tough you need to support both your wife who has gone a little bonkers with all the new responsibility and mothers love she is feeling. You have a new child who you need to bond with , love. and begin to parent. I love the picture above because it shows how I think most men feel abvout their wife and new born child. Loving, tender, and protective! I encourage you to fight the good fight and be the loving and tender warrior for your family. Fight to be in the midst of them as the loving protector and fight to be the one who protects them from the dangers of the outside world.

Believe in Parenting
Want more information ptanda.org