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Quick Sweet Tooth Fixes

With summer starting and closing on a house (woohoo!), posting has not been the first thing on my mind the past couple of weeks, so please forgive me. We have been working on the house since June 1st and I cannot wait to post some pics of the house with the renovations my handsome and creative husband has designed and some projects he has completed. Love my man with many talents!!! The kids and I haven’t been much help, but we do deliver food and we love to hang out in the backyard. Not having a backyard for almost ten months, the kids absolutely love to run around, slide and play ball. We are moving in next week with some projects to still complete, but do not worry pics will come soon.

But now on to why you are really here…quick sweet tooth fixes. I don’t know if you are like me, but there are those nights after dinner where I immediately think, “I need something sweet and I need that sweet fix now.” There is no time to make cookies, brownies, or run to the nearest yogurt shop, you need something easy and quick. Here are two recipes that I use to fix that sweet tooth.

Chocolate Covered Clusters

Ingredients

Favorite raw nuts

Chocolate chips or bar (We use Enjoy Life Mini Chips or 100% cocoa bar)

Pinch Sea Salt

(The amount of nuts and chocolate depends on the number of clusters you want to make and how chocolatey you want them to be.)

Directions

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds and stir. Continue this step until the chocolate is melted completely. Add in raw nuts and stir until nuts are completely covered. Using a spoon, scoop clusters onto parchment paper. Then sprinkle with sea salt and place them in the freezer. They will harden within 10-15 minutes and then they are ready to eat, but you might need to eat fast as they may melt fast.

Chocolate and Strawberries

Ingredients

Fresh Strawberries (sliced)

Chocolate chips or bar

Local Honey

(The amount of all ingredients listed depends on the number of desserts you are making and how chocolatey you want them to be.)

Directions

Slice the strawberries and place in a bowl. Drizzle with honey and add chocolate chips. If you are using a chocolate bar, then you will want to grate or shave the chocolate on top. These are that easy and so yummy. (Adding some coconut whipped cream would be great too.)

I hope you enjoy these sweet tooth fixes. What are your go-to desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth?

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Role Play

Role Playing is to assume the role of another character…to pretend to be someone for a moment. It is something all kids find themselves doing, whether they are superheroes flying through the backyard or teachers who have all their stuff animals as students in the classroom. My boys role play as lions and dinosaurs on a daily basis, which means my background noise is literally a constant roar. I know that most of the role play is pretend and birthed from their imaginations, which I absolutely love watching, but what if we took the role play to real life. For instance, what if you role played behaviors, communication techniques, and so forth. And what if role playing became a reality. Well, since our soon-to-be two year old is starting to communicate so well, we have been performing real life role play. (Seems like an oxymoron I know, but work with me.) One example is to role play sharing. We literally have a toy and pretend the other wants it. Then use words, not hitting or yanking the toy from the other person, but asking for the toy with manners. After practicing some we move on to the next thing. But what is absolutely amazing is when the real life scenario comes and the younger brother discovers the older brother’s favorite t-rex. In this moment, I bring the role play to reality. As the older brother is running to tackle the younger brother for his toy, I say or shout (lol), “Just ask him for it…simply try asking him for it like we have practiced.” The older brother takes a step back and says, “Can I please have my toy?” and the younger brother gives it to him. It is a wow, OMG moment not just for me, but for them as they realize that what we have been preforming actually works in real life. We role play other things like asking for food, giving each other space, how to act in a store, what to do when adults are talking, etc. Now the truth is that there will be moments when little brother gets tackled down to the ground, but that does not take the wow from the moments when he doesn’t. I do my best to celebrate the moments when what we have practiced in role play comes to fruition. A simple pat on the back, hug and “you did so great” goes a long way. Our kids love affirmation. Here is what I do know…kids love to play and pretend, so why not play and practice real life. Give it a try. Play with them too. Who knows you might get the role of that famous cook or CEO!

Is there something your kids need to practice or role play? Do you have any role play suggestions? 😉


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Survive the Summer with Kids by Guest Blogger Kari Leblanc

I am thrilled today to have Kari Leblanc as my first guest blogger. She is a woman I admire in so many ways. She is an amazing wife, mom to five children, cook, friend, blogger and most importantly loves Jesus with all her heart. Today she is providing us with some great tips for how to make it during the summer with the kids at home. If anyone knows her, they can vouch that Kari is a mom who is “on top of her game” to say the least! I hope her tips help you this summer. You can glean more of her wisdom for her blog Convos with Kari.

SURVIVE THE SUMMER WITH KIDS

Thanks so much to my sweet friend Jen who asked me to write a blog post on how to survive and thrive in the summer with littles 🙂 I’m honored! I’ve been working on our summer schedule for the last couple weeks. Summer is a fun season, but it can easily be purposeless since everyone is usually ready for the break from the normal routine.

My most important tips for summer are to PLAN & BE FLEXIBLE. I need a plan so days don’t fly by in a blur of video games and t.v. and I need to be flexible for the days that something comes up. This is my plan for our summer. I hope it helps you!

7:30 – 8:00 am Breakfast
(My kids don’t sleep very late…) Everyone usually wanders into the living room for their daily devos once they’re up. I put my oldest son in charge of breakfast for the summer. He’ll get some simple cooking practice and he’s usually the first one up 🙂 We made a list of easy breakfast options that he can handle and that everyone likes (some days it’s just “take the cereal boxes out of the pantry”). While he’s doing that, I can get my head wrapped around the day. 🙂

9:30 – 11:30 am
Time for our daily-themed activity! *See below

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Lunch
Back home for lunches or Chick-Fil-A with friends 🙂 My oldest is in charge of lunches this summer. She will also get some simple cooking practice (and responsibility practice. 😉

12:30 – 3:00 pm
This is the hottest and laziest part of our day. We usually need a break from whatever we did that morning and we all have a full belly. 🙂 During this time, the littles may take a nap or have a rest time, everyone reads for 30 minutes to 1 hour (based on their age) or they may all lay in the living room and watch a movie. This is also when I prep dinner.

3:00 pm Snack
We have a small snack to signal the official end of rest time and get ready for the rest of our day.

3:00 – 6:00 pm
I think of this part of the day as Free Play. My kids love to play hide & seek, ride bikes, draw with sidewalk chalk, etc…

6:30 pm Dinner 
After dinner is unofficial family time since Dad is done with work (typically). We have family devotions once a week, we may rent a movie or visit friends.

I found this idea for daily themes on Pinterest which gave me some general direction for planning. I love it! This is what we’ll be doing every weekday morning:
M – Make Something Monday – Look through Pinterest to find lots of easy crafts and keep simple art supplies on hand.

T – Take a Trip Tuesday – On these days, we visit cool, free places around our city. Google family activities or sights in your city and keep the list handy. Nothing fancy, just  something to explore.

W – Wet & Wild Wednesday – Make a weekly visit to the splash park, pool or pull out the slip-n-slide & sprinkler.

Th – Thinking Thursday – I keep a list of simple science experiments for my older kids and fun worksheets for the younger ones.

F – Fresh & Fun Friday – This day is reserved for whatever I can come up with… Maybe we bake something together, have a Just Dance contest on the Wii, a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood… Just be creative!

Besides this, we’ve got guitar lessons, football camp and swimming lessons that we’ll also fit in.

Have a plan, be flexible and anticipate a great summer with your kids!!