Thanks for this post and the thoughtful comments {on “The Big Talk” posts which are here and here}…my 8 year old isn’t quite ready yet, but this gave me great food for thought (I learned from a friend in my driveway when I was in 5th grade! but in this accelerated culture I don’t think my kids will have that luxury of time). But now I’m curious how Grace is doing with the secret keeping! (That is one reason I know the 8 year old isn’t ready–he has so many wonderful qualities, but the ability to keep any news to himself is not one of them!)

I think that if you talk enough about how special and important this is, kids feel the weight of responsibility of only talking about it with mom and dad. I do worry about this too though, so I ask them probably three or four times who they can tell. They smile and say “no one.” Then a couple minutes later I ask again. And again. I make sure to point out the WHY (“this is something so special that we need to let the parents tell their own kids about it, not you,” etc.).

That said, I do have mostly girls who for some reason I don’t feel are likely to spill the beans, but you never know!!

Have you or your family ever been approached by someone who has recognized you? Do you have any stories about being in a new city etc. and someone knowing who you were? Has it ever scared you?

Yes and I think it’s so nice when people say hi. My kids seem to like it too. No, it’s never scared any of us. It just makes me realize what a small world it is.

You’ve talked before about how you don’t keep normal snacks and treats in your cupboard. So what do you do for snacks for your kids especially your teenagers? Do you make a lot of snacks, and if so do you have favorite recipes you want to share? 🙂

Over the years we have not made a good impression in the teenage world as far as abundant-preservative-filled snacks and junk food spilling out of our pantry. We are not the house of choice when it comes to teenagers hanging out. I don’t know if that’s more because of the lack of snacks or the abundance of whining little girls. But gradually I think that’s changing cause the little girls are growing up and run to hug whoever comes to visit like they are their best friend in the whole wide world, and I jump on the chance to make a treat when a crowd shows up here. Usually it’s chocolate chews cause they’re done lickety-split and I can pry all the info. out of the friends that I can while I’m whipping them up 🙂

Chocolate Chews:

Melt in saucepan: 2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. cocoa, 1/2 c. milk

Bring to a boil.
Turn to low and let bubble for exactly four minutes.

Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 3 c. oats.

Drop by spoonfuls on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and let set in the fridge.

Mmmmm, makes my mouth water especially since I’m on a sugar hiatus right now.

It’s also amazing what kids will do with a big bowl of carrots if there’s a little low-fat dip to go with them…and frozen grapes go like hotcakes around here too.

I thought it was interesting when I took a “treat” in for Lucy’s class on her birthday. We brought fruit salad and gave each kid one or two little tiny Mother’s cookies to go with it. The kids loved the fruit. 

wait…Lu doesn’t look so pleased there…
Here we go:

I just think that in our society sometimes we forget that yummy food for kids doesn’t have to be junk food.

I wanted to ask a follow up question about the Mike and Ike game. {the one I talked about back in this post}. I just read French Kids Eat Everything, and felt really self-conscious afterwards about how often I “break their rules.” One of them, not using food as a reward/bribe/pacifier/etc. I totally used M&Ms to potty train (just a few, not a whole bag or anything crazy), and snacks on make car trips a little quieter. Anyway, I felt better that you use food too. what are your thoughts? do you have a policy or strong feelings either way? 

We don’t really have a policy. Dave and I don’t want to completely deprive our kids. We don’t want to find them hunkered down hoarding food in someone else’s pantry (although to be honest, I have seen Elle’s eyes shine when she talks about her friend’s plethora of sugar cereals…). We try to just talk it out with the kids. We try to talk about how grateful we are for good bodies that work and how great it is when we can fuel them with good things. Sure we can have treats now and then, but we try to be careful to balance them out with as many good fruits and vegetables (and green smoothies) as possible. I think (hope!) they’re catching on.

As far as the “bribing” or “rewarding” goes, I realized half-way through my toddlers that they liked stickers almost as much as they liked candy. But on potty training for example, our reward for successful toilet trips was ONE skittle or m&m and a sticker on their “potty chart.” They were pleased as punch about that. (More about potty training back here.)

And my kids now would rather have a reward of a lunch date or a late night more than a treat. 

I think…

(More about our lunch dates and that stuff here.)

Some links to check out:

On a side note, my friend is in charge of a little event coming up that looks like any little girl would be in love with: (The “Nutcracker Sweet Tea” is the second thing on that site.) 
Also, the Grand Canyon University has teamed up with the Children’s Cancer Network and they have a project going on called Run to Fight Children’s Cancer.  They have raised $70,000 in their inagural year to help families with all the costs associated with it.  They recently put out this video that is close to my heart since my cute little niece has had to fight cancer.  Here’s the link:

Check out Cami’s story here…cutest video.  Cancer is the worst.  So happy she’s doing so well…love you Cami!

Also, it was my awesome Dad’s birthday this week.  How I adore that man.  My sister did such a great post about him with all kinds of old family pictures that I loved reading over here.  Love you, Dad.

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  1. In regards to your second question up there about someone recognizing you… I actually work with someone who is friends with your sister Charity (that's her name right) and the way that I found out was I saw a picture and said, "Hey! I know that girl!" Then I proceeded to say, "well I don't really know her at all but I read her sister's blog and see pictures of her quite often." So random!

    Thanks for everything you post on your blog. I read it religiously. You really are an inspiration.

  2. I like your name for the cookies better than ours…my kids call them barf cookies because they look like barf 😉 Gross huh? The memories they will have of mom making barf cookies.

  3. I'm totally blown away that you answered my question about Grace. Thanks for the tips and encouragement. My now-9-year-old has made some leaps and bounds and I think will be just about ready soon. I really appreciate your thoughtful and kind answer. Have a great weekend!

  4. After looking at the pictures of your family from the post your sister wrote in honor of your dad, it's clear that Grace is your daughter! (Not that I was questioning, of course, but she looks just like you when you were a kid!!)

    I have a question for you; where did you get your name? Were you named for anyone in particular, or was it just a name that your parents liked?

    I hope you're having a wonderful fall!

    Your paralyzed friend,
    Heather 🙂

  5. Thanks for answering my question too! I've sort of calmed down a bit about ruining my kids with a couple M&Ms, etc. but love the suggestion of stickers. My husband was about to ban stickers for a while because they were forever on the bottom of our feet/stuck to our kitchen floor…but having the kids put them on a chart would definitely help with that. thanks!

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