Friday, July 21, 2017

Easy Summer Snack for Kids

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I'll admit it. My kids are munch-aholics. If it's salty and crunchy, they're into it. So I've tried to find some alternatives to chips.  And then I remembered a snack from my childhood. Did you ever put those little oyster crackers in your soup? They were a snacktime fixture for me growing up. Using them and two other ingredients, we created a yummy summer snack that the kids could help prepare.

Total preparation time for these ranch oyster crackers was only about 30 minutes, start to finish. I love how quick and easy this recipe is.

1 bag oyster crackers
1/4 cup vegetable oil
ranch seasoning packet
garlic powder (optional)

How to:
Dump the oyster crackers into a gallon sized ziploc bag.

Add vegetable oil and contents of the ranch seasoning packet. Seal the bag, allowing a little air to be contained inside. Shake the bag vigorously and shuffle the crackers around with your hands to try and spread the oil and ranch seasoning onto all of the crackers.

When sufficiently mixed, spread the crackers out onto a baking sheet. We opted to shake a touch of garlic powder onto them for added flavor, but this is totally optional.  Bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven once the crackers have browned slightly, let cool, and enjoy! I can't believe how much my picky eater kiddos raved over these!

You could also easily add some pretzel sticks, cheese crackers, or corn/rice cereal to this recipe to create a full snack mix. I think we'll do this next time. It only took two days for these crackers to be gone and they're already asking to make more.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Behavior Tracking Sheet for Kids {free printable}

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So many parents struggle in silence about behavioral issues with their children. We put our best virtual foot forward on Facebook. We pretend that we aren't struggling at playdates. We present ourselves as though there is nothing wrong because we're fearful that we'll be blamed for the struggles our child faces . But in reality, we pray that our child will grow up healthy. We sweat over whether or not our child will meltdown during a trip to the store. We... wonder what it is we did wrong to end up having a child who struggles in this way.

Having a child with behavioral issues is an albatross. It can be embarrassing to talk about because so many are quick to place the blame on parenting and lack of discipline. Documentation can be very helpful for parents just starting out in seeking services from health professionals, for those trying to find specific triggers, or for those just wanting to see what works and what doesn't. There are so many forces at play in our children's lives that can affect their behavior.

When behavior started becoming problematic with my son, I'll be honest, I was in denial. Thought that it'd remedy itself in due time. I was wrong. So when we got to the point where I realized that we needed professional help, I thought it would be good to be able to provide our new provider with daily records of what was happening in our home. There's so much that I'd like to share with you about this journey. But right now, out of respect for Bear's privacy, I'm not posting much. But I'll tell you, it's a hard, hard road.
So... here is this... a sheet you can print out to track the daily fluctuations with your kiddo. They've proven to be *very* insightful for us in dealing with Bear's behaviors and informing our providers of what happens when we aren't in sessions. Also included are two other sheets you may find useful. One is a "think sheet" for kiddos to fill out after incidents so that they can think critically about what happened and develop a game plan for next time. The other is a "3 strikes" sheet where you or your kiddo can keep track of poor choices.
Click the link below to download 

Whatever leg of the journey you're on with your kiddo, I send you lots of love, blessings, and hope. Being a momma is not an easy road. Sometimes parenting is difficult, even painful. Just remember to love. Love through the tantrums, the disrespect, the disobedience. Because our kiddos are hurting and they need to know that in the midst of their pain, they are still treasured.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Moments Matter: July Photo Prompts for Moms

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I'm late in posting this. Life has gotten in the way of this site lately. With losing our Baby Bean and other issues I'm not yet ready to make public, I've been lost. My days have been spent adrift, trying desperately to stay afloat, but feeling as though I'm drowning. Two months ago, I started the Moments Matter monthly photo challenge.  I wanted to focus more on the little things that made up our days... Give myself prompts for the days that were tough. Even if I don't always post the photos due to time, I think they've given me pause to reflect every day. So I'm sharing it with you all in case you want to join in.  As moms, sometimes we aren't always in pictures, so I encourage you to be in the shot as much as possible.
There are several ways you can join me in this project:
  • Use the photo prompts to capture moments in your day that fit them.  Join me on Instagram and share them or keep them for just you and your family to enjoy.
  • Use the topics to hone your photography skills.
  • You can also use the prompts as inspiration for activities for you to do with your children. 
  • If you can’t participate every day, no worries.  Just post when the prompts speak to you and relate to the moments in your day.
  • Share whatever photos you like with the tag #momentsmatter to share the special moments in your day.
  Here are the photo prompts for this month:

Don't forget to use the hashtag #momentsmatter when you share!  See you on Instagram!

Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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