Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nurture Mama has moved to

My husband convinced me of the merits of having my own domain and host for this blog, so is now Everything on the old site is now on the new site. I will no longer be posting here but this site will remain up as a resource.

If you have subscribed to my feed (thanks!), it should switch over to the new site automatically but please check to make sure you are receiving updates.

If you've linked to my site, please update your links to:

A big thanks to my awesome husband and all of his technical support. Nurture Mama wouldn't be here without him!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Teaching good habits

"My mother understood the value of teaching her children about standards, values, and doctrine while they were young. While she was grateful to others who taught her children outside the home at either school or church, she recognized that parents are entrusted with the education of their children and, ultimately, parents must ensure that their children are being taught what their Heavenly Father would have them learn" (L. Tom Perry, “Mothers Teaching Children in the Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 29–31)
The responsibility that I have as a mother to teach my children weighs heavily on my mind. I have three sweet spirits that have been entrusted to my care, and I want to be sure that they grow and learn the important lessons to help them be successful and good people. I don't care if they grow up to be rich and famous, I just want them to be good and kind.

Children learn best by example, so of course I am trying my best to live my life as a good and kind person. But it is important to verbalize the essential life lessons as well. So lately I've been putting a little more thought into our Family Home Evening lessons, and teaching the attributes/skills that I most want my children to develop.

My first lesson along this theme was Hands are for Hugging, not Hurting (can you tell we sometimes have a hitting problem at our house?!). The lesson went really well and those words have become a common phrase heard in our home, when little hands need a reminder on how to behave.

The next lesson was Quickly Obey, followed soon after by Pray Always. Our Follow the Prophet lesson coincided with General Conference, but teaching our children that we follow the prophet is a year-long endeavor.

Each of these lessons was centered on a simple phrase that could be easily remembered and repeated. We talk about them at dinnertime, we mention them in family prayers, and whenever an appropriate opportunity arises. We're calling them our "Tanner Family Habits" and these are the words that I hope my children will remember and take to heart. I will be happy if when my children are grown they can look back and say "Yes, I know it's essential to follow the prophet, because we talked about it in our family and we did it". Or when troubles arise, my children know who to turn to for help (and in gratitude also), because we are a family who prays always. In a way, we are crafting our family mission statement through these lessons.

We'll keep adding to our list as we go along, working to develop good habits and strengthen our family.
"Maintaining good personal habits which are pleasing to our Heavenly Father will strengthen our character, increase our influence for good, improve our example, bless our loved ones and friends, enrich our lives, and enable us to accomplish those things that yield true personal satisfaction and build peace and happiness in our hearts. We will have joy eternally, possessing a treasure to be much desired and sought after, for the Lord gives this assurance: “Inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” (D&C 58:28.) (Delbert L. Stapley, “Good Habits Develop Good Character,” Ensign, Nov 1974, 20).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On Hope and Mourning

"Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls.

"We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will “work together for [our] good” as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Infinite Power of Hope,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 21–24

The past week has been one of sadness and tender feelings in the lives of my extended family. We mourn the passing of my sweet niece who was tragically killed when she was hit by a car while riding her bike. Allison was a beloved daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter and friend and she will be missed by many. Though her life was cut short in just a moment, I find peace and hope in my faith. I am thankful for eternal families, and the knowledge that Allison can be reunited with her family again someday.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

My husband put his feelings into words here. Read the news article about the accident here. You can read Allison's obituary here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Pumpkin Party Weekend

After a fun trip to the pumpkin patch last week, we're planning a family fun night to carve our pumpkin. But with a little time to spare on a long weekend I decided to invite my girls to a Pumpkin Party Weekend. We'll be working on activities inspired by the following great ideas I've found in my Google Reader this week.

5 Little Pumpkins from The Activity Mom
Newspaper Ghosts from Serving Pink Lemonade
Bean Skeletons and Macaroni Spider Webs from The Activity Mom (but I think we will try outlining our spider webs with string)
My friend Emily brought some adorable Hot Dog Mummies to the Sweet Bee's preschool party. This is what we'll be having for dinner on Halloween night, along with the Spooky Jello-Jigglers, and some Halloween themed pasta if I can find it at the store (thanks Courtney for the idea).

I don't think we'll get to it this year, but some time I would like to try the Frozen Banana Ghost Treats from No Time for Flashcards.

What are your favorite pumpkin activities?

Monday, October 25, 2010

" family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening..."

"Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. Our families are an integral part of His work and glory—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). On God’s eternal stage, it is usually intended that parents act as the central cast members in their children’s lives. Fortunately, there are understudies involved in the production who may step in when parents can’t. It, however, is parents who have been commanded by the Lord to bring up their children in light and truth (see D&C 93:40).

"Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time. They know that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily parenting is among the most powerful and sustaining forces for good in the world. The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.

L. Tom Perry, “Mothers Teaching Children in the Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 29–31

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Recipes

I'm looking for an easy snack to take to my daughter's preschool Halloween party. Preferably something on the healthier side, since there will be enough sugar floating around for the next week. Here are the best contenders I've found so far:

2-1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin
Make It

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into 13x9-inch pan.

REFRIGERATE at least 3 hours or until firm.

DIP bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut into 24 decorative shapes, using 2-inch Halloween-shaped cookie cutters, making sure to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift gelatin shapes from pan. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
Parsley, finely chopped
Deviled egg mixture
Red pepper
1 black olive and 2 asparagus tips

1. Stir chopped parsley into your favorite deviled egg mixture to give it a green tint; fill the cooked egg whites.
2. Use black-olive slices for pupils and a bit of red pepper pushed into the center for evil glint. Add asparagus tips for eyebrows.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies
This recipe is tried, tested and truly loved by me! It's a fall tradition at our house now!

1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin (the small can)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) or 1 cup chopped pecans (optional) or 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup cream cheese frosting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray cookie sheets lightly with vegetable spray (Pam).
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin with a fork or mixer until well blended; stir in nuts or raisins, if desired.
4. Drop by large rounded spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet; they don't flatten out much so however you place them on the sheet is pretty much how they'll look after baking.
5. Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
6. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for up to 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Frost, if desired

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"First School" Lesson Plans: Activities for 2-3 year olds

We've been "back-to-school" for almost two months now, and I finally feel like things are settling down as we have figured out our routine. Things have fallen into place so nicely, in fact, that I even had time to make a plan for the learning activities that I want to do with the Sweet Bee. She just turned three years old this week, so I'm calling it "First School". Here is the focus for each day at a glance:

Monday: Letter of the Week
Tuesday: Social-Preschool with friends
Wednesday: Number of the Week
Thursday: Color /Shape of the Week (alternate weeks)
Friday: Creative art, seasonal theme, playgroup

Here is a detailed breakdown of what I plan to do each day.

Letter of the Week
Introduce the letter: use a letter grab bag with the various letters we have in the house (foam letter, blocks, magnet letter).
Read a book that connects with the letter.
Create letter artwork, see No Time for Flashcards for inspiration.
Color a basic letter poster for the wall, add a letter sticker (the posters I use are the Uppercase A-Z Worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler).

Number of the Week
Introduce the number: use a number grab bag with the various numbers we have in the house (foam number, blocks, magnet letter).
Read a counting book.
Use the counting cups to count a snack (cheerios, crackers, grapes, etc).
Play a number/counting game.

Color of the Week
Create a color poster using crayon, colored pencil, marker, paper scrap, paint, etc.
Go on a color hunt and search the house to find the color.
Read a book and look for the color in the pages.
Free art using the color (and others, too).

Shape of the Week
Introduce the shape using the felt shapes. Play a matching game.
Create a shape poster by gluing small colored shapes on a larger shape.
Go on a shape hunt and search the house to find the shape.
Cut the shape out of play dough or cookie dough.

Creative and Fun
Create or play something fun. A good day to do seasonal projects (ex. Halloween or Christmas).
Playgroup with friends.

As we go along, I'll share the specifics of what we actually did in each lesson (ex. which books we read for letter X, the number game we played with number 3, the creative letter artwork we did for letter L, etc). Watch for the details in future posts. These activities would be fun (and educational) for most 2-3 year old children, and adaptable for other ages as needed. My five year old likes to join in whenever she can!

There are a lot of great resources available when it comes to planning a preschool lesson. These blogs are my favorites and first places I look for inspiration:

No Time for Flashcards
Confessions of a Homeschooler
The Activity Mom
Chasing Cheerios
Teach Mama

Nurture Mama Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Baby Blog Designed by Ipiet | All Image Presented by Tadpole's Notez