Cooking with the kids: cinnamon rolls on a Saturday morning

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

Last Saturday morning my daughter Jillian and I found ourselves awake before the rest of the family.  Normally when I am awake early on a weekend morning it is because of the youngest member of our family, so it was nice for my oldest child and I to get to spend some one on one time together.

While the rest of the family slept, she and I decided to surprise them with homemade cinnamon rolls.

We let our new (to us, anyway) bread machine do the work of the kneading and rising.

[We made our cinnamon rolls using the Money Saving Mom’s bread machine cinnamon rolls recipe.  I substituted coconut oil and our flour was 3C all purpose with 1C wheat.]

As we waited, we sat at the table together, she sipping a glass of milk and me with my coffee, and we chatted about everything from For Better or For Worse comics (her current favorite comic) to whether or not she likes the new math program we’re using for homeschool.  She chattered, I listened, and we reconnected after a busy week.

It was a sweet, slow morning.  It was nice.

Later we rolled out the dough, spread on the filling, and cut the rolls before baking. I love that she is old enough to be a real help in the kitchen and I appreciate the extra pair of hands, not to mention her enthusiasm.

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8 Ways to help your children respect other cultures

The following post is by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids.

What is your child’s favourite food?  One of my son’s favourite things to eat is Vegemite toast.  What sports do your children like to play or watch on TV?  My sons love to play footy in the backyard and watch the AFL (Australian Football League).  That’s right, we’re Australian.  I bet that, wherever you are in the world, what your children like is different to what my children like.  That’s because everyone is different and everywhere is different.

Children are born belonging to a particular culture, but around the world there are many ways of living and being. Technology has connected the world and we can speak to and see people in far away places within seconds. As they grow, today’s children will encounter and need to connect, communicate and work together with people from a diverse range of backgrounds.  Encouraging your child to approach people’s differences with a mindset of learning from one another, rather than fearing or judging one another, will help them to understand that despite the differences these are people just like them.

Gaining knowledge of different cultural practices also helps children develop their sense of identity and understand their place in their family, local community, town, country and the world community.

Here are some ways to explore different cultures, traditions, languages and families with your child: [Read more…]

Flashing back to my own childhood

Arianne over at Simple Design has started a fun link-up for sharing our thrift store purchases, Thrift Haul.  Second-hand shopping is one of my favorite hobbies (if you can call something that is also a necessity a hobby, and I think you can).

As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve been spending quite a few weekend mornings cruising the thrift stores looking for picture frames.

Recently one of my thrift store scores had me flashing back to my own childhood: a Fisher-Price Main Street set.

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Helping these walls to talk (however imperfectly)

It may be because I am finally starting to come out of my post-baby fog.  It may be that it is Spring.

I’m sure that Pinterest has something to do with it.

I suppose it could simply be that the recent sunshine pouring through my windows revealed all the dust and the drab.

Whatever the reason, I’m feeling itchy to make some changes in my surroundings.

For one thing, these bare walls are closing in on me.  I’m home with four little children, three of them under the age of five.  It gets loud around here, friends. There are times when the noise is suffocatingly loud.

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Weekend links and Sparkle Stories winners

I was especially touched by this post from The Not-Ever-Still Life this week: And the Bad Dreams that You Dare Really Do Come True.  Perhaps Robin”s words seemed so compelling to me because parenting has brought some of those moments to me, the ones where you know you are supposed to be the one who makes it all better, but you just have no idea how you will?  We get through them, but, as Robin writes, they do linger, don”t they?

There are also a few freebies that I wanted to tell you about:

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