Do Your Kids Write Thank You Notes?

18
Dec
2014

 Thank you notes

Since it is that time of year, when tacking gratitude and thankfulness is at the top of our parenting list, I wanted to share this post I did from several years back.  Enjoy!

I wonder…….do other moms still make their kids write “thank you” notes???  Is this so “old fashion” that I am asking too much?  I mean, does anyone ever get real mail in the mailbox anymore?

I have had my kids write thank you notes for gifts since they could write.  For a long time they didn’t know the difference – they thought all kids were required to do this simple common courtesy, until one day…….

It was the first Christmas that my husband and I were married and now the new step-momwas in charge of the “motherly” stuff in the home.  My step-son had no idea of the “thank you” note policy our family had, so when I just assumed we would all fall under MY guiding, well – it was taken with some resistance.  My husband didn’t quite understand my insistence at having all the kids write thank you notes, even to people that were present when the gift was opened.  I gave my reasoning and you guessed it……we all write thank you notes!

I feel my kids get a great lesson out of this experience whenever  their birthday or another holiday rolls around.  It helps them continue to be grateful – they don’t just say a quick, “thank you” when they open the gift and move onto the next.   Even if the person giving the gift is present when the “present” is opened, they typically send a note as well.  They write a true expression of how they intend to use the gift as well as saying, “thank you”.

I like that my kids have to write an actual card, address it and mail it.  This is rather “old fashioned” some of you would think, but I love getting REAL mail!  I think when someone receives an actual card in the mail it is impacts them in a different way and can touch someone much deeper than an email or phone call.

So if you are not in the habit of having your kids write “thank you” notes, maybe this year is the first.  Think about what you may be teaching your children and what habits they could be developing for when they are no longer living at home.  Call me “old fashioned” but I write thank you notes too – yep – remember they are watching you.  Live by example, express your gratitude and have fun finding creative ways to say “thank you.”

Tips to Writing Thank You Notes:

1.  Set a time:  We have now set a deadline, especially with the older kids to complete the task of writing notes, if they have not completed it by the deadline, we take the gift and hold it hostage!  I know, we are hammer parents!

2.  Help those little ones:  Now that I have a smaller one in the house, I will sit and write the majority of the card with their help and they sign their name.  It involves them but is not overwhelming.

3.  Help kids be specific:  Have your kids specific details about what they like about the gift they received or perhaps how they will use it or look forward to using it.

4.  The Details:  Help them see how to address the envelope, place the return address and stick postage on the card.  These are life skills that they all need to learn!

Remember:

Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say.      – Wilfred A. Peterson

Keep an Organized Home in 2015 – YES – REALLY!

8
Dec
2014

blog-2015-planner-household

Drum Roll…….. the 2015 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner is ready to go and you can download it for FREE!!  If you are  a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ve already gotten the notice and hopefully grabbed your copy

This is my second year using your planner and I love it! I also am currently reading The Christian Homemakers Handbook, after you had posted on it this past summer, and I love it!   Thank you!!!

LOVE the planner!! I’ve been looking forward to doing my planned “chores” each day and no longer feel like I need to do EVERYTHING EVERY DAY! I suddenly have so much more time in my day and my house is still getting taken care of Thank you so much for offering this to us for free!!

“Thank you soooo much!!! For the first time in my married life, I can open the door and invite someone into my home at any moment without being afraid of what pile of clothes I have on the bed that needed to be folded or dishes still in the sink. My 11-year-old daughter has even become a “neat freak” and will say often, “Mommy, I just can’t stand having a mess anywhere now – I just can’t function that way!” And those words from the child I used to have to beg to clean up her room – It’s proof that children really do learn what they live! Thanks again for what you do – it is truly a ministry.   

I am so incredibly thrilled to offer this planner to you all for FREE!  It does take a sizable amount of work to update it each year and also create some new pages for the Supplemental Pack to get your life even more organized.  But GOD is good and He provides what is needed to get the task done.

So how can this planner help you?

Get a Plan

Whether you print one page of the planner out a week, or print the entire contents out and put it in a binder, find a method that will work for you.  No one likes to get re-organized each week – so pick a method and go with it.  

My method is to print the year out, take it to Staples and spiral bind it for $4.  I can then write all over it and I actually  keep my previous year planner because of all the notes I’ve written on the pages.  I am also a big fan of the “just tell me what to do version” – that is my kinda gig!

 Weekly-Household-Planner-Spiral-Bound

Maybe you are a ‘print each week as you go’ so you can type in the editable fields kids gal – then do that.  Post it on the refrigerator or place it in a notebook.  I have also heard from moms that have been able to use the planner pages on their tablets – 

  • If you have a tablet, like an iPad you can use the Weekly Household planner “paperless” with any app that allows you to “write” on a PDF – for example Notability.
  • On the Kindle, you can download “Note Everything” for free and use it too!

I have not done this myself, and will likely experiment with this, but if you have had success please share in the comments so you might be able to help another mom out.  In addition, many have downsized the planner pages, but changing the printer settings on their printers, for example – printing two of the pages on one 8 X 11 page….if you have done that please share here too!

Give Yourself Grace

If all the tasks do not get crossed off each day – the world won’t end!  You need to be real with yourself and have realistic expectations each day {I shared a post on this last year that was very helpful} – your home is not like your friends’ home or the mom who is sharing on Facebook about how she managed to get all ten of her kids to complete the entire task list for the week in one day – you are you.

You need to realize each day is different and if you do not get it crossed off – oh well!  This is a guide – not a mandate!  I have placed tasks on the planner in a reasonable order and frequency to allow your home to stay picked up, tidy and in order, but if you miss a few things here and there – things will not fall apart.  Just pick up the next day and move on.

Delegate

You will need to gain help – in one form or another.  I shared a post about delegating more tasks in your Weekly Household Planner – this is key.  You are doing a big favor for yourself, but also one for your children if you bring the entire family into play when helping to keep your home in order.  They will earn life skills that will anchor them to be responsible adults when they leave home.

You can use color coded highlighters to delegate tasks for each child – this is one way to share in the process.  Allow your children to pick one task out of each day that they can help with and then when all the tasks are done, do something fun together – like a game, make a snack or get outside to ride bikes.  

Working together for the better good of the whole is a great family lesson to teach at home.

Quick Tips

I posted a Weekly Household Quick Tip each Monday as we ventured through the planner several years ago.  If you need some inspiration, just type Weekly Household Quick Tip in the search bar in the upper right corner and get some encouragement or find a tip for a certain task listed in the planner.  Need a natural Laundry Rinse that is  inexpensive and easy to use, how about some ideas on how to begin your quiet time routine, or cleaning the garage?  There is a lot of great information buried in these pages – just type a search word and phrase and hit go! 

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, go HERE, go to the bottom of the page and give your email address and name to get your free copy.  If you are interested in grabbing other planning pages to create a home management notebook, you’ll want to grab the planner + supplemental pack for $6 total.  What a bargain – a year calendar and over a dozen planning pages to keep you organized – that’s less than $.50 a month.

Here is a sneak at what the Supplemental Pack contains!!  I love the new additions this year of the new menu planner, Blessings for your Home printable, Household Maintenance Log and Gifts List!

SUPPLEMENT-GRAPHIC-2015 

What is your best tip for keeping your home tidy and organized?

12 Homemade {DIY} Gifts With Essential Oils

4
Dec
2014

diy-gifts-eo

It’s that time of year to begin thinking about gift giving – unless you are an early bird and have all your shopping done!  I often do, but this year I have fallen behind schedule more than I care to admit.

So if you are like me and want to be frugal in your gift giving but really share something that can be helpful to a friend or loved one, I know you are gonna love this post with some homemade gifts using essential oils.  You know I am not a big DIY’er and really stretch myself when I do, but I have found when I take the time to make gifts myself they mean more to me and I know are loved by those receiving.

When you add therapeutic grade essential oils to homemade recipes you are truly adding ‘drops of love’ into your gift.  

I can’t wait to try some of these recipes!!

DIY-bath-bombs-recipe-essential-oils-homemade-gifts-pin

Bath Bombs

976b339652f3e9456e473f6155295c8c

Peppermint Twist Face & Body Scrub

mens-shaving-cream

Men’s Shaving Cream

body

Homemade Body Butter

e9d7913131024c7d8cce1d428bd59d4b

Lime and Mint Foot Scrub

scented-room-spray-recipe

Scented Room Spray

lipbalmgallery1

Peppermint Cocoa Lip Balm

Detox-Bath-in-a-Jar-with-Free-Printable-466x700

Detox Bath in a Jar

1111111-Homemade-Goodie-Basket-using-Young-Living-Essential-Oils-detox-bath-salts-hand-sanitizer-and-spray-and-hand-soap-with-free-printable-tags-from-TMTOMH-too-much-time-copy1

Foaming Hand Soap

winter-forest-mason-jar-oil-candles-xl

Mason Jar Oil Candles

lavender-coconut-milk-moisturizing-body-wash

Moisturizing Body Wash

DIYLavenderLinenSpray-Title1

Lavender Linen Spray

I use and recommend only Young Living essential oils . All of these recipes can be made using Young Living essential oils and I plan to doing just that!  :-)

If you would like to read the other posts I’ve shared on how I use essential oils in my home with my family and how you can get your own essential oils, click here!  I have a great BONUS for those who join in December… truly the BEST one I’ve ever offered.

December-promo

Do you have a favorite DIY gift idea that is made with essential oils?  I would love to add to the list!

Free Holiday Meal Plan from eMeals

21
Nov
2014

beeb4bf2-c6eb-4649-b7f0-71bda2bea080

I just printed out my Thanksgiving meal plan compliments of eMeals!!  I love the ease of having these special menu plans available so I don’t have to search – it’s all done for me!

Join eMeals During November and December and Get a Holiday Plan for Free – yep – that is right!  Also, did you hear that you can get a 14 Day FREE trial now?  This is the perfect time to try it out and grab this extra bonus too!

eMeals has a Traditional Holiday Menu Plan, a Paleo Holiday Meal Plan and a Clean Eating Holiday Meal Plan available for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are even complete with a pre-made grocery list!

eMeals knows it can be daunting to enter the kitchen to cook for your family during this time of the year, so take this as your easy way out!  Go grab your FREE trail now!

As you prepare for the holidays this year be good to yourself and let eMeals be your game plan. Along with the free holiday plans, save money and make time for family with delicious eMeals weekly meal plans everyone will love. eMeals provides easy recipes with concise directions and a grocery list for budget minded and busy people. eMeals is the new way to organize and simplify the usual chaos of dinner at home.

Check out this Traditional Holiday Meal Plan recipe below. Doesn’t it look SO good?  (Even though I am gluten-free I am making this one for the rest of my family and I can’t wait!)

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

2 (12-oz) packages steam-in-bag green beans
1 (8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 (2.8-oz) container French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook beans in microwave as directed. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sauté mushrooms in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once after 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add to beans in bowl.
Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Crumble bacon, and add to beans. Reserve 1 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in drippings until tender. Add to beans. Stir in Alfredo sauce and cheese.
Spoon into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake

24
Oct
2014

GF-Coffee-Cake

Over the weekend I decided to wipe up a quick and easy Gluten Free Coffee Cake using my Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix – love that stuff.  I had all the ingredients except cinnamon.  I had forgotten to put it on my grocery list.  I began putting the ingredients back in the cupboard, when I could smell the cinnamon bark essential oil I had in my diffusing (which smells incredible!) and decided to try adding it to my recipe in place of the ground cinnamon.

It turned out incredible!!  So I had to share this quick and easy recipe for those who amy have gotten the Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil for FREE this month on the promotion. (I only use Young Living Essential Oils in my cooking)  Your family will thank you!

The recipe is adapted from the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe on the back of the Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix package.   Just keep in mind… I am not a food photographer, but wanted to show you the final product!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Fabulously flavorful Gluten Free option to serve with coffee or tea
Write a review
Print
Cake Batter
  1. 2 Cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
  2. 1 Cup coconut sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. 2/3 Cup butter
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1 Cup sour cream
Filling
  1. 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
  2. 1/2 Cup coconut sugar
  3. 3 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  4. 1/2 Cup raisins, soak in cup of hot water to plump, then drain
Glaze
  1. 1 Cup powdered sugar
  2. 2-3 TBSP water
  3. 3 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together FILLING and set aside
  3. Cake Batter: soften butter in mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla.
  4. On low speed, alternately add Pancake Mix, then sour cream until incorporated.
  5. Grease 9" bundt cake.
  6. Spoon 1/2 batter into pan, covering the bottom.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 of the filling over batter evenly, repeat with layer of batter, then sprinkle remaining filling evenly over batter.
  8. Take a knife and insert straight down into batter moving up and down around the pan in a zig-zag motion to marbleize cake. (I did not do this step)
  9. Do not smooth out the batter.
  10. Bake 45-50 minutes when inserted toothpick comes out clean. While warm, run a knife around the edges.
  11. When cool remove from pan and pour thin stream of glaze back and forth over the cake.
Adapted from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix Package
Adapted from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix Package
The Confident Mom http://www.theconfidentmom.com/tcm/